Can a Chiropractor Prescribe Medication in Idaho?

I went to Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi on a scholarship in 2003. I enrolled in the pre-medicine program with huge hopes and aspirations of one day becoming an orthopedic surgeon. I made the honor roll multiple times and enjoyed school in the challenges of my undergraduate education. I learned the complexities of the medical field and healthcare in general while I was interning at different offices and clinics. I fell in love with all aspects of medicine in healthcare but quickly learned that our society is Extremely unhealthy. I fell in love with Chiropractic even though they cannot prescribe medication. 

Chiropractors cannot prescribe medication in Idaho. They do have the ability to diagnose any medical condition and utilize advanced imaging. Chiropractors in Idaho often refer to other healthcare providers when chiropractic is not an effective treatment option. 

A couple of things happened towards the end of my undergraduate degree that made me choose to become a chiropractor. I was a division one track and field athlete that suffered from shin splints my entire career. The medical staff at the university ordered a bunch of scans including a bone scan and determined that I had four stress fractures in both of my legs. My options were to stop running or start an intensive physical therapy program with the hopes of being able to return. Competing in collegiate athletics is like having a full-time job, especially if you’re on a scholarship. If you don’t perform lose your scholarship therefore the ability to pay for school. I would’ve had to return home if I did not continue running as the cost of education would’ve been too expensive out of state. 

The orthopedic surgeon for the university recommended I see a physical therapist as well as the team chiropractor for evaluation before we considered surgery. I went to the chiropractor first. I’ve never been to a chiropractor in my life so I was super skeptical. I mean what can crack my bones do for my legs? I quickly learned that there is far more to this profession than the mainstream media and medical doctors have led for many years. I was thoroughly evaluated just as a medical doctor would do. They asked for a video of me running and had me do a whole bunch of tests to figure out what could be causing my pain. 

Backtrack to my high school days. I was a skinny white kid that grew up in southern Idaho with a God-given talent for being fast. I was blessed to be a state champion many times over and despite my speed, my closest friends and family would give me a hard time about my running form. They would always tell me you run like a duck with my feet turned way out. I never thought much of it because my talent was carrying me through my career. However; once I got to college and the training program got far more intense the slight nagging in my shins that I had experienced for many years became almost debilitating. This is where the chiropractor shined. They determined that my running form was putting so much pressure on my leg bones that I was actually causing microfractures with the repetitious trauma. 

I spent the next six weeks going to the chiropractor twice a week, We worked on ankle mobilization, stretching of the lower leg muscles, and neuromuscular reeducation to re-teach my muscles how to fire properly and thus improve my running form. I was back on the track within a few weeks of starting treatment and to this day I’ve never had a shin splint. I have competed in triathlons, long-distance running, and continue to hike and hunt avidly in the outdoors of Idaho. 

I decided then if my symptoms could be remedied without medicine and surgery how many other things could be fixed this way? Despite my family’s wishes I decided to pursue a degree in chiropractic. “The golden child” that was destined to become an orthopedic surgeon was now resorting to cracking backs for a living. Haha. Over the years my family and friends have learned just as I did that chiropractors are far more skilled than the misinformed medical society could ever realize 

Western medicine is experiencing a huge change right now in the world of healthcare. The general population is beginning to understand that we are still very sick as a society despite our avid consumption of medication. I recently saw a statistic that the United States makes up 5% of the world’s population but consumes 75% of the world’s medication. How are we still 74th among the world’s healthiest countries according to the World Health Organization

We cannot rely on medication to cure our problems all the time. Don’t get me wrong I still love medicine I even recruited a family provider to come work with us so that we can utilize medication when it’s appropriate. I refer to medical doctors weekly and still diagnose appropriately despite my desire to not utilize medication in my professional career. I have helped thousands of patients over the past 11 years as a chiropractor and I will continue to do so. Only recently did I realize that a lot of my success is because Chiropractors cannot prescribe medication in the state of Idaho.

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