By a "real" medical specialist, you mean an M.D. right? For the most part, the drug rep... I mean "doctor" will treat your problem symptomatically, meaning that they will get some x rays on your back done, have you ice your back, and of course right you a prescription for some pain killers. If worse comes to worse and they don't help the problem but mask it and your own condition worsens, then they may reccomend surgey. Now I am not saying all doctors are out there to push drugs (that was a bit of hyperbole, a bit), or that no doctor could help with back trouble, or that surgey is never a option. Rather that we do live in a crisis based society thriving on peoples notions/ignorance that "modern" medicine (see: drugs/surgery etc.) far trumps any and all alternative forms of healing, when that is just not the case. If you want some real world evidence of chiropractic care, look at how many top level athletes endorse it. There is probably a chiro on every single pro sports team. These people need one thing...RESULTS. They (the athletes) are not going to continue to do something of that nature if it is not helping their performance. Maybe they see even better results than most because the Chiro's confer with the P.T.'s and rest of the medical staff, instead of bitching about who spent longer and who spent more money in school, thus who is more qualified? Hmm..
In Stuart McGill's Lower Back Disorders book, he brings up a good point when discussing treatment, or lack thereof, for a bad back. His basic point is that if you go to a basic Chiro, than they will think adjusting you will fix the whole problem, if you go to a doctor, then they will think giving you a prescription (for example)will help you. A massage therapist will think that by breaking up the adhesions in your back you will be fine. A Physical Therapist will think that they will help by strengthing the surrounding muscles and by stretching. And so on and so on. The point of this is that each Professional had their own dicipline, and a holisitic approach may be required to help the patient.
Someone else called Chiro's "quaks". As in any profession there are some who are not as proficient in their work as others, and some who "ruin" the name for all. Is Mike Leahy, D.C. (one of the ones whom invented A.R.T.)a quak? Is Dr. Ryan Smith?
Concerning the point about having to go back to see the Chiropractor regularily, I do not see why this is a big deal if you beilieve in their effectiveness. Living an active lifestyle will warrant good care in order to keep you properly aligned, and can also help increase recovery. I wonder how many people who buy Grow! or Alpha Male, or anything else to get bigger/leaner/etc. stop taking everything once they have reached their goal, only to regress for a bit until they have to take more? That is what happens in this, again, crisis care society. People go to the D.C. get "fixed" dont do the follow-ups, then years later experience pain again and either A) dismiss Chiropractic care, or B) Go back to see them. Just because they (the D.C.) believes in its effectivness doesn't mean they should do it for free. JB thinks drinking Surge in the Peri-Workout period (before, during, after) can dramatically enhance results. Maybe he should give us free Surge? Only makes sense right?
Basically, I wonder what your definition of Medical Profession is and what your experiences with a good chiropractor are that would cause you to make such a gross generalization or to dismiss the field completley?