It hurts to stand, hurts to sit, hurts to walk, hurts to do anything and it feels like an ice pick is digging up and down your spine. There may be a problem with your back. You may want to think about seeing a chiropractor to alleviate your pain; and while you’re there you may want to ask them how they like their job. Who knows, maybe next time it will be you alleviating someone’s pain.
Chiropractor Job Responsibilities
Doctors of chiropractic, chiropractic physicians, or just chiropractors, all of them diagnose and assist patients with health ailments of the musculoskeletal system and treat the effects of those ailments on the nervous system and overall health. Several chiropractic treatments are focused on the spine and the manipulation of the spine. Chiropractic is centered around the idea that spinal joint misalignments can have adverse effects on the nervous system and can be the cause of decreased resistance to disease and several different instances of diminished health.
The chiropractic view on healthcare centers on the patient’s overall health. Chiropractors administer drugless, natural, nonsurgical health treatments, depending on naturally occurring recuperative abilities in the body. They also realize that several factors such as rest, diet, exercise, heredity, and environment have an impact on a person’s health. They suggest altering lifestyle so that those factors are affected. Chiropractors may refer patients to or consult outside practitioners in come cases.
Chiropractors have a regular routine to gather information required to diagnose and treat their patients just like other practitioners of health. After gathering the patient’s health history, they conduct orthopedic, physical, and neurological examinations; and might even have need for laboratory tests. X-rays and other diagnostic images are vital because of the importance of the spine and its proper function in the chiropractic field. Chiropractors also examine the spine and posture of the patient with the use of a specialized technique.
Chiropractor Training and Education Requirements
Applicants for one of the 16 chiropractic programs in the United States recognized by the Council on Chiropractic Education are required to obtain a minimum of 90 semester hours of undergraduate study building towards a bachelor’s degree. Classes include the social sciences, inorganic and organic chemistry, humanities, English, physics, and biology as well as psychology. Several applicants have a bachelor’s degree, something which might eventually turn into the minimum prerequisite for entry. A great many chiropractic colleges offer pre-chiropractic study in addition to a bachelor’s degree program.
Chiropractic programs call for at least 4,200 hours of combined clinical, classroom, and laboratory experience. Several chiropractic programs place a great deal of importance on laboratory and classroom work in sciences like microbiology, pathology, anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry during the initial two years. The final two years are concentrated on classes in manipulation and spinal adjustment and also offer clinical experience in laboratory and physical diagnoses, geriatrics, neurology, nutrition, physiotheraphy, and orthopedics. Chiropractic institutions and programs award graduates with the degree of Doctor of Chiropractic.
In addition, chiropractic colleges offer postdoctoral training in sports injuries, radiology, orthopedics, applied chiropractic science, industrial consulting, neurology, rehabilitation, family practice, and nutrition. When the training is finished, chiropractors are allowed to take specialty tests leading to “diplomate” level in a certain specialty.
Chiropractor Salary and Wages
In May 2008 $66,490 was the median annual wages of salaried chiropractors. The middle 50 percent made between $45,540 and $96,700 a year. According to a survey carried out by Chiropractic Economics magazine, the mean salary for chiropractors was $94,454 in 2009.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
As with any sole practice, in chiropractic earnings are rather low during the initial business months and increase as the practice blossoms. Characteristics, location, and qualifications of the chiropractor also influence earnings.
Salaried chiropractors usually have retirement benefits and health insurance from their employers, while self-employed chiropractors have to provide their own retirement and health insurance.
The regulation of practice of chiropractic and the awarding of licenses to chiropractors who meet the examination and educational requirements set up by the state is controlled by all States and the District of Columbia. Select States have agreements allowing chiropractors licensed in a single State to have a license in another State without having to take another exam, although their examination, practice, and educational credentials have to meet individual State standards.
For licensure, several State boards recognize part or all of the four-part test administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Determined by State requirements, State examinations may take the place of the National Board tests. Except for New Jersey, all States require the successful completion of a certain amount of hours of continuing education each year if a chiropractor wants to maintain licensure.
Chiropractor Professional Associations
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), based in Arlington, VA., is “a professional organization representing Doctors of Chiropractic. Its mission is to preserve, protect, improve and promote the chiropractic profession and the services of Doctors of Chiropractic for the benefit of patients they serve. The purpose of the ACA is to provide leadership in health care and a positive vision for the chiropractic profession and its natural approach to health and wellness.”