Chiropractors are primary healthcare professionals concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the effect of these disorders on the functioning of the nervous system and general health.
- taking detailed medical histories, including information on previous injuries, surgery, general health and lifestyle;
- conducting physical examinations of patients, focusing on the spine and posture, and noting the range of movement;
- taking and interpreting x-rays, as appropriate;
- checking blood pressure and performing other medical tests;
- establishing an appropriate treatment or management plan for the patient;
- performing adjustments of the joints of the spine and extremities using hands or specialist equipment;
- performing soft tissue therapies, such as massage;
- educating and advising patients on rehabilitation exercises to aid long-term recovery and techniques to ensure health is maintained;
- keeping accurate and confidential clinical records;
- liaising with other healthcare practitioners and referring patients requiring other medical attention;
- undertaking continuing professional development (CPD) through case review, training, attending conferences and reading professional journals;
- managing and promoting the practice, if self-employed.
Average Salary per state for a Chiropractor
To administer effective treatment, chiropractors first analyze a patient’s condition by studying his medical history, asking him questions and performing a physical examination. They analyze a patient’s posture and spine, and may order x-rays or ultrasound to ensure their diagnosis is correct. For treatment, they use their hands to adjust his spinal column and other joints, and may apply additional treatments, such as applying heat or cold packs. They advise patients on changes in lifestyle, sleep and exercise that can improve health, and may refer complex cases to other medical specialists. Chiropractors in their own practices must also tend to business concerns such as billing, advertising and insurance claims. They may delegate these administrative tasks to practice employees whom they supervise.
Each state gives out their own certificates to chiropractics. This certificate allows the chiropractor to practice their profession in that state.
- Of the 4 years of training to be a doctor of chiropractic, 2 years of basic sciences are required followed by the need for a successful completion of National Boards, Part 1
- The next 2 years of chiropractic training include the clinical sciences after which National Boards, Part 2 is required
- Part 3 of the National Boards chiropractic training that is necessary if the chiropractor plans to use physiological therapeutics in practice.
- Part 4 tests three practical skill areas, including:
- Diagnostic imaging
- Chiropractic technique
- Case management.
Most chiropractors work in a solo or group chiropractic practice. A large number are self-employed.
Employment of chiropractors is projected to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. People across all age groups are increasingly becoming interested in chiropractic care, because chiropractors use nonsurgical methods of treatment and do not prescribe drugs.
A Day in the Life - Chiropractor