Thirty million Americans visit a chiropractor every year, but not everybody knows the extent of their education and the considerable scientific evidence that demonstrates the safety and effectiveness of their conservative, hands-on approach to healthcare.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractic is a healthcare profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health explains that people mostly go to Doctors of Chiropractic for relief from back pain. In addition, chiropractors can also effectively treat a broad range of conditions, including neck pain, headaches, arm or leg pain, joint stiffness, muscle spasm and more. Many chiropractors also offer patients on-going preventive and wellness care.
The nature of a chiropractic visit will vary depending on the needs of the specific patient. An initial visit will usually begin with a thorough case history and examination, including a general physical exam as well as a focused exam of the spine, with particular attention to a patient’s problem. Following assessment, your chiropractor will develop a customized treatment plan that accounts for your injury, general health, and your goals for treatment.
The treatment most associated with chiropractors is hands-on joint manipulation. Other treatments that many chiropractors offer include therapeutic ultrasound, electric muscle stimulation, stretches for tight muscles, deep tissue massage, home exercise instruction, and ergonomic advice to avoid re-injury.
According to discoverchiropractic.org, 40 percent of chiropractors own their own private practice. Others work in a variety of settings, such as with multispecialty teams in hospitals, as wellness consultants with businesses, and in interdisciplinary rehabilitation clinics.
Chiropractors in Industry: A Success Story
One Wisconsin manufacturing company, whose story was published in The American Chiropractic Association’s ACA news, hires chiropractors on staff as part of an employee wellness program. These on-staff doctors provide traditional chiropractic care, and also assist employees with nutritional consultations, physical fitness programs and wellness education programs.
Over the course of a decade, the company has found statistically significant positive changes in the health of employees who participated in the program, including a
- 55 percent decrease in participants’ healthcare costs;
- 24 percent decrease in short-term disability claims; and
- 60 percent reduction in employee turnover rates.
As attitudes on healthcare continue to change, increasing numbers of people will rely on conservative approaches to pain management and proactive models of health. More chiropractors will be needed to meet the increasing demand for safe, effective and personalized care.
The New York Chiropractic College “Careers in Chiropractic” blog has been created to provide Doctor of Chiropractic students and people thinking about entering the profession with career opportunities they didn’t know existed. This blog will include New York Chiropractic faculty spotlights and research, student and alumni insight and a look at industry news. Enjoy!