Frequently Asked Questions


What Training Do Chiropractors Have?

Chiropractors are licensed in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. A rigorous course of study is necessary to receive the degree of Doctor of Chiropractic. According to the American Chiropractic Association, there are over 50,000 Doctors of Chiropractic practicing in the United States.

How Much Training Does a Chiropractor Receive?

Chiropractic training is extensive. Each student begins with at least four years of undergraduate college, followed by four to five years of specialized Chiropractic training. Chiropractic students take all the basic science courses – anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and microbiology. They also take intensive courses in diagnosis, radiology, orthopedics, neurology, nutrition and public health. Each student then participates in a clinical internship followed by a licensing exam.

What Happens During a Chiropractic Visit?

After setting up an appointment and arriving for your first visit, you’ll complete new patient forms and meet your Chiropractor. He or she will review your health history and ask you important questions to determine if your problem is likely to be helped with Chiropractic care. An examination will then be performed to determine soft tissue injury or whether or not there are fixated or immobile spinal vertebrae. With a complete understanding of your condition, physical therapy modalities may be applied to the region to help decrease muscle spasm, inflammation and pain. Next, you’re ready for your Chiropractic spinal adjustment. Spinal adjustments consist of unlocking certain spinal segments which may have become fixated causing abnormal movement or nerve irritation in the spine. These “adjustments” are performed by hand and are generally painless. Adjustments help restore proper spinal function and mobility which are necessary to begin the healing process. Continued visits may help maintain the supporting muscles and ligaments of your spine. Periodic examinations will monitor the healing process.

Is Chiropractic Care Safe?

Chiropractic adjustments are safer than aspirin, muscle relaxers, and back surgery. Dozens of research studies have documented the safety and effectiveness of Chiropractic adjustments. When compared with traditional approaches, Chiropractic care is remarkably safe. In fact, millions of Chiropractic adjustments are safely delivered to satisfied patients every day!

Am I Too Old for Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic treatment is for people of all ages, including senior citizens. With growing concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs, safe, natural Chiropractic care is growing in popularity. Restoring better spinal function can help improve mobility, vitality, endurance and strength. Many patients report improvement with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process.

Does Medical Insurance Cover Chiropractic Care?

According to a 1994 federal study, 80% of healthcare plans that employers offer cover at least part of the cost of Chiropractic treatment. In addition, Medicare, workers’ compensation and automobile insurance companies cover Chiropractic care. We recommend that you call your insurance company to determine your specific Chiropractic benefits.

What is the History of Chiropractic Care?

The roots of Chiropractic care can be traced all the way back to the beginning of recorded time. Writings from China and Greece written in 2700 B.C. and 1500 B.C. mention spinal manipulation and the maneuvering of the lower extremities to ease low back pain. Hippocrates, the Greek physician, who lived from 460 to 357 B.C., published texts detailing the importance of Chiropractic care. In one of his writings he declares, “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases.”

In the United States, the practice of spinal manipulation began gaining momentum in the late nineteenth century. In 1895, Daniel David Palmer founded the Chiropractic profession in Davenport, Iowa. Palmer was well read in the medical journals of his time and had great knowledge of the developments in anatomy and physiology which were occurring throughout the world. In 1897, Daniel David Palmer went on to found the Palmer School of Chiropractic, which is still in existence today.

Throughout the twentieth century, Doctors of Chiropractic gained legal recognition in all fifty states. A continuing recognition and respect for the Chiropractic profession in the United States has led to growing support for Chiropractic care all over the world. The research that has emerged has yielded incredibly influential results, which have changed, shaped and molded perceptions of Chiropractic care. The 1979 report, Chiropractic in New Zealand, strongly supported the efficacy of Chiropractic care and elicited medical cooperation in conjunction with Chiropractic care. The 1993 Manga study published in Canada investigated the cost effectiveness of Chiropractic care. The results of this study concluded that Chiropractic care would save hundreds of millions of dollars annually with regard to work disability payments and direct health care costs.

Doctors of Chiropractic have become pioneers in the field of non-invasive care promoting science-based approaches to a variety of ailments. A continuing dedication to Chiropractic research could lead to even more discoveries in preventing and combating maladies in future years.

What is a Chiropractor’s Education?

Doctors of Chiropractic must complete four to five years at an accredited Chiropractic College. The complete curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. Approximately 555 hours are devoted to learning about adjustive techniques and spinal analysis in Chiropractic College. In medical schools, training to become proficient in manipulation is generally not required of, or offered to, students. The Council on Chiropractic Education requires that students have 90 hours of undergraduate courses with science as the focus.

Those intending to become Doctors of Chiropractic must also pass the national board exam and all exams required by the state in which the individual wishes to practice. The individual must also meet all individual state licensing requirements in order to become a Doctor of Chiropractic.

An individual studying to become a Doctor of Chiropractic receives an education in both the basic and clinical sciences and in related health subjects. The intention of the basic Chiropractic curriculum is to provide an in-depth understanding of the structure and function of the human body in health and disease. The educational program includes training in the basic medical sciences, including anatomy with human dissection, physiology, and biochemistry. Thorough training is also obtained in differential diagnosis, radiology and therapeutic techniques. This means that a Doctor of Chiropractic can both diagnose and treat patients. This separates chiropractors from non-physician status providers, like physical therapists. According to the Council on Chiropractic Education, Doctors of Chiropractic can both diagnose and treat patients and are trained as Primary Care Providers.

What are Some Back Pain Dos & Don’ts?

If low back pain persists for more than two days, call your chiropractor or primary care physician. In the meantime, however, there are things you can do to relieve the pain, as follows:

  • Initial 24 hours, apply ice for 15-20 minutes approximately 3-4 times.
  • Don’t use heat.
  • Lie on your back with knees and hips bent at a 90 degree angle.
  • Use a pillow or rolled up towel behind your lower back when sitting.
  • Avoid twisting, bending or lifting.
  • Don’t stay in bed for more than 8 hours.

What are Some Ways to Prevent Back Pain?

  • Wear low-heeled, comfortable shoes.
  • Make sure your desk or workspace is ergonomically sound.
  • Use a chair with good lower back support and use a footstool.
  • Use a rolled up towel or pillow behind your lower back if you must drive a long distance.
  • Try sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees or on your side with your knees bent and a pillow between your knees.

Close Comments