A chiropractor is a primary health professional who focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal disorders. Chiropractic treatment focuses primarily on using manual techniques, especially spinal manipulation (or “adjustment”). Chiropractors also use massage therapy, exercise prescription, health counseling and other therapies to treat patients.
In addition to his or her medical training, a Chiropractor must satisfy certain academic requirements in order to be licensed as such in most states. Chiropractic programs are offered at many different colleges and universities across the United States. Chiropractic programs typically take four years to complete; however, some 3-year programs exist.
Chiropractors undergo extensive training to become licensed practitioners. Chiropractic education is broken up into 4 phases: Basic sciences, Chiropractic techniques, Chiropractic clinical sciences, and Chiropractic internships.
Basic Sciences- Students are expected to study anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology (the way in which disease affects the body). They also need to study chemistry and physics to gain an understanding of what is going on inside the human body. Chiropractors study human growth and development as well as embryology which gives them a more detailed knowledge about how the body works.
Chiropractor Techniques- Chiropractor students learn manual hands-on therapy such as spinal manipulation or adjustment using their own body weight known as “chiropractic adjustments” or “chiropractic manipulation”. Chiropractor students also learn about the Chiropractic concepts of natural healing and nutrition. Chiropractor students are taught to recognize signs and symptoms of various neuromusculoskeletal conditions and how they present themselves in a clinical setting. Chiropractor students may utilize certain techniques which are not consistent with traditional chiropractic methods. Chiropractors use x-ray diagnosis and clinical reasoning to determine whether further radiological examinations are appropriate based on findings obtained from these preliminary investigations
Chiropractor Clinical Sciences- Students participate in a minimum of 1000 hours of Chiropractic clinical experience where they treat patients under the supervision of licensed Chiropractors Chiropractic interns are taught Chiropractic techniques and procedures, Chiropractic specialties, Chiropractic patient evaluation and management, Chiropractic record keeping standards, Chiropractic ethics and practice management. (https://www.sentrumklinikken.no/)
Chiropractor Internships- Chiropractor students perform a minimum of 1000 hours at an accredited Chiropractor clinic as part of their last year(s) of Chiropractic school. They learn diagnostic reasoning skills in order to identify the neuromusculoskeletal conditions they will be treating for other licensed chiropractors. Students also learn the proper techniques to treat patients during those internships. (https://www.sentrumklinikken.no/behandlingstyper/trykkbolge-behandling-kristiansand/)
Graduation- After successfully completing all 4 years of education, Chiropractor students are awarded a Doctorate of Chiropractic degree, which is legally recognized in all states. Chiropractor students then take and pass the National Board Chiropractic Examinations (NBCE) to obtain licensure as Chiropractors. (https://www.sentrumklinikken.no/behandlingstyper/kiropraktor-kristiansand/)
Chiropractors use spinal manipulation therapy for treating patients with neuromusculoskeletal complaints:
Back pain, neck pain, headaches.
Other musculoskeletal problems involving joints (such as shoulder or knee), ligaments and tendons.
General health promotion and disease prevention.
Non-musculoskeletal complaints such as infant colic, allergies, asthma, ear aches, sore throats and other common ailments.
Chiropractic services are usually covered by private health insurance. Chiropractors are not authorized to prescribe medications or perform surgery, but they can refer patients to a medical doctor.