Practically speaking, chiropractors are primarily concerned with locating, analyzing and correcting vertebral subluxations. A vertebral subluxation is a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular (joint) changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health. Using a number of unique and highly refined skills, the chiropractor checks the patient’s spine for any misalignments, fixations or other abnormalities (vertebral subluxations). If subluxations or other abnormalities are detected, the chiropractor will generally apply a gentle force in a corrective manner to the affected spinal area. Chiropractors use many specialized techniques to identify and correct these spinal abnormalities and optimize overall health. In addition to spinal adjustment techniques, soft tissue techniques such as massage, dietary and nutritional counseling, physical therapies, and lifestyle modification programs are commonly employed. While our Health Connection chiropractors are licensed and educated, many outside chiropractors are not. Choose carefully when selecting a chiropractor by evaluating their qualifications based on the following criterion:
Is Chiropratic Regulated?
Professionally, Chiropractors must be licensed, which requires 2 to 4 years of undergraduate education, the completion of a 4-year chiropractic college course, and passing scores on United States national and State examinations.
Chiropractic Education and Training
Chiropractic programs in the United States are accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education. Most applicants today have a university bachelor’s degree (about 2020 classroom hours), which may eventually become the minimum entry requirement. These include courses like English, the social sciences or humanities, organic and inorganic chemistry, biology, anatomy, physics, and psychology.
Chiropractic programs require a minimum of 4,200 hours of combined classroom, laboratory, and clinical experience. During the first 2 years, most chiropractic programs emphasize classroom and laboratory work in sciences such as anatomy, physiology, public health, microbiology, pathology, and biochemistry. The final 2 years focus on courses in manipulation and spinal adjustment and provide clinical experience in physical and laboratory diagnosis, neurology, orthopedics, geriatrics, physiotherapy, and nutrition. Chiropractic programs and institutions grant the degree of Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.).
Chiropractic colleges also offer postdoctoral training in orthopedics, neurology, sports injuries, nutrition, rehabilitation, radiology, industrial consulting, family practice, pediatrics, and applied chiropractic sciences. Once such training is complete, chiropractors may take specialty exams leading to “diplomate” status in a given specialty. Exams are administered by chiropractic specialty boards.