Frequently Asked Questions about Chiropractic Care

If you’re someone who has never had a chiropractic treatment before, you probably have a lot of questions about it. With that in mind, here are some of the most common questions patients have about chiropractic, together with the answers.

Q: What medical conditions do chiropractors treat?

A: Doctors of Chiropractic, or DCs for short, typically care for patient of all ages. They are most commonly known for their experience and expertise treating patients with chronic or acute back pain, neck pain, and headaches. They can also care for patients with musculoskeletal injuries and sports- related injuries, as well as conditions that affect the nervous system. They can also provide nutritional and lifestyle counseling to their patients.

Q: What training do chiropractors receive?

A: Chiropractors must have:

  • An undergraduate degree with prerequisites for chiropractic school
  • A degree from an accredited chiropractic school

Chiropractic training involves about 4,200 hours of classroom and clinical training. DCs must also pass 5 national board certification tests and meet state licensing requirements.

Q: How can I find a Doctor of Chiropractic near me?

A: You may receive a referral from your primary care physician or another health care provider but is not required to see a Chiropractor. Alternatives include using the online Find a Doctor database or asking a friend, family member, or colleague for a recommendation.

Q: Are chiropractic treatments safe?

A: Chiropractic treatment is recognized as a safe, drug-free, non-invasive therapy for the treatment of chronic pain, acute pain, and neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Of course, no health treatment is guaranteed to be free of potentially adverse effects, but the risks associated with chiropractic treatment are small. Unlike pain killers, chiropractic carries no risk of addiction and it is statistically much safer
than surgery.

Q: Do I need a referral from my MD to see a Doctor of Chiropractic?

A: Not necessarily. If you have an HMO plan then a referral is required but all PPO plans or cash paying patients can make an appointment without a referral.

Q: Can Chiropractors practice in hospitals and outpatient medical facilities?

A: Yes. Doctors of Chiropractic were first given hospital privileges in 1983. They are also allowed to work in outpatient medical facilities and order laboratory tests and X-rays for their patients.

Q: Is chiropractic treatment safe for children?

A: Yes. Chiropractic care is very gentle, non-invasive, and has a low risk of complications. It can be beneficial for children who have musculoskeletal injuries, headaches, and other medical conditions.

Doctors of Chiropractic adapt their treatments to the individual patient. You may want to seek a chiropractor who specializes in treating young patients if you think your child would benefit from chiropractic treatments.

Q: Do insurance plans cover chiropractic treatments?

A: Yes, the majority of them do. You’ll need to check your plan to see if it covers chiropractic care and also your benefits whether you have a deductible or copay, each plan varies. Your chiropractic office may be able to look into your benefits for you as well.

What are the Qualifications to be a Chiropractor?

If you’re considering chiropractic treatment to help you cope with chronic or acute pain or another health issue, you might be wondering how much training someone gets before being licensed as a chiropractor. And, it might surprise you to know that the educational and licensing requirements for chiropractic doctors (DCs) are some of the most stringent and rigorous of any health care profession.

Chiropractic School

Many Doctors of Chiropractic have four-year undergraduate degrees in pre-medical subjects like chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, physics, and psychology. Some obtain undergraduate degrees in physical therapy as well.

After that, an aspiring DC must be educated in a nationally accredited, for-year doctor graduate school program. Typically, these programs include a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom study, laboratory work, and clinical internships, which makes the classroom hours similar to what allopathic and osteopathic medical schools require of their students.

Chiropractic training involves rigorous training in many of the same things that medical doctors study. These include:

  • Human anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Nutrition
  • Public health
  • Rehabilitation

A significant percentage of the training students receive is clinical, meaning that it’s related to evaluating and caring for patients. They must complete a one-year clinical program where they treat patients and observe qualified DCs at work.

It’s important to note that, because chiropractic is a hands-on practice that requires extensive clinical training, DCs spend, on average, more time in clinical settings before they are licensed that medical doctors do. It’s where they learn the art and science of treating patients and the intricate, hands-on adjusting techniques that help them alleviate pain.

The course of study for DCs is approved by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and has been for more than 25 years.

Certification and Licensing

Education isn’t the only qualification to be a chiropractor. DCs must also pass a national board exam administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. The NBCE also specifies yearly continuing education requirements that DCs must meet to maintain their licenses.
In addition to passing the NBCE’s board exam, a DC must obtain a state license from the state where they wish to practice.

It may interest you to know that DCs are designated as physician-level providers in most states and with the federal Medicare program. Chiropractic services are available through:

  • The Medicaid Program
  • The US Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • The US Department of Defense
  • The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program
  • The Federal Workers’ Compensation program
  • All states workers’ compensation programs

Chiropractic care is widely accepted as a method of treating a variety of ailments. In addition to providing treatment, DCs can refer patients to other health care practitioners when it is necessary.

Conclusion

Chiropractic training requirements are stringent and rigorous. To be board certified and licensed, Doctors of Chiropractic must complete thousands of hours of classroom and hands-on training to ensure that they are able to provide the best possible level of care to their patients.

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