Health care is increasingly focusing upon prevention and healthy habits in today's society, and a corresponding interest in Chiropractic care has been one result. Chiropractors, also known as Doctors of Chiropractic Medicine, focus on the relationship between the spinal column, nervous system and musculoskeletal system and how they affect the health and comfort of the individual.
Individuals who are interested in helping others maintain a healthy lifestyle and improve their sense of well-being and comfort level should consider looking into a Chiropractic career. Chiropractors are distinct from more traditional medical doctors in that they focus on how the nerves, muscles and especially the spinal column of the body work together. They use spinal manipulation to relieve pressure on nerves and bring vertebrae back into proper alignment. Most Chiropractors also advocate stress management, exercise, and a healthy diet. They will advise patients on these elements of holistic health, as well.
The treatments Chiropractors use do not include drugs of any kind. They cannot prescribe medications, although they can use several alternative treatment modalities that will relieve pain, which include electrical stimulation, heat and massage, ultrasound therapy, and exercise therapy. Of course, spinal manipulation is the most common method of treatment, and is often combined with recommended dietary supplements and exercise therapy. In some cases, traditional traction may even be employed.
Most Chiropractic colleges expect you to have a Bachelor's degree when you apply to pursue your degree in Chiropractic Medicine. However, more colleges each year are offering concurrent programs where you can pursue your Bachelor's courses and begin to work toward the required Chiropractic courses at the same time. You should talk to an admissions counselor at each school you are considering to determine whether or not you need a Bachelor's degree before enrolling.
Core requirement courses you will need for a Chiropractic education include college-level chemistry, biology, psychology and physics. During the first two years of Chiropractic college, coursework will focus on classes and labs, including physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, pathology and microbiology. The last two years of schooling focus upon clinical diagnosis, nutrition, spinal manipulation and adjustments.
The demand for Chiropractors is rising steadily as more and more people turn to treatments that prevent illness and help maintain good health rather than taking medications after they become ill. Chiropractors are also in great demand in geriatric practices for helping patients manage pain and maintain mobility.
When you have completed your training, you will need to be licensed to practice in most states. The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners administers a four part licensing exam you must pass to receive your license to practice. You will also be required to pursue continuing education each year in many states in order to keep up with the latest advances in Chiropractic treatments.
Although Chiropractors were once considered an alternative treatment, they are now considered part of the mainstream healthcare system, and most Chiropractic treatments are covered by health insurance programs. As a result, more health-conscious people are turning to Chiropractic care every year.
Because Chiropractic care is primarily preventative in nature, most Chiropractors are either in private practice or work with other holistic health practitioners rather than in hospitals or clinics. Some do visit nursing homes or hospitals to provide pain relief and comfort to residents and patients who have structural and mechanical spinal problems.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a Chiropractor, talk to several of them who practice in your area and contact the admissions counselors at several Chiropractic colleges to find out what their admissions requirements are. They will be able to get you started on a rewarding career in which you will be working towards enhancing the health and well-being of others.