What Do Chiropractors Do?
Within the United States, approximately 31% of individuals suffer from back or neck pain. Many of these individuals rely on the expertise of a chiropractor to alleviate, manage, and/or eliminate this type of pain all together. Chiropractors use manipulation techniques on the spine and musculoskeletal system to assess and treat a wide variety of patients with different discomforts and needs. As far as the growth of this career is concerned, chiropractic positions are anticipated to grow approximately 15% from year 2012 to 2022. From this percentage, it calculates to about 1,520 new job openings on an annual basis.
Chiropractors Skills and Abilities
There are many skills and abilities that are required to be a chiropractor. First, you will need to have a large knowledge of how the body works, treatment possibilities, and drug properties. It is important to possess good communication skills, both oral and written. Being able to listen to and understand patients, knowing how to ask the right questions, and having the ability to take time to consider all of the points discussed are a large part of being a chiropractor. The ability to use logical and inductive reasoning skills to come up with a proper treatment plan for each patient will be useful and necessary.
Chiropractors use the knowledge gained in school to evaluate how a patient’s neuromuscular system and spine are functioning. Typically after a diagnosis is made, you would be expected to use your training to perform a sequence of manual adjustments to the spine or other portions of the body in order to alter the musculoskeletal system. Some additional tasks that accompany this position include:
- Reviewing medical histories
- Examining and reading patient’s x-rays
- Chart accurately
- Place orders for blood tests, additional imaging, and other labs as needed
- Discuss and provide guidance on proper nutrition, anxiety control, level of activity, and rest
- Advise patients on the treatment options
- Apply or explain the use of bandages, braces, and splints
Chiropractors Tools and Technology
Everything in the medical field used to be done with hard, physical copies, but since technology is growing so much, most charting is now done with the use of a computer. It is imperative to become familiar with the calendaring and scheduling system used. Along with that, familiarize yourself with the charting software your company uses to log the work done on your patients. Since you are in charge of providing treatment for patients you might need to know how to use a dynamometer, therapy vibrators, traction systems, and a variety of platforms or mats. If you take care of your businesses finances, it would be wise to know the ins and outs of the accounting software.
Education and Training for Chiropractors
Although not all chiropractic schools require their students to obtain a Bachelor’s degree before applying, most do. If they don’t require a Bachelor’s degree, they will require a certain amount of credit hours to be achieved before being considered for a position. Once accepted into chiropractic school, you will work towards receiving your Doctoral or Professional degree to work as a chiropractor. Chiropractic school is very rigorous and takes four years to complete.
Being a chiropractor can be a very lucrative career. The average chiropractor in the United States makes a $66,700 salary, but the wage can go a lot lower or a lot higher. The lowest 10% of chiropractors bring in only $31,400 annually. On the other end of things, there are chiropractors that are in the top 10 percent that rake in about $143,000 a year.
Chiropractors Jobs by Geography
The areas in the United States that contain the highest levels of chiropractic concentration are the New York Metro area, Chicago, IL, and Phoenix, AZ. The states that provide the highest salaries include New Jersey, Connecticut, and Illinois. The demand for chiropractors seems to be increasing nationwide, so if this career fits all of your requirements, research a location that is going to experience a large amount of growth in the future.