How Much Education Does a Chiropractor Have?

There are currently 16 chiropractic colleges in the United States, 10 of which were established prior to 1945. Standards for Chiropractic education have been established an are monitored by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) including curriculum, faculty and staff, facilities, patient care, and research. CCE standards and Chiropractic licensing board requirements influence admissions requirements.

For admission to a Chiropractic college, a minimum of three years of undergraduate education is required, including successful courses in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, psychology, English/communications, and the humanities.

Each Chiropractic college has different requirements beyond the minimum determined by the CCE. 90 credits are required for admission by most Chiropractic colleges.

Chiropractic programs differ from school to school. Some Chiropractic colleges offer a four-year academic program, while others offer a five-year program. All schools complete almost 5000 hours of course work along with 3000 hours of clinical work with direct oversight. The programs focus on sciences, adjustive techniques, principles and practice of Chiropractic, physiologic therapeutics, and biomechanics.

Personally, I received a bachelor’s degree from University of Nevada Reno, and my Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree from a Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, OR.

What Conditions can Chiropractic Treat?

Along with traditional ailments treated by Chiropractic for the neck and spine, there are a wide variety of additional conditions that we treat. These conditions include adult symptoms such as carpal tunnel, extremity pain (shoulder, ankle, knee, etc), in some cases allergies, and  improved overall comfort and performance. (See our “Treatment” page for more in depth information.)  Some Chiropractors treat infant conditions such as colic, problems with latching during breastfeeding, and bowel movements. Significant research indicates that Chiropractic patients have improved overall health.  Chiropractors have seen their patients through many diverse conditions and the goal of Chiropractic is not only to align your body to reduce pain and injury, but also to help to prevent injury and allow your body to be in the best condition to allow it to heal itself.  Many Chiropractors traditionally use much less pharmaceutical medicine, and believe that adjustments, a healthy lifestyle as well as natural supplements, are the key to health and vitality.

How Often Will I Need to go to the Chiropractor?

I won’t know from talking to you, come in and I will examine you. Every person is different, and so is every injury. The text books will give an average recovery rate for each particular injury or condition, and even treatment recommendations. We will cater your treatment plan to your individual needs and goals.

I will examine you, present my findings, and recommend a treatment plan based on your particular case. I ask that you try the recommended treatment for at least 2 weeks. If it’s not working, then a referral may be necessary to another venue of care. If we are getting results, I present my findings, and recommend an updated treatment plan. I also base my treatment on goals rather than numbers of visits. When we reach that goal we will change our visit frequency and re-evaluate the situation to fit the current situation and long term goals.  Once your condition or injury is improved and stable, you may want to consider continuing in a regular care plan, which will reduce your risk of injury and help to keep you in your state of health, able to do the activities and engage in the lifestyle that you hope for.

There is a benefit to ongoing care, even when you are not experiencing symptoms or pain.  Many people engage in this kind of “wellness care” and report improvement to function, muscle balance, nerve flow and even an increase in immunity.  Anecdotally, patients report less injuries and faster healing times when injuries do occur when they are visiting the Chiropractor regularly.  We encourage regular visits in conjunction with exercise and a healthy diet to maintain health and vitality.

Why do You go More than Once?

I liken the process of adjustments to working out at a gym. In order for you to increase and maintain strength of the muscles, you have to adapt a routine. This means working out several times a week. If you were to work out at the gym only one day a week, it would take you much longer to notice results than if you went three times or more a week.  Going sporadically likely will not yield any results at all!

It is the same with a Chiropractic adjustment. The doctor has to “re-train” the muscles and vertebrae to stay in alignment, and this needs repetitive adjustments. However, once improvement is noted, the frequency of visits decreases until you are only getting adjusted every few weeks or months.

Once your initial condition is stable and/or corrected, you may choose routine check-ups and adjustments, as many patients do. This continued “wellness care” help you to maintain a functional, preferably active and healthy lifestyle. This ongoing care provides many benefits including structural and postural changes, healing, and improved quality of life with benefits such as reduced illness, improved sleep, reduced injuries, and better overall health. This is augmented by living a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise.

What are the Risks of Chiropractic?

 The most common risk of a Chiropractic Adjustment is muscle pain after an adjustment.  This is due to your musculoskeletal structure being realigned and muscles being put into a different, but more natural position.  People liken it to the pain after a workout, and it can be not felt at all, it can be slight, or significant, based on your condition coming in.  Chiropractic moves your bones, which in turn moves your muscles.  It is not a pill.  It will have different, but in our opinion, longer lasting results with less side effects long term.  The effectiveness and safety of Chiropractic Adjustments has been documented and scrutinized for years, with well documented success on pain in the neck and spine.

Literature contends that in 1 in 1 million – 1 in 4 million patients, there is a possibility of stroke.  The statistical probability of stroke from a Chiropractic adjustment are significantly less than the side effects and death count of acute or continued use of NSAIDS, pharmaceuticals and of surgery.  To mitigate this risk even further, please answer all of the questions in the health questionnaires conclusively, and answer all questions to the best of your ability.

Chiropractors have historically, and remain to have, very low malpractice insurance because of the low instances of patient injuries and claims compared to other types of physicians.  This is an older article that explains the statistics between Chiropractic and other forms of treatment for neck and back pain.

How much does Chiropractic Cost?

In our office, an initial visit is $75 and follow up visits are $42.  You are able to purchase a 10 visit “punch card” for $325 that is eligible for anyone in your immediate family to use, and is worth 10 visits, a $100 savings on 10 visits. *see contract for details*  We want you better, and will do our best to work with you in the event that you need a payment arrangement.  We take most insurance plans – HHP, Healthscope, BCBS, Aetna. Medicare, and more.  Unfortunately, due to the changing insurance market, we are no longer able to take some insurance plans, but want to do our best to work with those patients to transition them into other payment for care. We will do our best to keep patients updated on other insurance changes that could effect them in this rapidly changing insurance market.