As the profession evolves, new theories, treatments and research continually emerge that influence how doctors practice. To stay on top of the latest developments, chiropractors must continually seek education—regardless of how long they’ve been practicing.
You might say that once you complete your chiropractic school requirements, the learning has just begun.
Earning a doctor of chiropractic degree enables you to get your chiropractic license, but continuing education is what enables you to keep it. Although the specific requirements vary from state to state, most state licensing boards require a minimum number of hours of continuing education to renew your chiropractic license.
As home of the world’s largest and most well-funded chiropractic research center, Palmer is uniquely positioned to keep chiropractors up-to-date on the most cutting-edge research,techniques, and practice trends. Our continuing education programs help professionals in the field to keep their skills and knowledge sharp.
It’s an exciting time to be a chiropractor. Growing demand for natural medicine has led major health plans to cover chiropractic care for more patients. Cutting-edge research is nudging the profession forward a little more each day.
For those who’ve studied chiropractic history, chiropractors have come a long way from their early struggles to gain acceptance within the medical community. “Chiropractic did not spring into existence fully grown, but has been evolving and unfolding for more than a century,” wrote chiropractic historian Joseph C. Keating, Jr.
As the world’s first chiropractic school, Palmer College of Chiropractic has played an instrumental role in shaping that existence. Known as “The Fountainhead,” our inception is so deeply entwined with the founding of the chiropractic profession that it’s hard to talk about one without talking about the other.
In competitive sports, the difference between winning and losing is sometimes measured in microseconds. Athletes need every little bit of strength, speed and flexibility they can muster.
That’s why, when injuries happen, many turn to chiropractic care rather than more invasive options for pain relief. Prescription drugs dull reaction times and carry the risk of addiction, while surgery might leave an athlete benched for months. A certified chiropractic sports physician, on the other hand, is able to relieve pain without drugs or surgery—all while keeping the body balanced, flexible and at optimal performance.
The common injuries suffered in many sports can knock the spine out of alignment, causing stress on its pain-sensitive joints, muscles, nerves, discs and ligaments. In study after study, chiropractic care outperforms other medical options at reducing pain and restoring normal function.
Every healing encounter hinges on trust. Patients must believe their doctor will do what’s best for them.
To preserve that trust, most medical fields have developed a code of ethics to guide practitioners’ behavior and preserve the profession’s reputation.
“The two most basic and important features of every profession are control over a specialized body of knowledge and a commitment to use this knowledge for good,” says chiropractic author David Byfield, D.C “This matters because our patients, and their loved ones, trust us to meet their healthcare needs in a caring, competent and safe environment. We do this for the greater good of society.”
Chiropractic is no exception. Researchers within the profession have labored to conduct cutting-edge studies that demonstrate chiropractic’s value to the medical community as well as to the public—and they’ve made great strides. A recent study conducted by Palmer and Gallup found that more than half of U.S. adults feel positively toward chiropractors, while 52 percent find chiropractors trustworthy and 63 percent agree they have patients’ best interests in mind.
Hi, my name is Kacy Winans, and I’m from Scottsdale, Arizona, and this is my chiropractic story. At a very young age I was diagnosed with asthma and I was on Albuterol for many years but it was after my first adjustment by Dr. Joshua Axe that I was relieved from Albuterol and all medication and it made me interested in chiropractic. After my first adjustment I was able to run again without wheezing, without any asthma attacks and that meant a lot to me. So outside of chiropractic being a holistic approach I believe it’s my way of giving back to the world. It’s a way of giving back brain to body connection, full function of brain and cellular activities so that really means a lot to me and I believe that is the key to life.
There’s a lot of overlap between chiropractors and physical therapists. They pursue similar goals. They use many of the same techniques. They share a holistic approach to treatment.
Doctors in both fields report that nearly every patient who walks in the door asks, “What’s the difference?”
For students who want to pursue a career in treating pain and injury, the question becomes even more pressing. Understanding the difference between physical therapy and chiropractic care can be a key factor in determining which health-care profession is right for you.
Although they share the common goal of treating pain and injuries, the two professions diverge when it comes to their philosophy of practice. You can see both the similarities and differences in their official definitions.
Chiropractors are entrusted with the care of some of the body’s core systems: the nervous, muscular and skeletal systems. So it stands to reason that becoming a chiropractor takes a lot of preparation.
The process for getting your chiropractic license varies depending on where you want to practice. Each state has its own licensing requirements—which enables you to practice only within that jurisdiction—and some are stricter than others.
Before pursuing a career in chiropractic, you’ll need to become familiar with the laws and regulations specific to your state. In general, however, most chiropractors follow a similar path. Below are the basic steps every chiropractor must complete to obtain a license.
My name is Dr. Dave Johnson, I’m a chiropractor. I adjust babies, I adjust grandmothers, I get a chance to work with famous celebrities and athletes like my son Zach Johnson. I change lives, what do you do?
What’s it like to be a chiropractor?
The best thing about being a chiropractor is being able to treat patients and help them along their health path naturally without drugs, without surgery. I mention my son and my son is Zach Johnson, PGA tour player. One of the important aspects of his daily routine on the golf course is to get adjusted and to make sure he’s functioning good. I think I adjusted him about two or three days after he was born. He’s been under chiropractic care all his life as he’s grown up but now that he’s on the PGA tour, on tour they do have chiros at every tournament sight and he gets adjusted on a very regular basis and has soft some soft tissue work done as well and that allows him to function at the highest level that he can and all these guys at world class levels, they want that and they need that so it’s not unusual that you’ll find a very high percentage of players in the PGA using chiropractic as well as other professional sports. I’ve been involved with Mount Mercy University with their sports for I think four years now. We work together with physical therapists, trainers, and even the first year massage therapists treating these players but we still have a great relationship so that sometimes the trainers will refer those athletes to my office because there’s something that is a little more serious and we want to check it out from the chiropractic spinal standpoint. When you are working with individuals you try to do the best you can for those athletes or for those patients. It’s been very fulfilling because your bottom line is your trying to take care of the patient and the athlete. To be able to do that by hand and to get great results and for people to be happy with the care is awesome.
When we’re seeking relief from persistent back pain, most of us start with a visit to a primary care doctor, who might prescribe painkillers or muscle relaxers before referring us to a chiropractor or other specialist.
Each year, between 12 and 14 percent of U.S. adults will visit a physician for back pain. All in all, musculoskeletal complaints account for 10 to 15 percent of all visits to primary care physicians—and they’re only expected to grow as an increasing percentage of the population becomes elderly and more prone to back or joint problems.
As a result, “the United States faces a growing shortage of primary care providers,” says the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care. To help relieve the burden on primary care physicians, it recommends more patients rely on their chiropractors (among other alternative health-care providers) for primary care.
In fact, chiropractors are “already frequently accessed by significant numbers of people as their first-choice, primary provider of care,” the consortium said.