When you take an in-depth look at earning a doctor of chiropractic degree, you’ll find out there’s actually three phases of chiropractic care. The phase of care depends on the patient’s current conditions. Here are the three phases of care:
1. Acute care to relieve pain
2. Corrective care to increase or optimize physical function
3. Long-term wellness care that includes activities, services, and guidance.
Chiropractic: A Patient-first Approach
In becoming a chiropractor, you’re choosing to look at health from a whole-person perspective. Doctors of Chiropractic focus on a drug-free approach to health care, although their patient-first approach also means they refer patients to medical doctors or other medical specialists when the patient’s condition indicates.
Increasingly, M.D.s have working relationships with D.C.s (those who’ve earned a Doctor of Chiropractic degree), just like physicians do with cardiologists, neurologists, endocrinologists, or orthopedists.
This evolving collaborative and integrative approach to health care is contributing to the chiropractic profession’s strong career outlook and its role in the today’s health care economy. In fact, chiropractic treatment is a covered benefit offered by most traditional health insurance plans.
Phase 1 Care: Acute Pain
Acute pain often occurs suddenly as the result of some sort of injury or a specific disease. Some people refer to this phase as relief care.
In 2017, the American College of Physicians published new guidelines advising those with acute or subacute low back pain to choose non-drug treatment options first, such as chiropractic, yoga, tai chi, and massage therapy.
As you are becoming a chiropractor, you will find that when treating patients with acute pain, your goals will be a combination of reducing inflammation, relieving pain, and restoring the normal range of motion to the affected joints.
Phase 2 Care: Corrective
Those with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree sometimes discover that a patient’s acute or chronic pain is the result of a condition that’s existed over a long time. This is typically found through the chiropractor’s comprehensive physical exam, which includes taking – and evaluating – a patient’s complete medical history.
In this corrective phase of care, also known as rehabilitative care, the chiropractor is already addressing any acute care needs first. The chiropractor is then working to correct health issues that are contributing to chronic pain conditions.
You might find that your patients need corrective care that includes:
Phase 3 Care: Long-term Wellness
Some people refer to the long-term wellness phase as the preventative phase of chiropractic care.
As you work toward earning your chiropractic degree, you’ll discover ways to help your patients who are in the long-term wellness phase to:
Becoming a Chiropractor
As you can see, becoming a chiropractor means not only aiming to achieve optimal spinal function for your patients, but also learning ways to communicate strengthening and stretching exercises, along with dietary, nutrition, and lifestyle recommendations.
Once you have earned your chiropractic degree and become a licensed chiropractor, you may find one way to grow your chiropractic practice is to collaborate with businesses that offer employees ongoing health and wellness opportunities. Such opportunities allow you to share the benefits of chiropractic care while growing your patient and referral network.
Most government-sponsored worker’s compensation plans cover chiropractic care, and more employer-sponsored health plans are including chiropractic treatments as part of their employee wellness plans. A study by the National Association of Worksite Health Centers (NAWH) revealed the majority of employees want chiropractic services at their on-site company clinics. A Mercer study shows that on-site clinics improve employee productivity and reduce medical expenses.
The College of Chiropractic at CUKC
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit, health care-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of nearly 190,000 people within the Kansas City metropolitan area. Overland Park is a city known for its livability, family friendliness, and plentiful housing options.
The University’s College of Chiropractic has been a national leader since 1922. An option to the Doctor of Chiropractic degree is choosing the concurrent B.S./D.C. option. This educational choice results in both a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology degree and the Doctor of Chiropractic degree, which reduces time in school by as much as a year.
CUKC is the first U.S. chiropractic college to have two Force Sensing Technology Tables (FSTT) in the adjusting laboratory on campus. FSTT™ improves students’ mastery of effective adjustment techniques by displaying and recording the amount of adjusting force being applied.
Connect with a CUKC admissions advisor to learn about becoming a chiropractor, or get answers yourself by requesting a free copy of the eBook, Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession today!