Sure, you know those with a doctor of chiropractic degree (D.C.) are specialists for musculoskeletal ailments. Their mission is to reduce pain, restore health, and ensure proper spine and extremity function. Their hands-on approach to healthcare is backed by research-based evidence. Their conservative care techniques are in demand by patients who are well aware of the dangers of taking too much medication, especially prescriptive opioids.
Like other healthcare practitioners, doctors of chiropractic seek first to understand the core problem behind a patient’s condition. That’s why a thorough diagnostic assessment is always the first step in chiropractic care. Many patients marvel at the time a chiropractor will spend looking for the root cause of chronic pain or diminished physical function.
A chiropractor’s in-office exam may also involve orthopedic and neurologic tests to determine a need for consultations with other healthcare practitioners.
A doctor of chiropractic degree delivers the education and patient-care skills needed to recommend any number of non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical options to preserve and restore health:
To address musculoskeletal conditions, students learn various chiropractic techniques to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Here are the names and descriptions of the most common techniques.
The foundation for care is the chiropractor’s practice of using his or her hands to deliver treatment. A diversified technique refers to the various ways chiropractors apply this treatment to correct any biomechanical distortions in the body’s joints or spine.
Students learn how to do this correctly and safely through instruction by licensed chiropractors and by guided practice sessions using advanced technology such as a special force-sensing table.
This equipment measures and records the amount of force used and the speed and direction on a body mannequin similar to a human body. Through this technology, students receive real-time feedback that improves their manual skills for different musculoskeletal scenarios.
Developed by a chiropractor with mechanical engineering knowledge, the Gonstead techniques emphasize five criteria to evaluate spine function: X-ray analysis, visualization, the measurement of heat differentiation in the tissues along the spine, and hands-on treatment.
This technique uses a special patient table with several connected segments. Chiropractors can move these segments can be moved in increments to assist with treating a specific area of the body. When set and released, these table movements help the chiropractor minimize the manual thrust needed to restore proper spine or extremity function.
This chiropractic technique is performed using a table that allows proper spinal rotation. It’s a technique to treat cervical and lumbar disc herniations, non-disc spinal disorders, and increase the mobility of spinal joints.
These are special techniques applied to shoulders, elbow, hip, knee, and ankle/foot/toe joints. These techniques assist a chiropractor in addressing carpal tunnel syndrome or conditions related to improper gait or posture.
A chiropractor may use this soft-tissue technique to help break down scar tissue and restrictions of connective tissues underneath the skin: strained muscles, ligaments, tendons, for example. The goals are to improve body symmetry and alignment and increase blood flow.
The methods and techniques chiropractors use are effective and are shown through patient satisfaction surveys. The 2017 Foundation for Chiropractic Progress publication, Chiropractic: a Safe and Cost-Effective Approach to Health, noted that 97% of chiropractic care patients said they would use chiropractic again for musculoskeletal-related conditions.
Plus, in an era when the average visit with a patient is about 20 minutes, more patients are choosing a doctor of chiropractic as their primary care physician. Because most chiropractors are in solo or group practices, they can typically spend more of their daily time treating patients and less on bureaucratic tasks.
Doctors of chiropractic collaborate with M.D.s and other healthcare specialists as needed, which aligns with the healthcare sector’s drive for the best possible patient care.
For more than 25years, Las Vegas-based chiropractor Dr. Jon Petrick has regularly worked with orthopedic surgeons, cardiovascular doctors, and other M.D.s. “For me, it’s about teamwork,” Petrick says. “There’s never been a better time to be a chiropractic physician. It’s where the trend is going.”
Choosing to Attend a Chiropractic College
The bottom line is this: there’s much more to becoming a chiropractor than most know. This healthcare profession is remarkably in tune with the many ways conservative care treatments can improve people’s health and wellness over their lifetime.
Interested in knowing more? Answers to frequently asked questions about chiropractic education and philosophy are found in this FAQ blog.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit, healthcare-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas, a large suburban city within the Kansas City metro. Most students earn their Doctor of Chiropractic degree (D.C.) in 3.3 years through a year-round, trimester schedule.
Points of distinction for the CUKC chiropractic degree include:
Request information about the CUKC Doctor of Chiropractic program here, and be sure to get the free eBook, Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession, today!