What Do Chiropractors Do?
Chiropractors are licensed health professionals who diagnose and treat patients with problems related to the musculoskeletal system, which is made up of bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Chiropractors use spinal manipulation and other techniques to treat patients’ ailments, such as back or neck pain.
Chiropractors focus on patients’ overall health. Many believe that misalignments of the spinal joints interfere with a person’s nervous system and can result in lower resistance to disease and many different conditions of diminished health.
Chiropractors will typically analyze a patient’s posture and spine and use manual and mechanical manipulation of the spinal column and vertebrae to treat ailments, such as back or neck pain. They may also conduct additional diagnostic tests, including evaluating a patient’s posture or taking x-rays, and advise patients on health and lifestyle issues, such as exercise and sleep habits. A chiropractor may also refer patients to other medical specialists, if needed.
Chiropractors do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery. They focus on a holistic approach, recognizing the many factors that affect health, including exercise, diet, rest, environment, and heredity. Their therapeutic interventions may also include the use of water, light, massage, ultrasound, electric or heat therapy, and support equipment. Chiropractors often specialize in areas such as sports injuries, neurology, orthopedics, or pediatrics.
For more information, go to: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/chiropractors.htm
Where Do Chiropractors Work?
Most chiropractors are self-employed and work in a solo or group practice. A small number teach, conduct research at chiropractic institutions, or work in hospitals and clinics.
What Do Chiropractors Earn?
In 2017, chiropractors in New York had a median annual income of $79,000 (entry-level: $65,880, experienced: $106,590), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, higher than the 2016 national median income for chiropractors of $67,520.
Supply and Demand
Employment of chiropractors nationwide is expected to increase 12% between 2016 and 2026, and increase in New York by 14.7% between 2014-2024. Projected job growth stems from increasing consumer demand for alternative methods of health care. The rapidly growing elderly population will likely increase the demand for chiropractic services, too, due to the prevalence of mechanical and structural problems in this population. Also, the non-surgical, holistic approach used by chiropractors is becoming more accepted and popular across the nation.
For more information on projections of chiropractors by New York State labor regions, click here.
New York Education Requirements
In order to become a chiropractor, an individual should expect to complete seven to eight years of post-high school study, including three to four years of undergraduate education, followed by a four-year Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree program. Many students earn a bachelor’s degree before going on to a chiropractic program, although it is not required. Many chiropractors also earn master’s degrees in related areas, such as nutrition or sports rehabilitation.
For the first two years of chiropractic study, students are trained in classroom and laboratory settings, and study anatomy, physiology, microbiology, public health, pathology, and biochemistry. During the last two years of the program, students focus on clinical experiences in manipulation and spinal adjustment and also study nutrition, neurology, orthopedics, geriatrics, and physiotherapy.
New York Licensure Requirements
In order to be licensed as a chiropractor in New York, an individual with a DC degree from an accredited school of chiropractic must pass the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) four-part examination.
For more information: http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/chiro/chirolic.htm
The New York College of Chiropractic offers a variety of scholarships in amounts of $1,500 to $2,500 annually for students of merit and academic achievement. Please see the NYCC website for details: www.nycc.edu/Admissions_scholarships.htm
Education Programs in the New York (subject to change)
|New York Chiropractic College
2360 State Route 89
Seneca Falls, NY 13148
|University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic
126 Park Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604
(800) EXCEL-UB or 1-800-392-3582
320 Porter Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14201
Additional Web Links
For more information on chiropractors, go to:
The American Chiropractic Association website at: http://www.acatoday.org; or
The New York State Chiropractic Association website at: http://www.nysca.com/; or
The Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards website at: http://www.fclb.org/.