Information About Chiropractic Colleges

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that in the next generation, health care will be one of the fastest growing career fields. As the US population ages, there will be much higher demand for both traditional and alternative medicines. That is great news for chiropractic colleges, as the demand for proper training in chiropractic also increases.

Philosophy of Chiropractic Medicine

Chiropractic medicine is based on a philosophy of whole body health. Because the entire body is based on a framework of bone and muscles and nerves, proper health is only possible through healthy and balanced interactions between these elements. If any of these elements is out of order or misaligned, the body cannot function properly and may manifest illnesses or other pains throughout the body. Chiropractors then must attempt to keep the body properly aligned by using spinal therapy and other manual therapies to address joints and tissues that may be functioning improperly. This often means borrowing elements of both traditional medicine and alternative therapies like massage and reflexology.

Extensive Training

Chiropractors must undergo thorough training and certification before they can treat patients. Because there is a great deal of overlap with the fields of massage therapy and medical science, chiropractors must complete a very diverse and complete program of instruction at one of only a handful of accredited chiropractic colleges in order to receive their license from the American Chiropractic Association. The student undergoes over 4800 hours of classroom and clinical study before they can be evaluated and licensed.

Elements of Study

Though the exact programs differ from school to school, there are many basic elements of study that all students of chiropractic medicine must master. At the base of each studentís education is an understanding of anatomy and physiology. Chiropractic doctors must fully understand how the spine and nervous system are supposed to interact and what happens when they fail to do so. They must undergo rigorous training in massage therapy as well as physical rehabilitation in order to master the techniques of manual therapy. Most chiropractic colleges will require many hours of laboratory and clinical experience in addition to the many hours of classroom training.

Areas of Specialization

Once students have completed the intensive medical curriculum and have mastered the basic techniques of chiropractic medicine, they may pass their board examinations and begin their general practice, or they may choose to specialize. Select chiropractic colleges offer post-graduate programs in which doctors may further concentrate their skills. With programs in neurology, physical therapy and rehabilitation, orthopedics and sports medicine, doctors are able to better hone their diagnostic and treatment programs and can better serve patients with unique and specific problems. Other programs include clinical nutrition, diagnostic imaging, forensic sciences, occupational safety and health, and the diagnosis and management of internal disorders.

Though chiropractic medicine is still a relatively new field, it is expected to grow rapidly in the next decade. Employment projects anticipate the field growing by 14%, which means chiropractic colleges can anticipate an influx of new students. As licensing requirements grow more stringent, doctors will need more initialand ongoing training as well as opportunities for further specialization.