Are you experiencing sharp back or neck pain? Well, wait a moment before you swallow that painkiller. Have you considered visiting a chiropractor? Well, here is an overview of how to become a chiropractor and why you should consider visiting one.
A chiropractor is a health care professional who deals mainly with spine related health issues. The spine is an integral part of the body that connects to the central nervous system which controls the functionality of body parts. A chiropractor helps in detection and treatment of neuro- muscular disorders by realigning and adjusting the spine. This ensures that there is proper communication between the brain and the tissues, muscles, and the joints of the body.
A chiropractor generally uses the hands and other non-invasive objects to detect the cause of the pain and then treats the misalignments of the spine a condition called vertebral subluxation. This spine adjustment helps the body to heal itself. A chiropractor can help relieve the pain by making adjustments to the spine.
Chiropractor practice began more than a century ago and was first developed by a man called D.D Palmer in 1895. He was able to diagnose Mr. Lilliard deafness problem and treat it using the procedure. The practice has however been advanced by the use of modern research and training of subjects like anatomy, physiology, nutrition and holistic healthy living.
Today, Chiropractic therapies can be used to treat more than just back and neck pain. It is being used to treat a wide variety of problems like migraines, sciatica, arthritis, asthma, heart problems, high blood pressure, neurological problems like epilepsy, TMJ, Brain dysfunction, joint pains, pregnancy related back pain, indigestion, dental, hearing and visual problems, Trauma and injuries caused by accidents, joint pain among others.
It has been advanced and now uses more than manual spinal realignment to incorporate other therapies like spinal physical therapies, nutritional therapies, herbal supplements and stress management.
A chiropractor career has many advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the pros and cons of becoming chiropractors.
Pros of Becoming a Chiropractor
A chiropractor is a career with many advantages. They include:
1. Compensation is good
A chiropractor earns a decent salary. It mostly ranges from $60,000-$300,000.That means anyone who pursues the profession and is able to secure a job can live a comfortable life.
2. A doctor of Chiropractor can start private practice
A chiropractor can opt to open and run their own business as long as they are accredited and licensed by the relevant local authorities. Becoming self-employed comes with a myriad of benefits as one can enjoy freedom in decision making as well as the way to run their own business.
3. High job growth rate
Chiropractor field is gaining a significant interest among many sectors because of its use of non-surgical procedures to diagnose and treat ailments. This means that the profession is likely to experience a huge potential growth and patients will also increase.
Chiropractor just like any other profession has a number of disadvantages.
Cons of Becoming a Chiropractor
1. It is costly to study
A chiropractor is considered to be one of the most expensive careers to pursue. In the United States, the average tuition of attending a Chiropractor school for four years is estimated to be approximately $60,000- $120,000. This cost does not include other educational-related materials like books, equipment, lab fees, activity fees, insurance for the work experience and technology fees.
They also incur an additional expense in 1-3 years of preschool to qualify to join a chiropractic school.
2. Limited number of chiropractic schools
There a few accredited Doctor of Chiropractic programs in the US and this cause a strain as only a handful of students can pursue the career at any given time.
3. A demanding curriculum
Those who graduate from chiropractic school have to undergo an intense education in the healing sciences comparable to that of medical doctors according to the American Chiropractor Association (ACA). The training is rigorous and involves studying physiology, anatomy, rehabilitation, and nutrition.
4. The work involves standing for long hours
Chiropractic practice involves attending to clients spines and that means the practitioner will spend most of the time standing. This can in return affect their health and more especially develop joint and back related problems.
5. Limited employment opportunities
Finding a chiropractic job can be challenging at times. The opportunities are scarce but students can divulge into private practice.
How to Become a Chiropractor?
Even though becoming a chiropractor is not an easy job, however, there are still many people want to become the best chiropractor. To become a chiropractor involved a number of steps, which include:
- Earn a high school diploma
In high school, one requires to study and perform well in sciences that are physics, biology and chemistry and also in mathematics. English and social studies can also help you in communication. One is also required to have a high school diploma or G.E.D to enroll for an undergraduate program.
- Earn an undergraduate degree
To practice chiropractic, you require an undergraduate degree which can either be a 2-year associate degree and a 4-year bachelor’s degree. To qualify for a doctoral program, you need to complete organic and inorganic chemistry, physics, and biology and at least 90 or more undergraduate credits in general education and
- Earn a doctorate
For one to become a chiropractor, they need to study Doctor of Chiropractor. This mostly takes four years though some schools may offer a 5-year program or 3+3 programs. To obtain such a degree, you need 4200hours of clinical, lab, and classroom study.
- Obtain a license
To practice as a chiropractor, one needs a license in all U.S states and from the district. Eligibility for licensure requires you complete two years of post secondary education, and four years of chiropractic training at an accredited chiropractic school. It also involves passing the 4-part exam that is offered by the NBCE(National Board of Chiropractic Examiners).
- Establish a practice
This involves getting a job in hospitals or chiropractic institutions. It can also be achieved through family chiropractic center.
How Long does It Take to Become a Chiropractor?
It takes at least four years to become a doctor of a chiropractor. The program helps you to get in-depth knowledge of the human body in theory and clinical training. After that, you qualify to do a test by the licensing board to fully prepare them for the practice.