Doctors, dentists, chiropractors, and physical therapists make up the largest groups of healthcare professionals. As understanding has increased and technology has grown, individuals and the medical science community have realized how essential and helpful chiropractic services are to promoting and achieving public health.
Chiropractic care is based on scientific evidence and has a track record proving its efficacy, making it a powerful form of preventative healthcare. The chiropractic approach to healthcare is more than just working with the spine and treating back pain.
Let’s explore the science of chiropractic care and helpful insights and tips for students getting their Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree.
What is the Science of Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractic care is both a science and an art as it aims to restore the body to proper functioning naturally, holistically, and without strong medications or invasive procedures. This holistic approach helps treat the person as a whole instead of targeting one particular body part or problem.
More specifically, chiropractic science focuses on the nervous system, which is housed and protected inside the spinal column. It believes that when the nervous system functions at its best, the rest of the body will follow suit. For this reason, chiropractors place particular focus on the spine and joints. They use specific, safe, and gentle techniques to address misalignments that help patients regain mobility and improve quality of life.
Chiropractors also emphasize the body’s ability to heal itself through treatment techniques, tools, and procedures like:
- Manual and massage therapy, including spinal manipulation
- Rehabilitative exercises
- Braces and shoe inserts
- Nutritional counseling
- Practicing proper posture
Are Chiropractors Health Care Professionals?
Absolutely. Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who care about helping people and treating their patients with non-invasive, personalized care.
They address various illnesses, injuries, and diseases by interviewing patients, obtaining detailed health histories, performing exams and tests such as X-rays and CT scans, and developing a working diagnosis. Then, like any doctor or medical professional, they create a management plan, start treatment, and monitor their patient’s progress.
Chiropractors use all of these methods and tools to gain a clearer understanding of what is going on inside their patients’ bodies to make adjustments to heal and ease discomfort for neuromuscular disorders, aches, and pains such as:
- Lower back pain
- Neck pain
- Whiplash-related conditions
- Pelvic pain
- Arm and shoulder pain
- Leg and hip pain
While chiropractors do not earn a Medical Doctor (MD) degree, they must complete a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) and earn licensure to practice. Doctor of Chiropractic programs are as rigorous as Medical Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees.
Chiropractors may be unable to write prescriptions, but they can diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions and are doctors of chiropractic medicine and physicians.
What is Involved in a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) program?
A Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) is a graduate-level degree students typically earn after completing a bachelor’s degree program. However, some schools, like University of Bridgeport, allow students with a minimum of ninety undergraduate credits into their chiropractic programs.
- Radiology and adjustments
- Business management
Students will also provide clinical services to patients in on-campus clinics and through an external rotation, all under the supervision of licensed chiropractors.
Doctor of Chiropractic programs typically last anywhere from three to four years. Aspiring chiropractic graduates must take and pass all four parts of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) exam. Candidates should check with their state of residence’s board of chiropractic examiners or health department for specific requirements and information on becoming licensed.
Three Tips for Chiropractic Students
Many new chiropractic students worry about keeping up with the amount of knowledge to be learned and the time they have to do so in chiropractic programs, especially when many have families and responsibilities outside of school.
Students should know and implement strategies and techniques to help them absorb this new material to get the most out of their education and confidently launch them into their future careers.
Tip #1: Explain Ideas in Your Own Words
Summarizing the material you learn in class in your own words is helpful to ensure you understand important concepts and content. Consider discussing the readings with classmates or explaining them to a friend or family member outside of the program.
If you cannot explain something clearly and concisely, you’ll know exactly what you need to review or questions to ask your professors. This technique also works well when reviewing old test questions.
Tip# 2: Embrace Mistakes and Have Confidence
While these are technically two tips, they go hand in hand. A big part of learning means making mistakes and learning from them. What better place to do so than in a supportive environment filled with friends and professors?
Additionally, students should use their time in school to develop certainty in their clinical and business expertise so they do not second guess their knowledge and ability after graduation.
Implementing these tips in your chiropractic education looks like answering questions in class, volunteering for student committees and clubs, and creating opportunities, such as writing articles for your school newspaper, to share your passion for chiropractic care.
Tip# 3: Reach Out for Support
Don’t go through college alone. With your classmates, contact the expert faculty and experienced healthcare professionals in your Doctor of Chiropractic program and your college’s comprehensive support services if you struggle.
They are dedicated to giving you the support, attention, and hands-on instruction you need to succeed in the program and career.
Additionally, ask local chiropractors to observe their practice and shadow their appointments to gain mentorship and real-world, practical experience.
Helping others with the practical and science-based treatment of chiropractic care ensures they receive the best care for themselves and their current symptoms. Which ultimately allows them to lead longer, happier, and fuller lives.
Start your journey toward a worthwhile and fulfilling career as a chiropractor with a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree at University of Bridgeport. We admit students in January and August, and our eighteen-week semester-based program offers the flexibility to work with your busy schedule.