Chiropractic medicine has been around since 1895 and has flourished since World War II, despite mainstream medicine’s skepticism for much of that time. But the loyalty of Americans seeking relief and treatment from chiropractors, as well as growing recognition and respect from the medical community has seen an explosion in those preferring modern chiropractic care.
At least 35 million people in the United States seek chiropractic care, with one million chiropractic adjustments performed every day from 70,000 registered chiropractors nationwide. This is according to updated numbers gathered by Good Body, a health and fitness website, and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health under the National Institute of Health (NIH).
Whether you are a believer in chiropractic medicine or a skeptic, we present some telling facts you may want to consider before passing judgment on whether you would put your health in the hands of a chiropractor:
- We know that lower back pain is a major health issue of epidemic proportions in these United States with an estimated 31 million suffering from this condition. When it comes to treating lower back pain chiropractic techniques are regarded as 40 percent more effective than medical care. Even more telling is that 46 percent of chiropractic patients are being treated for lower back pain.
- More than three-fourths (77%) of those who receive chiropractic care rate it as “very effective.”
- For starters, for those leery of spinal manipulation, you might be interested in knowing chiropractic care has a decidedly lower injury rate than general primary care.
- Wellness issues cited by chiropractic patients include care for general wellness, improved energy, a focus on mind, body and spirit, improved immune function and memory/concentration.
- More recent studies are showing chiropractic care to be successful in treating neck pain, headaches and migraines.
- There is even data showing that regular chiropractic care reduces the number of hospital visits by up to 60 percent.
- Just as impressive, if not more so, are the findings of a seven-year research project concluding that regular visits to a chiropractor can slash pharmaceutic drug costs by a whopping 85 percent.
- For those of us concerned about the strain of medical costs on Medicare, the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine has reported that visits to a chiropractor instead of a medical doctor can save Medicare nearly $83.5 million a year.
These are just some of the numbers that reflect the effectiveness and safety of chiropractic medicine. But the delivery of this care is very human and a true professional, the chiropractor, and there are meaningful numbers worth mentioning here.
Disputing a generally held belief, mostly among people who do not receive chiropractic care, is that chiropractors do not receive a significant amount of education and training. This prevails because detractors lack understanding of the expertise, training and knowledge chiropractors must possess to become a licensed chiropractor.
Chiropractors typically complete about eight years education beyond a high school degree before they are licensed— with about four years of undergraduate education. A typical chiropractor will earn a bachelor’s degree as a pre-med major with accredited courses in biology, psychology, chemistry and physics to reach that stage.
Finally, a chiropractic graduate program, on average, requires an additional four years of education totaling an average of 4,200 instructional hours in course credits.