General Information about Chiropractic Care

As evidence supporting the effectiveness of chiropractic continues to emerge, consumers are
turning in large numbers to chiropractic care — a non-surgical, drug-free treatment option.
A few interesting facts on this increasingly popular form of health care:
• Chiropractic is the largest, most regulated, and best recognized of the complementary and
alternative medicine (CAM) professions. It is the third largest doctoral-level health care
profession after medicine and dentistry.
(Meeker, Haldeman; 2002; Annals of Internal Medicine)
• There are more than 60,000 active chiropractic licenses in the United States. All 50
states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands officially
recognize chiropractic as a health care profession.
• In 2002, approximately 7.4 percent of the population used chiropractic care – a higher
percentage than yoga, massage, acupuncture or other diet-based therapies.
(Tindle HA, Davis RB, Phillips RS, Eisenberg DM. Trends in use of complementary and alternative medicine by US
adults: 1997-2002. Altern Ther Health Med. 2005 Jan-Feb;11(1):42-9.)
• Doctors of Chiropractic undergo at least four years of professional study. The Council on
Chiropractic Education, an agency certified by the Department of Education, currently
recognizes 15 chiropractic programs at 18 different locations. In addition, Doctors of
Chiropractic must pass national board examinations and become state-licensed prior to
• Doctors of Chiropractic provide care in hospitals and other multidisciplinary health care
facilities. A few notable examples of chiropractic integration into today’s health care
system include the chiropractic department at the National Naval Medical Center in
Bethesda, Md., and the care provided to veterans, active-duty military personnel, and
Medicare patients.
Who is the typical Doctor of Chiropractic? *
 Nearly 82 percent of all doctors of chiropractic are in full-time practice, with the average
chiropractor working between 40 to 45 hours per week.
 The majority (61 percent) of chiropractors work in an office in which they are the only
doctor. Nearly one-third (31 percent) share an office with one or more chiropractors. The
remaining doctors work in a multi-disciplinary setting, work in academia, or conduct
 According to data from 2003, 82 percent of chiropractic practitioners are male.
American Chiropractic Association
1701 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, VA 22209
Who is the typical chiropractic patient? *
 More than 35 percent of patients receiving chiropractic care were being treated for midor
low-back pain, and almost 20 percent were being treated for neck pain. More than half
of those surveyed said that their symptoms were chronic.
 Approximately 60 percent of all chiropractic patients are female.
 Conditions commonly treated by chiropractors include, but are not limited to, back pain,
neck pain, headaches, sports injuries, motor vehicle accident injuries, and repetitive
strains. Patients also seek treatment of pain associated with other conditions, such as
* Some data provided by the 2005 Job Analysis of Chiropractic

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