Chiropractors continue popularity with patients in pain
According to the American Chiropractic Association, about $50 billion is spent each year in the United States for the treatment of back pain, an issue that is expected to touch 80 percent of the population at some point in their lives.
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported the services of chiropractors reduce the cost of treatment for lower back pain by 40 percent over the care offered by medical doctors.
Aside from direct savings realized by this form of alternative medicine, chiropractors yield indirect savings through decreased use of medicines, reduced time in physical therapy, and for many, eliminates the need for bed rest, according to the ACA.
As primary-contact health care providers, chiropractors typically follow a science-heavy undergraduate course of study before taking on up to five additional years of study in the areas of orthopedics, neurology and nutrition rehabilitation.
All states and the District of Columbia require licensing for chiropractors. Each develops its own education, age and testing requirements. Licenses can be verified by visiting the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards website.
In addition to individual state licensing requirements, the International Chiropractors Association has developed best practice for professionals to follow. As always, seek a second opinion before agreeing to treatment for any condition.