Chiropractors are specialists who diagnose and treat patients who are experiencing pain resulting from muscular and skeletal difficulties. Their philosophy is that disorders of the skeletal system disrupt the natural flow of nerve impulses thus causing an imbalance resulting in pain. Chiropractors spend considerable time obtaining information that gives them a detailed picture of the patient's health history. This is followed by a careful physical examination focusing mainly on the patient's posture.
Chiropractors use X-rays to get a picture of a patient's bone structure and sometimes they supplement this with urinalyses and blood tests. Chiropractors are often considered to be alternative health care providers because they believe in maintaining health without using drugs or surgery. The treatments they apply involve manipulation particularly of the spine. However they also apply massage light heat and cold in order to combat pain and they may recommend an exercise regime for the patient to follow. If they think patients need medication or surgery they refer them to medical doctors.
Most chiropractors have private solo or group practices but some teach or conduct research in hospitals clinics or even in private industry. Chiropractors must obtain an advanced degree and maintain a license to practice and they are expected to be involved in continuing education programs to keep up with the latest developments in the field.
The job outlook for chiropractors is excellent because attitudes toward alternative medicine have gotten more positive and most states recognize chiropractors as legitimate health care providers.
According to the website Healthcare-trainingcenter.com salaries depend on experience and specific type of practice and hourly fees vary widely depending upon location. The median annual income for chiropractors is approximately $86000.