Studies & Degrees in Chiropractic
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Chiropractic is a profession that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of disorders relating to the musculoskeletal system, most particularly the spinal column. The hypothesis behind Chiropractic practice is that maladies and disorders are generally connected centrally to the nervous system. Although, initially, Chiropractic practice has been much maligned and ballyhooed by the medical community, recently, the World Health Organization and mainstream medicine has somehow given it a little more credit and has given it a Complementary and Alternative Medicine Status. Though, a lot of chiropractors would not like to have their practice called alternative medicine but still the recognition by the WHO as it is being a complementary and alternative medicine as opposed to just being alternative medicine definitely give chiropractors’ patients little bit of assurance that they are not having a quack doctor treating them.
Since, Chiropractic Medicine gives a notion that those practicing chiropractic deals mainly with bones or bone setting and that’s why maybe the reason people consulting chiropractors usually have bad backs or those with broken bones. But, that was before because the field of Chiropractic has actually gone beyond treating backaches. In terms of scope of practice it involves different diagnostic methods which include skeletal imaging, orthopedic and neurological evaluation and observational and tactile assessments. As it has been established that the general well-being of a person is centrally connected via the nervous system, chiropractors can diagnose almost any disease based in their diagnosis of the spine and nervous system. If indeed they find anomalous findings that may be related to a heart condition, then they would refer a patient to a heart doctor or cardiologist. As a proof of wider acceptance of this medical approach, American health cards do cover chiropractic consultations and treatments.
The first school of Chiropractic was founded by Daniel David Palmer, a magnetic healer, in 1890 and then was carried on by his son Bartlett Joshua (BJ). However, during this time and a few generations later, those practicing chiropractic were incarcerated due to practicing of medicine without license and also it was founded with religious undertones into it somewhat comparable to a cult. Because of these cultic element somewhat getting mixed to it, a lot of controversy arose but modern day chiropractic practitioners are more science based and even now required to have a license before being allowed to practice.
In the United States, it has been found out that the number of licensed chiropractors total to about 60,000. In fact, chiropractors, as compared with other alternative medicine like yoga and acupuncture, have a wider audience as 7.4% of the population has gone to a chiropractor for treatment or consultation (based from 2002 figures).
Usual Chiropractic Medicine patients usually are those suffering from acute and chronic headaches, migraines, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, neck pain, chronic back pain, ear infection, digestive problems, menstrual pain, asthma, frozen shoulder and other sports related injuries. More or less the conditions mentioned above are being treated effectively by chiropractic therapy.
Right now, chiropractic therapy and care is really gathering steam as more and more people consult a chiropractor on a year-on-year basis. It will just be a matter of time that Chiropractic Medicine will be a full-pledged medical branch as more and more universities are offering chiropractic courses.
Job positions for Chiropractic:
Chiropractic practice since the days of its foundation has generally evolved and is gaining wider acceptance throughout the globe.
Different schools of thoughts have sprung up but it is the Mixer Chiropractors that have become more popular as they tend to be more modern in approach as opposed to the straight chiropractors who have stuck to the original concepts of its founders. Mixers are called as such because they combine other type of treatments like osteopathic methods, massages, nutritional supplements, yoga, herbal medicine and acupuncture with chiropractic methods as a total package. Osteopathy have a close resemblance to chiropractic practice where physical and manual interventions are employed in the treatment of muscular, joint and back pains but is more concerned to the efficient flow of blood in the veins and arteries while chiropractic is leaned towards better flow of neurotransmitters of the nervous system which is located centrally in the spine. Massages including reflexology are also getting more popular and are employed for therapy purposes like those who got bed-ridden for a long time causing muscle atrophy. Nutritional supplements and herbal medicines are also becoming popular as technological advancements can now isolate key active ingredients of herbs beneficial to the body which are now readily available in gel or powdered forms and are easily mixed with the patient’s favorite juice flavors.
Mixer Chiropractors as with any type of chiropractors primarily can diagnose patients through the misalignment of the spinal cord but does not shy away also from traditional methods like interviewing the patients’ medical histories and would employ modern diagnostic machines like x-rays and MRIs and even give interpretation. When diagnosis is arrived at and their patients cannot be readily treated by chiropractic methods, then they would advise patients to seek further medical advice and treatment from specialists specially those who are extremely sick and those who have surgery left as their only recourse. For example, the Chiropractor found one of the vertebra is misaligned and that vertebrae is directly related to the kidneys, what they would do is align that particular vertebrae and then would do further test like subject the patient to an X-ray machine or MRI to confirm if the patient would need to go see a kidney specialist if indeed they need to have one of their kidneys removed. Mixer Chiropractors would also advise patients on matters of nutrition, exercise, correct sleeping habits and ways to reduce stress.
Mixer Chiropractors are generally graduates of chiropractic degree courses. Some schools have incorporated other sciences into their curriculum like massage therapy, nutrition, acupuncture and physical fitness. Yoga are usually taught by Yoga gurus so if somebody have mixed chiropractic methodologies with yoga, most probably that chiropractic doctor have took it to himself to learn yoga from a yoga master.
Chiropractic Doctors with mixer orientations generally have a broader range of patients as they have more services to offer compared to straight chiropractors. Opportunity-wise they can set up their own clinics provided they have obtained necessary licenses and accreditations or they can have themselves employed by hospitals, chiropractic clinics or be a personal therapist of athletes or of an athletic team.
Sports games that require extreme physical conditioning like basketball, American football, soccer, hockey, tennis, volleyball to name a few have seen great players come and go and come back again due to injuries. Some players have managed to come back and play the remainder of the season, some have missed important games and caused their teams to be out of contention, some have sat out the remainder of the season and some have retired from the sport because their injuries would just worsen should they continue playing. Because millions of dollars are at stake especially for team sports like basketball, American football and soccer, team owners usually hire a medical team consisting of a medical doctor and therapists. Like the players, the medical team is also present in every game including practice games in case the players get themselves injured while in the line of duty. In a medical team, of course, it is always the doctors who get initial contact with the players but it is the therapists who do the actual therapy and care so that the players are in tip-top shape.
The nature of team-based sports is on a season basis and so when a player gets injured, it is a tall order to rehabilitate the injured player as soon as possible and hopefully in time before the season ends particularly when a championship title is within reach.
The team’s therapists are indispensable side-team members because their services are rendered whether the players are injured or not. In the case of healthy players, team therapists make sure that every muscles and bones of the players are as tight as ever. They make sure that the body parts susceptible to injury like knees, tendons, fingers, neck, elbow, calves and back muscles are regularly checked upon. Should they find or suspect that a player might be suffering from any condition that might worsen should they play in the next game or more, they would immediately tell the team doctor that if they don’t rest, the player might tear a tendon or aggravate his back muscles or something.
In the case of a real injury, athletes’ usual injuries are torn ACL like the one Tom Brady had, broken foot like the one that made Michael Jordan 64 games, it is the sports therapist’s job to make sure that the injured players get rehabilitated. Getting the players up and playing again is not just a health issue but a matter of economics too as the team owners would be forced to pay the players millions of dollars even though they are not playing as long as the players are under contract. They would make sure that the players are eating the right food and taking their medicines and special food supplements to speed up the healing process. They would also be responsible for keeping track of the player’s schedule of tests like MRIs, CT Scans to monitor the level of healing of the injury and design appropriate programs based on the test results.
To sports fanatics, becoming a Sports Therapist is a sure way to have season tickets for free while being paid top dollar. One of the sure ways of becoming a sports therapist is by obtaining a chiropractor’s license as a lot of sports therapists are chiropractors.