Key Facts

Key facts about the Chiropractic Profession.

shutterstock_3459058By the Numbers

  • There are 77,000 Doctors of Chiropractic (DC’s) in the United States who are required to pass a series of four national board exams and be state licensed. Roughly another 3,000 DC’s work in academic and management roles.
  • There are approximately 10,000 chiropractic students in 18 nationally accredited, chiropractic doctoral graduate education programs across the United States with 2,500 Doctors of Chiropractic (DC’s) entering the workforce every year.
  • An estimated 40,000 chiropractic assistants (CA’s) are in clinical and business management roles for chiropractic practices across the United States.
  • It is estimated that Doctors of Chiropractic (DC’s) treat over 27 million Americans (adults and children) annually.
  • Doctors of Chiropractic (DC’s) are educated in nationally accredited, four-year doctoral graduate school programs through a curriculum that includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical internship, with the average DC program equivalent in classroom hours to allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical schools.
  • Doctors of Chiropractic (DC’s) are utilized by all 32 National Football League teams in optimizing the functionality, endurance and overall conditioning of professional football players in the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal strain injuries, including neck pain, low back pain, strains to hamstrings and quadriceps, and whiplash injuries.
  • Injured workers with similar injuries are 28 times less likely to have spinal surgery if the first point of contact is a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), rather than a surgeon (MD).
  • A recent study showed that treatment for low back pain initiated by a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) costs up to 20 percent less than when started a MD.

Chiropractic treatment was more effective than hospital outpatient management, mainly for patients with chronic or severe back pain.” -British Medical Journal, 1990. British Medical Research Council Study. “…spinal manipulation applied by chiropractors is shown to be more effective than alternative treatments for low-back pain.The Manga Report, 1993

Patient Satisfaction / Clinical Effectiveness

  • Doctors of Chiropractic (DC’s) are designated as physician-level providers in the vast majority of states and federal Madicare program. The essential services provided by DC’s are also available in federal health delivery systems, including those administered by Medicaid, the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, Federal Workers’ Compensation, and all state workers’ compensation programs.
  • Chiropractic outperformed all other back pain treatments, including prescription medication, deep-tissue massage, yoga, pilates, and over-the-counter medication therapies.
  • Doctors of Chiropractic (DC’s) are the highest rated healthcare practitioner for low-back pain treatments above physical therapists (PT’s), specialist physician / MD (i.e., neurosurgeons, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons), and primary care physician . MD (i.e., family or internal medicine).
  • Doctors of Chiropractic (DC’s) provide a patient-centered, whole person approach to health care marked by greater interaction and better communication, resulting in consistently higher patient satisfaction ratings than medical doctors.
  • With prescription pain drug abuse now classified as an epidemic in the United States and the number of spinal fusions soaring 500% over the last decade, the essential services provided by Doctors of Chiropractic (DC’s) represent a primary care approach for prevention, diagnosis and conservative management of back pain and spinal disorders that can often enable patients to reduce or avoid the need for these riskier treatments.