As the popularity of chiropractic medicine as an established form of alternative and complementary care continues to grow in the United States, more graduates with Doctor of Chiropractic degrees are needed to keep up with the increasing demand for chiropractic therapy. The following industry trends showcase the extensive opportunities available to new Doctor of Chiropractic graduates.
The Growing Popularity of Chiropractic Therapy Is Increasing the Need for Chiropractors
The increasing demand for chiropractic therapy has been positively influenced by a change in demographic trends, healthcare reform and a growing interest in more conservative and alternative treatments for musculoskeletal complaints. In addition, the increased demand for access to chiropractic medicine practitioners is being bolstered by insurance coverage expansion.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for chiropractors is projected to grow 10 percent by 2031. This rate of growth is double the average for all occupations, indicating a strong need for new Doctor of Chiropractic degree graduates.
Demand is expected to increase due in part to patients and the healthcare industry increasingly viewing chiropractic medicine as a complementary, nonsurgical, drug-free way to treat pain and improve overall wellness. Rising interest in integrative or complementary healthcare has led to more acceptance of chiropractic therapy of the back, neck, limbs and joints, as well as the chiropractic tools used to treat them. As a result, chiropractors are increasingly working with other healthcare professionals, such as physicians and physical therapists, through referrals and joint complementary care strategies.
The Baby Boomer generation is also offering new opportunities for chiropractic medicine practitioners: Older adults are more likely to develop neuromusculoskeletal and joint problems, and they will continue to seek treatment for these conditions as they lead longer, more active lives.
Further Proof That Chiropractic Therapy Is Clinically Effective
A growing body of research demonstrates that the care and services provided by chiropractic medicine providers are not only clinically effective and safe, but also reduce costs to consumers and the healthcare system. The Workers´ Compensation Research Institute found that healthcare costs are reduced and claimants return to work more quickly when their lower back pain is treated solely by a chiropractor.
The Institute also reported that an increasing number of workers with injuries can recover with physical medicine treatment, of which chiropractic therapy is a large part. There is also evidence that chiropractic medicine and the use of chiropractic tools benefit patients in other ways, in addition to being more affordable.
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) tracks research on the effectiveness of chiropractic therapy, chiropractic medicine and chiropractic tools. The ACA reports the following results of various studies focused on the effects of chiropractic care:
- Patients who see a chiropractor as their initial provider for low back pain have 90 percent decreased odds of both early and long-term opioid use (Kazis et al., 2019, BMJ Open).
- Chiropractic medicine patients are 64 percent less likely to be prescribed opioids (Corcoran et al., 2019, Pain Medicine).
- Patients who see a chiropractor first have reduced odds of surgery — 42.7 percent of workers with back injuries who see a surgeon first go on to have surgery, compared to only 1.5 percent of those who go to a chiropractor first (Keeney et al., 2012, Spine).
Chiropractic Medicine’s Affordability and Efficacy Is Cited by the CDC
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2022 clinical practice guidelines provide recommendations for managing pain in outpatient settings. The guidelines highlight the role that nonopioid and nonpharmacologic treatments can play in helping patients avoid unnecessary opioid use, stating that nonpharmacologic approaches (including chiropractic therapy) “have the potential to improve pain and function without risk for serious harm.”
The CDC guidelines cite chiropractic spinal manipulation as one treatment that could help patients with acute low back pain with radiculopathy (pinched nerve). Simply stated, the 2022 guidelines acknowledge the value nondrug treatments for pain management — including chiropractic medicine — offer as valuable alternatives for patients.
Take Advantage of Current Trends: Enter Chiropractic Medicine
Campbellsville University’s School of Chiropractic offers you a high-quality Doctor of Chiropractic degree program to prepare you for an exciting and successful future in chiropractic medicine.
We offer you a unique mix of clinical and business education that will prepare you to manage and build your own practice, or lead and grow an existing organization. You’ll receive expert chiropractic business training in areas such as cash flow, personnel management, financial analysis, business communication and more.
At Campbellsville, you’ll learn from faculty who are practicing chiropractors and experienced clinicians and educators. They’ll provide you with the chiropractic tools, knowledge and skills to ensure you are prepared to pass the national chiropractor certification and state exams on your way to a successful chiropractic career.