Chiropractors typically do the following:
- Assess a patient’s medical condition by reviewing the patient’s medical history and concerns, and by performing a physical examination
- Analyze the patient’s posture, spine, and reflexes
- Conduct tests, including evaluating a patient’s posture and taking x rays
- Provide neuromusculoskeletal therapy, which often involves adjusting a patient’s spinal column and other joints
- Give additional treatments, such as applying heat or cold to a patient’s injured areas
- Advise patients on health and lifestyle issues, such as exercise, nutrition, and sleep habits
- Refer patients to other healthcare professionals if needed
Chiropractors focus on patients’ overall health. Chiropractors believe that malfunctioning spinal joints and other somatic tissues interfere with a person’s neuron muscular system and can result in poor health.
Some chiropractors use procedures such as massage therapy, rehabilitative exercise, and ultrasound in addition to spinal adjustments and manipulation. They also may apply supports, such as braces or shoe inserts, to treat patients and relieve pain.
In addition to operating a general chiropractic practice, some chiropractors specialize in areas such as sports, neurology, orthopedics, pediatrics, or nutrition, among others. Chiropractors in private practice are responsible for marketing their businesses, hiring staff, and keeping records.