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Patient Care

State Licensing & Authorization

There are more than 60,000 active chiropractic licenses in the United States. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands officially recognize chiropractic as a health care profession.

All 50 states have authorized the provision of chiropractic care under state workers' compensation laws.

Federal Authorization & Recognition

For all Americans, chiropractic is recognized by:

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • The Internal Revenue Service includes chiropractic services as a valid medical deduction.
  • Chiropractic treatment is a covered benefit in virtually all traditional insurance policies. In fact, according to some reports, as many as 87 percent of all insured American workers have coverage for chiropractic services in their health care plans.

Specifically for Veterans and members of the Armed Forces

Chiropractic care is available to members of the armed forces at more than 40 military bases in the U.S., and at nearly 30 veteran's administration medical facilities.

Specifically for Federal Employees

Federal employees have chiropractic coverage in the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program and in the Federal Employee Worker's Compensation Program.

Chiropractic Education & Training

Doctors of Chiropractic undergo at least four years of professional study at one of 18 chiropractic colleges accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

Doctors of chiropractic candidates undergo a rigorous education in the healing sciences, similar to that of medical doctors. In total, the curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience.

Doctors of Chiropractic must pass national board examinations and become state-licensed prior to practicing.

Chiropractic Research

A significant body of evidence has been compiled to show that chiropractic care— for disorders such as acute and chronic low-back pain and neck pain— is more effective than treatment using traditional medicine.

Results from observational studies suggest that back pain patients are more satisfied with chiropractic care than with medical care. Additionally, studies concluded that patients were more satisfied with chiropractic care than with physical therapy after six weeks.

The cost-effectiveness of chiropractic care has been documented in several studies. Most recently, Haas et al (2005) concluded that chiropractic and medical care have comparable costs for treating low-back pain, with chiropractic producing better outcomes for chronic pain.

Conditions Treated With Chiropractic

Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health.

Chiropractic care is used most often to treat musculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.

Chiropractic Facts & Figures

Chiropractic is the largest, most regulated, and best recognized of the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) professions.

Chiropractic is the third largest doctoral-level health care profession after medicine and dentistry.


Information provided by American Chiropractic Association.



American Chiropractic Association