What does a Chiropractor do?

Most chiropractors set up private practices. Others form group practices in private clinics or hospital settings. Some chiropractors occasionally provide treatment at patients’ homes. Many employ nurses, chiropractic assistants or chiropractic technicians to assist them.

Chiropractors, or doctors of chiropractic medicine, are concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on the nervous system and general health. There is an emphasis on manual treatments, including spinal manipulation.

The chiropractic profession emphasizes the natural power of the body to heal itself (homeostasis) and therefore chiropractic practice does not include the use of drugs or surgery. Patients requiring these interventions are referred for medical care.

Chiropractors use natural or noninvasive treatment approaches including manual treatments, physical therapy modalities, exercise programs, nutritional advice, orthotics, lifestyle modification and other patient education. Reprinted by permission of NCMIC Group Inc., West Des Moines, IA ©2000.

What might a Chiropractor do in a workday?


  • use physical, X-ray and laboratory tests to analyze a patient’s condition.
  • adjust the spine using hand and finger manipulation.
  • advise patients on treatment.
  • recommend diets and sleep habits.
  • refer patients who require drugs or surgery to other health care specialists.
  • take action to prevent skeletal deformation.
  • specialize in athletic injuries, diseases and disorders of children, women, the aged, or mental and nervous disorders.

How much salary do Chiropractors make?

Annual Mean Wage

How do I become a Chiropractor?

Students who wish to pursue a career as a chiropractor should take challenging high school courses in science, math and English.

In Virginia, licensed chiropractors must be at least 18 years of age, graduate from a college recognized by the Virginia State Board of Medicine and pass an examination.

The general education requirement is a 10-semester degree from a chiropractic college after a minimum of two years of college (many pre-chiropractic students select majors in biology, chemistry or physics).

Pre-professional chiropractic programs provide opportunities to gain knowledge and skills required for admission to chiropractic colleges and require a minimum of three years of college.

Where else can I learn about becoming a Chiropractor?

Professional Associations:

Virginia Chiropractic Association
P.O. Box 15
Afton, VA 22920
(540) 932-3100

American Chiropractic Association
1701 Clarendon Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22209
(703) 276-8800

International Chiropractors Association
6400 Arlington Boulevard
Suite 800
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 528-5000
(800) 243-4690

State Licensure Requirements for Chiropractors

A license is required to practice as a chiropractor in the state of Virginia. For more information on licensure, applications and forms, visit

Virginia Board of Medicine
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive
Suite 300
Henrico, Virginia 23233
Phone: (804) 367-4600

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