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Chiropractic Facts and Figures

As evidence supporting the effectiveness of chiropractic continues to emerge, consumers are turning in record numbers to chiropractic care — a preventive, non-surgical, drug-free treatment option.

Just a few interesting facts on this increasingly popular form of health care:

  • Chiropractic is the largest, most regulated, and best recognized of the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) professions.  (Meeker, Haldeman; 2002; Annals of Internal Medicine)
  • 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.
  • In 2002, approximately 7.4 percent of the population used chiropractic care – a higher percentage than yoga, massage, acupuncture or other diet-based therapies. (Tindle HA, Davis RB, Phillips RS, Eisenberg DM. Trends in use of complementary and alternative medicine by US adults: 1997-2002. Altern Ther Health Med. 2005 Jan-Feb;11(1):42-9.)
  • Doctors of Chiropractic undergo at least four years of professional study at one of 16 chiropractic colleges accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.  In addition, Doctors of Chiropractic must pass national board examinations and become state-licensed prior to practicing.
  • In national surveys, patients favor chiropractic over medical care for back or neck pain.  Patients routinely rate Doctors of Chiropractic highly in skill, manner, and explanation of treatment.
  • Doctors of Chiropractic provide care in hospitals and other multidisciplinary health care facilities.
  • Chiropractic is the third largest doctoral-level health care profession after medicine and dentistry.
  • Back pain is the second leading cause of all physician visits in the U.S. In fact, half of all working Americans admit to having back pain each year.  According to a study conducted by the American Chiropractic Association in 2001, 43% of patients seen by a doctor of chiropractic were treated for low-back pain. 

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