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Key Facts About the Chiropractic Profession

Key Facts About the Chiropractic Profession

By the Numbers

  • More than 80,000 chiropractic physicians of Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) are state-licensed and nationally certified. There are 5,380 licensed DCs actively practicing in Texas and 592 DCs holding an inactive license. In addition, there are 4,135 active facilities in Texas.
  • There are approximately 10,000 chiropractic students in 18 nationally accredited, chiropractic doctoral graduate education programs across the United States with 2,500 DCs entering the workforce every year. Current enrollment at the two Texas chiropractic colleges is 723 at Parker University in Dallas and 265 at Texas Chiropractic College in Pasadena.
  • Roughly 40,000 chiropractic assistants (CAs) are in clinical and business management roles for chiropractic practices across the United States. There are nearly 9,000 CAs in Texas.
  • Chiropractic physicians (DCs) treat more than 27 million Americans (adults and children) annually.
  • Chiropractic physicians or Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) are educated in nationally accredited, four-year doctoral graduate school programs through a curriculum that includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical internship, with the average DC program equivalent in hours to allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical schools.
  • Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) are designated as physician-level providers in 33 states as well as in many federal programs, with services available through Medicare, Medicaid, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Federal Employees Health Care Benefits Programs, Federal Workers’ Compensation and most states workers’ compensation programs.

Consumer Satisfaction/Effectiveness

  • Chiropractic outperformed all other back-pain treatments, including prescription medication, deep-tissue massage, yoga, Pilates, and over-the-counter medication therapies.
  • Chiropractic physicians or Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) were the highest-rated professional practitioner for low-back pain treatments above physical therapists (PTs), specialist physician/MD (ie neurosurgeons, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons), and primary care physician/MD (i.e., family or internal medicine).
  • Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) are utilized by all 32 National Football League teams in optimizing the functionality, endurance and overall conditioning of professional football players in the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal strain injuries, including neck pain, low back pain, strains to hamstrings and quadriceps, and whiplash injuries.
  • Treatment for low back pain when initiated by a chiropractic physician (DC) costs up to 40 percent less than when started by a MD.
  • With prescription drug abuse now classified as an epidemic in the United States and the number of spinal fusions soaring 500% over the last decade, chiropractic services offers a primary care, conservative approach to pain treatment that often enable a patients to reduce or avoid the need for riskier treatments.
  • During the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, a chiropractic physician (DC) led the polyclinic – a multidisciplinary medical services team – which included nearly 30 other chiropractic physicians. Almost 40 additional DCs treated Team USA and other teams from around the world at the London games.
  • Chiropractic care has an excellent safety record compared with more common treatments such as pain medications and surgery. As a result, chiropractic physicians pay malpractice premiums at significantly lower rates than medical doctors. (Source: NCMIC Chiropractic Solutions,