What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractors use non-invasive, hands-on, patient-centric manipulation techniques to align the body’s musculoskeletal structure, including joints, muscles and ligaments, the nervous system and most importantly, the spine. It is an alternative treatment to surgery or medication which relieves pain and enables the body to heal itself.
Chiropractors help people move differently as they assess, treat and prevent pain and disability of the spine and the musculoskeletal system. The majority of the people seeking treatment are looking to relieve back pain, caused by accidents, strains or sports injuries, among other things. Chiropractors also help with complaints of pain in the neck, arms, legs, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles and even headaches.
Job Scope of a Chiropractor
- Conduct physical examinations on patients
- Assess and diagnose pain and disability of the spine and the musculoskeletal system
- Interpret diagnostic images like X-rays and MRIs
- Manipulate and adjust joints/ soft tissues
- Provide physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Give advice on prevention of injuries and general health matters such as exercise, posture and nutrition
Types of Chiropractic Techniques
1. Spinal Manipulation/ Mobilization
A form of manual therapy based on gentle thrusting motions and stretching, used by both chiropractors and physical therapists to restore and improve function in the spinal column and relieve pressure on joints and other extremities.
2. Gonstead Chiropractic Technique
The chiropractor manipulates the lower back and pelvis of the patient while they are lying on their side. When administered, the Gonstead Adjustment can help restore normal disc alignment and maximum mobility.
Chiropractors use a specific activator adjusting instrument to alleviate back pain, neck pain, and pain in the extremities through short, low-force pulses to extremities of the spine.
4. The Thompson Drop Chiropractic Technique
This technique utilizes a specially designed table that can be dropped down by tiny increments, as the practitioner applies quick thrusts, resembling a light vibration to complete the adjustment.
5. Extremity Manipulation
This technique requires physical manipulation of the joints outside of the spine, such as the shoulder, hip, or knee, to be aligned right in order to promote healthy mobility with less stress on the spine.
This technique also requires a unique table that lets the chiropractor manipulate the position of the patient’s spine to remove pressure from the spinal disks and spinal nerves, reducing lower back pains and discomfort.
Career Opportunities in the field of Chiropractics
- Registered Chiropractor Practitioner in Private Practice (as a solo practitioner or as a member of a group practice)
- Sports Team Chiropractor
- On-Site Corporate Chiropractor for organisations
- Chiropractic Researcher (in a University or in the Private Sector)
- Chiropractic Educator (Academic work in the Tertiary Education Sector)
- Consult government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs)’s health policy panels and regulatory bodies
How to Become a Chiropractor in Australia?
To be a registered Chiropractor in Australia, students need to complete five years of education- a 3-year undergraduate program followed by a 2-year Master/ postgraduate program from an institution that meets the requirements set by the Australian Chiropractic Regulating authority.
Upon completion of the Master’s program, students will be eligible to apply for registration at the Australian Health Practioner Registration Agency (AHPRA), before they are allowed to practice as a Chiropractor.
After entering practice, chiropractors are still required to take on professional development courses and seminars to upskill themselves and to stay ahead of the newest research and technology.
Entry Requirements to Study Chiropractic in Australia
GCE A-Levels or Equivalent
A minimum score of 8 points (CCD) (Recommended to have studied Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics or Equivalent)
International Baccalaureate Diploma Program
A minimum score of 27 points
Achieve a Competitive Selection Rank (60-90)
Minimum Average GPA of 2.50 (B3 average)
English Requirements to Study Chiropractic in Australia
A minimum overall of 6.5 and 6.0 in all sub-bands
TOEFL – IBT
A minimum overall score of 85; Minimum 17 in Reading, Listening and Speaking and 19 in Writing
Pearson Test of English (PTE)
A minimum overall score of 58 and 50 in all sub-bands
Recommended Universities to Study Undergraduate Chiropractic Programmes in Australia
1. Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University
2. Murdoch University
3. Macquarie University
4. Central Queensland University (CQU)
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