Alternative Careers for Chiropractors

By Julie Powers
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doctors desk image by Keith Frith from Fotolia.com

If you are a chiropractor and are considering changing careers, there are many alternative careers to consider. As a chiropractor, you are skilled in evaluating and treating various health conditions of the musculoskeletal system and nervous system. Thus, there are other health professions that have similar tasks and benefits, including evaluating and treating patients with health problems, receiving high pay, consulting with other doctors and colleagues, working in clean environments in either a hospital or private setting and the ability to choose to specialize in particular health conditions and/or age groups.

Massage Therapist

Massage Therapist work with manipulating muscles.

Massage therapy is similar to chiropractic therapy in that it is usually a hands-on profession. Both involve using manual, physical and manipulation therapy to treat various conditions of the body. However, as a massage therapist you will work more with manipulating muscles and soft-tissue instead of the musculoskeletal body framework. As a massage therapist, you can specialize in one or more of the 80-plus different types of massage techniques (modalities). Most states require some type of formal training and licensure; thus it is important to research the requirements of your state.

Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapists help patients lead independent lives.

Occupational therapy involves helping people of all ages who are suffering from a mental, physical, emotional or developmental disability or condition lead independent lives . Occupational therapists show patients how to improve their ability to complete everyday living tasks such as eating, dressing, bathing, driving, making meals and using a computer. You will use various occupational techniques and exercises to improve short-term memory, hand-eye coordination, decision-making, memory and problem solving. To become an occupational therapist, you must have a master’s degree or higher in occupational therapy from a program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), pass the national certifying exam and become licensed in your state.

Physical Therapist

Physical Therapist help restore patient movement.

As a physical therapist, your main goal is to help patients improve, maintain and restore their ability to physically move by using various techniques such as ultrasound, physical exercise, manual therapy, hydrotherapy and electrical stimulation. You will help patients reduce pain and restore function loss caused by various health conditions such as back injuries, arthritis, sprains, stroke and spina bifida. To become a physical therapist, you must receive a post-baccalaureate degree from a physical therapy program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and become licensed in your state.

Physician or Surgeon

Physicians or Surgeons must attend medical school and complete a residency.

Being a chiropractor will give you a good foundation for pursuing a career as a physician or a surgeon. Physicians and chiropractors are concerned with evaluating, diagnosing and treating patients who have health-related problems. Physicians require extensive education that includes four years of medical school and a three- to eight-year residency. There are many physician specialties, such as anesthesiologists, family and general physicians, obstetricians, gynecologists and psychiatrists. Surgeons use various instruments and tools to perform surgery on patients to treat injuries, diseases and deformities.

Podiatrist

Podiatrist treat foot disease and injury.

Podiatry is concerned with evaluating, diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries to the foot, ankle and lower leg. You will treat such conditions as bunions, heel spurs, corns, calluses, in-grown toenails and treat problems caused by diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. You will use treatment techniques such as prescribing drugs, performing surgery, creating custom-made shoes and recommending physical therapy. To become a podiatrist, you must complete a three- to four-year program at a podiatric college, pass national and state exams and become licensed in your state.

About the Author

Julie Powers lives in San Diego and has been writing professionally for eHow since 2009. She specializes in writing about business, real estate, health and pet topics. She works as an assistant to a real estate broker and applies her knowledge to her articles. She graduated from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business with a Bachelor of Science in management and entrepreneurship.