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Opinion: Chiropractic gains show changing face of comprehensive health care

E.D. Terzi and Terry R. Yochum

Chiropractic clinics have become ‘wellness centers’ offering comprehensive health care with massage therapy, health diet coaching and more

For decades, the chiropractor has been an under-appreciated medical professional when it comes to comprehensive health care, looked upon as bone popper whose value has always been suspect by many in the medical community. A recent study by Chiropractic Economics indicated that a chiropractor saw 40% more patients than a family MD, however made 40% less in annual income.

That same study also showed a change in 2021 driven by the patients, not the medical profession. The family doctor saw their income decline by 50% as a result of less patients seen; chiropractors saw a 10% increase in patients and a 20% increase in office revenue.

So, what is really happening and why are things changing?

A dramatic year

The year 2020 was dramatic for everyone and the “normal” was redefined to fit the changes in how patients want to be treated for their illness, and how patients see their health.

Many medical offices shifted to a telemedicine model while most chiropractors continued to see patients in their offices. Chiropractors of 2021 now do more than just adjustments; they have become “wellness centers” offering comprehensive health care with massage therapy, health diet coaching, weight control programs, pain management, acupuncture, diagnostic x-ray services and even sleep aid support products.

Patients find their needs met without a visit to their family MD. Often, a patient may make an appointment in days rather than waiting weeks.

Holistic health and comprehensive health care over prescriptions

The family MD has become someone who basically prescribes medication, manages the side effects, orders lab blood work and reviews the results with a specialist’s referral.

Meanwhile, the chiropractor has been talking to their patients and learning about their body health and attending webinars by radiology luminaries where they learn how to look at digital X-rays, ultrasound and MRI exams which allow them to treat patients beyond the subluxation. In 2021, chiropractors are becoming the “Family Wellness Chiropractic Doctor,” someone a patient can visit, depending on their malady, for comprehensive health care before they decide to make an appointment with their family medical doctor (MD).

Health care in 2021 and beyond

Both health care professionals are essential and are important parts of how Americans are looking at their health care going into and beyond 2021. This is evident by the facts shown in the Chiropractic Economics report indicating that the number of patient visits to chiropractors in 2021 grew by over 25 million, and today chiropractors nationwide are seeing over 250 million visits annually.

E.D. Terzi is the marketing director at Rayence & My Vet Inc., and Terry R. Yochum is a doctor of chiropractic, DACBR, Fellow, and ACCR.


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