Automobile & Whiplash Inijuries

 Whiplash and Brain Injury Traumatology: Graduates of this program have received the most in-depth, science-based training available today. The program covers the entire spectrum from the physics of motor vehicle crashes to human biomechanics to diagnostics and management. (Note that in previous years, the program was referred to as the Masters’ Certification Program but was changed to the current name to more accurately reflect the current focus of the program, and to avoid confusion over the meaning of the word Masters.

I have pain as a result of an automobile crash, what can you do for me?

The Spine Research Institute of San Diego (SRISD) is an educational and research organization that is involved in training health care providers concerning the diagnosis and treatment of whiplash injuries.  Dr Rice is a graduate of this program.

What kind of doctor should I see for treatment of my whiplash injuries?

The appropriate doctor to treat whiplash injuries depends on the nature of your injuries, and could include a chiropractor, an orthopedist, or a neurosurgeon to name a few.  It is very important to seek treatment from a doctor who understands the complexities of whiplash injuries and who knows how to treat the condition properly.  All too often patients are told that they only need to take pain medications for a short period of time and their symptoms will go away on their own.  Often this is not the case, and, unfortunately, the patient does not get proper care right after their injury, when the right treatment is most critical.  

A chiropractic physician is the best option for treatment of acute or chronic whiplash trauma.  The chiropractic approach appropriately addresses the damage that occurs to the tissues, and is more likely to result in a good outcome.  A qualified chiropractic doctor will refer you to any specialists that may be needed.

How are Doctors of Chiropractic licensed?

Graduates of a college of chiropractic from any of the 16 chiropractic colleges accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education must take a licensing examination in all 50 States. There are 50 different legislative bodies involved in the licensing process of chiropractic physicians, creating a variety of testing and licensing procedures and a variation in scope of practice from State to State.

How many years does a chiropractic physician attend college?

Dr. Rice completed his bachelor’s degree in Human Biology at the National College of Chiropractic prior to his four years of training at the National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, IL.After completing the pre-chiropractic training, the chiropractic program consists of 4 academic years of professional education averaging a total of 4,822 hours, and ranging from 4,400 hours to 5,220 hours. This includes an average of 1,975 hours in clinical sciences and 1,405 hours of clinical clerkship. The minimum hours for accreditation by the Council on Chiropractic Education is 4,200 hours.

What subjects does a chiropractic physician study?

The program of study at all chiropractic schools is divided into Basic and Clinical Sciences. The average total number of basic science contact hours is 1,420, which accounts for 30 percent of the entire chiropractic program. Basic sciences education includes an average of 570 hours of anatomy, 305 hours of physiology , 205 hours of pathology, 150 hours of biochemistry, 120 hours of microbiology, and 70 hours of public health.

On average, 70 percent of the program is composed of clinical education. Chiropractic schools devote an average of 3,380 contact hours to clinical education: 1,975 hours (58 percent) are spent in chiropractic clinical sciences and the remaining 1,405 hours (42 percent) are spent in clinical clerkships. These contact hours are in lectures, laboratories, and clinics. The following table shows the clinical subjects required.

Clinical subject


% of Total

Adjustive technique/spinal analysis



Physical/clinical/laboratory diagnosis



Diagnostic imaging, radiology



Principles of chiropractic






Physiologic therapeutics






Professional practice & ethics












Research methods



Clinical pediatrics & geriatrics



First aid & emergency












Total hours of clinical training



Total hours of basic science training



Total hours of clinical clerkships



Grand total - 4 academic years of chiropractic education




Do chiropractic physicians (like MDs) take national board exams? State board exams? 

The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE), established in 1963, functions similarly to the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). Part I of the NBCE covers the basic sciences and may be taken after the first year of chiropractic college education. Part II covers clinical sciences and is administered when a student is in his/her senior year of chiropractic college. Part III is a written clinical competency examination that requires an examinee to have passed Part I and be within 8 months of graduation (if taken while still in school). The optional NBCE Physiotherapy Examination may be taken following the completion of 120 hours of physiotherapy coursework.

All States, except five, require passing scores on all or part of the NBCE tests as well as on one State-administered test. The content and format of the State-administered examinations vary considerably. Approximately one in three States require one State-administered evaluation. This may involve written questions regarding State regulations and statutes, an interview, or a practical examination covering diagnostic and management procedures.

Are DCs considered primary health care providers?

Yes, chiropractic physicians’ practices include several characteristics considered to be consistent with a primary care role. They are directly accessed by patients, frequently coordinate care  with other providers, may obtain special studies, develop continuing relationships with patients, and emphasize prevention strategies, especially related to injury prevention. Chiropractic is licensed and regulated in every State, and within these legal boundaries individual practitioners may practice as they wish. Providing care for musculoskeletal conditions using manipulation as a primary intervention is within the legal scope of chiropractic practice in all 50 States. The legal right to use other procedures including modalities, myofascial work, acupuncture, and nutritional therapy varies from State to State.

Are DCs licensed in all 50 states? 

Yes, the practice of chiropractic is licensed and regulated in all 50 of the United States and in over 30 countries worldwide.

Is the Council on Chiropractic Education recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Education? 

Federal recognition of the Council on chiropractic Education (CCE) as the accrediting body for chiropractic colleges in 1974 was a landmark event in the history of chiropractic education. The CCE regulates preprofessional requirements for admission to chiropractic colleges as well as educational requirements for graduation from chiropractic colleges.

Is chiropractic covered by Medicare and  private insurance? Workers'  compensation?

The Federal Medicare program has provided chiropractic benefits since 1972. The Medicare chiropractic benefit allows for 12 visits annually and covers manipulation of the spine by a chiropractor. More than 80 percent of American workers in conventional insurance plans, preferred provider organizations, and point-of-service plans now have health insurance that covers at least part of the cost of chiropractic care . Overall, 75 percent of workers receive chiropractic coverage under their plan. Automobile insurance and some types of homeowners' insurance typically incorporate Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. This form of insurance, in most States, permits chiropractors access to reimbursement on par with all other providers. Chiropractic physicians are explicitly recognized by regulation or statute as "attending providers" (i.e., providers whom workers may access directly and who can oversee management of the case) in the workers' compensation systems of 39 States and the District of Columbia.

Why is spinal manipulation so important?

In a 1996 study by Woodward et. al., published in the journal “Injury,” Chiropractic treatment was able to help relieve the pain for 93% of patients with chronic whiplash injuries. Chronic whiplash injuries are notoriously resistant to any form of treatment, making their conclusions particularly significant in the field of whiplash treatment. Guidelines published by the Federal Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) concluded that spinal manipulation was one of only three treatments for acute low back pain for which there was at least moderate research-based evidence of effectiveness. In addition, patients seeking care for back pain from chiropractic physicians tend to be more satisfied than patients treated by medical doctors.

Why don't chiropractors use drugs? Surgery?

All States currently exclude prescribing drugs and performing major surgery from chiropractic practice. This is because chiropractic was developed to be a drugless healing art, and one of its objectives is to help patients avoid unnecessary drugs, if possible. Chiropractic is noninvasive, and emphasizes the patient's inherent recuperative abilities, also recognizing the dynamics between lifestyle and a return to health.

"This information and website content is not intended to diagnose, guarantee results, or recommend specific treatment or activity. It is designed to educate and inform only. Please consult your physician for a thorough examination leading to a diagnosis and well-planned treatment strategy. See more details on the DISCLAIMER page. Content is reviewed by Dr. James M. Cox I."