Finding a chiropractor you can feel comfortable with can be such an important part of rehabilitation. Chiropractors exist to help clients find integrated, whole-body healing methods to assist with everything from recovering from auto accidents to achieving peak physical performance. They use their education, training, certifications, and passion for wellness to help patients find individualized solutions. Are you trying to learn more about the benefits of finding a qualified, highly educated chiropractor in the Denver area? Start here.

Becoming educated on the education and certification involved with practicing as a chiropractor is a great first step. In fact, clearing up any confusion or misconceptions regarding the degrees and certifications to look for when choosing a chiropractor can be a great starting point for making the decision to seek this form of rehabilitative and restorative care if you’re dealing with a musculoskeletal injury. It’s time to get answers to all the questions you have about what goes into the chiropractic training that allows these medical professionals to offer treatments that help people to recover from pain and injury.

Are Chiropractors Considered Doctors in Colorado?

There’s often a bit of confusion about the backgrounds that chiropractors bring to the table. In some cases, people assume that chiropractors don’t have “medical degrees.” The truth is that chiropractors complete rigorous training from accredited institutions at the post-graduate level. Here at Denver Chiropractic, Dr. Trent Artichoker holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in anatomy from Colorado State University, and a doctorate in chiropractic from the University of Western States. As many of our patients know, Dr. Artichoker also holds extensive training and certification in a variety of specialty techniques. Among the list is Active Release Techniques (ART) training that allows Denver Chiropractic to be one of the only ART providers in Denver. In fact, Dr. Artichoker holds Elite Provider status in ART. Dr. Artichoker and the Denver Chiropractic team are recognized for practicing a science-backed, highly technical approach to chiropractic care.

While the extensive educational background of Dr. Artichoker helps to distinguish Denver Chiropractic as a top provider in the area, it’s important to know that extensive education and training are characteristic of all chiropractic professionals. Many people who are not familiar with chiropractic care incorrectly assume that chiropractors merely complete training or certification programs that are similar to programs completed by other non-regulated holistic health providers. In reality, chiropractors complete physician-level training and degree programs that make them capable of diagnosing and treating a wide variety of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. Next, take a look at what the typical educational trajectory looks like for a chiropractor. It’s important to only work under the care of chiropractors who possess the right education and training to be able to deliver cutting-edge, competent care.

What Education Do Chiropractors Need?

All chiropractors must have doctoral or professional degrees to practice. While the specific educational path may look different for different chiropractors, patients should at least have an idea of the qualifications that are necessary. Most chiropractors start off their journeys in this field the same way that all future medical professionals do. An undergraduate degree is the first step to becoming a chiropractor.

Generally, future chiropractic students complete their undergraduate studies in science-related fields. This usually means obtaining a degree in biology, exercise science, kinesiology, physiotherapy, or physiology. These majors lay the groundwork for developing a deep understanding of the human body. Some future chiropractors go on to complete post-graduate studies in majors related to these fields. Others enroll in doctorate programs to begin the path to becoming a chiropractor.

While certification requirements vary by state, chiropractors generally need to graduate from an accredited doctor of chiropractic degree program that includes between 4,000 and 5,000 instructional hours. This process can take up to five years of intense study to complete. In addition to classroom instruction, most programs also involve clinical experience.

A doctor of chiropractic degree program typically covers coursework related to both the human body and chiropractic sciences. Students will spend a large amount of time studying the complexities of the mechanisms and systems of the human body. High-level courses like biology, biochemistry, anatomy, and physiology account for most of the program. Next, clinical and chiropractic science is covered in detail. This coursework prepares future chiropractors to conduct physical exams, diagnose disease, diagnose causes of disease, create appropriate treatment plans, and manage physician-patient interactions.

Chiropractic clinical internships are crucial for helping future chiropractors to move from theory to practice. Students are placed in real clinical settings to work alongside experienced professionals as they provide care for patients. Clinical internships allow students to work with large populations of clients presenting many different forms of musculoskeletal dysfunction.

Beyond the Basics: Should Chiropractors Have Additional Training

There was a time when chiropractors simply used the fundamentals of their doctoral training to manage patients for decades. While many of the basic principles of chiropractic care haven’t changed simply because human physiology hasn’t changed, the reality is that today’s chiropractors are sometimes obsessed with keeping up. There have been dramatic and exciting advancements in the field of holistic medicine in recent years. As a result, today’s newly trained chiropractors are able to integrate new techniques and technology into the tested and trusted principles that have helped so many people to find natural healing over the past 150 years. This is where certifications come into the picture.

Engaged, dynamic chiropractors don’t see additional certifications as “burdens” that must be completed. They instead view each new certification as an opportunity to offer unique breakthroughs for rehabilitation at their clinics that help clients to have faster, more complete results using the most up-to-date science.

Each chiropractic certification represents a large time commitment on the part of a chiropractor. In fact, each certification can represent hundreds of hours of coursework, clinical work, and testing. Here at Denver Chiropractic, we consider ourselves to be lifelong learners because the science of healing is constantly evolving. Next, let’s discuss some of the relevant certifications to look for when choosing a new chiropractor. Learning about these certifications allows you to see just how exciting the world of chiropractic care has become.

Active Release Techniques (ART)


ART training has quickly become the gold standard in the chiropractic field. Active Release Technique is a soft-tissue method focused on relieving tension and soreness. Unlike regular adjustments that are designed to break up subluxations that are preventing proper movement and blood flow within the musculoskeletal system, ART actually removes fibrosis and adhesions that have developed in soft tissue due to overload.

Many people don’t realize that the pain, tension, and restricted mobility they are experiencing are actually caused by these fibrosis/adhesions. In reality, they occur quite frequently due to strain, stress, and repetitive use. Common symptoms of fibrosis/adhesions include:

  • Muscle weakness/fatigue.
  • Aching.
  • Burning.
  • Tingling/numbness.

ART is actually used to treat symptoms related to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. All of these aspects of the musculoskeletal system can be severely compromised by overuse injuries. When performed properly, ART is designed to:

  • Restore range of motion in all soft tissue.
  • Release entrapped nerves.
  • Promote lymphatics and vasculature release.
  • Restore tissue texture and resilience.
  • Restore tissue function.

ART is considered a compatible treatment option for both repetitive strain injuries and cumulative trauma injuries. This treatment begins with an evaluation of a patient’s gait, motion, and posture to identify any biomechanical dysfunctions that may be restricting motion. Next, areas of soft tissue that are the source of dysfunction are identified.

During ART treatment, the chiropractor uses manual compressive techniques to implement tensile and shear force at the site of the injury. Deep tension is applied to the tender area while the patient performs shortening and lengthening movements. In case studies, ART has been shown to provide the following benefits:

  • Improved hamstring flexibility.
  • Improving severity and functional status for people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Increasing range of motion with trigger thumb.
  • Reducing pain in patients with external coxa saltans (snapping hip).
  • Resolution of epicondylitis lateralis (tennis elbow) symptoms.
  • Resolution of pain associated with tibialis posterior tendinopathy (foot arch inflammation).

While ART is an important certification for chiropractors to have, it’s far from the only certification to consider when searching for a chiropractor. There are actually a number of manual and instrument-assisted techniques that require special certifications. Next, take a look at how patients benefit from these extra services when visiting qualified chiropractors.

Graston Technique®


The Graston Technique® is a treatment used to help break up scar tissues and adhesions that can alter normal tissue and muscle function. It can be especially helpful for breaking up scar tissue caused by repetitive overuse injuries that are causing muscle tightness, trigger points, excessive tension, and stiffness. Many patients find that a handful of 20-minute sessions can be enough to restore normal relaxation and contraction of the muscles for a return to pre-injury performance.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can play an integral role in healing and restoration among people looking for non-invasive treatments. In addition to helping with recovery, massage therapy can also be helpful for eliminating neck and back pain, increasing circulation, improving flexibility, and improving posture. It is commonly used by people seeking to recover from whiplash injuries, rehabilitate after surgery, detoxify the muscles, reduce anxiety, ease headaches, and enhance physical performance.

Shockwave Therapy


Shockwave therapy training is quickly becoming an important qualification for chiropractors seeking to offer their patients what is considered a cutting-edge treatment for healing tissue following strain, trauma, or injury. Here at Denver Chiropractic, we are pleased to be able to offer our patients access to the renowned Dolorclast® machine. We are the only Denver-area practice to do so.

For many patients, shockwave therapy treatment ends up being an alternative to surgery that allows them to enjoy healing from tennis elbow, calcific tendonitis, Achilles tendinopathies, greater trochanteric bursitis, patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee), and much more. This is a noninvasive, pain-free treatment that doesn’t require any downtime.

Cold Laser Therapy

Cold laser therapy uses waves to accelerate tissue healing. It is commonly used by patients seeking to eliminate spasms, swelling, pain, and reduced mobility. This treatment is also associated with increased cell growth, rapid wound healing, stimulated nerve function, increased vascular activity, and anti-inflammatory benefits. In studies, cold laser therapy has been shown effective for treating acute pain.

Webster Technique

Being able to offer the Webster technique is so important for any chiropractor providing prenatal chiropractic services. The Webster technique is used to manually reverse breech birth ahead of delivery. In studies, it has been shown to have a success rate of 82%.

Dry Needling


A treatment option that is increasingly being discovered by patients, dry needling is used to treat areas of trigger-point dysfunction. During dry needling treatment, small-diameter metal filament needles are used to activate something called the body’s “latent twitch response” that can be useful for deactivating a trigger point. This is considered a pain-free treatment that typically creates results right away.

Kinesio Taping (K Taping)


Training in K tape is so essential for any Denver chiropractor specializing in sports and rehabilitative medicine. K tape is a popular treatment for stabilizing injuries caused by overuse. While there are many generic taping options marketed to athletes, the truth is that taping is a very specialized process that requires an understanding of the musculoskeletal system. It can be especially helpful when you are experiencing acute pain.

Additional Training and Certifications to Look for in a Chiropractor

The specialties covered above can be so valuable for patients seeking chiropractors capable of treating a wide variety of injuries using the best techniques and technology available today. However, the list above is by no means a comprehensive list of all of the training qualifications and certifications a chiropractor could have. While it’s not possible to go into detail on every chiropractic specialty technique, it’s important for patients to at least be familiar with the full range of offerings that are possible when seeking chiropractic care from a qualified, enthusiastic chiropractor. Here’s a look at the other training specialties and certifications to look for:

Many patients who visit us here at Denver Chiropractic for the first time are surprised to learn that so many different treatments are offered at a chiropractic office. While a chiropractor is not intended to replace a primary physician, there are many benefits of coming to a full-service office. We are able to handle many different services on an in-house basis to ensure that you’re getting consistent care without feeling like you’re being “shuffled around.”

We understand that you want an office you can consider “home” as you dive into your journey of healing and rehabilitation using chiropractic care. We also know that one of the most frustrating aspects of beginning any new wellness journey is dealing with the hassles of referrals. That’s why we take great pride in handling as much of our imaging and diagnostic work as possible right here in our office. In addition to saving you a trip, this commitment to providing these resources in our office also allows us to deliver faster results that get you on track with treatment faster.

Another reason for our deep commitment to offering so many different routes for care is our understanding of the whole-body approach to healing. Under the principles of integrated care, we understand that what happens in one area of your body isn’t isolated from the rest of your body. That’s why we focus on different techniques and treatments that can be used to treat multiple issues simultaneously without conflicts.

While not all of the treatments covered in this article require official certifications, all require special training. Our entire staff is focused on completing training and certifications that allow them to safely apply testing and treatments for our patients. Rest assured that you’ll receive treatments by qualified professionals authorized to perform the task at hand whenever you visit our office!

The patients we see at Denver Chiropractic come to us for many different reasons. We don’t believe that the treatment provided should be the same for everyone. That’s why we’re proud to offer specialized and personalized treatments for auto accident recovery, sports performance, injury rehabilitation, general wellness, and prenatal chiropractic care. We are also one of the only chiropractic offices in the Denver area to offer comprehensive services for everything from erectile dysfunction (ED) to weight management.

Of course, you might be wondering why a chiropractor would complete training in areas tied to things like ED and nutrition. The answer really comes down to what the core of chiropractic care is all about. The body is a single, connected unit instead of millions of separate little parts. Our knowledge of physiological and biochemical underpinnings allows us to create treatment plans that help to bring the body in balance to affect areas related to mood, physical performance, metabolic function, and sexual health.

Where Should I Get Started With Chiropractic Care?


If you’re looking into chiropractic care for the first time, discovering that so many different options for treatment are available may be overwhelming. You may also be feeling more motivated than ever before to take your health back into your own hands now that you’ve discovered that a chiropractor can offer such a wide range of treatments using various certifications.

The answer about where to start is really the same for everyone suffering from pain or dysfunction. It begins with an evaluation. When you come to visit Dr. Artichoker and the friendly staff at Denver Chiropractic, we’ll begin with a simple conversation to learn about why you’re seeking chiropractic care. This is an opportunity to go over your concerns, goals, and personal health history. Next, a physical assessment will be conducted to confirm any underlying issues. This assessment may also uncover unknown injuries or misalignments that are causing various symptoms in your life.

Next, we’ll work with you to come up with a treatment plan that can include any of the robust treatments and services Dr. Artichoker is certified to provide. In many cases, our patients choose to combine different treatments and techniques to get faster results that are highly targeted for specific injuries. We also offer nutritional support for patients interested in diving into the connection between metabolic function and overall health.

There’s a world of noninvasive treatments to discover once you decide to work with a chiropractor with multiple certifications. Are you ready to begin your journey into chiropractic care right here in Denver? We invite you to reach out to us here at Denver Chiropractic today to get your consultation booked. Simply call (303) 425-2225 or book online.