The popularity of the concept of patient-career rose at the same time as more people were using chiropractic care in the United States. Yet, patient-career has yet to be applied in a sociological manner to those who seek out chiropractic care. Semi-structured in-depth interviews with 19 patients of chiropractic care reveal that pain, to the point of interference with daily-life, is what drove them to seek out help outside traditional medicine. This research investigates how holding preconceived notions of chiropractic care (positive or negative), the influence of social networks, and beliefs surrounding health and pain influence the direction of the individual careers in chiropractic care. Several key findings emerged throughout the interview process such as understanding the impact of pain on daily-life, the validation of this pain from a caregiver, the importance of connections and shared understandings in healthcare, and the paradox of a chiropractic adjustment as a blend of science, religion, and magic.
Date of Degree
Master of Arts (MA)
Sociology and Corrections
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Loney, T. J. (2018). More than Cracking Backs: Exploring Patient-Careers in Chiropractic Care [Master’s thesis, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/832/
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