Working for chiropractors is often challenging but if you like doing injury work and seeing a lot of clients who were in car accidents and who are in pain from sitting too much on the computer, a massage job in a chiropractors office could be what you are looking for. Massage and chiropractic work can be very complimentary. Some states require that you work under a chiropractor or other physician in order to bill insurance for massage therapy.
Here are some of things to consider:
- May be shorter 1/2 hour or even 15 minute sessions – can you work quickly and efficiently?
- Work with chiropractor on each case or some difficult cases. You could learn a lot from the right chiropractor. It could also cause issues if the chiropractor is too controlling and doesn’t understand the full impact that massage has and what massage can do.
- Must be efficient in taking chart notes and writing reports for insurance companies. Charting will be what can make or break a case especially one that goes to court or arbitration/mediation. SOAP notes is the most common form. Learn how to chart quickly and accurately.
- You will be working with conditions like whiplash, head injuries, broken bones and strains/sprains from car accidents. Get more training in handling these conditions if needed. You will need to understand various health conditions and learn assessment and critical thinking skills. You don’t have to learn any special techniques although many learn clinical massage skills. There is no such thing as any one technique called medical massage as some like to advertise. You can take almost any type of massage and apply it to medical conditions. We are more focused on massage outcomes, than types of massage when working with injuries.
- Learn about billing insurance companies even though you most likely won’t have to bill yourself. Chiropractors seem to be notorious for charging high amounts for sessions done and then turning around and not paying the massage therapist their fair share keeping a higher percentage of the fees for themselves. While I am all for businesses making money, a massage employee will be much happier and stay longer when paid a decent salary so that they can make a living. You should be able to make $35-$50 an hour depending on what the chiropractor charges for your services. The real problems happen when the client comes in with an insurance case and then later becomes a cash client. Trying to explain a very large difference in price can be difficult
- Get it all in writing. Create a employment agreement and write down as many details as you can.
Employees vs Independent Contractors
It is really important to understand the difference between being an employee and an independent contractor, especially when working for a chiropractor. As a massage therapist, you must be an employee for a chiropractor to avoid the issues of the chiropractor receiving kickbacks for trying to pay you as a independent contractor. You can also just rent a room from a chiropractor and run your own business out of their office and work together on cases.