What does a Chiropractor do?

chiropractorChiropractors are experts trained in the neuromusculoskeletal system (nerves, muscles and the skeleton). Chiropractors are part of a health care profession that practice a drug-free, manual approach to health care that includes patient assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. In particular, chiropractors assess patients for conditions related to the spine, pelvis, extremity joints, and their effect on the nervous system. Following a thorough patient history and physical assessment, chiropractors are able to provide a differential diagnosis for the patient’s presenting condition(s) and develop a comprehensive treatment plan.

How is a Chiropractor Educated?

Chiropractors are educated as primary contact health care practitioners. In Canada, becoming a chiropractor requires a minimum of 7 years of post-secondary education, including no less than 4 years of full-time classroom and clinical instruction approved by the Council on Chiropractic Education Canada.

What is the Chiropractic Adjustment?

The chiropractic ‘adjustment’ or ‘joint manipulation’ is a highly controlled manual procedure intended for the joints of the body (spine, ankle, elbow, knee, etc). Chiropractors typically use their hands to adjust joints in order to reduce pain, increase range of motion and restore joint function, allowing you to work, play & perform at your best.

The chiropractic adjustment is adapted to meet the specific needs of each patient. For example, the technique is modified when treating children, pregnant women and older patients.

The adjustment may result in the release of a gas bubble which causes a “pop” or a “crack” sound. This is called a cavitation. It is not painful and patients typically note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment. However, it is a manually applied therapy and patients can experience mild soreness or aching following treatment which usually resolves within 12 to 48 hours.

Alternatives to the Adjustment

If you want chiropractic care, but do not wish to receive an adjustment, there are alternatives to treatment. Mobilizations are repetitive joint “movements” that do not involve the force of an adjustment and typically do not result in a cavitation. Mobilizations are effective alternative to the adjustment.

The treatment you receive is entirely up to you, and your chiropractor will tailor the treatment to suit you and your specific needs.

Chiropractic Regulation

Chiropractic is a regulated health profession in all Canadian provinces. Alberta chiropractors are governed under the Health Professions Act and are required to comply with standards of practice that are laid out by the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors.

Please refer to these sources if you require additional information:

The Canadian Chiropractic Association
The Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors
The Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA)