The word “chiropractic” comes from ancient Greek and means “done by hand.”
Chiropractors are specialists in manual adjustment of the vertebrae of the spine and other joints of the body. Adjustment helps relieve pain and restore normal functioning to the joints and supporting muscles and ligaments – so you can enjoy your everyday activities again as quickly as possible. By restoring joint motion and improving alignment, chiropractic adjustments remove the cause of the pain, and allow the body to heal itself naturally.
The body’s information highway – your nervous system – is protected by the spine. The nervous system travels out between the vertebrae or joints of the spine to carry messages from the brain to every corner of your body. Stress and strain on the vertebrae can put pressure on the nerves in the affected area. That is why a problem with your spine can have far-reaching effects causing symptoms such as arm or leg pain.
Chiropractic students undergo a rigorous course of study similar to that of other regulated health care professionals. Entrance requirements are also similar. Students are required to complete a minimum of three years of university before they are eligible for admission to the CMCC accredited program in Canada. The CMCC program requires four years of full-time study.
In addition to the academic program, chiropractic education requires hands-on clinical experience under the direct supervision of highly-qualified faculty. This experience includes clinical assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and referral protocols.
Chiropractic meets each patient's specific needs
The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. For example, the technique is modified when treating children, pregnant women and older patients. Patients typically note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment. The vast majority of patients who seek chiropractic health care do so for complaints of the musculoskeletal system, most often for conditions affecting the spine such as low back pain, neck pain, and headaches, and research studies have demonstrated that chiropractic treatment is effective for these conditions.
Chiropractors practice a drug-free, manual approach to health care that includes:
- Patient Assessment
In particular, chiropractors assess patients for disorders related to the spine, pelvis, extremity joints, and their effect on the nervous system. As a result of taking a physical assessment and patient history, chiropractors are able to provide a differential diagnosis for the patient's presenting condition(s) and develop a comprehensive treatment/management plan.
Chiropractors are also trained to recommend therapeutic exercise, to utilize other non-invasive therapies, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling. Chiropractic is a healing discipline firmly grounded in science. Although its main focus is the relationship between the skeleton (particularly the spine) and the nervous system that runs through it, chiropractic is concerned with the care of the entire body. Chiropractic focuses on addressing the source of your problem, not simply with treating symptoms.