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#37 Chiropractic

What is chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a form of healthcare that has been around for over 120 years. As specialists of the nervous and musculoskeletal system, chiropractors provide qualified, effective treatment to promote health, alleviate pain and improve your quality of life.

Doctors of chiropractic focus on your nervous system (brain and spinal cord) because it is this system which controls and regulates every function in your body. 90% of the information sent to the brain originates from the muscles and joints of the spine due to the effect of gravity.

Chiropractor sign: 
Chiropractors are specialists in the nervous and musculoskeletal systems.
Chiropractors are specialists in the nervous and musculoskeletal systems.
Image Source: CNA

How is it performed?

The main form of treatment utilized by chiropractors is called an adjustment– a painless, non-invasive directed movement to the spine and other joints. This helps restore proper nerve function, relieve pain and discomfort, and improve range of motion. Sometimes chiropractors will also use other therapies like flexion distraction, ice, heat, electrical stimulation, myofascial release, stretches, and exercise therapy with the main goal of improving the health of the nervous system.

Is it scientific?

Chiropractic is not the same profession as it was 120 years ago. There is a growing pile of high quality research to support what chiropractors do and why it works. The treatment methods are based on current research and accepted rehabilitation protocols.

How much education is required to be a chiropractor?

In Canada, doctors of chiropractic must complete a minimum of seven years of post-secondary education, which includes a four-year academic program at an accredited chiropractic college. The chiropractic curriculum includes intensive study of anatomy, neurophysiology, differential diagnosis, and radiology. In addition to classroom hours, students treat patients in a supervised clinic setting during their final two years of education.

To be a chiropractor in Alberta, doctors must successfully pass rigorous national board examinations and maintain annual professional competency through approved seminars and courses.

Man in medical garb feeling a woman's neck and spine from the back preparing to do a chiropractic adjustment.
Chiropractic is a low risk non-invasive
method to treat neuropathy.
Image Source: CNA

Is it safe?

Chiropractic is extremely safe with a very low risk of complications. Yearly malpractice coverage rates for chiropractors is about a tenth of most medical doctor rates.

Only health care providers who are regulated under Alberta’s Health Professions Act – such as chiropractors – are legally permitted to call themselves doctors.

According to the Alberta Chiropractic Association, around 1 million Albertans see a chiropractor each year with a reported 93% satisfaction rate with the services received.

For optimal health, function and quality of life, a chiropractor should be part of every Canadian’s healthcare team.

Related CNA Resources:

For more information on Chiropractic care see: #27 The Exciting Field of Functional Neurology, Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Neuropathy Pain, Improving Function with Dr. James Haxton Part 1 & Part 2, New Frontiers in Treating Neuropathy


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