Chiropractic is the third largest primary care health care profession after medicine and dentistry.
Every year, 4.5 million Canadians receive chiropractic care from over 6,000 Doctors of Chiropractic in Canada. In Alberta, there are currently more than 830 practicing licensed chiropractors.
Chiropractic draws on modern scientific knowledge and techniques, balanced with a philosophy of natural healing. 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. Students pursuing a career in the profession study for about the same time as a medical doctor and also cover many of the same subjects, such as anatomy, physiology and pathology. However, the core of the education and training for doctors of chiropractic is in the treatment of the spine and central nervous system. Chiropractic study is directed toward the integration of biological systems to restore and maintain health.
Chiropractors use various diagnostic methods, including x-rays, to discover the state of your health, paying particular attention to your spine and bone structure. Spinal manipulation and other manual adjustments are their primary methods of helping your body heal itself.
What do chiropractors do?
Doctors of Chiropractic are primary care/primary contact health care professionals. Chiropractors focus on the spine in relation to the total body and specialize in the understanding and treatment of its component bone structures, muscles and nerves. No referral is necessary to consult a chiropractor.
As holistic practitioners, chiropractors believe in treating the whole individual, practicing natural healing without drugs or invasive surgeries. Central to treatment is the chiropractic adjustment, a gentle, directed pressure that restores the spine’s ability to function. Doctors of Chiropractic recognize that dynamics exist between lifestyle, environment and health. In addition to clinical treatment, your chiropractor can be a good source of information on beneficial exercise and nutrition.
I am not sure if I would like an adjustment, is that ok?
Central to the first chiropractic visit is the process of obtaining consent to treat you. Your chiropractor will explain the risks and benefits associated with treatment, and it is up to you to decide if you would still like to proceed. If you do not wish to receive an adjustment but still want treatment, there are alternatives to treatment such as mobilizations, which do not involve as much pressure and does not usually result in a cavitation (the ‘popping’ sound you hear, much like cracking your knuckles). The treatment you receive is entirely up to you, and your chiropractor will tailor the treatment to suit you and your specific needs.