What are Chiropractors?
Chiropractors: MSK experts
Doctors of chiropractic (chiropractors) are spine and musculoskeletal (MSK) system experts specifically trained to diagnose the underlying cause, treat and recommend options to relieve pain, restore mobility and prevent reoccurrence so people can lead healthy active lives.
The MSK system is comprised of:
- Connective tissues
- Nervous system
As experts in spine and MSK health, chiropractors can also:
- Recommend exercises
- Give you information about nutrition and a healthy diet
- Give you information about general health and well being
What is Chiropractic Treatment?
Non-invasive & precise
Chiropractors are specialist in the delivery and treatment method called an adjustment—a specific non-invasive procedure consisting of a precise directed movement to help relieve pain and discomfort, and restore range of motion.
Chiropractic doctors may also use other therapies such as:
- Electrical therapy (i.e., IFC, microcurrent, tens, etc.)
- Laser therapy
- Soft tissue therapy (i.e., massage, etc)
- Shock-wave therapy
Why See a Chiropractor?
Some of the common conditions people see a chiropractic doctor for include:
- Conditions of the spine and extremities (bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nervous system)
- Back pain (thoracic, lumbar and sacral)
- Neck pain (cervical spine and related structures)
- Headaches and migraines
- Chronic and acute pain syndromes, including myofascial pain syndromes
- Whiplash and auto accident injuries (see our MVA information)
- Strains and sprains
- Repetitive strain injuries/joint conditions, including shoulder, hip and knee
- Work injuries
- Sports injuries
- Anterior chest wall
- Gait assessment and analysis
- General health and well-being
- Nutrition recommendation
- Therapeutic exercise program
- Lifestyle counseling
- Ergonomic assessment and workplace/area modifications
What would be Treatment goals with Chiropractic Care?
- Acute and chronic care
- Relieve pain
- Reduce muscle spasm and inflammation
- Increase flexibility
- Restore function and range of motion
- Treatment plan appropriate to specific individual
- Return to normal activities of daily living as quickly as possible
- Increase strength
- Increase and maintain flexibility
- Correct postural habits and modify
- ergonomic modification
- Minimize recurrences
- Lifestyle and nutritional consideration
What are the Regulations for Chiropractors?
Being regulated means that chiropractors in Alberta must obey all legislative requirements set by the government for all health care providers. Other health care providers that are regulated include nurses, dentists, medical doctors and optometrists.
In Alberta, the Health Professions Act ensures all regulated health care providers:
- are educated and trained to national standards
- practice within a defined scope of practice
- adhere to strict Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics
- hold liability protection/coverage
- meet continuing competency standards
- are accountable to a regulatory organization
The Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors is entrusted with administering the requirements set by government in the Health Professions Act (legislation) for all chiropractors.
What Education do Chiropractors have?
In Canada, chiropractors must:
- complete at least seven years of post-secondary education, including a four-year academic program at an accredited chiropractic college
- treat patients in a supervised clinic setting during their final two years of education
Additionally, to be a chiropractor in Alberta, doctors must:
- pass national and provincial clinical competency examination
- maintain professional competency through approved continuing education through seminars and courses
Are Chiropractors Doctors?
Yes! Chiropractors receive a Doctorate of Chiropractic once they have finished their studies. In fact, Doctors of Chiropractic and Medical Doctors go through very similar education and training. Chiropractors go through some of the most rigorous training for knowing and understanding the musculoskeletal system.