What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on the nervous system and general health (World Federation of Chiropractic, 1999).

The practice of chiropractic utilizes clinical interventions that support the natural ability of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs and surgery. These interventions include


  • Manual procedures such as chiropractic adjustment, other joint manipulation, joint mobilization, and soft tissue techniques
  • Adjunct treatment measures such as physiological methods including ultrasound and electrotherapy, acupuncture, and the use of back supports and orthotics
  • Specific exercise programmes
  • Patient education on ergonomics and posture, nutrition, use of health supplements, and other lifestyle modifications.

A chiropractor is a primary healthcare physician who is educated and trained in all aspects of Chiropractic for the purpose of optimizing health. As a gatekeeper for direct access to the healthcare system, a chiropractor's responsibilities to his patients include diagnosis, chiropractic treatment and management, health promotion, disease prevention, and when indicated, referral to other healthcare providers. In order to consult a chiropractor, patients do not need to have a prior medical referral.

Chiropractic is distinct from the other healthcare professions. Medicine and Dentistry are allopathic healthcare systems that use pharmaceuticals (drugs) and surgery to treat diseases. Physiotherapy is a supplementary medical profession concerned with the rehabilitation and treatment of physical disability and bodily malfunctions using physical and mechanical measures.


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