Chiropractic is the diagnosis and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal disorders – injuries or ailments of the nerves, muscles, bones, and joints. Chiropractors are doctors trained in these specific conditions, using diagnostic methods such as history taking, orthopaedic tests, assessing ranges of motion and joint function, as well as checking the various soft tissues and nerves. Treatment of diagnosed conditions can include physical therapy/rehabilitative exercise, soft tissue therapy, education, suggested lifestyle modifications, and joint and/or spinal mobilizations and adjustments.
Chiropractors must complete a minimum four-year doctorate degree and pass national board certification examinations in order to practice. In Ontario, chiropractors are regulated by the College of Chiropractors of Ontario, and must adhere to the Regulated Healthcare Professions Act.
What to Expect
During your initial appointment, your chiropractor will start with a health history to learn about your body, your health status, and your goals. Your chiropractor may ask questions regarding aggravating or relieving movements for your complaint or issues, as well as what medications or supplements you are taking, previous or ongoing health conditions, your family history, and general lifestyle. Following that, your chiropractor will perform a physical examination to determine the cause of your complaint and overall body function, which will consist of performing different movements, orthopaedic tests, checking your ranges of motion, and assessing different muscles and joints. After determining the diagnosis, your chiropractor will review their findings with you, and suggest a plan of management, which can include physical therapy/rehabilitative exercises, stretches, soft tissue therapy, joint mobilizations and adjustments, symptom management strategies, as well as resources for additional healthcare measures if needed. Your chiropractor will also discuss expectations regarding frequency and timeline with regards to your condition.