The word chiropractic is derived from ancient Greek and means 'done by hand'. Chiropractic is a health care profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on general health.

Chiropractic education includes at least 3 years of pre-requisite University studies followed by 4 full-time academic years in a chiropractic college program. In addition to those 7 years, post-graduate clinical training is required before writing rigorous National Certification and provincial licensing examinations.

There is an emphasis on manual techniques, including joint adjustment and/ or manipulation, with a particular focus on joint dysfunction. Chiropractors are specialists in manual adjustment of the vertebrae of the spine and other joints. Adjustment helps relieve pain and restore normal function to the spine, joints and supporting structures of the body.

The body's information highway - your nervous system is protected by the spine. The spinal nerves pass through spaces (foramina) between the vertebrae and joints of the spine to carry messages from the brain to every corner of your body. Stress and strain on the vertebrae can put pressure on the nerves in the affected area. That is why a problem with your spine can have far-reaching effects, causing symptoms such as arm or leg pain.

An adjustment is a highly skilled and precise movement usually applied by hand to a joint of the body. Adjustment restores correct joint movement and optimizes function.

Chiropractors are also trained to prescribe therapeutic exercise; provide nutritional counseling and recommend rehabilitation and injury prevention strategies.

Should you have a condition that does not fall within the scope of chiropractic, you will be referred to various health care professionals for appropriate care.

Ref: The Chiropractic Report Vol. 22, No.55 Sept. 2008, The Ontario Chiropractic Association.