A chiropractor is a primary care practitioner who is trained to evaluate, diagnose and manage spine, muscle and joint conditions. They help people of all ages live their greatest health potential, without the use of drugs or surgery.
What is the difference between physiotherapy and chiropractic?
Chiropractors use their clinical expertise and best available evidence to make a diagnosis and provide care. They work in a variety of settings, including private practice clinics, interprofessional family health teams and hospitals. They also collaborate with other health care professionals, including physicians, nurses, physiotherapists and registered massage therapists, to support their patients.
Some examples of common problems a chiropractor may treat include neck pain (especially if you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods of time, or if you often bend your head down to text or talk on the phone). Other frequent issues are shoulder pain and knee pain.
In addition to spinal manipulation, which is the mainstay of chiropractic treatment, chiropractors use a range of other tools and techniques. These include soft tissue therapy, exercise and mobility training, dietary guidance, and stress management skills.
During a typical visit to a chiropractor, the patient is asked to share their medical history, any current medications or injuries, and what kind of symptoms they are experiencing (e.g., sharp, dull, searing/throbbing or a combination). They will then undergo a physical exam that may include x-rays to look at the bones and joints in the body.
People of all ages and activity levels visit chiropractors to alleviate sporadic pain, reduce their risk of injury or improve their flexibility, posture and balance. Some also see them to help with common ailments, such as reducing colic in infants, treating chronic ear infections and helping kids meet developmental milestones like crawling and walking.