What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is one of the most rapidly growing medical disciplines in the world, with more and more people benefiting from this type of treatment every day. Every chiropractor practicing in Australia is required to complete a university program for a minimum of five years full time. These courses are of similar length and depth as medical courses. Chiropractic courses focus strongly on anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, x-ray, differential diagnosis, bio-mechanics and adjustment techniques. Chiropractic training also requires extensive clinical and practical hours. This level of study ensures Chiropractic are the leading experts in spinal health. Further “Independent government and medical studies in the U.S., Sweden and New Zealand have concluded that chiropractic education is the equivalent of medical education in all of the basic sciences.”1

Chiropractic is a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health. There is an emphasis on manual treatments including spinal adjustment and other joint and soft-tissue manipulation.2

Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counselling.

Chiropractors are government regulated and registered healthcare professionals. The Australian Government has established a chiropractic regulating authority to ensure increased public safety for the Australian population. These bodies are responsible for maintaining the highest standards for all practitioners. As a registration requirement, chiropractors must complete continuing professional development courses and seminars to upgrade and improve their skills and to stay current on the latest scientific research.3

Government research worldwide over the last 25 years (including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden) states that contemporary chiropractic care is safe, effective, and cost-effective.4-10

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References
1. Chapman-Smith, D. (2000). The Chiropractic Profession. NCMIC Group Inc: West Des Moines,Iowa,p.45.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

2. Information taken from World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) www.wfc.org     3. Information taken from Chiropractic Association of Australia (CAA) www.chiropractors.asn.au                                                                                                        4.Bigos SJ, Bowyer O, Braen GR, Brown K, Deyo R, Haldeman S, et al. The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) Clinical Practice Guidelines, AHCPR (1994)
5. Epidemiology Review: The Epidemiology and cost of back pain. U.K. Clinical Standards Advisory Group. 1994 HMSO.
6. Back Pain. Report of a Clinical Standards Advisory Group Committee on Back Pain. U.K. 1994 HMSO.
7. New Zealand Acute Low Back Pain Guide. New Zealand Guidelines Group, 1997.
8. Danish Institute for Health Technology Assessment: Low-Back Pain. Frequency, Management and Danish Health Technology Assessment 1999; 1(1).
9. Waddell G, McIntosh A, Hutchinson A, Feder G, Lewis M. Low Back Pain Evidence Review London: Royal College of General Practitioners 1999.
10. Mior S. Manipulation and mobilization in the treatment of chronic pain. The Clinical Journal of Pain 2001; 17:S70-S76.