What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is one of the largest primary-contact health-care professions in Canada. Each year, millions of Canadians seek chiropractic care for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. In addition to reducing pain, chiropractic is also concerned with correcting and maintaining the function of the spine so that the body’s musculoskeletal and neurological systems will perform optimally. Chiropractic is more than dealing with pain. It optimizes the function of the spine to promote overall health.

Chiropractic spinal manipulation (commonly referred to as a chiropractic adjustment) is a drug-free, non-invasive manual procedure which utilizes the highly-refined skills developed during four intensive years of post-university chiropractic education. The primary goal of chiropractic manipulation is to treat areas of decreased movement in the joints of the body, particularly the spine, which can create a reaction in surrounding tissues (ligaments, muscles and nerves) resulting in pain, dysfunction and muscular spasm.

Chiropractors assess disorders related to the spine, nervous system, and joints of the extremities and provide diagnosis, treatment and management of those disorders. Chiropractors are also trained to prescribe therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies.

Spinal manipulation, as practiced by trained chiropractors, is a highly controlled procedure, which rarely causes discomfort. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Chiropractic adjustments are comfortable and safe for the whole family, from infants to pregnant women and the elderly. For hundreds of thousands of Canadians, visiting a chiropractor is routine – like regular dental check-ups. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment.

In many cases, such as acute low back pain, chiropractic care may be the primary method of treatment. Where other medical conditions exist, chiropractic care may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the musculoskeletal aspects of discomfort associated with the condition. Chiropractic care may also be palliative, providing symptomatic relief to patients with chronic conditions.

How are Chiropractors Educated?

In Canada, chiropractors are primarily educated at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) in Toronto. In the United States, there are various accredited programs including Western States Chiropractic College (WSCC) in Portland Oregon.

These programs are fully accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education of Canada (CCEC) which has adopted standards similar to those of the Council on Chiropractic Education in the United States.

Chiropractic students undergo a rigorous course of study similar to that of other health care professionals. Entrance requirements are also similar. Students are required to complete a minimum of three years of university before they are eligible for admission to an accredited program which requires four years of full-time study, including a year-long internship in the College’s clinics.

In addition to the academic program, chiropractic education requires hands-on clinical experience under the direct supervision of highly-qualified chiropractic faculty. This experience includes clinical assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and referral protocols. Faculty come from such disciplines as biological sciences, pathology, medicine and psychology, as well as chiropractic.

Both the CMCC and the WSCC programs include courses in anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, neurology, embryology, principles of chiropractic, radiology, immunology, microbiology, pathology, nutrition, and clinical sciences specifically relating to diagnosis.


How is Chiropractic Regulated and Standardized?

Chiropractors along with medical doctors, dentists, psychologists, and optometrists have the legislated right and obligation to communicate a diagnosis and to use the title doctor.

The Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors, like the colleges in each of the other provinces, is established by legislation in the same manner, and with the same structure and similar regulations, as the regulatory bodies for other health professions. It is responsible for protecting the public, standards of practice, disciplinary issues, quality assurance and maintenance of competency.

Is Chiropractic Treatment Safe?

Before beginning practice, a chiropractor is required to pass rigorous national Board Examinations. Then he or she must pass another set of examinations applying to the provincial Licensing Board for the right to practice. Chiropractors complete many hours of post-graduate instruction for an annual license renewal. Throughout his or her career a chiropractor will attend seminars, scientific symposia and read professional journals to keep up with ongoing research.

Just as the medical profession in general must be completely certain that the care they provide is safe, so too must the chiropractic profession. Few medical treatments have been scrutinized in as much detail as chiropractic. The safety and effectiveness of chiropractic treatment has been studied very carefully.

Complications from chiropractic treatments are rare. Your chiropractor will discuss all potential side effects and any risks along with the benefits of the care you receive. If your chiropractor diagnoses a problem that would be better treated by another health care professional, he or she will make an appropriate referral.


If I go to see a chiropractor, will I be expected to keep going?

That’s entirely up to you. Some people only want to be treated for a specific pain or illness, and when the symptoms disappear they stop going. Others use the chiropractic care to fully correct the underlying cause of the symptoms and to remain feeling really well. Like a car, your body has constant stress and wear, and it benefits from a ‘tune-up’. However, which treatment approach you want is always your choice.


Our chiropractors provide the following services:

  • Spinal manipulation & Spinal mobilization
  • Myofascial Release Techniques (MRT)
  • Exercise prescription and rehabilitation
  • Acupuncture
  • Soft tissue therapy
  • Custom orthotics
  • Car accident Claims (MVA)
  • Gentle instrument assisted manipulation

Our Goals Are at Docere Wellness Centre are:

... to listen and be respectful
... to create a collaborative partnership
... to treat the whole person, not the illness
... to address the root cause and not just treat symptoms
... to honour the healing power of nature