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10 Interesting Facts about Chiropractic

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Whether you’ve never seen a chiropractor before, or even if you’ve been going to the chiropractor for years, there are always exciting things to learn about the profession that you may not have known before. Here are 10 interesting facts about chiropractic.

1. The Origin:

The term “chiropractic” was coined in 1895 by a friend and patient of D.D. Palmer, the father of chiropractic, who suggested a combination of two Grecian words: “cheir” which means hand, and “praktos” which means done. Chiropractic literally means “done by hand”. Techniques have evolved since the inception of the profession, but most chiropractors still use their hands as their main work tool.

2. The Profession:

Chiropractors are the third largest group of medical practitioners after medical doctors and dentists in Canada and the US. Chiropractic care is one of the fastest growing primary health care professions.

3. The Education:

Chiropractors (DCs) must undertake years of training and study, typically starting with four years of undergraduate study and a degree mostly centered on science courses. They then must gain acceptance into a chiropractic program at a college accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education. The typical program lasts four years, with between 4,200 to 4,800 hours of study, including in-depth education in chiropractic adjustment techniques and significant time providing patient care. Chiropractors must then pass comprehensive Canadian qualifying examinations in order to become licensed to practice in the province of their choice. Chiropractors are regulated health professionals.

4. The numbers:

There are approximately 8,400 licensed Doctors of Chiropractic practicing in Canada. Approximately 4.5 million Canadians visit a chiropractor each year. Each day, over one million adjustments take place across the globe. There are about 95,000 Doctors of Chiropractic in active practice across the globe, and about 10,000 students are currently enrolled in chiropractic educational programs in the United States alone.

5. Direct Contact:

A patient does not need a referral to see a chiropractor. Chiropractors are legislated as primary contact healthcare professionals in every province in Canada. This means that patients can consult them directly. That is also the case following a motor vehicle accident or a work injury.

6. Worldwide Presence:

Chiropractic is popular all over the world. Although the chiropractic profession was founded in the United States in 1895, spinal manipulation has been used historically for centuries. In the 1960s, chiropractic’s popularity spread to Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa. It’s more recently extended across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Australia. There are currently over 40 accredited chiropractic schools worldwide. Organizations such as World Spine Care (WSC) help bring chiropractic to developing countries. WSC was launched to fill the profound gap in the evidence-based treatment of musculoskeletal and especially spinal conditions found in underserviced areas around the world.

7. Athletes:

Professional athletes have utilized chiropractic care to help them get through the rigors and physical demands of the season in a variety of sports. Just about every team in the NHL, MLB, the NBA, and the NFL have chiropractors on staff to provide chiropractic care to their players each and every game. Chiropractors help boost performance, maintain wellness, and treat musculoskeletal strain and injury.

8. No Battle of the Sexes:

The ratio of men to women in practice is about 4:1, but the number of women in the profession has been growing significantly. There is now a greater proportion of women entering the profession. However, that does not mean that patients will suffer from a lack of strength in their adjustments. Female chiropractors [1] produce, from a mechanical point of view, similar manual treatments as their male colleagues.

9. Chiropractors Get you Back on Your Feet the Quickest:

Patients consistently express more satisfaction with chiropractic care than with other forms of treatment.[2] A workers’ compensation study [3] published in the Chiropractic Journal of Australia compared chiropractic and medical management of 1,996 cases of work-related mechanical low back pain. The number of paid days off from work taken by claimants was found to be significantly lower when using chiropractic. People took an average of 6.26 days off for chiropractic patients and 25.56 days off for medical patients. The average cost of compensation for chiropractic management was $392 and for medical management, $1,569 or four times greater than chiropractic management.

10. Chiropractors Practice What They Preach:

Chiropractors get adjusted too! Being a chiropractor can be physically demanding. Unfortunately, chiropractors aren’t immune to injury. They must practice good work mechanics, stay in shape, stretch regularly, and get regular adjustments in order to continue doing what they love.

The chiropractic profession is alive and well. Their role in the Canadian healthcare system is always growing and evolving to better serve the public.

Credit: Curavita

References 1- The forces applied by female and male chiropractors during thoracic spinal manipulation Forand, D et al. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics, Volume 27, Issue 1, 49 – 56

2 – Coulter ID, Hayes RD, Danielson CD. The Chiropractic Satisfaction Questionnaire. Topics in Clinical Chiropractic. 1994;1(4):40–3.

3 – Mechanical Low-Back Pain: A Comparison of Medical and Chiropractic Management Within the Victorian WorkCare Scheme,” Ebrall, P. S. Chiropractic Journal of Australia, June 1992, 22:2, 47-53

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