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What Do Chiropractors Do??

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By: Dr. Stephen O’Neil

Dear Dr. Steve: What is it that chiropractors do? How much training is involved in becoming a chiropractor? C.B. Belle River

Dr. Steve: Chiropractors are required to fulfill several undergraduate pre-requisites and finish an undergraduate degree. This generally takes three years. A four year post graduate doctorate degree must then be completed at an accredited Chiropractic College. The curriculum is comprised of basic sciences such as microbiology, anatomy, chemistry and physics. The second half of the training is comprised of more specific and clinically applicable courses: pathology, neurology, genetics, diagnostics and radiology, to name a few. There is also a required practical portion to the curriculum, which must be completed on patients in a clinical setting. Upon successful completion of all requirements and graduation, a series of federal board examinations must be successfully completed prior to beginning practice.

To answer the first question, a chiropractor diagnoses and removes subluxations in the spinal column. A subluxation is a misalignment or restriction in one of the inter-vertebral joints of the spine. These restrictions develop in the spine due to the constant stressors we place on our bodies on a day to day basis. These stressors come in the form of mental, physical or emotional stress, all of which can cause subluxations in the spine. A subluxation then causes inflammation around the spinal nerves which control and direct all functions of the body. This pressure on the spinal nerves causes the nerves to send poor signals out to the rest of the body. This in turn can have extremely far reaching effects on one's overall health.

A chiropractor finds these restrictions in the spine and then restores proper range of motion and alignment, by delivering a gentle specific chiropractic adjustment. When proper alignment and range of motion in the spine has been achieved, the nervous system is able to control and direct all functions of the body optimally, thus promoting optimal health and wellness. A balance in the system is necessary for one to maintain optimal health. Stretching, exercise and regular adjustments can help one achieve and maintain this balance and therefore maximize one's health potential.