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The Chiropractic Profession Within the Health Care Framework

The delivery of health care in Canada is constantly evolving, driven by patient demands, fiscal influences, primary care reform, stakeholder demographics, and the integration of various healthcare practitioner groups into the formal healthcare system.

The chiropractic profession has also evolved and is defined by the following characteristics:

  • Legislated regulatory bodies in every jurisdiction with the statutory authority to define scope of practice, impose standards of practice, and protect the public interest;
  • Established efficacy for a range of clinical indications; Standardized national examinations;
  • Inclusion in the limited group of regulated health professionals who deliver primary contact health care;
  • Established legislation wherein chiropractors are permitted to undertake the controlled act of adjustment/manipulation of the spine and extremity joints;
  • An established and growing base of substantive evidence for neuromusculoskeletal conditions.

The chiropractic profession adheres to a patient-centred, biopsychosocial approach to health care, encompassing examination, diagnosis and treatment, and utilizing conservative, safe approaches to health care, minimizing patients’ reliance on drugs and surgery when possible. Chiropractic care is included in insurance plans by both government and third-party payers.

While chiropractic care has been considered Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), the chiropractic profession in Canada today is best described as a regulated, primary health care profession with particular expertise in the care of the spine and extremity articulations.

The Canadian Chiropractic Association represents the professional interests of Canada’s chiropractors. Chiropractic is a regulated health care profession recognized by statute in all Canadian provinces, and is one of the largest primary health care professions in Canada. The practice of chiropractic consists of the examination, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention of spinal, joint and related neuromusculoskeletal disorders.

October 2005


*Please note that this position statement is currently being updated or under review. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at

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