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The Science The Philosophy Education
The Art Safety References

Chiropractic is a science, art and philosophy that concerns itself with the relationship between the nervous system and the function (health) of the entire body. During a course of Chiropractic care, we begin with a thorough consultation, examination and review of diagnostics. Throughout treatment we continuously re-evaluate your progress. Once spinal function is improved, you will experience greater range of motion reduced pain and improved overall health.

The Science:
Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that your nervous system controls the function of virtually every cell, tissue, organ, and system in your body. Without normal nerve supply, affected organs and tissues are more susceptible to injury and disease, often producing the symptoms of pain and ill health.

Nerve tissue is so important, it is protected by bone. While the brain is protected by the skull, the spinal cord is more vulnerable, covered by 24 moving bones (vertebrae). Everyday stressors, seemingly minor injuries or major trauma can cause these bones to lose their normal position. When these vertebrae lose their normal position or motion, they can irritate the nervous system disrupting the function of the tissues or organs these nerves control. This sets off a chain reaction affecting the spinal bones, nerves, muscles and soft tissues. The result is inflammation, swelling and degeneration of the body. Chiropractic restores and maintains normal structural, joint, muscle and nervous system function. Doctors of Chiropractic are specialists in the detection, reduction, and prevention of nervous system interferences.

The Art:
The Chiropractic adjustment refers to hundreds of noninvasive ways of using carefully directed and controlled pressure to restore joints to improved motion. When spinal function is enhanced, nervous system function (health) is restored. During their years of education and training, Chiropractic doctors become experts at applying the right amount of force in the right direction. The Chiropractic Adjustment may require a quick movement or, in other instances, a slow and constant pressure. Chiropractic is truly an art.

The Philosophy:
Chiropractic doctors recognize that regardless of the type of doctor you consult, doctors, drugs and surgeries don't heal; only the body can heal itself. So, your Chiropractic doctor's main purpose is to remove or reduce interference to your natural healing ability.

Chiropractic care is safer than back surgery, muscle relaxers and even aspirin! So safe, even newborns can receive chiropractic adjustments. Many lengthy studies have been conducted proving the efficacy and safety of chiropractic care. Most notably are the Canadian Manga Report, US Department of Health Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) Report and the New Zealand Report.  Their combined conclusions are:

  • Spinal manual therapy in the hands of a registered chiropractor is safe
  • Chiropractors are the only health practitioners who are necessarily equipped by their education and training to carry out spinal manual therapy (spinal adjustments)
  • Chiropractors carry out spinal diagnosis and therapy at a sophisticated and refined level
  • Conservative treatment such as spinal manipulation should be pursued in most cases before considering surgical intervention
  • The duration and training of a registered chiropractor are sufficient to enable him/her to determine whether there are contraindications to spinal manual therapy in a particular case, and whether that patient should have medical care instead of, or as well as, chiropractic care
  • Prescription drugs such as oral steroids, antidepressant medications and colchicine are not recommended for acute low back problems
  • There is no clinical or case-control study that demonstrates or even implies that chiropractic spinal manipulation is unsafe
  • Chiropractic management is greatly superior to medical management in terms of scientific validity, safety, cost-effectiveness and patient satisfaction
  • Spinal manipulations are less safe and less effective when performed by non-Doctors of Chiropractic

Chiropractors complete an extensive education before receiving their Doctorate Degree in Chiropractic (D.C.).The collegiate agenda is as follows:

  • Graduate from a four year college with at least 2 years focused on the sciences
  • Four years Chiropractic Education
  • Clinic internship
  • Minimum 900 hours supervised work in a Chiropractic Clinic
  • The chiropractic physician must pass four levels of national board exams and a physical therapy exam to be eligible to sit for state board examinations.
  • State board exams involve both written examination and oral practical exams involving clinical practice and x-ray interpretation.

After graduation, the DC may undergo postgraduate training to become board certified as a chiropractic radiologist, neurologist, orthopedist, internist, family practitioner, sports physician, rehabilitation specialist, clinical nutritionist, or pain management specialist

Chiropractic physicians are required to obtain continuing education units each year for license renewal.

Educational Comparison of DCs and MDs 
This comparison chart is based on the review of curriculum catalogues from 11 chiropractic colleges and 22 medical schools in the United States.

Minimum Required Hours

Chiropractic College


Medical School





























OB / Gyn






Total Hours for Degree



The Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low-Back Pain (The Manga Report). Pran Manga and Associates (1993) - University of Ottawa, Canada.

Acute Low Back Problems in Adults. Clinical Practice Guidelines. Bigos S, et al. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research Publication No. 950642 (1994) - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

New Zealand Report. Hasselberg PD. Government Printer, Wellington - 1979.         
Altern Ther Health Med. 1998 (Sep); 4 (5):  64–75 Coulter I, Adams A, Coggan P, Wilkes M, Gonyea M

Chapman-Smith, D., The Chiropractic Report, Vol. 2, No. 3, March, 1988.

Gray, Henry, Gray's Anatomy; Anatomy of the Human Body, 30th edition, Lea and Febiger, edited by Charles Mayo Gross, M.D., Philadelphia, 1985.

Haldeman, S., D.C., M.D., Modern Development in the Principles and Practice of Chiropractic, Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1980.

Leach, R., The Chiropractic Theories; A Synopsis of Scientific Research, 2nd edition, Williams and Wilkins, 1986.

Netter, Ciba Collections: The Nervous System, Volume 1, Part 1, Anatomy and Physiology, 1986.

Walton, L., M.D., Essentials of Neurology, 6th edition, W. B. Saunders, 1989.

Wallace, R. Biology, The World of Life, 4th Edition, Scott Foresman, 1987.

Moore, K. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 3rd Edition, W.B. Saunders Co., 1982.

Gray, Henry, Gray's Anatomy: Anatomy of the Human Body, 30th Edition, Lea and Gebiger, edited by Charles Mayo Gross, M.D., Philadelphia, 1989.

Chusid, M. Correlative Neuro Anatomy and Functional Neurology, 9th Edition, Lange Medical Publication, 1982.

Selye, Hans, M.D., The Stresses of Life, McGraw-Hill, 1984.

Lewitt, K. MUDr., Doc. DSC, Manipulative Therapy in Rehabilitation of the Motor Sysem, Butterworth, 1987.

Kirkaldy-Willis, W., M.D., Managing Low Back Pain, 3rd Edition, Churchill, Livingstone, 1993.

Hosek, et. al., Cervical Manipulation, American Medical Association Journal, March 8. 1991.

Langman, M.J., Ulcer Complications and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, American Journal of Medicine, February 22, 1988.


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