Frequently asked questions
If I see a chiropractor, do I have to keep coming in regularly?
It’s up to you!
The goal of treatment is to relieve your condition as quickly as possible so you can return to normal activities. This usually takes more than one visit and depends on a number of factors:
- Type of injury
- Severity of symptoms
- Duration of symptoms (long-term problems take longer to heal)
- Age and overall health.
Once the initial problem has resolved, many patients find that regular visits help to keep them pain-free and able to do the things they enjoy. Others with more chronic conditions find that their pain/stiffness can be managed with chiropractic care to prevent it from getting worse. I can recommend a treatment plan based on your needs, but the decision to continue chiropractic care is always up to you.
What kind of education/licensing does a chiropractor have?
Becoming a chiropractor requires a minimum of 4,500 hours of intense academic study at an accredited chiropractic college. This includes classroom learning, clinical science and internship training. During the course of training, the focus is on the following three areas:
- Basic sciences, including anatomy, physiology, pathology of the study of disease, biochemistry, nutrition, clinical sciences, and X-ray diagnosis.
- Specialized training in the practice of chiropractic.
- Clinical internship with emphasis on hands-on practice and research.
Prior to applying for admission to the 4-year chiropractic program, an individual must have completed at least 3 years of undergraduate study at a university or college. And before a chiropractor is licensed to practice, he or she must pass rigorous licensing board examinations at the national and provincial levels.
Is chiropractic safe?
Every health procedure, from taking aspirin to giving blood, involves some level of risk. Chiropractic adjustments are among the safest of all health care interventions because they are non-surgical, drug-free and present an extremely low risk of complications. Specific health conditions and patient preference will be taken into account when choosing the type of chiropractic treatment given to any patient.
Is chiropractic covered by my provincial health plan?
B.C. Medical Services Plan (MSP) does not cover chiropractic in most cases.
- Some lower-income patients may qualify for partial coverage under the Supplementary Benefits program. This gives partial coverage for up to 10 visits per calendar year. If eligible, you need to actively apply for this benefit through the Medical Services Plan of BC.
- Many private health plans offered through employers and universities/colleges will pay for chiropractic care.
- If you are injured at work, you are covered through Worksafe BC. No referral is needed.
- If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, ICBC automatically pre-approves you for 25 chiropractic treatments within 12 weeks of the accident. No referral is needed.
Do I need a referral from a medical doctor?
No. Chiropractors are primary care practitioners, with no referral necessary. If your symptoms and physical examination findings indicate that chiropractic care is not appropriate or helpful, you’ll be referred to your family physician for further evaluation.
For more information about chiropractic: