A myth is a widely held but false belief or idea. There can be myths around almost anything, including myths about Canadians (e.g., we all live in igloos). Myths can be misunderstandings or just a misrepresented history of a person or thing.

Over the years, myths about chiropractic have developed and they can cause confusion for those who are unfamiliar with chiropractic care. Here is a look at common myths about chiropractic and the facts that can help dispel them.

Myth:     Chiropractors aren’t real doctors.
FACT:     Health care legislation recognizes Doctors of Chiropractic as legitimate doctors.

Doctors of chiropractic (chiropractors) are recognized and regulated under the same Health Professions Act in Alberta as medical doctors, dentists and optometrists. Under the Health Professions Act, only specific health professionals are permitted to call themselves doctors.

Myth:     Chiropractors don’t have real education or training.
FACT:     To receive a degree in chiropractic, chiropractors complete a minimum of seven years of accredited, post-secondary education and participate in supervised clinical training during their last two years. 

Further to the formal education component, to get a license to practice in Alberta, doctors of chiropractic must pass stringent national competency exams. To keep an active licence, Alberta chiropractors must continue to attend seminars or complete classes to maintain clinical competency, as do other regulated health care professions in Alberta.

Myth:     Once you see a chiropractor you have to keep going back.
FACT:     Chiropractors provide a diagnosis and treatment plan specific to you, but it is always your choice to go for treatment.

Treatment for each person is determined based on their health needs. Some patients report feeling better after one treatment, but many require a longer treatment plan to actually resolve the issue, which is not unlike needing to take more than one antibiotic pill when you have an infection.

Some chiropractic patients prefer to see their chiropractor regularly, on a preventive basis, to make sure their body continues to function as well as possible. There are also chronic conditions that may benefit from ongoing care to alleviate the severity of related symptoms, but it is always your decision how often you go for treatment.

Myth:     Chiropractors don’t have to follow any standards or rules.
FACT:     Chiropractors are regulated under the same legislation for standards as other health professions including medical doctors, dentists and optometrists.

The Health Professions Act ensures all regulated health care providers in Alberta:

  • are educated and trained properly
  • practice within a defined scope of practice
  • adhere to strict standards of practice
  • hold liability protection/coverage
  • meet competency standards
  • are accountable to a regulatory organization (like the ACAC)

The ACAC is entrusted with ensuring that the requirements set by government for all chiropractors are met. To be a chiropractor in Alberta, you must be a member, in good standing, with the ACAC.

Since more than half of Albertans have seen a chiropractor for treatment, the facts around chiropractic are beginning to become more well known that the myths.

If you have any questions about how chiropractic can help you, or to discuss any of these facts, please consult a chiropractor.