What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the nervous system and general health.

The word chiropractic, from the Greek words praxis and cheir, means practice or treatment by hand.

Origin and Professional Organisation

The profession was founded in the U.S. in 1895 and is now established in over 70 countries. It is the third largest health profession in the world after only medicine and dentistry. The professional body in Australia is the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA). It is a member of the World Federation of Chiropractic, which is in official relations with the World Health Organization. All chiropractors of Shirley Rd Chiropractic are members of the CAA.

Education and Licensure

In Australia there is a minimum of 5 years full-time university-level education which includes a 3 year Bachelor program and then a 2 year postgraduate Masters. Undergraduate study includes majors in Anatomy and the Neurosciences. Independent government and medical studies in the U.S.1,2 Sweden3 and New Zealand4 have concluded that chiropractic education is the equivalent of medical education in all of the basic sciences.

Continuing education is necessary to continue to remain registered and an active member of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia.

Licensing Laws

The practice of chiropractic is now recognised and regulated by law. Features of these laws are primary care (i.e. the right of a patient to consult a chiropractor directly), and the right and duty to perform a diagnosis. Diagnosis includes the right to use X-ray.



  1. Dvorak, J. (1993) Manual medicine in the United States and Europe in the year 1982. Man. Med. p3-9.
  2. Curtis, P. & Bove, G. (1992) Family physicians, chiropractors and back pain. J. Fam. Pract. 35: 551-555.
  3. Commission on alternative medicine, (1987) Social Departementete,’ Legitimisation for Vissa Kiropraktorer, Stockholm, SOU (English Summary) 12: 13-16.
  4. Hasselberg, P.D. (1979) Chiropractic in New Zealand, Report of Commission of Inquiry. Wellington, New Zealand: Government Printer. 130-1198.