What Does A Chiropractor Do?

March 4, 2015

Students learning clinical procedures from their hospital mentorsA Chiropractor is a primary healthcare professional who specialises in the diagnoses, prevention and treatment of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system. The main aim of chiropractic treatment is to alleviate pain, increase mobility and help patients regain full health and movement.



Chiropractors use their hands to apply a specific amount of pressure to adjust the bones of the body. They treat acute and chronic conditions related to joints and muscles mainly of the back, neck and shoulder. They also treat posture related issues and sports injuries. Chiropractors often work alongside other healthcare professionals in order to design effective treatment plans that will help patients lead a better quality of life through a natural healing process.

Inside A Chiropractor’s Clinic

A typical chiropractic consultation will include the following:

  • Conducting a thorough physical examination of the patient along with their medical history
  • Checking blood pressure, taking X-rays and performing other medical tests
  • Establishing an appropriate treatment plan for the patient
  • Performing joint adjustments along with soft-tissue therapies using hands or various specialist equipment
  • Drafting a detailed management plan for the patient
  • Educating patients and advising them on rehabilitation exercises and lifestyle changes to aid long-term recovery

Education & Training Required

In order to become a qualified chiropractor in Australia, it is important to enrol in an accredited training programme. This training consists of a five year degree from a recognised university that will either give you a five year Bachelor in Chiropractic degree or a three year bachelor’s degree followed by a two year master’s degree.

There are currently only 4 universities in Australia that offer a chiropractic degree – Macquarie University in NSW, Central Queensland University in QLD, Murdoch University in WA and RMIT University in VIC.

During your training programme, you will be taught how to diagnose and treat various musculoskeletal problems using manipulative skills such as spinal adjustment, soft-tissue manipulation and other advanced techniques. Specialised training is also given in fields like physiology, pathology and anatomy. Final year students undergo practical training in the field. Students are also taught various aspects of wellness training so that they understand the needs of the lifestyle of the particular patient.

Once you’ve obtained your degree, you are considered a qualified Chiropractor. To keep your qualification valid, you will need to undergo a specified number of hours as part of your Continued Professional Development (CPD) training every year. This training helps you stay up to date on the latest developments in your field.While the majority of professionals work on a generic basis, treating a diverse range of patients and conditions, you can choose to develop more specialist knowledge and skills in various fields including paediatrics, orthopaedics and rehabilitation and sports injuries.

Career Path for a Chiropractor

There are a number of career opportunities once you become a qualified Chiropractor. You may decide to work as an associate for established chiropractors in private practices or you could work in hospitals or other public healthcare facilities. It is also possible for young chiropractors to start their own practice. While some may set up their own independent clinics, others prefer to start a joint establishment with other partners. These partners could either be other chiropractors or they could be healthcare professionals who are qualified in different fields.