ON Chiropractic Spring/Summer 2013 - Page 26

FEATURE STORY CHIROPRACTIC IN ONTARIO: A Global Perspective T he World Health Organization’s (WHO) Office of Traditional and Complementary Medicine is in the process of preparing a new 10-year strategy. As part of the preparation of that strategy, the WHO sought submissions on the current state of several professions, including chiropractic. In December 2012, the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) submitted its report detailing the state of play in this profession. The report included encouraging news. For instance, the profession has grown around the world. The current estimate puts the number of practicing chiropractors at approaching 100,000. For context, the number of chiropractors operating in Brazil 15 years ago was three. Today that number is over 700. An increase of over 4,500% More significantly, though, the global state of chiropractors’ scope of practice has evolved. David Chapman-Smith, the Secretary-General of WFC, reported that skilled manual therapy is now widely accepted around the globe as part of the core of non-acute spinal and low back pain management, along with education and exercise. Mr. Chapman-Smith also reported that “chiropractic is the leading discipline internationally in a manual approach to health care.” T 26 his expansion of the roster and scope of chiropractors is based on a variety of factors. Education SPRING/SUMMER 2013 Who are Ontario chiropractors? Many of the words used to describe the typical Canuck apply. Chiropractors are often unpretentious and understated. They prefer to allow their work to speak for itself. In this story we will highlight some of what Ontario’s chiropractors have accomplished and what is on the horizon. is among the primary contributing factors to that growth. As the WFC report outlines, common international standards of education have been achieved through a network of international accrediting agencies. These standards include entrance requirements, minimum courses of study, mandatory clinical training and licensing examinations. In 1990, there were a handful of institutions that offered chiropractic training. Today there are 41 programs in 16 countries. Research is another area where chiropractic has enjoyed recent successes. As reported to the WHO, a number of international, evidence-based clinical practice guidelines have endorsed the chiropractic approach. Also cited is a Canadian randomized controlled trial that found that chiropractic care can be more effective and cost-effective than usual medical care in the treatment of low back pain. Research projects into patient satisfaction and the cost-effectiveness of chiropractic care are also coming to the fore. A 2004 study of California data demonstrated that the cost of HMO plan members that had chiropractic coverage in addition to standard medical were lower than members that had medical coverage only. A third area of achievement for chiropractic is in respect to acceptance and collaboration with government funded health systems. Over the \