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Chiropractors diagnose and treat patients, usually with manipulation, with health problems associated with the neuro-musculo-skeletal system. It is believed that interference with this system impairs the normal functions of the body and lowers its resistance to disease.

Chiropractors first take their patients' medical histories. Diet, exercise, lifestyle and hereditary factors are considered when diagnosing and treating dysfunctions and imbalances of the nervous, skeletal and muscular systems.

They examine the patient physically, sometimes using x-rays. Spinal analysis and neurological tests are essential components in the treatment of patients.

Chiropractors treat patients primarily by manual manipulation or adjustment of parts of the body, especially the spinal column. Some use adjunctive therapies such as acupuncture and ultrasound and often they prescribe diets, supports, exercise and rest.

This approach to healing is holistic, so chiropractors do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery. They will, if necessary, refer a patient to another medical practitioner.

Satisfying Aspects
- successful relief of pain
- helping people to realize a healthy lifestyle

Demanding aspects
- working long hours
- trying to accommodate patients at all times can be stressful

A chiropractor should:
- be a keen observer in order to detect physical abnormalities
- have hand dexterity to perform manipulations
- be sympathetic to patients who are in pain
- be able to work independently
- be responsible
- like to work with details
- be healthy and relatively strong
- be willing to undergo a selection procedure

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences
Recommended Subjects: Life Sciences

Diploma: UJ, DUT

It takes 5 years to qualify as a chiropractor:
3 years of traditional medical subjects with emphasis on diagnostic skills
2 years of training to learn the clinical skills needed to manipulate or adjust the spine and other articulations.

During the fifth year of study, students have contact with patients and are required to complete specified training programmes, including a certain number of hours in a clinic.

To practise and to enjoy full professional status, qualified chiropractors need to register with the South African Chiropractic, Homoeopathic, and Allied Health Services Council.

- universities of technology - research and lecturing
- self-employment, in private practice

Chiropractic Association of SA      
P O Box 706
Bethlehem, 9700
Tel: (058) 303-4571