After participating in an undergraduate university program for at least three years, a Doctor of Chiropractic spends another four years at an accredited chiropractic college, receiving more than 4,200 hours of specialized clinical training. The chiropractic curriculum at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, in Toronto, includes studies in anatomy, pathology, biomechanics, radiology, chiropractic principles, diagnosis and adjustment techniques.  

As primary care practitioners, chiropractors can develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment / management plan, recommend therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies, and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counselling. Chiropractors are one of only seven classes of health care professionals in Ontario that are able to use the title Doctor, with its accompanying rights and obligations.   

Chiropractors work in a variety of settings such as private practice, family health teams, hospitals, universities and many more. Healthcare teams, comprising of a group of professionals, can improve the quality of patient care and safety while reducing overall costs and workload on individual providers. Chiropractors work complementarily with other healthcare providers, including (but not limited to): medical doctors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, naturopathic doctors, social workers, psychologists, nurses, dentists, dieticians etc. Partnering with other healthcare professionals can build a strong network of resources that will benefit patients.  

Chiropractic is regulated by provincial statute. Each province has a regulatory college, established by legislation in the same manner and with the same structure and similar regulations as the regulatory bodies for other health care professions. Regulatory colleges are responsible for protecting the public, setting standards of practice, assuring quality of care is maintained, evaluating and promoting competency and handling disciplinary issues. Ontario’s chiropractors are regulated and licensed by the College of Chiropractors of Ontario.
The scope of practice of chiropractic in Ontario is defined in the Chiropractic Act, 1991 as follows: The practice of chiropractic is the assessment of conditions related to the spine, nervous system and joints and the diagnosis, prevention and treatment, primarily by adjustment, of:

(a) dysfunctions or disorders arising from the structures or functions of the spine and the effects of those dysfunctions or disorders on the nervous system; and

(b) dysfunctions or disorders arising from the structures or functions of the joints.

Chiropractors practise within the scope of practice to examine, diagnose and provide care to patients with a variety of health concerns related to the spine and joints and the effect on the nervous system, such as low back, shoulder and knee pain, sports injuries, and overall wellness care. Chiropractors focus on patient-centred care, use manual therapies, and often work in collaboration with other regulated health professionals.

Your chiropractor may be treating your back pain, neck pain, headache, or other aches and pains, but she needs a complete picture of your health history and overall current health in order to provide the best possible treatment for you. On your first visit, Dr. Macfarlane may ask about the following:

  • What brought you to see the chiropractor
  • How your condition is affecting you, and what are you trying to achieve by seeing a chiropractor
  • Personal and family medical history
  • Major illnesses you have experienced
  • Surgeries or operations you have had
  • Medications you are taking
  • A description of your present condition
  • The steps you have taken to manage your condition
  • Your diet and exercise
  • Your sleeping habits, daily activities, work routine, stress level, and home life
It is a good idea to wear comfortable clothes and shoes for your visit to the chiropractor. Your chiropractor may perform some of these tests:

  • A test of your reflexes, strength and sensations
  • Orthopedic tests
  • An analysis of your posture
  • An analysis of your movement — she will observe how you walk, turn, bend or lift things, as well as how your body moves in the affected area
  • A hands-on evaluation of how well your spine moves, identifying restrictions and improper movement
Tip: Bring a copy of any X-rays or radiology reports you have. These assessments give your chiropractor a better picture of your complete health. She will make a diagnosis, prescribe a course of treatment, and once the matter of informed consent has been discussed, treatment usually begins if appropriate.

Dr. Macfarlane will recommend a course of treatment specific to you that may include a variety of techniques. If Dr. Macfarlane diagnoses a condition more appropriately treated by another health care professional, she will make a referral.
  • Chiropractic adjustments and/or mobilizations of the joints; instrument assisted adjustments-Activator technique
  • Medical Acupuncture
  • Soft tissue therapy including: myofascial release (Dr. Macfarlane has taken Active Release Technique  courses), Fascial Distortion release, and Trigger Point Therapy.
  • Integrated Manual Therapy
  • Prescription of therapeutic exercises
  • Passive stretching and Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation
  • Electrotherapy: Micropoint current stimulation and Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Custom made foot orthotics
  • Custom compression stockings
  • Ergonomic Assessments upon special request
  • Nutritional counselling
  • Posture and lifestyle recommendations
Extended Health Care (EHC) plans are also sometimes called supplementary health or supplementary medical plans. Their purpose is to supplement provincial health. There are two basic types of Extended Health Care plans: group and individual. The most common type of EHC coverage in Canada is provided through workplace group benefits programs arranged by employers, unions and trade and professional associations.

Chiropractic care is covered under many EHC plans as a paramedical service. If you and your family have extended health care coverage through an employee benefits plan, it’s very likely that plan covers chiropractic care. It is recommended that you check with your insurance provider for your specific coverage for chiropractic care.

At Lincoln in Touch, Dr. Macfarlane can direct bill a variety of insurance providers depending on your specific plan details including the following insurers: Bluecross, CINUP, Chamber of Commerce Group Insurance, Cowan, Desjardins, First Canadian, Greenshield, Great West Life, Grouphealth, Groupsource, Industrial Alliance, Johnson, Manion, Manulife, Maximum Benefit, and Sunlife Financial.
If you do not have an EHC plan, Dr. Macfarlane can provide you with a statement for treatment that you may claim on your income taxes under paramedical services.