Can Chiropractors Prescribe Medication?

Can Chiropractors prescribe medication is the continuation to are chiropractors doctors? In the previous post, I discussed the schooling and educational requirements to be a chiropractor.  Can chiropractors prescribe medication will look at the rights and controlled acts a chiropractor can perform, including the ability to prescribe medication.

Can Chiropractors Prescribe Medication?

No, prescribing medication is not within the scope of practice for chiropractors in Canada. In Switzerland, chiropractors have had the right to prescribe medication since 1995. Chiropractors in Switzerland feel that this has lead to improved patient care and a decreased burden on the healthcare system.

New Mexico, was one of the first states in the U.S to permit chiropractors who received additional training the ability to prescribe a reduced number of medications.

The advanced rights of chiropractors in other countries has lead to a growing voice in the chiropractic profession in Canada to petition for rights to a limited number of medications; such as, muscle relaxants, NSAIDs and some pain medication.

The ability to prescribe medication would help the chiropractic profession integrate better into the healthcare system. It would also increase our ability to manage more complex low back pain, neck pain and headaches.

If you are looking for Headache Treatment in Kitchener, then contact our Chiropractic clinic. We have many options to treat headaches, including: soft tissue therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments and more.

Can Chiropractors Order MRI in Ontario

Allowing chiropractors to order MRI in Ontario is something that the Ontario Chiropractic Association and Canadian Chiropractic Association have lobbied for years. However, it does not appear that chiropractors will be able to order MRI in Ontario anytime soon.

Chiropractors Will Soon be Able to Send Patients For Blood Test and Diagnostic Ultrasound

Although it appears that chiropractors will not have the right to order MRI anytime soon, our rights are still expanding. Last year the Ministry of Health and Long-Term care (MOHLTC) announced in 2017, that chiropractors in Ontario will soon have the rights to send patients for blood tests and diagnostic ultrasound.

What Can a Chiropractor do? (Authorized Acts under RHPA)

According the RHPA 1991, chiropractors in Ontario have the rights to perform a couple controlled acts.

  1. The first controlled act is the right to communicate a diagnosis that is the cause of a person’s symptoms as it pertains to,
    • disorder of the spine (structural or functional) and the effects on the nervous system, or
    • disorder of the joints of the extremities (structural or functional).
  2. The second controlled act is the ability to perform a spinal manipulation through the application of a high velocity, low amplitude thrust.
  3. The third controlled act permits a chiropractor to manipulate the tailbone. A coccyx adjustment is done internally and requires placing a finger beyond the anal verge.

In addition to the controlled acts in the RHPA. Each provincial government in Canada allows chiropractors the right to take and interpret x-rays. Chiropractors can give a diagnosis based on the findings of the x-ray, as long as it relates to controlled act 1 of the RHPA. Chiropractors are also allowed to practice acupuncture.

For our profession to expand and grow, chiropractors need to increase the scope of our practice to include the right to prescribe medication (limited). As well as the right for chiropractors to order MRI and other advanced imaging. However, in order to gain these rights, I believe we need to shed our theory based origins and adopt a more evidenced based approach.

If you have any questions on the information presented in this article or to book an appointment with Dr. Dixon please contact us at info@sportsrehabandwellness.