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Canadians and Chiropractic

From a June 4, 2007 news brief published by Media in Canada comes an article that examines the growing use of Chiropractic care by Canadians. This report follows a study released by an independent research organization, The Fraser Institute, that more than half of all Canadians in 2006 were using some form of what that study called, "alternative medicine".

The Media in Canada article noted that 3.6 million (13%) of Canadians have visited a chiropractor in the past 6 months. They also reported that Canadians who went to a Chiropractor were 4 times more likely to have also visited a homeopath or naturopath in the past 6 months. Looking at the demographics this article explained that Canadians who go to Chiropractors were 40% more likely to live in the prairies and 45% less likely to live in Atlantic Canada than the average Canadian.

The report by The Fraser Institute took a broader view and look at Canadians usage of non medical forms of healthcare. This report was based on a survey in 2006 which was compared to a similar one done in 1997. This report showed that 54 per cent of those responding to the survey used at least one form of alternative or complementary therapy in the prior year. This represented a 4% increase over the 1997 survey. Nadeem Esmail, the Fraser Institute's Director of Health System Performance and author of the report commented, "This increased use of alternative therapies is another indicator of Canadians' desire to have more choice and control over their health care options."

The Frazier Institute study noted one interesting fact that most alternative and complementary treatments are not covered by government health insurance plans, yet a large number of people choose those options. In response to this finding Nadeem Esmail, commented, "When it comes to health and well-being, a significant number of Canadians are willing to spend their own money."

The Media in Canada article added some interesting information about Canadians who utilize chiropractic showing their general interest in health. They also noted that Chiropractors' patients are 2.5 times more likely to have used a smoking cessation patch or gum in the past 30 days than average Canadians. They also noted that Canadians who have visited a chiropractor are 2.6 times more likely to own orthopedic supports and/or braces as average Canadians.