Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

Ontario Chiropractic Association reports on PT scope of practice document

September 11, 2008
By Maria DiDanieli

September 11, 2008 – Toronto – The Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA) has released its report in support of the proposed increase in scope of practice for physiotherapy (PT) in the province, noting that a similar review of scope of practice for chiropractic would increase the profession's role in healthcare in Ontario.

The current definition of the physiotherapy scope of
practice is:

“The practice of physiotherapy is the assessment of physical
function and the treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention of physical
dysfunction, injury or pain, to develop, maintain, rehabilitate, or augment
function or to relieve pain.”


Physiotherapists in Ontario are proposing to amend this definition to include the following:

“The practice of physiotherapy is the assessment of neuromuscular,
musculoskeletal and cardiorespiratory systems to:

1)      diagnose,
treat and prevent disorders or diseases that cause, or are associated with, physical
dysfunction and/or pain;

2)      develop,
maintain, rehabilitate or augment function;

3)      relieve
pain; or

4)      promote
mobility and health.”


The most significant of these proposals is the allowance for
physiotherapists to diagnose.  This is
expanded upon, in the physiotherapy scope of practice review submission to the Health
Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC), to involve the ability to
order various laboratory tests – including X-rays, MRI, blood work and
electroneurodiagnostic procedures – administer oxygen and other substances,
aspects of wound management, and various manual application points in the
pelvic area for therapeutic purposes.

The OCA has agreed that physiotherapists in Ontario should be able
to perform these functions, and the manipulative procedures that are defined through
them but has pointed out that the scope of practice for chiropractors should
also be reviewed with respect to various aspects of this report.

The OCA document states:
“The OCA respectfully requests that when it reports to the
Minister with recommendations concerning the scope of practice for
physiotherapy, HPRAC should comment on the advisability of considering an
equivalent change to other relevant scopes of practice, specifically including
the scope of practice of chiropractic.”

To view the full OCA report, please go to:

To view the full Ontario physiotherapists' report, please go to: