The term "chiropractic" comes from the Greek words, cheir, which means hand, and praxis, which means practice or done by hand. Chiropractic treatment involves manual manipulation of the spine designed to restore neurological and biomechanical function. The philosophy focuses on the relationship of the spinal column to the nervous system and the role of the spinal column in the biomechanics of the body and movement.

A specific force applied in a specific direction to a specific vertebra characterizes an adjustment. Adjustments are high-velocity procedures designed to deliver maximal force with little to no tissue damage. By restoring normal movement, and subsequently neurological function, patients have decreased musculoskeletal pain, increased flexibility, increased performance and an increased sense of well-being. As the specificity of angle, thrust, and anatomical contact points is critical, a qualified doctor trained in veterinary chiropractic should only administer chiropractic care.
As with most holistic modalities, chiropractic assists the body in maintaining balance by stimulating the body's inherent ability to recuperate. Chiropractic treatment is often combined with acupuncture or homeopathy treatments to enhance the outcome.