Frequently Asked Questions
How does chiropractic care work?
Chiropractic helps to remove postural imbalances and structural misalignments that can accumulate in our bodies over time. Our spines change and develop problems just like our teeth, eyes and heart. Left unchecked, these changes may lead to pain, stiffness or other more serious problems.
The nervous system is a key part of your body. It is the communication system between your brain and all of your body’s muscles, organs and tissues. For your body to remain healthy, your nervous system must function well. For your nervous system to function well, it must be free of interference. The spine is the most common site of nervous interference because nerves travel from the spinal cord through openings on either side of the spine to get to all of your cells and organs.
Each of us is born with the ability to heal and recover from illness. Our bruises heal, cuts mend and common colds are overcome. Your nervous system regulates this inborn healing ability.
Think of your brain as a central command post sending and receiving information through telephone wires (your nerves), which branch out to connect all areas of a city (your body). A short circuit in a wire cuts off communication just like misalignments in your spine can put pressure on the nerves. This pressure interferes with your nervous system, affects your ability to self-heal and may prolong injury or illness.
The customized care you receive from your chiropractor can help to improve your posture, muscle balance and mobility. It can also restore the integrity of your nervous system and get rid of pain quickly, so you can get back to feeling good today!
Is chiropractic effective?
Yes. Chiropractic care is safe and effective. Scientific evidence proving that chiropractic care works is overwhelming. Over the past 20 years, many controlled and independent research studies have shown again and again that chiropractic care is safe and effective for treating low back pain, neck pain, headaches and other conditions relating to the spine. Based on these scientific studies, the consensus is that chiropractic care is the treatment of choice for most spinal problems. The extent to which a person can benefit from care varies depending on their problem and how long it has existed.
Do many people see chiropractors?
The non-surgical, drug-free healing nature of chiropractic provides benefit to the health of millions of other people worldwide each year. Most chiropractic patients experience real relief and improved general well being, and continue to make regular visits a part of their healthy lifestyle choice.
Why should I see a Chiropractor?
From professional athletes to homemakers, engineers to electricians, young people to seniors, chiropractic care has been the answer to optimum health. Many people see a chiropractor for back, neck or other joint problems. Still others find that regular visits to their chiropractor keep them in peak condition.
Regularly a dentist checks our teeth, an optometrist checks our eyes and a doctor checks our blood pressure and heart. Yet, we take the spine – a crucial component of our body – for granted. Call your family’s chiropractor today because regular checkups of your spine can help you maintain better health.
What is Subluxation?
A subluxation – short for Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC) – is an abnormal condition commonly involving several vertebrae. It occurs when vertebrae in your spine lose their normal position and/or motion.
Subluxations most often occur in response to the daily stresses placed on our bodies. Common things such as emotional stress, poor posture from sitting in front of a computer or standing at a workstation for a long time may lead to subluxations. Car accidents, improper lifting or work injuries are other common causes of VSC.
Many health problems, including subluxations, are subtle in the early stages of development. In the same way that a cavity or heart problem can be overlooked before causing pain or other warning signs, a spinal problem may develop and exist for years before causing difficulties.
To detect the possible onset of a VSC, your chiropractor will conduct a thorough examination, including a detailed history, orthopaedic, neurological and postural evaluations, and possibly an X-ray (radiographs) if he or she deems these to be necessary to fully assess your condition.
Your chiropractor is uniquely qualified to recognize and diagnose spine related injuries. He or she is the only Doctor with specialized training to correct spinal problems and their multiple effects.
What is a chiropractic adjustment? Is it safe?
An adjustment is the main method of treatment used by your chiropractor. It is a specialized, controlled and safe pressure applied to your spine to restore the proper motion and position of your vertebrae. It is a precise procedure that your highly skilled chiropractor has learned and perfected over years of training at a Chiropractic College and in clinical practice.
Every health procedure, from taking aspirin to giving blood, involves a level of risk. Chiropractic adjustments are among the safest of all health care interventions because they are non-surgical, drug-free and present an extremely low risk. And they work!
What can I expect from my visit to a chiropractor?
As a licensed practitioner, it is the duty of your chiropractor to do the following:
- A thorough review of your specific problem is conducted, including relevant past history and overall health.
- You will be asked to perform physical tests and movements to help identify the problem.
- In certain situations, an X-ray may be used to confirm the history and examination findings and to investigate for the presence of any underlying bone conditions or pathological developments.
- A diagnosis is made, with treatment options for its resolution outlined. If it is, a plan of treatment is communicated. If it is not a chiropractic problem, an appropriate referral is arranged.
- A prognosis is made, taking into account your general health habits, occupation, stress and activity levels.
- Your response to treatment is monitored by your chiropractor, who looks for an improvement to your specific condition, as well as for changes in your overall health. Two of the basic components of chiropractic care are wellness and prevention. Utilization of exercises, along with nutrition and lifestyle modifications may also be suggested to improve your overall well-being and promote active, patient-centered care.
What results can I expect from treatment?
That depends on your condition. The length of time you have had the problem, your age and the degree of your disability all affect the length of your treatment. Your Doctor of Chiropractic should be able to give you an estimate of the extent of relief you should receive from the recommended treatment and how long you can expect it to last. One of the main reasons people choose chiropractic is that they often get quick results. Individual cases vary and chronic conditions obviously need more treatment. However, Workers’ Compensation Board studies show that people with low back pain return to work much faster with chiropractic care.
How long do Doctors of Chiropractic go to school?
Today’s graduating Doctors of Chiropractic have studied and trained in a post-secondary college or university for at least seven years. Just like medical or dental students, they must first complete undergraduate study before applying for admission to a chiropractic college.
Becoming a chiropractor is a demanding and highly rewarding path that includes a minimum of 4,500 hours of intense academic study including classroom learning, clinical science and internship training. During the course of their training, he/she will have studied the following three areas:
— Basic sciences, including anatomy, physiology, pathology (the study of diseases), biochemistry, clinical sciences, X-ray interpretation and differential diagnosis.
— Training in the philosophy and practice of chiropractic.
— Clinical internship with emphasis on hands-on practice.
Your chiropractor is a primary contact provider just like your family physician, optometrist or dentist. You do not need a referral from your medical doctor to see a chiropractor.