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1. What is chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a healing discipline firmly grounded in science. Chiropractors use various diagnostic methods, including x-rays, to understand the state of your health, paying particular attention to your spine and bone structure. The profession specific terminology of “adjustment” involves the spine as one of the primary procedures of care.

2. How does treatment help?

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 for a long time, these changes may lead to pain, stiffness or other more serious problems. Treatments can also help with pain cause by an interference in the nervous system which connects your brain and all of your body’s muscles, organs and tissues together.

The customized care you receive from your chiropractic doctor may 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 recover and get back to feeling good.

Spine and related chiropractic care is safe and effective. Over the past 20 years, many controlled and independent research studies have shown again and again that chiropractic care is safe and effective for spine and related conditions including low back pain, neck pain, headaches and other conditions relating to the spine. (The extent to which a person can benefit from care varies depending on the type and duration of the problem.)

3. Health Care Utilization?

According to current research, approximately 60% of the BC population recognizes the benefits of care associated with spine and related conditions. The non-surgical, drug-free healing nature of chiropractic provides benefit to the health of millions of people worldwide each year. Most chiropractic patients experience real relief and general well-being and continue to make regular visits a part of their healthy life choice.

4. When should I see chiropractic doctor?

You can see a chiropractor as soon as today!From professional athletes to homemakers, engineers to electricians, youth to seniors, spine and related conditions are responsible for an estimated 1/3 of all daily health care/medicare office visits. Many people see a chiropractic doctor for common back, neck or joint problems, while others may seek relief from the discomfort caused by headaches,or other symptoms. Still others find that regular visits to their chiropractor supports their health promotion.

5. What is a chiropractic visit like?

What is a chiropractic visit like? Initial visits take approximately 30 minutes for a consultation with the chiropractor and treatment. Visits are very similar to what you might expect at any health clinic.

  1. There will be some paperwork to fill out regarding your basic personal information, health history and concerns.
  2. Once in the exam room, your chiropractic doctor will introduce him/herself, review your paperwork and ask further questions about your condition and history.
  3. After all of this information is gathered, your doctor will provide you with a diagnosis. If your doctor suspects that your problem is not caused by the spine, you may be referred to a specialist or other health care provider.
  4. There is an informed consent form to be signed by the patient and chiropractor. Your doctor will discuss the informed consent form with you and request your signature before you continue treatment. Informed consent is about ensuring the patient is clear as to the diagnosis, treatment options and anticipated outcomes of the treatment.
  5. Lastly, you will be given a treatment plan for the weeks that follow your first treatment. If you follow your treatment plan, you should notice a change in your level of pain or mobility. Your Doctor of Chiropractic will review and discuss what you can expect from your treatment.

6. After the first chiropractic visit?

After your visit you may feel some discomfort or fatigue but this is normal and should not last more than 24 hours. Many patients feel relief and increased mobility immediately after treatment while others notice changes more gradually.

7. What is a chiropractic adjustment like?

An adjustment is a calculated force that moves the joint a few millimeters within its normal range of motion. Depending on the type of adjustment, your doctor will ask you to lay on your back, stomach, side or possibly remain in a seated position to receive the treatment.

If you have never experienced an adjustment before it is perfectly normal to feel nervous at first. Trusting your doctor is of the upmost importance so ask as many questions as you require to feel comfortable.

8. Are chiropractors doctors?

Yes, Chiropractors are doctors. Health professionals with the label “doctor” are granted the ability to diagnose patients. The BC Government’s Health Professions Act acknowledges chiropractors as doctors due to their education, experience and skills. As doctors, chiropractors provide evidence-based care to patients.

Individuals who wish to become a chiropractor must complete a minimum of three years of post-secondary education, focusing on organic chemistry, biology and social sciences before applying to an accredited chiropractic college for a further four years of study. The Doctor of Chiropractic degree programs average at 4,500 hours which is comparable, if not greater than the amount of hours required by medical students. In BC, chiropractic doctors who wish to practice must also complete a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education every two years to maintain their expertise and keep them on top of new developments in the healthcare environment.

Chiropractors complete at least 7 years of post-secondary education to become a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC). The College of Chiropractors of BC is the regulatory body that licenses chiropractors in our province and sets standards of practice to protect the public. Are chiropractors doctors? Yes they are and you can see a chiropractor today.

9. What is that noise during an adjustment?

What is that noise during an adjustment? The sound is just an audible release of gases that are compressed between a bone joint, much like the sound you hear when you crack your knuckle. The sound is not caused by bones rubbing together or “cracking.” An adjustment only moves the joint by a few millimetres. Sometimes this noise will appear louder the closer to your ear it is. For example, a neck adjustment will appear much louder than a lower back adjustment simply because of the proximity to your ear.

10. Are chiropractic adjustments safe?

Chiropractic adjustments are safe and in fact a chiropractic treatment is one of the safest forms of treatment. Many studies have already proven the effectiveness and safety of chiropractic care. Serious adverse effects are rare, less than 1 in 10 million treatments. Compared to drugs and pain-killers, this risk is significantly lower.

11. Chiropractic treatment don’t hurt?

Most patients do not report pain from chiropractic treatment. Chiropractic treatments don’t hurt. When patients arrive at the chiropractor’s office in pain, they are more sensitive to whether or not the treatment hurts. In many cases it is the perception of what the adjustment look and sounds like that may give the impression that the treatment is painful. The treatment itself is nothing more than assisting the joint to move in the manner it should.

12. Do chiropractors treat more than back pain?

When people think of the term “back pain” they usually equate this to an ache in the lower back. In reality, this is only one small part of your entire spine which is made up of bones, joints, nerves, muscles and ligaments that run from the base of your skull to the top of your pelvis and even down to your toes. These tissues supply much of the rest of the body and can therefore impact other areas including your shoulders, legs and head. For example: Sciatica is a common condition that is often confused as a leg problem but actually originates in the spine. Even if you don’t have back pain, you could still have a spine problem and Chiropractors treat more than back pain.