Frequently Asked Questions

 

What Is Chiropractic?
When should I see a chiropractor?
What is an adjustment?
Is chiropractic adjustment safe?
What are some of the benefits of chiropractic care?
Does chiropractic care require a referral from an MD?
Can chiropractic care cure other ailments besides back pain?
Does chiropractic care require X-rays?
What kind of education and training do chiropractors have?
Is chiropractic covered by government health plans?
Is chiropractic evidence-based?
Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?

 

What Is Chiropractic?
One of the largest primary-contact health care professions in Ontario, chiropractic is a non-invasive, hands-on health care discipline that focuses on the neuromusculoskeletal system. Almost 2 million patients in Ontario rely on chiropractic care every year to help them live healthy, active lives.

The word “chiropractic” comes from ancient Greek and means “done by hand.” Chiropractors are specialists in manual adjustment of the vertebrae of the spine and other joints. Adjustment of the joints of the body has been used in health care for many centuries and is at the heart of modern chiropractic care. Adjustment helps relieve pain and restore normal functioning to the spine, joints and supporting structures of the body – so you can enjoy your everyday activities again as quickly as possible.

Chiropractors use a combination of treatments, all of which are predicated on the specific needs of the individual patient. After taking a complete history and diagnosing a patient, a chiropractor can develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment/management plan, recommend therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies, and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.

There are many reasons to seek chiropractic care:

Back pain     Strains and sprains
Neck pain     Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
Headache     Work and sports injuries
Whiplash      Limited range of motion in the back, shoulder, neck or limbs
Arthritis        General health and well-being

 

When should I see a chiropractor?
Eight out of ten Canadians will experience back pain at some point in their life, and at least one third of people in Ontario will have back pain at any given time. For many people, the pain can keep them away from work, school or even their day-to-day activities. If pain causes interruptions and restrictions in the activities of your daily life then you should consult a health care provider.

Chiropractors are regulated primary health care professionals, and they are one of only five classes of health care professionals in Ontario that are able to use the title Doctor, with its accompanying rights and obligations.

Chiropractors are highly educated and extensively trained to assess, diagnosis, treat and prevent conditions disorders of the spine, joints, muscle and nervous systems. These disorders may include back pain, neck pain, headaches, referring pain in your arms and legs, etc.

Many patients seek chiropractic treatment for wellness care. Others, like seniors, who find that treatment helps them to maintain mobility and good range of motion. Pain should never become a way of life, especially when there is qualified help available.

There are many reasons to seek chiropractic care: Work, accidents, sports injuries, household chores, even the stress of daily living can cause painful joint and spinal problems. Even if you do not have painful symptoms, chiropractic care can help you maintain healthy spine and joint function.

 

What is an adjustment?
An adjustment is a highly skilled and precise movement usually applied by hand to a joint of the body. Adjustment loosens the joint to restore proper movement and optimize function.

When a joint is adjusted, a gas bubble escapes causing the popping noise you may have heard about.

Chiropractic adjustment techniques have been researched extensively. Complications are rare and side-effects, such as temporary soreness, are usually minor. Your chiropractor is well-trained to determine if your problem will respond to chiropractic care or if you require referral to another health care provider.

 

Is chiropractic adjustment safe?
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest, drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of headache, and neck and back pain. It has an excellent safety record. However, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. Even common over-the-counter medicines carry a risk.

Most patients experience immediate relief following an adjustment, however, some may experience temporary pain, stiffness or slight swelling. Some patients may also experience temporary dizziness, local numbness, or radiating pain. However, adverse effects associated with spinal adjustment are typically minor and short-lived.

 

What are some of the benefits of chiropractic care?
Chiropractic care can:

Improve movement in your neck, shoulders, back and torso
Improve your posture
Provide relief from headaches, neck and back pain
Help prevent work-related muscle and joint injuries
Lead to enhanced athletic performance
Improve your flexibility and range of motion
Relieve pregnancy-related back ache
Correction gait and foot problems

 

Does chiropractic care require a referral from an MD?
Chiropractors are legislated as primary contact health professionals in every province in Canada. This means that patients can consult them directly. However, chiropractors often work closely with medical doctors, many of whom refer to chiropractors when they believe chiropractic treatment will help alleviate a patient’s condition. Similarly, chiropractors frequently refer to medical doctors when necessary.

 

Can chiropractic care cure other ailments besides back pain?
Chiropractic care cannot “cure” every ailment, but there is some evidence to indicate that adjustments may have a beneficial effect on a variety of conditions. Adjustment may alleviate some of the secondary or referred pain, arising from the response of the musculoskeletal structures to the primary cause.

 

Does chiropractic care require X-rays?
X-rays can play an important role in diagnosis and are taken when a need has been determined after taking a patient case history and conducting a physical examination. Chiropractors receive 360 hours of education in radiology covering a full range of topics from protection to X-ray interpretation and diagnosis. Governments in every province have recognized the training and competence of chiropractors to take and interpret X-rays and have granted them this right.

 

What kind of education and training do chiropractors have?
Chiropractors are educated as primary contact health care practitioners, with an emphasis on neuromusculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment. Preparation for the practice of chiropractic is concentrated on three areas: basic training in the biological and health sciences, specialized training in the chiropractic discipline, and extensive clinical training. Becoming a chiropractor in Canada requires a minimum of 7 years of post-secondary education including no less than 4 years of full-time classroom and clinical instruction at an institution approved by the Council on Chiropractic Education Canada.

 

Is chiropractic covered by government health plans?
Chiropractic care is covered extensively by third party payers. These include the federal public service, worker’s compensation boards, the automobile insurance industry, private health care insurers, large employers, the RCMP, and Veteran’s Affairs Canada.

 

Is chiropractic evidence-based?
Chiropractic is a healing discipline firmly grounded in science. Few other health care interventions have been assessed as extensively as chiropractic manipulation, both in terms of safety and effectiveness. There have been at least six formal government studies into chiropractic worldwide over the last 25 years and all have concluded that contemporary chiropractic care is safe, effective, cost-effective and have recommended public funding for chiropractic services. In addition, there have been countless scientific clinical studies assessing the appropriateness, effectiveness, and/or cost-effectiveness of spinal manipulation or chiropractic manipulation, most notably for low back pain. The Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHI) now offers research grants in partnership with the Canadian Chiropractic Association to chiropractors and other scientists for high quality, chiropractic research.

 

Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?
Adjustment of a joint may result in release of a gas bubble between the joints that makes a popping sound – it’s exactly the same as when you “crack” your knuckles. It is not painful. It is caused by the change of pressure within the joint resulting in gas bubbles being released.

Taken form www.chiropractic.on.ca and www.chiropracticcanada.ca