Chiropractic Care

 

Chiropractic is one of the largest primary contact professions in Canada.  With over 5000 practitioners, chiropractic is a hands-on treatment dealing wth nerve, muscle and joint complaints.

 

Chiropractic is a drug-free, non-invasive manual procedure used to treat problems of the musculoskeletal system like;

 

  • Back Pain (Lower, Middle, Neck)

  • Shoulder Pain

  • Nerve Pain

  • Arthritis

  • Headaches

  • Sports Injuries

 

A private consultation and a thorough examination is just the beginning.  Our doctor is committed to helping you by offering the best course of treatment that fits you.

 

We are proficient in the following:

  • Diversified or Manual (Adjustments by hand)

  • Various soft tissue or muscle techniques

  • Extremity Adjusting (feet, wrists, elbows etc.)

What Is Chiropractic

The word chiropractic comes from Greek, meaning "treatment by hand".  Chiropratic is a highly skilled treatment by trained professionals.  It focuses treatment on the source of your back pain, not the symptoms.  It is hands-on treatment that works.

How Are Chiropractors Trained?

In Canada, chiropractors are required to complete a minimum of three years of university, followed by four years at an accredited chiropractic college.  A chiropractic students receive over 4500 hours of education, much of it in supervised clinical practice.  Once students have completed their education, they must pass both a provincial and national set of exams to earn the right to practice as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC).

Did you Know?

Many private insurance plans cover chiropractic treatment.

 

Many employers also provide coverage of chiropractic treatment under their employee health care plans.

 

If you have health benefits through your employer or another plan, check with them to find out how you might be covered for chiropractic treatment.

Should I See A Chiropractor?

Eight out of ten Canadians will experience back pain at some point in their life.  For many people, the pain can keep them from work, school, or even their day-to-day activities.  Back pain will often go away on its own, after two to six months.  However, left untreated, there is an 80% chance that your back pain will recur.  Why suffer needlessly, or take the chance that the pain will come back?  If you have back pain, early treatment from a chiropractor can help you get on with your busy life.

 

One of the reasons back pain is so common is that it can be caused by so many different things

 

  • Work-related injuries

  • Poor posture

  • Stress

  • Car accident

  • Improper lifting

  • Sports injuries

 

Any of these things can cause your spine to shift from its normal position or affect your range of motion.  This results in pressure on the joints, muscles, and nerves in that area.

 

 

What Are My Treatment Options?

There are different ways a chiropractor can care for your back, depending on your condition.  Generally there are three levels of care, but for most people, the need is for immediate relief.

 

Relief care
  • is provided for immediate pain and discomfort.  Depending on the diagnosis, your age and physical condition, one visit, or several visits over a relatively short period of time may be necessary.

 
Supportive or maintenance care
  • helps you maintain and enjoy the benefit you have achieved from relief and/or corrective care.  Continuing to work with your chiropractor and having adjustments once in a while will keep your spine as healthy as possible.

 

Once a course of care is determined, and the matter of informed consent has been discussed, treatment usually begins.  Because of the chiropractor's concern for your oveall well-being, most treatment is accompanied by exercise, diet, and other healthy living suggestions to help keep healthy and strong.

How Often Do I Need To See A Chiropractor?

A common question is how long chiropractic treatment should continue.  Your chiropractor will discuss the need for ongoing care with you, and it will depend on your specific back problem.  For some people chiropractic treatment is like a regular tune-up for their back to help deal with the daily wear and tear of life.  For others, it's simply an effective treatment when back pain strikes.  Take the time to discuss with your chiropractor the level of care that's best for you.

What To Expect On My First Visit

Chiropractors may be treating your back pain, but they are very concerned about the role your back plays in your overall health.  Your chiropractor needs a complete picture of your health in order to provide the best possible treatment for you as an individual.  Plan to spend up to one hour on your first visit to the chiropractor.

 

Here is what you might expect.

 

The First Visit

 

You will be asked the following:

  • Personal and family medical history.

  • Major illnesses you have experienced.

  • Surgeries or operations you have had.

  • Medications you are taking.

The Chiropractor may perform some of these tests:

  • A check of your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing.

  • A check of your reflexes.

  • A test of your muscle strength, flexibility and coordination.

  • Analysis of your posture.

  • On occassion, request you get an x-ray of your spine.

  • Analysis of your movement (like observing how you walk or lift things).

These assessments give the chiropractor a better picture of your complete health.  If your chiropractor diagnoses a problem better treated by another health care professional, he or she will make an appropriate referral.  Otherswise, your chiropractor will focus on the specific cause of your back pain.

 

This usually involves:

  • Listening to you describe your pain and symptoms.

  • Using his or her hands to locate the exact problem in your back.

  • Testing how far you can move in the problem area.

  • Determining if other parts of your back or body are affected by the problem (for example, pain in your back can change the way we walk or sit, and this may result in pain in completely different parts of our body like our hips or knees).

How Does Chiropractic Work?

The bones in your back, called the vertebrae, are connected by cartilage and work together in a very specific way.  When everything is working well, your spine is in-line, strong and flexible.  The stress of daily living, injuries, or accidents can cause the bones in the spine to shift out of their proper alignment or affect your range of motion.  Small changes in the alignment of your spine can cause pain by putting pressure on the different joints, muscles, and nerves along your spinal column.

 

Chiropractors understand how to relieve this pain.  They are specially trained to find the source of your back pain, assess the problem, and make the proper adjustments that allow your spine to work properly again.

 

Chiropractic joint manipulation, or adjustment, is a treatment in which the chiropractor uses his or her hands to apply a very quick, precise, and safe amount of pressure directly on the problem area of your spine.  The pressure momentarily separates the joints, allowing a gas bubble to escape (this is the popping sound or cracking noise you might have heard about).   This relieves the pressure on the joint and surrounding nerves, and most importantly, allows your spine to return to its proper position.  The adjustment is not painful, and often provides immediate relief of your back pain.

Is Chiropractic Safe?

The safety and effectiveness of chiropractic treatment has been studied very carefully.  Both the medical profession, and more importantly, chiropractors themselves need to be completely certain that the care they provide is safe.  Few medical treatments have been scrutinized in as much detail as chiropractic.

 

Todate, no significant findings have shown that the risks are any greater than those for other back pain treatments.  In fact, studies have found chiropractic to be extremely safe and effective in alleviating back pain.  If a chiropractor diagnoses a problem that would be better treated by another health care professional, he or she will make an appropriate referral.

 

Complications from chiropractic treatment are rare.  Your chiropractor will discuss all potential side effects and risks along with the benefits of any care you receive.

 

Neck adjustments
 

Neck adjustments, particularly of the top two vertebrae of the spine, has on rare occasions been associated with stroke and stroke-like symptoms. This risk is considerably lower than those serious adverse events associated with many common health treatments such as long-term use of non-prescription pain relievers or birth control pills. While estimates vary, a range of one to two events per million neck adjustments is the ratio generally accepted by the research community.

 

An extensive commentary on chiropractic care, published in the February 2002 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, which is the journal of the American College of Physicians, reviewed more than 160 reports and studies on chiropractic. It states the following with regard to the safety of neck adjustment: “The apparent rarity of these accidental events has made it difficult to assess the magnitude of the complication risk. No serious complication has been noted in more than 73 controlled clinical trials or in any prospectively evaluated case series to date.” 

 

A Canadian study, published in 2001 in the medical journal Stroke, also concluded that stroke associated with neck adjustment is so rare that it is difficult to calculate an accurate risk ratio.  The study was conducted by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and the authors have stated: “The evidence to date indicates that the risk associated with chiropractic manipulation of the neck is both small and inaccurately estimated. The estimated level of risk is smaller than that associated with many commonly used diagnostic tests or prescription drugs.”

 

The most recent research into the association between neck adjustment and stroke is biomechanical studies to assess what strain, if any, neck adjustment may place on the vertebral arteries. The preliminary findings of this ongoing work indicate that neck adjustment is done well within the normal range of motion and that neck adjustment is “very unlikely to mechanically disrupt the VA [vertebral artery].”  

 

There are many risk factors for stroke including blood clotting problems, hypertension, smoking, high cholesterol, birth control pills, heart problems and trauma such as blows to the head from car accidents, sports injuries or falls. Some strokes happen spontaneously with no obvious cause during activities of daily living such as backing up a car. A patient’s health history and activities have to be examined very carefully in order to determine the most probable cause of a stroke.

 

- Taken directly from the Ontario Chiropractic Association Website, accessed Nov 17/14  http://www.chiropractic.on.ca/Public/what-is-chiropractic/FAQ.aspx#6536

Back Problem Warning Signs

Here are some symptoms which might indicate that you suffer from a back problem:

  • Leg pain with numbness, tingling and/or weakness.

  • Back or leg pain with coughing or sneezing.

  • Difficulty standing up after sitting for any period of time.

  • Stiffness in the morning that decreases once you move around.

  • Pain in your hip, buttock, thigh, knee, or foot.

  • Inability to turn or bend to each side equally.

  • Unbalanced posture, when your head, neck or shoulder may be higher on one side than the other.

  • Pain which prevents you from sleeping well.

  • Pain that persists or worsens after 48 hours.

 

Chiropractors treat your back pain by addressing the cause of the pain.  A chiropractic adjustment can realign your spine to its proper position and improve your range of motion, allowing you to feel like yourself again.  It's simple, and it works.

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