Do Chiropractors only treat the spine?
Although chiropractors are spine specialists, they are highly knowledgeable about the nervous system, and soft tissue therapy for muscle and joint conditions. Most Chiropractors incorporate spinal adjustments, soft tissue therapy, exercise prescription and modalities such as Interferential Current Therapy (IFC) or acupuncture in their treatments.
What is an adjustment?
An adjustment is a highly skilled and precise movement usually applied by hand to a joint of the body. The adjustment loosens the joint to restore proper movement and optimize function. When a joint is adjusted, a gas bubble forms 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
Do adjustments hurt?
Adjustments should never be painful. The majority of the time people feel great relief after an adjustment. In acute circumstances the initial adjustment may feel uncomfortable as the body and the nervous system gets used to and integrates the new joint position. Over time as the joints and body adapt to the adjusted position patients feel even more at ease.
Additionally, 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.
Can I adjust myself?
When a joint becomes stiff or dysfunctional, other adjacent joints may become hyper mobile to make up for lost range of motion. Any joint that is capable of moving is capable of making the audible “pop” sound of an adjustment making you believe you are doing a proper adjustment. However, to adjust a dysfunctional joint proper positioning and precise handling is required. Adjusting your own joints may provide relief temporarily, but you may be taking an unstable joint and making it more unstable increasing risk for injury and pain in the future.
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 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.
Here are some of the most common reasons why more than 4 million Canadians visit a chiropractor each year:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Strains and sprains from daily activities
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Work and sports-related injuries
- Restricted movement in the back, shoulders, neck or limbs
- General health and well-being
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
- Correct gait and foot problems
Does Chiropractic care require a referral from an MD?
Chiropractors are legislated as primary care 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.
Is Chiropractic safe for children?
Children grow and develop rapidly and are susceptible to many traumas, large or minor especially when involved in sport activities. Regular assessments and check-ups for any abnormalities during this growth period can prevent misalignments and dysfunction in the future. Chiropractic care allows children to grow with proper nerve function and development. If there is a family history of arthritis or scoliosis it is wise to involve spinal care early in the child’s life as prevention may be possible.
Once I see a Chiropractor will I have to go for the rest of my life?
Your Chiropractor should make evidence based decisions and programs for you to receive the most optimal treatment possible based on your specific diagnosis. After the initial concern is controlled, regular adjustments can become part of a healthy lifestyle but ultimately the decision to continue maintaining your health is up to you. The better your daily exercise and stretching routine is, the less you will require ongoing care. Research as shown that for those who sit for long hours, have physically demanding jobs, or are under chronic stress often, a monthly maintenance plan can reduce pain and reset the nervous system.
What is Spinal Manipulation?
Spinal manipulation, or adjustment, is a specialized procedure that is utilized to allow joints that are “locked up” or not moving properly to regain their range of motion and allow for uninhibited movement. A highly skilled chiropractor is one of the few practitioners who can do this procedure, but it is both gentle and precise. The goal of an adjustment is to loosen the joint to restore normal function as well as provide pain relief. Many people associate a "popping" noise with spinal manipulation. This is because, during an adjustment, the capsule surrounding the joint briefly stretches, releasing a gas bubble. The release of the gas bubble is what creates the “popping” noise. You may feel some light pressure on your spinal joints and/or hear this popping sound when you get an adjustment.
Who benefits from visiting a chiropractor?
Chiropractic care helps your body perform as optimally as possible. It has an incredible amount of practical applications and can help with many various conditions.
Chiropractic care can benefit people who struggle who need help:
- Relieving acute or chronic headaches
- Relieving neck and back pain
- Relieving joint pain and stiffness
- Correcting gait and foot problems
- Improving posture and body symmetry
- Improving movement in neck, shoulders, back and torso
- Preventing work-related muscle and joint injuries
- Improving flexibility
Do chiropractors go through specialized training?
Canadian chiropractors must complete at least seven years of post-secondary school. A minimum of three years in an undergraduate program at a university and then four years at an accredited chiropractic college. This means that a chiropractic student will have over 4500 hours of education, much of which is completed in a clinic while under supervision. After a student has completed their education, they then must sit and pass a stringent set of licensing exams. This is the only way that they may earn the right to practice as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC). There are only five health professionals permitted to use the title of Doctor, chiropractors being one of them.
What benefits are there for receiving medical acupuncture?
Medical acupuncture benefits the whole body while at the same time solving specific and acute problems. The benefits of acupuncture are practically limitless, but some of the more common reasons someone receives acupuncture are:
- Pain relief
- Muscle relaxation
- Endorphin release and pain modulation
- Decreased swelling
- Autonomic nervous system activity altered (vasomotor tone, cardiac rhythm, peristalsis)
- Neuroendocrine and immune response augmentation
- General relaxation
- Scar tissue breakdown
- Improved sleep
- A feeling of psychophysical well being
- Nausea relief during chemotherapy
What can Acupuncture treat?
Controlled trials offer current evidence that acupuncture can treat many conditions. The World Health Organization has established acupuncture is an effective treatment for:
- Repetitive strains (e.g. carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis)
- Acute sprains/strains
- Degenerative disc/joint disease
- Pain from nerve entrapments (e.g. sciatica)
- Postoperative pain
- Chronic pain
- Essential hypertension
- Allergic rhinitis
- Nausea and vomiting
Laser Therapy Session FAQ’S
How can laser therapy benefit me?
Low-Level Laser Therapy works on injuries to a ligament, tendon or muscle and speeds up healing times. It does this by reducing pain and swelling and promoting healing. It not only works on new (acute) injuries but can work on old (chronic) injuries as well.
When an injury happens, residual scar tissue is left behind. This causes the muscle to shorten which means that it works less efficiently. Laser therapy helps to break down scar tissue which allows exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscle. By breaking down the scar tissue, you can reduce the risk of further strain, which in itself helps prevent other injuries.
What conditions does Laser Therapy treat?
Common conditions that can benefit from laser therapy are:
- Acute sports injuries such as muscle tears, tendinitis, tennis elbow, etc.
- Low back and neck pain
- Joint arthritis and chronic pain
- Nerve root irritations
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Healing wounds
How does it work?
Low-Level Laser Therapy treatments are both painless and short. For acute conditions, a patient will need 5 to 8 sessions, while for a chronic condition they will need 18 to 20 sessions. Treatments are as short as 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the number of sites that are being treated each session.
Laser therapy stimulates the molecules in the cell with photons or light energy which is what facilitates the healing. Photon energy in the light that is emitted by the laser is fused into the natural process of the living cells.
Research shows that this energy is absorbed by the cell and converted into complex biochemical substances that provide stimulating effects. This is the basis for reducing pain and inflammation in the muscles and is what heals the cell and restores it to normal function.
Shockwave Therapy FAQ
Is shockwave therapy for me?
Chronic pain is a debilitating condition, and everyone who suffers from it has been through the gauntlet of treatments. Upwards of 80% of patients with chronic pain worldwide who receive shockwave therapy report that it has helped eliminate their pain.
Does shockwave treatment hurt?
Shockwave treatment can be uncomfortable, but a lot of that has to do with the how much pain the patient is already experiencing in the area undergoing treatment. The treatment is short, however, and lasts only about five minutes. Due to the short duration, most patients can tolerate the level of discomfort. If the pain is unbearable, the intensity of the treatment can be adjusted.
How many treatments are recommended?
The amount of treatments needed depends a lot on the issue being treated and how complex it is. Generally speaking, most people need around four to six treatments. Though, relief will most likely be felt after the first treatment.
What is the timeline for treatment?
Most people require 4-6 treatments which are each completed around 5–10 days apart. A lot of this depends on individual patient’s pain tolerance and tissue response.
Will there be pain post-treatment?
Patients can have immediate pain relief immediately after the procedure. Within 2–4 hours after treatment, however, there is often some soreness. This soreness is tolerable and not limiting.
Should I avoid anything after receiving treatment?
Patients should refrain from vigorous physical activity, especially physical activity that affects the area that is being treated, for 24-48 hours following each session.
Pregnancy Care FAQ
Is getting chiropractic treatment safe if I am pregnant?
Yes! Chiropractors are specially trained in the care of those who are pregnant. Fortunately, most people who are pregnant can receive chiropractic care. Chiropractic care is a natural alternative treatment that can help to alleviate pregnancy-related pain while also helping the body prepare for delivery, which can reduce stress the day of the delivery. We utilize specialized techniques and pregnancy pillows that minimize uncomfortable pressure on your abdomen.
Are there targeted chiropractic treatments for pregnant people?
Physical changes that a pregnant person undergoes can cause pressure on the spine. The pelvis also has a chance of becoming misaligned as pelvic joints loosen up in preparation for childbirth. If the pelvis is misaligned, it can impede the baby from entering the correct position for delivery in the case of natural birth, this is a condition known as an intrauterine constraint and can lead to Cesarean section. The Webster Technique, a chiropractic technique that helps maintain the pelvis and spine in proper alignment may prevent the need for Cesarean delivery. There are other benefits of going to a chiropractor when pregnant, including:
- Fewer breech births
- Less nausea
- Reduced back and neck pain
- Relief of muscle and joint pain
- Reduced anxiety
- Improved labour outcomes, which includes reduced time in labour and delivery
How far along into pregnancy can a person receive chiropractic treatment?
According to The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, a person can receive chiropractic care throughout their entire pregnancy. The treatment given closer to the due date can be focused on pelvic balance and helping avoid posterior and breech presentations. Chiropractic doctors can also provide you with safe and effective exercises which help keep your body in the best possible condition for your delivery.
Pediatric Chiropractic FAQ
Why would a child need to go to see a pediatric chiropractor?
Whether your child is healing from an acute or chronic injury, experiencing growing pains, or has any other stress in their body, pediatric chiropractic care helps them remain in optimal health. When spinal, limb and cranial joints do not move correctly, they are not able to adequately communicate with the nervous system. The nervous system is what controls the body, running through it and managing all its functions, both consciously and subconsciously.
The nervous system relies on receiving accurate information from the joints (a phenomenon called proprioception) and muscles to function and develop optimally. Problems that are commonly associated with these joint dysfunctions include poor sleep quality, growing pains, constipation, posture problems, and behavioural issues. Chiropractic care treats more than just pain! Chiropractic care restores proper joint function and communication which will help your child's body move, heal, and develop.
When would it be appropriate for my child to receive chiropractic care?
If there are any physical health problems your child is facing, a pediatric chiropractor can determine whether or not treatment is appropriate for them. If the identified problem is related to, or made worse, by an improperly moving joint or poor communication between the body and the brain, then a pediatric chiropractor can help. In most cases with children, there no pain complaint regarding joint dysfunction (though not always). Children should be monitored for clues of biomechanical unease.
With the impact that spinal adjustments have on sensorimotor integration and autonomic function, symptoms that children may have that are unrelated to pain can be treated with chiropractic care. Gastrointestinal, behavioural, developmental, and immune conditions and problems can all be treated without the aid of harsh medicines. Chiropractic care is also preventative care and can address problems before they progress into something worse.
The everyday challenges that children face - from tumbling out of trees to sitting at a desk for hours in class - can cause their muscles to tighten and joints to lock up. The same way you take your child to the dentist a couple of times a year to have a cleaning and exam, it is good to check in with a chiropractor on a regular schedule every few months.
Is there any special training chiropractors go through to work with children?
Every single Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) receives pediatric training as part of their core curriculum during chiropractic college. Since the inception of chiropractic care one-hundred years ago, chiropractors have been treating infants and children safely and with great results.
Is chiropractic care gentle enough to be safe for kids?
Chiropractic care for children, and even infants, is gentle and safe. If it were unsafe, then it would not be part of the core curriculum for those training to become chiropractic doctors. Chiropractors are extremely well-trained health professionals and treating children is a part of the services that they offer. During a chiropractic doctorate, prospective chiropractors study anatomy, orthopedics, physiology, neurology, and nutrition, all of which include the unique needs that children have regarding chiropractic practice. The chiropractic techniques used for children have some differences than the ones used for adults and are incredibly gentle, safe, and beneficial.