faqs about chiropractic

vancouver chiropractorWhat should I expect from my first visit with my Vancouver Chiropractor and how long would the appointment take?

The first visit is mainly a consultation for the Chiropractor to get to know the patient. It will usually take from 45 minutes to 1 hour.  The Chiropractor will ask the patient about his/her history of the injury and their health history.  Then the Chiropractor will perform a physical examination, which does not require the patient to undress or wear a gown.  The Chiropractor will then explain the patient’s condition(s) and inform them of the best treatment plan options and treatment duration(s).  Lastly, with informed consent from the patient, the chiropractor will treat the patient.


Do I require X-rays?

Typically, X-rays are not needed for diagnosis and treatment, but your Chiropractor may want to order X-rays if he/she thinks it’s needed to further investigate the condition or injury.


What is a Chiropractic Adjustment?

A Chiropractor uses manual adjustments either with their hands or a handheld instrument as their main therapy option.  An adjustment is a high velocity, low amplitude thrust to the joint segment in the spine to restore normal motion and promote proper healing to the affected area.

Many patients report feeling relaxed and have an immediate increase range of motion in their necks or lower back after the adjustments.


Is Chiropractic Adjustment safe?

Yes it is!  Millions of neck adjustments are performed safely and effectively every year in Canada.  Neck adjustment is performed well within the normal turning range of the head.  The entire process involves less movement than it takes to look over your shoulder.

One of the most recent studies into the safety of neck adjustment further confirms the safety of this procedure.  This particular study, conducted in 2007, observed over 19,000 chiropractic patients and tracked more than 50,000 neck adjustments.  It found no instances of serious adverse effects.  By way of comparison, neck adjustment is significantly safer than other commonly used health remedies.  For example, long-term use of non-prescription pain relievers carry a far greater risk of serious complication than neck adjustments.

Most patients experience immediate relief following an adjustment, however, some may naturally experience temporary soreness, stiffness or slight swelling.  In rare situations, patients may experience symptoms such as dizziness, local numbness, or radiating pain.  If this happens to you, it is important to tell your Chiropractor who can help  you manage any effects of treatment.

– Canadian Chiropractic Association


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.

– Canadian Chiropractic Association


What is the “POP or CRACK” sound during a Chiropractic Adjustment?

The “pop” or “crack” sound which some patients may experience during the chiropractic adjustment is actually from the gas pressure released inside the synovial joint of the spine.  Patients may hear a louder sound near the neck area due to the fact that the area being adjusted is closer to the ears.  The “pop” or “crack” sound is absolutely safe and normal.


If I am not comfortable with the Chiropractic Adjustments, what else can my Chiropractor do to treat my injuries?

Chiropractors can substitute the manual adjustments with joint mobilization therapy, muscle stretching and strengthening, proper rehabilitation and home-based exercises.


Along with Chiropractic Adjustments, what else can Chiropractors do to facilitate my treatment?

Along with the Chiropractic Adjustments, Chiropractors and also perform an active muscle stretching.  They can also devise a treatment plan for proper rehabilitation training and home-based exercises to optimize the overall health of the patient.


Is Chiropractic Treatment ongoing?

The hands-on nature of Chiropractic Treatment is essentially what sends patients back to the Chiropractor a number of times. To be treated by a Chiropractor, patients need to be in his or her office. A Chiropractor may provide acute, preventative and/or maintenance care thus making a certain number of visits necessary. The average number of annual visits per patient is eight to twelve.


Can Chiropractic Treatment provide a preventative function?

Clinical experience suggests that individuals with chronic conditions such as degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) or recurrent neck pain, back pain or headaches may experience less frequent and less severe symptoms when under regular Chiropractic care. This also applies to individuals in highly stressful situations and those who experience repetitive physical and postural strain from their daily activities. Whether ongoing Chiropractic treatment can prevent back pain from occurring in the first place, or prevent a previous condition from re-occurring, requires further study.

– Canadian Chiropractic Association


Do Chiropractors refer patients to Medical Doctors when necessary?

Yes, like Medical Doctors, Chiropractors refer patients to other health professionals when they feel it is appropriate. Chiropractors are well trained to recognize risk factors as well as individual disease patterns and will not hesitate to make a referral when it is in the best interest of the patient’s health.


Does Chiropractic treatment require a referral from an MD?

No. A patient does not have to be referred. Chiropractors are legislated as primary contact health care professionals in every province in Canada. This means that patients can consult them directly.


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