Our goal is to provide accurate, unbiased information on the benefits of Chiropractic care. Below you’ll find a list of common questions and answers. If you ever would like more detail, or have a specific question please contact us. A doctor will be more then happy to meet with you and address any questions you may have.
Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?
Adjustment of a joint results in a release of gas from the lubricating fluid in the joint (much as liquid oxygen in a tank is just gas under pressure. When you open the valve the pressure decreases and all that comes out is gas).
The sudden formation of a bubble between the joints causes a popping sound, exactly the same as when you "crack" your knuckles. The popping by itself is not painful, just noisy.
Does chiropractic treatment 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.
Do chiropractors take a medical history?
Like MD’s, the chiropractor will take a detailed health history during the first visit, prior to initial treatment.
This will include details on lifestyle and risk factors to give the chiropractor a full picture of the patient’s health in order to determine the best treatment.
As well, a detailed health history is important to rule out any contraindications to treatment and to fully investigate risk factors before a diagnosis and treatment recommendation can be reached.
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 all across Canada. This means that patients can consult them directly.
Do chiropractors refer patients to medical doctors when necessary?
Yes, like medical doctors, chiropractors refer patients to other health professionals when they find 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.
What is the difference between physicians and chiropractors?
Much as medicine and dentistry are different professions within the health care spectrum, so is chiropractic a different profession. Both chiropractors and physicians are legally entitled to use the title "doctor" and diagnose. As the appellation MD means "Doctor of Medicine", so DC means "Doctor of Chiropractic".
The role of chiropractic is complementary to other areas of primary health care. Much as medical care employs many techniques not utilized by chiropractors, the chiropractor does many things that are not performed by medical doctors.
Our primary role is that of a neuromusculoskeletal specialist, and our expertise adheres to that premise.
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.
It makes sense, however, that if the body works better, it is more likely to perform better, and less likely to work in ways which might make it prone to injury.
Can chiropractic treatment cure colds, earaches, and other ailments?
Chiropractic care cannot "cure" these conditions, 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.
For example, research conducted in Denmark resulted in chiropractic treatment being recommended for the relief of infantile colic. Similarly, a recent U.S. study concluded that the application of manipulative techniques in children with recurring ear infections can prevent or decrease surgical intervention or antibiotic overuse. An Australian study also showed that approximately 15% of all chiropractic patients noticed improvement in symptoms associated with their intestinal system.
Is every patient's treatment the same?
The treatment a patient receives is related to the specific condition diagnosed by the chiropractor, and will vary from person to person depending on each persons unique situation. Oftentimes patients of the same chiropractor discuss their care, only to discover that even the treatment rendered for similar conditions might be very different.
Specific treatment is rendered through specific diagnosis, and by being thorough your chiropractor will tailor the treatment to address all of the separate components of your condition.
Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?
Yes, children have the potential to benefit from chiropractic care.
Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Injuries resulting from these activities may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, headaches, stiffness, soreness or discomfort.
Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, is easily adapted to accommodate their lesser size. While there is some clinical evidence that musculoskeletal treatment of infants has positive effects, more well-controlled studies are required to verify the benefits that are often seen in clinical practice.
Is chiropractic regulated in Canada?
Like medicine and dentistry, chiropractic is a self-regulating profession, and each provincial chiropractic regulatory body has the legal authority to grant or take away a license to practice chiropractic.
There are Chiropractic Acts in all provinces and territories which establish a self-regulatory process which includes extensive testing for licensure. In all provinces, licensure requirements include university studies followed by graduation from an accredited chiropractic institution, and passing national and provincial board examinations, among other things.
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, and 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.
Is chiropractic manipulation a safe procedure?
Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a drug-free, non-invasive approach to common musculoskeletal conditions. As such, it is a low risk therapy and remains one of the safest procedures a person may have done to remedy their condition.
Complications arising from adjustment are rare. Your chiropractor will discuss any concerns you have in regards to risk during your initial consultation.
Is chiropractic covered by government health plans?
Chiropractic services are partially covered by the provincial health plans of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. This, however, is not currently the case in Nova Scotia.
Most federal government departments (such as the RCMP and Veteran’s Affairs) also cover chiropractic services. The military services in Nova Scotia have their own chiropractors as hospital staff. The worker's Compensation Board of Nova Scotia and most employer and other third party insurance plans cover chiropractic services as well.
How many people see chiropractors?
Statistics Canada data found that over 11 percent of Canadians consulted a chiropractor in 1996. The figures today are closer to 15 percent, or over 4 million Canadians annually. As more people discover the benefits of chiropractic care, this number continues to grow.
How is chiropractic adjustment performed?
Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed through chiropractic education.
The chiropractor typically uses his/her hands to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to reduce pain, and restore or enhance joint function. Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled, specific procedure that takes years of study and practice to perform well. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each individual patient.
What results can I expect from treatment?
This depends on your condition. The nature of the injury, the length of time you have had the problem, your age, and the degree of your disability all affect the length of your treatment. Your chiropractic doctor should tell you the extent of treatment recommended, and how long you can expect it to last. One of the main reasons people choose chiropractic is that they often get quick results.
For example, Workers' Compensation Board studies show that people with low back pain get back to work much faster with chiropractic care. Sometimes the nature of an injury requires that a patient return once in a while to maintain a high degree of health.
You might also consider the benefits of chiropractic adjustments even when you feel relatively healthy. Often you won't know you have a disorder of the neuromusculoskeletal system until it becomes acute and painful, though the problem may have been present for some time prior. So, just as you see your dentist to have your teeth checked and your optometrist for eye exams, periodic visits to your chiropractor can catch related health conditions early, often preventing them from developing into major problems. Everyone knows your spine is susceptible to wear and tear, so you should do your best to take care of it.
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 4-5 years of full-time classroom and clinical instruction at a chiropractic educational institution approved by the Commission on Accreditation (COA) Canada. Chiropractors across Canada are all required by their provincial regulatory body to have attained minimum standards to obtain licensure to practice, including passing rigorous national and provincial examinations.
In Nova Scotia, regular continuing education is also required by law in order to maintain licensure. At Sackville Chiropractic Clinic you can rest assured that the chiropractors attempt to ensure that their continuing education is patient treatment based so that we are always upgrading our skills.
What happens during a treatment?
During your first visit, the chiropractor will want to know about your health history as well as your current complaint. Your home and work life as well as your level of physical activity may also affect your health, so you may also be asked questions about these. A thorough examination of your condition is performed and the diagnosis (of which there may be more than one) and best treatment options are explained to you.
If adjustments are necessary, the chiropractors at this office do this in many ways utilizing,
- manually applied, specific, low-amplitude thrusts by hand (this may be performed in a variety of ways depending upon the patient's specific condition)
- a repetitive-impact, electrically operated stylus
- table-assisted mechanical drop mechanisms which use momentum to aid in adjusting the spine
- flexion-distraction tables which safely pull the spine into specific positions
- SOT blocks in which the spine slowly "falls" into place using gravity and carefully applied wedges
Soft tissue treatments may also be applied utilizing a variety of methods. We typically use sports-oriented evaluation and treatment, including ARTTM (Active Release Therapy), Graston type therapy, trigger point therapy, manual muscle testing, stretching (Active Isolated Stretching, PNF, contract-relax, etc.), and specific strengthening exercises.
Your chiropractor may also give you information and guidance on how you can stay healthy through proper nutrition, ergonomics, and lifestyle changes.
What conditions do chiropractors treat?
Chiropractors are experts trained in the conservative management of neuromusculoskeletal disorders and their care is effective for a wide variety of conditions. The following is a partial list of some of the most common. If you do not see your specific condition listed, we encourage you to give us a call so we can personally address your particular concerns.
- Auto Accidents / Whiplash Injuries
- "Slipped" Disc
- Pinched Nerve
- Back Pain-Upper/Neck
- Back Pain-Lower
- Carpal Tunnel
- Tennis Elbow
- Rotator Cuff Syndrome
- Patellar Tendonosis
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Frozen Shoulder