WHAT IS CHIROPRACTIC?
The word “chiropractic” comes from ancient Greek and means “done by hand.”
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.
Chiropractors are specialists in manual adjustment of the vertebrae of the spine and other joints. 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 are also trained to prescribe therapeutic exercise, provide nutritional counselling, and recommend rehabilitation and injury prevention strategies.
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.
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, 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.
ARE THERE MANY ATHLETES WHO USE CHIROPRACTIC?
Yes. Many amateur and professional athletes use chiropractic treatment as part of their overall health care, fitness and maintenance program. Chiropractic is often used to improve muscle and joint conditioning, which has a direct effect on an athletic performance. Treatment works to improve biomechanical function and enhance overall conditioning, important in situations where there is continuous repetitive movement. Chiropractic care also help athletes fine-tune their muscles and joints for high level performance, and may reduce long term wear and tear. Finally, treatment can be used to prevent, and sometime shorten, the healing time of injuries.
Athletes most often select treatment to improve their performance, where as the average consumer will select chiropractic care to help manage aches and pains. In some cases treatment will be similar, but in all cases a treatment plan will be developed according to the goals and condition of each patient. In the case of professional and elite athletes, chiropractors often work in conjunction with other health care professionals, including medical doctors and/or sports medicine doctors, massage therapists and physiotherapists.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Every individual undergoes a comprehensive case history and a detailed examination to determine the etiology of the condition and the best course of treatment. Following the health history and physical examination, we will review our findings with you, discuss your treatment options, and ensure you have a thorough understanding of your condition.
Your chiropractor will want to know about your pain, if any, where it is located, when the pain started, and what activities improve or exacerbate the pain. Your blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and reflexes may be assessed. Depending on your specific situation, your doctor may perform X-rays and/or refer you to have an MRI scan or other diagnostic tests. The physical examination will generally be performed through light clothing. It may include observation of posture, range of motion, palpation of muscles, assessment of movement patterns and other physical or functional tests.
The next step will be to begin your treatment. In some cases, it’s a matter of one adjustment while some others may require more than one or even a combination of adjustments, ART (Active Release Techniques) which are movements that work the soft tissues, and therapeutic movement exercises. All treatments will involve having you sit or lie on an exam/massage table where the movements and adjustments will all be performed. While none of the techniques or adjustments cause any pain, you may experience some discomfort with ART if you are already having pain in that area. Actual chiropractic adjustments do not cause any kind of pain or discomfort and in some cases may provide a feeling of instant relief depending on your condition and symptoms.