What is Chiropractic? Chiropractic comes from the Greek word Chiropraktikos, meaning “treatment by hand”. The art, science and philosophy of Chiropractic are based upon the understanding that good health depends upon a normally functioning nervous system (especially the spine, and the nerves extending from the spine to all parts of the body).
I was told I should see a chiropractor, but I'm nervous about it. What exactly are chiropractors? Chiropractors are doctors who practice the art of healing by adjusting the spinal column. A healthy, well aligned spinal column moving with full range of motion allows the nervous system to perform properly, which is vital because it controls every function of your body.
What Training Do Chiropractors Have? Eligible applicants to a chiropractic program must have an undergraduate university degree or a minimum of 3 years of university level education. Chiropractic College is a 4 year post-graduate program that encompasses training in Anatomy, Neurology, Orthopedics, Physiology, Nutrition, Pathology, Body Mechanics, Radiology and Chiropractic Technique, in addition to a clinical internship program that is under the supervision of licensed Doctors of Chiropractic.
They then must undergoes several rigorous National and Provincial Board Exams to become licensed and recognized as a Doctor of Chiropractic. Chiropractic colleges also offer postgraduate and continuing education programs in areas ranging from sports sciences, orthopedics, and radiology, to rehabilitation, pediatrics and neurology, which allow doctors of chiropractic to specialize.
Chiropractors are also required to continually update and improve their skills and knowledge through mandatory continuing education requirements as set forth by each province.
What types of chiropractic care are there?
All chiropractic care begins with an initial examination, after which x-rays may be recommended to determine the seriousness of your condition. In addition to being adjusted, you may be given exercises to do, diet or nutritional suggestions and ways to improve your posture.
Relief Care is provided for acute pain and discomfort. Depending on the diagnosis, your age and physical condition, frequent visits over a relatively short period of time may be required.
Corrective Care treats long term spinal problems. Because they have existed for some time they require a longer period of care, similar to crooked teeth slowly improving with braces.
Maintenance Care helps you retain the benefits you’ve achieved from the relief and corrective care. Continuing to work with your chiropractor and having periodic adjustments will keep you as healthy as you can be in your particular lifestyle. Chiropractic visits, exercise and a sensible diet will help you enjoy the best of health well into the future. So now, if you do happen to become a grandparent, it really can be grand.
Almost 2 million Ontarions visit the chiropractor each year! What is a Subluxation? Subluxation is a term used to describe a problem with a spinal joint. The World Health Organization defines a “subluxation” as a functional problem related to a joint and the structures associated with the joint such as the muscles, tendons and nerves. Dysfunction can present itself in various ways such as pain, inflammation and restricted movement of the joint. Some types of dysfunction, such as a sprain, will not appear on an x-ray. Chiropractors are trained to identify dysfunction that does not appear on imaging through the use of manual examination and non-imaging diagnostic tests.
What is an Adjustment? The wear and tear of everyday life is hard on your spine. The spine can become misaligned and can cause many health problems. This is because the nervous system runs through your spine and controls every function of your body. A Chiropractic adjustment is a highly skilled, gentle application of a force to your spine. Adjustments help your nervous system to function properly again, allowing your whole body to regain and maintain its good health.
There are many different chiropractic adjustment techniques that help people reach optimal health. Many methods complement each other and work best when combined. Each individual is different and therefore may respond better to one method of care than another. Some people have a preference for the technique used in their care. One Chiropractic technique is not better than another, although some individuals respond more quickly or are more comfortable with one technique versus another.
We use: Manual Adjustments/Diversified Technique Manual adjustments are performed by hand, applying a specifically directed pressure to the spine or other joints. The patient may be on their front, back or side during the adjustment.
Adjusting Instrument/Activator Methods The adjusting instrument is a hand-held instrument referred to as an activator. This instrument delivers a precise adjustment with consistent velocity. The activator may be used on any joint, however it is particularly useful in treating the smaller joints of hands and feet. The activator method is also a good alternative for people who are sensitive to being touched or for those with Osteoporosis or Arthritis.
Drop Table Adjustments/Thompson Terminal Point Technique Adjustments are performed using the assistance of drop pieces located at the head of the table, under your chest, low back and pelvis to help deliver a gentle and very specific adjustment.
Does it hurt to get your spine adjusted? Not at all. Chiropractic adjustments are comfortable and safe for the whole family, from infants to pregnant women and the elderly. For hundreds of thousands of Canadians, visiting a chiropractor is just routine.
When should I be adjusted? If you're experiencing back pain, headaches or any other pain or health problem, you should see your chiropractor immediately. Once your spinal problems have been corrected with adjustments and exercise, it's relatively easy to maintain a healthy spine. Having periodic adjustments, even when you're feeling ok, is the best way to keep your spine in great shape. You might be surprised at how healthy you become, even if you thought you were fine before!