Chiropractic – Frequently Asked Questions
Chiropractic is the non-invasive, natural approach to health and wellness care. CHIROPRACTIC comes from the Greek words “praxis” and “cheir“, meaning to practice or to treat using hands. Doctors of Chiropractic do not use drugs or chemicals; instead they manually correct misaligned spinal bones by performing an adjustment. Chiropractic works because you are a self-healing, self-regulating organism controlled by your nervous system. Millions of messages and instructions flow from your brain, down the spinal cord, and out to every cell, tissue, and organ in your body. Then signals are sent back to the brain to help the brain make the minor adjustments necessary to maintain optimal health. When one or more of the moving bones of the spine is misaligned or have lost their normal range of movement, the vital exchange between the brain and body is disrupted. This condition is known as a Vertebral Subluxation. Nerves become irritated, stretched, or chafed, and the messages that these nerves relay to and from the brain become distorted. This can produce unhealthy changes to the tissues and organs connected to the affected nerves. Chiropractic seeks to restore proper alignment to the spine thereby removing nerve interference. Health often returns with improved nervous system control of the body.
A Chiropractic Adjustment is a specific force applied to a spinal misalignment that restores proper motion and position of the vertebra. There are many different ways to adjust the spine. Some methods use the doctor’s hands. Other techniques involve the use of a specialized instrument or table. Adjustments are very safe. A New Zealand study concluded that spinal adjustments are “remarkably safe.” Chiropractic care enjoys an excellent track record, and in our office we use a variety of adjusting techniques that are comfortable and effective. Taking an over-the-counter medication is about 100 times more risky.
You can have spinal misalignments or subluxations and not even know it. Like the early stages of tooth decay or heart disease, misalignments in the spine can be present for years before warning signs appear in the form of symptoms. A Chiropractor is the only healthcare practitioner that can determine if you have spinal misalignments. It is best to have your spine and nervous system checked to be sure.
The stresses and strains of everyday living such as housework, taking care of young children, outdoor activities, athletic activities, desk work, lifting or even sleeping in improper positions can cause spinal problems. So can traumas such as slips and falls, vehicle collisions and sports injuries. In children, spinal misalignments may occur during the birth process, while they learn to walk and play, and from everyday childhood activities. In addition to physical stressors mentioned above, emotional and chemical stress factors also affect spinal and nervous system health. Think about it, when you feel “stressed out” how do you carry yourself? Tensed! If your postural muscles are chronically tensed, eventually this can result in spinal bones shifting from their normal alignment and spinal joints getting stuck.
There is no way to say for sure, because so much depends on your present vitality. Some patients enjoy results quickly. Others notice a slow decline in their symptoms after several weeks. For others it takes even longer. The people that tend to respond very quickly to care usually also practice other good health habits, like a properly balanced diet with good nutrition along with exercise and getting enough sleep. To help you recover sooner and stay well the doctors conduct complimentary health workshops keeping you informed and updated. Age, lifestyle, amount of spinal degeneration present, ergonomics, and emotional stress all play a role in how fast or slow someone responds to care. It’s impossible to predict but rest assured that we will keep you up-to-date on your progress while you’re under care.
It completely depends on you and what your goals are for treatment. Our clinic offers three types of care:
Relief Care: We focus on dealing with symptoms, reducing the inflammation and increasing the mobility of stiff areas in the spine. This portion of the care is superficial and only touches the top layer of the problem. If you merely want symptom relief, you come only for as long as it takes to get out of pain, which might be 6-12 visits. Sometimes that number is less, sometimes that number is more.
Corrective Care: This is where we actually start to correct the spine and progress into rehabilitation (stretches and exercises). This is extremely important to one’s care since it allows us to fix the root cause of the problem—to stop the degenerative process from continuing. This is a more permanent approach and of course takes more time to achieve.
Maintenance/Wellness Care: This is where we move into maintaining your progress. Regular adjustments promote proper spinal alignment and nervous system function. As things are under control, we now look at the big picture to “optimize” your health. We look into nutritional factors, amount of exercise, sleep pattern, levels of stress and coping mechanisms, the whole works! This type of care is part of a healthy lifestyle and designed for those who want to be at their best.
From pain relief to wellness, the choice is yours how far you want to take your health.
Definitely. We have adjusted babies and every stage of life from there on. Naturally there are changes in the techniques that are utilized but we find that children respond particularly well to Chiropractic care. Just like your teeth, your car, if you start taking care and maintaining things early on, they will function better and last longer. A healthy spine and nervous system from an early age sets up the path for optimal health for years to come.
Absolutely. Pregnancy can be a very joyful period in a woman’s life but exposes the body to significant physiological stresses. As the fetus grows, ligaments are stretched and more and more pressure is put on the spine. Consequently many mother-to-be have to endure much aches and pain. Furthermore, women with untreated back pain during pregnancy are at higher risk of having the problem becoming chronic post-natal. The pregnant women who are under Chiropractic care with us report that not only they have little to no back discomfort; they sleep better, have more energy and can handle emotional stresses better.
Chiropractic services are not covered by OHIP. However, the majority of extended health benefit plans do provide coverage for Chiropractic care. As every insurance plan is different, the best thing to do is call your insurer to verify. Upon request, we can do a courtesy verification of your insurance health benefits at your initial visit. Furthermore, if you have sustained injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident or from work, you may be eligible to have your treatments covered by your automobile insurance or WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board).
Your health is your best investment, so invest wisely. Each of us is free to place a different value on our health. While it is convenient when an insurance company or third party helps pay the bill, you should keep in mind that whether your insurance will or will not cover your costs should not be the only factor that goes into your choice to accept Chiropractic care. Don’t allow the profit motive of a corporation to dictate what’s best for your health.