WHAT IS CHIROPRACTIC?
Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of prescription drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine, but also the extremities) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health and healing.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT ON MY FIRST VISIT?
First, you will be asked to complete paperwork that provides information about yourself and your reason for contacting a doctor of chiropractic. You will then discuss your concerns in an initial consultation with the chiropractor.
If the chiropractor feels you will benefit from chiropractic care, a thorough health history and examination of your spine and nervous system will be performed. Depending on your individual situation, this may include assessments of your spine or extremities, posture, range of motion, strength, reflexes, etc. Sometimes, the doctor may require additional diagnostic testing (for example, xrays) and time to study those results in order to prepare a complete diagnosis and a plan of management that is specific to your problem. Once the doctor has discussed your options, and what you can expect from your care, you will be given the option to start treatment. If it is determined that yours is not a chiropractic problem, a referral to another health care provider will be made.
HOW MANY VISITS WILL I NEED?
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 person’s unique situation. The number of visits required varies depending on the age of the patient, type and severity of injury, length of time the injury has been there, and other factors. Once the doctor and patient are satisfied that the injury has recovered, some patients choose to schedule appointments for regular checkups to maintain their spinal health. You may also receive information and guidance on how you help your recover through proper nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes.
DO I NEED A REFERRAL TO SEE A CHIROPRACTOR?
No. A patient does not have to be referred by a medical doctor. Chiropractors are legislated as primary contact health care professionals in every province in Canada. This means that patients can consult them directly. However, chiropractors often work closely with MDs, and other health care professionals to ensure that you get the care that you need.
HOW IS CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENT PERFORMED?
Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed during four intensive years of chiropractic education. A chiropractor typically uses his/her hands to move the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to reduce pain, and restore or enhance joint functioning. A chiropractor may also use specifically designed chiropractic tables or adjusting instruments to assist with the adjustment process. These procedures can be adapted to meet the specific needs of each patient. An adjustment is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort and patients often note positive changes in their symptoms following treatment.
WHAT IS THAT CRACKING NOISE?
The sound that occurs with some types of chiropractic adjustments is just a release of gases that are compressed between the joint, much like the sound you hear when you crack your knuckle. Sometimes this noise will appear louder the closer to your ear it is. For example, a neck adjustment will appear much louder than a lower back adjustment simply because of the proximity to your ear. There are some types of chiropractic adjustments that this sound will not be heard.
ARE CHIROPRACTORS DOCTORS?
Yes Chiropractors are doctors. Chiropractic in Manitoba is regulated by the regulatory branch of the Manitoba Chiropractors Association. Chiropractors have the legislated right and obligation to communicate a diagnosis and to use the title doctor, just like other medical doctors, dentists, psychologists, or optometrists.