What can I expect on my first visit?
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 don’t be surprised to be asked questions about these.
Although chiropractors use their hands for most treatments, they also use other methods such as heat, specialized adjusting instruments, personalized exercise programs, muscle-testing and balancing. Your chiropractor can also give you information and guidance on how you can stay healthy through proper nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes.
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, 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.
What results can I expect with Chiropractic care?
That depends on your condition. 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. Individual cases vary and chronic conditions obviously need more treatment, but Workers’ Compensation Board studies show that people with low back pain get back to work much faster with chiropractic care.
You might also consider the benefits of regular chiropractic adjustments even when you feel healthy. Sometimes you won’t know you have a disorder of the neuromusculoskeletal system until it becomes acute and painful. So, just as you see your dentist to have your teeth checked and your optometrist for eye exams, regular visits to your chiropractor can catch related health conditions early, often preventing them from developing into major problems. Remember, your spine is every bit as susceptible to wear and tear as your teeth and your eyes so you should look after it.
What’s an adjustment?
Chiropractic adjustments usually involve a quick thrust that helps add motion to spinal joints that aren’t moving right. Some methods use the doctor’s hands, an instrument, a special table, or the force of gravity. There are many ways to adjust the spine. The primary goal of spinal adjustments are to decrease pain and restore function by improving areas of reduced movement in the joints and supporting tissues, and decreasing muscle tightness or spasm.
Are chiropractic adjustments safe?
Yes. A New Zealand government study found that adjustments are “remarkably safe.” By avoiding drugs and risky surgery, chiropractic care enjoys an excellent track record. A thorough exam can identify the rare person for whom chiropractic care might be unsuited. Compare the statistics. Adjustments are safer than taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
What about neck adjustments?
All health treatments have the potential for adverse effects and, on rare occasions, neck adjustment has been associated with stroke and stroke-like symptoms. A Canadian study, published in 2001, concluded that stroke symptoms associated with neck adjustments are so rare that it is difficult to quantify. Similarly, a medical review published in 2002 looked at 73 studies of chiropractic care and found no serious complications reported in any of them. By way of comparison, neck adjustment is significantly safer than other common treatments for headache, neck and back pain.