What is chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a conservative and natural healing art and science that concentrates on keeping people well. While chiropractic is an American science more than 103 years old, its basic wellness premise dates back to spinal “manipulations” first used by Hippocrates, the Father of Healing in the 4th Century B.C.
Doctors of chiropractic do not treat symptoms, though this may be the initial reason why a patient comes to a chiropractic office. What the doctor of chiropractic does is attempt to get to the root cause of a health problem. The primary focus of chiropractic is the detection, reduction, and correction of spinal misalignments (known as subluxations) with resultant nervous system dysfunction.
The spinal column houses a critical part of the body’s nervous system, the spinal cord, which is responsible for the transmission of nerve impulses or messages to and from the brain. This free flow of nerve impulses is necessary to allow the body to function properly. A spinal malfunction (subluxation) can interrupt this flow of information and affect the body’s nervous system causing pain, muscle and organ dysfunction, and other imbalances.
Is chiropractic care safe?
The process of chiropractic adjustment is a safe, efficient procedure which is performed nearly one million times every working day in the United States.
There is a singular lack of actuarial data that would justify concluding that chiropractic care is in any way harmful or dangerous. Chiropractic care is non-invasive, therefore, the body’s response to chiropractic care is far more predictable than its reactions to drug treatments or surgical procedures. Of the nearly one million adjustments given every day in this country, complications are exceedingly rare. Perhaps the best summary statement on the subject of safety was published in 1979 by the Government of New Zealand which established a special commission to study chiropractic.
They found: “The conspicuous lack of evidence that chiropractors cause harm or allow harm to occur through neglect of medical referral can be taken to mean only one thing: that chiropractors have on the whole an impressive safety record.”
Is it okay to see a chiropractor if I am pregnant?
Anytime is a good time for a better functioning nervous system. Pregnant mothers find that chiropractic adjustments improve their pregnancy and make delivery easier for themselves and their baby. Adjusting methods are always adapted to a patient’s size, weight, age, and condition of health.
Is chiropractic care expensive?
Doctors of chiropractic provide effective, low-cost health care for a wide range of conditions.
Studies conducted according to the highest scientific standards and published by organizations not affiliated in any way with chiropractic institutions or associations continue to show the clinical appropriateness and effectiveness of chiropractic care. One of the most recent, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health, stated emphatically that: “On the evidence, particularly the most scientifically valid clinical studies, spinal manipulation applied by chiropractors is shown to be more effective than alternative treatments for low back pain…There would be highly significant cost savings if more management of low back pain was transferred from physician to chiropractors.”
Will I have to continue chiropractic care for the rest of my life?
You may have heard the notion that once you go to a chiropractor you have to keep going back. Before we answer that question, ask yourself how many times you have visited a dentist? Like most people, you’ve probably gone dozens of times. Why? Quite simply, to prevent your teeth from literally rotting out of your head.
Once chiropractic care gets you out of crisis and rehabilitates the injured tissues we do recommend that you maintain a schedule of periodic spinal checkups.
Like your dentist and like many of the medical experts are now recognizing, prevention is the key to reducing recurrences of existing health conditions and minimizing new injuries in the future.
So the answer is yes, we want you to keep coming back to maintain your spinal posture and prevent injury from happening in the future. Maintenance chiropractic care minimizes spinal and nerve stresses, reduces recurrences of old injuries, prevents new injuries from developing, minimizes degenerative processes, which enhances overall health and wellness.
Is chiropractic scientific?
The practice of chiropractic is based on sound scientific principles.
The existence of the nervous system as the primary control mechanism of the body is an undisputed scientific fact. “Of the 9 systems of the body, the nervous system is supreme. It regulates and controls all other systems.”—Gray’s Anatomy, 29th Edition, p4 Its relationship with the spine is the focus of the practice of chiropractic. The spine develops in utero to provide two primary functions: (1) allow for freedom of movement and (2) house and protect the spinal cord. When the vertebrae of the spine become misaligned through trauma or repetitive injury, two major consequences will result: (1) the range of motion becomes limited and (2) spinal nerves emerging from the spinal cord are compromised. Chiropractors use the term “subluxation” to describe such disruptions. Interruption of nerve flow can eventually lead to pain, disability, and an overall decrease in the quality of life. Conversely, the removal of that interference has been shown to have significant, lasting health benefits. Through the adjustment of the subluxation, the doctor of chiropractic endeavors to restore normal nerve expression. The body is then able to respond appropriately to any imbalance in the system, thus relieving symptoms and restoring health.
How safe is chiropractic for a child?
Chiropractic is one of the safest forms of children’s health care. A chiropractor does not adjust a baby or a child the same way as he or she adjusts an adult. A baby’s spine is very supple during the first few months of life, so the doctor of chiropractic applies only a slight pressure to make an adjustment. For older children whose spine is still made of mainly cartilage, slight pressure followed by a gentle push is all that is required to put the vertebra back in place.
When should I take my child to a chiropractor?
When you want to give your child a head start in good health and all the benefits of a conservative, drugless approach to health care, you should take your child to a chiropractor. It is important to have a chiropractic exam during the first year of a child’s life as spinal trauma can occur during birth, as well as from tumbles while learning to sit up or walk. Improper lifting and carrying can also contribute to spinal stress.
Your child’s spine grows almost 50% in length during the first year. This is equivalent to a six-footer growing to nine feet in just 12 months! It’s this kind of tremendous growth and developmental changes which make a complete chiropractic examination so important in the early stages of a child’s life. If there is a problem, the earlier it is corrected the less likelihood there is of it becoming a chronic or more serious problem later in life.
Doctors of chiropractic believe it’s much more important to prevent diseases than wait till some disease occurs.
What type of education do Doctors of Chiropractic get?
Today’s Doctor of Chiropractic is well educated. The science of chiropractic requires a special emphasis on anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, biomechanics, X-ray, spinal adjusting techniques and related subjects. This demanding curriculum prepares chiropractic doctors to locate the Vertebral Subluxation Complex and help correct the resulting nervous system dysfunction.
Before beginning Chiropractic school, chiropractic students need to complete a minimum of 3 years of undergraduate education to obtain the necessary prerequisites. A chiropractic student then completes 4 years of graduate school to receive a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. However the testing is not done. Each candidate must then pass both Federal and Provincial board examinations in order to receive a license to practice chiropractic. It takes about 7 years of post-secondary schooling to learn how to be a chiropractor!
A chiropractic education never ends. BC Chiropractors must complete 48 hours of Continuing Education Credits every 2 years. As well, most doctors continue to educate themselves by taking postgraduate courses and staying current by reading the latest scientific research.
After undergraduate studies, today’s chiropractic doctor completes an additional four-year curriculum of over 4,500 classroom hours of health sciences.
What is an adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is the art of using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is fixated, ‘locked up,’ or not moving properly. An adjustment adds motion to the joint, helping the bones gradually return to a more normal position and motion. The purpose of this safe and natural procedure is improved spinal function, improved nervous system function, and improved health.
There are hundreds of ways to adjust the spine. Usually the doctor’s hands or a specially designed instrument delivers a brief and highly accurate thrust. Some adjusting methods are quick, whereas others require a slow constant pressure.
After years of training and clinical experience, each chiropractic doctor becomes highly skilled in the delivery of a variety of adjusting approaches.
What causes the sound during an adjustment?
Actually, adjustments do not always produce a sound. Often, however, adjustments do create the sound of a spinal “release,” or “popping” sound. The sound is caused by gas rushing in to fill the partial vacuum created when the joints are slightly separated. This sound is painless and totally harmless.
Can I adjust myself?
No. Since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction to a specific joint, it is virtually impossible to adjust oneself correctly and accurately. It is possible to turn or bend or twist in certain ways to create a “popping” sound that sometimes accompanies a chiropractic adjustment. Unfortunately, this type of joint manipulation is usually counterproductive, often making an already unstable spine even more unstable, and can sometimes be dangerous. Adjusting the spine is not for amateurs!
Can I be too old for a chiropractic adjustment?
More and more people are consulting chiropractic doctors, especially in their later years. With growing concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs, safe, natural chiropractic care is growing in popularity.
Restoring better spinal function can help improve mobility, vitality, endurance and appetite. Many patients report improvement with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process.
The adjusting technique used by your doctor will be modified for maximum comfort and results.
As we get older and wiser, the simplicity and effectiveness of chiropractic care becomes more and more obvious.
Regardless of your age, chiropractic care can help improve mobility and maintain vitality.