A Doctor of Chiropractic is an expert trained in the conditions and mechanics of the neuromusculoskeletal system. We diagnose and treat disorders not just of the spine but also other joints of the body by using chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue therapy, and other corrective manipulation. Specific chiropractic adjustments can help correct joint dysfunction created by the various physical, chemical, and emotional stresses in our lives. We use our hands to manipulate the tissues to reduce pain and restore or enhance joint function although occasionally other techniques will be used. This can reduce pain and muscle tension and speed the healing process. Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort when the chiropractor is applying treatment to patients according to their needs.
Sometimes patients are concerned that once they start chiropractic care they will always need to have chiropractic care, that their bodies will become dependent on it. This is a common misunderstanding. The reason many patients return for continued care over the years is because they realize that chiropractic treatment, in conjunction with corrective exercises and rehabilitation, allows them to consistently feel better. They sleep better, have more energy, and have less pain during and after activity. Depending on your activity level, stress, nutrition and overall health, some may feel that they would benefit from treatment more often than others – but there’s really no general rule that applies to everyone the same way. It really depends on your individual health and wellness goals. If you’re only concerned about relief of acute pain, typically the treatment period is relatively short. But if your goal is to resolve biomechanical issues that are causing recurring discomfort, then the rehabilitation component of care may take longer. But bear in mind that much of the success of the rehab is dependent on what you do at home away from the clinic. Given what you put your body through on a daily basis, it makes sense to have regular treatments at least every couple of months to relieve stress on the tissues and catch small problems before the become big ones. Patients respond to care differently. Some recover very quickly, others take longer. Many factors affect this including how healthy you are, how long you’ve had the problem, whether you smoke or exercise, and how consistently you apply yourself to the recommended corrective exercises. Our treatment is adapted to meet the specific needs of each patient.
Chiropractic is a healing discipline that is firmly grounded in science. Few other health care interventions have been assessed as extensively 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. The Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation is one of the ways in which the chiropractic profession continually nurtures a chiropractic research culture that will inform quality, evidence-based care. Over the past few years there have also been Chiropractic Research Chairs established in universities across the country.
- Canadian Chiropractic Association with notes by Jonathan Clow DC