Chiropractors are professionals that serve to diagnose, treat and prevent disorders and conditions related to the spine, nerves, muscles and joints. Like medical physicians, chiropractors are licensed and qualified to diagnose and treat disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Chiropractors are experts in caring for the spine, nervous system and musculoskeletal system. The most notable being low back pain and neck pain.
Chiropractors treat with a holistic approach. While the focus is on a patient’s nerve, muscle and joint function, there is usually a consideration of nutrition, exercise, sleep, posture, stress, etc.
Why see a Chiropractor?
People who suffer with pain from workplace or motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, stress and even everyday activities seek chiropractic care for their pain relief.
People see a chiropractor for:
Headaches, including migraines
Whiplash and car accident injuries
Strains and sprains from day-to-day tasks or sports injuries
General health and well-being
Back pain – The Consumer Reports Overview of Alternative Therapies (July 2011) revealed that chiropractic was rated as the most effective treatment for back pain. Chiropractic was rated higher than all other back-pain treatments. The Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center survey (April 2009) indicated that chiropractic was the most satisfying treatment available for back pain.
Neck pain – The Consumer Reports Overview of Alternative Therapies (July 2011) found that chiropractic was rated as the most effective treatment for neck pain. Chiropractic was rated higher than all other neck-pain treatments.
Headaches – The Consumer Reports Overview of Alternative Therapies (July 2011) revealed that chiropractic was one of the top three most effective treatments for headaches and the highest rated drug-free approach to headache treatment.
What happens during a visit to a chiropractor?
On your first visit, you will fill out preliminary paperwork that will indicate to the chiropractor why you are seeking care. The chiropractor will then use a variety of diagnostic techniques, including asking questions about your injury or condition, performing a physical examination and perhaps taking X-rays (if necessary). Once your condition is assessed, the chiropractor will recommend the optimal forms of treatment, as well as some alternatives.
The primary treatment used by chiropractors is a chiropractic adjustment (spinal manipulation); a gentle, controlled and directed pressure that helps to restore the spine’s ability to function normally. This form of therapy is now also being used by many medical doctors, physiotherapists and other health care providers, as the benefits of its use are realized in the scientific literature.
Chiropractors will also use therapies that may include joint mobilization, soft-tissue therapies (such as deep-tissue massage and trigger-point therapy), medical acupuncture, laser therapy, heat, cold and rehabilitative exercises as treatment methods; they do not treat patients with drugs or surgery.
The World Health Organization has set standards for the education of doctors of chiropractic. Chiropractic students in Canada complete a minimum of 7-years of post-secondary education, including at least 3-years of an undergraduate university degree and a 4-year chiropractic program of over 4500 classroom hours. In addition to time spent in the classroom, chiropractic students spend over 250 hours dissecting human cadavers and at least 1000 hours treating patients in a supervised clinic setting. Following successful completion of their education, chiropractors must pass the National licensing exams in order to receive a licensed to practice in Canada.
A special thanks to Able Body Health Clinic for providing the references on this page