FAQ

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What is chiropractic?
The word “chiropractic” comes from ancient Greek and means “done by hand.”
Adjustment of the joints of the body has been used in health care for many centuries and is at the heart of modern chiropractic care.
Chiropractors are specialists in manual adjustment of the vertebrae of the spine and other joints. Adjustment helps relieve pain and restore normal functioning to the spine, joints and supporting structures of the body – so you can enjoy your everyday activities again as quickly as possible.

Chiropractors are also trained to prescribe therapeutic exercise, provide nutritional counselling, and recommend rehabilitation and injury prevention strategies.

What is an adjustment?
An adjustment is a highly skilled and precise movement usually applied by hand to a joint of the body. Adjustments free up the joint to restore proper movement and optimize function.

Chiropractic adjustment techniques have been researched extensively. Complications are rare and side-effects, such as temporary soreness, are usually minor. Your chiropractor will determine if your problem will respond to chiropractic care or if you require referral to another health care provider.

What are some of the benefits of chiropractic care?
  • Improve movement and function in your neck, shoulders, back, torso and extremities
  • Correct gait and foot problems
  • Improve your posture
  • Provide relief from headaches, neck and back pain
  • Help prevent work-related muscle and joint injuries
  • Improve your flexibility and range of motion
  • Relieve pregnancy-related back ache
  • Correct gait and foot problems
Is a chiropractic adjustment safe?
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest, drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of headache, and neck and back pain. It has an excellent safety record. However, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. Even common over-the-counter medicines carry a risk.

Most patients experience immediate relief following an adjustment, however, some may experience temporary pain, stiffness or slight swelling. Some patients may also experience temporary dizziness, local numbness, or radiating pain. However, adverse effects associated with spinal adjustment are most often minor and short-lived.

Informed consent

Prior to starting treatment, all regulated health professionals are obligated by their regulatory standards to obtain informed consent documented in a written form to treatment from their patients. Health care consumers must receive appropriate and accurate information to assist them in evaluating their health care choices, and in balancing the relative risks of treatment options with the benefits. The chiropractic profession takes this responsibility seriously and has been a leader in obtaining informed consent.

Neck adjustments

Almost half of us experience some kind of neck pain at least once a year. Persistent or recurrent neck pain is reported by an estimated 50–85% of patients one to five years after initial onset. Twenty-seven percent of patients seeking chiropractic treatment report neck or cervical problems. Thus, treatment of neck pain is an integral part of chiropractic practice.

There are evidence-based clinical practice guidelines in place for chiropractic treatment of neck pain. For both chronic and acute back pain, the guidelines state that manual therapies, mobilization, and patient exercises and stretches are recommended.

Evidence also demonstrates that chiropractic care, including spinal manipulative therapy, can be an effective treatment for cervicogenic and tension-type headaches. More so, studies have demonstrated that care offered by chiropractors can also decrease the intensity and frequency of migraines. A plan of management should be individualized to the patient’s needs.

Chiropractic has been proven safe and effective for a range of conditions including neck pain. Patients and their chiropractors work together to determine what treatment options appropriately balance risks with potential benefits. Chiropractors work to limit their patients’ risk by performing thorough histories and examinations and frequently re-evaluating symptoms and progress.

Discover Chiropractic – FAQ’s and answers courtesy of Ontario Chiropractic Association

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