What is Chiropractic Treatment?

chiro-treatment-featuredChiropractors use hands-on spinal manipulation and other alternative treatments, the theory being that proper alignment of the body’s musculoskeletal structure, particularly the spine, will enable the body to heal itself without surgery or medication. Manipulation is used to restore mobility to joints restricted by tissue injury caused by a traumatic event, such as falling, or repetitive stress, such as sitting without proper back support.

Chiropractic is primarily used as a pain relief alternative as a means of addressing issues related to the nerves, muscles, joints, bones, and connective tissue, such as cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. It is sometimes used in conjunction with conventional medical treatment. Chiropractic therapy is also offered for wellness living and prevention of various conditions.

What to expect:

For the initial examination, Dr. Dhillon obtains a detailed health history and physically assesses her patients. This typically takes 45 minutes to an hour. If required, Dr. Dhillon may send out for x-rays. Once Dr. Dhillon has reviewed findings from the examination, she devises a treatment plan that is best suited to her patients. She believes in constantly educating her patients so they have a better understanding of their own health.

Dr. Dhillon understands that time is very valuable so she is able to deliver quick and effective treatment. Following the initial exam, the treatments tend to be 5 to 10 minutes per visit, depending on the complaint(s). Dr. Dhillon believes in her patients playing an active role in their own health, which is why she recommends stretches and exercises to reinforce the adjustments and other treatments.

The fees:

The initial examination is $80 while the subsequent treatments are $40.

Who should see a Chiropractor?

Although most people tend to seek Chiropractic care only when they are in pain, Dr. Dhillon truly believes that everyone can benefit from Chiropractic therapy!

Chiropractors tend to focus on the joints, muscles, and nerves of the body. They are specifically interested in the spine as it is the housing center for the peripheral nervous system. What does all of this mean? Different nerves originate from the spine and supply all of the skin, muscles, and joints of the body. The nerves originating in the neck supply the skin and muscles of the head, shoulders, arms, and hands. The nerves in the midback supply the rib cage, organs (stomach, pancreas, lungs, partial digestive system, heart); while the nerves originating in the lower back supply the reproductive organs, the low back, the buttocks, the legs, and feet.

Research supports that Chiropractic therapy can successfully treat migraines, neck pain, and back pain; however, Chiropractors are also trained to treat many other conditions! Whether you have a sore neck, a shoulder problem, a hip problem, and other non-back related issues, Chiropractic therapy can be of benefit! This makes sense as Chiropractors work with the nervous system to optimize functioning of the body. Therefore they are encouraging self healing.

Let us suppose you have a longstanding shoulder issue but you are not having any neck pain. It is still important for you to see a Chiropractor! Chiropractic therapy will focus on optimizing the function of the nerves that supply the shoulder area, which originate from the neck. This analogy can be applied to different areas.

Although formal research is limited, Chiropractors have treated non-back issues such as asthma, bed wetting, and colick in babies. Again, this is because they are directly working with their patients to optimize the functioning of their nervous system. It is common for parents to seek Chiropractic care for their children, as it is a very safe form of therapy compared to other traditional approaches.

What is a subluxation?

Subluxations are the result of irregular motion and/or positioning of the vertebrae. They can be a result of stress, trauma, or repetitive injury.

Subluxations affect the nerve pathways, which allow the brain to communicate with the rest of the body.  Irregular nerve communication can manifest as various health problems beyond back and neck pain.
The nervous system controls all tissues at the cellular level, which is why it is important for it be functioning optimally. Nerve impulses travel through the spine; therefore, it is important to have subluxations treated.

Chiropractors are experts in detecting and treating vertebral subluxations.

How are subluxations treated?

Subluxations are primarily treated through regular adjustments. An adjustment is a gentle force that is applied through the subluxated joint(s) to help reduce the pressure on the adjacent nerves and encourage mobility of misaligned joints.

The purpose of the adjustments are to encourage proper alignment and improve the bodies natural healing abilities.

What is the “cracking” sound?

Sometimes an audible sound is heard after the adjustment. This is a result of the displacement of gases and fluids within the joint spaces. It is similar to the opening of a pop can. An audible sound is not necessary to have a successful adjustment.

What happens after the first adjustment?

Most patients tend to feel better after the initial adjustment.

However, at other times soreness is experienced. This is similar to when one feels post workout muscle soreness. Icing is recommended in these cases.

How many treatments will I need?

This varies on the extent of the spinal misalignment and one’s overall health.

During the initial phases of treatment, the tissues tend to want to go back to their injured states due to tissue memory.

This is the reason why it usually takes 6 to 8 treatments to determine how one is responding to Chiropractic care

But I am not having pain?

Pain is not always bad! It implies that your body is communicating with your brain and vice versa. Obviously pain does not feel good, but most people seem to think they are healthy if they are not in pain. This is a common misconception!

In cases where there is an acute injury such as a sprain or strain, pain is felt quickly. The goal of the initial few Chiropractic treatments are to reduce pain while aiming to restore mobility. The subsequent visits revolve around restoring full mobility. Pain is usually the “last to show and first to go”. Usually pain has decreased significantly at this point but that does not necessarily equate to full resolution of the underlying issue(s), therefore it is important to continue care.

Although one may feel better after their initial Chiropractic treatment, they must realize there is a possibility that they can relapse into their injured state. Usually this happens with any form of therapy during the early stages. This is why it is important not to be primarily pain focused. While decreasing the pain intensity is important, other factors need to be considered such as mobility, strength, and orthopedic testing (specific evidence based testing). These factors are assessed by the Chiropractor and do not always correlate with pain levels. Feeling pain is not always bad thing. The fact that your body is responsive and is constantly communicating with your brain is important.

On the other hand, chronic issues occur over a longer period of time. For example, someone who has had a desk job their entire life may never feel pain; however, this does not equate to being healthy! It is very likely they will have poor posture, spinal misalignment, and tight muscles. This person may think they are healthy because they are not feeling pain, but this type of person is the ideal Chiropractic patient! The Chiropractor can work with the patient to re-align the spine and encourage full functioning of the nervous system.

What sort of training do Chiropractors have?

A 7 year minimum education is required for all Chiropractors. Usually Chiropractors have an undergraduate Science degree and later go on to pursue a Doctor of Chiropractic degree.  During the 4 year Chiropractic program, they learn anatomy, radiology (diagnostic imaging) and physical therapy techniques. They are also educated in the following areas: biomechanics, rehabilitation, immunology, toxic pharmacology, physiology, nutrition, and microbiology.

I am not sure if I have coverage:

Dr. Dhillon definitely understands that finances are important, but they should not dictate one’s health!  Insurance companies are pain focused and usually do not cover the corrective phase of therapy.  If your Chiropractor recommends therapy for longer than what your insurance covers, it should be taken seriously. In cases where the patient discontinues care against recommendations (when their benefits run out), they tend to relapse and the underlying issue is not fully resolved. This can result in re-occurrences of the issue and other health related issues. Non-compliance is one of the main reasons results are not seen with any form of therapy.

We recommend directly contacting your insurance company to determine your eligibility. Certain insurance companies require a medical doctor’s referral to cover Chiropractic services. Most insurance companies do not share coverage details with us when we call from our office due to breach of confidentiality. It is important to ask details such as the maximum coverage per calendar year, the renewal date, and whether you require a doctor’s note to be eligible for coverage.

Strokes? No way!

There is a common misconception out there with regards to Chiropractic and neck adjustments. There is NO definitive evidence, which shows that Chiropractors (neck adjustments) directly cause strokes! The chances of this occurring are less than one in a million!

In cases where anything like this has occurred, it tends to be a temporal association. Therefore if someone is having a stroke in progress (showing symptoms of a stroke), they will have the stroke whether they see their Chiropractor or Family Doctor.

Chiropractors are trained to rule out specific conditions (ex: previous history of stroke, dizziness/progressive headaches) prior to adjusting their patients; however, there are instances where the screening is rushed or not conducted thoroughly.

In cases where the Chiropractor fails to recognize the symptoms of the stroke and adjusts their patient, the patient tends to think the Chiropractor caused the stroke.

If you are not comfortable with a neck adjustment, speak to your Chiropractor. There are always alternatives! Dr. Dhillon can use other manual approaches (gentle mobilizations) and/or an Activator instrument (gentle force through a small tool).

Remember, it is all about patient comfort!

BENEFITS OF CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT

Chiropractors are best known for safely and effectively treating acute back and neck pain, as well as headaches. They are also trained to treat extremities (shoulder pain, hip pain, ankle pain, etc). Whereas a medical doctor might prescribe pain medicine, muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatory drugs, and an orthopedic doctor might suggest surgery, a chiropractor will treat your back problems by hand, through manipulation of the spine.

Chiropractors bring the musculoskeletal structure into proper alignment. Chiropractors change the position of your body and apply pressure to particular points along the spine that are not properly aligned. This results in a popping noise similar to the one created when you crack your knuckles. The noise is created by a change in pressure in your joints as gas bubbles are released. There is no real “cracking” of any bones or joints.

 Involves no drugs or surgery

A broad range of techniques are used to locate, analyze and gently correct vertebral misalignments (subluxations) in the spine. Chiropractors primarily use spinal manipulation and soft tissue techniques to address misalignments. electrical muscular stimulation, ultrasound or massage. But they never use pharmaceutical drugs or invasive surgery. Chiropractic is a natural method of healing that stimulates the body’s communication system to work more effectively to initiate, control and coordinate the various functions of the cells, organs and systems of the body;therefore anyone can benefit from Chiropractic!

 Triggers your body’s ability to heal

Chiropractors recognize that many factors affect your health, including exercise, nutrition, sleep, environment and heredity. Chiropractic focuses on maintaining your health naturally to help your body resist disease, rather than simply treating the symptoms of disease.

If you have any questions pertaining to Chiropractic, feel free to either give us a call or drop in to speak to Dr. Dhillon.