One of the largest primary care professions in Ontario, chiropractic is a non-invasive, hands-on health care discipline that focuses on the musculoskeletal system.
Chiropractors practice a manual approach, providing diagnosis, treatment and preventive care for disorders related to the spine, pelvis, nervous system and joints.
Chiropractors use a combination of treatments, all of which are predicated on the specific needs of the individual patient. After taking a complete history and diagnosing a patient, a chiropractor can develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment/management plan, recommend therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies, and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counselling.
For many conditions, such as lower back pain, chiropractic care is frequently the primary method of treatment. Where other conditions exist, chiropractic care may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the musculoskeletal aspects associated with the condition.
Chiropractic care may also be used to provide symptomatic relief for patients with chronic conditions. According to patient surveys, by treating the musculoskeletal elements of such disorders, chiropractic treatment has been shown to improve the general well-being of the patient.
WHAT IS A CHIROPRACTOR?
A Doctor of Chiropractic has spent four years at an accredited chiropractic institution, receiving more than 4,200 hours of specialized clinical training.
The chiropractic curriculum at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, in Toronto, includes studies in anatomy, pathology, biomechanics, chiropractic principles, diagnosis and adjustment techniques.
As primary care practitioners, chiropractors can develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment / management plan, recommend therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies, and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counselling.
Chiropractors are one of only five classes of health care professionals in Ontario that are able to use the title Doctor, with its accompanying rights and obligations.
Chiropractic is regulated by provincial statute. Each province has a regulatory college, established by legislation in the same manner and with the same structure and similar regulations as the regulatory bodies for other health care professions.
Regulatory colleges are responsible for protecting the public, setting standards of practice, assuring quality of care is maintained, evaluating and promoting competency and handling disciplinary issues. Ontario’s chiropractors are regulated and licensed by the College of Chiropractors of Ontario.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR FIRST VISIT:
What to expect on your first visit
Your chiropractor may be treating your back pain, neck pain, headache, or other aches and pains, but he or she needs a complete picture of your health history and overall current health in order to provide the best possible treatment for you.
Set aside at least 30 minutes for your first visit to the chiropractor. Future visits typically last 10 minutes or less, though the time required will depend upon the type of treatment you require. Here’s what you might expect.
On your first visit, your chiropractor may ask about the following:
– personal and family medical history
– major illnesses you have experienced
– surgeries or operations you have had
– medications you are taking
– a description of your present condition
– the steps you have taken to manage your condition
– your diet and exercise
– your sleeping habits, daily activities, work routine, stress level, and home life
It is a good idea to wear comfortable clothes and shoes for your visit to the chiropractor. Your chiropractor may ask you to change into a gown to perform some of these tests:
– a check of your blood pressure, pulse and breathing
– a test of your reflexes, strength and sensations
– an analysis of your posture
– an X-ray of your spine
– an analysis of your movement — he/she will observe how you walk, turn, bend or lift things, as well as how your body moves in the affected area
– a hands-on evaluation of how well your spine moves, identifying – restrictions and areas of improper motion
WHAT ARE SOME BENEFITS OF CHIROPRACTIC?
Chiropractic care can:
– Improve movement in your neck, shoulders, back and torso
– Improve your posture
– Provide relief from headaches, neck and back pain
– Help prevent work-related muscle and joint injuries
– Lead to enhanced athletic performance
– Improve your flexibility and range of motion
– Relieve pregnancy-related back ache
– Correction gait and foot problems
– Relieve pain from pinched nerves
– Improve overall heath and well-being