What does a chiropractor do?
Chiropractors are extensively educated in the prevention, assessment, diagnosis and management of spine, muscle and nervous system (also known as musculoskeletal or MSK) conditions. They recommend a course of treatment to help relieve pain and improve function without surgery or pharmaceuticals such as manipulation, soft tissue therapy, exercise, rehabilitation, and patient education.
Specific training in spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) allows chiropractors to provide adjustments using highly-skilled and precise movements to the vertebrae of the spine, correcting joint motion to restore proper movement and improve function.
Why would I need to see a chiropractor?
Neck pain, low back pain, headaches, repetitive strain injuries, whiplash symptoms – these are all reasons to see a chiropractor since they help treat muscle and joint pain.
When should I visit a chiropractor after I have an injury?
The best time to see your chiropractor is immediately after you suffer an injury or within two days of feeling the pain associated with the trauma. If you find that aches are limiting you from sleeping well, sitting or walking, we recommend that you see your chiropractor as soon as possible.
Do I need a referral to visit a chiropractor?
You never need a referral to see a chiropractor. The earlier you see your chiropractor, the greater chance there is for a full recovery. Sometimes, small problems can escalate into big medical challenges that can significantly impact your life.
Chiropractors are primary care providers and can support your recovery from start to finish. Patients who suffer for a long time without chiropractic care may wish to seek out a second opinion from a chiropractic doctor if their current medical treatments are not effective.
What are the top five conditions Dr. Merani treats on a daily basis?
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Headaches caused by tight muscles and joints
- Repetitive strain tendinopathies
- Foot Pain
What can I expect with a treatment?
Your first visit will consist of the following steps:
Initial Information: You will complete a health history form and be asked for contact information for your patient file. The reception staff will answer any questions you may have about what to expect.
Case History: Once in the examination room, your chiropractic doctor will introduce themselves, review your paperwork and ask further questions about your condition and history. Further notes are made to your chart depending on your answers.
Examination: Your chiropractor will conduct a physical examination which may mean touching or palpating areas of your body. They will also look for neurological symptoms that could point to an injury involving your nerves. An x-ray or other imaging is recommended in some cases. This will also include some physical tests such as leaning your body to one side and then the other, checking your reflexes and or moving your arms and legs. Depending on your symptoms, you may be asked to wear a gown for examination and treatment purposes.
Informed Consent: Your doctor will discuss the informed consent form with you and request your signature before the examination. Informed consent is about ensuring the patient is clear as to the diagnosis, treatment options and anticipated outcomes of the treatment.
Examination: The examination provides clues for your doctor as to what is causing the problem. After they have gathered all of this information, your doctor will provide a diagnosis. If your doctor suspects that the problem is caused by something out of chiropractic scope of practice, they will refer to a specialist or other health care provider.
Treatment: Your doctor will propose and discuss a treatment plan including the number of visits required. Once you understand your treatment plan and feel comfortable moving forward, your doctor will treat you which may include an adjustment. Adjustments are generally performed on a chiropractic table, similar to a massage table. If you are not comfortable with an adjustment, your chiropractor will utilize other therapies to treat you.
Ongoing Management: Your doctor will help you identify the cause of your condition, whether it is from poor posture, a repetitive strain injury or anything else in between. They will prescribe various exercises and offer lifestyle advice to accompany your treatment plan. The goal is to get you well sooner faster and keep you well.
What happens after my chiropractic session?
After treatment, patients may feel some discomfort or fatigue but this should not last more than 24 hours. Many patients feel relief and increased mobility immediately after the treatment while others notice changes more gradually.
How long does it take to see improvement after beginning treatments?
Following their treatment plan, patients notice a difference in 3 to 5 visits and full recovery in 6 to 8 visits* on average, depending on the nature of their condition or injury. Your chiropractor will review and discuss what you can expect from your treatment.
*Although the provincial average is 6 to 8 visits the range is broad with some patients responding faster than others.
I have this feeling that my body feels “unbalanced” … can a chiropractor help?
Many patients get to know their bodies and can sense the need for a visit to maintain optimal spinal health. They may feel like something is “off”, unbalanced or tight in their posture and seek out treatment to correct it.
What about neck manipulation?
Millions of neck manipulations are performed safely each year. They provide patients with relief from neck pain and headaches and help them to get back to their normal activities. If you suffer from neck pain or headaches, be very specific about your symptoms. Clarity will help your chiropractor offer the safest and most effective treatment, even if it involves referral to another health care provider.
Do not hesitate to discuss any concerns you may have with your chiropractor. Depending on your clinical condition, they will recommend the most appropriate and safest treatment for your particular condition. Treatments may include joint mobilization, therapeutic exercise, soft tissue techniques, or other therapies.
Is chiropractic safe?
Chiropractic care has proven to be safe and effective for neck and back pain. A comprehensive review of scientific evidence noted that there is as much evidence supporting chiropractic care as for other treatments such as prescription and non-prescription drugs and surgery.
Doctors of Chiropractic work with patients to achieve and document informed consent, which involves describing the risks and benefits of all treatment options before performing the selected treatment.
The most common side effects associated with chiropractic care are temporary. These are typical symptoms of increased pain, radiating pain, and/or stiffness that usually resolve within 24 hours of treatment. Serious complications are rarely associated with chiropractic care.
Is there evidence for chiropractic?
Chiropractors are Canada’s MSK experts, with over 4,200 hours of core competency training in the musculoskeletal (MSK) system. Chiropractic care is a hands-on, non-invasive, safe and effective approach to treating and managing MSK conditions.
MSK conditions can range in severity from minor sprains and strains to back and neck pain to disc herniations and spinal stenosis. MSK conditions can be mild or severe, but they can also be acute or chronic, common or rare, and localized to one body region or widespread.
Day-to-day activities can put demands on your MSK system, which can cause painful joint and back problems. From motor vehicle accidents to sports injuries to repetitive stress, chiropractic treatment can help heal the specific injuries to your bones, muscles and nerves. With an individualized chiropractic treatment plan, chiropractors manage chronic conditions affecting the MSK system.
The World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) has compiled a reading list of research papers on various topics (neck pain, low back pain, headaches, etc.) curated by the profession and accessible to all. Learn about injuries and conditions associated with musculoskeletal pain and the effectiveness of chiropractic care.
Research into the effectiveness of chiropractic care is ongoing and has shown benefits to many patients. Approximately 1 million British Columbians visit a chiropractor each year to recover from injuries and pains associated with everyday living.
How can I book an appointment?
– Source: BC Chiropractic Association