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Sunday, April 5, 2015
What Do Chiropractors Do?
If I asked you to describe what a dentist does, I’m positive you could easily tell me. Same goes for an optometrist. Now, what if I asked you ‘What does a Chiropractor do?’ would you be able to give me an answer as easily? Maybe not. But not to worry, you’re not alone.
Chiropractic is one of the largest primary-contact health care professions in Ontario. This means that anyone may consult a Chiropractor for a health concern and no medical referral is necessary from a family doctor or specialist. Chiropractic is a non-invasive, hands-on health care discipline (the word ‘chiropractic’ literally means ‘done by hand’) that focuses on the relationship between the spine, nerve system, and the body’s ability to heal and function. Chiropractors use a natural and drug-free approach to health and wellness.
Where do we start? You’ve been complaining for months about your headaches, neck pain, back pain, etc… On the advice of a friend, family member, or co-worker you finally decide to make an appointment to see a Chiropractor. But you’re still not really what to expect or how Chiropractic can help you.
One of the best ways to learn if Chiropractic is right for you is to book an initial consultation. Many Chiropractors will offer complimentary 15-minute consults where prospective patients can have questions answered, see the office, meet staff but also get to know the Chiropractor. This also gives the doctor an opportunity to learn a little bit about you and your health concerns.
Following a thorough history of your current and past health issues the Chiropractor will perform a physical exam of your spine and any other area(s) of concern. This will help determine what exactly is going on and how Chiropractic can best help you. If Chiropractic can’t help you, this will allow the doctor to refer to a health care professional best suited for your needs.
A treatment plan (how many visits per week, what changes are expected, etc…) is discussed with you by the Chiropractor. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you’re unsure of something. Your health is important to you
When it comes to treatment, Chiropractors use what is called an adjustment. An adjustment is the use of specific force in a precise direction applied to a spinal joint that is not moving properly (i.e. it is stuck/restricted/misaligned). The adjustment helps restore motion to these joints, improving spinal function and joint mobility. This allows the function of the nervous system to improve and the natural healing process to begin. An adjustment can be performed many different ways: using the Chiropractor’s hands, a specially designed instrument, a slow constant pressure to name a few. The adjustment will always be tailored to your age, size, and unique health issue. But the intent is always the same: to address spinal joints that are not moving properly and restore proper motion to allow natural healing to begin.
A lot of people get worried about the sound that they sometimes hear during an adjustment – their bones are cracking! Not true! The noise that is sometimes heard is gas being released from the joint – just like the sound you hear when you open a pop can, same concept. This sound is not an indication of harm.
Now I realize these concepts may be quite foreign to a lot of people but I wanted to (hopefully) shed a little bit of light on what a Chiropractor does to help people with their health care issues. If you are still on the fence, I encourage you to call up your local Toronto Chiropractor and just ask to sit down and chat! You just may learn a thing or two about your health along the way.