Chiropractic Care Myth Busting
Chiropractic seems to be a mysterious profession to most people. As a Doctor of Chiropractic, I often have people ask me questions and I’m happy to answer them to the best of my ability. And when I don’t know an answer, I’ll refer them to the appropriate sources so that I can help inform the inquisitive.
Questions & Answers on Chiropractic Care
1. Aren’t chiropractors “bone crackers”?
I proclaim this as myth #1. “Cracking” of bones implies physical damage to these strong and often weight-bearing structures. Chiropractors use adjustments (aka spinal manipulative therapy: SMT) to reintroduce motion in joints that have lost their full potential in an effective, controlled manner.
Fact: The popping noise is a by-product of the change in joint pressure and not bone on bone contact.
2. Is it true that chiropractors want to be a cure-all?
Myth! First things first, there’s variability in any profession so don’t be surprised if you meet chiropractors of differing strengths and health beliefs. As a whole, Chiropractors are spinal specialists highly trained in spinal and extremity adjustments (aka SMT/EMT).
Also remember that chiropractors are neuromusculoskeletal doctors. If you have muscles, joints and in certain circumstances nerves under distress, spinal manipulations may be appropriate. Spinal manipulative therapy can help lessen tension, reintroduce motion, and lower your pain.
Fact: No BC Chiropractor is legally allowed to treat conditions outside of the above scope of practice.
3. How do I choose the right Chiropractor?
This is a fantastic question. We are all different people with unique health histories, personalities, and physical conditions. Chiropractors are a diverse bunch so getting to know your Chiropractor and his/her style of practice is an important component of maximizing your recovery.
As a whole, Chiropractors are all trained to screen people effectively, render an appropriate diagnosis and treat using muscle and joint techniques. Most chiropractors prefer to use full–spine manipulations (spinal manipulative therapy) to help decrease stiffness/pain, increase range of motion and allow muscle techniques and rehabilitation to be more effective. Some use an evidence informed allopathic model of care tending to the neuromuskuloskeletal system with a variety of manual therapies and physical modalities. Others use spinal manipulative therapy as a primary modeof a more philosophical approach to wellness and attempt to remove potential nerve interference.
I practice a patient-centred, functional rehabilitative model of Chiropractic. Initially I treat muscles/joints/nerves in distress using myofascial release techniques, graded joint mobilizations and spinal/extremity manipulative therapy. When the patient has made significant improvements, I empower the patient with in clinic/home stretches and exercises to strengthen their body and lower the chances of re-injury. I also work closely with Physiotherapists, Massage therapists, and Kinesiologists to deliver the right balance of care to my patients.
4. Is it true that once you visit a chiropractor you’ll always have to go?
Myth! You don’t have to nor should you need to visit a Chiropractor for life unless you suffer from known chronic conditions that require palliative care. The evidence informed chiropractor tends to discharge simple mechanical type back pain patients within 6 to 12 visits. But remember, if you’re suffering from conditions that are complicated like Migraine headaches or disc herniations, your care will vary. Your recovery may be prolonged even further if you suffer from other conditions that inhibit recovery or if you are unable to take time off work/make workplace modifications when required.
The best way to assess your progress is to follow a logical plan of management, assess your progress using functional testing measures/questionnaires and sometimes the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for change in pain patterns. If a proposed plan of management doesn’t make sense, get a second or third opinion.
Chiropractic Doctors in East Vancouver
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