What is a Chiropractor?
Chiropractors are doctors who use natural health care methods to mobilize the body’s own healing abilities. They focus on the anatomy and function of the skeleton, primarily the spine, and the correction of neuro-musculoskeletal problems without the use of drugs or surgery.
In the province of Ontario, chiropractors are regulated by the College of Chiropractors of Ontario. Chiropractors are authorized to diagnose and perform manipulative therapy to treat neuro-musculoskeletal problems (nerves, muscles, bones) caused by spinal subluxations. Spinal subluxations are dysfunctional spinal segments that are fixated, and arise from stressors that are placed upon the bio-mechanical system. These subluxations are treated by gentle spinal manipulation. The effectiveness of this therapy is well supported by research.
Chiropractic care can provide relief from many of today’s most common health problems, including headaches, neck and back pain, and tension, as well as chronic conditions such as stiff joints, tendonitis, and arthritis. People of all ages can benefit from chiropractic care.
Most back pain is caused by mechanical problems. That is, some sort of disruption in the normal way the spine functions. Taking medication such as Tylenol may numb the pain temporarily, but it does not address the root cause of the problem. Chiropractic treatment is designed to treat the cause of the problem, not just the symptoms.
How are Chiropractors trained?
Chiropractic education in Canada is offered at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) in Toronto, and at l’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR). Both programs are fully accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education of Canada. The program requires a minimum of seven years of university-level education.
Chiropractic students undergo a rigorous course of study similar to that of other health care professionals. Entrance requirements are also similar. Students are required to complete a minimum of three years of university before they are eligible for admission to the CMCC accredited program.
The CMCC program requires four years of full-time study, including a 12-month internship in the College’s clinics.
In addition to the academic program, chiropractic education requires hands-on clinical experience under the supervision of highly-qualified chiropractic faculty. This experience includes clinical assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and referral protocols.
In addition, chiropractors receive training in radiology that covers a range of topics from radiation biophysics and protection to clinical X-ray interpretation and diagnosis. Radiology training consists of more than 360 contact hours followed by application during clinical internship.
At our North York clinic, the chiropractor treats the following conditions:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Strains and sprains
- Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
- Work and sports injuries
- Limited range of motion in the back, shoulder, neck or limbs
- Aids general health and well-being
What Chiropractic treatments are offered?
At our North York clinic, the following chiropractic treatments are offered:
- Interferential Current (IFC)
- Ultrasound Therapy (US)
- Exercise recommendations/prescription
- Soft tissue therapy
Your chiropractor may be treating your back pain, neck pain, headache, or other aches and pains during your chiropractic treatment, 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 45 minutes for your first visit to the chiropractor at our North York Clinic. Future visits (treatments) typically last 20 minutes or less, though the time required will depend upon the type of treatment you require. Here’s what you might expect.
During your first chiropractic treatment at our North York clinic, 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.
The following tests may be done on the first visit:
- 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 gait exam – an electronic analysis of the way that you walk
- a hands-on evaluation of how well your spine moves, identifying restrictions and areas of improper motion
Bring a copy of any X-rays or radiology reports you have to your chiropractic treatment. These assessments give your chiropractor a better picture of your complete health. He or she will make a diagnosis, prescribe a course of treatment, and once the matter of informed consent has been discussed, treatment usually begins.
If your chiropractor diagnoses a condition more appropriately treated by another health care professional, he or she will make a referral.
Stages of Chiropractic Treatment
- Relief care is provided for relief of immediate pain, restricted mobility and discomfort. Depending on the diagnosis, your age, physical condition, how long you have had the current complaint, and previous injuries, a few or several visits over a relatively short period of time may be necessary.
- Corrective care treats conditions that are more severe, recurring or that have existed with or without pain for some time. These may require a longer, more complex period of care. Once the severity of your condition has decreased through relief care, corrective care helps to restore normal function to your spine, muscles, supporting tissues and the nerves affected by them.
- Supportive or maintenance care helps you maintain and preserve the benefits you’ve achieved from relief and corrective care. Chiropractors are also trained to detect conditions in their early stages, often before you feel pain or reduced mobility. Continuing to work with your chiropractor and having periodic spinal check-ups and treatments, if needed, will keep your spine as healthy as possible. Your chiropractor will work with you to find a maintenance schedule that suits your condition, health care goals, and lifestyle.
Your chiropractic treatment, regardless of the stage of care, will often include exercise, diet and other healthy living suggestions to help keep you healthy and strong.
Your chiropractor will discuss a schedule of care, which will depend on your specific circumstances. For some people chiropractic treatment is like a regular tune-up, to help deal with the daily wear and tear of life. For others, it’s simply an effective treatment when pain or discomfort strikes.
Take the time to discuss with your chiropractor the treatment plan that’s best for you.
Feel free to ask questions.
How do I pay for Chiropractic treatment?
Most plans cover Chiropractic treatment. Please review your extended health care benefits package to see how much you are covered for.
The Madison Sports Injury and Rehabilitation Clinic
4950 Yonge Street, Concourse Level, Unit 2