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.
Adjustment loosens the joint to restore proper movement and optimize function. An adjustment involves moving a joint beyond its usual range of motion but not beyond the range of motion the joint is designed to move, anatomically speaking. When a joint is adjusted, a gas bubble escapes causing the popping noise you may have heard about. Chiropractic adjustment techniques have been researched extensively. Complications are rare and side-effects, such as temporary soreness, are usually minor. Your chiropractor is well-trained to determine if your problem will respond to chiropractic care or if you require referral to another health care provider.
Is neck adjustment safe? Yes, it is. Millions of neck adjustments are performed safely and effectively every year in Canada. Neck adjustment is performed well within the normal turning range of the head. There is less movement that it takes to look over your shoulder. One of the most recent studies into the safety of neck adjustment further confirms the safety of this procedure.1 This particular study, conducted in 2007, looked at over 19,000 chiropractic patients and tracked more than 50,000 neck adjustments. It found no instances of serious adverse effects. By way of comparison, neck adjustment is significantly safer than other commonly used health remedies. For example, long-term use of non-prescription pain relievers carries a far greater risk of serious complications than neck adjustment. Most patients experience immediate relief following an adjustment, however, some may experience temporary soreness, stiffness or slight swelling. In rare situations, patients may experience symptoms such as dizziness, local numbness, or radiating pain. If this happens to you, it is important to tell your chiropractor who can help you manage any effects of treatment.