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Common concerns for new patients

Below are some concerns you may have about chiropractic care. If your question is not answered here, please contact us at Courtyard Chiropractic directly and we will be happy to answer it.

Q. Is chiropractic care safe?

A. Yes. Chiropractic adjustment techniques have been researched extensively. Complications are rare and side effects, such as temporary soreness, are usually minor. As such, it is a low risk therapy. Your chiropractor is well trained to determine if your problem is likely to respond to chiropractic care or if you require referral to another health professional. Chiropractic has a strong safety track record and is widely accepted as a drug-free, surgery-free therapy for reducing pain, soreness and stiffness, and improving mobility.

Q. Is a neck adjustment safe?

A. Yes, it is. The most recent research into the safety of neck adjustments confirms the safety of this procedure. Neck adjustment is performed well within the normal turning range of the head. It is skill -not strength- that is needed to perform a safe, effective adjustment. Most patients experience immediate relief after a cervical (neck) adjustment.

Q. What about the risk of stroke with neck adjustments…?

A. The findings in the current research literature agree that adverse events such as stroke or stroke-like symptoms associated with neck adjustment are extremely rare. Your chiropractor will take a careful history of your health, your recent activities, and any unusual symptoms you may have before deciding whether an adjustment is right for you. Of course, your chiropractor will inform you if you carry significant risk factors for stroke and advise you on how you might minimize these risks through healthy lifestyle changes.

Q. What are the risk factors for stroke?

A. There are many risk factors for stroke including blood clotting problems, hypertension, smoking, high cholesterol, heart problems, and trauma. Strokes or stroke-like symptoms are even associated with normal everyday activities such as prolonged cradling of a phone between your ear and shoulder, hair washing at a salon, dental procedures, playing volleyball, painting a ceiling, and turning your head while driving. These strokes from ordinary neck movements occur without warning in some people for no apparent reason. The reasons are not understood and research continues into why in rare cases, some people are susceptible when the vast majority are not.

Q. Are all neck adjustment techniques equally safe…?

A. Canadian chiropractors are taught a variety of adjustment techniques and there is no evidence to suggest that any one technique is less or more safe than the others. Chiropractic techniques that are applied appropriately are effective and safe.

Q. Do I have to “go for the rest of my life” once I start chiropractic care, I don’t want to be addicted?

A. No, you don’t have to. There is no part of chiropractic care that is addictive. People who see the benefits of maintaining healthy spines and bodies through the treatment and advise of a holistic chiropractor often choose to continue in preventive care because they feel better. They understand that, like brushing your teeth and taking vitamins, we can play an active role in our health. Other patients are discharged from care when their symptoms resolve and use chiropractic care only for symptomatic conditions. The decision is yours to make. Contact us to book a spinal check-up today.

Q. Is chiropractic covered by government health plans?

A. OHIP does not cover chiropractic care. Chiropractic services are partially covered by the provincial health plans of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Most federal government departments (such as the RCMP and Veteran’s Affairs) also cover chiropractic services. Worker’s Safety and Insurance Plan (WSIB) and most employer and other third party insurance plans cover chiropractic services as well.

Q. Is chiropractic evidence-based?

A. Chiropractic is a healing discipline firmly grounded in science. Few other health care interventions have been assessed as extensively as chiropractic manipulation, both in terms of safety and effectiveness. There have been at least six formal government studies into chiropractic worldwide over the last 25 years and all have concluded that contemporary chiropractic care is safe, effective, cost-effective and have recommended public funding for chiropractic services.

Q. Are there benefits to chiropractic care even after back surgery?

A. Yes. Your chiropractor will use modified techniques or avoid the surgically modified areas of your spine. Surgery can cause instability or dysfunction above or below the involved level. These areas may be the focus of your care. Low Intensity Light Therapy (LILT, laser) can also be an integral part of enhancing the healing that must take place after surgery. Active Release Techniques® can break up adhesions in the tissues involved in surgery.

Q. What about people with osteoporosis or weakened bones?

A. When developing a treatment plan, your doctor of chiropractic considers each patient’s unique circumstances and health factors. Dr. Gerber will work with your family physician or specialist to assess bone density and other factors. There are many ways to adjust the spine and the method selected will best suit your age, build, bone density and condition.

Exercise, nutritional, home safety (prevention of fracture) and supplements advice given by your chiropractor plays a role in the prevention, treatment and management of osteoporosis. Of course, the best treatment is always prevention. For this reason, Dr. Gerber discusses “building your bone bank” with young patients – especially those who are susceptible to osteoporosis. Supplements (Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium) may be suggested along with encouragement to do regular weight-bearing exercise , and avoid smoking, excessive alcohol and other contributing factors.

Q. Will adjustments make my spine too loose?

A. No. Only the spinal joints that are “locked up” or subluxated receive adjustments. This allows weakened or imbalanced muscles and ligaments to heal. In fact, spinal segments above or below a chronic tight segment often compensate by moving too well. Correcting subluxations and balancing muscles can help restore more normal functioning at these levels too. As the restricted joints start to behave more normally, your body will no longer need to compensate with extra motion elsewhere.

Q. Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?

A. Adjustment of a joint may result in release of a gas bubble within the joint that makes a popping sound – it’s exactly the same as when you “crack” your knuckles. It is not painful. It is caused by the change of pressure within the joint resulting in gas bubbles being released. This sound is referred to as a “cavitation”.

Let us inspire you to want more from your health, book a Chiropractic appointment today!