frequently asked questions
What is a subluxation? Subluxation is a term used to describe a problem with a spinal joint. The World Health Organization defines a subluxation as a functional problem related to a joint and the structures associated with the joint such as the muscles, tendons and nerves. Dysfunction can present itself in various ways such as pain, inflammation and restricted movement of the joint. Some types of dysfunction, such as a sprain, will not appear on an x-ray. Chiropractors are trained to identify dysfunction that does not appear on imaging through the use of manual examination and non-imaging diagnostic tests.
What is an adjustment? An adjustment is a highly skilled and precise movement usually applied by hand to a joint of the body. Adjustment loosens the joint to restore proper movement and optimize function. Adjustment of the joints of the body has been used in the healing arts for many centuries and is at the heart of modern chiropractic care. Chiropractors are specialists in manual adjustment of the vertebrae of the spine and other joints of the body.
What is the "cracking" or "popping noise"? Your bones are not "cracking". The actual noise is called a cavitation. When a joint is adjusted, a gas bubble may escape causing a popping noise, similar to when you crack your knuckles. It's very similar to the release of gas bubbles when you cork a champagne bottle. A cavitation may or may not be heard with an adjustment.
Is chiropractic care covered by OHIP? Chiropractic services are not currently covered under OHIP. However, chiropractic care is covered extensively by third party payers. These include the federal public service, worker's compensation boards, the automobile insurance industry, private health care insurers, employee benefit plans, the RCMP, and Veteran's Affairs Canada.
Do I need a referral to see a chiropractor? No. You do not need a referral . Chiropractors are legislated as primary contact health care professionals in every province in Canada.
When should I see a chiropractor? If aching joints and muscle pain are affecting your ability to get through the day and keeping you away from your favourite activities, consider chiropractic care. Work, accidents, sports injuries, household chores, even the stress of daily living can cause painful joint and back problems. Even if you do not have painful symptoms, chiropractic care can help you maintain healthy spine and joint function. Some of the most common reasons why more than 4 million Canadians visit a chiropractor each year are back pain; neck pain; headache; whiplash; strains and sprains from daily activities; repetitive strain injuries; work and sports-related injuries; arthritis; restricted movement in the back, shoulder, neck or limbs.
Does chiropractic treatment usually require x-rays? X-rays can play an important role in diagnosis and are taken only when a need has been determined after taking a patient’s case history and conducting a physical examination.
How long will my appointment take? The first visit typically lasts between 30-40 minutes. Subsequent visits are generally 10-15 minutes in length. Complex cases may require longer visits and fees are adjusted accordingly.
Does chiropractic care hurt? Yes and no. There may be temporary soreness, stiffness or mild swelling during or following treatment, but they are typically minor and short-lasting. Most patients experience immediate relief following an adjustment.
Is chiropractic safe? Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest, drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of headache, and neck and back pain. It has an excellent safety record. However, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. Even common over-the-counter medicines carry a risk.
What about neck adjustments? Many common activities of daily living involving ordinary neck movements have been associated with stroke resulting from damage to an artery in the neck, or a clot that already existed in the artery breaking off and travelling up to the brain. Chiropractic treatment has also been associated with stroke. However, that association occurs very infrequently, and may be explained because an artery was already damaged and the patient was progressing toward a stroke when the patient consulted the chiropractor. Present medical and scientific evidence does NOT establish that chiropractic treatment causes either damage to an artery or stroke.