Chiropractic

About Chiropractic?

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Chiropractic is a non-invasive, hands-on health care discipline that focuses on the neuro-musculoskeletal system. Chiropractors practice a manual approach. Doctors of Chiropractic are specifically trained to detect and correct problems in the spine, often before the patient is even aware they exist. Chiropractors provide diagnosis, treatment and preventive care for disorders related to the spine, pelvis, nervous system and joints.
Chiropractors use a combination of treatments, all of which are predicated on the specific needs of the individual patient. After taking a complete history and diagnosing a patient, a chiropractor can develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment/management plan. They can also recommend therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies. They may also provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counselling.

How it Helps

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Most often, people initially go to chiropractors hoping to find relief from back pain. However, chiropractors treat a broad range of complaints, from back and neck pain to headaches, arthritis and more. Chiropractic differs from many other health care disciplines by shifting the focus from the superficial symptoms to their underlying cause. Moreover, people don’t need to have a specific complaint to benefit from a visit. Chiropractors also focus on on-going preventive and wellness care. Chiropractic care is effective for people of all ages, from infants to the elderly.

If you would like to talk to a pt Health chiropractor to help determine if chiropractic is a suitable choice for your health care goals, contact us for an appointment and one of our highly trained professionals will contact you.

Common Questions

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On your first visit, your chiropractor will take a detailed history to determine your individual health goals, what problems you may be currently experiencing, and whether chiropractic care is appropriate in your specific situation. Typically this is followed by a detailed physical exam which is tailored by the chiropractor to help determine the underlying causes of your particular complaints. After the chiropractor has had a chance to evaluate his findings, he or she will give you a detailed report so that you completely understand your diagnosis and the treatment options that exist. This part of the process may occur in a second separate appointment and is typically followed by your first treatment when clinically indicated. The first visit typically lasts 30-45 minutes with subsequent treatment visits conveniently lasting 10-15 minutes.
Absolutely! Chiropractic therapy is an excellent drug free alternative to relieve spinal pressure and backache related to pregnancy. In addition, studies show that pregnant women who take chiropractic treatment decrease their labor time and require less pain control medication.
Chiropractic care can be reimbursed or directly billed by Private Insurance, Motor Vehicle Insurance, Workers Compensation, and most commercial health care policies. No referral is necessary to see a chiropractor.
It is extremely safe when compared to most other forms of healthcare, particularly treatments consisting of drugs or surgery. If you have any concerns just ask your chiropractor about any risks associated with the specific treatments you are receiving.
In Canada, chiropractors have an undergraduate degree and 4 years at an accredited chiropractic college. This is the same amount of time a medical doctor trains for, although the focus is on the biomechanical, rather than the biochemical. In addition to their formal education, chiropractors in Canada have to pass rigorous national licensing examinations and complete continuing education hours annually.
Chiropractic adjustments are high velocity, low amplitude mobilizations of spinal or other joints in very specific directions. While that may sound intimidating, when performed by a properly trained chiropractor they are extremely safe. In addition, they are generally very comfortable. The adjustment usually causes an increase in volume in the joint (the desired effect). The resulting drop in pressure inside the joint causes a gas bubble to appear. This is called a ‘cavitation’ and is the sound associated with the chiropractic adjustment or when someone ‘cracks’ their knuckles.
Symptoms are often relieved within the first few treatments. Once symptoms are controlled, many patients work to restore function of their spine and joints to prevent re-injury as opposed to simply eliminating their pain. These patients often require multiple treatments at a specific frequency over a recommended period of time in order to properly restore function. After this corrective phase of care, patients whose goals are met will often cease care. Some patients seek chiropractic care for its wellness aspect. These patients tend to have repetitive behaviours/habits, poor postures or anatomical anomalies (e.g., scoliosis) for which chiropractic care helps maintain a higher state of function. Chiropractors can also educate on strategies to promote independence. Our chiropractors are accessible to guide patients on the right pathway to healthy living.
No. Every patient has unique needs. The length of time they are in chiropractic care and the number of treatments required varies with each patient. A patient’s treatment plan is individualized to their symptoms, functional impairments and activity restrictions and is focused around their goals. Please see the answer to number 7 for more information on the different categories of care.

Coverage Options

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pt Health therapy services are covered by most extended health insurance companies and in some cases Veterans Affairs and Medicare – such as OHIP (Ontario), Alberta Health Care and Medical Service Plan MSP (British Columbia). Not sure if you’re covered? No problem. We can help you find out (and usually within the hour). Just call us toll free at 1-866-749-7461.

At pt Health we believe your health should come first. We take care of the paperwork so you can focus on getting better, plus we offer direct insurance billing, saving you time and up front costs.

Learn More About pt Health Coverage Options

Research

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The Diagnosis and Treatment of Low Back Pain: A Joint Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society (October 2008) concludes that spinal manipulation is to be considered for acute and sub acute low back pain. In essence, the medical and chiropractic practice guidelines for low back pain are fundamentally the same.

Meanwhile, according to the Effectiveness of Manual Therapies: The UK Evidence Report, researchers concluded that spinal manipulation/mobilization is effective in adults for acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain; migraine and cervicogenic headache and cervicogenic dizziness. Manipulation/ mobilization is effective for several extremity joint conditions and thoracic manipulation/mobilization is effective for acute/subacute neck pain.

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