- What does a chiropractor do?
- What types of problems do chiropractors treat?
- What techniques are used at the Gelley Chiropractic?
- What are the educational requirements to become a chiropractor?
- Do I have to have my back 'cracked'?
- What is the cracking noise that often occurs with manipulation?
- Will manipulation hurt?
- How long does chiropractic care take to work?
- Do you think people should come in regularly to have chiropractic check-ups?
- Why do I have to exercise?
- What can I expect during the first visit?
- Can children be treated by a chiropractor?
A chiropractor is a neuromusculoskeletal specialist, focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with back pain, neck pain, and headaches, among other problems. Chiropractors do not use medications or surgery as treatments, but rather utilize natural, hands-on methods along with exercise and lifestyle modification. Although most cases can be diagnosed through discussion of the problem and physical examination, chiropractors utilize blood tests, MRI, CT scans, X rays, and other diagnostic tests when necessary. The chiropractors at the Gelley Chiropractic Clinic work in cooperation with medical physicians and other practitioners to provide high quality, well-rounded care to each patient.
Chiropractic physicians are neuromusculoskeletal specialists. Therefore, any disorder that involves joints, muscles, discs or nerves can potentially be appropriately addressed by a chiropractor. This includes:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Pregnancy-related low back or leg pain
- Whiplash injuries
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Work-related injuries
- Shoulder, arm and leg pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Muscle tightness, weakness or imbalance
- Numbness and tingling
The chiropractors at the Gelley Chiropractic Clinic use a variety of techniques. The specific techniques used for each patient will vary depending on the diagnosis and structures involved, as well as patient preference and comfort. The techniques used include Diversified manipulation, muscle energy manipulation (no quick movement or "crack"), neural mobilization, muscle stretching, active release technique, rehabilitative exercise, kinesiology taping, and acupuncture/dry needling.
Most students are required to have a Bachelor of Science degree before applying to Chiropractic College, with credits in basic science and math. Chiropractic College itself is then 4 additional years of post-graduate, full-time, intensive schooling, including one year of internship, with a foundation in basic sciences, not unlike that of medical school. After graduation, there are several provincial and national board examinations to pass before attaining licensure.
Not necessarily. Manipulation is a technique used to correct joint dysfunction, which is a condition in which there is loss of normal movement of a joint - a common cause of spinal pain and dysfunction. If you do not have joint dysfunction then there is no need for manipulation. Even if you do have joint dysfunction, if you’d prefer, there are "non-cracking" techniques that can be used to correct it, which are often equally effective.
Often when a joint is manipulated, it makes a 'popping' sound. There is fluid inside all joints, and within this fluid there are bubbles. When the manipulation is performed, the bubbles pop, producing an audible sound. Although this is not necessary for manipulation to be effective, it is simply the sound of the joint suddenly moving or releasing from its restricted state.
Most of the time, manipulation is very comfortable. Slight to moderate discomfort has been reported in about 1/3 of patients, with 10% reporting more noticeable discomfort. In the majority of cases, any discomfort that does occur is gone within 24 hours.
This is a very commonly asked question, and unfortunately, there is no one simple answer to this because the amount of time needed for recovery is variable, not only for each different condition, but also for each individual patient. Generally speaking, conditions that have been present for a longer period of time will logically require a somewhat longer recovery time, although there are always exceptions. Our approach is such that the immediate goals are to help you get relief from pain and disability as quickly as possible, while at the same time, addressing the underlying dysfunctions that caused the pain and teaching you strategies to manage and reduce any future episodes that may occur. In this way we attempt to help you expeditiously reduce pain and return to normal function.
Although there are certain uncommon instances in which regular, periodic treatment may be recommended, this is the exception rather than the rule. There will likely be certain exercises that are recommended to you to do regularly, and these have been shown to prevent re-occurrences of back pain. The chiropractors at Gelley Chiropractic place great emphasis on teaching patients self-care strategies so that they can manage conditions themselves, only needing to return to the doctor if these strategies are not successful.
Besides all the benefits of regular aerobic and strengthening exercise, your chiropractor may prescribe other exercises designed to keep joints moving properly or to improve the ability of muscles to stabilize the back or neck and prevent recurring pain. For many of these, it will be recommended for you to continue long term, while others are to be used only temporarily while you are having pain. In other words, certain exercises will help you to heal faster, and others will prevent the pain from coming back, as well as making you feel more fit and flexible from day to day.
The primary purpose of the first visit is for the chiropractor to get to know you and your condition. He will ask you for certain details about the history of the problem and will perform a comprehensive examination for the purpose of establishing a diagnosis. Blood tests, MRI, CT scan or X rays may be necessary, although most often these are not necessary. Then, the chiropractor will discuss with you his or her findings and your diagnosis and, if your case is accepted, will discuss the recommended treatment(s).
Treatment may or may not be rendered on the first visit, but the full scope of the diagnosis and recommended treatment will be discussed prior to any treatment being given.
While spinal and other musculoskeletal disorders are less common in children than adults, certainly they are not rare. There is no reason why children cannot be seen at Gelley Chiropractic. If manipulation is required, the techniques used will be modified for the size of the child.