What is a Chiropractor?
Chiropractic is a branch of the health sciences which focuses upon the body’s neuromusculoskeletal system. A chiropractor is a doctor concerned with how your body’s skeletal and nervous system is functioning. Since your spine is the key centre for your nervous system, a chiropractor is trained to use a variety of diagnostic methods to examine and treat your bone and musculature system. The chiropractors in our Vancouver clinic are considered Spinal Care Experts.
Chiropractor professionals understand how to relieve pain discomfort or reduced mobility – whether it resides in your back, arms, legs, neck or another are in the body. They are experts trained to find the source of your joint and muscle discomfort, assess the complaint and make the adjustments that allow your spine to work properly again. They may also recommend changes to posture, lifestyle, or diet, and suggest stretches and exercises in order to help you return to optimum function and mobility.
How Chiropractors Help
A Chiropractor can offer a wide range of health benefits to just about everyone! Even if you don’t suffer from any particular condition or injury, the benefits of chiropractic treatment are aplenty.
Keeping your body in top condition can help prevent other conditions or injuries. Think of your body like your car – regularly scheduled maintenance helps keep all the parts working smoothly together to prevent a breakdown on the road. The same premise works for your body, and your Chiropractor is your ‘mechanic’.
Let’s take a look at how chiropractic treatment helps:
INJURY AND/OR ILLNESS
Patients who suffer from pain due to an injury or an illness such as arthritis, can benefit from regular chiropractic treatment. Often when a person is in pain, their body becomes tense and stressed, which can lead to even more pain. The goal of chiropractic treatment is to keep the muscles limber, the joints working smoothly, and the skeletal system properly aligned, allowing the patient to have an optimal range of movement (ROM).
Many people suffer from headaches that ‘seem’ to come out of nowhere. In reality, these headaches are often what we call ‘referred pain’ – a sign that something isn’t working properly elsewhere in the body. Chiropractic treatment can help by locating the source of the problem, often in the neck or back, and treating it to help reduce or prevent these headaches from occurring.
Athletes who compete in sports frequently find themselves with some type of sports-related condition. Repetitive movements, high impact collisions with other players, and just the fact that their bodies are constantly in movement can put a lot of stress on the body. Sports Chiropractic treatment can help by keeping the body supple and limber.
Anyone who’s been pregnant can tell you – the second and third trimesters can be hard on the back. In particular, women suffer a lot of lower back pain due to carrying an extra little person inside their body.
Pre and post natal Chiropractic treatment is beneficial because it will help to ensure that mom’s posture is optimal and that the spinal vertebrae are properly aligned so as to provide as much support to the lower back as possible.
As mentioned earlier, ‘regularly scheduled maintenance’ is the key to staying healthy. Even if you don’t suffer from an injury or condition that causes pain, treating your body right through chiropractic treatment can help reduce your risks of developing problems in the future!
The Myths and the facts about chiropractors
While many people swear by chiropractic treatment not just to treat conditions or injuries, but also as a means of maintaining overall good health, there are some naysayers out there who will deny that chiropractic is a legitimate form of medicine. Most often it is these naysayers that have never been to a Chiropractor or don’t know enough about it.
Here are some of the common ‘myths’ about chiropractic that simply are not true, and are actually disputed by decades of international multidisciplinary research and patient outcomes of better health:
CHIROPRACTORS, ARE THEY REAL DOCTORS?
Chiropractors study for 8 years in Canada and must pass federal and provincial regulated exams to earn their licensure. They are given the title Doctor of Chiropractic by the federal and provincial governments, not by themselves. The Chiropractic Profession is a self-governing body that has both an Association and a College, similar to that of Medicine and Dentistry. Review our section The History Of Chiropractors to learn about the educational requirements all Chiropractors must meet before being able to use the word ‘Doctor’ in their title.
WHAT MAKES THE CRACKING SOUND?
A lack of understanding of how chiropractic treatment works has led some people to believe that during treatment, your bones are or can become ‘cracked’. In reality, the noises that can be heard during treatment are simply some of the opening up and moving of the joint spaces surrounding the bones and having gas released within the joint. These spaces can become compressed leading to pain, and the popping sounds a patient may hear is the decompression taking place.
IS IT SAFE TO HAVE MY NECK ADJUSTED?
As with all health and medical interventions, chiropractic adjustment in the cervical area may have some side effects. The international research statistics state that the risk is minimal, and as such, is one of the most safest and effective ways of managing headaches and whiplash. The safety of neck adjustments is much safer that taking tylenol or pain medication over the long term. Keeping in mind, Chiropractors work on the entire body and the neck will not ever have to be adjusted if work is being done on the hip, for example. The treatments to upper and lower back pose NO safety risk for stroke whatsoever. These safety concerns will be reviewed in the first treatment in detail. The Doctor of Chiropractic will ask you for an informed consent. Just as your medical doctor, dentist, physiotherapist etc should do.
ONCE I SEE A CHIROPRACTOR, DO I HAVE TO KEEP GOING?
Another common myth about chiropractic, is that once you’ve had an adjustment or manipulation, you will have to continue having these treatments for the rest of your life, or your body will return to its previous state of disrepair. This is entirely untrue. Chiropractic treatment is designed to help the body return to its natural healthy state. Once your body has been returned to a natural healthy state, continuing to visit a Chiropractor becomes a choice rather than a necessity.
CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT VS. MEDICAL TREATMENT
While there are some conditions that absolutely require treatment with drugs and surgery, what may come as a surprise to some people, is that there are also many conditions that don’t. Chiropractic treatment is highly effective, and proven to be effective in treating a myriad of conditions and injuries, all without the use of dangerous drugs or surgery. Here at BROADWAY AT YEW CHIROPRACTIC & MASSAGE, we consider our treatments to be ‘wellness care’ rather than ‘medical care’.
So what’s the difference?
Where medical care generally uses drug and surgery to treat the symptoms of illness or injury and involves ‘adding’ something to the body, chiropractic wellness seeks to treat the root cause of the problem by ‘removing’ whatever it is from the body that is causing symptoms.
A good example is a common headache. Many people turn to painkillers to treat headaches, and, of course, that is what most doctors would recommend.
But at BROADWAY AT YEW CHIROPRACTIC & MASSAGE, our treatment involves ensuring that the bones and muscles of the body are perfectly aligned, with no areas of compression, especially in the neck and shoulders. This in turn can reduce or completely cure a patient of headaches that originate from some other problem in the body.
Another form of ‘wellness care’ would be yoga or massage. As with chiropractic, yoga and massage can act as a means of keeping the body ‘tuned up’ before problems occur vs. seeking treatment once a patient develops symptoms. In other words, the natural treatments we offer are preventive in nature, and promote natural wellness within the body.