Chiropractic FAQ

What is Chiropractic?

One of the largest primary-contact health care professions in Ontario, chiropractic is a non-invasive, hands-on health care discipline that focuses on the neuromusculoskeletal system. Chiropractors practice a manual approach, providing diagnosis, treatment and preventative 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, recommend therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies, and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counselling.
For many conditions, such as lower back pain, chiropractic care is frequently the primary method of treatment. Where other conditions exist, chiropractic care may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the neuromusculoskeletal aspects associated with the condition. Chiropractic care may also be used to provide symptomatic relief for patients with chronic conditions. According to patient surveys, by treating the neuromusculoskeletal elements of such disorders, chiropractic treatment has been shown to improve the general well-being of the patient.
There are many reasons to seek chiropractic care in Guelph:
Back pain
Neck pain
Headache
Whiplash
Strains and sprains
Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
Work and sports injuries
Arthritis
Limited range of motion in the back, shoulder, neck or limbs
General health and well-being
Chiropractic is a regulated health profession, recognized by statute in all Canadian provinces and American states. Almost 2 million patients in Ontario rely on chiropractic care every year to help them live healthy, active lives.

Who are my Guelph Chiropractors?

A Doctor of Chiropractic has spent four years at an accredited chiropractic institution, receiving more than 4,200 hours of specialized clinical training. The chiropractic curriculum at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, in Toronto, includes studies in anatomy, pathology, biomechanics, chiropractic principles, diagnosis and adjustment techniques. Find out more about your Guelph Chiropractors Dr. Kubert and Dr. Gill here

As primary care practitioners, chiropractors can develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment / management plan, recommend therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies, and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counselling. Chiropractors are one of only five classes of health care professionals in Ontario that are able to use the title Doctor, with its accompanying rights and obligations. Chiropractic is regulated by provincial statute. Each province has a regulatory college, established by legislation in the same manner and with the same structure and similar regulations as the regulatory bodies for other health care professions. Regulatory colleges are responsible for protecting the public, setting standards of practice, assuring quality of care is maintained, evaluating and promoting competency and handling disciplinary issues. Ontario’s chiropractors are regulated and licensed by the College of Chiropractors of Ontario.

How are your Guelph Chiropractors Educated?

Chiropractic education in Canada is offered at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) in Toronto, and at l’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR). Both programs are fully accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education of Canada.Chiropractic students undergo a minimum of seven years of education. It is a rigorous course of study similar to that of other health care professionals. Entrance requirements are also similar. Students are required to complete a minimum of three years of university before they are eligible for admission to the CMCC accredited program . Approximately 90 per cent of students entering the CMCC program have completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree.

The CMCC program requires four years of full-time study, including a 12-month internship in the College’s clinics. In addition to the academic program, chiropractic education requires hands-on clinical experience under the supervision of highly-qualified chiropractic faculty. This experience includes clinical assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and referral protocols. The faculty at both CMCC and UQTR have diverse backgrounds and offer students a wide range of expertise. Faculty come from such disciplines as biological sciences, pathology, medicine and psychology, as well as chiropractic. After attending University, Guelph Chiropractors Dr. Kubert & Dr. Gill both attended CMCC and graduated in 2004.

Both the CMCC and the UQTR programs include courses in anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, neurology, embryology, principles of chiropractic, radiology, immunology, microbiology, pathology, nutrition, and clinical sciences specifically relating to diagnosis. In particular, chiropractors receive training in radiology that covers a range of topics from radiation biophysics and protection to clinical X-ray interpretation and diagnosis. Radiology training consists of more than 360 contact hours followed by application during clinical internship.

CMCC and UQTR have also developed relationships – both formal and informal – with other universities in Canada. For example, faculty and students of CMCC are currently conducting research with fellow scientists at the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Saskatchewan, University of Toronto and Ryerson University. UQTR has collaborations with l’Université du Québec à Montréal and Laval University.

When should I see a Guelph chiropractor?

Eight out of ten Canadians will experience back pain at some point in their life, and at least one third of people in Ontario will have back pain at any given time. For many people, the pain can keep them away from work, school or even their day-to-day activities. If pain causes interruptions and restrictions in the activities of your daily life then you should consult a health care provider.

Chiropractors are regulated primary health care professionals, and they are one of only five classes of health care professionals in Ontario that are able to use the title Doctor, with its accompanying rights and obligations. Chiropractors in Guelph are highly educated and extensively trained to assess, diagnosis, treat and prevent conditions disorders of the spine, joints, muscle and nervous systems. These disorders may include back pain, neck pain, headaches, referring pain in your arms and legs, etc.

Many patients seek chiropractic treatment for wellness care. Others, like seniors, find that treatment helps them to maintain mobility and good range of motion. Pain should never become a way of life, especially when there is qualified help available.

There are many reasons to seek chiropractic care: Work, accidents, sports injuries, household chores, even the stress of daily living can cause painful joint and spinal problems. Even if you do not have painful symptoms, chiropractic care can help you maintain healthy spine and joint function.

Here are some of the most common reasons why more than 4 million Canadians visit a chiropractor each year:

  • 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, shoulders, neck or limbs
  • General health and well-being
What are some of the benefits of chiropractic care?

Chiropractic care can:

  • Improve movement in your neck, shoulders, back and torso
  • Improve your posture
  • Provide relief from headaches, neck and back pain
  • Help prevent work-related muscle and joint injuries
  • Lead to enhanced athletic performance
  • Improve your flexibility and range of motion
  • Relieve pregnancy-related back ache
  • Correction gait and foot problems
What to expect on your first visit at the Chiropractor in Guelph?

Your Guelph chiropractor may be treating your back pain, neck pain, headache, or other aches and pains, but he or she needs a complete picture of your health history and overall current health in order to provide the best possible treatment for you. Set aside at least 45 minutes for your first visit to the chiropractor. Future visits typically last 15 minutes or less, though the time required will depend upon the type of treatment you require.

Here’s what you might expect.

On your first visit, your chiropractor may ask about the following:

  • personal and family medical history
  • major illnesses you have experienced
  • surgeries or operations you have had
  • medications you are taking
  • a description of your present condition
  • the steps you have taken to manage your condition
  • your diet and exercise
  • your sleeping habits, daily activities, work routine, stress level, and home life

It is a good idea to wear comfortable clothes and shoes for your visit to the chiropractor. Your Guelph chiropractor may ask you to change into a gown to perform some of these tests:

  • a check of your blood pressure, pulse and breathing
  • a test of your reflexes, strength and sensations
  • an analysis of your posture
  • an analysis of your movement — he/she will observe how you walk, turn, bend or lift things, as well as how your body moves in the affected area
  • a hands-on evaluation of how well your spine moves, identifying restrictions and areas of improper motion

Tip:
Bring a copy of any X-rays or radiology reports you have. These assessments give your chiropractor a better picture of your complete health. He or she will make a diagnosis, prescribe a course of treatment, and once the matter of informed consent has been discussed, treatment usually begins.

If your chiropractor diagnoses a condition more appropriately treated by another health care professional, he or she will make a referral.

Stages of care:

  • Relief care is provided for relief of immediate pain, restricted mobility and discomfort. Depending on the diagnosis, your age, physical condition, how long you have had the current complaint, and previous injuries, a few or several visits over a relatively short period of time may be necessary.
  • Corrective care treats conditions that are more severe, recurring or that have existed with or without pain for some time. These may require a longer, more complex period of care. Once the severity of your condition has decreased through relief care, corrective care helps to restore normal function to your spine, muscles, supporting tissues and the nerves affected by them.
  • Supportive or maintenance care helps you maintain and preserve the benefits you’ve achieved from relief and corrective care. Chiropractors are also trained to detect conditions in their early stages, often before you feel pain or reduced mobility. Continuing to work with your chiropractor and having periodic spinal check-ups and treatments, if needed, will keep your spine as healthy as possible. Your chiropractor will work with you to find a maintenance schedule that suits your condition, health care goals, and lifestyle.

Your treatment from one of our Guelph chiropractors, regardless of the stage of care, will often include exercise, diet and other healthy living suggestions to help keep you healthy and strong. You can find more about our approach at our Guelph clinic here.

Your chiropractor will discuss a schedule of care, which will depend on your specific circumstances. For some people chiropractic treatment is like a regular tune-up, to help deal with the daily wear and tear of life. For others, it’s simply an effective treatment when pain or discomfort strikes.

Take the time to discuss with your chiropractor the treatment plan that’s best for you.

What does the word chiropractic mean?

The word “chiropractic” comes from ancient Greek and means “done by hand.”

Adjustment of the joints of the body has been used in health care 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. Adjustment helps relieve pain and restore normal functioning to the spine, joints and supporting structures of the body – so you can enjoy your everyday activities again as quickly as possible.

Chiropractors are also trained to prescribe therapeutic exercise, provide nutritional counselling, and recommend rehabilitation and injury prevention strategies.

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. When a joint is adjusted, a gas bubble escapes sometimes causes the popping noise you may have heard about.

Chiropractic adjustment techniques have been researched extensively. Complications are rare and side-effects, such as temporary soreness, are usually minor. Your chiropractor is well-trained to determine if your problem will respond to chiropractic care or if you require referral to another health care provider.

Is chiropractic adjustment 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.

Most patients experience immediate relief following an adjustment, however, some may experience temporary pain, stiffness or slight swelling. Some patients may also experience temporary dizziness, local numbness, or radiating pain. However, adverse effects associated with spinal adjustment are typically minor and short-lived.

Informed consent – Prior to starting treatment, all health professionals are required by law to obtain informed consent to treatment from their patients. Health care consumers must receive adequate and accurate information to assist them in evaluating their health care choices, and in balancing the relative risks of treatment options with the benefits. The chiropractic profession takes this responsibility seriously and has been a leader in obtaining informed consent.

Does chiropractic in Guelph require a referral from an MD?

No, you do not need a referral for chiropractic treatment in Guelph. Chiropractors are legislated as primary contact health professionals in every province in Canada. This means that patients can consult them directly. However, chiropractors often work closely with medical doctors, many of whom refer to chiropractors when they believe chiropractic treatment will help alleviate a patient’s condition. Similarly, our Guelph chiropractors frequently refer to medical doctors when necessary.

Can chiropractic care cure other ailments besides back pain?

Chiropractic care cannot “cure” every ailment, but there is some evidence to indicate that adjustments may have a beneficial effect on a variety of conditions. Adjustment may alleviate some of the secondary or referred pain, arising from the response of the musculoskeletal structures to the primary cause.

How many Ontarians use chiropractic?

Chiropractic is one of the largest primary-contact health care professions in Ontario, with more than 3,100 practicing chiropractors. Almost 2 million Ontarians use the services of a chiropractor each year to help them get back to work, and back to doing the things they love.

Are there many athletes who use chiropractic?

Yes. Many amateur and professional athletes use chiropractic treatment as part of their overall health care, fitness and maintenance program. Chiropractic is often used to improve muscle and joint conditioning, which has a direct effect on an athletic performance. Treatment works to improve biomechanical function and enhance overall conditioning, important in situations where there is continuous repetitive movement. Chiropractic care also help athletes fine-tune their muscles and joints for high level performance, and may reduce long term wear and tear. Finally, treatment can be used to prevent, and sometime shorten, the healing time of injuries. Using active release therapy, myofascial release therapy and trigger point therapy are useful forms of treatment used by these Guelph Chiropractors.

Athletes most often select treatment to improve their performance, whereas the average patient will select chiropractic care to help manage aches and pains. In some cases treatment will be similar, but in all cases a treatment plan will be developed according to the goals and condition of each patient. In the case of professional and elite athletes, chiropractors often work in conjunction with other health care professionals, including medical doctors and/or sports medicine doctors, massage therapists and physiotherapists.

Does chiropractic care require X-rays?

No. However, X-rays can play an important role in diagnosis and are taken when a need has been determined after taking a patient case history and conducting a physical examination. Chiropractors receive 360 hours of education in radiology covering a full range of topics from protection to X-ray interpretation and diagnosis. Governments in every province have recognized the training and competence of chiropractors to take and interpret X-rays and have granted them this right.

Adapted from the Ontario Chiropractic Association