Chiropractic care, also known as chiropractic adjustment or manipulation, is a hands-on, non-invasive, drug-free practice to reduce pain and improve mobility in the musculoskeletal system. These treatments are performed by a chiropractor. Chiropractors are health specialists whose main areas of focus fall within the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders relating to the muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and joints of the body. There is also a particular emphasis on the spine and the areas surrounding it.
What to expect
During your first session with a chiropractor, they will perform a full assessment of your body and discuss your concerns and medical history with you to help diagnose the issues. This will allow them to determine the best treatment options to help improve your condition.
During the treatment
There are several different types of chiropractic adjustments that can be used. The one the chiropractor performs will depend on the area of your body treated. Treatments can be done on the spine, wrists, ankles, or feet. However, most procedures will use relatively similar techniques.
The chiropractor will perform the adjustment by using their hands to apply a quick, controlled force to a joint. This is to help improve your range of motion and physical function. You will most likely hear cracks and pops come from your joints when the force is applied. This is completely normal and not harmful. This comes from the release of gas and reduction in pressure in your joints.
You may feel a bit of discomfort during the treatment, but the pain should not be too intense or severe.
After the treatment
For some patients, you may feel mild side effects after your treatment. This is especially true if it is your first session. This may include headaches, soreness, fatigue, and stiffness. The side effects will dissipate within a day or two.
The results from chiropractic treatments will vary from person to person, depending on the purpose of your visit. Ideally, you will see an improvement in the area(s) that have been causing the pain and discomfort. Common areas include:
- Neck and Back Pain
- Leg Pain (Sciatica)
- Knee, Foot and Ankle Pain
- Shoulder and Elbow pain
- Tension Headaches
- Sleep Disorders
- Chronic Injuries
It is crucial to visit a chiropractor who is properly trained and licensed. This will help prevent the risk of serious injuries. Accessibility to chiropractic treatments in Canada is relatively easy. Referrals from physicians are not necessary to visit a chiropractor, you are free to contact them directly. However, Canada’s universal health-care system does not cover the cost of the treatments. It will usually be covered by extended health care plans instead.