Below are some frequently asked questions. Please call one of our locations to get more information if it is not provided below.
A Chiropractor is a doctor of complementary and alternative health care that focuses on diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system. Chiropractic is a drug-free non-surgical approach to health care. Chiropractors use manual therapy including spinal adjustments and soft-tissue manipulation as well as prescription of exercises and lifestyle counselling to treat a wide range of health problems. Chiropractors are the 3rd largest group of health care providers in North America after medical doctors and dentists. For more information about how chiropractors can help, you can visit the Canadian Chiropractic Association website.
Your treatment depends on the problem you have. Joint manipulation, or adjustment, involves a gentle specific movement to the involved joint. A joint may be restricted or locked up and therefore not allowing for normal movement and biomechanics. An adjustment applies a controlled force to such a joint to normalize its movement and alignment. This treatment also stimulates joint receptors which inhibit pain signals from firing and allowing muscles around the joint to relax. An adjustment can also break up scar tissue that forms around joints. We specialize in soft tissue therapies such as Active Release Technique™ (ART) using movement to actively release scar tissue and myofascial adhesions that have accumulated due to repetitive strain injuries, overuse, and sports injuries/motor vehicle accidents. Such adhesions and scar tissue can affect muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. The treatment feels like a combination of deep tissue massage with stretching movements repeated several times to release adhesions and tension. We also use strengthening exercises and therapeutic stretching to complement in-office treatment. In addition, custom orthotics or braces may be prescribed.
The cracking sound when a joint is adjusted is the release of gas pressure in the joint. There is gas dissolved in the fluid inside joints and when the pressure is altered by stretching it, gas bubbles are released. It is the same thing that happens when you open a can of pop. The purpose of an adjustment is not to make a joint crack but rather to normalize the movement and alignment of the joint. The occasional crack that occurs is more just a side effect of treatment that many patients welcome.
The adjustments do not usually cause any discomfort. In fact, most patients enjoy the relief of tension that occurs almost immediately. Soft tissue therapy with movement may cause some discomfort similar to getting deep tissue massage but patient comfort is our priority. Many patients request a more gentle approach which we offer.
Treatment is addressed according to the individual. If joint adjustments may be beneficial it will be recommended, however, if a patient is uncomfortable with it then a treatment plan will be catered to his/her needs. Often we will utilize gentle joint mobilization instead of dynamic adjustments.
Chiropractic care is one of the safest treatment options for back and neck pain. Every patient will be provided an informed consent process during which they can learn about the risks and benefits and ask specific questions.
Chiropractic treatments help with pain relief. Some things may become less painful over time if you leave them alone; on the other hand, the pain and the condition may get worse. It is always good to get checked out though to see if the problem requires treatment or rest or ice, etc.
The way this myth started was with people who only felt better if they got treated. When the effects wore off they wanted to return for more treatment. If someone comes in with pain in the neck and shoulders due to sitting at a desk all day and they get treated, they do get better. However if they go back to their bad postural habits at work; if they don’t stretch as we recommend; or if they have an inactive lifestyle then the problem may return. Generally patients fall into one of two categories: The first are those who suffer an injury playing sports or in a motor vehicle accident. These patients generally have a set treatment plan and when the condition improves they no longer require any further treatment. The second group are those with chronic conditions such as neck/shoulder tension and low back pain due to poor postural habits, desk jobs, excessive driving or lifting and other occupational or lifestyle strains. These patients often improve with treatment only to see their condition recur in the future due to the above factors. They often benefit from ongoing maintenance and preventative care that is customized to their specific needs. The frequency of check-ups can vary depending on the individual. It’s your body so you decide the path you would like to take.
At any given time about 15-20% of the population see a chiropractor.
Chiropractors work closely with physiotherapists and massage therapists to treat many of the same problems. Chiropractors have more training to properly diagnose neuromusculoskeletal conditions. Often a patient may be referred to a massage therapist or physiotherapist depending on the nature of the problem. We will often work together with our physiotherapist and massage therapist colleagues to co-treat patients.
Initial assessment and treatment costs $80 and if further treatments are required they cost $55. The first visit is about 30-45min and subsequent sessions are about 15min. The cost is covered if you have extended health benefits. If you have been in a car accident your entire treatment will be covered by ICBC and we will bill them directly.
Our chiropractic services in Burnaby and Vancouver are covered by most private insurance companies. We offer direct billing to most third party insurance companies. We also accept MSP, ICBC and WCB.
We treat patients of all ages. Children under the age of 10 may be co-treated with the cooperation of a paediatrician or family doctor.