What is Chiropractic All About?

I usually get one of three responses when I tell people that I’m a chiropractor. My favourite is “I love chiropractic! It has helped me in so many ways”. (Awesome, they’re in the know.) Another fave is “I have no idea what chiropractors do”. “Great, let me tell you!” And lastly, “So, you’re a quack”.

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While this response may be the toughest one to deal with, it’s actually a chance for me to turn negative notions into something positive. And in my experience, this response is just a representation of misinformation or a lack of knowledge about what chiropractors actually do.

So what is chiropractic all about? And why should you go and see a chiropractor? Well, let me ask you this...do you have a spine? Then yes, you should see your local chiropractic doctor. I like to compare it to going to the dentist. We all go for our routine visits, checkups, and cleanings to avoid dental health problems. The same should be done for the rest of our bodies! And yes, chiropractors are doctors—and are required to complete a minimum of 3 years of post-secondary education, followed by successful completion of 4 years in an accredited chiropractic college, and licensing exams. Chiropractic is a regulated health profession.

Some reasons to consider chiropractic care include back pain, neck pain, whiplash, headache, repetitive strain or sports injuries, and arthritis. Whether you have pain or not, it is a good idea to visit a chiropractor for a check up. Your spine is the connection superhighway from your brain to the rest of your body. It is incredibly important to have it functioning at its best. Nobody wants their spine looking like the 401 during rush hour. Chiropractors can offer acute and supportive care to recover from injury, but also wellness care to avoid it. Sometimes we don’t realize we are in need of care, because pain is usually the body’s last-ditch effort to tell you that there is a problem.

Chiropractic is a natural drug-free, manual medicine. It helps your bones, joints, muscles and nervous system operate at its best. There are many techniques out there so find the doctor that is right for you. The most common and sometimes misunderstood technique is spinal manipulative therapy (SMT). This is where your chiropractor uses a technique to deliver a highly skilled, and precise adjustment to the joints of the spine. “Motion is the lotion” as they say! Sometimes we hear a cracking type of sound, which is actually just air being released within the joint. The general result is decreased pain, and improved function of the spine and supportive muscles and ligaments. We are all unique, and so your doctor will take a patient history, provide examination and a diagnosis. They will develop a treatment plan that will suit your individual needs, and discuss the risks associated with treatment.

While I am obviously pro-chiropractic, there are many different types of health care professionals out there. What works for some may not work for others. Don’t be afraid to explore your options, and know that most of us get into the health field to help people like yourself! I encourage you to be proactive and keep injuries at bay. Be an advocate for your own health. Because in the end our bodies are the only place we have to live.

-Dr. Chelsey