Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Chiropractic?
- Qualifications for a Chiropractor?
- Who should go to a Chiropractor?
- What does a Chiropractor do?
- What happens on my first visit?
- What can the Chiropractor do for me?
- How long before I feel better?
- How often should one receive periodic checkups?
- Will I need X-Rays?
- Why would a child need to see a chiropractor?
- Do medical doctors work with chiropractors?
- What about safety of chiropractic adjustments?
- How safe are neck adjustments?
- I can’t find my question here
- What does Massage Therapy actually do for your health?
- Are there any risks to Massage Therapy?
- Does massage hurt?
- Why would I need my buttocks or legs massaged?
- Can my child have massage?
- What is trigger point therapy?
- Do I have to take off all my clothes?
- How often should I come in for treatment?
- How far into a pregnancy can massage be performed?
- How do I know that you are a licensed therapist?
- I can’t find my question here
Whole Body Vibration
- What is Whole Body Vibration?
- How does WBV work?
- What are the benefits of WBV?
- How do the benefits of WBV apply to me?
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is the branch of health care that is primarily concerned with the close relationship between the nervous system and the spinal column. Chiropractors maintain that normal functioning of the nervous system, along with proper diet, exercise and a positive outlook on life will keep the body performing at maximum efficiency. Therefore, chiropractors are not only concerned with relieving symptoms, but in the maintenance of health and well being to prevent disease processes from starting.
Chiropractors must have a minimum of two years of University or College training and four years of specific chiropractic training. A chiropractor is a primary health care practitioner, meaning that no referral from a medical doctor is required. Your chiropractor has had hundreds of hours of instruction and practical training in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, pathology, psychology, chiropractic philosophy, technique and treatment, diagnosis, x-ray technology, nutrition, pediatrics and geriatrics. Chiropractic is the third largest provider of health care in Canada after medicine and dentistry.
There are many reasons why people seek out the help of a chiropractor. Most people think that chiropractors treat only low back pain. Although we obtain excellent results with low back pain, chiropractic has been effective in treating many disorders, such as headaches, migraines, leg and arm pain, neck pain and sports injuries. Spinal check ups are especially important for children and teens, where small spinal misalignments, if not corrected, can become significant later in life. Athletes use chiropractic to keep their bodies performing at the highest efficiency level possible. Many chiropractors have a specialty degree in another aspect of patient care, such as sports injuries, nutrition, acupuncture or rehabilitation.
To understand what a chiropractor does, it helps to have some knowledge of the spine and other joints. The spine is made up of several building blocks called vertebrae, which act to protect the spinal cord, but also allow you to move and bend. Spinal nerves exit between the vertebrae and go to all other areas of your body, including the organs. The discs between the vertebrae act as cushions, while the powerful back muscles produce motion. To allow the full movement of your spine, these bones, discs and muscles must all function in harmony with each other. Chiropractors are trained to specifically detect loss of movement or function in spinal and extremity joints. This loss of movement and function is termed vertebral subluxation complex. See the Services section to fully understand the vertebral subluxation complex.
On your initial visit, the chiropractor will take a thorough history of your complaint. The examination will consist of standard medical, orthopedic and neurological tests. In addition, the chiropractor will evaluate overall posture, and the ability of the spine or extremity to move in all normal ranges of motion. Finally, the movement of each vertebrae in the spine is tested for good relative motion with the other vertebrae to look for joint locking or “joint fixation”, that may be causing spinal nerve irritation or interference. This joint fixation in the spine or extremities is often the cause of pain, discomfort and a lack of normal joint range. A computerized static scan of muscle activity will also be conducted.
The chiropractor will then compile the results, as well as a print out of the muscle scan. The results will be given to you that same day with a treatment program outline, or if the problem is extensive, the results will be given on a following visit before treatment begins. It is important to note that the chiropractor will not perform any treatment until you have had a chance to discuss results and program of care and give your consent to treatment.
What can the Chiropractor do for me?
An appropriate individualized treatment plan is constructed after compiling all of the test results, which the chiropractor will explain to you. Each person will respond to treatment differently. Patients who have had their problem for a long time may require several weeks or months to obtain full results, while others will feel results often within a few visits.
Chiropractors can use several different treatment methods, including massage, electrical muscle stimulation and laser therapy. However, the primary treatment for restoration of normal joint function and mobility is the chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractors require considerable skill and dexterity to perform adjustments, which are given by applying pressure to the problem area. There is very little, if any, discomfort from a chiropractic adjustment. Most people actually find it very relaxing.
How long before I feel better?
The answer to this question varies with the circumstances of each individual case. It depends on what type of injury you have, how long you’ve had the problem, how old you are and how committed you are to getting better.
There are generally three stages in treatment. The pain stage involves getting rid of your pain, which generally takes from 2-4 weeks. After this time a full re-evaluation is done to assess your condition.
The dysfunction stage of treatment is aimed at treating any continuing symptoms, but more importantly at treating the cause of the problem, which stems from the dysfunction of the joints and muscles. This stage is the most variable for each person and may often be combined with the third stage.
The third and final stage is prevention and wellness care. Stretches, exercises, diet changes and self-help tips are given to patients to strengthen the injured area so you will be less susceptible to re-injury. Most of this stage is performed at home, so visits to the office tend to be on a check-up basis only. More and more people are choosing chiropractic care as part of their plan towards good health. Regular chiropractic check-ups to remove vertebral subluxations work together with good diet, stress reduction and exercise for a healthier, more energetic body.
How often should one receive periodic checkups?
In most cases, once a patient reaches the prevention stage, treatment frequency drops off rapidly. Periodic check ups after this are very important to be able to correct spinal misalignments before they start producing symptoms, and to ensure that full recovery is maintained. For most people, a check up every 3-6 months is appropriate. For others, one every month is more appropriate to ensure no return of their symptoms.
For young children who are growing, and constantly falling or getting bumped, a check up every 1-3 months is advised. Competitive and recreational athletes find that spinal adjustments once every 4-6 weeks help to keep their performance at its best. Every person is different. Your Doctor of Chiropractic will decide what will be best for you.
Will I need X-Rays?
X-Rays are invaluable to the chiropractor to rule out disease or to detect any spinal problems that may not be apparent during the examination. X-rays can also be helpful in determining the extent of treatment needed. Your Doctor of Chiropractic decides if X-rays are necessary in each individual case, and only those X-rays required will be taken.
Children benefit from chiropractic care for the same problems for which adults are treated, which are predominantly musculoskeletal disorders. For example, children have a fairly high incidence of back pain related to participation in sports, sitting in desks at school, computer activities, carrying backpacks, as well as the frequency of falls and tumbles that they take.
More than 44 studies have been conducted into the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for neck and back pain alone in children. Young children can benefit from spinal check-ups at key stages in their development, like when learning to sit, crawl and walk. This is similar to children seeking regular dental check ups.
New research continues to unfold that studies other benefits of chiropractic care with children. In 2012, a landmark study concluded that “chiropractic manual therapy improved crying behavior in infantile colic”. The study compared the effect of chiropractic treatment with a commonly prescribed medication. The results of the study were so compelling that the Danish Public Health Authority has given its public health nurses approval to refer infants with colic to chiropractors.
Yes. Most chiropractors have excellent relationships with medical physicians and cross refer patients on a routine basis. At the Momentum Healing Arts Centre, we enjoy a solid referral system with physiotherapists, physicians and specialists in order to serve the best interests of patients.
There will always be a few medical physicians who do not refer to chiropractors. However, these are becoming fewer with the increased cooperation between the professions in world class sports events, amateur events and even in hospital settings. Canadian chiropractors have had a significant presence as part of the health care team for Canada’s athletes at the 2002 Olympic Games, as well as previous Olympics and Pan Am games.
What about safety of chiropractic adjustments?
Chiropractic care is widely recognized as one of the safest, drug-free, surgery-free therapies available for the treatment of back and neck pain, headaches, and other conditions. Few other therapies can demonstrate a better safety record than chiropractic.
Of course, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse reactions. Fortunately, the majority of adverse effects associated with spinal adjustment are typically minor and short-lived, such as muscle soreness or stiffness. At the Momentum Healing Arts Centre, we inform you of the general risks and obtain your consent before any treatment is given.
How safe are neck adjustments?
There is a concern that neck adjustments may be associated with stroke or stroke-like symptoms. All of the published studies to date agree that the risk is extremely low, with risk reportedly ranging from one in 5.85 million adjustments to one in 0.5 million adjustments.
There are many risk factors for stroke, including high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol or the use of birth control pills and other medications. This is why a thorough history and examination is done before any treatment is given. Strokes or stroke-like symptoms are also associated with everyday activities, such as cradling a phone between the ear and shoulder, having your hair washed at a salon or while painting a ceiling. Some strokes occur for no apparent reason.
If you do have any risk factors, or are concerned about receiving chiropractic neck adjustments, please discuss them with your Doctor of Chiropractic. There are other treatment options that the chiropractor can use to help your neck problem without having to perform a neck adjustment.
What does Massage Therapy actually do for your health?
The primary and immediate effect is upon the circulatory system. Massage will temporarily increase blood flow to a part thereby helping to nourish the area. Massage also affects the nervous system, in that it will stimulate the part of the central nervous system which is responsible for causing the body to relax. For musculoskeletal problems like strains and contractures ( knots ) a deeper massage can physically stretch the muscle fibers to allow the much needed blood to flow and nourish the fibers back to health.
Are there any risks to Massage Therapy?
Massage Therapists are trained over a two year period to recognize and assess the various conditions that people experience. Any condition that may have an adverse reaction to massage would be assessed and treatment would be altered accordingly. In the event that massage therapy would be inappropriate, the therapist would refer you to an appropriate alternative. Common side effects include muscle stiffness the following day, especially for a first time client. This is quite natural and is remedied by taking a hot bath and/or drinking water to flush the system. Post massage stiffness usually disappears after a couple of treatments.
Does massage hurt?
The very nature of massage is to create a relaxing effect for the body and its parts. However, in order to reverse some long standing musculoskeletal problems some techniques like trigger point therapy may be a little uncomfortable. A Massage Therapist will enquire about your comfort level prior and during the massage and will alter their pressure according to your wishes. While some techniques may be uncomfortable, it is important for the client to communicate if pressure is becoming too much to handle.
Why would I need my buttocks or legs massaged?
The weight of your upper body is distributed from your low back into your buttocks and lower limb. When the low back is injured, the buttocks and lower limbs compensates for the lack of mobility in the back. As a result, the buttocks and lower limbs become tight and create even more pressure on low back, thereby creating a negative feed back cycle. Addressing these areas will result in a more effective and long lasting release.
Can my child have massage?
Yes. A child benefits from massage the same as an adult. The massage is of shorter duration and not as deep as an adult would require. A child under 14 requires the consent of a parent and for that parent to be in the treatment room. A child 14 to 18 years of age simply requires consent from the parent.
Simply put, a trigger point in a knot within a muscle. The hallmark of a trigger point is acute local tenderness that tends to radiate pain to other areas of the body. They are rather uncomfortable to release but the most common and effective method to do so is direct pressure. Any lingering pain should be dealt with by applying a stretch and heat to the area.
You may disrobe to your comfort level. Massage is usually more effective when you have direct contact with oil on skin but many techniques can be employed through the clothes that are just as effective. Also, the part that is being massaged is the only part that is exposed. You will always be covered by a top sheet and blanket, so your privacy is never compromised. All Massage Therapists are trained to drape a client for various conditions and positions on the table or in a seated position.
How often should I come in for treatment?
That depends on what your condition is. Those people that don’t experience undue stress or any physical problem but simply enjoy the relaxing nature of the massage may make an appointment any time they feel the need. We usually recommend once per month for 1 hour as a maintenance schedule. For those that have a specific condition the massage therapist will recommend a treatment plan that is appropriate.
Massage can be performed right up to a week before the due date.
How do I know that you are a licensed therapist?
Each therapist is issued a diploma and registration tag. Either one or both should be present in the treatment room. The registration tag will bear a photograph, registration number and a sticker with the appropriate year. Many therapists will only have one on display as they may have a number of locations that they practice at.
Whole Body Vibration
A Whole Body Vibration (WBV) unit consists of a vibrating base with handle supports. It looks much like a treadmill, but not as large. This technology was initially used and researched by the Russian Space Program, allowing astronauts to stay in space longer without suffering muscle atrophy and loss of bone density. It has more recently being used for enhancing performance of their Olympic athletes. After the fall of Communism, WBV made its way to us and after decades of research, the technology is now readily available.
In a nutshell, Whole Body Vibration works because every time the plate moves up and down and side to side, your muscles contract and relax automatically to keep you balanced. This is especially true for the core muscles. When standing on a Vibration plate, your body has no choice, but to respond to the challenge, thus each muscle contracts several times a second!
Whole Body Vibration is also about gravity. As the Machine accelerates, it pushes up against your body and creates extra “g” force on your body. Your body will literally feel as though it weighs more, meaning you have to work against an increased weight or “load” than just the normal load of standing on the ground.
Increasing the “g” force in a weight bearing exercise, such as standing on the vibration plate, increases body mass density, strengthening the bones and lessening the risk and progression of osteoporosis.
The benefits of WBV are incredible. Whole Body Vibration is an improved alternative to standard resistance exercise, and you can accomplish it in much less time. In fact, 10 minutes on WBV is equivalent to an intense one hour workout! What comes with that are all the benefits of a body that is being exercised: weight loss, increase muscle tone and flexibility, improved bone density, movement of lymph (a natural detox), better sleep quality and improved mood! What else can do that in 10 minutes?
1. Either before or after chiropractic adjustments for better and faster results, and better “holding” of the chiropractic adjustment.
2. WBV greatly enhances recovery time after an injury. Using WBV as a rehabilitation tool, when used appropriately and under the supervision of a trained professional, speeds up the recovery after an injury. This is because WBV will work ALL of your muscles and activate balance centers as you rehabilitate not only the injury, but your whole body. Therefore, the stronger tissues will help activate the weaker tissues, and create a much more balanced recovery.
3. For Health Benefits: Programs for individuals using WBV can be designed to reach certain health care goals: There are many benefits to WBV:
a) Strength Building: When your muscles work, they get stronger. By simply standing on the WBV machine, your muscles are forced to work to keep your body balanced. Gradually, you can add weights or movement while standing on the plate to work your body even harder….all in a shorter time than with conventional exercise.
b) Weight Loss: When combined with a cardio program, such as walking or swimming, and healthy eating, WBV increases muscle strength. Stronger muscles burn more calories at rest than fat does, so you will continue to burn calories throughout the day, resulting in weight loss.
c) Reducing Cellulite and Toxins in the Body: Cellulite is the dimpled, uneven fatty deposits under the skin. WBV, combined with good hydration, helps to release the fatty deposits and flush the body of toxins. In fact, it is common to get a headache the first few times using the machine due to the toxin release. WBV has to be done gradually to avoid symptoms.
d) Reducing Stress: WBV has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol, which is the adrenalin stress hormone. Vibration releases serotonin, which is an important hormone needed to keep the brain centers balanced, and an important component of how anti-depressive drugs work. Just standing on the machine at “massage speed” can help to release these good hormones, and is even more enhanced if you combine that with some deep breathing and relaxation visualization while you are on the machine!
e) Combating Osteoporosis: Exercise is essential for both prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, which is the loss of bone density. When we exercise against the resistance of gravity, this stresses the bone, causing the body to react by building stronger bones. WBV increases that resistance, so the cells that make bone, the osteoclasts, are stimulated to produce more bone. This is a well documented and researched benefit of Vibration Therapy.
4. For general health and wellness: Classes that combine WBV with postural and strength training are offered at Momentum Healing Arts to give overall, long lasting health benefits to keep you feeling great. Please check the main page for the times when these classes are offered.