CHIROPRACTIC FAQ


The Basics

What is Chiropractic?
What is an adjustment?
What kind of education does a Chiropractor have?
What are some conditions Chiropractic treats?
Insurance
Do you accept payments from private insurance?
Is chiropractic care covered by MSP?
Do you accept ICBC claims?
Do you accept WorkSafe claims?
What other forms of payment do you accept?

Other Common Questions
What is the cracking sound?
Does treatment hurt?
Do I have to get cracked or are there other options?
My neck/back hurts and I can't move it. What's going on?
Will it get better if I leave it along?
I've heard that once I start I have to go for ever.  Is this true?
What is the difference between Chiropractors, Massage Therapists and Physiotherapists?
What is the age range of people treated?
I was injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA).  What should I do?
I was injured at work.  What should I do?


 
Q. What is a Chiropractor? 
A. A Chiropractor is a doctor that focuses on diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system.  Doctors of Chiropractic utilize manual therapies including joint adjustments, soft tissue mobilizations, stretching, supplement prescription and lifestyle counseling to treat a wide range of health problems.
Chiropractic is the 3rd largest health care profession in the western world behind medicine and dentistry.

Q. What is an adjustment?
A. A Chiropractic adjustment is one of the main treatment methods used by Chiropractors. The Chiropractic adjustment is the use of a specific force applied in a precise direction to a joint that is either fixated or moving inappropriately. The purpose is to restore normal joint mechanics thereby removing the pain stimulus and reducing muscle guarding in the area.

Q. What is Active Release Techniques (ART)?
A. ART is a soft tissue massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves.  Some of the conditions that ART is particularly useful in addressing are complaints of trigger points, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, back pain, tendonitis such as tennis elbow and headaches.

Q. What kind of education does a Chiropractor have?
A. Chiropractors are doctors. Officially their title is “Doctor of Chiropractic” or “DC”. But most people know them simply as a chiropractor.
Before Canadian Chiropractors can practice, they have had to complete an undergraduate university degree in addition to post-graduate studies at chiropractic college. Anatomy, neurology, physiology, pathology and radiology are just a handful of the courses they would have to study. A rigorous clinical internship awaits them at the end of the training. During this time, the chiropractic intern would have written numerous exams in preparation for the final round of licensing exams.  This process takes between 7-8 years to complete.
In order to become licensed to practice, the chiropractic student must pass National Board and Provincial Licensing Board examinations. These exams usually last 3 – 4 days and the students are tested on all aspects of chiropractic care. To maintain their Licenses, chiropractors are required to participate in approved continuing education courses annually.

Q. What are some conditions Chiropractic Treats?
A. Chiropractors are trained to treat a wide array of musculoskeletal conditions.  In fact, anyone experiencing musculoskeletal pain or discomfort anywhere in the body is a candidate for Chiropractic care.  If a condition is better suited for treatment by a medical specialist, Chiropractors are trained to identify such conditions and make the appropriate referral.  Some of the more commonly treated conditions are: 
  • Back Pain and Stiffness 
  • Neck pain and Stiffness
  • Headaches  
  • Shoulder Pain  
  • Arm/Leg Pain and Numbness  
  • Rib Fixations  
  • Trigger Points  
  • Strains/Sprains 
  • Sports Injuries  
  • Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries including Whiplash  
  • Slip and Fall Injuries  
  • Workplace Injuries  
  • Acute Inuries   
  • Chronic Aches and Pains  
  • Tendonitis Including Tennis Elbow and Jumper’s Knee  
  • Scoliosis  
  • Neuralgia  
  • Flat Feet  
  • Gait Abnormalities  
  • Turf Toe  
  • Pes Planus  
  • Hallicus Valgus (Bunions) 
  • Plantar Fasciitis
**This list is NOT comprehensive and is intended to give the public and idea of the breadth of conditions treated at Bayside Health & Wellness**
 
Q. How does a Chiropractic adjustment treat my injury? 
A. Although it is necessary to divide the human organism into systems such as the skeletal system, the nervous system and the muscular system to study it, one must understand that all of the compartments operate in harmony.  A muscle will contract when given direction by the brain via neurologic signaling.  Therefore a spastic or hypertonic (partial muscular contraction) is caused by an unconscious signal by the brain or central nervous system.  These unconscious, muscle tone inducing signals by the brain are caused by several factors one of which is in response to sensory information originating from the body via afferent nerves.  These afferent nerves carry signals of touch and pain which you are consciously aware of.  They also carry signals of unconscious proprioception or joint position information.  Some of these proprioceptive signals originate from mechanoreceptors deep inside of muscle called Muscle Spindles or from the tendon (tissue that attaches muscle to bone) called the Golgi Tendon Organ.
The presence of an injury causing muscle guarding or a muscle spasm is the result of hypersensitive mechanoreceptors.  This generates a large amount of background “noise” in the form of efferent and afferent nerve signals.  The high velocity, low amplitude thrust, or adjustment, delivered by the Chiropractor to the joints produces a burst of afferent neurologic signals breaking up the background noise.  The brain assimilates this rush of information and alters its efferent signals to the muscles and surrounding tissues.  The end result is a calming of the background noise leading to reduction in muscle tone and diminished pain or discomfort.

Q. Is it safe?
A. Yes. A New Zealand government study found that adjustments are “remarkably safe”. Certain conditions, by avoiding drugs and avoiding invasive surgery, chiropractic care enjoys an excellent track record. A thorough exam can identify the rare person for whom chiropractic care might be unsuited. Adjustments are about 100 times safer than taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. The Manga Report led by the University of Ottawa Professor: Pran Manga, PhD stated overwhelming support for the efficacy, safety, scientific validity, and cost effectiveness of chiropractic for low back pain. 
“Evidence from Canada and other countries suggests potential savings of hundreds of millions annually,” the Manga Report states. “The literature clearly and consistently shows that the major savings from chiropractic management come from fewer and lower costs of auxiliary services, fewer hospitalizations, and a highly significant reduction in chronic problems, as well as in levels and duration of disability.

New Zealand Report, Report of the Commission of Inquiry. Government Printer, Wellington, New Zealand, 1979. 
Manga, P., PhD., Angus, D., M.A., Papadopaulos, C., M.H.A., Swan, W., The Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain, (funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health) August 1993:104

Q. What areas of the body does Chiropractic treat?
A. Chiropractors apply their therapies to the musculoskeletal system.  Those therapies will affect other systems of the body including the nervous system and vascular system.  That is their primary focus and area of expertise. In order to be effective in treating those areas, Chiropractors must have an unequalled knowledge of the neuro-musculoskeletal system.

Q. Do you Accept Payments from Private Insurance?
A. There are many forms of payment that we accept at Bayside Health & Wellness.  Our services are reimbursable by ICBC, WCB, Extended Medical Benefits and in some cases MSP.  In addition we also accept cash, check, debit and credit card payments.  If you have any questions regarding forms of payment please contact our clinic.

Q. Is chiropractic treatment covered by MSP?
A. MSP covers a portion of chiropractic treatments to a maximum of 10 treatments per year for low income earners.  If you provide your care card number and date of birth we can check if you qualify for MSP assistance.
 
Q. Do you Accept ICBC claims?
A. Bayside Health & Wellness accepts payment directly from ICBC if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and your claim is accepted by an ICBC adjuster.  Please inform the reception that you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and provide your claim number when you book your appointment.  This will allow us to confirm your coverage and prepare the necessary paper work prior to your visit saving time when you arrive.
 
Do you accept WorkSafe Claims?
A.If you are injured while at work, you are required to report the incident to your supervisor immediately.  Once an incident report is filled out and submitted to Work Safe BC, you will be given a claim number.  Please advise the reception that your injury occurred in the work place and provide your claim number when you book your appointment.  This will allow our staff to confirm that Work Safe will be covering your care and prepare the necessary paperwork prior to your arrival.  
 
Q. What other forms of payment do you accept?
A. Bayside accepts Master Card, Visa, Checks and Cash.
 
Q. What is the cracking sound?
A. Synovial joints are found throughout the body.  A synovial joint consists of two intersecting bones capped by smooth cartilage at their contact surface.  There is a fibrous tissue that encloses the joint called a joint capsule.  The joint capsule is filled with a lubricant called synovial fluid.  When a distractive force is applied to the joint through a Chiropractic adjustment, nitrogen gas that was dissolved in the synovial fluid is drawn out of solution forming a bubble.  This process is called a cavitation and makes a ‘pop’ sound.  This bubble of nitrogen expands the joint space allowing the joint to move more freely.  The nitrogen will dissolve back into the synovial fluid after several minutes returning the joint to its original state.  As a result there is a lasting change in the signals being sent along the nerves, but anatomically nothing has changed.
 
Q. Does treatment hurt?
A. 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.  Some patients request a more gentle approach which we are able to accommodate.
 
Q. Do I have to get cracked or are there other options? 
A. Treatment is addressed according to the individual. If joint adjustments are indicated they will be recommended, however if a patient is uncomfortable with an adjustment then we are able to use other effective techniques.  We always ensure that the patient is fully informed and comfortable to the techniques we use so there are never any surprises.
 
Q. My neck/back hurts and I can’t move it.  What’s going on?
A.When the body perceives an injury, it tries to protect itself in several ways.  It will produce a pain symptom from the area persuading you to move less limiting the potential for further injury.  The body will also increase muscle tone, or produce muscle spasm in extreme cases, limiting or preventing any range of motion from the injured area of the body.  This process is known as muscle guarding and occurs in all parts of the muscular system of the body.  You may have noticed I used the phrase “perceive an injury” as opposed to “sustain an injury”.  The reason for this is because a muscle guarding response by the body isn’t always appropriate.  There are many causes of muscle guarding that can be determined through an interview, history and physical exam by your Chiropractor.

Q. Will it get better if I just leave it alone? 
A. Some conditions may self resolve over time, however the pain and the condition may get worse.  It is always best to get checked by your Chiropractor to see if the problem requires treatment.
 
Q. I heard you have to keep going back for treatment
A. 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 follow home care recommendations; or if they continue to engage in activities that are responsible for the condition in the first place then the problem my 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 is 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.
 
Q. What's the difference between Chiropractors, Massage Therapist and Physiotherapists?

A. Chiropractors work closely with physiotherapists and massage therapists to treat many of the same problems. Chiropractors have more training to properly diagnose and recommend treatment plans. Often a patient may be referred to a massage therapist or physiotherapist depending on the nature of the problem. Chiropractors tend to utilize manual therapies such as joint mobilizations, joint manipulations and soft tissue therapy that is unique while a physiotherapist may use electrical modalities and exercise rehab and a massage therapist will focus on myofascial therapies. Massage therapists have 3 years of training, and physiotherapists about 4-6 years. Chiropractors have 7-8 years of intense training.


Q. What is the age range of people treated?
A. We treat patients of all ages except for those under 6 years of age. 

Q. Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA)?
A. If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident you should be evaluated by a chiropractic doctor as soon as possible.  Many people will develop pain, stiffness and other symptoms such as headaches or arm/leg pain up to 10 days following a motor vehicle accident.  This is not unusual; however you should be assessed as soon as possible by your Chiropractic doctor.  Depending on the severity of the injuries, the symptoms may recur over 6-18 months.  The symptoms will lessen gradually over that time and in most cases patients will recover to their pre-accident condition with the proper care and direction.

Q. Work Related Injury?
A.If you are injured in the workplace, you are entitled to treatment for your injuries and re-imbursement for lost wages due to your injury through Work Safe BC.  Every year we help many patients recover from their repetitive stress or traumatic work related injuries.  Proper care and an effective rehabilitation plan are essential in getting you healthy and back on the job as soon as possible.  Don’t delay.  Get evaluated by your Chiropractic doctor as soon as possible following a work place injury to evaluate your ability to return to work and if so, in what capacity.