Although still based upon many of the same principles that existed over 100 years ago, the practice of chiropractic has evolved with increased knowledge, research, and technology. According to the Canadian Chiropractic Association there are over 6500 practicing chiropractors in Canada.
Chiropractors are experts in neuromusculoskelatal function and disorders. In treating neuromusculoskeletal problems, chiropractors specifically focus on the function of the body's nervous system, which controls the performance of the rest of the body systems. For example, issues with the nervous system can result in muscle tightness or spasms or problems with joint function .
A visit to a chiropractor today will likely involve more clinical, orthopaedic, and even diagnostic testing than you would typically experience at your family doctor’s office. The typical first time chiropractic patient presents with some form of musculoskeletal problem such as back, hip or neck pain.
Chiropractic doctors spend a much higher proportion of their 7 years of post-secondary education on topics such as anatomy, physiology and orthopaedics than medical doctors, who concentrate more on subjects such as biology, biochemistry and pharmacology.
A patient who comes into the chiropractor’s office with a backache or stiff neck has likely experienced these symptoms before. This time however, the pain has not gone away in a couple of days like it always had in the past. This is where the investigative skills of the chiropractor come in handy.
The key to helping people with their problems is to unravel what caused the problems in the first place. Is this muscle too tight, too weak; is this joint moving too much, not enough? These are all questions that should be addressed as part of a first appointment. Subsequent visits will then be more effective for resolving the pain and providing the patient with the tools needed to maintain their health.
Chiropractors by nature have a very pro-active approach to patient health. Their goal is to enable thebody to function as normally as possible, as naturally as possible. Chiropractors don’t put anything in the body or take anything out. Chiropractic patients receive non-invasive, safe and effective healthcare. By educating patients on exercise, nutrition, posture and the benefits of a properly functioning nervous system, the goal is not only to fix the initial problem, but to improve the overall health of each patient.
Today, chiropractors have many different specialties. Although all are educated to take care of patients of any age, some specialize in areas such as pediatrics and pregnancy care, injury rehabilitation, soft tissue disorders, and sports performance. Discovering a little about your chiropractor’s interests and background goes a long way toward finding the right fit between doctor and patient.