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What are doctors of Chiropractic?

Doctors of Chiropractic are health care providers who specialize in care of the spine and spine related health conditions. Chiropractic means the branch of the healing arts that is concerned with the restoration and maintenance of health through adjustment by hand, or the use of devices directly related to the adjustment of the articulations of the human body and that is involved primarily with the relationship of the spinal column to the nervous system. It requires a minimum of 7 years training to become a chiropractor.

What training is a Doctor of Chiropractic required to have?

Training to be a Doctor of Chiropractic takes a minimum of seven years. Three of those years are completed at university prior to the final four, postgraduate, years at a Chiropractic college.

A sample of courses covered includes:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Pathology
  • Neurology
  • Biomechanics
  • X-ray
  • Spinal Adjusting Techniques

A commonly asked question: “What is the difference between the training of Chiropractic and Medical Physicians, since both go to school for the same number of years?”

The first two years’ training for both disciplines are “twin” with regard to basic science instruction (eg. Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, etc.), with Medical students spending more study time on the immune system, while Chiropractic students concentrate more on the musculoskeletal system (how our muscles and bones work.)

The final two years training for Medical students concentrate primarily on the study of diseases (viruses and bacteria), while Chiropractic students concentrate on biomechanics and how to correctly apply spinal adjusting techniques.

It might interest you to know that all the basic Science courses taught at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto, Canada’s longest-established Chiropractic college, are taught by University of Toronto professors who teach the same courses to the medical students. Because of the long training period required to correctly perform spinal manipulation (adjusting), only Chiropractors should be applying these techniques as part of a patient’s treatment.

Dealing with stress

Our bodies are stressed 24 hours a day. Stress encompasses all aspects of our existence. Posture, gravity, employment, sleep positions and emotional tension all accumulate to make our bodies constantly compensate.

What is a spine?

What is a spine? The spine consists of 24 movable bones called vertebrae (bones that make up the spine). Discs act like shock absorbers in a car to cushion the impact that the spine must endure with day to day living. The brain controls and coordinates all of the bodies activities by sending impulses along the 31 pairs of spinal nerve roots that emerge between the vertebrae to every part of the body.

The stresses result in one or more of the vertebrae losing their normal motion. The resulting abnormal motion is referred to as “Subluxation”. The aberrant motion causes pressure which irritates the nerves leaving the spinal column. The pressure on the nerve alters the nerve supply going to all tissues, past the point of interference.

What is Subluxation?

Everyday stresses result in one or more of the vertebrae (bones that make up the spine) losing their normal motion. The resulting abnormal motion is referred to as subluxation.This abberrant motion causes pressure which irritates the nerves leaving the spinal column. The pressure on the nerves alters the nerve supply going to all tissues.

What do Chiropractors Treat?

Chiropractors treat subluxations. By removing the subluxation’s abnormal (locked) motion the irritation is also removed.

What is an Adjustment?

“Adjustment” refers to the delivery of a specific manoeuvre that restores the vertebrae’s normal motion. This improved motion removes irritation to the nerve, allowing it to function properly. Your chiropractor spends a minimum of 4 years learning how to deliver an adjustment. For that reason, only he/she should be performing manipulation.

Is Chiropractic just adjusting?

Chiropractic is a lot more than an adjustment. Your chiropractor will also outline a program tailored to you for stretching, strengthening, cardiovascular health, and changes in lifestyle for you to consider, if you so desire.

Do I need a referral from my medical doctor to see a Doctor of Chiropractic?

No referral is necessary in British Columbiato to see a chiropractor. A Doctor of Chiropractic is a primary health care professional.

Should I see a chiropractor if I just have a muscle spasm?

The muscle spasm is a symptom of a traumatized joint. Chiropractors, therefore, treat the joint problem which is the cause of the spasming muscle, often in conjunction with practitioners of other fields of health care.

Should I wait until I am in pain to see a chiropractor?

Pain is a signal that some vital body circuitry is malfunctioning. Pain is not, however, the only sign that something is going wrong. Periodic spinal checkups can often detect a problem before the pain begins.

Chiropractic for pregnancy?

Absolutely! The extra weight and pressure, combined with the hormonal changes, increases the stress placed on the spine’s holding elements. It is not surprising that the low back pain suffered by so many mothers-to-be is alleviated by chiropractic care.

Chiropractic for children?

Yes! Some musculoskeletal problems begin in infancy, eg. scoliosis. They continue to manifest through childhood, only being recognized when in an advanced state.

Chiropractic for seniors?

Definitely! As we age, certain joints tend to show wear sooner than others. As a result, their normal motion tends to decrease. With increased motion comes increased nutrition to the affected joint.

Chiropractic for sports injuries?

Most definitely! For years chiropractors have been working with sports organizations. Proper rehabilitation from a sporting injury involves more than simply knowing where to apply heat verses ice. Dr. McDiarmid has an additional 3 years post-graduate training in chiropractic sports medicine having attained Fellowship accreditation in the Chiropractic College of Sports Sciences.

Chiropractic for a car or work accident?

No question! Motor vehicle accidents and work injuries traumatize the skeleton. An immediate consultation with your chiropractor should be your top priority.

Why is good posture important?

Poor posture leads to faulty body mechanics due to the daily stresses our bodies must endure. Proper posture helps to distribute the stresses, so no single area is stressed more than the others.

Do I have to come in for more than one treatment?

One adjustment cannot reverse a lifetime of compensating for day-to-day stresses. Your chiropractor will often prescribe a treatment schedule that spans a specific period of time. Because each person is an individual, so is each treatment schedule.

Do I have to have an X-Ray?

X-rays can be an essential part of the chiropractic diagnosis. Your British Columbia Medical Services Plan does not cover X-rays taken by chiropractors. Your chiropractor only recommends taking X-rays when absolutely necessary.

How do I make an appointment?

Call our clinic any time during office hours. Your initial consultation will take approximately 30 minutes. If you are unable to keep any appointment, please give us at least 24 hours notice. If you fail to let us know that you can’t keep your appointment, someone else who is in just as much need of treatment may not be able to see the Doctor.