Chiropractic - What is it?
Chiropractic is the science that is concerned with the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (primarily the nervous system) of the human body as that relationship may affect the restoration and preservation of health. Perhaps best known for its role in treating back pain, neck pain and headaches, more people are seeking chiropractic care for problems with their jaws, shoulders, hips, knees and feet.
Chiropractic health care is a science that is over 100 years old and compliments other health care disciplines; in fact, chiropractic is the third largest health care discipline in Canada, after medicine and dentistry. However, of these three disciplines, chiropractic is the only one based upon natural healing methods. Chiropractic physicians do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery. Instead, they respect the inherent power of the human body to heal itself.
The Doctor of Chiropractic endeavours to facilitate the body's restoration and preservation of health by helping to maintain a balanced, optimally functioning "neuromusculoskeletal system", naturally.
How does Chiropractic help me?
Every aspect of the body is controlled by the nervous system. The spine has both a direct and an indirect relationship to the nervous system and as such, can influence body functions far removed from the spine itself. Because muscles and bones are intimately linked, muscles being attached to bones, the interrelationship between the nervous, muscular and skeletal systems play a critical role in the optimal health of every organ and tissue in the body. The interrelationship between these three systems is known as the "neuromusculoskeletal system" or N.M.S. The Doctor of Chiropractic can have an effect on the N.M.S. by making small "adjustments" to the spine, or other articulations of the body, to improve joint, muscle and nerve function.
Chiropractic also focuses on the biomechanics of the body. Biomechanics determine how muscles and joint structures affect joint movements. The nervous system, muscles and other structures of the body are influenced by your body's biomechanics. Pain and loss of function can be the result of biomechanical faults affecting the spine, neck, shoulders, legs and other body parts.
Chiropractors evaluate each patient's biomechanics and work to correct problems in the kinetic chain by sudden injury, repetitive strain injury, overuse or other such factors. Chiropractic treats biomechanical problems by improving joint function and the positioning of the body's musculoskeletal system.
What kind of education does a Doctor of Chiropractic need to attain?
Like medical doctors, doctors of chiropractic receive at least seven years of post-secondary education. Many of the chiropractic courses are the same as those studied in medical school and are often taught by the same professors. The total hours of study are also similar; however, medical doctors spend more time studying pharmacology (drugs) and hospital-related care, while doctors of chiropractic spend more time studying biomechanics and radiology (X-rays).
How successful is Chiropractic Health Care?
Chiropractic has a well-established record of success in identifying and treating spine-related problems. Considerable research has found chiropractic to be a highly effective and economical treatment for low back pain. This research includes studies published in medical journals comparing chiropractic with physiotherapy and the medical approach.
Increasingly, doctors of chiropractic and other medical professionals are working more closely together. This promotes a better awareness of each profession's strengths, and better overall care for patients.
We can all benefit from Chiropractic Health Care
More than 60% of adult British Columbians have received chiropractic treatment. Patients include people of all ages and occupations, from office workers to retired persons, from children to those employed in the construction, forestry, mining and fishing industries, as well as professionals and Olympic athletes. Chiropractic is widely regarded as a safe and effective health care science in the treatment of pain and the improvement of body function.
For more detailed information please visit the BC College of Chiropractors and BC Chiropractic Association or the Canadian Chiropractic Association websites.
Woodgrove Pines Clinic also offers Gait Analysis, biomechanical analysis and computerized postural analysis to assist in diagnosing musculoskeletal pain patterns and postural imbalances, all of which can cause loss of function and a predisposition to injury.
Customized orthotics are also offered in conjunction with Harris Orthotics.
Note: M.S.P. provides partial coverage for 10 visits per year for chiropractic or other alternative treatment for those on income or premium assistance. ICBC and WCB cover most chiropractic fees if you qualify. No referral is required. Extended heath insurance plans usually cover up to a yearly limit.