Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I need a referral for my first chiropractic appointment?
No. You do not need a referral from your medical doctor. Chiropractors are “primary contact” health care providers who can provide you with a diagnosis and recommend treatment. Simply call the clinic and you will typically be able to book a visit within a few days.
Q: What happens on my first visit?
You will complete basic health history forms. They give the chiropractor an overview of your complaint and your current health. Your chiropractor will then ask questions about your complaint and health history, and give you a complete examination, including a scan, physical and neurological examination, range-of-motion testing, and orthopedic testing appropriate to your individual condition. If necessary, your chiropractor will also send you for x-rays.
Your chiropractor will then use this information to give you a diagnosis, report of findings and a course of care. If you require treatment other than chiropractic care, your chiropractor will also guide you to the appropriate health care professional. Your health is of primary concern to a chiropractor. Together, you and your chiropractor can ensure you are able to lead as healthy a life as possible.
Q: What is a chiropractic adjustment?
Chiropractors seek out abnormal spinal motion or a lack of motion and deliver chiropractic adjustments to these areas. An adjustment is a gentle, hands-on technique aimed at increasing joint mobility and decreasing any inflammation and pain. Your chiropractor may also use a variety of adjunctive techniques to treat your condition, including soft-tissue therapy and exercise prescription.
Q: Are chiropractic adjustments safe?
Every health procedure, from taking aspirin to giving blood, involves a level of risk. Research has shown that chiropractic adjustments are among the safest of all health care interventions because they are non-surgical, drug-free and present an extremely low risk. And they work!
Q: Is chiropractic effective?
Yes. Scientific evidence proving that chiropractic care works is overwhelming. Over the past 20 years, many controlled and independent research studies have shown again and again that chiropractic care is safe and effective for treating low back pain, neck pain, headaches and other conditions relating to the spine. Based on these scientific studies, the consensus is that chiropractic care is the treatment of choice for most spinal problems. Ask your chiropractor for the latest research on the safety and efficacy of chiropractic treatment.
Q: How often do I need to come for treatment?
This depends entirely on your current state of health and your goals for chiropractic treatment. Depending on the examination findings, your age and physical condition, frequent visits over a relatively short period of time may be required during the initial phase of care. With treatment, your body will begin to function normally, pain and stiffness will decrease, and you will not require as many treatments. At this point, most patients choose to continue with maintenance care in order to help retain the benefits they’ve already achieved and reach optimum performance. Your chiropractor will discuss the need for ongoing care with you, and it will depend on your specific problem.
Q: Are your services covered by insurance?
Yes. If you have an extended health care plan through your private or group insurance plan, you may be eligible for all or part of your treatment to be reimbursed. Our chiropractic health assistant (CHA) will gladly provide a receipt for you to submit to your insurance company in order to receive your benefits. Some insurance providers require a note from a medical doctor stating that your massage therapy is clinically required. Please check with your individual health care benefits package or customer representative for details. Chiropractic care is also covered by the Workers Compensation Board, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the RCMP.
Q: How are doctors of chiropractic trained?
Today’s graduating Doctors of Chiropractic have studied at least seven years of postsecondary education. Just like medical or dental students, they must have a minimum of 3 years of undergraduate study before applying for admission to an accredited chiropractic college. To become a chiropractor, students must complete 4,500 hours of intense academic study over a 4-year period, which includes classroom learning in basic science (anatomy physiology, pathology, x-ray interpretation, biochemistry, and differential diagnosis), clinical science, and internship training (with an emphasis on hands-on practice). After graduation, every chiropractor in Canada must pass both written and practical national board examinations administered by the Canadian Chiropractic Examining Board (CCEB). In order for a chiropractor to be licensed in a particular province, they must pass a provincial board exam. Chiropractic is a self-governing profession, which means that doctors are bound to a professional code of ethics through national and provincial chiropractic licensing bodies, such as the Nova Scotia College of Chiropractors. This self-regulating and disciplinary process ensures that the public’s health concerns are the chiropractic profession’s highest priority.