Why would I visit a Chiropractor?

For people who have never seen a Chiropractor, this is a common question. What do they do? Why do I need to go? How often and for how long do I need to see them?

First thing to note is that people see Chiropractors for a variety of reasons. For some people it's to take care of an injury. Injury care is very common in many chiropractic offices today, with people coming in having hurt their back, getting headaches, sprained an ankle, pulled a muscle, etc. Sometimes it's for a nerve problem - sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, pain going down the arm...! These are all issues a Chiropractor can address. Our motto here at ProActive Chiropractic is "from headaches to ankle sprains, and everything in between!" Doctors of Chiropractic are specialists in physical injury (otherwise known as musculoskeletal) complaints. They are experts at testing, diagnosing and recommending treatment for any injury to the body. They are also able to refer you to the correct specialist if need be. A treatment for injury will usually involve a series of visits within a few weeks to address the injury, allow time for healing and to adapt the treatment as you improve. The point of these visits is to speed up the healing process, to manage any pain or discomfort, as well as prevent this type of injury from happening again.

Another reason people visit their Chiropractor is to address physical issues on a regular basis. A chiropractor specializes in all things musculoskeletal and is a leading expert on the spine. Some people don't pay much attention to their spine. You can't see it, and if you don't feel anything wrong you might assume there's nothing to be done. Realizing the importance of treating the spine lies in understanding its function. Our spine keeps us upright and absorbs the forces we place on our bodies, from walking to driving to lifting etc. It is the place where a significant number of our muscles attach and this translates into both movement and stability. Also important is its function of protecting our spinal cord, and thereby our nervous system. The spinal cord comes down from the brain through the spine itself. The nerves that go to the organs, muscles, skin and joints all come from the spinal cord. The spine and our nervous system, therefore, have a very intimate relationship. It can be argued that the better our spine functions, the better our body functions because it allows the best possible environment for our nerves. Spinal adjustments, then, can not only release stiff or restricted areas of our spine, but can have benefits on the body such as muscular relaxation, a decrease in pain and improved posture. If our nervous system functions better because of the spinal adjustments, the systems it controls will also function better eg. digestion, blood pressure, immune system etc. This type of chiropractic visit might happen on a regular basis, but at a time frame that works for you. We find some people like their visit every other week, some come in once a month and some may be less frequent than that. Everyone's body is different and requires a unique amount of "maintenance".

Finally, many patients will consult their Chiropractor about other health concerns. A Doctor of Chiropractic is a Primary Health Care provider and could be the first person you see about certain issues, to determine whether you need a GP visit or potentially to see another specialist. Many Chiropractors have a special interest in both nutrition (and supplementation for health) as well as exercise. We are here to help you make changes, suggest solutions to certain health issues, or to recommend and implement exercise, whether it be injury-specific, getting into a regular routine or improving your level of fitness. Edison said: "The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease." Chiropractors believe and work within this model of preventative health care. Your ProActive Chiropractors are more than happy to discuss any of your health goals and help you achieve them. Being pro-active about your health means you will live better, and isn't that what we are all looking to do?!

Taia Spencer-Yap