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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Like other chiropractors in Burlington, we hear many questions from new and current chiropractic patients. We have listed some of the most common questions and answers below. Just click on the question you are interested in and you will taken down the page to the answer.

How long will it take?

What is chiropractic and how does it work?

What is a subluxation?

How do I get spinal subluxations?

What is the Activator Method Technique?

Can children be chiropractic patients?

Does the Activator work with children?

Is it true that chiropractic is one of the safest methods of health care?

Should I be concerned if my neck has to be adjusted?

Why not just use the medical approach – medication and or surgery?

What type of education and training do chiropractors have?

When should I see a chiropractor?

Does chiropractic care require a referral from an MD?

How many Ontarians use chiropractic?

Are there many athletes who use chiropractic?


How long will it take?

This answer depends on how long you have had the problem, and how you want us to help you. The good news is that we provide you with the necessary information so you can decide.

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What is chiropractic and how does it work?

Chiropractic is a non-invasive natural approach to health care. It is based on the scientific fact that the body has the innate ability to heal itself and that this ability depends greatly on a healthy spine and nervous system. Spinal adjustments correct areas of spinal stress, called subluxation, and thereby reduce pain (if present) and remove irritation to the nervous system. This has far reaching implications in that every aspect of the human body is wholly or in part controlled by the nervous system. There are many causes of spinal stress and they are the cause of many health problems – not just low back pain and headaches!

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What is a subluxation?

A Subluxation is a distortion or misalignment in your spine that irritates your nervous system resulting in overall disharmony or malfunction. Subluxations affect the health of your nerves, ligaments, discs and joints; weaken your muscles; decreasing the energy that flows from your brain and nerves to all parts of your body. Your internal organs may get less blood and your brain may get less oxygen!

You can have subluxations in your body for years without noticing any effects. Eventually however they can weaken you to the point where you do begin to develop symptoms, have lowered resistance and ultimately fall prey to sickness and diseases of all kinds.

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How do I get spinal subluxations?

Subluxations occur because of different stresses in our lives. It may occur in infancy from a difficult child birth or from childhood falls. Studies show that by ten years old one has had 1500 spinal traumas. Later in life, emotional tension or stress can gradually damage your spine and violent injuries from automobile accidents or sports can suddenly knock you “out of whack.”

Nearly everyone eventually gets vertebral subluxations. It is a “hidden epidemic” and it is for that reason that you need to have you and your family’s spines checked for this condition by a doctor of chiropractic – just as you get your eyes, teeth and blood pressure checked!

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What is the Activator Method Technique?

Doctors of Chiropractic receive extensive training in the Activator Technique. This method is also one of the most scientifically researched techniques in chiropractic.

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Can children be chiropractic patients?

Absolutely. Chiropractic care is based on the basic biological and physiological sciences, which equally apply to children from birth to full development as they do to the adult. Chiropractic care is as beneficial to children as it is to adults, and they should be seen by chiropractors on a regular basis from birth. Chiropractors are trained to screen for possible abnormalities that may arise during normal development and to care for conditions that may already be present. Many spinal and skeletal weaknesses can be detected during childhood and be prevented from predisposing and adult condition. As with adults, regular adjustments provide for a healthy spine and nervous system for the developing child.

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Does the Activator work with children?

The Activator Technique works well for children because it is quick and easy. Even young children who may have problems keeping still typically have no problems with Activator adjustments. Many even look forward to their next visit!

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Is it true that chiropractic is one of the safest methods of health care?

Yes. The scientific literature contains numerous studies, both government and privately funded, that conclude chiropractic to be extremely effective, cost-effective and safe. In fact, spinal adjusting is among the most researched health care interventions. These studies consistently indicate that it is extremely safe. In particular, the Ontario ministry of health concluded that there is no study that demonstrates or even implies that chiropractic spinal adjustments are unsafe in the treatment of low back conditions, and further suggests that it is safer that medical management

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Should I be concerned if my neck has to be adjusted?

No. The largest concern associated with cervical spine (neck) adjustments is the slight possibility of a stroke. This risk has to be put into perspective. Studies show that the risk is in the neighborhood of about 1 in 1.5 to 2 million – about the same chance of having a stroke while shoulder checking in you car, getting your hair washed at a salon, playing sports or even coughing. Furthermore, the risks associated with the treatments that many people consider normal for the same conditions they would see a chiropractor are thousands of times greater. For example – anti-inflammatory drugs: 1 in 1000 risk of serious complication and 1 to 2 in 10000 risk of death. Surgeries for neck pain: 1 in 64 chance of paralysis or stroke and 1 in 145 chance of death. So you see, those concerned with the safest methods of health care should be seeing a chiropractor first.

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Why not just use the medical approach – medication and or surgery?

The literature indicates that drugs and surgery for similar health problems carry much more risk and side effects than do chiropractic adjustments and are often ineffective. For example, the risk of a serious condition or death from side effects attributed to the use of NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and Tylenol) is hundreds of times greater than chiropractic. Many medications simply mask conditions and do nothing to address the causes. Chiropractors do the exact opposite by identifying the root of the condition and fixing it through non-invasive techniques.

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What type of education and training do chiropractors have?

Doctors of Chiropractic are educated as primary contact health care providers, with an emphasis on diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the musculoskeletal system (the muscles, ligaments and joints of the spine and extremities) and the nerves that supply them. Education requirements for doctors of chiropractic are among the most stringent of any of the health care professions.

The typical applicant for chiropractic college has already acquired nearly four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work. Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding – four to five academic years of professional study are the standard. Doctors of chiropractic are educated in orthopedics, neurology, physiology, human anatomy, and clinical diagnosis including laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, exercise, nutrition rehabilitation and more.

Because chiropractic care includes high skilled manipulation/adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in the clinical technique training to master these important manipulative procedures.

In total, the chiropractic college curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency that is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

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When should I see a chiropractor?

Eight out of ten Canadians will experience back pain at some point in their life, and at least one third of people in Ontario will have any given time. For many people, the pain can keep them away from work, school or even their day-to-day activities. If pain causes interruptions and restrictions in the activities of your daily life then you should consult a health care provider.

Chiropractors are regulated primary health care professionals, and they are one of only five classes of health care professionals in Ontario that are able to use the title Doctor, with its accompanying rights and obligations.

Chiropractors are highly educated and extensively trained to assess, diagnosis, treat and prevent conditions and disorders of the spine, muscle and nervous systems. These disorders may include back pain, neck pain, headaches, referring pain in your arms and legs.

Many patients seek chiropractic treatment for wellness care. Others, like seniors, who find that treatment helps them to maintain movement and good range of motion.

There are many reasons to seek chiropractic care: Work, accidents, sports injuries, household chores, even the stress of daily living, painful joint and spinal problems. Even if you do not have painful symptoms, chiropractic care can help you maintain healthy spine function.

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Does chiropractic care require a referral from an MD?

Chiropractors are legislated as primary contact health care professionals in every province in Canada. This means that patients can consult them directly. However, chiropractors often work closely with medical doctors, many of whom refer to chiropractors when they believe chiropractic treatment will help alleviate a patient’s condition. Similarly, chiropractors frequently refer to medical doctors when necessary.

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How many Ontarians use chiropractic?

Chiropractic is one of the largest primary contact health professions in Ontario, with more than 3,100 practicing chiropractors. Almost 2 million Ontarians use the services of a chiropractor each year to get them back to work, and back to doing the things they love.

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Are there many athletes who use chiropractic?

Yes. Many amateur and professional athletes use chiropractic treatment as part of their overall health care, fitness and maintenance program. Chiropractic is often used to improve muscle and joint conditioning, which has a direct effect on an athletic performance. Treatment works to improve biomechanical function and enhance overall conditioning, important in situations where there is continuous repetitive movement. Chiropractic care also helps athletes fine-tune their muscles and joints for high-level performance, and may reduce long-term wear and tear. Finally, treatment can be used to prevent, and sometimes shorten, the healing time of injuries.


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