What is it all About?
By Dr. Melissa
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year over four and a half million Canadians seek the care of a
chiropractor. Chiropractic offers a drug-free, non-invasive approach
to healthcare, treating disorders or problems that have their
cause in the nervous system, muscular system or skeletal system
(including the joints). Chiropractors are highly trained to assess,
diagnose, treat and help prevent conditions relating to these
spine is composed of individual bones called vertebrae that protect
your nervous system. These vertebrae stack upon one another to
form joints. Between each vertebrae is a special shock absorber
called a disc. It is these joints that allow you to bend and twist,
giving you mobility. When these joints are inflamed or don't move
properly they can cause pain, stiffness, muscle spasm and neurological
symptoms (tingling, numbness or burning in the extremities). Chiropractic
doctors promote healing with spinal adjustments. You don't have
to wait until you are hurting to visit your chiropractor. Chiropractic
care is an asset to any wellness and prevention based lifestyle
and is covered by most extended health care plans.
word chiropractic has a Greek origin, meaning "treatment
by hand". The tradition of "manual manipulation"
of joints and soft tissues extends back to the Ancient Egyptians,
Classical Greeks, Chinese, and Africans. In the 17th and 18th
centuries, medical professionals in England used a manual technique
called "bone setting." The founder of "modern day"
chiropractic was D.D. Palmer, a Canadian, who opened the first
school of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa in 1897.
doctors have the same educational background as medical doctors.
They are required to have a minimum of 3 years (although most
schools require 4) of pre-professional university training before
being eligible to apply to a chiropractic school. Currently there
are only two chiropractic colleges in Canada - one in Toronto
and one in Trois-Riviere. Chiropractic studies entail 4 more years
of professional training. Courses include anatomy, biochemistry,
physiology, pathology, toxicology, laboratory diagnosis, and neurology.
In the final year the chiropractic student does an internship
that further prepares them for practice. While medical doctors
branch off to study pharmacology in order to be able to prescribe
medication as their form of treatment, chiropractic doctors specialize
in anatomy, physiology, bio-mechanics of the spine and joints
and the skill of manipulation of the joints. After finishing their
formal training, chiropractors must then pass rigorous national
board exams and provincial licensing exams before they are able
to practice. Licensed chiropractors have a provincial license
number and are listed with their provincial association.
your first visit to a chiropractor you can expect a thorough medical
history to be taken followed by an examination. The examination
may include a postural analysis, as well as range of motion, orthopedic,
and neurological testing. X-rays may or may not be required. If
your chiropractor feels that chiropractic treatment may benefit
your specific condition, a treatment plan is recommended. During
your treatments, your chiropractor will often use "adjustments"
to help align and improve the motion of certain joints. These
gentle "adjustments" may be done by hand or by using
a special adjusting tool. Getting adjusted is comfortable and
safe for the whole family, from children to the elderly, and even
Melissa Wicks MacRae, chiropractor, Charlottetown PEI
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