frequently asked questions

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Your questions. Our answers.

How do you find a chiropractor?

It’s easy to find a chiropractor?  Ask a friend, family member or co-worker first.  You’ll most likely get a good recommendation from them.  You can also visit the BC Chiropractic website and find a doctor near you.  You can call the chiropractor’s office directly for an appointment.  You don’t need a referral from your family doctor.

How soon can you get an appointment?

In most cases you can usually get an appointment within a few days or sometimes even the same day.  Many chiropractors even work weekends or into the evening which is convenient for people who work full time.  You do not need a referral to see a chiropractor or make an appointment.

Do you need a referral from another healthcare professional (IE: family doctor)?

No! You never need a referral to see a chiropractor. Sometimes medical doctors or other health professionals will recommend that you see a chiropractic doctor, but a referral is not required.

What information is typically on the form I have to fill out?

You can expect to fill out forms that request contact information, medical history and details about to your health concerns like where you hurt on your body and how intense the pain is. Your doctor will also go over the informed consent form where you acknowledge that you understand your diagnosis and the treatment options presented to you.

What is the consultation?

During the consultation, your chiropractic doctor will review your history and ask you questions about your health concern. This information will guide the doctor for what to look for during the examination.

Why would the doctor want to know about my history, lifestyle and work environments?

History, lifestyle and work environments all factor into your health and provide clues to what is causing your pain. Activities you do on a regular basis such as sports can lead to injury. Repetitive movements or poor posture at your work station is another hazard that may cause a problem. Health history is also important because it can point to old injuries or other concerns that your doctor may need to be aware off. All of these things provide a complete picture of your wellness which is important to establishing an appropriate diagnosis.

What is the doctor looking for during the examination?

Your doctor is looking for many different things during the examination.  They may notice that one side of the body moves more freely than the other.   Pain is another indicator that your doctor will be careful to observe the location and intensity of.  They will also look for physical imbalances such as those causing one leg to seem longer than the other or improper gait when walking.

Does everyone have to have an x-ray?

No, in most cases x-rays or other medical imaging is not necessary to diagnose and treat your back problem. Chiropractors are trained to know when an x-ray is appropriate and is not required.

Will you have to change into a hospital gown for a chiropractic treatment?

Depending on your medical concerns, your doctor may ask you to change into a hospital gown.  The reason for this is so your back is exposed for a clearer examination.  For example:  Some back problems actually cause changes in the skin.  Your doctor will explain everything to you and advise you if this is required.

Why see a chiropractor?

Chiropractic is an effective and safe form of health care that is shown to get people better quicker than any other type of treatment and help them stay well.  For many British Columbians Chiropractic care is their first choice in treating their back pain and other conditions. Others decide to see a Chiropractor because they are living with pain and nothing else seems to work.  Overall Chiropractic treatment often means you can get back to work and the life you enjoy sooner.

Does chiropractic work?

Yes, chiropractic is effective. 1 in every 4 people visits their family chiropractor on a regular basis to address their back pain. Studies highlight the effectiveness of chiropractic care. It is common for patients to report that their range of motion is improved, their pain lessened and their quality of life improved as a result of chiropractic treatment.

Are Chiropractors Doctors?

Yes, chiropractors are doctors. The BC Government’s Health Professions Act acknowledges chiropractors as doctors due to their education, experience and skills. As doctors, chiropractors provide evidence-based care to patients.

What is the noise during an adjustment?

The noise during the adjustment is an audible release of gases from between the joint. The sound is not bones rubbing together or cracking.

I’ve heard that once you start chiropractic you have to keep going?

Not true.  Chiropractors are injury prevention experts who work to address the root cause of your health concern through treatment, exercise and lifestyle modifications.  Many times patients learn to better understand their bodies and recognize the need to come in for a chiropractic check up.  It is more and more common these days for people to include chiropractors as part of their healthcare team.  The Provincial average is 6-8 visits for recovery with some patients responding much quicker and a few taking much longer.

Does an adjustment hurt?

Most patients do not report pain during chiropractic treatment. When patients arrive at the chiropractor’s office in pain, they are more sensitive to whether or not the treatment hurts.

What if you feel sore after a treatment?

Some patients do feel sore after treatment which typically goes away in a day or two.  Depending on your injury, your chiropractor may advise you to apply ice to the sore spot for a period of time throughout the day.  If your pain increases or you have concerns, contact your chiropractic doctor who can instruct you on what to do next.

How many visits does it take to feel better?

On average it takes about 6-8 visits* for most patients to reach their maximum recovery depending on the nature of your condition (individual results may vary).  Car accident injuries are one example of issues that may take much longer to heal.

*Although the Provincial average is 6-8 visits, the range is large with some patients responding much quicker and a few taking much longer.

When should you see a chiropractor?

The quicker you see the chiropractor, the greater the chance for maximum recovery.  If you notice pain or discomfort it is best not to wait longer than 2 days to see your chiropractor.  For traumatic injuries such as car crashes or a fall, consult your chiropractor immediately.  You do not need a referral to see a chiropractor.  Examination and treatment is adjusted to the severity of your injuries.

What is the chiropractic adjustment like?

An adjustment is a calculated force that moves the joint a few millimetres within its normal range of motion. Most chiropractors use their hands to provide adjustments and some use an instrument to perform the treatment.

Is the adjustment safe?

Yes, treatment is very safe. The risk of adverse events is rare, less than 1 per 10 million treatments, which is lower than the rate of adverse events for most drugs including pain-killers.

Why is Chiropractic a drug-free, surgery-free approach to healthcare?

Chiropractic care is hands on treatment that relies on the body’s ability to heal itself. Adjustments allow the body to move more naturally and stimulate the nervous system. Most patients feel relief without the need for a referral to a surgeon or medical doctor for a prescription.

What do Chiropractors treat other than back problems?

Yes, chiropractors treat the entire spine, consisting of nerves, muscles and bone joints that span from the base of your skull to the top of your pelvis. Chiropractors can also help with other injuries that involve muscles and bone joints such as the shoulder, wrist, knee and foot. If your health complaint involves a bone, muscle and nerve, your chiropractor has the training and expertise to diagnose and treat your condition.

What don’t chiropractors treat?

Chiropractors don’t treat health concerns that are not related to your spine, muscles, nerves, neck, back or other bone joints. There are also some things such as broken bones or fractures which a chiropractor does not treat. If a chiropractor suspects you have a condition that is outside of their area of expertise, they will refer you to an appropriate health professional.

What costs are covered?

Most extended health plans offer coverage for chiropractic treatment. ICBC and WorkSafeBC also provide coverage for motor vehicle and workplace accidents. If you are on Medical Services Plan (MSP) premium assistance, there is some coverage available if you wish to see a chiropractor.

Can chiropractic care get me back to work faster?

Yes, many studies identify chiropractic care as one of the fastest ways to return to work quickly. Even further, chiropractic treatment is shown to sustain your return to work and keep you injury free longer. The average number of chiropractic visits for maximum recovery is 6-8 visits* for most injuries.

*Although the Provincial average is 6-8 visits, the range is large with some patients responding much quicker and a few taking much longer.

Are Chiropractors license and regulated?

Yes, chiropractors are regulated health professionals in BC, just like medical doctors, nurses and dentists. The College of Chiropractors of BC licenses and regulates all chiropractors in this province.

What does the BCCA do?

Chiropractic is an effective and safe form of health care that is shown to get people better quicker than any other type of treatment and help them stay well.  For many British Columbians Chiropractic care is their first choice in treating their back pain and other conditions. Others decide to see a Chiropractor because they are living with pain and nothing else seems to work.  Overall Chiropractic treatment often means you can get back to work and the life you enjoy sooner.

What does the CCBC do?

The College of Chiropractors of British Columbia or CCBC is the regulatory body that oversees the licensing of chiropractors in this province. The CCBC sets the standards to register and practice to ensure the protection of the public. Patients who feel they were treated inappropriately under the care of a BC chiropractor can file a complaint through the CCBC who will investigate and apply discipline if necessary.

Chiropractic visits made easy

  • Find a chiropractor

    Finding a chiropractor is easy.  Ask your friends or co-workers for a recommendation or visit the BC Chiropractic Association website to find a chiropractor near your.

  • Make appointment

    Pick up the phone and call.  You don’t need a referral.  Many times the chiropractor can see you within a couple of days.  Just phone and make an appointment.

  • Consultation

    During the consultation you’ll talk about why you are there.  The chiropractor may ask about your medical history and family history, your dietary habits, lifestyle and work environments.  The chiropractor will talk about how your problem may have been caused, and most importantly, how you’ll get on the path to feeling better.

  • Examination

    The chiropractor will check for many things such as range of motion, balance and mobility.  You may be sent for medical imaging such as an x-ray, MRI or CT depending on the nature of your problem.

  • Treatment

    The chiropractic treatment or adjustment will be fully explained by your doctor.  It’s what’s known as informed consent.   You are in control and your chiropractor works with you to correct problems, get you out of pain, or just maintain your good health and well-being.

  • Follow up

    Congratulations!  You’re are on the right path.  If you are going to a chiropractor for a specific problem then most patients find a resolution within the average of 6 to 8 visits.  A healthy spine is crucial to how you feel and function.  When your spine is in proper alignment so are you!