Frequently Asked Questions

Chiropractic is a drug-free, manual approach to health care that includes patient assessment, diagnosis and treatment. In particular, chiropractors assess patients for disorders related to the spine, pelvis, extremity joints, and their effect on the nervous system.

Chiropractic is a regulated health profession recognized by statute in all Canadian provinces and American states. Canadian chiropractors undergo an intensive four-year, full-time course of study following three years of university before qualifying to undertake national examinations and become licensed to practice.

After new patient forms are completed, Dr. Mark conducts a health interview that focuses on the area of concern. A physical examination follows, and may include muscle, joint, neurological and orthopedic tests to best determine a diagnosis. In some cases, the patient will be sent for x-rays or blood work to help rule out certain conditions. Once a diagnosis is made, a plan outlining both the number of treatments and the method used to treat will be discussed with the patient. The first visit will usually end with a treatment.

Adjustments are the most common form of treatment used by chiropractors in clinical practice. It is a carefully controlled, non-invasive procedure used to restore function and reduce pain to both spinal segments and extremity joints. The adjustment helps increase motion in the joints and supporting tissues, and can decrease muscle tightness or spasm. Research has consistently shown that chiropractic care is one of the most effective ways of treating musculoskeletal injuries.

Spinal joints are filled with synovial fluid. When an adjustment is performed, the fibrous joint capsule is momentarily stretched, causing a pressure change in the joint that allows gas to escape. The gas escaping the joint is what makes the popping sound. Although it often accompanies the adjustment, the sound is not required for the adjustment to be successful.

You don’t need a referral from a medical doctor to see a chiropractor, but communicating with a patient’s medical doctor is important in providing holistic care. Should a condition present to a chiropractor that would benefit from further medical analysis and testing, that patient would be referred to a medical doctor. Likewise, some doctors refer patients to chiropractors that would benefit from the conservative approach that chiropractic medicine provides.

Yes, children may benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle.

Treatment length is dependent on the nature of complaint as well as other underlying health issues. As with any therapy, the final decision rests with the patient. In some cases maintenance care is recommended to reduce the likelihood of the condition returning.

Dr. Mark Nikkel

Still Have Questions?

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