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Frequently Asked Questions

Our Answers to Your Questions

Chiropractic FAQ? Below are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about chiropractic care and treatment. Ask your chiropractor or contact us for more information.

Who are chiropractors?

Chiropractors are experts of the muscle, bone and nervous systems. They often focus on adjusting the spine and other joints in order to decrease pain and restore movement. They are specifically trained to diagnose the underlying cause of your pain in order to prevent it from coming back. They can also give recommendations on nutrition, exercise and lifestyle.

Are chiropractors doctors?

Yes, chiropractors are doctors. The BC Government identifies chiropractors as doctors based on their education, experience and skills.

Why see a chiropractor?

Chiropractic is an effective and safe form of health care that helps people get better quickly and stay well. For many British Columbians chiropractic care is their first choice in treating their back and neck pain, headache as well as other conditions.

How is seeing a chiropractic doctor different than seeing a medical doctor?

Your visit to a chiropractor will include a review of your medical history (health problems in the past), examination and treatment. Chiropractic care is a hands-on treatment that helps your body to heal. Adjustments help the body move better and stimulate the nervous system. Most patients feel relief without the need for a referral to a surgeon or medical doctor for a prescription.

Do chiropractors only treat back problems?

No. Chiropractors can also help with other injuries that involve muscles and joints such as the shoulder, wrist, knee, and foot.

When should I see a chiropractor after I injure myself?

The quicker you see a chiropractor, the quicker you are likely to feel better. If you notice pain or discomfort, see your chiropractor as soon as possible. For injuries such as car crashes or falls, consult your chiropractor immediately. You can call a Chiropractor directly; you do not need a referral to see a chiropractor.

How long do I have to keep going once I start visiting a chiropractor?

It depends on the nature of your problem. People respond to treatments differently – some patients take shorter time, others take longer time to get better. Many times patients learn to better understand their bodies and see the need to visit their chiropractor every once in a while for a checkup. It is common these days for people to include chiropractors as part of their healthcare team.

How do I find a chiropractor?

It is easy to find a chiropractor. Ask a friend, family member, or co-worker first. You will most likely get a good recommendation from them. Feel free to use the BC Chiropractic Association’s ‘Find a Chiropractor’ tool to find a doctor near you. Using this tool, you may find a chiropractor who speaks your language.

How soon can I get an appointment?

In most cases you can get an appointment within a few days or sometimes even the same day. Many chiropractors work weekends or evenings which is helpful to people who work during the day. You do not need a referral to see a chiropractor or to make an appointment.

How do I cover the cost for chiropractic treatments?

Most extended health plans cover chiropractic treatments. ICBC and WorkSafeBC also cover motor vehicle and workplace accidents. Medical Services Plan (MSP) premium assistance has some coverage.

What information will I have to provide to the chiropractor?

You can expect to fill out forms for contact information, medical history (health problems in the past) and details about your health concerns. Your doctor will also go over the informed consent form where you state that you understand your diagnosis (where and why it hurts) and the treatment options.

Why would the doctor want to know about my lifestyle and work environment?

Lifestyle and work environment influence your health and provide signs about what is causing your pain. For instance, activities such as sports can lead to an injury. Poor posture at work may also cause a problem. All of these things provide a complete picture of your health which is important for a correct diagnosis.

What is the doctor looking for during the examination?

Your doctor is looking at how your body moves and how you walk. For instance, limping or leaning. Your doctor will also carefully observe the location of your pain and how strong it is.

Will I have to change into a hospital gown for a chiropractic examination?

Sometimes it is needed to see your back to find out what causes your problem. Depending on your medical concerns, your doctor may ask you to change into a hospital gown. This is so your back is exposed for a clearer examination. For example, some back problems may cause changes in the skin. Your doctor will explain everything to you and if you need to change into a gown.

Does everyone need to have an x-ray?

No. In most cases x-rays are not necessary to diagnose and treat your back problem. Chiropractors are trained to know when an x-ray is needed when it is not needed.

What is a chiropractic adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment is a force of hand that moves a joint a few millimetres within its normal position. Its purpose is to help restore movement and reduce pain so that people can feel better. Most chiropractors use only their hands to provide adjustments. Some may use chiropractic tools to perform the treatment.

Are chiropractic adjustments safe?

Yes. Adjustments are very safe. You may feel a little sore or stiff after the treatment. This will go away in a short time. Research says that the risk of injury is very low.

What is the noise during a chiropractic adjustment?

The noise during the adjustment is a creation of a vacuum pocket (cavitation). The sound is not bones rubbing together or cracking.

Does a chiropractic adjustment hurt?

Most patients do not report pain during chiropractic treatment. Some patients may be more sensitive to treatments and may feel a bit sore or stiff after. This goes away in a short time. If your pain increases or you have questions, see your chiropractic doctor.

Are chiropractors licensed and regulated?

Yes. Chiropractors are regulated health professionals in BC, just like medical doctors, nurses and dentists. The College of Chiropractors of British Columbia (CCBC) regulates all chiropractors in BC.

What does the College of Chiropractors of British Columbia (CCBC) do?

The CCBC sets the standards to register and practice, and protects the public. If you feel you were not treated well, you can file a complaint through the CCBC, which will investigate and take action as necessary.

What does the British Columbia Chiropractic Association (BCCA) do?

The British Columbia Chiropractic Association (BCCA) is the voluntary professional organization that represents BC’s chiropractors. We are dedicated to advancing the chiropractic profession through public awareness, advocacy to government, and collaborating with other health professionals to improve the lives of British Columbians.

Still have questions?