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Chiropractic Treatment

The word “Chiropractic” is taken from Greek, meaning, “Done by Hand.” Chiropractic is a highly skilled treatment by trained professionals. It focuses on the source of your back pain, not the symptoms. It’s hands-on treatment that works.

September 25, 2009  By Dave Anderson

The word “Chiropractic” is taken from Greek, meaning, “Done by Hand.” Chiropractic is a highly skilled treatment by trained professionals. It focuses on the source of your back pain, not the symptoms. It’s hands-on treatment that works.

Many cultures have used some form of physical manipulation in healing, including the Ancient Egyptians, Classical Greeks, Amerindians, Chinese, and Africans. Bone-setting was a form of spinal manipulation widely used by medical professionals in 19th century England.

chiro1.jpgDaniel David Palmer is considered the modern discoverer of chiropractic. Originally from Port Perry, Ontario, D.D. Palmer began the codification of the philosophy, science and art of chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa and opened the first school of Chiropractic there in 1897. Bartlett Joshua Palmer, D.D. Palmer’s son, was influential in the development of modern chiropractic.


The bones in your back, called the vertebrae, are connected by cartilage and work together in a very specific way. When everything is working well, your spine is in-line, strong and flexible. The stress of daily living, injuries, or accidents can cause the bones in the spine to shift out of their proper alignment or affect your range of motion. Small changes in the alignment of your spine can cause pain by putting pressure on the joints, muscles, and nerves along your spinal column.

Chiropractic joint manipulation, or adjustment, is a treatment in which the chiropractor uses his or her hands to apply a very quick, precise, and safe amount of pressure directly on the problem area of your spine.


This pressure momentarily separates the joints, allowing a gas bubble to escape (this is the popping sound or cracking noise that you might have heard about). This relieves the pressure on the joint and surrounding nerves and, most importantly, allows your spine to return to its proper position. The adjustment is not painful, and often provides immediate relief of your back pain.

The safety and effectiveness of chiropractic treatment has been studied very carefully. Both the medical profession and, more importantly, chiropractors themselves need to be completely certain that the care they provide is safe. Few medical treatments have been scrutinized in as much detail as chiropractic. To date, no significant findings have shown that the risks are any greater than those for other back pain treatments.

In fact, studies have found chiropractic to be extremely safe and effective in alleviating back pain. If a chiropractor diagnoses a problem that would be better treated by another health care professional, then he or she will make an appropriate referral.

Complications from chiropractic treatment are rare. Your chiropractor will discuss all potential side effects and risks along with the benefits of any care you receive.

The costs of chiropractic treatment are partly covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Many private insurance plans, workplaces, and unions also help cover these costs. Chiropractic is increasingly recognized as the most cost-effective and beneficial back pain treatment. This is especially true when compared to the expense of other back pain therapies or the productivity cost of lost time from work.

Description of Primary Modalities Used
Chiropractic care is distinguished from other forms of treatment by the spinal manipulation. This is a licensed modality unique to the profession. Chiropractic adjustments are described as high velocity, low amplitude thrusts in direction so as to increase or correct spinal function. They are comfortable and safe for all ages from infants to pregnant women and the elderly. Short-Term Goals for this client;

including method of treatment utilized to reach those goals
My approach to helping this patient would begin with an explanation of my findings and a description of my treatment plan assuming the history and examination are complete. Initially, it is imperative to re-establish a pain free range of motion. Removal of any obstacles in this regard is the focus. In our office we would utilize microcurrent, interferential current, soft tissue techniques and/or manipulation to accomplish this phase of rehabilitation.

chiro2.jpgThe various currents available to us here (at our office) provide both an increased blood flow to the soft tissues in the area (therefore increased elasticity and mobility), reduced congestion and a resulting better environment for an adjustment to the involved restricted vertebral segments.

As an early goal is reduced pain, local anti-inflammatory techniques are also used. Primarily cryotherapy (ice) is used on a 10-minute-on, 10-minute-off cycle after and between treatments for as long as there is pain at the involved sites.

Brief Treatment Plan
Depending on the severity of the initial symptoms and the response to each treatment our frequency of treatment could range from daily to twice per week for the first two weeks. Each treatment begins with a review of findings which is primarily feedback on the response to the previous treatment. This will determine the parameters for the subsequent treatment including the follow up treatment.

When electrotherapies are utilized they are applied for 12 minutes to 20 minutes per session, followed by the soft tissue and/or manipulation components. The total time for these sessions can range from 15 minutes to 45 minutes. We educate our patients to think in terms of two-week blocks of time. We need that much time to determine if our treatment plans are effective or not. We fine tune the plan based on the feedback each session.

The second two-week block, when necessary, involves more active therapy in addition to the adjustments and less time on electrotherapy. The time between treatments are lengthened and exercises are prescribed for home.

Long-Term Goals for this client; including method of treatment utilized to reach those goals
When range of motion has been established and the patient is pain free the emphasis is placed on strength and balance. Treatment at the office is reduced and the plan includes exercises designed to achieve the goals of strength and balance both at home and at the clinic.

Spinal manipulation and other techniques are still employed as necessary to ensure optimal function and response to the more active therapies. These exercises will vary based on the equipment and/or facilities available to the patient.

Our experience has shown that home exercises utilizing minimal equipment such as surgical tubing and the patient’s own body weight are as effective and possibly provide more compliance than going to a gym or other such facility.

More information or comments about referral and/or a multi-disciplinary approach with other health care professionals in the treatment of musculoskeletal injury
At our clinic, we have the luxury of massage therapists, a homeopath and a chiropodist on site and therefore utilize a multi disciplinary approach whenever it is deemed to be in the best interest of the patient and their condition.

Other information relevant to the case study
Education through diligent communication throughout the entire recovery process is the key element in ensuring optimal compliance and results for your patient.

ABOUT DAVE ANDERSON. Dr. Dave Anderson is a practising chiropractor with a Fellowship in Sports Injury Management in Newmarket. He established his clinic in 1986 and taught at the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy for seven years. He runs a clinic that offers chiropractic (two chiropractors), massage therapy (two registered massage therapists), chiropody (footcare) and homeopathy. Emphasis at the clinic is on the correction of musculoskeletal biomechanics and the rehabilitation of injuries from sport, work or auto accidents. Dr. Anderson is active in his community sports both as a participant and as a coach and trainer in hockey and football.

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