What to Expect from a Visit to a Burlington Chiropractor?

Updated on August 10, 2020  |  By: Dr. Peter Lejkowski

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Knowing what to expect from a visit to the chiropractor is important, due to the variety of practice styles seen in Burlington and across Canada. 

The provincial organizations that regulate chiropractors outline the criteria that guide how chiropractors should practice based on their chiropractic expertise and education.  Enforcing best practices is difficult, especially since the profession has been evolving so rapidly in the last two decades.

The unfortunate reality is that not every chiropractor stays up-to-date with the current research relevant to their field.

Whether they are chiropractic specialists or not, a registered chiropractor has received rigorous training, and is competent in various clinical processes. For the rest of the discussion, I will focus on what to expect from a visit to a  chiropractor that runs an evidence-informed practice. Below is a checklist of what to expect from a visit to a chiropractor.  

What to expect from a visit to a chiropractor checklist image

Therapies Used by Chiropractors

From the treatment perspective, the notion of knowing what to expect from a visit breaks down. The reason for this is that every patient and the complaint they present with is different.

The treatment methods used should vary, and may include:

Additionally, chiropractors may advise the patient on other health and wellness issues associated with lifestyle, nutrition and occupational factors contributing to injury etc.

 

Have You had a Bad Experience with a Chiropractor?

You may be reading this and think to yourself “wait a minute, I have been to a chiropractor before and all they did was crack my spine”. As a clinician, I get this all the time. The truth is that there are many chiropractors out there that resort to a “less comprehensive” form of practice.

First, let me state that there are clinical scenarios where spinal manipulative
therapy (aka “adjustment”…..aka “crack”) quickly and efficiently resolves the issue.

However, even in those situations, there are a number of other things that a chiropractor can (and should) do for you that are in your best interest.

Perhaps the chiropractor can prescribe therapeutic exercise that will help you prevent or self-manage this condition in the future?

Maybe there are modifiable lifestyle or occupational factors that predispose you to this particular condition that you may want to know about?

Maybe the self-management strategies that you are currently using are
actually making things worse?

Or, perhaps that chronic hip problem you have been neglecting all these years is actually contributing to your recurrent bouts of low-back-pain and needs to be addressed also.

My Recommendations for Finding a Good Chiropractor

The unfortunate reality is that just like in any healthcare profession, you will find clinicians that are great, and some that are not so good. So do your due diligence!

Do you know someone who can recommend a chiropractor in Burlington?

Does the chiropractor have an online biography that you can read to educate yourself on their approach to neuromusculoskeletal (NMSK) healthcare?

Was the chiropractor comprehensive and thorough during your first visit?

And of course, don’t be afraid to ask the chiropractor any questions you may have, whatever they may be. Do not hold back!

As a suggestion, I recommend seeking out the practitioners that take the time to answer your questions and are comprehensive in their approach. Additionally, a thought-out plan of care should be discussed and attainable goals outlined.

The Chiropractor Should Be Comprehensive and Focus on Functional Goals

The NMSK system is our “movement system” and it involves muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Most of the time NMSK injuries have more than one component that needs to be addressed.

The practitioner should be able to communicate exactly where they suspect the injury to be, whether other tissues may be affected as a consequence of the injury, and a planned strategy to address all of these issues.

A progression back to function following an injury should always be accompanied by appropriate therapeutic exercises.

They Should Prescribe Exercise

I’m going to be so bold as to suggest that every treatment plan needs to include exercise. I cannot emphasize how key exercise is when we are talking about pain in the “movement system”.

A treatment plan following an MSK injury that does not include therapeutic exercise is the equivalent of a rehabilitation program after a heart attack that does not include cardiovascular exercise! Even two decades ago this may have been acceptable. However, according to the knowledge we have today, this would not make any sense!

If I was forced to use only ONE therapeutic modality on all of my future patients, it would be exercise….hands down!

Establishing ideal movement and tissue resilience after an injury is critical in recovery, and in injury prevention. This can only be done with the use of specific exercise that creates adaptation in the tissues and trains movement. Emphasis on the ideal exercise technique is crucial and should never be taken lightly.

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I hope this article has shed some light on what to expect from a visit to the chiropractor. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment below!

About the Author

 

Hi, I’m Dr. Peter Lejkowski

I am a practicing clinician, a published author, an educator, entrepreneur, consultant, anatomy nerd and a movement junkie.  To learn more about me, click here. To chat, leave a comment or send me an email by filling out the form below.

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