Frequently Asked Questions
What is Chiropractic Health Care?
The word “chiropractic” comes from ancient Greek and means “done by hand”. Doctors of Chiropractic are specialists in diagnosing and treating problems involving your joints, muscles, and nerves, especially those in the spine. The significant effects of these disorders on general health and quality of life are the prime focus of a chiropractor. Chiropractic care is a natural hands on treatment that is proven to be safe and effective by eliminating areas of nerve interference and allowing your body to heal itself.
How do chiropractors help?
The body’s information highway – your nervous system – is protected by the spine. The nervous system travels out between the vertebrae or joints of the spine to carry messages from the brain to every corner of your body. Stress and strain on the vertebrae can put pressure on the nerves in the affected area. That is why a problem with your spine can have far-reaching affects causing symptoms such as arm pain, leg pain, or headaches. Chiropractors are specialists in manual adjustment of spinal vertebrae and many other joints. An adjustment is a highly skilled and precise movement applied by hand to a joint of the body. Adjustment loosens the joint to restore proper movement and optimize function. When a joint is adjusted, a gas bubble escapes causing the popping noise you may have heard about. Adjustment helps relieve pain and restore normal function to the spine, joints and supporting structures of the body – so you can enjoy your everyday activities again as quickly as possible. Chiropractors are also trained to prescribe therapeutic exercise, provide nutritional counseling, administer various soft tissue techniques, and recommend rehabilitation and injury prevention strategies.
How long will it take to help me?
The rate and extent of recovery depends on many factors. Some patients and some conditions respond differently than others. Recent and less severe injuries will usually improve more quickly than severe long-standing ones. An average for most problems is approximately 4 to 6 treatments over a 2 week period. It may take more time if the problem has been there much longer but, even in those cases, you should see some improvement after 2 weeks
Do I have to keep coming back for treatment?
The short answer is no. Most recent uncomplicated problems will respond well to chiropractic care within 2 to 3 weeks. Chronic or more complicated problems, such as a car crash, may take longer. Certain aspects of your daily routine can cause some of these problems to return from time to time. An example would be neck and shoulder pain from spending too much time in front of a computer. Whenever this happens it makes sense to go back to the chiropractor who helped you before. You probably have regular checkups at your dentist for your teeth, at your optometrist for your eyes, or at your doctor for your heart and blood pressure. Many people choose this type of maintenance care from their chiropractor for themselves and their children. They may come in once a month or once every 2 to 3 months to catch little problems before they become serious. How long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you.
Will I need an x-ray?
Spinal experts agree that x-rays should never be taken on a routine basis. Usually an accurate diagnosis is made by taking a careful history and doing a thorough examination. At that time, if Dr. LeMoel determines that an x-ray or other diagnostic imaging is necessary, he will refer to your family doctor to have them done.
Do I need a referral to see a chiropractor?
No. Chiropractors are well trained to determine if your problem will respond to chiropractic care or if you need to be referred to another health care provider.
What kind of education do chiropractors have?
Chiropractors study for a minimum of seven years at university and chiropractic college. Independent medical and government studies find that basic and clinical sciences like anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, orthopedics, etc., are taught at the same level as in medical school. An internship program provides students with further supervised training and the clinical “hands-on” skills required to practice chiropractic. Upon receiving their Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree, students must then pass a series of rigorous National License Exams, as well as B.C. Provincial License Exams in order to practice in B.C. To maintain their licenses, chiropractors in B.C. are required to participate in approved continuing education programs.
How much will it cost?
An office visit to see Dr. LeMoel is $50 ($25 if you are on premium assistance). There are no extra costs for the first visit, additional diagnostic testing, specialized treatment, etc. We can bill most extended health plans directly. However, some plans still prefer that you send them your receipt for reimbursement. Coverage varies and there will be a limit to how many visits are covered per year so please check with your plan or your union to be sure. There is no fee if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident (ICBC), have been injured at work (WCB or WorksafeBC), are a member of the RCMP, or have been approved by the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA).
When should I see a chiropractor?
There are many reasons to seek chiropractic care. Work, accidents, sports injuries, house-hold chores, even the stress of daily living can cause painful joint and spinal problems. Even if you do not have painful symptoms, chiropractic care can help you maintain joint function and a healthy spine. Back pain, neck pain, and headaches are the most common reasons why Canadians first consult a chiropractor. If aching joints and muscle pain are affecting your ability to get through the day and keeping you away from your favourite activities, consider chiropractic care.
Can I see a chiropractor when I’m pregnant?
Pregnant women need to visit their family chiropractor regularly, throughout and following pregnancy. As labour approaches, your body secretes a hormone which loosens ligaments and joints to help in the delivery process. But as you gain more weight and the curve in your low back increases, the spinal joints are easily strained and can lead to low back pain. This is a great time to seek the benefits of natural, safe, and effective chiropractic care. Dr. LeMoel has specially designed adjusting tables for pregnant women so you can be treated comfortably no matter what stage of pregnancy you are in.
Can I have chiropractic care after back surgery?
Yes. Dr. LeMoel will need to know exactly what surgery was performed and at what level of the spine so he can modify his treatment to your specific problem. It would be best to bring along a copy of any surgery reports, x-ray reports, etc. or just phone your doctor’s office and ask them to fax a copy of the necessary reports to Dr. LeMoel at 250-364-2634. Even failed back surgeries can respond well to chiropractic care but in these cases spinal adjustment, or manipulation, should not be considered until at least 3 months after surgery to provide adequate time for healing and enough time to assess the patient’s progress.
Do chiropractors treat arthritis?
Chiropractors help many people who have arthritis. Like anything else, our joints can wear out after many years of constant use so you would expect to see some signs of wear at a certain age. This can be normal. Studies show that people with mild to moderate degenerative changes in their spine have no more back pain than the average person. Many times arthritis gets the blame when it is seen on an x-ray at a time when you have pain. The truth is the arthritis has been there for many years but your pain has only just started and is probably not even related to the arthritis. Unfortunately, many people are told that it is ‘just arthritis’ and they must live with it. Not only do they go without the benefits of chiropractic care but they tend to become inactive which compounds the problem. Chiropractors can get those joints moving and working properly so you can return to a more active lifestyle.
Can chiropractors help disc problems?
Yes. Whether it is a degenerated disc or a herniated disc your chiropractor is uniquely trained to diagnose and manage your disc problems. Your chiropractic care may include spinal adjustments, stretching and strengthening exercises, and corrections to your posture, behaviour, and lifestyle. Although a small percentage of cases may require surgery, recent studies prove that chiropractic care is safe and effective in managing disc problems.