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About Chiropractic

What Is Chiropractic?

The word “chiropractic” itself means “treatment by hand.” It is a natural, safe alternative to the use of drugs and surgery for a variety of conditions. Chiropractic Doctors are concerned with the relationship between the structure of your spine, and the function of your nervous system.

The spine exists to protect the spinal cord and nerve roots, and thus plays a very important role in our overall health.

When the spine is subject to the stresses of our busy lives, the joints can become misaligned or restricted in their motion.  This can lead to joint and nerve irritation, resulting in pain and nervous system dysfunction.

Joint restrictions and misalignments are corrected with what is called an “adjustment.”  The adjustment is a quick and gentle pressure applied to a specific area at a specific angle.  There are several ways to achieve this adjustment, and techniques are modified according to the age, size and condition of each patient.

What Conditions do Chiropractors help with?

Chiropractors primarily deal with the spinal joints, however we are fully trained to treat injuries of the extremeties as well.  The most common conditions that we see are low back pain, neck pain and headaches.  Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of chiropractic for low back pain and headaches, and several provincial and federal programs have recognized its cost effectiveness compared with many other forms of treatment.

Sprains are strains are also common presentations in the office.  They appear most commonly at the start of winter with shovelling, the start of the spring with gardening and all throughout the year as people exercise without the proper warm-up, technique or stretches.

How are Chiropractors Educated?

Chiropractors receive a minimum of three years of university study (both Doctors at Cole Harbour Chiropractic have a Bachelor of Science) before completing four years of postgraduate study at Chiropractic College.  After completing 7-8 years of study chiropractors are subject to rigorous national and provincial licensing exams, and maintain continuing education requirements.

How Can My Spine Affect the way I feel?

Abnormal spinal joint position or motion can lead to local or referred pain from the joints, muscles or nerves in the area.  This may present as tightness, spasm or weakness in muscles, or dysfunction in the organs controlled by the affected nerves.  If problem areas are left untreated, the process of spinal degeneration or osteoarthritis can begin.  This is basically a progressive “wearing out” of the joints and leads to a loss of disc height, loss of the normal curves of the spine and bone spur formation.

How Does Chiropractic Help?

message-nChiropractors use what is called an “adjustment” to return spinal bones to their original position, and to restore their motion.

This allows your nervous system to function properly and enhances your body’s natural healing ability.
Adjustments can be achieved in several ways including hands-on techniques, an adjusting device called an “Activator,” or with the help of specialized tables. Your doctor will select the techniques most appropriate for you, based on your age and condition. The techniques used to treat infants and children differ greatly from those used to treat adults.

With some adjusting techniques you will hear a “pop” sound. That sound is simply a release of pressure and gas from the synovial fluid that lies between the joints.

Spinal degenerative changes like bone spurs and loss of disc height that are detected by x-ray are irreversible, however, appropriate chiropractic care can help to prevent the process from continuing, and reduce the arthritic symptoms.

Is Chiropractic Safe?

Chiropractic is a drug-free, surgery-free approach to health care and is thus extremely safe.   Your doctor will explain to you any specific risks involved with the treatments that are selected for your particular situation.  Neck manipulation has received a lot of media attention in recent years.  In fact, the risk of adverse effects from this procedure is between one in one million and one in four million.  In comparison, the risk of serious incident from taking aspirin is estimated at one in one thousand.

Do I Need a Referral from my Medical Doctor?

No, you do not need a medical doctor\’s referral to visit a chiropractor\’s office.  However, it is always a good idea to discuss your health care alternatives with your doctor of medicine.  With your permission, we will keep your doctor informed of your progress.

Is Chiropractic care covered by Provinical Health Care (MSI)?

There is no government funding for chiropractic in Nova Scotia, however, our services are  covered by most health insurance plans such as Blue Cross or Sun Life.  Programs such as Worker’s Compensation, Motor vehicle insurance, RCMP and Verteran’s Affairs also have coverage for chiropractic treatment.

What Happens on my first visit?

When you arrive at the office you will be greeted by our friendly staff and asked to complete paperwork including questions relating to your medical history (You may also DOWNLOAD THE FORMS, complete them, and bring them with you).  You will then be asked to change into an examination gown.  The doctor will review your paperwork, ask you some more questions and perform a thorough postural, orthopedic and neurological examination.  Your spine will be examined for areas of misalignment or decreased motion.

Radiographs may then be taken if deemed necessary.  Depending on your case, the initial examination may be followed by a treatment.

You will be provided with home care instructions and given recommendations for future care.


Effective January 1, 2024

Initial Consultation and Examination:

Adult $115
Child (12 and Under) $105

Office Visit:

Adult $65
Child/Student/Senior $55
Re-assessment $75

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