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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find a chiropractor?
Chiropractors are "primary contact" health care providers, which means you do not have to be referred to one by a physician or anyone else. As with any other health professional, referrals from friends and acquaintances are an excellent way to find a chiropractor. The Yellow Pages can also come in handy to help you find one in your area. There are over 6,500 chiropractors in Canada. Another way is to use the CCA's own Chiropractic Locator.
What conditions do chiropractors treat?
Chiropractors are experts trained in the neuromusculoskeletal system. They diagnose and treat disorders of the spine and other body joints by adjusting the spinal column or through other corrective manipulation. Chiropractors provide conservative management of neuromusculoskeletal disorders including, but not limited to, back, neck and head pain (over 90 percent of conditions treated). They also advise patients on corrective exercises, lifestyle and nutrition.
What happens during a treatment?
During your first visit, the chiropractor will want to know about your health history as well as your current complaint. Your home and work life as well as your level of physical activity may also affect your health, so don't be surprised to be asked questions about these. Although chiropractors use their hands for most treatments, they also use other methods such as heat, light, specialized adjusting instruments, ultrasound, electrotherapy, personalized exercise programs, muscle-testing and balancing. Your chiropractor can also give you information and guidance on how you can stay healthy through proper nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes.
What kind of education and training do chiropractors have?
Chiropractors are educated as primary contact health care practitioners, with an emphasis on neuromusculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment. Preparation for the practice of chiropractic is concentrated on three areas: basic training in the biological and health sciences, specialized training in the chiropractic discipline, and extensive clinical training. Becoming a chiropractor in Canada requires a minimum of 7 years of post-secondary education including no less than 4 years of full-time classroom and clinical instruction at an institution approved by the Council on Chiropractic Education Canada.
What is a subluxation?
"Subluxation" is a term used to describe a problem with a spinal joint. The World Health Organization defines a "subluxation" as a functional problem related to a joint and the structures associated with the joint such as the muscles, tendons and nerves. Dysfunction can present itself in various ways such as pain, inflammation and restricted movement of the joint. Some types of dysfunction, such as sprain, will not appear on an x-ray. Chiropractors are trained to identify dysfunction that does not appear on imaging through the use of manual examination and non-imaging diagnostic tests.
What is the "vertebral subluxation complex"?
VSC is a term used to describe the kinds of issues that may be associated with a joint that is not functioning properly. For example, there may be loss of motion. changes in the muscles that attach to the spine, irritation or injury to the nerves that radiate out from the vertebrae, degeneration of the disks or inflammation of tissues in the spinal region. Chiropractors are well trained to identify the components - or complex - of problems that may accompany a joint problem. Some of the indicators include tenderness, soreness and stiffness, spasm, tightness or weakness, headaches, and reduced mobility. Pain may or may not be felt. Chiropractors typically use a combination of imaging such as x-ray, manual examination, patient history, and non-imaging physical tests to determine what is taking place physiologically.
What results can I expect from treatment?

That depends on your condition. The length of time you have had the problem, your age and the degree of your disability all affect the length of your treatment. Your chiropractic doctor should tell you the extent of treatment recommended, and how long you can expect it to last.

One of the main reasons people choose chiropractic is that they often get quick results. Individual cases vary and chronic conditions obviously need more treatment, but Workers' Compensation Board studies show that people with low back pain get back to work much faster with chiropractic care.

You might also consider the benefits of regular chiropractic adjustments even when you feel healthy. Sometimes you won't know you have a disorder of the neuromusculoskeletal system until it becomes acute and painful. So, just as you see your dentist to have your teeth checked and your optometrist for eye exams, regular visits to your chiropractor can catch related health conditions early, often preventing them from developing into major problems. Remember, your spine is every bit as susceptible to wear and tear as your teeth and your eyes so you should look after it.

How is chiropractic adjustment performed?

Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed during four intensive years of chiropractic education. The chiropractor typically uses his/her hands to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to reduce pain, and restore or enhance joint function.

Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient.

How many people see chiropractors?
Statistics Canada data found that over 11 percent (3 million) Canadians consulted a chiropractor in 1996. The figures today are closer to 15 percent, or over 4 million Canadians annually.
Is chiropractic covered by government health plans?
Chiropractic care is covered extensively by third party payers. These include the federal public service, worker's compensation boards, the automobile insurance industry, private health care insurers, large employers, the RCMP, and Veteran's Affairs Canada. Chiropractic services are also partially funded by the provincial health plan of Manitoba.
Is chiropractic manipulation a safe procedure?
Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a drug-free, non-invasive approach to common musculoskeletal conditions such as headache, and neck and back pain. As such, it is a low risk therapy. Complications arising from adjustment are rare.
Is chiropractic evidence-based?
Chiropractic is a healing discipline firmly grounded in science. Few other health care interventions have been assessed as extensively as chiropractic manipulation, both in terms of safety and effectiveness. There have been at least six formal government studies into chiropractic worldwide over the last 25 years and all have concluded that contemporary chiropractic care is safe, effective, cost-effective and have recommended public funding for chiropractic services. In addition, there have been countless scientific clinical studies assessing the appropriateness, effectiveness, and/or cost-effectiveness of spinal manipulation or chiropractic manipulation, most notably for low back pain. The Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHI) now offers research grants in partnership with the Canadian Chiropractic Association to chiropractors and other scientists for high quality, chiropractic research.
Is chiropractic regulated in Canada?
Like medicine and dentistry, chiropractic is a self-regulating profession, and each provincial chiropractic regulatory body has the authority to grant a license to practice chiropractic. There are Chiropractic Acts in all 10 provinces and the Yukon Territory which establish a self-regulatory process which includes extensive testing for licensure. In all provinces, licensure requirements include university studies followed by graduation from an accredited chiropractic institution, and passing national and provincial board examinations.
Is every patient's treatment the same?
The treatment a patient receives is related to the specific condition diagnosed by the chiropractor, and will vary from person to person depending on each persons unique situation.
Is chiropractic treatment ongoing?
The hands-on nature of chiropractic treatment is essentially what sends patients back to the chiropractor a number of times. To be treated by a chiropractor a patient needs to be in his or her office. A chiropractor may provide acute, preventative and/or maintenance care thus making a certain number of visits necessary.
Can chiropractic treatment provide a preventative function?
Clinical experience suggests that individuals with chronic conditions such as degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) or recurrent neck pain, back pain or headaches may experience less frequent and less severe symptoms when under regular chiropractic care. This also applies to individuals in highly stressful situations and those who experience repetitive physical and postural strain from their daily activities. Whether ongoing chiropractic treatment can prevent back pain from occurring in the first place, or prevent a previous condition from re-occurring, requires further study.
What is the difference between physicians and chiropractors?

That's like asking the difference between a physician and a dentist: they are different professions within the health care spectrum. Both chiropractors and physicians are legally entitled to use the title "doctor". As the appellation MD means "Doctor of Medicine", so DC means "Doctor of Chiropractic".

The role of chiropractic is complementary to other areas of primary health care. Chiropractic is not, for example, a replacement for medical care, but may offer an alternative to medication and surgery in appropriate circumstances.

Do chiropractors refer patients to medical doctors when necessary?
Yes, like medical doctors, chiropractors refer patients to other health professionals when they feel it is appropriate. Chiropractors are well trained to recognize risk factors as well as individual disease patterns and will not hesitate to make a referral when it is in the best interest of the patient's health.
Does chiropractic treatment require a referral from an MD?
No. A patient does not have to be referred. Chiropractors are legislated as primary contact health care professionals in every province in Canada. This means that patients can consult them directly.
Do chiropractors take a medical history?
Like MD's, the chiropractor will take a detailed health history during the first visit, prior to initial treatment. This will include details on lifestyle and risk factors to give the chiropractor a full picture of the patient's health in order to determine the best treatment. As well, a detailed health history is important to rule out any contraindications to treatment and to fully investigate risk factors before a diagnosis and treatment recommendation can be reached.
Does chiropractic treatment require x-rays?
X-rays can play an important role in diagnosis and are taken when a need has been determined after taking a patient case history and conducting a physical examination. Chiropractors receive 360 hours of education in radiology covering a full range of topics from protection to X-ray interpretation and diagnosis. Governments in every province have recognized the training and competence of chiropractors to take and interpret X-rays and have granted them this right.
Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?
Adjustment of a joint may result in release of a gas bubble between the joints that makes a popping sound - it's exactly the same as when you "crack" your knuckles. It is not painful. It is caused by the change of pressure within the joint resulting in gas bubbles being released.
How many chiropractors are there in Canada?
There are approximately 7,000 licensed chiropractors in Canada of whom 6,150 are members of the CCA.
What is whiplash
Whiplash is the term used when the neck is stretched beyond its normal range of motion. This often happens when someone is involved in a car accident, as the impact of the vehicle into a hard item causes the head to jerk backward quickly and with a lot of force. The neck muscles are stretched in an awkward manner, leading to pain. You may not notice symptoms of whiplash right away. Sometimes the pain of this condition settles into your body in the days or weeks following an accident.
Can whiplash be avoided?
Unfortunately, there is no telling when you will be involved in a situation where you become injured. There are a few protective steps you can take however to minimize the chance of whiplash when in a vehicle. Make sure that your headrest is positioned directly behind your head so it is not snapped backward too far should you have an accident. Opting for a cushioned headrest, or adding a slipcover with cushioning will provide you with a bit more protection.
What whiplash treatment can we provide?
Our chiropractor in Downtown Vancouver will request that you bring documentation given to you by a physician so your condition can be evaluated before treatment is conducted. If you are indeed suffering from whiplash, our chiropractor will start your treatment with temperature therapy and light massage. This relieves the muscles and will prime your body for spinal adjustments. These will reduce stress in the jointed areas of your neck, helping to promote healing.
What’s causing my shoulder pain?
Shoulder pain is a fairly common orthopedic condition. Most shoulder pain problems can be traced back to bone, muscle, tendon, or ligament injuries in your shoulder joint. As one of the most complex joints in the body, your shoulder is quite prone to accidental injuries. Shoulder pain can also be caused by muscle overuse or chronic conditions.
Why are shoulder injuries so common?
Your shoulder is composed of rotator cuff muscles and tendons that surround your shoulder joint. Trauma to your shoulder could cause these muscles to stretch beyond their limits or tear. Poor posture or ergonomics can weaken shoulder muscles, leading to pain and discomfort. Neck injuries can cause pain in your shoulders, as can misalignments in your spine. You can also experience shoulder pain due to muscle tension from stress.
Besides pain, what other symptoms can shoulder injuries cause?
A shoulder injury may limit your range of motion due to pain and discomfort. You may have difficulty dressing, eating, sleeping, or lifting objects. Shoulder pain may also be accompanied by numbness or a tingling sensation in your arms or hands.
How can chiropractic care help with shoulder pain?
Chiropractic techniques and therapies can help loosen tense muscles, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain. Chiropractic adjustments can help realign shoulder joints to alleviate pain and restore range of motion. Massage therapy will increase blood circulation to the injured area to expedite natural healing. Corrective exercises can help strengthen rotator cuff muscles to prevent future injuries. We also provide lifestyle and nutritional counseling to help improve your overall health and wellness to keep painful conditions at bay.
What kind of shoulder injuries can be treated with chiropractic care?
At Kilian Chiropractic, we can treat a wide range of shoulder problems like dislocated shoulders, frozen shoulder, shoulder bursae, rotator cuff injuries, sprains and strains, tendinitis, and more. After a thorough physical exam and evaluation of your pain, we can determine whether or not you’re a good fit for chiropractic treatment. If so, we’ll personalize a treatment plan to suit your specific healthcare needs.
How common is back pain?
Back pain bothers approximately one-half of all working Americans in any given year. It's estimated that some 80 percent of us will experience this issue at some point in our lives.
Why is my upper back hurting?
Your thoracic spine can experience pain if it is twisted in a manner that pulls muscles and irritates facet joints. Auto accidents and other acute injuries can cause this kind of damage. A chronic disc of spinal alignment issue can also pain in the upper back and rib cage.
What causes low back pain?
Your lower back supports your entire trunk, so excess weight (including pregnancy weight) can add stress and strain to the back muscles. Bulging or herniated discs can lead to chronic low back pain. Any kind of postural or musculoskeletal imbalance can set the stage for chronic muscle strain and pinched nerves.
Why am I having leg symptoms as well as low back pain?
If your sciatic nerve roots are being pinched by a nearby disc or bony structure, you may experience both low back pain and leg symptoms such as pain, numbness, and weakness. This problem is called sciatica.
Does back treatment have to mean surgery?
You'll be relieved to know that most back pain sufferers don't have to undergo surgery. Conservative treatment methods can usually achieve the same degree of back pain relief -- without the additional pain or extensive recuperation time.
How does your chiropractor diagnose back problems?
Either chiropractor on our team can check your spinal alignment and X-ray your spine for signs of nerve impingement or joint issues. We also evaluate your medical history, lifestyle, and symptoms to get a clear picture of your back pain causes.
How do you provide upper back or low back pain relief?
Chiropractic adjustments can normalize your spinal alignment to provide upper or low back pain relief. We also provide corrective exercises to help your back support itself more effectively.
Why would I need chiropractic care after an auto accident?
When you are in a car crash, the most likely kind of auto accident you will experience is whiplash. Whiplash is the result of violent motion forward and back and left and right of your head and neck. The force of the sudden stop damages muscle, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, and sometimes the cervical spine. You may not feel the symptoms of whiplash right away, but your chiropractor can tell whether you have suffered whiplash at your first examination. It's always best to start treatment as soon as possible. Also, you'll have your chiropractor as a witness for making a timely claim for insurance coverage.
What's special about chiropractic care for auto accident injury?
Chiropractors focus on reestablishing proper alignment of the spine. They know all about the relationship of the spine to injuries of the head and neck that are commonplace in auto accidents. Head and neck care is what your chiropractor does all day. But like your primary care physician, your chiropractor is also capable of taking a holistic view of your health, only without the complications of pharmaceutical therapy.
How will I be able to recognize whether I've had an auto accident injury?
Many times, you won't. Not only can the pain of whiplash take several weeks to several months to appear, but any additional risk of lower back pain caused by your auto accident injury may also be unnoticed for several months to several years. Injury to your lower back is something like make tiny weekly deposits to a savings account. It takes a long time, but eventually, all the pain "deposits" add up to a crippling back injury. Close out your pain account! Treatment now may prevent disability later.
But can't I get this care from any doctor?
Different kinds of health practitioners offer different kinds of care. Sure, your injuries might be so severe that you need to get into the queue for neck or back surgery. If you really have to have surgery, your chiropractor will let you know, and you are highly likely to receive highly competent care. But less than 1 percent of auto accident injury cases really need surgical service. Most of the time you will feel better and you will feel better sooner if you opt for holistic, chiropractic care.
When is the best time to make my appointment with Killian Chiropractic?
If you have been in an auto accident, the time to see your chiropractor at Killian Chiropractic is now. Don't wait for serious symptoms to take over your life. Get the treatment you need now to enjoy uninterrupted, pain-free health.
What Causes knee pain?
Knee pain can be caused by conditions like osteoarthritis, runner’s knee, dashboard knee, or soft tissue injuries. Even nerve compression in your spine can cause pain in your knees. Chiropractic care provides a natural means of healing from these conditions so you can find knee pain relief.
Who’s at risk for developing knee pain?
Athletes are often at greater risk of developing pain in their knees due to the impact of constant sports play. Excessive running, jumping, and pivoting can lead to muscle overuse, soft tissue injuries, and spinal misalignments that can cause pain and discomfort. If you’re overweight, you may be placing excess pressure on your knees, causing pain.
How does osteoarthritis affect your knees?
Osteoarthritis wears down knee cartilage, causing the bones to grind against each other. Age, muscle overuse, and obesity can lead to developing arthritis in your knees.
What soft tissue injuries cause knee pain?
Knee joints are susceptible to all kinds of soft tissue injuries to include sprained ligaments, strained muscles, bursitis, and tendinitis. If you’re constantly rotating or twisting your knees due to sports play or work obligations, you’re at risk of causing joint damage and inflammation which will lead to pain in your knees.
How do musculoskeletal imbalances affect your knees?
Imbalances in your spine can cause weight to be distributed unevenly, placing undue strain on your knees. Over the course of time, this strain may cause you to experience chronic pain. It can also cause early development of arthritis in your knees.
How do chiropractors treat knee pain?

Your Downtown Vancouver chiropractor may utilize manual adjustments, cold laser therapy, corrective exercises, or a combination of these therapies to help you find knee pain relief. After a thorough evaluation of your condition, we’ll outline a plan for treatment. Our treatments are designed to alleviate pain and the source of your pain, to help your body heal naturally.

Spinal adjustments help realign your spine to take pressure off of nerves that are causing pain. Corrective exercises help strengthen muscles and joints to restore flexibility, range of motion and mobility. Cold laser therapy stimulates cellular metabolism to promote quicker healing of injured tissues.

What are headaches and migraines?

Headaches are pain felt in the head. These can be mild to very painful, based on the type of headache it is. There are over 100 different types of headaches. Some common types include tension headaches, migraines, cluster headaches, chronic daily headaches, and sinus headaches.

Tension headaches are very common in teens and adults. The pain felt is mild to moderate and may come on all of a sudden and stop. Migraine headaches are a throbbing type of headache and more severe than tension headaches. These can last several hours to several days.

Cluster headaches are the most severe type of headaches. These headaches occur in groups at a time. They can happen once or three times a day for several weeks or months. Men are more likely to have cluster headaches than women.

What causes headache & migraine pain?
There are several causes of headaches and migraines. Causes include stress, genetics, an illness, and your environment. Strong smells, like tobacco or household chemicals, and changes in the weather can bring on a headache. 25 to 70% of children with parents who have headaches will also have them.
What are the symptoms of headaches and migraines?

Symptoms vary between the types of headaches there are. The most common symptom is pain felt in the head. This pain can be mild or severe, based on the type of headache it is.

Symptoms of migraines include nausea, being sensitive to light, smells or noise, and upset stomach. Children may experience symptoms like dizziness, upset stomach, and vomiting.

With cluster headaches, the patient may feel intense burning or pain behind one eye. The eyelid might droop, the iris become smaller, and the nostril on that side may get stuffy or runny.

How can a chiropractor help?
A chiropractor can help in many ways. When you come in for your first appointment, we can examine your spine to see if you have any abnormalities in your spine. We can then discuss a treatment plan that can include chiropractic adjustments, and wellness guidance. By realigning your neck and spine, we can help take off pressure from areas that contribute to your pain.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a broad term that refers to pain involving the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve begins in the lower back, and continues down each leg. Most people who have sciatic nerve pain only experience it on one side of their bodies. Sciatic nerve pain can feel searing and hot, and it may result in tingling or numbness in the buttock and down the affected leg. Sciatic nerve pain can make it difficult or even impossible to walk and/or stand up straight.
What are the most common causes of sciatica?
Sciatica is commonly caused by a herniated disc. Spinal discs are small, jelly-like cushions between the vertebrae. Each disc has a soft, gooey interior, surrounded by a tougher exterior. When the inner substance of a disc squishes out through a tear in the exterior, it's known as a herniated disc. This escaped inner disc material can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, resulting in sciatica pain. Pregnancy is also a common cause of sciatica pain, as the shifting of the bones and internal organs required to prepare the body for birth can result in pressure on the sciatic nerve. If you follow a strenuous exercise program, it's possible that you may develop muscle knots that put pressure on the sciatic nerve. People who are overweight, wear high heels regularly, or sleep on a mattress that is too soft or too hard are more susceptible to sciatic nerve pain.
Does sciatica go away on its own?
For most people, sciatica goes away within six months. This can be a long time to wait for relief from severe sciatica. For some people, sciatica comes and goes, and may never fully go away without treatment.
Can a chiropractor treat sciatica?
Chiropractic care is one of the most safe, reliable forms of treatment for sciatica. Spinal adjustments, hot and cold therapies, and massage can all be effective treatment methods. Massage therapy can work especially well by targeting muscle knots that are putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. No two cases of sciatica are exactly alike. Your chiropractor will work with you to create a treatment plan that makes sense for your body. Many people require several visits to find full relief from sciatica.

Kilian Chiropractic

Chiropractor Care

Are you tired of dealing with chronic pain? A chiropractor in Downtown Vancouver can help! Our team at Kilian Chiropractic in Vancouver provides exceptional, patient-centered care in a convenient location

We treat various conditions at our office — from neck and back pain, sciatica, fibromyalgia, headaches and migraines, auto-related injuries, herniated disc, carpal tunnel syndrome and more.

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