From your sitting position, you turned suddenly to reach for an object behind you; and now, two days later, the sharp pain you felt in your spine at that moment has continued to make you feel uncomfortable. You realize that trying to ignore it is not a viable option. It’s not muscle pain, so what’s your next move, so to speak? It’s most likely that if you share your concern with almost anyone, the recommendation will be to make an appointment with a chiropractor.
Dr. Christopher Morgan — founder and director of North York’s Morgan Chiropractic and Wellness Centre — shared information on the practice of chiropractic that puts it directly in the Canadian spotlight. It is said that Ontario-born D.D. Palmer is widely-regarded as the founder of chiropractic (which is Greek for to do by hand) about 125 years ago. Legend has it that while Palmer was in casual conversation with a man named Harvey Lillard, who had a hearing problem, Palmer playfully hit him in the back, and both were shocked when Lillard’s hearing improved almost immediately.
Palmer’s interest prompted him to pursue the phenomenon, which has grown to become one of the most prominent treatments not relying on pharmaceutical products (other kinds of alternative treatments include massage therapy, physiotherapy, and acupuncture.)
Chiropractic is well-established in the United States, Canada, and Australia, overlapping with other manual-therapy treatments such as osteopathy and physical therapy. Most individuals who seek chiropractic treatment do so for low-back and neck pains, which are considered the specialties of chiropractic; but many chiropractors also treat ailments other than musculoskeletal issues.
Contrary to a widely held misconception, practitioners of chiropractic do not hold the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) certification; their formal designation is Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.). Dr. Morgan underscores the importance of noting that where chiropractors have excelled is in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of individuals living with back pain. Not surprisingly, back pain is a major source of disability. Up to 25 per cent of the population experiences chronic back pain, which can affect everyday activities such as gardening and getting dressed.
He explains that the focus of treatment is on the spine: how it’s functioning and moving; how it lends a focus on biomechanics; how we walk; or how we move, generally. Increasingly, attention is being given to an individual’s posture, flexibility, and exercise (regarding weaknesses in the muscular system).
Continuing, Dr. Morgan states, “Previously, the first line of action would be to go directly to the family doctor.” He said chiropractors are now working in hospitals with professional sporting teams (mainly in the athletics arena), in injury management, workplace injury, and rehabilitation from injury. “Because of its hands-on, natural approach to health care, chiropractic is well positioned in a wellness model of health and well-being,” he said.
Orville Green | Contributing Writer