When people think of "Chiropractic" or "Chiropractors" they generally have images of spinal manipulation ('Adjusting').

In the majority of cases this would be an accurate assumption. A common misconception is that this is the only therapy one would receive at a Chiropractor’s clinic, but this is only a small glimpse of the other therapies you may encounter. Chiropractors are “Portal ofSpinal Manipulation Entry” practitioners with the legal capicity to diagnosis and/or manage a vast array of soft tissue related conditions (nerve, muscle, joint, bone, tendon, ligament, etc).

During a Chiropractor’s 4000+ education hours of their doctoral program there is great emphasis on diagnostics, orthopedics, neurology, physical therapeutics, therapeutic exercise, ergonomics, and functional anatomy. If a graduate so wishes, this training allows for inclusion of any Therapeutic Ultrasound, Electrical Stimulation techniques, Laser, Shockwave, Traction, or Acupuncture. Manual (‘Hands-on’) techniques are also within Chiropractic’s jursidiction, such as Fascial Abrasion Therapy, Graston®, Active Release Techniques®, taping/bracing (Kinesiotaping, KTape, Rocktape, etc), Myofascial Release, SASTM©, PNF stretching, and others. In the province of Alberta all these modalities are in the legal domain of a Chiropractor’s practice.

As the above list would lead you to think, there is alot more to Chiropractic than “Adjustments”! Through thorough history and diagnosis, individualized treatment, and proper inter-disciplinary comanagement with other medical professionals we can help properly identify the causal factors of your injury and see it through to resolution. The “Sports Medicine” philosophy of aggressive, accurate co-management of a patient’s condition(s) commonly leads to faster relief and resolution. This is congruent with the philosophy our practitioners have here at Adjust Your Health (AYH).

If need be Chiropractors are able to send patients for Radiographs (X-rays), Diagnostic Ultrasound, Bone Scans, and Bone Density all covered through Alberta Health Care (AHC). Chiropractors can commonly refer to medical specialists directly when necessary

Commonly asked questions regarding Chiropractic include:

How many treatments do I need? / How long will it take to fix my problem?
This obviously varies due to a multitude of factors; age, chronicity of the problem, significance of the injury(s), neurological complication, type of work performed, activities persued, etc.  Given that, a great many “common” musculoskeletal conditions will see significant benefit (50-80%) from approximately 4-5 Active Release Technique visits (with or without the inclusion of Chiropractic Manipulative Therapies depending on condition type).  With more complicated conditions being less common, this is the general guideline we treat by in this clinic.  This allows for patients to have a short term, relevant treatment goal by which we can show correctness of treatment plan, or the necessity to adapt different approaches or referrals with a lack of treatment response.

Is getting spinal manipulation safe?  What about the Neck?
Because chiropractic is non-invasive, the risk of a serious side effect is extremely low. While most people feel a sense of relief, it is possible that following a chiropractic treatment you may experience mild soreness that should go away quickly. Before you have any chiropractic manipulative techniques performed, we will discuss any concerns you may have.

Chiropractic is a health discipline firmly grounded in science and endorsed by a significant pool of research. National and international researchers, both within and outside the chiropractic profession, are actively involved in studying the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic for patient care.

This growing body of evidence continues to prove the value of chiropractic care with consistently high marks for clinical effectiveness, cost efficiency and patient satisfaction.

A great summary of current research regarding Chiropractic safety and efficacy, including the newest research showing the safeness of neck manipulation and mobilization techniques:

What is that “pop” sound you hear in an Adjustment?
We get this question all the time with TONS of misconceptions!  The sound is the representation of tiny gas bubbles (Nitrogen) being quickly and temporarily released in your joint fluid (synovial fluid).  The analogy we use the most is the observation of an unopened 2L bottle of Soda Pop.  It’s hard, stiff and the fluid looks absent of gas bubbles.  Once the pressure is taken off the Pop (by opening the cap), instantly the bottle is less stiff/firm and there are thousands of bubbles in the Pop.  In a very fast, similar way, this is how the stretch we induce with a Chiropractic Manipulation makes the “pop” sound.  The sound indicates that the joint has been stretched far enough to release adhesion in the joint’s ligament, initiate a series of muscle loosening reflexes, and generally reset your potential  for normal joint range of motion.

Will my Insurance cover the appointments?
Most Insurance companies cover Chiropractic care fully or partially, or include Chiropractic care as an allowable expense in Health Care Spending Accounts.  Call your own Insurance carrier to find out details of your policy.  You should (technically) never need a referral to see a Chiropractor as they are licensed Doctors with “portal of entry” capcity to diagnose, treat and manage.  If you require a referral from you Medical Doctor, you may want to contact your Insurance company and/or Human Resources Department to see why they have created this unnecessary waste of Alberta Health Care funds and your time by having you see your Family Doctor for a prescription.

Do you treat Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) cases?
Yes, Chiropractors, Medical Doctors, and Physiotherapists can all take on the roll as your primary care provider after an accident.  Remember that you have 10 Calender days to be seen if you want to be treated within the AB MVA treatment protocols.  Patients need to have filled in an AB-1 form and have confirmed receipt of this form by your Insurance Adjuster in that time.  We will fill in our form (AB-2) as soon as we’ve evaluated all the areas of injury in respect to the recent MVA.  We can provide the AB-1 form at our clinic, though your Insurance Adjuster should have mentioned and emailed these forms to you as soon as you’ve called in your claim.

NOTE: It is illegal for Insurance to penalize an injured party for Bodily Injury treatment by raising your insurance rates (the rate is related to the vehicle damage and percentage fault).  Basically, don’t let your worries of increased insurance rates deter you from prompt, efficient early treatment!  At AYH we immediately initiate a multi-disciplinary sports medicine model approach with the use of Chiropractic, Massage, and Acupuncture.  We will add in appropriate Physical Therapy active care protocols as the early acute pain subsides.

Can I see other therapists while I see the Chiropractor?
As noted above in the MVA case information, here at AYH we adhere to the concept of multidisciplinary approaches when appropriate.  So, in short, yes!

We feel that the commonly used remark of “I don’t want you seeing another therapist while I’m treating you because we won’t know which therapy is helping” is generally ridiculous.  If you were playing for the Calgary Flames and received a significant injury, you would immediately have a team of different therapists all performing their individual specialities to aid in the expedient recovery desired.  There is no reason this model can’t apply to weekend warriors, MVA injuries, adolecent sports injuries, repetitive strain/sprain issues, and ergonomically induced work injuries.  Given the specific complaint, every patient will have a multitude of options presented to them from the most prudent approach(s), and other accessory therapies that may assist with your recovery.

What about Senior’s Funding?
Alberta seniors have access to funding support for chiropractic services under the government-sponsored Coverage for Seniors health benefit plan.

Alberta seniors have access to an annual maximum of $200 per member every benefit year (July 1 to June 30) for chiropractic services. There is a per visit limit of $25 and all services must be performed by a chiropractor lawfully entitled to practice.

The Government of Alberta provides premium-free Alberta Blue Cross coverage to seniors for health-related services not covered under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP). More than 90% of Alberta seniors are already enrolled in this plan (also referred to as Group 66). This coverage is available to all Albertans 65 years of age and older and their eligible dependents.

For seniors who are enrolled in the plan and need a card, please contact Alberta Blue Cross.
• 403-234-9666 (Calgary and area)
• 1–800–661-6995 (toll free)
• e-mail via

Seniors who are not enrolled in the plan should contact Alberta Health.
• toll-free for the rest of Alberta to 310-0000 and then 780-427-1432
• dial 711 for TTY for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
• e-mail via