Get Answers to Frequently Asked Chiropractic Questions

On this page are some of the questions and answers we hear most at Bolton Chiropractic Centre in Bolton, Ontario. If you’ve ever had any of these questions, you may be interested in these answers provided by our own Dr. Michael Shore, DC. To move quickly to an answer, choose any of the questions below:

What is a subluxation? (pronounced sub-luck-SAY-shun)

Subluxations are problems of the spine that affect the nervous system as a whole. Vertebrae may be out of alignment or may have lost range of movement, pressing on nerves and interrupting communication between brain and body (and vice versa). Warning signs of subluxations include headaches, back pain, neck stiffness, pain in your shoulders, arms or legs and numbness in hands or feet. A subluxation usually is present long before it makes itself known.

These spinal issues may be caused by everyday activities like housework, gardening, desk work, lifting or even sleeping on the couch. Accidents, sports activities and injuries might also be to blame. In children, subluxations may occur during the birth process, while they learn to walk and play, etc.

Your chiropractor will correct subluxations with spinal adjustments – just a few or many, depending on how long you’ve had problems. As subluxations are corrected, your nervous system starts to function properly again and your body heals itself. Regular chiropractic adjustments will prevent subluxations from recurring, or new ones from developing. A sensible diet and moderate exercise also will help.

Can I adjust myself?

Since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction, to a specific joint, it is impossible to adjust oneself; and also dangerous. Remember, chiropractors are specially trained doctors! Turning and twisting your back and neck may create a "popping" sound, but it can cause unstable joints to become more unstable.

Always depend on your Doctor of Chiropractic for spinal adjustments. Even your doctor must seek out the services of a colleague to help restore and maintain proper spinal function.

Is chiropractic care safe?

Thousands of published scientific studies indicate chiropractic's safety and success rate. In the words of the New Zealand government, chiropractic care is “remarkably safe.” Chiropractic adjustments certainly are safer than surgical procedures and commonly used medications like muscle relaxers and painkillers.

Do spinal adjustments hurt?

No, even children can be adjusted without complaining of pain. You may hear a series of “pops” as your spine falls back into its natural alignment, but this re-alignment is painless and can bring immediate relief from discomfort.

If I go to see a chiropractor, will I be expected to keep going?

Not necessarily. Some people prefer to be treated only for a specific problem, and when the symptoms disappear they stop making appointments. Others use chiropractic care to fully correct the underlying cause of the symptoms and to remain feeling really well. The constant stress and wear of life make maintenance visits to a chiropractor a good idea, however.

Doesn't it cost a fortune?

No, chiropractic care costs much less than many of the painkillers and muscle relaxers prescribed to treat pain. Chiropractic costs decrease even more when you consider that adjustments treat the underlying cause of the problem rather than just the symptoms.

How long will I need chiropractic care?

If you haven’t been treated for your spinal issues for many years, you may need ongoing care for optimum spinal function. Long-standing problems often end in muscle weakness, soft tissue damage and degenerative changes to the spine.

Most patients find that periodic chiropractic check-ups help keep them in tip-top shape. Those who are active, have stressful jobs or want to be their very best find that a schedule of preventive visits are helpful in the maintenance of good health.

Some patients seek chiropractic care only when their ache or pain becomes unbearable. Unfortunately this “crisis management” style of treatment is more costly and time-consuming in the long run. But the length of time you choose to benefit from chiropractic care is always your decision.

Is chiropractic care covered by insurance?

Most private insurance plans cover chiropractic services, at least to some extent. Direct billing is now available for some insurance providers. Here at Bolton Chiropractic Centre, we welcome your questions so we can assist you with your insurance needs. Please ask our office which insurance coverage is currently available.

Do I have a pinched nerve?

While commonly associated with the spine, a pinched nerve is actually rare. According to research, only 10%-15% of spine-related issues are caused by direct pressure of bone on a nerve. “Pinched nerves” usually result in numbness, burning or a tingling feeling. When a bone pushes on a nerve, this serious problem requires immediate attention.

Numbness and/or a burning sensation can also occur due to stretched or irritated nerves – a much more common problem. If you have numbness, see Dr. Shore for an examination.

Do I have a slipped disc?

Discs serve as pads between the bones of the spine – each vertebra rests on a disc, which acts as a shock absorber for the bone. Discs do not slip, but because they are filled with a jelly-like substance, a damaged disc can leak fluid and push on the nerves. The name for this very painful condition is “ruptured disc” or “herniated disc.”

Chiropractic adjustments can’t guarantee a cure for ruptured or herniated discs, but many patients have avoided complicated surgery or a dependency on pain pills by choosing chiropractic care for their disc issues.

Do children need to be adjusted?

Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborn checked for the Vertebral Subluxation Complex.

Later, learning to walk, ride a bicycle and other childhood activities can cause spinal problems that a chiropractor can treat successfully. Chiropractic also has been shown to be helpful with scoliosis and many other childhood health problems.

In addition, many childhood conditions attributed to growing pains can be traced to the spine. Regular chiropractic check-ups can identify these problems and can stave off health complaints common in adults.

Naturally, chiropractic adjusting procedures are altered to fit a child's spine. Most parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and seem healthier than other children.

Could I be too old for a chiropractic adjustment?

With increasing concern about over-medication, natural chiropractic care is growing in popularity among seniors – especially when you consider that better spinal function can help improve mobility, vitality, endurance and appetite. Many patients report improvement with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process. The adjusting technique used by Dr. Shore is always modified for maximum comfort and results, whatever a patient’s age.

What can I do to help foster my healing?

For a faster recovery, practice proper sitting and lifting methods. Bolton Chiropractic Centre may prescribe exercises to help retrain the muscles that support your spine. On the other hand, get the rest your body needs, and avoid sleeping on your stomach.

During the healing process, proper nutrition is more important than ever – both to provide the nutrients that will help you heal and to keep your weight at a healthy level in order to avoid unnecessary stresses to your spine. Perhaps most important of all, keep your chiropractic appointments and follow your doctor's recommendations for best results.

Why do I need to be adjusted when I feel fine?

Subluxations may be present whether or not you have noticeable symptoms. Chiropractors base your health assessment on how you, your spine and nervous system are functioning. When your spine and nervous system are operating at less than 100%, you can still function. However, when your spine and nervous system are working at 100%, you function on a much higher level.

This is why people choose chiropractic care not only when they’re in pain, but also when they need to be physically able to function at a peak level. They realize that, under chiropractic care, they will experience higher levels of endurance and perform better as a whole.

In fact, many of the world's best athletes, performers and those who want more out of life seek chiropractic care. Several Olympic athletes know that the difference between gold and silver can come down to 1/100th of a second, and a spine, nervous system and body working in 100% harmony is key to winning.

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Bolton Chiropractic Centre

55 Queen St. North

Bolton, ON L7E 1C1

Phone: 905-857-0858

Fax: 905-857-9197



Monday and Wednesday:
9:00 AM – Noon and 3:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Tuesday and Thursday
4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
9:00 AM – Noon
Closed weekends & statutory holidays


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