Frequently Asked Questions

The Questions

 

The Answers

 

What is chiropractic?

Ah, the great question. Chiropractic is an art, a science and a philosophy. The basis of this triangle is the philosophy because without herther two would not have a clear direction. From the philosophy come two important premises of chiropractic: 1- the nervous system is the conductor of our body, 2- the body is capable of healing itself. This power to heal ourselves is expressed through the nervous system. Thus, the role of chiropractic is to insure that the nervous system functions properly in order to let the magnificient Doctor inside of you do his/her work. At the Maison Chiropratique Petits et Grands, we do not treat you and we do not heal you. You do all of that work. We merely adjust you and your body does all the work. We facilitate your inborn ability to heal yourself and to feel better. The art gives us the different techniques that can be used in order ot individualize the care that you receive and also in order to be authentic towards the people that we serve. The science is there to help chiropractic progress and to be able to share chiropractic with other scientific disciplines.

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Do you “crack” people?

Chiropractors do not “crack” people, they adjust them. The fact that an adjustment “cracks” or not is irrevelant at the Maison Chiropratique Petits et Grands. The “cracking” is called a cavitation. The cavitation is not the rubbing of one bone onto another. It is only gas being released from the articulation because of a pressure differential which is created when the adjustment is done. It is much like the “psshh” that escapes a soda bottle when it is opened. When it doesn’t “crack”, it is just like opening our soda bottle but slowly. There is no “psshh” but the bottle is still open!

At the Maison Chiropratique Petits et Grands, we are not looking for the “crack”. If it happens, OK, if not, it is also OK. The important thing is that the desired effect was obtained from the adjustment and it is not related to the “crack”.

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Do you have contracts?

There are no contracts in chiropractic. In fact, some chiropractors offer payment plans and people interpret them as contracts. At the Maison Chiropratique Petits et Grands, we do not offer payment plans. People pay at every visit and they are free to discontinue care at any moment.

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Do you adjust children like adults?

Children just like adults can benefit from chiropractic care. Naturally, the adjustments are very different with children because they are adapted to their smaller body and their more sensitive nervous system. Thus, the adjustment are delivered with a lot less force than with the adult. It is just like the pressure on a pinky on the forearm.  In fact, a baby that is asleep will generally not wake up during an adjustment!

The adjustments are usually painless for children as well as adults. In fact,  one has to  be extra-careful with children because you only have one chance with them. If you hurt them once, you are done. This child will not trust you again. This is why Dr Martine proceeds with a lot of patience, but mostly with a lot of joy and play with children. It is not rare to see her run behind a 2 year old to adjust him whle he plays. She has also refined the art of the jumping-adjustment. A favorite with the kids!

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Will I have to come all my life?

That’s up to you! There is often a misunderstanding regarding this question. In chiropractic, there are many types of care. There are immediate or symptomatic care, rehabilitation or corrective care and maintenance/prevention or optimization care. You decide if you want to patch up until the next relapse, if you want to repair the injury or keep it from coming back and if you want to always feel at your best.

The team members at the Maison Chiropratique Petits et Grands have made their choice for themselves as well as for their families. They get adjusted at least once a week to always be at their best. We prefer long-term relationships but we will always be glad to see you even if you only come in once in a while, or if you are one of those one night stands! It is up to you to make your own decision!

In fact, look at the question differently. Will you “have” to keep going to the dentist every 6 months until the end of your life? You don’t have to but you will most likely go because you consider your teeth as well as our children’s teeth important. Now think about this. On a very practical basis, you use your teeth between 3 and 6 times a day. How many times a day do you use your nervous system? How many stressing agents for your nervous system (traumas, toxins and thoughts) do you come into contact with in one day?

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Can we become “addicted” to the adjustment?

That’s what we hope for! Just joking. Let’s look at another situation. You start training physically and you feel better than you have felt in the past 10 years. You want to continue training because you like this feeling. Have you become “addicted” to your training program?

In fact, most people who continue with chiropractic care understand that regular care is part of healthy lifestyle for them. They can stop whenever they wish but they choose to continue. It is their choice.

And technically, if someone is addicted to something, he generally needs more and more of it and more and more often to get the same effect. At the Maison Chiropratique Petits et Grands, we are glad when you graduate and we can see you less and less but still maintain the same level of wellness.

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What is the training of chiropractors?

The training of chiropractors is in fact an undergraduate doctorate, which is the same type of diplomas obtained by Medical Doctors. In the province of Quebec, this training is only offered in French at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. It is a 245-credits program, which makes it the heaviest undergraduate program in Canada. It is 20 credits more than the heaviest medical program in Canada. The program takes 5 years with 10 credits per trimester. A normal undergraduate program is the equivalent of 5 credits per trimester. Students of chiropractic are thus in University from morning until night! The last year and a half is mostly occupied with the internship at the Clinique Universitaire de Chiropratique (University Clinic). It is there that the future chiropractors practice before going to live near you. During the internship, they have to see a minimum of 50 new people, perform a minimum of 400 adjustments and spend a minimum of 1200 hours in the Clinic!

Chiropractors also have to participate in continuing education every year in order to be legally recognized and to maintain their level of competence.

Also, some chiropractors choose to do additional training or seminars in order to refine their knowledge or gain new skills. Thus, Dr Martine just obtained her Diplomate from the International Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics. This three year training program is given in order to refine the clinical skills of the chiropractor in relation to babies, children and pregnant women.

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What is an adjustment?

Classically, an adjustment is a low amplitude, high velocity, specific movement that is applied to the spine or to any other articulation in order to stimulate the nervous system. An adjustment differs from a manipulation by its precision. In Quebec, chiropractors are the only professionals that are legally able to perform vertebral adjustments.

 

Why should I go see a chiropractor?

People consult in chiropractic for many reasons, people who are in pain just as much as people who feel well. Since chiropractic helps your body function at its best and facilitates your ability to heal yourself, the possibilities are endless. Naturally, a lot of people consult for backache, neck pain, headaches or other joint pains. However, most people are surprised to learn that chiropractic originally had nothing to do with back pain. Indeed, the first person to ever be adjusted was a deaf person who regained his earing after the adjustment. Thus, in the beginning of the profession, people who consulted in chiropractic were people suffering from polio, tuberculosis and other disorders for which conventional medicine could not do anything anymore. The benefits of chiropractic for back pain are almost a side effect of the adjustment. It is only in the 1950s that chiropractic started to market itself as being helpful for back pain.

However, chiropractic does not pretend to heal any condition. At the Maison Chiropratique Petits et Grands, new do not heal anybody and we do not treat anyone. We adjust individuals and their bodies do the rest of the work.

For example, in the past, we have helped people who were suffering from thrush, digestion problems, lack of energy, prostate problems, infertility, pregnancy difficulties, autistic disorders, sleeping disorders, anxiety and stress, psoriasis, eczema, allergies, ear infections, bed wetting, and dysphasia, just as much as people suffering from back, neck, knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow or wrist problems.

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Do babies need chiropractic care? Aren’t they too young? Is it safe for them?

Babies are the first people who should get adjusted! Think about it! Baby has just spent nine months bent over, tightly yet tenderly bound in mom’s belly. Imagine yourself being stuck in a box for nine months… Also, the birth process itself is quite traumatic for baby, even with the most natural birth.  Think about all the somersaults that baby has to do in order to get out, and all of this, with a uterus pushing on him or her with force every minute… Then, as baby comes out, his or her head is being pulled in order to “facilitate” his or her exit. Think about it. Which body part of a newborn does everybody protect instinctively? The neck! And it is being tractionned at birth!

Every chiropractor can adjust babies and children. Dr Martine has decided to refine the basic training she was taught in order to be better equipped to serve little ones and pregnant women. This is why she just completed the Diplomate program from the International Council on Chiropractic Pediatricsand obtained her Diplomate.

Axel and Éloi, Dr Martine’s sons have been adjusted since they were one and three hours old. They have been getting adjusted regularly ever since. They have never suffered from colic or ear infection and they have never taken any medication or antibiotic.

The chiropractic adjustment is extremely safe for babies because the techniques used are even softer than those used on adults. In fact, if baby comes in sleeping, we are often able to adjust him or her without waking that little angel.

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Does it hurt?

Chiropractic adjustments as such do not hurt. Quite the contrary, the adjustment usually feels good. However, it can happen that the contact point is sensitive, especially when people come as a last resort and they already are in a lot of pain. Also, you may feel pain if we have to use muscle work because muscles that aren’t healthy will be tender to the touch. This pain is only temporary.

Just tell yourself that if adjustments were painful, children would not love to get adjusted and quite the contrary happens. Children adore getting adjusted. They know they feel better after and that these are good for them. It is a game for them.

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Is chiropractic a religion?

Chiropractic is no more a religion than dentistry, optometry or medicine. What always makes me smile is when people say: “Oh me, I don’t believe in chiropractic”. Well, me neither! I don’t believe in it because it is not a question of belief, just as much as medicine is not a question of belief. We never hear people say: “Oh me, I don’ believe in medicine”.

This question probably comes back often because chiropractic proudly advertises the philosophy on which it is based. This is not a question of religion but of foundation. The philosophy is just as important as the other foundations of chiropractic and it is that philosophy which gives chiropractic its direction.

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Is chiropractic care covered by the Provincial Medicare? Do my insurances cover chiropractic care?

Chiropractic care is not covered by the Régie de l’Assurance Maladie du Québec (Provincial Medicare). However, most insurance companies cover chiropractic care. Care is often covered up to a maximum of 400$ to 500$. Sometimes, the company will also impose a maximum refund per visit or a percentage of the coverage. If you are covered for chiropractic care, bring your policy booklet and it will be our pleasure to explain the coverage you are entitled to.

At the Maison Chiropratique Petits et Grands, we ask you to pay for the visits yourself and to then submit the insurance receipt to your insurance company so as to get reimbursed. At the end of each month, the assistants will print the insurance receipts so that you submit them to your insurance company. If you would like a receipt faster, do not hesitate to ask us for it.

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Is it dangerous?

Every health care involves a part of risk, whether it be chiropractic, medical, dental or other care. This is why the vertebral adjustment is an act legally reserved to chiropractors in Quebec, because they are the only ones able to use it safely, after many years of study. At the Maison Chiropratique Petits et Grands we place a particular emphasis on the informed consent before you start receiving care. It is a question of professional ethics.

The chiropractic adjustment is safe, does not require drugs or medication and is non-invasive. The side effects of the adjustments are as follows. After an adjustment, you could feel stiff or sore, especially after the first adjustments, just like when you start a new exercise program. This stiffnes or soreness should disappear rapidly. The adjustment can also play on your energy level. Some people feel so relaxed after the adjustment they only want to go to bed and others have so much energy they could trek a mountain. These reactions do not have to happen but they might.

As far as rare complications are concerned, there are rib fractures, temporary dizziness, local numbness and radiating pain. A vascular cerebral accident (VCA) or stroke could also happen. That risk is really really really minimal. In the worst case scenario, we are talking of one or two strokes per million of adjustments In comparison, the birth control pill has a risk of 3 strokes out of 10 000 and it is considered highly secure. With one or two out of a million, the chiropractic adjustment comes far behind.

A commentary published in February 2002 in Annals of Internal Medicine reviewed more than 160 reports and studies on chiropractic. In relation to the security of neck adjustments, it was noted that: “The apparent rarity of these accidental events has made it difficult to assess the magnitude of the complication risk. No serious complication has been noted in more than 73 controlled clinical trials or in any prospectively evaluated case series to date".

A Canadian study published in the journal Stroke in 2001 also concluded that stroke associated with a neck adjustment is so rare that it is difficult to calculate its risk ratio. The authors mentioned that: “The evidence to date indicates that the risk associated with chiropractic manipulation of the neck is both small and inaccurately estimated. The estimated level of risk is smaller than that associated with many commonly used diagnostic tests or prescription drugs."

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Can somebody be specialized in chiropractic pediatrics? What are post-doctoral studies in chiropractic pediatrics?

No, no chiropractor can advertise herself/himself as being a specialist in chiropractic pediatrics, at least not in Quebec. The Code des Professions du Québec (the law) defines what constitutes a specialty and the post-doctoral studies in chiropractic pediatrics do no meet the criteria to be defined as a specialty. Thus, a chiropractor can at most say that she/he has a special interest for, has a concentration or has done post-doctoral studies in chiropractic pediatrics, but she/he cannot say that she/he is specialized in chiropractic pediatrics, neither for pregnant women nor for children. Therefore, Dr Martine has a special interest in pregnant women and children and has done the appropriate post-doctoral studies to pursue this interest.

It is also important to remind people that any chiropractor can adjust pregnant women and children because all chiropractors have had basic training regarding these populations in their Doctorate of Chiropractic. It is the same principle as GPs that can also see pregnant women and kids.

 There are two programs of post-doctoral studies in chiropractic pediatrics. The first one is offered either by the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association (ICPA) or by the pediatric council of the International Chiropractic Association (ICA). It is a 120-hour certificate program. During this training, students perfect their skills in the care of children and pregnant women and are also exposed to a variety of subjects touching these populations. There are about 5 chiropractors in the area with this kind of post-doctoral studies.

The second program is offered by the International Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics (ICCP) through the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association (ICPA) and through the International Chiropractic Association (ICA). This is a 360-hours program. After the 120-hours certificate, the candidate is invited to follow an additional 240-hours training over the course of 2 additional years in order to improve even more his/her knowledge and skills regarding pregnant women and children. The candidates then have to write one scientific article as well as one article for the general public. After successfully completing the year-end exams and having submitted their articles, they can then participate in the final exam which is held once a year in the United States over the course of 3 days. Only the candidates having successfully met all the requirements will obtain their Diplomate from the International Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics (DICCP). At present, only 7 chiropractors in the province of Quebec have obtained their DACCP,and Dr Martine is the first and only chiropractor in the Outaouais to have such a diploma.

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