Frequently asked questions
If I see a chiropractor, do I have to keep coming in regularly?
The goal of treatment is to relieve your condition as quickly as possible so you can return to normal activities. It is usually not possible to achieve this in one visit; however, the frequency of recommended treatments depends on a number of factors, including:
- The nature and severity of the symptoms
- How long you have had your symptoms (generally, the longer you have had symptoms the more time you will need to get better)
- Your age and overall health
Once any pain or discomfort has resolved, many patients find that regular, monthly visits help to keep them pain-free and functioning optimally. Others with more chronic conditions find that their pain/stiffness can be managed with chiropractic care to prevent it from getting worse. Dr. Leach will discuss your particular case with you and make recommendations, but the decision to continue chiropractic care is always up to you.
What kind of education/licensing does a chiropractor have?
Becoming a chiropractor requires a minimum of 4,500 hours of intense academic study at an accredited chiropractic college. This includes classroom learning, clinical science and internship training. During the course of training, the focus is on the following three areas:
- Basic sciences, including anatomy, physiology, pathology of the study of disease, biochemistry, nutrition, clinical sciences, and X-ray diagnosis.
- Specialized training in the practice of chiropractic.
- Clinical internship with emphasis on hands-on practice and research.
Prior to applying for admission to the 4-year chiropractic program, an individual must have completed at least 3 years of undergraduate study at a university or college. And before a chiropractor is licensed to practice, he or she must pass rigorous licensing board examinations at the national and provincial levels.
Is chiropractic safe?
Every health procedure, from taking aspirin to giving blood, involves some level of risk. Chiropractic adjustments are among the safest of all health care interventions because they are non-surgical, drug-free and present an extremely low risk of complications. Specific health conditions and patient preference will be taken into account when choosing the type of chiropractic treatment given to any patient.
Is chiropractic covered by my provincial health plan?
B.C. Medical Services Plan (MSP) no longer covers chiropractic, except in certain cases. Patients on Premium Assistance qualify for partial coverage for up to 10 visits per calendar year. Low income patients should check with MSP to find out if they qualify for premium assistance. Many private health plans offered through employers and universities/colleges will pay for chiropractic care. Students on an approved student care plan may qualify for a special rate on presentation of their student health card. Worksafe BC and ICBC claims are also accepted.
Do I need a referral from a medical doctor?
Chiropractors are primary care practitioners; therefore, a medical referral is not required to consult a chiropractor. If your symptoms and physical examination findings indicate that there is no mechanical cause for your pain, or if other medical conditions are suspected for which chiropractic care is not appropriate, Dr. Leach will refer you to your family physician for further evaluation.
For more information about chiropractic, the following links may be helpful: