Chiropractors are musculoskeletal experts who focus on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of joint and soft tissue disorders of the body. Our goal is to help individuals become free of pain, improve their mobility, and live healthier and happier lives. To become a chiropractor, it takes at least 7 years of schooling (who knew!) and the last year is purely dedicated to hands on treatment in student clinics.
With the many different schools and chiropractic techniques out there, someone may go to see 5 different chiropractors and have completely different experiences and treatments with each depending on their background. This is why it’s important to talk about what to expect when you come see Dr. Gill at Optimize!
Your First Assessment – 45-60 minutes
Before your initial assessment, you’ll be asked to fill out some forms to give our chiropractor an overview of your current concerns, your health history and goals moving into chiropractic treatment. During the initial assessment, our chiropractor will ask you numerous questions about what is
going on with your body, your past medical history and what your expectations are for treatment.
After this discussion, a physical examination where you will be asked to perform different movements and tests will occur. This gives a better idea of what is occurring, where your pain or dysfunction may be originating, and what area of your body requires treatment moving forward.
Following the physical exam, our chiropractor will discuss their recommendations for treatment, go over a chiropractic consent form, and move forward with treatment when applicable. Diagnostic imaging such as x-rays are not always required, however, in certain circumstances, you may be referred for an x-ray prior to commencing treatment.
What does a chiropractic treatment with Dr. Gill look like?
Dr. Gillian Altheim obtained her Doctor of Chiropractic from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto, Ontario. This is an evidence based, diversified chiropractic school that places emphasis on scientific research, practitioner experience and patient preferences to guide their graduates’ treatment plans.
Some of the techniques Dr. Gill frequently uses in treatment are:
- Hands-on Manipulations or Adjustments: A manipulation is a high velocity (very fast), low amplitude (small movement) thrust that is applied to a joint in order to improve function and mobility, reduce pain, and improve muscle tension. With adjustments, you may hear a crack or pop. Sometimes this can seem nerve-racking, especially if its super loud. Not to worry though, these cracks or pops are just the pressure in the joint reducing and releasing gas. Adjustments can be extremely helpful for those experiencing any stiffness and tension through their spine or extremities.
- Alternatives to ‘getting cracked’: Did you know there is a small tool chiropractors can use called an activator that adjusts specific joints without a crack or pop occurring? This tool is utilized in Dr. Gill’s practice when appropriate. If you’ve never been adjusted before and are a bit nervous about being cracked and popped, ask Dr. Gill about her activator tool!
- Myofascial Release Therapy (MRT): MRT is a technique used to improve muscular pain and tension.
- Exercise Prescription: You will be advised on different exercises or stretches to help improve your mobility and strength. Keeping up with your at home care is just as important as what your chiropractor or other manual therapist does for you during your treatment.
- Electro-acupuncture: Dr. Gill is certified in neurofunctional acupuncture. This technique is not used with every patient but can be particularly helpful with certain cases. It consists of very fine needles inserted into specific areas of the body with electrical impulses hooked up to certain target needles. Acupuncture can be super beneficial for women in pregnancy and postpartum who may be experiencing lower back, hip or pelvic pain and individuals experiencing nerve type pain in the arms or legs, among many other conditions.
Whether you have a new injury, an old nagging issue, or are just looking to improve your overall wellness and mobility, adding a chiropractor to your wellness team can benefit you! To learn more about Dr. Gill click here!