What Is Chiropractic?

The word “chiropractic” comes from ancient Greek and means “done by hand.” Chiropractic is an evidence-based, non-invasive, hands-on health care discipline that focuses on the musculoskeletal system.

Chiropractors practice primarily using their hands, providing diagnosis, treatment and preventive care for disorders related to the spine, pelvis, nervous system and joints.

Chiropractors use a combination of treatments, depending on the specific needs of the individual patient. After taking a history, performing an examination and establishing a diagnosis, a chiropractor can develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment/management plan, recommend therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies, and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counselling.

One of the most common therapies a chiropractor uses is spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), which can comprise a variety of adjustment techniques. Specific training in SMT allows chiropractors to provide highly-skilled and precise adjustments to the vertebrae of the spine, correcting joint motion to restore proper movement and improve function.

For many conditions, such as low back pain, chiropractic care is the primary method of treatment. When a multi-disciplinary approach is advisable, a chiropractor will coordinate care with other health care professionals. Where other conditions exist, chiropractic care may complement or support medical or other treatment by relieving the musculoskeletal aspects associated with the condition.

Chiropractic care may also be used to provide symptomatic relief for patients with chronic conditions. There are many reasons to seek chiropractic care:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headache
  • Whiplash
  • Strains and sprains
  • Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
  • Work and sports injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Limited range of motion in the back, shoulder, neck or limbS

What happens during my first visit?

On your first visit, you’ll need to fill out a  health history form. You’ll review this information with your chiropractor before you’re examined. The chiropractor will do a physical exam and you may also need an ultrasound or x-ray. After your exam and tests, your chiropractor will explain what is wrong, and recommend the treatment that’s best for you.

How often will I need an adjustment?

Chiropractic is a process, not an event. Treatment for each person is determined based on their individual needs. Some patients feel better after one treatment, but most require a  structured treatment plan to resolve their issues.

What is that cracking sound during an adjustment?

The sound is the release of dissolved gas from the fluid in the joint space, identical to the sound you hear when you crack your knuckles. During an adjustment, the surfaces of a joint get separated, reducing the pressure in the joint cavity. Gas in the synovial fluid is released, forming a air space. This space then collapses upon itself, resulting in a clicking sound. The effects of this process remain for a period of time, ranging from a few seconds to hours while gas is slowly reabsorbed.

Are Chiropractors really doctors?

Health care legislation recognizes Doctors of Chiropractic (chiropractors) as doctors. Chiropractors are recognized and regulated under the same Health Professions Act in Alberta as medical doctors, dentists and optometrists. Only specific health professionals are authorized by this legislation to use the title Dr. or doctor.

In Canada, chiropractors must:

  1. complete at least seven years of post-secondary education, including a four-year academic program at an accredited chiropractic college
  2. treat patients in a supervised clinic setting during their final two years of education

Additionally, to be a chiropractor in Alberta, doctors must:

  1. pass national clinical competency examination
  2. maintain professional competency through approved seminars and courses

Do I need a referral to see a Chiropractor?

No.  A patient does not need a referral.  Chiropractors are legislated as primary contact healthcare professionals in every province in Canada.  This means that patients can consult them directly.

Direct Billing FAQs

Can we (MacNeill Chiropractic) check insurance coverage or your remaining coverage?

Each online submission portal is designed for clinics to submit claims in real time; it is not designed to check statements, limits, policies etc. If you want to check your coverage, balance, and other benefits related to your policy, you must contact your insurance provider directly.

Can I use direct billing to prepay for future appointments?

No, we can only direct bill for appointments that occur on the day of treatment.

What if I have several insurance plans? Can you help coordinate them?

We will only direct bill to 2 insurance companies maximum at one time! You will have to submit your receipts to your other plan providers on your own.

Do I get a receipt if you direct bill for me?

You will get a receipt only for the portion you have paid out of pocket.

Do insurance companies pay for missed appointment fees?

No, insurance companies do not cover your missed appointment fees. These are the responsibility of the insured.

How does direct billing work?

After providing us with your policy and ID number, we will submit your treatment through the online insurance portal on your behalf. You will be required to cover the remaining portion of the visit that is not covered by your insurance company. If, for some reason, the insurance portal is down, you will be billed the full amount of the treatment and you will submit manually to your insurance company.

Please bring alternative means of payment in the rare case that the online portal is unavailable at the time of your treatment.

Appointment Cancellation

When you book an appointment, you are holding an appointment time that is no longer available to other patients. Appointments are in high demand and In order to be respectful to your Doctor and fellow patients, we require 4 hours advance notice to cancel or reschedule your appointment.

If you need to cancel/reschedule an appointment please call us at 780-743-8422, when it is outside of regular business hours please leave us a detailed voice mail message, or email us at macneillchiropractic@shawbiz.ca.

Late Cancellations/No Shows

All appointments that are cancelled less than 4 hours prior to their appointment time, are subject to a missed appointment fee.