Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have a pinched nerve?

Many patients consult Dr. Reek because they think they have a pinched nerve. Because of the way your spine is designed, abnormal spinal function caused from physical trauma, emotional tensions or chemical toxins can affect the delicate tissues of the spinal cord and nerve roots. While commonly associated with the spine, the pinched nerve (compressive lesion) is actually rare. Researchers suggest only 10% to 15% of spine-related problems are caused by direct pressure of bone on nerve tissue. This can result in numbness, burning or a "pins and needles" feeling. More frequently, nerves are irritated (facilitative lesion). This is caused when nerve tissue is rubbed, scraped, stretched by a loss of spinal curve or irritated by malfunctioning spinal joints.

Do I have a slipped disc?

Technically, a disc cannot "slip". The intervertebral disc is a pad of cartilage-type material situated between the spinal bones. Each disc serves as a connector, spacer and shock absorber for the spine. A soft, jelly-like center is contained by outer layers of fibrous tissue. Healthy discs help allow normal turning and bending. Because of the way each disc is attached to the vertebrae above and below, a disc cannot "slip". However, trauma or injury to the spine can cause discs to tear, bulge, herniated, or worse, rupture. This can be quite painful because the soft center of the disc leaks and puts pressure on the adjacent nerve roots and spinal cord. While results cannot be guaranteed, many patients have avoided needless surgery or a dependency on pain pills by choosing chiropractic care for their disc-related problem.

Are all patients adjusted the same way?

Chiropractic evaluates each patient's unique spinal problem and develops an individual course of care. The resulting recommendations are based upon his years of training and clinical experience. Some patients who complain of headaches may actually have a lower back problem that is causing a compensation reaction at the base of the skull. Other patients may be experiencing numbness and tingling in their fingers, when the actual problem is in the neck. Every patient presents a uniquely different spinal pattern. Patients notice that their chiropractic care is delivered with confidence and precision. Each visit builds on the one before. And while visits may seem similar, each patient's care is uniquely different from every other patient.

Can I adjust myself?

Since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction, to a specific joint, it is virtually impossible to adjust oneself. It is possible to turn or bend or twist in certain ways to create a "popping" sound, like the sound that accompanies a chiropractic adjustment. Unfortunately, this type of joint manipulation is usually counter productive, often making an already unstable area of the spine even more unsteady. Adjusting the spine is not for amateurs. The best way to enjoy the benefits of chiropractic is to receive adjustments from a qualified Chiropractic Doctor. Even Dr. Reek must seek out the services of another chiropractic colleague to help restore and maintain his proper spinal function.

Is chiropractic care safe?

In the words of the New Zealand government's inquiry, chiropractic care is "remarkably safe". Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs. A thorough case history and examination help reveal areas of the spine that may be causing nervous system malfunction. This information will be used by Dr. Reek to determine the best course of care for each of his patients. Chiropractic care is a natural approach to better health that is safe and effective.

Can I speed the healing process?

While there aren't any shortcuts to speed your body's natural healing process, there's a lot you can do to give yourself the best chance of a quick recovery. Learn proper sitting and lifting methods. Specific exercises may be suggested to help retrain the muscles that support your spine. Proper rest is an important aspect of the healing process. Get the appropriate amount of rest your body needs and avoid sleeping on your stomach. During the healing process, proper nutrition is more important than ever. Make sure you eat balanced meals. If you're overweight, now would be a good time to slim down and reduce unnecessary stresses on your spine. Perhaps the most important part of all, keep your appointments and follow Dr. Reek's recommendations for optimum results.

Do children need chiropractic care?

Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborns checked for Vertebral Subluxation Complex. Later, learning to walk, ride a bicycle, and other childhood activities can cause spinal problems. While a bandage and some comforting words can help a skinned knee, the unseen damage to the child's spine is the unique domain of Chiropractic Doctors like Dr. Reek. Many childhood health complaints that are brushed off as "growing pains" can often be traced to the spine. Regular chiropractic checkups can identify these problems and help avoid many of the health complaints seen later in adults. Naturally, chiropractic adjusting procedures are modified to a child's spine. Most parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and seem healthier than other children.

Am I too old for chiropractic care?

More and more people are consulting chiropractic doctors, especially in their later years. With growing concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs, safe, natural chiropractic care is growing in popularity. Restoring better spinal function can help improve mobility, vitality, endurance and appetite. Many of Dr. Reek's patients report improvement with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process. The adjusting technique used by Dr. Reek will be modified for maximum comfort and results. As we get older and wiser, the simplicity and effectiveness of chiropractic care becomes more and more obvious.

How long will I need chiropractic care?

Spinal problems, neglected since early childhood, may require ongoing supportive care for optimum spinal function. These long-standing problems are often associated with muscle weakness, soft tissue damage and degenerative changes to the spine. Most patients find that periodic chiropractic checkups 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 is helpful in maintenance of good health. Some patients seek chiropractic care only when their ache or pain becomes unbearable. While this type of "crisis management" is usually more costly and time-consuming, Dr. Reek stands ready to help all patients, regardless of their health goals. How long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you.

Chiropractic education

Chiropractic University’s trains future chiropractic practitioners. The entry criteria, structure, teaching methodology and nature of chiropractic programs offered at chiropractic schools vary around the world.

Chiropractic practice is currently formally regulated in approximately 60 countries.To help standardize and ensure quality of chiropractic education and patient safety, in 2005 the World Health Organization published guidelines for basic training and safety in chiropractic. Chiropractors typically obtain a four year university undergraduate education it is required to apply for the chiropractic degree. In general, the World Health Organization lists three potential educational paths involving full time chiropractic education across the globe. This includes: 1 – 4 years of pre-requisite training in basic sciences at university level followed by a 4 year full time doctorate program; DC. A 5 year integrated bachelor degree; BSc (Chiro). A 2 - 3 year Masters program following the completion of a bachelor degree; MSc (Chiro). These are considered "basic guidelines", however, and in countries where the practice of chiropractic is well established, the standards are frequently much higher.

Regardless of the model of education utilized, prospective chiropractors without relevant prior health care education or experience, must spend no less than 4200 student/teacher contact hours (or the equivalent) in four years of full time education. This includes a minimum of 1000 hours of supervised clinical training. Health professionals with advanced clinical degrees, such as medical doctors, can meet the educational and clinical requirements to practice as a chiropractic doctor in 2200 hours, which is most commonly done in countries where the profession is in its infancy. Upon meeting all clinical and didactic requirements of chiropractic school, a degree in chiropractic medicine is granted. However, in order to legally practice, chiropractors, like all self regulated health care professionals, must be licensed.

All Chiropractic Examining Board requires all candidates to complete a 12 month clinical intership to obtain licensure. Licensure is granted following successful completion of all state/provincial and national board exams so long as the chiropractor maintains malpractice insurance. Nonetheless, there still some variations in educational standards internationally depending on admission and graduation requirements. Chiropractic medicine is regulated in North America by state/provincial statute. The regulatory boards are responsible for protecting the public, standards of practice, disciplinary issues, quality assurance and maintenance of competency