Updated: Apr 19
We talked to Dr. Kimiya of Fulcrum Therapy about the role that chiropractics can play for our overall health. Fulcrum Therapy is a brand new wellness clinic with a vision of changing how therapeutic services are offered.
Listen to Dr Kimiya Sabbaghan talk about how this philosophy and vision is crucial in patient care. We asked her our top 10 questions on Facebook LIVE LIFT Speaker Series and here are her answers.
1. When it is best to see a chiropractor?
In general, it is best to see a chiropractor when you start to feel like something is slightly off with your body or something doesn't feel right. Chiropractic is very effective when it comes to detecting imbalances in your body and treatments often target fixing those minor imbalances or muscle and nerve tensions that are causing you discomfort.
This is an example of listening to your body, knowing when something doesn't feel right and seeking care for it before it turns into a bigger injury that could become debilitating.
This being said, chiropractic is also extremely effective at helping with acute and chronic pain. Whether you tweak your back and can't walk or can't seem to get rid of a nagging pain, chiropractic may be the right option for you.
Visiting a chiropractor is so much more than just getting adjusted. As doctors of chiropractic, our eyes are trained to detect imbalances whether it's in joint mobility or muscle tightness. When you visit a chiropractor, they use their expertise and training to figure out exactly what is causing your pain. The solution may or may not be an adjustment. You may benefit a lot from cupping or active muscle release techniques.... . It's like saying I go to visit my medical doctor to get drugs and drugs only. No, you are seeing them to get their expertise and professional opinion as to what is causing your issue.You may or may not need medication, you may need imaging, you may need blood tests. It's the same when you see your chiropractor, you are seeing them for their knowledge and expertise
2. What techniques do you practice?
We call it diversified. This means, I am able to set up and provide manual adjustments but also for those that are more apprehensive, there are tools that can be used to provide a gentler mobilization that would have similar effects to a full adjustment.
In addition, I am also full body certified in active release technique which is an effective therapy to help with muscle tension and nerve compressions. In my practice, I also use other modalities like shockwave therapy, cupping, instrument assisted tools and more. Basically, I assess what I think could help my patients the most at the time of the assessment and when they come back each time and I choose a modality that I think would have best results but also that they are comfortable with
3. Do you take x-rays when necessary?
I seldom find taking xrays necessary. The old days of taking full spinal xrays is over and research no longer supports it. In cases when I suspect something serious may be going on with a patient or they are not responding to treatment the way I expected, I always recommend them to check in with their medical provider so they can provide the further imaging if necessary.
4. What kinds of payment plans are available?
In general, many extended health providers such as Blue cross, Sunlife and others provide coverage for chiropractic. This is by far the most common way people pay for our services.
If you are low income, MSP also covers a portion of your treatments. Many people don't know that if you have been in a car accident, ICBC enhanced care program offers significant benefits towards chiro/massage and kinesiology to help you heal from your injuries as well.
I personally am against prepaid payment plans as I find it hard to determine long term how many sessions it would take someone to get better. I prefer to assess them each visit and recommend them when I would like to see them next. That being said, adherence to my recommendations is critical for full recovery and if you stop your care too quickly, you may not get the results you were hoping for.
5. How long should you wait to workout after a chiropractic adjustment?
In general, having a chiropractic adjustment improves flexibility and mobility so this would not affect your ability to workout in any way. In fact, after being adjusted, you may find your body is able to exert more power since your joints have been stimulated to move better.
6. Do you have a criteria for determines a treatment plan?
Treatment plans are often based on acuity of the condition. If the pain is acute, they need fewer sessions to bounce back to normal. If it is a chronic condition, going on for a while, it often involves changing some life habits in addition to treatment. This could take a bit longer to get under control. The times between each session is very individualized and I always base my recommendation after I have assessed the patient. as my recommendations vary based on how the patient presents, their age, their weight and their overall lifestyle habits and willingness to make change.
7. Are there preventative techniques to know about in chiropractic?
One way that people utilize chiropractic is for maintenance and prevention. Based on various health factors, maintenance will look different for different people. Some are very healthy and maintenance could look like 2x/year. Others that struggle with various issues and have stiffness and tension creep up often could benefit from maintenance care 1x/month. I always try to move my patients towards independence when it comes to their health. I work hard towards empowering them to do more at home so they don;t have to rely on treatment to feel better. Some listen and feel better faster, others have too busy of a lifestyle to implement changes, so they find more comfort when they come in and have me take care of them.
8. Do you offer free consultations?
We do. In fact, on our website, we have implemented boxes where our guests can write to us and ask questions. We encourage questions if you are ever wondering if chiro or other services may be right for you.
9. How many times should you get adjusted by a chiropractor?
This question again is based on an individual's overall health, physique and workload. Someone who abuses their body or is more prone to injury would benefit more from shorter time intervals between sessions.
Others may be able to go longer between visits without having too many issues.
Also keep in mind, visiting your chiropractor may include an adjustment but there is so much more to having your body assessed by a trained professional. We can detect if there is tension/tightness developing somewhere that you may not be aware of.
This is the definition of maintenance. Taking care of those little things to prevent them from becoming something bigger.
10. What are some chiropractic exercises that people can do at home?
There are no exercises that are chiropractic specific. Many of the exercises that I share with my patients are focused on improving mobility, flexibility or strength based on what I believe the patient needs.
I am a big fan of yoga type movements as they often combine dynamic stretching with strength. I find so many patients find relief from the stretches I put together for them and many of them are inspired from yoga poses. just in a dynamic style that has you moving
11. How can chiropractors help relax tight muscles?
Scientifically speaking, the way an adjustment affects a joint physiologically is increasing the space between the two bones so that joints can move better with less restrictions. There are also so many tiny receptors that sense position and movement and impact muscle tension. When these receptors are stimulated, they send signals to the brain which then sends inhibitory signals back to the receptors to tell those surrounding muscles and tendens to reduce their tension.
This is a very scientific explanation of how an adjustment helps improve muscle tension and joint movement. but if we are just focusing on tight muscles, I find a chiropractor certified in active release technique is the most effective technique to help with tight muscles as it uses your own body movements to create the tension needed to release the muscle. Kind of like assisted dynamic stretching.
More info on Dr. Kimiya Sabbaghan can be found here.
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