Chiropractor FAQs | HPC Guelph

HPC Chiropractic Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about our Guelph Chiropractic Care Services? See below for a list of our frequently asked questions about chiropractor visits and adjustments.

Chiropractors use manual adjustment techniques, also known as chiropractic adjustments or spinal manipulations, to address misalignments or abnormalities in the musculoskeletal system. These adjustments aim to restore proper alignment, reduce pain, improve mobility, and enhance the body's natural ability to heal itself.

In addition to spinal adjustments, chiropractors may use other manual therapies such as soft tissue manipulation, therapeutic exercises, stretching techniques, and lifestyle advice to support the overall well-being of their patients. They may also recommend modifications to posture, ergonomics, and lifestyle habits to promote better spinal health. Chiropractors commonly treat conditions such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, joint pain, and certain types of sports injuries. They often work in conjunction with other healthcare professionals and may refer patients to specialists when necessary. It's important to note that chiropractors are trained professionals, and they undergo extensive education and clinical training to acquire the skills needed to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions.

Following a thorough assessment, an adjustment may be recommended as part of your treatment if you were found to have a joint that is painful and/or dysfunctional in its movement. As the patient, these scenarios often feel like reduced range of motion, and stiffness while moving, and can result in pain.

Our HPC chiropractors are trained to assess and manually adjust the joints of the spine, as well as the extremities (for example, ankles). Many patients experience immediate pain relief and improved range of motion, whereas other injuries require multiple visits and appointments with our other practitioners (massage, physiotherapy, etc. may be recommended.

To perform an adjustment, your chiropractor will use their hands to apply a quick, low-force thrust to your joint and guide it through a range of motion. If there is too much muscle tension and manual manipulation is not possible, sometimes a toggle board or drop piece may be used to help restore range of motion, often used when adjusting the S/I joint.
The cracking noise is called "cavitation" and is caused by a gas bubble forming within the joint. The quick creation of space between a synovial joint produces a little air pocket, whose creation produces the cracking noise. The noise isn’t the end goal; it’s the by-product of quickly restoring movement to the joint. Patients can often feel the pressure changes in the joints and report a pleasant, relaxing feeling. Cavitation is actually how your body thanks you when direct and deliberate pressure to the spinal cord is provided.
No. Patients will always be told if an adjustment is recommended but treatment will always defer to patient preference and consent. Often treatment plans will include a combination of soft tissue therapy, adjustment or mobilization of the joints, education and at-home exercises to best help our patients return to normal activity. Our chiropractors are trained in many techniques, making them able to customize treatment plans that fit each patient. An adjustment is only one part of a complete treatment plan.
Prior to your first appointment, you will be emailed any relevant forms. Your first appointment will be a comprehensive chiropractic assessment which will involve a review of your symptoms, medical history, and current health conditions as well as a physical exam evaluating things like posture, movement, strength, and balance. Your feedback on how you’re feeling, and any questions you might have, are always welcome. Finally, your chiropractor will explain their findings and make treatment recommendations. Typically, treatment begins at the first appointment unless further testing is required. Learn more about HPC Chiropractic Assessments & Fees.
No, chiropractic care is considered Primary Health Care and you do not need a referral.
Most Extended Health Care plans provide coverage for chiropractic care. Every plan is different, so we encourage you to familiarize yourself with your individual plan. If you are a University of Guelph student, you can get more information about your plan by visiting If you are a University of Guelph staff member, you may also be entitled to coverage. The Ontario Chiropractic Association’s “Patient’s Guide to Extended Health Care Coverage” also provides a lot of useful information.
After a thorough history and physical exam, you will have a discussion with your chiropractor about a recommended treatment plan and frequency of care. Each situation is unique, and we will frequently re-assess your outcomes and goals during your appointments. Our goal is always to get our patients back to activity and doing the things that they love, as quickly as possible.
Yes, virtual appointments are available. Please indicate to our administrative staff if this is the type of appointment you would prefer. Booking an Appointment
Taking X-Rays is not a routine aspect of our chiropractic services at the University of Guelph Health and Performance Centre. When it is indicated, we can directly refer our patients to local medical imaging facilities for X-Rays, although these are not covered by OHIP. Our chiropractors work collaboratively with patients' physicians when any additional testing or imaging is required.

Related Chiropractic Patient Resources & Articles

Neck Degenerative Disk Disease (DDD)

Heel Spurs

Heel spurs are abnormal bone growths located on the bottom of the foot, typically in the plantar heel region of the calcaneus. They can be found on the underside of the heel where the plantar fascia connects to the heel bone. 

Impingement Syndrome

Shoulder impingement syndrome occurs when your rotator cuff muscles and tendons get pinched between the top outer edge of your shoulder blade, called the acromion, and the humerus. When this happens, it causes shoulder pain and irritation. 

Shoulder Separations & Dislocations 

Many shoulder injuries occur as a result of a sudden or traumatic event, often a fall. Shoulder separations and dislocations are both common but have very different treatment plans and recovery timelines but can be successfully treated with the help from our HPC Chiro team.