Chiropractic and manual therapies require a hands-on approach. We rely on our hands to treat simple and complex joint, muscle, ligament and nerve problems. Some of the most common approaches for manual therapy are: manipulation (a chiropractic adjustment), mobilization, and active release of the muscles. With these treatments we are able to address any impairments leading to pain or discomfort throughout the body and allow your body to renew and restore itself! Our chiropractor Dr. Ryan Millar and Dr. Daina Patel will get you feeling great in no time.
Q: When should I see a Chiropractor?
A: Eight out of ten Canadians will experience back pain at some point in their lives, and at least one third of people in Ontario will have back pain at any given time. For many people this pain can prevent them from working, attending school, or conducting their activities of daily living. If pain is keeping you from performing tasks or enjoying activities that you enjoy then you should consult a health care provider.
Chiropractors are regulated health care professionals, and they are one of only five classes of health care professionals in Ontario that are permitted to use the title “Doctor”, with its accompanying rights and obligations.
Chiropractors are highly educated and extensively trained to assess, diagnose, treat and prevent conditions disorders of the spine, joints, muscles, and nervous system. These disorders my include, back pain, neck pain, headaches, referring pain into your arms and legs, shoulder pain, knee pain, foot discomfort, sprained ankles, hip pain, etc.
Many patients seek chiropractic treatments for wellness care. Others, like seniors, who find that Chiropractic treatments help them to maintain mobility and increased range of motion. Pain should never become a way of life, especially when there are qualified chiropractors to help!
There are many reasons to seek chiropractic care: Work, accidents, sports injuries, rehabilitation from surgery, prehabilitation before surgery, pre-natal back pain or swollen legs, post-natal back pain, pain incurred from household chores, even the stress of daily living can cause painful joint and spinal problems. Even if you do not have painful symptoms, Chiropractic care can help to maintain a healthy spine and joint function. Chiropractic is a great approach to prevent further back pain from occurring in the future as well!
Here are some of the most common reasons why more than 4 million Canadians visit a Chiropractor each year:
- Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Strains and Sprains
- Repetitive Strain Injuries
- Work and sports-related injuries
- Restricted movement in the back, shoulders, neck, wrists, elbows, hips, knees
- Golfer’s Elbow
- Tennis Elbow
- Plantar Fascitis
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Frozen Shoulder
- General Health and well-being
Q: What is a Chiropractic adjustment?
A: The Chiropractic adjustment is a highly skilled and precise movement usually applied by hand to a joint of the body. The Chiropractic adjustment will loosen the joint to restore proper movement and optimize function in the Chiropractic patient.
When a joint is adjusted, a gas bubble escapes causing the popping noise you may have heard about.
Chiropractic adjustment techniques have been researched extensively. Complications are rare and side-effects, such as temporary soreness, are usually minor. Your Chiropractor is well-trained to determine if your problem will respond to Chiropractic care or if you require referral to another health care provider.
Q: What are some of the benefits of Chiropractic Care?
A: Chiropractic care can:
– Improve movement in your neck, shoulders, back, hips, knees, ankles, and torso
– Improve your posture
– Provide relief from headaches, neck and back pain
– Help prevent work-related muscle and joint injuries
– Lead to enhanced athletic performance
– Improve your flexibility
– Relieve Pregnancy-back ache
– Decrease or relieve post-pregnancy back ache
– Help with correction of gait (walking pattern) and foot problems
– Offer support and information for valuable exercises that would benefit the patient
– Develop a core strength training protocol for the patient and offer detailed feedback on how to perform each exercise
Q: Are Chiropractic Adjustments Safe?
A: Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest, drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of headache, neck and back pain. It has an excellent safety record. However, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. Even the most common over the counter medicines carry a risk.
Most patients experience immediate relief following an adjustment, however, some may experience temporary pain, stiffness or possible slight swelling. Some patients may also experience temporary dizziness, local numbness, or radiating pain. However, adverse effects associated with spinal adjustments are typically minor and short-lived.
Prior to starting treatment, all health professionals are required by law to obtain informed consent to treatment from their patients. Health care consumers must receive adequate and accurate information to assist them in evaluating their health care choices, and in balancing the relative risks of treatment options with the benefits. The chiropractic profession takes this responsibility seriously and has been a leader in obtaining informed consent.
Ontario’s Chiropractors are required in their standards of Practice to obtain written informed consent prior to treating a patient.
The neck adjustment, particularly the two top vertebrae of the spine, has on rare occasions been associated with stroke and stroke-like symptoms. The risk is considerably lower than those serious adverse events associated with many common health treatments such as long-term use of non-prescription pain relievers or birth control pills. While estimates vary, a range of one to two events per million neck adjustments is the ratio generally accepted by the research community.
An extensive commentary on Chiropractic care, published in the February 2002 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, which is the journal of the American College of Physicians, reviewed more than 160 reports and studies on chiropractic. It states the following with regard to the safety of the neck adjustment: “The apparent rarity of these accidental events has made it difficult to assess the magnitude of the complication risk. No serious complication has been noted in more than 73 controlled clinical trials or in any prospectively evaluated case series to date.”
A Canadian study, published in 2001 in the medical journal Stroke, also concluded that stroke associated with neck adjustment is so rare that it is difficult to calculate an accurate risk ratio. The study was conducted by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and the authors have stated: “The evidence to date indicates that the risk associated with Chiropractic manipulation of the neck is both small and inaccurately estimated. The estimated level of risk is smaller than that associated with many commonly used diagnostic tests or prescription drugs.”
The most recent research into the association between neck adjustment and stroke is biomechanical studies to assess what strain, if any, neck adjustment may place on the vertebral arteries. The preliminary findings of this ongoing work indicate that neck adjustment is done within the normal range of motion and that neck adjustment is “very unlikely to mechanically disrupt the VA (vertebral artery).”
There are many risk factors for stroke including clotting problems, hypertension, smoking, high cholesterol, birth control pills, heart problems ad trauma such as blows to the head from car accidents, sports injuries or falls.
Some strokes happen spontaneously with no obvious cause during activities of daily living such as backing up a car. A patient’s health history and activities have to be examined very carefully in order to determine the most probable cause of stroke.
Q: Does Chiropractic care require a referral from an MD?
A: Chiropractors are legislated as primary contact health professionals in every province in Canada. This means that patients can consult them directly. However, Chiropractors often work closely with medical doctors, many of whom refer to chiropractors when they believe chiropractic treatment will help alleviate a patient’s condition. Similarly, Chiropractors frequently refer to medical doctors when necessary.
Q: Can Chiropractic care cure other ailments besides back pain?
A: Chiropractic care cannot “cure” every ailment, but there is some evidence to indicate that adjustments may have a beneficial effect on a variety of conditions. Adjustments may alleviate some of the secondary or referred pain, arising from the response of the musculoskeletal structures to the primary cause.
Q: How many Ontarians use chiropractic?
A: Chiropractic is one of the largest primary-contact health care professions in Ontario, with more than 3,100 practicing Chiropractors. Almost 2 million Ontarians use the services of a Chiropractor each year to help them get back to performing the activities that they enjoy.
Q: Are there many athletes who use Chiropractic?
A: Yes. Many amateur and professional athletes use Chiropractic treatment as part of their overall health care, fitness and maintenance program. Chiropractic is often used to improve biomechanical function and enhance overall conditioning, important in situations where there is continuous repetitive movement. Chiropractic care can also help athletes fine-tune their muscles and joints for high level performance, and may reduce long term wear and tear. Finally, treatment can be used to prevent, and can decrease the amount of healing time required for injuries. Clinical Evidence has demonstrated that Chiropractic can help athletes gain an advantage over their athletic competition!
Athletes most often select treatment to improve their performance, where as the average patient will select Chiropractic care to help manage aches and pains. In some cases treatment will be similar, but in all cases a treatment plan will be developed according to the goals and condition of each patient. In the case of the professional and elite athletes, Chiropractors often work in conjunction with other health care professionals, including medical doctors and/or sports medicine doctors, massage therapists and physiotherapists.
Q: Does Chiropractic care require X-Rays?
A: X-Rays can play an important role in the diagnosis and are taken when there has been a need determined after taking a patient case history and conducting a physical examination. Chiropractors receive 360 hours of education in Radiology covering a full range of topics from protection to X-Ray interpretation and diagnosis. Governments in every province have recognized the training and competence of Chiropractors to take and interpret X-Rays and have granted them this right.
Q: How do you find a good Chiropractor?
- Word of Mouth
- Friends, Family, and Co-Workers
- Referrals from other Health Care Professionals
- The Chiropractor locator on the Ontario Chiropractic Association’s (OCA) website
Q: What is Chiropractic?
A: The word “Chiropractic” comes from ancient Greek and means “done by hand”.
Adjustments of the joints of the body has been used in health care for many centuries and is at the heart of modern Chiropractic Care.
Chiropractors are specialists in manual adjustments of the vertebrae of the spine and other joints. Adjustment helps relieve pain and restore normal functioning to the spine, joints and supporting structures of the body- so you can enjoy your daily activities again as quickly as possible.
Chiropractors are also trained to prescribe therapeutic exercise, provide nutritional counselling, and recommend rehabilitation and injury prevention strategies.
Q: Is Chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?
A: Yes. Children can benefit from Chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Many children experience traumatic births as well. It is common for pains that children experience to be attributed to “phases that the child is going through” or “growing pains”. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle and very similar to the amount of pressure required to test the ripeness of a fruit.
Many parents of Chiropractic care for their kids have reported that their children have responded with a decrease in colic, bedwetting, irregular sleeping patterns, ear infections, and many other common childhood complaints. Many of these parents have remarked that they have noticed quick improvements in the well-being of the child.
Q: Is Chiropractic treatment ongoing?
A: The hands-on nature of the Chiropractic treatment is essentially what requires patients to visit the Chiropractor a number of times. To be treated by a Chiropractor, a patient needs to be in his or her office. In contrast, a course of treatment from medical doctors often involves a pre-established plan that is conducted at home (i.e. taking a course of antibiotics once a day for a couple of weeks). A Chiropractor may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventive care thus making a certain number of visits sometimes necessary. Your doctor of Chiropractic should tell you the extent of treatment recommended and how long you can expect it to last.
Q: Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?
A: A Chiropractic adjustment (or manipulation) of a joint may result in the release of a gas bubble between the joints, which makes a popping sound. The same process occurs when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint, which results in gas bubbles being released. There is usually minimal, if any, discomfort involved.
Q: Do I Have a Pinched Nerve?
A: Many patients consult a doctor of chiropractic because they believe they have a pinched nerve. While commonly associated with the spine, a pinched nerve is actually rare. Research suggests that only 10%-15% of spine related problems are caused by direct pressure of bone on a nerve. Typically a ‘pinched nerve’ will result in numbness, burning, or a ‘pins and needles’ feeling. When a bone pushes on a nerve, this is a serious condition that requires immediate attention.
Several other possibilities exist that can also cause numbness and/or a burning sensation. Nerves are more commonly stretched or irritated, which will produce a numbness feeling.
If you have numbness, see your chiropractor for a detailed and thorough examination.
Q: Do I Have a Slipped Disc?
A: No, it is not possible for discs to slip. The disc is a pad-like tissue located between two vertebrae, which acts as a shock absorber for the spine. The centre of the disc is made of a fluid, soft, ‘jelly-like’ substance. When discs become damaged, tears can occur that will allow for the soft centre to leak out and push on the nerves. This is known as a ruptured or herniated disc and is extremely painful.
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 health problems. In fact chiropractic adjustments are safer than back surgery, muscle relaxers, and even aspirin!
Discs do not slip. However, if damaged they can leak or rupture.
Q: Can I Adjust Myself?
A: Since a Chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction, to a specific joint, it is impossible to adjust oneself; and also dangerous. Spinal adjusting may look easy when done by an experienced Chiropractor, but it has taken several years to master – just as a gymnast makes walking on a balance beam seem easy.
Turning and twisting your back and neck may create a “popping” sound, however this usually causes an unstable area of the spine to become furthermore unsteady. Remember the goal of the adjustment is to get joints moving that are not moving normally, twisting your back will cause unstable joints to become more unstable. Spinal adjusting is not for amateurs!
The best way to enjoy the healthful benefits of chiropractic is to receive adjustments from a Doctor of Chiropractic. Even your doctor must seek out the services of another colleague to help restore and maintain their own proper spinal function.
Q: What Can I do to Help My Healing?
A: There is a lot you can do to give yourself the best chance for a quick recovery. Learn proper sitting and lifting methods. Specific exercises may be suggested to help retrain the muscles that support the spine.
Proper rest is an important aspect of the healing process, too. 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, and if you are overweight, now would be a good time to slim down and reduce unnecessary stresses to your spine.
Perhaps most important of all, keep your appointments and follow your chiropractic doctor’s recommendations for optimum results.
Proper rest, exercise, and good nutrition are especially important during the healing process. Easier said than done but the Chiropractor is here to help you reach your goals!
Q: Can I Be Too Old For A Chiropractic Adjustment?
A: 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, and the long wait times at their Medical Doctor’s offices. They begin to realize why the safe and natural nature of Chiropractic care is growing in popularity.
Restoring better spinal function can help improve mobility, vitality, endurance and appetite. Many Chiropractic patients report improvement with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process.
The adjusting technique used by Dr. Millar 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.