Doctors of Chiropractic are trained as primary contact health care practitioners. This care encompasses a range of practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of back and neck pain and associated conditions, although with careful precision, adjustments can be performed to almost every joint in the body with the purpose of inducing movement, threading nerves and alleviating or preventing chronic or acute pain.
While specifically, chiropractic is a health care profession that diagnoses, treats and helps prevent disorders and conditions related to the spine, nervous system and musculoskeletal system, chiropractors are also trained to prescribe therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, to recommend physiotherapy and / or massage treatments, and to provide holistic health and wellness counselling in such areas as:
- spinal and joint health
- exercise and active living
- pregnancy and pediatric health
- optimized or targeted nutrition
- ergonomic optimization
- injury prevention
- lifestyle monitoring
- issues of aging
Patients of chiropractic care achieve relief from pain and discomfort – helping them to lead healthier, more active lives when in the treatment of such conditions as:
Facet joints allow for large range of motion along the spine. When these joints become locked in a poor position, adjustments can provide immediate relief. With additional muscle work on affected tissues and prescribed stretches, the relief can be lasting.
Tight muscles at the base of the skull, neck, and shoulders, as well as restriction in motion of the neck and upper back vertebrae are common causes of both acute and chronic headaches. These headaches are treated successfully with chiropractic adjustments and muscle work to the affected areas.
When a rib joint is strained or subluxated (partially dislocated), the pain can be sharp with movement or full, deep breaths. Adjustments can provide immediate relief, and with additional muscle work on affected tissues and prescribed stretches, the relief can be lasting.
Sitting for long periods at a desk or hunched over a computer, tablet or phone for hours on end can cause stiff and sore neck and upper back, tight chest, shallow breathing and headaches. Adjustments and muscle therapy can make a significant difference in reduction of these symptoms, and with proper prescribed exercises and stretches, the relief can be lasting.
Under Alberta insurance legislation, there exists a period of 10 days from the date of the accident to make an injury claim and be evaluated by a Chiropractor. The reason for this is that it can often take over a week to start to feel neck and back stiffness and pain or headaches. Treating early with chiropractic care can prevent chronic, long-term problems.
If you have injuries from a car accident in the last 10 days, download the:
Chiropractic treatment for minor injuries is billed directly to your insurance company. You do not have to submit receipts for reimbursement. Make sure you tell your chiropractor that you were injured in a car accident so they will fill out the forms to have your treatment costs covered.
Felt as pain along the bottom of the foot, with sharp stabbing pain at the heel, the causes of plantar fasciitis often include tight calves and Achilles tendons, tight deep toe flexor muscles, and misalignments or motion restriction of the ankles and feet. This condition is aided by chiropractic adjustments, active release therapy, Graston therapy and cold laser therapy, and custom orthotics may also be necessary for lasting relief.
Ensuring that the pelvis, hips and lower back maintain proper alignment can relieve unnecessary tension, discomfort, or even severe sciatic pain (shooting pain down the legs) during pregnancy. Often, women experience intense pain and tightness in the front of the stomach and hips, or occasional sharp, stabbing pain on one or both sides of the abdomen. Known as round ligament pain, as the uterus grows, the round ligaments stretch and thicken to support it, causing pain and tightness. This too can be alleviated by chiropractic treatment.
Most elbow pain occurs at either side of the joint. The inside is often referred to as golfers’ elbow and the outside as tennis elbow. The injury is rarely caused by sport, but by the repetitive strain of the forearm muscles that attach at the sides of the elbow. Manual therapies such as Graston therapy and active release are used to reduce muscle tension, while cold laser can be used to heal the damaged tissue and decrease inflammation.
Disc pain can present itself as a dull and constant ache, or as a sharp and very intense sensation. The discs in the neck and back can be damaged in many different ways, including:
Disc Strain: This is the least painful and quickest healing type of disc injury. Often caused by poor movement or repetitive stress, pain is experienced locally in the region that the disc is strained, with occasional radiating pain to either the shoulders or shoulder blade area (if the injury is in the neck), or to the glutes or hips (if the injury is in the lower back). Healing is usually quick with chiropractic adjustments and specific prescribed stretches. Special exercises are used once enough healing has taken place, to ensure that chances of re-injury are slim.
Annular Tear: An annular tear occurs when the layers of the disc are torn, but not yet torn all the way through. This type of disc injury is much more severe than a strain, and painful, restricted movement can last weeks to months. Due to severe inflammation, nerve pain may radiate as far down as the fingers or toes. If untreated, the layers may tear all the way through – causing an extremely painful full disc herniation (commonly referred to as a slipped disc).
Herniated Disc / Slipped Disc: When the layers of the disc have torn all the way through, the centre nucleus is pushed outside of the disc, resulting in intense sciatica and severe pain down the leg or the arm. The disc material may also compress the nerves exiting the spinal cord – causing numbness and weakness extending down the arm or leg into the hands or feet. Chiropractic adjustments and stretching of the disc with a technique called flexion-distraction help alleviate these symptoms. Co-management with prescriptions from a Medical Doctor is often recommended in order to decrease inflammation and manage the initial pain. Home stretches and specific, evolving exercises through the healing process are crucial to a full recovery.
Arthritis is the wearing of the cartilage in a joint. This causes pain, poor movement and inflammation of the affected areas. Although arthritis cannot be cured, its effects can be slowed. With treatment, range of motion will improve and pain will decrease. Most people report a significant reduction in the need for pain-killers and anti-inflammatories and the improvement of quality of life with chiropractic care.
SI joint pain presents very low in the back – just above the glutes. These joints are crucial in weight bearing and walking, and usually cause a focused sharp pain with each step when locked. This condition is aided by adjustment and muscle / fascia work.
The shoulder and hip are similar in both structure and function. They both have massive ranges of motion compared to other joints in the body, with intricate and sophisticated ligament and muscle networks. When these muscles or ligaments are strained or damaged, range of motion is lost, and pain develops. This condition is aided by active release and Graston therapy, as well as the use of cold laser.
Carpal tunnel occurs when there is inflammation or nerve compression directly at the wrist. These symptoms may be caused by nerve compression, blood vessel constriction, or misalignments in the wrist bones, but can occur as far removed from the wrist as the neck or shoulder. This condition is aided by manual therapies, such as active release of the muscle tension and nerve / vessel compression paired with cold laser for decreasing inflammation.
Characterized as pain along the inside or outside of the kneecap, this condition is caused by tight or misfiring glute muscles or inner thigh muscles. It can also be caused by tight fascial connection around the kneecap, or poor walking / running stride due to imbalance and misalignment in the hip, ankle or knee. Runner’s knee is aided by chiropractic adjustments, active release and Graston therapy.
Characterized as pain at the front of the knee and below the kneecap, this condition is caused by damage and inflammation of the patellar tendon, which attaches the large quad (front) muscle to the lower leg. Jumper’s knee is aided by active release, as well as Graston therapy and cold laser therapy.
Jaw pain can be caused by clenching of the jaw during sleep, or by poor chewing habits, trauma, or joint dysfunction. The jaw joints are slightly different than other joints in the body in their design, but they can be treated just as effectively with active release therapy and gentle adjustments. With prescribed stretches, the relief can be lasting