Done by hand.
Chiropractic is a non-invasive drug-free conservative health care profession that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders and their effects on the health of oneself. Chiropractic literally means done by hand and has a major focus on manual therapy techniques to help treat MSK issues.
One type of manual therapy often used is a joint adjustment/manipulation, which is applied to a fixated (stuck) joint. This procedure requires a combination of anatomical knowledge, biomechanical understanding and precise skill, all which is possessed by a Chiropractor. An adjustment is a pain-free quick procedure that uses a high velocity low amplitude force that is applied to the stuck joint in order to regain proper movement and function to that joint in addition to giving pain relief. With adjustments, one often hears a cavitation (cracking sound similar to one cracking their knuckles). This is simply just the result of the nitrogen gases inside the joint reacting to a difference in pressure when the joint is gapped.
Chiropractic focuses on the overall health of an individual that originates at the body's structure and their biomechanical function. Misalignments of the spine and biomechanical dysfunctions can occur whenever there is injuries, muscular imbalances or degenerative changes. In addition, the changes in the body's structure and function can also effect corresponding nerves causing compromise to them. Since Chiropractic doctors specialize in the structure and function of the spine they are able to diagnose, treat and prevent musculoskeletal disorders that may affect your nerves.
In addition to diagnosing, treating and preventing musculoskeletal conditions of the spine, we can also do the same for peripheral joints. Peripheral joints are all joints that are not part of the spine (shoulder, elbow, wrist, hips, knee, ankle, etc.).
So whether you spend your entire day working behind a desk, currently pregnant, always on the go, or even training for your next marathon, Chiropractic care can help you improve, maintain and optimize your health by supporting your body’s natural healing abilities.
￼As mentioned before, Chiropractors treat a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions and biomechanical dysfunctions to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide. Our non-invasive methods has been shown to be effective in treating disorders ranging from headaches to ankle sprains. Here are just some examples of what we can help you with:
Low Back Pain
Low back pain is a very common illness affecting 60-80% of the general population. Majority of low back pain tends to be due to biomechanical dysfunctions, however, due to the large number of structures in the area there could be multiple sources of pain. Nevertheless, the major components for a low back pain program of care include: education, reducing pain, treating any injuries, restoring normal joint mechanics and exercise.
Common low back conditions seen by a Chiropractor include:
Other sources of pain in the low back can be from internal organ referral pain. Internal organs such as the kidneys or bladder are sources of non-mechanical low back pain and are to be referred out for surgical or pharmaceutical therapies. A thorough examination is done by the Chiropractor in order to determine what is causing the pain before proceeding with any treatment.
Emergency medical attention is suggested when the following low back signs and symptoms occur as they could indicate something more serious:
Neck pain is a widespread experience in where most people suffering with neck pain manage to carry on with their usual activities. However, every year about 2-11% of the adult population have activities limited due to their neck pain. About 1-2 in 20 people will find their neck pain disabling. Unfortunately, there is usually no single cause of neck pain either, rather is caused by multiple factors in one’s life from physical and mental health to work and other daily activities. The good news is that most neck pain is not a result or a suggestion of serious injuries or diseases.
The Neck Pain Task Force (2010) recommends neck pain, including whiplash- associated disorders (WAD) to be categorized into grades:
There is a wide range of treatments given to patients with neck pain and is highly dependent on the needs of the individual. Some treatments may include but are not limited to: education, pain relief, mobilization, manipulation, exercise and so on.
Does cervical (neck) adjustments cause stroke?
No therapy is without its risks, however, according to the Neck Pain Task Force (2010), the risk for a vertebrobasilar (VBA) stroke following a visit to a Chiropractor’s office is no different from the risk following a visit to a MD’s office. Nevertheless, VBA dissection and stroke is extremely rare. To minimize this risk even more, Chiropractors ask a series of questions and complete a series of tests or order imaging prior to treatment of neck pain to ensure there is no serious complications or illnesses that need to be tended to first.
Headaches are a common experience in adults and recurring headaches can negatively impact work, family and social life. The 3 main types of headaches that Chiropractors deal with are tension-type headaches, migraine headaches and cervicogenic headaches. These headaches can then be subcategorized into episodic (fewer than 15 days per month) or chronic (occurs 15 days or more per month for at least 3 months for migraines and 6 months for tension-type headaches.
Tension-type headaches often present as a “band-like” pressing or tightening pain on both sides of the head. The pain usually lasts minutes to days in duration and are mild to moderate in intensity.
Migraines tend to only occur on one side of the head creating a painful pulsing sensation. They usually last for 4-72 hours and are moderate or severe in intensity. During a migraine, 1 or more associated symptom(s) are present: nausea, vomiting, photo/phonophobia.
Last, cervicogenic headaches are known as secondary headaches meaning they are caused by issues in the head or neck. These headaches can also be episodic or chronic. The source of cervicogenic headaches is from the cervical spine and/or muscles in the neck and the pain is perceived in one or more areas of the head and/or face.
Also note, that difference headaches can co-exist at the same time. As a Chiropractor, our job is to diagnose, treat and manage the headaches separately.
Most importantly, emergency medical attention is immediately required in situations where your headache presents as:
Aside from acute trauma, overuse injures of the shoulder is a common issue. Some of these include:
The shoulder joint is complex biomechanical unit that connects the upper limb to the rest of the body. Multiple joints such as the glenohumeral joint, coracoclavicular joint and sternoclavicular joint make up at the entire shoulder girdle. Its main source of stability is in the muscles that surround the shoulder. in certain instances injury, muscular imbalances and degeneration can cause shoulder pain or biomechanical dysfunction. Furthermore, problems in the neck can also cause issues in the shoulder. Therefore, a thorough examination is required to determine the cause of the shoulder pain before any treatment is applied.
Conditions that are most commonly found in the elbow are repetitive strain injuries. These affect the tendons and muscles of the elbow and can happen on the medial/ inside or lateral/outside of the elbow. These conditions are known as Golfer’s elbow and Tennis elbow, respectively.
With Chiropractic treatment, our goal is to help reduce pain, restore normal joint biomechanics, improve flexibility and strength as well as adjusting one’s lifestyle to prevent any re-injury in the future.
Some common wrist conditions are fractures, acute sprain injuries and chronic repetitive sprain injuries. Chronic repetitive injuries often include Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which tend to be caused by work involving repetitive motions such as typing or using screwdrivers. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that can also accompany pregnancy. Aside from reducing pain, restoring normal joint biomechanics and increasing flexibility and strength, our goal is to teach our patients about the importance of proper ergonomics and the long time benefits it holds.
The hip is the lower body’s ball and socket joint while the shoulder is the upper body’s ball and socket joint. The hip, along with the sacroiliac (SI) joint help the body move by transferring weight from one leg to another. Improper biomechanics in the hip may radiate upwards to create back pain or downwards to create pain below the hip such as in the knees or feet. In addition, dysfunctions in lower back or sacroiliac joints can also refer into the hip and knee.
Some common hip conditions include:
A Chiropractor must first obtain a proper diagnosis for any of the above conditions before treatment but all aim to reduce pain, restore normal joint biomechanics, improve flexibility and strength as well as prevent any reoccurrences.
The knee is what connects the thigh with the lower leg. The joints are made up of the femur and tibia, as well as the femur and patella. The knee and the momentum it has when swinging into extension helps propel the body forward when walking. It is also a crucial link in the body’s lower kinetic chain.
Common conditions that occur in the knee during sports and physical activity include:
Of the conditions listed above, all may require surgical repair. However, some less serious conditions that may be treated with Chiropractic include but are not limited to:
Ankle and Foot pain
The foot and ankle are complex structures that provide support for the weight of the entire body. The low back, sacroiliac joints, hips and knee connect the rest of the body to the ankle and foot. Interestingly, those areas of the lower body can also be the cause of pain in the ankle and foot.
In most cases, ankle and foot pain occurs due to inappropriate footwear or lack of support. 80% of the population have flat feet (pes planus), 10% have high arches (pes cavus) while the remaining 10% have an arch that is in between. Ppes planus and pes cavus can both cause a condition called plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the plantar fascia). To help reduce irritation and inflammation to the plantar fascia, Chiropractors prescribe custom-made orthotics to help support the arch of the foot. With custom-made orthotics, the foot support that is made is specialized for you and your lifestyle needs. Furthermore with custom-made orthotics, restoration of proper waking (gait) mechanics is also achieved. This can in turn also reduce ankle/foot, knee, hip and low back pain.
Other common conditions seen by a Chiropractor include: