The common perception of chiropractic is largely associated with the spine being its sole focus of treatment. However, quite the opposite is true. Modern chiropractors treat a vast range of conditions involving not only the spine and back, but also the extremities; from shoulders to fingertips, and hips to toes. Chiropractors have an in depth knowledge of the anatomy and biomechanics of the human body, and are trained to address conditions from the source, not just the symptoms. Click the links below to find out more about the specific conditions.
Ankle sprains come in varying grades of severity which require different levels of intervention.
Some sprains resolve with rest, ice, and rehabilitation. Others require a much more intensive program in order to heal any torn or damaged ligaments and muscles, and to create stability in the ankle to prevent future recurrences of the same injury. Once the inflammation has decreased in the ankle, this usually requires a series of balance and stability exercises paired with exercises to strengthen appropriate supporting musculature.
Headaches are a common phenomenon that most people have experienced at some point during their lives. While some people get headaches rarely and relate them to dehydration or pressure changes, others experience headaches on a somewhat frequent basis.
There are numerous types of headaches listed by the international headache society, with an equally large number of causes. Three of the more common types of headaches are: tension-type, cervicogenic, and migrane.
A tension-type headache tends to feel like a band of tightness or squeezing around the head, and is often described as though the head is being compressed in a vice. It originates from tension or trigger points in the muscles of the neck and shoulders, often caused by stress, lack of sleep, or poor posture.
A cervicogenic headache occurs when joints of the spine in the neck and base of the skull are not moving properly, and the nerves in the area refer pain to the temples, eyes, and/or forehead. These headaches are often aggravated by certain neck positions or by repetitive neck or shoulder movements. They often occur as a result of neck trauma, such as whiplash, but can also be the result of poor posture.
Migrane headaches tend to be more extreme in nature. They may or may not start with an aura, which involves a visual disturbance up to an hour before the migrane begins. Migranes can often cause a hypersensitivity to light and sound. There are several different theories as to what causes these headaches, ranging from constriction and dilation of blood vessels in the head and neck, to mild hypersensitivity reactions caused by specific triggers.
The literature has shown a causal relationship between neck dysfunction and certain types of headaches. This has lead to studies showing the effectiveness of chiropractic care on such headaches.
Knee injuries occur when abnormal forces or loads are placed on the knee, often during sport or labour intensive work.
Such injuries can be to the intrinsic ligaments of the knee, such as the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) or Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL), or to more extrinsic ligaments, muscles, and nerves.
Chiropractors are trained in the orthopedic examination of knees, and can determine a differential diagnosis, whether referral is required for further imaging and/or surgery, and design a rehabilitation program to return your knee to a functional level.
Low back pain is a broad term that can mean many things to different people. While some types of back pain are due to a muscular sprain/strain injury in the low back and can be resolved quickly and efficiently with proper treatment and rehabilitation, other types of pain are more complicated.
One of the more common problems chiropractors see is a lumbar disc herniation. This occurs when a disc in your spine bulges and the soft centre of the disc can actually herniate out into the spinal canal where the lumbar spinal nerve roots sit. This is problematic because not only is it extremely painful in the low back region, but it can also cause varying degrees of numbness and tingling in the buttock and down the back of the thigh as far as the foot.
Low back pain can also come from one of the main joints in the pelvis, the sacroiliac joint. When this joint is irritated, either due to postural asymmetries or from an injury, it can cause pain in the low back, buttock, and hip which may worsen with forward or backward bending movements, or going from seated to standing positions.
Chiropractors are low back pain specialists who are extremely well-trained in understanding the anatomy, biomechanics, and various musculoskeletal conditions affecting that region. Chiropractors are able to proficiently examine and diagnose low-back complaints and are well-equipped with a variety of extremely effective, evidence-based treatments for low back pain sufferers.
Neck pain is extremely common, and comes in many forms.
While some people experience neck pain as a gradual onset, stiff and tight sensation that worsens throughout their day, others suffer from a sharp pain that comes on suddenly, often upon waking or after a jerky head movement. Others still may experience a concurrent numbness or tingling sensation into their arms, or a headache which coincides with the onset of their neck pain.
Neck pain can be acute in onset, or chronic, in which people describe having suffered from pain for years, or even for the better part of their lives. When pain or an injury to the neck, such as whiplash, decreases an individual’s ability to properly turn the head in all directions, it can be a debilitating experience. Losing the freedom of checking one’s blindspot, gazing up while reaching for overhead objects, or even just comfortably watching one’s step on uneven ground can make an average day feel like a burden.
Chiropractors have a variety of techniques to help individuals with neck pain, ranging from soft tissue therapies, to adjustments and neck strengthening exercises and rehabilitation. Chiropractors are well-equipped to decrease debilitating neck pain and increase patients’ range of motion and ability to live their lives.
Plantar fasciitis is caused by a combination of improper biomechanics and repetitive movements.
The strain that occurs in the plantar fascia, (a fibrous band which runs from your heel to your toes), causes inflammation, degeneration, and pain. The pain is usually along the inner side of the bottom surface of the heel and arch of the foot, and is made worse with running, walking or pulling the toes up toward the sky.
Chiropractic care can be greatly effective in not only reducing the pain involved with this condition, but furthermore in creating a proper program to correct biomechanics and rehabilitate weak structures in the foot and leg which contributed to the problem in the first place. Custom-made orthotics are often helpful in this condition, as well.
Treatment of a condition to the point where pain has decreased is not the end of the road. It is important to ensure that the body is strong and agile enough to sustain normal loads so that the same injury does not reoccur. Chiropractors are able to test for residual underlying weaknesses and design an appropriate individualized rehabilitation programs to help regain the strength, endurance, and flexibility that may have been lost. Rehabilitation is paramount in restoring optimal health and prevention of injury.
Shoulder injuries are a common source of concern for chiropractic patients. These people will describe difficulty with reaching overhead or behind their back, or an inability to move their shoulder beyond a certain range due to pain or the shoulder feeling “stuck”.
The shoulder is a very complex region of the body comprised of many muscles, nerves, and joints. Shoulder pain may be due to problems with any of these structures, or it can be referred pain from the neck.
Shoulder problems and injuries commonly stem from poor posture, and thus treatment will often focus on correcting posture and biomechanical imbalances as well as decreasing pain and inflammation. This way, not only is the pain improved, but the chances of recurrence are greatly lowered.
This condition, also commonly known as “student syndrome”, is a classic condition amongst those who spend large amounts of time stationary at a desk.
The condition is caused by tightness in certain muscles with associated weakness in their counterparts creating a “hunched” posture with the head sitting forward and the shoulders rolled. Many people find relief from this condition through appropriate chiropractic care combining treatment methods with strengthening exercises to correct the postural imbalance.
The wrist is a complex of multiple joints that are required to function as the flexible link between the hand and the forearm. Wrist complaints are often the result of direct trauma, falls, overuse, and arthritides.
When assessing the wrist, it is important to understand whether the complaint is one of pain, stiffness, looseness, crepitus (grinding), trauma, overuse, entrapment of the nerves as the travel from the neck down the arm, or a combination of complaints.
Forearm pain and wrist pain are often concomitant complaints because the muscles that control the wrist arise from an attachment near or at the elbow.
It is important to have wrist pain properly examined so that the cause of the pain may be properly addressed and treated