Areas of Focus
The Achilles tendon is a fibrous band of tissue which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. With excessive use, inadequate rest or traumatic injury the Achilles tendon can begin to undergo degenerative changes. The main symptom of Achilles tendinitis is pain in the region of the Achilles tendon in the back of the ankle.
Back pain is a symptom rather than a condition but it is an issue that most Canadians will suffer with at some point in their lives. There are many possible causes for back pain and for this reason it is best to have thorough assessment with your chiropractor in order to arrive at the correct diagnosis. While one person’s back pain may be caused by poor posture, another person’s may be caused by a muscle spasm or a herniated disc. Back pain is a condition which chiropractors treat very frequently and effectively.
The spine is a large and complex series of joints. Between each pair of vertebrae sits a soft but firm cushion called the intervertebral disc. This disc cushions impact between the vertebrae and protects them from damage. The most common symptom of disc herniation is pain which travels down the path of the spinal nerve which is impinged. For example, when the L5-S1 disc herniates pain is often felt down the sciatic nerve distribution of the buttock, thigh, leg and/or the foot.
The plantar fascia is a broad band of ligamentous tissue which attaches on the front of the heel bone on one end and onto the ball of the foot at its other end. The plantar fascia provides stability and support to the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is a degenerative condition which affects the plantar fascia, typically at its connection on the front of the heel. Fibres of the plantar fascia can become damaged and lead to pain in the heel, usually at the front of the heel where the plantar fascia attaches.
Rotator Cuff Injuries
The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles which surround, stabilize and help to move the shoulder through its range of motion. The shoulder is a unique joint in that it has a very large range of motion and, while most joints are stabilized heavily by ligaments, it is mostly stabilized by muscle. Because of the extreme range of motion of the shoulder, the rotator cuff muscles are fairly prone to tearing injuries. Muscle tears are challenging for the body to recover from but full recovery is possible with proper treatment.
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve of the body and runs from the hip down the thigh and leg, providing sensation and motor control to the thigh and lower leg. Sciatica is a common condition which is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. People with sciatica usually will experience pain in the buttock which extends down the back of the thigh and leg. The pain can vary in intensity, being a nuisance for some and being unbearable for others. While sciatica is a common problem which is often chronic, it tends to respond well to proper treatment and lifestyle modification.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint between the jaw bone and the temporal bone of the skull. The TMJ is an important joint for biting, chewing and speaking, however, these activities can be uncomfortable or painful in the case of TMJ syndrome. TMJ syndrome can be caused by chronic grinding or clenching of the teeth, osteoarthritic degeneration of the joint or even rheumatoid arthritis, to name a few. TMJ syndrome usually results in pain when the joint is most active (clenching or chewing) and the pain diminishes when the joint is relaxed.
Wellness & Preventative Care
While chiropractors are well known for helping people recover from a multitude of health conditions, they also help their patients maintain good health through lifestyle modification, exercise guidance and ongoing maintenance care. Ideally you will begin seeing your chiropractor when you are healthy and pain-free because your chiropractor can help you to maintain your good level of health, prevent injuries and keep you in balance overall.
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- Active Release
- Active release is a patented form of soft tissue treatment which was originated by Dr. P. Michael Leahy DC. This treatment treats muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves through a gentle but specific hands-on manipulation of these tissues. Through restoring free movement of the tissue, active release restores order and balance to the body and helps to eliminate pain.
- Acupuncture is an ancient treatment which is rooted in the practice of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Historical records indicate that acupuncture has been an integral part of the Chinese medical system for two to three thousand years. Over the past few decades acupuncture has been spread widely and its popularity has exploded. Presently many disciplines of acupuncture exist including trigger point release, dry needling, medical acupuncture, Japanese acupuncture and more.
- Graston Technique
- The Graston technique is a physical medicine treatment which involves soft-tissue mobilization with the assistance of an instrument. Chiropractors offering Graston technique will perform a series of stripping and rubbing motions in the region of the affected area with a tool (or series of tools) designed to help manipulate the affected tissue. The goals of the Graston technique are to release scar tissue, relax restrictions and to encourage healing in general.
- Joint Mobilization
- Joint mobilization is a manual therapy which involves creating passive movement in a specific joint without the patient’s assistance. Your chiropractor may isolate your affected joint and move it through a specific range of motion in order to loosen any restrictions on it and to increase blood flow to the joint. These movements are typically gentle but can have a profound effect on the joint.
- Kinesiology taping
- Kinesiology taping is a rehabilitative treatment technique which involves the application of a supportive but flexible tape in order to stimulate the somatosensory system and encourage healing. Kinesiology taping acts to lift the skin and create space for the muscle, fascia, ligaments and tendons to receive the circulation which they require to repair and heal.
- Manual Adjustment/Manipulation
- Chiropractors perform joint adjustments, also known as manipulations, in order to realign vertebrae and most other bones in the body. Chiropractors are experts in assessing and treating musculoskeletal conditions and the adjustment is one of their main tools for accurately correcting bony or joint misalignment. A chiropractic adjustment consists of a high velocity, low amplitude thrust which gently corrects the misalignment of the joint.
- Orthotics is a discipline of medicine which focuses on designing and prescribing a medical device which is used to improve a person’s posture and movement. The most common form of orthotics used by chiropractors is in the form of custom shoe inserts (or custom shoes) which are designed based on patient’s individual bio-mechanics. These orthotics help to correct gait imbalances and improve overall body ergonomics.
- Rehabilitative Exercise
- While many treatments exist for painful conditions, few are as pivotal to a person’s recovery as rehabilitative exercise. While your chiropractor will provide you with necessary treatments in their office, they will also likely recommend specific exercises aimed at aiding recovery and preventing reoccurrence. These exercises aim to strengthen the affected area, as well as strengthening supporting musculature, in order to optimize your recovery.
- Soft Tissue Mobilization
- Chiropractors have extensive training in soft tissue manipulation and mobilization. Your chiropractor will likely perform some soft tissue work on you if you are suffering with a painful condition or joint restriction.
- Traction is a treatment which involves gentle manual tension of a specific joint in order to temporarily create space in the joint. This tension relaxes the joint if it is overly rigid and will have the added benefit of easing the surrounding musculature and increasing blood flow to the region.
- X-Ray Services
- Your chiropractor may utilize x-ray imaging in order to fully assess the health and alignment of your joints. With an x-ray image your chiropractor can gain further insight into which joints in your body are in proper alignment and which are aligned improperly.