One of the largest primary care professions in Ontario, chiropractic is a non-invasive, hands-on health care discipline that focuses on the musculoskeletal system.
Chiropractors practice a manual approach, providing diagnosis, treatment and preventive care for disorders related to the spine, pelvis, nervous system and joints.
Chiropractors use a combination of treatments, all of which are predicated on the specific needs of the individual patient. After taking a complete history and diagnosing a patient, a chiropractor can develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment/management plan, recommend therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies, and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counselling.
For many conditions, such as lower back pain, chiropractic care is frequently the primary method of treatment. Where other conditions exist, chiropractic care may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the musculoskeletal aspects associated with the condition.
Chiropractic care may also be used to provide symptomatic relief for patients with chronic conditions. According to patient surveys, by treating the musculoskeletal elements of such disorders, chiropractic treatment has been shown to improve the general well-being of the patient.
WHAT IS A CHIROPRACTOR?
A Doctor of Chiropractic has spent four years at an accredited chiropractic institution, receiving more than 4,200 hours of specialized clinical training.
The chiropractic curriculum at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, in Toronto, includes studies in anatomy, pathology, biomechanics, chiropractic principles, diagnosis and adjustment techniques.
As primary care practitioners, chiropractors can develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment / management plan, recommend therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies, and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counselling.
Chiropractors are one of only five classes of health care professionals in Ontario that are able to use the title Doctor, with its accompanying rights and obligations.
Chiropractic is regulated by provincial statute. Each province has a regulatory college, established by legislation in the same manner and with the same structure and similar regulations as the regulatory bodies for other health care professions.
Regulatory colleges are responsible for protecting the public, setting standards of practice, assuring quality of care is maintained, evaluating and promoting competency and handling disciplinary issues. Ontario’s chiropractors are regulated and licensed by the College of Chiropractors of Ontario.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR FIRST VISIT:
What to expect on your first visit
Your chiropractor may be treating your back pain, neck pain, headache, or other aches and pains, but he or she needs a complete picture of your health history and overall current health in order to provide the best possible treatment for you.
Set aside at least 30 minutes for your first visit to the chiropractor. Future visits typically last 10 minutes or less, though the time required will depend upon the type of treatment you require. Here’s what you might expect.
On your first visit, your chiropractor may ask about the following:
– personal and family medical history
– major illnesses you have experienced
– surgeries or operations you have had
– medications you are taking
– a description of your present condition
– the steps you have taken to manage your condition
– your diet and exercise
– your sleeping habits, daily activities, work routine, stress level, and home life
It is a good idea to wear comfortable clothes and shoes for your visit to the chiropractor. Your chiropractor may ask you to change into a gown to perform some of these tests:
– a check of your blood pressure, pulse and breathing
– a test of your reflexes, strength and sensations
– an analysis of your posture
– an X-ray of your spine
– an analysis of your movement — he/she will observe how you walk, turn, bend or lift things, as well as how your body moves in the affected area
– a hands-on evaluation of how well your spine moves, identifying – restrictions and areas of improper motion
WHAT ARE SOME BENEFITS OF CHIROPRACTIC?
Chiropractic care can:
– Improve movement in your neck, shoulders, back 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 and range of motion
– Relieve pregnancy-related back ache
– Correction gait and foot problems
– Relieve pain from pinched nerves
– Improve overall heath and well-being
Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissues of the body including, muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and joints. Massage Therapy is a clinically-oriented healthcare option that helps alleviate the discomfort associated with everyday and occupational stresses, muscular over-use and many chronic pain conditions.
Stress and injury to soft tissue interferes with normal functioning. Such trauma can result in loss of soft tissue pliability, diminished flexibility, and pain. Addressing these problems therapeutically, can restore health and avoid the development of chronic conditions. If you’ve ever strained muscles from playing a sport, dealt with a stressful personal crisis, woken up with a stiff neck, or spent too long sitting at the computer, you know what it is like to have your daily life activities adversely affected.
Registered Massage Therapists work with both able bodied and permanently disabled people, supporting them in maintaining and regaining their quality of life. They assist patients/clients in the care and rehabilitation of soft tissue and joints. They also assist in the management and reduction of stress. By addressing injuries and stress in the early stages, their work can contribute to the prevention of chronic conditions. However when such conditions are not addressed immediately and over time become chronic, massage therapists work with the patient/clients focusing on rehabilitation.
WHAT IS A MASSAGE THERAPIST?
– A massage therapist is a Regulated Health Professional.
– Only members of the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario are permitted to use the title Registered Massage Therapist (RMT).
– Massage therapists have completed a 2-3 year diploma program from a recognized massage therapy school. Curriculum includes: anatomy, physiology, neurology, pathology, orthopaedic assessment…
– Upon graduation, 2 provincial licensing examinations must be successfully completed.
– Massage therapy is governed by the Regulated Healthcare – Professionals Act and Massage Therapy Act.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR FIRST VISIT:
For your first visit at our clinic, it is advised for you to arrive 5- 10 minutes early to fill out an accurate health history form. This form ensures that it is safe for you to receive a massage treatment, and helps the therapist determine a proper treatment plan. All information is confidential.
At your first visit your therapist will review your health history with you, asking pertinent questions regarding your condition. If required, your therapist will perform an assessment of the area of concern. Your therapist will also answer any questions you may have and give you important information regarding your treatment.
The appointment time includes any discussion you wish to have with the therapist and the time you need in order to undress & re-dress after the treatment is completed. It is reasonable to expect to receive hands-on treatment for the rest of the appointment time.
Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and improve function. This is done by inserting sterilized, stainless steel needles (that are as fine as a human hair) into specific points located near or on the surface of the skin. This stimulation has the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to treat a wide variety of illnesses.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
Acupuncture is based on the traditional Chinese teaching that energy, qi (pronounced ‘chee’), courses through the body along channels called meridians that connect all our major organs. According to Chinese medical theory, illness occurs when the flow is disrupted.
Scientists are now starting to identify some of the physiological mechanisms at work, and there’s evidence that the insertion of needles into designated acupuncture points induces neurological responses, which can affect sensation (i.e., pain), muscle tissue (i.e., spasm, strain) as well as autonomic function (i.e., digestion, sleep). Electrical stimulation of the needles is also used to increase effects on the nervous system. These signals may increase the flow of endorphins and opiates and other pain-relieving chemicals, as well as immune system cells, which aid healing.
DOES ACUPUNCTURE HURT?
Acupuncture needles are 25-30 times thinner than a hypodermic needle. There is little sensitivity to the insertion of acupuncture needles. While some people feel nothing at all; on occasion others may feel a brief moment of discomfort, however this quickly dissipates so that there is no discomfort while the needles are in. It is normal to sometimes feel the sensation of fullness or a tingling sensation. When the electrical stimulation is added you usually feel comfortable ‘tapping like’ sensation or mild muscle twitching. The needles are left in place for 10-20 minutes. Most people find the experience extremely relaxing and uplifting and may even fall asleep during their treatment.
THE BENEFITS OF ACUPUNCTURE:
– decreased muscle tension
– increased ranges of motion and mobility
– improved soft tissue health
– improved muscle and nerve function
– increased immune function
– decreased pain levels
– improved circulation
– improved lymphatic drainage
– improved digestion
overall sense of relaxation and well-being
ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.
WHAT IS AN ART TREATMENT LIKE?
Every ART session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.
These treatment protocols – over 500 specific moves – are unique to ART. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. ART is not a cookie-cutter approach.
HOW DO OVERUSE CONDITIONS DEVELOP?
Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) change in three important ways:
– acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc),
– accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma)
– not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia).
Each of these factors can cause your body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue binds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped. This can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. If a nerve is trapped you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF ACTIVE RELEASE TECHNIQUES?
ART has been developed, refined, and patented by P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP. Dr. Leahy noticed that his patients’ symptoms seemed to be related to changes in their soft tissue that could be felt by hand. By observing how muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves responded to different types of work, Dr. Leahy was able to consistently resolve over 90% of his patients’ problems. He now teaches and certifies health care providers all over the world to use ART.
An orthotic is a foot-supporting device also known as a custom insole that comfortably fit into shoes. They are designed to support and improve the functioning of the feet. Foot orthotics allow the muscles, tendons and bones of the feet to function at their optimal potential for our body weight, structure, walking pattern and life styles.
When appropriately prescribed and manufactured, foot orthotics can decrease pain and discomfort in the foot, ankles, knees, hips and back. They increase our stability prevent further progression of bony deformities, soft tissue pain, burning and numbness and help to improve overall quality of life in activities of daily living. Athletes often benefit from orthotics as they can help to maximize performance during sport.
Remember, foot pain is not normal and should not be ignored! Pain in our feet often is associated with other pains in our lower limbs; all due to poor inherent foot biomechanics.
With a foot orthotic supporting the three main arches of the foot the muscles and tendons are able to work within their intended range of motions (ROMs) and the risk of causing injury or furthering one is limited.
For orthotics to be successful, a skilled and thorough assessment is required. Dr. Vendrasco uses the folowing assessment techniques in the perscription of orthotics.:
– state of the art technology of a computerized gait scan analysis
– a clinical examination of your feet, lower extremities and gait pattern
– a foam inpression of your feet corrected to sub-talor neutral
Using the negative impression to form a plaster poistive mould, together with informatoion obtained from the computerized gait analysis and clinical examination, your custom foot orthotics are designed.
BENEFITS OF ORTHOTICS:
Custom Foot Orthotics help in providing relief for painful foot problems or an injury, especially for those who must walk, or stand excessively on the job or in every day activities.
The mechanical properties of the Custom Foot Orthotic help to maintain the normal positioning of the bones in the foot, ankle and knees leading up to the hips and lower back. The muscles and ligaments holding these bones in their proper alignment are prevented from over stretching and becoming lax over time.
With enough functional correction from a Custom Foot Orthotic, the foot structure can be aligned to give more propulsion, making walking, running and even cycling more efficient biomechanical.
Along with aligning the foot structure, the Custom Foot Orthotic reduces muscular fatigue and helps to promote more efficient muscle performance thus enhancing performance during the gait cycle.