Chiropractic has provided effective relief to millions of individuals suffering from back and neck ailments. Chiropractic has also provided relief from many other musculoskeletal complaints ranging from knee and ankle problems to carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow. In fact, if you suffer any musculoskeletal pain or discomfort in any area of the spine or extremity, you may be a candidate for natural, non-invasive chiropractic care. Your chiropractor is fully trained to identify red flags and make the appropriate referral to the appropriate health care provider. However, most patients suffering from musculoskeletal complaints can and are successfully treated with chiropractic.
Common musculoskeletal conditions treated:
A chiropractic adjustment involves using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is fixed, locked up, or not moving properly. This adds motion to the joint, helping the bones gradually return to a more normal position and motion. The purpose of this procedure is to improve spinal function, nervous system function, remove muscle tension, and enhance health.
There are many ways to adjust the spine. Usually, the chiropractors’ hands are used to deliver a brief and highly accurate thrust, although specially designed instruments or tables may also be used. After years of training and clinical experience, each chiropractor at the Ottawa Health Group is highly skilled in delivering a variety of adjusting approaches.
Recent research on this subject shows that a gas (in this case nitrogen), which is normally dissolved into the surrounding tissues of the spine, rushes in to fill the partial vacuum created when the joint surfaces are slightly separated. Another example of this phenomenon would be the “pop” you hear when you take the cork out of a champagne bottle. The carbon dioxide in the champagne rushes out of the bottle when the cork is removed. This phenomenon is called a cavitation.
It is not always necessary to cause a “crack” or cavitation in order to gain the desired effect of an adjustment. The main aim is to increase movement at the specific segment of the spine to positively influence the surrounding tissues. In fact, some chiropractic adjustment techniques use little force and thus produce no sound.
There is no one answer to this, though there are some factors that will have more of an influence on the function of your spine than others. One of the major causes of increased stresses on the joints of the spine is your posture. This is something that will have an effect every day of your life. Some other factors include motor vehicle accidents or falls; improper lifting; long periods of sitting; improper sleeping conditions or habits; occupational hazards; lack of rest; lack of exercise; obesity; and even an inherent spinal weakness.
Basically, anything that places undue or unbalanced stress on the spine can lead to a tightening of the supporting ligaments and muscles of the spine. When the joints of the spine are not moving correctly, it is referred to as a spinal subluxation by chiropractors.
In fact, in a study comparing a course of chiropractic care with a course of anti-inflammatory drugs, chiropractic was shown to be 250 times safer (1).
As with any form of health care, there are some risks. Some people may feel slight soreness following their first few adjustments as the body begins to realign. This is usually very mild and lasts only a short time. Then there are the very rare risks of infrequent strain/injury to a ligament or disc in the neck (less than 1 in 139,000) or the low back (1 in 62,000). There is also an extremely rare risk of stroke associated with specific adjustments of the neck. All studies published found the risk to be very low (3,4,5), with the most recent research published , putting such an event at one in 5.85 million adjustments (6).Chiropractors malpractice insurance is the lowest of all healthcare providers and the Doctors at the Ottawa Health Group are insured through the CCPA.
Spinal adjustments are especially gentle during pregnancy, as far less force is required to correct spinal joint restrictions. This is due to the increase in hormones causing significant muscle and ligamentous relaxation. Special “adjustive” positions are also used to provide comfort and safety for both mum and baby.
More than 50% of women experience back pain during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. Because of the additional weight, there is an increase in stress on the framework of the body.
Chiropractic adjustments do not harm the pregnant mother or her unborn child. In fact, maintaining a healthy spine and nervous system throughout pregnancy can prevent further postural problems that might occur during and following childbirth.
Once pregnant, some women feel they must stop their chiropractic care. This does not need to be the case. In fact, chiropractic care is a valuable component of a healthy pregnancy and can be used throughout. Our team is qualified in the Webster technique a valuable technique to assist with breech babies.
After the baby is born, chiropractic care ensures that normal spine and pelvic bio-mechanics are restored and that pre-pregnant musculoskeletal status is achieved.
Chiropractic care is considered safe* for children. In fact, many people even have their newborn child checked due to the amount of trauma that can occur during the process of birth (especially if forceps are used). Modifications are made to accommodate for children, with less force required to gain the desired effect of an adjustment. For young children, all that may be required is the use of fingertips. Children generally respond very quickly to chiropractic, and will usually require a less intense treatment frequency before moving on to a maintenance program.
For more information on children and chiropractic, visit our Children’s section.
Getting older does not mean you have to endure aches and pains. People often disregard treatable joint and muscle problems by saying “I’m just getting old”. This is often not the case, and these aches and pains of getting old may be treatable. Regardless of your age, chiropractic care can help to improve mobility and function of your body. More and more people are consulting chiropractors, especially in their later years. With growing concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs, safe, natural chiropractic care is growing in popularity.
Restoring better spinal function can help improve mobility, vitality, and endurance. Many patients report improvement with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process.
The adjusting technique used by the chiropractors at the Ottawa Health Group will be modified for maximum comfort and results. Even patients with osteoporosis and other ailments can receive treatment with the right modifications and the use of the Activator technique.
Many people commonly crack their own necks and backs in order to gain some relief or a ‘pressure release’. There is no denying that it can give some relief in the short term, but in the long run, it may be detrimental to your spinal health.
If your neck cracks by a simple turn or bend of the head, or your lower back by a twist, it is likely that the joints are actually hypermobile (moving too much). This means that you are self-manipulating and increasing the movement of joints that are already moving too much.
These joints may be moving too much in order to compensate for a lack of movement in other joints. If joints of the spine are restricted, other joints will attempt to make up for the lack of movement. These are the joints that will crack easily, and not the joints that are causing the problems.
Spinal pain is often due to this phenomenon. If a joint has to increase its movement due to a restriction somewhere else, more stress is placed upon the supporting ligaments. With this extra movement, the joint is more prone to sprain and resultant pain. Cracking these joints will give short term relief only. In order for sustained improvement, the actual cause must be addressed. This is where a chiropractor comes into play. Chiropractors are trained to locate and treat the cause of your problems.
So the nagging from your mother about cracking your knuckles too much-causing arthritis may be true to some extent. If the joints are moving too much, over a long period bony change may occur in order to stabilise the movement. When this bony growth begins in an attempt to lock-off the joint, it is known as degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis.
Regardless of the adjusting technique, chiropractic care is tailored to each patient’s age, condition & spinal problem. An example of this is with the treatment of children. Children generally have more mobile joints, and therefore, require less force in order to attain the desired effect of the adjustment.
In addition to varying the amount of force used, treatment frequency will also be customised to the individual. Different conditions require different intensities in treatment schedules. The chiropractors at The Ottawa Health Group will tailor the amount of treatment needed depending on a number of factors. These factors include (but are not limited to), what tissue is involved (eg. ligament, tendon, muscle, disc), how long you have had the condition, the amount of inflammation and intensity of pain being experienced, and the presence of any unavoidable aggravating factors to your condition (eg. your occupation).
The chiropractor evaluates each patient’s unique spinal problem and develops an individual course of care. Each visit builds on the one before. While visits may seem similar, each patient’s care is uniquely different from every other patient’s.
Ideally, the best clothes to wear are those that are comfortable and have some stretch, such as a t-shirt with leggings or trackpants or shorts.
However, we also understand that many of our patients are coming from work or are on their way to work. As such, our chiropractors are used to treating patients wearing work attire and will adjust the treatment accordingly.
Canadian chiropractors study full-time at University for a minimum of seven years. The chiropractors at Ottawa Health Group each graduated with a Bachelors degree in Science, and a Doctorate degree in chiropractic.
The course is of similar length and depth as medical courses but focus on promoting better health via better body function, rather than on drugs and surgery. Accordingly, chiropractic education involves a special emphasis on anatomy, physiology, pathology & diagnostic sciences, neurology, biomechanics, X-ray, chiropractic spinal adjusting techniques and related subjects. This comprehensive knowledge means that the chiropractors at the Ottawa Health Group are experts in knowing when a person will benefit from specialised chiropractic care, and when referral to another health provider is required.
Chiropractors are fully licenced health professionals who are governed by College of Chiropractors of Ontario and the Canadian Chiropractic Association. A chiropractor’s education never ends. After entering practice, the chiropractors at The Ottawa Health Group complete continuing professional development courses and seminars to upgrade and improve their skills and to stay current on the latest scientific research.
The answer to this question will differ for every person. A comprehensive assessment from your Chiropractor is required in order to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for you. The amount of time it takes to be symptom free will also depend on a number of factors. Examples of factors that may influence the time taken for symptoms to resolve include:
It is a common belief that if you are not in pain, there is nothing wrong with you. This can be far from the truth, and you would be amazed what you will become used to and perceive as being normal. Pain is actually the last symptom to appear & the first to leave. Therefore, it is not a good indicator of how your spine is functioning. Continuing treatment for a chronic condition may continue to provide benefit and also prevent recurrence of the problem.
Physiotherapy is a medical, hands-on approach to relieving pain and restoring function. Physiotherapists are medical experts in musculoskeletal and neurological conditions and work closely with physicians. Our physiotherapists evaluate your movement patterns, identify the cause of your pain, and work to eliminate it.
While every patient’s condition and pain is unique, our physiotherapist will use a variety of gentle hands-on techniques, exercises, and equipment to relieve pain quickly and restore your function to optimum levels. The overall goal is to restore pain-free mobility and function and to prevent the injury or pain from recurring.
Working with you and your doctor, we can discuss your options and help determine if physiotherapy will be the right choice for you. Contact us today to discuss your current condition and even set up an appointment if you choose.
As a patient you have the right to receive physiotherapy at any place you choose. At Ottawa Health Group, you will receive the highest quality care while achieving the results you need. We pride ourselves on providing a positive, encouraging environment with well-trained, friendly staff. We are confident in our ability to help you reach your goals and live a pain-free life.
Our scheduling is easy and we offer a convenient location and appointment times for you. We have morning and evening appointments available to meet the demands of your busy schedule. Call us today or request an appointment.
Please have your prescription and insurance card available when you call. This will allow us to verify your insurance benefits and provide you with an estimate of coverage.
To bring on your first visit:
Physiotherapy is not meant to hurt, but to relieve pain. However, as you restore your mobility, pain levels, at times can fluctuate. You might experience some temporary soreness from using muscles that are weakened or recovering. This is a normal response to therapy treatment. Good communication with your therapist will help minimize any discomfort. We want you on your way to quick pain relief and back to normal activities.
Yes, in most cases it does. Ottawa Health Group will be happy to assist in contacting your insurance company and determining your coverage based on your individual policy. For more information, visit our insurance plan page and please do not hesitate to contact our downtown Ottawa location or our west end Kanata, ON office. We do offer different payment options for your convenience.
For patients who do not have insurance, we offer a discounted fee, due at the time of service.
We accept cash, check, debit card, and credit card. We are happy to discuss payment plan options as well. It is our policy that payment is made at the time of service. Your insurance benefits will be determined before your second visit, and you will be informed of what, if any, payment is necessary on that date.
Dress comfortably with clothes that allow easy access for the therapist to examine your problem areas. For treatments, loose fitting clothes that are comfortable for gentle exercises and supportive sneakers are often good choices to wear.
Typically, the first session lasts for 1 hour. Each session after that may be 30 minutes. The amount of time will be based on your specific needs, and your therapist will discuss this with you.
Each patient’s diagnosis is different, so together with your referring physician, your therapist will develop a plan of care that is right for you. Your plan of care and number of visits will be determined during your first visit and explained to you by our physiotherapist.
Physiotherapists have years of university level training in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology (study of joint movement), neurology, and many of the other medical sciences. Our physiotherapists have graduated from accredited physiotherapy programs and are provincial licensed. Depending on the university, the physiotherapy program is either a masters or doctorate level degree. Rest assured, your therapist is well trained to evaluate and treat your condition.
Yes, we will work with you to determine if any additional preventative treatments are necessary and continued exercises that will be beneficial for your continued wellness.