New Physio or Chiro Patients

How should I prepare for my initial appointment?

Paperwork. Paperwork. Paperwork. There are a number of forms and questionnaires that you will need to fill out. Over the years, patients have unanimously agreed that they hate filling out forms. It is not a question of mywanting to irritate my patients with a clutch of forms, rather it is the fact that I am required to have these forms to fulfill my professional obligations to you.

I have made the forms so you can download and fill them out on a computer, or you can print them and fill them in by hand. If you don’t fill out the forms before your appointment, I will have to take a fair bit of time during your appointment to complete the forms with you. I would rather you pay me for practicing physiotherapy than form filling. Please do not email the forms to me as email is not secure.

What should I wear or bring when I come for physiotherapy?

Please wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing when you come for physio. If you are coming because of pain in a lower extremity, please bring a pair of shorts to change into.

Do I need a doctor's referral before you can treat me?

You do not need a doctor's referral for me to assess and treat you. Depending on your insurance coverage  you may need one before your insurance company will reimburse you for your physiotherapy. However, I can assess you and start treatment before you actually get the referral.

You can download a referral form to take to your doctor to sign here.

It is sometimes hard for me to get a baby sitter. May I bring my children with me to treatment?

Certainly. I know what it is like having children, I have two myself. Please feel free to bring your children with you.

Do you accept motor vehicle accident (MVA) claims?

Yes, I do accept MVA claims.

Do you accept WSIB?

Yes, we do accept WSIB claims.

OHIP Physiotherapy

Do you accept OHIP?

The provincial government has recently changed the way it provides publicly funded physiotherapy in Ontario. Publicly funded physiotherapy, formerly covered under OHIP, is now covered under the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care (MOHLTC). Our clinic has been chosen by the MOHLTC to provide publicly funded physiotherapy to eligible patients.

Patients eligible for publicly funded physiotherapy must:

  • Bring a referral from your doctor or nurse practitioner;
  • Have a valid Ontario Health (OHIP) card
  • Sign a consent form authorizing us to release information to the MOHLTC.
Who is eligible for publicly funded (OHIP) physiotherapy?

To be eligible for OHIP coverage you must:

    • Be 65 years old or older;
    • Be 19 years old or younger;
    • Recently discharged as an inpatient of a hospital and a physician on the medical staff of the hospital determines that you need physiotherapy services that are directly connected to the condition, illness, or injury for which you were admitted to the hospital;
    • Be referred by a physician or nurse practitioner based on an assessment that the person requires physiotherapy services and be eligible for funding of services under the Ontario Disability Support (ODSP) or Ontario Works (OW) programs.
What physiotherapy services are under the publicly funded (OHIP) model?

Under the ‘Episode of Care’ (EOC) funding model, funded physiotherapy services include: assessment, diagnosis and treatment to improve, develop or rehabilitate physical function and promote mobility lost or impaired as a result of a debilitating event or disease, pain, injury or surgical procedure. Funding for physiotherapy services includes payment in full for the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and discharge summary reporting to the referring physician or nurse practitioner.

The funding under the program is not intended for group exercise, activation, or falls prevention classes or services provided solely to maintain an existing level of function, or services provided concurrently with physiotherapy services already provided or funded by other Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) or health system programs or through automotive insurance or the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.

Are eligible patients with chronic conditions covered?

Yes. Under the EOC funding model, the physiotherapy services funded are assessment, diagnosis and treatment to improve, develop or rehabilitate physical function and promote mobility lost or impaired as a result of a debilitating event or disease, pain, injury or surgical procedure.

This would apply to chronic diseases such as arthritis or multiple sclerosis.
As part of the assessment, the physiotherapist and the patient will identify therapeutic objectives or goals for treatment.

Once the therapeutic objectives identified in the treatment plan have been achieved, or when any reasonably equivalent gains could be achieved through self-care, an exercise or falls prevention, activation, or similar program, or when no further gains are likely to be achieved from continuing the physiotherapy services, patients are discharged from their EOC.

Am I covered for publicly funded physiotherapy for maintenance treatment or exercise classes?

No. The clinic-based physiotherapy services funded under this program are aimed at addressing acute episodes or worsening of symptoms that lead to decreased function or mobility (e.g. debilitating event or disease (including chronic disease), pain, injury or surgical procedure).

However, should a patient’s condition change or deteriorate, their function decrease or their mobility level worsen, (i.e. as a result of a debilitating event or disease, pain, injury or surgical procedure), you would then be eligible with a doctor or nurse practitioner referral.

Maintenance of good health and function is important and this can be supported through access to resources such as exercise and falls prevention classes.

What is an Episode of Care (EOC)?

An episode of care (EOC) is defined as a discrete group of condition/diagnosis specific, time-limited, goal-oriented physiotherapy services provided to a specific patient initiated by a physician or nurse practitioner referral. While each EOC requires a separate referral, there is no pre-set limit on the number of EOC’s a patient may have in one year.

How many treatments will the patient receive with an Episode of Care (EOC)?

The number, frequency and duration of visits offered must be necessary and reasonable for the treatment of the condition as determined by the physiotherapist using her professional and clinical judgment of the patient’s individual need and evidence-based best practices.

As part of the assessment, the physiotherapist and the patient will identify therapeutic objectives or goals for treatment.

Once the therapeutic objectives identified in the treatment plan have been achieved, or when any reasonably equivalent gains could be achieved through self-care or through an exercise, falls prevention, activation, or similar program or when no further gains are likely to be achieved from continuing the physiotherapy services, patients are discharged.

Can a patient receive more than one episode of care in a year?

Yes. A patient can receive more than one episode of care in a year provided that all eligibility criteria, including a separate referral, are met for each individual episode of care. Each episode of care is one discrete group of condition/diagnosis specific, time-limited, goal-oriented physiotherapy services.

What happens after the episode of care has been completed?

At discharge, your Physiotherapist will provide you with information on self-management and local programs including exercise, falls prevention, activation, or similar programs, as appropriate. They will also send a discharge report to your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Is there an annual funding amount per patient?

No. Patients receiving publicly-funded clinic-based physiotherapy under an Episode of Care (EOC) funding model are not limited to a specific number of services per EOC.  Funding covers an EOC, not individual visits. The number and frequency of services provided will be determined by the treating physiotherapist in consultation with the patient and be based on the physiotherapist’s professional skill and clinical judgment and the patient’s individual needs. Discharge will occur once the therapeutic objectives identified in the treatment plan have been achieved, or when any reasonably equivalent gains could be achieved through self-care or through an exercise, falls prevention, activation, or similar program or when no further gains are likely to be achieved from continuing the physiotherapy services.

There is no annual funding amount for each patient. Clinics are allocated funding for a specific year under a formal funding agreement between the clinic and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (the “ministry”). The ministry provides funding in the amount of $312 for each EOC; it does not pay for individual visits. TheEOC is comprised of at least, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and the provision of a discharge summary to the referring provider. Some patients may require only one EOC while others may be referred for multiple EOCs.

What other publicly funded programs provide funding for physiotherapy?

Government-funded physiotherapy may also be provided to eligible patients by, for example:

  • Community Care Access Centres to people who require physiotherapy in their homes due to their condition or injury;
  • Long-Term Care homes;
  • hospitals to their inpatients or through their outpatient physiotherapy departments;
  • special rehabilitation programs/organizations such as Children’s Treatment Centres;
  • some Community Health Centres.
Can a patient, once discharged, be treated for the same body part as a different episode of care in the same year if they have another script from the doctor?

Yes. A patient can receive more than one episode of care in a year provided that all eligibility criteria, including a separate referral, are met for each individual episode of care. Each episode of care is one discrete group of condition/diagnosis specific, time-limited, goal-oriented physiotherapy services.

Where can I find a list of clinics providing publicly funded clinic services?

A list of all clinics that are eligible for publicly funded physiotherapy services is posted at www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/physio/ on the MOHLTC website.

Waiting List Policy

For patients who pay privately, or through their extended health benefits, car insurance or WSIB our policy is to get you booked in within 2 business days.

The province has authorized us to treat a limited number of patients under the publicly funded physiotherapy program. This effectively means that we are limited in the number of publicly funded patients we can see in any given week. Because of this, it may be necessary for us to put publicly funded patients on a waiting list temporarily.

If we have not reached our quota for publicly funded patients, they will be booked in as quickly as any other patient.

MVA Patients

Billing for Motor Vehicle Accident Insurance Claims

If you have extended health care benefits:

I was recently in a car accident. What do I have to do to start physiotherapy treatment?

You can start physiotherapy immediately usually. It is often advisable to see your family physician who may provide investigative medical tests and prescribe anti-inflammatory, pain and/or muscle relaxant medication.

Orthotics

Plantar Fasciitis & Heel Spurs

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of pain on the bottom of the heel. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the strong band of tissue that supports the arch of your foot becomes irritated and inflamed. The plantar fascia absorbs strains we place on our feet. Sometimes, too much pressure damages or tears the tissues.

What causes sore feet?

Not all feet are created equal! Some feet seem to take much abuse without complaining, many are not so lucky. Some people have sore feet in spite of wearing comfortable shoes and only moderate levels of activity. Ill fitting or improper shoes may cause foot discomfort. However, the foot itself may be the problem.

What are flat feet?

The human foot is a complicated structure, consisting of 26 bones, numerous joint, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Each set of feet are unique, but may share certain basic structural qualities. Flat feet are low arched and fairly common. Most flat feet are what Podiatrists term, pronated. Closer examination of the weight-bearing pronated foot reveals:

  • Turning out of the heel bone away from the centre of the body
  • Inward rotation of the leg
  • Bulging of the inner aspect of the ankle
  • Shifting of the forefoot outward from the heel

Flat feet may be the result of an abnormality in the alignment of bones, an excessive elasticity of the ligaments, muscle imbalance, or some combination of these. To complicate matters further, not all pronated feet appear flat and some feet which appear flat are not pronated. Flat feet may be severe and apparent at birth, these may require corrective treatment with plaster casts or surgery. More commonly flat (pronated) feet develop during youth, symptoms may develop anytime and some flat feet never become troublesome. They may run in families but there is no certainty they will develop.

Pronated feet alter the alignment of the foot, ankle, leg, pelvis, and lower back. Problems may develop at any level. The pronated foot is unstable. This results in excessive and abnormal motion across joints and may result in fatigue and strain – often describes as “tired feet”. Long-term consequences include arthritis, bunions, heel spurs, Morton’s neuroma and other deformities. Shin splints (pain in the muscles of the lower leg) may result from these muscles overworking in an attempt to compensate for foot instability.Flat feet is a complex deformity which should be properly evaluated and treated. You may be recommended functional posted foot orthotics. These are special supports which help compensate for mechanical faults and allow your feet to function with improved efficiency. Orthotics relieve stress from compromised joints, ligaments and muscles. Deforming forces acting on the foot are diminished.
Would Seniors benefit from orthotics or is it too late to help their feet?

Seniors definitely benefit from a custom fitted orthotic.  Pain develops usually due to misalignment and over-use. The body can adapt to change at any age, and although an orthotic may not be able to undo “arthritis” for example, they can help re-align the joints and reduce mechanical strain.

How can orthotics increase sports performance?

Athletes make demands on their feet not usually encountered in normal daily activity. By controlling the foot movement with custom fitted orthotics it maximizes the biomechanical function of not only your feet but also your legs and torso.

How long will the orthotics last for? How often should I have them rechecked?

Many factors such as body type, physical activity level, and type of physical activity will influence the life of your orthotics.  Generally 2-3 years is a normal life span of an orthotic of someone of regular body type, and physical activity who wears their orthotics every day.

I have been pain free all my life, why is this just becoming a problem now?

Your body is constantly changing! And you are using it in different ways for different activities!

Will my feet work perfectly without orthotic after a period of time?

Orthotics are more like glasses than braces.  They correct your foot’s imperfections while you are wearing them.  Once the orthotic is removed, your feet will go back to working their same old way. Prolonged use of an orthotic on a daily basis allows for the most benefit.

After I purchased my new Custom Fitted Orthotics can I start wearing them all the time?

Depending on the patient’s age, body type and activity level, people adapt to change differently. We usually recommend gradually increasing wear-time with the orthotic at the beginning of treatment.

Why is the Orthotic Group computer based system better than casting?

New research is showing casting of a foot in a non-weight bearing position to be an inexact science influenced by assessor error.  The Orthotic Group computer based system limits assessor error by measuring how your foot functions while you’re weight bearing.

How do I know I have a foot problem?

In most cases pain or excessive foot fatigue will alert you that you may have a foot problem. In the “normal” foot, moderate levels of activity do not cause sore or tired feet. Although overuse may cause foot fatigue, it rarely causes pain.

What are orthotics?

Custom-made orthotics are medical devices that support and gently reposition the heel, arch, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones in the feet, enabling these structures to work together to make each step you take pain-free. Unlike shoe inserts bought over the counter, custom-made orthotics are built from molds of your feet to meet your unique needs.

How often should I be wearing my orthotics?

Your orthotics should be worn every time you are on your feet – during work, at home and play.

Does the effectiveness of my orthotics rely on the type of shoes I wear?

Orthotics are most effective in shoes that are constructed well, fit properly and are in good condition. It is best to bring in your shoes when your health care practitioner is fitting you for orthotics. Knowing the type of footwear you wear the most will help your practitioner prescribe the right style of orthotics for your lifestyle.

What do you recommend if the orthotics are hurting my feet?

During the first few weeks of wearing your orthotics, you may experience aches and pains in your feet and legs. This is normal and is an indication that your orthotics are working. Your body has been conditioned to accommodate feet that do not function properly; as a result, it may need time to adjust.

What are your return policies on orthotics & shoes?

Your orthotics should fit like a glove and improve your symptoms from two weeks of pickup.  If they are not comfortable within this time, please call us for an appointment and we will make it right.

How long will it take to get my orthotics?

Orthotics usually take 2 weeks to arrive from order date unless otherwise specified.  Shoes may take longer if backordered.

Miscellaneous

Cancellation & On Time Policy

We strive to be on time. If you are late for your appointment, we will accommodate you if we can without inconveniencing other patients, but if we cannot, we will reschedule your appointment.

How soon after an injury should I start physiotherapy?

Research has shown that early intervention means quicker recovery. We can help you through all stages of healing. Prompt and proper care means optimum recovery in a shorter amount of time.

I have a sports related injury. Do you treat these?

Yes. We have the knowledge, techniques, modalities and gym facilities to help get you back to your sports activities as soon as possible.

I recently had orthopaedic surgery. Can I come to your clinic for physiotherapy?

Yes. We treat a variety of post-operative conditions, from arthroscopic surgeries to fusions, to tendon transfers and debridements. We have specialized knowledge in post-operative care and communicate closely with your surgeon if special instructions are needed. The goal is to promote healing and get you moving as soon as possible. Please call us to make an appointment today.

Medical Disclaimer

The information contained on this web site Is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice: This web site is not designed to, and does not provide medical advice. All content (“Content”), including text, graphics, images and information available on or through this Web site are for general informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Hours

Please note, the hours noted below may change slightly from day to day depending on scheduling and staffing needs.

Please call ahead if you are planning on dropping by.

Shockwave Therapy

What is shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment which involves creating a series of low energy acoustic wave pulsations which are directly applied to the site of injury through the client’s skin via a gel medium. Studies found shockwaves were effective for the treatment of often chronic conditions such as plantar fascitis, Achilles tendonitis, jumper’s Knee’s, calcific tendonitis, bursitis, and trigger points.

Watch this brief introduction to shockwave therapy.

How does shock wave therapy work?

Shockwaves stimulate certain components within the body so the body is able to heal.  Shockwave therapy is able to accomplish this even in chronic cases, when the body has demonstrated a previous unwillingness or inability to heal by itself. In addition to stimulating the healing process, shockwave therapy has a direct effect on nerves, diminishing pain.

What makes shockwave therapy unique is that it is one of the very few technologies in any field of medicine that seems to work best when an injury reaches the chronic, non-healing state.  Shockwave therapy appears to be able to jump start the healing process in chronic, non-healing injuries and move them back into the acute phase of healing. Treatment produces an inflammatory response. The body responds by increasing metabolic activity around the site of pain. This stimulates and accelerates the healing process.

What conditions can shockwave therapy treat?

Shockwave therapy is used to treat many conditions, including:

  • Rotator cuff tendinopathy
  • Plantar fascitis/fasciopathy
  • Tennis elbow (radial epicondylitis)
  • Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis)
  • Tendinosis Calcarea (painful limitation of shoulder movement due to calcification of shoulder tendons )
  • Bursitis ( Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa. The major bursae are located adjacent to the tendons near the large joints, such as the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.)
  • Patellar tendonitis ( jumper’s knee)
  • Tibial Stress Fracture
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Achillodynia
  • Heel spur
  • Various chronic enthesiopathies (painful irritation of tendon attachments due to overexertion and improper strain, or due to a degenerative process)\
  • Various sports injuries
  • Painful trigger points(acute and chronic painful neck, back, shoulder and etc. due to chronically shortened and thickened muscle tissue)
Are there contraindications and/or precautions I should be aware of?

Before treatment with shockwave therapy, a correct examination and diagnosis should be performed. Shockwave therapy is contraindicated for the following:

Do not use shockwave therapy on any body part during pregnancy.

  • Hemophilia, or other coagulation disorders.
  • Anticoagulant (warfarin, heparin) pharmaceuticals, especially Marcumar.
  • Acute inflammations. Do not use over swollen, inflamed, infected tissue, skin eruptions or on other acute tissue lesions.
  • Polyneuropathy area. A Diabetes patient often has disturbed sensory and nervous function in the polyneuropathic area.
  • Cortisone therapy: Wait for a minimum 6 weeks after local cortisone injection before treatment with radial pressure waves.
  • Patients with hemorrhages or risk of hemorrhage.
  • Patients with malignant tumors.
  • Swellings that still feel warm.
  • Implants, areas where implants have been removed, damaged implants, and metal inclusions.
  • Over superficial endoprosthesis or metal implants.
  • Severe arterial obstructions (stage III and IV ).
  • Gynecological disorders involving acute inflammation.
  • Deep vein thrombosis, phlebitis, varices.
  • Arterial disease, circulatory insufficiency.
  • Over eyes.
  • Over reproductive organs.
  • Over cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, cochlear implants, bone growth stimulators, deep brain stimulators, spinal cord stimulators, and other nerve stimulators.
  • Over open lamina (after laminectomy; spina bifida).
  • Directly over the carotid sinuses, cervical stellate ganglion, or Vagus nerve located in the anterior neck triangle.
  • Direct application over cancerous tumors or lesions due to its potential to increase blood flow to the area of malignancy.
  • Neoplastic tissues or space occupying lesions.
  • Occlusive vascular disease, such as arteriosclerosis obliterans and thromboangiitis obliterans, in which organic occlusion and ischemia are evident.
  • In the presence of systemic or local infection (sepsis, Osteomyelitis, tuberculosis) or if the patient has an elevated temperature.
  • Shock waves must not be applied to target areas located above air-filled tissue (lungs), nor to any regions near large nerves, vessels, the spinal column or head.
How long does each treatment take? What is treatment like?

A course of shockwave therapy typically consists of four visits – three treatment sessions administered over a three week period after your initial assessment. The painful site is identified and approximately two thousand shockwaves are administered using a hand held applicator in combination with a conductive gel. The process is relatively pain free and can be adjusted for patient comfort. Remember, these are sound “shocks”, not electrical shocks. The treatment lasts between five and seven minutes. Occasionally a fourth treatment may be indicated.

How fast does shock wave therapy work?

We find that many patients get an initial degree of improvement almost immediately following treatment.  This effect is usually (but not always) temporary, and is associated with an anesthesia effect from the hyperstimulation of the tissue from the shock wave therapy.

Has shockwave therapy been clinically proven?

Shockwave therapy has been subject of many clinical studies that have been published in numerous well respected medical journals. Here are a few examples:

  • 91% success rate  calcific tendonitis of the shoulder. Journal of American Medical Association 2003
  • 90% success rate plantar fasciitis. The Journal of Orthopaedic Research 2005
  • 77% success rate tennis elbow. The Journal of Orthopaedics 2005
How safe is shockwave therapy?

The basic technology involved with shockwave technology has been used for decades now by millions of people.  The technology has been used most extensively in Europe, particularly the German-speaking countries, where this technology originates.  In all its use, shockwave therapy of the musculoskeletal system has been found to have virtually no serious side-effects.  In fact, even mild side effects like tingling, aching, redness, or bruising are relatively rare, modest and short-lived.

Chiropractic

What is an adjustment?

An adjustment is a highly skilled and precise movement usually applied by hand to a joint of the body. Adjustment loosens the joint to restore proper movement and optimize function.

When a joint is adjusted, a gas bubble escapes causing the popping noise you may have heard about.

Chiropractic adjustment techniques have been researched extensively. Complications are rare and side-effects, such as temporary soreness, are usually minor. Your chiropractor is well-trained to determine if your problem will respond to chiropractic care or if you require referral to another health care provider

When should I see a chiropractor?

Eight out of ten Canadians will experience back pain at some point in their life, and at least one third of people in Ontario will have back pain at any given time. For many people, the pain can keep them away from work, school or even their day-to-day activities. If pain causes interruptions and restrictions in the activities of your daily life then you should consult a health care provider.

Chiropractors are regulated primary care professionals, and they 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.

Chiropractors are highly educated and extensively trained to assess, diagnosis, treat and prevent conditions disorders of the spine, joints, muscle and nervous systems. These disorders may include back pain, neck pain, headaches, referring pain in your arms and legs, etc.

Many patients seek chiropractic treatment for wellness care. Others, like seniors, find that treatment helps them to maintain mobility and good range of motion. Pain should never become a way of life, especially when there is qualified help available.

There are many reasons to seek chiropractic care: Work, accidents, sports injuries, household chores, even the stress of daily living can cause painful joint and spinal problems. Even if you do not have painful symptoms, chiropractic care can help you maintain healthy spine and joint function.

Here are some of the most common reasons why more than 4 million Canadians visit a chiropractor each year:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headache
  • Whiplash
  • Strains and sprains from daily activities
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Work and sports-related injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Restricted movement in the back, shoulders, neck or limbs
  • General health and well-being
What are some of the benefits of chiropractic care?

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
  • Correct gait and foot problems
Is chiropractic adjustment safe?

Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest, drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of headache, and neck and back pain. It has an excellent safety record. However, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. Even common over-the-counter medicines carry a risk.

Most patients experience immediate relief following an adjustment, however, some may experience temporary pain, stiffness or slight swelling. Some patients may also experience temporary dizziness, local numbness, or radiating pain. However, adverse effects associated with spinal adjustment are typically minor and short-lived.

Informed consent
Prior to starting treatment, all health professionals are required by law to obtain informed consent to treatment from their patients. Health care consumers must receive adequate and accurate information to assist them in evaluating their health care choices, and in balancing the relative risks of treatment options with the benefits. The chiropractic profession takes this responsibility seriously and has been a leader in obtaining informed consent.

Ontario’s chiropractors are required in their Standards of Practice to obtain written informed consent prior to treating a patient.

Neck adjustment
Neck adjustment, particularly of the top two vertebrae of the spine, has on rare occasions been associated with stroke and stroke-like symptoms. This risk is considerably lower than those serious adverse events associated with many common health treatments such as long-term use of non-prescription pain relievers or birth control pills. While estimates vary, a range of one to two events per million neck adjustments is the ratio generally accepted by the research community.

An extensive commentary on chiropractic care, published in the February 2002 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, which is the journal of the American College of Physicians, reviewed more than 160 reports and studies on chiropractic. It states the following with regard to the safety of neck adjustment: “The apparent rarity of these accidental events has made it difficult to assess the magnitude of the complication risk. No serious complication has been noted in more than 73 controlled clinical trials or in any prospectively evaluated case series to date.”

A Canadian study, published in 2001 in the medical journal Stroke, also concluded that stroke associated with neck adjustment is so rare that it is difficult to calculate an accurate risk ratio.  The study was conducted by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and the authors have stated: “The evidence to date indicates that the risk associated with chiropractic manipulation of the neck is both small and inaccurately estimated. The estimated level of risk is smaller than that associated with many commonly used diagnostic tests or prescription drugs.”

The most recent research into the association between neck adjustment and stroke is biomechanical studies to assess what strain, if any, neck adjustment may place on the vertebral arteries. The preliminary findings of this ongoing work indicate that neck adjustment is done well within the normal range of motion and that neck adjustment is “very unlikely to mechanically disrupt the VA [vertebral artery].”

There are many risk factors for stroke including blood clotting problems, hypertension, smoking, high cholesterol, birth control pills, heart problems and trauma such as blows to the head from car accidents, sports injuries or falls. Some strokes happen spontaneously with no obvious cause during activities of daily living such as backing up a car. A patient’s health history and activities have to be examined very carefully in order to determine the most probable cause of a stroke.

Does chiropractic care require a referral from an MD?

Chiropractors are legislated as primary care professionals in every province in Canada. This means that patients can consult them directly. However, chiropractors often work closely with medical doctors, many of whom refer to chiropractors when they believe chiropractic treatment will help alleviate a patient’s condition. Similarly, chiropractors frequently refer to medical doctors when necessary.

Can chiropractic care cure other ailments besides back pain?

Chiropractic care cannot “cure” every ailment, but there is some evidence to indicate that adjustments may have a beneficial effect on a variety of conditions. Adjustment may alleviate some of the secondary or referred pain, arising from the response of the musculoskeletal structures to the primary cause.

How many Ontarians use chiropractic?

Chiropractic is one of the largest primary care professions in Ontario, with more than 3,100 practicing chiropractors. Almost 2 million Ontarians use the services of a chiropractor each year to help them get back to work, and back to doing the things they love.

Are there many athletes who use chiropractic?

Yes. Many amateur and professional athletes use chiropractic treatment as part of their overall health care, fitness and maintenance program. Chiropractic is often used to improve muscle and joint conditioning, which has a direct effect on an athletic performance. Treatment works to improve biomechanical function and enhance overall conditioning, important in situations where there is continuous repetitive movement. Chiropractic care also help athletes fine-tune their muscles and joints for high level performance, and may reduce long term wear and tear. Finally, treatment can be used to prevent, and sometime shorten, the healing time of injuries.

Athletes most often select treatment to improve their performance, where as the average consumer will select chiropractic care to help manage aches and pains. In some cases treatment will be similar, but in all cases a treatment plan will be developed according to the goals and condition of each patient. In the case of professional and elite athletes, chiropractors often work in conjunction with other health care professionals, including medical doctors and/or sports medicine doctors, massage therapists and physiotherapists.

Does chiropractic care require X-rays?

X-rays can play an important role in diagnosis and are taken when a need has been determined after taking a patient case history and conducting a physical examination. Chiropractors receive 360 hours of education in radiology covering a full range of topics from protection to X-ray interpretation and diagnosis. Governments in every province have recognized the training and competence of chiropractors to take and interpret X-rays and have granted them this right.

How to select a chiropractor?
  • Word of mouth
  • Friends, family, and co-workers
  • Referrals from other health care practitioners
  • The chiropractor locator on the OCA’s website
What is chiropractic?

The word “chiropractic” comes from ancient Greek and means “done by hand.”

Adjustment of the joints of the body has been used in health care for many centuries and is at the heart of modern chiropractic care.

Chiropractors are specialists in manual adjustment of the vertebrae of the spine and other joints. Adjustment helps relieve pain and restore normal functioning to the spine, joints and supporting structures of the body – so you can enjoy your everyday activities again as quickly as possible.

Chiropractors are also trained to prescribe therapeutic exercise, provide nutritional counselling, and recommend rehabilitation and injury prevention strategies.

TCM Acupuncture by Cat Dahlke, R. TCMP, R. Ac

Questions about Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture?

Catheryne Dahlke, R. TCMP, R. Ac studied Traditional Chinese Medicine at the Center for International Holistic Studies (CIHS). She is licensed with the CTCMPAO (College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario).

For more information about Traditional Chinese Medicine and Catheryne, please see Cat's site at Naturalizer Health.