Chiropractic is a regulated health profession that centers on the musculoskeletal system and nervous system. Derived from the Greek words “chiro” and “praxis” meaning “done by hand”, Chiropractic takes a hands-on, proactive approach to health.

Your chiropractor’s goal is to diagnose your spinal condition, develop an individualized treatment plan and provide education around injury prevention. This three-step approach helps you to get back to the things you enjoy sooner; Because hitting the slopes for the last day of the ski season, or taking an evening stroll with your family is so much more enjoyable than being confined to a bed with back and neck pain.

Are there activities that you used to enjoy that you are now unable to participate in due to pain or mobility issues? The cause could be an underlying spinal condition. To learn more about Chiropractic treatment and to determine if its right for you, call or stop by our office.

Spine Facts

Why is my spine important?

Your spine runs down the centre of your body from the base of your skull to your tailbone. It serves many important functions including:

  • Protecting your spinal cord and related essential nerves which make up the central nervous system.
  • Giving structure and connection for your hips, legs, shoulders and arms. Serving as an attachment to muscles that enable movement.
  • Providing a framework and support for skull and ribs.

Because the spine plays such a key role in the functions of the body, it is easy to see why proper spinal care is important to your overall health and wellness.

How do I know if I have a spinal condition? What are the symptoms?

The most common symptom of an underlying spinal condition is back pain. Another give away that there is something wrong with your spine is if you are unable to participate in activities that you once enjoyed due to pain or mobility issues. Symptoms will vary depending on the extent of the injury and may take the form of:

  • Back and/or neck pain
  • Leg, arm and/or shoulder pain Gait or foot problems
  • Balance issues/dizziness Mobility issues
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue/weakness
  • Neck stiffness
  • Poor concentration or memory

If you are concerned that you may be experiencing these symptoms, talk to your chiropractor. They can determine if an underlying spinal condition exists.

Can children develop spinal conditions?

Yes, in fact spinal conditions can develop at all stages of life, from infant to senior. Monitoring your spinal health should be as routine as checking your blood pressure and watching your diet.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of an underlying spinal condition can help you identify an issue early before it becomes a bigger problem later in life.

What factors lead to spinal conditions?

There are three main factors which can lead to spinal conditions:

  • Physical stress: Heavy lifting, repetitive action, poor posture, car accident, falls, dehydration.
  • Chemical stress: Poor diet, alcohol, smoking, vitamin deficiency, medications. Emotional stress: Financial problems, marital/family issues, loss of loved ones, general depression.
I’ve been in a car accident. What are my recovery options?

Collisions can result in many different types of injuries. ICBC recognizes chiropractic treatment as an effective recovery method in patients with injuries involving the spine, including back and neck trauma. If you have been injured in a crash, contact your chiropractor as soon as possible. In most cases your treatment will be covered by ICBC.

I was hurt at work. Where can I go for treatment?

Whether you have incurred an injury at work from repetitive motion strain or a slip and fall that has caused chronic pain, if your condition involves your back, neck or nerves, chiropractic may offer a solution.

WorkSafeBC has partnered with the British Columbia College of Chiropractors to provide chiropractic care to workers injured on the job.

If you have been hurt at work, talk to your chiropractor about a treatment plan that is right for you.

I injured myself playing sports. How can I find relief from the pain?

If you are injured playing sports or doing any activity for that matter, you will most likely not be able to continue with what you enjoy due to pain and immobility. If you are experiencing symptoms of an underlying spinal condition as a result of your injury, ask your chiropractor if treatment can play a role in your recovery.

Good overall health is the first step towards making sure your spine stays healthy. Prevention is also key to long-term back health. Here are a few tips:

  • Warm up and cool down before beginning physical activities such as running, sports and even gardening. Take a few minutes to stretch and ease into the activity.
  • Be mindful of repeat motions such as shoveling or reaching. Take frequent breaks and when possible switch hands.
  • Maintain good posture especially in situations where you are seated for a long period of time. Stand up periodically or take a short walk.
  • When lifting heavy objects, pay close attention to the way you are lifting. Bend your knees, tuck in your pelvis and hug the load.
  • Never reach for a heavy object.
    Maintain a healthy diet and limit sugar, caffeine and alcohol consumption. Drink plenty of water. Quit smoking.
    Ensure you get enough sleep each night.
    Manage emotional stress as best you can.

Common Conditions

Spinal conditions and injury are usually the result of activity in the home or workplace.
Car accidents are also another common cause of underlying spinal conditions. Some of the most common spinal conditions are:

  • Arthritis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Headache / Migrane
  • Herniated Disc
  • Low Back Pain
  • Muscle Tension / Spasm
  • Neck Pain
  • Repetitive Stress Injuries
  • Sciatica
  • Scoliosis
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)
  • Tendonitis
  • Whiplash

Spine Care and Prevention

There are ways to decrease your risk of injury and ensure a healthy spine throughout all stages of life.

Eat Well

  • Make healthy food choices and eat balanced meals throughout the day. Nutrient rich foods provide essential vitamins and minerals to bones, muscles and tissues.
  • Healthy eating habits promote a healthy body weight. Extra weight can cause undue stress to the spine.
  • Drink plenty of water. The spinal cord is made up of approximately 60% water. If you are dehydrated, your spine will be affected.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol intake.
    If you smoke, quit. Smoking impairs blood flow and decreases oxygen absorption which negatively impacts all body systems.

Be Active

  • Exercise is important to overall health. The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends at least 2.5 hours of vigorous activity per week (30 minutes of activity 5 times a week).
  • Take 5-10 minutes before and after each activity to warm up and cool down. Stretching reduces the risk of injury.
  • When lifting items, lift correctly. Avoid picking up heavy items directly from the ground if possible. When picking up an item, bend with your knees, tuck in your pelvis and hug the load.
  • Pay close attention to body posture, especially when seated for long periods of time. Take frequent, short breaks or stand up periodically.

Reduce Stress

  • When at all possible, prevent and reduce stress in your life. Stress can cause muscles to tense up, headaches, and other body aches. Acute stress may also lower your immune system and make you susceptible to viruses and other illness.
  • Get plenty of rest and stick to a regular sleep schedule. 8 hours of sleep each night is recommended for adults.
  • Develop effective ways for your body and mind to deal with stress: Going for a walk, taking up a yoga class or reading a book are just some options that may help you cope.