More than 1.2 million Ontarians rely on chiropractic every year to help them get back to work and back to doing the things they love.
What Is Chiropractic? - Chiropractic is a non-invasive, hands-on health care discipline that focuses on treatment and preventative care for disorders related to the spine, pelvis, nervous system and joints.
Who Are Chiropractors? - Chiropractors are primary care practitioners, trained to develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment / management plan, recommend therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies, and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.
Visiting a Chiropractor - Your treatment from a chiropractor will often include exercise, diet and other healthy living suggestions to help keep you healthy and strong. A normal spinal column should be in a constant state of motion. It moves in response to breathing, heartbeat, blood circulation, cranial rhythms, and other body movements. Neither the spine nor the connective tissue that supports and surrounds the spine should ever be stagnant. This constant normal motion is what helps to circulate the cerebral spinal fluid that protects the spinal cord and brain. This motion is also responsible for the hydration/nourishment of the discs, which cushion the spine from gravity.
When an area of the body, (specifically the spine), is not stimulated through movement, the underlying chronic muscle becomes tense, cutting off capillary circulation to the area. As this circulation decreases, the makeup of the soft tissue becomes less fluid or sticky. The muscles, ligaments etc… become a matted mess of connective tissue over time. This is how adhesions and scar tissue form. The resulting mass of hardened tissue can be felt through the skin, and is frequently painful.
This type of build-up can be improved upon or even reversed by the intervention of manipulative techniques. The immediate effect is to transform the physical nature of the tissue matrix. The greater fluidity of the tissue will allow for greater movement patterns as well as the return of capillary blood flow to the tissues. Exercise and stretching will also aid this process.
The science behind the chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is rooted in the neurological and mechanical. Chiropractors apply specific forces to the spine and other joints in the body in order to stimulate the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as re-establish normal movement patterns at fixated joints. While the hardened, sticky tissue matrix is being softened through manipulation, there are also important signals being transmitted to the brain via specialized receptors in the joint capsules, muscles, and ligaments. These are Mechanoreceptors, (transmitting pressure and velocity signals), and Proprioceptors, (transmitting positional awareness). These impulses are beneficial and serve not only to inform the brain of changing mechanics and tissue densities, but also to block the function of Nociceptors that transmit noxious or pain signals.