Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

Chiropractic Q & A

Chiropractors are specially trained to assess, diagnose and treat various spinal and other biomechanical conditions. Chiropractors utilize various techniques including but not limited to spinal and extremity adjustments, Active Release Technique for muscle tension, and various nerve-related conditions.

Furthermore, our Coquitlam chiropractor is also well trained in exercise prescription and rehabilitation to help you with your recovery and to ensure you continue your healing outside of the office as well. 

Visiting a chiropractor, you can expect the doctor to ask you some specific questions regarding your main concerns. After this, the doctor will conduct a full assessment of your body to check for joint, muscle, and nerve health followed by a report of their findings and a specific treatment plan for your specific areas of concern.

Treatment can include but is not limited to adjustments, muscle release techniques, and exercise therapy. In addition, the doctor may provide you with tools and education to help you maintain a healthier body through specific at-home stretches and exercises. 

Chiropractic is extremely effective for treating acute conditions such as sudden onset back pain, neck pain, and sciatica. Usually, patients find immediate relief after a few sessions. Chiropractic care is also very effective for chronic and recurrent body pains and nerve compressions that have been going on for a long time without minimal relief.

Based on the assessment, your chiropractor will determine the reason for your pain, what can be done short term to help get you back to function and how you can change old habits to prevent a similar problem from happening in the future.

Tendinitis is often a result of repetitive overuse of a tendon causing inflammation and pain in the affected area.

Often times, we develop compensations to avoid an injured tendon but this often results in development of stress and pain in other parts of the body. Tendons best heal with short term manual therapy followed by exercise prescription to strengthen the tendon. Our chiropractor is can help support your recovery with various types of tendinitis such as Tennis elbow, Golfer’s elbow, Plantar fasciitis, Biceps tendinitis and more.

Chiropractic are recognized as part of the Allied Health Care Professionals providing conservative therapy treatment options. Examples of other allied health care professionals are physiotherapists, naturopathic doctors, doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine to name a few.

Chiropractors are experts in musculoskeletal injuries of the body. Spinal conditions such as low back, neck pain, headaches, neurological symptoms such as sciatica and Fibromyalgia are some of the most common conditions treated by chiropractors.

Chiropractic doctors are also fully trained and licensed in treatment of conditions of extremities such as hip pain, knee pain, arthritis, foot pain, shoulder pain and more.

Read more: Most common conditions that can be treated by chiropractic

Osteopathy and chiropractic have significant overlap in their training and abilities.

Chiropractic is more recognized in Canada and has gained popularity due to its effectiveness for treatment of musculoskeletal conditions.

Osteopathy has gained popularity in Canada over the last 10 years, however it still requires further establishment and recognition from third party insurers. Both professions can help patients with their musculoskeletal pain using similar approaches.

Learn more about the similarities and differences of osteopath and chiropractor.

Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to treat musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, and other conditions.

Some common chiropractic adjustment techniques include Diversified Technique, Activator Technique, Cox Flexion and Gonstead.

Some of these techniques such as Diversified are more popular and used more commonly.

Diversified and Activator are used more commonly amongst evidence based chiropractors with incredible results. Ultimately, the best technique depends on the patient presentation, chiropractor’s skill and knowledge and patient preference.

Although there are some reports of an association between chiropractic manipulation of the neck and the risk of stroke, the evidence is limited, controversial and the exact nature of the relationship is poorly explained and understood.

Some studies have suggested there may be a risk for high risk individuals such as those with a previous history of stroke, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases. However other studies have failed to find any significant relationship between the two.

It is important to know that the risk between a stroke and chiropractic manipulation is extremely rare and low and the benefits far outweigh the risks. Furthermore, all chiropractic doctors are well trained to identify any red flags or risks that may put you in a higher risk category and will advise if they believe a neck adjustment may not be appropriate for you and they would opt in for muscle work and mobilizations instead.

All chiropractors are qualified to take and interpret x-rays for their patients for abnormalities or injuries. However, not all chiropractors take x-rays in their office as the majority of injuries seen in a chiropractic office can be determined with orthopedic testing and a thorough history taking and exposure to radiation is not warranted to determine treatment.

In cases where x-ray imaging is warranted and recommended, chiropractors can refer patients to radiology facilities through their medical provider and also help limit out of pocket costs for their patients.

Vertigo is a sensation of spinning or dizziness that can have various underlying factors such as inner ear issues, head injuries, concussion and nerve issues. Chiropractors are trained to evaluate and treat musculoskeletal conditions that can be related to vertigo.

As an example, joint restrictions or misalignments of the neck or spine can affect nerve function and blood flow, leading to vertigo. If it is related to an inner ear problem, chiropractors are trained in maneuvers specifically designed to move the crystals in the inner ear to resolve the vertigo.

However, not all vertigo is related to MSK related issues and other medical interventions or referral to a neurologist may be necessary. Your chiropractors are trained to evaluate the different types of vertigo and if they assess that further medical intervention is needed, they will be sure to refer you to your medical doctor for further investigation.

Chiropractic care is not anti medication and in fact there are circumstances where prescribed medications are necessary to manage pain and continue recovery; However, chiropractors themselves do not prescribe medication and refer to medical doctors for medical prescription.

It is important to note that chiropractic is a hands on and drug free therapy that works through manual touch and manipulation of muscles, bones, ligaments and nerves to alleviate pain.

Chiropractic has tons of research and evidence for many conditions that include low back pain, neck pain, headaches, osteo conditions and more.

The definition of pseudoscience is a collection of beliefs that have not been backed up by science and evidence.

Chiropractors have years of training behind them to diagnose and treat spinal conditions in order to better the quality of lives of those around them.

Massage Therapy Q & A

Massage therapy can help treat the following conditions and symptoms:

Pain: Massage helps with diminishing pain, as simple as releasing knots in muscles to working with conditions that heighten pain, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or sports injuries.

Stress and Anxiety: Massage is a form of therapy, targeting the parasympathetic nervous system to encourage relaxation and releasing stress or anxiety.

Headaches: Massage therapists are able to help reduce headache-like symptoms, long term decreasing their frequency and intensity.

Muscle tension and stiffness: Massage works with the manipulation of tissues, therefore promoting to loosen and relax tight, stiff muscles.

Insomnia: Massage can aid to improve overall sleep quality with relaxation.

Circulation: Through manual therapy, massage can help with overall blood flow and lymphatic drainage, resulting in decreased swelling or edema.

Digestive: Massage Therapists offer abdominal massages, working with stimulating bowel movements and gastrointestinal problems.

Immune system disorders: Massage additionally boosts the immune system, increasing overall health and decreasing illness.

Please remember that massage therapy is an additional form of treatment, seeking help from a medical doctor is advised as RMT’s are not certified to diagnose patients. Consulting with healthcare professionals is the best way to go when thinking about receiving massage therapy treatments.

Massage therapy needs are different for each individual. If you are going for an acute condition, 2 times a week or weekly is necessary. However, if you are going for maintenance of symptoms, generally once per month is sufficient.

There are different types of massage provided by individuals and clinics all over the world. Experiencing them would help you discover which type works best for your individual body.

Some of them are:

  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Sports Massage
  • Prenatal Massage
  • Thai Massage
  • Hot Stone
  • etc

Click here to learn more about different types of massage techniques

Massage therapy can help pains and symptoms of spinal stenosis but they often need to be combined with other modalities such as chiropractic and physiotherapy for superior results or they can be temporary.

Massage therapy can help sleep quality as it induces a relaxed state for the mind. It is best to seek relaxation massages for specific sleep quality improvement.

Some minor swelling or bruising is possible. You may also experience an increase in soreness for 1-2 days post massage.

Chiropractors are trained in a full-body muscular system and they often can use specific muscle release techniques to target the affected area; however, the traditional 1-hour long massage is best received from a massage therapist.

If you have ever gotten a massage before at the spa for relaxation purposes, chances are that you have experienced Swedish massage techniques.

This technique involves using a gliding lotion or massage oil with broad strokes to improve circulation and work out any tension areas in the body. Use of a gentle and calming environment, soothing smells and warmth all contribute to a relaxing massage experience, beneficial for the ease of mind and body.

Massage therapy helps with overall pain relief and reducing muscle tension therefore separating tissues to help the nerve pathway.

It is essential to keep in mind that each patient approach is case dependent, some may need less sessions while some patients need more frequent sessions as severity can differ. For example, every patient’s root cause of a pinched nerve may not be from the same cause.

For some cases, there may be a structural problem such as herniated discs or spinal stenosis. With a cause like this, massage therapy on its own may not be enough to achieve this patient’s goal, you may need to add in a chiropractor to help reach those goals.

In other cases, there may be a functional problem such as muscle tightness or tension. With this cause, massage therapy on its own may be enough as they manipulate tissue and pick up and or separate muscles.

Massage types and styles can vary significantly. In general, Swedish massage which is a gentle technique that uses long strokes, kneading and circular movements may be the most popular type for treatment of back pain. This technique works on the superficial layers and can relieve tension and improve circulation.

For those with more tolerance to pressure, deep tissue massage may be more appropriate as it works on the deeper layers of the muscles and connective tissue. However, if back pain is acute, the best massage to start with is a Swedish massage.

Physiotherapy Q & A

Adjustments, specifically spinal adjustments is a technique that requires a thorough assessment and diagnosis, specifically and quickness. The modality is highly effective in alleviating joint pain and muscle pain when done with precision and with the correct delivery vector.

Spinal adjustment is a science and art at the same time and mastery of it requires practice and in depth training.

Depending on where the physiotherapist did their degree, they may or may not be introduced to performing spinal or extremity adjustments.  Typically, exposure to this skill in the physiotherapy curriculum is short and further training is needed by the physiotherapist to develop the manual skills to perform these techniques.

Learn more about our Coquitlam Physiotherapy treatments.

Pregnancy (Prenatal & Postnatal) Q & A

Your pregnancy chiropractor can help with your pelvis, glute, and back tension throughout your pregnancy to help your body feel most comfortable as the uterus grows and the ligaments become lax. Treatment often involves muscle tension release techniques, gentle hip, pelvis, and spinal mobilizations, and adjustments to ensure an optimal pelvis position for the delivery.

It is very safe and even recommended to receive chiropractic adjustment while pregnant.

There are multiple benefits in seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy including:

  • Reduction in back, pelvic, hip and sciatic nerve pain.
  • Help turning a breech baby.
  • etc.

It is absolutely essential to tell your chiropractor that you are pregnant.

Pregnancy is a unique experience, with its own challenges both mentally and physically. Being transparent with your treating chiropractor and other healthcare professionals is the best way to ensure you are receiving the most appropriate care for your needs and you eliminate miscommunication and misunderstandings during your treatment plan with your health care providers.

In fact, low back pain is one of the most common complaints with pregnancy and is more common during the later stages with additional weight and postural changes.

In most cases, exercise during pregnancy is safe and is beneficial for both the mother and the baby. It is important to consult your health care provider before starting or continuing an exercise program during pregnancy as individual factors can affect safety and type of exercises recommended.

Exercise and activity during pregnancy can help improve cardiovascular health, maintain a health weight, improve mood and energy levels. It can also prepare the body for labor and help reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.

Different exercises may be more appropriate based on individual factors, experience with exercise and the pregnancy itself. High impact activities or sports involving contact, risk of falling should be avoided as well as exercising in high humidity and high altitudes.

It is important to work with health care providers that can recommend safe pregnancy related exercises that work with your comfort level.

When a woman is in her prenatal phase, many changes and new experiences are occurring to the body that may cause discomfort, usually back pain being a common symptom for most.

Some women find that popping their back provides short term relief from the pain and discomfort that they are experiencing.

Regardless, it is important to be careful when getting this kind of treatment while pregnant as the ligaments and joints are more flexible than your body may be used to.

Your body is more prone to injury if excessive force is applied due to a hormone that your body produces called Relaxin.

Generally, pregnant women are advised to take it easy on their body while carrying a child to avoid potential harm to themselves and their child.

When going through these changes and any symptoms you may be experiencing, communicating with a healthcare provider in regards to treatment methods is always a safe and effective way to manage the pain.

Back pain can be a sign of pregnancy, but it is not a definitive symptom. There are many other causes of back pain, such as muscle strain, poor posture, and arthritis.

In early pregnancy, back pain can be caused by the hormone relaxin, which loosens the ligaments in the pelvis to prepare for childbirth. This can put strain on the muscles of the back, leading to pain.

Other factors that can contribute to back pain during pregnancy include:

  • Weight gain
  • Changes in posture
  • Dehydration
  • Stress
  • Poor exercise habits

Acupuncture Q & A

Although there have been studies regarding acupuncture as potential treatment for weight loss, the evidence with this matter is very limited and inconsistent.

Some studies portray that by regulating hormones, decreasing inflammation and increasing metabolism, weight loss may occur but others did not experience a drastic effect.

The insertion of small thin needles betters energy flow and stimulates the body’s natural healing process.

The weight loss exponent of acupuncture treatments comes from the assistance of decreased appetite, increased metabolism and better digestion. With this, it is important to remember treatments on their own are not enough.

A balanced diet and regular exercise are crucial for maintaining your goals, acupuncture is an add on therapy to assist with this.

Just like any other form of treatment, you should always seek advice from a licensed practitioner before trying out sessions to see what best suits you. Consulting with a medical doctor can help determine if this option is viable for you.

Acupuncturists use new needles for every patient. The needles they use are a single use medical device, this means they are to be used only once and then thrown away.

Reusing these types of needles can lead to cross contamination between people and other health risks such as hepatitis B and C, HIV, and other bloodborne pathogens.

All acupuncturists are required to follow strict safety and hygienic protocols to ensure safety of patients and prevent spread of infection and or bacteria. Each acupuncture needle is sterile, individually packed and labeled with the name and expiration date of the manufacturer.

If you do have any questions or concerns regarding your safety and the hygienic components of your treatment, speaking with your acupuncturist is the best way to bring this discussion to surface.

Acupuncture consists of thin needles being inserted into specific points of tissues on the body to revive the natural healing process.

Every individual has a different pain threshold so acupuncture can vary for everyone, although it is considered a painless and non-invasive treatment.

Usually people find that there is a slight sensation during the initial insertion of the needle that is described as a dull ache or tingling feeling. A slight pinch or feeling of discomfort is also a common sensation acupuncturists hear, this is usually temporary and lasts for a few seconds.

Generally speaking, acupuncture is not a painful treatment. Some people find this type of treatment to be soothing and may fall asleep during their session. If you do have questions or concerns regarding your treatment, it is best to raise these concerns with your acupuncturist beforehand so they are able to provide you with the most comfort possible for your session.

Acupuncture is considered relatively safe while pregnant when it is serviced by a Registered Acupuncturist who has experience and is trained in prenatal acupuncture.

This type of therapy may be beneficial if you are experiencing morning sickness, back pain, and anxiety.

Getting acupuncture treatments done may help construct the body for labor and delivery, in some cases even help turn a breech baby.

As much as acupuncture may help, there are certain points when this therapy should be avoided as it may stimulate contractions or other unfortunate effects.

Just like any other treatment, there are some risks with acupuncture during pregnancy such as bleeding or infection.

In conclusion, acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for pregnant women but do seek advice from a healthcare professional, alongside working with a acupuncturist who has experience and is qualified to work with pregnant women to best suit your needs.

Shockwave Therapy Q & A

Feels like small zaps to the affected area, but it can be painful depending on the severity of your health condition and the intensity of the machine. Just ask your practitioner to reduce the intensity if the pain is too much to tolerate.

Tendinitis, muscle sprain/strains, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy, Calcific tendinopathy, myofascial trigger points.

Shockwave has a large amount of evidence supporting its effectiveness for various conditions such as tendinitis, frozen shoulder, and plantar fasciitis.

Risks are minimal with shockwaves. It is not recommended to be used on pregnant patients or patients who have cancer.

Yes, shockwave helps speed up healing!

About 12-24 hours is recommended to avoid heavy lifting and high-intensity aerobic exercise. Light stretching and daily movements are completely safe and even recommended to do after shockwave therapy to allow the muscles to healthy faster.

Cupping Therapy Q & A

It releases tightness and tension from areas of the body with chronic tightness and lack of blood flow. It also helps with improved range of motion and reduction of pain. Not to mention it assists in skin glide between all the different layers underneath.

Each treatment is usually between 10-30 minutes long depending on the practitioner and the type of cups used.

You can use cupping therapy every day as long as there is no adverse skin sensitivity developing. The longer you keep a cup on, the more time is advisable between cupping therapy sessions to allow the area cupped to heal.

Cupping can leave some red circles where the blood was being pulled to the surface. Different individuals have different times that their bodies can clear those dark circles. For some, it lasts a few hours and for others, it can last a few days.

Yes, there is no issue with showering afterward.

Active Release Technique (ART) Q & A

It is very hard to do this technique yourself since you need to be qualified to do it correctly. In addition, you can not relax fully when you are doing this to yourself so it is not as effective.

The ART usually provides immediate relief and when repeated in multiple sessions, the results can accumulate. It is recommended to combine them with exercise therapy and chiropractic treatments for superior results.

Custom Foot Orthotics Q & A

Custom foot orthotics are like shoe inserts or heel inserts. These custom insoles fit in the shoe of your choice to help with stabilizing of your joints, muscles and to correct gait when needed. They impact the biomechanics of walking by enhancing it to reduce the strain on tendons and ligaments.

Each kind of orthotics works best for a certain type of foot. To learn more about different types of foot orthotics, click here.

Ask your chiropractor or physiotherapist if they think you need one based on your movement mechanics and the wear and tear of your older shoes.

If worn daily, their lifetime is usually about 2-3 years. It also depends on the quality of the orthotics and how severe the condition of your feet is.

The cost can range from CA$300-$600 depending on the type of orthotics you require.

Custom orthotics are best placed through your healthcare provider such as chiropractors or physiotherapists as they can assess your feet health and recommend the best product to suit your specific needs.

Researchers have tried to explain feet by categorizing them into 3 subgroups.

  • Planus
  • Rectus
  • Cavus

Planus feet refers to low arch (varus hindfoot and valgus forefoot).

Rectus (well aligned arches with proper alignment in hindfoot and forefoot).

Cavus (high arch with varus hindfoot and valgus forefoot.

Those with planus feet tend to overpronate and are associated with stiffness of their big toe and are at a higher risk for development of overuse injuries. Those with cavus feet are more likely to develop hammertoes and claw toe deformities.

Kinetic orthotics is a term that refers to custom-made shoe inserts or insoles that are designed to improve foot function and relieve pain by addressing issues related to the way an individual walks or runs.

These orthotics are typically made using advanced technology that allows them to move dynamically with the foot, providing support and cushioning where needed.

Kinetic orthotics may be prescribed by a podiatrist or other healthcare professional to treat a variety of foot and lower limb conditions, including plantar fasciitis, flat feet, and overpronation. They may also be used by athletes to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury.

Registered Clinical Counselling (RCC) Q & A

This is totally up to you.

We can discuss this during your consultation or initial session as well. You can try a session or two or you might find you need to connect with your counsellor on a regular basis which could be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or even once every couple of months.

Every client is unique, and depending on your concerns, needs and goals, the number and frequency of sessions will vary. For specific concerns, clients come for 6-10 weekly sessions, while more complex concerns can require a longer period of therapy. Most clients will start to feel better after their first session.

Read more: What is couples therapy and how it can improve your marriage?

Taking the first step toward self-improvement, awareness and insight could be intimidating but also very comforting.

To meet your Coquitlam registered clinical counsellor, Aditi Jasra, and learn more about our counseling services, click here.

Plantar Fasciitis Q & A

Risk factors for plantar fasciitis is prolonged sitting without movement, use of improper shoes such as flip flops or prolonged use of high heels can also strain the connective tissue at the bottom of the feet.

Sudden increase in activity such as running or walking or sudden transition to sedentary lifestyle and prolonged immobility are also other risk factors for developing plantar fasciitis. Feet health is crucial and many people ignore their feet until it starts to become painful.

Plantar fasciitis treatment options are typically rest, use of Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs and icing. In addition, shockwave therapy and appropriate rehabilitation exercises have shown promising results in speeding up healing of plantar fasciitis quickly.

Pursuing professional treatment and guidance definitely works to improve the speed of healing compared to rest and “wait and see approach” and is recommended for those wanting a faster healing for plantar fasciitis.

Neck Pain Q & A

When describing neck pain, key components to convey are the location of the pain, the onset of the pain, severity and frequency of the pain as well as if there is any associating headache, dizziness, nausea or vomiting present as well.

You also want to describe if there is prior history of this neck pain, any weakness, numbness or tingling in your body as well as previous medical history.

All the components described above, when answered together, can paint a clear picture for your health care provider to better understand your type of neck pain and suggest best treatment approaches to help with your neck pain.

A sore neck when waking up is most commonly associated with sleeping position, type of pillow or mattress used or perhaps lack of sleep.

If your neck is in a compromised position for an extended period of time either due to poor sleeping habits or poor support from pillow or mattress, the joints and muscles can tighten up or compress, creating a sore neck.

Lack of sleep or restlessness also can contribute to a sore neck as sleep is critical for our muscle and cell recovery.

A heart attack usually presents with pain starting in the chest and radiates down the arm, usually on the left side.

Even so, pain may radiate to other areas of the body such as the neck, jaw, head, and mid back.

A heart attack presenting with pain just in the neck is uncommon, however it does not mean that it can’t ever happen.

Sciatica Q & A

The frequency of your chiropractic visits will depend on the severity of your sciatica and the treatment plan developed by your chiropractor. Most patients require 2-3 visits per week initially, with the frequency decreasing over time as symptoms improve.

In general, you should see your chiropractor as often as they recommend. If your sciatica is severe, you may need to see them more often at first. As your symptoms improve, you may be able to see them less often.

Chiropractic care can be a safe and effective way to relieve sciatica pain. By following your chiropractor’s instructions and being patient, you can get the most out of your treatment and improve your overall health.

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Whether you feel pain or discomfort in your back, neck, shoulder, hip, knee or any other part of your body, or willing to receive relaxation massage or acupuncture sessions to go anxiety and stress free, our practitioners can help.

Fulcrum pain relief clinic is located at 103-1112 Austin Ave, Coquitlam, BC and you can simply reach us through 604-917-0777