chiropractic-careOkanagan Health and Performance is a leader in Kelowna Chiropractic care. With a staff of highly skilled professionals each of our Kelowna chiropractors can provide you with the information and treatment best suited to your individual needs. Contact us today for more information on available services or to setup an appointment with a Kelowna chiropractor.

Chiropractic is Conservative Care

Chiropractic care is complimentary to medicine rather than alternative, it is considered drugless and conservative.

Chiropractors have long recognized the importance of a wellness focus and active care. Concern lies not only upon the physical aspects of healing but also attitude, education, lifestyle modification, nutrition, and exercise. Chiropractors remain open to various forms of health care as long as the patient benefits from the chosen intervention.

What To Expect

The major objective in the first visit is to render an accurate diagnosis. It is then determined if chiropractic treatment will benefit the patient and if there is a 'problem' to treat?

This is done by taking a thorough history and performing an examination (using appropriate orthopaedic and neurological tests, specialized chiropractic analysis for joint function, and radiological imaging as necessary).

Once an accurate diagnosis is rendered, a specific treatment program is initiated (with patients informed consent) or the patient is referred to the appropriate health care provider, who may best assist with his/her condition.

The aim of chiropractic care is to work together with other health care providers, in a multi-disciplinary way for the overall benefit of the patient.

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Chiropractic Care Important Facts

Chiropractic care provides fast effective relief

  • lower & mid back pain
  • neck pain and headaches
  • arthritic pain
  • sports injuries
  • repetitive strain injuries (i.e. carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • lateral nerve root entrapments (i.e. sciatica)

Times are changing...'The zealous and unsupportable assertion of many early chiropractors was that the vertebral subluxation, influencing the nervous system, was the source of all or most disease. This is as historical as a then current medical technique, blood letting with the leech. This skeleton in the chiropractic cupboard, rattled by a fringe movement of extremists, as exist in any profession, has proven a continued barrier to understanding and cooperation between the chiropractic and medical profession'. - Chiropractic Report 1997

The last 15 years have produced explosive and dynamic change and growth for the chiropractic profession. The explanation of chiropractic care as putting bones back into place to remove nerve interference is no longer valid or acceptable. The description of chiropractic care is now one of: correcting mechanical dysfunction in the joints (joint restriction/dysfunction) and soft tissues (myofascial adhesions and scar tissue) with joint manipulation (adjustments) and soft tissue therapy (trigger points, massage, myofascial release), giving rehabilitative exercises (stretches, strength, endurance, balance), to assist with injury recovery and prevent recurrence of injuries and symptoms.

Chiropractors educate patients with regard to the nature of their injury, posture, ergonomics, exercise, lifestyle, prevention, the use of ice & heat, nutritional consultation, etc. Chiropractors work with other health professionals and refer to doctors/specialists, or on to other health care providers when appropriate

The major objectives of treatment are to: relieve pain, to restore and maintain function, to promote proper healing, to reduce the chance of re-aggravation, and to prevent chronic pain and premature degeneration.

Manipulation / Adjustments

A skilled and specific form of treatment, in which the joint is taken beyond its passive end range barrier to what is known as the paraphysiological space. The objective of the adjustment is to release connective tissue adhesions, and to break the cycle of muscle spasticity, ultimately working towards restoring normal joint motion, improved healing capacity, and decreased pain. Adjustments involve a fast (high velocity), short (low amplitude) thrust, in the direction of joint restriction. Generally, there is a 'popping' noise directly after the thrust, which is pressurized gas (CO2) being released from the joint fluid. There is a growing body of research showing that manipulation has superior results to mobilization in reducing back pain, reducing neck pain, and increasing range of motion in a joint. Adjustment/manipulation is considered very safe.

Joint Mobilization

A slower (low velocity) technique in which the joint remains within its passive range of movement. Mobilization places a tension on the joint capsule and ligaments and is designed to reduce ligamentous adhesions, and improve motion.

Stretching is used to improve range of motion, relax tight muscles, and assist in the soft tissue healing process. Re-alignment of muscle fibres may be achieved after more aggressive soft tissue techniques such as advanced myofascial release techniques.
Massage & Trigger Point Therapy

Soft tissue techniques are often used prior to manipulation/adjustments to relax the area thus allowing the joints to move.

Home Rehabilitative Exercises

Individual exercise programs are designed to improve fitness levels by promoting flexibility, strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Home exercises will also speed the rate of recovery. There are many ways to perform exercises at home including thera-band and exercise balls.


Ice therapy constricts blood vessels, numbs painful areas, and relaxes muscle spasms. Ice is used for acute injuries or for re-aggravation of chronic injuries. When in doubt, use ice.

Heat therapy increases blood vessel size and thus, increases circulation, relaxing soft tissues and relieving painful symptoms. Heat is used for tight, aching muscles and joints.


Education regarding the nature of the injury, posture, lifestyle, ergonomics, exercise, nutrition, prevention, etc. is given. The objective is to educate patients so they can learn to manage and prevent recurrence of ongoing problems. Simply put, we help others help themselves.

How Chiropractic Care Helps
Studies in North America, Europe and Australia have reported that approximately 80% of chiropractic practice is focused on treating musculoskeletal pain, with low back pain the predominant presenting complaint. Headaches compose of another 10% of chiropractic treatment for which there is a growing body of research supporting its effectiveness.
Conditions Suitable for Referral to a Chiropractor
  • mechanical lower and mid-back pain - due to facet joint (sprain) or myofascial injury (strain)
  • mechanical neck pain (including whiplash) - due to facet joint (sprain) or myofascial injury (strain)
  • headaches - tension, migraines, cluster, and cervicogenic headaches due to dysfunction of the cervical spine and associated muscles or tmj dysfunction
  • costo-vertebral joint injury - due to joint capsule or ligamentous sprain
  • sacro-iliac joint dysfunction/injury - with associated sciatic nerve or joint referral myofascial syndromes/muscle strains such as piriformis
  • quadratus lumborum (QL), and other myofascial syndromes that can cause direct and referred pain
  • acute torticollis - a common neck complaint that many 'wake up' with, causing severe neck and mid back pain, loss of motion of the neck (particularly in one direction), and referred pain to the upper arm and mid-scapular region
  • temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction - due to aberrant joint mechanics, repetitive strain injury, muscle spasm or compensatory cervical trauma
  • disc herniation - in the neck or low back with nerve root involvement, tension signs, and mild neurological deficits
  • lateral nerve root irritation - from neck or low back lateral spinal canal stenosis due to degenerative changes and causing neurogenic referral and symptoms
  • repetitive stain injuries - such as medial epicondylitis, lateral epicondylitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, patello-femoral syndrome
  • peripheral joint injuries - ankles, shoulders (rotator cuff), knees, elbows, etc. - both chronic and acute, but particularly chronic with an emphasis on the break down of scar tissue and adhesions as a result of improper tissue repair
  • sports injuries - many of the above injuries can occur while playing sports - generally injuries of a sprain/strain nature can be treated with proper soft tissue therapy, manipulation, rehabilitation exercises, and advice on home care.
Approximately 90% of chiropractic patients present with musculoskeletal complaints and headaches. The remaining 10% include a variety of disorders aggravated or caused in part by spinal dysfunction.This is the 10% that concerns many Medical Doctors, and rightly so. No responsible chiropractor today claims to cure organic disease through adjustment of the spine without research to support such claims. However, clinical experience suggests that vertebrogenic pain plays an often unsuspected role in many conditions.This clinical experience is shared by all professions engaged in spinal manual therapy, including medicine, osteopathy, chiropractic and physiotherapy. Certain conditions have been supported by a growing number of practitioners as follows:
  • Dr. Nilsson, MD, DC, PHD compared medical and chiropractic management of infants with a medical diagnosis of colic. He found chiropractic management to be significantly more effective than standard medical treatment with dimethicone.
  • Grieve, a noted and well-published English physiotherapist notes that all those experienced in manipulation can report a benefit from manual or mechanical treatment for conditions such as migraines, vertigo, subjective visual disturbances, feelings of retro-orbital pressure, dysphagia, dysphonia, heaviness of a limb, restriction of respiratory excursion, abdominal nausea and sciatica.
  • One prominent cardiologist, Kunert, from West Germany, has shown links between spinal dysfunction and chest pain & breathing problems (often called pseudo-angina).
  • A neurologist, Dr. Karl Lewit, from Prague, writes at length of his experimental and clinical experience using spinal manipulation to treat patients with respiratory problems, heart dysfunction, digestive problems, gynecological disorders, migraine, vertigo/dizziness, and other conditions.

The chiropractic profession was founded in Davenport Iowa, USA in 1895 by Daniel David Palmer. At this time, (early 1900's), all health care was an art or craft rather than an organized body of knowledge. The medical profession had not developed the dominant and respected role it has enjoyed this century. Chiropractic was only one of many new groups of healers that emerged at that time, others included bonesetters, herbal healers, homeopaths, hydro-healers, magnetic healers, and osteopaths to name a few.

Chiropractic has proven to be the most popular and effective and is now taught and practised throughout the world. There is a new level of acceptance that has developed internationally. In Denmark (University of Odense) for example, chiropractic and medical students take the same basic science courses for three years before entering separate streams for clinical training. In Canada, chiropractors are one of five professions authorized to perform and communicate a diagnosis and use the title "doctor", on par with physicians, optometrists, psychologists, and dentists, and are often part of multi-disciplinary health care teams.

Chiropractic Education

Chiropractic education in Canada follows a formal University degree program (4 years) and involves 4 years of further education, working towards a Doctorate of Chiropractic degree, consisting of courses in anatomy, clinical sciences, pathology, histology, orthopaedics, neurology, chiropractic sciences and technique, clinical diagnosis and treatment, physiology, nutrition, research, etc. as well as a clinical internship.

Some chiropractors have additional post-graduate training to become Chiropractic Specialists in areas such as sports, radiology and nutrition. Independent investigation by government inquiries and medical practitioners affirms that chiropractic training (in Canada) is today of equivalent standard to medical training in all pre-clinical subjects. Chiropractic students are taught by appropriate medical and science specialists (MD, PhD), as well as qualified chiropractors (DC).

Scientific Research - The Evidence

Chiropractic spinal manipulation, both in terms of safety and effectiveness, has been assessed and researched more than any other health care intervention.

There have been at least six government inquires into chiropractic worldwide over the last 25 years (including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden). All studies have concluded that contemporary chiropractic care is safe, effective, cost effective and have recommended public funding for chiropractic services.

In addition, there have been many scientific clinical studies (randomized controlled trials included) assessing the appropriateness, effectiveness, and/or cost effectiveness of spinal manipulation.