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** This information is meant for educational purposes only. It should in no way be considered diagnostic or therapeutic in nature.
Speak with your health professional before altering or trying any new treatments or supplements.

Question of the month:

Do detox products actually work?

Many people use the new year as a starting point to change the way they treat their bodies. A good detox cleanse is a great start, as it can help with weight loss, immunity/allergies, digestion and overall organ function.

There are a variety of products available to help detox and cleanse the liver, kidneys and intestinal tract. A good quality product will typically include ingredients that target all 3 areas and will also cover phase 1 and phase 2 detox processes. Milk Thistle, cruciferous (eg. Broccoli) extracts, amino acids and anti-oxidants are all essential to a well-balanced detox product. Some higher end products also include pH buffers to help eliminate the released toxins during phase 3 detoxification in the bladder.

Our nutraceutical detox products contain the full spectrum of detoxification ingredients and are manufactured under strict quality control to ensure the highest purity and quality. Call us for more information.


Past Questions:

Why do Chiropractors suggest coming once a month even though I feel fine?
Maintenance care is an important aspect of overall health and wellness. Much like visiting the dentist, regular checkups and care ensure that there are no underlying problems developing that could lead to serious issues down the road. A regular dental cleaning will prevent cavities and gum disease, while regular Chiropractic care prevents muscles from tightening up and joints from becoming restricted. Most people find that a visit every 4-6 weeks is all they need to keep pain and stiffness from affecting their daily lives.


I twisted my ankle last year and now I keep re-twisting it. It feels weak and unsteady. How can I fix this?
Don't worry, you're not alone. Many people have trouble with their ankles after a sprain. Ligaments are stretchy to a degree, but when they are sprained, they are stretched beyond their capacity and don't have the ability to return to their original stiffness. Sometimes ligament tissues can take several months to tighten up. This leaves the ankle joint vulnerable to re-injury with even the slightest mis-step. To counteract this, it's important to strengthen the muscles around the ankle so they can compensate for the increased laxity in the surrounding ligaments.

Proprioceptive (balance) training is a key component of ankle rehab and teaches your body to react more appropriately to unexpected changes in ankle position while you walk. Many of these exercises can be performed on your own at home. We can design a personalized rehab program for you to ensure proper healing and protection of your injured ankle. Call or email us for more information.


Can Chiropractors help with surgery recovery for a knee replacement?
Chiropractors are trained in all aspects of rehabilitation, including post-surgical. It's important to work with a trained health care provider, whether it be a Chiropractor, Physiotherapist, or Kinesiologist, to ensure you are getting the proper rehab on your knee without causing any unnecessary strain on your new joint.

Chiropractic care may include electrotherapy for pain and inflammation control, laser, soft tissue massage and mobilization of the knee joint. Strengthening the muscles around the knee is also very important, as small imbalances in muscle strength can lead to poor mechanics and premature wear and tear on your artificial joint.

If you are anticipating a surgery in the near future, it may be wise to begin a strengthening program before surgery to ensure your leg strength is at its best before the surgery takes place.


I like wearing sandals during the summer, but then I can't use my orthotics. Is there anything I can do?
The answer is simple: Orthotic Sandals! The most recent trend in orthotic footwear is to incorporate orthotic support into a fashionable and comfortable sandal, and all the big name sandal companies like Birkenstock, Naot and Crocs are getting in on the action.

The sandal is made with a removable cork footbed that is molded to the same shape as your orthotic. This way, you can continue to receive the foot correction you need, while still being able to give your feet a taste of summer. Plus, the sandal manufacturers use the same sole for all of their sandals, allowing you to purchase several pair and move your orthotics between sandals. Best of all, orthotic sandals may be covered by your insurance coverage.


I've been having knee pain lately, but my x-rays are normal. What could be causing the pain?
Although x-rays are a valuable tool for diagnosing bone problems, they're not very helpful in telling us the health of the soft tissues around the bones. If your x-rays are clear, your knee pain is most likely being caused by ligament, meniscus, or muscular damage around the knee. The knee is a complex joint with several supporting ligaments and tendons that can easily be strained or sprained, even during light movements.

Your best bet is to have your knee evaluated by a practitioner with musculoskeletal experience, who can perform orthopedic tests to identify the soft tissue that's causing the problem. Chiropractors receive orthopedic diagnostic training as part of their schooling, and many work extensively with athletes, where the knee is a major focus. Once the proper diagnosis is obtained, you may require a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon if the damage is considered serious. However, many people can avoid surgery and fully recover with a simple course of conservative treatment and strengthening exercises. Click here to see how we can help you.


Is it true that once you see a Chiropractor, you have to go for the rest of your life?
This question is often asked in a negative way, suggesting that people don't need to see a Chiropractor unless something is bothering them. The following example will help ease this concern. If you need 8 visits to resolve an episode of back pain, but it recurs 6 months later and you require 8 more treatments, you have now had 16 total visits and potentially missed important work or leisure activities. If you have your initial 8 visits, but continue to receive monthly treatments for 6 months, you're now feeling great and have only had 14 visits, without work or leisure disruption. You've saved time, money and the aggravation of being "out of commission".

Regular checkups allow health professionals to catch any developing problems before they become full-blown. Just like a regular dental checkup monitors your teeth, regular Chiropractic checkups can save you big trouble down the road by monitoring your body to ensure everything is working properly.

Another advantage to regular visits is overall health monitoring, as many people in Fort Erie can't secure a family Doctor. Chiropractors are well-trained in recognizing concerns such as cardiovascular and neurological complaints, diabetes, and osteoporosis. When needed, we can direct you to the proper health care professional and help you avoid serious health issues.


I hurt my shoulder lifting something and now it hurts to raise it over my head. What did I do and can a Chiropractor help?
There's a good chance you've injured part of your rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles that help stabilize the shoulder joint. One of these muscles runs between the upper edge of your arm bone and the end of your collarbone. Sometimes it can be pinched between these bones and become inflamed. Repetitive movements can also cause increased friction of the muscle's tendon with the nearby bones, resulting in a tendinitis. The most severe injury in this area is a tear of the tendon. The tear can be partial or full. Full tears are corrected with surgery, while partial tears heal in time.

Healing of these injuries can be sped up with the help of a Chiropractor. Laser, electrotherapy, and ultrasound, along with manual (hands-on) therapy, can help to reduce scar tissue build-up, decrease inflammation and improve range of motion. Depending on your injury, you can expect treatment to last anywhere from 2-8 weeks, with tears taking a little longer to heal due to the increased tissue damage.


Is it true that Chiropractic adjustments can cause strokes?
No, not at all. Although some people take this assumption as fact, most research confirms that neck adjustments are a safe and effective way of relieving neck pain and headaches. In fact, a recent study found that a person is just as likely to have a stroke after a Chiropractic visit as they are to have one after a Doctor's visit. The type of stroke linked to Chiropractic adjustments usually begins with intense neck and/or head pain. So when the symptoms start, it's natural to seek help from a Doctor, Chiropractor, or any other health professional who deals with these complaints. The treatment offered is irrelevant because the stroke has already started. Their job is to recognize the signs and symptoms of the stroke and get the patient to a hospital as soon as possible.


Can Chiropractors help with migraines?
Absolutely! Chiropractors are well trained in dealing with all types of headaches, including migraines. The nerves and muscles of the upper neck have very strong connections to the nerves responsible for migraines and can often be used to reduce the pain associated with migraines, as well as decreasing how often the migraines occur. Chiropractic adjustments, along with soft tissue therapy and other modalities, can be used to control migraine duration, severity and frequency. Some people have even found migraine relief using orthotics. If you have been suffering from migraines, the odds are good that Chiropractic care can offer you some relief.


I've been diagnosed with a stress fracture in my leg and was told to rest until it heals. But I don't want to give up a whole season of running. Is there anything that can help speed it up?
There are many ways to help the body speed recovery and healing. Studies have shown that fractures can be healed quicker and more effectively with a technology called Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields. PEMF therapy uses electromagnetism to create an alternating magnetic current through the tissues. This helps to speed up various cell processes, including bone production and replacement in bone-building cells. The treatment is painless and takes only 20-30min per day. The bones heal stronger and more quickly than if they were left to heal on their own. There are also various nutritional aids that can help to decrease inflammation and help give the cells the vitamins and minerals they need to repair damaged tissues.


How much education do Chiropractors have?
Chiropractors are put through a rigorous and lengthy curriculum with a minimum prerequisite of 3 years of undergraduate university study. In addition, the programs at most Chiropractic colleges are 4-5 years with 40 hours of classwork per week and a full 12 month clinical internship. So, much like Medical Doctors, Chiropractors go to school for a total of 7-8 years. Our education covers every aspect of the human body, including anatomy, physiology, nutrition, pharmacology, biomechanics and several other courses that help Chiropractors provide patients with the best possible treatment.

Several Chiropractic colleges are now partnering with Universities to collaborate on new research on the spine and other Chiropractic-related topics. These partnerships are increasing the scientific understanding of Chiropractic adjustments and allowing us to offer the latest breakthroughs in treatment options. If it's been a while since you've seen a Chiropractor, give us a call. You'll be surprised at how far we've come.


Are my store brand vitamins just as good as brand names like Centrum?
The answer to your question is yes and no. Store brand vitamins are very similar to brand name vitamins. Many are made in the same facilities, and some may even be the same vitamin, just with different labels. Unfortunately, even the best brand name vitamins aren't high on the quality scale. Vitamins are not regulated in Canada and manufacturing or labeling standards are very lax.

A more trusted type of vitamin is a nutraceutical. These are vitamins and natural supplements that are manufactured using strict pharmaceutical standards, ensuring high quality and purity. Due to their strict manufacturing practices and higher quality ingredients, these vitamins do tend to cost a bit more, but in the vitamin world, you get what you pay for.

Most nutraceuticals are available for sale only through health professionals, so feel free to contact us for more information on brands and pricing.


Can Chiropractors help with carpal tunnel?
Of Course! Carpal tunnel syndrome is a form of pinched nerve, and that's our specialty. Chiropractors can help to open up the carpal tunnel and take pressure off the nerve running through it, thereby relieving numbness and weakness in the hand. Many people find that mainstream medical treatments for carpal tunnel aren't very helpful, and this is usually due to misdiagnosis. Since carpal tunnel is a nerve entrapment, it can often mimic other nerve entrapments in the arm, which give the same symptoms. If the proper area isn't treated, the problem never goes away. If you've had trouble dealing with carpal tunnel, perhaps it may not be carpal tunnel at all. A Chiropractor may be able to find the real cause of your problem and help get your hands (and your life) back to normal.


My back hurts, but I don't want my spine cracked. Is there anything else a Chiropractor can do for me?
While spinal adjustments are a Chiropractor's specialty, we are also trained in a variety of other treatment areas that allow us to provide care and relief to people who are not comfortable with our traditional treatment style of adjusting. Many Chiropractors will use soft tissue therapy (similar to massage), modalities (including electrotherapy, laser, and ultrasound), joint mobilization (a gentle form of joint movement) and nutrition to treat patients who do not wish to be adjusted. Although the adjustment is often the quickest way to gain relief, it is never a mandatory part of the visit and can easily be substituted with the above mentioned alternative therapies.


My doctor told me I have osteoporosis. Is there anything I can do to fix it?
A good calcium supplement is usually the first step. Calcium doesn't work well on its own, so be sure to buy one that has added nutrients, like vitamin D, magnesium, phosphorus, and other bone supporting minerals. Also, try to find a calcium supplement that uses a more bio-available form of calcium, such as calcium citrate, or microcrystalline hydroxyapatite (may be hard to find in regular drug stores).

The next step is to start a routine of weight-bearing exercises. Our bodies are programmed to react to stresses placed on our bones by strengthening them to handle the extra load. A general strengthening program, including easy weight-bearing exercises such as squats, lunges, and even light jogging can significantly increase bone density. Be sure to speak with your health professional before starting any exercise program.


I can make my own neck crack. Is that a good thing?
It's definitely not recommended that you attempt to adjust yourself. Chiropractors are highly skilled and receive years of training to ensure that every treatment we give is safe and effective. When you "crack" your own neck, you may hear a sound and feel a release, but it's unlikely that you've done anything helpful for your spine. When a joint in the neck becomes restricted, the surrounding joints (above and below) loosen up to compensate for the lack of mobility. When you move your neck a certain way, these looser joints tend to "pop", due to their increased laxity. You may feel a bit better afterward, but this is due to the endorphin release that goes along with joint release. The restricted joint causing all the trouble is still stuck and the problem will be back once your endorphins wear off. If you continue to do this, the problem will only get worse. The only way to truly correct the issue is to have a licensed Chiropractor perform a targeted adjustment to the restricted joint to return proper movement to the spine.


What are compression stockings and how do they work?
Compression stockings are special socks that are used to prevent or correct various conditions in the lower leg. They are made from a highly elastic material and help to keep pressure on the leg, reducing swelling and circulation issues. They come in a variety of styles and strengths, and can be used by people already suffering from lower leg problems as well as healthy individuals looking to prevent future issues. These stockings can help to alleviate fatigue and achiness in people who stand for long periods of time. They are also useful in preventing/reducing Varicose veins and circulatory insufficiencies. Many benefit plans cover the cost of compression stockings when prescribed by a medical doctor. For more information, click here.


What is all the fuss lately about vitamin D?
Like many vitamins and minerals, vitamin D has been overlooked for years as a viable solution to many of our health problems. Only recently has the medical community begun to understand how useful and versatile vitamin D really is. Not only is vitamin D important for absorption of calcium to help build strong bones, studies have shown that a daily intake of vitamin D between 1000-1500 IU have been linked to lowered risk for heart disease, colon and breast cancer, influenza and even asthma attacks. This may only be the tip of the iceberg when looking at how vitamin D can help improve your health.

Although some foods are fortified with vitamin D, it's hard to get 1000 IU through diet alone. And don't think that you're getting enough from the sun way up here in Canada. During winter months, the vitamin D created from sun exposure is almost zero. So be sure to supplement with at least 1000 IU of good quality vitamin D daily, especially during the winter.


© 2011 Bridgepoint Chiropractic and Rehabilitation Services
Clinic Photography courtesy of Specialty Studio