Chiropractic Works with Dr. Birk

Low Back Pain? Getting the right diagnosis is important

Posted: November 24, 2014
By: Dr Ruminder Birk

Health Update: Low Back Pain


Many of us suffer from low back pain and do nothing about it. We wait and hope the pain goes away and thus avoid seeing a doctor altogether. It’s no wonder that patients take this approach because we succumb to the advertisements that promise us instant relief from low back pain. Those advertisements convey the message that we need not find out what’s causing the pain as far as we keep on repressing the pain aches with pills. Thus, going to a doctor and getting the diagnosis right is of no importance when you can get instant relief from drugs.

With any health condition, getting the diagnosis right is pivotal in preventing further damage. Pain is our body’s way of telling us there is something wrong. It is merely a symptom.

Another approach that patients often take for low back pain is taking rest for a couple of days and hoping the pain will go away magically; this approach may help in short term. If the pain returns it’s your body’s way of seeking attention to the bigger underlying problem. The condition can worsen because you are not getting the care you need. To prevent the developments of problems overtime, getting the right diagnosis will allow the doctor to set the right course of action.

In chiropractic we do not make a diagnosis by asking you for your symptoms and righting a prescription to help alleviate the pain. Our approach is different and we determine the cause of your pain through comprehensive tests. We perform first mechanical tests to see the movement of your spine followed by x-ray imaging to see the alignment of the individual bones within the vertebral column.

Please remember getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step towards improving the quality of life. A consultation with a chiropractor who is willing to give you the time and attention you deserve to make an accurate diagnosis is all you need.

Atlantis Chiropractic and Wellness offers a free consultation at no charge. You can call 905-264-9355 to schedule your appointment.


Chiropractic care uses a comprehensive approach to diagnose headaches

Posted: November 5, 2014
By: Dr Ruminder Birk

Chiropractic care uses a comprehensive approach to diagnose headaches

Doctors are aware that getting the diagnosis accurate is vital for determining the right treatment plan. Why so? It’s because with the right diagnosis, the treatment can be targeted towards that specific problem.

When patient’s approach a doctor with complaints regarding headaches, the doctor usually concludes that you have a pain in the head calling it headache. This labeling of symptoms as headaches deters patients from getting the right diagnosis. Often the doctors categorize the headaches as episodic, acute or chronic and the diagnosis is completed with this label. No further examination is done to understand the actual cause for those headaches.

Patients walk in with a headache and walk out the doctor’s office with a prescription for their head pain. This is the reality today. A prescription instead of a right diagnosis! Given the time constraints experienced by doctors, patient care has deteriorated. Patients do not receive the attention and time truly deserved from a doctor to get the diagnosis right. When was the last time you received a phone call from your doctor? In today’s internet age where information can be found with the click of a button many patients have resorted to self diagnosis!

When making the initial diagnosis the chiropractor also labels your headaches into categories, but they will not stop there. Clinical research and experience carried out over the years have shown that headaches are caused as a result of previous neck and spinal injury. Unlike the doctor, a chiropractor examines your neck and will ask for a history of previous injuries. Here they learn additional information that is helpful in getting the diagnosis right. A whiplash or neck trauma experienced months or years ago when left untreated can be cause for those headaches.

In chiropractic care we take a comprehensive approach to get the diagnosis right. We take the time to know your detailed history. Information such as location, quality and duration of pain along with a physical examination of your spinal column gets us closer to the cause. We also order imaging tests such as x-rays to see the position of your individual vertebrae in the neck.

Normal neck has a forward arch that keeps your head above the shoulders. Loss of the normal curve results in the patients head being thrusted forward, resulting in classic "bad posture" stance.

Let Atlantis Chiropractic and Wellness help you in getting your headache diagnosis right. Call 905-264-9355 to book your free consultation with us today.

The Cause behind Headaches

Posted: October 1, 2014
By: Dr Ruminder Birk

Headaches...How your spine contributes to it?


Many of us have experienced headaches at some point in our lives and for some of us it’s a common occurrence. Yet, rarely do we stop to investigate the root cause behind these headaches. Jet lag could trigger headaches. On the other extreme, brain tumor can be the cause of these headaches as well.

Given that headaches can be triggered by both simple and complex reasons, getting the right diagnosis is important. Remember headaches are symptoms, and your body’s way of communicating there is a problem. They are not the actual problem. In TV commercials, drug companies portray headaches as the cause and offer pills for immediate relief. Taking these drugs is only a temporarily solution however. Once the effects of these drugs warn off, the headaches return. This cycle continues. Rarely do we question whether the headaches are caused by the lack of these drugs in our system or there is a different reason altogether. Hence, an investigation is necessary.

Unlike the TV commercials, in chiropractic, we see the persistent return of headaches differently. We see diagnosis as the first step in determining the cause behind these headaches. A better understanding of the cause allows for proper corrective action. Chiropractors focus on the integrity and movement of the spine, in particular the neck region. The buildup of spinal sprains and injuries has been shown in several studies to cause headaches. In randomized clinical trails, when these sprains and injuries were corrected with adjustments, the patients’ headaches’ disappeared. While the drugs taken for headaches cause side effects, the chiropractic adjustments are devoid of these side effects.

Every patient experiences headaches for different reasons. Thus, a thorough examination is required to determine whether a spinal problem is the cause behind these headaches.

If your headaches have been persistent for some time despite the consumption of drugs, it is time to take a different approach that is harmless. Treating headaches with adjustments takes time, and works through restoring the spinal posture. The result is improved spinal motion, and the headaches gradually disappear. Most patients see results in either one visit or over a short period of time.


If you want to know what are the best approaches for tackling headaches, call Atlantis Chiropractic. We offer a free consultation with a Doctor of Chiropractic both in-clinic and over phone; to schedule an appointment for a consultation, please call (905) 264-9355.

Fibromyalgia and a New Road

Posted: July 18, 2014
By: Dr Ruminder Birk

      He who suffers from fibromyalgia gets used to the pain over time. Being in constant pain for many years has a vital effect on the brain and nerve pathways that transmit how we feel. In layman's terms, we become immune to feeling pain. Pain becomes our new norm. It becomes common to get up and feel pain, even though we may have had a relaxing sleep. It becomes regular to go out for a leisurely walk and have it end in tiredness and pain. It becomes normal to do just about anything and always have the pain along for the trip, like an unwelcomed house guest. There are rarely times when we do not feel throbbing.

Drug medications can help but we build tolerances to them over time and unwanted side effects are always present. For numerous patients drugs can be a life saving treatment, making us able to function, living off these drugs.

Does this sound too familiar? Perhaps so, but I want you to know that you can take a new path in your life of hurt.

Foremost, you have to understand that the track you're on does not have to be an enduring existence, and I know that may be hard to believe. Just as pain has developed into a continuous companion, so can great heath and wellness. Just as how the nervous system has educated itself on your never-ending pain cycle, it can also learn to be pain free.

At our health center, we take a comprehensive approach to this problem. For various patients, receiving chiropractic care for the first time in their lives can be the missing factor. Nevertheless, most patients usually need more. Exercise will be vital. It may seem counterintuitive when you have muscle pain to exercise, but research has shown it does help. Diet will also play a role. We aim for a diet that is rich in foods that heal and that decrease the pain-inflammation cycle that is so common. Some of our patients have become overweight due to lack of exercise over many years and need professional guidance to get back to their ideal weight.

If you want to try a non-drug approach that accentuates nutrition exercise and chiropractic care, then we are here to help.
Just call Atlantis Chiropractic and Wellness Centre at 905-264-9355 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Headache and Short Leg

Posted: June 4, 2014
By: Dr Ruminder Birk

Headaches and a Short Leg

Are you experiencing headaches? If yes, this article will be very informative. Now as many of you know, I like to strongly make a point that the cause for many headaches is occasionally not in the head at all, sometimes they start off in the neck. This is due to delicate tissues between the vertebrae in the neck causing tension, or yanking on nerve structures, or even the spinal cord, leading to pain. In addition, the posture of the neck is vital. There is generally a forward curve of the neck, which maintains the head back over the shoulders. The head is in a more of a forward position with a slouched posture. The body responds to this position by contracting the muscles at the back of the neck and shoulders. This continuous pull of the muscles can cause pain at the base of the skull and resulting in headaches.

However, spinal problems away from the neck can as well cause shifts in posture that can aggravate a headache. Under chiropractic care, we take a full spine approach and consider that even movements in posture at the hips can have profound effects above. This is the reason why we carefully check your entire spine, not only your neck.

An asymmetry of the leg lengths may be present in some patients. This can lead to a movement of the pelvis and tilting, which will then need to be compensated from above. This can take place at the upper neck, since the body will generally try to keep your head on straight and your eyes level.

If the compensation happens at the upper vertebrae, adjusting them into position will not grasp, the body will continuously try to keep the eyes level. At times, the base for these vertebrae is required to be leveled. A vertebra tilt corrected in the lower spine may be necessary for some patients. For patients with a short leg, a heel lift in the shoe is enough to give the added stability to the spine.

It is significant to identify the cause of the dysfunction, not just the effects wherever you are experiencing the pain. Headaches generally more than many other types of pain, can have their cause far removed from the painful area. Even though headaches can hardly ever be a sign of a serious problem, such as diabetes, more often the spine is a cause that is too frequently disregarded.

If you'd like to schedule a free consultation,

Just call us at 905-264-9355, Atlantis Chiropractic to make an appointment.


Alternative to Back Surgery

Posted: May 7, 2014
By: Dr Ruminder Birk

There was a recent study deriving from Great Britain which contains results that’ll make you doubt whether back surgery is always essential. This case involved following one hundred and two patients while they waited to see a spinal surgeon. The patients had disk herniations confirmed by MRI and had sciatic/leg pain. They have also experimented with taking medications for 4 weeks which had no impact.

While they waited to see the spinal surgeon, they were referred for manipulations offered by practiced chiropractors. The adjustments were given at five days per week.

A few patients had some passing increase in pain with a total of three treatment failures. Overall the results were very pleasing with patients which led them to reconsider staying on the surgeon’s patient list.

But how is this possible? The disks are the hard cartilage untying each vertebra in your lower back. When this muscle sprains it can knot onto a close by nerve, causing back pain or pain down your leg. Specific adjustments use the bones as levers to shape the alignment of these vertebrae and the movement of the joints in the lumbar spine. When the alignment is enhanced, there is then better posture and distribution of loads. When the mobility is more balanced, this also aids to put off unequal loading of the soft tissues. Serving these mechanical aspects to nurse back to health can be enough to reduce your pain and assist you in regaining your quality of life. In a number of cases, it can even keep you from a potentially needless back operation.

Based on the results of the study, anyone without need of emergency surgery should try chiropractic care before having an elective operation for a disk or leg pain disorder. Most patients do not fit into the emergency-surgery category which includes symptoms such as bowel and bladder dysfunction.

If you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your complex back problem, or you want a second opinion before trying surgery, just call Atlantis Chiropractic available at 905-264-9355 to make an appointment so that you and the doctor can discuss your individual health concerns.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Posted: April 25, 2014
By: Dr Ruminder Birk

Majority of patients who are diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome will tolerate with the symptoms involved for a period of time until their condition becomes so troubling they need to visit the doctor. The physician must point out particular grounds for the hand pain, such as diabetes and focus the assessment on the wrist but not limiting to only the wrist. For instance, the nerves to the hand start off in the neck region, crossing the shoulders and elbows, and entering the wrist tunnel prior to exiting into the hand. The nerve can be wounded anyplace beside these areas and create symptoms that imitate carpal tunnel syndrome.

If irritation is present, applying cool packs can assist in decreasing distension. If there is a sprain to a wrist joint, then regular chiropractic adjustments can aid in reducing pain. Every so often the hand symptoms are in fact coming from an aggravated nerve in the neck. This is known as the double-crush syndrome for the reason that the nerve is pinched both at the wrist and neck.

As soon as the joints in the neck twist and subluxate, the nerves that run between them can be condensed or irritated. Not much neck pain may be involved, but it lessens the role of the nerve. As the nerve reaches to the carpal tunnel, it is by now in a weakened form. Just a minor irritation at the wrist carpal tunnel can be sufficient to provide the tingling pains into the hand.

Adjusting the subluxations of the vertebrae in the neck could then aid to regularize the nerve function into both the arm and the hand. At times patients will come in experiencing both neck problems and wrist injury. In these difficult cases it is vital that treatment is individualized to meet the patient's requirements.

Cardiovascular exercise such as stretching and strengthening of the arm can be helpful in patients whose symptoms have subsided. These movements can be run by a chiropractor, who is qualified to use exercises to care for physical impairments. Occasionally contractures build up around the wrist and arm and these can be let out with stretches or deep massage.

Conventional techniques should constantly be tried first before invasive surgery. Even though thousands of surgeries are performed yearly, the majority of patients can resolve their pain with conservative procedures.


What is Fibromyalgia and what can be done to help it?

Posted: April 1, 2014
By: Dr Ruminder Birk

                                Fibromyalgia is a very complex medical disorder affecting different parts of the body involving explicit and comprehensive treatments. Chronic fatigue syndrome is one of the many diseases that are overlapped by Fibromyalgia sharing many similar characteristics. Generally, because of the amount of fatigue and pain the patient is encountering, he/she may be impaired in their ability to work.

         Literally, the term Fibromyalgia means painful muscles and tendons, and patients will claim there are hurting areas all over their body. These areas generally include but are not limited to, low back pain, neck pain, headaches, and painful knees. Every patient will not undergo identical hurting areas however all patients will suffer from many painful spots.

         In results to this widespread pain, it is assumed that there is a main cause in many patients which may include hormone or brain regulation. A stress hormone known as Cortisol, can be prominent in many patients.

         Countless of patients also show problems at peripheral areas, an example being the spine. In addition, they may also have had a history of damages to these areas which may have lead to sprains and strains. When patients had these problems occur, they may not be able to function as before resulting in the inability to work or engage in physical activities. This then results in the development of a downward spiral because the movement it requires is the movement that most fibromyalgia patients lack. When one does not meet the expected amount of exercise required for the day, spinal pain can grow to be more severe. Therefore, extended bed rest essentially increases low back pain.

         By receiving chiropractic care for the painful disorders of the spine and other joints gives the opportunity to the patient to then re-engage in activities. There are particular exercises that can then be given to counter muscle weaknesses and injured parts.

         A balanced diet can be vital in achieving overall well being and healing, it needs to be addressed in any comprehensive fibromyalgia treatment program. Nutrient deficiencies need to be countered or the result is obesity and poor well being and health. Particular foods can in fact promote more inflammation, which generally means more pain. There are dietary approaches that can decrease the promotion of inflammation. Eating excessive calories and too little exercise means more weight gain and stress on our joints, which usually causes more pain.

         Patients also need to take into consideration about mental and emotional factors such as depression, which can compound the physical problems. Chronic pain will change moods and their motivation to work or exercise over time. An optimistic mental attitude is vital to adhering to a comprehensive treatment program. We require the patient to be an active participant in their recovery.

         A few approaches to decreasing some fibromyalgia symptoms include a balanced diet, exercise, spinal health, and other physical and psychological factor. However for maximum results because the symptoms are widespread, a comprehensive treatment program will be the most trusted and successful approach.



Soothe the Pain of a Tension-type Headache

Posted: October 25, 2013
By: Dr Ruminder Birk

In a normal neck posture, there should be a forward curve which provides the balance between strength and mobility. However, due to whiplash and other traumas, the curve can be disrupted which as a result will damage the delicate ligaments and disks. Moreover, when a person bends their head forward to read or type, the neck begins to straighten and the weight of the head must be countered by the pull of the muscles at the back of the neck. 

Let's say a person does this all day because they are studying or working on a computer, the muscles will always stay tense. They will experience knots, tightness and spasm of the muscles, which as a result will cause the neck to be in pain. Also, the muscles in return will pull the the base of the head, which will result in them feeling a tightness or pain around the head. This is what is referred to as a tension-type headache.

Furthermore, shoulder muscles are also involved because of close proximity and they are working hard as well to hold up the head, therefore, they will feel tight and sore. If this persists, the head posture can become permanent and develop into a round back. This will cause the spinal cord and the nerves to become stretched and result in pain over time. The end result of all of this will cause the spine to deteriorate prematurely and result in thin disks (degeneration).

To soothe the pain of a headache, a lot of people become dependent on pills which does block the pain but does not solve the underlying issue of the muscle pain. Therefore, it is important to have the cause of your problem properly diagnosed. It is best to consult a Chiropractor who has studied spinal problems that cause headaches and other tension-type headaches.

To Stretch or Not to Stretch

Posted: September 20, 2013
By: Dr Ruminder Birk

Stretching should be an integral part of an individual's life, especially before and after exercising. Most patients will agree that stretching seems to prevent problems and injuries from the activities of daily living.

But sometimes stretching does not help solve the underlying issue. The question then arises: Why is something so effective for preventing a problem and completely useless as a cure. Some patients will even say that their normal pre-activity stretches actually make the pain get much worse.

That is because stretching is designed to lengthen muscles and tendons. But back problems typically affect the ligaments and the discs. And the problem is that the ligaments get stretched out, allowing the bones to move into abnormal positions. So while stretching may help a tight muscle, it will not help heal tendons and will stretch them out further.

Furthermore, delicate nerves of the lower spine cross the disk areas and with stretching, those nerves can lengthen and become even more irritated. Therefore, if you find that your normal stretches seem to have no effect on your pain or even make the pain worse, then that is a sign the ligaments have been damaged. Furthermore, stretching will not help and you will need to consult a chiropractor who will perform an examination of the ligaments and discs and align them again.

Chiropractors adjustments are designed to align the bones of the spine so that the ligaments do not remain stretched-out. With continous adjustments, the bones begin to hold their normal position for longer periods of time and gradually the ligaments begin to shorten. The chiropractor can also suggest stretching exercies that only target the muscles and keep the ligaments intact and prevent further damage.