By Dr. Chris Gordon-Tennant |
I’ve always had a huge passion for sports. As a chiropractor, I’ve treated many elite and professional athletes, including at the 2015 Pan American Games and Parapan Am Games. It’s particularly satisfying to help athletes recover so they can continue to excel.
However, my greatest passion is getting to the bottom of someone’s discomfort, whether they are an athlete or not. In my practice, I treat people of all ages, abilities, shapes and sizes, providing chiropractic treatments for various needs. Regardless of my patient, my goal is always to help improve their life.
Chiropractic Treatments for Various Needs
Not everyone who needs chiropractic care is comfortable with certain treatment techniques. That’s okay. There are many ways to treat a condition. And, after diagnosing the problem, I can recommend several treatment options that offer similar results.
For example, depending on your needs and preferences, you may benefit from other joint treatment techniques besides spinal manipulation. These include mobilizations, spinal decompression, or gentle drop piece adjustments. There are also many other techniques that treat the tissues around the joint, such as active release technique, acupuncture, cupping, shockwave, and many more. I pride myself on being versed in various techniques and hold many certifications. However, if something is beyond my scope and I cannot help, I’m happy to refer to someone who can.
To help ensure success, every treatment I recommend is evidence-based. We take everyone who walks through our doors very seriously, whether their goal is to throw a fastball or toss a ball to their grandson!
I graduated as a chiropractic doctor in 2010 and opened my own clinic, Apex Physiotherapy and Chiropractic, in 2016. We’re a multidisciplinary practice located in Pickering, Ontario. We offer physiotherapy, registered massage therapy and naturopathic services, as well as chiropractic care.
When I was younger, I played many sports including football and was often injured, to the point that I was almost carried off the field every week. It was a chiropractor who helped me get through the season. This care was so important to me, as being active was a key part of my life. I wanted to help other people who needed care in the same way.
In many ways, my mother also inspired my career. I saw firsthand how she suffered from back pain and felt completely helpless. I wanted to be able to help, and I knew from personal experience that chiropractic treatment could make the difference.
While we respond to each person’s individual needs, I frequently see a lot of patients with similar issues. Chiropractic care is very effective in relieving a variety of common conditions. For example, lower back pain is extremely common. The source of pain can widely vary and can sometimes be very complex. One issue might be back pain following surgery of fusing a patient’s vertebrae together. Often when people see me, they have tried several things and not found any relief or have been told there is nothing that can be done for their pain. Not only are they frustrated, but their pain is often intense.
When I assess these patients, I review their spine and also check if their surrounding joints and muscles are working as they should. Many people are surprised that when I address issues in these other areas. Sometimes, alleviating an incorrectly firing muscle issue can greatly reduce their pain without treating their back directly.
I use the analogy of a leaky roof to explain this connection to my patients. Finding water on the floor and just mopping it up is like only treating the sore lower back. We’ve solved the problem for now, but it’s likely to return. Investigating further to find and address the source of the issue – in this case, patching the hole in the roof or addressing the muscle issue causing the sore back – is what truly makes a difference. I also give my patients targeted exercises designed to help them stretch and strengthen muscles that are causing them the most difficulty.
Better Posture, More Activity
In my practice, I see many people who sit at computers for much of the day. If this sounds familiar, one of the most important things you can do is pay attention to your posture.
For example, when you’re working at a desk:
- Sit with your shoulders back and chin in
- Ensure that your lower back has adequate support and,
- Stretch your forearms regularly
Ideally, you should change your position every twenty minutes, even if you only move around for a few seconds. Try to ensure your muscles aren’t tightening up too much, restricting blood flow and creating future issues. You can use a heating pad or hot water bottle in the evening to help reduce muscle tension. And of course, see your chiropractor regularly.
If you have a job that’s sedentary, it’s also important for you to take the time to be active. This doesn’t have to be onerous. Even small steps like going for a daily walk or bike ride can make a huge difference.
If I had to boil my best advice for office workers down to two recommendations, they would be:
- Be aware of your posture/workstation
- Move your body as much as you can
Collaborating With Other Health Care Professionals
At my clinic, we work with other health care professionals daily. We recently formed a union with the adjacent medical walk-in clinic, pharmacy and dentist in our plaza called the “Urgent Care Network.” We know that by collaborating, we can offer our patients the most holistic and complete care possible for all of their health care needs, including, but not only limited to chiropractic treatments.
In 2015, I was honoured to give back to the sports community by providing chiropractic care to athletes at the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. I participated in events such as weightlifting, baseball, boxing, golf, wheelchair tennis, table tennis, and seated volleyball. It was a privilege to work with these amazing athletes.
As a certified first responder, I also worked as a medic during the opening ceremonies of the Pan Am games. I supported various performers, including those from Cirque du Soleil. As a chiropractor who has also played sports for years, it was a truly wonderful feeling. In addition to incredible athletes, I also met talented chiropractors, physiotherapists and medical doctors that I still keep in touch with today.
Booking an Appointment
If you’re in the Pickering area and think you could benefit from chiropractic care, please call our office at 905-492-APEX (2739). We’d be happy to discuss your concerns and assess your needs to offer you the best care.
If you live in another part of Ontario, you can use OCA’s Chiropractor locator to find a chiropractor closer to you.
To your health!