Chiropractor Blog Archives - Peak Health & Performance

Hand Injuries from Climbing

chiropractic for climbing injuries calgary south

Written by Dr. Kevin Fox-Chen

Climbing may be a full body sport, but the most common injuries sustained involve the upper body. This generally includes injuries to the shoulder, elbow, wrist or hand. Whether you’ve struggled with an injury for the past few seasons or have a new one that you’ve been unable to bounce back from, a chiropractor or physiotherapist is well versed to get you back on track! 

What Is The Most Common Hand Injury in Climbing?chiropractic for climbing injuries calgary

The most common injury in climbing is a finger pulley sprain. Finger pulleys are the annular (ring shaped) ligaments that wrap around the bones in our hands and keep tendons strapped down while allowing them to glide back and forth.

Other common hand injuries include tendinopathies or tenosynovitis.

What Causes Finger Pulley Injuries?

Evidence suggests that volume, not necessarily intensity, of climbing contributes the most to pulley injuries or even climbing injuries in general. Climbing athletes find themselves going back for “one last go” while working on a project even though we likely should have packed it in many attempts earlier. Finger pulleys, like any other tissue in the body, respond to load (they are trainable!) but also require rest to adapt properly. If you’re climbing at your max, ensure your sessions are short and/or you take significant rests between attempts.

How Long Do Pulleys Take To Heal?

Like all injuries, this depends on the location and severity of the sprain. A general guideline is that an incomplete tear will take 6 weeks to heal if everything is done correctly. This includes stress reduction, good nutrition and progressive, graded functional loading of damaged tissues. For a complete rupture, it may take significantly longer.

How Can a Chiropractor or Physiotherapist Help With Your Finger Injury?chiropractic for climbing injuries

A chiropractor or physiotherapist is able to perform a comprehensive history and physical exam to determine which structures are injured, what the degree of the injury is and give you a roadmap to recovery.

A program of care will provide you with expectations for how fast you can get back to pulling on plastic or rock and optimize your recovery as well as help prevent future injury!

How Do I Prevent Finger Pulley Injuries?

Specific warming up, cooling down and load management. Are you working a 45 degree crimp fest on the kilterboard five days a week with 3 hour sessions? Talking through your training schedule with a professional may be a good idea to get a second set of eyes on just how much load (and rest!) you’re giving your body.

In Summary…

Appropriate diagnosis and treatment of hand and pulley injuries is your best bet for a rapid return to climbing and avoiding future injuries. One important takeaway from this is that if you believe that you have been following a timeline and you still haven’t felt improvement, the pulley injury may be a tendon or tendon sheath issue as these can present similarly! If you’re experiencing finger pain or hitting roadblocks to your recovery, consider booking an appointment HERE.

Understanding the Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment for Headaches

chiropractic for headaches calgary south

Written by Dr. Sarah Gajecki


As a chiropractor, I see several patients who experience ongoing headaches that cause not only discomfort but interruption to their daily life. Have you had to cancel plans due to a headache? Do you find yourself rubbing your temples at work trying to massage the pain away? Or maybe your commute home is made unbearable by a throbbing pain behind your eyes. 

Whatever type of headache you are experiencing, chiropractic care is a good place to start to know if we are able to help you manage your pain and get you feeling like yourself again! In this blog, I hope to answer some common questions that I receive about headaches.

What Causes Daily Headaches?

Many factors can contribute to daily headaches. Tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back can trigger tension headaches. Lifestyle and environmental factors can also contribute to frequent headaches. Lack of water intake, stress, fatigue, skipped meals, overuse of caffeine, fluorescent lighting, physical exertion and weather changes can all trigger headaches.

How Do Chiropractors Treat Headaches?Chiropractor Explaining Process

Chiropractors can treat headaches using multiple techniques. Soft tissue therapy can be used to reduce muscle tension in the neck, scalp and upper back. Mobilizations and adjustments to stiff or painful joints will improve pain and range of motion. 

Acupuncture can be used to relieve muscle tension, improve blood flood and reduce pain sensations. Chiropractors will also provide education on common headache triggers and ways to improve and reduce symptoms at home through rehabilitative exercises and stretches.

How Long Does It Take for a Chiropractor to Fix Headaches?

Most often after your first treatment, you will experience some relief from headache symptoms. Headaches that are the result of muscle tension will often require multiple treatments to fully alleviate the muscle tightness. 

Suffers of chronic headaches may require more regular treatment to stay on top of their headaches and reduce the severity of symptoms they feel. Depending on the cause of the headache and the different stressors identified, chiropractors will guide patients through how many treatments are necessary to alleviate their headaches.

Should I Go To A Chiropractor If I’m Having Migraine Headaches?Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractors are trained to assess, diagnose and manage different types of headaches, including migraines. Chiropractic treatment plans for migraines may include cervical and thoracic adjustments, soft tissue therapy, acupuncture, education on migraine triggers and rehabilitative exercises. 

Chiropractic care can aid in improving migraines, as well as reducing their frequency and intensity. Chiropractors can also recommend when it is time to see your family doctor if your migraines are not following an expected presentation.

Can a Chiropractor Fix Tension Headaches?

Yes! Muscle tension is a major contributing factor in causing tension headaches. Chiropractors can use manual therapy, soft tissue therapy, joint mobilizations and manipulations to treat and reduce muscle tension, which aids in reducing tension headaches. Research has found that chiropractic adjustments and manual therapy are effective in the treatment of tension headaches.

Will I Feel Immediate Relief After a Chiropractic Adjustment?chiropractic adjustment calgary south

After a chiropractic adjustment, most people will feel reduced discomfort and less stiffness. Chiropractic adjustments result in your brain releasing endorphins. Endorphins help to block pain signals, resulting in pain relief. 

Adjustments commonly result in reduced pain, discomfort and improved range of motion. It is also important to note that some general soreness after treatment can be expected as well, however, your practitioner will discuss any potential treatment effects with you directly!

Final Thoughts

So if you’ve found yourself searching for answers to the “how to get rid of headaches” question, I can suggest you give chiropractic treatment a try to undergo an assessment and create a plan on how to best manage your specific case. To book an appointment with me, you can click HERE and we can get started on managing your headaches today.

Can Chiropractic Treatment Help With Shoulder Pain?

Chiropractic Treatment for Shoulder Pain

By: Dr. Claire Wells, Chiropractor

Chiropractic Treatment for Shoulder Pain


Shoulder pain is one of the most common reasons people see a doctor. The shoulder is a complex joint that has so many moving parts and attachments that it’s no wonder it’s prone to pain and injury. Whether you’re an athlete, work in construction, or simply have a desk job, shoulder pain can strike anyone.

Many people think that if they lift something heavy with their arms or have some other motion that puts stress on their shoulders they will get hurt. However, even everyday activities such as reaching up high, sleeping awkwardly and carrying a purse on one side can cause strain in your shoulders and lead to pain.

Working with a skilled chiropractor can help reduce your pain and speed your recovery so you can get back to doing what you love. Here are some common types of shoulder pain, as well as ways you can relieve your symptoms with chiropractic care.

Shoulder Pain From Daily Activities

If you experience shoulder pain that seems to come out of nowhere, there may be a simple explanation – you’re doing too many activities that put pressure on your shoulder muscles and joints without allowing them time to recover. When you have a muscle injury, it doesn’t heal as quickly as a bone break or sprain, so you can feel the effects for weeks or months as it slowly heals.

The shoulder is a particularly complex joint, with many muscles and ligaments that can become overworked and inflamed through activities that may seem small, like sleeping with your arm over your head or constantly reaching above your head at work. To avoid shoulder pain from daily activities, you need to pay attention to your posture as well as the way you move. Even if you rarely lift anything heavy, you can still cause overuse injuries in your shoulders from poor posture. 

This type of soft tissue or connective tissue injury responds well to chiropractic treatment.

Shoulder Pain From Overuse

If you’ve experienced an acute injury like a sports injury or a fall, you’re probably aware of the excruciating pain that comes with it. However, sometimes the pain from an injury doesn’t come until days or weeks later, making it difficult to know what is causing it. Injuries to the shoulder joint can cause acute pain as well as chronic pain.

One common way an injury can lead to chronic pain is through overuse – the same way lifting too much weight causes muscle strains, performing movements that put too much stress on your joints can cause overuse injuries like rotator cuff tendonitis and bursitis.

Rotator cuff tendonitis is the most common form of overuse injury of the shoulder, with research suggesting that it affects up to 40% of the general population at some point in their lives. Rotator cuff tendonitis happens when your rotator cuff muscles become inflamed and swollen, causing them to rub against the joint, which can become painful and cause your whole shoulder to feel stiff and sore. Bursitis, an overuse injury that happens when tiny sacs of fluid around your joints become inflamed, is another common cause of shoulder pain from overuse.

This type of injury also responds well to chiropractic techniques just as joint manipulation, shoulder tendon manipulation and other shoulder pain treatment.

Shoulder Instability and Rotator Cuff Injury

If you experience a sudden onset of pain in your shoulder, your doctor may discover that you have some degree of shoulder instability. This means that your shoulder joint is not as stable as it should be, and is particularly common following a shoulder dislocation. If your shoulder is unstable, you may have to undergo surgery to repair the joint and reattach any torn or stretched muscles or ligaments in order to regain full range of motion.

If your shoulder pain is chronic and accompanied by a feeling that your shoulder may “pop out of joint,” you may have rotator cuff tendonitis–the most frequent cause of shoulder instability, so if your pain is not caused by a specific injury but is instead chronic and causing you problems, this may be the source of your pain. Rotator cuff tendonitis results from overuse, particularly of the supraspinatus and subspinous muscles, which help to stabilize the joint. When these muscles are inflamed and swollen, they can rub against the joint, causing pain and inflammation in the entire shoulder.

Chiropractic care addresses shoulder injuries such as these with a wide range of physical therapy.

Chronic Shoulder Pain

If your shoulder pain is severe and does not ease with time, it may be chronic. Chronic pain means that the pain is long-lasting, lasting longer than six to eight weeks. One of the most common reasons for long-term shoulder pain is an underlying condition like arthritis. If you are experiencing long-term shoulder pain, you should see your doctor to determine if there is an underlying condition that may need treatment.

Overuse injuries like rotator cuff tendonitis can also cause chronic pain. While some cases of tendonitis heal in six to eight weeks, others may take longer. If you have been experiencing shoulder pain for longer than six to eight weeks, it is important to see your doctor to rule out underlying causes such as arthritis.

Shoulder Bursitis

If your shoulder pain is accompanied by redness, warmth, and tenderness in the joint above your shoulder, you may have shoulder bursitis. Bursitis occurs when small sacs of fluid that naturally exist in your joints become inflamed and swollen, causing redness and pain. Bursitis is most common in your knees and shoulders, though it can also affect your elbows and hips.

If you have inflamed and swollen joints in your shoulder, your doctor may diagnose you with subacromial bursitis or supraspinatus bursitis. Bursitis occurs when you have a sudden increase in shoulder movement or you perform repetitive motions that put pressure on your joints or cause friction in the joint. It is common for people who work in construction, sports coaches, and people who work on computers to experience bursitis as a result of their jobs.

Tendon Tears

The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles and a tendon that attaches these muscles to the bones in your shoulder joint. If you suddenly increase the intensity of your workouts, or if you have a degenerative condition that makes it difficult to move your arm normally, you may tear one of these tendons. Tendon tears happen when the tendon becomes overstretched and snaps or separates from the muscles around it. While some tears are minor, others can be quite severe and require surgery to repair.


As you can see, there are many reasons for shoulder pain, from poor posture and repetitive motions to sudden injuries. If you are experiencing shoulder pain, it is important to see your doctor to rule out any underlying causes so you can start to heal. With treatments like chiropractic adjustments and physiotherapy, you can address the root cause of your pain and reduce your discomfort. So don’t suffer in silence if you have shoulder pain – call Peak Health & Performance and get started on care that can relieve your suffering.

Do I Need a Physio or Chiropractor For Sciatica?

Do I need a physio or chiropractor for Sciatica

By: Dr. Claire Wells, Chiropractor

Do I need a physio or chiropractor for Sciatica


A sharp pain begins in your lower back, shoots down one of your legs and makes it impossible to walk normally.

If this has happened to you or someone you know, it’s likely that you have sciatica—the medical term for a condition in which nerve roots in the spine are compressed. A typical case of sciatica will last for about two to six weeks if left untreated. Getting the right treatment early can speed up the recovery time by helping you avoid secondary complications such as muscle spasms and atrophy, weakness, and numbness. These professionals are trained to diagnose and treat problems with a patient’s nervous system, including the sciatic nerve and lumbar spine. Each profession has its own set of skills, but they both work to get you on the road to recovery fast. Here’s what you need to know before choosing between physiotherapy or chiropractic care:

What is the difference between a physiotherapist and a chiropractor?

Physiotherapists and chiropractors have similar backgrounds and training, so they both know how to deal with chronic pain disorders. They will both use physical examinations to diagnose disorders and pain signals.  Their education, though, varies depending on the country they are in. In the United States, both professions require a minimum of a master’s degree. In Europe, only chiropractors need a master’s degree, while physiotherapists require a doctorate. If you see a chiropractor for sciatica, you can rest assured that he or she has the necessary training to treat it—as well as other neuromusculoskeletal disorders such as spinal stenosis, hip pain or joint pain.

Physiotherapists are trained to treat a wide range of conditions, including those related to the nervous system. They can help you recover from sciatica, but they may also work with you to prevent it. Chiropractors, on the other hand, are trained to treat the causes of a sciatica-like pain, but not the symptoms. A chiropractor might prescribe chiropractic treatment such as exercises to strengthen your core and lower back muscles, or recommend that you exercise in a pool (to avoid overusing your leg muscles).

How do physiotherapists treat sciatica?

Physiotherapists can help you recover from sciatica pain by administering treatments to help relieve the symptoms you are experiencing. Depending on your specific pain, they might use ice packs to reduce swelling, heat packs to relax your muscles, or electrotherapy to reduce the pain in your nerves. They can also teach you how to exercise your core and lower back muscles, which can help you prevent a recurrence of sciatica. Physiotherapists can also work with you to modify your daily activities if you are experiencing a lot of discomfort when you are on your feet. Physiotherapists can also work with you to improve your posture and make sure that your workstation is ergonomically friendly. Improving your posture can help prevent a recurrence of sciatica by taking pressure off your lower back and core muscles. If you already have sciatica, good posture can reduce the pain.

How do chiropractors treat sciatica?

Chiropractors will examine your spine and lower limbs to find the cause of your sciatica. Once they’ve identified the source of your pain, they’ll use spinal manipulation to adjust the problematic joint to remove the pressure on your nerve roots and provide pain relief. Your chiropractor might also recommend a set of exercises to strengthen your core and lower back muscles, to prevent future episodes of sciatica. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your chiropractor might prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication or muscle relaxants as part of your pain treatment.

Should you see a physiotherapist or chiropractor for sciatica?

Physiotherapists and chiropractors have many things in common, but they also have some key differences. Both use manual therapy as their approach to treatment, but depending on your specific needs and circumstances, you might benefit more from seeing one profession over the other.

For example, if your sciatica is mild and you are looking for ways to relieve the pain and improve range of motion, you should see a physiotherapist. If you have a moderate case of sciatica and want to speed up your recovery, you might want to see a physiotherapist first and then see a chiropractor.

Which profession should you see first?

If you are suffering from a mild case of sciatica, visit a physiotherapist in Calgary first. He or she will help you to identify the cause of your pain, which will help you avoid it in the future. You can then visit a chiropractor for treatment, if necessary. If you have a more serious case of sciatica, it’s best to visit a doctor first. Your doctor can administer a diagnostic test, prescribe medication (if necessary), and recommend exercises that you can do at home. Once your pain has subsided, you can visit a physiotherapist or Chiropractor in Calgary South for advice on how to prevent a recurrence of sciatica in the future. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you might want to visit both professions.

Bottom line

Physiotherapists and chiropractors are both trained professionals who can help you recover from sciatica. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you might want to see one or both professions for treatment. Peak Health and Performance has caring, professional physiotherapists that can relieve your sciatica symptoms. Give us a call today to learn how we can best help you!