Headaches and Chiropractic Care

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Headaches and Chiropractic Care

If there is one thing out there that can be extremely frustrating, it's bad headaches. From a mild throb to pulsating headaches that make you want to hide in a dark and quiet room, headaches can be caused by a number of reasons. Thankfully, there are methods to help with a sudden onset of a headache, and to treat chronic headaches.

Most Canadians will experience at least one headache in their lifetime, and the reason for the headache can be different from one person to another. Factors that can trigger a headache can range from environmental factors, certain foods, stress, dehydration, technology use, work-related factors and others. However, headaches and pain to the head can actually stem from or referred from muscles, joints, ligaments and/or nerves!

What Causes Different Types of Headaches?

Most people will commonly call a headache a “migraine”, but did you know there are other types of headaches too?

Migraines: We commonly refer to all headaches as migraines, but the exact cause of a migraine is unknown. Research has shown a relationship between our own genetics and environmental factors. Migraines are commonly linked to certain triggers, ranging from hormonal changes, foods and additives, stress, sleep, physical and stimuli, weather changes and certain medications.

Cervicogenic: Headaches that stem from the neck and surrounding structures. Pain can be caused and aggravated with movement in the neck.

Tension-Type: One of the most common headaches stemming from tension in the muscles of the neck and head which can generate pain. Risk factors can include stress, anxiety, poor posture, injuries, eye strain  and others.

Cluster: Like migraines, we haven’t narrowed down an exact cause of a cluster headache. It is theorized that these can be caused by problems in regulating body temperature, blood pressure, hormones or sleep. Alcohol, tobacco and drugs are other possible triggers too.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of These Headaches?

Migraines: Intense throbbing and pulsating on one or both sides of the head, accompanied by sensitivity to light and noise, with nausea and sometimes vomiting. Migraines can be preceded by an “aura” that can be presented as flashes of lights or blind spots.

Cervicogenic: Pain typically on one side of the head. Pains can start at the base of the skull and span to the front of the head.

Tension-Type: A constant pain and pressure that will be described as “dull and achy”. Headache pain can be felt on both sides of the head, forehead, temples and even the back of the head. People may commonly describe this as a “tight band around the head”.

Cluster: Commony a severe, stabbing, burning, or explosive recurring pain that is experienced on one side of the head. These headaches have a rapid onset can come in patterns or “clusters” over a given time period. These headaches can sometimes start around or “behind” the eye and people may experience redness or watering of the eye, nasal congestion, facial swelling and sensitivity to light and noise.

How Can Chiropractors and Manual Therapists Help?

Chiropractors are experts in assessing, diagnosing and managing headaches. In some cases, co-management and referral may be the most appropriate plan of management. Recent evidence has shown that chiropractic care consisting of spinal manipulative therapy (or adjustments) can be effective for cervicogenic and tension-type headaches. Further evidence shows that the treatment offered by chiropractors can increase the frequency and intensity of migraines. After a thorough health history and physical assessment, your chiropractor may recommend other forms of manual therapy, modalities and lifestyle recommendations.

If headaches have been impacting your quality of life and you’re interested in finding an effective and natural solution, contact us today!

Real Life Benefits of Core Strength

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Why is Core Strength so Important?

Your core muscles (consisting of your transversus abdominus, rectus abdominus, obliques, multifidi, quadratus lumborum and diaphrahm) are the foundation for several movements from the upper and lower body, and the link that connects them together. No matter where motion starts, it trickles upwards and downwards to connecting links in our biomechanical chain. Weak and inflexible core muscles can impair how well the arms and legs function. Building up a strong core that maintains flexible and can endure life tasks is essential in almost everything we do:

  1. Activities of Daily living. Bending to pick up your child, checking your blindspot, sitting in a chair, mopping and vacuuming, or just standing a full day at work – these are some of the simple mundane things that rely on our core. You may not even think the core muscles are involved in these until they become difficult or cause pain.
  2. Work-Related Tasks. Jobs that involve bending, twisting, lifting and prolonged standing are dependent on a strong core. Less obvious tasks like administrative work where someone would sit at their workstation for several hours, engages the core as well. Admin work can make the back stiff and sore, especially if the core isn’t strong enough to practice good posture. ‘
  3. A Healthy Back. Low back pain can affect 4 out of 5 Canadians at some point in their life. Practicing exercises that promote a well-balanced, flexible and resilient core is one of the key steps in rehabilitating a sore back. Coupling treatment with therapy by your Vaughan chiropractor and individually prescribed exercises is one of the most effective ways to treat and prevent low back pain.
  4. Balance and Stability. The core is crucial in stabilizing the body, and allowing us to move in any direction and on any type of terrain. The ability to stand in one spot without losing balance stems from a strong core too. As we age, the risk of falls and fall-related injuries greatly increases too, thus establishing a strong core can greatly reduce the risk of falls.
  5. Good Posture. Weak core muscles contribute to slouching. Good posture helps with reducing wear and tear on the spine, allowing us to breathe deeply, and to stand taller with greater confidence, too!

What are some of the best exercises to strengthen our core?

Structured exercise programs like Pilates and yoga can help with core strengthening.

Evidence-based exercises such as the “bird-dog”, “cat-camel”, “modified curl-up”, “side plank” and “bridge” have been shown to greatly increase core strength and endurance.

If you’re ready to discuss how to build a strong core and the many benefits of core strength and endurance exercises, you should consider a consultation with your Vaughan chiropractor. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, give us a call 289-304-0536

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Running for Beginners – Preparing for an Injury-Free Running Season

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Running for Beginners – Preparing for an Injury-Free and Healthy Running Season

Sun’s out, and the runners are out! In the Vaughan and Greater Toronto Area, there are several terrific running trails, boardwalks and streets for runners young and old to run on, offering great scenery and trail to enjoy a lengthy run. Running, like any sport, offers several health benefits such as cardiovascular health, endurance, improved breathing, strong musculature, and preventing low back pain too! However, there are risks that can put a runner at risk for injuries that can sideline them from enjoying the summer’s running season. So, to prevent yourself from being the runner laying on the couch with ice packs on their knees, here are some simple and effective strategies to keep yourself in top shape for a great running season:

  1. Stay Flexible
    • Stretch daily to keep your muscle tissues lean and flexible
    • Stretch after a 10 minute warm-up before starting your run
    • Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds, and avoid bouncing in a stretch
    • Include sport-specific dynamic stretches like high-knees, skipping, bounding, cross-body arm swings and Frankenstein walks
  2. Include Strength Training
    • Strength training 2-3 times with resistance exercise with weights, cables or bands is a great way to prevent muscular fatigue
    • Focus on all muscle groups including the upper and lower extremities and the core
    • Hill running and plyometric training are great ways to maintain and increase strength
  3. Stay Hydrated!
    • Heat exhaustion is much more common on a hot and humid day. Drink 16-20 ounces of fluid two hours before running and 8-10 ounces after warm-up.
    • Consume 6-8 ounces of fluid every 15-20 minutes
    • Within 2 hours after exercise, re-hydrate with 20 ounces of fluid per pound of weight lost
    • Best fluids consist of 4-8% carbs
  4. Cool Down
    • 5-10 minutes of low-intensity running is essential to flush out that lactic acid build-up and will help prevent muscular soreness
  5. Increase Mileage and Incorporate Periodization
    • Progressively increase your training volume, duration and intensity by 5-10% per week to ensure that you are always setting and achieving new training goals, while building up in a safe way
  6. Add Some Variety into your Training and include Rest Days
    • Yoga, Pilates, Spin classes, cross-training and other forms of exercise are great things to add into your running schedule to avoid injury from the excessive forces running can put on the body
    • Give your body a break! It needs to repair and recover – adding one or two rest days in a week will give your body the rest it needs to adapt and keep healthy.
  7. Have a Formal Gait Analysis, Choose the Correct Shoes and Use Orthotics if Recommended
    • Not all feet are alike, and not all shoes are built the same. The type of shoe you need depends on the type of foot you have, your running style, and the biomechanics of your gait when running.
    • Your foot type is dependent on the degree of pronation, supination and flexibility of your foot. The height of your arches plays a role in the type of shoe you choose too.
    • A formal gait analysis will assess all the variables in your running stride including your heel strike, level of pronation, arch flexibility and running efficiency. Pinpointing issues before beginning a running career will help prevent injuries from happening in the first place!
    • A visit with your chiropractor is a great start to beginning a running career. Your chiropractor is a musculoskeletal expert who can thoroughly assess your range of motion, perform necessary muscle testing, analyze the feet for the above mentioned biomechanical parameters and help you tailor a running program specific for you!

Looking for a Vaughan based Chiropractor? Contact Dr. Mathew Saturnino at ChiroPlus Vaughan today! Dr. Saturnino and his team of therapists all include running in their fitness programs and can help you put the right step forward in your running career! Proudly servicing all your healthcare needs for everyone in the Greater Toronto, Vaughan, Concord, Maple, Woodbridge, King City, Richmond Hill, Kleinburg and North York area.

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Baseball Injuries – Tips to an Injury Free Season

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Baseball Injuries – Chiropractic Tips to an Injury-Free Season

For all our Toronto Blue Jays fans, baseball, softball and tee-ball players, injuries in baseball are not uncommon and can happen to the amateur or professional athlete. Baseball – although not seeming like an intense sport – poses risks for any player to develop a sudden or chronic injury. Explosive swings while at bat, sudden sprints to home plate, or fast pitches involve a great amount of muscular force to be generated. Once this force translates into body movement, our joints that move play a crucial role in sport-specific movement. Tight, weak or deconditioned muscles are more likely to experience injury or strain while swinging at bat, throwing a pitch or sprinting during a baseball game, which in turn can result in a sprain to the ligaments or tissues that compose our joints. Sprains and strains are commonly experienced in baseball and leading causes of pain and time loss from play during a season or training camp. Even professionals - like Josh Donaldson with a calf injury or Troy Tulowitzki with a hamstring strain – experience injuries to their bodies while at play. Which raises two questions: 1. How can we prevent injuries from happening in the first place? And 2. What are effective ways to treat injured players?


  1. Sport-specific warm-ups: performing low-intensity movements, stretches, warm-up pitches and swings prior to getting into the game.
  2. Pre-Season and Post-Season Training: Sport-specific training is very important in developing strong and well-trained muscles, especially in the rotator cuff, forearms, core and legs. Consult with a personal trainer, chiropractor or manual therapist before beginning any training program to ensure that the exercises and program are well-designed to meet the athlete’s needs. Emphasis on shoulder stability, eccentric contraction, and acceleration-deceleration during movements are very important in injury prevention training.
  3. Maintenance Manual Therapy: seeking care from a manual therapist like a chiropractor, massage therapist, physiotherapist or kinesiologist is complementary to any training athlete. Having regular assessments and treatment to ensure healthy muscle tissues, joint mobility and addressing any potential body mechanical issues can prevent the occurrence of injuries.


If you are an athlete who has sustained a sports injury, you’ll commonly ask “how soon can I return to play?” Supervised and well-constructed rehabilitation and manual therapy can reduce recovery time and help return-to-play in less time! Some effective and evidence-based treatment options include:

  1. Myofascial Therapy: treatment to strained and injured muscles like Active Release Therapy, Graston or Myofascial Release techniques help reduce scar tissue formation, decrease muscle tension, increase blood flow and promote tissue recovery.
  2. Chiropractic Care: Joint mobilization and manipulation are effective in decreasing joint stiffness, tension and pain while helping to heal injured tissues and naturally accelerate recovery.
  3. Physiotherapy: Laser Therapy, Ultrasound Therapy, and IFC/TENS/EMS Therapy can help decrease pain, tightness, swellin, and inflammation quickly and effectively, without the use of pain medications.
  4. Acupuncture: Acupuncture is effective in decreasing pain, improving circulation to the injured tissues, and strengthening injured or weak muscles. Electro-Acupuncture can be a highly effective sport-specific treatment option.

For more information about chiropractic care for baseball injuries, injury prevention, and treatment options, contact ChiroPlus Vaughan Today at 289-304-0536. We are open 7 days a week and proud to serve the Vaughan, Maple, Woodbridge, Concord, King City and Richmond Hill area! We are also a proud treatment provider for the Woodbridge Warriors Softball team!

Using massage and chiropractic for golf injuries

A Strong Swing Starts with a Healthy Spine

Using massage and chiropractic for golf injuries

Golf and Chiropractic – A Perfect Pair

With the winter months finally coming to an end, many Canadians will be putting away their snowblowers and shovels, wiping off the dust from their golf clubs and hitting the driving range or teeing off soon. In Canada, there are over 8 million golfers, with a high percentage of them suffering chronic back pain, or experiencing acute back pain following a golf day. With the exception of “golfers elbow”, back pain is the number one complaint from amateur and professional golfers.

There are three major risk factors for golf injuries: poor posture, limited flexibility, and improper swing mechanics. It is theorized that the root cause of poor mechanics is a result of physical restriction and mechanical dysfunction in the lumbar spine and core – an area in which chiropractic care is shown to be highly effective. A comprehensive chiropractic golf examination to identify potential problems stemming from lack of flexibility, poor biomechanics or restrictive motion can help treat pre-existing issues or prevent a potential golf injury from occurring in the first place!

In an average round of golf, the golfer will swing their club 50-70 times while playing 18 holes, and on the driving range, that number can nearly double while attempting 70-120 swings in an hour or less! The repetitive rotational stress, muscular activity, and exertion that a golfer will experience could have detrimental effects on their body. Chiropractors are well versed in biomechanics, the perfect choice to evaluate, educate, treat, rehabilitate and aid golfers through the course of the golf season.

  1. Chiropractic care consisting of soft tissue therapy, adjustments, acupuncture, postural education and pain management strategies are safe and effective means to treat golf related aches and pains, or acute injuries after a round of golf. Chronic and long-term conditions can benefit from chiropractic care too – a thorough assessment and specific treatment can restore healthy motion in the body and result in fewer signs and symptoms. Acupuncture is a safe and effective means to aid with pain related symptoms, but to also condition weak and injured muscles by stimulating the nervous system and specific muscles that are weak or inhibited.
  2. Registered Massage Therapy is a highly effective way to promote more flexible and elastic muscles, decrease muscular tension that can be limiting the golf swing, and decreasing muscular and joint pain that commonly accompanies the golf game.
  3. Proactive conditioning is a key ingredient in ensuring golf-related injuries are both treated effectively and prevented. A thorough assessment to identify areas of the body that require strengthening, stretching and home-based rehabilitative care will help improve the golfers’ physical state, and give them a competitive edge in a strong and healthy golf game.

For more information on how chiropractic care can benefit the 2017 golf season, or if you are seeking a chiropractor in Vaughan who understands golf, Contact ChiroPlus Vaughan at 289-304-0536 or visit us online at www.chiro-plus.ca

Is Your Office Job a Pain in the Neck?

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Before you read any further, there is a 50% chance you’re reading this article from your phone, 30% chance you’re reading it from a tablet, and 20% chance you’re sitting in front of your desktop or laptop computer. While you’re reading this blog post, there is a 93% chance your neck is hunched over the device you’re reading it from.

The average Canadian worker spends a minimum of 3 hours per day in front of an electronic device (smartphone, tablet, or computer screen). While we use technology to increase efficiency, productivity and sales, our bodies seem to take the grunt of the work. Sedentary jobs that emphasize a lot of computer use has implications on our bodies, as the average desk job places a great deal of strain on our necks, shoulders and back. The result – postural strain and postural fatigue.

Our bodies assume poor posture while sitting at our 9-5 desk job, partly because many people’s postural muscles are poorly trained, but moreso because we experience postural fatigue. As the body holds a sedentary position over a period of time, the muscles that would typically hold our head in a properly aligned position get tired and weaken, causing our heads to slouch over our shoulders and increasing the weight of our head over our neck. For every 1 degree extra our head is slouched forward, that adds about 6 pounds of force on the neck. So by the time our neck has reached 10 degrees, we’ve added an extra 60 pounds of force on our neck!

So what do all these numbers mean? Added weight on the muscles that hold our head up can result in them weakening over time. Weaker muscles tend to injure more frequently and more easily. What would seem like a normal movement (like checking your blind spot) may actually result in injury to your neck!

Seeking care by a chiropractor is a great way to begin your road to recovery, preventing future injuries and improving your quality of life. If you’ve experienced a sudden episode of injury and pain, don’t fear. Gentle and effective hands on chiropractic care is a great way to start the rehabilitative process. Soft tissue therapy, massage therapy, chiropractic adjustments can help to reduce pain and symptoms in the short term. However, that’s just the beginning. As your journey with your chiropractor continues, you will discuss preventative strategies to keep these types of injuries from coming back, including: postural education, workplace ergonomic assessment, corrective exercises, stretches, postural kinesiology taping, and much more! Rehabilitation is a process, and although we may want to see instant results, a complete recovery requires a team effort, perseverance, sticking to your treatment plan, and committing to a healthy lifestyle.

Your ChiroPlus Chiropractor is here to help guide you on the right path to recovery. Proudly servicing the Vaughan, Woodbridge, Maple, King City, Kleinburg and Richmond Hill Communities 7 Days a Week!

Can Chiropractic Care Help with Sciatica?

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Can Chiropractic Care Help with Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back into the legs is a common source of discomfort and pain for many. When there is pressure on the nerve, many people might feel pain from their lower back to their toes. This pain can range from mild to severe, and can make simple movements very painful and difficult. There are however many treatment options available to sciatica pain. Chiropractic care offers many methods to resolve this issue through adjustments, joint mobilization, Active Release Technique (ART), exercise and more.

What Causes Sciatica Pain?

Sciatica results from issues in the low back. A bulging disc or herniated disc, muscle spasms or sprained facet joint can put pressure on the sciatica. Other causes of this pain can result from pregnancy, an old mattress, lack of regular exercise, or for those who have been in a motor vehicle accident or sports injury.

What are the Common Symptoms of Sciatica?

Pain is often felt in the lower back and legs, and you may feel significant pain while sitting. Some people may experience a burning, tingling, or weakness in the leg. It may be difficult to stand or engage in activity, exercise or work.

How Can Chiropractic Care Help?

Chiropractors are experts in treating musculoskeletal conditions and the surrounding nervous system. We are precise in our treatments for sciatica, and adjustments made to the spine can help regain proper function and movement in the spine. A healthy spine will have less pressure and irritation around the surrounding nerves. Combined with massage therapy, flexion-distraction and spinal decompression, sciatica can be relieved!

Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Treatment by a Chiropractor offers many benefits besides pain relief. Our patients will typically experience long term results with improved muscle movement, posture, athletic performance and flexibility. Chiropractic care can help prevent headaches, muscle pains and injuries.