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Some Questions You Have Thought of… Some You Haven’t

Helpful answers to the most important questions
about The Urban Athlete and you.

General answers Chiropractic answers ART® answers
Acupuncture answers Orthotics answers IV Therapy answers
General FAQs

Do I need a referral from my Medical Doctor for treatment?

No, you do not need a referral to see a Chiropractor, Physiotherapist, Massage Therapist or Naturopathic Doctor. You are entitled to care without a medical prescription. However, some extended health care plans require that you have a referral from your Medical Doctor in order to claim the expense of your visit.

Does insurance cover my treatment?

Generally Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Massage Therapy (RMT) and Naturopathic treatments are covered through extended health care insurance.

Does OHIP cover my treatment?

We are a private clinic and OHIP does not cover any portion of Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Massage Therapy (RMT) and Naturopathic services.

Is a treatment included in my Initial Chiropractic or Physiotherapy Assessment?

Yes, our initial assessments take up to 40 to 45 minutes so the Doctor or Therapist is able to take history, examine, assess and treat your condition. They will also make you aware of a treatment plan and an idea of how long it will take for your problem to subside.

What do I wear to my treatments?

It is best to wear loose comfortable clothing. If you have a lower body injury (ie: hip, knee), please bring a pair of shorts. If you have an upper body injury (ie: lower back, shoulder) please wear or bring a non-restrictive T-shirt.

How does payment work for my treatments?

We require payment upon completion of each treatment. We will provide you with an appropriate receipt so you can claim the treatment to your extended health care. We accept Cash, Cheque, VISA, DEBIT and MC.

Is the treatment going to hurt?

Keeping in mind your condition or injury is already painful, any work on the location of injury may produce some discomfort. The tissue and nerves around your injury are irritated and become very sensitized to pressure and movement. Although treatments may produce some discomfort initially, the goal is to reduce the level of irritation and inflammation leading to the elimination of pain and restoration of activity.

How long should I wait until seeking out medical attention?

If you know you have done something specific which has resulted in an injury then seek medical attention immediately. If you can’t equate a specific trauma to your discomfort then wait a couple of days to rule out delayed onset muscle soreness, which can be a normal result of training too hard or doing an exercise you are unaccustomed to. If the discomfort does not resolve after a couple of days then seek proper advice and evaluation of what may be causing your discomfort.

How many treatments should I expect?

Through proper evaluation and assessment of your condition a therapeutic plan will be established to provide a guideline of how to treat your injury. It is important to keep in mind that each case is individual and there are numerous variables which determine how well an individual heals including previous injury, age, nutritional status and complexity of the injury.

Should I use ice or heat for my injury?

If there is an injury you are concerned about, seeking medical attention is the best thing to do, but as a general rule, use heat over a muscle and ice over a joint.

How did I get an injury? I don’t remember doing anything traumatic.

There are a number of different ways to sustain an injury. Micro and macro trauma are the two types of injuries an individual can sustain. Macro trauma is taking a step off of a curb and rolling your ankle. Micro trauma is from repetitive movements and positions causing stress to the tissues involved leading to small “micro” tears in muscle and connective tissue. You may not remember doing anything specific at one time to cause an injury; it may be due to an accumulation of small undetectable trauma which has resulted in the pain you are experiencing.


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Chiropractic FAQs

Does chiropractic treatment require a referral from an MD?

No. A patient does not have to be referred. Chiropractors are legislated as primary contact health care professionals in every province in Canada. This means that patients can consult them directly. However, chiropractors often work closely with MDs, 44 per cent of whom refer their patients to chiropractors when they believe chiropractic treatment will help alleviate a patient's condition.

What kind of education and training do chiropractors have?

Chiropractors are educated as primary contact health care practitioners, with an emphasis on neuro-musculo-skeletal diagnosis and treatment. Preparation for the practice of chiropractic is concentrated on three areas: basic training in the biological and health sciences, specialized training in the chiropractic discipline, and extensive clinical training. Becoming a chiropractor in Canada requires a minimum of 7 years of post-secondary education including no less than 4500 hours of classroom and clinical instruction at an institution approved by the Council on Chiropractic Education Canada.

How is a chiropractic adjustment performed?

A Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed during four intensive years of chiropractic education. The chiropractor typically uses his/her hands to manipulate the joints of the body in order to reduce pain, and restore or enhance joint function. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. For example, the technique is modified when treating children, pregnant women and older patients. Manipulation is a highly controlled procedure which rarely causes discomfort. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment. However, as it is a manually applied therapy, patients may sometimes experience mild soreness or aching following treatment which usually resolves within 12 to 48 hours.

Is a Chiropractic adjustment a safe procedure?

Chiropractic adjustments are a drug-free, non-invasive approach to common musculoskeletal conditions such as headache, neck and back pain. As such, it is a low risk therapy. Complications arising from adjustments are rare. In extremely rare situations there is a possibility that manipulation of the upper neck may contribute to a stroke. No causative data exists. The risk of stroke from neck manipulation is probably not greater than the risk from natural neck movements such as tilting your head into a sink for hair washing, or turning your head to back up when driving. Medical literature estimates the risk of having a stroke that may be related to chiropractic treatments to be anywhere from 1 in 1 million to 1 in 2.85 million. In fact, the risk of serious complications or even death attributed to the use of NSAIDs (anti-inflammatories) is much greater for neck pain than the slight risk of injury from chiropractic manipulation. Chiropractors are well trained to recognize risk factors in patients, and treatments are not performed when there is a risk identified.

Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?

An adjustment of a joint may result in the release of a gas bubble between the joints that makes a popping sound – it's exactly the same as when you "crack" your knuckles. It is not painful. It is caused by the change of pressure within the joint resulting in gas bubbles being released.

Does chiropractic treatment require X-rays?

Guidelines have been developed by the chiropractic profession with regard to the use of x-rays as a diagnostic tool. X-rays provide vital information to help determine a diagnosis but they are not required in every case.

Can chiropractic treatment provide a preventative function?

Clinical experience suggests that individuals with chronic conditions such as degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) or recurrent neck pain, back pain or headaches may experience less frequent and less severe symptoms when under regular chiropractic care. This also applies to individuals in highly stressful situations and those who experience repetitive physical and postural strain from their daily activities. Whether ongoing chiropractic treatment can prevent back pain from occurring in the first place, or prevent a previous condition from re-occurring, requires further study.

Is Chiropractic really scientific?

Chiropractic is a healing discipline firmly grounded in science. Few other health care interventions have been assessed as extensively as chiropractic manipulation, both in terms of safety and effectiveness. Furthermore, few other health care professions have been as thoroughly researched as chiropractic. There have been at least six formal government inquiries into chiropractic worldwide over the last 25 years and all have concluded that contemporary chiropractic care is safe, effective, and cost-effective and have recommended public funding for chiropractic services. In addition, there have been countless scientific clinical studies (randomized controlled trials included) assessing the appropriateness, effectiveness, and/or cost-effectiveness of spinal manipulation or chiropractic manipulation, most notably for low back pain.


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Acupuncture FAQs

What conditions does Acupuncture treat?

In western medical circles, acupuncture is best recognized for its role in pain management. It may be used as a sole treatment or in conjunction with other forms of pain management systems. Acupuncture is effective in treating acute and chronic pain including back pain, headaches, sciatica, hip pain, knee pain, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow and some forms of arthritis. Acupuncture is an effective alternative to treating non-musculoskeletal complaints such as digestive problems, insomnia, and anxiety.

How does Acupuncture work?

There are several mechanisms of action of acupuncture. Three basic concepts are commonly used today to explain acupuncture's benefits: Acupuncture decreases pain by stimulating the nervous system to release natural pain killers. It stimulates tissue healing by increasing blood flow to the injured area, and it relaxes muscle spasm through reflex responses.

What are the chances that Acupuncture can help me? How can I expect to feel?

Acupuncture has helped many people who have not responded to conventional medical or surgical management, but there is a tremendous difference in the response to acupuncture from patient to patient. Some people notice an immediate improvement; some notice a change a day or two after treatment. Some people are not helped at all, while some people who initially think they had no response, notice a delayed improvement several weeks after treatment. Everyone needs to be considered on an individual basis and sometimes patience is required as different acupuncture approaches are tried and the body takes its time to respond. Combining acupuncture with nutritional guidance, proper exercise, and stress reduction will help put your body into its best possible state to respond.


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Active Release Techniques FAQs

What is ART?

Active Release Techniques® is a patented, non-invasive, soft-tissue treatment process that locates and breaks down scar tissue and adhesions which cause pain, stiffness, weakness, numbness and physical dysfunction in the body. ART is used as a treatment for Repetitive Strain Injuries, as well as for the improvement of athletic performance. ART is classified as a multidisciplinary procedure which is practiced by numerous practitioners from a wide range of medical professions and disciplines, including Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, Massage Therapists, and Sport Physicians. Cumulative trauma and overuse of soft tissue causes Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI). The incidence of RSI's is skyrocketing - they have become the most prevalent cause of injuries in today’s workforce. Today, RSIs are among the most misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and most poorly treated conditions. With RSIs, soft tissue is forced to perform the same job over and over resulting in irritation and then inflammation. The body responds to inflammation by laying down scar tissue (adhesive tissue) in an attempt to stabilize the area. Once this happens, an ongoing cycle begins that worsens the condition. The longer this condition persists, the harder it is to break this cycle.

Why is scar tissue such a problem?

When muscle and tendons in the body are in a healthy state their fibres line up in a parallel fashion. When these same tissues are in an injured state scar tissue is laid down in a random pattern. This leads to trigger points in the muscles, loss of motion in the joint and a host of other problems as the body compensates for this change.

Doesn’t stretching get rid of scar tissue?

Stretching plays an important role in injury treatment and prevention but it will not break down adhesions. Scar tissue (or soft-tissue adhesions) are several times stronger than normal tissue. Often muscle groups will literally adhere to each other, preventing the sliding necessary for full mobility. During normal stretching, the first tissue that elongates is not the scar tissue, but the normal healthy tissue. Stretching is essential at the right time, but it never releases the restrictions that often occur between two soft-tissue surfaces.

What’s the History of Active Release Techniques?

ART was developed by Dr. Michael Leahy, a Doctor of Chiropractic based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Prior to becoming a Chiropractor, Dr. Leahy was an aeronautical engineer with the U.S. Air Force. Combining his engineering background and his knowledge of human anatomy, Dr. Leahy formulated a unique and effective approach for dealing with soft tissue injuries, now known as ART.

Who can benefit from ART?

Anyone who suffers from any type of repetitive strain injury - from the athlete, to the office worker, to the home keeper (see full list below). ART is also an effective tool for improving athletic and sport performance.

  • Assembly line workers
  • Cashiers
  • Computer operators & programmers
  • Construction workers
  • Dentists & technicians
  • Golfers
  • Hairdressers
  • Homemakers
  • Hospital workers
  • Musicians
  • Nurses
  • Postal workers
  • Runners
  • Tennis and racquet sports players
  • Triathletes
  • Weight lifter

What is the difference between ART and Massage?

ART is not Massage Therapy! Massage Therapy is able to aid in rehabilitating physical injuries by acting directly upon the muscular, nervous, and circulatory systems. ART and massage therapy work extremely well together as adjunctive therapies, with each serving different functions. Massage therapy, by itself, does not effectively address issues related to scar tissue. ART and Chiropractic also work well together. Without ART, however, the results of Chiropractic techniques are often limited in their ability to provide complete resolution for many soft-tissue conditions. Chiropractic works well to release joint restrictions, but these restrictions will return if the original soft-tissue problems are not addressed.

Why haven't I heard of ART before, and how do I know if someone provides Active Release Techniques?

Proficiency at ART takes a long time to develop. Training is hands on. The right touch is the most difficult aspect to learn and takes a strong commitment of time, effort, and resources. There are many people who claim to practice the Active Release Techniques. However the only individuals who are legally allowed to make this claim are those who have undergone rigorous training and testing with Dr. Mike Leahy. Accredited individuals must attend a 4 day workshop for each section of the course and pass both the written and practical examination with greater than 90% proficiency.

What is the treatment like?

ART is not a magic medical bullet or a cure-all. Active Release Techniques is non-invasive, safe, has virtually no side effects, and has a record of producing very good results. The first one or two treatments tend to be more uncomfortable than the subsequent treatments depending on the severity of the condition and the patient’s level of pain tolerance. Treatments can feel uncomfortable during the movement phases as the scar tissue or adhesions "break up". This discomfort is temporary and subsides almost immediately after the treatment. It is common to feel a duplication of your pain symptoms during the treatment (a good indication that the problem has been identified). Patients report that “It is a good hurt".

What are the chances of the injury reoccurring after the ART treatments?

Usually ART-derived changes are long-lasting, but ultimately the answer depends upon the degree of patient compliance with post-care recommendations. “If you keep doing what you’re doing, you keep getting what you’re getting”. This is especially true for those suffering from repetitive strain injuries or cumulative trauma injuries. In these cases, ART can be used so that patients can continue with their usual exercise/training routine without the same degree of pre-treatment pain.

Why will exercises that did not work before, become effective after ART treatments?

Exercises are only effective if they are executed after the adhesions and dysfunction within the soft-tissue have been released. Attempts to exercise tissues that are dysfunctional will result in poor results and will often aggravate the initial condition. A combination of strengthening, stretching, stability and balance training, along with ergonomic and lifestyle modification will need to be implemented in conjunction with ART treatments in order to provide long lasting results.

How Does ART Improve Performance?

Once patients have received ART treatments to resolve obvious soft-tissue injuries, they are often keen to return to activities and sports that were previously denied to them by their injury. At this point, ART can provide patients with a means to enhance their sports performance by identifying and releasing restrictions that reduce their performance in that activity. ART allows the body to perform at its most efficient level by restoring proper soft-tissue function and movement. Short, restricted structures are weak structures. Removing tissue restrictions improves strength almost immediately. In addition, patients frequently experience faster reaction times due to improved muscular and nervous system function. ART in conjunction with functional training will help keep athletes performing at their best.


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Orthotics FAQs

What are Orthotics?

Orthotics are orthopedic devices designed to treat or adjust various biomechanical foot disorders. While simple, commercially-made devices such as heel cushions, or shock absorbing insoles for shoes can be purchased over-the-counter in drug stores, the most effective orthotics are custom-designed devices specifically crafted to meet the needs of the particular individual.

Will the Orthotics fit into all of my shoes?

That depends on the orthotics you need and the types of shoes you typically wear. For example, the RunFlex™ or SportFlex™ orthotics are designed for athletic shoes since these shoes generally have a fully-removable insole. For dress shoes which do not have removable insoles or shoes with a very narrow toe box, SuperFlex™ or DressFlex™ orthotics are used as they are streamlined and thin to fit properly in the shoe. There is a selection of specialty orthotics available for specific sporting activities such as skiing, running, hockey and golf. A number of shoes and sandals are also available with the orthotics built right into them. Visit The Orthotic Group to view these selections.

How much do they cost?

Custom orthotics cost $450 per pair. Custom shoes or sandals cost $500 per pair. Most extended health care plans cover the cost of the orthotics either fully or partially. The cost is typically a reflection of the biomechanical examination, gait analysis, casting procedure and laboratory fees. Two pairs cost $650 if ordered at the same time.

How long do they last?

Orthotics begin to break down within two years. The orthotics should be rechecked at the one-year point to make sure they are still providing adequate support. If you are wearing orthotics which are more than two years old they are probably not providing enough support.


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IV Therapy  FAQs

What should I expect when I choose IV Therapy?

Your IV Therapy begins with an initial 30-minute consultation with a doctor. A brief intake is carried out to determine whether IV therapy is needed. Blood work may be necessary.

  • During treatment, patients will experience similar pains as those felt when giving blood
  • A warm or cold sensation will be felt as the formula enters the blood stream
  • An IV Therapy session can last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes
  • The number of IV treatments needed cannot be determined at the outset and will depend on the condition being treated and how the patient responds to treatment
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