Treatment methods used by chiropractors

It’s 10 a.m. on a weekday morning, and you’re sitting at work with a cup of coffee. You’ve turned on the computer and reviewed your to-do list. You twist to the left and reach ever so slightly to grab a pen when suddenly…you throw out your back.

You know the feeling. Simple movements are not so simple anymore when your range of motion is compromised. Sitting down hurts. Standing up hurts. Laying down hurts. The pain makes it difficult to get through the day, and your energy is low. So what can you do to restore function and reduce the pain and tension?

One option is to visit a chiropractor. Chiropractors are spine, muscle, and nervous system experts who provide effective treatment to promote health, alleviate pain, and improve your quality of life.

One of the main therapeutic techniques used by chiropractors and other health care providers is spinal manipulation (most commonly known as an adjustment). However, depending on your health history and specific condition, your chiropractor may opt to include other treatment methods as well.

Here are some treatment options you can expect during a chiropractic visit (after the initial health history and examination):


Definition: A quick, gentle thrust to the spine intended to provide pain relief and increase mobility.

What to expect: Your chiropractor will ask you to sit or lay down on the treatment table, depending on where your pain is located. They will apply a gentle force to the joint with their hands – which will often be accompanied by a “popping” sound. That “popping” sound is believed to be the release of air pockets from the fluid inside the joint – like cracking your knuckles, according to a study led by Dr. Greg Kawchuk, a University of Alberta professor and chiropractic researcher.5

Is this right for me? You should discuss with your chiropractor directly. Before providing any treatment, your chiropractor will integrate their clinical expertise, your personal preferences and values, with the best scientific evidence available.


Definition: Planned, structured and repetitive activities that improve health, maintain fitness, and condition any part of the body for physical rehabilitation.1

What to expect: After your initial assessment and diagnosis, your chiropractor may recommend specific exercises or stretches to help strengthen your muscles and improve function. Examples include the use of resistance bands to strengthen your shoulders and back, or gentle neck stretches for headaches and tension.

Is this right for me? It’s important to make sure you’re performing your exercises correctly, so you don’t pull a muscle or injure yourself. Your chiropractor will guide you through the movement and help correct your form if needed.


Definition: A technique involving the insertion of thin needles into the skin at particular pressure points in order to produce an analgesic—or painkilling—effect (among other observed benefits).

What to expect: Acupuncture causes little to no discomfort. During an acupuncture session, your chiropractor will insert very thin needles through the skin to stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissue.2 Once the needles are in place, you will relax for a period of time, during which time your chiropractor may gently twirl the needles, apply heat, or stimulate the needles with electric pulses – this generally applies more stimulation and is intended to increase the effects of standard acupuncture.[3]

Is this right for me? There are a few instances where acupuncture could cause complications. If you have a bleeding disorder, a pacemaker, or you’re pregnant, acupuncture may not be right for you. This is why it’s important to fill out intake forms with your medical history and maintain open dialogue with your chiropractor.

*Chiropractors are permitted to use acupuncture as a treatment method in all Canadian provinces except Quebec and British Columbia.

Nutritional Counselling

Definition: A process in which a health professional works with an individual to assess his or her dietary intake and identify areas for change, if necessary, to achieve specific health goals.3

What to expect: Your chiropractor may discuss what you typically eat in a day, and make any recommendations for additions or subtractions to help with your condition.

Is this right for me? Chiropractors help manage many conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. There is evidence that dietary changes can reduce inflammation and help alleviate pain.Talk to your chiropractor about your diet, and whether there are any changes you can make in your daily life.

These are a few of the most common treatment options used by chiropractors in Canada.



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Royal York Chiropractic and Massage Therapy (416) 233-5413
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  • I started going to Dr. Marco back in January 2020 when I was suffering a lower back injury. After seeing the reviews on google, I decided to give him a chance and I haven't looked back. Dr. Marco has helped me in my recovery and brought me back to feeling healthier than ever. He is extremely knowledgeable, kind and easy to talk too. Not to mention, the prices are very reasonable and not overpriced. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for a chiropractor in Etobicoke.
  • Royal York Chiropractic was recommended to me by multiple people, so I decided to give it a go for my back and shoulder problems. My first experience with Dr. Marco was extremely positive. He is very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. His honesty and commitment to improving my pain is what kept me coming back. Very positive experience!
  • I have been seeing Dr. Marco for many years now and he helps me each time I see him. He’s friendly, knowledgeable and has a level of clinical awareness that comes from years of experience which helps to create an overall positive interaction. Making appointments is never an issue and the clinic environment is welcoming and relaxing. Highly recommend him!
  • I have had very positive experiences with Royal York Chiropractic. While Dr. Peter has predominantly been overseeing my care, I have had adjustments with Dr. Marco as well. Both are competent, caring, friendly and willing to answer questions. Anna keeps the office well-organized and the few times I've had to wait, it has never been for long.
  • I have been seeing Dr. Marco for a few years now and he helps me every time. His adjustments are precise and effective, he knows what he is doing. He can be aggressive or as gentle as you need. Appointments have never been an issue, he always works around my schedule. I would highly recommend him!