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Chiropractic.. What, How, Why and When?

By Dr. Denis Simons, Chiropractor

Ever wondered what a Chiropractor did, how they could help you recover from injury and improve your health? Well, look no further.. This month, we interview Dr. Denis Simons, Chiropractor at Momentum Health Westbrook, to find out all about his role, it’s benefits and common myths associated with chiropractic.

What is a Chiropractor?

 A chiropractor is a specially trained doctor that specializes in detecting and resolving musculoskeletal and neurological issues in the human spine and extremities. Chiropractors frequently counsel their patients on exercise, diet and lifestyle to enhance their health, maximize performance or to help them recover from injury.


How does Chiropractic work?

Rather than focussing on the symptoms, chiropractors try to determine and correct the underlying root cause of a patient’s complaint.  A chiropractor aims to improve the biomechanical function of the body and stimulate the body’s natural healing capabilities. It’s not about treating symptoms, rather, it's about improving and maximizing function and health.


What conditions do Chiropractors treat?

Traditionally chiropractors treat pain and dysfunction in the lower back, upper back or neck. They are also very good with migraines, tension headache, TMJ dysfunction, and disorders of the upper and lower extremities.


Do chiropractors just treat pain?

While pain is usually what drives people to chiropractic initially, a growing population use chiropractic to enhance and maintain health. Using a chiropractor to ENHANCE performance is very common in athletes. Chiropractic helps increase the efficiency, strength and coordination of the body. For this reason, many professional athletes (Tom Brady, Rory McIlroy, and Jordan Spieth to name a few) publicly advocate for, and rely on chiropractic to help them reach their potential.

Chiropractic is also frequently utilized to maintain a healthy spine despite the everyday stressors of work and home life. Our modern lifestyles put a tremendous amount of chronic stress on our spines and nervous systems. Chiropractic helps maintain proper flexibility and posture despite these stresses.


When should I see a Chiropractor?

Almost anyone can benefit from chiropractic care. It depends on what your goals are. Pain/symptoms relief, maintaining good health, or reaching your athletic potential are all great reasons to consult a chiropractor.


What would a session look like?

During the initial visit the chiropractor will determine what your specific needs and goals are by taking a thorough history and performing specific physical examinations. Depending on the patient, treatment may or may not start that same day. If necessary, a patient will be sent for x- rays or further diagnostic testing. Before treatment begins the patient will be given a complete report of findings.


What is an adjustment? Are they safe?

A chiropractic adjustment is a specific skilled procedure. Using these specialized techniques, a chiropractor improves range of motion, circulation and nerve activity at a specific joint or series of joints. There are a variety of techniques and styles for each and every joint in the body. The popping noise is a result of the sudden pressure change in the joint as its volume increases. Nothing actually ‘cracks’.

By design chiropractic is non-invasive and drug free. It is very safe. Especially when compared to other treatments for similar conditions.


Can Chiropractors treat all ages?

Absolutely. The technique, style and force of adjustment may vary greatly depending on the age and presentation of the patient, but if you have a spine and a central nervous system, chiropractic can help.


What is your most recent success story?

The work I do with shoulder patients allows me to have profound and often immediate impact on patients who have had chronic disability. Earlier this week a patient found me through my website and in a single treatment we were able to significantly improve his range of motion and decrease his pain. He was able to do things with his arm he hadn’t been able to for years. He was ecstatic. You never get tired of that.


Common myths:

Chiropractic is definitely misunderstood in some circles. Two of the most common concerns new patients confide in me with are regarding safety and the need to keep coming back.

Chiropractic has been studied rigorously and has been shown to be both effective and safe. When it come to adjusting the neck, sometimes patients express concern about stroke. While stroke is a serious issue in our society as a leading cause of death and disability, there is no significant cause and effect relationship with regard to stroke and chiropractic adjusting (1).

Another myth out there is that once you start seeing a chiropractor, you can’t stop. I would contend that many people do continue to see a chiropractor after their initial symptoms have abated, but the reason is not addiction. Instead, once people realize the benefits of chiropractic care firsthand, they make it a part of their health and wellness strategy.


1.        J Occup Environ Med. 2010 Apr; 52 (4):424-7. Findings from the bone and joint decade 2000 to 2010 task force on neck pain and its associated disorders: Haldeman S1, Carroll L,  Cassidy JD.


To book an appointment, please call Momentum Health Westbrook at 403-454-1600.

 Dr. Denis Simons, Chiropractor

 Dr. Denis Simons graduated from Western States Chiropractic College in and has been practicing in Calgary since the spring of 2000. He owned and operated Penny Lane Chiropractic and Health in the downtown core from 2001 until 2006 when he joined the Advantage Health group of clinics. An avid and once competitive skier Dr. Simons spent many years as a volunteer on the Lake Louise Ski Patrol and competed in several Big Mountain Competitions. For several years he enjoyed the opportunity to work and travel with the Canadian National Snowboarding team, treating several Olympic medalists along the way. His reputation consistently has travelling musicians and athletes requesting treatments as their travels bring them through Calgary.

Dr. Simons continually attends seminars and courses to make sure he has the most current and relevant information and techniques. As a diversified chiropractic practitioner he utilizes manual chiropractic adjusting techniques, home exercise, and various soft tissue and stretching techniques to help his patients achieve their healthcare and wellness goals. Being a part of the multi-disciplinary team at Momentum Health allows him to refer and co-treat with physiotherapists, registered massage therapists, acupuncturists, naturopathic doctors and psychologists.

As an OTZ trained chiropractor Dr. Denis Simons has been trained in the new ground-breaking chiropractic treatments for Frozen Shoulder Syndrome (aka Adhesive Capsulitis). This new treatment approach is providing sufferers of FSS often immediate and dramatic results. If you would like to learn more about this condition, or see actual patient before and after video, please visit