Get Back To Your Active Life With Active Approach Cape Breton

Get Back To Your Active Life With Active Approach Cape Breton

As pro-football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice said, “the game of life requires the edge that chiropractic care provides.” 

For Dr. Richard Thompson, Chiropractor and Clinical Director of Active Approach Health & Wellness Centre, every patient that walks in through his door should have a high expectation of the level of health care they receive; making sure the patient experience is optimized as best as possible, and when they’re coming for help, they’re getting answers they need and solutions they’re looking for while leaving feeling valued and cared for.

After graduating from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto, Dr. Thompson began his career by opening the first Active Approach Health & Wellness Centre in Halifax in 2006; a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals (chiropractors, physiotherapists, registered massage therapists) working together to provide the right approach (pun intended) to diagnosis of pain and injury. It’s this same model Dr. Thompson implemented when he expanded his practice to Prince St., Sydney in 2021. 

One thing the public may not know about chiropractors is that they are one of only five health care professions in Canada that can legally provide a diagnosis to musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions, meaning the joints, muscles, ligaments, fascia, and bones in the body. As the pandemic altered the way we operate, with prolonged sitting, bad posture on laptops, etc., Dr. Thompson implemented the necessary health & safety protocols to reopen as an essential service and made sure patients had the access to care from a pain, functional, and a quality-of-life standpoint. 

One method of doing this involved introducing Active Release Techniques® (ART®) to the Cape Breton community. Active Release Techniques® is a patented, annually-certified treatment protocol that emphasizes soft tissue function and relative tissue mobility in the body, which tends to be one of the first changes to occur as dysfunction builds and injury sets in. 

“We are often utilizing diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays or MRI’s to look for a disc that’s damaged, a ligament that’s torn or a tendon that is ruptured, whereas those are really not the first or most common sources of MSK pain,” says Dr. Thompson. “The soft tissues, such as the muscles and the fascia, or the connective tissue of the body, are usually providing the first signs of symptomatic feedback to patients when there is a problem. ART® is a form of treatment where we’re applying a manual tension on tissues that are tight, contracted, or adhered to adjacent tissues. We’re then actively moving the body part under tension, so that we create relative motion and release excessive restrictions on the tissue mobility. It’s a functional approach of restoring mobility and soft tissue health, with the goal of preventing more serious injuries from developing thereafter.”

There are different ways of doing things, stresses Dr. Thompson. Just because one method a patient used in the past didn’t work, doesn’t mean there aren’t any other options to look for solutions. “I’ve seen patients that have come to me with hip pain for 20 years and [have] had X-rays identifying some arthritis in the joint. After a few sessions of addressing strictly the soft tissues surrounding and related to the hip joint, they reported ‘I haven’t felt like this in 20 years, and I can actually move my hip in ways that I’ve never been able to move it.’”

For Dr. Thompson, ultimately, it’s about providing education to the public whether they see him, or not. “I think as healthcare providers we have a duty to educate the public about understanding how to manage conditions, including modifications in their lives that they can think about to help empower them and make smarter decisions on how they move and go about their day to prevent injury and pain,” says Dr. Thompson.

The biggest reward for Dr. Thompson is hearing that people are happy, they’re feeling better, and that they are getting answers to longstanding uncertainties about what is causing their pain. 

To learn more about Active Approach Health & Wellness Centre, and the full range of services offered, please visit their website here