Dr. Alan Chong, also known as “The Spine Doctor” is a chiropractor of over 32 years. Dr. Chong established Calgary Spinal Decompression Centre, a spine care centre, with a special interest in spinal cases involving acute and degenerative disc problems and pinched nerves. He believes establishing ideal spine alignment and maintaining good alignment is a life-long endeavour.

What does it mean to be properly “aligned” and how do we get “out of alignment”?

People get out of alignment from everyday life. Long term, poor posture habits contributing to bad posture are very much related to working hours in front of a computer screen. “Tech neck” and “text neck” are modern terms to describe the excessive and often painful physical stress on the neck and upper back from frequent use of handheld devices. I see this modern tech-related condition with increasing frequency in my daily practice. In fact, I consider the abnormal postural condition of “tech-neck” a modern epidemic.

Your goal is to help your clients heal naturally. How does that guide you in the services you choose to offer?

Patient treatment that is natural and non-invasive is my practice philosophy. However I have also embraced technology as “power tools” to achieve treatment results that I cannot possibly achieve with hands-on treatment alone. That’s why we use laser therapy and spinal decompression as high tech tools to get better, more efficient and lasting relief for painful spinal conditions that some clients have been suffering through for years.

Can you explain how “spinal decompression” works?

My use of spinal decompression is a special treatment protocol for people with significant back or neck pain related to a degenerative, bulging or herniated disc. They may also have a pinched nerve such as sciatica. Spinal decompression works as a form of advanced mechanical traction, using special equipment designed to achieve negative pressures in the spinal discs when under treatment. A series of sessions achieving periods of spinal decompression can be very effective to relieve serious spinal pain, the most common causes being mechanical and degenerative spinal pain. Hands-on chiropractic adjustments, in experienced hands, is one of the most effective tools for back pain.

What is the number one thing our readers can do to keep their spines healthy?

The number one thing that anyone can do to keep your spine healthy is to keep healthy function and alignment your whole life. Keeping movement and ideal spinal alignment within normal ranges of motion is the key to a pain-free and healthy spine. Establishing ideal spine alignment and maintaining good alignment is a life-long endeavour. This all depends on the help of a spine specialist that will work with you to find your ideal posture or work to help you fix it. A healthy pain-free spine depends on several factors; most importantly protecting your spine from injury, develop healthy posture, and minimizing the wear and tear on your spine by consulting a chiropractor for regular preventive spinal check-ups. In the absence of pain, I recommend at least a chiropractor visit twice a year to ensure a healthier spine.

In addition to being a chiropractor, you’re also a major foodie. What kind of food choices do you make to achieve holistic health

Haha! You did your Instagram research on me! I love exploring the world of food. In fact so much so that I spent a lot of time and energy pursuing a few food competitions (just for some rather serious fun) and was called in for an audition in Calgary to season 1 of MasterChef Canada. As fate would have it, I didn’t make it past that one local audition. As a devout “foodist”, I seek out uniquely interesting food combinations, organic and clean sourced food as much as possible. I create my own recipes on the fly. I rarely rely on any recipe at all and when I do, I change it to my own creative slant. Stews, sauces and soups seem to be my forte. I use classic cooking techniques to infuse and layer flavours based on isolating ingredients, sometimes cooked independently of each other and then combining them at different times in the cooking process so that the flavours, textures and the entire plate excites your palate and senses. I would say I’m an experimental home chef, as no two dishes are exactly the same, ever. I’m half creative and half scientist in the kitchen. I’m the “Chiro Chef”!

Dr. Alan Chong, Chiropractor
Instagram: @dralanchong