How Orthotics can Help with Foot Pain

“Since you fit me with orthotics, I feel great!” It's a common comment we get after clients start wearing their new orthotics. Their feet are now supported in neutral, and the ground forces are now distributed evenly across their foot.

Orthotics can help the client who feels like “he's walking on a pebble.” Two conditions may be the cause of this.

Heel Spur

In the heel, this may be due to a heel spur. Any heel pain should first be assessed for plantar fasciitis, but a heel spur is a differential diagnosis. Once plantar fasciitis is ruled out, an x-ray can confirm a heel spur. A heel spur is literally a spike of bone that grows out of the calcaneous and looks like a the end of a tack on the x-ray. Ouch!

Walking on a heel spur is literally walking on a tack. Once inflammation is added, the heel can get very tender to touch. Unless they are very large, nothing will be done about the spur, but orthotics can make all the pain go away. An orthotic provides a dipped space for the spur. Now every step cushions the heel spur, and almost immediately, the pain is better. Inflammation is reduced once pressure is taken off that site. Unless one walks consistently on the spur in the future, it becomes easy to forget there ever was a problem.

Dropped Metatarsal Head

The second condition is similar, and feels like there is a pebble in the ball of the foot. This may be due to a dropped metatarsal head, the place where the bones of your toes meet your foot bones. Sometimes due to trauma or ligament laxity, this joint is weakened, and gravity pulls down the head of the tarsal bone. It literally feels like a pebble to touch. If this condition has been present for a long time, there may be a callus or a corn there, due to increased weight bearing on this site.

Sometimes a Chiropractic adjustment can put this joint back into proper alignment and there is immediate relief. In cases where the ligament won't hold the joint in position, or osteoarthritis is preventing movement, an orthotic can help. Either a metatarsal pad can be added to distribute the weight evenly across the foot, or a cut out can be added for that site. Either way, the ground forces are directed away from that lowest joint, allowing for relief and comfort.

If you suffer from foot pain, orthotics may be able to help! See Dr. Welham for an assessment and a fitting.


Do you experience pain that just won’t seem to go away?

Acupuncture has shown to be a very safe, effective, and virtually painless treatment option for countless people.  Whether it’s injury related or a degenerative type of disorder, acupuncture is indicated for a wide variety of pain syndromes.  Unlike pain medication, it doesn’t just cover up the symptoms of pain, but rather works to eliminate the conditions that causes pain in the first place.

On the one hand, acupuncture will work on the local area by:

  • improving the circulation

  • reducing muscle tension

  • altering the biochemical responses within the tissues that lead to chronic inflammation and pain

On the other hand, acupuncture will have a global effect on the entire body, which will help to correct the underlying imbalance and strengthen one’s constitution.  It has the capacity to alter our autonomic nervous system function by reducing the sympathetic tone (our fight or flight response) and calming over-sensitized peripheral nerves that become adapted to perceive pain at a lower threshold.

Imagine the relief of no longer dealing with that persistent discomfort. Imagine the freedom of getting your life back and being able to do the things you love.

If you suffer from pain, whether its acute or chronic, consider utilizing this wonderful tool to improve your health and quality of life.

Feo Mongin joins our clinic with over 2 years of acupuncture experience. Please get in touch if you are interested or have quesitons.

What are Orthotics?

Have you ever thought of getting orthotics? Are you old orthotics in need of a replacement? Dr. Joanne Welham is an orthotic provider! 

Dr. Welham provides the prescription necessary for extended health insurance coverage. She does the mechanical assessment of your foot and does a gait assessment needed for your orthotic. A foam cast impression is then taken of your foot while it is set in a neutral position. This information is all sent to Paris Orthotics, who create the orthotic device.

Paris Orthotics creates a high quality orthotic and provides a three month grace period to make any alterations at no cost. Dr Welham guarantees her work, and will ensure that you are happy with your orthotic. 

"My orthotics from Dr. Joanne have helped me to keep playing and enjoying master's soccer!" ~ Paul Mycroft, Cowichan Steelheads

Let us know if you are interested in orthotics.

Our Promise to You

One of the things we tell people as soon as they start care with us is that "we promise to treat you like members of our own family."  It is listed in "our promise to you," a list that patients get in their Report of Findings.  It is something that we take seriously.  

We speak of our patients as "practice members" and we offer a reduced rate for all other members of your family, once the first member joins us.  We encourage laughter and stories at the front desk, and my door is open for people who want to stop in and tell me about their day, or their hike, or their mother in law.  We encourage you to bring your dog or your new puppy in, and we recognize that fur kids are part of your family.  We want to meet them.  We have dog treats available when you bring your pet in.

We encourage our CA's to get to know the members of OUR family, and talking to our practice members is a key part of our job.  We recognize that for some people, WE ARE their social life, and we love it when they arrive half an hour early, or stay twenty minutes late, just to share stories with us.

Chiani Chiropractic is an EXPERIENCE, not just an adjustment.  

Wins for the Week!

Patient N is a 73 year old man who was very grumpy because he had a constant cough.  The cough never let up including at night.  He was not able to sleep, because he coughed all night long.  After a multitude of many tests over the last year, he was diagnosed with a fungal infection in his sinuses.  We only saw N a few times and we adjusted his face, the bones around his sinuses.  At last report, N announced "you fixed me!  My cough is gone!  I can sleep  through the night!"  N is very happy!

Patient K is a 10 year old girl, brought in by her mom because of a sinus issue. K couldn't breathe well at night, and woke up tired every day.  She  had chronically chapped lips from breathing with her mouth open and a constant cough due to a standing sinus drip into her throat.  After a few cranial adjustments, K's cough is gone, and she has noticeably more energy after a better night's sleep.  Mom is really happy!

Practice Member D: “If you trust someone, you can open up to receive.”

D is 89 years old. She was hit by a car at 5 years old and suffered a concussion with ongoing symptoms for the rest of her life. We have been working on restoring motion in her skull and have been slowly but steadily successful.

Practice Member L: “Joanne is really gifted in her technique.”

L is a wellness member who has experienced a greater quality of life with ongoing Chiropractic care.


What to do if you Experience a Concussion

If you suspect a concussion, it is important to seek medical help from your doctor or Chiropractor as soon as possible. You should seek help IMMEDIATELY, if after experiencing head trauma, you experience symptoms such as:

  1. A headache, or confusion, that is getting worse

  2. Vomiting more than once

  3. Trouble walking or trouble with balance

  4. Seizure

  5. Unequal pupil size

  6. Increased neck stiffness

If you observe someone who has had a concussion seek help immediately if they exhibit strange behaviour or won’t wake up.

Most patients with mild symptoms will start to feel better within 48 – 72 hours, although it can take 2-4 weeks to be free of headaches.  The younger patient, the longer it takes to improve after a concussion.  The average recovery time for a child is 3 weeks.

Things to do for a concussion are:

  • Avoid strenuous activity for 24 hours after the injury

  • Rest

  • Do not take medications, aspirin, ibuprofen (advil) or sleeping pills without consulting with your physician

  • Eat a light soup, toast or crackers for 24 hours after the injury

  • Avoid alcohol

  • Avoid activities that require concentration, working at a computer, watching TV or reading

  • Avoid exposure to bright or flashing lights if they provoke the headache or other symptoms

If your Child Suffers a Concussion

If your child is injured during a sport, they should STOP athletic activity immediately!  They should not be left alone and should be taken for evaluation as soon as possible.  If the child has lost consciousness, they should be taken to the hospital by ambulance.  Do not move the child until paramedics arrive.  Expect signs and symptoms to last for 7 – 10 days.  In some cases, the child may take weeks or months to recover.  If your child has had a previous concussion, it may take longer for them to recover.

When can my Child Return to School?

Sometimes a child that suffers a concussion can find it difficult to concentrate and could potentially feel ill or get a headache if they are in school.  Children should stay at home if their symptoms get worse while attending school.  Once they feel better, they can try going back to school, at first, for half days, and if they are okay with that, then they can go back full time.

When can my Child Return to Sport?

It is very important that your child not go back to sports if they have any concussion symptoms.  If they go back too soon, their symptoms may be present longer.  Return to sport and activity should follow a step-wise approach.  Each step should take between 24 hours and 1 week. 

Step 1: No activity, complete rest.  Once back to normal and cleared by doctor, go to step 2.

Step 2: Light exercise such as walking or stationary cycling, for 10 – 15 minutes.

Step 3: Sport specific activity (ie. skating in hockey, running in soccer), for 20 – 30 minutes.

Step 4: “On field” practice with body contact, once cleared by your doctor.

Step 5: Game play.

If your child has any symptoms of a concussion (e.g. headache, feeling sick to their stomach) that come back either during activity, or later that day, your child should stop the activity immediately and rest for 24 hours.  Proceed again to the next level following this rest.

 Please let us know if you have questions or concerns.



Our Story...

I am a healer. I didn't know that until I was well into the program to become a Chiropractor.  A true healer is more than just their skills and training.  I believe that a “healer” has the ability to tap into a universal force for guidance.  It is a force that is sometimes called “chi” or “intuition” but it is a knowing that is more than just the person doing the healing.  A healer can put their hands on another, and just “know” that there is a problem.  Training, then, can help that person discern “where” the problem is, and “what” needs to be changed.

At Chiani Chiropractic, we are a team of people who are individually skilled at our chosen method of care.  We use different methods to get results, and to help you live with your fullest potential. We are supported by our amazing Chiropractic Assistants, who are highly educated and professional helpers.  They pride themselves on supporting our needs, so that we can take care of your needs.

Chiani means “flow”. It is also a river in sunny Tuscany.  We have chosen to model our clinic on the “flow” of energy, the flow of life, and the flow of a river.  You will notice when you enter Chiani Chiropractic that it just feels good to be here.  We have replaced all the medical literature and clinical props with beautiful art, vibrant plants and lovely smelling soap from Saltspring Soapworks.  The healing rooms almost always are refreshed with cut flowers.  Our zen garden has fresh water cascading over a chest high cistern.  We want you to feel comfortable, and we work hard to achieve that.

We look forward to hearing your story. 

Join us and enjoy the freedom to move!

Dr. Joanne Welham
Founder and Team Leader

What you Need to Know About Concussion

A concussion is a “biomechanically induced alteration of brain function”, or a bruise to the brain.  This is commonly but NOT ALWAYS caused by a blow to the head.  A blow to the body, such as a body check in hockey or rugby, can also cause a concussion.  Think of a ball in a bucket of water.  The ball will float freely, but if there is a strong contact with the side of the bucket, the jarring force will cause the ball to make contact with the side of the bucket.  This is similar for our brain in its skeletal “bucket”.


Once a person experiences a concussion, the likelihood that they experience a 2nd concussion is increased.  Symptoms in a 2nd concussion may be more severe and take an extended time to resolve.  This is true, even if a second concussion takes place years after the first.  Think of an earthquake that weakens the foundation, so aftershocks can be deadly. A concussion weakens the connective tissue in the brain. Repeat concussions create cumulative damage.

How to Recognize a Concussion

It is a common misconception that one needs to lose consciousness in order to be diagnosed with a concussion. The following list reveals what the patient may experience following a concussion:

  • Headaches or feeling of pressure in the head

  • Dizziness ,nausea, vomiting

  • Feeling “unsteady”, “stunned”, “dazed” or confused

  • Seeing stars or problems with vision, “glassy eyed”

  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering

  • Difficulty with balance, motor coordination or walking

  • Irritability or personality changes, including depression and fatigue

  • Difficulty getting to sleep, or increased sleeping

  • Slurred speech, ringing in the ears

  • Enhanced sensitivity to light and sound

Please let us know if you have questions or concerns about best practice.

Attention Golfers!!

Do these to save your spine:

1. Stretch: Major muscles/Joints

  • hip rotations

  • leg swings

  • shoulder rotations

  • wrist stretch

  • hamstring stretch

  • side to side bends

  • trunk rotations

  • forward-backward bends

2. Safely and Slowly remove clubs from your car

  • wide stance

  • knees bent

  • 'hinge' or push hips back to lower and lift

3. Warm up before your first swing

4. Bend your knees and use a club for support before picking up your ball or teeing-up.

5. Use safe spine angles to drive and putt.

FUN FACT: One season of weekly golf can be enough to lower cholesterol in males over 50*

*must be walking

For more information on improving your golf game, get in touch.

Image courtesy of pat138241 at

What is Health?

This is the first of a multi-part series discussing how we define health, what are the constituents to health and what can you do to be a healthier better version of yourself. 

Patients tell me regularly that “I’m healthy” or “I have a clean bill of health” having just seen their doctor. However correct they or their doctor may be, I am always curious about what this information actually means.            

The dominant viewpoint on “health” is largely focused on how we feel.  Thus, if we feel good (read: have no symptoms) we consider ourselves healthy. Frankly, this is may not be entirely true. Consider, for a moment, the timeline to developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes even cancer. They can take years to develop but may only surface as a symptom late in life and at the end stage of malfunction. Would you still consider yourself healthy even though these symptoms haven’t come out of hiding?  

It is generally safe to assume that the human genome hasn’t changed significantly in the past few hundred years and as such is made up of trillions of tiny cells, each having a distinct role within the system. Part of each cells’ unique role is having the innate ability to adapt to the environment. Even single celled organisms know to move toward food and away from harmful stimuli.  When these cells are working together harmoniously they maintain this balance by adapting and changing to any stimulus introduced.  One basic example is that if we stop smoking our lung tissue regenerates.  

Thus, our health can be looked at as a measure of function; specifically how are our trillions of cells working harmoniously together. 

When we move away from health and towards sickness (or loss of function) it is because we are forcing our cells to adapt to different stressors (physical, emotional or chemical). This adaptation may be causing an overall compromise in function. If we continue to bombard our cellular environment with these stressors over time, the adaptation can lead to full blown illness. It is ultimately the choices we make day to day that bring us towards health or towards sickness and eventual disease.  

In order to make the best of our cellular environment there are essential components that we need in order to not only live long and healthy lives but to thrive and maximize our own life.

The World Health Organization defines health as, “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. I personally love this definition as it suggests not only healthy function at the physical level but incorporates social well-being and mental health.  

The following are the essentials for healthy living and to be the best you can be. This, by all means, is not exhaustive but has all the foundational elements.

  • Movement

  • Proper rest

  • Oxygen

  • Water

  • Proper mental state

  • Sunlight

  • Stress reduction

Stay tuned for future updates on how to put the pieces of the wellness puzzle together to become the best version of you!