Tics are sudden, involuntary movements, twitches, or sounds that people do repeatedly. Tics are not voluntary, and the person suffering from them can not stop themselves from making it. A very common example of a tic is when a person blinks over and over again, or a person with a vocal tic might repeatedly and unwillingly make a grunting sound. While tics themselves are not dangerous, medication side effects and mental fatigue caused by attempts to stop or suppress tics can lead to a reduction of quality of life. While tics are uncomfortable, they can be managed. Common examples of tics are:

  • Eye blinking
  • Toe curling
  • Verbal outbursts
  • Abdominal tensing


There are three major kinds of tic disorders. Tic disorders are classified according to frequency and severity. The major types of tic disorders are:

  • Provisional tic disorders are the most common types of tic disorders, and are defined by tics happening for less than a year
  • Chronic (persistent) tic disorders are when tics continue for longer than a year. These persistent tics are either motor or vocal, but not both
  • Tourette syndrome is the least common form of tic disorder. When somebody has Tourette Syndrome, they will have at least one vocal tic happening for more than a year

Tics can be diagnosed by doctors during a regular checkup. To help with their diagnosis, doctors will get a full family history, medical history, and examine the symptoms. It’s important to note that not one specific test can diagnose tics, but your doctor might run some tests to rule out other conditions which might present themselves similarly to tics.


While there are a number of hypotheses about how tics occur, the truth is nobody really knows why. It is thought that stress and sleep deprivation might play a role in motor tics and how severe they are, however more search is needed. What we do know is that tic disorders are complex and are likely caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Chemicals in the brain that transmit nerve impulses might play a role.

While there is no one known cure or treatment for tics, there are a number of different approaches you can take in order to reduce the severity and frequency of the tics. There are promising new studies showing that chiropractic neurology can be an effective form of treatment for tics. If you or someone you love is suffering from a tic disorder, request an appointment today.

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The 3 Pillars of Chiropractic Neurology


We utilize a proven, detailed process of diagnosis, assessment and benchmarking of concussions & other disorders. This includes neurocognitive assessment, videonystagmography, saccadometry, gait analysis and other means, plus a discussion on your overall health & well-being.


There is no one-size-fits-all solution in chiropractic neurology. Instead, based on the assessment performed in the earlier stages, we work with you to develop a customized plan of treatment and therapy. This includes treatment at our Ottawa clinic as well as exercises for you to do at home.


Our entire chiropractic neurological practice is centered around holistic well-being. Our series of proven methods & processes are on the leading edge in concussion treatment and therapy for neurological disorders & other conditions – all through non-invasive means. No surgery, no drugs.

Frequently asked questions

Yes and no. Chiropractic neurologists are chiropractors, that much is true. However, we have dedicated our careers to an area of specialty, that being (chiropractic) neurology or the practice of assessing & treating neurological disorders, traumatic brain injury, concussion and much more. We employ chiropractic means across the many treatments that we provide for our patients. And, much like chiropractic medicine, we do not use surgery or drugs in chiropractic neurology.

The symptoms of tic disorders are involuntary, however some people can suppress, hide, or manage their tics. Despite this, people with more severe tic disorders often feel a significant buildup of tension and stress while suppressing their tics and many people are unable to control them altogether. Even those who are able to control some or many of their tics will find themselves unable to control some of them. Simply suppressing tics is not a viable long-term solution to treating a tic disorder.

Generally speaking, tic disorders are more common in children and tend to improve into adulthood. That being said, tic disorders can appear in people of any age.

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