Monthly Archives

November 2019

Newsletter – Tips for a pain-free trip, and ways to ease holiday shopping

By Newsletter

Ways To Ease Your Holiday Shopping

We’ve reached that time of year again, time to shop for the holidays! 

What does this have to do with chiropractic care? Holiday shopping and preparation is practically an athletic event. The walking, lifting, stress, crowds, standing in long lines, carrying, and driving can require some thought and planning to help you avoid accidents and injuries. 

If you have existing back or neck pain, it’s important to pay special attention to your body so you aren’t making matters worse. 

I’ve put together a short and practical list of ways to avoid injuries, but this isn’t to replace your Chiropractic visits!

Eat Something Nutritious

Every day you should start with a high protein breakfast. Eggs, beans, lean meat, and green vegetables should do the trick. Packing snacks to go will help you avoid grabbing quick, unhealthy snacks while you’re out. 

If you’re spending an entire day shopping, pre-planning a restaurant meal is a great idea. Look through menu’s online, make a reservation, and be prepared to have a relaxing and healthy dinner.

And remember the WATER! Remain hydrated throughout the day to prevent dehydration and headaches. 

Take Breaks

You will prevent straining your muscles when you take regular breaks to restore your energy. Doing some quick seated or standing stretches while you take a break is a great use of your time as well. 

The Purse

If you are a purse carrier, leave the heavy items at home. We all know that the bigger the purse, the more items you find to put in it. Remove all of the unnecessary items, or leave the purse at home and walk with your methods of payment and your phone. 

Arrange for Help

Heavy lifting can cause damage to your back and legs. If possible, arrange for someone to help you at least remove your purchases from your car when you arrive home. 

If purchasing large or heavy items, take advantage of a carry out service that will allow someone to help you to your car. 

In the interim, take your bags to your car and leave them in the trunk to avoid carrying too much weight throughout the mall. 

Wear Comfortable Shoes

Just like with a workout, make sure you have comfortable and breathable shoes on. You can easily develop blisters or foot pain with ill fitting shoes or shoes with heels. Preparation will prevent pain or discomfort which can ruin an otherwise good shopping experience. 

Buy Online

Online shopping has become incredibly convenient. Many of your favourite stores has online sales leading up to the holidays, and will honour holiday purchase returns and exchanges the same way they are in store. 

Imagine, shopping from your warm living room and having your purchases delivered to your door?

Online shopping has become the number one choice in shopping experiences, so unless the mall or in-store purchases are your happy place, you can simply shop from home. 

Visit Us Ahead of Time

Before you make your trek to the mall, schedule an appointment with us. We can not only ensure you’re in alignment, but can offer specific advice to you about compensatory postures, muscle stress, and inflammation.

 

5 Myths of Chiropractic Care

Although you can find a Chiropractor in most communities, there are a number of those who question the validity of Chiropractic care simply because they are unsure of the role they can play in their health care. As valued health care practitioners, your health and wellness is the primary goal of their practice.

The Myths

This is in part because of common myths that float around, and here we will discuss the 5 common reasons people question Chiropractors:

  1. Chiropractors are not ‘real’ doctors. In fact, Chiropractors are regulated throughout North America and many countries overseas, and can use the title ‘Doctor’ after they have completed the Doctor of Chiropractic degree program. These particular practitioners are able to provide a diagnosis for their patients before moving on to a treatment plan.  
  2. Chiropractors can only treat back pain.  Chiropractors are neuro-musculoskeletal experts who are trained in assessing, diagnosing, treating, and preventing biomechanical issues that originate from the skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. Chiropractors are also able to provide you with lifestyle counselling surrounding fitness, nutrition, and ergonomics that are all useful tools used to manage or prevent a variety of health conditions. This will allow you to create and maintain a well rounded lifestyle. In fact a recent study showed how Chiropractic adjustments can reduce pain and thus reduce drug addictions.
  3. Adjustments are painful. Generally speaking, spinal adjustments do not hurt. Contrary to what people believe about the cracking or popping sounds you may hear during adjustments, this sound is actually a result of the release of gas bubbles from your joints – which is similar to cracking your knuckles. 
  4. Once you see a Chiropractor, you’ll have to keep going back.  This is not true. Your Chiropractor will perform an assessment which includes a history and a physical examination to determine the cause of your pain before creating a treatment plan. In collaboration with you: the patient, your needs and goals will be established. Depending on your condition, this plan could recommend several visits – or not. It all depends on what your diagnosis is in relation to your treatment plan. Ultimately, the decision to continue with care is always yours. 
  5. A medical doctor must refer you to a Chiropractor. This is another myth, because a Chiropractor is a primary care doctor you can access them directly. Your Chiropractor will perform a comprehensive assessment to determine a diagnosis and treatment plan.  

Ask Questions

It is important to ask questions about your health and treatment options, but it is equally as important to find real answers to your questions before moving forward with an injury or chronic pain. You are considered a partner in your care, and my main focus is to holistically lead you to a pain free life with optimal mobility. 

Some people will even argue the validity of the work that Chiropractors do. There is an abundance of research supporting Chiropractic methods for pain relief and alignment. The studies and results speak for themselves – leading millions of people to live a better quality of life.

If you have more questions, contact us and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Travel Tips For Long Trips

If you are like me, you love to travel. But there are precautions that need to be taken or you could find yourself sore, in pain, or cramping when you should be enjoying your time away from home. The long hours spent in a car or on an airplane can be problematic for most people, and the seated positions you are forced to remain in can restrict blood flow, causing a build up of pressure in your lower legs. The solution? Getting up and moving. 

Warming Up And Cooling Down Matter

Walking through an airport is an adequate warm up, but if you are travelling by car, it’s important to ensure you are at least putting in a good walk before starting your trip. When making pit stops, park further away in the parking lot so you’ll have a longer walk to get to the washroom or food stop. Try your best to avoid salty foods or sweet drinks, and drink water! If you are on a plane, get up when you can to stretch out your legs and walk a little if you can.

Again, the cool down in an airport will consist of all the walking you’ll do. But if you have driven a long distance, walking around for a few minutes will get your blood flowing. 

Travelling by Car

  • Do your best to sit close enough to the steering wheel so you can keep your knees higher than your hips.
  • Roll your shoulders back and forth to keep you from creating too much tension in your shoulders and upper back. 
  • Don’t death grip the steering wheel. White knuckling your drive can cause hand cramps and fatigue in your forearms. Keep your grip loose.
  • Use back support by adjusting your seat, or using a seat cover that allows your spine to rest at a natural angle. 

Travelling by Plane

  • Be careful when lifting over head bags. Don’t twist your back, instead ensure you are standing directly in front of the compartment before lifting.
  • While seated, move around and adjust the way you are sitting to allow more adequate blood flow to your lower extremities and to avoid cramping.
  • Use a rolled up blanket or pillow to tuck in the small of your back to prevent strain on your spine. Use a comfortable neck pillow to avoid a cramp in your neck if you fall asleep. 
  • Get up to use the washroom a few times, it will give you an excuse to move and get your blood circulating.
  • Do your best to stretch out your legs and roll your ankles while seated. 

Be Prepared

Long trips can be stressful, but if you are prepared the travelling piece can be quite enjoyable. Discomfort and cramping can be prevented with these few easy steps, leaving you the space to enjoy a movie, a book, or a scenic drive. 

Ensure you have packs healthy snacks so you aren’t tempted to purchase and consume fast foods or salty convenience snacks. Too much salt can leave you dehydrated, which will make those cramps inevitable. Have water instead of juice or soda, and make sure you are taking those bathroom breaks!

Schedule a Visit for a Spinal Check

Coming and seeing us before a long trip can help ensure your spine is ready for the trip. We will also be able to offer you tips or exercises specific to your body’s needs as well.

When you return from a long trip, we suggest to stop by for another check to ensure the trip, sleeping in different beds and the change in schedule didn’t create any new problems.

Have an amazing trip!

Is Your Desk Job Hurting You? What Is Spinal Stenosis?

By Newsletter

Is Your Desk Job Hurting You?

When you think of a desk job, you don’t think of health hazards. These are often thought of when describing jobs like firefighting, construction, or even being a chef. Manual labour is synonymous with health risks at some point, but so can your desk job. 

The Risks

Considering a desk job requires several hours of sitting a day, this can be as hazardous to your health as smoking – think about the tight joints, weak muscles, lower back strain, and the increased risk of disease.

You’d think that working out a few times a week would circumvent this, but the truth is it just isn’t enough. Working out is important, but getting up and moving throughout the day is just as important:

  • Always use the stairs
  • Get a standing desk if your workplace can accommodate this
  • Take a 2 minute break to get up and walk around every 30 minutes
  • Park at the furthest end of the parking lot or take transit

The majority of your problems will be a result of poor posture. Slouching causes your muscles to work harder, and can create sore and stiff muscles. Poor posture leads to circulatory issues, poor digestion, and stress on your spine. This stress causes headaches, back pain, and neck strain. 

So what can you do?

All chairs are not created the same. Choose a desk chair that provides lumbar support and will keep your hips, knees and elbows at 90 degree angles. An adjustable chair should do the trick. Crossing your legs is a big no-no, but using a footstool to take the pressure off of your lower back will make a world of difference.

Create a workstation that is perfect for you. If you work at a computer, the bottom edge of the screen should be level with your eyes, it should be directly in front of you, and should be around 30 inches from your face.

Maintain balance. If you carry bags, ensure they are not too heavy, and that you are distributing their weight evenly if possible. Switch shoulders often, and keep in mind that cross body bags are best for remaining hands free and better weight distribution. If you have very heavy items, a rolling bag is the best solution.

Your Posture is in Your Hands

Maintaining good postural habits while working will help to prevent injuries and pain over time. Ask us how we can help you identify where changes need to be made, offer suggestions to make desk life easier, and help monitor your progress.

The goal here is to eliminate the risk of compromising your musculoskeletal health that can result in headaches, neck aches, shoulder strain, and lower back pain. Your desk job doesn’t have to be a source of discomfort if you are prepared and armed with knowledge and the motivation to remain healthy!

 

Can Chiropractic Help with Spinal Stenosis?

I’m sure you’re aware of how delicate the spinal cord is. Your nerves and entire bodily functions are communicated through your spinal cord, so I’m sure you can imagine how detrimental to your health it would be to have it irritated or even compressed. 

What is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal Stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal cord canal. Over time, this condition compresses the spinal nerves that lead to your back, and can cause leg pain, leg cramps, muscle spasms, leg weakness, numbness and tingling.

Your spinal column is made up of vertebrae (bones) that come together to house and protect your spinal nerve roots, and your spinal cord.  Your entire nervous system relies on your spinal cord, with you spinal nerve roots being the pathway in which your spinal cord communicates with the rest of your body.

The purpose of your nervous system is to connect your brain, spinal cord, along with all of your nerves so they can all work together to transmit messages to your organs, cells, tissue, and all of your other systems required to work in synchronicity. 

Causes

The most common cause of spinal stenosis is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis generally manifests as we age, and can onset earlier as a result of repetitive injuries or physical stress. Inactivity can also cause osteoarthritis.

Over time, bone spurs will develop which contribute to the narrowing of the canal. This narrowing creates the pressure that is responsible for spinal stenosis.

Other causes are:

  • Tumours or cysts
  • Poor posture
  • Disc herniation
  • Spine injury
  • Surgery
  • Thickened ligaments

Symptoms

Spinal stenosis most commonly develops in the lower back. Individuals experiencing this will most commonly have the following symptoms:

  • Loss of sexual function
  • Numbness, tingling, or pain in the legs or feet
  • Leg cramps
  • Abnormal bladder and bowel function
  • Pain when walking
  • Will often find relief when sitting or leaning forward

Less common is spinal stenosis in the neck, but this can be more dangerous. These individuals can experience all of the symptoms listed above, along with radiating pain, weakness or numbness, and tingling of the arms and hands. 

Can Chiropractic Help?

Chiropractic care is key in preserving your overall health, but matters of the spine are a our specialty. We are qualified to diagnose and treat spinal stenosis, and may be able to relieve your pain. But overall, the hope is that the treatments help to ensure your spinal cord and nervous system are adequately transmitting messages to your body so there is no impairment.

After your diagnosis, and creation of a care plan, the goal is to help restore your range of motion while creating enough space for your nervous system to transmit messages. Although we may not be able to make the spinal stenosis go away, we will be able to offer some relief and some hope.

If you have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, contact us today for an assessment to discuss the possibility of treatment, and what we can will be able to alleviate in the way of symptoms.

 

3 Reasons People See a Chiropractor

Why would I need to see a Chiropractor? There are hundreds of reasons people make Chiropractic care a staple in their lives, and here are some very common overall reasons they seek Chiropractic care:

Better Sleep

Not getting enough sleep will lead to various health issues, from headaches to body aches, to illness – sleep is how your body rejuvenates and heals itself. 

Pain, stress, and body aches are often what leads to an inability to sleep well. Something as simple as proper spinal alignment will decrease pain leading to improved sleep over time, ultimately leading to better health and improved pain relief.

Stress Relief

Although emotional stress isn’t something we specialize in, physical stress – which is sometimes the result of emotional stress – is what we CAN help you with. If you think about it, stress will cause spinal misalignment through slouching, tense shoulders, or being sedentary.

When the spine is misaligned, the entire body can be affected. With the help of a Chiropractor, you can work on the physical aspects of stress, allowing your body to relax while you destress your mind. 

Improved Posture

Posture will affect the delicate tissue in your neck, your abdomen, the way you walk, and the way you sleep.

Chiropractic care will help to realign your neck and spine to improve your posture. You will stand taller, feel more confident, and present yourself to the world with a more confident and pain free life. In addition, there are simple exercises that will help to strengthen those muscles, making correct posture more attainable. 

The Choice is Yours

Whatever the reason, we are here to take an overall snapshot of your life and your health challenges. Together, you will be able to begin to live a different life – one that is pain free, with fewer stressors.

Call us today for an assessment – there are so many areas we can help you improve your overall health.