Category

Newsletter

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. 

Heel pain, what can you do about it? And how Chiropractic helps pregnancy.

By Newsletter

Can my Chiropractor Help With Plantar Fasciitis? 

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you have been diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis, or you know someone who has. This condition is easily the number one cause of heel pain, which is caused by a tear in the tissue along the long ligament that runs through the bottom of the foot called the fascia ligament.  The problem with this particular condition is that the pain is often acute and on-going. 

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Foot trauma caused by an injury such as a fall, ill-fitting shoes, prolonged standing, and arthritis are all causes. Once the pain sets in, the afflicted person often changes their gait to avoid further pain – which brings on secondary issues like joint stress and misalignment.

What About Treatment?

There are several modes of treatment that can all offer their own unique benefits, but ultimately the choice is yours to find and begin a treatment that will work for your needs.  Chiropractic care being the most effective form of treatment – you can expect relief and a decreased risk of further injury when working alongside your chiropractic team.  Chiropractic adjustments can reduce the amount of stress in the plantar fascia by reducing inflammation, allowing the ligaments to relax which in turn promotes healing while reducing further instances of plantar fasciitis long term.   The chiropractic care involved not only treats the symptoms, but it treats the root of the problem. Taking care of the primary causes will then eliminate any secondary injuries to the joints due to compensating by changes made in the gait to reduce pain. 

The Root of the Problem

Your chiropractor will treat the root of the problem, and will help re-train you to walk and stand correctly. In addition, your chiropractor can advise you as to what to look for in shoes and how to alleviate strain on your joints if you are expected to stand for extended periods of time. 

The Rehabilitation Plan

Along with Chiropractic care, you will be given home exercises to work on regularly as a part of your care plan. The stretches and therapeutic exercises will help to treat and prevent the direct cause of the plantar fasciitis, along with the secondary affected areas. This rehabilitation plan is the key to alleviating the pain long term. 

Recovery Time

Typically recovery time can be several months long, but the good news is that with complete care, there is a good chance it won’t return.  

Can I Continue To See My Chiropractor If I’m Pregnant?

Yes! Chiropractors are trained and experienced in working with women who are expecting. At least 50% of women who are pregnant will experience some form of back pain, and 1 in 4 may experience pain or discomfort that will impact their daily activities. The back, joint, and generalized aches and pains that occur during pregnancy can be considered “normal”, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek relief if it’s possible through a Chiropractor. 

Back Pain is Common During Pregnancy

Back pain during pregnancy can be caused by many different moving parts, rarely having just one cause.   The average woman will carry an extra 30 pounds by the end of their pregnancy. This is 30 (or more) extra pounds carried primarily in the front of the body, which changes the gait, the center of gravity, along with the pressure placed on the joints. This additional weight also affects sleeping, standing, and the way the body moves while performing regular daily chores or activities.  The loosening of the ligaments that naturally occurs later in pregnancy by the body’s production of a hormone called relaxin can be troublesome in relation to the back, wrists, hips, and legs.  It is not uncommon for women to report pain and discomfort in the following areas:

  • Lower back
  • Mid-back
  • Neck
  • Pelvic pain and pressure
  • Peripheral swelling
  • Aching legs and buttocks
  • Sciatica
  • Fatigue and night time swelling
  • Night time muscle spasms and cramps
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • General sleep disturbances

Chiropractic Care

Many studies have shown that Chiropractic care, can help to decrease pain during pregnancy and in labour. Chiropractors specialize in safe, effective and drug free care to relieve pain and improve function during pregnancy and following the birth. Amongst the many ways a Chiropractor can help, the first more obvious one is that your Chiropractor can help to reduce back and pelvic pain with spinal adjustments of spinal joints to improve overall function. Along with Chiropractic care, massage therapy is also a great way to help tight and sore muscles to relax.

Prepare for Childbirth and Post-Recovery

Regular Chiropractic visits can be helpful in the preparation of childbirth, along with home-based exercises and stretches to prepare your body for the baby’s delivery. Then after delivery, we can also devise a comprehensive management plan for a quicker recovery, while addressing  biomechanical complaints and rehabilitation. 

Take The Time to Enjoy Your Pregnancy

Your pregnancy should be a time that you can enjoy the changes in your body, and look forward to the addition to your family. However, the reality is that pregnancy can be challenging on your body, and having all natural remedies and real care to help your growing body adjust is just what you need. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, speak to us about how Chiropractic care can assist in making the process an easier one.  

Season Change – So Do Your Activities

We’ve officially rolled into fall, and with the changing seasons come changes in weather – and changes in the activities we are engaging in. Raking leaves, hauling heavy pumpkins, preparing your gardens for winter…. These are all activities that could cause some damage to your back if you aren’t prepared or careful. The types of back injuries we see in the fall are often directly related to fall activities, but I’ve got your back! Here is a list of activities that could potentially cause you some pain and discomfort, so I’ve included tips to help keep you healthy and pain free:

Apple Picking/Pumpkin Hauling

If you’ve got a family, I know this is likely an event your little ones look forward to. These are great ways to stay active in the cooler weather, but if you show up unprepared you can run into some problems. Avoid the extra strain on your back by: Lifting heavy items – pumpkins and baskets of apples can be heavy, awkward, or both. Ensure you are bending at the knees and not lifting with your back. One quick move, and you can find yourself in a lot of unnecessary pain. Stretch before hand, and always ask for help carrying heavy items!

Raking Leaves

It’s more common to have experienced back pain from raking leaves than it is to not. Yard work is an excellent workout if you are careful, but you have to keep some things in mind to avoid injuries: Warm up with stretches before hand. This can save you from pulling muscles.  If you feel a sharp pain, stop for the day and rest. If you still feel pain, contact us right away. And again, when lifting bags of yard waste, bend at  the knees!

Hiking

Now that the summer heat is gone for good, many of you will take up hiking. Hikes are an excellent way to get in some exercise, but they are great for relaxation – especially when all the beautiful fall colours set in. Backpacks are usually required to hold snacks and water, wearing it correctly over both shoulders for even weight distribution is a must. Warm ups and stretching are required as you will be using muscles you likely haven’t used in a while.  Avoid hiking where it is very slippery to avoid falls, and ensure you are wearing the proper shoes for the terrain.

Housework

Yes, housework in the fall can be a little different! Cleaning gutters, washing extra blankets, and cleaning out unused fireplaces all require some elbow grease! Since these aren’t regular pieces of our cleaning routines, it can be easy to injure yourself if you aren’t careful. Keep the windows open when using cleaners, and when you can, reach for the all natural cleaners to keep your living environment free from toxic chemicals. Be careful around stairs! Carrying heavy items up and down the stairs can lead to falls and injuries. Take your time, and do several trips if required.  Use the same caution as with the other activities when lifting heavy items. Have a good stretch, and bend at the knees when lifting items out of storage or when carrying laundry or moving furniture!

Enjoy the Crisp Weather!

I know many of you have been looking forward to relief from the hot summer, sweater weather, pumpkin patches, and Halloween. The days will be getting shorter, but enjoy all that this beautiful season has to offer!   

Are your shoes affecting your spine? What can you do for Whiplash?

By Newsletter

Do The Soles of Your Shoes Wear Out Differently? Ask Us Why.

Looking at shoe wear pattern can be one of the most effective ways to determine the needs of a chiropractic patient. The way the shoe wears is a reflection of the repetitive function of your lower extremities, providing useful clues about areas of concern. 

Shoe Wear Patterns

The way your heel wears is one of the first ways a Chiropractor can predict problems, along with necessary treatments. Normal wear patterns on the heels are typically gradual, even, and symmetrical.

When the heel wear is abnormal, it is seen as excessively worn on one foot, or if it is more laterally or medially worn. These are good indicators that there is abnormal lower extremity biomechanics what may be best addressed with orthotics. Orthotic use will help improve the alignment up the kinetic chain to the spine. 

The patterns of friction on the bottoms of the shoes (the soles) are good indicators of lower extremity function and balance – or lack of. Looking at the soles can indicate excessive pronation if they are worn more along the medial aspect of the sole.

Lateral wearing of the sole indicates supination, or what can be considered bow-legs. Excessive wear at the front of the soles under the toe can indicate an arch collapse, and foot issues in runners. When soles are worn asymmetrically, this can indicate altered weight bearing and can result in pelvic pain or discomfort. 

Midsole asymmetry can indicate biomechanical problems and medial arch collapse.

What If There Is Abnormal Shoe Wear?

With all of this information, it is important to note that biomechanical dysfunction in the lower extremities has a direct effect on the pelvis and spine. Your chiropractor will conduct an in depth assessment of your legs and feet. This step can be time consuming, but is necessary to make an accurate assessment of what work needs to be done to prevent further injury or discomfort.  

It Could Cause Pelvic Misalignment

Overall weight distribution that is uneven, asymmetrical wear in the tops of your shoes, and any other obvious signs of biomechanical problems should be addressed. If the misalignment of your pelvis is left uncorrected, it can have a harmful effect on your joints – specifically your heels, ankles, lower back, and hips. 

We Can Help

With your results, we will develop a plan to correct any misalignments and biomechanical dysfunction. This may include collaboration with a podiatrist, the use of orthotics, exercises, and adjustments. 

If you have noticed uneven wear on the soles of your shoes, or are experiencing foot, ankle, knee, hip, or lower back pain – check in with us and have yourself examined.

 

Should I See a Chiropractor For Whiplash?

Whiplash is often characterized as being associated to car accidents, but there are many other more common causes. Sports, falling off a bike, and amusement park rides are just a few, and if you aren’t aware of these types of injuries, you could downplay your symptoms thinking they aren’t that serious. I’m sure as kids, many of you have had injuries related to rough play or falls that had gone undiagnosed because the signs and symptoms were unclear. Millions of people suffer whiplash a year, and many go untreated which can lead to long term damage. 

The good news is, we can help.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is the common term for what we call a “cervical acceleration-deceleration injury.” This more specifically refers to the damage done to the ligaments, muscles, tendons, discs, nerves, and vertebrae of the neck as a result of sudden hyperextension and hyperflexion of the neck. In simpler terms, when you experience sudden force that moves the neck backward then forward forcefully, the ligaments that hold the vertebrae in place are damaged. This causes the vertebrae to to change their position and irritate the nerves. Not only can you experience neck pain, but the body parts connected to those nerves are affected as well.

It’s Very Common

Whiplash is actually more common than you may think. It’s most common in those who have been in car accidents, but there are other causes that were listed above. In addition, there are other factors that can make someone predisposed to whiplash injuries, such as vertebral subluxations, arthritis, osteoporosis, and already sustained whiplash injuries.

The symptoms of a whiplash injury can vary in relation to the severity, but most commonly you will experience:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain in hands and arms
  • A loss or reduction in your ability to move your neck
  • Stiffness or pain in your neck
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in the jaw or face
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Numbness in your hands or arms

It’s also important to note that your symptoms could appear immediately after the injury, or could appear after a delay which often causes people from associating their symptoms with their injury. This is where a gap in treatment could occur.

See a Healthcare Provider Right Away

If you suspect you may have experienced whiplash recently, or even months ago, you should be examined by a Chiropractor to assess the damage. They will set you on a course of action in relation to the severity of your injury.

Immediate Attention is Key

Immediate attention may ensure less long term effects of whiplash such as chronic pain, loss of function, permanent damage to your vertebrae, damage to your nerve system, and even accelerated degeneration of the cervical spine.

We Can Help

We may use a combination cervical adjustments, spinal distraction, and soft tissue  therapy to decrease the irritation to the nerves in your neck, while increasing the flexibility and blood flow of the cervical joints and muscles. It is this combination of soft tissue care, spinal adjustments, and soft tissue therapy that has been shown to help whiplash.

Again, If you suspect you may have experienced whiplash, please follow up with us for further instructions on how to treat it.

 

Walking Your Way to Wellness

The truth is, most people simply don’t move enough. There’s no denying that walking is good for you, but allowing your body the opportunity to spring into action is beneficial to your overall health. As a low impact form of exercise, walking is actually complementary to you chiropractic care.

Many people think exercise has to include strenuous movement, intense sweating, and pain in your muscles. But moving in general is considered exercise, particularly if you live a sedentary lifestyle. 

Walking Is The Perfect Addition to Your Routine

Here are a few reasons why walking is the perfect addition to your chiropractic care:

Increased circulation. When you walk, you get all of your systems working. Your circulation increases throughout your body, ensuring you have a continual and adequate flow of blood to all of your muscles and your spine. When your circulation is increased through walking, your blood pressure lowers, bringing balance while strengthening your muscles. 

Prevents back pain. When walking with proper form and well fitting shoes you can prevent or relieve back pain. The improvement in flexibility and mobility will help you feel better overall, and walking will aid in weight loss and management.

Walking helps to rehydrate spinal discs. When you are mobile the compression on your spinal discs releases water from your discs to hydrate and cushion your vertebrae. The discs then absorb this water, rehydrating them so they can continue to act as shock absorbers for your spine.

Walking improves flexibility and mobility. As you walk regularly, your muscles become stronger. When paired with light stretching, the added benefits to your circulation, flexibility, and mobility are increased. Walking is a perfect, low impact start to an exercise routine.

Walking will act as a catalyst to your weight loss. We know the detrimental effects extra weight can have on our bodies, but more specifically additional weight puts stress on your spine. More specifically, abdominal fat creates excess weight in the front which causes swayback. Swayback causes pressure on the lower back which leads to back pain. 

Walking not only makes us feel good by releasing “feel good” hormones, but it really has whole body benefits. Walking reduces your risk of heart disease, improves your blood sugar, reduces blood pressure, can reduce your risk of osteoporosis, will help you to maintain a healthy body weight, and will improve your mental health. 

Your Spinal Wellness Matters

Good spinal health is the core of your wellness. And while most exercise is good exercise, walking regularly is the best thing you can do to kickstart your health and begin a new routine. 

If you have been living a sedentary lifestyle, we will likely do an assessment and recommend walking to start getting back into your physical wellness. Over time, the duration or intensity of your walks may increase, or you could move into an exercise routine that includes other forms of moving or cardiovascular exercise.

You’ll not only be feeling better physically, but you may see changes in the way you look, and you will definitely notice changes or improvements in your mood.

The best of summer is yet to come, disc herniations, foods that heal

By Newsletter

Well, we’ve made it to a full blown summer after what felt like an endless winter/spring! Everything is growing, the days are longer, and the streets and beaches are full of noise and laughter.

So what can you be doing to ensure you are taking full advantage of this great and glorious season?

Here are a few tips to make sure you are getting the most bang for your seasonal buck.

Get that vitamin D! It only takes 15-20minutes of direct sunlight a day to optimize your vitamin D absorption. Vitamin D is something we lack in Canada because of the long cool seasons where we are covered up – cue seasonal affective disorders. So having and maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D will decrease fatigue, improve your mood, give you more energy, and it will help to regulate your bone strength by preventing osteoporosis.

Sunscreen! After this initial 15-20 minutes, sunscreen is a must. Applying it liberally is the key, and pay special attention to parts of your body you may forget about like your ears, lips, and the part in your hair! You should use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more, and it should be worn even when it’s cloudy outside.

Farmers markets are a must. We only get to really take advantage of local farmers produce for a limited time throughout the year, so take advantage. Organic, locally grown produce is not only better for you, but is more flavourful than imported produce. And buying fruits and vegetables that are in season is the best way to get in all of those amazing nutrients!

Better yet, if you can grow your own you’re in an even better position to really take advantage of our summer!

Stay hydrated. I know, we hear this all the time. But that’s because your body really does need adequate hydration in order for your organs to be able to function optimally. Steer away from headaches because you aren’t drinking enough water, and remember that all of those sugary and alcoholic drinks are extra dehydrating. Remember, if you are already thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Drink water before leaving your house, and walk with a reusable water bottle. Tired of plain old water? Infuse it with some of those fresh, ripe berries, cucumbers, mint, or fruit.

Spend time with friends and family! It’s so much easier to be social when the weather is nice. Enjoy a patio, a backyard, go camping, spend time at the lake, take a hike, enjoy your city, go for a walk….. Being around positive, like minded people is the best thing you can do for your mood and peace of mind. Laugh, catch up, go to a show, eat, and enjoy each others company.

Enjoy Yourself!

There are so many things to consider when planning a fun filled and healthy summer for yourself and your family. I hope these tips are ones that will help you to live every moment to the fullest, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

 

Is it Safe to See a Chiropractor for a Bulging (herniated) Disc?

An intervertebral disc that lays between each vertebrae of the spine. It acts as a “shock absorber” and a “shock distributor” – allowing for flexibility in your spine. These discs are made of a tough outer layer, and a gelatin like center.

When there is a defect, or crack in the outer layer of the disc, the gelatin like substance that creates the cushion for your vertebrae leaks out. This is what is referred to as a bulging, herniated, or ruptured disc. The degeneration of the disc can be gradual, or can be sudden.

The causes can range from obesity, to accidents, to poor posture. Whatever the cause, we can all agree that the pain that results from a herniated disc can be excruciating.

But what’s next?

A  Chiropractor will assess the severity of your injury and will complete a thorough medical history, a physical exam, and will perform neurological and orthopedic tests to determine the best course of action. X-ray or other diagnostic tests may be required to get a good look at what’s happening.

In a nutshell, a Chiropractor will assess the health and structure of your entire spine, as damage in one part of your spine can lead to pain in a completely different part of your body. The type of injury you have, along with the location will determine the type of care plan you require.

What if I’m Not a Good Candidate for Chiropractic Care?

The truth is, not everyone is – and there a various reasons for this. But some more immediate conditions will require a surgeon. If you lose control of your bladder or bowels for example, you would be referred to a neurosurgeon. In addition, if there is a big decrease in strength, sensation, or mobility – being assessed by a surgeon is required.

However, if you ARE a good candidate we will be able to provide you with various treatment options to address your pain.

 

The Role of Nutrition in Your Chiropractic Care

People often think that Chiropractic care is related only to the spine and adjustments. It’s important to note that when you see a chiropractor, you have signed up for a holistic journey. You see, injuries and ailments come with their own set of individual requirements to heal properly and fully. This is our goal as your chiropractic team, so that you can complete treatment with the knowledge to not have an injury repeat itself and to be able to maintain a healthy balance in relation to your body’s individual needs.

What we put into our body has a crucial role in its functionality and the fuel required to meet our needs when well, and when in the healing process.

Proper nutrition is imperative to the health of our brains and our musculoskeletal systems. When an injury occurs, nutrition becomes even more important. If you are recovering from a muscular injury and increase in protein may help with the recovery process. With a spinal injury, you could be faced with restricted mobility – which makes caloric intake important. Weight gain caused by an inability to exercise will put added strain on your spine which can hinder healing.

Foods That Heal

Yes, there are foods that can ramp up the healing process. Because your body will require more energy to digest foods that are processed or unhealthy, less of this energy is left to heal your injury.

Choose fresh fruits and vegetables, organic meats, unprocessed foods, WATER, and vitamins as a part of your everyday regimen. The goal here is to provide the most nutritionally dense, easy to digest, and delicious foods you can offer yourself.

Allow us to assess and determine the most effective course of action. Being open to dietary alterations can be frustrating for some – for others it’s a walk in the park. Either way, your body will love you for it – and you will be able to get back to your regularly scheduled activities sooner.

Runner or a Golfer? You will want to read this!

By Newsletter

How Your Chiropractor Can Help With Your Golf Game

Now that the Golf season is in full swing…. I know you have been dusting off those clubs and getting onto the course to refocus on this short season!

The warm weather may have you feeling like you just want to jump right back into your game, but if you haven’t been warming up with practice or physical activities throughout the winter season, you may find yourself in some trouble.

Taking your time to prepare yourself can be frustrating, but what’s more frustrating is developing an injury this early in the season (or any time for that matter).

There are some common injuries for golfers, the ones we seem to treat the most are:

Lower Back Pain. Lower back pain is one of the most common injuries in golfers. The perfect swing in golf is what every golfer strives for, however even the most well executed swing can cause injury. The loose movements and the bending are what cause the most trouble.

Golfers Elbow. Golfers Elbow can cause a significant amount of discomfort in the elbow. This pain begins in the elbow, and radiates all the way to the wrist. Although this injury can be caused by other movements or activities, golfers are commonly afflicted as a result of switching grips and and holding the club too tightly.

Wrist Pain. For all of you golfers who have hit the ground with the club, or have taken several swings before making contact with the ball – you know how easily you can develop a wrist injury.

Shoulder Pain. It’s not uncommon for even avid golfers to use their arms too much when they swing. The result of this is an irritated AC joint and pain in the front of the shoulder.

Preventing Injuries

Obviously proper swing mechanics are what will ultimately improve your game and reduce the number or severity of your injuries. The truth is, you use your entire body to swing a golf club, and the repetitive motion will cause irritation to muscles, tendons, and joints without perfect form.

So what’s the solution?

Correct posture for starters. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and rotate slightly outward with your knees slightly bent. The key here is to avoid hunching over the ball which will lead to back and neck strain.

Ensure you are transferring the power/energy through your body evenly and smoothly. The real power of a golf swing comes from the smooth force delivered through all of the muscle groups. If you focus on one muscle group you are more likely to injure yourself, and to not have a perfect swing. You will be most likely to injure your back, wrists, or shoulders.

The Overswing.

It’s common for new golfers to think that the more “powerful” the swing, the further the ball will go. Like previously stated, hitting the ball as hard as you can will not only cause injury, but it really doesn’t make the ball go any further. The stress on your joints just isn’t necessary, what is necessary is a consistent tempo when you swing, using the momentum of a fluid motion.

Stretching is KEY. As a Chiropractor, I cannot stress the importance of stretching any more than I already do. Proactively seeing us  will allow you to benefit from a unique, catered stretching regimen and program of care, designed just for you.

Be Mindful of How You Carry Your Clubs!

Many golfing injuries we see are a direct result of lifting and carrying the golf bag and clubs. The way you carry and lift your bag should be like carrying any other heavy items. Bend at the knees always, and keep your back straight.

How Can Chiropractic Help?

You use your entire body when golfing. With this in mind, it means Chiropractic can help in several ways as preventative and post injury care. Preventative measures include spinal adjustments, stretches, rehabilitative exercises, and more.

Whether you are a recreational golfer, or an avid enthusiast you should talk to myself about how you can prevent injuries BEFORE you hit the course. Working together will allow you to identify areas of improvement before injuries occur.

Outdoor Running Season and Your Chiropractic Care

Running outdoors comes with so many health benefits! Aside from fresh air and sunshine; weight control, cardiovascular health, decreased cholesterol, and stress relief are just a few. For those who are runners, you know the freedom you feel is immeasurable.

But Running Can Be Hard on Your Body

There is a downside as well. Aside from all of these wonderful benefits, it can cause injuries to your body that can be tricky to heal. The most common being tendonitis, shin splints, ankle sprains, knee strains, hip pain, and plantar fasciitis. If you have experienced any of these injuries, you know how intrusive they can become to your everyday activities aside from running.

Preventative Measures are Important

The key really, is to not get injured to begin with. And while this may seem fairly common sense, there are subtleties in your gait or your athletic ability that can contribute to longer term problems.

Ensuring you have good, high quality running shoes is a given, but committing to your chiropractic care is just as important. Those who are regular runners have shown to have fewer injuries when they make Chiropractic care a regular part of their routine.

Even with resulting injuries, Chiropractic can help

Unfortunately, the first thing we recommend to runners with an injury is to stop running to allow your body the time it needs to heal. Most runners have worked hard on their stamina and fear losing it by interrupting their routine. But the truth is, your body needs to heal, and you will quickly rebuild your stamina once you are healed through muscle memory.

I help with runners who have injured themselves through the repetitive motions involved in running regularly. With the use of adjustments and affiliated services like massage therapy, physiotherapy, and nutrition – your body will be treated as whole.

Once your joints are relaxed and loose, you will have an improvement in your flexibility and movement which will help to improve your gait and your run times. While I’d love to say I can guarantee an increase in speed, your unrestricted joints will help you to move more freely and reduce the risk of developing more injuries.

The reason alignments are required for runners is that if your spine is even slightly out of alignment, it can make other parts of your body feel weaker and more susceptible to injury. The slightest misalignment can have a ripple effect on the rest of the body. The constant jarring motion on your body that happens during a run can be counteracted and managed through regular adjustments and maintenance.

Chiropractic care in this aspect can simply make sure your body is in prime running condition so it can resist injury. If an injury does occur, it can be promptly and effectively managed by a Chiropractor like myself.

Overall, a Chiropractor like myself, along with my health team are experts in ensuring your body is in the best shape it can be. Preventing injuries is the primary goal, but when injuries do occur, you can be sure they will be dealt with before further damage can develop.

If you are a runner, or are considering starting a running regimen, contact myself for guidance in injury prevention.

What is Text Neck and 6 ways to save your back gardening

By Newsletter

Have you heard of such a thing as ‘Text Neck’ ?

I mean, it’s no surprise that the physical condition of our necks and spines are affected by the use of our smartphones, but many are unclear on the actual long term consequences of allowing your posture to be compromised.

Text next is a repeated stress injury caused by excessive texting, watching videos, and playing games on a handheld device like a phone. With the growing number of phone users, and the lowering age of children exposed to repeated exposure, Text Neck is being seen more by chiropractors than ever before.

Symptoms

The movement of leaning or flexing the head forward to use a smartphone directly affects the spine. Tilting your head forward by even just 15 degrees will place over 25 lbs of added pressure on the neck. The more you lean forward with your head to view the smartphone, the more weight is distributed, and the more damage is done. Over time, this is seen in our offices as a repetitive stress/strain injury.

The most common symptoms include neck pain, stiffness, and soreness. But some of the other symptoms include:

  • Localized pain, usually in the lower neck area. It is often described as a dull aching – but is sharp in some cases.
  • A stiff neck including soreness and difficulty in moving the neck after long periods of usage.
  • Radiating pain into the shoulders and upper arms is common.
  • Headaches as a result of sub-occipital muscle tightness. These are often tension type headaches.
  • Muscular weakness in the shoulders.

Other more serious symptoms can be:

  • Early onset arthritis
  • Flattening of the thoracic kyphosis
  • Spinal degeneration
  • Disc compression
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of lung capacity

How to Manage or Prevent Injuries

  1. Avoid excessive use of the phone.
  2. Take frequent breaks.
  3. Avoid remaining in the exact same position for extended periods of time.
  4. Position the device in a way to reduce stress on the head, neck, and upper extremities. This can look like propping your phone on a bag or your purse while sitting on transit, leveraging your phone higher while holding your shoulders back and elbows snug to your sides – preventing further dropping of your head to see the screen.
  5. Avoid holding larger devices in one hand for long periods of time.

How Can Chiroractic Help?

Chiropractors assess the severity of your injury before beginning an individualized care plan to correct and reserve the damage done to your spinal joints, nerves and muscles. Then a program will be designed to include Chiropractic spinal adjustments, stretches, and exercises.

The Bottom Line

Text Neck is becoming a more commonly seen type of injury, and without prevention and rehabilitation, it can be a long term issue with the possibility of severe consequences. Awareness and preventative measures will be what saves you from acute pain, but regular trips to your Chiropractor will help you to retrain your posture over time.

 

6 Tips to Save Your Back When Gardening

Summer if finally here! With that in mind, we know all too well that if gardening is your passion – then you’ve had to do a lot of work in a short period of time. Many of us have anxiously been waiting to get our gardens going, vegetables planted, and yards meticulously tended to. But this also comes with an increased risk of aches and pains as a result of using parts of your body that have been hibernating!

Here It Is!

I’ve put together a few tips to hopefully maximize your joy of gardening while minimizing your risk of injuries.

Warm up! You may want to jump right into your gardening, but like with other strenuous activities, you MUST warm up those muscles. Gardening requires preparing your body for new movements as your body may have been fairly sedentary over the winter months. And even if you are an active winter person, the movements required in gardening are not the same.

My advice is to prepare a list of what you plan to tackle that day, and take 3 minutes to stretch the parts of your body you will be most likely to use, including taking special interest in your posture.

Drink water. Once you get started you may lose track of time. It’s not uncommon for people to come in and explain that they were so determined to get the garden done, that they just plowed through it without any breaks, food, or water. Consider paying extra attention to remaining hydrated, particularly when you are sweating under the sun.

Listen to your body. It’s so easy to get carried away once you have your hands in the dirt. Gardening for some is even considered a form of meditation and grounding. But pay attention to how your body is feeling. The first sight of aches or pain should be attended to immediately by a break, a stretch, and a change in positions.

Be mindful of heavy items. If you are an avid gardener, you already know how deceiving some things can be – like bags of soil or mulch. It may seem like a faster alternative to just carry it all yourself, but the use of a wheelbarrow or something with wheels can make moving heavy items less likely to cause an injury. If you must carry heavy items, ensure they are divided into lighter loads and that you are being mindful to use proper form when lifting.

Move around. Don’t just get stuck on fully completing one task at a time. This can cause extended periods of time in the same position leaving you open to soreness and possible injuries. Instead, vary your tasks and move around so you can stay limber and prevent muscles from seizing or cramping.

Don’t forget to breathe. Sounds silly I know, but the truth is we can easily become tense while doing strenuous work, and this means shallower breaths as well. In order to be oxygenating our bodies, we must be mindful of taking slow deep breaths, while releasing the tension from our shoulders and backs. Not only will you feel more refreshed getting more oxygen circulating, but you will feel calmer by releasing tension.

It’s no secret that gardening is a lot of work. This time of year comes with an urgency to get everything ready all at once. The beautiful end results fuel this urgency, and we just want you to get your results, without injuring yourself in the process. No one wants to spend their short summer nursing a gardening injury!

Consult with myself to discuss the safest way to get your results and remain injury free at the same time.

More Spring Cleaning Toxic Free Tips, and How Exercise Helps Minimize Injuries

By Newsletter

Spring Cleaning Is In The Air We Breath

Spring time is finally here, and this article continues the ‘spring cleaning’ theme from last month’s newsletter.

If you’re anything like me, you can’t wait to open up all the windows in your home, let the fresh air flow through, and get to cleaning! The long winters can have us feeling unmotivated, and the worst part about it is all the recycled air we breath, along with the cleaners and air fresheners that really do have an impact on our immune systems, our mental wellness, and our muscles. The desperate actions we take to stay warm, and have our homes smelling “fresh” have now impacted us, leaving our bodies feeling weaker.

That Clean Smell

That smell – whether it’s bleach, or some of those other really common household cleaners we all grew up using, it’s what we equate with being “clean”. However, now that we know better, we should do better.

Clean doesn’t have to mean toxic. If smell is really what you’re looking for – try using 100% essential oils in a diffuser. You can buy ready made combinations, or you can combine your own for a unique home fragrance.

Cleaning products have come a long way as well. You can buy ready made ones, but they can be expensive. Making your own at home is an inexpensive alternative, and can be a fun way to get the whole family involved. And it’s safe for everyone to be in contact with.

Here Are a Few of Our Favorites

For sinks and bathroom tiles:

  • One part baking soda
  • Two parts vinegar
  • Four parts water

This combination is excellent for scouring surfaces. Giving the area an extra scrub with vinegar afterwards is a great way to kill pathogens.

To polish wood surfaces:

  • Half lemon juice
  • Half olive oil

Rub onto wood surfaces and allow to dry.

To remove dust:

  • An old wool sweater makes an excellent dust cloth, but any other fabric will do.
  • Just make it damp with water, and it will collect the dust as you wipe surfaces.

Replacing heating and air conditioning filters regularly will help to alleviate the dust build up in your home. Opening the windows on those warmer spring days will also help to ensure you aren’t breathing in too much of the dust that has settled in your home over the winter.

Remove mold and mildew:

  • Two teaspoons of tea tree oil
  • Two cups of water

Put it in a spray bottle and spray onto mold or mildew.  Tea tree oil has a strong smell that can last a few days, but if you can’t tolerate it – use vinegar instead. Use a few drops of essential oils to freshen the space if you aren’t into a washroom that smells like vinegar.

The mold spores are an enemy that can wreak havoc on your health and your allergies. The spring months while everything is melting and damp can unearth mold spores outside, and the warmer damp air inside can be a breeding ground as well. Keeping mold and mildew at bay, at least inside your home will help to maintain a healthier environment for your family.

For your windows:

  • ¼ cup of vinegar
  • Two cups of water
  • ½ teaspoon of liquid dish soap

Combine these in a spray bottle, and use dry newspaper to wipe the windows clean. Cleaning on an overcast day will work better, as the sun could dry the solution too fast.

For your toilet:

  • ¼ cup of vinegar
  • Baking soda (just a sprinkle)

Pour the vinegar into the bowl and sprinkle the baking soda in. Let it sit for about 5 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. If you have hard water stains, you can pour 2 cups of vinegar into the bowl and let it sit overnight.

It’s never too late to take a toxin free approach to spring cleaning! I hope these ideas will help you to begin a new regimen, or will give you some tips to share with your friends and family. Our holistic approach to your Chiropractic care is one we take seriously.

Are you a Weekend Athlete?

As our lives get busier, it becomes harder to squeeze in those runs, golf, squash games, swims etc. With longer durations of time between vigorous activity – the likelihood of sports related injuries increases.

We hear about professional athletes suffering traumatic injuries, but not about the person who loves to stay active but may be cutting corners on warm ups, equipment, and after care treatment.

How many times have you hurt your back or your ankle and ran to the drug store for a muscle relaxer? Only to spend a week in excruciating pain until you see a chiropractor. Let us help you get ahead of your pain and injury before matters get worse.

Sports Injuries Happen

Your goal here was to remain in good physical shape. However, that desire sometimes has to take a back seat to what is really happening with your body. Muscle imbalances happen when structural abnormalities are present. Exercise equipment that isn’t being used correctly can be the culprit. Aging and natural muscle loss is a big one – which goes hand in hand with a weakening core.

Typically sports related injuries are caused by traumatic force, and we most commonly see torn ligaments in the ankles, elbows, shoulders, and knees. Spinal injuries are most commonly a result of weak core muscles paired with sudden injurious movement. All of which can be debilitating.

How Chiropractic Can Help

Chiropractors are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat sport related injuries. We will give you a comprehensive exam and will help determine the cause of the pain.

The next step is to provide you with a management plan that will include soft tissue therapies, manipulation and mobilization, rehabilitation, and individualized exercises along with lifestyle suggestions to restore function and reduce pain. The can sometimes be a long road to recovery, but the sooner you begin treatment the sooner you will be back to your regular activity.

Along with our role in care, we encourage every person to remain physically active. Maintaining a strong physical body will prevent illness, deterioration of muscles and bone mass, and it keeps you feeling happy. There is nothing more important than being able to remain limber and agile, so our lives can be fulfilling.

This is why you participate in sports through adulthood right? Because it makes you feel good.

The Key to Prevention

Of course, the key here is to prevent injuries from happening in the first place. The importance of warming up, using good quality equipment, and cooling down cannot be stressed enough. If you are beginning a new workout regimen or are going back to a sport you have played in the past – be mindful of your current physical state and do not overdo it. Sometimes the nostalgia of revisiting an old sport can get the best of us and being overzealous in the beginning can lead to injuries we didn’t even know existed.

Being proactive by visiting us before taking on a new sport to determine preventative measures should be included in your action plan!

 

Top Exercises to Use if You’re Over 40

Exercise is an important part of maintaining your health, but as you age, it can get more challenging to keep up with your old routines. The good news is that as you age, the health benefits of exercise increase because it reduces your chance of getting an age-related disease like heart disease, arthritis, and high blood pressure. You can keep exercises simple and low-intensity, while finding ways to exercise can be easy and even free. Take a look at the top ways to get some exercise when you’ve reached your 40’s or older.

Pilates

Get your sweat on by signing up for a Pilates class. This is a great way to get some exercise in a social environment and it works out your whole body. You’ll get stronger and more flexible while taking some of the stress off of your muscles. This is the perfect class for someone who wants to get stronger without doing something too intense.

Strength training

Speaking a low maintenance exercise plan, lifting light weights is a great way to start building up your muscle strength. Start doing some strength training with light weights between 1lb and 5lbs to get your muscle mass up and to get stronger at every day activities. Since your muscle mass decreases as you age, it’s an important time to start building and maintaining your muscle mass now.

Yoga

You’ve probably heard about yoga being all the rage and that’s because it’s one of the best ways to exercise and get so many different health benefits. It’s a gentle exercise that offers beginner to advanced classes so that you can learn the poses and have fun doing it. You’ll see your energy improve, your sleep improve, and your stress levels diminish; all things that any 40something can appreciate! This is also a great option for those times when a yoga in the park event is taking place so that you can move that workout outdoors.

Get moving with cardio

Do you love to take a bike ride or swim in the summer? Cardio is a wonderful way to get the exercise you need while having fun doing it. A neighborhood walk each day or a hike at a state park on the weekends is a great chance to move your body while having fun. Biking, swimming, running, and walking are great cardio options that will keep you heart healthy.

Corrective training exercise

If you suffer from joint pains, you’ll definitely want to check out corrective training with a personal trainer. You’ll do squats, rotations, lunges, and more to improve your body’s physical health which can help with muscle imbalances and joint pains.

Stand-up paddle boarding on the water

If you’re feeling adventurous and always liked the idea of surfing, give stand-up paddleboarding a try. It’s a great way to get in the water in the summer and glide along in the sunshine. You’ll gain muscle from getting yourself up on the board, paddling in the water, and maintaining your balance, all while getting a tan and forgetting you are exercising.

Tai Chi class

Lastly, you should definitely consider joining a Tai Chi class which is like martial arts. This type of class is really gentle and offers a way to reduce stress and blood pressure. Your mental focus will improve and you’ll even find your balance improve; something that can come in handy when you try stand-up paddle boarding.

If you’re starting to fear exercise as you age, try one of these excellent workouts suited well for 40 years and older that will have you looking forward to your next class!

 

Ways to save your back from Spring Cleaning

By Newsletter

Let’s discuss some ways we can help keep you from musculoskeletal injuries while you begin to purge and get into those hard-to-reach corners. I mean, what’s spring cleaning without moving furniture and getting right in there?

We’ve been waiting for months to reopen our homes to the fresh air, the sounds of nature, and the ability to clear out that built up clutter. But injuries, and particularly back injuries, are very common during this time of year. The injuries brought on by lifting, twisting, and tripping are a nuisance, and can take quite some time to heal. So let’s talk prevention here.

Warm Up

Seriously. You may be thinking “really, to clean the house?”

Yes, the bending, moving, lifting, and scrubbing can have you – at the very least – feeling sore the next day. But it’s no secret that injuries are more likely if you have stiff muscles. Take a walk around the house, do a few simple stretches, and get your muscle warm and your blood circulating to your extremities.

Tighten Those Abs

Simply keeping your abs tight throughout the cleaning process will not only give you a great ab workout, it will help support your back while moving and lifting items. Many back injuries occur as a result of poor form when moving, lifting, or getting up out of awkward positions. However, having a strong core will help to prevent these types of injuries by keeping your musculoskeletal system firmly in place.

Use Your Legs, Not Your Back

Instead of constantly bending at the waist, use your legs and squat or lunge! Squat while cleaning the bottoms of windows and mirrors. Squat when cleaning the tub, or picking items up off the floor – just always bend at the knees when having to reach for items. Lunge while vacuuming or weeding the garden – both of which are great for your shoulders and arms as well.

It’s Not Just Your Home

Spring cleaning isn’t just about the physical aspect of cleaning and purging either. Cleaning up your eating habits and your routine is a great way to get back on track after the long winter months. Getting into a better sleeping routine is a sure way to have you feeling and looking better. And making movement a paramount part of your daily routine will help you to keep your body agile and in shape – so you can proactively preventing injuries.

Your home is a good place to start, but don’t forget to include the rest of your life in the equation. Make sure you have your Chiropractic appointments scheduled into your routine, and if you haven’t already – join a fitness group, join a gym, or start walking outside as the weather warms up.

Enjoy Yourself

There are several ways to make spring cleaning a fun and injury free workout. Make sure you are enlisting family members to help out with these tasks so you don’t become overburdened with house/yard work. Tasks can be easily divided up and categorized per age group when involving children, put on some music, and have fun!

 

Should I See a Chiropractor For Whiplash?

Whiplash is often characterized as being associated to car accidents, but there are many other more common causes. Sports, falling off a bike, and amusement park rides are just a few, and if you aren’t aware of these types of injuries, you could downplay your symptoms thinking they aren’t that serious. I’m sure as kids, many of you have had injuries related to rough play or falls that had gone undiagnosed because the signs and symptoms were unclear. Millions of people suffer whiplash a year, and many go untreated which can lead to long term damage. The good news is, Chiropractic can help.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is the common term for what we call a “cervical acceleration-deceleration injury”. This more specifically refers to the damage done to the ligaments, muscles, tendons, discs, nerves, and vertebrae of the neck as a result of sudden hyperextension and hyperflexion of the neck. In simpler terms, when you experience sudden force that moves the neck backward then forward forcefully, the ligaments that hold the vertebrae in place are damaged. This causes the vertebrae to to change their position an irritate the nerves. Not only can you experience neck pain, but the body parts connected to those nerves are affected as well.

It’s Very Common

Whiplash is actually more common than you may think. It’s most common in those who have been in car accidents, but there are other causes that were listed above. In addition, there are other factors that can make someone predisposed to whiplash injuries, such as vertebral subluxations, arthritis, osteoporosis, and already sustained whiplash injuries. The symptoms of a whiplash injury can vary in relation to the severity, but most commonly you will experience:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain in hands and arms
  • A loss or reduction in your ability to move your neck
  • Stiffness or pain in your neck
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in the jaw or face
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Numbness in your hands or arms

It’s also important to note that your symptoms could appear immediately after the injury, or could appear after a delay which often causes people from associating their symptoms with their injury. This is where a gap in treatment could occur.

See Us Today – Don’t Wait  

If you suspect you may have experienced whiplash recently, or even months ago, you should be examined by a Chiropractor to assess the damage. They will set you on a course of action in relation to the severity of your injury.

Immediate Attention is Key

Immediate attention may ensure less long term effects of whiplash such as chronic pain, loss of function, permanent damage to your vertebrae, damage to your nervous system, and even accelerated degeneration of the cervical spine.

We Can Help

We may use a combination cervical adjustments, spinal distraction, and more, to decrease the irritation to the nerves in your neck, while increasing the flexibility and blood flow of the cervical joints and muscles. It is this combination of soft tissue care, spinal adjustments, that has been shown to help whiplash. Again, If you suspect you may have experienced whiplash, please follow up with us today for further instructions on how to treat it.  

Arthritis, Strains, and Exercises – here’s tips to help!

By Newsletter

Can a Chiropractor Help Arthritis?

Chiropractors are thought to be the frontline providers of relief from back pain, but they really are healthcare professionals who care for and treat the entire body. It’s true that Chiropractors adjust the spine, but they also use varying degrees of care and techniques to adjust misaligned joints and provide a holistic approach the relief of arthritis.

Arthritis is a condition that will often rear it’s painful head as we age. Millions of people are affected by arthritis. With no sign of a cure in sight, treatments by Chiropractors can help manage the chronic pain associated with this condition.

The main symptoms are chronic joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and can eventually lead to a significant reduction in movement causing disability.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Some forms of arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis can be characterized by periods of activity and remission. During the active phase, the focus is on suppressing the inflammatory process through diet, relaxation, and pharmaceutical help if required. In the remission phase, the focus remains on the maintenance of joint function.

During the remission phase, Chiropractic care can help by:

  • Helping to improve the range of motion
  • Improve flexibility and endurance
  • Increase muscle tone and strength
  • Provide diet and nutritional advice and supplements to aid in decreasing inflammation

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a condition that is slightly more stable, but does become progressively worse over time. Most commonly it is the hips, knees, and spine that are affected – and it is your chiropractor that can help with pain management so you can remain functional for as long as possible. Chiropractors come with a great degree of knowledge in strategies and management of osteoarthritis.

With the assistance of your family doctor, a Chiropractor may treat osteoarthritis with:

  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • ultrasound therapy
  • electric muscle stimulation (EMS)
  • laser therapy

Early Diagnosis is Imperative

Beginning treatment as early as possible is the key to receiving the best outcome, since arthritis just gets progressively worse over time. The treatment you will receive will be preventative, meaning it will be focussed on reducing further damage to your joints and pain. The inflammation related to arthritis conditions can be quite damaging to joints and the soft tissue in your body, so developing a team of health care professionals, a plan, and beginning treatment will directly affect you prognosis.

Ultimately, We Too Wish You Didn’t Have An Arthritis Diagnosis

There are many other forms of arthritis that can be helped by a Chiropractor. An arthritis diagnosis can be scary, the thought of long term chronic pain is something no one wants to have to suffer with. Fortunately the progression of this condition can be stalled with adequate and immediate care – significantly improving your quality of life.

 

Calf Strain. Can Your Chiropractor Help?

If you have ever torn the fibers in your calf, you know how painful it can be. The older you get, the more susceptible you are to tears and injuries from your weekend workouts and athletic activities. 

How Do I Know I’ve Torn a Muscle?

You’ll know if you have heard a “pop” while pushing off that leg during an activity – followed by a sharp pain and some swelling or bruising. This particular calf strain is graded by the amount of torn fibers. 

The severity of the sprain will fall into one of three categories:

Grade 1 (mild) – Few muscle fibers have been injured. You may not feel pain until the following day, and would usually be during or after an activity that would instigate a pain response. You’d still have strength and range of motion, and there isn’t usually and swelling or bruising. 

Grade 2 (moderate) – A large number of strains fall between a grade 1 and 2. With a grade 2 strain, there are many muscle fibers that have been torn which has lead to a decrease in your range of motion, swelling, pain, and bruising.

Grade 3 (severe) – All of the fibers of the calf muscle are torn, meaning there is noticeable damage. There is likely severe swelling, pain, and bruising. There is limited mobility, and the range of motion is severely limited as a result of the pain. 

Immediate Treatment

This should consist of the PRICE protocol, similar to RICE, but the P is for protection, R rest, I ice, C compression, E elevation. This should be followed until the swelling goes down, and while your body heals. Ensure you are resting, drinking water, standing, and NO high heels!

While this takes place while determining a treatment plan that includes the assistance of a chiropractor. This rehabilitation plan will consist of strengthening, stretching, and adjustments to prevent future tears of the calf muscles that could lead to plantar fasciitis, Achilles strains, or hamstring strains. 

Rehabilitation is the Key

The importance of proper rehabilitation for your calf strain can’t be emphasized enough, because failure to do so will cause your calf to heal tighter and with more weak points which will lead to further injury. In addition, a massage can be beneficial immediately after the injury (not at the actual sight of the tear though!) to lengthen the entire posterior chain while increasing the circulation. 

Begin with non weight bearing stretches once the swelling has decreased, and if your body is tolerating that well for a few days, then you can move onto weight bearing stretches. The severity of the injury, how much time passed before you sought treatment, along with your body’s ability to heal will determine how quickly you will be able to resume your regular activities. 

Ask Us

If you are experiencing what you think may be a calf strain, talk to your chiropractor about beginning treatment before it’s too late and you have prolonged the healing process.

 

Exercise and Chiropractic Care

With the exception of those with heart problems – combining exercise, nutrition and your chiropractic care is the best way to get the results you have been looking for. And without getting carried away, this is not about becoming an athlete – it’s simply about getting your body moving more regularly. Taking care of your body not only requires seeking out healthcare professionals to help you improve, but it requires your commitment to yourself along with your willingness to follow a new routine – which may include exercise. 

Exercise

There are years worth of studies and evidence to support the fact that light to moderate exercise is just as important as adjustments, stretching, and nutrition.  For example, when treating lower back pain – strengthening the abdominal muscles will support your lower back resulting in a decrease in pain. 

The addition of aerobic exercise will help to promote proper digestion while improving circulation. This can be as little as a walk around the block daily, to cycling or running. The resulting toning, fat burning, and weight loss are essential components to pain relief overall. 

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care will bring pain relief once the spine is aligned properly. You can expect a reduction in pain in your neck, back, hips, joints, along with other parts of your body that could be affected by a misalignment. Improvement in headaches, digestion, energy, and immunity are also an expectation of chiropractic treatment. 

When Exercise and Chiropractic Care are Mixed

With both being maintenance routines, they will work well together. Between pain relief and an overall improvement in strength, you will find yourself feeling and looking better. In addition, you will have a decreased risk of developing diseases or additional pain in your joints or back. 

The overall sense of well being should be your motivation to continue with your routine, creating lifelong healthier habits. 

A Holistic Approach

Working with a Chiropractor is a journey you will have to take alongside other healthcare modalities. The use of adjustments alone to ease pain can bring some relief, but when adjustments are used alongside exercise (and nutrition), you’ll find a difference you wouldn’t otherwise notice without it. 

Safe and Effective Care

Chiropractic care can be the safest route to go when you are looking for pain relief that is free of medication and stress. The biggest reason people often don’t make the initial first step is because they are unsure of what to expect. The expertise of your Chiropractor will put your questions at ease, and give you the confidence you need to move forward towards a pain free future.

If you haven’t reached out yet, give us a call and book a visit to get a clear understanding of how they can help you and your individual needs.

Bursitis, Back Pain and Winter Blues – What can you do about it?

By Newsletter

I Have Bursitis, Can Chiropractic Help?

Bursitis is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain that we see in patients. Simply put, it’s the inflammation of a fluid filled sac, or bursa – which lies in between the tendon and the skin, or in between the tendon and the bone. When working normally, the bursa protects the joint and helps to make the movements smooth or fluid.

Treatment

The treatments associated with many shoulder ailments is relatively the same. If you have been diagnosed with bursitis, the muscle imbalances that develop because of the compensating due to pain will restrict shoulder mobility.

A combination of mobilization modalities for the soft tissue and spinal adjustments will restore the mobility to the shoulder joints and can correct any subluxations in the spine. In some cases, we will recommend special rehabilitation exercises to ensure your recovery.

They Usually Aren’t Sports Related

Shoulder injuries can happen at any age and aren’t always necessarily sports related. In fact, many of the cases aren’t even shoulder related, but are related to daily poor posture – all of the sitting, slouching, leaning forward, staring down at cell phones, and lack of exercise are huge contributors to developing shoulder pain.

The key here is to find the root cause of the shoulder pain so it can be treated efficiently. There are a series of movement tests we can conduct to see exactly where your body needs help and to address the problem. If the pain is resulting from a problem in the midback and neck, then adjustments, and stability tape can help. The length of the treatment will always depend on the severity of the problem.

If the pain can be traced back to a sports injury or a specific event, treatments specific to the type of injury will depend on how long you’ve gone without treatment and what kind of physical shape you are already in. A combination of light exercise, adjustments, and stability tape will also be the top treatment choices in this case.

Is Your Day Job Causing You Back Pain?

It’s no secret that as a society, we have become more sedentary at many of our jobs. Gone are the days of getting up and moving repeatedly to file items, to retrieve files, to answer phone, and the list goes on.

The introduction of computers has simplified our lives on many levels but has taken a toll on our physicality.

The number of hours a day you sit at a desk typing has a significant toll on your back. It doesn’t matter how ergonomic your chair is, how much you spent on your desk because it’s the “perfect height”, or what kind of stool you have for your feet – if you don’t exercise your back regularly, you will begin to feel the effects of your desk job.

Of the millions of people who spend at least 7-8 hours a day sitting at a desk, most are sitting incorrectly.

But … I Have to Work

I’m not suggesting you don’t work, but I am suggesting you take a really serious look at your routine while you are working; along with the amount of exercise you are willing to fit into your schedule. The more stable and strong your back remains (and ultimately your core), the better every other aspect of your body functions.

Your spine and your surrounding tissue, muscle, ligaments, and nervous system are all pieces of your healthy framework. The healthier your framework, the better your body feels and works.

6 Things You Can Do to Prevent Damage

  1. Do not cross your legs while sitting. Women have been taught to believe that this is the polite way to sit. Men have been taught that crossed legs and a straight back will make you look more confident. The truth is, crossing your legs is a habit that is not conducive to correct posture or great alignment. Your ankles should be in front of your knees, and the backs of your knees should not be resting on your chair.
  2. Keep your shoulders back, and do not allow your abdomen to push out. If you do not have a strong core, this can be difficult. But as long as you are mindful and correcting yourself, sitting properly will help to strengthen those muscles.
  3. This could be a long-shot, but if you can switch your chair for an exercise ball…..this is a great way to remain aware of your posture and strengthen your core while you work.
  4. Get up and move. Every hour, you should at least get up and stretch – or even better, take a walk around and grab a drink of water. And if you can, ideally do some back exercises to get your blood flowing.
  5. Try not to lean forward to get closer to your computer screen. This motion puts added strain on your back and your organs.
  6. Get regular Chiropractic appointments! You will walk away with the tools you need to ensure you aren’t causing further damage to your back or organs while you work.

We Want You to Be Healthy

The bottom line is, you want to be and do your best at work. If your back and shoulders are sore, if you are getting headaches, if you aren’t sleeping well because of aches and pains – then you aren’t going to be able to be as efficient throughout the day.

The goal here is to make the best with what you have, reduce the amount of medications you take, and to keep your body strong and functional. Our goal as your Chiropractor is to give you the tools you need to follow through.

 

How to Avoid The Winter Blues

Winter has arrived, and for some people this means blankets, hot chocolate, movies, and outdoor winter activities – but for others, the shorter days and lack of exposure to sunlight can leave them feeling down, or even depressed.

Why Does the Winter Affect Some People Negatively?

Those gray days can have a physiological effect on your body’s ability to produce serotonin and melatonin. This can leave you feeling fatigued, unmotivated, and create difficulties with focus.

This interruption in ‘feel good’ receptors in your body can be mild or severe – leaving some feeling low energy, while for others it can be debilitating.

So What Can You Do About it?

Decreasing stress when at all possible is the first step. Stress can cause all kinds of ailments any time of the year, but is particularly difficult to deal with when your mood is low. Stress increases cortisol levels, and will in turn reduce those ‘feel good’ hormones you will need to get through the next few months.

Maintain some level of physical activity. If you already work out, ensuring you maintain or increase your trips to the gym will help you to improve your mood. It’s no secret that physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your mental health.

Get outside. Which I know can be difficult if you aren’t a lover of the cold temperatures. But finding an outdoor activity you can enjoy like skiing or skating, tubing, or visiting outdoor markets will all help you get as much exposure to whatever sunlight you can. Not just that, but being out and social is sometimes all you need to feel good.

Make some adjustments to your diet. It’s so easy to fall into winter indulgences when you feel stuck inside. Not to mention that it can be really hard to get back on track if you have overindulged over the holidays. All of that sugar, processed foods, alcohol, and overeating in general can wreak havoc on your body and your mood. Try sticking with a diet that is rich in real foods, anything processed or deep fried should be avoided. Give your body a break from alcohol and sugary drinks, and fill up on water. If you’re up for it, completing a cleanse with some guidance, may help you reset your digestive system and make you feel lighter.

Take your vitamins. Vitamins and supplements can be really helpful when it comes to improving your overall health, but most people become deficient in vitamin D over the winter months. This is because our bodies make vitamin D with sun exposure, so the lack of exposure causes a drastic decrease in our bodies vitamin D levels.

If you feel a dramatic change in your mood over the winter months, or are having a difficult time with your regular regimen of work, school, relationships etc – then you really should see your medical doctor to ensure there isn’t a bigger problem developing. Many people suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and although all of the tips presented here, it’s important to ensure you are being followed by a medical professional when your mental health is declining.

If you already see a Chiropractor, continue to see them regularly for care. If not, call us – some simple spinal adjustments, exercises, and nutritional support can make a world of difference in how you feel both physically and mentally – not just through the winter months but all year long!