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

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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!

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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?

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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!

 

Happy 2019! Let’s make this a healthy year!

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How to Build a Strong Foundation for Your Health

Building a strong health foundation in your life is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Once your health is in check, everything else falls into place. It’s easier to meet deadlines at work, have energy for your family, and to feel good in the mornings.

When you suffer from poor posture, don’t get quality sleep, eat processed foods, and don’t get exercise, everything starts to fall apart. You end up feeling tired all of the time, your digestion is poor, and you end up with body pains. It’s important to build a strong foundation for your health so that you can enjoy your whole life rather than just bits and pieces.

Exercising every day

The first way to start improving your overall wellness is to start moving each day. Daily exercise will help you to normalize your blood pressure, improve your mental health, and improve your muscles and bones. It’ll help you to have more energy and it even helps to slow down the aging process. It’s easy to get moving every day if you just make a point to do it. Whether you like to take a bike ride, jump on the trampoline with your kids, dance while you get ready for work, or take a walk with your spouse, it’s easy to get moving every day.

Vegetables are a main priority

A healthy diet is a great way to boost your health, and vegetables should be the most important thing you are consuming. Greens in your diet will help you to feel better, heal, and prevent future illness. Try a smoothie in the morning with greens like spinach or kale and add your favorite fruits to get a healthy dose of vegetables each day. You’ll love the nutrients you are getting and you’ll be receiving anti-inflammatory properties, a boost to your immune system, and vegetables that fight disease.

Sleep habits

How is your sleep at night? Believe it or not, sleep may the most important thing you do for your health. Since sleep is the time for your body to heal and rejuvenate, you need to get plenty of it. When you aren’t sleeping enough, you end up with a lack of focus at work, higher stress levels, blood sugar imbalances, and a greater chance for obesity. Make sure your room is dark, comfortable, and that electronics are turned off during sleep.

Self-improvement

Are you taking time for yourself to relax, reflect, and do something you love? Make sure you have time for self-improvement in your week. This may mean just 30 minutes a day to read a book, take a bath, get a massage, or work on a favorite hobby. Make sure you are doing things that make you happy so that you are getting the self-care you need to stay healthy.

Prevention

Lastly, there is nothing better once you start improving your health than to work on wellness and prevention. Make sure you are getting regular Chiropractic adjustments. If life is feeling unbalanced, it’s probably time to get a strong foundation for your health.

 

Can Chiropractic Help Sciatica?

If you suffer from sciatica, you are one of around 3 million sufferers in North America each year with this condition in their spine and legs. The nerve pain actually originates in the spine and travels down the back of the leg, and if irritated will result in difficulty standing and sitting.

While there are a few options for sciatica such as medications and surgery, many are seeking alternative options that are less intrusive. Chiropractic care, for instance, has an extensive library of studies showing it’s effectiveness in reducing sciatica pain.

Understanding the Sciatic nerve

It’s important to first understand more about the sciatic nerve and how it gets impaired. It is actually the longest nerve in the body that is used to provide strength and feeling to the legs. It consists of a bundle of five nerves that begin in the lumbar spine, and then group together in the buttocks and travel down the back of each leg.

Sciatica refers to an issue or impairment with this long nerve resulting in pain or numbness. It often occurs when a disc is herniated, spinal joints become injured and inflamed, or from other issues causing pressure on the nerve.

Symptoms associated with sciatica 

If you’ve never experienced sciatica before or think you may have it, there are some common symptoms you can look for such as pain, weakness, and numbness in the low back and into the legs. It’s a misunderstood condition because it’s often not the root cause of the irritation but a set of symptoms.

A herniated disc is the most common cause behind sciatica, but it can also be caused by general wear and tear on the lower spine. Other conditions that can cause your sciatica include spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal), piriformis syndrome (a spasm of the muscle in the buttocks), or spondylolisthesis, a slip of a vertebra that narrows the nerve exit.

Treating sciatica

The question comes in with the treatment of such a problematic condition. You sit and stand every single day making this condition highly problematic. One of the problems is that the risk for sciatic nerve issues increase with age and the risk for herniated discs or bone spurs. Other health conditions can also contribute to the risk factor, such as diabetes, obesity, since excess weight can affect spinal changes, and sitting for long periods of time due to your occupation.

The good news is that you don’t have to take on such an extreme treatment method such as surgery. You can choose a less-intrusive approach, such as chiropractic care and adjustments. Chiropractic care is a great choice for sciatica care because it can be used to adjust the spine to take pressure off of the nerve and make sure everything is in the proper place for optimal function. In fact, many times Chiropractic adjustments provide the same amount of relief that surgery does for sciatica patients.

When it comes to your sciatica, you don’t have to resort to invasive procedures to relieve your pain. Talk to us about your pain level and getting proper adjustments to relieve this condition affecting your daily life.

 

Why is your Achilles Causing You Pain?

Are you suffering from pain in your Achilles? This could be because you engage in physical activities like sports or physical labor in your line of work that requires repetitive motion in the ankle. Repetitive motions could be endurance activities like running or biking in which you are overusing the Achilles tendon.

Understanding the Achilles

Your Achilles tendon is found in the calf area (lower leg) made up of two muscles called the soleus and the gastrocnemius. It attaches all the way into the heel bone at the part called the calcaneal tubercle. This area has two major bursa sacs called the subcutaneous calcaneal bursa and the retrocalcaneal bursa that fill with fluid when they become inflamed. When you injure this area, the sacs fill with fluid and become an issue, especially if it’s the retrocalcaneal bursa that is affected.

What happens during an injury?

When you do a repetitive action, like running, in the region of the ankle, your Achilles tendon begins to rub against the bone, and can cause actually calcification in part of the tendon, effectively creating a new bone in the area. The new bone can then push the bursa in the area which causes some irritation and swelling while it fills with fluid.

This new bone being created is often called the “pump bump” and can actually start to calcify even if the bursa begins to heal. This means you’ll potentially need surgery to remove the new bone unless you’re able to get other types of therapy to correct the issue.

Additionally, you may end up with pain from the muscle tightening of the Achilles tendon. The pain is actually caused from abnormal loading because there is additional stress being placed on this area from the muscles being too tight.

Treating and avoiding Achilles Tendonitis

Going forward, you’ll want to work on steps to treat your Achilles issues and prevent them going forward. This means that you need to be wearing appropriate shoes during activities like walking and running, as well as correcting health issues like being overweight, diabetes, and gout.

Once the Achilles tendon is injured, it takes a long time to heal, making prevention the most important tool at your disposal. For irritation to the area, make sure you refrain from exercise for a few weeks while you rest and apply 20 minutes of ice at a time.

If you’ve started to feel a minor twinge or stiffness in the tendon connecting your heel and calf, it’s time to get help right away. The pain may dissipate as the tendon stretches but that does not mean it’s healed. It could eventually lead to burning or shooting pain.

If you have flat feet, wear high heels, or forget to stretch before exercise, you could be at risk for this condition. Be sure to start stretching before exercise, wear proper support and see us to check and see if your pelvis is aligned properly.

Elbow or Wrist Pain? Chiropractic can help

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How Sugar Impacts your Overall Health

Have you ever thought about what sugar is doing to your health? Everyone likes the occasional sweet indulgence, but excess sugar can have an impact on your overall health. In addition to weight gain, you could experience tooth decay, an imbalance in your blood sugar levels, inflammation, and much more.

With North Americans consuming around 22 teaspoons of sugar each day and even more for children, it’s more important than ever to get our sugar intake in check. Take a look at how sugar impacts your health and how to regain control.

The effect of sugar in your bloodstream

It’s important to understand what happens when sugar hits the bloodstream. First it’s going to release insulin which will promote fat storage. This is the hormone that is intended to keep your blood sugar balanced but the increased insulin will hinder hormone growth along with depressing your white blood cells, which both lead to a depressed immune system. You’ll be triggering weight gain, elevating your triglycerides which could lead to cardiovascular disease, and increasing risk of heart disease, some forms of cancer, and diabetes from the triggered inflammation

Health deficits that occur

In addition to putting your body at risk for these health issues, you’ll be depleting yourself of essential vitamins and minerals. It’s also increases the excretion of some of the important vitamins and minerals leading to hormone imbalances.

Too much sugar can lead to a depletion of calcium, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, chromium and phosphorus. You’ll be likely to excrete calcium and magnesium when you urinate which sets you up for a higher chance of osteoporosis. It only takes two teaspoons of sugar to raise your calcium levels and decrease your phosphorus levels leading to an imbalance of all of your other essential minerals.

Understand that sugar is addictive

North Americans consume around their own body weight in sugar each year and part of the reason is that it’s highly addicted. Many generations ago Americans were only consuming around 5lbs per year, but today we regularly consume 12ounce cans of soda, candy at the movie theater, and ice cream on hot summer days. Your soda alone will give you 10 teaspoons of sugar or 1/4th cup and that’s just one beverage in your day, not counting the sugars in desserts, dinner bread, condiments, and your morning juice.

Since sugar wasn’t always so common, our bodies weren’t designed to handle refined sugar well. Sugar was only really obtained through fruits that were also nutritious and seasonal. Today we add sugar to our fruits or include fruits in our sugar desserts. Any type of sugar consumption is likely to cause cravings for more since sugar is so addicting.

The reason sugar is so addictive is that it releases the chemical dopamine in the brain, the reward center of our brains, and our body gets addicted to this reward. When you activate that pleasure chemical, our bodies process it like it would alcohol or nicotine in which you are left craving more once it’s gone. In fact, sugar is likely changing your dopamine receptors where tolerance starts and it’s harder to quit. Think of sugar as way you are self-medicating, like an alcoholic would with alcohol or a smoker would with cigarettes, and notice that if you do try to stop that you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms

While sugar has an impact on your overall health, you can make the decision to quit entirely or majorly decrease it. Get educated on sugar in food and wean yourself off so that you can avoid hormone imbalance, a deficient in vitamins in your boy, and your risk of serious health conditions.

 

Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with Chiropractic Care

Do you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome and feel like you’ve tried everything to recover from the symptoms associated with it? You may not have realized that your chiropractic care can acutely help with your CTS symptoms.

It’s a common condition with more people getting diagnosed every year and being one of the most common surgeries performed here in North America. Common symptoms of CTS of tingling, burning, and numbness make it difficult to function on a daily basis, and you may even find that it’s a challenge to properly grasp things. While surgery and other treatments are available, chiropractic care may actually be the best non-invasive option. Take a look at what it can do for you.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

If you’re just learning about the condition, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition in which portions of the hand lose or are limited in feeling and movement due to swelling of the carpal tunnel; the narrow passageway in the wrist that allows the median nerve to pass through the tunnel extending from the spine to the hand. This condition can happen in men or women, but it is more likely to occur in women for reasons unknown.

The condition is somewhat difficult to diagnose and it can be a challenge to pinpoint where the issue began. For example, sometimes repetitive motions can cause the condition, such as a construction worker or typing, while in other cases, it could be caused by genetics or from having a smaller carpal tunnel than others.

When diagnosing the condition, the symptoms are often confused with arthritis, disc degeneration in the cervical portion of the spine causing median nerve irritation, or subluxations. It’s easy to misdiagnose with one of these conditions since they show the same symptoms of numbing or tingling.

Traditional treatments and what Chiropractic care can do

Your medical doctor has likely had you scheduled for surgery or offered an invasive treatment option such as steroid injections. Unfortunately, these are the most common treatment options and almost half of the time, surgical treatment isn’t successful. This is likely because many times patients have been misdiagnosed.

When you get alternative, non-invasive treatment such as Chiropractic care, you offer your body a natural solution before attempting anything more invasive. When you suspect you have CTS, you can talk to us about Chiropractic care to correct the problem before have drugs or surgery administered.

As a Chiropractor, we are already familiar with adjusting the body to get things back to normal by gently adjusting areas of concern such as your wrist, elbow, or cervical spine where the median nerve originates. Rather than allowing the pain to continue and damage to occur to your hand or thumb, you can get the Chiropractic adjustments you need to get your body back into working order.

 

What’s Causing Your Elbow Pain?

Are you experiencing elbow pain but you can’t seem to find the source of the problem?  Often referred to as the “funny bone,” your elbow is a very sensitive place with many nerves running through the area. When you bump the ulnar nerve running through the elbow, you end up with that “funny” feeling that goes away shortly later.

When you have pain in the area, it’s sometimes referred to as “tennis elbow” or “golfer’s elbow;” but, what are these different elbow injuries and why does the area get injured easily? Take a look below to better understand your elbow pain and what’s causing it.

Different forms of elbow pain

If you’ve ever experienced elbow pain, you know how frustrating it can be and how helpless you feel in trying to treat it. It also can debilitate you in doing any regular activity, from picking up a glass of water to driving your car. It’s an area that we overuse but we also can’t go without using.

If you work in a profession or have a hobby that involves much gripping or sitting at a desk and typing all day, you are likely to develop elbow problems over time. Left untreated, these issues can get very serious.

Elbow pain can range from the medial area to the lateral area, depending on the injury. Pain at the medial part of the elbow, or the inside part, is referred to as golfer’s elbow, and can happen when there is repeatable or excess stress to the area, especially when you make forceful finger and wrist motions. On the other hand, you have tennis elbow which refers to the outside or lateral epicondylitis, where the muscles of your forearm in which you use to extend the fingers and wrist, are the most affected.

Your elbow pain could also be a result of a simple sprain or strain to the area, a fracture if you’ve broken a bone, or a dislocation. If it’s something that has been developing over time, it could be related to a more chronic type of condition such as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, or bursitis.

Why do we injure the elbow easily?

Simply put, we tend to injure the elbow because it’s used so often throughout the day. You can’t pick up your coffee or get dressed for the day without using it. When you become athletic, you begin to use the elbow more frequently and can result in overuse or using incorrectly.

You can sometimes treat the pain symptoms at home if it’s an inflammation from a long day, but in most cases it’s best to see a professional. Even without sports in your life, you may be overusing your elbow at your office desk or gripping something often whether it’s a bar at the gym or your golf clubs.

Treating elbow injuries

While a minor discomfort can be treated at home with rest and an ice pack, untreated elbow injuries are serious. They need to be treated properly from the start because they will get worse if left alone. Regardless of where the injury is, you’ll end up with either weak extensors on the lateral side, or flexors that are too tight on the medial side. Seeing us right away is step one to avoid loss of function or activity level.

You’ll be able to diagnose the root of the problem and start correcting the issue with adjustments and therapeutic stretches. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary but an early diagnosis can prevent you from losing function or the issue exacerbating.

Are you experiencing numbness or shooting pain from in the elbow, arm, or hands? You need to meet with your us right away to figure out what’s causing your elbow pain and to get it treated professionally in order to avoid a more serious injury or a chronic condition from forming.

 

Create a stronger back, key nutrients for women, and dangers of text neck

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Create a Stronger Back for Better Healing

Have you ever felt like you couldn’t get through a day without experiencing some lower back pain? This is a common problem in America with millions of people suffering from the same pains. With so many of these people visiting their physician to correct the problem, it’s often discovered that leading a sedentary life is the root cause. 

While this is not always the case and sometimes the pain varies from one patient to another, a sedentary lifestyle that incorporated unexpected activity or improper back use will very likely harm the lower back. Instead, you can use these tips to strength the back and heal your back naturally. 

Strengthening with core exercises

You can use a few specific exercises to strengthen your lower back. These exercises pinpoint the area and strengthen the muscles so that when you go to use your lower back, it’s already prepared for the movement or pressure it may experience. You can discuss these exercises with your doctor to see if they are right for you before using them.

One exercise that you can try or strengthening the region is a pelvic tilt that you’ll do while lying on your back. First bring your knees pointing up with your feet close to your hips and begin rotating the pelvic and tailbone downward while tightening the muscles in the lower back. 

Keep your arms down at your side while you do this and try to rotate your pelvis to the opposite direction while slowly using your legs to life the tailbone and lower back off the ground. Tighten your muscles while your lower back and hips are off the ground and the hold the position for a few seconds before releasing and repeating. You’ll be supported by your legs, arms, and shoulders when these target areas are off the floor. 

You can also try the kneeling extension exercise which has you on your hands and knees and lifting your leg straight out for a 10 second hold before repeating. This is a great way to strength the lower back and gluteus muscles so that this region can be more supported. 

Lastly, try the half-lifted standing fold in which you’ll stretch the hamstrings while strengthening the lower back. Make sure you’ve allowed your core to be strengthened before trying this one. Stand tall with your knees slightly bent and bend forward so that the body is at a 90 degree angle. You can rest your hands on your thighs but make sure you keep the head lifted and the back muscles tightened. Then release by folding all the way over. 

Why is the back so vulnerable to injury?

Anyone that has experienced pain for more than a month of time knows that something is not right in the back. You’re likely to be making a phone call to the doctor or a chiropractor to see if there is a simple treatment that can handle the problem and hoping that it isn’t going to involve prescription drugs or more invasive treatment. It’s so common to end up as one of these back sufferers since in the US, people tend to work at desks for long periods of time during the day and don’t always make a point to move away from the desk or incorporate fitness into their lives. 

Being one of the most complicated areas of the body when it comes to the combined structure of your bones, nerves, muscles, and ligaments that are all in the largest part of the body, it makes sense that it’s prone to take a beating harder than other areas may. 

This is also due to the fact that your body puts so much of its weight on the lower back causing it to experience the most wear and tear. Even though it may seem that physical activity is most likely to harm the area, it’s actually the sedentary lifestyle in which you keep it in an unhealthy position all day. You could end up with disc regeneration and even obesity if your lower back’s musculoskeletal system is worn down. 

If you’re suffering from lower back pain, it’s time to focus on strengthening this area and making some lifestyle changes. Make sure to give this part of the body more love and attention going forward knowing how vital it is to your overall wellbeing.

Which Nutrients are Best for Women? 

While all people need to focus on getting the right nutrients in their body, men and women can have some variances in what they need for their specific gender. For example, women need more calcium because they are at a greater risk of ending up with osteoporosis. Men need more protein and calories than women do because men have a larger body and more muscle mass. 

Men and women both need folic acid, but women need more of it during childbearing years and require an extra supplement for it. When it comes to men and women, they need most of the same things but each gender may require more of something than the other one. Take a look at the things that women need most when it comes to the right nutrients. 

Fiber

For starters, women need to make sure they are getting plenty of fiber. It’s recommended that you get 25g if you’re under 50 and 21g if you are over 50. It helps to keep women regular and lowers the chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, obesity, and even a stroke. This is particularly important during pregnancy. Choose foods high in fiber such as avocados, black beans, berries, chia seeds, and coconut.  

Iron

You’ve likely heard it before but women tend to be low in iron. It’s important to make sure you get enough of it because it’s important for health, sustained energy, and avoiding fatigue, infection, and irritable moods. 

You can find it in spinach, black beans, grass-fed beef, liver, and even dark chocolate. Iron works to transport oxygen while regulating cell growth, aiding your bone marrow in creating healthy red blood cells so that you don’t become weak. Make sure you get 18mg for 19-50 year olds and 8mg for over 50. 

Calcium

Everyone needs calcium because it gives you strong bones, but how much do women need? Make sure you are get 1,200mg if you’re over 50 and 1,000 if you are between 19-50 years. Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis from a lack of calcium because the body will take from your bones to make sure the cells can function well. Choose more kale, raw milk, broccoli, yogurt, and watercress to get the calcium your body needs. It’s also important for your heart’s proper rhythm and nervous system function. 

Folate

As mentioned, folate is so important for women, especially in the child-bearing years. You need 400mcg-600mcg during pregnancy and 500mcg when breastfeeding because it’s crucial to the development of cells. Folate reduces the chances of birth defects and lowers the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Make sure you get it before conception and during pregnancy through citrus fruits, avocado, kidney beans, peanuts, and black-eyed peas. 

Protein  

While men need more protein than women, women still need 10-35% of their daily caloric intake to consist of protein. You’ll need more if you are into weight-lifting because it aids in muscle development, but make sure you get some grass-fed beef, organic chicken, yogurt, wild fish, or black beans in your diet for your daily protein needs. 

Since all of your cells have protein, it makes sense that you have to replenish your body with protein.it works to repair and create new cells, and it’s especially important for pregnant women and for children. 

If you were wondering what kinds of foods you should be incorporating into your diet, use this guide to make sure you are covering all of the areas that women really need to focus on for prime health.

 

Is Tech Neck Avoidable in Today’s World?

Did you know, the average American spends more than 9 hours a day staring at some type of screen? It could be a smartphone, TV or computer, but most Americans are spending more than a normal full-time shift at work staring at a screen. Even young children don’t avoid this as they spend at least two hours staring at screens and that number only increased as they get older.

How Screen Staring Impacts Your Spine

As you’re staring down at your phone, tablet or computer, you are putting more weight on the cervical spine. The average human head weighs 12 pounds. Even just a small tilt to send a text message will increase the amount of that weight being supported by your cervical spine. The more you tilt, the worse it gets.

This posture is causing more people to suffer from strain throughout the shoulders and the neck. Many chiropractors are calling this “tech neck” because it’s caused by technology. The hunched over posture may cause knots in the shoulders and neck, but it could also cause disc damage or a pinched nerve.

Can you Prevent Tech Neck?

In a world where phones are attached to most people and computers are vital for most to function at work, is it possible to prevent tech neck? The answer is yes, but it’s not so easy.

The easiest way to prevent tech neck is to spend less time in front of screens. However, this isn’t possible for some, as those working in front of a computer all day will not be able to reduce their screen time much. 

You can start by replacing your laptop at meetings with a notebook. This is a pretty easy change and some of the easiest changes can be found in your home. Instead of scrolling through social media while watching TV or spending time with your family, become more present at the moment and put the phone away.

You can also limit your time in front of the TV and computer at home. Choose an amount of time you will spend with your devices every day at home, set a timer and when that time is gone, put them away for good. Read a book, play a game, go outside or do anything that gets you away from screens. 

You only get 24 hours per day. If you spend more than 9 hours in front of a screen and another 8 hours sleeping, you only have 7 hours left. About half that time is likely spent getting ready for work, eating meals or preparing meals. That doesn’t leave much left.

Chiropractic Treatments for Tech Neck

While the best solution is to avoid screens or limit your time in front of them, you can also seek out chiropractic treatment for tech neck. With the right treatment, you can find relief and get back your good posture.