Disc and Hip Pain – what can be done about it

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Do You Have a Hip Flexor Strain?

If you have ever experienced a hip strain, you know how absolute the pain is and how it can affect your walking ability. The cause is often one of a few things, but if you have reached out to us to manage the pain, you have already made the correct first step! Hip strain is something we commonly see in the clinic. I’ll share with you what makes up the hip flexors, what can cause pain, and how it is frequently treated.

What Are The ‘Hip Flexors’?

The hip flexors are the muscles that attach to the front of the hip and are responsible for bringing the knee up toward the chest. One of these muscles originates in the lower spine area and attaches to the thigh bone. The other smaller muscles stretch around the same location, wrapping from the front to the back of the hip area. When you have pain, it could be any of the muscles in the area causing it, mainly because they all work together to support the hip’s movement. If you can locate the bony part in front of your pelvis just under your belt and move your hand down a few inches, you can press and feel whether your hip flexors are causing your pain. This part of your hip will feel tender.

What is Causing the Pain?

The first thing I will do is determine whether your pain results from a strain or if it is tight hip flexors. Both conditions cause pain, but a strain will cause discomfort after exertion. This is common in soccer or football players. Strains are more commonly found in athletes involved in repetitive motions, like long-distance runners or those who play other sports involving long-running bouts.

Having very tight hip flexors is common in athletes but can also be a problem for sedentary people. The person who sits all day at work can suffer pain from tight hip flexors because the lack of everyday use can cause them to become tight and will even shorten the muscles. The lack of motion becomes a problem when you need them to work! It’s common for tight hip flexors to cause pain in the lower back and the hips. Additionally, weak abdominal muscles can stress the hip flexors, causing pain and tightness.

How Will I Treat Hip Flexor Pain?

Again, once I will determine whether it is a strain – I must determine how severe it is. A period of rest is required in more severe cases to reduce inflammation. If it is a mild strain, I can commonly use the same method as I do with tight hip flexors. I will work on the hip to create a dynamic stretch in the hip flexors. Depending on what I find, a variety of therapy treatments can soften the muscle and break up scar tissue. Once the inflammation is addressed, I will provide some light stretches to improve mobility and reduce the recurrence of pain.

Stretches Will Help

Some popular stretches are the glute bridge stretch, the kneeling hip flexor stretch, and the supine hip flexor stretch. It’s essential to have me show you how to do these stretches safely and effectively to avoid further injury.

If needed, I will recommend physiotherapy and massage therapy.

I hope this information has been helpful; happy stretching!


Degenerative Disc Disease and Chiropractic

You’ve had pain that becomes worse when you are lifting, bending or twisting, you feel better while running, walking or even standing, and you feel better when you change positions or when you lay down? Would you describe this as bouts of moderate to severe pain that comes and goes? 

This sounds a lot like degenerative disc disease.

Can a Chiropractor Help?

Reaching out to us is an excellent addition to your existing health care team. As a disc degenerates it becomes supplied with more nerves. And well, with more nerves, the more pain you will experience. As a chiropractor, I know how to work with these irritated nerves to naturally help to reduce the amount of pain you are experiencing.

Ultimately, my goal is to treat the degenerating discs by improving the joint mechanics and motion while reducing the irritation and inflammation. Where advanced degenerative disc disease is present, this is not always possible.

What Does Treatment Look Like?

Stimulating the circulation in the compromised disc relieves the nerves, and the addition of proper nutrients and clear forms of movement will help to stimulate the regeneration of the discs.

Spinal adjustments are the primary solution when it comes to disc degeneration.

I will Develop a Care Plan

Whichever care plan is right for you will be discussed when you visit my office. For some, it is one method, for others it is a combination of methods that will help to achieve the desired results and pain relief.

The chronic pain associated with degenerative disc disease will eventually alter the way you live. The constant anticipation of when it will flare up again, mixed with the lifestyle changes that will be made as a result of pain can all be avoided with consistent and proactive chiropractic care.

Ultimately, there is no cure for degenerative disc disease. But with adequate medical and chiropractic care, nutrition, and careful movement – regeneration of the affected discs can begin. Living with chronic pain is no way to live, and your decision to see myself to treat your degenerative disc disease will be your first step towards relieving this pain and preventing it from taking over the way you live.

It’s never too late to begin a new treatment plan, so go ahead and contact my office to schedule an assessment.

Become Your Own Valentine and Tips to avoid Slips

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Become Your Own Valentine

Are you one of the people who looks forward with anticipation to Valentine’s Day? Or is it a day that’s more filled with expectations or even disappointment, that never seems to quite measure up? Whether you have someone you consider your valentine or not, there’s always another option: making yourself your own valentine.

Here’s what you can to to celebrate the #1 person who deserves it: you!

  1. Take yourself on a date. Is there anything you wish your current partner or a potential partner would do with you? Stop waiting and dare to do it on your own. Seeing a movie is a perfect way to spend time by yourself. Or go out to dinner with the book you’re currently reading as your date. 
  2. Explore in your own town. It can be as simple as taking a walk in an area you haven’t been to before, or going to a tourist attraction you’ve never taken the time to see. Having a new experience on your own while getting exercise is a perfect combination. 
  3. Buy yourself flowers. Do you only get flowers if someone else buys them for you? Never thought about getting them on your own? It’s time. There’s no rule that says you can’t splurge on yourself. You can get a gorgeous bouquet from the grocery store or your local florist. Choose an arrangement that makes you feel instantly cheery each time you see it. 
  4. Wear clothes you feel great in. Have a tie, dress or pair of shoes that makes you feel good as soon as you wear it? Stop saving it for the special occasions that rarely or never come around. You can dress up for your solo home date night or any other reason. Don’t wait for an excuse! You deserve to feel like a million bucks now. 
  5. Treat yourself. Saw some bath bombs in a store, but didn’t feel like you could justify buying them? Don’t have an outfit you feel like a million bucks in? While it’s nice to have a wish list, you have to prioritize turning it into reality on occasion. It’ll be dependent on your budget, but make a purchase that you feel enhances your sense of well-being this Valentine’s Day. 
  6. Stay away from any negativity. Learning to love yourself has to involve replacing negative thoughts. Next time you put yourself down, replace it immediately with a more positive thought. For example: you might ordinarily look in the mirror and think, “I really need to lose a few pounds.” Instead, replace it with “I am so appreciative to my body for carrying me through life all these years.” 
  7. Write yourself a love letter. Like anything else, self-love takes practice. Write down what you think you need to hear, such as what you love about yourself, or something that happened during your day that you’re proud of. Yes, it may feel uncomfortable to get started. Remind yourself that nobody else ever has to read what you’ve written. Bonus points for starting to journal in this manner, and going back over past entries when you need a boost!

How to Avoid Icy Slips and Falls

Ready to switch out your boots to ice skates? Winter is a beautiful time of year, but it can be pretty unforgiving and dangerous, too. Snow, ice and slippery conditions can cause serious accidents and injury all season long. While hopefully you never sustain anything too serious, it’s entirely possible to break a bone and have a long recovery in front of you.

The good news is, there is much you can do to prevent yourself from becoming sidelined all winter long. By preparing and knowing what you can do, you minimize your risks of being hurt and injured.

Here are some top tips to make sure you get through the winter season:

  • Skip the fancy shoes. No matter where you’re going, wear supportive, rubber-soled boots. You can always take a pair of lighter shoes to put on when you arrive at your destination. Winter boots are made to navigate slippery conditions, while other shoes won’t have that same advantage. 
  • Get snow grips. These grips are worn on the bottom of shoes or boots, giving you greater traction when you walk outside. 
  • Stop hurrying. Plan extra time if need be, but walk slowly and sure-footedly, paying attention to where you place your feet each step of the way. 
  • Use assistance when available. If there is a handrail or you have a walking stick, use it! 
  • Waddle like a penguin. In the iciest conditions, consider taking small steps and moving from side to side, like a penguin would walk. 
  • Reconsider your errands. On the worst winter days, do you really need to go out? 
  • Keep your hands free. Don’t shove them into your pockets, because then they can’t help you balance. 
  • Hold onto the car. When getting in and out of the car, hold onto the door or the frame of the car to give extra support before you get your bearings. 
  • Keep paths clear. Around your house, make sure there is no debris, water, ice or snow. 

Think inside, too, not just about outside. In your house, use the mat inside the door to dry off the soles of your shoes. That way, you won’t slip once you get inside, and nobody else will take a fall on a wet floor, either.

What to Do If You Fall

We all know that feeling of your feet going out from under you. Your arms are windmilling, and you know you’re about to go down. Some people make the mistake of trying to catch themselves with their arms, often ending up with a serious wrist or elbow injury. It’s best to take the hit on your back or buttocks instead. Don’t get up immediately, as you may further hurt yourself. Allow someone to assist you instead.

If your injury is more serious, seek professional help immediately. A slip or fall on the ice can cause pain and discomfort for weeks, months or even years afterward if not properly dealt with. If you’ve had a fall that you think may be the key to your problems, consider chiropractic. As practitioners with experience in evaluating your spine, muscles, joints and nervous system, we are a great choice to consult with about a slip or fall.

Keeping New Year’s Resolutions and do you really slow down when you get older?

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Is Slowing Down Inevitable As You Age?

As we move through life’s different stages, we encounter new opportunities and challenges along the way. The average life expectancy has been on the rise, and is now age 80 for men and age 84 for women. Have you considered how to pack the most possible life into your years?

Most of us consider aging and think about slowing down. That we won’t be able to move around as well, or enjoy the activities we love as more candles gather on each birthday cake. Some may have already experienced that their activities of daily living have been influenced by issues commonly associated with the aging process, such as a lack of mobility and flexibility.

With these issues often come a feeling of isolation, as if you’re held back from participating fully in your own life. That’s a reality nobody wants to face. Our focus should be on getting the most out of our golden years, rather than accepting a slow decline in our wellbeing.

So, What Can You Do About It?

There are a couple of key ideas to follow. The first is simply trying to reduce the amount of time spent in a sedentary state, which means when you aren’t moving around much. For example, if you typically spend a good amount of your day behind a desk or on a couch, you could set an alarm every 20 minutes to get up and stretch, or take a walk around your house (outside or inside, which means you can do it all year round!)

If you have a clean bill of health to increase your activity level, then by all means, focus on more vigorous forms of exercise, such as strength training, biking or swimming. But for those who are limited in what they’re able to do, there is good news: even standing up instead of sitting is considered a non-sedentary activity!

Apart from building more movement into your day, there are other measures you can take, such as increasing your water intake, or optimizing your sleep, which will enhance your overall health.

Where Does Chiropractic Fit Into the Picture of Healthy Aging?

At first, you may not see a connection between seeing a chiropractor and feeling good as you age. But consider this: when you age, you may find that you’re more susceptible to aches, pains and injuries than you were before.

Chiropractors seek to help you reduce the risk of an injury setting in, or to decrease the effects of it once you’ve already experienced an injury. The initial consultation you get with a chiropractor includes testing your overall function by looking at your balance, strength and mobility.

Once these are evaluated, your chiropractor can make recommendations based on their findings and the information you’ve provided, putting it together to create a full picture of their recommendations. Chiropractic is noninvasive and drug-free, designed to relieve pain while improving your overall function.

The conditions we can address include back pain, neck pain, arthritis, injuries and certain types of headaches–many of which people find they’re affected by as they age. The end goal of care is to make sure that you live a pain-free, active life!


The Secret to Keeping Your Resolutions

Happy 2023! When you think of the new year, what comes to mind? Is it celebrating with friends and family? Looking back on the last year over all you’ve encountered and accomplished? Or is your focus more on what you’d like to achieve in the upcoming year? While both are worth considering, there is a lot of negativity associated with a traditional part of New Year’s Eve: making resolutions. 

This negativity comes from the fact that New Year’s resolutions are often forgotten or left behind before long. Sound familiar? If so, leave the guilt trip behind. While you can’t change the past, what you can do now is focus on your present.

Let’s talk through some strategies and tips to make sure your New Year’s resolutions stick with you now, and in the future.

  1. Stay realistic. While there are likely plenty of aspects of your life you might want to work on, it’s a good idea to focus on one, single goal instead of a long list. By focusing your energy, you’ll be more likely to reach your end goals. If you set your sights too high or on too many resolutions, you’re setting yourself up for failure. 
  2. Be specific. “Lose weight” or “be more productive” might sound good, but the problem is that they’re not very specific. If you want to lose weight, for example, you might say that your goal is to walk a certain distance each day. To be more productive, you might want to have a pad of paper on your desk where you can write down what you need to accomplish each day and commit to doing so each morning before your day begins. 
  3. Make a plan. Invest some of your time into the planning process. Choosing your goal based on having thought about it extensively, then planning on how you can go about getting there, is essential to your success. Brainstorm the steps involved each way, why it’s important to you and how you’ll plan on keeping yourself on track. Consider, too, what you’ll do if your plans get derailed. 
  4. Track your progress. Think about getting a notebook or journal where you can record what you’ve been doing, what has been working or how you might avoid or get out of the potential pitfalls along the way. You can also periodically write down why you’re working to achieve this resolution, so that when you lose motivation, you have something to remind you. 
  5. Find support. Accountability is key, as well as staying motivated. Be sure you explain to your family or close friends what your resolution is and why, and accept any help they can offer along the way. 
  6. Stay motivated. If you go to the gym, you may notice it seems busier in January and February, but the traffic drops off not soon after. That’s because right after making a resolution, you feel a higher level of motivation and confidence. There likely haven’t been too many setbacks or challenges early in the process. But those will occur, and that’s when focusing on your “why” comes into the picture, keeping your motivation going in the tougher times.

Looking forward to helping you be even healthier in 2023!

Ways to prepare for winter and tips to ease muscle tension

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Why You Should See Your Chiropractor Before Winter Begins

The temperature is quickly dropping, and chilly weather can mean a variety of things to us. For many, the excitement of winter activities like ice skating and tobogganing begin. For others there are winter fairs and markets. For some it’s preparing for the holidays and spending time indoors with loved ones and warm blankets. Whatever your reason is for loving winter, there is also a reason to ensure you continue to have regular visits with us.

Here are a few reasons you should not skip your chiropractic care in the winter: 

Cold Weather Can Lead to Joint Pain

Stiffness, achy joints, and soreness increase in the cold weather. The combination of stiff muscles due to extreme temperatures, changes in barometric pressure and flu season can cause your joints to become inflamed and more painful than usual. The fluid that helps our joints remain lubricated can be affected by cold temperatures, which is why Chiropractic can become the most valuable player in your healthcare team over the winter months. The work we do will help loosen up the fluid in your joints so it can flow more freely. Not only that, but reminders about how to safely keep yourself warm, along with natural ways to keep your immune system functioning optimally will all create a system for your body that will allow you to enjoy the winter months pain free. 

Cold Weather Leads to Inactivity

Hibernating is for the bears, not people. It does us a disservice to be ultra active in the warm months, only to undo our fitness all winter. It can be harder to muster up the motivation to get out and exercise. Putting on weight can add extra stress to your joints, and can lead to difficulties in repairing injuries that can happen when the snow and ice take over. Regular adjustments can help you to remain limber, and your chiropractor can help you remain on top of your physical fitness. Whether it’s accountability or coming up with new ways to move your body indoors, visiting your chiropractor in preparation for the winter months will always benefit your overall health. 

Don’t Wait for an Injury

Ultimately, the goal should be to have regular chiropractic visits as a part of your regular health routine. Being proactive with your health will always be the best course of action. Preventative health care will save you money, time away from work and family, and will allow you to have a better quality of life. Waiting for an injury rather than putting your body in a position to avoid one is not your best course of action, and we are here to help you with this every step of the way.

A Better Way to Enjoy Winter

You don’t have to love winter, you don’t even have to like winter; but we want you to have the tools to be safe and healthy. Whatever your winter activities consist of, even if it’s binge watching television, we want you to be comfortable and pain free. Finding ways to fit physical fitness into your days is important, and so is finding ways to slow down if you’re an active winter person. Adjustments will keep your joints lubricated, they’ll keep your immune system functioning and more than anything, they’ll keep you in alignment so you don’t develop pesky injuries that can compromise your ability to choose how active you will be!

If chiropractic care isn’t a regular component of your care, make sure you reach out to us for a Chiropractic assessment. You wouldn’t drive a car that hasn’t had a winter tune up, make sure you are putting the same maintenance into your body.

Treat Muscle Tension with Chiropractic Care

Many people believe that the best intervention is massage or physiotherapy when it comes to treating muscle pain or tension. Most understand that pain or discomfort comes from tense, knotted muscles. While this may be somewhat true, chiropractic care can play an essential role in relieving muscle tension. Massage and physiotherapy are equally important, but don’t rule out Chiropractic as a part of this recovery equation.

What Causes Muscle Tension?

For the most part, acute cases are often the result of recent injuries. Still, long-lasting muscle tension can be caused by repetitive activities like sports, unusual sleep positions, lack of sleep, emotional stress, unhealed past injuries, and working at a desk. We all know how being too sedentary can have very poor physical outcomes.

Muscle tension is generally tied to poor posture and a misaligned spine.

How Chiropractic can Help

We will assess you while asking questions about your habits, rest and wake patterns, and activity level. An adjustment can take place to correct vertebrae subluxation in your spine. The adjustment goal is to restore the proper alignment of your spine while instigating the nerve impulses that will allow your muscles to relax.

Muscles are attached to bone and tendons, which means when the spine is misaligned, the tendons pull on muscles, causing tension.

Adjustments can help with many causes of muscle pain and tension. Chiropractors work in a way that addresses body function, alleviating the cause of the discomfort you are experiencing.

Alternatively, tight muscles or spasms can cause misalignment in the bones and vertebrae, which can cause or exacerbate misalignment.

Whatever the Cause, We Can Help

There is no right or wrong answer to muscle tension regarding care delivery. Massage, physiotherapy, and chiropractic care complement each other regarding uncovering methods to treat and prevent injuries, muscle tension, and other issues related to a misaligned spine.

It’s Best to be Proactive

Making chiropractic care a part of your primary routine as a preventative measure is always the best course of action. Years of muscle tension can undoubtedly be prevented in many cases.

If you are not already connected to a chiropractic care team, I encourage you to call our office and begin the process of receiving corrective Chiropractic care.


Time to get outside, and safe fall-garden tips

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Tips For Safe Hiking

We have moved away from the heat of the summer, and many people are making their way outdoors to enjoy the crisp air and changing colours. There are many outdoor fall activities you can enjoy as a family or solo, and hiking has increased in popularity over the past few years. The cooler temperatures and beautiful photo opportunities have allowed people to appreciate the outdoors while improving their physical fitness.

Prepare With a Plan

But, before you meet a friend or pack up your family for a few hours in the woods, here are 5 suggestions for keeping yourself safe and injury-free:

  1. Dress appropriately for the weather. Nothing ruins a morning more than being wet and cold. Check the weather ahead of time so you can dress appropriately in layers that are easy to add or remove. Ensure your shoes are appropriate for your activity level as well; thick treads are perfect for preventing slips. Don’t forget the bug spray either; ticks are tiny and can/will stick to skin or clothing and follow you home!
  2. Stretch first. Hiking is exercise, and like all other forms of exercise, warming your muscles up with some light stretches is essential.
  3. Know your trail, and don’t abandon it. It is easy to get carried away in the abundant nature of a hike and lose your way. There are hiking apps that can be used to help you remain on a chosen trail, but if you decide not to use one, please ensure you have familiarized yourself with the trail you will be on. Getting lost in the woods is no fun.
  4. Choose a hiking trail that matches your fitness level. It is better to start slow and move up the ladder of difficulty than to begin with a trail that is too hard and give up. You are at a significantly increased risk of developing an injury on a hike that is too challenging. Keep it simple at first; you will get to an expert level of hiking in no time if you start slowly.
  5. Take breaks. A hike is not a race; taking breaks is required to have some water and monitor your bearings. Take a minute to slow down and check your map, and ensure you are still able to easily carry on a light conversation with your hiking partner(s). Breaks are also a great time to observe your surroundings and enjoy them.

Hiking Has Many Health Benefits

Regular hikes are a great cardio, weight-bearing, stress relieving, blood pressure reducing, and blood sugar lowering activity! Yes, all of these are benefits of hiking. The benefits are endless, and the cost is low.

Hike Smart

Hiking smart is a great way to remain active and spend time outdoors alone or with people whose company you enjoy. Fall has always been a popular time to get outdoors and move your body because we are often recovering from the heat of the summer. The changing colours of the leaves and the crisp air are an added bonus to our senses and our state of mind. 

If you have questions about how you can Hike smarter, you can always consult with us to ensure you take the best care of your body.


Yard Work, Your Garden, And Why Your Chiropractor Needs to be Involved

Winters can be long and intense, so naturally, many look forward to the changing seasons to get the yard and garden in working order for the spring and summer. Many people enjoy creating an outdoor oasis where they can relax and enjoy the warmer months outside. However, taking on these tasks after months of being sedentary can cause stiffness, pain, and sometimes injuries. While chiropractic care can help with pain after it is generated, the ideal method is to stop it before it starts.

How Can We Help?

We always start with a consultation, and if you’re an existing patient, then we want to know what your concerns are or what activities you will be engaged in. Yard work or gardening may not seem like an enormous physical undertaking. Still, even the smallest garden requires repetitive movement you may not be accustomed to. Your chiropractor will assess what your warm-up should consist of, along with plans on how to bend, lift and twist. The goal will always be to provide prevention and relief for stiffness and pain without medication.

What Are Some Common Tips to Prevent Muscle Pain Before it Starts?

  • Warm-up: The most straightforward stretches to remember start with touching (or trying to) your toes, then reaching for the sky and clamping your fingers together while leaning back very slightly. Follow this with a brisk walk around your property to get your blood flowing.
  • Bend at the knees: Cannot stress this enough, but bending and lifting with your back is a recipe for disaster. Always bend and lift with the strongest part of your body, your legs!
  • Gardening gadgets work: Items like gardening stools can help save your knees and back, knee pads are great for kneeling, weed removers are perfect for preventing injuries from constant bending, and anything that has been designed to make your job easier.
  • Drink more water than you think you need to: Dehydration leads to fatigue and headaches. In addition to the inconvenience and discomfort of these commonly known side effects, your body requires lots of water to keep your joints lubricated and your muscles from cramping.
  • Enjoy yourself: Our spring and summer season doesn’t last long enough, so enjoy your time outside, creating your warm-weather oasis. Get creative, spend time with friends and family, and use this space often.

After a long fall and winter season, you must ease into yard work with cautious optimism and a sense of joy. We cannot allow an injury to steal this joy, so please consult with us to see how you can make the most of these months in a safe and enjoyable way.


Issues with the Hip, and Effective Breathing Techniques

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Hip to It

Q: What’s the largest joint in the human body? 

A: The hip joint.

As such, it’s no surprise that the ball-and-socket hip joint can be the cause of numerous health problems. Children and adults alike can be plagued by these difficulties. To understand how they happen, it’s important to take a look at the structure of the hip:

  1. The ilium. This is the uppermost part of your pelvis, which flares out and is the widest and largest of the three parts of the hip. 
  2. The pubis. Also called the pubic bone or pelvic girdle, the pubis is at the front of the body and below the abdomen. 
  3. The ischium. Beneath the ilium and behind the pubis, the ischium is in the lower and back portion of the hip.

The hip is stable, but since it bears the weight of the body, it’s likely to develop problems from the pressure. This is indicated by symptoms such as pain in and around the hip, including the groin, and referred pain into the thigh and knee. Limping, stiffness and an inability to bear weight on one side of the body may also indicate a hip problem. 

The Many Conditions that Affect the Hip

When it comes to the hip, there is no shortage of different issues that can affect this joint. Listed below are some of the most common. 

Arthritis. This is the most common reason that hips start breaking down. The types of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and traumatic arthritis. 

Bursitis. There are fluid-filled sacs called bursae in the hip joint. When bursae become inflamed, stiffness and pain can result.  

Developmental dysplasia. When a newborn baby has a hip that easily dislocates, it is caused by having a shallow hip socket. The ball joint can then easily slip in and out. 

Fracture. Because bones tend to weaken with age, hip fractures happen mostly in older populations. They typically require surgery followed by rehabilitation. 

Perthes disease. Affecting children from ages 3-11, some bone cells experience a reduced blood supply to the thigh bone. The bone then deteriorates, causing pain in the hip. 

Irritable hip syndrome. Also affecting children, this syndrome develops when the lining that covers the hip joint becomes inflamed and irritated. 

Soft tissue problems. The soft tissues on the outside of the hip can be injured or defective. That can result in discomfort in the area, or referred pain to nearby areas. 

Slipped capital femoral epiphysis. The ball portion of the hip joint can become separated from the thigh bone, resulting in this condition that occurs in children. 

Sprain/strain. When a hip strain occurs, the muscle that supports the hip tears. A sprain is when a ligament that supports your hip gets stretched beyond its intended capabilities. Both may result in leaving you unable to move your hip as usual. 

Could It Be Related to Your Spine? 

Chiropractors have expertise in the entire musculoskeletal system, which includes your hip joint. The nerves in the lower part of your spine influence how your hip area may feel. Getting an accurate diagnosis for your hip pain is essential. If you’re having hip problems, it’s time to visit us for a full evaluation. After, we will be able to make recommendations about whether chiropractic might be helpful for you.


Are You Breathing Like You Should? 

Our bodies are incredible, working constantly to keep us alive and functioning. One of the vital functions the body performs without needing any guidance from you is breathing. Though you may not often think about your breath, you certainly notice as soon as it is affected. 

The signs of poor breathing include:

  • Holding your breath
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Needing to take long breaths
  • Running out of breath
  • Taking rapid, shorter breaths

What Happens When We Breathe

Each time you breathe in, the muscle at the bottom of the rib cage called the diaphragm contracts and moves downward. That way, the lungs have room to expand. The muscles between your ribs contract to pull the rib cage both outward and upward. Air is taken in through the nose and mouth, then travels down the trachea to the lungs. 

After passing through the bronchial tubes, the air reaches a point where the oxygen is passed into your bloodstream. As you exhale, carbon dioxide is expelled from the body. This process is repeated tens of thousands of times each day.

Why Does Breathing Matter? 

Though it may seem trivial, your breath matters more than you might think. Oxygen is required by the cells of our bodies to produce energy. Without proper breathing, that won’t occur as it should. Plus, breathing allows the body to get rid of waste products and toxins. If those remain and stagnate in the body, vital functions may be affected.

By breathing as you should, you can experience a greater feeling of well-being, more relaxed muscles, lower heart rate and blood pressure, have better control of your emotions and feel more present in your life.

How to Breathe More Effectively

As with anything else in life, practice makes perfect when it comes to breathing. To learn how to breathe and get the many benefits of proper breathing, you can use some easy, simple exercises. 

Deep breathing

  1. Sit on a chair, relaxed but with proper posture, or lie down – whatever feels most comfortable for you. 
  2. Place your hand on your stomach.
  3. Breathe in through your nose for a total of four seconds. 
  4. Hold that breath for two seconds.
  5. Breathe out through your nose for a total of four seconds. 
  6. Repeat several times. 

The hand on your stomach will remind you that more than just your chest should move when you breathe. This deeper form of breathing is also called diaphragmatic breathing. Make sure your neck and shoulders remain relaxed the whole time, with no tension present in the body.

Pursed lip breathing

Another effective breathing exercise is called pursed lip breathing. 

  1. Take a seat, relaxing shoulders and neck. 
  2. Breathe in through your nose for two seconds.
  3. Purse your lips as if you’re going to whistle, breathing out for four seconds. 
  4. Repeat several times. 

This method helps you to not only relax, but to see how taking a correct breath should feel. 

Breathing exercises can be particularly useful in times of stress or when you experience anxiety. Give it a try next time you need to ease your mind and see how it works for you!

Helping Low Back Pain and Cycling Injuries

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A Pain in the Tailbone

Most of us don’t spend a great deal of time thinking about our spines – that is, until a problem occurs. It’s when the pain sets in that we go about trying to learn all we can about where the issue is coming from, and most importantly: what we can do to start feeling better. If you’ve ever experienced tailbone pain, you know how serious the discomfort can be. 

But not many know much about the tailbone area. It’s made up of the last vertebrae of the spinal column. Earlier in life, these vertebrae are moveable just like anywhere else in the spine. As adults, however, these vertebrae in the tailbone fuse together. At the latest, the tailbone is typically fused by the time a person turns 30.

The tailbone can be a serious source of pain due to trips and falls. Often, the pain is idiopathic, meaning that healthcare providers can’t locate the cause.

The tailbone is also referred to as the coccyx. It looks like an inverted triangle with the widest part at the top and a smaller pointy end at the bottom. As the lowest point in the spinal column, the tailbone interacts with several other vital structures in the body.

It is part of the support when you’re in a seated position, providing you with stability and balance. Plus, many pelvic floor muscles connect to the tailbone. 

Why Pain Sets In 

If you’re experiencing discomfort in the tailbone, there are a few common reasons: 

  • Limited mobility. If your coccyx doesn’t move like it should, it will jut out when sitting, putting too much pressure on the bones. This limited movement can even cause your pelvic floor muscles to tense up, adding to the pain. 
  • Hypermobility. If the coccyx moves more than it should, it adds stress to the entire area, including the pelvic floor muscles. Along with tailbone pain, you may experience pelvic pain. 
  • Dislocation. Part of the tailbone can become dislocated, which will cause pain. 
  • Idiopathy. Sometimes, there is no reason that can be found for tailbone pain. This can only be diagnosed if every other possible cause is ruled out. 
  • Coccydynia. Trauma to the tailbone leads to inflammation and pain. The causes of coccydynia include trauma, repetitive stress and childbirth. 
  • Referred pain. Just because you have pain in a certain area doesn’t mean it stems from a problem in that same area. It’s no different with the tailbone. Injury or inflammation elsewhere in the spine or pelvis could cause tailbone pain. 

What to Do?

There are various options for resolving tailbone-related pain. When the pain first sets in, try an ice pack or cold pack. It will help to reduce inflammation, which occurs when an injury has initially occurred. If the pain has been present for more than a few days, you might find relief from a heating pad, which can help relieve muscle tension.

It’s also worth considering visiting a practitioner well-versed in the health of the spine. As a Chiropractor, we can evaluate your condition and make the most appropriate recommendations according to our expertise. No matter the cause behind your pain, it’s important to seek the help of a qualified practitioner who can help you to get back on the road to health. 


Cycling and Chiropractic

Whether you are an avid cyclist or someone who enjoys a recreational bike ride with your friends or family, cycling is an excellent form of exercise. However, any form of cycling leaves you prone to injury. All forms of biking are not without the risk of injury – whether it’s from a fall, overused joints or muscles, improper balance, or poor posture habits. Cycling, like all forms of exercise, the physical stress can take a toll on ligaments, tendons, nerves, muscles, and joints. The crucial part here is that your spine is the part of your body that requires the most attention because all other cycling movements radiate from your core and spine, causing misalignment. 

What is The Solution?

This is where we come in to help with preventative and reactive measures to existing injuries. 

Chiropractors can treat the most common cycling injuries, like:

  • Wrist/Hand/Forearm: This includes numbness and pain, elbow dislocation, lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), ulnar neuropathy, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and Cyclist’s Palsy.
  • Shoulder: This includes AC joint sprains and clavicle fractures.
  • Back/Neck: This includes tightness in the neck and lower back pain, as well as piriformis syndrome, when the piriformis muscle cramps and presses on the sciatic nerve, causing buttock pain or sciatica.
  • Knee/Leg: This includes Cyclist’s Knee (Patellofemoral syndrome), patella and quadriceps tendonitis, medial plica syndrome, and iliotibial band friction, which either affect the kneecaps or outer knees. This also includes Achilles tendonitis and thigh and hip flexor strain.
  • Foot: This includes numbness and tingling, plantar fasciitis in the heel, and arch pain.
  • Muscles: Muscle pain includes soreness that lasts and goes away in 24 hours and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that lasts longer than 24 hours.

The truth is that all forms of activity come with long lists of potential injuries. Cycling also comes with a long list of significant effects on the body. Cyclists have reported improved overall cardio, range of motion, heart rate variability, muscle strength, and athletic ability. Essentially people report becoming stronger and faster with ease. 

Preventative Care

The best preventative work comes when you include regular Chiropractic care in your regimen. Regular chiropractic care can prevent many injuries due to falls or improper technique.

Here are some tips to help prevent some of these injuries:

  1. Always stretch before a ride.
  2. Adjust your seat height, so it’s not too high or too low.
  3. Knees should be aligned with your feet at 90 degrees when riding.
  4. Make sure your bike is fitted correctly to you. Everyone has a different arm length, leg size, and posture; try out several bikes of different sizes to determine which frame size and other features are a good fit.
  5. Avoid hunching your shoulders.
  6. Use the entire pedal stroke completely to avoid pointed toes and tired and cramped calves.
  7. Adjust your handle grip frequently.
  8. Don’t constantly tilt your head to one side.
  9. Stay hydrated.
  10. Stay warm in cold weather.

Cycling is an activity that can (and should) be enjoyed by the whole family. It’s something we can look forward to with the changing seasons and often brings a refreshing start to spring after some long winter months.

Including us as part of your cycling routine and ensuring you have correctly fitted safety gear is the most essential part of this journey, aside from the fun you will have.

It’s time to get outside – here are tips to enjoy gardening and golfing

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6 Tips to Make the Most of Your Summer Garden

For many of us, gardening is a necessary and cathartic part of our summer routine. Walking, hiking, enjoying new hobbies, and gardening remain the number one way people have remained limber over the last few years. Thankfully, these are all fantastic ways to maintain our mental wellness.

With this being said, it is also not unusual for people to overdo it. Improving, changing, or starting a landscaping project has become popular, which has increased physical activity. This also means an increase in aches and pains if you aren’t mindful of how you move your body.

I’ve compiled a few tips to help you maximize your love for gardening while minimizing the risk of experiencing pain. 

  1. Warm-up/Stretch – Many of us have gone from not having time to engage in hours of gardening daily to having nothing but time to replot our entire yards. Our bodies aren’t accustomed to so much activity or this type of activity. Just as we would prepare our bodies for a new workout, we must prepare our bodies for gardening. All it takes is a few light stretches and some moving to ensure we will not cause an injury. Ask us what the best course of action is for you before proceeding; it’s better to be proactive rather than reactive!
  2. Drink Water – Staying hydrated is one of the most important steps when working outside. It’s easy to lose track of time, and dehydration can quickly become serious. Always ensure you have water and take a break every 20-30 minutes. Set the alarm on your phone as a reminder, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a stretch with every water break.
  3. Take Breaks – Speaking of water breaks, breaks, in general, are essential. Gardening is strenuous work, and you’ll likely get caught up in completing tasks and lose track of time. Pay attention to your body’s cues, and ensure you are pacing yourself and snacking throughout the day. If you use a timer, set it for every 20-30 minutes to have a washroom break, drink some water, stretch, have a snack, and get your blood circulating.
  4. Be Mindful of Large Loads – Bags of soil, mulch, and carrying large planters are a recipe for a back injury if you aren’t careful. If you must, ensure you are bending at your knees and waist. Use your legs to do the heavy lifting rather than your back. In the best-case scenario, you’ll have a wheelbarrow or a buggy to transfer heavy items to the garden. If available, have someone help you with the lifting. And whatever you do, do not lift a heavy item and twist – this can lead to pinched nerves, muscle injuries, and pain that can take weeks to relieve.
  5. Be present – Spending time planning and maintaining a garden can bring joy. The experience of cultivating and watching your garden or landscaping project come together and grow can be very satisfying. Watering and fertilizing plants, seeing flowers bloom, maintaining a rich growing environment, and being outdoors in the fresh air go unmatched when it comes to self-care. Don’t spend this time rushing through your thoughts and thinking of what you are doing next. Instead, be present in every moment and enjoy your creation!
  6. Move From Task to Task – Instead of concentrating on one job at a time, move around the garden and vary your tasks to avoid holding the same position for extended periods. This will also allow you to keep your circulation moving and prevent cramping.

Overall, gardening is an excellent use of your time. It allows you to feel productive, spend time outdoors, keep moving, and hopefully have the garden of your dreams by the time you’re finished. These tasks are significant for your body and your mental wellness when you are outside your routine.

If you run into trouble with sudden pain or achiness that is outside the norm or require some guidance with stretches and movements to help you remain agile – call us to see how we can assist you.


Can Chiropractic Improve My Golf Game?

If you are a golf lover, I know there is nothing better than gathering with a group of friends and spending the day on the golf course, especially if it is followed by a meal at the clubhouse and some great conversation!

If you have ever suffered a golfing injury mid-day, you also know how this can ruin what was supposed to be a fun and relaxing time! The repetitive, controlled movements can wreak havoc on your joints and muscles, and if you have any pre-existing conditions or injuries, now is the time they may be aggravated. Golfing injuries occur at the most inconvenient moments, so let’s discuss how you can prevent them with the help of a Chiropractor.

Injuries are like Accidents

There’s no good or bad time for an injury, but let’s get into how we can help you prevent injuries and improve your golf game. Joints and muscles are used for that perfect stroke from your neck to your ankles. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, your risk of injury is more significant than if you are naturally active.

There are many ways Chiropractic can help improve your game, including:

  • Reduced back pain
  • Increased flexibility
  • Better biomechanical function, improving overall functionality
  • Increased and improved range of motion
  • Improved posture, meaning improved form

How Can Chiropractic Prevent Injuries?

Regular stretching and exercise, along with adjustments, are always the best course of action. It’s common knowledge that even 30 minutes of exercise a day 3-5 times a week will dramatically improve how your body functions and recovers, but stretching is equally as important. Flexibility allows for a greater range of motion and allows the muscles to stretch naturally without overextending.

A critical piece of this prevention comes with making stretching a part of your routine before you begin a game. Warm muscles are more limber, meaning those first few shots may not be as chaotic as they once were. Getting the blood flowing and getting the group of people you’re with moving before the game is a fun warm-up exercise for everyone. 

It Starts With a Simple Conversation

Talk to us about the best stretches before and after a game; your golf stretches may not be the same as your cycling stretches or gardening stretches!

Aside from consulting with us about an individualized pre-golf plan, your muscles and joints need lots of water to prevent dehydration and reduce muscle pain the following day. Water is essential if you include alcoholic beverages in your golf day, as alcohol is very dehydrating.

Golf is a great sport, and the social aspect makes it a fun way to get in some low-impact exercise and great conversation. It is a mind/body workout that will make you smile and improve your sleep. 

The next time you are at our office, ask about a streamlined approach to exercise, stretching, and adjustments to help improve your golf game.

Stand For Health, Are Supplements Necessary

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Five Reasons to Sit Less

Technology is incredible. It’s connected the world in ways we could have never dreamed about just a couple of decades ago. But there’s a dark side of technology when it comes to our health, both physically and mentally. One aspect to consider is the harmful effects of sitting. 

In the 1960s, more than 50% of people had a job that involved moderate physical activity. Today, however, it adds up to less than 15%! That difference means that far too many people today are sedentary and not using their body in the way it was meant to be used. 

The human body was made to move. Not so many years ago, we spent most of our day moving around. Standing and walking prevents repetitive stress and muscle degeneration from taking a toll on our health. 

But that is far from the only reason to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting on any given day. Here are five more great reasons: 

  1. Research shows that inactivity is linked with obesity, Type II diabetes, some cancers, and earlier death. In fact, the World Health Organization ranks physical inactivity as the fourth largest killer in the world! 
  2. You’ll experience lower metabolism. When you sit, it lowers your metabolism. And when your metabolism is low, the body is slow to clear fat out. 
  3. You can avoid experiencing chronic pain. When you sit for too long, pressure is placed on various parts of your body. That includes your lower back, which is a common source of pain for people who sit for much of the day! 
  4. Who wouldn’t want to have more energy? When you move less, you don’t have as much energy. Taking walks and breaks during the day where you get up and move can increase your energy levels. 
  5. Your mental health matters, too. You might not connect sitting and your psychological health right away. But if you’re inside and your only connection to others is via your computer, it can seriously affect your mental well-being, too. 

There is one final component you might want to consider: your posture. When you sit, you put pressure on your lower back, as opposed to standing, when weight is more distributed evenly in the body. The pressure on your lower back causes your pelvis to rotate backwards. In addition, your head often moves into a forward position.

The effects of this? Low back pain, neck pain, headaches, and overall muscle tension. 

There’s another source of help to consult if you are concerned about what sitting might be doing to your body: us. We will will work with you to identify where in your body is being harmed by the effects of sitting, then provide the personalized care you require. In addition, we will be able to offer you useful advice on how to sit without adverse effects on your health, as well as tips on what you can do during your day to make sure your body gets much-needed breaks throughout the day. 


Do You Need to Take a Multivitamin? 

Health and wellness is a trillion-dollar industry. Now more than ever, people are taking a vested interest in their own well-being. We’ve seen the popularization of types of exercise such as yoga and Pilates. People are drinking green juices and religiously avoiding junk food. There’s a high level of awareness about which daily choices are helping our health, and harming our health.

Within this, one major component is the supplement industry. Store shelves are packed with vitamins and minerals that are huge sellers. Many supermarkets have an entire section that is solely dedicated to bottle after bottle of nutrition supplementation.

You’ve likely wondered if you need to take a supplement. Or perhaps you already are, but you’re unsure whether it’s doing anything for you!

Are you flushing money down the drain? Or putting in place a much-needed insurance plan? Read on to learn more.

A Lot Depends On Your Everyday Choices

There are plenty of people who love kale…and plenty of people who can’t stand it. The same goes for tons of other nutritious foods, including berries, broccoli, and fish.

If you have a strong dislike of a food that you know is chock-full of nutrients, and you aren’t getting those same nutrients from another source of food, it’s likely a good idea to look into supplementation. Taking a multivitamin is a simple way to make sure that you don’t become deficient.

It should also be stated that our crops today aren’t as nutrient-rich as they once were. Decades of growing in the same soil means that many foods may be depleted, and don’t have the nutrient profile that they once did. For that reason, many health professionals recommend taking a multivitamin no matter how health-conscious you are about what you’re eating.

You should also think about what a lack of a certain nutrient may lead to. If you lack a vital micronutrient, you may experience impaired immune function and have a greater susceptibility to chronic disease and illness.

What to Look Out For

The biggest problem with vitamins is this: the industry isn’t regulated. That means what is on the ingredient label, or even the daily value label, may not match the product inside of the bottle.

Do your research when it comes to vitamins. Some products have an incredibly high quality of nutrients and are vetted by a nonprofit third party, while others have been found to falsify information.

Because of that, a high degree of caution must be exercised when choosing a multivitamin supplement.

That’s not the only reason to be careful reading labels and choosing your multivitamin. It’s not a magic bullet. For example, if you are deficient in calcium or fiber, most multivitamins do not contain these nutrients. You may need to take more than one to make up for what’s missing from your diet.

There’s one other consideration to think about: be sure you’re not going over your recommended daily value for vitamins and minerals without checking with your health provider first.

Secrets to comfortable long car rides and concussion care

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Athletes, Concussions, and Your Chiropractor

We have all heard of concussions, particularly in athletes, but many are unaware of the seriousness of getting a concussion as a result of a sports incident. At times, concussions are overlooked by coaches, players, and even young athletes parents. However, this traumatic brain injury can have long term consequences if it isn’t treated properly. 

How Does a Concussion Affect an Athlete?

A concussion can result from direct or indirect head trauma that can lead to internal bruising, bleeding, tissue damage, increased intra-cranial pressure, and can alter the brain’s ability to function properly. If left untreated (and if it is treated but is severe) this injury could potentially lead to physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms like amnesia, dizziness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and headaches.

Longer term effects are often caused by changes in the function of the nervous system. This is why an immediate assessment and the development of a treatment plan are so vital to the recovery process. Returning to your sport too quickly in the recovery process can set you back, especially in cases where multiple concussions have been diagnosed. 

How Can a Chiropractor Help an Athlete Return to Play?

The access to fast assessment and expertise that lead to appropriate care and resources will be the guiding force in how quickly a person can resume regular activities, and eventually sports. The focus here is to heal the injury, and minimize the risk of post-concussion syndrome and persistent symptoms. 

Generally, the protocol before returning to regular scheduled activities includes complete rest initially, then slowly moving into light exercise like swimming or walking. From there, easing into sport specific exercises and non-contact drills can take place while being monitored. At any point if there is a recurrence of symptoms, it is advised that the process is restarted from the very beginning.

The recovery process is something that is closely monitored by us, along with the rest of the healthcare team. The goal is for the athlete to be completely symptom free and to not be depending on medications to modify the symptoms in order to return to their sport.

As with all head injuries, taking close care of the athlete is the most important factor in recovery and should not be rushed. Where some could take up to 10 days to recover, this timeframe could be much lengthier for others. In addition, the number of concussions the athlete has sustained is a determining factor in the length of the recovery process. Multiple concussions can run the risk of cognitive impairments, which is why being serious about recovery is so important.

Musculoskeletal Injuries Are What We Do

We will also assess and manage any musculoskeletal injuries associated with the concussion in order to help you return to your sport. Having us as a part of your healthcare team is what will ensure optimal healing and the ability to functionally return to your training.

Additionally, it is your overall health post concussion that will be the main focus of your treatment moving forward. 


5 Tips for Surviving Long Drives

Whether you’re a long distance driver for work, you have a long commute, or you’re gearing up for a road trip; maintaining adequate blood flow will be the key to diminishing stiffness, soreness or pain.  

The average person will spend 2+ hours a week driving, if you live in a big city this can be up to 5 hours sitting in traffic. This combination of prolonged sitting and the stress that traffic can induce is a recipe for stiff shoulders, migraines, and back pain. Taking breaks during road trips is a must, doing some simple stretches during an every day drive can save you from discomfort, and for those who drive for work… it’s all about the breaks AND the stretches. 

Here are 5 tips for surviving those long drives:

  1. Adjust the angle of your seat. The angle of the seat will determine how much pressure is on your spine, along with the reach to the steering wheel with your arms, and the reach to the gas/break with your leg/foot. All of these will contribute to neck and back pain. Your seat should be at around a 75 degree angle. Reclining too much will cause neck pain as the effort required to check blind spots and mirrors will become bothersome. Remaining upright will allow your ears to remain over your shoulders.
  2. Roll your shoulders. Lift your shoulders as if you are trying to touch them to your ears. Then roll them in a circular motion. This will help loosen up tight upper back muscles by lengthening and strengthening them, which will help to relieve tension. This can easily and safely be done while driving.
  3. Take a break. There is no harm in taking the extra time to get to your destination if this means you’re alleviating the potential to feel sore when you arrive. Taking a break to get gas, to get a drink, or to just get up and walk will help to keep your circulation flowing and will loosen up stiff muscles. Feeling ambitious? Do some light stretches – touch your toes, roll your shoulders, stretch your calves, and roll your wrists.
  4. Use a lumbar support. If you send hours a week, or even hours a day driving, a lumbar support will help to dramatically reduce the potential for back pain over long periods of time. Prolonged sitting unfortunately will weaken your back muscles if you aren’t determined to maintain adequate support and prevention through exercise. Not all lumbar supports are created equal, so make sure you purchase one that is the right size and curvature for your body.
  5. Stay hydrated. I know, you’re probably wondering why considering driving doesn’t induce sweating (unless it’s a hot day and there isn’t any air conditioning). But hydration is always important. Your spine has discs filled with fluid that sit in between the bones in your spine. These discs provide cushion so your spine can move freely and without the pain you would experience if the bones were grinding against each other. Staying hydrated allows these fluid filled discs to remain functional.

The Goal is a More Pleasant Commute

Having a pain free commute is always the goal. Having a few tips you are willing to follow during these long drives will allow you to enjoy this part of your day. Listening to your favorite podcast, e-book, or music will help to boost your mood, making this part of the day more enjoyable. 

And of course, regular Chiropractic visits are always a good idea!