Concussion, Neck Pain and What’s True Health?

How can Chiropractic Help Post Concussion? 

Historically, little was known about the benefits of chiropractic care in the treatment of concussions – but over the past decade concussions related to sports injuries have been treated more by chiropractors than with any other method.

Statistically speaking, sports related concussions are seen more frequently in children and teens, and are more difficult to treat in young people than in adults.

Concussion Symptoms

Concussions can come with a variety of symptoms, prognosis, and treatments – but the bottom line is that a chiropractor is the best line of defense when it comes to a full recovery.

There are a few things you should know about a concussion, so we’ve developed a list of the top five:

  1. There are multiple ways to get a concussion – although I have mentioned sports related injuries, the can develop as  a result of falls, car or bike accidents, or any type of collision resulting from body contact.
  2. A concussion can be caused by a blow to the head, face, neck, or impact to another part of the body that could impact the head.
  3. A concussion can be difficult to diagnose because the clinical symptoms and signs can evolve over time. From physical, to cognitive, to neurobehavioural changes – symptoms can develop over time or become increasingly worse.
  4. When properly and promptly managed, a concussion can resolve in a short period of time (8-10 days), but can be longer in children and adolescents.
  5. Historically concussion management was based on resting until the symptoms go away. However it has been discovered that prolonged periods of rest can make symptoms last longer and draw out recovery times. It is important to work with us to develop a plan that includes adequate rest – and a gradual return to regular daily activities and treatment.

Diagnosis

Diagnosing a concussion can be tricky, and the symptoms depend on the person and the injury – with symptoms sometimes not being noticeable for hours or days, but here is a list of the most common symptoms:

  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Being bothered by light or noise
  • Confusion
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Difficulty remembering or paying attention
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Feeling irritable, more emotional, or “down”
  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Sleep problems
  • Loss of consciousness

The most important aspect of treatment is how fast a diagnosis is available so that the treatment can begin immediately. To get a diagnosis, it is imperative that following a head injury you visit us or a qualified health care provider to assess.

Other Factors

Many concussions will bring other effects such as subluxation, whiplash, neck strain, facet syndromes and muscle spasms. We have experiences in all of these conditions, thus making a full recovery most likely.

Whatever the cause of the concussion, research has shown that Chiropractic care offers the best and most effective method of recovery for those suffering from a head injury/concussion.

What A Pain In The Neck!

Neck pain is one of the most common reasons we see patients. Also referred to as the cervical spine, it contains seven small vertebrae that support the weight of your entire head. Your neck is strong and flexible, but it’s the flexibility that leaves it susceptible to strain and injury.

neck pain dr herrington

The biomechanics of everyday living contribute to the wear and tear of your cervical spine, so even just prolonged sitting, accidents, falls, normal aging, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, poor posture, repetitive movements and blows to the head can lead to chronic pain and headaches.

Chiropractic Care

Seeing us about your neck pain is an important step in the right direction. During your visit with us, we will ask you a series of questions and will perform an exam to locate the source of your pain. We will ask about your current symptoms and if you have already tried to alleviate the pain on your own. A few of these questions may include:

  • When did the pain start?
  • Does the pain travel to other parts of your body?
  • Are there movements that reduce the pain?
  • Are there movements that make the pain worse?
  • What measures have you taken to reduce the pain already?

Part of the exam will also include a physical component where we will observe your range of motion, posture, and physical condition so they can note any movements that cause you pain. We will also examine your spine to note any curvature and alignment, and to feel for tight muscles or spasms. We will also check your shoulder area, and may perform a neurological exam as well.

In some cases, there may be a request for additional imaging tests like an x-rays before moving forward with a care plan. There are instances where treatments are out of the Chiropractic scope of practice, like surgeries or medications, and you’ll be directed to your medical physician.

Neck Adjustments

When your treatment is in the scope of chiropractic care, neck adjustments are done to help improve mobility and to restore the range of motion. When performed, spinal adjustments will also increase movement in the adjoining muscles. Typically, patients notice an improvement mobility, reduced pain, soreness, and stiffness within a short time.

Next Steps

Although neck pain is a common reason we see patients, each person has individualized needs that require an individualized treatment plan. If you are experiencing neck pain, request a initial consultation to see if we can help you have an improved standard of living.

Neck pain doesn’t have to be a part of aging, nor should it be tolerated until it “resolves itself.”

Health Isn’t Just The Absence of Disease

Years ago, we were living and believing that if we weren’t sick, we were healthy.

So what’s changed?

The connection between a sedentary life in relation to longer work hours, multiple jobs, and sitting for extended periods of time throughout the day is one.

The connection between mental wellness and physical health has been identified as being a larger piece of this puzzle than previously thought.

Much like everything else in today’s world, the medical world is evolving and learning more about the connection between wellness and overall health, along with the long term effects of poor eating, stress, and the lack of physical activity. 

We Have to Be Proactive

Overall wellness requires us to be proactive when treating our health and our bodies. Waiting until something is wrong just means it’s been left uncared for too long. Health is not the absence of disease, it’s being well holistically – preventing disease the best we can. Being healthy isn’t just about feeling fine either, it’s no secret that catastrophic diagnosis like heart disease is often found after years of being asymptomatic.

This Doesn’t Mean You Won’t Ever Get Sick

To be clear, maintaining a healthy lifestyle does not mean you will never get sick, or that you’ll be immune from injuries, pain or disease. People do everything they can, and will still get sick. However, your chances are better when you aren’t neglecting your health. 

Holistic Approaches to Health

As a Chiropractor, we work with a team of professionals to teach you how to take the best care of yourself overall. The physical aspects of chiropractic care, therapeutic massage, and physiotherapy will allow your body to work and heal optimally. Nutritional support can help you learn how to fuel your body efficiently. And let’s face it, when we feel better physically, we feel better mentally.

Mental and physical wellness look like improved sleep improved digestion, and improved physicality. These three aspects of wellness alone lead to a stronger and more efficient immune system – which means fewer illnesses. 

Untreated Injuries Can Lead to Bigger, More Expensive Problems

Over the years, our practice has seen even seemingly small stress injuries turn into months off of work. Carpal tunnel syndrome, neck/back pain, and migraines can all initially seem like they’ll resolve themselves. When left untreated though, they can insidiously become more debilitating types of injuries – leading to time taken off work, and for many, a loss of wages. This kind of stress can lead to a further deterioration in your health. 

This Doesn’t Have To Be You

The good news is, our practice has so much experience in holistic wellness. Our clients come ready to learn and do the work. They are committed to their health, and are serious about creating new habits and routines not only for themselves, but for their families. Your body has an innate ability to function intelligently by running a series of complex systems that rely on proper nutrition, balance, and coordination.

We have remained committed to evolving with you, and with the demands of your life. Your life can be vibrant and exciting, as long as we take care of it! This is the best investment you can make.

Why do Athletes Rely on Chiropractors?

Why do Athletes Rely on Chiropractors?

Competitive sports require skill and precision, meaning even a microsecond delay in movement can determine whether they win or lose. Athletes require every bit of speed, flexibility, strength, and pain free movements that they can get in order to perform at the top of their class.  This is why Chiropractors are kept on deck. Other forms of pain relief can dull reaction times and can make athletes susceptible to addiction, while other more invasive treatments can keep them from their sport for extended periods of time. The role of the Chiropractor is to help relieve pain, while maintaining the body’s balance, flexibility, and optimal strength – the least invasive forms of treatment with the most positive outcomes.

Common Sports Injuries Requiring Chiropractic Care

Injuries that are often seen in athletes include those related to knocking the spine out of alignment, causing added stress to muscles, joints, nerves, discs, and ligaments. Studies completed over the last decade suggest that Chiropractic care outperforms other medical options when it comes to reducing pain and restoring normal function and athleticism. In addition, Chiropractic care provides pain from more common sports injuries like groin pain, tennis elbow, headaches, back and shoulder pain, and ankle and knee injuries.

Not Just Injuries

Athletes don’t just visit the Chiropractor when they injured either. World class athletes like Tiger Woods and Tom Brady (among many others) routinely visit their Chiropractor to prevent injuries and to boost their performance. “Chiropractic just makes you feel so much better,” says New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. “When I walk out of the clinic, I feel like I’m about three inches taller and everything’s in place. And as long as I see the Chiropractor, I feel like I’m one step ahead of the game.”

Other Benefits

Aside from pain relief and realignment, here are some benefits that chiropractic care can offer athletes:  Fewer Injuries. Issues with alignment will cause stress on the body and can lead to injuries. Your Chiropractor will keep your musculoskeletal system in good working order so your body will be less prone to injury. Reduced Recovery Time. Chiropractic care minimizes the healing time by relieving the irritation between misaligned vertebrae. Some other techniques offered by your Chiropractic team are massage and stretching, tools to break down scar tissue, release of deep muscle tension, and electrical muscle stimulation to release tension near the surface. Improved Performance. When there is a spine misalignment, all the other systems in your body cannot function optimally – and your athletic performance will suffer. Regular adjustments are a preventative measure, and will keep your body functioning smoothly overall. This will improve your speed, strength, range of motion, flexibility, and your overall performance. Improved Training. We can help you improve your training by helping with gait improvement and proper form. Many athletes see us any time something feels “off.”

We Are Not Just For Repair

If you are an athlete, seeing us is just as preventative as it could be for treating injuries. We specialize in preventative mechanics, as well as maintenance and repair!  

Your Sleep Is Affecting Your Health

I know, you’ve heard this a million times. But the truth is, your sleep is imperative to your health, how your body repairs itself, and your mood. There are so many variables to consider when it comes to how well you do or don’t sleep, but in the interest of sticking with one – let’s consider the mattress you are sleeping on. Beyond the price tag, there are things to consider when making this important purchase. 

Your Quality of Sleep is Affecting Your Health

The quality of your sleep can have such a significant impact on your quality of life that cost should be considered as predictor as to how well you will invest in your health. Sleep deprivation can cause a decrease in your productivity in work, the number of sick days used, and increased injuries as a result of delayed responses and accuracy. Consider the lost wages as a result of not sleeping well. 

Sore Neck or Back?

Even something like waking up with a sore neck or back will have a direct impact on whether you even make it in to work. The quality of your mattress can be a huge predictor of how well you are maintaining your musculoskeletal health. So here are a few things you should keep in mind when making a decision this important. 

When Should A Mattress Be Replaced?

This is a simple one. Once you begin to wake up with sore or aching muscles, this may be the time to switch to a newer mattress. Typically, 10 years is the time to replace the mattress, but again – if you are feeling sore on an older mattress, start shopping around. A medium firm mattress is often the most beneficial for those with chronic low back pain. Sticking with a medium firm mattress has been shown to decrease pain, improve sleep, and generally support your spine better than alternatives.  Generally speaking, the standing posture of your spine should mimic that of your sleeping position. With this in mind, custom made mattresses are often the most beneficial in reducing pain because on the opposite side of the spectrum, soft mattresses decrease excessive force on your joints – but can promote sagging of the hips that cause hip and back pain.  In addition, adjustable bed bases have been associated with increased sleep quality.

This is An Important Purchase

Purchasing a mattress should be just as important as purchasing a car. You need to see it, test it out, lay on it, roll over, and adjust to ensure it is the right fit for you. With so many options, it’s important to do your research and take the time to explore the specific features you may require. 

Your Sleep Matters to Us

It just makes sense that if you are taking care of one aspect of your joint and body health, that you cover all of your bases. Your body heals when you sleep well since this is the time it takes to rejuvenate itself, so you can look and feel your best. Take your time when making a purchase like this, your health depends on it.

Winter Driving and Your Health

Winter has arrived and there are so many changes not only to the weather, but to our lives when the seasons change. Gone are the roller blades and bike rides, we’ve got so many other hazards to avoid when the snow and ice hits. Aside from ensuring your home is winter-proof, including cleaning your gutters, repairing leaks, and checking all your weather stripping – your car will be a job in it’s own. Winter proofing your car is an essential part of being winter ready. Simple adjustments can make a world of difference when faced with snowy or icy roads, and we require added items in the event that your car breaks down and you have to wait for help. Here’s a list of “things to-do” to ensure you and your car are winter ready.

Winter Maintenance

Now is the time to take your car in for a tune up. Your mechanic will give your car a once over to ensure all of your fluids are topped up and will look for any potential hazards. They may recommend rust proofing, which is often the cause of eroded fuel and brake lines. And don’t overlook those winter tires, the extra deep grip can help you maneuver through the snow better. 

Keep Your Gas Tank Full

Aside from ensuring it won’t ice when levels get very low, having a full gas tank adds weight to your car – which makes it less likely to slide on snowy roads. You also never want to run out of gas in the winter, it’s just not safe and is completely avoidable.

Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Car

An emergency kit  is something you don’t want to be without. It doesn’t have to be big, but it should be stocked with the following items:

  • First aid kit
  • Blanket
  • Dry clothes
  • Small flashlight
  • Phone charger
  • Booster cables

Chances are you’ll never have to use it, but being prepared if you do need it will make a world of difference in your experience. Winters can be harsh, and you’ll want to be prepared if we are hit with an unexpected storm or simply roads that haven’t been cleared.

Relax and Enjoy

Finally, while driving over the next couple of months – relax. Tense muscles while driving can lead to muscle strain, pain, and headaches. If your drive is taking much longer than usual, pull into an area that you can safely get out of your car for a few minutes to stretch and move around to keep your circulation going.  Maintaining your appointments with us over the winter months will help you to avoid soreness, injury, and even stiffness associated with hours a day in a car. And of course stretching and an exercise routine will help keep you limber. Otherwise, enjoy the season and be safe!

Tips for Winter Walking, and Tips to Boost Your Immune System

5 Tips for Winter Walking

The arrival of winter doesn’t mean it’s time to disappear onto the couch with blankets. We’ll leave the hibernation to the bears!

What it does mean is that we have to find ways to remain active, because we know what a sedentary lifestyle can do to your physical and mental health. So whether you are going outside for some exercise, to run errands, or to go for a stroll, walking in the winter has its hazards.

Of course there are some precautions you can take before heading out, here are 5 tips to help you avoid hurting yourself on the ice or in the snow:

  1. Wear the correct footwear. Snow and ice are not conducive to fashionable footwear. In order to place your safety first, you should wear boots or shoes that are slip resistant. Look for boots made specifically for wearing in the snow, and for those with rubber soles and non-slip tread. 
  2. Don’t compromise your steadiness or balance. Try to avoid carrying too many items at once, or awkward items that could cause you to lose your balance or footing. If your hands are full, this also prevents you from being able to break your fall if you do slip. It’s also a good idea to not walk with your hands in your pockets for this same reason. 
  3. Be prepared. Keep your walkways free from snow, ice, and items you can trip over. Salt or cat litter on potentially slippery surfaces and stairs will help you to maintain a safe walkway. 
  4. Be aware. We have all at some point been walking in the winter and slipped on ice we didn’t see. Being aware of your surroundings, and being aware of potential icy hazards will save you from a nasty fall. If pavement looks dark and shiny, it’s safe to assume it is icy. Avoid using your phone while walking as well, you’ll miss seeing ice and snow banks that could pose a hazard.
  5. Use supports. When available, use the handrails to keep yourself steady, and use the doorframe of your car to leverage yourself while getting in and out of your vehicle.

Weather Updates

Checking the weather updates before heading out will help you to determine the best course of action. Being aware of upcoming storms will help you remain prepared, and to make the necessary arrangements if you hire help to keep your walkways snow and ice free. 

Regular Chiropractic Care

Remember to make your Chiropractic care a regular part of your winter regimen. Taking care of yourself can easily take a back seat to family responsibilities and other tasks, but you are only as good to others as you treat yourself.

Enjoy Yourself!

Winter isn’t all about hazards and safety, it’s also about enjoying some shopping, time with family, good food, travel, and winter sports. Winter is enjoyable and you should do what you can to remain active for your physical and mental wellness. And while all seasons require some safety tips, with the right preparation you can prevent injuries and make some great memories!

Give Your Immune System a Boost

We’re deep into flu season, and with winter comes a weakened immune system. Our immune systems are so complex, and keeping it working at full force requires some extra TLC.

Eating well, reducing stress and getting the required sleep that your body needs is a sure way to keep it in top shape. Here are a few things you can do to keep your immune system working well over the next months.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is known to keep our bodies fit and strong, but did you know that it also maintains a strong immune system?

Maintaining a healthy body weight, regulating your blood sugar and blood pressure, and keeping your digestive system working well are all sure ways to keep your immune system functioning. Regular exercise will also allow you to have a more restful sleep. 

Get Enough Sleep

If you are a parent, you’ll remember telling your kids to “sleep it off” when they are ill. Having  a rested body allows it to function well. When we don’t get enough sleep we are increasing stress to our bodies, depleting our mood, and compromising our immune system.

Don’t wait until you are already sick to power sleep either. Getting enough sleep regularly is what will allow you to be proactive. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that will help to strengthen your immune system and increase immunity. Foods like citrus fruits, dark green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, and vitamin C supplements are a great way to get the antioxidant support you need. 

Chiropractic Care

We are much more than your guide to a healthy musculoskeletal system. We are a part of your circle of care, and can also provide nutritional, fitness, and practical health support.

Get Enough Fluids

The air is much drier during the winter months, which means staying hydrated is something we should all be proactive with. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to reach for a glass of water, it’s just as important to remain on top of your hydration in the winter as it is during the hot summer.

Just as in the summer, it’s important to remember that sugary drinks will actually dehydrate your body. 

Prepare Your Home

Aside from regular hand washing, wiping down door handles and light switches when cleaning is a great way to ensure you aren’t spreading germs.

Clean out the fridge and throw away stale or old foods, check expiry dates, and ensure it is stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables that are easy access for snacks.

We may not be able to avoid colds and flus entirely, but taking precautions and arming yourself with the knowledge to maintain a strong immune system will surely help to keep illnesses at bay.

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 come and see us, you have signed up for a holistic journey. Injuries and ailments come with their own set of individual requirements to heal properly and fully. Our goal as your Chiropractic team, is that you can complete care 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.

How Much Do You Know?

Your job isn’t to be a nutrition expert, although this would never hurt. OUR role as Chiropractors is to educate you about how nutrition can be a catalyst to your healing, and to point you in the right direction within our own practice, or with a referral.

Proper nutrition is imperative to the health of your brain and musculoskeletal system. When an injury occurs, nutrition becomes even more important. If you are recovering from a muscular injury an 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.

Is my Chiropractor a Nutrition Expert?

Chiropractors receive training that is necessary to be able to provide you with the advice you need to ensure you receive the best Chiropractic care. It is mandatory for Chiropractors to take classes in physiology, nutrition, and biochemistry. In addition, training in whole body wellness and healthy lifestyles is a crucial component of our learning.

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 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.

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. 

Ask us for specific recommendations on how simple changes in your diet can have a dramatic improvement in your health.

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

Is Your Desk Job Hurting You?

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

The Risks

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

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

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

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

So what can you do?

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

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

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

Your Posture is in Your Hands

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

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

 

Can Chiropractic Help with Spinal Stenosis?

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

What is Spinal Stenosis?

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

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

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

Causes

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

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

Other causes are:

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

Symptoms

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

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

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

Can Chiropractic Help?

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

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

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

 

3 Reasons People See a Chiropractor

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

Better Sleep

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

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

Stress Relief

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

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

Improved Posture

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

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

The Choice is Yours

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

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

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

Ways To Ease Your Holiday Shopping

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

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

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

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

Eat Something Nutritious

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

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

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

Take Breaks

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

The Purse

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

Arrange for Help

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

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

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

Wear Comfortable Shoes

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

Buy Online

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

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

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

Visit Us Ahead of Time

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

 

5 Myths of Chiropractic Care

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

The Myths

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

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

Ask Questions

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

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

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

Travel Tips For Long Trips

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

Warming Up And Cooling Down Matter

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

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

Travelling by Car

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

Travelling by Plane

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

Be Prepared

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

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

Schedule a Visit for a Spinal Check

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

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

Have an amazing trip!

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

Can my Chiropractor Help With Plantar Fasciitis? 

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

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

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

What About Treatment?

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

The Root of the Problem

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

The Rehabilitation Plan

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

Recovery Time

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

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

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

Back Pain is Common During Pregnancy

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

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

Chiropractic Care

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

Prepare for Childbirth and Post-Recovery

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

Take The Time to Enjoy Your Pregnancy

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

Season Change – So Do Your Activities

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

Apple Picking/Pumpkin Hauling

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

Raking Leaves

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

Hiking

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

Housework

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

Enjoy the Crisp Weather!

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

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

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

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

Shoe Wear Patterns

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

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

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

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

Midsole asymmetry can indicate biomechanical problems and medial arch collapse.

What If There Is Abnormal Shoe Wear?

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

It Could Cause Pelvic Misalignment

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

We Can Help

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

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

 

Should I See a Chiropractor For Whiplash?

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

The good news is, we can help.

What is Whiplash?

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

It’s Very Common

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

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

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

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

See a Healthcare Provider Right Away

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

Immediate Attention is Key

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

We Can Help

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

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

 

Walking Your Way to Wellness

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

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

Walking Is The Perfect Addition to Your Routine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Spinal Wellness Matters

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

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

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

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

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!

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

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.