All Posts tagged posture

Recreational activities to minimize stress and prevent back pain

Recreational activities to minimize stress and prevent back pain

Going to the chiropractor can help relieve pain and prevent injuries, but being active is also a great way to help keep your spine healthy. Just going for a brisk 10 minute walk each day is enough to help improve your health and prevent conditions of the spine, joints and supporting structures of the body. But there are also a few other recreational activities that you can incorporate into your daily routine to prevent back pain and reduce stress.

Here are a few suggestions and why you may benefit from them:

Yoga and Pilates:

Yoga and Pilates are forms of exercise that typically focus on moving the body while focusing on breathing and body awareness. The poses are purposeful and usually work a few areas of the body at once, including the back and leg muscles to build a stronger foundation for other movements. Also, the poses often focus on balance which can be important to prevent falls and injuries as we age. Compared to higher impact activities that cause added strain to the body, Yoga and Pilates are known to be ‘safe’ for healthy and even injured individuals. Yet, with most practices being keenly aware of your body is important and adapting movement to your skill level. However, regular practice has been shown to decrease back pain1. The great thing about Yoga and Pilates is that there are several types of classes catered to your specific skill and comfort level.

Aquafitness

Aquafitness is a dynamic, low impact activity that usually involves the entire body in movement, including the abdominals, gluteal, and leg muscles. Since the movements are done in water, the water adds extra resistance to strengthen muscles but also minimizes impact on your joints. Aquafitness has been shown to be an effective management tool for those suffering from certain MSK injuries allowing them to keep active. Notably, people suffering from low back pain2 may particularly benefit from aquafitness or gently swimming in water. Contact your local community centre or gym to see if aquafitness is part of their regular programming.

Tai Chi

This Chinese martial art focuses on meditative, deep breathing combined with methodical practice of slow movement enhancing mobility and balance among those who practice the art. Tai Chi is known to have major health benefits – even for those with back pain. Tai Chi can improve pain and function, while decreasing likelihood of chronic pain. It is a safe and effective activity for those experiencing long-term back pain symptoms3.

Other activities you may want to consider are low-impact cardiovascular exercises such as walking or striding on the elliptical machine. There are always alternatives to staying active, even when you experience pain. Some of these can even help relieve the pain.

If you’re looking for ways to stay active and relieve pain, meet with our team to discuss more options.

Sourced from CCA

1Sherman K,  Cherkin D, Wellman R, Cook A, Hawkes R,  Delaney K, Deyo R. A Randomized Trial Comparing Yoga, Stretching, and a Self-care Book for Chronic Low Back Pain. Arch Intern Med. 2011 Dec 12; 171(22): 2019–2026.

2Ariyoshi MSonoda KNagata KMashima TZenmyo MPaku CTakamiya YYoshimatsu HHirai YYasunaga HAkashi H,Imayama HShimokobe TInoue AMutoh Y. Efficacy of aquatic exercises for patients with low-back pain. Kurume Med J. 1999;46(2):91-6.

3Hall AMMaher CGLam PFerreira MLatimer J. Tai chi exercise for treatment of pain and disability in people with persistent low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2011 Nov;63(11):1576-83.
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10 Chiropractic Research updates you need to know

10 Chiropractic Research updates you need to know

What impact is research having to advance healthcare, the chiropractic profession and patient care?

For the last decade, the Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation was working to achieve one goal—to place chiropractic researchers in Canadian universities for the first time in history. With the help of generous donors, this goal was successfully achieved in 2017.

Check out for yourself how donations are making a difference!

University Affiliation

  • 13 CCRF Research Chairs placed in universities across Canada—seven are tenured; two are tenure-track.
  • Chiropractic researchers are working with multidisciplinary health teams, educating medical students, breaking down barriers and building inter-professional networks.

Disease & Disability Prevention

  • Discovery of a therapy halting the progression of Degenerative Disc Disease, a condition that creates significant disability, expense and the highest number of disability-affected years globally.
  • Evidence-based treatment protocols developed for mechanical, degenerative and inflammatory spinal disorders.

Multidisciplinary Collaboration

  • Working with healthcare teams in Denmark, U.S, Switzerland, Australia, Cuba, Hong Kong, UK, South America and more.
  • Industry collaborations with CCGI, CCA, Provincial Associations, Research Manitoba, World Federation of Chiropractic, World Spine Care Research Committee, Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA) and more.

Healthcare Integration

Patient Care and Practice Development

Sourced from CCA Blog

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High- and Low-Impact Activities for Everyone

High- and Low-Impact Activities for Everyone

It is no secret that at the Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA) we often promote the benefits of regular physical activity as a way to stay healthy and happy. In fact, the CCA thinks it’s so important that we’ve created a free app: Straighten Up Canada! The app is currently available for download via Apple StoreGoogle Play and Blackberry World. Featuring easy-to-follow exercises, it helps to improve your posture and allows you to stay active during your day!

Investing time to do activities or sports that you enjoy is key to healthy aging and an active lifestyle. Being physically active is often a good way to prevent and manage musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries as well as helping maintain strength and mobility. Varying your routine between high- and low-impact activities is a great way to modify your workouts and challenge the body. We’ve outlined some great suggestions for both so you can get up and get moving!

High Impact

High-impact exercise is typically described as an (often aerobic) activity where both feet leave the ground at the same time1. Often, high-impact activities may include exercise classes which involve jumping, leaping, or jogging in place. Doing high-impact exercise can put you at greater risk of injury if your body is not prepared, especially if you’re just starting out. Be cautious and adapt to a lower impact version of the activity if in doubt. Otherwise, before starting high-impact exercises make sure you have warmed-up.

Good examples of high-impact exercises are:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Jumping rope
  • Running or jogging on a treadmill (or outdoors)
  • Performing plyometric exercises

High-impact exercises tend to be more intense and expend more energy, so it’s important that if you’re doing high-impact exercises that you’re well-prepared. For some, high-impact exercises are not appropriate: they may increase the risk of injury, commonly to the ankles, knees, hips, and even the back. That being said, high-impact exercises can have a lot of great benefits too2:

  • Improves bone density
  • Increases an individual’s heart rate more quickly, thereby burning more calories
  • Improves a person’s stability, balance, and coordination
  • Strengthens the heart and lungs

Low Impact3

Low-impact exercise tends to be less jarring on the body and joints, and less intense overall. According to the American Council on Exercise, keeping at least one foot on the ground at all times also reduces your risk of musculoskeletal injury. Some examples include4:

  • Working out on an elliptical machine
  • Low-impact aerobics
  • Using a rowing machine
  • Home exercise
  • Walking
  • Dancing
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Nordic walking

It’s important to realize that low impact doesn’t mean low intensity (unless purposely designed to be so) because you can still get an intense workout keeping both feet on the ground. Low-impact exercises are great for beginners, people with arthritis or osteoporosis, older adults, individuals who are obese, pregnant women, and people with bone, joint, or connective tissue injuries.

Whichever form of physical activity you choose, make sure you do it safely.

Provided by the Canadian Chiropractic Association

References

1Amy Gonsalves, “High Impact versus low impact.” Diabetes Outside blog. April 19, 2011. https://blog.diabetesoutside.com/?p=1060

2Paige Waehner, “High Impact Exercise—Is High Impact Exercise Right for You?” VeryWell.com. May 2, 2016. https://www.verywell.com/is-high-impact-exercise-right-for-you-1230821

3Nicole Nichols, “low impact vs. high impact exercise: Which is right for you?” SparkPeople.com. April 14, 2010. https://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=fitness_defined_lowimpact_and_highimpact_exercises

4NHS, “Easy exercises.” NHS Choices. Page last reviewed: 01/03/2016. https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/Lowimpact.aspx
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A beginner’s guide to outdoor running

A beginner’s guide to outdoor running

Chiropractor-approved tips

You’ve made the decision to take your cardio routine from the treadmill to the sidewalk – congratulations! You’re on your way to reaping some amazing benefits. If you’re feeling wary about transitioning your routine to a new location, we’ve got you covered. With a good pair of running shoes and some healthy preparation, you can get the most out of your running session outdoors.

Note: Running is a high-impact activity. If you’ve never run before, please consult a chiropractor/medical practitioner to ensure you won’t worsen any pre-existing conditions or cause injury to your joints.

Here are some tips to help get you started:

Warm up and cool down: Make sure you stretch before and after your run. Stretches are an essential part of your running routine to avoid injuries. Some important points to keep in mind:

  • Never stretch a cold muscle
  • Hold each stretch for a slow count of 30
  • Repeat twice on each side
  • Don’t overstretch—be comfortable
  • Don’t bounce when stretching

Pick a road or trail you are familiar with: When starting out, the last thing you want to worry about is getting lost. Before you lace up your sneakers, do some research: ask friends where they like to run, use online running forums to find popular routes, and check to see if your park has designated trails. The more popular and visible the trail, the better.

Wear the appropriate footwear: Adapt your shoes to your environment. A regular running sneaker works for the flat, predictable surface of a treadmill. But once you are outdoors, make sure the sneaker’s tread can handle the gravel, dirt roads, and slick trails. Runners should get a sneaker that supports the feet while having the appropriate sole to help maneuver and provide support over uneven surfaces.

Start slow: Running outside is more taxing on your muscles, joints and bones, making you more prone to injuries like shin splints. Start off with shorter distances on flat roads or trails. As your endurance improves, gradually increase your mileage and hill work.

Maintain a constant pace: Don’t feel compelled to push yourself to run at the same pace that you would on a treadmill. Start with moderate and comfortable pace that allows you to run safely, and gradually increase your speed over several weeks as your body allows.

If you’ve been running on a treadmill for a while, transitioning to the outdoors may take time. The mechanics of running on a stationary treadmill are different than running outside on an uneven surface. 

Originally published June 2016 by the Canadian Chiropractic Association

1Shape Magazine, “Don’t make these mistakes when running. https://www.shape.com/fitness/cardio/dont-make-these-mistakes-when-running-outdoors

2Popsugar, 4 things you need to know before running outside. https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Tips-Running-Outside-28328027
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The top 6 common myths about chiropractic treatment

Many Canadians continue to have questions about the role that chiropractors play in the healthcare team, and what benefit chiropractic care may have to their health.

1. Once you see a chiropractor you have to keep going back

This is false. When seeking care from a chiropractor, we will perform an assessment including a history and physical examination to determine the cause of the pain or dysfunction. From these observations, a diagnosis will be made and the treatment plan developed in collaboration with the patient – according to their needs and goals. The treatment plan will recommend a number of initial visits to see if the patient responds to care and scheduled re-evaluations. Depending on the patient and the condition, the recommended course of care may vary. Ultimately, the decision to continue care is yours. As a patient, if you have questions or concerns about care, you should feel comfortable to ask the chiropractor for more information on the recommendations made and address any concerns. The care plan should be part of a shared decision-making between the patient and practitioner.

 2. Chiropractors are not ‘real’ doctors

Chiropractors are regulated in all 10 Canadian provinces, and are designated to use the title “doctor” similar to physicians, optometrists and dentists after completing the extensive Doctor of Chiropractic degree program. Those professions who are recognized to use the “doctor” title have extensive training in their area of expertise that allows them to be diagnosticians – to provide a diagnosis.

Chiropractic care in Canada

 3. A medical doctor must refer you to a chiropractor

In all provinces in Canada, chiropractors are primary contact providers, which means you can access them directly. Due to the extensive training of chiropractors as diagnosticians, chiropractors will perform a comprehensive assessment to help determine a diagnosis or clinical impressions. Depending on the outcome, the chiropractor can discuss a course of care or refer to another healthcare professional, as needed. However, in some cases, you may need a referral to access coverage depending on your benefits provider.

4. There is no evidence to support the effectiveness of chiropractic care

Chiropractic treatment is at times questioned on its effectiveness. Yet, the chiropractic profession and others have invested significant resources to build a robust body of evidence studying the impact of manual therapies on MSK conditions. For example, spinal and joint manipulation has been shown to be effective treatment for acute and chronic MSK conditions, like back pain. In fact, spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) is recommended as first line intervention for back pain in numerous clinical practice guidelines including the Bone and Joint Decade Task Force1, the American College of Physicians and American Pain Society2 as well as Britain’s National Institute of Health and Care Excellence3.

 5. Chiropractors can only treat back pain

Chiropractors are musculoskeletal (MSK) experts and are trained in assessing, diagnosing, treating and preventing biomechanical disorders that originate from the muscular, skeletal and nervous system. In addition to the evidence that supports chiropractic care in managing musculoskeletal complaints of the spine, there is also evidence that it supports chiropractic management of the extremities, headaches and even TMJ pain,5,6. Chiropractors are also able to provide lifestyle counselling about nutrition, fitness and ergonomics among others that may be useful in managing or preventing a variety of health conditions. The health of your MSK system doesn’t just start with a healthy spine, you need to be fully aware of your health to maintain a well-rounded healthy lifestyle!

 6. Adjustments are painful

In general, adjustments or joint manipulations do not hurt. In fact, many patients report immediate pain relief. Patients may be nervous about the ‘cracking’ or popping sound that may occur during an adjustment. The sound is believed to result from the release of gas bubbles from the joint – similar to cracking your knuckles!

Asking questions about your health and treatment options are very important. You are a partner in your care and your participation is critical to helping us provide the best care to meet your goal. To do so, as a profession, we strive to better understand what information you need to make those important decisions. We want to hear from you! If you have any questions beyond this blog about chiropractic treatment, visit a chiropractor in your area. To learn more about what to expect at your first chiropractic treatment, you can take a look at our online videos.

1Haldeman, S., Carroll, L., Cassidy, J., Schubert, J., & Nygren, A. (2008). The bone and joint decade 2000–2010 task force on neck pain and its associated disorders: Executive summary. Spine, 33(4S), S5-S7. 

2Chou, E., Qaseem, A., Snow, V., Casey, D., Cross, T., Shekelle, P., & Owens, D. (2007). Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: A joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Annals of Internal Medicine, 147(7), 478-491. 

3National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. (2009). Low back pain early management of persistent non-specific low back pain. Londres, Angleterre. 

4Hoskins, W., McHardy, A., Pollard, H., Windsham, R., & Onley, R. (2006). Chiropractic treatment of lower extremity conditions: a literature review. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 29(8), 658-671. 

5McHardy, A., Hoskins, W., Pollard, H., Onley, R., & Windsham, R. (2008). Chiropractic treatment of upper extremity conditions: a systematic review. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 31(2), 146-159. 

6Bryans, R., Descarreaux, M., Duranleau, M., Marcoux, H., Potter, B., Reugg, R., White, E., & , (2011). Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 34(5), 274-289.
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What is Perfect Posture?

What is Perfect Posture?

The Importance of Good Posture

Good posture not only makes you look better, it also delivers increased energy, better breathing, improved circulation, and less wear-and-tear on your joints. It’s an investment in both your appearance and your health.

Posture

What is Perfect Posture?

The secret to good posture is maintaining the spine’s natural curves. If your spine is not properly aligned, your muscles and ligaments have to work harder to keep you upright and this can result in strain and pain.

When you slouch, you also put pressure on your lungs and stomach. This can affect breathing and digestion, as well as blood flow.

Does your posture pass the test?

Use a three-way mirror or have a friend help you check out these markers:

  • When standing: your head, shoulders, hips and ankles should line up, one comfortably above the other. Your knees should be slightly bent and your feet should be shoulder-width apart or more.
  • When looking at your back: are your shoulders and hips level or is one side higher than the other? Does your head tilt to one side or the other? Does one shoulder blade seem to be more prominent than the other? Do the muscles of the back seem more developed on one side, compared to the other? A healthy back should be symmetrical.
  • When looking from the side, your neck and low back should curve to the front of your body, and your mid-back and pelvis should curve to the back. Postural distortions in the curves of your spine mean stress and strain on your back.

Tips for Standing Tall

  • If you use a bag or briefcase with a single shoulder strap, choose a strap that is long enough to place over your head and rest on the opposite side from the bag. This helps distribute the weight of the bag evenly and prevents distorting your posture.
  • High heels throw your spine out of alignment, making good posture difficult and often leading to low back pain. A low-heeled, supportive shoe is best, but if you are devoted to your fashion footwear, try to restrict the height to no more than two inches.
  • Try not to sit in any one position for a long period of time. Take a quick stretch break or change positions every 30-45 minutes. For a quick and easy spinal stretch, stand up and raise your arms above your head.
  • Strengthening your core back and abdominal muscles will help promote good posture by keeping your spine well supported.
  • Check out the posture medic. It is a great tool to assist with proper form for the upper back.

Canada’s chiropractors are specialists in back health. If you are concerned about your posture, consider an evaluation.

-Provided by Ontario Chiropractic Association

 

Dr. Luciano Di Loreto graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (2010) as a Doctor of Chiropractic and obtained a certificate in Medical Acupuncture at McMaster University (2010). At his practice located in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, Dr. Luciano Di Loreto combines evidence-based chiropractic care with a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to health care. He is an approachable, passionate, and diligent practitioner with a focus on delivering exceptional acute, preventative, rehabilitative and supportive care for a variety conditions relating to the muscle, nerve, and bone. During his spare time, Dr. Luciano Di Loreto takes pleasure in spending time with his family and friends. He enjoys fishing and playing sports.

Fit for Life Wellness & Rehabilitation Centre is a health clinic located in Vaughan, Ontario, just north of Major Mackenzie on Weston Road (Located in the Vellore Medical Centre & Walk In Clinic). If you have questions for Dr. Luciano Di Loreto & Associates, please contact us and we will get right back to you promptly with information on your conditions/concerns.

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: The following information is my personal notes about this subject matter. It is intended for informational purposes only. Consult a health practitioner to help you diagnose and treat injuries of any kind.

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How do I fix my chair at work to avoid strain?

SITTING DOWN ON THE JOB

Does your job find you sitting most of the day?

While sitting can seem restful, keep in mind that staying in any one position for long periods of time can cause strain and injury to your muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments. Sustained sitting can take a toll on your neck and lower back – steady compression on the spinal discs hinders their nutrition and can contribute to premature degeneration.

So, if you have to sit at work, what can you do to stay pain-free? Help take the load off your back with these tips:

Take frequent breaks

First, ensure that you take regular breaks from sitting. Get up, take a short walk outside or around the office, and stretch.

Posture perfect

Next, pay attention to your posture. Sitting incorrectly puts strain on your lower back, decreases blood flow to your working muscles and accelerates fatigue. Practise “active sitting” with your feet flat on the ground in front of you, your back straight, your shoulders squared and your chin parallel with the floor. This posture will strengthen the “core” muscles of your abdomen, sides and back to reduce the strain on other areas. The stronger your core muscles, the easier it will be to maintain good posture.

Choose a good office chair

What’s most important in preventing injury and strain is to be able to easily vary your sitting positions throughout the day. An investment in a good office chair can help a lot. The right chair for you should:

  • Be easily adjustable to suit your size
  • Adapt to support your spine in various working positions
  • Have a backrest that supports your lower back
  • Have armrests, if they are appropriate to your work
  • Have a front edge that curves downward to promote proper posture

Stability balls

One recent trend is to use a stability ball at the office. While a ball is a great tool to help you tone your abs at home or at the gym, it should not replace a good chair at your work station. If you do bring the ball to work:

  • Use the ball only for short periods
  • Use your abdominal, back and side muscles to maintain straight posture
  • Stop when your muscles feel tired

Sitting on a ball instead of a chair can actually increase the pressure on your back, especially if your core muscles aren’t strong. So, sitting a long time on the ball may lead to greater discomfort in your lower back. Do not use a ball if you have osteoporosis, balance or low back problems.

Remember, stability balls are not for everyone; consult a chiropractor if you have any pre-existing injury or health problems that could impact your balance or stability.

Provided by: Dr. Luciano Di Loreto, HBSc., D.C. & Associates

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Dr. Luciano Di Loreto graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (2010) as a Doctor of Chiropractic and obtained a certificate in Medical Acupuncture at McMaster University (2010). At his practice located in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, Dr. Luciano Di Loreto combines evidence-based chiropractic care with a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to health care. He is an approachable, passionate, and diligent practitioner with a focus on delivering exceptional acute, preventative, rehabilitative and supportive care for a variety conditions relating to the muscle, nerve, and bone. During his spare time, Dr. Luciano Di Loreto takes pleasure in spending time with his family and friends. He enjoys fishing and playing sports.

Fit for Life Wellness & Rehabilitation Centre is a health clinic located in Vaughan, Ontario, just north of Major Mackenzie on Weston Road (Located in the Vellore Medical Centre & Walk In Clinic at 10395 Weston Road, Unit A., Woodbridge Ontario L4H 3T4). If you have questions for Dr. Luciano Di Loreto & Associates, please comment or email us and we will get right back to you promptly with information on your conditions/concerns.

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What is a good pillow?

What is a good pillow?

A GOOD PILLOW

Often my patients ask; doc, can you recommend a good pillow?  This question is simple to answer – one that feels comfortable.  After a pause, I typically receive a follow up question – how much do I need to spend to find a good comfortable pillow?  My next answer is even less specific than my – it depends on you and your body.   Sometimes a less expensive pillow works well for someone in comparison to a higher quality more expensive pillow.  It all depends on you (your posture, preference, sleep patterns, etc.) and what you are looking for in a pillow…Here are some tips below that will help find the right pillow for you!

A good pillow for sleeping should be comfortable to lay your head upon, but most importantly it must support your neck keeping it in alignment with the rest of your spine. There are many different pillows on the market today from traditional feather and fiber ones to shaped pillows, memory foam and buckwheat pillows. It can be difficult to know what to choose.

There is no one “best” pillow for everyone. Try these tips to pick the pillow that’s right for you.

  • Choose a size of pillow suitable for your body size or frame. The pillow should cover the entire back of your neck to avoid putting pressure on your spine.
  • Try out the pillow. Most pillows are packaged in a plastic wrapper so you can lay it on a display bed in the store and put your head on it. This is the best way to find out if you are on the right track.
  • A hypoallergenic pillow is a must if you suffer from allergies, but it is also a good choice for anyone.
  • Buckwheat filled pillows have become increasingly popular. Buckwheat is hypoallergenic, it will mold to the contours of your head and neck providing good support, but it will also change shape when you move.

A good quality, supportive pillow provides many benefits including a better night’s sleep, improved circulation, fewer aches and pains and even reduced snoring. Take your time and choose carefully. Your neck and back will thank you for it!

Dr. Luciano Di Loreto, D.C. HBSc., & Associates

Chiropractor & Acupuncture Provider

www.fitforlifewellnessclinic.com

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Dr. Luciano Di Loreto graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (2010) as a Doctor of Chiropractic and obtained a certificate in Medical Acupuncture at McMaster University (2010). At his practice located in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, Dr. Luciano Di Loreto combines evidence-based chiropractic care with a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to health care. He is an approachable, passionate, and diligent practitioner with a focus on delivering exceptional acute, preventative, rehabilitative and supportive care for a variety conditions relating to the muscle, nerve, and bone. During his spare time, Dr. Luciano Di Loreto takes pleasure in spending time with his family and friends. He enjoys fishing and playing sports.

Fit for Life Wellness & Rehabilitation Centre is a health clinic located in Vaughan, Ontario, just north of Major Mackenzie on Weston Road (Located in the Vellore Medical Centre & Walk In Clinic). If you have questions for Dr. Luciano Di Loreto, please comment and we will get right back to you promptly with information on your conditions/concerns.

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