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Bell’s Palsy & Ramsay Hunt (Facial Paralysis)

Over the last few years, we have been seeing more and more patients with either a Ramsay Hunt or Bell’s Palsy diagnosis. Patients seek our care to assist with reversing the symptoms they have experienced. Whether it be weakness of the facial muscles or difficulty closing one eye, we try to assist as best as we can. Let us explain what these two conditions are about.

What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?

Ramsay Hunt syndrome, also known as herpes zoster oticus, emerges when a shingles outbreak targets the facial nerve adjacent to one of the ears. Alongside the discomfort of the shingles rash, this syndrome can lead to facial paralysis and hearing impairment in the affected ear.

The syndrome stems from the same virus responsible for chickenpox. Even after recovering from chickenpox, the virus persists in the nerves. Years later, it may reactivate, specifically affecting the facial nerves.

Timely treatment of Ramsay Hunt syndrome is crucial to mitigate potential complications, such as enduring facial muscle weakness and deafness.

The two main signs and symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome are:

  • A painful red rash with fluid-filled blisters on, in and around one ear
  • Facial weakness or paralysis on the same side as the affected ear

Usually, the rash and the facial paralysis occur at the same time. Sometimes one can happen before the other. Other times, the rash never occurs.

If you have Ramsay Hunt syndrome, you might also experience:

  • Ear pain
  • Hearing loss
  • Ringing in your ears (tinnitus)
  • Difficulty closing one eye
  • A sensation of spinning or moving (vertigo)
  • A change in taste perception or loss of taste
  • Dry mouth and eyes

What is Bell’s Palsy?

Similar to Ramsay Hunt, Bell’s Palsy is emerges when the facial nerve is involved. There’s no specific test for Bell’s palsy. We will look at your face and ask you to move your facial muscles. We will ask you to close your eyes, lift your brow, show your teeth and frown, among making other movements.

Other conditions — such as a stroke, infections, Lyme disease, inflammatory conditions and tumors — can cause facial muscle weakness that mimics Bell’s palsy.

Our Treatment:

Typically, we start with a combination of facial soft tissue with heat on the neck region. Following we use a combination of facial acupuncture points to help with the nerve pain. Over the course of 6-12 weeks, we gradually start to see changes to the facial muscles. Patients often feel less eye symptoms as well as more movement in the lip regions. We take pictures throughout the treatment plan in order to monitor progress. Further to the passive treatments, we will provide a number of exercises that can be done at home to assist with nerve regeneration. Supplementation recommendations are also recommended.

If you have been diagnosed with facial paralysis (bell’s palsy or ramsay hunt) and looking for treatment options, book a consultation with us. Stay Fit for Life!

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

About the Author:

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 (Fit for Life Wellness and Rehabilitation Centre located at 3865 Major Mackenzie Drive W., Woodbridge, Ontario., L4H 4P4), 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 (tennis, padel and soccer).


7 Ways to Fit your Bike – Stay Fit for Life! 

Did you know that fitting your bike properly involves more than just being able to step over it and reach the pedals? Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a casual rider, ensuring your bike fits you correctly is crucial for preventing discomfort and potential injuries in various parts of your body.

Here are some key considerations for achieving the right bike fit:

Understanding Bike Sizes: Not all bikes come in standard sizes, and the sizing can vary based on the type and brand of the bike. Research the different types of bikes available to find one that suits your needs and body type.

Choosing the Frame Size: Selecting the right frame size starts with an estimate based on your height. Ensure there’s adequate clearance between you and the bike frame when straddling it, and adjust based on the type of bike you’re using.

Setting the Seat Height: Once you’ve determined the frame size, adjust the seat height to ensure proper leg extension while pedaling. Your knee should have a slight bend when the pedal is at its lowest point, and your foot should be positioned correctly on the pedal.

Wearing Suitable Shoes: Your choice of footwear can affect your bike fit. Make sure to wear shoes appropriate for cycling when adjusting the seat height to ensure proper alignment.

Finding the Right Saddle: Bike saddles come in various shapes and sizes, each suited for different types of riding. Experiment with different saddle types until you find one that provides comfort and support.

Adjusting Handlebar Height: Handlebar height is crucial for maintaining proper body position and avoiding strain. The height and reach of the handlebars vary depending on the type of bike and personal preference.

Assessing Body Position: Pay attention to your upper body position while riding, ensuring your joints remain relaxed and your spine stays neutral. Avoid locking your joints and distribute your weight evenly between the seat and handlebars.

Investing in a Professional Fit: Consider getting a professional bike fitting to ensure optimal comfort and performance. Many bike shops offer this service either for free or for a small fee.

Remember, the right bike fit can prevent discomfort and injuries, making your ride more enjoyable. Consult with experts at a bike shop for personalized advice and adjustments. Your body will thank you for it! Stay Fit for Life!


Taking up pickleball or padel?

Taking up pickleball or padel?

An enjoyable mix of badminton, tennis, squash and table tennis, Padel & Pickleball have surged in popularity across Canada. The low-impact nature makes it accessible for people of all ages and fitness levels. However, as with any sport, appropriate preparation and prevention strategies are essential to avoid injuries.

Here are some tips to consider:

Warm-Up and Cool-Down:

These are crucial aspects of any sporting activity. Begin with a five to ten-minute brisk walk or jog to get your blood circulating and muscles warmed up. After playing, cool down with a slower-paced walk and stretching.

Dynamic Stretches:

Prior to the game, focus on dynamic stretches that mimic Pickleball or Padel movements. Lunges with a torso twist can help prepare your lower body and core. Arm circles can help warm up your shoulders.

Static Stretches:

Post-game, opt for static stretches to prevent stiffness. Key areas to focus on are your shoulders, wrists, and legs. Gentle quad, hamstring, and calf stretches, along with wrist flexor and extensor stretches, are highly recommended.

Hydrate and Rest:

Hydration aids muscle function and recovery. Rest is equally important to allow your body to recover and avoid overuse injuries.

Regular Checkups:

Regular visits to your chiropractor, physiotherapist and/or health professional can help maintain optimal spinal health, improve mobility, and reduce the risk of injury.


The Importance of WELLNESS as we Age

Aging can be difficult as one navigates new or existing health needs, or those of loved ones.  Treatment by health practitioners (Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, Massage Therapists, Naturopaths, Acupuncturist, Osteoapth, etc.) can assist aging Canadians maintain a pain-free and healthy life by providing relief from MSK and other conditions. Such conditions are often associated with increasing age such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis, among others.

Did you know?  

Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions are the most common causes of long-term pain and disability in Canadians over 60. Due to their extensive training and expertise, Canadian health practitioners can play an important role in the prevention and management of MSK conditions that may negatively impact your health and wellbeing. In fact, chiropractors and other health providers can help you maintain your mobility and quality of life, foster healthy aging and conserve your independence.

Quality of Life

MSK pain can affect almost every aspect of life including compromised mobility, independent living, difficulty in daily activities, and disturbed sleep patterns. The impact of these can be more profound among aging Canadians, which can complicate day-to-day life. In fact, chronic pain has been associated with disability and even depression.

Promptly addressing the root of the issue is essential. Our practitioners can help assess, diagnose, manage and even prevent MSK conditions. Through a variety of non-invasive, gentle, hands-on therapies, including conservative manual therapies, modalities, exercise and rehabilitation and lifestyle counselling, we can help reduce pain, restore mobility and increase quality of life in older patients. Therapeutic exercise can produce remarkable outcomes in even the very elderly. Building strength also improves balance and coordination, which are essential in preventing falls.

Sometimes the hardest part of managing MSK conditions is seeking care. Often, we fail to ask for help to avoid burdening family, friends and caregivers. But, in many cases, Canadians may have simply resigned themselves to live in pain because they think it is a natural part of aging.

Canadian Chiropractic Association


The Ultimate Guide to Backpacks

The Ultimate Guide to Backpacks

With back-to-school season in full swing, many parents are concerned about finding the right backpacks. In any given day, children and adolescents carry textbooks, binders, laptops and school lunches – and the weight can add up.

An investigation carried out in Atlanta, Georgia found that students were carrying up to 25 pounds of weight in their backpacks. This is significant because research suggests that backpacks should be no more than 10% of the wearer‘s body weight.2 If a 17-year-old student, for example, weighs an average of 130 pounds, their backpack should only weigh 13 pounds.

Why does the weight of backpacks matter?

While more research is needed, studies show that the incorrect use of school bags may lead to discomfort and changes in posture. It‘s important to note that wearing a backpack does not in and of itself lead to back pain.“If a backpack has a reasonable amount of weight in it and fits correctly, children are not wearing it long enough for long-term damage to occur,” says Michael Holmes, Canada Research Chair in Neuromuscular Mechanics and Ergonomics.Our ultimate guide to backpacks will provide a comprehensive list of items to consider when shopping for a backpack – as well as tips on how to wear them correctly.

Why does the weight of backpacks matter? While more research is needed, studies show that the incorrect use of school bags may lead to discomfort and changes in posture. It‘s important to note that wearing a backpack does not in and of itself lead to back pain.

“If a backpack has a reasonable amount of weight in it and fits correctly, children are not wearing it long enough for long-term damage to occur,” says Michael Holmes, Canada Research Chair in Neuromuscular Mechanics and Ergonomics.

Our ultimate guide to backpacks will provide a comprehensive list of items to consider when shopping for a backpack – as well as tips on how to wear them correctly.

1. Choosing the right backpack

Here are some items to look for when considering a new backpack:

2. A waist strap

This distributes the weight of the bag more evenly

3. Wide, padded shoulder straps

Too much weight on the shoulders and neck can impair circulation

4. A padded back

This protects from oddly shaped objects in the bag

5. Compartments

Like a waist strap, compartments distribute weight more evenly

Wearing a backpack correctly

Ask yourself the following questions to assess whether a backpack is being worn correctly: 3

Is the backpack reasonably proportional to the size of the person?
Does the bottom of the bag sit at waist level?
Does the bag weigh more than 10% of the person‘s weight?
Is the person wearing both shoulder straps?
Can the person walk normally with the backpack on, or are they slouched over/breathing heavily?

By purchasing the right backpack and wearing it correctly, you can minimize discomfort and poor posture habits. However, if you or your child have pre-existing back, shoulder, or neck pain, talk to us today. Stay Fit for Life!