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
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
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!
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
April is Stress Awareness Month
Most of us in our fast-paced, technology driven, multi-tasking lives have experienced some form of stress. Stress is a state in which internal stability is actually threatened or perceived to be threatened. When it comes to human beings, stress can be actual (real), anticipated and/or imagined while animals respond to actual (real) threat only which is an advantage to them.
Causes of Stress
Isolated events such as sudden unemployment, marriage breakup, death of a loved one are undoubtedly potent sources of stress, but chronic daily stressors are more insidious and more harmful causing long term biological consequences. Stress is cumulative-unmetabolized childhood events as far as from two years of age form unconscious beliefs which drive one‘s life. For those habituated to high levels of internal stress since early childhood, it‘s the absence of this stress that creates unease, boredom and meaninglessness which drives their addiction of accomplishment. These people have a strong sense of time urgency, can‘t relax, are insecure about their status, are highly competitive and are easily angered when life doesn‘t meet their expectations.
There‘s nothing wrong in being a “go-getter”, only if you are motivating force is your inner creativity and you are not working hard to prove your worth to the world. Some common symptoms of stress are anxiety in relationships, anxiety related to work, worry, fear, depression, hostility, irritability, resentment, chronic pain, headaches, neck pain, muscle tension, high blood pressure, abdominal pain, stomach ulcers, indigestion and sleep related issues. Symptoms are nothing but body‘s way to bring attention to your suppressed emotions and feelings .You may suppress symptoms by comfort foods, alcohol, recreational drugs, internet, over exercising, social withdrawal or take medications which provide relief for short time but if root cause is not addressed long term serious health consequences happen. Most people are more externally aware such as traffic, weather, and time of the day or their bank balance but have lost internal awareness of physical sensations in the body, feelings, discomfort. Let‘s dedicate this month to connect with ourselves as disconnection with self is the primary suffering. ?
Here are few tips to become self aware:
1. Take a body inventory or run a body scan from toe to head few times a day to connect yourself to your inner world. Body awareness is the ability to recognize how your body reacts to stressors in your life and is the most powerful step to healing.
2. Breathing is a fundamental necessity of life which most of us take for granted. The easiest way to connect to body is through breath, use breathing to increase awareness of inner peace.
3. Build Mindfulness muscle at least 10 minutes every day. When eating just eat, when talking to your kids, just talk, when walking –just walk.
4. Take relaxation breaks every 2 ½ hours throughout the day for 3-20 minutes.
5. Remind yourself that you don‘t have to do what everyone else is doing. Comparing self to others is a form of self abuse.
6. Connect to nature – It doesn‘t rush, yet accomplishes everything.
7. Pray, meditate or practice slow deep breathing exercises for at least 11 minutes before bed to increase melatonin levels.
8. Connect with someone you care about today. Tell them how much they mean to you.
9. Devote 10 minutes every day to doing something you love.
10. Say “No” to something that bothers you in your life today. Acknowledge an inner conflict or fear. Share it with a partner or friend, and encourage them to do the same
11. Laugh deeply each day- the brain secretes all the good chemicals even if it‘s fake.
Thank you for reading!
Dr. Priya Duggal, ND (Naturopathic Doctor)
Dr. Priya Duggal, ND is passionate to asisst everyone live to their full potential and uses “Compassionate Inquiry” -A psychotherapeutic approach developed by Dr. Gabor Mate, Md as a modality to assist her patients cope with stress related health conditions.
Book an appointment with Dr. Priya by emailing her at email@example.com OR contact our clinic directly at 647-874-4490.
There’s no sugar-coating it: North Americans sit a lot. Two-thirds of the North American workforce sits for all or part of their workday.1 When you don’t adjust your posture frequently enough, you’re more likely to experience discomfort while sitting—and you’re inviting a whole host of other musculoskeletal problems along with it.1
Today, on average, sitting takes up more than half of an adult’s waking hours.2What’s worse is that, according to Mayo Clinic cardiologist Martha Grogan, “for people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking.”3 Based on current trends, researchers predict the number of hours we spend sedentary will likely increase.2
There are other health risks that come from being more sedentary: prolonged time spent while sitting or reclining can tamper with your glucose levels and your metabolism.4 It’s also a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.4 The good news is that if you break up those long periods of sitting, you can reduce your risk of having diabetes, heart disease, or stroke.4
The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada5 recommends at least thirty minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity—such as brisk walking or bike riding—at least five days out of the week. If you work Monday to Friday, consider adding a few steps to your commute, or taking two 15 minute walk breaks each workday.
Here are some more helpful tips to help break up your sitting time6,7:
- Create a schedule to remind you to stand up and move. Programming your day can help you stick to something you may otherwise forget to do. A good goal is 5–10 minutes of activity per hour. For example, if you have a job that involves sitting most of the day, plan to spend five minutes every hour up from your chair and moving around the office (like getting coffee, walking around the building, or taking a restroom break) and spend the other five minutes doing stretches.
- Walk around on your lunch break. Invite coworkers from your office to go for a walk with you at lunch. You can check out a nearby park or take a new route around the neighbourhood.
- Park further away and walk. Whether you’re running errands or parking at work, you can choose to park further away and walk those extra few steps to your destination.
- Walk around the house while talking on the phone or during commercial breaks of your favourite show. You might find other opportunities throughout the day too!
Little changes can go a long way to improve your posture and decrease a number of health risks. Whatever method you choose, you can also use the Straighten Up Canada app and Fit-in 15 program to find small exercises you can do during the day.
- Fenety A, Walker JM. Short-term effects of workstation exercises on musculoskeletal discomfort and postural changes in seated video display unit workers. J Am Phys Ther Assoc. 2002; 82(6): 578-89.
- Healy GN, Eakin EG, Owen N, et al. A cluster randomized controlled trial to reduce office workers’ sitting time. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016; 48(9): 1787-97. doi:10.1249/mss.0000000000000972.
- Winslow, R. The guide to beating a heart attack: first line defense is lowering risk, even when genetics isn’t on your side. The Wall Street Journal. April 16, 2012. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304818404577347982400815676. Accessed November 25, 2016.
- Benatti FB, Ried-Larsen M. The effects of breaking up prolonged sitting time. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015; 47(10): 2053-61. doi:10.1249/mss.0000000000000654.
- Stay active. Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. 2016. Available at: http://www.heartandstroke.ca/get-healthy/stay-active#How-much-activity-do-I-need. Accessed November 22, 2016.
- Storrs C. Stand up, sit less and move more, researchers say; here’s how to do it. CNN. August 6, 2015. Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/06/health/how-to-move-more/. Accessed October 14, 2016.
- Sit less. The Heart Foundation. Available at: https://heartfoundation.org.au/active-living/sit-less. Accessed October 14, 2016.