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 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.
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 M, Sonoda K, Nagata K, Mashima T, Zenmyo M, Paku C, Takamiya Y, Yoshimatsu H, Hirai Y, Yasunaga H, Akashi H,Imayama H, Shimokobe T, Inoue A, Mutoh Y. Efficacy of aquatic exercises for patients with low-back pain. Kurume Med J. 1999;46(2):91-6.
3Hall AM, Maher CG, Lam P, Ferreira M, Latimer 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org OR contact our clinic directly at 647-874-4490.
THE PAIN DRAIN
Back pain, neck pain and headaches: these three common pain conditions affect millions of Canadians every day, draining our energy and ability to function at normal levels. Sometimes pain may be the result of chronic underlying medical conditions, and requires a health professional’s care. But in many cases, you can help manage energy-draining pain by taking a few simple steps in your daily life.
If you could do just one thing to reduce the aches you may experience daily, it would be to improve your posture both when standing and seated. Strengthening your core muscles will help support your spine and minimize the physical stresses and strains that create back, neck and shoulder pain.
Many of us get less than seven hours of sleep each weeknight, but sleep provides vital rejuvenation for sore muscles and joints. If you are not getting enough restful sleep, look at two things: your mattress and your sleep position.
- A good mattress supports the natural contours of the body, letting your muscles and joints fully relax.
- Sleep on your back or side. If you sleep on your side, put a pillow between your knees. If you’re on your back, place it under your knees. Better sleep positioning with the help of pillow support can ease pain by easing pressure on your spine.
- Exercise can help ease many types of pain, from arthritis to low back pain. A pain-reduction exercise program should include both flexibility and strength training. The stronger and more flexible you are, the better your body can distribute the physical forces of movement and prevent painful imbalances. And of course, exercising regularly may help you reduce body weight, which can significantly decrease pain – particularly in the joints of your hip, knee, and ankle, and in your lower back.
- Stress and pain are often closely linked. Each one can have an impact on the other, creating a vicious cycle that sets the stage for chronic pain and chronic stress. Managing stress can lead to pain relief. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, guided imagery and meditation can teach your body to relax and decrease stress levels.
- These tips may not completely eliminate pain from your life — but try them for a few weeks, and you’ll likely feel less discomfort. Recurrent pain can affect your quality of life, but learning how to cope with it can help you manage its harmful impact. A chiropractor can diagnose the causes of your pain and develop a treatment plan to reduce your “pain drain” and get you moving again.
Dr. Luciano Di Loreto, HBSc., D.C. & Associates