Month: December 2017

Exercises to Beat Back Pain

Follow the proven exercises below and you will help to stretch, strengthen and mobilise your lower back.

If you can manage it, aim to do this routine at least once a day. Once you’re feeling confident, you can even compliment your new exercise plan with walking, cycling and swimming.

The key is to start gently to get your back used to the movements and work out how far you can go into each position without worsening your pain.

So let’s learn the routine and start getting your spine back to great health…

Bottom to heels stretch

Starting position: Kneel down on all fours. Place your knees under your hips and your hands under shoulders. Don’t over-arch your lower back and make sure you keep your neck long, your shoulders back and your elbows unlocked.

The exercise: Slowly pull your bottom backwards while ensuring you maintain the natural curve in your spine. Hold this stretch for one deep breath and then return to the starting position.

Repeat this exercise 8 to 10 times.

Top tips for success:

If you have a knee problem, avoid sitting back on your heels.

Perform this exercise in front of a mirror or an exercise buddy to ensure you maintain the correct position.

Only stretch as far as feels comfortable.

Knee Rolls

Starting position: Lie down on your back and put a small flat cushion or a book under your head. Bend your knees and keep them together. Make sure your upper body is relaxed and gently tuck in your chin.

The exercise: Keeping both shoulders on the floor, roll your knees to one side and follow this action with your pelvis. Hold this position for one deep breath and then go back to the starting position.

Repeat this exercise 8 to 10 times, alternating sides.

Top tips for success:

Only stretch as far as feels comfortable.

For extra comfort and support, place a pillow between your knees.

Back Extensions

Starting position: Lie on your tummy while propping yourself up onto your elbows to lengthen your spine. Keep your shoulders back and neck long.

The exercise: Arch your back up by pushing down on your hands. In this position, you will feel a gentle stretch in the stomach muscles as you arch backwards. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds before returning to the starting position.

Repeat this exercise 8 to 10 times.

Top tips for success:

Try not to bend your neck back.

Keep your hips grounded.

These simple stretches can make a significant difference to the health of your spine.

Remember to contact your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine and to stop any activity immediately if your pain or symptoms worsen.

Good luck!

Why Chiropractic Patients Should Get HIIT

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has proven to be one of the most effective exercise programs for weight loss. But can it help the chiropractic patient as well?

What is HIIT?

HIIT is an exercise program that incorporates short bursts of intense exercise followed by slow exercise. Because it is so effective, people often see better results in a much shorter time. For example, twenty minutes of HIIT can produce greater fat loss and more cardio benefits than using a treadmill for forty-five minutes.

Does High Intensity Mean High Impact?

Just because the exercise is labeled high intensity, it does not mean that it is high impact. HIIT routines can include chair exercise for those who have weak or injured knees and ankles. Even though the person sits, they would still be working all the major muscle groups and receive the benefit of a good cardio workout.

How Does This Benefit the Chiropractic Patient?

HIIT benefits the chiropractic patient in many ways. First of all, it increases the oxygen and circulation in the body. Secondly, it develops a strong core. It also improves muscle tone and promotes fat loss. Correct posture is also emphasized to prevent injury and muscle strain. All of these things benefit the chiropractic patient by promoting good health and reducing pain.

Is HIIT Only for Aerobics?

No, it can easily be adapted to any exercise program. For example, if a person has a walking routine, they can incorporate high intensity intervals. They can start at a comfortable pace for 2 minutes then walk at a faster rate for 1 minute. They would then go back to a comfortable pace for 1 minute and increase again. This would triple the benefits they receive from the same walk for the same amount of time. This method would also work for swimming, biking or hiking. The key is to incorporate short bursts of high intensity into what they are already doing.

What About Weight Loss?

Excess weight puts a tremendous strain on the spine and joints. Weight loss is often recommended to reduce this strain and relieve pain. Losing weight can also reverse many underlying diseases such as metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Numerous studies have compared steady rate cardio to HIIT for weight loss. Canadian researchers at the Laval University concluded that after a 15 week study, the subjects who practiced high intensity interval exercise lost significantly more body fat than those who did cardio at a steady rate. So it is a powerful ally for any weight loss program.

High Intensity Interval Training is accessible to people of all fitness levels. As always, a person should check with their doctor or chiropractor before starting any exercise program. They can help you find an appropriate program for your present level of fitness. In a very short time, you will see great results from HIIT.

What is HIIT? How can it benefit chiropractic patients? High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can benefit everyone, including chiropractic patients.

Things About Chiropractic Care You Should Know

Here are some interesting facts that may just make you see chiropractic treatment in a whole new light:

1: Chiropractic care doesn’t just help back pain! Many patients seek the treatment for neck pain, headaches and a variety of other conditions.

2: Spinal manipulation has existed for at least 2500 years and chiropractic care began over 100 years ago. Since that time, it has gained worldwide recognition as an extremely effective form of medical care. Patients are generally very satisfied with treatment outcomes and many patients enjoy the feeling of spinal manipulation.

3: “Hey! Will you pop my back?” Have you ever heard someone say that? Worse still, have you ever said it? If you have, stop! Proper chiropractic care involves more than a few simple cracks and clicks. More importantly, spinal manipulation is only safe when performed by someone who has undergone the necessary training.

4: One of the most successful chiropractors ever was blind! Yes, that’s right; D Charles Robinson graduated from the Palmer School of Chiropractic and became the very first blind chiropractor. And he went on to become one of the most successful. He practiced in Peekskill, New York and earned a reputation as a “miracle healer”, treating hundreds of patients each week.

5: Today, chiropractic is taught and practised throughout the world. The profession has earned big acceptance from the public and in national health care systems for its services. Chiropractic treatment is widely regarded as the leading example of a complementary health care discipline and the WHO has now published guidelines recommending minimal educational standards for the regulation of chiropractic services within national health care systems.

6: Many athletes rely on regular chiropractic care. In order to maximize their performance and prevent injuries, many athletes depend on chiropractic care to remain in optimum physical health. Regular chiropractic adjustments can enhance mobility and help athletes recover more quickly from injury.

7: Chiropractic treatment can help to combat anxiety. Initial chiropractic care can be carried out to eliminate the possibility of any underlying physical or nutritional causes for the anxiety. And regardless of the outcome of the initial chiropractic assessment, chiropractic care has proven to be very helpful for many people with anxiety issues..

8: Most medical professionals recommend that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative and non invasive care first when attempting to treat lower back pain. And spinal manipulation is one of the safest and most effective, drug-less form of initial professional treatment for acute and chronic low back problems.

Don’t ignore your back pain; there will always be something you can do to manage your condition, even if you’ve tried other things before.

Your spine is amazing, so treat it well!

So there you have them – surprising facts about chiropractic care. You learn something new every day, as they say!

When Slipped Disc Happened

The spine is a complex mechanical structure composed of bones (vertebrae) separated by pads of fibrocartilage (discs) that allow some movement between these bones. The discs also create a space between each vertebra that allows a nerve to pass through on each side. The nerves that pass between the vertebrae in the lower back travel down each leg while the nerves that pass between the vertebrae in the lower neck travel down each arm. Individually, each disc can be compared to a jelly donut – they have a softer gel-like center surrounded by a tougher exterior. Like a jelly donut, the interior can sometimes squeeze out. Unlike a jelly donut, this can be more than a minor annoyance; this can compress the nearby nerve and cause a variety of symptoms, including pain, numbness, tingling or even weakness in an arm or leg.

The good news is that spinal disc herniations can usually be treated with conservative care without the need for surgery. Such treatments may include manual manipulation techniques or mechanical traction therapy to reduce the degree of disc herniation and relieve pressure on the nearby nerve. Other treatments may include anti-inflammatory and/or pain medications, injections and a variety of more invasive surgical interventions, depending on the problem type and severity in each particular case.

It is important that disc and related conditions are evaluated by a qualified provider before recommendations can be made regarding the best approach in each individual situation. However, it is generally recommended that you AVOID trying to stretch or do other exercises prior to being evaluated and given appropriate recommendations as certain movements may worsen this condition. There are also “red-flags” that your provider will look for such as a loss of bowel or bladder function or control, numbness or “pins and needles” sensation in the groin and inner thighs as well as some other symptoms and physical findings that may indicate a rare but serious condition known as Cauda Equina Syndrome (if you do have these symptoms or if your condition is rapidly worsening you should have immediate ER evaluation to ensure appropriate timely management).

Although spinal disc problems can sometimes be serious and even require surgery, they can most often be effectively treated with conservative care and the patient can return to their usual activities with little or no limitation. It is important to consult with your primary care physician or other qualified provider to ensure that you receive the necessary evaluation (including MRI and/or other testing if/as appropriate in each individual case) to determine the best course of care for your condition and to allow you to begin this care as early as possible for the best therapeutic results and outcome.