Headaches

DIFFERENT TYPES OF HEADACHE

Many people have occasional headaches, but frequent headaches that affect your ability to sleep or get on with
your day can be disabling. Common types of headaches are tension, migraine and cervicogenic headaches. Tension-type headaches commonly present as band-like tension around the head, whereas migraine headaches usually result in pain on one side of the head and are commonly accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. With cervicogenic headaches the neck is the source of the problem but the pain is perceived in one or more areas of the head and/or face.

The causes of headaches are not always well understood but a family history of headaches, neck stiffness and stress are common factors.

Did you know?

A Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) is highly trained to diagnose the causes of back pain and provide hands-on treatment that works. Ignoring back pain doesn’t make it go away. In fact, it can make it worse. It’s important to treat not just the symptoms, but also the cause.

If back pain is affecting your ability to get through the day and keeping you away from your favorite activities, consider chiropractic care. A chiropractor will assess your symptoms, diagnose your condition, and recommend a treatment plan to put you on the road to recovery. Your chiropractor can also provide expert advice to help you prevent pain and injury from recurring.

GETTING BACK IN ACTION

Chiropractors are specialists in adjustment of the vertebrae of the spine and other joints of the body. Adjustment helps relieve pain and restore normal movement – so you can enjoy your everyday activities again as quickly as possible. Complications are rare and side effects such as temporary soreness are usually minor.

Chiropractors acquire their skills through an intensive four-year, full-time course of study after three years of university education.

PATIENTS PLAY A ROLE

The success of any treatment relies on patients playing an active role. Your chiropractor will recommend a course of treatment specific to you that may include life and work style changes, adjustment and mobilization of the joints, muscle release techniques, muscle stimulation, and therapeutic exercises. For example, you may be advised to make nutritional changes, have an eye examination or use a glare-free computer screen.

WHEN SHOULD I CONSIDER CHIROPRACTIC CARE?

It’s important to take headaches seriously. Consider consulting a chiropractor if you often have headaches, if you frequently take a pain reliever for your headaches, if your headache pattern changes, or if your headaches are getting worse. Seek prompt attention if your headache is sudden and severe, follows a head injury or is accompanied by fever, stiff neck, weakness, numbness or difficulty speaking.

EVIDENCE-BASED

Chiropractors are regulated health professionals and members of your health care team. Chiropractic care has been researched extensively. Your chiropractor is well-trained to determine if your problem will respond to chiropractic care or if you require referral to another health care professional.

LENGTH OF CARE

In some cases, treatment may begin on the first visit. Length of treatment will vary for each person, but many patients will begin to feel better after a few visits. Certain types of headaches may require periodic care.

A HEALING PARTNERSHIP

Your chiropractor will work with you to establish goals to measure your progress. Chiropractors are trained to prescribe therapeutic exercise, provide nutritional counselling and recommend rehabilitation and injury prevention strategies to help you participate in your care.

WHAT TO EXPECT ON A FIRST VISIT

If you are visiting a chiropractor for the first time, expect to provide a health history. This may include asking you about any illnesses, past surgeries, medications and other health issues. The chiropractor will ask you about your pain and conduct a physical examination to assess and diagnose the problem. Sometimes x-rays may be required.

Your chiropractor will explain the findings of the assessment to you and discuss the treatment recommendations, ensuring your consent to treatment is informed and your questions are answered.

Back Pain

CAUSES OF BACK PAIN

Back pain. It’s a problem that affects millions of Canadians. When your back hurts, many other things suffer too. Simple everyday tasks like getting in and out of a car, putting on a coat, picking up a child, sitting at a desk or standing for periods of time may become unmanageable.

There are many causes of back pain. Injuries, heavy lifting, ageing, recreational activities, pregnancy and the stress of everyday life can all cause back pain. Many people choose to just ‘tough it out’ but there is a better way.

Did you know?

A Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) is highly trained to diagnose the causes of back pain and provide hands-on treatment that works. Ignoring back pain doesn’t make it go away. In fact, it can make it worse. It’s important to treat not only the symptoms, but also the cause.

If back pain is affecting your ability to get through the day and keeping you away from your favorite activities, consider chiropractic care. A chiropractor will assess your symptoms, diagnose your condition, and recommend a treatment plan to put you on the road to recovery. Your chiropractor can also provide expert advice to help you prevent pain and injury from recurring.

GETTING BACK IN ACTION

Chiropractic care can restore healthy function to your spine and the related muscles and ligaments to get you moving again. Chiropractors are specialists in adjustment of the vertebrae of the spine and other joints of the body. Adjustment helps relieve pain and restore normal movement – so you can enjoy your everyday activities again as quickly as possible. Complications are rare and side-effects such as temporary soreness are usually minor.

Chiropractors acquire their skills through an intensive four-year, full-time course of study after three years of university education.

PATIENTS PLAY A ROLE

The success of any treatment relies on patients playing an active role. Simple things to keep in mind include warming up before and stretching after physical activities, keeping backpacks and purses light, lifting objects safely, and stretching after an hour of television viewing or sitting at the computer.

WHEN SHOULD I CONSIDER CHIROPRACTIC CARE?

If you experience back pain that lasts more than a few days, consult a chiropractor for an assessment. Your chiropractor will recommend a course of treatment specific to you which may include spinal adjustments, joint mobilization, muscle release techniques, muscle stimulation,

and therapeutic exercises. Most people respond well to treatment and get back to their regular activities faster than waiting it out.

EVIDENCE-BASED

Chiropractors are regulated health professionals and members of your health care team. Chiropractic care has been researched extensively. Your chiropractor is well-trained to determine if your problem will respond to chiropractic care or if you require referral to another health care professional.

LENGTH OF CARE

In some cases, treatment may begin on the first visit. Length of treatment will vary for each person, but many patients will begin to feel better after a few visits. People who have lived with long-term back pain or have degenerative problems will typically be in treatment longer. People may also choose periodic care to maintain healthy spine and joint function.

A HEALING PARTNERSHIP

Your chiropractor will work with you to establish goals to measure your progress. Chiropractors are trained to prescribe therapeutic exercise, provide nutritional counselling and recommend rehabilitation and injury prevention strategies to help you participate in your care.

WHAT TO EXPECT ON A FIRST VISIT

If you are visiting a chiropractor for the first time, expect to provide a health history. This may include asking you about any illnesses, past surgeries, medications and other health issues. The chiropractor will ask you about your pain and conduct a physical examination to assess and diagnose the problem. Sometimes x-rays may be required.

Your chiropractor will explain the findings of the assessment to you and discuss the treatment recommendations, ensuring your consent to treatment is informed and your questions are answered.

 

Golf Stretches

Hockey Stretches

STARTING OUT:

Invest in equipment, sticks and skates that suit your height and size.
Be ‘head smart’ – wear your helmet with the cage, shield or visor properly secured.
Sharpen your skates regularly for better performance.
Repair or replace damaged or broken equipment.

REMEMBER:

Never stretch a cold muscle. Always warm-up before pre-game stretches.
Don’t overstretch – be comfortable.
Don’t bounce when stretching.
If you experience pain that lasts longer than your usual post-game soreness, ice the area and consult a chiropractor.

If you are new to the game, get checked by a health professional such as a chiropractor to make sure it’s an appropriate fitness activity for you. If you are a regular player, routine chiropractic check-ups can help optimize your muscle and joint function and deal with stiffness and soreness before they sideline you.

 

#1 HAMSTRING STRETCH

Lay on your back and bend one knee towards the ceiling. Hold the back of the thigh with both hands and straighten the knee as much as you can by raising your foot towards the ceiling. Hold the stretch for one second, then bend the knee and straighten again. Repeat 20 times on each leg.

#2 GROIN STRETCH

Stand with your feet slightly wider apart than your shoulders. Bend your knees. Shift your weight to the right leg. Reach down and across your body with your left hand to touch your right foot. Point your right hand up to the ceiling. Keep your back parallel to the ground. Shift your weight to the left leg. Repeat 10 times on each side.

#3 HIP FLEXOR STRETCH

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward with your right foot into a lunge position. Your right knee should be directly over the toes of your right foot. Keep your left leg and your back straight. Extend your arms straight in front of you and bring your palms together. Turn your upper torso to the right keeping pelvis and hips stationary. Hold for one second and repeat 10 times on each side.

#4 QUAD STRETCH

Stand with your back to a wall or the rink boards. Kneel onto your right knee (use a pad for cushioning) with your right foot flat against a wall. Your left knee should be bent in front of you at a 90 degree angle for support. Place your hand on your left knee for balance and lean back slightly to stretch your right quad muscle. Hold the stretch for ten seconds. Switch legs and do three stretches on each side.

#5 GLUTE STRETCH

Sit on the ground with one leg slightly bent behind you and one leg slightly bent in front of you. Lower your chest toward your knee keeping your back straight and holding your chin up. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Switch legs and repeat three times on each side.

#6 HIP STRETCH

Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat apart on the floor slightly more than shoulder width apart. Lower your right knee to the floor and place your left ankle on top of it pushing the knee towards the ground. Keep your hips on the floor. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Switch sides.

Running Stretches


YOUR GUIDE TO FIVE EASY STRETCHES FOR RUNNERS

RUNNING IMPROVES:

  • The health of your heart and lungs.
  • Your energy and stress levels.
  • The tone and strength of your leg and hip muscles.
  • Your bone density (reduces the risk of osteoporosis).

REMEMBER:

  • 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.

 

Get checked by a health professional such as a chiropractor before starting a running program to make sure it is an appropriate fitness activity for you. Then start-out slowly to allow your body to warm-up and stretch-out after you stop.

If you suffer an injury or experience pain that lasts longer than your usual post workout soreness, ice the area to reduce swelling and inflammation, and consult a chiropractor.

#1 UPPER CALF

Stretch your arms in front of you and place both hands on a sturdy object. Stand with feet comfortably apart with toes pointing towards the wall. Put one leg back about 12 inches from the other, keeping the knee straight and your foot flat on the ground. Bend the knee of the front leg so your hips move forward and lean into your hands.

#2 LOWER CALF

Feel the stretch in the back of the hips and buttocks.Adopt the same position as for the upper calf stretch. Shift the foot of your back leg forward until the toes are just behind the heel of the front leg. Keep both heels on the ground with toes pointing forward. Lower your hips by bending both knees.

#3 FRONT OF THIGH

Stand near a wall, bench or a post and put one hand on it for balance. Grasp your ankle or foot with the other hand. Keep your upper body straight and pull your heel up towards your buttock. The knee of the leg you are bending should point towards the ground. If you are able to touch your buttock with the heel of the foot, gently extend the hip by moving the knee backwards

#4 BACK OF THIGH

Place one foot up on a low surface about knee high with your hands on the thigh. Keep the knee of this leg straight with the toes pointing forward. Bend forward from the hips – not the waist. Keep your lower back flat by bringing your chest towards your knee rather than your head.

#5 HIPS/BUTTOCKS

From the back thigh stretch position, bend your front knee so that foot is now on the edge of the surface. Hands on hips, lean slightly forward over the bent leg. Keep the leg you are standing on straight.

Gardening Tips

Gardening is a great outdoor activity anyone can enjoy. But, like any other location in the home, the garden is also a place where injury can occur. These helpful tips will keep your back in check and your garden in bloom.

 

WARM UP BEFORE YOU START

Before you get going, warm up your muscles with a brisk 10-minute walk around the block or even on the spot. Swing your arms and lift your knees to enhance the benefits.

S-T-R-E-T-C-H

Follow your warm up with these easy, low-impact stretches. Repeat each stretch five times. Relax and do not overextend when you stretch. Remember to take frequent stretch breaks while working in the yard.

 

Your sides

1. Extend your right arm over your head.
2. Bend toward the left from the waist.
3. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.

If you experience back pain that lasts more than a few days, consult a chiropractor for an evaluation. To find a chiropractor near you, visit chiropractic.ca.

 

 

 

Your thighs

1. Steady yourself against a tree, wall or railing.

2. Bend your right knee and grasp the ankle with your left hand.

3. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat with your left knee.

Your back

1. In a seated position, bend forward from the hips, keeping your head down.

2. Touch your fingers to the ground.

Your arms and shoulders

1. Let your arms hang loosely at your sides; rotate your shoulders back and forth.

2. Hug yourself snugly and slowly rotate at the waist to the left and the right.

Bend your knees to lift with ease

Before lifting, position yourself close to the object. Keep your back straight and bend your knees and hips to squat down to the load, keeping your core muscles tight. Use your leg and arm muscles to smoothly and slowly lift the load, keeping your back straight. Keep the load close to your body and pivot – don’t twist – to turn.

Stay hydrated

Drink lots of water to keep your body well hydrated. The discs of your spine require water to keep them cushiony and functioning properly.

Take a break

Rest when you’re tired and take time out for stretching to loosen tense muscles.

10 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY BACK

1. Exercise regularly.
2. Follow a healthy diet.
3. Maintain good posture.
4. Warm up and cool down before and after physical activity.
5. Don’t overload your backpack or shoulder bag.


6. Stretch your legs and back after each hour of sitting.
7. Never cradle the phone between your neck and shoulder.
8. Sleep on your back or side, not on your stomach.
9. Invest in a good chair, pillow and mattress.
10. Have regular spinal checkups.

Snow Shovelling

During the winter months snow shoveling can be a pain, considering that each shovelful of snow weighs about six pounds. That’s a lot of repetitive lifting, and wear and tear on your back. These back health tips will ease the hassle of clearing your driveway and help keep your back in shape.

WARM UP BEFORE YOU START
Before tackling any strenuous activity, a quick 10-minute warm up such as a walk around the block will kick-start your muscles for the activity ahead and help prevent injury

DON’T LET SNOW PILE UP
If the weather report calls for several days of snow, frequent shoveling will allow you to move smaller amounts of snow after each snowfall.

PUSH, DON’T THROW

Push the snow to one side and avoid throwing it. If you must throw it, avoid twisting and turning — position yourself to throw straight at the snow pile.

BEND YOUR KNEES

If you need to lift shovels of snow, bend your knees and use your leg and arm muscles to do the work while keeping your back straight.

TAKE A BREAK

If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a break. Shake out your arms and legs to recharge.

WATCH FOR ICE

Be careful on icy walkways and slippery surfaces. Intermittent thaws and subsequent freezing can lead to ice building up underfoot, resulting in nasty slips and falls. Throw down some salt or sand to ensure you have a good footing.

PICK THE RIGHT SHOVEL

Use a lightweight push shovel. If you’re using a metal shovel, spray it with Teflon or silicone spray, so snow won’t stick to it.

KEEP COMFORT IN MIND

Dress for the weather
Layer your clothing so you can adapt to changing temperatures. If you become too warm while outdoors, simply remove a layer or two to maximize comfort.

Stay hydrated
Even though it’s cold outside, your body still needs plenty of fluids. Be sure to drink lots of water or fruit juice before, during and after shoveling. Remember – if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

Take it slow
Rest when you feel tired or short of breath. Stop shoveling if you experience sudden or prolonged joint or muscle pain.

10 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY BACK

1. Exercise regularly.

2. Follow a healthy diet.

3. Maintain good posture.

4. Warm up and cool down before and after physical activity.

5. Don’t overload your backpack or shoulder bag.

6. Stretch your legs and back after each hour of sitting.

7. Never cradle the phone between your neck and shoulder.

8. Sleep on your back or side, not on your stomach.

9. Invest in a good chair, pillow and mattress.

10. Have regular spinal check ups.

 

Pack it light, Wear it Right

It’s common for kids to lug around backpacks apprearing to be twice their body weight. Though it may seem cool to sling a heavy load over one shoulder – long-term head, neck and shoulder pain is not. Here are some helpful tips that will help your child carry their backpack with ease.

BACKPACKS CAN AFFECT YOUR CHILD’S HEALTH

Carrying a heavy load can lead to poor posture and a distorted spinal column. Over time this can cause muscle strain, headaches, back, neck and arm pain, and even nerve damage. A heavy backpack carried on one shoulder forces the muscles and spine to compensate for the uneven weight. This places stress on the mid and lower back.

PREVENTION IS KEY
Choose the right backpack
Select a lightweight backpack in vinyl or canvas.
Pick a backpack with two wide, adjustable and padded shoulder straps, along with a hip or waist strap, and padded back.
Try the backpack for fit and comfort – ensure it’s not too snug around the shoulders and armpits, and that it’s proportionate to the wearer’s body type.

Packing it properly

Your child’s backpack should only contain what is needed for that day.
A full backpack should be no more than 10 to 15 per cent of the wearer’s body weight.
Place the heaviest objects close to the body and light or odd-shaped objects away from the back.

Putting the backpack on

Place the backpack on a flat surface and slip on the backpack one shoulder at a time, adjust the straps to fit comfortably.
When lifting the backpack use both arms and legs, and bend at the knees – give young children a hand.

Wearing a backpack
Backpacks should never be worn over only one shoulder – this can result in neck, shoulder and back pain.
Both shoulder straps should be used and adjusted so the backpack sits flush against the back.
Test the fit of the backpack by sliding your hand between the backpack and your child’s back – if you can’t slide your hand in, the backpack is too snug.

10 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY BACK

 

1. Exercise regularly.
2. Follow a healthy diet.
3. Maintain good posture.
4. Warm up and cool down before
and after physical activity.
5. Don’t overload your backpack or shoulder bag.

6. Stretch your legs and back after each hour of sitting.
7. Never cradle the phone between your neck and shoulder.
8. Sleep on your back or side, not on your stomach.
9. Invest in a good chair, pillow and mattress.
10. Have regular spinal check ups.