General

A chiropractor’s guide to safely returning to activity

Summertime is here and with restrictions lifting, many of us are returning to the gym or getting outside to enjoy the weather. Whether you’re starting a new activity or returning to an old one, the tips below from chiropractor Dr. Giancarlo Carpino will help ensure you return to activity safely and pain-free.

Get your head in the game

You may want to jump right into an activity but taking a moment to prepare, not just physically, but mentally too, is the best way to reduce the chance of injury.

Prepare mentally

“Take some time to think about the activity you’re going to be doing. Think of the way your body will have to move, if you have limited mobility or a spot that’s already sore, and pay attention to that,” says Dr. Carpino.

Once you have visualized how your body will be moving, practice that movement a few times slowly and make note of any sore spots or pain. If you don’t feel any discomfort, try speeding up the movement. This will help “shake off the rust” and get your body used to the movements you’ll need for the activity.

Prepare physically

Warming up your muscles before you begin any activity will help reduce soreness and the chances of an injury. The

Straighten Up Alberta program consists of 12 stretches, works your entire body, and only takes 5-10 minutes! Warming up your body will help you move better, reduce the chance of injury, and ensure you’re performing at the level you want.

Soreness vs. pain

“Using your body in new ways is rewarding and exciting, but it also means you’re likely to experience new types of soreness,” says Dr. Carpino, “And while soreness is ok, pain is not.”

Be sure to take a moment to reflect on how your body feels before, during, and after the activity.

It’s normal to be a little sore after working out, and depending on your body, you may even experience delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS is when you use your body and the next day, you’re a bit sore, but the day after, you’re really sore. This is your body adapting to the load you placed on it, and as long as it presents as soreness and not sharp pain, it’s perfectly normal.

If either during your activity or after you experience any pain that feels sharp, burning, or electric, it’s time to pause and do some gentle stretches, change how you’re engaging with the activity, or stop altogether and

visit your chiropractor.

If it hurts, see a chiropractor

If you experience pain, your chiropractor can work with you to find the root cause and create a plan for recovery.

After gathering information about your injury—how it happened, when it happened, and what it feels like, your chiropractor can get to work in helping you feel better.

As musculoskeletal experts, chiropractors are specifically trained to diagnose the underlying cause, treat and recommend options to relieve pain, restore mobility and prevent reoccurrence so you can return to activity. Your chiropractor may perform a manual adjustment or a therapy to help relax the muscles and can also recommend exercises to help rehabilitation.

Armed with these tips, you’re on track for a pain-free summer—so prepare yourself, get outside, and have fun!

Dr. Carpino entered practice in December 2020 in Calgary, Alberta. When he’s not at work, you can find him walking his dog, playing flag football, or spending time with family and friends. Passionate about staying active and helping his community, Dr. Carpino takes pride in supporting his patients in healthy, pain-free living.


Originally posted on the ACAC blog.

Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

Stretches for every kind of cyclist

Summer is upon us and while some COVID-19 restrictions are still in place, biking is a safe way to get outside and get your body moving.

Choosing the right bike for you is important to keep your body pain-free, and a bike shop can help fit you appropriately.

But choosing a bike goes beyond fit—including where you want to ride, what distances you want to cover, and more.

In this blog, the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors’ looks at three popular bike options, common pain points while riding, and what you can do to prevent and handle discomfort.\

Road bike

If you’re planning on sticking to smooth, paved roads, road bikes are an excellent choice. With lighter frames and thinner tires, road bikes make for a very smooth and fast ride.

With lower handlebars, riders sit in a leaned forward position. Over time, this can lead to neck and knee pain.

Neck pain

Road bikes are designed for speed, so riders take a bent-forward position while riding to increase aerodynamics. Over time, this position can cause neck pain as you have to keep your head lifted to see in front of you.

Try this for neck pain:

Sitting in a chair, clasp your hands together behind your neck. Slowly bend your head backward, curving your upper back. Hold for 5 seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat this ten times or until you feel relief.

Knee pain

Road cyclists usually cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, which can cause a lot of fatigue—specifically in your knees.

Try this for knee pain:
Standing straight, stretch one leg out and rest your heel on the ground. Slowly hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back straight to stretch your hamstrings. Hold for a few seconds and repeat as needed.

While knee pain during cycling isn’t uncommon, it can sometimes signify a bigger problem. Be sure to visit your chiropractor if you have persistent pain, and they can help identify and treat the source of your pain.

Mountain bike

If you want the ability to go off-road with comfort, a mountain bike is for you. Mountain bikes come with several gears to help navigate steep hills and have thicker tires for rougher terrain. Most mountain bikes come equipped with shock absorbers or suspension to absorb impacts, so your body doesn’t.

Sore forearms, wrists, and hands

Not only do mountain bikers tend to grip handlebars tightly, but when they are riding on uneven terrain, their wrists are experiencing hard shocks, which can lead to pain and fatigue.

Try this for sore wrists:

Place one arm straight out in front of you and rotate your wrist down and outwards. Use your other hand to further rotate your hand. Be sure to work within a comfortable range of motion and stop if you feel pain. Hold for a few seconds and switch hands.

If you are noticing a lack of range of motion, your chiropractor can help restore range of motion through simple adjustments.

Low back pain

Lower back pain is another common ailment mountain bikers experience. Low back pain can sometimes signify that you need to stretch out your muscles, or that you have a muscle imbalance and need to build strength in some areas.

Try this for low back pain:

Sitting on the ground with your legs out in front of you, put one foot over your leg and cross your opposite arm over that leg to create a gentle twist in your lower back. Hold for a few second and alternate.

Working with your chiropractor will help identify the cause of your low back pain, and they can work with you to recommend stretches and/or strengthening exercises to help restore balance to your muscles.

Cruiser bike

If the idea of a casual, fun ride is more to your liking, a cruiser bike may be the best fit for you. Cruisers have large tires, upright handlebars, and wider seats. Cruisers are typically single-speed or have a very low range of gears, making this type of bike ideal for short, relaxed trips.

Cruiser bikes are also an excellent choice for individuals with knee pain or arthritis as they’re easy to maneuver and don’t require full extension of the knee.

Tight calves

Not unique to cruiser bikes but a common complaint of cycling is tightness in the calves.

Try this for calf tightness:

Standing on a raised surface like a textbook or a step, place the ball of one foot on the edge and slowly bend your knee, letting your heel drop. This will create a stretch in the back of your calf. Hold for a few seconds and alternate.

Tight quads

Like tight calves, tight quads are common with any type of cycling.

Try this for tight quads:

Kneel with one foot on the ground and one knee on the ground, like you’re in a lunge. While in this position, slowly push your hips forward to create a stretch in your upper hips and quads. Hold for a few seconds and alternate. Regardless of what bike you choose, remember, if you’re new to biking, start slow, and listen to your body. It’s not uncommon to experience some soreness and discomfort when you first begin biking. However, if your pain persists or you experience any sort of numbness or loss of sensation, consult with your chiropractor.


originally posted on the ACAC blog.

Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

Chiropractic care helps Alberta’s rodeo athletes preform at their championship best

Rodeo is one of the most physically demanding things you can put your body through, and unsurprisingly, comes with a lot of risk. Rodeo athlete Matt Lait spent much of his adult life competing in bareback rodeo competitions, where he experienced first-hand the risk and reward of competing.

Matt shares his story of how chiropractic care, along with integrated health-care support, kept him pain-free and ready to compete day after day, rodeo after rodeo.

Injury prevention and treatment

Our bodies experience regular wear and tear. This is especially true for athletes. Chiropractic care can help prevent ablation from turning into significant injuries by maintaining mobility or restoring function to problem areas.

Bronc rider Matt is no stranger to injuries to his legs, hips, and back. “By visiting my chiropractor weekly, it cut down on the number of injuries I got and kept me from experiencing anything more significant.”

When asked about his most significant injury, Matt says, “I’ll never forget it. It was a Sunday evening, and the biggest rodeo of the year was taking place Wednesday night. I went to point to the computer screen and fell to the ground and couldn’t get up. My wife called the chiropractor and I shuffled into his office the next morning. He proceeded to adjust me that morning, night, Tuesday morning, and then one last time Wednesday morning. Over the course of three days, I went from being unable to walk to winning the championship.”

Chiropractic care beyond the stadium

For Matt, chiropractic care didn’t end with rodeo—it became an integral part of his life beyond competing. “I’m still pretty active—riding horses, ranching, participating in auctions, so it’s important for me to still be functioning properly.”

Although he no longer has standing weekly appointments, Matt still visits his chiropractor for regular maintenance care. Still leading a very active lifestyle, chiropractic care helps him prevent injuries from repetitive movements and keeps him fully mobile. He says, “depending on the week, maybe certain parts of my back are locked up. By seeing my chiropractor regularly, I remain pain-free and prevent injuries before they occur, which means I can continue working and doing what I love.”

Maintenance care benefits everyone, athlete or not

Maintenance care, regular visits with your chiropractor, can help and address problem areas like limited mobility or soreness, before they turn into full-blown injuries.

Matt says, “Rodeo taught me how to listen to my body. I now pay attention to the signs and know when I need to stretch, rest, and see my chiropractor. Whether athlete or not—you can begin to recognize where you lack mobility or experience pain. You realize how it impacts every aspect of your life—your sleep, getting up in the morning, bending over, everything you do.”

Whether your day involves competing in rodeo or just a trip to the grocery store, listen to your body. Pay attention to where you have limited mobility, pain, or soreness. And if it hurts, see a chiropractor.


ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THE ACAC CHIROPRACTIC WEBSITE: https://albertachiro.com/ACAC/Chiropractic_in_Alberta/BLOG/Chiropractic_care_helps_Alberta_s_rodeo_athletes_preform_at_their_championship_best.aspx

Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

Chiropractic: part of an integrated health-care team that puts patients first

Needing to keep your body and joints feeling good, functioning well, and protected from injury are all things Albertans are aware of. But what about the extra issues for folks who ride in rodeos, run the chuckwagons, or farm or ranch? How do they keep up with their rigorous, demands of their life’s work? The answer may surprise you – teamwork!

“In the health-care profession, we call that an ‘integrated care approach,’” explains Dr. Blaine Bugg, an Alberta-born and bred chiropractor who treats patients out of his Calgary-based clinic, who is also the President of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine program.

Founded in 1983, the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team (CPRSMT) is a group of dedicated caregivers who are passionate about the sport of rodeo and the western way of life. From four volunteers in 1983 the team has grown to over 50 caregivers that provide a variety of care and treatment to pro rodeo and chuckwagon athletes at events like the Calgary Stampede, Professional Bull Riders competitions and other Canadian Pro Rodeo Association events across Canada – all told, about 180 performances each year.

The Team consists of over 50 practitioners in the disciplines of athletic therapy, chiropractic care, and massage therapy that provide on-site attention to rodeo athletes. The Team also educates and enables competitors to better care for themselves and their injuries, to ensure they get the most out of their lives and rodeo careers. The CPRSMT also includes a curated network of physicians, sport medicine physicians, and orthopedic surgeons providing post injury care to rodeo competitors.

What is integrated care?

Typically, when you visit your health-care provider, whether it be a chiropractor, massage therapist, doctor, or other practitioner, they will conduct an assessment and recommend care based on their findings. In a fully integrated approach like the one used at the Sport Medicine program, the assessment is conducted by a number of practitioners before a treatment plan is even established. This way, patients can feel confident that every area that needs attention is being looked after by the correct specialist.

This is the main advantage for the patient in an integrated approach to care. Rather than practitioners working independently to care for your injury, they come together to provide their expertise for each individual element of the injury which necessitates greater focus on the person’s needs and care. They all work together in a coordinated fashion, sharing relevant medical information, and sharing responsibility for positive patient outcomes.

Why is integrated care important?

An integrated approach to care sees the value that each discipline brings to the table. It eliminates the separation between disciplines, encourages a multi-faceted approach, and provides patients with more fulsome care.

Dr. Bugg explains, “sometimes I evaluate a patient and recognize that I am able to help, and other times I recognize that I will only be getting in the way of their care and it would be more impactful to refer them on to another practitioner.”

Integrated care means patients are always put first.

Who is integrated care for?

For practitioners in the Sport Medicine program, which on average does more than 4,000 treatments each year, 40 per cent of their patient base is coming in for preventative maintenance, not rodeo accidents. Dr. Bugg explains, “It’s not just injuries we see—some athletes come in before competing because they’ve been driving in a truck or car for 10 hours to get here.”

It’s not just rodeo athletes that benefit from preventative, integrated care—we all do. By routinely seeing a team of practitioners that seamlessly work together, you can be confident you’re receiving the most appropriate and targeted care from the right source.

How do I know if my provider follows an integrated approach?

Knowing if your health-care provider follows an integrated approach is as simple as asking.

You can have this conversation during your first appointment, or even before you select them as a provider. When you go see your family doctor, you should have confidence that they have a network of colleagues that specialize in other kinds of care.

Remember—as the patient you are entitled to ask these questions and know that your care is a priority.

If you want to hear more about Dr. Bugg, check out his recent feature on the WPCA podcast, done in partnership with the ACAC.


This article originally appeared on: https://albertachiro.com/ACAC/Chiropractic_in_Alberta/BLOG/Chiropractic__part_of_an_integrated_health-care_team_that_puts_patients_first.aspx

Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

Collaborative Treatment Plans

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that there is no universal approach to the health care of individuals. What works for some may not work for one. One barrier to overcome regarding health achievement setbacks is understanding that patient referrals can play a key role in resolving long-term health issues.

Collaborative treatment plans are an increasingly vital aspect of whole-person health. What this means for patients is an increased focus on health solutions that do not stem from a “one size fits all” approach. Patients are becoming increasingly savvy toward looking at the whole spectrum of services available to them. Here are two long-term health concerns that you might not realize can be referred to your Chiropractor for help.

TMD (temporomandibular dysfunction)

John Hopkins Medicine defines TMD as:

“Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are disorders of the jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints, and the nerves associated with chronic facial pain. Any problem that prevents the complex system of muscles, bones, and joints from working together in harmony may result in temporomandibular disorder.”

Pains associated with these joints and jaw muscles are often referred to as “TMJ pain” (temporomandibular joints). One 2014 study from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health speaks toward positive health outcomes for one woman who suffered from TMD. In the case study, the woman was referred to both a Dentist and a Chiropractor for treatment with positive results after just three weeks!

Chronic Pain Related to Social Factors

One potentially surprising Chiropractic referral possibility that makes a lot of sense considering different types of pain is through the field of Psychology. In a 2019 article on the American Chiropractic Association website titled “Psychological, Social Factors in Chronic Pain: The Impact on Chiropractic Patients,” one doctor states:

“Recognizing the influence of psychological and social factors does not challenge those who treat pain from a physical perspective, such as doctors of chiropractic. On the contrary, recognizing the role of psychological factors in how patients respond to their pain may provide insights for DCs [Doctors of Chiropractic] in tailoring their approaches, and at times, may help explain why some patients appear to be relatively resistant to treatment.”

The author goes on to explain:

“There is a high probability that any person with a chronic pain syndrome has a concomitant psychological disorder, most notably depression and/or anxiety. The relationship between chronic pain and depression/anxiety is well established. The causal arrow between pain and these disorders can point in either direction and over time may form a positive feedback loop between these two elements.”

There are many ways patients can seek out integrated health solutions for long-term health issues. While only two are presented here, it’s clear that many health care professionals are working hard to identify how their treatment plans can be integrated with Chiropractic to best serve their patients. Schedule an appointment with us today in order to talk to your Chiropractor about collaborative treatment plans for any long-term health concerns you may have.

Rob Weaver

What to look for in an everyday shoe and how your chiropractor can help

Part 3 of 3

When it comes to everyday shoes, many of us don’t put much thought into the pair we grab from the closet. However, our everyday shoes often end up being the ones we spend the most time in. Whether it’s running errands, taking the dog for a quick walk around the block, or heading to the grocery store, it’s important to choose shoes that will keep us comfortable and supported. And because we tend to use these shoes so often, they’re more susceptible to wear and tear. So, if your everyday shoes are looking a little rough, check out these tips below from Sherwood Park-based chiropractor Dr. Taylor Cooksley on choosing an everyday shoe that will keep you comfortable, safe, and supported through everything life throws your way.

Why does choosing the right shoe matter?

“Foot pain doesn’t just start and end in the foot—it can be the source of much bigger pains in your body.”

Dr. Cooksley has seen first-hand the impact that untreated foot conditions can have. “When patients come in with foot pain, just based on my assessment I can usually predict what other issues are going to present themselves in the future if they haven’t already,” she explains.

Foot pain is often the culprit for things like hip or lower back pain, which is why it’s so important to be assessed by a chiropractor to ensure you’re treating the correct pain source. Choosing the correct shoe is the first step in ensuring you are looking after your overall joint health.

What should you be looking for?

When we throw on a shoe for a quick errand, we may be tempted to ignore discomfort, holes, or tightness because it’s short-term. But even short stints with improper shoes can have large consequences down the line. Here’s what you should look for in an everyday shoe.

Comfort

Your everyday shoe should be comfortable to walk in for long periods of time, not cause any pinching or rubbing, and have enough cushioning that you don’t feel every pebble on the sidewalk. While most shoes have a break-in period, try to choose a shoe that is comfortable right from the start. Remember—you’re going to be using this shoe more often than any other.

For sandal-lovers, make sure to try on the sandal and do a test walk. If any part of your foot (heel, toe, sides of the foot) is hanging over the edge of the sole of the sandal, it’s not a great fit. These minor overhangs can cause you to make small changes to the way you walk, which can take big tolls on your body.

Proper spacing

While it’s ideal to buy a shoe that fits what you’ll be wearing it with (a sock, pantyhose, barefoot, etc.), an everyday shoe will likely see all of the above. So, try to find a shoe that fits comfortable for the situation you’re most often in. If you typically throw on socks and runners, find a shoe that’s comfortable with socks on.

Getting the right fit will prevent various conditions like bunions, plantar fasciitis, and hip and back pain.

Cushioning

When trying on shoes at the store, stand up and walk around and pay attention to how your foot feels—it should feel supported and cushioned. Whether you love wearing runners or sandals for your outings, a properly cushioned shoe will help keep your errands pain-free.

Sturdiness

Choosing a shoe with supports like arch support will help long-term in keeping injuries, strains, or sprains away. Better yet, talk to your chiropractor about getting custom orthotics.

How can a chiropractor help?

Chiropractors are specially trained in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal-related conditions, which includes your feet. If you’re experiencing pain when you walk, a chiropractor can assess the pain and recommend a treatment plan.

What are orthotics?

Orthotics are insertable soles for your shoes that can provide more cushioning, comfort and support to your foot.

You’ve likely seen orthotics at your local pharmacy or shoe store—these off-the-shelf orthotics typically provide you with more cushioning, but don’t offer much support. Though these orthotics are good in a pinch, they aren’t usually a long-term solution.

Your feet naturally have slight variances in size and step which can create unique conditions in each foot.

If your right foot is bigger, you may experience more rubbing in your right shoe, leading to bunions or an altered step. If you naturally favour your right leg, you may experience more pain in that foot. Because your feet are not the same, store-bought orthotics won’t perfectly address each individual problem—that’s where your chiropractor can help.

Chiropractors will carefully assess each foot and custom design orthotics that will provide proper cushioning, comfort and support to each individual foot.

We hope that these tips help you to choose work shoes that balance style and comfort!


Originally posted: https://albertachiro.com/ACAC/Chiropractic_in_Alberta/BLOG/What_to_look_for_in_an_everyday_shoe_and_how_your_chiropractor_can_help.aspx

Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

What to look for in a work shoe and how your chiropractor can help

Whether you work inside or outside, you likely have a type of dress code you need to follow, and while selecting the appropriate attire is essential, choosing the right footwear is just as important. Finding a shoe that meets requirements of the dress code is just the first step (no pun intended) towards finding the work shoe that’s right for you.

If you often have to pause your workday to adjust your shoes or give your feet a rest, it’s probably time for a new pair. Before you jump in your car and head over to a shoe store, check out the tips below from Sherwood Park-based chiropractor Dr. Taylor Cooksley on choosing a work shoe that won’t just meet dress code—it will protect your joint health too.

Why does choosing the right shoe matter?

“Foot pain doesn’t just start and end in the foot—it can be the source of much bigger pains in your body.”

Dr. Cooksley has seen first-hand the impact that untreated foot conditions can have. “When patients come in with foot pain, just based on my assessment I can usually predict what other issues are going to present themselves in the future if they haven’t already,” she explains.

Foot pain is often the culprit for things like hip or lower back pain, which is why it’s so important to be assessed by a chiropractor to ensure you’re treating the correct pain source. Choosing the correct shoe is the first step in ensuring you are looking after your overall joint health.

What should you be looking for?

Whether your work takes place inside or outside, choosing the proper shoe is essential in keeping your workday pain-free.

Comfort

If you sit at a desk for the majority of the day, you may feel that comfort is of less importance because you’re on your feet less. While this may be true, it’s not just walking that can cause foot and joint problems. Shoes that are too narrow or don’t provide proper support will be hard on your body even when you’re at rest. Trips to the bathroom, topping up your coffee, and having a quick chat with a co-worker are all small ways you’re on your feet that will add up over the course of the day.

On the opposite end, we have workers who spend the whole day on their feet—from construction workers, to welders, to restaurant workers. Choosing the proper footwear will ensure you can stay focused on the task at hand rather than be in pain over your shoe choice.

Proper spacing

When it comes to choosing a shoe, think about Goldilocks and the three bears—rather than too tight or too loose, you want shoes that are just right.

When trying on shoes, think about where you’ll be wearing them and with what—pantyhose? Wool socks? Barefoot? All of these decisions will factor into the spacing you want for your shoe.

If you’ll be wearing them barefoot or with a thin sock or shear, opt for a shoe that fits comfortably. But if you’re planning on wearing thick socks, opt for a half size or size bigger. Better yet, bring whatever sock you plan on wearing with you to the store!

Getting the right fit will prevent various conditions like bunions, plantar fasciitis, and hip and back pain.

Cushioning

When trying on shoes at the store, stand up and walk around and pay attention to how your foot feels—it should feel supported and cushioned. Again, think about where you’ll be wearing them. Any shoe with a very thin sole is going to lead to more pain and joint problems than a properly-cushioned shoe would.

Tread

If you’re in an environment with occasional slipping hazards like a restaurant or a construction site, don’t underestimate the importance of proper tread. Flip the shoe over—if the sole is smooth it may not be the best choice. Instead, look for tread that is slightly raised off the shoe, which will offer better grip.

Sturdiness

If your work has you moving around all day and possibly traversing uneven ground, pay attention to the sturdiness of the shoe. The proper shoe will allow you to bend the way you need to but will provide adequate support and sturdiness where you need it, like at the ankle.

How can a chiropractor help?

Chiropractors are specially trained in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal-related conditions, which includes your feet. If you’re experiencing pain when you walk, a chiropractor can assess the pain and recommend a treatment plan.

What are orthotics?

Orthotics are insertable soles for your shoes that can provide more cushioning, comfort and support to your foot.

You’ve likely seen orthotics at your local pharmacy or shoe store—these off-the-shelf orthotics typically provide you with more cushioning, but don’t offer much support. Though these orthotics are good in a pinch, they aren’t usually a long-term solution.

Your feet naturally have slight variances in size and step which can create unique conditions in each foot.

If your right foot is bigger, you may experience more rubbing in your right shoe, leading to bunions or an altered step. If you naturally favour your right leg, you may experience more pain in that foot. Because your feet are not the same, store-bought orthotics won’t perfectly address each individual problem—that’s where your chiropractor can help.

Chiropractors will carefully assess each foot and custom design orthotics that will provide proper cushioning, comfort and support to each individual foot.

We hope that these tips help you to choose work shoes that balance style and comfort!

Dr. Taylor Cooksley of Brentwood Chiropractic Clinic treats foot conditions regularly and has seen first-hand the impact that improper footwear has on overall joint health. Having spent years dancing, she is familiar with foot and ankle injuries and passionate about restoring mobility to injured joints. When she’s away from the clinic, you can find her in the gym, dancing or taking her puppies for a walk.
___________

If it hurts, see a chiropractor.
Your feet shouldn’t hurt when you walk — if you’re experiencing pain, consult a chiropractor.

Chiropractors are highly educated and specially trained musculoskeletal experts. Your chiropractor can treat aches and pains, as well as build customized stretching routines and whole-body wellness strategies in conjunction with your chiropractic treatment. Consult with your chiropractor or click here to find one near you.


Originally posted on: https://albertachiro.com/ACAC/Chiropractic_in_Alberta/BLOG/What_to_look_for_in_a_work_shoe_and_how_your_chiropractor_can_help.aspx

Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

What to look for in a winter boot and how your chiropractor can help

When that first snowfall hits, many of us scramble to unearth last year’s winter boots from the back of the closet. If you’re realizing they’re a bit tired, it may be time to hit the shoe store for a new pair—but first, here are some tips from Sherwood Park-based chiropractor Dr. Taylor Cooksley on choosing a winter boot that won’t just provide protection from the elements—it will protect your joint health too.

Why does choosing the right boot matter?

“Foot pain doesn’t just start and end in the foot—it can be the source of much bigger pains in your body.”

Dr. Cooksley has seen first-hand the impact that untreated foot conditions can have. “When patients come in with foot pain, just based on my assessment I can usually predict what other issues are going to present themselves in the future if they haven’t already,” she explains.

Foot pain is often the culprit for things like hip or lower back pain, which is why it’s so important to be assessed by a chiropractor to ensure you’re treating the correct pain source. Choosing the correct shoe is the first step in ensuring you are looking after your overall joint health.

What should you be looking for?

“When you think about proper footwear for winter, you probably think of good grip. While grip is essential, it’s just on piece of the puzzle.”

Comfort

First and foremost, you need to find a winter boot that is comfortable. You should be able to walk in the boot for long periods of time and not feel any points of rubbing or tightness. Pay close attention to the way your heels and toes feel—any points that feel like they’re rubbing against the shoe can create problems down the line.

Wide spacing

The second thing to look for is a boot that’s a bit wider than your typical shoe. Because of the cold, you’re likely going to be wearing thicker socks, so you need extra room for your foot to move around. Having a shoe that’s too tight is going to create stiffness in your foot and can lead to various conditions like bunions, plantar fasciitis and hip and back pain.

Cushioning

Lastly, pay attention to how your foot feels in the shoe when you walk. Your foot should feel supported and cushioned. Be sure to flip the boot over and check the tread—does it physically raise off the sole or is it flush? Raised tread is going to give you more grip and stability in the winter, minimizing the risk of slips or falls.

How can a chiropractor help?

Chiropractors are specially trained in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal-related conditions, which includes your feet. If you’re experiencing pain when you walk, a chiropractor can assess the pain and recommend a treatment plan.

What are orthotics?

Orthotics are insertable soles for your shoes that can provide more cushioning, comfort and support to your foot.

You’ve likely seen orthotics at your local pharmacy or shoe store—these off-the-shelf orthotics typically provide you with more cushioning but don’t offer much support. Though these orthotics are good in a pinch, they aren’t usually a long-term solution.

Your feet naturally have slight variances in size and step which can create unique conditions in each foot.

If your right foot is bigger, you may experience more rubbing in your right shoe, leading to bunions or an altered step. If you naturally favour your right leg, you may experience more pain in that foot. Because your feet are not the same, store-bought orthotics won’t perfectly address each individual problem—that’s where your chiropractor can help.

Chiropractors will carefully assess each foot and custom design orthotics that will provide proper cushioning, comfort and support to each individual foot.

We hope that these tips help you to choose winter boots that will keep you comfortable and safe all winter long!


Originally posted at: https://albertachiro.com/ACAC/Chiropractic_in_Alberta/BLOG/What_to_look_for_in_a_winter_boot_and_how_your_chiropractor_can_help.aspx

Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

Getting back on track for World Spine Day

Tips on safely increasing physical activity after the COVID-19 shutdown

The COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a halt. For many Albertans, that halt was felt as the reduction of physical movement in their lives.

When shutdowns began, many Albertans transitioned to working from home or attending classes online. People no longer had to walk to meetings or navigate hallways in-between classes. On top of these small shifts, bigger restrictions like gyms, rec centres and fitness classes being forced to shut down all equaled a massive reduction in peoples’ activity levels. Now, with pandemic fatigue setting in and people trying to make the most of the end of summer weather, many are returning to activity and experiencing injuries.

Alberta-based chiropractor Dr. Aaron Todd has seen first-hand the impact the decrease in activity has had on his patients.

“When the pandemic hit, everything shut down and people were sitting in their homes, not knowing what they could go out and do—something as simple as the safety of a walk was questioned,” explains Dr. Todd, “Once gyms and rec centres were open, many jumped at the opportunity to exercise again and then came to me with injuries because their bodies had lost strength during the shutdown.”

The lack of activity over the past few months has highlighted how essential movement is in keeping our bodies healthy and pain-free. However, returning to activity after a break isn’t as easy as picking up where you left off. Below are four tips Dr. Todd recommends for safely re-introducing activity during the ongoing pandemic.

Four chiropractor-approved tips to safely return to activity

1. Incorporate movement into your day

“While experiencing pain can sometimes seem like a minor issue, untreated acute pain can turn into chronic pain—that’s why it’s so important to restore movement in your body,” says Dr. Todd.

Small increases in exercise and movement can have a positive impact on your pain levels. Taking a walk around the block, stretching for 30 seconds every hour or setting a reminder to reset your posture can all help alleviate tension and reduce pain in your body.

Try this: schedule two 15-minute walks during your workday.

2. Decrease the intensity of your workout

“Remember: what may have been a normal level of activity for you before the shutdown can now put too much strain on your body,” says Dr. Todd.

If you were regularly running 5 km before the pandemic, start with 2.5 km and slowly work your way back up. If you weightlift, cut the weight in half and slowly increase. These minor adjustments will allow your body time to readjust and lower the chances of a strain or sprain.

Try this: opt for a beginner-level workout for a week and see how you feel.

3. Stretch, stretch, stretch

“Following along with a 5-minute stretching routine on YouTube can be a great way to address pain in your body and keep it from turning into a permanent issue,” says Dr. Todd.

If you’re gearing up for the gym, make sure to stretch before and after your workout to allow your muscles time to warm up and cool down. Taking the time to stretch allows your muscles to become more pliable which will reduce your chance of injury. Think of your muscles like putty—if you quickly stretch it when it’s cold, it breaks. If you warm it in your hands and make it pliable and then stretch it, it will easily stretch in your hands without breaking.

And if you’re not ready to return to a full workout, taking micro breaks throughout the day to stretch can restore mobility and keep pain at bay.

Try this: complete one stretch a day from the Straighten Up Alberta program.

4. Listen to your body

“Working with your chiropractor, massage therapist and physiotherapist will ensure you are keeping your body safe as you return to activity,” says Dr. Todd.

When returning to activity after a period of reduced movement, it’s normal to feel some soreness in your body. If the soreness persists, or you feel any sharp pains with movement, speak to your chiropractor. They can work with you to develop an exercise plan that works for your body and limitations.

Try this: talk to your chiropractor about pain prevention and management. You can find a chiropractor near you using our dedicated search engine.


– Originally posted on the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

Headaches: the role your diet plays

By Dr. Jill Mckinnon

Migraines are one of the top disabilities in young adults across the globe. 14 percent of the population suffers from migraines and like most aches and pains, we often tend to reach for quick fixes. Although things like pain meds, peppermint oil and manual therapies may help in the moment, it’s always better to tackle the source of the problem instead of just treating the symptoms. Rather than asking how you can get rid of pain, try asking why you’re experiencing it instead.

Growing up, I believed headaches were normal as myself and everyone in my immediate family experienced them regularly. Now, as a chiropractor, I’ve realized that while some of us identify as “headache people,” there are many lucky enough to rarely, if ever, experience headaches. The best explanation I’ve heard around this has been coined the “bucket theory.” Imagine that within our brain we all have a bucket. When your bucket overflows, you experience a migraine and “headache people” tend to have particularly small buckets. So, what makes the bucket overflow? Can I increase the size of my bucket? First off, stimulus and inflammation contribute to “bucket overflow,” and therefore, a migraine. Overstimulation can be caused by weather, pressure changes, stress, food or environmental intolerances, bright lights and noise, hormonal imbalances and musculoskeletal stressors. While we may not have control over things like the weather, or how bright the fluorescents in our workplace are, there are some things we can control. What many of us fail to realize is just how much of an influence the things we put into our bodies has on our wellbeing. When I ask a headache sufferer what their diet is like, the reaction I get is often shock for being asked that by their chiropractor. This is always one of the questions I ask because the food we eat influences our hormones, our pH, our mood, our energy and yes, our “buckets.”

To begin, we need to identify potential foods or environmental factors that could be overflowing your “bucket.” By identifying and eliminating potential contributors, you can free up space in your “bucket,” meaning you will be less sensitive to stimuli that can bring on a headache. The easiest way to do this is by tracking both your food and your headaches. Yes, this may be a tedious task, but it can be extremely helpful in identifying habits that you may not be aware of. I’ve had multiple patients identify their headache triggers with this step alone. When considering environmental factors, try noting down where you are when you begin to experience your headache symptoms. Remember to note details such as recently used cleaning and beauty products, chemical sprays and lighting at your workplace. When I was a teenager, I remember trying out a new shampoo with a distinct smell. I noticed I was experiencing nausea and headaches following showers. It was tracking this pattern that allowed me to identify that the shampoo was the culprit.

When it comes to diet, most of us are creatures of habit and tend to eat similarly most days of the week. However, if you’re experiencing consistent headaches and you’ve not noticed any patterns with environment tracking, it’s a good idea to track food next. I typically suggest seven straight days of tracking all food and beverages along with headache symptoms. If you are a female suffering from headaches, be sure to also track your menstrual cycle. For many women, headaches coincide with menstruation due to low levels of progesterone and estrogen.
Once you have tracked a full seven days of food and symptoms, it is time to start identifying patterns. For many migraine sufferers, the most common dietary culprits are amines, additives and chemicals. Dietary amines are a result of the breakdown of proteins in food and are found in many processed meats, aged cheeses, fermented foods and beverages like beer and wine and dried or very ripe fruits. It is thought that “headache people” lack the enzymes required to properly break down specific amines, so eliminating these foods for four weeks is often recommended. Now for some light at the end of the tunnel—the word amine is a category involving histamine, tyramine and a few others. That said, when you reach the reintroducing phase (after four weeks of elimination), I suggest researching which specific amines are present in the foods you find yourself reacting to and this will help you determine a more specific grouping to avoid instead of avoiding all amines.

When it comes to chemicals and additives in food, we tend to be more familiar with these offenders because they’ve already been given a bad reputation. It’s not a coincidence that many headache sufferers also experience digestive issues, irritable bowels and skin irritations or rashes. Monosodium glutamate (MSG), aspartame, high sodium and nitrites are some of the more prominent triggers that would be good to avoid if you experience any of the above symptoms. MSG is not only found in restaurants and fast-food joints, but is a common additive to many sauces, canned veggies and soups you likely have in your fridge or pantry. Aspartame in diet soda is another common trigger I see. Nitrites are most commonly found in processed meats like bacon and deli items.

Now that you have an idea of the common headache triggers, it’s time to begin tracking your food, identifying your problem ingredients and eliminating your triggers. Stay tuned for next month’s blog, “Five steps to identify and eliminate headache triggers.”


Originally posted on: https://albertachiro.com/ACAC/Chiropractic_in_Alberta/BLOG/Headaches__the_role_your_diet_plays.aspx

Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors