As we prepare to enter the New Year and set new goals and resolutions, remember that "those who do most, dream most". Have a healthy, safe and happy New Year! - Dr. Eve
How long should you hold your stretch?
There exists some controversy over how long a stretch should be held. A good common ground seems to be about 20 seconds. If you're under 40, hold your stretches for 15-30 seconds. If you're over 40, hold them for 30-60 seconds. As you reach your 40s, your muscles become less pliable, so they need to be stretched longer. Children, and people whose bones are still growing, do not need to hold a passive stretch this long. Holding the stretch for about 7-10 seconds should be sufficient for this younger group of people.
Spend twice as much time stretching your tight muscles as your flexible muscles - focus on problem areas.
Many sources also suggest that passive stretches should be performed in sets of 2-5 repetitions with a 15-30 second rest in between each stretch.
Remember to warm-up and to avoid overstretching. Stretching should not be painful.
The first big snow fall is expected this evening in the GTA. Snow shoveling is a leading cause of back injury in winter months. Here are some tips to protect your back this winter from the Ontario Chiropractic Association:
Sit back, squat more.
Use a chair or bench to squat with perfect form. Stand in front of a chair or a bench when you squat. Lower yourself as if you were sitting down. When your butt touches the bench, push yourself back up. Try it with a light bar or a broomstick first.
...The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone. The hip bone’s connected to the backbone. The backbone’s connected to the neck bone...
We learn early on that our body is all connected. When there is a long standing problem somewhere in your body, chances are the problem is connected in some way to another area of your body. For example, if your feet are hurting, it may alter the way you stand or walk, leading to problems at your knees, hips and/or lower back. So what happens when your head is shifted forward?
Make an appointment with Dr. Eve and find out where your head is!
Save your back.
Squeeze your butt muscles when you lift weights over your head. You'll force your body into a position that automatically stabilizes your spine, which lowers your risk of back injuries.
For every inch your head moves forward, it gains 10 pounds in weight, as far as the muscles in your upper back and neck are concerned, because they have to work that much harder to keep the head (chin) from dropping onto your chest.
This also forces the suboccipital muscles (they raise the chin) to remain in constant contraction, putting pressure on the 3 Suboccipital nerves.
This nerve compression may cause headaches at the base of the skull. Pressure on the suboccipital nerves can also mimic sinus (frontal) headaches.
Rene Cailliet M.D., famous medical author and former director of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Southern California states:
“Head in forward posture can add up to thirty pounds of abnormal leverage on the cervical spine. This can pull the entire spine out of alignment. Forward head posture (FHP) may result in the loss of 30% of vital lung capacity. These breath-related effects are primarily due to the loss of the cervical lordosis, which blocks the action of the hyoid muscles, especially the inferior hyoid responsible for helping lift the first rib during inhalation.”
It's not uncommon to observe 2" of anterior head placement in new patients. Would you be surprised that your neck and shoulders hurt if you had a 20-pound watermelon hanging around your neck? That's what forward head posture can do to you. Left uncorrected, forward head posture will continue to decline.
Those of you who sit at desks all day have the greatest potential for this damaging issue.
Next time you're sitting at the computer or you are texting away on your phone (or while you are reading this blog right now), freeze and take a note of your posture.
Come in for a postural evaluation and ask Dr. Eve all about the dangers of forward head posture and how to correct it.
During the holidays, we've got shopping, travel, parties and a whole lot of running around, and it can all add up to tired, aching feet!
Contributing factors to tired and aching feet
Treatment and relief for tired, aching feet
Don’t let painful feet ruin your holidays, and don't let your extended health benefits go to waste! Book an appointment with Dr. Eve today.
Bonus: Receive 10% off Footwear at New Balance stores with a referral from Dr. Eve.
Dr. Eve Choe is a Toronto-based chiropractor, and certified posture expert, acupuncture & orthotics provider.