Sitting is the new smoking. You've heard it many times now. What can you do while sitting in front of a computer other than taking frequent breaks? Try this simple posture correction throughout the day:
**UPDATE** Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that the federal government will not be moving forward with any plans to tax employer health benefits. Taxing these benefits was predicted to lead to many employers cancelling their plans, and a sharp decline in healthcare. We owe a big thanks to all of you who took action and voiced your concerns.
The federal government is considering a measure in the upcoming federal budget to treat employer health and dental benefits plans as a taxable benefit with the goal of generating $2.7 billion in new revenue. These benefits include chiropractic care, prescription drugs, mental health services, dental care, and more.
The federal government needs to hear from you that taxing these essential health benefits will negatively affect millions of Canadians.
How to Take Action:
Share your concerns with your MP or Minister of Finance by visiting www.donttaxmyhealthbenefits.ca
Share this important message on social media using the hashtag #donttaxmyhealthbenefits
You may find that as the weather gets colder, you may experience more aches and pains, and even feel like your muscles are stiffer. This is even more evident for workers who work outside in the winter, or individuals with certain ailments. The cold weather can increase the risk of suffering from musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries and can even increase the intensity of certain MSK conditions.
How Can the Cold Weather Impact Us?
If you live with an arthritic condition you might find that your symptoms may be exacerbated by cold weather conditions, which can keep you away from doing the activities you enjoy. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis may not react well to sudden weather or atmospheric changes, which may worsen symptoms. Even without any specific conditions, most of us are very aware of how our bodies feel and move when we are cold – we may move slower and walk around when our muscles are tense and stiff. This can result in soreness that we may not experience otherwise. For those who work outside, be conscious of your working conditions. Feeling warm, safe and comfortable is important as heavy lifting and overexertion can increase risk of injury in colder temperatures.
Here are a few things that can be done to prevent stiffness and MSK-related injuries during the winter months:
-Courtesy of the Canadian Chiropractic Association.
Spring is in the air (although it might not feel like it today brr). Running is a great way to take advantage of the warmer weather while keeping fit and improving energy and stress levels. If you take your running routine outside, remember these 5 simple stretching tips from the OCA to help avoid strains and pains:
1. Upper Calf
Place your hands against a wall, or sturdy object in front of you. Stand feet comfortably apart, toes pointing forward. Put one leg back, keeping your heel flat on the ground. Gently bend the knee of the front leg, so your hips move forward and lean into your hands. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. You should feel the stretch along the back of the leg and below the knee.
2. Lower Calf
Keeping the same position as the upper calf stretch, shift the foot of your back leg forward until your toes are just behind the heel of the front leg. Keep both heels on the ground and lower your hips by bending both knees. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds.
You should feel the stretch through the back of the ankle.
3. Front of thigh
Standing near a sturdy object, place hand on it for balance and use your free hand to grasp your ankle or foot. Keeping your upper body straight, pull that heel up towards your buttock and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat the stretch for the other leg.
You should feel the stretch through the front of your leg.
4. Back of thigh
Place one foot up on a low surface with your toes pointing upward. Place hands on that thigh. Keeping the leg on the ground straight, bend forward from the hips. Keep your lower back flat by bringing your chest towards your knee. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, and repeat with the other leg.
You should feel the stretch along the back of the front leg.
From the back thigh stretch position, bend your front knee so that the foot is on the edge of the surface. Placing hands on your hips, lean slightly forward over the bent leg. Keep the leg you are standing on straight. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, and repeat with other leg. You should feel the stretch in the back of the hips and buttocks.
Follow these simple tips for a safe and pain free run. Remember, don’t overstretch and never stretch a cold muscle.
Backpacks can affect your children's health. Carrying a heavy load that is unevenly or improperly distributed can result in poor posture; and even distort the spinal column, throwing it out of alignment. This can cause muscle strain, headaches, back, neck and arm pain, and even nerve damage.
More than 50 per cent of young people experience at least one episode of lower back pain by their teenage years. Research indicates that this could be caused, to a great extent, by improper use of backpacks.
Prevention is key to avoiding injury. If you haven't already, now is a good time to teach your children how to properly use their backpacks.
Here are some tips from the Ontario Chiropractic Association:
Packing it properly: Make sure your child’s pack contains only what is needed for that day, and that the weight is distributed evenly. The total weight of the filled pack should be no more than 10 to 15 percent of the wearer’s body weight.
Choosing the right backpack: Go for lightweight vinyl or canvas. Pick a pack that has two wide, adjustable, padded shoulder straps, along with a hip or waist strap, padded back and plenty of pockets.
Putting it on: Put the pack on a flat surface, at waist height. Slip on the pack, one shoulder at a time, and then adjust the straps to fit comfortably.
Wearing it right: Both shoulder straps should be used, and adjusted so that the pack fits snugly to the body, without dangling to the side. You should be able to slide your hand between the backpack and your child’s back.
Your child’s backpack shouldn’t be a drag. Maintaining good back health in youth may help prevent back problems in later life. So, pack it light and wear it right!
Your bones are not "cracking". The actual noise is called a cavitation. When a joint is adjusted, a gas bubble may escape causing a popping noise, the same noise you hear when you crack your knuckles. It's very similar to the release of gas bubbles when you un-cork a champagne bottle or open a can of pop. Here is a fun video explaining that happens when you "crack" your knuckles:
Does the "popping" happen with all adjustments? Is is still a "good" adjustment if you don't hear the "pop"?
Although it may be satisfying to hear the "popping" noise with an adjustment, you may or may not hear a cavitation ("popping"). Just a week ago, I had a new patient who came in with acute severe neck pain. She could not turn her head and was miserable with pain. Due to the acute nature of her condition, we could not do a traditional adjustment involving my hands and turning of the patient's neck. I used the Activator (a tool used to gently adjust without the patient having to turn her neck) instead. Typically, with Activator adjustments, you do not hear a caviation although the patient really wanted to hear it. She had been to chiropractors before and associated successful adjustments with the "pop". We also adjusted her lower back with the Activator. At the follow-up visit, her neck pain had improved and she re-gained a significant amount of her range of motion. She was in a much better mood as you can imagine. And her lower back? The improvement was "night and day". She had been suffering with chronic low back pain, causing her pain in her daily activities such as putting on her socks, but that pain was gone.
Lack of sleep is no joke and getting a good night’s rest is important. We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping, so getting the most out of it is important.
Preventing stress or worries that keep you up at night may be difficult, but a few simple lifestyle and nutritional changes can help you wake-up feeling refreshed.
Here are some tips from the Ontario Chiropractic Association for a good night’s rest:
Listen to your body
Exercises should be uncomfortable, but not painful. If you feel pain during exercise, slow down or stop. Pain is the body's way of protecting itself from further damage.
You may need to correct your form or perhaps, you're lifting more or stretching more than your body is ready for.
Remember, preventing injuries is better than fixing it!
Have a safe and fun weekend. Happy Friday!
Myth: Dehydration is relatively rare and occurs only when the body is deprived of water for days.
Fact: Low-grade dehydration (versus acute and clinical dehydration) is a chronic, widespread problem that has major impacts on well-being, energy, appearance and resiliency.
Symptoms of Low-grade Dehydration:
Bottom Line: If you’re not actively focusing on hydrating throughout the day, there’s a good chance you could be at least somewhat dehydrated, which could be negatively affecting your energy, vitality and immunity — as well as your appearance. Experiment with drinking more throughout the day. You may observe an almost immediate difference in your well-being, and even if you don’t, establishing good hydration habits now will do many good things for your cellular health over the long haul.
What Should You Drink? Water. Tap water, filtered, with a little lemon juice!
Dr. Eve Choe is a Toronto-based chiropractor, and certified posture expert, acupuncture & orthotics provider.