LOVE IT: "Canadian street gang opens fire on the cops, and they have no choice but to fire back in self defense."
Don't be the weekend warrior going all out occasionally and injuring yourself. Especially if you have an injury, find activities that are going to help you heal and help your body adapt to better handle stressors. What are some outdoor activities that you can do?
World Spine Day
On October 16th we celebrated our spines! The goal behind World Spine Day is to raise awareness about spinal health and spinal conditions.
Did you know back pain affects 632 045 million people worldwide and neck pain affects 332 049 million people worldwide?! (Lancet, Global Burden of Disease, 2012).
Take the opportunity to give your spine a movement break each day and don't hesitate to make an appointment for manual care, exercises, and education.
Back Pain - The Basics
There are many potential pain contributors within your back. This can include the joints between the vertebrae in your spine, the capsule that surrounds each joint, ligaments, tendons, muscles, the discs that are between the vertebrae in your spine, and even nerves can become irritated or compressed to give symptoms.
Services for Back Pain:
🎃 Happy Halloween 🎃
Migraines can have debilitating effects on our activities of daily living. If you suffer from episodic migraines or know someone who does, you probably know the basic information (or you can find that info in our intro to migraines article). So what are some options? Recent research shows this therapy can help reduce the frequency of your migraine attacks: acupuncture!
Research into conservative management of this disorder has lead to an updated review by the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for the prevention of migraines with acupuncture. This 2016 review concludes adding a course of at least 6 acupuncture visits to symptomatic treatment can decrease the frequency of migraine episodes. Additionally the authors found the effects of acupuncture may be similarly effective as compared to treatment with prophylactic drugs.
Keep reading for a breakdown of this systematic review.
Cochrane reviews organize research findings to help simplify and point to evidence based options for treatments and interventions for different conditions. The most recent Cochrane review for the prevention of tension-type headaches focused on acupuncture.
The review included 12 trials which totaled to 2349 participants. The important thing to note is that the review looked at prevention of future tension-type headaches (a decrease in headache frequency).
Acupuncture vs Routine Care
When acupuncture was compared to routine care, the proportion of patients who experienced at least 50% reduction in headache frequency was significantly higher in the group receiving acupuncture.
Tension-type headaches are the most common primary headache disorder with a global prevalence of up to 1.68 million. According to one study, up to 78% of the population have experienced or will experience a tension-type headache in their lifetime (lifetime prevalence).
Tension-type headaches can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 7 days, are typically located on both sides of the head/neck, mild to moderate intensity, and have a pressing or tightening pain quality (non-pulsating). Additionally the pain does not become worse with routine activities (eg. walking up the stairs). While this headache is not associated with nausea or vomiting, it can be associated with photophobia or phonophobia.
It is possible for migraine and tension type headache symptoms to overlap or to have two concurrent headaches. If this is the case, you may be provided with a probable or mixed type headache diagnosis.
Migraines have huge negative effects on our quality of life. They typically last anywhere from 4-72 hours and may have a combination of the following characteristics: unilateral, throbbing or pulsating quality, moderate-severe pain intensity, and/or aggravation by movement (eg. climbing stairs). The headache is accompanied by at least one of the following symptoms: 1) nausea and/or vomiting and/or 2) photophobia and/or phonophobia (light or sound may be aggravating).
Migraines can present with or without aura. Migraines with aura will have unilateral fully-reversible visual, sensory, or other central nervous system symptoms that develop gradually. This is typically followed by the headache and associated symptoms. Over 90% of individuals who experience this type of migraine will experience a visual aura.
Manual therapy is one of the non-pharmacological treatments migraine sufferers can find relief with. This can range from soft tissue therapy (trigger point therapy, myofascial release), joint mobilization/manipulation, posture relief exercises and education, exercises and rehabilitation, and acupuncture.
Headaches are horrible. Whether you suffer from headaches on a chronic or infrequent basis they can be debilitating and prevent you from enjoying your normal activities. Despite this, many individuals “live” with it.
As a healthcare professional I find it astounding how far we’ve come with diagnosing headaches - there are a ridiculous number of subtypes of headaches (212 if I counted correctly) within the main headache groups (14 classifications). This article with briefly discuss the more common headaches that an individual will present with at Haptic Health and Chiropractic. Check back for articles on each of the headache types.
The most typical types of migraines include migraines without aura, migraines with aura, and chronic migraines. The most recent Global Burden of Disease Study found migraines to be the 7th leading cause of disability worldwide.
According to the International Headache Society, at any given point in time anywhere from 30-78% of the general population will have a tension-type headache (1) - this creates a huge socioeconomic burden on our society. The most common subtypes include infrequent episodic, frequent episodic, and chronic tension type headaches.
Neck pain can result from tight muscles or restricted movements in joints; overuse injuries that occur after prolonged sitting or improper posture; or injuries and accidents that may be sport, work, or even motor vehicle related.
When muscles in the neck are tight or injured they may cause pain at the site of muscle or tendon attachment. It is also possible for muscles to refer pain to other parts of the body away from the neck. For example the muscles at the base of your skull can refer pain to your temples. Joints are very similar to muscles in that they can refer pain away from the site of injury. Injury at the joint, like a tight or injured muscle, can result in restricted movement. Neck pain can also affect the nerves in your neck which can produce symptoms such as numbness or tingling in your arms and hands.
When receiving treatment for tight or injured muscles and joints, your chiropractor may give you strengthening exercises in addition to stretching exercises. This is especially important in overuse injuries as the goal is to not only reduce pain, improve range of movement, but also to decrease the frequency of occurrence.
Not sure what to expect at Haptic Health and Chiropractic? We offer free 15 minute consultations to answer these questions. Dr. Judith McCann is a chiropractor in Sharon trained to assess neck pain, headaches, neck tightness, and associated numbness and tingling in your hands, as well as provide appropriate treatment or referral as needed.
Typically simple neck pain, shoulder pain, and upper back pain that is related to sedentary activity is titled "occupational overuse syndrome". The difficulty with this term is that it puts a lot of emphasis on occupational or work based sedentary activity. While sitting at work may be a contributing factor, a lot of people go home after work and spend a lot of their leisure time sitting and further contributing to the overuse aspect and muscle pain and stiffness. When you are at home, or even at a friends, try some the tips from this video to get you up and moving.
Be sure to have your chiropractor or other health care provider assess you neck, shoulder, and back pain. While sedentary activity can contribute to your pain and stiffness, it is always important to have a thorough examination to determine the cause(s) of your discomfort to determine the best treatment and prevention strategies for you and your health. Dr. Judith McCann is a Newmarket chiropractor offering examination and treatment for these types of conditions.
It's easy to get stuck into our work and forget to take periodic breaks. Unfortunately this can lead to sitting in one position for hours, putting strain on our muscles and joints. Only after we come out of the zone do we realize the discomfort we have created such as neck pain or upper back pain. Today's tip to get more movement into your day is to drink more water so that you have to get up periodically to go to the bathroom. While it's a trick that most people find funny, it is useful as no one enjoys a full bladder. The discomfort of a full bladder is enough to get us up and moving compared to the discomfort of neck pain or upper back pain that are not great motivators.
Don't forget to see your massage therapist, physiotherapist, and chiropractor for assessment and treatment of your neck pain and upper back pain. Even more importantly they'll be able to give you some other tips and tricks to get you moving as well as some stretches and exercises for further minimization of frequency of these conditions. Are you in York Region and not sure who to see? Dr. Judith McCann is a Newmarket chiropractor who treats these conditions. Call to book an assessment or for a free 15 minute consultation.
Dr. Judith McCann has been living in York Region for over 15 years. After going to Queen's University in Kingston for Kinesiology, and Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto to become a chiropractor, she decided to move back and open Haptic Health and Chiropractic in Newmarket. In February 2017, Haptic Health and Chiropractic moved 10 minutes up the road to Sharon in East Gwillimbury.