Did you that the heart is a muscle? It is not the same type of muscle that makes your joints move (known as skeletal muscle), nor the type of muscle that is found in organs like your bladder or your stomach (known as smooth muscle). The heart is made up of three layers, the middle layer consisting of cardiac muscles or myocardium. This is responsible for the pump action of the heart that sends blood to the different parts of your body.
What's really cool about the heart is that similar to skeletal muscle, we can improve the efficiency of our heart's actions through exercise. Numerous studies have looked at high level athletes to see the extent to which we can make improvements to the hearts functional ability. The left ventricle (LV), that receives oxygenated blood from your lungs and pumps it out to rest of your body, is particularly affected by exercise.
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?
We all know that physical activity is good for you. The latest Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans came out with new evidence for health benefits (above and beyond those listed in the 2008 guidelines). So what are these "new" health benefits?
This article covers all aspects of bringing physical activity into your life, from what the different types of physical activities there are, intensity, progression and overload, specific recommendations for different age groups (or conditions), and injury risk.
There are more types of physical activity than cardio and strength exercises? Yes! There is bone-strengthening, balance activities, and multicomponent activities. Yoga and dance are great examples of multicomponent activities: yoga works on balance and strength. Depending on what type of dance you do, you can work on cardio, strength, bone strengthening, AND balance!
Our November newsletter includes information on Fall Prevention Month, Movember, and snow! While winter doesn't officially start until Dec. 21st we certainly get snow and have to shovel in the Fall. Shoveling is a great way of adding activity into your day!
November is a busy month. You may see an excess number of moustaches!
Movember is a time to promote awareness of prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. While there are only a few days left, you can still get involved by giving a donation, growing a moustache, and by moving!
If you are interested in learning more about mental health services, we share our clinic space with Lamppost Counselling Services.
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.
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.
We can still do the things we love while getting movement into our day. Check out this video for tips on how to be active while reading your book, watching your show, or being on your tablet/laptop. Exerting a force (even at a very low level) for a sustained period without a break can lead to pain and discomfort. Adding movement into your day is a great way to give your muscles and joints a break from these forces, allowing them to recover, and reducing the pain and discomfort brought on by sedentary activity.
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.
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.