Athletes put their body through a lot of stress on a regular basis. As a result, strains, chronic pain, and recurrent injuries can often occur. When left untreated, these issues may become serious problems which can potentially mean the end of an athlete’s career.
One of the most effective ways of dealing with injuries caused by athletic movement is chiropractic care. Not only does it help with problems that are already apparent, it also can help to maximize performance. Here are a few ways that chiropractic is beneficial for athletes:
Reduces Risk of Injury: Regular chiropractic adjustments help keep the body properly aligned. When the body is out of alignment, there is more possibility for injury due to strength differences through the body and decreased range of motion. In addition, working the body’s soft tissue relieves tension and tight muscles, which are also main causes of athletic injuries.
Offers Prescription-Free Treatment: Numerous medications and sometimes invasive surgeries are prescribed for athletic injuries, and chiropractic care can help athletes recover without need for these other forms of treatment.
Pain & Injury Management: While chiropractic is used to prevent injuries, it can also shorten the amount of time needed to properly heal. During regular visits, your chiropractor will use specific techniques to deal with pain depending on your particular injury, and this will help to speed up recovery time.
Increased Performance: A high number of athletes, pro and otherwise, have credited chiropractic with increased performance. Muscle and joint conditioning, increased range of motion, and an aligned spine can help the body perform at its best.
At Bodylab, we specialize in recovery science for athletes. We utilize three stages to recovery: treating the symptoms, restoring function, and then maintaining function. Understanding the importance of flexibility and mobility in athletics is important, and we work to ensure that you are able to reach your optimal performance. Our doctors analyze posture, gait, muscular compensation, orthopeadic tests, radiographic imaging, and joint dysfunction to effectively diagnose each individual. If you’re looking for specialized treatments to enhance performance and prevent injury, we’re here to help – call us at 905 228 3130 or book an appointment online.
While chiropractic is our main focus at Bodylab, we also offer other forms of therapy. One of these services is acupuncture, which originated in ancient China and is now used widely across North America.
For those unfamiliar with acupuncture and its benefits, it is one of the oldest healing practices in the world, utilizing very thin needles to stimulate different points of the body. It involves pricking the skin in specific areas to alleviate physical, mental, and emotional conditions. It is said that there are 350 acupuncture points in the body, and energy flows through these pathways.
At Bodylab, we combine the traditional Chinese methods with the scientific, neurological and anatomical approach to the nervous system to stimulate and create a balance between damaged or weak muscles. When pain and inflammation is left untreated, it can result in chronic pain, and systemic problems such as sleeping disorders, cardiovascular disorders, nausea and allergies.
Acupuncture stimulates the nervous system directly, which helps to relieve the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. Studies show that musculoskeletal pain and headaches and back pain are often caused by stress, and so acupuncture is an effective method to deal with these symptoms.
These are some other conditions commonly treated by acupuncture:
• Migraines/ Headaches
• Acute pain
• Diabetic neuropathy
• Low back pain
• Pre and post surgery
• Carpal Tunnel
If you suffer from any of these and are looking for relief, acupuncture may be a good option for you. Book an appointment with us via our online form, or send us a message. We’ll work with you to create the most effective treatment plan for your specific needs, and get you on your way to whole body health.
I have trouble with sciatica, and I’ve been told that a chiropractor can help me with it. Having never been to a chiropractor before, I wasn’t sure if this was true, or what I should expect. Is that my best option, or will something else work better?
This is a great topic to get into, mainly because sciatica is a problem that unfortunately many people suffer from. For those who don’t know, sciatica is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. This can cause mild to severe pain in the back, hips, and legs. In some instances, it can travel as far as the feet. Other common symptoms are numbness, burning, weakness, and difficulty moving.
Treatment of sciatica can often include muscle relaxants, pain relievers, and anti-inflammatory drugs, but these are only temporary steps that simply mask the painful symptoms. Chiropractic is an effective option, as it directly addresses the problem, which is the sciatic nerve. This is a non-invasive option, and doesn’t rely on painkillers and medication to mask the pain you are experiencing.
First, a functional assessment is done to determine that cause of the sciatica. From there, a personalized treatment plan is created to ensure that the problem itself is dealt with, and not just the symptoms.
While chiropractic is beneficial, one of the best ways to deal with sciatica is actually through acupuncture, which we also offer at our clinic. At Bodylab, we combine the traditional Chinese acupuncture methods with the scientific, neurological, and anatomical approach to the nervous system, to stimulate and create a balance. Acupuncture is a great option for sciatica for a number of reasons – it’s highly effective especially for pain relief, it is risk-free, and it is painless and won’t cause further discomfort.
That said, because sciatica manifests itself differently in each person who suffers from it, every treatment plan must be individual. For some, chiropractic is the best option; for others, acupuncture. In certain cases, a plan that utilizes both may prove to be most effective. We recommend that you book a consultation in our office so we can asses your specific needs and create the best treatment plan for you. With the proper care, we can find the root of your sciatica and work to fix the problem.
With so much of our lives revolving around communication via our mobile phones, it was inevitable that there would be consequences to our body. One such issue has been given the nickname “text neck” – this is used to describe the damage and potential pain from looking down at a cell phone too frequently, and for long periods of time.
Text neck doesn’t only affect the neck, despite its name. Looking down at our phones for extended periods can also cause headaches, shoulder and back pain, and discomfort in the arms and hands.
Do you suffer from text neck? There are some ways to help alleviate the strain.
Put Down the Phone: It’s important to take regular breaks from your cell phone. Set aside the phone, be less connected for a little while, and let your muscles relax.
Stretch your Body: During your phone breaks, it’s a good idea to stretch. Stretch your neck from side to side, practice a few neck rolls, and don’t forget to stretch your arms, hands, and throat.
Focus on Posture: Throughout your day, keep thinking about your posture and make adjustments as needed. Shoulders back, chest out, neck straight and head up. The more you get used to carrying yourself this way, the better your posture will be and it will become more natural for you.
Look up: If you just can’t put down the phone, try holding it higher whenever possible. Instead of constantly forcing your head down, hold the phone up to where your head naturally rests for less strain on the neck and shoulders.
Massage: Massage can be beneficial for those strained muscles in the neck, shoulders and arms. Use massage in conjunction with the items listed above for best results.
Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic adjustments can focus on the many parts of the body affected by text neck and general device overuse. With a personalized treatment plan, your spine alignment can get back on track which will help prevent any further issues while relieving any current ones.
To help alleviate text neck and other strain and pain that comes along with it, book your appointment at Bodylab. We can treat it with massage, chiropractic, or a plan that incorporates both. Using all of these tips regularly, you can get a handle on text neck and the damage it causes to your body.
I’ve heard that children can benefit from chiropractic care, and I was wondering if this was true. If so, what does it help with and how do I know if my child needs it?
There is an assortment of reasons that chiropractic care can be beneficial and effective for children. As it is in adults, a child’s spine and nervous system are integral parts of the body and important to overall health – by examining and evaluating for proper movement and alignment, chiropractors are able to determine if adjustments are required for optimal body function.
Any concerns about chiropractic care for children are un-needed, as it is completely gentle and safe. During adjustments, only light pressure is required.
Chiropractic may be suggested for children for many reasons. In utero, babies are in very small spaces that foster awkward spinal positions. That, and any potential spinal trauma during the birth itself, can compromise their future health. With so many milestones in a child’s life being connected to their spinal alignments (such as holding their head up, crawling, first steps, etc.), having regular chiropractic evaluations and adjustments as needed makes sense.
As a child gets older, injuries are bound to occur through play, sports, and general growth and development. By keeping an eye on their spinal health throughout the years, problems can be avoided and issues that may have affected them as an adult can be prevented. Since the nervous system is the controller of the body, it’s important to keep it working properly. That’s what chiropractors can do, for adults and children alike.
If you have any further questions about your child and chiropractic care, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with myself Dr. Richard, or book an appointment for an examination.
Dr. Sarah Hopkins
If you have any questions for our "Ask Dr. Sarah" series, comment below or email us: email@example.com:firstname.lastname@example.org
If you suffer from recurring injuries, you are not alone. While they’re common to athletes, especially those who compete at high levels, non-athletes are prone to recurring injuries as well. If you’re one of them, you may be wondering why.
When an injury seems to have been treated and goes away only to return again, it’s often due to a repetitive and sometimes incorrect movement pattern, or compensation pattern. For example, if you have to bend many times throughout your day and are bending incorrectly, it can cause pain that will likely keep returning.
Compensation patterns are quite common. Your body will start recruiting other muscles to help the tired, weak ones perform the same task. This is how injury begins; the smaller muscles and joint are put into stressful situations and give out first. So, although this is the area where the pain may be located, this is not the problem. The problem areas which should be treated are the muscles and joints that should have been doing the work and gave out first. These muscles and joints are usually tight, in spasm, and restricted.
Another common reason is spinal restrictions. These are spinal and nervous system injuries that can go long periods of time without symptoms, and then suddenly cause pain and discomfort anywhere in the body.
No matter the reason for your recurring injuries, one of the main problems is the way in which they are dealt. If only the symptoms of an injury are being treated instead of the cause of the problem, it is very likely to keep coming back. While medications can help ease pain and discomfort, by merely removing the symptoms they can incorrectly allow you to think the injury has been healed when it has not. You may temporarily feel better though unhealed, and that can lead to recurring injury. Remember - pain is always the last symptom to appear, and the first to leave. This does not mean that the problem is resolved; there are still underlying mechanical injuries that need to be treated.
Injury prevention and proper treatment are your best course of action to avoid these issues, with chiropractic care as an essential part of training and recovery. Because we use specific functional test and manual adjustments to the spine, we can ensure that the body is properly aligned to avoid compensation patterns. This allows us to help restore full range of joint motion, and improve flexibility and muscle control. Chiropractic care also helps to reduce pain and inflammation to assist in healing injuries, which then allows the body to become less injury prone.
At Bodylab, we can work to find out exactly why your injuries recur, and then create a personalized treatment plan. Contact us today to start working toward your healthiest body.
Ask Dr. Sarah is a new series on the Bodylab blog, answering your questions about health and wellness. Today’s post is our first in the series:
“Hi Dr. Sarah,
I often find that my muscles feel very tight, and I’m wondering what causes this. Is there something I can do to prevent it?”
There are a few different causes for tight muscles. If left unaddressed, muscle tightness can cause decreased range of motion and postural misalignment, so it’s important to pay attention when you feel your muscles become tight. I’ll break down each of the most common causes, along with some helpful tips to prevent and treat it:
When you’re not drinking enough water throughout the day, your body isn’t being replenished with the proper nutrients. The water in our tissues is needed for this process, and without enough lubrication, the body then uses water from muscles and skin, causing dehydration, and sometimes tight muscles.
Exercise and general movement is important for overall health, and that includes muscle health. When your muscles are inactive they can seize up and cause tightening, as well as a slew of other health problems including deep-vein thrombosis (more on that shortly). Even short bursts of activity after long periods of inactivity may cause muscle tightening, which is another reason that it is important to make time for regular exercise throughout each day.
Sitting too much:
Much like general inactivity, sitting too much can cause a great deal of health issues. You’ve probably seen many articles published in the past year, showing the importance of getting up and moving around often for those who work at desks all day, and the issues that can occur when a person stays in the sitting position for a long period of time. One such problem is muscle tightening; another is deep-vein thrombosis, which is when a blood clot occurs due to inactive muscles. This can be dangerous, so standing up and walking around whenever possible is a good preventative measure.
Prolonged sitting causes inflammation in the joint and muscles around the back and pelvis, which can lead to protective muscle spasm and scar tissue build-up. The fibrous scar tissue from taut muscle bands and trigger points causes the muscles to dysfunction and spasm, leading to compression of blood vessels and decreased blood flow - this is what triggers pain.
Further Prevention and Treatment:
Exercise is the key to preventing tight muscles, as long as the body is not being pushed too hard. Stretching is also very important, but it is easy to make the mistake of stretching muscles before they’ve been properly warmed up enough. Stretching after a five minute warm-up is most effective and will keep muscles loose and ready to work.
Water intake is also a preventative measure, as the average adult should be drinking 8 glasses per day. This will help lubricate the entire body and keep it running properly.
Of course, chiropractic is effective in the treatment of tight muscles, specifically myofacial release therapy. This targets certain muscles to activate them and decrease the scar tissue build-up which cause that tight feeling you’re experiencing. Another great option is the use of massage. Massage is an effective way to not only loosen already tight muscles, but also to prevent muscle tightness – regular massage therapy can help keep muscles loose and pliable.
At Bodylab, both Dr. Richard and I are Chiropractors as well as Registered Massage Therapists. We offer several different types of massage therapy and chiropractic methods, often combining techniques for best individual results.
For more information, visit our website or book an appointment online.
Dr. Sarah Hopkins
To ask your question for Dr. Sarah, leave a comment below or email email@example.com
Why I treat the abdominal Oblique’s when treating low back Pain?
Low Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek the care of their Chiropractor. Understanding the mechanism of injury and the weakness of each individual helps to treat the patients faster
As important as it is to treat everything below the pelvis (“Gluts, Piriformis) it is equally important to treat the muscles attaching about the pelvic line. Oblique activating can have a tremendous effect of low back pain.
Strengthen the muscles and stimulating the nerves will increase core strength and decrease the intensity and frequency of low back pain.
Back to the Basics.
The one exercise that everyone should do to stabilize their core;
The Abdominal Hollow
To hollow your abdominal muscles, contract your pelvic floor, pulling it up. Then pull your belly button in toward your spine. This up-and-in contraction is so small, it's imperceptible to others. If you try to hollow too much, different muscles will kick in and your pelvis will scoop under. Without it, your back muscles dominate and overarch your lower back. Your goal is a relaxed, neutral pelvis.
This exercise will help stabilize your core and protect your low back from future injury.
“Previously, the scapular musculature was often neglected in designing a rehabilitation protocol for the shoulder. In the past two decades a significant amount of research has been performed in order to help identify the role of the scapula in upper extremity function. Weakness of the scapular stabilizers and resultant altered biomechanics could result in: 1) abnormal stresses to the anterior capsular structures of the shoulder, 2) increased possibility of rotator cuff compression, and 3) decreased shoulder complex neuromuscular performance.” The focus of any shoulder assessment should be on the dysfunction and retraining of the scapular musculature.
By stimulating and strengthening muscles such as subscapularis, serratus anterior and teres major/minor, dramatic changes can be made in range of motion, pain, and function.
Remember, pain is not necessarily where the problem lies.; we want to treat dysfunction in order to decrease pain.
Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2013 Oct; 8(5): 617–629.THE ROLE OF THE SCAPULA
Russ Paine, PT1 and Michael L. Voight, PT, DHSc, OCS, SCS, ATC, FAPTA2
As Canadians we don't take advantage of our extended benefit plan.
Here is a great article by CBC explaining that people who have extended healthcare plans, are not using them. For example only 17% of Chiropractic is actually being used, so if you have extended health care plans take advantage of them.. These plans can help you live a pain free healthy lifestyle.