The Back Pain Monster

associate chiro1Did You Know?

At least 50% of pregnant women experience back pain. The good news is that there are steps you can take to baby your back during pregnancy; such as:
• Avoid one sided positions
Be careful getting in and out of the car, swing the whole body around, rather than exiting one leg at a time. Sitting on a garbage bag can help make swinging the whole body at once easier and will help keep the back and pelvis safe.
• Try to avoid one leg positions
If you are exercising that is great, however avoid exercises such as 1 legged squats. As hormonal changes take place your ligaments will become loser and one legged positions can put too much strain on the pelvis.
• Avoid repetitive motions
Repetitive strain injuries happen at any time of life, not just during pregnancy, but you will be more likely to be affected by them now.
• Avoid/Minimize carrying siblings and carriers
This is a tough one, but carrying siblings or carriers around will take an extra toll on the body. It’s easy to carry a baby or toddler on one hip, but that can be really bad for spinal and pelvic alignment. We want to keep the spine and pelvis as aligned and optimally positioned as possible during this very important time of changes occurring in the pelvis.
• Practice Good Sleep Posture
If you are sleeping on your side, place a pillow between your knees to help maintain good alignment of the spine. Also, try sleeping on your left side, this will help to decrease the pressure of the uterus on the large blood vessels in the abdomen and allow for optimal blood flow for both Mom and baby.
If you sleep on your back, try placing a pillow under your knees. This will help take some of the pressure off of your lower back.
• Support your Feet and your Back
Wearing good footwear is especially important during pregnancy. Having a shoe with good arch support will help decrease foot fatigue. And avoid wearing high heels, they place extra strain on the joints of the low back, hips and knees.
When sitting use a lumbar cushion to support your lower back. If you have to sit for long periods at work, be sure to take a break at least once an hour to get up and stretch.
Try following these tips to help protect your back during pregnancy. If you are still experiencing pain, consider giving chiropractic care a try. Chiropractors are trained to identify and gently correct spinal dysfunctions and muscle imbalances caused by pregnancy. Ideally, chiropractic care will begin early in the pregnancy, or even before pregnancy, to help identify and address issues before they become major problems. However, any time is a good time to start care!

Back Pain is a Monster_GolferGolf Injury Prevention
By now golf season is in full swing, and with that can come many aches and pains. Low back pain accounts for 26-52% of golf related injuries! Fortunately there are steps you can take to decrease the chance of suffering from a golf related injury.
One of the main ways to help reduce your chance of injury is to Warm Up. It might seem obvious but properly warming up before golf (and many other activities) is commonly over looked. A great way to warm up before a round of golf includes doing some dynamic stretches, such as arm circles and leg swings (helping to warm up the shoulders and hips); followed by a quick series of static stretches.
Try adding the following 4 stretches to your pre-game routine.

1. Hip Flexor Lunge
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Step one foot forward into a lunge position. Keep your body upright and back straight. Bend both knees so that you feel the stretch. Do not let your forward knee pass over the ankle of your front foot. Use a golf club to keep your balance. Hold 15 seconds. Repeat twice on each side.

2. Seated Twist
Sit on a bench or golf cart with your knees together and feet flat, pointing forward. Reach across the front of your body and grasp the back of the bench or cart. You should experience a stretch in your spinal muscles. Hold 15 seconds. Repeat twice on each side.

3. Seated Forward Bend
Sit on a bench or golf cart, knees bent and feet flat. Place one ankle onto your opposite knee, and relax this leg so that your knee falls out to the side. Slowly bend forward, keeping your back straight. You may gently pull on your bent knee to generate a deeper stretch. You should feel a stretch in your buttock area. Hold 15 seconds. Repeat twice on each side.

4. Side Bending Stretch
Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Hold the golf club above your head with your arms straight. Slowly bend to one side, without rotating, until you feel a stretch along the side of your back. Hold 15 seconds. Repeat twice on each side.

If you feel any pain during or shortly after performing these stretches stop and consult your health care provider.


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Work Injuries and Chiropractic

Works injuries are common. Of the over 6000 injuries reported to workers compensation is Nova Scotia in 2011, more than 30% were related to the back. Low back pain affects up to 85% of the working population and 50% of those people report their back pain affects their quality of life and limits their ability to participate in recreational activities.

Other common work related injuries include injuries of the shoulders and knees, though any area of the body is susceptible to a work related injury.

Common Risk Factors for Developing Back Pain:
 Lifting with your back
 Not maintaining a neutral spine
 Long hours of sitting or standing in one position
 Slouched sitting
 Twisting or jerking movements
 Lack of proper rest
 Obesity and poor nutrition
 Stressful work and living habits

No matter what type of job you have, there are steps you can take to protect your back at work.

If your job involves physical labour:

Warm Up Before Starting Work
o A brisk 5 minute walk and some dynamic stretches will help prepare the body for a physically demanding job.

Use Proper Lifting Technique
o Maintain a Neutral Spine – natural curves of the neck, mid and low back
o Remember this saying while lifting: “keep your nose between your toes and lift with your legs.”
o Lift with your legs and bend at the hips when possible
o Keep the external load Close to your Body
o Remember to Breathe – holding your breath while lifting increases your risk of injury
o Avoid lifting after prolonged flexion of the spine (ie. after sitting for a long time, don’t get up and immediately start lifting heavy objects)

Use Your Breaks Wisely
o If you stand during your shift, sit during your break.

If your job involves standing most of the day:
Take Mini-Breaks
o When you have a few short moments to spare, move around. Walk a few steps, do some dynamic stretches such as arm circles and leg swings.
Sneak in some Stretches
o While working do some gentle stretches like bending your neck side to side and briefly doing a few stretches for your lower body.
Use your Breaks Wisely
o If you are standing most of the day, use breaks to give your legs a rest and sit down for a little while.
If your job involves being behind the wheel most of the day:
Proper Seat Position
o More the seat forward until you can comfortably depress the break pedal and accelerator pedal
 Raise your seat adequately to give yourself proper vision of the road
 Reduce pressure on the back of the knees by raising the seat cushion to a comfortable level where the backs of the legs are fully supported.
 Adjust the backrest to fully support the spine, from the buttocks all the way up to the shoulders.
o Avoid reclining too much, this can cause added pressure on the lower back and neck.
o Adjust the lumber support to give proper support for the natural lumbar curve in the lower back.
 Adjust the steering wheel so it can be easily reached with a slight bend in the elbows.
 Adjust the headrest so that the top of the head is level with or above the top of the headrest and as close to the body as possible.
o This will offer maximum protection in the event of a whiplash type injury situation
If your job involves sitting most of the day:
 Never cradle the phone between your neck and shoulder
o This is a common cause of neck pain and headaches at work. Instead use a headset or speaker phone when possible.
 Avoid sitting with your legs crossed at the knees
o Prolonged cross legged sitting can cause extra strain and tension in the lower back and hips.
 Change positions every 15 minutes
o The most important thing to remember about posture if you are sitting most of the day at work, is to vary your posture frequently, even with perfect posture (hips and knees bent to 90 degrees, feet flat on floor) holding that position for too long can create extra strain on the body.
 Try to arrange your desk so items are within arms reach
o Keep items frequently needed close by, within an arms reach. Items that don’t need to be used as frequently can sit a little farther away.
 Centre your computer monitor so the first line of text is eye level
 Use all of a chairs special feature to position the chair in the most comfortable position for you. Ensure your back is supported in the lumbar area, and make sure the chair is the proper height to reduce the pressure at the back of the knees. Use the arm rests to reduce the stress on the upper body and neck.
 Avoid repetitive bending, twisting and reaching.
 Be sure to get up from your chair at least every hour! If you can, get up and take a short walk, do a few lunges, or even just stand up and sit back down if that is all you have time for. Just be sure to move every hour.

As you can see, no matter what type of job you have there are lots of things you can do to help decrease your risk of developing a work related injury, and these tips are just the beginning.
However, if you do develop a work injury, chiropractors are here at help! Chiropractic gives you more timely access to health care services. You can go directly to a chiropractor for an assessment.
You can choose to see your family doctor, but your assessment with the chiropractor should not be delayed because you are waiting for an appointment with your family doctor. The priority is early assessment – to assess your injury and your capacity for returning to work in a safe and timely manner. Your chiropractor will share the results of your assessment with your family doctor. Once the injury has been assessed, the chiropractor will determine if chiropractic treatment is necessary.
For more information about the WCB process visit the WCB tab on your website: