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Introduce Someone You Love to Chiropractic Care During Sweetheart Appreciation Week

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In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Dr. John Noble and Dr. Mark Fera offer your loved ones, family and friends a complete chiropractic consultation and examination at our expense (a $150 value).

If your friends and family are suffering from neck, shoulder or back pain, fear of the unknown may be keeping them from enjoying the benefits of chiropractic care. If you’re a patient at our clinic, you understand what’s involved in chiropractic treatment. You have also experienced the positive change these treatments have had on your health.

Booking an appointment during Sweetheart Appreciation Week is the perfect way to introduce your friends and family to chiropractic care. There’s no fee and no obligation to begin care.

Below are the answers to a few questions your friends and family may have.

What is chiropractic care?

Chiropractic care is a profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health. Chiropractic care’s emphasis is on manual treatments, which include spinal adjustments and other joint and soft-tissue manipulation.

Chiropractors are spine, muscle and nervous system experts. They are specifically trained to diagnose the underlying cause and recommend treatment options to relieve pain, restore mobility and prevent reoccurrence without surgery or pharmaceuticals.

What are the benefits?

Your musculoskeletal system supports your weight, provides physical stability, enables you to move your body, and protects your vital organs.

Benefits of chiropractic care include:

  • Improved movement in your neck, shoulders, back and torso
  • Better posture
  • Relief from headaches, neck and back pain
  • Prevention of work-related muscle and joint injuries
  • Enhanced athletic performance
  • Improved flexibility
  • Relief of pregnancy-related backache
  • Correction of gait and foot problems

What can I expect from my chiropractic treatment?

Chiropractic treatments normally consist of manual therapy, including joint manipulation, mobilizations and soft tissue therapy.

  • A manipulation (commonly known as an adjustment) is a quick, small thrust to the spine or other parts of the body intended to provide immediate pain relief and mobility.
  • Mobilizations are slower, more passive movements or stretches that help relieve stiff joints.
  • Soft tissue therapy refers to a variety of different techniques focused on alleviating discomfort without causing movement.

In addition to manual therapies, Ajax chiropractors Dr. John Noble and Dr. Mark Fera are trained to recommend a course of action that includes exercise, ultrasound or laser treatments, rehabilitation, nutritional counselling and injury prevention strategies.

Whether you are suffering from a specific injury to your muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves, or you have a chronic condition such as spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis, Dr. Fera and Dr. Noble can help relieve pain and restore function in the following areas of the body:

  • Head and neck
  • Shoulders
  • Mid-back
  • Low back and pelvis
  • Elbows, wrists and hands
  • Hips, knees, ankles and feet

Are chiropractic treatments safe?

It is important to keep in mind that there is a difference between something being unsafe and having potential reactions. Any therapeutic treatment from medication to manual therapy comes with potential risks.

For example, there is a concept in the pharmaceutical industry known as a risk-benefit analysis which is used to assess how much benefit a medication has compared to the potential risk. The riskier the medication, the less likely it will become mainstream. Spinal manipulations should be recommended for patients when a similar risk-benefit assessment has been conducted. This assessment on the safety of chiropractic treatments is performed via the patient intake form and physical examination.

We have reserved a limited number of appointments during Patient Appreciation Week: February 13th – 18th.

To learn more or book your appointment, contact Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage today at 905-427-3202.

10 Tips for Maintaining Your Good Health in 2023

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women sitting in yoga class

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of the month? As we work our way through the often long and dreary month of January, we thought it would be a good time to review some goals for the year.

Here are our top 10 chiropractor-approved resolutions to help you stay healthy for the rest of the year:

1. Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is important to overall health. Both body and mind rest and refresh while you sleep. If you have difficulty sleeping, consult your chiropractor for help and solutions. Here are some tips to help you get a good night’s rest.

2. Warm Up

Before jumping in the pool, hitting the field or picking up a golf club, take 20 minutes to warm up. Your warm-up should include deep-breathing exercises, gentle stretching and range of motion exercises to loosen and warm your muscles and joints.

3. Cool Down

Cooling down after a workout is just as important as warming up. Take 20 minutes for a brisk walk or slow jog and stretch out your muscles and joints before heading for the change room or the car.

4. Practice Perfect Posture

Good posture not only makes you look better, but it also delivers increased energy, better breathing, and improved circulation. Good posture is actually an investment in your appearance AND your health. The secret to good posture is maintaining the spine’s natural curves. If your spine is misaligned, it can result in strain and pain.

5. Choose a Good Office Chair

Do you sit most of the day? While sitting seems restful, staying in any one position for too long can cause strain and injury to your muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments.

A good office chair helps a lot. The right chair should:

  • Adjust to suit your size or task
  • Adapt to support your spine in various working positions
  • Have a backrest that supports your lower back
  • Have a front edge that curves downward to promote proper posture

One last tip: Vary your sitting positions throughout the days to prevent injury and strain.

6. Prevent Neck Pain

Your neck is part of your spine, which runs from the base of your skull to the bottom of your back. Neck pain is a common problem with many possible causes. Poor posture, hunching over a computer, arthritis, whiplash, and muscle strain from simple things like reading in bed or grinding your teeth can all trigger neck pain.

Keeping your back safe and strong also protects your neck. Here are some tips to help you prevent neck pain.

7. Manage your Headaches

Tension headaches are common but they are not well understood. Most people describe having a band of pressure around their head that can last from 30 minutes to a week. Tension headaches can be related to muscles tightening in the back of the neck and improper alignment of the joints of the spine.

Record when your headaches occur and what you were doing before they started. Try to recognize the factors that cause or aggravate your headaches. Be sure to tell your chiropractor if you’ve noticed any changes in your usual headaches, such as frequency, duration or intensity, or if your headaches begin to worry you.

8. Prevent Falls

Anyone can fall, but the risk of slips and trips increases as you get older. Every year, one in three Canadians over 65 will fall – often with serious consequences.

Hip, wrist and pelvic fractures are common in this age group and can take a toll on independence and quality of life. Here’s a great list of tips to help you prevent falls.

9. Nourish Yourself

Meal timing is an important factor in maintaining energy levels. Skipping meals can cause blood sugar swings, often resulting in fatigue. People often skip meals and then wonder why they are tired in the afternoon.

To manage energy levels and prevent fatigue, you should eat at least three nutritious meals each day with the last meal well before bedtime.

10. Visit Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage for year-round wellness

Working with a chiropractor and registered massage therapist will help you stay on track with your goals and pamper your spine.

The wellness team at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage provides patients with more than just chiropractic and massage therapy services, but also the know-how to build better personal wellness habits so you can be at your best for work or play, every day.

To book an appointment or learn more about the chiropractic and therapeutic massage therapy services available at our clinic, call 905-427-3202.

 

With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association

Why You Should Walk Like a Penguin in Icy Conditions

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group of penguins walking across snow and ice

After a few days of reprieve from ice and snow, winter weather is back in the forecast for Southern Ontario. The upcoming rain-snow mix is likely to cause havoc because once the temperature drops, what starts off as a wet sidewalk or driveway can quickly turn into a sheet of ice.

Whether you’re going outside for some exercise, running an errand, or simply getting to and from your car, winter walking can be hazardous.

“Each year around this time, we start seeing an increasing number of patients who have suffered a fall on the ice,” says Durham Region chiropractor Dr. John Noble. “Our chiropractic and massage therapy team are able to offer guidance and provide care, but ideally it would be best if the fall could be avoided!”

There are some precautions you can take to make sure you get to your destination safely. Here are eight ways to avoid a slip and fall on snow or ice:

1. Choose the right footwear

There are some great options for winter boots that provide slip resistance.

Look for these features: rubber soles with a non-slip tread.

2. Plan ahead

Give yourself extra travel time so you can walk without being rushed.

3. Don’t be distracted

Avoid walking and using your phone at the same time.

4. Be on the lookout for ice

Avoid icy patches when possible. When in doubt, assume that all dark and wet pavement surfaces are slippery.

5. Be prepared

If you don’t have salt for your stairs, driveway, or walkway, use sand or non-clumping cat litter to sprinkle on icy surfaces outdoors. If possible, only walk on paths that receive maintenance. Don’t take shortcuts where snow isn’t regularly removed

6. Use support

Use handrails when available and steady yourself on the door frame of your car when getting in and out of a vehicle.

7. Don’t compromise your balance

Avoid carrying items in your arms as that may cause you to be unbalanced. Walking with your arms swinging at your sides is the best way to maintain balance. Make sure to keep your hands out of your pockets to help with balance and walking posture (don’t forget your gloves).

8. Walk like a penguin

When the terrain is super slippery, try practising these “penguin-like” techniques for stability:

  • Keep your feet “flat-footed” (place your whole foot down at once—this also slows your walking speed)
  • Take short strides or shuffle your feet forward
  • Keep your knees slightly bent and feet pointed out. Lean forward slightly

Make sure to check for weather updates before you head out! If you have experienced a slip or fall, our Pickering massage therapy and chiropractic team can help.

Call the Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage Clinic for an assessment with Ajax chiropractors Dr. John Noble or Dr. Mark Fera, or to book a therapeutic massage with registered massage therapists Jessica Raedisch or Rolf Castanheiro.

 

 

With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association

Debunking the Myths Around Back Pain

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Staying active during the winter months can be a challenge. But one thing is for certain. Whether you’re sitting at your desk longer than before or you’re now more active than ever, back pain doesn’t discriminate.

And even though you’re more likely to experience back pain as you age, it’s safe to say that most people will experience back pain at some point in their lives.

Over the years, you may have heard a few theories about what actually causes back pain and what to do when the pain interferes with your daily life. But do you have the right facts?

Here are some common myths surrounding back pain and the truth behind them.

1. This pain is so intense, I should probably head straight to the emergency room.

Evidence shows that most low back pain cases are manageable and do not require an emergency visit.

When should you go to the ER? Go to the emergency room if you are experiencing a loss of sensation in the saddle area or if you have lost bowel or bladder control. Otherwise, your best first step is to find a musculoskeletal expert such as a chiropractor to diagnose and treat the cause of your low back pain. If the cause of your pain is serious enough to warrant the emergency room, these specialists will immediately send you there.

When pain affects your quality of life you want help today, not tomorrow. Call Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage and our staff will do their best to get you assessed quickly. Call us at 905-427-3202 to book an appointment.

2. If I’m in a lot of pain, there must be a lot of damage.

Pain is a sensation that acts as a warning system for your brain. Many things can cause that warning system to go off. A musculoskeletal expert can help you figure out if your pain is related to your joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments or nerves. It’s important to remember that intense pain doesn’t necessarily mean that there is significant damage.

3. All I need is to stretch my back.

Before you stretch, it’s important to get checked out to see if stretching is the right thing to do. Depending on the reason your back is hurting, certain stretches can make things worse. For example, if you have a disc problem, then you may want to avoid stretches that flex the spine and put additional pressure on the discs. A chiropractor can help you get to the root cause and show you which exercises and stretches will help.

4. Applying heat will help relieve my back pain.

Applying heat may make the inflammation of your joint, surrounding muscles and ligaments worse. Ice is the way to go for at least the first three days of short-term (acute) pain.

5. Pain is the main indication that something is wrong.

Your back may be in trouble and you may not feel it. Restricted movement or discomfort in your arms, legs and shoulders are also indications of spinal problems.

6. I need an X-ray, CT or MRI to figure out why I have back pain.

The reality is that most causes of acute low back pain will not show up on an X-ray, CT or MRI. A qualified healthcare provider is trained to know when you should have diagnostic imaging done, and they have a series of other tests they can do to help you get to the bottom of what is going on.

7. Now that my back pain is gone, I can stop doing my exercises.

Once the pain stops, many people stop doing the things that helped them get rid of the pain. It is important to make healthy back care and exercise a part of your regular routine. Otherwise, your back pain is likely to return.

If you’re experiencing back pain, consider visiting the chiropractic and massage therapy team at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage. We help our patients build better pathways to overall wellness, as well as provide relief from back pain and muscle aches. Contact our clinic today at 905-427-3202.

With content from the Ontario Chiropractic Association

How to Avoid Injury When Shovelling

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No matter where you live in Southern Ontario, snow is pretty much guaranteed. And while that means more chaos on the road for drivers, it also means more homeowners suffering from sore backs as a result of improper snow shovelling.

“Shovelling out after a storm doesn’t have to leave you stiff and sore,” says Ajax chiropractor Dr. John Noble.

In this video shot a few years ago during one of our bigger snowstorms, Dr. Noble offers a few common-sense tips on how to shovel safely.

Unfortunately, just because we’re Canadians doesn’t mean we’re experts when it comes to shovelling snow!

Follow these guidelines from the Ontario Chiropractic Association and with a little know-how, you can clear your driveway without any back, neck and shoulder pain ruining your day.

Before You Head Outside to Shovel

  • Drink plenty of water. Dehydration is just as big an issue in the winter months as it is in the summer.
  • Dress in several layers so you can remove a layer as you get warm.
  • Wear proper footwear. Shoes and boots with solid treads on the soles can help to minimize the risk of slips and falls.
  • Pick the right shovel. Use a lightweight, non-stick, push-style shovel. A smaller blade will require you to lift less snow, putting less strain on your body. An ergonomically correct model (curved handle) will help prevent injury and fatigue. Also, if you spray the blade with a silicone-based lubricant, the snow will slide off more easily.
  • Before beginning any snow removal, warm up for five to 10 minutes to get your joints moving and increase blood circulation. A brisk walk will do it.

Follow These Tips To Avoid Injury While Shovelling

1. Push, Don’t Throw

Push the snow to one side and avoid throwing it. If you must throw it, avoid twisting and turning — position yourself to throw straight at the snow pile.

2. Bend Your Knees

Use your knees, leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting while keeping your back straight.

3. Watch for Ice

Be careful on icy walkways and slippery surfaces. Intermittent thaws and subsequent freezing can lead to ice building up underfoot, resulting in nasty slips and falls. Throw down some salt or sand to ensure you have a good footing.

If you’re experiencing back pain, consider visiting the chiropractic and massage therapy team at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage. We help our patients build better pathways to overall wellness, as well as relief from back pain and muscle aches. Contact our clinic today at 905-427-3202.

 

 

With content from the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

Five Tips for Staying Pain-Free Over the Holidays

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family skating

December arrives tomorrow and with it, the season for eating great food, spending quality time with loved ones and sharing cherished traditions. Unfortunately, all of the hustle and bustle can also bring you an unwelcome gift — back pain.

Holiday activities such as shopping, wrapping gifts and skating can cause your muscles to work in ways they’re not usually used and can result in neck, shoulder or back pain.

Try these five tips to reduce your chances of pain and strain:

1. Ergonomic Gift Wrapping
After searching high and low for the perfect gifts, it’s time to wrap them up! Rather than spreading out on the floor, use a dinner table or desk. This will make it easier for you to use good posture. Just remember that sitting in one position for too long can put additional strain on your body. Take frequent breaks and stretch your hands, wrists and forearms by clenching your hands and relaxing.

2. Strain-Free Snowman
Building your very own Frosty the Snowman is top of mind for many children once the snow falls. Roll your snowballs into place and work together as a team to lift them when you’re ready. And remember, rule number one is to lift with your legs, not your back!

3. Lift Light to Shovel Right
When shovelling your driveway, let your legs and arms do the heavy lifting instead of relying on your back, and push the snow to one side to avoid throwing it. If you must throw it, avoid twisting and turning — face your snowbank and throw the snow straight into it.

For more helpful shovelling tips, see this post: Follow These Tips for Avoiding Injury While Shovelling This Winter

4. Stretch, Skate and Snowboard
It’s time to sharpen your skates and grab your snowboards! To prevent injuries that can plague you for months, remember to stretch before and after you hit the slopes or ice.

A basic go-to is the hamstring stretch:

  • Stand tall next to something you can hold on to for support.
  • Prop the back of one heel up on a surface like a stair, curb or bench and pull your toes back towards you.
  • For a deeper stretch, bend forward slightly at the hips.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds on each side.

5. Holiday Shopping
Carrying all those bags may be a productive way to move through your Christmas list, but it’s not great for your back. Consider taking a trip to your car to drop off your bags and lighten the load. If that’s not reasonable, take breaks and set your bags down or use a backpack to help distribute the weight.

Take care of yourself during the cold-weather months.

There are lots of ways to make the short winter days a little brighter. The wellness team at Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage encourages you to make your physical and mental health a priority.

We provide our patients with more than just chiropractic and massage therapy services, but also the know-how to build better personal wellness habits so you can be at your best for work or play, every day.

To book an appointment or learn more about the chiropractic and therapeutic massage therapy services available at our clinic, call 905-427-3202.

With content from the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

Avoid the Urge to “Fall Back” Into Old Habits

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This past weekend, Daylight Savings Time ended and once again, we find ourselves in the dark by 5 p.m. As we approach the winter solstice, with shorter days and colder temperatures, it’s tempting to stay indoors and do things that bring us comfort, like reading books and watching movies. Unfortunately, these activities often leave us sedentary.

The importance of staying active

When we are not as active as we are in the summer, it affects the balance of chemicals produced in the body that impacts how we feel pain and pleasure: our endorphins.

Endorphins are produced by the body to respond to things like stress, fear, or discomfort. They interact with the parts of your brain responsible for your emotional responses and sensitivity to pain. Endorphins are responsible for your feelings of pleasure and are involved in your built-in reward system linked to eating, drinking, sexual activity, and maternal behaviour.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help boost the level of endorphins in your body. One of those things is exercise.

Exercise encourages the body to produce more endorphins.

For example, sometimes runners experience a “runner’s high” level of vitality after a workout. The same experience can be had by anyone after an extended period of physical exercise. There are other benefits to working your body physically: exercise can give you more energy throughout the day, allowing you to sleep better at night and feel more relaxed. It also helps the brain repair and recover, reduces inflammation in the body, and helps you feel calm and have an overall sense of well-being.

The good news is that you can replicate these positive sensations by taking steps to add a bit more exercise to your day. Any activity leaving you out of breath for bouts of 10 minutes or more throughout the week can help you fend off the winter blues.

Other ways to boost endorphins

It’s not just exercise that helps your body boost endorphins: regular meditation, yoga, and tai chi help to decrease stress hormones and increase endorphins. Not only that, simple pleasures such as love, laughter, sunshine, and chocolate all increase endorphins as well.

Take care of yourself during the cold-weather months.

There are lots of ways to make the short winter days a little brighter. The wellness team at Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage encourages you to make your physical and mental health a priority.

We provide our patients with more than just chiropractic and massage therapy services, but also the know-how to build better personal wellness habits so you can be at your best for work or play, every day.

To book an appointment or learn more about the chiropractic and therapeutic massage therapy services available at our clinic, call 905-427-3202.

 

With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association.

 

 

 

How Are You Treating Your Back Pain?

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If you’re you suffering from back pain, you’re not alone.

Up to 85% of the working population will experience back pain at least once in a lifetime. But if you’re living with chronic back pain, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help.

For too many of us, prescription painkillers like opioids are the first line of defence against chronic pain, but there is a whole world of non-pharma options that may be able to help.

The 2017 Canadian Guideline for Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain and the American College of Physicians suggest trying various treatments or therapies that can be offered by chiropractors.

These treatments include spinal manipulation, exercise, and other non-drug therapies. These alternatives are non-addictive and can even be more effective in reducing your pain and getting you back to your regular life.

Consider chiropractic as your first line of defence against pain.

It’s time for an adjustment

Spinal Manipulation: Chiropractors deliver precise adjustments to the vertebrae of the spine to help you get moving smoothly and feel less tension.

At Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage, our goal is to educate and adjust as many families as possible toward optimal health through natural chiropractic care.

Chiropractic care focuses on restoring and maintaining the health of your joints, muscles and nerves through the use of an adjustment. A spinal adjustment can restore normal movement, relieve pain and stimulate higher function of your brain and nervous system resulting in a renewed sense of vitality.

All hands on deck

Multidisciplinary Rehab: Pain can affect us in many ways, and the starting point isn’t always clear. Work with multiple health care providers to address the physical, psychological and social or occupational factors contributing to your pain.

At Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage, our registered massage therapists employ a variety of hands-on techniques to assess and treat the soft tissues and joints of the body. The benefits of massage therapy are numerous and act as a perfect complement to chiropractic care. Massage treatments can be used to successfully for the treatment of sports injuries, repetitive stress injuries, pre- and post-natal pain, migraines, headaches and stress.

Get moving — the importance of exercise

Exercise: Chiropractors can prescribe exercise to help improve function and reduce pain. Once the initial pain subsides, specific exercise programs may help you avoid future flare-ups.

Change your focus with mindfulness exercises

Mindfulness Based-Stress Reduction: Reduce your stress by changing how your brain processes pain. Meditation, breathing exercises and body awareness techniques can help you change the way you experience pain.

Pinpoint the issue with acupuncture

Dr. Mark Fera uses acupuncture to stimulate the natural healing abilities of the body. A painless procedure, acupuncture is a therapeutic method that stimulates specific points on the body through the use of fine, sterile, single-use needles.

Acupuncture needles placed along specific points improve vitality, blood circulation and restore the natural balance of the body. Acupuncture has been proven successful in reducing stress, muscle tension and chronic pain.

Conditions that can benefit from acupuncture:

  • Headaches/migraines
  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Tennis/golfer’s elbow
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Sports injuries
  • Muscular pain
  • Stiffness
  • Sciatica
  • Osteoarthritis

If you’re suffering from chronic back pain, the wellness team at Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage encourages you to make your physical and mental health a priority over the long winter months.

We provide our patients with more than just chiropractic and massage therapy services, but also the know-how to build better personal wellness habits so you can be at your best for work or play, every day.

To book an appointment or learn more about the chiropractic and therapeutic massage therapy services available at our clinic, call 905-427-3202.

 

With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association.

 

 

 

Five Ways to Increase Your Energy

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It’s that time of year when the days are getting shorter and the colder weather entices you to spend more time inside.

Are you finding that your energy level is decreasing, as well?

We’re all familiar with all-out energy drain, those times when no matter how enticing that new movie, fabulous shoe sale, or fun neighbourhood party is, you just can’t psych yourself up to go. What can be harder to recognize is chronic energy drain.

In this case, you may not necessarily feel the classic signs of exhaustion – like aching muscles or that all-over tired feeling. What you do experience is an increasing lack of get-up-and-go for many of the activities you used to love.

If this sounds familiar, take heart. Try these tips and strategies to help increase your energy while avoiding that extra cup of coffee.

Keep moving

Increasing physical activity actually increases energy. The key is to focus on daily physical activity and not just “exercise.” Scrub, dig, shovel, walk, play, ride or wheel through your day. Small steps like turning off the TV after dinner to go for a walk with your partner, children or dog can make a big difference.

Make sleep a priority

Making time for sleep is essential to feeling alert and ready to take on the day. Most people require at least eight to nine hours of sleep every night. To help create a restful atmosphere, fully darken your bedroom (turn your alarm clock away if the display gives off too much light, turn off), regulate room temperature (too hot or too cold, and you’ll wake up), and use “white noise” (a fan or quiet music) to help induce sleepiness.

Don’t skip meals

Meal timing is another important factor in maintaining energy levels. People often skip meals and wonder why they are tired in the afternoon. Skipping meals can cause blood sugar swings, often resulting in fatigue. Try to eat at least three nutritious meals each day, with the last meal well before bedtime.

De-stress when and where you can

You’ve probably heard this before, but one of the biggest energy-zappers is stress. Stressors like worry or fear can leave you mentally and physically exhausted. If possible, counter these energy killers by programming more relaxation activities into your day. For many, increasing exercise burns off the chemical effects of stress and anger, while others find relief in quiet pursuits such as listening to music, reading a great book, or even just talking on the phone.

Get outside and soak up some sunshine

The body makes vitamin D after exposure to the sun, which can help with higher physical performance and improved mood. While not always easy to do during the fall and winter months, try to get 10 minutes of unprotected exposure to the sun at least three times a week.

Pain-free movement is also an important energy booster. If headache, back, neck or shoulder pain is slowing you down, consider a visit to your chiropractor or massage therapist for treatment recommendations to reduce your aches and pains, and energize your day.


To learn more about how regular chiropractic and massage therapy care can help, contact the Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage Therapy Clinic at 905-427-3202.

 

With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association and the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

 

Avoid the Ache When You Rake with These Five Simple Tips

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As you head out to rake your leaves this month, chances are the last thing you’ll be thinking about is your posture. But you should, because an hour or so spent tidying your lawn can have long-term consequences if your body isn’t accustomed to the activity.

Ajax Chiropractors Dr. John Noble and Dr. Mark Fera and the massage therapists at Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage have helped numerous patients overcome injuries, many of which have occurred while working around the home.

“Although raking may seem like an easy task, it’s actually an intensely physical activity,” says Dr. Noble. “To avoid injury, it’s important to make sure you’re performing this task correctly.”

Follow these tips and avoid a backache next time you rake.

Pick the right tool for the job
Is your rake the correct length for your height? Ideally, your rake should be about chin high. If it is too tall or too short, this could lead to improper reaching or bending and potential injury.

Get your body moving before the raking begins
Before you grab the rake, spend five to 10 minutes doing a variety of whole-body stretches. These can include a basic hamstring stretch, shoulder, wrist, and side stretches. For a full list of stretches, click here. Do each of the exercises five times, holding each for 15 seconds. Be sure not to bounce, jerk or strain. It should be a gentle stretch, not a pain.

Ensure proper raking posture

Once you’ve warmed up, keep your back straight while raking and avoid repetitive motions by switching arms and pulling in different directions. This allows you to work out different parts of your body equally.

Remember to bend at the knees when lifting

Whether you’re moving a planter across the deck or lifting a bag of leaves, remember to bend at your knees, not at your waist, and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. As you’re lifting, tighten your abs, straighten your knees and keep your back straight. For turning, you should avoid twisting at the waist by moving your feet instead.

Take frequent breaks
Every 20 minutes or so, pause for a few minutes to catch your breath and stay hydrated. Check your posture and perform a few stretches to ensure that you are maintaining flexibility throughout raking.

Follow these tips to rake safely and effectively. However, if an injury does occur, give our clinic a call at 905-427-3202 and book a consultation with our chiropractic or massage therapy team.