Understanding Muscle Knots and How to Find Relief

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rear view of woman holding her neck/shoulder

Have you ever experienced the tender, achy feeling of a muscle knot in your back, shoulders or neck? If so, you’re not alone.

Research has shown that muscle knots may affect up to 85 percent of the population, impairing mobility, causing pain, and in some cases, reducing a person’s quality of life.

Muscle Knots Defined

Muscle knots are stiff bands of muscle that have a hard knob in the centre, otherwise known as a trigger point. The pain can either pop up spontaneously (active) or when the trigger point is pressed (latent). In all cases, muscle knots cause pain to radiate beyond the trigger point and into the surrounding muscles.

The Causes of Muscle Knots

Muscle knots — or myofascial trigger points — have a variety of possible causes but evidence suggests that they are the result of overuse, with the most likely culprits being heavy lifting or repetitive activities.

Other causes of muscle knots include:

  • Psychological stress
  • Poor ergonomics
  • Bad posture
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Joint problems

Muscle fibres should contract and relax, lengthen and shorten. If you sit at the computer all day, with very little activity, your muscle fibres eventually stick together, forming a knot. Bad posture also puts stress on our muscles, and with enough time, this stress can cause the formation of scar tissue.

The Symptoms of Muscle Knots

The primary symptom of muscle knots is pain. Most people agree that muscle knots feel swollen, tense, or bumpy, and cause an aching sensation.

Depending on where in the body the muscle knot is located, it may cause seemingly unrelated pain in other areas. For example, a muscle knot in the neck can send pain into the base of the skull, causing a tension headache.

Are You at Risk?

Very few people get through life without experiencing a muscle knot. In fact, 97 percent of people with chronic pain have trigger points, and 100 percent of people with neck pain have them. Here are some of the risk factors that increase your likelihood of developing them:

  • Aging
  • Disease
  • Stress
  • Fibromyalgia

Muscle Knots Diagnosis

Diagnosing a muscle knot requires a physical examination by an experienced professional such as a chiropractor or registered massage therapist. The examiner will assess the area of concern for three things: a taut band of muscle, a tender nodule, and the reaction of the patient to physical pressure.

Treatment for Muscle Knots

The most common treatment for muscle knots include:

Whichever option you choose, the main goal is to release the trigger point to reduce pain and increase mobility by breaking up the knotted tissue and calming inflamed nerves.

Preventing the Formation of Muscle Knots

Because muscle knots result from overuse, stress, bad posture, fatigue, etc., your risk of getting a muscle knot can be lowered by resting and working on posture and overall lifestyle habits.

Here are some tips:

  • Improve your posture by sitting in a relaxed position, with your shoulders back and down. Try your best not to slouch.
  • Take opportunities throughout the day to rest and incorporate exercise into your routine.
  • Don’t overdo it when lifting heavy objects. Ask for help, take it slowly, or move things in batches.
  • If your job requires you to sit for most of the day, take regular stretch breaks to prevent your muscles from getting too tight.
  • Make sure your diet includes a healthy mix of calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.

Self-care for Muscle Knots

While we recommend seeking the advice of a spine, muscle, and nervous system expert, there are some cases where you can massage the sore muscles yourself.

Try following this simple technique:

  • Locate the knot in your muscle and, using your fingers, gently massage it out.
  • Focus on loosening the tight muscle by pressing down firmly and making small circles.
  • If you’re finding it difficult to reach the muscle knot in your back, neck, or shoulders, you can try using a tennis ball or foam roller to apply pressure to the knot. Slowly and gently move back and forth to relieve the tension.

Muscle knots in any area of the body are painful and frustrating. Now that you know what they are, what causes them, and how to treat them, we hope you’ll find relief and get back to enjoying your everyday activities.

To learn more about how chiropractic care and massage therapy can help you manage your neck, shoulder and back pain, contact the Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage Therapy Clinic at 905-427-3202 to book a consultation with a member of our wellness team.


With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association.

Don’t Let Tennis or Golfer’s Elbow Keep You Sidelined

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image of grimacing man on tennis court with tennis racket in his hand, other had is grabbing elbow

With tennis courts and golf courses open for the season, it’s only a matter of time before you feel the effect that repetitive movements can have on your body.

Repetitive strain or injury due to overuse is common in recreational sports. In fact, two of the most popular injuries are tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. Even if you don’t play tennis or golf, these injuries can easily happen to you over time.

Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are different types of injuries that both involve forearm muscles, but impact where the muscles connect to the joint on opposite sides of the elbow. They both relate to inflammation and damage in the elbow and involve the wearing down of different tendons and the slowing of their ability to repair themselves.

Is the pain from tennis or golfer’s elbow keeping you from enjoying the sports you love? We can help. Contact Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage at 905-427-3202 to book a consultation.

What’s the difference between Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow?

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow involves the muscles and tendons of your forearm that extend to your wrist and fingers. Symptoms may develop gradually, with mild pain that slowly worsens over time. Tennis elbow usually doesn’t come from an injury, but rather from overuse of the tendons in your forearm.

Symptoms include weak grip strength and a pain or burning sensation on the outer part of the elbow. Usually, they get worse when you use your forearm in activities like holding a racquet (hence “tennis” elbow), turning a wrench, or shaking hands.

Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s Elbow also involves the forearm muscles. In this case, we’re talking about the muscles that attach from the wrist and go to the “funny bone” area of the elbow near the inner bump. These muscles are responsible for wrist flexion (or the twisting motion of the wrist), which explains its connection to golf.

Symptoms include pain or tenderness near the funny bone or inner bump of the elbow, as well as reduced strength in your grip. This type of injury can happen outside of sports activities: workers who regularly complete tasks that involve repetitive wrist flexion or “twisting” or forearm pronation (turning the palm downwards) commonly suffer from golfer’s elbow.

Luckily, there are some exercises and stretches applicable to both conditions that you can do to help manage your symptoms.

image of woman on golf course holding her elbow

Stretches that can help with both tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow injuries:


Wrist Stretch (tennis elbow): Hold your arm out in front of you, palm facing down, and pull your hand and fingers back towards you using your other hand. Do so gently so as not to cause pain. This shouldn’t be painful, so if it hurts, pull more gently for a slight stretch. This should stretch your forearm.

Hold for 30 seconds, relax, and repeat three times.



Wrist Stretch (golfer’s elbow): This exercise is similar to the one for tennis elbow, but the hand is inverted to the other direction. Hold your arm out in front of you, palm facing up, and gently pull your hand and fingers back towards your body using your other hand.

Hold for 30 seconds, then relax. Repeat three times. You can do these stretches throughout your day.

Exercises that can help with both tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow injuries:

  • Wrist Extension (tennis elbow): One of the common range of motion exercises for tennis elbow is wrist extension. Begin with your elbow at a 90-degree angle, palm facing down, resting on a table’s surface. Gently extend your wrist to lift it off the table (this should not be painful).
    • Repeat ten times. As you progress you can add weight, like holding a water bottle, to add resistance and incorporate strengthening into the exercise.
  • Wrist Flexion (golfer’s elbow): This exercise is similar to the wrist exercise above, but the palm is in the other direction. For the wrist flexion exercise, begin with your elbow at a 90-degree angle, palm facing up, resting on a table’s surface. Gently extend your wrist to lift it off the table towards the ceiling (this should not be painful).
    • Repeat ten times. You can also add weight resistance to add strength training to the exercise.
  • Grip Strengthening: For this exercise, all you need is a squishy ball or “stress ball.” Hold the ball in your hand and gently squeeze.
    • Hold for five seconds, relax, and repeat ten times. This exercise is helpful for both tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow.
  • Strength Exercise: One of the common strengthening exercises you can do is informally called the “hammer exercise.” You will need a hammer as your weight resistance. Hold the handle of the hammer, and keep your elbow at 90 degrees, rested flat on a table’s surface. Slowly rotate the hammer towards the centre of your body, turning the direction of your palm downwards. Then slowly reverse the motion, rotating the hammer outwards—your palm begins facing up with the heavy side of the hammer pulling on your arm.
    • Rest briefly. Repeat ten times.

Other suggestions for treating your tennis/golfer’s elbow:

  • Manage your pain by modifying the activities causing the pain, such as reducing the repetition or the duration of the problematic activities.
  • Seek chiropractic care, which would include the stretches and exercises listed above.
  • Purchase a compression or stability brace for your elbow (available from your chiropractor or you can purchase over the counter tension sleeves from your local pharmacy).
  • Explore other treatments such as laser or shockwave therapy.

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

Avoid Injury on the Golf Course: Stretch Before Your Swing

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rear image of man swinging a golf club on golf green

As the weather warms and the rainy days subside, many Ontario golfers are gearing up to get back on the course. Don’t let your enthusiasm keep you from understanding the strain and effort required to play golf.

To avoid injury, spend at least five minutes stretching before you start swinging!

Here are a few quick and easy golf stretches to help you get in the game without the pain.

hip flexor golf lunge

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.

seated twist golf stretch

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.

seated forward bend golf stretch

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.

side bending golf stretchSide 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.


For a full list of golf stretches, click here.

Suffering from back or neck pain from golfing? At Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage, 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.

How to Manage Osteoporosis with Exercise

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seniors doing yoga outdoors

Aging, obesity, and chronic health conditions, among other things, can lead to limited mobility and strength. And these issues can in turn contribute to spine, muscle, and joint problems.

Starting at age 30, our bones decline in density. And if bone mass gets dangerously low, it’s called osteoporosis. Physical exercise, particularly if it’s weight-bearing, can help you better manage osteoporosis, including its side effects.

According to the Report on Ageing and Health 2015, a spine, muscle, and joint report prepared for the World Health Organization (WHO), osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and sarcopenia (muscle loss) affect millions. And in Canada, osteoporosis affects two million Canadians, but many people only get diagnosed after they break a bone.

For many, spine, muscle, and joint problems start with mild symptoms, such as joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. As a result, the discomfort may prompt you to limit activity, leading to weaker muscles. You end up losing more range of motion and things start to increasingly hurt.

Using muscles and joints incorrectly makes it worse. And unfortunately, people may stop exercising and begin limiting their everyday activities. An inactive lifestyle can contribute to many chronic conditions, including osteoporosis. Inactivity can also lead to balance issues, which puts you at risk of falling. Plus, people who have multiple conditions must often juggle a wide range of medications and all their potential side effects.

These conditions can lead to severe outcomes, such as falls that shorten your lifespan. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.

What Exercises Help Manage Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis?

Being physically active can turn things around for those with conditions such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. That’s the power of exercise.

Exercise impacts health, but it must be the right exercise. Controlled movements that build strength and range of motion are ideal. A combination of activities, such as swimming, cardio gym machines, and low-impact aerobics, can be effective. However, weight-bearing exercise works best to help you manage osteoporosis.

For those whose range of motion is limited, yoga and Pilates can be helpful, along with further support from chiropractic care, massage therapy, and physiotherapy.

The right activity for the right person can make a big difference. Dr. John Antoniou, an orthopaedic surgeon and former president of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association, says: “You won’t reverse the damage that’s occurred, but it’ll maintain the function that’s still there.”

Exercise can help you manage osteoporosis to slow the rate of bone loss that comes with this age-related bone disease. It can also reverse some age-related muscle mass loss. With less pain, stronger muscles, and better balance, you’ll find you can do much more.

senior woman lifting weights

Where does chiropractic care fit in?

A chiropractor can prescribe a therapeutic exercise program to help increase your strength and range of motion in affected areas. This program can include stretching, strengthening, postural awareness, balance training, and neuromuscular exercise. However, exercise as a therapy to help manage osteoporosis can be challenging because your instinct is to stop moving once you have mild pain. An integrated approach between a medical doctor who is supporting patients with chronic health conditions and a chiropractor assisting in managing the muscle, spine, and joint components will help you become more active.

While the mentality is often to stop doing an activity because it hurts, when it comes to arthritis, you need to push through discomfort but stop when you feel true pain. Guidance from health care professionals on “hurt versus harm” can make sure exercise is healing, not hurting.

If you don’t enjoy traditional exercise, such as going to the gym, try focusing on doing everyday life activities such as walking, gardening, and playing golf.

Currently, only one in five Canadian seniors get the recommended 150 minutes of activity per week. With help from a healthcare professional, like a chiropractor and your integrated care team, you can break this pattern to manage age-related conditions like osteoporosis better.

To learn more about how chiropractic care and massage therapy can help you manage your osteoporosis, contact the Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage Therapy Clinic at 905-427-3202 and book a consultation with a member of our wellness team.


With content from the Ontario Chiropractic Association

Busting the Myths Around Back Pain

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rear view of man with his hands holding his lower back

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the great outdoors is calling your name. As the warmer weather arrives, the temptation to get outside is practically irresistible.

Maybe you’re eager to lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement again. Or perhaps you can’t wait to get started in your garden. Whatever outdoor activity has you excited, it’s important to approach it with caution. After all, you want to make sure you don’t overdo it right out of the gate.  A little preparation can go a long way in keeping you pain-free as you enjoy the return of spring.

Remember, 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 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 determine 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. Certain stretches can make things worse depending on why your back is hurting. For example, if you have a disc problem, you may want to avoid stretches that flex the spine and put additional pressure on the discs. A chiropractor can help you discover 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 joints, 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 lower 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’s important to make healthy back care and exercise a regular part of your 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 Massage Therapy Helps Boost Performance and Prevent Injury

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man riding bike on a path through the woods

As the warmer spring weather enters the forecast, Canadians are heading outside for some fresh air and outdoor activity.

Whether your activity of choice is gardening, golfing, running or biking, there’s a good chance you’ll fail to prepare your body properly for the additional exertion and need some form of rehabilitation. Before you reach for the pill bottle for a quick and temporary fix, consider how massage therapy can help you to stay active and healthy, while improving your athletic performance.

Used regularly by professional athletes, massage is one of the most effective forms of injury rehabilitation therapy for speeding up the healing process and preventing re-injury. Regular massage therapy treatments reduce the risk of soft-tissue injury and recovery time, helping you maintain flexibility and optimal range of motion.

Boost Your Body’s Own Healing Process

For the weekend athlete, regular massage therapy treatments help boost the body’s healing process, allowing it to break down adhesions and scar tissue. Massage also helps reintroduce blood flow for improved circulation, which brings cell nutrition and oxygen to those muscle cells to revitalize and renew. If you don’t allow your body to fully heal and recover before participating in your next exercise session or sports event, the odds of suffering an injury are higher.

Massage therapy helps to relax and relieve tension in the body with a combination of hand strokes and gentle oils, explains athlete and author Brad Walker at Some massage treatments may not have immediate health effects. These deep tissue massages release fluids and tension within deep muscles. The effects are normally delayed, but the general overall feeling is vastly improved the next day.

Other benefits include:

Massage Therapy Ajax Pickering

Improved circulation and general nutrition of muscles.
This appears to be the most valuable fitness-related benefit. Massage is accompanied or followed by an increasing interchange of substances between the blood and the tissue cells, which increases tissue metabolism. Massage maximizes the supply of nutrients and oxygen through increased blood flow, which helps the body rebuild itself.

Improved range of motion and muscle flexibility.
This results in increased power and performance, which helps you work efficiently and with proper intensity to facilitate the body’s muscle-building response.

Shortens recovery time between workouts.
Waste products such as lactic and carbonic acid build up in muscles after exercise. Increased circulation to these muscles helps to eliminate toxic debris and shorten recovery time.

Prevention/healing of injuries.
By stretching connective tissue, massage improves circulation to help prevent or break down adhesions. Massage also influences the excretion of certain fluids (nitrogen, phosphorous, sulphur) necessary for tissue repair.

Exploring Massage Techniques

Each massage type serves a specific purpose.

  • Trigger Point Therapy: A trigger point is a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. Trigger point massage therapy is specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release. In this type of massage for trigger point therapy, the recipient actively participates through deep breathing as well as identifying the exact location and intensity of the discomfort.
  • Swedish Massage: Swedish massage therapy is the modality that comes to mind when most people think about massage. As the best-known type of bodywork performed today, one of the primary goals of the Swedish massage technique is to relax the entire body. This is accomplished by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. But Swedish massage therapy goes beyond relaxation. Swedish massage is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension.
  • Deep Tissue Massage: Deep tissue massage therapy is similar to Swedish massage, but the deeper pressure is beneficial in releasing chronic muscle tension. The focus is on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints).
  • Sports Massage: Sports massage therapy is geared toward athletes. The particulars of sports massage techniques are specific to the athlete’s sport of choice. Focusing on areas of the body that are overused and stressed from repetitive and often aggressive movements.

Massage therapy offers a holistic approach to maintaining an active lifestyle and enhancing athletic performance. By incorporating regular treatments into your routine, you not only mitigate the risk of injury but also optimize your body’s healing potential, ensuring you stay at the top of your game.

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. If you’re looking for massage therapy in Ajax or Pickering, call our clinic at 905-427-3202 to make an appointment with Ajax massage therapists Jessica Raedisch or Rolf Castanheiro.

With notes from

7 Reasons to Incorporate Walking Into Your Daily Routine

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At Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage, we understand the importance of keeping your body moving!

As spine, muscle, and nervous system experts, chiropractors Dr. John Noble and Dr. Mark Fera encourage you to incorporate walking into your daily routine.

Walking isn’t just about getting from point A to point B—it’s a transformative practice with numerous health benefits that can enhance every aspect of your life.

Let’s dive into why incorporating walking into your daily routine is a game-changer:

1. Walking is good for your brain.

Walking boosts blood flow to your brain, decreasing your stress hormones and releasing endorphins. This helps improve your mood, lower your chance of depression and reduce your risk of cognitive decline.

  • Two hours of walking a week can reduce your risk of stroke by 30%.
  • A 40-minute walk three times a week protects the brain region associated with planning and memory.
  • A 30-minute walk a day can reduce symptoms of depression by 36%.

2. Walking is good for your bones, muscles and joints.

Like other weight-bearing activities, walking helps maintain bone health. Four hours of walking per week can reduce the risk of hip fractures by up to 43%.

Walking up and down hills increases the activation of the hip, knee and ankle muscles. The steeper the grade, the bigger the benefit.

Walking increases the circulation of synovial fluid around your joints, providing essential lubrication and nutrients to cartilage, the tissues that act as a cushion between your bones.

3. Walking can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Walking at least 30 minutes per day is linked to lower body weight, body fat and waist circumference. A daily one-hour walk can cut your risk of obesity in half.

4. Walking is good for your digestive tract.

By taking a walk after a meal, you help your food move your digestive system, reducing the incidence of bloating and digestive problems.

5. Walking can help manage diabetes.

Diabetes affects approximately 2.5 million Canadians, with over 200,000 cases being diagnosed every year. Researchers around the globe have all found that regular exercise, along with dietary changes, can help manage diabetes. Walking can help reduce insulin resistance, keeping blood sugar levels balanced and energy levels even.

6. Walking is good for your heart.

Studies have shown that exercise lessens your risk of developing heart disease because it helps reduce the amount of fats and cholesterol in the body (both play a role in damaging your arteries). A daily 30 to 60-minute walk increases your heart rate, improves blood flow and helps your heart pump more efficiently, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

7. Walking can help you live longer.

With all these health benefits, it only makes sense that walking increases longevity. A mere 75 minutes a week of brisk walking can add almost two years to your life!

Enjoy the warmer weather and improve your overall health by making walking a part of your daily routine.


At Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage, 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.


Image courtesy of Canada Walks. Inspired by content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association, MyFitnessPal and Canada Walks.

Get Moving: 7 Ways Exercise Boosts Your Well-Being

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With spring just over a week away and warmer weather within sight, many of us are getting ready to hit the streets and hiking trails on a more frequent basis.

At Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage, we know how important it is to keep your body moving! As spine, muscle, and nervous system experts, chiropractors Dr. John Noble and Dr. Mark Fera would like to share a few reasons for you to stay active:

1. Exercise helps relieve low back pain

Have you found yourself sitting more in the past year? It isn’t helping your back pain. Exercise, especially core strengthening, is very effective in improving the function of your back.

2. Exercise improves bone health

Current evidence shows that exercise can increase bone density and decrease the risk of falls and fractures in the elderly. Studies have also shown that exercise is comparable to medication in improving the day-to-day functioning of people with osteoarthritis.

3. Exercise helps prevent obesity

Obesity is often linked to many life-threatening illnesses (e.g., diabetes or high blood pressure). There is strong evidence that exercise is important for preventing weight gain, as well as keeping your weight stable after you’ve shed some pounds.

4. Exercise helps improve your mental health

Physical exercise can have a positive effect on the long-term management of psychological symptoms, including depression, anxiety, and chronic stress!

5. Exercise helps manage diabetes

Diabetes affects approximately 3 million Canadians, with over 200,000 cases being diagnosed every year. Researchers around the globe have all found that regular exercise, along with dietary changes, can help manage diabetes.

6. Exercise prevents your risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease

Cancer and heart disease are the leading causes of death in Canada. There is increasing evidence that shows exercise can help protect you from developing cancer in the colon, breast, uterus, and prostate. Studies have also shown that exercise lessens your risk of developing heart disease because it helps reduce the amount of fats and cholesterol in the body (both play a role in damaging your arteries).

7. Exercise can help improve brain health

Individuals who exercise regularly may have a decreased risk of developing dementia. It may also improve balance and function in individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

Enjoy the warmer weather and improve your overall health by making exercise a part of your daily routine.

At Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage, 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.

9 Tips for Lifting and Carrying Your Luggage

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silhouette of family of four looking out airport window at sunset

March is almost here and with it comes the mass exodus of families heading off to sunny destinations.

In the excitement of packing for a vacation or family visit, it’s easy to get carried away and pack more than you need into your suitcase and carry-on.

“Over-packed luggage and improper lifting and carrying techniques are common causes of injury to the back, neck and shoulders,” says Ajax chiropractor Dr. John Noble. “The good news is that many of these injuries can be easily prevented.”

Follow these tips and help take the pain out of your next vacation:

Tips for Choosing Your Luggage

  1. When shopping for new luggage, look for a sturdy, light, high-quality and transportable piece. Avoid purchasing luggage that is too heavy or bulky when empty.
  2. Choosing a bag with wheels and a handle can go a long way to lighten your load.
  3. A good quality backpack with adjustable, padded shoulder straps and a waist strap makes an ideal carry-on because, when worn properly, backpacks can evenly distribute weight.

Tips for Packing Your Luggage

  1. Over-packing is an easy pitfall, but consider that the larger and heavier the luggage, the more susceptible a traveller is to neck, back and shoulder injuries. Try to only pack what you absolutely need.
  2. When possible, place items in a few smaller bags, instead of one large luggage piece.
  3. Ensure your carry-on luggage does not weigh more than 10 to 15 percent of your body weight.
  4. Keep the contents of any carry-on luggage to a minimum, pack heavy items at the bottom of the bag and make efficient use of the bag’s pockets.

How to Lift and Carry Your Luggage

Lifting your luggage can’t always be avoided, even if your luggage has wheels. But practising safe lifting techniques can substantially reduce your risk of injury.

  1. Move slowly and, whenever possible, break the action into smaller parts. For instance, when loading a suitcase in the trunk of a car, try lifting it first onto a chair or step stool, then lifting it into the trunk. Similarly, when placing luggage in an overhead com­partment, first lift it onto the top of the seat.
  2. When lifting your luggage, first get close to the load and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Bend at the knees and let your leg muscles, rather than your back, do the lifting.
  4. Hold the load close to your body.
  5. Avoid twisting. Instead, turn your feet in the direction you are headed and turn your entire body in that direction.
  6. Do not carry bulky luggage for long peri­ods of time. Make sure to check heavier items when travelling rather than carrying them for the duration of the trip.
  7. Try to carry light pieces in each hand rather than a single heavy item on one side.
  8. If using a backpack, use both shoulder straps and the waist strap, and adjust them to minimize the bag’s movement.
  9. If using a duffel or shoulder bag, switch sides often to reduce strain.

If you’re experiencing neck, shoulder or 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.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help Treat Your Headache Pain

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Do frequent headaches disrupt your life? Managing them can be challenging, especially considering the various types and triggers they encompass.

In Canada, headaches are a prevalent issue, often posing diagnostic challenges due to their multifaceted nature. They seem to emerge unexpectedly for many individuals, regardless of the time of day.

There are many types of headaches:

Tension Headaches

The most common type of headache, the tension headache manifests as a diffuse, dull ache, often described as a tight band encircling the head. Primarily induced by stress, these headaches can typically be alleviated by stress reduction techniques, the application of cold or heat packs, and improvements in posture. Seeking conservative care, such as chiropractic interventions, can effectively mitigate symptoms and avert recurrences.

Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches exhibit a wide spectrum of symptoms, varying from person to person. They may entail visual disturbances, nausea, sensitivity to light, and often precede with sensory warning signs (aura). Sufferers commonly find solace in lying down in a darkened room until symptoms subside. While the exact causes of migraines remain elusive, identified triggers include stress, sleep irregularities, environmental changes, and certain dietary factors. Migraines can persist for hours or even days, significantly impacting daily functioning.

Cervicogenic Headaches

As secondary headaches, cervicogenic headaches stem from referred pain originating from neck structures. Given their association with cervical spine issues, management typically involves manual therapy and prescribed home exercises targeting postural imbalances and dysfunction.

What’s Causing Your Headache?

The causes of migraines and other types of headaches are not entirely known.. Joint dysfunction, muscle tension, and poor posture frequently contribute to their onset. Additionally, fluctuations in barometric pressure accompanying abrupt weather changes are believed to trigger migraines.

Headache triggers to avoid, when possible:

  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • Skipping meals
  • Dehydration
  • Loud, sustained noise
  • Sleep deprivation

Treatment for Headaches

Depending on the type of headache, your healthcare practitioner may recommend spinal manipulation, soft tissue therapy, home exercise, relaxation and/or nutritional counselling.

How do chiropractors help with headaches?

Chiropractors can assess, diagnose, and manage headaches. Current evidence suggests that chiropractic care, including manual therapy, can be effective in treating cervicogenic and tension headaches. Studies have also shown that chiropractic care can help decrease the intensity and frequency of migraines.

The treatment options may include:

  • Manual therapy
  • Soft tissue therapy
  • Modalities including electrical stimulation, acupuncture, and ultrasound
  • Rehabilitation
  • Lifestyle changes and education
  • Referral and co-management

It’s important to take headaches seriously.

Consider consulting a chiropractor if you often have headaches, if you frequently take a pain reliever for your headaches, if your headache pattern changes, or if your headaches are getting worse.

Seek prompt attention if your headache is sudden and severe, follows a head injury, or is accompanied by fever, stiff neck, weakness, numbness, or difficulty speaking.

If headaches have become a regular part of your life, it may be time to seek help from a qualified healthcare professional, such as your chiropractor. Like other musculoskeletal conditions, headaches can be differentiated by a comprehensive examination and strategies to relieve the pain can be identified.

To learn more about how chiropractic care can help you manage your headaches, contact the Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage Therapy Clinic at 905-427-3202 to book a consultation with a member of our wellness team.