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Suffering from Lower Back Pain? Give Yoga a Try!

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If you suffer from lower back pain, the relief you’ve been looking for may be a little farther than the medicine cabinet, but as close as your local community centre.

With so many of us spending an increasing amount of time hunched over a computer keyboard, it’s not surprising that our back often suffers. While it may be difficult to fight the urge to reach for a quick-fix in the form of pain-numbing pills, medication only offers short-term relief without solving the problem.

Aside from headaches, low back pain is one of the most common complaints of Canadians today. In addition to stress-related causes, this pain may also be due to overuse or injuries such as those occurring after rigorous physical activity, or a mild-to-serious car accident.

Together with chiropractic, yoga offers another way to prevent low back pain by strengthening your core muscles.

Yoga consists of an extensive set of exercises (or poses) designed to promote muscle strength, flexibility and proper breathing. It has been studied as a treatment for lower back pain; carpal tunnel syndrome; osteoarthritis of the hands; depression; asthma; hypertension; and many more conditions.

There are various poses which can help relieve low back pain, and even just a few minutes of yoga on a regular basis can reduce pain and strengthen your core abdominal muscles.

As well as strengthening core muscles, yoga is also helpful if there are psychological factors involved in your back pain. The act of doing these poses promotes relaxation and calmness, which relieves the mental stress and anxiety that might have eventually lead to more back pain.

In addition to the mind-body connection, yoga also focuses on the spine.

In accordance with Dr. Noble and Dr. Fera’s chiropractic principles, many of the body’s aches and pains can be attributed to the misalignment of vertebrae. Yoga is a proven natural way to decrease your back pain, strengthen your core, and improve your overall sense of well-being. Doing yoga properly and having regular chiropractic care ensures a reduction of pain and treatment.

Yoga can be an effective and gentle tool to help manage your low back pain. Its many benefits include relief from pain, stress and anxiety – it’s also fun and challenging!

Yoga can help you reduce muscle tension, increase flexibility and strength while improving your balance. Warm up before trying yoga, as you want to help your back pain, not make it worse.

Here is a list of yoga poses that are great for beginners and can be done at home! Always listen to your body and do not continue a pose if it is painful. If you’re unsure if yoga is right for you or feel pain once you try it, talk to your chiropractor.

Downward Dog strengthens the shoulders, core, back and legs while promoting back flexibility.

Warrior Pose helps separate hip and leg movement from pelvic and low back mobility.

Cobra Pose helps strengthen your shoulders and back while promoting flexibility in the upper back.

Pyramid Pose strengthens your legs and spine and teaches body awareness on how to hinge and move from the hip joint.

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The wellness team at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage encourages you to improve your overall health by making exercise a part of your daily routine. If you want to learn more about managing your health with exercise, contact our clinic today at 905-427-3202.

 

 

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

The Heat is On! Discover the Benefits of Getting Your Exercise in the Water

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Summer is finally here and the hot steamy weather has guaranteed that water activities are in full-swing. Whether you’re staying cool in a nearby lake, beach, or swimming pool, let’s talk about water exercises and why they’re good for your body.

Here are nine benefits of exercising — particularly swimming — in water:

  1. There’s low impact on your joints: Water gives you buoyancy—i.e., you float! This decreases the impact on your joints, so when you swim or exercise in the water, you have a lower risk of injury.
  2. It does a better job at keeping you cool: Working out can cause you to overheat, especially in the summer. Exercising in the water helps the body cool off faster and reduces the risk ofoverheating. If the water is warm, it may not help keep you cool, but it does help increase blood circulation, which is a plus when exercising.
  3. Water has built-in resistance: Because you’re moving your body through water instead of through air, you’re working harder. This resistance is great for building all-around strength and endurance.
  4. You can adjust the resistance: Depending on your speed, position, or form in the water, the resistance you face is dynamic. For example, the more streamlined your swim stroke, the faster you’ll travel with less resistance. If you’re jogging or running in water, particularly if it goes higher than your waist, you’re getting much more resistance (this is often done if you’re training to improve your running speed, strength, and endurance when you’re on land).
  5. It gets easier over time: The more knowledge and skill you have with respect to swimming, the more efficient your body becomes when moving through the water. This translates to less energy and effort exerted, and greater speed. The good news is that the more you learn, practice, and condition your body, the easier swimming will be.
  6. You can incorporate rest: You don’t have to stop exercising in the water to give your body a rest during a workout. If you’re swimming, you can add resting strokes like sidestroke or elementary backstroke for a minute or two (or a lap or two in the pool) until you recover.
  7. You can increase intensity slowly: The benefit of swimming is that you can make gradual changes to your routine without much effort. Simply increase the time spent swimming continuously and take shorter rest breaks—or replace your breaks with rest strokes (see tip #6) as you build up your swimming regime.
  8. It’s great for keeping joints limber and toning muscles: Since exercising in the water is so low impact, your joints stay nimble. With the built-in resistance of the water, swimming is great for keeping your muscles toned.
  9. It offers support for the whole body: Not only is exercising in the water low-impact, it’s also excellent for support. Bonus: it supports your back! You don’t have to worry about the weight of your body on your spine or your posture when you move your body through water. If you’re not a swimmer, you can still use the water for gentle exercise: do some walking workouts waist-deep in a swimming pool to take the pressure off your joints and back while still getting movement.

So, take the pressure off, hit up your local beach or pool, and go for a swim!

Remember to stay hydrated when you exercise. If you’re swimming outdoors this summer, be sure to remember to be safe in the sun and heat.

Are you suffering from neck, shoulder or low back pain?

At Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage, we use chiropractic treatment to relieve neck, shoulder and low back pain using effective clinical tools like manipulation, mobilization, soft tissue therapy, exercise, patient education and rehabilitation.

Extensively trained in spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), our chiropractors provide specialized care to reduce pain, improve function, and decrease the chances of neck, shoulder and low back pain becoming a chronic condition.

Looking for a chiropractor near me?

Ajax chiropractors Dr. John Noble and Dr. Mark Fera can provide education on your spine and posture and create a personalized treatment plan for your low back pain designed to ease pain and lower your risk of recurrence. Therapeutic massage therapy is also available at our clinic by Ajax massage therapists Rolf Castanheiro and Jessica Raedisch. Call 905-427-3202 to book an appointment.

With content from: Canadian Chiropractic Association.