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With July only a few days away, we continue to spend more time in the great outdoors with activities, such as hiking, golfing, gardening, and running.
Being active can help you maintain your flexibility and good posture, build strong bones, and relieve stress. Recreational activities are a great way to enjoy these benefits while having fun. Whether you pick up a garden rake, a golf club or pound the pavement in running shoes, the important thing is to get moving.
Just remember, as you gear up for a fun-filled summer, keep the health of your back in mind!
Here are eight tips to keep your back healthy as you exercise over the coming months:
Before hitting the links or even the back garden, consider a short activity to warm up first, like going for a short walk. Make sure to do gentle stretches to limber up muscles and joints before lifting, digging or swinging that golf club.
Learn the Proper Technique
Learn the correct technique for your activity, right from the beginning. Poor technique can cause injury to joints and muscles. For example, be sure to kneel, not bend, when planting your garden. For golfers, take professional lessons to rid yourself of bad habits in your golf swing that could hurt your back.
Maximize Your Flexibility
Maintaining good mobility for muscles and joints will contribute to your athletic ability and help prevent injury. Restrictions in muscle and joint function can hamper your technique and lead to strains and sprains. If you are a runner, take the time to stretch out your calf and thigh muscles before hitting the road.
Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after physical activity. Remember that once you are thirsty, you are already starting to dehydrate. Dehydration affects your energy level and your physical functioning.
If you have a big day of yard work planned, consider breaking up different activities into smaller chunks to avoid overloading your body. With a return to summer sports, consider a smaller training session first rather than a longer one (ie a trip to the driving range before that first round of golf).
Cooling down after any physical activity is just as important as warming up. Take 20 minutes for a brisk walk or a slow jog, and stretch out your muscles and joints before heading for the shower.
Treat Injuries Promptly
If you suffer an injury or experience pain from your summer recreational activities, ice the area to reduce swelling and inflammation. You can read more about the P-R-I-C-E method here.
Seek Professional Help
If pain persists, consult a chiropractor or health care professional to help you with your recovery. In Ontario, you don’t need a referral to see a chiropractor.
How can chiropractic and massage therapy help with your back pain?
Chiropractic treatment relieves back pain using effective clinical tools like manipulation, mobilization, soft tissue therapy, exercise, patient education and rehabilitation.
Extensively trained in spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), chiropractors are proficient in providing specialized care which has been proven effective in reducing pain, improving function, and decreasing the chances of low back pain becoming a chronic condition.
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 learn more and book an appointment.
With files from the Ontario Chiropractic Association.Leave a Comment
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.
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 AssociationLeave a Comment
With spring just 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. It helps relieve low back pain
If you’ve found yourself sitting more in the past year, it isn’t helping your back pain. Exercise, especially core strengthening, has been shown to be very effective in improving the function of your back.
2. It 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. It 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. It helps improve your mental health
Social isolation during the pandemic has made people feel anxious and stressed. Physical exercise can have a positive effect in the long-term management of psychological symptoms, including depression, anxiety, and chronic stress!
5. It helps 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.
6. It 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. It 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.
With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association.Leave a Comment
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 AssociationLeave a Comment
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.
With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association.
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At Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage, we understand the importance of keeping your body moving!
Chiropractors Dr. John Noble and Dr. Mark Fera are spine, muscle, and nervous system experts and encourage you to incorporate walking as part of your daily routine.
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.
Image courtesy of Canada Walks. Inspired by content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association, MyFitnessPal and Canada Walks.Leave a Comment
With the warmer spring weather slowly making its way into 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 not only reduce the risk of soft-tissue injury, they reduce the 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 to boost the body’s own 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 stretchcoach.com. 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 next day the general overall feeling is vastly improved.
Other benefits include:
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.
Types of Massage
Each type of massage is employed to address a specific need.
- 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 the sports massage technique 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.
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.Leave a Comment
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 or yoga studio.
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.
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.Leave a Comment
The heat is on across Southern Ontario. 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:
- 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.
- 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 of overheating. 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
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 massage therapists Rolf Castanheiro and Jessica Raedisch. Call 905-427-3202 to book an appointment.Leave a Comment
With tennis courts and golf courses back open, 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 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 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 that 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.
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.
To learn more about what sort of treatment is right for you, contact Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage at 905-427-3202.