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How to Avoid Injury While Working in the Garden

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Before yesterday’s downpour, we had a fabulous day of sunshine and warmer weather in Southern Ontario. Did you spend Saturday cleaning up your yard? If so, did you think of stretching before you pulled on your gloves and got to work?

Many homeowners don’t, which is why, according to the Ontario Chiropractic Association, “gardening is the most common source of back and neck pain reported by patients in the warmer months.”

So remember, when the warmer returns, ease into your activities and follow these tips from the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

Here are some Tips for a Healthy Back in the Garden from the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

  1. Have the right tools for the task at hand.
  2. Ensure you drink plenty of fluids.
  3. Alternate between light and heavy jobs.
  4. Lift correctly.
  5. Take frequent breaks.
  6. Heavy loads should be shared.
  7. Your feed should be protected with thick-soled supportive shoes.
  8. Before you start, warm up your muscles.
  9. Avoid muscle strain, learn the right techniques.
  10. Change positions frequently.
  11. Kneel to plant and weed.
  12. Spinal check-ups can help keep your back healthy.

Tips for a Healthy Back while Gardening Ajax Chiropractors Ajax Massage Therapy

How Can Ajax Chiropractors and Ajax Massage Therapy Help with Your Low Back Pain?

Chiropractic treatment relieves 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), 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 book an appointment.

With files from the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

Here’s How To Avoid a Backache the Next Time You Rake

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Check your posture when you rake As you head out to rake your leaves this month, chances are the last thing you’ll be thinking about is your posture.

It’s hard to believe, but 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 intense 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.

Want to learn more about how to prevent neck and back pain while you rake? Book an appointment with our Pickering massage therapists and chiropractic team at 905-427-3202.

How Massage Therapy Helps Heal and Prevent Sports Injuries

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Massage Therapy Ajax

With spring (finally) in full force and summer just a month away, 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.

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:

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, sulfur) 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.

With notes from stretchcoach.com.

How to Stay Healthy and Injury-Free as We Head into Spring

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Stay Healthy and Injury-free this Spring with Chiropractic careOnce we “spring ahead” an hour this weekend and start enjoying extended hours of daylight, our urge to spend more time outside increases. Unless you’ve spent your spare time on a ski hill all winter, you’ve probably spent a good chunk of your working and free time indoors.

Now that the snow is gone (hopefully until next winter), you may be ready to get active outdoors. But before you pull on those jogging pants, hop on that bike or even start working in the garden, there are a few things you need to remember.

Ease into extra activity
To avoid injury, preparing your body is key, especially if you’ve been relatively inactive over the winter months. The “no pain, no gain” philosophy is outdated and will likely leave you in worse shape than when you started.

“It happens every year,” says Dr. John Noble of Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage. “We get a few warmer days and people go from little activity to a full day on the golf course or a morning spent in the garden…without any stretching or gradually working up to it.” Each spring, the warmer weather results in more patients seeking chiropractic care for back, shoulder and neck injuries. “It’s unfortunate because so many of these injuries could be avoided.”

Whether you’re golfing, gardening or hitting the tennis courts, be sure to ease into your activity and find the appropriate stretches to perform beforehand.

Get a good night’s sleep
As we head into the summer months, it may be tempting to stay up later to enjoy the extra daylight. Extra-long days, more activity…what’s not to love?

Don’t underestimate the healing power of rest, especially if you’re recovering from an injury. Poor sleep patterns have been linked to weight gain, heart disease, stroke, depression, inflammation and cell damage. A good sleep pattern, on the other hand, can improve immune function, maximize athletic performance and improve concentration and productivity.

Stay hydrated
Getting enough fluids in warmer weather, especially as your activity level increases, is crucial to staying healthy. Drinking ample amounts of liquid helps to maintain your body’s functions, including your heart, brain and muscles. Staying hydrated allows your body to carry nutrients to your cells, maintain a normal temperature, digest food and flush bacteria and impurities from your body.

How much is enough? The actual amount varies from person to person and is dependent on a variety of factors, including your weight, height and activity level. Ask your doctor how much water you should be drinking each day.

Maintain a healthy immune system with chiropractic care
Although many people associate chiropractic care with the treatment of neck, shoulder and back pain — and this would be correct — visiting a chiropractor regularly can also aide your immune function. At Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage, our patients understand that by keeping their spine in proper alignment, all systems in their body are able to function at optimum efficiency, allowing messages to travel throughout their body freely and keep illness at bay.