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Has Too Much Time at Your Desk Left You With Neck and Shoulder Pain?

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woman holding neck while sitting at desk

If you’re stuck sitting at your desk for hours at a time this summer, you may find that the neck and shoulder pain you’re experiencing from your day job is affecting your extracurricular activities.

In a previous post, we discussed how poor desk posture often increases your risk of developing neck, shoulder and back pain. As crazy as it sounds, sitting for long periods of time, repetitive movements and awkward seating positions may lead to pain and discomfort long after you’ve left your desk.

Three Stretches to Help Alleviate the Pain Caused by Improper Desk Posture

In these videos, registered massage therapists Jessica Raedisch and Rolf Castanheiro demonstrate stretches for the upper trapezius, suboccipital, and pectoralis minor/major regions.

Incorporate these stretches into your daily routine, and you may find that your neck and should pain slowly become a thing of the past.

 

Don’t be a slave to your desk! Get moving and enjoy doing the things you love. Your body will thank you for it!


The chiropractic and massage therapy team at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage helps patients build better pathways to overall wellness, as well as relief from back pain and muscle aches. Poor habits and injury can lead to pain that can restrict your ability to work or enjoy your leisure time.

We provide you with more than just chiropractic and massage services, but also the know-how to build better personal wellness habits so that you can be at your best for work or play, every day. Contact our clinic today at 905-427-3202.

 

Why Your Muscles Feel Sore After a Workout

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If getting in shape or intensifying your exercise routine was one of your goals since gyms reopened earlier this year, you’ve likely spent your fair share of time working out these past few months.

Have you ever wondered why your muscles feel so sore after a workout?

One reason may be delayed onset muscle soreness, otherwise known as DOMS.

Occurring anywhere between 24 to 48 hours after you try a new activity or exercise, or increase your workout intensity, DOMS can reduce your range of motion and muscle strength. This muscle soreness is a sign that your muscles are adapting to new loads.

The lactic acid myth

You may have heard that delayed onset muscle soreness is caused by a buildup of lactic acid. But lactic acid only lasts in your muscles one to two hours after a workout.

Resistance training causes micro-tears of muscle fibres, drawing increased blood flow and inflammation to the area, even leading to mild swelling, which stimulates the pain receptors in the muscle tissue and makes them more sensitive to movement.

The muscle damage is temporary. As muscle rebuilds itself, it gets stronger and can handle heavier loads.

How to reduce the discomfort of muscle soreness

Although DOMS is a natural process that indicates your body is getting stronger, there are ways you can reduce your level of discomfort.

  1. More exercise may be the best way to ease the soreness. Do a gentle workout such as light cardio, stretching or yoga a day or two after an intense workout. Pick up the intensity once the pain is gone.
  2. Introduce new exercises over a period of one to two weeks to give your body time to adapt.
  3. Try longer warmups before your resistance training.
  4. Take an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salts are made from magnesium, which helps relax muscles and improve circulation.
  5. Mix up your routine. If you do leg exercises one day, work your arms and core the next. This gives each muscle group time to recover.
  6. Stay hydrated and choose your foods wisely. Remember to drink plenty of water and replenish your electrolytes with a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables. Leafy greens and bananas are two excellent options.

How to tell if it’s more serious

There are a few indicators that your pain can be something more serious than DOMS:

  • The pain does not diminish after three days.
  • The pain is so severe that you cannot carry on with daily tasks.
  • The pain is so severe that your legs give out.
  • You experience major swelling, redness, discolouration, or intense cramping.
  • The pain is very sharp – this could suggest a sprain/strain.

If you are concerned about any of the above, your chiropractor can conduct a thorough assessment and offer non-pharmacological pain management strategies, stretches, or manual treatments. You will be referred to the appropriate medical professional if the cause of pain is out of the scope of chiropractic care.


The chiropractic and massage therapy team at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage helps patients build better pathways to overall wellness, as well as relief from back pain and muscle aches. Poor habits and injury can lead to pain that can restrict your ability to work or enjoy your leisure time.

We provide you with more than just chiropractic and massage services, but also the know-how to build better personal wellness habits so that you can be at your best for work or play, every day. Contact our clinic today at 905-427-3202.

 

 

With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association

How Massage Therapy and Chiropractic Care Help Treat Whiplash

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massage therapy whiplash ajax pickering

Even with the high price of gas, summer road trips with your friends and family are likely high on your to-do list. After all, who doesn’t love to roll the windows down, crank up the music and enjoy the inviting summer breezes after a long winter spent indoors?

Unfortunately, more cars on the road mean more fender-benders and serious car accidents. For our chiropractic and massage therapy team, it means an influx of patients seeking care at our clinic for accident-related injuries.

Our Pickering chiropractic and massage therapy team has decades of experience helping patients move on from their injuries.

People injured in a motor vehicle accident sometimes experience a strain of their neck muscles and the surrounding soft tissue, commonly referred to as whiplash. Anyone who has had such an injury knows neck muscles can be very tender, and neck movement can be quite limited.

Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. Although whiplash most often occurs during a rear-end auto accident, the injury can also result from a sports accident, physical abuse or other trauma. Research shows that successful whiplash treatment requires patient cooperation and active efforts to resume daily activity.

Common signs and symptoms of whiplash usually — but not always — develop within 24 hours of the injury and may include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Worsening of pain with neck movement
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
  • Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

Most people with whiplash get better within a few weeks by following a treatment plan that includes pain medication and exercise. However, some experience chronic neck pain and other long-lasting complications.

Whiplash may be called a neck sprain or strain, but these terms also include other types of neck injuries.

Some people also suffer from:

  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Depression

Get Help for Your Whiplash Injury

Do not ignore whiplash-type injuries. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, seek a medical examination. Health care professionals are alert for the signs of more serious neck trauma.

Good News

The good news is that most whiplash injuries are not serious and will heal fully. Many people experience little disruption in their activities and are able to get on with their daily lives.

Did You Know?

Whiplash can occur from many causes, not just car accidents. For example, it can happen from falling downstairs or having something fall on your head. It can also happen when tackled or bodychecked while taking part in contact sports.

Whiplash can also occur at a relatively low impact. For example, a hit in a car accident at less than 10km/hour can cause whiplash. Pain, stiffness and other symptoms of Grade 1 (tender muscles) or Grade 2 (limited neck movement) whiplash typically start within the first two days after an accident.

Avoid Whiplash in the Future: Adjust Your Car’s Headrest

Properly adjusting the height of your car headrest will help prevent whiplash injury in an accident. In an ideal adjustment, the top of your head should be in line with the top of the headrest and there should be no more than 2 to 5 cm between the back of your head and the headrest.

How Chiropractic Care and Massage Therapy Helps Treat Whiplash

Even if you seek chiropractic care complaining of neck pain following a trauma, your chiropractor will evaluate your entire spine because other regions of the spine may be affected (not just your neck). Your chiropractor will identify any areas of restricted joint motion, intervertebral disc injury, muscle spasm, and ligament injury and will also feel for tenderness, tightness, and how well your spinal joints move. In addition to performing a series of spinal adjustments to correct vertebral subluxations, your chiropractor may also prescribe therapeutic exercises to help restore normal motion in your spine and reduce whiplash symptoms.

Massage therapy helps rid the pain caused by whiplash and increases the amount of oxygen the body gives to the tissues, thus speeding up the recovery process. And by stimulating circulation and increasing the flow of oxygen, massage therapy may rid you of the headaches associated with whiplash.


Need help recovering from a whiplash injury? At Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage, chiropractors Dr. John Noble and Dr. Mark Fera can evaluate and treat your injuries, and registered massage therapists Jessica Raedisch or Rolf Castanheiro will employ a variety of hands-on techniques to assess and treat the soft tissues and joints of the body. If you’re looking for chiropractic care and massage therapy in Ajax or Pickering, call our clinic at 905-427-3202 to make an appointment.

Massage Therapy Aids in the Healing and Prevention of Sports Injuries

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woman running on outside track

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:

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.

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.

Don’t “Fall Back” Into Bad Habits This Winter

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couple walking in winter

It’s the weekend we all dread! Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday morning at 2 a.m. ET.

As we fall back an hour and approach the winter solstice, with shorter days and colder temperatures, it’s tempting to stay indoors and do things that bring us comfort, like read books and watch 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 for 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 into your day. Any activity leaving you out of breath for bouts of 10 minutes or more throughout the week can help you fend off the winter blues.

Other ways to boost endorphins

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

Take care of yourself during the cold-weather months.

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

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

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

 

With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association.

 

 

 

Ice or Heat? Remember the “PRICE” Method for Treating Sprains and Strains

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strains and sprains ajax pickering chiropractor

The warm spring weather that has many of us spending an increasing amount of time outdoors — walking, running, hiking, golfing, playing tennis — often means an inevitable increase in strains and sprains.

Assuming your injury isn’t serious enough to warrant a trip to the ER, you may be wondering how to treat your new sprain or strain.

Should you apply ice? Or is it heat? What else can you do?

The best treatment for a sprain or strain is with the “PRICE” method, a helpful acronym that is useful to remember when you have an acute injury.

Please note, if you are unsure of the severity of your sprain or strain, you should talk to your doctor before beginning any treatment or rehabilitation.

Remember P.R.I.C.E.

These five simple rules will help speed up your recovery in the first 48-72 hours of a sprain (ligament) or strain (muscle) injury.

P is for PROTECTION.

Protect the injured area from sustaining any more damage.

R is for REST.

Allow the injury time to heal.

I is for ICE.

Ice should be applied to an injured area as soon as possible.

Use the 10/10/10 method of ice application: 10 minutes of ice; followed by 10 minutes of rest without ice; followed by 10 minutes of ice again. Do not apply heat. Ice works to reduce pain and inflammation to your injured muscles, joints and tissues and may even slow bleeding if a tear has occurred.

C is for COMPRESSION.

Use a tensor bandage to wrap the injured area. When wrapping, begin at the end furthest away from the heart.

E is for ELEVATION.

If possible, raise the injured area above the level of the heart, especially at night, by putting a pillow under the injured area.

After the first 48 hours, slowly start to use the injured area again and continue icing for another day. If you are unsure of the severity of your injury, consult a docotr or chiropractor for an evaluation.


Related posts:

Five Tips for Transitioning from the Treadmill to the Sidewalk

Tips for Avoiding Injury While Working Outside This Spring

Four Easy Stretches to Avoid Injury on the Golf Course

 

The wellness team at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage provides 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.

Massage May Improve Blood Flow While Easing Muscle Soreness

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Massage therapy can help ease sore muscles and improve blood flow for people who are active as well as for those who do not exercise, a small study finds.

Those effects can last for more than 72 hours, researchers found. People with poor circulation or limited ability to move are among those who could benefit most from massage therapy, they noted.

“Our study validates the value of massage in exercise and injury, which has been previously recognized but based on minimal data,” Nina Cherie Franklin, study first author and a postdoctoral fellow in physical therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in a university news release. “It also suggests the value of massage outside of the context of exercise.”

In the study, the researchers asked 36 healthy but inactive young adults to use a leg press machine until their legs became sore. Half of the participants were given a Swedish leg massage after they exercised. All of the participants rated their muscle soreness on a scale from one to 10. A third comparison group did not exercise, but got a massage.

Although both exercise groups were sore right after their workout, the people who got the massage said they had no soreness 90 minutes later. In contrast, those in the group that didn’t receive a massage said they were sore 24 hours after they exercised.

Because muscle injury from exercise has been shown to reduce blood flow, researchers say, they also measured the participants’ “brachial artery flow mediated dilation” in their arms. This standard measure of general vascular health was taken 90 minutes as well as one, two and three days after exercise.

The people who got a massage after they exercised had improved blood flow at every testing interval and the benefits of the massage didn’t dissipate until after 72 hours had passed, researchers found. People who did not receive a massage after exercise had reduced blood flow after 90 minutes and returned to normal levels at 72 hours.

“We believe that massage is really changing physiology in a positive way,” Franklin said. “This is not just blood flow speeds — this is actually a vascular response.”

And massage doesn’t just help people who exercise, the researchers also found.

“The big surprise was the massage-only control group, who showed virtually identical levels of improvement in circulation as the exercise and massage group,” study principal investigator Shane Phillips, an associate professor of physical therapy at UIC, said in the news release. “The circulatory response was sustained for a number of days, which suggests that massage may be protective.”

The study found that participants’ blood flow was changed far away from the sore muscles. Researchers concluded that massage benefits are systemic and not confined to one specific area of the body.

While the study found an association between massage and improved circulation, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

The study was recently published online ahead of publication in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

— Mary Elizabeth Dallas

Original Article