Many of us suffer from headaches. It can vary in intensity; mild and nagging to debilitating. Many of us who do suffer from headaches would like to find a solution that is more natural in nature. I would like to share that I have been there. More than 15 years ago I went through a period in my life where I was suffering from tension type headaches on a daily basis for a period of approximately 2 years. After that they started to decrease in frequency and now I have occasional headaches.
One of the tools that played a big role in making this difference is Massage Therapy. Massage can help relax muscles, muscle spasms and trigger points, which will result in fewer headaches. This can be approached in a couple ways; one, when the headache is present or two, by using a more proactive way and going for a massage treatment on a regular basis (frequency and duration to be discussed with your therapist); this will most likely help you maintain optimal levels of stress-relief therefore decrease your chances of headaches. Massage has also been showed to improve sleep disturbances. There are many massage techniques that can be used to help you achieve optimal results.
The May long weekend is upon us, “May 24” as we affectionately refer to it in Canada.
For many of us we are well on our way with our outdoor spring cleaning, but for others they are just getting started. This is also the big traditional gardening weekend where we are finally safe from frost and can plant those colourful annuals.
Everyone has read an article on spring cleaning and gardening and most want you to take it slowly and warm up and give you some particular stretches to try and do prior to and/or after gardening or yard work. These are all really useful and we’ll even have more tips on gardening coming up in future blogs.
Today however, we are going to talk about my own first hand experiences that I want to share with you.
My first suggestion for the home owner who has a yard to maintain is to invest in a wheelbarrow that has 2 wheels on the front. They are much more stable than a traditional wheelbarrow. They also take up more space, so make sure you have room to store it when its not in use. I’d recommend one with a poly tray. It won’t rust so it will last you longer. Their stability and size makes them terrific for pushing around bags of mulch, bags of soil for lawn repair or top dressing the lawn, leaf bags, yard tools, hardscape products and even plants.
The end result is they make it easier on your back and core as you are not trying to balance a wobbly, heavy wheelbarrow. It also makes it easier to move products around your home from road side to the backyard.
Next, I would invest in a nice thick pad to kneel on. If you don’t have one, in a pinch take several flattened cardboard boxes and layer them and use those to give your knees extra cushioning when doing clean up in your gardens. Now my knees don’t handle prolonged kneeling very well, even with a thick pad, so they force me to change positions often and I think that this is for the best for everyone. Some of my gardening is done standing, sometimes I am on my knees, other times on my bottom sitting cross legged or even on one hip and glut. The changing of positions will make you less sore, it forces you to take breaks and change it up.
I have also learned that not all gardening tools are created equally. How they feel in your hand makes all the difference. Feel the grip and the weight of the tools that you will use all the time and find ones that work best for you. There’s no point in purchasing the deluxe model if it feels terrible in your hand and hurts your wrist. Take your time and pretend you are going through the motion of using your weeder, pruner, hedge trimmer, shovel etc., before you take it home. Case in point, I myself thought a long grass shear that I could use standing versus bent over would be easier on my back. Well, I brought it home and it is much too heavy for repeated use and I don’t have the same precision standing upright when I use it as I did with my lighter shears with the shorter handles!
My final tip today is investing in what we affectionately refer to as a “grabber” in our family. It is a lightweight rust proof reach tool with a rubber grip for grabbing just about anything.
I participated in Pitch in Kingston and cleaned up near the office for many years. Now with a new gas station across the street, I will look for a new place to clean up! The land when undeveloped seem to serve as a dumping ground for all kinds of garbage and debris. After hours of filling anywhere from 5 to 7 bags of garbage the continuous bending and straightening would really bother my low back, knees and hamstrings. I also found that many items were sharp! There would be broken glass, crushed cans with jagged edges and various assortment of liquids remaining in containers.
I thought that there must be something out there to limit by bending and allow safe handling of garbage and debris. I found a product on Amazon that worked amazingly well. A Grip and Grab.
I purchased the first one in 2014. The original is still going strong after hours of use! I got my Mom hooked on my grabber and I got her one as well! She used hers for years to not only pick up debris on the lawn but to pick up all the walnuts that fell from the walnut trees onto their lawn. It is great for picking up pruned branches off the lawn as well as thorn covered or prickly plants such as barberry branches or the odd thistle that I have dug out
My Mom loves hers so much she has one just for indoor use as well (reaching high items on a shelf!)
Well I hope my tips find you well this long weekend for whatever your pleasure!
Enjoy your long weekend from all of us at Kingston West Family Chiropractic!
NHL playoffs are well under way and hopefully your favorite team is still in the playoffs to make another run at the cup. Mine is not, but I am still enjoying the high quality hockey and and this great sport. With such competition, comes greater risk of injury.
Ice Hockey is certainly not for the faint of heart. Next to football and rugby, hockey is an extremely high contact sport and players are at constant risk of injury. As one of the most physically demanding sports to be played in America and Canada, hockey players often demonstrate speed, agility, balance, strength, and flexibility while they play the game. These are essential attributes of every hockey player since they frequently collide with other players and often fall on the ice, which make injuries that much more likely to occur.
When National Hockey League (NHL) superstar Sidney Crosby suffered two concussions within days of one another, he sought the help of his chiropractor, Dr. Ted Carrick, a Chiropractic Neurologist who takes care of Crosby and other players in the NHL and NFL. Carrick says, “In professional hockey alone, there are more than 50,000 hits annually, and far too many of these are serious injuries to the head.” Hockey is a rough contact sport, as anyone who has been to a game can attest. As Rodney Dangerfield once famously quipped, “I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out.”
All kidding aside, the risk of concussion during a hockey game is high, with pucks traveling at around 100 mph. Add to that the injuries from players colliding with each other, or being hit by hockey sticks and skate blades and you can see why hockey is a sport prone to injury. Unfortunately, the number of neck and back injuries have increased, possibly due to the false sense of security provided by protective equipment. The knee is a frequent site of injury as well, with sprains to the ligaments being most common.
After suffering 10 months of dizziness, fogginess, instability and light sensitivity, Crosby began specialized chiropractic care that improved both his physical and cognitive functioning. After 6 months of chiropractic care, Crosby returned to the ice and helped his Pittsburgh Penguins score a win against the New York Rangers, and the Penguins subsequently signed him to new a 12-year contract.
Chiropractic care is so important to the Vancouver Canucks that they keep a team chiropractor on staff. Dr. Sid Sheard has cared for the Canucks for 24 years and says of his job, Chiropractic is not only for the treatment of injuries, it also keeps players in top form. Sheard notes, “The number of games lost to injury this year is running at less than half, which we like to think is due to the preventive and supportive training that starts in the off-season.”
Olympic silver medalist in hockey and former NHL player, Mike Modano is a strong advocate of the benefits of chiropractic care for hockey players. He says, “Chiropractic helps with recovery time and the way my body responds with the grind it takes.”
Chiropractic care is one of the best ways that professional hockey players can ensure that they stay on the ice as long as possible.
Most of us are not Olympic or professional athletes, however as a parent, spouse, employee, weekend warrior, etc., how do you want to perform? Talk to your chiropractor today so that you can keep enjoying what you love to do best! Working as a team with your chiropractor will help keep you active and at your best.
I am currently watching the Wimbledon semi-finals for the men and it is 21-21 in the 5th set and John Isner and Kevin Anderson have now played over 6 hours of tennis.
The last two weeks have had tennis fans world wide enjoying the best that the world has to offer. Wimbledon is one of the four grand slam tennis events held annual in the world. It is held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, England. The tournament is played on grass courts and all players who play at the All England Club must adhere to the all white dress code.
I had the opportunity to tour Wimbledon in September 2013, and we were able to go everywhere from Centre Court stands to Murray Mound (formerly Henderson Hill) and even the press area for athletes. What a thrill for a tennis fan!
I started playing tennis about 14 years ago and fell in love with the sport, but I was a fan for many years before I had the opportunity to play. Andre Agassi was my firs tennis pro that I followed and since his retirement I’ve been a huge Fed (Roger Federer) Fan!
Tennis requires so many different skill sets and is very physically and mentally demanding. The hours of training and play and the repetitive nature of the sport involving numerous joints and large muscle groups inevitably results in injuries. Whether you are a professional player or an amateur player, we can all appreciate the demands on one’s body.
Take for instance, serves in the current Wimbledon semi-final match being played between Isner and Anderson. John Isner, has currently hit over 265 serves just in this match, whereas Serena Williams has hit about 370 for the entire tournament to date.
There are many players who sustain repetitive injuries,require rehabilitation and even surgery to knees, hips, wrists, elbow and shoulders. We also see foot and ankle injuries and ongoing back problems with some tennis players. As a chiropractor, I actually see more lower extremity injuries from tennis than upper extremity injuries, due to the pounding that they undergo on the hard court surfaces.
Milos Raonic, Andy Murray and Raphael Nadal are just a few of the top players who have battled injury recently.
Milos suffered a thigh injury during his quarter final match during Wimbledon. Andy Murray has not been back to full play since an injury to his hip during Wimbledon 2017 and Raphael Nadal had to pull out of the Australian Open and missed some of the season earlier this year with a hip injury. Nadal has gone on to return to full play and one Roland Garros (the French Open) and will play in the semi-finals at Wimbledon later today.
The role of Chiropractic in Tennis.
Tennis players professional and amateur alike can benefit from regular chiropractic care.
John Isner for example was quoted in Baseline in April of this year for the role that chiropractic and his stable, family life have contributed to his great play this season. His chiropractor of 6 years has helped him tremendously. Isner was quoted as saying
"It's not anything that he did this week. It's what he's done through the course of the six years that we have been together," Isner said. "And I have been very healthy for six years, as well, I will knock on wood. That is in large part to him: adjusting, putting this machine on me, or massage. It's everything. There is so much that goes into it."
Andy Murray has been adjusted in his mid back and shoulder blade region right on the court during a medical time out during Wimbledon a few years ago. He went on to win the title that year.
Chiropractors help maintain and improve mobility and neuromusculoskeletal function, reduce overuse injuries and help speed up the healing of joint and soft tissue related injuries through a variety of rehabilitative techniques. It’s not just about low back pain, or mid back pain. Our roll is to help with the knee and hip injuries, the foot and ankle injuries and the upper extremity injuries.
We treat our patients as whole people and we work together with our patients and use our extensive training to help improve and maintain performance by helping athletes amateur and professional alike.
Every clinic is different, at Kingston West Family Chiropractic, our interdisciplinary team will work together and can offer a variety of treatment options for tennis players and for other athletes. This may include chiropractic, rehabilitation, active release technique, contemporary medical acupuncture, registered massage therapy, registered kinesiology, laser therapy, concussion management and more. An individualized approach to care will be determined in consultation with you based on your needs and your goals.
If you want to help maintain and improve your health, follow the leads of some of the best in the tennis world and schedule a chiropractic appointment today.
Now, I am going to finish enjoying the athleticism and excitement of the remainder of today's Wimbledon semi-finals and perhaps go out and play myself this afternoon once the hot afternoon sun cools down!
It is estimated that approximately 4% of the world’s population play soccer. In 2006 FIFA conducted a survey called the Big Count and it was found that over 264.5 million people played soccer. There were found to be 113,000 professional soccer players at that time. As it is now 2018, we can only imagine how these numbers have increased!
We are now into the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the premier professional soccer event in the world that is held every 4 years.
When I started writing this post we were only into the second matches of the group stages! Time has flown by.
I didn’t grow up with cable or satellite so the world of professional soccer remained hidden to me until I was finally finished school and had access to cable television and a little more time on my hands.
I started enjoying the World Cup in 2002. I figured if our Canadian team would not make it through to the group stages, then England was a good bet for me to follow and some Great British heritage on my side didn’t hurt my decision making at all either! This forced me (by choice) to learn all the words to “God Save the Queen” so I could belt out the song in support of my team with the masses in the stadium (to the chagrin of my poor husband). I also started to watch some English Premier League play around this time and follow Manchester United, Chelsea and occasionally Liverpool.
Now this world cup is particularly exciting as England is now on to the semi-finals! This World Cup has certainly seen its share of upsets as well as some surprises, but that is what competition is all about.
In viewing this world cup, the FIFA website and doing a little bit of my own research, I discovered that in the fall of 2016 FIFA started to offer the FIFA Medicine Diploma. There are 42 modules with multiple lessons to each module (for example the hip has 15 lessons to complete for that one module).
Over 25000 individuals have signed up for the program to date, but about 1200 have completed it. I am registered and now working towards my diploma. From beginning my first module, it seems to me that this Diploma is best suited toward health care professionals and it will help me gain extensive insight into soccer related injuries and how best to manage and prevent them. This information is invaluable in terms of clinical practice! Well done FIFA! I look forward to keeping everyone updated on my progress with the FIFA Medicine Diploma.
Chiropractors are now playing a crucial role as part of the core medical team for many soccer teams both at the league level and at the national level. It is becoming more common for a team to have a team chiropractor who travels with them during the season. The financial loss from an injury that was preventable can be considerable to a soccer player and to the team. Take Dr. Jesse Saenz, who is the team chiropractor of Republic FC and works full time during the off season with Hull City AFC in the English Premier League.
Now, you don’t have to be a world class soccer player to benefit from chiropractic care. You could be on a recreational team or play competitively.
The most common injuries seen with soccer player are lower extremity injuries, such as ankle sprains, internal knee derangements, muscle strains to the hamstrings, quadriceps, adductors, and calves, hip injuries and concussions. These are just to name a few. Sports injuries are inevitable with frequent training and the extensive and vigorous nature of the sport.
At Kingston West Family Chiropractic we can help put together an off season and on season strength and neuromuscular training program to help reduce the risk of potential injury. Our team works together post injury to help to return you to play safely and as soon as possible.
I (Dr. Adrina Patterson) am a Shift Concussion Management provider and a member of Kingston Concussion Alliance and we offer rehabilitation not limited to chiropractic, but including registered kinesiology, registered massage therapy, contemporary medical acupuncture, concussion management and low level laser therapy to help with soccer-related and other sports injuries.
Let's all continue to enjoy the exciting outcome that will conclude this weekend for this 2018 FIFA World Cup (Go England!) and for those who love to play the sport as much as they enjoy watching it, consider making chiropractic part of your choice for healthy, long-term play!
Plant and Rake Without the Ache
Gardening is a great way to stay active and have fun in the sun. But many Canadians sustain injuries that can be easily prevented with a little know-how.
The right moves
Use the right moves to lighten the load on your back. Kneel, don’t bend, to plant. Change your body position often. Take frequent breaks. Alternate between light and heavy chores. Drink lots of water. And most importantly, loosen-up before you start out.
Before you begin any physical activity, warming up is a key factor in preventing injury. Take a walk, even on the spot. Ten to 15 minutes should do it. Don’t forget to lift your knees and gently swing your arms.
Stretch before you start
To plant and rake without the ache, do each of these stretches five times. Don’t bounce, jerk or strain. Stretches should be gentle and should not cause pain.
Courtesy of the OCA
Are you planning to escape the winter blues and leave Kingston and the surrounding area with a family vacation down South for March Break, or a romantic couples getaway?
No matter the reason behind your travel plans, one of the keys to enjoying your best, most carefree vacation ever is to plan ahead and protect your health by visiting a travel clinic. Below are nine tips to know before you go:
1. Learn about your destination
Start by making sure it’s safe to travel to the destination you’ve chosen. Avoid areas where there is political or social unrest, high crime rates, a health alert or risk of an impending natural disaster. The Public Health Agency of Canada posts all travel health notices on its website. If a travel health notice is in effect for a country when you book your trip, you may not be eligible for a refund if you choose not to go.
2. Attend a travel clinic
At Public Health, we highly recommend you attend our travel clinic or see your healthcare provider at least six weeks before you plan to travel internationally. A healthcare provider can assess your health needs, help you prevent illness and provide you with general information about precautions you should take during your travels.
3. Get immunized
When you travel abroad - depending on your age, anticipated activities and destination – you may be more at risk of exposure to certain infectious diseases like hepatitis A and B, and typhoid. Getting immunized will help you and your family stay well on your trip.
4. Protect against insects
Insects can be more than just a nuisance when travelling, and can spread a variety of serious diseases.
For example, you may have heard about the Zika virus which is spread by mosquitos that bite during the day.
The virus is now being reported in nearly 30 countries in Central and South America, the Caribbean and Mexico. Symptoms of Zika virus are typically mild with only 1 in 4 of those infected developing symptoms. Symptoms can include a rash, fever and body aches.
Special precautions should be taken by women who are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, as it is believed the virus is linked to the occurrence of microcephaly in countries like Brazil. Microcephaly is a rare birth defect that sees babies born with unusually small heads, and can cause permanent developmental challenges.
Health Canada encourages women who are pregnant or that could become pregnant to consider postponing their trip, and if they feel it is necessary to move ahead with their trip to take all precautions to avoid daytime mosquito bites.
Everyone, including pregnant women and women of childbearing age should avoid exposure to mosquito bites. This can be done by wearing long sleeves and long pants, using mosquito nets, avoiding outdoor exposure during mosquito feeding times and applying insect repellents with 30% DEET for adults and 20% Icaridin for children.
Other serious viruses spread by day-biting mosquitos that can have serious health implications for travellers include Dengue fever, yellow fever and chikungunya. In some countries, mosquitos that bite during nighttime hours can carry diseases like malaria and Japanese encephalitis.
To learn more about how to protect yourself against insects while travelling, you can book an appointment at our travel clinic, or speak with your family physician.
5. Purchase travel insurance
Don’t rely on the Ontario health plan (OHIP), to cover medical costs if you get sick in another country. International healthcare can be very costly and may not be covered. This is why it’s so important to purchase travel insurance that provides coverage for both illness and injuries. Not to mention, it provides you with peace of mind during your travels.
6. Take precautions with food and water
Take precautions with food and water when travelling to help you avoid getting sick.
Developing countries, and even the Americas and the Caribbean may not have a safe water supply, so tap water may not be safe for drinking, cooking or brushing your teeth.
If you eat food or have drinks that are contaminated with bacteria, viruses or parasites, you could spend days of your much-anticipated vacation feeling very sick with travellers diarrhea or other viruses. Book an appointment at our travel clinic or speak with your healthcare provider for more information about travellers diarrhea.
At Public Health we want you to have the best vacation ever, that’s why we encourage you to book an appointment at our travel health clinic by calling 1-800-265-7293, or with your family physician at least six weeks before you travel, so you can stay well abroad!
Looking for something to do more locally?
Not everyone can go away for March break, however there are many local activities to help you stay active and healthy without worrying about travelling!
The city of Kingston also has lots of recreational activities available for the whole family during the March break. These activities include leisure swim, public skating, junior shinny, parent & tot skating, and more! Visit
https://www.cityofkingston.ca/residents/recreation/programs/other/holiday-activities for more information and activity scheduling. You can also download the March Break & Spring activity flyer for more details!
You can also spend the day at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area for Maple Madness. Take the family for a wagon ride, to learn about how maple syrup is made, and to enjoy some delicious pancakes with maple syrup! Use this link for more information about activities and hours of operation. https://crca.ca/events/maple-madness/
Finding time to enjoy outdoor activities together as a family can be challenging, especially with such busy schedules and a seemingly never-ending to-do list.
You may feel like cozying up indoors during the colder months is the best option, but getting outside and exercising provides benefits for the whole family by increasing levels of vitamin D in the body, improving concentration, and bringing families closer together.
If going outside in the cold still doesn't interest you, there are also many ways for kids and families to stay active and get exercise while staying indoors. Here are some fun winter exercise activities to get the whole family moving—some for inside the house, some for outdoors, and some you can do around town.
In Your House
Family dance party: Get everyone to work up a sweat by cranking the tunes and letting loose in your basement, living room, or any space that works. You can use a video game like Dance Dance Revolution (for the Wii), or simply ask everyone to choose a few favorite songs and dance it out together.
Exercise stations: Designate spots for some simple exercise stations like jump rope, jumping jacks, running in place, and sit-ups. Have family members go through the stations a set number of times, and time them with a stopwatch each time they go through. Encourage them to try to better their own time with each pass. Adding music can make this activity more enjoyable!
Colour walk: Lay down pieces of colored paper in a path all through the house. (To keep from slipping, you can tape down the paper with painter’s or masking tape, which won’t damage your floors.) Keep colors separate (to avoid, for example, three blue sheets in a row), and then challenge participants to walk from one room to the next by stepping only on a certain color. Make the game more adult-appropriate by spacing the paper farther apart.
Play in the snow: If the ground is covered with snow, think of it as a great time to get the heart pumping. A snowball fight gets everyone running, throwing, and laughing, as well. When everyone is done running around, have a snowball tossing contest—have a pair of players toss a snowball back and forth until it falls apart.
Snow-building: If you have enough snow, building in it can be a fun and effective workout for everyone. If you’re feeling ambitious, create an igloo or snow village together. But even making a family of snow “people” will get everyone moving—and, no doubt, smiling!
Tobogganing: Whether it be in your backyard, in the park, or at the local hill, tobogganing can be a great way to get both you and your kids active while having fun. So grab your toboggan and get out there!
Snowshoeing: Snowshoeing is a relatively inexpensive and low-maintenance way to get some exercise. Once you purchase (or rent) snowshoes, there really are no rules. Just strap them on your boots and head outside, whether just around your yard or into the woods.
Winter walks: Bundling up to brave the cold can seem daunting, but once you get past that hurdle, a fun and rewarding family activity awaits. In addition to being good exercise, walks offer a great way to see some of winter’s beauty up close together.
In the Community
Family bowling: Bowling is an indoor activity almost anyone can enjoy. It may not have the intensity of some sports, but it still gets everybody active and involved. As a bonus, it gives your kids a fun way to practice math skills by serving as scorekeepers. (If you want the fun without having to leave the house, set up a few empty bottles or plastic pins in the kitchen or basement and let the good times roll.)
Lesson or class: Winter is a great time to try something new as a family. Many gyms offer specific fitness classes geared toward families. Other options include martial arts lessons or rock climbing at a gym or indoor rock-climbing facility.
Swim dates: Lots of gyms or high school fitness centers offer times for family swimming. Try to pick a consistent time or two each week when everyone is free, and mark it on the calendar. You’re more likely to stick with it that way.
Ice-skating: Skating at a rink or nearby pond is a classic winter activity. Since rinks are maintained, they can be a safer bet for recreational skaters. Plus, most offer lessons for those who are less experienced or looking to improve their skating skills.
Fitness night at school: Find out whether your school has an open gym night or a family fitness night. Those events can get kids and families moving and put a positive emphasis on physical activity. Typically held in a school gym or similar space, a fitness night can be run as a “sports sampler” that offers kids the chance to try out different sports, or with stations for activities like using Hula-Hoops or jumping rope.
As you read this article, more than likely on your phone or tablet, take a moment to notice your posture. There’s a good chance that your back is hunched, your head is tilted forward and your shoulders are rounded. Many of us spend a large portion of our day looking at a screen as we text friends, scroll through social media and respond to emails. Be sure to keep an eye on your posture during these activities. Your back and neck will thank you.
Did you know that bending your head to look at your phone can put up to 60 pounds of pressure on your spine? A 2014 study in Surgical Technology International showed that even a 15-degree head tilt adds 27 pounds of pressure. As we use our phones and laptops more and more, that stress adds up!
Hand-held devices aren’t going anywhere soon — they’re useful and convenient. As you tap and swipe, follow these tips to avoid the aches and pains that come with the digital age.
Take a break
Holding up your phone or tablet for extended periods of time can strain the muscles in your shoulders, arms and fingers. Let your arms rest at your sides every so often.
The 20-20-20 rule
Give your eyes a break! Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look about 20 feet ahead (or as far as possible).
Next time you’re thinking of pulling an all-nighter, try to avoid sitting for longer than 30 minutes at a time. Get up and walk around!
Raise your phone up closer to eye level to reduce strain on your neck. When binge-watching on your tablet or laptop, be sure to prop it up against something so your shoulders and arms can relax.
Stretch it out
Slowly turn your head towards your left shoulder, hold for five seconds and repeat on your right side. You can also download Straighten Up Canada! — a free app developed by Canada’s chiropractors with videos of stretches you can do to help your posture in just three minutes!
Courtesy of the OCA
Dr. Adrina Patterson, the chiropractor and owner of Kingston West Family Chiropractic, is an avid gardener. She loves riding her recumbent bike and travelling. She also enjoys continuously learning and improving her skills.