“Back Future” – A Toronto Star Article

I hope everyone takes a minute to read this article.
It is a very important step for the chiropractic profession as it moves forward.
St. Michael’s Hospital is definitely paving the way for the profession! As a chiropractic intern I was lucky enough to be chosen to participate in an interprofessional program and saw the early beginnings of this clinic. I am so glad that it has been so successful to date.

Some notable quotes from this article:

“People with back problems and back pain feel they need an MRI or expensive imaging, he says, “but in most cases that doesn’t tell us what’s wrong.”

“Many patients referred to the clinic do not need surgery,” says Erwin. “They’re referred there by someone who is not up to speed on who needs surgery and who doesn’t. And it’s a big waste of the neurosurgeon’s time to see patients with mechanical back pain.”

“There’s been some bad publicity about chiropractic, particularly around neck adjustments and a slight risk of stroke that happened in isolated cases. But the benefits far outweigh the risks. Absolutely I recommend chiropractic to other people. It’s actually a shame that more people don’t use it, especially in conjunction with massage therapy.”


Is Your Handbag Affecting Your Health?

handbag In my office, I have been seeing an influx of women coming into the office complaining of neck, shoulder, back pain, and arm numbness. I go through my usual questions about activity, stress, trauma, etc, but in the back of my mind, I know the culprit – the excessively large handbag sitting on the floor next to them.

When I question them about their handbags, they often say, “oh it’s not that heavy” however when I lift it, it feels close to 7-10 lbs.
A brick of a wallet, extra clothes, water bottles, books, IPad, perhaps an umbrella, it’s no surprise that these bags are the source of many musculoskeletal health issues. Carrying a heavy bag, particularly on one shoulder can definitely affect movement.

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Running or Walking?

runningAs I was drafting up my response to two contradicting articles that were published on the same day regarding which was actually better – running or walking, I was really impressed when the Slate came out with their article!

There are certain benefits to running – it increases your heart rate, activates different muscles, and there’s nothing like that “runners high.” But that’s not to say that walking won’t have the same effect – if it is done with intent.

(Side note: I often hear my patients say “I walk a lot at work.” or “I get enough exercise cleaning the house.”  or “I stretch when I get up.” This frustrates me to no end. This is NOT exercise.  Exercise is not just physical, but a mental activity as well – but I digress).

In my opinion, there is no real difference between walking (with intent to exercise), and running – as long as you are moving! Sitting is the new smoking!

Many times a walking program leads to running. After a few weeks of brisk walking it becomes too easy and you want a challenge. You’d be surprised at how fast your cardiovascular system adapts.

To those already exercising routinely, with the warming spring weather, I encourage everyone to block off at least 30 minutes each day to go for a brisk walk or run OUTSIDE; make it part of your exercise routine. While I applaud those who workout at the gym on a regular basis, doing something outdoors is equally beneficial for your health.  We spend more than enough time indoors breathing recycled air as it is. Go outside, soak in some Vitamin D, and get some fresh air while doing something good for your health.

If you’re unsure about how to start a program or whether it is the right approach for you,  you can consult a healthcare professional including your chiropractor to create a personalized plan just for you! There are a great many resources available – you just have to ask!

Running or Walking, it’s all good!


Ellen and Myofascial Release Therapy

Check it out!

Ellen, who has publicly suffered from chronic back problems and a regular chiropractic patient discusses her experience with myofascial release therapy and how it helped her acute low back pain!


Myofascial Release Therapy is a form of soft tissue therapy used to treat somatic dysfunction (i.e. impaired or altered function of bodily structures) and the resulting pain and restriction of motion. This therapy works by releasing the level of tightness or scar tissue formation that has resulted from overuse, injury, or postural imbalances, thereby improving tissue texture, tension, movement, and function.

MacHANd Day (and a semi-soapbox moment)

On Thursdaymachand, November 29, 2012, a colleague and I attended the 5th Annual McMaster University Hand, Arm and Nerve Day.  I’ve been looking forward to this seminar/conference for a while as I love treating upper extremities. Conditions involving the upper extremity are always so interesting, complex, and/or varied and have great outcome measures. Nothing is more satisfying than to see an increase in shoulder range of movement after only a couple treatments.

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The Benefits of Walking [infographics]

Courtesy of everybodywalk.org

As an infant, all we wanted to do was right ourselves into a biped position and start walking. Why is it that as adults, we do our best to avoid it?

Here are two awesome infographics explaining all the great health benefits about walking. Just 30 minutes a day is all you need to make some incredible changes in your life.