Suffering from Arthritis?

bones of your handArthritis is a prevalent disorder occurring at the joints (where the bones meet) in your body. As this is a common condition, many of you have probably experienced it first-hand. Specifically, arthritis is swelling in the joints and is often paired with a painful sensation and restricted motion. This condition has the potential to affect your muscles, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, and other internal structures of the body as it progresses. Over 100 types of arthritis have been identified and linked to various factors such as injury, genetics and infections, just to mention a few. Although this is more common in the older population, men and women of all ages are susceptible to arthritis. As a result of the numerous types of arthritis, being diagnosed with which type you have is important for deciding a treatment plan.

There is no solution for arthritis, but here are some general tips that help relieve pain:

  • Weight loss, having a lower body mass means a smaller load is being put on your joints
  • Make sure you are getting enough vitamin D, it’s good for your bone health
  • Get an adequate amount of sleep
  • Find something to relieve the stress in your life, whether that means a yoga class, a massage, or just taking the day to relax

The key thing to remember is stay active. Both building the muscles around the joint and increasing the motion are important for continued joint function. Physiotherapists and Chiropractors have been shown to provide an excellent rehabilitative effect, through reducing the symptoms and delivering exercise programs.

For maintenance of your arthritis, consult with our practitioners today.

Protect your back while shoveling

Watch your back when shoveling snowWith the winter fast approaching, make sure you are prepared for when the snow inevitably hits. Of course, you need to have your winter boots and toque at the ready, but what I mean is learning how to shovel your driveway without hurting your back. Shoveling may seem like a routine task, you do it every year so you should know how to do it, right? Wrong! On average, over 11 000 people are sent to the hospital with shoveling related injuries each year. A lot of these incidences were related to muscle strains, low back injuries and falls.

A huge way to prevent this from happening to you is by paying attention to your technique while shoveling. Our physiotherapists and chiropractors have some advice for anyone planning on shoveling this winter:

  1. Don’t lift the shovel, push it! Keep it in front of you and lean into the handle, using your body weight will reduce the force needed to push the snow forward.
  2. Start by clearing a long strip in the middle of your driveway to divide the area in half.
  3. Next, go to the cleared path and turn so you will be pushing the snow at a 90 degree angle to that line. Push all the snow on that side of the line to the edge. Walk back to the midline and push the snow on the other side of the line to the opposite edge of the driveway.
  4. Repeat until your driveway is clear!

Pushing the shovel is safer and less strenuous than lifting the shovel to throw the snow. However if you do need to lift the shovel, don’t just bend your back, get your legs involved. Position yourself so the weight of the snow is close to your body. Bend your knees, keep a neutral spine and then extend your knees once you are ready. Instead of throwing the snow, walk over to where it needs to be dumped and twist the shovel so that the snow just falls to the ground.

Follow these tips to lower your risk of back pain this winter season!