Back pain is very prevalent in society. You’ll hear statistics like 80% of the population will have back pain at some point in their life and 40% of that 80% (30% of the population, give or take) will have chronic back pain meaning the back pain remains as a part of their life. However, the numbers don’t mean much until your own back hurts. Then, you really start to pay attention!
This video will help for those who feel back pain when getting in and out of the car.
( Transcript of video originally posted at: https://youtu.be/WLcWnVo0IEE )
Hey everyone, it’s Dr. Dave! Hopefully you’re all out there creating those great experiences in your lives.
I keep mentioning creating those great experiences in your life. Sometimes to get to where you’re going to create those great experiences you must drive. Maybe you take a taxi or an Uber, but you must get there. One of the interesting things is this: Did you know that there’s a right and a wrong way to get in and out of the car?
I know it seems kind of silly but if you’re like me and you’re a hurry, you probably do it this way. You just get in, you put one foot in, you kind of twist, you sit, and you lift the other leg in, right? You do it one leg at a time. Interestingly, if you’ve ever had back pain, you’ve probably found that hard to do. That’s because it is a hard thing to do!
There’s a lot of movement involved and that can strain different parts of your body. If you’re healthy maybe it’s not that big a deal. If we want to avoid problems or especially if you’re noticing some problems, we don’t want to aggravate things or set ourselves up to fail.
<H1> Try This…
A good thing to do when you’re getting in is to open the door and then sit first with both legs out the door. Then you can turn both legs in at the same time. This is much less stressful for your lower back, in those joints down there.
I know it seems a little bit silly, but sometimes when it comes to our health what may be the easiest way to do something, or the fastest, is not always the best for us. Sometimes the best way for us slows us down a bit or might even make us feel a bit silly, but the price is less to your health if you do it the right way. You can preserve your health this way.
Remember, when you’re going out to create those great experiences and you’re getting in and out of the car, make sure bum first, feet second and you’re good to go.
P.S. get out of the car in the opposite fashion…turn both feet out, bum on the seat, then stand on both feet. 😊 See the video by clicking here.
Are you Struggling with Persistent Aches? There are 3 Lifestyle Factors That Can Trigger Back Pain
Struggling with back pain and aches? Have a hard time walking around and staying active? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, more than one-third of the U.S. population experiences lower back pain at any given time. Most times, this condition is due to lifestyle factors, such as poor posture, incorrect lifting form, or prolonged sitting.
Treatment options depend on the root cause of your problem. For example, someone who experiences back pain following a sports injury will require a treatment than those suffering from arthritis-related pain. That’s why it’s important to know what triggers your symptoms in the first place.
Interested to find out more? Let’s take a look at some of the most common yet overlooked causes of back pain:
This may come up as a surprise, but stress is often the culprit behind back pain and aches. It’s also a major contributor to IBS, heart disease, high blood pressure, eczema, psoriasis, and other psychosomatic disorders.
If you’ve been stressed out lately, your back may hurt more than usual. You may also experience fatigue, poor sleep, neck pain, and diffuse muscle aches. Those who work out regularly may feel weaker and need more time to recover from exercise.
Even though you cannot completely eliminate stress, there are ways to keep it under control. Sure, this won’t necessarily take your pain away, but it may reduce its intensity.
Try to get more rest, start practicing Pilates or yoga, and do breathing exercises. Avoid people or situations that trigger stress. If your pain persists, consult a chiropractor or a physiotherapist.
Lack of Sleep
Sleep deprivation and back pain go hand in hand. Poor sleep triggers pain, and vice-versa. In a study conducted on subjects with chronic neck and back pain, nearly 20 percent of the patients reported sleeping less than four hours per night. Researchers have also identified a strong link between pain intensity and the grade of sleep deprivation.
When you sleep, your body produces important hormones, such as testosterone and HGH, and repairs damaged tissues. Even the slightest sleep deprivation can interfere with these processes and increase your sensitivity to pain. Furthermore, it raises the stress hormone cortisol levels, which may reduce the body’s pain tolerance and trigger inflammation.
Believe it or not, your job could be making you sick. Back pain is more common in people with certain professions, such as drivers, nurses, factory workers, construction workers, office workers, carpenters, and plumbers. Pro athletes and dancers are at risk too.
These professions involve prolonged sitting or standing as well as sudden movements that can trigger back pain and make it worse. For this reason, they’re commonly referred to as “back-breaking” jobs.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should quit your job or switch careers. What you can do is to pay more attention to your posture and lifting form. If you spend hours sitting at a desk or driving, take regular breaks. Go out for a walk, squeeze more exercise into your schedule, and stay active throughout the day.
These are just a few of the many causes of back pain. Our list could also include strength imbalances, reduced range of motion, underlying cardiovascular problems, urinary tract infections, and more. If you’re obese or overweight, carrying around those extra pounds can put stress on your spine an joints, causing pain.
No matter the cause of your problem, consult a medical professional before taking any drugs. A qualified healthcare provider can assess your condition and recommend the best course of action based on your needs.
Hey everyone, it’s a Dr. Dave! What kind of experiences are you up to today? I hope you are having fun and enjoying life.
I also hope you’re having a good time making those memories and, having said that statement, it’s great when we can. There are, unfortunately, a lot of people who can’t. One of the biggest things that detracts from our ability to have these great experiences every day is pain. Pain affects everybody from moms and dads, to youths and seniors, and in all kinds of occupations. Sometimes, all of these people turn to opioids for relief.
People end up having pain problems because physically, chemically and emotionally, life throws us some challenges. Not just any one challenge but usually multiple challenges over time. Sometimes we end up with a macro problem, it happens in a big instant like an accident. Or it’s a micro problem that builds up over time repeatedly and we end up falling behind on our health.
Nobody likes to be in pain and I don’t blame them, I don’t like to be in pain myself. We quite often turn to solutions that help get us out of pain quickly. When we seek out that pain relief, we turn to medications. Whether over-the-counter or prescription, there’s a place and a need for these medications. Opioids are very powerful and useful at helping us work through some pain.
The challenge with opioids is that they quite often do not deal with the cause or source of our health problem. Our body is very good at eliminating a foreign substance like opioids from our body. It does it faster and faster with more exposure. Therefore, quite often a need for those medications increases to help deal with the same amount of pain. The challenge with that is sometimes there are some nasty side effects. In fact, every year in the United States alone, thirty thousand people die from side effects from opioids.
Opioids Used For Pain Problems Can Lead to Addiction
Three out of five people who end up illegally abusing opioids come from average people, day-to-day people, living their lives, who end up with a pain problem and who have used prescriptions to help. Unfortunately, many never resolve the problem and end up using them for the long term. Death is just one of the worst side effects. There are so many others that cause a downward spiral in a person’s health.
This is nothing new and this is something that’s very well documented. Opioids have been increasingly in the news and in the research. The tragedy really is that opioids use should be a last resort or a short-term strategy. There should be a focus on more conservative options to help that person with their health problem. Especially their pain problem so that it doesn’t become a chronic health problem with an increased risk to their health over the years.
( Transcript to video originally posted here. )
Chiropractic care, being the third largest healthcare profession in the world, the largest drug free, surgery free, healthcare profession in the world, not only focuses on helping people get relief. By improving and recovering function, people can maintain that relief. If they need any medications, they’re going to be a last resort or a short-term option. And chiropractic is not the only choice; massage therapy, naturopathy, traditional Chinese medicine… there are a lot of different approaches that can help people with their pain so that they don’t have to resort to these dangerous options like opioids.
Those medication options are very effective and sometimes quite necessary. We don’t want to become dependent on them. We don’t want to be fooled into thinking we are dealing with the cause or source of the problem. If you’re one of these people who are unfortunate enough to have had some buildup in your life or now you’re dealing with some pain state or if you know someone who’s dealing with pain, whether it’s new or long-term, you want to encourage them to seek out some of these conservative options – like chiropractic care – so that they don’t end up on a path that’s going to be detrimental to their health in the long term.
As I mention quite often in my videos and podcasts, about creating good experiences in life, even when someone takes that medication, their experience in life just isn’t the same. That’s because their body is not able to experience the world the same way when it’s altered through a drug. If we want to have great experiences, we want to seek out these conservative options. Go out there, help your friends, help your family, help yourself, and make sure they’re considering all their options. That way we can all have these great experiences together.
Do you want to know the best stretch for neck and upper back pain? You’ve come to the right place!
(Upper Back Pain?…stretch this instead of your upper back to feel better…this is a transcript to the video originally at: https://youtu.be/jaEAMxoC0dQ)
Hey everyone, it’s Dr. Dave! What kind of experience are you creating for yourself out there today?
You know, we all lead busy lives and many of us go to work, or we stay at work here at our homes, and we’re always doing things. And a lot of the things we do every day, involve us working with something in front of us, very rarely doing work behind us, right?
Whether we’re at a computer or we’re driving or we’re using tools or we’re a hygienist or a hairstylist or an auto mechanic, chiropractor, a massage therapist, many of the things we do every day, even around the home with vacuuming and carrying things and doing dishes, ironing, many of these things are in front of us.
We end up engaging in that work and sometimes by the end of the day into the evening we start to notice some soreness, we get tight and tense in that upper back between the shoulder blades and sometimes even up into the neck.
What do we do? A lot of us stretch, we pull that out some more, we pull where we’re feeling the discomfort. We try to stretch it out. But the interesting thing is, that those parts of our body may be over stretched from what we’ve been doing all day.
It’s counter-intuitive…but stretching your chest may be better than stretching your “over-stretched” upper back!
Instead, a good thing to do is to stand in a door-frame and put your arms up on the door-frame like you’re surrendering. You can put your shoulder at 90 degrees, the elbow is at 90 degrees, you stand in the door-frame and you push your chest forward. Not the head and neck, just the chest. Keep the head over the body, until you feel that pulling through the top of the chest and into the shoulder.
You count till 10, 15, or 20 and you relax, shake it off a bit and then do it a second time. The first time will kind of warm it up, the second time will allow you to go a little bit further and just breathe. Let that stretch out a bit, and what that’s going to do is open this area that’s maybe shortened during the day and is pulling or causing the stretch in the back.
Watch the video HERE.
When we open that back up again, it’s going to take the tension and pressure off the back. When we do this day after day and we get into the habit of resetting that, we’re going to notice less of that discomfort into our upper back and neck. That’s a great tool for you guys to use, to keep having those great experiences every day. Keep yourself loose and supple and we’ll share some more tricks with you in the future, so keep your eyes open.
Your computer or work routine maybe causing neck and back pain, figuratively “killing you”! Check out this post to learn how you can create a routine to help.
( Transcript of video originally posted at: https://youtu.be/ONy4svamVD4 )
Hey everyone, it’s Dr. Dave! Hopefully you’re all doing well and you’re out there creating those great experiences.
We have a seven-year-old son Evan and he goes to karate. The other day when I was there watching him, it dawned on me that life is a lot like karate in some ways. Chiropractic even has a karate component! If you hang around to the end of this video, I’m going to give you a special offer to show you how you can learn some chiropractic karate that will help keep you healthy every day, especially if you’re a computer user or you’re doing something repetitive every day.
TRY A KARATE CLASS…It’s good for you! (check out our friends at Summit Karate)
This past weekend, I was out watching my son at Summit Karate, shout out to the people at Summit! Over the years, he’s worked his way up through all these different colored belts. He was gone white, yellow, orange, green, blue and right now he’s a blue advanced belt. Then he’ll go purple, purple advanced, brown, brown advanced and black and everyone’s after that top one right.
It takes a lot of work and you must learn something called a kata. If you’re familiar with karate you know that a kata is a series of movements that when you tie them together it tells a story. For you to move from level to level, belt to belt, you must be able to perform this kata meticulously well. One of the ways you learn is by individualizing the steps making sure that you understand each movement. Then you will be able to tie those movements together, without looking at anything, just totally memorized and understand what that story is by embracing it… making it a part of you.
I thought this is the same thing that happens to us when we go to work every day, or we live our lives habitually. We all have a kata of some kind for the activities that we do. You might have a dishwashing kata, or you might have a laundry kata. You have this bedtime routine which is kind of like a kata, etc.
LEARN YOUR OWN PERSONALIZED MOVEMENT ROUTINE!
What we do at the clinic is we teach people this 21-movement range of motion protocol. It’s like fast Tai Chi, or fast yoga, that people can do two or three times every day and it becomes your chiropractic kata. It becomes your motion is life, life is motion kata. Especially if you have sedentary or repetitive work, like computer work or assembly line work, something like that, this is going to be so useful.
( visit our site for more information about the Toronto Neck and Back Pain Clinic…as well as more interesting blog posts )
What I’d like to do is offer you the opportunity to come by the clinic. I will teach you as a courtesy and at no cost, this kata that you can do two or three times a day. In two or three months, once you’ve memorized it, you’ve embraced it, and you have ownership of it, when you go to do it, even before you start doing it, your nervous system will immediately go into this release mode. You’ll have a positive trigger in your life that can help negate some of the effects of what you’re doing every day that might be affecting your health.
I want you to reach me by email. I want you to set up a day and time. I’m going to take time outside of my schedule specially for you to come in, so I can teach you this. While you’re there if you have aches, pains, back pain, headaches, neck pain or other health concerns or you just want to talk about optimizing and supporting that journey you’re on with your health, I’m happy to do that as a courtesy consultation while you’re there at no charge as well. Because I’d love to meet you and I’d love to teach you this chiropractic kata for you to be able to use every day. It will help you with those great experiences that you’re trying to create every day. The email is at the bottom of this video… reach out and we would love to hear from you.
Posture Tips…How To Improve My Posture
( Transcript to video originally posted at: https://youtu.be/iKt32bBqBzk )
Hey everyone, it’s Dr. Dave! Hopefully you’re all doing well, taking care of each other, enjoying yourselves and creating those great experiences in your life.
One of the questions that people ask me sometimes, because we do a lot of work with posture, is what exercises can I do to kind of fix my posture or how can I improve my posture. Especially when it comes to this hump in the upper back. My first answer isn’t necessarily to explain the exercises. Rather, it’s to let them know that depending on how long and what’s going on and why it would appear that that posture has changed or there is a hump there, exercise may not be enough to try and correct that hump.
Whether it is or it isn’t, the exercises are still good for you. But there may be another cause or source and some other things playing into why the body has taken on those posture changes. That might be key… to address first, and that’s always with function. Function first, but now we want to support that of course with good fitness.
The top suggestion isn’t necessarily just an exercise but it’s awareness. If someone comes to the clinic and we give them exercises and we do some treatment and we unlock and release and we work on retraining this… that if they leave the clinic and they’re not doing their exercises, but the rest of the day they’re feeding into that by not being aware,… then all of it is an uphill battle. It’s going to be very difficult to influence and encourage your body to sit and move differently.
The number one step dealing with that posture change is your awareness. Sitting tall, standing tall, catching yourself and one of the neat things that we tell people often is just to find a wall or flat surface where you can put your heels, your bum, your shoulder blades and your head against the wall. Looking straight ahead, you just translate that head back two or three seconds and then you step away and go about your business.
(Check out the video for a better visual explanation)
Do this multiple times throughout the day, very briefly. Just remind that position and by creating that awareness and some reminders like that, you can help work on ensuring not only maybe some encouragement for that posture to get better, but definitely not playing into allowing it to get worse. Sometimes, slowing and stopping is the best process of improving and recovering some of that posture.
Another good thing to do is all kinds of upper back exercises. If you have access to resistance bands, or if you go to the gym, some of the common exercises that will work are like a seated row or a pull back with a resistance band, either one or both to really work on those shoulders and bringing those shoulder blades back. Then any kinds of pull downs straight down, some kind of pull downs in front, you can even do like reverse flies.
Anything that works those superficial back muscles will help with that posture. Be cautious… it’s going to help with the upper part of the back and in the shoulders but sometimes the neck still gets left out. The specific neck exercises can be done, either with a mold using gravity and/or with a resistance band.
Because we’re dealing with the neck and in each individual case, the cause or source of those posture changes might be different, it’s a good idea to get that advice specifically from chiropractor, personal trainer perhaps and maybe some other kind of allied health professional. Find anyone who has some knowledge or experience in that respect.
Those are the key things; some awareness, catching yourself during the day, reminding yourself, and then hooking up with a healthcare provider to make sure that any exercises that are given, other than the ones that you might be doing in the gym anyway, that could help with posture are specific to you. Doing this, you are going to get you the results that you’re looking for.
I hope that was helpful. If you have any questions you can always reach out to us through our website, come like us on Facebook, follow us. We put out some good posts now and then. We’d love to see you there or drop by the clinic anytime, you’re always welcome… the door is open to help you create those great experiences in your life. Until next time, take care.
Back Pain…It Can Be Better! Here’s how…
( Transcription of video found at: https://youtu.be/Ikt-f8iGO54 )
Hey everyone, it’s Dr. Dave. Hopefully you’re all doing well, enjoying your day, and you’re out there creating those great experiences in your life.
You know what can get in the way of great experience every day? It’s definitely back pain!
Back pain is not fun. I want you to know that it can be better. That’s the big message for today. If you woke up one morning and you suddenly thought how I got 20 years older, how come I can’t just stand straight, how come every step is an effort, and my back just hurts…. And, you think to yourself, where did this come from, how did this happen, why me, what’s this situation I’m in?
You Are Not Alone
I have to tell you that you’re not alone. About 80 percent of North Americans are going to have back pain at some point in their life and about 40 percent of that 80 are going to have chronic back pain. This means that some component of the back issue is going to persist through their life. That’s about a third of the population that has some kind of back issue that’s just not going away, and that’s too much.
I don’t want you to be in that portion of that population.
Back pain can happen for a whole bunch of reasons; it can happen from accidents, car accidents, slip and falls, and sporting accidents. It can happen from other things that are more innocuous like pregnancy, working at a physical laborious job every day, working at a sedentary job every day and then, sometimes, unfortunately, believe it or not, back pain can happen for no reason at all.
Why Do I Have Back Pain?
It’s probably because you’ve been walking and engaging in things on this earth of ours as a human being. Stuff has just accumulated and the reality is there’s been a lack of maintenance. It’s just happened as a part of your life. Chiropractors want to know what the difference is, have you been working, or haven’t you? What have you been doing, what haven’t you been doing? Because your story is more relevant than your problem or your pain, and because who has the problem is more significant in getting it better than what the actual problem is.
Usually the diagnosis isn’t that challenging, but the prognosis on what’s going to happen is based on you as a person. It’s based on what you bring to the table and what’re you willing to do. Where have you been, where are you now, and where do you want to go? And why is that so valuable, why do chiropractors spend that time? It’s because we want to avoid masking the situation, masking the pain. Temporary short term solutions are just Band-Aids that help you get by while the problem is actually getting worse. Then you end up in that third of the population that has that chronic back pain. Not good.
You Can Be Better…but ask for help.
So contrary to popular belief you can be better, you can escape the back pain and it starts with that first step. I don’t like to post a lot of DIY stuff or “do this stretch” for your back or “be aware of this”. It’s very valuable and there’s some merit to it, but my concern is that people view that as a solution to their back pain. It quite often helps but it very rarely fixes the cause of the source of the problem. Without examining you, without sitting down with you, without knowing your story, I don’t want to provide that advice or direction, without you being really clear that maybe you’re just doing some relief stuff but you’re not actually fixing or correcting the problem. Are you making it as good as you want it to be, because maybe we don’t have all that information?
So that first step starts with contacting a chiropractor, making an appointment, doing the consult, doing the exam and only then you can really discover what options you have that are individualised and personalised to you to get you out of that back pain.
If you’re ready for some fun, you want to be pain free, you don’t want to be in that part of the population as a statistic with the chronic back pain… then make the call today. Find the chiropractor in your area that you can go see. If your friends and family see somebody, chances are that you’d like them as well, go see them. If you’re in the greater Toronto area and you can make it to Yonge and Bloor, we’d be happy to see you, I’d love to help. See me on social media, find my website, send me an email, give us a call, I’d be happy to talk to you before you come in, but make that first step, reach out, I’d be happy to help.
If you’d like to reach me, ask me a question, or book an appointment, click HERE.
You have neck pain or back pain and you don’t like it. You would like neck pain and back pain relief!
That makes sense.
No one likes to be in pain.
Anyone in pain wants relief fast.
The fastest options for relief are medications.
Medications can lower the inflammation, decrease the swelling, and block the pain signal from getting to your brain. Always talk to a medical doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication. Why? Because there are side effects with many medications you need to know about.
This is a good option, perhaps, for the short term and maybe worth the risks to get some relief. But most people really don’t like taking medications.
And that’s because most people realize that what works fast does not always work right.
Why were the inflammation, swelling and/or pain there in the first place?
Was something strained? Was something sprained? Was something bruised? Was something injured? Was something building up over time? Is something out of place?
These are good questions that deserve good answers.
And, when you do feel better at some point, are you actually doing better? Is the problem solved? Did you get to the cause or source of the pain?
That’s an even better question to ask if you’re not interested in being in pain again.
[ check out this short video on neck pain and back pain relief and how you can be better: https://youtu.be/Ikt-f8iGO54 ]
Every health care provider has answers to these questions. The answers will make sense to you. However, the results may not, especially if the pain comes back more than once. Then you have to start to wonder what’s best for you.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of that neck pain or back pain for good, talking with a chiropractor and getting a chiropractic examination can provide you with options and results to not only get out of pain but stay out of pain without drugs or surgery.
Do it yourself options can be effective. Cold packs, hot packs, stretches, exercises and other similar choices are good. However, if you’re the kind of person that REALLY wants to know, that wants to get to the heart of the matter, that doesn’t want to take changes and wants to truly take care of themselves, a chiropractor can be a valuable part of your health care options.
For more information or to improve your condition, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Poor Posture/Position, Prior Trauma and Poor Maintenance.
I wonder if owls ever get neck pain. It’s always amazing to see nature films where owls are observed turning their heads virtually 360 degrees. While hunting, the ability to swivel their head in combination with their incredible eyesight makes them skilled at catching their small prey.