Stop the Cycle of Pain & Depression

Pain and depression often feed on each other in a vicious cycle. Likewise, treating one will often help the other and maybe even stop the cycle of pain and depression.

If you have ever experienced back pain you know just how disruptive it can be on your life. The impact of not being able to participate in our day-to-day activities can cause worry, fatigue, a decrease in self-esteem, sleep disturbances, and financial worry due to an inability to work.

Inevitably dealing with the pain itself as well as the mental ramifications can cause acute depressive symptoms which in turn will magnify the back pain, making the whole experience all-consuming.

Although it sounds like a bleak predicament, it doesn’t have to be. The best way to break the cycle of pain and depression is to take control of your symptoms and seek a treatment that is best suited to you.

 

back pain, low back pain, neck pain, headache, chronic pain, joint pain, toronto chiropractor
Pain and depression often go hand in hand.

How a chiropractor can help?

Chiropractors take a holistic approach when developing individualized chiropractic care plans. They look at the whole body to ensure that you are receiving the most effective pain management treatment for you.

Spinal manipulation is just one of the chiropractic treatment methods employed in easing the pain caused by both acute and chronic back pain, but it is not the only one. A good chiropractor will thoroughly assess your needs and refer you to other professionals if they feel that is what is best for you as the patient. In order to come up with the most effective treatment they will take the time to get to know you and understand the source of your pain.

 

What can you expect from your first visit?

The first step in determining which chiropractic techniques will work best for you, is understanding your medical background and current health status. You will be asked to fill out a form prior to meeting with your chiropractor for the first time.

The second step is a thorough chiropractic exam which may include respiration, blood pressure, and reflex testing. Depending on your symptoms, the chiropractor may also want to asses your range of motion or complete a posture analysis.

All of the information gathered in these initial two steps will help the chiropractor understand your specific needs and develop a chiropractic care plan that will have you stepping back into your daily life without the pain.

 

back pain, neck pain, low back pain, headaches, chronic pain, joint pain, toronto chiropractor
Chiropractors are a good resource when dealing with pain.

What is a chiropractic treatment plan?

For each patient the plan will be tailored to suit their diagnosis and individual needs. Chiropractors aim to have you back on your feet and enjoying life as soon as possible. For acute low back pain the treatment plan often ranges from six to twelve sessions over the course of a two to four week period. The initial sessions are often thirty minutes long with the follow-ups being around ten to fifteen minutes.

Your treatment plan will be unique to you and can involve manual spinal manipulations, spinal traction, soft tissue manual therapies, muscle stimulation, ultrasound, and therapeutic stretching. Your chiropractor may also refer you to other professionals for diet and nutritional counselling or life counselling.

There are many factors that come into play when we are experiencing debilitating pain. Chiropractors take the full picture into account and recognize the importance of a well rounded care plan that addresses the individual needs of each patient.

Living with pain is something that greatly reduces your quality of life by stealing away those moments when you experience joy in your accomplishments and the things you love to do. Seeking treatment and getting your pain management under control is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. Chiropractors can help!

Shirtless man with lower back pain or backache

Debunking Three Common Myths about Chiropractic Treatment

Have you ever heard the term “bone crusher?”

No, I’m not talking about the latest Marvel superhero, extreme workout challenge, or fear-inducing rollercoaster.

All good guesses though!

If this term does sound vaguely familiar in your search for understanding the benefits of a chiropractic treatment, it is because it is the one some people associate with chiropractors. It is this type of misleading language that will often send those that would benefit most from a chiropractic adjustment plan running for the door.

So let’s look at breaking down three common myths surrounding chiropractic care:

1. CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS ARE PAINFUL

I don’t know about you, but an alternative pain management therapy that is referred to as “bone crushing” sounds anything but therapeutic to me! No wonder people feel nervous about signing on for a treatment plan that will make the pain worse before it gets better.

The myth that chiropractic treatments will be painful is 100% wrong. If anything, a patient may feel a bit of pressure or some discomfort, but generally hands-on spinal manipulation therapy has not been known to cause pain. What chiropractic patients will find is that aligning the musculoskeletal structure allows the body to heal, ultimately ridding the patient of the pain that they were seeking relief from.

Taking the time to not only learn about health options but to also get assessed for them is a good choice.

2. ONCE YOU START SEEING A CHIROPRACTOR YOU WILL HAVE TO KEEP GOING BACK

This one is also false!

A patient who is experiencing acute pain will be assessed and given a chiropractic treatment plan. Each plan depends on the specific needs of their condition. Often times acute issues will require a couple of visits to establish lasting relief from the pain, and then there is no need to return.

Some patients however, will opt for ongoing treatment because they recognize the benefits of aligned bones on both their physical and mental wellbeing. Many report feeling a lift in their overall vitality and quality of life.

Back Pain is commonly treated by chiropractors in toronto, as are many other aches and pains.
There are many causes of back pain…knowing yours can lead to better treatment.

3. CHIROPRACTORS ONLY DEAL WITH BACK PAIN

Chiropractors work primarily to relieve pain in the muscles, joints and connective tissues like ligaments and cartilage. Most patients seek relief for back related conditions like a herniated disk or muscle strain, but chiropractors can also help with sports injuries and headaches.

A treatment example for a sprained ankle would be to align the bones in the foot to correct the issue causing the tissue damage, using athletic tape to keep the alignment in place. That procedure can be followed by either ultrasound, laser or electrotherapy to reduce the swelling. This type of treatment plan can often greatly reduce the healing time.

Headache sufferers know just how disruptive the pain they experience can be to their day-to-day lives. Chronic headaches can affect their ability to function at work, interact with family and friends, and experience joy. Chiropractors employ a variety of methods to manage headaches, including manual therapy, soft tissue therapy, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and acupuncture. Each plan is unique to the individual patient.

As you can see there is no bone crushing involved here. Chiropractors provide an alternative pain management course of treatment that puts bones back in their happy place!

Chiropractic, Toronto Chiropractor

Opioids vs Health Care Options

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.

Man and woman in underwear having back pain or backache and neck pain or neckache

Best Stretch Neck / Upper Back Pain

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.

Easy Routine for Neck and Back Pain

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.

Your work and life can cause back and neck pain.

( 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.

Woman with neck pain or neckache
Computer work is especially hard on the spine.

( 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.

Man and woman having back and neck pain

Neck Pain and Back Pain Relief

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.

Neck Pain and Back Pain Are Not Fun!

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.