Will I Need X-Rays?

kermit

This is a common question we are asked when a new patient calls in for an appointment. If you’ve called other chiropractic offices, you may have been told x-rays would be required in the first visit. This is not an uncommon practice among chiropractors, to include x-rays in the initial evaluation and to guide treatment; however, it is not considered to be standard procedure in the profession, but rather, supplemental. In our clinic, however, x-rays are not routine for an initial evaluation. Your first visit will begin with a thorough evaluation. If during either the history or physical examination, evidence comes to light that would indicate possible bone disease or pathology that may contraindicate manual adjusting methods, medical imaging (such as x-ray or MRI) will be required. In most cases, x-ray will be unnecessary, and you will receive treatment in your first visit. If you have had recent imaging done, it may or may not affect treatment, and we may request a copy for our records.

 

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Stretch for Levator Scapulae

Levator_scapulae

 

 

Following chiropractic care and assisted muscle stretching, this is a simple stretch easily done at home to maintain optimal length of the muscle. The tight muscle contributes to upper crossed syndrome. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, repeating 3 times per side, a minimum of twice per day.

IMPORTANT: Discontinue if sharp or intense pain occurs; a gentle stretch is desired.

 

 

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Lumbar Stabilization – Neutral Pelvis

The first step in lumbar stabilization and core strengthening programs is the neutral pelvis track, which is important in improving proper biomechanical motion and pelvic stability. When the pelvis is tilted, it changes the curvature of the back, which causes strain on the lumbar spine. The goal of the neutral pelvis track is to find the pain free or most stable position, and “lock” it in place by contracting the abdominal muscles.

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Stretch for Gluteal Muscles – 2

gluteal-muscles1Following chiropractic care and assisted muscle stretching, this is a simple stretch easily done at home to maintain optimal length of the muscle. The tight muscle contributes to lower crossed syndrome. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, repeating 3 times per side, a minimum of twice per day.

 

IMPORTANT: Discontinue if sharp or intense pain occurs; a gentle stretch is desired.

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Strengthening Exercise for Lower Trapezius

After motion has been restored to the neck and upper back following a chiropractic adjustment and soft tissue therapy, this is a simple exercise easily done at home to strengthen the lower trapezius. The weak muscle contributes to upper crossed syndrome. Start with 2 sets of 10 repetitions, twice daily.

IMPORTANT: Discontinue if sharp or intense pain occurs; mild muscle soreness is ok.

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Stretch for Gluteal Muscles

gluteal-muscles1

 

Following chiropractic care and assisted muscle stretching, this is a simple stretch easily done at home to maintain optimal length of the muscle. The tight muscle contributes to lower crossed syndrome. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, repeating 3 times per side, a minimum of twice per day.

 

IMPORTANT: Discontinue if sharp or intense pain occurs; a gentle stretch is desired.

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Chiropractic For Management of Chronic Headache

Headache sir patrick stewart

Headaches can be severe and debilitating. Chiropractors are rigorously trained in the evaluation and treatment of chronic headache, and can work with you to reduce the frequency, intensity, and duration of headaches, improving your quality of life and returning you to work and play.

Your chiropractor will work with you to target and reduce headache triggers. Triggers can include: joint dysfunction (especially of the neck and jaw), muscle tension or imbalance, diet, allergies, stress, and workplace ergonomics, to name a few. In some rare cases, headaches can be a symptom of an underlying disease, requiring referral to the appropriate health care professional.

Turn to page 19 and read the article on managing tension headaches that Dr. Hayden wrote in the Interior Wellness Magazine – a health and wellness magazine serving British Columbia

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Bridge Track – Strengthening for gluteals, hip flexors & Abdominals

This progressive exercise is an excellent way to strengthen three muscle groups that are often weak and can be a contributing factor to back pain. Work up to maintaining activity for up to 2 minutes. Breathe and focus on the muscles you are working, and do not arch the back.

Remember, quality is more important than quantity, and while mild muscle soreness following exercise is acceptable, you should discontinue if back pain is aggravated.

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Upper Crossed Syndrome

upper-crossed

As a follow up to my post ‘posture at work’, let’s talk about upper crossed syndrome, a condition derived from sustained poor posture. This is a condition of muscle imbalances, with typical pairs of tight and weak muscles.

What does it look like?

In upper crossed syndrome, you will observe rounded shoulders, a forward-drawn head, elevation of shoulders, and shoulder blades that protrude from the back. upper-crossed The best way to observe your own posture, would be to sit, as you normally would (no cheating!) and have a friend take a view from the side. Any resemblance to the above photo? You may even find trigger points, or tender spots, in the SCM, pecs, traps, or levators. You may even find that you are restricted in motion, a result of chronic overload of musculature; remember: the ligaments act as static stabilizers of a joint, while the muscles are a dynamic stabilizer; when the muscles surrounding a joint are limited, the joint is not optimally supported. You may also be experiencing chronic neck and arm pain, or even headache, as a result of this postural imbalance.

How chiropractic can help

posture_01A thorough physical exam will identify postural faults, trigger points, joint dysfunction, and the tight and weak muscles that characterise this condition. Chiropractic manipulation (adjusting), manual stretching, and soft tissue work, will begin to restore motion and alleviate symptoms immediately, as we begin to work together to stretch and strengthen the involved muscles. It is important to remember, as with any condition, it took a significant amount of time to develop, and thus will require time, and hard work on your part, to reverse. Good posture is a good habit! While it will take a lot of focused concentration in the beginning, it will get easier as you work at it.

***this article is not intended to replace proper diagnosis and treatment of any disorders. It is important to seek care to determine the cause and best management of neck and back pain or headache. 

 

 

 

Strengthening exercises for:

Stretch for:

You may have noticed that a strengthening exercise is not included for the deep neck flexors; guidance is needed in learning this exercise, as it is easy to instead activate the SCM (which can also flex the neck), only causing further aggravation of any symptoms. This exercise is monitored over several visits to the office, to ensure it is being performed properly, and the deep neck flexors are indeed being activated. 

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Stretch for Psoas – 2

 

FGray430_Psoas_Majorollowing chiropractic care and assisted muscle stretching, this is a simple stretch easily done at home to maintain optimal length of the muscle. The tight muscle contributes to lower crossed syndrome. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, repeating 3 times per side, a minimum of twice per day.

 

IMPORTANT: Discontinue if sharp or intense pain occurs; a gentle stretch is desired.

 

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