Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Love Your Spine WSD 2018

October 16th each year is World Spine Day (WSD). It is a day raising awareness of back pain and other spinal conditions. This year’s theme is #LoveYourSpine and emphasizes the importance of spinal health through the promotion of physical activity, good posture and proper lifting.

There is an estimated one billion people (young and old) worldwide suffering from back pain. It is the biggest single cause of disability on the planet with one in four adults suffering from back pain at some point during their lives. Thus, prevention is key!

What is back pain?

Back pain is not just one thing. It can range from a dull ache to a sudden, sharp pain that takes your breath away and makes it hard to move. It can start quickly or can be a slow worsening experience. There are many sources of back pain ranging from mechanical, physically related stress to the structure (bone) and tissues (muscles, joints, etc.) of the back, to non-mechanical pain not relating to musculoskeletal system.

How is back pain managed?

Back pain can be managed in several different ways. Remedies range from rest to exercise or from pain medication/muscle relaxants to manual care techniques. Everyone responds differently to the various options. The important thing to understand is that there are strategies for alleviating pain, and no one needs to suffer.

Here are some tips to help prevent back pain:

- Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
- Stay active and be sure to warm up.
- Avoid prolonged periods of inactivity.
- Maintain good posture.
- Lift with your knees and keep the object close to your body.
- Quick smoking because it impairs blood flow leading to oxygen and nutrient deprivation to the tissues of the body.

The Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA) launched the Straighten Up Canada app on October 16th, 2014 to mark World Spine Day. The app includes 12 exercise videos that young people and adults alike,
can use to help maintain a healthy spine.

To download the App, visit Android App or Apple App.
To view videos of the Straighten Up Canada exercises: Adult and Youth

The Coach House Team is here to help! Book a consultation today to help kick start your back pain recovery.

Dr. Mark Bird BSc (Hon), MSc, Acu, DC

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Daily dose of Calm - Practices to manage stress

Stress is inevitable in our daily lives, that's why here at the Coach House we like to encourage our clients to make sure they have self-care practices in place.
These tools can be daily practices or just kept in the proverbial toolbox for times of increased Stress. These techniques, while simple, help to reduce the strain on

the sympathetic nervous system helping to increase the relaxation.

Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing

Benefits include:

  • Stretches and tones belly muscles
  • Relieves Pain and muscle tension
  • Improves posture
  • Decreases stress response

To perform Deep diaphragmatic belly breathing begin by sitting tall or lying comfortably. It can be helpful to start with one hand on the belly and the other on the chest, this gives you a focal point as you breathe. As you inhale through your nose allow your belly to rise and fill. You will notice the hand on your belly moving to accommodate the expansion of the diaphragm the chest should have minimal movement during inhalation.
When ready begin to exhale slowly through the mouth and allow the belly to deflate.

Epsom Salt Bath
Many people are deficient in Magnesium an Epsom salt bath is one of the best ways to restore this imbalance. Epsom salts are high in magnesium and sulphate and 
are easily absorbed through the bodies skin. To have an Epsom Salt bath simply
add one cup of Epsom salts to a comfortably warm bathtub and soak for a
minimum of 15 minutes. Benefits include:

  • Natural Stress Reliever 
  • Decrease muscle tension and cramps
  • Decreases muscle pain
  • Supports circulatory system 
For foot/arm soaks add 1/3c of Epsom salts to the warm water and soak for 15 minutes.

Legs up the wall

This is a restorative yoga inversion posture aimed at reducing mental and physical stress on the body.

Benefits include:
  • Supports the circulatory system
  • Supports systemic detoxification
  • Reduces swelling 
  • Engages the relaxation response
  • Reduces symptoms of stress

To perform legs up the wall begin by sitting as close as possible to the wall. Gently lay on your back and you place your legs up the wall and adjust to get your pelvis and legs as close to the wall as possible. Option to lay with your back supported by a bolster/ rolled up towel for added spinal support and chest opening. Relax along the wall for 10-15 minutes. 

Jacobsen's Relaxation Technique

The technique involves isolating segments of the body and alternating between 3 seconds of muscle contraction and 6 seconds of muscle relaxation. Assists to reprogram
the nervous system to reduce muscle tone, tension and pain.

Benefits include:
Improves sleep quality and quantity
Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
    Reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression 

Mindfulness practices like these take practice and repetition, like brushing your teeth you have to come back to it frequently. There are many different techniques to practice mindfulness and decrease stress so if you are needing support to be sure to speak to your healthcare team to see how we can best help you.

Download your copy of the self-care suggestion sheet. If you have questions about anything mentioned in this blog or for booking contact email Megan directly by e-mail: megan@thecoachhousetc.ca

Other helpful posts for increased mindfulness:

Disclaimer: The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for general educational purposes only. This information shouldn’t take the place of seeing your primary care provider for individualized health recommendations.