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Jason Li, RMT – Registered Massage Therapist

A spasm is an involuntary contraction of a voluntary muscle due to stress, injury or chronic tension. It causes nerve compression and ischemia due to lack of blood supply and forms a pain → spasm →pain cycle. The severity of these episodes depends on how much of the muscle is involved.

Spasms are considered to be low-grade, long lasting contractions. It can be painful and involve whole muscles or muscle groups. This situation can persist without any real relief until the circle of pain is interrupted.

Massage is a much-used strategy to manage long-term, low-grade muscle spasms. Stretching along with massage at attachment sites of contracting muscles are often effective strategies for reducing muscle tension.

Muscles that have been in involuntary contraction respond well to massage, which can reduce residual pain and improve local circulation. Massage can help to re-establish efficient movement but this is best done incrementally to avoid the risk of re-injury.

Muscle spasms may also be treated with heat, ice or local applications of ointments that create hot and cold sensations to alter local blood flow.

muscle spasm

If you are suffering from muscle spasms, please contact us at 905.465.4595 to make an appointment with one our talented registered massage therapists.

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Dr. Tara Brown, (Hon) BA Kin, DC, ART®, D.Ac – Doctor of Chiropractic

The arrival of spring often brings the task of spring-cleaning! Whether it be around the house or around the garden, it is important to keep these tips from the Canadian Chiropractic Association in mind.

1. Warm up

Before engaging in any physical activity, it is always a good idea to warm up the body. Doing simple stretches or taking a walk around the house can help prepare your body for the activity you are about to perform.

2. Divide heavy loads

Splitting heavy loads into smaller, more manageable piles to decrease the risk of injury may be beneficial. Carrying a large load of laundry or groceries into the house may be tempting to get the task done all at once, but you may also be putting your body at risk of injury.

3. Leaving too much for one day

This is one of the most common reasons people end up in my office. They often leave all their chores for one day, which ends up being more strain on their body than it is used to having. One way to prevent this is to make a weekly list and break the chores down into daily goals. Spending 20-30 minutes every day accomplishing a few tasks will help lower the stress on your body. This will also leave more free time for your family and friends on the weekend!

4. Maintain proper posture

Certain chores put more strain on the body than others. Vacuuming, mopping and gardening encourage excessive bending and stooping, putting a lot of strain on the neck and back. With respect to vacuuming and mopping, one tip to decrease the strain on your body is to hold the handle close to your body and walk back and forth with it in front of you. Any time you can keep a neutral spine, avoiding excessive bending or twisting, you will be doing your body a favour.

5. Switch hands

Whenever possible, try using both sides of your body to complete your tasks. This prevents unwanted strain on your shoulders, neck and back. While this may be challenging on the brain, it can really help to prevent repetitive strain injuries to your dominant side.

spring cleaning

And of course, if you find your body in need of Chiropractic Care, we are always here to help. Call us at 905.465.4595 to book an appointment or free 15 minute consultation. Happy spring!

Sumi Tamang Page, RMT
Registered Massage Therapist

Tension headaches are the type of headaches that people suffer from the most. A tension headache is often described as the feeling of a tight band around the head that can last for as little as 30 minutes or up to a week in some instances.

Tension headaches are often related to a muscle group known as the “Suboccipital”, which are located at the back of the neck and scalp. Massage therapy is by far the best way to combat tension headaches. It is important to let your therapist know if you are experiencing any headaches, as well as the location and type of pain that you are experiencing.

Along with your massage therapy treatments, below are preventative tips that can be incorporated into your daily routines:

  1. tension headacheMuscle Relaxation: Muscle tension is most often associated with tension headaches. Apply a cold towel or gel pack to the muscles at the nape of the neck to ease the tension.
  2. Headache Diary: Keep a record of when your headaches occur and what you were doing before they started. This will help to recognize the causes that aggravate the headaches. This information will also help your health care provider, especially if you’ve noticed any changes in your usual headache patterns such as frequency, duration or intensity.
  3. A Healthy Lifestyle and Diet: A healthy lifestyle that includes a proper diet and exercise can help prevent tension headaches. This includes following regular eating and drinking habits, as well as consistent sleeping schedules. Consult with your Naturopath or Dietician for more information on introducing these habits into your daily life.
  4. Stress Management: Practicing meditation, yoga and deep breathing can help you to relax and reduce stress.

If you are suffering from headaches, please contact us at 905.465.4595 to make an appointment with one our talented registered massage therapist.

Dr. Caren Fortin, BHK, DC
Doctor of Chiropractic

Did you know that once you have sprained your ankle, the odds of re-spraining it is 70%?

First, let’s clarify what is a sprain vs. a strain. A sprain is an injury to ligaments, the bands of fibrous tissue that attach bone to bone in a joint. When a joint is pushed beyond its normal range, tearing of the ligaments of that joint ensues. The most common sprain is an ankle sprain. A strain, on the other hand, is an injury to the muscle or tendon. A tendon is a fibrous cord that attaches muscle to bone.  One of the most common strains is in the hamstring (back of the upper leg).

So back to the ankle sprain. What does chiropractic have to do with ankles anyway? Don’t we just treat backs? The short answer is no. The long answer is we treat the entire musculoskeletal system – basically jaws to toes! And although ankles can look pretty scary when they are injured, there are some simple exercises that you can do at home (in addition to some hands on manual therapy with your fabulous chiropractor) to help reduce the chances of re-spraining it.

ankle sprainFirst off, please go get the ankle checked out by either a chiropractor, doctor or physiotherapist. Chances are if you can walk, even with a limp, you probably haven’t broken it. However, there is always a small chance, which is why you should go get it checked out. Secondly, if you have sprained the ankle, you will likely have some pretty amazing swelling and bruising. Once it has been assessed, treatment often consists of some muscle work in the injured area, as well as a check in other areas of the body to make sure that joints and muscles upwards from the ankle are moving well (i.e. the knee, hip and low back). Next, you will likely be sent home with some exercises right off the bat, including balance.

Readdressing the question at the beginning of this article, one of the biggest reasons that someone re-sprains an ankle is because our joint proprioceptors (the nerves in the joints that know where we are in space) have gone haywire. Challenging balance can reset those proprioceptors, reducing your chances of re-spraining. So, four easy progressions for balancing exercises that you can do at home are below. Be sure to stand near a wall or doorway so you don’t fall:

  1. stand on one foot with your eyes open
  2. stand on one foot with your eyes closed
  3. Stand on one foot, on a pillow of your choice, with your eyes open
  4. Stand on one foot, on a pillow of your choice, with your eyes closed

For further information on this article or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact the clinic at 905.465.4595 to book an appointment or free consult with either of our chiropractors.

Joseph Wilson, RMT
Registered Massage Therapist

Who likes pretzels? I love them. So salty and chewy. Great with whiskey! Yummm….

Here is a pretzel stretch that you can try at home.

Lay on your side. Support your head with a pillow, pad, bolster or foam roller. Have a second pad in front of your hips. Don’t drink whiskey in this position.

pretzelness
Bend the top leg so that your hip is bent to 90 degrees and resting on the second pad. With the arm touching the ground, reach down and hold the bent knee.
pretzelness
Here is where it gets crazy. Bend the bottom leg at the knee and reach down with the top arm to take a hold of the foot or ankle. If you can’t reach easily, use a strap or towel and loop it around the foot and take hold of that. *** Even if you CAN reach, you might find that this position elicits a cramp (also known as a “charley horse”) in the hamstring of that leg. If this happens to you, straighten the leg immediately and use a strap. No amount of whiskey will help.***
pretzelness
OK, now the FUN PART. Keeping your grip on your foot, twist the top shoulder back towards the floor until you feel a gentle stretch. Channel your inner pretzel. Have a good friend or partner sprinkle you with salt and put a glass of whiskey with a straw near your mouth. Breathe deeply for 3-6 long, slow breaths. Feel the pretzelness of the universe.
pretzelness
Not only is this a great drinking position… It will also help ease tight hip flexors, low back and glute muscles. Win-Win !!!!

Dr. Tara Brown, (Hon) BA Kin, DC, ART®, D.Ac
Doctor of Chiropractic

Growing up, it was not unusual to see a Chiropractor set up in our family home, providing Active Release Therapy (ART®) to either my siblings or myself. I was an active teen participating in a variety of sports, while my brother and sister were highly competitive Alpine ski racers (side note: my brother is participating in the 2018 Olympics!). The demands of participating in sports and various activities made it important for us to receive treatment. This would help us to stay mobile and keep our muscles loose to improve/maintain performance and to prevent the possibility of future injuries.

hockey boyThere is even some research to support this. In one study, Australian football players who were under chiropractic care had a reduced number of strains in their legs and lower back.1 As Chiropractors, we assess and treat poor posture and/or muscle imbalances which could potentially lead to injury if left untreated. Another study on athletes concluded that those who received 12 weeks of chiropractic care exhibited 30% improvement in reaction time, versus a group with no chiropractic care.2

Children and adolescents who are not involved in sport may also benefit from chiropractic care. There are a variety of different reasons this population should be assessed. Movement problems may exist from an illness, disease or a developmental issue. There may also be postural issues such as slouching or having rounded shoulders and teens that grow tall very quickly may suffer from bad posture. Heavy backpacks are a culprit for causing neck, shoulder and back pain. Overuse activities like typing or writing can lead to repetitive strain type injuries or discomfort.

This article is not intended to say that chiropractic care can fix all ailments in children but having them assessed by a chiropractor may benefit them in many different ways. To book an appointment with one of our chiropractors, call us at 905.465.4595.

Takhir Almazbekov, RMT
Registered Massage Therapist

Takhir Almazbekov RMTFor many centuries, massage has been used as an effective method for treatment and recovery of patients’ health. In modern medicine, this direction is given much attention. So, here are 10 facts about massage that will be interesting to learn.

    1. The usual light touch of the palm can work wonders, namely to slow down the heart rate and lower blood pressure. This principle is based on the effect of stroking massage. The body calms down, stress is removed and stroking by hands affects primarily the nervous system.
    2. Humpback whales weigh more than 50 tons, reach 20 meters in length and even they cannot neglect the stroking effect. For hours, these large creatures keep their heads above the water for the sake of caressing and “petting”. The principle of stroking calms them and is pleasant to many animals.
    3. The history of massage begins even before our era. One of the ancient sources is the Chinese book of kon-fu in which not only wrestling methods are collected but also methods of treatment by massage of dislocations and muscle spasms. For millennia, the knowledge and skills of massage techniques have been kept and passed exclusively by clergymen.
    4. After heavy physical exertion or playing sports, it is recommended to have a massage. Lactic acid is released from the muscles, and under the influence of the massage, it is more easily removed. If one follows this recommendation, the next morning will be painless and he or she will feel refreshed.
    5. Recent medical studies have confirmed that massage improves the growth and development of newborns. Pediatricians prescribe massage to all premature babies and those with physical disabilities. It is proved that the process of rehabilitation of children has the best results with a regular massage.
    6. Veterinarians have also started using massage extensively. Australian scientists conducted a farm experiment with piglets. Regular massaging of the back of piglets accelerated the growth of animals by 35%.
    7. Massage has many useful effects for human health. For therapeutic purposes, massage is used to treat somatic diseases (asthma, rheumatism, hypertension, etc.).
    8. If, after a massage session, one feels thirsty and has frequent urination, this indicates a favorable outcome of treatment and a rapid recovery of the body.
    9. The body and skin are cleansed and restored after a massage, leaving you refreshed and rejuvenated.
    10. Head massage not only relieves stress and tension but it also reduces headaches and stimulates hair growth.

Massage is not only useful and pleasant but many Eastern sages saw the secret of health and longevity in it! Call Wellness For The Body at 905.465.4595 to book your next massage.

relaxing massage therapy