Commonly prescribed muscle relaxant drugs may offer some temporary relief for low back pain, but could also increase the risk of side effects, a new study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on July 7, 2021 shows.
Low back pain is the most common cause of disability worldwide, with eight in 10 people reporting the problem at some point in their lives, according to doctors.
In the short run, the muscle relaxants might work, but they’re not something to use long term, said Jennifer Lake, an assistant professor at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at U of T. Instead of popping pills, there are other effective ways to manage and prevent back pain, experts say.
Douglas Gross, a professor of physical therapy at the University of Alberta, said for acute low back pain, the best strategy was to stay as active as possible and avoid rest. Applying superficial heat at home, massage, manual therapy and acupuncture can also be helpful with few adverse effects.
Chiropractor and OCA member Dr. Nekessa Remy demonstrated five exercises to do first thing in the morning that will have you feeling less stiff and more mobile from your neck all the way down to your feet.
Several people got to share the track at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Cobourg with Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse on a sunny afternoon. The three-time Olympic medalist visited Cobourg one day before departing to compete in Europe and then off to represent Canada at the Tokyo Olympics.
“It’s always good to come back home, get a little workout in and see Alban, my chiropractor,” De Grasse told Northumberland News. He was joined on the track by OCA member Dr. Alban Merepeza, his sports chiropractor from the Port Hope Health Centre, where he has received treatment for a number of years.
If you’re one of the many who’ve recently taken up face yoga, you may already know that some practitioners advise sleeping on your back.
Maybe, though, some positions are better than others, depending on who you are. We asked a couple of experts.
“I recommend a tailored solution, depending on your body and what conditions you may have,” says Toronto chiropractor and OCA member Dr. Eve Choe, a co-owner of her namesake clinic. “While it’s true that, for the face and anti-aging, it’s best to sleep on the back so that gravity can help us, if you have sleep apnea or you’re pregnant or if you have something else, like neck issues, then sleeping on your side is best.”
“It’s better to be able to breathe than to prevent wrinkles, obviously,” says Choe, referring to the issue of sleep apnea—a far more serious problem than snoring.
Ever wonder if there are negatives associated with the growing Peloton and at-home cycling revolution?
Chiropractor and OCA member Dr. Sender Deutsch says “there are lots of positives, but the problem with being hooked on indoor cycling is that most of us already sit and stare at a screen way too much throughout the day. Thus, this has led to an increase of patients that are seeing repetitive stress injuries such as neck and low back pain.”
To prevent potential injuries associated with indoor cycling, add more variety to your workouts. Stand more throughout the day. Add some resistance training. Take 10 minutes to stretch daily and foam roll your back and quadricep muscles. Include weight training and strengthen your posterior chain, back, and hamstring muscles. Skip rope. The next time you go for a walk, add some lunges.
Several dentists and massage therapists have told me that bruxism – grinding and/or clenching teeth – is on the rise. Is it really becoming more common? Or are we just hearing more about it? And, either way, is there anything we can do about it?
To find out, I went to chiropractor and OCA member Dr. Sidney Lisser, lead clinician at Toronto’s Jaw and Facial Pain Centre.
“So, up until this morning, I would have said that there’s definitely an uptick in people talking about it,” said Lisser. “But when I walked in this morning and saw 20 new patient referrals over a three-day weekend, well, it’s clear that more people are seeking treatment. I’m booking new patients in late July.”
In addition to working at the aforementioned pain clinic, Lisser is an associate at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Facial Pain Clinic, which has a two-year wait for treatment. Although it sounds like all signs are pointing to an increase, he cautions that what he sees might be a bit skewed, since more people are only starting to become aware that there are specialist clinics for temporomandibular disorders or TMD, which include bruxism.
Whether you’re training for a specific goal race, trying to continue a run streak or simply running to stay sane, nothing is worse than being sidelined with an injury. From acute issues like mid-run leg cramps to chronic pain like runner’s knee, even the smallest ache or pain can ruin a good run.
We spoke with chiropractor and OCA member Dr. Brittany Moran from the Runner’s Academy in Toronto, who gave us advice on how to prevent injuries so you don’t end up missing weeks of training.
The last 14 months has seen the majority of Simcoe County residents working from home and trying to find a quiet and comfortable place to get their work done.
‘With adults working from home and kids doing online school, we basically have our whole population who are working from home,’ said chiropractor and OCA member Dr. Leah Lawson.
Like Goldilocks realized when visiting the three bears, finding that perfect spot can be a challenge. The bed is too soft, the kitchen table is too hard, and finding the place in your home that is “just right” may be close to impossible.
Dr. Lawson provides her top tips to help avoid common home office hazards and reminds us the importance of getting up and moving throughout the day.
Over one year into the pandemic, many people continue to work in makeshift offices. Chiropractor and OCA member Dr. Leah Lawson reminds Breakfast Television Toronto for Movin’ in the Morning! She shares the importance of getting up and moving. She also shares exercises to help alleviate pain and prevent future injury while working from home or cottage.
Competition has been a constant in chiropractor and OCA member Dr. Dave Town’s life, so his ambition comes as no surprise, even as he seems to be trying to one-up himself.
He is always striving to be the best at what he does, whether it’s swimming, writing about local history or trying to make people feel better through his role as a chiropractor. “I came out of high school wanting to be a chiropractor,” he said. “I liked the idea of health care, but I didn’t want to be the guy prescribing drugs.”
He earned his bachelor of science degree from the University of Toronto and followed that up with four years of chiropractic school before launching Town Chiropractic in 1990.
He is a man of many interests, however, and not one to sit still.
On May 13, ‘In This Together,’ hosted by the CGMH Foundation Young Professionals Committee, successfully raised the $22,000 needed to bring an innovative Virtual Pediatric Critical Care Consult Program to the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital Emergency Department.
This high-fidelity virtual care solution will be a partnership between CGMH and the SickKids Critical Care Team and will allow the SickKids team to have a visual feed on patients, as well as access to their charts through Connecting Ontario, improving quality of care and patient outcomes all from the CGMH Emergency Department. Because this event exceeded its fundraising goal, two additional pieces of equipment will be purchased for the Obstetrics Department and Emergency Department.
The CGMH Foundation Young Professionals Committee would like to thank local partners including Taylor Wellness & Chiropractic Clinics. Dr. Scott Taylor and Dr. Micheline Cote of Taylor Wellness & Chiropractic are members of the OCA.
Chiropractor and OCA member Dr. Stephen Gray joins Global News and The Morning Show and puts your fitness knowledge to the test with a trivia challenge about effective exercises to relieve daily pain all over your body. Watch the video to learn more!
When surveyed to describe their struggles in the current school year, parents used words like an abyss, a household inferno, and chaos. … Health care professionals have confirmed a major increase in anxiety and frustration in children as well as parents.
“I’ve noticed it especially among children and teens adjusting to online school, and adults adjusting to working from home … it feels like they are working two full-time jobs to keep up with all the virtual learning, and that they worry about their children falling behind in school,” said Dr. John Carnevale, a chiropractor and certified athletic therapist with Align Health Centre in Newmarket.
“Parents themselves are often presenting to the clinic with more aches and pain, especially in the neck and upper back, from the long hours spent at home,” remarked Dr. Carnevale, who is a member of the OCA.
Is there any chance kids will be back in school before the end of June? That’s the question on every parent’s mind at this point in the pandemic.
Thunder Bay chiropractor and OCA member Dr. Leila Coulter, a mother of four who started a petition there that now has more than 2,300 signatures, said keeping all schools shuttered for the remainder of this school year “would be a very short-sighted decision.”
All schools were closed for in-person classes in mid-April, indefinitely, as the province battled a surging third wave.
Hamilton’s Ryan Polawski set out on a 100-mile journey running to Toronto and back home to raise money for Teen Challenge, a rehabilitation organization that has helped him and countless other individuals overcome addiction. He completed the run, which ended up being about 168K, in 23 hours, and his fundraiser currently sits at more than $34,000.
Fortunately, he had the support of chiropractor and OCA member Dr. Anthony Lombardi from the Hamilton Back Clinic who met up with Polawski along the route to and from Toronto to treat him and work out any kinks.
The Grimsby chiropractor provided patients with a note letting them know that her office would be holding a spring food drive with donations going to the Village of Hope. In the span of three weeks, Gardiner Family Chiropractic Centre and their patients were able to fill an SUV full of food and other necessities.
“It’s really important for us to think of others and support our community,” Gardiner said, who has been practicing in Grimsby for 25 years. “Through my practice, a lot of our patients have either been laid off or people who have their own business, (and) they’ve been challenged. This is a way for people that can, to give back to the community.”
The pandemic has impacted everyone. Working from home, higher stress levels, changes in family dynamics, have only added to the complexity of COVID-19. This places an even higher priority on the importance of practicing daily habits that promote your health and well-being.
As Mississauga’s leading health and wellness clinic, High Point Wellness Centre (HPWC) is committed to working with you to care for, educate, and inspire their patients in their journey towards optimal health. With nearly 50 years of serving the community, they offer clinical services in chiropractic, physiotherapy, massage therapy, naturopathic medicine, nutrition, fitness, and virtual ergonomic assessments.
At OCA people-centred care, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), begins with our Partnership4BetterHealth online patient and family advisory community. Thanks to the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) for featuring the Partnership in its April 2021 publication.
For much of the past year, many of us have been in a constant rotation between our beds, our makeshift workspaces, and our couches; and some of us are working right from the bed or couch. It may seem cozy in the moment, but it’s doing a number on our bodies, say some experts.
“Most people who are working from home are finding any flat surface they can put their computer on and working,” says chiropractor Dr. Ashor Sworesho, of Hamilton Chiropractic and Wellness. “Sometimes it’s their own laps, and the worst is the people who are in bed with their laptop on their chest and working away.”
Dr. Sworesho says he and his colleagues at the clinic have seen an increase in patients with upper back, mid-back and neck pain issues.
Now almost a year into the pandemic, some Bradford residents have frozen or cancelled their unused gym memberships and have invested in fitness equipment to keep fit at home.
Dr. Leeann Ng, owner of Be Well Chiropractic Clinic in Bradford has been doing her workouts at home. Dr. Ng has been an active member of the Bradford West Gwillimbury Leisure Centre for years. In order to maintain the level of exertion needed to perform her duties as a chiropractor, Ng must be in top physical shape, she says. Since the lockdowns, she has had to find alternate resources to retain her muscle mass.
Dr. Ng plans on requesting a refund for her gym membership, as she hasn’t been to the leisure centre in almost a year.
Dr. Josh Binstock, OCA member and two-time beach volleyball Olympian (2012, 2016) has been elected to the FIVB Athletes’ Commission. Dr. Binstock was among the five members selected by more than 400 eligible voters from all over the world. “I am incredibly grateful and honoured to be elected for the FIVB Athletes’ Commission and bring Canadian representation to the council,” said Binstock, now a practicing chiropractor in Toronto.
“I plan to promote the values of volleyball and beach volleyball as a clean and fair sport. … As a Doctor of Chiropractic, I will also be focused on studying proposals for the athletes’ post-career opportunities since I believe engaging the FIVB athletes in the decision-making process through athlete consultation is paramount to a successful future and global growth of volleyball, all while keeping their health and safety at the forefront.”
As Canadians continue to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, creating a healthy workstation has become imperative. Chiropractor and OCA member Dr. Nekessa Remy, who is based in Mississauga, shares some tips on how you can improve your posture and create a better workspace. Dr. Remy provides advice on how to avoid eye fatigue, neck strain and headaches when working from home.
This World Federation of Chiropractic’s (WFC) Quarterly World Report features stories from around the world, including what we did to support our members during the COVID-19 pandemic’s early months (on pg. 64).
This feature highlights our efforts through the eyes of Linda Baldasio, our Member Support Lead.
Dr. Mark Dickson’s Movember moustache this year was truly epic. Epic enough to win second overall in the 2020 Global Movember Awards, ‘The Epic One’ category. Mark first joined the Movember cause (ca.movember.com) in 2015, raising awareness and funds for men’s health, which includes prostate cancer research, testicular cancer research and suicide prevention. This year he raised $4,000, bringing his six-year total to $13,928. It was the most he raised in a single year, topping $2,500 from 2019 and just over $3,000 in 2018.
Dr. Kevin Matheson and his wife Lee Anne couldn’t have imagined that they would be marking the 10th anniversary of their Orillia chiropractic practice in the midst of a global pandemic. And yet, there is nothing the couple would rather be doing than helping work out their clients’ tensions at Matheson Chiropractic Clinic during this difficult moment in our collective history. “It’s a blessing to be able to help out at this time,” Matheson told Simcoe.com.
With many employees still working from home due to COVID-19, it’s important to keep your back health in mind while sitting in one place for extended periods of time. Chiropractor and OCA member Dr. Ted Luck has some tips to share with those working remotely, and how it can actually be beneficial. “Personally, I think the current reality of people working from home can provide some excellent benefits especially when it comes to your spine and all the sitting we do now, especially at work,” Dr. Luck said.
Bad posture, back pain and sitting too long are just a few side effects of working from home. With many offices closing because of COVID-19 restrictions, more people are working in settings that are not as ergonomically correct, causing people to suffer from pain. “From spending more time in their home offices versus their regular workplace, they are getting more chronic postural issues,” explained chiropractor and OCA member Jason Price.
OCA member Dr. Kris Sheppard, owner of The Runner’s Academy in Toronto, which specializes in helping runners move well, shows four drills that only add about five minutes to your warm up and make a world of difference in your performance.
Back-to-school tips to help improve physical health
As part of its back-to-school episode, EPIC Generation TV – an educational program that aims to help kids (ages seven to thirteen) become empowered, positive, inspirational and creative – reached out to the OCA for posture tips and advice for kids as they prepare to return back to the classroom.
Dr. Patrick Welsh, a sports specialist chiropractor at High Point Wellness Centre shares a few of his back-to-school tips for kids to help improve physical health, and a challenge to make homework and studying easier.
Article discusses guideline from the American College of Physicians (ACP) and American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) that states opioids should not be a first-line treatment option for non-low back, musculoskeletal injuries. It includes findings from opioid-use review by John J. Riva, DC, MSc, of McMaster University in Hamilton, an OCA member.
In June, the Orillia girl was diagnosed with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The journey to finding out what was wrong began in the winter when Sienna was taking swimming lessons. Her grandmother noticed one of Sienna’s shoulders was slightly more elevated than the other. A chiropractor asked Sienna to bend over and touch her toes, and that’s when the curving in her spine became immediately noticeable.
CTV News health journalist Paulina Chan speaks with Monica Huci, an operating room nurse at Cambridge Memorial Hospital, and Dr. Amy Brown, and Ontario chiropractor, on the health-related challenges health care workers are experiencing in the face of COVID-19.
As of June 1, several regulated health professionals in Ontario are now allowed to open their doors again amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Dentists, optometrists, psychologists, dietitians and denturists are just some of the professions on the province’s reopening list as it moves forward with easing restrictions.
CBC journalist Rosemary Barton spoke with Dr. Marissa Verdone, a chiropractor based in Hamilton and sole proprietor, who recently applied for the CERB. Dr. Verdone shared her experiences with the application process and how COVID-19 has affected her professionally.