Author : Dr. Carole Smith

Fueling your athletic potential: a guide for adolescent athletes

We get many questions about how to ensure adolescent athletes are getting the nutrition they need to do their personal best. Here are a few tips from Dr. Carole.

Making children feel comfortable during chiropractic care

Although we may see children as smaller versions of adults, there are many differences physically – as well as in the feelings, demands, needs, behaviours, and thoughts of children – that require us to modify our approach to the physical exam of children.

Chiropractic and your child

Many people are surprised to learn that babies, some within hours of birth, have their spines checked by a chiropractor. But having a child’s spine checked can be an important part of their healthcare – from birth through adolescence.

It takes a village … to heal a hamstring!

As many of you know, Dr. Carole is training for a triathlon this summer. But, even an experienced chiropractor can sometimes forget her own advice about stretching.

Pull weeds, not muscles

With the warm weather approaching, many are beginning to remember the gardens that have been hidden under the snow for the past months. Gardening is the perfect way to contribute to the environment and get moving with the benefit of loads of vitamin D. However, bending, shoveling, and pulling weeds can also pull muscles, induce injury, and cause aches and pains.

W-sitting and your toddler’s health

You may have noticed your toddler sitting in the W position and have wondered if it is okay for them to do so. The answer is absolutely not! Here are a few reasons why your toddler should not be W-sitting during playtime.

Prehabilitation: a head start on the road to recovery

A review of recent research identified that chiropractors can potentially play an enhanced role in the prehabilitation and rehabilitation of surgical patients. Much of the data has focused on total joint arthroplasty, but there is data to support similar interventions for other surgeries, such as spinal disc replacement surgery. Current research suggests that arthroplasty patients are well served by a pre-operative regimen focusing on diet, education, exercise, range of motion therapies, and post-operative rehabilitation.

Relieving tension headaches

Tension type headaches (TTH) are one of the most common forms of headaches, yet they are not well understood. Most people describe having a band of pressure around their head that can last from 30 minutes to a week. TTH can be related to muscles tightening in the back of the neck and scalp. One of the best ways to combat tension headaches is through lifestyle changes.

Picking the right running shoes

Now that the weather is improving, it’s time to start taking our exercise routines outside, whether it be running, walking, or playing sports. No matter what our choice of exercise, it is essential to have good support on our feet. The function of a running shoe is to protect the foot from the impact of movements, while also permitting the body to reach its maximum potential.

Plant and rake without the ache

Now that the weather is much more agreeable, we are all raking, lifting, digging, kneeling, and planting in our yards, which is very hard on our joints! Poor gardening techniques can lead to repetitive strain injuries, increase degenerative joint and disc problems, cause sprain and strain injuries to muscles throughout the body, and increase wear and tear to joints and muscles.

Lift light, shovel right!

When you consider that a shovelful of snow weighs five to seven pounds, you realize how much weight you have to lift to clear your sidewalk or driveway – on average, several hundred pounds! These tips will help keep your back in top shape.

KISS Syndrome in newborns

Many new moms have been bringing in their babies for assessment and have many questions on why their baby favours looking to the one side or may have difficulty nursing on both sides.  Here is one condition that I frequently see in my practice and what we can do to help.

Get in the game without the pain

When you consider the spinal rotation that goes into a golf swing and the fact that the speed of the club can reach 160 km/hour, it’s easy to understand that golf puts significant bio-mechanical stress on the body. Back pain and golfer’s elbow are two very common injuries suffered by golfers.

Core exercises for increased health

When you have good core stability, the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips, and abdomen work in harmony and help to protect your spine. Core exercises are those that strengthen your core muscles, including your abdominal muscles, back, and pelvis.

Chiropractic and your golf game

It’s not surprising that professional golfers are turning to chiropractic to help keep their backs in top shape. Whether you’re a pro, or just wish you were, taking good care of your back can help improve your score and ensure a long enjoyable season on the links. Here are some tips to prevent back, shoulder, and neck pain from interfering with your game.

Chiropractic & pregnancy: chiropractic can help!

During pregnancy, there is an increased strain on a woman’s body due to the excess weight gain and the physical stresses of the baby’s position within the womb. Over 60% of women will experience low back pain during their pregnancy, especially during the third trimester when the baby’s head is pressing against a woman’s back. Chiropractic treatment for low back pain related to pregnancy is a safe and effective alternative to over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Chiropractic care has been shown not only help relieve back pain occurring in pregnancy, but may also decrease delivery time and labour pain.

YOUR HEALTH and stretching tips

Stretches should be performed both before and after activity. Stretches before activity (either occupational or sport) can be specific to the muscles to be used in the activity. Stretching for general permanent elongation of tissue can be performed after activity when the core body temperature is higher. Here are a few tips to help you the next time that you have to stretch.

YOUR HEALTH and your jaw: TMJ problems

Temporal Mandiblar Joint (TMJ) Syndrome is a common source of headaches and jaw pain. TMJ refers to the Temporo-Mandibular Joint. This is the area where the lower jaw or mandible attaches to the skull at the temporal bone, just in front of and below the ears. TMJ syndrome can be caused by trauma, grinding or clenching of the teeth, disease, wear due to aging, or other habits, such as chewing gum or objects like pens or pencils.

YOUR HEALTH and tummy time!

According to the Pediatric Society, babies should always sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But, a constant position on their back can lead to cranial disfiguration (flattening of the back of the head). This is why it is so important for babies to receive supervised tummy time to encourage their proper development and growth.

YOUR HEALTH and sport taping

Strapping and taping techniques give support and stability to your joints and muscles without affecting circulation and range of motion, and can also help prevent injury and protect the athlete from re-injury whilst returning to sport. The tape limits the movement in an injured joint to prevent excess or abnormal movement and provides support to muscles surrounding the joint that might be under additional strain due to the ligament injury. Our chiropractors have experience with a variety of different taping techniques for both chronic and acute types of injuries.

YOUR HEALTH and getting active

Exercise can help prevent many common illnesses, strengthens and protects bones and joints, and can keep you independent throughout life. It’s never too late to start exercising, and incorporating aerobic, resistance training, and flexibility exercises can have many advantages. Even if you are able to do small amounts at a time, a little extra activity is better than no activity.

YOUR HEALTH and corticosteroid injections

As health care providers who specialize in muscle and joint pain, chiropractors often have patients ask about receiving musculoskeletal injections to help with their pain. Injections are outside of the scope of practice for chiropractors; however, we encourage patients to get all the information before deciding on their course of care. As injections are offered as a front-line treatment in most medical offices, often before conservative therapies are recommended and despite consideration of the research in this area, we wanted to offer some information for our patients who might have questions.

YOUR HEALTH and breastfeeding issues

During my work as a chiropractor and a Doula, I am often called upon to help new moms with breastfeeding concerns. If the baby has a latching issue, we can work together to figure out the best way to fix the problem. It is often a simple issue of fixing the baby’s or mother’s position. Other times, chiropractic adjustments are the answer. Often, a gentle chiropractic adjustment of the baby can take the pressure off a joint in the baby’s neck and allow her to extend her head back into the position to breastfeed easily.

YOUR HEALTH and workplace ergonomics

As your workload increases, so do repetitive actions such as keyboarding and answering the phone. These routine tasks can add a level of physical stress to the emotional and mental stress of getting the job done. In fact, repetitive strain injuries have skyrocketed in the last two decades due to the increasing reliance on workplace technology. The good news is that a few simple changes to your office set-up can help make your job easier, safer and more efficient.