Monday, October 31, 2016

Key Components To Weight Loss Success

By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)

A healthy weight puts less stress on the muscles, joints and biological systems of the body.  It also provides an individual with increased self-esteem, confidence, energy, and everyday productivity.  This article helps identify key components that can be implemented for safe and effective weight loss.

1. Exercise helps keep you lean:  Regular physical exercise such as strength and aerobic training plays an important role in weight management.  Strength training burns calories, improves body composition by building lean muscle tissue, and thereby reduces fat stores in the body.   Aerobic training also burns calories and helps control blood sugar levels.    Current guidelines recommend 30 to 45 minutes of exercise, 3 to 5 times per week.  Be sure to incorporate components of strength and aerobic training to ensure you are getting the full benefits of exercise.

2. When it comes to diet, many things count:  The average individual should consume 1,400 to 2,000 calories per day to meet the body’s total energy needs for daily functioning.  Simply put, any extra calories consumed above what is required for daily functioning will contribute to an increase in weight gain.  Sensible eating should consist of nutritional balance with the correct proportion of quality carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats.  Individuals should avoid refined sugars and starches, along with trans-fats.  Refined sugars and starches adversely disrupt blood sugar and put your body into fat storage mode, while trans-fats pack many unnecessary calories.  Successful weight loss can be attained by planning your meals, cutting down serving sizes, eliminating unhealthy snacking, and minimizing foods that can be detrimental to your health.

3. Increase water intake:  Water contains zero calories and is a great fluid replacement for other high calorie drinks such as alcohol and sodas/carbonated drinks.  Drinking water before meals can help kick-start metabolism and act as an appetite suppressant.  Water also regulates metabolism by assisting with lubrication, digestion, and transportation of nutrients.

4. Get enough sleep and rest:  Research suggests that people who do not sleep for six to eight hours per night are more prone to weight gain.  Regular restful sleep allows for important biological systems to recover and recharge.  Without this rest, the additional stress on the body will activate the release of cortisol, a hormone that is linked to weight gain.  In addition, sleep deprivation is believed to affect appetite hormones which can contribute to food cravings and overeating.

5. Ask for help:  Achieving weight loss is not always simple.  Whether you are dealing with a medical condition, require help rehabilitating from a physical injury, or need advice on exercise, diet or nutrition, surround yourself with healthcare professionals who can help you reach your weight loss goal.

For additional information on diet, exercise, managing weight loss, and improving your physical health, visit

This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Pokemon No! Tips On How To Beat The Pain Caused By Your Favourite Digital Devices

Ontario Chiropractic Association

As you read this article, more than likely on your phone or tablet, take a moment to notice your posture. There’s a good chance that your back is hunched, your head is tilted forward and your shoulders are rounded. Many students from grade school to university spend a large portion of their day looking at a screen as they text friends, read e-books and write essays. Be sure to keep an eye on your posture during these activities. Your back and neck will thank you.
Did you know that bending your head to look at your phone can put up to 60 pounds of pressure on your spine? A 2014 study in Surgical Technology International showed that even a 15-degree head tilt adds 27 pounds of pressure. As we use our phones and laptops more and more, that stress adds up!
Hand-held devices aren’t going anywhere soon — they’re useful and convenient. As you tap and swipe, follow these tips to avoid the aches and pains that come with the digital age.

Take a break
Holding up your phone or tablet for extended periods of time can strain the muscles in your shoulders, arms and fingers. Let your arms rest at your sides every so often.
The 20-20-20 rule
Give your eyes a break! Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look about 20 feet ahead (or as far as possible).
Change positions
Next time you’re thinking of pulling an all-nighter, try to avoid sitting for longer than 30 minutes at a time. Get up and walk around!
Aim higher
Raise your phone up closer to eye level to reduce strain on your neck. When watching lectures on your tablet or laptop, be sure to prop it up against something so your shoulders and arms can relax.
Stretch it out
Slowly turn your head towards your left shoulder, hold for five seconds and repeat on your right side. You can also download Straighten Up Canada! — a free app developed by Canada’s chiropractors with videos of stretches you can do to help your posture in just three minutes!

The only thing that’s more important than “perfect” posture is movement. If you still have pain and discomfort after trying these tips, visit a chiropractor to develop a plan to keep you pain-free in the classroom.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Injury Prevention Tips For Hockey Players

By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)

Hockey is a popular recreational sport enjoyed by individual's of all ages and abilities.  Due to the high speed and aggressive play involved, hockey can put players at risk for injury.  Although sticks, pucks, and skate blades can do damage, most hockey-related injuries occur due to collisions with other players and the boards.  Fatigue and low energy of participants due to poor endurance, insufficient rest, or too much ice time can also make them more likely to get hurt.

Most hockey injuries involve the upper body, and can include fractures, sprains and strains of the collarbones, hands, arms, and shoulders.  Low back, groin, hip, knee, and ankle injuries also occur frequently.  Concussions are the most common type of head injury and are often accompanied by neck injury/pain.

Included below are some tips to help hockey players avoid and/or minimize the chances of muscle and joint injuries.

1.    Proper training is important.  A good training program should involve cardiovascular, stretching, and strengthening exercises.

  • Cardiovascular training will increase endurance and decrease fatigue, which has been linked to injuries.
  • A comprehensive stretching program for the back, arms, shoulders, thighs, and legs should be performed both before and after games to keep muscles limber and prevent stiffness and soreness.
  • Strengthening programs improve a muscle’s ability to contract and perform joint movement.  Muscles also act as important shock absorbers and help prevent sprains and strains of vulnerable regions such as the back and neck, along with the shoulder, hip and groin regions.

2.    Get enough rest and hydration.  Since fatigue is one of the most common causes of injury, even the fittest players should often take breaks to rest.  Dehydration affects your energy level and your physical functioning.  Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after play.

3.    Use the right equipment.  Properly fitting gear can make a world of difference when it comes to avoiding injury.  Replace worn out equipment.  Helmets have a life span of three to five years, depending on how often they are used.  Helmets with face shields have been proven to reduce the severity of concussions regardless of the player's experience level and position when compared to visors alone.

4.    Respect the rules.  Promote sportsmanship and fair play.  Support a zero tolerance rule for illegal checks and maneuvers.

5.    Take care of injuries before returning to play.  This will ensure top physical functioning and help prevent further injury and chronic pain.

Chiropractors are healthcare professionals skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of hockey-related injuries.  In the event that you suffer a muscle or joint injury while playing hockey that does not subside,  consider chiropractic care.  For more information, visit  The author credits the Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA) in the preparation of this educational information for use by its members and the public.

This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Activity Living For Your Health

By Dr. R. Greg Lusk, DC

As the days cool off and the hours of sunshine continue to dwindle we spend less time outdoors.  With this migration indoors it becomes difficult to maintain the activity level we've grown accustomed to over the warmer months.  However, it is vital to our health that we do; after all, "sitting is the new smoking".

Regular aerobic exercise is known to decrease the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers, reduce anxiety and depression, and is considered the best treatment for fatigue.  It has also been shown to decrease the disability associated with knee osteoarthritis, decrease the progression of dementia, and delay cognitive decline.

A research study, titled the “Aerobic Centre Longitudinal Study (ACLS)” offers some startling results after observing the impacts of low exercise level, smoking, diabetes, and obesity on the risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease.  Remarkably, a low fitness level was found to be a greater risk factor than smoking, diabetes, and obesity combined!  That is a wake-up call that urges all of us to get moving more.

So, how much exercise is enough?  Exercise is Medicine (Canada) is a public health initiative “to provide national leadership in promoting physical activity as a chronic disease prevention and management strategy to improve the health of Canadians”, and it supports the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines.  For example, if you’re 18-64 years old, you should be getting 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week.  Broken down, this is 30 minutes 5 days per week.  Now for the beautiful part….this can be achieved in 10 minute bouts that add up to 30 minutes!  Many people that I encounter on a daily basis appear to be time crunched.  However, I would argue that most of us could find 10 minutes of time here and there throughout our day, whereas 30 minutes all in one session may be difficult.

Here are some tips that may help you get your exercise in.

·        Schedule it.  You need to be selfish with your exercise time.  If not, it is much too easy to work into lunch, watch TV for a little longer, etc.

·        Involve friends, a spouse, whomever.  This helps with accountability, adds socializing time with people we care about, and makes it less lonely and more fun.

·        Walk a dog.  Dogs are great walking coaches.  There is data that shows 67% of dog walkers meet this requirement through dog walking alone.

·        Work it into your commute to work.  Park further away and/or add a lap around the block prior to going into your work environment.

·        Listen to music, or read a book/watch TV (only if safely on stationary equipment).  This helps pass the time.  Often, you’ll find yourself absorbed in what you’re doing and 10 minutes quickly turns into 20.

·        Track your progress.  What gets measured gets done.  Also, it can be quite rewarding to look back at where you started after a few months and remind yourself how far you’ve come.

I would also encourage you to watch a great YouTube video that summarizes this entire topic.  Dr. Mike Evans, MD, out of Toronto has produced an entertaining yet informative visual lecture on the topic.  It is titled “23 and ½ hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?”  You won’t be disappointed.

Choose to be active today although it will not always be easy.  You’ll always feel great after you’re done!  This article is for general information purposes only and is not to be taken as professional medical advice..

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Chiropractic Patient Experience

By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)
In last week’s article “An Introduction to Chiropractic Care”, we specifically focused on the training and education of chiropractors, regulation of chiropractic, and the scope of chiropractic care.  This article will focus on the chiropractic patient experience written specifically from the author’s perspective of what patients experience at his private practice.  Individual chiropractic experiences may vary in different chiropractic settings dependent on practitioner interests, experience, education, and training.
Chiropractors provide diagnosis, treatment and management of disorders arising from the musculoskeletal system (joints, muscles, tendons, nerves, and bones), such as back pain and neck pain.  Before any treatment is commenced on a prospective chiropractic patient, there are several steps that are taken to ensure the case is one that can be helped with chiropractic care.
First, a thorough Medical History is taken which documents an individual's specific complaint and may also include questions concerning past surgeries and illnesses, medication use, general and family health history.  Second, a Physical Examination is performed consisting of orthopedic, neurological, and range of motion testing.  X-rays may also be ordered to help determine the source of pain or dysfunction.  Third, a Diagnosis and Prognosis is provided to the patient to let them know if their complaint(s) can benefit from chiropractic care.  If the complaint will not benefit from chiropractic care, a referral is made to the appropriate health discipline.
For all complaints that may benefit from chiropractic care, a proposed treatment plan is communicated to the patient, including type of treatment and duration.  Factors taken into consideration when developing a treatment plan for a particular individual include age, sex, severity and duration of complaint, lifestyle and environmental factors, physical health and fitness, medication use, and any other relevant health conditions.  In addition, factors relating to patient concerns and preferences are also taken into account, because patients always have a choice as to the type of care they wish to receive.
Chiropractors are trained to offer multi-modal physical therapy incorporating the use of different techniques commonly employed in combination with each other to decrease pain, stimulate healing, and restore overall function.  Chiropractic adjustments and mobilizations are just one mode of therapy utilized by chiropractors (but not with every patient), to restore normal motion and functioning in joints.  Soft tissue therapy is used to alleviate muscle spasm, decrease scar tissue, and increase pain free ranges of motion.  Electrotherapy involves the application of relaxing therapeutic electrical current or sound waves to the area of injury, dysfunction, or pain (i.e. TENS, interferential current, ultrasound).  Acupuncture can be used to promote healing, decrease pain, and control inflammation.  Rehabilitative exercise prescription may also be used to improve balance, coordination, strength, flexibility, and posture.
Contemporary chiropractic care provides many options for prospective and current patients seeking effective and safe therapy for their musculoskeletal complaints.  Additional chiropractic resources can be found at:  (, (, and (
This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.

Monday, October 3, 2016

An Introduction To Chiropractic Care

By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)
Chiropractic is one of the largest primary contact health professions in Canada.  Approximately four and a half million Canadians use the services of a chiropractor each year.  Despite the professions growing popularity, there are still many in the public who don’t exactly know what services a chiropractor performs or what qualifications and training they possess.  This article is the first of a two part series introducing the chiropractic health discipline and the profession’s role in the health care system.
A large majority of patients who seek chiropractic care do so for complaints of the musculoskeletal system (joints, muscles, tendons, nerves and bones).  Chiropractors provide diagnosis, treatment and management of these complaints which may include but are not limited to:  back pain, neck pain, sciatica, whiplash, osteoarthritis, migraine and tension headaches, upper and lower extremity complaints, along with repetitive strain, sport, work and motor vehicle injuries.
Chiropractic practitioners undergo a rigorous course of study similar to that of other health professionals.  Training involves a minimum of three years undergraduate university education, followed by another four years of intensive academic and clinical education at an accredited chiropractic college.  Becoming licensed to practice chiropractic requires all eligible candidates to pass national and provincial examinations before applying to the Licensing Board.  Specialized post-graduate training enables the chiropractors of today to offer their patients additional treatment options.
Chiropractic in Canada is regulated by provincial statute in all provinces (The Chiropractic Act, 1991), created in accordance with the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA, 1991).  Chiropractors along with medical doctors, dentists, psychologists, and optometrists have the legislated right and obligation to communicate a diagnosis and to use the title doctor.  The College of Chiropractors of Ontario, like the colleges in each of the other provinces, is similar to the regulatory bodies for other health professions.  It is responsible for protecting the public, standards of practice, disciplinary issues, quality assurance and maintenance of competency.
Chiropractic is well recognized within the health care system.  Chiropractic care is covered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) for occupational injuries, by automobile insurance in the event of a motor vehicle accident (MVA) injury, and by many Extended Health Care (EHC) plans.  A medical referral is not necessary to access chiropractic care.  Chiropractic adjustments are just one mode of therapy utilized by chiropractors today (but not with every patient).  Some chiropractors are also trained to employ other forms of physical therapy such as acupuncture, electrotherapy, soft tissue therapy, and rehabilitative exercises.  If your complaint is not something that would respond favorably to chiropractic care, a referral is made to the appropriate health professional.
Additional chiropractic resources can be found at: (, (, and (  Join us next time for the second part of this series on chiropractic where you will learn about the chiropractic experience from a patient’s perspective.
This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.