Monday, January 30, 2017

Your Whole World Is On Your Shoulders

Ontario Chiropractic Association

A study in the Journal of Orthopaedics reported that 50-90% of pregnant women will likely experience lower back pain. This pain may persist after giving birth if you don’t take action.
Keep your back healthy at home
Here are some ways to reduce the risk of back and neck pain:
  • Lighten your load
    Choose a diaper bag that distributes weight evenly across your body to limit the stress of isolated muscles.
  • Stretch your body
    While your baby is old enough for tummy time, join them on the floor and do some exercises to stretch your neck and back.
  • Feed comfortably
    When nursing, avoid hunching and keep your baby close to you. Also choose a comfortable, upright chair with a pillow.
  • Keep your baby close
    Don’t stretch your arms out – bring your baby close to your chest before lifting. Consider wearing your baby on your front so you can alleviate the strain on your back.
  • Keep tub trouble at bay
    Avoid reaching or twisting when bending over a tub. When kneeling, use a non-slip mat to protect your knees.

Exercises/stretches to help alleviate your back pain at home:
  • Shoulder opener
    Breathing deeply and calmly, relax your stomach muscles
    Let your head hang loosely forward and gently roll from side to side
    Bring your hands up to your neck and gently massage the back of your head and neck
    Drop your arms to your sides, relax your shoulders & slowly roll them backward and forward for 15 seconds
  • Crossover
    Standing with feet shoulder width apart, raise your hands
    Bring your right elbow across your body while lifting your left knee
    Touch elbow to knee, remaining upright and repeat alternating sides for 15 seconds

For more information on Chiropractic Care, visit

Monday, January 23, 2017

Benefits of K-Laser Therapy

Class IV laser therapy delivers a therapeutic dosage of laser energy to a larger volume of tissue in a shorter period of time.  Laser therapy reduces pain, enhances healing, modulates inflammation, reduces muscle spasms and is very safe in the hands of a trained laser therapist or Doctor.
This You Tube video explains the benefits of K-Laser Therapy, the science behind it, what happens during a treatment, and areas of injuries it can treat.
It also features testimonials from patients and athletic trainers who have used and experienced the benefits of K-Laser Therapy firsthand.
K-Laser Therapy is available at the New Hamburg Wellness Centre.  New patients are always welcome.
For more information on our clinic, visit

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Daily Routine Can Be A Pain

Ontario Chiropractic Association

Your daily routine can be a pain … literally

We live in a world where we’re constantly in a hurry, juggling multiple tasks and carrying our belongings with us everywhere. And, believe it or not, this can have serious consequences on your back health. In fact, back pain sends more patients to doctors than any condition other than the common cold.1 Here are some common activities that negatively impact Canadian’s back health:
ScenarioHow to fix it
Commuting1: just like sitting at your desk, hunching over your steering wheel can cause your muscles to tighten, curving your back.  Over time this can result in long-term lower back problems. This is important for the 15.4 million Canadians who commute to keep in mind2.
How to fix it: be sure to sit at a 90 degree angle and don’t fully extend your legs. Move your seat up to allow yourself to sit up straight. Adjust your lumbar to fit your back, and if it’s not enough support, try rolling up a towel to help decrease stress on your lower back.
Work life: did you know sitting puts 40 per cent more pressure on your spine than standing? It’s important to remember your posture especially when you’ve had a long day at your desk1.
How to fix it: practice ‘active sitting’ with your feet flat on the floor in front of you with your back straight, your shoulders squared and chin parallel with the floor. Also, ensure your workspace is set up to enable frequent breaks from sitting, like getting up to go to the printer and taking phone calls while standing.
Carrying your belongings: when you’re carrying a heavy purse or laptop bag, your shoulders become out of line.  This can cause your muscles to ache and throw your spine out of line1.
How to fix it: reduce the number of items you carry with you. Also consider using a backpack to help distribute the weight of your load evenly across your body.  This will help avoid the stress of isolated muscles overcompensating for unevenly distributed weight.
Improper lifting: you’re not alone if you have strained your back while lifting heavy boxes. Lifting heavy items improperly can put undue pressure on your spine3  and even cause spinal disc injury4.
How to fix it: picture yourself doing the lift before engaging to ensure you’re keeping the object in front of you, your back is straight and you’re lifting with your knees/hips rather than your back.
  2. Commuting to work. Statistics Canada –

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Preventing Cold-Related Injuries During The Winter

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

Physical activity during the winter season can place unique demands on the body that can predispose you to injury.  The good news is there are strategies that can be employed to help prevent cold-related injuries.

Below are some of the common injuries that can occur during the winter season:

·       Soft tissue injuries including sprains, strains, and contusions.  Cold weather decreases the elasticity of soft tissues making them more prone to injury during activity.  Ligaments and muscles in the back, upper and lower extremities are commonly injured.  Falls in slippery conditions can also contribute to injury.

·       Exposure injuries include frostbite and hypothermia and occur when individuals do not wear attire that is appropriate for the weather conditions and physical activity performed.

·        Blisters can form due to the friction of wet gloves and/or wet socks with poorly fitting footwear.

·       Sun-related injuries can also occur in the winter months and cause sunburn and snow blindness.

·       Technical injuries can happen when physical activities are performed with:  inadequate technique/training; unsuitable equipment; and/or poor preparation/planning.

Below are some of the strategies that can be used to prevent cold-related injuries:
·        Warm up and prepare your body for physical activity by stimulating the joints and muscles, and increasing blood circulation.  Also consider exercise training to help prepare you for winter activity.

·        Dress for the elements by wearing insulated lightweight clothing with multiple layers.  This will allow you to add or subtract layers as needed.  Attire that is waterproof can help keep you dry and reduce the risk of heat loss.  Insulated gloves, footwear, and headgear can also help keep you warm.  Shoes and boots with solid treads and soles can help minimize the risk of awkward twisting, slips and falls.

·        Protect yourself from the sun by applying sunscreen regularly.  Your eyes should also be protected with UV blocking sunglasses.
·        Use safe snow shoveling techniques.  Get professional training and advice while learning the skills of a particular activity such as skiing or snowboarding to help minimize the chance of injury.
·        Equipment considerations may include using an ergonomic snow shovel, having sporting equipment properly fitted for your body type, or wearing a helmet during activities.
·        Preparation is critical.  For example, be aware of changes in weather forecasts that can influence safety.  Intermittent thaws and subsequent freezing can give way to ice build-up under foot increasing the risk of back twisting, slips and falls.  Coarse sand or ice salt can help give your walkways and driveways more traction.  Planning for physical activity is also important.  For instance, adequate nutrition and hydration before, during, and after activity can optimize energy levels and improve overall physical functioning.  This will help reduce fatigue and chance of injury.

Recognizing some of the common injuries that occur during the winter months and knowing which precautions to take can ensure that you enjoy physical activities safely in cold weather.  For additional information on health and wellness, 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.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Understanding The Inflammatory Response

By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)
The inflammatory response is a natural phenomenon that enables our bodies to fend off various disease-causing organisms, harmful toxins, and physical injury.  It is a protective and restorative process that helps keep us healthy - most of the time.  Unfortunately, when inflammation becomes excessive or uncontrolled, we begin to see chronic inflammation which can lead to poor physical health.  Learn more about how the inflammatory response can affect your health.
When you catch a cold, sprain your ankle, or are exposed to an environmental pollutant such as cigarette smoke, a chain of events are triggered in your body known as the “inflammatory cascade”.  The familiar signs of normal inflammation - local redness, swelling, heat, pain, and loss of function - are the first signals that your immune system is being called into action.  Pro-inflammatory hormones are released at the injury site, which stimulates the release of white blood cells, antibodies, and other chemical compounds that help initiate the healing and repair process.  Inflammation that starts and ends as intended signifies the proper and essential inflammatory response.
Chronic inflammation occurs when there is an inflammatory response of prolonged duration (weeks, months, indefinite).  It is accompanied by simultaneous attempts at healing and repair and inevitably causes tissue damage.  Over time, it may become more difficult for the body to heal and repair tissue in areas of chronic inflammation.
Symptoms of chronic inflammation can include persistent pain, fever, fatigue, weakness, and irritability.  Chronic inflammation has also been linked to undesirable health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, symptomatic osteoarthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome.  Listed below are some natural ways to manage and avoid chronic inflammation:


·     Use the right fuel:  Avoid foods that can be a source of chronic inflammation in the body such as refined sugars, trans fats, and allergens.  In contrast, omega-3 fats which are found in fish oils have an inflammation suppressing effect.  Anti-oxidants, found in most fruits and vegetables are natural compounds that help protect the body from harmful free radicals and inflammation.
·     Exercise works like medicine:  Endorphins released by the body during exercise can have anti-inflammatory properties.  Exercise also regulates insulin levels and body weight.  Being overweight increases inflammation in the body.  Fat cells are efficient factories for producing key inflammatory elements, and burning calories through exercise shrinks those cells.
·     Sleep and stress management:  Poor sleep quality increases body inflammation.  Regular restful sleep allows for important biological systems to recover and recharge.  Prolonged stress, whether it is emotional or physical, can be a source of chronic inflammation.  Finding an effective outlet for dealing with stress is important for managing this source of inflammation.
·     Be mindful of your habits and environment:  Avoiding exposure to pollution and toxic fumes such as cigarette smoke will help minimize inflammation in the body.

·     Treat muscle and joint injuries:  These injuries can be a major source of inflammation.  Many individuals experience the benefits of therapies such as acupuncture, massage therapy, and chiropractic care for these structural causes of pain and inflammation.

For additional information on natural inflammation management and improving your 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, January 2, 2017

How To Make Exercise A Regular Habit

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

Regular exercise has long been identified as an essential element of good health.  Despite this fact, many struggle to make exercise a regular habit.  Below are some helpful tips that can help individuals stick with an exercise program.
Make Exercise Convenient:  Incorporating regular exercise into a busy life necessitates some planning and sacrifice so it becomes a priority.  This may require scheduling exercise into everyday routines and/or making regular exercise as convenient as possible, thereby increasing the likelihood that it remains a priority.  Exercise does not need to be time consuming.  Regular bouts of exercise for as little as 30 minutes a day can have a positive impact on health.
Make Exercise Safe:  An exercise that may be considered safe for one individual may not be safe for another due to age, physical limitations, and other health concerns.  If you are not sure where to start, consult with a knowledgeable health care provider who can assist in choosing activities that are appropriate for you.  If you have been inactive for a period of time, gradually ease into activity and take it slow.
Make Exercise Fun:  Individuals should choose a range of exercise activities that they enjoy.  Performing these activities with a workout buddy, friend, or family member also results in the exercise being more satisfying.  Those individuals who choose fitness and recreational activities they enjoy are more likely to be consistent with those activities.  Having another individual to share this with also increases the likelihood that you will continue with the exercise activity.
Make Exercise Feel Good:  Not only does exercise make you physically stronger; it also has the benefits of releasing excess tension, building self-esteem, and stimulating the body’s natural “feel good” chemicals called endorphins.  Although there may be some initial physical discomfort when beginning a new exercise program, this may be your body’s normal response when starting a new activity and should not last more than one to two weeks.  If discomfort or pain persists beyond this point, seek advice from an experienced individual to make sure the exercise you are performing is appropriate and being done correctly.
Make Exercise Practical:  Individuals beginning an exercise program need to have realistic expectations about the amount of time they can invest, the activities they will enjoy engaging in, and the physical and psychological benefits they expect to experience.
Regular exercise leads to tremendous health benefits that can be initiated by individuals of any age or shape.  For more information on health, wellness, and exercise, 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.