Monday, January 15, 2018

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 www.nhwc.ca.

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 8, 2018

Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Rehabilitation


The New Hamburg Wellness Centre offers emergency access to care for individuals who have sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident (MVA).  This access is prompt, usually within 24-48 hours during the business week, and in some cases sooner.

You do not have to see a medical doctor to start receiving treatment for a motor vehicle accident injury at our centre.   Our doctors are specially trained to assess your MVA-related injuries and prescribe the appropriate therapy.  We are capable of immediately initiating your claim and starting rehabilitation and treatment for your injuries.  Our centre is also a licensed service provider with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and is able to bill your auto insurer directly for your treatments.


MVA injuries are not limited to just Whiplash injuries of the neck.  Any body part can be injured.  Our experience, examination protocol and treatment regime is specifically tailored to treating MVA-related injuries, including headaches, neck pain, mid back pain, low back pain, and soft tissue injuries.  Our unique, multi-faceted approach has successfully rehabilitated hundreds of individuals who have sustained MVA-related injuries.

Current scientific research demonstrates that those injured in a MVA recover most successfully if they remain active in their activities of daily living (ADLs).  Individuals may require treatment to help control pain, and instruction on specific exercises to help during their recovery.

Our centre has the ability to utilize a combination of the following treatment modalities to help you recover quickly and completely:

  • Rehabilitative Exercise and Physical Therapy
  • Registered Massage Therapy
  • Medical Acupuncture
  • Laser Therapy
  • Chiropractic Care
  • Active Release Therapy
  • Graston Soft Tissue Therapy
  • Electrotherapy

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS REGARDING MVA CLAIMS:

Q:  Do I need a referral from my insurance company or medical doctor to receive treatment for my MVA injuries?
A:  No.  Chiropractors are primary health care providers and are readily accessed.

Q:  If I undergo care, will my insurance rates increase?
A:  No.  Your rates will not increase as a result of an injury claim only.

Q:  How much will care cost?
A:  Under the present legislation there is no net out-of-pocket expense for care.

Q:  I was involved in an accident, and had little stiffness the next day, is it worthwhile to undergo care?
A:  In a number of instances there is a delayed onset of symptoms that can take weeks to show up after a seemingly innocent fender-bender.  A thorough examination by an experienced practitioner can help determine if any treatment is required.


If you have any questions that need to be addressed regarding injuries you have sustained in an MVA, please do not hesitate to contact our office.  http://nhwc.ca/contact.html

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

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  www.nhwc.ca.


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.