World Spine Day 2019

World Spine Day is a worldwide initiative — organized by the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) on October 16 each year — that aims to raise awareness of back pain and other spinal issues.

The theme of this year’s campaign is #GetSpineActive, which highlights the importance of spinal health and encourages people to manage back and neck pain through movement and exercise. As spine, muscle, and nervous system experts, chiropractors keep Canadians moving.

With an estimated one billion people worldwide suffering from back pain, it affects all age groups, from children to the elderly. It is the biggest single cause of disability on the planet, with one in four adults estimated to suffer from back pain during their lives. Prevention is therefore key and this year’s World Spine Day will be encouraging people to take steps to be kind to their spines.

Anyone, from all ages can have back pain, but some things that increase the risk include:

  • Getting older. Back Pain can start as early as 30 years old.
  • Arthritis
  • Your Job. Jobs that include lifting, pushing, or pulling as well as twisting of your spine can result in back pain
  • Nutrition

To learn more about World Spine Day, click here.

If you’d like to get an assessment complete, click here to schedule your next appointment.

Why Summer Massage?

Summer brings a change of pace from the winter months. We tend to become more active.  Whether it’s sports or hiking and swimming, we tend to move more. Being outdoors, we are exposed to hotter weather and often more humidity.  Many of us work in our yards; mowing lawns or planting and weeding gardens.  Often, we have more leisure time as many of us take holidays with our families. We may even want to lose a few pounds coming into summer or over the summer. Did you know that massage can be a benefit for each of these summer lifestyle changes?

 

  1. More activity can lead to sore, tired muscles.Massage reduces muscle inflammation and relieves pain and keeps you flexible by increasing blood flow and flushing out fluids and toxins.
  2. Heat and humidity can cause swelling and edema which make us feel less energized. Massage reduces swelling by increasing the flow of fluids through the lymph nodes.
  3. Working in the yard can be a workout on its own and can lead to neck, shoulder and lower back pain.Massage reduces inflammation/pain and promotes recovery.
  4. Summer can be a time for self-care.After the stresses of winter, a massage can help clear our minds and also reduce stress.  With the longer days, a massage can help promote sleep by increasing serotonin (making us feel happy) and melatonin (making us feel sleepy).
  5. A massage can also help with weight loss by increasing blood circulation and creating more efficient metabolism, so we burn more calories at a resting state. Massage stretches connective tissue and reduces the buildup of scar tissue, which inhibits muscle growth, thereby helping build muscles.

 

Why not enjoy all these benefits of massage by booking with one of our amazing therapists at HALO Clinic. Summer Massage

Thank You Dr. Todd Halowski

Thank you Dr. Todd Halowski for many years of dedicated service to your patients at HALO Clinic. We wish you all the best as you pursue the next step of your career, as Registrar of the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors.

Thank you Dr. Todd Halowski

Dr. Halowski has entrusted the continued care of his patients to Dr. Janmohamed because they share a similar approach to chiropractic care. As such, we encourage you to continue pursuing optimal health by visiting Dr. Janmohamed for your chiropractic needs.

Dr. Halowski, you have been a valued member of our community, and you will be greatly missed by your patients and colleagues. We here at HALO Clinic continue to reinforce your mantra ‘Life should not hurt’ as we help patients pursue optimal health. We look forward to following your career as you support the Alberta Chiropractor Community and wish you immense success in this new role.

Thank you and all the best,

HALO Clinic

Are You Aware of the Arm and Neck Connection?

What makes humans unique from other animals and especially primates? We have unique shoulders and opposable thumbs compared to primates. Both of these are important in understanding the arm and neck connection of the human body.

Did you know that the human shoulder is better suited for throwing and hunting? This ability provides humans with valuable survival skills.

The human shoulder joint has a wide range of motion and is very mobile, affording the potential for significant leverage and accuracy in throwing.

The human hand and opposable thumbs have “a relatively longer and more distally placed thumb” and “larger thumb muscles.”

With the unique anatomy and function of the human arms and hands, we require a consistent control of the hands and arms for our activities.

What we see is that motor activation starts in the brain, and through coordination of multiple centres, we have a precisely controlled movement that promotes our survival.

Did you know that the nerve signals from the brain travel through the spinal cord and exits at multiple levels in the neck as they continue to courses towards the shoulders, arms and hands?

Nerves are sensitive to pressure.

When nerves have pressure on them, from soft tissue or other sources, it interferes with the transmission of the signals from the brain to the arms.

The neck is muscle rich and is a common place where peripheral nerve entrapments can occur.

When considered with posture, the risk and complexity of the neck as a region where the nerves can impinge and interfere with the precise motor movement, and the arms and hands elevate.

Chiropractors assess and diagnose problems that interfere with the arm and neck connection.

At HALO clinic we consult and assess with patients that are experiencing neck, shoulder, arm, forearm and hand pain problems.

If we are not the right place to help you, we will let you know who in the community is the best person.

We are here for you 100%

Tech Neck. Why tech hurts your neck.

The most common challenge I see around my practice concerning posture is “Tech Neck.”

Headaches, Shoulder pain and numb fingers from tech neck.
Tech Neck and Bad Posture

As a result of practicing chiropractic for over 10 years, I have often heard questions about posture.
“Do I have good posture?”
“Do I have bad posture?”

Many of our patients in Calgary spend hours hunched forward with their neck over some electronic device. “Tech Neck” results in a shift to the kinetic chain, increase in the relative weight of the head and putting pressure on the discs, muscles and other structures of the neck.

Tech Neck can lead to;

The kinetic chain represents the idea that the joints and segments of the body affect one during movement. There is a ‘chain of events’ that occurs as we move or look around, our bodies shift position, and our muscles and tendons work to move us.

As a result of “Tech Neck,” as the head moves forward, the relative weight of the head increases. Some people suggest that for every inch that the head moves ahead of the shoulders as observed at the ears of the ears, the weight of the head relatively increases by 15 pounds. When the ears are straight over the shoulders in an ideal posture position, the head weighs 15 pounds. The forward creep of our head means that we start to increase the relative weight of our head.   When the head moves forward, one inch the weight of the head is relatively 30 pounds. When the head moves forward 2 inches the relative weight of the head would be 45 pounds.

As a result of tech neck,  the relative weight of the head increases. The body now needs to adapt to the increased weight, causing the muscles in the back of the neck and the upper spine to work harder to keep the head from falling forward. The muscles in the front of the neck tighten and shorten to maintain a tone in the resting muscles. The front chest muscles called the pecs also shorten as spend time with our arms in front of us, such as when we use a keyboard or smartphone.  As muscles shorten, it gets harder and harder to return to a neutral position. (Tech Neck leads to Upper Cross Syndrome)

As our shoulders round and our heads creep forward, we develop chronic shortening of posture muscles straining our spine and the discs. The shift in head position and posture increases our risks of acquiring cervical disc problems or herniations.

What to do about tech neck?

  1. Be aware of your body position. And consciously avoid stooping. (For a Funny Take on breaking bad habits watch this video)
  2. Do not stay in front of your computer for extended periods.
  3. Exercise. More specifically, exercise to balance your posture muscles.
  4. Lift your device up to eye-level instead of bringing your head down to the device.

What your Chiropractor might do?

  1. ASSESS you and your posture/spine.
  2. Prescribe exercises
  3. Educate on ways to shift your posture.
  4. Treat with manual Therapies.

If you are worried about Tech Neck, we are here for you. We are happy to do a free consultation. If we cannot help, we will let you know who is the best person in the community to help you.

Here for you 100%.

Can Discs Heal?

At Halo Clinic, when we work with patients that have disc injuries the one question that presses on peoples minds is will I get better?  Will my disc herniation heal? Because of the intensity of the pain, the severity of its interference in their life and the loss of sleep from disc injuries, people want some hope.

Disc herniations

Can Disc Herniations heal?

The simple answer is:

YES*

*(This is not the kind of healing we had when as a child we had a scratch and mom put a bandaid on the scrape, blew a kiss over the scratch and we went back to playing)

Often when diagnosing a patient with a Herniated Disc, specialized tests, such as X-rays, or MRIs are used. You are not your MRI, and you are not your X-ray. These specialized tests are akin to a specialized photo, and while they help to diagnose your problem, they are not a complete representation of your health. Have you ever had a bad picture taken?

That is why the chiropractors at Halo Clinic in Calgary often look at a complete picture, including your pain, your diagnostic testing, diagnostic imaging and your quality of life.

When we work with patients recovering from disc herniations we want to know how each aspect of your life is, and not just if you feel pain? How is your;

  • Sleep?
  • Work?
  • Sports?
  • Hobbies?
  • Family Time?
  • Relationship?
  • Sex Life?

When we work with disc patients, we see better results when patients are actively involved. Active participation means doing the things that are necessary to promote healing, such as exercises and following through with your treatment plan. Active participation also means actively avoiding those things that will limit your healing.

Are you worried that you are dealing with a herniated disc? The best thing to do is to seek help early. We always start with a consultation. If we are not the best people to help you with your health challenge, we will let you know who that is, because we want your disc herniation to heal.

Life should not hurt.

Preventing Disc Herniations

Preventing Disc herniations

What can I do to prevent disc herniations? like all serious health problems, have modifiable risk factors. With all injuries, we like simple explanations; however, with consideration, there is a multitude of reasons why things happen.

Disc Injuries happen when too much force exerts on a disc. (Full Stop).

These injuries can happen to almost anyone.

However, some things may considered to lower your risk for disc injury.

Strengthen your core muscles with a focus on your abdominal muscles. The ultimate goal of any core stabilizing activity is to control the movement so that the proper muscles are targeted. The penultimate (almost or next to the ultimate) goal is to complete the repetitions. Clinically we see the majority of our patients have faulty movement patterns when it comes to core stability. This simple fix alone alleviates many back pain problems for patients, with the additional benefit of decreased risk of disc herniation.

To decrease the risk of cervical spine herniation, ergonomics and proper position are essential. A growing trend amongst those who suffer from cervical disc herniation is that these people work on a computer or in a head forward or head down position.

Lift properly and lift loads that are closer to your body.

Avoid stress, which has an association with body tension and risk for disc herniation.

Stay active and keep your weight in a healthy range. Increased weight will increase your risk for disc herniation.

If you have back pain, whether it is associated with neurological pain, seeking an assessment and an active management plan will help to prevent disc herniations.

We are here for you 100%.

Where do I Find Relief?

When suffering from a disc herniation, relief is very relevant in the life of the sufferer.

Sciatica or other forms of radiating pain often cause unrelenting pain. Symptoms of a disc herniation can include numbness, tingling, burning, electrical shock-like pain, weakness in affected muscles, altered of deficient symptoms. Left untreated some disc problems can lead to bowel or bladder problems. We commonly see herniations in the lumbar (Low Back) and cervical (Neck) spine.

Disc Herniation of the low back will produce symptoms that first start in the lower back and then often move into the thigh, calf and your feet. Cervical Disc herniations higher up in your neck will cause symptoms in your arm and fingers. There are also other reasons that you can have numbness, tingling or pain that extends to your toes.

 

It is crucial that your chiropractor does an examination. The assessment of your spine will help to determine where the problem is and what the best way to treat your problem for recovery will be.

Given the intensity and persistence of the symptoms that accompany disc herniations our patients often want the fastest relief possible, followed by relief that lasts. When care is deemed safe, relief from your disc symptoms often results from careful and conservative management with your chiropractor. This will include such things as ice, heat, exercise, manual therapy or other evidence-based practices.

When you decide to call your Chiropractor, you start the process to recover from your dis herniation.  Your Chiropractor will help to talk you through changing positions, modifying activities and strategies to provide relief. Sleep, working and leisure activities can all be modified to provide assistance. Most importantly, your chiropractor will be able to start treatment to bring you lasting relief.

Could your low back pain, or neck pain be the early signs of a disc herniation? An assessment is the only way to find out.

We are here for you 100%.

What are Disc Herniations

“Why is my back so sore?”

“Why is my neck so sore?”

While there are many reasons that people have back or neck pain, in this article we want to talk about Disc Herniations.

Intervertebral discs exist in the space between our spinal bones (called vertebrae). They have two components. An outer thicker layer called an Annulus Fibrosis contains a softer middle substance called the Nucleus Pulposus. A Herniation occurs when the integrity of the Annulus Fibrosis damages to the point that the Nucleus Pulposis either bulges the disc or completely pushes through the Annulus Fibrosis, thus extruding disc material.

When the disc herniates or bulges, there is potential for damage to the sensitive structures adjacent to the disc. These include the spinal cord and or spinal nerve roots. Herniations cause problems such as sciatica, and radicular (means radiating) pain. The seriousness of these injuries depends on location and neurological involvement.

Disc herniations represent a common cause of back and neck pain. The highest prevalence of lumbar (low back) disc herniation occurs in 30 to 50-year-olds with males having double the frequency of females.

Magnetic Resolution Images (MRI) used to evaluate disc herniations show that many asymptomatic people have features that support they have herniated discs, “slipped” or bulging discs.

The research shows that herniations are serious and should be evaluated and managed by competent, trained professionals, such as a Chiropractor.

Disc Herniations respond well to conservative care. Conservative care often limits the needs for surgery. There is little evidence to support that disc herniations respond to treatment with pharmaceuticals.

In the clinic, we see many patients who have neck or back pain, where herniation is a component of their pain.

Your Body’s Support

Our bodies require a lot of support. The good news is that the body’s necessary support is innate. Sometimes people will seek outside supports, such as orthotics and bracing, and at times these are clinically relevant. This article will focus on how your body supports itself.

In good stories, there are protagonists and antagonists. In healthy bodies, there are protagonist muscles that promote movement and antagonist muscles that perform the opposite function of the protagonist’s muscle. When these muscles are in proper balance, that indicates that we are balanced, supported and have ‘good’ posture.

An example of this muscle relationship is the forearm articulation relative to the arm that occurs at the elbow. When the biceps contracts, the triceps is inhibited, and the hand moves towards the shoulder. When the triceps contracts, the biceps is inhibited, and the hand moves away from the shoulder. The biceps causes flexion of the elbow, and triceps creates the extension of the arm at the elbow. What if the biceps and triceps fire at the same time? When the protagonist and antagonist muscles fire at the same time, this is a condition called dystonia.

Now if we look at the body, there are hundreds of articulating (moving) joints that we observe. For each joint to articulate it requires one or more agonists and one or more protagonists. The body and its joints do not move in 2 dimensions, so often more than one muscle is required to promote a movement.

The tone of these muscles provides the support necessary for us to move, to sit, to lie down or anything else where we sustain a position. When these muscles are healthy, have the right tone, and are conditioned, we move well. One indication of a healthy body is a healthy posture.

Posture problems associated with weak internal support by your muscles that we commonly see include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Hunchback
  • Rounded Shoulders
  • Head Forward Posture
  • Low Shoulder
  • Pelvic Tilt
  • Sway Back
  • Flat Back
  • One Leg Stance

One of the ways we clinically describe muscle imbalance comes from Janda a physiotherapist from Prague. We call the one that causes problems with the head and neck Upper Cross Syndrome, and the one that affects the hips and pelvis lower cross syndrome. The Picture below describes the imbalances.

 

You do not have to live with “bad” posture. We work with many clients to help diagnose and treat their posture and muscle balance problems. It is rewarding to see our patients who were stooped and firm stand tall and move easier. It is worthwhile to see someone feel more confident because they feel better about their appearance.

We are here for you 100%. we would love to see you stand tall.