Wellness Tips for Working from Home Pain Free

Do you finally have a routine developed for working from home? Are you noticing some aches and pains associated with your new workspace? Don’t worry, you are not alone. There have been a number of patients experiencing the same concerns and here are a few tips to reinforce good posture and manage those aches and pains.


Have your work look you in the eye

Raise your screen so that it is at your eye level so that you avoid bending your head forward. Forward head posture increase tension on the muscles and joints in the neck and can lead to issues such as headache.

Pro Tip: Place a post it, colored piece of tape or special piece of artwork on the wall behind your screen – just above the screen. Every 5–10 minutes try and take a look at the marking. This will cause you to extend your neck and lift your head upwards which can help to take tension off of the muscles in the neck and upper back.

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Make you sure you have a handle on your keyboard

Set the height of your keyboard so that your arms can hang by your sides and your shoulders are dropped. When you have done this, bend your elbows to 90°. At this position, your hands should be over your keyboard and your fingers should be able to reach all of the keys with slight movements in the elbow and shoulders

Pro Tip: Every 30 min perform a stretch where you are basically asking your screen to hug you. Drop your shoulders, open up your elbows and face your palms towards your screen. In this position begin contracting your shoulder blades towards each other and down (as if you’re trying to hold onto a pencil with your shoulder blades). Make sure your video screen is muted otherwise your colleagues may get the wrong idea 🙂

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Stand your ground

If sitting, have your both of your feet firmly placed on the floor with your knees bent to 90°.

If standing, make sure your feet are shoulder width apart with a slight bend in your knees to keep them from locking. You may also keep a small stepping stool and place one foot on it at a time – this will unload the back on the same side as the foot you’re standing on the stool with. It is recommended that if you are going to use a stepping stool to rest your feet, remember to alternate them regularly so as to avoid creating any asymmetries in your back.

Pro tip: Invest in a wobble cushion or disc (they are around $30). This inflatable disc can be placed on the surface of any chair you sit on. It mimics an exercise ball in that it will keep your core muscles active by trying to stabilize your spine and prevents direct pressure on your tailbone. Added bonus, you can also use the disc to perform a number of different balance exercises.

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How to fix and improve posture

Your spine allows you to stand upright, bend, twist, and most importantly, it protects your spinal cord from injuries. Your spine is stabilized with different softer and harder tissues such as muscles and bones. Having proper posture helps reduce strain on your spine, and on the muscles and bones throughout your entire body. Plus standing up tall always conveys more confidence!

How do we achieve proper posture? Proper posture results when your muscles are flexible enough to have a good range of motion yet are strong enough to ensure your spine has stability through the range of motion. Here are some tips to help achieve flexibility and stability needed for proper posture:

1) An active lifestyle. Different types of exercise (ex. Resistance training, Cardio, Yoga etc.) can help strengthen your muscles, stabilize your spine, increase flexibility and increase bodily awareness to help improve your posture.
2) Maintain a healthy weight. Asides from being connected to many illnesses, extra weight can put pressure on your spine and can weaken your muscles.
3) Be mindful of your posture. Taking a minute before performing everyday activities such as walking, watching TV or even putting on our shoes, to ensure you are not over reaching or twisting in a abnormal way.

Below are the steps to getting into proper posture:

1) Keep your chin retracted (push it backwards).
2) Pull shoulders back and down (like your holding a pencil between your shoulder blades).
3) Push chest forwards (stand prideful and tall!).
4) Posterior pelvic tilt (roll and lift your belt buckle towards your head).
5) If seated, ensure that your elbows are below your shoulders and your knees are below your hips.

Remember, proper posture isn’t just when you are sitting down, you can (and should) strive to have proper posture whenever you are moving. It will reduce the chances of an injury and you’ll better doing it!

Green Shirt Day!

Wearing Green for Green Shirt Day

 

Join us in celebrating the second annual Green Shirt Day – today - April 7th. During these uncertain times, it's important to remember there are approximately 4,400 Canadians require a lifesaving organ or tissue transplant and each year an average of 250 patients die waiting. With your support, we hope to make a lifesaving difference by spreading awareness of organ and tissue donation.

 

About Green Shirt Day

The Canada-wide Green Shirt Day honours the legacy of Logan Boulet following the tragic Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan. On April 6, 2018, the tragedy moved and united us as a nation. The details of this tragic event had an unprecedented impact.

 

Logan’s decision to register as an organ donor, and his family honouring his wishes, saved lives. Logan was able to donate his heart, lungs, liver, both kidneys and both corneas, saving six lives with his organs, and helping two more with his corneas. His generous final act inspired nearly 150,000 donor registrations across Canada shortly thereafter, which became known as the Logan Boulet Effect.

 

With your help, we hope to encourage Canadians across the country to register their decision to become organ and tissue donors and share that decision with their family.

 

Your Call to Action

This week show your support for Green Shirt Day and National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness by: 

  • Wearing green on April 7 in honour of Logan Boulet and the Logan Boulet Effect. Learn more by visiting: https://greenshirtday.ca/
  • Register to become an organ donor at https://organtissuedonation.ca/en If you are already registered, share your decision with your family and encourage others to register.
  • Help us spread the word on social media by using the hashtags: #GreenShirtDay #LoganBouletEffect #OrgansTissuesForLife #CanadasLifeline

 

Most importantly, while you are home connecting with friends and family - whether in person, over the phone, or through video chats – take the time to have this important conversation about your decision, so they can help fulfill your wishes.

 

Stay safe, stay healthy, and remember movement is medicine – so continue to exercise.

 

HALO Clinic

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%.