Insomnia Treatment at Your Hastings Chiropractic and Wellness Centre

Do you experience difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, are you looking for an insomnia treatment in the East Village area? Then read on if you also experience any of the following symptoms: fatigue, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, or decreased work/school performance? If you said yes to both questions, then you may suffer from insomnia.

Insomnia and poor sleep quality is a common condition. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that 48% of North Americans experience insomnia occasionally, while 22% experience insomnia nightly. Lack of sleep and/or poor quality sleep can have detrimental effects on energy, physical performance, emotional wellness, mental acuity, immunity, and digestion.

At Our Hastings Chiropractic Clinic, our practice members often report improved sleeping quality as one of the unexpected effects of chiropractic care. This is a common report among practice members ranging in age from infants to seniors. Improved sleep benefits not only the practice member, but also their relationship with their loved ones. When I share this finding with other people, they often ask the question, “What does sleep have to do with your back?”

To answer this question, we must keep in mind that the spine and skull protects the spinal cord and brain (the central nervous system). When spine is properly aligned, the nervous system functions optimally and appropriately balances the body’s fight or flight (sympathetic) and rest and digest (parasympathetic) functions. Sympathetic and parasympathetic functioning is inversely related, meaning that as one state increases, the other decreases.

Sleep is a parasympathetic function that can diminish when the spine is misaligned (or subluxated) from birth, traumas, chronic poor postures, repetitive motions, toxins, or mental/emotional stress. At the same time, sympathetic functioning increases. Manifestations of sympathetic/parasympathetic imbalance can include poor sleep, reduced immunity, problematic digestion, decreased growth, and even pain.

The chiropractic adjustment optimizes the spine’s functioning thereby re-balancing the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic functioning. It is for this reason that a person who initially comes in for pain will report changes to sleep and ability to relax, in addition to experiencing relief for their original complaint, after being under care for some time.
If the insomnia or the quality of your sleep is preventing you from functioning at your best and you would like to find out how chiropractic can support you, schedule an initial evaluation today by calling 604-255-8123.

Choosing The Right Backpack for Your Kid

Did you know that backpacks accounted for 28,000 doctor office and emergency room visits in 2010? How can a backpack cause so many problems? Choosing the right backpack is extremely important. Poorly fitting backpacks may lead to strains and pinched nerves. They can cause dislocations and fractures during falls. Furthermore, poorly fitting backpacks promote poor posture, which may negatively affect concentration, learning, immunity, or even athletic performance. With backpacks being one of the top three items on almost all back-to-school shopping lists, it is important to know how to select the right backpack.

While backpacks can be an extension of your child’s personal taste, the selection of a backpack should never compromise safety for fashion. Here is a checklist of features that should be available when choosing the right backpack:

  • Wide, padded shoulder straps. Wide, padded straps distribute the backpack’s weight along the shoulders.
  • Padded back. A padded back improves comfort and protects the child from being poked by contents within the backpack (i.e. rulers, pencils, etc).
  • Waist strap. Waist straps reduce the stress that is placed upon the shoulders by the shoulder straps.
  • Multiple compartments. Multiple compartments help balance the load evenly within the backpack.
  • Size. The backpack should never be longer or wider than the wearer’s torso.

After selecting a backpack with the proper features, it is even more important to use the backpack properly. To prevent injury, here are some tips for how to properly wear a backpack.

  • Loading a backpack. A backpack should carry no more than 10% the weight of the person carrying the backpack. Therefore, the weight of a backpack worn by a 100 lb. child should not exceed 10 lbs.
  • Wear all the straps. Wearing all the straps will prevent excessive stress from being exerted on one area of the body.
  • Positioning the backpack. The bottom of the backpack should be no lower than four inches below the waistline.

Back-to-school is a period of excitement and anticipation for the upcoming school year. If you have any questions regarding backpacks, choosing the right backpack, your child’s posture, or their health feel free to schedule a consultation in our office. Please call 604-255-8123 to schedule your child’s appointment today.

Spring has Sprung: Common Types Of Running Issues

With Spring around the corner and the Vancouver Sun Run getting closer, here are some common types of Runing Issues that we see at our Hastings Chiropractic and Wellness Centre. We will address a different issue each week, first on the list is “Shin Splints”.

One of the most common complaints is the onset of lower leg pain which begins after starting the exercise program. Often the patient has already had treatment by physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons, and other sport injury specialists.

I love these types of patients because after we help their sports injury, which other specialists were not able to do, they now trust us to take care of their spinal problems as well.

I believe that the best way to build a practice is to get people better and they will refer everyone they know.

The most common lower leg injury is “shin splints.”

Sports medicine specialists are starting to use the new terminology of medial and lateral tibial stress syndrome instead of “shin splints.”

This injury can be devastating to young athletes as well as recreational runners and aerobic exercise enthusiasts. Hard surfaces are blamed as the cause of shin splints by many experts.  In my opinion, the cause of the vast majority of shin splints is the common biomechanical problem of overpronation.
Pain along the medial border of the tibia is the chief entering complaint. The posterior tibialis muscle attaches along the medial tibia and inserts on the bottom of the medial foot. Its function is to invert and dorsiflex the foot. It also helps to support the arch of the foot and therefore helps prevent overpronation of the foot.

Overpronation is an excessive rolling in of the foot. Many authors have stated that 60-80% of the population overpronates. This overpronation will cause an overstretching of the tibialis posterior muscle which leads to fatigue, weakness, and spasm. As a result, the attachment of the muscle along the tibia will become inflamed. The periostium of the bone is loaded with pain nerves and the condition can be extremely painful to the point of stopping all exercise activity.

Correction of this condition starts with a custom foot orthotic to correct the overpronation of the foot. Overpronation takes place in the subtalar joint and this joint needs to be checked for subluxations.

Once the foot is stabilized and the biomechanical problem has been neutralized, therapy to the injured area can begin.

Therapy for our patients usually includes:
– massage
– cryotherapy and
– a light strengthening program for the tibialis posterior muscle.

Strengthening the tibialis posterior muscle
Strengthening is accomplished by having the patient stand with his feet turned in as much as possible (pigeon-toed.) Then the patient will do toe raisers. This is done using only the body weight and lifting the heels off the ground and then coming back down. In time, the patient will be able to do 100-200 repetitions in a few minutes.

The differential diagnosis of a tibial stress fracture must be performed on all patients. An AP and lateral, lower leg x-ray must be taken to rule out a stress fracture. Any small change to the tibial cortex indicates a stress fracture. All sports activity is stopped for 6-12 weeks while the fracture heals.

Of special interest is that this cortex reaction may not be seen in the initial stages of pain. Therefore, another series of x-rays should be taken if the condition is not improving with treatment. A bone density study can be utilized in difficult cases; however, I prefer that the patient rest for 6-12 weeks prior to a bone density study.

This treatment plan that has been presented, along with the clearing of any foot, ankle, knee or pelvic subluxations will give you, the doctor of chiropractic, the best results of any sports medicine specialist in your community.

There are thousands of people unable to exercise due to “shin splints.” We can get those people better and back on their exercise programs through correction of their biomechanical problems and good chiropractic care.

Contact us at your Hastings Chiropractic and Wellness Centre and get runing pain free!

Cell Phone and Neck Pain

We have been getting a lot of practice members who now have “cell phone neck pain.” I was sitting at a restaurant the other day observing my surroundings, and to my amazement I witnessed half the restaurant eating while looking at their phones or tablets. In addition, we have an increasingly large amount of jobs that require long hours sitting at a computer. I think there was even a video of a lady walking into a fountain at a mall she was so distracted by her cell phone. All kidding aside, what we have lost is the ‘arc of life.’ This arc, better know as the curve in your neck, should be a lordotic or reversed curve, however, while looking down, we reverse our curve. This reversal or kyphosis causes pressure to increase at the level of the brainstem. In fact, when we lose the curve in our spine, we increase the pressure 300% which takes a ten-pound head and makes it feel as though it weighs 30 pounds. Even worse it can cause a spinal condition called vertebral subluxation where the bone goes out of position creating nerve pressure and affecting surrounding organs. It is no wonder we have so many people with neck and shoulder tension each and every day.

Well, you can’t quit your job; we aren’t stopping the overflow of communication devices anytime soon. I have even seen restaurants with mobile tablets at the table for customers to order their own food. The question is what can we do about it to counteract some of the challenges this can cause our health. Losing the curve in your spine not only increases the downward force on your neck and shoulders, but also affects the brainstem and can be linked to headaches, blood pressure, allergies, sinus problems, and immune challenges to name a few. If you work at a desk, it is vital to stretch before, during and after work. One of my strategies for our practice members is drink the proper amount of water so you must go to the bathroom once an hour to ensure you move around. We can strengthen our spine with proper ergonomics while you sit, use an exercise ball to sit on, create a standing work station, just to name a few strategies. This arc of life is essential to allow proper spinal development, posture, and overall health. A reminder, “as the twig is bent, so grows the tree.”