Articles & Resources

5 Ways to Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at the Workplace

Repetitive stress injuries usually account for the highest percentage of missed work on a year to year basis, and unfortunately Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the leading names associated to that scenario. We’ve put together a few tips that can not only keep you from suffering this kind of injury – but could potentially save your employer money in employee short-term disability coverage. Take a look around you – is your workstation promoting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Your workstation should be customized to accommodate your personal body and encourage proper posture for all of your tasks. So ask yourself these questions: 1. Are you bending your wrists when using your computer or laptop? You shouldn’t be; try adjusting either the height of your seat or the height of your working surface. 2. Are you using a traditional mouse? Using a trackball, graphic pen, or finger pad can significantly reduce the risk of mutiple RSI – from carpal tunnel to trigger finger. Ultimately, you will want to rotate through the different mouse options every so often to change it up…your fingers, hands and arms will be grateful. 3. Industrial workers benefit from the extra support forearm rests and padded edge protectors offer for worktables, as this eliminates pressure and relieves stress on the joints of the wrists and hands. Remember Your Musculoskeletal Health 4. Remember to practice proper posture. Your chiropractor can help you obtain this with a series of different exercises to perform to strengthen key muscles. 5. Remember to take breaks and perform supportive stretch routines. This will not only improve muscle function and flexibility, but it will...

Oh Sciatica, you give me sleepless nights…

If you are suffering from sciatica, you know just how frustrating the constant and/or recurring pain that radiates from your back and butt, all the way down to your toes, can be. It’s not pleasant. In fact, it can be downright debilitating as the pain worsens with even the simplest actions, such as sitting, standing up, coughing, or sneezing. We talk about some of the treatment options available for sciatica here. We also talk about sciatica when pertaining to pregnancy here. But in THIS post, we’d like to briefly talk about how you can Sleep Through Sciatica Pain. Sleeping Positions to Limit Sciatica Pain Ultimately, when you go to bed your spine should always be kept in a neutral position so that your body can get the rest it needs. What is a neutral spine? It is a straight spine that maintains the natural curve in your neck and lower back. This will help relieve the pressure associated to sciatic nerve pain. How can you maintain a neutral spine while you’re sleeping? You will first want to ensure that you are using the right kind of pillow. Fluffy, feather-filled pillows do not offer support, so it’s best to stick to a pillow that is firm and of the right width for your optimal comfort (which will vary depending on your body type.) Next, decide on the most comfortable sleeping position that alleviates the pain most: on your back, or on your side. Sleep on your side (fetal position) with a pillow between your knees and a pillow under your head and neck. This will straighten and elongate your spine,...

Dear Headache: Nobody Likes You…So Go Away. Please?

Everyone suffers from headaches. The good news is, there are ways to help achieve pain relief… First, you should remember that there are two major classifications for headaches: Primary Headaches – which occur for no obvious reason such as migraines and tension-type headaches Secondary Headaches – are attributed to underlying clinical problems of the head or neck, which are called cervicogenic headaches Knowing what type of headache you’ve been getting can greatly help you achieve pain relief. So what kind of headache do you suffer from? Here is a breakdown of the common symptoms for each classification of headache: Migraines: Recurrent headaches 4-7  hours duration One sided pain Pulsating type pain Moderate or severe intensity Worse by doing routine activities During headache, 1 or more are present: nausea, vomiting, light or sound sensitivity. Tension-Type Headache: Frequent headaches Last minutes to days Both sides of head Pressing pain, tightening pain (band-like) Mild to moderate pain May be tender to touch No nausea / vomiting May be sensitive to sound or light (but only one) Not made worse by routine activities Cervicogenic Headache: Pain referred from a source in the neck Feels like it is in 1 or more regions of the head and/or face Clinical, lab., or imaging evidence of a disorder within the neck (spine or soft tissue) If tender spots are the only cause then it is a tension –type headache not cervicogenic. How much does your headache impact your life? Take the Headache impact test: http://www.headachetest.com/HIT6/PDFS/English.pdf To assist your chiropractor in getting a better diagnoses and treatment keep a headache diary such as the one here: http://www.chiro-doctor.com/Forms/Headache-Diary.pdf  So...

Formulas for Finding Your Personal Heart Rate

Step 1: Determine you Maximal Heart Rate A common forumla you may see floating around is this:  (HRmax) is 220 – age = HRmax HOWEVER: this is neither accurate nor scientific. Current studies indicate that no formula currently exists that is an accurate predictor of HRmax. however, the least objectionable formula is this: HRmax = 205.8 − (0.685 × age) Many heart rate measuring devices exist. Some people simply count their pulse rates. Step 2: Calculate your resting heart rate (HRrest) This is found by taking your pulse (or using your heart rate monitor) as soon as you wake up. The general standard is to do this for three consecutive mornings and calculate the average. HRrest = resting heart rate day 1 + resting heart rate day 2 +  resting heart rate day 3  / 3   Step 3: Calculate reserve heart rate (HRreserve) To calculate your reserve heart rate, use this formula: HRreserve = HRmax – HRrest As your fitness improves, your resting heart rate will decrease thus increasing the reserve heart rate. Step 4: Calculating your target heart rate HRtarget= (HRreserve x  % intensity) + HRrest For example, if you want to target a 70% intensity, you would use: HRtarget= (HRreserve x .7) +...

All About Heart Rate Training

What is Heart Rate Training? Your body’s demand for oxygen rises when exercise intensifies: this means that your heart rate (which is the number of heart beats per unit of time) will increase or descrease depending on your exercise intensity. Monitoring your heart rate allows you to measure and assess just how much your body is working, giving you a greater control over your work out plans and structures. It allows you to target the necessary intensity levels you need to achieve your desired endurance, strength and speed goals – or, alternatively, you can control your intensity levels to prevent over training and promote recovery. While some devices measure heart rates, they usually use an estimate of average heart rates: it’s is important to know that heart rates are different for everyone and are key to establishing which ‘zones’ you should be training in. What is a heart rate zone? A “zone” identifies different heart rate groups that are suppose to target specific training outcomes. Below is a table of zones:   Warm Up Zone: 50% -60%  Recovery Zone – 60% to 70%             Aerobic Zone – 70% to 80%       Anaerobic Zone – 70% to 80% We warm up zoneis slow, steady, and very easy on the body. It’s meant to start your blood pumping and prepare for more intensity.Training within the recovery zonedevelops basic endurance and aerobic capacity. All easy recovery running should be completed at a maximum of 70%. Another advantage to running in this zone is that while you are happily burning fat you may lose weight and...

How You’re Devolving In Front of your Computer

If I told you I was a carpenter or an ironworker, you might think that it must take a toll on my body. But if I told you that I had an office job where I sat in front of the computer all day, you might think that the chances of physical injury would be minimal. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Repetitive stress type injuries have resulted in well over 5 million dollars last year in Worker’s Compensation claims, and thousands of hours of missed work time. In many office-based jobs, we are required to remain in a fixed position while performing many precise repetitive motioins: just think about how long you’ve focused solely on your computer screen today, and how many times your hands have hit the same key. These kinds of activities, which are highly repetitive in nature, can cause serious damage to our bodies. Our muscles and joints begin to wear in an abnormal way –  and unfortunately this wear is not always easy to detect in its early stages, as it can be masked until occassional, mild discomfort before it becomes a debilitating pain or is felt as numbness or constant tingling in an affected area. It’s much easier to prevent a repetitive stress injurt (RSI) than it is to repair damage that has already developed over the years. How to help prevent RSI in  your every day life: When sitting for long periods of time, ensure that your knees are at a 90-degree angle and your feet touch the floor. Move your feet and legs frequently Your chair should have a good...

Foods that Cause, and Foods that Help Avoid Inflammation

Inflammation is the natural reaction your  body has to irritation, injury or injection – but that doesn’t mean it’s any less painful to deal with. Often, anti-inflammatory drugs can be prescribed to help alleviate the symptoms. You can also help your body along by being adopting a healthy diet. Yes, you read that right: there are natural, non-medical ways to help your body avoid an inflammation response. Keep an eye on your diet, as some foods can be especially irritating: Junk foods, white flours, high-fat meats, sugar and processed foods. This includes high-fat processed meats like bacon and sausage.  Loading up on junk foods, high-fat meats, sugar and processed foods may increate the potential for inflammation in your body. Cut back on white flours in bread and pasta by looking for 100% whole-grain instead. Eliminate added sugars by decreasing your consumption of sugary sodas, pastries, candies, desserts and pre-sweetened cereals. Potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants can also trigger pain in some people as these vegetables contain a chemical alkaloid called solanine. While no formal research back the claim about this, some people believe that avoiding them have helped. So what foods are considered natural anti-inflammatories? Fruits and Vegetables. Whole fruits, berries and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytohemicals. Choose green and brightly colored vegetables, and whole fruits. Protein Sources. Possible anti-inflammatory protein sources include lean poultry, fish and seafood. Soy and soy foods such as tofu and tempeh, along with other legumes, can be used as plant-based protein sources. Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Maintaining a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids (naturally available in foods like fish...