Monthly archives

March 2008

Acupuncture Covered Under MSP

As of April 1st, 2008, the BC government will officially allow registered acupuncturists to be covered under its Premium Assistance program. Those who make less than $28,000 per year are eligible to have $23 covered for 10 visits, to be shared between chiropractors, naturopaths, physiotherapists, massage therapists, non-surgical podiatrists and now acupuncturists.

From personal experience, I can attest to nothing but the best results from acupuncture treatment. In addition, many patients I have referred have received great benefits ranging from help with chronic pain, insomnia and dizziness.

This Comox Valley chiropractic clinic is a happy to endorse such educated practitioners.

The Truth About Health Care

“The management of our health care system is so inefficient that we not only fail to put patients in the hands of those professionals most qualified to give the best treatment, we actually ensure that the most expensive and least qualified person provides the care. . . . the structure of health management in Canada makes the squandering of billions unavoidable.”

Pran Manga, Ph.D., M.Phil.

A very strong statement from a man at the centre of health policy in Canada. Unfortunately, his statement is not only accurate, but entirely ignored.

If this statement piques your curiosity, makes you scoff, or gets you angry, there is a book you need to read. Squandering Billions is a hard and honest look at health spending and health care policies that have resulted in the “crisis” in our health care system that we read about everyday.

As a Comox Valley Chiropractor, I consistently see the effects of these policies and practices on my patients. I highly recommend to everyone that you read this book!

Cycling – A Pain in the Knee?

This article was originally written for Wings of Steel – a blog created and maintained by Karley Cunningham, a cycling woman of steel!

Did you know that knee pain (or patello-femoral pain) accounts for one quarter of all cycling problems?

While cycling can provide an amazing workout without the repetitive high-impact forces (like those associated with running), it is in fact associated with a great number of overuse injuries. Patello-femoral syndrome, which is the most common cycling injury, accounts for around 25% of all cycling related complaints.

Biomechanical irregularity of the knee joint, along with demanding training, are believed to be responsible for most cases of chronic knee pain in cyclists. These irregularities are believed to put excessive pressure on the cartilage within the knee during the constant knee flexion and extension associated with cycling.

This produces degeneration of the knee cartilage and other structures. As the cartilage degenerates, more stress is put on the bones as they compress, producing pain and inflammation.

Why do people develop biomechanical problems with their knees? Explanations abound, including weak quadriceps (most notably the vastus medialis oblique), over-pronating arches, poor flexibility, genetic structural problems, improper bike set-up or poor equipment.

Training aspects that could aggravate the knees include excessive hill training, riding slowly in high gear and a sudden increase in training volume. Interestingly, research has shown that most cyclists with knee pain have too much side-to-side swinging of their knees during the down-stroke of their pedal cycle.

Usually, people will feel pain in the front and inside of the knee, which is hard to pinpoint. Often people will say it is inside the knee, or under the kneecap. Activities that can worsen the pain include walking up and down stairs, sitting for prolonged periods of time, squatting and of course riding.

If you’re a cyclist who develops knee pain, your first line of defense should be the familiar RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation. Most cyclists with knee pain will find that this relieves the symptoms quite quickly.

It is important to note that this self-therapy will only serve to reduce the symptoms, but will not resolve the biomechanical problem that is causing the pain. Therefore, the pain will return when you go back to your regular training.

Your ultimate goal is to improve your joint motion, flexibility and strength. The quadriceps muscles need to be strengthened, abnormal biomechanics of the lower limb need to be identified and corrected, and training errors need to be rectified.

When introducing hill training or when increasing your training volume, be sure to do so in a gradual and measured manner. You may also add in some spinning, or cycling at low gears in order to maintain volume while minimizing stress on the knees.

If you are unsure of the source of your knee pain, or are unable to manage the condition on your own, consult your Comox Valley Chiropractor. A chiropractic doctor can diagnose a specific cause of your pain, provide treatment to manage the condition, and prescribe sport specific and injury specific rehabilitation exercises.

Choosing a Good Pillow

An interesting and informative article appeared in the Vancouver Sun today. Normally I don’t tend to like any health information published in the newspaper, but they seem to have done a pretty good job on this one. They speak with a chiropractor about how to choose an appropriate pillow for you sleeping pattern and body type. Check out the article here.

Best Foot Forward

The Canadian Chiropractic Association has recently launched a falls prevention program entitled “Best Foot Forward”. Below is an excerpt from a press released issued by the BC Chiropractic Association:

One in every three Canadians over 65 are just a step away from falling, and that slip, trip or stumble often has serious and costly consequences. Older Canadians are nine times more likely to suffer an injury from a fall leading to hospitalization and even death.

That is why the BC Chiropractic Association is launching Best Foot Forward, a public education program aimed at preventing falls in seniors. The program follows a Public Health Agency of Canada report detailing the debilitating and even deadly consequences of seniors’ falls.

“Best Foot Forward offers practical advice on many aspects of prevention that most older Canadians can do easily,” says Dr. Brian Gleberzon, DC, who acted as a consultant on the national Report on Seniors’ Falls in Canada and who helped develop the program. “Preventing a fall can be as simple as changing your footwear, taking off your reading glasses before walking to the next room or removing slippery scatter mats.”

“The message we want to get across is – don’t let a fall get you down. Slips, trips and stumbles are preventable,” concludes Dr. Gleberzon.

A self-assessment quiz and illustrated prevention tip sheets covering household hazards, health risks, strength and balance, and safety-conscious behaviour can be obtained at no charge from your Comox Valley Chiropractor or downloaded from your Comox Valley Chiropractic website . Prevention presentations to groups can also be arranged by contacting us.