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courtenay chiropractic

Proper Workplace Setup

As a Comox Valley Chiropractor, I see alot of people who have pain and stiffness from working at their desks. Simply put, your body wasn’t mean to sit at a computer for extended periods of time. It is this immobility and sustained position that is so irritating for the body. The following is a reproduction of helpful information that appears on our Chiropractic Comox Valley website:

Workplace Ergonomics

As the workload increases, so do repetitive actions like keyboarding and answering the phone. These routine tasks can add a level of physical stress to the emotional and mental stress of getting the job done. In fact, repetitive strain injuries have skyrocketed in the last two decades due to the increasing reliance on workplace technology.

The good news is that a few simple changes to your office set-up can help make your job easier, safer and more efficient.


Keyboard

Position it above your lap. Ensure that you can type with your arms relaxed, close to your body with elbows bent at 90 degrees and wrists level.


Computer Monitor

Position it directly in front of you. Keep it free of dirt and smudges in order to reduce glare. Allow the muscles in your eyes to relax by following the 20/20/20 rule: take a 20 second break every 20 minutes and focus on an object that is at least 20 feet away from you. Make sure to use proper corrective eyewear to avoid leaning or straining forward to see the computer screen.


Mouse

Some workers have a vice-like grip on the mouse. Try using a light grip to avoid strain. When you move it around, use your elbow to guide it instead of your wrist.


Telephone

Use your hand to support the telephone against your ear and alternate sides regularly. Do not cradle the phone between your ear and your shoulder. If you are on the phone a lot, consider using a headset or speaker to reduce strain on your neck and arms.


Chair

Sit upright and all the way to the back. Place a support cushion or roll against the arch of your back for lumbar spine support. Here are some tips to help you adjust your chair:

1. Stand in front of the chair and adjust the height so that the highest point of the seat is just below your kneecap.

2. Sit on the chair and make sure that your knees are bent at approximately a 100 degree angle when your feet are flat on the floor.

3. Adjust the backrest forwards and backwards as well as up and down until it fits the hollow in your lower back.

4. Sit upright with your arms hanging by your sides. Bend your elbows at about a right angle and adjust the armrest height until they barely touch the undersides of the elbows. Remove the armrest from the chair if the right level cannot be achieved or if the armrests, in their lowest adjustment, elevate your elbows even slightly.


Take A Break

Try not to sit in any one position for a long period of time. Take a quick stretch break or change position every 30 to 45 minutes. For a quick and easy stretch, stand up and raise your arms above your head.

Your Comox Valley Chiropractor is here to help. Chiropractors can help prevent workplace problems by advising you on how to set up an ergonomic workstation. Should you suffer a repetitive strain injury, your Comox Valley Chiropractor can also provide treatment for your pain.

Prevention and Your Vancouver Chiropractor

“Health care costs are rising at twice the rate of economic growth, and three times the rate of inflation. We spend more time treating a growing number of chronic diseases, instead of preventing them. Change is needed, and with our Throne Speech and Budget, we have turned the need for change into an opportunity for improvement.

The best time to deal with illnesses is before they occur. That is why our government is moving to eliminate trans fats in the preparation of foods in restaurants and ban smoking in cars with young children, steps we believe will prevent chronic illness in British Columbia and save the health care system downstream costs.

George Abbott, Health Minister

Prevention is the focus of the BC government moving forward. With their Act Now BC campaign, the BC government is trying to encourage BC residents to get active, stay healthy, and prevent chronic diseases from occurring.

One of the largest chronic health conditions in BC residents is that of lower back pain. Over 80% of British Columbians will experience low back pain in their lifetime. It is for this reason that the BC Chiropractic Association has partnered with the Ministry of Health to create a campaign targeting students and their parents.

The Pack it Light, Wear it Right campaign endeavors to educate kids about the potential harmful effects of too-heavy backpacks on their back health. In partnership with Act Now BC, two commercial spots were created and aired on tv. Visit the BCCA web page to view theses spots. They were extremely effective , with a recent Ipsos Reid poll showing a 73% recall of the ads.

More information is available on our Chiropractic Comox Valley website www.bayviewchiro.ca

Pack it Light, Wear it Right Handout

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.