Physiomed https://www.physiomed.ca Healthier Starts Here Fri, 17 Jan 2020 16:49:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.4 https://www.physiomed.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/cropped-blog-single-dummy-3-32x32.jpg Physiomed https://www.physiomed.ca 32 32 How to Prepare Mentally for This Year’s Weight Loss Challenge https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/how-to-prepare-mentally-for-this-years-weight-loss-challenge/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/how-to-prepare-mentally-for-this-years-weight-loss-challenge/#respond Wed, 15 Jan 2020 16:39:34 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=9857 The inspiration to lose weight usually skyrockets during this time of year. And it’s no surprise considering January typically symbolizes new beginnings. It’s a chance to forgive ourselves for past mistakes and revel in the optimism that comes with a fresh start.  Although healthy eating habits and regular exercise are the keys to losing weight, …

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The inspiration to lose weight usually skyrockets during this time of year. And it’s no surprise considering January typically symbolizes new beginnings. It’s a chance to forgive ourselves for past mistakes and revel in the optimism that comes with a fresh start. 

Although healthy eating habits and regular exercise are the keys to losing weight, did you know you can think your way to being thin? Many experts say long-term weight loss success usually starts in your head. Negative thought patterns and self-criticism may be the two most damaging things holding you back. 

From practicing patience to setting incremental goals, you can make this year your most successful yet. So here are 5 mental strategies to help you cut the ‘mental fat’, so you can eventually shed the belly fat, too. 

1) Learn to have patience

In a digital age that places immense value on instant gratification, it can feel foreign to have some patience. But that’s exactly what needs to happen if you want to achieve your weight-loss goals. So many of us want to lose too much — too fast. We want immediate results. But you’ll keep the pounds off if you take the time to do it slowly. Doctors recommend an average of shedding 1-2 pounds per week. Crash diets and starving yourself just won’t work if you want long-term results.

2) Picture yourself thin

There’s perhaps nothing more powerful than visualization. If you want to be thin, picture yourself thing. It really is that simple, and it works. Visualizing how your body will look when it’s two sizes smaller is a good start. But take it a step further by imagining how good you’ll feel once you drop those extra pounds. For inspiration, look up old photos of yourself from a time when you were thinner. And display them prominently — like in your kitchen, workout room or on your office desk — to help keep you motivated. 

3) Set small goals

At the beginning of each year, too many of us try to make sweeping changes in our lives. But these lofty challenges are never successful because they quickly run out of steam. Instead, try working towards smaller goals that will give you more tangible results. So rather than completely swearing off meat, commit to eating one or two vegetables per day. Instead of promising yourself to 2-hour gym session 5 times per week, take 15-minute walks on your daily lunch break. When you chop up those bigger goals into smaller tasks, you’ll be able to form healthy habits and change your overall lifestyle. 

4) Don’t be shy to reward yourself

We all need a little treat here and there to reward our efforts during our weight loss journey. Otherwise, there’ll be nothing to look forward to as we work towards the next milestone. Although you may be inclined to reward yourself with a fast-food binge or a bucket of sweets, you may end up setting yourself back. Instead, acknowledge your mini-achievements with a pedicure, a new haircut, or even a trip to the movies. Always recognize your hard work and dedication, no matter how small you think the achievement may be.  

5) Keep a journal

There’s no doubt that what you eat, how you exercise and the way you feel will change dramatically as you work towards your weight loss goals. Write down your progress in a journal, and also include any changes you notice physically and emotionally. Keeping track of your journey can actually encourage positive behaviours. It’s also a lot easier to identify old patterns and bad habits creeping in when things are put down on paper. Ultimately, journals keep people accountable because they’re less likely to get off track when progress is being documented. 

For more information on successful, long-term weight loss or to book an assessment, contact us here.      

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No Time? No Problem: Eating Healthy On-the-Go https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/no-time-no-problem-eating-healthy-on-the-go/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/no-time-no-problem-eating-healthy-on-the-go/#respond Wed, 01 Jan 2020 16:25:30 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=9853 Between juggling your career, your kids and everything else in between, it can be quite challenging to find the time to eat right. After all, this often involves weekly meal-prep and a consistent effort to avoid processed foods. But when you’re slammed each week with house chores, work deadlines and children’s birthday parties — eating …

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Between juggling your career, your kids and everything else in between, it can be quite challenging to find the time to eat right. After all, this often involves weekly meal-prep and a consistent effort to avoid processed foods. But when you’re slammed each week with house chores, work deadlines and children’s birthday parties — eating healthy can feel like a luxury. 

That’s why we’ve come up with a few tips on how to keep it clean when you’re busy as heck. The best part is that healthy eating is entirely possible, and you don’t need much time to do it!

1) Don’t skip breakfast

Turns out your mother was right. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Eating early will kickstart your metabolism, helping your body set the tone for the hours ahead. Even if you don’t have time to prepare a savoury dose of poached eggs or a strata primavera, there are tons of delicious (yet simple) breakfast options available. A slice of whole grain toast with avocado or a bowl of overnight oats are healthy ways to kickstart your morning.

2) Keep junk food out of the house   

Whether it’s blueberry scones or chocolate-dipped cookies, we all have our vices. Sugar consumption can create a short-term high, which some experts suggest can be as addictive as cocaine. If you love sweets, your body may actually be addicted to sugar. 

It’s nearly impossible to say ‘no’ to junk food when it’s staring you right in the face. One of the best ways to avoid it is to keep it out of the house altogether. It’s much easier to eat right when you only have healthy options to choose from. Although the first week without junk food can be tough, you’ll find the cravings diminish dramatically once you begin cutting it out. 

3) Prepare healthy snacks for the week

Let’s face it: Most of us head to the food court or fast-food joint out of convenience — not because that’s what we truly want in the moment. Avoid impulse meal purchases by preparing some easy, healthy snacks for the week. It takes just minutes to put some simple snacks together, and you can graze on them throughout the day.

Here are a few Physiomed favourites: 

  • Low-fat Greek yogurt with granola
  • Popcorn with a bit of olive oil
  • Broccoli and hummus dip
  • Almond butter and chopped apples

4) Prep in batches

Batch prepping is particularly helpful if you barely have time in the evenings to put dinner on the table. Simply decide on 3 or 4 dishes you’d like to have for the week, and dedicate one day (preferably your day off) to cooking all of them. Some batches can be stored in the freezer, so you can enjoy them several weeks later. Pasta, pancakes and soups tend to freeze very well, and can be thawed easily when ready to eat. Check out our recipes page for some inspiration. 

5) Choose healthier options when dining out

Despite your best intentions to prepare meals at home, you may have to go to a restaurant from time to time. But dining out doesn’t necessarily mean all your efforts must go to waste. Here are some ways you can still eat healthy while dining out:

  • Avoid fried foods; choose baked or grilled options instead
  • Ask for salad dressing and sauces on the side
  • Order water instead of sodas and juices
  • Eat only half your meal; pack the rest to-go

By following the above tips, you’ll be able to incorporate healthy eating — no matter how busy your schedule may be. Sometimes though, all of us need some professional guidance along the way. 

Physiomed offers nutritional counselling for those seeking help with weight management, diabetes and even chronic pain. Because so many health conditions are linked to our eating habits, our practitioners are focused on an interdisciplinary approach to health management. We create customized treatment plans that offer not only nutritional counselling but also a well-rounded strategy to address your unique concerns. With Physiomed, you’re well on your way to a lifetime of healthy choices!

For more information on eating healthy on-the-go or to book an assessment, contact us here.      

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When Should You See a Doctor for Back Pain? https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/when-should-you-see-a-doctor-for-back-pain/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/when-should-you-see-a-doctor-for-back-pain/#respond Sun, 15 Dec 2019 15:38:02 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=9841 Back pain is so common among Canadians that many of us rarely give it a second thought. According to Statistics Canada, four out of five adults will experience at least one episode of back pain at some point in their lives. But how do you know whether that ache is more than you can handle …

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Back pain is so common among Canadians that many of us rarely give it a second thought. According to Statistics Canada, four out of five adults will experience at least one episode of back pain at some point in their lives. But how do you know whether that ache is more than you can handle alone?

The clinicians at Physiomed are experts in treating back pain and its associated symptoms. Although at-home remedies like ice packs and hot baths could be effective, the following red flags should never be ignored. Chronic back pain can be the result of something more serious, like a fracture, tumor or infection in the spine. 

If your back pain is accompanied by any of the warning signs below, seek professional care right away. 

Tingling or Numbness

If you have an odd sensation in your back, your first instinct might be to take an over-the-counter medication. Although painkillers might provide temporary relief, tingling or numbness could indicate nerve irritation or damage. The feeling will also be more severe than a typical back ache. 

If that feeling of pins-and-needles persists for a few days, you need to get checked out as soon as possible. Your doctor may discover a herniated disk or even spinal stenosis, which is the narrowing of spaces within your spine. That tingling or numbness is the result of excessive nerve pressure. Left untreated, this prolonged irritation can lead to permanent disabilities. 

Fever

A flu or common cold could certainly cause some achy muscles. But if your back pain comes with an unexplained fever, it’s time for some medical attention. Even if your doctor rules out an infection, it’s still important to get plenty of rest. Once you start to feel better though, it’s best to slowly get moving again. This is because resting for more than a couple of days could actually make your back pain worse. Low-impact exercises like gentle stretching or aquatic therapy can help you ease back into your daily activities.

Trauma

If your back pain is the result of trauma, have your doctor check it out right away. Trauma can include a number of scenarios, including a car accident, falling from a height or a slip on the stairs. A seemingly small incident can actually result in a bone fracture. Your doctor will take an X-ray to detect any cracks. If none are found, your doctor will likely prescribe painkillers and recommend physiotherapy

Loss of Bladder or Bowel Function

Cauda equina syndrome is a serious condition, symptomized by back pain. This pain, however, will be accompanied by a loss of bladder or bowel function. The condition occurs when nerve roots in the lower end of the spinal cord become compressed and paralyzed. This compression can be the result of a herniated disk, tumor or trauma to the spine. 

Although cauda equina syndrome is rare, it can cause long-term damage if left untreated. If you’re having a hard time controlling your bowel and bladder movements — along with severe back pain — see your doctor right away.

Night Pain

Back aches that become more intense at night could be a sign of something severe. If the pain is keeping you up at night, you may be suffering from a sprain or disc degeneration. Ultimately, nighttime back pain should never be ignored. Your doctor will likely order blood tests or an MRI to detect an infection or tumour. In the meantime, massage therapy can ease muscle tension, improve circulation and help with relaxation.

Physiomed offers a variety of effective, yet non-invasive treatments to help address back pain. Our team of clinicians are trained to assess your posture, range of motion and overall strength. After hearing your doctor’s recommendations, we’ll create a customized treatment plan to provide long-term relief. Our most effective modules include chiropractic care, clinical conditioning and of course, physiotherapy

For more information on treating back pain or to book an assessment, contact us here

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Get a Head-Start on Your New Year’s Resolutions https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/get-a-head-start-on-your-new-years-resolutions/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/get-a-head-start-on-your-new-years-resolutions/#respond Sun, 01 Dec 2019 18:33:40 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=9838 In anticipation of the new year, we’re dedicating this post to new year’s resolutions. Whether you’ve decided to get healthier or save some money for the trip of your dreams, one thing’s for sure: Sticking to a goal takes a lot of patience and hard work.  Many critics have said that new year’s resolutions simply …

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In anticipation of the new year, we’re dedicating this post to new year’s resolutions. Whether you’ve decided to get healthier or save some money for the trip of your dreams, one thing’s for sure: Sticking to a goal takes a lot of patience and hard work. 

Many critics have said that new year’s resolutions simply don’t work. That’s because people lack commitment when they announce ‘declarations’ to make bold, sweeping changes in their lives. Critics argue that these resolutions lack a sense of meaning and personal relevance — which is the reason they quickly run out of steam. It’s no wonder then why statistics repeatedly show that up to 80% of new year’s resolutions fail.    

If you’re committed to improving your health in 2020, here are some tips on how to make meaningful changes that’ll stick. 

Break down big resolutions into tangible tasks

If you need some motivation, there’s no harm in using the new year as a ‘clean slate’ to get you going. Some of us need a specific moment in the calendar year that signifies fresh beginnings. This is when all the mistakes of the past are forgiven. If midnight on January 1st is that moment, by all means take advantage of it. The key though is what you do with your resolution in the weeks and months to come. 

Break down broad resolutions into simple tasks that will garner tangible results — no matter how incremental they may seem. For example, instead of making grand declarations that you’re going to stop eating meat, try incorporating just one vegetable into your lunch instead. 

Always work in steps

Self-discipline is a skill that takes years, if not decades, to master. And even late into middle-age and seniorhood, many of us fail to get it right. It’s this lack of self-discipline that will often force people to abandon their resolutions. 

If your intent is to simply exercise more, break up this lofty goal into incremental steps. Here’s an example:  

  • Week 1: Take a 15-minute walk around the office building each day during your lunch break
  • Week 2: Incorporate a 30-minute walk after dinner, every other evening
  • Week 3: Go to the gym for 1 hour every Saturday morning
  • Week 4: Join a year-long fitness class that you enjoy and can attend regularly

The best thing about working in steps is that you’re maintaining healthier habits all year-round. The point is to keep the steps super simple to avoid feeling defeated and overwhelmed. 

Maintain a positive approach

Setting resolutions in January comes with an optimism we don’t necessarily feel during the rest of the year. Take advantage of this momentum by maintaining a positive approach in the coming months. As the year goes on, talk about your resolutions and incremental successes in a celebratory tone. And remember, even if you slipped up yesterday — each morning is a fresh opportunity to be an even better person. 

Seek help from the pros

Although it’s nice to lean on a trustworthy friend or relative, it’s helpful to get advice from the pros. As you work towards building commitment and change, you may feel the need for inspiration and guidance along the way. Whether you want tips on achieving more tangible results or just need help with menu planning, the right health practitioner can be very effective.

Physiomed teams include expert clinicians who can help with all aspects of your journey. From chiropractors to nutritional counsellors, our friendly team is here to help you stick to your new year’s goals. Sometimes, your resolution may not even be lifestyle-based. Perhaps you were in a car accident 3 months ago, and want to heal a specific part of your body. If so, Physiomed is still your trusted source. Our physiotherapists can help with rehabilitation — while providing the bigger picture on your overall health. 

For more advice on reaching your health goals or to book an assessment, contact us here

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Custom Orthotics vs. Store-Bought In-Soles: What’s the Difference? https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/foot-health-tips/custom-orthotics-vs-store-bought-in-soles-whats-the-difference/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/foot-health-tips/custom-orthotics-vs-store-bought-in-soles-whats-the-difference/#respond Thu, 14 Nov 2019 09:27:07 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=9823 If you’re suffering from foot pain, it may seem easier to pick up a pair of generic insoles from the drugstore. But custom orthotics are much more effective in treating and preventing chronic foot problems. For many years, people have assumed these specially-fitted devices were only beneficial for pro athletes or those in special occupations. …

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If you’re suffering from foot pain, it may seem easier to pick up a pair of generic insoles from the drugstore. But custom orthotics are much more effective in treating and preventing chronic foot problems. For many years, people have assumed these specially-fitted devices were only beneficial for pro athletes or those in special occupations. But we’re here to tell you that’s not the case. 

Custom orthotics can help a variety of people, no matter how insignificant you think your pain may be. At Physiomed, we offer high-quality foot devices to treat many issues ranging from minor heel discomfort to plantar fasciitis. But to understand why custom orthotics are better than over-the-counter products, it’s important to know how each device is defined.

‘Mass-produced devices’

According to the Pedorthic Association of Canada, store-bought orthotics are ‘mass-produced devices that are not unique to any person’. Meanwhile, the organization defines custom orthotics as ‘an internal foot appliance which is manufactured from a three dimensional image of the foot, and made from raw materials’. It goes on to say that these specially-designed devices can accommodate bone deformities, and even modify the movement patterns of the feet and lower limbs. 

Some may argue that over-the-counter orthotics, including insoles, have come a long way. But it’s important to remember that even though store-bought versions can be heat-molded and modified, these devices can never be labelled as ‘custom’. That’s because the device was not made from a negative cast that captures the exact 3D shape of your foot. This is why most insurance companies do not cover the cost of over-the-counter products. 

Benefits of Custom Orthotics from Physiomed

Aside from the obvious benefits of customization, custom orthotics from Physiomed offer a number of benefits:

  • Ability to correct alignment issues
  • Can help control foot function
  • Improves overall function of the knees and hips
  • Modifies weight-bearing areas to reduce painful muscle strain
  • Improves overall stability of both the feet and body

If you’re still picturing orthotics that are thick, clunky and ugly — those days are long gone. It’s now possible to get customized foot devices that are aesthetically on point. At Physiomed, we offer a wide range of orthotics made from ultra-thin materials that feel much more comfortable on the feet. 

Easy as 1-2-3

Getting a pair of custom orthotics from Physiomed is a very simple process, handled by our expert chiropodists or chiropractors. Here’s how the process works:

  1. After obtaining a prescription from your doctor, we’ll book you for an assessment. Our chiropodist or chiropractors will take 3D images of your feet. He or she will also perform a gait exam to observe how you walk. The goal is to see how your feet, ankles, legs and hips work together when you move. 
  2. If it’s determined that you do in fact need orthotics, we will make a precise mold of your feet. This mold is necessary to ensure the right fit. 
  3. Our chiropodists will then work with our orthotics labs to create your orthotics. 

Physiomed also has the expertise to create special orthopaedic shoes, conformed to your feet, for specific activities including hiking and jogging. There are two types of orthopaedic shoes — accommodative and functional. Accommodative shoes are designed to provide additional support and cushioning. Functional models help control abnormal movements in the foot. 

Physiomed is dedicated to caring for all aspects of your feet. Although it may be easy to focus on seemingly more important areas of your health, always remember that your feet are the foundation for everything you do. Without proper foot care, minor problems can quickly transform into serious illnesses. Give your feet the attention they deserve with custom orthotics from Physiomed. 

For more information on custom orthotics or to book an assessment, contact us here.

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Wellness Tourism: Why Travellers are Hooked on This New Destination https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/wellness-tourism-why-travellers-are-hooked-on-this-new-destination/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/wellness-tourism-why-travellers-are-hooked-on-this-new-destination/#respond Fri, 01 Nov 2019 21:16:38 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=9818 We all know the feeling: You embark on a week-long trip thinking you’ll come home more refreshed than ever. Instead, you need a vacation to…well…get over your vacation. Why is it that the romance and relaxation we envisioned when planning our trips never pans out that way in real life? Is it the jet lag? …

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We all know the feeling: You embark on a week-long trip thinking you’ll come home more refreshed than ever. Instead, you need a vacation to…well…get over your vacation. Why is it that the romance and relaxation we envisioned when planning our trips never pans out that way in real life? Is it the jet lag? Or maybe it’s the boredom that sets in when you do nothing but flop on a beach for 7 days. It could also be the fatigue that creeps up after museum-hopping for 6 hours straight.

It’s for these reasons that wellness tourism is becoming so popular. Travellers are burnt out from trying to keep up with jam-packed itineraries. Plus there are all the Facebook photos you gotta take so your friends know what a fabulous time you’re having, right?

Wellness tourism will make you ditch all that nonsense. The main priority becomes putting your health first. The goal? Check out feeling better than when you checked in! 

What types of vacations promote wellness? 

Ever go on a yoga retreat to India or book a spa getaway in Ontario’s countryside? These are all examples of wellness tourism. Spending a few days in California doing nothing but surfing could also be considered travelling for your health. 

According to a report by the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness tourism industry is expected to reach nearly $19 billion USD by the year 2022. It’s been nearly 10 years since Eat, Pray, Love glorified the quest of self-discovery. But the kind of travel that Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) embarked on still resonates with millions of soul-searchers today. 

Research from the same report shows that the U.S., Germany and China have made the most money from wellness tourism since 2017. Rounding out the top 10 are India, Canada and the U.K. Many countries around the world are now marketing their own ‘wellness offerings’ — touting everything from scenic mountain view retreats along Canada’s Pacific coast to therapeutic sand baths in the hot deserts of western Egypt. 

What are the benefits of wellness travel?

If you’re still not convinced that wellness travel is any different from your typical vacation, think about this: All vacations are an exercise in overindulgence. You cram as many of the city’s top restaurants into breakfast, lunch and dinner — then spend your evenings soaking in the ‘night life’ as you bar-hop from one venue to the next. And don’t forget all the shopping and sightseeing you feel pressured to squeeze in. Sometimes, this can feel even more exhausting than a typical week at the office or chasing after the kids at home. 

Wellness travel forces you to shut it all down and spend your vacation focusing on one activity per day. Whether it’s an afternoon of parasailing or quiet meditation, the benefits of wellness travel are plenty. Here are just a few:

  • Taking part in some planned physical activity while on vacation can help you incorporate exercise into your daily routine back home
  • Exploring healthy, nutritious meals during your trip will not only entice your taste buds but help you revamp your overall eating habits
  • Wellness travel can inspire you to make some key changes in your life back home; these changes can involve things like your career or choice of friends

As an aside, many people set out on wellness vacations with the goal of losing weight. But this should never be the priority. Stress reduction and an improvement in your mental and physical state are key. Weight loss is just a bonus!

Isn’t wellness travel expensive? 

Wellness tourism has typically been linked to luxury spa getaways or pricy ski retreats in the mountains of Italy. But these are just marketing gimmicks aimed at getting people to spend more. It’s important to recognize you don’t have to shell out tons of cash to improve your health. There are so many more options out there when it comes to wellness travel.

For example, instead of booking an all-inclusive yoga retreat in B.C., consider renting a modest cabin along the coast. To fulfil your love of yoga, check out a few drop-in classes in the area. You can then spend the rest of your vacation visiting free pottery classes at the local community centre or arranging an excursion to a nearby farm. 

Your travel budget should never keep you from incorporating activities that make you feel good. By doing a bit of research and connecting with locals, you’ll see there are lots of opportunities for wellness — no matter where in the world you may be.

I’m home. Now what?

Once the romance of your vacation is over, you may find it difficult to practice wellness in your everyday life. Physiomed can help you keep your health on track with our therapeutic services. Our RMTs can help you reduce stress with massage therapy or ease chronic back pain with the help of our highly-trained chiropractors. Physiomed is dedicated to improving your quality of life, even long after the vacation has ended! 

For more information on achieving optimal wellness or to book an assessment, contact us here

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Indulging Your Spine: 4 Ways to Keep Your Back Healthy as You Age https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/health-tips/indulging-your-spine-4-ways-to-keep-your-back-healthy-as-you-age/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/health-tips/indulging-your-spine-4-ways-to-keep-your-back-healthy-as-you-age/#respond Mon, 14 Oct 2019 12:14:04 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=9573 At Physiomed, we like to stress the importance of spine health all year round. But this month, we’re taking extra steps to raise awareness because October 16th is World Spine Day. This is a day when everyone from health professionals to school children promotes a variety of spine-related initiatives, including physical activity, good posture and …

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At Physiomed, we like to stress the importance of spine health all year round. But this month, we’re taking extra steps to raise awareness because October 16th is World Spine Day. This is a day when everyone from health professionals to school children promotes a variety of spine-related initiatives, including physical activity, good posture and safe working conditions.

Each week our Physiomed clinics interact with hundreds of patients suffering from back pain. Research shows 80% of adults experience back problems, and these issues tend to worsen with age. It’s so bad that the Canadian Chiropractic Association describes lower back pain as an ‘epidemic’. Because so many of us spend hours hunched over a computer at work, this condition has become one of the leading causes of job-related disability nationwide. Although back pain can be the result of a sports injury or motor vehicle accident, it is often worsened by an aging spine. 

Disc degeneration and overall narrowing of the spinal canal can occur as part of the natural aging process. But there are steps you can take to slow down this regression and minimize discomfort. So in advance of World Spine Day, here are 4 tips on keeping your spine healthy while keeping back pain at bay.

1. Strengthen core muscles

Many patients believe that treatments targeting the spine are most effective in preventing backaches. But strengthening the surrounding core muscles is just as important. Because your core supports your spine, strong abdominal muscles are key to taking pressure off your back. Targeted exercises that include flexion (bending forward) and extension (bending backwards) stretches will not only strengthen your stomach but also improve posture and alignment. If you’re unsure which exercises are effective for maintaining spinal health, arrange a session with one of our personal trainers for a customized workout plan. 

2. Practice proper posture

If your job involves sitting at a desk all day, that’s horrible news for your spine. The spine has a natural curve that’s built to support the weight of your body. But this curve becomes warped when you crumple your body into a chair. According to the faculty of ergonomics at Cornell University, sitting can put up to 90% more stress on the back. 

Practicing good posture is the best way to redistribute this excess stress. The best sitting position involves keeping both feet flat on the floor and positioning your knees at the same height or slightly lower than your hips.

3. Make ergonomic adjustments

An ergonomic workstation can help encourage your body to make the proper adjustments. An ergonomic chair with a variety of settings for different seating postures is essential. Your keyboard and mouse should also be at the same level. The weight of your arms should not be dragging you down, but rather supported by the armrests of your chair. Many workplaces have a team dedicated to implementing office ergonomics. Speak to a specialist about customizing your workstation and investing in the proper tools to alleviate spinal discomfort.

4. Butt out

Health professionals are always warning about the effects of smoking on the lungs. But did you know cigarettes are also damaging to your spine? Bone density can decrease when you smoke, which can raise your risk of osteoporosis. Weak and fractured bones can lead to back pain and general discomfort in the spinal area. Smoking can also impair your blood flow, depriving your spinal tissues of nutrients and oxygen. 

Spinal Decompression Therapy

Despite your best efforts to protect your spine, you may require Physiomed’s expertise to identify the true source of your back pain. After a thorough assessment, our team of health professionals can create a customized treatment plan to address your specific needs. 

One of our most popular and effective treatments is Spinal Decompression Therapy. This non-surgical relief option involves using a motorized traction table to stretch out the spine. This change of position takes the pressure off the spinal disks — delivering water, oxygen and vital nutrients to these gel-like cushions. The forced, yet gentle, retraction of bulging disks will not only alleviate pressure but also promote healing and spinal realignment.

During Spinal Decompression Therapy, patients are fully clothed. One of our physiotherapists will place a harness around your pelvis and another one around your trunk. Lying on your back, the physiotherapist will then program the motorized table to vertically stretch your spine. All of our therapy sessions can be customized to address your specific needs. Each session takes about 30 minutes. Spinal decompression therapy is offered at our Sherway, Alliston and Vancouver clinics. 

Whether your spinal issues stem from the aging process or a motor vehicle accident, rely on Physiomed to deliver customized, hands-on treatment. Reclaim your health and resume all your activities by addressing back pain early on. Even though global awareness will happen on World Spine Day, remember to take small steps all year-round to protect and maintain your spinal health. 

For more information on protecting your spine or to book an assessment, contact us here

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Oh My Soles: The Importance of Caring For Your Feet https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/foot-health-tips/oh-my-soles-the-importance-of-caring-for-your-feet/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/foot-health-tips/oh-my-soles-the-importance-of-caring-for-your-feet/#respond Tue, 01 Oct 2019 11:59:44 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=9570 Many of us tend to take feet for granted, even though they act as the foundation for the entire body. Your feet allow you to walk to the park, run marathons and chase after your kids. Healthy feet can enhance your everyday activities — while painful feet can severely impact your quality of life.  Taken …

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Many of us tend to take feet for granted, even though they act as the foundation for the entire body. Your feet allow you to walk to the park, run marathons and chase after your kids. Healthy feet can enhance your everyday activities — while painful feet can severely impact your quality of life. 

Taken together, your feet make up 25% of your body’s entire bone count. They also comprise 18% of your joints and 6% of your muscles. Damage to any of these parts can do serious harm to your health, and affect the way you perform seemingly simple tasks. 

Blisters, calluses and chronic pain are common, especially if you don’t take preventive measures. That’s why it’s important to tackle these problems before they limit your ability to function. Here are 4 reasons to care for your feet and practice good foot hygiene each day. 

1. Prevents further complications from diabetes

Diabetes is known to cause various foot problems, including poor circulation and neuropathy. Diabetic foot problems are caused by decreased sensation from nerve damage and reduced blood flow to the feet. If the tissues continue to receive insufficient oxygen, gangrene can occur. This is a potentially life-threatening condition that happens when body tissue dies, often affecting the toes. 

If you have diabetes or are at risk, watch for calluses, corns and fungal infections in the toenails. By taking good care of your feet, you’ll be able to prevent further complications from diabetes.

2. Allows for regular physical activity

According to Health Canada, all adults (including seniors) should accumulate about 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week in bouts of 10 minutes or more. For many Canadians, that’s quite a lot of exercise without adding foot problems into the mix. 

If your feet are constantly aching, you may be less motivated to engage in any kind of physical activity. Going for an evening stroll or spending 20 minutes on the treadmill may seem too daunting. Over the long term, this can result in reduced muscle mass and overall strength. That can lead to a higher risk of heart disease and other illnesses related to a sedentary lifestyle. 

To ensure you’re staying active, take extra steps to care for your feet. Physiomed offers chiropody and other foot care treatments to address deformities, infections and mobility issues — improving overall function of the lower limbs. 

3. Improves quality of life

Many of us take for granted the kind of activities our feet allow us to enjoy: Walking around the mall with friends, a game of soccer with our grandchildren or summertime hikes at our favourite park. Healthy feet are crucial to improving your quality of life and ability to function. If your feet are constantly in pain, you’ll be less likely to function at your best. Some people may even modify the way they walk to avoid discomfort. This can cause long-term damage to your posture and balance, making you more vulnerable to slips and falls. 

Improve the overall quality of your life by taking good care of your feet. This includes making sure you’re wearing the proper shoes. Physiomed offers orthopaedic shoes designed to reduce pain. This special footwear is often fitted with custom orthotics that can treat a variety of conditions, including fallen arches, joint pain and plantar fasciitis

4.  Prevents injuries

Any injuries to your feet should be dealt with immediately. Cuts are particularly harmful because our feet are constantly exposed to dust, increasing the chances of contamination. Regular foot care will allow you to spot these issues right away — before they affect other areas of your health. Meanwhile, the colour of your toenails can indicate stomach problems while cold feet can be a sign of poor circulation. 

Physiomed offers a variety of therapies to treat foot injuries. Whether you’re suffering from chronic heel pain or a condition like Morton’s Neuroma, visit one of our healthcare experts for customized care. 

Tips for Maintaining Healthy Feet

Aside from regular visits with your foot care specialist, there are many steps you can take at home to ensure healthy feet. 

  • Wash your feet each day using soap and warm water; make sure to dry them thoroughly afterwards, especially between the toes
  • Inspect each foot regularly, looking for cuts, blisters, bruises and red spots
  • Wear clean socks and change them each day
  • Invest in a pair of high-quality compression stockings to help with blood circulation in the feet and lower limbs

Physiomed is committed to caring for all aspects of your health. Although it’s easy to focus on seemingly more important areas, always remember that your feet are the foundation to your entire body. Give them the attention they deserve and, if you need help, take a moment to explore the foot care solutions Physiomed is proud to offer. 
For more information on proper foot care or to book an assessment, contact us here.

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Packing Pain: How to Avoid Backpack-Related Injuries https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/back-pain/packing-pain-how-to-avoid-backpack-related-injuries/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/back-pain/packing-pain-how-to-avoid-backpack-related-injuries/#respond Sat, 14 Sep 2019 12:37:38 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=9553 With the school year back in full swing, your kids are probably lugging around those heavy backpacks all over again. And we all know this can lead to chronic back pain, achy shoulders and other discomforts. But students aren’t the only ones to suffer from backpack-related injuries. From construction workers to office personnel, many of …

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With the school year back in full swing, your kids are probably lugging around those heavy backpacks all over again. And we all know this can lead to chronic back pain, achy shoulders and other discomforts. But students aren’t the only ones to suffer from backpack-related injuries. From construction workers to office personnel, many of us spend hours each week carrying laptops, tools and other everyday essentials on our backs. 

Backpack-related injuries are all too common. And if left untreated, they can affect other areas of your health. The Consumer Product Safety Commission released data in 2012 stating more than 24,000 people were treated by doctors for injuries stemming from backpack use. Most cases were a result of uneven weight distribution, which can lead to sprains and posture problems. 

If you’re an avid backpack user, here are some tips to prevent injury. From choosing the right design to carrying it properly, there are many ways to avoid long-term discomfort. 

1. Look for the right features

You don’t have to buy the most expensive backpack on the market to prevent injuries. But there are some things you should watch for when shopping around. Always look for models that have the following features: 

  • Wide, padded straps that are at least 2” wide
  • Hip and chest belts, which can improve balance and take excess strain off the neck and shoulders
  • Multiple compartments to distribute weight evenly
  • Backpack on wheels if you’re commuting long distances

2. Don’t carry more than you can handle

Doctors and physiotherapists recommend you carry no more than 15% of your total body weight. For example: If you weigh about 130 pounds, 19 pounds should be the maximum amount of baggage you carry on your back. Always keep the load manageable. Heavier backpacks will force you to bend forward to support the weight, straining your back and shoulders. 

3. Don’t assume bigger is better

Many people make the mistake of buying an oversized backpack, which often leads to overloading. The backpack should be proportional to the size of your body, and not chosen just because it can carry more items. Also, make sure the material is light as heavier fabrics can increase the weight of the overall load. 

4. Practice good posture

Even while wearing a backpack, there’s a correct way to bend. When reaching down, always bend both knees. Practice bending both knees when picking up your backpack as well. Never bend at the waist when lifting or wearing your backpack as this can put unnecessary strain on the hips and shoulders. 

5. Get into the habit of organizing your belongings

Whether you’re going to a work seminar or just headed to the library, always look for opportunities to pack light. Spend some time organizing your belongings, and prioritizing only the essentials. Get into the habit of emptying your backpack every week, and removing all unnecessary items. 

6. Consider compression straps

Some high-quality backpacks come with a set of compression straps. This helpful feature allows you to compress the sides or bottom of the backpack. Although these straps won’t lighten your contents, they will help stabilize the overall load. This will prevent your items from jerking around and causing strain on your back and shoulders. 

7. Watch out for numbness or tingling

Rucksack palsy is a common symptom associated with backpack injury. When intense pressure is placed on the nerves in the shoulder, it can cause a tingling sensation in the hands. In serious cases, rucksack palsy can even lead to nerve damage. If you ever feel numbness or tingling in the limbs, it could be a sign of a poorly fitted backpack. Shop around for a model with the above-mentioned features or lighten up your overall load. 

8. See your healthcare professional for ongoing pain

There are times when a heating pad or cold compress just isn’t enough to alleviate backpack-related pains. If you’re experiencing long-term discomfort, seek help from a healthcare professional. 

Physiomed offers a variety of services to treat backpack injuries. Massage therapy is one of the most effective ways to relieve tension in the back, neck and shoulders. We also recommend acupuncture to improve circulation and treat chronic numbness. Physiotherapy and clinical conditioning can also restore range of motion to crucial muscles. 

For more information on preventing and treating backpack-related injuries or to book an assessment, contact us here.

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Heel Me: Does my Family Need Custom Orthotics? https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/foot-health-tips/heel-me-does-my-family-need-custom-orthotics/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/foot-health-tips/heel-me-does-my-family-need-custom-orthotics/#respond Sun, 01 Sep 2019 12:22:09 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=9548 Whether you’re a pro athlete or someone who spends a lot of time on their feet, anyone can benefit from custom orthotics. These special devices can alleviate or prevent pain in the feet, heels or ankles. A well-designed orthotic can also do the following: Control foot function Correct alignment issues Improve stability Reduce painful muscle …

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Whether you’re a pro athlete or someone who spends a lot of time on their feet, anyone can benefit from custom orthotics. These special devices can alleviate or prevent pain in the feet, heels or ankles. A well-designed orthotic can also do the following:

  • Control foot function
  • Correct alignment issues
  • Improve stability
  • Reduce painful muscle strain by modifying weight-bearing areas
  • Improve overall function of the knees and hips

Custom orthotics are very different from over-the-counter insoles. That’s because they’re specially created to conform to the unique shape of your feet. Although most orthotics were once thick and clunky, today’s selections are made from ultra-thin materials and feel lighter in the shoes. 

A Chiropodist or other qualified healthcare professional can help determine whether you need a custom foot device. In fact, your entire family could benefit from treatments that support the feet and lower limbs. But until you get a chance to seek expert advice, here are 5 signs that you may require custom orthotics. 

1. Foot pain

This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people unnecessarily suffer through foot pain. Long-term exposure to bad footwear can cause significant health problems. High heels and pointed-toe shoes are particularly hard on the feet. So is footwear that doesn’t fit properly or conform to the shape of your feet — as this can cause destructive stress and fatigue. If you’re experiencing pain, no matter how mild, speak to an expert at Physiomed. Our foot specialists can identify what’s causing the discomfort, and create custom orthotics to address the issue. 

2. Heel pain

Pain in the heel area is not normal. Heel discomfort could be a sign of something much more serious. Plantar Fasciitis is a condition caused by severe inflammation of the tissue that supports the arch of the foot. When this tissue is stretched too far, it can cause painful tears. Custom orthotics can help treat Plantar Fasciitis by supporting the soles, and restoring the normal biomechanics of your feet. 

3. Hip problems

It may be hard to believe that foot issues can cause major problems in the hips, but there is a direct correlation. Your hips are the largest joints in your body. And along with the knees, they’re responsible for supporting your weight as you stand and walk. Poor walking habits can actually cause or worsen hip pain, especially if you’ve suffered injury to this area in the past. 

A pair of high-quality orthotics can treat hip problems by healing from the ground up. Specially designed insoles that address problems in alignment, stability and support can significantly reduce pain in the hips. 

If you’re interested in custom orthotics, the team at Physiomed can help. Our treatment plans involve a medical exam of your feet, followed by a biomechanical assessment and gait analysis of your walking patterns. 

4. Worn out shoes

Take a good look at your everyday shoes. Their deterioration can say a lot about your feet. For example, does it look like one side of the sole is more worn out than the other? This may signal foot pronation (where the foot rolls inward) or supination (where the ankles turn out). 

Are there signs of wear-and-tear on the heel or toe areas? This could mean you’re unknowingly digging your toes into the pavement each step you take, or simply putting too much pressure on the heels when you walk. Meanwhile, if one shoe looks more worn than the other, you may have a discrepancy in leg length. 

Custom orthotics are most effective when worn inside a well-made pair of orthopaedic shoes. At Physiomed, we can design special shoes for specific activities, such as running or hiking. Depending on the results of our assessment, we’ll recommend either functional or accommodative orthopaedic shoes. Functional orthopaedic shoes are designed to control abnormal movements — while accommodative ones provide additional support and cushioning. 

5. Wet Test Results

Earlier we mentioned foot pronation and supination. One of the easiest ways to see if you suffer from either is to take the Wet Test. Stand on a piece of paper towel with wet feet, then examine your footprint. A footprint without a C-curve in the arch could mean you’re a pronator, meaning your foot rolls inward. But a prominent C-curve may suggest you’re a spinator, which means your ankles tend to turn out. If you notice any of these signs, speak to one of our foot specialists because you may benefit from one of our products. 

Whether you’re a child or senior, custom orthotics are perfect for any age. So bring the entire family to Physiomed to see if these special devices are the solution for you.

For more information on custom orthotics or to book an assessment, contact us here.

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