Author: Priscilla Wan

Exercise – Time for Outdoor Activities and Sunny Weather!

Sunny and warmer weathers are approaching, why not enjoy the sun while exercising outdoors?

There are many benefits when it comes to exercising outdoors with fresh air rather compared to indoors.  Exercising in a natural environment can increase enjoyment and improve self-esteem. Studies have also shown that exercising outdoors not only improves physical health but also mental health. There are many ways to motivate yourself to do outdoor activities, such as, setting goals that allows you to go outside and enjoy the fresh air. You can also invite a friend to work on similar goals and achieve them together as this can increase your motivation. Exercising outdoors does not only involve intense cardio such as running, you can play sports or even go on a hike. If you enjoy those activities, it can help you coordinate it into your daily physical routine without making it seem like a chore you need to complete.

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Outdoor activities can be beneficial but it can also be dangerous if you do not take care of your body throughout the process. During hot weathers, your body temperature will increase and naturally produce sweat to cool down. As you actively move, your body temperature will increase along with the increased body temperature caused from the sun. The body will then have to compensate for both situations. The body compensates this by increasing blood circulation to your skin to cool off and increase heart rate.

It is very important to understand the signs your body is telling you since there are many heat-related conditions that can occur on sunny days and can become life-threatening. Some heat-related illnesses you can experience are heat cramps, heat syncope, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. Signs and symptoms you may experience are muscle cramps, nausea and dizziness, weakness, headaches,  or confusion.

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To avoid these conditions, remember to stay hydrated, avoid midday sun, dress appropriately, and know your fitness level!

Caffeine – How Much Should You Consume?

Many of us always say we need coffee or caffeine in order to start our day. Some may even require more than a cup of coffee in a day. We do not normally see caffeine as something dangerous because it is so commonly used but consuming a lot of it can be quite harmful. Exactly how much caffeine is considered as too much then?

Caffeine is found in many consumable products. They are most commonly found in coffee, cola, and energy drinks. Consuming up to 400 mg of caffeine is considered a safe amount and will not cause potential health dangers. 400 mg of caffeine is equivalent to 4 cups of coffee or 10 cans of coca-cola, which is a lot in a day! Although the maximum for a healthy dose of caffeine is that high, some individuals are sensitive to caffeine and experience side effects such as faster heart beats, headaches, insomnia, and becoming a little jittery. A moderate amount of caffeine to consume in a day would be 300 mg.

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We drink caffeinated beverages because we have to stay focus and awake enough to perform our daily activities, whether it is heading to work or school. However, as we continue to rely on caffeine, a cycle will form and our new routine will be having caffeinated drinks in the morning to start our day. There could be an underlying reason as to why so many individuals have caffeinated beverages. One most known reason is the fact adults do not receive the recommended hours of sleep every night due to work and this can highly affect a person’s performance during the day. Most adults need seven hours of sleep to fully function during daytime without the consumption of caffeine. Drinking caffeinated drinks can cause people to stay awake longer than required and this can shorten their sleep time which can affect the body and its health.

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Overall, consuming moderate amounts of caffeine is safe and most likely would not be a health problem but there are always the exceptional cases.

Types of Headaches – How Can Chiropractic Care Help

Majority of individuals had experienced a headache. Headaches can last ranging from a few minutes to many hours and some may come back more frequently in some people than others. What could be the causes to these headaches? Headaches occur due to many different reasons, even being in a certain environment can initiate a headache. Let’s discuss a few different types of headaches you may be experiencing and how chiropractic care can help:

Tension headaches

The most common headache you experience will be tension headaches. This type of headache does not prevent you from performing daily activities as you would normally do in a day. They are also known as chronic daily headaches. These headaches are results from stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, or anger. Limited range of motion and stiffness in the neck are associated with this kind of headache. You will most likely experience tightness occurring at the temples of your forehead.

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Sinus headaches 

If you have inflamed sinuses, it can lead to a sinus headache. This type of headache are associated with fever, runny nose, and pain in the cheekbones and nose area. Sinus headaches can be treated with a humidifier and possibly antibiotics if it is a bacterial infection.

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Migraines

Migraines are frequently associated with headaches but often result in symptoms that can interfere with your daily activities. Migraines are caused by inflammation of blood vessels wrapping around the brain. Symptoms include throbbing pain around the temples, sensitivity to noise or light, nausea, and possibly loss of appetite. Taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can help relieve some pain.

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Cluster headaches 

Cluster headaches are not as common as tension headaches and pain is normally on one side instead of both sides of the head. On a rating scale of pain, it can be comparable to migraine pain but the duration is a lot shorter than migraines. The pain is usually located behind the eye and near the nose bridge area and can be accompanied by watery eyes and runny nose. This type of headache can happen 1-3 times a day during a period of time and then disappear for months before it recurs.

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Chiropractic care can help with some headache issues. Your chiropractic doctor can see if the underlying issue to your headache is caused by joint dysfunction of the spine or muscles surrounding it. Having incorrect posture can also be a reason to why you experience headaches and your chiropractor can recommend exercises to help improve your posture which eventually can relieve your headaches. They can perform spinal manipulation or provide nutritional advice in order to relieve your headache problems. If you are experiencing chronic headaches, come in and make an appointment with one of our practitioners today!

Rotator Cuff Injury

Rotator cuff injury is one of the causes when you are dealing with shoulder pain. Tears in the rotator cuff can occur when there is a single injury or due to gradual onset of repetitive motions around the shoulder joint. Rotator cuff injury is when there are inflammation, tears or overuse of the muscles or tendons that make up the rotator cuff in the shoulders. They are important for motions such as rotating your arms inward (internal rotation of the arm at the shoulder joint) or outwards (external rotation of the arm at the shoulder joint).

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Some symptoms you may experience if you have injured your rotator cuff are pain, weakness, limited motion, and feelings of instability at the shoulders. There are many factors that contribute to an increased risk of developing injury to the rotator cuff; some factors are age, family history, occupation or sports that rely on repetitive prolonged movements of the shoulder girdle. If you believe your shoulder pain is associated with rotator cuff injury, it is always recommended to make an appointment with your family doctor to eliminate other common causes.

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As mentioned above, the best method to understand what your body is attempting to warn you is to visit your family doctor or a shoulder specialist to be properly diagnosed with rotator cuff injury. There are different ways for your doctor to check what is the cause of your shoulder pain. One method would be the physical and history exam which consists of applying different motions around the shoulder to know which movements makes it better or worse and what occupation or repetitive motions you have done leading to this gradual onset of shoulder pain. Other methods consist of x-rays and MRI to see what is occurring at your shoulder comparing with a healthy shoulder girdle.

There are a wide variety of treatments depending on the type of injury you were diagnosed with. If it is a mild condition, the most common treatment would be exercises that target the rotator cuff muscles aiming to provide stability and strengthen the shoulders. If the injury is more serious and critical, then surgery may be suggested. Depending on the type of injury, there are different kinds of operations to help with shoulder pain.

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Posted on May 5, 2017 by

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a term that is commonly mentioned about when people have pain in their wrists. Exactly what is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

First of all, where is your carpal tunnel? It is located in your wrist or the base of your hand and it is a narrow tunnel containing ligaments, bones and specifically the median nerve. The median nerve is important for bending the fingers, specifically the thumb, index, middle and ring finger. The median nerve does sensory innervation in the hand as well. Now that we know where it is in your body and what runs through it, we are able to understand the symptoms that occurs when someone has Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

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This condition happens when the surface area has been decreased which results in the compression of the median nerve. Symptoms include tingling or numbness of the fingers, weakness, and pain. As this condition prolongs, the muscles at the base of the thumb begin to waste away and grip strength of the hand decreases significantly. Also, sensation in the fingers or hands can worsen to the point where it can be difficult to determine whether something is hot or cold. How do you know if you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? If you are experiencing some or all of the symptoms discussed above then it could be a possibility and making an appointment with a doctor would be the best diagnosis. Your family or chiropractic doctors will do a few examinations to determine the pressure within the carpal tunnel and how much the median nerve is compressed.

There are different forms of treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. There is non-surgical treatment and then there are surgical ones. It is best to check with your doctor to know which treatment is suitable for you. One non-surgical method would be to wear braces or night splints to sleep, this prevents the wrist from bending (flexion) while you sleep in order to relieve some pressure. Another method would be surgery, which widens the carpal tunnel so there is less compression on the median nerve.

Who is at risk for this condition? Everyone can have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but some individuals are more at risk than others. People who have a family history of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, pregnant women, individuals who are always creating repetitive flexing motions on the wrist, and people who have injured their wrists have a higher risk of getting this condition.

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Your wrists are very important for hand movement and you use your hands everyday to complete tasks so make sure to stretch and let your wrist rests and they will appreciate it!

Custom Orthotics and How They Can Be Helpful

Posted on May 4, 2017 by

Everyday, we use our feet to help us get to our destination, whether it is to the bus stop or walking around the mall looking for a gift. We rely on our feet for the majority of our daily movement that we do not realize how much stress is put upon them. When we stand, a lot of our body weight is supported and stabilized by the hips and feet to prevent us from falling over. If our feet has to endure the amount of stress we give daily then what can we do to give them our support back?

Wearing custom orthotics is one of the solutions for providing our feet some support.

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Orthotics can be custom made or found off the shelf because every individual has different arches and foot structure. They are devices that are externally used and can help with many issues such as reducing pain when standing or walking, controlling biomechanical alignment, and ease pressure from muscles and tendons. By giving the right support for your feet, it can help eliminate pain in the lower leg or hip. When you walk, many muscles in the leg work together to create that motion which is why foot pain can be associated with other pain located in the knee, ankle and hip.

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Everyone has differently structured feet. Some have a higher foot arch than others and some experience overpronation, meaning the foot rolls inward and the arch of the foot flattens. This is where orthotics play a role.

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If someone has a high foot arch, we can imagine that the heel and the ball of the foot will be receiving a greater level of pressure compared to the middle portion of the foot. To make it simple, we can look at the foot as a bridge where there is an arch in the middle that makes no contact with the ground while the two ends of the bridge does. How orthotics can help is that it shapes the foot of interest and evens out the weight and lower the pressure points localizing to specific areas. Another problem associated with foot pain is when the connective tissue lining the bottom of the foot, the plantar fascia, is irritated and inflamed, pain would occur when there is moving and stretching of the foot. This is known as Plantar Fasciitis. With orthotics, it helps shape the bottom of the foot so there is less tension on the plantar fascia therefore reducing inflammation and pain.

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Here are Rupert Health Centre, our practitioners, Dr. Kevin Leung and Dr. Jason Cheng, provide custom made orthotics after a careful evaluation of the foot’s condition along with a slipper cast. This cast is then sent to Excel Biomechanics to be made and picked up here at Rupert Health Centre. If you are experiencing pain or would like to get a new set, do not hesitate to make an appointment with one of our practitioners today!