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This is the month of resolutions, new gym memberships, scary credit card statements, and increased depression. The third Monday of January, "Blue Monday", is said to be the most depressing day of the year. This is calculated by factoring in weather conditions, debt level, time since Christmas, time since falling off new year’s resolutions, low motivation, and stress, among other things. Although it is certainly an interesting marketing quip (first published by Sky Travel in 2005), the seed of truth behind the concept of Blue Monday speaks to the state of body and mind most of us find ourselves in at this time of year. Coming off the high of Christmas, it isn’t uncommon for our eating habits to have gone awry, our exercising to be non-existent, and our stress levels through the roof as we settle back in to the busy schedule of everyday life in January.

So how can we curb the beginning of the year blues as we enter 2020? Yoga may be a good starting point for you. Yoga has many benefits to physical health, including increased strength, balance, endurance, flexibility and vital capacity. Additionally, studies have shown that yoga may reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and decrease several risk factors for heart disease. It’s no wonder so many health professionals are huge advocates for yoga! In my personal experience, yoga has been an incredibly effective way to increase my core strength and stretch out my back and shoulders, helping me avoid the chronic low back and neck/shoulder pain that often comes with sitting at a desk all day.

Beyond the many physical benefits of yoga, there are just as many mental health benefits. Yoga is known for promoting lower levels of stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression. Studies have noted that yoga can decrease the secretion of cortisol – the primary stress hormone – which explains the substantial improvements in well-being that comes from practicing yoga. Another study looked at the effect of yoga on sleep and found that those who practiced yoga fell asleep faster, slept longer and felt more rested in the morning. Although how yoga improves sleep is not 100% known, it has been suggested that yoga increases the secretion of melatonin – the sleep cycle hormone. (These findings are only the tip of the iceberg. I encourage you to following the source links below and read the other amazing studies and findings on the benefits of yoga).

There are more than 100 different types of yoga which can making starting a bit overwhelming and intimidating. Hatha yoga is most commonly recommended to beginners due to its slower paced approach, but all types of yoga have beginner classes and all yoga poses can be modified to ensure comfort and safety. I recommend trying different classes and styles until you find your personal preference. Although yoga is generally a safe activity for most people, be sure to practice under a trained instructor when beginning and consult your health care provider regarding practicing yoga if you have a herniated disk, a risk of blood clots, eye conditions, are pregnant, have severe balance problems, have severe osteoporosis, and/or uncontrolled blood pressure.

I hope you give yoga a try this year, and experience the many benefits it has to offer, just as I have. To continue exploring yoga, check out this video by our Manual Osteopath, Rima, by following the link below. And please be sure to comment below to share your personal victories with yoga! Namaste.

 Link to Yoga Video: https://youtu.be/GY7oxaxIGm4

Resources

https://osteopathic.org/what-is-osteopathic-medicine/benefits-of-yoga/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16319785/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15937373/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-benefits-of-yoga#section1

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/yoga/art-20044733

Are you currently pregnant, or newly postpartum and experiencing back pain? Well, you are not alone. Lower back pain and pelvic pain are common in pregnancy, affecting an estimated 2/3 of pregnant women. Not only is this pain annoying and, well, painful, it can interfere with sleep, your ability to work, and your normal daily activities. To top it off, this pain often carries on after delivery with an estimated 25-40% of women experiencing musculoskeletal pain in the first 18 months postpartum. Fortunately relief can be found. Manual therapies such as chiropractic care, osteopathic manipulation, acupuncture, massage, and exercise have been found to help reduce the intensity of lower back and pelvic pain in pregnancy, as well as improve the woman’s ability to function normally in her daily activities.

Lower back pain in pregnancy is thought to occur for a few different reasons. The first theory is that back pain develops due to changes in posture to accommodate the growing fetus and womb. As more weight is added to the front of the body, the lower back compensates by increasing its curvature (aka lordosis). This change in spinal curvature alters the load and stress handled by the muscles and joints of the lower back/pelvis and can lead to pain. The second theory is that hormonal changes can alter the neuromuscular control of the lower back and pelvis. These hormonal changes start to occur in the first trimester and alter the body’s ability to stabilize your joints and muscles.

The pain resulting from pregnancy-related posture and joint stability can be addressed through conservative treatments such as chiropractic, osteopathy, massage, and acupuncture. In chiropractic care, a combination of treatments including joint mobilizations, gentle chiropractic manipulative therapy, exercise, and education has been shown to lead to a significant reduction in pregnancy-related lower back/pelvic pain and disability, and reduce trouble sleeping.

For more information or to arrange an appointment with one of our practitioners, please contact Energize Health.

By Dr. Caitlyn Cameron,
Chiropractor

 

Resources:
George, J.W., Skaggs, C.D., et al. A randomized controlled trial comparing a multimodal intervention and standard obstetrics care for low back and pelvic pain in pregnancy. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2013;21; 295.31-295.e7

Liddle, S.D., Pennick, V. Interventions for preventing and treating low-back and pelvic pain during pregnancy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2015.

 

A motor vehicle accident (MVA) is a stressful, scary and often painful experience.

In addition, trying to navigate the processes with the insurance and legal world while recovering from injuries can be confusing and tiresome. In Alberta, the Insurance Act is a piece of legislation outlining the medical treatment and compensation you may be entitled to when you are involved in a motor vehicle accident. In the interest of making this complicated legislation easier, we have outlined the basic steps for dealing with an MVA injury insurance claim. 

What You Need to Know: 

1) When involved in an MVA, it is important to contact your insurer as soon as possible. It does not matter if you think you are at fault or if another party is at fault. If you are injured, you are entitled to medical treatment.

2) Within 10 days of the accident, you will need to fill out an AB-1 (Proof of Loss) insurance form. This form is your official statement to your insurance company regarding what happened and where you are feeling pain/injury. These forms can be found online, or we have them available at the clinics.

3) As soon as possible, book an appointment with one of our chiropractors, one of our physiotherapists, or your medical doctor. One of these health care providers will fill out an AB-2 assessment form. This is the official diagnosis of your injuries from the car accident, and that practitioner will become your primary care provider for your insurance claim. If you are looking to book your first appointment after an MVA with one of our chiropractors or physiotherapists, please call us and we will be happy to assist you in booking an initial assessment appointment.

MVA Process Flow Chart

4) Depending on your diagnosis and degree of injury, you will be entitled to either 10 or 21 rehabilitation treatments to be used within 90 days of the accident. These treatments can be any combination of chiropracticmassage therapyacupuncture or physiotherapy. You will work with your primary care provider to determine the best treatment plan for you. Ultimately you choose what type of therapy you receive and what practitioner(s) you choose to see. Our clinic can directly bill your car insurance company for your treatment. If you are not at fault for the car accident, your premiums will not increase due to accessing any treatment. Even if you are deemed to be at fault, accessing treatments will not cause any increase in your premiums as that is determined by the number of at fault accidents you have, not the cost of the accidents.

You do not need to live in pain due to an accident, and you do not need to go through this stressful experience alone. We can help.

5) If you are not feeling back to your pre-accident health status at the completion of the 90 days or your allotted number of treatments, our Chiropractor will complete an AB-4 and request access for more treatment. Approval of this request is at the discretion of your insurance company but is often approved. These benefits are called Section B benefits and are often a specific dollar amount for different practitioner types (chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture etc.) At Energize Health, our clinicians have been helping people recover from car accidents and navigate the world of insurance claims for over 10 years. If you have been involved in a car accident and have any questions, please give us a call and we will be happy to help you navigate the system. You do not need to live in pain due to an accident, and you do not need to go through this stressful experience alone. We are here to help you with your insurance claim and get you back to living life pain free.

What is Vertigo?

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (or BPPV) is the most common cause of vertigo, which is a false sensation of spinning.

Benign – it is not life-threatening

Paroxysmal – it comes in sudden, brief spells

Positional – it gets triggered by certain head positions or movements

Vertigo – a false sense of rotational movement

Most often, people feel like things around spinning around them while they are staying still.  This spinning sensation is triggered with head movements. This false sense of movement can be quite scary, especially if you do not know what is happening. Typically, this movement is worse when turning to one side over the other. 

What is actually happening?

BPPV is a mechanical problem in the inner ear. It occurs when some of the crystals (otoconia) that are normally embedded in part of the inner ear become dislodged and move into one or more of the 3 fluid-filled semicircular canals, where they are not supposed to be. These crystals then interfere with the normal movement of fluid through the semicircular canals which sense head motion. This causes the inner ear to send false signals to the brain which causes the sensation of spinning. Vertigo symptoms typically last less than one minute, however, they can last longer. Between the vertigo spells, some people feel symptom free while others feel a sense of imbalance or feeling off.

Assessment and Treatment

Vertigo can be assessed and treated by a Phyiotherapist trained in Vestibular therapy. We conduct a thorough vestibular assessment to determine if it is indeed vertigo or another vestibular dysfunction. Vertigo treatment requires a series of head and body movements done on a treatment table. Most people that experience Vertigo require 2-3 treatments.

It is also important to note that Vertigo can come on spontaneously or it can be caused from a virus or head injury. Vertigo can also re-occur. However, it can be treated and with vestibular therapy you will be provided with information and resources so you will be prepared if it does reoccur down the road.

If you are experiencing vertigo symptoms, such as feeling the room spinning with head movements, or other dizziness. Book in for a full vestibular assessment so we can get you back on track.

Lauren Romeril, PT.

 

Image credit: Biology. Authored by: OpenStax. Provided by: OpenStax College. Located at: http://cnx.org/contents/185cbf87-c72e-48f5-b51e-f14f21b5eabd@9.44:1/Biology. License: CC BY: Attribution