When do chiropractors use acupuncture?
The practice of acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into the skin at particular pressure points in order to produce an analgesic—or painkilling—effect (among other observed benefits). For those chiropractors who perform acupuncture therapy, they have completed additional training from a recognized educational institution. Dr. Glenn Ashizawa attended McMaster University’s Medical Acupuncture; an evidence-based approach to TCM. Where he earned his certificate after successfully completing a comprehensive examination. Dr. Glenn has earned the certificate status with the Canadian Academy of Medical Acupuncture.
Recent evidence supports the use of acupuncture for reducing neck pain, particularly if it is chronic. Patients with neck pain who received manual therapy in combination with other modalities—including acupuncture—have been reported to have moderately better pain reduction, greater patient satisfaction, and improved function, range of motion and strength.
Acupuncture has been found effective in treating the headaches you might get once in a while, or chronic tension-type headaches that someone might suffer from all the time. For migraines, adding acupuncture to symptomatic treatment can reduce how often you might get them.
Low Back Pain
In a Cochrane Review, it was found that for chronic low back pain, acupuncture is more effective for pain relief and functional improvement than no treatment or short-term “sham” treatment in the placebo group. Studies suggest that acupuncture would also be a useful addition to other therapies for chronic low back pain. In other words, when it’s added to other conventional therapies, it can relieve pain and improve function better than conventional therapies alone.
Consider the Experts
Ultimately, Dr. Glenn is going to work with you to come up with a treatment plan that will best suits your needs, address your ailments, and provide the best outcome for your overall health. That includes a thorough history, a comprehensive exam, and a diagnosis that will inform how the issues are managed. You’ll work with the chiropractor to determine the best course of treatment to meet your unique goals.
If acupuncture is something you’re considering, talk to Gail or Cassie at the front desk or to Dr. Glenn Ashizawa to see if it is the right treatment for you by calling (519) 539-2020.
Headaches got you down?
Most Canadians will suffer from at least one headache in their lifetime; however, the reason for the headache can differ from one individual to another. In fact, headache triggers can vary from environment, food, stress, dehydration and others. Still, headaches or pain to the head can be caused or referred from muscles, joints, ligaments or nerves.
There are different types of headaches that you could experience or have experienced in the past. The 4 main and most common types of headaches are migraines, cervicogenic, tension-type, and cluster headaches. Each of the types of headaches have different causes.
Migraine – the cause of migraines is still unknown, but there seems to be a relationship between individual genetics and the environment. Migraines are commonly associated with triggers. These can include hormonal changes, food and additives, stress, sleep, physical and sensory factors, changes in the environment and certain medications.
Cervicogenic – headache that stems from the neck or cervical spine structures. Pain can be triggered or worsened by neck movement.
Tension-type – occurs due to tension in the muscles of the neck or face which produces pain. Factors associated can include stress, anxiety, eyestrain, poor posture, injuries and others.
Cluster – similar to migraines, the cause of cluster headaches is unknown. It has been suggested that cluster headaches may be caused by problems in regulating temperature, blood pressure, hormones or sleep. Other causes or triggers proposed include alcohol, tobacco and drugs (e.g. nitroglycerin).
Migraine – intense throbbing or pulsing sensation on one or both sides of the head frequently accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting. Migraine can be preceded by an “aura” that can present as a flash of light, blind spots or tingling.
Cervicogenic – pain usually on one side of the head. The pain can start at the base of the skull and spread to the front of the head.
Tension-type – constant pain and pressure described as dull and achy. Pain can be felt on both sides of the head, forehead, temples and even back of the head. Often referred to as a tight band around the head.
Cluster – severe, stabbing, penetrating, burning or explosive recurring pain that is located on one side of the head. Cluster headaches have a rapid onset and can frequently present in patterns or “clusters” over a certain period of time. Often described as starting around or “behind” the eye and can cause redness or watering of the eye, stuffy or runny nose, droopy eyelid, facial swelling or flushing and sensitivity to light and noise.
Examples: Migraine, cervicogenic, tension-type, cluster and sinus.
How our experts can help:
Our chiropractors can assess, diagnose and manage headaches; however, in some cases referral and co-management may be the most appropriate course of treatment. Evidence has demonstrated that chiropractic care, including spinal manipulative therapy, can be an effective treatment for cervicogenic and tension-type headaches. More so, studies have demonstrated that care offered by chiropractors can also decrease the intensity and frequency of migraines. Depending on the findings of the history and patient examination, the chiropractor may recommend patient reassurance, manual therapies, modalities and lifestyle recommendations including rehabilitation. However, the plan of management will be individualized to the patient’s needs and examination findings. The treatment options may include:
- Patient education and reassurance
- Manipulation and mobilization
- Soft tissue therapy
- Modalities including electrical stimulation, acupuncture, ultrasound and others
- Rehabilitation and exercises
- Ergonomic and lifestyle changes
- Referral and co-management
At ASH Chiropractic and Wellness our goal is to improve your quality of life and Improving your health . . . from the Roots Up. Early morning appointments available; Don't let your headaches keep you down!
Did you know... Knee pain can be effectively relieved or reduced by Chiropractors
Anyone can be a victim of knee pain. You do not have to be a professional athlete or a weekend warrior or fitness enthusiast to experience discomfort in your knee. Numerous causes of knee pain include: wear and tear from years of use, changes to the cartilage in the joint or on the back of the kneecap; inflammation of the capsule and its lining that enclose the knee joint; strain or damage to ligaments, tendons, muscles, and retinaculum that protects and stabilize the knee joint; restrictive tightening of the capsule, or muscles; malalignment of the leg, knee, or foot; irritation of bursa; or compressed/irritated nerves or tissues that are not located in the knee but refer pain to the knee, such as a pinched nerve in the spine.
By determining the cause of your knee pain, our Chiropractors will develop an individual treatment program. Techniques may include acupuncture, electrical modalities, mobilization or manipulation, laser, ultrasound, heat/cold applications and progressive muscle strengthening exercises for the core, hip, knee, and ankle all of which have been researched and proven to reduce knee pain.
At ASH Chiropractic and Wellness our goal is to improve your quality of life and Improving your health . . . from the Roots Up
The Benefits of Therapeutic Ultrasound
As part of your chiropractic treatment at ASH Chiropractic and Wellness you may receive therapeutic ultrasound. Therapeutic ultrasound is a safe and effective addition to treatment. It is used to promote blood circulation, accelerating the healing process by reducing swelling, as well as lowering pain. In addition, the ultrasound waves will gently massage muscles, tendons and ligaments within the treated area. This will enhance the recovery rate of damaged tissue without adding strain and will soften scar tissue.
How is therapeutic ultrasound administered?
Ultrasound stimulates tissue beneath the skin using sound waves. The ultrasound machine creates an electrical current through a cable to the treatment head. There are piezoelectric crystals in the head. When the crystals are exposed to the current the will vibrate at a chosen frequency, expanding and contracting, producing the compression waves. Different frequencies can target tissues at different depths. A lower frequency means that the waves will penetrate deeper into the body. The heat produced is controlled by choosing either a continuous or intermittent wave. It is administered with gel to ensure maximum contact with the skin as the head is kept in constant motion
At ASH Chiropractic and Wellness therapeutic ultrasound is one part of the services we offer. Call today to find out how this and our other services can help reduce your pain by Improving your health . . . from the Roots Up
Five tips for healthy holidays
With a few simple tips, you can enjoy your favourite holiday foods and still keep your commitment to eating well. Most importantly, enjoy the holiday spirit. If you happen to overindulge, have lighter meals the next day and find time for fun activities.
Tip 1: Eat regularly.
- Skipping meals can lead to overeating.
- Get a burst of energy in the morning by eating breakfast.
- Keep your energy levels up and curb your hunger by eating small meals and snacks every three to four hours.
Tip 2: Load up with colour.
- Fill half your plate with vegetables and fruit. This is a great way to balance out calorie-rich foods.
- Choose fresh cut veggies, leafy green salads, and fruit.
- Hosting a meal? Start off with a steaming bowl of squash soup.
Tip 3: Enjoy your favourite holiday foods.
- Enjoy special holiday foods like shortbread cookies, latkes, turkey with stuffing, and mashed potatoes, but keep your portions in check by using smaller plates.
- Pass on high-calories foods that you can get any time, like chips and chocolate.
Tip 4: Watch your drinks.
- Calories from drinks can add up quickly. This is true for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
- Drink slowly. If you choose to drink alcohol, alternate alcoholic drinks with lower calorie options such as sparkling water with lime, low-sodium vegetable juice, or cranberry juice with club soda.
- Love eggnog? Enjoy a small cup and think of it as dessert.
Tip 5: Be active.
- Balance out those extra holiday calories with some activity.
- Adults should aim for the recommended 2 ½ hours of weekly physical activity.
- Start slowly and build up. Every ten-minute burst of activity counts. You'll feel great!
- Going to the mall? Add a few extra laps of walking around.
Healthy ideas for eating out
There's an endless supply of rich food and free-flowing drinks during the holidays, whether you're eating out with friends, going to parties, or visiting family. Arm yourself with these ideas to keep portions in check and temptation under control.
- Go for smaller portions when eating out at restaurants. Most places serve more food than you need and it's usually high in fat and sodium.
- Check out these tips to make healthier choices when eating out and manage the amount of fat and sodium in your meal.
Buffets and cocktail parties
- Eat regular meals and snacks before going to a party. That way, you won't arrive starving and you'll be less tempted to overindulge.
- Scope out your options and make one trip to the buffet. Instead of eating a bit of everything, choose the foods you really want, and keep the portions small. Add some colour to your choices too.
- Focus on socializing. Steer the conversation away from the food table so you're less likely to nibble mindlessly.
- Set a limit. Cocktail parties with finger foods can make it hard to keep track of what you're eating. Pick a maximum number of appetizers and skip the rest. Healthier choices include: cocktail shrimp, satays, fresh spring rolls, sushi, and vegetables and fruit with low-fat dip.
Big holiday meal
- Offer to bring a dish. Take a vegetable or fruit platter, bean dip with whole grain pita wedges, or tomato and black bean salsa with baked tortilla chips.
- Start with small portions and eat slowly. Your brain needs 20 minutes to realize you're full. Take a break before reaching for seconds.
- Get moving. Go for a walk after your meal or lace up for a fun skate. Play in the snow--throw a few snowballs around, build a fort, or go tobogganing
Back to school is the last thing on our kids’ minds. But you can see from the retail point of view - it’s time to shop for September already. Even if you aren’t in that frame of mind, your child’s backpack is still a summer accessory for sleepovers and swimming classes. Backpacks should be carefully considered as an important purchase - since they have an impact on our children’s health.
A poor fitting or heavy backpack can affect a child’s musculoskeletal health. So here are some best practices when choosing a backpack.
According to the Canadian Chiropractic Association :
- The backpack should be between 10 to 15 percent of the body weight of the child.
- Distribute the weight of the bag evenly across the back. The more spread out the load is, the less strain there is on the body.
- Make sure the child wears both shoulder straps. Wearing a backpack over just one shoulder can cause leaning to one side, which could curve the spine over time.
- Adjust shoulder straps so the backpack fits closely to the upper part of the body. The further a backpack is away from the body, the more difficult it is to achieve proper balance.
- The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline.
- A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning its contents most effectively.
- Bigger is not necessarily better. The more room there is in a backpack, the more your child will carry and the heavier the backpack will likely be.
- The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body.
Instead of our children walking around slouching with an oversized bag, take the time to follow the tips stated above. Carrying a heavy, awkward fitting backpack can cause slouching and back pain. They will thank you in the long term as the school year proceeds and later in life for a healthier, more comfortable back!
Summer is upon us and sports are on a lot of our minds since we can finally run and play outside! While concussions are the last thing we want to worry about, it’s important to be aware that increased activity can put us or our children at a greater risk of injury.
Five Things To Understand About Concussions ( source: Canadian Chiropractic Association)
- A concussion can be caused by a direct blow to the head, face, neck, or impact elsewhere on the body that transmits force to the head.
- There are many ways to get a concussion such as from falling, or a car or bike accident. When it comes to physical activity, concussions have a higher risk of occurring in sports that involve body contact, collisions, and/or moving at high speeds.
- A concussion can be difficult to diagnose because clinical symptoms and signs can change and may evolve over time. The diagnosis of a concussion is based on the assessment of a range of symptoms (i.e., headache, difficulty concentrating, feeling like being in a fog, or emotional lability), signs (i.e., loss of consciousness or balance disturbance), cognitive impairment (i.e., confusion or slowed reaction times) and neurobehavioural changes, such as irritability.
- Recovery: When properly managed, 80–90% of concussions resolve in a short period of about 7–10 days, although the recovery time frame may be longer in children and adolescents.
- The most important factor in concussion management is physical and cognitive rest until the symptoms resolve. From there, a step-by-step guideline is followed that slowly increases physical and cognitive exertion before returning to one’s regular active lifestyle.1
How can sports concussions be prevented?
Make sure that while participating in sports or recreational activities you or your children:
Use the correct protective equipment for the sport or activity, and make sure it is properly fitted and maintained and worn correctly and consistently.
Follow safety rules and those for the sport.
Practice good sportsmanship at all times. (source brainline.org)
Many chiropractors commonly work with other healthcare professionals to support sports teams. Part of their role is to manage cases of suspected concussions and refer for additional medical attention as needed. Chiropractors can also help to co-manage the recovery and return to play of athletes.
If at any point you believe someone may have a concussion, contact medical staff immediately to assess the situation. Concussions should never be taken as a light injury and must be attended to. The sooner treatment starts, the better the recovery may be.
At any time you can make an appointment with us for a Pre-Screening wither SCAT 3 or SCAT 5 test - so if anything ever happens we have a baseline of data for you, and we can better treat and diagnose your concussion.
Nurturing Your Plants and Your Back
If you want your garden to bloom you need to get your back into it. To make sure your back is ready for all that work you need to work a bit before you dig.
Here is a handy list of tips to keep your back healthy
Have the right tools for the task at hand
Ensure you drink plenty of fluids.
Alternate between light and heavy jobs.
Take frequent breaks.
Heavy loads should be shared.
Your feet are protected with supportive shoes
Before you start, warm-up your muscles.
Avoid muscle strain, learn the right techniques.
Change positions frequently.
Kneel to plant and weed.
Spinal check-ups can help keep your back healthy.
Using the right tools that are ergonomically designed will make the biggest difference for you. Always choose the proper tool for the job.
Here are a few more tips to lighten your load:
A hose is easier to manage than a watering can
A good cart makes moving easier
A wheelbarrow that is lightweight and has two wheels is a great idea.
Separate a larger load into smaller ones
Cover up with a wide brimmed hat
The right moves
Using the right moves can go a long way in enjoying your garden.
Lift Right : back is straight, bend your knees, carry load close to body.
Kneel to Plant : knee pads reduce strain, keep back straight - take breaks.
Change Hands: take the strain off by changing hand positions
Check Your Position: kneel/stand/sit
Rake Right: ease strain on your back by putting one leg in front and the other behind. Switch.
All of these tips will keep your gardening enjoyable and hopefully fruitful! If you do have back pain or concerns contact our office anytime