Pack it Light. Wear it Right.

Kids and backpacks just seem to go together. Whether you are heading out on holiday with the kids or sending them off to school, chances are they’ll be packing a backpack.

You have your own load too, whether it’s a fashionable new purse or a suitcase packed to bursting.  Knowing how to choose, pack and lift backpacks, shoulder bags and luggage can prevent them from becoming a pain in the back.

This common-sense guide will spare your back:

BACKPACKS

Choose carefully: Go for lightweight vinyl or canvas. Pick a pack that has two wide, adjustable and padded shoulder straps, along with a hip or waist strap, a padded back and plenty of pockets.

Pack it properly: Make sure the backpack contains only what is needed for the day or the activity. Distribute the weight of the contents evenly. The total weight of the filled pack should be no more than 10 to 15 per cent of the wearer’s body weight.

Wear it right: Both shoulder straps should always be used, and adjusted so that the pack fits snugly to the body without dangling to the side. Never sling a backpack over one shoulder.  You should be able to slide a hand between the backpack and the carrier’s back.

It’s a fact! More than 50 per cent of young people experience at least one episode of low back pain by their teenage years. Research indicates one cause is improper use of backpacks. So pack it light and wear it right!

SHOULDER BAGS

Choosing a Shoulder Bag: Whether your bag is a purse or home to your laptop, choose one with a wide, padded adjustable shoulder strap.

Packing a Shoulder Bag: Divide the contents among multiple pockets to help distribute the weight and keep items from shifting. Your bag should not weigh more than 10 to 15 per cent of your body weight.

Carrying a Shoulder Bag: Don’t always carry your bag on the same shoulder, switch sides often so that each shoulder gets a rest. Try not to lift the shoulder on which the purse is carried, ideally wear the strap across your chest.

LUGGAGE

Choosing Luggage: Look for sturdy, light, high-quality and transportable pieces. Avoid purchasing luggage that is already too heavy when empty. Choose a bag with wheels and an adjustable handle when possible.

Packing Luggage: Over-packing is a pitfall. Ensure your luggage is never too heavy for you to pick up.

Lifting Luggage: Place carry-on luggage into the overhead compartment by first lifting it onto the top of the seat. Use your knees, not your back to lift!

The Last Word: Carrying a heavy load that is poorly distributed can cause a number of problems including muscle strain, headaches, neck, back and arm pain, and even nerve damage. It pays to pack it light and wear it right. (1)

(1) Article taken from the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

Gardening and Your Back

It’s that time of year again! The snow has melted, the frost is gone. Time to get outside and start cleaning up, but be careful. Raking, lifting, digging, kneeling, planting – this is enough activity to challenge any athlete. Gardening and yard work may not be Olympic sports, but they are strenuous physical activities. In a recent poll, 88 per cent of Ontario chiropractors indicated that working in the garden and yard were the most common sources of neck and back pain they treat during the warm weather season.

To help you enjoy the fruits of your labour during this yard and gardening season, we recommend you keep these tips in mind:

Stretch out before you head out. Light to moderate gardening can burn between 300 to 400 calories an hour, compared to the 40 calories an hour while sitting quietly. So take the time to prepare your body for activity, always warm-up and cool down your muscles. Add a short walk and you’ll have topped off your routine with overall conditioning. Now you’re ready for your open-air workout!

Use good technique while lifting. Keep the load close to your body, your back straight and bend your knees while picking up and putting down the load. Avoid twisting, and get a buddy to give a hand with heavy, awkward loads.

Use the right tools and moves. The right moves can reduce the strain on your body; alternate your tasks, kneel to plant and weed, change positions frequently and most importantly pace yourself. Moving correctly and using the right tools go hand-in-hand. Work with ease in your garden and yard, always make sure that tools are a comfortable weight and size for you. There are many ergonomically designed tools which are light-weight with long padded handles and spring action mechanisms which can reduce strain and effort.

You’ve completed a gold medal performance, take a break! Get-up, move around, alternate tasks, repeat your stretch routine or sit back, relax and have a cool drink. Try not to overexert yourself, and take three brief breaks at least once every hour. Give yourself a breather… Your back will thank you!

If you have back or muscle pain that lasts more than 48-hours without improvement, call to speak to Dr. Ted and he will be able to help you out.

Spring Time Circuit Workout

A great indoor workout to do while we wait to thaw out. This circuit can be done for the next four weeks 3 times per week.

Each exercise is to be done for 60 seconds. Take 15 seconds between each exercise and a 2 minute rest at the end of the set. Repeat 2 more times. It is very important to maintain proper form for each exercise.

1. Body Squat

2. Mountain Climber

3. Lunge

4. Pushup

5. Side Squat

6. Side Bridge (30 seconds each side)

7. Squat Jump

 

Please consult your chiropractor or MD before beginning this or any exercise program.

Welcome

 

         Dr. Ted Niejadlik is a movement and mobility specialist, chiropractor, acupuncture practitioner and golf fitness instructor. You can find Dr. Ted at 108 Main St. South in beautiful downtown Georgetown.  After graduating from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 2004, Dr. Ted started practicing in Bolton, ON where he still works today at the Bolton Chiropractic Centre. After getting married in 2006 he moved to Georgetown where he has been providing evidence-based care for the people of Halton Hills for the last 11 years.

         Dr. Ted was first introduced to chiropractic care at the age of 14 when he injured his neck while lifting weights. He had strained his right upper trapezius muscle and could not move his neck without severe pain. A trip to the local hospital for some NSAID’s provided no relief. Dr. Ted’s father took him to his chiropractor and after one treatment he had regained 50% range of motion in his neck and his pain decreased by half. Dr. Ted was amazed at such a quick result by the sole use of a chiropractor’s hands. It was then that he decided that he wanted to become a Doctor of Chiropractic and help others the way that he had been helped.

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Proper Snow Shovelling is Crucial to Prevent Back Pain

 As the winter months begin so does the increase in back and muscle pain often due to improper shovelling techniques.  Ontario’s chiropractors report that snow-shovelling injuries are the leading cause of back and neck pain during the winter months, which is often the result of poor shovelling techniques. Chiropractors are experts in the area of back, muscle and joint pain and disorders. As education and preparedness are the keys to correcting and avoiding many health problems, below are some preventative tips.

How to Lift Light, and Shovel Right:

Warm-up.  Before beginning any snow removal, warm-up for five to ten minutes to get the joints moving and increase blood circulation.  To do this, march on the spot, climb the stairs, or go for a quick walk around the block.  Follow this with some gentle stretches for the back (knee to chest), arms and shoulders (body hug), and legs (forward bends from seated position).  This will ensure that your body is ready for action.

Don’t let the snow pile up.  Removing small amounts of snow on a frequent basis is less strenuous in the long run.

Pick the right shovel.  Use a lightweight, non-stick, push-style shovel.

Push, don’t throw.  Push the snow to one side and avoid throwing it.  If you must throw it, avoid twisting and turning – position yourself to throw straight at the snow pile.

Bend your knees.  Use your knees, leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting while keeping your back straight.

Watch the ice.  Coarse sand, ice salt, ice melter, or even kitty litter can help give sidewalks and driveways more traction,  reducing the chance of a slip or fall.

Wear proper footwear.  Shoes and boots with solid treads on the soles can help to minimize the risk of slips and falls.

Take a break.  If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a rest.  Make it a habit to rest for a moment or two for every 10 or 15 minutes of shovelling.  This is especially  important if the snow is wet and heavy.  Stop shovelling immediately if you feel chest or back pain.  Seek medical advice or see a chiropractor if you experience back pain.

Staying warm. Layered clothing works better to keep your muscles warm and your skin dry so you don’t get chilled. You may want to invest in clothing designed specifically for winter outdoor activity or layer garments made of natural fibres.

Stay Hydrated. Don’t be fooled by the temperature! Your active body needs plenty of fluids even though it’s cold outside. Be sure to drink lots of water or juice before,      during and after winter sports.