Friday, February 27, 2015

Tips For Managing Stress

By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)
We are all bombarded with stressful events and situations everyday.  Unfortunately, many of us are not so good at dealing with stress, and whether we realize it or not, stress can be impacting our health in a negative way.
Researchers estimate that stress contributes to as many as 80% of all major illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, skin disorders, metabolic disease, and infectious ailments of all kinds.  Symptoms of stress may include but are not limited to: fatigue, dizziness, chronic headaches, irritability, depression, low self-esteem, changes in appetite, weight gain, digestive problems, breathing difficulties, chronic pain, insomnia, muscular weakness or tightness, and recurrent colds or infections.
Being able to effectively manage stress can have a significantly positive impact on overall health.  Below are some useful tips that can help individuals manage their stress levels.
1.    Identify a common or persistent stressor.  Once this is done, one must then move to confront and resolve this stressor whenever possible.  This is not always easy but is much more productive than letting ongoing stress affect your health indefinitely.  There are certain stresses and situations that we simply cannot do anything about, so don’t fret about things beyond your control.
2.    Exercise is one of the most powerful tools in helping one deal with stress.  Not only does it make you physically stronger, it also has the benefits of releasing excess tension, building self-esteem, boosting immune function, and stimulating the body’s natural pain killing chemicals called endorphins.
3.    Fuel your body with a nutritionally balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, and low in trans-fat.  This will serve to tone down your body’s negative response to stress.  Significant and positive changes can also be made to your eating habits by cutting down serving sizes, eliminating unhealthy snacking, and minimizing foods that can be detrimental to your health.
4.    Eliminate bad habits.  Engaging in bad habits such as excessive alcoholic consumption, drug use, and smoking, only serve to amplify stress symptoms, regardless of how comforting some individuals might find these behaviors in times of stress.
5.    Getting enough sleep is crucial in letting your body recharge, refresh, and recuperate.  The average adult requires six to eight hours of restful sleep each night.  As little as three days of sleep deprivation has been shown to significantly compromise productivity, create problems in relationships, and contribute to numerous health problems.  Restful sleep keeps your body strong and is essential for helping cope with stressful situations.
6.    Find a good network of friends you can trust and rely on.  Talking to others in times of stress can be very comforting and therapeutic.
For additional information on diet, exercise, managing stress, and improving your health, visit
This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Workplace Injuries: How Chiropractors Can Help Workers

Copyright Canadian Chiropractic Association

It seems like every day a new article is published highlighting the risks to our health associated with sitting. This can be problematic considering that a large number of Canadians’ work involves countless hours sitting in front of a computer screen. Sitting for extended periods of time may increase pressure on the spinal discs that can lead to pain and discomfort, as well as potential secondary impacts on the entire musculoskeletal (MSK) system. Office workers who spend hours at the computer risk developing pain and stiffness in the cervical spine or in the lumbar region of the back — commonly referred to as low back pain (LBP).
In fact, work-related MSK disorders are the leading cause of work-related disability1 and health insurance claims of Canadian workers.2 Not only is a sedentary work environment more likely to cause MSK conditions,3 the conditions account for one-third of lost work productivity.4



Chiropractic Care for Workers

Studies show that chiropractic care for work-related MSK conditions not only allows patients to return to work faster than standard medical treatment,7,8 but also provides substantial savings in overall healthcare costs9 while reducing the risk of recurrence.6 Chiropractors have the expertise to effectively treat MSK conditions caused by prolonged sitting, as well as other work-related mechanisms of injury. Moreover, part of the management plan will focus on establishing a return-to-work plan with the patient and identify self-management strategies. Read more about preventing work-related MSK conditions.

Straighten Up Canada!

The simplest thing you can do to help safeguard yourself against work-related MSK conditions is to make sure you keep moving during the day. One great strategy is to incorporate exercises into your daily routine. Canada’s chiropractors have developed a great resource. The Straighten Up Canada app is available for free download from the iTunes/Apple App Store or Google Play. The app provides simple exercises to achieve better posture and avoid neck and low back pain while at work.

Access to Chiropractic Treatment for Neck & Low Back Pain

We believe that every Canadian should have a chiropractor on their healthcare team, because they can provide effective care. However, to do so, systems need to support the enhancement of access to such services. Some preliminary projects in various provincial jurisdictions are looking to do just that. To see some of these initiatives, check out our blog about how chiropractic can contribute to healthcare sustainability.
Currently, most Canadians access chiropractic care through either partial public or private funding:
  1. Public funding: Chiropractic is not universally covered in Canada, although numerous provinces will offer partial coverage for sub-groups like seniors or low-income Canadians. Find your provincial association for information on your province.
  2. Extended Health Care Plans/Benefits: If you have an Extended Health Care (EHC) plans through your employer, union or trade/professional association, chiropractic may be included. Ask your employer about your coverage. Plans can also be purchased by individuals.
    • Did you know that Extended Health Care Plans
      • Are Canada’s #1 source of 3rd party coverage
      • Cover around 70% of Canadians10
      • Paid over $56.9 billion in healthcare costs in 201011
      • Are the largest non-governmental financial contributor to Canadian healthcare11
  3. Out-of-pocket: Many Canadians have successfully managed work-related MSK conditions by seeking chiropractic treatment individually.
Do you experience work-related back pain? Find a chiropractor near you.
1. Franche R., Hogg-Johnson S., Bresli, C., Mustard C., Côté P. Determinants of return-to-work: Applying the readiness for change model. Institute for Work & Health, 2006

2. Health Canada. Economic burden of illness in Canada. Ottawa: Health Canada. 1998

3. Cleland J, Childs J, Fritz J, Emberhart S. Development of a clinical prediction rule for guiding treatment of a subgroup of patients with neck pain: use of thoracic spine manipulation, exercise, and patient education. Physical Therapy 2007 Jan;87(1):9-23

4. Lutteman A., Jager M., Griefahn B. Preventing musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace. Protecting Workers' Health Series No. 5. 2003

5. The Institute for Work & Health (IWH), Neck Pain Evidence Summary, 2010

6. Beaudet N, Courteau J, Sarret P and Vanasse, A. Prevalence of claims-based recurrent low back pain in a Canadian population: A secondary analysis of an administrative database. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2013, 14:151

7. Nyiendo J. Disabling Low Back Oregon Workers’ Compensation Claims Part II: Time Loss. JMPT, 1991, 14(4): 231-239.

8. WSIB. Program of Care for Acute Low Back Injuries One-Year Evaluation Report. 2004

9. Legoretta A, Metz D, Nelson C, et al. Comparative analysis of individuals with and without chiropractic coverage. Arch Intern Med, 2004, 164: 1985-1992.

10. CIHI. Health care in Canada, 2000

11. Sanmartin C, Hennessy D, Lu Y, Law M. Trends in out-of-pocket health care expenditure in Canada, by household income, 1997 to 2009. 2014,

Thursday, February 12, 2015



Seven Tips To Keep Your Shoulders
Feeling Great!




  • Dr. Robert Gregory Lusk
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
  • Doctor of Chiropractic at
    New Hamburg Wellness Centre,
    338 Waterloo St., Unit #9,
    New Hamburg, ON
    Phone: 519-662-4441


  • General posture concepts
  • Common shoulder complaints
  • The importance of thoracic mobility
  • Foam rolling and exercise ideas
  • How manual therapy can assist the above




Date and Time

  • Wednesday, March 4 at 7:45pm






How To Register

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Keep Mobile With Award-Winning Health Care

New Hamburg Independent
February 11, 2015

New Hamburg Wellness Centre

Keep Mobile with Award-Winning Health Care

            After serving the community  for more than a decade, the New Hamburg Wellness Centre has become known as a primary healthcare practice that helps people achieve and maintain healthy movement. “Our focus has always been to provide exceptional clinical services with consistency and honesty to assist individuals in achieving optimal health and wellness," asserts Dr. John A. Papa, clinic director and founder.  “Putting the needs of our patients first has been the foundation of our centre and has fostered the continued growth of our business.” Launched in 2003, the clinic grew in popularity, necessitating a move three years ago to a new and larger location. “People want results and our practitioners make every effort to achieve this,” Dr. Papa notes.

            The New Hamburg Wellness Centre specializes in the treatment of muscle and joint conditions. This includes, but is not limited to: neck and back pain; osteoarthritis; repetitive strain conditions; upper and lower extremity complaints; sports, work, and motor vehicle injuries; and other ailments that affect both your ability to move and quality of life.

            Backed by numerous honours, including the 2014 Record Reader Awards for Best Chiropractic Clinic, Best Massage Therapy Clinic, and Best Alternative Medicine Clinic, the New Hamburg Wellness Centre offers a combination of customized therapeutic options to lessen pain and improve function and performance. These include specialty soft tissue treatments, electrotherapeutic modalities, medical acupuncture, custom orthotics, therapeutic taping, rehabilitative exercise prescription, in addition to traditional Chiropractic techniques.  A one-stop clinic experience, Dr. Papa and his associate Dr. Greg Lusk, Chiropractor, will also collaborate with their team of five onsite Registered Massage Therapists and Naturopathic Doctor, as well as confer with family physicians and specialists in the management of patients.

Knowledgeable, Caring, Professional Service

            What can you expect as a new chiropractic patient?  After taking your complete medical history and giving you a diagnosis, your chiropractor will develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment/management plan, as well as recommend therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies. You will also receive vital education about your pain or condition. Dr. Papa has spent over 13 years in the chiropractic field which includes specialty training in rehabilitation and medical acupuncture. Dr. Lusk brings over 8 years of experience and offers expert sports training, injury prevention and resolution strategies. He also currently serves as the team chiropractor for the Waterloo Siskins Jr. B Hockey Club.

            The clinic welcomes people of all ages. “Children may come to us with sports injuries,” Dr. Papa notes. “Because of the technological age we live in, we also help many teens and adults with postural issues, headaches, neck and back pain. There’s absolutely no age limit for those who seek our services. Mobility is important at every age, and we work individually with each patient to help them achieve their personal best.”

            If you are in need of muscle and joint care or are looking to prevent injury, call 519-662-4441 or email for an appointment today. The New Hamburg Wellness Centre is located at 338 Waterloo Street, Unit 9, New Hamburg (Waterloo Street Plaza). You can also visit for more information.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Plantar Fasciitis: A Common Source Of Heel Pain

By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)

Plantar fasciitis is caused by injury to the plantar fascia, which is the tendon-like soft-tissue along the bottom of the foot that connects your heel bone to your toes.  This condition is a common source of heel pain that can be quite disabling.
Plantar fasciitis usually develops gradually, but it can also come on suddenly.  Sharp, knife-like pain on the inside-bottom part of the heel is often characteristic.  Pain and discomfort can also extend into the arch of the foot.  Heel pain tends to be worse with the first few walking steps in the morning, and after extended periods of sitting or inactivity.  If plantar fasciitis becomes severe or chronic, heel and/or arch pain will be present with all weight bearing activities, and may result in secondary areas of discomfort in the foot, knee, hip or back due to compensatory movements.
Under normal circumstances, your plantar fascia acts like a shock-absorbing rubber band, supporting the arch of your foot.  Excessive tension and repetitive stretching can create small tears in this soft-tissue fascia, causing it to become irritated or inflamed.  This may occur with activities that require running, jumping or prolonged walking and standing.  Improper footwear can make the plantar fascia more susceptible to stretch and strain during these activities.
Faulty foot mechanics may also contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis.  Individuals with flat feet or those who excessively pronate (role feet inward) will experience added strain on their plantar fascia.  Old lower extremity injuries such as ankle sprains and fractures can increase susceptibility due to altered lower limb movements.  Being overweight is also a risk factor.  Carrying extra pounds can break down the protective fatty tissue under the heel bone, causing heel pain and putting additional mechanical load on the plantar fascia.

Self-care strategies for reducing the pain of plantar fasciitis include: ice application; rolling a tennis ball or soup can from your heel and along the arch of your foot; and gentle stretching of the achilles tendon, calf muscles, and plantar fascia.  Gel or “donut pads” placed under the affected heel(s) in shoes may also provide relief.
Plantar fasciitis that does not respond to self-care strategies may require professional treatment.  This can include electrotherapy, manual and soft tissue therapy, and specific rehabilitative exercises for the foot and lower leg.  A custom made orthotic may also be helpful by minimizing pronation, cushioning the heel, and supporting the arch.
It is important to establish an accurate diagnosis of plantar fasciitis.   Other causes of heel pain may include stress fractures, achilles tendonitis/bursitis, arthritis, gout, or nerve irritation.  If you are having difficulty with heel pain, a qualified health professional can determine the cause of your pain and prescribe appropriate therapy and rehabilitation strategies specifically for your circumstance.  For more information, visit

This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Stay Safe on Slippery Roads

By Dr. Greg Lusk, DC
Frosted windshields and treacherous road conditions are more frequent this time of year, as are motor vehicle accidents (MVA) related to those conditions.  However, despite paying regular car insurance fees, many of us don't know the details of our plans well because we haven't had to "experience" the fine print.  I am not an expert on all of the details, but the following information is provided from my experience and perspective as a health care practitioner who has treated the physical injuries sustained in MVAs.
Making a Claim
With your car insurance, you have Accident Benefits which are available should you be injured in an MVA.  This is funding for assessment(s) and treatment(s) if they are required to help you recover from your injuries.  It’s important to note that it is not uncommon to have a delay in experiencing symptoms following an MVA.  That is often the nature of soft tissue injuries as the healing begins to occur.
First, you need to contact your insurance company to make a formal claim.  They will assign you a claim number and send paperwork to be completed.  They might even suggest a clinic where you can receive an assessment and treatment.  This is a recommendation only, not a must, so you can visit the health care practitioner of your choice, particularly if you already have someone you currently see or have seen in the past.
Receiving Care
It's important to note that not all health care practitioners can take lead on your claim.  A chiropractor, physiotherapist, physician, occupational therapist, nurse practitioner, and dentist all can.  Notable omissions include a registered massage therapist, naturopath, or osteopath.  Those disciplines may be included in a treatment plan which is something to be discussed with the lead practitioner.
At minimum, your injury will be classified as a "minor injury", which means you sustained a sprain, strain, whiplash associated disorder (WAD), contusion, abrasion, laceration or subluxation and any clinically associated sequelae.  This entitles you to $3500 worth of treatment, in addition to any extended health benefits you have available with your practitioner of choice, which must be used first before the car insurance company begins to cover the fees.  You initially get access to 12 weeks worth of treatment, at the end of which more care can be requested if needed, all within the $3500 limit.  The majority of claims fall into this category.
If your injury is not minor, such as a full muscle/tendon tear, fracture, dislocation, whiplash involving a neurological injury, or you have a pre-existing medical condition that will prevent maximal recovery from a minor injury within the $3500 limit, you will likely have access to funding in excess of $3500 to pay for your required therapies.
The goal of treatment is "functional restoration", which aims to reduce and manage pain as well as maintain and/or resume normal activities at home and work.  It is best to remain at work, with modified duties and/or hours if necessary, as research has shown this reduces the risk of developing chronic pain and leads to better long term outcomes with respect to successfully returning to pre accident work activities.
The entire process can be fairly stressful and frustrating, largely due to the paperwork involved.  With that in mind, respect the road conditions, give yourself plenty of room and time to stop, and stay safe on the wintery roads!
This article is for general information purposes only and is not to be taken as professional medical advice.  Dr. Lusk is a chiropractor in New Hamburg.