Monday, August 16, 2021

Choosing The Right Backpack For Your Children

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

Carrying a poorly designed or overloaded backpack can place excessive weight on a child’s growing spinal column.  This type of daily physical stress can lead to irritation and injury of the spine, joints, and muscles, which can potentially result in postural changes, back pain, and headaches.

Parents and children can avoid injury by following these simple rules with respect to choosing, packing, and carrying a backpack. 

1.    Pick the correct size:  Choose a backpack that is proportionate to body size and not larger than needed.  The top of the backpack should not extend higher than the top of the shoulder, and the bottom should not fall below the top of the hipbone. 

2.    Choose lightweight material:  Select a backpack made of light material.  For example, nylon, vinyl or canvas instead of leather. 

3.   Strap it up:  The shoulder straps should be at least two inches wide, adjustable, and padded. 
Ensure that they do not cut into or fit too snugly around and under the arms.  A hip strap or waist belt helps to effectively redistribute as much as 50 to 70 percent of the weight off the shoulders and spine onto the pelvis, balancing the backpack weight more evenly.

4.   Padding goes a long way:  A backpack should have a padded back for added protection and comfort.  Pack odd-shaped items on the outside so they do not dig into the back. 

5.    Pack it right:  Contents should be evenly distributed, with the heaviest items packed closest to the body.  This reduces the strain, as the weight is closer to the body’s centre of gravity. 

6.   More pockets are better:  Choose a backpack that has several individual pockets instead of one large compartment.  This will help to distribute the weight evenly and keep contents from shifting. 

7.    Wheels and handles:  Explore other options such as a backpack with wheels and a pull handle for easy rolling. 

8.    Weight is everything:  Backpacks should never exceed 15 percent of a secondary school child’s body weight or 10 percent of an elementary school child’s body weight. 

9.    Handle with care:  Children should learn to squat or kneel to pick up their backpacks, and use their legs by bending at the knees and not twisting the back when lifting.  Backpacks can be placed on a counter, chair or table before they are put on.  Slinging backpacks on one side of the body may place excessive stress on the joints and muscles of the mid and lower back. 

Parents should ask their kids to report any pain or other problems resulting from carrying a backpack.  If the pain is severe or persistent, seek care from a qualified health professional.  For more information, visit  The author credits the Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA) in the preparation of this educational information for use by its members and the public. 

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.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

3 Ways Chiropractic Care Can Help Manage Repetitive Strain

In most cases, when we do strenuous activities and exercises, we take the proper precautions to make sure we don’t injure ourselves. Stretches, wearing the proper gear, and pacing ourselves are all good examples, but what can you do when you have a repetitive strain injury from your day-to-day routine? 

What is a repetitive strain injury?

Repetitive strain injury is typically caused by rapid, repeated use of muscles and joints. Numbness, tingling and burning sensations, swelling, and aching pain are among the most common symptoms. It affects a broad variety of people from athletes such as tennis players and golfers to tradespeople (like jackhammer operators and assembly line workers). Video gaming, computer use, and even crafts like knitting can also be associated with repetitive strain injuries.

Common types of repetitive strain injuries:

  • Carpel tunnel syndrome
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Tennis elbow
  • Rotator cuff injuries

Left untreated, repetitive strain can cause injuries that may not heal without a long break from the cause.

How can chiropractic help?

If you begin to experience pain in your hands, wrists, arms, or shoulders, consult a chiropractor for an assessment. Most people respond well to treatment and get back to their regular activities faster than waiting it out.

Chiropractic care can restore healthy function to your spine and the related muscles and ligaments to get you moving again. Chiropractors can provide:

Manual therapy: When a joint isn’t moving as well as it should, your chiropractor may utilize this treatment technique to help regain motion within a joint.

Soft tissue therapy: This is where your chiropractor works to relax and treat tight and sore muscles.

Exercise therapy/self-management: Your chiropractor will be able to provide simple exercises that you can do at home to help with your pain and to help prevent re-injury.

Often, the treatment for repetitive strain may require making changes to your workstation, taking breaks to relax overworked muscles and joints, and exercises to relieve stress and strengthen the affected parts of your body.

For more information on how to treat a repetitive strain injury, visit one of our Chiropractors.

#repetitivestrain #carpeltunnelsyndrome #golferselbow #tenniselbow #rotatorcuffinjuries #chiropractor #chiropracticcare #newhamburgchiropractic #rehabilitation #wecanhelp #2020recordreadawards #newpatientswelcome #newhamburg #wilmot

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Keeping It Green: 8 Benefits To Getting Fresh Air While You Exercise

Getting any type of exercise is good for your body, but did you know there are specific benefits to taking your workout outside? Not only is it a great way to boost your activity, it’ll also help boost your mood.

Here are a few of the main benefits to getting exercise in a natural environment:

1.    You can move faster. When you’re walking or running outside, you can better control your pace. Often, you end up moving a little faster than you would indoors on a treadmill.

2.    It’s easier. When the effort of exercise participants was studied comparing indoor to outdoor walking, participants not only moved faster, they reported the exercise also felt easier to complete.

3.    It’ll alter your perception. Since your perception of effort is lower when you’re in a green environment, it gives you the opportunity to push harder without your perception changing. When an activity is perceived as easier, it’s also perceived to be more enjoyable.

4.   You’ll increase your enjoyment. When you’re exercising outside you’re often engaging with other people. This has been shown to increase enjoyment of the activity and how often you participate, since you have social motivation behind you.

5.   You’ll feel revitalized. Studies have shown that doing physical activities in a natural or green environment can help improve feelings of revitalization. You also feel more positively engaged.

6.   You can improve your self-esteem. Exercising in green environments have also been linked to improved self-esteem and reducing negative moods such as tension, anger, and depression.

7.   It’s better for your physical health. Studies have shown that outdoor environments, particularly green spaces, support better physical health both subjectively and objectively. That means that your sense of well-being, heart health, immune system, and recovery time are all positively affected by your green environment.

8.    It’s also better for your mental health. Work out outside to improve your general mental health, psychological well-being, anxiety, stress, or depression. Both your well-being and perceived well-being benefit from taking-in natural spaces.

To help get you going, here are a few green activities you can try:

·         Plant trees

·         Go hiking

·         Canoe or kayak

·         Explore natural parks

·         Go for a bike ride

·         Play tennis

·         Sign up for an outdoor fitness class or boot camp

·         Join a recreational sports leagues for soccer, ultimate Frisbee, or flag football

Whatever activity you choose, don’t forget to keep it green. For more information on what exercises are right for you, ask one of our Chiropractors.

#exercise #outdoors #physicalactivity #naturalenvironment #chiropractor #chiropracticcare #newhamburgchiropractic #rehabilitation #wecanhelp #2020recordreadawards #newpatientswelcome #newhamburg #wilmot