Monthly Archives: October 2018

The Pain Problem

CANADIANS ARE NO STRANGERS TO PAIN. According to the Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA) 2017 report, All Pain, No Gain: Shining a Light on Canada’s Back Pain and Opioid Crisis, almost 90 per cent of Canadians have experienced muscle and/or joint pain in the last year, the most common being back pain and headache.

Pain affects the way people work, play and generally live. In fact, the World Health Organization reports lower back pain as a leading cause of disability worldwide. And a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that back pain was the most common diagnosis for which emergency and family physicians prescribed opioids.

That’s why more attention is being paid to muscle and joint health, and pain prevention. A person’s musculoskeletal (MSK) system includes bones, muscles, tendons, joints and ligaments, and it supports every movement a person makes.

Sleeping posture is the number-one cause of muscle and joint pain, according to those surveyed in CCA’s report. Shovelling snow, picking up a child or sitting at a desk for hours at a time can also have a severe impact on one’s spine, muscle and nervous system.

And with an aging population, the number of conditions is expected to increase significantly. By 2031, the number of Canadians suffering from these conditions will increase from 11 to 15 million.


Muscle and joint pain often stems from physical trauma, repetitive strain or overuse, and frequently impacts the head, neck, shoulders, back or pelvis. Most people will experience some form of muscle and joint pain in their lifetime — think strained muscles from moving boxes or overdoing it at the gym. While not all of this discomfort is bad, ensuring proper technique when doing strenuous or repetitive activities may prevent disorders and pain.

Research demonstrates that many conditions can be managed through patient education, exercise and manual therapies rather than through surgery or medication. And nine in ten Canadians who have used a chiropractor to help with their muscle and joint pain believe that it improved their quality of life.


The word “chiropractic” is derived from “chiro,” meaning “hand,” and the Greek word “praktikos,” meaning “practical,” reflecting the hands-on, non-invasive approach of modern practitioners. Canada’s chiropractors play a key role in helping Canadians better manage their muscle and joint pain through non-invasive treatments that support the body’s spine, muscle and nervous system.

With clinical tools and specialized training, chiropractors are uniquely positioned to offer treatment through active care and preventive strategies, like patient education and exercises.




Are Standing Desks Good For Our Health?



Working in an office means dealing with a number of health risks related to factors like the hygiene levels of the workplace to the type of coworkers you are surrounded by. But let’s face it, the sedentary lifestyle takes the cake for the most obvious downside.

For most workers, a majority of each day is spent sitting on a chair in front of a computer. Clearly, this does not sound like the best way to treat your body in the long run. But what is the solution?

Perhaps, one can remove one of the elements from that harmful equation — how about the chair?

The likes of Benjamin Franklin and Leonardo Da Vinci were said to work while standing upright, so they may have endorsed the trend of standing desks today. Many companies have begun including standing desks as a part of their wellness programs to protect the health of their employees.

While the concept does sound healthier than slumping in a chair for hours, the science behind it is rather weak, according to a new CNN report published on Oct. 3. The report looked at various studies from recent years to understand just how beneficial a standing desk is

Findings from a 2016 meta-analysis noted very little proven benefit, especially given that most studies are poorly designed and do not look at the long-term effects of using such desks.

And if you hoped they would serve as an extended workout at the very least, another study conducted at Harvard has some bad news. Turns out, standing could only burn around eight calories more than sitting on an hourly basis. “In other words, use of a standing desk for three hours burns an extra 24 calories,” the authors wrote, “about the same number of calories in a carrot.”

This brings us back to square one, trying to figure out what people can do to effectively tackle the sedentary office routine. According to experts, the key is to never stay in one position for a prolonged period

“Make sure you stand up every hour for one to five minutes,” said Sergio Pedemonte, a fitness instructor and certified trainer based in Toronto, Canada. And while you sit down, he recommends a few small changes to make a big difference.

“When sitting back down, make sure you’re not leaning your neck forward and that your shoulder blades are retracted so that your back muscles aren’t rounding. These simple things will assist in getting your spine to be better aligned for improved posture,” he said.

You can also try performing desk exercises — or deskercises — to work out specific muscles in your body. Importantly, make sure you get enough exercise outside the workplace. Merely taking the stairs instead of the elevator can count toward the 30 minutes of physical activity you need every day.

Standing Desks Could Be Making Back Pain Worse


 Nearly half of people who use a standing desk are at risk of developing lower back pain, according to a study from the University of Waterloo.

The study tested 40 adults, evenly split between male and female, with no previous back issues. It found that 40 percent developed low back pain after standing for two hours. Moreover, if they were previously fatigued, their muscle strength was not able to recover while standing.

“People have different amounts of standing tolerance,” said Daniel Viggiani, lead author and a PhD candidate in kinesiology at Waterloo. “The key take-away, regardless of whether you are sitting or standing at work, is to move around and shift your posture often.”

The adults in the study performed two hours of standing work, such as transcribing a document on a computer, or sorting cards to mimic a standing office, two times – once with a tiring hip abductor exercise before the session, and once without

The people who did not have back pain during standing recovered their muscle strength by the end of the two hours. Females in general did not fatigue as quickly.

“Those with less standing tolerance use their muscles differently than others while they stand. They might stand with their back a bit more curved than those with more tolerance, for example,” said Viggiani. “Not everyone needs the same frequency of breaks, but people can usually tolerate sitting for longer than they can standing.”

He added that other studies have shown that prolonged standing can have negative implications on lower back pain later in life, but in this study, the immediate pain usually dissipated within 10 to 15 minutes of sitting down.

The study, which Viggiani co-authored with Jack Callaghan, a kinesiology professor at Waterloo, appears in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics.