<![CDATA[Thrive Chiropractic - Downtown Kingston's Best Chiropractor - Blog]]>Fri, 13 Sep 2019 16:00:13 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[Piriformis Muscle Stretch - What a Pain in the Butt!]]>Tue, 10 Sep 2019 20:29:17 GMThttps://thrivechiro.ca/blog-chiropractic-back-pain-relief-tips/piriformis-muscle-stretch-what-a-pain-in-the-buttYour piriformis is a small muscle located deep in the buttock. It has 2 main functions depending on the position of your hip. If your hip is in extension (such as when you're standing up), the piriformis is responsible for external rotation of your femur (thigh bone). If your hip is in flexion (such as when you're sitting in a chair) then the piriformis muscle is responsible for abduction of your hip (spreading open your thighs).

Your piriformis is a small, flat muscle in your gluteal region that is pyramidal in shape. It has attachments along the lateral aspect of the sacrum and at the greater trochanter (hip bone)

Passing underneath the piriformis muscle is your sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve and its branches innervate the entire leg! That means that if your piriformis muscle is too tight, injured or dysfunctional, it may press down on the sciatic nerve and block the normal nerve function. That description is actually a condition called Piriformis Syndrome. There can be varying symptoms but pain and numbness that travels down one leg is the most common complaint.

Your piriformis can tighten up from too much walking, running and even from too much sitting! In my opinion, it's one of the most important muscles to stretch! Follow the pictures and instructions below to start stretching your piriformis!

  1.  Sit flat on floor with legs straight in front of you
  2. Bend your LEFT knee and cross that leg over your straight leg 
  3. Hug your LEFT knee towards your chest
  4. As you hug your knee, gently rotate/twist your torso to the LEFT (this should feel natural)

To deepen this stretch then as you hug your LEFT knee, try to hug it up towards your RIGHT shoulder.

Swap LEFTs and RIGHTs to stretch the other piriformis.

  1. Sit in a chair or on a surface where your feet are free to dangle or rest flat
  2. Cross your RIGHT ankle to rest on your LEFT thigh slightly above the knee
  3. Ensure that your shoulders and hips are facing the same way (don't let your body twist)
  4. With your butt flat in your seat, start to lean forward and reach out towards the ground in front of you
  5. You should feel the stretch on the piriformis in your RIGHT butt

To deepen this stretch then as you're leaning forward, you can use your RIGHT hand to apply some downward pressure on your right knee.

  1. Lay supine (flat on your back, facing up)
  2. Create a "figure 4" by crossing your RIGHT ankle just above your LEFT knee
  3. From this position, you now bend and raise your LEFT knee (this will also cause your RIGHT leg to raise)
  4. You should notice an opening created by the "hole" of the figure 4
  5. Reach through the opening with your RIGHT hand
  6. Interlock your fingers to hug your LEFT thigh and gently pull it towards your chest
  7. You should be feeling the stretch on your RIGHT piriformis muscle

  1. Start prone (laying faced down)
  2. Use your hands to push yourself up part way
  3. Bring your RIGHT leg forward so that it's crossed and resting on the floor in front of you
  4. Ensure that your hips and shoulders are facing the same direction (do not twist!)
  5. Bend forward at your waist to deepen the stretch

Experiment with this stretch when you're on the final step and are bending forward. If you bend diagonally forward to either the left or right, you will feel different parts of the piriformis stretching.

None of the stretches shown should cause any numbness, tingling, pain or discomfort. If you feel any pain during your stretch, please stop and consult your Chiropractor, it might be time to have your spine checked. Click HERE to make an appointment.

Don't ever force the stretch. As you're reaching into the stretch, try to breathe out. As you breathe out, focus on keeping the leg on the same side as you're stretching relaxed. As the piriformis muscle relaxes, you can gently push/pull to deepen the stretch. You should find that you're able to stretch further when you relax into the stretch. It just takes a bit of mindfulness, practice and consistency to stretch properly.

​Try some of these great piriformis stretches out for yourself and feel the difference it makes! 

BOOK ONLINE NOW
Thrive Chiropractic
214 Wellington Street
Kingston, ON
K7K 2Y7
(613) 217-1560
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<![CDATA[Community Workshop Series]]>Fri, 16 Aug 2019 15:05:00 GMThttps://thrivechiro.ca/blog-chiropractic-back-pain-relief-tips/community-workshop-series3653457STRESS LESS; LIVE BETTER
Join us for our workshop on Wednesday, August 28th 2019 starting at 6:00pm, where we will discuss the importance of managing stress. We will be covering topics including:

  • Autonomic Nervous System – Fight or Flight response
  • What occurs when your body is in a state of stress?
  • Proven ways to reduce stress – Physiologically and psychologically
  • Sleep and cortisol levels – How does this affect your health?
To register, go to the following URL and click on
“Stress Management Workshop”.
​We are thrilled to be a part of such a great community! We are the only Chiropractic centre located conveniently in the Downtown Kingston Core and we want to help as many people as we can to get pain free and to have their health thrive!
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<![CDATA[Sleep Your Way To Better Health]]>Wed, 14 Aug 2019 17:07:24 GMThttps://thrivechiro.ca/blog-chiropractic-back-pain-relief-tips/sleep-your-way-to-better-healthDid you get a good night of sleep last night? Maybe you’re unsure what a “good night of sleep” equates to. So let’s explore what good quality sleep really is, why it's so important for your health, and look at some good sleeping postures.
 
Firstly, let’s get straight into the meat and potatoes - according to The Mayo Clinic, this is how much sleep you should be getting:
Okay, so now you know how much sleep you should be getting which is awesome! Now that you know better, you can do better to meet your sleep goals; whether that be to increase or reduce how much sleep you’re getting. That's right - over sleeping can be as detrimental to your health as under sleeping! So try to get into that sweet spot range of sleep every night.

Did you notice that I wrote EVERY night?

Try to avoid putting yourself in a position where you create a sleep debt and are forced to catch up on sleep. Quality sleep is just as much about consistency as it is about quantity. Let's look at it another way; you wouldn't starve yourself until you're withered and then catch up on eating by going to an all you can eat buffet, right? Of course not, your body requires consistent energy from food to maintain its health.
Sleep is the same way in that you should be getting consistent amounts every night. It's a time for your body to rest, replenish and regenerate to prepare for the all the mental, physical and emotional requirements of the following day.
All right, so now you know about the importance of quantity and consistency as it pertains to good quality sleep. But WHY is quality sleep so important for your health?

The Good:
  • Learning and memory - Sleep helps the brain commit new information into memory and has been shown to enhance problem solving skills in both children and adults. 
  • Regeneration - Your body produces more proteins when you're sleeping. These proteins form the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair the damage caused by stress, UV rays and other harmful exposures.
  • Athletic performance - A study of collegiate basketball players showed speed, accuracy and reaction times all improved when the athletes got proper amounts of quality sleep.

The Bad:
  • Cortisol - Sleep deprivation has been shown to result in higher cortisol levels the next evening. Cortisol plays an important role in a variety of bodily processes including inflammation, sleep/wake cycle, and blood sugar levels. High levels of cortisol is also linked to lower back pain.
  • Increased risk of depression - Chronic sleep deprivation has been shown to create a desensitization to serotonin receptors. Low serotonin levels influences mood in a way that may lead to depression.
  • Stress - The body goes into a state of stress when it's sleep deficient. Stress is well researched to be a contributing factor to many diseases.

The Ugly:
  • Heart disease - Too little sleep; as well as too much sleep, has been linked to increased risk of heart disease.
  • High blood pressure - Sleep deprivation reduces your body's ability to regulate stress hormones which can lead to high blood pressure. HBP is the leading cause of death worldwide and is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
  • Diabetes - There's an increased risk for diabetes in those that either sleep too much or too little.
  • Reduced immune function - Sleep deprivation suppresses immune system function. This could lead to a greater potential risk of developing cold, flu or other diseases.​
As you can see, consistently getting the right amount of sleep is an incredibly important part of maintaining your health! So you may want to think twice before you pull your next all-nighter; or the next time you tell yourself you'll just watch "one more episode" ​during a TV series binge when you've got responsibilities the next morning.
Let's talk about sleep posture next as I'm often asked if there's a "right way" to sleep. The short answer is, yes!

The right way to sleep is to be in a sleep posture that maintains and supports the natural shape of your spine. Let's take a look at the side sleeping posture below.
You may have noticed that there's a pillow in between the guy's legs. This can help reduce physical stress on the spine as you sleep. If you lay on your side right now, you'll notice that your leg against the bed/floor is flat and parallel, but then your other leg is bent at an angle because your knees have come together. That angle of your top leg puts extra pressure on your hip which transfers to your spine.
When sleeping on your side, your neck needs a little extra cushioning underneath it for support since your head is wider and thicker than your neck is. Be sure that your neck is in a neutral posture and does not bend towards either the ceiling or the floor.
There should always be a little extra cushioning to support the neck when sleeping both sideways and supine
Now if we look at a supine sleeping posture (laying on your back), you'll notice that there's a pillow tucked underneath the guy's legs. To better understand why that's there, go ahead and lay down flat on your back, relax your body, and pay attention to your feet. For the vast majority of you, you'll have found that both your feet flared outwards.
As your feet flare outwards this creates a chain reaction going up your leg. Your feet flare/rotate outwards, your shin bones rotate, as do your thigh bones and then your hips. That rotation puts a lot of pressure on your pelvis and lower back.

Putting a pillow or a bolster under your knees forces them to bend slightly. Because your knees are bent, it breaks the chain reaction and minimizes the foot flare and stops the rotation of the rest of the leg which prevents all the pressure at the hip, pelvis and lower back. You may find that when you wake up that the pillow under your knees is now on the floor or beside you. That's typically expected as most of us naturally roll and shift positions when we're asleep. It's not a problem though as the goal is to minimize the duration of the stress on our body.

Quality sleep is an incredibly important part of our health! We spend about a third of our lives sleeping, so that's a lot of stress on your body if you haven't been getting enough sleep, been over sleeping, or aren't sleeping with good posture. So have you been getting good quality sleep? And have you been practicing proper sleeping posture? It's never too late to have your spine checked! Click HERE to make an appointment.

BOOK ONLINE NOW
Thrive Chiropractic
214 Wellington Street
Kingston, ON
K7K 2Y7
(613) 217-1560
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<![CDATA[Community Workshop Series]]>Thu, 11 Jul 2019 22:03:51 GMThttps://thrivechiro.ca/blog-chiropractic-back-pain-relief-tips/community-workshop-seriesSPINAL HYGIENE
​Join us for our workshop on Tuesday, July 23rd 2019 from 6:00 – 7:00pm, where you will learn a set of practices designed to maintain your spinal health.
 
As we guide you through a series of stretches and exercises, we will be discussing what spinal hygiene is, why it is so important, and how proper spinal hygiene practices can help with a variety of things including:
  • Preventing spinal degeneration
  • Promoting intervertebral disc health
  • Maintaining spinal health
  • Improving range of motion and flexibility
To register, go to the following URL and click on “Spinal Hygiene Workshop”.

https://thrivechiro.janeapp.com
We recommend you wear something that you feel comfortable in that is easy to move around in. And don't forget to bring water!
 
Please bring a yoga mat, if you don't have one we will have some available to rent for $2.
 
We are thrilled to be a part of such a great community! We are the only Chiropractic centre located conveniently in the Downtown Kingston Core and we want to help as many people as we can to get pain free and to have their health thrive!
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<![CDATA[Trapezius Muscle Stretch]]>Wed, 26 Jun 2019 20:53:52 GMThttps://thrivechiro.ca/blog-chiropractic-back-pain-relief-tips/trapezius-muscle-stretchYour trapezius is large surface muscle that spans across your back in a diamond shape. Its main function is to both move and stabilize your shoulder blades (scapula). By stabilizing the shoulder blades, the trapezius muscle can create movement of the spine. Its actions are as follows:

  1. Elevates scapula
  2. Retracts scapula
  3. Depresses scapula
  4. Rotates scapula upwards
  5. Neck extension (when both sides activate in tandem)
  6. Assists in ipsilateral lateral flexion of the neck (bending your neck sideways on the same side of the muscle)
The upper trapezius has attachments at the the base of your skull, collar bone, acromion (that little bump on the top of your shoulder), and descending along the back tips of your vertebra from C7-T4.
The middle and lower trapezius has attachments at the medial angle of your shoulder blade and descending along the back tips of your vertebra from T5-T12.

The trapezius muscle is a common culprit for aches and pains in the upper back and along the top of the shoulders. Mental stress is a HUGE contributor to tightness and discomfort in this muscle group. When the trapezius is very tight in the upper fibres along the top of your shoulders and neck, then focussed pressure on that area (such as shoulder straps pressing down from wearing a heavy knapsack), may trigger a headache.

So if you're often stressed out or suffer from frequent headaches, you will definitely want to work on stretching out your traps! Below are some great trapezius stretches for you to try out!

  1. Allow your head to tilt sideways so your ear moves towards your shoulder
  2. Keep your neck muscles relaxed (you may feel a light stretch already due to gravity)
  3.  With your hand that is on the same side you are tilting your head, reach your fingers over the top of your head and fan them out on the side of your head ABOVE your ear
  4. Very gently pull the side of your head so your ear moves closer to your shoulder (keep neck relaxed)
  5. At the same time with your other hand, reach down towards the ground

By keeping your fingers above your ear as you gently pull, you're able to generate a deeper stretch with much less effort.

  1. Keep your neck muscles relaxed and allow your head to tilt to the LEFT so your ear moves towards your shoulder
  2. With both arms at your sides, now take your LEFT hand and reach across your back to grip your RIGHT wrist or forearm
  3. Keep your RIGHT arm and shoulder completely relaxed
  4. With a firm grip, now pull your RIGHT arm down towards the ground
  5. At the same time gently tilt your head further towards your shoulder
  6. Repeat on the other side

The most important part of this stretch is keeping your one arm relaxed while the other hand is gripping and pulling down.

  1. Keep your neck muscles relaxed and allow your head to tilt to the LEFT so your ear moves towards your shoulder
  2. Reach across your body and place your hand on your RIGHT shoulder 
  3. Take your other arm and cross over top and place hand on the other shoulder (this step will help to create a deeper stretch)
  4. Pull down on your RIGHT shoulder
  5. Tilt your head and try to touch your LEFT ear to your LEFT shoulder
  6. Repeat on the other side

This one can be a bit tricky to set up and controlling which muscles to relax and contract. When you're doing it correctly, you will definitely feel a good stretch!

  1. Have your legs spread wider than your shoulder width
  2. Interlock your fingers behind your back
  3. Bend forward at your waist as if you're trying to touch your head to the ground
  4. Reach your interlocked hands upwards behind you

This stretch looks a little funky but it's a great stretch for your traps! Make sure your legs are wide enough for you to have a good base and balance.

None of the stretches shown should cause any pain or discomfort. If you feel any pain during your stretch, please stop and consult your Chiropractor, it might be time to have your spine checked. Click HERE to make an appointment.

I can't stress this enough, DO NOT ever FORCE the stretch! As you're feeling the stretch, try to breathe out. With each breath out, let your shoulder and neck relax more and more. You will start to feel a better quality stretch and you'll feel your flexibility improve as you breath and focus on relaxing into the stretch. It only takes a few minutes, a bit of mindfulness, a touch of practice and a dash of consistency to stretch properly and keep your neck and shoulders free of muscle tension!


​Try some of these great trapezius stretches out for yourself and feel the difference it can make! 

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<![CDATA[Community Workshop Series]]>Thu, 13 Jun 2019 18:08:40 GMThttps://thrivechiro.ca/blog-chiropractic-back-pain-relief-tips/community-workshop-nutrition-healthy-cells-healthy-lifeNUTRITION: HEALTHY CELLS, HEALTHY LIFE! 
Join us for our first workshop on Thursday, June 20th, 2019 starting at 6:00pm, where we will discuss the importance of proper nutrition. Launch your health goals by learning how nutrition can support healing at a cellular level! We will be covering topics including:

  • Popular Diets – Do they work or not?
  • Supplementation – is it necessary?
  • Relationship between inflammation, insulin resistance and blood glucose – How does this affect your health?
  • Cold pressed juice
  • Should you eat organic?
 
Everyone is welcome! Please register online as space is limited. To sign up for the workshop, go to the following URL and click on “Nutrition Workshop”.
We are thrilled to be a part of such a great community! We are the only chiropractic centre located conveniently in the Downtown Kingston Core and we want to help as many people as we can to get pain free and to have their health thrive!
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<![CDATA[Innate Intelligence - The Best Doctor is You!]]>Wed, 29 May 2019 04:00:00 GMThttps://thrivechiro.ca/blog-chiropractic-back-pain-relief-tips/innate-intelligence-the-best-doctor-is-youYour body is so good at taking care of you! Inside each and every one of us exists an innate intelligence that helps to keep us functioning and healthy. Think of innate intelligence as "the inborn wisdom of your body". Sometimes your body simply knows what you need, and what to do without you making any conscious effort.

Just think about it, when you get too hot then your body responds by perspiring to help cool you off faster. If you get something caught in your throat, your body forces you to cough to help remove the obstruction. When you get a cut or a scrape, your body coagulates the blood to stop the bleeding, and given time, your body will lay down new skin tissue to close and repair the wound.

​I have had the misfortune of fracturing a bone (my right arm... twice!), and both times my arm was put in a cast. The cast was great at preventing further injury or deformation, but it didn't fix my arm. Yet again, it was the innate power of my body that repaired and replenished the bone tissue to ultimately heal my broken arm. 

If you've ever had a cold or flu then you may have taken some type of medication to feel better. Those symptoms you're trying to alleviate are only the tip of the iceberg. While symptoms are very evident on the surface, they are often a result of an underlying condition with the root cause hidden deep underneath the surface. That's why it's important to seek out and correct the root cause instead of treating only the symptoms.

Every Symptom has a Root Cause

Your body is so intelligent that it even tries to give you warnings when your health may be compromised. Symptoms are warnings from your body that suggest there is more going on under the surface. Have you ever felt cold or chilly when you normally wouldn't at that temperature? Thermoregulation (controlling your internal body temp.) is the first thing to be compromised when you're falling sick. Symptoms are your body's way of warning you that you may be on the verge of becoming sick or unwell if you don't take any preventative measures.

As you can see, your body is very intelligent and it wants to keep you healthy and at your best. As long as your body is functioning properly, then the best doctor is you!

So if the best doctor is you, then how can a chiropractor help? First, it's important to understand that chiropractic care doesn't "treat or heal" anything. As you already know it's your body - your INNATE INTELLIGENCE - that does the healing. Chiropractors facilitate the proper function of your body by restoring spinal alignment. Proper spinal alignment helps to remove nerve interference. Your nerves control every single function in your body. As long as your nerve supply is free of interference, your innate intelligence can do its job to keep you functioning at your best!

If you're tired of treating only the symptoms and are ready to dig down to find the root cause, please click HERE to visit your friendly neighbourhood chiropractors!
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<![CDATA[Quadratus Lumborum (QL) Muscle Stretch]]>Tue, 30 Apr 2019 17:26:47 GMThttps://thrivechiro.ca/blog-chiropractic-back-pain-relief-tips/quadratus-lumborum-ql-muscle-stretchYour quadratus lumborum is a deep muscle in your lower trunk that is responsible for a variety of actions:

  1. Lateral flexion (bending sideways from your waist)
  2. Extension of the lumbar spine (bending backwards at your lower back)
  3. Assists the diaphragm with inhalation (aids in proper breathing mechanics)
  4. Elevates the ilium ipsilaterally (lifts one side of your pelvis at a time)
The Quadratus Lumborum is a deep muscle that has attachments on 4 out of 5 of your lower back vertebra, the top of your pelvis, and it also attaches on your lowest rib. It plays an important role in stabilizing the lower trunk.

The Quadratus Lumborum also plays an important role in stabilizing your lower back and these muscles are often working hard behind the scenes even if you don't realize it! Because this muscle group does so much work contracting and relaxing repeatedly throughout the day, they can often become VERY tight.

I actually had not realized just how tight my QL's had gotten until I started stretching them for the first time. From that point on I made sure that QL stretching was included as part of my Spinal Hygiene to maintain the health of my spine and to prevent risk of future injury. I continued to spend a few minutes each day stretching out this muscle and then after a couple weeks of stretching my QL's consistently, I felt like a new person! 

I'll describe some of my favourite Quadratus Lumborum stretches below.

  1. Stand next to a wall but leave a small gap
  2. Take your leg that is FURTHEST from the wall and cross it BEHIND your other leg
  3. Use your arm CLOSEST to the wall to lean against the wall to help with balance 
  4. Take your other arm and reach over the top of your head, trying to touch the wall
  5. Keep both feet planted flat to the ground
  6. Now push your hip away from the wall to deepen the stretch

To reduce the amount of stretch then start by standing closer to the wall. Alternatively, you can control how far you reach over your head, as well as controlling how much you push your hip out. 

  1. Stand beside a wall, leaving a small gap
  2. Lean sideways so your shoulder and hip are against the wall
  3. Push your upper body away from the wall using your arm
  4. Ensure your hip is still pressed against the wall
  5. The more you push your torso away from the wall, the deeper the stretch will be

To reduce the amount of stretch then stand closer to the wall before leaning against it.

  1. Stand with arms straight up
  2. Bend sideways until you feel a stretch along the side of your upper torso
  3. Keep feet planted and hips facing forward
  4. Rotate your torso/shoulder forward (so that you end up with your arms out forward like you're Superman flying). You should feel the stretch deep in your lower back now
  5. Final position should resemble the picture

To increase the amount of stretch, reach out further with your arms and/or bend more at the waist.

  1. Sit with legs crossed or spread out in front of you
  2. Cross one arm towards opposite hip and press down toward the floor
  3. With your other arm, reach over the top of your head and bend sideways

Increase this stretch by reaching further over your head, causing you to bend further to that side.

None of the stretches shown should cause any pain or discomfort. If you feel any pain during your stretch, please stop and consult your Chiropractor, it might be time to have your spine checked. Click HERE to make an appointment.

Don't ever force the stretch. As you're reaching into the stretch, try to breathe out. As you breathe out, focus on keeping your QL and lower back muscles relaxed. As the lower back muscles relax, let gravity drag you deeper into the stretch. You should find that you're able to stretch further when you relax into the stretch. It just takes a bit of mindfulness, practice and consistency to stretch properly.

​Try some of these great quadratus lumborum stretches out for yourself and feel the difference it makes! 

BOOK ONLINE NOW
Thrive Chiropractic
214 Wellington Street
Kingston, ON
K7K 2Y7
(613) 217-1560
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