What does a chiropractor know about Diabetes?

What does a chiropractor know about diabetes?

During a new patient history after dealing with the main complaint that brought the patient to the office, I will ask some general health questions assessing for things like diabetes.
What does a chiropractor know about diabetes, aren’t they just for backs? A chiropractor’s scope of practice is limited to neuromusculoskeletal conditions, or conditions related to nerves, muscles and bones, however as primary contact health care providers we just as importantly need to know about conditions that we don’t manage.

Getting back to our question, what does a chiropractor know about diabetes? While diabetes is an increasingly common problem, especially Type 2 diabetes that has its onset in middle age, it is often an undiagnosed condition. Research suggests that 3-5% of the adult population are undiagnosed diabetics or prediabetics.

Thus as a chiropractor we need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of diabetes so patients can get the care and education they need. Some of these signs and symptoms relate to the neuromusculoskeletal system, such as muscle cramps, numbness and tingling in the hands or feet, weakness, stiff and painful joints, contractures of the hands, back and neck pain. I will assess the vibration sense of the feet as this sense is often lost early in diabetes, leading to problems with balance, falls and possibly injuries to the feet and toes which can heal poorly.

Secondly, as chiropractors we can help treat some of the neuromusculoskeletal conditions associated with the condition. Encouraging activity and exercise is an early treatment for diabetes, this can be hard to do if it hurts to move.

  • Conditions that are commonly associated with diabetes that can be helped by chiropractic care are:
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Stiff Hands Syndrome
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder
  • Tenosynovitis
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Joint pain
  • Dupuytren’s contracture

So hopefully that helps to answer the question, what does a chiropractor know about diabetes?

So if you have diabetes or know someone with diabetes, add me to your healthcare team
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Why do I need orthotics?

Why do I need orthotics? What are orthotics used for anyway? Why would a chiropractor recommend orthotics?
There are a number of questions, let’s start with what orthotics are and what they’re used for.

Orthotics are custom made insoles for your shoes, designed to correct imbalances in your foot structures, muscles of the lower leg, protect against the forces of hard flooring on your feet.

Symptoms one might experience if orthotics are necessary aren’t limited to the feet, but include; foot, arch or heel pain, leg or knee pain, leg length inequality, hip or back pain even neck pain.

Foot orthotics work similar to braces for the teeth, or glasses for your eyes, they slowly and consistently place your foot structures in the correct position. We use orthotics in all kinds of footwear, even skates and ski boots!

I think I need orthotics what’s next?
During an orthotic examination I perform a static ( not moving) postural assessment, both weight bearing and non-weight bearing, to see how your foot reacts to supporting your body. I assess any mobility issues in the ankle or foot, check to see wear the forces stress the foot as shown in any calluses you may have. Next I have you walk several times in bare feet to assess your dynamic posture, do the toes point in or out, does the ankle roll in with walking?

Next I make a mold of your foot in special foam with you sitting, having your foot kept in the optimal position. The mold is then sent to the orthotic lab and analyzed. The orthotics are then ready in about a week or two.

I have my orthotics now what?
Initially you wear the orthotics an hour or two each day slowly increasing the time you wear them.

Wear them as much as you can , the more consistently you wear them, the better the benefit will be. Often we need to make 2 pair of orthotics to accommodate different kinds of foot wear, i.e. dress shoes vs. running shoes.

How does this fit with chiropractic?
Why as a chiropractor would I recommend orthotics?

Typically the answer is to either be reactive or proactive. If you are already having pain and there are structural or muscular imbalances that are contributing to your pain, orthotics may be part of the recovery process. If during our assessment process I discover some issues that may not be contributing to a pain process but have the potential to, I may suggest the orthotics as a preventative measure.

For more information go to https://yourpickeringchiropractors.cablog/
Or http://www.theorthoticgroup.com/PatientSite/Home.aspx

What does a chiropractor know about ears?

What does a chiropractor know about ears?
This is a question that I’ve heard many times in the past during an examination. So what does a chiropractor know about ears? Why would a chiropractor want to check someone’s ears anyway, isn’t that the job for a medical doctor?

Well yes and no, ears have a couple of functions, one obviously is hearing, the second one is balance. That’s great you say, what does that have to do with my back pain? Well as a chiropractor part of my examination for someone with headache and/or neck pain let’s say will involve assessing their cranial nerves, nerves within the head that includes the nerve that transmits sound to the ear. Someone who has had a neck injury from a car accident for example or a head injury from sports could have neck pain but also have injured this nerve in their head, therefore as a chiropractor we need to check this.

What does a chiropractor know about ears?
Another example might be someone who had a fall and hurt their back let’s say, why did they fall? Are they having a problem with their balance? As I previously mentioned part of balance comes from the ears or it could be from joint in the neck or feet ( as mentioned here) So again we need to assess the ears to determine where there might be an issue.

What does a chiropractor know about ears?
During your google searching about chiropractors you may have run across mention of chiropractors treating childhood ear infections. This may not be as bizarre as it might sound, ( ha a little ear humour there) first off the chiropractor is not treating the infection like an antibiotic, rather managing why the infection might have occurred in the first place. Childhood ear infections are partly due to the fact that a child’s Eustachian tube,( a connection between the middle ear and the throat) is horizontal, this horizontal nature allows fluid to collect in the ear behind the ear drum when they have a respiratory infection, when this tube can’t drain the fluid it becomes a medium for infection to develop. Some chiropractic techniques can help aid in the drainage of this tube thus reducing the chance for infection to develop. As children grow the tubes become more vertical draining easier.

I hope that answers the question what a chiropractor knows about ears.
For other blogs not necessarily about ears go to

https://yourpickeringchiropractors.cablog/

What does a chiropractor know about eyes?

What does a chiropractor know about eyes?
What does a chiropractor know about eyes? This is a another question that I’ve heard many times in the past during an examination, in the same vein as last week’s blog here we go. So what does a chiropractor know about eyes?

What does a chiropractor know about eyes?

Why would a chiropractor want to check someone’s eyes anyway, isn’t that the job for a medical doctor or optometrist? Well primarily yes, however you’ve heard the phrase, “ eyes are the window to the soul”? There is some truth to that, in that what is happening with your eyes and vision may tell us something that is going on inside your head. Conversely we can test the eyes to confirm that something is happening elsewhere in the body.

What does a chiropractor know about eyes?

Another example might be someone who had a fall and hurt their back let’s say, why did they fall? Are they having a problem with their balance? As I previously mentioned part of balance comes from the eyes or it could be from joint in the neck or feet. So again we need to assess the eyes to determine where there might be an issue.

What does a chiropractor know about eyes?

Another example to consider is one of a patient with a headache perhaps the headache is due to their vision being poor and not simple muscle tension. Perhaps the patient had a head injury and needs to be assessed for a concussion. If the head injury resulted in a bleed in the brain, there might be increased pressure in the head, this could produce a headache but signs might also show up in the patient’s eyes.

What does a chiropractor know about eyes?

Another example again might relate to lower back pain. Certain types of arthritis, inflammatory types can also produce inflammation of blood vessels in the eye producing a red eye. A red eye is a common presentation to any healthcare provider’s office, is the red eye due to something simple, like a conjunctivitis (pink eye) or something more serious, such as arthritis related iritis? Or increased eye pressure from glaucoma producing a red eye and headache? As chiropractors we need to know the difference.

I hope that answers the question what a chiropractor knows about eyes.
For other blogs not necessarily about eyes go to

https://yourpickeringchiropractors.cablog/

Why does my chiropractor care about my feet?

Why does my chiropractor care about my feet?

Why does my chiropractor care about my feet? Isn’t that what a podiatrist or chiropodist is for?
Another good question, why should a chiropractor care about feet?
There are several good reasons why as a chiropractor I am interested in feet. Most obviously, feet are the first thing that make contact with the ground and as such have a bearing on what occurs above them I.e, your ankles, your knees, hips and even your back and neck, areas you might expect me to be more interested in.

Why does my chiropractor care about my feet: Posture
If we take someone with flatter feet, meaning the arch on the inside of the foot is lower or absent altogether, this can cause the ankle to roll in when walking or running, causing more forces to be applied to the inside of the knee, tight muscles at the hip and weak glutes. This can lead to increased or imbalanced stresses at the lower back and other compensatory changes in the upper back and neck.

Why does my chiropractor care about my feet: Musculoskeletal conditions
A couple of common conditions we also see in the feet are plantar fasciitis and fat pad syndrome, these typically present as heel pain, either first step of the day or after rest( plantar fasciitis) or with prolonged activity (fat pad). These are conditions that as chiropractors we can easily manage and help educate the patient to manage at home. This might involve exercises for the muscles of the feet or lower legs, custom or off the shelf orthotics shoe inserts, heat or ice.

Why does my chiropractor care about my feet: Neurological conditions
Have you ever wondered why I may check sensation in your feet? I usually check 3 ways, with a very light touch using a tissue, with a sharp object ( paper clip or pinwheel) and lastly checking vibration sense with a tuning fork. Why do I do this? Checking three types of sensation checks three different pathways of the nervous system from the foot to the brain, a problem feeling these sensations tells me something about where the problem may be. Most often with someone with back pain it might mean that a disc is putting pressure on the nerves going to and coming from the feet. It might also be a sign that someone who is diabetic is having a worsening of their condition and are at greater risk of injury be it from lack of balance because they can’t feel the ground under their feet or from cuts to the feet or toes that may not heal well and cause ulceration.

I hope that briefly explains why a chiropractor might care about your feet.
If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask, or show me your feet.
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https://yourpickeringchiropractors.ca

Why does my chiropractor care about my skin?

Why does my chiropractor care about my skin?

I am a lecturer at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto.One of the areas I lecture in is on Dermatological conditions or skin conditions. So why does my chiropractor care about my skin? My students often ask me the same thing, why do we need to learn this stuff? We’re musculoskeletal specialists not dermatologists.

Why does my chiropractor care about my skin?
Well my answer to why does my chiropractor care about my skin? Is about 6 hours of lecture and 400+ powerpoint slides long, so for the sake of this blog I will limit this considerably.

As chiropractors we see a lot of skin, and skin often in areas that you are not often able to see easily, i.e. your back, the top of your head or even the soles of your feet. As chiropractors we are also primary contact healthcare providers, meaning we don’t require a referral from another provider prior to a patient attending our office, anyone and any problem can and often walks in. Patients we see on a regular basis, we may identify a skin lesion that is new or one that has changed recently.
Back to the skin, the main things we worry about are the more serious ones, skin cancers, diabetic ulcers or infection of some type.

As I mentioned we see a lot of skin, early skin cancers are not too difficult to identify and the earlier they’re caught the better and most often are not an issue, but sometimes it’s difficult to see your own back.

One early type of skin cancer is called Actinic Keratosis, these are found in sun exposed areas in middle aged and older people and often look like an abrasion or scab that doesn’t heal. These are usually taken care of with liquid nitrogen or excision.

The other two most common skin cancers are also found in sun exposed areas in middle aged or older people and are due to cumulative sun exposure, fair haired/fair skinned people who burn in the sun are more susceptible. These lesions can be red raised lesions or ulcerations in those areas and will require surgical removal.

The least common of the three but most concerning is malignant melanoma. This type of skin cancer is more deadly, can affect younger adults and can occur anywhere on the body. This is the type where we get concerned about certain black moles on the body. Most often moles are benign lesions but, new moles or moles that change are of concern.

We use the mnemonic ABCDE when looking at these moles:
A- Stands for Asymmetry- is the mole symmetrical like a circle or oval? No, more likely to be concerning
B- Stands for Border- are the borders smooth or rough and jagged ? No, more likely to be concerning
C- Stands for Colour- is the mole a uniform single colour or multi-coloured? No, more likely to be concerning.
D- Stands for Diameter – is the mole less than 6mm? If more than 1cm, more likely to be a concern.
E- Stands for Evolution and Elevation- is it a new mole or changing mole? Is a previously flat mole that is now elevated above the skin? If yes more likely to be a concern.
If you have any concerning skin lesion s don’t hesitate to ask your chiropractor or family doctor about them, the earlier the better.

I hope that explains why my chiropractor cares about my skin.
For more information check here: https://www.melanomanetwork.ca/
http://www.canadianskincancerfoundation.com/

For more blogs visit here https://yourpickeringchiropractors.cawhy does my chiropractor care about my skin?

What is a chiropractor going to do with an elbow?

What is a chiropractor going to do with an elbow?
Indeed, what is a chiropractor going to do with an elbow, aren’t they just for backs? No, not necessarily as a chiropractor I deal with all musculoskeletal conditions and that folks includes an elbow.

What is a chiropractor going to do with an elbow is the question. A common injury I see in my office is Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis/epicondylosis ( the fancy term for inflammation or injury to the forearm muscles attaching to the back/lateral side of the elbow). Tennis elbow, the most common elbow injury gets its name from the advent of tennis in the 1800’s when participants using a single hand back hand shot would strain the extensor muscles on the back of the forearm.

Rarely today is tennis the cause of tennis elbow likely due to better racquet materials and a two-handed back hand, but the name stuck. Tennis elbow can be caused by an acute injury such as lifting a heavy parcel, using heavy hand tools, when golfing and golf or other activities with a forceful strain on the forearm muscles. The condition can also arise from a repetitive or chronic activity, material handling professionals, operators, or any job or activity where the fingers, wrists and hands are used repetitively.

The patient with tennis elbow will have pain and tenderness just above the elbow and into the back/outside of the forearm ( if you are standing with your arms extended and palms facing forward, this is location of the pain.) The person will have pain with extending their wrist backwards, gripping, lifting or twisting.

The condition occurs when there is excessive force at the attachment point for the forearm muscles at the elbow irritating the bone-muscle intersection causing inflammation and pain. There are often knots, trigger points or tender areas in the forearm muscles where layers of muscle have become” glued” down to each other and can’t slide over one another and thus increasing the stress on the bone-muscle intersection.

The condition tends to be a nagging one because let’s face it you need to use your hands somewhat regularly.

Back to our question, what is a chiropractor going to do with an elbow?
In this case part of our assessment will be to examine the area to determine if indeed the problem is due to the elbow or is the pain coming from another area, the neck for example or shoulder or wrist, all can produce pain in the elbow.

If we assume that yes, it is tennis elbow, treatment will involve manual therapy at the elbow and likely wrist, soft tissue massage to the muscles, ultrasound or other modalities, home exercises when pain-free, icing and the provision of brace.

With this kind of treatment this condition need not be a chronic one.
I hope this answers the question, what is my chiropractor going to do with my elbow?
Tennis elbow is but one of the conditions as a chiropractor I deal with everyday.
For more information on elbows http://hollandboneandjoint.com/sports-related-injuries

For more blogs visit here https://yourpickeringchiropractors.ca

Why does my chiropractor care if I smoke?

Why does my chiropractor care if I smoke?
As a chiropractor why do I care if my patients smoke? I mean it’s not like I’m treating their lungs or heart, right? Well no directly I’m not. I will have some effect on your lung function, what? How? By working on your upper back, rib cage and muscles of respiration we can improve the mechanics of breathing.
Now back to smoking, why does my chiropractor care if I smoke?

Smoking isn’t just for hearts and lungs any more, smoking or more accurately nicotine( so vaping counts) causes a reduction in blood and nutrient flow to the discs between the spine and the spine itself, now the blood supply to these structures is rather limited to start with and some of the nourishment occurs only by nutrients being transmitted to these structures. This can result in degenerative changes to the spine. Should this happen over a long period of time you may then need a spinal fusion surgery, continuing to smoke will result in a poorer surgical outcome.

Smoking will reduce bone formation leading to a greater risk of spinal fracture especially women who may already have lower bone density due to menopause. If there is a fracture, naturally that fracture will now heal slower as well due to decreased blood flow and decreased bone formation to repair the break.

Let’s leave the effects of smoking on your bones and spine and wonder why else does my chiropractor care if I smoke. If you recall smoking can affect blood flow to certain tissues is rather limited, this would hold true for things like ligaments that connect bones together say in your knee. Smokers who injure their knee ligaments requiring surgical repair will again have poorer outcomes post-surgery and may need revision surgeries later on. Not fun.

Why else does my chiropractor care if I smoke? Smoking has been shown to be one of the strongest environmental risk factors for developing rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, progressive, debilitating and disfiguring form of arthritis, a form of autoimmune reaction characterized by inflammatory joint dysfunction. Eagle Glen Frey recently passed away due to complications related to RA treatment and its subsequent co-morbidities.

So why does my chiropractor care if I smoke? Because I care about you and your overall health.
For more blogs visit here https://yourpickeringchiropractors.ca

Running shoes, running, running injuries and chiropractic care

Running shoes, running, running injuries and chiropractic care.
I need new running shoes. At my family’s request to add more fitness options we purchased a treadmill to extend the running season as no one in my family ( sheepishly I include myself here) are too keen to be running outside in the snow, snow shoeing is an altogether different activity.

So the giant box arrives and my son and I assemble the beast. This was made more difficult than it needed to be by two Lego lovers who should follow instructions better.
That aside, I needed new running shoes. This for me is about as appealing as Christmas shopping, there are too many choices, too many features, most of which are not suitable for many people.

There had been a trend to minimalist running shoes, shoes that were barely there to benefit people who wanted to get in on the barefoot or toe running trend that had been prevalent of late. I am not one of those people, at 190+ pounds minimalist shoes are not for me and I have not trained myself to be a forefoot running person.
If in the market for new running shoes for the purpose of running I would recommend you visit a running specialty store at least to have a discussion of what type shoe or even brand of shoe works for you, also bring your old shoes with you for the sales associate to look at.

Simple tips that you can apply if you’re shoe shopping.
Arches- Do the arches of your feet rest on the floor when you’re weight bearing, i.e you have flat feet? Then a shoe that has more support on the inside of the shoe are better, how can you tell if a shoe has more support for the arch? Grab a shoe and try to wring it out like a dish rag, can you? This is probably not a shoe for you. More supportive shoes often have an insert of some other material in the arch area. Second squeeze the heel, can you squeeze the sides together or are they stiff? Stiffer shoes won’t allow your ankle to roll in as much keeping a more neutral position.

Weight-Are you like me and are a heavier runner, you might want a more cushioned shoe, when you run you are landing with a force usually 2.5 times your weight again and again, in a mile you make approximately 2000 of those impacts, so you can see how cushioning might play a role. Also keep in mind that the foam will deteriorate with time and impact so you probably need to replace those shoes more often, as often as every 3 months depending on mileage.

Try before you buy- Before you shell out big bucks, try the shoes out, go for a short jog in the store, wear them for a bit. If they’re uncomfortable in a few minutes they’re not for you.

Size-Get sized, just like women’s clothes, a size 10 from one manufacturer may not be the same as another.

Don’t shop by fashion, colour, brand or price.

What does this have to do with chiropractic? As I mentioned running puts a lot of force through your joints, from your feet all the way up the legs to the knees, hips and eventually your spine. Starting to run is a big change for your body. Injuries to runners occur when you make a change of more than 10% to any running parameter, distance, speed, stride length etc. As a chiropractor I can help your body manage this change and the forces inherent with running.
For my other blogs in this series or other topics visit here https://yourpickeringchiropractors.ca

Careers that benefit from regular chiropractic care, PART 4: Professional drivers

Regular chiropractic care and professional drivers

Careers that benefit from regular chiropractic care part 4: Professional drivers
In my last blog in this series I talked about our emergency personnel benefitting from regular chiropractic care.
In this issue I will discuss another group of workers who benefit from regular chiropractic care.

This group are our professional drivers, transit employees be they bus drivers, train engineers and subway and streetcar operators, truck drivers, taxi drivers and couriers. These drivers spend their working day behind the wheel of large vehicles responsible for the safety of many passengers and expensive cargo.
These drivers have a number of risk factors for developing back and neck pain in common; constant vibration from the road or rail, prolonged postural stresses leading to postural muscle fatigue, jarring forces from the road or rails and the constant stresses of driving.

Let’s take truck drivers for example, long haul truck drivers can often be driving for 14 hours at a stretch. While they are often using a specialized seat that aims to limit road forces to them, they are only so effective, the truck’s suspension is primarily there to support the load in the trailer, not the driver. As such much of the vibration is transmitted to the driver. The constant vibration of driving has been identified as a risk factor for back pain and the development of osteoarthritis in the spine.
The next group of drivers then should not be a surprise then, bus drivers more so public transit than luxury coach drivers I’m thinking of here, although coach drivers will still be at risk. Public mass transit buses are not built for comfort, most of us who have taken a public bus can attest to the rough ride. The drivers don’t fare much better, they often to have an air suspended seat, but these are not one size fits all and since the bus is operated by many drivers over a week they often will end up with back pain due to the poor designs and often age of the equipment.

Train operators be they subway operators don’t have specialized seats, however they don’t get as many jarring surfaces, subway operators will however have vibration and the jerky motion of the train can often produce back and neck pain. Commuter train operators have a specialized seat however they often are at risk of lateral sway of the vehicle causing a “side-lash” or side whiplash do to the often violent lateral movement of the train.

I often see these drivers regularly as a preventative measure and often as the result of a work-place injury to the neck or back. Regular chiropractic care can limit the negative effects of constant stress, muscle tightness, vibratory and jarring impacts to the spinal joints due to prolonged periods of sitting and muscular fatigue.
If you know of a professional driver who could benefit from my care please don’t hesitate to have them contact me.
For my other blogs in this series or other topics visit here https://yourpickeringchiropractors.ca