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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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.
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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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Careers that benefit from regular chiropractic care: Part 3

Careers that benefit from regular chiropractic care, is series I’ve spoken on before, last time out it was health care providers.

In a similar vein, this blog’s careers that can benefit from regular chiropractic care concerns our first responders, our emergency personnel, police, paramedics and fire fighters.

Why would a police officer benefit from regular chiropractic care? Let’s think about some of the tasks a police officer might do on a regular basis. There may be a lot of time spent in a car, wearing a belt that may make an ideal sitting position impossible, both scenarios can lead to lower back pain. The job can be very physical at times and may also be caught unawares. Having properly functioning joints and muscles means that you have reserve capacity in those muscles and joints if a situation places you in a suboptimal position.

careers that benefit from regular chiropractic care
I have many paramedics who come for chiropractic care regularly, if you think about this occupation, there’s a lot of lifting involved. One of my veteran paramedics likes to say, “ they haven’t been making the patients lighter over the years”. Again another situation where having a properly functioning spine is necessary to carry out the duties of the occupation.

As one could imagine, firefighters are not particularly kind to their spines or other joints for that matter. In my internship year I was part of a study to educate firefighters about their spines, basic anatomy, proper postures when able and when to seek help. This simple education session resulted in nearly 75% reduction in days lost to injury. Similar to police officers, we want firefighters to have the reserve capacity to respond in a non-ergonomic fashion should the emergency require it, regular chiropractic care can help to make sure that they are functioning at their best.

A common theme for these three careers that benefit from regular chiropractic care is stress. Regular chiropractic care, regular exercise, breathing techniques, are all ways to reduce the stress of these high-stress careers.

careers that benefit from regular chiropractic care

For my other blogs in this series or other topics visit here

Back to school means buying backpacks

Back to school means buying backpacks

We’re getting close to what some parents will refer to as, “ the most wonderful time of the year”, when our kids return to school. Back to school invariably also means back to school shopping, and often at the top of the list is a new backpack.

Back to school means buying backpacks

For some this will be their first back pack and for others a replacement for the holey, tattered mess that barely survived the year.

Here are some tips for buying, packing and wearing a backpack.

What to buy:   Several things to consider here, size, fit and features.

If your child is a kindergartner, the back pack should be roughly the same size as their back, so a considerably smaller backpack than the one your teen needs. Look for padded shoulder straps that can be adjusted to fit snug to their back, and internal pockets. Lighter materials are better such as nylon or canvas.

Older students, can have a larger bag, look for reinforced bottoms, padded backs, internal laptop sleeves, straps at the waist and chest will help to lessen the load on the back.

How to pack the bag:

This is important because the recommendation for those children under 10 years is that they carry no more than 10% of their body mass, that includes the weight of the bag itself! Older kids can have up to 15% of their body weight in the backpack, think about that for a minute, a 200 pound teenage boy should still only carry 30 pounds in their backpack! Check your child’s bag many high schoolers will have twice that, not good for a growing spine. A lot of this weight can be reduced by limiting a lot of junk from the bag, also bringing home and to class only what you need. Sometimes provisions can be made for students to have 2 sets of textbooks one for school and one for home if they’re having pain associated with carrying heavy textbooks back and forth from school.

Pack the bag with the heaviest items at the back closest to the body and use the pockets to distribute the load.

Wearing the bag:

Wear the bag with both straps, even though it’s cool not to, adjust the straps so they’re snug keeping the bag close to the body, not hanging way back and low like a teen boy’s pants.

As always if your child experiences any back pain, give me a call and we can assess the problem for any concerns.

For blogs on other topics, go to https://yourpickeringchiropractors.ca

Heart Rate

A common question people ask when we discuss exercise is “ how do I know if I’m exercising hard enough?”. What should my heart rate be?

A reasonable question, it can be explained in a number of ways and may differ depending on the exercise goal. Most often we use heart rate as the measuring stick to determine the intensity of exercise, makes sense the harder you work the greater the need for your body tissues for oxygen and fuel, the faster your heart needs to beat to bring the oxygen and fuel around to the various tissues through the blood. We can also use breathing rate, more on that later. The intensity you exercise at is termed the training zone. This is merely a range of heart rate you should be working at to achieve a particular goal.

For example a person having a goal of increasing their cardiovascular endurance may have a different training zone than someone primarily interested in weight loss. Note that any exercise is beneficial for either population but there may be more bang for your buck at certain heart rates.

So how do you calculate your training zone? Typically we use a percentage of your maximal heart rate, well great but what is my maximum heart rate? We use a theoretical maximum of 220 beats per minute minus your age, so at 40 years old your maximum heart rate is 180 beats per minute.

Now that we know the maximum heart rate we need to be able to measure your heart rate, the easiest location is at the carotid artery at the side of the neck, to find this artery, slide your fingers backwards from the mid-line of the neck until you feel it, alternately you could use the radial pulse on the thumb side of the wrist just below the base of the thumb. The higher tech way would be to use a heart rate monitor which uses a sensor strap around the chest and wirelessly feeds the information to a watch. The advantage here is you can save this information to your computer and track your progress.

Now we know how to measure our heart rate, where should it be during exercise? To train your heart for endurance typically you want to work at a higher intensity of 70-90% of maximum , for more fat burning a lower intensity of 50-70% of maximum.

Another way to measure exercise intensity which is proven to be accurate, (actually a method developed by a University of Toronto professor I had) is the talk test. Simply to check if you’re exercising at a moderate intensity of 50%-70% you should be able to carry on a conversation without being breathless, if you are at a higher intensity you would be unable to carry on a conversation.

Put one of these methods to the test the next time you’re exercising and see if you’re at the right intensity for your particular fitness goal.

For further blogs go here https://yourpickeringchiropractors.ca

Careers that would benefit from chiropractic care: Part one

Careers that would benefit from regular chiropractic care: Part one

Working on my own home the last few weeks has enlightened me as to certain professional tradespeople who would benefit from regular chiropractic care.

I have been doing a good deal of painting, drywall installation and having electrical wiring done at my home lately and man have I been stiff and sore. The positions needed for performing some of these tasks, painting a ceiling for example leave a lot to be desired from a chiropractic perspective.

This kind of overhead activity causes extension of the neck which compresses the joints in the back of the spine. So what you say? Well prolonged extension postures will cause inflammation of the joints and subsequent local irritation of the nerves and muscles. This will produce muscle contraction reinforcing the compression of the joint and producing a vicious circle of joint irritation and muscle stiffness.

Our bodies are pretty good at hiding this from us, for a time, there may be small hints that this is occurring such as morning stiffness, more pain or stiffness as the day goes on, or headaches. At some point this will translate into pain and dysfunction. For tradespeople often not working means not getting paid.

Careers that would benefit from chiropracitc care: Part one

Other workers who do a lot of overhead work such as electricians, in addition to having potential neck issues will also need to focus on their shoulders. Shoulders or more specifically the tendons of rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder are at risk of being impinged and worn with prolonged activities, potentially resulting in a degenerative rotator cuff tear.

My rationale for writing this, is to encourage those of you who are tradespeople who do physical work daily to receive regular chiropractic care and not let the vicious cycle of joint dysfunction result in disability and time off work.

Give me a call let me keep you on the job.

Dr. Kevin Finn 905-831-3939   For other careers that would benefit from chiropractic care visit  https://yourpickeringchiropractors.ca


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Frozen shoulder

Frozen Shoulder: The What, Where, Why,  When and What to do about it

This common shoulder problem is clinically referred to as “adhesive capsulitis”, or sticky joint. This problem is very common affecting 5% of the population at any one time and results in pain and a severely limited ability to move the shoulder.

What causes it?

– Most of the time there is no identifiable cause. Other times a simple trauma or sprain/strain may be the initiating event.

Who gets it?

– Women are more often affected than men, however men tend to have a slower recovery. Usually middle aged or older.

-Those with heart disease and diabetes ( both type 1 and type 2) are more often affected.

What is it?

-The shoulder capsule ( like a bag around the shoulder joint) becomes thickened, tightened, and stuck on the top of the upper arm bone, the humerus.

-This results in the arm’s movement being severely restricted in all movements.

There are 3 stages of the condition, “ Painful stage”, “Frozen stage” and “thawing stage” with the 3 stages lasting 1-30 months.

If I have it what do I do about it?

– Early intervention, waiting allows for increased adhesion, for this problem I employ a variety of tools; manual therapy ( moving the joint to improve movement) electrical modalities to inhibit tight muscles, instrumented soft tissue work to break down the adhesions and promote healing, co-management with the family physician. Chiropractic adjustments are used to maintain motion of spinal and rib joints associated with the shoulder girdle.

Patients themselves will also have a lot of work to do, icing, stretching and mobilizing the shoulder at home.

If you think you have frozen shoulder or know someone who does, give me a call, send me an email message, or find me on twitter or facebook, I can help you get through this trying condition.

Dr. Kevin Finn 905-831-3939   https://yourpickeringchiropractors.ca


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What does a Chiropractor do?



What does a chiropractor do?

What does a chiropractor do?

This is my second blog post, hopefully after the last one you have a bit better understanding of disc related back pain. So what does a chiropractor do?

The other night my 8 year old son asked for some help with a school project, “ what does your parent do”. So in describing what a chiropractor is and does I thought this would be a good blog topic. Perhaps it should have been the first post but here it is nonetheless.

A chiropractor is a doctor who’s area of specialization is with the joints, muscles and nerves of the body, primarily but not restricted to the spine. A chiropractor is a drugless healthcare provider, using a hands on manual therapy approach to restore function, reduce pain and improve quality of life for people having musculoskeletal problems, back pain, neck pain, headaches, sprains and strains etc.

Chiropractors attend a chiropractic college or university for 4 years after completing an undergraduate university degree. Courses in anatomy, physiology, pathology, biomechanics, microbiology, radiology, x-ray taking among others occur during their first 3 years. Don’t forget most importantly the hands on chiropractic care is intensely focussed on during these first three years. This is followed by a one year internship program treating patients under the supervision of a licensed chiropractor.

Chiropractors will then go on to  practice in a number of settings, solo, group, interdisciplinary(multiple different health care providers) , some will continue in research and the profession has 12 research chair professorships across the country. The federal government established research chairs in general to attract and create world class research centres in Canadian Universities. Others like myself will also teach at chiropractic colleges, something I do on  a part-time basis two days a week. In this role I instruct not only the hands on manual therapy chiropractors are known for but also diagnositic skills, symptom based diagnosis and case based simulation.

Stay tuned for more blogs at https://yourpickeringchiropractors.ca