Avoiding Back Pain From Shovelling In This Weather

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Canada has been experiencing a very brutal winter, with recording-breaking snowfall in Newfoundland and Ontario. The Canadian military has even been summoned to help entire communities blanketed out by the devastating blizzards that have marked this snow season.

As you shovel out the piles of snow digging out your buried car, there is a real risk you will over-exert yourself and end up hurting your back. It is important to take care of yourself and avoid adding to the toll this snow season has already caused.

 

The Risk Of Lower Back Pain From Shovelling Snow

lower back pain Toronto

St. John’s International Airport in Newfoundland recorded a jaw-dropping 30 inches of snow on the third Friday of January 2020. That is a lot of snow to shovel off your front door. The record snowfall left the region, as well as a lot of people’s back health, in a state of emergency. But is shovelling snow really that dangerous for your health?

Shovelling snow is a frequent cause of back pain. It is an intensive exercise that stretches your physical endurance and will hurt you if you are not used to such heavy work. However, even for the fittest people, excessive snow shovelling puts undue strain on your musculoskeletal system. The lower back is particularly susceptible to injury and pain. Other excessive snow shovelling risks on your back include vertebral disc damage and even spinal fractures.

Tips For Avoiding Back Pain Issues From Shovelling Snow

While it is true that your snow-covered driveway isn’t going to clear itself, it is important to know just how much strain your lower back can take. The following tips will help you take care of your back as you try to deal with the heavy snowfall that has accompanied the current Canadian winter season:

  1. Pace Yourself. Avoid working yourself into the ground as your back may be unable to handle the excessive physical exertion. Pace yourself by taking regular breaks,
  2. Wear clothes that will allow you to move your body freely. As it’s winter, you want to ensure you layer up so you can keep warm while you work. But don’t layer up so much that it’s difficult to move your body comfortably as you work,
  3. Use a light, plastic shovel. The snow is already too heavy that you should again use a heavy tool. Plastic shovels are lighter than steel ones and will reduce pressure on your lower back,
  4. Get your technique right. Shovelling snow using the wrong technique exposes you to back injuries. Place your hands properly on the shovel, making sure there isn’t too little space between your two hands. Also, ensure adequate balance by spreading your legs to shoulder width so you can use your stronger leg muscles to lift and throw snow.
  5. Don’t throw snow over your head. In the heat to get your driveway cleared quickly, you may think to shovel snow over your head. Don’t do it. Moving your body in awkward, unnatural ways increases the risk of injury,
  6. Clear snow while it’s still fresh and light. Snow will get heavier the longer it stands. By clearing it early, you avoid shovelling snow when it is heavier and more taxing on your body.

How do you know if you strained your back?

 

You will know you have hurt your back if you experience sharp back pain. Other signs of lower back strains include stiffness in your back and the subsequent inability to maintain your normal posture. You will also face difficulty moving freely and making swift turns. Muscle spasms are another symptom of lower back sprains. But can you manage the pain on your own?

How do you relieve back pain from shovelling snow?

 

Your ability to manage back pain on your own depends largely on its severity. If the pain is only mild, adding Epsom salt to your warm baths after shovelling snow can soothe a painful back. Ice also works, but try alternating it with warm baths.

Eating well is another way of soothing back pain. Protein-rich foods, especially, help to promote muscle recovery. Importantly, though, stop shovelling snow the moment you start experiencing back pain. Again, avoid the chore completely if you have a pre-existing back injury. You don’t want to aggravate an old injury by taking on such a physically demanding task.

Use Physical Therapy To Manage Back Pain

Physical therapy, as well as chiropractic care and deep tissue massage, have all been proven to help heal back pain. Make an appointment with a certified physiotherapist to arrange a treatment plan for your back pain.

St. Clair Physiotherapy Clinic is a specialist physical therapy clinic in Toronto that uses different physiotherapy techniques to treat physical pain. Contact us today to start your treatment.

Massage Therapy Benefits for Stress (Can A Massage Really Improve Your Mood?)

Massage therapy has many benefits, but many of them are mostly physical. A few of these include reduced muscle tension, improved blood circulation, improved joint flexibility and mobility,  muscle pain relief, faster recovery from injury, and even a better skin tone. These benefits are widely accepted. What is perhaps less understood are massage therapy benefits for stress.

Could a well-timed rub-down relieve stress and improve your mood?

Do Massages Help Relieve Stress?

Studies prove massage therapy has both physical and psychological benefits. A review paper by the NCBI that analyzed the major literature published on massage therapy benefits for stress established there were reductions in salivary cortisol from single massage treatments. High levels of the salivary cortisol hormone are accepted as a biological marker for elevated stress levels.

However, the review paper by the NCBI did not prove a sustained reduction in stress levels from repeated massage treatments. But as the body of research around massage benefits for stress develops, what cannot be disputed are its indirect benefits. One is the ability to lift a person’s mood:

Massage Therapy Can Ease Symptoms In Anxiety And Panic Disorder Sufferers

It follows that a sick person will have more to worry and be anxious about than a healthy person. If a massage can help relieve physical pain, it is fair to conclude that it will also, as a result, lift a patient’s mood.

Tied to massage therapy’s benefit for body relaxation is its ability to regulate your reaction to stressful situations. This is known as the fight-or-flight response whose incidence is overly high in people suffering from anxiety and panic disorders.

Sufferers of the disorders display responses that are far too disproportionate to the threat faced. Common signs of stress include anger, irritability, restlessness, lack of motivation, and sadness.

By relaxing the muscles, massage therapy counters the common signs of the fight-or-flight response. A few of these are heightened heart rate, shortness of breath, and excessive sweating. This is known as the relaxation response whose effect shows in reduced tension and a generally improved mood.

Other non-physical massage benefits include improved sleep quality (stressed, anxious, and depressed people generally struggle to sleep, which can degenerate into insomnia) and improved feelings of love, care, and comfort.

Massage Therapy Increases The Production Of Natural ‘Feel-Good’ Hormones

Massage therapy has been proven to encourage the release of serotonin and dopamine – the so-called ‘feel-good’ hormones or neurotransmitters. The two hormones help the body relax, which in turn promotes relief from stress.

Serotonin controls mood and social behavior. Dopamine helps us begin movement and speech as well as raise our expectations of reward. This helps us get more out of our different activities, lifting our moods.

What Massage Is Best For Stress?

There are literally hundreds of different massages, many of which you may not even know of, depending on where you live. Should we assume that all these will help with stress management?

Not really. While some will have several benefits, different massages have different benefits. These, as we have said, could be muscle relaxation, pain relief, and enhanced athletic performance. The following massages are regarded as the best for stress-relief:

  • Swedish massage. This massage warms muscle tissues and releases toxins. The massage is marked by longer and slower strokes. It is its ability to relax the body that makes this massage so effective for stress relief.
  • Thai massage. This one combines acupressure, yoga, and Ayurvedic techniques to release muscle tension. It is a deep tissue massage where the therapist will pull and stretch along your body’s ‘energy lines to stimulate your internal organs.
  • Aromatherapy massage. Here, aromatic oils and herbs are used to stimulate the senses. The limbic system which is related to our sense of smell is known to control stressful behavior. It is also the part of the brain that deals with memories, emotion, and stimulation, which the aromatherapy massage seeks to regulate.
  • Hot stone massage. This type of massage uses heated stones to relax muscles and ease tension without applying any deep pressure. Muscle relaxation is what eases stress.
  • Prenatal massage. Less a type of massage and more massage techniques deemed safe for pregnant women, the goal here is to reduce the effect of physical conditions that generally come with pregnancy. These, including swelling, aches and pains, and back pain, which are major sources of stress for mothers-to-be.

How do you handle stressful situations? From folk knowledge and the available research, it seems a visit to the spa has a good chance to lift low moods and relieve stress. If, as we have found, it does work for stress management, where do you go for a good massage?

People in Toronto trust the certified masseuses at St. Clair Physiotherapy for both their therapeutic and recreational massages. These experienced massage therapists use the latest techniques to untie those pesky knots in your muscle tissue to help you control stress. Contact us here to book a consultation.

Insurance Covered Physiotherapist Services: What Are Your Funding Options?

Recovery from injury or surgery places extreme demands on both the mind and the physical body. Depending on the extent of injury or complexity of the surgery, recovery can be long and painful, especially without the help of an insurance covered physiotherapist.

Physiotherapy involves the use of physical exercises and counseling to improve health and mobility and to speed up recovery from injury or illness. Seeking physiotherapy early also significantly lessens the chances of developing chronic pain. But primary healthcare is expensive, let alone allied healthcare services such as physiotherapy.

Sadly, many patients fail to access much-needed physical therapy services because they simply can’t afford it. There are also cases where patients don’t have information on alternative funding sources they could take advantage of. Perhaps before we even get to funding options, let’s answer the question you are probably asking already:

Does Health Insurance Cover Physiotherapy?

In Canada, physiotherapy is classified under primary healthcare. This underlines the importance with which this branch of healthcare is treated. By implication, this classification impresses upon different insurance providers the necessity of ensuring coverage for physiotherapy care.

But while the common assumption is that physiotherapist services are covered under your employer’s insurance, the reality is there are parts of the population that aren’t covered. This applies to both the private or the free healthcare plans run by provincial governments. Many patients have to pay for physiotherapy out of pocket or buy personal health insurance plans.

Insurance Coverage Options for Physiotherapist Services

While insurance coverage for physiotherapist services is not guaranteed, people living in the different provinces of Canada do have options they can explore to ensure coverage. Below we will look at the various ways patients in Ontario can access insurance coverage for physiotherapist services:

Physiotherapy Coverage Under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)

The Ontario provincial government, through its Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, runs the Community Physiotherapy Clinic Service program under OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan). Under this plan, patients can access free physiotherapy care at select clinics dotted across Ontario.

Sadly, though, not everyone is covered under OHIP. In fact, a large part of the population is omitted. And even for those that qualify, there are conditions that must be satisfied. To qualify for OHIP coverage, the following applies:

  • You must be aged below 19 years or over 65,
  • You must have been referred by a physician or registered nurse,
  • You must have been recently discharged from hospital where you sought treatment for the condition that physiotherapy would speed up recovery from
  • The physiotherapy must be directly related to the condition you were recently hospitalized for and for which there should be a referral from your doctor.

OHIP, while an excellent public health insurance plan that has also promoted the importance of physiotherapy for faster recovery from injury and illness, omits coverage for the province of Ontario’s most economically active people.

The provincial government likely looks at OHIP as a social security initiative whose aim is to ensure insurance coverage for economically marginalized sections of the population. If you are aged between 19 and 65, you have to consider other funding sources for physiotherapy care. Thankfully, there are quite a few options, which we will look at below.

Physiotherapy Coverage Through Personal Health Plans

Even for those that qualify for OHIP coverage, it goes without saying that if you are looking for comprehensive coverage or more personalized care, you will have to buy a personal/private health insurance plan. Private health plans, though, aren’t free and can be expensive. Not everyone can afford private health insurance.

Personal health insurance coverage is not specified for physiotherapy. It is lumped together under paramedical cost, which also covers chiropractic care, massage therapy, and naturopathy. Coverage is usually medically underwritten or offered under guaranteed issue. There are fundamental differences between the two:

  • Underwritten plans require answering specific medical questions and giving the insurance provider access to your medical records. In other words, coverage is offered upon assessment of your individual health needs.
  • Guaranteed issue plans do not require any medical records nor answers to specific medical questions. However, in comparison, its coverage for both drugs and care is usually lower.

Depending on the private health plan you are under, a doctor’s referral may not be necessary. But the advice here is to not make assumptions. Check with your insurer and ask specifically what coverage entails and the different conditions you must meet to access it.

Also, check for coverage limits as these almost always apply. There are maximum limits to costs per visit and the number of visits per year. Of course, these are computed from your monthly premium. Note also that some plans may include an option for what’s called catastrophic coverage, which increases coverage for people suffering from chronic conditions or those recovering from serious injuries.

Physiotherapy Coverage Under Employee Benefits’ Plans

Like coverage under private health plans, here physical therapy is grouped together under paramedical care, which also includes massage therapy, chiropractic care, and naturopathy (where it applies). The distinction is here it is your employer that foots the bill for the health insurance.

Also known as group health insurance, employee benefits plans also place limits on the number of visits you can make to your physiotherapy clinic. There is usually also a maximum cost per visit. The good news is while coverage is usually capped, it is often enough to cover 80 – 100 % of your physiotherapy costs. A doctor’s referral is also not needed.

Motor Vehicle Accident Coverage

Under this option, insurance coverage for physiotherapist services is offered through automobile insurers. But the coverage only covers physiotherapy for injuries sustained in an automobile accident. The implication here is coverage requires a doctor’s referral.

To qualify for physiotherapy insurance coverage under the MVA option, a patient must have been hospitalized overnight for the same injuries they now require physiotherapy for. The plan also only covers people aged below 19 years and those over 65 years. 

If you are aged between 19 and 65 you can still qualify for coverage if you are already receiving benefits under the Ontario Disability Support Program or Family Works.

Do You Have Insurance Coverage For Physiotherapy Care?

Physiotherapy is absolutely critical for recovery, pain management, and faster recovery from injury or illness. It also enhances muscle function, helps relieve stress, and reduces the risk of re-injury. 

You should now be familiar with the various insurance coverage options you have to ensure funding and access to physiotherapy services. Review your options and decide which one gets you the best coverage and take advantage of physiotherapist services for faster recovery and peak physical health.

St. Clair Physiotherapy Clinic provides full services for physiotherapy care. Our doctors and certified, insurance covered physiotherapists are highly trained and experienced professionals that are trusted by patients in Toronto for high quality, effective individualized care. Contact us to book your first appointment with us.

Shockwave Therapy is the Secret Behind the Quick Recovery of Athletes

It’s no longer a reality when shockwave therapy was merely the fate of those with kidney stones. The technological breakthrough allowed athletes and sport amateurs alike to join the group of those for whom this treatment is highly beneficial. Although it has taken a while for it to come to the forefront of recreational sport, the clinical trials along with the real-life examples of athletes have proved for the therapy to be highly effective.

Generally speaking, the high-powered episodes of acoustic waves affect a specific area of the body that fails to respond well to basic remedies such as stretching and taking a prolonged rest. This innovative therapy greatly helps to revive the sore muscles and get rid of knots. What’s more, it is found to be particularly beneficial for conditions like shin splints, Plantar Fasciitis, and high hamstring tendinopathy. 

According to a Toronto chiropractor Lawrence Micheli, the shockwave therapy works in a reverse technique by exposing an athlete to the same injury yet again. This way a brand new vessel is formed, hence the damage is eradicated. Basically, the therapy involving sound waves aids the wounded body in remembering the injury it is supposed to be fighting that it has managed to get used to.      

An exemplary case is demonstrated by a 26-year old hockey player Crista Cullen, whose indescribable pain on the bottom of the foot almost put an end to her Olympic career. It was 2012 when she was getting ready for the London Olympics while attempting to find an effective remedy for her chronic Plantar Fasciitis. After giving a chance to a comprehensive course of physiotherapy, Crista decided to undergo several sessions of shockwave therapy in hopes for the best. 

The athlete was being treated by the professionals from the Basingstoke hospital in a span of three weeks to get into shape for the upcoming game. Once the three sessions that lasted around ten minutes each ended, she was able to get back to her preparations for the Olympics. The pain in Crista’s foot has been significantly lowered, which made her comeback painless and resilient as ever. 

Crista confessed that although her chronic foot condition is still there, the shockwave therapy has definitely helped her to regain control of her body and focus on the competition instead of the foot ache. She had also expressed her gratitude towards the doctors that literally saved her from resigning from the competition. The fact that she was able to train while undergoing the treatment made a huge difference in her Olympic preparations.

Crista’s case is not unique – there are dozens if not hundreds of athletes who put their trust in the shockwave therapy and did not regret it. From strike players at soccer games to Olympic champions and simple athlete amateurs, the results are equally astonishing. Notably, a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine discovered that patients with foot injuries like shin splints who were given a shockwave therapy together with a rehab scheme recovered in just 59.7 days as opposed to the 91.6 days that took to recover for those with no therapy.

Good news – the stigma surrounding shockwave therapy is slowly but surely breaking. More and more people are starting to grasp the benefits that come with it and the absence of side effects confirmed by surgeons and orthopedics. Before invoking the last resort option like surgery, we encourage you to give shockwave therapy a go. Our highly qualified therapists and naturopathic physicians at St. Clair Physiotherapy Clinic are able to treat you per the latest technologies. Book your appointment today by sending us an e-mail at info@stclairphysioclinic.com or giving us a call at 647 694-2270.

The Answer to Sustainable Health May Be in Going To A Naturopath

If you have suffered from chronic pain before, you will agree that the path back to health is often punctuated by struggle.

How to remove or shorten that struggle is the subject of many studies, which sadly have not found consensus. This is because the way we respond to treatment differs from person to person.

It is also the reason why people are now experimenting with alternative forms of treatment and disease prevention, and why you’ve decided to look up ‘naturopath Toronto’ today.

We will talk about where to find a naturopath in Toronto later in the article. Before that, let’s answer the most frequently asked questions about naturopathic medicine.

We will start with the most basic of the FAQs:

What Exactly Does A Naturopath Do?

A naturopath is a doctor who uses holistic methods and natural therapies to diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases. 

Just like your regular GP, a naturopath can order diagnostic tests, prescribe medication (even prescription drugs), and perform minor surgery. What separates them from conventional doctors is their philosophical approach to primary health care and the therapies they use. 

Generally, naturopathic doctors work to address the underlying causes of diseases. They focus on healing the person as a whole instead of isolating an organ of a body part.

NDs also place much importance on educating people on the principles of healthy living as a way of preventing diseases. In other words, by removing obstacles to health, you stay healthy.

Naturopathy advocates eschew surgery and other invasive forms of treatment. Instead, they urge naturally occurring botanical medicines, physical exercise, stress management, and other interventions that enable the body to heal itself.

Naturopathic physicians contend their multi-modal approach to primary health care is the most sustainable because it gives room for more natural treatments. This approach gets further credence from the generally accepted view that the body has an inane ability to self-heal.

Firmly consigned in the ‘prevention is better than cure’ camp, naturopaths choose the following as viable disease interventions:

  • Focus on natural products and mind-body techniques,
  • Detailed nutritional counseling,
  • Heavy prescription of physical activity,
  • Stress management.

According to the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND), to practice in Toronto, a naturopath must complete a minimum of 7 years of post-secondary education. These must include four years of specialist training at a naturopathy college. They will also have to pass comprehensive licensing tests.

Could Naturopathy Really Be The Answer To Sustainable Health?

That naturopathy is a sustainable form of treatment and healthy living isn’t a point of much disagreement. What has torched debate is the question of whether it can replace conventional medicine.

The correct assessment is that naturopathy focuses on a paradigm shift to wellness and favors a multi-modal approach whose effectiveness for individual conditions is difficult to test with randomized control trials that evidence-based medicine insists on.

Again, naturopathy can work side by side with conventional medicine and doesn’t need to replace it. That said, where pharmaceutical drugs have proven ineffective, patients often turn to naturopathy.

What Is A Naturopath Good For?

A ground-breaking study by researchers at Southern Cross University accessed the clinical benefits of naturopathy and found evidence proving its effectiveness in treating a variety of complex chronic diseases.

The conditions the study found naturopathic medicine to be effective for include:

  • cardiovascular disease,
  • musculoskeletal pain,
  • type 2 diabetes,
  • polycystic ovary syndrome,
  • Depression and anxiety

Physiotherapists have noted that naturopathy can help with faster healing from accident injuries and that it produces great relief from chronic pain. There have also been successes with conditions that pharmaceutical drugs have not succeeded in controlling, like digestive disorders, fatigue, depression, hypertension, and sleeplessness.

Patient outcomes and experiences with naturopathy still require much study. But in the few studies that have been conducted, a few themes have stood out.

In this study, which reviewed patient experiences with first-time naturopathic care for Type 2 Diabetes, patients reported naturopathic care to be:

  • Patient-centered
  • Holistic rather than diabetes (condition) focused,
  • Collaborative

These findings show naturopathy to be very effective when used for conditions like diabetes that require self-management and substantial patient engagement for successful control.

In a time where the unfolding opioid crisis is causing serious concern, naturopaths in Toronto and elsewhere can also be proud of the safety and general sustainability of the therapies they use to treat patients.

To summarize the main focus and objective of naturopathy, let’s briefly look at the main principles that guide a naturopathic doctor practicing in Toronto or elsewhere:

The Six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathy has been practiced for hundreds of years. Throughout this time, six guiding principles for the way naturopaths work have emerged and are now generally accepted. These are as follows:

  1. Belief in nature’s healing power and the body’s ability to heal itself,
  2. Importance of identifying and treating the root causes of illnesses,
  3. Utilizing natural therapies and shun invasive and toxic therapies,
  4. The doctor is an educator who teaches on the steps to achieving and maintaining health,
  5. Treating the whole person in all their physical and spiritual dimensions,
  6. A focus on wellness, overall health, and preventive care.

Is Naturopathic Medicine Safe?

The common accusation naturopaths face, especially from their counterparts in conventional medicine is that the practice lacks well-established standards of medical care. They deplore what they deem to be an approach not based on science.

But what these critics have not succeded at is proving that naturopathy itself is unsafe.

If anything, the question to ask should be on the efficacy of naturopathy treatments, which as we have already established has been proven for several chronic conditions.

What critics have cited as side effects of naturopathic medicine are rather general and will sound insignificant when analyzed against the dangerous side effects of some prescription drugs

For the avoidance of doubt, naturopathic doctors in Toronto undergo rigorous and extensive training. And to prove their therapies and methods are safe, insurance malpractice rates for NDs are among the lowest in the industry.

Our recommendation is to make your decision after a consultation with a licensed naturopath. Speaking of that, you should know what to look for in a naturopath:

How to Choose a Naturopathic Doctor in Toronto

Every naturopath practicing in the province of Ontario must have undergone four years of training in naturopathic medicine.

Beyond their specialist training, some naturopaths choose to specialize in a few areas, for example, diabetes and weight loss.

Other naturopaths may also have undergone further study that qualifies them for specializations in areas like doula, kinesiology, IV therapy, and abdominal therapy. And it is not uncommon to find NDs who have undergone conventional general practitioner training.

If you prefer to still keep your treatment options open, ask if the naturopath you are considering will be prepared to work with your regular doctor. Generally, though, naturopaths understand that their work may have interactions with conventional medicine.

Are you nursing physical injuries or struggling with chronic pain? The naturopaths at our recently opened clinic would love to help. St. Clair Physiotherapy Clinic is the latest HealthMax Clinic to open in the Greater Toronto Area. Book your appointment with one of our naturopaths today.

Shockwave Therapy Gets You Results Faster

In the past years, shockwave therapy is becoming increasingly popular as many patients are able to see quick results with just a few treatments and no side effects.

In effect, a shockwave is a transient pressure disturbance that propagates rapidly in three-dimensional space. As a non-surgical modality used to treat localized musculoskeletal pain, Shockwave therapy uses acoustic waves generated at a high frequency and a high pressure, using compressed air.

Shockwave therapy transmits these waves to muscles, tendons and ligaments through the sound head. Once these waves are transmitted into the tissues, a localized inflammatory response is created. Resulting in an increased blood flow to the area that is treated which helps encourage healing. Shockwave therapy can also break up scar tissue and adhesions.

Shockwave therapy is a multidisciplinary device used in orthopedics, physiotherapy, sports medicine, urology and veterinary medicine. As a non-surgical therapy, it does not have any need for painkillers making it ideal to speed up recovery and treat various conditions causing fast pain relief and mobility restoration from acute or chronic pain.

Shockwave Therapy treats many conditions and injuries:

Shockwave therapy can be used to treat many conditions but one of the most common conditions that are treated with shockwave therapy are tendinopathies.

Tendinopathy occurs in a muscle tendon, which attaches muscle to bone. Tendinopathy occurs with the overuse of a certain muscle causing degeneration and microscopic tearing of the tendon over time. This can cause pain and limit someone’s function.

Some examples of common tendinopathies that are seen are Achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, rotator cuff tendonitis, patellar tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.

Shockwave therapy can be used to promote healing and break up scar tissue build-up for people suffering from any of these conditions.

Highly endorsed by Physiotherapists and Chiropractors

Many Physiotherapists and Chiropractors concur that with Shockwave Therapy, they are seeing quicker improvements in symptom relief, reducing pain faster so clinicians can begin working on functional goals even quicker.

There’s growing evidence on shockwave as an effective modality for many conditions. It’s a safe, non-invasive treatment that can benefit a wide range of conditions, such as tendon injuries, golfer’s and tennis elbow, chronic heel pain, chronic ankle pain, knee pain, hip pain, trigger finger, muscle pain, tendon and ligament injuries, back pain and neck pain. What’s more, patients report successful outcomes in as little as 3 to 6 treatment sessions.

The Benefits of  Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave treatment has been proved to significantly induce the in-growth of neovascularization associated with increased expressions of angiogenic growth indicators in tendon and bone, and at the tendon-bone interface as compared with the control.

The biological mechanism of musculoskeletal shockwaves appeared to stimulate the expressions of angiogenic growth factors and induce the in-growth of neovascularization. Neovascularization may play a role in the improvement of blood supply and healing of tendon and bone.

Highly Effective and Proven Treatment for Athletes.

Especially for athletes shockwave therapy is highly effective and widely proven. It is an acoustic wave that carries high energy to painful spots and myoskeletal tissues with subacute, subchronic and chronic conditions. The energy promotes regeneration and reparative processes of the bones, tendons and other soft tissues. The kinetic energy of the projectile, created by compressed air, is transferred to the transmitter at the end of the applicator and further into the tissue.

Why Athletes Value Its Benefits

  • Chronic Inflammation Reversal: Mast cells are one of the key components of the inflammatory process. The activity is increased by using pervasive acoustic waves.
  • Collagen Production Simulation: The production of a sufficient amount of collagen is a necessary precondition for the repair processes of the damaged myoskeletal and ligamentous structures. Shockwave therapy accelerates procollagen synthesis.
  • Calcified Fibroblasts Dissolution: Calcium build-up is the result of micro-tears or other trauma to a tendon. Acoustic waves break up the existing calcifications.
  • “Substance P” Dispersion of Pain Mediator: Substance P is a neurotransmitter that mediates pain information through the C-fibers. This neuropeptide is generally associated with intense, persistent and chronic pain.

The Primary Trigger Points

Trigger points are the principal cause of pain in the back, neck, shoulder and limbs. Shockwave therapy when delivered unblocks the calcium pump and thus reverses the metabolic crisis in the myofilaments and releases the trigger points.

Ideal For Three Common Sports Injuries

Athletes who train hard for their next rigorous game also need to recover from the trauma and stress their bodies go through regularly.  To rehabilitate, there is one thing for many of them that remains constant: the use of acoustic wave therapy, to ensure optimal health as well as peak performance

Three common sports injuries that shockwave therapy can help treat include:

Knee Problems

Tendinopathies are typical diagnoses found among athletes’ knee problems. One of the most common conditions, patellar tendinopathy, can be dramatically improved by acoustic wave therapy treatment.

Elbow Injuries

Lateral elbow pain such as tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is one of the most common repetitive motion injuries today. In many recent studies, several observations reflected improvement with the use of AWT compared to placebo therapy.

Heel Pain

Although originally developed to dissolve kidney stones, acoustic wave therapy has also been known to provide optimal relief when directed from outside the body onto the heel of the foot (sending sound waves into an athlete’s foot can stimulate the body’s healing process by over-stimulating nerves, reducing sensitivity and decreasing overall pain.

Typically the required treatment for athletes consists of momentary rest and rehab so they can get back with renewed vigor to the field to compete again.

Shockwave Therapy’s quick non-invasive treatment offers quick results with no side effects. Today doctors are finding this technology can also be beneficial for other human musculoskeletal conditions too.

In Toronto, trusted shockwave therapy treatment is just a phone call away.

St. Clair Physiotherapy Clinic ideally located at and offers effective shockwave therapy treatment to patients recovering from pain and injuries.

Book your appointment today. You can get in touch with St. Clair Physiotherapy Clinic by calling 647 694-2270 or emailing  info@stclairphysioclinic.com today.

All Your Questions About Chiropractic Care – Answered By Your Trusted Toronto Chiropractor

Chiropractic care is gaining in popularity worldwide. Millions around the world continue to enjoy relief and better health by restoring the integrity of their spines and nervous systems with safe and natural chiropractic care.

Read on to find everything you wanted to know about Chiropractic care. Find the answers to all your questions, brought to you by your trusted Chiropractic care expert in Toronto.

What makes chiropractic care different?

Unlike traditional health care, where the focus is on germs and blood. Chiropractic care produces results by helping your nervous system work the way it should. Nerve pressure can cause numbness, weakness or the under – performance of organs and tissues.

Plus spinal misalignment can cause nerve tissue to stretch, chafe or become irritated.  Resulting in distorted nerve messages between your body and your brain. This means, hyperactive organ function, high blood pressure or even pain can rise.

Chiropractic care effectively reverses the situation.

Is Chiropractic care safe?

Chiropractic care is totally safe. Like many interventions, chiropractic care has some risk factor associated with it too. The vast majority of negative effects from chiropractic involve muscle soreness or pain that lasts a few hours after the adjustment.

Compared to the ill effects of drugs or surgery, chiropractic is a much safer and effective approach to cure pain. According to research, chiropractic care is safe for children.

Who can be its primary audience?

Enhanced nerve communications between your brain and your body can help everyone.

So, if you have subluxations, you could be a good candidate for chiropractic care. Modified adjusting approaches can help children, the elderly or those with specific need.

How does Chiropractic care enable the body to regulate and heal itself?

A thorough examination helps locate areas of nervous system compromise. The moving bones of the spines are common culprits. Then, specific chiropractic adjustments help reduce your body’s ability to regulate and heal itself, without surgery or drugs.

How is it different from traditional medical practices?

Modern medical approach puts chemicals into your bloodstream to change the way your body works. For instance, laxatives are used to speed up elimination, antacids to reduce stomach acid and so on. On the contrary, the focus of chiropractic care is on the integrity of your overall nervous system.

How are chiropractic doctors different?

Chiropractic care is simple, natural and honours the wisdom of your body. And it has helped millions enjoy relief and better health for more than a century. At the same time, Chiropractic doctors are well-educated and passes stringent licensing examinations before earning the right to practice. The very best doctor remove interferences to your healing ability and restore the wellness of your never system.

How much time does it take to heal?

Since chiropractic care depends on the healing abilities of each patient, results can vary from patient to patient. Every individual responds to it differently. Some detect changes in a few short days or weeks. While other may take weeks or months to show progress.

Is chiropractic treatment lifelong?Some patients opt to continue with some type of regular chiropractic checkups. These patients show up for their visits feeling great. Their interest in wellness and prevention helps make sure that once they get well, they stay well.

The 10 Benefits Of Chiropractic Care

When one is in pain, it is natural to seek action and treatment to cure the ailment. But when you go to a Chiropractor, you not only receive pain relief but an understanding of what caused the pain and how you can treat it yourself.

Chiropractic care in Toronto opens you up to incredible possibilities.

A chiropractor is a specialized healthcare professional who deals with both the diagnosis and cure of neuromuscular disorders. So in what other ways can visiting the chiropractor benefit your health? Here are the ten ways chiropractic care can help you.

1. Sleep Better

You would agree that today a lot of people suffer from sleep-related issues. When one faces a sleep problem other health risks get aggravated. Some of them are linked with mood shifts, memory, disease, learning, weight gain, and cardiovascular health.

Even long-term conditions such as dementia are linked to poor sleep. It is important for everyone to sleep better to stay healthy, so if you are dealing with insomnia, you should get in touch with a chiropractor immediately.

Chiropractic care in good hands can help patients improve their quality of rest by enhancing the nervous system’s blood flow.  Chiropractors achieve this by correcting any misplacement in the spine which helps individuals attain the right balance of their system.

2. Stress Relief

Mental and physical stress is taking a lot of toll on many people today.  Often, people aim to work longer hours and exert more physical energy, but it undoubtedly takes a toll on the body.  This exhaustion later manifests as mental stress, physical stress, or both.

Chiropractic care helps in relieving stress. A good chiropractor helps to realign the muscular and skeletal system to assist the body in working correctly. When these systems are aligned and in position is when mental and physical stress is eliminated.

It is vital for a person to acquire a balanced system so the body will feel less tense. And with that, it relays the message to the brain which is how stress is managed.

3. Enhance the Immunity System

It is important for everyone to have a healthy immune system to help fight off bacteria and viruses. When your immune system isn’t functioning properly, the system becomes too weak to battle off these viruses and that’s when people start falling ill. As a result, bad bacteria can easily infiltrate the human body.

A human’s immune system can be greatly affected by misaligned organs, cells, and tissues.

With the assistance of chiropractic care in realigning the spine, the immune system will free up and be able to protect you at full force.

4. Relief from Pain

When it comes to pain, it is one of the most obvious but also the most misunderstood. Chiropractic care is highly recommended in assisting with both neck pain and back pain.

Chiropractic care is an exceptional method for people who suffer from these discomforts.

In addition to back and neck pain, chiropractic care also helps in the treatment of ear infection, menstrual disorders, fertility issues, and gastrointestinal syndromes.

5. Uplift Mood

When your body is in balance and well adjusted your mood reciprocates and you also feel better. Regular chiropractic care help in improving mood.

Imagine, if you have a daily task such as bending over to feed a child, it can be troublesome due to lower back or hip pain. At the same time once you get pain relief, your overall mood will also increase.

This is why it is recommended to meet a chiropractor to help them with the adjustment.

6. Holistically Boost Mental Health

Your body and the messages your brain receives are inter-connected. This is why chiropractic treatment is ideal to boost mental health. Chiropractic care helps with a person’s nervous system, which includes the brain and the spine.

By using manipulation techniques, a chiropractor can help the nervous system by:

correcting chemical imbalances, reducing chronic depression, improving focus and concentration and more.

When a person feels good, their mind and body unite and respond to that positively.

7. Enhance Your Posture

The spine helps a person’s overall posture.  Enhanced chiropractic care helps improves posture by aligning both curves and tilts on the spine.

Unknowingly, your posture and balance can be greatly affected irrespective of sitting too long at a desk or sleep in an awkward position. Chiropractic care works on the spine and through spinal manipulation, a chiropractor can eliminate poor posture and leave you feeling better.

8. Lower Blood Pressure

For ages, chiropractic care has been trusted to lower blood pressure. The adjustment by chiropractic care targets a person’s nerves that are found in the upper neck.

The procedure reduces blood pressure similar to how double doses of blood pressure medications work. These are also popularly known as the Atlas adjustment.

The Atlas adjustment, also known as Atlas orthogonal chiropractic, simply realigns the cervical spine’s subluxations.

Chiropractic care performs the well-known Atlas adjustment with the use of a percussion adjusting tool. It works by dealing with sound waves in which the bone is restored gently to its normal position.

9. Better Digestion

It’s common for patients to occasionally experience bloating, gas and acid reflux. Often, these are symptoms of heartburn. According to Chiropractors, these discomforts happen because of misalignment of the vertebrae.

In simpler terms, it is the nerves calling out for acid production which causes those discomforts. These nerves are important because they run through your spine which  directly control your stomach and control its functions.

With the help of reliable chiropractic care, you can eliminate these discomforts. A good chiropractor will help  by realigning the vertebrae.

10. Enhance Your Energy

When one is dealing with pain, energy levels are likely to go down. Chiropractic treatment helps increase your energy levels by reducing your spine’s tension and freeing your nerves to assist the spine in working more effectively.

With the help of a chiropractor, your energy levels will rise exponentially and alleviate all stressful ailments.

Reliable Chiropractic Care in Toronto is just a phone call away.

St. Clair Physiotherapy Clinic ideally located at 1263 St Clair Ave W Toronto, ON M6E 1B8, offers reliable chiropractic care to patients who seek holistic healing.

Book your appointment today.

You can get in touch with St. Clair Physiotherapy Clinic by calling us at 647 694-2270 or emailing info@stclairphysioclinic.com today.

9 Amazing Benefits of Massage Therapy

We all know that a massage at the end of a long day can be just what the doctor ordered. The dim lights, peaceful room, and aromatherapeutic smells can really put your mind and body at rest. 

But, massage isn’t just for relaxing. It can do wonders for many medical issues, and many of you are turning to this method instead of medicine. It’s natural and is good for you. With such a large number of people wanting to turn things in their life more natural, it’s an excellent way to go. 

We’ve come up with a few of the beneficial aspects to massage therapy and why you should give it a try next time you face one of these medical issues. Massage therapy in Toronto is becoming a big thing, and we think you’ll be wanting to jump on the bandwagon once you’ve read through all the benefits.

Chronic Pain

This is one of the biggest reasons people decide on this kind of therapy. Whether you are suffering from arthritis or fibromyalgia, you will find that it considerably reduces pain. It’s amazing at reducing stiffness in joints and calming muscle spasms. The massages tend to make people feel much more relaxed and feel relief from their pain. 

Back Pain

Now, how many of us have suffered from back pain at some point in our life? We’d like to guess that a large majority would answer yes to that one. Some of you may have tried massage therapy and seen the incredible results it produces. 
It has been said that massage therapy is one of, if not the most, effective types of treatment for back pain. It could be just a twinge, or something more serious, and a massage will always help.

Great For Posture

Many people in this day and age have a stooped posture from many hours slaving away at a desk or on their computer. It can take its toll on your spine, and you may well be feeling uncomfortable. 

Massages can really do the trick and help to reintroduce natural movements, and over time, your body should naturally take back it’s perfect posture. This is due to the relaxation techniques used and the loosening of the muscles.

Anxiety

The amount of people who suffer from anxiety nowadays is quite astonishing. Over time it can lead to depression, which can be hard to live with. Mental stress can also cause a lot of fatigue. It’s very hard to go about daily activities when you are feeling so sleepy. 

Massages can do absolute wonders for anyone in these situations. They can greatly reduce stress; the common factor with these issues. Depression can also come about due to chronic and active pain, and we’ve already taken a look at how well it can help with those matters. It’s an excellent form of therapy to try out if you are looking to get out of your depressive or anxious state.

Sleep Better

A huge number of adults are suffering from sleep issues, big and small, these days. Waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep for hours isn’t uncommon. And it can be very frustrating.

A good massage will release serotonin in your body, which actively helps you sleep better at night. The effects can last a while too, so a session every now and then will get you back on track and have you feeling much more awake during the day.

Goodbye Headaches

Yet another common issue with folks today are chronic headaches. And it’s no wonder, due to the stressful aspects of our lives. The fact that massage  therapy relaxes and reduces stress means that the underlying cause of some headaches can be fixed.

If you are a sufferer of migraine attacks, maybe a visit to your closest massage therapist is a good idea. Migraines can be awful and affect a lot of people’s lives. During your massage, the therapist will target key points to help get rid of those nasty, debilitating pains.

Maybe your headaches are tension related. In this case, they will focus on your neck and shoulders, which usually hold a lot of tension. Relaxing and easing up these areas will get rid of those headaches for a long time to come.

Arthritis

We have already touched upon chronic pain, but we want to talk a little more about arthritis. This has to be one of the most painful diseases that exist, and so many people want relief from their daily aches and pains.

A massage therapist will target your sore joints and slowly massage them to relax the area and make you feel much better. Many think that it works better than their meds. You’ll find that you will gain back a lot of flexibility and movement in those sore joints.

Amazing for Athletes

If you are an athlete, you will know that you suffer from a lot of aches and pains caused by all the exertion and any bumps you may receive. After an event, you may feel like you need a break to recharge and relax. A massage will get you back on track to perform at your best, quicker. 

Massage therapists are also sometimes called upon to give massages before a sporting event. It can help to relax your muscles and joints, which creates more flexibility. All of this makes for a great performance out on the field.

Lower Blood Pressure

If your blood pressure is high, a massage can help to lower it. It will improve the flow of your blood, which, in turn, helps circulation and will lower your blood pressure. A much more relaxing treatment than taking pills every day. 

Give It a Try

So, next time you are thinking about which kind of therapy is best for you, why not give massage therapy in Toronto a try. The fact that its natural means you won’t be damaging your body in any way and the likelihood that it will help you is very high. It beats chemical medication any day of the week, and you’ll be feeling much more relaxed in the long run.

St. Clair Physio is one of the many Healthmax clinics located in Toronto in the St.Clair neighbourhood. St. Clair Physio specializes in physiotherapy, chiropractic care, massage therapy, shockwave therapy and laser therapy. Schedule a free consultation with one of our massage therapists today.


The 6 Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Medicine is a holistic specialty care approach to health and wellness that focuses on strengthening the interconnectedness of the body, rather than focusing on treating the disease itself.

The goal is to find the causes of illness, and how different systems in the body affect each other. Natural therapies are used to support the body in its own healing process. The bedrock of Naturopathy is the health and wellbeing of the individual.

Naturopathy is ideal for everyone, regardless of age or condition of health.  Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) are primary care doctors who are trained as specialists in natural medicine. Naturopathy draws from a wide variety of therapeutics including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, homeopathy, traditional Chinese Medicine bodywork, and counseling.

1: First Do No Harm:  Utilize the lowest possible force intervention needed to meet goals and minimize any side effects keeping the long term healing in mind.

2: The Healing Power of Nature: Human beings possess an inherent self-healing process. Naturopathy gives importance to nature’s inherent healing power to benefit the patient.

3: First Treat the Cause: Beyond just simply modify the symptoms, Naturopathy goes further to identify the underlying cause of the illness.

4: Heal the Whole Person: Identify that every individual is more than a collection of symptoms. Naturopathy takes into consideration all the elements to heal the individual.

5: Doctor As Teacher: Naturopathy takes the patient along on the recovery process. Thus the self-healing becomes much more intuitive and effortless.

6: Prevention: Naturopathy assesses risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and make appropriate interventions, in partnership with our patients, to prevent illness.

Ensuring That The Body, Mind And Spirit Are In Perfect Harmony.

Naturopathy focuses on the whole person, rather than focusing only on symptomatic treatment. Treating the person as a whole takes into account not only the physical but also the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of human beings. It emphasizes prevention and optimal health and identifies the causes of disease instead of treating the symptoms.

Whatever your ailment, Naturopathy treats you holistically.

Achieve Optimal Health…On Your Terms

From identifying the cause to stimulating your body’s internal healing mechanisms, to recommending the right remedy for recovery, Naturopathy helps you transition to a healthier, holistic lifestyle.

A Naturopath’s practice is based on a personalized, wholeness approach; the goal is to establish close doctor-patient relationships that allow us to adapt treatments to the uniqueness of each of my patients.

By facilitating your body’s own natural healing process, Naturopathy guides you in your journey to wellness by identifying and removing obstacles to your optimal health, as well as by creating a safe and supportive healing environment.

Naturopathy helps you on your journey to health and wellness. By identifying your symptoms, the ND will identify the root cause of your condition and design a customized healing plan that is tailored to meet your unique needs.  After considering you as a whole person, the ND will recommend what tests, natural medicines, and dietary and/or lifestyle changes will be most beneficial to your goals.

The Naturopathic Doctor’s Role in your Healing.

By first investigating the root cause of disease, the ND makes the patient aware of it, offers the best tools to overcome it, and teach them how to be mindful about inner healing.  Thus an ND encourages patients to take an active role in achieving their own view of wellness.

A Naturopathic Doctor’s single principle of approach is the understanding that with the right information, the body can heal itself, naturally moving toward increased health and vitality. His/her mission is to empower you with powerful lifestyle management strategies that lead to exceptional health for a lifetime. Often, the comprehensive treatment plan may include nutritional supplements, botanicals, structured diet, and lifestyle changes and more.

Many naturopaths advise lifestyle changes that involve regular exercise to ease symptoms and stabilize their lives. Plus they also recommend actively managing stress levels like relaxed breathing exercises, yoga and more.

Naturopathy Dietary Recommendations:

  • Have regular meals and take time to eat at a leisurely pace
  • Avoid missing meals or leaving long gaps between eating
  • Drink at least eight cups of fluid per day, especially water
  • Go slow on fizzy drinks and alcohol
  • Limit your intake of high-fiber food

Naturopathy Helps You Radiate From Within.

Your life goals and passions are best achieved when you are in an optimal state of health.

As a progressive medical practice, Naturopathy offers a unique health care model that integrates the best of modern science with the most effective natural therapeutics.

Many times, conventional medical treatments may not work very well for chronic conditions; they may not address the cause and only relieve symptoms. A good ND offers the combined perspective of conventional medicine and naturopathy to achieve optimal health. Often, some professional naturopaths also provide primary care services that integrate general family medicine with holistic medicine. They provide individualized plans that help patients reach their health goals with a variety of diagnostic tests and evaluations to determine the root cause of symptoms.

In Toronto, holistic health is just a phone call away.

St. Clair Physiotherapy Clinic ideally located at 1263 St Clair Ave W Toronto, ON M6E 1B8, makes naturopathic medical care accessible to people who seek comprehensive healing.

Book your appointment today.

You can get in touch with St. Clair Physiotherapy Clinic by calling us at 647 694-2270 or emailing us at info@stclairphysioclinic.com today.