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All Posts Tagged: strain

SIX BACK-SAVING TIPS FOR NEW PARENTS

Becoming a parent brings joy like no other, but it also brings a host of new challenges that test the most patient and nurturing among us. It is no secret that childbirth and the general sleep deprivation that typically accompanies caring for a baby have a profound impact on the body. In fact, musculoskeletal (MSK) complaints like back, neck and shoulder injuries are common among new parents, in part due to extra physical demands on the body. If you are currently pregnant and experiencing back pain, consider chiropractic care to help manage symptoms and improve function so that you are ready for your new arrival. Once you bring your baby home, consider the following tips, as well as talking to your chiropractor to ensure that you stay healthy, mobile and pain free throughout this huge life transition.

1. Lifting the baby

When lifting your baby from a crib, car seat or high chair, make sure to keep a neutral spine and use the proper technique to avoid injury. Use your legs, rather than your back, and bend at the knees and hips to lift gradually. Keep your feet grounded well and shoulder-width apart to balance the weight. Use a similar form when settling the baby into a crib or onto a change table. Also, if possible, try to change the baby’s diaper or clothing on a raised surface rather than on the floor or sitting awkwardly on the couch.

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IMPACT OF COLD WEATHER ON YOUR MUSCLES AND TENDONS

You may find that as the weather gets colder, you may experience more aches and pains, and even feel like your muscles are stiffer. This is even more evident for workers who work outside in the winter or individuals with certain ailments. The cold weather can increase the risk of suffering from musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries and can even increase the intensity of certain MSK conditions.

How Can the Cold Weather Impact Us?

If you live with an arthritic condition you might find that your symptoms may be exacerbated by cold weather conditions, which can keep you away from doing the activities you enjoy. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis may not react well to sudden weather or atmospheric changes, which may worsen symptoms.

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WEIGTH TRAINING THE HEALTHY WAY

 Light weights, many repetitions effective at building muscle mass.

New research is challenging traditional workout wisdom which says that heavy weight lifting is the best way to build muscle.
In the latest results from a 16-year study by McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, lifting lighter weights many times was found to be as efficient as lifting heavy weights for fewer repetitions.

In the study, two groups of experienced male weight lifters followed a 12-week, whole-body protocol. One group lifted lighter weights (≥50 per cent of maximum strength) for sets of 20-25 repetitions. The other group lifted heavier weights (≥90 per cent of maximum strength) for 8-12 repetitions. Both groups lifted to the point of failure. Gains in muscle mass and muscle fiber size were virtually identical in both groups.

It appears that fatigue is the great equalizer. At the point of fatigue, both groups would have been trying to maximally activate their muscle fibers to generate force. Lift to the point of exhaustion and it doesn’t matter whether the weights are heavy or light.

The findings are published online in the Journal of Applied Physiology:http://jap.physiology.org/content/jap/121/1/129.full.pdf

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ICE OR HEAT?

ice or heat

One of the most common questions I am asked by patients is whether they should use ice or heat on an injury. Both heat and ice improve healing by manipulating blood flow, reducing inflammation, and reducing pain. Knowing which one to use when, though, will keep you from possibly doing further damage.

Ice should be used on acute injuries (injuries that have occurred within the last 72 hours.) Its aim is to limit the body’s response to the injury. It does this by reducing further bleeding into the injured tissues, preventing or reducing swelling, and reducing muscle spasm and pain. Ice should also be used for chronic conditions (arthritis, tendonitis, overuse injuries in athletes), but after activity.

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