Comox Valley Chiropractor – Tips for your Health

Health tips from your Comox Valley Chiropractor

Prevent Falls and Stay Active with Aging October 8, 2008

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I wrote in a previous post about the public education campaign launched by the Canadian Chiropractic Association which dealt with falls prevention for the elderly. That information can be found here.

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It is well documented that injuries sustained from falls can be a huge factor affecting health into our later years. A recent study in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation demonstrates a simple home stretching routine which can help to improve functional levels.

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Previous studies have shown that walking speed declines with age, and that this is an indicator of ones risk for falls and decreasing function. This recent study tested out two simple stretches in order to measure their effect on hip flexibility, and in return their effect on walking speed.

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The two stretches were a standard calf stretch with one foot flat on the ground, and a hip flexor stretch supported in a shallow lunge position (see pictures). The stretches were done twice per day, 3 times per side and held for 45 seconds. This program went on for a total of 8 weeks.

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When measured against a control group, the stretching group showed a faster walking speed and more hip and ankle flexibility.

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It is important to note though that this study was done in a population of healthy adults with an average age of 72. We can’t extend these findings to those adults with health or joint problems. However, it does show some promise for chiropractors and other clinicians to begin to implement a simple home program with their aging patients.

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Chiropractor in Courtenay Loves Yoga! July 8, 2008

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This Comox Valley Chiropractor is a huge fan of yoga. I didn’t used to be – as a previous competitive swimmer, I was programmed to think that exercise required a heart rate of 200 bpm and a near death experience. Now that I’m a bit older, and much wiser where neuro-musculoskeletal conditions are concerned, I have revised my view of the world.

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Yoga is one of those activities which allow the body to move into postures and positions that it doesn’t normally get to do during the day. If you think of the average day in the life of an office worker, the positions which are most used are sitting, standing and maybe some walking. There could be the occasional reach or bend. But only in yoga do you get to move each joint through its full range of motion in a gentle manner.

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I firmly believe in the adage of “use it or lose it”, and I see this in practice every day in my office. If you never move your joints to the end ranges of their motion, you eventually lose the ability to do so. Yoga ensures that you maintain a full and flexible range of motion in all your joints.

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In addition, yoga will also build strength and stability, and it will help to calm the mind through quiet and meditation. Hatha yoga is my first recommendation, however there are many different types to suit your likes and needs. My comments on the different types of yoga will follow in the next post, so stay tuned!

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