Pacific Wellness Toronto News

Chiropractic Care for Sports Injuries

Portrait of senior chiropractor doctor consult sports athlete's neck injury.

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a weekend warrior, participating in sports is good for your body and mind.

Physical activities provide an opportunity to socialize, exercise and have fun. But occasionally the demands of sports can lead to an injury. Even if you’re in great shape, overuse, impacts and strains can lead to damage.

Treatment for a sports injury may vary depending on the type and severity of injury. Immobilization, physical therapy and surgery can be part of a treatment plan. In some cases, chiropractic care can also help treat sports injuries.

What Does Chiropractic Care Involve?

Chiropractic care is based on philosophy that the body can often heal itself if it is in a proper alignment. Wear and tear, along with trauma can cause the spine to become misaligned. The misalignment can lead to a variety of problems including making you more susceptible to further injuries.

A large part of chiropractic care involves adjusting or realigning the spinal column, which can reduce pressure on the nerve. When a nerve is pinched, it cannot carry messages from the brain to the body or the body back to the brain as efficiently. Inefficient nerve impulses can cause problems with the muscles, joints and bones.

Common Sports Injuries and Why They Occur

Common sports injuries include sprains, strains and dislocations. Sore back muscles and knee injuries are also very common. A variety of factors can contribute to injuries. For example, during certain sports, such as hockey, football and basketball, contact with other players often occurs. Trauma or force to the body can cause an injury.

Force or trauma does not only occur during contact with another player. Twisting or turning the joints wrong way can also lead to a sprained ankle, back injury or dislocation. In other example, repetitive movements during sports can develop wear and tear on a joint. For instances, sports, such as tennis or baseball may involve the same motions repeatedly which may cause tendinitis.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help

Chiropractic care for sports injuries involves spinal adjustments, which are intended to reduce pressure on the nerve and allow the body to coordinate the healing process. After an adjustment, the flow of nerve impulses improves, pressure is released in the joints, which may decreases muscle tightness and promote healing.

Related: What to Expect During Chiropractic Care

During treatment, a chiropractor takes a medical history, performs an exam and may use x-rays to determine the injury. In many instances, force is applied in a specific way to adjust spinal structures to relief pressure and realign the spine.

The exact technique used to adjust the spine may vary based on the injury and body part affected. The chiropractor may place you in a few different positions to perform the adjustment. Chiropractors may also use stretches or tools to decrease pressure in the joints gently. Some treatments also incorporate methods, such as heat, electrical stimulation and ice.

Chiropractic care is not only helpful to treat injuries, but it may also prevent future problems. Keeping the spine in proper alignment helps the body work more efficiently. Also, if there is less tension in the body, it may also prevent future injuries.

Choosing a Chiropractor for Sports Injury Treatment

Chiropractors are trained healthcare professionals who have a doctorate in chiropractic. They must also become licensed in the state they wish to practice. Any licensed chiropractor should be qualified to develop a treatment program for an injury related to sports. But some chiropractors also specialize in sports injuries and neuromuscular rehabilitation.

When visiting a chiropractor, it is essential to discuss all your symptoms. Sometimes an injury in one part of the body also causes pain in another area. Understanding all your symptoms, allows a chiropractor to consider various options to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.

Prevention of Sports Injuries

It may not be possible to prevent all sports injuries. But there are things you can do to decrease your chances of getting hurt, such as the following:

  • Wear proper gear: Always use the appropriate protective equipment and gear for the sport you’re participating in. Gear may include helmets, pads or shin guards depending on the sport. Also, be sure to wear the correct shoes for the sport. Proper footwear and well-fitted gear can often protect you from injury.
  • Use correct form: Whether it is tackling incorrectly in football or using poor form sliding in baseball, using incorrect techniques can quickly cause injuries. Always use proper form and adhere to the guidelines of play.
  • Warm-up: Exercising when muscles are tight can quickly lead to an injury. Before participating in a sport, do some light exercise to warm-up muscles. A combination of light cardio and dynamic stretching can loosen up the muscles and prepare the body.
  • Strengthen muscles: Having strong muscles may help decrease sports injuries. Performing conditioning exercises, especially for the sport you participate in is one of the best ways to keep your body strong and avoid hurting yourself.
  • Don’t ignore pain: Pain in the body is often a signal that something is wrong. Ignoring an injury can lead to complications and a longer recovery time. If you sustain an injury, don’t hesitate seeking an evaluation and treatment from a medical

 

Got (Almond) Milk?

Top 5 foods that will provide you with calcium while maintaining your blood pH and preventing calcium loss

 

Calcium vector flat illustrations. Foods containing calcium on the table. Source of mineral calcium: cabbage, orange, sugar, nut, fish, milk, garlic isolated on white background

You’ve heard it before, we all have – you need calcium for strong bones, and you should get your calcium from dairy.

 

While these statements are not completely false, they are also not completely true. I feel very strongly about this topic because there is a significant amount of inaccurate information being spread by media, government, and the medical profession about what we need to do to maintain bone health. I have a serious bone to pick with the food and health industry, pun intended.

While calcium IS important for bone health, there are other vitamins and minerals that contribute to strong bones. Magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and strontium are just a few of the other essential components of bone health. These nutrients are often highly overlooked when people consider taking a supplement or eating for bone health. This is particularly concerning with new research demonstrating that supplementing with calcium solely can be dangerous due to its effect on the heart. Supplemental calcium, especially taken in large doses, can deposit into arterial walls and cause plaques to form. When plaques form, blood is less able to flow smoothly, which can lead to heart disease. Supplementation is most often recommended during and after menopause due to the loss of estrogen which causes bone loss. Be sure to consider taking a supplement that contains magnesium in addition to calcium, as well as vitamin D to improve absorbability.

It also matters where you get your dietary calcium from. Traditionally, we think calcium should come from dairy – because the media says so, our governments say so, and even our doctors say so. The truth is, calcium from dairy sources is highly acidic. Our blood likes to remain at a neutral pH (a balance between acidic and basic) for proper functioning. When we consume acidic foods, our blood becomes more acidic too. In order to restore its neutral pH (its happy place), it will take from more basic sources – in this case, calcium in bone. Calcium is a basic mineral that can help restore acid/base balance. In other words, when we consume dairy, we are making our blood more acidic, forcing it to steal from bones to get back to a more neutral pH. This causes calcium, which is basic in nature, to leach from bones. When calcium leaches from bones, our bones become weaker and more brittle. So actually, consuming dairy as a calcium source has the opposite effect as what many of us think.

Here are my top 5 foods that will provide you with calcium while maintaining your blood pH and preventing calcium loss:

 

  1. Dark greens: kale, collard greens, swiss chard, broccoli
  2. Nuts & seeds: almonds, sesame seeds, chia seeds
  3. Fish: canned salmon, sardines, canned clams
  4. Oranges
  5. Blackstrap molasses

 

Dr. Bianca Drennan ND, provides nutritional consulting and naturopathic medicine services at Pacific Wellness and is available for appointments five days a week.  If you would like to detoxify and trim your body, improve your lifestyle or address certain health concerns please call us at 416-929-6958 or submit your online appointment request to arrange your initial appointment.  The naturopathic appointments are covered by most employee benefits.

Organic vs. Non-Organic

Organic Natural Foods Sign

I get asked all the time whether it is important or necessary for health to buy organic food. I also get asked which foods are most important to buy organically, versus which ones are okay to buy non-organically.

In Canada and the USA, foods labeled “organic” must satisfy specific standards. Farmers raising organic animals or growing organic crops undergo a certification process in order for their products to be labeled as such. In general, organic foods are grown without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and they are free of synthetic food additives. Whether organic food is “healthier” is up for debate. There are articles suggesting that organic foods have superior nutrient value, whereas others state that this is false. In my opinion, it depends what your definition of health is. If health for you is more vitamin C or potassium in your food, then the verdict is still out. If however, health for you is putting fewer chemicals in your body, then you could say that organic food is healthier.

Unfortunately access to organic food can be challenging. There is a greater financial commitment when purchasing organics, which is not a luxury everyone has. In addition, there is often limited variety when it comes to organic foods, unless you are shopping at a retailer that specializes in organics. My advice is to choose organic when and if possible. However, if buying organically restricts your intake of vital nutrients due to finances or limited availability, then it is not worth it. Remember that it is important to eat a variety and plentiful amount of plant products, organic or not. Hopefully in the near future organic food will become more accessible and less elitist.

Below is a list released recently from the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) of the produce that is most important to buy organically and those that are safe non-organically. Focus on buying those in the dirty dozen list organically. I would encourage you to purchase organic meat and poultry whenever possible. I say this because an animal can store and absorb a far greater amount of chemicals and antibiotics than a plant due to its mass and longer life cycle.

 

EWG’s Dirty Dozen:                                           

  1. Strawberries
  2. Apples
  3. Nectarines
  4. Peaches
  5. Celery
  6. Grapes
  7. Cherries
  8. Spinach
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Bell Peppers
  11. Cherry Tomatoes
  12. Cucumbers

 

EWG’s Clean Fifteen:

  1. Avocados
  2. Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Sweet Peas
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwi
  11. Eggplant
  12. Honeydew
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Cantaloupe
  15. Cauliflower

 

Dr. Bianca Drennan ND, provides nutritional consulting and naturopathic medicine services at Pacific Wellness and is available for appointments five days a week.  If you would like to detoxify and trim your body, improve your lifestyle or address certain health concerns please call us at 416-929-6958 or submit your online appointment request to arrange your initial appointment.  The naturopathic appointments are covered by most employee benefits.