Why Gait Analysis Is Important With Chiropractic Care

The way a person walks, their gait, can be very telling. It can reveal problems in the feet, ankles, knees, and hips – even in spinal alignment. A problem with gait can indicate pain in a patient as well as serious conditions like diabetes and arthritis. It is a diagnostic tool for many conditions, injuries, and syndromes including autism. When it comes to chiropractic care, a patient’s gait can offer very important clues regarding the root of their complaints, allowing for a more well-rounded, whole body approach to treatment. If you think that the way you walk or moves doesn’t really matter, think again. It most certainly does matter.

What is Gait Analysis?

Gait analysis is a set of tests that are designed to provide a comprehensive evaluation of a person’s gait. It is a systematic study of human motion that involves observation as well as the use of instruments that measure body movements, muscle activity, and body mechanics.

It is intended to be used as an assessment tool and provide insight into devising a treatment plan for people who have conditions or injuries that affect their ability to walk. It is often used in sports biomechanics to aid athletes in more efficient movement and to identify problems with movement or posture, particularly those with injuries.

During the analysis, the patient may walk in a prescribed pattern or on a treadmill, that is often connected to a computer, while the chiropractor observes them from various angles. Often cameras are used, places at various points in order to capture different views including the anterior, posterior, and sides.

The patient may have markers applied to certain points on the body such as the knee, ankle, pelvis, and other areas. As they move, the computer captures specific data of the movement, providing a three-dimensional calculation of each marker. It them applies a model to assess the movement of the skeletal structure, resulting in a detailed analysis of each joint’s movement.

Factors that Affect Gait Analysis

There are certain factors that affect a person’s gait and that information must be included in order for the gait analysis to be accurate. The gender, age, height, and weight of the person is vital because men and women move differently and as a person ages their structure changes.

Excess weight or they physique can affect a person’s posture and their gait. The individual’s shoes (or lack of shoes) is important, as is their clothing, the terrain they are walking on, and anything they may normally carry, such as a purse. Other factors include:

  • Physiological factors such as body proportion
  • Psychological factors such as their state of mind, emotions, stress level, and personality type
  • Pathological factors such as neurological diseases, psychiatric disorders, trauma, and musculoskeletal anomalies

It will also measure and factor into the analysis data that includes the patient’s:

  • Length of stride
  • Cadence
  • Hip angle
  • Foot angle
  • Step length
  • Walking or movement speed
  • Other areas as needed

Advantages of a Gait Analysis

Getting a gait analysis can be very advantageous because it can provide invaluable insight into how your body is aligned and how it moves. It is a great diagnostic tool for identifying health issues related to the gait, spine, and feet and can also help provide early detection of health issues prior to the onset of symptoms.

If your chiropractor recommends that you get a gait analysis it could be that he or she suspects that something is going on, or it could simply mean that they want to more thoroughly examine you to provide optimal care. If you have any concerns, you should sit down with your chiropractor and ask them any questions that you have prior to undergoing the analysis. Stress and anxiety can put tension on the muscles and body, affecting the results.

How Chiropractic Helps Those That Suffer From Acromioclavicular Pain

When most people think of chiropractors, the first thing that comes to mind is back pain. However, chiropractic care can be used to treat a variety of conditions from joint pain to migraines. When a patient comes in with complaints of pain in the shoulder and restricted motion in the joint, one possible diagnosis may be acromicioclavicular (AC) joint injury. While it is often an injury that is common among athletes, it can happen to anyone. Fortunately, chiropractic is a very effective treatment.

What is an acromioclavicular joint injury?

There are two bones, the clavicle and acromion, that make up the AC joint. Four ligaments hold the joint together. When those ligaments are strained to stressed, it results in an AC joint injury, often causing at least some joint separation. AC injuries fall into one of two categories: overuse and traumatic.

Overuse injury occurs over a period of time and is caused by excessive stress on the joint that is repeated or consistent. This causes damage to the cartilage and can lead to AC joint arthritis.

Traumatic injury occurs when the damaged ligaments cause a disruption of the joint called a shoulder separation. This is different from a shoulder dislocation which involves the actual ball and socket shoulder joint.

What causes acromioclavicular joint injury?

The cause of an AC joint injury depends on the type of injury.

Overuse AC joint injuries is caused by overuse and is commonly seen in people who perform tasks that involve lifting heavy weight (including military or bench presses) or that perform physical labor that involves often stretching their arms over their heads.

Traumatic AC joint injuries are often caused by a fall. The person may fall and land on their shoulder or fall on their hand then they put it out to brace their fall. It is often seen in cyclists who are involved in crashes, football players when they are tackles, or a laborer who falls from a high place, such as a ladder. These injuries are graded from mild to severe, depending on how much the separation there is in the joint.

What are the symptoms of acromioclavicular joint pain?

A patient with AC joint pain may experience the following symptoms:

  • A bump that sits above the shoulder and is easily visible
  • A catching sensation or popping sound when the shoulder moves
  • Pain and swelling in the shoulder
  • Loss of range of motion of the shoulder
  • Loss or decrease in shoulder strength
  • Tenderness and swelling over the AC joint
  • Pain when lying on the affected side
  • Discomfort and pain in the shoulder when performing activities that place stress on the AC joint, including:
    • Carrying heavy objects at the side
    • Reaching across the body
    • Lifting objects overhead

What are the treatments for acromioclavicular joint pain?

Mild cases of traumatic AC joint injuries are often treated with physical therapy and chiropractic. Ice, rest, and immobilization can also be used to manage the pain.

Overuse AC joint injuries can also be treated with immobilization and ice as well as physical therapy and chiropractic. More severe cases may require surgery. Doctors may prescribe muscle relaxants, pain medication, or NSAIDs to help manage the pain.

Is chiropractic for acromioclavicular joint pain effective?

Chiropractic has been proven to be very effective for AC joint pain. The chiropractor performs what is called an AC adjustment which involves manipulation of the shoulder.

While it can be a little uncomfortable for the patient, it is one of the best ways to quickly decrease the pain. After the procedure, the chiropractor may recommend icing the area to minimize or prevent swelling and pain. Regular chiropractic care can ensure continued mobility and continued decrease in pain.

What Chiropractic Patients Want To Know About Herniated Discs

The spine is a very intricate structure and when one component fails to function properly it can affect the entire body, causing pain and loss of mobility. Tiny bones, called vertebrae, are stacked on each other to form the spine. They are joined in such a way to facilitate movement, flexibility, and a wide range of motion. There are small, fluid-filled discs that rest between each vertebra, providing a cushion between the bones. When one of these discs becomes damaged it can affect the surrounding nerves, causing pain and making movement difficult. A herniated disc is one of the most common spinal disc issues.

What is a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc is a common spinal condition that typically affects the cervical spine (neck region) or the lumbar spine (lower back), although it can occur in any part of the spine. Most often, a herniated disc occurs at the L4 – L5 and at the L5 – S1.  This is because this portion of the spine, the lumbar region, bears the bulk of the body’s weight.

It is often referred to as a ruptured disc or slipped disc and occurs when the disc moves or slips out of place. It can also be the result of a disc that has a small tear and is leaking the jelly-like substance that is inside. This can put pressure on the surrounding nerves, causing pain and discomfort.

What are the Progression and Symptoms of Herniated Disc?

There are four stages of a disc herniation:

  1. Disc protrusion
  2. Prolapsed disc
  3. Disc extrusion
  4. Sequestered disc

The first two stages are called incomplete herniations while the last two stages are called complete herniations.

Symptoms of a herniated disc may increase or worsen as the condition progresses although some patients do not experience any at all Typical symptoms include:

  • Pain in the affected area
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Leg or arm pain
  • Loss of reflex
  • Loss of mobility
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Decreased range of motion

What Causes Herniated Discs?

A herniated disc can have several causes. The most common are aging and degeneration, overuse, and normal wear and tear on the body.

A herniated disc resulting from an injury or trauma, such as a blow to the back, is less common, but it does happen. Because the back does bear most of the body’s weight, it can put a significant amount of pressure on the spine and discs. Over time, the discs may begin to weaken and a herniation can occur.

Injury or trauma that results in a herniation may include a car accident that involves sudden jerking, or incorrectly lifting heaving objects can put excessive pressure on the spine, causing it to herniate.

How is a Herniated Disc Diagnosed?

A physical examination is usually the first step in diagnosing a herniated disc. The physician or chiropractor will examine the spine while the patient is standing, then while they are lying down. Depending on the severity and location of the herniation, they may note a decrease in spinal curvature.

Radicular pain will also be assessed, when the spine is unmoving, while in motion, and when pressure is applied. Other tests may also be administered. X-rays may also be taken, but an MRI is usually more accurate and provides greater detail.

What are the Treatments for Herniated Discs?

Medications may be recommended or prescribed, including NSAIDs, narcotics, muscle relaxers, and anticonvulsants. Some doctors may advise cortisone injections to reduce inflammation. Physical therapy may be recommended as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunctions with other treatments. Surgery for herniated discs is rare and usually reserved for a last resort option.

Chiropractic has been very effective in helping patients manage their pain and regain their mobility so they can return to their normal life. Therefore, it should be your first option for treatment before you go down the road with drugs or surgery.

Chiropractors in our office have experience managing cases of herniated discs. Check out our website @ www.ocwc.ca or gove us a call @ 780-455-2112.

3 Tips Chiropractic Patients Can Use To Increase Flexibility

Flexibility is something that many people would like more of, but few know how to achieve it. If they do, they don’t do anything about it. This is because flexibility training is often seen as difficult, painful, and time consuming. It is also significantly underestimated. Why bother getting flexible if you aren’t an athlete or dancer? Why do regular people need to improve their flexibility? The answers to these questions may surprise you. You also might find that improving your flexibility is easier than you think.

Why is flexibility important?

Flexibility is a key component of keeping your body fit and healthy. Research shows that people who are more flexible are better able to reach their optimum fitness level.

It can also help to prevent injury and reduce your risk of conditions like arthritis and other chronic diseases. They also have a better range of motion and mobility as they age.

Muscles that are flexible have the potential to become stronger. This can help increase metabolism and improve fitness level.

A body that is more flexible can also carry out day to day activities easier and have less chance of injury. Blood flow is increased and circulation is improved which also helps to prevent chronic conditions like kidney disease and diabetes as well as heart disease.

Stretch for upper body flexibility

This upper body stretch also helps improve your posture. It is also great if you are largely sedentary throughout the day, such as sitting at a desk for extended periods.

  • Stand or sit in a chair, back straight, chin level, feel slightly apart and knees soft.
  • Put your hands behind your head, elbows out, chin tucked.
  • Gently press your head forward to feel the stretch through your neck, shoulders, and upper back; hold for five seconds.
  • Tilt your head back so that your chin is pointing toward the ceiling. Place the heels of your hands on your forehead and gently press to get a stretch through the front of the neck and the arms; hold for five seconds.
  • Bring your head to the start position, chin parallel to the floor, neck straight.
  • Put your right hand on the top of your head and gently press as if you are trying to touch your right ear to your right shoulder and feel the stretch along the left side of the neck and shoulder; hold for five seconds.
  • Put your left hand on the top of your head and gently press as if you are trying to touch your left ear to your left shoulder and feel the stretch along the right side of the neck and shoulder; hold for five seconds.
  • Raise your hands over your head and clasp your hands. Stretch and lift your body, lengthening your spine.
  • Release your hands and bend to the right, using your right hand to grasp your left elbow and gently pull it to the right. Hold for five seconds.
  • Raise your hands over your head and clasp your hands. Stretch and lift your body, lengthening your spine.
  • Release your hands and bend to the left, using your left hand to grasp your right elbow and gently pull it to the left. Hold for five seconds.

Stretch for lower body flexibility

This is a great stretch for women who wear high heels or for cyclists and people who walk, run, or use an elliptical machine.

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you, feet together, knees soft, and back straight.
  • Slowly bend your right knee and lean back if necessary, using your right arm as a support behind you. Place your left hand under your left knee and flex your toes toward the ceiling, feeling the stretch through your calf. Hold for five seconds.
  • Stretch both legs out straight in front of you.
  • Slowly bend your left knee and lean back if necessary, using your left arm as a support behind you. Place your right hand under your right knee and flex your toes toward the ceiling, feeling the stretch through your calf. Hold for five seconds.
  • Roll onto your back with your knees bent toward the ceiling and feet flat on the floor.
  • Gently bring your right knee to your chest, holding it with your hands to get a nice stretch. Hold for five minutes.
  • Return to the start position, on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Gently bring your left knee to your chest, holding it with your hands to get a nice stretch. Hold for five minutes.
  • Return to the start position, on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Stretch for flexibility in the back

This stretch is very good for low back pain.

  • Lie on your stomach keeping your legs straight, knees soft, and feet shoulder width apart.
  • Place your hands under your shoulders, palms down on the floor and push your upper body up so that your back is curved with your lower body still on the floor. Tilt your head back for more stretch. Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Lower your upper body back to the mat and slowly roll over to your hands and knees.
  • Keep your knees shoulder width apart and your back straight.
  • While on your hands and knees, tuck your chin and round out your back, pushing it towards the ceiling, feel the stretch through your entire back. Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Return to the start position with your knees shoulder width apart and your back straight.
  • While on your hands and knees, lift your chin, stretching it upwards and drop your back so that your spine curves toward the floor. Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Return to the start position with your knees shoulder width apart and your back straight.

If pain or disconfort is preventing you from progressing with your stretch program, consider visiting a chiropractor in our office. Check out our website @ www.ocwc.ca or give is a call @ 780-455-2112.

Heavy Backpacks: Their Negative Effects & How Your Kids Can Avoid Them

Summer is ending and the school year is starting. Time for new shoes, haircuts, homework, and backpacks. As you do your back to school shopping, think about the backpack your child will be carrying. Sure, they load them up with books, but did you know that wearing a heavy backpack for a long time can actually hurt your child?

What are the health risks of a heavy backpack?

Wearing a heavy backpack can strain the shoulders, back, and neck. As the child’s body tries to compensate for the extra weight, such as leaning forward, it can adopt positions that put the spine out of alignment. It can also cause the muscles to fatigue and weaken. This results in poor posture and a misaligned spine.

The longer he or she carries the extra weight, the worse it gets. Over time, the child can experience pain, stiffness, and problems with flexibility and range of motion. This can significantly increase the child’s potential for injury. The effects may include back ache, sore or stiff neck, sore shoulders, and headaches.

How heavy is too heavy for a child’s backpack?

According to the AAP, a child’s backpack should weigh less than 10 to 20 percent of his or her body weight – and no more. However, a Consumer Reports survey showed that the lower end of the range, around 10 percent or less, is preferable. In short, the lighter the backpack, the healthier it is for your child. A good rule of thumb is to observe your child wearing the backpack. If they are stooped or leaning forward, it is too heavy.

Children who are shorter, as well as girls, may be more prone to back pain caused by carrying heavy backpacks. This means that for these children you need to aim for even lighter weights. Children who are overweight may also be at risk for injury. The excess weight already puts a strain on their joints and muscles; the heavy backpack exacerbates the situation.

Children who wear their backpack over one shoulder also increase their risk of injury. This puts all the weight on one side, causing the child to bend or lean in an effort to compensate for the off-kilter weight. This can strain the shoulder and back, eventually causing injury and pain.

Helping your child avoid carrying a heavy backpack.

If you notice that your child cannot stand up straight while wearing the backpack, then it is too heavy. You should inspect your child’s backpack on a regular basis to test the heaviness. When purchasing a backpack, aim for wide, padded straps that are adjustable. It should fit the child well and to be too big. The straps should not be too loose. You want it to fit close to your child’s body and should come to just below the waist – but not too far. Don’t allow your child to carry the backpack on one shoulder, encourage them to wear it on both shoulders. This distributes the weight more evenly.

If your child is carrying a heavy backpack, you may need to talk to their teacher to see what is necessary for him or her to carry daily, and what can be left at home or at school. Work together to find ways to lighten the load and avoid injury. Also keep in mind, your child may not bring your attention to the fact that their backpack is too heavy. It is up to you to observe and intervene for them. To learn more about our office check out www.ocwc.ca

Low Back & Leg Pain: How Chiropractic Helps Radiculopathy

Low back pain affects millions of people each year and is the number one cause of disability worldwide. It is prevalent and can be debilitating. As patients search for relief, they soon find that not all lumbar pain is created equal. There are many causes and treatments vary widely depending on the issue. Radiculopathy is a condition that can contribute to lower back pain, but chiropractic care can help patients better manage it.

What is Lumbar Radiculopathy?

Radiculopathy is associated with some of the most significant causes of chronic or acute low back pain. However, it is important to note that the condition itself does not cause the pain. Instead, elements of radiculopathy, such as disc herniation, nerve root impingement, and facet arthropathy are actually what cause the pain.

Radiculopathy is a condition of the spine that occurs when a nerve is compressed, causing pain, weakness, tingling, or numbness along the nerve’s course. In the lower back, that course is in the leg. While it is most common in the lower back, radiculopathy can occur in the cervical or thoracic regions of the spine as well.

Symptoms of Lumbar Radiculopathy

The symptoms of lumbar radiculopathy include pain, tingling, and numbness in the legs. Some patients experience extreme, painful sensitivity to light touch.

The nerves in the lumbar region of the spine supply sensations to the buttocks and legs as well as control muscles. So, when a nerve is compressed in the lumbar spine, those are the areas that are affected. The condition is often called a “pinched nerve” or sciatica because of the way that the pain radiates through the buttock and into the leg.

Causes of Radiculopathy

Irritation or compression of certain nerves are what causes radiculopathy, but it is worth looking at the causes of this irritation or compression to see the deeper cause of radiculopathy. These may include mechanical nerve compression due to:

  • Bone spur
  • Disc herniation from osteoarthritis
  • Thickening of surrounding ligaments
  • Infection
  • Tumor
  • Scoliosis

Degeneration or trauma can cause inflammation in the spinal nerves which can lead to pain.

Who is at Risk for Radiculopathy?

Certain people are more prone to radiculopathy based on the activities they engage in and their genetics. Patients who regularly engage in contact sports, heavy labor, or any activity that puts a repetitive or excessive load on the back are more likely to have the condition. Patients who have a family history of spine disorders, including radiculopathy are also more at risk of developing it.

Chiropractic for Lumbar Radiculopathy

A review published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine examined 162 patients with radiculopathy who were treated with chiropractic care. Of those patients, more than 85% not only experienced pain relief, but their conditions were resolved. This was done over 9 treatment sessions. Most of the patients saw improvement of their symptoms within 4 days of their first treatment.

There are a number of treatments for lumbar radiculopathy, including pain medication, epidural steroid injection, and surgery. However, chiropractic care is non-invasive and does not have the unpleasant, sometimes harmful of many pain medications. It is safe and effective, treating the entire body instead of just the part that hurts.

When treating lumbar radiculopathy, the chiropractor may use several techniques such as spinal adjustments as well as stabilization exercise and neuromobilization. They will also work with the patient to determine if there are engaging in any activities that increase their risk factor for the condition. In some cases, the chiropractor may recommend certain lifestyle and dietary changes to increase whole body wellness and a stronger, healthier spine. For more information on our clinic and chiropractors, check out www.ocwc.ca

What Chiropractic Patients Want To Know About Text Neck

Text neck is a very real condition that is caused by staying in a prolonged “texting” position – hunched shoulders and neck tilted forward. As a result, the back, neck, and shoulder muscles become overworked and your spinal structure is actually changed. Many people who spend a lot of time on their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, develop this condition (and others including “cellphone elbow” and tendinitis of the wrist and hand) and it can be very painful, even causing mobility problems.

What Exactly is Text Neck?

A normal human neck has a slight curve to it that travels along the spine. It is part of the intricate system that supports the head and body. However, a person with text neck will have a straight cervical spine. Their neck will not have that slight curve and that is a problem.

The cause of the absence of the curve is because of the position that the head stays in for such long periods of time. The average adult human head weighs between 10 and 12 pounds. When the head is upright, the neck supports it and the slight curve gives it the stability that it needs.

When you keep your head tilted forward, such as when you are hunched over your smartphone or mobile device, your head is thrust forward instead of sitting over the balanced curve of the cervical spine. The gravitational pull is greatly increased and the neck is already in an unnatural position. This combination places unnatural and damaging stress on your neck. It is like carrying around an additional 60 pounds on your neck.

Symptoms of Text Neck

In the early stages of text neck, a person may feel some tightness in their shoulders, neck, and upper back. This may progress to discomfort in those areas and eventually pain. If left untreated, you can develop pinched nerves and herniated discs.

Your central nervous system begins at the base of your skull, so it extends down your neck and upper back. When you put unnatural pressure on your neck, you are also affecting your nervous system, causing it to malfunction. This can lead to pain throughout your body, stiffness, headaches, low back pain, and problems with your hands and arms.

How to Prevent Text Neck

Text neck is surprisingly easy to prevent. Your first step is awareness. Over two or three days, take some time to be very aware of your body’s position. Carefully examine your posture while you go about all of your daily activities. It is important to remember that text neck is not strictly confined to texting. You can get it any time you have your head bent down for an extended period of time, such as when looking at a laptop screen or even writing for a long time.

The best way to avoid the problem is to keep your devices at eye level. If you have a handheld device, hold it up at the level of your eyes instead of bending your neck to look down. The same goes for your laptop; arrange it so that your screen is at eye level.

Chiropractic for Text Neck

If you are already suffering from the effects of text neck, your chiropractor can help reverse the condition if it hasn’t progressed to disc degeneration (even then he or she can help with associated pain). Regular chiropractic treatments, along with following expert recommendations for screen heights, can help reduce the pain and discomfort. It is smart to address these issues before they become a bigger problem. Your chiropractor can help. Learn more about our clinic @ www.ocwc.ca

What Chiropractic Patients Want To Know About Curcumin

Many chronic pain sufferers are looking for relief beyond pharmaceuticals which can have unpleasant and even harmful side effects. This has brought them to natural pain management methods like chiropractic care as well as natural substances like curcumin. For many people, these treatment options have brought them relief from the pain and help them return to a more normal lifestyle.

How does it work though? And, more importantly, can it work for you?

What is Curcumin?

Curcumin is a spice that is a relative of ginger and is a component of turmeric. Often the terms curcumin and turmeric are used interchangeably. However, curcumin is what gives turmeric its bright yellow color.

While it is often found in curries and other traditional Indian food, it has also long been used to treat a variety of health issues including inflammation that causes pain in the body. These claims have been backed up by several studies that show the tasty spice has tremendous health benefits to offer.

These studies have shown that curcumin has strong anti-inflammatory properties although why it works is not yet completely understood. This information has prompted further studies to determine the efficacy of curcumin in treating a wide range of conditions including chronic pain.

One study examined the spice’s effects on people suffering from arthritis or joint pain. The results determined that turmeric extract (curcumin) supplements were just as effective as ibuprofen in relieving the pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis. It helped to reduce the inflammation that was causing the pain, bringing the patients much needed relief.

Taking Curcumin for Better Health

You can get curcumin or turmeric supplements but there is no standard dosage information available. Your chiropractor can advise you on how much to take and which supplement brands are the best.

You can also use the spice in the foods you eat and gain a good bit of the health properties that way. However, it may be more efficient and easier to take curcumin or turmeric supplements, especially when you are treating inflammation and pain.

Curcumin is generally safe with very few side effects. As with any medication or supplement, there are some people who are sensitive to the spice and may experience diarrhea and nausea.

However, that usually occurs at higher doses or after the patient has been using it for a long time. High doses could also pose a risk if the person has ulcers. It can also irritate the skin is used topically.

If you are considering incorporating curcumin into your daily diet as a health supplement, you should first talk to your doctor or chiropractor to make sure it is safe for you. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not take the supplements.

People with conditions like diabetes, gallbladder issues, bleeding disorders, kidney disease, or immunity problems should take special care when using the supplement. Also, it can interact with medications like NSAIDs, aspirin, diabetes drugs, statins, blood thinners, and blood pressure medications so talk to your health professional before taking. They may adjust your dosage or recommend certain nutritional therapies to better support the supplement.

Your chiropractor can help you live a more natural, pain free life and supplements like curcumin may be a part of that plan. They can help put you on the path to a life well lived. To learn more about our office check out our website @ www.ocwc.ca

How Chiropractic Benefits Cyclists

Cycling is a great cardiovascular workout, building strength, stamina, and balance. However, it can be tough on the body, especially if you put in a lot of miles. This is true of any activity that is repetitive, though. Certain muscles can become more tense and others that aren’t used become weaker. This can cause your spine to become misaligned. Bending over the handlebars can also cause back pain as well as wrist, neck and shoulder pain and affect your posture if you remain in that position for long stretches or are not using proper form. Chiropractic for cyclists can help combat these effects and keep your body in alignment.

Hip and Knee Pain

Cycling puts a lot of strain on your lower body, particularly the hips and legs. The more developed these muscles get, the tighter they can become if you aren’t stretching before and after your ride (and getting regular chiropractic care).

Inflammation and stiffness of the sacroiliac joint is very common with cyclists. It can cause a significant decrease in range of motion and flexibility, not to mention cause pain. This issue can really affect your ride. The stress that occurs in this area can affect nearby large joints, such as the knees. Chiropractic can release those joints and address any issues associated with it.

Lower Back Out of Alignment

Spending a lot of time hunched over your handlebars can cause your back muscles to become stretched out. When you combine that with hunching over a desk or computer all day, it can leave you with a misaligned spine.

The tight muscles of the lower body, including hip flexors and hamstrings, work against the stretched out back muscles to weaken the spinal support. Once your spine is misaligned, it can lead to back pain, hip pain, and make it difficult for you to ride effectively or comfortably.

Getting good, regular chiropractic adjustments, along with some core strength exercises, stretching, and exercises to increase range of motion, you can get your spine aligned – and keep it that way. It is also worth mentioning that proper bike fit is absolutely integral to keeping your spine and body healthy and aligned.

Numb, Tingling Hands

Numb, tingling hands are very common among cyclists. There are several reasons that this can occur, but the most common culprits are stress on the upper back from riding in a hunched position, or wrist issues that come from the stress of supporting your upper body as you are hunched over, and from holding the handlebars.

Proper bike fit can go a long way in preventing this, as does maintaining proper form and technique while riding. This will help you avoid compression, undue stress, and overreaching so that your arms are in a more natural, comfortable position. Your chiropractor can help alleviate the pain and correct the condition with spinal manipulation and other techniques applied to the joints.

Chiropractic is exceptional for cyclists because it not only addresses structural issues in the body, it also provides whole body care. Your chiropractor may recommend certain exercises and stretches, supplements, and lifestyle changes to help improve your ride and help you live a healthier life. You will combat the strain that the sport puts on your body and learn powerful techniques for avoiding injury.

If you are a regular cyclist, whether you ride competitively, ride with a group, or bike to work, you will find that your body will respond very well to chiropractic treatments. When performed regularly, you will find that your body will get stronger and your posture will be better. You will feel better too. To learn more about our office check out our website @ www.ocwc.ca