1 min read

Staff

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Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program

The Myodetox Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program exists to support and develop the leaders of the future in the healthcare industry, with an immediate focus on supporting students from the Black community and a long-term vision of supporting students from the wider BIPOC community.

Our goal is to make our profession as diverse as the society we serve and to empower students with the skills and mindsets to become champions of wellness within their local communities.

Through a combination of $5,000 of financial support towards tuition and hands-on mentorship from business and clinical leaders at Myodetox, graduates of the six-month Emerging Leaders program will be well-positioned to create impact and positive change in their community from Day one of their careers. For this first cohort this program is open to Black students who have been accepted or are currently attending physical therapy or chiropractic programs within the United States or Canada. Five students will be accepted in this first cohort.

Application Deadline is August 24, 2020.

APPLY NOW

Throughout the six-month program, successful applicants will work with the various mentors in the program on the following topics:

The Black Experience in Healthcare
Roundtable discussion with healthcare industry leaders from the Black community sharing their insights and experiences as they navigated the challenges of race in an underrepresented space.

Critical Thinking in Clinical Outcomes
Unpacking frameworks and thought process in patient care and how to leverage informed assessments to generate favorable results for your patients.

Principles of Manual Therapy & Movement
Understanding the principles and intent behind manual fascial work and exercise selection and its impact on creating an environment primed for increasing resiliency.

Caseload Development and Management
Analyzing the patient journey and understanding proven strategies around patient acquisition and patient retention.

Brand Development and Community Involvement
A framework to build a strong brand presence and leveraging that to create an engaging audience of brand ambassadors.

Financial Literacy and Career Planning
Unlocking the basics of personal finances and outlining professional goals as a healthcare provider.

Do you have questions?
If you have any additional inquiries, please email us at emergingleaders@myodetox.com and we’ll be happy to answer your questions!

Please Note:
Eligibility in this program is for students from the Black community in the first cohort. Over time, the Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program will be expanded to be fully inclusive of the wider BIPOC community and ultimately all equity-seeking groups at large as program resources and capacity allows.

2 min read

Dr. Kevin Marryshow

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Kevin Marryshow on Developing His Team


If you asked Kevin Marryshow what’s the most significant thing he learned while working at Myodetox, it would be one thing – his personal development.

His career has evolved as a Chiropractor, Clinic Director and now a Regional Director, overseeing the entire Toronto Region. While it was a curvy road in the beginning, learning all the nuances of the business has helped him develop a clear roadmap to fast-track his team’s career much quicker than it took him.

Since he began his career at Myodetox, his goal as a therapist was always to empower his clients. But today, that idea has evolved to helping his team realize their potential to fulfill their broader aspirations.

What about the Myodetox culture do you enjoy the most?
What I enjoy most about our culture is that there is this mutual feeling across the company that truly values personal development. Everybody on our team is in pursuit of personal growth, and the support system is there to help foster that initiative.

Describe your growth as a Therapist, Clinic Director and now a Regional Director?
You can say that my career came in phases. I dedicated my first four years as a Therapist in developing my clinical skills and carving out unique value to my clients. From that, I got to a point where I started to find a deep interest in business models, which led me to the Clinic Director role and now years later, as the Regional Director. Over the last three years, my primary attention has shifted to gain a better understanding of our business and the wellness industry. Today, I’m better equipped to help mentor and coach our therapists and put them in the best possible position to succeed.

What has growing a community taught you?
I’ve learned that a strong community is the centrepiece of any brand, be it yourself as a therapist, or the company itself. As therapists, we have a unique opportunity to connect with our clients on a personal level, and along the way, help them achieve their goals. Building a bond with them and learning how to foster that relationship is a fulfilling experience.

What are you most proud of during your time at Myodetox?
I’m most proud of my team and their desire to grow every day. Developing people is a North Star within our culture, and you can feel that energy throughout our team, it’s contagious. It takes a certain attitude to want to make an impact on peoples’ lives and push for positive change in our industry. I’m always proud to see my peers grow and progress, and it drives me to work harder each day to provide them with the support they need.

1 min read

Jessie Wong

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Jessie Wong Wanted To Be More Than A Therapist


Running a business as a Physical Therapist isn’t taught in school. That’s why Vancouver Regional Director Jessie Wong committed to work with a team that will help develop her skills as a therapist and an entrepreneur.

Her path while working at Myodetox has not only helped shape her career, but she has inspired her team to believe in themselves. She has worn many hats throughout her career – Therapist, Clinic Director, Regional Director, and Clinic Partner – and her hard work have shown that if you don’t give up, anything is possible.

Early on in your career, how has Myodetox helped develop your clinical skills?
Myodetox helped me with my clinical skills five to six years into my career when I joined. I wish I learned some of the manual skills earlier on in my career as it would have helped me as a therapist.

How has Myodetox helped achieve your personal goals?
What I learned the most was how to preserve through the hard times and the times where I didn’t think I could achieve those goals.

You not only elevated your skills as a Therapist, you learned the other side of the business – what has been the most challenging and rewarding part?
The most challenging thing has been working in such a fast-paced environment. There are so many things that can change in such a short period. Somethings in life are out of your control and learning to let go and having a positive outlook has been monumental in getting through those hard times.

What is your five-year career goal?
My five-year goal is to make Myodetox the top choice for health and therapy. I would also love to have some of my teammates step into my role and allow them to learn the strategies of a regional position. By helping others grow into a more senior role, this will enable us to grow and connect with more communities who need therapy.

2 min read

Try Bending Your Knees With Knee Tendonitis

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Try Bending Your Knees With Knee Tendonitis

We have 3 exercises to help with Knee Tendonitis – the knee swelling culprit that affects simple and everyday activities like walking up and down the stairs, climbing, kneeling, and sitting.

We use our knees for practically everything; from playing sports, walking up and down stairs, squats, cycling, lunging into a yoga pose, sitting, the list is endless. Overtime, the constant pressure on our feet start to affect our knees.

It may feel like this “achey” knee pain that will never go away. That “achey” feeling is “knee tendonitis”, also referred to as Patellar Tendinopathy or Jumper’s Knee. There may also be swelling and/or pain in the area below the kneecap (patella). It is caused from repetitive movements such as jumping, landing and hopping too hard on your feet.

For those of you who dabble with “self-diagnosing”, we would recommend treating your knee pain by using proper footwear, a knee brace, taping, or applying ice after activity. It is also important to focus on lower body mobility and stability exercises with an emphasis on improving movement control.

Dr. Gianna Soncina, DC, from Myodetox CityPlace has 3 exercises to help strengthen your knees from the everyday deterioration which causes knee tendonitis.

Wall Press
Girl with one leg pressed against wall
1. Stand next to a wall.
2. Place a block or a ball against the wall and press into it with your knee bent at 90 degrees.
3. Hold for 30 seconds.
4. Complete 3 reps/side.
(Keep a slight bend in the knee of the supporting leg.)

Bodyweight Squat
Girl squatting with kettlebell
1. Place a kettlebell in your hands and spread your feet shoulder-width apart, with your feet turned out approximately 10-15 degrees.
2. Lower down into a squat until the top of your thighs are parallel to the ground.
3. Keep your chest up and your weight in your heels.
4. Complete 2 sets of 12 reps.

Single Leg Straight-Leg Deadlift

1. Place a kettlebell in your left hand.
2. Lean forward from the hip while lifting your left leg up behind you, so it is in line with your torso.
3. Think about moving as a unit from head to toe, keeping your lower back flat.
4. Return to the starting position and repeat for two sets of 12 reps/side.

Knee tendonitis recovery time is very broad and can last anywhere from 2 weeks to several months. The best cure for knee tendonitis is to seek help from a professional who may diagnose the cause of the pain. Any Myodetox Therapist can run a body scan for you to find the root if your knee pain persists!

3 min read

All You Need To Know About Knee Bursitis

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All You Need To Know About Knee Bursitis

Knee pain can be the cause of much concern and confusion, especially if you have no idea what’s going on! To help give you a better understanding of pain and swelling in the knee, let’s explain a common condition affecting the area called: knee bursitis.

So what is bursitis exactly? Often, any swelling of the knee joint is called ‘water on the knee.’ However, there is a difference between fluid accumulation within a bursa specifically, and within the knee joint as a whole.

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A bursa is a thin sac of synovial fluid (the body’s natural lubrication fluid) that is found between muscles, tendons, and skin, and allows these tissues to slide over one another without causing friction. These bursa are found throughout the body, particularly at interfaces where a lot is going on (think shoulders, hips, knees).

Unfortunately, bursa can sometimes become inflamed and irritated – a condition known as bursitis. As opposed to generalized knee joint swelling, there is a more localized swelling and tenderness with pressure applied in bursitis. Furthermore, as there are up to eleven bursa around the knee, depending on which one is inflamed the location and feeling of pain can vary.

Bursitis in the knee occurs mostly from overuse injuries and is less frequent due to trauma. The mechanism of injury influences which bursa is affected, with the most common ones being the: pre-patellar, infrapatellar, suprapatellar and pes anserinus bursa (anatomy fun fact: the ‘patella’ is the kneecap).

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Prepatellar bursitis is common in those who kneel a lot (think gardener, roofer, carpet layer), and results in superficial swelling on the front of the knee.

Infrapatellar Bursitis often occurs in conjunction with ‘jumper’s knee’ (you guessed it, in jumping activities) from repetitive strain and irritation to the tendon just below the patella. This form can cause anterior knee pain that mimics a patellar tendinopathy and can be harder to treat.

Suprapatellar bursitis causes pain above the patella, under the quadriceps tendon; it is seen following an injury such as a fall to the knee or repetitive microtrauma – think running on soft/uneven surfaces or jobs that require crawling.

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The pes anserinus bursa at the lower inside of the knee is more commonly irritated in middle-aged women and overweight people. Regardless of location, bursitis often results in a knee that is painful to move, has a limited range of motion, and may be swollen/red/warm around the affected area. Symptoms are often worsened with kneeling, crouching or repetitive bending/squatting, and relieved when sitting still and resting.

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To summarize, bursitis in the knee can be caused by direct trauma, biomechanical changes, frequent falls, repeated pressure or repetitive microtrauma to the knee.

Treatment for mild cases of knee bursitis involves rest and lifestyle management strategies such as weight loss, protection for your knees during work, and changing positions of movement to vary the load from just being on your knee. The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may further assist in decreasing inflammation. Severe cases might require aspiration (removal of fluid via a needle/syringe), the use of a corticosteroid and local anesthetic with appropriate treatment of the surrounding tissue if necessary, as advised a professional.

As you can imagine, by not treating knee bursitis as soon as possible, this will lead to further irritation. With that, to prevent bursitis of the knee from re-occurring, the cause of inflammation must be found. This involves determining if it is a muscle tightness, leg length discrepancy, training error, or something else that is aggravating the bursa. This might require assessment by a professional to determine the best plan of action to prevent this annoying pain from coming back!

2 min read

What Is A Shin Splint?

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What Is A Shin Splint?

This article will walk you through some of the causes and symptoms of shin splints, as well as how to recover from it in order to battle this Summer buzz kill!

Now that the end of Summer is just around the corner (for us Canadians that is), you’ll probably have overused your Summer kicks from all the physical activities this Summer had to offer, especially running activities! It is not uncommon for a lot of beginners to feel pain along the front of their shins. This annoying pain is called shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS).

What is a shin splint/Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS)?
Shin splints/MTSS refers to a nagging and dull ache that runs along the inner shin – with potential swelling. Although, often not serious, shin splints can lead to more serious conditions (like stress fractures) if not treated properly – or, by doing too much too soon! This is the reason why a lot of beginner runners tend to “run” into this problem.

The impact from running creates a lot of repeated stress on our body, and the muscles and bones require time to adapt and rebuild to become stronger. When runners increase their training too quickly, it can cause the muscle and bone to be mechanically overstressed leading to injury.

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Although shin splints are common in runners, it is also frequently found in many who engage in sports activities such as: soccer, basketball, long jump, or tennis. Make sure you progress the frequency, duration, and intensity of your activities gradually to avoid shin splints.

Causes of Shin splints/Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS)

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• Increased foot pronation
• An abrupt increase in training intensity
• Hard or inclined running surfaces (or both)
• Inappropriate or old/inadequate footwear
• Previous injury
• Greater internal and external hip ROM

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to avoid some injuries, you can’t always run away from those problems.

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Treatments for Shin Splints/ Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS)
There are various treatment options that can be prescribed by your therapist, including:

• Ice
• Stretching
• Strengthening exercises for the legs
• Graded running program

How Long Does It Take For Shin Splints To Heal?
Shin splints is a tricky condition that may linger for weeks or months. Be patient, it can take anywhere between a couple of weeks to 6 months to heal. If you have pain, stop the activity — do not ignore the symptoms because the earlier you receive treatment the faster your shin splints heal!

3 min read

The Gluteus Medius Stretch Is Key To A Stronger Butt

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The Gluteus Medius Stretch Is Key To A Stronger Butt

If you’re not texting on your phone, you’re sitting at your desk hunched over and working away on your laptop. To avoid any pain, a good gluteus medius stretch is necessary for a stronger butt.

If you’re feeling hip pain, it’s probably because you’re not activating your glute muscles enough. Though you may not feel any pain now, the mid-day walk to grab lunch will eventually catch up to your hips.

To get a better idea how your butt is related to your hip pain, allow us to explain.

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This important group of muscles do this as their major actions:
Medius: abducts the hip (hip to the side)
Maximus: extends the hip (pulls the thigh behind you)
Minimus:abducts the hip (hip to the side)

These important muscles are often weak and underworked. So many of our jobs require us to sit for prolonged periods of time that it gets difficult to fix hip pain. The lack of mobility causes our gluten to “turn off” or stop firing as effectively. Once our glutes stop firing, we start developing imbalances within the hip which can lead to aches and eventual hip pain.

When building strong glute muscles, you can expect to see some of these things happen along the way:

Alleviate back pain: Learning to contract your glutes in a multitude of ranges can alleviate a lot of the mechanical back pain you are currently experiencing. Your glutes work to stabilize the pelvis and keep the hip joint centered. When they’re strong, your lower back doesn’t need to compensate and take excessive mechanical stress.

Increase performance: If you want to maximize your athletic potential, squatting should be a top priority. Stronger glutes will improve your speed, agility, and jumping skills, and quick side-to-side movements. Every time you take a step, your glute max stabilizes your pelvis, making transitions into movements safe on your pelvic joints and ultimately your back.

Abolish knee pain: A strong glute medius keeps the pelvis stable and prevents swaying from side to side. When your pelvis isn’t stable, it puts a lot of excessive pressure on your knees and ankles. When your glutes are strong, it helps to maintain proper alignment of the knee, hip and ankle. This natural alignment keeps your knee from hurting by tracking the knee cap properly.

Try out these 3 gluteus medius stretch movement techniques and see if you can hold the positions for 1 minute each with total control.

This will give you a good indicator of how well your glutes are doing.

Kick Backs
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Single Leg Bridges
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Side Clamp
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3 min read

DIY: Avoid Muscle Aches During Your Flight

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DIY: Avoid Muscle Aches During Your Flight

Is it officially travel season yet? Well, we can’t wait and we say it is now! Grab your suitcases, sunglasses, and dreaded muscle aches..?

Everybody loves to travel, but who loves the stress that comes along with it? All the multiple line-ups, overnight layovers, and long airplane rides can take a huge toll on your body – you’ll be broken before you arrive at your destination. So, we came up with four great tips to help with muscle pain relief that will have your body ready for take-off!

1. Stay Hydrated
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Airplanes have very low humidity and can lead you to become dehydrated. So drink lots of water the day before and while you are on the flight. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages before and during the trip since it will dehydrate you.

2. Pump Your Ankles
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Pump your ankles from side-to-side and up-and-down to avoid stiffness, and swelling, and twisted ankle pain. Since you’re sitting for extended periods of time, the muscles that are responsible for pumping blood and fluid back up our legs are not being used at all, which can lead to pooling of fluid and blood in our lower leg over time. The swelling itself is not dangerous, but it can cause blood clots which are very dangerous and can potentially cause death. So pump away!

3. Movement is Medicine
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It’s never good to stay in one position, especially sitting for long periods of time. We all heard the phrase, “sitting is the new smoking”, and you can guarantee you will be sitting and sleeping in an uncomfortable position on the plane. Your body will take a beating and cause many hip problems, spine pain, shoulder injuries, and pain in your neck muscles. So how do we combat that? It’s simple – move. Get up and walk every 30 minutes, if possible.

4. Stuck in your seat? Let me introduce you to Pandiculation!
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What is the Pandiculation definition? It’s the natural stretching that occurs when you first wake up in the morning. When you’re yawning and reaching up towards the sky with your arms and hands to stretch. This stretch is done to every single part of your body even within limited space such as an airplane seat. So reach your hand up towards the sky, extend your legs, move your neck, contract and expand your chest and move your body in all directions to ease out any area that you feel is restricted. The key is to slowly do these movements and feel where your body naturally wants to go to relax tension. Just remember, not to bump into your neighbour.

6 min read

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Don’t Let An ACL Injury Be Your Downfall

It’s every athlete’s worst nightmare. They go up for a shot, get tackled hard or twist incorrectly, and they end up with a dreaded ACL injury. We discuss how you can strengthen that ACL injury and be ready for the rest of your days!

The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is a ligament in the knee that works to provide passive stability to the knee joint. It also prevents the tibia from slipping forward, away from the femur. It is one of the most commonly injured ligaments in the knee and when injured, the symptoms can range from pain and swelling, to decreased range of motion and loss of stability.

Injuries to the ACL are rated on a three point scale depending on their severity and the degree of damage to the ligament.

Grade 1 – Refers to mild damage of the ligament (less than 25% damaged) when stability will not be affected.
Grade 2 – Refers to moderate damage of the ligament (with up to 50% damaged) leading to some instability in the knee.
Grade 3 – Refers to a full rupture of the ligament where the knee will experience the greatest amount of instability.

Sprained ACL recovery time will be dependent on the grade of sprain or tear you have sustained to the ligament and your post-rehab goals. However, typical return to sport following surgical reconstruction ranges from 9-12 months.

Regardless of whether or not you will be having surgery to repair the ligament, early post injury guidelines will be the same.

As goes for many injuries, the number one goal for early rehab is regaining full range of motion in the joint. This generally means that the swelling has been flushed out and the area is primed for progressive strengthening. For an ACL tear it’s really no different, therefore, the first exercises are going to be geared towards flushing out the swelling and getting that knee moving.

Heel Slides
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Heel slides are performed primarily to progressively increase the range of motion at the knee (into flexion and extension). This can be done actively, where you are using your muscles to bend and straighten your leg, or passively, where you are using a strap or sheet to get the job done. These methods can also be used together in order to gain the strengthening benefits of active work and the passive benefits of overpressure. Remember, stay within your limits of pain, you aren’t getting any extra points for reaming on your leg!

Ankle Pumps
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Ankle Pumps can be used in the early stages as well to help limit the amount of swelling built up throughout the day. Blood and swelling follow the path of gravity, so if you are sitting a lot after an injury you may notice pooling in the leg after a couple hours. Pumping your ankles up and down will help to keep things moving, improving post-injury fluid flow.

Initially, weight bearing on the injured leg is likely going to be painful and difficult and you may be using crutches to help you walk. In order to help limit the amount of strength lost in the leg during this time, it is recommended that you complete some isometric activities to help keep those muscles engaging. Quadricep, hamstring and glute sets can be beneficial in the early stages following injury to keep the neural pathways to these muscles firing. Simply engage the muscles in a static position (for example dig your heel into the bed for the hamstring), hold for 5 seconds and repeat.

Once the range of motion has been restored, the symptoms have decreased and you are able to weight bear through the leg, you can begin to incorporate more complex exercises for the hip and the knee such as:

Bridges
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Sit-to-stands
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Mini squats
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Step ups
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All exercises should be completed with caution and only when you have the appropriate muscle strength and coordination to progress. Muscle soreness is common and normal following exercise, however sharp or shooting pains are your body’s signals that something may be wrong. When in doubt, always consult a medical professional for help.

3 min read

Dr. Veronica Lui

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What Is Whiplash?

Most people only associate whiplash with car accidents, but in reality, you can get whiplash from contact sports, rollercoasters, and even whipping your hair back and forth too abruptly at a concert.

What Is Whiplash?

So how does a whiplash injury happen? Whiplash is caused by a quick and sudden hyper-extension (backward) and then hyper-flexion (forward) movement of the neck. This type of abrupt movement causes the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) in your neck to be stretched past their normal limits and therefore, causing injury to those tissues – known as a Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD).

Whiplash can be classified into a grading system:
WAD I: Neck pain with stiffness or tenderness only. No physical signs.
WAD II: Neck pain and musculoskeletal signs such as a decrease in range of motion.
WAD III: Neck pain and neurological signs. Such things could include associated sensory deficits (numbness or tingling), weakness, decreased or absent deep tendon reflexes.
WAD IV: Neck pain and fracture or dislocation of the vertebrae of the neck.

The most common grade of a whiplash injury is a WAD II.

Common Whiplash Symptoms And Signs

It can be difficult to tell which grade of WAD you may have. You might even question whether you have whiplash or something else! Dizziness, headaches, jaw pain, and vertigo are some signs that you are experiencing whiplash.

How Long Does Whiplash Last?

It is difficult to provide an exact duration of how long whiplash symptoms will last, as it varies greatly from person to person. Typically, people recover within 6 months, however, some may have prolonged symptoms and it may take years to fully recover. But don’t let stop you from carrying on with your daily activities like:

Taking the perfect selfie angle
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Afternoon meet-up with a friend
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The length of healing time depends on a variety of factors such as, severity of the injury, how soon you initiate treatment, compliance to treatment, any prior whiplash injuries, any presentation of neurological deficits, any associated fractures or dislocations and any pre-existing health conditions that may delay full recovery.

How Do You Treat A Whiplash Injury?

The initial treatment option for a whiplash injury is to rest and apply ice or heat to the neck and surrounding area using the 10-10-10 protocol. Not sure what the 10-10-10 protocol is? We got you!

10-10-10 Protocol
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  1. Apply ice/heat to the area for 10 minutes
  2. Remove ice/heat for 10 minutes
  3. Reapply for another 10 minutes
  4. Repeat.

Manual therapy and exercises provided by a chiropractor, physiotherapist or registered massage therapist will help to restore the proper range of motion in your joints, ease muscle spasms and decrease pain. This will enable functional restoration and help you return to your normal daily activities sooner.

Delayed onset of treatment may lead to a poorer prognosis and hinder the total recovery time. In other words, the sooner you begin treatment, the better!

3 min read

Vitas Naudziunas, PT

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Shoulder Impingement Shouldn’t Impede On Your Daily Tasks

Shoulder impingement symptoms usually present as pain with certain movements especially above shoulders. For example, getting attention from that Uber driver who can’t find you. It can progress and cause pain even at rest.

Impingement of the shoulder, also known as rotator cuff impingement occurs when tendons of the rotator cuff get irritated and inflamed as they pass under a part of the shoulder blade called the acromion. It can be a nagging injury that affects daily life. The pain is typically located on the top or front of the shoulder. Shoulder impingement can be sharp with movements and achy at rest or after aggravation. So let’s learn more about shoulder impingement, so you can suffer less from it.

There are three typical causes of shoulder impingement which are listed below:

Improper Mechanics
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This means the ability to move the shoulder complex, including the shoulder blade on the rib cage and upper arm on the shoulder blade. A common fault seen is the winging of the shoulder blade, as this inherently creates instability in the shoulder complex. Developing strength and stability in the shoulder throughout all ranges of motion is a great shoulder impingement treatment approach. This is done to improve the mechanics of the shoulder complex and take stress off of the rotator cuff.

Poor Postural Habits
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Poor postural habits can also contribute to this in two ways.
1. The positions you spend majority of your day in can create tension imbalances around the shoulder, such as the pec muscles having increased tension. This is when one spends most of their day with their shoulders slumped forward. This on it’s own may not cause any issues but it’s the transferring of these habits into movement.
2. The other way that posture can contribute is the transferring over to movements even with the absence of tension imbalances. An example of this is having the habit of those shoulders being rounded forward and this habit being maintained in a shoulder press.

Those movements may also be repetitive ones which require reaching up for daily tasks, such as getting dressed, grabbing your favourite cold-pressed juice, waving to a friend, and many other tasks.
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Developing postural awareness and having posture variance is the key to avoid rotator cuff impingement symptoms. It will help correct the imbalances and create better subconscious positioning of the shoulder for various movements.

Poor Movement Coordination

Poor movement coordination ties into the other two causes as inability to control the shoulder through various movements can stress the rotator cuff disproportionately. Often time people will come to rely on large muscles such as the upper traps to do the majority of the movement as opposed to just contributing. Things that must be addressed with this are the movement patterns, stability and mobility of the joints involved and building a program that complements and improves those issues.

Once irritation of the tendons begins to occur there is possibility of it developing into a rotator cuff tear or a significant tendinopathy (tendonitis). Often, prolonged shoulder issues with compensations can begin to affect the neck as many muscles cross both regions. This neck pain will then compound the shoulder issues as the neck and shoulder have some dependence on each other from a functional aspect. Resolving shoulder impingement can be a matter of simply improving the above mentioned issues, so don’t let it continue to hamper your day to day.

5 min read

Alex Hart

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Beginner & Advanced Rotator Cuff Exercises For Shoulder Pain

It’s Summer and you’re probably going to want to show off those Summer Shoulders! But what’s the point if the “flex” isn’t as strong as it looks? Let’s dive into some rotator cuff exercises that can be used to prevent and rehab your shoulder injuries.

It happens to a number of us: picture yourself in the gym and you hear “that sound” or get “that pain” in your shoulder. It’s “that” shoulder pain which limits the rest of your workout and ends up nagging you for the next week. Commonly you’ve strained a muscle in the shoulder.

First off, the shoulder joint is a complex part of the body with a number of rotator cuff muscles that are prone to injury, varying in severity and specific type. To effectively understand how to properly rehab the shoulder and prevent further injury, we must first understand the relevant shoulder muscles in order to give the appropriate rotator cuff exercises.

Below is a picture of each muscle in action:

Supraspinatus
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Arm straight by side
Push with band (or against wall/table/etc without band)

Subscapularis
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Abduction of shoulder to 45-90 degrees, internal rotation

Infraspinatus
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Abduction of shoulder to 90 degrees, external rotation

Teres Minor
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Abduction of shoulder to 45 degrees, external rotation

These pictures above provide the foundation of treatment for a rotator cuff injury. With this, we can apply a progressive strengthening principle that can be used to strengthen the rotator cuff.

Start with holding these contractions within a pain free range. These are called isometric holds, which are the most basic of our shoulder exercises. Our goal is performing static holds that are direction specific for the individual rotator cuff muscles. Try to pick a point between the two pictures and hold is for 5-10 seconds for 3-5 repetitions.

We can progress these exercises by “concentrically and eccentrically” moving through available muscle range and eventually loading the muscles eccentrically. What we want to do here is move back and forth between the first and second picture for each muscle shown.

Additionally, here are another three exercises that are more advanced:

Bully Stretch
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This is a great stretch to help open up the whole shoulder area. There are a number of muscles that can get tight, leading to overuse rotator cuff injuries. Use this stretch as maintenance after your upper body training days. Try to aim for a 20-30 second stretch for 3-4 repetitions total.

Lawn Mower Pull
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This movement is a more complex, multidirectional movement involving the rotator cuff muscles. It incorporates the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and teres minor and teaches them to coordinate themselves while stabilizing the shoulder blade throughout the movement.

Wood Chopper
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As the “lawn mower” exercise above, this is more advanced, multi-directional movement. This one aims to get the other rotator cuff muscle, subscapularis, working with your larger chest and back muscles.

Our shoulders are a muscle group that we usually don’t think about throughout our day. But when we experience some sort of injury, regardless of it’s severity, pain and weakness can limit our ability to effectively coordinate our everyday complex movements. Including any upcoming Summer sports, activities, and events with family and friends. That’s why these seemingly “simple” exercises are so important to help rehab ourselves back to our full potential.

Use these exercises but make sure you speak with your local therapist to ensure the specific aspects of your injury are well understood.

4 min read

Dr. Kevin Marryshow

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Plantar Fasciitis Stretches To Heal Those Heels

Just because you love wearing heels, doesn’t mean you should neglect your heel pain AKA plantar fasciitis pain. We explain four effective plantar fasciitis stretches you need to do. Plantar fasciitis can be such a pain in the heel!

With so many of you strong women out there working diligently to leave your footprints on this world, we understand that dressing like a boss is just as important as working like one. Unfortunately, in some cases, dressing like a boss can take a toll, especially if you’re wearing heels for the entire day.

The obvious answer to avoiding that annoying back of heel pain is to just, “stop wearing heels,” but let’s be realistic ladies, that’s not happening. Since you’re wearing them already, you might as well make it as comfortable and as safe as possible.

The following stretches for plantar fasciitis will help your legs and feet be better prepared to wear heels throughout the day.

Calf Raises
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1. Bring your feet together without touching
2. Raise your heels so you are up on your toes
Tip: Avoid rolling out on the outside of your feet. Imagine pushing your big toe into the ground to keep your feet even.

Single Leg Squat
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1. Raise one of your heels of the ground
2. Raise that same leg up and behind your body
3. Slightly bend the knee on the same side of the foot that is on the ground
4. Hold for 30s then switch sides. Perform 3x/side

Calf/Achilles Stretch
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1. Find a solid platform to push against and stagger your feet into a one line stance
2. Lean into the platform and push away with both a straight leg and a bent leg (as seen here in the picture)
3. Hold for 10s and switch side. Perform 3x/side

Toe Muscles Strengthening
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(Do this bare foot)
1. Raise your big toe while keeping your other 4 toes planted. Hold for 10s
2. Drop your big toe and raise your other 4 toes while keeping your big planted. Hold for 10s
3. Repeat on both feet 3x/foot

Like any part of the body, our feet need attention as well. By following these plantar fasciitis stretches and exercises, your feet will thank you as you walk down the streets with confidence! Our bodies are like a building, without a solid foundation, it’s eventually going to break down. So start from the ground up!

The stronger the muscles in our feet, the better it can hold the bones of the feet and ankles in alignment. Thankfully, there are amazing tools out there you can use to help avoid any heel pain so you can put your best foot forward.

6 min read

Top 5 Muscle Pain Relief Stretches You Can Do Anywhere

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Top 5 Muscle Pain Relief Stretches You Can Do Anywhere

Many people think of stretching and immediately associate it with pre or post-workout, but what about adding in some muscle pain relief stretches during your work day?

We are spending a considerable amount of time (approximately 8 hours) seated at our desk during the day, or looking down on our phones or tablets. Surely, we should take some time to think about muscle pain relief. Overtime our bodies will no longer want to deal with the strain caused by static posture. The most common types of pain we experience are neck tension, stiff shoulders, hip and back pain.

We take you through five effective active stretches for your whole body, resulting in increased mobility and muscle pain relief.

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Neck Stretch: Hold for 10 seconds, 3x/side

  1. Bend your head to the right.
  2. Lower and press down your left shoulder
  3. Reach forward with your left arm, just below shoulder level.

This is a great neck stretch for overall neck tension and muscle pain relief since it stretches out the upper trapezius muscle, while simultaneously promoting activity of the serratus anterior muscle. Both of these muscles work together to create healthy shoulder movement.

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Thoracic Spine Rotations: Complete 5x/side

  1. Lay on your right side, with your right leg extended and your left knee bent at 90 degrees, propped up with either a foam roller or pillow, to lock out your lumbar spine.
  2. Outstretch your right arm to shoulder level with your palm facing up, and place your left arm directly on top.
  3. Slowly start lifting your left arm up, mimicking the motion of an archer, rotating segmentally up the spine to evenly distribute the motion.
  4. When the back of your left arm reaches the ground on the opposite side of your body, slowly rotate back to the starting position.

This stretch is great for thoracic spine relief. To increase extension and rotation within our thoracic spine. This will also offload the lumbar spine, decreasing back tension.

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Hip Flexor Stretch (iliopsoas muscle release): Complete 5x/side

  1. Start in a kneeling position, with your left leg forward, and your right knee bent behind you.
  2. Tuck your pelvis under and squeeze your right glute.
  3. Reach your right arm up and overhead to the left.
  4. Lift your left arm up to shoulder level and rotate to the left.

This hip flexor stretch helps to offset prolonged sitting by stretching out your anterior hip flexors, especially the psoas, which can pull you into an anterior pelvic tilt.

 

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Pectoralis Wall Stretch: Hold for 30 seconds/side

  1. Find a doorway or the edge of a wall, and place your left arm against it, with your elbow bent and your arm overhead.
  2. Sink forward into the stretch.

Stretching out the pectoralis muscle will correct your slouched posture and restore normal shoulder motion.

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Hip External Rotator Stretch: Hold for 1 minute/side

  1. Lay on your back with your knees bent and both feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your left heel on your right thigh, just above the knee.
  3. Lift your right foot off the ground, and hug your right thigh into your chest.
  4. To intensify the stretch, use your left elbow to push your left knee down and roll your body slightly to the right.

This is an effective stretch to increase hip mobility and reduce sacroiliac joint pain.

These stretches focus on the major muscle groups that usually contribute to neck and low back pain and stiffness. They are super simple and easy to do virtually anywhere! Something as little as spending a few minutes stretching is all you need for muscle pain relief.  Small sacrifices daily will help the longevity of your body.

3 min read

Life Hacks: Self Myofascial Release Tools To Use At Home

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Life Hacks: Self Myofascial Release Tools To Use At Home

If you’re wondering where you can get some myofascial release tools, perhaps you should start looking in your own home.

So you’re new to the idea of self myofascial release tools and using the best foam roller, myofascial release lacrosse ball, and many more self release tools. This article will show you how to use some items around the house to get into the routine of taking care of your body. Self myofascial release techniques are easier than you think!

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Use your Broom Stick like a rolling pin

Probably best to remove the head first but once you’ve done that you have yourself a dowel. You can use this for rolling out muscles (like a rolling pin). It can be used in areas where you may experience muscular tension and pain such as your legs, glutes or neck. Working on an area for a couple minutes is ideal or until you feel a softening of the tissue.

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Use the wall to help with stretching

We all have these and they are great if you want to stretch your upper body like your pecs, rotator cuff and back. Holding stretches for 45 seconds while varying the angles of your body will give you the best results

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Use a frozen water bottle like a foam roller

Ideally this should be metal or heavy duty plastic. You can use these on specific tender areas on large muscle groups like your glutes or where you may feel leg pain. Find those local stubborn knots and wait 90 seconds or so for the tissues to release.  

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Tennis Balls can be used like a lacrosse ball

Hopefully you have 2 of these because we have a tip on a self myofascial release tennis ball trick! Put them into a clean sock and tie off the end. You’ve now made what is called a “peanut”. Use this by placing it segmentally along your spine from your low back up into the base of your head. This is great for managing any cervical tension or pain. Stay in each area for a minute or two.

Using self myofascial release tools at home on a regular basis can help prevent the buildup of tension and stiffness in your body. They are great if you are experiencing some hip pain or leg pain due to limited flexibility or lack of mobility and can be a great addition to your pain management strategy.

3 min read

Dr. James Yoon, Naturopathic Doctor

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5 Things You Can Do To Sleep Better At Night

 

Not only does sleep affect mood, but mood and mental states can also affect sleep. Anxiety increases agitation and arousal, which makes it hard to sleep.

No doubt you’ve fallen victim to a case of the “grumpies” directly related to lack of sleep. After a night of tossing and turning, you may feel more irritable, short-tempered, and vulnerable to stress the next day. Once you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep, however, you might find that your mood has magically returned to normal.

Studies have shown that even partial sleep deprivation has a significant effect on mood. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that subjects who were limited to only 4.5 hours of sleep a night for one week reported feeling more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. But when their normal hours of sleep resumed, they reported a dramatic improvement in mood.

There are a number of things you can do to help you relax and get the most out of your night time rest. Here are some recommendations.

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Eliminate Blue Light from your electronic devices in the evening

Use an app that eliminates blue light from electronic devices like your phone and computer if you’re using them in the evening. Blue light suppresses the levels of sleep-inducing melatonin more than any other wavelength. F.lux is an effective nighttime app for your laptop to help reduce the blue light on your monitor.

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Don’t shy away from a mid-day power nap

If you like napping, keep them short (20-30 minutes). Napping helps boost alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep.

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Dim the lights closer to bedtime

Expose yourself to daylight and limit bright light exposure in the evening. Bright light can trick your body into thinking that it is still daytime by shifting your circadian rhythm. Instead, use dim lighting to help prepare your body for sleep in the evening.

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Snack on something small that is high in protein and fibre.

A light snack containing protein and fibre are okay. Stay away from high carbs or refined sugars. Large meals high in carbohydrates and sugar create blood sugar imbalances that can affect your sleep quality.

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Light exercises are best during the evening

Exercise regularly but avoid vigorous exercise before you turn in. Exercise promotes a more restful sleep in order for your body to recover from physical activity. But vigorous exercise, especially late-night cardiovascular exercise, can be too stimulating and affect your ability to fall asleep. Try to exercise at least 3 hours before going to bed to avoid these issues. Yoga and strength training are less stimulating and are better alternatives if you like to workout in the evenings.

3 min read

Vitas Naudziunas, PT

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How To Maintain Good Posture While Driving

 

We look at the top three reasons why you shouldn’t lean while driving, and the three things you can do to ensure you maintain good posture in the car.

Many of us spend a decent part of our life driving or commuting to work. The average one-way commute is 25 minutes in North America – that’s a minimum of an hour of your day spent driving. That is enough to develop poor posture and movements habits, especially right at the start of your day. Lower back pain and prolonged driving seem to go hand-in-hand, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Leaning over the one side while driving will eventually become uncomfortable on your lower back.

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The lean can stay with you all day

1. This position creates an “S” shaped curve in your spine. After sleeping, your discs have rehydrated and decompressed. Putting yourself in this position creates uneven load through the discs for a prolonged amount of time, creating uneven pressure through the discs of the low back. It also promotes having the head forward which can strain the neck and cause adaptive changes in the low back as further compensation.

2. Muscles adapt to chronic positions by adaptively lengthening or shortening. So after your 30-minute drive in that particular position, the body will naturally maintain some of that “S” curve once you are back upright or by the time you reach your desk.

3. This adaptation can also affect your movements patterns as the muscle progressively adapts to that position over time, especially if you go to work and spend your day sitting. Thus, you may have poor alignment while moving and there is a good chance you’ll even notice it because your body has already adapted to that position. That alignment may not cause issues initially but when it does it will take just as much time to undo it.

The following are ways you can fix your posture while driving.

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Sit the right way

Get in your vehicle and find a seat position where you can sit upright on the chair (raise the chair back if you have to) and comfortably have your hands on the wheel with a relaxed, mild bend in the elbows.

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Adjust your vantage points

Once in this position, alter your mirrors so that they will be most effective when sitting in this stance. Seated like this will be a constant reminder of optimal position while driving.

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Switch Your Sitting Position

For those that already have been in these postures for a long time, spend 5-10 minutes a day sitting in the opposite position for a few weeks just to help even out these muscle imbalances. You will notice that if you tend to lean right while driving, then leaning to your left will feel awkward. This reaction is your brain and body telling you that it’s a position you are not used to.

4 min read

Dr. Kevin Marryshow

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Your 4 Step Guide To Fixing Neck Pain Headache

The root of most headaches comes from the neck, specifically from your suboccipital muscles. With the list of methods being so exponential we decided to comprise a list of the best tips, hacks, stretches, and exercises for your suboccipital release.

Long and intense days at work can take a toll on anyone. You finally feel like you have things prioritized, but of course, another load of work gets placed on your desk. Then, out of nowhere, “BANG” a headache comes on.

All of a sudden it feels like somebody took a hammer to your head. Now your head is pounding uncontrollably and you’re looking for quick solutions to fight the feeling of just giving up on the day and giving into your suboccipital neck pain that’s causing your headache. Believe it or not, there is a way to decrease the likelihood of dealing with them in the future!

Here is your 4 step guide to managing that annoying Neck Pain Headache at work.

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1.  More Planning – Less Stress = Less Headaches

Managing your Neck Pain Headache also has a lot to do with how you manage what’s essential and not essential. Take your Sunday to imagine what your week will look like. What is essential to get done that week and what isn’t essential that you could avoid. What choices can you make ahead of time to make for an easy less anxiety filled week. There are obviously going to be things that will happen throughout the week and that’s ok and more than expected. The goal of this exercise is to recognize what you can control and remove obstacles that you clearly identify as a waste of your time.

When you prep your week and “pre-make” those decisions. The easier it will be to handle curveballs during the week and control that feeling of being overwhelmed. The better you are at modulating that the less anxiety you will experience throughout the week.

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2. Self Neck Release

Self release is a great way to release the tension that builds up in the suboccipital muscles. These are a group of muscles just behind and below the skull that are infamous headache generators.

  1. Place one thumb on the mastoid process (bony ridge behind your ear).
  2. Slide your thumb slightly closer to the spine so that you fall off the bony ridge.
  3. Place opposite hand on the other side of your head.
  4. Use your thumb and add more pressure into the muscle.
  5. Use opposite hand to pull your head down and away from where your thumb is resting while maintaining the thumb pressure you created previously.
  6. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times on both sides.

To help decrease that annoying tension of this muscle group, below is one suboccipital release stretch you do to help with your stiff neck and headache relief anywhere.

 

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3. Neck Stretch

Stretching and exercising does so many good things for all of you headache sufferers out there. Having a stretch and exercise regimen to deal with the neck muscles, chest, and shoulders is a great way to manage your headaches that are a result of muscle “tension”.

  1. Grab seat with one arm
  2. Lean neck away
  3. Tuck chin
  4. Pull down with the other arm

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4. Just when you think you drink enough water. Drink more!

Drinking water is probably one of the easiest ways to start managing your headaches. We all would love to think that we consume enough water. But the truth is we could never consume enough. Always keep drinking more. Try to always have a water bottle on hand and make it a part of your daily routine. You hit enter, you take a sip, you hit send, you take a sip, you take a microbreak, you take a sip, get the point. Just keep drinking. Being well hydrated increases blood flow, blood flow helps keep muscles and fascia mobile which in turn decreases headaches.

There you have it, your 4 step guide to living a life without headaches. Challenge yourself this week to take a stand on your headaches. The moment you do is the moment you make strides towards living a better life.

3 min read

Dr. Veronica Lui

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3 Exercises To Help With Sciatica Pain Relief

First off, what is sciatica? Simply put, it’s a pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs from your low back to your buttock and down the back of your thigh and calf.

With the sciatic nerve being the longest and largest nerve in the body, you can imagine how debilitating it would be to have it aggravated.

Of course, manual therapy can help with sciatica pain relief but when you couple treatments with these three at home exercises, your sciatic nerve won’t be pissed off anymore.

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Nerve Flossing

  1. Sit comfortably in a chair and bring your affected leg up with the knee extended
  2. Plantarflex your foot (point your toes down) and simultaneously flex your head forward (bring your chin to your chest). Hold this position for 3 seconds.
  3. Next, dorsiflex your foot (point your toes up) and simultaneously extend your head backward (look up to the ceiling). Hold this position for 3 seconds.
  4. Transition through each step smoothly and slowly
  5. Steps “b to c” count as one repetition. Perform 8 reps, 3 times a day

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Piriformis stretch

  1. Laying comfortably on your back, bring your affected leg toward your torso and lay it across the unaffected leg, as shown in the photo
  2. Pull the unaffected leg toward you and simultaneously push the affected leg away from you
  3. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, 3 reps, 3 times a day

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Lumbar extension

  1. Lay on your stomach with your arms bent and hands by your ears
  2. Gently push up onto your forearms and extend your low back  
  3. To take it one step further, push up onto your hands while keeping your pelvis glued to the floor as best you can (sloppy push-up), and again further extending your low back  
  4. Hold for 10 seconds, 6 reps, 3 times a day  

As always, take it easy and be cautious with the sciatica exercises. You want to calm the sciatic nerve down, not irritate it even more. You will feel some discomfort with these exercises, but hey… no pain, no gain right? That being said, work within your own tolerance and stop any of these exercises if the pain worsens.

3 min read

Rebecca Armstrong

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Five Commute Exercises To Do For Neck Pain and Lower Back Pain

Typical activities while commuting, like staring at your phone or reading, also increases neck tension.

Your commute, plus sitting at work, is a lot of time that your lower back is inactive; therefore, causing lower back pain. “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. While we may not be able to do anything about the commutes (aside from relocating closer to our workplaces), we can optimize our time commuting to ensure your body won’t feel the after effects of logging countless hours on the bus or train.

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Get on/off your stop earlier

Depending on what your job is, you may already be spending most of your day sitting at a desk. Why not change up your routine and get on or off at a farther stop. Walking a few extra blocks will help activate your glutes which can contribute to decreasing lower back pain. Walking will also allow you to spend a bit more time each day in an extension position which will counteract all the hours spent in flexion at work. It’s also an excellent opportunity to destress from the day and reflect on things you may need to get done at home.

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Practice your balance while riding public transit

This one is almost forced some days when the bus, streetcars or subways are full to the brim and there are no handrails to hold. But granted you are relatively stable as is (i.e. no severe balance issues), use this time to practice your balance by standing with no handrail support. The movement of the vehicle will provide external perturbation which will challenge your proprioception. Safety tip: it’s recommended to do this near a handrail in the event a significant bump, or sharp turn unexpectedly happens.

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Use the handrails for stretching

As mentioned, many of us spend a significant portion of our days in a flexed forward posture. This positioning has many adverse effects on our bodies,neck pain being a main culprit. Why not use your commutes to help you stretch out these tight structures? Use the handrails to get in a pec stretch or use two and stretch out those hip flexors. Anyone staring is just jealous they never thought of it.

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If you MUST sit, actively sit
Unless your commute is more than an hour, do your best to stand for most of it. This is especially true for those of us who will be sitting the rest of the day. However, if you need to sit, make sure to sit actively. When sitting, don’t slouch, don’t sit at the front of the seat and lean back and don’t lean excessively to the side. Instead, sit back in your seat, use the backrest for lumbar spine support and engage your core. For added benefit, perform seated cat/camels to keep your spine moving.

 

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Read or listen to podcasts while avoiding forward head posture

Using the dreaded commute for your personal gain can actually cause you to enjoy your time spent on public transit. However, with the crowded buses, streetcars, and subways, taking out your laptop may not be feasible. Try downloading some motivational podcasts or books that will help you to prepare for your day or week.

When reading, make sure to keep your posture in mind. Keep your elbows close to your sides and use them to prop your book up to eye level to avoid excessive neck flexion and forward head posture. When you’re finished, do a quick stretch for the front of your neck by extending, rotating and side bending until you feel a gentle stretch. Follow up with some chin tucks and you’ll be ready to start or finish your day right.

3 min read

Alex Hart

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How To Bar Hop Without Lower Back Pain

After a long day of work, spending a few hours unwinding at the bar with friends is common for a lot of us. But hours of drinking ultimately leads to prolonged sitting and standing, which could result in nagging lower back pain.

Nobody thinks about physical health while enjoying themselves at the bar. But you may want to reconsider and start using the chair or foot rail to help reduce that nagging lower back pain.

Difficulties meeting the prolonged postural demands hints towards a bigger issue than simply, “back pain.” This term has previously been called lower cross syndrome and is a way to conceptualize a combination of muscle imbalances that results in constant lower back pain.

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These imbalances typically consist of the following:

  • Tight lumbar extensors
  • Weak / Inhibited Abdominals
  • Tight Hip flexors
  • Weak / Inhibited gluteus muscles

The result is a hyperlordosis in our back, more commonly known as anterior pelvic tilt. But good news! If you find yourself stuck in this situation, you can work to counteract some of the tight muscles that may be causing these issues.

Here are three quick exercises you can do at the bar without catching too much attention.

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90/90 Breathing

This move is a great workout that uses specific muscle activation patterns to help alleviate a tight lower back and hip flexors.

  • In a sitting position, place your heels in front of the two front legs of the chair.
  • Make a fist with both hands and place them between your knees.
  • Press your heels into the legs of the chair, activating your hamstrings on the backside of your thigh.
  • Lightly squeeze together your knees against your fists, activating your adductors (groin muscles).
  • While breathing slowly, imagine tucking your tailbone underneath yourself, this is called a posterior pelvic tilt.
  • Repeat this for 2-3 minutes.

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Couch Stretch

This move stretches out your hip flexors, which often tightens after prolonged standing ?

  • While standing and using a high chair, bring your foot up to the seat
  • Tuck your tailbone underneath yourself by lightly contracting your abdominals.
  • Take slow and deep breaths in through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
  • Repeat this for 20 secs, 2-3 times.

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Figure Four Stretch

This stretch will target a muscle deep to the glutes called the piriformis. Doing this move will help alleviate some of the tightness  on the tailbone you feel from a long period of sitting. 

  • Using a high chair in front of you, bring your leg up onto it so that the outside of your shin is flat on the seat.
  • Take a deep breath in and out, and lightly lean forward at the hips do go deeper into this stretch
  • If your leg doesn’t lay flat, feel free to use a fist between your knee and the seat surface.
  • Repeat this for 20 secs, 2-3 times.

So next time you decide to spend an evening at the bar, make sure to try these exercises and avoid a “lower back hangover.”

3 min read

Dr. Kevin Marryshow

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How To Avoid Carpal Tunnel

 

The term Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a huge faux pas in the office world. We have glorified it like this “deceased-like” occurrence that signifies your life is over.

But contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t have to be like that. Here are four fantastic tips on how to avoid or deal with the carpal tunnel.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is defined as a condition that affects the median nerve that causes hand pain and numbness/tingling, specifically the thumb, index finger, middle finger and the outer half of your ring finger.

The actual “carpal tunnel” is a band of ligaments that runs along the inside of the palm and is not the wrist itself, where many are led to believe it is. Running in this “tunnel” is the median nerve which controls the affected fingers. For reasons such as repetitive work (typing, drilling, texting) this “tunnel” gets tight and restricted, which cut’s of the median’s nerve ability to send sound information to the hand.

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CTS shouldn’t even be called a syndrome. A syndrome is a detrimental term. However, CTS occurs when you do things that cause the “tunnel” to get tight. If we look at it this way, it’s easy to be motivated to take control back and fight back against it.

Here are the essential tips you need to do to avoid CTS

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Avoid prolonged extreme wrist motion in either direction

  • Avoid activities that bring your wrist into end range flexion or extension. Those positions are aggravating to the carpal tunnel and should be prevented whenever possible.
  • Just like your muscles your nerves need maintenance too. Stretching and moving your median nerve is an excellent way to free up the nerve, so it has the freedom to move and flow without restrictions.

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Self-mobilizations you could do are “free the bird” and “backup”

Free the Bird Instructions

  • Just like your muscles your nerves need maintenance too. Stretching and moving your median nerve is an excellent way to free up the nerve, so it has the freedom to move and flow without restrictions.
  1. Start by looking down at your hand as you hold it face up in front of your chest (holding the bird)
  2. Extend your arm, wrist and fingers as you turn to look at your hand (free the bird)
  3. Proceed to look away if tolerated

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Back Up Instructions

  1. Start by bringing both arms up in front of you
  2. Extend your wrists and fingers
  3. Slowly reach away from your body

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Take breaks when doing repetitive tasks

  • Repetitive tasks have become a staple in our lives so taking micro-breaks to give your wrists a break from typing, or gripping is always a great idea.

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Seek out professional advice

  • Manual therapy is a good way to reduce the effects of CTS. Often nerves can get tethered or caught in fascia or between muscles. “Releasing” the nerve from any restrictions is an excellent way to unlock nerves and ensure that they are moving and gliding as optimally as possible.

2 min read

Dr. Kevin Marryshow

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How To Spoon Without Shoulder Pain

So you have your evening planned with dinner reservations, some drinks, followed by some alone time spent at home.

I’m sure a romantic night with your significant other will involve some spooning, but cuddle time with your partner could result in back and shoulder pain the morning after.

Here is your 4 step guide on how to avoid shoulder pain after an evening of spooning.

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Think about your shoulder position

  • Spooning can put your arm in significant protraction and put a lot of stress on your shoulder. Before you settle into your spooning position, put your shoulder in a better position by creating more shoulder retraction to create better alignment.

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Add durability to your shoulders 

To help bulletproof your shoulders for cuddling sessions, incorporate more shoulder stabilizing workouts.

  • Plank – Perform 30s hold / three sets
  • Row – Perform ten reps/ three sets

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Take turns being the little spoon

  • I know the man usually sets the tone for the cuddling position, which usually involves playing the big spoon. But who’s to say only one person has to play the “little spoon” role in the relationship? By switching roles, you will provide a break for your shoulders and lessen the stress for each of you.

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Switch positions

  • We all have our preferred position, regardless if it is right for you or not. If you regularly sleep on your right side a couple of times a week, you should challenge yourself to switch sides. Same goes for tonight’s spooning session. If you slept on your left last night, try to cuddle laying on your right side.

 

2 min read

How To Fix Your Tight Hips

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How To Fix Your Tight Hips

If your job requires you to sit all day, chances are you’ve complained about having tight hips a few times throughout the week. Here is your 6 step guide to unlocking your hips.

The tight hip sensation you feel is just a manifestation of your body sending signals to your brain to move the body part/joint around. If you continue to ignore those messages, your tight hips will only get worse.

The awareness and sensations become hard to discern, and you may feel confused on whether you are doing the activity right or wrong. Having self-awareness will help you understand when it is time to have a health care professional coach you through the next steps.

Here is when a Myodetox Therapist can provide you with solutions according to your individual needs, to move you along your progressions through the use of our manual therapy and movement education techniques.

So how do you tackle tight hips?

Try out some of these hip drills and exercises to regain the ranges of motion you have lost throughout the years. 

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1. Warrior Pose – Get into a one line stance by bringing one foot back and bending the front knee until you feel a comfortable stretch in the hip and quad of the back leg.

2. Downward Dog – Bend forward to place your hands firmly on the ground. Walk your hands out until you get into a tolerable pike position.

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3. Low Lunge Quad Stretch – Get into a one line stance and place one knee on the ground. Reach back to grab the foot of the leg that is on the ground. Pull that foot towards your buttock until you feel a tolerable stretch in the quad of the same leg.

4. Hip Opener stretch – While in a lunge position extend the back leg keeping your knee of the ground. Bring both hands firmly on the floor inside the front leg. Use your elbow to drive the knee out until you feel a comfortable stretch in the groin/hip of the front leg.

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5. Pigeon Stretch – Bring one shin on the floor in front of you with your opposite leg straight back behind you. Place your arms or forearms on the ground in front of you, whichever is more comfortable. Anteriorly tilt your pelvis by sitting up tall and bringing you tailbone towards the sky. Lean forward until you feel a comfortable stretch in the hip of the leg that is in front of you.

6.Cross-legged Arm Reach – Cross your legs in front of you and reach towards the sky. Take one hand and bring it over your head to try to touch the opposite shoulder blade. Take the other hand behind the back and try to touch the opposite shoulder blade.

3 min read

Rebecca Armstrong

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How To Carry Your Bag And Avoid Shoulder Pain

 

While living in the digital age, it’s easy to choose fashion over function. Without thinking twice, we will purchase the fancy looking purse or handbag over the practical and functional option, which can lead to shoulder pain.

The problem is that while we may look fly AF walking with our large *insert name brand here* purse, the constant load on our shoulder can lead to neck, shoulder pain, lower back pain and dysfunction.

Carrying that heavy bag can cause your natural gait to be thrown off (by interfering with your arm swing), your center of gravity will shift to the side, and your bag will also cause your upper trapezius muscles to become overactive and stiff.

Here are five tips you can use to try and decrease the adverse effects of carrying a purse.

Try a cross body bag

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Instead of loading one side of your body with a heavy weight, causing your body to carry an asymmetric load, try using a cross body bag to distribute the forces through the body better.

Reduce the load

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While this may seem like an obvious one, lessening the burden that you carry on the daily can significantly reduce the strain you place on your shoulders and neck. Consider doing a weekly inventory of your purse to see what you need or don’t need.

Switch your bag on your other shoulder

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This may be a tough one to get used to as you likely have developed muscle memory and subsequent tension on the side you carry your bag on, but switching shoulders periodically can help distribute the load, and decrease the strain and asymmetry on your body.

Try a backpack

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I know you are probably rolling your eyes at this one, but there are a lot of fashionable backpacks to choose from! Switching to a two strap bag can significantly reduce the amount of strain and asymmetry a large shoulder bag would otherwise cause. The load will evenly distribute the weight through your body, and you will be able to walk with a normal gait.

Use a dynamic purse/bag

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Try using a bag with different strap options. Switching between cross-body, on the shoulder, and holding the purse as a clutch can offer rest to those often overused, upper trapezius muscles.

 

3 min read

A Weak Butt Causes Hip Pain

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A Weak Butt Causes Hip Pain

If you’re feeling hip pain, it’s probably because you’re not walking around enough, and you’re not activating your butt enough.

If you’re not texting on your phone, you’re sitting at your desk hunched over, working away on your laptop. Time flies, and next thing you know, you’re getting up for a walk, but only after a couple hours have passed.

Although you’re working hard, you’re not working your butt enough. And even though you may not feel any pain now, the mid-day walk to grab lunch will eventually catch up to your hips.

To get a better idea how your butt is related to your hip pain, allow us to explain.

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This important group of muscles do this as their major actions:
Medius: abducts the hip (hip to the side)
Maximus: extends the hip (pulls the thigh behind you)
Minimus:abducts the hip (hip to the side)

These important muscles are often weak and underworked. So many of our jobs require us to sit for prolonged periods of time. The lack of mobility causes our gluten to “turn off” or stop firing as effectively. Once our glutes stop firing, we start developing imbalances within the hip which can lead to aches and eventual hip pain.

When building strong glutes, you can expect to see some of these things happen along the way:

Alleviate back pain: Learning to contract your glutes in a multitude of ranges can alleviate a lot of the mechanical back pain you are currently experiencing. Your glutes work to stabilize the pelvis and keep the hip joint centered. When they’re strong, your lower back doesn’t need to compensate and take excessive mechanical stress.

Increase performance: If you want to maximize your athletic potential, squatting should be a top priority. Stronger glutes will improve your speed, agility, and jumping skills, and quick side-to-side movements. Every time you take a step, your glute max stabilizes your pelvis, making transitions into movements safe on your pelvic joints and ultimately your back.

Abolish knee pain: A strong glute medius keeps the pelvis stable and prevents swaying from side to side. When your pelvis isn’t stable, it puts a lot of excessive pressure on your knees and ankles. When your glutes are strong, it helps to maintain proper alignment of the knee, hip and ankle. This natural alignment keeps your knee from hurting by tracking the knee cap properly.

Try out these 3 movements and see if you can hold the positions for 1 minute each with total control.

This will give you a good indicator of how well your glutes are doing.

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Kick backs

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Single leg bridges

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Side Clamp

2 min read

Dr. Kevin Marryshow

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Four Text Neck Exercises To Avoid Text Neck Syndrome

At this point in the tech generation, it’s safe to say that majority of the population has a smartphone. Unfortunately, we all are susceptible to text neck syndrome. However, small changes to the way you consume content on your phone can make all the difference between a healthy neck and text neck.

Check out these four simple exercises and neck pain stretches for your neck pain!

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1. Neck problems from cell phones can be fixed by simply bringing your phone a little closer to your face. It makes the world of a difference!

Ultimately, you decide on positioning; your phone doesn’t. By putting 10 degrees of extension in your neck (bringing your head back up) can alleviate about 10lbs of sustained weight on your neck. As long as you’re more conscious about positioning, it’ll help you find opportunities to bring your phone up to your face.

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2. Talk more and text less

We have lost our ability to make more genuine connections. We don’t even call to wish each other happy birthday anymore. We pretty much say all of our well wishes with one emoticon. In a day in age where hearing a voice over the phone is rare take advantage. It could set you apart in many ways and give you a competitive edge.

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3. Tuck your elbows – it provides you with a checkpoint

When you tuck your elbows into your body it gives you no room to drop your arms down any more. When your arms drop down your head will just end up following.

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4. Get into the habit of simple and quick neck exercises

Working on the deep neck flexors is an excellent way to create a stretch of your back neck muscles that tend to tighten up. It also builds the strength of the muscles deep in the front of the neck that tends to get weaker and inhibited because of always texting on your phone.

  1. Lie on your back
  2. Tuck your chin slightly
  3. Raise your head up just high enough to force you to contract the muscles in the front of your neck against gravity
  4. Slowly continue to raise your head into more neck flexion (chin down to to chest)
  5. Don’t let your chin jut forward
  6. Hold for 30 sec (or whatever time you can tolerate. Many of you will be super tired after 10secs)
  7. Repeat 3x daily

3 min read

Dr. Kevin Marryshow

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How To Netflix And Chill Without The Back Pain

 

We’ve all been there before. One hour on Netflix quickly turns into twelve hours slouched on your couch and before you know it, you’re experiencing lower back pain.

Before you decide to invest the next twelve consecutive hours of your day cuddled up with your partner, make sure to take the proper steps to avoid any potential back pain.

To help avoid any injuries, we’ve outlined the top five things you need to know so you can Netflix and chill, sans the back pain.

Plank before the meet-up

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Before you head over to your date’s place, do a plank. Getting into a plank position is an excellent way to get your core muscles engaged to take on the stresses of a TV marathon. I mean, you could do a plank at her house, but there is no guarantee she won’t consider you a weirdo. For the sake of argument, get to know her first before you make her living room your personal space.

Slouching isn’t attractive

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Slouching creates a posterior pelvic tilt and it adds additional stress on your back. To avoid any back pain, slide your butt right back into the wedge where the backrest meets the cushion.

It’s good to kick it, but not with your feet up

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Putting your feet up seems relaxing, but the temporary bliss is just adding more stress on your lower back. If you want to test your back out, try sitting with your feet up for three hours while slouching. You may make it through the next episode, but eventually your back will give in.

Don’t overlook the figure-four stretch

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Every hour, take a break and try a duo “figure four stretch.” There is no better way to show your date that you take good care of your body.

  1. Slide forward to the edge of your seat
  2. Cross one leg over the other into a figure 4
  3. Sit up tall until you feel a stretch in your glutes
  4. Hold for 30 seconds
  5. Repeat three times on both sides

Every step you take counts

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Whether it’s bathroom breaks, refilling your drinks, or restocking snacks, getting up from your seat will have a positive impact on your back. Going for a walk mid-way into your TV binge will alleviate the stress on your back and provide you with the perfect solutions to avoid any post-Netflix and chill back pain.

2 min read

How To Properly Sit At Your Desk

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How To Properly Sit At Your Desk

 

The majority of people sit either with a flat lumbar spine or overarched lumbar spine. 

Sitting incorrectly creates improper compensations, inefficient use of the musculature and compression of the spinal disk. These dysfunctional sitting postures can be carried over into standing and movement patterns which can have a drastic effect on your health.

Also, sitting while under stress (i.e. at work) taps into your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight). Since you can’t punch your boss, out (fight) or run away from work (flight), your sympathetic nervous system is on overload constantly even when you get home. You cannot tap back into your parasympathetic nervous system to rest and digest, that is why so many people cannot sleep well and have poor digestion. By repeating the cycle day in and day out, it’s no wonder why people die prematurely.

So how do you resolve this? Well, for starters try to not to sit so much. Go for walks, find a movement practice to destress, and meditate.

If you have to sit, sit with a posture that is supportive for your structure.

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Many of us spend way too much time sitting at work with a posture that is not supportive for our bone structure and tissues.

Sitting up straight and pulling your shoulders back are important to keep in mind, but they are difficult to do unless you keep your pelvis neutral. How do I do that?

  • Find your “SITS” bones. Get in a chair and when you feel two hard/firm bumps, you want to sit right on top of them. If you tilt your butt back, you will feel them move backwards.
  • Try to slouch upper body without allowing your pelvis to posterior tilt.
  • Come back up then allow your pelvis to posterior tilt (Tuck tail under). You will notice your upper body drop into a slouch
  • Keeping your pelvis in posterior tilt, try to straighten your spine, so you are upright.

It’s hard to keep everything lined up if your pelvis is not level but it’s so much easier when it is!

1 min read

Gracia Florendo

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It’s Time You Fix Your Arch Without Orthotics

 

I’m going against the popular belief that orthotics is the answer for your foot woes.

I’m not saying orthotics don’t work, and they don’t relieve people’s pain. They do, but I come from the school of thought that manual therapy and some foot exercises can fix your feet naturally.

All arches of the foot are sustained together by from the soft tissues surrounding it. Therefore, if your medial longitudinal arch is flat [aka flat feet], why try to create a fake arch, when you can release the foot and elevate the arch by manual therapy?

Stop letting these inserts do the work, and let your feet do the job for your arch.

Balance the four arches of the foot (Lateral longitudinal arch, Medial longitudinal arch, Proximal transverse arch and Distal transverse arch) and you can get rid of your orthotics once and for all, all the while save you some money at the same time!

2 min read

Gracia Florendo

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Your Knee Pain, Lower Back and Hip Pain is Because of Your Feet

Improper foot care plays a vital role in the causes of knee pain, reasons for lower back pain, and overall hip pain. Our feet and its arches are the foundations that our entire body relies on to keep us moving and standing.


Our feet are designed to provide us with flexibility, absorb shock, distribute the weight of the body, and help us adapt to our environment when walking, running, climbing, etc. They allow us to move where we want to go, balance us when we stand – yet, we neglect the necessity for proper foot care!

Poorly fitted shoes, old worn out shoes, and jobs that require more time seated than standing are the culprit of foot problems. As a result, it may be the initiating factor to what causes hip problems, lower back pain, and knee pain.

Like any part of the body, our feet needs exercise too.

Strong foot muscles help hold the bones of the feet and ankles in alignment and assist in maintaining our arches. If the muscles aren’t working properly to keep this alignment, there’s a pretty good chance that nothing stacked above is aligned correctly either.

Here are two very simple exercises you can do on a daily to get your feet healthy and working for you:

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  1. Place a towel flat on the floor and use your foot to bring the towel towards you. elias
  2. Drop pens, pencils, marbles or whatever you have at home and pick them up using your foot and toes and place them in a bucket.

A lot of shoes and foot orthotics are now designed to do the work. While the extra support can be a benefit and a saving grace from pain, we may be relying on them too much and forgetting that we already have the proper equipment.

Since you already have your feet, train them and use them. They are the best pair of shoes you’ll ever have! Relying on orthotics and shoes is like putting on a strap-on. Why use something when you’ve already got the goods?

1 min read

Michael Bercasio

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Forward Head Posture Is Affecting Your Brain

 

It’s not uncommon to see a patient walk into the Myodetox office with a twelve-pound head that’s migrated three inches forward on their body because of Forward Head Posture (FHP).

Forward Head Posture is a common problem for a lot of people, amongst other postural issues. Over time, Forward Head Posture will cause significant damage to the spine, in what is otherwise a preventable injury.

Did you know for every inch of Forward Head Posture, the weight of the head on the spine increases by an additional ten pounds?

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The rampant spread of this particular posture issue is partly due to our society’s addiction to prolonged sitting, and through excessive use of tablets and smartphones (damn you, Snapchat). By doing so, your forward posture can add up to 30 pounds of abnormal leverage on the cervical spine!

Forward Head Posture has also been shown to affect the brain negatively. Research shows that 90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by the movement of the spine. Therefore, less cervical movement results in less nutrition to the brain. Only ten percent of the brain has to do with thinking, metabolism, and healing.

Research shows that 90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by the movement of the spine.

Consequently, FHP will cause the brain to rob energy from thinking, metabolism and immune function to deal with abnormal gravity/posture relationships and processing.

3 min read

Dr. Kevin Marryshow

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Why Wait For The Pain?

 

The misconception is that pain is the only indicator of injury and that without pain, all systems are a go. While this fantasy world would be amazing to live in if our bodies worked like that, reality reveals otherwise.

Currently, we walk around in optimal function, knowing that the onset of pain means something is wrong. The problem with this notion is that it paints a picture of pain being black and white. However, the story of our bodies and the idea of pain lies on a continuum.

The graphic above depicts mostly everyone’s perception – we are either in pain or not in pain.

In actuality, it looks a lot more like this:


This more realistic trajectory showcases how we live on a continuum. Once we leave an area of no pain, there is a long distance of breakdown that our body endures before we ever experience degrees of discomfort.

If you tweaked your thinking about pain, there is a good chance you’d get favorable results.With any injury, such as an ankle sprain, you quickly move along the continuum from “no pain” “to “pain.”  However, the majority of pain is usually described as, “The pain slowly came on, and things just got worse until I couldn’t deal with it anymore.” As therapists, we hear these stories daily.

If you tweaked your thinking about pain, there is a good chance you’d net favourable results.

Picture it like this. You’re driving your clean, detailed car around the block. You decide to go off-road because you believe your vehicle can withstand the elements. You stop to fill up your gas tank and notice some dirt starting to accumulate on the side of your car.  Do you consider it dirty? Probably not because the majority of the car is still clean. You do what most of us would and get back on the dirt road, even though it’s now raining, and the dirt is quickly turning into mud. After your off-road adventure, you finally get home and realize your car is now in dire need of a power wash.  You go inside,  take a nap, and hope your car is magically sparkling by the time you need to use it again. Unfortunately, the layer of mud just got thicker and hardened. Now you’re thinking, “if only I had washed it when I first saw the dirt accumulate.”

UUltimately, it’s your choice where you decide to take charge of the situation on the continuum. But the reality is, the longer you let a mess fester, the more stubborn it is to clean. Your body is a work of art, but it also works by the same principles.

TThere are many ways to uncover whether your body is living day to day with no pain. There are many ways to identify if your shoulder is in perfect condition, or if it’s ready to take on any load, or if it’s on a dirt road, piled with mud. A shoulder in pain is a shoulder that has been off-roading, and you ignored the fact you should take it to the car wash.

So instead of chasing the pain, get ahead of it by including regular maintenance sessions as part of your routine.

2 min read

Dr. Kevin Marryshow

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Your achilles tendon can either make or break you

In honour of one of basketball’s greatest competitors, Nike, with the help of social media, has crowned today as #MambaDay.

Towards the latter part of his career he endured multiple injuries, but it’s safe to say Kobe was never the same since he suffered the dreaded and far too common, achilles tendon rupture more than three years ago. Hell bent on carrying his team to the playoffs; he racked up an astounding 320 minutes over seven games, resting for just 16 minutes and 45 seconds.

Shortly after he went down, every league-wide professional said he should’ve stretched more. I’m going to immediately shut that idea down because that wasn’t the cause of his rupture. The achilles tendon is too complicated for such a simple solution.

So what exactly led to this injury?

First, let’s break down the achilles tendon and its unique properties.

Achilles injuries have many causes, usually a combination of numerous issues, with blood supply being a problem. Over time, with repetitive jumping, running or other lower body movement, the lack of blood flow inherent to any tendon results in degeneration or scarring of that tendon, which decreases its ability to lengthen.

Think about it like this, if you bike every day and don’t maintain or grease the bike chain, it will build up grime, dry out and eventually the chain will rust. In this case, without the proper preventative care, your achilles ability to handle the daily demand decreases a lot more. Just like that, a tear occurs when the force is applied faster than the tendon could lengthen.

So what can you do to help prevent an achilles tendon injury?

The health of the achilles lies in the entire back chain from the glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

When looking at the achilles in isolation, a combo of eccentric contractions, ankle mobility and a focus on a focus on a non-inflammatory diet are keys to prehab.

The following are a series of key exercises you can do to avoid an achilles tendon injury.

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Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift – This exercise targets the entire posterior chain – glutes, hamstrings and calves.

Calf Raises – We consider this the guardian angel of the achilles. This loads the achilles tendon while lengthening the calves.

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Double Leg Bridge – This simple, yet effective exercise shouldn’t be overlooked because of its ability to fire up the glutes.

What next?

An injury to the achilles is a complex one, and a simple stretch isn’t sufficient enough. You have to exhaust all avenues to help prevent this major injury from happening. Although this injury can stem from various factors, if you’re proactive enough, your most primary used tendon will be a lot more sustainable over time.

4 min read

Steve McGeachy, C.P.P.S.

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This is the only workout you need to know this offseason

You’re an athlete and your season is over. Now what?

The offseason of today is much different than it was before. Back then, taking the time off, so your body and mind could recover was a priority. Now the offseason is more about improving your game so an athlete can build and progress from the previous year.

A proper offseason training regimen can improve many different aspects of your game such as injury prevention, flexibility, strength, conditioning and recovery time.

The demands of a season can take a toll, and the daily grind can wither your body down. But with more of a focused and planned program during the offseason, it’s easier to avoid the injury pitfalls and it will put you in a better position to succeed.

The following is a breakdown of an off-season training program that will have you ready for training camp.

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Muscle Activation and Mobility

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Muscle activation is the foundation of our system. It’s crucial every muscle is firing correctly. If muscles aren’t firing properly, we can’t progress into the strength and power phase for the simple fact that we would be strengthening a dysfunction. For example, if an athlete can’t perform a simple bodyweight box squat, there is no way they will be able to do a loaded barbell squat properly.

Strength and Power Development

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Once we have completed the muscle activation and structural balance phase, the next step is developing strength and power. This action will help the athlete increase lean tissue while dropping body fat, create more explosiveness throughout the whole body, and strengthen the ligaments and tendons.

Depending on the athlete and their sport, we may focus on improving relative strength, which increases the players strength but keeping their mass gain to a minimum. This is key for positional players like point guards in basketball or extreme athletes like boxers and MMA specialists.

NOTE: Super sets, volume training, and pyramid rep schemes can all be implemented in this phase. 

Metabolic Conditioning

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Following the strength and power phase is conditioning. This stage targets muscular endurance, cardiovascular and recovery time. It’s best to introduce the conditioning phase last because by this point, your season is around the corner and your body should be optimized to meet the demands of team tryouts and camps.

We incorporate drills focusing on agility, velocity and sport specific movements depending on the position of the player. After this phase we ideally transfer the player on to the court or field where we would introduce workouts mirroring game situations and intensity. For basketball, our players would now begin to run conditioning and shooting drills on the court as this is where we look to exploit the power we have built for the past few months.

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As the season progresses our athletes would begin our ”in-season” program which strives to maintain strength, agility and range of motion.

If you stick to a disciplined program during the offseason, your game will elevate to another level, and your body will be more sustainable throughout the season.

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6 min read

Michael Bercasio

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Revolution in Motion

In conjunction with the Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit release, Nike hosted a workout at Myodetox Performance with a select group of Toronto bloggers and journalists.

When it comes to innovation, Nike doesn’t cut any corners. To them, nothing matters more than shaving any second possible from an athlete’s personal best to help push the boundaries of their abilities. Their latest trainer, the Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit, shows why this industry-leading brand has once again set the standard of how a cutting-edge trainer is built.

To better showcase the abilities of its latest sneaker, it enlisted the help of Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath, and Nike+ Run Club Head Coach Rejean Chiasson to help carry out a tailor-made program specially designed by Canada Athletic’s Head Coach, Jeff Huntoon.

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3 min read

Michael Bercasio

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Trust Your Struggle


While we all want to make it big, there is a chance we may fail or fall down along the way. That’s fine, just make sure to welcome the idea with open arms.

After five years as a physiotherapist, I decided to leave my cushy job at a clinic and do independent housecalls. It was nerve-wracking because when I left, I had only two patients. But I just stuck with it and committed to providing the best treatment every single time.  I worked day and night. Twelve hours a day, seven days a week.  If you had an injury, I would be there.

Two years later, I ended up with a client list amassing a couple of hundred of patients.

During this time, I began mixing traditional therapy techniques with personal training exercises and just blending whatever I thought made sense at the time. For the following two years, I worked independently just trying to figure out the matrix of the human body.

But one day I broke my hand, and I felt helpless. It was the one body part that helped propel me throughout my career. Just like that, my abilities were taken away from me. So I decided to take time off to pursue medical school because, as a therapist, I felt like my knowledge and treatments plateaued. While studying for the MCATS,  I ended up taking a course in Manual Therapy, and it fascinated me, but while it was informative, I felt there was more to Manual Therapy.  I ended up stumbling upon a book by Travell and Simons on trigger points and dove right into it.  For the next eight months, I was on a mission to “figure out” out trigger points by pressing randomly on patients and observing their reaction. Sometimes the results were good, but sometimes it was bad. During this time, I started seeing patterns of trigger points that released certain muscles and solved particular problems.  I didn’t understand why, but I soon discovered that muscles were more interrelated than what I was taught.  That was the moment when Myodetox was born.

But the idea of Myodetox all changed when my girlfriend told me about this Instagram fitness celebrity, Timbahwolf and how he had some back pain. After hitting him up on Instagram, he came to see me, and he was in rough shape. He was limping, but after one Myodetox session, he was feeling 100% better.  He was beyond surprised and gave me this, “who the hell are you?” kind of look, and he encouraged me to push my work through Instagram.

Inspired by his belief in me, I decided to go to LA and randomly connect with other fitness influencers and show them what I could do. They had no idea who I was, but I was determined to prove to them that Myodetox could solve a lot of their pains.

It wasn’t easy to just go somewhere and to put yourself out there like that, not knowing the result and allowing people to judge your craft; it was frightening. Up until that point, it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.

I then continued that mission in New York, but at first, it was a disaster.  I was roaming the streets of NY with my luggage, with nowhere to go because my friend, who I was going to stay with, was delayed flying back to New York. But the morning after that, everything just fell into place.  People had heard of me through the grapevine and my phone just kept ringing that day. It was just clockwork. I would connect with people and just treat them. Myodetox is black or white. Can you fix me –  Yes or No?  My job was to get a “yes” after every single Myodetox Session.

Now, here I am. In less than two years, I have opened up three Myodetox locations with plans to expand even more clinics; I have a committed and talented staff of Myodetox Therapists to treat our clients, and I have a full-time operations and creative team to help push the boundaries of this industry. Most importantly, we’ve been able to heal so many people and helped change their lives for the better. That’s the greatest gift.

Did I dream of all of this? Of course. Did I know what I was doing 100% of the times? Not really. Was I nervous and scared? For sure. Am I still trying to figure it out? Believe it!

I have learned a lot of things throughout my journey. Even if you plan every single detail out, you never know what is going to happen. All you can do is show up. If you don’t, it’s simple, you won’t make it. Don’t be afraid to go after it. You have to be like the sailor crossing the Atlantic, stay the course.  If there are storms, just batten down the hatches, and trust where the wind and waves will take you.

The only thing you can do is keep the faith and enjoy the ride.