What You Can Expect During Your First Massage Therapy Session

Do you have a muscular injury? Or are you under stress and need something to relieve your stress? Have you ever visited our massage therapy clinic near you? If not, then you might be missing out on an age-old treatment that has been used for centuries to alleviate stress, reduce pain, improve blood flow, rectify poor posture, and much more.

For years, people have always assumed that massage therapy is all about relaxation. However, it goes much deeper than aiding tense muscles to relax. This holistic treatment has numerous benefits and can drastically improve the quality of your life.

Massage therapy has many modalities and can be performed by certified practitioners like our massage therapist in Calgary, athletic trainers, and physiotherapists.

However, some people may be a bit scared or maybe wondering what really happens during a typical session. But right before we dive into that, let’s see how massage therapy works.

How Does Massage Therapy Work?

Ever since conventional medicine took root in the West, massage therapy was among the ancient treatment practices that came under scrutiny. Thanks to modern science, we can put such issues to rest since we now understand how massage therapy is able to elicit the different effects in the body to achieve the desired results.

In a nutshell, it causes physiological changes in your body through two responses:

  • Relaxation Responses

This is an involuntary and predictable response of your nervous system when it responds to touch and the different massage techniques. Your body’s breathing and heart rate slow down, your production of stress hormones reduces, your blood pressure goes down, and your muscles relax.

At the same time, your body releases serotonin, which is responsible for causing positive emotions and thoughts. This is what reduces the physical effects of stress. Also, the issues that come with stress such as insomnia, hypertension, psychological problems, etc.

  • Mechanical Responses

These are physical effects that happen in your body when your soft tissues are subjected to pressure. During the massage, your body will experience an increase in blood and lymph circulation. At the same time, it also aids in the normalization of the soft tissue (connective tissue, muscle, tendons, and ligaments), thus reducing the contractions and spasms that cause pain.

What Happens During Your Session?

Before you come in for a massage, you need to prepare first. If you have skin irritations, fever, or trying to stabilize your medication, you may need to reschedule your appointment. Then, days before your appointment, drinks lots of water. However, ensure that you don’t eat just before your massage.

If you have never visited our massage therapy clinic in Calgary, you must be wondering what a typical session looks like. Here’s a sneak peek:

  • Interview

During your first visit, our massage therapist in Calgary will review your health history. This will entail looking at your medical conditions, your level of pain, areas of concern, what increases or reduces your pain, and contact information.

Since massage therapy affects your cardiovascular and nervous systems, you need to be more open about your health to avoid any issues that may arise. You will also need to disclose your goals so that a precise treatment plan can be created to meet your needs during the allocated time.

Don’t be shy to ask questions or raise concerns that you may have. Don’t worry; every issue is confidential. If you are afraid of undressing, talk to our massage therapist, who will find a solution that will make you comfortable during the session.

  • During the Massage

When you are ready to get the massage, you will lie on the massage table. Make sure that you lie in such a way that you are comfortable. If you are not comfortable, let our therapist know. Professional massage therapists will drape your body and ensure that only the areas of concern are exposed.

Then, music may be played during the session. If you have a particular preference that helps you relax, don’t hesitate to tell our massage therapist. Remember that you are always in charge, so if you need some changes to be made, ask for them.

When you are open during the process, you will have a wonderful experience. Also, try as much as you can to let go of your thoughts and try to relax. Always remember to breathe since this helps you relax. This is because some people hold their breath when the affected area is being worked on. It’s best if you could breathe through the process.

  • After the Massage

You may experience a range of feelings from relaxed to reinvigorated. How you feel is highly dependent on the length of the session and the massage technique used.

For you to enjoy the benefits of massage therapy, you should get massages regularly. Contact us at Centennial Wellness if you need a massage therapist or a chiropractor near you.

Shockwave Therapy (SWT): What Is It and How Does It Treat Musculoskeletal Conditions?

Are you struggling with persistent pain due to certain musculoskeletal conditions such as plantar fasciitis? Have you ever sought the services of our chiropractors in downtown Calgary? If not, then there is no better time to reach out than now.

Conventional treatments can only do so much when dealing with such conditions since the aim is to treat the symptoms. However, our team at Centennial Wellness in Calgary has a host of options such as shockwave therapy to treat chronic musculoskeletal conditions.

This revolutionary treatment is known to deal with multiple conditions that bring out persistent pain and limited mobility. Curious to know more?

It’s All About Shockwaves

Just as the name suggests, shockwave therapy uses shock waves to treat the injured soft tissue. It is a non-invasive treatment that uses an applicator to deliver direct radial shock waves on the affected area to relieve pain. It is a widely used mode of treatment that is used in sports medicine, chiropractic, physiotherapy, veterinary medicine, and orthopedics.

The beauty of using this treatment is that you are assured of increased mobility and fast pain relief.
Shockwave therapy uses less energy than other treatments used in medical applications making it an ideal treatment for issues with the connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments.

If you have tendon issues that never seem to get better with traditional medications, shockwave therapy can do wonders.

How Does Shockwave Therapy Work?

First things first. You will have to undergo an examination that determines whether shockwave therapy is the way to go. When our practitioner determines that you are fit to receive this treatment, and then a gel is applied to the affected area before the treatment begins.

The device has a compressor that controls a fast-moving projectile. The work of the projectile is to transmit energy to generate the radial shockwaves to the troubled area. The shockwaves spread through the area, and tissue easily absorb the waves.

In other words, the device releases an acoustic wave that emits energy to the injured parts. The energy promotes regeneration of the tendons, bones, and soft tissues.

These acoustic waves released by the applicator interact with tissue causing therapeutic effects such as:

  • Increased growth factors
  • Stimulation of collagen production
  • Improved blood flow
  • Release of trigger points that are responsible for pain in the neck, back, limbs, and shoulder
  • Decrease pain
  • Dissolution of calcified fibroblasts
  • Reversal of chronic inflammation

In a nutshell, you will have improved cell growth, tissue repair, and your mobility will be improved.
For you to reap the greatest benefit of shockwave therapy, our chiropractor will use it with manual therapy, training, or other physiotherapy techniques. The treatment typically takes around 10 minutes.

What Can Shockwave Therapy Treat?

As you already know, shockwave therapy can be used to treat a range of musculoskeletal issues. These issues can be categorized as follows:

  • Bones – Common conditions in this category can be shin splints and trochanteric pain syndrome
  • Tendons – The prevalent tendon issues are painful patellar tendons, Achilles tendons, supraspinatus, and tennis elbow.
  • Muscles – Can be used to treat trigger points, hypertonic muscles, and muscle pain
  • Connective tissue – It is an excellent treatment for trigger finger, plantar fasciopathy, and scar tissue.

Benefits of Shockwave Therapy

Some issues take a long time to respond to treatment, and at times they seem not to work. However, shockwave therapy has helped tip the scales in your favor, and you can reap a host of benefits for chronic issues that never seem to go away. Here are some of the benefits:

  • No anesthesia is needed before carrying out the procedure
  • Non-invasive treatment for chronic pain in your knee, back, shoulder, heel, or elbow
  • Limited side effects
  • A realistic alternative to medication or surgery
  • Treats the cause and not the symptoms
  • Fast pain relief usually within a few days
  • A fast treatment session typically 10 minutes
  • Scientifically proven form of therapy
  • Over 80 percent success rate
  • No need for painkillers

You can improve your life quality if you decide to come for shockwave therapy to treat the various musculoskeletal issues. If you would like to try shockwave therapy in Calgary, contact us at Centennial Wellness. We would love to help.

What to Expect When You Visit a Massage Therapist

Are your muscles tense? Do you have back pain or a headache that never seems to go away? It’s about time you tried massage therapy. If you find the right professional, like our massage therapist in Calgary, you can get relief from the pain and discomfort.

Massage therapy deals with the manual manipulation of your soft tissues such as connective tissue, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, to enhance your overall well-being.

Seeking help from our massage therapist in Calgary for pain management is highly beneficial. Just like any other treatment finding the right practitioner is key. However, if you have a chronic illness, certain injuries, and subluxations in your spine, our chiropractor near you will be best suited to deal with your issues.

What Does a Massage Therapist Do?

A massage therapist is well-versed in the soft tissue of the body. Massage therapy can lend to your general wellness through therapeutic massage to the soft tissue of the body.

In other words, a massage therapist can:

  • Give relief from pain
  • Rehabilitate injuries
  • Teach relaxation techniques
  • Improve poor circulation
  • Reduce stress
  • Develop a treatment plan
  • Evaluate your muscle strength, joint ability, and range of motion

Other than the above, a massage therapist needs not only to have experience in dealing with your soft tissue, but also needs to have knowledge in anatomy, medicine, and customer service.

What Issues Do Massage Therapists Treat?

For a long time, massage therapy has been more of a pleasant way to relax. As the years have advanced, most people have come to understand that it is an effective treatment for different conditions.

Some of the common conditions that respond well to massage therapy are:

  • Migraines
  • Sinus/Tension Headaches
  • TMJD
  • Facet Joint Irritation
  • Herniated Disc
  • Spondylitis/Spondylolisthesis
  • Torticollis
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Whiplash
  • Hyperkyphosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Hyperlordosis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Hypo/Hypermobile SI Joint
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Rotator Cuff Tears
  • Shoulder Impingement
  • Nerve Compressions
  • Pronator Teres Syndrome
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • IT Band Contracture
  • IT Band Friction Syndrome
  • Meniscus/Knee Ligament Injury
  • Patellofemoral Syndrome
  • Compartment Syndrome
  • Bunions/Plantar Fasciitis
  • Pregnancy
  • Pes Cavus (High Arches)
  • Pes Planus (Fallen Arches)
  • Sprains/Strains
  • Tendonitis
  • Hypertension
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Sports injuries

Massage Modalities

The beauty of massage therapy is the vast array of options available when it comes to the different techniques that can be employed. It is not a one-size-fits-all treatment. The appropriate technique will be used to handle the issues that you face.
Without further ado, let’s look at some of these modalities:

    • Swedish Massage

Almost anyone who has heard of a massage is familiar with the Swedish massage. The reason is simple. It is a gentle, full-body massage designed to cater to people who:

      • Have a lot of tension
      • Are new to massage
      • Are sensitive to touch

It is appropriate for releasing muscle knots and helping you relax. A typical Swedish massage session can take up to 90 minutes.

    • Sports Massage

If you are active or have a repetitive use injury, then a sports massage could be the treatment for you. If you are prone to injuries, this type of massage will help increase flexibility and performance.

A sports massage can also be used to relieve anxiety, pain, and muscle tension. A typical session lasts anywhere between 60 and 90 minutes.

    • Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger points are hyperirritable spots, usually found in a tight band of muscle or its connective tissue. Trigger points can exhibit predictable pain referral patterns, cause a shortening of the affected muscle, and decrease its strength.

    • Myofascial Release

The use of various techniques on dry skin to manipulate the fascia; the connective tissue within muscles, to release areas of tension and reduce fascial thickening.

    • Cupping

Silicone or glass cups are applied to the skin in order to create negative pressure over areas of muscle tension, and to remove the trapped byproducts of inflammation that can cause muscle dysfunction.

    • Hot Stone

This combination of heated jade stones and pressure allows a Massage Therapist to work into the deeper muscle tissues, normally with less pain.

    • Deep Tissue Massage

During a deep tissue massage, our massage therapist will use more pressure than a Swedish massage. Our therapist will try to reach the deepest layers of your muscles and connective tissue by using slow strokes and deep finger pressure.

The aim is to alleviate chronic muscle problems, relieve chronic muscle pain, tight muscles, and anxiety.

This massage will not be suitable for you if you are sensitive to pressure.

Generally, massage therapy is an excellent treatment if you seek to feel better physically, emotionally, and mentally. You can contact us at our Healthcare Clinic in Calgary to schedule an appointment.

Why You Should Consider Acupuncture Therapy to Relieve Discomfort

What is acupuncture?

Originating in China over 3000 years ago, Acupuncture is a procedure that involves the insertion of thin needles into your skin which stimulate strategic acupuncture points. These points lie on 14 channels that run along the body that carry energy, known as “qi”. When energy (“qi”) flow is hindered, the result is pain. The insertion of needles re-balance and harmonize your flow of energy (“qi”) to promote your body’s own healing process.

This natural, alternative treatment can ease emotional pain such as stress or depression, relieve physical pain, symptoms of severe illnesses, to allergies or a common cold. You can visit the acupuncture clinic near you in Calgary, to undergo the procedure.

What can acupuncture treat?

The World Health Organization and the National Institute of Health have endorsed acupuncture as an effective, natural treatment for several conditions, some of which are listed below:

  • Mental-emotional

Stress, Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia

  • Musculoskeletal and Neurological

Headaches, Migraines, Facial Paralysis, Stroke, Neck, Shoulders, Lower Back Stiffness and Pain, Sciatica, Knee Pain, Ankle Pain, MVA.Injuries, Sport Injuries, Muscle Pain, Arthritic, Osteoarthritis, Inflammation, Frozen Shoulder, Tennis Elbow, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tendonitis, Sprains , Trigeminal Neuralgia

  • Internal disease

Allergies, Dizziness, Low Energy, Chronic Fatigue, Cold Limbs, Asthma, Diabetes, Indigestion, Constipation, Diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Stomachache

  • Dermatological

Acne, Herpes (Shingles)

  • External Infections

Common Colds and Flu, Bronchitis

  • Reproductive Concerns

PMS, Menstrual Irregular, Menstrual Cramps, Menopause Symptoms, Hot Flash, Low Sex Drive, Impotence, Infertility and Sexual Dysfunction

  • Other

Anti-Aging, Weight Control, Smoking Cessation, Addiction to Drugs or Alcohol

What should you expect during your treatment?

The beginning of your treatment will be to discuss your chief complaint, and to answer a variety of questions pertaining to diet, sleep, menstruation, mood etc. In Chinese Medicine, it is believed that everything is connected, so even time of day and season of the year are considered when diagnosing. Finally, the acupuncturist will look at your tongue, and feel for pulse quality to create a specific treatment plan based on your body’s needs.

Once the points are chosen, the acupuncturist will ask you to lay either face up on face down depending of the selected points. The points may be located in the spot of physical pain, or distally.

Once the needles are inserted, the patient will rest for approximately 20 minutes, enough time for the flow of energy (“qi”) to circulate through the body. Then, the needles are removed.

What are the benefits of Acupuncture?

Unlike other procedures or prescription drugs, acupuncture has minimal side effects. It is regulated in the province of Alberta, with the highest standards of safety. Acupuncture enables your nervous system and tissues to rejuvenate and heal themselves, based on influencing the flow of energy (“qi”), releasing stress, easing pain, and harmonizing the body.

Meet our Acupuncturists in Calgary, CA

At the Centennial Wellness, our specialists use Acupuncture as well as other Traditional Chinese Medical modalities as a complementary medical practice. Acupuncture stimulates your nerves and tissues using sterile needles that penetrate your skin to assist the body to harmonize and heal itself, while Chinese Medical procedures like fire cupping and tui na, a form of Chinese massage are effective in relief of physical pain.

We have flexible schedules, and our clinic is open on Saturdays. Please visit us today and see how Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can benefit you.

How Custom Knee Bracing Works

Knee injuries are among the most debilitating injuries that one can have. If you have a recent injury or a persistent one, you may experience difficulty with walking, running, or general movement.

Knee injuries are also a common problem for recreational, semi-pro, and professional athletes.

Nearly a quarter of a million anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries occur across North America every year.

Surgery, in most cases, has been viewed as the most viable option to treat knee injuries. However, there are more conservative and non-invasive options which include manual therapy and custom knee bracing.

Even though you have a severe injury like an ACL tear or a simple knee sprain, custom knee braces in Calgary can help you recover.

What Are Knee Braces?

In a nutshell, knee braces are worn as support for an injured or painful knee. Other people might use knee braces to prevent the knee from injuries during strenuous activities or sports.

They can be made from a combination of materials such as metal, plastic, foam, elastic material, and straps. Knee braces come in a variety of colors, sizes, and designs.

A custom knee brace is an appliance that is tailored specifically using your exact measurements and designed with features to solve your specific problem. Custom braces are usually made from materials that are durable, lightweight, and waterproof.

However, different braces are designed to serve different functions. Here are the various categories of knee braces:

  • Prophylactic braces. These are designed to prevent injury to your healthy knee. They are also used by athletes to help them participate in high-risk sports to minimize the chances of them sustaining an injury.
  • Functional braces. These are used to provide stability to an injured knee and are designed to substitute the damaged ligaments. They are an excellent solution for a torn ACL.
  • Rehabilitative braces. These braces are worn after surgery or following an injury to allow a protected range of motion to promote healing.
  • Patellofemoral braces. These braces aid the kneecap to move smoothly over your knee joint

Types of Knee Braces

As you already know by now, knee braces come in different sizes and designs. Below are some types of knee braces that you can choose from:

  • Knee sleeves that you can slip right over your knee
  • Wrap around used by athletes experiencing mild to moderate pain
  • Hinged knee braces used after surgery for people who require a higher level of support and protection
  • Knee straps are used to help people who have knee pain due to jumper’s knee or runner’s knee
  • Closed and open patella braces

When Is Custom Knee Bracing Used?

Different knee problems will need different braces. However, here are the issues which braces can be used to solve:

  • Instabilities in the knee
  • Ligament injuries (ACL, MCL, PCL, LCL)
  • Osteoarthritis of the knee
  • Surgical reconstruction of the ACL, among other knee injuries

How Does Custom Knee Bracing Work?

With custom knee bracing, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment. You will get the type of custom knee bracing that is required for your injury.

Regardless of the type, a custom knee brace is designed to allow compression. The compression is what provides support to the muscles and ligaments in the knee. Usually, when you put weight on your knees when using your legs, your knee muscles get strained. This is not a problem for people who have healthy knees.

However, if you have an injury, the repetitive stress on the knees can cause severe pain and limit your movement. Custom knee braces are a useful aid for these issues by reducing the strain on the joints and muscles, as well as improving circulation to promote faster healing.

At Centennial Wellness in downtown Calgary, you can speak to a professional about being fitted for a custom knee brace that is suitable for your specific type of injury in order to ensure you are protected. Call or visit our website to book an appointment and to find out more information.

All You Need to Know About Naturopathic Care

A naturopathy is a drugless approach used to treat all forms of disorders and illnesses. It involves stimulating the body to self-heal itself by undertaking multiple therapies. The various types of therapies used in naturopathy include hydrotherapy, homeopathy, herbs, physical manipulations, massage, and nutritional counseling.

Naturopathic care in Calgary is efficient in maintaining optimal health for long years and the practice is widely known for supporting and promoting ideal health.

Its goal is to treat patients in terms of body, mind, and spirit. In addition to this, it also cures the root cause of various illnesses. Naturopathic medicine is practiced by the following specialists:

  • Traditional naturopaths: Although the practitioners do not have a valid license from any medical school, they are well informed about the practice.
  • Naturopathic practitioner: They are usually trained for four years and are also required to study nutrition, complementary therapies, and psychology. They are expected to pass an examination in order to practice.
  • Healthcare providers: Some dentists, nurses, medical doctors, and chiropractors have knowledge about naturopathic medicine.

Reasons why you need to visit a naturopath

1. Aftercare focuses on prevention of diseases – Naturopathy concentrates on the application of treatments depending on the causes of certain conditions.

2. Root cause – To find the cause and cure for particular pain that may evolve.

3. Options – After a diagnosis has been determined, various treatments such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, nutritional supplementation, traditional Chinese medicine, and dietary advice can be offered.

4. Answers – To acquire accurate information on symptoms experienced.

5. Hormone Help – Hormone balancing can be aided by nutritional and herbal remedies

6. Relationship Building

Benefits of Naturopathic care

Disorder Treatment: Naturopathy has the ability and power to cure most common illnesses by traditional medicine

Sleeping Aid: Naturopathic medicine provides solutions on how to treat insomnia and sleep disorders

Disease Prevention: Prevention of ailment is the first action taken then followed by correct nutrition for one to have a healthy body

Increases self -awareness: It aids the patients to have a better understanding of their bodies. It also helps individuals to tell when their bodies are experiencing pains, aches and other symptoms

Changes the way one thinks: Helps the patient to apprehend the significance of psychological, spiritual, and social elements to their well being

Safe and effective treatment: Naturopathic practice objective is to treat diseases and disorders so as to restore the natural body functioning. It is a treatment that involves effective restoring methods, self-care decisions that can prevent health problems in the future.

Conditions That Naturopathic Care Can Assist

  • Injuries
  • Sleep disorders
  • Cold and flu
  • Chronic pain
  • Arthritis
  • Allergies and asthma
  • Fatigue
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Depression
  • Digestive disorders
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Integrative cancer care

Some of the known side effects are listed below:

Spinal adjustments: A part of the treatment may include applying pressure to the spine, which may lead to damage to the nerves, bones, arteries, and spinal discs. It may result in a stroke in some cases.

Detox diets: This treatment is used to get rid of any toxins in the body. It involves fasting or avoiding the consumption of certain foods for long periods of time. This might be dangerous to people who might have chronic conditions such as diabetes.

Supplements (vitamin and herbal): The risk of a disease like cancer may be raised by certain vitamins if consumed in large doses.

Risks of Naturopathy

  • Lengthy procedure – Its quite a long process that requires study and understanding of family history and background in order to treat the illness.
  • Inappropriate for some health conditions – Practitioners may be unable to cure trauma such as a broken leg.
  • Health risks – Nerves, bones, spinal discs or arteries may be damaged if pressure or force is applied to the spine

Centennial Wellness is a health clinic that manages and helps in the diagnosis of skeletal injuries and conditions. The clinic is located at Calgary in Canada.

The practitioners and doctors hired are certified and highly experienced. Services offered by our clinic include physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, naturopathic care, acupuncture, Garston therapy, custom fit foot orthotics, sports cupping therapy, functional movements evaluations, intramuscular stimulation, and shockwave therapy.

Book an appointment today at our wellness clinic near you and get the best experience in naturopathic care in Calgary.

4 Ways to Ease Pregnancy Induced Low Back Pain

Pregnancy related low back pain is a common complaint among many pregnant women. It has been estimated that about 50% of pregnant women will suffer from some kind of low back pain at some point during their pregnancies or during postpartum. 10% of those report discomfort severe enough to disrupt their daily routines. The good news is that there are steps you can take to protect your back during pregnancy.

What causes the pain?

One of the most frequent mechanisms suggested, is associated with the mechanical factors, due to weight gaining during pregnancy, the added weight causes a shift of the bodies center of gravity anteriorly, increasing the stress on the lower back. Studies suggest that this anterior shift is associated with multitude of postural changes. As the baby grows a biomechanical process suggests that the abdominal muscles of the pregnant woman stretch to accommodate the enlarging uterus, causing muscle fatigue and resulting to an extra load on the spine making it difficult to stabilize the posture.

In the third trimester, levels of a hormone called “relaxin” increase by a factor of ten. Relaxin loosens the joints to allow the pelvis to accommodate the enlarging uterus. These loose joints force the muscles of the back and pelvis to work overtime to keep you upright and balanced, which may lead to back pain.

What can be done to relieve pain?

Exercise

Exercise can go a long way to increase muscle support for an aching back. Low impact cardiovascular activities, such as swimming, walking, or stationary cycling can help relieve pain and maintain fitness. Gentle yoga and stretches can help alleviate tightness too.

Sleep

Sleep on your left side to reduce the pressure of your uterus on the large blood vessels in your abdomen, optimizing blood flow to both you and the baby. You can place a pillow between your knees to take pressure off your lower back when sleeping on your side.

Take Breaks

Take frequent, short breaks with your feet elevated. Adequate rest restores your energy and gives your back a chance to relax.

Take advantage of Chiropractic treatments

Chiropractors are highly educated and specially trained musculoskeletal experts. Your chiropractor can treat aches and pains, as well as build customized stretching routines and whole-body wellness strategies in conjunction with your chiropractic treatment.

Cycling and low back pain

Cycling in Calgary, Alberta has seen a spike in popularity, trading in the car for a bicycle has become the newest trend whether it be for exercise, enjoyment, training for a race, cross training or simply a way to protect the environment from unnecessary emissions.

A recent article in the European Journal of Sports Science indicated an association of sport activities and low back pain. They found that people who engage in running or cycling have less low back pain. So why then, do many cyclists complain of low back symptoms?

Lower Back pain (LBP) can cause problem for cyclists for a number of reasons. The easiest explanation is the prolonged bending of the back. Most cyclists spend long periods of time in a fixed position. A poorly fit bike or bad body position on the bike can lead to lower back pain due to abnormal wear to the joints along the spine and a number of muscular imbalances.

How to prevent LBP – There are a few tools you can use to help fight lower back pain while you hit the road on your bike.

Form

  • As with anything to do with the spine, posture is important.  Always maintain a neutral spine by bending at the hips and avoid hunching your mid-back.  Your spine naturally has a curve to it; this should be maintained while riding but not overemphasized or flattened. It is often difficult to evaluate your own posture so it is worth having someone look at your body position on your bike or use a trainer in front of a mirror.

Equipment

  • A poorly fit bike may also be the cause of your lower back pain; being either too stretched out or compacted by your bike can result in abnormal stresses to your back.
  • ALWAYS wear a helmet
  • Adjust the saddle so that in the bottom pedal position there is a 10 degree bend in your knee
  • Choose the right bike – in straddle position and with a proper aligned bike a 1 inch clearance will be left between the groin and the top of the frame
  • The stem height should be somewhere between parallel and 1 inch lower then the top of the saddle
  • Padded shorts can provide comfort on longer rides
  • Use UV sunglasses to protect your eyes
  • Most local bike shops have trained staff that can assist you with ensuring your bike is the correct size for you as well as any minor adjustments required to fit the bike to your body.

Muscle imbalance and Overtraining

  • With any activity this is quite common, in cyclists certain muscles will be strengthened while other supporting musculature may not. Adding in resistance training as a cross training exercise is beneficial as it can strengthen the stabilizing muscles. Increase muscle mass equals increase endurance capacity. As you ease your way back into the sport, it is important to start out slow and not seek massive gains in distance, speed, time or effort too quickly. Your body will need time to adjust to a change in a new activity.

If you are experiencing pain, numbness or tingling or other MSK problems while riding, come visit one of the chiropractors at Centennial Wellness for an assessment. We will be able to provide treatment and education to treat these problems to help reduce injury.

References:

  • Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors website: https://albertachiro.com/ACAC/ACACBlog.aspx
  • Cross Sectional associations between the diversity of sport activities and the type of low back pain in adulthood – European Journal of Sports Science – Dec 19, 2019: 1-9.

Do you have a chronic injury that is not getting better from treatment?

Muscle pain is something that everyone suffers from at some point during their life from the weekend warrior, office worker to the high-end athletes. Muscle pain is caused when fibrosis occurs due to trauma caused to the tissue. Trauma can be as little as holding a posture to long, slouching, or trauma from a sport. The fibrosis in the tissue prevents blood flow and thus proper oxygen supply to the tissue. As a result of this, the muscle is getting starved from nutrients and you get pain. A highly effective treatment for anyone suffering from pain, stiffness or muscle tightness, used by many chiropractors and physiotherapists in Calgary is called Active Release Technique. A.R.T.® is a soft tissue system that is used in the treatment of soft tissue injuries. Any injury whether it is an acute tear or a chronic injury can benefit from active release. Active release works by breaking up this scar tissue and fibrosis and restoring proper blood flow/oxygen to the tissue. When this occurs the pain dissipates and the normal biomechanics of the muscle and joint return too normal.

How it works? The practitioner manually applies tension and pressure into a muscle very similar to massage and then moves the body part through a motion to get the muscle into a stretched position. Most practitioners use it in combination with other manual therapies to provide effective treatment and increase prognosis of patient injuries.

If you suffer from any of the following ailments, ART may be the solution for you:

  • Headache
  • Low Back or upper back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Neck pain
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Tendonitis
  • Shin splints
  • Hand pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Sciatica
  • Hamstring pain
  • TMJ
  • Plantar fasciitis/osis
  • Knee pain/discomfort
  • Wrist pain
  • Tennis elbow

Post Workout Massage Benefits

Did you know that implementing sports massage after vigorous workouts can improve workout performance? Running, biking, swimming and lifting weights, can leave the body sore, a deep tissue massage gets deep into the muscles to help make them more pliable and alleviate pain.  When our bodies get tight this can cause muscle restrictions and decrease our range of motion during our daily workouts. Sports massage works to loosen connective tissue, breaks up adhesions, increases blood flow and oxygen to the tissues, and provides a decrease to the stress caused to the tissues, which enviably helps improve the fluidity. Getting massage immediately after working out can reduce muscle soreness post workout. It does this by agitating tissues and forcing blood to repair any micro tears within the muscle fiber that your workout just destroyed.

Other benefits of massage include:

1. Reduction in Stress – Not only does sport or therapeutic massage help reduce stress from a hectic lifestyle, but it can also boost an individual’s energy levels to allow them to move back into a more active lifestyle.

2. Promotes Healing – Studies have shown that when a body is in a tensed state or under stress, it can produce unhealthy levels of a stress hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol is medically linked to rapid weight gain, digestive issues, sleeplessness, headaches, and other chronic conditions. Regular massage can decrease cortisol levels.

3. Reduction in Blood Pressure – it should come as little surprise that massage therapy can also assist in lowering blood pressure. Because your stress levels are reduced after a massage your body is in a position to promote healing and lower blood pressure.

Most insurance companies accept sports massage as a treatment modality to reduce stress, relieve tension, relax muscles, improve circulation, and so much more. Come see a health care practitioner for an assessment and inquire if this treatment therapy is right for you.

Benefits of Using Graston Therapy

Have you ever had a chronically nagging injury that is stressful and painful to deal with?

When you engage in active sports the possibility of getting soft injuries is relatively high. Although most people recover quickly, at times, you may develop a chronic injury in the soft tissues known as scar tissue; overall this affects the recovery process. Scar tissue usually does not present with pain in the early stages but limits range of motion due its negative impact on sensory motor firing rates and frequencies. Abnormal sensory inputs perpetuate a dysfunctional cycle of nervous system sensitization, pain and dysfunctional movement/motor output. Graston technique offers a positive method of manual therapy that interrupts and breaks this cycle of pain and dysfunctional movement. There are various soft tissue techniques available to address these injuries, but Graston Technique has been the most effective in breaking up scar tissue and breaking the cycle of pain.

What is Graston Therapy? 

Graston technique is a patented Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization that uses six specialized stainless steel instruments that enables clinicians to effectively and efficiently address soft tissue lesions and fascial restrictions resulting in improved patient outcomes. Graston technique breaks down the scar tissue, increases blood flow to promote healing, increases cellular activity and histamine response, facilitates reflex change, stretches the connective tissues to reduce restriction and ultimately reduces the pain felt by the vicious inflammatory cycle.

At Centennial Wellness, we combine Graston Therapy with appropriate exercises and stretches to restore movement and function.

Benefits

  • Helps to detect muscle restriction 
    With the specifically designed instruments, our practitioners can detect and treat areas that have restrictions in movement. These instruments glide through your muscles, ligaments, or tendons with the right amount of pressure to detect the location of the scar tissue and restriction. Once detected a gentle pressure is applied to break the tissue and ease the restriction.
  • Reduction in treatment time 
    The therapy requires two treatments a week for a maximum of five weeks, although most patients report pain relief within two to three treatments. You can easily resume your normal activities after the second treatment.
  • Reduction in the use of anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID’s)
    Inflammation is important to the healing process of an injury without it, healing will be impaired. Inflammation is evidenced by swelling, pain, redness, and heat. Although using Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs can ease the pain, it does disrupt the inflammatory phase, which is important to the healing process. Inflammation also facilitates soft tissue repair and regeneration. With Graston Therapy, you can reduce your dependence on these drugs to ease the pain.

What to Expect After the Graston Therapy?

After the treatment, the therapist will give you certain exercises and stretches to do at home. These exercises can help release scar tissue restriction and hasten the treatment.

However, the therapy has some side effects such as:

  • Bruising due to skin manipulation, but you can ease the pain with ice therapy
  • Soreness and discomfort are also common, especially after the first treatment. However, don’t be alarmed; this is an indication that the restrictions have been released. The soreness clears after 48 to 72 hours can be helped with stretching and ice therapy.

During the treatment, it is recommended you take enough water to promote hydration and proper healing.

Don’t Stay in Pain 

Soft tissue injuries are common and can occur at any time, and when they do, getting proper treatment is crucial to prevent any further complications. Our goal at Centennial Wellness is to get you moving faster and pain free.

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