Is It Finally Time?

Many of us deal with headaches after a long day at work. Others can experience neck pain and/or hand numbness after sitting at the computer for too long. Or maybe you develop a sore back after home renovations or yard work?

These problems usually start off infrequently and only bother us a little. But as time goes by, these aches and pains occur more often and take longer to go away. We keep telling ourselves, “Next time I will do something about this, for sure I will.” Yet weeks, months and years can go by while things slowly get worse. 

I was lucky enough to visit a chiropractor early in my adult life. I wish it had happened sooner, but I was still young enough to have my back strengthen and heal. Now that I am a chiropractor myself, I love helping people when they are young and can heal quickly. Unfortunately, most people wait until they are in their 50’s and 60’s to take care of their spines, and what was once a minor discomfort has become severe pain that interferes with their sports and recreational activities. Once they begin the journey toward healing their spine, I often hear: “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”

I can’t answer that question for them; all I can say is that the sooner someone comes in, the better chance we have of making a great change!

Written by Dr. James Mayne, DC
Arise Chiropractic
7-100 Kalamalka Lake Rd., Vernon
250.275.7616
www.arisechiropractic.com

Minor Car Accidents & Your Spine

We all know that serious car accidents can cause severe injuries. But minor car accidents can also cause damage to our bodies, especially if we are sitting in a compromised position, like with the neck or back twisted to the side. 

These less severe injuries often leave us with irritating, lingering problems like headaches, neck aches, uncomfortable sleep, and backs that can become sore with high activity. These issues may not appear for weeks or months after the car accident.

To identify whether headaches, neck or back pain, or poor sleep may have been caused by a previous motor vehicle accident, a full chiropractic exam is required. Visit your chiropractor today to see if we can help!

Dr. James Mayne, DC
Arise Chiropractic
7-100 Kalamalka Lake Rd.
250.275.7616
www.arisechiropractic.com

The Cost of Low Back Pain

A quick review from Statistics Canada shows that 4 out of 5 Canadians will be afflicted with low back pain at some point in their lives. Many of these people will develop chronic, long-lasting pain that will directly affect their lives.

The cost of this burden to Canadian society is estimated to be in the billions (yes—with a “b”) of dollars. This is seen in costly medical expenses, prescription drugs, and loss of income. For many of us, even more costly than the loss of income is the loss of time doing what we love. You can’t put a price on the ability to fully enjoy a vacation, play your favorite sports, or even have a full night’s sleep.

Chiropractic care has been shown to help with back pain. If you have back pain, let us help you before it ends up costing you your valuable free time.

Written by Dr. James Mayne, DC
Arise Chiropractic
7-100 Kalamalka Lake Rd., Vernon
250.275.7616
www.arisechiropractic.com

 

Active Okanagan: Why a chiropractor in Vernon?

I chose to be a Chiropractor in Vernon largely because of its amazing lifestyle, a lifestyle that attracts people from all walks of life: young families with kids, retirees, athletes, and regular people trying to make a living while enjoying life to the fullest. As a Vernon Chiropractor, this translates into a wide range of health conditions that I can help people overcome.

ID-100138179Many Vernon folks are quite active. They head to Silverstar or Sovereign for downhill and cross-country skiing. They rock-climb, hike, cycle and cliff-dive in Kalamalka Provincial Park. They hit Kal Beach or Kin Beach for swimming, boating and water sports. In Vernon’s great outdoors they reconnect to nature—back-country backpacking, camping, or zipping around on ATVs, snowmobiles and dirt bikes. And Vernon’s adrenaline junkies might find themselves parasailing, paragliding and sky-diving, or enjoying Canada’s best hang-gliding conditions right next door in Lumby. Everywhere you turn, there are activities and pleasures to be enjoyed.

I, too, am drawn to many of these activities, but I’m the first to admit that they can cause stress and injury on the nerve system. As a Chiropractic Doctor, my job is to help my patients’ bodies and spines withstand life’s common stresses and injuries so they can enjoy Vernon’s luxuries as much as possible.  Chiropractic care, massage therapy, spinal decompression therapy, acupuncture, counselling, physiotherapy, reiki, aromatherapy, a weight loss center, and a beautiful yoga studio are all available to help catapult your health, healing, and athletic performance to new heights!

I have built an extensive wellness centre, with many health practitioners and therapies, to help my adventurous community be at its best and make the most of this lifestyle. I feel that this is what life is all about!

Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC

“Uncomplicated” Low Back Pain?

“Uncomplicated” low back pain is a medical diagnosis for the presence of low back pain, without pain radiating into the leg (no nerve deficits). Unfortunately, this diagnosis doesn’t really tell the patient anything other than that they have low back pain, which, I’m pretty certain, they already know!

“Uncomplicated” low back pain is usually treated with anti-inflammatory or pain-killing medication, in hopes that the pain can be masked long enough for it to somehow subside on its own. The term may mislead some patients into thinking that it’s no big deal. Yet it’s been estimated that one out of three people will develop osteoarthritis in their spine that will end up causing disability. Largely, this disabling arthritis is the end result of a wear-and-tear process related to the spinal imbalance that is initially felt in earlier years as “uncomplicated” back pain. The truth is that there is nothing “uncomplicated” about finding the cause of the spinal irritation.

When the spine becomes painful, it’s usually indicative of an underlying problem. Chronic low back pain later in life usually begins as minor episodes of low back pain earlier in life. The more it is brushed under the carpet with medication, the more damage is done over time, increasing the likelihood of future “complicated” pain that can become chronic.

Chiropractors are experts with joint and spine health.  We are trained to find postural imbalances caused by tiny spinal misalignments that irritate nerves and cause pain.  Maybe we can help?

Written by Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC
Arise Chiropractic
7-100 Kal Lake Rd.
250.275.7616
www.arisechiropractic.com

What Is Posture and Why Is It Important?

Your posture is like the window into your spine. It is a measure of the balance of your spinal column, which is the core of your body. From the front, your spine should have perfect vertical alignment. From the side, your spine should have three flowing curves, all helping to support the weight of your body. In this balanced, symmetrical position, your spine houses the spinal cord, a vital nerve tract extending from your brain that acts as an intelligence line for your whole body. The proper function of this cord is paramount to excellent health.

You see, disease results when your brain and body lose communication. Your body’s cells become dysfunctional and confused when this vital communication is tampered with. Although the protection of your delicate spinal cord (by your spinal bones) creates a magnificent barrier to stress, the spinal bones can slip out of alignment, slowly compressing it overtime. If this happens, vital nerve messages from your brain become trapped and the cells that should have received them become chaotic. A “dis-ease” process is set in motion and, eventually, pain results.

If these misalignments of the vertebrae aren’t corrected in time, the cells of your body suffer. The normal programs of healing and repair that run through your nerves can no longer talk to your cells. Also, the vertebrae themselves begin to disintegrate and decay in a process commonly called osteo-arthritis. Arthritis happens in the areas of your spine that are misaligned. I have seen this in thousands of patients where I have taken x-rays to determine where the spinal imbalance stems from. The chance of arthritis forming in areas of your spine that maintain appropriate alignment is rare. So, quite simply, if you want to prevent the early onset of osteo-arthritis of the spine and other unfortunate disease states, ensure that your spine maintains its alignment and your nervous system is free of damaging interference.

Chiropractors are spinal specialists. We are trained to detect the subtle spinal imbalances that lead to nerve dysfunction.  Interestingly, these imbalances can be easily seen in your posture. Have you ever noticed someone who has a higher shoulder, or a head that sticks out like a goose?  Spinal misalignments weaken your spine and set the stage for poor posture. Also, sitting with poor posture can cause the spine to further misalign, compounding the problem. A well-aligned spine, on the other hand, creates excellent posture. Regular Chiropractic checkups and spinal adjustments ensure your spine is free of this damaging stress and allow your nerves to be healthy and strong. Visit your Chiropractor today!

Written by Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC
Arise Chiropractic
7-100 Kalamalka Lake Rd
250.275.7616
www.arisechiropractic.com

What Is A Pinched Nerve?

Have you ever been diagnosed with a “pinched nerve?” What causes a nerve to become pinched or trapped? Pinched nerves are usually diagnosed in association with neck and shoulder pain, or low back pain. But this vague diagnosis, often accompanied by a hurried drug prescription, fails to illuminate what is actually pinching the nerve.

As nerves branch off the spinal cord within the spine, they must pass through numerous canals in the body to reach their respective target. The first canal a nerve faces is the tiny hole between any two vertebrae, called the foramina. If the vertebrae themselves are displaced or shifted, by even a tiny amount, the nerve can become irritated. If a spinal disc bulges or herniates, the jelly-like material that makes up a part of the disc can be squeezed out like an ice-cream sandwich, and this can directly impinge a nerve.

The initial impingement often cannot be felt because only a small fraction of the nerve carries pain messages. When this squeezing irritation breaches a “pain threshold,” it finally hurts. Depending on which fibers within the nerves are being compressed, symptoms may include: sharp, darting pain originating in the neck or low back that radiates into the shoulder, arm or buttock; dull aching; tight and sore muscles; numbness and tingling.

If a nerve is being pinched, wouldn’t it make sense to find out what is causing the pinching in the first place? Doctors of Chiropractic, who specialize in bone and joint health, can help your body regain its alignment and heal properly, un-pinching the nerve rather than just medicating the pain so your brain cannot register the damage. Call our office today and see if we can help you or your loved ones with this issue. We look forward to meeting you!

Written by Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC
Arise Chiropractic
7-100 Kalamalka Lake Rd.
250.275.7616
www.arisechiropractic.com

When Exercise Is Harmful

In order to combat daily aches and pains, many people turn to exercise, hoping to alleviate their pain by getting into better shape. There’s no doubt that such activities can increase blood flow to the joints, easing them through fuller ranges of motion—on top of countless other health benefits. I am a huge advocate of regular physical activity. Minor aches caused by an out-of-shape body will often be relieved by daily exercise, and the results can be felt immediately.  

I am, however, a little concerned by what I see when people begin fitness programs without giving proper consideration to what may be causing their pain. My experience after treating thousands of patients shows that the average person has at least 6 postural imbalances in their body. Most of these imbalances stem from the spine—the core of the body. Because gravity exerts a constant pull on the body, these spinal imbalances can show through as joint strain (back, neck, arm, leg pain), depending on where the imbalance is. 

If an exercise program is taken on board, the added strain can worsen the pain because it overloads an already strained area. I see a lot of patients who vow to get in shape, only to be met with areas of imbalance that suddenly become painful. Spinal imbalances increase spinal pressure, leading to disc disease and arthritis. Osteo-arthritis is a disease of wear and tear and happens in areas of the spine that aren’t aligned properly. In such cases, it becomes MORE HARMFUL to continue with the activity without giving appropriate attention to the cause, especially when pain persists and worsens with activity.

Chiropractors are trained to detect and correct these imbalances so you are able to achieve better fitness with less pain and long-term damage.  If you experience pain during or after exercise,  I urge you to find out the underlying problem before more damage is done! Every day I see long-term spinal damage and arthritis in patients who wish they would have been told to get a spine and posture check-up earlier in their lives. Maybe there’s an imbalance in your body that can be corrected?

Written by Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC
Arise Chiropractic
7-100 Kal Lake Rd.
250.275.7616
www.arisechiropractic.com

 

Chiropractic Care for Whiplash

By Dr. James Mayne, DC

Whiplash occurs when the muscles, ligaments, and tendons of the neck and upper back are damaged from a sudden impact that whips the head forward and then backward, or from side to side.  The curve and alignment of the neck may be altered, causing pain and decreased neck movement.  This type of injury can have many causes, from sports impacts to slips on icy surfaces, but by far the most common cause is a motor vehicle accident.  Most people don’t realize that even low-speed, low-impact collisions can cause serious, long-term whiplash injuries.  In the health presentations I’ve offered my patients, I notice in the audiences with a show of hands that at least 60-70% of people have been in a car accident.  My experience shows that impacts as slow as 5 mph are enough to cause damage to the small joints in the neck, especially if the head is turned while the impact happens.

The most common symptoms for whiplash injuries are pain in the neck and upper back region.  A headache can often be the main complaint, interfering with a person’s ability to work or go about their daily activities.  Sometimes, when the damage irritates the delicate nerve roots of the spine, a person can experience pain, tingling, or weakness radiating into the shoulders, arms, and hands.  It is important to keep in mind that sometimes these symptoms take days or even weeks to be experienced.

The focus of chiropractic care for whiplash involves realigning the forward curve in the neck, re-establishing the normal position of the vertebrae, muscles, and ligaments of the spine.  This allows the tissues to heal with proper alignment of the neck—the goal being to restore full range of motion and to prevent any permanent damage from occurring.  If whiplash damage is left uncorrected, it is possible that the natural curve of the neck can be lost, leading to wear-and-tear of the neck joints.  Over time, this causes the disks in the neck to break down, and osteo-arthritis is the result.

If you have experienced a whiplash accident or suffer from any of the above symptoms, you would benefit from seeing a chiropractor for a neck and spine evaluation.

 

Helping Boomers Stay Active

By Dr. James Mayne, DC

Have you ever noticed that each decade of life seems to bring its own set of challenges?  In my 20s my metabolism slowed down, in my 30s I didn’t heal from injury as quickly, in my 40s I didn’t have as much energy, and in my 50s…well, I’m not quite in my 50s yet, but what I’ve learned over the years is that while we can’t stop the aging process, we can attempt to slow it down.

One of the biggest complaints we see in our offices is that a large number of baby boomers are hitting retirement age and are finding it difficult to keep up with their busy new lifestyles. Now that they have the time to golf, fish, play with their grandkids, ski, and garden, their bodies are holding them up. Years of sitting at desks, manual labour, and running the rat race have taken their toll. Often this shows up in the form of neck or back aches, fatigue, or postural strain.

Helping improve the body’s mechanics and straightening out posture lets the bones hold us up properly, allowing overworked muscles to be used for recreational activities. While this may not allow you to hit a 400-yard drive or suddenly ski the double-blacks, we would love to see if we can improve your health so you can better enjoy your later years.