10 Is Your Home Office Causing Pain? Here Are Some Ergonomic Tips That Can Help!

Summary

I recently saw a patient at our clinic who was expereincing right shoulder pain. This pain was causing discomfort, and was pain radiating to his right arm. He was also experiencing numbness and tingling into his right hand which caused him to wake up from his sleep during the night. 

After our discussion it became obvious that the pain was due to his new home office set up. This patient usually travels to the office, but due to the current restrictions due to COVID-19, he is now working from home. We discussed some stretching and exercising techniques to help prevent the pain, and we also discussed some ergonomic tips to help prevent this pain in the future.

Given the current situation and the number of people who are working at home, we are dedicating todays episode to the review of good ergonomic practices. This will hopefully reduce your chances of injury and allow you to work pain free. Lets begin!

Keyboard Position

When working at a keyboard, the user should sit in an upright position with the upper arms hanging naturally from the shoulders. The elbows should be bent at about a 90° angle when the fingers are on the home row of the keyboard.

The Mouse

Hand-held input devices, such as a computer mouse, are commonly used in computer work. A mouse should be placed as close to the user’s side as possible and at a height that allows the arm to hang relaxed from the shoulder. The wrist should be in a ‘neutral’ position (that is, so the hand is in line with the forearm). This position causes the least physical stress. The mouse should be able to move freely.

Chair

The purpose of well-designed seating is to provide stable support that allows movement, comfort and task accomplishment. Height-adjustable chairs can help place the user at a proper height for typing, writing and viewing the monitor, especially when height-adjustable tables are not available.

Desks

The best way to provide the proper screen and keyboard heights for all users is to use split level tables or desks that allow each height to be adjusted independently. This ensures that almost all users, large and small, can have proper postures as they work. Any table, desk or stand used for computer work must be deep enough for both the keyboard and the monitor to be in front of the worker.

For more information about standing desks visit: https://muscleandjoint.ca/five-reason-why-sitting-is-the-new-smoking/

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9 Trouble Sleeping? Check Out These Sleeping Tips!

Summary

Lack of sleep is no joke and getting a good night’s rest is important. We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping, so getting the most out of it is important. Preventing stress or worries that keep you up at night may be difficult, but a few simple lifestyle and nutritional changes can help you wake-up feeling refreshed.

Tips For A Good-Night’s Sleep

When choosing a mattress look for one that is comfortable and supportive. A mattress should be flexible enough to adapt to your body’s shape, while providing firm support for your spine. Your mattress should be replaced every 8 to 12 years to ensure proper support and comfort.

Be selective when choosing a pillow. When lying on your side, your head, neck and shoulders should remain level with your mid and lower spine. When lying on your back, your head and necks should remain level with your upper back and spine.

Your sleeping position is also an important factor in how you will feel when you wake-up. Lying on your back or side allows your head, neck and spine to relax into their neutral alignment.

Have low back pain? Try sleeping on your back and place a pillow under your knees to take some of the pressure off your back

Tips For Better Sleep

Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, colas and tea in the evening. Caffeine is a stimulant and can make it difficult for you to fall asleep

Try to go to bed at the same time everyday. This includes weekends! This will help to keep your sleep cycle in a regular rhythm.

Exposure yourself to bright light/sunlight soon after you wake up. This will help to regulate your body’s natural biological clock.

Avoid looking at the clock if you happen to wake in the middle of the night. This can cause added anxiety and keep you away even longer.

If you can’t fall asleep after 30 minutes of trying, get our of bed and do something boring in dim light until you become sleepy.

If you’re still experiencing trouble sleeping, consult with a Chiropractor to discuss what treatments may help improve your quality of sleep.

For a free consultation call 905-503-1605 or visit http://www.muscleandjoint.ca

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8 Five Best Ways To Spend Your New Found Time

Summary

In a world where time is scarce, we now find ourselves in a new reality with an abundance of time. The situation we are in is unique, the last time we faced a similar situation was 102 years ago during the Spanish Flu (When the Spanish Flu came to Ontario). Being confined to our home during this pandemic is not all bad. To help make the most of this time, here are five tips that I hope you will find helpful:

Make A Routine: One of the best ways to make the most out of your day is to have a plan for your day. Schedule family time, game time, meal prep time, exercise and more. This way you will be more productive and it will help your day go by quicker.

Exercise: Daily exercise is extremely important. Whether it is a run or a job, pushups or situps, finding a good workout routine to do around the house will not only keep you in shape, but it will also help keep your overall state of mind. Personally I have been doing the 400 challenge every second day. The four hundred challenge comprises of:

– 100 pushups

– 100 situps

– 100 jumping jacks

– 100 squats

Below is a quick demonstration of one cycle of the 400 challenge:

Eat At Home: Not only is eating at home safer, but it is much healthier. This is a great time to learn new recipes, try new foods and encourage the family to work as a team. To help you get started here is a link to a recipe by my wife Tabassum Wyne @kashmirifoodie.

Read More: I remember watching the documentary about Bill Gates on Netflix, and I was stunned as to how much he would read. Bill Gates takes a tote bag full of books everywhere he travels. I was so inspired by his reading habits, I bookmarked his reading list: https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books. It is incredible how much one can learn in a short duration of time. The best of authors have presented the best of ideas they have learned over a lifetime for us to read in a 300 page book. If you haven’t started already I would highly recommend watching the Netflix documentary about Bill Gates which can be found here: Inside Bill’s Brain.

Entertainment: I am sure during this pandemic we will be setting new binge watching records! But be mindful of much content you are taking in. Don’t let the Netflix autoplay options lead you to watching endless TV: take control. To learn more about how Netflix tricks you into watching more, check out this link (click here).

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7 What Is A Virus?

Summary

I remember back in 2005 I took a virology class at the University of Manitoba, and it was during the first lecture the professor said something that has always remained with me. He said that viruses can not be classified as living or dead given their simplistic structure. I found this statement to be profound, as a microbe so simplistic it cannot be considered alive can cause so much damage to its host. It almost sounded surreal.

Viruses were first discovered in 1898, and since then nearly 5000 species have been discovered. The coronavirus is a family of viruses that causes diseases in humans and birds.

Coronaviruses have been responsible for many conditions, from common colds to MERS, SARS and now COVID19.

Viruses comprise of a very simplistic structure, containing a small strand of genetic material surrounded by a capsule, for example below is a picture of the Covid19 virus:

(picture: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24532743-500-were-beginning-to-understand-the-biology-of-the-covid-19-virus/)

The virus itself is quite useless, it cannot do much on its own. It’s true potential is unleashed when it infects a suitable host. Once a host is found, the virus discards its outer capsule and causes the host’s cell to copy the virus’s own genetic material. This genetic material help produce more virus, and this cycle repeats itself as shown below:

(picture: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/microbiology/chapter/the-viral-life-cycle/)

Given how simplistic the anatomy of a virus is, it is quite incredible how much havoc Covid19 is currently causing around the world. One of nature’s most simplistic creations, that cannot be fully classified as living has brought one of its most advanced species to a standstill.

To illustrate this point further, here is a picture of a typical human cell:

(https://openstax.org/books/anatomy-and-physiology/pages/3-2-the-cytoplasm-and-cellular-organelles)

Our cells contain genetic information with approximately 3 billion base pairs, the number of base pairs in Covid19 is only 30,000. But given Covid19’s simplistic structure it is more susceptible to damage.

Hand washing for twenty seconds can allow enough time for the soap molecules to destroy the outer capsule of the virus. Hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes can have the same effect. The virus can live on surfaces for upto 72 hours, which makes wiping down and disinfecting surfaces extremely important.

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6 The 8 Fitness Myths That Need To be Debunked

Summary

The 8 Fitness Myths That Need To be Debunked

It seems like everyday a new diet fad or a new workout routine is being shared across social media. Unfortunately, some of the information that is widely shared is incorrect. This month we will highlight eight of the top workout myths, so you can be better informed so you can focus on an exercise routine that works for you.

Soreness Is Good: Not all exercises will create soreness. Exercises that involve low reps and lack an eccentric phase (muscle lengthening phase) do not cause the same type of soreness you may expect, but still provide a great workout.

Lifting Heavy Will Make You Bulky: Gaining bulk is not so simple. To gain bulk you need to consume a considerable amount of extra calories and perform very targeted exercises to train specific muscles. Unless you are on a very specific body-building program, you don’t need to worry about getting bulky.

Weight-Scales Are Not Necessary: Some people point out that because of daily fluctuations in body weight, weighing-scales are not a good way to measure progress. This is not true. Water retention can cause daily weight fluctuations of about five pounds, but over the long term charting your weight can help you measure how much fat is being burned away. Weight-scales can help you determine if you are progressing towards your health goals.

Exercise Is Bad For Your Knees: A Standford Univeristy Study followed runners for 20 years and found that by the time the participants were nearly 70 years of age, they had a lower rate of developing arthritis. This is understandable as exercises, when done properly, can help strengthen the muscles around the knees, reducing stress on the joint. If a person is suffering from knee pain, it might be a good idea to have that checked out to be sure the joint is exercise-ready.

Love Handle Workouts: You are more likely to reduce fat in unwanted parts of the body, by becoming leaner overall, than performing targeted muscle exercises alone.  Targeted exercises for a specific part of the body will show poorer results, compared to a better whole-body exercise and nutrition routine. This is the reason why those late night infomercials for home ab-workout machines are terrible. You won’t get stronger by rocking your abs for five minutes every night.

Less Rest Means Better Results: You may be getting more workouts in a week without taking a rest day, but most professional athletes and body building will tell you that taking a rest day is important for recovery. Not only will your muscles, tendon and ligaments have an opportunity to heal, but it will also make you stronger for your next exercise day. People are surprised when they take a week off the gym, how much stronger they feel, and how much better they lift. Take some rest, your body will thank you.

Exercise Machines Don’t Work: Exercise machines can provide a safe and effective workout, especially for people who are new to the gym. Free weight exercises are superb, but workout machines can still provide a good workout if performed correctly.

Shorter Workouts Are Better: It should be noted that any workout is better than no workout. An intense 5 minute workout can provide more health benefits than no workout at all. But shorter workouts should not be the goal. The goal should be a good workout, not a rushed one. Taking your time between sets, and performing slow concentric/eccentric exercises can help build stronger muscles over time.

If working out is on your to do list, remember it is easier than you think. The key is to start, and like any skill it will get better with time!

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5 Are Posture Correctors Safe? A Chiropractor’s Perspective

Summary

Read The Blog Post Here: https://muscleandjoint.ca/are-posture-correctors-safe/

You might have seen these devices on a television ad or on Amazon.ca. These are straps that claim to help correct posture if worn throughout the day. Besides putting a smile on your face, they provide very little value. Let me explain.

We are born with natural posture correctors which include many muscles such as the rhomboids, paraspinal and trapezius muscles.

These muscles tend to weaken throughout the day due to a lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle. This can cause a forward shift of the head in relation to the body.

This phenomenon is called the upper cross syndrome.

A posture corrector uses external straps to help position the spine in the correct position. However, over time these devices can cause weakening of our posture correcting muscles, which can lead to worsening posture. This phenomenon is similar to wearing a brace/cast on an ankle for an extended period of time. The disuse of the ankle causes the surrounding muscles to weaken. After a patient is removed from a cast/brace they usually require rehabilitation to help strengthen the muscles and joint back to their normal state. Using a posture corrector everyday can cause similar problems. A posture corrector can cause weakening of the postural muscle, which can cause symptoms such as neck pain, upper back pain and tension headaches.

What is the safest way to correct posture? Unfortunately the answer is not as easy. Exercise and strength training are the best way to help correct posture and reduce the chances of developing back and neck pain.

So instead of purchasing a posture corrector, try exercise. It is safer, healthier and will help you live longer.

If you or someone you know has postural concerns, call today for a free consultation! Ph: 905-593-1605

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4 Do Meal Times Matter? Morning vs Evening Caloric Intake, Which Is Better?

Summary

A recent article from CNN discussed the importance of timing your meals. Most people who intermittent fast skip breakfast and instead eat lunch and dinner. But apparently if you want to shed some pounds you may want to reconsider this routine.

Most clinicians have noted that patients who ate their heavier meals during the day did better than those who ate later into the evening. And some studies show the reason may be our circadian rhythms.

The times we choose to eat our meals can effect how our body digests our food. The calories the body burns when we digest our food is lower at 8pm than it would be at 8am. This can explain why eating heavy caloric food during the day might help lead to better weight loss results. To read more click the link below:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/10/health/weight-loss-meal-time-wellness/index.html

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3 Does Knuckle Cracking Cause Arthritis?

Summary

Hello and welcome to the Muscle and Joint Podcast, I am your host Dr Malik.

What causes knuckles to crack and does this lead to arthritis? I am sure this question has  crossed your mind, especially if your a knuckle cracker.

First off, why do knuckles crack?

Knuckles are joints that are comprised of synovial fluid. This fluid is located between your joints to help reduce friction and allows your bones to move freely.

Within this synovial fluid gases build up over time. When the joint is stretched these bubbles collapse and pop. This is what causes the cracking sound when we pull our knuckles.

Now the question arises does knuckle cracking cause arthritis?

2009 IG Nobel Prize winner Dr Donald Unger proved this not to be the cause. The self-described researcher tested his theory by cracking the knuckles oh his left hand for over 60 years and found there was no difference in joint health between his two hands.

And this makes sense, as knuckle cracking is caused by the release of gases and does not cause harm to the joint surfaces.

It appears the only harm that can come from knuckle popping is by annoying the people around you!

Happy Cracking!

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1 What Is The Cornavirus?

Summary

The health headline dominating this month has been the coronavirus. Like a supervillain, this virus appeared out of nowhere and has made its presence felt. As of January 30, it has caused a total of 8100 infections and 170 deaths in China, causing the WHO to declare it a global health emergency.

How did the coronavirus begin and what is this strange virus that is causing so much havoc around the world? Let’s explore.

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The Muscle And Joint Podcast (Trailer)

Summary

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