Canada’s Low Back Pain Epidemic

Canada’s Low Back Pain Epidemic

Chiropractic treatment for low back pain

Involuntary spasms in your lower back? A dull throbbing ache? Shooting pain down your leg? You are most likely suffering from low back pain (LBP). If you’ve never had low back pain, chances are you will at some point in your life. Just check these statistics:

  • In six-month period, five in 10 Canadians suffered low back pain1
  • Up to 85% of working people can expect to experience low back pain during their lifetime2
  • In Canada, the low back pain-related estimate of the medical costs ranges between 6 and 12 billion dollars annually3

Low-Back-PainLow Back Pain Causes

Low back pain is a complex condition with multiple contributors to pain, including physical, social and psychological factors. Lifestyle factors, such as obesity and being sedentary are associated with the occurrence of low back pain as well.
Our backs play a supportive role for our bodies – at rest and in motion. Extra bodyweight puts greater demand on our spines and other joints. Research shows that a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) increases the risk of suffering low back pain. With growing rates of obesity , Canadians are increasing their chances of developing low back pain.

In addition, we are more sedentary than ever before. In industrialized countries, 75% of workers sit for long periods of time. Prolonged sitting may negatively affect your muscles and joints and lead to deconditioning (decline in physical functioning), fatigue and stress on the spinal discs causing pain in the lower back. In an effort to combat sitting, newer products such as standing desks, have been increasing in popularity. However, recent research produced at the University of Waterloo also found that standing desks may lead to lower back pain as well. The key take away message as discussed by Daniel Viggiani, lead author, is that regardless of whether you are sitting or standing at work, make sure to move around and shift your posture often.

Responses to the Low Back Pain Epidemic

Low back pain has also been one of the key drivers for opioid prescription. With increasing awareness of its risks, limited efficacy and potential for misuse, emerging evidence has suggested that medication should not be the mainstay in the treatment of low back pain. Instead, recent guidelines recommend self-management, manual therapy, physical activity and psychological therapies. There is a shift in placing less emphasis on pharmacological and surgical interventions in the care of low back pain.

Canadian chiropractors are trained to assess and diagnose back pain, as well as offer comprehensive treatment plans. Typically, plans are holistic. A chiropractor addresses all contributing factors of low back pain, such as joint dysfunction, injury, ergonomics, exercise and overall health and then develops a customized program to relieve pain, increase mobility and get you back on your feet. Chiropractic treatment is a drugless and non-invasive treatment option.

How Chiropractic Expertise Can Help Low Back Pain

Chiropractic treatment relieves low back pain using effective clinical tools like manipulation, mobilization, soft tissue therapy, exercise, patient education, modalities (i.e. ultrasound, laser) and rehabilitation. Extensively trained in spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), chiropractors are proficient in providing specialized care which has been proven effective in reducing pain, improving function, and decreasing the chances of low back pain becoming a chronic condition.

Click here to read more about how chiropractic expertise in treating low back pain can ease pain and lower your risk of recurrence.

Canadian chiropractors can provide education on your spine and posture, as well as create a personalized treatment plan including back exercises and ergonomic solutions for your workstation.

Find a chiropractor today and join the other 4.5 million Canadians visiting their chiropractor each year!

Find out about insurance coverage for chiropractic treatment here.

[1] GBD 2015 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 310 diseases and injuries, 1990-2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. Lancet. 2016 Oct 8;388(10053):1545-1602.

[2] Hoy D, Bain C, Williams G, March L, Brooks P, Blyth F, Woolf A, Vos T, Buchbinder R. A systematic review of the global prevalence of low back pain. Arthritis Rheum. 2012 Jun;64(6):2028-37. doi: 10.1002/art.34347. Epub 2012 Jan 9. Review.

[3] Church J, Saunders D, Wanke M, Pong R, Spooner C, Dorgan M. Citizen participation in health decision-making: past experience and future prospects. J  Public Health Policy. 2002;23(1):12-32. Review.

[4] Seaman, David R., Body mass index and musculoskeletal pain: is there a connection? Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 2013, 21:15

[5] Laurie K. Twells, Deborah M. Gregory, Jacinta Reddigan, William K. Midodzi, Current and predicted prevalence of obesity in Canada: a trend analysis, CMAJ, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2014

[6] Angela Maria Lis, Katia M. Black, Hayley Korn, Margareta Nordin, Association between sitting and occupational LBP, Eur Spine J. Feb 2007; 16(2): 283–298.


[8] Borgundvaag B, McLeod S, Khuu W, Varner C, Tadrous M, Gomes T. Opioid prescribing and adverse events in opioid-naive patients treated by emergency physicians versus family physicians: a population-based cohort study. CMAJ Open.  2018 Mar 1;6(1):E110-E117.

[9] Traeger AC, Buchbinder R, Harris IA, Clavisi OM, Maher CG. Avoid routinely prescribing medicines for non-specific low back pain. Br J Sports Med. 2018 Mar 7.

[10] Bussières AE, Stewart G, Al-Zoubi F, Decina P, Descarreaux M, Haskett D, Hincapié C, Pagé I, Passmore S, Srbely J, Stupar M, Weisberg J, Ornelas J. Spinal Manipulative Therapy and Other Conservative Treatments for Low Back Pain: A Guideline From the Canadian Chiropractic Guideline Initiative. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2018 Mar 29.

[11] Almeida M, Saragiotto B, Richards B, Maher CG. Primary care management of non-specific low back pain: key messages from recent clinical guidelines. Med J Aust. 2018 Apr 2;208(6):272-275.

[12]  Foster NE, Anema JR, Cherkin D, Chou R, Cohen SP, Gross DP, Ferreira PH, Fritz JM, Koes BW, Peul W, Turner JA, Maher CG; Lancet Low Back Pain Series Working Group. Prevention and treatment of low back pain: evidence, challenges, and promising directions. Lancet. 2018 Mar 20.

Warm up and cool down stretches for golfers

I have had two requests already this morning for warm up and cool down stretches for golfers. A good video sess on warm up and cool down stretches for golfers sounds like a good way to conquer my writers block. By the end of these videos, you will clearly see why being a chiropractor was my calling and not an actress or hairstylist. In fact, after the freeze frame in the first one with the constipated face, it will also be clear I don’t know how to edit videos at all. That’s ok. In the name of all of you feeling good, I will sacrifice my dignity once again!!

It isn’t hard to understand why 80% of golfers have back pain, especially this time of year. When you add up the swings you take during your round including your shots and all of your practice swings, it ends of being a lot of one directional repetition. The golfers that I see tend to be really limber in one direction and very stiff in the other. There are a few simple steps you can take to minimizing your chances of injury with warm up and cool down stretches for golfers. This will help you feel good while doing the sport you love.

Tip 1-Warm your body up BEFORE you golf. This does NOT mean stretch. A lot of us rush to the course after work, hop out of our car hoping not to be late and run up to the first tee to take our swings.
Next time you golf, try this. Start with spinal twists-spread your feet shoulder with apart, interlace your fingers, point your hips forward and rotate your shoulders INDEPENDENTLY of your hips. This will help loosen up your spine.

Second–Try some walking lunges. This will help loosen up your hips and start firing your muscles.

Third- Activate your hip flexors with some high knee marches.


Lastly, try some standing crunches to activate your abs. While your standing, grip your finger tips LOOSELY behind your head. Crunch your opposite elbow to your opposite hip. Do about 15 of these on each side. ( Sorry, my expert videographer Sue went into a massage before I could make this video. You can figure out how to do standing crunches though. If not standing, lie on your back. Now you are ready to golf!

Tip 2-While you are out on the course, take a practice swing in the opposite direction before each hole. This will counter the effects of always swinging the same way. More and more we are seeing the pros on the tour do this. It will help keep you limber in BOTH directions.

Tip 3-Stretch yourself out after you golf before your body has a chance to cool down. Try a gentle forward fold while dropping your head down to stretch your back and hamstrings.

Make sure you stretch your hip flexors out doing a lunge as well and holding it. (Also no camera woman for this one, sorry!)

Any spinal rotation stretch you can do would help too.

(I was pretty much sick of taking these pics of myself by this point…couldn’t help it.)

Most people don’t hold their stretches long enough. Stay in your stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds. Also, keep in mind, the first point of injury is wrestling the golf bag out of the trunk.

If you have any questions on how to customize a stretching plan for yourself and your sport, call me. I’m happy to help!

The post Warm up and cool down stretches for golfers appeared first on Active Family Chiropractic Blog.


2018 CCA National Convention & Tradeshow

2018 CCA National Convention & Tradeshow

Hello and welcome,

Wow! Another National Convention and Tradeshow has come and gone. It seems like just yesterday that we were wrapping up NCT’15.

Thank you to all that attended NCT’18. It is with your enthusiasm that we had an even bigger and better NCT, and we look forward to continuing to grow in Halifax in 2020. The CCA National Convention & Tradeshow continues to be Canada’s largest chiropractic show, bringing together chiropractic clinicians, researchers, chiropractic stakeholders, and exhibitors.

This year, we explored the important theme of A Better Approach to Pain Management – Chiropractic Care Changes Pain. I would like to thank Dr. Carlo Ammendolia for bringing his Boot Camp Program for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis to convention. He provided attendees with hands-on skills to treat LSS, a leading cause of pain, disability, and loss of independence in people over the age of 65.

Recognizing Threatening Conditions that Mimic Common Complaints, from Dr. Brandon Steele, helped refresh participants’ knowledge in diagnosing the causes of chest pain, back pain, hip pain, arthritis and many other issues. In regards to the role chiropractors play in pain management, Dr. Jason Busse highlighted chiropractic’s unique opportunity in battling North America’s opioid crisis.

There are so many more to be highlighted, and I am very proud of the role the chiropractic community plays in helping Canadians manage their pain.

In addition to many panels, workshops, and seminars, I was thrilled with our amazing keynote speakers! Scott Stratten, president of Unmarketing, kicked off Friday night by challenging us to rethink our ideas of the digital and real world.

Esteemed chiropractor, Dr. Greg Kawchuck got us all determined to explore strategies that will extend the shelf-life of chiropractic in today’s evidence-based, integrated healthcare environment. And of course, it was an honour for me to interview Canadian Olympic Track Silver and Bronze Medal winner Andre De Grasse and his chiropractor, Dr. Alban Merepeza, about their amazing partnership.

Not only did we experience so much informative and inspiring content, but we had a lot of fun too!

Kicking off with Rock Star Karaoke at the Friday night reception has become a fun tradition of NCT. Our Denim & Diamonds gala at Calgary’s legendary Ranchman’s was a rootin’ tootin’ good time. I have to admit it was thrilling to watch colleagues ride the mechanical bull in our Born to Rodeo fundraiser to benefit the Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation (CCRF).

Since 1976, the CCRF has been funding chiropractic research to discover the best, evidence-informed care for patients living with pain and disability caused by spinal dysfunction and disease, and our amazing community raised $26,000 at the gala!

These incredible few days would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. Thank you to our host province of Alberta who, not only showed us their Calgary hospitality but also sponsored our Denim & Diamonds gala.

Our industry truly shows its community spirit with our sponsorships from the Canadian Chiropractic Guidelines Initiative (CCGI), Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (MMCC), and the Canadian Chiropractic Protective Association (CCPA). Vitality Depot, Rocktape, Performance Health, and Foot Levelers showed spectacular support for our industry with their respective sponsorships, and our unique partnerships with CCA Plus members, Telus Health and The Personal Group Insurance, brought in more support for the CCRF!

Last week, we brought together our extraordinary Canadian chiropractic community, as well as members of the ACA, NCA, and DCA who met to discuss the future of chiropractic care and experience our Canadian hospitality.

This weekend was a reminder of the important work we do and made me confident in our vision that chiropractors will be an integral part of every Canadian’s healthcare team by 2023.

There is so much more to say, but for now, I’ll leave you with an open invitation to join us for NCT 2020 in beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia!

Yours in health,

Alison Dantas


Simple Home Upgrades That Can Help Seniors Age in Place


For seniors, being able to age in place plays a critical role in staying comfortable, safe, and secure. Aging in place simply means being able to stay in your own home as you get older. It’s a simple idea that can keep you happy later in life. If you are looking for ways to comfortably age in place in your home, you should carefully consider making these important upgrades.


Be Careful in Bathrooms 


When it comes to preventing injuries at home, the one area seniors need to focus on most is the bathroom. Thousands of injuries happen in the bathroom every year. Slippery floors and elevated edges on tubs can make everyday bathing extremely risky for aging adults. If you have mobility issues, the risk can be even worse. Luckily, there are some simple fall prevention ideas that can help you improve the safety of your bathroom. These fall prevention projects could even save your life. Small adjustments, such as adding grab bars in the tub or a shower seat, can give you more stability when surfaces are slippery. Have a big tub that’s difficult to get into? Consider replacing it with a walk-in/zero-entry shower. Preventing bathroom slips is the simplest way for seniors to stay safe in their homes.


Reduce Fall Hazards Throughout Your Home


Preventing falls in bathrooms is a good first step for senior safety at home, but you need to be sure the rest of your house is safe as well. Falls account for the majority of serious injuries to seniors, and most seniors are injured when falling in their own homes. Falls can even be deadly. Take a look around your house to make sure your floors are safe for you to walk on. Carpet may be your best bet at preventing serious injuries if you do happen to fall. Be careful of any rugs you have and make sure they are tacked down securely. Also, be aware of any uneven surfaces, cords, or furniture that could trip you up when walking around. Shorter items, like stools and baskets, should be tucked away safely so you won’t trip over them.


Install a Ramp or Lift


If you have stairs around your home, they could limit your ability to get around safely. Those with mobility issues or wheelchairs should consider alternatives to steps and stairs to make life safer at home. For steps outside and ledges around your home, ramps can make getting around much faster and safer. If you’re in a wheelchair you may even be eligible for Medicare coverage for ramps. If you have larger staircases inside, a lift or elevator may be a good option to consider. Installing a chair lift or elevator in your home generally ranges from $2,545 to $6,220. But installing one of these helpful options can add value to your home and quality to your life.


Use Technology to Stay at Home 


Technology can help seniors age in place as well. For seniors living alone, or those who are at home alone for extended periods of time, an in-home monitoring system can be an easy, economical way to stay safe. Getting help quickly in the case of a fall, injury, or illness could mean the difference between life and death, and you may not be able to reach a phone in your time of need. These days, there are quite a few in-home monitoring systems to choose from. Some options may require WiFi, while others work off your cellular phone network. There are also contracts and other elements to consider. Research your options and find a system that works for you and will help you feel safer at home.


By being able to age in place, seniors can maintain their independence and control over their own life. Ensuring a safe, comfortable environment in your home can add years to your life and add joy to those years. So, make sure your home is set up so you can enjoy the best years of your life in safety, comfort, and happiness.


Photo Credit: Pixabay


The Top 6 Common Myths about Chiropractic Treatment



Many Canadians continue to have questions about the role that chiropractors play in the healthcare team, and what benefit chiropractic care may have to their health. While you can always find a chiropractor in your community to discuss your specific needs, today we’re busting some commonly shared myths:

1. Once you see a chiropractor you have to keep going back

This is false. When seeking care from a chiropractor, we will perform an assessment including a history and physical examination to determine the cause of the pain or dysfunction. From these observations, a diagnosis will be made and the treatment plan developed in collaboration with the patient – according to their needs and goals. The treatment plan will recommend a number of initial visits to see if the patient responds to care and scheduled re-evaluations. Depending on the patient and the condition, the recommended course of care may vary. Ultimately, the decision to continue care is yours. As a patient, if you have questions or concerns about care, you should feel comfortable to ask the chiropractor for more information on the recommendations made and address any concerns. The care plan should be part of a shared decision-making between the patient and practitioner.

CHIROPRACTIC-1 2. Chiropractors are not ‘real’ doctors

Chiropractors are regulated in all 10 Canadian provinces, and are designated to use the title “doctor” similar to physicians, optometrists and dentists after completing the extensive Doctor of Chiropractic degree program. Those professions who are recognized to use the “doctor” title have extensive training in their area of expertise that allows them to be diagnosticians – to provide a diagnosis.

 3. A medical doctor must refer you to a chiropractor

In all provinces in Canada, chiropractors are primary contact providers, which means you can access them directly. Due to the extensive training of chiropractors as diagnosticians, chiropractors will perform a comprehensive assessment to help determine a diagnosis or clinical impressions. Depending on the outcome, the chiropractor can discuss a course of care or refer to another healthcare professional, as needed. However, in some cases, you may need a referral to access coverage depending on your benefits provider.

4. There is no evidence to support the effectiveness of chiropractic care

Chiropractic treatment is at times questioned on its effectiveness. Yet, the chiropractic profession and others have invested significant resources to build a robust body of evidence studying the impact of manual therapies on MSK conditions. For example, spinal and joint manipulation has been shown to be effective treatment for acute and chronic MSK conditions, like back pain. In fact, spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) is recommended as first line intervention for back pain in numerous clinical practice guidelines including the Bone and Joint Decade Task Force1, the American College of Physicians and American Pain Society2 as well as Britain’s National Institute of Health and Care Excellence3.

 5. Chiropractors can only treat back pain

Chiropractors are musculoskeletal (MSK) experts and are trained in assessing, diagnosing, treating and preventing biomechanical disorders that originate from the muscular, skeletal and nervous system. In addition to the evidence that supports chiropractic care in managing musculoskeletal complaints of the spine, there is also evidence that it supports chiropractic management of the extremities, headaches and even TMJ pain,5,6. Chiropractors are also able to provide lifestyle counselling about nutrition, fitness and ergonomics among others that may be useful in managing or preventing a variety of health conditions. The health of your MSK system doesn’t just start with a healthy spine, you need to be fully aware of your health to maintain a well-rounded healthy lifestyle!

 6. Adjustments are painful

In general, adjustments or joint manipulations do not hurt. In fact, many patients report immediate pain relief. Patients may be nervous about the ‘cracking’ or popping sound that may occur during an adjustment. The sound is believed to result from the release of gas bubbles from the joint – similar to cracking your knuckles!

Asking questions about your health and treatment options are very important. You are a partner in your care and your participation is critical to helping us provide the best care to meet your goal. To do so, as a profession, we strive to better understand what information you need to make those important decisions. We want to hear from you! If you have any questions beyond this blog about chiropractic treatment, visit a chiropractor in your area. To learn more about what to expect at your first chiropractic treatment, you can take a look at our online videos.

1Haldeman, S., Carroll, L., Cassidy, J., Schubert, J., & Nygren, A. (2008). The bone and joint decade 2000–2010 task force on neck pain and its associated disorders: Executive summary. Spine, 33(4S), S5-S7. 

2Chou, E., Qaseem, A., Snow, V., Casey, D., Cross, T., Shekelle, P., & Owens, D. (2007). Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: A joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Annals of Internal Medicine, 147(7), 478-491. 

3National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. (2009). Low back pain early management of persistent non-specific low back pain. Londres, Angleterre. 

4Hoskins, W., McHardy, A., Pollard, H., Windsham, R., & Onley, R. (2006). Chiropractic treatment of lower extremity conditions: a literature review. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 29(8), 658-671. 

5McHardy, A., Hoskins, W., Pollard, H., Onley, R., & Windsham, R. (2008). Chiropractic treatment of upper extremity conditions: a systematic review. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 31(2), 146-159. 

6Bryans, R., Descarreaux, M., Duranleau, M., Marcoux, H., Potter, B., Reugg, R., White, E., & , (2011). Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 34(5), 274-289.




Your Health is Your Responsibility!?!?

That is typically a gut check epiphany for my patients to understand. Not your doctor, your personal trainer, your spouse, or any anyone else. You are in charge, and it just so happens that every aspect of your life goes into the matrix of creating health and wellness.


  • Genetics- Family history of inflammatory conditions like hypothyroidism and diabetes increase the chances of developing these conditions, but they are not the deciding factor.
  • Stress Level- Stress causes a entire cascade of events from sympathetic overdrive, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels, and decreased melatonin production (the sleep hormone)
  • Activity Level- Physical activity reduces systemic cortisol levels (the stress hormone). Lack of exercise will drive every inflammatory condition because of cortisol.
  • Diet- Every single food you put into your mouth will either improve or hurt your health levels. We seek flavor instead of nutrients.
  • Toxins- Smoking, alcohol, food coloring, chemicals, GMOs, processed foods, and perfumes can all be shutting your health down.
  • Cleaning Supplies- Long term exposure to chemical based cleaning supplies can hinder your thyroid function, and overall metabolism.
  • Sleep- The human body needs sleep. The human body needs exercise to lower cortisol levels to increase melatonin levels to let you sleep. Get active, get some sleep.
  • Water- There is literally NO SUBSTITUTE FOR WATER. Not Gatorade, tea, coffee, fruit juice, or crystal light water additive, NOTHING REPLACES WATER.


We have an inflammatory epidemic on our hands. Obesity rates are soaring. Thyroids are shutting down. Stress is taking over our minds. We have stopped taking responsibility for our actions and we are sick. The biggest issue is, the medical model is pushing poison to treat conditions that are due to eating and exposure to poison…. This will not work. The evidence is clear. We are consuming more medications than ever before and are spending more money on healthcare than ever before.

It is time for a wake up call.
It is time for change.
It is time to take control of your health.

The New-Start Solution Can Help!

The first step at New-Start to accepting the responsibility of taking control of your health is to see where you health is. We offer a complementary health screening that analyzes every symptom imaginable and give you a detailed report of where your health stands.

Click on the image below to take the quiz for yourself. You will be emailed a report, and we can further discuss the results later.

The results from this quiz has blown a lot of minds recently. So many people are accepting what is, and getting on the right track to be what will become. I can assure you that The New-Start Solution is the last health solution you will ever need. There is no more sophisticated program to get your health back.

Just 100-Days from now, you can feel like you haven’t felt for years.

Happy Healthing,

Dr. Mozingo


3 Things You Need to Know About TMJ Pain


TMJ pain: if you’ve suffered from it, you probably already know what it is. If you haven’t, it may require a bit of visualization to make the connection. Some might say TMJ is jaw pain, or something that causes a clicking in your jaw when you open and close your mouth widely.

There’s a lot more to know about what the TMJ is, and when it poses a problem.

  1. What is the TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint.

TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint. It’s an important joint formed by your skull and your jaw bone and involves the muscles needed for chewing.1 Your TMJ acts like a sliding hinge, and connects your jawbone to your skull. It is responsible for opening and closing your mouth, allowing the jaw to move smoothly up and down and side to side, and enables you to talk, chew, and yawn.1,2 A common mistake people make is referring to TMJ pain simply as TMJ. When you experience pain in this area, your chiropractor or dentist may refer to it as a temporomandibular disorder, or TMD.


  1. What Causes TMJ Pain? 

The bones of the joint are separated by a disc of cartilage to keep your jaw movement smooth.3 When muscles are irritated, the disc is displaced, or if you have arthritis or another joint disease, the smoothness may be disrupted. Common signs of discomfort are popping, clicking, muscle tenderness, joint tenderness, or being unable to open your jaw as wide as possible.4  There are three main categories of the type of pain you may experience in this joint: 1) myofascial pain, or pain in the muscles that control the jaw and the connecting neck and shoulder muscles (this is the most common form); 2) internal derangement of the joint, or a dislocated or displaced disc; and 3) a degenerative joint disease, like arthritis, in the jaw joint.5 Things that can increase your risk of developing TMD are jaw injury, stress, or grinding and clenching of teeth.3


  1. How Can I Manage TMJ Pain? 

There are conservative steps you can take to treat or reverse TMJ-related pain, including eating softer foods, applying ice packs, avoiding extreme jaw movements, learning techniques to relax and reduce stress, and practicing gentle stretching of the jaw to help increase its movement.2  Spinal manipulative therapy, soft tissue massage, and exercises have also been shown to reduce pain and symptoms.1,5,6Another treatment that has been proven to help is intraoral myofascial release, a technique certain healthcare practitioners, such as chiropractors, can use to release the muscles surrounding the joint, accessing them from the inner side of a person’s cheeks.7 The TMJ is a joint after all, and chiropractors are experts on muscles and joints and can assess the function of your TMJ and help determine the best way to manage your pain.

Whatever method you choose to alleviate your TMJ pain—self-care, cognitive behavioural therapy, or co-management between a dentist and your chiropractor—know that there are options that can help. You can talk to your chiropractor to help choose the method that is right for you.



  1. Yuill E, Howitt S. Temporomandibular joint: conservative care of TMJ dysfunction in a competitive swimmer. J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2009;53(3): 165-72.
  1. TMJ Disorders. National Institute of Health website. Published April 2015. Accessed February 14, 2017.
  1. TMJ disorders: Overview. Mayo Clinic website. Accessed February 1, 2017.
  1. George JW, Fennema J, Maddox A, Nessler M, Skaggs CD. The effect of cervical spine manual therapy on normal mouth opening in asymptomatic subjects. J Chiropr Med. 2007; 6(4): 141-5. doi:
  1. Vinjamury SP, Singh BB, Khorsan R, Comberiati R, Meier M, Holm S. Chiropractic treatment of temporomandibular disorders. Altern Ther Health Med. 2008; 14(4): 60-3.
  1. Brantingham JW, Cassa TK, Bonnefin D, et al. Manipulative and multimodal therapy for upper extremity and temporomandibular disorders: A systematic review. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2013; 36(3): 143-201. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2013.04.001.
  1. Randhawa K, Bohay R, Côté P, et al. The effectiveness of noninvasive interventions for temporomandibular disorders: A systematic review by the Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management (OPTIMa) Collaboration. Clin J Pain. 2016; 32(3): 260-78. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000247.

3 Easy Core Exercises to Support Your Low Back


Your core muscles are essential for supporting your back, stabilizing nearby joints, and reducing the risk  of injury.1 A stable core helps to maintain the integrity of the spinal column and if it isn’t stable, you may experience low back pain.2 The good news is that there are a few exercises you can do to help reduce or even prevent low back pain.3,4

Below are three core exercises developed by Dr. Stuart McGill designed to increase your endurance, support your core, and, ultimately, protect your back5:

  1. Modified Curl-up: Lie on your back with one knee bent and the other straight. Place your hands under the arch of the low back and maintain the arch during the modified curl-up. Start by bracing your abdomen by bearing down through your belly and focus your gaze at one point in the ceiling. Lift your shoulder blades off the ground about 30° while keeping your neck and spine in line. Make sure your chin remains tucked, rather than pointing at the ceiling during the movement. Complete 3 sets of 10 to 12 curl-ups. Switch legs and repeat.5 

  1. Side Bridge: Lie on your side and prop yourself up on your elbow, which should be placed directly under your shoulder. Keep your legs straight, and put your top foot on the ground in front of your bottom foot. Place your top hand on your bottom shoulder. Maintain the natural curve of your spine, brace your abdomen, squeeze your gluteal muscles, and lift your hips off the ground. Hold for 8 to 10 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side. If that’s too easy, increase the number of repetitions rather than the length of time.5 

  1. Bird Dog: Begin on your hands and knees with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Brace your abdomen and squeeze your gluteal muscles. Lift your right arm straight in front of you until it is level with your shoulder and squeeze your muscles between your shoulder blades. At the same time, straighten your left leg straight back until it is level with your hips, keeping your hips square to the floor. Return to the starting position in a slow and controlled manner and switch sides. That is one repetition. Do 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions.5 

Core exercises are just one of many ways to support your back and to help with back pain. Your chiropractor is trained to offer a range of treatments which includes guidance on strengthening exercises. Find A Chiro near you.



  1. Abdelraouf OR, Abdel-aziem AA. The relationship between core endurance and back dysfunction in collegiate male athletes with and without nonspecific low back pain. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2016; 11(3): 337-44.
  2. Gordon R, Bloxham S. A systematic review of the effects of exercise and physical activity on non-specific chronic low back pain. Healthcare. 2016; 4(2): 22.
  3. Willson JD, Dougherty CP, Ireland ML, Davis IM. Core stability and its relationship to lower extremity function and injury. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2005; 13(5): 316-25.
  4. Chang WD, Lin HY, Lai PT. Core strength training for patients with chronic low back pain. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015; 27(3): 619-22. doi: 10.1589/jpts.27.619.
  5. Callaghan J. ‘THE BIG 3’ EXERCISES FOR YOUR CORE – RunWaterloo [Internet]. RunWaterloo. 2014 [cited 8 September 2016]. Available from: Accessed November 18, 2016.

Tips for Buying a Mattress (And Sleeping Well)


Consider the importance and value of a good night’s sleep (beyond the price tag) when you are looking for a new mattress. Your back will thank you!

Lack of sleep can have a significant impact on your quality of life, social interactions, and even your mood1. Sleep deprivation can also cause a decrease in your work productivity, the greater number of sick days used, and result in increased injury rates due to poor response time and accuracy.

A 2011 study by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) reports that 41% of women and 36% of men claimed their back pain was exacerbated by a poor night’s sleep2. The pain can often be attributed to the firmness, size, or the offered back support of the mattress. If you’ve ever woken up with a sore neck or back, you may want to evaluate the quality of your mattress. Your mattress can play an important role in maintaining your musculoskeletal (MSK) health. Here is what to keep in mind when making a purchase.

When to replace your mattress


Waking up from slumber with a sore back on repeated occasions can be a sign that it is time to switch to a newer mattress. Typically, it is said that after 10 years, the bed will begin to deteriorate, which is the best time to consider buying a new one.

Current research suggests that1:

  1. Medium-firm mattresses can be beneficial for individuals with chronic mechanical low back pain and are considered more comfortable compared to soft mattresses. They also have been shown to improve sleep quality by 55% and decrease back pain by 48%.
  2. The standing posture of an individual’s spine should be similar to their sleeping posture. Since standing posture varies from individual to individual, mattresses that are custom made may be more beneficial in reducing pain.
  3. Using an adjustable bed based on individual preferences is associated with increased sleep quality.
  4. Mattresses that promote skin warming may improve sleep quality by reducing early morning awakening and enhancing deep sleep.
  5. Soft mattresses decrease excessive compressive forces on your joints, however, mattresses that are more firm help to maintain proper sleep posture as they prevent sagging of the hips.

Take time to try out the bed before you buy and see if it’s right for you. There are many options to consider when it comes to purchasing a mattress. Make sure to take the time to explore and do your research, especially if you are looking for specific features to meet your needs. A good night’s rest is important for your MSK health and ensures you can continue doing your daily activities. Consider these tips for your next mattress—your back depends on it!



1 Radwan A, Fess P, James D, Murphy J, Myers J, Rooney M, Taylor J, Torii A. Effect of different mattress designs on promoting sleep quality, pain reduction, and spinal alignment in adults with or without back pain; systematic review of controlled trials. Sleep Health: Journal of the National Sleep Foundation. 2015 Dec 1; 1(4):257-67. 
2 UtBritish Chiropractic Association, Mind Your Posture When Buying a Bed,

3 Ways Strengthening Your Core Can Help Your Back

3 Ways Strengthening Your Core Can Help Your Back

It’s just a simple thing…until it isn’t.

Strengthening your core plays a much more important role than just getting that six-pack. Approximately 85% of Canadians can expect to experience low back pain at some point in their life.1 A large part of this is due to weak core muscles.2

Did you know that the “core” is often described as a box, consisting of a complex series of muscles, which include everything from below the chest to the waist?3 These muscles work together like a belt to support the low back.

Here are three ways improving the strength of your core can help support your back.

Three things are needed to define a fear-avoidant behaviour2:

  1. It helps reduce pain: Studies have shown that core stability exercises are more effective in reducing pain and disability compared to no treatment, regular medical treatment, education, or general exercise in individuals with low back pain.2
  2. It helps increase stability: Spinal stability depends on three systems: the passive (bone and ligaments), the active (tendons and muscles), and the neural (brain and spinal cord).3 Individuals with low back pain have are less likely to activate their core muscles, which leads to decreased strength in their core.5 Strengthening core exercises can improve spinal stability, which can ultimately reduce low back pain.
  3. It helps improve posture: Weak core muscles are a major contributor to that slouching. Good posture is important to decrease the strain on your spine. Recent research has shown that training your core muscles have a positive effect on posture.6

Check out our blog for some core exercises that can support your lower back. If you have any questions, visit your local chiropractor.

Pain changes everything. Chiropractic care changes pain.



1. Cassidy JD, Carroll LJ, Côté P. The Saskatchewan health and back pain survey. The prevalence of low back pain and related disability in Saskatchewan adults. Spine. (Phila Pa 1976). 1998;1:23(17):1860-6. 

2. Abdelraouf OR, Abdel-aziem AA. The relationship between core endurance and back dysfunction in collegiate male athletes with and without nonspecific low back pain. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2016;11(3):337-44.

3. Akuthota V, Nadler SF. Core strengthening. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2004;85:86-92.

4. Panjabi MM. The stabilizing system of the spine. Part II. Neutral zone and instability hypothesis. J Spinal Disord. 1992;5:390-6

5. Newcomer KL, Jacobson T D, Gabriel DA, Larson DR, Brey RH, An KN. Muscle activation patterns in subjects with and without low back pain. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002;83(6): 816-21.

6. Karacaoğlu S, Kayapinar FÇ. The Effect of Core Training on Posture. Acad J Interdiscip Stud. 2015;4(1 S2):221.