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Tuesday 4 April 2017

Practice Safe Snow Removal

Winter is still going strong and we'll probably have a few more days of shovelling ahead of us. Take a look at the post below for some tips on how to shovel without the pain.

When you consider that a shovelful of show weighs 5-7 pounds (often more with our wet snow!), you quickly realize how much weight you need to move to clear your sidewalk or driveway.  Shoveling snow can be a pain in more ways than one.  Here are some tips to help keep your back in top shape this winter.

Don't Let the Snow Pile Up:
If the weather report calls for an extended period of snowfall, its tempting to just wait until the snow stops to shovel.  However, frequent shoveling witll allow you to move smaller amounts of snow at once. This will be far less strenuous in the long run.

Pick the Right Shovel:
Use a lightweight pusher-type shovel.  In situations where a small metal shovel is better, try spraying it with Teflon to keep snow from sticking to it. 

Push, Don't Throw:
Always push the snow to the side rather than throw it.  That way you avoid lifting heavy shovelfuls of snow, and sudden twisting or turning movements.  If you are piling snow up and need to lift it, walk the snow over the the pile and place it on top instead of throwing. 

Bend Your Knees:
As in any lifting activity, you need to use your knees, leg, and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting.  While doing this, keep your back straight.

Take A Break:
If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a rest.  Your back is much more prone to injury when you are out of breath.  Stop shoveling immediately if you feel chest pain or back pain.

If you have back pain that is severe, or presists for more than a day after shoveling, give us a call at Back Home Chiropractic.  If you start to have chest pain that is severe, see a medical doctor immediately

Friday 30 August 2013

Pack it Light, Wear it Right!

It's that time of year again.  Very soon children will be back to school and often wearing heavy, and poor fitting book bags.  Although every student needs a book bag, an over-packed and poorly fitted one can cause health problems.

Did you know that 50% of young people will experience at least one episode of low back pain by the time they are teenagers?

Carrying a book bag that is too heavy and/or is not properly packed can cause circulation problems, increased blood pressure, strained muscles, nerve impingement, and spinal pain. 

Ask yourself these questions to determine whether your child’s book bag is properly designed and comfortable:
  • Is it positioned below your child’s shoulder and above the hipbone?  
  • Is it made of lightweight material? 
  • Does it have adjustable, padded shoulder straps that are at least two inches wide?  
  • Does it have a padded back for added protection and comfort?  
  • Does it come with a hip strap or waist belt, which would help redistribute the weight or contents?  
  • Does it have several individual pockets instead of one large compartment?  
  • Does your child carry the book bag over both shoulders?  
  • Can your child stand upright comfortably while wearing the book bag?  

If the answer to any of these questions is "Yes", then here are a few tips to make sure your child's book bag is safe and not causing undue physical stress

Make sure the backpack weighs less than 10 per cent of your child’s body weight (or less than 15 per cent for high school students).
  • Avoid leather book bags; choose a lightweight material.  
  • The book bag shouldn’t rise above the shoulders or extend below the hipbone.  
  • Pack the heaviest or bulkiest items closest to the child’s back.   
  •   Ensure your child wears both shoulder straps.  
  • To put the book bag on, a child should place it on a table or chair, bend at the knees and lift with the legs while putting on one shoulder strap at a time.

  • Your child will carry his or her book bag for many hours throughout the school year.  In order to avoid problems now and later in life, it is important for them to Pack it Light and Wear it Right!

    If you have any questions about this topic, or anything else, please contact us at 747-0844 or drop by our clinic in Bidgood's Plaza

    Dr. Jeff Marshall, BScKin, DC

    Thursday 29 November 2012

    Movember #4: My Appointment

    Sorry for the delay in writing this post.  I've had some trouble getting an appointment with my Family Doctor that fits in with my schedule.

    The anticipation of what may be ahead of me wasn't the best.  I mean, who wants a prostate exam?  When I entered the room and explained the purpose of my visit, my Doctor asked if I had any symptoms.  Since I did not have symptoms, and I am only 29, she ordered a PSA but did not do a digital prostate exam.  She explained that unless one has symptoms, only those over 50 require regular prostate exams.  My initial thought was "But....I told everyone on my blog I would get one!".  But, after thinking about it, I decided it would be a bit awkward to insist on an exam against the advice of my Doctor. The good news is, my PSA levels are fine.

    I hope you've found these blog posts helpful.  If you ever have any questions or concerns about your prostate, please consult your Medical Doctor.

    Dr. Jeff Marshall, BScKin, DC
    Back Home Chiropractic
    Bidgood's Plaza
    Goulds, NL

    Monday 12 November 2012

    Movember #3

    One of the most common questions I get regarding prostate cancer is who/when to get tested.  People who absolutely need to talk to their doctor are men who:

    - Will soon be 50 years old
    - Are over 50 years old and have not yet talked to their Doctor about prostate cancer
    - May be at higher risk due to a family history of prostate cancer
    - have symptoms of prostate cancer (See Movember #2)

    The two main tests for prostate cancer are the PSA test, and a Digital Rectal Exam.

    PSA Test

    PSA, or Prostate Specific Antigen, is a marker in the blood that is tested to see if there is a problem with the prostate.  It is important to remember that PSA is not specific to prostate cancer, but indicates that there may be a problem that needs further investigation.  "Normal" PSA levels increase as we age.  If your PSA levels are above normal for your age, your Doctor may order additional testing. 
    Like everything, there are pros and cons to PSA testing.  Here are some of them, but again, it is important to talk to your Doctor
    Pro's of PSA:
    - put your mind at ease
    - tell you if you need further testing
    - detect cancer early (before symptoms)
    - detect before it speads, therefore when it is easier to treat

    Con's of PSA:
    - can not tell you how serious the cancer is.  More testing will be required
    - not 100%.  It may give you a false negative or a false positive.  Your doctor will take the results in context of your personal situation to make the decision to test further or not.

    Digital Rectal Exam

    - Since your prostate pushes up against your rectum, your doctor can feel for it's shape, firmness, contour, etc.  This exam is very quick and not nearly as uncomfortable as you may think.

    When used together, a PSA and DRE is the best way to detect problems early.  When detected early Prostate cancer is very treatable. 

    Just to hammer home the importance of regular testing, lets take a look at the 5-year survival rates.  If detected early, and a point where there is no spead from the prostate the 5- year survival rate is nearly 100%.  If the cancer is regional, that is only in the area of the prostate, the 5-year survival rate is still nearly 100%.  If the cancer has spread to distant areas, the 5-year survival rate drops to 29%. 

    I have my appointment booked with my Doctor tomorrow.  To be honest, i'm not looking forward to it.  But, early detection is everything and I'm sure it won't be the highlight of her day either!

    Dr. Jeff Marshall, BScKin, DC
    Back Home Chiropractic
    Goulds, NL

    Tuesday 6 November 2012

    Movember 2: What is a Prostate and What Are Symptoms of Enlargement?

    What Is the Purpose of the Prostate? thumbnail
    Weighing about1 oz., the prostate is roughly the size of a large walnut. It is located just below the bladder and pushes up against the front of the rectum.
    The prostate produces "seminal fluid" which protects and nourishes sperm as they travel to the Uterus.  This fluid, which makes up about 20-30% of ejaculate, is basic, which protects sperm from the acidic environment in a woman's vaginal area leading to the uterus.

    The prostate is partially made up of muscle. So when it contracts as sperm is being released, it cuts off the urethra, preventing  sperm from coming in contact with urine.

    It is very important to be aware of the symptoms of prostate enlargement.  However, keep in mind that most prostate enlargement is NOT cancer and is classified as BPH or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. That being said, always follow up with your Doctor if you notice any of these symptoms
    - Frequent urination, especially at night
    -  Intense need to urinate, or urgency
    - Difficulty starting/stopping flow of urine
    - Weak, decreased, or interrupted flow
    - Burning, painful urination
    - Blood in urine or semen
    - Painful ejaculation

    Now we know what a prostate is, what it does, and what symptoms to look for are.  Tomorrow I will post a short note about what the tests are, who should get them, and when.

    As always, if you have any questions please feel free to ask

    Dr. Jeff Marshall, BScKin, DC
    Back Home Chiropracic
    Goulds, NL

    Monday 5 November 2012

    Movember Series: Part 1

    It's that time of year again.  November is upon us and Men around the world are growing mustaches to raise money and awareness for Prostate Cancer.  Since my mustache growing abilities are sub-par to say the least, I've decided to write a series of blog posts about Prostate Cancer culminating in a final post where I speak of my experience in getting a PSA blood test and digital rectal exam.

    First of all, it's important to know the risk factors for Prostate Cancer.  There are modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors.  Unfortunately, we can't choose our parents or age. 

    As men get older, your chance of developing Prostate Cancer.  In fact, at age 50 years there is a 30% incidence or Prostate Cancer, 35% at 60 years, and 40% at 70 years.  So clearly, getting regularly tested gets more crucial as we age.  The Canadian Cancer Society recommends getting screened yearly after the age of 50.  But, knowing the incidence rate at age 50 stated above, it's important to be aware of symptoms to watch for before the age where regular testing should start (I will review these symptoms in tomorrow's blog).  Like many chronic diseases, heredity plays a factor.  If a family member has been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, you are in a higher risk group.

    Lucky for us, there are modifiable risk-factors as well.  In other words, there are things we can do to prevent Prostate Cancer (and other cancers as well).  Eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables while staying active will reduce your risk for many problems, including Prostate Cancer.

    Now that we've covered the risk factors, tomorrow I will write about things like: what is a Prostate?  What does it do?  What are the symptoms of Prostate Enlargement/Cancer?  I hope you find this series helpful, and if you have any further questions or concerns please contact me.

    Dr. Jeff Marshall BScKin, DC
    Back Home Chiropractic
    Goulds, NL


    Thursday 21 June 2012

    How to Prevent Blood Clots While Flying

    This is the time of year when alot of people are travelling.  If your summer vacation involves a long plane ride, you need to take measures to reduce your risk of a blood clot.  These clots that can develop in the veins of your lower legs, can possibly dislodge and travel to your lungs or brain. 
    Studies have shown that 1-4500 airplane passengers will develop a clot.  This stat is nothing to be alarmed about, but some people are at more risk than others.

    Who is at Risk?

    As I said above, the overall risk of developing a clot on a plane is 1 in 4500.  However, women who are taking birth control pills or hormone replacement and are severely overweight have a 30 fold increased risk.  Women who are pregnant are also at an increased risk of developing a clot. 

    People who fly often are also at an increased risk, with approximately a threefold increase

    Generally, people who are obese and/or smoke are also at an increased risk of developing these clots.
    If you are at increased risk, you should consult a professional about using compression stockings.  These stockings promote blood flow and prevent the pooling of blood in your legs that can lead to a clot.

    However, for an average healthy person, simply moving around during the flight and pointing your toes a few times an hour will go a long way to help prevent a clot.

    Even those not at increased risk of a clot can benefit from wearing compression stockings.  Improving blood flow to your lower legs will prevent swelling and that tired feeling in your lower legs when you get off the plane, leaving you ready to start enjoying your trip right away.

    If you have any questions about compression stockings, or anything else, please contact Back Home Chiropractic at 747-0844

    Dr. Jeff Marshall, BScKin, DC