Differences between custom orthotics and over the counter insoles

Custom made orthotics

Over the counter orthotics have been increasing in popularity lately, however, we should be careful to not use these as a replacement for custom orthotics. Here are some of the differences between the two types of orthotics:

  1. Picking an over the counter orthotic may do more harm than good. Determining the cause of pain can be complicated and usually requires a professional to determine the underlying issue. Using an over the counter orthotic for comfort may change your gait and cause more problems instead of curing the ones that they are purchased for.
  2. Price. Over the counter orthotics usually range from $30-$50 whereas custom orthotics usually cost anywhere between $300-$500. The difference in price is directly related to the quality and life of the orthotic. Over the counter orthotics will last approximately 3 months before breaking down while custom orthotics will last approximately 2 years. Custom orthotics are also molded to your own foot to create a perfect fit. This is why most extended health plans will cover custom orthotics but not over the counter orthotics.
  3. Effectiveness. While over the counter orthotics may feel soft and cushy, they are usually not doing much more than providing comfort. The soft gel of these orthotics will flatten as soon as they are stepped on which means they do not have any therapeutic benefit. Custom orthotics are made of a rigid material that will retain shape when stepped on to provide support and correct the gait.
  4. Customization. Custom orthotics prescribed and molded by a healthcare practitioner are the only type of orthotic that are actually 100% accurate for your foot. The mats that you see at drugstores claim that they customize an orthotic for you but this is just a marketing technique as it is still putting you into a category and fitting you to an orthotic that may not be ideal for you. Every individual’s feet are unique from others; in fact, our own two feet are even unique from each other so this categorization system does not work!

3-D image from gaitscan

In our office, we use the gaitscan technology that uses a scanner to create a 3-D picture of your foot. The gaitscanner has 4096 sensors and is the industry leader in dynamic scanning. Over a million points of data are recorded, tracking minor flaws in your biomechanics and shedding light on issues that if left untreated, could develop into painful conditions over time. If you or your loved ones are experiencing foot, knee or low back/hip pain, you may need a custom orthotic device to improve your quality of life.  You can visit us at our downtown Vancouver office or call to book an appointment at 604-688-0077.

Healing Foods That Help Relieve Pain

This blog is written by our office manager, Carley

Ginger

A natural anti-inflammatory that contains antioxidants that breaks down acidity and inflammation in the joints. When eaten daily, people experience improvements with pain and swelling. Ginger is also great for easing nausea and upset stomach. The recommended dosage is approximately 1 teaspoon of fresh or dried ginger per day.

Turmeric

Another natural anti-inflammatory that also improves circulation. The active ingredient curcumin, lowers enzymes (neutrophil elastase + 1 antitrypsin) that cause inflammation and imbalance. Curcumin is best absorbed by the body when ingested with black pepper. Turmeric is used to help arthritis, heartburn, and minor upset stomach. Can be ingested by drinking tea or when seasoning food.

Mint

Soothing for inflammation and indigestion. Contains rosmarinic acid, which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Mint also contains menthol, which is a natural decongestant. Peppermint and spearmint leaves can be used in tea, smoothies, and daily meals. Mint helps with digestive complications, cramps, nausea, and sore throat.

Salmon

Considered one of the top “super foods”! Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acid, which is great for reducing inflammation and blood clotting. Omega-3 fatty acid also positively contributes to cholesterol levels, brain function, mood, memory, and joint mobility. The weekly recommended serving is 2 servings per week.

Cherries

Tart cherries contain high levels of anthocyanins, which is found in the dark skin of red/purple fruits. It contains strong antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Cherries can counter oxidative stress, assist with muscle recovery, and support sleep and brain health. You can find these same benefits in other fruit like blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, and plums.

Pineapple

Containing the enzyme mixture bromelain, pineapple is used to reduce inflammation and calm indigestion. Bromelain is found in the stem and juice of  fresh pineapple. For any therapeutic effect fresh pineapple is recommended over canned pineapple, as the bromelain level is much higher. Pineapple helps improve symptoms of osteoarthritis, and support muscle recovery.

Papaya

Papain is a strong enzyme that can only be found in papaya. It combats swelling, fluid retention, and is used as a digestive aid. Papain is so powerful that injections have been made to assist with back pain/herniated disks. Staying on top of chiropractic maintenance will help reduce the risk of such conditions or need for injections. Eating half a small papaya per day is recommended. They are high in fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C.

Hot Peppers

Containing the compound capsaicin, hot peppers hold properties to reduce pain signals in the body, and are also a great decongestant. Can be ingested on their own, through cooking, or applied topically. The best hot peppers are chili, cayenne, and jalapeno. Bell peppers do not produce capsaicin, and do not offer the same benefit.

Blog References

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/herbal-remedies/ginger-better-than-drugs-for-pain.htm

http://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management-pictures/7-foods-that-help-fight-pain.aspx#05

http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2007/12/sf_cherries/page-01

http://www.foodnetwork.ca/healthy-eating/photos/foods-help-pain-relief/#!last-slide

How to Choose a Mattress

Buying a good mattress is very important since many people report that they get poor sleep due to their mattress not being ideal for them. I often see pain and dysfunction resolve after simply switching to a better mattress.

A mattress will typically start to deteriorate around 10 years so this is the time to start looking for a new one. Here are some tips to help you pick one out:

Firmness: Your spine should always be neutral in the bed and not sag due to a mattress that is too soft or bow due to a mattress that is too hard. Back sleepers generally do well with a medium-firm to medium bed and side sleepers generally need a mattress that is medium to a bit more plush. Most people with low back pain find the best relief with a medium to medium-firm mattress.

Length: The mattress should be at least 6-8 inches longer than the tallest person sleeping in the bed.

Try it out: You should lie on the mattress in the store before buying it. If there will be two people using the bed, you should both lie on it to make sure that the width is appropriate to accommodate both people. Roll onto both sides and onto your back while testing out the mattress to make sure it is comfortable in all positions.

Innerspring mattress: These are the most common types of mattresses, however, be careful not to buy one that is very cheap as it may not have enough springs and cushion to it. These types of mattresses can offer a lot of comfort while still being quite firm. (good examples: Serta iComfort Hybrid Applause II, Sealy posturepedic hybrid trust cushion firm)

Memory foam mattress: These are becoming more popular because they contour to your body which can reduce pressure points and relieve pain. Memory foam mattresses have a very high owner satisfaction rate usually around 80%. (good example: Tempurpedic cloud supreme breeze)

Latex mattress: These mattresses are similar to the memory foam in comfort, however, they are more firm and supportive since the latex pushes back against the body.  A latex mattress or mattress topper can sometimes be great for relieving low back pain!

Things to be careful of: mattress that are on promotion, cheaper mattresses as they tend to break down faster, very thin mattresses, thick layers of high density memory foam since these can be very hot and constrictive, low density memory foam under 3.5lbs and a warranty that is not long enough or does not cover mattress sagging.

Make sure to always look at reviews! Happy shopping!!!

References

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/how-to-pick-your-perfect-mattress#5

http://www.bestmattress-brand.org/10-best-mattresses-of-2016-and-10-worst-rated-beds-avoid/     

6 Ways To Invest In Your Health

 

This blog is written by our office manager, Carley

  1. Quality Food

There is always room for improvement when it comes to our diet. A lot of the food we buy is lacking in nutrients. Take a look at your diet and see where you can make improvements. It can be difficult to change everything at one time, so start by choosing one or two things and focus on those. It could be drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables, eating more variety of meat, cutting down on refined foods, or buying organic. Making sure that you are receiving all necessary nutrients for your body to function in a healthy positive manner. Any change you make will help guide you to a more balanced diet, which will leave you with a boosted immune system and more energy.

  1. Exercise

It is recommended to have at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. Daily exercise helps to maintain a healthy body weight, regulate blood pressure, boost endurance, improve quality of sleep, and so much more. It can be hard to get started, but once you do you will feel the immediate benefits to your body and mind. You can start by taking short walks, long walks, running, joining a gym, or taking up a sport! Anything to get you up and moving counts!

  1. Give Up Vices

Whether it be smoking or alcohol consumption, anything that is damaging to the body isn’t worth the consequences to your health. Heavy smoking/alcohol consumption can lead to a variety of health issues like emphysema, cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, and much more. Of course having a drink here and there is totally fine, but everything in moderation! Quitting can be difficult, but there are many ways you can go about it. Common quitting methods are reducing intake, cold turkey, substitution, and change of routine. Doing some research and knowing the facts could be good motivation to quit or cut down.

4. Relaxation

Relaxation helps to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, lower fatigue, and improve concentration and mood. It is just as important to “do nothing” as it is to stay active. Go to a yoga class, try meditation, try a float session, get a massage, lay down outside (fresh air!), or try new hobbies. Anything that reduces your stress and eases your mind and body is considered relaxation.

5. Vacation

Oh yes, vacation! It is SO important to take a break from your daily routine, which we can all get so caught up in. It can become stressful being bound in one place, so take a break and escape. Taking a break away refreshes your mind and soul, and is very good for your over all health. Look after yourself. Go for a one week all inclusive, a two week Europe trip, even a weekend trip! It can be expensive going away, but even a day or two away does the body wonders.

6. Get Regular Adjustments!

Visit your chiropractor regularly to keep your spine functioning optimally and to make sure any problems get detected early. Check out our blog on chiropractic maintenance care here : http://www.georgiathurlowchiropractic.com/blog/2016/10/benefits-of-chiropractic-maintenance-care/

References:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/265248-the-effects-of-smoking-alcohol-on-the-body/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/relaxation-technique/art-20045368?pg=2

 

How to choose a pillow

There is not one pillow that I can recommend that is best for everyone, however, here are some guidelines to help you choose a pillow that is best for you. Sleeping with the proper pillow can help relieve or even prevent back or neck pain.

Sleeping position:

If you sleep on your back, you should choose a pillow that is not too high so that your neck is not raised. Your pillow should be firm enough so that it will support your head to keep it level with your upper back.

If you sleep on your side, you should choose a pillow that is medium height and a bit firmer so that it can conform to your neck position and provide support. Once again, the neck should be level with the rest of your spine.

It is not recommended to sleep on your stomach as this is not an ideal position for your low back or your neck.

Pillow stuffing:

  • Memory foam pillows are meant to support the neck as they adjust to the shape of your body when you move around. They come in many different shapes so it may be hard to find one that works for you.
  • Latex pillows are quite firm and can resist mold and dust mites so may be helpful for those with allergies. These are often contoured for neck support so may help with neck and low back pain, however, the same contour may not work for everyone.
  • Down pillows can range in density but generally provide quite good support and the filling can be moved around to create support where you need it most. Many sleep experts recommend using down pillows or a combination of down and feather.
  • Water pillows can be helpful for neck and low back pain since you can adjust the amount of water to customize it to your own body.

Additional tips:

  • It is best to replace your pillow every 1-2 years as they lose support over time and also collect dust, body oils, hair and dander.
  • If possible, you should try out your pillow in the store – if you take the pillow home and it does not work for you, return it if you can

 

 

Don’t Forget Weightlifting!

This blog is written by our office manager, Carley

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to lifting weights. Most people, especially women stick to a cardio regimen in hopes of achieving their goals, because lifting weights will just make them bulky. Whether it be losing that last 5 pounds, or improving cardiovascular or muscle endurance, cardio is not the only beneficial form of exercise to help achieve desired results.

Shed those last few pounds with weights! Bigger and leaner muscles burn more calories and more fat. Weight training (especially in the high repetition range of 15-20 per set with a heavy enough weight) will increase muscle tissue growth. The body’s basal metabolic rate also increases and keeps metabolism elevated for up to 36 hours post-workout, which aids with weight loss. So even after a workout and you are sitting on the couch, your body is still burning calories. Approximately one kilogram of muscle burns up to 50 extra calories a day, whereas one kilogram of fat burns only three calories a day. So why not put on some muscle! Ladies, you will not “get bulky” or “get big” unless you really try and eat a ton to build up. Women’s hormones and genetics make it almost impossible, so no worries!

Like running, cycling, and aerobics, weightlifting is a great way to improve and build up endurance. Incorporating a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) program such as Tabata (20 seconds of high-intensity exercise and 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times to total 4 minutes.) or density set training, is one of the best ways to weight train and boost cardiovascular and muscular endurance. The goal is to perform exercises at 70-85 percent of one’s maximum heart rate. Having short rest periods between exercises will help maintain this level. Blood vessels in the working muscles will get bigger and provide greater blood flow and oxygen. The contracting muscles pushes blood back to the heart and increases the volume of blood that the heart pumps out with each beat. When you don’t have time to run on the treadmill or do those jumping-jacks, lifting weights can still give you a great cardio workout.

Weightlifting is beneficial in many ways to one’s overall health and can become a life changer. When combined with traditional cardio and a healthy balanced diet your goals will be more than achievable, they will be maintainable.

References

www.webmd.boots.com/fitness-exercise/guide/cardio-vs-strength

Warming up the Eastside with Georgia & Thurlow Chiropractic

Hey All!

Dr. Sayani and Carley are participating in Warming up the EastSide this year and would love your help!

Please bring in gloves, scarves and toques to our office before December 9. We will be packaging these up that evening to hand out to those less fortunate in the downtown east side. This winter is predicted to be a cold one so we would appreciate any help you guys can give 🙂

Thanks!

Benefits of chiropractic maintenance care

What does chiropractic maintenance mean?

Chiropractic maintenance care is preventative care that promotes living at an optimal level. Research has shown that maintenance care (1-2 times per month) is very effective at reducing spinal pain in the long term and also reducing episodes of low back pain.

What are the benefits of maintenance care?

The research shows that chiropractic manipulation has the possibility to:

  • Decrease disability due to low back pain
  • Increase physical health
  • Increase physical function
  • Decrease bodily pain
  • Increase spine flexibility
  • Break up scar tissue
  • Decrease loss of work time
  • Decrease visits to a medical doctor
  • Decrease use of over the counter and prescription medications
  • Enhance awareness of posture and flexibility
  • Detect and prevent emerging problems

Many people who are not necessarily in pain but are looking to maintain their current condition and prevent new problems from emerging are visiting our downtown Vancouver office on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.Good health

If I see a chiropractor once, do I need to keep going?

No! It is your choice if you would like to continue receiving chiropractic care, however, most people find that they feel better and experience less discomfort and stiffness when getting regular adjustments.

Is there any evidence on maintenance care?

Medical research supports chiropractic maintenance care.  SPINE journal published an article that concluded that there is a long term benefit of receiving maintenance spinal manipulation after an initial stage of more intensive manipulative therapy. The study revealed that patients who received bi-monthly spinal manipulation for 9 months after an initial month of 12 treatments had significantly lower pain and disability scores that the patients that only received the initial one month of treatment and no maintenance care.

Another study that was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine revealed that injured workers had the lowest risk of re-injury after receiving chiropractic maintenance care over medical management, physiotherapy or doing nothing.

Holiday closure!

Hey Everyone!

This year we will be closed for the holidays from Dec.25 through to New Years and we will reopen on January 4, 2016.

On December 24th we will only be in the office during the morning so make sure to book before the holidays!

Happy Holidays!!!!

We were hacked!

Hey Everyone,

Yesterday we unfortunately received an email virus that was able to hack into our email system and send out an email to a bunch of you guys. The content of the email is a link to a dropbox account… please DO NOT click on the link! We have now fixed the problem on our end and we apologize for any inconveniences this may have caused.