Managing Body Aches and Pains this Winter

Managing Body Aches and Pains this Winter

It is once again that time of year. No matter where you look, you will be accosted by the sight and sound of sleighbells, Santas, and Christmas carols. Another common thing for some people to experience during this time of the year is the body ache due to the cold weather. Frequent questions that accompany the holidays include “Why do I get aches and pains in winter?” and “What helps with aches and pains in winter?”.

Why Does It Ache More During Winter?

Winter weather can make joints sore for a variety of reasons. Muscles naturally get tighter and tenser in the cold, reducing joint flexibility and mobility. Soreness, aches, and persistent pains can then be brought on by the contraction of muscles and the restriction of blood flow.

Recent research on pain has also shown that our perception of pain has a direct correlation with our mental state. We are more prone to experience greater amounts of physical discomfort when we are depressed, nervous, or agitated. We feel less discomfort when we are calm, supported, and content. Throughout the winter, we spend more time indoors, receive less sunlight, engage in fewer physical and social activities, and are beset by the cold, dark, and gloomy weather. This can consequently affect mood and heighten pain perception.

Common Conditions Affected by Cold Weather

For many health conditions, the colder temperature of this season can make discomfort feel much worse. Here are the 4 most common conditions caused by cold weather.

  • Joint Pains

The most common health issue affecting the elderly in cold weather is joint pain and stiff muscles. The number of senior individuals seeking care for bone and joint issues increases by 50% throughout the winter.

  • Arthritis

Cold weather can worsen arthritis

Another chronic condition that affects people in the winter is rheumatoid arthritis. Winter makes it more difficult to manage its symptoms, which include pain, edema, stiffness, exhaustion, and other typical arthritis symptoms.

  • Cervical Spondylosis

People with cervical spondylosis, a disorder that affects the bones, discs, and joints of the neck, struggle as the winter months get colder. The reduced physical activity brought on by shorter days, less water consumption, and the winter’s cold weather make the bones ache and neck stiff considerably worse.

  • Asthma

Cold weather can also cause asthma attacks because allergens are more prevalent throughout the winter. Asthma sufferers have delicate airways, which are made worse by cold or wet weather.

How to Manage Body Pains

During the winter, we become painfully aware of every ache and discomfort we feel. This is why many often search for home remedies for body pains due to the cold weather. Here are 8 winter remedies for joint pain relief to help you feel better during the freezing months:

1. Keep Moving

Even in the cold, it’s essential to remain physically active. In the winter, we frequently feel less driven and more eager to stay inside where it’s warm and comfortable. However, it’s crucial to keep your body moving. Your joints will stay healthy if you engage in low-impact exercises. Try weight training, yoga or Pilates stretching, brisk walking, or indoor swimming in a warm pool.

2. Avoid Winter Weight Gain

Winter and weight gain frequently go hand in hand. Healthy habits often revert around the holidays, and many people gain a few extra pounds. Even a little extra weight will start to impact your knees and other joints.

3. Dress For Cold Weather Success

Wear many layers and stay warm when you’re going outside in the cold. Even if joint discomfort is the root cause, cold fingers and toes often hurt and feel sore. In case of emergency, have a pair of gloves or mittens in your work bag and car. Store an extra pair of cozy socks so you can put them on if your feet start to become cold.

The right cold-weather attire alters how you feel about the winter season. Research on residents of regions with constant cold temperatures teaches us that being prepared can lessen the discomfort of the winter. Wearing warm clothing will make it more comfortable for you to walk outside, breathe fresh air, and exercise.

4. Stay Warm Indoors

Keeping warm can improve your mood while relieving joint pain

Keep yourself warm and comfortable indoors. This will not only improve your mood but also enable you to continue going. Fix any drafts in your house and maintain a reasonable temperature for your heat. Some people discover that using a heating pad or hot water bottle will also relieve sore joints.

One word of advice: refrain from using heating pads and hot water bottles for an extended period of time, especially if you have diabetes or other health issues. Always use these heated devices in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and your doctor’s advice.

5. Soothe Your Senses

Because depression brought about by gloomy weather can increase pain sensitivity, one way to relieve your aches is to soothe your senses. Relax and engage in winter self-care to combat the winter blues as well as the pain.

Some people receive relief from joint or muscular discomfort by applying lotions, ointments, or salves. Even if these lotions with a “cooling effect” might not actually relieve pain, you could enjoy the way they make you feel. The tension in your body is also relieved by taking a warm bath and inhaling relaxing scents.

6. Drink Plenty of Water

Although staying hydrated is necessary year-round, the winter months are when it’s most crucial. When it’s sunny and pleasant, people tend to think they should drink more water, but in the winter, the dry air can leave you feeling drained, exhausted, and achy. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water!

Sipping a cup of warm tea is a great method to stay hydrated in the winter if you don’t like drinking plain water. Soup and bone broth are other hydrating choices. Aim for 8 glasses of water each day, more so if you exercise or stay active.

7. Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet

A balanced diet will keep your body healthy over the winter, preventing you from being run down from illness and the accompanying aches and pains. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. Refrain from processed foods and foods that are high in sugar or saturated fat. Consult your doctor to determine the best course of action if you have intolerances. A healthy diet also ensures that you are obtaining a variety of vitamins and minerals, which are additional advantages.

Winter weather-related health issues become more prevalent when temperatures start to drop, so it’s important to know how to relieve body aches from the cold. You can keep your function and regain it with the aid of physiotherapy. Westwood Physiotherapy & Wellness is a team of physiotherapists in Guelph that offers a variety of treatment methods and services to help you heal and recover. Book your appointment today by calling us at (519) 341-5161.

6 Reasons to Seek Physiotherapy After a Car Accident

6 Reasons to Seek Physiotherapy After a Car Accident

A car accident can be a life-altering event. It often results in serious injuries that can take months or even years to fully recover. Car accident injuries can impact your quality of life as it prevents you from performing your daily normal routines. The best way to get you back on track and enjoy the life you once had is to undergo physiotherapy after a car accident.

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According to a report from Transport Canada, 7,868 people sustained serious injuries from car accidents. High impact rear collision can put a person at risk of “whiplash,” an injury that causes the neck to extend beyond its normal range of motion. Symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Stiffness and pain in the head, neck, and shoulders
  • Decreased range of motion in the neck
  • Chronic headaches or migraines
  • Numbness or tingling sensation felt in the upper extremities
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Occasional blurred vision and memory problems

In some cases, you may not immediately experience the symptoms of whiplash. Seeking immediate medical care is highly recommended to evaluate your physical health. Delaying physio treatment can result in long-term health problems, such as chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or limited mobility.

Why Physiotherapy?

Restore mobility and treat painful injuries with physiotherapy

If you are involved in a car accident in Guelph, physio and rehab should be crucial parts of your treatment care plan to address and treat various musculoskeletal injuries. A physiotherapist in Guelph will provide you with a comprehensive assessment of your current health condition, including joint strength examination, posture tests, and other specialized tests. The result of the assessment will be used to create a physio treatment program tailored to your condition and injury.

Physiotherapy helps Guelph car accident patients regain their strength and mobility while treating injured muscles and/or joints. In some cases, the physiotherapist may partner with an occupational therapist to treat and help severely injured patients relearn daily activities, such as getting dressed and brushing their teeth.

While some patients only need a few physiotherapy sessions, others may require months or even years of therapy to recover fully. Depending on the severity of the injury you sustained, the physiotherapist may use any of the following techniques:

  • Postural strength to help reduce the pain in the neck, shoulder, and back
  • Personalized exercises that target acute and chronic pain, spine dysfunction, and body weakness
  • Manual therapy to stimulate joints, get rid of scar tissue, treat inflammatory conditions, and boost the healing of tissues.

Your physiotherapist will work and guide you through all the strengthening stretches and exercises to strengthen weak areas in the body and target the root cause of the injury. Regular sessions are key to achieving lasting symptom relief.

How Physiotherapy Benefits Car Crash Patients

Physiotherapy promotes natural healing

Today, many car crash victims visit a physiotherapy clinic to manage, alleviate, and overcome pain and injuries. Getting the right form of physiotherapy treatment is vital to promoting the natural healing processes of the body. For instance, physiotherapy can help improve the mobility and strength of your neck to accelerate your recovery.

In addition to helping patients recover from painful injuries, physiotherapy also includes other important aspects, like educating patients, recommending proper stretching and exercise techniques, and a variety of therapies. Teaching patients the correct body posture and positioning helps reduce pain and restore mobility and strength. Stretches, exercises, and manual therapy are essential in improving the range of motion. Other forms of therapy, such as chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage therapy help provide relief from painful symptoms. Incorporating certain therapies and exercises enables you to quickly recover and get back to your regular activities.

  • Supports Recovery

Often, you do not realize the severity of your injury until you have returned to your daily routine. Find a reliable physiotherapist as soon as possible to help you recover fully from injuries. With the right physiotherapy regimen, the root cause of pain, stiffness, chronic headaches, and limited range of motion can be immediately addressed so you can bounce back from your injuries and return to your day-to-day activities.

  • Reduce Pain

One of the primary goals of physiotherapy is to alleviate pain. Certain physical activities help reduce pain and boost the recovery process — that is why physiotherapists will develop personalized treatment programs that include stretching and strengthening exercises that target the affected areas in the body. Physical activities stimulate the body to supply oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the injured tissues to promote fast and natural healing.

  • Prevent Potential Surgery

Another reason why people seek physiotherapy is that it is a non-invasive way to treat injuries. While in some cases, surgery is inevitable after a car crash, a physiotherapist will develop a treatment plan that is unique to your needs to exhaust every option before considering surgery. However, if your physician still recommends surgery to treat your injuries, physiotherapy is also crucial for post-surgical rehabilitation. Often, attending regular physiotherapy sessions can help you extend the time between their surgeries.

  • Prevent Long-Term Damage

In addition to improving your flexibility, mobility, and strength, physiotherapy is widely used to prevent further complications, including the inability to walk and debilitating pain. Failure to address these problems right away can result in long-term damage. The sooner you get treatment, the more quickly you can recover and enjoy a relatively pain-free life for years to come.

  • Restore Function

Receiving medical treatment directly after a car accident ensures you get an accurate diagnosis and a treatment program tailored to your health care needs. Delaying medical evaluation can result in more debilitating symptoms and further complications, like loss of mobility. With regular physiotherapy sessions, your body will restore its functions over time.

  • Improve Mental Health

Westwood 2Getting involved in a motor vehicle accident and suffering serious injuries can cause your mental health to plummet, even during the recovery process. However, physiotherapy can also help you heal physically and emotionally after the accident. Attending regular sessions is a great way to keep you active, as well as interact and talk with your physiotherapist.

If you have been injured in a car accident, Westwood Physiotherapy and Wellness provides a personalized treatment care plan to help you regain your strength and recover from your injuries. Let our team of physiotherapists help you take back control of your life. Call us today at (519) 341-5161 to book an appointment.

What to Expect After Getting Your First Chiropractic Adjustment

What to Expect After Getting Your First Chiropractic Adjustment

If you are considering chiropractic care, you may be wondering what to expect after your first adjustment. Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to adjust the spine and joints, so it can be difficult to know what will happen when you visit for the first time. In this article, we will discuss the different types of adjustments and what you can expect after each one. We hope this information will help you feel more comfortable with the process and make the most of your chiropractic care.

What Is a Chiropractic Adjustment?

A chiropractor adjusts the spine to restore bodily function and range of motion

A chiropractic adjustment (sometimes called a chiropractic alignment) is a treatment technique used by chiropractors to improve spine and joint function. The goal of an adjustment is to restore normal alignment and range of motion to the spine and joints. During an adjustment, the chiropractor will apply gentle and controlled force to the affected area. This force helps to loosen joints that are stuck or fixated, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain.

Adjustments are often combined with other chiropractic techniques such as massage therapy or exercises in order to maximize their effectiveness. Chiropractic neck and back adjustments are among the most common.

The Benefits of a Chiropractic Adjustment

Pain relief is the first benefit that people think of when chiropractic care comes to mind, but that isn’t the only thing it has to offer. In fact, even people who aren’t in pain may find that chiropractic care can help improve their quality of life. Below is a list of some of the benefits of seeing a chiropractor:

  • Headache relief
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Increased joint mobility
  • Improved posture
  • Improved circulation

Types of Chiropractic Adjustments

There are several different types of adjustments that a chiropractor may use, depending on your individual needs. The most common type of adjustment is manual manipulation, which involves using hands-on techniques to adjust the spine and joints. This type of adjustment is usually gentle and relatively painless.

Another common type of adjustment is the use of a chiropractic tool called an activator. This is a small hand-held device that delivers a gentle impulse to the spine and joints. The activator is often used to adjust the neck and upper back.

Hot or cold therapy is another method chiropractors use. This involves applying heat or cold packs to the area around the spine to help reduce inflammation and pain.

Finally, some chiropractors may use electrical stimulation to adjust the spine and joints. This technique uses a low-voltage electrical current to stimulate the muscles and nerves around the spine.

What to Expect After Your First Adjustment

Chiropractic care is not a one-and-done deal

After your first chiropractic adjustment, you may feel relieved of symptoms that have been bothering you. You may also experience increased energy levels and an improved range of motion. Some people report feeling taller as well.

These changes are often due to the realignment of your spine and the release of pressure on your nervous system. Although you may feel great after your first adjustment, it is important to note that chiropractic care is a process, not a one-time fix.

For optimal results, it is typically recommended to receive regular adjustments. However, how often you need to be seen will depend on your individual needs. During your initial consultation, your chiropractor will develop a care plan that is tailored to your unique situation.

Do Chiropractic Adjustments Hurt?

Whether chiropractic adjustments hurt is the million-dollar question. The fear of pain is probably the main reason people are so apprehensive about visiting a chiropractor for the first time.

The truth is, most people feel great after a chiropractic adjustment. A small percentage of people may feel some discomfort during their adjustment due to their bodies being unaccustomed to the movement. However, this usually subsides shortly after the adjustment is complete.

If you do experience discomfort, don’t worry — your body is just adjusting to the new normal! In fact, many people find that regular chiropractic adjustments help to relieve pain and improve their overall sense of well-being. So if you’re on the fence about whether or not to give chiropractic a try, there’s really nothing to lose – except maybe that nagging pain in your neck or back.

How Often Should You Get Adjusted?

A person’s spine is like the foundation of a house; it needs to be strong and sturdy to support everything else. Just as a house settles over time and can become skewed, so too can the spine. When this happens, it can lead to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.

Regular chiropractic back adjustments can help to prevent these problems by keeping the spine aligned and in proper balance. How often a person should get adjusted will depend on individual factors such as age, activity level, and health history. However, most people benefit from receiving 1 to 2 adjustments per month. By getting regular chiropractic care, you can help keep your spine healthy and free from pain.

Who Can Get a Chiropractic Adjustment?

Chiropractic care is most effective for people who have suffered an injury or who have chronic pain. However, it can also be helpful for people who are seeking to improve their overall health.

Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to adjust the spine and other joints in the body. This can help to relieve pain, improve range of motion, and reduce inflammation. In addition, chiropractic care can help to improve blood circulation and boost the immune system. As a result, people of all ages and all levels of health can benefit from seeing a chiropractor.

The Chiropractor in Guelph You’ve Been Looking For

Feeling a little nervous before your first chiropractic adjustment is normal. However, by considering the things we’ve mentioned in this article you can feel more at ease during your visit. If you’re looking for chiropractic care that is professional and compassionate, Westwood Physiotherapy and Wellness is ready to help. Our chiropractic treatments are all about helping you feel your best. Contact us today to learn more about our services or call us at (519) 341-5161.

Massage Therapy Styles and Health Benefits

Massage Therapy Styles and Health Benefits

The practice of massage dates back thousands of years. All of these entail using hands and fingers to push, touch, or manipulate soft tissues. A massage can be extremely relaxing, but it also has many other surprising benefits.

Some massage treatments use long, flowing strokes or quick, percussion-like strokes. Some massage therapists apply lotions and oils, while others do not. If you are new to massage treatment, selecting the best massage may seem difficult. If you don’t know how each kind of massage functions, you’ll likely be paying for something that does not necessarily fit your needs.

What Is Message Therapy?

Massage therapy involves the manipulation of the soft bodily tissues, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments to improve a person’s health and wellness.

People have massages for a variety of reasons. The majority of individuals receive massages to lower stress and anxiety, improve range of motion, rehabilitate injuries, lessen pain, and enhance general health and well-being.

If you’re thinking about getting a massage soon but don’t know which type would be good for you, here are the different types of massage therapy and their benefits:

  • Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu massage uses gentle finger pressure

Shiatsu massage combines Chinese and Japanese practices. It evolved from acupuncture, a Chinese treatment, and anma, a traditional Japanese massage. Shiatsu, which literally translates to “finger pressure”, involves applying pressure to the body’s pressure points with the thumbs, hands, elbows, knees, or feet.

There are several long-term benefits of shiatsu massage. For starters, it can help with a wide range of illnesses, including bad posture, joint troubles, headaches, sprains, arthritis, chronic neck and back pain, stress, sleep problems, irregular blood pressure, and digestive disorders. In addition to these benefits, it may aid in the body’s energy recovery and blood circulation improvement.

  • Swedish Massage

Since it forms the basis for all other types of massages, it is occasionally referred to as “classic massage.” The purpose of Swedish massage is to improve blood circulation to the main muscle. This type of massage may have both calming and invigorating effects by releasing muscular tension. It could even be beneficial following an injury.

It also significantly contributes to the relief of carpal tunnel syndrome, the decrease of knee arthritis, the improvement of immune system activity, and the reduction of headaches and other musculoskeletal illnesses.

  • Deep-Tissue Massage 

Unlike other forms of massage, deep-tissue massage goes beyond simple relaxation as it applies more pressure than a Swedish massage. Since it focuses on the deeper muscle layers and may be used to heal injuries sustained during sports, a deep-tissue massage is a particularly popular massage therapy among athletes. It is also a well-liked treatment for chronic pain and improves muscle function. Additional deep tissue massage benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate, easing tension, and improving muscular mobility.

  • Trigger Point Therapy

Myofascial trigger point treatment, often known as trigger point therapy, is an approach created especially to find the source of the pain or the “trigger point”. Once the source is found, pressure will be applied to lessen or finally end the discomfort.

The primary goal of trigger point massage is to relieve the pain at its source. Additionally, it will enable the muscles to relax, stretch, and strengthen. Trigger point massage for your health is quite effective when used often. Additionally, it will aid in preventing the need for surgery to treat persistent pain.

  • Sports Massage

Sports massage was created specifically for athletes. They often concentrate on body parts that have experienced tension and overuse from excessive physical activity. A sports massage’s primary objective is to assist in resolving difficulties and tensions in the soft tissues.

An athlete needs this kind of massage frequently. Sports massage is intended to alleviate tiredness, ease muscle tension, and help athletes perform at their peak levels. Pre- and post-workout sports massages may improve performance, speed up recovery, and reduce the risk of injury.

  • Compression Massage

Compression treatment has a long history, having been utilized to treat inflammation and wounds in the past. Compression therapy involves applying regulated pressure to your legs to improve blood flow, support your veins, and reduce edema. It helps with varicose veins and is perfect for people who spend a lot of time sitting or standing.

If you have stress fractures, arthritis, swollen muscles, or need support for your Achilles and arches, compression socks are an excellent option. Even if you don’t have these issues, there are a variety of compression goods on the market that are intended to boost your athletic performance.

  • Hot Stone Massage

Hot stones massage can treat muscle pain

Hot stone massage, also known as stone therapy massage, is a therapeutic method that makes use of flat, hot stones that are either positioned on particular body parts, most frequently along the back or spine.

Hot stone treatment was initially intended to treat muscular discomfort, but it has now gained further advantages with the addition of massage. It is said to lessen cancer symptoms, increase immunity, alleviate auto-immune disease symptoms, relax stress and anxiety, ease muscular tension and discomfort, and encourage sleep.

  • Thai Massage 

Thai massage is distinct from other types of massage because the patient actively participates while lying on the floor. Stretching is used to relax the entire body while only light pressure is used. With this type of massage, the body is “compressed, pushed, stretched, and rocked” rather than just kneading the muscles.

The yoga-like stretches used in Thai massage, which fill the body’s tissues with oxygen, are particularly effective. Among the other massage therapy benefits are the treatment of sciatica, headaches, and neck discomfort, as well as the alleviation of pain and stress. The joints also benefit from increased mobility and better blood circulation.

  • Prenatal Massage

A prenatal massage is an excellent option for women to help them cope with the physical changes occurring in their bodies. This massage technique is a kind of treatment similar to a standard massage but tailored to pregnant women’s requirements and their developing bodies.

Prenatal massages provide several advantages. It promotes overall well-being and aids in stress reduction. This kind of massage is intended to ease the discomfort that pregnant women encounter. Headaches, leg cramps, stiff necks, backaches, leg cramps, and edema or swelling are a few conditions that can be addressed with prenatal massage. Additionally, it reduces the risk of premature birth and low birth weight.

  • Reflexology

Reflexology involves applying light to hard pressure to various pressure points on the hands, feet, and ears. These body parts are supposedly linked to specific organs and bodily systems. Reflexology could assist if you do experience pain and suffering caused by a medical issue.

It works well for those who want to unwind or regain their natural vigour. It’s also an excellent alternative for people who don’t like having their full body rubbed.

Anyone who wants to cope with injuries, illnesses, stress, or worry better can benefit from massage therapy as an alternative or supplemental treatment. Make sure to know the different types so you can maximize the many health benefits of massages.

For massage therapy in Guelph, come to Westwood Physiotherapy. Call (519) 341-5161 to book an appointment today.

Understanding Sciatica: 7 Things You Need to Know

Understanding Sciatica: 7 Things You Need to Know

Sciatica is a condition that can cause a lot of pain in the lower back and legs. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is important to understand what sciatica is and how to best treat it. In this blog post, we will discuss 7 things you need to know about sciatica. We will provide information on the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for this condition.

What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica can be caused by spinal injuries

Sciatica is a condition that can cause pain in the lower back and legs. It is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back through the buttocks and down the legs.

Sciatica can be caused by a herniated disc, bone spur, or other injuries to the spine. It can also be caused by pregnancy, spinal stenosis, or other conditions that put pressure on the sciatic nerve.

What Are the Symptoms of Sciatica?

Symptoms of sciatica can vary from person to person, but they typically include pain that radiates from the lower back down to the leg, numbness or tingling in the leg, and weakness in the leg or foot. In severe cases, sciatica can make it difficult to move or stand up.

How Is Sciatica Treated?

There are a number of different treatment options for sciatica, depending on the underlying cause. In many cases, simple measures such as rest, ice, and heat can be effective in managing pain and inflammation.

Exercise may also be recommended to help stretch and strengthen the muscles that support the spine. If sciatica is caused by a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, your doctor may recommend injections of corticosteroids or other medications. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.

No matter what treatment approach is taken, the goal is to relieve pain and improve function. With proper care, most people with sciatica can find relief and resume their normal activities.

7 Things You Need to Know About Sciatica

Sciatica can be reversed and prevented with treatment like physiotherapy

Now that we’ve covered the basics of sciatica, it’s time to get into detail about some of the important things you should know.

#1 Sciatica Is Not a Medical Diagnosis

There’s a lot of confusion about sciatica. Some people think it’s a medical diagnosis, but it’s not. Sciatica is a symptom of an underlying back problem, typically a herniated disc. When a disc herniates, it puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, which runs from the low back down to the leg.

This can cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the leg. Sciatica can be very painful, and it can make it difficult to walk or stand for long periods of time. If you’re experiencing sciatica, it’s important to see a doctor so that they can diagnose the underlying cause and develop a treatment for sciatica.

There are many effective treatments for sciatica, so don’t suffer needlessly. Seek professional help and get on the road to recovery.

#2 Sciatica Isn’t Typical Back Pain

Though back pain is a common ailment, there are different types that can vary in intensity and cause. For example, regular back pain is often caused by poor posture or muscle strain, whereas sciatica is caused when the sciatic nerve is pinched.

This nerve runs from the lower back down the legs, and so when it is compressed, it can cause shooting pain or numbness in these areas. Sciatica is also often accompanied by other symptoms such as weakness in the legs or difficulty moving.

As a result, it is important to be aware of the different types of back pain in order to seek out the most effective treatment.

#3 Sciatica Doesn’t Feel the Same For Everyone

Sciatica can feel different for different people. Some people describe it as a sharp, shooting pain that radiates down the leg. Others describe it as a dull, throbbing pain that gets worse with sitting or standing. Some people have mild sciatica that goes away on its own, while others have severe sciatica that requires treatment.

#4 Sciatica Can Be Prevented

There are a number of simple strategies that can help to prevent sciatica or ease its symptoms. For example, maintaining good posture, sleeping on a firm mattress, and doing sciatica exercises regularly can all help to reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Additionally, stretching the hamstrings and hips can help to improve flexibility and relieve tension. If sciatica does occur, over-the-counter pain relievers, ice packs, and heat therapy can often provide relief.

In most cases, sciatica will resolve on its own within a few weeks. However, if pain persists for more than six weeks or if there are neurological changes such as weakness or loss of sensation, it is important to see a doctor for further evaluation.

#5 Sciatica Can Be Related to Posture

While sciatica can be caused by a variety of factors, such as spinal stenosis or a herniated disc, poor posture is one of the most common triggers. This is because slouching or sitting for long periods of time can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back through the legs.

In addition to causing pain, this pressure can also lead to inflammation and irritation. As a result, improving your posture is one of the best things you can do to reduce your risk of developing sciatica.

#6 Sciatica Isn’t Permanent

When some people start to experience sciatic nerve pain, they start to worry that it’s something they’ll have to deal with forever. Luckily, that isn’t the case. While the pain from Sciatica can be debilitating, it isn’t a permanent condition. In most cases, the pain will eventually go away on its own.

#7 Some People Are More Susceptible to Sciatica

Some people are more at risk to develop sciatica than others. The main reason for this is that they have a genetic predisposition to the condition. This means that their bodies are more likely to develop the condition because of their genes.

Other factors that can increase a person’s susceptibility to sciatica include being overweight, having a sedentary lifestyle, and suffering from a condition that causes inflammation in the spine.

 

Visit a Physiotherapist in Guelph for Sciatica Pain Relief

Coming up with a solid treatment plan is the best way to help lessen sciatic nerve pain. Physical therapy is one of the best ways to treat sciatica. At Westwood Physiotherapy, we pride ourselves on being one of the top Guelph Physiotherapy Clinics and helping our clients achieve a higher quality of life. Contact us today to learn more.

Top Exercises That Improve Balance, Strength, and Flexibility in Seniors

Top Exercises That Improve Balance, Strength, and Flexibility in Seniors

Regular exercise is essential to our health and wellbeing, but it becomes even more vital in older people. However, some seniors are concerned about exercising, but the health benefits that come with an active lifestyle override the risks. While the healing and recovery period from injuries slow down as you age, engaging in moderate-level exercises is beneficial for people of all ages.

In addition to physiotherapy treatment, seniors who engage in regular exercise are more likely to stay healthy. Studies confirmed that living an active lifestyle can help improve blood pressure, neurocognitive function, and lipid profile, as well as reduce the risk of diabetes, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis.

Here are other great benefits of exercise in seniors:

  • Improve Health

Engaging in simple home exercises for seniors can benefit better overall health quality than those with a sedentary lifestyle. Active seniors are less likely to experience chronic health problems and diseases and have better immune and digestive systems.

  • Manage Body Weight

Maintaining a healthy body weight is crucial for seniors. As we age, the rate of our metabolism slows down. This makes exercise even more vital to losing extra pounds. Adding cardio and strength training workout to your exercise plan not only increases muscle mass but also boosts metabolism rate and burns more calories, promoting weight loss.

  • Improve Balance

Seniors are more at risk of fall injuries because they slowly lose balance. With the diminishing bone strength and density, injuries caused by falling become a more serious concern. Engaging in low-impact exercises can help improve muscle strength and bone health. Before starting exercises for seniors, be sure to get a bone density test to know their risk of osteoporosis.

  • Increase Bone Health and Strength

Building healthy bones and maintaining bone strength are crucial, especially when we reach our senior years. Like muscles, regular exercise helps strengthen our bones. Our bone tissues respond well to any force placed upon them. Exercising enables your body to build more bone cells, making it denser and stronger. Bone strengthening exercises are especially important in keeping your spine healthy and strong.

Exercises that Improve Balance, Flexibility, and Strength in Seniors

Regular exercise offers plenty of health benefits to seniors

It is a common misconception that getting older means becoming less mobile. Several studies reported that adults aged 50 and more are sedentary due to fear of falling, experiencing pain while exercising, or believing that they can no longer manage to engage in physical activities.

While some of these concerns are true, staying active is essential for seniors. To ensure their safety and avoid potential injuries, exercise should be supervised by a physiotherapist. When done right, physiotherapy exercises for the elderly can improve your balance, make you feel better, and increase your longevity, promoting a more positive outlook in life.

Let us take a look at some exercises that are ideal for seniors:

  • Balance Exercises

Many seniors experience dizziness and instability due to poor vision, hearing loss, and side effects from medications. Poor balance can increase the risk of falling, which can have serious complications. With falls being the major cause of injuries and deaths among seniors, the need to improve balance becomes more critical.

Consider these helpful balance exercises for seniors:

    • One-Legged Stand

This is one of the most basic exercises that help improve balance in seniors. You will need a sturdy chair for this exercise. Hold the back of the chair with both hands and stand on one foot. Keep the centre of gravity without lifting the other foot high off the floor. Hold the position for a few seconds. Slowly switch your feet and work up the same position (but with the other feet) for up to a minute, if you can. As you start to progress, try to steady yourself using only one hand, and eventually with no hands.

    • Step-Over

This balancing exercise requires masking tape and a few small, soft items for a little obstacle course. If necessary, do not hesitate to ask for help when putting down a strip of tape on the floor and laying a couple of foam blocks or small stuffed animals along with it. Once the obstacle course is done, start the exercise by walking along the taped line and cautiously stepping over the objects. You can also walk around the obstacles in a zigzag pattern. Not only this exercise improves your balance but also prevents the risk of tripping over by making you more alert to the objects on the floor.

  • Exercises to Boost Flexibility

The pain caused by osteoarthritis can prevent seniors from moving around. When we become inactive, it makes pain and immobility even worse in the long run. Here are some simple exercises for seniors at home that can help improve mobility, reduce muscle pain, and boost flexibility.

    • Neck Stretches

Neck stretches are one of the simplest seated exercises for seniors that help treat neck and upper spine pain. While sitting comfortably on a chair, tip your chin down to your chest. Turn your head gently to one side and hold the position for 15 seconds. Do the same for the opposite side. Repeat the process as many times as you can. Simple neck stretches not only reduce neck pain but also boost mobility. This is extremely essential for seniors who drive to help them look around easily.

    • Shoulder Rolls

Our shoulders can move up, down, forward and back with ease. However, most of our day-to-day activities can cause rounded shoulders. To correct the problem, we tend to press our shoulders too far back. The shoulder rolls exercise helps address rounded shoulders problems.

Stand tall with your arms firmly placed by your sides. Slowly lift your shoulders towards your ears and gently shift them forward, down, back, and up towards the ears. Repeat the same process as many as you can and finally, with your shoulder away from your ears and slightly back. The best way to perform the shoulder roll exercise is in front of a mirror so you can easily adjust your alignment whenever necessary.

  • Strength Exercises

Losing strength can be frustrating to many seniors as it reduces their ability to perform basic daily tasks, such as housekeeping, shopping, laundry, and even self-care.

To ensure independence and a long quality of life, try these effective muscle toning exercises:

    • Straight Leg Lifts to the Back

The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen your torso, glutes, and the back of your legs. In a standing position, engage your abdominal muscles or core. Shift your weight to the left leg, while maintaining a long right leg and flexing your right foot. Tilt your torso slightly forward but make sure to keep your head high and avoid bending forward. Repeat this process on your right leg as many as you can. Complete several repetitions with your left foot.

    • Sitting-Standing

Have a chair in place and back right up to it, pretending that you are going to sit down. Bend your knees and gently lower your body towards the seat. Before you can even touch the surface of the seat, slowly stand again. Bend your hips while engaging your abdominal muscle. Maintaining good posture and lifting your torso helps make the exercise easier. As you progress, add hand weights to make the process more challenging.

Physiotherapist-guided exercises ensure the safety and wellness of seniors

While seniors avoid engaging in physical activities or exercise due to pain or limited range of motion, a sedentary lifestyle can only make the pain and mobility issues even worse.

At Westwood Physiotherapy & Wellness, we have a team of professional physiotherapists who can recommend doable exercises that will help you become stronger, more flexible, and better balanced. Give us a call at (519) 341-5161 to book our physiotherapy services in Guelph.