7 Natural Solutions for Arthritis

You may think that arthritis is just a disease of the elderly.  Think again.  Studies show that arthritis can develop as early as young adulthood, and that rates are dramatically rising.  Read on to find out how you can prevent arthritis from holding you back!

Backfit patients, Paula Morewood and her late husband Harry, prove that an active lifestyle is possible at any age!

According to Arthritis Canada –

” 4.5 million, or one in six, Canadians aged 15 years and older report having arthritis.

“By 2031, the number of people with arthritis (i.e., both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis) in Canada will increase by 124%.”

 

From the US Center for Disease Control –

Currently an estimated 27 million U.S. adults suffer from osteoarthritis.”

 

Arthritis is more common in women than men, and can develop in young adulthood, although the risk is higher over the age of 45.  Simply stated, arthritis is the breakdown or degeneration of joint tissue that results in painful, swollen, and stiff joints.

Typically, arthritis is treated with drugs such as Vioxx and Celebrex, which work by lowering prostaglandin (mediators of inflammation) levels in the body.  However, Vioxx was removed from the market in 2004, after it was found to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The good news is that developing arthritis is NOT a necessary part of aging.  So what can we do to keep our joints healthy in a natural way?

7 Natural Arthritis Solutions:

  1. Lower sugar levels.  Elevated insulin levels are one of the major reasons that inflammatory prostaglandins are      produced.
  2. Start a high quality fish oil supplement, which will lower insulin levels in the blood.
  3. Supplement with Glucosamine Sulphate.  These supplements will help control further degeneration, as they provide your body with the natural building blocks that it needs to repair and rebuild damaged joint cartilage.
  4. Get moving.  The notion that exercise is detrimental to your joints is a misconception.  Evidence points to exercise (flexibility and strength) having a positive impact on joint tissues.
  5. Maintain an ideal weight.
  6. Boswellia: very effective in reducing pain and joint inflammation.  However, it’s not treating the cause, only the symptoms.
  7. Last but NOT LEAST – maintain good posture and body mechanics. One of the greatest factors to impact the progression of osteoarthritis is your biomechanics.

IMPORTANT NOTE – If a joint in your body is out of alignment due to poor posture, improper ergonomics, repetitive stress or injury, this will cause uneven stress on that joint.  Much like poor wheel alignment will cause uneven wear on your tires, the increased wear and tear on a misaligned joint will cause early damage and degeneration.  The best way to evaluate the alignment and biomechanics of your knees, hips, and spine is to see your chiropractor for a check-up!  In addition to adjustments of the misaligned joints, your chiropractor can provide ergonomic and postural recommendations or specific core stabilizing exercises to support proper joint function.

Dr. Craig Bentham & the Backfit team

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TLC For Your Spine

How do you know if your spine is healthy?  If you don’t have back pain, can you assume that you have a healthy back?

Did you know that many spinal health conditions and degenerative diseases can be pain-free?  These conditions begin to cause pain only once a significant amount of damage has already been done.  So, if we wait until there is pain, then we are already in trouble.

Not taking care of your spine until you have pain, is kind of like waiting until your teeth are decaying to start brushing them.  Can you imagine your dentist telling you to only brush the tooth that hurts? …Or not to worry about your teeth until you see obvious signs of decay?  Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?  Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that, just like our teeth, our spine needs to be taken care of every single day in order to prevent pain and maintain spinal health and function.

There are four areas of the spine that you should be familiar with:

Spinal cord and brain anatomy*cervical (neck)

*thoracic (mid-back)

*lumbar (low back)

*sacrum (tailbone)

Each of these areas house delicate nerves that travel to muscles, glands and specific organs. For example, nerves in the cervical and thoracic spine carry messages to the heart and lungs.  Nerves in the low back innervate the intestines and reproductive organsHow vital do you think it is to ensure that these nerves and the spinal joints that protect them are functioning optimally?

Just like seeing your dentist, evaluating the health of your spine and nerve system starts with a spinal exam.

Here are five things you can do today to give your spine some TLC:

  1. Do some yoga or stretching to increase flexibility.
  2. Drink alkaline water to decrease inflammation.
  3. Get your spine moving with a form of exercise that you enjoy!
  4. Don’t sit for longer than 20 mins at a time.
  5. Pull out those spinal molding foams to reset your posture after computer work.

 

Dr. Ryan Doyle & the Backfit Team

 

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My Struggle with Goals

My hubby and I have been diligent about goal setting for years…

Before having kids, we would head to a retreat-like setting every November for 2 or 3 days with our calendar, laptop, dry-erase board and loads of green juice.  Our excitement was palpable as we hammered out everything we wanted to achieve in the year ahead.

We had a great system down and it worked for us.  We were able to focus and accomplish some bold and meaningful goals.  We began offering goal-setting workshops at our office and coached others through the process of identifying goals – exploring areas such as health, relationships, career, and adventure.  We were making an impact!

A few years ago, something shifted in my relationship to goals.  Maybe it was becoming a mother, and the major “shake up” in priorities that comes along with having children, but the energy I brought to goal setting completely fizzled.  I started to feel like I was setting goals out of obligation, rather than inspiration.  I would look at the plan I had laid out and feel disconnected from it.  I began to question my need for striving and wondered if it made me less able to be present.  For a couple of years, I stopped setting goals all together.

Last year, something profound caught my attention – A concept called Desire Mapping  – which is the work of Danielle LaPorte.  It’s an incredible shift on goal setting and it resonates with where I am in my life right now.  The Desire Map is about identifying how you truly want to feel in your life as the guide for creating your goals.  Rather than striving toward something “out there”, get clear on your core desired feelings to shape your actions.

This past November, when Craig (AKA – Dr. B) and I sat down together, we started by doing some digging about how we really want to feel.

 What do I want to create more of in my life?  How do I want to feel on a daily basis?

desired feelings

Then I dug a little deeper and defined the meaning that these words hold for me.

Joyful: in the moment, engaged, grateful

Vibrant: full of health, life and energy

Creative: utilizing my unique gifts to add value to the world

Connected: making a contribution, having meaningful relationships, being present

 

Can you see the importance of clearly defining how you want to feel in order to create more meaningful and relevant goals?

One of my goals this year is to run a half marathon.  I have done this a few times before, but this year I am shifting my focus.  Because one of my desired feelings is to be connected – rather than tackle this on my own, I plan on training alongside a dear friend.  Investing time and energy into our relationship while we pursue this goal together will add the element of connection to my experience.

Core desired feelings are like a compass… guiding, shaping and inspiring our actions and rituals.  I have a renewed sense of excitement about the journey toward goals that align with my desired feelings.  It is, after all, in the journey that we discover more about who we are and who we want to be.

Do you regularly set goals, intentions or resolutions?  Can this concept bring new meaning to the way you look at goal setting?

 

Dr. Marissa Bentham & the Backfit Team

 

P.S.  At Backfit, we are putting these ideas into action with our “Great Exchange”.  It’s a very simple way to get in alignment and create some positive momentum.  Talk to one of our fantastic team members if you want to join us in making 2014 a year with more energy, clarity, and purpose!

 

 

 

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Meet Ayden John!

The Waiting Game

Three days after my wife’s due date, Ayden was still in no hurry to meet his parents.  He was carrying very high and had not “dropped” into the birth canal which would indicate he was not planning on coming out soon.

Although I was desperately looking forward to meeting my son or daughter, I had found it hard to grasp the concept that the bump in my wife’s stomach was actually going to become my baby. Through all the carpal tunnel discomfort, sickness in the early months, swollen ankles and relentless kicking, Jennifer had already formed a very close bond with our baby.  The idea of parenthood wasn’t yet as real for me.

After a cascade of events over the next several days (which included treatment for Jennifer’s high blood pressure, non-stress tests for baby and a labour induction treatment) Jennifer and I were left with a tough decision.

Following a lengthy discussion with each other, our maternity doctor, doula, and the obstetrician on call, we made the decision to pursue a caesarean section rather than trying another day or two of the induction process.

We Finally Meet Ayden!

Ayden John Eisert shot out into the delivery room – a whopping 8lbs 12oz – at 17:20 on Thursday, November 14th. To my immense relief (you can’t help worrying about this bit); he started to cry almost immediately. I had just watched our son emerge into the world – it was a fantastic, frightening, and exhilarating experience!

“It’s a boy! And he’s beautiful!”  I belted out to my dear wife who was unable to see the wonder which I was blessed to witness.

Proud Dad!Ayden

 

 

The hours after the birth were surreal…When I look at Ayden now the whole birth process seems totally remarkable and watching his mother with him is one of the most wonderful experiences in the world.

Dr. Greg Eisert

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Cultivate Gratitude

Pause.  Take notice.  On the doorstep of Thanksgiving, create the space for gratitude.

“The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now. And the more grateful you are, the more you get.”

— Oprah

At the Backfit Clinic, our gratitude and fulfillment stems from the opportunity to be part of your journey to optimal health and wellbeing. Our collective purpose is to make a bigger impact.  That means a deeper impact on your health, and a tangible shift in the health of our community. The Backfit blog will provide the space to engage and inspire a community of people that are interested in living their best life. Thanks for joining us on this journey. We’re excited to connect with you each week and explore together what it means to be well.

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How Do You Live Well?

Wellness.  What does it mean to you?  How do you live well?

Wellness is most often defined as an approach to health that incorporates both body and mind.  But isn’t it more than that?  Physical. Mental. Emotional. Spiritual.  Wellness is a state of being where these aspects of self find harmony.

Notice the word harmony, rather than balance.  Balance implies equality.  In the flow of life, the balance is constantly shifting.  Recognizing where your energy needs to go at any given time in your life is embracing wellness.  Check in.  Is it time to train hard or is it time to re-charge?

Wellness is not a “one day” or “someday” thing.  It truly is a journey that requires of you thoughtful choices and congruent action. It’s making the time to nurture all aspects of yourself and recognizing that each one plays a vital role in making you whole.

Wellness cannot be imparted to us. We have to do the work when it’s needed, and also have faith in our body and it’s amazing capacity for healing and regeneration. What do I strive for on this journey called wellness?  Movement.  Nourishment.  Harmony.  Clarity.  To live well is to think, act and feel in a way that expresses your vitality and your greatness.  It’s choosing a lifestyle enables you to be your best self and manifest your vision for your life.

Live greatly.  Live well.

Dr. Marissa Bentham & the Backfit team

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