Pam’s Incredible Story!


We want to share with you just one of the amazing transformations that we have witnessed this year at Backfit.

Pam Morrison came to us in incredible pain, and with little hope of recovery.  Today, she is back to the active lifestyle she loves.  Please take a moment to watch Pam share her success story here: Pam’s Incredible Story.  It is truly inspiring!

Those closest to Pam have noticed the dramatic changes in her.  Pam’s daughter, Dr. Sandra Morrison, MD, felt compelled to send this email to express her gratitude!

Hi Dr. Bartlett,

I just wanted to contact you to THANK YOU for all you have done and are continuing to do for my mom, Pam Morrison. I was blown away by the x-rays she e-mailed to me today. I have never seen a spondylolisthesis corrected like this! 

She is so dedicated to her rehab. and, with your help, is becoming the active person she was a decade ago. As you know, she is back on her bike, and has ventured back into the ocean kayaking she loved so much. It is so fantastic for the family to see the enjoyment she is getting out of life again, and with far less pain. Your facility is really special – the attitudes of the docs and staff are great – one can’t help but be inspired to wellness. I only wish we had Backfit in Calgary – I know so many people (including myself) who could benefit from your expertise.

With gratitude,

Sandra Morrison


Sandra L. Morrison BSc BSc MD CCFP FCFP

Clinical Associate Professor

Faculty of Medicine

University of Calgary

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Introducing Beckett!

Jill Medeiros, our bright and energetic admin team leader, has a new addition to her family!  We wanted to introduce you to Jill’s beautiful baby boy and share a little about her life as a new mom.  Read on to find out what Jill treasures most about her children and how she continues to stay healthy and active…

What do you enjoy most about having a new baby?

“I’d say what I enjoy most about the new little guy is seeing our family grow and seeing all the little bits of Mike and I in Beckett. We’ve watched him grow from this tiny little munchkin to a 3 month old who smiles, laughs and watches in awe as his big sister and dog play all around him. I love his facial expressions too…its amazing to watch him develop and see his amazement as he discovers new things in his big new world!”

What creative ways do you keep yourself fit and active with young children?

“Our dog, Capone, needs a big walk daily and Hannah would be outside all day if she could, so we spend a lot of time outdoors!  We are either going on walks to the park, or around Thetis Lake, 5-6 days a week.  While the kiddies nap or are in bed for the night, I either go for a run, head to a hot yoga class, or do a workout at home with some weights or a P90X workout video. On days when I don’t get a chance to do this, I will do walking lunges at the park while I wear Beckett in the Baby Bjorn, and I utilize the playground by doing pushups and tricep dips on the benches and pull ups on the bars. That way I can still get a mini workout in while I watch the kids!”

What are the most important ways to give your child a healthy start in life?

backfitheadshots(14of51)“For me it is really important to nurse my babies… it develops an incredible closeness and bond with them. Getting them outside in the fresh air daily helps them get their Vitamin D and an appreciation for nature. I also want to know exactly what is going into their growing bodies, so I make all my own food for them. I buy all organic, local food when possible and make large batches and freeze them in ice cube trays. This makes for quick, convenient meal time prep!”

We miss seeing Jill’s smiling face every day… but we love seeing her family for their regular Backfit appointments!  Our admin ladies sure love their snuggles with Beckett!


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Why Decompression?

I just returned from an engaging seminar in Johnstown, Pennsylvania where I had the chance to collaborate with doctors who are on the forefront of advancements in spinal decompression therapy. The experience definitely affirmed the results I witness every day in the Backfit Clinic, and inspired me to share some of the highlights with you. Here is a deeper look at HOW spinal decompression therapy works, and WHY it might be the right choice for you!

How Does Spinal Decompression Therapy Work?

Nonsurgical spinal decompression is a type of motorized traction. Spinal decompression works by gently stretching the spine and taking pressure off the spinal discs, which are gel-like cushions between the bones in your spine.

When traditional traction is applied, the body’s natural reaction is to resist the traction by pulling in the opposite direction. BUT – through a specific computerized pull and release pattern, spinal decompression is able to bypass the typical response of ligaments and muscles to distraction (ie – prevent the body from resisting the traction force!). This pull and release pattern allows for water and nutrients to be delivered to the disc and enhance the body’s natural healing process.

Why Is This Important?

After puberty spinal discs become avascular, meaning that they no longer have a direct blood supply. This lack of blood supply dictates that discs naturally heal at a very slow rate. Current research states that a disc injury typically heals in 300-500 days without any treatment. Spinal decompression therapy can be used to speed healing of the disc by up to 71% and heal that disc in less than 100 days.

A study by the Department of Neurosurgery and Radiology, Rio Grande Regional Hospital and Health Sciences Center, University of Texas, demonstrates what makes decompression so effective.  We could get deep into the scientific process and terminology here, but I’d rather give it to you in simplified terms.

  • Spinal decompression therapy creates a “negative pressure” within the discs
  • This “negative pressure” promotes the movement of water and nutrients into the disc as well as the removal of waste products
  • This nourishment & rehydration of the disc promotes healing – simple as that!

Who Needs Spinal Decompression Therapy?

Disc decompression therapy is a non-surgical treatment for spinal injuries and spinal pain. Spinal decompression has the capability of relieving pressure on the spinal nerves and has been proven to effectively relieve the pain associated with:

  • Acute / chronic back or neck pain (compression symptoms)
  • Sciatica (pain, weakness, or tingling that extends down the leg)
  • Herniated discs (Extrusions, Protrusions, Bulges etc.)
  • Degenerative discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Posterior facet syndrome (worn spinal joints)
  • Headaches

Decomp TeamAt Backfit, spinal decompression therapy is a key component of a comprehensive treatment program.  And one that I feel incredibly passionate about!  Our Backfit decompression team is committed to helping you achieve the best results possible!

Dr . Greg Eisert and the Backfit Team

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What’s the Connection?

Doyle FamilyI have developed an array of spinal injuries and conditions in my athletic career.  These experiences have ultimately led me to my purpose in life: teaching others how to restore health and function to the spine.  When I was in my early 30’s, I had a CT scan for a rib injury that I suffered while playing hockey.  Surprisingly, the scan also showed that I had a disc injury.  I had NO PAIN. I had NO SYMPTOMS.  At least that’s what I thought.  I had been experiencing digestive issues for months and had tried a number of different diets, and had even considered some pharmaceuticals which were commonly prescribed.  As an experiment, I decompressed my lower back extensively for 3 months and the symptoms resolved.  Who would have thought that my stomach issues could be connected to my back?

In chiropractic, we teach the connection between the nerves in your spine and your overall health.  Without a healthy nervous system, it is impossible for your body to function optimally.  Yet we are trained to believe that nothing is wrong unless we feel pain.  And then we use a lotion, potion or pill to cover up the symptoms rather than correct the underlying cause.  Quite simply, this approach to health doesn’t work.

This is why Chiropractic care is not JUST for pain.

Autonomic NSparts of the nerve:


1.  Sensory

  • If a sensory nerve is irritated or compressed enough, it can elicit PAIN.  It may also create tingling, burning, or aching.

2.  Autonomic

  • The part of the nervous system that controls visceral functions (organ function), including heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, salivation, perspiration, pupillary dilation, micturition (urination), sexual arousal, breathing and swallowing.
  • If this system is damaged or dampened, the overall health effects may be subtle or significant, but you will not experience pain.

3.  Motor

  • The nerves that carry signals from the spinal cord to the muscles to produce (effect) movement.
  • If these nerves are compressed, irritated or damaged they can cause muscles to atrophy (stop working and wither away), muscle spasms, or cause a stiffness or “tight” feeling in the muscles of our spine and even in our shoulders, arms, legs and pelvis.

Compromised nerve function in your NECK can contribute to:

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Dizziness
  • Allergies
  • Shoulder issues
  • Heart conditions
  • Lung and breathing issues

Compromised nerve function in your MID BACK can contribute to:

  • Shoulder issues
  • Mid back issues
  • Heart conditions
  • Digestive issues
  • Heart burn
  • Kidney conditions

Compromised nerve function in your LOW BACK can contribute to:

  • Constipation
  • Sterility
  • Menstrual problems
  • Sciatica
  • Low back pain
  • Leg swelling and cramps

DID YOU KNOW?  Studies show that pressure equivalent to the weight of a quarter can reduce nerve function by up to 60%?

Are your spine and nervous system functioning at an optimum level?

Dr. Ryan Doyle and the Backfit Team

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Do Kids Really Need Adjustments?

photoOur son, Caleb, just turned 9 a few days ago.  As cliché as it sounds, I can’t believe how quickly those 9 years have gone!  He is a bright and caring boy, with quite a sense of humour.  And he LOVES to play sports!  At the moment, it is lacrosse season, and wow – is it ever a physical game!  Last night we were driving home after a particularly competitive game, when Caleb said to me – “Mom, I am sure glad that you and Dad are chiropractors.  I definitely need to get my spine checked after that game.  Actually, the whole team should!” (He gets it!  Proud moment for me.)

Did Caleb make this statement because he has back or neck pain?  Do kids only need to get a spinal check-up if they have symptoms?  The answer is – most definitely – no.  Caleb has been under chiropractic care his entire life and understands the importance of a healthy spine and nervous system.  He also understands that in a child’s life there are daily slips, trips, and falls that can cause the spine to shift out of proper alignment.

Caleb often recalls the time that he got adjusted after a hockey game because one leg was nearly an inch shorter than the other! (This was due to a misaligned pelvis.)  What do you think the outcome would be if we had never checked him or adjusted the misalignment in his pelvis?  How would that impact the health of his spine five years down the road?  Even small misalignments can cause far more pronounced problems in children as their spine grows and develops.  And think about those delicate nerves that are carrying vital message to every muscle, organ and gland in that growing body. How important is it to ensure there are no spinal misalignments creating pressure on those nerves?

So do we only need to worry about the kids who are playing contact sports?  How else can misalignments happen?  See the pressure on a baby’s head and neck during the birthing process.  Watch a toddler learning to walk.  Think of your child at her very first skating lesson.  Stand at the school playground and observe the little boy who falls from the monkey bars or the girl who trips on the soccer field.  Pay attention to the posture of your child or teen at their school desk or on their iphone… Isn’t it time they had a spinal check-up?  Caleb sure thinks it is.

Dr. Marissa Bentham & the Backfit Team

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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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