604.739.2118 spinehealth123@shaw.ca

Burnout

In today’s society, burnout, feeling seriously stressed and unable to cope over a prolonged period, can happen to anyone. However, burnout can be avoided. I will outline the causes and symptoms, and the ways you can deal with your stressful situations. There are many causes of burnout. In general, it is found in people that are overworked and unappreciated. These people will feel disappointed, sometimes cynical, guilty or ashamed. The symptoms may include hopelessness and helplessness, low spirit and self-esteem and frequent illness. Before you can help yourself, you must first recognize the problem. Burnout reduces your productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. Eventually, you may feel like you have nothing more to give. Once you recognized the warning signs, you must make changes to both you and your environment. You must: 1. Slow down РTake an extra few minutes to enjoy your breakfast, lunch or dinner. Decrease your commitments and activities. 2. Eat healthy РDecrease on your fast food and eat a healthy diet. You can increase your energy level and endurance with proper eating habits. 3. Set reasonable goals РDo not extend yourself to unreachable goals. 4. Exercise РPhysical activity produces natural endorphin (feel good chemicals). 5. Meditate РIsolate yourself from all the electronic devices (laptop, TV, emails, telephone, etc.). 6. Take a hobby РCreativity is a powerful antidote to burnout. Try something new, start a fun project, or resume a favorite hobby. Furthermore, you may need to take time off. If burnout seems inevitable, take a complete break from work. Go on...

Poor Kids Posture Can Be Related to the Computer

Not only should parents be concerned about what their children are viewing on the internet, but also how they are sitting while in front of their computers. In today’s world, kids are spending many hours each day playing computer games, searching the internet or doing their homework on the PC. If the chair and computer are not set up properly, your child may develop a lifetime of poor posture. A study published in Computers in Schools (1998, Vol.14, issue 3/4, pages 55-63) stated that elementary school children are at serious risk for posture problems because computer workstations are not designed for their reduced size. The research showed that of the 95 students from 11 different schools in New York State, none of the students scored within acceptable levels while working at their classroom computer stations. Forty percent of the third to fifth graders were at postural risk, while the other sixty percent fell under a category of some concern. A few recommendations for your kids to avoid the risk of poor posture or repetitive strain injury caused by working on their computers are as follows: Monitor should be located directly in front of the body with the eyes directed at the upper one-third of the screen. For a child, raise the chair so that their eyes are at the correct level. Elbow should be at 80 to 100 degrees without bending wrists to rest on the keyboard. An adjustable keyboard tray, which can be lowered and angled for each individual user is a good investment. A good chair should support the back with knees resting two inches from the...

What is the Best Bed for Bad Backs

You spend one third of your life in bed. Therefore, the right bed can improve or prevent back pain. Furthermore, if you cannot rest properly and sleep well, you can hinder your recovery rate. Many people believe that the harder the mattress, the better it is for your back. However, this myth is not true. A firm supportive mattress that follows the curvature of your spine is the best for the back. If the bed is too hard, it can actually increase back pain by causing pressure at your pressure points (buttock and midback) and by not supporting the lower back and shoulder regions. Take the following advise next time you shop for a new mattress. The firmness of the bed should be proportional to your weight, i.e. if you are light, a moderately firm bed; if you are heavy, an extra firm bed. Lie on each bed you are considering in your normal sleep position for a minimun of 5-10 minutes to see how it feels. If the mattress says “orthopaedic” it generally means ext firm. Buy as big as bed as possible. Check the bed height – ensure you can get in and out of the bed without pain or discomfort. In addition to he bed, use a cervical pillow to ensure your neck and head are also well supported. It is also important to adopt a sleeping postion that would create less physical stress on the back; either sleep on your back with a big pillow underneath your knees or sleep on ypour side with a pillow between your knees. Many of my patients ask me...

Winter, a pain in the… back?

More and more Canadians each year complain of back-related injuries and problems. And, with winter fast approaching, it is important that proper attention is given to the health of your back, to prevent and care for your injuries – such as while indulging in that great winter pastime, shovelling snow – before they become a nagging problem.