Back to School Time Again! Here are some Backpack Tips!


Wear it Right.

It’s common for kids to lug around backpacks appearing to be twice their body weight. Though it may seem cool to sling a heavy load over one shoulder – long-term head, neck, and shoulder pain are not. Here are some helpful tips that will help your child carry his or her backpack with ease.


Research indicates that there are long-term health risks associated with youth who wear poorly designed backpacks or carry too much weight. In fact, over 50% of Canadian youth will suffer at least one back pain episode during their school years. Not only are these injuries painful, they can directly impact the enjoyment of leisure and sports activities that are a critical part of a young person’s life.


Backpacks & Your Child's Health

Carrying a heavy load can lead to poor posture and a distorted spinal column. Over time this can cause muscle strain, headaches, neck and arm pain, and even nerve damage. 

A heavy backpack carried on one shoulder forces the muscles and spine to compensate for the uneven weight. This places stress on the mid and lower back.

Choosing the Right Backpack

You don't need to spend a lot of money to get a good backpack. Here are some tips that may be helpful when selecting a backpack:

  • Backpacks should be made of lightweight materials. Vinyl and canvas are much better than leather.
  • Pick a backpack with two wide shoulder straps. These distribute weight better than bags that are slung over the shoulder.
  • Try the backpack on for fit. The straps should be at least 2 inches wide and should not fit too snugly around the shoulders or armpits. 
  • The backpack should be proportionate to the wearer. The top should not extend higher than the top of the shoulder and the bottom should not fall below the top of the hipbone.
  • Choose a pack with a hip strap or waist belt and a padded back. A strap or belt can take as much as 50-70% of the weight off the shoulders and spine and will equalize the strain on the bones, joints, and muscles.
  • Choose a backpack with a lot of pockets to help distribute weight more effectively. 

Choose a light weight backpack with a padded back, wide shoulder straps, and a hip or waist belt. Make sure the pack is proportionate to the wearer.

Packing the Backpack Properly

  • Your child's backpack should only contain what is needed for that day.
  • A full backpack should be no more than 10 to 15 percent of the wearer's body weight.
  • Place the heaviest objects close to the body and light or odd-shaped objects away from the back.


c/o British Columbia Chiropractic Association

Shovel Light this Winter!


During the winter months, snow shovelling can be a pain, considering that each shovelful of snow weighs about six pounds. That’s a lot of repetitive lifting, and wear and tear on your back. These back health tips will ease the hassle of clearing your driveway and help keep your back in shape.

Warm Up

Before tackling any strenuous activity, a quick 10-minute warm up such as a walk around the block will kickstart your muscles for the activity ahead and help prevent injury.

1. Don’t Let Snow Pile Up

If the weather report calls for several days of snow, frequent shovelling will allow you to move smaller amounts of snow after each snowfall.

2. Pick the Right Shovel

Use a lightweight push shovel. If you’re using a metal shovel, spray it with Teflon, so snow won’t stick to it.

3. Push, Don’t Throw

Push the snow to the side rather than throwing it. This way, you avoid lifting heavy shovelfuls of snow, and abrupt twists or turns that may result in injury.

4. Bend Your Knees

If you need to lift shovelfuls of snow, bend your knees, and use your leg and arm muscles to do the work, while keeping your back straight.

5. Take a Break

If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a break. Shake out your arms and legs to recharge.

Keep Comfort in Mind

Layer your clothing so you can adapt to changing temperatures. If you become too warm while outdoors, simply remove a layer or two to maximize comfort.

Stay Hydrated

Even though it’s cold outside, your body still needs plenty of fluids. Be sure to drink lots of water or fruit juice before, during and after shovelling. Remember – if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

Take it Slow

Rest when you feel tired or short of breath. Stop shovelling if you experience sudden or prolonged joint or muscle pain.

Cool Down

After you’ve finished shovelling, cool down by taking a walk and stretching out tense muscles.

Pelvic Floor Muscles, Labour, and Chiropractic Adjustments

pelvic floor muscles

The benefit of chiropractic care and physical medicine have been fairly well documented, both in previous posts to this blog and in the literature. While we have discussed in detail the ways in which chiropractic care can alleviate the aches and pains that result form the physical and hormonal changes of pregnancy, we have not yet fully delved into the positive effects chiropractic care has on the labour and delivery as well as the postnatal phase.

Anatomy of the Pelvic Floor

In order to appreciate how chiropractic care is beneficial to labour and delivery, it is advantageous to review the anatomy of the pelvic floor and how it relates to pregnancy, labour, and the postnatal period. ...Read more.

Debunking the Sit-Up

Over the past few years there has been a changing of the guard when it comes to the philosophy of core exercises and strengthening the abdominal muscles. One exercise in particular has been at the core of the debate: the sit-up. Late in 2015, many major media outlets including Time, The Wall Street Journal, and even the long standing fashion magazine Cosmopolitan, covered the story and have told the world that some top medical professionals and fitness professionals have denounced the sit-up.

Much of the recent coverage has come about from an editorial in Navy Times, an independent publication that covers the U.S. Navy, calling to banish the sit up from the physical-readiness test that sailors must complete twice per year. Due to the injury risk and lack of relevance to military work, the Canadian Armed Forces have also taken the sit-up out of its exercise testing. ...Read More

What Every Woman Needs to Know: Benefits of Chiropractic During Pregnancy

chiropractic and pregnancy

Pregnancy is often an incredible experience that showcases the strength, beauty, and ability of a woman’s body. However, the nurturing of a new life does not come without physical changes that can be uncomfortable and downright unpleasant. Pregnancy related discomforts can be frustrating, as expecting moms are cautioned against taking over the counter pain relief medications. Both ibuprofen and aspirin have been deemed unsafe during pregnancy. Even acetaminophen, the historically safe go-to for pregnant women experiencing pain, has come under scrutiny for more than just its liver damaging properties; it has been linked to depletion of the natural detoxifying chemical glutathione, to disruption of hormones, and to negative effects on fetal brain development.

Common Pains of Pregnancy

With growing bellies and an influx of hormones, pregnant bodies can experience significant biomechanical and chemical changes that result in pain.  From a new center of gravity to ligament laxity to postural and hormonally induced headaches, pregnancy results in ...Read More

Why Do I Get More Joint Pain in Cold Weather? Barometric Pressure and Cold Temperatures

Joint pain with cold weather

Weather pain, or weather-related pain, is felt by many people in our region of the world with the climate in North Vancouver. We often have more muscle stiffness, joint pain, and migraines as the weather changes to cooler temperatures and increased precipitation in the fall and winter. The dampness that accompanies the increased rain in North Vancouver is often blamed for the miserable pain in the feet, knees, back, and hips that a great percentage of our city has to deal with from October through March. But does cold and damp weather actually result in increased joint pain? That question cannot be answered with 100% confidence, and there is likely a greater force (or a reduction of force) that results in increased joint pain... Read More

Six Yoga Poses to Undo the Daily Damage of Sitting


North America is experiencing a rapidly growing epidemic: sitting. The average person spends over half of his or her day in a sedentary, seated position. Recent research has suggested that, even if there is a routine workout regimen. sitting on one’s keister for the majority of the day may increase the risk of serious chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Incorporating movement throughout the day is necessary to combat the negative consequences of long drives, working at desks, and watching television. 

There are many simple ways to uproot during the day; riding a bike to work, taking the stairs instead of an elevator, switching to an adjustable* standing desk, doing a few laps around the office every hour or so, standing for the last 15 minutes of the television show. Movement is medicine during the day and incorporating an evening stretching routine can help to further undo the stresses of sitting. The following yoga poses will help with feeling grounded, relaxed, and peaceful after a long workday, as well reverse daily damage. ...Read More

The What, Where, and Why of CranioSacral Therapy

chiropractic craniosacral therapy

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, yet profound, hands-on treatment that helps to release tension in the nervous system. This absence of tension helps to relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve whole-body function. Cranial osteopathy originated in 1898 by Dr. William Sutherland, DO. In 1975, Dr. John Upledger, DO expanded on Sutherland’s work and introduced CranioSacral Therapy and defined it as a treatment that “works with natural and unique rhythms of our different body systems to pinpoint and correct source problems.” CST uses a very soft touch to release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system.

The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and the spinal cord. Surrounding the structures of the central nervous system are three layers of membranous connective tissue (known as the meninges) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), both of which act to protect and nourish the brain. As fascial restrictions arise in the meninges, ...Read More

Seven Quick Facts About Whiplash

Whiplash Chiropractic

Motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) are an unfortunately common occurrence on our roadways. Many MVAs result in neuromusculoskeletal symptoms, including whiplash, headache, neurological symptoms (radiculopathy, numbness, tingling, and/or weakness), and low back pain. Of these, whiplash is by and far the most common - and often under treated - condition occurring after a car accident. Here are 7 quick facts on whiplash from a North Vancouver Chiropractor’s perspective.

1) 45% of people with chronic neck pain attribute it to a previous motor vehicle accident. 

...Read More

Shedding Light on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

seasonal affective disorder

Autumn has officially arrived and this Vancouver weather couldn’t make that any more apparent. Welcome back, rain and lush foliage! While our city’s thirsty soil is greeting the rain with open arms, the colder weather, shorter days, and grayer skies are cause for seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, in nearly 20% of the population.

SAD is a type of depression that is related to the change in seasons, usually occurring in the fall/winter and remitting in the spring/summer. While researchers are not exactly sure what causes SAD, it has been linked to a lack of sunlight. Shorter days with less light may increase melatonin, which will deregulate sleep-wake cycles and circadian rhythms, and decrease serotonin production, which can affect mood. ...Read More

Concussion Awareness: Protecting Young Minds

concussion chiropractic rehab

Concussion in sport is an important topic. Professional athletes steal the headlines when it comes to all things sports, including injuries, but education and protection for the common recreational or child athlete is of greater importance to the future of sport and wellbeing. In the United States, close to 175,000 children are treated every year in emergency departments for head injuries that happen during sports.

One definition of concussion is “a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by biomechanical forces” that “results in the rapid onset of short-lived impairment of neurological function that resolves spontaneously”. Concussion can result from a direct blow to the head, neck or face, or to the spine if there is a force transmitted to the head after contact. ...Read More

Pack it Light, Wear it Right: Protecting the Back from Injury

As summer rounds into its final lap, parents, children, and university students alike must begin to bounce back into school mode. The transition from the care-free days of summer to school year stress can have kids feeling like the weight of the world is on their shoulders – and it quite literally is. Young children and teenagers are carrying increasingly heavier backpacks and, worse yet, they are carrying them incorrectly. Research continues to show that their young, vulnerable spines are paying the price.  

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, a child’s backpack should be no more than 10-15% of his or her own body weight, with some studies urging for no more than 10%. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Adding insult to injury, most adolescents carry their backpacks in a biomechanically inappropriate way, causing damage to their musculoskeletal systems. Epidemiological studies show that over 50% of Canadian youth will suffer from at least one episode of back pain during their school years. The culprit? ...Read More


Managing High Blood Pressure with Chiropractic Care: The Future of Physical Medicine

chiropractic - hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a medical condition wherein arterial blood pressure is elevated. This ever-increasing healthcare concern affects more than 7.5 million Canadians. Hypertension is a significant risk factor for cerebrovascular disease (CVD) and ischemic heart disease, which are leading causes of premature death worldwide. 

Pressure within arteries can be elevated for a variety of reason, but comes down to being related to an elevation in heart rate/pulse, a constriction of the vessels themselves, or both. While prevention followed by diet and exercise would be the preferred first courses of action, they are not always enough and lifelong, daily (or more) maintenance with pharmaceuticals may be required to treat hypertension. Though potentially necessary, high blood pressure medications can have significant side effects. ...Read More

Exercises, Stretches, and Chiropractic Care for Cyclists: Part II

cycling, biking, chiropractic

As mentioned last week, cycling is an ever increasing sport and mode of transportation, growing in popularity across North America.  Since North Vancouver has always been a hot spot and desired destination for cyclists and mountain bikers, we will continue to explore a few more exercises and stretches to maximise peak performance.

Gluteus Muscle Group and Piriformis (Hip External Rotators)

The posterior (back) hip region can become overworked, tight, or weak, all of which can result in pain. ...Read More

Exercises, Stretches, and Chiropractic Care for Cyclists

Cycling, biking, chiropractic

Cycling is an ever increasing sport and mode of transportation, growing in popularity across North America. North Vancouver has always been a hot spot for mountain biking, with local mountains providing great access to cyclists from around the Lower Mainland. With Metro Vancouver becoming more bike friendly every year, increased cycling infrastructure, growth of biking organizations like HUB, and public events such as Bike to Work Week, ridership has steadily grown and people are commuting by bike to school, work, and social events.

With  BC’s GranFondo happening in these summer months, we thought it would be a good time to go over stretches and mobility drills for pre-race warmups and post-race cool downs.


Tight calf muscles can contribute to any of the following conditions: ...Read More

Chiropractic Care and TMJ Dysfucntion - Part II: Treatment



In last week’s post, we reviewed the anatomy of the temporomandiular joint and the pathophysiologies most commonly responsible for TMJ dysfunction. In today’s post, we will cover how chiropractic care can help to treat the pain and symptoms of this common condition.

Standard Care for TMJ Dysfunction

Standard medical care includes muscle relaxants and analgesics, night guards to prevent bruxism (teeth grinding), and dietary changes to softer foods. In more severe cases, orthodontic bite plates may be used. In the most extreme cases, surgery may be performed.

While extremes are necessary in some cases, chiropractic care in combination with dental care should be the first line of defense for relieve of the pain and symptoms of TMJD. ...Read More

Chiropractic Care and TMJ Dysfunction - Part I: Anatomy and Physiology



To the surprise of some, chiropractic care is a safe and effective treatment for more than just back pain. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction is just one of the many conditions for which chiropractic care can provide relief. The TMJ is one of the most used joints in the body, making it a common culprit of pain and dysfunction.

Anatomy of the TMJ

Located just in front of the ear, the temporomandibular joint is a hinge joint that connects the jaw to the skull. It is the joint responsible for moving the jaw up and down and side-to-side, allowing talking and chewing to occur.  The TMJ complex is comprised of many structures, including the mandible (jaw) and temporal bones, the sphenomandibular and lateral ligaments, a joint capsule, the masseter and pterygoid muscles, and an articular disc ...Read More

Canadian Soccer Star has a Future in Chiropractic

common soccer injuries include ankle sprains, knee sprains including mcl, acl, and meniscus tears. chiropractors have excellent diagnosis and treatment plans for fast recovery and quick return to play.

common soccer injuries include ankle sprains, knee sprains including mcl, acl, and meniscus tears. chiropractors have excellent diagnosis and treatment plans for fast recovery and quick return to play.

Who is the player on the Canadian Women's Soccer team who is a chiropractor? Dr. Melissa Tancredi, Canada's Women's National Soccer Team forward, is a future Canadian practicing chiropractor. The Canada Women's National Soccer Team played excellent soccer while hosting the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup across the country in Vancouver, Edmonton, Hamilton, and Montreal. The team drew tens of thousands of live supporters to their games, with individuals becoming household names, including Tancredi.

Tancredi has worked on her Doctorate of Chiropractic education, an intense 4 year program, over the past 8 years, while taking time off to play in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Her dedication to becoming a chiropractor was a full time job on its own; classroom times and clinical obligations easily hit 40 hours a week, not counting studying for course work and taking extracurricular credentials. Her dedication of taking time away from Canadian National team shows Tancredi's passion for chiropractic in Canada - a field that is still underused for diagnosis and treatment of low back pain, pregnancy care, and sports injuries.

Chiropractic and Active Release Technique for Sports Injuries

While much of the population looks at the chiropractic profession as strictly dealing with back pain, part of our role as chiropractors is to ... Read More

Chiropractic Care for Runners: Enhanced Performance, Faster Recovery

Why does it make sense to see a chiropractor after a marathon? Pain relief, reduction of stiffness, and increased mobility of the back, hips, and legs are just a few reasons that come to mind. While these are fairly obvious and well known benefits of chiropractic care, there is at least one more factor to consider; faster recovery through the reduction of inflammation. With North Vancouver being one of the most active communities in all of Canada, finding a knowledgeable North Shore chiropractor can compliment the training and recovery of marathon runners. 

Researcher Justin Crane, PhD, has extensively studied muscle recovery and has shown that physical medicine is clinically beneficial for reducing inflammation and promoting mitochondrial biogenesis – the cellular process that converts energy in the body. By using a muscle biopsy, Crane was able to look inside the cells and see a reduction in the inflammatory response after treatment. ...Read More

Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Chiropractic and Ear Infections

Otitis media (OM), also known as middle ear infection, cases are constantly on the rise. In the United States, nearly 10 million cases of OM are diagnosed each year, accounting for 35% of all pediatrician visits. Ear infections account for around 3 billion dollars in health care costs and another 3 billion dollars in lost wages from taking time off work to care for little ones. With more and more complications related to antibiotic overuse and high failure rate of surgical tubes, parents are seeking alternatives. 

First, let’s be clear that chiropractic treatment will not cure otitis media. There is much debate about the role of a chiropractor’s involvement in the treatment of OM, and much of it is attributed to the claim of a cure. Once again, for clarity’s sake, chiropractic treatment will not cure ear infections.

However – and that is a big however – ...Read More.