TV infomercials offer a world of potential solutions for back pain, but most of them have at least one of three problems – they're unproven, unworkable or just plain unattractive.
This article was originally published on The Conversation, an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts. Disclosure information is available on the original site.
University of Waterlook professor emeritus of spine biomechanics and evidence-based back care expert Stuart McGill will be hosting a webinar entitled, Working with the Back-Pained Patient, on Sept. 13 at 12 noon.
Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is a common condition that causes pain and physical impairment, most frequently during the antepartum (before delivery) period. A new guideline for evidence-based physical therapy practice for PGP during pregnancy appears in the Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy, official journal of the Section on Women's Health (SOWH) of the American Physical Therapy Association. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.
If you've ever weaved your hair into a tight braid, stuffed it into a swim cap or gotten it tugged and twisted tightly back on your head for a formal event, you may have felt uncomfortable.
Skin cancer is a major public health concern in Canada. According to recent estimates, the economic burden of skin cancer in Canada exceeds $530 million per year, and this cost is expected to rise.   
Patients taking prescription opioids before knee replacement operation has poorer pain outcomes six months post-surgery, according to a study published May 17 in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. The journal is published in partnership with Wolters Kluwer.
EDMONTON – Alberta's auditor general has called for immediate action to improve a health-care system he says is still falling short despite years of recommendations on how to make it better.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) could be a powerful tool to help elite sportspeople improve their performance by handling stress more effectively, new research has found.
Just 10 minutes of daily mindful mediation can help prevent one's mind from wandering and is particularly effective for people who tend to have repetitive, anxious thoughts, according to a study from the University of Waterloo.
San Diego, Calif. – Surgical approaches to treating tennis elbow may not offer additional benefit to patients, according to research presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Specialty Day in San Diego. The study, a randomized, double-blinded clinical trial, explored patient responses to a common surgery aimed at repairing a damaged elbow, compared to a placebo procedure.
For more than 16 years, registered massage therapist (RMT) Chris O’Connor worked with people going through various mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and eating disorders.
According to one Gallup poll, 50 per cent of employees leave their job because of their bosses. However other studies have shown that employees can leave for a number of other reasons such as opportunity, better pay, or more responsibility.
For many business owners, the lure of social media is hard to resist. It offers the ability to reach and engage their market on their own terms, to promote their products and services, and the freedom to do it all from the kitchen table or smart phone. And the best part is that it's free. Or is it?
Running a successful health-care practice requires both medical and business expertise. It is critical to stay on top of day-to-day finances to manage the ups and downs of a competitive market. What happens when the time comes to take the practice to the next level, or an emergency strikes?
After a few years of toiling in the trenches of practice development, owning an integrative practice can seem like a logical next step. But the decision to expand your practice to include other health-care practitioners can be fraught with hesitation and overwhelm.
The list of traits a successful business owner needs never seems to end. From selling skills to time management, it seems we all need help in becoming something we're not. And while some might say this can be a complicated effort, I believe it can be so effortless, a regular pencil can be a source of inspiration.
After more than ten years of social media, one could argue that companies and their owners are still shouting instead of listening, promoting instead of educating, or following company policies instead of customer needs. This kind of behavior will only lead to less interest, less loyalty and fewer sales.
To drive business to your RMT practice you likely have your contact information in multiple locations on the Internet: your website, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, and the like. As a result, you receive many email inquiries from potential clients and are accustomed to opening messages from people you do not know. This is exactly the results you are wanting, but it comes with some risks. Not only is your email address available to new clients, it is also exposed to online predators who are out to do you harm. Therefore, email from unknown sources should be handled with care.
Dynamic Health Therapy, owned and operated by Sean-Michael Latimour, a registered massage therapist, and his wife Adrianne, has become a focal point of health and wellness in Keswick, Ont. What’s more, the couple has figured out how to scale up and create a highly lucrative business model.
For those of you who have created a LinkedIn profile just because it seemed like the right thing to do, consider this your secret strategy session to finding new opportunities, new clients, or just keeping on top of industry news.
As a massage therapist, last-minute cancellations and no-shows are a major hurdle to overcome. Just a few empty time slots here and there can cost you a lot of money in the long run. For a practice that charges $90 per hour for a massage therapy session, just five empty, hour-long slots a week can mean a loss of more than $20,000 in revenue over the course of a year.
Health-care facilities can be stressful places for patients and visitors, with depressing waiting rooms, rows of uncomfortable seating, a blaring television. But designers of some medical spaces are remedying the situation.
According to a study commissioned by GoDaddy, 60 per cent of small businesses don't have a website. Factor in that, according to Google, 97 per cent of consumers search online for businesses and products before making a purchase, and it could be argued that having a professional website is essential for success. Regardless of your industry, your website needs to accomplish some key objectives.
A Toronto lawyer has expressed concern a new Ontario legislation designed to protect patients from sexual abuse in the hands of a health-care professional may result in unintended consequences.
HALIFAX, N.S. – Hundreds of patient records at the Nova Scotia Health Authority were inappropriately accessed in two separate incidents involving six employees.
In 2006, Cheryl Mazak, RMT, was at a low point. Ten years into her profession, she was worn out from the hectic pace and frustrated by the relatively meager pay she was making at a clinic in Ottawa. Her right wrist was in constant pain. And she no longer felt fulfilled by her career.
The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) has drafted a new standard in light of the recent passage of a provincial legislation aimed at cracking down on incidents of sexual abuse of clients across all regulated health professions in Ontario.
OTTAWA – A former Liberal cabinet minister who led a federally appointed task force on legalizing cannabis says Canada's plan to greenlight the drug for recreational use is in keeping with the spirit of international treaties – all of which criminalize the possession and production of marijuana.
Massage Therapy Canada magazine has invited thought leaders in the massage therapy profession to help shape the publication’s editorial direction. These industry experts will comprise the magazine’s newly formed editorial advisory board.
Do you find yourself emotionally spent at the end of your treatment day? Is it hard to drag yourself to the clinic the next morning? Are you able to leave the frustration of a bad commute in your car when you walk into the treatment room?
In the industry of rebuilding backs, Stuart McGill’s name deserves neon light treatment. His three text books are designed “for everyone who wants their swagger back.” While Low Back Disorders: Evidence-Based Prevention and Rehabilitation was written wholly for clinicians, his second book, Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance attracted a captive trainer, coach and athlete-dominant audience.
Canada's unresolved pain problems have contributed to the growing opioid crisis that continues to result in thousands of deaths across the country. One in five Canadians suffer from chronic pain.
The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) is seeking registrants' feedback on proposed changes to the quality assurance regulation.
VANCOUVER – The Registered Massage Therapists' of B.C. (RMTBC) will host a one-day symposium that will tackle what the association is describing as a "ground breaking, science-backed research on the benefits of massage therapy to mental health."
I first became involved in activities related to Alberta’s massage therapy regulation in late 2002 when I was president of the Massage Therapist Association of Alberta (MTAA). Since then, I have been committed to seeing massage therapy become a regulated health profession in the province. I’m not the only one – many people have dedicated efforts and mountains of volunteer hours over multiple decades, and yet the work continues.
Athletes at all levels are pressured to be physically superior, which can cause many to overlook their mental health needs.
Workers who stand on the job most of the time are at greater risk of heart disease than workers who predominantly sit.
CALGARY – Canada's elite athletes are smoking, eating and investing in marijuana. Is a toke before stepping to the start line far off?
Wellness rather than beauty was the message at the annual International Spa Association event in New York. While there were plenty of skin products and treatments on display, the bigger trend in the spa world remains alleviating stress.
People who are diagnosed with coronary artery disease and then develop depression face a risk of death that's twice as high as heart patients without depression, according to a major new study by researchers at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City.
In light of the increasingly aging population in Canada and advances in digital technology innovation in health care, a new study commissioned by Telus Health reveals those who would benefit most from health-care innovation are the least likely to adopt it.
Self-care. Self-renewal. They are vague concepts we push on our clients for their ‘take-home’ after a massage treatment. It all seems so achievable at the moment – but where to begin? Axe-throwing? A grown-up bouncy castle? As massage therapists, are we taking note of our own homework?
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – University of Alabama at Birmingham assistant professor of medicine Dr. Stefan Kertesz, recently co-wrote and published an editorial commentary on a new randomized controlled trial focusing on prescribing yoga for low back pain.
Christine Sinclair has always done her talking on the soccer field. She has carried the Maple Leaf at the Olympics, represented her country 259 times, scored 168 goals and led Canada to back-to-back Olympic medals. And the classy Canadian captain has done it quietly, without a fuss. She is not one to seek the public eye.
HALIFAX – For Janet Glazebrook, having to beg a doctor to test her sister for hip fractures after waiting hours in a crowded emergency room helped determine her vote in Nova Scotia's May 30 election.
Canada is in the midst of an epidemic of opioid use and abuse – involving both prescription and illicit forms of the potent narcotics – that shows no signs of abating and has led to an explosion of fatal overdoses.
BOSTON – Meet a victim of the nation's opioid addiction scourge: the American worker.A number of U.S. states are taking steps through their workers compensation systems to stem the overprescribing of the powerful painkillers to workers injured on the job, while helping those who became hooked to avoid potentially deadly consequences.
An illness, an accident, or even just getting older can limit a person's capacity for exercise. Rest is an essential component of healing, but it also atrophies muscles.
Results of a recent collaborative review and meta-analyses of massage therapy for pain have been published.
LOS ANGELES – Dr. Jay R. Lieberman, chair and professor of orthopedic surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, has received a five-year, $2.2 million grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases to research gene therapy to enhance repair of extensive bone injuries.
People experiencing migraines often avoid light and find relief in darkness. A new study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston has revealed a previously unknown connection between the light-sensitive nerve cells in the eye and centers in the brain that regulate mood and a host of physical parameters such as heart rate, shortness of breath, fatigue, congestion and nausea.
Workplace injuries don't just come from lifting heavy things or falling off a ladder. People with desk jobs can develop debilitating hand and wrist problems that make it difficult to work, and poorly designed software could be to blame. However, researchers at the Texas A&M School of Public Health are creating tools to that could help develop safer software.
OTTAWA – The federal government needs to make research into the effects of pot a priority as Ottawa works to legalize and regulate marijuana by next July, a coalition of academics said Monday.
EDMONTON – Myositis Canada has awarded a $10,000 research grant that aims to improve the process of diagnosis for myositis.
Stroke patients who learned to use their minds to open and close a device fitted over their paralyzed hands gained some control over their hands, according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
The Center for Joint Preservation at the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics at Sinai Hospital in Maryland is participating in a clinical study with Orthofix International N.V. to assess the effectiveness and safety of pulsed electromagnetic field technology (PEMF) for osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.
While regular exercise is known to reduce inflammation over time, it actually increases inflammation in the short term. This is a concern for children with sickle cell disease, a condition that is marked by increased inflammation that can cause severe pain.
BOSTON – New research from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Boston Children's Hospital shows that chronic sleep loss increases pain sensitivity. It suggests that chronic pain sufferers can get relief by getting more sleep, or, short of that, taking medications to promote wakefulness such as caffeine. Both approaches performed better than standard analgesics in a rigorous study in mice, described in the May 8, 2017 issue of Nature Medicine.
ORLANDO – Insufficient sleep, a common problem that has been linked to chronic disease risk, might also be an unrecognized risk factor for bone loss. Results of a new study were presented at the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, held April 1 to 4.
As a massage therapist, I appreciate and benefit from the relationship between our professional association and our regulatory body.
Mental illness is not always an easy conversation topic. The fact that one in five Canadians will personally experience a mental health issue in their lifetime does not make it any less uncomfortable or less stigmatizing. It does make it all the more real, however.
Recently, a distraught young mother from British Columbia took her own life while in the grip of postpartum depression, leaving behind a grieving husband and infant son. She was a registered nurse and had been seeking treatment for depression and anxiety. Tragically, the health-care system she worked for was unable to help her.
Four years ago, at age 84, my dad survived a severe stroke. The downside is that during his hospital stay this otherwise fit person was put on a drug regimen and has been taking nine prescription drugs a day ever since.
Much of the talk around solutions to the country's growing opioid crisis has been focused on treating overdoses, mainly by increasing the availability of naloxone kits for first responders as a stopgap measure. Some have also suggested pouring more resources into addiction treatment centres to help those with drug dependency problems get better.
TORONTO/Troy Media/ – Canada has a mismatch between the world-class health research we produce and how that research is implemented into our health-care system.
In this episode of Practice Points, Don Dillon tackles the profession's seeming snobbery of massage therapy in spa settings, despite forming part of the profession's history and evolution.For more on this topic, read Dillon's article, "Time to snub professionals snobbery."
There's been another arrest of a massage therapist charged with inappropriate or sexual touching. The year 2016 yielded a number of similar media reports regarding Canadian massage therapists. While the number of complaints against registered massage therapists are relatively small, we might be concerned about the quality of media coverage in these events, how they affect public perception, and the process by which the public are filing complaints.
There have been some movements in the push for the regulation of Alberta’s massage therapists. Three massage therapy associations in the province have formed a coalition to restart the process of regulating massage therapy in Alberta, and have jointly submitted an updated application to regulate with the health ministry.
There is growing concern in the health care community about increasing incidents of prescription painkiller addiction and related deaths, and the significant toll it's taking on the health care system.
Any massage therapist practicing for a length of time typically confronts two obstacles: work capacity is limited by the strength and endurance of the practitioner and second, income is directly limited by work capacity. Subject to fatigue and wear-and-tear from years of caring for others, a massage therapist's work capacity and income can descend a slippery slope over the length of their career.
We know that Canada's population is aging. Among the many statistics that have been reported is how in 2015, the proportion of Canadian seniors surpassed that of youth under 15 for the first time. The gap will continue to widen over the next 20 years.
EmoBridge has introduced what it claims is the world's first smart wristband for accurately tracking and analyzing daily stress levels and sleep patterns to help people live a more well-balanced, peaceful life. The new Sensmi is built with patented, hospital-grade GSR-PRO bio-sensing technology that tracks brainwave activity through galvanic skin response (GSR) and a proprietary algorithm that disperses data that is easily understandable. Sensmi provides users with straightforward results and easy-to-follow instructions on how to confront lifestyle stressors.
iMag contains a 100 per cent naturally occurring form of magnesium chloride. Its zero stability constant makes it the most bioavailable form of the magnesium ion for humans. iMag is sourced from the Ancient Underground Zechstein Seabed, a mineral deposit in the Netherlands which has been preserved underground for over 250 million years, making it naturally pure and free of pollution and heavy metal toxins. The people at iMag are focused on purity and quality, and stress that this precious form of natural magnesium is not only unprocessed, but unlike most other products. It is packaged in glass, as opposed to plastic, which is known to leach chemicals that have been linked to cancer, mental, hormonal and even fertility problems. iMag can be found at ineedmag.com, which is also linked to its sister website that serves as a comprehensive data resource for all things magnesium: imagnesium.com. iMag is a proud Canadian company founded by Matt Selma.
Vitality Depot has launched Pain Gone, a clinically tested pen-like device that patients can use for pain management.
Length Tension Testing provides clear and comprehensive descriptions and photos for assessing flexibility and length tension in the muscles of the lower quadrant. Book 1, Lower Quadrant includes techniques for the lumbar spine and pelvis, hip, knee, and foot and ankle, while Book 2, Upper Quadrant features techniques for the cervical spine, temporomandibular joint, thoracic spine, shoulder, elbow, and wrist and hand.Each technique listing includes concise, standardized descriptions of the actions and positions involved, high-quality colour photos and alternative positions to accommodate patient variability and comfort. Most of these tests can be adapted into treatment techniques. These resources are designed to help physiotherapists, kinesiologists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and osteopaths improve patient care, and they will be invaluable references for students at the college and university level, book proponents say.Length Tension Testing is written by Paolo Sanzo and Murray MacHutchon. Sanzo is an assistant professor in the school of kinesiology and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine at Lakehead University. A practicing physiotherapist at the Victoriaville Physiotherapy Centre in Thunder Bay, Ont., Sanzo is also an examiner and instructor with the Orthopaedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. MacHutchon is a physiotherapist at Pembina Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic in Winnipeg, Man. He is also an examiner and instructor with the Orthopaedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.
Brain Stars: Glia Illuminating CranioSacral Therapy by Tad Wanveer, LMBT, CST-D, has simplified the complexity of the function of glial cells within the craniosacral system. Upledger Institute International is excited to announce the release of this highly informative book.The information presented, along with the author's own numerous illustrations, make it a valuable resource to any CranioSacral Therapist (CST) desiring to grow in their understanding of how the body functions, and for those wanting to further their ability to help their patients overcome dysfunction. CranioSacral therapists have a wealth of knowledge to gain and nothing to lose by reading this book, according to Upledger Institute.Brain Stars: Glia Illuminating CranioSacral Therapy can be purchased at: shop.iahe.com for $74.95.
LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services has launched JOINTstat, a diagnostic blood test for rheumatoid arthritis. The JOINTstat blood test is the first test of its kind available in Canada that aids in the early detection and diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. When caught and treated early, rheumatoid arthritis outcomes can be greatly improved.
Massage therapists have a new convenient option for processing client payments. Amazon is taking direct aim at mobile payment systems such as Square by introducing the Amazon Local Register, a credit-card processing device and mobile app designed to help small business owners accept payments through their smartphones and tablets. The move places the largest U.S. e-commerce retailer in competition with Square and other established mobile payment processing systems such as PayPal Here and Intuit's GoPayment.
Massage Warehouse, providers of high quality, cost-effective massage products, announces the release of its paraben-free line of Massage FX lotions and creams. Parabens, preservatives that are quickly absorbed through the skin, have been shown to mimic the activity of estrogen in the body’s cells. Some researchers suggest that methylparaben, which is widely used in cosmetics and skin creams, may increase risk of breast cancer, or accelerate the growth of these tumors.
Dr. Chris Oswald had been practicing chiropractic in the Toronto area for 16 years when he reached a point of frustration and decided to change the game.
While people usually think of sports when talking about athletic activity, most Canadians engage in some form of physical activity every day. Whether it’s lifting an infant into a highchair, running for the bus or bending to reach a fallen sock behind the dryer, people move and exert their bodies constantly – sometimes feeling the pain from those movements.
May 20, 2014 – Tiger Woods still doesn't know when he'll return. For a while, he didn't know whether he would return at all. On Monday, Woods said his back injury became so debilitating this year it caused him to doubt his ability to play golf again.
May 14, 2014 — A new study from the University of Messina in Italy and University of Louisville in Kentucky shows wearable pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) device may help reduce pain for patients with osteoarthritis.

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