Richmond Chiropractic Centre


#5520-8181 Cambie Road
Richmond, BC
V6X 1J8

Phone number:

+1 (604) 270-1007


Consultation hours

Monday, Thursday and Saturday | 9am – 2pm
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday | 9am – 6pm

Posts Tagged: spine

Prepare yourself for Gardening

      Begin exercising now if you haven’t been active all winter.

      You may be tempted to spend the whole weekend in the garden when it’s mild and sunny.  But if you haven’t prepared yourself physically, you  could end up with aching muscles, a sore back and painful joints.

      Gardening may not be an intense sport but it’s lots of hard work.  One can burn up to 300 calories per hour.  With all the lifting and squatting involved, it can also be an effective method for muscle conditioning.

Most people garden for fun and for stress relief, but gardening can also have lots of health benefits.  If done regularly, it can provide enough activity to reduce the risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Be Proactive

  • Try to exercise all year long!
  • Begin with aerobic activities such as walking, stairclimbing or fitness classes 3 times a week and strength training twice a week
  • Exercises like lunges, squats, rows, lat-pulldowns, push-ups, tricep and bicep curls, crunches and spinal stabilization exercises.  Two sets of 8 repetitions of each exercise will help aviod extreme stiffness.

Go Slowly

  • Don’t do too much, too soon!
  • Plan your gardening 20-30 minutes at a time in the beginning about 3 times a week, then slowly increase the duration.  In time, you will be able to safely spend the day in the garden

Warm Up First

  • Go for a 6-12 minute walk and stretch out muscles you will be using that day.  Arms, legs, back, and even fingers.

Move Around

  • Don’t stay in one position too long!
  • Avoid kneeling or bending forward for extend period of time.  Get up and walk around.  Take a few more breaks

Tuck in that Gut

  • Always keep your core, abdominal muscles, contracted while gardening.  This will help you support your back and decrease the risk of injury.  This may require some practice but strengthening your core is essential for any health spine.

Use your Legs

  • Bend your knees and use your leg muscles when lifting, bending, pushing or pulling.  Always use good lifting technique and avoid twisting when diggin, lifting or carrying.

Water Yourself

  • Keep yourself hydrated especially in the sun. Just like exercising in the gym, have a sip of water every 15 minutes.  If you are thirsty, drink more.  Depleted water levels will tighten your muscles as well. 

Cool Down

  • After a long day of gardening, you’ll have used many muscles throughout your body.  It is now important to stretch out those muscles groups to decrease the chances of muscle cramps.

Enjoy your garden and remember to stop and smell your roses!!


Back to School – Proper Backpacks for Students

I can’t believe the summer is almost over. Students will be back to school.

It is important to know what type of backpack to use and how to use it properly. Research has shown that wearing poorly designed or overloading backpacks has a long-term health risks in students’ growing spine. In fact, over 50% of Canadian youths suffer from one episode of back pain once in their school year. That is why it is important to know how to carry your loads safely and comfortably to prevent poor posture, neck and shoulder injuries.

  • Elementary students should not carry more than 10% of their body weight and secondary students should avoid weight exceeding 15% of their weight? So, if your child is 80 pounds, he shouldn’t carry more than eight pounds- or the equivalent of a pair of shoes, a snack, drink and 2-3 textbooks.
  • Backpacks should be made of the lightest material possible– vinyl and canvas are much better than leather.
  • The top of the backpack should not extend higher than the top of the shoulder and the bottom should not fall below the top of the hipbone.
  • The shoulder straps should be at least 2 inches wide and should not fit too snugly around the arms, straining muscles and affecting nerves.
  • A hip strap or waist belt can take as much as 50-70% of the weight off the shoulders and spine. The waist belt will equalize the strain on the bones, joints and muscles.
  • Students should pack the heaviest items closest to the body so that the weight is nearest the body’s own centre of gravity.
  • A backpack that is too heavy or rides too low causes one to lean forward and put extra strain on the back.
  • Both straps are critical to avoiding injury- as slinging the pack on one-side causes the spine to lean, increasing the likelihood of middle and lower back problems that can worsen later in life.
  • The best way to put on a pack is to place it on a desk or table at waist height and then slip it on. Avoid twisting!!


Have your spine checked regularly to ensure proper alignment. Prevention is key to avoiding injuries. Ask about the British Columbia Chiropractic Association backpack safety program, “Pack it Light, Wear it Right.”

Kids & Poor Computer Posture

For parents: Here are a few recommendations you can help your children set up their computers to avoid the risk of life-long poor posture, cumulative trauma disorders or repetitive strain injuries. You should be concerned not only what your children are viewing on the Internet, but also how they are sitting while in front of their computers.

The following advice is similar to that which I would give to an adult, simply adapted for a smaller body.

  • Monitor should be located directly in front of the body with the eyes directed at the upper 1/3 of the screen. For a child, raise the chair so their eyes are at the correct level.
  • Feet should reach the floor. If they don’t, a stool should be placed under the feet so that knees are bent at approximately 100 degrees.
  • Elbows should be at 90 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. Keep the elbows close to the body, without having to reach for the mouse and/or keyboard.
  • A good chair should support the back with knees resting two inches from the front edge. Place a pillow, or lumbar back support, behind the child’s back for support and to move them forwards so their knees hang free
  • Head and shoulders should be relaxed and neutral. Watch for their heads jutting forward.
  • Watch the time! Breaks should be taken every 20 to 30 minutes.

Most children, and adults, are now working longer times on the desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. It is so important to train our bodies to have better postures as early as possible.

Parents should have their children’s posture assessed once a year by their chiropractors to facilitate proper spinal health in their growing spine.