Are you an athlete looking to improve your performance? An armchair athlete looking to get motivated? Ottawa Osteopathy & Sports Therapy provides articles for injury prevention and improved performance, and expert tips to help maintain your active lifestyle!

In this edition:

- Ergonomics: Getting it straight

- Gift certificates now available

- Record keeping for your health

- Headaches and their solutions

- Shauna Ironside defends her osteopathy thesis

Give the gift of health!

We are now offering gift certificates for all of our services at the clinic.

As we enter another year full of birthdays and celebrations, make gift-giving easier by giving the gift of health and wellness.

Consider a gift certificate for any of the following:

- Massage Therapy
- Osteopathy
- Athletic Therapy
- Physiotherapy
- Running Assessments

They'll never expire and you can give them to anyone you'd like.

You can use these certificates for an initial assessment or an
ongoing treatment.

ow to get them?

Give us a call at the clinic at (613) 521-3222.

We'll take your payment over the phone and mail or email you the gift certificate.

Winter 2012

Computer ergonomics: Get it straight or you'll feel the pain!

Follow these 5 rules and you'll finish your day pain-free.

Neck, back and shoulder pain don't have to be a part of your day at work and they certainly shouldn't follow you home at night. Low back pain affects up to 85% of the working population at least once in their lives (Institute for Work and Health). Sadly the costs of these trends have risen 40% since 2006.

1) Keep your curves. Maintaining the normal curvature in your lower back while sitting reduces pressure on the discs in your back. This lowers your risk of a disc herniation. If you're 5 foot 5 and use a chair that feels like it's made for someone a foot taller than you, it's time to make a change. Ask for an ergonomic assessment from a trained occupational therapist and get your work station set up for your body. You can visit Kinemedics to arrange an ergonomic assessment.

2) Don't sit for too long. Set your default printer to the one down the hall. Getting up and standing or walking periodically reduces tissue strain on the disc and muscles. Too busy to take breaks? The longer your day, the more you need to get up. Even short breaks (3-4 minutes) of standing and walking make a big difference for your back.

3) Don't stick you neck out for anyone. If your screen is too low, your font is too small or your back is rounded, you'll find yourself sitting with the dreaded "head forward posture". This is the major cause of avoidable headaches, chronic neck tension, and shoulder pain. Not sure what your work station ergonomics should look like for your body? Have a look at our Workplace Ergonomics Handout that you can print off and compare with your current computer set up.

4) Stretch it out. Make stretching part of your regular day at work. Try to do them at the same time every day. Studies show that people who exercise at the same time every day have the greatest chance of sticking with the program long term. Print out our "Officewise Stretches" here and do them each day after your lunch break.

5) Don't reach too far. If your mouse, phone or documents that you use regularly are more than an arm's reach away, they're too far. Clear away the front of your desk and keep those items close to you to minimize strain on your neck back and shoulders.

If you use paper documents on a regular basis you should get a document holder to hold your papers vertically next to your screen. If you regularly use the telephone, ask for a wireless head set with a lifter to answer calls and keep working without cradling the phone on your shoulder.

Remember: pain is not normal. If you are dealing with pain on a daily or weekly basis, it's time to do something about it. Give us a call and after we've assessed you, we'll help you figure our what areas of your workplace setup are causing your pain.

Knowing how to limit the physical strain on your body will allow you to focus on your work and not on your pain.

Be your own record keeper.

Do you keep a medical file in your home?

Every time you undergo an exam, imaging procedure (X-ray, MRI, CT Scan etc) or surgical procedure, you should request to receive a printed or digital copy of the results or test. You can do this by calling the medical office or hospital (ask for patient archives) where the procedure was done. Request to have a copy of the records you are looking for sent to you.

Canadian laws require written patient consent before any records can be released. This can usually be done by fax.  Feel free to call us and we can assist in getting you a copy of relevent MRI's, X-rays, or reports. We may ask you to fill out a Request for Patient Records form to comply with privacy protocols. Sometimes if a clinic requests the reports you can avoid paying copy fees from the hospital.

Imaging and post-operative reports are very helpful when giving the history of your condition to a new health care practitioner. Having all these reports in one place in your home will save you headache and running around when you need them most.

For longer or more recurrent conditions we also encourage point-form health history timelines to be completed before coming in.  Though we have a comprehensive health history form at the clinic, it is both convenient and easy to have a point-form timeline before coming in. It is not mandatory but certainly expedites the evaluation process.

If you have a question about medical records or you'd like help tracking down your reports and results, you can email us at or call us at (613) 521-3222.

Headaches and migraines affecting your life?

3 common headaches and their solutions:

Headaches can make your day unbearable and follow you wherever you go. The good news is that most headaches respond well to conservative treatment in manual therapy.

1) Tension-Type Headaches: Most common type of headache where a chronic or recent increase in muscle tension in the neck or jaw pull on the attachments near the scalp. This tension creeps up slowly and often goes unnoticed by the headache sufferer. Pain can be behind the eyes, at the temple or high up at the back of the head. Studies show that massage therapy can decrease these kinds of headaches.

2) Migraine headaches: Typically more severe and can cause light or noise sensitivity. Pain can be anywhere on the face or head and triggers include hormone changes, food sensitivities, fatigue and stress. Osteopathy can significantly reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. Commonly, stretches are prescribed to correct muscle imbalances when they are present.

3) Sinus headaches: Occurs less frequently but can cause pain in the face, cheeks, bridge of the nose and forehead. This condition is often worsened by previous trauma or surgery to the face. Treatments can be a combination of manual therapy, stretches for the neck and osteopathic facial cranial techniques.

If you want to take control over your headaches or migraines, give us a call and we'll help you decide which type of therapy can correct the causes of your pain.


Shauna Ironside graduates from osteopathy school!

After 5 years of post-grad education and a clinical research project, Shauna has sucessfully defended her thesis!

Shauna now joins the ranks with Christian Albrecht and Richard Gregory as osteopathic manual practitioners with dual professional training at our clinic.

She completed her studies in Athletic Therapy back in 2001 and has been working towards her osteopathy diploma, which encompasses an additional 3000 or so techniques.

After six years of education, she graduated with honours from the Canadian College of Osteopathy in Toronto.

She has been integrating these manual therapy skills into her practice throughout her studies and is now able to provide insurance receipts in Osteopathy and Athletic Therapy.

You can email Shauna at or call (613) 521-3222 to book an appointment.

Ottawa Osteopathy & Sports Therapy offers:
- Osteopathy
- Athletic Therapy
- Physiotherapy
- Massage Therapy
- Running Performance Assessments

Email us at

Visit our website at

Call the clinic at (613) 521-3222
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