Text Neck

It’s not just a fad term, with the current use of technology, text neck is absolutely real and it’s bad, real bad.

Text neck is a modern day term used to define a postural / overuse syndrome involving the head, neck and shoulders. It typically results from excessive strain on the spine and the surrounding soft tissues from looking in a foward and downward position at hand held devices such as cell phones, laptops, tablets etc. 

Common symptoms may include:

  • pain in the arms, forearms or hands

  • pain the the elbow or wrist joint

  • numbness in the arm, forearm or hands/fingers

  • tight and sore shoulders

  • headaches

A few tips on how to prevent text neck.

  1. - Hold your phone (or device) at eye level

  2. Take frequent breaks from your phone (or device). Avoid looking down for long periods of time (use an app that will cut off your screen time)

  3. Play outside / exercise outdoors

  4. Set a timer / reminder to get up and walk around every 20-30 minutes

  5. Perform neck, chest stretches and chin tucks daily (If unsure of proper form consult with your Chiropractor or RMT before attempting, Safety first!! )

Suspended Treatment Fund

On November 10th, Dr. Shaun and Dr. Jen Maher of Island Chiropractic & Family Wellness will join other care professionals at “Under One Umbrella”, an event at C200 that provides hundreds of at-risk and home-in-secure Cape Bretoners access to care services they’d otherwise go without.  Last year Island Chiropractic was able to help 25 people during the event - but this year, they’ve found a way to keep helping all season long. 

“To provide such relief to those less fortunate in our community was a rewarding experience,” explains Dr. Jen Maher.  “We knew if we asked our clients to join the effort - we could help even more.”

For the rest of November Island Chiropractic will offer scheduled clients and the broader community the opportunity to contribute to a Suspended Treatment Fund which will be used to help those who couldn’t otherwise afford treatment.  Maher says their staff talked about what they could do to help and she and her husbanded decided to match client donations dollar for dollar - doubling the effort to help those in need. 

All money collected in the Suspended Treatment Fund will used to schedule December appointments for in-need community members confidentially nominated by their friends and loved ones through the Island Chiropractic Facebook Page. 

“We want to continue the momentum of ‘Under One Umbrella’ right through the holidays,” Maher said. 
Those interested in donating to the fund are encouraged to call Island Chiropractic & Family Wellness at 902-270-7022.  Nominations will accepted online and by phone beginning November 9th. 

Under One Umbrella: 

CBRM and the Ally Centre are hosting an Under One Umbrella support services day for those in need on November 10th, 2018 from 12pm-4pm at C200 in Sydney. At risk and home-insecure individuals will have free access to medical services, hearing and vision services, foot care, legal aid, clothing, haircuts, income tax info, housing and more.  The event is managed by Christine Porter of The Ally Center. 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)?

Carpal tunnel sydrome is the entrapment of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel. Increased pressure in the carpal tunnel causes the median nerve to be compressed.


What are the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

CTS usually begins as numbness and tingling over the thumb, index and ring fingers. Sometimes the hand may "fall asleep", or experience a loss of grip strength or even drop objects. Some people may experience the hand feeling hot or cold.

Pain may travel down the hand or up forearm towards the shoulder. Day time symptoms tend to increase when you have your wrist and hand in the same position for a prolonged period of time. Usually with your wrist bent forward (flexed) or backwords (extended). Alot of people sleep with their wrist bent so night time symptoms are also very common.

Who is more at risk for developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

  • Individuals with occupational/ activites that require alot of repetitive finger, hand or wrist movements are more at risk.

  • Obesity

  • Diabities

  • Hypothyroidism

  • Rheumatoid arthritits

  • Trauma (dislocation, fracture, laceration)


  • Relative rest or change in activity. Avoid aggravating activites and prolonged wrist positions.

  • Deep tissue massage in forearm flexor muscles, scalenes and shoulder muscles

  • Daily stretching of neck, shoulder, wrist, hand and fingers muscles

  • Grip exercises

  • Myofascial release

  • Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) over the forearm and transverse carpal ligament

  • Wrist and hand mobilization/ manipulation

  • Electrotherapy (Unltrasound, TENS)

  • Wrist bracing or splinting may be recommended at night

  • Work-site ergonomic evaluation for stressors

  • Surgery (usually a last resort and is not a guaranteed cure, however, may be indicated in chronic cases)

Most mild to moderate cases of carpal tunnel syndrome respond very well to massage, chiropractic treatment and other conservative treatments.

*The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained in this post are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this post is to promote broad understanding and knowledge of carpal tunnel syndrome. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

55+ exercise classes

Join Dr. Jen on Wednesdays at Our Lady of Fatima Church at 10:45 for a fun filled exercise class geared towards those 55+.  

Classes start on September 12 and run for 6-weeks.  Classes focus on strength, endurance, mobility and balance.  

All abilities and athletic levels are welcome. 

Cost is $30 for 6-weeks. 

Here are some reasons why you should start today:

  • "In addition to exercises that improve lower-extremity strength, range of motion, and cardiovascular endurance, it is now being recommended that exercise therapy programs also include techniques to improve balance and coordination, and provide patients with an opportunity to practice various skills that they will likely encounter during normal daily activities" (Fitzgerald & Oates)
  • Exercise is an important step towards protecting your bones, as it helps protect your spine, slows the rate of bone loss, and builds muscle strength, which can prevent falls. Exercise is recommended for all people with osteoporosis, even people who have had a spine or hip fracture. (Osteoporosis Canada)

  • A recent Swedish study found that physical activity was the number one contributor to longevity, adding extra years to your life—even if you don’t start exercising until your senior years. But getting active is not just about adding years to your life, it’s about adding life to your years. You’ll not only look better when you exercise, you’ll feel sharper, more energetic, and experience a greater sense of well-being. (Robinson, Smith & Segal)

Call to register 902-270-7022

Capture Cape Breton finalists

Thank you to everyone who entered!  You have no idea how hard it was to choose only six. 

Here are the six finalists for our Capture Cape Breton contest. 

The winner will receive a free massage every Friday in the month of September. 

Vote via Facebook or Instagram, please only one vote per social media account. 

Voting closes at midnight on August 29th 2018.  

Here’s a closer look at our finalists. 


1. Cheticamp, 

Becky Poole


2. L'Archeveque Harbour

Robin Larade


3. Fortress of Louisbourg

Sarah MacInnes


4. Dominion Beach

Shibby Joan


5. Keltic Lodge

Kyle MacDonald


6. Gypsum Mines

Erika Poirier


Take a look at the fine print:

  • entrants must like our Facebook page/follow us on Instagram (this is so we can tag YOU)
  • entry must be a picture of Cape Breton that YOU took - it can be from a "real camera" or a phone, but you must be the photographer
  • winner will receive 4 complimentary Friday 45-minute massages during the month of September
  • massages must be booked in advance
  • prize does not include massage therapist gratuity
  • massages must be claimed by the same person
  • by entering you are giving us permission to use your picture on our website and social media pages  


Capture Cape Breton Contest

Win a FREE massage every Friday for the month of September! 

This summer we've been posting pictures from around Cape Breton, and now it's your turn! 

Send us your most iconic Cape Breton picture and you could be a finalist for a month of complimentary massages!  

How to win:

From August 16th to the 23rd  we are asking people to send us their best Cape Breton picture - it can be of anything (people, scenery, animals, boats)!  We will choose the top 6 entries and have our social media followers vote on the best Cape Breton Picture.  Social media voting will occur from August 24th to the 31st and the winner announce on September 1st!

Fine Print:

- entrants must like our Facebook page (this is so we can tag YOU when asking for people to vote)

- entry must be a picture of Cape Breton that YOU took - it can be from a "real camera" or a phone, but you must be the photographer

- winner will receive 4 complimentary Friday 45-minute massages during the month of September

- massages must be booked in advance

- prize does not include massage therapist gratuity

- massages must be claimed by the same person

- by entering you are giving us permission to use your picture on our website and social media pages  

photo credit: Scott McIntyre, https://www.scottmcintyre.ca

Womens' Wellness Expo

Live a healthier life!
Learn about what types of support exists in our community. 
This is an event mothers can attend with their daughters or grandchildren, sisters can attend with each other and entire families are welcome. 

Saturday, April 7th
Trade Show 9:30-3:00pm
Speaker "Woman's pelvic floor health" with Alana Coady Physiotherapist 10:00 - 10:30am
Cooking Demo #1 with Thyme Savour Take Away 10:30 - 11:00am
Yoga with Kim Lewis 11:00 - 11:45am
Cooking Demo #2 with Ann Marion Willis dietician from Superstore 11:45 - 12:15 pm
Speaker "Getting Healthy and Staying Healthy" 12:15 - 1:00pm
Meditation with Maritime Meditation 1:00 - 1:45 pm
Speaker "Foot issues" with Dr. Amy Welsh - podiatrist 2:00 - 2:30pm
Prize Draw 2:30

Confirmed trade-show attendees include:

  • Ashlee White TCM acupuncture,
  • Enso Float wellness,
  • Dr. Amy Welsh podiatrist,
  • Cabot physiotherapy,
  • Feit physiotherapy,
  • Thyme Savour take away food shop,
  • Ann Marion Willis dietician from Superstore,
  • Island Chiropractic & Family Wellness,
  • Deborah Monaghan RRT & Ayurvedic Reflexologist,
  • Maritime Meditation,
  • Kim Lewis, Yoga instructor
  • Thyme for Ewe Farm
  • CBRM recreation department,
  • CB YMCA,
  • Cape Breastoners dragon boat team
  • Baby Box Canada
  • Cape Breton Family Resource Centre

Volunteers from Our Lady of Fatima Parish will be offering soup and biscuits.  The first 25 people in attendance will receive a complimentary 8x10 portrait from Creative Isle Graphic Design and Photo.  There will also be a prize draw at 2:30 pm that participants do not need to be present for.  Admission is by donation.


Island Chiropractic & 2018 Olympics

Chiropractic and the Olympics

We are cheering on team Canada at the office!  During the 2018 Olympics we will be streaming the Olympics at the office - Feel free to come early and enjoy the spectacular performance!

In celebration of the Olympics we will be giving away a $25 Gold Card to Flavor - in the comments section on Facebook, like, share and post what sport will bring Canada's first gold medal.  All correct entries will be entered to win the gift card to Flavor!

Also - every time Canada wins gold, a local charity will win as well!  Post, share, tag, like and comment on our facebook post we will choose 1 person (and the charity of their choice) with every gold medal Canada wins.

Go Canada Go!

Chiropractic Advent Calendar: Christmas Goodies Galore!


With the holiday spirit in mind, we've put together a little customer appreciation calendar.  Think of it like a Chiropractic advent calendar.  Each (business) day leading up to Christmas there is a special promotion where either every patient we treat on that day will be either entered to win a fabulous prize or will be given a special holiday treat.  

Check our facebook page daily to see what the prize or gift of the day is and of course have a happy holiday season! 

Friday, December 1st - Complimentary consultations & mobility checks today! Must be booked in advance, by availability only. 

Monday, December 4th - All prenatal visits for the month of December will be entered to WIN a free entry to the Mommy Connections Prenatal Class on Saturday January 13th ($80 value!)

Tuesday, December 5th - All patients seen today will receive a 1-week free pass to the YMCA

Wednesday, December 6th - All patients seen today will be entered to WIN tickets to "A Christmas Carol" at the Highlands Arts Theatre

Thursday, December 7th - Buy one $45 gift certificate, get one free! 

Friday, December 8th - Complimentary consultations & mobility checks today! Must be booked in advance, by availability only. 

Monday December 11th - All patients seen today will be entered to win a complimentary Neurokinectic Therapy session with Lori Horvath, RMT.

Tuesday, December 12th - Thumper Sale!  Buy a Thumper and receive a $45 Gift Card!

Wednesday, December 13th - All patients seen today will be entered to win a Family Ski package to Ski Ben Eoin! - (4 lift tickets and 4 rentals)

Thursday, December 14th - 15% off all Rocktape/ KT tape!

Friday, December 15th - Complimentary consultations & mobility checks! Must be booked in advance, by availability only. 

Monday, December 18th - All patients seen this afternoon will receive a free mini photo session and 5x7 by See More Photos!

Tuesday, December 19th - Buy a Biofreeze and get a FREE Cryoblaze hot/cold pack

Wednesday, December 20th - All patients seen today will get 1 free Yoga Class to Breathing Space Yoga Studio!

Thursday, December 21st - All patients seen today will be entered to win a foam roller!

Friday, December 22nd - Complimentary consultations & mobility checks! Must be booked in advance, by availability only. 


Chiropractic Adjustments and Neck Pain

A recent study released in 2017 had some very interesting results.  Inami et al looked at the brain and the neck (via PET scans) before and after a cervical (neck) adjustment. While, unfortunately it was a small sample size (21 males) the results do show there is definitely an influence on the brain in regards to outcomes after an adjustment. 

Significant findings of this study include:

  • Decrease in Muscle Tension in the neck 
  • Increase of neck range of motion
  • Changes in the Cerebellum - where affective processing (sensory), pain modulation and sensorimotor processing occurs - possibly explaining a decrease of pain sensation
  • Changes to the prefrontal cortex - possibly explaining an increase in relaxation

Glucose Metabolic Changes in the Brain and Muscles of Patients with Nonspecific Neck Pain Treated by Spinal Manipulation Therapy: A [18F]FDG PET Study.  Evidence Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. 2017. 4345703. Akie Inami, 1 Takeshi Ogura, 1 , 2 Shoichi Watanuki, 1 Md. Mehedi Masud, 1 , 3 Katsuhiko Shibuya, 4 Masayasu Miyake, 1 Rin Matsuda, 1 Kotaro Hiraoka, 1 Masatoshi Itoh, 4 Arlan W. Fuhr, 5 Kazuhiko Yanai, 1 , 6 and  Manabu Tashiro 1 , 


Healthy options!

Avocado Chocolate Pudding

We are just crazy for the goodness found inside avocados!  Here's a little go to recipe we use when we are craving something sweet and "chocolatey".

5-6 ripe and ready avocados
1/4 cup milk - or dairy free milk (coconut, almond, soy - whatever you are into)
3-4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder - to taste
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste - to taste
pinch of fine salt
2-3 squares of bittersweet chocolate (70% or higher) (we like the lindt bars)
1/4 pure maple syrup (we use Highland Maple Syrup - from right here in Cape Breton!)


  1. Cut and pit avocados and blend in a food processor.
  2. Add the milk, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt: Add the milk, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt - blend till smooth - and transfer to bowl.
  3. Melt chocolate and add to mixture.
  4. Add maple syrup.
  5. Mix.
  6. Add chocolate, syrup or coco to taste.  Can also change consistency by adding more liquid if needed. 
  7. Chill and serve.
  8. Enjoy! 



Chiropractors Reducing, Reusing and Recycling

In Canada over 10.5 million tons of clothing ends up in a landfill every year!  In only one year, there is enough textile waste to create a mountain three times the size of Toronto's Roger Centre Stadium!

Let's do something about that!


  • When: Saturday March 11th 10:00am - Noon
  • What: Island Chiropractic's Kids Clothing Swap
  • Where: 850 Grand Lake Road, suite #3


  1. Swap will be geared towards kids clothing aged 5 and under
  2. Swappers will drop off their items at 9:30am, swapping will begin at 10:00am
  3. Each swapper is asked to bring a minimum of 10 items and a maximum of 20 items (pants/top sets can count as 1 item)
  4. Clothing must be in good condition - no holes, tears, rips, broken zippers, stains etc.
  5. Clothing must be washed
  6. Order of swapping will be determined by draw
  7. For each item brought in, swapper will be given 1 token
  8. For each item swapped, swapper will pay 1 token
  9. Any left over items will be donated to Transition House

Please preregister by emailing us at info@islandchIRo.com and provide the following information: the gender of your child, size of clothing and amount of items (if possible) so we can plan accordingly.

Due to a limited amount of space we will cap the number of participants so please register early!

Please call us at 902-270-7022 if you have any questions. 



What do hockey players, gymnasts, skiers and cheerleaders have in common?

CONCUSSIONS & Chiropractors

·      Concussion is a brain injury caused by a blow to the head, or to another body region resulting in a sudden jarring of the head and neck.

·      You DO NOT have to get “knocked out” (lose consciousness) to get a concussion.

·      Symptoms are not just physical, but can also affect the way you think, memory, and behavior.

·      Usually results in rapid onset, short-lived neurological impairment that resolves in 7-10 days. 

·      X-rays, CT scans and MRIs rarely show any detectable injury.

What are the signs and symptoms of concussions?

**There is a wide range of signs and symptoms that may last only a short time (sometimes under 15 minutes).  Young athletes can have a delayed onset of symptoms and some athletes have a brief period of symptoms that resolve and then return hours/days later.

  • Confusion                   
  • Headache                   
  • Emotional changes
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Amnesia                     
  • Dizziness                   
  • Irritability         
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Disorientation             
  • Balance disruption     
  • Fatigue           
  • Sleeping less than usual
  • Vacant stare              
  • Nausea/Vomiting        
  • Anxiety           
  • Inability to focus
  • Visual disturbances
  • Sadness
  • Feeling as if “in fog”
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Delayed verbal and motor responses
  • Slurred/incoherent speech
  • Excessive drowsiness

Recovering from a concussion

·      See a healthcare provider

·      If the athlete has had head trauma, they do NOT return to play

·      Initial management should include total REST for a period of 24 hours – absolutely no reading, watching TV, playing video games, using a cell phone, playing games, going to school or work, or physical activity

·      Rest your mind and body

·      Focus on improving sleep hygiene – avoid daytime naps

·      Eat a balanced diet, increase consumption of OMEGA 3 fatty acids and vitamin D

·      Meditation / relaxation / visualization exercises have shown improve recovery time

·      The acute use of medication is to be avoided as it can mask the signs of worsening condition

·      The use of NSAIDS (ibuprofen) should be avoided acutely in case of intracranial hemorrhage

·      The athlete should not return to play until given clearance by their DC or MD.  Returning to play too soon can increase the chance of “second impact” syndrome – causing a worsening of the symptoms and suffering a more serious brain injury

Baby Boxes available at Island Chiropractic & Family Wellness

Baby Boxes in Cape Breton

For more than 75 years, Finland's expectant mothers have been given a Baby Box by the state that serves as a starter kit for their new baby. It contains clothes, blankets, other newborn necessities, and the Baby Box itself, which is lined with a mattress.

The Baby Box program has helped Finland achieve one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates. The initiative, which enables every expecting woman in the country to claim a free Baby Box once she receives prenatal care and parenting information from a healthcare professional, is credited with helping to decrease Finland’s infant mortality rate from 65 deaths for each 1,000 children born in 1938 to 3 deaths per 1,000 births in 2013. 

The mission of the Baby Box Company is to improve outcomes for mothers and children; to educate expecting and new parents, promote key health issues like safe sleep practices and breastfeeding, and to promote maternal and infant health and wellbeing.

The Baby Box University is an educational service provided by the Baby Box Company in coordination with committed medical professionals, maternal health advocates and child development specialists for the purposes of reducing infant mortality and empowering parents.  Starting on January 30th, moms-to-be or moms with a baby under the age of 3 months can visit www.babyboxuniversity.com and watch a short educational video.  After watching the video, they will receive a certificate that they can then redeem for their free baby box.

Families in Cape Breton will have access to the baby boxes via distribution locations in Inverness at Inverness Chiropractic and in Sydney at Island Chiropractic & Family Wellness.  “We treat a lot of expectant mothers at our clinic, so we were thrilled when we were chosen as a distribution centre for this great program” says Dr. Jen Maher. Participants who do not have access to the Internet can have arrangements made for them to watch the videos at the distribution locations.

How to get your baby box:


Please call ahead to confirm a pick-up time. 



Locum or Associate Wanted

Locum position May 2017-October 2017 or associate position beginning in May 2017.

The ideal candidate would be available starting in May 2017 to either locum a maternity leave for one of the primary chiropractors.  If the candidate was interested a position as a permanent associate is also an option.   The practice is interested in both new grads and established practitioners alike.

The practice

Two chiropractors currently practice at the location, however one will be on maternity leave starting in May. Practice styles include Diversified, Webster, Thompson and activator.  Acupuncture would be an asset.  Both paid and unpaid treatment outreach opportunities are available.   The candidate will be asked to cover the entire practice load for 2-weeks in May and 2-weeks in September.  Excellent compensation package and moving allowance will be provided.


The Cape Breton Regional municipality is Nova Scotia’s second largest municipality, housing approximately 97,398 residents with approximately 50,000 of those residents being female.  Currently some patients are commute up to 2-hours for appointments.


Cape Breton’s main employment sectors include Cape Breton University, other educational institutions, hospitals, schools, government agencies, local businesses, call centers and a thriving tourism business.  The island lifestyle is a much more relaxed pace than major cities with abundant nature right at the doorstep.  Outdoor enthusiasts are often drawn to Cape Breton with endless activities that include hiking, camping, sailing, golfing, fishing, surfing, downhill and cross-country skiing to name but a few.  Cape Breton is known for having lower housing costs - in 2010 Forbes magazine listed Cape Breton the second most affordable place to purchase a home.

For more information please visit:




Please email info@islandchiro.com for more information or to apply. 

Gluten Free, Dairy Free "Cheesecake"

Dairy Free "Cheesecake"

I've had my eye on this recipe for awhile and I thought Christmas would be the perfect time to try it out.  I can't even start to explain how good this "cheesecake" was!  Every single person that tried it said it was remarkable!  Here are what some people are saying:

  • "This is really really good -what is the crust made out of?" Keith (gluten intolerant)
  • "It was SOOOOOO good" Jen G. (supermom)
  • "DOOD" aka "Good" Ethan, (age 1)

I adapted the recipe from the Helmsley and Helmsley cookbook we got last year for Christmas.    It was the easiest thing on earth to make and it's jam packed with nutrients! 


  • 1 cup pecans
  • 7.5 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 9.5 tablespoons cocao nibs (found them at superstore and at bulk barn)
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 9 tablespoons raw honey
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil (melted) for base
  • 5-6 ripe avocados
  • 3/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil (melted) for the filling
  • stevia to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F - When heated, toast the pecans and coconut on a baking tray for about 7-10 minutes, until coconut is golden.
  2. Line the base (and sides if you wish) of a springform or loose-bottomed 7 inch round cake tin with parchment paper.
  3. Put the pecans, coconut, cocao nibs, pitted dates and 3 tbsp coconut oil in blender/food processor and blend until mixture is crumbly but still holds together, keeping a little crunch is a nice touch.
  4. Fill the bottom of your tin with the base mixture and press it down tight with the back of a spoon - making sure it is even on all sides.  Let the base cool in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
  5. Put the peeled avocados, lime juice, lime zest, raw honey, 3/4 cup coconut oil, and stevia in the blender/food processor and blend until smooth and silky.  The more coconut oil you use the thicker your cake will become.  Check for taste and add more lime juice, honey or stevia based on your preference for sweet vs. tart. (to be honest I used barely any stevia when I made mine). 
  6. Pour filling in the cake pan, cover the top and return to fridge for at least 4 hours or let rest overnight. 
  7. Before serving carefully remove cake from pan - you may need to run a knife around the edges before removing cake. 
  8. Enjoy!

Ps - I thought a little bit of drizzled dark chocolate, or toasted coconut could make a nice addition to the cake - but it's pretty perfect as it. 

P.Ps - You could use this base for any other type "non-bake" cakes too - it was seriously that good.