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What is Osteopathy Treatment

What is Osteopathy Treatment?

Osteopathy treatment is a non-invasive therapy that aims to improve the patient’s overall health instead of treating a specific illness or group of symptoms. This is because symptoms occurring in one area of your body can be linked to a problem occurring elsewhere. It is based on the principle that your physical and mental well-being relies on your nervous, circulatory, and lymphatic systems working well together.

Osteopaths use manual therapy such as massaging, stretching, and manipulating the musculoskeletal system to diagnose, treat, and prevent injury or illness. It can also be used to complement traditional medicine.

Benefits

Whether you’re injured, have unexplained pains and stiffness, or suffer from health conditions associated with aging – our osteopaths can help to restore your overall health so you can feel like yourself again.

When it comes to your wellbeing a one-size-fits-all approach will not work. Our osteopaths will assess your condition and provide a personalized treatment plan after determining the health of your joints, ligaments, and tissues. This is often done by examining your body’s structure, mobility, and the areas you are experiencing pain or stiffness.

Osteopathy helps to reduce pain, improve mobility and blood circulation as well as increase lymphatic fluid drainage.

Osteopathy is often used to treat chronic pains (neck, back, and shoulder), headaches, migraines, arthritis, digestive issues, sports injuries, and other musculoskeletal conditions.

 Some other ways Osteopathy can help you improve your health are:

  • Reducing muscle tension
  • Correcting poor posture
  • Relieving stress
  • Promoting better sleep
  • Managing hormonal changes during pregnancy

Most patients start seeing results from our treatment after the first session. However, depending on the severity of your condition, it can take 3 to 4 sessions to feel the benefits of the therapy. Osteopathy treatment isn’t an instant cure but a gradual process where your symptoms are reduced over time until you return to full health.

At Activa Clinics our team of multidisciplinary health care providers collaborate together to provide our patients with the better outcomes through physical care as well as availability of mental health solutions.

Our osteopaths are also trained to check for signs of serious health conditions and will advise you if you need to see your physician.

Some work place health plans cover Osteopathic treatment. Call us to book your appointment.

self massage techniques

Self Massage Tips for Tension Relief

Take Care of Yourself with These Self Massage Techniques

You probably know that massage therapy offers many benefits. It can help relieve stress, improve circulation, reduce pain, restore flexibility, improve sleep, and more.

The best way to take advantage of these benefits is by visiting a registered massage therapist. They have the expertise to identify your health issues and the best types of massage to treat you. 

However, between your visits to a professional, there are some simple self-massage techniques you can use whenever you need them.

Face

Massaging certain areas of the face can help when you feel a tension headache coming on. Using your fingertips, apply gentle pressure and make small circles along your hairline, at your temples, above your eyebrows, around your cheekbones, and the sides of your jawbone.

Another technique for releasing tension from the muscles in your head is to apply pressure to the bridge of your nose. When sitting, rest your elbows on a desk or table and interlace your fingers. Then lean forward and rest the bridge of your nose on your thumbs, so that your thumbs are holding the weight of your head. Hold that position for between 30 seconds and one minute. These techniques should leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. 

Feet

This technique is great for dealing with foot pain due to overuse. Sit in a chair and put a tennis ball (or another round object like a water bottle) on the floor. Place a foot on top of the ball so it’s under the arch of your foot. Then start rolling your foot around to apply pressure and stretch different areas of the foot, including the arch, heel, and toes. Keep going for a few minutes before switching to the other foot.

This technique stimulates and stretches the foot muscles and improves circulation.

Lower Back

This self-massage for treating lower back pain is another technique where your trusty tennis ball will come in handy. Stand with your back to a wall and place the ball in between the wall and your lower back. Start moving your body from side to side and up and down until you find tense muscles. 

Once you locate a tender area, push your back into the ball to massage those muscles with stronger pressure. The pressure should be strong enough to squish the ball a bit, but not so strong that you feel pain. Also, avoid massaging the spine because that has the chance of causing an injury.

Neck and Shoulders

Tension in the neck and shoulders can contribute to headaches and make it difficult to perform even simple tasks. It is often the result of poor posture. To overcome neck and shoulder issues, start by using one hand to squeeze the base of your neck from behind. Then slowly work your way upwards, squeezing and releasing along the way. Next, rub the base of your skull with both hands, moving your fingers in a circular motion. Continue that motion while moving back down the neck and along both shoulders.

Wrists

Pain, tension, and injuries in the wrists are common because they can be caused by simple repetitive motions that you probably perform regularly, like typing at a computer. To avoid these issues, you should take regular breaks and do some quick stretches and massages.

Start by laying one hand, palm side up, on top of your thigh. Then use your other palm to apply pressure to your forearm and slide it towards your wrist. You should use enough pressure that you feel some heat from the friction, but not enough to feel pain. Do the same motion starting at your palm and moving over the mound of your thumb, and then again from your palm to your fingertips.

Next, grasp your wrist with your thumb on the inside, as if you were taking your pulse. Then apply pressure side to side across your wrist. This will release the tension and can help prevent serious wrist issues before they start. 

Some Final Tips

While these techniques can provide some immediate relief, to get the full benefit of massage, it’s good to make it part of your regular routine. That’s because solving muscle tension and injuries takes time.

And remember that the best solution is to get some help from a professional. Whether that’s getting treatment from a massage therapist or creating a fitness plan with the help of a physiotherapist, these specialists can help choose the right treatments for your unique issues and needs.

good posture for working from home

Ergonomics: Working from home tips

Is working from home bad for your body?

Contrary to popular belief working from home can be just as challenging as working at your office. You can develop bad posture if your workspace isn’t set up ergonomically to accommodate sitting for long periods of time in front of a computer. For instance, using your laptop in bed or sitting hunched over at a coffee table can cause curvature of your spine and neck. This can result in neck, back, wrist pain, or worse – long term injury.

There are many factors that contribute to creating a comfortable workspace including, correct chair height, proper lumbar support, sufficient equipment spacing and good desk posture. All of these elements work together to keep your body correctly aligned.

Pain relief tips

Here are some tips that can help you reduce your pain if you’re unable to modify your workspace:

Use good posture: The image above is an ideal guideline of what good posture looks like at your workspace. The key to good posture is ensuring that you maintain the natural curvature of your spine. Your neck, shoulders, and hips should be aligned in a vertical line with your feet resting flat on the floor.

Take breaks regularly: When you’re sitting in one position for too long your body can become tense and strained. Therefore it’s important to take regular breaks that involve stretching and moving around at least every hour. This will help you reduce eyestrain and muscle tension.

Use a back brace: A back brace can be used to prevent back pain and improve your posture by keeping your spine and neck aligned. This is useful if your chair doesn’t provide adequate support.

Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic care is used to reduce back pain, correct the body’s alignment, restore range of motion, and improve flexibility. Chiropractors use spinal adjustments, manual therapy, and other treatments to keep your body’s systems working the way they should. 

Acupuncture: Acupuncture is used to reduce chronic and acute pain. This is done by inserting very thin needles through a person’s skin at specific points on the body. Besides pain relief, it is also used to treat a variety of conditions such as high blood pressure, insomnia, and anxiety.

TENS treatment: TENS is a non-invasive treatment that reduces the pain signals being transmitted to your brain and spine. It works by sending small electrical impulses through your nervous system via adhesive pads attached to your skin. It is suitable for persons suffering from back-pain, neck-pain, and sports injuries.

man with rotator cuff injury

What to do if you get a rotator cuff injury

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that help to keep your arm in your shoulder socket. It’s core function is to help you lift and rotate your arm. Therefore a tear or injury to this muscle can severely limit your movement and your ability to perform daily activities. Not to mention, you might feel severe pain whenever you try to raise your arm.

Before we dive into what remedies you can use to treat a rotator cuff injury, lets examine the common causes.

Common Causes

There are many reasons why someone may experience a rotator cuff injury. It can develop overtime from repeatedly performing overhead motions. This is why it is common among athletes and construction workers. Some other common reasons may include:

  • Falling on your shoulder
  • Sleeping on your shoulder
  • Using poor technique to lift objects over your head
  • Wear and tear
  • Repetitive slouching 

Treatment

First Steps

Reducing pain and swelling will be your main priority following a rotator cuff injury. Some of the methods you can use to gain relief are:

  • Using the R.I.C.E method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). All you need to do is immediately stop any activities that may aggravate the shoulder and apply an ice pack to the affected area.
  • Taking over-the-counter NSAIDs (Non steroid anti inflammatory drug) These drugs also help to reduce pain and swelling. However, you should consult with your doctor first because they can be addictive.

Other treatment options for rotator cuff injuries include:

  • Surgery – This can be a viable option for recovery depending on the severity of the injury and the ligaments that were damaged. If you’re experiencing prolonged or excruciating pain You should consult your doctor immediately. Some injuries can be an indication of more serious issues.
  • Physiotherapy – When your mobility improves you will want to start a physiotherapy program. Physiotherapy is important for recovery even if you’ve had surgery or you’re using the R.I.C.E method. This will help you strengthen your muscles and develop your range of motion in a safe controlled environment. You will be able to track your progress and make any changes needed to avoid further injury. In a matter of weeks to months (depending on the severity) you will be able do your daily activities free of pain.

Although you may be anxious to get back to your regular routine you should give yourself enough time to recover. At Activa Clinics, our physiotherapists will create a program for you consisting of various exercises and movements to help restore your physical health.

man wondering what are the causes of depression

The Hidden Causes of Depression

The causes of depression are complex. They can involve your genetics, brain chemistry, hormones, life experiences, and more. Many of the risk factors for depression are things you’d probably expect, such as drug abuse, low self-esteem, and traumatic events.

However, there are some possible causes for depression that you may not know about. And getting to the bottom of what triggered your depression is a good first step towards overcoming it. So if you or someone you care about is struggling with depression, here are some of the lesser-known causes.

Chronic Pains

It may surprise you to learn that depression and pain are closely related. Firstly, depression can cause physical symptoms like back pain or headaches, or make an existing pain feel more intense. 

But pain can also contribute to depression. For example, if you’re dealing with a chronic pain that just won’t go away, it can wear you down and affect your mood over time. Also, pain can contribute to depression indirectly, such as by causing sleep problems or by preventing you from working.

Depression and pains can also feed into each other in a vicious cycle; The pain makes your depression worse, and then your worsened depression makes your pain more intense.

So if you have a nagging injury or unexplained chronic pain, you should speak to your doctor. They can help you get to the root cause of the pain and stop it from contributing to depression.

Summer Weather

You may be familiar with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression that’s triggered by changes in seasons. For most people affected by SAD, it strikes at the beginning of winter. And that makes sense intuitively; As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, some people come down with the “winter blues”.

But what you might not know is that, for some people, summer can also bring on SAD. That’s because what really causes SAD is the change in seasons, as that can throw off your body’s internal clock.

In the summer, the increased sunlight can affect your sleeping patterns and reduce the production of mood-regulating hormones. This can cause insomnia, loss of appetite, and depression.

In addition, it’s been shown that the summer heat can further impact the mood of people with depression by increasing their anxiety and agitation. If you think you’re experiencing summer-onset SAD, you can try limiting your exposure to bright light and cranking up the air conditioning.

Too Much Social Media

There are many studies that suggest spending too much time on social media can be associated with depression. And experts say this is especially true for teenagers and children.

One of the suspected reasons is that “social media addicts” tend to struggle more with face-to-face interactions and have a lack of companionship in real life. 

Another issue that experts point to is “downward social comparison.” That means that when you see social media posts that depict other people’s lives as perfect, it can lead you to develop an unrealistic view of the world and think your life sucks in comparison. 

While there have been many studies showing that a connection between depression and social media exists, most of those studies were unable to show a causal link. That means the findings didn’t show whether social media actually makes people develop depression, or if depressed people just tend to use social media more frequently.

However, one recent study did establish that causal link. It showed that people who cut back drastically on their use of social media tend to see a significant improvement in their mood and how they feel about their lives.

Medications

There are a wide variety of drugs that can contribute to depression. With some drugs, this side effect is well known and probably won’t surprise you. That includes alcohol or birth control pills. However, there are many other drugs on the list that you might not expect. Just some examples include:

Anticonvulsants: A type of drug used to control epileptic seizures.

Beta-blockers: A group of medicines used to treat high blood pressure, heart problems, and migraines.

Opioids: A type of painkiller that includes Percodan, Demerol, and OxyContin.

Chantix: A medication used to aid in smoking cessation.

All of the drugs above alter your brain chemicals in some way as part of the desired effect, but they can also carry the risk of side effects like depression.

If you think one of your medications may be causing you to experience depression, don’t stop taking it. Instead, speak to your doctor. They can help you weigh the risk vs. the benefit of each of your medications, or offer you alternative options. 

Your Thyroid 

Your thyroid is a gland in your neck that secretes hormones. These hormones are used to regulate your metabolism and energy levels, and it affects a variety of vital systems throughout the body.

When the thyroid isn’t functioning normally and it doesn’t produce enough hormones, that’s called hypothyroidism. This condition makes your body’s internal systems to slow down, leading to a variety of symptoms that are similar to depression.  That includes:

  • Depressed mood
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Lowered sexual desire

However, there are some differences in the symptoms that may give you a clue that you’re dealing with hypothyroidism and not depression.

Some symptoms that are more likely in hypothyroidism include:

  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Hair loss
  • Slowed heart rate

So if you think you may have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor. They can take a blood test that can confirm it or rule it out.

Don’t Wait to Get Help

People suffering from depression often put off seeking treatment, for a number of reasons. One survey of people with depression found that one of the most common reasons is the belief that treatment won’t help.

However, getting help through a mental health program can be very effective at treating depression. It can help you get to the root of your issues, provide emotional support, improve your outlook, provide medication to solve chemical imbalances and change the thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to depression.

So don’t hesitate to seek help! At Activa Clinics, we have a team of psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellors, and social workers who can provide a variety of mental health services. Contact us to learn more and take the first step towards beating your depression.

girl needs treatment for dizziness

Restore your balance with treatment for dizziness

If you experience dizzy spells from time to time, it’s something you should address. If the dizziness gets bad enough or happens at the wrong time, it could cause you to injure yourself in a fall. There are many effective options available if you need treatment for dizziness, but the first step is finding out the reason behind it. And to understand the causes of dizziness, you should know the basics about how your sense of balance works.

Your Body’s Balance System

Your inner ear has three fluid-filled canals that are arranged at right angles to each other. Each canal is responsible for sensing movement on a different axis, so by working together they let you sense movement in all three dimensions. This is how you stay balanced and keep from tipping over.

Whenever you move, the fluid in these canals sloshes around, and your body senses the movement through tiny strands of hair that line the canals. This is why spinning can make you dizzy.

When your body spins, the fluid in your inner ear starts spinning too. Right after you stop spinning, the fluid in your ears continues to spin, giving you a false sense of movement and throwing off balance.

This is also what causes motion sickness. It occurs when your inner ear senses movement, but the visual information from your eyes doesn’t match up, such as when you’re riding in the backseat of a car.

But if you haven’t been doing much spinning and are still experiencing dizziness, there are a few different possible causes.

What Causes Dizziness?

Inner Ear Dysfunctions

There are several inner ear issues that can cause dizziness, such as Meniere’s disease. This condition causes an excessive buildup of fluid in your inner ear, which can cause dizzy spells that last up to several hours. One sign that you may have this condition is the feeling of a plugged ear.

One of the most common causes for dizziness is called Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). It can occur when crystals in your inner ear become dislodged and move into the canals responsible for balance. This causes sudden dizzy spells that are triggered by a head movement, and they usually last less than a minute.

Circulation Issues

Dizziness can also be caused by poor circulation. When there’s a drop in blood pressure and not enough blood is getting pumped to your brain, it can make you feel dizzy, off balance, or faint. One sign that poor blood flow is the cause of your dizziness is if it occurs right after you stand or sit up quickly.

Medications

Be sure to double-check the listed side effects on all your medications, because there are several types of drugs that can cause dizziness. That includes antidepressants, sedatives, anti-seizure drugs, blood pressure medications.

Treatments for Dizziness

There are a number of treatment options for the different causes of dizziness.

If an inner ear issue is the cause, it can often be solved through vestibular rehabilitation. That’s a treatment that involves exercises to retrain your body’s balance system.

If the cause is BPPV, treatment may involve a physiotherapist guiding you through a series of head movements that can dislodge the problematic crystals from your inner ear. In other cases, such as with Meniere’s disease, certain lifestyle changes can help such as switching to a low-salt diet.

And in some cases, medications and/or ear surgery may be the best course of action. So speak with your healthcare provider about your dizziness, and they can help you find the right treatment for you.

man with ptsd symptoms

Moving On From Trauma – How to manage PTSD Symptoms

If you’ve been through a traumatic event, it’s normal to experience some lingering effects like anxiety, difficulty sleeping, or a tendency to replay the event over and over in your mind. But in most cases, these symptoms will decrease over time and you can move on with your life.
However, for people with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), those effects don’t go away. PTSD is a serious mental health problem that can have a significant impact on every aspect of your life. But if you or someone you know is struggling to manage PTSD symptoms, there are ways to overcome it.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a mental illness that can arise after you’re exposed to a traumatic event. That could include things like:

  • Witnessing a death
  • Being under threat of death or serious injury
  • Events such as car accidents, crimes, conflict, and natural disasters

But PTSD is a complex issue. People deal with trauma in different ways, and no one knows exactly why a traumatic event can cause PTSD in some people but not others.

It’s also not always caused by a single event. In some people, it can arise from the culmination of a number of traumatic experiences. 

There are also some risk factors that increase a person’s chances of developing PTSD. They include:

  • Family history of PTSD or depression
  • Occupations that involve traumatic events, such as police and paramedics
  • Previous traumatic experiences, especially early in life

Symptoms of PTSD

Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Severe anxiety
  • Uncontrollable thoughts about the event
  • Vivid nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Drug and alcohol abuse as a way to cope

If the symptoms seem to arise out of nowhere, you should keep in mind that PTSD symptoms sometimes don’t appear for months or even years after the event occurred. 

How is PTSD Treated?

Support Groups

There are support groups for people with PTSD, as well as for those who have a family member or friend affected by it. They can help by providing education, advice, support, companionship, and more. For one, just meeting people who are dealing with similar issues and seeing how they are overcoming them can make dealing with PTSD seem more doable. 

Mental Health Therapy

There are mental health programs that will enable you to get help from a professional. Whether that’s a mental health counsellor, psychologist, or psychiatrist, they have the expertise to guide you as you deal with your trauma. 

One effective treatment for PTSD is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which teaches you how to control the thoughts and behaviours that contribute to PTSD. This therapy will also help you stop avoiding talking or thinking about the experience, so you can address it and begin to move on. 

What to Do When a Loved One has PTSD

If you think a family member or close friend is suffering from PTSD, you may be wondering how you can help. This may be difficult because people with PTSD will sometimes withdraw from loved ones, and they may not want to talk about it. 

So here are some tips on what you can do:

  • If the person doesn’t want to talk about it, don’t force them. Begin by just letting them know that you’re there for them whenever they’re ready.
  • Educate yourself on PTSD so you’ll have a better understanding of what the person may be going through, and the options for treatment.
  • Don’t take anything personally. If the person is treating you differently than normal (such as being cold or quick to anger), remind yourself that its part of the illness.
  • Remember to take care of yourself too. PTSD can be hard on the family and friends of the affected person. So seek support for your own mental wellness if you feel you need it.

Preventing PTSD

While having some anxiety or sleeplessness is normal after a traumatic experience, getting timely help and support can help prevent it from becoming more serious. So remember that you don’t have to deal with trauma alone, there are many options for support and treatment.

man in need of running tips

Five Essential Tips for Running

Running is a convenient way to stay active. You don’t need a gym membership, a bunch of equipment, or a special place to do it. Just get outside and start running!
But there are some things you should know. As a high-impact activity, running can put a lot of strain on your body, so it’s important that you do it properly to avoid injuries. 
If you’re ready to get started, here are five essential tips for running:

Warm Up and Cool Down

Most people know that doing some kind of warm-up is important to get your body prepared for exercise and avoid injuries. It gradually warms up your core muscle temperature and increases blood flow.

But did you know that the cool down after a run is just as important? If you stop exercising too suddenly, it can cause cramps, nausea, or even fainting.

So warm up by beginning your run with some stretches followed by 10 minutes of walking or slow running. End your run the same way to cool down.

Start slow

Whenever you are starting a new exercise or increasing its intensity, there is some risk of injury. That’s because your muscles and joints may not be prepared for the new amount of strain they’ll be experiencing.

So if you are just getting into running, don’t overdo it. Start with shorter runs before going long distance, and focus on a comfortable pace instead of pushing yourself to your limits. 

When you’re ready to increase the intensity of your runs, you should do it gradually over time. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t increase the length of your runs by more than 10 percent per week.

Get proper footwear

Wearing the right shoes is essential to running comfortably. Ensuring your shoes provide proper support and cushioning can help you prevent pain in your feet, knees, back, and other areas of the body. So get a good quality pair of running shoes, and make sure you replace them before they get totally worn out.

The best option would be to invest in custom orthotics. They provide support that’s tailored to your unique biomechanics and can help you move as efficiently as possible.

Change it up

If running is your go-to physical activity, you should consider changing it up a bit.

Alternating running with low-impact activities can help you avoid joint pain and injuries. Incorporating activities like cycling, elliptical training, or swimming can add variety to your routine.

Also, cross-training can make you a better runner. Activities like cycling will strengthen the supporting muscles used while running, while also giving your primary running muscles a chance to rest and recuperate.

Stay safe

If you’re running on a road that has a sidewalk, you are required by law to use the sidewalk. However, when there’s no sidewalk, you’re allowed to run on the shoulder, and there’s no federal law about which side to run on. 

To stay safe when running on the side of a road, you should run against traffic. This lets you see what’s coming, so you can adjust your position or react to distracted drivers. Also, always wear clothing with high visibility.

anxiety at work

Anxiety in the workplace

It’s perfectly normal to experience some stress or anxiety at work. At times it can even be a good thing. For example, when you have a pressing deadline, those anxious feelings can motivate you to work harder and be more productive.

However, anxiety in the workplace is a problem if it becomes constant and affects your ability to do your job. At that point, what you’re dealing with is an anxiety disorder. It may affect your concentration, cause you to dread stepping into the office every morning, and seep into other aspects of your life outside of work.

So if you are struggling with anxiety on the job, here’s what you need to know. 

When Anxiety at Work Becomes a Problem

If you’re not sure if you are dealing with normal, run-of-the-mill anxiety, or an issue that you need to address, here are some of the signs and symptoms to look for.

Anxiety at work should be addressed if the symptoms become severe and persistent. That can include psychological symptoms such as:

  • Fear and a sense of impending doom
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability

It can also include physical symptoms such as:

  • Rapid heart rate or chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches and tension

How to Overcome Anxiety at Work

Here are some measures you can take to reduce your anxiety at work:

Identify Your Triggers

An essential part of overcoming anxiety is having a clear understanding of what causes it. Even if the trigger is something you can’t change (like that your workload is too heavy or you get anxious about dealing with a difficult coworker), identifying it is the first step towards making a strategy for handling it. 

Tell a Trusted Coworker

Telling someone at work that you’re suffering from anxiety can make you more comfortable with it. As opposed to feeling ashamed and keeping your anxiety secret, it can be comforting to know that someone else at work accepts your condition. 

Use Time Management Techniques

Having a heavy workload and tight deadlines are among the most common causes of anxiety in the workplace. In those cases, time management techniques can help you stay on top of your duties and remove some of the stress. It can be as simple as creating a concise to-do list every morning and actually sticking to it!

Tackle Difficult Tasks Head On

Simply avoiding coworkers or situations that make you anxious can actually make the problem worse. For example, if you stop replying to emails that you don’t know how to answer, or avoid a coworker after a disagreement, your anxiety can grow as you anticipate the time when you’ll eventually have to face the issue. 

So answer those difficult emails immediately, and try to resolve issues with coworkers as soon as possible. Getting those tasks off your plate can go a long way towards reducing anxiety.

Get Professional Help

If these measures don’t help reduce your feelings of anxiety, you should consider getting professional help. Mental health therapy is effective at treating anxiety disorders. Typically, these disorders are treated with a combination of medication and cognitive behavioral therapy. 

This type of talk therapy aims to help you control the negative thoughts that contribute to anxiety, realize how some of your fears are irrational, and get you more comfortable with the things that make you anxious.

At Activa Clinics, we have a team of psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors who can help you through your anxiety. Try our Mental Health Programs  if you don’t want to continue living in fear at work!

woman with driving anxiety

Driving Anxiety

Driving anxiety is a common issue. It can range from a slight uneasiness at getting behind the wheel to an all-out phobia that causes you to avoid driving, no matter what. 

It’s actually one of the most common phobias out there, and it can have a number of causes. But no matter how it arises, when anxiety gets in the way of driving a car, it can really limit your independence.

So if you think you or someone you know is dealing with a fear of driving, here’s what you need to know: there are a number of options that can help you overcome it.

But first, here are some common causes of driving anxiety, and the symptoms that it can bring.

What Causes Driving Anxiety?

  • Traumatic experience: If you were in a car accident or near-miss, it can trigger a fear of driving. That can also be true if you witnessed an accident or even just heard about one.
  • Panic attacks: If you’re someone who has ever experienced panic attacks or just felt on the verge of one, you may be afraid of having one in the car and losing control.
  • Vicious cycle: Some experts say that if you become anxious about driving, it leads you to make more mistakes, which then feeds your anxiety.  

Symptoms of Driving Anxiety

For people with a fear of driving, getting behind the wheel will cause some of the usual physical symptoms of fear:

  • Sweating
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Shaking
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling faint
  • Tingling
  • Chest pain 
  • Dry mouth 

And these are some behaviors that are common signs of driving anxiety:

  • Avoiding driving altogether
  • Avoiding driving on the highway, bridges, tunnels, or certain routes
  • Feeling as though you were on “automatic pilot” while driving

Overcoming Your Driving Anxiety

Relaxation techniques

As with any form of anxiety, there are relaxation techniques that may help you overcome the symptoms and be better prepared to face your fear. Many people find that simply focusing on taking deep slow breaths is an effective method, but there are a variety of relaxation techniques to choose from, such as:


Mental Health Therapy

If relaxation techniques aren’t working, you may want to consider mental health therapy, as it is highly effective at treating anxiety disorders. Psychologists can help you identify the cause of your anxiety and deal with it. Typically, they do that with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). 

CBT addresses the negative thoughts that contribute to your anxiety and then helps you change those thinking patterns. It also gives you guidance on how to face your fear and see that your anxieties were unfounded.

 

Keep driving

While you’re working on addressing your anxiety, you should continue driving as much as you can. Completely avoiding driving can increase your anxiety, and the idea of getting back on the road will grow into a more daunting task over time. 

Phobias are often treated with exposure therapy, which means facing your fear, one baby step at a time. So try to gradually drive more and more, and work towards the routes or situations that give you the most anxiety.

If you’re worried that you lack driving skills or that anxiety will make you unsafe behind the wheel, there are driving instructors who specialize in helping people with anxiety. And as always, drive safe!