Canadian Business Banking – An Overview

Banking and business borrowing in Canada is significantly different than in the United States. That is primarily driven by the fact that our banking system is uniquely different. In the U.S., borrowing finance is driven through various entities – which include major ‘ money center banks ‘, Commercial banks, community banks, and what are know as S&L’s, ( savings and loans ). In addition the American landscape is populated by community banks.

The Canadian banking system is different, in that the country has chosen to adopt a more smaller ( by competitor ) banking system that is extremely concentrated and dominated by a handful of major players. Primarily these are:

* RBC ROYAL BANK,
* TD CANADA TRUST,
* CIBC
* BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA,
* BMO BANK OF MONTREAL,
* LAURENTIAN
* NATIONAL BANK OF CANADA

All of these banks support the Canadian Small Business Financing program sponsored by the federal government.

There is a decent sized credit union movement in Canada, and many of these credit unions are making forays into Commercial banking and financing. Many people tend to feel these credit unions have not yet accumulated either the talent or the capital pool to properly play in business banking and commercial lending.

We would point out that some time ago now the government introduced legislation to allow foreign banks to lend in Canada. These banks are known technically as ‘ SCHEDULE B ‘ banks, and are referred to a briefcase bankers in that they do not have the large branch networks that are the domain of our BIG 7 banks as listed above.

Capital for Canadian firms is traditionally much harder to secure in the Canadian banking system. Outside of the aforementioned CSBFL program that is federally underwritten the banks tend to secure small business loans with usually up to 100% of personal collateral. That of course has the customers pledging personal assets, savings, etc. There certainly are no ‘ templates ‘ for fast quick borrowing in the Canadian small business banking. Loan criteria is judiciously adjudicated by underwriters on a case by case basis, and as has been noted, relies heavily on the traditional three C’s of credit –

– character
– capacity
– capital

As the Canadian banks have emerged from the current world economic crisis they do however seem to be placing more focus on smaller firms. For example new divisions for small business banking are being created within some players, seminars and trade shows are being offered, and they often sponsor local events.

Larger firms who in many cases do not meet the requirements of the Canadian banks when it comes to significant borrowing requirements are often forced to consider asset based lending arrangements with Canadian and U.S. commercial finance companies who have stepped in to play a role in this vital area.Even though the larger firms may in fact have been in business a number of years their balance sheets and income statements do not meet the borrowing requirements of the Canadian loan committees. During the 2009 world economic crisis and financial meltdown the Canadian banks were consistently lauded for being some of the best run in the world. However, the downside of this is that ‘ best run ‘ in many cases means risk averse and commercial borrowing in Canada is significantly more difficult than in other countries such as the U.S.

The Canadian banks have distinguished themselves by developing software and technologies that have put them at the forefront of commercial borrowing/lending.

In summary, the Canadian banking system is uniquely structured and Canadian business, both larger and small,should focus on the unique strengths of the system borrowing and banking needs. Not all companies will be successful and business owners should ensure their financial executives or advisors know who can best meet their borrowing needs.

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Choosing the Best Business Banking Partner

Establishing a business banking account is one of the first things company owners need to do. These accounts are vital for obtaining accurate accounting data and keeping track of allowed tax deductions.

When business owners mix business banking along with individual accounts they will likely end up undergoing an IRS audit. The time spent clarifying expenses and providing adequate documentation can be grueling and may lead to late fees and penalties, so it’s best to start things off on the right foot.

There are quite a few ways to setup a business bank account. Owners can apply online or visit banks in-person. They can select a basic checking account or apply for accounts that include merchant services, direct deposit payroll, or an open line of credit.

Many banks offer accounts that can be connected to accounting software programs such as Peachtree or QuickBooks. Interconnecting accounting software with business accounts help managers conserve time while providing adequate documentation for tax records. Additionally, this method lets business owners access their account from various locations such as work, home, and even while traveling.

Fees associated with corporate checking accounts are usually quite a bit more expensive than personal bank accounts. The majority of banks charge companies a monthly service fee. Some charge fees for every transaction, while others charge if transactions exceed a set number. Fees are also assessed for overdrafts and electronic transfers.

Although it’s never a good idea to bounce a check, companies can avoid expensive fees by setting up overdraft protection. This involves connecting business checking accounts to a savings account or credit card. If overdraft occurs, banks automatically transfer a preset amount of money into the checking account.

It can be very helpful to comparison shop banks to find ones that offer the most benefits and assess the lowest fees. A trusted source for comparing banks is BankRate.com, which offers information about national and local banks.

Small business owners may find it advantageous to open accounts with local banks or credit unions. Local banks tend to be more flexible and willing to work with owners that don’t have pristine credit. This can be very helpful to owners that require working capital or want to apply for business credit cards.

On the other hand, national banks usually offer a broader range of services than local banks. National banks engage in lending practices for small business to Fortune 500 companies, along with providing a variety of credit card options. Additionally, national banks offer integrated accounting services such as invoicing systems and direct deposit payroll.

The best approach for locating the right bank is to create a list of anticipated financial needs for the short and long term. While it can be challenging to determine what services will be required in the next 5 years, most owners can figure out if they will need business loans or credit cards. Spending time assessing overall needs can help owners avoid having to switch banks at a later time.

When comparing banks it’s important to read the fine print and calculate the true costs of conducting business. Make certain to fully understand the fee structure and checking account requirements.

Some banks charge service fees if balances fall below a certain limit. Others set limits on the number of transactions that can be conducted each month and charge hefty fees if limits are exceeded. Over the course of a year, banking fees can cost owners hundreds of dollars.

Researching available options lets owners find cost-effective business banking and can help determine which bank would be the best partnership. One consideration is that local banks frequently participate in community events where local companies are promoted. Acquiring bank endorsement can be very beneficial, so when talking to banks be certain to inquire about the types of promotional activities they participate in.

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The Perks of Having Business Bank Accounts

Start-up businesses would often forego opening business bank accounts and opt to use their personal bank accounts instead. Why is this so? For one, opening a separate account may mean incurring additional expenses. Another thing is that new entrepreneurs would want to reduce risks andso they want to establish their business names first before considering account options. Some are also hesitant to open business bank accounts because they think that it would be too much of a hassle to deal with the legalities associated with opening a corporate account. But should you follow in their footsteps?

Advantages of Opening a Company Bank Accounts

There are in fact a lot of advantages of having business bank accounts. Here are some of them:

It organises your finances and makes it easier for you to check your income and expenditure for the year. If you don’t have a business account, it will prove to be more difficult and time-consuming since you will have to separate and distinguish the personal transactions from that of the business banking transactions.

Another advantage of having business bank accounts is that it gives your business a professional profile especially when it comes to transactions with customers. This also shows that you are serious and focus-oriented on the ends of the business. And besides, a guaranteed business account will also help speed up the day-to-day financial transactions that you have.

The edge of having a separate business bank account would be transparency in financial transactions and in declaration of income. The flow of income and expenses should be clear. This also further shows tax authorities that you are a responsible business owner because you uphold transparency in business transactions and can pay your taxes in a timely manner.

Having a company or business bank account will actually get you more perks than nuisance. Some banking institutions for example would offer free business banking for a year for start-up businesses. Some banks could also offer business accounting software to be used on their day-to-day business operations on finances.

Finally, it will be easier for you to apply for business loans if you have an active business bank account.
Online Banking at Its Peak

A great thing about the technological advancements available today is that banking can already be done online. Online banking has become a growing necessity for business people who are always on the go, thereby making financial transactions very easy and convenient, as everything is done on a virtual landscape and can be completed quickly. Online banking also provides you easy access to your business data and income, and helps you keep track of your expenses. The element of speedy transactions is magnified online as well because your borganisation now runs on your own time and not on banking hours. You can easily pay bills and receive funds in a secure and fast manner, no matter what time of the day it is. So, with common banking concerns at bay, the company can now focus more on other important matters like generating sales.

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How I Setup My Business Bank Accounts

Breaking down the process into small individual tasks

The small tasks involved in starting a new business can often times add up to become a seemingly overwhelming process when looked at in their entirety. It is important to remember that most of these tasks really are small, and looking at them as such makes things seem a lot easier. In this article I will focus on what I looked at in my situation in order to setup my business banking accounts.

Prior to setting up my banking accounts

To get to this point I had to complete a series of other small tasks in order to have everything ready for setting up my business banking accounts. This included setting up my business address, completing my limited liability company paperwork and receiving my LLC paperwork back from my state’s secretary of state office, and applying for and receiving my Federal Employer Identification Number from the IRS.

Since at this point in my business creation I do not have any real income being generated, I needed to keep all my initial expenses as low as possible. In this case it means finding a business banking structure that will not have excessive fees and preferably have no fees at all. The last thing I want right now is to spend money setting up my business on things like recurring unnecessary banking fees.

What I needed in a business banking account

I started out with a little research using the internet on what was required to setup business banking accounts. There is quite a lot of information available which can be easily found, so I will just document my steps in the decisions I made for my particular setup. There were a few things besides low monthly fees that I wanted from by business banking account.

1. A local convenient branch location

2. A national chain with many locations

3. A good on-line banking service

4. The ability to add on a multitude of business services down the road

5. Low or no recurring monthly business banking service charges

A convenient branch location

The good news is that I was able to find all of these things in my community. I needed a local convenient branch location because I do not want to have to travel all over the place to perform my banking tasks. This is a matter of time-management for me, and in the past I have chosen poorly with personal bank accounts because I thought I would do most everything on-line and not really need something close or more convenient. While I do perform most of my personal banking on-line, I still find myself wishing I had chosen a closer bank when there are times I needed to physically go to the bank. Depending on the types of deposits I will need to make, I envision myself needing to physically go to my business bank in the future much more than I need to for my personal banking needs.

A national chain with many locations

I wanted to choose a national bank with many branch offices because if I decide to personally relocate or setup a business in another location, the chances of having a local branch of the same bank is much more likely with a larger national financial institution. This would mean I would be able to keep the existing accounts with the same bank and not have the hassle of starting over with new accounts at a different bank in order to maintain the same convenience of having a close branch location.

A good on-line banking service

Having a very good on-line banking service is definitely one of the major considerations I had in choosing my bank. In today’s day and age, I want and expect very good on-line banking services including on-line bill pay, statements, account funding transfers, consolidation of all accounts into a centralized site for easy viewing, and most importantly built in functionality to download my accounts easily into financial software such as Quicken or Quickbooks.

The ability to add on a multitude of business services down the road

The ability to add additional business banking services or having a business bank which is easily scalable was also a consideration I had concerning the bank I would choose. This is an area which was not the highest priority at this time because I figured that if the bank I chose met the other qualifications then they would also have the ability to easily scale my business accounts to meet the needs of my business down the road. Merchant services and other business financial services would be some of the things I envision needing in the future.

Low or no recurring monthly business banking service charges

Last on my list would be one of the most important considerations I was having at this point early in my business setup. Low or no recurring monthly business banking service charges with the need to only maintain a low balance in my business banking accounts is a must at this time. I would not be opening my accounts with a lot of money, and I did not want what money I was depositing into my accounts to be eaten away at by service fees. I needed an account that would allow me to have a low minimum balance at the same time avoiding as many fees as I could. Many banks have accounts with no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees for personal banking accounts, but this is usually not the case with many business banking accounts.

So how did I do?

I ended up opening a business banking account with Chase Bank. They had a convenient branch location close to my home and right across the street from my business UPS Store mailbox, which incidentally is my official business address at this point (See my article on Getting My Business Address.) They met my listed criteria for convenience, and also are a well recognized national financial institution with many branch offices throughout the nation. This means the likelihood of finding another branch close to me if I chose to relocate is much greater. They have a very rich on-line banking service that met all of my requirements for on-line banking abilities, and easily integrated with my Quicken software. They offered many business financial services which were available to me, but at this time I do not require them. It is nice to know I can get these services in the future with them. Most importantly, they were able to structure my accounts so that I do not have any monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements, NONE!

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How to Find Business Banking Online

When it comes to online business banking it is necessary to know what to look for when choosing a bank and enjoy the advantages of getting it right. A good relationship is essential in online business banking. It is important to invest time in choosing the right bank the first place.

Banks offer different business banking services and the fees they charge as well. Some have special teams who deal with business accounts and useful information for start up business.

Choose the right bank

Before making a decision it is a good idea to compare at least 2 banks though many people open their business account with the same bank that holds their personal account. Bank charges vary in the services they offer, so it is best if you compare and get the best all around deal. If you go online and search for business banking, use some business account finder to compare deals. You may even want to choose your business account on the bank’s ethical or religious standing – investment policies issues such as human rights and environmental responsibility.

When dealing with business banking, it is a good idea to ask about:

If the bank has a dedicated team for small businesses

Services they offer

Amount of services

How do they charge for each transaction

If there are additional charges (some banks charge if you exceed the overdraft limit)

If they have local branches – especially if you have to make transactions every week

If there are special offers for start up businesses or for new accounts.

Choose business banking account

Current Account- For frequent transactions includes payments or receipts. A good option if you pay interest and late payment fees on credit balances, but not all banks offer this.

Readily Access Deposit Account- Any cash not needed for frequent transactions. These can be put into your current account so you can check it anytime.

Term Deposit Account – for long term funds

Foreign Currency Account – for overseas trading

Loan Account – for taking out loans

Merchant Account – for businesses so you can accept credit and debit card payments and transactions.

All major banks nowadays offer online business banking. Doing it online is a more efficient way of managing your business accounts. You can check your balances and view statements, transfer money from one account to another, pay suppliers online, fix regular payments such as salaries and even request for chequebook and statements. You can also download your account information and print it out for analysis.

Online business banking is cost-effective. Banks offer online banking at no extra cost!

Most businesses manage their online business banking using internet banking, you can check your account from any computer using web browser. Larger businesses are offered PC banking and require them to install a special banking software on the computer. This is an effective solution for large volume of banking transactions and link directly your accounting system to your bank.

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The Benefits of Cash Advance Payday Loans

The average person has many financial needs and sometimes it becomes impossible to keep up with all the necessary spendings. Unfortunately, most people cannot make long term plans and can only organize their monthly budget. In this context, if something unexpected comes up, such as a tax payment or worse, an accident or emergency repair, they cannot get the money they need. Some rely on the help of family and close friends, but this is not a very good long term solution; others have some money saved up and when they need something right away, they make a sacrifice and take how much they need from there. But is it an exciting prospect to take money from the savings for a house or college? One solution would be to get a loan from a bank, but the problem with emergency spendings is not necessarily the amount, but the short period of time to get the money. Obtaining a loan from a bank requires a lot of paperwork and considerable waiting times – and if a relative requires urgent hospitalization, you cannot possibly wait for one month. In the most frustrating cases, you might even be short of one hundred dollars and your payday is due in three days. If you don’t have another source of income and you really need financial help, then payday cash advance loans could be a solution for you.

Like the name says it, cash advance payday loans can be obtained more easily than bank loans and they are returned by the burrower when he or she receives the salary. Briefly, there is no need to put together a file with dozens of documents, submit it to the bank and wait for its approval. The main condition for getting these loans is to have a workplace and a stable source of income. The sums you can receive are smaller than bank loans, but you can obtain them in as little as 24 hours, which is actually the entire point of this service. The first and most important benefit is that you can have the money very soon, without waiting for days. There are many situations when you might need this type of financial help: for example, if your car has broken down, you have to buy a larger present, pay a fine or pay for unexpected hospitalization. The idea is indeed quite innovative and has helped countless people avoid complications. There are even some providers who can extend the pay back date, so if your salary is delayed, for example, you can still benefit from extra help.

However beneficial this financial service might be, it is still essential to point out that not all providers are professional and that, for best results, you will have to do some research in advance and choose a company that is truly reliable. Also, don’t forget to ask about the interest rate and the terms and conditions – it goes without saying that you should remember about the fine print too. This way, you can ensure that you will receive your money in time and that you will have a pleasant experience. The existence of this service once again shows that the modern world offers intelligent solutions for those who know where to look. Many years ago, the average person would have had to go through great lengths to get money on a short term notice, but now this endeavor is not at all impossible. There are many companies that can provide short term loans and, as long as you work with a professional one, there is no reason to worry about your financial security.

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Personal Loans and What You Need to Know

These days, there are a lot of companies that specialize in personal loans. These loans, which are typically small, are worked out directly between the lender and the borrower. The borrower simply borrows a needed amount and then pays it back on his or her next payday. If the loan amount is large, however, some lenders will work out longer term payment plans to make repayment easier on the borrower. Unfortunately, however, the longer it takes to pay off a loan, the higher the interest charges that will accrue. It is always best to not borrow unless absolutely necessary, and make certain you are confident you have the means to repay the loan with the agreed upon terms.

Because interest rates for payday or personal loans are high, no matter how quickly you pay them back, you should avoid taking out a personal loan “just because.” If you want to do something fun like taking a vacation, a payday loan is not the right choice. These are also not large loans, like for buying a car or a house, so don’t set your sights too high. Just treat payday loans as what they are- a way to survive an emergency situation or to get by until that next paycheck comes through. Consider these types of loans crisis cash. If you are in a crisis, then this is a simple, quick and easy way to de-stress.

It’s also important for you to avoid applying for multiple loans from multiple lenders at the same time. Know the maximum amount you may borrow from different lenders and then choose the one lender that is best able to meet your needs. Having small loans from multiple lenders out at a given time can not only damage your credit, but it can also get you turned down for future loans. Lenders tend to be pretty closely connected and are usually well aware of who has bitten off more than they can chew. Don’t damage your credit or your ability to get cash when you need it by being reckless or greedy.

Because simply applying for a payday loan can negatively impact your credit, be aware of each lender’s eligibility requirements and don’t waste your time applying if you know you can’t meet those requirements. You will likely have trouble getting approved by any lender if you don’t have a verifiable job that you have worked at for at least three months, a checking or savings account, and an income that is above the poverty line. Lenders only want to lend to those they know will be able to pay back the loan. Do yourself and your lender a huge favor by being honest and forthright. Also have verifiable information and documentation available to speed the processing of your loan.

Also bear in mind that your bank account will typically be used to provide you with your borrowed funds and to collect repayments. As such, your checking or savings account should be in good standing without any overdrafts posted or pending. Payments will not be made into an account that’s “in the negative,” so payday loans are definitely not a way to fix your banking mistakes. Do your best to have your financial house in order as best as it can be. Proving to be a new customer that is reliable and trustworthy will help you build this business relationship as well as guarantee a speedy transaction. Payday loans should not become a habit. As long as you understand this information and do your best to handle payday loans responsibly, your experience with these little lifesavers should be a positive one.

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Probing the Bad Effect of Payday Loans

Payday loan stores seem to be popping up everywhere and a few people think that they are the best things ever, but in reality they are the tabloids of the credit industry, as far as reputable credit institutions are concerned. It’s obvious that they are supplying a tangible need for the demands of the public, or else they wouldn’t be surviving. So if that many consumers are freely choosing to deal with them, then why are payday loans bad?

Maybe the best way to illustrate this point is to use our imagination a little bit and create a real-life scenario that many people face.

Payday loan companies defend their position by claiming that they are offering a service that is needed by many people. More often than not, life deals a bad hand of unexpected problems that you need help with. Why are payday loans bad, they ask, if you have car trouble or a medical emergency and need fast cash now? It is an unbelievably quick and easy way to solve the problem on the spur of the moment. However, for many, it is also a way of getting into a nightmare that will seem like quick-sand.

Let’s imagine that we have a young family of five that has only one source of income. The dad goes to work and the mom stays home and takes care of three toddlers. They are debt-free but yet they are barely making a go of it. Suddenly, the car breaks down and all at once they need money for mechanical repairs. In a situation like this, a payday loan could look like their salvation, so why is it bad?

The family borrows $500 and is charged 17.5% interest on the loan every two weeks. If they pay it back in two weeks they will owe $587.50. What’s so bad about that? Chances are that they aren’t going to have enough money to do it by the time it is due, because it will be hard to come up with that much money in just two weeks. At that point, they will be charged another $80.50 in additional interest. With that, their $500 loan is slapping them with a total figure of $675. It’s easy to see how this is beginning to spiral out of control.

At present, there is a little over 20,000 payday stores in the United States, which makes it seem as though it is a little too easy to rely on them. The industry made, in 2010 alone, over $4 billion on interest. When attempting to come up with an answer to the question as to why payday loans are bad, most can see that they are taking advantage of people when they are at a time of crisis, when they desperately need help, instead of being socked with high interest charges.

Another drawback to payday loans is that they don’t reflect a good report to your credit score. If you fail to pay the loan off, your credit score is jeopardized.

Because payday loans are notorious for charging astronomical interest rates, they give the whole industry a bad impression from the very start. In comparison to the normal credit card company that charges an annual rate of 32% interest, the two-week payday loan at 17.5% interest generates an annual interest rate of 455%. The numbers can be staggering, which adds proof to the fact that they are a bad financial decision from the very first step.

If you are in urgent need of a loan, then look for other possibilities. Check your local bank, your credit card establishments or even with friends or family members that could offer some support.

If you still can’t see why payday loans are bad, then do some research online to find numerous stories where people got caught up in this vicious cycle, having their wages garnished and wind up paying incredible figures for the small cash advance that seemed so desperately needed at the time.

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10 Reasons Why Believing in a Christian God Is Good for You

NO WORRIES It’s good to know we can hand all our cares and anxieties to God. 1 Peter 5 6-7 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” It’s a great relief to know that God is always there to take care of business, so we don’t have to worry.
SEE BENEATH THE SKIN If we believe in God we don’t need to be concerned about how we look. There is no need to worry about our outward appearance because as 1 Samuel 16.7 tells us: “… the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” If we see others as God sees them, in other words by what’s in their heart, we become better, happier people.
NO NEED TO GOSSIP Social media offers plenty of opportunity for slander and criticism. James gives good advice on this (4:11-12): “Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you-who are you to judge your neighbour?” In other words we are in no position to criticize.
HAVE FAITH When we believe in God, we have faith, and faith brings salvation; see Ephesians 2:8-9: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.” What does this really mean? It means trusting in God is a gift so we don’t have to work for it. And faith is its own reward, releasing us from all futile desires and endeavours and sorting out what really matters, the elimination of wicked thoughts.
STAY HEALTHY WITHOUT HAVING TO DIET When we believe in God we don’t have to worry about what we eat. Exodus 23.25 says, “Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water.”
BE STRONG WHEN YOUR HEART IS BROKEN Read Psalm 147.3 which says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Trying to get over the loss of a loved one through bereavement or separation is one of the hardest trials we have to endure. The journey is a lot easier when God is with us.
YOU CAN STAY IN GOOD PHYSICAL SHAPE ALWAYS Exodus 15.26 “For I am the God who heals you.” As Christians we expect good health through prayer and meditation. The only way to see if it works is to try it.
YOU NEVER HAVE TO ASK “WHY AM I HERE?” Pointless existential questions disappear when we believe in God. His purpose for our life becomes manifest and fruitful. Psalm 57:2 says, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.” The deal is this: if we make all our choices with God in mind, He will fulfil his purpose through us. No more vexing over meaningless days as every day and everything we do has meaning in God’s eyes.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT DYING Ecclesiastes 12.7 says about death “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” This is such a comforting thought, to know that we are eternal spirits, that our appointed time on earth is temporary and our future will be spent in everlasting glory.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO WASTE TIME WONDERING WHERE THE UNIVERSE CAME FROM “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) This is all we need to know about the origins of our environment. And of course, God made us too.What is there not to like?

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Is My Pain From Tight Muscles Or Could It Be From Something Else

During the past 35 years of my chiropractic practice, I have been asked many times “Is my neck and back pain from tight muscles or could it be something else?” This article will discuss muscular pain, and other sources of discomfort and how relief of neck and back pain can be achieved.

Recently a patient in her early 30s came to my office with a complaint of chronic lower back pain. Her job required her to perform rigorous physical activities of installing flooring and carpeting. She told me that her discomfort was interfering with her ability to perform her work duties. She was afraid that she would have to discontinue that line of work and take another vocation because of her condition.

When I asked her what she had done previously to help with the problem, she told me she had seen orthopedic specialists who gave her steroid medication and muscle relaxers. She had also seen physical therapists who gave her stretching exercises. She noted these measures gave her some temporary relief but didn’t completely resolve her pain.

When I examined her, we found that she definitely had muscle spasms of her low back. However, her examination revealed a more significant deeper problem. Her muscles were tight and in spasm because they were trying to protect deeper spinal joint misalignments.

I told her that the body will always work to protect an injured area. In her case, her muscles were chronically tight and in spasm because they were doing what they are supposed to do to keep her condition from worsening.

Let’s take a moment to explain the difference between muscular pain and pain from other sources. If we over-use our muscles, they can be sore and go into some degree of spasm; it might be mild, or it could be severe. Typically, this muscle discomfort eases over the course of several days as the body heals itself. This is a completely normal type of healing.

However, if the source of the condition is from a deeper problem, such as a misalignment of spinal joints, superficial muscular pain will be continuous and become chronic. If this is the case treatment of the muscles will only result in temporary, minimal pain relief at best. To correct the problem, we must address the deeper source of pain. Pain relief can only occur if we solve what’s causing the problem.

In my patient’s case, treatment consisted of utilizing gentle, chiropractic spinal adjustments to correct the misalignment of the spinal bones of her back. After her first treatment she immediately felt the muscular spasm relax and loosen. She said: “Wow, I feel looser already!” It took some more treatments of safe, chiropractic adjustments to fully correct the deeper alignment problem so that she could perform her job free of pain.

Chiropractors are specialist healthcare providers, when it comes to relieving spinal neck pain and pain of the lower spine. Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat physical, mechanical alignment problems of spine pain. Most patients who go to chiropractors find that having chiropractic treatment is a safe, pleasant experience because it relieves tightness and spasm of the muscles by correcting the deeper spinal misalignment.

Remember, sore muscles should normally heal after a few days of rest. If, however, chronic muscular tightness, stiffness or spasm persists, it is most likely due to a deeper spinal misalignment problem. In this case, it is prudent to seek gentle, safe chiropractic care for muscle pain relief.

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