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Emotional Wellbeing

Back Rehabilitation Post Injury

Why You Need to Strengthen Your Back

The back and abdominal muscles are not exercised enough through normal daily activities. They require regular work to develop and maintain strength. You may otherwise become prone to injury if these muscles are weak or tight. After a back injury has occurred, it is vital to start a back strengthening and stretching routine to rehabilitate the back. Your deep core stability muscles automatically turn off when there is pain, leaving your spine vulnerable to further injury and persisting chronic pain. However, you can re-activate these muscles via specific retraining.

Healing

You may be tempted and go about your daily life and exercise like you did before your injury.  It is vital that you take time to rest and recover. By diligently following a specific rehabilitation program, you will be able to eventually return to your regular activities. You will also be less likely to become injured again when you keep up with a back workout routine.

During the time of healing and rehabilitating it is important to:

  • Pay attention to your breathing and remember to take deep soothing breaths. If you’re feeling impatient and anxious about your back pain, then consciously take several slow deep breaths, as it will help you relax. Tense muscles will hinder your recovery.
  • Learn body awareness and take notice of how you move, sit and stand. This will help with recovery and prevention of another back injury. Pay attention to your posture and learn about specific postural exercises. Correct postural alignment using classes such as pilates and yoga. Poor posture is a common cause of back pain and is a major issue for most people. They are unaware of their poor posture and require someone to identify it for them. During the day, if you notice yourself slouching, consciously straighten your spine and lift your chest. With practice, you will improve your posture and help ease your back pain.
  • Accept that your body is injured and it needs to heal. A lot of people who are fitness fanatics or even athletes want to rush their recovery time. They are desperate to continue their gym training, or run hard as they did before.  Therefore, it’s important to be patient with your body and accept that you are hurt. You will further cause damage and prolong the healing process if you push yourself too far physically and don’t follow a structured rehab plan.

Rehabilitation

Your back is weaker after an injury, so it’s important to commit time towards rebuilding the muscles and making them stronger than before. It may already have been weak before you became injured and therefore may have been part of the cause. To create a strong healthy back, you must regularly exercise the abdominals, obliques, hip muscles, back muscles, and glutes. Each of these muscle groups adds support to the spine.

The most important thing to remember when you start doing exercises is to avoid anything that hurts your lower back. Your injury needs a chance to heal, and moving your spine in the wrong direction can injure it even more. There are three basic ways that your spine can move: forwards and backward, side-to-side, and rotational. Your rehabilitation should include only the motions that don’t hurt. Below are some examples of exercises to help rehabilitate the back:

Back Strengthening Exercises and Stretches

Kneeling all fours extension

Start this move by kneeling on all fours.  Your hands should be beneath your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips. Activate your core muscles and on a breath out, slowly lift your right arm and extend it straight forward whilst simultaneously lifting your left leg and extending it straight back. Breathe in and slowly lower to starting position. Repeat three times on each side.

Hip Lifts

This exercise is to strengthen you core muscles, lower back and buttocks. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your arms flat on the floor on either side of you. Activate your core muscles, then push through your feet equally and lift your buttocks up. Holding this position for 10 seconds and then lower. Use your legs, arms and shoulders to balance. Repeat five times.

Swimming

Lie on your stomach with your forehead down.  Stretch your arms out in front of you with the palms down and your legs  stretched behind you with toes pointed down. Lift your arms, legs, chest, and head up on one count and hold (A). Inhale and exhale normally as you alternate lifting right arm/left leg (B) and left arm/right leg (C) without touching them down to the mat. Count slowly from 1 to 10 as you swim, lifting higher and reaching longer with each progressive count. Sit back to your heels for a counter stretch in your lower back, if needed.

Stretches for Low Back Pain

Hold each stretch for 40-60 seconds 2 times per day.

  • Back Flexion Stretch. Lying on the back, pull both knees to the chest while simultaneously flexing the head forward until a comfortable stretch is felt across the mid and low back.
  • Knee to Chest Stretch. Lie on the back with the knees bent and both heels on the floor, then place both hands behind one knee and pull it toward the chest, stretching the buttock muscles.
  • Chair Hamstring Stretch. Sitting on a chair, place one leg straight out on another chair in front of the body. Reach toward the toes and stretch one leg at a time.

Remember, preventing back pain before its onset is they key to a healthier back. Back pain is a serious subject. As you recover from a back injury, it is important that you begin to learn how to safely strengthen your back. To help prevent injuries to your back later. To create a strong healthy back, you must regularly exercise the abdominals, obliques, hip muscles, back muscles, and glutes. Each of these muscle groups adds support to the spine. Our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med can teach you specific exercises that will help reduce your back pain now – and help you begin a new set of habits that will help keep your back healthy.

Chiro & Sport Med

Our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med are committed to providing chiropractic solutions to address your unique needs, whether you are experiencing a pinched nerve, bulging disc, back painneck pain,  headaches or even muscular tightness and tension. You may be searching for pain relief after an accident, experiencing injury or suffering from a specific condition like chronic back pain or a spinal condition. Our mission is to help reduce or eliminate pain. To help prevent future problems and injury. To improve your quality of life, your well-being and your ability to live an active healthy lifestyle.

If you would like to make an appointment with one of the chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med simply call our office on 9817 2005 and one of our friendly staff will organise an appointment for you.

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Core Activation and Back Pain

Your core muscles are the most important muscle group in your body. A strong core helps support your spine and promotes good posture. The muscular system relates to both local and global muscle groups. Local muscles, being our core, are the deep stabilizers and global muscles are the larger, superficial muscles that generate movement. Every move you make originates in your core. These muscles are vital to many common movements, such as lifting, twisting, reaching, and bending. Normal, everyday life requires almost constant use of the core muscles.

It is important to strengthen both muscle groups to avoid muscle imbalances. Developing strong abdominal muscles help prevent back pain by making you less prone to back injuries, having proper spinal alignment and better bladder control.

What are the core Muscles:

Five muscles make up your deep core. They are the transverse abdominis, multifidus, internal obliques, pelvic floor and diaphragm. They lie below your abdominals and wrap around your midsection connecting to your spine. The muscles occupy areas in your lower back, hips, glutes, trunk, and stomach and work together to stabilise your lower back.

Your abdominals are the front anchor of your spine. When they are not strong enough the other structures supporting your spine (e.g. your back muscles) will have to work harder. The muscles of the abdomen and lower back combine to hold your spine and pelvis in place.  If these muscles are weak, your body will be unstable, and you won’t be able to sit or stand erectly for more than a short period. Instead you will slouch or slump, which in turn will strain your muscles.

Your core muscles stabilize your entire body. Muscular weakness in any part of the body can be a sign of an inadequate core. The core generates power and stability for most of all body movements e.g. throwing, kicking and punching and also your ability to balance. A weak core will affect virtually everything you do.

Back Pain

Many people suffer from back pain and weak abdominals may be the cause of it. The lower back is one of the most common sources for recurrent pain. When your core isn’t as strong or balanced as it should be, the curvature of your lumbar spine can change. Even the slightest difference can place undue pressure on the vertebrae, discs or articulate facets that make up your spine, as well as the muscles, tendons and ligaments that surround it, making you much more prone to injury. If you do not have a more serious back condition, any lower back pain is likely a result of core weakness.

Therefore it is essential for the local muscles to be targeted and trained in order to avoid an imbalance in muscle recruitment. These muscles need to be activated first and taught motor control. It is important to know how to appropriately activate the core muscles before you begin a program to improve strength and stability.

Core Activation

Your deep abdominal muscles (local muscles) work to assist spinal and pelvic control. They run from the front of your abdomen, around your waist and insert via connective tissue into your spine. These deep stability core muscles include the transverse abdominals, multifidus, diaphragm, pelvic floor, and many other deeper muscles.

By developing stronger core muscles, you will be less likely to injure or strain your back muscles.  The challenge for people with a weak deep core is learning to activate those five muscles without using their abdominals. The good news is that you can learn to activate and strengthen your deep core.

When activating the deeper muscles, it should feel like a gentle tension under your fingers. The best way to feel your deeper muscles is by wrapping your thumbs and forefingers around your waist. Your fingers will rest directly above your core abdominal muscles, just inside your pelvic bones. You can do this whilst lying down with knees bent, or sitting on a chair or stability ball.

How to activate your Core Muscles

Good posture is essential for core activation. If your posture is slumped you won’t be able to activate the core abdominal muscles properly. Make sure you sit straight with your chest lifted, spine tall and have a small inward curve in your low back before beginning activation exercises.

Gently draw in your lower abdominal wall towards your spine – it’s a slow and controlled activation. Try to slightly draw in the area where your fingers are resting. Remember this is a very subtle and gentle contraction; it should not be too strong or forceful. Try to breathe normally and start with up to 10 second deep abdominal muscle holds. Progress the duration of your holds as your core control improves with practice.

Try to avoid these common mistakes during core activation training.

  • Slumped posture
  • Over bracing all abdominal muscles
  • Breath holding
  • Doing intense exercises for the core before understanding correct activation
  • Performing intense core exercises with pelvic floor problems

Once you have achieved activation for the deeper muscles correctly, it is safe to start core-strengthening and stabilization exercises. The best place to go is a pilates class to ensure you are working under supervision with instructors who specialise in this area.

Chiro & Sport Med

Our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med are committed to providing chiropractic solutions to address your unique needs, whether you are experiencing a pinched nerve, bulging disc, back painneck pain,  headaches or even muscular tightness and tension. You may be searching for pain relief after an accident, experiencing injury or if you suffer from a specific condition like chronic back pain or a spinal condition. Our mission is to help reduce or eliminate pain and to prevent future problems and injury and to improve your quality of life, your well-being and your ability to live and active healthy lifestyle.

If you would like to make an appointment with one of the chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med simply call our office on 9817 2005 and one of our friendly staff will organise an appointment for you.

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Weak Glute Muscles and your back

Weak Glute Muscles and back pain

The Gluteal muscle (butt Muscle) is most important of all the skeletal muscles in your body. They consist of the gluteus minimus, medius and maximus. Maximus is the largest muscle of the three. The glute muscles stabilize your pelvis during running and walking. You need strong glutes to help with hip extension and forward propulsion. It helps move your thigh in different directions. Every time you take a step, you’re using your glute muscles.

When the glutes aren’t doing their job, muscle function and movement mechanics in the hips – as well as strength, power, mobility, stability, posture, and athletic performance all suffer. Their function is to allow us to run, walk, climb stairs, squat and move. Proper alignment of the pelvis, torso and legs also depend on strong glutes and play an important role in maintaining your balance.  We need to keep this muscle healthy and active.

How it effects back pain

There is a strong link between lower back pain and weak glute muscles. If your glutes are not strong, your entire lower body alignment may fall out of balance. Weak glutes lead to lower back problems. If you are finding yourself feeling sore in your legs, back or both for even a short period then weak and inactive glutes could possibly be contributing to your back problems. Your lower back depends on your hip flexors, glutes and hamstrings to work properly to remain balanced and safe. All three Gluteal muscles have important roles to play in assisting with the stabilisation of the lower back and pelvis, as well as extend, externally rotate the leg and adduct or abduct the hip.

When you lose hip mobility you take more movement from the lower back. Lose movement in one place and you move more in another. The back hurts because it’s over working. The best thing to help your lower back is to activate your glutes. When the glutes start to weaken, compensation occurs elsewhere. The legs, and hips, the lower back and quads must work harder to compensate.

Remember an inactive gluteus tightens hip flexors and curves the spine, throwing off posture and causing back pain. The more that you use your gluteus maximus, the less your back and knees will suffer. Having strong glutes is key to being pain-free.

Siting doesn’t help the Glutes

Unfortunately from all of the skeletal muscles the Gluteus muscle group is the most neglected. With a large percentage of our population spending the majority of their day sitting, we are developing what has become known as “sloppy bottom”.  When you sit for long periods of time your hip flexors tighten up and prevent activation of the glutes.  Your pelvis can’t rotate forward, causing compression in the lower back which can lead to back pain. Sitting also reduces the activity of the nerves that are involved in stimulating and contracting the muscles. This is very significant and detrimental to the healthy functioning of the glutes.  Health practitioners are finding a marked correlation between the lack of strength in this glute area and chronic pain in the lower back, hips, knees or ankles.

Glute activation

It is really important to activate your glute muscles. Your gluteus maximus is one of the largest and most dominant muscles in your entire body. This muscle controls and powers almost all of your lower body movements. It connects to your core, quads and hamstrings, and your iliotibial band that runs along the side of your legs. The iliotibial bands connects your glutes to your knees. If your glutes aren’t activating to their full potential you are then relying on other smaller muscles to do their work. You’ll fatigue, run slow, and be prone to injuries in your lower back, knees, shins, and ankles. Therefore a tight Gluteus Muscle and trigger points in your Piriformis can cause low back pain and tightness. They can even lead to hip pain and cause referred pain down your leg.

So how do you activate your glutes and build strength on your backside? You want to incorporate specific strength training exercises that isolate and target your glutes.  There are many simple exercises that will create strong glutes without requiring you to spend hours at the gym. Exercises Like the Clamshell, the Glute Bridge, deadlifts, deep squats, lunges and step-ups will help activate those Glutes. It’s always best though to see your local chiropractor or health practitioner as they can assess you properly and provide you with the necessary exercises.

Remember the body is an interconnected system. If the muscles do not fire in the right sequence, other muscles compensate, resulting possibly in strain or injury. Weak glutes can’t stabilise your pelvis, which causes it to tilt forward. This puts pressure on your lower spine. As a result the lower back can be injured if it is forced to do the hip-extending job of the glutes. The ankles can be strained if misused due to improper alignment caused by inactive glutes. Strengthening your glutes can help improve posture and make sitting down, standing, picking up heavy objects and climbing stairs easier.

Chiro & Sports Med

Everyone, from growing children to active seniors can benefit from regular chiropractic care. We believe in restoring patients to their optimal health and well-being in the shortest possible time. To help reduce or eliminate pain and to prevent future problems and injury. Improving your quality of life and your ability to live an active healthy lifestyle.

Our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med are here to help. Our objective is to help promote ongoing wellness by improving spinal and joint function. We are always committed to providing chiropractic solutions to address all of your specific needs. You may be experiencing a pinched nerve, bulging discneck painback painheadaches, muscular tightness or searching for pain relief after an accident or injury.  With regular adjustments, chiropractic care offers a host of preventative health benefits, and is vital for keeping your body balanced, flexible and functioning at its best.

If you would like to make an appointment with one of the chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med simply call our office on 9817 2005 and one of our friendly staff will organise an appointment for you.

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Water for your spine

Water is the source of Life and there is a good reason for it too. The amount of water in the human body ranges from 50-75%. The water in our bodies serves a multitude of functions. Its is important to keep ourselves hydrated, our spines in alignment and our vertebrae’s properly cushioned. When we feel thirsty, dehydration has already set into a certain degree. So, everyone should drink regularly throughout the day, before they even feel thirsty. Not drinking enough water can increase your risk of health problems, chronic back pain arthritis, joint problems and degenerative spinal conditions as you get older.

How Dehydration Causes Back Pain

Water not only helps lubricate the joints but insulates the brain, organs and spinal cord. Between the bones, or vertebrae, in your spine lives a disc. These spinal discs act as shock absorbers. They also help to shield your back from the damage of daily use leading to wear and tear. These discs are spongy like a jelly donut. It has a tough but flexible outer layer surrounding a squishy, jelly-like centre. The jelly, officially called the nucleus pulposis, is made up of Water. Every night, our discs nourish themselves as our bodies regenerate in our sleep. When you lie down and rest, your body is best able to initiate the process of rehydrating your spinal discs via osmosis. So we need to keep your discs properly hydrated. Water keeps all of the tissues in the body and spine flexible.

The movement of your spine and gravity causes water to flow through your spine and be reabsorbed by the discs. Your discs are made to lose water and then rehydrate. If not enough water is available for the discs to absorb what they’ve lost, then it can’t function properly. Since most of the jelly inside the discs in your spine is made up of water, it will shrink if not hydrated adequately. When it shrinks it will cause the outer layer to take on more of the stress of absorbing shock and supporting your spine. Eventually, this can cause swelling, pain and even a bulge or rupture in the disc’s outer shell making it very uncomfortable. Dehydration may actually be the cause of your constant back pain.

As you go about your daily activities, each time you move, the spine compresses the disc, squeezing out the water within. Even walking or sitting upright can cause this as gravity causes the spine to compress. When the disc does not have adequate water, the result is pain and lack of mobility as well as increased risk of spinal injury. You need to make sure that you drink enough water every day.

How to Stay Hydrated

Here are a few tips to keep you hydrated:

  • Drink enough water– You should be drinking at least half of your body weight of water per day. If you weigh 90 kilos, drink 3 litres of water each day.
  • Choose water when working out– If your workout is under 60 minutes, water before, during and after exercise is good. If more than 60 minutes or in extreme heat, drink water along with sports drinks that contain sodium and potassium.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables – You don’t just get water through drinking, you also get it through foods. Try to work in at least five cups of vegetables and fruits a day. Who doesn’t like watermelon in the summer?
  • Monitor your urine – You can keep tabs on how hydrated you are through the color of your urine. If it looks dark yellow, orange, cloudy or smells bad (not due to something you’ve eaten) you aren’t drinking enough water. Keep in mind that certain B Complex Vitamins can yellow your urine. Almost light and clear urine means adequately drinking enough water. You should be urinating regularly (more than three to four times per day).

Unfortunately when the body rehydrates itself, the vital organs take precedence and the spine gets what is left over. If there is already a deficiency present, then there is nothing left over to rehydrate the spine. The trick is to drink water throughout the day instead of waiting until you feel thirsty. Maintaining proper hydration will promote a healthier environment for your discs and other spinal structures.

Just remember our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med are here to help promote ongoing wellness by improving spinal and joint function often resulting in a healthier, more active lifestyle. With regular adjustments, chiropractic care offers a host of preventative health benefits. It is vital for keeping your body balanced, flexible and functioning at its best. Everyone, from growing children to active seniors, can benefit from regular chiropractic care. We believe in restoring patients to their optimal health and well being in the shortest possible time.

If you would like to make an appointment with one of the chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med simply call our office on 9817 2005 and one of our friendly staff will organise an appointment for you.

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How to sit behind your desk?

The human body was designed to move and not sit in a chair for several hours at a time. Sitting for long periods of time can cause your muscles to become inactive and has you burning one calorie a minute, a third of what it would be if you were walking. And that’s even when you have good posture. Posture is an important part of preventing problems like back,  neck, shoulder pain, digestive problems, poor breathing, depression and fatigue. When the back is straight, the spine is then supported and stabilised. When you slouch or hunched over, your spine no longer has the support it needs to stay balanced. There’s a reason your mother told you to sit up straight – poor posture destroys your health.

Here are some tips to find the best way to sit at our desks.

Chair

Adjust the seat height so your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are equal to, or slightly lower than your hips. Push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair. Adjust the back of the chair to a 100°-110° reclined angle. Your upper and lower back should always be supported.  Use cushions or small pillows if necessary. If you have an active back mechanism on your chair, use it to make frequent position changes. Adjust the armrests (if fitted) so that your shoulders are relaxed. If your armrests are in the way, remove them.

Computer Monitor and Eyes

Centre the Computer screen directly in front of you, above your keyboard. Adjust the monitor, documents and any source on your desk so that your neck is in a neutral relaxed position. Position the top of the monitor approximately 2-3” above your seated eye level. If you wear bifocals, lower the monitor to a comfortable reading level.

Sit at least an arm’s length away from the screen and adjust the distance for your vision. Reduce any glare by carefully positioning the screen. You should be looking almost straight at, but partially looking down.  It’s important that your eyes are in line with the area of the screen you are focus on the most. Whether it’s the top (if you’re sending lots of emails), or the bottom (if you’re typing). Looking down at your screen puts excess strain on your neck, which leaves you vulnerable to injuries. Injuries such as cervical disc herniation, cervical strains and headaches. Try Stacking books under your monitor, it’s a simple trick if you need to raise your screen to be at eye level. And if you happen to be a multi-monitor worker, make sure you apply this tip to the monitor you use the most—the last thing you want is an injury from looking sideways all day.

Keyboard

Sit close to your keyboard and adjust the keyboard height. Position it so that it is directly in front of your body.  Your shoulders and elbows should be relaxed in a slightly open position and your wrists and hands straight. Adjust the tilt of your keyboard based on your sitting position. Use the keyboard tray mechanism or keyboard feet, to adjust the tilt. If you sit in a forward or upright position, try tilting your keyboard away from you.  If you are sitting slightly reclined, then a slight forward tilt will help to maintain a straight wrist position.

Use wrist rests. They will help maintain neutral postures and pad hard surfaces. The wrist rest should only be used to rest the palms of the hands between keystrokes and not while typing. Place the mouse or trackball as close as possible to the keyboard.

Desk

Anything that you constantly use (think your phone, mouse, or water bottle) can be a stressor on your body if you’re always reaching out to grab it. Instead of forcing your body to overwork (and be in an uncomfortable position), keep these must-use items within arms length.

Arms

When you stretch and extend your arms your shoulders start to rotate forward.  This causes you to lose strength in your upper back. To avoid shoulder injuries and chronic upper back pain, keep your arms at a comfortable 90-degree angle in a nice, neutral resting position. Chairs come with armrests for a reason, so don’t be afraid to let them lend you a helping hand!

Back

It is important to keep your back comfortable and supported with a small curve in the lumbar spine area. This is where your natural lower back (or lordotic curve) is. Without support, the back tends to get too much of a curve in the opposite direction (hunchback). This leaves the lower back perfectly exposed to disc herniation and chronic postural lower back sprains and strains. If you don’t have a chair that can provide support, get creative! Pillows and jackets are the perfect solution to such a problem.

Legs and Feet

Crossing your legs or having your toes just touching the floor will add unnecessary stress on the large supportive muscles. Thus restricting proper blood flow (causing pins and needles). Small habits like keeping your legs crossed all day long can lead to chronic pain. So try to cross your legs every now and then.

Vertical Alignment

While seated, you never want to be reaching or leaning forward. For every inch that the head comes forward, the spine feels like it has taken on an extra 4 kgs, adding on some major strain on your muscles.

Pauses and Breaks

Take small breaks during your workday to release some of that muscle tension. Remember that static postures will inhibit blood circulation and take a toll on your body.

  • Take short 1-2 minute stretch breaks every 20-30 minutes.After each hour of work, take a break or change tasks for at least 5-10 minutes. Always try to get away from your computer during lunch breaks.
  • Avoid eye fatigue by resting and refocusing your eyes periodically.Look away from the monitor and focus on something in the distance.
  • Rest your eyes by covering them with your palms for 10-15 seconds.
  • Use correct posture when working. Keep moving as much as possible.

Studies have shown that constant sitting is very damaging to your health. Try walking around for a couple minutes, standing and doing stretches, anything to break up a full day of sitting on your bottom is good for you. Making Little changes to your posture matter. Bad sitting habits—from slouching to crossing your legs—can lead to serious injuries and chronic pain. Fortunately, most of these issues are preventable, and regardless of if you’re big or small, there’s a creative way to make your desk setup and posture a bit better.

Our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med are committed to providing chiropractic solutions to address your unique needs, whether you are experiencing a pinched nerve, bulging disc, back painneck pain, headaches or even muscular tightness and tension. You may be searching for pain relief after an accident, experiencing injury or if you suffer from a specific condition like chronic back pain or a spinal condition. Our mission is to help reduce or eliminate pain and to prevent future problems and injury and to improve your quality of life, your well-being and your ability to live and active healthy lifestyle.

If you would like to make an appointment with one of the chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med simply call our office on 9817 2005 and one of our friendly staff will organise an appointment for you.

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Poor Posture

Poor posture is today’s new world health problem. It causes more mental and physical health complications than most people realise. The human body was designed to move and not sit in a chair for several hours at a time. Posture is an important part of preventing problems like back, neck, shoulder pain and even depression and fatigue.  When the back is straight, the spine is supported and stabilised. When you slouch or hunched over, your spine no longer has the support it needs to stay balanced. There’s a reason your mother told you to sit up straight – poor posture destroys your health.

Bad posture worsens Depression and Stress

When the body remains in a seated position for an extended period of time, slouched and constricted, all of your internal processes slow down. As a result your energy levels decrease and creates a poor mood. Making you feel irritable, tired and aggravated. Slouching causes your body to compress and constrict. Therefore your heart and lungs are forced to work harder to pump blood and circulate oxygen. This causes stress on your internal organs and muscles. So sitting in an upright position with your shoulders and chest broad makes it easier to breathe.

Causes Digestive problems

Sitting for long periods constricts your heart, lungs and intestines. This can make digestion uncomfortable and cause a lot of issues such as acid reflux and hernias. If you are experiencing digestive distress, you may want to take a closer look at your posture and how much time you are spending sitting each day. Poor posture can cause you to develop that unsightly belly pouch that most of us dread. It affects both heavy and thin people and can be attributed to slouching and poor sitting habits.

Poor Breathing

The lungs function optimally when the diaphragm and rib cage can properly expand.  Bending forward, backward or sideways invites distorted restricted, shallow breathing. Leaning over squeezes your lungs, making them smaller, and decreasing your breathing volume. Shallow breathing means less oxygen into your system. Less oxygen means less energy. This means It restricts blood and oxygen flow which makes it difficult to breath and speak.

To see how posture affects your breathing, sit with your shoulders and spine in a slouched position in your chair. Exhale and then hold your breath. Now, stand up straight and continue to hold your breath.

Back, Shoulder and Neck Pain

Sitting in a slouched position at your desk for an extended period of time puts a great deal of stress on your upper body. Back, shoulder and neck pain are the most common effects of poor posture. The pain areas include:

  • Lower back – 63%
  • Neck – 53%
  • Shoulder – 38%
  • Wrist – 33%

The posture that causes neck and back pain the most is when a person is sitting with their head and shoulders pushed forward. This occurs when you are sitting in front of a computer, with your head jutted forward to read the screen. Since this posture usually takes place in the workplace, it’s important for people to remain aware of how they’re sitting, and to make corrections whenever possible.

Over time, poor posture can cause a misalignment in the spine and lead to even more pain. If the spine is misaligned, weight or stress needs to be redistributed to compensate for your slouching. In addition, it also causes joint stress. Your joints are forced to bear a heavier load, eventually, leading to pain and degradation of the tissues surrounding your joints.

Poor posture can also cause neck pain. Since the neck and skull sit on top of the spine, the curvature of the spine can cause the head’s position to become askew. This causes considerable strain on the neck muscles, which in turn can contribute to neck aches, pains, and even chronic headaches.  There are a number of muscles that make up the neck and when these muscles are strained or become tight, they can cause neck pain.

Tension Headaches

Tension Headaches are another side effect of poor posture. Office workers tend to experience more headaches simply because they are putting so much tension and strain on their bodies by sitting all day. Hunching over computers, sitting in cars for hours on end or sprawling on the sofa are some examples that can all lead to back and neck pain which ultimately leads to a headache. Obesity, muscle tone, shoes and pregnancy can make you more vulnerable to posture-related tension headaches as well.

One common reason for headaches, especially tension headaches is muscle tension and tightness. This tightness occurs all over the head and neck feeling like there is a rubber band around your head sometimes. These muscles work hard to adapt to the constraints that are being put on them when your posture is poor. Therefore the tension in your neck, shoulders and spine eventually work their way up to your head and cause a tension headache.

Try this – drop your shoulders as you are reading this paragraph. Try to push them towards the ground. You will notice that they fall a considerable distance. Some others may experience a small fall or none at all. For those of you that noticed that their shoulders did not drop at all, sit up and try the exercise again. When you are sitting up straight your shoulders should drop very little, if at all, meaning your posture is good.  But If your shoulders did drop alot your posture is poor. This can lead to shortening of some muscles and irritation of your spine and the discs. This shortening will cause that rubber band feeling on the head. Most often this pain is felt right at the base of the skull and if you push on it with your fingers you can sometimes get relief.

Tips on How to Improve Your Posture

  • Invest in an ergonomic chair, keyboard and mouse.  You want to make sure that it’s providing you with the support you need.
  • Get up and stretch every half hour or hour, if possible. This will give your body a break and allow your organs to get the oxygen they need.
  • Exercise. Focus on exercises that strengthen your core.  A strong core will make it much easier for your body to remain in an upright position.
  • Practice yoga. Yoga encourages good posture. Some of the poses require you to keep your shoulders and chest broad. This opens the lungs and allows you to breathe easily.

Just remember our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med are here to help promote ongoing wellness by improving spinal and joint function often resulting in a healthier, more active lifestyle. With regular adjustments, chiropractic care offers a host of preventative health benefits, and is vital for keeping your body balanced, flexible and functioning at its best. Everyone, from growing children to active seniors, can benefit from regular chiropractic care. We believe in restoring patients to their optimal health and well being in the shortest possible time.

 If you would like to make an appointment with one of the chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med simply call our office on 9817 2005 and one of our friendly staff will organise an appointment for you.
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Chiropractic care for Sciatica

Sciatica Pain?

If you are suffering from sciatica pain a chiropractor can help. Sciatica is pain that originates in the low back or buttock that travels into one or both legs. This nerve is the widest and longest single nerve in the body. Pain can be felt as dull, achy, sharp, toothache-like, pins and needles or similar to electric shocks. Other symptoms associated with sciatica include burning, numbness and tingling sensations

How can a chiropractor help?

Chiropractors are specially trained in assessing and identifying the source of sciatica. Their aim is to assist you in managing your pain without longterm use of medications. Most importantly your chiropractor will identify and investigate the underlying cause by taking a full medical history. Including an examination of the affected area and occasionally x-rays or MRI maybe needed. A treatment plan will then be designed catering to your cause & symptoms.

Sciatica treatment may involve soft tissue therapy to reduce any muscle inflammation or tension, and chiropractic adjustments to realign the vertebra and discs in the spine. Because this spinal adjusting method is so gentle (focusing on gentle pressures at points along the spine where tensions and imbalance may occur) patients are able to receive treatment for their sciatic nerve symptoms without excessive pain or discomfort. The chiropractor may also recommend Sciatica exercises to help improve the motion in the area. These exercises also help to strengthen the back and to reduce painful symptoms.

Most of the time, your condition will get better within a few weeks with chiropractic treatment. It is important that you come as soon as possible for treatment and get a proper diagnosis in order to prevent long-term problems. Our aim is to get you on the path to recovery as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Common Sciatica Symptoms

 

  • Hot pain in the buttock
  • Aching in the buttock, back of the thigh (hamstring) and calf
  • Leg cramp described as sharp (“knife-like”), or electrical
  • Pain in the ankle and foot
  • Pins and needles
  • Increased pain when lifting, straining or coughing
  • Loss of power to the muscles of the leg and foot.

 

Sciatica Causes

 

Problems can arise when the sciatic nerve is irritated by mechanical, inflammatory and any other factors. Common causes for sciatica include disc problems, spinal degeneration, spinal stenosis, congenital problems, poor posture and excessive muscle tension in the piriformis muscle. A herniated disc: this is the most frequent cause of sciatica. The herniated disc may press directly on the nerve roots that refer to the sciatic nerve.

  • Age: It is more common to get sciatica from the ages of 30 to 50 years.
  • General wear and tear:
  • Any sudden pressure on the discs that cushion the bones (vertebrae) of your lower spine.
  • Inflammation.
  • Chemicals from the disc’s nucleus can inflame the nerve roots.

 

Rehabilitation for Sciatica

 

  • Your chiropractor will prescribe tailored exercises to strengthen your back.
  • It is important to walk and move while limiting a lot of bending or twisting.
  • In some cases, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or muscle relaxants may help in the initial phase of treatment.
  • Placing gentle cold or heat interchangeably on your painful muscles maybe calming.
  • Too much rest may cause pooling of inflammation and may result in discomfort in other areas of the body.

Fortunately, sciatica responds to safe, natural chiropractic care. Improving joint motion with a series of chiropractic adjustments has produced results for millions. Many patients report that they can resume their lives and their symptoms disappear without drugs and surgery.

Our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med are committed to providing chiropractic solutions to address your unique needs, whether you are experiencing a pinched nerve, bulging disc, back painneck pain, headaches or even muscular tightness and tension. You may be searching for pain relief after an accident or suffering from chronic back pain or a spinal condition. Our mission is to help reduce or eliminate pain and to prevent future problems and injury. To improve your quality of life, your well-being and your ability to live and active healthy lifestyle.

If you would like to make an appointment with one of the chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med simply call our office on 9817 2005 and one of our friendly staff will organise an appointment for you.

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Sever’s Disease in Children

What is Sever’s Disease?

Sever’s disease (also known as calcaneal apophysitis) is a common cause of heel pain in children that are growing, especially those who are physically active. Sever’s disease occurs when the growth plate (the growing part of the heel) is affected by inflammation (swelling). This results in pain and discomfort sensed in the lower parts of the body.

The growth plate has a region of developing cartilage cells which over time transform into bone cells.  As this occurs the existing growth plate expands and unite to form mature bone. This type of growth plate injury usually occurs in children who are physically active and during their growth spurt into adolescence that can be approximately a 2-year time period.  For females this could be from 8-13 years of age and for males 10-15 years of age. Sever’s disease rarely occurs in older teens because the back of the heel usually finishes growing by the age of 15, when the growth plate hardens and the growing bones fuse together into mature bone.

Sever’s Causes

Why Children encounter Sever’s disease is because the heel bone’s rate of growth is faster during early puberty in comparison with the rate in which the leg muscles and tendons are developed.  As a result, the muscles and tendons in the area end up being tight. Therefore reducing flexibility to the heels and ultimately putting pressure on the growth plate causing pain.

Other causes that can contribute to the appearance of Sever’s disease are:

  • Increased running or jumping activity
  • Tightened hamstrings
  • Stiff calf muscles
  • Prolonged standing, which keeps the heel under continuous pressure
  • A flat or high arch of the foot, that can later also result in Achilles tendon pain
  • Excess body weight
  • Improper footwear

 

Sever’s Symptoms

The most common signs and Symptoms of Sever’s disease are:

  • Pain in the heel
  • Limping
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Heel swelling and redness
  • Decreased ankle range of motion
  • Heel pain that is worse during or after activity
  • Heel pain in the morning,
  • Pain in the heel when squeezed.

 

Sever’s Treatment

Have your child sit down or stop any activity that causes heel pain. Apply ice to the injured heel for 20 minutes 3 times a day. If your child has a high arch, flat feet or bowed legs, things like arch supports, orthotics, heel cups maybe recommended as it can assist with treating Severs.

Stretching exercises for the hamstring and calf muscles will also be helpful.  Perform each stretch  2 or 3 times a day and hold for about 30 seconds. It is also important to stretch both legs even if the pain is only in one heel. Strengthening exercises to the muscles on the front of the shin and lower leg helps to promote healing and recurrence of this injury. Your child should not walk barefoot with active Sever’s disease as this can increase the pain and inflammation.

With rest and after heel bone growth is complete, the pain and discomfort can disappear. Therefore most children will return to their activities without any recurrence once the symptoms have subsided. However, if not treated and addressed properly Sever’s can reoccur. Tight calf muscles and foot issues might be an issue in the future.

Remember that everyone from all age groups can benefit from chiropractic care. Our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med are committed to providing chiropractic solutions to address your unique needs, whether you are experiencing a pinched nerve, bulging disc, back painneck pain, headaches or even muscular tightness and tension. You may be searching for pain relief after an accident or suffering from chronic back pain or a spinal condition. Our mission is to help reduce or eliminate pain and to prevent future problems and injury. To improve your quality of life, your well-being and your ability to live and active healthy lifestyle.

If you would like to make an appointment with one of the chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med simply call our office on 9817 2005 and one of our friendly staff will organise an appointment for you.

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Chiropractic Care for all age groups

People from all age groups can benefit from Chiropractic care. From Small children, the elderly, pregnant woman to amateur or Olympic athletes.   It is safe for the whole family. Anyone who suffers from specific musculoskeletal problems can benefit from Chiropractic care.  A chiropractor’s goal is to focus on the health of the spine.  They perform adjustments (hands on spinal manipulations) to the spine or other parts of the body with the goal of correcting alignment problems, alleviating pain, improving function and mobility, increasing vitality and supporting the body’s natural ability to heal itself without surgery or medication.

Normally, we tend to think of adults only with bad backs or those who have been injured on the job that need to seek chiropractic care. This is not the case,  all age groups stands to benefit from chiropractic treatment. Chiropractic care is suited to each individual’s age, condition and spinal problem. Generally children have more mobile joints than adults so they require less force in order to attain the desired effect of the adjustment. Where as Senior citizens receive gentle chiropractic adjustments to accommodate their sensitive bones.

There are many reasons why we should seek chiropractic care for all age groups. They are:

Strong Immune System

A healthy central nervous system and a strong immune system go hand in hand. Our nervous system runs through the spine and it works with the immune system in order for the body to adapt to various conditions and heal appropriately when required. Spinal misalignments can cause neural dysfunctions and these are stressful to the body which lead to a weak immune response.

So when the CNS sends and receives messages efficiently, other systems and functions in the body are able to work properly and competently. Chiropractic adjustments have shown to boost the immune system. Therefore by allowing a chiropractor to adjust your spine, especially on a continual basis,  your body systems (nervous, endocrine and immune) naturally get a boost. The immune system is responsible for fighting off illness,  so you’ll be feeling healthier overall.

An Increase in Energy

Many people do not realise how much and how often tension can build up in the body. Simple spinal adjustments can help your body release tension in your muscles and alleviate any pain you may have. As the tension is released, the body is able to relax thus allowing you to sleep better.  Less pain and more sleep allows your energy levels to rise naturally.

Energy flows through your nerves and your nerves distribute the energy throughout your body. When your spine is aligned properly, your nervous system keeps the flow of energy balanced. But when your spine is misaligned, it causes kinks in your nerves interfering with energy flow. The result is that persistent feeling of fatigue that makes it difficult to get through the day. You can sleep all day and all night, but until your spine is returned to proper alignment, that feeling of fatigue will continue to drain you.

Improved Digestion

The digestive system links to the nervous system. The nervous system controls various aspects of your digestive function. For example, the nerves in the thoracic and lumbar regions of your spine control the pace at which your body digests food. If any of the numerous nerves in your spine are not functioning properly, problems with digestion can easily arise.

When the spine is not aligned, stress and strain is placed on the nerves. Thus leaving the nerves incapable of sending out the necessary signals to your digestive system to trigger them to work properly. A chiropractor can safely and gently correct your spine through spinal manipulation. For this reason your body starts to become healthier, especially along the spine and the central nervous system. Digestion is now able to move more freely. The body is then able to process foods and eliminate toxins faster, leaving you feeling better than ever.

Care Plan

Chiropractors will tailor a specific care plan for you that takes into account a number of factors. These can include: results of nerve function scans or x-rays, and any physical examination findings. The type of tissue involved? (eg. ligament, tendon, muscle, disc, organ). How long you have had the condition? The intensity of the pain and the amount of inflammation you are experiencing. The presence of any unavoidable aggravating factors to your condition (eg. your occupation or degeneration). The chiropractor evaluates a patient’s particular spinal problem and develops an individual course of care. Therefore each patient’s care is uniquely different from every other patients with each visit building on the one before.

Remember that everyone from all age groups can benefit from chiropractic care. Our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med are committed to providing chiropractic solutions to address your unique needs, whether you are experiencing a pinched nerve, bulging disc, back painneck pain, headaches or even muscular tightness and tension. You may be searching for pain relief after an accident or suffering from chronic back pain or a spinal condition. Our mission is to help reduce or eliminate pain and to prevent future problems and injury. To improve your quality of life, your well-being and your ability to live and active healthy lifestyle.

If you would like to make an appointment with one of the chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med simply call our office on 9817 2005 and one of our friendly staff will organise an appointment for you.

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Sports Injuries and Chiropractic Care

Whether you play sports at an amateur or professional level. As an athlete the demands of running, jumping, throwing or tackling can result in painful tears, sprains, and strains. People of all ages suffer from some form of sports injury in their lives and getting back to playing again is the most important thing. Chiropractors are trained to deal with a wide range of sports injuries from Achilleshamstring, calf, groin, thigh strains to tennis elbowneck back or a shoulder sprain. By getting your injury assessed and treated this will not only get you back on your feet faster, but also screen out any bad habits that can lead to further injury.

Sports Injuries

“Sports injuries” are injuries that happen when playing sports, exercising or involved in any active play. During many sports, body contact, fast stops and starts, and positioning place an unusual amount of strain on the spine and structural system.  The Muscles, Joints and ligaments can be affected from overuse, trauma or repetitive motions. Some are from accidents. Others can result from poor training practices or improper gear. Not warming up or stretching enough before you play or exercise can also lead to injuries. The most common sports injuries are:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Knee injuries
  • Swollen muscles
  • Achilles tendon injuries
  • Pain along the shin bone
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations

Types of Sports Injuries

There are two kinds of sports injuries: acute and chronic. Acute injuries occur suddenly when playing or exercising. Sprained ankles, strained backs, and fractured hands are acute injuries. Signs of an acute injury include:

  • Sudden, severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Not being able to place weight on a leg, knee, ankle, or foot
  • An arm, elbow, wrist, hand, or finger that is very tender
  • Not being able to move a joint as normal
  • Extreme leg or arm weakness
  • A bone or joint that is visibly out of place.

Chronic injuries happen after you play a sport or exercise for a long time. Signs of a chronic injury include:

  • Pain when you play
  • Pain when you exercise
  • A dull ache when you rest
  • Swelling

Importance of Chiropractic Care

Chiropractors can help athletes with sports injuries by relieving their pain and helping them heal faster after an injury. Regular visits will promote quicker recovery after games and training as well as better balance and overall performance. Chiropractors are skilled in the manual adjustment of the spine. They ensure that bones are lined up and balanced, which helps relieve tension in the body. This allows the body to function better and become less susceptible to injury.

The goal of most chiropractic techniques is to restore or enhance joint function while resolving joint inflammation and reducing pain. This hands-on therapy is often used to treat neck or back injuries but also relieves pain throughout the joints and muscles in the body. In addition to treating injuries, chiropractors can also help you prevent injuries from occurring.  It is recommended that you get evaluated by a chiropractor before you start your sport or exercise regimen. They can check your muscles and spine to detect imbalance and alleviate tension so that the body can work naturally rather than be prone to injury.

Our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med are committed to providing chiropractic solutions to address your unique needs, whether you are experiencing a pinched nerve, bulging disc, back painneck pain, headaches or even muscular tightness and tension. You may be searching for pain relief after an accident, experiencing injury or if you suffer from a specific condition like chronic back pain or a spinal condition. Our mission is to help reduce or eliminate pain and to prevent future problems and injury and to improve your quality of life, your well-being and your ability to live and active healthy lifestyle.

If you would like to make an appointment with one of the chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med simply call our office on 9817 2005 and one of our friendly staff will organise an appointment for you.

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