Chiropractic care for Headaches & Migraines

Chiropractic care for headaches & migraines

Frequent head and neck pain can be extremely debilitating. Especially for people who work long hours, or have ongoing responsibilities. For many of us, work duties and, or parental commitments cannot just be put aside each time we have a headache. A combination of many factors, such as a slouchy posture, poor diet, and bad habits, can all increase the likelihood of developing frequent headaches and migraines. We all know how we should improve our health: good strength, eating well, reducing toxin exposure, etc.. But did you know that regular chiropractic care for headaches & migraines is also critical?!

How can Revolution Chiropractors help me?

While the use of medications offer fast temporary relief of pain, they are not a cure. Also, many drugs can have serious long term and hidden adverse side effects. Chiropractic care is a gentle and safe treatment choice. It is widely considered one of the best long term preventative options for many headache sufferers.

Chiropractic care for headaches and migraines is performed using gentle spinal corrections and adjustments. After an initial assessment, we target specific areas of the spine, neck, and muscle tissue that is causing the pain. For example, one common possibility of tension headaches is reoccurring spasms. These spasms can irritate sensitive nerve endings at the base of the neck. By having a chiropractor correct subluxations in these muscles, spasm irritation can be relieved, eliminating the root cause of tension headaches.

In taking a holistic approach to health, we can control and eliminate many contributing aggravators of head and neck pain. So for anyone suffering the ongoing frustration of stress pains caused by this commonly misunderstood condition, we must take good care of ourselves and our bodies. Be sure to book a check-up with your local chiropractor today.

If you are struggling with headaches or migraines, consider booking an appointment with a trained specialist, Dr. Samineh Baktash, at Revolution Chiropractic in Auckland, Northcote.

 

chiropractic care - headaches and migraines

Chiropractor Auckland

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Desk Mobility

Here’s something that may come as a surprise to you – your body wasn’t designed to be in one position for more than 15 minutes. With many people working office jobs where they’re inside sitting for prolonged periods of time, 15 minutes of sitting isn’t even a warm-up, taking your body to the furthest point from mobility.

Ideally you want to be getting up every time to keep it moving and do what’s ideal for our body, but realistically, getting up every 15 minutes for a walk would make you wildly unproductive. Therefore, 30-60 minutes is a more reasonable goal. Even doing a short mobility routine or walk to get water whenever you become conscious about it is better than nothing.

Here are a few mobility routines that you can try out the next time you realize you’ve been in the same position for way too long:

Mobility routines

  • Standing Back Extension
    • Stand up straight and place your hands on your hips.
    • Bend backwards (extend your back) to your pain-free end range.
    • Hold that for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
  • Scapular Retraction
    • Squeeze your shoulder blade together like you’re trying to hold a cup of water.
    • Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
  • Neck Extension
    • Ensure proper posture and form (slightly extended low back and retracted shoulder blades).
    • Look up at the ceiling while relaxing your jaw (to get maximum ROM) and hold for 5 seconds. Then look down at the floor and keep it there for 5 seconds.
    • Repeat this about 8-10 times.

 

These mobility exercises were made to open your body up and work the opposite way that your office desk posture does. Now you know why you should stay moving and you have some tools under your belt to support this. Happy desking!

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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Neck Pain – How To Get Rid Of It

If you’re sitting in front of a computer or desk for most of the day then you’ve probably run into the problem of annoying neck pain. Throw in a bunch of stress, poorly designed chairs and desks and you’ve pretty much got a recipe for neck pain that likes to visit you regularly.

With this kind of behaviour being the norm in every day life neck pain has become a common problem with multiple possible causes. But with the help of your structural chiropractor and some self-care, you can nip that neck pain in butt so that it stops visiting, visits less often or at least doesn’t stay over as long.

Here are our 3 tips for neck pain:

  1. Stretch – Prevent Neck Pain:

    muscles in the upper back and neck tend to contract and stay contracted for long periods of time. Over that time, your brain forgets what length they were in the relaxed state and keeps them short. Stretches can help remind the brain that these muscles aren’t meant to be that short for such a long period of time!Try this stretch out for your levator scapulae muscles:
    a) Rotate your head to 45 degrees.
    b) Place your hand on the same side behind your head and bring your head down toward your knee on the same side. Hold for 15 seconds and switch sides. Do that 3 times.

    For a deeper stretch, push your head back into your hand and then relax into the stretch further.REMINDER: do this gently and DO NOT pull your head too hard. Always ease into it and start with the weight of your hand as the downward force to start.

  1. Strengthen:

    A great exercise we love to give people with neck pain is the chin tuck. It helps strengthen the deep muscles in your neck and train the brain to hold your head in a more ideal position in relation to gravity.a) Looking straight ahead place your index and middle finger on your chin.
    b) Pushing back with your two fingers retract your chin back to create double chin.

  • Hold for 5 seconds and relax and repeat that 10 times.
  1. Move:

    The main source of most neck pain is that your neck is held in a position for too long. Throughout your day keep your neck joints moving. Remember: movement is life for joints and taking the time to go for a walk or even looking up and down. Putting your neck in positions it hasn’t seen for a while does wonder for preventing neck pain.

Along with all this advice, if you have stubborn neck pain, consult with one of our structural chiropractors to help put a stop to it and get back to doing your thing.

Chiropractor Auckland

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Pull Your Head In: Posture Exercises

Today we’re going to give you some exercises you can do in your gym routine for good posture.

Commands like “stand up straight!” and “don’t slouch” were commonplace for our grandparents. When training to be a seamstress my great grandmother would have to sit as straight as a ruler or else be whipped by it. Such a method may not be approved today, which is probably a good thing however the importance of posture is as important now as ever.

Hyperkyphosis, the technical word for what we might call forward head posture, rounded shoulders or “hunchback”, has actually been shown to be linked with shortened life expectancy in elderly (Kado et al, 2004). If you are not currently elderly and you are reading this then chances are that one day you will be, and guess what, the habits you build around posture now will get harder to break as you get older. This is a good thing thought because if you instil good habits then those too will be harder to break as you age!

Being aware of your posture at work, home, when driving, sitting at the table for dinner and on the couch is important. But so is building the strength and muscles required to hold you in good posture.

Pretty much every activity we do in a day, except doing up your bra for you ladies, is done with our arms in front of us. This means our brains are very connected to the muscles on the front of our upper body, the pecs, biceps and muscles at the front of the shoulder. The muscles on our upper back like the posterior deltoids, rhomboids, lats and traps are often over stretched and under developed, almost forgotten by the brain. The issue is that these back muscles are vital to hold you in good posture.

So what must we do about it?

Don’t make the mistake of working the mirror muscles (biceps and pecs) more than the upper back. Aim to do twice the amount of reps for your upper back compared to the front of your body in a given training week. This means putting more pulling movements versus pushing movements in your routine such as:

  • Pull ups/chin ups
  • Cable rows
  • Cable/lat pull downs
  • Dumbbell rows
  • Barbell rows
  • Face pulls
  • Band pull aparts
  • Reverse flies

You can do these exercises during warm ups for the main lift of the day. You can also do them as extra work after your main lift. If I am going to superset a pulling exercise with a main lift like a bench press or overhead press I will do an easier/lighter variation like lat pull downs or face pulls so as not to use up too much effort that would cause too much fatigue. More intensive pulling exercises like pull ups, barbell and dumbbell rows can be done on their own.  However you choose to put them into your routine make sure you are doing them correctly! The focus should be on initiating the movement with your back by pull the shoulder blades together and don’t let your arms and biceps do most of the work.

Here’s to building a strong healthy posture.

Kado, D. M., Huang, M. H., Karlamangla, A. S., Barrett‐Connor, E., & Greendale, G. A. (2004). Hyperkyphotic posture predicts mortality in older community‐dwelling men and women: a prospective study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society52(10), 1662-1667.

Chiropractor Auckland

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Posture & pain | “Some individuals may perceive their losing… | Flickr

Cervicogenic Headaches, How To Fix Them

What is it?

 

Cervicogenic headaches are headaches that originate from the upper neck (upper cervical spine). The pain is felt at the head, however, the dysfunction and cause of the pain is in the neck. Typically, these headaches come from dysfunction of the upper three vertebrae of your spine, which is referred to as the upper cervical spine.

Specific movements and positions can cause irritation or compression of the structures and nerves, which leads to cervicogenic headaches. This is due to the nerves of the upper cervical spine merging with the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for sensation of the head and face.

 

Cervicogenic, how does it happen?

 

These types of headaches can be caused by a variety of activities that put too much stress in the upper neck. The cause can be traumatic, such as whiplash (see previous blog post) from a car accident, or more commonly a gradual build-up of stress with poor posture over time(from being in front of your computer or while studying).

 

What are the signs and symptoms?

 

  • Headache that feels like a constant dull ache on one or both sides of the head and face
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Pain comes on during or after specific head movement

 

How long does it last for?

 

Typically, with appropriate treatment from a health care professional, ushc as a physiotherapist or  structural chiropractor, cervicogenic headache cases will resolve within 1-2 weeks. However, more complex cases may take weeks to months for complete resolution of symptoms.

The outcome and resolution depends on the severity of the dysfunction, your ability to get appropriate treatment and modify/avoid activities that aggravate it.

 

How do you treat it?

 

Seeing as posture is the most significant contributing factor to cervicogenic headaches, you should aim to improve posture with exercise and treatment. An individualized exercise and treatment plan will be most effective when treating cervicogenic headaches. A qualified structural chiropractor can assess your specific posture and condition to develop a personalized treatment and exercise plan best suited for you.

In our office, the structural chiropractors take an individualized approach utilizing a variety of techniques, including one that focuses on the specific problem area in the upper cervical spine.

Here are 3 exercises that may help with cervicogenic headaches. DO NOT perform these if they produce pain or unusual sensations (consult with a health care professional).

 

Chin tucks

 

  • Keeping a neutral spine and using your index finger as a guide on your chin, tuck your chin towards your chest (like you’re trying to make a double chin)
  • Hold for 5 minutes
  • Repeat this 10 times, 3 times a day

 

Scapular retraction

 

  • With your hands at your sides and your palms facing forward, bring your shoulder blades down and pinch them together
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Repeat this 5 times, 3 times a day

 

Neck flexor strengthening

 

  • Lie face up on the edge of your bed with your head hanging off the edge
  • Flex your head forward until it’s in neutral position and hold for 5 seconds
  • Return to starting position
  • Repeat this 8 times, 3 times a day

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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Clinical Support Tool For Management Of Headache Following Concussion/mTBI

Whiplash – A Quick Guide

 

What is it?

 

Whiplash is caused by sudden hyperflexion (forward) and hyperextension (backwards) movement of the neck. This kind of quick movement stretches the soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons and ligaments, in your neck beyond their usual normal limits, resulting in damage of these structures.

 

How is classified?

 

The Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) grading system

WAD I: Neck pain + stiffness or tenderness only. No physical signs.

II: Neck pain + musculoskeletal signs (reduced range of motion)

III: Neck pain + neurological signs (numbness or tingling, weakness, decreased or absent reflexes)

IV: Neck pain + fracture or dislocation of the vertebrae in the neck.

It can be difficult to tell which grade you have, but the most common grade of whiplash is WAD II

 

How does it happen?

 

Most people associate whiplash with car accidents, but it can also happen in contact sports, rollercoasters and even head banging too hard at concerts. It can basically happen in any situation where abrupt head movement is involved.

 

What are the signs and symptoms?

 

The following are some signs that you are experiencing whiplash.

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Vertigo

 

How long does it last for?

 

This answer is different for every person, but typically the average human recovers within 6 months. That being said, it may take years to recover for those with prolonged symptoms.

It depends on the severity of the injury, how soon your you start treatment, how well you stick to your treatment, if you’ve had a whiplash injury before and whether you have any pre-existing conditions.

 

How do you treat it?

 

Easy, the 10-10-10 Protocol.

Initial treatment of whiplash should consist of 10 minutes of ice application, removal for 10 minutes and reapplication for another 10 minutes. Then repeat.

A structural chiropractor can provide the proper treatment and exercises to restore function and get you back to your normal daily activities sooner. Delayed treatment may hinder overall recovery time, so the sooner you start treatment, the better!

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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Whiplash Monster Truck Backflip Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures

How Smartphone Time Is Harming Your Children

At Revolution Chiropractic we take a structural correction approach to your spine and one of the big indicators of spinal dysfunction is forward head carriage. The head is basically a bowling ball balanced on the top of your spine and every inch it moves forward causes an exponential increase in how hard the muscle must work to continue to hold it up. The issues go much deeper than neck discomfort, this poor postural position increases the tension on your spinal cord, puts you at greater risk of a strain injury to your neck, speeds up the degenerative process of the spine and can cause nerve root impingement, which let me assure you is not fun at all.

What is really concerning is the number of children we are seeing with this postural issue. Chiropractors are seeing more and more children as patients with issues linked to forward head posture and a HUGE contributing factor is the amount of time they are spending on handheld screen devices. I have personally seen many children with their necks bent to 90 degrees as they stare at a tablet or phone on their lap.

According to the NZ Ministry of Health children age 5-17 should spend less than 2 hours per day sitting and using screens, and this time should not be continuous but rather broken up throughout the day.

 

Cont.

 

On top of smart devices creating postural problems, they are also reducing the amount of physical activity that kids are getting. Which reduces the creativity of tactile play. For the health of your children, we strongly recommend you reduce the amount of time they spend on devices, perhaps reward them with some screen time after some physical activity. It is much easier to raise strong children than it is to fix broken adults! Remember that kids imitate those around them, especially their parents, and let’s face it, we could all benefit from spending less time on our mobile devices.

When you are using your phone or tablet make sure you keep it at eye level for healthy posture. Your arms getting tired from holding them up is a great reminder to take a break!

Your Trusted Auckland Chiropractor

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

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Children Mobile Phone Smartphone - Free photo on Pixabay

 

How Poor Posture Is Destroying Your Health & 2 Posture Tests To Try At Home

Why is proper posture so important? Is it for the way you look? Sure, people definitely look better when they fix their posture. But regardless of esthetics, your posture is actually key to how your body functions in more ways than one.

Take muscles for example: when you’re sitting with your head forward, your posterior (back) neck muscle are working way too hard to support your head, while your anterior (front) neck muscles switch off. This leads to muscle imbalances and over time may very well develop into neck pain which can be stemming from degeneration, disc disease, muscle strains and so on.

Now your organs: when your body gets used to a slouching position and makes it a long term problem your intestines get compressed and digestion can become difficult. Poor posture also reduces lung capacity by up to 30%. As you can imagine it can compress the heart and reduce the flow of blood to vital organs thereby making them work less efficient and create disease within them.

Not only does posture affect you physically, it can also be detrimental psychologically. Studies have linked poor posture to increased depression, stress and fatigue.

The overall effect can become global and when those issues persist long term they can take away from your quality of life and even longevity.

 

“How do I know if I have a possible posture problem?”

 

Luckily there are 2 tests that you can try at home to see if you have any possible posture problems. All you need is a wall and/or a floor!

 

The Wall Test

 

Stand with the back of your head against the wall with your heels 6 inches away from the wall. Your buttocks and shoulder blades should touch the wall.

If you can slide more than 3 fingers behind your neck or the small of your back then it indicates poor posture.

 

The Floor Angel

 

Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet on the ground. Lower your rib cage so it’s in contact with the floor and your arms are out and bent at the elbow by 90 degree like so:

If your hips, rib cage, head or wrists and arms can’t maintain contact with the floor then this may indicate possible postural issues.

Try these out and see what your posture is like! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to ask your structural chiropractor.

 

Your Trusted Auckland Chiropractor

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Image from page 29 of "The posture of school children, wit… | Flickr

Office Worker Toolkit: Tips for those who sit at a desk all day

Here’s one thing you probably already know: the human body was not designed to sit at a desk all day. Our bodies require constant movement, so any job or activity that keeps you in one position for a long time (ie. office work and video games) can have negative effects on your body. The most important thing to remember above all else is to move more and move often. If you’re struggling with movement or there’s something limiting you, then consult with your structural chiropractor on how to approach your challenges and they’ll provide you with individualized and specific exercises that will get you back on track.

There are certain areas of the body that are of primary concern when sitting for long hours:

 

1. Neck

Why? Poor ergonomics and computer set up can lead to your head hanging forward for long periods of time. This even happens when we’re on our phone for too long. This position increases straining in your neck and the muscles around the neck become tight and reactive. This can even lead to tension headaches.

What to do: • Sit tall and think of stacking your neck bones one on top of the other directly above your back. Then tuck your chin and gently push your head back. Hold this position for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times every two hours. • Remember to also move your head often throughout the day by looking left, looking right, and making big circles with your neck (if pain free)

 

2. Shoulders

Why? When typing and reading a computer screen, our shoulder tend to slump forward and stay there for long periods of time. When the positioning of your shoulder girdle is not optimal, it can lead to imbalances in the muscle system, which will lead to your muscles not functioning as well.

What to do: • Sit tall and pinch your shoulder blades together gently. Hold this positioning for 5 seconds and slowly release. Repeat this 10 times every 2 hours. • Make big round circles with our shoulder blades. Focus on the part of the circle where your opening your chest and pulling your shoulders back. Perform 10 circles going forwards and 10 going backwards every 2 hours. • Stretch your chest muscles by putting your elbow and forearm on the side of a doorframe with your elbow at 90 degrees and stepping into it until your feel a stretch in your pecs. You can feel it more by breathing into the sides and front of your rib cage. Hold for 30 seconds on each side every 2 hours.

 

3. Low back

Why? Being at the desk for such long periods of time, we tend to get lazy and slouch or round through our low back. This can put a lot of stress on the joints and discs in the low back area, which can potentially lead ot disc injuries, muscle strains, joint stiffness and weakening of your core muscles which can make you more susceptible to further injury and pain.

What to do: • Sit directly on top of your sit bones and try to keep the weight even on both sit bones. This will create a small arch in your low back which is its optimal position. • Be sure to stand up and walk around every hour or so to take the pressure off your low back. • Try some gentle yoga when you’re not at work. • Perform the cat-camel pose which helps bring movement throughout the entire spine. Click here to link to one of our YouTube videos on how to do it.

 

4. Hips

Why? When sitting on our bottoms all day, it means that we’re squishing our buttock muscles which can lead to weakness in this important muscle group. The sitting position also leads to tight hip flexors since our hips are stuck in a 90 degree angle for so long. Imbalances in the hip can lead to injuries affecting all parts of the body, especially the low back and knees.

What to do: • Stand and walk throughout the day. • Stagger your legs, similar to a lunge position and transfer your weight forward. This will give you a nice stretch in the hip flexor muscle. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on both sides every 2 hours. • Perform the glute bridge outside of work. Click here to link to one of our YouTube videos on how to do it. Remember that every BODY is different. If these general exercise suggestions aren’t working for you, then be sure to visit your structural chiropractor to get individualized recommendations to get your back on track.

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Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

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Woman sitting at desk | Free SVG

Benefits of Structural Chiropractic Adjustment

Benefits of Structural Chiropractic adjustments:

 

1. Proprioceptive retraining allows for improved function and strength.

The brain records these proprioceptive signals from the joints motion. Especially for chronic conditions, the brain is in need of retraining regarding the motion of that joint.

Adjustments take a joint through its full range of motion. This new input is then stored and replayed in the brain, similar to muscle retraining that physical therapists will do, or physical training of athletes, when the body has done the motion enough times it remembers it. This retraining provides a functional correction.

 

2. Adjustments provide improved nutrient supply.

The cartilage and other structures inside of a joint have no blood supply. These structures get their nutrients through motion. The blood supply goes to the outside of the joint and nutrients move into the synovial fluid of the joint. Joint motion moves this fluid around thus providing fresh nutrients to all parts of the joint, as well as removing waste.

If a joint becomes locked down by muscle spasm, scar tissue, a cast, or any other means, for a prolonged period of time the joint begins to feel stiff. You know the feeling of needing to stretch after sitting in the car for a long time.Specific structural chiropractic adjustments induces full range of motion and synovial fluid movement.

 

3. Adjustments can reduce pressure on the nerves.

Your nervous system is the control centre of your body, and it is not without weaknesses. Nerves and nerve bundles are soft tissue. They don’t function well under physical pressure. In fact it has been shown that inflammation, a bulging disc, or fragment floating around can interfere with proper nerve conduction.

The stuck joint as discussed previously can also physically be stuck pressing on a nerve, or could be causing inflammation that is pressing on the nerve, or could just be moving in a way that rubs the nerve. In any case. The adjustment can cause a relief of this pressure. Through movement of the joint to the correct position, or motion.

 

There are so many benefits for your brain and body when you get adjusted so here’s a quick summary of some of them:

  • Your brain/nervous system can better connect to your body.
  • Your joints will move more optimally which will in turn use the intrinsic muscles around those joints and improve blood flow to the area.
  • After adjustments, there is immediate activation and strengthening of the intrinsic stabilizing muscles. (it’s like a workout for them)
  • After an adjustment, the signals from these muscles to your brain get stronger, and therefore your brain will control them and the rest of your muscles better.
  • Your ligaments will regain their strength again.
  • Your discs and joints will not be under so much pressure because your structure is where it’s supposed to be with the appropriate muscles and ligaments supporting it and the nerves working strong.
  • The discs and joints will heal as they are not constantly getting abnormal/excessive pressure through them. (yes everything can heal if given appropriate blood flow, nutrients, nerve function, and support).

 

Structural Chiropractor in action

 

Looking for a Chiropractor in Auckland?

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