This is great coordination and core strength exercise for adults and children alike! Chiropractic care for your kids can greatly benefit their physical and mental development including improving their balance. Kids Chiropractic care is gentle, precise, and effective. Here’s a tip on how you can help your kids improve their balance with Balance and Reach.
STEPS for Balance and Reach:
1. Start on all fours.
2. Reach your LEFT ARM out straight, hold for 10 seconds, relax it down.
3. Reach your RIGHT ARM out straight, hold for 10 seconds, relax it down.
4. Reach your LEFT LEG out straight, hold for 10 seconds, relax it down.
5. Reach your RIGHT LEG out straight, hold for 10 seconds, relax it down.
CONCENTRATE ON: keeping your body still and not leaning over or letting your shoulders drop when you do the exercise. Be sure to hold the exercise for 10 seconds.
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:
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)
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.
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.
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).
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the primary demyelination and neuro-degeneration over disperse areas of the grey and white matter of the brain and spinal cord. Chronic inflammation of the CNS is the primary cause. Most patients with MS initially present with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RPMS). In addition, a second phase, known as the secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), can follow.
However, patients that do not experience both RPMS and SPMS suffer from primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). It results in an uninterrupted progression of the disease. Due to the nature of this disease, half of the patients diagnosed with MS need assistance with mobility 20years after being diagnosed. Progressively 50 percent of the patients will have developed noticeable cognitive deficits.
The chronic nature of this disease may cause patients to develop a disability over time due to incomplete recovery from the previous attack. MS is a disease with no fixed symptoms and is difficult to predict in an individual patient. Thus the most appropriate treatment for patients with MS is to educate them about the variable nature of this disease.
Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Clinicians characterize Multiple Sclerosis by individual distinct episodes known as “attacks” and “relapses” of neurologic dysfunction. The symptoms produced by these individual episodes may vary depending on the location of neurologic involvement.
Some common symptoms may include:
– Loss of vision
– Gait impairment
– Loss of bladder control
More commonly a patient who suffers from multiple sclerosis may experience motor weakness. Motor weakness usually associates with upper motor neuron signs such as mild spasticity, hyperreflexia, and pathologic signs. In between when the symptoms occur the patient may experience neurological stability, often with no symptoms; the relapsing-remitting phase (RRMS). As a result, 10 – 20 years after the first occurrence of the symptoms RRMS may progress to SPMS, which results in an insidious worsening of function and neurologic disability.
Progression of Multiple Sclerosis
As MS progresses further the signs first observed may worsen and new presentations may occur. The recent criteria, provided by McDonald, states that MRIs can enable earlier diagnosis of MS. However, despite the advanced technology we have today, clinical evaluation of the differential diagnosis proves to be the best method to diagnose MS. In addition, many orthopedic tests, observed appearances, and other neurological tests can help narrow down the possibility of MS.
Integrative care with multidisciplinary health care professions is the way to approach the care of multiple sclerosis. There is no care that can help benefit a patient with multiple sclerosis. However, care that can help in the reduction of the number of attacks, the severity, addressing the adverse effects on daily living, and how the disease affects the psychosocial aspects of the patient is the best management scheme possible.
Gait is the process by which a movement occurs through periods of unloading and loading of our limbs. Gait includes all forms of locomotion; running, hopping, skipping, and cycling. However, walking is the most used form of gait. It provides us with independence for many of our activities of daily living. A normal gait requires the body to co-ordinate with other organs such as our ears, eyes, brain, muscles, and sensory nerves. When one of these areas is lacking, difficulty in performing a normal gait may arise.
There is a variety of research concerning traumatic injuries in the elderly population. Ages range from 55 – 80 years of age. A leading cause of injury in the geriatric population is falling.
Gait and the elderly population
According to the New Zealand ACC statistics in 2016, there were 138 304 new claims in people aged 65 years and older. As a result, consequences from these falls may lead to restrictions in their activities of daily living. And finally a loss of independence.
Common symptoms associated with gait are difficulty walking, trouble with balance, and unsteadiness. These gait and balance problems can come temporarily through trauma, injury, inflammation, and pain.
According to recent research, fall risks are a concern for morbidity and mortality in the elderly. Falls play a very significant role in the causes of death, injury, and loss of quality of life. Falls account for more than 80% of injury-related hospital expenses in adults over 65 years old. As a result, every year, one-third of the community elderly’s have more than one fall. Falls happen when an individual is unable to maintain the center of gravity within the base of support provided by their feet.
The research has identified many risk factors that increase the risk of falls in elderly patients. These risk factors include age, lower limb disorders, and balance disorders. If there is a combination of these risks present, the chance of falling may increase to up to 80% per year.
How can chiropractic help?
Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on improving neuromuscular dysfunction. Chiropractors look after the nervous system and the spine by correcting Vertebral Subluxations.
Vertebral Subluxation is described as an interference with the normal function of the nervous system. These vertebral subluxations can come from any aspect of an individual’s life such as stress, trauma, or chemical imbalances. They are the underlying causes of many health problems including gait and balance. A vertebral subluxation is defined as a joint in the spine that is not moving correctly, and that is negatively impacting health and well-being.
Research has shown that an adjustment to the spine increases joint function and contraction of muscles around the area. It gives strength and stability to the spine. Ultimately chiropractic adjustments can help the elderly be less prone to injury due to falls.