Chiropractic care can positively impact many different aspects of health and function.
This study shows that poor control of the core muscles may be the cause of people developing pain and sustaining an injury which can be prevented and improved via chiropractic care.
We also know from previous studies that people who have lower back pain often have delayed activation of their core abdominal muscles when performing various movements. We also know that the brains of these people are much less aware of what’s going on in their lower backs. This can be due to misalignments in their spine. To clarify, this means many people with lower back pain don’t receive or process accurate info for their brain. The small muscles around the spine aren’t able to do this so their brains have to guess what’s going on and therefore may not be controlling the lower back in an ideal way. which can damage the back further.
This is why chiropractic care is so important. It can restore proper communication between your brain and your body. Therefore, your brain knows accurately what’s going on and can control your whole body in the best way possible.
Revolution Chiropractic – Auckland Sports Chiropractic & Rehabilitation Centre.
The spine goes through plenty of stress in most human beings. Whether it’s from recreational activities such as sports to work all activities will place some sort of stress on the spine. Unfortunately, as stress builds up diseases and injury will eventually come about. Disc herniation, facet syndrome, and Degenerative Disc Disease are three common injuries that we have already covered in our past blogs. Today, we’ll go through another injury; spondylolisthesis.
The definition of spondylolisthesis
Spondylolisthesis is when a vertebra slips out of position. This slipping out of position is different from vertebra subluxation (something that we will cover soon). This is usually caused by fractures in the pars interarticularis. The pars interarticularis is the part of the vertebra which connects the facet with the body. Once that area fractures, only the ligaments will be holding on to the vertebra thus causing the vertebral body to slip (usually) forward over the vertebra below it. This is pretty easy to see on X-rays as the back of the vertebral body will not line up with the one below it. You can find pars fractures too as that will be an indication that there could be a sign of spondylolisthesis, however, it is very difficult to see with untrained eyes.
Spondylolisthesis – those at risk, symptoms, treatment
Spondylolisthesis often appears in adolescence and adult men. This is because during this time there will be the most stress put on the spine due to daily living. This fracture mostly occurs in the lumbar spine (low back) and usually seen in people who do plenty of physical work. Personally, I’ve seen a couple of builders who’ve suffered from this injury along with some footballers too. You would think people who extend their low back spine are more likely to obtain this injury, but that is not true. Anyone who puts enough stress on their spine is prone to an injury like this.
Spondylolisthesis is painful and annoying. This is because it is pressing on your spinal cord! The main highway for nerve transmission! Since it affects the spinal cord, it is likely that both limbs will feel numbness, tingling, and pain. If the spondylolisthesis happens in the lumbar spine which is the most commonplace, some other symptoms include persistent low back pain, weakness in the limbs, and tight buttocks, and hamstrings. Fortunately, most cases of spondylolisthesis will not need surgical treatment. However, therapy such as chiropractic allows it to heal and recover properly. Even this injury may not be caused by an extension, it is best to avoid any movement that requires this motion in the lumbar spine. This is because it encourages the slipped vertebra to slip even more resulting in more spinal cord irritation. It is best for rehabilitation exercises that consist of more neutral and spinal flexion! However, always consult before doing these exercises!
Spondylolisthesis, a spinal injury that is characterized as the vertebra slipping forward in reference to the one below. An injury is seen in adults and adolescents who are often active. The best way of treatment is always prevention. So see your chiropractor and take care of your spine!
More and more people are becoming aware of how beneficial chiropractic care is when they have sustained an injury. However, what people may not be aware of is that chiropractic care can actually help prevent injuries. Injury prevention is important for all types of people, from elite athletes to elderly people. Being injured can slow us down from living our lives to our full potential. Here are some ways that chiropractic can help prevent injuries from occurring.
By making sure your structure is strong:
Chiropractic addresses specific joints within the body, usually within the spine, and makes sure they are functioning correctly. Malfunctioning of spinal joints can affect the overall structure of the spine and place excess stress in some areas. These areas of weakness can leave you more vulnerable to an injury than you would normally be. When chiropractors find and adjust these segments of the spine, your structure becomes much more strong and stable. A stable structure ensures that there aren’t weak spots left vulnerable to injury. While chiropractors usually deal with the spine, they are also trained in checking and adjusting extremities. They make sure that the structure of these is also strong and stable in order to minimize the chance of injury.
By improving your sense of body awareness and balance:
Chiropractors aren’t only affecting the spine, but also the nervous system that runs through it. A proper function of the spine allows the nervous system that runs through it to transfer messages between the brain and the body accurately. If the transfer works at its best, it allows your brain to receive the best possible information about where your body is in space. This helps improve balance, decrease clumsiness, and improve reaction times to the environment around you. This body awareness is beneficial to all types of people of all ages. It can help young children decrease clumsiness and minimize the chance of any accidents or injuries. It also improves the balance in the elderly, because falls are a major cause of serious injury. Finally, the athletes can benefit from better perceiving where their body is. This can result in the prevention of numerous injuries that come along with all different types of sport and exercise.
By increasing healing times:
A proper-working nervous system also allows your brain to better perceive what is happening within your body. This is extremely beneficial when it comes to injury prevention. Minor injuries can often get worse and turn into more serious injuries. When your brain is able to detect these little things easier, you become much more aware of your body. Minor injuries that may have gone unnoticed previously, you may now become aware of more easily. This allows you to take the proper precautions to let this heal properly before placing more stress on the injury, and aggravating it so it becomes more serious. On top of this having a well-functioning nervous system increases healing times. This means that minor injuries will heal much faster, reducing the amount of time that your body is left susceptible to further, more serious injuries.
Our spines are made up of bones called vertebrae. In between each of these bones, we have discs that cushion our vertebrae and act as shock absorbers. The disc has a tough outer layer, called the annulus, and a soft inner center called the nucleus.
What is a disc herniation?
A disc herniation is when the soft inner nucleus pushes out of the annulus into the spinal canal. The spinal canal only has limited space, so when the nucleus of the disc starts protruding into the spinal canal it can put pressure on the nerves within the canal. As a result, this can cause pain and other symptoms. Moreover, this can happen anywhere in the spine but usually occurs in the lower back or the neck.
What are the symptoms of disc herniations in the lower back?
Symptoms caused by a disc herniation in the lower back include lower back pain, numbness, pain, tingling, or burning. The burning starts in the buttock and radiates down the leg and sometimes into the foot. Usually, only one side is affected. In addition, pain is usually exacerbated by standing, walking, sitting, and straightening the painful leg.
What are the symptoms of disc herniations in the neck?
In the neck, symptoms include neck pain, pain in between the shoulder blades; numbness, pain, tingling, or burning. The burning starts down the arms and sometimes into the hands and fingertips. Moreover, the pain can be exacerbated by certain neck positions and movement. As well as coughing, sneezing, or straining. In addition, disc herniations can cause weakness in the affected limb.
An injury usually causes disc herniations to that area of the spine. Still, in people with degenerating discs, it can sometimes just take a small exertion or twist of the spine to cause a herniation. Risk factors for disc herniation include smoking, being overweight, incorrect lifting technique, repetitive strenuous activities, or a sedentary lifestyle. Moreover, 30-50 years old is the most common age to develop a disc herniation, but it can happen outside of this age range. In addition, men are twice as likely as women to experience a disc herniation2.
How can chiropractic help with disc herniations?
There are many ways that chiropractic care can help with disc herniations.
Firstly, by preventing them from happening in the first place. Chiropractic is all about optimizing nervous system function. This helps to make sure all of the muscles around our spine are activated and working at their best. As a result, when muscles around our spine aren’t working properly, this leaves our spine vulnerable and more susceptible to a disc herniation if we sustain an injury.
Proper Movement and Support:
Secondly, chiropractic can prevent a disc herniation by making sure the joint is moving properly. Chiropractic restores proper joint biomechanics, and when joints are moving properly this decreases the likelihood of degeneration. Importantly, as degeneration is a major risk factor for disc herniation, this is an important part of preventing disc herniations.
Thirdly, it is important to try and prevent disc herniations from happening in the first place. However, you could still sustain an injury that causes a disc herniation. Chiropractic is beneficial in the healing process for this. As chiropractic impacts the nervous system, it impacts our body’s healing capabilities. As a result, a nervous system free of interference is able to better heal injuries such as a disc herniation fast and effectively. Therefore, chiropractic returns normal movement and function to the spine.
In addition, along with proper exercises and stretches, a spine that is moving and functioning properly is more likely to heal properly. In conclusion, this decreases the chance of needing surgery for the disc herniation.
There are many different types of surgery for disc herniations, which can involve removing bone, removing discs, or fusing multiple levels of the spine together. However, this is usually the last resort for extreme cases, as it is extremely invasive. Moreover, it can cause further issues down the road. Chiropractic is safe and non-invasive, and can drastically reduce your chances of needing surgery. As a result, your body is able to heal naturally, resulting in less chance of re-injury and further complications.
Santilli, V., Beghi, E., & Finucci, S. (2006). Chiropractic manipulation in the treatment of acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion: A randomized double-blind clinical trial of active and simulated spinal manipulations. The Spine Journal, 6(2), 131-137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2005.08.001
As a chiropractor, I have seen many back injuries. Injuries can be acute or chronic. Many people ask me the same question, Which is better for back pain, Ice or Heat? I want to put an end to this debate so you’ll know next time what to do for the painful area.
Ice or Heat for Back Pain – Which is better?
Both heat and ice have their advantages and are used for different purposes. Let’s start with the advantage of using a heat pack.
Heat packs are great for promoting blood flow. This is because heat causes blood vessels to dilate. As a result, it allows more volume of blood to be pumped through. This has many advantages for the human body.
Firstly, due to the increase in blood flow, more oxygen, nutrients and minerals will be able to flow to the area of damage allowing more recovery and healing to occur.
Secondly, the increase in blood flow can help with muscle pain. This is because all the harmful toxins and lactic acids (which is often the cause of muscle pain) will be flushed away. Leading to healthier cells around the area of damage.
Finally, using a heat pack to promote vessel dilation can lead to the relaxation of muscles. This is because heat increases muscle elasticity. The muscles in our body are just like rubber where heat allows for the rubber to be more elastic and further stretched. This leads to tight muscles being able to stretch and relax more.
Ice or cold therapy does the opposite promoting blood flow, it decreases blood flow. This is because cold temperature and ice packs lead to vasoconstriction (constriction of the blood vessel). There are also benefits to constricting blood flow.
Firstly, it decreases inflammation. After a traumatic incident, the body naturally tries to heal instantly by increasing blood flow suddenly, to allow white blood cells. By constricting the blood flow, there will be a decrease in inflammatory reaction causing less swelling. It is this swelling that compresses nerves which will cause pain in the damaged area.
Secondly, ice can also soothe muscle pain temporarily after an intense workout. This is because it reduces inflammation caused by the workout. This leads to a decrease in lactic acid build-up thus minimising pain in the overworked muscles.
For a brief summary, there are many benefits to both heat and ice therapy. The main point of heat therapy is to promote blood flow allowing for quicker recovery. Whilst, ice/cold therapy helps minimise inflammation in the body by constricting blood flow. As a suggestion, if your pain is chronic I would suggest heat therapy would be the way to go. However, if you have just finished a workout or had a recent injury, ice would be the best way to go. This way you can stop the inflammatory response as quick as possible.
Hopefully, this clarifies the debate of which is better; heat or ice. Next time, you will be better informed about what to do!
When to visit a Chiropractor?
If you are applying therapy to an injury, your a most likely going to benefit from visiting your Chiropractor.
For treatment, advice and relief of acute or chronic pain, you can visit our chiropractic and wellness clinic in Auckland, North Shore.
Have a desk job and worried about your sitting posture? You are right to! Over time, poor posture from bad habits during everyday activities can wreck havoc on your spine. For instance, having a desk job, driving, leaning over a cell phone, carrying a bag over same shoulder, prolonged standing, breastfeeding and caring for small children, or even sleeping.
Poor posture can become ingrained, causing and aggravating episodes of back and neck pain and damaging spinal structures. What’s more, damaged spinal structures can have other knock off effects throughout the rest of the body. The good news is, our spine is adjustable and with a few simple changes, good posture and spine health can be achieved.
Here are a couple of steps you can take immediately to improve bad posture:
1. Identify the symptoms of back pain caused by an inefficient work environment and poor posture.
Did something change in your environment within the same period the pain commenced? For example, a new job, a new office chair, or a new car, a new desk.
Is the back pain is worse at certain times of day, or week? For instance, after a long day of sitting in an office chair in front of a computer.
Does the pain start in the neck and move downwards into the upper back, lower back, and extremities?
Does the pain ease after switching positions?
2. Keep the body aligned properly while sitting in an office chair and while standing
When standing, distribute body weight evenly across the front, back, and sides of the feet.
When sitting, select a chair that’s features support good posture. Sit up straight and align the ears, shoulders, and hips in one vertical line.
If you need to change position throughout the day, try shifting forward to the edge of the seat with a straight back and alternate with sitting back against the support arch of the office chair to ease the strain on back muscles.
Try a balance / swiss ball. In this position the pelvis is tilted gently forward increasing the lumbar curve which shifts the shoulders back (similar to sitting on the edge of a chair seat).
Be aware of and avoid positions such as crossing legs unevenly while sitting, sitting on your legs, leaning to one side, hunching the shoulders up or forward, and tilting the head.
3. Get up and move frequently.
This one is so easy to achieve, yet often the most forgotten. As muscles become strained, slouching, slumping, and other bad postures occur; this in turn puts extra pressure on the neck and back.
Change positions frequently, in order to maintain a relaxed yet supported posture. At work, set an alarm to remind you to get up and take a break from sitting in an office chair every hour for at least two minutes. During this time stretch, stand, or walk.
When to see a Chiropractor for poor posture
Many people visiting our chiropractic clinic in Auckland suffer from back pain or neck pain relating to poor posture. Our approach to treating this is very effective. We start by examining and fixing the physical problems — a process that usually involves chiropractic adjustments to correct any misalignments.
Secondly, we identify the cause of your poor posture. We find any lifestyle factors which are causing the issue. Such as assessing your sitting positions, desk environment and any other relevant triggers. We then show you correct sitting and standing positions and give you tools and exercises to prevent poor posture in the future. By correcting the root cause of postural issues, we can ensure that the musculoskeletal system remains healthy.
Neck and Upper back Pain from poor posture – Leading Chiropractor Auckland
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/lat pull downs
Band pull aparts
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 Society, 52(10), 1662-1667.
You know it happens. You go on to Netflix and promise yourself that you’ll only watch one episode and get off your butt… One episode turns into two… two turns into three… and before you know it you’re binging.
Or maybe you’ve got a date arranged around an intense TV marathon that’s going to be epic.
Before you decide to set out on a TV show marathon whether it be alone or with your partner, consider taking the right steps to take care of your spine and avoid any pain or injury that may come your way.
Steps to Stretch:
Plank beforehand: Before committing to your hours of absorbed fun, plank. The plank position helps engage your core muscles and take on the stresses of sitting for long hours. Nothing fancy here, go as long as you can and challenge yourself a bit!
Sit properly: Slouching can add additional stress on your back. Reset your posture periodically by backing your butt right back to where the backrest meets the cushion.
Do NOT kick your feet up: Kicking your feet just adds more stress to your lower back and encourages slouching. It’s okay to do temporarily but not for an entire episode.
Stretch it out: Try out a stretch break every hour. Here are the steps to what’s called the “figure four stretch”. i) Slide to the edge of your seat
ii) Cross one leg over the other into a figure 4 iii) Sit up tall and feel the stretch in your glutes
iv) Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side
Break? Get up and move: Whether you’re going for a bathroom break, refilling your wine or getting some more snacks, every step counts. Periodically, getting up and walking or stretching is an excellent solution to avoiding any back pain and should always be encouraged.
Try these out and impress your date with these helpful tips to take care of your bodies.
Giving birth takes an incredible amount of physical effort… so be prepared! We’re going to share some exercises for all you mothers to be that won’t only help with your pregnancy, but also give you more energy, better sleep, less back pain and overall a much more pleasant pregnancy experience.
It’s best to consult with your GP or Structural Chiropractor about whether these exercises would be appropriate for your individual situation. Please discontinue any exercise if you begin to have any unusual vaginal discharge, dizziness or chest/abdominal pain.
It’s a good idea to build up slowly if you were not regularly exercising before your pregnancy. Listen to your body and ensure that you’re fuelling your body with more nutrients, water and plenty of rest.
High intensity exercise is NOT recommended, as it is associated with distressing the foetus. Aim for 15-20 minutes of moderate intensity or 45 minutes of low intensity exercise at a time. Walking, aqua aerobics, Pilates and yoga are all wonderful exercise options to take up when pregnant.
Here are 3 basic exercises for you to try at home:
On all fours, arch your back up to the ceiling then relax to a flat back position.
Breathe through the movement.
On your back with your knees bent, lift your buttock off the floor as high as your comfortably can
Hold for 5 seconds then gently lower it down
On all fours slowly lift and straighten one leg.
Lower it slowly.
Then raise the other leg.
Repeat 10 times. If you’re feeling strong, raise the opposite arm at the same time.
Give these a try and prosper from an amazing pregnancy! If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail us. Information can be found on our website: https://revolutionchiro.co.nz
It’s very easy to choose fashion over function without even thinking about it. You’ve got to feel good about what you’re wearing and that often means going for the fancy purse or handbag over the practical option. However, this comes with its consequences since the weight offset can lead to shoulder, headaches, neck and/or lower pain and dysfunction.
While carrying a heavy enough bag on one side, your natural gait (walking pattern) can change since your center of gravity will shift to one side. This leads to muscle imbalances and certain muscles working harder than others, which then leads to the dysfunction and discomfort.
The following are 5 tips you can use to reduce the negative effects of carrying a bag on one shoulder.
Only carry what you need
-Lowering the weight that you carry can significantly reduce the stress and strain on your body. The amount of unused contents in our bags can be surprising sometimes. Plan ahead and know what you need on which days to make sure you’re only carrying what you need. Your body will thank you
-This one can be difficult due to your body getting used to carrying your bag a certain way and favouring one side. However, it’s worth getting into a habit of switching shoulders to help with your body’s muscle imbalances and asymmetries.
Choose bags with dynamic/alternative strap options.
-Certain bags have handles that you can hold in your hand or longer straps that you can wear across your body. This can help bring some variety to the way you carry your bag and the cross strap options can help better distribute the weight across your body.
Consider switching to a backpack
-Luckily, there are many stylish backpack options nowadays that you can choose from. Two strap bags are much better for weight distribution and symmetry. Get out there and see what you can find!
Opt for smaller bags
-Bigger is not better in this case. When you have a bigger bag, you’re more likely to put more stuff in there.
Using these strategies can help you make your fashion functional. Feel free to consult with us about bag options or any pinch points you feel while carrying your bag around.