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.
We live in such a fast paced society today that being stressed just seems normal. We are always busy and have so much input coming at us from everywhere. Stress isn’t inherently a bad thing. There are times where stress is important, such as if you have a deadline coming up for work, as stress increases our productivity levels. Stress is needed in situations where there is a threat or danger present, as it allows us to respond fast and appropriately.
Stress is also what allows us to feel excited when we do things such as ride a rollercoaster, or go on a first date. But while stress is important in some situations, long term, constant stress can be detrimental to both our physical and mental health. This is because our bodies are only designed for quick bursts, “acute”, not long term ‘chronic’ stress. While there are not always things we can do about what is causing our troubles, such as a stressful job, there are things we can do to manage our stress to make sure it doesn’t start taking a toll on our mind and body.
How can stress affect us?
Chronic stress has numerous effects on our mind and body. It can have negative effects on nearly every system in our body. Some of the effects it can have include1:
Problems with our mental health, such as irritability, anxiety, insomnia, and depression
Behavioural problems such as over or under eating, alcohol or drug abuse, and social withdrawal
Increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and increased risk of having a stroke or hearth attack
Tensions headaches, tense muscles, and back pain
Issues with the digestive system such as acid reflux, diarrhoea, constipation, stomached, nausea, and vomiting
Extra blood sugar is released to help give the body extra energy, long term this can lead to increased risk of type 2 diabetes
Weaken the immune system and slow down healing times
How can chiropractic help manage stress?
As chronic stress is such a common thing in today’s society, and quite regularly hard to avoid, people will be looking for ways to manage their stress and deal with any issues their stress may be causing. While it is impossible to completely remove stress from our lives, chiropractic care is a safe, healthy, and natural way to manage, and reduces its effects on the body, to help prevent long term damage:
Sleep – good quality sleep is such an important factor in dealing with chronic stress, as it lets our brain slow down and our body relax and heal. Insomnia is also one of the issues that can come around because of chronic stress. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown both to help with insomnia, and with improving quality of sleep. The better sleep we can get the better we can prevent and deal with stress2.
Muscle tension – when we are stressed, our muscles start to tense up in response. This creates a negative cycle, as when our muscle stay tense they start causing pain, which can end up causing more stress. Chiropractic care returns the normal motion to the spinal joints, which allows all the muscles in these areas to relax. This can help reduce pain levels, and reduces overall stress3.
Blood pressure – studies have been done that show that blood pressure is reduced following chiropractic treatment. This helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels4. Decrease blood pressure and more relaxed musculature helps the body feel more calm and allows the brain to switch of the flight or flight response that is constantly on during chronic stress4, 5.
Immune system – chronic stress weakens the immune system and slows down healing time. Because chiropractic removes interference from the nervous system it allows the brain and body to communicate better. When the brain is receiving more accurate information, it can send out the messages that can improve healing and boost immune system function6.
Avoid unhealthy behaviors – by reducing stress levels with chiropractic care, this removes some of the temptation of dealing with stress in unhealthy ways, such as overeating or turning to alcohol or drugs. Chiropractic is a natural way of dealing with it that is safe and has little side effects.
Kingston, J., Raggio, C., Spencer, K., Stalaker, K., & Tuchin, P. J. (2010). A review of the literature on chiropractic and insomnia. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 9(3), 121-126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcm.2010.03.003
Yates, R. G., Lamping, D. L., Abram, N. L., & Wright, C. (1988). Effects of chiropractic treatment on blood pressure and anxiety: a randomized, controlled trial. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 11(6), 484-488.
Slosberg, M. (2011, May 6). Immune responses to spinal manipulation. The Chiropractic Resource Organisation. https://chiro.org/research/ABSTRACTS/Immune_Responses_to_Spinal_Manipulation.shtml
Don’t we all like to be happy all the time? During this time, I feel it would be a good opportunity to share some hope and bring some joy while we are locked in our own house! The main hormone that triggers happiness in our body is endorphin. So this week, let’s talk about a couple of natural (and legal) ways to release endorphins in our body.
I’m pretty sure we’ve all hit a low point in our lives before, whether it’s a terrible break up, someone passing away or when you’ve lost all hope. During those times we may have stuffed ourselves with our favourite food. Eating is often a go to way for people to cheer up during these hard times. That is because eating your favour meal triggers your brain to release feel good hormones like endorphins! But don’t go overboard as we know there are bigger health complications due to obesity!
This is one that I personally do whenever I’m not feeling at 100%. That is exercise. Exercise is a great way for you to forget about all your problems for a short period of time. That is because all forms of exercise triggers the body to release endorphin. This can be anything from cardio training, weight training, HIIT training or even sports. Perhaps it is a good time to release all the negative energy and use it as fuel to get fit and feel good at the same time.
There is something special about Mother Nature. Nature literally mother’s us when we are down and helps us feel better. Going out doors is a great way to release endorphin. Especially, in a place which is nice and empty. Although it is difficult in this time right now, a simple method is to go out in your garden and enjoy the sunshine. That’ll have to do for the time being!
LOL literally laugh out loud. Why do we laugh? Usually something happy or funny happens. When we laugh out loud, our brain releases so much endorphins that it can even increase our pain threshold. Use this opportunity to binge watch on a comedy like Friends or Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Those shows will crack you up.
I have just listed 4 ways to raise endorphin levels while we are all being quarantined. These are difficult times but if we all just stick together as a nation, we are bound to go through this tough patch! Hopefully, these 4 tips will help you cheer your day up and bring you hope!
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.
Reflux, heartburn, indigestion, these are all names for that discomfort and sometimes burning feeling that comes after meals. At Revolution Chiropractic we like to address the cause of issues rather than focus on symptomatic relief. Reflux is often caused by a reduced ability for your body to digest and break down food so it makes sense to focus on optimising digestion rather than just suppressing the feeling of heartburn.
Start to implement the following things into your daily life and remember that it can take time to get your body back on track, this isn’t an overnight fix! (although it might be for some of you.
Eat easily digestible foods
The first and most obvious step is to improve your diet. If you are eating foods that your body is struggling to digest then this is probably the biggest cause of your symptoms. Food sources like dairy and gluten are fairly inflammatory to most people so you should cut these out for 3-6 months and see how your body responds. Replace carbohydrate sources like bread and pasta for more tolerable plant-sourced foods like:
– Kumara (sweet potato)
Other things that stir up inflammation and disrupt the digestive process are smoking, alcohol, coffee, chocolate and spicy foods. So cutting down on those will definitely improve your reflux, heartburn or indigestion.
Prepare the stomach for digestion
Contrary to what it may seem at first your reflux may be due to too little stomach acid. Low levels of acid in stomach will mean you can’t digest food properly. Ten minutes before each meal put a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into a small glass of water and drink it. The acid and enzymes will assist your stomach’s digestion.
Make the first few mouthfuls of your meal the protein source (meat, fish, chicken, tofu). This will prompt your body to produce pepsin and increase the acidity of the stomach for digestion.
You may be eating too much at once
Cramming too much food into your belly in one sitting will make it much harder for your body to break it down! Pay attention to your portion sizes, you may need to have 4-5 smaller meals through the day for a few months to let your stomach recover.
If you are eating too fast then you may not be adequately chewing your food. Remember that digestion starts in the mouth, not the stomach! Your teeth are perfectly designed to break down the food and saliva starts the digestive processes The more you chew, the more the food is broken down before it hits the stomach.
There is a lot of information and weight loss programs out there claiming to help you rapidly lose weight that say something like “how lose 20 kilos in 3 days”. Losing extreme amounts of weight in a short period of time will often require unsustainable habits.
If you are serious about weight loss the most important thing isn’t to lose it quickly but to keep it off once you lose it.
There are a few key behaviours and habits among people who have shed body fat and kept it off. None of them should be surprising!
1) Cognitive restrain:
this means you must have a way to help stop you from overeating. This can be things like: restricting the amount of time you eat during the day (known as intermittent fasting), limit intake of a food group (usually fats or carbohydrates for example).
To keep you on track it will be useful to use a food journal, weighing yourself to monitor weight change (keep in mind that most people will fluctuate up and down couple of kilos throughout the day so you want to look at long term trend over weeks) or taking body measurements. Keeping regular tabs will help you adjust what you are doing so you don’t get too far off track.
2) Regular exercise:
Regular exercise will increase the energy you use in a given day so you aren’t storing excess bodyweight. Exercise also helps your brain better recognize satiety signals so you don’t eat as much!
3) Long term focus:
like anything worth having in life, financial independence, a university education or mastering a trade, maintaining a healthy body takes short term sacrifice for long term gain. From time to time you can have a treat, but when treats become the norm they are no longer a treat.
4) Social support:
Having someone supporting you on the journey will hugely help you in reaching and maintaining a healthier weight. Such as joining a boot camp type training facility or sports team or even an online forum can help give you outside support to reach your goals
-Karfopoulou, E., Anastasiou, C., Avgeraki, E., Kosmidis, M., & Yannakoulia, M. (2016). The role of social support in weight loss maintenance: Results from the medweight study. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 39(3), 511-8.
-Kraschnewski et al. (2010). Long-term weight loss maintenance in the United States. International journal of obesity (2005), 34(11), 1644–1654.
-Kruger et al. (2006). Dietary and physical activity behaviors among adults successful at weight loss maintenance. The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, 3, 17.
Nicklas et al. (2012). Successful weight loss among obese U.S. adults. American journal of preventive medicine, 42(5), 481–485.
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.