Prenatal Chiropractic Care for Pregnancy

Pregnancy is such a wonderful, exciting time! There are so many changes that happen – physically, emotionally, and hormonally.  It can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster ride. One of the best things we can do as expecting moms is to take care of our ever-changing bodies and spine structure with chiropractic techniques so that we can enjoy our pregnancy.  Paying attention to your spine during pregnancy will also set us up for a quick labor, delivery, and recovery. Prenatal chiropractic care is safe, gentle, and effective for you and baby.

It aims to restore proper movement, function, and alignment to the spine and pelvis.

Here are some of the common reasons you should seek out chiropractic care if you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or a new mom.

  1. Weight Gain

A necessary, and often dreaded, part of pregnancy is the weight gain that accompanies it.

The increased weight gain will be everywhere, but obviously concentrated in the abdomen.

This increases pressure on the abdomen and on the joints and discs of the spine overall.

The tendency here is to pull the low back forward.

Prenatal chiropractic care relieves the extra tension in the joints and discs allowing you to better adapt and get used to your growing belly bump.

  1. Increased Curves In The Low Back

As mentioned above, the extra weight through the abdomen will pull the low back forward, and cause more grinding and compression through the joints of the low back.

This often will cause the classic low back pain experienced by pregnant mothers.

Interestingly, the rest of the spine will change its shape due to the increased curve in the low back.

The mid-back for example will increase its curve, and the neck will straighten out. This can lead to mid back pain, and neck discomfort as well.

  1. Changes in Walking Patterns and Pelvic Movements, how prenatal can help

We all have heard and seen the classic pregnant “waddle”.

This tends to be most noticeable in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, as baby descends into the pelvic inlet (sometimes called “engagement”)  but the spinal and mechanical changes start as the baby occupies more and more space in the uterus, around the 2nd trimester.

As baby grows, it will limit the ability of the sacrum, to freely rock back and forth.

What we typically see is the mom will gradually (and most noticeably) increase her base of stance (or distance between the feet) as she walks to compensate for this lack of rocking motion in the pelvis.

This is something we can identify quite easily and, through prenatal adjustments, gently encourage the normal motion of the sacrum.

  1. Round Ligament Pain

This is what tends to bring a lot of pregnant woman into our office.

In and around the second trimester, a ligament that attaches the uterus to the abdominal wall (the round ligament) tends to get spastic, and with that, getting in and out bed, turning in bed, and twisting can cause a sharp stinging pain along the side of the belly.

We train our chiropractors to relieve this spasticity and allow for proper tension and balance to return between the two ligaments.

One of the problems that can arise if this is not corrected is a difference in tension between the round ligaments on either side of the uterus.

This is one of the many ways intrauterine constraint develops which can reduce the space for baby to grow.

Keeping balance between these 2 ligaments is good for mom (pain relief!) and good for baby (more room in the womb)

  1. Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction / Pubic Bone Pain

Towards the end of pregnancy, as your body begins to prepare for labor, the pubic bone will start to separate (to allow the passage of the baby through the pelvic inlet).

However, if you have not been under prenatal chiropractic care, and there is abnormal pelvic mechanics, what can happen is the pubic bone will separate unevenly.

This often causes excruciating pain getting in and out of bed, cars, chairs, and walking.

It also can potentially interfere with the baby passing through the area.

Complications that can arise include baby’s shoulder getting stuck (called shoulder dystocia), which can slow down labour, and lead to unwanted interventions.

Allowing the pubic bone to separate evenly, and having it monitored in the third trimester is one of the easiest ways to avoid the pain and discomfort while pregnant, and reduce dystocia during labour..

  1. Decreased Labour And Delivery Time

Getting adjusted, keeping the spine and sacrum aligned, flexible and moving ahead of labour is a great idea.

Research has shown that moms under chiropractic have decreased labour times, and decreased interventions required during delivery. [The effects of chiropractic treatment on pregnancy and labor: a comprehensive study. Fallon J. Proceedings of the world chiropractic congress. 1991; 24-31]

Most moms for this reason alone will choose chiropractic care.

Giving birth is like a marathon!

Prenatal chiropractic care is the training and fine tuning before the big event.

  1. Postpartum Recovery from pregnancy 

As you heal after delivery, this is a wonderful time to work on your spinal alignment.

With continued elevated circulating levels of relaxin following pregnancy, you are more “malleable”. We can also work on your alignment as you come back together.

Working on core strength, pelvic floor strength, and of course the new mechanical challenges of breastfeeding while you are healing will help your transition to motherhood as pain free and seamless as possible.

Want To Get Started On Having A Pain-Free, Enjoyable Pregnancy And Labour?

Chiropractor Auckland

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Kids Balance Exercises: Snow Angel

Kids Balance Exercises: Snow Angel

This activity will help your child to forge stronger sensory and movement connections to their limbs. 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 Snow Angel.

STEPS for Snow Angel:

1. Have your child lie on the ground face up with arms by their side and legs together.
2. Have them close your eyes.
3. As the parent you will tap an arm or a leg to indicate for your child to move it outwards then bring it back into their body.
4. You can tap an arm, or a leg, or both at the same time. And voila, snow angel.

 

LEVEL 2: Instead of tapping the limb you will tell them “left arm” or “right leg”.

 

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTiOxlXbgFE[/embedyt]

Looking for a Chiropractor in Auckland?

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Health Advice – How To Live Longer

It seems like every few years we have to unlearn some health advice that experts have come up with.

“Fats are bad… No, they’re good!”

“Carbs are the enemy! No wait, sugars! What’s the difference again?”

You’d think that after all these years of experimentation, documentation and research that they would have the answer by now. Well they have… But it’s no surprise fountain of youth or berry found in some remote location. In fact, the answer is no surprise at all. It’s really quite simple and attainable by the vast majority of people (even those that can’t afford organic bananas).

  1. Sleep well

Ever since we were young we’ve known that sleep is an important part of being healthy and energized throughout the day, but chances are that you’re overestimating the amount of sleep you get! Sleep affects pretty much everything, from your mental state to your digestion, so if you’re doing everything right but still not seeing results, take a closer look at your sleep habits!

  1. Eat better

Ever hear the saying “You are what you eat”? Well there’s some truth to that since the foods you eat literally make up your body. When you’re missing important nutrients, your body is more likely to get damaged or fall ill. Which is why it’s important to ensure that you’re in the habit of getting an adequate amount of carbohydrates (vegetables, rice, quinoa, fruits), protein (tofu, legumes and so on) and healthy fats (nuts and seeds). Bacon, sausages and deli meats are not a part of this list as they are not healthy in any amount and regarded as a Class A carcinogen (cancerous) which is the same level as smoking cigarettes.

  1. Move more

Exercise signals the body to use nutrients and balance blood sugars, build and repair bone and muscle tissue, and circulate blood, nutrients and oxygen throughout your entire body, including your brain! It’s one of the most incredible things you can do for your health. Its not optimal to sit around and watch Netflix all day (although there’s nothing wrong with the occasional binge), we were designed to move. So start moving! Whether it be a leisurely walk around the block or an intense Crossfit session, you’ve got to make it a lifestyle. If you’re looking for a community focused gym that you can get all your needs (cardio, strength, boxing, weights, body weight, running, rowing etc) that’s not full of posers then you should try https://www.priorityfitness.co.nz/.

  1. Stress less

Everyone has their own unique way of getting in the zone and escaping from the world for a little bit. Whether it be painting, meditation, having a coffee with friends or cuddling on the couch with your hubby, always make time for yourself to take it slow and really enjoy life as it comes. It’s easy to get caught in the riptide of the fast paced lifestyle and forget about the little things like personal time and health. So always schedule some YOU time and never forget one of the most powerful medicines of them all – laughter.

These 4 pillars have stuck as health advice clichés for as long as anyone can remember… but they remain so for a reason. Lifestyle habits have a powerful impact on quality of life. Granted, there are many things that we don’t have control over, but we DO have control over our habits. Going over how to make these habits stick will take a whole other article, but you can get started by ditching the mindset of being perfect and starting when you’re “ready”, and instead become PROACTIVE by starting now (no matter how small the step). We’ll visit each of these pillars in future blog posts to make sure you’re on the right track!

Chiropractor Auckland

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Happy people live longer | When Bobby McFerrin sang his most… | Flickr

 

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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Deadlift Technique (Part 2)

Last week I talked about the deadlift stance. This week I want to cover another significant error I see in deadlift technique that can lead to injury and give this great lift a bad name. Properly performed deadlifts are great for strengthening the lower back and glutes. Performed poorly they can lead to significant lumbar injury.

When starting my strength training journey in 2010 I injured my lower back by making the foolish mistake of adding too much weight to the bar too soon, causing my lower back to round partway through the lift. Bang, my back went into spasm. I sheepishly put away the weights and limped to the shower and was forced to take a few weeks off to recover. Since then I have been meticulous about working on my deadlift technique.

After I recovered I spent months drilling the technique by having my training partners hold a broomstick along the length of my spine while I would perform my deadlifts. The goal is to keep three points of contact with the broomstick:

Broomstick-Deadlift method

  1. The back of your head
  2. Your midback between the shoulder blades
  3. Your tailbone

Image result for deadlift 3 points of contact

This drill will help you stay aware of what your back is actually doing during the lift and not fool yourself into thinking your form is good.

Filming yourself during deadlift sessions is paramount when starting out, and even for more advanced lifters to keep an eye on your form especially during your heavier sets. Review the footage between sets and don’t keep adding weight if you notice your form is looking rubbish!

Excessive rounding of the lower back, technically called lumbar flexion, puts a lot of strain on the back of the discs of your spine. Repetitively loading your spine in a flexed position is a great way to increase your risk of a disc herniation. Repetitively loading the spine in a neutral position (within a properly designed training program) is a great way to strengthen the spine and reduce low back pain and injury risk.

So grab a broomstick and a camera and work on your technique so you can build a strong, healthy spine!

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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All About TMJ Pain

For those who have experienced TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain or TMD (temporomandibular disorder), they know it all too well. You might just have pain in the jaw area or an associated clicking or popping noise when you open and close your mouth.

The TMJ is the joint formed by your skull and jawbone and is moved by your chewing muscles. The joint structure resembles that of a sliding hinge and it allows for the opening and closing of your mouth as well as side-to-side movement. Think about the range of activities that this jaw undergoes in a day – chewing, talking, yawning, eating and many other associated actions.

TMJ pain can come from irritation of the muscles that accompany the joint or the neck and shoulders (pain referral), displacement of the small cartilaginous disc that’s part of the joint structure and/or arthritis or other joint disease that lead to dysfunctional movement of the TMJ.

Your risk of developing this kind of pain or dysfunction can increase from the following:

  • Stress
  • Teeth grinding (could be at night)
  • Injury/direct blow

TMJ pain can be managed effectively by taking the appropriate steps that may include:

  • Food modification (puree or softer consistency foods)
  • Avoiding aggravating jaw movements
  • Ice
  • Stress reduction
  • Jaw exercises/stretches (As shown below)

 Gold Fish exercise – perform 6 sets of 6 reps daily.

 Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and one finger in front of your ear where your TMJ is located. Put your middle or pointer finger on your chin. Drop your lower jaw halfway and then close. There should be mild resistance but not pain.

You may repeat this exercise while dropping your lower jaw completely and then closing it. A variation of this exercise is to place one finger on each TMJ as you drop your lower jaw halfway and closed again.

Image result for goldfish exercise

Manual Release of Joint Capsule and Ligaments.

Easy way to measure: You should be able to place your index, middle and fourth finger vertically in between your teeth. The exercise below will help relax the ligaments and release tension in your Jaw.

Image result for measuring your jaw with 3 fingers

TMJ trigger points:

 Place your index finger inside your mouth on the outside of your teeth.  Follow your teeth around to the superior (top) part of your TMJ. Find the Ligaments (This will be the tenderest part) that your chiropractor has shown you how to find. Hold this for at least 30 Seconds. Repeat several times on both sides of the jaw. The picture below shows the area you will be targeting.

Image result for the tmj capsule and ligaments medial view

 

Chiropractic care has also been shown to reduce the negative effects of TMJ pain and dysfunction. Upper cervical specific technique in particular addresses bones at the very top of your spine that closely influence the structure and muscles surrounding the TMJ. Our structural chiropractors at Revolution Chiropractic are trained in this technique and apply it when necessary. Co-management with a dentist may also be required.

However you choose to address your TMJ problems, just know that there are options available to you and that you can consult with one of our structural chiropractors on getting help.

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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Glutes, The Secret to Better Buns

Glutes

Nowadays, people are sitting… a lot. And they’re sitting right on their prized possessions – one of the most important muscles groups in the body – the glutes.

Let’s get to know this area of our bodies a little better. The glute area comprises of 3 muscles: gluteus medius, gluteus maximus and gluteus minimus. Maximus extends (pulls) your thigh behind your, while medius and minimus pull your thigh out to the side (abduction).

These muscles tend to be weak and underworked. Long periods of sitting tend to cause these muscles to turn off and weaken, which leads to low back, hip and knee pain due to a lack of stabilization of the pelvis from these muscles

Strengthening your glutes come with many benefits. They help stabilize the hips and pelvis while walking, play a role in knee and ankle alignment down the lower chain of the leg as well as just look aesthetically pleasing to both sexes. You’ll even find that your athletic performance improves as your glutes play a huge role in power generation in your stride and jump as well as side-to-side (lateral) movement.

If we haven’t made it clear yet, strengthening your glutes is a great idea and you really have everything to gain by strengthening them. So How do you do that? Well the gluteus maximus is usually addressed adequately through running, squats, deadlifts and lunges. But the often-neglected glute medius and glute minimus usually don’t get in on much of the action. So here are 3 exercises to start firing those glutes nicely.

  1. Side-Lying Leg Lifts

Image result for side lying leg lifts

  1. Single Leg Bridges

Image result for single leg bridge

  1. Side-Lying Clamshell (incorporate resistance band to increase the effect on glutes)

Image result for side lying clamshell with band

If you incorporate these exercises into your workout and work up to 3 sets of 12-15 reps you’ll find that your hip stabilization will improve greatly and your buns will thank you! Remember to keep learning and stay consistent – the results will come.

Chiropractor Auckland

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Heavy Lifting For a Stronger Body 

Is lifting heavy objects good for you?

This week I’m going to talk about a movement category that you may be missing from your gym routine and give you a few examples of how to implement heavy lifting This is something I have done on and off for many years in my strength training. 

Lifting heavy barbells and dumbbells and doing bodyweight exercises in the gym is a great thing, in fact it is essential for the health and maintenance of your body. But what you may be neglecting is the basic human movement of carrying heavy things.  

What is the benefit of lifting heavy objects?

Carrying heavy objects recruits muscles in a different way than performing the basic push, pull, squat and hip hinge categories of movements that make up the majority of modern training. I’m not saying not to do these movements by the way, they MUST be done to create a strong and resilient body. Just don’t neglect heavy carries!  

Carries can serve as a great warm up for the trunk muscles before heavy squats and deadlifts, for some conditioning work or as the main lift of the day. 

Types of Lifting Heavy/Carries

Farmer’s carries 

Unless you have access to specialty farmers carry bars you can simply grab a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand and go for a walk. These can be done for time or for distance.  

See how far you can go or how many lengths you can do in a given time frame (eg. 20-60 seconds) and then increase the weight the next week.  

OR 

Try and improve your time to carry a given weight for a given distance eg50 meters, or the length of your gym. 

Suitcase carries 

These can be done the same way as the farmers carry but you are only carrying weight in one hand. These will really tax the lateral stabilising muscles of the trunk and are a great way to get ready for heavy squats and deadlifts. Pick up a dumbbell or weight plate in one hand and pace the gym in between your warmup sets. 

Waiters carries 

These can be done with a weight in one or both arms raised overhead and are a great option to warm up the shoulder stabilisers before pressing movements (bench press, dumbbell presses) or overhead work (overhead squats, snatches, jerks). 

 

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

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Heavy Lifting - Chiropractic Auckland

Netflixing Without Back Pain – Stretch

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:

  1. 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! 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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. 

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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HD wallpaper: Man sitting in front of large television, browsing options., tv | Wallpaper Flare

Chiropractic for Running Injuries

At Revolution Chiropractic, we equip our structural chiropractors with the tools necessary to help you run better. And in addition, to recover from your running injuries faster, and prevent running injuries before they even start!

During the assessment, the structural chiropractor will obtain information about your running habits. They’ll look at your gait, biomechanics, footwear, strength, mobility, and spinal health. Since the tissues in your body interconnect and depend on each other for a function like gears in a machine. The structural chiropractor must look at all of these components to address your body as a whole.

They will take all this information to develop a care plan. As a result, that will help you recover and provide you with the necessary education and tools to prevent re-injury.

Your care plan may include adjustments, active rehabilitation, and exercises. You may also receive nutritional advice to reduce inflammation in your body and facilitate tissue healing.

If required, your Structural Chiropractor may advise on footwear and other external factors. Such as running surfaces and frequency. They will teach you exercises to address muscle imbalances and improve your technique.

If necessary, they will refer you to other professionals that will complement your care and get you better faster.

If you’re a runner, then you know that going through an injury can be a huge nuisance. It can also interfere with your regular running routine. That’s why we recommend strategies that promote prevention and optimization.

Call us today to book your complimentary consultation with one of our experienced practitioners who will assess your mechanics, analyze your running habits and provide you with an individualized care plan to prevent injuries.

 

Looking for a Chiropractor in Auckland?

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File:Man Running Scared Cartoon Vector.svg - Wikimedia Commons