For many mum and babies breastfeeding can be a real challenge.
We know that about 80-90% of mum try to breastfeed at birth but by one week of age as few as half of mums are still exclusively breastfeeding. This figure continues to drop with only about 1% of mum exclusively breastfeeding when baby is 6 months old, which is the recommended time we should exclusively breastfeed for.
There are of course many reasons why mums give up on this, from sore nipples to inadequate milk supply, or baby having issues with latching to suckling. All too often these problems lead to too much pain, or even breast infection and ultimately and understandably mum giving up on breastfeeding because it just gets too hard.
This is a real shame, because we know that it is really important for babies health. We know that babies who are breastfed are less likely to suffer from ear infections and tummy bugs, they’re even less likely to develop asthma and other conditions that can be life threatening.
It just goes without saying that nature knows best and that breastfeeding is the optimal form of nutrition for infants.
So if someone is having issues with breastfeeding, what can they do about it? luckily help is available.
-Lactation consultants and other health professionals can really help mums and babies to overcome the breastfeeding issues.
-One health care profession that many mums turn to for help is their family chiropractor.
But why might a chiropractor help with breastfeeding? Well the answer is really simple. Chiropractors see babies to help improve the way their body and nervous system functions so that they can get the best possible start in life.
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 Chin Tuck: An Excellent Exercise for Neck and upper back pain
After visiting your Chiropractor, one of the most effective postural exercises for combating neck and upper back pain is the chin tuck. Chin tucks are recommended for keeping the head aligned above the spine and maintaining good posture. When done regularly and with the correct form, chin tucks can help improve the neck’s strength, flexibility, and function.
This exercise not only helps strengthen the muscles that pull the head back into alignment over the shoulders but it also stretches the scalene and suboccipital muscles.
This exercise is simple, effective and easy and can be done without interrupting your day. For instance, while sitting in the car or at the desk at work. The repetition of this exercise also helps develop good postural habits.
The Chin Tuck : Steps
To perform the exercise for the first time it is often recommended that you stand with the spine up against a wall or door frame.
Next place the feet out about 8 cm from the edge of the wall or door frame.
Keeping the spine against the wall, pull the upper back and head back until the back of the head touches the surface. It is important to make sure that the chin is down so that the head is pulled straight back and is not looking up.
Hold your head against the wall for 5 seconds.
Repeat this ten times.
After performing this exercise about ten times, you can start doing the exercise standing or sitting without a wall.
• The exercise can be done 5 to 7 times per day.
• When in the car, use the headrest as a point to aim for when pulling the head back.
You may feel some stretching of the muscles on the side of the neck that go down to the collarbone. These are the scalene muscles. These muscles along with the muscles at the top of the neck at the base of the skull are generally the tight muscles. The muscles in the front of the neck and of the upper back are generally the weak muscles that need to be strengthened.
In cases of extreme forward head posture, you may not be able to pull their head all the way back to the wall when you first start. In these cases it is advisable to pull the head back as far as possible without pain.
When to see a Chiropractor?
Chin tuck exercises have been well documented for many years to reduce neck pain, headaches, stiffness and much more. However although these exercises are effective, we must address the cause of the misalignment in the beginning. It it important that the correct spinal alignment is in place. By removing stress on your joints and neck muscles and putting your body into a state of ease.
If you are experiencing neck or upper back pain of any kind it is highly recommended you visit your Chiropractor. As a leading chiropractor in Auckland, we see hundreds of patients per year at our clinic – Revolution Chiropractic. A great posture starts with a great spine!
Neck and Upper back Pain – Leading Chiropractor Auckland
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a standard class of drugs. They are used chronically for persistent pain due to osteoarthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders in older adults. Specifically, an estimated 40% of people age 65 and older fill one or more prescriptions for an NSAID each year. Exposing themselves to serious risk. Considering that NSAIDs are also currently available over the counter, it is clear to see that even more significant numbers of older adults expose themselves to NSAIDs in the United States.
NSAID use causes an estimated 41,000 hospitalizations and 3300 deaths each year among older adults.
Some specific ADRs of concern with chronic use of NSAIDs include:
Cardiovascular (CV – heart attacks or heart failure) and cerebrovascular (strokes)
Central nervous system (CNS – dementia, cognitive impairment)
Although I only discuss ADRs affecting these four organ systems in this review, it is crucial to recognize that NSAIDs can cause various other adverse effects (e.g., hepatotoxicity (liver damage), cutaneous toxicity).
GI Risks Associated with Chronic NSAID Use
The spectrum of potential NSAID-related GI adverse effects is extensive, ranging from dyspepsia to life-threatening gastric bleeding. A nested case-control study showed that NSAIDs increase the risk of fatal peptic ulcers by nearly fivefold in older adults. Other studies show that the risk of peptic ulcer complications increases by three- to fivefold in older adults using NSAIDs. This risk higher in those taking concomitant systemic corticosteroids and warfarin. In addition, the risk is increased as early as within the first month of treatment and sustains over time. Often, these peptic ulcers are asymptomatic but can lead to significant morbidity and mortality.
Renal Risks Associated with Chronic NSAID Use
Similar to NSAID-related GI adverse effects, NSAID-induced renal dysfunction has a wide spectrum of adverse effects, including decreased glomerular perfusion, decreased glomerular filtration rate, and acute renal failure (ARF). While it is important to recognize that ARF can develop at any point during long-term NSAID therapy, the risk may be highest among those who have recently initiated therapy.
Specifically, in a nested case-control study of older adults, the risk of ARF increases nearly twofold for all NSAIDs within 30 days of initial use/prescribing. This risk is greater in those older adults with pre-existing chronic kidney disease (CKD) and in those who use long half-life NSAIDs.
Cardiovascular/Cerebrovascular (heart attack/stroke) Risks Associated with Chronic NSAID Use
NSAIDs worsen/increase the risk of various CV and cerebrovascular outcomes.
NSAIDs =also cause or exacerbate heart failure (HF) in older adults. Specifically, a cohort study of older adults found that rofecoxib and nonselective NSAIDs (naproxen, ibuprofen, and diclofenac), but not celecoxib were significantly associated with an increased risk of admission for HF as compared to those not taking NSAIDs. Another cohort study found that among patients who had survived their first hospitalization because of HF. Subsequent use of any NSAID (including celecoxib, as well as ibuprofen, diclofenac, naproxen, and other NSAIDs) led to a significantly increased risk of death.
CNS (Central Nervous System) Risks Associated with Chronic NSAID Use
NSAID use is associated with several CNS effects, including aseptic meningitis, psychosis, and cognitive dysfunction. Studies to date have not consistently shown a benefit from chronic NSAID use in reducing the risk of dementia or cognitive impairment. Interestingly, though, several studies have shown that high-dose NSAIDs (i.e., anti-inflammatory doses) may increase the risk of cognitive impairment. In particular, indomethacin appears to cause more CNS effects than other NSAIDs in the elderly.
This review has summarized the potential risks associated with chronic NSAID use in older adults. Including GI, renal, CV/cerebrovascular, and CNS adverse effects. Although I only discuss ADRs affecting these four organ systems in this review, it is important to recognize that NSAIDs can cause various other adverse effects (eg, hepatotoxicity, cutaneous toxicity). Moreover, it is important to note that nonpharmacological approaches (weight reduction, increasing physical activity) may also help patients who are experiencing musculoskeletal pain.
As the aging population rapidly grows over the next few decades, the risks associated with chronic NSAID use will remain a significant public health issue.
Painkillers, are they bad, or are they good? Yes, they are great for masking pain, but do they do anything? Long term use of painkillers can cause many problems. Taking strong painkillers or just regular painkillers frequently for a long time can cause liver and stomach damage. Additionally, it may not even help the underlying problem. Perhaps after this blog, there will be more awareness about the side effects of pain killers.
Overuse of painkillers can lead to both liver and stomach damage. Let’s start with the most common painkillers that we can find over the counter; Paracetamol. The recommended daily allowance of Paracetamol is 4000 mg, which is equivalent to around eight tablets. However, many other medications already consist of Paracetamol in the formula, so this makes it hard to keep track of the amount that the body is intaking. Going over the recommended daily allowance can lead to long term liver damage or even liver death as well. Even if you stick to 4000 mg daily and do not exceed it, the daily or frequent use of this amount of painkillers is detrimental to your health.
Another common painkiller are NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs); iburoprofen, asprin and diclofenac are only a few that falls into this category. This category of painkillers can damage the stomach if it taken for long periods. These should only be taken under the recommendation of a GP. NSAIDs interfere with the production of mucus in the stomach. The mucus in the stomach forms a mucosal layer to prevent gastric acid from eroding and damaging the stomach. With a decrease of mucus production in the stomach, it becomes more susceptible to gastric ulcers. Study has shown that even taking NSAIDs just once is enough to cause irritation and inflammation of the stomach.
Finally, painkillers serve a purpose, but do they get to the root of the problem. By masking the pain, you may make the original problem worse. This is because pain is a way for our body that something is not right and should be looked into more thoroughly. If the painkiller covers the pain, we would have no idea that the area is injured or has a problem, and we would continue our activities. This may further aggravate the injury leading it to become a long term problem. Taking painkillers is like temporarily covering a leaky roof rather than repairing the problem. It will always keep coming back, and over time it’ll just get worse and worse.
So it’s up to whether or not you want to fix the problem and for your body to heal from the inside, or just mask the symptoms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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..
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.
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?
The human brain is the organ that controls everything in our body. It acts as our engine and provides vital messages to different parts of our body to keep everything moving. Just like the engine in our cars, we keep it oiled, regularly serviced and well maintained. But how well do we maintain the health of our brains? There are several ways we can keep our brains well-groomed. This can be done through regular stimulus and healthy nutrition.
Improving the brain with stimulus
Just like other muscles in our body, our brain grows with constant stimulus. When we exercise our brain becomes stronger, smarter and better. We can stimulate our brain through many means such as reading, solving puzzles, playing challenging board games and regular exercise. Study has shown that if we do some sort of physical mental challenge it can help reinforce brain cell connection. This means we are less likely to suffer from mental diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Physical mental challenges involve your hands, eyes and brains; this means that these activities should not be done on our devices. In fact, research has shown that due to the amount of time we spend on our devices, our concentration span and our ability to recall information has decreased. So as a recommendation, it is good to stimulate our brain for 30 minutes a day. Whether this is reading a book, enjoying a puzzle or playing board games with family and friends.
Diet and mind
Another way to keep our brains well maintained is through a healthy diet. There are some foods that should be avoided if we want to keep our brains well maintained; sugary drinks (eg. fizzy drinks), artificial sweeteners, highly processed foods and alcohol just to name a few. Instead we should be consuming nutrients that are good for the brain such as omega 3, antioxidants, unsaturated fats and magnesium. All of these can be found in natural food sources such as berries, legumes, nuts, seeds (flaxseeds, linseeds, hemp seeds) and vegetables. A healthy diet can help your brain just as much as helping the rest of your body.
In a technological era that we are in right now, we have now lost the ability to concentrate for long periods of time and recall information that we have just read or seen. It is important to keep our brain well-conditioned at all times as this is the master organ of our body. This can be done through regular stimulus and a healthy diet. So please start taking care of your brain and give it what it needs so you can start excelling in your life.
In our blog ‘Strength Training’, we talked about the importance of strength training and as a recommendation, 40-60 minutes of strength/weight training every week is needed. These exercises could be from something that we can just do with our body weight such as push ups, plank, squats, pull ups and many more. This week, I would like to explore cardiovascular training and how you can include it into your exercise routine.
Please be aware, when I say we need to do endurance training. We are not going to run a marathon or do a triathlon. We actually include cardio/endurance in our daily lives most of the time; when we walk, do chores at home and even while we are doing our weekly grocery shopping. Cardio training are just exercises that challenge our heart and lungs. As a recommendation, we should be doing around 150 minutes of cardio every week. That comes down to around 20 minutes a day. If you include 2 days of weight training exercises, it makes it 30 minutes a day over 5 days.
Cardiovascular training is just as important as doing weight training. There are many benefits from cardio training; increasing strength of heart muscles, lowering blood cholesterol and many more.
Cardiovascular training helps us build and increase the muscles of the heart just like how weight training help us build muscles. By increasing the strength of our heart muscles there will be less pressure in our cardiovascular system. This is because cardiovascular training can increase the efficiency of transporting oxygen around our body. Due to the increase in strength, it can also increase the stroke volume with each beat, which means that with each beat of the heart more blood will be pumped out. As a result, this can help you lower your blood pressure.
Another benefit of doing cardiovascular training is lowering blood cholesterol levels. There are two types of cholesterols; low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is known as bad cholesterol because it causes fatty build ups in the arteries which leads to narrowing of arteries. With the arteries narrowing, it is harder for blood to flow through causing an increase in blood pressure. HDL on the other hand is the good cholesterol in our body. HDL absorbs the bad cholesterol in your body and stores them in the liver. The liver then flushes the bad cholesterol out of your system. Cardiovascular training raises HDL in the body which induces the decrease of LDL. As a result, the arteries will be less narrow which will also bring down your blood pressure.
Some people think cardio is really boring but you can make if fun. If doing long walk or jogging isn’t your thing, you can try some high intensity interval training (also known as HIIT), go play a sport you enjoy or even go dancing with someone. The great thing about cardio is that it can be done anywhere, it is also a good opportunity to start a new hobby too!
Now you know the benefits of cardio, go out there and move your body. With this, it wraps up our 3 part series on why we should exercise. I hope now you know the importance of exercise and will take out some time from your busy day to keep your body healthy!
In our blog ‘8 Benefits of Exercising’ we talked about the importance of exercise and as a recommendation, 30 minutes of exercise every day is needed. These exercises could be from something that we already know how to do like walking or mowing the lawns. This week, I would like to dive into something slightly more specific; strength training and how you can include it into your exercise routine.
When I mention strength training, I’m not asking you to become a bodybuilder nor be the next Chris Hemsworth. All you need to start with is 2 days a week for 20-30 minutes each time. So perhaps you can substitute your two days of walking and do this instead.
Effects of strength training
So now we know how often and how much weight training we should be doing every week, do you know why we should make it part of our routine? Weight training can help with many things apart from building strength and muscles, it can help with fat burning and the prevention of osteoporosis too.
Weight training helps with building muscles and increasing strength. Muscle builds and strengthens through repetitive stress. Our muscles are made from many smaller muscle fibers. Every time we do strength training, we actually tear and rip these muscle fibers. Our body knows that each time we tear our muscle fibers we are lifting something heavier than usual and it will find a way to adapt. As a result, our muscles become thicker, larger, and stronger when it recovers.
Strength vs. Cardio
Many studies also show that weight training can help us burn more fat and calories than cardio exercises. This does not mean you should just ditch cardio altogether as there are also unique benefits that only cardio provides. Muscles are metabolically more active than fat therefore muscles burn more calories in a resting state. This is why if you want to burn that fat off your belly, don’t just do cardio and add in some strength training too!
Weight training can help with the prevention of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the weakening of bones. This process happens as we age and as our bones become weaker, it can no longer withstand as much pressure and stress. This makes us more susceptible to fractures. Every time we strength train, we actually stress the bone by pulling and tugging it. So once we put stress on the bone, it stimulates the bone-forming cells into action causing more bone growth.
A common misconception about strength training is that we have to go to a gym or lift something really heavy. But in reality, when we are first starting off, bodyweight exercises are more than enough. Some simple bodyweight exercises include push-ups, squats, crunches, planks, lunges, and many more. We actually have plenty of videos on our YouTube channel and Instagram. If you are interested, we are also posting up new videos on basic bodyweight exercises this week that you can check out!
Now you know the amount of exercise you need to do, start incorporating some weight training, and become the best version of yourself!
Poor sleep habits can also contribute to unnecessary stress in the household…
If a child does not wake up easily and with energy each morning, this could indicate they are not getting enough quality sleep. This in turn will affect their personality, their learning and their health in general.
Tired children cannot concentrate, learn tasks, or play sports well. And just like adults, typically tired children crave sugary foods that leave them prone to yeast imbalances.
The parents role
As parents, we often miss our child’s ‘tired cues’ and then we have great difficulty trying to put them to bed when their brain has moved back into fourth gear. If your child consistently wakes up tired or is slow in the morning, then try getting them to bed an hour earlier for a period of time and watch how this can transform grumpy or emotional behavior. Over the years I have learnt that a set routine for dinner and bedtime makes getting to sleep earlier easier, and life easier for everyone. This means aiming to feed children early—well before they are tired. Plan an ideal time for bed and give yourself plenty of time for baths and the reading of evening books, etc. Some nights you will be able to have luxurious, long baths and other nights you will need to be drill-sergeant.
It is a good idea to limit the number of late nights that children have in a week. With social, school and family activities, bedtimes can gradually become later and later for older children; however, sleep requirements remain just as vital for teenagers as when they are younger. It turns out that teenagers may actually need more sleep than in their
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