Everyone experiences stress on a daily basis. Stress is defined as a reaction to any internal or external stimuli that upsets normal functioning and disturbs mental or physical health. Internal conditions such as illness, pain, or emotional conflict, as well as external circumstances, such as a death in the family, or financial problems can cause stress. Even positive experiences like a new marriage or job promotion can provoke stress. Long lasting or chronic stress suppress the immune system, which in turn increase the susceptibility to illness, especially to immune-related disorders or cancer. Emotional stress also leads to hormonal imbalances that interfere with immune system function.
These stresses can often cascade into other problems that may lead to negative structural changes in the spinal bones. Under stress, spinal vertebrae can misalign and cause interference to the healthy communication of nerve messages between the brain and body. Chiropractors call these spinal misalignments, subluxation. Disruption to the nerve system will inevitably result in some form of body dysfunction. This could mean the bodyb s organs; tissue and cells are either over worked or underworked, which can lead to disease.
Health comes from within. When the nervous system is clear from any interference and the communication from the brain to organs and tissues is 100%, the body is able to function normally and express health.
Children experience stress and anxiety just as adults do. Their days are jam packed with school work, sports activities, music, chiropractic appointments, spending time with friends and peer pressure. Stress in children can also lead to a lowered immune system. As a result of a stressed immune system, kids can become more susceptible to common illnesses like ear infections, headaches, common colds and viruses.
When you go for an exam, the chiropractor will ask you questions and may ask you to walk to determine what particular issues are contributing to your stress and discomfort. The chiropractor can then lay out a plan to eliminate those issues through regular chiropractic adjustments. This is usually in the form of spinal adjustment.
A chiropractic adjustment is a great way to release stress and anxiety from your body. Removing interference and anxiety in your nerve system gives your body the ability to heal and regulate at its optimal level. Having your spine looked after and maintained with chiropractic adjustments, as well as living a healthier lifestyle will certainly go a long way to assisting your overall health and prevent problems in the future.
Chiropractic care is a health care approach based upon the bodyb s natural ability to heal itself and is a very important step in a commitment to optimal health. Optimal health is one of our most valuable possessions.
If you reduce stress, you will help to maintain balance and health.B It may not be possible to remove the stress from a busy life. However, with the help of your Chiropractor, you can respond better to the unique challenges you face.
The average golfer tends to take up golf at an age when he or she is no longer participating in energetic, competitive and physically demanding sports. Unfortunately, this decreased involvement in competitive play contributes to an overall decrease in flexibility b especially of the spine, shoulders, hips and pelvis (key components of a good golf swing). Common everyday activities like working on computers or commuting long distances tend to contribute even more to this lack of flexibility. This is important to note because flexibility is the key to improving your game and reducing your pain.
Flexibility plays a greater role in golf than just an improved long game b it also decreases the likelihood of experiencing injury while practicing or playing. In fact, the root cause of golf injuries is a lack of golf-specific flexibility.
The golf swing depends on nearly every joint between the tips of the toes and the ends of the fingers. All these joints taken together create an unbroken chain. Any limitation in motion of any of these joints will shift the work burden to other b healthierb joints causing unnecessary strain and contributing to increased muscular fatigue (Does your swing improve or degrade as you near the 18th hole?). This can cause serious repetitive motion injury to both the dysfunctional joints and the over-burdened (but otherwise healthy) joints, as well. According to Jeffry H. Blanchard, golf professional and author of “The Geometry of Golf”: b The chiropractor is the perfect choice to evaluate, educate, treat, condition and train those who choose to play golf.b
The Chiropractic Solution
Any effort to treat golf-related injury or improve the golf swing requires a combined approach that addresses both the joint mechanics AND muscle flexibility. Joint mechanics are best addressed with corrective chiropractic adjustments to the affected joints. Active Release muscle therapy is effective at restoring flexibility to tight damaged muscles. Working with chiropractors who understand golf and the swing mechanics of the sport can be a life-saver.B Chiropractors not only help golfers feel better by readjusting and decompressing their spine , but can also provide advice that helps them prevent future injury and even lower their score.
To hit longer and more powerful golf shots you must be willing to improve your posture and flexibility b the domain of Chiropractic care for over 100 years
It is important for children to establish beneficial health habits at an early age, as lasting health habits are usually solidified during childhood. A 2012 article published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics states that encouraging a healthy level of physical activity in children and teens is crucial for improving health and that optimizing musculoskeletal health is essential for achieving lifelong health of an individual.
As a parent, what can you do help encourage and lead your child toward a healthy, active life?
Exercise may reduce the chances of obesity, which is becoming more common in children. It may also reduce the risk of diabetes, a disease that can be associated with a lack of exercise and poor eating habits. Exercise also helps children build social skills and provides them with a general sense of well-being. Sports participation is an important part of learning how to build team skills.
As a parent, it is important for you to encourage your children to be physically active. Itb s also important to match your child to the sport, and not push him or her too hard into an activity that he or she may not like or be capable of doing. Teach your children to follow the rules and to play it safe when they get involved in sports, so theyb ll spend more time having fun in the game and be less likely to be sidelined with an injury. You should be mindful of the risks associated with different sports and take important measures to reduce the chance of injury.
TIPS FOR PARENTS:
- Practice what you preach! B Your child must see that you value the importance of exercise.
- Limit TV, video games, and computer time.
- Children need at least 60 minutes of exercise every day.
- Get your child involved in some (out of school) sports activity/team.
- Make it fun. B Encourage them and talk positive.
- Give your child options and varieties. B The worst thing you can do for your child is to focus on 1 sport when your child is young. B They will burn out and quit in their teens. B Multi sports develop a well-rounded, physically strong athlete.
- Engage in family activities with your child/children. Go to the park and play family soccer or kick ball. B Anything that engages your child and your family is sure to be fun.
Think of it this way b & by taking the time to get your kids interested in exercise now, youb re giving them a gift that will keep them healthy and happy for the rest of their lives.
Many musculoskeletal complaints arise from injuries sustained in sports. Each year we see athletic performance draw closer to the limits of human potential. Understanding the biomechanical principles involved helps us to prevent injury and restore functional integrity and stability through rehabilitation.
Sports injury treatment is designed to achieve optimal results for patients with a quicker recovery time. The Chiropractor combines chiropractic adjustments to realign the spine and help restore mobility with exercises to help injured muscles, tendons and ligaments by strengthening and returning them to normal. If you have suffered from a sports injury, proper rehabilitation is necessary to result in a healthy return to an active lifestyle.
Goals of Treatment and Rehabilitation
- Protect the injured tissues to allow healing and to control the early inflammatory phase.
- Rehabilitate flexibility, strength, proprioception, and muscle imbalance, and control physical activities with the aid of taping and splinting.
- Sport-specific activities must be tested to ensure the athlete can return to sport safely.
If proper rehabilitation is not undertaken, the athlete may be competing too soon, with residual instability, proprioceptive disturbance and muscle weakness and imbalances. Individual programmes must be planned and implemented per athlete. This would include sport-specific exercises, adaptation to new postures to correct muscle imbalance, taping and strapping and a home exercise programme.
Overtraining must be very carefully avoided in all of these phases, and training is monitored so that full activity does not occur before full recovery has taken place.
It is obvious that prevention is better than cure and your Chiropractor will always advise the patient on how to prevent recurrence of the injury on return to sport.
Helpful Tips for Athletes:
- Never train hard when stiff from the previous effort.
- Introduce new activities very gradually.
- Allow lots of time for warming up and cooling off.
- Train on different surfaces, using the right footwear.
- Shower and change immediately after the cool down.
- Stay away from infectious areas when training or competing very hard.
- Be extremely fussy about hygiene in hot weather.
Monitor fatigue. If tired, ease off training.
When it comes to pain management and relief, Chiropractic care is a branch of healthcare that focuses on the relationship between the body’s structure – mainly the spine – and its function. Conditions commonly treated by chiropractors include back and neck pain, headaches, sports injuries and repetitive strains. Patients also seek treatment of pain associated with other conditions, such as arthritis.
Chiropractic is derived from Greek words meaning “done by hand.” In practice, this translates to Chiropractic adjustments of the spine and joints to help relieve pain and stiffness, improving the function of the associated nerves, joints and muscles.
Subluxations ( a misaligned vertebra) can cause inflammation and ultimately pain in nerves, joints and muscles. By manually adjusting vertebra, Chiropractors correct subluxations, restoring the nervous system to its optimal level.
Chiropractic treatments begin with a medical case history, orthopaedic and neurological evaluation and might conclude with adjustments to help realign the spine.
Scientific evidence proving that the chiropractic care works is overwhelming. Over the past 20 years, many controlled and independent research studies have shown again and again that chiropractic care is safe and effective for treating low back pain, neck pain, headaches and other conditions relating to the spine.
Did you know that there are around 600 muscles in the human body and skeletal muscles account on average for 60-70% of your body weight. So, it is not surprising that muscles are often a source of pain.
Chiropractic training includes many techniques to deal with muscle pain or myofascial pain. When pain is present muscles always go into a degree of spasm, this is a protective mechanism. So muscle pain is often not the primary problem but you still have to treat it to ensure a full and speedy recovery.
When a muscle gets injured it is referred to as a strain. A muscle strain is graded from 1-3 depending on the severity and a complete tear of a muscle, is called a rupture. There is a constant process of breakdown and repair in the body and most of the time the muscles injuries we get on a day-to-day basis are mild. The injuries cause small strains, so called micro-ruptures.
Following injury to a muscle, a b myofascial trigger pointb or Trigger Point (TP) may form. This is a small area within a muscle, which, after injury, can remain for many years (long after the original injury has healed), and may cause chronic pain and stiffness.
As chiropractors we diagnose and treat trigger points on a regular basis and they can be a significant source of pain.
What causes a Trigger Point?
Trigger points are most commonly the result of overuse or trauma:
- This may be acute, e.g. sudden overloading of a muscle when having to take an unexpected weight.
- It can be gradual from chronic abuse of a muscle. This might be a repetitive strain, e.g. from typing, or from a postural problem such as rounded, hunched shoulders, or a weakness of the core stabilising muscles of the spine.
- Prolonged increased tension of a muscle due to a protective spasm from a facet joint sprain, can also be a cause.
- In addition, Trigger Points may be secondary to some other pathology that may cause pain referred to a muscle. For example, a peptic ulcer may lead to Trigger Points in the deep abdominal muscles, which may persist long after the ulcer has healed.
Trigger Points seem to become more resistant after about 6 months, and chronic Trigger Points usually need prolonged therapy and exercises, alongside your Chiropractic care. The correction of hormonal, nutritional and postural problems may also be an important part of treatment.
The frequency of visits is determined by your problem and how quickly you respond to the chiropractic treatment program.
As a parent, it is important for you to encourage your children to be physically active. A child should try to do at least 40–60 minutes of exercise each day. To achieve this goal, plan some family togetherness time. Here are some easy ways to reach that goal together.
Walk the dog. Treat your dog to daily walks that include the entire family.
Check out physical participation video games. Nintendo Wii games for example, B enables the family to play tennis, bowling, baseball, skateboarding, and snowboarding, . I’m generally trying to get kids away from the TV, but in this case, if they are swinging a bat or dancing, it’s great.
Bone up. Be sure to include bone-strengthening exercise as well, such as hopscotch, jumping rope, gymnastics, or volleyball, any “weight-bearing” activity, one that you do standing up.
Go to the park. Make going to the park a reward for a job well done, a good test grade, or anything that deserves a positive reward. When you get there, play a fast game of Frisbee or toss a football.
Birthdays presents. Plan a day trip or visit a nearby zoo. A bike makes a great gift for every family member, as does a basketball hoop in the driveway and cricket pitch in the back yard.
Walk to school. Lace up your walking shoes and join the kids for a brisk walk to and from school each day.
Get to the playground. Take the kids to the playground to swing on the bars, climb a tree, or play tug-of-war.
Learn a new activity. Take a class together, such as martial arts, dance, or yoga.
Go with the flow. If your child shows interest in some activity, such as dancing, encourage it and go with her to participate.
Plant a garden. Whether you choose fruit and vegetables or just some pretty flowers.. They’ll get some brisk exercise digging, planting, and weeding. Then the whole family can enjoy the fruits of their labour with fresh produce and cut flowers.
If any of your family experience pain when exercising please contact your Chiropractor. When an adult or child has been living a more sedentary lifestyle the muscles, tendons and other soft tissues are not conditioned to sudden bouts of exercise and can be easily torn or damaged. Having a health check can make sure there are no underlying issues that could be preventing a child from exercising.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome, or ITBS, is one of the most common causes of pain that is felt on the outside of the knee. It is most common in runners, hikers and cyclists, but any athlete who plays sports that require repeated knee flexion can find themselves dealing with IT Band pain.
The Iliotibial Band is a tough, thick fibrous tissue composed of fascia that runs along the outside of the thigh from the hip to the kneecap and tibia of the lower leg. Repetitive flexing and extending of the knee (as occurs in running) may result in friction and inflammation of the IT band and/or the bursa between the IT band and the femoral epicondyle of the knee. Over time this irritation leads to IT Band syndrome.
Tips for Preventing IT Band Syndrome
The following quick tips may help you prevent IT Band syndrome.
Use a Foam roller to release the IT Band.
If you have IT Band tightness, using a foam roller regularly is one of the best things you can do at home to help relief your pain. Ask your Chiropractor to demonstrate this.
Replace running shoes regularly
It’s important to change your running shoes, or every 3 to 4 months. Worn shoes absorb less shock which may lead to an increased incidence of IT Band pain. If you run lots of kilometres, consider alternating between two pairs of shoes to allow 24 hours for the shoe’s shock absorbing cushion to return to its optimal form before running in them again.
Slowly increase running kms.
It’s important to add kilometres and intensity very slowly to let your body adjust to the demands of running. Doing too much, too soon is a very common cause of overuse injuries.
Gradually add hill running workouts
Hill running, particularly downhill running, increases friction on the IT Band and is tough on the quadriceps. As the quads fatigue, they lose the ability to stabilize and control the knee tracking position, which also increases stress on the IT band.
Avoid training on uneven surfaces
If you are prone to knee pain, be careful of the surface you run on. Graded or angled surfaces often increase strain and tension on the IT Band of the downhill leg.
Keep the knee joint covered and warm
May athletes fail to protect the knees adequately in cold temperatures. The IT Band is particularly susceptible to the cold and experts recommend that athletes keep the knees covered during sports when the temperatures are below 15 degrees Celsius.
Always cool down and stretch after exercise
Use a foam roller to release the IT Band after exercise, when the muscles are warm and supple. If you have any IT Band tenderness or pain, apply ice after exercise as necessary to reduce inflammation and pain.
Christmas holidays traditionally see families travelling up or down our beautiful country to spend this special time with relatives. To help you get there pain free, your Chiropractor offers the following hints:
- Have niggling back and neck pain checked out before you leave. Long drives will always highlight any spinal problems.
- Take care when loading the car. Particularly lifting heavy bags over high boot lids, loading roof racks or connecting trailers. Get a family member to help when necessary.
- Divide your journey into short segments of two hours or less. This avoids driver fatigue and your back will thank you for the break.
- Take advantage of the Driver Reviver campaign ‘STOP REVIVE SURVIVE’ at rest stops throughout the state and enjoy complimentary tea or coffee and a snack.
- During your b STOP REVIVE SURVIVEb get out and have a short walk, this helps stretch your spine and takes pressure off the discs in your low back.
- Check your seat height. Ideally, your hips should be level with, or higher than, your knees. This maintains the spineb s normal contour. A cushion can be helpful, although specific seat wedges are available to correct this problem.
- Check your seat position. When sitting comfortably, extend your straight arms forwards over the steering wheel. The wrists should rest on top of the wheel in this position. Adjust the seat forwards or backwards to suit. Place your hands back in a normal driving position, your elbows should be slightly bent in a position that reduces shoulder and neck strain
- Use a lumbar support. Most car seats offer inadequate low back support. Inexpensive lumbar rolls and back supports help maintain the spineb s normal curves and prevent postural pain in the back and neck.
- Avoid heavy lifting, mowing lawns or gardening on arrival. The first few hours after sitting for long periods are a vulnerable time for back injury. Take care unloading the car. Have a walk or swim, de-stress from the drive before tackling any heavy work.
- Have a great Christmas and New Year and a safe and painless holiday
Sleeping problems account for millions of hours of lost work, along with billions of dollars in medication and doctor bills. Sleeplessness has resulted in people seeking prescription medication, life style changes and relationship modifications. Chiropractors can offer alternative, holistic approaches to treat sleeplessness.
Sleep performs three vital functions to sustain life and vitality:
- Sleep rejuvenates the body chemistry for renewed energy through proper detoxification.
- Sleep recharges the immune system, repairs damage done to the body and promotes the growth of new tissue.
- Sleep helps process, sort and store everything learnt, felt or experienced during the day.
Chiropractors evaluate sleep complaints with a meticulous sleep history and physical examination with particular attention to the neurologic, cardiopulmonary, and psychological functions. Generally, chiropractic is a good alternative for those individuals who do not feel rested and who do not want to take prescription drugs to assist them in getting quality sleep.
Chiropractic adjustments can help in clearing up energy blockages throughout the body and increase circulation to taut and tired muscles, thereby improving deeper relaxation naturally.
It is important to see your Chiropractor if you are experiencing some of the signs and symptoms of poor sleep. Chiropractic treatments combined with nutritional supplements and dietary modifications may help achieve deeper, more restful sleep on a nightly basis and improve your overall health.