Back to school tips: Are your kids practising these healthy habits in school?

Back to school tips Mount Waverley Chiropractor

Back to school tips. Starting the school year many of our young patients or children of our patients will pack their books, polish their shoes and head back to school, ready for the year ahead. However, kids don’t often think about the impact that common classroom activities like sitting in a classroom, carrying a heavy bag and excessive screen time can have on their overall health and wellbeing.

As part of the Australian Chiropractors Association’s Back to School campaign, Waverley Chiropractic Centre here in Mount Waverley is encouraging Aussie kids to adopt positive spinal health habits.

These habits include:

  • Carrying a backpack correctly with both straps, adjusting it to the correct height and ensuring only the essentials are packed, with heavier items to the back of the bag to reduce weight.
  • Maintaining good posture when sitting in a classroom by keeping their shoulders back and relaxed with both feet firmly on the floor.
  • Trying to reduce recreation screen time to two-hours every day.
  • Eating a balanced, healthy diet and staying hydrated, helping kits to keep kids active in the playground and alert in the classroom.
  • Getting enough physical activity is key for a child’s wellbeing, so as a guide, kids should try and get at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily.

Let’s help kids practise these positive spinal health habits this back to school season and all year round.

I welcome you to make an appointment for more advice and assistance on implementing these positive health habits into your child’s daily activity.

We are even able to assist with fitting your child’s backpack to suit their current level of development. Contact us at Waverley Chiropractic Centre to book your appointment.

For more information on these tips and the Back to School campaign, visit backtoschool.org.au  

Chiropractic Care for Children

chiropractic care for children

Mount Waverley chiropractor from Waverley Chiropractic Centre shares on a recent review on chiropractic care for children. Australian chiropractors are five-year university trained, and are government registered and regulated healthcare professionals. In Australia, the chiropractic profession is well established, with over 300,000 visits to chiropractors each week. Approximately 30,000 of these visits are children under the age of 18 years.

Safer Care Victoria Review

In March 2019, the Victorian Health Minister tasked Safer Care Victoria (SCV) to lead an independent review of the practice of spinal manipulation on children under 12 years. SCV wished to hear from parents of children who have accessed chiropractic care, exploring their experiences, both positive and negative.

Of the Submissions from the Public…

  • 21,824 submissions in total – the largest of any public stakeholder engagement
  • 99.7% reported a positive experience with chiropractic care of their children
  • 98% said that chiropractic care helped their child, indicating improvement after treatment
  • 99.1% indicated they were either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with information provided by the chiropractor about the benefits of treatment
  • 95.8% stated they were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the information provided about the risk of treatment
  • 68.9% reported that they had also consulted with a GP about the problem

Safety

In Australia, there has never been a serious adverse event reported in the literature or in insurance claims, involving the care of a child by a chiropractor. This is despite the fact that there have been an estimated 12-15 million visits by children to chiropractors in the last 20 years.

The evidence of harm is low because chiropractors modify their techniques to suit the age and developmental stage of the patient across the lifespan.

Evidence of Effectiveness

SCV also performed a systematic review of the evidence of effectiveness for chiropractic care of children. High level evidence does not currently exist for many commonly used paediatric health interventions, including spinal manipulation.

The situation is different for adult care, where spinal manipulation for conditions such as low back and neck pain, rate moderate to high level evidence.

Evidence was found to be positive but inconclusive for some conditions, such as colic and bed wetting. For the other conditions:

– headache, asthma, otitis media, cerebral palsy, hyperactivity, and torticollis – the SCV review found there was no high level evidence that spinal manipulation was effective for children under 12 years.

SCV recommended allocation of funding for further research that may further clarify the role chiropractors have to play with paediatric health care.

For more information on the COAG and SCV process visit chiro.org.au/coag

Chiropractic pain relief and safety

chiropractic pain relief and safety

Is chiropractic good for pain relief and is it safe? A recent article by Harvard Health Publications at Harvard Medical School to discuss the use of chiropractic care for pain relief.

Currently thousands see the treatment of chiropractors however many don’t realise the wide variety of treatments a chiropractor can use to help relieve back and neck pain.  The article states “while the mainstay of chiropractic is spinal manipulation, chiropractic care now includes a wide variety of other treatments including soft tissue techniques, manual or manipulative therapies, postural and exercise education and ergonomic training – including nutritional consultations.  In addition, chiropractors often work in conjunction with G. P’s, pain experts, and other health professionals to treat patients with pain.

While this is nothing new to chiropractors, it may serve to further educate the public as to the many tools a chiropractor possesses to help patients.  While most of the research on chiropractic has focused on spinal manipulation, or adjustment of the spine, for pain relief, there have been studies done on the effectiveness of chiropractic for treating musculoskeletal pain, headaches, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome and fibromyalgia (Harvard Health Publications).  The author goes on to state “a recent review concluded that chiropractic spinal manipulation may be helpful for back pain, migraine, neck pain and whiplash.”

Spinal manipulation, or adjustment of the spine, is a term used to describe providing a specific high velocity, low amplitude thrust to the vertebra to restore joint function.  Chiropractors use this technique to correct the body’s spinal alignment to relieve pain allowing the body to heal.  Treatment usually takes a short-focused period.  Most patients are scheduled 2-3 times a week initially.  Patients generally see improvement of their symptoms in the first 2 to 3 weeks (Harvard Health Publications).

References:

  1. Harvard Health Publications (2015). Chiropractic Care for Pain Relief. Retrieved from http://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/chiropractic-care-for-pain-relief

Neck pain in the park

neck pain family in park

Poor posture due to excessive screen time is a contributing factor to neck pain. To illustrate that point, on the weekend I was at a local park with the kids not from the chiropractic clinic in Mount Waverley. A family group of two young kids, parents and a grand parent came walking across the park and sat on a park bench. I initially thought that’s nice to see the whole family unit outside enjoying the park.

Unfortunately they then proceeded to spend the next 20 minutes on their phones or devices looking down playing games etc! We had to leave so I’m not sure how long they were out in this wonderful park playing on their electronic devices. How sad!

neck pain family in park
Family enjoying a local park…all on their phones!

Neck pain and poor posture often go hand in hand. With the increased use of electronic devices and screen time people of all ages are getting into static, hunched, forward head positions for long periods of time, resulting in increased muscle tension and tightness in the joints of the neck and upper back. What’s called ‘Tech Neck’ these days.

Part of the problem is that we aren’t getting outside as much as we used to. Kids are stuck inside on their devices and unfortunately looking for adults for inspiration is no good as they are also head down on their devices.

As a chiropractor this is what we are up against. Hours of screen time leading to poor posture, neck pain, headaches, upper back pain etc. Tech neck and even worse ‘Digital Dementia’ where the brain doesn’t think for itself anymore due to sensory overload from too much screen time.

And so even when we get people outside to enjoy the local parks, they stay chained to their phones. For your neck and your kids, go and enjoy our local parks but keep off your phones.

‘Get Spine Active’ this World Spine Day

world spine day

With half of Australians not sufficiently physically active, residents of Mount Waverley are being encouraged to ‘Get Spine Active’ and take control of their spinal health this World Spine Day. 

Celebrated each year on 16 October, people from around the world come together to raise awareness about spinal disorders and empower others to take charge of their spinal health.

An annual initiative of the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health, World Spine Day is accompanied by the 2019 theme ‘Get Spine Active’ and local chiropractor Dr Shaun Beovich from Waverley Chiropractic Centre believes there is no better time to spread this important message.

“Being physically active can greatly help your spinal health by strengthening your muscles and easing the pressure on your spine,” Dr Beovich said.

While the ‘Get Spine Active’ theme aims to focus on the benefits of exercise and daily movement for maintaining health, Dr Beovich says it’s important to think about how all daily habits can affect your spine.

“World Spine Day is a perfect opportunity to ask yourself, ‘am I making the right choices for my spinal health?’ If not, then it’s time to make those changes and if needed seek professional help to get you started.”

‘Get Spine Active’ will focus on common physical activities including running, swimming, weightlifting and cycling, with the aim of encouraging all Australians to incorporate one of these activities or other healthy habits into their everyday lives.

Other forms of physical activity can include stretching, walking and taking small breaks during your workday. To help Australians get started on improving their spinal health, the Australian Chiropractors Association has developed the Straighten Up app designed to help improve posture, with a 3-minute stretching exercise program. They have also created the Just Start Walking app to help encourage Australians to experience the benefits of walking and also allows you to track and map your walks so you can monitor your progress and improvement.

Waverley Chiropractic Centre is encouraging their community of Mt Waverley to Get Spine Active this World Spine Day and take the correct steps to improve their spinal health.

Chiropractors are well placed to assess and manage disorders of the musculoskeletal system and offer solutions and advice regarding your existing spinal health issues or how to improve your overall spinal health.

To book an appointment with your local ACA chiropractor, book online at Waverley Chiropractic Centre or call (03) 9581 2624.

Is Your Mobile Phone Causing Tech Neck?

Staying connected to friends and family is easier than ever with social media. The tradeoff is that your daily screen time may be 1, 2, 3 hours or more. And let’s face it, a lot of those hours online are spent in an awkward forward head posture that experts have begun to call “tech neck.” Dr Shaun from Waverley Chiropractic Centre says it may result in neck pain, headaches, spinal disc issues, and even pinched nerves.

Why it Matters:

Each day we work with people, young and old, who are experiencing the symptoms associated with tech neck. By creating a plan of care that may include stretching, adjustments, and postural exercises; we have been able to help our patients overcome these aches and pains without giving up their mobile phones and tablets. 

  • Looking down at your phone, tablet, or computer for long periods of time can cause muscle strains and neck pain which is now known as tech neck.
  • Researchers have discovered the angle of your head when text messaging places tremendous amount of stress on your neck and spine.
  • Taking short breaks to stretch at least every 30 minutes helps your body feel better by improving your posture and resetting your balance.

Next Steps:

Next time you are on the phone, stop for a moment and see if your head is creeping forward. If your chin is tucked down and your ears are in front of your shoulders, then you are in the forward head posture we call tech neck. It’s a good time to take a break, stretch, and reset. If you are experiencing any pain or headaches, then please reach out so we can work with you to create a plan to help you stay connected without suffering from tech neck.

Science Source(s):

Head flexion angle while using a smartphone. Ergonomics. 2015

Effects of a Resistance and Stretching Training Program on Forward Head and Protracted Shoulder Posture in Adolescents. JMPT 2017

Facet Joints: Gliding Your Way to Better Health

If you’ve had neck or back pain that you could pinpoint with your finger, or experienced sharp pains when you move, it may be related to the facet joints of your spine. It’s easy to think of your facet joints like the “knuckles” of your spine. They are small joints and have a capsule and cartilage pad that glides and slides, allowing your spine to move.

Why it Matters:

As you go through life and your spinal discs go through the aging process, your facet joints end up taking on extra load. Unfortunately, this excess stress and pressure can wear down your facet joints. What results is the beginning of the degenerative process, which means you can end up with adhesions, restricted motion, bone spurs and, well…pain.

  • The facet joints of your spine slide and glide as you move.
  • Restrictions or adhesions in the facets can occur with age and injury.
  • Chiropractic adjustments help the facet joints move freely and decrease painful restrictions in motion.  

Next Steps:

The facet joints of your spine love to move, and, in fact, movement helps them stay healthy and may even slow down the degenerative process. Chiropractic adjustments may help reduce adhesions on these joints, allowing you to move more freely and with less pain. Here at Waverley Chiropractic Centre, we believe that when you’re moving better, you’re feeling better, and we’re proud to be a part of the healthcare team that helps you stay active!

Science Source:

Magnetic resonance imaging zygapophyseal joint space changes (gapping) in low back pain patients following spinal manipulation and side-posture positioning: a randomized controlled mechanisms trial with blinding. JMPT 2013

The Bowling Ball and the Pin: How Poor Posture Causes Neck Pain

The average human head weighs about 3.6kg. Each day we all walk around with a bowling ball (our head) balancing on a toothpick (our neck). We are designed this way to allow for the full range of motion we all know and love. Even under the best circumstances, this places a lot of stress on our spine. But leaning forward even just 15 degrees pushes that weight up to 13kg, and with a 30 degree tilt it’s closer to 18kg!  (That’s 5 bowling balls on top of neck!)

Why it Matters:

Driving a car, working on the computer, and using a tablet/phone all usually result in less than ideal posture. And when you start to lean forward, it places a tremendous amount of extra pressure on the discs in your neck and spine. This can cause increased compression and lead to pain. Even just a few centimetres of forward head posture can double or triple the amount of stress on the spinal joints in your neck.

  • The average human head weights approximately 3.6-4.5kg.
  • For every 2.5cm of forward head posture, an additional 4.5kg of weight is added to your spine.
  • Forward head posture may result in muscle imbalances, a high risk for spinal degeneration, reduced range of motion, and pain.

Next Steps:

Take a moment today at work and notice if your shoulders are rounding, the head has moved forward, and upper back is hunched over. If you see yourself slouching into this posture, let us know. We would love to provide you with some exercises you can do at work to help strengthen the muscles supporting your spine and combat these muscle imbalances. And remember, the more time you spend in this posture, the more likely you are to suffer head and neck pain.

Science Source(s):

The Physiology of the Joints, Volume III. 6th ed. London: Churchill Livingstone; 2007.

Myofascial trigger points, neck mobility and forward head posture in unilateral migraine. Cephalalgia 2006

Boost your nervous system naturally

Your life is experienced through your nervous system. Think about that. Every thought, breath, heartbeat, memory, and movement happens in coordination with your central nervous system.  Researchers have found that nerve signals can travel from your brain to your body at more than 250 miles per hour. Your brain is the master control system of your body with signals and messages starting in the brain and then heading out and down to your body. But can messages travel the other way? What if I told you there are ways you can impact your brain by moving your spine? It’s true…

Why it Matters:

Top researchers have found that specific movements of the spine, including the motion that happens during a chiropractic adjustment, can provide a multitude of benefits to your brain and nervous system. Adjustments activate the nerves that detect and sense motion. When those nerves are activated, it stops (or gates) the nerves that deliver pain signals. That is one of the reasons why adjustments provide pain relief. They literally “turn off” the pain sensors! Perhaps even more exciting is the emerging research that has shown adjustments can increase cortical drive. That’s a fancy way of saying researchers have found adjustments can make you stronger!  

– Your entire life is experienced through your central nervous system- every thought, memory, and action.  

– Movement of your spine can activate your central nervous system and brain

– Emerging research has shown chiropractic adjustments can help reduce pain, improve function, and even increase strength!

Next Steps:

Chiropractic care has been helping people live their best life for over 100 years. Having a higher quality of life and feeling better (with less pain) are two of the most popular reasons why people seek chiropractic care. But new research into sports performance, strength, and how the adjustment can improve brain function have a lot of people excited. We would love to hear how chiropractic care has changed your life. Stop by the front desk and tell us your story today!

Science Source: Mechanism of action of spinal manipulative therapy. Joint, Bone, Spine 2003. Neurophysiological effects of spinal manipulation. Spine Journal 2002.

Top 5 Benefits of Chiropractic care



1 PAIN REDUCTION
The first benefit of chiropractic care may be the most impactful- reducing your pain. Before you are living your optimal life, you have to be free of pain.

Multiple research studies have shown that chiropractic is considered one of the most safe and effective treatments to reduce pain from your neck, low back, and more. Even if you are suffering from spinal stenosis, disc herniations, or foraminal encroachment-chiropractic may be able to help.


2 REDUCE HEADACHES
The second health benefit of chiropractic care, especially important if you have struggled with chronic headaches. Researchers have discovered that chiropractic care can reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches.

With over 20 million people suffering from headaches every day, this is a massive development in healthcare! The most common type of headaches includes; tension headaches and migraines. Tension headaches often include neck pain, muscle pain, and facial pain. Migraines are usually throbbing, can cause nausea and light sensitivity, and some even include an aura.


3 IMPROVED QUALITY OF LIFE
Many people don’t go to the doctor when they have pain. They go to the doctor when that pain interferes with their quality of life!

If you have a healthcare issue that is keeping you for enjoying your hobbies, hanging out with friends and family, and limit your ability to perform well at work- then you are likely going to start researching on Google and eventually call a doctor to get answers.

Fortunately, getting back to your active lifestyle, and improving your quality of life (or in science-speak, “functional ability”) is one proven benefits of chiropractic care.


4 REDUCED MEDICATION USE
Researchers have discovered that people who receive chiropractic care are 49% less likely to fill an opioid prescription. And, in my opinion, if we were able to reduce opioid use by nearly 50% just be helping people get well with chiropractic care- this world would be a different place!

Even what many people consider to be “safe” medications like NSAID’s contribute to over 100,000 hospitalizations, and over 3,000 deaths each year. Drugs should rarely be viewed as a first line treatment for spinal pain. Your body is designed to move and recover- so going to a doctor focused on movement and recovery seems like a good idea to not only reduce your medication use but to get the best results possible.


5 PERFORMANCE
Did you know that every major sports team in the USA has a chiropractor available to their athletes to help with injury prevention and sports performance?

That’s right, teams in the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL all have chiropractors integrated into their healthcare team to keep their athletes performing at their top level all season long.

No one can perform their best when in pain, so chiropractors are used to keeping the athletes feeling good, but with a focus and eye towards sport-specific performance.