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Shoulder Adjustment Chiropractic

Don’t Let Shoulder Pain Slow You Down

Sciatica is the name for a syndrome which is characterized by pain along the path of the sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the body.  It is about the thickness of a finger in certain parts.  It travels from your low back, through the hip and buttock, all the way to the knee where it divides into two branches.

The term sciatica is not really a diagnosis.  Rather it describes a set of symptoms relating to the sciatic nerve.  These symptoms are commonly felt as pain along the path of the sciatic nerve, deep in the buttock and along the back of the leg and even sometimes to the foot.  The pain can sometimes be accompanied by pins and needles or numbness and rarely weakness in the leg.

Risk Factors for sciatica include:

  • obesity
  • heavy lifting
  • prolonged sitting
  • diabetes

Given that sciatica is not a diagnosis it is important to find the cause and address this.

Common causes include:

  • Disc Bulge
  • Degeneration (canal stenosis/osteophytes)
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Spondylolisthesis

Here at CHIRO H3, it is important that we address the cause of your sciatica and not merely the symptoms.  In addressing the cause we will often perform tests during your examination to help isolate the problem.  We may also send you off for an X-ray and or an MRI to look specifically for the disc issues, spondylolisthesis or degeneration.  Once we have established exactly what is going on, we will then develop a plan of attack.

There are many things that can be done to help relieve the symptoms and ultimately address the cause of Sciatica.  This may include improving spinal mechanics and function with specific Chiropractic adjustments, stretching and strength exercises as well as postural advice particularly while sitting and sleeping.

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headache 1

Keys to Living Headache Free

Cluster headaches, Tension headaches, and Migraines are a frequent presenting complaint amongst people who seek help from a Chiropractor. Tension headaches are the most common and are often related to tension in the neck and surrounding muscles with referral of pain to the head. There are many ways to temporarily relieve headaches, but we always recommend to address the cause.  Headaches can often be attributed to the neck joints, ligaments, muscles and nerves.

Let’s take a look at how the neck works.  The neck or cervical spine is comprised of 7 vertebrae, each stacked on top of the other and separated by a spongy shock-absorbing disc.  At every vertebral level, there are spinal nerves exiting the neck, relaying messages from the brain to the head, neck, upper body, shoulders, arms, hands and all the way to your fingertips.  The converse is also true in that vital messages to travel back from the organs and tissues to the brain, telling the brain what is happening in the body.  The neck also plays an incredibly vital role in carrying special nerves from the brainstem to control many of the organs and body systems.  Your spine is very important in protecting this delicate nervous system.

When viewed from the side the neck should normally be a C shape for best function of the spine and nervous system.   The shape or architecture of your neck is of great importance and any changes to this normal curve can lead to many of the neck related headache problems we see in practice.

This is not all doom and gloom and we definitely don’t want to guess.  This is why we use a combination of postural examination, orthopaedic testing, state of the art technology and X-rays to find out what is exactly causing your pain.  In many cases, if you have lost some or all of your natural C curve in your neck, it may be correctable.

In addressing your pain and the cause we often use a combination of specific spinal adjustments, corrective postural exercises, and an Australian designed neck device called a Denneroll.  We’ll also address any of your bad habits and give specific advice around sleeping posture, stress management, hydration, diet, ergonomics, and stretching.

Many of our clients report an improvement in both the intensity and frequency of their symptoms.  In some cases, headaches can be completely resolved.

 

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Neck Pain

Making Neck Pain a Thing of the Past

In this modern world, neck pain is becoming more and more common.  With the number of hours spent on our mobile phones, tablets and computers ever-increasing, so are neck related issues.  Some of these symptoms may include headaches, migraines, dizziness, shoulder pain, muscle tension and of course neck pain itself.  Not only are we seeing more of these problems in our practice, but we are also seeing it in the younger population.  Children are often choosing to play on their devices over playing outside.  We also hear parents complaining of how heavy school bags are these days and how bad their child’s posture is.

Let’s take a look at how the neck works.  The neck or cervical spine is comprised of 7 vertebrae, each stacked on top of the other and separated by a spongy shock-absorbing disc.  At every vertebral level, there are spinal nerves exiting the neck, relaying messages from the brain to the head, neck, upper body, shoulders, arms, hands and all the way to your fingertips.  The converse is also true in that vital messages to travel back from the organs and tissues to the brain, telling the brain what is happening in the body.  The neck also plays an incredibly vital role in carrying special nerves from the brainstem to control many of the organs and body systems.  Your spine is very important in protecting this delicate nervous system.

When viewed from the side the neck should normally be a C shape for best function of the spine and nervous system.   The shape or architecture of your neck is of great importance and any changes to this normal curve can lead to many of the neck related problems we see in practice.

This is not all doom and gloom and we definitely don’t want to guess.  This is why we use a combination of postural examination, orthopedic testing, state of the art technology and X-rays to find out what is exactly causing your pain.  In many cases, if you have lost some or all of your natural C curve in your neck, it may be correctable.

In addressing your pain and the cause we often use a combination of specific spinal adjustments, corrective postural exercises, and an Australian designed neck device called a Denneroll.  We’ll also address any of your bad habits and give specific advice around sleeping posture, ergonomics, and stretching.

Take a look at some excellent tips for ending neck pain here!

Hopefully, this article has shed some light on how the neck should function normally and some of the implications of bad posture in this modern and stressful world.  If you are interested in how we can help you, contact our practice on 02 9904 0101 and schedule your initial assessment.  We guarantee you will be glad you did!

 

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back-pain

Back Pain is Common, but It Isn’t Normal

Without a doubt, low back pain is the most common complaint that we hear about in our practice! In saying that, just because it is common, it doesn’t mean that it is normal. Pain, aside from being inconvenient and often frustrating, is an intelligent response and our body’s way of telling us that something is going on. Your body’s nervous system will alert you that there may be a problem and if the nerves are irritated you may experience pain either where the nerve exits the spine or you may feel it where that nerve travels eg. down the leg like in the case of sciatica. In some cases, you can feel weakness in the legs, pins and needles, sharp shooting pain or numbness. In this article, we will talk about how you can manage this irritation and resolve it. First, let’s put low back pain into perspective. In Australia, in 2015, 3.7 million people reported having back problems and it is estimated 70 – 90% of people will suffer from some form of low back pain at some point in their life – that is a lot of people! The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reported that back problems are a

“significant cause of disability lost productivity and the third leading cause of disease burden in Australia”.

Needless to say, low back pain affects many lives and can significantly impact our ability to take care of ourselves and live life. Now, let’s have a look at some reasons why we may be experiencing low back pain. There are three main structures in our spine that can be responsible: the muscles, the vertebrae or the discs. As you can see, it is possible for all three of these structures to affect the nerve and if they do, this will cause back pain. The muscles could be tight on one side of the spine, causing rotation in the vertebrae which can irritate the nerve or the vertebrae could be misaligned and not moving properly putting pressure through the disc which can bulge or herniate and affect the nerve. In our practice, we assess all these three structures to get to the root cause of the problem.

Before we talk about what we do in our practice to help with low back pain, this video will give you an idea of what you can do at home to help alleviate the pain you may be experiencing!

Ok, you have tried a few things on your own and it doesn’t seem to help, what can we do? In our practice, our first goal is to find out exactly why you may be experiencing low back pain. Instead of guessing, we use a combination of postural examination, orthopaedic testing, state of the art technology and x-rays to find out exactly what is causing the low back pain. Once we have all the information, we can formulate a plan and work with you in getting to the root cause and resolving the problem long term. One of the safest, most effective and evidence-based approaches to resolving low back pain is a spinal adjustment. Spinal adjustments, when applied correctly, are gentle and take the pressure off the nerves, decreasing muscle tension and inflammation and allow the body to heal and repair the damaged and affected soft tissues.

This video is an example of how Dr. Bobby performs a lumbar assessment!

Aside from spinal adjustments, we incorporate specific spinal exercises and rehabilitation to help restore the normal movement in the spine and resolve any underlying issues long term. Hopefully, this blog post has shed some light in the health implications of low back pain, it’s causes and possible solutions. If you are interested in how we can help you, contact our practice on 02 9904 0101 to schedule your initial assessment.

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16 ways to calm down when you’re stressed.

Take a deep breath
All it takes are a few simple steps. Begin by taking a normal breath. Then try a deep breath: Breathe in slowly through your nose, allowing your chest and lower belly to rise as you fill your lungs, let your abdomen expand fully. Now breathe out slowly through your nose. Repeat

Laugh
According to the Mayo Clinic, laughing and looking for the humor in things is so beneficial that it can ease physical pain, boost your immune system, help you make connections with other people and aid with coping with anxiety and depression.

Get a massage
A 2005 study from the University of Miami noted that cortisol levels (the chemical that the body produces when you’re in a stressful or frightening situation) decreased following massage therapy.

Do a mental scan of your body
Kevin Janks the co-founder of Centred Meditation in Sydney recommends when you’re stressed, shut your eyes and for 30 seconds, do a mental scan of your body, from the top of your head to your feet. He suggests isolating each area of the body and consciously relaxing it to let go of tension.

Show Gratitude
Consider keeping a gratitude journal so you can have something concrete to refer to when anxiety starts to get you down. A study from the University of California San Diego found that people who were grateful had healthier hearts.

Sing
Give it a try — even if you’re not a songbird, the benefits might surprise you. A 2014 study out of Japan looking at the health of the elderly found that after a group of senior citizens sang, their stress levels decreased and their moods improved, even if they weren’t fans of singing.

The nose knows
Burn essential oils. Lavender, lemon and jasmine are all known for helping alleviate anxiety and tension. Lavender oil is sometimes used to assist headaches.

Count to 10
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America recommends slowly counting to 10 or 20 to focus your mind on something other than what’s stressing you out. It’s simple but might be a good place to start.

Rest
If you find yourself stressed during the day, consider taking a nap or heading home a little earlier to get to bed at a less late hour. According to the American Psychological Association, “when we do not sleep long or well enough, our bodies do not get the full benefits of sleep, such as muscle repair and memory consolidation. Sleep is so crucial that even slight sleep deprivation or poor sleep can affect memory, judgment and mood.”

Drink water
Coffee and Alcohol can dehydrate you and make you feel irritable, shaky or stressed out, which can even trigger panic attacks. Instead turn to H2O to stay hydrated.

Warm up your hands
During truly anxiety-inducing situations, blood flow is directed to the body’s biggest muscles, leaving your extremities cold. But when blood flows back into your hands and feet, that is a signal that the danger, perceived or otherwise, has passed.

Get or give a hug
A 2015 study from Carnegie Mellon University found that hugs actually made people less susceptible to getting colds and generally decreased feelings of anxiety. “Hugging protects people who are under stress from the increased risk for colds [that’s] usually associated with stress,” study author Carnegie Mellon psychology professor Sheldon Cohen told US News and World Report. Hugging “is a marker of intimacy and helps generate the feeling that others are there to help in the face of adversity.”

Eat Anti-oxidants rich foods
According to Harvard Medical School, food high in antioxidants, such as beans, apples, plums, berries, walnuts, broccoli and artichokes, can help ease feelings of stress and anxiety.

Talk it out
The American Psychological Association advises that one of the key ways you can calm down if you’re stressed out is not to go it alone. “When you share your concerns or feelings with another person, it does help relieve stress. But it’s important that the person whom you talk to is someone whom you trust and whom you feel can understand and validate you.”

Get Exercise
The Mayo Clinic notes that exercise aids in the production of endorphins, which can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as improve sleep.

Get Adjusted
Getting a Chiropractic adjustment has numerous benefits in regards to stress. An adjustment creates the release of endorphins, your bodies natural happy hormones. It also improves your ability to adapt to stress.

*Exerts of this article were taken from the Entrepreneur Daily by Nina Zipkin

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Hitting the gym better than Anti-depressants?

This was re-posted from the Australian Spinal Research Foundation article 9 March 2017.

Depression is a worldwide issue. To give you some idea, it’s the number one psychological disorder in the western world1. And not unlike the common cold, it doesn’t discriminate between age groups or gender assignment. Depression is growing in all age groups, the largest increase noted in the younger generations, in our teenagers. At the rate of knots this psychological issue is developing, by 2020, it is estimated to be the second most debilitating condition behind heart disease.

Think about it, the neuroscientists at the University of Bern2, have. Traditional treatment for depression is usually with antidepressant medication and psychotherapy. But the study published in CNS & Neurological Disorders – Drug Targets, found that sport and physical activity partially encounter the same neurophysiological changes as antidepressants.

There are several types of medication for the treatment of depression. Most of them work on blocking the reuptake of the neurotransmitters we use to make us feel happy and upbeat. By blocking the reabsorption of serotonin – “the happy hormone”, dopamine – “the motivator hormone” and norepinephrine – “adrenaline”, a person has more of these targeted neurochemicals actively bathing their brains and producing positive feelings.

The researchers conducting the study, found that sport and physical activity brought about similar changes in the brain, that are normally only achieved through antidepressant drugs2. Not only did it affect the brains capacity to absorb serotonin and dopamine but epinephrine levels also increased. As a by-product of the surge in these neurochemicals, it was noted that the level of neurogenesis (new brain cells) in the brain also increased. This increase in neurotransmitters was noted to prevent the death of brain cells in the hippocampus, the area of our brain responsible for our emotional stability and memory. It’s also the part of the brain that is very vulnerable to stress. Low levels of neurogenesis in the hippocampus have been linked with depression and other psychiatric disorders.3 Researchers also noted a reduction of the stress hormone cortisol. Overall the effect on the brain of exercise was similar to the brain chemistry changes we see with psychotropic drug therapy.

The researchers found a large number of meta-analyses showed a positive effect of sport and physical activity on depression. Whilst the research supports that exercise is an effective tool for reducing symptoms of depression the study did not conclude how often or how long one should exercise.

“Unfortunately, the meta-analyses do not allow any conclusions as to how often and how long weekly sport should be pursued,” says Mirko Wegner, lead author in the study. “But one can see that sport and physical activity alleviate depression. For instance, we were also able to determine that the effectiveness of sport is greater with depressive disorders than with anxiety disorders.”

The obvious benefit of exercise is the lack of side effects so often encountered when using drug treatments to combat depression. It’s also can be more cost effective than medication and there’s the added benefit of all the wonderful aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise has benefits on most systems of the human body, your brain, your body and your longevity. So what are you waiting for? Go hit the treadmill and enjoying all those extra neurochemicals and additional brain cells.

References

[1] Seligman, M. E. P. (1990) Learned Optimism.

[2] Effects of Exercise on Anxiety and Depression Disorders: Review of Meta- Analyses and Neurobiological Mechanisms. Mirko Wegner, Ingo Helmich, Sergio Machado, Antonio Nardi, Oscar Arias-Carrion, Henning Budde. CNS & Neurological Disorders – Drug Targets, 2014; 13 (6): 1002 DOI: 10.2174/1871527313666140612102841

[3] Major depression: a role for hippocampal neurogenesis? Lee MM, Reif A, Schmitt AG. Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2013;14:153-79. doi: 10.1007/7854_2012_226. Review.

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