In recent times, concussion has become a major talking point. More and more well-known players in many sports have been suffering from the effects of concussion. In this post I wanted to discuss a media release from the New Zealand Chiropractors Association (NZCA) which looked at how concussion injuries not only affect the brain but also the neck upon which the head moves during impact. Continue reading to see the link between concussion injuries and the neck and how you may be able to help.
Back pain is a very common problem that a majority of people will face at some point in their lives. The big question is, if I have back pain, what can I do to help fix it? The American College of Physicians recently issued updated their treatment guidelines for acute, sub-acute and chronic lower back pain, side-stepping medication as a first-line treatment and recommending non-drug therapies instead. It is suggested that painkillers should be the last resort. So what are these non-drug therapies they suggest? Continue reading to see what the guidelines suggest.
It is commonly thought that as we get older, our balance gets worse. Reduced balance and stability can often lead to an increased risk of falling. The New Zealand Chiropractors Association (NZCA) has recently put out a media release talking about how there is growing research to suggest that chiropractic care can have a positive effect on balance in the older population. You can read the full release here, but I wanted to discuss a few of the key findings in this blog post. They are pretty amazing.
The simple answer is yes. Research published in the spine journal in 2013 suggests that the health professional you see as a first point of contact can play a role in determining the outcome. The study showed that approximately 43% of workers who saw a surgeon as their first point of contact had surgery within 3 years. In contrast, of those who saw a chiropractor first, only 1.5% ended up in surgery. This is an amazing difference. Continue reading to see the full results and what to make of the study.
New Research shows chiropractic care can increase, strength, decrease fatigue and improve the brains ability to drive muscles.
New ground breaking research published in Experimental Brain Research is starting to show the powerful effect chiropractic care has on the body. According to one of the researchers, Dr Heidi Haavik, the study has shown that when a chiropractor adjusts a dysfunctional area of the spine, “we change the way the brain processes what going on in our bodies. Hence we are able to better process all that sensory information from through-out the body, and control the body in a better way.” How much do you think a chiropractic adjustment could increase strength in a muscle by? Continue reading to see what the study found and the amazing results. You will be surprised.
School and University exams are fast approaching. This also means students will be spending long hours in front of computers and text books. This prolonged sedentary activity can have detrimental effects on your body and health. Of course, study is important, but you will want to minimize the negative effects it has on your body. I don’t want to discuss "how" to study as everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. This is more about your body and the environment you study in and trying not to damage yourself during the exam period. Continue reading to see my 8 tips on how to function well during your upcoming exams.
The world federation of chiropractic has created an initiative called “just start walking”. The New Zealand Chiropractors Association is also getting behind it. Chiropractor and New Zealand Chiropractors Association (NZCA) spokesperson Dr Hayden Thomas explains: ‘Walking benefits all aspects of your health from increasing your levels of vitamin D, improving the efficiency of heart and lung function, reducing circulating stress hormones, assisting spinal function, and helping with weight loss. And it’s something nearly everyone can do to increase their fitness and well being’.
I have found through my experience that children and babies can benefit greatly from chiropractic care. I have seen some great results over the years and more recently I have noticed it first hand with my own child. That is her in the photo. I wanted to try and answer and clarify a few of the common questions I get asked in regards to chiropractic care for babies and children. These are some of the main questions I get asked. If you have any other questions, please contact me and I will try to answer them for you. Continue reading to see the FAQs.
5 months ago, I became a dad (that's her in the picture). Ever since holding my little girl, Bailey, for the first time, I am in continual amazement of the human body and how babies develop and change on a daily basis. You can see them thinking and working things out, it is almost like you can see their brains working and their neurons firing. The change that babies go though in their first year or so is phenomenal. They learn head control, they learn to roll over, they learn to sit, they learn to crawl and then they learn to walk. Like most parents, I also want the best for my child. I recently completed some chiropractic pediatric neurology courses to help boost my understanding of how babies develop and how I can give the best care to my child and those I see in practice. I learnt lots of things in these courses and other training's I have done, but there was several key points that I wanted to share. These 5 points will help you get the most out of your baby’s development.
Hopefully you have read my previous post on two simple tests you can do to see if your poor posture has caused upper crossed syndrome (UCS). If you read it, I bet you were interested in trying the test to see how well you fared. If you did the test and there were signs of UCS, I bet you are wondering what you can do to help it. Well, here is the answer, my 4 steps to help Upper Cross Syndrome. If you haven't read the previous post, click here to do so and try the simple test. Continue reading to find out what you can do to help.
We are always told exercise is good and we need to do it regularly, and I agree with this. However, an important consideration is that the exercises need to be done with the correct technique in order to avoid injury and get the best results. CNN published an article where they interviewed several top physical therapists in America and got them to talk about what exercises are most likely to cause injury. They then discussed the top 10 (you can read the original article here). I have summarized the results and added a few things. It is important to note that some of these exercises can actually be very beneficial if they are done properly. It is also important to realise that just about any exercise done poorly could cause injury. Technique is key. Continue reading to find out what exercises may hurt you.
If you have read my previous blog post, ‘7 tips for getting a great nights sleep’, hopefully you have tried a few of them and had good results. Tip 5 in that post was “Have a good bed and a good pillow”. I didn’t go into too much detail on the various types of pillows to use in that post so here it is. There are many different types of pillows out there and it can be quite daunting choosing the right one. In this post I want to discuss how your sleeping position can help you choose the best pillow size and then I will discuss how to go about choosing the best pillow for you.
Being the proud dad of our beautiful new baby, I am well aware of the effect reduced sleep can have on your mind and body. Good quality sleep is one of those important things we all need to function well. According to the National Sleep Foundation (in America), adults aged 18-64 should get around 7-9 hours sleep each night, while those aged 65 and older should aim for 7-8 hours sleep each night. Having reduced sleep can have negative effects on the body. What effect can reduced sleep have you may ask? Well I have found some recent research that shows what can happen. Continue reading to find out what the research showed, as well as 7 tips for getting a great nights sleep.
In the previous post we discussed what an intervertebral disc is and how injuries occur. We also discussed what symptoms you can get if you do have a disc injury. In part 2 of this series, I will look at the diagnosis and treatment options for a disc injury and will also give some ways to help at home. So how is a disc injury diagnosed? Continue reading to find out.
A disc injury is often called lots of things; a slipped disc, a herniated disc, a disc prolapse, a disc protrusion, a disc bulge, degenerative disc etc. Whatever you call it, a disc injury is very common these days. In fact, a large portion of the population actually have disc bulges, but they go unnoticed, as not all disc injuries cause pain. My aim with this 2 part blog series is to firstly describe what a disc injury is and how it occurs. The second post will be how disc injuries can be treated and what you can do at home to help. I have found that the more you know about a problem, the more informed your decision making process can be. This is extremely important with disc injuries as there are a few different treatment options with some of them being quite invasive. Whether you have an injury or not, I hope it makes things a lot clearer for you and gives you some ways to improve your function and hopefully prevent an injury in the future. So what is a disc injury and why do they occur? Continue reading to find out.
In this 4th blog post in my headache series, I will be discussing migraines. If you have read the previous posts you will see that there are similarities between the cause and possible treatments of the headaches. Migraines have some similarities but they do have a few differences, especially in the presentation of the migraine. A migraine is usually described as an intense throbbing or pulsating pain on one side of the head. It is often accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound and can cause nausea and vomiting. Migraines are more common in women and some people can predict the onset of a migraine by an “aura”. This aura is a visual pattern of flashing lights, lines or blind-spots running across your visual field or even pins and needles in an arm or leg or unpleasant smells. Continue reading to find out possible causes and some treatment options for them.
So far in my headache blog series, I have discussed how chiropractic care can help people that suffer from headaches. I have given 7 useful tips for helping ease the pain of headaches at home and finally described what a cervicogenic headache is and how to help stop it. In this 3rd post I will discuss one of most common types of headaches – Tension Headaches.
Tension headaches are commonly referred to as stress headaches. They can be periodic or can be more constant in nature. People often describe them as a mild to moderate, constant band-like tightness, or pressure around the forehead or back of the head and neck. They can last a few minutes or can last days. People don't often get the visual changes that other headache types can create. How do you stop them? Continue reading to find out.
In my previous post, I talked about how chiropractic care is an effective way to help ease headaches. I also gave 7 ways to help ease headaches yourself at home (you can read it here). Hopefully you have tried some of these tips and found them useful. In the second part of the headache series, I wanted to talk about a specific type of headache called a cervicogenic headache. These are one of the more common types of headaches. It is a headache that originates from the neck. They call this a secondary headache as the headache arises secondary to another problem. In this case, the problem is in the neck but there is referred pain into the head. This is an important point to understand as simply taking something to ease the headache pain will help it feel better, but it won’t fix the cause of the problem. How does a neck problem cause a headache you may ask? Continue reading to find out.
Headaches are an extremely common occurrence in many people. The severity ranges from an annoyance to debilitating pain. They can also be short lived or last hours to days. People often think of headaches as a ‘normal’ thing. When inquiring about headaches during our initial assessments I often get the response of “I get the odd normal headache” or “I get the usual headaches”. This is an interesting response to me because headaches are not normal, you do not have to put up with headaches. In a lot of cases, they can be dealt with reasonably easily. Chiropractic care is an effective approach to helping headaches and there are several things you can do at home to help. My aim is to write a blog series on headaches and focus on several of the key types that I come across regularly in practice. For this first post I will show that chiropractic care is an effective treatment option for headaches and then I will discuss several things you can do at home to help ease the discomfort if you are unfortunate enough to be suffering from headaches. Keep reading to find out.
Movement is life. As we age, people often loose mobility, which leads to a loss of activity and negative effects on our health. Lack of mobility is usually the start of a downward spiral. Look back at my blog post on the Sitting Rising Test (SRT). This research showed a lack of mobility leads to a significant increase in mortality. You can read the post here and try the test yourself. Maintaining mobility and function is therefore an important thing to consider as you age. Chiropractic care is one way to help achieve this. A study at the University of Iowa has found that chiropractic care can help older people stay active and healthy.
The New Zealand Chiropractic Association (NZCA) recently published a Press Release explaining some amazing new research that is coming out of NZ, showing how powerful the effects of chiropractic adjustments can be. This included a 16% increase in force in a muscle following a chiropractic adjustment. Amazing. The Press Release is written below. As always, I will add my thoughts.
I have had a few people comment on my last blog post about the Beighton Hypermobilty Score and ask, what does a low score mean? Well I thought I would answer this in my next blog post, so here it goes.
The test was a test for hypermobility, If you scored low on the test, it means that you are unlikely to be hypermobile. The test simply checks the motion of certain joints but not all joints. It doesn’t look at the shoulders, the cervical spine, the jaw etc. You can have some joints that are more mobile than others. The test is simply an indication of hypermobile joints. If you scored a '0' with the little fingers, thumbs, elbows and knees that is fine, it means those joints are not hypermobile. It is the last test that interests me the most.
I was doing my CPD (Continuing Professional Development) training this week and came across an interesting quote, “your body gets good at what it needs to get good at”. The program I was studying was a mobility program and this quote was based on mobility, but I think it can apply to other areas as well. What does it mean you may ask? From a mobility perspective, your body will adapt to what it needs to.
The arrival of the New Year inevitably brings about thoughts of New Year’s Resolutions. One of the main resolutions that you always hear about is starting an exercise program or hitting the gym to get into good shape or lose those holiday kilos that somehow managed to find their way onto your body. A lot of the time, these resolutions are short lived as the program you started is not sustainable, you suffer an injury or you lose interest. Here are my tips for helping get the best results and hopefully avoiding injuries.
In part 1 of this series I explained how technology can put you in poor positions that often lead to pain and dysfunction and can even increase your risk of injuries. Simply looking down at your phone can lead to 27kg of extra pressure being put on your neck and spine. We can’t get away from technology and less than ideal postures all the time, so how can we minimise the effects? Here are 5 ways to help counteract the problems stemming from the use of technology.
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