For years now, parents have been encouraged to minimised screen time for our children. In fact, there are many guidelines produced by governments, medical and paediatric associations, all of which advocate reducing screen time (here are the current guidelines for Australia https://austparents.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/screentime.pdf).
In 2017, The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne conducted a poll on screen usage in Australian homes. It found some potentially unsurprising results including:
More significantly, a 2019 study has found that increased screen time (above recommendations) is associated with lower brain white matter tracts that support language and literacy skills in pre-kindergarten children. These skills include imagery and executive function – the processes involving mental control and self-regulation. These children also have lower scores on language and literacy measures. This suggests that higher exposure to screens for younger children will dramatically impact on their performance when they are in school. (3)
If you would like some other tips about brain function for you or your child make sure to book an appointment with us.
Many publications and books have been published in popular media stating that there is a condition called adrenal fatigue. This condition is theorised to be caused by chronic exposure to stressful situations. Burnout syndrome or simply “burnout”, refers to a decrease in the cognitive functions, emotional exhaustion, and physical fatigue that is triggered by stressful situations and associated with excessive working.
Other symptoms of these conditions include feeling exhausted, irritable and unhappy. It is suggested in the lay press that the adrenal glands in these people function below the normal threshold, with the result that individuals feel tired and stressed. The internet is inundated with claims from people that they suffer from adrenal fatigue (1).
Adrenal fatigue, is a condition that some doctors dismiss because current research has not been able to exactly pinpoint and identify the chemicals that are imbalanced in this disorder.
These symptoms can be caused by a lot of other health conditions and it is very important that these things are screened for and eliminated. Some of these are sleep obstructive apnea syndrome, mental illnesses, hormonal deficiencies; liver and kidney dysfunctions, heart conditions, autoimmune diseases, among others (2). We definitely need to rule these things out. It is also interesting to note that in studies; fatigue is often associated with Chronic Low Back Pain (2).
James Wilson a PhD Doctor has a very interesting view. He states that the brain is constantly calculating how much stress hormone (cortisol) is releases so that our bodies perform appropriately. This calculation happens every 3-6 seconds. AMAZING! The system works with wonderful efficiency as long as the stresses are not too lasting, numerous or severe. But in current modern industrial society, this is often not the case. Stresses are often prolonged, abundant, multiple and intense. In addition, the nutrients used in greatly increased quantities during such high stress states are not replenished by the normal modern diet. Even in ‘healthy’ foods, nutrient quality has been diminished by the use of chemical fertilizers, which deplete the ground of the minerals and trace minerals necessary for plants to make and store the vitamin and phytonutrient rich food which existed previously (3). Thus, people today experiencing constant and multiple stressors have fewer nutrients to replenish challenged adrenals. He believes the number of people that have this condition is as high as 67% of the population!
Dr Wilson states that as incapacitating and severe as adrenal fatigue can be and as bad as it can make people feel, its saving grace is that the right kind of therapy is nearly always successful. Fortunately, most aspects of this therapy are already used by many conscientious practitioners. At Little Sprouts we find it very helpful to manage all of the underlying dysfunctions present, and this is how we help you manage adrenal fatigue symptoms. These include lifestyle modification, stress management techniques, adjustments to diet, and nutritional supplementation and of course helping you manage your pain.
The traditional concept of chiropractic
The top three most common reasons that people visit a chiropractor are lower back pain, neck pain, and extremity problems.(1) Pain is such an unpleasant feeling that affects our daily living horrendously. In fact, pain is vital for us to survive. Imagine if you got a cut and you didn’t feel the pain. Pain is here to let us know there is a problem somewhere and to do something about it. We know chiropractic can help manage all sorts of pain.
Is there any further functions chiropractic can do to help improve your health and performance?
Sports are using chiropractic
Spinal manipulative therapy is rising in sports care.(2) In the United States, Chiropractic has been used in the Olympic games since 1980. The Brazillian Olympic Committee has been using chiropractic care since 2000.(3) Chiropractic has been helping athletes for better performance, injury prevention, and rehabilitation. Research demonstrates chiropractic interventions help lower limb injury prevention with a significant reduction in primary lower limb muscle strains in Australian football.(2)
Many people are becoming more conscious of their own health, eating more wisely and staying physically fit. Look at these these Judo athletes who train very hard and are striving to beat their previous records. Research showed cervical (neck) spine adjustment has a positive effect to grip strength.(3) Grip strength of professional Judo athletes was recorded before and after receiving a cervical spine adjustment. The result was pretty remarkable, grip strength was increased up to 16.8% after adjustments!(3)
People sometimes get frustrated about hitting the plateau of their performance, chiropractic might be able to help break through your plateau and boost you up like you never have been. Have a chat with our chiropractors and see how we can help to get you to your next level!
1. Beliveau PJ, Wong JJ, Sutton DA, Simon NB, Bussières AE, Mior SA, et al. The chiropractic profession: a scoping review of utilization rates, reasons for seeking care, patient profiles, and care provided. Chiropractic & manual therapies. 2017;25(1):35.
2. Hoskins W, Pollard H. The effect of a sports chiropractic manual therapy intervention on the prevention of back pain, hamstring and lower limb injuries in semi-elite Australian Rules footballers: a randomized controlled trial. BMC musculoskeletal disorders. 2010;11(1):64.
3. Botelho MB, Andrade BB. Effect of cervical spine manipulative therapy on judo athletes' grip strength. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics. 2012;35(1):38-44.
Is cracking your knuckles bad for you? What did your parents/grandparents tell you when you did “crack” your knuckles? “Stop or you will have arthritis when you get older!!”
Well the arthritis that they were referring to, as there are a few types, is most likely Osteoarthritis, the most common joint disorder in the world (1). Is there anything that chiropractic can do that may help manage it? If you or a loved one have osteoarthritis, or are wondering whether it may be a possible issue that you may have, this is an important article that could make the world of a difference to you.
“In the US Osteoarthritis is second to only ischaemic heart disease as a cause of work disability in men over 50 years of age,”(1)
The primary symptoms of osteoarthritis include joint pain and stiffness. It affects the joint in many ways which include damage and loss of cartilage, abnormal remodelling of subarticular bone, osteophytes (bone growth at the joint margins), lax ligaments, weakening of muscles related to the joint and inflammation. (2) It is now widely viewed as an age-related reaction pattern of a joint as a response to insult or injury to the joint, also a product of attempted repairing of the joint by the body. (1) Most joint injuries may be at risk of developing osteoarthritis. So “cracking” your knuckles is bad if it causes injury or insult to the joint.
In a recent research literature, where 10 rabbits had induced osteoarthritis in the knee, were split into groups with one group receiving chiropractic adjustments with a chiropractic adjusting instrument. Their joints were then examined after about 8 weeks. It was found that the rabbits who received chiropractic adjustments had improved subchondral bone integrity and cartilage degradation was inhibited. These findings support that chiropractic adjustments may ameliorate osteoarthritis through beneficial effects on the three most affected tissues in osteoarthritis. (3)
If you want to find out if chiropractic can help manage osteoarthritis for you or your loved ones, chat with one of our chiropractors to see how they can assist.
“With so many different activities putting so much stress on our joints, causing it to wear and tear, it’s important to make sure that our joints are functioning at their optimal to better support us with the activities that we love doing!!”
(1) Arden, N. and Nevitt, M.C., 2006. Osteoarthritis: epidemiology. Best practice & research Clinical rheumatology, 20(1), pp.3-25.
(2) Hutton, C.W., 1989. Osteoarthritis: the cause not result of joint failure?. Annals of the rheumatic diseases, 48(11), p.958.
(3) Conesa-Buendía, F.M., Fujikawa, R., Mediero, A., Gratal, P., Mulero, F. and Ortega-De Mues, A., 2018. Changes in subchondral bone status, cartilage and synovial membrane in response to chiropractic manipulation in an osteoarthritis model. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 26, p.S319.
Monoamines (also known as brain chemicals or neurotransmitters) such as dopamine, serotonin, noradrenaline play important roles in our body’s central nervous system and are involved in a wide range of physiological and homeostatic functions.
Dopamine is important in the regulation of movement, cognitive processes such as attention and working memory and modulating behaviour.
Noradrenaline is an important driver of the sympathetic nervous system and is involved in cardiovascular function, arousal, concentration, attention, learning and memory.
Serotonin is an important driver of the parasympathetic nervous system and is also present in our platelets and gastrointestinal mucosa. It is involved in regulating blood pressure and complex behaviours including mood, appetite, sleep, cognition, perception, motor activity, temperature regulation, pain control, hormone secretion.
Changes in stress on the body can affect our nutrient intake requirement that diet alone can no longer supply, which is needed to maintain optimum homeostatic and physiological function. This is referred to as a relative nutritional deficiency and can be partially responsible for depleted monoamines or brain chemicals. Chronic depleted monoamines can cause neuron damage in our central nervous system and lead to a range of mood, cognitive, motor, and motor deficits .
Syndromes and disorders related to these central nervous system monoamine neurotransmitters can included:
If you or a family member are experiencing any symptoms or disorders mentioned above, get in contact with one of our Doctors so we can explore further management options for you.
 Tzschentke, T. M. (2001). Pharmacology and behavioral pharmacology of the mesocortical dopamine system. Progress in Neurobiology, 63(3), 241–320.
 Ressler, K. J. & Nemeroff, C. B. (1999). Role of norepinephrine in the pathophysiology and treatment of mood disorders. Biological Psychiatry, 46(9), 1219–1233.
 Saxena, P. R. (1995). Serotonin receptors: subtypes, functional responses and therapeutic relevance. Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 66(2), 339–368.
 Hinz, M., Stein, A., & Uncini, T. (2012). Relative nutritional deficiencies associated with centrally acting monoamines. International journal of general medicine, 5, 413.
Some of you may recall that Chiropractic care for children has been under an independent review as directed by Safer Care Victoria back in March at the request of the Victorian Health Minister. This review went before the COAG council on Friday 1st November 2019, and has opted not to endorse the recommendations within this review, and has referred it on to AHMAC (Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council).
There was an overwhelmingly positive response from the general public, for which we thank you all!
Here are some of the key findings from this review:
So, this means business as usual here at Little Sprouts. We will still be providing the same gentle care to all who come and see us, both big and small sprouts alike!
Back pain is quite common and it not only affects physical health but also mental wellbeing.(1) There are various ways to manage back pain, but because a vast majority of back pain cases are non-specific it makes effective management difficult (2)(3). Have you or your child experience back pain? Read On!
“Worldwide, back pain is the single leading cause of disability, preventing many people from engaging in work as well as other everyday activities.” (4)
Even a little niggle can affect how we perform our activities, our bodies are very adept at adapting and compensating; and over time it will lead to bad movement patterns that may be placing more stress on the body. So it’s important to make sure your body is functioning in the right way, and get to the bottom of your back pain.
In a recent research article, patient reported outcome was explored in Sweden in relation to acute and chronic back pain patients seeking chiropractic care. Follow up was done at 4 weeks after starting their chiropractic care. Pain, disability, quality of life and self-rated health were surveyed. Though the study had a small sample size of 246 patients, statistically significant improvements were seen for both acute and chronic back pain patients. (5)
If you want to find out if chiropractic may help manage back pain for you or your loved ones, chat with one of our chiropractors to see how they can assist.
“It is important to make sure that you are functioning the best you can physically and mentally so that you can get the best out of life and time with family and friends".
If this article applies to you - message us, or call and get an appointment where our wonderful Drs will run our signature initial consult where we determine if there are issues that we can help manage to make your life easier!
(1) State preparation for medical evaluation 2000 Back pain, neck pain. State preparation for medical evaluation, Stockholm.
(2) Airaksinen O, Brox JI, Cedraschi C, Hildebrandt J, Klaber-Moffett J, Kovacs F, Mannion AF, Reis S, Staal JB, Ursin H, Zanoli G, On behalf of the Cost B13 Working Group on Guidelines for Chronic Low Back Pain 2006 Chapter 4. European guidelines for the management of chronic nonspecific low back pain. European spine journal : official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society 15 Suppl 2: S192-300.
(3) van Tulder M, Becker A, Bekkering T, Breen A, del Real MT, Hutchinson A, Koes B, Laerum E, Malmivaara A, On behalf of the Cost B13 Working Group on Guidelines for the Management of Acute Low Back Pain in Primary Care 2006 Chapter 3. European guidelines for the management of acute nonspecific low back pain in primary care. European spine journal : official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society 15 Suppl 2: S169-191.
(4) Hoy D, March L, Brooks P, et al The global burden of low back pain: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases Published Online First: 24 March 2014. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204428
(5) Gedin, F., Dansk, V., Egmar, A.C., Sundberg, T. and Burström, K., 2019. Patient-reported improvements of pain, disability, and health-related quality of life following chiropractic care for back pain–A national observational study in Sweden. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies, 23(2), pp.241-246.
What are the odds?
Have you ever overheard people talking about their lower back pain while you are sitting in a cafe enjoying your coffee or during a family gathering? Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017–18 National Health estimates about 4.0 million Australians (16% of the population) have back problems. It is estimated that 70–90% of people will suffer from lower back pain in some form at some point in their lives. (1)
Lower back pain is associated with weakened core muscles
Our spinal health and stability are supported by different tissues (intervertebral disc, muscles, tendons, ligaments…). Research describes the weakening of the truck and abdominal muscles as one major cause of chronic lower back pain. (2) We observed many people only focus on loosening up their stiff back muscles, but seldom discuss weak core muscles with their chiropractor. In the past decade, core strengthening has been brought back to one of the main protocols in a rehabilitation plan post-injury with athletes, the public and people who suffer lower back pain. (3)
Your abdomen is a cylinder! Imagine that your spine is sitting at the back of a cylinder, your abdominal wall would be the front of the cylinder, traverse abdominal muscles would be the two sides of your cylinder. (3) When the abdominal walls are weakened, while daily stresses and pressures to your spine remain unchanged, passive tissues such as the discs and spinal joints will take up the duty. Predictably, muscles around your spinal joints tighten up, speeding up spinal degeneration and give you lower back pain.
A common misconception is to “suck the belly in” when people are asked to activate their core muscles. In fact, pushing your abdominals out is a better way to take the pressure off your spine. Here are a few steps to help you learn how to activate your core muscles!
Chiropractors are trained to help manage musculoskeletal disorders. If you have any concerns about how a chiropractor can help, consult with one of our chiropractors for a comprehensive health check and let us help you to be your best self possible!
1 .Health AIo, Welfare. Back problems. Canberra: AIHW; 2019.
2. Chang W-D, Lin H-Y, Lai P-T. Core strength training for patients with chronic low back pain. Journal of physical therapy science. 2015;27(3):619-22.
3. Akuthota V, Nadler SF. Core strengthening. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation. 2004;85:86-92.
An absolute nutritional deficiency occurs when nutrient intake is not sufficient to meet the normal needs of the body. This type of deficiency is usually known by the individual as it results in a disease process e.g. Vitamin C deficiency resulting in scurvy.
A relative nutritional deficiency exists when nutrient intake and systemic levels of nutrients are within normal, but stress on the body results in nutrient intake requirement not being sufficient from diet alone. When the intensity of stress on the body increases, the brain or body runs out of these nutrients to maintain optimum function .
One of the factors that can lead to possible relative nutritional deficiency is from lack of sufficient nutrients in the foods we eat.
Recent studies from the University of Texas compared U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional data from both 1950 and 1999 for 43 different vegetables and fruits. Reliable declines in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C were found in the fruits and vegetables analysed. The main culprit in this nutritional trend is soil depletion as a results of modern intensive agricultural methods which have stripped nutrients from the soil in the food we eat.
If you find yourself experiencing different symptoms in times of stress and think you might have possible nutrient deficiencies, please get in touch with one of our Doctors so we can help point you in the right direction to help manage your nutrition levels.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more information about the lack of sufficient nutrients in our food and how your genes can determine if you are able to absorb and utilise these nutrients.
A lot of people wonder why we take such a thorough history from our new patients. It not just so that we can screen out “red flags” (things we potentially need to refer out for further testing) it’s also so that we get a better understanding of their life journey, and then can better help our patients develop personalised goals for their care.
One of the most common goals we are given is less pain, which is often coupled with less pain medications. I am not talking about the occasional Panadol here either, there has been a massive increase in the used of opioid based pain medications. In fact, between 1990 and 2014 there was a 4-fold increase in the use of opioids within Australia (1)! Australia also experienced a rapid increase in the number of opioid related hospitalisations as well as deaths (2).
This increase in opioid prescription is in line with a global trend, we are ahead of the UK but behind the US. The US has also seen overdose death rates and substance use rates quadrupled in parallel to sales of prescription pain relievers (1999-2008) (3).
A recent study (from the US) looked at a population of over 200,000 people over the age of 18 and compared the usage of opioids for low back pain. They found that there was a decreased rate in the use of opioids in the people who sought care from a chiropractor or physical therapist compare with those who sought treatment from a primary care practitioner (4).
This study reinforces what has been seen in previous studies which have shown; greater satisfaction of care and results, providing greater short-term reduction in self-reported pain or disability, and that a multimodal approach, which (most) chiropractors utilise, is often the most effective way to manage musculoskeletal pain (5-7).
So, if you, or someone you know, is struggling with musculoskeletal pain, AND you don’t just want a pill to cover up the cause, give us a call to book an assessment to see if we can help.