We have spoken about proprioception in our previous blog. Proprioception is the perception of joint and body movement, perception of body position or the body segments in space. It is vital and essential for body movements, it assists in daily activities and allows you to interact with the environment.(1)
The sensor cell to help us understand where are our body in space is called “proprioceptor”.(2) They are located in our muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. They serve different purposes, for example, spindle cells monitor muscle tension, it shortens and stretches together with muscle contraction and relaxation.(2) These spindle cells communicate with our brain, allowing the brain to respond to your desired movement by adjusting our muscles accordingly.
We have over 650 different muscles in the human body! Paraspinal muscles are the small muscles that support our spinal movement. They allow spinal mobility and help maintain stability at the same time. Studies suggested that paraspinal muscles in our upper neck area play a very important role in proprioception.(3) Since over 75% of infants are born with cervical/neck dysfunction (4), neck dysfunction may carry on to the next stage of growth and possibly delay their motor development, such as difficulty in learning how to walk.
Not only poor proprioception from the spine can affect a child’s gross motor development, but also other causes such as ankle, and hip problems. If you are concerned about your child development, consult one of our amazing chiropractors and we will let you know if we can help.
1. Han J, Waddington G, Adams R, Anson J, Liu Y. Assessing proprioception: a critical review of methods. Journal of Sport and Health Science. 2016;5(1):80-90.
2. Proske U, Gandevia SC. The proprioceptive senses: their roles in signaling body shape, body position and movement, and muscle force. Physiological reviews. 2012;92(4):1651-97.
3. Haavik H, Murphy B. The role of spinal manipulation in addressing disordered sensorimotor integration and altered motor control. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. 2012;22(5):768-76.
4. Fludder C, Keil BG. INSTRUMENT-ASSISTED DELIVERY AND THE PREVALENCE OF REDUCED CERVICAL SPINE RANGE OF MOTION IN INFANTS. Chiropractic Journal of Australia. 2018;46(2).
Do you or your children participate in some form of sporting activity? Sport can be quite rough these days, though the physical activity is quite beneficial, in many sporting moments with adrenaline fueled movement, your joints and muscles could be placed under quite a bit of stress. Have you or your children had any sporting injuries? This is an important article that could make the world of difference to you.
“A study found that 77% of the American Football League athletes used a chiropractor” (1)
Understanding how rough American football can be, it’s not surprising that 77% used a chiropractor. It would be interesting to know what the percentage is among rugby league or union. (1)
Chiropractic care in sports is not just for sporting injuries, athletes also seek support for prevention, performance improvement and rehabilitation. With the stress that is placed on their bodies through rigorous training, support is needed. Even with children, sporting activity is on the rise and training has been intensified over the years. (1)
In a recent research article, a review on the literature available was done on chiropractic care and sports. Although the randomized controlled trial literature is still limited, and more studies need to be done, there is a positive trend within studies currently available towards chiropractic care as a form of manual therapy for sports. (1)
If you want to find out if chiropractic may support you or your loved ones with their sport, chat with one of our chiropractors to see how they can assist.
“Sports is important for the body as it is a fun social way of getting fit and provides good stimulation to the nervous system, but it is important to make sure your body is functioning well to take on the physical stresses that come with sports.”
(1)Thiele, R., 2019. Chiropractic Treatment in Sports: Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. International Journal of Clinical Medicine Research, 6(2), pp.6-12.
Are you STRESSED?
Read on to find out how it might be affecting you and your kids…
Have you ever wondered why people who suffer from chronic back pain are 250x more likely to also suffer from depressive disorders?
Chronic exposure to stress hormones such as cortisol or adrenaline, whether it occur during the prenatal period, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood or aging has an impact on brain structures involved in cognition and mental health .
The effects of chronic pain can have a compounding stressful effect on us throughout our life and affect the brain, behaviour and cognition. During times of stress, activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis stimulates excess production of stress hormones known as glucocorticoids which can influence the brain and behaviour.
Even exposure to prenatal stress can increase reactivity in the brain of an infant post-birth initiating the retention of different primitive reflexes including the Moro reflex, which has been associated with hyper-activity, difficulty with new sensory experiences, impulsive behaviour and anxiety in children .
The effects on the brain, behaviour and cognition emerge as a result of the timing and duration of adverse stressors in relation to our epigenetics and previous exposure to adverse stressors.
If you feel as though stress may be affecting yourself, one of your loved ones or someone you know, have a chat to one of our Chiropractors to see if we can help manage your stress with some of our many available techniques.
1. NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation. Management of people with acute low back pain: model of care. Chatswood; NSW Health; 2016. 39 p
2.Lupien, S. J., McEwen, B. S., Gunnar, M. R., & Heim, C. (2009). Effects of stress throughout the lifespan on the brain, behaviour and cognition. Nature reviews neuroscience, 10(6), 434.
3. Blythe, S.G., Beuret, L.J. and Blythe, P., 2009. Attention, Balance and Coordination. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
Recent findings suggest that nervous system development and brain growth may be linked with movement and sensory input. The findings suggest that “mobility restrictions or insufficient sensory stimuli impact the production of new brain cells and brain development… “
Two recent studies (1, 2), exploring neurogenesis in the presence and absence of either movement restriction or visual restriction, were performed in zebrafish – a popular and well-known choice for modeling human biology in a controlled research setting. While these findings have not yet been tested in humans, they clearly suggest the possibility that movement restrictions in the postnatal stage may be critical to brain development in vertebrates including humans.
These two new papers suggest that should motor and sensory input be suboptimal in the early developmental stage, then the process of neurodevelopment as a whole is diminished and the authors show evidence that if nerve and brain development is compromised, the resultant deficit may never be overcome (1, 2).
Let’s consider a study by Keil and Fludder that described reduced range of motion present at birth (3). In this study, reduced range of motion was found in:
76.1% of infants born vaginally without intervention
75% of infants delivered with forceps
88.9% of vacuum-assisted deliveries
82.3% of infants born via caesarean section
While the sample may be slightly skewed given it was taken from a paediatric chiropractic clinic, it certainly shows that there is a population that suffers from reduced range of motion immediately following birth. Further, plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, is found in up to 46.6% of infants (according to a 2013 estimate) and this itself may result in motion restriction or motion asymmetry (4).
Research conducted by Dr. Heidi Haavik, Dr. Kelly Holt and the New Zealand College of Chiropractic has illustrated over and over again that sensorimotor integration (brain processing of movement) is clearly and positively impacted by the chiropractic adjustment (5).
If you or especially your Child has reduced movement it is worth getting checked out.