As we age, our body and nervous system changes… these changes can include memory loss and difficulty carrying out tasks of daily living including dressing, bathing and cooking. Due to the decline and changes in the nervous system, we also see an increase in the rate of falls (Tinetti and Kumar, 2010). Studies have also shown that falls have a rising frequency in the elderly population, especially after 75 years of age (Gryfe, Amies & Ashley, 1977).
A randomized control trial by Holt et al. (2016) studied the effect of chiropractic care on sensorimotor function compared with no intervention. A range of outcome measures were assessed included proprioception (ankle joint position sense), postural stability, sensorimotor function (stepping reaction time), multisensory integration (sound-induced flash illusion) and health related quality of life.
Improvements were seen in sensorimotor function and multisensory integration which is associated with fall risk. The physical component of quality of life also improved compared with the control group. Further research is needed to investigate the mechanism of the observed changes in this study.
Chiropractic care can help older people to be more active, more independent in carrying out tasks of daily living (Weigel et al., 2014) and increase sensorimotor function which can affect fall risk (Holt et al., 2016). If you or someone you know is wanting to see if you can maintain your health and independence as you are ageing, please get in contact with our practice as we would love to see if we can help.
Gryfe, C.I., Amies, A. and Ashley, M.J., 1977. A longitudinal study of falls in an elderly population: I. Incidence and morbidity. Age and ageing, 6(4), pp.201-210.
Holt, K.R., Haavik, H., Lee, A.C.L., Murphy, B. and Elley, C.R., 2016. Effectiveness of chiropractic care to improve sensorimotor function associated with falls risk in older people: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 39(4), pp.267-278.
Tinetti, M.E. and Kumar, C., 2010. The patient who falls:“It's always a trade-off”. Jama, 303(3), pp.258-266.
Weigel, P.A., Hockenberry, J., Bentler, S.E. and Wolinsky, F.D., 2014. The comparative effect of episodes of chiropractic and medical treatment on the health of older adults. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 37(3), pp.143-154.
Stress is omnipresent and forever around the corner. Some stress is good for us like exercise, however other forms of stress are very detrimental to our health. We have discussed stress in other blogs and our videos including how we measure it in our practice and what it does to us. Here we are going to discuss briefly the science of modern day armour against stress, and how to best counteract stress.
Remember stress can be physical, chemical or emotional. The brain does not distinguish between stress. Briefly; research shows long-term activation of the stress axis leads to increased inflammation (1), decreased immunity (2, 3), slower wound healing, it can reactivate latent viruses, such as Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), and it can enhance the risk for more severe infectious disease (3).
So here are the simple things you can do that have been shown in scientific studies to help your immune system and help manage stress.
It should be noted that stress management techniques are applicable not only to people who manifest a disease or disorder, but also to healthy people, when added to daily routine practice as an effective tool for health enhancement and protection over the life span, serving thus as a valuable intervention for the healthy population as well (7).
(1) Chrousos. G. P., (2000), “Stress, chronic inflammation, and emotional and physical well-being: Concurrent effects and chronic sequelae”, The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 106(5): S275-S291, https://doi.org/10.1067/mai.2000.110163
(2) Dhabhar, F.S., 2009. Enhancing versus suppressive effects of stress on immune function: implications for immunoprotection and immunopathology. Neuroimmunomodulation, 16(5), pp.300-317.
(3) Godbout, J.P. and Glaser, R., 2006. Stress-induced immune dysregulation: implications for wound healing, infectious disease and cancer. Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, 1(4), pp.421-427.
(4) Goldsmith, J.R. and Sartor, R.B., 2014. The role of diet on intestinal microbiota metabolism: downstream impacts on host immune function and health, and therapeutic implications. Journal of gastroenterology, 49(5), pp.785-798.
(5) Zaharna, M. and Guilleminault, C., 2010. Sleep, noise and health. Noise and Health, 12(47), p.64.
(6) Gerber, M. and Pühse, U., 2009. Do exercise and fitness protect against stress-induced health complaints? A review of the literature. Scandinavian journal of public health, 37(8), pp.801-819.
(7) Varvogli, L. and Darviri, C., 2011. Stress Management Techniques: evidence-based procedures that reduce stress and promote health. Health science journal, 5(2), p.74.
We get many people coming in to our practice asking what can we do to further help performance before and after physical activity? This is known as a warm up and cool down in generic terms. The purpose of a warm-up is to prepare the body for activity and in particular to promote optimal performance and decrease injury risk (1), something to be considered with anyone who engages in physical activity of any form.
Have you considered gluteal band activation as part of your lower limb performance routine? Widely known as a theraband, these bands are used in a variety of ways as part of physical therapy and even general exercise routine warm up and cool downs. Literature has trended towards using an activation protocol with the effect showing increased force in gluteus maximus and hamstrings following this, potentially increasing quality of movement in the lower limbs (2).
A reduction in gluteal muscle strength may be linked to lower extremity injuries and hence the need to consider an activation protocol of the gluteals to reduce this possibility (2).
With so many movements from general and physical activity putting increased repetitive stress loads through our bodies it is paramount we help counteract and use preventative measures for longevity in sport and life. If you want to find out if chiropractic may help manage and improve your performance with theraband support, have a chat with one of our chiropractors to see how they can assist and tailor something specific to your needs.
1. Parr, M., Price P. D. B., & Cleather D.J. (2017). Effect of a gluteal activation warm-up on explosive exercise performance, BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med 2017;3.
2. Darryl J. Cochrane, Michael C. Harnett & Scott C. Pinfold (2017), Does short-term gluteal activation enhance muscle performance? Research in Sports Medicine, 25:2, 156-165.
Low back pain is a common health problem that most people have experienced at one time or another. The clinical findings of ongoing low back pain show that lumbar movement is often decreased and the use of the core muscles is altered. (1) Studies also show that strengthening the core muscles can result in improved mobility and decreased pain. (2)
You’ve probably heard a lot about ‘core muscles’ or ‘core strength’ but what does it actually mean for you?
The ‘core’ is a group of muscles that helps your body to maintain different postures by stabilising and controlling the pelvis. When these muscles are functioning properly they assist with the ability to stand up from a chair, maintain comfortable posture when seated, perform daily tasks such as sweeping, and getting on and off the floor to play with the kids.
When these muscles are strong they can also help to improve your balance and stability, prevent overuse injuries, and reduce the occurrence of related aches and pains. When these muscles are weak, other muscles are recruited to try and make up for this lack of stability which is why you may feel an ache across your shoulders, sore or tight leg muscles, or even pain in the feet.
Multiple studies have shown that incorporation of core strengthening exercises can assist in the reduction of low back pain. Core exercises have the potential to reduce pain, improve spinal stability, and decrease the recurrence of pain episodes! (3)
Strengthening your core can be achieved in a multitude of ways but it’s important that the activities you perform to do this are tailored to your own abilities and restrictions. Having a chat with your chiropractor can ensure that you are performing the correct exercises (in the correct way) to get the best outcomes for you!
1. Kumar, T., Kumar, S., Nezamuddin, M., & Sharma, V. P. (2015). Efficacy of core muscle strengthening exercise in chronic low back pain patients. Journal of back and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, 28(4), 699–707. https://doi.org/10.3233/BMR-140572
2. Akhtar, M. W., Karimi, H., & Gilani, S. A. (2017). Effectiveness of core stabilization exercises and routine exercise therapy in management of pain in chronic non-specific low back pain: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Pakistan journal of medical sciences, 33(4), 1002–1006. https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.334.12664
3. Chang, W. D., Lin, H. Y., & Lai, P. T. (2015). Core strength training for patients with chronic low back pain. Journal of physical therapy science, 27(3), 619–622. doi:10.1589/jpts.27.619 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4395677/
The first question or concern about chiropractic for some people can be about the “cracking” or “popping” noise generated by a chiropractic adjustment. This feature seems to scare some people away from chiropractic care. We understand that some people are concerned about the safety of chiropractic adjustment and worry about what this noise is. Researchers have explained how this sound is produced.
Cavitation, or the audible “cracking” sound followed by a high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), is the result of forces acting on the joint, which increases the joint volume and decrease joint fluid partial pressure, creating a gas bubble as intra-articular gases are drawn out of solution.(1) A similar process that we might all have experience is when we pull a suction cup off the wall and it creates a “popping” sound.
Some underlying pathologies can contraindicate a HVLA manipulation. For example, osteoporosis is a disease that reduce bone density and it is a bone weakening condition.(2) In such cases, we modify our techniques to minimise the risk of potential complications.
At Little Sprouts Chiropractic, all of our chiropractors will take a full medical history and perform a thorough physical examination on your initial visit, therefore we have a better idea of your overall health to tailor a care plan for each individual to maximize your safety and results.
If you, or any of your friends have stepped back from chiropractic care because of the sound of cavitation please share this blog.
1. Conway P, Herzog W, Zhang Y, Hasler E, Ladly K. Forces required to cause cavitation during spinal manipulation of the thoracic spine. Clinical Biomechanics. 1993;8(4):210-4.
2. Rachner TD, Khosla S, Hofbauer LC. Osteoporosis: now and the future. The Lancet. 2011;377(9773):1276-87.
Click here to Neck pain is a leading cause of disability in adults, and in adults it is reported in up to as high as 20%. (1,2,3). Most cases of acute neck pain, will resolve within 3 months, although a substantial proportion of people will continue to experience low grade symptoms or frequent recurrences. (4) Do you or a loved one experience neck pain? This is an important article that could make the world of difference to you.
“A review in 2016 estimated that the annual cost of low back and neck pain was $87.6 billion in the US, ranking third behind diabetes and heart disease” (5)
There are several risk factors that predispose us to the development of neck pain, which include mental/emotional stress, sleep problems, sedentary lifestyle, history of neck pain, trauma, back pain, and poor general health. (6) Sports and work injuries have also been associated with neck pain. It has been found that office and computer workers, manual labourers, healthcare workers and occupational drivers are more likely than others to experience neck pain. (7,8) With acute neck pain, about half don’t resolve and patients continue to have low grade symptoms or recurrences, which means that it then becomes a chronic issue. (4) So it’s important to get on top of it and work out the cause.
In a recent research study they were looking at female veterans with neck pain who had chiropractic care. It was observed that female veterans with neck pain experienced a statistically and clinically significant improvement on their assessment scores over a short course of chiropractic management (9). So chiropractic may be a viable option for neck pain management.
If you want to find out if chiropractic may help manage neck pain for you or your loved ones, have a chat with one of our chiropractors to see how they can assist.
“With so many of our modern activities putting stress upon the neck, it is important to make sure that your neck is functioning well”
1.Cohen SP. Epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of neck pain. Mayo Clin Proc 2015;90(2):284–99. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2014.09.008.
2.Moradi-Lakeh M, Forouzanfar MH, Vollset SE, et al. Burden of musculoskeletal disorders in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 1990–2013: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Ann Rheum Dis 2017;76(8):1365–73. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-210146.
3.Woodhouse A, Pape K, Romundstad PR, Vasseljen O. Health care contact following a new incident neck or low back pain episode in the general population; the HUNT study. BMC Health Serv Res 2016;16:81. doi: 10.1186/s12913-016-1326-5.
4.Cohen, S.P. and Hooten, W.M., 2017. Advances in the diagnosis and management of neck pain. Bmj, 358, p.j3221.
5.Dieleman JL, Baral R, Birger M, et al. US spending on personal health care and public health, 1996-2013. JAMA 2016;316:2627-46doi:10.1001/ jama.2016.16885.
6.Croft PR, Lewis M, Papageorgiou AC, et al. Risk factors for neck pain: a longitudinal study in the general population. Pain 2001;93:317- 25doi:10.1016/S0304-3959(01)00334-7.
7. Hogg-Johnson S, van der Velde G, Carroll LJ, et al. Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders. The burden and determinants of neck pain in the general population: results of the bone and joint decade 2000-2010 task force on neck pain and its associated disorders. Spine 2008;33(suppl):S39-51doi:10.1097/ BRS.0b013e31816454c8.
8. Côté P, van der Velde G, Cassidy JD, et al. The burden and determinants of neck pain in workers: results of the bone and joint decade 2000-2010 task force on neck pain and its associated disorders. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2009;32(Suppl):S70-86doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2008.11.012.
9. Corcoran, K.L., Dunn, A.S., Green, B.N., Formolo, L.R. and Beehler, G.P., 2018. Changes in female veterans' neck pain following chiropractic care at a hospital for veterans. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 30, pp.91-95.
When people think of chiropractors, they tend to think about our work on the spine. But did you know that we work on ALL the joints of the body? Yep, that’s right, from your head all the way down to your toes.
We find that this whole-body approach is extremely important in helping you reach your full potential. And this is even more important with our little sprouts. Our clinical examination of children includes checking for dysfunctional movements of their arms and legs as well as their spine.
A recent study done in Melbourne on 202 cases of neonates and infants under the age of 12 months found 153 cases had extremity dysfunction, with 177 instances present (1). Over 70% of these were the shoulder, followed by the wrist (5%), knee (5%), and elbow (2.5%).
The majority of shoulder dysfunction was found on the right side. This has been suggested to be caused when the shoulder girdle (being the widest part) is passing through the pelvic outlet during the birthing process (2). Other causes have been listed as, in utero positioning of the baby, and post-natal.
So, what is the big deal then? Well, the problem comes down to something we have talked to you all recently about, proprioception; how well can the brain see/feel what your body is doing. A recent study has shown that peripheral joint dysfunction will alter the proprioceptive feed back to the brain in as little as 10 hours (3). This was reversed by correcting the joint dysfunction. This tells us that if we find joints in our arms or legs that are not moving properly, it can impact on our ability to use them properly. This is important when we think of our little ones when they are learning things that we may take for granted, such as; crawling, walking, or even feeding ourselves.
We often get asked this in our practice and while we tailor our management and treatment specifically to every patient including babies, toddlers, children, adolescents, adults, the elderly and pregnant mums of all gestational ages, studies have confirmed that chiropractic care is safe for both mum and babies during pregnancy,.
Many changes are occurring in pregnant mums as they are growing their baby and can include many physical changes, hormonal changes and emotional stressors. Aside from that, approximately 75% of pregnant mum’s report suffering from back or pelvic pain. One study on 115 pregnant women found that there was a 70% improvement in pain within 1 month of being under chiropractic care.
Chiropractic adjustments also help relax pelvic floor muscle at rest which may also help increase the likelihood of having a natural vaginal delivery. Another study conducted showed that new mums experienced on average a 25% reduction in labour time when under chiropractic care through pregnancy and this rose to 31% reduction in labour time for mothers who were under care and also given birth previously. However, these were small studies and require further investigation.
So if you are pregnant or know somebody who is that is experiencing back or pelvic pain, we would love to see if we can help in managing their pain and help them enjoy the magical experience of their pregnancy and birth.
 Stuber, K. J., Wynd, S., & Weis, C. A. (2012). Adverse events from spinal manipulation in the pregnant and postpartum periods: a critical review of the literature. Chiropractic & manual therapies, 20, 8. https://doi.org/10.1186/2045-709X-20-8
 Borggren C. L. (2007). Pregnancy and chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature. Journal of chiropractic medicine, 6(2), 70–74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcme.2007.04.004
 Malmqvist, S., Kjaermann, I., Andersen, K., Økland, I., Brønnick, K., & Larsen, J. P. (2012). Prevalence of low back and pelvic pain during pregnancy in a Norwegian population. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 35(4), 272-278.
 Peterson, C. K., Mühlemann, D., & Humphreys, B. K. (2014). Outcomes of pregnant patients with low back pain undergoing chiropractic treatment: a prospective cohort study with short term, medium term and 1 year follow-up. Chiropractic & manual therapies, 22(1), 15.
 Borggren, C. L. (2007). Pregnancy and chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature. Journal of chiropractic medicine, 6(2), 70-74.
We get a lot of people visiting our practice due to Neck Pain.
Neck pain is commonly debilitating and often you struggle to do the things you love. Sleeping comfortably, getting out of bed or simply moving around is annoying at best. Neck pain can make you feel cranky and often you will snap at those you love. Correcting your neck pain helps you and often those around you (or at least we are often told).
It is hard to know what to do, there seems to be many options….You deserve to live life uninterrupted, feeling great and thinking clearly!
Neck pain is very common and has many different causes. Direct causes of mechanical neck pain are rarely identifiable. Most neck issues are functional problems as a result of imbalances in neck support structures. Over time this tends to result in degenerative change that then leads to greater problems with the anatomy itself which can be irreversible depending on presentation.
For neck pain, a thorough diagnosis is important to lay the foundation for appropriate treatment and rehabilitation. Neck pain treatment reduces the likelihood of recurrent flare-ups and helps prevent the development of chronic (longer term) issues.
There are lots of reasons why you might have neck pain, there are also many different symptoms with neck pain. Here at Little Sprouts Chiropractic (yes we see big sprouts too), we will help identify why you have the pain, then we will develop a game plan specific to you, to help you manage your recovery. We use natural and gentle means to help manage your recovery. Amongst other tests we look at muscle weakness patterns and dermatome or numbness patterns in the arms and hands to help diagnose the problem (1,2).
One easy test you can do at home to determine if you have early signs of neck trouble (remember get to the cause before it becomes a big issue) is a simple range of motion test. Data from a scientific study suggests that there are early range changes associated with the development of neck pain (3). If you go through the following ranges: flexion, extension, side band and rotation; and there are ranges that hurt or are restricted, it would be worth getting screened.
Another test we use is Spurlings test (4). The Spurling test is a medical maneuver used to assess nerve root pain (also known as radicular pain). WARNING DO NOT do this at home (there are some reasons why you should not do this test - we won’t be discussing here) a trained professional must use this test. The examiner turns the patient's head to the affected side while extending and applying downward pressure to the top of the patient's head. A positive Spurling's sign is when the pain arising in the neck radiates in the direction of the corresponding dermatome (skin supply) on the same side. It is a type of cervical compression test.
Patients with a positive Spurling's sign can present with a variety of symptoms, including pain, numbness and weakness. In addition to the clinical history, the neurological examination may show signs suggesting a cervical radiculopathy. This can indicate a disc issue, other symptoms of this are usually numbness into the hands and pain although you may not be experiencing these issues.
We are passionate about what being well means, and love seeing you and your family reach maximum potential and experiencing all that life can offer. If you have a neck issue of any sort make sure you get in early and get it properly diagnosed and checked out.
We get a lot of people visiting our practice with Shoulder Pain. For many people with shoulder pain it is hard to know what to do, there seems to be many options….
Read on to check out one simple test to see if you have a problem that we may be able to help manage. Recent studies show that management should focus on prevention and early intervention in shoulder complaints (1).
When you have Shoulder pain you feel irritated and frustrated, it is hard to move and pick things up, let alone exercise. It becomes hard to think clearly and to truly enjoy life when your activities are limited.. Yoga, golf, simply picking up a shopping bag or hugging your child becomes difficult!! Recent research has demonstrated the most problematic areas are placing objects on a high shelf, washing one's back and carrying heavy objects (1).
The shoulder is the most flexible joint in your body, and given the number of everyday activities it's involved in—from brushing your hair to reaching up into the cupboard—it's easy to see why shoulder pain is something you'd want to get to the bottom of right away. Without free movement, often you struggle to do the things you love.
Your shoulder joints move every time you move your arms. These bones are held together by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The shoulder joint has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. Because of this mobility, the shoulder is more likely to be injured or cause problems. The acromioclavicular (AC) joint, which lies over the top of the shoulder, is also easily injured.
There are many different types of Shoulder Issues and most are diagnosed by history and presenting factors. There are lots of reasons why you might have shoulder pain, there are also many different symptoms with shoulder pain. Here at Little Sprouts Chiropractic we will help identify why you have the pain, then we will develop a game plan specific to you, to help you manage your recovery. We isolate the major muscles and do very specific strength testing on these muscles to ascertain where the problem is. We also do stability tests and range of motion testing to work out if the shoulder problem is stemming from somewhere else (eg the neck). We then go about balancing the joints that support the shoulder and the shoulder joint itself.
We use natural and gentle means to help manage your recovery.
Here is a simple tests you can do with someone else to see if we might be able to help manage your shoulder.
It is called speeds test. Speeds test is traditionally used to detect an injury to the long head of the biceps (1). We also use a modified form of this test to determine if there is scapular (shoulder blade) instability. Simple stand with your arm outstretched in front of your body with your palm up. Have someone push gently down on the arm just above the wrist. If the arm can hold against the pressure the test is a pass. If the arm cannot hold against resistance (or there is pain) there is a good chance you have either a biceps issue or scapular instability. This can indicate irritation or injury to the suprascapular nerve. A mechanism of suprascapular nerve injury is traction (2), this happens when there is scapular instability. Mechanical stretching of the nerve will weaken certain muscles (we check for these) and this can cause shoulder issues and pain. If this is the case we can help out with you management. There are lots of other causes of issues and we will screen for these.
The Drs and Staff of Little Sprouts Chiropractic