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.
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.