IT WILL GO AWAY - The Three Most Dangerous Words!
Symptoms you have been ignoring - Are they important?!
Because it is difficult to live life perfectly early SYMPTOM recognition, APPROPRIATE interpretation and relevant ACTION is the key to great health. – Jeremy Thomas (DC)
Read the three Important Points Below about Symptoms.
1. Symptoms accumulate and in turn cause other symptoms often that seem unrelated…. Interestingly in a study Neck pain of Grade 3-4 was strongly associated with low back pain, headaches, cardiovascular disorders and digestive disorders (4). As an example look at Low Back Pain research - As well as significantly affecting activity participation, LBP is frequently associated with co-morbidities such as depression, with rates 2.5 times those in people without LBP (1).
2. Symptoms experienced if mismatched with expectations can lead to huge consequence…. Looking at heart attack symptoms: The most common symptoms expected by patients with myocardial infarction were central chest pain (76%), radiating arm or shoulder pain (34%), and collapse (26%). The most common symptoms experienced were sweats or feeling feverish (78%), chest pain (64%), and arm, shoulder, or radiating pain (66%). A mismatch between symptoms experienced and those expected occurred in 58% of patients, and was associated with delay in reaching hospital (2). It is VERY important in this case to know appropriate symptoms and act accordingly!
3. Covering up a Problem Flat Out Does Not Work As A Long Term Solution!....While not as obviously urgent, other symptoms in the body are an indicator that something is going on. The analogy of the smoke alarm comes to mind when discussing symptoms.
If a smoke alarm were beeping, would you simply cut its power source or take the batteries out? A better solution is to find the source of the smoke and deal with it!
Another example is something we have discussed before in other blogs; the latest Guidelines recommend non-pharmacological (non drug) care as the first treatment option and reserves pharmacological care for patients for whom non-pharmacological care has not worked in Low back pain (3). Basically DO not use Surgery or Drugs as a first line effort for low back pain is the latest advice. Do not cover these things up whatever they are - do as much as you can to get to the cause!
If you have early health symptoms – get checked out AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
By decreasing the amount we move each day, we have increased the severity of poor posture and in turn, its negative effects on health(1). Daily activities that we now consider common, like sitting at a desk, driving instead of walking, and even playing video games, may lead to incorrect posture.
What is poor posture?
Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting or lying down. When your posture is poor this can increase pressure on your spine and contribute to tension, soreness, headaches, back pain and fatigue. Australian adults, on average, spend an estimated five hours per day sitting, with a quarter of the population sitting for more than eight hours per day(2) including the 67% that play video games recreationally(3). This time sitting and hunching over a desk or on the couch can add pressure to the spine.
A healthy posture is all about healthy movement, by both your spine and your body. It does take discipline to correct poor posture, but there’s no doubt the benefits are well worth the effort.
The Straighten Up app, developed by the Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA) is designed to help everyday Australians maintain and improve their spinal health. Use the app to set reminders and receive notifications about sitting right, stretching, improving posture and even staying hydrated.
Download the FREE app and get your posture Ready for Life today!
Click Here for the App
At Little Sprouts we are aware of a media storm on Chiropractic at the moment, particularly Paediatric care and Applied Kinesiology. This tends to happen every so often. We want to give you the heads up on what is going on and reassure you that we are open for all ages and business is as usual here. We are compliant with the recommendations.
In addition to five years of pre-registration education to be register as a chiropractor, my wife and I (and some of our Doctors) have completed 2 years (1100) hours of post-graduate paediatric education – a requirement for full membership with the Australian College of Chiropractic Paediatrics (ACCP). Our priority is to provide care in a safe and best evidence informed manner.
We perform rigorous assessment and develop treatment plans that fall within our skill set, in accordance with a patient’s individual needs. Chiropractors, including myself, treat more than 30,000 children (0-18) a week in Australia.
When treating all patients, however paediatrics in particular, safety is at the forefront of all care. We use a range of care modalities and specific manual therapies that are only used after thorough and age-specific individual assessment. When treating children, techniques and therapies are significantly modified in practice and pressure to ensure the safety of the patient, which is always our chief concern. All of our chiropractors have been extensively trained in paediatric care.
Despite recent media coverage, it is also important to consider that chiropractic is a very low-risk health profession, and serious adverse events are very rare and should be justified in context with the large numbers of children who enjoy the health benefits of visiting a chiropractor. A recent review (Todd 2014) concludes that the occurrence of serious events to SMT in the paediatric ages is rare.
I understand there is some confusion on chiropractic care and its avenues for treatment. I am proud of what we do, and as such if you have any other questions reply to this e-mail and we will get back to you.
Please view and share the video where Dr James and I explain all of this. It can be found here:
(1) Todd, A.J., Carroll, M.T., Robinson, A. and Mitchell, E.K., 2015. Adverse events due to chiropractic and other manual therapies for infants and children: a review of the literature. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 38(9), pp.699-712.
Neck pain is a common presentation to a chiropractic office, with an annual prevalence of up to 50% and a re occurrence rate of 50-85% for as long as 5 years. A common theme we hear in our offices is “I have tried everything”, and we are often seen as a last resort, despite having excellent outcomes for neck pain, especially when using a multi-modal approach, such as acupuncture combined with chiropractic treatment (1).
Acupuncture is an excellent adjunct treatment to go along with the usual manual therapies that a chiropractor will use for the treatment of many presenting complaints including neck pain. Acupuncture has been shown to help with musculoskeletal pain in general through a number of different mechanisms such as pain gating theories, where the needles will stimulate chemical reactions within the nervous system to release neuropeptides to activate mid brain structures that controls the descending pain-relieving system. This descending system controls endorphins, serotonin and noradrenalin, some of your “feel good” and “relaxing” hormones within the body (2).
A 2016 Cochrane Review concluded that acupuncture is safe and can be beneficial for the management of chronic neck pain with or without radicular symptoms, predominantly for the short term (3).
What this means for you is that we can use acupuncture as an additional treatment for your neck pain to help reduce your immediate pain symptoms so that we are better able to get to the root cause!
So if you have neck pain, or know someone who does, why not come in and ask one of our Chiropractors how we can help.
Joint pain or injury is common. Neck pain, back pain, hip, shoulder, elbow or knee pain is annoying! This is an important article that could make the world of difference to you if you have any of this.
Even elite athletes have these same issues.
“Muscle imbalances exist in a wide range of athletes performing at the elite level and may be related to injury occurrence” (1).
Many patients go from one Dr or specialist to another without resolution of their musculoskeletal complaint. Sometimes underlying these physical problems are muscle imbalances.
When you have joint pain you feel down and frustrated, it is hard to be in the moment, to be 100% present and to truly enjoy life. It is hard to know what to do, there seems to be many options….
When you see someone who lives and breathes treating muscle imbalance every day, someone who is fanatical and is energised every single time they get a win for their patients, you’ll finally be in the right hands so that you can get the care you deserve, get back to loving your life of activity and being more “you”.
If you’ve ever wanted to move towards living your life pain free then keep reading, this information might just change your life.
The muscles we are talking about here are skeletal muscles. Skeletal muscles work because the brain and nervous system control them; as such, it should be referred to as a neuromuscular system, which includes the brain and spinal cord, the muscles, and the nerves that connect them.
Basically muscles can range from very loose muscles that are very weak with no perceivable contraction, to the other extreme of hypertonic or very tight muscles.
As an example, in the sitting position put your hands around your thigh muscle (upper leg about a hands width above your knee), contract your thigh by straightening your leg (make sure to leave the foot on the ground, simply slide it along) and feel the top muscle (quads) contract, at the same time the bottom muscle (hamstrings) will relax. If you do the opposite the hamstrings will contract and the quads will relax.
If these muscles did not behave in this way it would be a disaster. Imagine if the top muscle held on while the bottom muscle tried to contract. The joint could tear, be compressed or may not move at all. Now imagine that when we bend or walk the thousands of nerve signals and muscle contractions that have to occur in precisely the right sequence and force that are imperative for proper function.
A muscle that stays too relaxed is referred to as abnormal inhibition and sometimes called “weak” (although this is not true weakness, which refers to the lack of power). In most cases, this inhibition causes an opposite muscle to become too tight, a condition called abnormal facilitation. Together, these abnormal muscles (muscle imbalance) can adversely affect the joint(s) they control, the tendons they’re attached to, and other muscles, ligaments, bones, and body areas (such as the pelvic, spine, or head) all over. This will also cause an imbalance in posture and an irregular gait and often eventually pain. Studies demonstrate that trunk eccentric/concentric and flexion/extension strength imbalances may be associated to episodes or chronic prevalence of LBP (2).
At Little Sprouts (yes we see adults too) we work out muscle imbalance through postural observation, and then testing individually around 80 muscles on your body. We also look at excess bulking or reduction in size of a muscle from one side of the body to another.
We run an electromyographic (EMG) scan, which is a scan to give feedback on muscle activity of the spine from the neck to the pelvis. Studies using EMG are commonly used in research and by clinicians to treat various types of muscle problems. Like most other muscle evaluations, there are no clear standards for gathering and assessing different types of EMG findings. However, comparing before and after treatment measurements can be very useful to determine whether improvements are being made and which therapies may be most successful.
We also use manual muscle testing. Manual muscle testing involves physically evaluating individual muscles. This is accomplished by first positioning an arm, leg, or other body part associated with a particular muscle’s action. In this position, the practitioner applies force against the patient’s force from that particular muscle. Weakness due to abnormal inhibition may exist if the resistive force cannot properly be maintained, or sometimes if there is excessive pain.
Properly done, manual muscle testing can help differentiate between neuromuscular imbalance, and exercise imbalance.
If any of this relates to you then you’ll be glad to learn that we would love to see if we can help you. We promise not to waste your time or money!
Did you know… The way you’re sitting in your chair RIGHT NOW might be predisposing you to neck pain. This is an important article for you and anyone you know that uses a desk daily.
“Slump sitting” also referred to as upper or proximal crossed syndrome is associated with neck flexion and forward head carriage which causes an imbalance of muscles in the neck and upper body (1). Often when sitting at desks for long periods of time, our important spinal and neck stabilizing muscles fatigue which can result in the recruitment of larger associated muscles. We often see hypertonic (too tight) pectoral and upper trapezius muscles in conjunction with hypotonic (weak) deep neck flexors and rhomboid muscles. Slump sitting and the imbalance of muscles that usually result from it, can also be accompanied by neck tension and pain.
Office workers with and without neck pain were found to have a 10% increase in forward head posture from their relaxed sitting postures when working with a computer (2). This suggests that office workers [or anyone who works with a computer including school aged children and teenagers] is at risk of developing forward head posture along with postural fatigue that we see in upper crossed syndrome.
The good news though is that there is strong evidence to support the effectiveness of endurance and strengthening exercises for treating non-specific neck pain in office workers (1). Exercises to strengthen the deep neck flexors and to encourage mobility of the spine can be found in the link below. Little Sprouts Chiropractic offers these to you for free as we are always striving to help you reach your BEST life possible!
Does your child suffer from recurrent neck pain? Mechanical neck pain resulting from day to day activities? Which may be from poor ergonomics at school and home, extended use of iPads or laptops? This is an important article that could make the world of difference to them.
“Neck pain is the most common spinal pain in paediatric patients” (1,2)
As children are studying harder, and moving into a new generation where a lot of new technology is adopted, a lot of mechanical stress and ergonomic stress is placed on their spines. We have all heard about the “text neck” and other new age labels for issues that come about from extended use of technology.
But the good news is with correct management, mechanical neck pain issues can be minimised. In a recent literature article, where the study was a retrospective case series of 50 paediatric patients. Paediatric mechanical neck pain appears to be successfully managed by chiropractic care, with no serious adverse events. (3)
“It hurts me to see children in pain without any relief provided. As it limits the full expression of their capabilities and their enjoyment of life”
1.Mikkelsson M, Salminen JJ, Kautiainen H. Non-specific musculoskeletal pain in preadolescents. Prevalence and 1-year persistence. Pain. 1997; 73:29-35.
2. El-Metwally A, Salminen JJ, Auvinen A, Macfarlane G, Mikkelsson M. Risk factors for development of non- specific musculoskeletal pain in preteens and early adolscents: a prospective 1-year follow-up study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disord. 2007;8:46.
3. Cox, J., Davidian, C. and Mior, S., 2016. Neck pain in children: a retrospective case series. The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, 60(3), p.212.
Neck pain is one of the most common reasons people come and see a chiropractor. This doesn’t seem surprising when you consider that the annual prevalence of neck pain is up to 50%, and that then 50-85% of those with neck pain will have recurrent or persistent pain for as long as 5 years (1).
It blows my mind that someone can put themselves through pain for that long! Yet, we see it nearly every day when seeing a chiropractor is their last resort. “I have tried everything else” or “they want to operate; do I need surgery?”.
Sometimes this delay in trying chiropractic care is due to fear, or the belief that it is dangerous. This just isn’t the case, studies have shown that not only is it safe compared to a lot of other treatment options, but that it is often a better treatment option that medications (2, 3, 4).
As for the need for surgery, it really should be the last resort (5). It has been shown that patients with cervical (neck) disk herniations treated with chiropractic adjustments can improve, and the sooner it is treated, the faster the outcome (6).
So, if you are reading this, and you have neck pain, or know someone who does, stop putting it off and get it checked out!
Click to see details of where to book in. We will let you know if we can help and promise not to waste your time or money!
Do you or have you ever suffered with back pain? This is a VIP look into what we do at Little Sprouts - yes we see adults too!! :)
“While 40% of people with an episode of Low Back pain (LBP) will recover within six weeks, 48% still have pain and disability at three months and, of those, almost 30% will not recover at 12 months (1).”
”As well as significantly affecting activity participation, LBP is frequently associated with co-morbidities such as depression, with rates 2.5 times those in people without LBP” (2).
If left without intervention by a passionate practitioner who lives and breathes it, then back pain can get worse, it can recur again and again with further deterioration each time, treatment takes longer and gets more expensive, and in severe cases, the effects cannot be reversed.
When you have backpain you feel down and frustrated, it is hard to be in the moment, to be 100% present and to truly enjoy life. It is hard to know what to do, there seems to be many options….
When you see an expert, someone who lives and breathes treating back pain every day, someone who is fanatical and is energised every single time they get a win for their patients, you’ll finally be in the right hands so that you can get the care you deserve, get back to loving your life of activity and being more “you”.
Check out what we specifically do in our practice (graphic below) and if you need more help either download our :
The Top 10 Strategies to Target Back Pain
Click Here for details to Book an Appointment
Be one step closer to living your life uninterrupted, feeling great and thinking clearly! We promise not to waste your time or money!
SEE BELOW FOR YOUR VIP LOOK INTO OUR PROTOCOL FOR LOW BACK PAIN AT LITTLE SPROUTS
Do you or have you ever suffered with low back pain? What are the common causes? This is an important article that could make the world of difference to you.
“Low back pain is now the number one cause of disability globally” (1)
Low back pain affects many people, with significant negative impacts on work capacity as well as the overall wellbeing of an individual. Coupled with escalating health care costs, low back pain frequently results in a significant effect on physical and psychological health, and a decline in the performance of social responsibilities including work and family (2)
Some common causes include:
By improving body posture and adopting spine-friendly movements, load on the spine can be significantly decreased. Studies on the effects of such programs have found long-term positive results in decreased intensity of pain and disability, improving spine functions, fewer recurrent LBP episodes and a decreasing number of days off through low back pain (3).
How you sleep plays an important role in managing back pain, as certain positions place more strain on the back than others. Studies show that a medium firm mattress improved musculoskeletal pain and modified sleep (4). Newer bedding systems increased sleep quality and reduced back discomfort (5).
Alteration of foot position can influence pelvic alignment and the activity of important muscles when walking (6). In a large study, findings indicate that pronated foot function (rolled in foot or flat foot), is significantly associated with low back pain in women after adjusting for age, weight, smoking and depressive symptoms.
Inappropriate lifting and carrying of heavy loads:
Lifting things without bending your legs and keeping your back straight, puts a lot of strain on the lower back.
The role of psychological distress in the development of low back pain has been highlighted by a number of research authors. Factors such as anxiety and depression, catastrophizing, kinesophobia (fear of movement), and somatization (the expression of distress as physical symptoms or their persistence) have been suggested as risk factors for low back pain in prospective studies in adults and children. (2)
Employment and workplace factors, both physical and psychological, have been associated with low back pain. Heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, and prolonged walking or standing were found to be predictors of future back pain (2)
But the good news, is that if you are proactive in taking care of yourself and have these common causes in mind you can minimise the risk and duration of low back pain. Chiropractic care may benefit too, there is evidence to suggest that in patients with recurrent and persistent LBP who responds well to an initial course of manual therapy, maintenance care resulted in a reduction in number of days with bothersome LBP per week, compared with symptom-guided treatment (7).
“If we know the causes, we should be better equipped to help ourselves. In reality, our own health is in our own hands, and there is no better day to make a change in the positive direction than today…”
(1) Hartvigsen, J., Hancock, M.J., Kongsted, A., Louw, Q., Ferreira, M.L., Genevay, S., Hoy, D., Karppinen, J., Pransky, G., Sieper, J. and Smeets, R.J., 2018. What low back pain is and why we need to pay attention. The Lancet.
(2) Manchikanti, L., Singh, V., Falco, F.J., Benyamin, R.M. and Hirsch, J.A., 2014. Epidemiology of low back pain in adults. Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, 17, pp.3-10.
(3) Jaromi M, Nemeth A, Kranicz J, Laczko T, Betlehem J. Treatment and ergonomics training of work-related lower back pain and body posture problems for nurses. J Clin Nurs. 2012 Jun;21(11-12):1776-84
(4)Ancuelle V, Zamudio R, Mendiola A, Guillen D, Ortiz PJ, Tello T, et al. Effects of an adapted mattress in musculoskeletal pain and sleep quality in institutionalized elders. Sleep Sci. 2015;8:115–120
(5)Bert H. Jacobson, Ali Boolani, Doug B. Smith. Changes in back pain, sleep quality, and perceived stress after introduction of new bedding systems. J Chiropr Med. 2009 Mar; 8(1): 1–8.
(6) Menz H. B., Dufour A. B., Riskowski J. L., Hillstrom H. J., and Hannan M. T., “Foot posture, foot function and low back pain: The Framingham foot study,” Rheumatology, vol. 52, no. 12, pp. 2275–2282, 2013
(7) Eklund, A., Jensen, I., Lohela-Karlsson, M., Hagberg, J., Leboeuf-Yde, C., Kongsted, A., Bodin, L. and Axén, I., 2018. The Nordic Maintenance Care program: Effectiveness of chiropractic maintenance care versus symptom-guided treatment for recurrent and persistent low back pain—A pragmatic randomized controlled trial. PloS one, 13(9), p.e0203029.