Archive for Back care tips

How to spot a good chiropractor

Just like a good doctor, a good chiropractor will have a great bedside manner, provide excellent treatment, show genuine care and compassion, and great communication to help you heal. Here are some quick tips to help you choose the right chiropractor for you:

  1. A good chiropractor will always take the time to do a thorough health assessment before treating you. This may involve asking about your health history, reviewing x-rays, and observing your body for signs of injury or pain.
  • A good chiropractor will give you a clear strategy of how they can help you. They will give you a clear plan of action on what treatments you need to get healthy and they will explain the reasons why they suggest certain therapies or treatments. Be wary of someone who won’t explain your treatment plan to you.
  • A good chiropractor will be sensitive to your pain and your personal needs. They will take the time to ask you consistently about your feelings and pain levels throughout the treatment process. A good chiropractor knows that pain is the body’s sign of injury and that something is wrong.
  • A good chiropractor will not stop treatment just because you’re without pain. Instead, they will work with you to restore your body to the healthiest position possible to help prevent injury without rushing the process it takes for your body to recover. However, they will also ensure to not over-treat you or pressure you into packages you may not need.
  • A good chiropractor will encourage you to take a holistic approach to healing through diet, exercise, posture and stretching.  They may also suggest and work with other practitioners such as GPs, acupuncturists, physiotherapists, podiatrists and massage therapists to ensure you receive an optimum level of treatment. They will provide guidance on exercises for your own self-care so that you are not constantly dependent on their services.
  • A good chiropractor will get to know you personally and make you feel comfortable. Because the body is attached to our mind and soul, your chiropractor must understand that letting someone into their personal space is a vulnerable process and therefore a great deal of empathy is needed.

Five ways to find the right chiropractor for you

  1. Try to get a referral. Friends, neighbours, family, and especially your primary medical doctor may recommend a chiropractor.
  2. Check if any of the recommended chiropractors are covered by your health insurance. If you receive a strong recommendation for someone not on that list, you might consider private payment or using the GP-referral scheme.
  3. Do a quality check for credentials to confirm if they are a current member of the Australian Chiropractor’s Association, where they received their qualification, and if there are any claims against them.
  4. Visit the practice website. Many chiropractors have websites, and these can be informative. Also look at their Facebook referrals, not just the number of stars but read the experiences of other patients.
  5. You may want to make a few phone calls of local chiropractors. Ask about appointment availability, insurance coverage, hours, etc. This is to see if you are treated with patience, courtesy and respect by the chiropractor’s office.

What to look for at your first few appointments

  • Does your chiropractor give sufficient time to you the first visit and on every subsequent visit?
  • Does he or she appear eager to help you get better as quickly as possible and to empower you to take care of yourself in the future?
  • Do you feel comfortable with your new chiropractor?
  • Are you getting better as a result of the treatments and not just the mere passage of time? (When effective treatment is given, most patients will see a significant improvement within the first few weeks of care, and sometimes even sooner.)
  • Is treatment physically comfortable? (Occasionally there may be some minor treatment soreness or even increase in symptoms after a treatment. This should not last more than a day or so, and improvement should be obvious with further care. If this happens, be sure to let your chiropractor know.)
  • Does your chiropractor have partnerships with other healthcare providers? Chiropractic is not a miracle cure. Whoever tells you that chiropractic can solve all health problems is probably someone you shouldn’t consult. Make sure your chiropractor works with other healthcare providers as well.

A good chiropractor is compassionate and puts you first, ready to build a long-term relationship to support your health needs now and into the future.

For more information contact Lane Chiropractic at 6676 2270.

Healthy Ginger Vegetable Congee

With winter upon is, it’s important to have plenty of nutritious, healthy food to support your immune system. Enjoy this great recipe we found on foodandwine.com.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw long-grain white rice, rinsed
  • 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 3 cm knob of ginger, peeled and sliced thin
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • Protein of choice (eg fish or tofu)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Sliced green onion, for garnish

How to Make It

Step 1    

In large pot add stock, rice, salt and ginger. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Stir occasionally so that the rice doesn’t clump or stick at the bottom.

Step 2    

While the congee is simmering prep the celery, broccoli and carrots: peeling, cutting, and dicing, as needed.

Step 3    

Simmer the congee for about 30 minutes then add the celery, broccoli, carrots and protein (fish or tofu – if using red meat or chicken ensure it is cooked separately before adding).

Step 4    

Continue to simmer until the congee is thickened and creamy, the vegetables are tender, and the protein is cooked through. Add soy sauce. Garnish with the sliced green onion and serve hot.

 Notes

As the congee cools, it will become thicker. Add additional stock or water if necessary to make the congee to your desired thickness. Serves 4.

Three ways to boost your immune system this flu season

With concerns about a second wave of COVID-19 during the current cold and flu season, it’s more important than ever to protect and boost your body’s immune system.

Just like a three-legged stool, your body’s nervous, endocrine and immune systems are linked. Therefore, it’s important to take a holistic approach to your health. Here are three ways you can help boost your body’s immune system during this flu season.

  • Reduce stress

There is much scientific evidence that shows long-term exposure to stress negatively impacts the immune system. Cortisol in particular is a hormone that can boost your body’s immune system when released in short bursts but ongoing stress can cause you to have too much cortisol in your blood, which can then inhibit the immune system over time. Now is the time to focus on reducing stress levels through relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga and pilates.

Chiropractic and massage treatments can also help reduce stress by unblocking the nervous system, clearing message pathways between the brain and body, and reducing muscle tension and pain.

  • Increase blood circulation

Even though it’s cold outside, it’s important to keep your blood circulating through exercise. Your blood is important for transporting oxygen around your body and helping to remove toxins.  Both of these functions are vital in protecting and boosting the body’s immune system.

Chiropractic adjustments can also help improve blood circulation by removing pressure from nerves, allowing blood to flow more freely.

  • Nourishment

With more bugs in the air, it’s important to ensure your body has the right nourishment for its defence systems.  This means plenty of leafy green vegetables – the more colour from natural foods in your food bowl even better! There are many fantastic and easy-to-make soup and casserole recipes available. Make a big pot of nourishing food and freeze the leftovers for use throughout the week.

For more information about how to keep your body healthy contact Lane Chiropractic on 6676 2270.

Free chiropractor in your pocket app

Whether working remotely or in the office, studying or playing sport, it’s important to take care of your back. It’s easy for us to take our backs for granted, until we develop back pain and other related problems.

To help keep your back in shape, the Australian Chiropractors Association has developed the Straighten Up as an ongoing community service initiative to improve your health and the way your body functions.

Consisting of a set of simple exercises and taking just three minutes to complete, Straighten Up will help improve posture, stabilise core muscle groups, and enhance health.

The exercises can be undertaken by Australians of all ages with a special program tailored for children., which helps them develop good habits for life.

The exercises can be completed at any time of day but are most beneficial when they form part of a daily routine. It’s hoped that over time all Australians will take a few minutes every day to care for their spinal health, just as they do for their dental health.

Studies conducted overseas indicate that 90% of people who adopted the exercises as part of their daily routine reported a postural improvement. Approximately 80% reported that their backs were more comfortable and that they had better core stability after practicing the activities for several weeks.

Straighten Up app

While your chiropractor can’t be there 24/7 correcting your posture, the Straighen Up App can! Designed to act as ‘Your Pocket Chiropractor’, this app aims to address the growing posture issues and back pain problems faced by Australians.

Features of the App:

  • Reminders: Set reminders to receive notifications about sitting right, stretching, taking breaks, drinking water and improving your posture.
  • Exercises: A 3-minute spinal health program designed to improve spinal health, stablise core muscle groups and enhance health.
  • Augmented Reality: Showing both good and poor posture in different settings. The augmented reality feature works in conjunction with Straighten Up postcards.
  • Locate A Chiropractor: The app shows a list of local ACA chiropractors on a map and also as a list.

Download the free Straighten Up app today through either Google Play or the App Store.

Google Play

Get the free walking app

According to the World Health Organisation, musculoskeletal conditions that reduce mobility, dexterity and functional ability, are the second largest cause of disability worldwide. Musculoskeletal conditions can have a damaging effect on your quality of life by affecting your ability to participate in work, social activities and sports.

With the burden of low back pain ranking first in Australia, it is likely that you or someone you know could suffer from back pain. Improving posture, maintaining an active lifestyle and keeping your spinal health in check can help you continue to do the things you love.

As the weather cools down, it can become too easy to live a sedentary lifestyle but it’s even more important in cooler weather to keep moving and alleviate stiffness in your joints.

If the gym or sports field isn’t for you then walking is another great way to keep active. Some benefits of brisk walking include increasing your heart and lung fitness, muscle strength and endurance, and it contributes to a naturally upright posture.

Need a little extra help to get you walking to a healthier life? The Just Start Walking app is just what you need. This free app was developed by the Australian Chiropractors Association to encourage Australians to get outside and to get walking! The app allows you to not only map your walk, but track the distance and time taken.

The app also displays your walking history, so you can see your improvements, features local walking events near you and lets you share your walk with friends on social media.

Download Just Start Walking and get active today!

Available on the App Store here: https://apps.apple.com/au/app/just-start-walking/id431040552

or Google Play here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=au.com.caa.JustStartWalking

Have you got your back?

Spinal Health Week – May 25 to 31

It’s national spinal health week, which is a great reminder that while your back supports you, are you doing the right thing to support your spine?

While it’s true that we all have a certain amount of mileage in our bodies, which are held up by our spines, here are three things you can do to increase your body mileage:

  1. Improve your 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,7 including the 67% that play video games recreationally.8 This time sitting and hunching over a desk or on the couch can add pressure to the spine.

That’s why it’s important to make sure whenever you are sitting or standing that you keep your head in a neutral position, keep your shoulders back and your spine straight. When lying down, make sure your back is well supported and avoid lying on your stomach, otherwise this requires you to turn your neck and that’s not good for the spine.

2. Keep Active

We need to remember that an active spine is a healthy spine. This is important at any age, however according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 56% of all Australians are not sufficiently physically active. This has a negative impact on your spinal health.

You don’t need to go to a gym to be active.  You only need to do regular exercise, whether that be walking, bicycle riding, swimming, or even stretching or yoga from the comfort of your own lounge room.  The key is to keep that spine moving!

3. Good nutrition

It is true that “you are what you eat”.  This means that whatever you consume is the fuel that drives your body.  To keep a well-oiled engine make sure you are eating plenty of natural, healthy foods and try to reduce sugar and fat in your diet.  Also drink plenty of water as hydration is key to good health.

For more healthy spine tips or to book a spinal assessment this week contact Lane Chiropractic on 6676 2270.

Four free, simple steps to ease stress, anxiety and depression

If you are feeling depressed, anxious or stressed, you are definitely not alone, particularly in these uncertain times. There are four simple things you can do right now to ease your feelings of tension and sadness:

  1. Focus on your breath

When we are feeling sad, anxious or stressed we tend to shallow breathe.  This puts stress on your body because you are not getting enough oxygen, which in turn further increases your emotional stress – so it’s a vicious cycle.

To break this cycle, simply sit quietly and focus on breathing slowly in through your nose for five seconds and then out through your mouth for five seconds. See if you can increase it up to 10 seconds, without putting stress on your body. Do this a few times and you will immediately feel some calming effects.  The beauty of this exercise is that you can do it anywhere – at home, at work, in the car and even on the toilet

2. Drink water

Similar to oxygen, our bodies need plenty of water to function. Did you know that often you can be dehydrated without even knowing that you are thirsty yet? Just like a lack of oxygen, a lack of water can put your body under stress and amplify feelings of stress, sadness and anxiety.   Try to drink at least eight glasses of water each day.

The best way to achieve this is start with a drink of water when you first get out of bed each morning (and when your body is often already dehydrated).  Even better if you can squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice in the water.

Try to avoid drinks that can contribute to dehydration such as coffee and soft drinks.  If you really don’t like the taste of plain water, add a squeeze of fresh juice to your cup, or if you want something more exotic, try a small splash of rose water for a very nice tasting rose petal drink

3. Stretch

It’s amazing how quickly our bodies can lock up on us, especially as we age. Stress, anxiety and depression cause muscle tension, which can very quickly turn into quite painful problems in the muscles, back, neck and joints. Our body being in pain further adds to our emotional stress.

To ease this, make a habit of doing a few small stretches each day, whenever and wherever suits you. Don’t overdo it of course, just enough so that your body feels a little bit of a release from muscle tension.

You may choose to bend forward and very slowly and gently try to get closer to touching your toes each day, or you may also choose to very gently give your neck a nice stretch by tilting your head to one side and then the other very slowly.  Find some stretches that make your body feel good and try to do a couple each day.  You can even do them while watching TV.

4. Get some sunlight

It’s a well-known fact that sunlight is a great source of feel good vitamins and, in particular, helps to naturally boost serotonin levels (which are the feel-good chemicals in your brain).

Try to sit outside or near a sunny window for a few minutes each day.  You will be amazed at how much this can help to lift your mood.  Even better if you can take a walk outside each day.  Just make sure to wear a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses whenever out in the sun to avoid sunburn.

How your chiropractor can help

While your chiropractor can’t rid you of the cause of your stress, whether it be work or family related, they can help to relieve you of the symptoms so that you can handle stress much better. Key benefits of chiropractic care include:

Eases nervous tension

Chiropractic care aims to find the right balance between your mind and body. Your spine is literally the backbone of your neurological system. Your brain communicates everything, including functions such as breathing and swallowing, with the help of the spine. As you feel stress and begin to tense up, this causes your spine to move.  After your chiropractor has adjusted it and your spine is in alignment, the central nervous system is unblocked so it can function the way it should. You may find yourself to be sick less, have more energy and feel less stressed overall.

Another benefit is the realignment of the spine helps improve blood circulation, and it allows your body to turn off the fight/flight response, which is integral to relieving your stress.

Triggers positive hormonesSpinal health influences almost every region of your body. Chiropractic adjustments lead to an increase in hormones such as neurotensin, oxytocin, and cortisol. These hormones are involved in positive nervous system functioning, such as:

  • Neurotensin: neutralises stress-induced pain
  • Oxytocin: boosts neuro-communication and feelings of social bonding
  • Cortisol: blocks pain deriving from inflammation.

Helps you get better sleep

Insomnia is a symptom of anxiety and/or depression. With chiropractic care, you may find getting to sleep a little easier. Studies show that chiropractic manipulation may also improve patient sleep patterns.

Relieves tension, stiffness and headaches

Patients with anxiety and/or depression also suffer from muscular tension. Chiropractic care can aid in reducing tension and stiffness, as well relieve pain related to tension headaches. Studies that measure electrical activity in muscles found that after a chiropractic adjustment, muscle activity was reduced by 25 percent.

If you’d like more information about how to reduce anxiety, stress and depression, or need help with managing the symptoms, contact Lane Chiropractic on 6676 2270.

How a cuboid can stop you from walking

If you experience pain in your foot near your little toe and it becomes difficult to weight bear or walk on your foot you may have cuboid syndrome.

Cuboid syndrome, also known as subluxation of the midtarsal joint, is caused by an injury to the joint and ligaments surrounding the cuboid bone, which is one of the seven tarsal bones in the foot. In this case, the cuboid bone moves out of alignment. This might happen after a sudden injury or overuse of the foot joint.

Pain is often felt around the middle of the foot, or at the base of the fourth and fifth toes. Cuboid syndrome can be difficult to diagnose and is sometimes confused with a stress fracture, but stress fractures are rare in the cuboid bone.

Cuboid syndrome is fairly common for people of all ages and particularly in people over 40 years of age, especially athletes and dancers. People who work on uneven surfaces, such as boats, or have had a past ankle injury may also be more prone to cuboid syndrome.

When cuboid syndrome is correctly identified and treated, most people make a full recovery.

Chiropractic care can provide relief for cuboid syndrome by helping to realign the cuboid bone. For more information contact Lane Chiropractic at 6676 2270.

Why work can be a pain in the neck

Back to work and already feeling the pain? As a chiropractor, I often see neck and back pain caused by poor posture, most commonly as a result of computer or mobile phone use. Here are a few simple exercises you can try to alleviate discomfort in your neck and back.

Sit Up Straight
Maintaining good posture by sitting up straight is an important way to prevent pain. Many of us slouch without even realising it and this can put a lot of pressure on your neck and back. You can experience some immediate relief when you move from a slouching position to a straight position. Throughout the day, rotate your shoulders back. Hold for a few seconds, relax and repeat a few times to help train your body to stay straight.

Another exercise that feels great and can be done from either a sitting or standing position is to pull your arms backward and—with fingertips pointing down—rest them on your buttocks. Then try to pinch your shoulder blades together. Hold for a few seconds. Relax and repeat.

Neck Flex

This exercise can be done sitting or standing. Look straight ahead. Now look down at the floor for a few seconds and then slowly up at the ceiling for a few seconds.

Return your head to a neutral positon and then turn your head very slowly to the right as far as you can. Hold for three seconds. Return your head to the centre and maintain this position for three seconds. Next, turn your head to the left and hold for three seconds. Finally, bring your head back to the centre.

Now tilt your head to the right and try to touch your right ear to your right shoulder without raising your shoulder. Hold for a few seconds. Relax and straighten your head. Then tilt your head to the left and try to touch your left ear to your left shoulder. Repeat three or four times.

Chin Tuck
Sit up straight in a chair with your shoulders back. Pull your chin down toward your neck but keep looking straight in front of you. Hold this for five seconds and then return your head to a neutral position. Repeat ten times.

Chin Raise
Tilt your chin up and turn your head slightly to the right side. Your chin should be lifted. Hold for 20 seconds. Now turn it slowly to the left, bringing your chin up as you look toward the ceiling. Hold again for 20 seconds.  Don’t lift your shoulders as you turn. Do this exercise three times on each side.

Thoracic Stretch

Stand up and rest your hands on the back of your head. Pull your elbows back slightly while stretching out your spine. Your eyes should be looking ahead. Hold this for 10 seconds. Repeat five times. 

Pain Prevention Methods

  • Be conscious of your posture while seated at your desk. You should be sitting up straight and the keyboard should be placed so that your elbows are flexed at 90 degrees. Make sure your shoulders are back, and don’t slouch.
  • Short periods of standing and walking throughout the day are beneficial. Get up from your desk once every 20 minutes. At a minimum, stretch or if possible, walk around your office for a few minutes. You could use this as an opportunity to get a glass of water so that you keep well hydrated throughout the day.
  • Be mindful of how you position your head while on your phone or at your laptop, You may be bending your head forward and slouching while looking at screens without even realising it.
  • Reposition your monitor. Raise or lower the monitor or your chair so your eyes are level with the top of the screen.
  • Keep frequently used tools close. Keep your mouse nearby, use a headset when talking on the phone frequently, and use a document holder so that you don’t have to look down when typing.
  • Use a chair that allows you to maintain the normal curves in your spine and try to avoid a chair with armrests. Raise or lower your chair so that you’re not sitting straight up at a 90-degree angle, but rather with a slightly reclined posture of 100 to 110 degrees. Ensure that your feet can easily touch the ground or use a foot stool if needed. Armrests can be restrictive to movement so try to use a chair without them.
  • If possible create a sit/stand workstation. This type of workstation helps you to more easily change your position and reduce the risk of neck and back pain from long periods of restricted movement.

If you experience any neck or back pain, it’s important to get diagnosed and treated early before it becomes a chronic problem. For more information or assistance contact Lane Chiropractic at 6676 2270.

How to ease tennis elbow

Anyone can get tennis elbow, even if you don’t play tennis. It describes pain or discomfort around the outside of the elbow as a result of over use of muscles in the forearm. This condition is called tennis elbow because it is common among tennis players, who often put the tendon leading to their elbow under repeated stress.

Similarly, pain on the inside of the elbow is often referred to as golfer’s elbow.

Tennis or golfer’s elbow generally occurs more in men than women. Even though these conditions are more prevalent among tennis players and golfers respectively, they can occur in anyone who undertakes work or leisure activities that involve repetitive use of the elbow, hand or wrist. For example, hairdressers, gardeners and heavy machinery operators are among people who may be impacted by tennis or golfer’s elbow.

Tennis elbow symptoms

Tennis elbow affects the muscles and tendons of your forearm that extend to your wrists and fingers. Symptoms may develop gradually, with mild pain that slowly worsens over time. It isn’t caused by an injury but by overuse of the tendons in your forearm. Symptoms include:

  • an ache or pain that occurs after gripping or squeezing objects
  • weak grip strength and a pain or burning sensation on the outer part of the elbow.

Golfers elbow symptoms

Golfer’s elbow impacts the forearm muscles that attach from the wrist to the “funny bone” area of the elbow near the inner bump. These muscles are used for wrist flexion (the twisting motion of the wrist), which explains its connection to golf. In this case symptoms include:

  • pain or tenderness near the funny bone, or inner bump of the elbow, as well as reduced grip strength.

Easing tennis and golfer’s elbow

There are a number of stretches and exercises you can do to ease both tennis and golfer’s elbow:

Wrist stretches

For tennis elbow: Hold your arm out in front of you, palm facing down and gently pull your hand and fingers back towards you using your other hand. This shouldn’t be painful as it is intended to give a slight stretch to your forearm. Hold for 30 seconds, relax, and repeat three times.

For golfer’s elbow: This exercise is similar to the one for tennis elbow but in this case hold your arm out in front of you with the palm facing up. Gently pull your hand and fingers back towards your body using your other hand. Hold for 30 seconds, then relax. Repeat three times.

Forearm exercises

Wrist Extension:  Begin with your elbow at a 90-degree angle, palm facing down, resting on a table’s surface. Gently extend your wrist to lift it off the table (this should not be painful). Repeat ten times. As you progress you can add weight, like holding a water bottle, to add resistance and incorporate strengthening into the exercise.

Wrist Flexion: This exercise is similar to the wrist exercise above, but the palm is in the other direction. For the wrist flexion exercise, begin with your elbow at a 90-degree angle, palm facing up, resting on a table’s surface. Gently extend your wrist to lift it off the table towards the ceiling (this should not be painful). Repeat ten times. You can also add weight resistance to add strength training to the exercise.

Grip Strengthening: For this exercise, all you need is a squishy ball or “stress ball.” Hold the ball in your hand and gently squeeze. Hold for five seconds, relax, and repeat ten times. This exercise is helpful for both tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow.

Strength Exercise: One of the common strengthening exercises you can do is informally called the “hammer exercise.” You will need a hammer as your weight resistance. Hold the handle of the hammer, and keep your elbow at 90 degrees, rested flat on a table’s surface. Slowly rotate the hammer towards the centre of your body, turning the direction of your palm downwards. Then slowly reverse the motion, rotating the hammer outwards—your palm begins facing up with the heavy side of the hammer pulling on your arm. Rest briefly. Repeat ten times.

In addition to these exercises you may benefit from a compression or stability elbow brace available from the chemist.

Sports chiropractic is highly effective at treating and quickly reducing the symptoms of both tennis and golf elbow. If you need assistance with tennis or golf elbow contact Lane Chiropractic on 6676 2270.