Archive for Back care tips – Page 3

Seven achievable New Year’s resolutions

Many of us love to make New Year’s resolutions but how many of these resolutions do we actually keep? Here’s a quick guide to seven healthy resolutions that you can easily keep in 2018.

1. Get at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. Many of the benefits of regular exercise can be experienced with as little as 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Not only will you decrease your risk of obesity and diabetes, you’ll also experience a reduction in back pain, migraine, and other neuro-musculoskeletal symptoms. Feel like you don’t have time? Try doing a 30 minute swim, a walk or even just some nice gentle stretching while watching TV. You can even do a five minute walk a few times a day around the office to get you up and moving away from your computer.

2. Deep breathing. Believe it or not, many of us often forget to breathe, especially when feeling stressed. This can make us more stressed and can promote illness because breath is fundamental to life. Meditation, going on walks, and taking breaks throughout the day can all aid in stress reduction. Lowering your stress can make your immune system more resilient and decrease chronic pain flare-ups. If you do feel stressed of overwhelmed, just remember to deep breathe and feel the immediate calming effects.

3. Laugh more often. Laughter doesn’t just relieve mental stress; it also fires off a cascade of physical reactions that benefit your health. Studies show that laughing can stimulate the heart, muscles, and lungs— not to mention the flurry of endorphins that are released after a good giggling session. Laughing is a natural way to anti-age, so laugh your way to being young again.

4. Eat your greens. Vegetables like broccoli and kale, which are rich in calcium, can help to decrease your risk of osteoarthritis. Spinach, lentils, and beans are high in magnesium, a vitamin shown to benefit patients with back pain. Wherever possible, try to buy spray free vegetables or even grow your own and save money.

5. Quit smoking. Cigarette smoking increases your risk of spinal conditions and arthritis. Smoking cessation has been linked to an improvement in spinal pain. As a bonus, new research shows that smokers who attempt to quit in January are more successful because of the extra motivation the New Year provides. If part of your New Year’s resolution is to save money, imagine how much you would save by quitting smoking. You could use that money to take yourself on a fantastic holiday at the end of the year.

6. Lose weight. Carrying extra weight increase the load on your spine and joints, making you more susceptible to sciatica, disc herniation, and osteoarthritis. The key to losing weight is patience. Don’t just jump on the latest fad diet in the hope of rapid weight loss. You may lose the weight initially but then it can easily pile back on once you return to your normal eating habits. Perhaps a better resolution to losing weight is changing to a healthy diet. Making a lifestyle change to a healthier way of eating provides for more sustainable weight loss.

7. See a chiropractor. The spine plays an important role in your overall health by ensuring that your nervous system is functioning smoothly. As spinal specialists, chiropractors relieve pain from spinal conditions and assist in improving your overall health. Research has shown that chiropractic adjustments reduce the stress hormone cortisol and boost the presence of infection-fighting antibodies in the body.

Christmas Survival Tips

Another year has flown by and Christmas is upon us again. As much as we love the holiday season it can take its toll on our bodies, in particular our spine and nervous systems.

Whether it is overindulging in a bit too much Christmas cheer, or dragging heavy pressies around the shops while stressing if you have everything organised in time for Christmas day, our bodies are under a lot of pressure over the busy Christmas period.
To help you survive the silly season here are some simple Christmas and New Year survival health tips.

• Keep moving! Go for a walk or do some of your daily stretching exercises and make it a regular part of your holiday period. With the warmer weather upon us it’s even a great time for a swim to get those muscles really moving without putting too much strain on your body.

• Leave Santa and his reindeer some fresh fruit and water with lemon, not chocolate or beer. We’re pretty sure he’ll have enough of those things on Christmas day. As much as possible, reduce chemical stressors that affect Santa’s vital spine and nervous system.

• Remember to maintain good posture and use correct lifting techniques when carrying heavy gifts at the shops or at home. Even a whole bunch of small gifts can become quite a big weight for the body to carry, so take special care of your back.

• If doing things you don’t normally do, like a spring clean, renovation or gardening, remember to take it easy and listen to your body for any warning signs such as any stiffness or pain. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong so stop what you are doing and rest until your body recovers. It’s better to not finish that gardening project or spring clean, or ask someone else to help you, rather than end up flat on your back on Christmas day.

• Just because it’s Christmas does not mean you have to eat the whole pavlova or the whole cheesecake. Remember everything in moderation, and try to keep to a normal everyday routine. According to ‘Nutrition Australia’ we put on an average of 0.8-1.5kg over the xmas period. It could take weeks just to shed those kilos again and they put extra strain on your spine.

• Make an alcohol deal with yourself! Don’t have any more than you would have had normally if it wasn’t Christmas. Alcohol only dehydrates you and has vast negative effects on your health and wellbeing. If you do decide to drink, try to substitute every second glass with a glass of water to keep yourself well hydrated, which is particularly important in summer given that our bodies lose so much water trying to keep ourselves cool in the hot weather.

• Anxiety, depression and stress are very common during the festive season. Take some time out for either yourself or your immediate family. Whether it is a hobby, a nice dinner at home or a quiet getaway. Also, playing your favourite music, meditation and yoga can all help to ease stress. Stress has a direct impact on your nervous system and on your spine so take it easy.

• Get enough sleep. Plan for some early nights in as the silly season can cause havoc with our sleeping routines. If you do feel a little tired during the day, try to catch a 10 – 15 minute catnap if possible to give you that extra bit of energy until you can get your sleeping patterns back on track.

Lane Chiropractic has you covered over Christmas and will be open every day over the Christmas break, except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. We accept HICAPS for immediate claims on health funds, and remember you have until December 31 to claim for this year’s health rebates on most health funds so it’s a great time to use the benefit before you lose it. We also accept the GP referral program. For an appointment call us on 6676 2270. Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday to everyone.

YOUR SIDE PROFILE MIGHT INDICATE BACK OR NECK PAIN TRIGGERS

Paying attention to your side profile could help avoid neck and back problems and improve quality of life. New research published by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) suggests that those whose heads lean forward are most likely to be currently suffering from back or neck pain (58%), followed by those with an excessively arched lower back (56%).

The BCA researchers asked women (whom the study was focused on) which side-shape they are, with four broad categories of altered posture compared to the ideal.

• Spoon – flat back, rounded shoulders

• Leaning tower – head leans forward

• Bridge – arched back

• Flat-pack – flat back

Whether you stand like a spoon or a leaning tower, a bridge or a flat back, your side-shape may indicate problems ahead.

Posture has also been shown to have an effect on many other areas of health and wellbeing beyond symptoms of pain such as mood, energy levels, self-confidence, range of motion, and change in the release of stress hormones. Poor posture can also negatively impact on decision making, work productivity and other areas of life.

The good news is that making changes to your posture doesn’t call for extreme dieting or exercise programs and can be managed simply with the help of your local chiropractor.

People who want to improve their back and neck pain symptoms through a better posture should try imagining they have a plumb line hanging straight from their ears to ankles – with everything in the middle sitting on the same line.

One way to do this is to try standing in a relaxed way and then gently contracting the abdominal muscles. When sitting, the gravity line should pass thorough ear, shoulder and hip.

Back Your Inner Athlete

BACK YOUR INNER ATHLETE focusses on how you can perform and live better by backing your inner athlete through good spinal function, reducing pain, improving posture and taking care of your health.

You don’t need to be a sporting professional to achieve peak performance. You can perform and live better through reducing pain, maintaining good spinal function and living a healthy lifestyle.

The Chiropractors’ Association of Australia encourages you to Back Your Inner Athlete by making sure you have the three P’s of chiropractic care tended to:

REDUCE PAIN by helping de-stress your spine
IMPROVE POSTURE by educating you on correct posture
ACTIVATE PERFORMANCE by placing importance on good spinal health and function, alleviating pain, improving posture and mobility, and living a healthy lifestyle, to assist with improving performance in life.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), ‘globally, around 31% of adults aged 15 and over were insufficiently active in 2008 (men 28% and women 34%). Approximately 3.2 million deaths each year are attributable to insufficient physical activity’.1

REDUCE PAIN
Back pain can result from injury, spinal abnormalities, degenerative conditions and even poor posture – all of which can prevent you from backing your inner athlete.

DID YOU KNOW?

Back pain is the third most common reason for taking time off work.3
Work-related activities, including lifting heavy weights, bending and twisting and even working in the same position for extended periods can contribute to lower back problems.4
Parents of young children are at risk of back problems due to lifting and twisting while carrying children.
Children are not immune to back problems.
DIY and gardening can have an impact by placing stress on the back.
In older people, postural issues can effect everyday activities.
Chronic back pain can lead to a range of health issues including reduced mobility, quality of life, longevity and depression.
Neck pain is the second most common reason patients seek chiropractic care and is a leading cause of disability. Neck pain can be caused by degenerative conditions, poor posture, stress, poor hydration and bad sleeping conditions.
FINDING A SOLUTION TO BACK YOUR INNER ATHLETE

Due to the nature of the pain and its causes, a holistic approach is needed in most cases to re-educate and adjust the body to reignite that inner athlete. Chiropractors are trained and knowledgeable professionals who use skill – not force or strength – to conduct adjustments that address the cause instead of simply treating a symptom. Chiropractic care is individually based: discuss your specific needs with your chiropractor.

IMPROVE POSTURE
Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down. Your posture directly affects your health.

Correcting bad posture does take discipline, but there’s no doubt the benefits are well worth the effort.

The first step is understanding the bad posture habits our lifestyle may expose us to and then taking steps to address them.

Poor posture may cause headaches, soreness, back pain, fatigue, respiratory issues, poor digestion and tension by putting pressure on your spine. In many cases, this can be prevented with the correct education, adjustment and awareness of the issue. While it may take some diligence to undo bad habits, it’s worth persevering.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Have an ergonomic assessment. If you have a desk job, this is essential in helping to maintain your spinal health.
Be mindful of how you perform everyday tasks – from picking up the kids to gardening, don’t put undue stress on the neck and back.
Move regularly. Walking is a great start.
Visit your local CAA chiropractor. These professionals are educated to assist your management of back and neck issues.
Download the ‘Back Your Inner Athlete’ augmented reality CAA Back App from the Apple App Store or on Google Play.
ACTIVATE PERFORMANCE
By placing importance on good spinal health and function, alleviating pain, improving posture and mobility, and living a healthy lifestyle, one can improve performance in life.

Back Your Inner Athlete by building core muscles to help support your spine, which provides stability and protection. A good place to start is simply walking regularly to boost mood, alertness and energy levels. It’s easy, accessible and free!

You can integrate walking into your lifestyle by planning ahead, setting goals, using a pedometer, tracking ‘everyday’ activity, engaging your friends and rewarding yourself when you reach your goals.

To help make walking easier, the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia developed the Just Start Walking mobile app which can be downloaded here.

An active spine is a healthy spine, and a healthy spine leads to a healthier life.

Four Back Benefits of Walking

Walking is a simple, inexpensive and easy activity with many benefits for health and general wellbeing. Walking regularly can improve heart and lung function, aid in weight-loss, decrease bone loss, and can also boost mood, alertness and energy levels, but did you know that walking can benefit your spinal health too?

1. Increases circulation to the spine

Walking increases circulation, bringing the body into balance and increasing stamina as blood pressure is lowered by the increased circulation. The continual flow of blood ensures that nutrients make it the spine and the surrounding soft tissues are nourished and enriched.

The movement of blood through the body nourishes all of the muscles, making you stronger whilst also making it easier to exercise. Essentially, the more you walk, the easier it is to walk.

2. Helps rehydrate spinal disks

Our daily bodily movements cause compression on the spinal discs, squeezing out the discs’ water that provides cushion for the vertebrae. The increased circulation from walking helps to rehydrate the discs by moving water to where the discs can absorb it.

3. Improves postural position

Poor posture is often the result of sedentary positions such as office work or extended use of computers and mobile devices. Poor posture places extra pressure on the spine which can lead to tension, soreness, headaches and back pain.

Walking strengthens the body and helps position the spine in its upright natural shape. When walking properly you naturally adopt proper posture. Good posture allows you to breathe better and can help reduce fatigue and the other side effects associated with bad posture.

4. Relieves spinal stress and back pain

Walking is a low impact exercise that assists in improving flexibility and mobility. Accompanied by a regimen of stretching, walking can improve flexibility and a better range of motion.

Extra body weight causes stress on the spine as the body works harder to keep balance. Excess abdominal weight can cause a swayback effect on the spine. Walking aids weight loss and weight management, which in turn relieves the stress extra body weight causes the spine.

Just Start Walking!

The Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA) is committed to empowering people to walk more and enjoy the benefits of regular walking. The CAA’s health initiative Just Start Walking provides resources on getting the most out of walking and a mobile app which sends reminders and tracks progress. For more information on this initiative and to download the app to your phone, visit www.juststartwalking.com.au

The importance of good posture

As a chiropractor I am constantly reminding people of the importance of good posture for physical wellbeing. Here are some handy tips to maintain good posture so that you can feel great.
IN THE MORNING
When getting out of bed in the morning, use your hands and arms to support you into a sitting position. Then swing your legs to the floor and stand straight up.
Once out of bed, do some gentle stretches. Stand up and stretch you arms above your head. Hug yourself, by wrapping your arms around your body, then turning slowly as far as you can to the left and then the right without jerking.
DURING THE DAY
To keep your shoulders in their right position, stand tall as though there were a string attached to the top of your head that is being pulled up.
Avoid forward head posture by keeping your cheekbones and collarbone in the same vertical plane
Avoid slouching by imagining a headlight in your breastbone which should always shine forward, not down in your lap or on the floor.
Avoid sitting for long periods of time. Take brief walks during the day, or stand and stretch as much as possible
When standing, balance your weight equally on both legs and feet, being sure to put weight on the four corners of each foot.
Exercise regularly. Walking, swimming and other general conditioning exercises strengthen weak muscles and stretch those that are tight.
AT NIGHT
When bathing young children, be sure to bend from the hips. And use your legs when you lift your child.
Sleep on your side or back, not on your stomach. You can help reduce strain by popping a pillow under knees when sleeping on your back, or between your knees when sleeping on your side.

Child Scoliosis

We often get asked about scoliosis so we thought we’d share some facts. Lane Chiropractic provides free scoliosis assessments for school aged children. For an appointment call 6676 2270.

Scoliosis comes from the Greek words that means crookedness. When you have scoliosis, your spine’s straight position begins to bend sideways. It can take the form of a single curve (C-shaped) or as a double curve (S-shaped). The most commonly affected area is the mid spine, followed by the lower spine. Double curves usually involve both of these areas.
This condition most commonly occurs in the young, between 10 and 15 years old. Females are more likely to have scoliosis than males.

Most cases are quite mild but in some cases they can cause health problems.
Advanced scoliosis curvatures can contribute to chronic back pain, compression of lung and heart tissue, and a multitude of different nerve disorders. In addition, pronounced scoliosis can create a negative self-image.
What Causes Scoliosis?

Why scoliosis occurs in the spine is often a mystery. In fact, the most common form of this disorder is called adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (of unknown cause).
In some people, scoliosis curves can be traced to structural abnormalities, such as incorrectly formed vertebrae or disc derangements. Other times, these curves can be linked to imbalances in the spinal musculature, nervous system disorders or leg length differences.

Chiropractors conduct an Adams test to screen children and adolescents for scoliosis. During this test, a person bends forward to touch their toes and the chiropractor observes the ribs on either side of the spine. If one side of the ribs sits higher than the other, the chiropractor may suspect scoliosis.
Scoliosis is typically classified as mild, moderate, or severe. If the spine is bent less than 20 degrees from vertical it’s considered mild. Moderate scoliosis is measured between 20 and 55 degrees and a severe case is considered a lateral bend of more than 70 degrees.

Can Scoliosis Be Fixed?
For mild scoliosis curves, the patient is usually only monitored for progression. Most people with mild curvatures don’t experience bouts of back pain any more than the normal population. However, if the curve shows signs of rapid progression or increases beyond 30 degrees, treatment is recommended.
In every individual with scoliosis there are bound to be areas of spinal subluxation. This can contribute to spinal pain or nervous system disturbances. Fortunately, chiropractors are specially trained to locate and correct areas of spinal subluxation. If you suspect scoliosis, the first thing you should do is visit your chiropractor. Not only do they work hard to reduce the symptoms caused by altered spinal mechanics, chiropractors do their best to reduce the curve angle. Large studies on the effects of chiropractic for scoliosis have not yet been conducted, but numerous case reports show chiropractic adjustments can significantly reduce the angle of the scoliosis curve. In situations where conservative treatments are ineffective, such that the scoliotic curve continues to progress past 70 degrees, surgical corrections are usually the only remaining choice to prevent the condition from affecting heart and lung function.

Because of the dangerous nature of a scoliosis curve, parents are advised to watch for signs their child’s spine is starting to bend. The symptoms include uneven hips or shoulders, or the body leaning to one side. If it can be treated early, scoliosis damage may be minimised. Chiropractors are alignment specialists. Be sure to have your child’s spine checked regularly for early identification of abnormal spinal curves.