Archive for chiropractic

Three reasons to get a health check before starting a new exercise or sport

With spring already upon us, and summer just around the corner, it’s time to get our bodies beach ready, right?

But before starting a new exercise program, or re-starting exercise after the winter hiatus and COVID couch quarantine, there are three key reasons why it may be a good idea to consult your health care professional first.

1. Avoid injury

If you haven’t done exercise for a while, or are starting a new exercise program, you may increase your risk of muscular, joint or back injury. It’s advisable to get an assessment to determine any existing joint or muscular stiffness or weakness, so that your health care practitioner can advise you about steps to take so that you can avoid strain or injury when you exercise.

2. Identify the right exercise program that will deliver the best results for you

Sometimes we’d like to try a new sport or exercise, but it may not be the best fit for our body, particularly if you are susceptible to any musculoskeletal weakness. Your health care practitioner can look at your musculoskeletal system and your biomechanics to determine if the exercise or sport that you’d like to do puts you at greater risk of injury.  Then, they can either identify an alternative exercise program that may be better suited to your body type, or provide advice about measures that you can take to help reduce your risk of injury.

3. Check your heart health

With many of us confined during COVID quarantine measures, we have probably spent more time on the couch this winter than in previous years. Suddenly starting strenuous exercise could put strain on the heart and may result in cardiovascular issues. It’s a good idea to check your heart health, even with a quick visit to your GP, so that you maintain a healthy heart during exercise.

It’s much better to be safe than sorry when it comes to starting a new exercise program, so that you can avoid injury or too much strain on the body and be able to continue your exercise without the interruption of injury.

Lane Chiropractic in Pottsville is offering free 15 minute spinal and biomechanical health assessments during September. Get your free assessment before starting your new spring/summer exercise program to give your body the best chance of avoiding injury. To book your no obligation, free back and joint health check call 6676 2270.

Is your home office doing you harm?

Every week I see people with back and neck pain purely because they don’t have the right home office set up and are sitting still in one position for way too long.

When we are at a workplace, rather than home, we often tend to move around more to talk to colleagues, grab a cup of coffee, buy lunch, go to the printer etc. This activity tends to cease when working from home, and we can often forget to take those computer breaks that are critical to helping our minds and bodies reset.

To save you back, neck and joint pain – and reduce visits to your chiropractor, check out these simple tips on the attached Sunrise video for your home office set up.

There's been a big spike in back and neck aches as Aussies work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.Here are some simple and cheap ways to prevent the pain.More on this story: https://7news.link/3ejMwtz

Posted by Sunrise on Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Why do our joints crack?

Do you ever wonder why your joints crack? There are a few simple reasons.

Our bodies tend to creak and groan at the best of times, especially as we age.  This is often due to a condition called crepitus, which describes any grinding, creaking, grating, cracking, popping or crunching that occurs when your joints move.  Sometimes the sounds your body makes can be loud enough for other people to hear.

Often, crepitus is painless and doesn’t mean anything is seriously wrong.  However, if it occurs with symptoms such as pain or trauma, there may be a more serious underlying medical condition so it’s wise to consult with your health practitioner.

Here are some of the common reasons why your body may get a little noisy especially around the neck, back and joints:

Articular pressure changes

Facet joints are where the back of adjacent vertebrae join together. Inside each facet joint is synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints.  Tiny gas bubbles can form and eventually collapse within synovial joints. As they are released, they can create a cracking, crunching or popping sound, which is harmless.

Ligament or tendon moving around bone

Ligaments and tendons both attach to bones. A ligament or tendon may make a snapping sound as it moves around a bone and/or over each other. This occurs because our muscles and tissues are too tight, or when they become less elastic as we age.

Bone-on-bone grinding

Facet joints degenerate due to osteoarthritis or disc generation, which results in less cushioning between the vertebrae. This can cause adjacent vertebral bones to rub against each other, causing a grinding noise or sensation.

Chiropractors can relieve the symptoms of crepitus. If you need any help alleviating creaks, cracks, pops and groans in your body contact Lane Chiropractic on 6676 2270.

Article information courtesy of Veritas Health https://www.veritashealth.com/

Eight subtle signs your body needs help

We can all feel stiff, sore and tired from time to time but if the same pain keeps resurfacing, it may be your body trying to warn you that something is seriously wrong.

With our busy lives, it can be too easy to ignore the subtle signs that our bodies give us but by ignoring the warning signs you could be at risk of missing the early detection of a more serious issue.

There are eight common issues chiropractors see that, if left untreated, can lead to longer term issues that may require surgery or lifelong pain management.  Some of these issues may also signal potential life-threatening conditions:

Neck stiffness

While neck stiffness is quite common, particularly for people who spend long hours working on computers or using smartphones, it can also signal something more serious. Persistent neck stiffness may be the result of a degenerative cervical spine disorder which, if left untreated, can lead to permanent nerve damage, compression of the spinal cord, paralysis and in rare cases, death.

Joint pain

Joint pain is often considered a natural part of the aging process, and it can also emerge following strenuous exercise. However, persistent joint pain can severely limit your mobility and impact your overall health in the longer term. For example, limited mobility may lead to poor psychological health and obesity, which in turn can increase the risk of issues such as diabetes and heart disease.

Muscle weakness

We all get muscle weakness from time to time due to factors such as illness or an intense workout that causes muscle fatigue. However, ongoing weakness in the muscles can be a sign of issues such as nerve damage, muscular or skeletal degeneration, a herniated disc, neuromuscular disorder, or a tumour.

Numbness or tingling

While we can get numbness or tingling from sitting too long in a certain position, such as when your foot goes to sleep, having this symptom without cutting off blood circulation is an early warning sign of injury, nerve damage, a herniated disc, or even diabetes. If numbness or tingling related to nerve damage, injury or a herniated disc is left untreated, you may end up needing surgery.

Uneven posture

If you have uneven shoulders or hips, asymmetry of the back or your head rests off-centre you may have scoliosis, which is curvature of the spine. If left untreated, it can cause a reduced range of motion, pain, disc degeneration, and possibly cardiovascular and breathing problems caused by the rib cage constricting the heart and lungs.

Headaches

Headaches can be caused by factors such as stress, dehydration, low blood sugar, or misalignment of the neck or spine. Persistent headaches may be a sign of migraines, food allergies, nerve degeneration, or tumour.

Intermittent pain or stiffness

If you have pain or stiffness that comes and goes, it could be a sign of nerve damage, muscular or skeletal degeneration, or disc bulge.  Similar to other forms of pain, if it is left untreated intermittent pain or stiffness can become chronic pain, which then requires more intensive treatment and possibly surgery.

Sharp, Shooting Pain in Your Legs 

A sharp, shooting pain or tingling and weakness in your legs indicates a pinched nerve or slipped disc.  Without treatment, this can lead to longer term issues requiring long term pain medication or even surgery.

Chiropractors are trained to treat many of these conditions, or will refer you to another health specialist if they suspect a non-chiropractic issue. To find out more about the subtle warning signs your body gives you and how to treat them contact Lane Chiropractic on 02 6676 2270.

Six signs you have an inflamed facet joint

Almost everyone gets back pain at one time or another, right? You lifted that heavy bin the wrong way, your worn-out workstation chair is a nightmare, you were rear-ended, you carry chronic tension in your shoulders, you tried to return an impossible tennis serve and threw out your back…the list goes on and on. But what if you have occasional periods of acute pain and there’s no apparent cause? This might be a signal that your facet joints are in trouble.

The facet joints are small, cartilage-lined points of contact where each individual backbone (vertebra) meets the one above and below it. They both enable your spine to flex during movement and also limit its range of motion. However, if the cartilage wears thin, pain can occur. Things like aging (wear and tear), obesity (extra weight creates a greater burden), a previous injury or trauma to the spine, and weight-bearing jobs are risk factors for facet joint damage.

If you have had no recent back strain or injury but you are starting to experience episodes of upper back pain, lower back pain, or pain that radiates outward from your spine, here are 6 clues that your facet joints may be the source of it:

  1. The pain occurs occasionally and unpredictably, perhaps scattered over several months.
  2. When the pain occurs, pressing on the skin in that area may cause soreness or tenderness; the muscles there tighten in response to pressure or movement (guarding reflex).
  3. It may not hurt to bend or lean forward, but doing it backward produces a definite “ouch!”
  4. If the pain is in the upper spine (between the base of the skull and the top of the ribcage), there may also be shooting or burning pain that radiates across the shoulders and upper back, but not down the arms or into the fingers.
  5. If the pain is in the lower back, facet joint compression can send nerve pain down into the buttocks and the back of the upper leg (pain that shoots down the front of the leg, or below the knee, is a symptom of another back problem called a herniated disc).
  6. Sitting for long periods aggravates the lower back pain episode, and riding in a car may be nearly intolerable.

Chiropractic care can help reduce facet joint inflammation. If you need help with facet joint pain contact Lane Chiropractic on 6676 2270.

Article courtesy of Sperling Medical Group.

Why you shouldn’t ignore growing pains

Growing pains are very common in children and young adolescents, and can start as young as age three.  While generally, they aren’t anything to be too concerned about and can be often treated with rest, joint manipulation and massage, persistent pain may signal that something else could be wrong.

What are growing pains?

Despite the name, growing pains actually have very little to do with growth.  They are mainly harmless muscular pains that occur in both boys and girls. Pain is generally felt in the calf, front of thighs and behind the knees. It mainly occurs in the afternoon and evening, and can sometimes wake children from sleep.

Causes

While the exact cause of growing pains is unknown, what is known is that it is muscular and can relate to joint restrictions. The pain may be caused by muscular tiredness from physical activity, impacts from poor posture, or even stress and emotional upset can cause muscular pain in children.

The good news is that the symptoms of growing pains can be easily treated to reduce your child’s discomfort.

When pain becomes a problem

There are many cases where pain in children can be mistaken for growing pains but actually signal a more serious issue. The first thing to always remember is that pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong.  While short term pain may not be an issue, persistent pain warrants investigation by a health practitioner, even if it’s just for your own peace of mind.

Aside from growing pains, if your child is feeling muscular pain it could be a sign of health problems such as scoliosis, Osgood-Schlatter disease, biomechanical issues, or viruses such as Ross River virus.

If your child has severe pain, feels unwell, has swelling, a loss of appetite or rashes seek immediate medical assistance

Treatment for growing pains

The treatment for growing pains is relatively simple and very effective. Just make sure that your health professional addresses, or rules out, issues that may be impacting your child such as scoliosis, Osgood-Schlatter disease or biomechanical issues such as a short leg.  If these are left untreated, it can actually make the problem worse and cause longer term issues.

As a chiropractor, I generally treat growing pain symptoms with gentle chiropractic techniques, mobilisation and stretching, as well as provide gentle stretching exercises that can be done by the child at home. This is combined with massage and heat or ice treatments depending on whether there is any inflammation in the joints.

If you would like any further information about growing pains, or want to check your child’s biomechanics to identify any potential issues early contact me at Lane Chiropractic on 6676 2270.

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.

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.

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.

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.