Spinal health is something we only pay attention to when we are in pain. The spine is a very important part of your body and its health can have a big impact on how well the rest of your body’s functions perform. Spinal health issues, even subtle ones, can affect your general outlook of life and overall wellbeing.
Poor spinal health can be caused by a variety of lifestyle factors such as insufficient exercise, sedentary lifestyle, bad posture or poor sleeping habits.
How big is the problem?
According to the recently published Global Burden of Disease study, musculoskeletal conditions have the fourth greatest impact on the health of the world's population.1
Poor spinal health can manifest in various ways such as neck pain, backache and headaches, and they contribute substantially to the disease burden within the Australian population.
Discover how chiropractors can help improve your quality of life
Many people don't think about visiting a chiropractor or being proactive about their spinal health until they are faced with an injury or pain.
They typically seek care for existing conditions, and don't see chiropractic as a preventative healthcare option.Chiropractic can help address current spinal health concerns and also help you discover preventative measures.
Educated and regulated
Australian chiropractors are highly qualified healthcare professionals who study at university for a minimum of five years. They are also government registered and regulated.
Non-invasive and drug free approach
Chiropractors use a variety of non-surgical techniques such as spinal adjustments and manual therapy to address spinal health issues.
They offer a drug-free, hands-on approach to healthcare and work towards restoring and maintaining normal spinal function without surgery or medication.
Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and they are qualified to advise patients on exercises, nutrition and lifestyle changes. Chiropractors work with other healthcare providers where needed.
Is your phone being a pain in the neck?
There is no denying that technology has transformed the way we live, but we are spending more and more time glued to our mobile devices.
Australians spend 10 hours and 24 minutes on average engaging with their mobile devices every day.3 Within five minutes of waking up in the morning 35% of us check our phones, and 70% use phones during mealtimes with family and friends.4 This excessive reliance on digital devices is taking a toll on our bodies.
Looking down hunched over mobile devices puts excessive strain on the neck which can cause neck pain. This is now commonly referred to as 'Text Neck'.
Here are some tips to help avoid text neck and other spinal health issues resulting from poor posture and excessive use of mobile devices:
Change the way you hold your phone - bring the screen to eye level so your head is not slouched forward. This way you don't have to be in a forward-head posture for long periods of time.
Take regular breaks from mobile devices. For example, don't check your phone while commuting.
Get social with family or friends. Have a 'no phone policy' during dinner. You'll enjoy your meal even more without the distraction!
Chiro Can Help
Stretching can help alleviate neck pain and discomfort caused by text neck. Seek advice from your local CAA chiropractor or other healthcare professional about which stretching exercises are suitable for you.
Depending on your circumstances, your chiropractor may suggest a variety of techniques to help improve range of motion and function and will develop a program of care that may combine more than one type of treatment, depending on your needs. In addition to chiropractic adjustments, a care plan may include mobilisation, massage, rehabilitative exercise, as well as dietary and lifestyle advice.
Is your back sore from taking on too much?
We can all relate to carrying as many bags as possible to save us making another trip. However, is the time you’re saving worth it? Lifting more than you are able to carry can cause immense strain on your body. Furthermore, with bad lifting technique, it can be even worse for your back.
This is not just true for carrying shopping bags. We often carry heavy suitcases and handbags without thinking of the consequences. Lifting heavy objects carelessly can result in strained back muscles. A tear or inflammation can result in severe pain and a long recovery.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 3.7 million Australians reported back problems and it has become the third leading cause of disease burden after cancer and cardiovascular problems6. With back problems being such a prevalent ailment, it’s important to make the necessary lifestyle changes to try and prevent back pain:
Share the load – if you have a lot of shopping to carry, make more than one trip or ask a friend or family member to help you.
Use the correct lifting technique – with your knees bent and your back in a neutral position, lift the object carefully by slowly bringing it towards your chest. Avoid twisting or slouching when lifting and lowering.
Stretch – incorporating stretching into your daily routine keeps the muscles flexible and healthy. We need this flexibility to maintain a range of motion in our joints.
Chiro Can Help
Chiropractors can help address the strain caused on the body from excessive lifting of heavy objects. Although back pain is common, each patient is different and chiropractors tailor their approach accordingly.
For back problems, chiropractors use a variety of non-surgical techniques, such as spinal adjustment or manual therapies. They also advise patients on self-management of pain through exercise, stretching and lifestyle modification. Speak to your local CAA chiropractor about the type of exercise or stretching most suited to your needs
Is binge watching giving you a backache?
There is no denying that we live an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, spending hours each day sitting at desks or curled up on couches watching TV. The average Australian spends 2 hours and 25 minutes a day watching television.7 That's a long time in one position and it can be hazardous to your health.
Most of the time, when people watch TV, they are either slouching or lying in ways that put strain on their shoulders, back, or hips. Unwinding in front of the television shouldn't feel like work but it also shouldn't leave you feeling miserable the next day (which can happen if your body is not properly aligned).
Here are some things you can do to keep your spine happy while watching television:
Pay attention to your posture - sitting up straight may not feel comfortable at first but overtime you'll be able to maintain good posture as a habit. Keep your shoulders and back relaxed, and avoid tilting your head forward, backwards or sideways.
Take a break - a great way to remember to move is by getting off the couch and walking around during commercial breaks.
Reduce sitting time - you can make television time productive by doing household chores such as ironing or folding clothes while watching your favourite series.
Chiro Can Help
If you are already experiencing the side effects of poor posture and prolonged sitting (pain, headaches or stiffness), it is advisable to visit your local CAA chiropractor or other healthcare professional to see how they can help you improve your quality of life.
Your chirorpactor can provide advice on self-care, depending on your condition and its severity. Research has shown that chiropractic care can help patients who sufer with back pain. In fact, a systematic review of articles published between 2009 and 2014 concluded that "the evidence supports that doctors of chiropractic are well-suited to diagnose, treat, co-manage, and manage the treament of patients with low back pain disorders".8
Is the daily grind giving you a headache?
Headaches are becoming increasingly common and we are often guilty of taking some painkillers and ignoring the problem. Headaches can take different forms such as migraines or tension headaches, and these can greatly impact quality of life.
Headaches can be caused by various reasons, including but not limited to, poor posture, stress, sleeping patterns and poor nutrition. Here are some tips which can help decrease the severity or frequency of headaches:
Get enough sleep - adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Getting enough sleep plays an important role in your physical, mental and emotional health.
Fix your sleeping posture - an awkward sleeping position affects the alignment of your spine and can cause stiffness in the morning. Avoid sleeping on your stomach and try to sleep on your back instead, to maintain the natural curve of the spine.
Be mindful of your posture - whether it's during your commute or at the office, maintaining a good posture is very important for spinal health.
Improve your nutrition - having a nutritious breakfast can make you feel good as you go about your day.
Drive Smart - if you drive regularly, adjust your seat to make sure that you are not straining any part of your body. Move the seat closer to the steering wheel to support the curve of your back.
Chiro Can Help
Chiropractors regularly diagnose, care for and manage headaches, and many studies have reported on the effectiveness of chiropractic care in alleviating migraine pain and other health issues that arise from neck and back issues.
An Australian study published in the Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapy demonstrated the effectiveness of chiropractic care in treating migraine pain. The Macquarie University study analysed the responses of 127 volunteers who suffered from migraines aged from 10 to 70 years. The researchers found that more than 80% of people who were provided with chiropractic care reported an improvement in migraines.9
MLS LASER THERAPY using a Mphi5 is now in our clinic.
The Mphi 5 will be an excellent way to reduce your time to remove inflammation and pain in your chief complaint locations. It will be excellent at easing your chronic pains like arthritis in knees and fingers. You will be able to book just for laser use or in combination with your chiropractic adjustment.
Dr Debbie is the very first Chiropractor in Queensland to be licensed from QLD Radiation Health with the rights to use a Class 4 laser. The laser used is a MpHi 5 ASL medical laser. The MpHi 5 is designed to assist the Practitioners to help their patients reduce their pain and inflammation, for example with the following areas: