If you experience sinus congestion or sinusitis, you’ll want to read on to understand why it occurs and some easy things you can do at home to help manage it naturally…
Sinusitis most frequently occurs as a reaction to a viral infection, irritant or allergy that causes inflammation in the mucosal tissue of the sinus cavity. Clinical symptoms to look out for include nasal congestion and obstruction, purulent nasal discharge, maxillary tooth pain, facial pain or pressure, fever, fatigue, cough, loss of smell, ear pressure or fullness, headache and bad breath.
Sinusitis is generally triggered by a viral upper respiratory tract infection, with only 2% of cases being complicated by bacterial sinusitis. About 90% of patients in the United States are estimated to receive an antibiotic from their general practitioner, yet in most cases the condition resolves without antibiotics, even if it is bacterial in origin.3
Less frequently sinusitis occurs because of fungi, mechanical obstruction (e.g. deviated septum) or an abnormality of mucociliary movement (e.g immotile cilia syndrome). Sinusitis is caused by the release of inflammatory mediators and excessive mucus secretion that impairs the transport system of mucus in the sinus. This trapped inflammation can damage the mucus membranes and affect the ciliary action which is crucial in the drainage of your sinus.
A range of different massage techniques can be utilised to help support the natural drainage of the sinus cavities when episodes of sinusitis do occur. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, jump onto our Facebook live video (also on our website) this week for our sinus drainage tips that you can do at home!
 Harris, A. M., Hicks, L. A., & Qaseem, A. (2016). Appropriate antibiotic use for acute respiratory tract infection in adults: advice for high-value care from the American College of Physicians and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Annals of internal medicine, 164(6), 425-434.
 Ah-See, K. W., & Evans, A. S. (2007). Sinusitis and its management. Bmj, 334(7589), 358-361.
 Mackay, I. S. (1988). Rhinitis and sinusitis. British journal of diseases of the chest, 82, 1-8.
 Yonkers, A. J. (1992). Sinusitis—inspecting the causes and treatment. Ear, nose & throat journal, 71(6), 258-262.
With many of us entering back to work from a great Christmas and New Year period, the sudden spike back in the daily grind of work can see a spike in our bodies physical stress levels. So where does Chiropractic fit in with this.?
With everyday stress from a physical, chemical and emotional exposure stand point, knowing how to manage, reduce or maintain healthy stress levels is becoming increasingly important. This is especially true with its link to long-term health having been described today by some doctors as the RSI of the brain.
Getting adjusted with spinal therapy either manipulative or mobilisation is one supporting way amongst a well balanced package of many, which has been linked to helping manage our autonomic nervous system. While it has also been linked to our brain and bodies ability to deal with stress (Rechberger, Biberschick and Porthun, 2019), and also has a potential link to lowering our salivary cortisol (stress hormone) post adjustment (Tuchin, 1998), more research is needed in this area.
So coming in to the new year if there is a few niggles from the added physical stress levels coming off of a well earnt break or busy Christmas check in with our team and see how we as a team can support you at Sprouting Health.
Rechberger, V., Biberschick, M. and Porthun, J., 2019. Effectiveness of an osteopathic treatment on the autonomic nervous system: a systematic review of the literature. European Journal of Medical Research, 24(1).
Tuchin, P.J., 1998. The effect of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy on salivary cortisol levels. Australasian Chiropractic & Osteopathy, 7(2), p.86.
Dr. Phil Maffetone (1) has been questioning stretching for decades, going back to the 1970s.
He says “As I gained more experience treating and training athletes, I developed an even better clinical perspective. By that time I had many hundreds of athletes to compare,” he says. “The results were that in those who were injured a significant number were regular stretchers. Meanwhile, among athletes who did not stretch, injury rates were significantly lower.”
What does the research say about this?
In a recent Sports Medicine article (2) 278 references of scientific studies were included. The author concluded that flexibility has little predictive value or validity with health and performance outcomes in apparently healthy individuals, and that stretching is not the best way to improve flexibility for sports activities…….
Flexibility, as measured by the sit-and-reach or standing trunk flexion, is not predictive of all-cause mortality. Body composition, cardiovascular endurance, muscle endurance, muscle strength, and
muscle power are all predictive of mortality (1). Flexibility declines with age, but unlike muscle
strength, flexibility does not predict falls in older adults. Sit-and-reach scores also do not predict future incidence of low back pain or injury in adults.
High levels of flexibility might actually increase injury risk. A recent systematic review concluded there is “moderate evidence” ankle and hamstring flexibility (e.g., sit-and-reach scores) predict musculoskeletal injury in military and civilian populations (3).
The author urges that stretching be de-emphasized as a component of physical fitness and that eliminating it allows programs to better utilize time for more effective activities. (Note that for some activities, such as ballet dancing and hurdling, flexibility beyond the natural range of motion may be helpful.) (1).
In addition the Sports Medicine articles point out that stretching can actually weaken muscles for a considerable amount of time following. For example, studies show that holding a stretch for a minute or more decreases strength and speed for up to one hour.
The research article points to the fact that leisure-based activities or formal exercise prescriptions of aerobic or resistance exercise should suffice to maintain or restore functionally relevant levels of flexibility in most populations. Without stretching this leads to reduced session duration, which might improve exercise adherence.
While the evidence against stretching is mounting, the notion of movement to improve flexibility is gaining support. There’s a big difference between stretching and warming up prior to exercise. A proper warm-up and cool down are crucial to an effective workout whether it’s aerobic or strength training.
Clearly stretching is on its way out in modern athletic training, and movement such as a proper warm-up is gaining popularity. Combined with aerobic fitness and strength-training, this is the best scientific approach to developing healthy flexibility.
1. Keep moving!
Thought it can be tempting to vege out on the couch during the holidays, or slip into a couple of food comas during the festivities, it is important to keep your body moving and active. This could include a walk around the block, playing with the dog, or a game of backyard cricket!
From previous blog posts, we all understand the benefits of stretching, including increasing flexibility and range of motion, improving blood flow to muscles, relieving tension, improving posture, prevention of pain, and sometimes stretching even helps to relieve stress. Some simple stretches you can do include a head tilt to loosen your upper trapezius or a cat-camel stretch to aid your core muscles – see below for instruction!
Upper Trapezius Stretch
1) Sit up straight in a chair with your head and neck in a neutral position (shoulders straight, eyes forward), hold your arms relaxed on either side of your body.
2) Slightly tuck your chin down, then tilt your head down to the left until you feel a stretch down the right side of your neck (keep your eyes looking straight ahead).
2a) To increase this stretch, raise your left head and place it on top of your head (do not pull – you just want the weight of your hand to add a little extra pressure).
3) Hold this position for 30 seconds while breathing normally.
4) Return your head and neck to the neutral position.
5) Repeat these steps on the opposite side.
6) Perform these actions 2-3 times on either side.
Note: if this position is painful or uncomfortable, do not proceed – immediately return to the neutral position.
1) Start by setting up on all fours on a stable surface – ensure that your hand are in line with your shoulders and your knees are in line with your hips.
2) Drop your head down and (while contracting your abdominal muscles) pull your belly button up towards the ceiling.
3) Hold this position for 10 seconds.
4) Then, slowly raise your head up towards the ceiling while dropping your belly button towards the floor, arching your back.
5) Hold this position for 10 seconds.
6) Repeat 5 times in each position.
Note: if this position is painful or uncomfortable, do not proceed – immediately return to the neutral position.
3. Prevention is best!
Ensuring that you move appropriately to protect your body plays a huge part in pain prevention. When you’re lifting stacks of presents or moving your Christmas tree, remember to bend your knees and lift with your legs instead of your back. Avoid twisting motions (especially while carrying weight) and remember to move and stretch BEFORE you get stiff and sore.
4. Ask your chiro!
If you’re concerned about anything over the Christmas break (previous issues, ongoing complaints, etc) ask your chiro on your last appointment before the break!
Galloza, J., Castillo, B., & Micheo, W. (2017). Benefits of Exercise in the Older Population. Physical medicine and rehabilitation clinics of North America, 28(4), 659–669. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmr.2017.06.001
Taylor, D., Binns, E., & Signal, N. (2017). Upping the ante: working harder to address physical inactivity in older adults. Current opinion in psychiatry, 30(5), 352–357. https://doi.org/10.1097/YCO.0000000000000349
Lee, P. G., Jackson, E. A., & Richardson, C. R. (2017). Exercise Prescriptions in Older Adults. American family physician, 95(7), 425–432.
Hotta, K., Behnke, B. J., Arjmandi, B., Ghosh, P., Chen, B., Brooks, R., Maraj, J. J., Elam, M. L., Maher, P., Kurien, D., Churchill, A., Sepulveda, J. L., Kabolowsky, M. B., Christou, D. D., & Muller-Delp, J. M. (2018). Daily muscle stretching enhances blood flow, endothelial function, capillarity, vascular volume and connectivity in aged skeletal muscle. The Journal of physiology, 596(10), 1903–1917. https://doi.org/10.1113/JP275459
Sprouting health chiropractic is not only a child friendly practice, we also look after older sprouts! One key area we look at especially is balance and fall risk! World Health Organisation stated adults over 65 years of age suffer the greatest number of fatal falls.(1) Research pointed out that chronic musculoskeletal pain is associated with poor stability.(2) Poor stability is considered as a risk factor for falls as is very important for gait (walking)!(2) Chiropractors and other health professions use a sit-to-stand test to identify an individual’s ability to maintain balance, measure lower extremity strength, and assessment of fall risk.
Five Times Sit to Stand Test (FTSST) is a very easy test to try at home. All you need is a chair without arms, roughly 90 degree bend at the knee joint, and a stopwatch. Make sure someone is watching you while performing the test as a safety precaution. Simply cross your arms over your chest, sit up straight from a sitting position 5 times as quickly as you can, and measure the time on completion.
The time exceeding the following can be considered to have worse than average performance: 11.4 sec (60 to 69 years), 12.6 sec. (70 to 79 years), and 14.8 sec. (80 to 89 years).(3) Research suggested further assessment if you excessed 12 seconds on completion.(4)
Chiropractic care has a high level of evidence on chronic lower back pain management.(5) As well as a moderate level of evidence on other chronic musculoskeletal pain such as neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, and lower extremities joint pain.(5) If you failed the FTSST, suffering from chronic pain, or generally have poor balance, talk to our chiropractors and see whether we can help manage your concerns, as there are other pathologies that may also affect your stability and balance.
1.Organization WH. Falls 2018 [Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/falls#:~:text=Each%20year%20an%20estimated%20646,medical%20attention%20occur%20each%20year
2. Kendall JC, Vindigni D, Polus BI, Azari MF, Harman SC. Effects of manual therapies on stability in people with musculoskeletal pain: a systematic review. Chiropractic & manual therapies. 2020;28(1):1-10.
3.Bohannon RW. Reference values for the five-repetition sit-to-stand test: a descriptive meta-analysis of data from elders. Perceptual and motor skills. 2006;103(1):215-22.
4. Tiedemann A, Shimada H, Sherrington C, Murray S, Lord S. The comparative ability of eight functional mobility tests for predicting falls in community-dwelling older people. Age and ageing. 2008;37(4):430-5.
5. Bronfort G, Haas M, Evans R, Leininger B, Triano J. Effectiveness of manual therapies: the UK evidence report. Chiropractic & osteopathy. 2010;18(1):1-33.
Neck pain is a leading cause of disability in adults, and it is reported in up to 20% of adults. (1,2,3). When it becomes chronic, neck pain decreases the quality of life by having a negative effect on both private and professional life, and is also associated with a high level of morbidity (4). Do you or a loved one experience chronic neck pain? This is an important article that could make the world of difference to you.
“3 out of 10 neck pain patients will develop chronic symptoms that last more than 6 months, whereas 34% will show symptoms for more than 12 months” (5,6,7)
The origin of neck pain is usually from multiple sources, including poor posture during daily activities, physical activities relating to sports and work, and depression and anxiety (8).
Mechanical neck pain is usually defined as generalised neck pain and/or shoulder pain with mechanical features such as having symptoms aggravated by maintained neck posture, movement or palpation of the neck muscles (9). When neck pain has lasted more than 3 months it is considered chronic (10). Chronic mechanical neck pain can affect many things which may include neck muscle weakness, reduced endurance with neck muscles, reduced range of motion of neck and neck reposition error with patients also identifying balance disturbance and oculomotor (Eye) disturbances (11,12). So it’s important to get on top of chronic mechanical neck pain and not let it linger on, therefore it is imperative to seek some form of care for it.
In a recent research literature, where they looked at chiropractic treatment effect for chronic mechanical neck pain, 40 patients between the ages of 20-60 years were looked at, with one group receiving dry needling and another group receiving chiropractic care. In this small study it was found that chiropractic treatment was effective in terms of pain relief, increasing joint range of motion and decreasing the degree of neck disability among the patients (13). So chiropractic care may be a viable management plan for chronic mechanical neck pain, though further studies and a larger sample size would substantiate these findings to a better degree.
If you want to find out if chiropractic may help manage neck pain for you or your loved ones, have a chat with one of our chiropractors to see how they can assist.
“Making sure you are functioning optimally is vitally important for your overall health”
1.Cohen SP. Epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of neck pain. Mayo Clin Proc 2015;90(2):284–99. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2014.09.008.
2.Moradi-Lakeh M, Forouzanfar MH, Vollset SE, et al. Burden of musculoskeletal disorders in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 1990–2013: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Ann Rheum Dis 2017;76(8):1365–73. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-210146.
3.Woodhouse A, Pape K, Romundstad PR, Vasseljen O. Health care contact following a new incident neck or low back pain episode in the general population; the HUNT study. BMC Health Serv Res 2016;16:81. doi: 10.1186/s12913-016-1326-5.
4. Vernon H, Humphreys BK (2008) Chronic mechani- cal neck pain in adults treated by manual therapy: a systematic review of change scores in randomized controlled trials of a single session. J Man Manip Ther 16(2):E42–E52
5. Bertozzi L, Gardenghi I, Turoni F, et al. Effect of therapeutic exercise on pain and disability in the management of chronic nonspecific neck pain: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. Phys Ther. 2013;93(8):1026-1036.
6. Childs JD, Cleland JA, Elliott JM, et al. Neck pain: Clinical practice guidelines linked to the international classification of functioning, disability, and health form the orthopaedic sec- tion of the American Physical Therapy Association. J Orthop Sport Phys Ther. 2008;38(9):A1-A34.
7. Côté, P., Cassidy, J.D., Carroll, L.J. and Kristman, V., 2004. The annual incidence and course of neck pain in the general population: a population-based cohort study. Pain, 112(3), pp.267-273.
8. Heintz MM, Hegedus EJ. Multimodal management of mechanical neck pain using a treatment based classification system. J Man Manip Ther 2008;16:217-24.
9. Castaldo M, Ge HY, Chiarotto A, Villafane JH, Arendt-Nielsen L. Myofascial trigger points in patients with whiplashassociated disorders and mechanical neck pain. Pain Med 2014; 15:842-849.
10 . Ylinen J, Ha¨kkinen AH, Takala EP, et al. Effects of neck muscle training in women with chronic neck pain: one-year follow-up study. J Strength Cond Res 2006;20:6-13.
11. Lytras, D.E., Sykaras, E.I., Christoulas, K.I., Myrogiannis, I.S. and Kellis, E., 2020. Effects of Exercise and an Integrated Neuromuscular Inhibition Technique Program in the Management of Chronic Mechanical Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.
12. Cheever, K.M., Myrer, J.W., Johnson, A.W. and Fellingham, G.W., 2017. Understanding the complete pathophysiology of chronic mild to moderate neck pain: implications for the inclusion of a comprehensive sensorimotor evaluation. Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, 30(5), pp.991-997.
13. Aki, S., Özden, A.V., Alptekin, H.K. and Alptekin, J.Ö., 2020. Short-term effects of chiropractic application and dry needling treatment on chronic mechanical neck pain. Manuelle Medizin, 58(4), pp.237-245.
We are often asked about unusual walking habits of our younger patients. “What does it mean if…?”, “Is it a problem that…?”. We always take these questions seriously because every child develops differently, and sometime these questions will highlight an underlying or persistent issue.
So, what about toe walking? Is it actually a problem if your child is a toe walker? Typically, the heel-toe pattern of walking develops by 24-42 months of age, and it is not unusual to see a 12-month-old only toe walking. (Morozova, 2017) The question becomes more relevant the older the child gets. Persistent toe walking beyond the age of 3 years can be a sign of structural abnormalities, or even conditions such as cerebral palsy. (Ruzbarsky, 2016)
Now you may be asking, what can be done? Well, it depends on what is causing the toe walking in the first place, as well as the age of the child. If it is truly idiopathic (no known cause), then manual therapy and stretching may well be the answer. In more severe cases, casting and surgery may be needed. (Ruzbarsky, 2016)
The take home message; toe walking is considered normal up to the age of 12 months and it would be expected to gradually decrease and disappear by the age of 3. It can be seen in up to 2% of normally developing children at the age of 5 ½ years. (Ruzbarsky, 2016)
If you or someone close to you has a habit of toe walking, then we encourage you to ask questions about it.
Morozova, O. M., Chang, T. F., & Brown, M. E. (2017). Toe walking: when do we need to worry?. Current problems in pediatric and adolescent health care, 47(7), 156-160.
Ruzbarsky, J. J., Scher, D., & Dodwell, E. (2016). Toe walking: causes, epidemiology, assessment, and treatment. Current opinion in pediatrics, 28(1), 40-46.
In one of our recent blogs, we started talking about the rates of depression in pregnancy and post-natal depression including some of the implications of depression during and after pregnancy. Some of these risks included pre-term delivery, preeclampsia (high blood pressure), and birth difficulties. (1)
Following on from this, a recent study conducted in Victoria looked to see if it were possible to predict sleep problems for infants in the first year of life. They concluded that poorer prepartum and postpartum maternal mental and physical health; including poorer physical function, increased emotional problems, and decreased energy and vitality; were associated with reports of persistent severe infant sleep problems. (2)
Furthermore, maternal depression and anxiety has been associated with poorer right white frontal microstructure in 1-month old infants. This area of the brain is important for self-regulation needed for sleep. (2)
Cook et al. states: “Maternal prenatal stress alters melatonin levels, reducing generation of the circadian rhythm in the foetal adrenal gland, which is vital for the development of infant sleep, and potentially limiting foetal growth. Maternal prenatal depression raises free cortisol levels which in turn increases infant cortisol levels. Higher infant cortisol can result in poorer infant sleep quality and more frequent waking.” (2)
This does become a vicious cycle, as your child sleeps less, so do you. Lack of sleep can increase fatigue, depression and anxiety, which promotes the poorer sleep patterns in infants! So, for expecting mums, planning mums, and new mums; getting on top of your health will make a difference on the outcomes not just for you, but also for your infant and his or her sleep.
 Leung, B. M., & Kaplan, B. J. (2009). Perinatal depression: prevalence, risks, and the nutrition link—a review of the literature. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(9), 1566-1575.
 Cook, F., Conway, L., Gartland, D., Giallo, R., Keys, E. and Brown, S., 2019. Profiles and Predictors of Infant Sleep Problems Across the First Year. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.
Neck pain is a leading cause of disability in adults, reported in up to 20% of adults in Australia., For the majority of these people, acute episodes of neck pain will usually resolve within 6-8 weeks under conservative management, but in 10-34% of people pain can become chronic in nature. Chronic pain is characterised by pain that has been occurring longer than 3 months.
Studies have found that individuals experiencing neck pain can have altered joint position sense in the upper extremities, changes in balance and changes in the ability to complete mental cognitive tasks.
A particular study by Haavik and Murphy found that asymptomatic people with a history of neck pain had reduced elbow joint position sense accuracy compared to those with no history of any neck complaints. Furthermore they found that adjusting dysfunctional cervical segments in people with neck pain can improve their upper limb joint position sense accuracy. This is extremely relevant to our position sense which is very much related to our sense of balance, although more research needs to be carried out on this.
Chiropractic care combined with rehabilitation exercises and exercise alone are effective in reducing functional disability and pain in patients with chronic non-specific neck pain.
At Sprouting Health we take a thorough history to gain a clear understanding of the onset, distribution, nature of pain and associated features as well as an efficient and comprehensive physical assessment to decipher the best management plan on a case by case basis to help achieve your desired goals.
Are you currently living your life fully as you would choose? If not, are you actively involved in the process of creating it? Are you the victor or victim? Are you feeling blocked from reaching your dreams and full potential?
What is it that is stopping you?
How is this blockage impacting your health and how is your health contributing to you being or feeling stuck?
It’s time to ask “Am I Feeling Blocked?” and then clarify the events or individuals that seem to be blocking you from expressing your full potential. Only when you see these issues more clearly can you take the necessary actions to liberate yourself and achieve living your best life now.
Here are some Healing Hints
1. Determine to live more fully in the moment of NOW!
2. “When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past.” – Unknown
3. Realize that you have the potential to more fully create the life you want to live. Dream the dream. Clarify the vision. Plot the course. Set the goals. Discipline yourself to take committed action each day toward your goals and vision. Practice gratitude everyday.
4. Become aware and acknowledge that you are stuck if you really are. Even if only partially, and in truth who isn’t to some degree?
5. Commit to correcting your underlying condition if part of your blockage is pain or some other illness challenge. As much as possible solve the real problem rather than masking the symptoms with medication or some diversion.
Celebrate each small victory along the way and be glad and grateful for each day of your life. At Sprouting Health we love helping you create your best life possible!