Spinal discs play a crucial role in the lower back, serving as shock absorbers between the vertebrae, supporting the upper body, and allowing a wide range of movement in all directions. If a disc herniates and leaks some of its inner material, though, the disc can aggravate a nerve, triggering back pain and possibly nerve symptoms down the leg. Excess stress on the spine, heavy labour, and obesity are some factors that can cause disc herniation and sciatic pain.(1)
Most health care providers would agree that first-line treatment of sciatic pain secondary to lumbar disc herniation should consist of nonoperative care in the form of lifestyle modification and physical therapy. There is growing evidence that chiropractic treatment is an effective way to treat this condition.(1)
Acute back pain from disc herniation causing sciatica is a major source of disability, with impairment of daily living activities. Many medical interventions are available, but the results are conflicting. Spinal manipulations are widely used. The rationale for manipulation includes reduction of a bulging disc, correction of disc displacement, release of adhesive fibrosis surrounding prolapsed discs or facet joints and entrapped synovial folds or plicae, inhibition of nociceptive impulses, relaxation of hypertonic muscles, and unbuckling displaced motion segments. Patients receiving active manipulations enjoyed significantly greater relief of local and radiating acute LBP, spent fewer days with moderate-to-severe pain, and consumed fewer drugs for the control of pain.(2)
Spinal deconditioning and a weakness of the lumbar spinal extensor muscles appeared to be related to the patient's symptoms. Patient education on proper posture, proper lifting techniques, core stabilization exercises, active strengthening exercise and chiropractic care are some of the many ways a chiropractor can help relieve lumbar disc herniation.(3)
Lumbar disc herniation is a condition better taken care of sooner than later. If you or you know someone who is experiencing Low back pain, call us to book an appointment, we would love to help you!
1. Cox J, Shreiner S. Chiropractic manipulation in low back pain and sciatica: statistical data on the diagnosis, treatment and response of 576 consecutive cases. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics. 1984;7(1):1-11.
2. Santilli V, Beghi E, Finucci S. Chiropractic manipulation in the treatment of acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion: a randomized double-blind clinical trial of active and simulated spinal manipulations. The Spine Journal. 2006;6(2):131-7.
3. Estadt GM. Chiropractic/Rehabilitative Management of Post-Surgical Disc Herniation: A Retrospective Case Report. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2004;3(3):108-15.
It is not news that offices have shifted towards the use of a standing desk to avoid the “sitting disease” to prevent low back pain. (Katilin) However, is standing really the solution to avoiding low back pain?
A previous study has shown that having a standing break from seated work may reduce the demand on the lumbar spine, however, standing work itself can be associated with increased levels of low back pain. (Colin). Between 40-70% of the population may develop acute back pain with prolonged standing work tasks (Colin). Another study had suggested that prolonged standing could lead to health risks such as low back discomfort, leg swelling and physical fatigue (Shuchi). Studies have also shown that there is an increase of low back pain when standing longer than 50% of the shift (Shuchi).
There are benefits, specifically for office workers from switching to a standard seated workstations to a sit-stand workstation (Colin). However, the frequency and duration of a sit-stand transition is still in question.
A recent study has suggested that onset of pain within the first 15 minutes when standing is the accumulation from tissue aggravation (Colin). This study was backed up by previous research that also suggested to limit standing to 15 minutes or less which had shown to be the starting point of low back pain (Jack). Once past the 15 minutes mark, early and frequent breaks within at least the first hour appear to be a solution to reduce accumulation of tissue aggravation that often occurs within the first 45 minutes of standing at work (Colin).
It is suggested to change positions more often and not wait for the feeling of discomfort because once pain has initiated, it may persist even if there is a postural change. It may be more effective when there is a balanced exposure between sitting and standing (Colins).
If you are struggling with whether or not sitting or standing is better for you, check in with us at Sprouting Health Chiropractic. We are all for helping you out!
We can feel the cold setting in during the past few weeks. Without a clear agenda of opening the international border, some of our practice members are planning on a snow trip this year! The question is how can we enjoy the winter sport without breaking our body.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the most common injured area for a skier is the lower extremity(e.g. knee ligaments), and the wrist for both skier and snowboarder.(1) Other injuries involved in high-speed impact are more serious such as head injury(e.g. concussion) and spinal injury(e.g. vertebral fracture).(1) The fact that beginners and experienced skiers/snowboarders are both at risk of injury, protection and prevention is key.
Most people would have a basic idea of putting on protective gear to lower their chances of getting hurt. Studies have shown the use of protection gear in commonly injured areas are effective in reducing the severity of injury. For example, helmet and wrist guards can reduce the risk of serious injuries without compromising movement.(1) In addition, the use of proper sport-specific techniques and instructions, and knowing how the injuries can happen is also vital of reducing the risk of injury.(1)
Little wonder, strengthening core muscle and lower limb muscles have been recommended to lower your chances of getting injured as well. To make sure you are preparing your body ready for the snow, a physical therapist would be handy as part of a team to prepare you. Research in 2012, studying the grip strength of national level judo athletes, has shown chiropractic adjustment provides a consistent significant improvement, up to 17% of muscle strength.(2) Newer Randomised Controlled Trial data from the US military has shown chiropractic adjustment improves maximal pulling strength(increased up to 5kg), improves trunk endurance and better balance with eyes closed.(3)
Learning from the latest evidence we could enjoy our sport better and help prevent serious injuries while doing it! If you and/or your kids are heading to the snow this winter or interested in how chiropractic may help with musculoskeletal factors related to sports performance, give us a call today.
1. Weinstein S, Khodaee M, VanBaak K. Common Skiing and Snowboarding Injuries. Current Sports Medicine Reports. 2019;18(11):394-400.
2. Botelho MB, Andrade BB. Effect of cervical spine manipulative therapy on judo athletes' grip strength. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics. 2012;35(1):38-44.
3. Vining R, Long CR, Minkalis A, Gudavalli MR, Xia T, Walter J, et al. Effects of Chiropractic Care on Strength, Balance, and Endurance in Active-Duty US Military Personnel with Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2020;26(7):592-601.
It’s not just parents that can get headaches from all the different stresses in life, especially dealing with children and all their needs, but children can also be suffering from recurrent headaches as well. Has your child ever complained to you about headaches? This is an important article that could make the world of difference to you.
“Recurrent headache is common with annual prevalence rates ranging from approximately 5% among 3 year-olds to more than half of the population around puberty” (1).
Recurrent headaches in children can affect their overall quality of life and are known to interfere with school performance, social interactions with family and friends, and sports (2,3) Higher levels of stress and depression are reported among children who experience recurrent headaches. (3) There are many causes of headaches which may include psychological factors, nutrition, socioeconomic factors and many more. (4-9) Some that we would all be quite familiar with would be the many physical stresses that children go through, ranging from the not so pleasant traumas to the neck and head with all the activities that kids engage with, to static postural stress from school and the current trends with technology. Suffering from recurrent headaches in childhood can be a precursor to potentially severe headache syndromes later in life (10), so it’s important to address the issues early on.
In a recent literature research article some interesting results were found where they were looking at children between the age of 7 to 14. At a chiropractic clinic these children were suffering from at least 1 headache a week for the previous 6 months. It was found that the children who received chiropractic spinal adjustments resulted in significantly fewer days with headaches and better global perceived effects. Though it was a smaller study looking at 199 children, and more research needs to be done, it seems that chiropractic may have a positive outcome for children who are experiencing recurrent headaches. (11)
So if you want to find out if chiropractic can assist your child with recurrent headaches, have a chat with one of our chiropractors to see how they can assist.
“Any disturbances to our everyday function such as headaches affect our overall expression of life!”
1. Singhi S, Jacobs H, Gladstein J. Pediatric headache: where have we been and where do we need to be. Headache. 2014;54(5):817–29.
2 .Powers SW, Patton SR, Hommel KA, Hershey AD. Quality of life in childhood migraines: clinical impact and comparison to other chronic illnesses. Pediatrics. 2003;112(1 Pt 1):e1–5.
3. Termine C, Ozge A, Antonaci F, Natriashvili S, Guidetti V, Wober-Bingol C. Overview of diagnosis and management of paediatric headache. Part II: therapeutic management. J Headache Pain. 2011;12(1):25–34.
4. Lateef TM, Merikangas KR, He J, Kalaydjian A, Khoromi S, Knight E, Nelson KB. Headache in a national sample of American children: prevalence and comorbidity. J Child Neurol. 2009;24(5):536–43.
5.Kroner-Herwig B, Heinrich M, Morris L. Headache in German children and adolescents: a population-based epidemiological study. Cephalalgia. 2007; 27(6):519–27.
6.Nelson S, Coakley R. The pivotal role of pediatric psychology in chronic pain: opportunities for informing and promoting new research and intervention in a shifting healthcare landscape. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2018;22(11):76.
7.Hetlevik O, Bjorna CH, Lundring IT, Gjesdal S. Adolescents consulting general practitioners for psychological problems-a nationwide, register- based study in Norway. Fam Pract. 2019;36(1):77–83. 8.Erlichman J, Hall A, Dean A, Godwin B, Mascarenhas M. Integrative nutrition for pediatrics. Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care. 2016;46(6):165–71.
9.Anttila P, Metsahonkala L, Aromaa M, Sourander A, Salminen J, Helenius H, Alanen P, Sillanpaa M. Determinants of tension-type headache in children. Cephalalgia. 2002;22(5):401–8.
10. Connelly M. Recurrent pediatric headache: a comprehensive review. Child Health Care. 2003;32(3):153–89.
11. Lynge, S., Dissing, K.B., Vach, W., Christensen, H.W. and Hestbaek, L., 2021. Effectiveness of chiropractic manipulation versus sham manipulation for recurrent headaches in children aged 7–14 years-a randomised clinical trial. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, 29(1), pp.1-13.
Stress in today’s society is not getting any lower. We have previously talked about how chiropractic care can assist in the management of stress levels. (1-2) This time we want to expand on what we covered last time by also giving you a simple breathing exercise to assist in self-management of your stress levels.
A common way of measuring the body’s response to stress, as well as overall wellbeing, is heart rate variability (HRV). It is often assumed that heart rate should be rather constant, but is in fact, quite the opposite, a higher variability is associated with better health. Our HRV also will be impacted by mood and mental wellbeing, especially depression and anxiety have a large negative impact. (3-4)
So, “How on earth does breathing help?” I hear you ask. Well, a study published this year has started to give us this answer. They found that by regulating your breathing with rhythmic breathing or 6 breaths per minute had positive impacts on HRV. By holding to 6 breaths per minute it is hypothesised that you can impact your autonomic nervous system, and gas exchange efficiency (how well you absorb oxygen from the air). (3-4)
Another study from 2019 reported that using breathing techniques such as these helped in improving decision making as well as reducing stress levels. (5-6)
A simple breathing exercise to realign the body and brain is this:
1. Slowly inhale through your nose to a count of 4.
2. Hold your breath for the count of 4.
3. Exhale slowly through your mouth to a count of 4 or more.
Repeat this until you feel your heart rate slow down and your body begin to calm. It really can be that simple!
One of the most common questions we get asked in the practice is “Why could babies need a check-up?”. To answer this question, we need to look at one of the biggest physical stressors that can affect an infant which is childbirth.
Birth injury, unless major and life threatening, is under-recognised and under-treated (Gottlieb, 1993). In a recent study of 200 infants presenting to a clinic with pain and other physiologic disturbance, 95% demonstrated notable birth trauma. In a much earlier and larger study of 1250 newborns, 89% showed some mechanical strain or restriction (Frymann, 1966). Many injuries including asymmetry of the head, facial asymmetry, torticollis, asymmetry of the mandible, nasal septum deviation and spinal, rib or clavicle dysfunction often go undetected until associated health problems arise.
It is increasingly common for births to be assisted with vacuum extraction instruments or surgery (Kozak and Weeks, 2002). Vacuum extraction has been shown to be a strong predictor of early cessation of breastfeeding (Hall et al, 2002). Even under normal conditions, birth consists of significant traction and rotation of the baby’s head and with sufficient force, clavicle fracture is seen as an “unavoidable side effect” in up to 10% of vaginal births (Miller et al, 2013).
Babies with mild injuries have a high rate of cessation of breastfeeding, however a study by Miller et al (2009) found that 79% of new mothers presenting with feeding problems were able to exclusively breastfeed after a short course of manual therapy. More research is needed here, however these are promising results.
Aside from feeding issues that may be associated with birth trauma, there are some other really important cues to look for in babies to see if they may be experiencing pain:
So if you baby is exhibiting any of these behaviours, give our Practice a call today so we can screen for musculoskeletal issues and help support you and your baby thrive as they grow and develop.
Childhood sleep problems are common, and frequently reduce the wellbeing and functioning of both child and family. Sleep is a process vital to physical, mental, and emotional health throughout life. It is instrumental to cellular and tissue renewal, immunity, cognition, and behavioural regulation – among many other functions (1).
See out top 5 tips at the end of this article to help manage sleep issues and if you are interested in more detailed information about the research see our blog section on our website.
Sleep problems can be a medical issue (something wrong with the child like an ear infection for example) or behavioural in origin. The majority of childhood sleep problems are behavioural in origin and there are training techniques developed to help manage this. It is suggested that less than 5% of distressed infants have identifiable medical explanations for their crying (4). Initially these more severe issues need to be ruled out by a health practitioner.
Manual therapists offer a mix of health screening, education, advice, psychological support and touch therapy for these infants and parents. Manual treatment is based on the premise that infants may have musculoskeletal strains or limitations affecting comfort, feeding and gut motility causing distress (4). These issues are helped by managing musculoskeletal issue related to these factors. Many other related factors for unsettled infant behaviour have been explored including diet, developmental progress and parenting.
Medicalising these symptoms is controversial as they are seen as self-limiting with infants normally settling after 12 weeks (4). However, coping with these infants during this period can be very difficult. The consequences of having an excessively crying infant in the family are harmful to relationships and health. Excessive infant crying is associated with maternal issues such as depression, anxiety and loss of parenting confidence. It is also a common cause of early breastfeeding cessation and has been associated with severe infant injury or death as a result of abuse (5).
Sleep in the first year of life is documented in the literature as an important process necessary for growth and neurodevelopment. As such, efforts should be made wherever possible to protect and preserve sleep. For healthy infants, this involves teaching parents the importance of sleep, as well as what to expect as sleep evolves. It is important for parents to help their infants develop self-soothing techniques, so that beginning at 3 months, infants can better consolidate sleep during the night (1).
Some tips for better management of sleep issues are:
First, ensure a consistent bedtime routine and good sleep hygiene. The latter includes:
For more details about where to get a referral for sleep training, or for more help managing problems related to musculoskeletal issues related to sleep comfort, contact us here at Sprouting Health.
Chiropractors are often one of the first practitioners a patient will see following a motor vehicle accident, sports injury or other acute trauma. They are often also one of the practitioners seen for help with associated conditions (eg musculoskeletal issues) after suffering months of chronic post-traumatic concussion syndrome (1).
Concussion is a brain injury defined as a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by biomechanical forces. Subtle findings of head injury may be missed in emergency settings because of time constraints or because symptoms and signs have a late onset of presentation. This is true of low-grade brain injury and hematomas, which may have serious complications later. Symptoms of brain injury can be delayed. Therefore, because an emergency department or other medical provider “cleared” a patient, it does not mean that brain injury is not present. Therefor it is wise to see a chiropractor to have a thorough history and examination if you have suffered recent history of head trauma (2).
The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) reported that over a one-year period (2016-2017) non-sport related concussion (non-SRC) accounted for the majority (74%) of all brain injuries presenting to emergency departments in Ontario and Alberta, with sport-related concussions (SRCs) therefore only being responsible for the remaining 26%. With that in mind, the CIHI also reported that the number of emergency department visits for SRC has increased by almost 28% over the last five years (1).
In 1993, Dalby presented a narrative review of chiropractic management of head trauma, such as that occurring from car accidents, sports, or other injuries. The article explains neuromusculoskeletal conditions that patients experience after head injury are those that chiropractors help manage, such as headache, vertigo, neck pain, and back pain (3).
There is evidence describing chiropractic care is beneficial for the management of concussion with multi-modal treatment plans. This may include sub-symptomatic threshold exercise, vestibulo-ocular rehabilitation, spinal manipulation, soft-tissue therapy, and dietary modification during the management of both sport and non-sport related concussion (3).
If you or someone you know has experienced a head injury or symptoms post head injury, call us or message us on Facebook to see whether we can help you!
1. Dalby BJ. Chiropractic diagnosis and treatment of closed head trauma. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 1993 Jul-Aug;16(6):392-400.
2. Ellis MJ, Leddy J, Cordingley D, Willer B. A Physiological Approach to Assessment and Rehabilitation of Acute Concussion in Collegiate and Professional
Athletes. Front Neurol. 2018;9:1115. Published 2018 Dec 20. doi:10.3389/fneur.2018.01115
3. Germann D, Marshall C, Kazemi M. Multi-modal management of sport and non-sport related concussion by chiropractic sports specialists: a case series. J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2020;64(3):214-226.
Shoulder pain may occur frequently at work, specifically for workers constantly using their arms and hands. These workers can range from office workers, to baristas, to professional athletes. The repetitive or static motion of the upper limbs can potentially put pressure on one muscle called the upper trapezius. This in turn could possibly cause neck pain in some individuals.
One study had shown a strong association between trapezius muscle tenderness and neck/shoulder pain in office workers. Tenderness was more common in women than in men (23% vs. 7%)2. Another study had shown a high prevalence of work-related muscle disorders, particularly in the shoulders (57.9%) and neck (54.3%) among cooks and restaurant workers1.
As there is no particular reason to why an increased in trapezius tenderness is associated with neck/shoulder issues, it is possible to be influenced by multiple sources. One source would be the serratus anterior muscle (known as the punching muscle). A study had shown a significant correlation (48.3%) between serratus anterior strength and upper trapezius pain1. Serratus anterior weakness may lead to shoulder dysfunction, impingement or abnormal scapular movements resulting with an overuse of the upper trapezius muscle3. However, these results are not conclusive as no study has shown direct causal relationship at the moment.
However, if you experience shoulder pain especially at work, check in with us at Sprouting Health Chiropractic. It just might be related to weakness of another muscle. Let us find out!
1. Hwang U, Kwon O, Chung H, Jeon H, Weon J, Ha S. Predictors of upper trapezius pain with myofascial trigger points in food service workers. Medicine [Internet]. 2017 June;96(26):7252.
2. Brandt M, Sundstrup E, Jakobsen MD, Jay K, Colado JC, Wang Y, Zebis MK, Andersen LL. Association between Neck/Shoulder Pain and Trapezius Muscle Tenderness in Office Workers. Pain Res Treat [Internet]. 2014; doi: 10.1155/2014/352735
3. Page P. Shoulder muscle imbalance and subacromial impingement syndrome in overhead athletes. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2011;6(1):51-58.
We live in a world where most of us use and need our feet a lot of the time in activities of daily living in our life. Is considering the type of footwear or eliminating it all-together at times a factor to consider in our health and well-being?
As far back as Ancient Greek times, philosophers described how ill-fitting sandals caused diseases of the foot. So, are today’s shoes supporting us enough and maintaining the strength and stability we need? According to the American Podiatric Medical Association in 2014, we are getting shoes very wrong and 77% of Americans report suffering from painful, debilitating foot conditions (3).
Researchers from University of Johannesburg, compared feet from 2000 year old skeletons, concluding that before shoes people had healthier, stronger feet. Another study look at South African and German feet, and those that went regularly barefoot had healthier feet with higher overall arches and straighter big toes, than European shoe wearers, giving us a wider base of support under our body. The regularly barefoot also had less characteristics like flat feet, deformed big toes and bunions and they had better flexibility and pliability of their feet (2).
It appears the more barefoot time we have from a younger age onwards the better. It has been found regularly that barefoot kids scored much higher in balance and motor skills than their shoe counterparts. A decade long study also found shoes off feet kids in the classroom improved concentration, behaviour and academic performance (1).
So what does this all suggest and what are the considerations for you? Shoes appear to wear our feet in, not the other way around if they are restricting. Use every opportunity to be safely barefoot to stimulate your feet and body in a positive manner, because the benefits suggest short, medium and long-term gains.
If you or someone you know is experiencing health issues related to their feet, have a chat with one of our chiropractors and see whether we can help support and manage your musculoskeletal issues that arise with this!