Stress is omnipresent and forever around the corner. Some stress is good for us like exercise, however other forms of stress are very detrimental to our health. We have discussed stress in other blogs and our videos including how we measure it in our practice and what it does to us. Here we are going to discuss briefly the science of modern day armour against stress, and how to best counteract stress.
Remember stress can be physical, chemical or emotional. The brain does not distinguish between stress. Briefly; research shows long-term activation of the stress axis leads to increased inflammation (1), decreased immunity (2, 3), slower wound healing, it can reactivate latent viruses, such as Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), and it can enhance the risk for more severe infectious disease (3).
So here are the simple things you can do that have been shown in scientific studies to help your immune system and help manage stress.
It should be noted that stress management techniques are applicable not only to people who manifest a disease or disorder, but also to healthy people, when added to daily routine practice as an effective tool for health enhancement and protection over the life span, serving thus as a valuable intervention for the healthy population as well (7).
(1) Chrousos. G. P., (2000), “Stress, chronic inflammation, and emotional and physical well-being: Concurrent effects and chronic sequelae”, The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 106(5): S275-S291, https://doi.org/10.1067/mai.2000.110163
(2) Dhabhar, F.S., 2009. Enhancing versus suppressive effects of stress on immune function: implications for immunoprotection and immunopathology. Neuroimmunomodulation, 16(5), pp.300-317.
(3) Godbout, J.P. and Glaser, R., 2006. Stress-induced immune dysregulation: implications for wound healing, infectious disease and cancer. Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, 1(4), pp.421-427.
(4) Goldsmith, J.R. and Sartor, R.B., 2014. The role of diet on intestinal microbiota metabolism: downstream impacts on host immune function and health, and therapeutic implications. Journal of gastroenterology, 49(5), pp.785-798.
(5) Zaharna, M. and Guilleminault, C., 2010. Sleep, noise and health. Noise and Health, 12(47), p.64.
(6) Gerber, M. and Pühse, U., 2009. Do exercise and fitness protect against stress-induced health complaints? A review of the literature. Scandinavian journal of public health, 37(8), pp.801-819.
(7) Varvogli, L. and Darviri, C., 2011. Stress Management Techniques: evidence-based procedures that reduce stress and promote health. Health science journal, 5(2), p.74.
We get many people coming in to our practice asking what can we do to further help performance before and after physical activity? This is known as a warm up and cool down in generic terms. The purpose of a warm-up is to prepare the body for activity and in particular to promote optimal performance and decrease injury risk (1), something to be considered with anyone who engages in physical activity of any form.
Have you considered gluteal band activation as part of your lower limb performance routine? Widely known as a theraband, these bands are used in a variety of ways as part of physical therapy and even general exercise routine warm up and cool downs. Literature has trended towards using an activation protocol with the effect showing increased force in gluteus maximus and hamstrings following this, potentially increasing quality of movement in the lower limbs (2).
A reduction in gluteal muscle strength may be linked to lower extremity injuries and hence the need to consider an activation protocol of the gluteals to reduce this possibility (2).
With so many movements from general and physical activity putting increased repetitive stress loads through our bodies it is paramount we help counteract and use preventative measures for longevity in sport and life. If you want to find out if chiropractic may help manage and improve your performance with theraband support, have a chat with one of our chiropractors to see how they can assist and tailor something specific to your needs.
1. Parr, M., Price P. D. B., & Cleather D.J. (2017). Effect of a gluteal activation warm-up on explosive exercise performance, BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med 2017;3.
2. Darryl J. Cochrane, Michael C. Harnett & Scott C. Pinfold (2017), Does short-term gluteal activation enhance muscle performance? Research in Sports Medicine, 25:2, 156-165.
Low back pain is a common health problem that most people have experienced at one time or another. The clinical findings of ongoing low back pain show that lumbar movement is often decreased and the use of the core muscles is altered. (1) Studies also show that strengthening the core muscles can result in improved mobility and decreased pain. (2)
You’ve probably heard a lot about ‘core muscles’ or ‘core strength’ but what does it actually mean for you?
The ‘core’ is a group of muscles that helps your body to maintain different postures by stabilising and controlling the pelvis. When these muscles are functioning properly they assist with the ability to stand up from a chair, maintain comfortable posture when seated, perform daily tasks such as sweeping, and getting on and off the floor to play with the kids.
When these muscles are strong they can also help to improve your balance and stability, prevent overuse injuries, and reduce the occurrence of related aches and pains. When these muscles are weak, other muscles are recruited to try and make up for this lack of stability which is why you may feel an ache across your shoulders, sore or tight leg muscles, or even pain in the feet.
Multiple studies have shown that incorporation of core strengthening exercises can assist in the reduction of low back pain. Core exercises have the potential to reduce pain, improve spinal stability, and decrease the recurrence of pain episodes! (3)
Strengthening your core can be achieved in a multitude of ways but it’s important that the activities you perform to do this are tailored to your own abilities and restrictions. Having a chat with your chiropractor can ensure that you are performing the correct exercises (in the correct way) to get the best outcomes for you!
1. Kumar, T., Kumar, S., Nezamuddin, M., & Sharma, V. P. (2015). Efficacy of core muscle strengthening exercise in chronic low back pain patients. Journal of back and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, 28(4), 699–707. https://doi.org/10.3233/BMR-140572
2. Akhtar, M. W., Karimi, H., & Gilani, S. A. (2017). Effectiveness of core stabilization exercises and routine exercise therapy in management of pain in chronic non-specific low back pain: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Pakistan journal of medical sciences, 33(4), 1002–1006. https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.334.12664
3. Chang, W. D., Lin, H. Y., & Lai, P. T. (2015). Core strength training for patients with chronic low back pain. Journal of physical therapy science, 27(3), 619–622. doi:10.1589/jpts.27.619 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4395677/
The first question or concern about chiropractic for some people can be about the “cracking” or “popping” noise generated by a chiropractic adjustment. This feature seems to scare some people away from chiropractic care. We understand that some people are concerned about the safety of a chiropractic adjustment and worry about what this noise is. Researchers have explained how this sound is produced.
Cavitation, or the audible “cracking” sound followed by a high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), is the result of forces acting on the joint, which increases the joint volume and decrease joint fluid partial pressure, creating a gas bubble as intra-articular gases are drawn out of solution.(1) A similar process that we might all have experience is when we pull a suction cup off the wall and it creates a “popping” sound. It is believed that SMT producing cavitation can relieve pain, relax hypertonic muscles, restore and increase segmental range of motion, and re-establish normal spinal function.(1)
Some underlying pathologies can contraindicate a HVLA manipulation. For example, osteoporosis is a disease that reduce bone density and it is a bone weakening condition.(2) In such cases, we modify our techniques to minimise the risk of potential complications.
At Little Sprouts Chiropractic, all of our chiropractors will take a full medical history and perform a thorough physical examination on your initial visit, therefore we have a better idea of your overall health to tailor a care plan for each individual to maximize your safety and results.
If you, or any of your friends have stepped back from chiropractic care because of the sound of cavitation; please share this blog.
1. Conway P, Herzog W, Zhang Y, Hasler E, Ladly K. Forces required to cause cavitation during spinal manipulation of the thoracic spine. Clinical Biomechanics. 1993;8(4):210-4.
2. Rachner TD, Khosla S, Hofbauer LC. Osteoporosis: now and the future. The Lancet. 2011;377(9773):1276-87.
Neck pain is a leading cause of disability in adults, and in adults it is reported in up to as high as 20%. (1,2,3). Most cases of acute neck pain, will resolve within 3 months, although a substantial proportion of people will continue to experience low grade symptoms or frequent recurrences. (4) Do you or a loved one experience neck pain? This is an important article that could make the world of difference to you.
“A review in 2016 estimated that the annual cost of low back and neck pain was $87.6 billion in the US, ranking third behind diabetes and heart disease” (5)
There are several risk factors that predispose us to the development of neck pain, which include mental/emotional stress, sleep problems, sedentary lifestyle, history of neck pain, trauma, back pain, and poor general health. (6) Sports and work injuries have also been associated with neck pain. It has been found that office and computer workers, manual labourers, healthcare workers and occupational drivers are more likely than others to experience neck pain. (7,8) With acute neck pain, about half don’t resolve and patients continue to have low grade symptoms or recurrences, which means that it then becomes a chronic issue. (4) So it’s important to get on top of it and work out the cause.
In a recent research study they were looking at female veterans with neck pain who had chiropractic care. It was observed that female veterans with neck pain experienced a statistically and clinically significant improvement on their assessment scores over a short course of chiropractic management (9). So chiropractic may be a viable option for neck pain management.
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.
“With so many of our modern activities putting stress upon the neck, it is important to make sure that your neck is functioning well”
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.Cohen, S.P. and Hooten, W.M., 2017. Advances in the diagnosis and management of neck pain. Bmj, 358, p.j3221.
5.Dieleman JL, Baral R, Birger M, et al. US spending on personal health care and public health, 1996-2013. JAMA 2016;316:2627-46doi:10.1001/ jama.2016.16885.
6.Croft PR, Lewis M, Papageorgiou AC, et al. Risk factors for neck pain: a longitudinal study in the general population. Pain 2001;93:317- 25doi:10.1016/S0304-3959(01)00334-7.
7. Hogg-Johnson S, van der Velde G, Carroll LJ, et al. Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders. The burden and determinants of neck pain in the general population: results of the bone and joint decade 2000-2010 task force on neck pain and its associated disorders. Spine 2008;33(suppl):S39-51doi:10.1097/ BRS.0b013e31816454c8.
8. Côté P, van der Velde G, Cassidy JD, et al. The burden and determinants of neck pain in workers: results of the bone and joint decade 2000-2010 task force on neck pain and its associated disorders. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2009;32(Suppl):S70-86doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2008.11.012.
9. Corcoran, K.L., Dunn, A.S., Green, B.N., Formolo, L.R. and Beehler, G.P., 2018. Changes in female veterans' neck pain following chiropractic care at a hospital for veterans. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 30, pp.91-95.
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Blogs by the team at Sprouting Health