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!
SUV’s are getting very popular in our community. Accounting to news.com.au, Aussies buy twice as many SUVs as sedans now, and utes. There are lots of factors for us to pick our dream car – have you considered your health as one of them?
The major difference between a SUV and sedan would be height and size. The higher the car dimensions means the higher the seat could be. When considering ergonomics and driving for a prolonged period of time, the height of the car seat plays an important role in a driver’s comfort.
Multiple studies looked into the health and associated risk factors of professional drivers (Truck drivers, bus drivers, etc.).(1-3) They found a high percentage of professional drivers have musculoskeletal problems (neck pain and lower back pain), a higher rate of lung cancer (almost 20% higher than non-driver) and digestive problems such as indigestion and reflux.(1-3) The cause of their occupational health problems is multifactorial, including exposure to a prolonged period of vibrations, poor ergonomics, increased spinal load, heavy lifting, and exposure to exhaust gas, etc.(1-3) Moreover, researchers looked deeper into those drivers who experienced fewer musculoskeletal problem. The likelihood of getting sore muscles significantly lower when the driver’s hip is at knee height and arms are below shoulders while driving.(2)
Coming back to daily commuters, a higher seat and head clearance height would provide advantages for the driver to stay in a more favorable posture. ONE MORE big factor contributing to driving associated neck or shoulder pain is the recline angle. Drivers bend their neck forward when the car seat is reclined too far back (almost flat). Recent research indicates the loading to the cervical spine in a flexed forward position can cause up to 4 times the original shearing load and up to 1.6 x compression loading through the neck (4).
For these reasons SUV is the winner! For people who love to drive a smaller sedan in the city, sports car or you have health issue that is impractical to climb up to a higher car, we have a simple solution for you. Prevention! Prevention! Prevention! Adjust your seat height, follow proper ergonomics, put a cushion underneath, use a neck pillow.
If you or your love ones are experiencing health issues that maybe associated with prolonged driving or sedentary posture, have a chat with our chiropractors and see whether we can help manage your issues!
1. Tsoi CT, Tse LA. Professional drivers and lung cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Occupational and environmental medicine. 2012;69(11):831-6.
2. Bovenzi M. A prospective cohort study of neck and shoulder pain in professional drivers. Ergonomics. 2015;58(7):1103-16.
3. Taklikar C. Occupational stress and its associated health disorders among bus drivers. Int J Community Med Public Health. 2016;3(1):208-11.
4. Barrett JM, McKinnon C, Callaghan JP. Cervical spine joint loading with neck flexion. Ergonomics. 2020;63(1):101-8.
During pregnancy, many physiological and biomechanical changes occur that may affect the mothers’ physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Chiropractic care is common for women during pregnancy (1), especially for pregnancy related musculoskeletal pain that arises (2). Are you and your loved one planning for, or are currently pregnant? This is an important article that could make the world of difference to you.
“Back pain is one of the most prevalent conditions reported among pregnant women” (3)
Excessive stress during the antenatal period may lead to long term effects on the foetus and alter the development of the foetal nervous system (4). With society as it currently is, with overreliance on drugs such as opioids, to try to help to control pain and high rates of postpartum depression and anxiety, it is important to explore alternative solutions to improving the maternal quality of life. (5,6,7)
In a recent research literature, questionnaires were utilised to measure the quality of life and specific visit satisfaction of pregnant patients under chiropractic care, and it was found that pregnant patients were highly satisfied with their chiropractic visit and their quality of life scores improved beyond statistical significance with chiropractic care. (7)
If you want to find out if chiropractic may assist with musculoskeletal issues during pregnancy for you or your loved ones, have a chat with one of our chiropractors to see how they can assist.
“Reducing the stresses that affect mums are important for the overall health of the baby”
1.Metcalfe, A., Grabowska, K., Weller, C. and Tough, S.C., 2013. Impact of prenatal care provider on the use of ancillary health services during pregnancy. BMC pregnancy and childbirth, 13(1), pp.1-11.
2. Pallivalapila AR, Stewart D, Shetty A, et al. Use of complementary and alternative medicines during the third trimester. Obstet Gynecol 2015;125:204–211.
3. Steel, A., Adams, J., Sibbritt, D., Broom, A., Gallois, C. and Frawley, J., 2012. Utilisation of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners within maternity care provision: results from a nationally representative cohort study of 1,835 pregnant women. BMC pregnancy and childbirth, 12(1), pp.1-8.
4. Pickler, R.H., McGrath, J.M., Reyna, M.B.A., McCain, N., Lewis, M.M., Cone, M.S., Wetzel, P. and Best, A., 2010. A model of neurodevelopmental risk and protection for preterm infants. The Journal of perinatal & neonatal nursing, 24(4), p.356.
5. Vowles KE, McEntee ML, Julnes PS, et al. Rates of opioid misuse, abuse, and addiction in chronic pain: A systematic review and data synthesis. Pain 2015;156:569–576.
6.Alderdice F, McNeill J, Lynn F. A systematic review of systematic reviews of interventions to improve maternal mental health and well-being. Midwifery 2013;29:389–399.
7. Alcantara, J., Nazarenko, A.L., Ohm, J. and Alcantara, J., 2018. The use of the patient reported outcomes measurement information system and the RAND VSQ9 to measure the quality of life and visit-specific satisfaction of pregnant patients under chiropractic care utilizing the webster technique. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 24(1), pp.90-98.
One of the most common reasons people come to a see a chiropractor is for headaches. Primary headaches, including tension type headaches, cluster headaches, and migraines, has been reported in up to 3% of the general population with a female predominance. (1)
A new study out of Denmark has looked into how chiropractic care can help our kids aged 7-14 with headaches. This study found significantly fewer days with headaches and a better global perceived effect with chiropractic care. This is in line with previous research in the adult population, where it is found that chiropractic management produced more pronounced favourable outcomes in frequency of headaches than intensity of headaches. (2)
We are also often asked what is causing headaches or migraines in our patients, and the answer is not simple as many different things can be the cause. One of the more common conditions to present to us is neck pain causing headaches and migraines(cervicogenic), and chiropractic has good evidence in the management of neck disorders. (3-5)
A recent literature review found evidence suggesting that cervical dysfunction need to be considered in the prevention of migraines. There is, however, still more research needed to explain the association between neck pain and migraines.
So if you, or one of you young ones is struggling with headaches or migraines, come on in to one of our practices and see what we can do to help you live you best life possible.
ATTENTION to all parents who have kids suffering from ear infections that are frequently prescribed antibiotics…
Ear infections, medically known as acute otitis media is one of the most frequently diagnosed diseases in children and more than 20 million antibiotics are prescribed annually in the United States.,
Otitis media with effusion (OME) is when there is fluid in the middle ear without signs or symptoms of ear infection.
Acute otitis media (AOM) is when there is the presence of fluid in the middle ear in conjunction with recent or abrupt onset of signs of inflammation of the middle ear.
Frequently, AOM is over diagnosed, and failure to differentiate AOM from OME may be the most common cause of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions3 and may contribute to antibiotic-resistance. AOM and OME both are upper respiratory tract infections, but children with AOM also have pain and fever.
The current recommendation for the treatment of AOM is to use an antibacterial agent (usually amoxicillin). Antimicrobial therapy is not recommended for patients with OME because it typically resolves spontaneously. 
A literature review that looked at results from forty-nine articles concluded that it is possible that some children with AOM may benefit from spinal manipulation therapy or spinal manipulation therapy combined with other therapies. However, more rigorous studies are needed to provide evidence and a clearer picture for both practitioner and patients. 
So if you’d like to know more about if we may be able to help in the management of recurring ear infections along side your Medical Doctor, please give our Practice a call.
 American Academy of Family Physicians, & American Academy of Pediatrics Subcommittee on Otitis Media With Effusion. (2004). Otitis media with effusion. Pediatrics, 113(5), 1412-1429.
 American Academy of Pediatrics Subcommittee on Man- agement of Acute Otitis Media. Diagnosis and manage- ment of acute otitis media. Pediatrics 2004;113:1451-65.
 Steinbach, W. J., & Sectish, T. C. (2002). Pediatric resident training in the diagnosis and treatment of acute otitis media. Pediatrics, 109(3), 404-408.
 Pichichero, M. E., & Poole, M. D. (2001). Assessing diagnostic accuracy and tympanocentesis skills in the management of otitis media. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine, 155(10), 1137-1142.
 Subcommittee on Management of Acute Otitis Media. Diagnosis and management of acute otitis media. Pediatrics 2004;113:1451-65.
 Dowell SF, Schwartz B, Phillips WR. Appropriate use of antibiotics for URIs in children: part I. Otitis media and acute sinusitis. The Pediatric URI Consensus Team. Am Fam Physician 1998;58:1113-8, 1123.
 Pohlman, K. A., & Holton-Brown, M. S. (2012). Otitis media and spinal manipulative therapy: a literature review. Journal of chiropractic medicine, 11(3), 160-169.
The answer is YES (1)!
In recent scientific studies gluten has been associated with severe brain issues. This is caused by an autoimmune reaction related to gluten. Essentially the body attacks its own brain! The symptoms in a recent case study (1) where a man was affected by gluten were sporadic ataxia (this means he had impaired coordination almost like someone is intoxicated).
How does this happen?
For the science minded: Gluten ataxia results from immunological damage to the cerebellum from gluten antibodies that cross-react with cerebellum tissue in genetically susceptible subgroups. Individuals suffering from gluten ataxia have been found to clinically improve when implementing a gluten-free diet due to cross-reactivity of dietary proteins with ataxia target sites, such as glutamic-acid decarboxylase-65 (GAD-65) within the cerebellum in clinical settings (2).
For the layman: Gluten can cause the body to attack its own brain when the individual has certain genetic susceptibilities and when the immune system has been irritated enough! The body gets confused by trying to attack the gluten proteins and because the brain proteins look similar these are also attacked.
Gluten ataxia should be considered in all patients with sporadic ataxia, regardless of whether they have gut symptoms; early diagnosis and treatment may result in neurological improvement (3). It is also important to realise that many patients with gluten ataxia do not demonstrate gastrointestinal manifestations (eg gut pain) but instead exhibit only cerebellum neurological deficits (such as this example of ataxia), while progressed individuals demonstrate cerebellum changes on MRI (4).
Early diagnosis and treatment with a gluten-free diet can improve ataxia and prevent its progression(5). However, there are subgroups of patients suffering from gluten ataxia that only have a partial resolution of their symptoms while implementing a gluten-free diet. It is not clear why these patients do not respond. It is possible that cross-reactivity to food proteins with GAD-65 other than gluten may be responsible for triggering sporadic ataxia and explain why a gluten-free diet alone is not enough for some gluten ataxia subjects. We have discussed cross reactivity in one of our other blogs. Basically the body gets confused between different type of foods and they can act in a similar way. Eg corn can emulate gluten in some people and the list is growing with these cross reacting foods.
In research it has been shown that some other foods that humans can develop sensitivities to that can also drive severe autoimmune issues are greatly varied and depend on the individual. More research is needed in this area particularly around intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut) and how our immune system gets sensitised to these type of foods in the first place (6)!
If you would like some more information on how to help manage your gut health, please get in touch!