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!
The debate over whether coffee is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is a constant topic of contention. Multiple studies have been conducted over the years in order to assess the potential outcomes of consuming coffee (both positive and negative).
Some studies show that there is a probable link to a decreased risk of multiple conditions, such as some cancers, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and Parkinson’s Disease – though these benefits were only perceived in previously healthy adults.
Other studies revealed that limiting your coffee intake (<2.8 cups/day) could reduce the risk of cognitive deficit, while consuming green tea daily could provide cognitive benefits.
These findings indicate that coffee can be beneficial to a person’s health when included as part of a healthy, balanced diet. It is important to remember, however, that more is not necessarily better and coffee (as with anything) should be consumed in moderation.
Try following these tips to ensure a healthy coffee habit:
Avoid Consuming Coffee Late in the Day and Early in the morning
Coffee is often consumed in the morning or when we’re tired to act as an energy boost – this is because it contains caffeine, which is a stimulant. You don’t want to become reliant to need a boost every day- this is then acting as something you need to function and this scenario is never healthy.
Drinking coffee late in the day can give us a ‘pick me up’ that can prevent restful sleep from occurring.
Don’t Load Your Coffee with Sugar
Whether its standard sugar or your favourite flavoured syrup, try and steer clear! Added sugar is arguably one of the worst ingredients in the modern diet and is linked to all sorts of serious diseases like obesity and diabetes.
Avoid Drinking Too Much
Limit your coffee intake to no more than 4 standard cups per day – this is the recommended amount according to most guidelines and health professionals. Anything greater than this amount exceeds the daily recommended intake of caffeine. It is also important to listen to your body depending on your personal sensitivities.
If you would like some simple options to help manage energy levels contact us here at Sprouting Health!
Grosso, G., Godos, J., Galvano, F., & Giovannucci, E. (2017). Coffee, Caffeine, and Health Outcomes: An Umbrella Review. Annual Review Of Nutrition, 37(1), 131-156. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-071816-064941
Di Maso, M., Boffetta, P., Negri, E., La Vecchia, C., & Bravi, F. (2021). Caffeinated Coffee Consumption and Health Outcomes in the US Population: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis and Estimation of Disease Cases and Deaths Avoided. Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.), nmaa177. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmaa177
Ran, L. S., Liu, W. H., Fang, Y. Y., Xu, S. B., Li, J., Luo, X., Pan, D. J., Wang, M. H., & Wang, W. (2021). Alcohol, coffee and tea intake and the risk of cognitive deficits: a dose-response meta-analysis. Epidemiology and psychiatric sciences, 30, e13. https://doi.org/10.1017/S2045796020001183
Teenagers can have various reasons for skipping school.
Not taking laziness into account - chronic illness, musculoskeletal(MSK) pain, anxiety, depression, and poor academic performance are some common reasons for not attending school. A study suggested 1 in 4 teenagers are impacted by MSK pain (e.g. back pain/neck pain), with a higher prevalence and incidence rate in girls than boys.(1)
According to the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), the average attendance rate of teenagers in their school year 7-10 was about 90% in 2018(Pre-Covid). (2) Sometimes being a teenager can be challenging and requires good executive functioning (EF) to complete daily tasks. Recent research found teenagers with chronic MSK pain report significantly greater EF impairment compared to healthy age and gender-matched peers.(3)
Musculoskeletal pain reduced Executive Functioning!!!
EF impairment is similar to a spinning wheel stuck when our computer runs out of memory or overloaded with multiple tasks. It means a decrease in our working memory (52%), inhibition (45%), and cognitive flexibility (38%).(3) To put it simply, it affects the ability to stay focus at school, less capable of switching from task to task or problem solving, impulsive response, decrease attendance, decrease social abilities, and poorer performance in sports.(3)
If your teen participates in sports, there is a higher risk of resulting pain due to injuries (e.g. ankle sprain). Other risk factors for MSK pain including higher BMI, taller height, smoking, negative emotional status, female gender.(4) Oftentimes, pain is developed over a slowly built up stress in our body. Therefore, it is crucial to get to the cause of pain rather than treating the symptoms.
At Sprouting Health, we aimed to help people to perform at their best. If your teenager at home often refuses to go to school, experiencing difficulties to focus or is struggling academically, speak to one of our chiropractors and see how we can help manage your concerns!
1. McBeth J, Jones K. Epidemiology of chronic musculoskeletal pain. Best practice & research Clinical rheumatology. 2007;21(3):403-25.
2. Australian Curriculum AaRA. Student attendance 2018 [Available from: https://www.acara.edu.au/reporting/national-report-on-schooling-in-australia/national-report-on-schooling-in-australia-data-portal/student-attendance.
3. Jastrowski Mano KE, Beckmann EA, Fussner LM, Kashikar-Zuck S. Executive Functioning in Adolescents with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain. Children. 2020;7(12):273.
4. Huguet A, Tougas ME, Hayden J, McGrath PJ, Stinson JN, Chambers CT. Systematic review with meta-analysis of childhood and adolescent risk and prognostic factors for musculoskeletal pain. Pain. 2016;157(12):2640-56.
Spinal pain which includes neck and back pain is a common health problem affecting all age groups (1,2,3). When it becomes chronic, 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 spinal pain? This is an important article that could make the world of difference to you.
“On average, patients suffering from spine pain will incur 73% higher health care costs, with much of the cost going towards improper management” (5,6)
The cause of spinal pain in young people is unclear with varying directions for physical, psychological, and social factor associations (7). It may include things such as sports, postural stress, study stress and technological habits that is prevalent among the young. Spinal pain can limit physical activity for the younger population, which has numerous long term consequences (8).
In recent research literature, looking at chiropractic management of young people aged between 10-24 years of age for spinal pain, it was demonstrated that there were statistically and clinically significant improvements on the numeric rating scale. So chiropractic care may be a viable management for spinal pain for young people, though further studies would help to substantiate these findings.
If you want to find out if chiropractic may help manage spinal pain for you or your loved ones, have a chat with one of our chiropractors to see how they can assist.
“Overall health and function is vital for our wellbeing”
1. Leininger B, Bronfort G, Evans R, Hodges J, Kuntz K, Nyman JA. Cost- effectiveness of spinal manipulation, exercise, and self-management for spinal pain using an individual participant data meta-analysis approach: a study protocol. Chiropr Man Therap [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2019 Jan 5];26:46.
2. Schneider M, Murphy D, Hartvigsen J. Spine Care as a Framework for the Chiropractic Identity. J Chiropr Humanit [Internet]. 2016 Dec [cited 2018 Apr 6];23(1):14–21. A
3. Hartvigsen J, Hancock MJ, Kongsted A, Louw Q, Ferreira ML, Genevay S, et al. What low back pain is and why we need to pay attention. Lancet (London, England) [Internet]. 2018 Jun 9 [cited 2018 Oct 6];391(10137):2356–67.
4. Schopflocher D, Taenzer P, Jovey R. The prevalence of chronic pain in Canada. Pain Res Manag [Internet]. 2011 [cited 2019 Jan 31];16(6):445–50.
5. Martin BI, Deyo RA, Mirza SK, Turner JA, Comstock BA, Hollingworth W, et al. Expenditures and Health Status Among Adults With Back and Neck Problems. JAMA [Internet]. 2008 Feb 13 [cited 2018 Apr 6];299(6):656.
6. Deyo RA, Mirza SK, Turner JA, Martin BI. Overtreating chronic back pain: time to back off? J Am Board Fam Med [Internet]. 2009 Jan 1 [cited 2018 Apr 6];22(1):62–8.
7. Kamper SJ, Henschke N, Hestbaek L, Dunn KM, Williams CM. Musculoskeletal pain in children and adolescents. Brazilian J Phys Ther [Internet]. 2016 Feb 16 [cited 2019 Jan 17];20(3):275–84.
8. Manansala, C., Passmore, S., Pohlman, K., Toth, A. and Olin, G., 2019. Change in young people's spine pain following chiropractic care at a publicly funded healthcare facility in Canada. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 35, pp.301-307.
There has been debate about the relevance of icing an injury, especially soft tissue injuries like muscle strains, for many years now. We have nearly all heard the acronym RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), but this term was coined back in 1978 by Dr Gabe Mirkin, and has since been replaced 3 times over! (1) Dr Mirkin retracted RICE as a recommendation himself in 2014.
So, what is the big deal here? Well, it has been suggested that while cooling will delay swelling and help numb the pain, it will not speed up your recovery. Ultimately, the healing process of the body requires inflammation to heal, and applying ice will cause constriction of the blood vessels and slow the flow of important healing inflammatory cells (macrophages) to the damaged tissue. Even anti-inflammatory medications will delay this healing process! (2)
“Great… So, what do I do now?” I hear you ask. Research now tells us that we should not be using the RICE acronym, rather, we should use PEACE & LOVE. (2)
Protection – avoid activities and movements that increase pain during the first few days after injury.
Elevation – elevate the injured limb higher that the heart as often as possible.
Avoid anti-inflammatories – avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications as they reduce tissue healing. Avoid icing.
Compression – use elastic bandage or taping to reduce swelling.
Education – your body knows best. Avoid any unnecessary passive treatments and medical investigations and let nature play its role.
Load – let pain guide your gradual return to normal activities. Your body will tell you when it is safe to increase load.
Optimisation – condition your brain for optimal recovery by being confident and positive.
Vascularisation – choose pain free cardiovascular activities to increase blood flow to repairing tissues.
Exercise – restore mobility, strength and proprioception by adopting an active approach to recovery.
All of this does not mean you should throw your ice packs away. (3) They are still useful to help reduce swelling, especially for that big ankle sprain. (4) But for the everyday muscle strain or injury, leave it in the fridge.