We recently talked about concussions and the benefits of seeking assessment and treatment from health professionals, such as chiropractors for associated musculoskeletal issues. A brand-new study (systematic review) has come out which looked at the role of neck symptoms post-concussion. (1)
This study found that there was up to 69% prevalence of cervicogenic (neck) symptoms in the acute post concussive stages and that increased up to 90% for those who suffer with persistent post concussive symptoms! They also found that if neck pain was reported at the initial evaluations there was an increased risk of developing persistent post concussive symptom by 2.58-6.38 times. On top of all of this, it was found that manual therapy reduced the time for symptom resolution and medical clearance. (1) Previous studies have shown that chiropractic care is safe and effective (when compared to other interventions) in the management of neck pain and associated presentations. (2-6)
Another significant, and often underappreciated, component to concussion recovery is the potential mental health impact. In a different study, also released this year, they reviewed the mental health impact following a concussion in the paediatric population. This review pooled information from over 89,000 children, finding higher levels of symptoms such as withdrawal, anxiety, depression, aggression, hyperactivity, and conduct problems. Further research is needed to clarify the mechanisms behind the apparent relationship, but their results suggest that a concussion could precipitate or exacerbate mental health difficulties. (7)
With these results in mind, it is more important than ever to have a multidisciplinary approach to post concussive treatment. So, if you know someone who is struggling after a concussion, why not give us a call and see how we could help manage this with you.
(1) Cheever, K., McDevitt, J., Phillips, J., & Kawata, K. (2021). The Role of Cervical Symptoms in Post-concussion Management: A Systematic Review. Sports Medicine, 1-17.
(2) Bryans, R., Decina, P., Descarreaux, M., Duranleau, M., Marcoux, H., Potter, B., Ruegg, R.P., Shaw, L., Watkin, R. and White, E., 2014. Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with neck pain. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 37(1), pp.42-63.
(3) Bronfort, G., Evans, R., Anderson, A.V., Svendsen, K.H., Bracha, Y. and Grimm, R.H., 2012. Spinal manipulation, medication, or home exercise with advice for acute and subacute neck pain: a randomized trial. Annals of internal medicine, 156(1_Part_1), pp.1-10.
(4) Cassidy, J.D., Boyle, E., Côté, P., He, Y., Hogg-Johnson, S., Silver, F.L. and Bondy, S.J., 2009. Risk of vertebrobasilar stroke and chiropractic care: results of a population-based case-control and case-crossover study. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 32(2), pp.S201-S208.
(5) Thiel, H.W., Bolton, J.E., Docherty, S. and Portlock, J.C., 2007. Safety of chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine: a prospective national survey. Spine, 32(21), pp.2375-2378.
(6) Peterson, C.K., Schmid, C., Leemann, S., Anklin, B. and Humphreys, B.K., 2013. Outcomes from magnetic resonance imaging–confirmed symptomatic cervical disk herniation patients treated with high-velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulative therapy: a prospective cohort study with 3-month follow-up. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 36(8), pp.461-467.
(7) Gornall, A., Takagi, M., Morawakage, T., Liu, X., & Anderson, V. (2021). Mental health after paediatric concussion: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British journal of sports medicine.
Are you struggling with your infant constantly waking during the night or finding it really hard to settle your little one down to sleep?
Sleep develops rapidly over the first few years of life and is a highly dynamic process. At birth, infants will sleep a total of 16-17 hours in a 24hrs period, but lack an established circadian rhythm. You will likely see multiple waking intervals due to the infants feeding needs. At 10-12 weeks old, sleep time decreases to 14-15 hours in a 24hr period as the circadian rhythm begins to develop.
One of the many factors that can affect sleep in neonates and infants is birth trauma! The evidence suggests that infants may receive musculoskeletal injuries through both traumatic and non-traumatic births. A case report recently found up to 73% of infants had one or more musculoskeletal asymmetries stemming from birth.  Some musculoskeletal issues may by asymptomatic initially but some common signs to look out for include sleep problems, feeding issues, prolonged crying, persistent head tilts, unsettled or disliking the car, bathing, nappy changes, clothing changes and tummy time.
A study in England on 220 subjects with an average age of 2.9 years, looked into the correlation with babies who had suffered birth trauma and sleep issues. 54 presented with sleep problems, 90 with pain or discomfort and 62 with feeding problems. 25% of participants who reported sleep problems initially, reported improvements in sleep after Chiropractic treatment. Another 30% of participants who initially presented with other difficulties, also noted an improvement in sleep duration and the baby’s ability to settle. This study saw an improvement in sleep, reduction in discomfort and pain, and improved feeding.  However more research is needed in this area.
If you have any questions about your baby and want to assess whether they may have a musculoskeletal issue from birth, give us a call and we will see how we can help support your little one develop and thrive.
 Davis, K. F., Parker, K. P., & Montgomery, G. L. (2004). Sleep in infants and young children: Part one: normal sleep. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 18(2), 65-71.
 Miller, J., Fontana, M., Jernlås, K., Olofsson, H., & Verwijst, I. (2013). Risks and rewards of early musculoskeletal assessment: An evidence-based case report. British Journal of Midwifery, 21(10), 736-743.
 Edwards, D., Gibb, C., & Cook, J. (2010). The benefits of chiropractic intervention for babies with sleep deprivation resulting from birth trauma. Midirs Midwifery Digest, 20(3), 373-379.
Having children is such a joyful experience, however when they complain of pain it can be very challenging!
Lots of questions arise- do I get them checked out, are they actually being serious or are they just wanting attention?? The type of pain we are referring to here is musculoskeletal pain. This is pain such as arm, leg, neck and back pain. While studies and statistics on musculoskeletal pain in adulthood is plentiful, data on school children is somewhat scarcer.
With an increasingly sedentary population, and with extended time sitting being noted as a public health concern, it is very relevant to discuss data on this particular group.
Recently, some researchers undertook this task and analysed pain distribution on 1,000 Danish Schoolchildren aged 8-16, and the results are very interesting (1).
Some takeaway from the study were
So research shows that pain in schoolchildren can be up to 70% of children in a school year. If we are aiming to support our children through their development and growth it is definitely worthwhile investigating the source of the complaints. If you have any concerns about musculoskeletal pain in children we are here to help at Sprouting Health. Just give us a call.
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.
Blogs by the team at Sprouting Health