Academic performance, is it influenced by good balance in our children?
In a day and age when our lives have been consumed by more and more technology, have we left an important aid in learning lying dormant as an afterthought and not given it enough credit?
Recent research indicates we should be encouraging exercises that challenge postural stability in our young children, especially in combined nature. Our brain shares elements of sensory and movement origins related to cognition and therefore overlapping brain networks may influence pre-adolescent children’s learning (1). To simplify - this means that movement and sensation hugely affects our learning.
Although requiring more research, it has been suggested that promoting sustained moderate level physical activity and cardio respiratory fitness alongside games and exercises (which challenge our dynamic postural stability system) is well supported for primary school children and ongoing learning enhancement (2-4). Therefore use your balance and move in challenging ways to maximize your learning ability.
At Sprouting Health we are big advocates for engaging in continued physical activity and movement activities that challenge your balance system. We assess and support people in making sure their body is functioning at the most optimum level possible to achieve this in an ongoing basis in these areas.
Is chiropractic care safe?
While those without experience can say that adjustments may sometimes look a bit scary, chiropractors are using skill (not force or strength) to deliver highly specific adjustments as needed. As well as these adjustments, other various types of manual therapy and low force interventions may be used where appropriate. Chiropractic care has a very low risk of injury, especially when compared with more invasive methods of spinal healthcare. We like to gently “unwind” you here at Sprouting Health, not force things into place.
What IS a chiropractic adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is the application of a specific force in a precise direction, applied skilfully to a spinal joint that is fixated/restricted, “locked up”, or not moving as it should. This can help improve or restore motion to the joint, helping the spine to gradually regain more normal motion and function.
There are many ways to adjust the spine. Usually the chiropractor’s hands or a specially designed instrument delivers a brief and highly-accurate thrust. Some adjusting methods are quick, whereas others require a slow, constant or indirect pressure. Restoring better spinal function can help improve mobility and decrease pain.
At Sprouting Health, we use a variety of assessment methods to identify where you need to be adjusted and the best modality of doing so, tailored specifically for your body.
Do chiropractic adjustments hurt?
While brief discomfort after an adjustment can occur, it is rare and most people find having an adjustment very relaxing.
With some adjustments you may sometimes feel or hear a popping sound from the spinal joints. This is simply caused by a change in pressure in the joint as spinal movement is improved - the noise is similar to when you click your tongue off the roof of your mouth.
Some chiropractors use a hand-held instrument to adjust the spine while others use wedges or blocks to help realign part of the body. Whatever the technique, chiropractors use skill, not force or strength, to care for people with a high degree of safety compared to other modalities.
Am I too old/young/injured/etc for chiropractic care?
Chiropractic care is not a ‘one size fits all’ healthcare option. Chiropractors carefully assess each patient individually and tailor their care accordingly. By using a variety of non-surgical techniques, such as specific spinal adjustments, manual therapy, and soft tissue techniques, chiropractors offer a drug-free, hands-on approach to spinal healthcare.
There is no age limit on chiropractic care, in fact more and more people are consulting chiropractors, especially in their later years. In order to deliver the safest, most effective and highest quality care possible, chiropractic techniques are modified appropriately for each person at every age and stage of life.
Here at Sprouting Health, we perform thorough examinations to ensure we are providing you with the best treatment for your body and your complaints. If you have any questions, just ask!
How are chiropractors qualified and regulated?
Australian chiropractors are highly qualified healthcare professionals who study at university for a minimum of five years and are government regulated and registered. Like all other registered healthcare providers, chiropractors adhere to National Law and profession specific codes of conduct and guidelines.
At Sprouting Health, we never stop training and working to improve our clinical skills. All chiropractors must undertake continuing professional development every year to maintain registration, constantly learning and staying current with the latest research so that we are able to provide you with the best care possible.
Hawk, C., Schneider, M. J., Haas, M., Katz, P., Dougherty, P., Gleberzon, B., Killinger, L. Z., & Weeks, J. (2017). Best Practices for Chiropractic Care for Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Consensus Update. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 40(4), 217–229. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmpt.2017.02.001
Herzog W. (2010). The biomechanics of spinal manipulation. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies, 14(3), 280–286. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbmt.2010.03.004
2 Seconds to Check If You Have a Flat Foot!
Let’s look into what our feet do for us and how important they are to us. Flat foot in our society might be more prevalent than you think! Combining different study findings, the percentage of flat foot seen in children aged 2-6 is 21%-57% and up to 14% in adult populations.(1) The feet and ankle are important to support our daily activities. What could happen if you are putting extra stress into your lower limb joints every step when we walk or do exercise?
As its name suggests, flat foot is a collapsed foot arch when our foot touches the ground (stance phase) in gait. We can imagine the middle rock taken out from an arch bridge and it collapses. In most flat foot sufferers, one of our bone’s called the talus in our mid-foot is found to be shifted forward. This becomes mobile and unlocks the foot arch.(2) Studies have shown that people suffering from flat feet can expect to see excessive foot pronation (rolling in), knee rolling inwards, internal rotation of hip and compensatory back problems.(3) That is one reason why some people get pain in their heel, get tired quicker on their feet when shopping or walking. Another study found other comorbidities such as male gender, BMI, office worker, bunion, calluses and arthritis in flat foot sufferers.(4)
It is very easy to identify a flat foot! If you can fit one to one and a half fingers underneath your foot arch, you are not a flat foot sufferer! If you could not fit two fingers in your foot arch, it is a good idea to see a podiatrist, as well as a musculoskeletal professional to check out your potential lower limb and back compensatory change!
If you or your love ones failed the test, speak to our chiropractors in Sprouting Health and see how we can help manage your issues!
Over the last few years, there have been many that have questioned whether chiropractic care is safe and effective for kids. Have you ever wondered about this question? Do infants and kids benefit from a chiropractic check-up and care? This is an important article that could give you a bit of an insight.
“Infants are common users of chiropractic care” (1-3)
Lots of infants see Chiropractors every year, is it because of medical referrals? Or is it because of word of mouth referrals? With most common spinal issues, there is evidence that chiropractic may help maintain and manage those problems. How about care for infants? There are scientific papers that favour Chiropractic care for infants, but like all research there needs to be more to create a greater scientific/medical consensus. However, perhaps one group of critics are usually forgotten among these discussions, the ones who knows the infants’ best; their mothers.
In a recent research literature, reports by mothers of their infants’ conditions before and after a trial of chiropractic care was looked at. It was reported that on average, mothers reported that chiropractic care for their infants was effective, safe and cost-effective. So on average the changes observed in their infants were positive and may be clinically relevant, though more research needs to be done to have a bigger study size as only 1092 mothers completed follow up forms. (4)
If you want to find out if chiropractic may support you or your loved ones’ infant, chat with one of our chiropractors to see if they can assist.
“With so much changes within the early stages of life, it’s important to make sure that everything is functioning well to assist them with their development process!”
(1)Hestbaek L, Jørgensen A, Hartvigsen J. A description of children and adolescents in Danish chiropractic practice: results from a nationwide survey. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2009;32(8):607-615.
(2) MillerJ.Demographicsurveyofpediatricpatientspresentingto a chiropractic teaching clinic. Chiropr Osteopat. 2010;18:33.
(3) Allen-Unhammer A, Willson FJH, Hestbaek L. Children and adolescents presenting to chiropractors in Norway: National Health Insurance data and a detailed survey. Chiropr Man Therap. 2016;24:29-38.
(4) Miller, J.E., Hanson, H.A., Hiew, M., Kwong, D.S.L.T., Mok, Z. and Tee, Y.H., 2019. Maternal report of outcomes of chiropractic care for infants. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 42(3), pp.167-176.
While we have talked about the importance of gut health before, we keep coming back to it because it can have such a profound impact on your health. Not just for your digestion, but also for your physical and mental wellbeing. (1-4)
How is it that addressing my gut health can help my wellbeing, you ask? Well the answer to this is not as simple as we would like, so let’s talk about a couple of potential issues.
Ultimately, we are looking at the relationship between our gut and our brain, this is known as the gut-brain-axis. Your gut is involved in the production of serotonin, one of your feel-good hormones and is a precursor for melatonin. (1) It has connections with your immune system as well as a huge connection with our nervous system through the vagus nerve. (3) These can affect your brains ability to regulate mood signalling, emotional regulation, and even our sensitivity to stress. (1-4)
The gut-brain-axis is heavily influenced by the flora and microorganisms, microbiome, living in your gut. (4, 5) There is a delicate balance in play here between all the different microorganisms, and research has shown that these are out of balance in some patients with depression. Things like antibiotics, pathogens and foods have been shown to impact and change the delicate balance of the microbiome. In fact, research has also shown that gut infections can cause anxiety. (4-8)
Conditions such as depression and anxiety are multifactorial, and as such it is best to get to the root cause(s) for the best possible outcomes. Addressing gut health is an important step for a lot of people, but not everyone is going to have all their symptoms resolve completely through healing the gut alone. This is why we at sprouting health treat holistically and refer to appropriate services where necessary.
Deformational plagiocephaly or also known as positional plagiocephaly is a common disorder that can affect infants and children. Head asymmetry is seen when the bone on the back of the head or the occipital bone is seen to be visibly flattened on one side.
Phagiocephaly can be caused by a range of underlying conditions including cervical spine joint dysfunction, infections, congenital conditions, neuromuscular conditions, trauma and genetic syndromes.
Abnormal motion of the occiput and upper cervical vertebra was reported in 90% of children with plagiocephaly and a significant correlation was found between side of asymmetry and upper neck cervical spine joint dysfunction (Sergueef, Nelson, & Glonek, 2006).
A range of studies are now showing that deformational plagiocephaly is more than a “cosmetic” issue and has been associated with a range neurodevelopmental delays in infants to school aged children affecting the visual system, auditory system, motor development and cognitive development.
Chiropractic management of deformational plagiocephaly has been associated with management of normal head symmetry (Davies, 2002), although more research is always needed. Chiropractic treatment of cervical spine joint dysfunction is also important in restoring normal afferentation (sensory information) from the cervical spinal musculature, joints and other soft tissues that then may assist in improving long-term outcomes in gross and fine motor, cognitive and language development and proprioception (Palmgren, Sandström, Lundqvist, & Heikkilä, 2006) (Haavik & Murphy, 2012).
Helmet therapy can assist cosmetic appearance in more severe cases of phagiocephaly from 6-7 months of age onwards and appear to produce faster correction than positional management alone. However the use of helmet therapy has been shown by a number of studies not to improve the neurodevelopmental outcomes. (Miller & Clarren, 2000) (Steinbok, Lam, Singh, Mortenson, & Singhal, 2007).
Early intervention has been associated with reduced treatment duration and improved cosmetic and neurodevelopmental outcomes (van Vlimmeren, et al., 2008) (Cabrera-Martos I. , et al., 2016). At Sprouting Health, infants with head asymmetry are comprehensively examined to determine the severity and likely cause of the phagiocephaly which allows us to determine the need for co-management with appropriate health professionals on a case-by-case basis to achieve the best results possible.
Has soft tissue injury from physical performance exertion been an issue in your past and does Chiropractic care help!
Many people coming in to our practice ask what can we do to further help performance and recover better. But what if there was an effect on reducing your risk of lower limb injury.
A study in to semi-professional Australian rules football players and Chiropractic care has shown some extremely positive results for players. The study which lasted an entire season and involved 59 players (from 2 VFL clubs), found that the group that included chiropractic treatment of manual therapy, mechanically assisted techniques and soft tissue work had only a 4% chance of hamstring and lower limb injuries, missing just 4 games for the season with these injuries. In this study an injury was defined based on games missed. In comparison, the non-chiropractic group had a 17% chance of hamstring injury and 28% chance of lower limb muscle strain, missing 14 matches through hamstring injury and 21 matches through lower limb strain respectively (2).
Also there were significant reductions in low back pain, highly important as this features as one of the most debilitating issues globally (4) and affects the ability to sustain prolonged or repetitive positions or movements in physical activity (1,3). Non-contact knee injuries and overall improvement in the physical components of their health also were reported as improved (2).
So if you are a participant especially of contact sports based games or are just your every day physical performer, if you or someone you know sounds like they fit this mould and want to find out if chiropractic may help assess and manage to help reduce your risk of lower limb injury, have a chat with one of our chiropractors to see how they can assist.
1. Ham YW, Kim DM, Baek JY, et al. Kinematic analyses of trunk stability in one leg standing for individuals with re- current low back pain. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2010;20: 1134–1140.
2. Hoskins, W. and Pollard, H., 2010. The effect of a sports chiropractic manual therapy intervention on the prevention of back pain, hamstring and lower limb injuries in semi-elite Australian Rules footballers: a randomized controlled trial. BMC musculoskeletal disorders, 11(1), pp.1-11.
3. Lee DC, Ham YW, Sung PS. Effect of visual input on normalized standing stability in subjects with recurrent low back pain. Gait Posture 2012;36:580–585.
4. Vos T, Barber RM, Bell B, Bertozzi-Villa A, Biryukov S, Bolliger I, Charlson F. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Lancet. 2015;9995:743-800.
We are often asked - “what is it that you do and how can it help me?”.
What we do can be described as Integrative Applied Kinesiology.
Integrative means combining two or more things to form an effective unit or system. Like "an integrative approach to learning". In healing terms what it means is that we combine allopathic and complementary therapies in the best way to suit you to get the best results for you. Basically we take parts from Eastern and Western medicine and combine them to best suit your health goals.
We use Applied Kinesiology (AK). Applied kinesiology is the study of muscles and the relationship of muscle strength to health. It incorporates a system of manual muscle testing and therapy. AK is based on the theory that body dysfunction is accompanied by a set or pattern of specific muscle findings.
For example, from gentle basic body tests and your history we might order a blood test or a urine sample to help us further investigate. We might then use chiropractic care, acupuncture systems, soft tissue therapies, or stress relieving techniques to help you, all based on information from the tests we get. We do not confine our practice to one form of therapy, we are directed by your unique set of symptoms and findings from our thorough investigation.
When you visit Sprouting Health we efficiently test 80 individual muscles, look over your set of unique symptoms and then formulate a healing plan using both Eastern and Western medicine modalities. We also work with other health practitioners if required to help you achieve your Best Life Possible!
Have you ever been diagnosed with a ‘pinched nerve’? This diagnosis is often accompanied by sharp, shooting pains into the arms or legs, usually without any injury to the body part involved. A common example of this is ‘sciatica’ where affected individuals will often complain of a sharp shooting pain down the back of their leg, often into the foot. In chiropractic, we refer to this travelling pain as ‘radicular’ pain.
Radicular pain, by definition, is pain that travels away from the source of the problem along the affected spinal nerve root. This is why pain is often felt outside of the region of injury in a seemingly random area. A ‘spinal nerve root’ refers to the part of the nervous system where different nerves start to deviate from the spinal cord and supply different parts of the body. These nerves can play a part in motor function (movement), sensory input, or (when the nerve root is aggravated) it can send pain signals along that nerve to whichever part of the body it supplies. As an example, an issue with the spinal nerve root in the neck may present with radicular pain into the arm, while a similar issue in the lumbar spine may present with radicular pain in the leg.
When a nerve becomes ‘aggravated’ it means that there is some kind of irritating stimulus that is impairing the function of that nerve. Different stimuli may include chemical irritation, such as inflammation, or mechanical irritation, including issues such as spinal cord compression, vertebral degeneration, or a herniated disc. As well as pain radiating from the spinal nerve root, one may also experience neurological symptoms which may present as delayed reflexes, numbness, and/or weakness in the limbs. These neurological issues are referred to as ‘radiculopathies’.
If you are experiencing radicular pain, or potentially a radiculopathy, your chiropractor will be able to identify this by conducting a thorough history, physical exam, and possibly radiographic imaging. By determining what is causing the issue, your chiropractor can formulate a care plan to help you based on your specific problem. Studies have shown that chiropractic adjustments can help to relieve symptoms of nerve root irritation; including both pain and neurological symptoms.
Patel, E. A., & Perloff, M. D. (2018). Radicular Pain Syndromes: Cervical, Lumbar, and Spinal Stenosis. Seminars in neurology, 38(6), 634–639. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0038-1673680
Christensen, K., & Buswell, K. (2008). Chiropractic outcomes managing radiculopathy in a hospital setting: a retrospective review of 162 patients. Journal Of Chiropractic Medicine, 7(3), 115-125. doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2008.05.001
Do we need “CRACK” to deem a successful chiropractic adjustment?
Many practice members have enquired about the audible sound when a chiropractor performs an adjustment. In our previous blog, we spoke about the mechanism of how the sound or cavitation was being produced. Moving forward leaves us with the question “is the cavitation essential for an adjustment to be deemed as effective and therapeutic?” We have an answer for this common misconception.
It is important to note the chiropractic adjustment has an impact on our nervous system.(1) Although more research needs to be done to have a better understanding of the physiological mechanism, there are biomechanical markers we can measure pre and post adjustment, ensuring adjustment is successful. Most chiropractors utilise neurological testing as their objective outcome measures.(2) These including fine touch sensitivity (pain), manual muscle strength and deep tendon reflex testing.(2)
Research suggests that the sound of an audible release does not necessarily indicate that the appropriate reflexes are stimulated.(3) It suggests the greatest therapeutic benefit of the cavitation (sound) may not be physiological in nature but rather psychological.(3) The cavitation could have a powerful placebo effect on both the patient and practitioner.(3) Some people expect to hear a “cracking” sound from their treatment and interpret this sound as a sign of a successful adjustment. When the expectation is not fulfilled, it could place a negative effect on the clinical outcome.
At Sprouting Health, we perform a thorough examination for each practice member and a reassessment within a certain time frame. This is to make sure we are measuring health and results objectively rather than heavily focusing on joint cavitation. We focus on very gentle means to help you reach your health goals. If you are interested in how chiropractic may benefit you, feel free to have a chat with our friendly staff members anytime.
1. Wirth B, Gassner A, De Bruin ED, Axén I, Swanenburg J, Humphreys BK, et al. Neurophysiological effects of high velocity and low amplitude spinal manipulation in symptomatic and asymptomatic humans: a systematic literature review. Spine. 2019;44(15):E914-E26.
2. Hinton PM, Randall McLeod D, Broker B, MacLellan CE. Outcome measures and their everyday use in chiropractic practice. The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association. 2010;54(2):118.
3. Bakker M, Miller J. Does an audible release improve the outcome of a chiropractic adjustment? The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association. 2004;48(3):237.