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Vertigo (dizziness) and Chiropractic

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Vertigo (dizziness) refers to the sensation of rotatory movement, either of the individual or the environment, and having difficulty to orientate the body in relation to surrounding subjects.

Individuals with cervicogenic (coming from the neck) dizziness will usually present with neck pain and may also experience headaches.

Chiropractic is a very effective treatment for cervicogenic vertigo as it is able to address joint dysfunction in the neck which is a major cause of the condition.

If you or someone you know suffers from vertigo or dizziness, call our clinic today!

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Disc Problems?

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disc herniation

Between the vertebrae of your spine are 23 discs, which act as a spacer and shock absorber. These discs have soft, gel-like centres surrounded by layers of fibrous tissues.

Sometimes, due to an injury or just ageing, the material in the middle of a disc pushes to one side or even ruptures. Many people will have heard the term ‘slipped disc’ but this is a rather inaccurate name, as discs actually cannot slip. They can wear, bulge or herniate.

Where it occurs: Bulging or herniated discs can appear in the Neck (Cervical Spine), Low Back (Lumbar Spine) and middle and upper back (Thoracic Spine).

♦ The severity and location of the pain depends upon which disc is herniated and how large the herniation is
♦ Pain may spread over the buttocks, down the back of one thigh and into the calf
♦ Pain may be in one or both legs
♦ Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs or feet
♦ Bowel or bladder changes
♦ Inability to find comfort, even lying down
♦ Inability to fully straighten your neck or back
♦ Numbness, tingling, or weakness in one or both arms

Since spinal discs have a poor blood supply, they depend upon the circulation of joint fluids to bring in nutrients and expel waste. If a spinal joint loses its normal motion and this pumping action is impaired, the health of the disc deteriorates. Like a wet sponge, a healthy disc is flexible. A dry sponge is hard, stiff, and can crack easily.

Factors that increase your risk of a herniated disk may include:
• Age. Herniated disks are most common in middle age, especially between 35 and 45, due to aging-related degeneration of the disks.
• Weight. Excess body weight causes extra stress on the disks in your lower back.
• Occupation. People with physically demanding jobs have a greater risk of back problems. Repetitive lifting, pulling, pushing, bending sideways and twisting also may increase your risk of a herniated disk.

The medical approach to disc problems is often a combination of pain killers, muscle relaxants or surgery.

If the medical treatments fail, then back surgery, usually performed by an orthopaedic surgeon may be suggested. The surgery often performed is called a laminectomy. It can involve the removal of the back of the vertebrae and the scraping away of the disc. With no disc between them, the vertebrae may fuse into a solid bone. In some procedures pieces of bone are scraped away from the hips and are applied to the exposed vertebrae.

The chiropractic approach to disc problems is to help restore better motion and position to the spinal joint. Besides reducing disc bulging, better spinal function helps reduce inflammation and begin the slow process of healing the surrounding soft tissues can begin. Many patients have avoided needless surgery or a dependency on pain pills, by choosing chiropractic care. The traditional approach to disc problems often ignores spinal function. Chiropractic care is safer and often more effective than back surgery.

In one study 27 patients documented with disc herniation received chiropractic care. Post MRI scans revealed that 63% of patients had a reduced or reabsorbed disc herniation, and 78% returned to work.
In another study 21 patients were diagnosed with a lumbar disc herniation. After chiropractic care their pain disappeared and follow up scans six months later showed the herniation had reduced or disappeared in most patients.

In another study of 517 patients with protruded lumbar discs, 76.8% had satisfactory results under chiropractic.

Chiropractic care may help prevent your spine from deterioration and herniation. Chiropractors have even helped people relieve the pain and frustration of failed back surgery (yes, you can receive chiropractic care if you’ve had spinal surgery) and even prevent future operations.

Before your problems get worse, have a simple chiropractic spinal checkup.

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How Healthy is Your Spine?

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Chiropractic and Birth Preparation

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You might have noticed that chiropractic care is becoming an important part of birth preparation for many pregnant women these days. Read more here http://icpa4kids.org/Wellness-Articles/chiropractic-care-for-an-easier-pregnancy-and-safer-birth.html

3rd trimester

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Adjust the Cause!

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Chiropractic Effective for Back Pain During Pregnancy

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A new study confirms that chiropractic care to treat low back pain during pregnancy is both safe and effective. The study involved 115 pregnant patients with low back or pelvic pain who received chiropractic care. 52% noticed improvements within one week of starting care. The percentage increased to 70% after one month and 85% after three months. 88% of patients reported improved back and pelvic pain post-delivery one year after the start of the study. These findings suggest that chiropractic care during pregnancy can provide women with lasting health benefits. Chiropractic and Manual Therapies, April 2014

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Living the Chiropractic Lifestyle

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chiropractic lifestyle

Living the chiropractic lifestyle not only means getting regular chiropractic care but also exercising regularly, putting the right things in our bodies, limiting the wrong things we put in our bodies, and improving our emotional/mental wellness.

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Warning That Bad Posture Could Shorten Your Life

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Forward Head Posture

drew forward head posture

Watch the video here

Texting and using mobile devices for long periods of time could lead to lower life expectancy, according to the United Chiropractic Association (UCA).

Forward-leaning posture increases the risk of an early death in elderly people and there are fears that younger people might be knocking time off their lives by using this posture when they text, go online, send emails or play games on phones and other mobile devices.

The UCA, which has around 600 members across the UK, says that poor posture is as big a health risk as obesity and is highlighting the dangers as part of its Spinal Awareness Week on 12-16 May.

Studies suggest a link between forward-leaning posture in older people and hyperkyphosis, which is associated with pulmonary disease and cardiovascular problems.

The UCA points out that elderly people with even a small degree of hyperkyphosis have a 1.44 times greater risk of mortality than those without. This is a similar figure to increased risk of death presented by a body mass index greater than 30.

UCA executive member Estelle Zauner-Maughan, explained why using mobile devices could prove such a risk: “We tend to drop our heads forward which rounds the shoulders and this is what we term forward-leaning posture.

“People are now definitely at an increased risk of having problems through the top of their neck and back because of their posture, which is causing a change in the curve of the back. And there is an increased risk that they will develop this earlier on in life because of the length of time they’ve been sitting at computers or using mobile devices.”

Estelle added: “The problem is that when someone drops their head forward and rounds their shoulders, it becomes impossible for them to take a full breath in because of the restriction through the muscles and because the ribs can’t move properly. So the heart and lungs can’t function to their full effectiveness. Research is suggesting that the decrease in life expectancy comes from this.”

UCA chiropractor Edwina Waddell has noticed forward-leaning posture becoming more of an issue at her practice in Putney: “It’s something I notice every day and use of mobile devices is a factor,” said Edwina. “So many of us have structured our lives in a way that means we use computers, mobile phones, tablets and laptops at work and in our leisure time as well.

“Posture has been an overlooked factor in our health but research is helping us to raise awareness of it and people are now beginning to realise that good posture is more than about how it makes you look; it’s important for your health on a day to day basis and it can be important in terms of your life expectancy.

“This isn’t alarmist or scaremongering; it’s what more and more research is telling us. And the good news is that it doesn’t have to happen because it’s something we all have a degree of control over. We can change our habits. For example, restrict the amount of time you spend on mobile devices. And bring them up to your eye level, so that you’re not looking down.”

The UCA is urging people to have their posture checked by a registered chiropractor and to take steps to safeguard their posture and health: Edwina said: “A lot of people might not even realise anything is wrong with their posture. A check-up enables potential problems to be corrected before aches and pains begin and before risks are allowed to develop further.”

Forward Leaning Head Posture | United Chiropractic Association

References for this story:

Journal of American geriatric society Hyperkyphotic Posture Predicts Mortality in Older Community- Kado, Huang, Barrett-Conner, Greensdale Hyperkyphosis Predicts Mortality Independent of Vertebral Osteoporosis in Older Women- Kado et al J Am Geriat Soc 2004 Oct;52(10):1662-7.

Narrative Review: Hyperkyphosis in Older Persons- Kado et al. Ann Intern Med. 2007 Sep 4;147(5):330-8.

New England Journal of medicine, Overweight, Obesity, and Mortality in a Large Prospective Cohort of Persons 50 to 71 Years Old Kenneth F. Adams, Ph.D., Arthur Schatzkin, M.D., Tamara B. Harris, M.D., Victor Kipnis, Ph.D., Traci Mouw, M.P.H., Rachel Ballard-Barbash, M.D., Albert Hollenbeck, Ph.D., and Michael F. Leitzmann, M.D.

N Engl J Med 2006; 355:763-778August 24, 2006DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa055643

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Baby Walkers and Car Seats

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Parents warned against baby walkers and leaving their infants in car baby seats

Mums and dads are being urged not to allow their toddlers to use a baby walker and not to leave their babies in car baby seats when outside of the car.

The advice comes from the United Chiropractic Association (UCA), which says that baby walkers are bad for toddlers, and the habit of carrying a baby around in a car seat is harmful to both child and parent.

The UCA, which has around 600 members across the UK, warns that prolonged periods on their back risks the development of plagiocephaly, or flattening of bones in the infant’s skull. Research has linked plagiocephaly with a risk of not reaching full co-ordination and learning potential later on. The UCA says that a more upright position in a good quality baby sling is a much better carrying option.

When it comes to a baby’s first steps, rather than using a potentially damaging baby walker, the UCA is advising parents to allow their babies as much supervised ‘tummy time’ as possible to enable good spinal development.

The advice coincides with the UCA’s Spinal Awareness Week on 12-16 May.

The UCA says that keeping your baby in a car seat for long periods means their spine remains in a C-shape, preventing the natural curves of the neck and lower back from forming. And there are other risks too.

Executive member of the UCA, Estelle Zauner-Maughan, said: “There’s evidence that babies left in car seats for a long period of time may have difficulty breathing because of the posture it puts them in. So while it’s a very safe way for the baby to travel, babies should not be left in them for extended periods of time while not in the car.

“Research suggests that lying on their backs for long periods can increase the risk of plagiocephaly as a result of the prolonged pressure on the back of the head. This is very serious because there is a link between babies with flat skull and a risk of failing to reach their full co-ordination and learning potential.”

Estelle added: “Carrying your baby in a seat is also bad for YOU. Most people lean forward and twist when they get the seats in and out of the car. The spine is strong and it’s stable but not both at once. You’re putting a load on the spine and you’re twisting, which makes it unstable. It’s also quite a weight to be carrying about so you’re putting your core at risk.”

This is backed by research, which shows that carrying your baby in a sling saves 16% of your energy.

A good quality sling or wrap is much better for your baby too, according to Estelle – but make sure that the sling is of sufficient quality and that the baby is carried properly: “Some slings aren’t designed very well and the weight is distributed through the baby’s hips which is bad. But if you get a sling that puts their hips in a correct position, like you have a little koala hanging on to you, then the weight is distributed properly which helps to encourage proper musculoskeletal development.

“The muscles that attach into the back of the head have a lot to do with co-ordination and balance and learning, so if they’re upright they are firing those muscles appropriately. They’re getting stimulus into their balance system by you moving.”

The UCA points out that infants who are carried for three hours or more each day in their first three months of life cry 43% less often than those carried less frequently.

Supervised tummy time and crawling should also be encouraged. These activities are excellent for developing the spine properly as they allow the baby to lift the head off the ground and develop the arch of the neck.

“I advise that parents don’t use baby walkers for their children,” said Estelle. “It encourages babies to scoot around on their toes, which contributes to poor posture in later life and it encourages them to use muscles in a way that their nervous system isn’t yet ready for.

“They need to go through those stages of tummy time, rolling and crawling; doing this is what makes the nervous system develop in the right order. Plus baby walkers are potentially dangerous.”
Getting into good habits right from the start prevents the need for later correction and Estelle, who has a practice in Tynemouth, says a child is never too young for chiropractic: “I’ve adjusted babies as soon as they were born. The sooner that people are adjusted the better their potential. The techniques used with babies and children are adapted to their nervous system development and their physical development and with experienced paediatric chiropractors are safe and extremely effective.

“Chiropractors are highly trained to recognise when someone shouldn’t be adjusted and will refer them back to their medical practitioners and paediatricians as appropriate.”

Research references:
Timothy Littlefield, et al., Car Seats, Infant Carriers, and Swings: Their Role in deformational Plagiocephaly Journal of Prosthetics & Orthotics 15 (July 2003): 102-106.
Wall-Scheffler C, Geiger K, Steudel-Numbers K. Infant carrying: The increased locomotory costs in early development. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 2007; 133: 841-846. Doi: 10,1002/ajpa.20603
Hunziker UA, Barr RZ. Increased Carrying Reduces Infant Crying: A randomized Controlled Trial. Pediatrics 1986;77(5): 641-648

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Pregnancy and Chiropractic

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Adjustments throughout pregnancy may help a woman achieve a more natural birth.

“Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy, by a skilled doctor trained in Webster technique, makes a world of difference in a woman’s experience of pregnancy and birth.”
-Claire Dodge, Pathways Issue 41

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