Blood Pressure and Losing Weight

Recent research shows that exercise is effective in lowering blood pressure. All types of exercise including both cardiovascular and resistance training were beneficial. Blood pressure medication is more effective than exercise in creating a difference but this research is still very encouraging for people to keep up their exercise. Please make sure you check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. See our Facebook post for further information.

You have probably heard that it isn't just exercising alone that helps you to lose weight, it is mainly what you eat. Research discussed in the New Scientist, January 19, 2019, shows that our bodies have a set amount of calories that it uses per day so extra exercise doesn't allow you to eat too much more food. There are several reasons for this:

1) if someone does a heavy work out, they often compensate for this by being less active or fidgety throughout the rest of the day because their body is recovering. This was shown in mice who were given running wheels and prompted to exercise, they were less active for the rest of the day.

2) People who are used to exercising become more efficient at using calories, therefore, they don't need as many calories for their daily life and exercise.

3) Our bodies have possibly evolved to use a certain amount of calories regardless of the activity we are doing. The Hadza people in Tanzania, are very active. The men walk at least 10km/day hunting for game and the woman gather food by digging for wild tubers and picking berries yet still only burn around 2000-2600 calories/day. This is only slightly more than people who drive to work and sit all day. It takes more energy and effort for a larger person to go about their daily life than an individual in a healthy weight range. When people start to lose weight, their metabolism slows down. If they start to put it back on, their metabolism stays at the slower rate as if their mass was smaller compared to their pre-weight loss state. This makes it easier to put weight back on, because our bodies have evolved to make sure we survive - smart, but kind of unfair given the abundance of food in this day and age!

If a person exercises like crazy, their metabolism also slows down because their body isn't spending enough time repairing their internal systems and can find themselves with injuries that don't heal, not being able to shake a cold or having disrupted menstrual cycles. However, there are good reasons to do moderate amounts of exercise as there are a myriad of other health benefits: improved cardiovascular health, better brain function and reduced risk of chronic conditions such as Alzheimer's.

If you experience any back pain whilst exercising please get in touch with us so we can help, please reply contact us or book online.

Anti-ageing

Exercise really is an amazing tool to keep ourselves healthy and also younger. New research compared the muscles and cardiovascular capacity of people who regularly exercise in their 20s, people in the 70s who exercised their whole adult lives and an inactive group in their 70s.

They found that the muscles of people who have exercised their whole lives closely resemble those of people in their 20s who currently exercise. The inactive group's muscles showed significant changes. The cardiovascular system of the active older group was reduced compared to the 20 year olds but their capacity was 40% higher than the inactive group as well as their cardiovascular health being equivalent to people 30 years younger than them.

So, with most of us having time off shortly, it is a great time to start making exercise a habit that you can't live without. 

If you experience any back pain whilst exercising please get in touch with us so one of chiropractors can help, by contacting us or book online.

Golf and Back Pain

Playing golf can cause injury primarily to the back, shoulder, elbow, hand, and wrist. Golfers are especially prone to low back pain because it uses muscles that aren't usually worked in everyday activities of life, as well as from the impact of hitting the ball and incorrect form. This alters ones joint alignment and posture which in turn alters performance.

Factors affecting injuries experienced during golf include weakened muscles (causes incorrect spinal joint movement and muscular contraction), reduced flexibility, excessive exercise, insufficient warm-up and an incorrect swing form.  

Due to the asymmetrical nature of golf, the uneven development of muscles can cause spinal and pelvic imbalances making it harder to maintain normal spinal curves, reduced movement range, weakened abdominal muscles and back pain. This research showed that chiropractic care in conjunction with a tailored stretching and flexibility program had a positive result on low back pain in golfers. This is something we can help you out with.

If you experience back pain either during or after golf, please see one of our North Ryde chiropractors. To do so please either email us or book online, to start feeling better today.

Plank Progressions

Planks are great for helping to build your core muscle endurance but they do get a bit boring after a while. Check out this video if you want to challenge yourself further. Remember to squeeze your butt whilst you're planking to avoid your back taking unnecessary load which may lead to injury.

If you experience any pain, please contact our chiropractors to see if there are any areas that need addressing.

Gardening and Your Back

We have seen quite a few clients recently who have hurt themselves whilst gardening. It can be quite a strenuous activity so warming up your body beforehand by rotating your arms forwards and backwards, doing some light squats and reaching down for your toes is a good start. At the end, do some gentle to moderate stretching to loosen up your muscles and minimise pain the next day. 

Gardening tip: If you are using a mattock, make sure you aren't using your back to bring you back up to the starting position, use your Glutes (butt muscles). Using your back to generate the movement is a great way to strain a muscle or sprain a joint.

If you experience back pain whilst gardening, please reply to this email or book online, as we can help you.

How Long Will It Take? 

My colleague, Dr Jerry Kennedy, wrote this great article on a common patient question and frustration. He did a great job in answering it.

One of the most common questions that patients ask their chiropractor is, “How long will it take?” Some people ask because their #1 concern is that the chiropractor is never going to let them go. Maybe they have heard the “once you go you always have to go” myth that some people say about chiropractors. If that’s you, I have good news. It’s not true. Your chiropractor isn’t ever going to hold you hostage. That’s not the reason that most people ask that question. The majority of people who ask, “How long will it take?” are asking because they are in pain or in some way hampered, and they would like to get back to normal as soon as possible. That makes perfect sense. If patients had their way, they would get better instantly. I jokingly refer to that concept as patients wanting a “Jesus visit.” That’s when they go into their chiropractor’s office, get an adjustment, and are instantly better. Healed! Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually work that way. Sure, there is the occasional exception to the rule, but for the most part, your body takes time to heal. It’s also important to note that healing and feeling are not the same things. There are times when a medication or a treatment can help your body feel better quickly, but that doesn’t mean it has healed yet. If your pain/problem comes back as soon as the medicine wears off, your body hasn’t yet fully healed. The same is true of treatment. If your pain/problem comes back a few days after your treatment, your body hasn’t yet fully healed. That doesn’t necessarily mean the medicine/ treatment isn’t working. It could just be the difference between feeling and healing. So that brings us back to our original question, “How long will it take?” Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact answer. It depends on the problem. It depends on the person. There are a lot of factors at work. It’s an oversimplification, but I used to tell my patients that 5 factors would determine how long it would take their body to heal.

First - how old are you? That’s an easy one. Younger people heal faster than older people. The older you get, the more you realize how true that is.

Second - how bad is the problem? Not all health problems are the same degree of severity. Let’s use a sprained ankle as an example. On one end of the spectrum, you could have a minor sprain that heals up in 24 hrs. No big deal. On the other end, you could have a major sprain that requires many weeks of rest and therapy to heal. As a general rule, the more severe a health problem is the longer it takes to heal.

Third - how long have you had the problem? Just to clarify, that’s not necessarily the same thing as how long you have felt bad. It’s possible to have a health problem much longer than you have felt bad. Arthritis is a great example. Most people who have arthritis will have it for years before they ever have any pain. As a general rule, the longer you have had a health problem the longer it will take to heal.

Fourth - where is the problem? You may not know this, but different parts of the body heal at different rates. Muscles heal faster than ligaments. Ligaments heal faster than bone. Even the different joints of the body heal at different rates. An injury to your elbow is likely to heal much faster than an injury to a more complex joint like your shoulder.

Fifth - are you (the patient) willing to do your part? Healing not only takes time but it also takes participation. Sometimes rest is required. That means the patient has to be willing to slow down or stop. Sometimes nutritional changes are required. That means the patient needs to add something or remove something from their diet to help their body heal. Sometimes stretching or strengthening is required to help heal an injury. Ultimately, a patient who is willing to do their part to help their body heal will heal faster than a patient who doesn’t.

So when you ask your chiropractor the question, “How long will it take?” often you won’t get a specific answer. Don’t worry…they aren’t avoiding the question just for the sake of avoiding the question. It’s a difficult question to answer because the answer is different for every person. More often than not, chiropractors will take the information that you have given them, and use their clinical experience to give you a timeframe. It’s not set in stone. You may do better than expected and heal faster. You may do worse than expected and heal more slowly. Everyone is different. What does all this mean for you? Well, it means a couple things.

First, it’s important that you understand that healing takes time. If you expect your body to heal instantly, you may quit doing the exact things you should be doing because you aren’t willing to give them the proper amount of time.

Second, it’s important that you have open communication between you and your healthcare providers. You should be able to ask questions and express concerns. They should be able to let you know what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. When you and your healthcare providers work together as a team, you are more likely to get positive results faster.

Lastly, it’s important that you do your part. Patients who participate in their care heal much faster than those who don’t. Stretch when it’s time to stretch. Go to your chiropractic appointment when it’s time to go to your appointment. Do your exercises when it’s time to do your exercises. Rest when it’s time to rest. The bottom line is this…everyone is different. How long it takes your body to heal is going to be different than how long it takes my body to heal. If you want to heal as quickly as possible and get back to normal, you have to be patient and you have to participate in the process. You can do it!

If you are ready to have your back pain resolved, please contact us or call 8096 6781.

Fuel For Your Back

Your back pain isn't only affected by what you do or don't do throughout the day but also by what you eat. 

What you eat affects your back pain and body composition. Your body is like a car's engine, if you fuel it with e-10 and it needs 95 or 98 octane fuel, don't get upset when it doesn't give you the output you want. Research shows that a plant-based diet is best to help reduce pain and inflammation. Whilst a purely plant based diet makes it harder to get in enough protein and you may be sad to not eat meat, the Mediterranean diet is a happy medium.

If you would like to know more about fuelling your body properly to reduce pain please contact us or book in online to start feeling better today as our chiropractors love being able to help.

How Do I Strengthen My Back?

If you really want to make headway in regards to getting a stronger back to reduce pain and tension, you need to address the weak muscles and areas that aren't moving properly in your body. To obtain your best results you need to be assessed for these imbalances. Our chiropractors, are able to examine you and provide an appropriate strength and mobility rehab program tailored for your body.

If you don't have pain but you find your hamstrings and hip flexors or side of neck/shoulder muscles are always tight regardless of how much you stretch, you need to be assessed for weak areas because tight muscles aren't the root of your problem, they are a symptom of it. Stretching helps but only to a certain extent.

If you are ready to take this step please contact us or book in online to start feeling better.

If you aren't ready to take the step of coming in for a proper assessment to determine specific areas you need to work on, try these exercises at home. If you experience any pain with these exercises, please stop doing them and book in for an assessment with one of our chiropractors.