Neck Strain

There is a good chance it is coming from your 'Forward Head Posture' (FHP).

Your head should sit directly on top of the neck and shoulders. Imagine a bowling ball sitting on top of a vacuum cleaner pipe.  If the bowling ball rolls forward it is putting enormous pressure on the vacuum cleaner pipe, as in the case of FHP.  The neck and shoulder muscles become very tense and tight leading to tension and pain.  It can also cause disc problems and other arthritic problems in the neck. Other issues it can lead to are: headaches, back, neck, arm and hand pain and tingling.  It can also cause problems with one’s bite and jaw pain. FHP alters the body’s ability to control your balance leading to a greater risk of injuring yourself.
 
Causes:
It is usually from being sedentary and spending most of your time sitting down and/or slouching e.g. driving a car, work, watching tv and using a computer, and backpacks.  It is the repetitive nature of these activities that causes it.
 
How do I know if I have FHP?
Have someone look at you side on.  The middle of the ear hole should be in a straight line up from the centre of the shoulder.  If this is not the case, please consult your Chiropractor as it can cause spine and nerve damage. 
 
How can I prevent or manage it?

  • Consult a Chiropractor as it may be possible to improve it through corrective treatment
  • Correct work station set up 
  • Every 20-30minutes take a mini-stretch break or stand up
  • Use a low back support in your car and at your workstation
  • When wearing a backpack keep both straps on your shoulders and close against your back.  It should not weigh more than 10-15% of your body weight

If you would like help with your forward head posture please contact us or book online to so our chiropractors and massage therapist can help you to start feeling better.

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.

Alcohol and Sleep

Ever felt sleepy after consuming alcohol? Alcohol doesn't help you to sleep, it actually sedates you. Similar to a light anaesthesia. It breaks up your sleep because it causes you to wake up many times for a short period, you just don't remember it.

It also suppresses REM sleep. This is when we dream and if we suffer from lack of REM sleep it impairs our ability to learn complex tasks. (1) Even moderate consumption of alcohol in the afternoon and evening can impair this.

Consuming alcohol before bed can affect your ability to form new memories, not only for any that day but for several days prior as well. This is from research where test subjects were given 2-3 shots of vodka (This is the equivalent to 2-3 standard glasses of wine or beer)
after learning new information. Those that drank alcohol retained the least amount of information when retested 7 days later, followed by those who drank 2-3 days after learning the new material and those who didn't drink at all remembered all of the new information. (2)

Any amount of alcohol appears to affect one's sleep quality. Sounds like a couple of alcohol free days per week is good advice.

If you have any questions regarding this or would like help with your back pain. Please contact us as our chiropractors would love to help you out.

(1) https://www.howsleepworks.com/types_rem.html

(2) 'Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams', Matthew Walker

Back Your Inner Athlete

This year, Spinal Health Week 2016 runs from 23 to 29 May with the theme ‘Back Your Inner Athlete’. 
 
Every day more and more Australians experience disabling low back pain, neck pain and headaches, limiting their ability to work and engage in an active healthy life.
 
One explanation for this is the impact an increasingly sedentary lifestyle has on postural fitness. Think about all the hours you spend each day sitting at work or school, on a computer or other mobile device, watching television or playing computer games. Poor posture increases pressure on your spine which can cause low back pain, neck pain, headaches and fatigue.
 
Low back pain is a growing problem and now ranks second in Australasia and seventh in the world according to the World Health Organisation’s latest Global Burden of Disease study. Neck pain is also problematic ranking ninth in Australasia and 21st in the world.
 
If you suffer from back pain, neck pain or headaches or if poor postural fitness is impacting on your ability to live life to the fullest, visit our chiropractors at Riverside Chiropractic and Back Your Inner Athlete.
 
Chiropractic care focuses on the relationship between body structure (primarily the spine and pelvis) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how this relationship can restore and maintain health.
 
Each week around 300,000 patients visit an Australian chiropractor. Chiropractic care is an increasingly common and effective treatment for back pain, neck pain and headaches eliminating the need for drugs or surgery. This means chiropractic care can also be very cost effective in comparison to other types of treatment.
 
At Riverside Chiropractic, we are encouraging our patients and the North Ryde community to begin a conversation about preventative health and well-being and adopt healthy habits.
 
Chiropractors have an important role to play in preventative health and well-being because they understand that a vital part of maintaining normal spinal function is by helping patients to make healthy lifestyle changes around nutrition, exercise and wellness. 
 
Adopting healthy habits today (such as improving postural fitness) can significantly reduce the risk of injury or pain later on and have a positive impact on your self-esteem, social relationships and even mental health.
 
Back, neck and spinal problems are also a leading cause of lost productivity in the workplace and forced early retirement. Every year forced early retirement has a traumatic effect on the hopes and prosperity of a large number of Australians.
 
We are encouraging people who haven’t been in for 6 months or more or those who have never had their back checked to com in and discover what steps you can take to improve your overall health and well-being and Back Your Inner Athlete.  Please either phone 8096 6781 or email us for an appointment today.
 
Celebrate Spinal Health Week on 23 May by downloading the CAA Back App with augmented reality feature at Back Your Inner Athlete, on the Apple App Store or Google Play.
 
Spinal Health Week 2016 is a national initiative of the Chiropractors’ Association Australia (CAA).

Thrills, Spills, Pills 1

Welcome to part 1 of ‘Thrills, Spills and Pills’.  This will include tips covering the 3 different stressors that affect one's health.  We will regularly post more tips to help you achieve better health.

Thrills: Mental and Emotional Stress – relationships, work, finances etc
Spills: Physical Stress – Sitting, sports injuries, training, car accidents etc
Pills: Chemical Stress – Diet, alcohol, cigarettes, pollution, supplements, medication etc

Thrill Tip: Can’t sleep because your mind is too active?  Try getting out of bed and writing down your thoughts.  Spend ten minutes jotting down what you are thinking, how you are feeling and any relevant action steps that you can take over the next few days and weeks.  This will help to still the mind and return you to a calmer state. Sleep should come more easily after this.  It is important to hand write it out, typing it or just thinking it doesn’t seem to have the same effect.

Spill Tip: When working out at the gym a lot of people isolate individual muscles and train until failure e.g. bicep curls with a dumbbell.  This is not a great idea as it can and often does create imbalances with your body. Instead aim for composite movements that incorporate multiple body parts: squats, push ups, pull ups, burpees etc.  I know a couple of awesome personal trainers who can help with this if you need some support.

Pill Tip: The standard western diet has a ratio of 26:1 of Omega 6 to Omega 3. This is far from the ideal.  Instead the recommended ratio should be something like 3:1 or even 2:1.  There are two ways to improve this ratio.  The first is to reduce your intake of Omega 6.  The best way to do this is reduce your intake of vegetable oils and the processed foods that contain them.  The second is to increase your intake of Omega 3 essential fatty acids like EPA and DHA.  Eat small wild fish (farmed fish are feed grain and corn which changes their Omega 3 content to Omega 6) and/or supplement with a high quality Omega 3 product. We sell the best available if you’re after it.