The Importance Of A Good Pillow

An important factor for living a healthy life is getting an adequate amount of quality sleep. A key factor towards achieving this is having a good quality pillow. Pillows play an important role in your sleep and will have a considerable impact on your overall wellbeing.

 

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There are two main reasons why we should use a pillow to rest our heads on when sleeping; 1) a pillow provides comfort and 2) provides support to the sleeper’s neck and upper back. When you are shopping for a pillow it is important that you consider both of these factors as it will affect the quality of your sleep.

Providing support for your neck and upper back is the most important role that the pillow needs to fill when you are sleeping. This support is needed due to the natural curves in the human spine. Having the correct support for your head and neck will help the alignment of these spinal areas. Sleeping without adequate support will not only negatively affect your sleep, but it can also lead to issues including joint and muscular stiffness.

At Body Care Health & Chiropractic we sell therapeutic pillows that are contoured, supportive and also adjustable, to suit different shapes and sizes and also different comfort levels. If you would like to make an enquiry please do not hesitate to contact us on 0409 712 075 or send through an email to felicity.chiro@gmail.com

A good pillow will not only improve the overall quality of your sleep but it can also help you avoid neck and back problems.

Scoliosis

People can either be born with scoliosis or it can develop over time. Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that goes from side to side and is usually classed as a true scoliosis when the curve is over 20 degrees.

Sometimes scoliosis is identified when the person is young and other times it can go undetected until they are an adult. It is often once the curve exceeds 10 degrees there tends to be more clinical significance and can create pain and discomfort in the back and/or neck.

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Pain associated with scoliosis is typically related to tight muscles, irritated joints and ligaments as compensations are created for the change in biomechanics of the body. Some conditions it can cause are:

-          Back pain

-          Neck pain

-          Disc injury

-          Pinched nerves

-          Sciatica

-          Arthritis

-          Tight muscles

 

Treatment

A Chiropractor can do mobilisations and adjustments to increase and maintain mobility in areas that are stuck in the spine. Stretching and strengthening exercises are used to help stabilise the spine. Degenerative changes can happen in the areas that become stuck, so it is therefore important to keep the joints moving.

If you have scoliosis or are interested in finding out more please contact us at Body Care Health & Chiropractic.

Tradies' Health

Being a tradesman is a physically demanding job, placing a lot of strain constantly on the body.

Work Safe Australia conducted a study which revealed that the highest percentage of serious musculoskeletal disorders claims come from labourers. The majority (63%) of serious musculoskeletal claims are due to body stressing which occurs when muscles, tendons, ligaments or bones are placed under stress. Most body stressing claims (73%) result from muscles stress when lifting, carrying, putting down or handling objects.

The everyday lifting, bending and twisting that the job of tradesmen requires can have long-lasting effects on their bodies and lives. Ignoring those aches and pains could result in reduced quality of life and for many results in early retirement or need to find another job.

Therefore if you know a tradesman or are one yourself, here are some tips to keep your back healthy.

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Stretch at the beginning and end of the day

It is important to stretch especially before and after work to get the joints moving and warmed up. It only takes a few minutes to stretch to increase flexibility, circulation and range of motion of your joints. This will help loosen up the muscles and prepare your body for physical activity.

Stretching at the end of the day will help relax those muscles you have been using all day, and get the oxygen circulating around your body.

 

Posture

It is important to always be aware of your body’s posture, whether you are working or even while relaxing. Having poor posture and staying in an awkward position for long periods can put strain on your spine. If you find yourself slouching or hunching over, try to straighten up.

 

Check your lifting technique

Lifting even lighter objects still requires energy and muscle effort, and if done incorrectly it can cause stress on your muscles, ligaments and tendons, therefore increasing the forces on your spine.

Before lifting any object do a quick safety check. Check for any hazards that need to be removed and also check if there are any assistance tools such as a forklift or wheelbarrow. This can help you move heavy objects without risking strain and injury on your body.

Correct lifting technique: both feet in a stable position, bend at the knees and lift using your hips and knees, not your back. Minimise the distance between your body and the object you are lifting. Where possible, break items into smaller quantities and also try to have breaks and stretch in between.

 

Exercise

With the physically demanding nature of a tradie’s job, they often feel they don’t need to maintain regular physical activity. However it is important to work towards a healthy and strong body which is equipped to these work conditions. It is important to keep doing other forms of physical activity so your body experiences a variety of movements. Simple exercises including going for a walk or swim.

 

Don’t ignore the pain!

Early intervention and treatment makes a big difference. It will prove beneficial in the long run as it will give you a chance to address health concerns early on and resolve problems before they progress.

It is not sensible to ignore aches and pains as these often become more pronounced over time and can cause significant health problems. If something does not feel right, see a health professional such as a Chiropractor.

For more information contact us at Body Care Health and Chiropractic on 0409 712 075 or email felicity.chiro@gmail.com. Prevention is the best approach to a healthy body.

Safe Decorating Tips

With Christmas just around the corner it is time to put the Christmas tree up and start decorating. As we get into the Christmas spirit it is important that we don’t ignore how our body is feeling.

So I have put together some points to remember to try and reduce the chance of injuring yourself while getting ready this festive season.

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Prevention! Listen to your body

It is always better to prevent injury than to have to fix and rehabilitate it. Listen to your body. If a certain movement such as bending and lifting causes some pain and discomfort…reconsider the action or movement.

 

Bend with your hips and knees

If you need to bend over to pick up some presents or decorations, make sure you bend with your hips and knees, not your back.

 

Keep your back straight

When lifting or carrying a heavy object such as a box of decorations, make sure you keep your back straight. Don’t lean forward, backward or to either side. This will place strain on your spine and can lead to injury.

 

Use a ladder

Instead of reaching to put decorations on the house or on top of your tree, use a step ladder or ladder. This will provide your body with more stability and will also prevent you from over-stretching your spine and muscles.

 

If however you do find yourself in pain this festive season, contact us at Body Care Health & Chiropractic and get on top of it so you can enjoy Christmas.

What Is Dry Needling?

There are a variety of techniques Chiropractors can use to treat different symptoms & conditions. One of the techniques we at Body Care Health & Chiropractic are trained in is called Dry Needling.

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Dry Needling is an effective and efficient technique for the treatment of muscular pain and myofascial dysfunction. In other words, it relaxes tight and overactive muscles.

This technique uses the same needles as Acupuncture, however Dry Needling is based on anatomical and neurophysiological principles.

This form of treatment is not painful, however we do understand that some people are not comfortable with needles, therefore this is just one of many treatment options available.

If you experience muscular pain and/or dysfunction, or are interested to find out more about the technique of Dry Needling, please contact us on 0409 712 075 or email felicity.chiro@gmail.com

Health Benefits Of Stretching

There are many benefits of stretching, both physical and mental. Stretching can be done anywhere and at any time. It doesn’t require a set amount of time, equipment or cost you anything!

 

Some of these benefits include;

-          Improved blood flow throughout muscles, including the brain. This increase in blood flow will stimulate both your body and mind. Rather than needing some caffeine in the morning or throughout the day to help get you through, why not do some stretching.

-          Improves the flexibility of your muscles. This will help decrease your chance of experiencing physical aches and pains, and will also improve your sports performance.

-          Improved muscle co-ordination. This again will help your sports performance, but is also important the older we get. It will decrease the likelihood and severity of injuries.

-          Stretching can reduce your stress levels. When we are stressed our muscles tighten and stretching will help relieve this tension and can even convince ours brain that we are relaxed. As stretching also helps reduce the likelihood of physical aches and pains, this will also help your stress levels.

-          Some recent studies have found that stretching can even reduce your blood sugar level. This holds great importance in the management of weight and diabetes.

 

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Anyone can stretch and at any time. However there are a couple of points to be aware of in order to achieve the benefits of stretching.

1.       Be gentle and don’t push yourself too far. Stretching shouldn’t cause pain and if is does then you are doing something incorrectly. The more often you stretch the further you will be able to stretch, but be patient and don’t rush for results.

2.       Stretching is best to be done in motion. Do not hold a stretched position for extended periods. Move into and out of the stretch in a smooth motion.

 

We understand that a lot of people live a busy life and don’t have a lot of available time. However 5 minutes of stretching a day is better than none at all. You don’t need to break a sweat, there are plenty of simple stretches that can be performed in your office.

 

At Body Care Health & Chiropractic we understand the benefits of stretching and which stretches are best for each individual. If you would like to know more about stretching or get some guidance on which stretches you should be doing, call us on 0409 712 075.

We also offer FREE spine & posture checks which will help you see and understand what stretching can do for you. Call us today!

Vertigo

A lot of people are surprised to hear that Chiropractors can help people who experience vertigo. Vertigo is an unpleasant sensation and should not be ignored.

Symptoms

Vertigo is the feeling of being off-balance and/or unsteady on your feet. You might feel as though the room is swaying or spinning. It can also often cause other symptoms such as nausea, sweating, ringing in the ears or headaches.

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Causes

There are a number of causes but most relate to problems with the inner ear. This is because this area of the body signals the brain about movement and balance.

Meniere’s disease is the build-up of fluid that causes changes to the pressure in the inner ear. This disease can also cause Tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and hearing loss.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is the build-up of little calcium particles in the canals of the inner ear. This calcium build-up interferes with the workings of the inner ear and signals to the brain.

Labyrinthitis is a viral infection that causes inflammation around the nerves that the body uses to maintain a sense of balance.

Sometimes Vertigo can be caused by injuries to the head and/or neck, and sometimes tumour or stroke.

 

Treatment

In mild cases Vertigo may resolve itself. However it is important to see a health professional to get an accurate diagnosis as it affects your daily life and can reoccur.

Chiropractic treatments can help redistribute the built-up calcium particles or fluid. Physical therapy that helps strengthen the vestibular system is often effective. Exercises that focus on walking and balance will also help.

At Body Care Health & Chiropractic we will create a care plan suited to your individual case, providing you with treatment and also exercises that will help to get you feeling better.

Call us today to find out more, on 0409712075.

Winters Warmers

When you are sick with the flu you are given the advice to “drink plenty of fluids.” And it’s true. In order to get your body feeling well, you need extra hydration.

But what should you put in your cup?

Some ingredients are great for easing symptoms & helping you get through the sickness. Below are a few options to help get you feeling better.

-          Decaffeinated tea: warm tea can help with congestion. Certain teas such as green tea have antioxidants to help fight your cold.

-          Water with lemon: hot or cold, it helps you hydrate & loosens up congestion. Lemon is also high in vitamin C which may help you get over the cold a bit quicker.

-          Soup: often when you are feeling unwell, you do not have as much of an appetite. Clear soups & broths will provide you with the calories you need. The warmth can also help break up mucus.

For more advice call Body Care Health & Chiropractic on 0409 712 075.

Bad Sleeping Positions

Injures, aches & pains of the body are often the result of accumulated stress that has been placed on the body. A big contributor is the position you sleep in.

Every night when you go to bed, the position you lay in for up to 8 hours can be adding constant stress to your body and be the tipping point to cause injury or simply keeping you from being at your physical best.

Common sleeping positions to try to stop include:

-          Sleeping on your stomach. Especially on softer beds, this position can hyperextend the lower back and place extra strain on the spinal nerves

-          Turning your head to the side. When sleeping on your stomach this is essential to breathe, however it contributes to neck pain and stiffness

-          Positioning an arm under your head and pillow. This position causes the shoulder muscles to hold at their maximum range of motion, which increases the risk of straining the rotator cuff muscles or cause impingement in the shoulder

-          Draping one leg over the other when laying on your side. Draping one leg over twists the pelvis and lower back, and stretches the hip muscles for this amount of time

-          Pointing your toes, also known as Plantar Flexion. This can contribute to plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinopathy

 

Changing your sleeping position isn’t always an easy thing to do but is definitely worth it.

For more information about how to improve your sleeping position and also what are the best pillows please contact our Chiropractor today.

Benefits for Over 55's

You are never too old to receive the benefits of Chiropractic Care!

Chiropractic care is extremely important for people aged 55 and over because of the dramatic changes that occur in the spine and body with increasing age. Not to mention all of the years of physical stress and strain we put our bodies through.

As we age spinal discs, joints, muscles and ligaments become weaker, less hydrated and less able to withstand normal stresses. As a result, pain from arthritis becomes more noticeable and tissues become injured much more easily and the time to heal takes longer.

 

A study reported that over 55’s Chiropractic users were;

-          Less likely to have been hospitalised

-          Less likely to have used a nursing home

-          More likely to report better health status

-          More likely to exercise vigorously

-          More likely to be mobile in the community

-          Less likely to use prescription drugs, and

-          Reported an overall better health status

Haas, M., et al. (2005). “Chronic Disease Self-Management Program for Low Back Pain in the Elderly.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 28(4): 228-237.

 

So how can Chiropractic care achieve these above points?

-          Chiropractic care decreases the frequency and severity of spinal and joint pain.

-          Chiropractic increases spinal and joint range of motion

-          Chiropractic increases balance and coordination

-          Chiropractic increases joint nutrition and decreases joint degeneration and arthritis

-          Chiropractic can decrease injuries from activities such as gardening and golf, or accidents like a fall

 

At Body Care Health & Chiropractic, our Chiropractor Dr Felicity Ede specialises in Chiropractic care for people aged 55 and over. She has years of experience and treats both in clinic and also at Retirement and Aged Care facilities. Felicity uses gentle techniques that are modified in accordance with age, health conditions, comfort level and personal goals.

If you or a family member is aged 55 and over and would like to experience these benefits of Chiropractic care or perhaps would like to find out more, please call Body Care Health & Chiropractic.

Chiropractic care can help you age gracefully!

Further reports from studies on the benefits of Chiropractic;

A recent study evaluated the health status of 414 elderly individuals (average age of 80 years) and compared those individuals under chiropractic care with those not under chiropractic care. The researchers found a number of significant findings which included:

· 87% of those who used chiropractic care rated their health as good or excellent compared with only 68% in the non-chiropractic group

· 13% of those who used chiropractic care rated their health as fair or poor compared with 32% in the non-chiropractic group

· 44% of those who used chiropractic care reported having arthritis compared with 66% in the non-chiropractic care group

· Those who used chiropractic care were more likely to do strenuous levels of exercise

· At 3 years follow-up, less than 5% of those who used chiropractic care used a nursing home while a staggering 48% of those who did not use chiropractic care did use a nursing home

· At 3 years follow-up, only 26% of those who used chiropractic care were hospitalised compared with 48% of those in the non-chiropractic group

Study Coulter, PhD et al. Chiropractic and Care for the Elderly. Top Clin Chiro 1996;3(2):46-55.

Negative Effects Of Sitting On Your Wallet

80% of people will suffer from an episode of back pain at some stage in their lives and a lot of these are easily preventable. Back problems are often due to injury, repetitive spinal stress or poor core stability, but did you know that an action as simple as sitting on your wallet (after being carried around in your back pocket) could be the cause of your pain?

Many people (especially men) place their wallet in their back pocket and leave it there for when they sit down, unaware of how this may be affecting their spinal health. Wallets are normally filled with items such as cards, cash and receipts…each of these items adding to the width of the wallet.

Imagine having a wedge placed under one side of your pelvis while you are sitting, whether it be while at work, sitting in the car or even while out for lunch. One side of your pelvis is now higher than the other instead of being nice and balanced.

The wallet under your pelvis will not only affect your spine but also the surrounding tissues and structures. As the pelvis and hips are the foundation of the spine, changes to their positioning will cause compensation changes to everything that sits on that foundation.

For example, if you places your wallet in your right pocket this will cause the right side of the pelvis to be raised up & a slight left-sided spinal list. The body will compensate for this by pulling the spine back towards the side of the wallet (right side), in attempts to even out the imbalance. In a chain of reactions the head may also be pulled to one side as it tries to keep the eyes level. The pelvis is composed of two halves and these halves can also rotate slightly due to a constant stress being applied to one side, which in reaction can lead to sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Over the long term this chain of compensations created will result in spinal and postural stress and then pain. The sciatic nerve can also become compressed due to the tissues on the buttocks area. This can cause symptoms such as leg pain, tingling &/or numbness.

 

At Body Care Health & Chiropractic Dr Felicity Ede looks at the big picture to find and correct the root cause and the compensations that have been created.

So next time you go to sit down, check that you don’t have anything in your back pocket.

Contact us on 0409 712 075 or felicity.chiro@gmail.com  for a FREE SPINAL SCREENING, and get on top of your posture asap!

Backpacks

Now that school is back and textbooks have been bought, it is important to consider how your child’s school bag is affecting their posture and health. It is important to ensure that your child wears the backpack properly to avoid causing extra stress on the neck, back and shoulders.

Many studies, including one by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, report that backpack-related issues are on the rise.

Tips for wearing a backpack:

-          Make sure the bag isn’t too big and should not go four inches below the waistline, otherwise this will increase the pressure on the child’s shoulders.

-          Avoid bags with one strap, as only using one strap can cause an unequal distribution of weight which can lead to neck & back pain and also muscle strain.

So make sure the backpack has two wide, padded straps, and that your child is using both.

-          Adjust the straps so that the bag is close to the body and not hanging too low (as mentioned above).

-          Place heavy items in the back of the bag, closer to the body. If the bag has compartments, use those to help distribute the weight evenly.

-          Very importantly, pack light. The backpack should weigh no more than 15% of the child’s body weight.

 

Look for signs that your child’s backpack is too big or heavy for them:

-          Your child struggles to put the bag on.

-          They have to lean forward or adjust their posture to carry the school bag.

-          You notice/ they mention red marks, tingling or numbness.

 

At Body Care Health & Chiropractic, Dr Felicity Ede is trained and experienced in treating back and neck pain for a wide range of ages, and also uses a range of gentle techniques proven to be safe and effective for children.

Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common complaints in Australia, as 80% of the population will experience back pain some time during their life. It is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor and accounts for many missed work days and disabilities.

Pain may be experienced after a specific incident such as bending incorrectly or lifting heavy objects with poor technique. Or can develop gradually, perhaps due to poor posture &/or poor sleeping habits, ligament injury, prolonged sitting or ‘wear and tear’ due to aging.

Back pain can originate from joints, muscles, nerves, bones, discs, ligaments or other spinal structures. Pain is one of the mechanisms our bodies have to let us know there is something going on and that it needs help. The pain experienced can range from dull to sharp, be constant or intermittent and can appear localised or travel to other regions of the body. Disc bulge or herniation can cause pressure on a nerve, which can cause symptoms such as pain, numbness &/or tingling radiating in the buttocks and down the leg. It is important to address where the pain is originating from and rule out other causes such as bladder/kidney infection, endometriosis, cancer or ovarian problems.

Body Care Health & Chiropractic helps identify the source and cause of the symptoms, create a treatment plan and get you pain-free again. Our aim is the get to the cause rather than just treating a symptom to give you lasting relief from your pain.

Golfer's Elbow

Medial Epicondylopathy, commonly known as Golfer’s elbow is the name given to medial elbow pain. It is characterised by pain around the inside (medial side) of the elbow, where the muscles that bend the wrist toward the palm connects to the bone.

Golfer’s elbow is usually caused by repetitive movements of the forearm muscles, but may also be caused by direct trauma such as with a fall, work injury or car accident. Golfer’s elbow is often seen in golf players (hence the name), especially when poor technique is used. However most people that present with this condition don’t actually play golf.

 

Symptoms include;

-          Pain and tenderness on the inner side of your elbow that can also sometimes extend along the inner side of the forearm.

-          Pain can come on suddenly or gradually.

-          Your elbow may feel stiff and hurt when you make a fist with your hand.

-          You may experience weakness in your hand and wrist.

-          Numbness or tingling. These sensations might radiate into one or more fingers, more commonly the ring and little finger.

 

How can Chiropractic care help?

After performing an examination and diagnosis, Chiropractic treatment can assist in addressing some dysfunctional issues such as;

-          Reducing pain.

-          Enhance tissue repair by promoting circulation and healing to the area.

-          Increase joint range of motion and function.

-          Restore muscle strength and length.

Our Chiropractor, Dr Felicity at Body Care Health & Chiropractic will provide gentle treatment depending on the individual’s condition and underlying causes of the elbow pain. Such treatment may include soft tissue release, gentle mobilisations of the elbow and wrist joints, gentle manipulation, dry needling and muscle stretches and strengthening. Our Chiropractor may provide some take-home activities such as exercises and stretches.