Health Information

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ARTHRITIS
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Osteoarthritis

Most people develop some degree of osteoarthritis especially as they get older. The changes are permanent and exist even when there are no symptoms. Osteoarthritis affects people in varying degrees. Some people may be symptom-free or suffer only mild or intermittent pain provoked by episodes of increased use or minor trauma. For some people symptoms can be disabling and, when it involves the larger joints of the body such as the hip or the knee, the severity of the problem may require surgical treatment. Wear and tear of our joints may occur due to ageing, injury, prolonged poor posture, over use of joints, or excess weight.

Osteoarthritis is one of 150 different forms of arthritis for which there are different treatments. Treatment may include Chiropractic SMT and/or natural anti-inflammatory supplementation. Treatment methods may include gentle passive movement, heat, electrical treatments, muscle stimulation, hydrotherapy, splints and advice on preventing further joint damage through self management.

Chiropractors are highly qualified in the assessment and treatment of the effects of osteoarthritis. Chiropractors can:

  • ? Reduce pain.
  • ? Improve movement and posture.
  • ? Strengthen muscles.
  • ? Improve independent function.
  • ? Assess and treat biomechanical problems that may exacerbate the pain and loss of function

Specific exercise prescription is also a proven therapy in the management of arthritis.

Signs and Symptoms

  • ? Recurring pain or tenderness in a joint.
  • ? Stiffness, particularly early morning stiffness.
  • ? Swelling in a joint.
  • ? Obvious redness or heat in a joint.
  • ? Inability to move a joint.

Exercises help by

  • ? Maintaining or increasing movement.
  • ? Improving joint lubrication and nutrition.
  • ? Restoring muscle balance.
  • ? Improving circulation.
  • ? Improving strength and stability.
  • ? Improving poor posture.

Don’t forget to maintain your GENERAL FITNESS LEVEL -this helps you feel better and retain your healthy joints.

Gentle regular exercises such as swimming, exercising in water (hydrotherapy), walking or cycling are recommended.

Rest

Whilst rest is an important part of managing your osteoarthritis, it is usually balanced with exercises and activity. In particular rest is required when joints are HOT,SWOLLEN OR PAINFUL

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Chiropractic and Pregnancy

The weight of a growing baby causes changes to posture and puts strain on the back, pelvis, neck and shoulders. After the birth, everyday activities like lifting, carrying and feeding the baby can also lead to muscle soreness and joint problems.

Chiropractors help women prevent and overcome pain in these areas through safe and effective therapies, including specific strengthening and stretching exercises, posture correction, gentle spinal movement and massage.

ABDOMINAL MUSCLE WEAKNESS During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles are stretched and weakened. They may also separate down the mid line. Abdominal muscle weakness – results in poor muscle control and backache.
Chiropractors are trained to prescribe specific abdominal exercises to assist full recovery.


Chiropractic Co-management of Medically Treated Asthma

Chiropractic treatment has been shown through research to reduce the severity and incidence of asthma attacks.

FROM: Clinical Chiropractic 2005 (Sep); 8 (3): 140?144

Amy Louise Gibbs Swindon Chiropractic Clinic, 10 Swindon Road, Stratton St. Margaret, Swindon SN3 4PZ, UK

Asthma is the most common chronic disease in the UK. An inflammatory disorder, it is characterized by increased mucus production and airway hypersensitivity, both of which contribute to a decreased airflow. Common symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and a feeling of chest tightness. This article presents three cases where patients, being treated by conventional pharmacological means, had chiropractic manipulation administered to the upper thoracic spine twice a week for a period of 6 weeks.

Objective measurements were collected using a peak flow meter and subjective data using an asthma specific questionnaire. All three cases resulted in increased subjective and objective parameters and suggest the need for larger studies with appropriate methodology.

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Childhood Asthma

Chiropractic Treatment has been found to help reduce the severity and incidence of asthma attacks.

Chronic Paediatric Asthma and Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation: A Prospective Clinical Series and Randomized Clinical Pilot Study

FROM: J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2001 (July); 24 (6): 369?377

Gert Bronfort, DC, PhD, Roni L. Evans, DC, Paul Kubic, MD, PhD, Patty Filkin

Objectives: The first objective was to determine if chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) in addition to optimal medical management resulted in clinically important changes in asthma-related outcomes in children. The second objective was to assess the feasibility of conducting a full-scale, randomized clinical trial in terms of recruitment, evaluation, treatment, and ability to deliver a sham SMT procedure.

Study Design: Prospective clinical case series combined with an observer-blinded, pilot randomized clinical trial with a 1-year follow-up period.

Setting: Primary contact, college outpatient clinic, and a paediatric hospital.

Patients: A total of 36 patients aged 6 to 17 years with mild and moderate persistent asthma were admitted to the study.

Outcome Measures: Pulmonary function tests; patient- and parent- or guardian-rated asthma-specific quality of life, asthma severity, and improvement; am and pm peak expiratory flow rates; and diary-based day and night-time symptoms.

Interventions: Twenty chiropractic treatment sessions were scheduled during the 3-month intervention phase. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either active SMT or sham SMT in addition to their standardized ongoing medical management.

Results: It is possible to blind the participants to the nature of the SMT intervention, and a full-scale trial with the described design is feasible to conduct. At the end of the 12-week intervention phase, objective lung function tests and patient-rated day and night time symptoms based on diary recordings showed little or no change. Of the patient-rated measures, a reduction of approximately 20% in 2 bronchodilator use was seen (P = .10). The quality of life scores improved by 10% to 28% (P < .01), with the activity scale showing the most change. Asthma severity ratings showed a reduction of 39% (P < .001), and there was an overall improvement rating corresponding to 50% to 75%. The pulmonologist-rated improvement was small. Similarly, the improvements in parent- or guardian-rated outcomes were mostly small and not statistically significant. The changes in patient-rated severity and the improvement rating remained unchanged at 12-month post treatment follow-up as assessed by a brief postal questionnaire.

Conclusion: After 3 months of combining chiropractic SMT with optimal medical management for paediatric asthma, the children rated their quality of life substantially higher and their asthma severity substantially lower. These improvements were maintained at the 1-year follow-up assessment.


Choose the Right Pillow for You

We sleep for a number of reasons, one being to relax the body. For this reason, the pillow and bed that we use has to provide support for the neck and spine to allow the muscles to relax and rejuvenate. If the pillow doesn’t do its job properly, the result can be a stiff and sore neck, headaches and a general feeling of tiredness.

Do you need a new pillow?

If you do any of the following, you may have the wrong size or the wrong type of pillow:

  • You sleep with your arm stuck under the pillow.
  • You sleep on your stomach.
  • Sleeping with more than one pillow or with no pillow.
  • Your head feels higher or lower than your body when it is on the pillow.
  • You chase your pillow all over the bed all night.
  • You regularly sleep with a boomerang shaped pillow.

Choosing the ideal pillow.

The correct pillow it is vital. The chiropractors at Essendon Chiropractic can guide you with expert advice on how to check if your pillow is the right one for you. Whether you sleep on your back or your side, a properly fitting pillow will encourage the spines natural curves during sleep. If you suffer from headaches or neck-pain it is very important to ensure that you have a supportive and well fitting pillow.

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Pillows and sleeping styles

The best shape and height for your pillow will vary depending on the position in which you prefer to sleep. Essendon Chiropractic Centre recommend the moulded pillows because they encourage the natural lordotic curvature of the cervical spine.

Feather pillows

While feather and down pillows look great, they provide little support for the neck. Our chiropractors recommend a more supportive pillow that better holds its shape.


Exercises

For optimal results we recommend a regular chiropractic treatment schedule and regular exercise (both stretching and cardiovascular). Your ?homework? will account for up to 40% of your results. Your Chiropractor will prescribe specific exercises necessary for your condition to improve.

Firstly, a series of spinal stretches will be prescribed to aid the spinal correction process and to create muscular symmetry.

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Secondly, a series of strengthening and core stabilising exercises will be given to maintain and stabilise any corrective chiropractic care done.


Tension Headaches

Treatment for tension headaches involves removing fixed areas within the spine (subluxations) , reducing adjacent muscle spasm and improving the forward head posture.

Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain 2006 (Mar); 46 (3): 454?460

Twenty chronic tension-type headache (CTTH) subjects and 20 matched controls without headache participated. Trigger points (TrPs) were identified by eliciting referred pain with palpation, and increased referred pain with muscle contraction. Side-view pictures of each subject were taken in sitting and standing positions, in order to assess forward head posture (FHP) by measuring the craniovertebral angle. Suboccipital active TrPs and FHP were associated with CTTH. CCTH subjects with active TrPs reported a greater headache intensity and frequency than those with latent TrPs.

The degree of Forward head posture correlated positively with headache duration, headache frequency, and the presence of suboccipital active Trigger points.

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Headaches

Headaches are one of the most common health complaints in the world. Getting rid of a headache fast when you have one is all-important, since even a mild one can slow you down and make you feel miserable.
What’s even more important is uncovering the root cause of your headaches. If you’d like help with your headache, call us at Essendon Chiro for a thorough headache assessment and let provide solutions that can work for you.

Read on to learn about the three main types of headaches: tension, migraine and cluster.

1. Tension Headaches

This type, is by far the most common type of headache, often brought on by the sheer pace at which we live our lives today. Triggers can include poor posture, a stiff neck, muscle tension, accidents and stress. Tension headaches are usually felt as a dull ache on both sides of the head, sometimes described as a tight band across the head. They often begin at the base of the skull or in the neck and shoulders and get worse as the day goes on.

The pain you experience with a tension headache is believed to be caused by irritated nerves from tight muscles and locked spinal joints.

2. Migraine headache

Migraine headaches are often recurrent and can cause enough misery to limit almost all activity. About 2 million Australians get them with about 1.5 million of those being women.

There are two main types of migraine- the “common” and the “classical”. Common migraines have severe one sided head pain, throbbing pain aggravated by movement, nauseas or vomiting and sensitivity to light, noise or smells. Classical migraine is the same as common migraines except they also has visual disturbances such as flashing lights or blind spots.

The pain of migraine is caused by blood vessels in your head constricting and dilating, which causes a throbbing, pulsating sensation.

There are many well-recognised migraine triggers including certain foods, changes in the environment, hormonal triggers and lack of sleep or extreme emotions.

3. Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are not as common as the previous two and affect mainly men. Symptoms include sharp pain in and around one eye, reddened eyeballs, nasal congestion and facial swelling. Attacks can last up to three hours and repeat a few times each day. They can last for weeks or months and then not happen again for months or years. Call the professionals at Essendon Chiropractic Centre for your headache solutions now- let us provide your health care naturally!

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Natural Weight Loss

Obesity is a chronic problem in today’s society. Approximately 60% of the Australian population are overweight or obese. And being overweight can seriously risk your health with cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol), type II diabetes, liver and gall bladder disease, cancer, menstrual irregularities and the list goes on. In fact, if you are overweight, you are twice as likely to die early!

Wellness One Weight Loss

In a nutshell, Essendon Chiro?s weight loss strategy uses moderate carbohydrate restriction, low GI carbohydrate food choices, and exercise in an individually tailored program.

Eight Simple Tips for Weight Loss

1. Set yourself specific and realistic goals.

The goal must detail exactly what you are going to do to lose weight. Goals such as “I’m just going to eat healthy and I want to lose 10 kg next month” are non specific and unrealistic and failure will dampen enthusiasm.

2. Eat whole foods

By eating whole foods hidden fat, sugar and salt are automatically avoided.

3. Eat breakfast

Breakfast breaks the overnight fast, kick starts the metabolism and sets the platform for the day. Ideally breakfast should contain low GI carbohydrates, protein, essential fats and phyto-nutrients.

4. Consume protein with every meal

Protein contains the building blocks for life and provides a sustained energy source with little effect on insulin levels.

5. Eat predominantly low GI carbohydrates

Low GI carbohydrates provide a sustained energy supply and don’t spike insulin like simple carbohydrates do. We can help you to choose the best low GI foods to boost your long-term weight loss results.

6. Keep track of what you eat

It is often useful to document exactly what you eat. It tells the real story and can inspire further dietary changes. It is also a useful way to document food intolerances.

7. Exercise smart and enjoy it

Exercise is an integral part of any weight loss program and is indeed essential to weight loss beyond 12 months.

8. Treat yourself

Allow yourself a treat once a week. It is very difficult to maintain restricted eating habits without the possibility of some reward for your efforts, but don’t overindulge. Remember weight loss is possible but it requires permanent diet and lifestyle changes. At Essendon Chiropractic we can provide safe and effective individually tailored eating plans designed to work for you. We also provide support, motivation, monitoring and education about healthy eating all aimed at allowing you to achieve successful weight loss.


Foot and Leg Development

Flat feet are normal in babies and young children because the arch of the foot is not fully developed. Most children develop an arch by five to six years of age. Flat feet tend to run in families. If an arch can be seen when the child stands on tip-toes there is no cause for concern. If your child?s flat feet are stiff and/or painful, if your child?s ankles roll in a lot, or if your child has flat feet and knee soreness, then see your chiropractor for assessment and advice.

Bow legs or genu varum is often seen until the toddler is about two or three years old. Bow legs can also run in families. Treatment is not needed unless the bowing is severe or one-sided.

Knock knees or genu valgum is normal in children between three and six years of age, and usually disappear by the age of seven. Knock knees may also be seen in children who have flat feet or who are overweight.

A small percentage of children walk on their tip-toes. If your child can stand with the feet flat then the toe-walking habit usually disappears on its own. However if your child has stiff ankles or feet (making it difficult for you to move the feet up and down or to put shoes on), or your child rarely stands with the feet flat, or the toe-walking habit persists, then seek advice from our Chiropractors. We analyse gait (walking pattern) and posture then develop stretching and strengthening exercises which combat various lower limb problems.