Achive:     May 2019

ATTENTION ALL NEW MUMS!

 

May!!! We agree…. How is it May already? Well, May allows us to celebrate those very special people in our lives - our Mums. Being a parent can be very challenging at the best of times. And especially if you’re a new mum. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first, second, or fifth child, being a new mum comes with a whole host of daily challenges. Your new little human requires all your attention - feeding  constantly, changing eight nappies a day, bathing… Throw in another child, other family members, work, groceries (and the list continues) into the equation and it’s easy to see how life can be taxing on you and your body.

 

The good news is, we’ve devised a little self-help guide for new mums! Below we give you tips on how to be kind to your body and not put yourself at risk of injury, so you can give your little munchkin the attention they need.

 

FEEDING

 

You’re going to be doing a lot of this. Your new recruit requires constant nourishment to ensure they grow strong and stay healthy. And it doesn’t matter whether you breast or bottle feed, it’s likely you are going to be seated for long periods, looking down at your baby. This all leads to extra strain through your neck, back and shoulders. So, try some of these little gems of advice to help keep this process pain free:

 

1.    Get a comfortable, supportive chair - pick a chair that is going to feel good to sit in, but one you can easily get up and down from. If it’s too low, allowing you to slouch right back into, you’ll struggle to move yourself and your baby around without compromising your back.

2.    Keep your neck moving - feeding is a great time to bond with your baby. Eye contact is important but try not to spend the whole time looking down at a funny angle. Once your baby is comfortable feeding, it’s OK to break that eye contact every now and then to move your neck. Doing some light stretches will ensure you don’t end up with sore, overworked muscles.

3.    Consider a feeding pillow - these are great for taking the weight of your baby, so your shoulders and arms don’t have to. And they still allow you to have that important close contact.

4.    If you have a partner who can help feed, allow them to help regularly to give you a break. This tip is more for the bottle feeders of course, but it can make a huge difference.

 


CHANGING

It’s going to be nappies galore! This can mean a lot of bending over, so it’s important you look after your posture so your lower back doesn’t take all the strain. Try to avoid changing your baby on the floor in these early days. Ideally, get yourself a changing table. It means you can place your baby down on the table and change them at a height where you don’t have to bend forward and hold an awkward position. And of course, the same advice can be followed when changing your baby’s clothes. Look after that back, you’re going to need it!

 

OTHER USEFUL TIPS

 The following tips are by no means any less important, so try to take these on where possible:

 


1.    Sleep when your baby sleeps: Getting those extra hours in when your baby is taking a nap is important to conserve your energy and reduce the risk of fatigue.

2.    Eat and drink well: It’s easy for the focus to turn to your baby, and rightly so, they are little and dependent on you. Remember though, you can’t look after your baby if you aren’t well. Eat for the health of you and your baby - lots of water and good nutritious food such as fruit and vegetables!

3.    Stretch: Especially your shoulders, neck and chest. Once baby comes along, our arms are always in front of us. Whether it’s holding, feeding, changing or playing, we’re usually a little slumped in our shoulders. Build stretching into your routine (like every time after baby feeds for example). We want to reverse the ‘slump’ position, so take your arms out wide, open up your chest and hold for 30 seconds (and repeat). Aim to do this three times a day (or whenever you get the chance!). Gentle shoulder shrugs and neck stretches can also help.

4.    Take time to relax: When the opportunity arises, get your partner, grandparent or friend to look after your newborn while you take a bath, read a book, or close your eyes for a little while. You deserve it, and it helps keep you sane and grounded during a very busy period in your life.

 

We hope you’ve found our list of tips interesting and helpful. If you are ever unsure, have a niggle or need some further advice, please do not hesitate to call us and book an appointment! Happy Mother’s Day to all you lovely Mums and mother-figures out there!!!

April 2019

LIFETIME APPROACH T0 CARE OF YOUR SPINE


MAINTAINING HEALTHY HIPS

Healthy Hips week is here (1-7 April)! So, to raise awareness for all the good work Healthy Hips Australia do for people diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia, we’ve written a little blog to bring you up to speed on what Hip Dysplasia is, what to look out for and what can be done about it.

What is hip dysplasia?

Hip Dysplasia is a condition where the ball and socket part of the hip joint do not fit properly together in their normal position. The main cause is a combination of loose ligaments around the joint and abnormal growth or development. The severity of this condition can vary from mild dysplasia, to severe abnormal development where dislocation of the hip may occur. The condition is also referred to as Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH), congenital hip dysplasia, and has many other names too.

Who does it affect?

As many as 1 in 6 full-term newborn babies have some form of hip instability at birth, and it tends to affect females more than males. However, it is not always present at birth, hence the ‘developmental’ part of the name. Risk factors for developing this condition include


  • incorrect swaddling techniques
  • Being a first born
  • Having family history of the condition
  • Breech positioning inside the wom

What are the signs and symptoms?

There are a wide variety of signs and symptoms for Hip Dysplasia. Depending on when you are diagnosed, you might experience:  

  • Clicking or clunking when moving the hip •
  • Uneven thigh or buttock skin creases
  • Uneven leg lengths
  • Weight-bearing to one side when sitting
  • Avoidance of weight bearing altogether
  • Limping or pain when walking
  • Walking on tip-toes on one sid
  • Legs that are difficult to spread apart


What can be done about it?


Screening at birth, and in the weeks and months that follow, is the best way to reduce the risk of developing this condition, and its potential complications later in life. You should allow for your baby’s legs and hips to sit in their natural position where possible (i.e. knees bent and turned out at the hips). Try to avoid swaddling, as this restricts leg movement, and any car seats or carriers that bring your child’s legs in together at the knees. 

In cases where Hip Dysplasia is present, there are a few different types of treatment, which include harnessing or bracing for milder cases, or surgical correction in more severe cases (i.e. dislocation). One of the biggest side effects in adults is hip osteoarthritis, so from the teenage years and up, some cases may be considered for corrective surgery to avoid the risk of this developing later in life. If you are worried about your child’s hips, or even your own, then contact us, your trusted Chiropractor. We will take you through an assessment and advise you on your best course of action. This may include referring you on for further investigation, prescribing you strength and flexibility exercises to help you manage your condition, or other treatment. Whatever you need, we’ll help you or your loved one get back to doing the hippy hippy shake in no time!

OUR THREE FAVOURITE ALL-BODY EXERCISES

It can be difficult to know which exercise is the right exercise for a particular body part, so why not choose exercises that work lots of muscles at once? We’ve chosen three of our favourite all-body exercises and will break them down for you here..

1.  Walking and running

A classic! An oldie, but a goodie, walking or running is a great all over body exercise. It works lower and upper leg, your buttocks, core, and even your arms! If you’re not much of a mover, start small with 15-minute walks, and build it up over time. Once you’re happily walking 30 minutes, start doing intervals, like running for 30-seconds and walking for two minutes (or more). Over time, increase your running time, decrease your walking time and soon enough you’ll be jogging for 30-minutes flat! Runners – interval training is great to mix up your training too. Try running at 90% effort for a minute, and then jogging for a minute. Play around with your run/jog times depending on your fitness and goals.

2.  Squats

These are a very popular exercise, and for good reason. These strengthen your lower body and back. Start with no added weights to ensure you have good technique. Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Keeping your back straight, push your bottom outwards to mimic sitting in a chair - try to keep your weight through your big and little toes, and your heels. When your thighs are parallel with the ground, return to the start position giving your buttocks a squeeze on the way back up. Keep your knees over your toes (which should point forward) – don’t let your knees waver in or out! A good progression is to add weight when you are ready; start with 1-2kg in each hand (or use bottles of water or books in shopping bags!) and work your way up! Eventually you can add weighted arm movements during or after your squat to get that whole-body work out. You can also do squats while brushing your teeth or waiting for the kettle to boil!



3.   Box Jumps or step ups

This is another lower body exercise but is also a great calorie burner and really engages the whole body to perform. You need a box (we strongly advise against cardboard ones!) or a strong raised surface that will take your weight with no issues (like a step/platform). Jump up onto the box, landing with both feet and raise to a standing position. Then jump back down and repeat. Start slow and low and build up to faster and higher jumps. Of course, if you aren’t quite at jumping yet, or you have any lower body injuries or heart problems, try stepping up and down to start. Try not to let your weight shift side-to-side too much as you step up. Start by doing 3 x 30secs, building up to 3 x 1-minute sets. Or try 3 x 10 jumps, building up to more as you progress. Make sure your knees and toes point forward, and if in doubt, start small!

If you are new to all this, come and speak to us, your local Chiropractor so we can assess your movement and highlight any areas you may need to work on before getting into full body workouts. Also, if you have any type of heart problem, disease, disorder, or are holding any injuries, come and see us first so that we can make sure you are doing the right exercises for yo

Now get down and give me 20!!!.

March 2019

WHAT PAIN RELIEF IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

Pain has been a huge topic for discussion for a long time now. Nearly everyone feels it (I say ‘nearly’ because there is actually a very small minority of people with a special condition that does not allow them to feel pain), and it varies in character and severity depending on what part of the body is implicated. And for the most part, none of us like being in pain. When we feel pain, normally the first thing we do is to look for a way out of it (of course a small minority just ignore it - tut tut!). It’s a bit of a minefield knowing where to go for good pain relief. Some of us like a quick fix, others are more interested in fixing the problem long term by putting the hours in.

 When it comes to the body, we usually feel pain because our body is sending us a signal letting us know something is not quite right. That might be down to a simple muscle imbalance or joint restriction, which is leading us to walk or run differently. Or it might be down to something more serious like a tear of a muscle or tendon, or a problem with an organ deep inside the body - the list of causes is long and complex.

Now once we have pain, we want to know how to get rid of it. A lot of us turn to the experts (i.e. manual therapists such as your local chiro and other professionals like doctors), and some of us like to self-diagnose using www.DrInternet.com (do this at your peril!).

 So, what is out there to help us relieve our pain? Some of the most common and well-known forms of pain relief include manual therapy, use of temperature, and numerous medications - you’ll find a brief overview of each below:

Manual therapy

Us humans have been using our hands to treat the body for a very, very, very long time! If you walk into a clinic in pain, be it you have a swollen ankle or the inability to lift your arm above your head, your therapist will get to work on you using a whole host of techniques (after they have carefully and correctly diagnosed you of course!). Soft tissue massage and release techniques are widely used in the management of musculoskeletal pain, and evidence suggests you aren’t wasting your time by getting the help of your local therapist. Your therapist may also utilise other techniques, including joint mobilisation and manipulation, to correct your problem and to help get your pain lowered and under control. Usually you will also be given some form of flexibility or strengthening exercise to perform between treatment sessions to back up what happens in the treatment room

Heat and cold therapy

If you’ve hurt yourself in the past, there is a good chance you’ve tried some form of treatment relating to temperature to help relieve the pain. It’s difficult to know whether it’s best to use heat or cold therapy, but the following principles


Heat pack applied to shoulder.


are pretty safe to follow. Cold therapy can help to reduce pain, blood flow, swelling, muscle spasm, and inflammation. Heat therapy can help to relieve pain, increase blood flow, and tissue elasticity. Although more evidence is needed to support the use of these therapies in certain scenarios, it may help, so it’s worth getting the advice from your local chiro for the best route ahead.


Medication


There are countless different medications out there that can help with pain relief - these are called analgesics. Without getting too complicated, they can generally be split into Non-opioid and Opioid analgesics. Non-opioid analgesics include your well known and easily accessible medications such as aspirin, paracetamol, and anti-inflammatories (such as Ibuprofen) - these are generally good for the control of musculoskeletal pain. Opioid analgesics are there for cases of more severe pain, and include codeine, tramadol and morphine (you won’t be able to get these ones over-the-counter though!). Remember it’s always safest to consult a medical professional before using any form of medication.

 


We hope this has been a helpful overview to read. If you are injured or in pain, we advise you to book a consultation with us so we can talk through your problem, assess you thoroughly, and then advise the best course of action for you. Our aim is to help get you out of pain and moving better again! Say ‘au revoir’ to pain! :)