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Keep Active

An active spine is a healthy spine. This is important at any age. The Department of Health recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week.9 Activities such as surfing, soccer and strength training in the gym can have great benefits to your overall mental and physical health. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 56% of all Australians are not sufficiently physically active.10 This has a negative impact on your spinal health.  

Benefits of regular exercise

Most physical activity can have great positive effects on the spine including the stretching, strengthening and repairing of muscles that help support your back. Regular exercise can also reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, build stronger bones, increase your energy, improve sleep patterns and so much more.

Just Start Walking

If the gym or sports field isn’t for you then walking is another great way to keep active. Some benefits of brisk walking include increasing your heart and lung fitness, muscle strength and endurance, and it contributes to a naturally upright posture.

Need a little extra help to get you walking to a healthier life? The Just Start Walking app is just what you need. This free app was developed by the Australian Chiropractors Association to encourage Australians to get outside and to get walking! The app allows you to not only map your walk, but track the distance and time taken.

The app also displays your walking history, so you can see your improvements, features local walking events near you and lets you share your walk with friends on social media.

Download the Just Start Walking app to take the first steps towards a healthier spine and be Ready for Life!

Reference: Australian Chiropractors Association

IMPROVE POSTURE

 
SHW19 - video game

By decreasing the amount we move each day, we have increased the severity of poor posture and in turn, its negative effects on health. Daily activities that we now consider common, like sitting at a desk, driving instead of walking, and even playing video games, may lead to incorrect posture.

What is poor posture?

Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting or lying down. When your posture is poor this can increase pressure on your spine and contribute to tension, soreness, headaches, back pain and fatigue. 

Australian adults, on average, spend an estimated five hours per day sitting, with a quarter of the population sitting for more than eight hours per day, including the 67% that play video games recreationally. This time sitting and hunching over a desk or on the couch can add pressure to the spine.

Get a Ready for Life Posture

A healthy posture is all about healthy movement, by both your spine and your body. It does take discipline to correct poor posture, but there’s no doubt the benefits are well worth the effort.

The Straighten Up app, developed by the Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA) is designed to help everyday Australians maintain and improve their spinal health. Use the app to set reminders and receive notifications about sitting right, stretching, improving posture and even staying hydrated.

References – Are you Ready for Life

  1. Older Australia at a glance,2017, AIHW (online). Available at www.aihw.gov.au/reports/older-people/older-australia-at-aglance/contents/demographicsof-older-australians/australia-schanging-age-and-gender-profile
  2. Caring for older Australians, 2010, Productivity Commission. Available at www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament
    /Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/
    BriefingBook43p/ageingpopulation
  3. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2016, Effectiveness of Chiropractic Care to Improve Sensorimotor Function Associated With Falls Risk in Older People: A Randomized Controlled Trial,May; 39(4):267-78
  4. The Burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia (2017), Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, www.aihw.gov.au
  5. Vos.T., Flaxman, A. and Naghavi, M., Years lived with disability study for 1160 sequelae of 289 diseases and injuries 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Diseases Study 2010. Lancet, 2012, 380: p2163-2196
  6. Szczygieł E, Zielonka K, Mętel S, Golec J. 2017, Musculoskeletal and pulmonary effects of sitting position – a systematic review. Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine 2017, Vol 24, No 1, 8–12
  7. Straker, L., Coenen, P., Dunstan, D., Gilson,N., Healy, G. 2016, Sedentary Work – Evidence on an Emergent Work Health and Safety Issue – Final Report, Canberra: Safe Work Australia, p23.
  8. Brand, J. E., Todhunter, S. & Jervis, J. 2017, Digital Australia 2018, Bond University, p6.
  9. Australia’s Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Adults (18-64 years) 2017 (online), The Department of Health. Available at www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-pubhlth-strateg-phys-act-guidelines#apaadult
  10. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018, Insufficient physical activity, Australia’s health 2018, Australia’s health series no. 16.
  11. Adams, Jon et al. “A workforce survey of Australian chiropractic: the profile and practice features of a nationally representative sample of 2,005 chiropractors” BMC complementary and alternative medicine vol. 17,1 14. 5 Jan. 2017, doi:10.1186/s12906-016-1542-x
  12. Research Summary and Strategic Research Opportunities 2016, Australian Chiropractors Association.

IS YOUR BACK SORE FROM TAKING ON TOO MUCH?

We can all relate to carrying as many bags as possible to save us making another trip. However, is the time you’re saving worth it? Lifting more than you are able to carry can cause immense strain on your body. Furthermore, with bad lifting technique, it can be even worse for your back.

This is not just true for carrying shopping bags. We often carry heavy suitcases and handbags without thinking of the consequences. Lifting heavy objects carelessly can result in strained back muscles. A tear or inflammation can result in severe pain and a long recovery.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 3.7 million Australians reported back problems and it has become the third leading cause of disease burden after cancer and cardiovascular problems1. With back problems being such a prevalent ailment, it’s important to make the necessary lifestyle changes to try and prevent back pain:

  • Share the load – if you have a lot of shopping to carry, make more than one trip or ask a friend or family member to help you.
  • Use the correct lifting technique – with your knees bent and your back in a neutral position, lift the object carefully by slowly bringing it towards your chest. Avoid twisting or slouching when lifting and lowering.
  • Stretch – incorporating stretching into your daily routine keeps the muscles flexible and healthy. We need this flexibility to maintain a range of motion in our joints.

Chiro Can Help

Chiropractors can help address the strain caused on the body from excessive lifting of heavy objects. Although back pain is common, each patient is different and chiropractors tailor their approach accordingly.

For back problems, chiropractors use a variety of non-surgical techniques, such as spinal adjustment or manual therapies. They also advise patients on self-management of pain through exercise, stretching and lifestyle modification. Speak to your local CAA chiropractor about the type of exercise or stretching most suited to your needs.

Visit your local CAA chiropractor for more information on how they can help improve your quality of life.

For more information on maintaining a healthy spine, please visit the website of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA) at www.chiropractors.asn.au

‘Chiro Can Help’ is the theme for Spinal Health Week this year. Spinal Health Week is a health initiative of the CAA and is taking place on 21-27 May 2018. #ChiroCanHelp

 


[1] The burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia (2017), Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, www.aihw.gov.au

 

IS YOUR PHONE BEING A PAIN IN THE NECK?

There is no denying that technology has transformed the way we live, but we are spending more and more time glued to our mobile devices.

Australians spend 10 hours and 24 minutes on average engaging with their mobile devices every day.1 Within five minutes of waking up in the morning 35% of us check our phones, and 70% use phones during mealtimes with family and friends.2 This excessive reliance on digital devices is taking a toll on our bodies.

Looking down hunched over mobile devices puts excessive strain on the neck which can cause neck pain. This is a very common complaint – in fact, the chance that you will have neck pain at some point in your lifetime is nearly 50%

More and more Australians are suffering from ‘Text Neck’ – this refers to neck pain and damage from looking down at mobile devices for prolonged periods. Staring down at your phone can put immense pressure on your neck and spine.

There is no need to shun all technology. Changing a few habits can make a gig difference in improving your spinal health and overall wellbeing. Here are some tips to help avoid text neck and other spinal health issues resulting from poor posture and excessive use of mobile devices:

  • Change the way you hold your phone – bring the screen to eye level so your head is not slouched forward. This way you don’t have to be in a forward-head posture for long periods of time.
  • Take regular breaks from mobile devices. For example, don’t check your phone while commuting.
  • Get social with family or friends. Have a ‘no phone policy’ during dinner. You’ll enjoy your meal even more without the distraction!

Chiro Can Help

Stretching can help alleviate neck pain an discomfort caused by text neck. Seek advice from your local CAA chiropractor or other healthcare professional about which stretching exercises are suitable for you.

Depending on your circumstances, your chiropractor may suggest a variety of techniques to help improve range of motion and function and will develop a program of care that may combine more than one type of treatment, depending on your needs. In addition to chiropractic adjustments, a care plan may include mobilisation, massage, rehabilitative exercise, as well as dietary and lifestyle advice.

Visit your local CAA chiropractor for more information on how they can help improve your quality of life.

For more information on maintaining a healthy spine, please visit the website of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA) at www.chiropractors.asn.au

‘Chiro Can Help’ is the theme for Spinal Health Week this year. Spinal Health Week is a health initiative of the CAA and is taking place on 21-27 May 2018. #ChiroCanHelp

 


[1] ‘Australian consumers spending more than 10 hours of every day on their digital devices’, 2016, Ernst & Young, www.ey.com

[2] Mobile Consumer Survey 2017: The Australian Cut, Deloitte, https://www2.deloitte.com/au/mobile-consumer-survey

 

 

IS BINGE WATCHING GIVING YOU A BACKACHE?

There is no denying that we live an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, spending hours each day sitting at desks or curled up on couches watching TV. The average Australian spends 2 hours and 25 minutes a day watching television.1 That’s a long time in one position and it can be hazardous to your health.

Most of the time, when people watch TV, they are either slouching or lying in ways that put strain on their shoulders, back, or hips. Unwinding in front of the television shouldn’t feel like work but it also shouldn’t leave you feeling miserable the next day (which can happen if your body is not properly aligned).

Here are some things you can do to keep your spine happy while watching television:

  • Pay attention to your posture – sitting up straight may not feel comfortable at first but overtime you’ll be able to maintain good posture as a habit. Keep your shoulders and back relaxed, and avoid tilting your head forward, backwards or sideways.
  • Take a break – a great way to remember to move is by getting off the couch and walking around during commercial breaks.
  • Reduce sitting time – you can make television time productive by doing household chores such as ironing or folding clothes while watching your favourite series.

Chiro Can Help

If you are already experiencing the side effects of poor posture and prolonged sitting (pain, headaches or stiffness), it is advisable to visit your local CAA chiropractor or other healthcare professional to see how they can help you improve your quality of life.

Your chiropractor can provide advice on self-care, depending on your condition and its severity. Research has shown that chiropractic care can help patients who suffer with back pain. In fact, a systematic review of articles published between 2009 and 2014 concluded that “the evidence supports that doctors of chiropractic are well-suited to diagnose, treat, co-manager, and manage the treatment of patients with low back pain disorders”.2

Visit your local CAA chiropractor for more information on how they can help improve your quality of life.

For more information on maintaining a healthy spine, please visit the website of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA) at www.chiropractors.asn.au

‘Chiro Can Help’ is the theme for Spinal Health Week this year. Spinal Health Week is a health initiative of the CAA and is taking place on 21-27 May 2018. #ChiroCanHelp

 


[1] Digital in 2017:ANZ and Pacific, 2017, We are Social & Hootsuite

[2] Globe G et al, 2015, Clinical Practice Guideline: Chiropractic Care for Low Back Pain

 

IS THE DAILY GRIND GIVING YOU A HEADACHE?

Headaches are becoming increasingly common and we are often guilty of taking some painkillers and ignoring the problem. Headaches can take different forms such as migraines or tension headaches, and these can greatly impact quality of life.

Headaches can be caused by various reasons, including but not limited to, poor posture, stress, sleeping patterns and poor nutrition. Here are some tips which can help decrease the severity or frequency of headaches:

  • Get enough sleep -adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Getting enough sleep plays an important role in your physical, mental and emotional health.
  • Fix your sleeping posture – an awkward sleeping position affects the alignment of your spine and can cause stiffness in the morning. Avoid sleeping on your stomach and try to sleep on your back instead to maintain the natural curve of the spine.
  • Be mindful of your posture – whether it’s during your commute or at the office, maintaining a good posture is very important for spinal health
  • Improve your nutrition – having a nutritious breakfast can make you feel good as you go about your day.
  • Drive Smart – if you drive regularly, adjust your seat to make sure that you are not straining any part of your body. Move the seat closer to the steering wheel to support the curve of your back.

Chiro Can Help
Chiropractors regularly diagnose, care for and manage headaches, and many studies have reported on the effectiveness of chiropractic care in alleviating migraine pain and other health issues that arise from neck and back issues.

An Australian study published in the Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapy demonstrated the effectiveness of chiropractic care in treating migraine pain. The Macquarie University study analysed the responses of 127 volunteers who suffered from migraines aged from 10 to 70 years. The researchers found that more than 80% of people who were provided with chiropractic care reported an improvement in migraines.1

Visit your local CAA chiropractor for more information on how they can help improve your quality of life.

For more information on maintaining a healthy spine, please visit the website of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA) at www.chiropractors.asn.au

‘Chiro Can Help’ is the theme for Spinal Health Week this year. Spinal Health Week is a health initiative of the CAA and is taking place on 21-27 May 2018. #ChiroCanHelp

 


[1] Tuchin PJ1, Pollard H, Bonello R, 2000, A randomized controlled trial of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine, J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2000 Feb;23(2):91-5