Baby Walkers and Spinal Development

Babies Sitting, Crawling, and Walking

Baby companies market baby products such as a the Baby Walker, Baby Jumper, and the Bumbo Floor seat as being beneficial for baby. But are they really?
According to a Baby Walker marketing ad, walkers “allow a child to explore”, when in reality a child can explore in a much safer and beneficial way by crawling. Walkers encourage walking before a child is physically, cognitively, and neurologically ready to walk.

A Jumper “allows baby to enjoy healthy exercise. Babies build strength, balance & coordination safely & comfortably.” What the company fails to tell you is that while in the jumper, the baby learns the incorrect use of the feet and calf muscles, incorrect core muscle activation, and a swayback position of the spine.

Are-Jumpers-Bad-For-Baby

The Bumbo Floor seat “was designed to seat young babies who can’t sit up by themselves yet… The seat has many technical design features that support the baby’s posture allowing them to interact with their surroundings.” Babies who can’t sit up by themselves yet are not ready physically to maintain an upright posture. And who’s to say a baby can’t interact with their surroundings while lying on his tummy or back?

It has been suggested that the biggest problem with baby walkers, saucers and jumpers is the position the baby is standing in and how it affects their future walking. Rather than heel to foot pad walking, it may predispose them to toe-walking, which can lead to posture issues as they get older.

When standing by themselves holding onto a piece of furniture the child is supporting their weight with their legs and trunk, utilizing stomach and gluteus muscles to keep themselves upright. When standing in a baby walker, saucer or jumper, the child’s weight is typically being supported by their hips, crotch and underarms as they lean forward in the support mechanism. This allows them to stand with a lordotic or swayback posture, which is not beneficial.

Avoid the urge to rush your baby through any stage of spinal development. Placing them in containers or toys that impede movement, or placing them in a position they cannot support on their own can delay your baby’s development or create long term spinal issues.

Encourage plenty of floor time to nurture your baby’s spinal development.

Car Seats and Strollers

While in the womb the fetus’ spine develops in a “C” pattern, which is perfectly normal. As the child grows and they become weight-bearing, their spine should begin to develop a more mature curvature, almost like a stretched out “S”.

BABY SPINE DEVELOPMENT

A baby’s developing spine can be affected by the repetitive positions they are put in. Car seats and strollers conform the child’s spine to the “C” pattern and, if used for long periods of time, can interfere with the normal development of the mature curvature.

An ergonomic rear-facing carrier is superior to using a car seat when the baby is not in the car.
hips sling
Many parents consult our clinic soon after the birth of their child. Then they follow up with periodic chiropractic check-ups throughout their child’s developing years. It is important for kids to get checked at all developmental milestones. This includes the first time they hold their head up, the first time they crawl, and the time they take their first steps. This is when their spine is developing the most. 

A trip to the chiropractor will ensure that these curves are developing properly so that there aren’t any problems down the road.

Is Office Work Causing You Pain?

rabbit at desk

Do you often feel sore and achy after a day at work? Your workstation may be playing a part in this!

Here are five helpful tips!

Tip #1 – Don’t look down!
monitor height
Monitor height is often too low. If you find yourself looking down to see the screen, you’ve got a problem.
Raise your monitor so you look straight ahead. Trust me, your neck will thank you. Your head isn’t the lightest thing in the world and looking down all the time puts a lot of strain on the muscles in your neck. It can also lead to, or worsen forward head posture!
The test… Sit up straight in front of your computer as your parents told you to, and have a colleague look at your posture from the side. Then look at your monitor as if you were working. If your colleague sees your head move forward, down or most likely both, you NEED to raise your monitor.
Tip #2 – Care about the chair!
chair
To keep your feet on the floor, arms parallel with the desk, head up, and back straight – invest in a quality office chair. You should be able to adjust the height of your chair to a level that is perfectly comfortable for you so get one with an adjustable height.
Your lower back should sit comfortably against the backrest of the chair.
Adjust your chair so your feet are firmly supported by the floor. If you have short legs or a tall workstation, consider pairing your chair with a footrest.
Tip #3 – Use a headset!
headset
If you use the phone frequently, use a head set or a speaker phone, especially if you type or write while on the phone. If you are not using a headset hold the receiver to your ear. Do not cradle receiver between chin and shoulder!
Tip #4 – Check your wrists and elbows!
wrist
Whether you’re using a mouse or a keyboard, making sure you have enough wrist support is important not just for your wrists and helping to prevent RSI and Carpal Tunnel, but also for your shoulders, which hold a lot of tension from the awkward position.
Adjust the height of your keyboard so that, while typing, your shoulders are relaxed, wrists are flat, and elbows are bent to 90 degrees and resting at your sides (i.e., neutral).
If you can’t adjust your keyboard height, raise your chair height, and get a footrest to properly support your legs.
If you suffer from wrist pain when using a mouse try an Ergonomic Vertical Mouse as it can make a big difference.

Tip#5 Stretch!
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Make sure to be taking breaks frequently to stretch your body. Don’t just move around in your chair. Get up and walk around, especially if you’re sitting at your desk for 8 hours a day!  Get up and move. As muscles tire, slouching, slumping, and other poor postures become more likely; this in turn puts extra pressure on the neck and back. In order to maintain a relaxed yet supported posture, change positions frequently. One way is to take a break from sitting in an office chair every hour for two minutes in order to stretch, stand, or walk. Set a reminder or alarm on your phone to remind you every hour or so to take a short break from your desk.

Lastly, prevention is always better than cure, which is why it’s so important to have your spine checked if you experience pain for more than a couple of days.

Do You Have a Splitting Headache?

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Chiropractic Care Can Help.

 

If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of ten people suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea.

 

New research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck.

 

Chiropractic gives relief to many headache sufferers, not only in our practice but also in several studies. One study found that the majority of people who suffered from spinal misalignments had their headaches relieved or their condition improved through chiropractic care. And in follow-up studies of the same patients it was found that many were still without recurring headache pain two years later.

 

The greatest majority of primary headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck.  Today, people engage in more sedentary activities than they used to, and hours are spent in one fixed position or posture, like sitting in front of the computer for hours. This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back and scalp, causing your head to ache. If you are suffering from headaches, please see a chiropractor. Chiropractic has been proven to help headaches, it’s what we do!

 

 

 

Fibromyalgia

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Imagine having to live with fatigue, tendon and joint pain all the time. Imagine your body full of “tender points” on your neck, shoulders, chest, rib cage, lower back, thighs, knees, elbows and buttocks along with increased sensitivity to pain, heat, cold, touch and bright lights. As if the above weren’t bad enough you may have sleeplessness, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, irritable bladder, “brain fog,” depression and/or anxiety.

Sounds terrible, doesn’t it?

That’s what people who suffer from fibromyalgia must endure. Millions of people, the majority being women, suffer from fibromyalgia. No one knows what causes it and why more women than men suffer from it. No one knows why the number of sufferers is growing.

symptoms-fibromyalgia

Current research suggests that fibromyalgia is a disorder of the central nervous system. People with fibromyalgia appear to have abnormalities in the chemical compounds (neurotransmitters) that transmit nerve impulses. They also have, on average, four times as much nerve growth factor as people without the disorder. This suggests that fibromyalgia is a problem of central nervous system hypersensitivity. Because chiropractic care is based on the theory that an individual’s health is controlled by the state of his or her central nervous system, chiropractors, who are experts in this area, are especially well suited to help patients reduce their fibromyalgia symptoms.
Because fibromyalgia causes numerous tender points all over the body, many fibromyalgia patients suffer from back pain, neck pain, and leg cramps. In an attempt to solve these problems, many sufferers have looked to chiropractors. Because simple adjustments to the spine can restore the carriage of the whole body, a lot of fibromyalgia patients find that alignments of the spine can significantly reduce pain all over their bodies.

If you know someone who suffers then please pass on this information!

Low Back Pain

Low back pain is one of the most common conditions people suffer with, with at least four out of five adults experiencing it at some point in their lives. One of the most common causes of low back pain that we see as chiropractors is the spine or the pelvis becoming misaligned. Misalignments happen often as a result of everyday life stresses. Often it is simple things such as lifting poorly, prolonged bad posture, and sitting incorrectly that causes the spine to become misaligned.

The body is supported by the spine, which carries our spinal cord and nervous system. Nerves branch off the spinal cord between the vertebrae. Therefore, injury may not only lead to local inflammation and pain, but also to irritation of the spinal nerves causing pain elsewhere in the body. Commonly the pain will refer into the buttock and the back or front of the thigh and occasionally all the way to the foot and toes.

The lower back is also called the lumbar spine. It is the area of the spine between the 12th rib (the last rib) and the top of the hips. It is composed of 5 movable vertebrae called Lumbar Vertebrae. At each level of the spine are spinal nerves exiting the spine. In between the bones are the intervertebral discs. The discs are made of a tough fibrous out shell called the annulus fibrosis and a softer gel like nucleus pulposus.

Chiropractic, unlike painkilling drugs, treats the cause of pain, not just the pain itself.

While many people look for medication such as ibuprofen and aspirin when they suffer from low back pain, these should not be considered first-line treatments. While medication may reduce the symptomatic pain, it does not treat the actual problem. This means that once the medication wears off, the pain usually returns. This will continue until the underlying mechanism driving the pain is addressed.

Chiropractic had consistently shown to be effective in relieving lower back pain in the long term, by addressing the deeper problems connected to the pain. By releasing tension in the joints and muscles, Chiropractic provides a safe, simple and efficient form of therapy for back care.

Many studies have shown the effectiveness of chiropractic for lower back pain.  Here are just a few:

In a study by Senna & Malachy 2011, spinal manipulation therapy (SMT), of which chiropractic is one discipline, was shown to have significantly better outcomes on the symptoms of lower back pain than those who received ‘sham’ adjustments (a group designed to make the participant believe they were having SMT in order to remove the placebo effect).

An excellent study reported in the world’s premier orthopedic journal, Spine, in 2003 compared medication, acupuncture, and chiropractic in the treatment of chronic spinal pain.  Chiropractic treatment was more than 5 times more effective than medication, and three times more effective than acupuncture.–Spine 2003 Jul 15;28(14):1490-502.
Lastly, the Manga Report is an independent study funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health to evaluate the cost effectiveness of all types of treatment for low back pain, including medical treatment, physical therapy, and chiropractic. Here are some of the findings (you can read the entire report online, as it represents the most comprehensive study on the subject to date):
“On the evidence, particularly the most scientifically valid clinical studies, spinal manipulation applied by chiropractors is shown to be more effective than alternative treatments for LBP. Many medical therapies are of questionable validity or are clearly inadequate.”
“There is no clinical or case-control study that demonstrates or even implies that chiropractic spinal manipulation is unsafe in the treatment of low-back pain. Some medical treatments are equally safe, but others are unsafe and generate iatrogenic complications for LBP patients. Our reading of the literature suggests that chiropractic manipulation is safer than medical management of low-back pain.”

 

 

 

 

Vertigo (dizziness) and Chiropractic

dizziness

Vertigo (dizziness) refers to the sensation of rotatory movement, either of the individual or the environment, and having difficulty to orientate the body in relation to surrounding subjects.

It can have many causes and in most cases it is a treatable condition. The treatment used obviously depends on the cause.

Dizziness is a common condition seen in the Chiropractic office. Individuals with cervicogenic (coming from the neck) dizziness will usually present with neck pain and may also experience headaches. Neck pain may only occur with palpation (when touching certain areas of the neck); therefore, many people may not realize that their neck is a problem. Cervicogenic dizziness may occur in the absence of an injury or may occur months to years after a head or neck injury.

Approximately 20-50% of people who have sustained a whiplash injury will experience symptoms of dizziness, vertigo, or decreased balance. These symptoms can be coming from the vestibular system, central nervous system, or neck. Dizziness may also occur as a result of arthritic changes, herniated disc, instability of the cervical vertebrae, muscle spasm, or postural adaptations such as scoliosis. Cervicogenic dizziness may occur gradually with continual worsening of symptoms or the onset may be rapid.

Faulty mechanics of the neck due to injury, muscle tightness, or poor posture may cause a sensation of dizziness. This is due to the connection between the nerve receptors in the upper neck and the vestibular system (inner ear and balance). The nerve receptors in the neck supply information about your head position and help with balance. This balance information works together with information from your eyes and inner ears to tell you what position your body is in with relationship to gravity and the ground. This gives you a sense of balance.

cervicogenic

If the neck receptors are not providing the correct information and do not agree with the signals coming from the eyes and inner ears, the brain may get confused. This can result in the symptoms associated with cervicogenic dizziness. This connection between your neck, eyes, and inner ear also helps to improve your hand eye coordination, postural control, and balance. Therefore, damage or altered mechanics of the neck receptors may result in a sense of dizziness or disequilibrium and may decrease your coordination.

Chiropractic is a very effective treatment for cervicogenic vertigo as it is able to address joint dysfunction in the neck which is a major cause of the condition. The joints of the neck provide the brain with major input as far as head and body positioning. Joints that are fixed or immobile give the brain bad input and may cause vertigo. Chiropractic adjustments normalize the function and position of the joints and allow the joints to send the brain correct positioning information.

If you or someone you know suffers from vertigo or dizziness, call our clinic today!

 

Arthritis

elderly man joint pain

Chiropractic can’t stop you getting old; but it might stop you feeling it!

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis in the UK, and around 1 million people consult their GP about it every year. Symptoms may include joint pain, ‘knobbly’ joints, tenderness, stiffness, creaking, locking of the joints, and sometimes local inflammation (swelling and warmth). There can often be something underlying years before the osteoarthritis presents (for example a gait problem, posture at work, an old injury, imbalances, poor nutrition etc) and it is important that this is identified and wherever possible improved.

How can Chiropractic help?

During your initial assessment, your chiropractor will perform various tests and ask you questions to assist them in identifying the cause. They will then work together with you to create a package of care. Your chiropractor will treat you using their hands to make gentle specific adjustments (specific form of manipulation used by chiropractors) to restore the function of the joints. Restoring or improving joint function can make a big difference to the pain and stiffness. Adjustments also improve the efficiency of your nervous system which enables your body’s natural healing ability to come into play. Your chiropractor will also treat associated painful and tight muscles, tendons and ligaments using various soft tissue techniques, and use rehabilitation techniques to retrain those receptors that may have been damaged as a result of the dysfunction.

If you are suffering from arthritis and have been told that nothing can be done to relieve your symptoms, please see a chiropractor – we can help!

Neck Pain

neck pain 2

Neck pain and its related problems can become incapacitating for sufferers. Millions of people will experience neck pain at some point in their life. The head is heavy and balanced on a narrow support made up of seven bones called vertebrae. Because the neck is so mobile, it is easily injured.

Neck pain can take many forms and there can be a variety of presentations. It can be either localized pain or it can refer into other areas such as the head creating a headache, numbness or pain in the arms or hands, dizziness, sinus troubles, and TMJ Syndrome. Neck pain can even affect your thinking process!

One of the most common causes of neck pain that chiropractors see is the result of misalignments of the spine. Other causes of neck pain may be postural problems, and traumas such as accidents, knock or falls. Emotional stress can be a trigger for neck pain particularly in combination with other predisposing factors.

 

Cervical Spine

The Cervical Spine

 

– Consists of seven vertebrae in a person’s neck.

– Nerves passing through this area control much of the upper body’s function

– It is imperative for organs, systems, muscles, joints and other tissues receive proper nerve signals to function as they were intended.

– Subluxations in this area can create imbalances, postural problems, and other functional problems.

 

 

 

Chiropractic offers a unique approach to a wide range of cervical spine problems. Chiropractic adjustments are a precise and gentle therapy with the aim of returning motion to restricted spinal joints and to improve the overall mechanics of the spine. A new study shows that simple remedies like chiropractic treatments and home exercises relieve sub-acute neck pain better than pharmaceutical drugs – and without all the negative side effects.

The goal of chiropractic care is not only to reduce pain, but it is to treat the cause. Part of the process also involves educating patients on how to prevent future injuries, maintain good posture and live healthily.

Here are a few tips that can help reduce the risk of neck problems:

• Look at your work station: sit straight and rest your arms and hands comfortably on an arm rest or table. If you sit in front of a computer a lot, then your computer should be directly in front of you at eye level.

• Bed and Pillow: buy a comfortable pillow that allows your neck to be supported when you sleep, the neck should be level with your spine not tilting up or down. Invest in a good quality mattress.

• Sleep position: do not sleep on your front.

• Training: movement and training are always important for preventing musculoskeletal problems, however wrong training positions can also be the cause of neck pain. A chiropractor can give you advice on what not to do and exercises that can strengthen up the neck muscles.

Testimonial

I started going to Carrick Chiropractic a number of years ago. I first came across them giving free consultations in the Abbey Centre. I’m a software developer and therefore spend most of my day sitting in front of a computer screen. I had started to notice how stiff my neck was and that I had less movement when looking behind me when driving. Also at times my back could get sore in the shoulder area and at the base of my back.

I had previously went to a physiotherapist which helped loosen out the muscles for a while. But I soon found that the issues would return not long after treatment had stopped.
In the consultation, things they noticed and told me made sense, so I decided to give it a go and thought what have I got to lose?! I’m so glad I did. The movement in my neck increased greatly, my back pain got better and also I noticed that I was getting less headaches. Hadn’t really noticed up until then that I was actually getting quite a lot until they were gone.

As for the staff, I’ve always found them extremely helpful and informative. You can tell that they are really concerned with you as a person. If you are having issues, I’d definitely recommend getting your spine checked. Also get it sooner rather than later. It really has made such a difference to me.

– L Robinson

Olympic Athletes Use Chiropractic

athletes

Chiropractic care was offered as one of the core services for athletes for the first time ever at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.

The inclusion of chiropractic services at the Olympics reflects the fact that chiropractic has become a key part of an athlete’s training and recovery programme. In fact, it is estimated that at least 90% of elite athletes use chiropractic on a regular basis to prevent injuries and to improve their performance.

Great athletes take care of their bodies. If you want optimum performance and longevity you must take care of your body, and that starts with the spine and nervous system.

The 2016 Olympics take place in Rio between the 5th and 21st of August. For more info visit: https://www.olympic.org/rio-2016

Tiger Woods – “Lifting weights and seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis have made me a better golfer. I’ve been going to chiropractors for as long as I can remember. It’s as important to my training as practicing my swing.”

Bradley Wiggins quote about his Chiropractor – “From the first session with my Chiropractor I had great results that were not short lived. That, followed up with regular sessions, I saw improvements that I had never seen before and that reflected in the way my body held up on a day to day basis which eventually saw me achieve 4th place in the 2009 Tour de France under his supervision. My Chiropractor will undoubtedly remain an integral part of my medical support in the forthcoming seasons and lead up to the London 2012 Olympic Games.”

Dan O’Brien (Double Olympic and World Championship Decathlon Gold medallist.) – “Were it not for chiropractic I would not have won the gold medal.”

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Usain Bolt Having a Chiropractic Adjustment

 

The Value of Chiropractic Care in Birth Preparation

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Chiropractic care during pregnancy is vital to assist the normal physiological function of both the mother and baby in pregnancy and birth. For example, chiropractic care helps the mother in pregnancy and birth by:
•Reducing interference to the mother’s nervous system, which co-ordinates all of the systems and functions in her body
•Helping to create a state of balance in the pelvic muscles, ligaments and bony structures, thereby preparing the pelvis for an easier pregnancy and birth
•Reducing torsion to the woman’s uterus (also known as intrauterine constraint) by removing tension on the ligaments that support the uterus
•Allowing for a safer and easier birth for the mother, thereby decreasing the potential for intervention
Chiropractic care also supports vital physiological functions for the infant by:
•Encouraging better baby development by removing interference to the mother’s nervous system
•Helping to create more room in the uterus for the baby to develop without restrictions to its forming skeletal structures, spine and cranium
•Thereby allowing the baby room to move into the best possible position for birth
•Significantly reducing the possibility of dystocia (delayed birth) and the resulting birth trauma that can be caused by intervention
intrauterine birth trauma
There are three main reasons why chiropractic should be a part of every pregnancy:
1.Chiropractic helps provide structural balance and stability for the mother, resulting in a more comfortable pregnancy.
2.Research studies have revealed that pregnant mothers who receive chiropractic care during their pregnancy tend to have a shorter labour with less medical intervention.
3.By supporting better function in the mother’s body, chiropractic care during pregnancy can help to create a healthier and more comfortable in-utero environment for the newborn, helping them to get a better start to life. In fact, research suggests that there is a strong link between the baby’s experience in the in utero environment and their lifelong health potential.