We are often asked ‘Why would a child need to see a chiropractor?’
Here are a few reasons!
Approximately 25% of our patients come to us with a specific complaint of lower back pain running down the leg. Often referred to as SCIATICA, the discomfort can be described as a deep dull ache or a sharp and burning pain. The pain may be continuous from the back of the thigh all the way to the foot. It is not uncommon for patients to also complain of pins and needles or numbness in their limbs especially when sitting or driving.
There are two main causes of sciatica; the nerve may be trapped under or within the piriformis muscle, a muscle deep in the buttock, or there may be misalignments of the spine, causing irritation on the small nerves which form the sciatic nerve.
The symptoms can be brought on by old injuries, repetitive strains, poor posture, motor vehicle accidents or just everyday living.
In several studies conducted in the UK, Australia and North America to establish the efficacy of spinal manipulation as a treatment for lower back pain researchers reported that “the trend for spinal manipulation to produce better results than any other form of treatment to which it was compared was very consistent”. Patients have consistently reported to have had longer lasting results, fewer relapses and much faster recovery from back and leg pain.
If you suffer from
• Pins and Needles in the leg
• Sharp stabbing pain in the leg
• Difficulty sitting, standing or walking
• Lower back pain
• Muscle spasms and stiffness
– then it’s time to see your Chiropractor!
Joint dysfunction and misalignment of the cervical spine could cause any of the following symptoms:
– Jaw Pain
– Sinus Problems
– Shoulder Pain
– Arm Pain/Wrist Pain
Neck problems can be caused by anything from trauma, to stress, to poor posture which can result in imbalances in the spine. When damage occurs to a joint, pressure may build onto the spinal nerves. People often refer to this pain as a ‘trapped nerve.’ The nerve may give pain signals localised to a specific area in the neck but in other cases may result in the referring symptoms in other areas.
If you suffer from any of the above symptoms it is wise to have your spine checked. In your consultation appointment we establish the history of your complaint and then undertake a thorough physical examination, which includes postural analysis with orthopaedic and neurological tests, and a scan of the spine to show any imbalances.
It’s recommended for babies and children to walk barefoot as much as possible.
One of the simplest ways to motivate proprioceptive and vestibular development is to let our babies be barefoot. Another benefit to keeping babies barefoot is the encouragement of presence of mind and conscious awareness. As the little pads of babies’ feet feel, move, and balance on the surface that they are exploring, the information sent to the brain from tactile, proprioceptive, and vestibular pathways quiet, or inhibit, other extraneous sensory input. This creates focus and awareness of walking and moving through space; babies get more tuned in to their surroundings.
This is a large part of the reason why some neurologists recommend flat shoes, like swim shoes, for children with certain neurological delays. Wearing shoes with less padding improves the feedback from the feet and helps improve walking in these children.
Wearing shoes prevents proper toe spread, which interferes with the foot’s ability to function properly, and prevents proper movement development, which can make children more susceptible to foot and lower leg injury. Studies show that a barefoot childhood will result in fewer instances of deformed toes, greater foot flexibility, stronger foot muscles, greater agility, better hip circumduction and more flexibility of the gluteal and hamstring muscles.
The benefits of going barefoot are plentiful!
Adults should kick off the shoes too!
Adults who go barefoot have naturally shaped feet, straighter toes, free of corns, hammer toes, bunions and calluses, and well-shaped legs resulting from a natural and balanced gait. Barefoot running and exercise is becoming a growing practice showing better performance, less ankle sprains, less plantar fasciitis and less lower back disc problems due to more of a natural motion and foot awareness. Many top companies are trying to produce shoes that can emulate the bare foot such as Nike “free” and Merrill. Going barefoot, your feet and legs tire less, circulation is better, and endurance is increased. If you have been a shoe person all your life, you will have to start slow to develop all those muscles again. Start by wearing no shoes at home and perhaps going for a walk on the beach. Yoga practise is also great for the feet.
Barefoot Shoes: A Healthy Compromise?
For those who aren’t comfortable with being completely barefoot, new minimalist and barefoot shoes are the best of both worlds. These are also great for everyday use in places where shoes are needed.
Being barefoot is the best when possible. When that isn’t an option, there are some great barefoot shoes that provide almost the same benefits. In general, shoes can be considered “barefoot shoes” if they:
– Do not have a raised heel. The shoe should be flat and all the same thickness from heel to toe.
– Allow free movement of the toes. Many shoes have thin or even pointy toe beds and constrain the toes. A barefoot shoe should be open or allow free toe movement.
In other words, barefoot shoes provide a basic protective barrier between the foot and the ground and not much else. Barefoot shoes also qualify as minimalist shoes, though not all minimalist shoes are technically barefoot shoes.
Recommended Barefoot Shoes
Adults – Vivo Barefoot. For a true barefoot shoe, their Eclipse model is great. Five Fingers is another popular brand.
Babies and Toddlers – Robeez
Thankfully, walking barefoot is a little more socially acceptable before age 2 or so! When going barefoot isn’t allowed, Robeez (or similar) shoes are great. There are many options for kids on the website Happy Little Soles.
If you have any concerns about foot alignment or how this may be affecting your spine, just ask Dr Graeme at the clinic.