Synergy Chiropractic

CHANGING THE WAY YOU CHANGE DIAPERS!

It’s time we change the way we change diapers.

Too often parents and caregivers put unnecessary stress on the spinal bones and hips, contributing to shifts in the spine that lead to issues with coordination and digestion.

The you think of how many times a day you change a diaper, this stress can add up leading to problems that little ones too often struggle with.

The Problem

Most parents will grab the ankles and lift towards the head causing significant flexion (bending of the spine) and added stress to the hips and legs. This added stress to the lower mid-spine and lumbar spine can affect the the nerves that regulate digestion come from leading to constipation, and gas.

 

Another error I see, is lifting the child so high off the table that the child is essentially balancing their weight on their head and neck.

The Fix

So rather than do that, what we want to do maintain the proper shape of the spine.

One way is to roll baby to the side and wipe. Then roll to the other side and wipe. It can be a little difficult with a toddler or infant that ‘alligator rolls’ as soon as that diaper comes off. (you know exactly what I mean! They lay there all still until the diaper comes off and then they breakdance their way away from you!)

 

So another way to properly do this is limit the amount of flexion towards the head. Keep the knees together and gently lift slightly sothe proper shape of the low back and mid spine is maintained. Do your wiping and put on a fresh diaper and voila!

Dr. Craig Hazel’s mission is to help families THRIVE. After graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, he went on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas Texas. He is passionate about seeing children and families in his private practice at Synergy Chiropractic in Kanata Ontario. A sought after speaker, he has been featured regularly on TSN Team 1200, CTV and Rogers TV. He is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Chiropractic of Ontario.

The dreaded “granny hump”

You know what I’m referring to. That ‘granny hump’ on the upper back that you’ve likely seen on people usually older than 50. Sadly, we are seeing it more and more in younger and younger people.

This week’s blog will answer some of the important questions regarding “Granny Hump”

What is it?
Why does it happen?
What can we do to get rid of it?
How do we get rid of it?

In order to understand what it is, we need to start with what a normal posture is.

From the front, the hips, shoulders and ears should all be level and the head should line up directly over the midline of the hips. From the side, the ear should line up over the shoulder; the shoulder over the hips; and the hips over the outside of the ankle. That’s what things look like on the outside. On the inside (via an x-ray), we should see a forward c-shaped curve in the neck, a backward c-shaped curve in the mid back and another forward c-shaped curve in the low back. In this position, the spine is in the strongest position possible and most importantly, the nervous system is free to move and is relaxed neuro-structurally.

The Granny Hump

The hump, technically referred to as Dowager’s Hump, can be the result of several bio-mechanical faults that come with a lack of maintenance. Our heads weigh between 12-14lbs on average. As the head translates (shifts) forward over the shoulders, it causes a reciprocal backward shift of the shoulders to compensate. The weight of the head is pulled down by gravity and we end up losing and gravity ends up winning Not good. We call this (AHS) Anterior Head Syndrome. AHS causes a myriad of secondary problems like TMJ dysfunction, headaches, neck pain, mid back pain, low back pain, cervicogenic vertigo, numbness and tingling into the arms and hands, and more.

As a result of this forward shift of the head, the ligaments and soft tissues on the back of the neck become weak, tired and irritated from constantly trying to keep the head up. In an effort to counter this, the body begins to lay down fat tissue in an effort to stabilize the tissues. Over time, the fat accumulates and the we see a hump emerge.

Left alone, the hump grows as we age and gravity pulls us further forward. The shoulders shift further back and the hips then move forward to counter the balance of the body and a ‘sway-back’ effect happens.

Other causes of the Dowager’s hump can be osteoporosis (softening of the bones causes compression fractures within the vertebrae), hemi-vertebrae (the vertebrae are malformed when they developed in the fetus), arthritides like Sheuermann’s disease.  Regardless of the condition, the following exercises can help improve the posture and add strength to the system of joints and muscles.

The Fix

We have to correct the posture and the Anterior Head Syndrome. We have to ensure that the proper neck curve is present and we have to be aware and cognizant of our posture always.

Try these exercises:
1. Wall Slides:

Wall Slides

Great for strengthening the upper back

 

 

 

 

 

2. Chin Tucks:

chin tucks

Chin tucks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Thoracic extension exercises

thoracic extensions

Remedy for prolonged sitting

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Seated cat/cow

Cat/Cow

Seated cat cow exercises are great to do every hour at work or school

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Swimmers

Swimmers

Swimmers exercise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By working through this series of exercises, daily, you will strengthen the muscles of the upper back and neck to work on correcting your posture. Now truly, working the muscles and strengthening will help but only so far. Creating the spinal neuro-structural shifts takes time through proper alignment and neuro-structural corrective traction. If you find that after doing these exercises, you aren’t seeing a change in your postural alignment, then I recommend scheduling a consultation to determine whether a NeuroStructural shift or a loss of normal cervical curve in your spine is holding you back from getting rid of the Granny hump.

That Bad Old Hip (and What to Do About It)

Does your hip not shake like Shakira’s anymore?  Do you get a pinching feeling in the front of your hip when you sit or squat?  There aren’t too many daily activities that don’t require the use of your hips. It’s easily the most powerful joint in the body and is subject to tremendous force.

The hip is a ball and socket joint that connects your legs to your pelvis. If you have been suffering from hip pain, even walking around the house can be difficult. However, is that bad old hip a result of age or joint imbalance?

Why it Matters:

Chronic hip pain has historically been treated with injections or even hip replacements. These invasive treatments have been performed tens of thousands of times per year, with mixed results. Thankfully, new research has begun to show that proper maintenance of your hips may be able to save you from the scalpel.  When your low back, hips, and pelvis are balanced and have a full range of motion, your hips will have equal wear and tear, and they’re designed to last a lifetime! Researchers have found that adjustments to the low back and hips can improve hip pain by over 60% and provide a statistically significant improvement in range of motion.

– Low impact exercise and adjustments can improve range of motion and reduce your pain.

– Research has shown improvement in hip pain by over 60% after chiropractic adjustments.

– Adjustments have been shown to be over 30% more effective than exercise for easing the pain of hip osteoarthritis.

Next Steps:

If you know someone who has a “hitch in their giddy-up,” invite them to our upcoming workshop where we will provide actionable health tips on how they can improve their quality of life without dangerous medications and risky surgery.

MOVE BY DESIGN WORKSHOP – September 12, 2019 @ 7:15PM

Science Source(s):

Relationship Between the Hip and Low Back Pain in Athletes Who Participate in Rotation-Related Sports. J Sport Rehab 2009

A Single-Group Design Using Full Kinetic Chain Manipulative Therapy with Rehabilitation in the Treatment of 18 Patients with Hip Osteoarthritis. JMPT 2010

Comparison of Manual Therapy and Exercise Therapy in Osteoarthritis of the Hip: a Randomized Clinical Trial. Arthritis Rheum. 2004

Stressed Out and Sneezing

August is here and so begins the ‘sneezing season’ for some allergy sufferers.  Ragweed wreaks havoc on many this time of year.  Itchy eyes and ears, sneezing, scratchy throats – it can be crippling.

What many people don’t realize is there is high levels of stress can cause your allergies to become worse. This has been confirmed by research in the field of psychoneuroimmunology.  Mental stress can upset the balance of your nervous system and immune system. If your nervous system is overstimulated with stress, it can affect the response of your immune system to an allergen.

How is that possible?

Our nervous systems have two divisions – the sympathetic (gas pedal) and parasympathetic (brake pedal).  You probably remember the terms ‘high or flight’ (sympathetic) or the ‘rest/digest’ (parasympathetic) from high school health classes.  Both of these systems work simultaneously to keep us constantly adapting to changes in our bodies and outside our bodies every second of the day.  Think of both systems working together like two kids on a teeter totter.  Sometimes the sympathetic system needs to be ‘up’ and at other times, the parasympathetic system takes a turn working harder.  Both offset each other to avoid one system becoming dominant.

So here’s how it affects you as an allergy sufferer.  The sympathetic system is responsible for our response to allergens.  When pollen or dust contacts the membranes of the nose or eyes, the body launches an immune assault to resist it.  This drives up histamine.  If the sympathetic system is overly dominant, then the histamine levels can be greater than necessary.

Schedules, finances, workloads, not enough exercise, poor diets, chemical stress and more can press down on our ‘gas pedal’ causing our system into sympathetic dominance.

So with that understanding, by decreasing mental, physical and chemical stress, your immune system can function better and head off many allergies at the pass.

Why it Matters:

Exciting new research has showcased how stress reduction can reduce the symptoms we associate with seasonal allergies. Meditation and chiropractic adjustments have been shown to reduce stress levels. And with reduced stress levels, your immune system has the potential to function at a higher level. Feeling more relaxed is something all of us could benefit from- and it may even help reduce your seasonal allergies.

– Physical, chemical, and emotional stress can cause your immune system to become hypersensitive.

– A hypersensitive immune system often overreacts to a potential threat resulting in worsening allergies.

– Reduce stress, and allergies, with a stress-reducing activity like exercise, meditation, or even getting chiropractic adjustments!

Next Steps:

Aside from putting you in a bad mood, being over-stressed has far-reaching effects on your body. If you “start to feel your allergies coming on” find stress-reducing activities that you enjoy. It may be reading a book, meditating, getting a massage, or perhaps even getting a chiropractic adjustment. Feeling better mentally and reducing your seasonal allergies are just a few of the benefits you can expect by lowering your stress levels!

Take a moment and think about one thing that you could do to reduce your stress and plan how you intend to do just that.

Science Source: Stress and Allergic Diseases. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2011.

Dr. Craig Hazel’s mission is to help families THRIVE. After graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, he went on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas Texas. He is passionate about seeing children and families in his private practice at Synergy Chiropractic in Kanata Ontario. A sought after speaker, he has been featured regularly on TSN Team 1200, CTV and Rogers TV. He is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Chiropractic of Ontario.