Is pain really a bad thing?

Low back pain
Canberra Chiropractic for headache

No one enjoys being in pain however pain serves a crucial purpose in our life.

Pain is your bodies way of telling you that something is wrong and needs your attention.

When something happens to your body such as an injury, a stressor, degeneration or spinal misalignment the body uses pain as a way to signal to your brain to take action.

You can think of PAIN as your body saying “Pay Attenion Inside Now”

Unfortunately pain is usually the last thing to show up and the first thing to leave after an injury.

chiropractor canberra pain, remedial massage for pain

This means that just because you aren’t in pain doesn’t mean nothing is wrong.

It also means that post injury or painful event that just because the pain is no longer there doesn’t mean the root cause of your problem has gone away.

This is how pain relief medications work – it simply mask the symptom of pain rather than addressing the cause.

Chiropractors pride themselves on the opposite – we make it a point of addressing the cause.

So while pain is a good thing in our body, it doesn’t serve it’s purpose if we don’t address what causes it in the first place.

Chiropractic for pain

Let’s take a look at back pain or neck pain. You may know someone who has experienced back pain or neck pain and has visited a medical doctor.

They may have prescribed medication or have given an injection. This helps for a little while but after a few days the pain may return.

Why? Because the medication has worn off and instead of addressing the problem it only masked the symptom.

For back and neck pain Chiropractic has been shown to effectively treat the underlying cause in the majority of cases. Remedial massage is a great adjunct to chiropractic in the treatment of pain, click here to read more.

Research shows the people who received chiropractic care for back pain or neck pain had a 60% decreased in pain which was 10% more than those people who opted for an injection.

Chiropractic care may be what you are looking for to help with your neck pain or back pain.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us and chat to one of our Canberra Chiropractors. 

What Are Your Shoes Telling You?

Pronation shoe wear, orthotics

Every Shoe Tells A Story!

Your shoes can be read just like a book – and they often tell a fascinating story. Read on to find out more about what common wear patterns in your shoes are telling you.

When we look at typical wear patterns in shoes the most common one seen is greater wearing on the outside of the heel and usually the outside of the ball of the shoe (under the base of the little toe).

heel pain canberra, plantar fascitis

The most common distortion pattern of the feet is pronation, which is an excessive “rolling-in” of the ankle and foot. This excess motion occurs on both sides (bilaterally) but it almost NEVER occurs evenly (asymmetrical). It is usual to see the shoe with the most wear on the side of the body which has hip, knee, foot or back pain. The reason for this becomes clear when you think about what is happening every time you step on that foot.

With excessive pronation, the ankle rolls in causing the ankle bones (tarsals) to spread and stretch out. This, in turn, makes the long bones of the foot (metatarsals) splay so your foot becomes wider at the base of the toes. This results in a flatter, longer, wider foot but it also means that your foot “scrapes” along the ground as you put your weight onto it dragging the outside of the heel towards the mid-line as well as the outside of the ball of the foot – although not quite as much, which is why the heel of the shoe wears out more quickly than the rest.

You can visualise how this can create heel pain and lead to plantar fascitis. Hawker Chiropractic are your heel pain specialistis in Canberra.

Click here to get in contact with us.

Pronation shoe wear, custom orthotics canberra

What Might Your Shoes Be Telling You?

Heel Wear

If your foot is functioning properly, the heel should wear evenly on the inside and the outside of the shoe. The above picture shows the heel wear pattern that occurs when a foot is excessively pronating and shows greater wear on the outside of the shoe.

Sole Wear

Take a close look at the soles of your shoes – from the heel to the toe. Has one sole got wear that extends closer to the heel? This is an indication that the body is not balanced and again indicates the uneven nature of pronation showing more wear on the foot which has the worst pronation.

What Can I Do About Uneven Shoe Wear?

pronation, heel pain canberra, custom orthotics
  1. Get rid of any broken down, old shoes. The days of getting shoes re-soled are pretty well gone as, if your shoes look like these the heel ‘slops’ around in the shoe and offers your feet ZERO support.
  2. Make sure your shoes fit properly. The shoe should “hug” the foot. Ensure there is ample room in length so that the toes are not cramped, but also that the shoe is wide enough across the ball of the shoe so that your foot fills the space – not too loose or too tight.
  3. Inspect the shoes. Apart from the ball of the foot being wide enough, the next most important support in a shoe is the heel area. Not the part that hits the ground, but the back of the shoe that nestles the heel! You must squeeze the heel and rock it from side-to-side – just like you would when selecting a piece of fruit. You are looking for reasonable firmness – not rock hard nor non-existence.
  4. Get your feet checked and scanned at Hawker Chiropractic.

Custom Orthotics Can Help Fix Your Shoe Wear!

Footlevelers Custom Orthotics Canberra, plantar fascitis canberra

Here at Hawker Chiropractic, we have been checking our patients feet and prescribing custom-made orthotics since 2004. Footlevelers are the world leaders in orthotics as they are the only manufacturers to support all 3 arches of the foot – as described in Gray’s Anatomy over 100 years ago.

We also know that between 80-90% of the population have some sort of foot alignment abnormality either a rolling-in (most common) or a rolling-out (not so common). When either of these occur there is also a concurrent subluxation pattern affecting the movement of the bones of the ankle and foot. As we have seen above this abnormal movement of the foot within the shoe is what leads to the uneven wear patterns on the shoe.

It stands to reason then, that if we correct the abnormal foot movement we will positively impact the shoe wear. Footlevelers custom orthotics support the arches of the foot and prevent over-pronation. This support, along with chiropractic adjustments to the pelvis, feet, knees and hips will allow you to get the longest life out of any pair of shoes.

Call our team today on 02 6255 3711 to have your feet scanned and start saving money on having to regularly replace your shoes!

Chiropractic for Pregnant Women and the Webster Technique

chiropractic for pregnancy

Many people ask us if it is safe to utilise Chiropractic while pregnant and if so what are the benefits to receiving Chiropractic care while pregnant.

Our Chiropractors at Hawker Chiropractic in Canberra love working with pregnant mum’s and have helped many mums over the years throughout their pregnancy. Each of our Chiropractors have undertaken post graduate studies in the area and are willing and able to assist you throughout your pregnancy.

What are the benefits of Chiropractic care during pregnancy?

Chiropractic care during pregnancy may offer a natural solution to painful musculoskeletal symptoms such as back pain, neck pain and pelvic instability. While the research is sparse when it comes to Chiropractic and Pregnancy the research that is available is hugely positive.

Chiropractor for pregnancy in canberra
Back pain is quite common in pregnancy and may be relieved through Chiropractic care.

Back pain

Studies show that over 50% of women experience back pain during their pregnancy, however most don’t seek help for this which is such a shame as another study found that of the pregnant women that Chiropractors did see around 75% benefited from Chiropractic care. Although statistics show most women don’t see a Chiropractor during their pregnancy Chiropractic is the third common alterative therapy used during pregnancy by those who choose to use extra resources during their pregnancy (massage and yoga are number 1 and 2).

75% of pregnant patients who received chiropractic care during their pregnancies stated that they found relief from pain.

Back labour and Chiropractic

It has also been noted in the literature that Chiropractic care may significantly decreased the incidence of “back labour” (where women experience a lot of pain in their back throughout labour). The risk of experiencing back labour is 3 times more likely if you have experienced back pain through pregnancy. By receiving Chiropractic care during pregnancy to relieve your back pain you potentially decrease the chance of experiencing a very uncomfortable back  labour.

Labour times and Chiropractic

Another study reported that first time mums who seek Chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy have on average a 25% shorter labour time! Women in their subsequent pregnancies who undergo Chiropractic care during their pregnancy have on average a 31% shorter labour time. I think most women would put their hands up for a shorter labour time!

How can Chiropractic help during pregnancy?

pregnancy chiropractor near me

Chiropractic care during pregnancy focuses on restoring balance to the lumbopelvic system. This includes establishing a healthy pelvic alignment (i.e. no twisting through the joints) and enabling proper joint mobility. This helps prevent tightening and tensioning of the muscles and ligaments that support the spine, pelvis and uterus. This can lead to a reduction in pain enabling you to enjoy your pregnancy.

Back pain, neck pain, pubic symphysis discomfort, sciatica and other aches and pain may also be relieved through Chiropractic care.

Click here to get in touch with us for all your pregnancy queries.

The Webster Technique

The Webster technique is a specific sacral analysis coupled with specific adjustments that aim to restore balance to the pelvis and correct potential musculoskeletal causes of intrauterine constraint. Intrauterine constraints is where there is an external force to the developing baby that may obstruct its normal movement within the uterus. These external forces can be tight ligaments, restricted joints or tight muscles. Whilst this technique is mainly focused on women in later pregnancy with a breech baby we also use the analysis throughout pregnancy to make sure your baby is moving freely in the uterus.

 It is important to note that when we use the Webster technique we do not manually try to move the baby! We only attempt to correct the biomechanical causes of the restraint.

To learn more about the Webster Technique go here

Is Chiropractic safe during pregnancy?

Getting adjusted by a Chiropractor during pregnancy is very much a safe treatment. However, we do recommend finding a Canberra Chiropractor who has undertaken extra study around pregnancy care or who has a special interest in Pregnancy.

canberra chiropractor for pregnancy

A big question we get asked is how do you treat a pregnant mum if they can’t lay on their belly? Once the belly gets big enough and the mother can no longer lay on her tummy, we use either a table that has a swing away abdominal piece or a specialised pillow that supports the mums belly while she lays on her belly. We are still able to adjust a pregnant mum using regular techniques however we change the positioning so that it doesn’t irritate the belly. All of this is done with complete consent from the mother.

At Hawker Chiropractic we want our pregnant mummas to enjoy pregnancy and ease their musculoskeletal symptoms. We want them to be able to move throughout their pregnancy and when time comes enjoy the birthing process.

To book your appointment or for more information call 6255 3711

Your Posture Matters

Your Posture Matters
chiropractor canberra for bad posture
Working from home posture

Did you have those parents that always told you to “Sit up straight”, “pull your shoulders back” and “don’t slouch!”.

At the time you may have rolled your eyes and thought how annoying your parents were, but the fact is you should have been going up to them, giving them a big hug and saying thank you!

You see posture is more than just an aesthetic thing.

Yes, we look much better when we stand up tall and pull our shoulders back but the effect our posture has on our health goes much further than just what it looks like.

First Let’s think about what poor posture looks like.

Usually we see that the head drops forward, our shoulders become rounded and our low back sways out.

All you have to do is look at your child or colleague sitting at a computer to see this posture.

This posture also tends to cause things like back pain, neck pain and headaches.

When we think about what this posture looks like you could say it looks like we are ready to run or we are ready to fight – this is a result of the sympathetic nervous system.

If your posture looks something like this, contact us for an appointment.

chiropractor canberra posture

Sympathetic Dominance & Posture

When our sympathetic Nervous System (our fight or flight response) is activated we tend to default into this posture. This is due to activation of parts of our brain stem that drive this response.

Not only does it cause our head to fall forward and our shoulders to roll but we also get tensing of the hamstrings, buttocks and shoulder muscles.

The sympathetic nervous system activates in times of perceived stress and unfortunately in today’s society this is pretty much a daily occurrence.

Stress can be from a physical, chemical or mental/emotional cause and most people today are bombarded with multiple stressors daily. When this becomes a chronic occurrence, it is likely you are suffering from something we call Sympathetic Dominance.

Sympathetic dominance chiropractor canberra

Usually with sympathetic dominance the stressor comes first causing our body to react and trigger this posture.

This is an automatic function which means we have no conscious control over it.

The issue doesn’t stop there though. When we are in this poor posture our body is sending constant feedback to the brain constantly communicating that it is in this position and is ready to fight or flight on demand.

This then creates a negative feedback loop where the stressor is coming in telling your brain to be stressed and your posture is also sending messages saying you should be stressed. All this happens without our actual conscious control.

Having this posture can also be detrimental to other areas of your health.

When our sympathetic nervous system is activated it means that our parasympathetic nervous system (rest & digest) is suppressed.

These 2 systems work like a seesaw constantly trying to balance each other out. Our parasympathetic system controls things such as digestion and repairs everything in our body while we sleep.

When this system isn’t allowed to work then we start seeing issues in other areas of our health. 

How can we help our posture?

Previously I mentioned that this typical poor posture happens without our conscious control so doesn’t that mean we can’t fix it?

Well that certainly isn’t the case.

There are many things we can do to influence our posture and therefore help switch off our sympathetic nervous system.

The best thing about it is these tips are not hard to do!

chiropractor canberra to correct posture

Fixing your posture

  1. Practice proper ergonomics when using your phone/tablet/computer
  2. Use a posture pole daily
  3. Strengthen posterior muscles such as your glutes, lats and the muscles in between your shoulder blades
  4. Stretch anterior muscles such as your pecs and hip flexors. It is also important to stretch your hamstrings.
  5. Get adjusted by your Chiropractor
  6. Chiropractic adjustments helps ensure proper communication between the brain and body and vice versa. This will help to optimise the activation of your outer brain which will help calm down your brainstem (where the sympathetic activation comes from)

If you want more information on this then we recommend reading the book SD Protocol by Dr Wayne Todd and if you have any questions on posture then we would love to hear from you either in the practice or via email.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction – Can Chiropractic help?

low back pain and chiropractic

A common cause of back pain is due to dysfunction of the sacroiliac joint or as it is commonly called the SIJ.

The sacroiliac joint is located at the lower part of your back and connects the sacrum (tail bone) to one of the ilium’s (pelvic bone).

There are two sacroiliac joints – one on each side. The SIJ’s act to transfer weight from the spine to the pelvis and also allow for a small amount of movement to occur.

A lot of people call this back pain or hip pain but it is separate to these although they can occur together.

sacroiliac joint pain

Pain in the sacroiliac join is one of the most common causes of low back pain.

It can occur for many reasons such as a trauma that has applied excessive force through the joint/s.

This can be due to falling, bending, lifting, arching or twisting movements especially when there is a load applied.

Pain can also be caused by repetitive forces over time such as poor posture.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction can be quite uncomfortable and painful due to their location and the amount of force that goes through the joints.

In some cases the pain resolves within a few days but commonly without treatment it takes a long time to resolve. 

Chiropractors are experienced at identifying and correcting problems in the joints of the spine and pelvis.

We aim to not only find the source of the pain but also address the reasons why this pain came about in the first place.

When a joint becomes misaligned, restricted or ‘stuck’ it can not only cause discomfort or pain, but can also cause interference to your nervous system.

This in turn inhibits the proper function of your nervous system and individual nerves which can again cause pain and symptoms.

Chiropractic treatment of the sacroiliac joint may involve:
– Mobilisation and adjustments of the sacroiliac joint and surrounding joints 
– Low force techniques such as drop piece and activator 
– Soft tissue therapy to involved muscles and ligaments 
–  Exercises to do at home 
– Postural advice 
– Lifestyle advice 

low back pain treatment

The recovery time for sacroiliac joint dysfunction varies from person to person and depends on a number of variables such as severity of injury, daily activities and compliance to Chiropractic care and exercises.

Here at Hawker Chiropractic in Canberra our Chiropractors take the time to thoroughly assess your condition to find the cause of your low back pain.

We then tailor treatment to suit your individual needs so that we can get you back to doing the things you love. 

If you need help with low back pain or pelvic pain don’t hesitate to give us a call on (02) 62553711

Top 6 foods for your Nervous System

child chiropractor canberra

As Chiropractors we love the nervous system! It is what we work with every single day. By adjusting the spine we remove interference from your nervous system which allows the brain and body to communicate to each other more effectively.

However, there are many other ways in which we can support the Nervous System and one of those ways is via the food we eat. Our food makes up the building blocks to every single cell within our body and therefore we should be building it up with good quality nutritious foods.

“Do you want a body built on McDonalds and coke or fruits and vegetables?”

Read more

Why do Children see a Chiropractor?

Safe Chiropractic for Babies

Chiropractic is based on the important relationship between the spine and the nervous system. A fundamental idea in Chiropractic is that dysfunction in the spinal joints can lead to dysfunction within the nervous system and as the nervous system controls everything in the body, spinal dysfunction can have a wide range of effects on the overall health of the body. As Chiropractors we aim to evaluate the spine and adjust the areas of spinal dysfunction.

As children grow they encounter many stresses. These can be physical (falls and bumps), chemical (food additives, pollutants, toxins) and emotional (tantrums, first day of school). Stress can cause resulting problems in the child’s spine which may lead to interference within the nervous system.

Read more

7 Practical Ways To Live A More Active Lifestyle

chiropractic to improve health

How To Live A More Healthy, Active Lifestyle

In our busy, modern-day lifestyle our choices are influenced by two simple questions:
1. “How long will this take? – I am time poor”.
2. “How much energy is this going to use? I’m tired and still have so much to do today!”

As health practitioners it’s no surprise to us that studies are finding people who live a more simple and active lifestyle experience huge health benefits. Being active doesn’t mean slogging it out in the gym for an hour every day but making some simple changes to increase activity levels can potentially improve your back and neck pain, prevent high blood pressure, lose weight and lower your stress levels! Read more

Chiropractic and Headaches

Tension headache

Migraine, chiropractic for headaches, sinus pressure and headache
Crushing pain of a headache

Do you or anyone you know suffer from headaches?  Maybe chiropractic can help!  It is well known that headaches are one of the most common conditions people suffer with, and here at Hawker Chiropractic in the Belconnen region of Canberra, we certainly have seen a large number of patients who suffer this affliction regularly.  It is because headaches are so common that a lot of people believe that getting a headache is ‘normal’.  However, a persistent or re-occurring headache is a sign that something is wrong within one of the many systems in the body.

Read more