Many people come to visit us with the main complaint of headaches. As Chiropractors our first thought, once we rule out any red flags, goes to the neck. For many years Chiropractors have been adjusting the neck and seeing the resolution of headaches.Read more
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.
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.
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!
Fixing your posture
- Practice proper ergonomics when using your phone/tablet/computer
- Use a posture pole daily
- Strengthen posterior muscles such as your glutes, lats and the muscles in between your shoulder blades
- Stretch anterior muscles such as your pecs and hip flexors. It is also important to stretch your hamstrings.
- Get adjusted by your Chiropractor
- 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.
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
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
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
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.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica itself is not a diagnosis but rather a symptom experienced by the individual as a result of some compression of the sciatic nerve within the body, usually within the pelvis. True sciatica is pain radiating along the sciatic nerve, which runs down one or both legs. The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the body, starting from the lower back and running all the way down the back of the leg to the foot.
At Hawker Chiropractic in the Belconnen region of Canberra, we have a team of professionally trained female massage therapists to look after all your aches and pains. Most people will want a remedial massage when muscles feel tight, or we develop pain in areas: back pain, neck pain, foot pain, headaches, sprains and strains. Sometimes we just want some relaxation and time away from the pressures of family or work. We can even use remedial massage to help recover after sport or to deal with other conditions such as anxiety or posture problems. However, most people don’t realise that massage can have a positive effect on the many systems in our body. We have put together a quick list of how a remedial massage can positively affect your whole body and even your mental health. Read more
Back pain has become an epidemic in our society with some studies suggesting that around 80% of people will experience it at some stage in their life.
Low back pain is a condition which causes confusion within the community because of the number of origins and treatment options. Studies are showing that surgery is not the best option and drugs are somewhat ineffective (in some cases). However, there are activities that you can do in your everyday life to help alleviate some of your back pain.
We want to tell you about 3 underlying issues that may be causing or contributing to your low back pain and give you some advice about how chiropractic and/or massage and acupuncture could help. Read more
Do you have an area of your body that is in pain? Have you got back pain, neck pain, headaches or even foot pain? Before reaching for the packets of pills why not try something natural like acupuncture. It has been around for thousands of years and has a huge number of studies confirming its efficacy. You can find it being used in private practices, hospitals and rehab centres worldwide. Not only does it relieve pain but it helps with emotional disorders, hormonal imbalances, injuries and stress related conditions. Read more