As we age, our bodies go through many changes. We lose bone density and muscle tissue. Our joints become inflexible and stiff. Over time, the weight of our bodies shifts forward, leading to an irregular gait and slouched sitting. Poor posture also contributes to improper alignment of the spine, which strains the back muscles and compresses the spinal discs, resulting in lower back pain. When this occurs, the body is forced to overextend itself, making postural correction difficult.
According to the International Headache Society, and as stated by Headache Australia, one can be classified as suffering from a migraine when over a period of 4-72hrs the following occurs (1):
Pain classification: (minimum of 2)
– one sided
– moderate to severe
– aggravated by movement
Concomitant symptoms: (minimum of 1)
– photophobia (sensitivity to light)
– phonophobia (sensitivity to sound)
– osmophobia (sensitivity to smell)
More concomitant symptoms:
– aura (visual disturbances such as bright zigzag lines, flashing lights, difficulty in focusing or blind spots lasting 20-45 minutes)
– difficulty in concentrating, confusion
– a feeling of being generally extremely unwell
– problems with articulation or co-ordination
– stiffness of the neck and shouldes,
– tingling, pins and needles or numbness or even one-sided limb (1).
There are many different types of migraines and they are not entirely understood in the medical world. What is being discovered is that they are not all just exacerbated tension-type headaches. Migraines are a neurological disease that can involve the over-activity of the trigeminal nerve.
The trigeminal nerve is a cranial nerve, which has 3 branches to innervate the face (in general terms, one to cover the forehead area, one to cover the area across the nose and between the temples, and the last one to cover the lower jaw). All 3 branches of the trigeminal nerve are sensory but the 3rd is also involved in motor function. The mandibular branch of the trigeminal nerve is responsible for the motor activity of the muscles of chewing, talking, and also for the tympanic membrane in the ear. If the trigeminal nerve is overactive or has pressure placed on it, it can cause migraines – huge facial pain, pain behind the eyes, temples and so on.
The current medical approach is to attempt to inhibit the trigeminal nerve with intense drugs or invasive surgical techniques. We as chiropractors view this as a last resort and believe that if your body is not in correct alignment then signals from your nervous system may not be communicated properly. Ie. If you have a full functioning nervous system then your body should be able to inhibit these signals itself. If you have poor posture then it is likely that your nervous system is not functioning as well as it could or should.
Current research shows that the chiropractic spinal adjustment can reset muscle behaviour patterns by sending signals to the brain via the nervous system (2). And by stimulating the nervous system the chiropractic adjustment can improve the function of the whole body (2).
If you suffer from migraines it is recommended that you visit your local chiropractor and have your posture assessed. The Spine and Health Chiropractors are the experts in pain and posture and have the ability to conduct a Digital Postural Analysis in their Crows Nest or North Sydney clinics. In doing so they will be able to establish if you have a postural issue that may be the cause of any pain you are feeling. Together you can construct an action plan to give you symptomatic migraine relief, improve your posture and overall well-being or try products such as the migraine stopper. To look better, move better, feel better contact the team today.
(1) Headache Australia
(2) Haavik Taylor H and Murphy B. (2007). World Federation of Chiropractic’s 9th Biennial Congress Award Winning Paper (3rd Prize): Altered sensorimotor integration with cervical spine manipulation. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, in press.
Do you remember your parents telling you to sit up straight and to stop slouching?
Good posture starts from before you are even born! The way that you are carried in the womb, the way you are held as a baby, and then progressively by the habits you form with the activities you undertake.
So why is our society in a slow decline to poor posture? We are forming bad habits from a young age and it carries though to adulthood. And don’t forget the daily mini-traumas that have more impact than you’d think!
If we adults suffer traumas (a bicycle crash, fall off a ladder, have a car accident etc.) we are checked out by our local chiropractor and supportive health professionals. So who don’t we do this for our children? Our kids are just finding their feet, learning the ways of the world, and they have accidents! They fall out of trees, fall off their bikes, get dunked by waves at the beach, and are swung around but their arms… Being a kid is full on! It is important to experience these mini traumas, but it is also important to make sure they have not affected your child’s posture.
Children are less physically active these days with the invention of the computer game, PlayStation and so forth. This means that our children sit on the school bus, sit at school, sit in front of the TV, sit in front of the computer. SIT, SIT SIT! Our kids are forming poor habits because we are allowing them to sit, and sit poorly, all the time!
We all know how important it is to have our work-station ergonomics set up to your ideal height as to alleviate the pressure on your adult spine, so why aren’t we doing it for our kids?
Tips for good posture.
– Make sure that your kids have good work-stations at home. Computers should be at eye level, feet firmly placed on the ground, and sit up straight!
– Minimize computer and TV time! It will not only help your kids’ posture, but will also improve your family connection.
– Be more physically active – Go to the park, run around, join a sporting team! An active spine is a healthy spine.
– Get your kids walk to school!
– NAG! We are giving you permission to nag! If your kids slouch, pull them up on it and make them aware of it. They might find it annoying now but they will thank you in the long run
The chiro’s here at Spine and Health can conduct a digital postural analysis of your children and discuss the results with you. If it is decided that chiropractic care can help your kids then a personalised treatment plan will be created. Your kids will receive gentle and effective adjustments that are designed for their level of development.
To ensure that your babies, kids, teenagers are on a path to good posture please call us today.
Your kids can look better, move better and feel better too.
Crows Nest Ph 9460 8459
North Sydney Ph 9955 8055