Chiropractic Care and Pregnancy

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Chiropractic Care and Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a really exciting time for parents as they get ready for their family to grow with the baby’s arrival. As the baby grows, mum’s body changes as she prepares to give birth.

Sometimes these changes can be uncomfortable or painful, with about three-quarters of pregnant mums suffering from pain in their back or pelvis.1, 2 This is one reason that so many pregnant mums seek chiropractic care.

Is it safe?

When deciding whether they should see a chiropractor, pregnant mums often ask ‘is it safe to be adjusted by the chiropractor when I’m pregnant?’ The good news is that chiropractors can tailor the care they provide to each individual patient and the research suggests that chiropractic care during pregnancy is safe for both mum and baby.4,6

What does the research say?

But what does the research tell us about the benefits of seeing a chiropractor while you’re pregnant? When it comes to back pain, not many big studies have been done yet that have looked at whether chiropractic care helps pregnant mums.3

So, although more research is needed, results from the research that has been done so far are promising and seem to show that for some pregnant mums, chiropractic care can be really helpful.4 In one study, researchers in Switzerland followed 115 pregnant women for a year who went to see a chiropractor with low back pain.5 What they found in this study was that over half of the patients said they ‘improved’ after just 1 week of chiropractic care, and after a month that figure had grown to 70%.

In a study conducted in New Zealand, researchers studied pelvic floor muscle function in pregnant women before and after they were adjusted by a chiropractor.

By the end of the study, about 90% of the mums who entered the study said their pain was better. From this study, we can’t be sure if it was the chiropractic care that really helped them but at the end of the study over 85% of the mums said they were happy with the care they received from their chiropractor.

Could chiropractic care help me through delivery?

One area researchers think chiropractic care may help pregnant moms is with the delivery of their baby. For a woman in labor, the ability to relax and contract her pelvic floor muscles is really important for helping the baby to move through the birth canal.7 Ideally, for the birth process to go as well as possible, giving the greatest chance of natural, vaginal birth, you want strong pelvic floor muscles that can relax and contract at just the right time.7, 8

New Zealand Research Study

In a study conducted in New Zealand, researchers studied pelvic floor muscle function in pregnant women before and after they were adjusted by a chiropractor. What they found was that after the pregnant women were adjusted, their pelvic floor muscles appeared to relax more when they were at rest.

This relaxation of their pelvic floor muscles after they were adjusted may mean that chiropractic care could help them to have a natural vaginal delivery. This was only a small trial, and the researchers couldn’t be sure how much of an impact these relaxed muscles would have on labour itself, but it does suggest that for pregnant mums, chiropractic care may give them more control over their pelvic floor muscles, which may make childbirth easier. Other research supports this idea with one study reporting that new mums experience on average a 25% reduction in the length of labour time with chiropractic care during pregnancy and that rises to a 31% reduction for mothers who have given birth before.It makes sense to keep yourself as healthy as possible during your pregnancy.

So, if you want help with the way your spine and nervous system are functioning, consider seeing your chiropractor, because it’s natural, safe, and may help you to feel better and boost your chances of having a faster, easier delivery of your little bundle of joy.

References

  1. Malmqvist, et al. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2012;35(4):272-8.
  2. Weis, et al. Journal Of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada 2018;40(8):1038-43.
  3. Stuber & Smith. Journal Of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2008;31(6):447-54.
  4. Borggren. Pregnancy and Chiropractic: a Narrative Review Of the Literature. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 2007;6(2):70-74.
  5. Peterson, Muhlemann, Humphreys. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 2014;22(1):15.
  6. Stuber, Wynd, Weis. Chiropr Man Therap 2012;20:8.
  7. Yan, et al. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews Systems Biology and Medicine 2016;8(6):506-16.
  8. Du, et al. International Urogynecology Journal 2015;26(10):1415-27.

Acknowledgments

  • Dr. Heidi Haavik – BSc(Physiol) BSc(Chiro) PhD
  • Dr. Kelly Holt – BSc, BSc(Chiro), PGDipHSc, PhD
  • Dr. Jenna Duehr – BChiro, BHSC (Nursing), MHSc

They’re Not Growing Pains

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Read on to learn more from Dr. Haavik and “growing pains”. Click on the Link!

Did you know that what we call growing pains aren’t actually associated with growing? 1

We know very little about growing pains apart from that some children get sore arms or legs at the end of the day and they usually wake up feeling better.

21st Century Epidemic – “text-neck”

Our children are experiencing more pain than ever before.5 Pain in kids is often associated with low levels of physical activity 6 and our kids are less active now than ever before.7 One reason for this inactivity is many children now spend between 5 to 8 hours a day on their smartphones and handheld devices! Text neck results in changes in the bones, ligaments and muscles that support the head and causes postural changes and pain in the neck and other related areas.4

Chiropractic Care can interpret the Pain Cycle in Kids

Text neck results in changes in the bones, ligaments and muscles that support the head and causes postural changes and pain in the neck and other areas.4 It can even cause eye problems and problems with breathing and circulation.4 Parents need to be aware of this major public health problem and be proactive about helping their children. The best place to start is by limiting screen time and encouraging physical activity. A research study looked at the benefits of chiropractic care for kids with recurrent headaches. Headaches in kids are very common8 which is a real problem, and kids with frequent headaches suffer from higher levels of stress and depression. Just like so many other types of pain, kids who suffer from headaches often go on to become adults who suffer from severe headache syndromes.8 Many things can cause headaches in kids, from poor food choices through to trauma on the sports field or playground.8 But, one other very important cause of headaches in kids is prolonged static posture – a scientific way of describing text neck. A group of researchers wanted to find out whether chiropractic care might help break the headache cycle in kids with recurrent headaches. So they did a study with almost 200 kids aged between 7 and 14 who suffered from at least one headache per week. They split the kids up to either receive chiropractic care for four months or fake chiropractic for four months. What they found was the kids in the chiropractic group had significantly fewer headaches than the kids in the control group and they felt better too. Almost half of the kids in the chiropractic group reported that their headaches had improved during the study which was a really good result for those kids! This study shows how chiropractic care can help interrupt the pain cycle in kids2,3 Remember though that chiropractic care isn’t just about treating pain. Chiropractic care is all about improving the communication between your brain and body so you can function at your optimal potential. It’s also good to know that chiropractic is known to be safe for kids and babies.9,10 So, make sure your child’s spine and nervous system are in great shape by taking them to see your family chiropractor and give them the best possible start in life.

Disclaimer and References

This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be professional advice of any kind. Haavik Research Ltd encourages you to make your own health care decisions based on your own research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. © Haavik Research 2021 chiroshub.com 1. Lehman PJ, Carl RL. Sports Health 2017;9(2):132-38. 2. Aartun E, et al. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2014;15:187. 3. Kjaer P, et al. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2011;12:98. 4. Fares J, et al. Surg Neurol Int 2017;8:72-72. 5. Nieswand V, et al. Curr Pain Headache Rep 2020;24(10):62. 6. Kędra A, et al. Eur Spine J Epub 2020/08/28. 7. Tremblay MS, et al. Health Rep 2010;21(1):7-20. 8. Lynge S, et al. Chiropr Man Therap 2021;29(1):1 9. Todd AJ et al. J Manipulative Physiol Ther Epub2014/12/03. 10. Doyle MF.Clinical Chiropractic 2011;14(3):97-105.

• Dr. Heidi Haavik BSc(Physiol) BSc(Chiro) PhD • Dr. Kelly Holt BSc, BSc(Chiro), PGDipHSc, PhD • Dr. Jenna Duehr BChiro, BHSc(Nursing), MHSc

Chiroshub.com

Headaches & Chiropractic

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In this blog learn what Haavik Research has to say about headaches and chiropractic care.

Do you suffer from headaches or know someone who does? If you do, you are not alone.

The head is the most common site of pain in the body. Headaches can range from milk pain through to intense pain that leaves you bedridden.

Headaches are a sign that something is wrong. Your brain will create the sensation of pain if it thinks there is something wrong or if it thinks there is a potential problem – e.g. Your brain will give you a headache if you have taken too much medication – letting you know there is some chemical toxicity going on! And some headaches are a warning of life-threatening illness.

Chiropractic Care May Help

We know now, from research studies, that when your spine is not moving properly, this changes the way your brain perceives what is going on in and around your body, the way it integrates other sensory information, and the way it controls your body.1-3 The movement of your spine is very important for your brain to know where you are in space, and since you cannot see your spine with your eyes, your brain relies on the information it receives from the small muscles closest to your spine and skull. If the segments of your spine are not moving properly this may, for some people, manifest as headaches. Others may experience back pain. It’s possible that problems in the spine may even lead to some babies experiencing colic or some kids may not be fully aware of their bladder at night and end up with bedwetting. Research has shown that when a chiropractor then gently adjusts these subluxations, it helps the brain to more accurately ‘see’ what is going on in and around the body.

So, when you get adjusted by your chiropractor, if your spinal dysfunction was manifesting as headaches, these may improve. If your spinal dysfunction was manifesting as back pain, then this may get better.

Researchers have reviewed all of the randomized controlled trials that have looked at the effects of chiropractic care or spinal manipulative therapy on headaches.4-6 The results show that chiropractic care does really help some people with headaches and migraines! We don’t know for sure who will respond well, but for some people, when they get under chiropractic care, their migraines may almost completely resolve within just a couple of months. In another study,8 80 patients with chronic headaches that were due to a problem in their neck, called cervicogenic headaches, received eight weeks of chiropractic care and another similar group of 80 patients received eight weeks of light massage. What they found in this study was that the patients receiving chiropractic care improved significantly compared to the control group that received massage. These studies suggest that chiropractic care may really help some people suffering from different types of headaches. So, if you experience headaches, why don’t you consider chiropractic care and make sure your spine is functioning well so you can operate at your best!

Disclaimer and References

 This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be professional advice of any kind. Haavik Research Ltd encourages you to make your own health care decisions based on your own research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. © Haavik Research 2021 chiroshub.com 1. Uthaikhup S, Jull G, Sungkarat S, et al. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2012;55(3):667-72. 2. Haavik H, Murphy B. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2012;22(5):768-76. 3. Treleaven J. Man Ther 2008;13(1):2-11. 4. Bryans R, Descarreaux M, Duranleau M, et al. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2011;34(5):274-89. 5. Bronfort G, Haas M, Evans R, et al. Chiropr Osteopat 2010;18:3. 6. Millstine D, Chen CY, Bauer B. BMJ 2017;357. 7. Tuchin PJ, Pollard H, Bonello R. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000;23(2):91-95. 8. Haas M, Spegman A, Peterson D, et al. Spine J 2010;10(2):117-28

• Dr. Heidi Haavik BSc(Physiol) BSc(Chiro) PhD • Dr. Kelly Holt BSc, BSc(Chiro), PGDipHSc, PhD • Dr. Jenna Duehr BChiro, BHSc(Nursing), MHSc

Chiroshub.com

The Power Of ‘Advice’

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Age old advice can be misunderstood and often times falls upon deaf ears. Too often we must deal with our own obstacles to actually learn from a life event. Advice, while it is easy to give, often requires the one giving it not to have to lift a finger to accomplish it. When it comes to your health and well-being we have a reliable truth that your body is designed to be healthy. The steps you take to accomplish this daily task of regular health often times comes from ‘advice’.

So take a grain of salt and listen to some words of encouragement, backed up with laws of truth. No advice given here!

Your body is innately designed to keep you healthy on a daily basis. Ultimately running the ‘ship’ is the central nerve system (CNS). For without your CNS daily functions would not occur, thus rendering you useless. Regular check-ups to ensure optimal function of your CNS comes throughout visiting a Chiropractor to check your spinal column for subluxations (misalignment within your spine placing undo stress upon your body).

There is no such thing as “One and done”. If you have been given the advice that a Chiropractor check-up is an emergency situation and after an adjustment the body is automatically restored back to its orginal state then this is bad advice.

Whether the subluxation is an acute or chronic problem it will still require time to properly heal correctly. Just because you cannot see a wound healing within the spinal column does not mean it doesn’t exist. Take your skin for example. If you have ever sustained a deep cut, it can take weeks to months for the skin to heal. Most important here is that the part of your skin that you can see will not be the same as the surrounding skin tissue. Something changed and it did not take overnight!

Take the time to understand that age old adages are what they are! If you skip the healing steps you will miss the healing stages that your body is supposed to go through!

The Importance Of Muscle Memory

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Why do Chiropractors specialize in the Central Nerve System (CNS)? EASY! The CNS is the master controller within your entire body. Every tissue cell that you had, have, and will make is processed and controlled via your CNS. It’s no wonder that there is a specific field (Chiropractic) dedicated to managing the overall function of how your CNS operates on a day to day basis.

Did you know that your brain weighs only 3 lbs and has to coordinate all internal and external functions every second that you are alive!? Specifically, it coordinates external responses via your sensory organs, eyes, ears, nose, etc.

Did you know that your muscles are also organs? Not just your muscles that you workout at the gym, but also the tiny intrical muscles that surround your spine. When a subluxation (misalignment within the spinal column) occurs, the information that the muscles are supposed to send to the brain become dysfunctional. Your brain can still function when a subluxation is present due to muscle memory based on past experiences that you have encountered before.

When a subluxation exists for an extended period of time, your brain is not fully aware of its surroundings. Overtime, this leads to a slow breakdown in the communication between brain and body.

In order to correct the communication breakdown, this is where your Chiropractor comes into play. Positive muscle memory is established when your Chiropractor properly locates the subluxation, and adjusts the dysfunctional segment so that your brain can “wake up” and correct the spinal segment. Doing so will restore the spinal column to its proper positioning, and allow the body to properly adapt overtime.

Time is key. Just like correcting a bad habit, you need to stay on top of it, and require patience while you are breaking the cycle that your body has created. If you accelerate the process and do not give the body ample time to heal, you rush the experience and never fully heal. It takes time to make a problem, and it requires time to make the change. Choose wisely!

‘Attitude’ Adjustment

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“Is there an attitude adjustment that you can do to change their behavior? “asks the loving mother. This question is jokingly put forth more often than not in the office.  Not just in the Chiropractic office, this is a popular pop phrase used in our day to day lives.  More often than not though, this phrase is often associated towards a child who is “having an off day.”  In reality the science does support the “concept” of such a thing.  Lets dive in and see how the brain influences the spinal column and visa versa when it comes to emotions.


By finding subluxations within the spinal column and adjusting them, the brain is better able to interpret data and make more sense of the body’s surroundings.  We can say this due to the literature that supports every time you receive a specific adjustment, two parts of the brain become instantly better equipped to make more accurate decisions in your health.  The left pre-frontal cortex and the cerebellum.  


Consider this – the amygdala (often called the emotional brain) during times of stress sends an alert to the right hypothalamus and then down the spinal column to trigger the adrenal glands (activating your fight or flight).  Some children (and adults :)) often use this quite frequently, making their feelings overwhelming and not fully making sense. 

By influencing how your spinal column functions through adjusting subluxations, you can override the right side brain of fight or flight and utilize the left side of the brain to better perceive your emotions and, more importantly, your response to stressors by influencing the left pre-frontal cortex.  Why?  The left pre-frontal cortex is in charge of memory, emotions, impulse control, and social interaction among other things.  Sort of bring a whole new meaning the “concept” of an “Attitude Adjustment.”

Structure Over Posture

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The presence of good posture is a missing trait among the growing populas today that often begins at a very young age. We can blame technology, the newest gizmos or maybe just a lack of knowledge. True to form with our society, anything that is often hard to do or misunderstood is saturated with quick fixes, gadgets, or misleading objects that are for sale to “fix your posture.” Instead of looking for the outward source, why not pay attention to what’s  inside?

Structure. The spinal column at an early age forms its outlook for life beginning with our “tummy time” and then into our crawling stages. At this time the three distinct curvatures of the spine (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar) begin to take shape, enabling  our body to be able to withstand the constant battle of gravity with biomechanical sound curvatures in the spine. The rest of the body takes shape as a result of the spinal column.

Typically when you encounter a daily event, activity, or engage in repetitive behavior over and over again, the spinal column is unable to properly adapt and overcome a spinal subluxation (misalignment within the spinal column creating nerve interference.) This ensues over time. This subluxation will create chaos in the musculoskeletal system, creating an overproduction of muscle imbalances for years.

The subluxation will create inadquecies in proper muscle firing, thus leading to a constant battle with improper posture. Over time when a subluxation is left uncorrected, the structure of the spine begins to change. This is something you can actually see and is called improper posture. The structure of the spinal column is hidden from plaint sight, yet will appear in the posture that we exhibit in our daily lives.

Maintaining good posture is a important. Why not address the reason posture is even a talking point first by focusing on your spinal column which protects the most important system in the human body, the central nerve system (CNS). With proper coordination to the CNS, the particular system—the musculoskeletal system—which is often left to blame for “bad posture,” begins to work effortlessly and with normal tone to make sure your “butt is out, back straight, and chin out” all the time.

March Of Spines

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Marching towards your health goals begins with owning the certainty of what you would like to achieve. Defining these health goals helps retain focus on performing positive actions over and over again. Take, for instance, the path deemed to be “best” to sustain a healthy life.

 To be “healthy,” we are often persuaded by external stimuli that have given someone else some relief. While changing and maintaining health may begin with a transitional day, for instance, New Year’s Day, being present in health is a constant march that requires your time and energy on a routine basis.

Exercise…check. Food…check. Mindset…check. Spinal care….often left un-checked. Your spine protects the most crucial system in the human body, the central nerve system (CNS). Think of your spine as the body of your vehicle and the CNS as the engine, which is necessary for your vehicle to run properly. Without constant check-ups to your engine and regular care the engine begins to suffer, thus leading to early problems that could have been prevented.

The march towards health is a ever changing game. Being healthy and not healthy is not a black and white picture. In between these two states there are several different shades of gray that you must transition past in obtaining whichever state you would like to be in. You are either marching towards the health state or away from it, either way you must march to your own beat, towards your own goals.

The Chiropractic adjustment is the one thing that fine tunes your engine to do exactly what it needs to do when you need it most…naturally and specifically. The great news is that not all engines are the same and with our system of Gonstead Chiropractic this enables us to perfect your mechanizing to generate results that allow you to perform the march of health on a consistent basis without limitations.  

Kids Chiropractic: It’s Not New

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Did you know that currently 54% of children in the US suffer from a chronic health condition?  1 in 6 children have a developmental delay/disability, 1 in 11 children have ADHD, 1 in 12 children have asthma, 1 in 36 have autism and 1 in 285 will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 20.

While severe subluxation resulting in nerve damage may be clinically obvious at birth, more frequently the trauma remains subclinical with symptoms arising at a later time. These symptoms include, but are not limited to, irritability, colic, failure-to-thrive syndromes, and those syndromes associated with lowered immune response. (Clinical Guidelines)

The true cause of disease lies within the body.  Taking care of your family’s health should be a priority. Your lives depend on it! Chiropractic focuses on being preventative rather reactive. Instead of waiting for something to arise, prepare and act now.

Complicated deliveries represent a higher risk to the child suffering spinal damage during the birth process.  Any condition that arises to change the normal birth process frequently results in subluxation at the level of greatest stress. (Clinical Guidelines)

With this defensive attitude, that externals are to blame for illness, it is no wonder that many individuals are chronically worried about their health. “If people believe they live in a germ filled, polluted environment and that they are weak because of inherited psychological and physical deficiencies, they will perceive themselves as helpless and victimized when they become ill.” – Dennis T. Jaffe, Ph.D

The brain that is created upon conception makes every living tissue, organ, cell, and gland that the body needs. Collectively the central nerve system regulates every function in your life. Wouldn’t it be wise to make sure this master system was free of any interference to regulate your child’s overall health and well-being? Chiropractic is for all, and to serve all.

Saving Money On Your Health

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Saving money on your health makes sense, right? Fortunately, it’s nothing new. Not a ‘quick’ sale, gimmick, fad, or trend that someone is trying to sell you. In all honesty it really comes down to your intentions that you want to make into health forming habits. Now, it just so happens that we are health care professionals – Chiropractors. Our entire basis is the study of health and what causes people to LIVE.

Chiropractic is a philosophy, a science and an art of things NATURAL; a system of adjusting the segments of the spinal column by hand only, for the correction of the cause of dis-ease. What limits health, what causes the body to be in a state of dis-ease (which means your body is not at ease)? The answer is a vertebral subluxation. This is a misalignment within the spinal column that occludes the connection between your brain and body. This hinders the TISSUE cell from adapting to the stresses of life. The tissue cell being the building blocks of everything you do!

Saving money on your health starts and ends with your central nerve system (CNS). How come? If you do not take care of your CNS it’s pretty clear to say it will not take care of you. Ponder this thought process for a while. Take the word “allergy”. Interestingly enough that a 45 year old presents to a Chiropractic office that just “developed” an allergen. Yet they have been living their entire life “allergy” free? Safe to say that something compromised the integrity of their immune system thus rendering this person more stress vulnerable to symptoms occurring.

Now, one would say that nothing is promised. You can eat all your vegetables, workout everyday, have little no body fat, take care of your CNS and still have a heart attack or develop cancer. True. Your quality of life is how you make it. Chiropractic ensures that you CNS is optimal in every season of life.

Chiropractic is premiums small and dividends large. It is health insurance to the max. If you do not take care of your health now, you will have to pay for it later.