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

Handbrake In Your Brain

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Handbrake in Your Brain

Does it feel like you have a handbrake on your muscles and you don’t have your usual strength?

This idea of having a handbrake on your muscles may actually be more real than you think – maybe not a handbrake on your muscles, but a handbrake in your brain which is what controls your muscles and tells them to contract.

Chiropractic care can make you stronger over the last few years studies have shown that when you get adjusted by a chiropractor it can make you stronger. One study reported in a group of students who received chiropractic care, that they were actually able to produce 16% more force in their leg muscles after a chiropractor had gently checked and adjusted any dysfunctional spinal segments, or what chiropractors call vertebral subluxations.1

What does the research show?

Researchers in New Zealand followed up this study in Tae Kwon Do athletes, and again showed that even in a group of elite, highly trained athletes, a single session of chiropractic care can improve their strength.2 But what does this have to do with handbrakes in the brain you may wonder? Well, in a new study by the same team of researchers, they wanted to see if chiropractic care resulted in an increase in the way the brain could drive the muscle in the subject’s arms.4 To do this, they measured the participant’s bicep’s muscle strength, and then measured something that’s called ‘central inhibition’, before and after a single session of chiropractic care, or just moving their heads around as a control intervention. This ‘central inhibition’ measure is a bit like the brain’s handbrake to the muscle. There are two ways the brain can increase the way your muscle contracts. It can either press the gas pedal or it can release the ‘hand brake’ to that muscle. The scientists wanted to know if a particular type of handbrake changed after these subjects got adjusted. The technical term for the method they used to record this was ‘TMS twitch interpolation technique’ and it allows them to explore the way the participants brains are driving their arm muscles… in other words it measured the degree to which their brain was pulling the handbrake to that particular muscle. What they found was that there was a difference in the degree of central inhibition to the bicep’s muscle only after they were adjusted, compared to when they did the control movement of the neck. There was less inhibition, suggesting the brain had released the handbrake to the muscle after they got adjusted. So, this may be one of the reasons why the previous studies showed that chiropractic care could increase strength, because maybe chiropractic care is reducing the central inhibition to your muscles, or in other words, releasing the handbrake to your muscles making it easier for your brain to move your muscles and produce more strength. So, if you feel like you’ve got a handbrake in your muscles or in your brain, maybe you should go see a chiropractor and see if they can help your brain release the handbrake so that your brain can more efficiently control your muscles and perhaps even help you to get that jam jar open.

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.

Niazi IK et al. Exp Brain Res Epub 2015/01/13. 2. Christiansen TL, et al Eur J Appl Physiol 2018;118(4):737-49. 3. Holt K, et al. Scientific Reports 2019;9(1):2673. 4. Kingett M, et al. Brain sciences 2019;9(6)

@Haavik Research 2021

• 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

Chiropractic Care is a Great Investment in your Health

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Do you worry about the cost of your healthcare?

Research shows that chiropractic care is a great option to help you feel your best without breaking the bank. 1,2

The cost effectiveness of chiropractic care

Cost can be a big factor when we make decisions about our healthcare. Researchers have been looking at what the most cost-effective healthcare options are for people with back and neck pain. Keep reading to find out what research says.

Chiropractic care can save you money and help you get back to work faster

For patients with neck or back pain, chiropractic care is a very cost-effective option and costs less in the long term than medical care or physical therapy. 1,3

What does the research show?

Researchers reviewed 9 years of claims data from an insurance scheme in North Carolina that included about 660,000 people and over 6 million back and neck pain claims. 1 2

They took into account things like the patient’s age, gender, and health history, and then looked at how much each claim cost based on whether the care provider was a medical doctor, physical therapist, or a chiropractor. They also looked at the cost of the claim if all they did was offer the patients advice, hoping that they’d just get better by themselves and not need any healthcare.

What they found in these studies was that the claims for the patients who were seen by a chiropractor cost significantly less than the patients managed by another healthcare provider. In fact, by the final year of this 9-year study the cost of a claim was from 2 to 5 times more expensive when a chiropractor was not one of the care providers.

And the claims managed by a chiropractor cost even less than the claims for patients who were given advice alone, because it would appear that those people ended up taking more time off work than the people who saw a chiropractor.

Disclaimer and References

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.

Neck Pain in North Carolina, 2000 to 2009: A Statewide Claims’ Data Analysis. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2016;39(4):240-51. doi: 10.1016/j. jmpt.2016.02.007 [published Online First: 2016/05/12] 2. Hurwitz EL, Li D, Guillen J, et al. Variations in Patterns of Utilization and Charges for the Care of Low Back Pain in North Carolina, 2000 to 2009: A Statewide Claims’ Data Analysis. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2016;39(4):252-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2016.02.006 [published Online First: 2016/05/12] 3. Jarvis KB, Phillips RB, Morris EK. Cost per case comparison of back injury claims of chiropractic versus medical management for conditions with identical diagnostic codes. Journal of occupational medicine : official publication of the Industrial Medical Association 1991;33(8):847-52. [published Online First: 1991/08/01] © Haavik Research Limited 2021

• 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

How Long Should I Go?

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Have you ever realized that in order for you to obtain what you want, time may be available yet the choices become the biggest obstacle? Think hard, we all may have the same amount of time. We just make different choices. If you capitalize on your choices then time is on your side.

We all have that friend who is waiting for something new, thinking that the grass is always greener on the on the other side. They are always on the latest diet, the newest wonder food that shrinks fat away instantly, or the newest book on how to manage stress. While this might sound appealing, it often leads to life on a roller coaster.

How long should I go for Chiropractic care? We get asked this quite often. And the answer really comes down to what you want out of it. If you are looking for a holistic approach to health care that does not require you to take lotions, potions, and pills, then sticking it out for the long haul might be your call. If you want the “one and done,” sure we can help, yet think about what is actually happening. A good chunk of people only eat good food only when they are sick.

If you can conceptualize that daily your body is under constant repair to maintain a functioning system, and this processing of information is coordinated via your central nerve system; you might think about sticking it out. Understand that your body is intelligent and thrives on function over feeling. When the spinal column is aligned you are designed to “form”. Form determines your function, and with a spine in proper alignment you move better, last longer, and transmit better nerve flow than with a spine that is subluxated.

We ask that you make the choices to give us the time. Without the time, much can be lost. Your body is the biggest investment that you will ever make in your life, don’t abuse it.

Motion Is Lotion

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After receiving a chiropractic adjustment, some assume the patient needs to “hold” their adjustment. “Holding” theorizes the spinal bone has been properly placed in the correct position and the Chiropractor has cured all imperfections for life! While this is flattering to the Chiropractor it has no basis in truth. Here’s an analogy: George went to the gym once and was instantly granted six pack abs. They lasted until his second helping of potato chips, which deflated his six pack back to flab. See what we mean?!

Think of what a chiropractic adjustment is: a low amplitude force into a specific subluxated section of your spinal column (misalignment creating undo dysfunction within the central nerve system to a specific motor segment). This   creates an imbalance within the entire framework of your body. An adjustment is specific MOVEMENT. In order for you to retain what your Chiropractor has done, you need movement in your body afterwards. Motion is lotion!

One of the best things to do after an adjustment is walking! Walking will help mechanically correct the spine, allowing it to settle in by triggering the cerebellum in the brain. This begins to activate the muscles in the right firing sequence. Walking improves the balance of the central nerve system by creating an accurate reality of how the body is supposed to move. Walking will also  decrease inflammation from the impacted spinal nerve by establishing the correct movement pattern. Specific motion builds on more motion. Don’t like   walking? Running, swimming, biking, or any form of movement will stimulate a healthy response.

The theory of “holding” an adjustment doesn’t mean you have to sit down and wear plastic bubble wrap in the event of something bad happening. Your body will become more apt to “hold” correct spinal alignments through regular adjustments. This works in tandem with you performing your daily activities, and making sure you get enough movement to support your regular care.  

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!

Where Did My Back Go?

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We’ve all been around an invididual who claimed that their “back went out” after performing some physical activity. This phrase is often used in Chiropractic offices to describe a particualr problem known as a subluxation (misalignment within the spinal column creating undo stress upon a nerve fiber). Let’s be real though. Most people have never heard of the word subluxation until seeking help after such an event occurs.

Unless you’ve had a major accident, injury, or trauma that violently impacts tendons, ligaments and surrounding soft tissue, your spinal bones do not ‘simply’ move from being aligned to being misaligned. A subluxation is created over time often due to repetitive behaviors that require the body to adapt and heal. Once again, lets be honest. Most people will perform the same physical and mental task Monday – Friday never really giving their body a chance to adapt until Saturday and Sunday or a planned vacation occurs.

Relating to our current events, the fires and smoke we are breathing , let’s use this analogy: Fire Vs. Subluxation

Most of the fires are manmade, often due to neglect and improper care of not knowing the fire regulations.

All subluxations are manmade, often from neglect of your spinal column due to not knowing the important role it plays in protecting your central nerve system.

Most fires will typically start off very slow at first and then gather momentum, sometimes we think they will just ‘go out’ by themselves.

Most subluxations will take years to develop into an actual known health problem. Sometimes pain will be the first symptom to appear and the first to disappear, yet in reality the ‘burn’ is still slowly cooking away.

Then the smoke sets in. Not only creating more health concerns for us, but creating a different reality of our surroundings as well. I look out the window knowing I am supposed to see the Swan Range, yet all I see is smoke.

Paraphrasing Dr. Heidi Haavik, when a subluxation is created and manifests, it alters the reality of the brain to body conneciton. One would almost say that it creates a ‘brain fog’ of the information your brain needs to perceive to keep you healthy.

What’s the moral of the story? “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure” – Benjamin Franklin

Led Astray With Your Health? Jump Back On!

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Consider the source. Always try to do your homework regarding the source of any information. This is especially crucial in current times. On the other hand, self thinking people who exercise critical thought may sometimes need guidance.  Some would say that we are born with two things: our names and our health. What we do with them is up to the choices we make and the encounters that shape them.

We have been led to believe that health can be bought. It’s something that only certain people can acquire. Obviously false!  Yet this concept has been branded in more minds than we can count. If you have been led astray with health propaganda and the growing commerce behind it, get off that bus!

Buying health is like the Diderot Effect. We jump from one diet to the next, promising us a new brand of green tea because we saw a flashy post on someone’s Twitter account about “fast results.” The Diderot Effect is such that obtaining a new possession often creates a spiral of consumption which leads one to acquire new things. And when these latest fads don’t work, just take some pills!

 Chiropractic states that our focus is the study of health and what causes people to live functionally without limitations. Being healthy can be addictive; we often take our good health for granted. When it rains five days in a row, it’s easy to  look forward to the sun and complain about the rain. Similarly, when our body is in a dysfunctional state it’s easy to talk about what we “used” to be like while complaining about the pain.

A major emphasis with Chiropractic is a preventional lifestyle. If you are taking care of your Central Nerve System (CNS) you will have more “Sunnier Days.” How?  True health care begins by taking care of your CNS. A CNS that is free of vertebral subluxations is allowed to flourish and keep the normal state of health present and continued therefrom. The CNS controls your every human experience you have.

So jump on this bus! Good health shouldn’t be complicated. A spinal check-up here, a spinal check-up there. So please don’t get caught up in the “Diderot Effect Of Fake Health.”

Kids Chiropractic Office

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Why kids Chiropractic office? The more important question is- why would we not have an office with a focus on Kids and family? Our approach is not new and it is backed by science, more importantly though its backed by common sense. Becoming aware of making healthy choices for your kids is a process that leads to a fulfilling life for them.

Unfortunately, we have this misconception of something “new”. A newborn child is something “new”. A new vehicle that you buy and drive off the lot is new, looks new, drives new, and yet still along the way will need maintenance to ensure optimal function of those smooth, “new” mechanics. If you do not take care of the necessary precautions or maintenance of a machine it will in turn break down faster.

We have been indoctrinated that kids are “new” and nothing bad can happen to anything “new”. On the contrary. The human body is, and will always be, the first “machine” ever created. Think of it, in with good air and out with bad air. In with good food and out with bad food…etc, etc. Systems (ex. respiratory) of the body are set in place for a purpose to maintain and create health in its existence starting from the minute of birth.

The first system of the body that is created to MAKE all other systems and then regulate, control, and coordinate their actions is the central nerve system (CNS). With such an important infrastructure that the CNS has to maintain on a daily basis, wouldn’t it make sense to get “it” checked to ensure optimal function for a young developing kid?

A subluxation is a misalignment that occurs within the spinal column that disrupts the communication LINK between the brain and the body. And YES, it even happens in kids. It can even happen during the birthing process or during the first time you are breast feeding your child. We are not one to speculate on how the subluxation occurred, we are here to show awareness of what needs to happen. Chiropractic check-ups to ensure optimal development from within the body. A healthy spine is foundational key for a healthy CNS which equals a healthy child.