Ed Groenhart, and lifestyle coach Tania Brint of Appetite for Success, recently talked to Neil Whiteside of Cambridge 105 Radio about what it means to be health, and crucially, what it takes to stay that way as often as possible. You can listen to it here.
We use a number of chiropractic techniques to help you get better, stay well and feel great!
This is the most common chiropractic technique used by chiropractors worldwide and describes the more manual adjusting (sometimes referred to, though not by us, as spinal manipulative therapy, or SMT). A High Velocity Low Amplitude (HVLA) thrust is used: the speed (velocity) rather than force (amplitude) of an adjustment is key. Researchers have shown that it takes up to two years of practice to gain the skills necessary to have the speed of hand as a chiropractor to adjust in this way. Adjustments need to be delivered quickly (the thrust is typically 0.25 seconds) to create the correct response from nerve fibres around joints, muscles and tendons, leading to changes in spinal (and brain) function. This is the essence of a chiropractic adjustment.
Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT)
SOT is the chiropractic technique that Ed uses most to identify the underlying pattern of spinal change (maladaptation) that has occurred due to stresses and strains placed upon it. Changes to tension in the spine, unequal loading onto the joints of the spine and pelvis, and joint or disc damage can all cause specific patterns to develop. SOT is perfectly developed to identify the most important areas to adjust first, thereby improving responses to care, and crucially improving your rate of recovery from aches and pains.
Though originally developed to balance ligaments, joints and muscles in and around the pelvis in pregnant women, the Webster Technique can be used on anyone to correctly balance and improve function in the foundations of your frame: your pelvic girdle. For more details on this chiropractic technique see our specific article on the Webster Technique.
Acupuncture is the insertion of fine solid filament needles into points along meridians. Meridians are invisible lines associated with a specific organ. Certain organs can be stimulated with placing needles at defined points.
With dry needling, the focus is on reducing muscular tension, spasm or dysfunction. By introducing the needle, a very small irritation within the body is sensed and the response is to help the body heal itself without need for medication.
Both forms of needling are similar to one another by the art of needling, insertion of needles, types of needles used and outcomes of healing, as well as types of conditions that can be treated. Needling is used for general muscular complaints through to women’s issues to post surgical rehabilitation.
The technique is relatively painless and has very few side effects. Spot bleeding after removal of the needle and/or associated bruising are the most common.
If having read this article you are ready to start chiropractic care, or have any questions, please contact us and we will do our very best to answer them.
Last year we set, and surpassed, a target of raising £1000 for EACH. The question is, why? What is our connection? Well it all goes back to the time when we were running our previous practice in Nottinghamshire.
Family care in practice
Our practice was full of families. In fact at one time we even had three generations of the same family coming in for care. There were also many couples who went on to have children. One such couple was James and Rachel (*we have changed their names for anonymity). James and Rachel were thrilled when, after a number of years of trying, Rachel found out that she was pregnant. We supported her through this time, helping her with aches and pains, whilst keeping her spirits up. Finally a baby daughter, Mary, was born. We eagerly awaited seeing the happy family, but first mum and daughter were kept in hospital as Mary needed some extra observation. Two months passed. We had heard nothing more from James and Rachel.
Finally we got a call from James: Rachel was keen for Mary to be brought in to be checked, as the paediatricians had been checking her for a while and Mary appeared to have had a small bleed on her brain whilst in utero. After checking and gently adjusting Mary, taking into consideration her potential brain injury, we next heard that the consultant thought it had been some kind of stroke. The bad news soon became clear: Mary actually had an extremely rare genetic disorder that meant that she would be physically and mentally disabled for life, and that her life would be limited by the complications that this would bring.
Respite and End of Life Care
Thankfully James and Rachel heard about a local hospice, Rainbows, that could help them to look after Mary. It also had the facilities and care to give them an occasional break from the round-the-clock attention that they needed to give Mary. As soon as we heard about this, we began to raise funds for Rainbows as, just like EACH, they are not part of the NHS and rely on thousands of pounds every week just to stay open.
Tragically, shortly before we moved down to Linton, and opened our practice here, we were made aware that little Mary had given up her brave battle to live. Her mum still raises funds to help support parents in similar positions. Jo and I decided that we should continue to support similar causes, and were made aware of EACH. Their care is vital for so many disabled, life limited children and their families.
A proportion of every paid visit to us goes to EACH. This year we are aiming to raise £1500 in this way. Please let us know if you would like to top up this donation at any time, or just pop some loose change into the money box in the studio. Many thanks, and have a happy and healthy 2019.
Yes, you read it right: Meghan Markle, recently announced pregnant (and married to Prince Harry), is having a geriatric pregnancy. Or at least from a obstetrician’s point of view. Any mother over 35 (Meghan is 37) is still, even in this day and age, considered to be “too old” to be a new mum, and therefore pregnancy is a risk to her health. And to make matters worse, she’s even gone on holiday during her pregnancy: heaven forbid! (I just hope she’s read our hints and tips).
I jest. NHS figures released last year showed the number of women over 40 giving birth in England and Wales has tripled since the 1980s. Whilst a lot of this has to do with career objectives and possibly even house prices, there is still no reason to use this derogatory phrase, and it is derogatory talking about a geriatric at any age (in this chiropractor‘s humble opinion it’s the life in your years, not the years in your life, that counts). Whilst there is a statistical increase in the chances of genetic disorders such as Down’s Syndrome, there is also an increased chance of your child having a higher IQ and being fitter. Care has to be taken around birth due to increased complication risks, such as pre-eclampsia, but a good midwife and/or doula can help a lot in these circumstances to support you and your partner.
So what can we take from this high profile pregnancy? First of all, you are not alone if you are having a baby later in life. There will be many after you being told they are having a geriatric pregnancy (argh, that’s it, no more mention of that phrase). It’s good to know that you have navigated some of life’s complicated times, and still have the memories to share with your little ones. You also have more stability and resources to help with bringing up a baby, and less worries that maybe by having a child now you are missing out on anything. Remember that successful pregnancy is a subjective term, and preparing mentally as well as physically is really important. Your support network will probably already include mums who can share their experience (just choose carefully who’s stories you listen to!) and like anything in life we never stop learning.
If you want to start off on the right foot, please read our pregnancy blog articles, and if you have any further questions, or need any help, contact us. Jo and I have over 25 years’ combined experience of seeing mums-to-be, and also have two children of our own. They’re young enough for us to still have the memories (both good and bad) fresh in our minds regarding the pregnancy and childbirth journey.
The documentary Overfed and Undernourished, the story of an obese child and his journey back from the brink of health problems, is one that all parents need to watch to see what even a fraction of this kind of lifestyle can do to our little ones. It’s a tough watch at times, but we feel its impact is what will keep healthy living at the forefront of our parenting minds. It’s being shown at our place, 4 The Woodlands, Linton, at 8pm on 20th November. Book on eventbrite or call 07870568548.
According to new research teenage back pain may predict poor overall health, and risk of chronic disease throughout life. The New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association (NZCA) is concerned that chiropractic care is an underused option in the management of back pain and spinal health among teenagers, and believe it could minimise the use of unnecessary pharmaceutical usageand help establish a better foundation for adult wellbeing.
Chiropractor and NZCA spokesperson Dr Cassandra Fairest explains: `This new study in the Journal of Public Health indicates that adolescents who experience back pain more frequently are also more likely to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and report mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. But too few of them are seeking chiropractic care, which was recently cited in a major call to action by the Lancet as a drug free approach to the management of back pain’.
Teenage back pain shouldn’t be ignored
The authors of this study point out that during adolescence, the prevalence of musculo-skeletal pain in general, particularly back pain rises steeply. Although often dismissed as trivial and fleeting, adolescent back pain is responsible for substantial health care usage, school absence, and interferes with day-to-day activities in some children.’
Researchers used data collected from approximately 6500 teenagers. The proportion of participants reporting smoking, drinking, and missing school rose incrementally with increasing frequency of pain. For example, 14-15 year olds that experienced pain more than once a week were 2-3 times more likely to have drunk alcohol or smoked tobacco in the past month than those who rarely or never had pain.
Similarly, students that experienced teenage back pain more than once a week were around twice as likely to have missed school during the previous school term. The trend with anxiety and depression was less clear, although there was a marked difference between the children who reported no pain, and those who reported frequent pain.
Dr Fairest says: `The researchers found that back pain and unhealthy behaviour not only occur together, but also persist into adulthood. In addition, the developing brain is susceptible to the negative influences of toxic substances, and use in early adolescence may increase the risk of substance abuse and mental health problems in later life.’
The Lancet, one of the world’s most prestigious medical publications, has said in a series of articles that healthcare system changes are crucial to changing behaviour and improving delivery of effective care for back pain. It recommends integrating and supporting health professionals from diverse disciplines to provide patients with consistent messages about mechanisms, causes, prognosis and natural history of low back pain, as well as the benefits of improved spinal health, physical activity and exercise. Chiropractic is ideally placed to play a pivotal role in this development.
A pill may not be the best solution
Dr Fairest says: `We do have to ask ourselves why some teenagers are still being prescribed pain medication which may cause side effects when chiropractic care may be just as, or even more effective, and offer better long term outcomes? Chiropractors are uniquely placed to provide care that specifically focuses on the health of the spine and the relationship between the spine and the nervous system, both of which are clearly relevant to this populations presentations. It seems that there’s a disconnect between patient choices and evidence-based guidelines for low back pain based upon what is actually happening within our healthcare system. Too many GP’s are encouraging people to rely on medication and are only considering chiropractic care after pharmaceutical treatments have failed instead of making a referral to a chiropractor a first-line treatment option, as per the research.’ We also have to remember that encouraging teenagers to take a pill to “feel better” may not be the best example for them to be seeing, as illicit drug use can often be seen as a similar “solution”.
If you know someone who has a son or daughter with teenage back pain, let them know how to contact us today.
Source (edited from): https://www.firstchiropractic.co.nz/adolescent-back-pain-may-herald-lifetime-of-ill-health/
- S J Kamper, Z A Michaleff, P Campbell, K M Dunn, T P Yamato, R K Hodder, J Wiggers, C M Williams. Back pain, mental health and substance use are associated in adolescents. Journal of Public Health, 2018; DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdy129
Low back pain: a call for action Lancet Volume 391, No. 10137, p2384–2388, 9 June 2018https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)30488-4/fulltext
There are plenty of opinions when the subject of children and chiropractic care comes up. The decision to bring your child in for chiropractic care is one that needs support, from family and other caregivers. It’s not necessary to defend your decision of how you wish to have your child looked after, but sometimes a bit of evidence to support your decision is reassuring. Apologies for the evidence-overload, but then again this at least demonstrates the weight of evidence supporting your decision.
Chiropractic care for children is dangerous:
Cranial and activator techniques are preferentially used in this population http://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/…/1472-6882…
“This study shows that for the population studied, chiropractic manipulation produced very few adverse effects and was a safe form of therapy in the treatment of patients in this age group.”
“Published cases of serious adverse events in infants and children receiving chiropractic, osteopathic, physiotherapy, or manual medical therapy are rare. The 3 deaths that have been reported were associated with various manual therapists; however, no deaths associated with chiropractic care were found in the literature to date.”
http://www.jmptonline.org/ar…/S0161-4754(14)00178-X/abstract (Adverse incidents involving children and chiropractic are exceedingly rare; compare this to medical incidents)
Chiropractors are seeing children for conditions outside of their scope:
“This study showed that European chiropractors are active in the care of pediatric patients. Reported conditions were mainly skeletal and neurologic complaints. ”
“Chiropractic and osteopathy is primarily used for back and neck pain, which is increasing in prevalence in children. Teens are more likely to use it than are younger children.”
“Of the indicated specific clinical presentations, musculoskeletal complaints were the most common followed by non-musculoskeletal conditions of childhood.”
There is no evidence to support the idea of a chiropractor treating a child
This large prospective study demonstrated that controlled manual stretching is safe and effective in the treatment of congenital muscular torticollis when a patient is seen before the age of one year.
There is reason to suspect that infantile torticollis may be related to breastfeeding difficulties
“Infants with unilateral sternocleidomastoid tension and associated craniofacial, spinal, and hip asymmetries may feed poorly”
“On follow-up, 93% of mothers reported an improvement in feeding as well as satisfaction with the care provided. Prior to treatment, 26% of the infants were exclusively breastfed. At the follow-up survey, 86% of mothers reported exclusive breastfeeding.”
Chiropractors don’t have the necessary quality research in this population:
“Our practice-based research observational study reports a rate of that <1% of the patient population or 1 in 1046 patient visits resulted in minor adverse events. All reported aggravations (from chiropractor and parent survey) were minor, self-limiting and did not require hospitalization or medical attention.”
“The application of modern chiropractic paediatric care within the outlined framework is safe. A reasonable caution to the parent/guardian is that one child per 100 to 200 attending may have a mild adverse event, with irritability or soreness lasting less than 24 h, resolving without the need for additional care beyond initial chiropractic recommendations.”
There is no need for children to see a chiropractor:
“In summary, Low Back Pain in children and adolescents, as in adults, is a common condition: some have shown a lifetime prevalence as high as 70–80% by 20 years of age”. This pain has been shown to produce limitations in performance of daily activities. (NOTE: Back pain in a child should always be considered as a serious symptom indicating assessment by a trained health professional)
“Prevalence rates ranged substantially, and were as follows: headache: 8–83%; abdominal pain: 4–53%; back pain: 14–24%; musculoskeletal pain: 4–40%; multiple pains: 4–49%; other pains: 5–88%.”
“The estimated overall mean prevalence of headache was 54.4 % (95 % CI 43.1–65.😎and the overall mean prevalence of migraine was 9.1 % (95 % CI 7.1–11.1).”
There is reason to suspect that psychological factors play a big role in low back pain in school children (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00586-002-0385-y). As experts in conservative management of spinal syndromes and their various sequelae, chiropractors are well positioned to decrease this burden by performing a thorough assessment and implementing an active management approach to help decrease catastrophizing. Children and chiropractic care are a perfect fit!
The following blog is by one of my colleagues who I’ve been lucky enough to learn a lot from over the years, Dr Glenn Maginness. Dr Glenn is a chiropractor who sees only children as patients. He graduated in 1986 and runs one of the largest family practices in Australia. Glenn completed a 3 year postgraduate Masters Degree in Chiropractic Paediatrics in 1998 and has held over 40 paediatric focused seminars throughout Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the U.K, over the last 15 years. With the launch of his Online Paediatric CE Program in 2013, Dr Maginness’ wealth of knowledge is now available 100% online. The program addresses all aspects of the paediatric experience, including the assessment, adjustment and management of the paediatric patient. He can be contacted at email@example.com
Even with over 30 years practice experience, and the knowledge that comes from the thousands of babies and children that I have adjusted over those years, occasionally I am reminded in practice the very important fact that we never stop learning.
Some time ago I learnt something really important from a 10 year old boy who had presented with a two month history of worsening lower back pain.
I am always a little concerned when I have a paediatric patient present with any sort of ongoing musculoskeletal pain. I am always wary of those differential diagnosis’ that are potentially more serious. Back pain in this age group should always be a red flag for you. So you should always rule out the ‘potential nasties’ first.
Anyway, this child had been through the ‘medical merry-go-round’. He had seen a number of GP’s, been referred to a neurologist, had an MRI (which was unremarkable), and he had also seen a physio. As a result of all of this he had had all the potentially serious diagnosis’ ruled out. The various diagnosis that he did receive ranged from muscle strain, disc inflammation, posture problems, and even a ‘back virus’. The parents attended my practice at the suggestion of a local GP who had essentially, in his own words, ‘run out of suggestions’.
At the time of presentation, neither the parents nor the child could recall any incident which may have precipitated the onset of the child’s back pain.
On examination I was quite surprised at the extent of the biomechanical dysfunction present in this child’s lower back region. I really felt that a major incident/accident was likely the cause, but as I have said, no such incident could be recalled by the patient or the parents.
Essentially there was noticeable dysfunction at the L3/4/5 spinal level, with extensive muscle guarding and general lumbar stiffness. ROM was decreased by more than 50% in all directions.
The physio had strapped his upper back to improve posture – (really??). This had not made any impact on the pain or discomfort. A GP had recommended a ‘course of pain killers’. This offered short term relief only- big surprise!
So I commenced care for this child, initially focusing on manual adjustments and deep soft tissue work, confident that we would see a change relatively quickly, despite the apparent chronic nature of the condition. My expectations were that within a few visits we would start to see a change in pain and discomfort, as the biomechanics improved.
Much to my surprise (and frustration), there was no appreciable change in the child’s symptoms. I persevered for several weeks, seeing the child three times per week. I modified my adjusting, utilising a variety of different techniques, all the time waiting for (and expecting) the child to report an improvement in symptoms. While biomechanically there certainly was a (slow) improvement in the child’s condition, by the 6th week there was still no change to symptoms at all!?
Now at this point I have to admit that I was very tempted to refer this child to ‘someone else’, perhaps a different health practitioner with a fresh approach. However, deep down I really did feel that with perseverance the child’s symptoms had to start to improve in time. So this belief, mixed with the confidence conveyed to me by both of the parents of how sure they were that I was going to make a difference, and that they were in the right place, resulted in us persevering.
All the way through this process, I would constantly discuss with the parents what I was thinking, always being open and honest with them, including my concerns about the apparent lack of progress. At the same time however, I would demonstrate the ‘before and after’ aspects of the care that demonstrated quantifiable changes, including improvement in the biomechanics, from visit to visit – the ROM, muscle guarding, etc.
These parents had ‘been everywhere else’ (their words) and continued to communicate to me that they had total confidence in my management strategy, and wanted to stick at it. By this stage I had also incorporated flexion-distraction therapy and an exercise program, to help to improve the lumbar spine biomechanics. I can’t ever remember utilising this type of therapy with one so young, but I was basically trying everything. But I would have to admit that as each week went by, my confidence started to wane.
If I was to be 100% honest, if it wasn’t for the parents absolute confidence in me, I actually think there is a chance that I may have referred this child to someone else before the end of that 6th week. I am an impatient person. I am an impatient chiropractor. Because of the potential of chiropractic to make such amazing changes to the health of kids, so quickly, that is what I have come to expect. And when it doesn’t happen, my belief in what I am doing (in my management strategy) starts to then be tested. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It is important to continually question what you are doing so that you can always be confident and comfortable that you are achieving the very best clinical outcome for every patient that you see.
In the 7th week, there was a very slight change in symptoms. The child reported he felt ‘a little better in the mornings’. That gave me some hope.
Now it was around this time that the mum announced (somewhat sheepishly) that because of my continued insistence that this had to be due to an accident of some sort, they finally recalled an incident which ‘may have contributed’ to the back pain. The incident was 5 months prior to the onset of the back pain, and hence the connection was not immediately made.
The parent related that the child had spent an afternoon at ‘Gravity Zone’, (which is a warehouse full of trampolines and foam pits etc. Very popular for parties of kids of this age group). The child recalled an incident where he had bounced on a trampoline and on landing had hyperextended his spine and at the same time he heard a ‘crack and a squelching noise’, followed by intense back pain. This pain persisted for a few days and then went away. The mother too remembered this when the son talked to her about it. There was no further pain or discomfort until 5 months later, which is when they initially visited the GP.
So for me, all of a sudden things became a little clearer. I had felt all along that there must have been an accident of some sort to create the mess I was dealing with in the lower back. And there it was!
From that moment there was a steady improvement in the back pain. By the 12th week the child was almost totally symptom free. The parents were so happy that they persevered. I now see this patient monthly, and at his monthly visits he reports no pain or stiffness at all. So a great outcome was achieved.
So what did I learn from this patient?
Quite simply, that sometimes (certainly with chronic conditions), it can take time for the body to heal. While as chiropractors we pride ourselves on our ‘miracle quick fixes’, sometimes it is just plain hard work. This child had what I believe was a significant injury to his lower back region. Without the confidence and encouragement of the parents I would have potentially ‘given up’ on him early, which then would have then placed them potentially back on the merry go round looking for a miracle cure. And the really sad thing is there is every likelihood that he would most likely still be in pain, because the parents may have decided that they had ‘tried chiropractic ’ and that it didn’t work, and therefore may have been reluctant to see another chiropractor.
This experience has reminded me to be patient… something I am not very good at. Give the body time to heal. Give the body time to recover.
However, the unfortunate fact is that often you will not even be given the opportunity to be patient. If you have a parent who demands the quick fix with their child, you may not even be given a fighting chance to help a child in pain.
So this experience has also served to remind me of the importance of educating the parents. These parents were chiropractically educated through our healthcare class, and as such were educated and informed about the amazing potential of the chiropractic adjustment. I am sure that this is what gave them the strength of conviction to book their child in 3 times a week for so many weeks. Never missing one appointment. Never deviating from their schedule.
Now those who know me will know that this a very unusual schedule (3 x week) for me to recommend for a child. (I only work two days a week so the third visit was with another chiro in my practice). But always my advice to parents is ‘if this were my child, this is what I would do?’ My belief at the time was that this child needed the care 3 times per week, so that’s what I conveyed to the parents. You should always tell the parents what you believe, not what is perhaps easiest for them to hear.
This simply further highlights to me that no matter how experienced you are, regardless of how many letters you have after your name… you never stop learning.