Cool it down with Ice or turn up the heat?
One of the most common approaches for clinicians and the public alike, to find pain relief for lower back pain, is to apply heat or cold therapeutics. These take the form of heat packs, hot water bottles, wheat bags as well as ice packs, ice gel packs etc. It’s one of those topics that everyone has an opinion on what works for them (and what will work for you).
But what does the research have to say on this topic?
Unfortunately there is no high quality research on this subject. There is moderate level evidence to support the use of heat packs for short term symptom relief, and only low levels of evidence that shows minimal benefit from cold therapies for the treatment of lower back pain in acute (< 6 weeks ) and sub-acute patients. There appears to be a benefit of adding exercise to this approach which has ever increasing levels of support in the research.
So what can we take away here?
Both heat and cold therapies are commonly used low risk interventions for lower back pain. Heat has moderate evidence demonstrating some benefit in pain reduction and this enhanced with adding exercises.
French, S. D., et al. (2006). "Superficial heat or cold for low back pain." Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews(1).
Concussion is a disturbance to normal brain function, rather than a structural injury to the brain. A mild/subtle concussion is when the person is seeing stars and a more obvious one will show function deficits. Biomechanical forces of concussion can be linear or rotational. A concussion can occur due to impact to another player, the playing surface or playing equipment (e.g. ball or goal posts). According to data in the US there is reports of 1.6-3.8 million sports related concussions and unreported rates are 6-10 times more than this figure. Rugby league + union show a prevalence of 3.9 rates per 1,000 player hours (horse racing has the most, between 17-95 rates per 1,000 player hours). NRL in the past 4-5 years in elite competitions reports that between 5-7 concussions will be seen per team per season.
Signs and Symptoms that a concussion has occurred
Obvious signs may include:
Indications during play:
Management of acute concussion:
Return to play:
Each stage should be a minimum of 24 hours duration, this means that a period of 7-8 days as minimum time for return to contact sport and this period is twice as long for young athletes (18 years and younger). If there is a return of symptoms at any stage, then the athlete should move back to the stage where they were not experiencing symptoms.
Josh Hallinan - Chiropractor
Tue & Thur 8am - 6pm
With pre-season preparation coming to an end and footy season about to start the excitement and anticipations are high. Some simple advice and preparation can enhance your participation in sport regardless of age.
To get off to a flying start here are some helpful tips:
Each season make sure all your protective equipment is in good working order:
In our practice we unfortunately help people when accidents happen. Fortunately for many this is not often or too serious. It is different for children and adults. We commonly attend to lower limb concerns (knee, ankle, thigh, calf). A common ankle sprain, a sore foot or calf strain. These are very common and in most situations not serious. Quick care can get you back to full steam in no time. Things that we often see in practice that lead to these occurrences include:
A good example is a sprained ankle. Imagine the ligaments in your ankle are like an elastic band. If you stretch it too much it will lose its elasticity and not work as well. This is a good way to think about the ligaments in an ankle. Sometimes when they have been hurt, they might not do their job as well and you could continue to roll to the side. The good news is, is that there are some simple and effective exercises that can help and improve stability so that the pesky ankle sprain doesn't occur again. Well, at least not too often.
At Health Associates we are here to help you 'do the things you love.' If you have any questions please contact us and our friendly team members can help you.
Josh Hallinan - Chiropractor
Tuesday - 8am - 6pm
Thursday - 8am - 6pm
Headaches in short is a continuous pain around the head, face or neck, they can occur in any part of the head, on both sides of the head or in just one location. They are one of the most common medical complaints and can have a disabling effect on a day to day basis like quality of sleep, mood and overall function of the body.
Headaches are broadly categorised as either primary or secondary. A primary headache is when the headaches are not caused by another condition or disease. The two most common primary headaches are migraines and tension type headaches. A secondary headache is caused by problems elsewhere in the head or neck, or by a condition. The two most common secondary headaches are cervicogenic and medication overuse headaches.
One major contributing factor to both primary and secondary headaches can be upper back tension and poor posture due to the increase time using technology and more demand for people to work longer hours. A poor posture results in certain muscles tightening up or shortening while others lengthen and become weak. It can present with shoulders being rounded and elevated with the head in a forward position. This position is not ideal and leads to an increase in stress on the spine. It also has an effect on the shoulder blades as stability is decreased altering the movement pattern of the upper extremities. It’s not just the upper body that is affected by poor posture, the hips tilt forward increasing the curve in the lower back. This position also affects multiple muscles and places increase stress on both hip joints and lower back which can also have an input into the cause of headaches.
There is significant dissatisfaction with headache drug outcomes and the side effects that come with taking these drugs. Headaches are third most common reason for why people seek help from chiropractors.
So how does chiropractic care actually help with headaches?
Assessment of normal posture, muscle tone, functional movement patterns and how the spine and extremities are moving while taking into account work, hobbies and other daily activities is vital for pin pointing the possible cause of the headache. After this, appropriate treatment, lifestyle changes and patient education is needed. Treatment includes spinal manipulative therapy on areas of the spine that may be stiff or causing pain and soft tissue therapy on muscles that are overactive. Lifestyle changes may be needed such as improved posture at work or during particular activities and implementation of exercises and stretches. Patient education explaining possible variables contributing to the headaches and ways to manage them. There are multiple contributing factors to the cause, pain intensity and frequency of headaches but if a factor such as postural related stress is decreased or removed this can have a positive outcome and possibly stop the headaches altogether.
Simple management plans that you can implement straight away include:
Joshua is a very focused, dedicated and committed practitioner. He graduated from his Masters of Chiropractic in 2018. During his studies he worked as a chiropractic assistant and gained invaluable knowledge and experience. Joshua is committed to health and has achieved significant personal success in sport and through adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Tuesday & Thursdays 8am to 6pm (alternate times by appointment)
Saturday - By Appointment
Health Associates are enthusiastic to grow our practice to match the evolving needs of our community.
In 2018 we conducted a customer satisfaction survey. With over 100 replies your feedback was positive, supportive and encouraging. Our results exceeded industry averages and ranked us as an outstanding health practice in terms of customer satisfaction. With that in mind there are many opportunities for growth and improvement that were expressed by our patients. We intend to action the feedback to improve your patient experience and outcomes.
Health Associates has set an intention as an organisation for 2019. At the heart and soul of who we are it is to be of service. To use our knowledge, skills and attributes to serve in meaningful and impactful ways. So it goes without saying that our intent for 2019 is service.
So what does the 2019 year of service look like?
Cultural Service - To the best of our ability we will honour and serve the traditional custodians of the land we inhabit, preserve their memory, emancipate their identity and respect their customs. We value the wonderful diversity of this country and the indigenous roots on which it is founded. As conscious influencers we choose to bring our proud indigenous connections within the realm of our responsibility.
Professional Service - To the best of our ability we will continue to strive to produce outstanding service offerings within our scope of practice. Our practitioners will commit to professional development, staff training and enhanced customer service to provide an outstanding clinical experience. The leadership team will strive to create an environment that supports its practitioners and will be progressive in expanding our service offerings to enhance the health of our community.
Educational Service - To the best of our ability we will generously share our knowledge to educate, inform and inspire to improve the health and wellbeing of our community. We will do this by providing educational content in a variety of formats - online, email and paper to meet the diverse needs of our patients.
Relational Service - To the best of our ability we will foster positive, supportive and healthy relationships with our patients, team members and community. We believe healthy relationships are vital to a healthy life and we acknowledge the important role we play in developing healthy relationships and will continue to develop ourselves to be able to do this effectively.
Community Service - To the best of our ability we will serve our community. We will do this by engaging with clubs, charities and community organisations. We will offer our time through volunteering and will support fundraising initiatives through service donations and sponsorship where possible.
Environmental Service - To the best of our ability we will take responsibility for the environmental impact our organisation makes. We will consider how our decisions impact our environmental footprint and practise in a way that supports our environment rather than diminish it.
Economic Service - To the best of our ability we will positively impact the economic health of our community. We will do this by providing employment, competitively priced services and offerings to support all social sectors so that economic status does not discriminate people from accessing our health services.
From all of us here at Health Associates we extend our warmth and gratitude. We look forward to serving you in 2019.
Yours in Health,
Chris and Alana Bowles
100% TO RED NOSE & SIDS
A wellbeing appointment with Chris will loosen out any tight spots, relax the body and leave you feeling ready to bring the best you for Christmas! And you get double feel goods by supporting RED NOSE and SIDS
Come and see Chris for a 20min Wellbeing Appointment for ONLY $50
*Health Fund Rebates Accepted For 2 days only before Chrismas Chris is offering his services to raise money for RED NOSE and SIDs.
DATES & TIMES
Friday 21st December 2pm - 6pm
Saturday 22nd December 10am - 1pm
HERE'S HOW IT WORKS
* Call or email reception to make a booking 9542 3330 or firstname.lastname@example.org
* Appointments are for current chiro patients only. This is a wellbeing appointment - It will include soft tissue release, massage and adjustments for restricted areas if desired. STRICTLY NO NEW PATIENTS
* On the day patients will be asked to login to Chris' Sydney to Camberra fundraising page and to make a $50 donation. After the appointment you will be emailed a receipt whereby you can claim your rebate through your health fund.
There are green smoothies and then there are green smoothies. I have made some that I have poured down the sink, and then others have had so much fruit in them my sugar levels would be sky high.
But, I think I have perfected it and now I have my personal favourite combo. Not too sweet and not too chewy!
This is my all time favourite and I have been having this every morning in Spring. This way I know that I have had my dose of green veggies at the start of the day and I it takes the pressure off throughout day because I am already ahead! I can feel the cleansing and purifying benefits. This is soooooo good!
Let's get started. You will need a juicer and a blender! This is key!
2 stalks of celery
1 green apple
2 cups english spinach
Juice celery, cucumber, apple and lemon.
Add juice to blender with spinach and ice if you prefer.
Blend and enjoy!
So refreshing, revitalising and nutritious!
When you’re in pain, it can take away from every other aspect of your life.
Time with family, your social life, hobbies, even your work—it’s so hard to focus, to really get through the day.
Not to mention, well… it hurts. And neck pain is its own special sort of suffering. We know how hard it can be, and we’re here to help you. Let’s run through it: why you’re in pain, what’s causing it, and what you can do.
Here’s how you can start feeling better right now.
Let’s Talk About Your Pain.
Do you work a desk job? Have you been in a recent car accident? Maybe you just text a lot and you’re constantly looking down at your phone.
Depending on the cause, neck pain can come in a variety of different forms and severities—from a pinched nerve to whiplash or postural problems to major injury.
If you’re reading this guide, chances are you know this kind of pain well, and it’s not just central to the neck, but can affect the shoulders and even cause headaches. It can be relative to one spot or it can radiate and fan across your whole upper body, including the arms. You may also experience numbing of the arms, muscle weakness and mobility issues.
Sound Familiar? Here are some of the most common neck pain instigators:
How Do I Know if It’s Serious?
When you type “Neck Pain” into Google, one of the most frequently asked questions that pops up is “Is a sore neck a sign of cancer?” Rest assured—that’s actually pretty rare. In fact, neck pain is something that will likely affect most adults at one point during their lifetimes. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, but… that doesn’t make it normal.
Simply put: It’s serious. Any amount of pain is serious.
That nagging tension? That knot on the top of your shoulder? It’s all a big deal, because the truth is that we’re not meant to live in pain.
Natural Ways to Ditch Neck Pain.
So, what can you do to feel better? A lot of people reach for those muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatories, which can actually do more harm than good. Here are some all-natural methods that may be able to help you out.
Not only does inflammation make your muscles more susceptible to pain and injury, but it can also slow down the healing process. When your neck is inflamed, it limits your range of motion, overall strength and flexibility. Since food fuels the body, and can be some of the best medicine around, consider adopting an anti-inflammatory diet that will do the body good.
For tension and muscle soreness, ice therapy is a great form of pain relief! Cold restricts blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling. Whenever there’s bleeding in underlying tissue—think sprains, strains or bruising—ice may help! But keep in mind, too much cold can hurt you. Don’t put bags of ice or packs directly on the skin, because that could risk skin, tissue or nerve damage. Instead, wrap it in a soft towel and set it on the area in question. And remember—no longer than 20 minutes a session!
Note that if you have bad circulation, then cold therapy probably isn’t for you. People with cardiovascular disease should always consult with their doctor before using cold therapy.
Many people find success using essential oils topically when they’ve got sore or strained muscles—and it’s definitely worth looking into for natural pain relief. Depending on what kind of pain it is, there are a variety of options to choose from. Here are only a few!
Bedtime Neck Support
The kind of pillow you use absolutely has the ability to hurt or strain your neck. It’s time to invest in a quality pillow. Look for one that’s made of firmer foam and materials that press back, effectively supporting the head. It’s also crucial that your pillow contours to your head, neck and shoulders, offering built-in cervical support.
Pillows that support your cervical spine actually look a lot different than the ones you’re used to seeing. The center cavity provides support for both your head and neck. This can help you avoid experiencing or exacerbating headaches, neck sprains and strains, tingling and numbness in the arms and hands and more.
The Text Neck Stretch
A common reason for neck pain? Excessive texting! As you look down at your phone, it can push your head forward and hunch your shoulders. This puts strain on the spine and may result in headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain and loss of lung capacity. Of course, working on your posture is key, but stretching can be important too! Let’s open it back up with a quick stretch that may help you find relief:
What If It’s Not Enough: Fixing the Root Problem
The tips listed above will help you manage your symptoms, and they’re great for temporary relief, but honestly, they won’t fix anything. In order to eliminate your symptoms for good, a thorough examination and diagnosis of the cause will ensure effective and safe treatment can be recommended. The neck houses the uppermost part of your spine (the cervical spine) and has the important job of holding up your head. Not only does it have this constant weight placed on it, but it’s one of the most utilized parts of the body.
Think about it—not a day goes by where you don’t actively use your neck. It bends, twists and moves in every way you need it to, and that really opens up its susceptibility to injury, strain and wear and tear.
Visiting a Health Associates Chiropractor will ensure you get to the root of your problem and fast track your recovery. Chiropractors are experts in the spine. They offer a variety of options to help you recover for soft tissue, exercises, dry needling and manipulation if recommended and with consent. Spinal manipulation is very safe and effective but is only on tool in their tool kit.
If you or someone you know is suffering from neck pain please consult a professional to get a clear and accurate diagnosis first.
To make a booking with a Health Associates Chiropractor contact 9542 3330 or book online today.
Health Associates is an allied health practice located in Loftus. Surrounding suburbs include Sutherland, Yarrawarrah, Engadine, Kirrawee and Jannali of the Sutherland Shire.
Our services include chiropractic, podiatry and remedial massage. Common concerns we deal with include neck pain, back pain, sciatica, disc bulge, sports injuries, pregnancy, flat feet, high arches, bunions, plantar fasciitis.
As the weather begins to heat up and summer is almost upon us, it's customary for people to put away their enclosed shoes in favour of more comfortable, summer-appropriate footwear like sandals and flip-flops. However, whilst people are often so focused on enjoying the beautiful summer days, they can often forget that the hotter weather and bad choices in footwear can wreak havoc on your feet. So to ensure that you make the most of the summer ahead, below are some things to be wary of and to take into consideration as the days get warmer.
Common foot problems encountered during summer
Although not exclusively seen during summer, the combination of increased outdoor activities, unsupportive footwear, and temperature changes means that podiatrists will commonly see a number of foot concerns come in through the treatment rooms. Some foot issues that we commonly see include:
Above all, consistency and good forward planning is the best strategy for ensuring that you enjoy everything that summer has to offer. For any footwear advice or general skin or nail maintenance, our team are always here, so let us help you make the most of this summer season!
Anel Kapur (Podiatrist, Health Associates)
Once in a while you meet people that leave a big imprint on your heart. They have that special something that leave you inspired and fulfilled. Jo is one of those people. At Health Associates we are so fortunate to have such amazing and inspiring patients who put their greatest asset, their health, in our hands.
Jo has had some significant health hurdles to jump through. At one point her future was looking very grim. As she built her strength back she was looking for ways to get strong again and rebuild her ability and confidence. Her resilience, determination and never give up attitude has helped her go from strength to strength.
She signed up for the Health Associates Walk2Run program 12 months ago and since then she has completed
amazing hikes through Australia and New Zealand, she runs regularly with the Gingerbread Runners and she lives life to the max.
Jo never gives up.
Jo is proactive and positive.
Jo gets the right health advice
Be like Jo!
Name: Jo Devlin
What does health mean to you?
Taking care of yourself by being active, thinking positively and eating well
How do you prioritise your health?
I make sure I take time each day to do something active and inspiring
How do you keep motivated and committed to your health?
I continually embark on new adventures with positive and energetic people
Advice for others wanting to improve their health:
Visit Health Associates at Loftus to get your body aligned and relaxed and then sign up to walk, run or roller with them for improved fitness and positive encouragement to keep you going.
Life isn't about waiting for the storms to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.
Join the next wave of runners!
Health Associates Walk2Run Program starts on the 23rd October!
Click here to find out more and to register!