S. Elgin Chiro says backpacks may equal pain

As parents, we are focused on providing the very best for our children. As we send them off to school, our intention is no different.

We are often told that carrying a bag of books on one shoulder is bad for posture. So, we confidently turn to the 2-strap backpack thinking we are taking stress off the little ones’ backs.

However, contrary to popular belief, these backpacks can be just as bad for the health of your children’s spines. When worn improperly or packed too heavily, even the 2-strap backpack can negatively affect the neck, shoulders, upper back and lower back.1

In a 2003 article published in SpineJournal, researchers revealed that out of 1122 backpack users, 74.4% suffered back pain. When compared with adolescents who had no back pain, adolescents with back pain carried significantly heavier backpacks compared to their body weights. These facts led the researchers to conclude “the use of backpacks, and especially the backpacks carrying heavier loads, was independently related to the incidence of back pain in adolescent students.”2

In another study, researchers found backpack weight was effective in predicting back pain in a sample of 3,498 students in California. They also found that girls and students who walk to and from school were more likely to report back pain. When the severity of pain was taken into account, older age, walking to and from school, and method of wear were all statistically significant.3

Knowing the harmful effects of a backpack on a child’s musculoskeletal health, what can parents do?

According to the Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA) and the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), the idea is to “Pack it Light, and Wear it Right.” Both the CCA and the ACA agree on the following recommendations regarding the choice, packing, and carrying of backpacks.4,5

1. Choosing a Backpack

An important factor is the size of the backpack relative to the size of the child. The top of the backpack should not extend higher than the top of the shoulder, and the bottom should not fall below the top of the hipbone.

The backpack ought to be as light as possible – made from materials such as nylon or vinyl instead of leather.

The shoulder straps should be at least two inches wide, adjustable and padded. The straps themselves must leave ample room for movement of the arms. The back portion of the backpack should also be padded for protection and comfort.

Backpacks should always include a hip strap or waist belt. This redistributes as much as 50 to 70 percent of the backpack weight to the pelvis, which decreases the load on the upper back, neck and shoulders.

Choosing a backpack with several individual pockets instead of one large compartment makes it easier to prop-erly distribute the weight. Another option is to use a backpack-style carrier with wheels and a pull handle for easy rolling.

2. Packing a Backpack

The total weight of the backpack plus its contents should never exceed 15 per cent of a person’s body weight (e.g., a 90-pound child should not carry more than 14 pounds in a backpack). For elementary-aged children, reduce this number to below 10 percent of their body weight.

Pack contents so the weight is evenly distributed in the backpack. Place heavier items closer to the body. This reduces the pulling effect on the shoulder straps. It also makes it easier for the child to maintain balance without leaning forward.

To help stay under the recommended load, only pack items needed for that day. Load odd-shaped items on the outside to prevent them from digging into your child’s back.

3. Carrying a Backpack

Both shoulder straps should be adjusted so the pack fits snugly to the body but not too tight. A parent’s hand should be able to slide between the backpack and the child’s back. Always fasten hip straps.

If you’re still not sure what to do, ask  chiropractor Dr Schening for advice. In addition to helping fix spinal misalignments caused by an improperly fitting back-pack, Chiropractor Dr. Schening of Life Time Health and Wellness can help prevent these problems from happening in the first place.

References and Sources:

1. Whittfield J, Legg SJ, HedderleyDI. Schoolbag weight and musculo-skeletal symptoms in New Zealand secondary schools – Applied Ergonomics2005: 36(2): 193-8.2. Sheir-Neiss GI, Kruse RW, RahmanT, Jacobson LP & Pelli JA. The Association of Backpack Use and Back Pain in Adolescents – Spine Journal 2003; 28(9): 922-930.3. Siambanes D, Martinez JW, ButlerEW & Haider T. Influence of School Backpacks on Adolescent Back Pain. – J Pediatr Orthop 2004;24(2): 211-217.4. Pack It Light, Wear It Right – Canadian Chiropractic Association publication.5. Backpack Misuse Leads to Chronic Back Pain, Doctors of Chiropractic Say – AmericanChiropractic Association.

South Elgin Chiropractor describes intermediate neck exercise

Here is a simple exercise that you can do at home with no exercise equipment.
It works the longus capitis, longus colli, SCM (sternocleidomastoid) muscles.
The purpose of this exercise is to increase neck strength and muscular endurance.
The benefits are improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention.

Begin by lying on the back with the head extended off the table, maintaining a chin tuck position.
Slowly extend the head back towards the floor and then raise the head, returning to the initial neutral starting position and repeat as instructed.
Move slowly through the range of motion.
Slowly return to start position.
Repeat for prescribed repetitions and sets.

© 2005-2010 WebExercises, Inc., Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved.

S. Elgin Chiropractor Helps HeadAche sufferers

Most of us experience the occasional headache. Whether it’s throbbing, aching, pounding or stabbing, a head-ache can make our lives miserable. It also affects our ability to focus and may increase our sensitivity to external stimuli.

There are several types of headaches, and each one has a different cause. The most common headaches are tension, migraine, cervicogenic and cluster. Migraines are often considered to exist in a category of their own. (We’ll discuss migraines in the next issue of Topic of the Week.)

Tension Headache

The tension headache is the most frequent type of headache in the general population.1 It usually occurs most frequently in people susceptible to the effects of stress. This headache usually starts with tightness in the neck and shoulders, then progresses to pain at the base of the skull. The forehead and temples may also ache.

Cervicogenic Headache

A cervicogenic headache originates from disorders of the neck. This type of headache is often preceded by awkward neck movement or position-ing (such as painting a ceiling, or washing a floor). It’s usually accom-panied by restricted range of motion in the neck and pain in the shoulder, neck or arm.

Treatment for Tension and Cervicogenic Headaches

A frequent cause of both tension and cervicogenic headaches is irrita-tion of the nerves leading to the scalp. These nerves exit the spine close to the base of the skull and pass around or directly through several layers of muscle tissue. If this area of the spine is restricted or the muscles in this location are extra tight, the nerves in the scalp can get irritated. When related with neck pain and stiffness, these headaches can generally be effectively treated with chiropractic.2- 5 Sometimes the relief from chronic headaches can be immediate and dramatic.6

Massage and trigger point therapy applied to the tight muscles may also reduce the symptoms associated with this type of headache.

Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches are relatively rare, affecting only 0.1% of the population. About 85% of cluster headache sufferers are male.7This headache is distinct from migraine and tension headaches. It typically features intense bouts of stabbing pain felt in very specific focal areas of the skull. The pain usually occurs in clusters, and it can last from minutes to hours. The discomfort typically centers around one eye, and this eye may be inflamed and watery. Nasal congestion sometimes occurs on the affected side of the face. It’s suspected that cluster headaches are related to the sinuses. This type of headache is not usually as responsive to chiropractic treatments as other headaches. But it’s a good idea to have your chiropractor check your neck to rule out any involvement of this area.

What Can I Do to Prevent Headaches?

Follow these simple tips: Manage your stress – try meditation, relaxation exercises and taking regular breaks from your schedule. Exercise regularly – cardiovascular exercise helps your muscles, circulatory system and sense of well being.Watch your posture – the muscles that hold your head upright are the same as those that contribute to headaches. Practice good posture to reduce stress on these muscles. Drink plenty of fresh water, dehydration is a common cause of headaches, muscle tightness and fatigue. Drink a minimum of eight cups per day.Have your spine checked regularly for misalignment/subluxations by your South Elgin chiropractor, DR Tim Schening – correcting misalignment before symptoms appear can save you a lot of grief.

References and Sources:

1. Loder E & Rizzoli P. Clinical Review:Tension-type headache. BMJ 2008; 336: 88-92.2. McCrory DC, Penzien DB,HasselbladV & Gray RN. Evidence Report: Behavioral and Physical Treatments for Tension-type and Cervicogenic Headache.Duke University Evidence-basedPractice Center, Center for ClinicalHealth Policy Research. Durham NC.3. Bronfort G, Assendelft WJ, Evans R, Haas M & Bouter L. Efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic headache: a systematic review. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2001; 24(7): 457-466.4. Haas M, Groupp E, Aickin M, Fairweather A, Ganger B, Attwood M, Cummins C & Baffes L. Dose response for chiropractic care of chronic cervicogenic headache and associated neck pain: a randomized pilot study. J Manip Physiol Ther. 2004; 27(9): 547-553.5. Nilsson N, Christensen HW & Hartvigsen J. The effect of spinal manipulation in the treatment of cervicogenic headache. J Manip Physiol Ther. 1997; 20(5): 326-330.6. Lisi AJ & Dabrowski Y. ChiropracticSpinal Manipulation for CervicogenicHeadache in an 8-Year-Old.J Neuro – musculoskeletal System 2002; 10(3): 98–103.7. Fischera M, Marziniak M, Gralow I & Evers S. The incidence and prevalence of cluster headache: a meta-analysis of population-based studies.Cephalgia. 2008; 28(6): 614 – 618.

Sciatica

sciatica-pic
Sciatica can be treated in a number of ways, from spinal decompression to massage therapy.

Chiropractic hip exercises for South Elgin

Here is a simple exercise that you can do at home with no equipment.
It works the gluteus medius/minimus, piriformis and hip lateral rotators muscles.
The purpose of this exercise is to Increase hip strength and muscular endurance. By doing this exercise you can have the benefits of Improved stability, functional strength and injury

Begin lying on side on the floor with legs extended.
Top leg should attain a straight line through hip and shoulder.
Bottom leg may be bent for added stability.
Activate core muscles.
Lift top leg upward, abducting leg as foot simultaneously rotates. This will result in a toe-up position.
Slowly return to start position.
Repeat for prescribed repetitions and sets.

© 2005-2010 WebExercises, Inc., Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved.

Headaches

headaches-pic
If you have headaches on a routine basis, let our Chiropractors help you.

Chiropractic

Chiropractic
Chiropractic has never been better at Corona Physical Medicine. We offer the best, most comprehensive care in Corona.

VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY STRONGLY LINKED TO DIABETES AND HEART DISEASE

A new study published in Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Obesity looks at the impact of Vitamin D deficiency on diabetes and cardiovascular risk, and says more research is definitely warranted.

The study connects the well-known worldwide prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency to rising incidences of cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus types 1 and 2, as well as cancer, autoimmune and dental diseases.

Reviewing all relevant literature shows plausible molecular mechanisms of the role played by Vitamin D, leading the researchers to conclude that “treatment with Vitamin D supplements appears to be an effective and inexpensive treatment that deserves to be explored.”

The background that inspired the new study states: “Vitamin D deficiency is newly recognized as a common condition of increasing prevalence worldwide. Clinically, Vitamin D has an established role in calcium and bone metabolism and has recently been shown to be associated with increased risk of developing type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease (CVD), as well as with cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and obesity.”

The exact molecular mechanisms that connect all the dots are still not fully understood. But the active metabolite of vitamin D regulates numerous genetic effects, obviating its connection to diabetes and other disease states.

Presently, there are no recommendations to screen for Vitamin D deficiency. But there are many known risk factors:

Lack/reduced sun exposure
Nutritional/absorptive problems
Reduced Vitamin D synthesis
Reduced bioavailability
Increased requirements
Medications that accelerate conversion of Vitamin D to inactive metabolites

Although Vitamin D deficiency is frequently unrecognized clinically, here at Lifetime Health and Wellness we know that laboratory measurement is easy to perform and treatment of Vitamin D deficiency is relatively well tolerated and inexpensive, the study says. Rising vitamin D deficiency and the many health-related conditions associated with it suggest the need for appropriate Vitamin D supplementation.

SOURCE: Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Obesity, April 2010 http://journals.lww.com/co-endocrinology/Fulltext/2010/04000/The_impact_of_vitamin_D_deficiency_on_diabetes_and.3.aspx