Give Your Child’s Back a Good Pack.
As children return to school this January, it is important that parents of school aged children look at the quality and fit of their child’s backpack, as heavy, incorrectly fitted and badly packed school backpacks can lead to spinal health problems as your child grows.
Spinal health is crucial at any age and items like heavy backpacks may cause strain and discomfort to the spine. We believe spinal pain can be attributed to a number of factors, and heavy and incorrectly worn bags may also lead to poor posture, slouching and uneven hips.
The relationship between spinal health and carrying a heavy backpack may also depend on additional aspects such as your child’s age and weight.
If you’re worried about your child’s backpack weight, here are a few lifestyle and backpack modification tips:
What to look for in a backpack:
1. Make sure the backpack is the right size for your child, no wider than their chest and below the hollow of their back
2. A moulded frame on the back, that when adjusted fits their spine.
3. A bag made from a light weight material like canvas, with two padded straps
4. Adjustable waist and sternum straps
5. Separate compartments that allow for easy packing and weight distribution
How to carry the backpack in a spine safe way:
1. Ensure that the weight of the backpack is no more than 10% of your child’s weight when packed. Only pack essentials to lessen the load, perhaps use school lockers if available.
2. Pack the heaviest items closest to the spine and make sure all zippers are done up all the way.
3. Secure the sternum and waist straps (they’re there for a reason)
4. Always wear both straps. Tell the kids it’s not cool to ‘one-strap it’ anymore.
5. Reduce the time spent wearing the backpack to no more than 30 minutes at any one time.
Another tip is to ensure your child is undertaking 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day, as a part of correct spinal care.
If you’re looking for a backpack that ticks all the boxes above, the Australian Chiropractors Association together with Spartan School Supplies developed the ‘Chiropak’. This durable, functional and comfortable backpack is designed to reduce the incidence and severity of neck and back pain associated with carrying heavy loads.
Find out more about the Spartan ‘Chiropak’ by visiting https://www.spartanss.com.au/collections/bags
We welcome you to make an appointment before school resumes for more advice and assistance on selecting the right backpack, making sure it is fitted correctly to suit your child’s current level of development.
Spinal Problems And Organ Function.
Did you know that spinal subluxations (misalignments) can affect the function of your internal organs?
Because your spine surrounds and protects your spinal cord and it’s delicate nerves, problems with your spine can interfere with the signals that travel along these nerves. That means that wherever those nerve signals are going will not receive the correct messages, resulting in possible dysfunction. This could be your back, neck, arm, leg or even your stomach.
Your whole body functions, and depends on nerve signals. Chiropractic care corrects spinal problems, reducing nerve interference and allowing the signals to get through. This helps you to function at your best and stay healthy.
This is why it is so important to have your spine checked and adjusted regularly to maintain optimal spinal alignment. Your health depends on it!
Chiropractic & Posture
Chiropractic is the science of locating problems in the spine, the art of reducing their impact to the nervous system, and a philosophy of natural health care based on your inborn potential to be healthy.
Chiropractors are experts at analyzing posture and spinal problems. Chiropractor searches for the problems that are at the root of poor posture, analysing spinal curvatures, movement and alignment.
Some of the postural analyses a Chiropractor undertakes includes assessing a patient for:
• changes in the stance (eg. the outward turning of one or both feet)
• alignment of the knees
• levelling of the hips or pelvis
• height differences across the shoulders
• tilting of the head and neck
• forward tilting of the pelvis
• forward head translation
• increase in the spinal curvatures
• changes to gait (walking)
The Spine and the Nervous System
Common interferences to the nervous system occur between some of the 24 moving bones of the spinal column. A loss of normal motion or position of these bones can irritate or impair the function of the nervous system.
This can disrupt the transmission of controlling nerve impulses. With improved spinal function people often report improved organ and system function. Your Chiropractor can help remove any interference that may be impairing normal health.
When under proper control of your nervous system, all the cells, tissue, and organs of your body are designed to resist disease and ill health. The Chiropractic approach to better health is to locate and help reduce interferences to your natural state of being healthy.
An Inspirational Video On The Power Of Chiropractic.
Some of you may have seen a video on a very special chiropractic case that has been doing the social media rounds recently. If you haven’t seen the video yet, it is well worth checking out. A very inspirational and emotional story on the power of chiropractic when all else has failed.
Big Wave Surfer Shanan Worrall Drops In.
We had the pleasure of helping out Western Australian big wave surfer Shanan Worrall when he was holidaying in Coolum recently. Shanan won the WSL Big Wave Award for Tube Of the Year for this ride at The Right in W.A. earlier this year.
Needless to say, Shanan has had his share of injuries, and I was able to help him with some neck and back issues he was having whilst here on holidays. For a guy that takes on monster swells, he is a very gracious and humble bloke and it was a pleasure to have him in the office.
Shanan is a commercial abalone and shell diver, and is also the founder of Shark Eyes, a visual shark deterrent that minimises the risk of shark attack. He’s a true waterman.
Your Body Is Quite Amazing!
Did you know that, on average, you and everyone you know will:
- on average drink 70,000 cups of coffee
- spend 29.75% of our lives sitting down
- spend 41% of our lives staring at a screen (eg phone, tv, tablet, etc)
- laugh 481,760 times
- spend 1,765 days socialising with family and friends
- spend 3 months of our entire life on the toilet
- walk around 120,000km (that is over 3 times around the entire world)
- yawn about 250,000 times
Did you also know that your body does all these amazing things:
- your heart will beat 3,363,840,000 times over the average life span
- your nose can remember 50,000 different scents
- your ears and nose never stop growing!
- an adult is made up of 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 individual atoms…there’s ‘only’ 300,000,000,000 stars in our galaxy
- a full head of human hair is strong enough to support 12 tonnes
- the atoms that make up the human body today are the same atoms that formed during the big bang
- the human brain could perform 38 thousand-trillion operations per second. The world’s most powerful super computer can only manage 0.002%
- your body produces 25 million new cells every second
- we are made up of 90% fungi and bacteria
This list of all the cool stuff that our body is does could go on, and on, and on.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe our bodies are, actually amazing. We just tend to take it for granted that it does what it does and never really give a thought to the countless individual processes that are happening CONSTANTLY to keep us alive and healthy! But, its a simple fact that we can easily forget.
We are constantly bombarded with all types of media that inform us that our bodies aren’t perfect unless we add something to them… or buy the product they are trying to sell us. Once we buy that product our lives and our bodies will be complete is the sales pitch. When the simple fact of the matter is that our body is amazing and complete just the way it is! And if you don’t believe this, pay attention to the ads on TV next time, or check out the latest glossy magazine!
And, don’t worry about the media, we are doing enough of a number on ourselves every day. We constantly bombard our bodies with stress – physical, mental and chemical – every single day! And still our bodies turn up to ‘work’ every single day!
This stress that we are exposed to everyday results in interference to the optimal state of your body. As Chiropractor’s we check and adjust, if needed, to align the body with its optimal function, its inner ability to be amazing. Every single one of us!
Free Postural Analysis Reports.
We always offer free postural analysis to anyone as a community service.
Caring For Your Back When Flying
One billion (out of 6 billion people in the world) flew by airplane last year. Of those billion, 300 million flew to different countries. The world is becoming more accessible and as travel becomes an ever-increasing part of our lives, so too does the associated increase of spinal stress.
Travel places stress on the spine for various reasons. These include uncomfortable seats, sitting in cramped positions for long periods of time, carrying heavy suitcases and sleeping in foreign beds with strange pillows. Since the publicity about Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), airlines are now encouraging passengers to do gentle mobility exercises to reduce the risk. Other precautions can also be employed to help ease the stress associated with air travel. Here are some tips:
- Plan your flights. For long intercontinental flights, try and pick an evening departure time. You will already be quite tired and have a better chance of a good long sleep, making it a ‘shorter’ trip. Once you reach your destination, immediately switch to local time and stay awake until normal bedtime. You will be really tired and get a good night sleep. This will ease jet lag.
- Book ahead. Seats are very cramped in economy class, especially if you are tall. So a few days before travel try to organise an exit row seat. (Good Luck!). Otherwise try to get an aisle seat on long flights, as it is easier to get up when you want (especially to go to the toilet) and to move around freely.
- Maintain good spine support. Older planes tend to be worst offenders for unsupportive seats. This can be helped by placing an airline pillow in the sway of the low back, providing support for the lumbar curve. Modern plane now have folding headrest supports built into the seat. These provide good support fort the neck and should be utilised whether you are sleeping or not. If they are not provided, a blow up neck cushion can be used (preferably the ones that inflate the side only and not the back section).
- Move around. With individual inflight entertainment systems, passengers tend to sit and watch them for longer periods, further reducing movement. Make sure you get up, stretch and move around the plane frequently (but not when the seatbelt sign is illuminated!)
- Keep hydrated. Drinking extra water, avoiding alcohol or caffeine and the use of a skin moisturiser will all help to make you feel better.
- Avoid wearing tight shoes and socks. Your legs swell due to the pressurisation. Tight shoes or socks can restrict blood flow returning to the heart. However the use of approved compression stockings can be very beneficial in promoting good blood flow, particularly on longer flights.
- Take care when lifting. Be careful when lifting luggage off the baggage carousel, particularly after long flights when your back might not be ‘warmed up’. Where possible, use luggage with wheels.
Just a few simple precautions can protect your spine and make sure that you have a great time on your next holiday!
Poor Posture Can Affect Your Studies.
Did you Know That Chiropractic Improves Posture?
Most people know that chiropractic is the most effective way of treating back pain (this has been scientifically proven!). But did you know that people see chiropractors for many different reasons?
Often it is for some sort of back or neck pain. But lots of people also use chiropractic as a natural way of healing and managing all kinds of conditions such as: headaches; fatigue; digestive problems; asthma; colic; ear, nose and throat problems, etc. without the use of drugs or surgery.
Most of the people we see here at Coolum Family Chiropractic use chiropractic to maintain good health. That is: excellent spinal health, improved sports performance, higher resistance to disease, clearer thinking, more energy and improved general well-being.
Did you know that chiropractic is also well known to improve posture! By correcting spinal misalignments and subluxations which can distort and ‘hunch’ your spine, as well as getting you to perform some simple postural exercises, we can help you stand straighter and taller!
This is particularly important right now for our kids and the whole new generation of ‘screenagers’. We know that poor posture is a sign of poor spinal health and is known to affect your overall health and well-being, so it has become critically important to achieve and maintain good posture for the sake of your overall health.
According to researchers reporting in the American Journal of Pain Management, “Posture affects and moderates every physiological function from breathing to hormonal production. Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse, and lung capacity are also among the functions influenced by posture.
Posture especially influences respiration, oxygenation and sympathetic function. Ultimately, it appears that homeostasis and autonomic regulation are intimately connected with posture. It has been clinically observed that many symptoms, including pain, may be moderated or eliminated by improved posture.” We’d like to add however that good posture is much more than remembering to sit up straight, don’t hunch, hold your head up and other ways of holding ourselves. Most of our posture is unconscious and is the result of how we deal with our relationship with gravity, stress, our emotions, fatigue and whether we have subluxations/spinal misalignment or not.
Because of that it is important for children (as well as adults) to have a chiropractic checkup to ensure that they grow up in balance and alignment.
(Lennon J, Sheeley CN, Cady RK et al. Postural and respiratory modulation of autonomic function, pain, and health. American Journal of Pain Management. 1994;4:36-39.)
Don’t forget to get your whole family’s posture checked!