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back pain

Deadlifts: Great exercise, but is it for you?

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Deadlifts: Great exercise, but is it for you?

When patients walk into the clinic and tell me that they have injured themselves at the gym, the first thought process that enters my mind is “I bet they did deadlifts” and 90% of the time, I’m right. Why is this a thing? How come it is such a great exercise that everyone promotes, but so many people get injured?

Don’t get me wrong, I think deadlifts are a great exercise to gain strength and build muscle. But why are you doing them? Do you want to get better at the movement? Do you want to compete in a powerlifting competition? Or are you someone just doing them because you saw on Youtube that they are a great way to get stronger? Deadlifts when done incorrectly, can put an immense amount of pressure on your low back. The forward bending movement, together with the heavy weight a lot of the time injures the discs of the lower back. Correct form is so critical with deadlifts and without proper coaching, engagement of the core, form, and back control it can be quite a dangerous movement pattern for a lot of people. 

For me, it’s about risk vs reward. If you’re doing deadlifts because you want to get better at them or have a competition coming up, then great keep doing them. You’re most likely a person that knows what you’re doing. However, if you’re someone just doing them cause you heard someone say they are great, I suggest doing other exercises that engage the same group of muscles. There are many great alternatives to deadlifts that decrease the load on your low back and yes, you will still get the results that you are looking for. 

If you have injured yourself performing deadlifts at the gym, our team at Complete City Health are experts in Lower back pain injuries. Make sure to book an appointment for a detailed analysis of what is causing your pain. 


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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Working in front of a computer puts a lot of stress on different parts of your body. One common presentation is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). CTS is a specific term used to describe a peripheral nerve entrapment of the median nerve. When this nerve is entrapped, symptoms of pain and numbness/tingling in the palms and fingers are common. The median nerve originally starts at the neck, from C5-T1 of the spine. It then travels all the way down into your wrist and fingers as shown in the diagram below.

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The most common cause of CTS seems to be correlated with a history of direct pressure on the wrist or a history of prolonged wrist use in full extension and flexion. It is also that women in their forties and fifties are 4X more likely than men to suffer from CTS. Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and successfully treat CTS, through different modalities of therapy. If you are experiencing chronic wrist pain, our team at Complete City Health are here to help you.

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Is your breathing technique causing Low back and Neck pain?

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Is your breathing technique causing Low back and Neck pain?

I’m assuming most of you think you know how to breathe.. I mean it’s simple enough, inhale exhale. But did you know that the way you breathe could be causing your low back or neck pain? Let me explain.

A “proper” diaphragmatic breath should look like the image below. As you breathe in, your stomach should be pushing out. As you exhale, the belly goes in. Now if you’re reading this, I want you to analyse yourself and see how you are breathing. Are you doing it correctly?

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Now how does breathing abnormally affect low back or neck pain?

Our diaphragm is a primary muscle that enables us to inhale and exhale. It also has attachments to the lumbar spine (L1-L3). When muscles are dysfunctional, their corresponding insertion points can also be dysfunctional thus causing pain.

One of the most common faults to abnormal breathing is chest breathing. That is, using muscles of the neck and chest (Scalenes, SCM, Pec minor) to get a good breath in. Now, do this over the course of many many years, these muscles are overworked. Overworked muscles can become dysfunctional which can lead to pain. If you are someone who uses their chest to breathe, there are methods to reverse this. Our chiropractors at Complete City Health can help you regain the normal pattern, and train your body to be optimised!

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Let's talk about Headaches

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Let's talk about Headaches

Every clinician will tell you one of the hardest conditions to deal with is headaches. Why is that the case? The cause of a headache can range from just tight muscles around the neck to inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. This is why headaches have to be taken very seriously especially when diagnosing as this can determine the treatment and hence the outcome.

Headaches can be broadly split into the following categories:

  1. Migraines

  2. Tension type (most common at 38% of U.S adults)

  3. Cluster (<0.1% of U.S adults)

  4. Cervicogenic (18% of U.S adults)

One of the most surprising things about headaches is that A LOT of people think it’s normal. Remember, getting a headache once a fortnight or once a month is NOT a common/normal thing. This is quite frequent and if it is affecting the way you live, it must be taken care of. Whatever type of headache you have will slightly alter the way we treat your symptoms. At Complete City Health, our Chiropractors look to identify the CAUSE of the headache, not just treat the symptoms. Isn’t about time you lived headache-free?


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Chronic Shoulder pain: Consider this

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Chronic Shoulder pain: Consider this

The shoulder is one of the most complex joints in our body. I always say to my patients, there’s a trade off between mobility and stability. If joints are mobile, usually not so stable, like the shoulder. If a joint in stable like the hips, mobility can become an issue.

Shoulder pain can have many different causes. It can range from trauma, bio-mechanical dysfunction, instability, etc..

One cause can be coming from your neck. That’s right, your cervical spine.

Let’s have a look at the image below.


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Our Cervical spine houses a bunch of nerves that we call the brachial plexus. These nerves come out like branches and supply sensation, motor control to our upper limbs. When these nerves get damaged (trauma) or has a poor environment (spinal degeneration) surrounding it, it can cause the “symptom” of shoulder pain, but the “CAUSE” is actually stemming from the cervical spine. When is the last time you had your spine checked?

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Posture Talk: Upper Cross Syndrome

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Posture Talk: Upper Cross Syndrome

Being in the heart of the Sydney CBD means that we see a lot of office workers. Now one of the most common concerns for patients is their Posture. Is your head always forward, shoulders slouched, feel the constant need to stretch out your mid back and neck? You may have “Upper Cross Syndrome”. Let’s have a look at the image below.

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Upper Cross Syndrome essentially describes muscle imbalances of the upper back and neck. The ‘tight’ muscles are predominantly the Upper Traps and Levator scapula. These muscles help elevate the shoulder and the shoulder blade. Tight Pectorals (chest muscles) roll the shoulder forward, further accentuating poor neck biomechanics. The inhibited (weak) muscles are the Deep Neck flexors which bring your chin towards your chest and the Rhomboids and Serratus Anterior, which stabilises your shoulder blade and prevents them from rolling forward. Just to be clear, this posture can be caused by other issues in the spine, not just these factors. However, if you do find yourself slouching at work, addressing these issues just may be the solution you have been looking for!


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Neck stiffness & pain: Consider this

Now by far one of the most common issues that I see as a Chiropractor is neck pain/dysfunction/stiffness whatever you may want to call it. It’s super uncomfortable to have Chronic (lasting longer than 6 weeks) neck issues as you use it for pretty much everything. Everyone has probably had an episode where by their neck muscles feel very “tight” and leads to them getting headaches/migraines. If this is you, you need to read on.

Now having tight muscles can be from various causes. From overuse, past trauma, muscle imbalances from poor posture, occupational predispositions and the list goes on. One factor that many seem to overlook is structure. Our spine is designed with curves, what we label as ‘Lordosis’ and ‘Kyphosis’ (see image below)

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Our neck has a natural curve we call cervical lordosis (a reverse C curve) and we want to maintain that. Why?

Let’s look at this image below. Can you see all those ligaments behind the vertebrae? Not listed here are muscles which we have A LOT of behind our neck. Now imagine over time when your neck loses this curve and starts to straighten (right image). Can you visualise how all these ligaments and muscles are going to have increased tension due to poor structure? What can cause the neck to curve the other way? With our daily habits of looking at our phones, sitting in front of our desks at the computer, and generally just sitting in a ‘hunched’ posture throughout our daily lives has put our necks under a lot more pressure.

If you are one of the people who constantly get massages and never seem to be getting results, this may be your reason. Tight muscles are a SYMPTOM of something underlying. Finding the CAUSE is what we do.

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Scoliosis Yoga Class

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Scoliosis Yoga Class

Complete City Health offers specialised scoliosis exercise classes which, when combined with Spinal Decompression Therapy, offers greater long term success rates. Our scoliosis classes are individually tailored to each patients curve, providing a systematic approach to muscular stability around the spine.

Before commencing our scoliosis classes, a complete examination including orthopaedic, biomechanical and radiological exams is carried out to determine the type, nature and direction of the individuals curve. From this we then prescribe a program of exercises that are best suited to the individual and their type of spinal curve. This is essential when appropriately exercising the scoliotic spine as some exercises may have a detrimental effect on the spine and can sometimes worsen or aggravate the condition.

Our classes are under the supervision of highly educated health professionals with specialised training in scoliosis management. We maintain limited class sizes with a maximum number of 10 participants to allow for personal attention from the instructor. Space is allocated for the guardian of minors or for those with limited mobility.

Should you have any questions regarding scoliosis classes please call (02) 9299 1661 or email frontdesk@completecityhealth.com.au.


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How Important is My Sleeping Position? 

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How Important is My Sleeping Position? 

 

You literally sleep nearly a third of your life, so the position you sleep in will directly affect how you feel when you wake up and your physical health. Sleeping positions can affect your general posture and alignment as you expose your body and spine to different twisted or bending positions for a prolonged time, leading to tightness and stiffness when you wake up. 

Many people suffer from headaches, neck and back pain, shoulder and hip problems all from poor sleeping habits and positions. Sleeping on your stomach affects your neck and puts it in a compromising, unnatural position for hours leading to neck pain and headaches. The twisting that also occurs through the rest of your spine leads to back pain. Sleeping on your side, even though probably the second best position to sleep in, can cause shoulder and hip problems. 

The best way to train yourself to sleep is on your back with a nice comfortable pillow. Sleeping on your back means your body is in a natural anatomical position and does not have increased strains or tension on any part of the body. It does however take a lot of will power and effort over time to train yourself to sleep on your back, especially if that is not what you are used to. 

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