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chiropractor sydney

 Explaining Knee Pain

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Explaining Knee Pain

Another common issue that I see in clinic is knee pain. After seeing many patients suffering from knee pain, there is a trait that I see repeatedly. 

When assessing patients, it is important to look at individual joints and how they move, but I believe in looking at a person as a whole, how is the body moving as a unit. 

When looking at the knee, most commonly, I find that knee issues arise due to lack of mobility in the hips or ankles, and the knee (being in between those two major joint complexes), is the joint that suffers the most. Now, if you told me that on the weekend you twisted your knee and it is painful, I would be suspecting meniscus or ligament damage. However, if you had told me that your knee has been painful for over 4 weeks, no new activity, no history of trauma or accidents, I would look towards the pelvis and ankles to see where in the chain lies the dysfunction. 

Everyone is unique and different, so your knee pain might be from something else. If you have been experiencing knee pain, our team at Complete City Health are experts in analysing the cause of your pain, not just symptoms.


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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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Chronic Jaw Pain: Can Chiropractic help?

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Chronic Jaw Pain: Can Chiropractic help?

One of the most debilitating conditions that affects your everyday activities is Jaw pain. For obvious reasons, having issues with your jaw can hinder your ability to talk and eat solid foods.

Jaw pain (Temporomandibular Joint pain- TMJ) can present with varying symptoms. Some additional complaints that are closely related to TMJ dysfunction include:

  • Headaches

  • Ear pain

  • Joint sounds/Clicking

  • Neck stiffness

As Chiropractors, we are trained to look at the jaw for movement, function and possible causes of Jaw pain. Once the cause of the Jaw pain is identified, various techniques can be utilised in order for you to regain range of motion, decrease pain and to increase function.

If your Jaw pain has been irritating you, isn’t it time for a check-up?

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Low back Pain: Are you experiencing these symptoms?

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Low back Pain: Are you experiencing these symptoms?

Low Back Pain is one of the world’s most common symptoms. It causes more global disability than any other disease!

Low back pain is the common term we use to describe a symptom, but it does not tell us the CAUSE/WHY the pain is there from the beginning. A disc injury is a common term that we hear, and here are some key characteristics that can determine if you have a disc lesion.

  1. Pain is worse in the morning than at night. This is because discs hydrate during the night, which can increase the size of the disc, pushing the surrounding nerves

  2. There is associated leg pain (Pins and needles, numbness, muscle weakness may also be present)

  3. The pain goes all the way down into the calf or heel

  4. Bending forward causes the most pain/Bending forward and twisting is the mechanism of injury

The pain in the legs can somewhat guide us into which area of the low back may be injured. For example, a L4/5 disc lesion may have toe weakness with glute/lateral leg pain where as a L5/S1 lesion can present with ankle weakness with glute/hamstring/heel pain. Understanding the location of the pain means that we can address it as soon as possible before symptoms get worse.

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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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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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Postural Exercises

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Postural Exercises

If you want to improve your posture and decrease pain , theses exercises will help.

WAXING

Sit up straight with elbows at sides and bent to 90 degrees (right angle).

Push shoulders together and down, with palms facing the floor.

Make a waxing motion in the air while maintaining the above position. **Keep elbows "glued" to sides while completing motion.**

Do this for 20 seconds. Repeat 4 times.

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WALL ANGELS

Stand against wall with feet shoulder width apart.

Gently press low back against wall.

Place back of elbows, forearms, and wrists against wall.

Bring arms up and down slowly in a small arc of motion while keeping elbows in contact with wall.

Do this 10 times.

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PRONE LYING SCAPULAR EXERCISE

Lie on stomach on a pillow, with forehead resting on a rolled towel to keep neck in neutral.

Bring arms out to sides with elbows bent to 90 degrees.

Lift arms up while squeezing shoulder blades together.

Hold each 3-5 seconds, and do 3 sets of 5-10 repetitions.

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THERABAND ROWS

Sit up straight on a chair.

Keep elbows very close to sides and pull back on a resistive band as shoulder blades come back and down.

Return to start position slowly.

Do 3 sets of 5 repetitions.

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ISOMETRIC ABDOMINAL EXERCISE

Sit in chair with back supported.

Tighten stomach as if someone were going to punch it.

Press fingers into abdomen and tighten abdominals even more to resist pressure of fingers. ** keep breathing!!!**

Hold 15 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

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WALL SLIDES

Stand with buttocks, and back against wall.

Bring feet to 12" from wall. **Keep back against wall.**

Lower down until knees are bent to about 60 degrees keeping abdominals tight.

Raise back up to where knees are slightly bent.

Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

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SIT TO STANDS

Sit at edge of chair with feet slightly behind knees.

Stand up while keeping neck erect and spine erect. Your back should not bend forward.

Immediately return to sitting, but do not put full weight on chair.

Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions slowly.

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