Plagiocephaly, More Than a Cosmetic Problem

224511Plagiocephalyis a condition that may to some, appear to be just a cosmetic problem. It describes a misshapen head that can be caused prior to, or during birth, or from torticollis, a condition that causes a baby to favour turning the head and neck in one direction. However, as Northern Beaches chiropractor Dr. Rachael Veronesipoints out, a third cause, has become more prevalent in Australia since the introduction of the SIDS campaign in 1992, designed to get babies to sleep on their backs instead of their side or tummy. All these causes of Plagiocephaly result from mechanical forces pressing on the baby’s rapidly growing skull.

Brookvale Chiropractor, Rachael Veronesi, goes on to say, that for parents, deciding whether to go ahead and get treatment for an infant affected by Plagiocephaly, might, in the past, have come down solely to the degree of cosmetic effect of the condition. However, scientific literature is beginning to provide more information about a variety of functional deficits affecting eyes, ears, jaw and motor control as well as an increased risk of delay in hitting the cognitive milestones that seem to be closely associated with deformational plagiocephaly.

This new information on the risk of long term functional deficits that might potentially affect a child’s correct development are leading more and more parents to seek Chiropractic help. If your child is showing signs of this condition, getting an early assessment from a qualified practitioner should be your first step. Please call Neurobalance Chiropractic practice now on 02 9938 5456 to arrange an appointment. We can help by correcting these structural and functional problems and help you, help your child to reach his or her, full potential.

How Chiropractic Treatment Can Help

Chiropractic treatment for plagiocephaly is so gentle that it is safe for infants from newborn. It involves restoring the normal range of movement to the neck where torticollis is a problem by using gentle, passive joint and muscle work. To help restore the correct head shape, cranial bone remoulding,a very safe form of therapyis used. This term might sound a little dramatic but it describes a procedure that many babies sleep through!

Self Help Tips To Use At Home

  1. Tummy Time is great for babies as it can help with both cognitive development and motor coordination. It has a positive effect on the cerebellum of the brain, (the area responsible for managing balance), by stimulating the upper neck muscles that activate the nerve pathways. Tummy time can begin from newborn and last for as little as half a minute – but encouraging this, three or more times each day can be very beneficial.
  2. Repositioning your Baby’s Headis a technique used to prevent the baby laying or pressing on their ‘flat’ spot. If started early, this can be extremely helpful as it is most effective up to about the age of four months old. Try to reduce the length of time spent in car seats, buggies or anywhere else that results in pressure on the back of the head.
  3. Helmets are a popular way of improving the appearance and shape of the skull for a baby affected by plagiocephaly. However,it is a cosmetic improvement only as, without Chiropractic intervention in addition, it will not improve any functional or neuro-developmental deficit.
  4. Using a Mimos Pillow is a safe and effective way to redistribute the pressure of your baby’s head when sleeping. It is a flattened, circular pillow with a depression in the centre upon which, you place your baby’s head when you lay him down to sleep. The pillow has the effect of greatly increasing the area of baby’s head in contact with the pillow. This decreases pressure on any one spot, by redistributing the weight over a much larger area.
  5. Your Brookvale Chiropractor will suggest gentle exercisesas part of the ongoing care provided by the Neurobalance Clinic. For example, Dr. Veronesi might suggest using a swiss ball (pilates or exercise ball) and placing your baby face down on this and gently rocking him to and fro. Done for just a couple of minutes two or three times a day, this has the effect of helping to engage the postural muscles of the spine.

Parentsof an affected infant, seeking help for the cosmetic effects of plagiocephaly and for the potential functional and cognitive problems that may be associated are relieved to find that not only is Chiropractic treatment for the condition, safe, gentle and effective, but that there are also a number of things they can do at home to help their child. Contact your Northern Beaches Chiropractor at the Neurobalance Clinic today on 02 9938 5456 to find out more.

A precious night’s sleep

sleepprobSleep is important for health and wellbeing, and when you’re well rested, you’re in a better frame of mind in general, helping to battle away low mood and stress-related issues. If you’re you’re not getting enough sleep however, you could be heading towards a slippery slope.

There are many things which can affect your quality of sleep, as well as how much sleep you’re getting, but fibromyalgia is a well-known common cause for sleep-related problems, and those who suffer from this painful and upsetting condition will be able to tell you first-hand how an unbroken night’s sleep is a truly precious thing.

The positive news however is that there are plenty of ways you can relax and relieve pain enough to be able to drop off to the land of nod, as well as using a highly effective treatment method to try and reduce pain on a more long-term basis. If you’ve never heard of chiropractic then maybe you should sit up and take notice.

This highly effective, gentle, and truly holistic treatment method can be used for a variety of different ailments and conditions, however it works particularly well in fibromyalgia because it soothes and releases pain and tension from the muscles, tendons, and joints. Gentle manual manipulations and stretches work well to relieve pain, and also helps the person involved relax, giving precious relief from pain. Teneriffe chiropractic, Dr Scott Wustenberg is experienced and skilled in the huge benefits of chiropractic, as well as offering precious advice on other ways you can relax prior to bed, helping you get a much better night’s sleep.

Here’s a few suggestions.

Cut out the caffeine and alcohol

Basically anything which contains caffeine or alcohol is a stimulant, and when you’re trying to wind down, you don’t want to be getting over-stimulated. Try chamomile tea instead of regular tea or coffee, and avoid anything heavy or spicy before bed.

Create a Zen environment

You’re not going to sleep well if you’re not comfortable where you’re resting. Make it dark, quiet, and comfortably warm/cool. If you like to hear a little background noise, then put on some quiet, soothing music to help you drop off to sleep.

Disconnect from the world

Your mind is not going to be able to switch off if you’re constantly checking your phone, Facebook status, or Twitter feed, so put your phone on silent and leave the laptop in another room.

Truly relax

A warm bath is a relaxing experience but it’s also doubly advantageous in this situation because it eases muscular aches and pains. You could also try a gentle massage before bed too, which will flood your body with those relaxing endorphins to help you zone out and fall asleep.

Fibromyalgia need not take over your life, and if you can grab adequate hours of comfortable sleep then you’re onto the fast track road to not letting this upsetting condition beat you. If you’re interested in how chiropractic treatment could help you beat the pain of fibromyalgia then call the practice now on (07) 4661 9988 Warwick or (07) 3854 0165 Teneriffe to arrange an appointment, and look forward to a more positive, less painful future.

A simple problem …

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Did you know that simply spraining an ankle and not getting treatment can lead to major problems in the future?

You might think that simply slipping off the sidewalk, or falling off your high heels is just a bit of a pain at the time, and will get better on its own, but if you don’t bother seeking treatment then you could put yourself at risk of problems with gait and how you walk in the future.

Maybe it’s time you changed your mind-set on ankle sprains?

We’ve all done it at some point in the past, turned too fast, gone over on one side on our ankle, worn heels too high which have lead us to appreciate how our ankle can suddenly go from upright to turned over, or simply fallen over on a slippery surface, and we limped away from the incident with our pride a little bruised, but our ankle throbbing. Maybe at the time you couldn’t even walk on the affected ankle, or that it swelled up so much that you couldn’t get your shoe back on. However it happened, it was bound to be painful.

The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health website reported that around 75% of people who have suffered an ankle sprain in the past, and whom didn’t seek treatment, suffered another sprain in the future or developed problems attached to that incident.

If you’re nodding your head as you read this, because it has happened to you, don’t worry, because help is at hand. Here at Balance Chiropractic, we’re committed to using holistic and gentle chiropractic treatment methods to help right problems within the ankle joint, restoring harmony to the area. Of course, self-treatment at the time of injury can help cut down on the severity, but if that boat has sailed, you may be left with a residual problem which chiropractic could certainly help you with. Epping chiropractor, Dr Gus Gunther, has instilled a sense of individuality to all our treatment here at Balance Chiropractic, so you can be assured that your particular case will be dealt with in order to get the best result for you as an individual.

As individual as you are, a sprain is too, and there are several types which yours could fall into – minor, moderate, or severe. A minor sprain is obviously the least problematic, but even this could require simple treatment to ensure proper healing, with no resulting problems in the future. A severe sprain however could be because of a complete tear in the ankle ligament, which is surprisingly easy to do, and unsurprisingly painful. A severe sprain can mean you literally can’t walk on the affected ankle, with severe pain, swelling, and possible problems in the future if the issue isn’t addressed sooner rather than later.

If you’ve suffered from a recent ankle sprain which has left you with resulting problems, or you’ve had several sprains over a space of time, call the practice now on (02) 9868 2509to arrange an appointment to discuss possible treatment options. There’s no need to put up with the pain and discomfort of a previous ankle sprain, and chiropractic could be the answer to your problem.

Treating Migraines without Drugs

migrainesIt’s estimated that nearly one in every ten people in Australia suffer from migraines, making of them one of the most widely diagnosed neurological conditions.  The exact cause of migraines is not known, but experts point to unhealthy lifestyles that include poor diet, persistent stress, pollution, and irregular schedules.

Some migraine sufferers are able to identify and avoid specific migraine triggers, including bright lights, noise, smoke, perfumes, hormone fluctuations, certain foods such as chocolate, nuts, dairy products and fermented foods, and food additives such as MSG, nitrates, and tyramine.  Recognizing and avoiding triggers can help reduce the frequency of migraines, but not eliminate them, as they often occur in the absence of a trigger.

Migraines are typically classified as with or without aura, though this system of classification tends to underplay the variety of symptoms that can accompany an episode.  The aura is a sensory disturbance experienced by many sufferers.  Disturbances are typically visual, though any of the senses may be affected.  Disturbances include blind spots, flashing lights, zigzag patterns, tunnel vision, ringing in the ears, phantom smells or tastes, numbness, tingling, weakness, or lack of coordination.  When the aura is involved, it typically shows up less than an hour before the headache and fades as the headache sets in.

The migraine without aura is just what it sounds like, a migraine that occurs without sensory disturbances.  The headache phase of the migraine can last several hours up to as long as three days.  A little over half of all migraine sufferers experience the headache on one side of the head, while the rest experience the headache on both sides.  Most migraine sufferers experience a variety of symptoms with the headache, including nausea, vomiting, and hypersensitivity to light, noise, and movement.

With all of these symptoms, it’s no wonder that many migraine sufferers are desperate to find relief and frequently turn to over the counter or prescription medication.  While medication does help some sufferers in the short term, medication isn’t always effective, has potential unpleasant side effects, and doesn’t treat the underlying cause of migraines.  Those who suffer from frequent migraines risk overusing medication, which causes them to be less effective and the user to become dependent on the medication.  In severe cases, overuse of medication can even cause long term health problems, including kidney and liver damage.

The good news is there are a number of alternative treatment options that can offer lasting relief with few or no side effects, and without the toxicity of medication.  Some patients even report not having a migraine for months after treatment.

One of these alternative treatment options is chiropractic care.  While the exact mechanism that causes migraines is not yet fully understood, gentle manipulation of the spine seems to treat the underlying causes, offering long term relief from migraines, with some patients reporting no episodes for months after treatment, and many patients needing less or no medication.

Chiropractic can be safely combined with other alternative treatments, including:

  • Acupuncture or acupressure – Also proven by research to help reduce the severity and frequency of attacks.
  • Meditation, relaxation, biofeedback, or cognitive therapy – Stress is a common migraine trigger, so learning to lower stress levels can reduce migraine pain.
  • Exercise – Working out releases endorphins known to both ease pain and lower stress.
  • Diet – Eliminating dietary triggers can reduce, though not necessarily eliminate, migraines.
  • Hydration – Flush out toxins that may be contributing to migraines by drinking plenty of water.

If you’re looking for a better way to deal with your migraines than medication, call Eastern Chiropractic now on 9857 4503 to arrange an appointment to find out how we can help ease your suffering.