How chiropractic care can help with back pain, WFH postures
A professional reveals how to avoid back pain, how children can benefit and whether adjustments hurt
If you are seeking help for back pain or neck ache, chiropractic care is an option that often pops up.
It is primarily seen as a non-medical alternative approach, with specialists trained to diagnose conditions related to the musculoskeletal system. The treatment provided include pain relief for the back, neck, muscles and joints, and improving function.
Dr Matt Kan, senior consultant and chief executive of Chiropractic First, shares his thoughts on work-from-home postures , whether children can benefit from chiropractic care and more.
Working from the bed or couch can lead to posture issues, but it is so comfortable. Are there any ways to help avoid back pain?
To reduce strain on your legs, back and neck, consider using an ergonomic foot platform. The footrest helps you sit in a good working position at your desk.
Use old books to elevate the height of your monitor or use a laptop extender such that the height of your monitor is above eye level. This will force you to sit up tall and prevent you from slouching deeper.
Ergonomic chairs and standing desks help us maintain a better posture but only to a certain extent.
With standing desks, we might still be practising bad posture because of reasons such as hunching, elevated wrists and maintaining tense shoulders from the height of the computer.
To reduce tension in the shoulders and keep them relaxed, try placing your keyboard and mouse on the lap when seated.
While using the right furniture does help a little with our posture, this does not necessarily correct it.
Your body may still ache and your condition may worsen, and that is why you need to get chiropractic adjustments as they will reduce stress on the spine and help with long-term healthy posture.
What about regular yoga? It helps to keep my body feeling balanced and aligned.
Yoga poses such as downward-facing dog may help relieve a headache, while stretching the neck from side to side can improve your flexibility and reduce the pain.
However, without professional supervision, stretching or yoga may aggravate existing problems if done incorrectly or too forcefully.
When should one consider seeing a chiropractor?
It is never too early to start. Newborns have received spinal adjustments, especially after difficult or traumatic births.
Uncorrected birth trauma leads to pressure on the spine or neck which will impact spinal growth and development. This ignorance will lead the newborn away from optimal health.
Adopting chiropractic as a way of life includes regular checks and visits to ensure functional independence and tolerance for daily activities.
Putting a halt in chiropractic adjustments will lead to a build-up of stress on the spine and nervous system. Spine and nerve stress will continue to build up as before, and it will not be reduced or eliminated.
If the stress is not relieved, your body and overall health will suffer. Therefore, regular maintenance is highly recommended to help maintain your spinal health at its optimal all the time.
Do children need chiropractic care?
We recommend getting your child checked for subluxation - which is when a joint does not work the way it is supposed to - as early as possible.
Getting adjusted from an early age can minimise or even eliminate any effect that bumps and falls (and even the birthing process) can have on our spinal joints. Much of the degeneration we see later in life is a result of past trauma.
As the infant grows, learning to hold up the head, sit, crawl and walk are all activities that affect spinal alignment and are important times to have a child checked by a doctor of chiropractic.
Chiropractic care is extremely safe for infants and children. Doctors use gentle adjustments and paediatric techniques that involve light fingertip pressure to correct spinal misalignment.
Chiropractic care looks painful. Is it really?
If you have heard the popping and cracking from a chiropractic adjustment, it is easy to assume that it is a sign of pain.
It is quite the opposite. These sounds occur when the joints are opened up and the fluid between the joints creates a release of gas.
However, not all chiropractic adjustments guarantee an audible popping sound as each doctor may choose to administer different chiropractic adjustment techniques. Truth is, you are most likely to feel immediate relief from pain or discomfort after adjustments.
How can chiropractic care help with overall health and in overcoming the stresses of the pandemic?
Chiropractic care works with the spine and improves the flow in the central nervous system, which can improve overall body functions.
Regular chiropractic adjustments can help reduce the stress on the vertebrae, and realigning the spine helps with reducing compression on the nerves. It also helps in improving sleep quality, hence boosting concentration, mood and performance.
The pandemic has kept many of us stuck at home, which increases the chances of us falling into a more sedentary lifestyle.
With such a lifestyle comes repercussions such as body ache and discomfort. These issues can be addressed with chiropractic adjustments that can help to release tension in our bodies.
This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly (www.womensweekly.com.sg).