Text-Neck: The latest risk to our spinal health

Ground breaking research helps explain the negative effects of consistently looking down at a smartphone.

A shocking survey from 2015 revealed that 53% of people listed their mobile phone as the most valuable item they would save during a house fire.

Mobile phones and tablets are becoming a staple in the average home. The concern here is that extended use of these devices with our heads in forward flexion creates a variety of unwanted health challenges. Doctors have even created terminology for this new condition called ‘Text Neck’.

Studies show that the average person spends 2-4 hours a day with their head tilted forward, reading and texting on smart phones. Students and children can be even higher!

The average head position when looking at a smart phone has been shown to register at 60 degrees (see image below), equalling 60 lbs (27.2 kilos) of extra pressure on the neck and joints. The trauma amounts to putting four heavy bowling balls worth of pressure on the neck and spine with each minute of looking down at a cell phone.

So what can you do?

Three key action steps to minimising the risk of spine and neck damage/pain from technology use include:

1) See your Chiropractor regularly. Chiropractic adjustments may help reduce wear and tear in the joints and discs, lower tension in muscles, and improve function of the nervous system. Your chiropractor will also be able to identify any permanent damage that may be occurring in your posture or spine.

2) Good Posture Habits – utilise tools that support spinal curves and posture when sitting including rolled up towels behind your low back, posture poles, standing desks or exercise balls in place of standard desks. Your chiropractor can also recommend exercises to help strengthen neck and back muscles and correct posture!

3) Head Positioning – keep devices elevated when texting or viewing to keep the head in a neutral position. You can also lay on your back and keep the phone over your head to reduce forward head strain.

Talk to us today if you or your family would liked to be assessed for a spinal health check. Caring for our spine early on in life and before we begin to experience negative symptoms could potentially help us all avoid a lifetime of chronic pain and disease.

Stay Active – Spinal Health

An active spine is a healthy spine. This is important at any age. The Department of Health recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week.9 Activities such as surfing, soccer and strength training in the gym can have great benefits to your overall mental and physical health. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 56% of all Australians are not sufficiently physically active.10 This has a negative impact on your spinal health.

Benefits of regular exercise
Most physical activity can have great positive effects on the spine including the stretching, strengthening and repairing of muscles that help support your back. Regular exercise can also reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, build stronger bones, increase your energy, improve sleep patterns and so much more.

Just Start Walking
If the gym or sports field isn’t for you then walking is another great way to keep active. Some benefits of brisk walking include increasing your heart and lung fitness, muscle strength and endurance, and it contributes to a naturally upright posture.

Need a little extra help to get you walking to a healthier life? The Just Start Walking app is just what you need. This free app was developed by the Australian Chiropractors Association to encourage Australians to get outside and to get walking! The app allows you to not only map your walk, but track the distance and time taken.

The app also displays your walking history, so you can see your improvements, features local walking events near you and lets you share your walk with friends on social media.

Download the Just Start Walking app to take the first steps towards a healthier spine and be Ready for Life!




Get Ready For Life!

As we all know life is full of unknowns, but you can take simple and practical steps now to be ready for life at any age. Currently 15% of the Australian population are aged 65 and over, and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates that this will increase to 22% by 2056.1 This increase in the age of the population puts additional strain on the government to provide care for older Australians.2

Chiropractors are ideally placed to assist in the healthcare of Australians as they age and potentially help improve their quality of life.3

According to the World Health Organization, musculoskeletal conditions that reduce mobility, dexterity and functional ability, are the second largest cause of disability worldwide. Musculoskeletal conditions can have a damaging effect on your quality of life by affecting your ability to participate in work, social activities and sports. In Australia, 3.7 million people reported back problems in 2015 alone.4

With statistics like these and the burden of low back pain ranking first in Australia,5 it is likely that you or someone you know could suffer from back pain. Improving posture, maintaining an active lifestyle and keeping your spinal health in check can help you continue to do the things you love and always be Ready for Life!

Chiro Can Help.

One way to help you be Ready for Life and improve your spinal health is to seek Chiropractic care from your local ACA chiropractor. Chiropractors can also be seen as a preventative healthcare option by offering advice and assistance in making appropriate lifestyle choices and therefore reducing the risk of spinal health issues arising in the first place.

Want to get involved?  Visit this website and tell us in 50 words or less how Chiropractic gets you ready for life and you’ll be entered into a draw for a lot of amazing prizes!!!  SPINAL HEALTH WEEK COMPETITION

*Original post from ACA https://Chiropractors.asn.au/resources/spinal-health-week*

Chiropractic May Change Brain Function

Chiropractors over the years have held many theories and beliefs about Chiropractic and how it can impact a persons overall health.   Unfortunately, the research to support these beliefs has been slow to come.  Exciting new studies being published this year are finally bringing valuable evidence to support what many Chiropractors have believed all along. That Chiropractic care may be about far more than neck and back pain!

According to the ​Australian S​pinal ​R​esearch ​F​oundation (ASRF)​,​ regular Chiropractic care has been known to improve brain function by up to 20%. A Chiropractic adjustment stimulates the prefrontal cortex of the brain which is involved in behavio​ur, goal directed tasks, decision making, memory and attention. This means Chiropractic ​may influence overall cognitive function and help our bodies integrate information more efficiently*. ​​Chiropractic has also been shown to improve muscle strength, decrease muscle fatigue and speed up recovery​, which could carry substantial benefits to performance in athletes.

And the studies don’t stop there. In pregnancy studies conducted by the ​ASRF​,​ results have shown that ​Chiropractic care may ​impact the pelvic floor muscles ​helping them more during the birthing process​,​ ​which is important in supporting a natural delivery**.

In further studies conducted by the ​ASRF it was found that adjusting the spine can lead to an increase in proprioception ​which may decrease the likelihood of falls in older adults***.​  This is important research for our ageing population as Chiropractic may be able to assist them in staying mobile and independent longer through decreased risk of falling.​

​It is exciting to see that the research is beginning to support many of the widespread benefits of ​Chiropractic care.  With the​ potential for​ ​improved body function and decrease in pain levels​,​ Chiropractic ​may be able to positively contribute to your overall quality of life and help an individual begin, age and move through life as gracefully as possible.




*Lelic et al. “Manipulation of dysfunctional spinal joints affects sensorimotor integration in the pre-frontal cortex: A brain source localization study.” Neural Plasticity, Volume 1\2016

**Effect of Spinal Manipulation on Pelvic Floor Functional Changes in Pregnant and Nonpregnant Women: A Preliminary

Study. Haavik, Heidi et al. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics, Volume 39 , Issue 5 , 339 – 347

***Holt, Kelly R et al, “Effectiveness of Chiropractic Care to improve Sensorimotor Function Associated With Falls Risk in Older People: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics


Chiro for Athletes

If you’re an athlete it’s important to understand how Chiropractic could help you achieve or maintain your peak level of performance. Experts estimate that 90% of all world-class athletes use Chiropractic to prevent injuries and increase their performance potential*.

And there’s good reason for that! Research suggests Chiropractic may increase strength, decrease fatigue, and improve muscle drive.

What does that mean for you? When your chiropractor adjusts a subluxation, it improves your strength, prevents fatigue and changes the way the brain drives your muscles. A subluxation is a dysfunction that occurs when the nervous system isn’t controlling movement of the spine as well as it should be. “When we adjust subluxations, we change the way the brain processes what’s going on in our bodies. Hence we are able to better process all of the sensory information from throughout the body, and control the body in a better way.”** For the athlete, this could mean better control of your muscles and body, better reaction time, increased stamina, all of which could result in better perfomance.

If you’d like to find out more about how Chiropractic could help you reach your next level of performance, contact one of our 10 practice locations for a complimentary spinal health check!


* Palmer Center for Natural Healing; Chiropractic Improves Athletic Performance; www.palmercenterfornaturalhealing.com/2011/ Chiropractic-improves-athletic-performance. html; accessedApril 2, 2014

**Neuroscientist and Chiropractic Researcher Heidi Haavik
Changes in H-reflex and V-waves following spinal manipulation. Experimental Brain Research. Vol 233, 4 , pp 1165-1173

Spinal Health Week 2017

TLC CEO, chiropractor and researcher Dr. Angela Todd has spent the past 6 years studying and publishing papers on Chiropractic care as it relates to children. As part of Spinal Health Week 2017 (22-28 May), she is raising the awareness of the effect of spinal dysfunction in children and adolescents and how this may be associated with longer term, or chronic pain in adulthood.
Dr Todd has drawn conclusions from her work over the past several years, based on various studies, but a 2013 study published in the journal of BMC Paediatrics, discussed how low back pain was common in children and adolescents and the authors of the paper reported that it was becoming a public health concern (1).

More recently in early 2017 a 3-year Danish study of more than 1000 children aged between 8-15 years of age concluded that whilst most of the children had only one episode of back pain lasting for up to a week, at least one quarter of the whole group had pain lasting for more than 4-5 weeks, and up to four episodes a year (2).

The authors of this paper also discuss the potential health problems in relation to the use of pain killer medication in children with long term pain (3), and how other authors have also found an association between low back pain in adolescence and low back pain into adulthood (4).

Chiropractors are suitably placed to check the function of your child’s spine and as they grow and develop throughout life. Chiropractors undertake a 5-year university qualification and are registered health professionals who use a variety of age appropriate manual therapy treatments, give advice on exercise, nutrition and lifestyle changes, and where needed will refer you to other healthcare providers to assist with your care.

Spinal Health Week serves as a reminder to us all, that it is not just our teeth we need to look after throughout our life, but our spine is equally as important.

TLC Chiropractors are making themselves available to perform spinal screen examinations for your family, so call your local TLC chiropractor to book an appointment during Spinal Health Week 22-28th of May.

1. Prevalence of low back pain in children and adolescents: a meta-analysis. Inmaculada Calvo-Muñoz, Antonia Gómez-Conesa, and Julio Sánchez-Meca BMC Pediatrics 2013, 13:14

2. Spinal pain in Danish school children –how often and how long? The CHAMPS Study-DK Kristina Boe Dissing, Lise Hestbæk, Jan Hartvigsen, Christopher Williams, Steven Kamper5, Eleanor Boyle, and Niels Wedderkopp. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders (2017) 18:67

3. Gobina I, Villberg J, Villerusa A, Valimaa R, Tynjala J, Ottova-Jordan V, Ravens- Sieberer U, Levin K, Cavallo F, Borraccino A, et al. Self- reported recurrent pain and medicine use behaviours among 15-year olds: results from the international study. Eur J Pain. 2015;19(1):77– 84.

4. Hestbaek L, Leboeuf-Yde C, Kyvik KO, Manniche C. The course of low back pain from adolescence to adulthood: 8-year follow-up of 9600 twins. Spine. 2006;31(4):468–72.

Tips to Prevent Back Pain

For many people, back pain can be prevented or managed with appropriate lifestyle changes and care. It is never too late or too early to take steps to improve spinal health. Improving overall lifestyle can help prevent chronic back problems and may also address other health issues.

Stay Active

People with chronic back problems may find it difficult to exercise but they should try to remain as active as possible. The best way is to seek advice, start gradually, be consistent and build capability over time.

People who use exercise as a treatment for chronic back pain find that it reduces back pain intensity. This effect has been observed in multiple studies and it has been found that exercise has a positive effect on pain.3

Staying active is one of the most important things you can do to strengthen your spine, reduce the severity of chronic pain symptoms and improve overall wellbeing. No matter which activity you choose, proper posture is important.

Check with your local CAA chiropractor or other healthcare professional before undertaking exercise to make sure it is appropriate for your specific needs.

Use the Just Start Walking app to incorporate walking into your daily routine. Download from the App Store.

Lifestyle Changes

Poor posture increases pressure on your spine and can cause tension, soreness, headaches, back pain and fatigue. Good posture keeps the body in its best shape and natural position. This may reduce wear and tear of joints, relieve stress and improve overall health.

Incorporating mobility into your daily routine could also help with back pain. Sitting or lying down in one position for a long time isn’t good for your back. Staying active can relieve the strain and help improve circulation to the body. Seek advice from your chiropractor or other healthcare professional on which activities are best for you.

Download the CAA Back app from the App Store to receive reminders and helpful tips on how to improve your posture.

Innate Intelligence

In every living thing there is an Innate Intelligence guiding it on the path to health.

The first thing we must do when discussing “Innate Intelligence” is to clarify the concept of intelligence. It is important to understand that we are not talking about education or the ability to learn things. Human beings can attend school and learn computer programming, or can “pick up” several foreign languages when they travel. But this is not what we mean when we say intelligence.

The intelligence we’re talking about is the “knowledge” that every living entity is born with, and which allows it to adapt to the environment in order to survive.

If you put a plant on a window sill, in a day or so it will have turned its leaves to face the light. Turn the plant around and in another day or so, it again will have turned its leaves to receive the light it needs to maintain its normal functions.

The plant doesn’t use logic to figure out that it needs light, or decide to turn its leaves around to face the window. It doesn’t “think” and it isn’t self-aware. Yet, the intelligence it possesses allows it to go from a tiny seed to a lush plant, to send roots into the soil to find water and nutrients, to search out and utilize light and air, to transform those elements into additional leaves, roots, sprouts, and even more seeds which will be carried on the wind to start the process all over somewhere else. Not random action, but intelligence. Not education, but inborn knowledge. Innate Intelligence.

What is this intelligence? Where does it come from? How does it work? No one knows the answers to these questions. Living things are not random collections of molecules and atoms. They all are organized into functioning entities that adapt to their environment.

Therefore, we accept as a basic principle that there is an order to the body, which we have chosen to call Innate Intelligence. Like Universal Intelligence, we do not have the ability to understand exactly what this intelligence is or how it works. We know only that it exists.

In a human being, it is the Innate Intelligence that tells a newborn baby how many times its heart should beat each minute; how to ingest and digest nutrients and eliminate the waste; how to develop and utilize white blood cells to fight infections; how to communicate its need for outside assistance. No one has to teach an infant these things.

Yet, Innate Intelligence can only guide the internal functioning of that child. It cannot enable her to manipulate her environment or do more than her body will permit. She can’t, for instance, walk over to the refrigerator and get a snack if she’s hungry (anymore than a plant can turn on a lamp if it needs more light). That action will take training and education rather than inborn Intelligence.

Remarkably, every living thing possesses 100% of the Innate Intelligence it needs. You’ll never see a plant which “knows” that its roots need to grow into the soil, and doesn’t also “know” that its leaves need to grow upward toward the light. Can you imagine the poor plant pushing both its roots and its leaves downward because it only had 50% of its Innate Intelligence?

If an entity is alive, it possesses 100% of the Innate Intelligence it needs. Moreover, by its very definition, the Innate Intelligence is always normal, and its function is always normal. What this means is that our bodies “know” exactly what they need and how to adapt to our environment in order to function best.

If our physical and emotional health relied solely on our Innate Intelligence, we would all be “perfectly” healthy. But there are other factors at work. A master carpenter might be an expert in building a table, but if his arm is in a cast and he cannot apply force to his hammer, or if he doesn’t have the proper tools, the table won’t come out very well.

Your Innate Intelligence is an expert in running your body, however if it is hampered by the lack of force (Innate Energy) or the lack of proper tools (Innate Matter), the result will be a less-than-normal-functioning. These three elements – Innate Intelligence, Innate Energy, and Innate Matter – make up the “Triune of Life.”

Since a person’s Innate Intelligence has the “expertise” it needs to properly maintain that body, Chiropractors do not address themselves to that area. Nor do they involve themselves with the actual “tools” provided to each person – the body and internal organs. Their concern is with the Innate Energy or force which provides the link between the Innate Intelligence and Innate Matter.

– By Terry A Rondberg D.C.