Keep Your Spine Moving

Keep Your Spine Moving

Keep Your Spine Moving

Keep Your Spine Moving

Did you know that even the ancient Greeks knew that movement and physical exercise was good for your brain? Modern scientists have now shown that movement is one of the keys to promoting a healthy brain.1 Movement has been shown to help people with dementia, depression, and even ADHD.2-4 It’s even been shown to change the structure of your brain and improve your concentration and how fast you can think and react.1 5 6

Why is spinal movement important?

Scientists now know that it’s not just physical exercise that’s important for your brain, but how your spine moves is also very important for keeping your brain healthy.
If we look at spinal movement in a very simplistic way, there are really three things we want our spine to be able to do on a regular basis. Sometimes, for example, when we are running, we want our spinal bones to move together in a way that spreads and absorbs the impact forces generated by running. By moving well together, the impact forces are shared equally across the spinal bones, and no damage takes place. But other times, for example when we are lifting heavy objects, we want our spine to stiffen up to protect us. Without all the bones stiffening up like this we could injure ourselves while lifting heavy objects. So how does our spine sometimes move and sometimes stiffen up? Well, it’s the brain and central nervous system that does this for us by activating our spinal muscles. The brain activates the correct muscles around the spine and skull in the correct order with perfect timing, to either allow for optimal movement, for example during running or to allow for the spine to stiffen up, for example during heavy lifting. Now there is one more thing we need from our spines, and that is for it to reflexively respond during times we’re experiencing some postural challenges. In these cases, we need our brains to reflexively switch on and off the correct spinal muscles very, very fast so that we can maintain balance and stop ourselves from falling over.

Chiropractic care helps keep your spine moving
Scientists have shown that chiropractic adjustments can have a big effect on how well your spine moves.7 8 And they’ve also shown that chiropractic adjustments can help your brain to process information more quickly, know where your body is in space, and control the way your muscles work.9 10

One potential reason why a healthy spine is so important for your brain is that researchers believe that when one of your spinal segments doesn’t move properly, it changes the way your brain perceives and responds to all other sensory information that enters your nervous system. In other words, spinal function seems to be one factor your brain uses to help process and integrate all of the information from your environment.11 This is why chiropractors are so interested in making sure your spine is functioning properly. They believe that if your spine isn’t moving in a normal or ideal way, it changes the way your brain controls your body.11

New research has recently shown that chiropractors are very good at figuring out which segments in your spine are most restricted or stiff.12-14 They can then adjust your spine using specific spinal adjustments to help restore normal movement patterns in your spine, with the aim of helping your brain to better control your body.

So, if you want to make sure your brain is getting the stimulation it needs to stay healthy, see your chiropractor so they can help you to keep your spine moving as best as it can. And in between your chiropractic adjustments keep your spine moving well by staying active or doing yoga or other stretching exercises. Remember that if you look after your spine, your brain will love you for it!!

Disclaimer and References
This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be professional advice of any kind. Haavik Research Limited encourages you to make your own health care decisions based on your own research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. 1. Guiney H, Machado L. Benefits of regular aerobic exercise for executive functioning in healthy populations. Psychonomic bulletin & review 2013;20(1):73-86. 2. Morres ID, Hatzigeorgiadis A, Stathi A, et al. Aerobic exercise for adult patients with major depressive disorder in mental health services: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Depress Anxiety 2018. 3. Tyndall AV, Clark CM, Anderson TJ, et al. Protective Effects of Exercise on Cognition and Brain Health in Older Adults. Exercise and sport sciences reviews 2018;46(4):215-23. 4. S J, Arumugam N, Parasher RK. Effect of physical exercises on attention, motor skill and physical fitness in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a systematic review. Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders 2018. 5. Chaddock-Heyman L, Erickson KI, Holtrop JL, et al. Aerobic fitness is associated with greater white matter integrity in children. Frontiers in human neuroscience 2014;8:584-84. 6. Gomes-Osman J, Cabral DF, Morris TP, et al. Exercise for cognitive brain health in aging: A systematic review for an evaluation of dose. Neurology Clinical practice 2018;8(3):257-65. 7. Galin-dez-Ibarbengoetxea X, Setuain I, Andersen LL, et al. Effects of Cervical High-Velocity Low-Amplitude Techniques on Range of Motion, Strength Performance, and Cardiovascular Outcomes: A Review. J Altern Complement Med 2017;23(9):667-75. 8. Branney J, Breen AC. Does inter-vertebral range of motion increase after spinal manipulation? A prospective cohort study. Chiropr Man Therap 2014;22:24. 9. Kelly DD, Murphy BA, Backhouse DP. Use of a mental rotation reaction-time paradigm to measure the effects of upper cervical adjustments on cortical processing: a pilot study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000;23(4):246-51. 10. Holt KR, Haavik H, Lee AC, et al. Effectiveness of Chiropractic Care to Improve Sensorimotor Function Associated With Falls Risk in Older People: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2016. 11. Haavik Taylor H, Holt K, Murphy B. Exploring the neuromodulatory effects of the vertebral subluxation and chiropractic care. Chiropr J Aust 2010;40(1):37-44. 12. Holt K, Russell D, Cooperstein R, et al. Interexaminer reliability of seated motion palpation in defined spinal regions for the stiffest spinal site using continuous measures analysis Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. J Manip Physiol Ther 2018;IN PRESS. 13. Cooperstein R, Haneline M, Young M. Interexaminer reliability of thoracic motion palpation using confidence ratings and continuous analysis. J Chiropr Med 2010;9(3):99-106. 14. Cooperstein R, Young M, Haneline M. Interexaminer reliability of cervical motion palpation using continuous measures and rater confidence levels. J Can Chiro Assoc 2013;57(2):156-64.


Bed-Wetting

Bed-Wetting

Did  you  know  that  thousands  of  children  occasionally  wake  up  to  a  wet  bed?  Is    your child one of them? Bed-wetting (or nocturnal enuresis) can  be  a  humiliating problem, affecting  approximately  25%  of  children.1   In   this   issue   we   will   be discussing why chiropractic care may help some children with this problem.

What is enuresis?

Bed-wetting, also known as ‘nocturnal enuresis’ is defined  as  the  involuntary   loss   of   urine at night, in the absence of disease, at an age  when a child could be expected to be dry.2

Why try chiropractic?

Many research studies have shown that chiropractic care helps  the  brain  become  more accurately aware of what is going  on inside your body and the world around you.

Because some children with bed-wetting respond well to chiropractic care3 researchers think that chiropractic care helps the brain become more aware that the bladder is full.4

Is it safe for kids?

Over recent years the safety of chiropractic care for children and infants has been investigated by many researchers.5-7 The results of their studies suggest that chiropractic care  can  be  safely  provided to even the youngest members of our society. Adverse events in children after chiropractic care are rare and usually don’t require further care.5

We know that gently adjusting the spine changes the way the brain perceives what’s going on in the body.8 Improving spinal function may help the brain and central nervous system to ‘notice’ that the bladder is full and wake the child at night. Unfortunately, not a lot of research has been done yet in this area but there are many individual cases published in the scientific literature suggesting that chiropractic care may help at least some children with their bed-wetting. In 1994, a group of researchers performed a clinical trial including 46 children who frequently wet the bed at night.3 In this study the researchers found that after 10 weeks the children receiving chiropractic care had on average almost two more dry nights over a two-week period. The kids who did NOT receive

Chiropractic care reduced the frequency of bed-wetting in some kids by 50%. any chiropractic care had no change in the number of nights they wet the bed. When the researchers took a closer look at the results they found that one in four of the children who received chiropractic care actually had a 50% or more reduction in wet nights over the course of the trial. None of the control group  had this type  of  improvement. This suggests that  chiropractic care may well help at least some children   with   their   bed-wetting.

Research published in 2009 on the role of chiropractors in caring for children and infants found that only three out of 5500 children visiting chiropractic offices reported adverse effects which were described as muscle  or  spine stiffness or soreness.7 All cases were self- limiting and the patients continued under care. Parents also reported a host of improvements in their children’s pain levels, mood and immune function. A review published in 2011 suggested that about one in every 100 or  200  children  who see a chiropractor will experience mild adverse effects, defined as self-limiting irritability or soreness lasting less than one day.7 More serious adverse effects usually tended to be correlated to significant preexisting conditions. The clinical bottom line from these studies is that modern paediatric chiropractic care is safe.

But what causes bed-wetting?

The causes of enuresis are generally unknown.1 9 10 Some theories suggest that some kids are very deep sleepers, so they are unaware that their bladder is full.9 It appears that the child’s brain isn’t receiving ‘loud’ enough messages saying that the child needs to wake up and go to the toilet. Other causes are thought to be emotional stress or a medical condition such as bladder infection.10 Conventional management of enuresis includes behavioural therapy, alarm therapy and drug therapy. There is a lack of evidence to support most of these approaches.2 Remember that the chiropractor isn’t directly trying to treat the bed- wetting. Instead, they’re trying to improve spinal function with the aim of improving your child’s brain’s ability to process what’s going on in their body. And for some kids this seems to result in more dry nights and improved bladder control!

Enuresis affects up to 25% of children!

Robson N Engl. 2009;360(14):1429-1436. 2. Glazener et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005(2):CD005230. 3. Reed et al. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. Nov-Dec 1994;17(9):596-600. 4. Luscombe et al. J Pediatr Matern & Fam Health – Chiropr. 2014;2014(3):55-59. 5. Alcantara et al. Explore (NY). 2009;5(5):290-295. 6. Todd et al. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 7. Doyle et al. Clinical Chiropractic. 2011;14(3):97-105. 8. Haavik et al. 2012. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 22(5), 768–776. 9. Wen et al. Eur Urol. 2006;49(6):1107-1113. 10. Robson. N Engl J Med. 2009;360(14):1429-1436.


Central Nervous System & Immune System

Central Nervous System & Immune System

Central Nervous System & Immune System

Central Nervous System & Immune System

Did you know that your nervous system and immune system talk to each other? It was once thought that these two super systems were not even linked together, but now we know they are not only linked but rely on each other to make sure your body works properly and stays healthy.

Given the current crisis we are facing with the CoVid-19 virus, it is important that we understand how our amazing body works to defend ourselves during an immune response. We hear a lot in the media about doing all the important things to protect ourselves and others, like washing our hands, sneezing or coughing into our elbow or a tissue and keeping away from others if you are sick- these are all really important.

However, what is also important is a healthy immune system, because that is our in-built defence against things like bacteria and viruses that can harm our bodies. Most people know that having a healthy immune system is important, but what many don’t know is that having a healthy NERVOUS system is also important. That is because these two systems, immune and nervous system, talk and work together to look out for changes inside and outside our bodies and to launch an immune response when needed.

Central Nervous System & Immune System

We have these groups of cells all around our body, called neuro-immune cell units, which are made up of nerve cells and immune cells, and they talk to each other through chemical messages.1 When they sense an invader in the body, like a virus, they release chemicals to start an immune response, and they send messages to tell the brain what is happening. A special part of the brain called the Hypothalamus, then releases hormones to tell other parts of the brain to release more hormones.2-7 It is a case of one thing triggering another and eventually these two little glands that sit on top of our kidneys (adrenal glands) are told to release a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol acts by controlling the immune response so it is not too extreme.3 7 8 This is a case of wanting just enough immune response and not too much or it will cause other problems for the body.

We also have another part of our nervous system, called the autonomic nervous system, that talks to the immune system. This part of your nervous system controls things that are automatic, that we don’t have to think about, like breathing or our heartbeat. Our immune system is also something that is automatic and there are nerves that go to all of our immune organs, like our spleen and tonsils.4 5 9-14 These nerves then talk to the immune cells through chemical messages and cause the release of other hormones which can then control and co-ordinate a healthy immune response.10-14

This automatic part of our nervous system also detects emotional stress, and this is how stress can interfere with our immune response. Cortisol, the hormone that controls the immune response, is also released under stress. Through these two pathways, emotional stress can alter the levels of the immune chemical messengers in the body and weaken our immune response.8 9 15-17

So, we can now see that the central nervous system and the immune system talk to each other and work together to properly defend the body from invading pathogens and tissue injury. So, how does this relate to chiropractic? Check out the “Chiropractic and the Immune System: Summary Article” for what the research says specifically about chiropractic and its influence on the immune system. Not only does chiropractic affect the immune system,  but there is also evidence that chiropractic definitely affects the nervous system.

We know now, from a lot of neuroscience research studies, that when your spine is not moving properly, this changes the way your brain can sense what is going on in and around your body and the way it controls your body.18-20  If the joints of your spine are not moving properly, what chiropractors call being subluxated,  this may affect how well you can sense what is going on in and around you and how well you can react to your environment. Research has shown that when a chiropractor then gently adjusts these subluxations, it helps the brain to more accurately ‘see’ what is going on in and around the body.21-24

Research has also shown that when a chiropractor adjusts these subluxations,  it activates a   part of our brain called the pre-frontal cortex.25 The pre-frontal cortex is like the conductor in an orchestra, the brain being the orchestra in this case. It  regulates  and  controls  many  functions  of the brain, some  of  which  are  directly  linked  to the immune system, including the autonomic nervous system and the hypothalamus and the related hormonal system.8 26 27

So, when you get adjusted by your chiropractor, it might help you to be able to respond and adapt to your environment better and allow your nervous system and your immune system to talk to each other clearly to keep you balanced and healthy.

References and Disclaimer

This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be professional advice of any kind. Haavik Research Limited encourages you to make your own health care decisions based on your  own research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. 1. Godinho-Silva C, Cardoso F & Veiga-Fernandes H. Annual review of immunology 2019;37:19-46. 2. I Am. So pleased you are. Reading this reference list 🙂 3. Buckingham JC, et al. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 1996;54(1):285-98. 4. Kawli T, He F & Tan M-W. Disease models & mechanisms 2010;3(11-12):721-31. 5. Kipnis J. Scientific American 2018;319(2):28-35. 6. Mulla A & Buckingham JC. Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 1999;13(4):503-21. 7. Silverman MN, et al. Viral Immunol 2005;18(1):41-78. 8. Leonard BE. Neuroimmunomod- ulation 2006;13(5-6):268-76. 9. Aich P, Potter AA & Griebel PJ. Int J Gen Med 2009;2:19-32. 10. Elenkov IJ, et al. Pharmacological reviews 2000;52(4):595-638. 11. Felten SY, et al. In: Goldstein DS, Eisenhofer G, McCarty R, eds. Advances in Pharmacology: Academic Press 1997:583-87. 12. Kohm AP, Sanders VM. Norepinephrine: a messenger from the brain to the immune system. Immunology today 2000;21(11):539-42. 13. Nance DM, Sanders VM. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 2007;21(6):736-45. 14. Sanders VM, Kohm AP. International review of neurobiology 2002;52:17-41. 15. Dorshkind K, Horseman ND. BioEssays 2001;23(3):288-94. 16. Godbout JP, Glaser R. J Neuroimmune Pharma 2006;1(4):421-27. 17. Herkenham M, Kigar SL. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2017;79(Pt A):49-57. 18. Uthaikhup S, et al. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2012;55(3):667-72.

Haavik H, Murphy B. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2012;22(5):768-76. 20. Treleaven J. Man Ther 2008;13(1):2-11. 21. Daligadu J, et al. JMPT 2013;36(8):527-37. 22. Haavik H, Murphy B. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 2012;22(5):768-76. 23. Haavik H, et al. JMPT. 2017 doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2016.10.002 24. Taylor HH, Murphy B. JMPT. 2008;31(2):115-26. 25. Lelic D, et al. Neural Plasticity 2016;2016:1-9. 26. Diorio D, Viau V, Meaney M. The Journal of Neuroscience 1993;13(9):3839-47. 27. Hänsel A, Von Känel R. BioPsychoSocial Medicine 2008;2(1):21.


Chiropractic & The Immune System

Chiropractic & The Immune System

Chiropractic & The Immune System

Chiropractic & The Immune System

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the world, one of the questions many people have asked is ‘what can I do to help boost my immune system’? One of the goals of chiropractic care is to help you to function at your optimal potential, including the function of your immune system. So, let’s look at how chiropractic care may affect your immune function

We all know that there are lots of ways we can help protect ourselves and others and stop viruses like Covid-19 from spreading. We know that washing your hands with soap, sneezing or coughing into your elbow or a tissue and keeping away from others if you are sick are all really important. However, what is also really important is to have a healthy immune system, because that is your built-in defence against things like bacteria and viruses that can harm your body.

Research has clearly shown us that your immune system relies on your brain and central nervous system to guide the way it responds to potential threats to your health.1 These 2 super-systems, your central nervous system and immune system, are closely linked and they work together to detect and appropriately respond to anything that may harm you.1 Your immune system actually acts as a sensory system, providing information to your brain about what is occurring in your body and your brain responds to help create an appropriate immune response. 1-8

So, we know that your brain and immune system communicate and work together to launch an effective and appropriate immune response.1-8  We also know that when your spine is not moving properly, this changes the way your brain can sense what is going on in and around your body and the way it controls your body.9-11 And we know that if your chiropractor adjusts your spine and improves the way it’s moving, it helps your brain to more accurately  ‘see’  what is going on in and around your body.12-15 This suggests that having a well-adjusted spine could have an impact on your immune function, so let’s take a look at what the research tells us about this potential link.

Two recent scientific studies have summarised the research that has investigated chiropractic care or spinal manipulation and how it affects the immune system.16 17 One of these reviews16 found 13 different studies that looked at spinal manipulation and the immune system. Most of these studies focused on a very important immune chemical called cortisol. In the second review,17 they found 8 studies that looked at spinal manipulation and a number of immune chemicals, including cortisol. What the scientists found in these reviews was that spinal manipulation seems to trigger the activation of the neuro-immuno-endocrine system…  in other words, when you get adjusted by your chiropractor, it alters the way your nervous system works, which then has an impact on the way your immune system works. However, there is a big BUT when it comes to understanding what these findings mean. This is because we simply don’t know yet whether these chemical changes in the immune system have an important impact on your overall immunity or not. To fully understand this, we need to do more research. So, we know that when your spine is adjusted by your chiropractor it often influences your immune system, but we don’t know if this will have a real impact on the way your immune system will fight off something nasty like a virus.

From these two reviews there are 2 ‘bottom-line conclusions’ about the link between chiropractic and the immune system:

1:  Chiropractic adjustments have been shown in the research literature to affect the levels of chemicals in your body that are important for a healthy immune response.

2: We don’t know yet whether these chemical changes have an important impact on your overall immunity or not, to fully understand this we need to do more research.

So, there is a  link,  but scientists don’t yet know if that means chiropractic care will improve your immune system in a way that will help prevent you from getting sick, or whether chiropractic will reduce your symptoms if you get sick, or shorten the duration of your illness. Unfortunately, no studies have yet been done that have looked at these very important questions.

This means that when you get adjusted by your chiropractor, it might help you to be able to respond and adapt to your environment better and allow your nervous system and your immune system to talk to each other more clearly, to keep you balanced and healthy. But, we need to do more research to really find out if chiropractic care really does help boost the function of your immune system in a way that’s important for your health.

Disclaimer and References

This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be professional advice of any kind. Haavik Research Limited encourages you to make your own health care decisions based on your own research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. 1. Kawli T, He F & Tan M-W. Disease models & mechanisms 2010;3(11-12):721-31. 2. Buckingham JC, et al. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 1996;54(1):285-98. 3. Elenkov IJ, et al. Pharmacological reviews 2000;52(4):595-638. 4. Herkenham M & Kigar SL. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry 2017;79(Pt A):49-57. 5. Kipnis J. Scientific American 2018;319(2):28-35. 6. Kox M, et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2014;111(20):7379-84. 7. Pearce BD, Biron CA & Miller AH. Advances in Virus Research: Academic Press 2001:469-513. 8. Sanders VM & Kohm AP. International review of neurobiology 2002;52:17-41. 9. Uthaikhup S et al. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2012;55(3):667-72. 10. Haavik H & Murphy B. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2012;22(5):768-76. 11. Treleaven J. Man Ther 2008;13(1):2-11. 12. Daligadu J, et al.JMPT 2013;36(8):527-37. 13. Haavik H & Murphy B. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 2012;22(5):768-76. 14. Haavik H, et al. 2017 doi: 10.1016/j. jmpt.2016.10.002 15. Taylor HH & Murphy B. JMPT 2008;31(2):115-26. 16. Colombi A & Testa M. Medicina 2019;55(8):448. 17. Kovanur-Sampath K, et al. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice 2017;29:120-31.


Chiropractic And Pregnancy

Chiropractic And Pregnancy

Chiropractic And Pregnancy

Chiropractic And Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a really exciting time for parents as they get ready for their family to grow with the baby’s arrival. As the baby grows, mum’s body changes as she prepares to give birth. Sometimes these changes can be uncomfortable or painful, with about three-quarters of pregnant mums suffering from pain in their back or pelvis.1, 2 This is one reason that so many pregnant mums seek chiropractic care.

Is it safe?

When deciding whether they should see a chiropractor, pregnant mums often ask ‘is it safe to be adjusted by the chiropractor when I’m pregnant?’ The good news is that chiropractors can tailor the care they provide to each individual  patient  and  the research suggests that chiropractic care during pregnancy is safe for both mum and baby.4, 6

What does the research say?

But what does the research tell us about the benefits of seeing a chiropractor while you’re pregnant? When it comes to back pain, not many big studies have been done yet that have looked at whether chiropractic care helps pregnant mums.3 So, although more research is needed, results from the research that has been done so far are  promising and seem to show that for some pregnant mums, chiropractic care can be really helpful.4

In one study, researchers in Switzerland followed 115 pregnant women for a year who went to see a chiropractor with low back pain.5 What they found in this study was that over half of the patients said they ‘improved’ after just 1 week of chiropractic care, and after a month that figure had grown to 70%. By the end of the study, about 90% of the mums who entered the study said their pain was better. From this study, we can’t be sure if it was the chiropractic care that really helped them but at the end of the study over 85% of the mum’s said they were happy with the care they received from their chiropractor.

Could chiropractic care help me through delivery?

One area that researchers think chiropractic care may help pregnant mums is with the delivery of their baby. For a woman in labour, the ability to relax and contract her pelvic floor muscles is really important for helping the baby to move through the birth canal.7 Ideally, for the birth process to go as well as possible, giving the greatest chance of natural, vaginal birth, you want strong pelvic floor muscles that can relax and contract at just the right time.7, 8

In a study conducted in New Zealand, researchers studied pelvic floor muscle function in pregnant women before and after they were adjusted by a chiropractor. What they found was that after the pregnant women were adjusted, their pelvic floor muscles appeared to relax more when they were at rest. This relaxation of their pelvic floor muscles after they were adjusted may mean that chiropractic care could help them to have a natural vaginal delivery. This was only a small trial, and the researchers couldn’t be sure how much of an impact these relaxed muscles would have on labour itself, but it does suggest that for pregnant mums, chiropractic care may give them more control over their pelvic floor muscles, which may make childbirth easier. Other research supports this idea with one study reporting that new mums experience on average a 25% reduction in the length of labour time with chiropractic care during pregnancy and that rises to a 31% reduction for mothers who have given birth before.4

It makes sense to keep yourself as healthy as possible during your pregnancy.  So,  if you want help with the way your spine and nervous system are functioning, consider seeing your chiropractor, because it’s natural, safe, and may help you to feel better and boost your chances of having a faster, easier delivery of your little bundle of joy.

References 1. Malmqvist, et al. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2012;35(4):272-8. 2. Weis, et al. Journal Of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada 2018;40(8):1038-43. 3. Stuber & Smith. Journal Of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2008;31(6):447-54. 4. Borggren. Pregnancy and Chiropractic: a Narrative Review Of the Literature. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 2007;6(2):70-74. 5. Peterson, Muhlemann, Humphreys. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 2014;22(1):15. 6. Stuber, Wynd, Weis. Chiropr Man Therap 2012;20:8. 7. Yan, et al. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews Systems Biology and Medicine 2016;8(6):506-16. 8. Du, et al. International Urogynecology Journal 2015;26(10):1415-27.


Chiropractic And Strokes

Chiropractic And Strokes

Chiropractic And Strokes

Chiropractic And Strokes

Having a stroke can be devastating! Not just for the person who has the stroke, but also for their family, friends, and caregivers. They are one of the leading causes of death and disability in the world.1 In fact, about 17 million people around the world suffer from a significant stroke every year! And about 5 million of them experience long term disability.

In case you’re not sure what a stroke is, it’s something that causes a problem with the blood supply to the brain. This could be because of a blockage in an artery in the brain or a bleed in the brain itself. We all know how important our brain is, and without blood, it just doesn’t work, which is why strokes can be fatal or result in significant long-term disability.2

One of the most common disabilities after a stroke is muscle weakness, often on one side of the body. This may mean that after a stroke, a person has trouble using their arm or hand, or they may struggle to stand or walk.3 Living with muscle weakness can be really hard and have a big impact on a person’s ability to look after themselves or work.

There are lots of rehabilitative approaches that may help people who have had a stroke from physiotherapy through to robot-assisted therapies.4-6 But doctors and scientists are constantly looking for new approaches to help stroke survivors.3

One possible intervention that might help, that most people wouldn’t think of, is chiropractic care.

Over the past 20 years, scientists have been showing that chiropractic care can actually change the way your brain works and how it controls your body, including movement and strength.7-16 A number of recent studies have shown that a single session of chiropractic care can result in an immediate increase in strength.17-20 In one of these studies, the researchers found a 16% increase in strength of leg muscles in a group of students after a session of chiropractic care.17 Another study reported an 8% increase in strength in elite athletes after they were adjusted by a chiropractor,19 and one more studies found an 11% increase in jaw strength in a group of healthy people after chiropractic adjustments.18

Chiropractic may help

But could chiropractic care help someone who has muscle weakness because they’ve had a stroke? A new study says maybe it can!20 In this study that was published in the reputable journal Scientific Reports, researchers looked at changes in strength in weak leg muscles after chiropractic care in people who had suffered from a stroke.20 The team of scientists that did this study measured the strength of weak leg muscles in chronic stroke patients before and after a single session of chiropractic care or a sham control session. They also used electrical stimulations of nerves in their legs, which could help them to work out whether any changes in strength came from their brain or something that was happening in their spinal cord.

When they analysed the data from their study, the scientists found an average improvement in the strength of almost 65% in the affected leg of these stroke patients. They were blown away by this finding because 65% is a huge difference! They also found that these strength changes were due to changes in the way their brain was communicating with these weak muscles, as opposed to changes in their spinal cord. These results are really exciting, but you do need to remember that the scientists only looked at immediate changes after chiropractic care, so they don’t yet know how long the changes last for. That’s why they’re now doing another study to look at how longer-term chiropractic care impacts how stroke survivors can walk and move.

However, these initial ground-breaking findings are really important and may mean that chiropractic care can help people who have had a stroke to improve their strength and ability to walk and move. So, if someone you know has suffered from a stroke, let them know that chiropractic care may really help to improve their brain/body communication and to get them moving again!

Disclaimer and References
This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be professional advice of any kind. Haavik Research Limited encourages you to make your own health care decisions based on your own research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. 1. Sherzai AZ, Elkind MS. Advances in stroke prevention. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2015;1338:1-15. 2. Clarke DJ, Forster A. Improving post-stroke recovery: the role of the multidisciplinary health care team. J Multidiscip Healthc 2015;8:433-42. 3. Chen JC, Shaw FZ. Progress in sensorimotor rehabilitative physical therapy programs for stroke patients. World J Clin Cases 2014;2(8):316-26. 4. Veerbeek JM, Langbroek-Amersfoort AC, van Wegen EE, et al. Effects of Robot-Assisted Therapy for the Upper Limb After Stroke. Neurorehabilitation and neural repair 2017;31(2):107-21. 5.
Greisberger A, Aviv H, Garbade SF, et al. Clinical relevance of the effects of reach-to-grasp training using trunk restraint in individuals with hemiparesis poststroke: A systematic review. J Rehabil Med 2016;48(5):405-16.
Wist S, Clivaz J, Sattelmayer M. Muscle strengthening for hemiparesis after stroke: A meta-analysis. Annals of physical and rehabilitation medicine 2016;59(2):114-24. 7. Haavik H, Murphy B. Subclinical neck pain and the effects of cervical manipulation on elbow joint position sense. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics 2011;34:88-97. 8. Haavik H, Murphy B. The role of spinal manipulation in addressing disordered sensorimotor integration and altered motor control. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 2012;22(5):768-76. 9. Haavik Taylor H, Murphy B. Altered cortical integration of dual somatosensory input following the cessation of a 20 minute period of repetitive muscle activity. Exp Brain Res 2007;178(4):488-98. 10. Haavik Taylor H, Murphy B. Cervical spine manipulation alters sensorimotor integration: A somatosensory evoked potential study. Clin Neurophysiol 2007;118(2):391-402. 11. Haavik Taylor H, Murphy B. Transient modu-lation of intracortical inhibition following spinal manipulation. Chiropractic Journal of Australia 2007;37:106-16.
Haavik Taylor H, Murphy B. Altered sensorimotor integration with cervical spine manipulation. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2008;31(2):115-26. 13. Haavik Taylor H, Murphy B. Altered Central Integration of Dual Somatosensory Input Following Cervical Spine Manipulation. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics 2010;33 (3):178-88. 14. Haavik Taylor H, Murphy B. The effects of spinal manipulation on central integration of dual somatosensory input observed following motor training: A crossover study. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics 2010;33 (4):261-72. 15. Marshall P, Murphy B. The Effect of Sacroiliac Joint Manipulation on Feed-Forward Activation Times of the Deep Abdominal Musculature Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2006;29(3 ):196-202. 16. Niazi I, Türker K, Flavel S, et al. Changes in H-reflex and V waves following spinal manipulation. Exp Brain Res 2015;233:1165-73. 17. Niazi IK, Turker KS, Flavel S, et al. Changes in H-reflex and V-waves following spinal manipulation. Exp Brain Res 2015. 18. Haavik H, Ozyurt MG, Niazi IK, et al. Chiropractic Manipulation Increases Maximal Bite Force in Healthy Individuals. Brain sciences 2018;8(5). 19. Christiansen TL, Niazi IK, Holt K, et al. The effects of a single session of spinal manipulation on strength and cortical drive in athletes. Eur J Appl Physiol 2018;118(4):737-49. 20. Holt K, Niazi IK, Nedergaard RW, et al. The effects of a single session of chiropractic care on strength, cortical drive, and spinal excitability in stroke patients. Scientific Reports 2019;9(1):2673.


Crying Babies

Crying Babies

Crying Babies

Crying Babies

Aside from being stressful, tiring even heart-breaking for parents infant colic can cause both physical and psychological symptoms in parents and can lead to marital tension, social disruption and child abuse.1 The causes of infantile colic are still unknown and traditional medical intervention is often ineffective.1 The traditional medical management for colic involves prescribing drugs such as simethicone drops or proton pump inhibitors. However, systematic reviews have consistently shown that these interventions are no more effective than placebo.2

What is colic?

When a baby cries inconsolably for more than three hours per day,  more than three days per week, for  longer  than  three  weeks this is  known  as  ‘infantile   colic’.2   Colic affects up to 40% of children worldwide.1,2

Why try chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a safe and effective choice for even the smallest members of society.3-5  In one study researchers showed that babies who received chiropractic care cried significantly less than those who did not receive care.6 Because so many high quality clinical trials have shown chiropractic care helps babies with colic cry less – up to 50% less – it’s well worth giving it a go!

Is it safe for kids?

Over recent years the safety of chiropractic care for children and infants has been investigated by many researchers.3-5 The results of their studies suggest that chiropractic care can be safely provided to even the youngest members of our society. Adverse events in children after chiropractic care are rare and usually don’t require further care.3-5

It’s every parent’s nightmare – your beautiful a newborn is in obvious distress and you can’t figure out how to console your little monkey. The suffocating array of parental advice may be leaving you confused. So, what do you do when your baby has colic? In this issue, we have summarised some of the latest research on infants with colic. We hope to bust some myths and put your mind at ease.

As many as 40% of all babies suffer from colic.1,2 A study conducted in the UK looked at the effectiveness of chiropractic care in affected children.6 The researchers observed 104 babies who were randomised into three groups. The first group of babies were given chiropractic

As many as 40% of all babies suffer from colic1,2 care and their parents knew they were seeing a chiropractor. The second group also received chiropractic care, but their parents didn’t know whether their baby was receiving the care or the control intervention. And the third group didn’t get checked by the chiropractor; instead, they received the control intervention. These parents also didn’t know whether their baby was receiving care or control.

Crying in babies receiving chiropractic care reduced by around 50%.6

Parents were asked to complete a 10-day ‘crying diary’. The findings from this study suggest that even without chiropractic care crying time reduced. However, babies under chiropractic care cried up to 3 hours less compared to those who did not receive care.

Interestingly, the parent’s awareness of whether their baby was receiving chiropractic care, or the control did not matter. This confirms previous studies that have also shown babies with colic responding well to chiropractic care.4 It suggests that the child’s improvement is probably due to chiropractic and not parent bias or parent placebo effect.

Further, this study found that excessively crying babies were (at least!) 5 times less likely to cry if they received care, compared to not receiving care. So it’s very likely that chiropractic care really does help at least some babies who are suffering from colic.

Remember that the chiropractor isn’t directly trying to treat the colic. Instead, they’re trying to improve spinal function with the aim of improving your child’s brain’s ability to process what’s going on in their body. And for some kids, this seems to result in less crying time! This has to be a good thing for the whole family!

Chiropractors modify their techniques to suit the age, anatomy, and unique physiology of their young patients.1

Alcantara et al. Explore (NY). 2011;7(3):168-174. 2. Johnson et al. Am Fam Physician. 2015;92(7): 577-582. 3. Alcantara et al. Explore (NY). 2009;5(5):290-295. 4. Doyle.

Clinical Chiropractic. 2011;14(3):97-105. 5. Todd et al. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2014 6. Miller et al. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2012; 35(8):600-7


Effects Of An Adjustment

Effects Of An Adjustment

Effects Of An Adjustment

Effects Of An Adjustment

Recent scientific studies are revealing a new understanding about how chiropractic spinal adjustments work. Today, over a hundred years on from the ‘first’ chiropractic adjustment, we know much more about how the brain and the rest of the central nervous system functions. And we are beginning to understand the big picture of how chiropractic adjustments really work.

What is a subluxation?

Chiropractors adjust dysfunctional segments in your spine called subluxations. Originally, many people thought that dysfunctional ‘subluxated’ spinal segments were ‘out of place’, or misaligned and that this put pressure on the nerves exiting the spine. We now know that this theory is not really the best way to describe what a subluxation is. We have come to understand that we don’t really put bones back in place when we adjust the spine. A vertebral subluxation is not so much the condition of a bone being out of place; it is more than a bone is functioning or moving in a less than ideal way – in a manner that is not ‘normal’ for the body.

The Reality Check Book

If you would like to know more about this cutting-edge chiropractic research, Dr Heidi Haavik has written a  book about it called The Reality Check: A quest to understand Chiropractic from the inside out. Available for purchase at heidihaavik.com

A recent wave of scientific discovery has quite clearly revealed that the brain retains its ability to adapt to its ever-changing environment throughout life. It has also become clear to neuroscientists how important it is for our brains to maintain an accurate and up-to-date inner ‘map’ of the location of our muscles and joints in 3D space. Without this inner map, our brain is unable to properly control our body.

The spinal function seems to be one factor the brain uses as part of its integration of  all information to create your inner virtual reality

If you think about it, it’s really very simple. Most of what you perceive as reality is simply what your brain considers reality to be, or your brain’s translation and interpretation of all the information it gets from its sensory receptors (in your ears, eyes, skin, muscles, etc.). With this in mind, can you be sure that what you see is a complete and accurate reflection of what is in front of you? Neuroscientists know that this is not the case. For example, our eyes interpret the colour of an object based on what colour we think it should be, which is influenced by the colour of nearby objects. Our brain basically fills in the gaps, as needed, based on past experiences and expectations.

This is where chiropractic comes into the picture. Research indicates that vertebral subluxations lead to changes in the information that part of the spine sends to the brain. Instead of the brain receiving information that the subluxated spinal segment is moving as it should, it will get different information. It may get information that the subluxated segment is moving more than ‘normal’, not moving much at all, or just moving differently to ‘normal’. What’s really interesting is that when spinal segments don’t move properly it influences how the brain perceives and responds to other sensory information. The spinal function seems to be one factor the brain uses as part of its integration of all information to create your inner virtual reality. When this happens it can result in a breakdown in proper movement control that influences human performance and can end up causing pain and other dysfunction.1

Klutz syndrome

Chiropractic care plays a role in assisting those who display poor proprioceptive function which has been dubbed ‘Klutz Syndrome’. Proprioception means your brains ability to know where all your body parts are when you close your eyes. You rely on this sense to be able to move without making mistakes. If a subluxation alters your inner map your proprioceptive function will be impaired.  This may mean you may not accurately know where your arms or legs are when your eyes are closed, which means you are more likely to be clumsy and accident-prone. Recent research has objectively demonstrated that chiropractic adjustments can improve proprioception,2,3 which means the brain will be better able to respond to sensory stimuli and control limb function and movement more accurately.

To put it simply, chiropractic care improves the communication between the brain and body and results in better control of the core muscles during body movements, so that you are at less risk of injury.4 Research is showing that a single session of chiropractic care may improve core muscle activation5 and increase muscle contractions that are equivalent to those seen following three weeks of strength training.6 This has got to be good news for patients seeking to enhance their athletic performance and prevent injuries from occurring!

  1. Haavik & Murphy. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. Apr 5 2012;22(5):768-776. 2. Haavik & Murphy. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics. 2011;34:88-97. 3. Holt et al. JMPT. Apr 2 2016. 4. Malliou et al. Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation 17: 101–104 101 5. Marshall & Murphy. JMPT. 2006;29:196-202. 6. Niazi et al. Exp Brain Res. 2015;233:1165-1173.

To purchase Heidi’s book visit heidihaavik.com


Evidence-based Chiropractic

Evidence-based Chiropractic

Evidence-based Chiropractic

Evidence-based Chiropractic

Healthcare has changed over recent decades. No longer do doctors simply provide care based on what they read in textbooks during their training. Modern healthcare should be based on a combination of relevant current research, the clinical experience of your healthcare provider, and your wishes and values. This is called “evidence-based practice”.

You deserve to know the scientific facts about your healthcare. So, your healthcare provider should know what the best available evidence is that’s relevant to you, and they should share it with you when you see them.

But not all things have yet been studied, so your healthcare provider also has to rely on their own clinical experience when caring for you.

And at the end of the day, your healthcare is your choice, and you have every right to make choices based on your own values and beliefs.

This is known as evidence-based practice or evidence-informed practice. Your health care providers are taught to share with you the best available scientific evidence  (in easy to understand language without any medical jargon). They are also trained to share with you their own clinical experience and then allow you to make your own healthcare decisions.

Chiropractic has a great scientific basis that is growing every day. So, you can take great comfort in knowing that there has been lots of research done about chiropractic care. We know from many research studies that chiropractic is safe compared to most healthcare choices and that people who see chiropractors really love the care they receive.1-

We know from the science that chiropractic care improves your brain’s ability to see what is going on in and around your body.4 This means you can have all sorts of improvements in your health and function other than just the reason you went to see your chiropractor to begin with.5 Many people say they experience improvements in things like the way they breathe,5 or their blood pressure,6 or even their digestion when they get adjusted,7 irrespective of whether they saw their chiropractor because they were in pain or not.

We also know from science that people who have spinal problems, such as back pain, neck pain, and headaches, improve well under chiropractic care. 8-10

Chiropractic may help

Low back pain may be due to a breakdown in the way that your brain is controlling the muscles in your back.11 So, your back and brain aren’t talking to each other properly, which may mean that you aren’t able to control and stabilise your spine properly and protect yourself from injuring your back when you move or lift an object. This is where a chiropractor can help. A chiropractor will gently adjust any dysfunctional spinal segments in your back, or what they call chiropractic subluxations. They do this to restore healthy spinal movement, and to improve the communication between your brain and your body, which may have an impact on the way your brain is controlling the muscles in your back. For many people with back pain, this can result in a big difference to the way they feel and function. And it can help them to get over their back pain and get back to enjoying life.

The research backs this up and tells us that for people with low back pain,  chiropractic care is as effective, if not more effective, than other healthcare options.12 13 More research needs to be done to work out just how effective it is, but for now, the research suggests there are no better health care options available.13

The same is true for other conditions such as neck pain and many types of headaches.9 14 There’s also lots of research being done that looks at how chiropractors can help people with all sorts of problems that may be caused by a breakdown in communication between your brain and your body. It turns out that spinal function is really important for your brain to know what is going on in and around you.15

So, when you see your chiropractor, you can feel secure knowing that the care they provide is backed up by research as well as their clinical experience. But remember your health care is your choice and you can make choices based on your own values and beliefs. And this lies at the heart of evidence-based healthcare.

So, have you seen your family chiropractor lately? If not, go have your brain/body connection fine-tuned, because chiropractic is all about helping you to feel great and to get the most out of life by functioning at your optimal potential!

Disclaimer and References

This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be professional advice of any kind. Haavik Research Limited encourages you to make your own health care decisions based on your own research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. 1. Gaumer G. Factors associated with patient satisfaction with chiropractic care: survey and review of the literature. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2006;29(6):455-62. 2. Weigel PA, Hockenberry JM, Wolinsky FD. Chiropractic use in the Medicare population: prevalence, patterns, and associations with 1-year changes in health and satisfaction with care. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2014;37(8):542-51. 3. Gouveia LO, Castanho P,  Ferreira JJ. Safety of chiropractic interventions: a systematic review. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2009;34(11):E405-13. 4. Haavik H, Murphy B. The role  of spinal manipulation in addressing disordered sensorimotor integration and altered motor control. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2012;22(5):768-76. 5. Hawk C, Khorsan R, Lisi AJ, et al. Chiropractic Care for Nonmusculoskeletal Conditions: A Systematic Review with Implications for Whole Systems Research. J Altern Com-plement Med 2007;13(5):491-512. 6. Bakris G, Dickholtz Sr M, Meyer PM, et al. Atlas vertebra realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients: a pilot study. Journal of human hypertension 2007;21(5):347-52. 7. Alcantara J, Ohm J, Kunz D. The safety and effectiveness of pediatric chiropractic: a survey of chiropractors and parents in a practice-based research network. Explore (NY) 2009;5(5):290-5. 8. Ruddock JK, Sallis H, Ness A, et al. Spinal Manipulation Vs Sham Manipulation for Nonspecific Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. J Chiropr Med 2016;15(3):165-83. 9. Bryans R, Descarreaux M, Duranleau M, et al. Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2011;34(5):274-89. 10. Bryans R, Decina P, Descarreaux M, et al. Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with neck pain. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2014;37(1):42-63.


Maintenance Care

Maintenance Care

Maintenance Care

Maintenance Care

People go to see a  chiropractor for many different reasons.1  Some go because they are in pain, some go because they want to perform better on the sporting field, and some want to sleep better. But did you know that almost 50% of chiropractic patients go to see their chiropractor because they simply want to maintain their health and well-being!

What is maintenance care?

Maintenance care is when patients go to a chiropractor even when they are not in pain or discomfort. The idea with maintenance care is that regular adjustments will help maintain your spine and nervous system function at its optimal level and help you to be your best and to prevent new episodes of pain developing.2

What does the research say about maintenance care?

It makes sense to look after your health so you don’t get sick, right? And that often you get sick because you have been pushing yourself too hard and you’ve become run down? Well, the research tells us that your spine can get run down too, long before you feel pain. We know that if your brain doesn’t send appropriate protective messages to your core trunk muscles you will have a higher risk of developing low back injuries.3 This makes sense because a lack of core stability means you’re basically creating mini whiplash injuries to your spine each time you move around or lift your arm or leg. So, if you end up in pain after bending down to tie your shoelaces your pain hasn’t really just come out of the blue, it’s usually been developing for some time without you knowing about it. It’s often the thousandth straw that breaks the camel’s back. All of life’s stressors can build up and impact the way your brain is communicating with your trunk muscles and then all that is needed is one last minor thing to go wrong and you end up with pain or other symptoms. The goal of maintenance care is to help take the straws off your camels back before they cause symptoms or have a big impact on your life. So, the research tells us that chiropractic maintenance care makes perfect sense.

A study published by researchers from Sweden in 20184 showed the benefits of maintenance care in a group of people who suffered from low back pain. In this study, the researchers followed 328 patients with low back pain who went to   40 different Swedish chiropractic clinics. If the patients responded well when they were first adjusted they joined the study and either received chiropractic maintenance care over the next year or symptom guided care. The maintenance care patients were seen every 1 to 3  months with the intention being that they were checked before substantial pain reoccurred. Patients in the control group were told to call if and when pain recurred. They were then adjusted until they got better,  and they were told to call again if the pain returned. What the researchers were most interested in was the number of days of bothersome back pain suffered by each group throughout the 1-year trial period.

What they found was that the maintenance care group experienced 13 fewer days of pain over the course of the study on average compared to the symptom-guided group. The amazing thing from this study was that the maintenance care group needed less than 2 extra visits to their chiropractor over the course of a year to have 13 fewer days of pain. This suggests that patients who have had low back pain, who respond well to care, should see their chiropractor regularly, irrespective of whether their symptoms have returned or not. This study did have some limitations of course. One limitation was that chiropractors were told not to schedule their maintenance care patients more frequently than once a month. So some patients in this group may have benefited even more if the chiropractors had been able to schedule their visits more frequently if they thought that was a good idea.

This study shows that it’s really important to keep your spine working well, even if you don’t have pain or symptoms. So, if you want to function  at your optimal potential consider chiropractic maintenance care because the research suggests your spine will love you for it

References

  1. Adams J, et al. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2017;42(23):1810-16. 2. Leboeuf-Yde C, Hestbæk L. Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2008;16:3-3. 3. Cholewicki J, et al. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2005;30(23):2614-20. 4. Eklund, et al. PLoS One 2018;13(9):e0203029.