Shirley Rd Chiropractic Blog

What follows are a series of interesting cases or points regarding health care. Please feel free to comment.

Spinal Health Week

Live Better, We've Got Your Back

Spinal Health Week 2014

Yesterday launched Spinal Health Week, the CAA initiative aimed to encourage Australians to become more proactive in their own healthcare with the theme “Live better, We’ve Got Your Back”. Our previous blog discussed areas where we can improve our spinal health in the workplace, however as family chiropractors, we also have some tips for children and families! 

Live Better, We've Got Your Back

Spinal Health Week 19-25 May

Live Better, We've Got Your Back

Spinal Health Week 19-25 May


The month of May promotes the launch of the theme for Spinal Health Week (May 19-25) "Live Better, We’ve Got Your Back", a national initiative of the CAA. Spinal health week encourages the general population to take control of their healthcare and improve their postural fitness.

UNSW Neurological Society AAFN Presentation

Brent Gordon presents a talk to the UNSW Neurological Society

Brent Gordon presented a talk to the UNSW Neurological Society on behalf of the Australasian Academy of Functional Neurology (AAFN) on Thursday 10 October 2013. Brent spoke alongside Neurology Fellow Dr. Justine Wang and Registrar Dr. Michael Fong to medical students on the importance of neurological examination skills. Brent was asked by the academy to introduce the current concepts in Functional Neuroscience to medical students with a special interest in Neurology.

Swim for your back pain while our Olympians swim for gold

Swimming is great for easing back pain

With the London Olympics finally here, Aussies will be reminded why as well as being one of our favourite pastimes, swimming is a fantastic way for people of all ages to keep fit and stay healthy. Incorporating almost every muscle and joint of the body, swimming offers something no other aerobic exercise does: the ability to undertake a whole-body workout under low-impact conditions and as a result, protect your muscles and joints from unnecessary stress and strain.

Whether it’s up to your knees or up to your neck, the water bears a considerable proportion of your body’s weight, making the odd paddle particularly beneficial for individuals recovering from injury or suffering from stiff and painful joints associated with arthritis. Movement of the entire body against the resistance of the water increases muscle tone and strength, burns kilojoules and enhances cardiovascular and respiratory endurance.

Improve your health, improve your golf handicap!

Golf swing can be particularly hazardous to the body

The golf swing can be particularly hazardous to the body if done incorrectly and therefore it is vital to ensure stabilisation of the spine is occurring in order to reduce the likeliness of injury.

These days, our more sedentary approach to life on the whole has contributed to a general lack of flexibility and stabilisation of our musculoskeletal system - key factors in improving your game and reducing your pain. The golf swing incorporates nearly every joint between the tips of the toes and the ends of the fingers, so it’s really no surprise that even just one poorly functioning area may be the thing holding you back from that single-figure handicap!  Any restriction in the motion and stability of your body’s joints ultimately shifts the workload to other, healthier joints, causing compensatory strain and increasing the likelihood of injury. It may even be costing you that birdie on the 9th hole!

Chiropractic for the athlete: Cricket Australia criticised for its current approach to Injury Management

Mitch Marsh and Cricket Australia

Former Australian fast bowler and Pakistan Coach Geoff Lawson has publicly called for a review into Cricket Australia's current approach to injury management and prevention, following yesterday's confirmation that all-rounder Mitch Marsh has been ruled out of cricket for up to six months suffering from spinal stress fractures.  Son of former Australian opener Geoff Marsh, Mitch (20) joins Captain Michael Clarke (hamstring), Xavier Doherty (back) and 18 year-old bowling sensation Patrick Cummins (heel stress fracture) on an ever-growing injury list which has promoted questioning of a wider problem - are young players, particularly fast bowlers, being promoted before their bodies are ready?

Minimise the Recurrence of Low Back Injury, Reduce Pain and Gain Long-Term Improvement!

Acute low back pain

Back pain - it’s one of the most prevalent and costly musculoskeletal conditions in regard to treatment and disability, with costs estimated at around $9 billion per year in Australia.  The ever-growing costs are largely a result of the high recurrence of such injury and the simple fact that at least 10% of sufferers go on to develop chronic, disabling back pain.


Chiropractic, and the spinal maintenance care it can offer, is a clinical intervention that may prevent these recurrences of back pain. Public health experts today are now turning their attention to the expected recurrence of back pain, as well as its prevention, in an effort to curb the growing epidemic of such conditions.

Novak Djokovic eats gluten free

Novak Djokovic eats gluten free

It's Australian Open time and for tennis tragics that means some late nights. Dominating mens tennis at the moment is Novak Djokovic, and his domination over Rafael Nadal has coincided with eating gluten free! Well, maybe this is not the only reason but it sure has made a great difference. 

In 2010 it was suggested to Novak that he may be sensitive/allergic to gluten - the protein that is found in wheat, rye, oats and barley. His professionalism and goals to perform his best led him to dramatically change his diet. 

Gluten is a protein that humanity is now eating much more. And we are breeding strains of wheat that have a higher content of this protein. While it may be better from a chef's perspective to have more "stickiness" to our breads and doughs, and help make naan bread taste more delicious, it is seriously affecting the health of some individuals. It is thought that there is about 1% of the population with the more serious coeliac disease, and many more who are actually sensitive to the protein and generally feel much healthier without it.

Plagiocephaly ("flat-head") and the Mimos Baby Pillow

Shirley Rd Chiropractic is pleased to announce that we have now become a stockist of the Mimos Baby Pillow. For many years we have looked after babies who suffer from plagiocephaly – a condition where the skull flattens on one side. While there have been other products that come and go from the marketplace, Mimos Baby Pillow is the first that we have seen that helps to dramatically reduce the pressure from the baby’s skull while sleeping.

Non-Synostotic Plagiocephaly

Plagiocephaly and its causes

There are two main types of plagiocephaly: (1) Synostosis (sutural fusion), (2) non-synostotic (deformational). The second type is the most common and you may notice flattening of one or even both sides of the head.

Scoliosis and Neurology - a better understanding of scoliosis

Everything else you didn't already know about scoliosis

Scoliosis and Neurology - a better understanding of scoliosis

It was an honour to be recently asked by Dr. Anthony O’Reilly from The Chiropractic Alumni (tCa) to present a lecture on the “Neurology of Scoliosis” at a Sydney College of Chiropractic and Macquarie University Department of Chiropractic Conference (20 August 2011). The conference, held at the Stamford Grand in North Ryde was solely dedicated to Scoliosis and it was good to be speaking alongside A/Prof. Lindsay Rowe (radiologist and author of Essentials of Skeletal Radiology), Dr. Jeb McAviney (Internationally recognised scoliosis expert) and Dr. Inger Villadsen (European rehabilitation specialist).

What follows is a summary of the latest neurological information on scoliosis and the new relationships being discovered between brain imbalance and scoliosis. 

Breathe well, live well!

Breathe well, live well!

Perfect abdominal breathing is readily observed in the newborn but unfortunately as we age, tension and stress in our day-to-day lives restrict this preferred pattern, resulting in a chronic and largely detrimental pattern of breathing. 

And we thought breathing was one thing we couldn’t get wrong!

When we breathe, the diaphragm relaxes and contracts in order to inhale and exhale respectively (this can be easily seen by the rising and falling of the abdomen when we breathe).  When an individual is under stress however, either emotional or physical, their breathing pattern changes.  Typically, we take shallow breaths using our chest and shoulders, rather than our diaphragm, in order to move air in and out of our lungs, which gradually causes the body to automatically breathe into the neck and shoulders and not correctly into the abdomen.

Crows Nest Holistic Kinesiology Open Day

Due to the recent success of the kinesiology open day at our Norwest clinic, our Holistic kinesiologist Hasna Gittany is once again offering her services at our Crows Nest clinic.

Hasna is dedicated to bringing awareness to the community about Holistic Kinesiology, which is becoming an increasingly popular natural health alternative.  She believes in empowering people to live their life to their fullest potential.

So come along to the Holistic kinesiology open day at Crows Nest clinic on 18 June 2011. Hasna will aim to provide a deeper understanding of Holistic Kinesiology and inform you on how it may help you with your health and well being.  She will also be providing free 20 minute sessions so you can experience kinesiology and ask any questions you may have.  Open day hours will be from 8am-5pm.

To make a booking or to find out more information please call 9966 0992. For more information about kinesiology, click here.

Put your best foot forward

Join us in the "Just Start Walking" campaign this National Chiropractic Care Week (23-29 May). Chiropractors at Shirley Rd Chiropractic will be using the month of May to help patients and the Crows Nest/Wollstonecraft community to put their best foot forward and start walking their way to health and wellbeing.

Just start walking

Easter Posture

With the first round of school holidays coming on April 8-27 (in NSW), children are going to be enjoying a break from pencils, books and "teachers' dirty looks" for a couple of weeks over Easter.

As they happily munch away on their chocolate Easter eggs, and sit playing a game on Xbox 360, Playstation, or on the home computer, it is important that parents be aware of their children's posture, while their time is consumed in front of these devices.

Gluten Sensitivity: The culprit feeding chronic illness

Headache, migraine, joint pain, fatigue, irritability, bloating and digestion problems: these are just a few of the common symptoms that may arise from an intolerance to gluten. This condition is fast gaining recognition as a key factor in the presentation of chronic health issues. 

Consumption of the gluten protein (found in wheat, rye, barley and oat products) ultimately results in damage to the absorptive lining of the small intestine, inducing the body’s natural immune response. It is this inflammatory reaction that generally leads to digestive disturbances and nutritional deficiencies, however in a vast majority of cases we are beginning to understand that gluten can be detrimental not only to the digestive system but also the entire body.

Are baby seats good for your child's development?

Are baby seats good for your child's development?

It is understandable that all parents want the best for their newborn babies. Just walk into any large baby store and you are inundated with devices that are proposed to be "beneficial to the development of your baby". 

Well not all, and generally very few, devices are beneficial at all! 

There is a recent baby seating device on the market that many parents are buying. It has been designed as a seat that takes a young baby and keeps them in an upright seated position. You can just sit the baby in there and it "holds them up". Well, herein lies the problem.

Back to school: Is your child's backpack too heavy?

Back to school: Is your child's backpack too heavy?

Today, the average weight carried in our children’s backpacks is understood to be a staggering 30-40% of their own body weight. Repetitive loading on the spine is well understood to be a prominent risk factor in the development of spinal pain and considering today’s increasing incidence of back pain and scoliosis in children and adolescents, such facts unfortunately come as no surprise.

Kinesio tape

Kinesio tape
Since the Beijing Olympics in 2008, there has been a steady rise in the number of professional players we see on our televisions with colourful tape over different parts of their bodies. This is not a fashion accessory but a new technique being primarily used in the rehabilitation and sports medicine specialities. This tape is called Kinesio Tape and it was invented by Japanese chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kase in the 1970s; but it was at the 2008 Olympics when its popularity and usage started to rise.

Real sitting

Correct posture when sitting

While eating lunch in Crows Nest recently, I was reminded of just how often we sit in different chairs, and more importantly, how many of us sit in chairs that aren't built for our bodies.

Looking at the various eateries down Willoughby Road, every place has a different style of chair, and people tend to sit on them in different ways. Some will sit up straight, some slouch. Others will recline slightly, a crossed leg here, a foot crossed behind the other there, etc. Are any of these positions ideal for good posture? Who could say for sure?

Tips for the migraine sufferer

Headache is the most frequent reason for people to seek advice from their health practitioner and is the primary reason for 10% of visits to the chiropractor (1). There are many different types of headache and the initial concern for the patient is to be sure they get a correct diagnosis. Some common diagnoses include: tension headache, migraine headache, cluster headache, sinus headache and cervicogenic (neck related) headache.

Migraine is a neurological syndrome that is associated with severe headaches, nausea and altered body perceptions. Some common descriptions from people who present with migraine include: