If you’re looking for back or neck pain relief, chiropractic care can be an option that comes up a lot. Or, you might be unsettled by the loud cracking or popping noises that are often associated with chiropractic adjustments.
So what is a chiropractic treatment?
It is viewed primarily as a non-medical alternative treatment, with specialists trained to treat and diagnose musculoskeletal disorders, including relieving pain of the back, neck, muscles, and joints and improving function.
We speak to Dr. Matt Kan, Senior Consultant and CEO of Chiropractic First, sharing his thoughts on WFH attitudes, whether children can benefit from treatment, and more.
Working from the bed or couch can cause posture problems, but it’s so comfortable. In this case, are there any ways to avoid back pain?
Dr. Matt Kan (MK): To reduce the strain on your legs, back and neck, you should use an ergonomic foot platform. The footrest helps you to sit in a good working position at the desk.
Use old books to increase the height of your monitor or use a laptop extender so that the height of your monitor is above eye level. This forces you to sit up straight and prevents you from sliding any deeper.
Ergonomic chairs and standing desks help improve posture, but only to a limited extent. When using standing desks, we may still practice poor posture due to various reasons such as curvature, raised wrists, and tense shoulders due to the height of the computer.
While they help a little with our posture, they don’t necessarily correct it. Your body can still be in pain and your condition can worsen and so you will need to make chiropractic adjustments as they will help reduce stress on the spine and help maintain healthy posture over the long term.
I use an expensive standing desk and ergonomic chair. Does this help with my posture?
MK: Do you still think? This is natural when your monitor is adjusted below eye level – even when standing.
To solve this, make sure your desk and chair are set to the correct settings – put your monitor above eye level and use an extender to free up your laptop so you sit upright naturally and don’t get caught.
To relieve tension in your shoulders and keep them relaxed, try placing your keyboard and mouse on your lap while seated. Correct the height of the table and chair so that your legs do not dangle and the shoulders are relieved of tension.
How about regular yoga? It helps keep my body balanced and aligned. Shouldn’t that be enough?
MK: Yoga poses like a downward facing dog can help relieve headaches, while stretching your neck from side to side can improve your flexibility and relieve pain. Be warned, however, that stretching or yoga without professional supervision can make existing problems worse if done incorrectly or too forcibly.
ALSO READ: 10 Chiropractors In Singapore To Treat Back, Neck And More Pain
When should a person consider seeing a chiropractor?
MK: It’s never too early to start chiropractic. Newborns have received spinal adjustments, especially after difficult or traumatic births.
Uncorrected birth trauma creates pressure on the spine or neck that affects the growth and development of the spine. This ignorance leads the newborn away from optimal health, which leads to health problems.
The introduction of chiropractic as a way of life includes regular checkups and visits to ensure functional independence and tolerance for daily activities. Interrupting the chiropractic adjustments leads to a build-up of stress on the spine and nervous system.
The stress on the spine and nerves will continue to build up as before, but it will not be reduced or eliminated. If the stress is not relieved, your body and general health will suffer. Therefore, regular maintenance is highly recommended to help you keep your spinal health at its best at all times.
Chiropractic looks painful. Is it really?
MK: If you’ve heard the pops and pops from a chiropractic adjustment, it’s easy to assume it’s a sign of pain. However, it is just the opposite. These noises are made when the joints are opened and the fluid releases gas between the joints.
Do Children Need Chiropractic? Is there a minimum age for children?
MK: Significant spinal trauma can already occur during birth. We recommend having your child checked for subluxation as early as possible and we even have patients who have their newborn adjusted as early as a few weeks of age.
Adjusting early on can minimize or even eliminate the effects of bumps and falls (and even childbirth) on our spinal joints. Much of the degeneration we see later in life is the result of past trauma.
As the child grows, learning how to hold their heads, sit, crawl, and walk are activities that affect spinal alignment and are important times before a chiropractic doctor examines a child. Chiropractic is extremely safe for infants and children.
Doctors use very gentle adjustments and pediatric techniques that require very light pressure on the fingertips to correct any misalignment of the spine.
ALSO READ: 5 Easy, Inexpensive Ways To Reduce Neck And Back Pain
How can chiropractic care contribute to overall health and help overcome the pressures of the pandemic?
MK: Chiropractic works with the spine and improves flow in the central nervous system (CNS), which can improve your overall body functions.
Regular chiropractic adjustments can help reduce stress on the vertebrae, and realigning the spine will help reduce compression on the nerves. It also helps in improving the quality of sleep, thus increasing your focus, mood, and performance!
The pandemic has kept many of us confined to our own four walls, increasing the chances of us moving into more sedentary lifestyles. With such a lifestyle come effects like body aches and discomfort.
These problems can be addressed with chiropractic adjustments that can help relieve tension in our bodies.
This article was first published in the Singapore Women’s Weekly.