The Baby Boom

Whenever I see a newborn – they poop.

Weird opening statement, eh? Please let me explain.

I have had the wonderful privilege of seeing many newborn babies. Some with obvious issues, and some just to have their spine checked.

Why would you want your child’s spine checked?

Research has demonstrated that a newborn can have issues in the top bones of the neck that can effect the infants’ nervous system; which can be directly related to the birthing process.

What seems as common medical assistance procedures, vacuum extraction and forceps, can exacerbate these issues. The way a baby has positioned itself in the womb also can have an effect on the spine.

Signs to look for are:

  • Difficulty for babies latching onto the breast to feed if breastfeeding
  • Baby turning their head to one side over another
  • Cranial or ‘head’ asymmetries
  • Colic
  • Constipation
  • Visible uncomfortableness turning or placing babies head to one side
  • Even breathing arrhythmias

Checking and adjusting an infant is a very gentle process. Often times a baby poops afterwards because it relaxes the parasympathetic nervous system. This relaxation commonly causes them to pass gas, or poop. This is quite a common experience here at AVANT!

My question is, “Do you have a chiropractor as part of your baby’s wellness team?” Combined with other health care professionals, chiropractic care can make early parenting a most wonderful time!

– Dr. Payne, D.C.

My role, as a patient.

 

Every so often, I write to our patients about my experiences working behind the front desk of AVANT. I too, get adjusted by Dr. Payne and have been on a chiropractic journey for almost three years now.

One of the biggest things I have taken away from this adventure, is taking responsibility for my body, movements, and stress.

BODY

I overheard Dr. Payne saying to a patient, “You can’t exercise yourself out of a poor diet,” and it is so true.

Ever since getting a dog, I barely exercise vigorously. I go on one long dog walk a day, and every so often I’ll do a fun activity like Archery Tag or sign up for a yoga class. I am slowly teaching my dog to run beside me for max. 5 kms though!

Why aren’t I concerned about getting in tons of exercise? When I was completely sugar, dairy, and gluten free – I had lost 18 lbs., and saw huge health benefits (less inflammation, no high or low energy, healthy nails, and no more teeth pain). Now, I’m trying to find my balance in the kitchen without it being un-healthy for my mind.

All of this to say, great health begins with what you put into your body (your fuel) – and exercise is a daily component that keeps you moving forward!

MOVEMENTS

A single adjustment helps facilitate my week; but it is my responsibility to move properly, listen to how I feel, and report these things back to Dr. Payne.

  • Did I get out of bed properly?
  • Did I text and slouch too much today? 
  • Did I sit more than I stood at work? 
  • Did I take breaks to drink water? 
  • Did I spent too much time looking at a screen? 
  • Did I wear the right shoes in volleyball?

Only I can make these decisions and they are the real reasons that my pain/discomfort exists (or doesn’t).

STRESS

Every time I am stressed, I pull muscles that run all along the back of my neck into my shoulders. This has been ongoing for years and one day I asked Dr. Payne if it meant I had some kind of a neurological problem. His reply was, “Kate, you’re just an intense person.” He called me out on something I already knew, but just didn’t realize it had that much of an impact on my body.

Once I decided to take ownership over this stress, it all became – less stressful. I started to actually evaluate it. Why does my right knee hurt? Ahh, that’s because I lean to the right when I stand and cross that same knee while sitting for multiple hours each day. See? It’s so liberating. 

CONCLUSION

I used to be the person who wasted OHIP dollars. I’d get bloated, march to my doctor and insist on all of the blood work, ultrasounds, and tests to figure out why. All along, it was poutine (eh?) and poor lifestyle choices.

Our lives are cycling through stressful events, most of them we can control and others we can simply manage. Your chiropractic adjustments run parallel beside you, to make sure you are on the best track possible.

Stay honest with yourself,
Kate

Bricks and Mortar Spine

I am sitting behind our building at 164 Metcalfe Street, watching masons build a stone column (pictured above). A beam will then support a second and third story above us. It is a beautiful piece of work that demonstrates patience, meticulous detail, and tremendous skill.

It will all be covered in dirt. All of that work and no one will be able to physically see it. 

Much like a support column – you can’t actually see your spine.

You can feel the effects of its structural function though.

Unless you know what your spinal problems are, you may never uncover the source of your health problems. Foundational structural problems show up as symptoms elsewhere. Here’s a building example: water in the basement causes cracks in the walls, or doors that don’t close properly anymore. These are symptomatic effects of something you can’t see. A body example would be: a concussion that you can’t visibly see the effects of, yet it can lead to chronic headaches, brain fog, and/or dizziness. The health of your nervous system relies on the structural integrity of your spine. 

If this seems confusing, let’s jump ship for a moment. Remember the story of the Titanic? It sunk because it hit an iceberg. Did you know? The majority of an iceberg is below the surface of the water. The minority (or tip) is what you see above water. Often times health problems are the tip of the iceberg; they are symptomatic from a causative issue underneath the surface, like the stone mason’s support column, or your spine.

There is a way to see the spine though. By taking appropriate x-rays, we can determine a cause for your back pain, or other health problems that could be associated. 

To re-cap then, the column is the structural work that supports a building, and the spine requires structural work to support your health. Sometimes the best and most important things are done sight unseen. 

Dr. Payne, D.C. 
Chiropractor, AVANT Chiropractic
drgreg@avantchiro.com 
613-801-2164

6 Tips: The right pack for your back.

Is your Facebook wall filled with photos of kids returning to school this week? It is just crazy how fast this summer flew by! There are certain things we can do to help our children (and ourselves) create healthy backpack habits that will stand for a lifetime.

Pressure status among kids is something we know is real. When dealing with backpack debacles – how we send our kids off to school at the start of the day, usually isn’t how they end up coming home.

Here are a few things that you can have some influence over though.

1. Purchasing the right backpack is important; the most properly fitting ones are usually smaller than you would think. The main problem here is the sheer volume of stuff your child is required to carry to-and-from school. Separating some items out of the backpack may be useful, like carrying a lunch box in your hands.

2. It is easier to buy a proper backpack when you bring your items into the store at the same time. For example, I would bring my: laptop, lunch bag, textbook and agenda, to see how it all fits. That Hershel backpack may be popular, but may not fit everything.

3. See pictures below for an example on size. The base of the backpack should not extend below the belt (normal belt placement) and the top of the shoulder strap should not gap above the shoulder when the base of the backpack is in the proper position.

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  • No gap between strap and shoulder – bottom of bag at the belt level
  • Chest and hip strap helps to evenly distribute the weight of the backpack
  • Heaviest and/or largest items should be closest to your back.
  • Smallest and/or lightest items can go furthest away from your back. If the backpack is filled with school supplies, you may want to carry the lunch bag separately to not overload it.

4. Reinforcing the proper carrying habits day in and day out helps; biomechanics are on your side. They’ll get used to it, and notice how much more comfortable it is.

5. You have some control in what goes into the pack to start each day. Buying a suitcase hanging scale will help you keep the proper bag-to-person ratio. The total weight should not be more than 20% of the student’s bodyweight!

6. Wide straps with chest and hip belts help distribute the weight of the backpack more evenly.

* Photos courtesy of my son Aaron. He’s modelling how to wear a backpack correctly (at least each morning when I’m around).

Bye for now,
Dr. Payne