Articles in Category: General Health

What Posture Are You?

on Friday, 26 May 2017. Posted in Newsletters, General Health, Ergonomics, Chiropractic

What Posture Are You?

I am sure many of us have been told that a poor posture can cause back and neck pain over time. A lot of people then try to improve their posture and one of the concepts I preach a lot about is how your spine will adapt overtime. 


In basic terms, your body tries to keep your eyes on the horizon and your spine as close to the midline as possible. So, if an imbalance is developed somewhere in your body, your spine will try and correct it. 


For example, your hips are tilted more forward than normal. If left alone, the body will fall to the front and tip over. Therefore, to prevent this from happening, the spine lowers the centre of gravity of the body by increasing the curve of the midback, now leaving us with a slouched/hunchback. Finally, counterbalance the midback changes, the head moves forward and away from the body creating a protruding head carriage.   


Here are the few most common types of posture observed:




  • The head is displaced forward and away from the centre of the body. 
  • The upper back is rounded increasing the curve of the midback.
  • In some cases, vertebral fractures due to osteoporosis or a spinal deformity called Scheurmann's disease (more commonly seen in young males) can create a noticeable hump.



  • The low back curve is overextended with the belly protruding forward.
  • The head is displaced backwards behind the centre of the body.
  • Shoulders may also be pulled back too much causing tightness around the neck. 
  • Over straightening of the knees causing constant hamstring tightness.


Scoliosis 1Scoliosis 2 

  • An abnormal sideways curve of the spine. 
  • Shoulder height is uneven (Left higher than right or vice versa).
  • A protruding hump on one side when bending forward.
  • Uneven pelvic height (Left higher than right or vice versa) may contribute to low back pain in prolonged standing.
  • Scoliosis can be a congenital problem, but it may also be caused by improper function of the muscles holding the spine.


The moral of the story is look deeper than the one obvious imbalance to make a longer lasting change. Understand what kind of posture you are adapting first instead of attacking only where the pain is. If you do that, your problem most likely will never be fixed permanently, because it is all connected.  


Share this with a friend who needs to improve their posture!


By Iris Tan

B.App.Sc (Chiropractic) M.Clin.Chiropractic. 

Memb: CA, Gonstead (Australia)

Iris picture new contrast



What's all the hype about Magnesium and Methylation?

Written by Don Williams BSc, MChiro, ICSSD. on Thursday, 20 October 2016. Posted in General Health, Nutrition and Recipes, Chiropractic

What's all the hype about Magnesium and Methylation?

Health World is one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of supplements and vitamins to the Australian health care market. They supply common brands like Inner Health Plus along with a range of practitioner only products, like the Metagenics range available at Institute of Sports and Spines.


Health World held a conference last weekend specifically on the topics of Methylation and its impact on our health. Interestingly, on the list of countries that search for Methylation and related topics, Australia is 6th on the list. It is really quite a hot topic. Some of our team attended the conference on the weekend to update their knowledge in this area. Simply put, Methylation is involved in some of the metabolic pathways in the body and irregularities in this process can dramatically affect the health status of the sufferer.


There was loads of interesting information however, there were a couple of major points which evolved which are worthy of more attention. First B group vitamins are extremely important for both groups and secondly, that research is not showing specifically that any one form of Folic acid, folate or its derivatives are specifically more effective for either group.


Interestingly though, more data was presented on the vital role of magnesium in energy cycles and metabolism and health in general.


So why is Magnesium important?

Magnesium is important for muscular aches, pain, spasms and cramping, is involved in the productions of cellular energy and plays an important role in ironically calming our system while also providing energy for activity.


As an ion or electrolyte it is used for improving the absorption of water from our gut and for improving the function of our muscles and nerves.


Magnesium ions Mg2+ influence the equilibrium or balance of many of the cellular reactions throughout our body. By providing a plentiful supply of magnesium in our diets and supplementation we can increase the availability of magnesium ions for these cellular processes increasing the body’s ability to manufacture ATP (one of the basic components for energy production).


Magnesium and the inflammatory response

Experiments in rats have shown that a few days of magnesium ion deficiency induces a clinical inflammatory response. By increasing the availability of Magnesium to the cells decreased the inflammation. Magnesium acts to balance natural calcium concentration buffering the inflammatory reaction. Although it is quite evident that magnesium supplementation has a positive impact on immune stress and reducing inflammatory processes, the exact e-mechanism is still being investigated.


The mental mineral

Magnesium regulates neuron excitability and membrane fluidity. Some supporters argue that it is THE MOST IMPORTANT MICRONUTRIENT in relation to nerve and mental function. Deficiency symptoms of magnesium in the nervous system are relatively non-specific however they have been reported to include a huge range of mental disorders, including loss of concentration, disorientation, abstract thinking and memory failure, headaches, irritability, hyper excitability (mania), hyper emotionality, ‘plum-stone throat’, insomnia, behavioural disturbances, depression, seizures, and psychosis. Many of these disorders are commonly associated with stress and the research suggests that a Magnesium deficiency interferes with the cellular pathways that our body uses to combat stress, resulting in an exaggerated stress response. This buffering or fortifying capacity is at the heart of most of the positive impacts that Magnesium is suggested to have on the body.


So why use a Magnesium supplement?

If you want to improve athletic performance, combat muscle tightness and fatigue, cramps and stiffness, improve cardiovascular health, reduce migraine frequency and severity, increase your mental alertness, reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and improve the quality of your sleep, a high quality Magnesium supplementation may be worth considering. While it may not be a magic elixir, there is certainly substantial research and evidence suggesting a vital role of Magnesium in our bodies and the probability is that a 1 month trial has a far greater likelihood of promoting a positive outcome rather than no response. Allergies and reactions to magnesium supplements are very rare with the only thing to worry about being loose bowels or diarrhoea from too higher dose.


Are all Magnesium supplements the same?

The simple answer is no. The simplest form of Magnesium is Magnesium oxide, it is a large molecule which is poorly absorbed into the gut, at around 9 parts per million. It is also very cheap. Most over the counter Magnesium tablet supplements are oxides. In the middle of the road for absorption are Magnesium sulphates, citrates and carbonates, which absorb at 22-34 parts per million. These are a little more expensive and a little more effective.  At the top of the list are Magnesium diglycinates. These absorb at around 80 parts per million. What this means is that for a product which might cost you $40 (as opposed to the $10 magnesium oxide) it absorbs at 8 times the rate, which means that for what you can actually access and use in the body costs you half as much for the better quality supplement.


All of the Magnesium supplements we stock at Institute of Sports and Spines are high quality diglycinate quality Magnesium.


If you are looking at trying Magnesium, talk to us on your next visit for advice on what we have available.

How to Relieve Aches and Pains

on Thursday, 16 June 2016. Posted in Massage, General Health

How to Relieve Aches and Pains

Brandi Cutler

Diploma of Remedial Massage, Level One Dry Needling

Memb: ANTA


Ever woken up in the morning and just felt really stiff and sore? Finished a gym session and felt fatigued for days after – also known as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)? Do you get a stiff lower back trying to get out of a chair? Is your neck getting stiff from a restless sleep or incorrect sleeping on a pillow? Here are some fantastic ways massage can help relieve these symptoms and many more! The world of massage is full of numerous tools and techniques that can help you with the various aches and pains of everyday life. These techniques combined with also the likes of acupuncture, chiropractic and exercise physiology can help you achieve all results your after and fast!


Different massage techniques can assist in raising the Para-Sympathetic (rest and Digest) Nervous System, thus decreasing the Sympathetic Nervous system (Fight and Flight). This will assist in pain management.


Fascia is a connective tissue that covers every muscle fibre and bundle. When it is under stress, it becomes hard like a plastic but after a myofascial release massage it becomes a soft, gel like substance. This combined with trigger pointing and/or dry needling can effectively help release the tension you are holding in all areas of the body.


Trigger points are essentially muscle stuck in contracture that will eventually lead to muscle failure. Once they are released, strength, tone and range of motion are returned to the muscle. Stretching will also help prevent these trigger points or ‘knots’ as you also might have heard them be referred to as, from forming in the muscle.


Hot Rocks and even the use of heat packs can help to soften the fascia and muscles. Hot Rocks can be used in a relaxation massage, remedial massage and is also generally used as a combined tool to effectively treat tight muscles.


Dry Needling is a technique that uses the same needles as acupuncture. However, acupuncture runs on the Chinese medicinal system of meridians and channels whereas dry needling deals with the direct muscle effected. The practitioner will find a trigger point or ‘knot’ in your muscle and effectively put the needle in, this can assist with trigger points that keep re-occurring and or will not release under normal treatment. Results from dry needling can be for a longer period than normal techniques due to the muscle being directly stimulated to release. The practitioner will then twirl the needle 3 times, looking for a twitch response from the muscle or a dragging sensation. After the third time the practitioner will then take the needle out leaving the muscle feeling even more relaxed and rested, similar to trigger point technique. Dry Needling combined with massage is very effective and is just one technique offered here at the Institute of Sports and Spines.


Treatments may include instructions of stretches clients can or should start to do. This will assist in keeping the aches and pains away for a longer period. People should be stretching after gym and each stretch must be held for a minimum of 30 secs to 1 minute. This is because it takes 20 seconds for the muscle to realise that something is happening then the additional time the muscle goes oh I am meant to be this long. This then helps to achieve better range of motion and reduction in tension which means reduced aches and pains.


For more information or to book a consultation with Brandi Cutler, please contact reception on (07) 3398 7022 and they will be more than happy to help.