Chronic Pain: Why it is Different & How to Help it Go Away

At Better Health we’re always working with people of different ages and suffering from different types of pain, including chronic pain. That which has been hanging around for over  3 months. Lately I’ve been having to step back and simplify WHY it is that we feel pain. To help patients better understand why not all pain […]

Scoliosis: Why Chiropractic should be your Treatment of Choice

Scoliosis is a condition of the spine, where normal vertical alignment is lost to varying degrees and replaced with side to side curvatures. Standard screening for scoliosis tends to only be sensitive for those children & adolescents who have severe and disabling lateral curves to the spine. Most often, mild to moderate cases may go […]

Scheuermann’s Disease: Case study by Dr Andrew Richards

will carr-F1Scheuermann’s disease is less of a disease as such and more of a disorder. One feature is that the vertebra of the thoracic spine are misshaped in the form of a wedge creating an excessive rounding in the upper back. As with any disorder cases range from mild to moderate to severe and it is the more mild to moderate cases that often go undiagnosed and mismanaged. Ironically it is these milder cases that are most responsive to conservative chiropractic intervention.

People with Scheuermann’s disease classically present with poor posture, the result of an excessive rounding of the mid-back and shoulders causing the head to poke forwards and the lower back to hyper-extend. As a result of this postural distortion a whole range of other injuries, stresses and strains can occur. Most commonly people complain of neck, shoulder and lower back pain. Shoulder and low back injuries are very common amongst the more athletic sufferers.

The mistakes I have encountered in managing Scheuermann’s disease are 2 fold:

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Chiropractic for Back Pain: When is it the right time?

Don't Blame the Tee

Chiropractic for back pain is a great place to start. Having said that, chiropractic when you don’t have back pain is even better. By the time you have back pain it has already gone too far.

Imagine a golf tee, a small piece of wood barely weighing a gram. But when you bent to pick it up after finishing the last hole, it may as well have been a 300kg barbell. You felt your back pop and now the searing spasm is setting in. How could such a little thing cause such a big problem? Read more

Shockwave for Shin Splints

shockwave for shin splintsShockwave treatment is quickly becoming the treatment of choice for chronic tendinopathies such as those involving the shoulder, elbow and foot. We are now seeing evidence that shockwave therapy has useful applications in the treatment of shin splints. Research conducted by Phillip Newman at the University of Canberra was recently reported on in the Sydney Morning Herald about this very application.  Read more

Headaches: Why Chiropractic Adjustments could be the Solution

migraineHeadaches are so common these days for some they are almost considered a normal part of everyday life. Just as with any other sort of pain, the headache is just the symptom of an underlying problem not the actual problem itself. Painkillers are not a solution, they are a cover-up. Even if the painkiller takes the pain away the cause of your headache is still there stressing your body until it causes a bigger and better problem to get hold of your attention.  Read more

Neck Pain – Better health chiropractor Andrew Richards discusses

Neck pain is most commonly caused by forward head posture where the head is pushed forward of the base of support. This is turn promotes rounding of the mid-back and shoulders.

The image here is a very common example of this sort of postural distortion. Here are some important points to consider:

FHP1)      The approximate weight of this person’s head based on height and weight is 5.1kg

2)      Given the forward shift here of 5.17cm forward of the shoulders the effective weight of the head now becomes 31.8kg. This is an amazing 624% increase in the amount of load that has to be supported by the bones, ligaments muscles and tendons of the spine.

Is it no wonder that with this sort of posture someone would complain of neck pain and stiffness and that this would ultimately lead to some degree of osteoarthritis. Because of the pain that occurs in the overworking muscles most people tend to go running off for a massage to get some relief. While this would appear to make sense it is also needs to be recognised that massaging the overworking muscles is not going to fix the underlying postural cause of the problem. Without correction of the forward head posture any relief from work on the muscles will be short lived. Read more

Shockwave therapy for shoulder calcific tendonitis – Sydney chiropractor Andrew Richards explains

shockwave shoulderShock wave therapy involves the application of pressure waves to a specific site in the body.

The pressure waves are high positive waves of up to 100 times that of atmospheric pressure.

Shockwave therapy has many applications one of which is the treatment of shoulder pain secondary to calcific tendonitis. Here the pressure waves are believed to induce fragmentation of calcium deposits and stimulate their resorption (Daecke et al 2002). The low energy form of these waves are believed to relieve pain while high-energy waves have been found to increase regional blood flow, produce capillary lesions and growth of new capillaries (Charrin & Noel 2001). Conventional treatment for this condition involves physiotherapy, analgesics and sub-acromial injections of steroids (Schmitt et al 2001) or in chronic cases, arthroscopic surgery to remove the calcification (Daecke et al 2002). Read more

Sciatica versus Lumbar Facet joint sprain – Sydney chiropractor Andrew Richards explains










Sciatica can be very commonly confused for other types of injuries which in actual fact do not affect the sciatic nerve.  In my last post I spoke about common misconceptions sciatica and some other causes of back and leg pain such as sacroiliac joint dysfunction. In this post I am going to focus on another of these, lumbar facet joint sprain. Read more

Sciatica versus Sacroiliac joint injuries – Two very different things!

SIJ In my last post I spoke about some of the common misconceptions about sciatica and some other causes of back and leg pain. In this post I am going to focus on one of these, sacroiliac joint dysfunction. As you can see in the picture, the sacroiliac joint and sciatic nerve are anatomically very close to each other. The sacroiliac joint forms a vital bony connection between the hip and the spine allowing for movement, stability and the appropriate transmission of forces generated from the ground up and the head down. When irritated, strained and inflamed the sacroiliac joint can refer pain into the back, buttocks and lower leg in much the same way that sciatic nerve damage can. Therefore sacroiliac joint injuries are often confused for sciatica and consequently treated incorrectly Read more