Preventing cycling injuries with a bit of precaution

cyclingA professional cyclist may have the best cycling skills, but if he is riding at 30mph in the midst of a packed group of cyclists, then the slightest error often committed by someone else can lead to a severe injury. During cycling, the legs are constrained to the pedal, and the cyclist has to use the upper limb to cushion in case of a fall. Thus, it is the upper body which is usually involved in overuse or traumatic injuries. These injuries can be in the shoulder region, hands, wrist, elbows and sometimes even head which are extremely dangerous.

Types of injuries

The upper limbs; hand, wrist, and elbow need to have flexibility for maneuvering the bicycle. Hence, protective gear for them is not practical. However, the head or facial injuries can be avoided by using a proper helmet. Major fractures occur only during high-speed falls, and the most classic cases are fractures in the collarbone. This type of fracture happens when the cyclist tumbles over the handlebars, and as a result, the force on his shoulders and arms leads to a breakage in the collarbone.

There are certain chronic conditions which may develop due to prolonged uncomfortable position during cycling. They are-

  1. Gripping the handlebars and use of brake or gear pedals can aggravate tendinitis which typically involves the flexor tendons.
  2. Prolonged hyperextension posture of the wrist while cycling can lead to Carpal tunnel syndrome which is a compression neuropathy of the median nerve in the wrist. This condition requires check up from a surgeon or a neurologist.
  3. Another chronic condition is tennis elbow. This condition can be treated by experts painlessly.
  4. Another condition due to hand position can be Osteoarthritis. This typically happens at the base of the thumb.

With Tour de France coming up, here is some advice on preventing injuries while cycling.

  1. The first and foremost advice to the cyclist is that they should ensure that their bike is in a perfect condition. You may end up hurting your hamstring or muscle at the back of your thigh if your saddle is too low and this can have an adverse effect of tightening of your knees and back. Even an incorrect handlebar position can cause pain. So, it is better to take professional help for a professional event.
  2. It is always beneficial to maintain a good amount of flexibility. Stretching your lower legs, back, and, hamstrings are good ways to maintain flexibility. Typically cyclist ends up with tightness in hamstrings or a soft tissue pull. Therefore, it is better to warm up before you begin cycling and take enough rest post the ride.
  3. Maintaining good strength in your legs, upper body and back is also critical. Different types of strength building exercise particularly for these areas off the bike will help you in preventing injuries.
  4. Cycling involves repetition of the same action again and again for a long time. Hence, it is necessary that you do some cross training. This will help in releasing the tightness that might develop because of sustained and repetitive cycling action. Cross-training activities such as weights or running would help you in improving your performance.
  5. Last but not the least, get a good massage. This will rejuvenate you and help in reducing muscle soreness, tension and will help to prevent any cycling injuries.

A timely and precise treatment to any injury or condition can help the cyclist to return to the sport and dominate. To get help with your cycling and any injuries you might be carrying, call one of our practices now.

 

How To Improve Your Brain Health

brainhLife expectancy is getting longer but sadly, quality of life can be impaired by the degenerative disorders of the brain that are becoming more prevalent. Every year in March, Brain Awareness Week (BAW) aims to educate people on the latest brain research findings and on developments in research on brain disorders such as Parkinson’s and other problems that affect brain function, such as strokes.

We all want to live life to the full, into old age, so Johan C. Jeronimus DC DACNB, an Ealing Chiropractor and founder of Neuroworks Clinic offers three steps that could have significant benefits for brain health, throughout life, for all of us.

Here is his three-step strategy for better brain health:

  1. Sleep Well!

Sleep has many positive benefits for brain health and our quality of life, with its beneficial effects on levels of anxiety and stress and helping to improve and stabilise mood. During sleep, the toxins that accumulate in the brain can be flushed out, and Neurotransmitters are replenished, for example, Serotonin is very important in managing wellbeing, helping to alleviate depression, anxiety and stress in our daily lives.

Not getting sufficient sleep, for whatever reason, puts us at risk of clinical depression. (1)

  1. Keep Moving!

The benefits of taking regular exercise are two-fold. Indirectly, exercise brings improved sleep, an uplift in mood, and reduced anxiety and stress levels. All of which, are factors in avoiding cognitive impairment. Directly, exercise brings health benefits for the brain in less insulin resistance, reduced inflammation and  improved release of growth factors, chemicals that help improve the number of newly created brain cells as well as the proliferation of the new veins and capillaries that feed the brain.

One point to stress regarding exercise though, is that it is important when doing any physical activity to wear the correct head protection. Any head injury is potentially serious, so no matter how trivial it may appear, if you do get injured, seek medical advice right away.

It is also important to exercise regularly – and for many of us, motivation is a big issue, so participating in a class, exercising with a friend or engaging a personal trainer are all things that could help. (2)

  1. Eat Well!

Keeping our brains and bodies healthy depends on giving both the right fuel in the form of food, drink and supplementation. Your Ealing Chiropractor can advise on diet and lifestyle changes to help you as well as providing advice on supplements that might be particularly beneficial in your case.

Eating right need not be boring  – for example, it is not necessary to give up coffee or chocolate as two or three cups a day and half to one ounce of dark chocolate daily both have beneficial effects on concentration, memory and mood.

Eating beans or pulses that help to ‘iron out’ any spikes in levels of blood sugar will keep the glucose that the brain uses as ‘fuel’ flowing steadily.

The cardiovascular system transports nutrition around the body and into the brain. An adequate blood supply is vital. Eating monounsaturated fats (for example, Avocados) and essential fatty acids (wild salmon, rich in Omega-3 is a good source), help to keep brain and body functioning healthily. Whole grains also benefit the cardiovascular system, providing soluble and insoluble fibre that has been shown to decrease risks for heart disease.

Protect your brain from the harmful effects of oxidative stress with the powerful antioxidants in berries, particularly blueberries.

To help reduce the cognitive decline, (a ‘side-effect’ of the number of birthdays we have had), ensure an adequate intake of Vitamin E. Seeds and nuts are both good sources and one ounce daily is all that is needed.(3)

Help Is At Hand

Your Ealing Chiropractor can help you with these three steps to a healthier brain.

  • It might be that back pain or another physical problem is stopping you from taking the regular exercise you should.
  • Perhaps, you have a stressful and demanding job that is robbing you of your restorative sleep because you just cannot ‘switch off’ at night.
  • It might be that in your busy day, ensuring that the nutritional needs of your body and brain are met in full is an area where you need some help and advice.

If any of the points above apply to you, help is at hand. For your overall wellbeing and for the long-term health of your brain, call Neuroworks today to arrange an appointment on 020 8566 3757.

Note: The team at Neuroworks is 100% in agreement with the aims and work of the DANA Foundation, organizers of Brain Awareness Week but is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with it.

(1) https://www.perthbraincentre.com.au/lifestyle-changes-to-support-a-healthy-brain-and-overall-well-being/

(2) http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110

(3) http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/eat-smart-healthier-brain

 

Young Musicians Suffering Pain

guitarThe newly emerging specialist field, Performing Arts Medicine, has few top specialist practitioners who are qualified to meet the needs of performers – and, to date, there has only been a small amount of research in this area. Despite this, to those in the profession, it is clear that not addressing early problems with incorrect playing technique and unnecessary bodily stress can result in long-term problems with pain for our young musicians.

The many hours spent practicing, coupled with the high levels of physical exertion needed to play an instrument to performance standards have recently drawn comparisons between these young musicians and professional athletes although, it seems that healthcare specialists and performing arts communities have been quite slow to recognize the similarities.

Until recently, this has meant that young performers have developed postural and musculoskeletal problems because their developmental needs are not addressed. By comparison, Australia’s top athletes may have the support of a number of healthcare professionals in order to help them achieve optimum performance while minimizing the physical stresses of practice and competition. Our young musicians do not receive the same levels of care.

Things are improving, though. At the University of Western Australia, for example, a project has been running, developed with the aim of reducing any injury risk or pain for our young musicians. This study involves those in tertiary education – but for teenagers and younger children there is a care gap that needs to be filled while these young people are learning their art and laying foundations for the future.

A recent article in a leading healthcare journal highlights a direct link between children who report incidences of pain during their childhood years and those who go on to report a greater number of incidences as they move into their adult years.

It is evident that where early intervention for episodes of pain in childhood is not available, the consequences can have an impact in every aspect of young lives, physically, mentally and emotionally – and result in their being at increased risk of pain once they become adults.

A recent research study looked at the frequency pain affecting muscles and/or joints during the month prior, in a group of young players of stringed musical instruments. The results demonstrated that nearly 75% of them had experienced pain that they could directly relate to playing their instruments.

Both teenagers and younger children will often hide their pain from adults and their caregivers and not seek help. This makes it so much more important to implement plan for the care of our young musicians at an early stage of their development.

 

References:

  1. Ackermann, B. J. (2016). From Stats to Stage–Translational Research in Performing Arts Medicine. Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 31(4), 246.
  1. Brattberg, G. (2004). Do pain problems in young school children persist into early adulthood? A 13‐year follow‐up. European Journal of Pain, 8(3), 187-199.
  1. Mathews, L. (2011). Pain in children: neglected, unaddressed and mismanaged. Indian Journal of Palliative Care, 17(Suppl), S70.
  1. Vinci, S., Smith, A., & Ranelli, S. (2015). Selected Physical Characteristics and Playing-Related Musculoskeletal Problems in Adolescent String Instrumentalists. Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 30(3), 143.
  1. http://www.health.music.uwa.edu.au/

 

What Is Hip Osteoarthritis

hip pIt is surprising that more people are unaware of the key benefits of conservatively managing the problems of pain and swelling caused by Osteoarthritic changes in the hip joint that in severe cases can cause the joint to deform and erode.

Johan C Jeronimus DC DACNB and Jake Cooke MChiro DACNB from Ealing Chiropractor practice, Neuroworks, explain how, as Chiropractors, they can help patients with Osteoarthritis. They have extensive training in working on the joints and soft tissues of the body and can also help with adjustments to diet and lifestyle and safe and effective exercises that will be of benefit to managing pain and improving mobility.

Their holistic way of working is, for some patients their ‘go to’ treatment of choice. For others, Chiropractic is a helpful adjunct to the prescribed medicines for the management of pain and inflammation from an Osteoarthritis Specialist or their own GP.

Johan and Jake see many patients who need surgery for severe Osteoarthritic changes of the hip. The care that they can give to patients in preparation for the operation and in the post-operative rehabilitation phase is invaluable in helping with a full and speedy recovery.

If you have a diagnosis of Osteoarthritis of the hip, please call your Ealing Chiropractor today on 020 8566 3757 and arrange an initial consultation to discuss the options and alternatives that Chiropractic can offer you.

What Is Osteoarthritis Of The Hip?

For most patients, it begins gradually and worsens over time, affecting the cartilage that protects the articulating tips of bones from impact and friction. Cartilage erodes causing joint pain and stiffness that is very troublesome and can seriously affect mobility.

What Are The Causes?

There are several factors affecting the likelihood of a patient suffering from Osteoarthritis of the hip joint. Some of these are unavoidable, such as advancing age or previous injury. However, many people are surprised to learn that being overweight can seriously increase the risk.

The Obesity Awareness Week run between the 9th and 15th of January 2017, by the National Obesity Forum highlighted this fact, explaining the extra stress that being obese or overweight puts on all the body’s joints.

Symptoms

Patients report a range of symptoms that generally worsen very gradually. Initially, patients might report that one of both hips feel stiff when getting up in the morning or after sitting watching TV, for example. Pain can range from a constant ache to sudden stabbing pains in the joint affected. There may be swelling and soreness in the joint, but possibly the most alarming symptoms are the grinding and crunching noises coming from the hip joint during activity and which are caused by damage to the cartilage as the condition progresses.

How Is Hip Osteoarthritis Diagnosed?

There is no ‘gold standard’ test for Osteoarthritis of the hip, but X-rays are the usual way of identifying the signature signs of the condition. Usually, diagnosis is after a GP examination for the range of motion, pain levels and X-ray confirmation.

Hip Surgery

Total hip replacement involves removing the damaged head of the thigh bone, fitting a metal replacement, and resurfacing the socket into which it fits, lining it with a protective material.

Some patients go for an interim option that preserves the thigh-bone without replacing the ball part of the joint. In this hip resurfacing operation, the joint surfaces eroded by Osteoarthritis are replaced – leaving the way open for a total hip replacement operation in the future if needed.

Why Chiropractic Is Of Benefit

The holistic approach to patient care from a Chiropractor aims to reduce pain and increase mobility for every patient with osteoarthritic changes of the hip. Work on joints and soft tissues is combined with lifestyle and dietary advice and the implementation of a safe and effective program of stretching and strengthening exercises that patients can continue at home.

Patients like the fact that treatments are not invasive, but are conservative and totally drug-free. In patients for whom, being overweight or obese is a factor in their Osteoarthritis, this holistic approach can be especially beneficial and, helping patients to reach and maintain an ideal weight may negate any need for hip surgery or at least postpone it. To discuss your options, please call your Ealing Chiropractor today.

Why a Mouthguard is a Must

kids-mouthguardsFigures published in the USA by the American Dental Association state very clearly that any child who uses a sports mouthguard has 60 times greater protection against facial and oral injuries than a child without a mouthguard.¹

Surprisingly, other statistics provided by the ADA, show that only about a third of children actually wear a mouthguard when playing sport.² This is not to say that two thirds of parents are not concerned enough for their child’s safety to purchase a mouthguard. The fact is, that often they buy a retail product that turns out to be ill fitting and uncomfortable and the child will not wear it!

Dental Prosthetist, Diane Tozer, from Brisbane, highlights that a ‘boil and bite’ mouthguards are no substitute for custom-made ones – for two main reasons.

  • Even if the off-the-shelf product is cheaper than buying one made for your child, it is still a waste of good money if he or she leaves it in their kit bag because it is uncomfortable to wear.
  • Parents want the best protection for their child but may be unaware of the limitations in terms of the protection afforded by retail ‘boil and bite’ products.

At her practice, Westside Denture, in Brisbane, it is an unfortunate fact that, as in EDs and Dental surgeries across Australia, she sees patients who have lost teeth during sport because they were not wearing a mouthguard. She supplies many dentures Brisbane, as a result, and says that she would far rather have been called upon to supply a custom mouthguard in the first instance as many of the injuries she sees, could probably have been prevented if the patient had been wearing one.

Why Choose A Custom Mouthguard For Your Child?

Although any mouthguard is better than none (if worn 100% of the time, during sporting activity), the custom made type not only provides the best protection but also, the highest levels of compliance among young wearers.

While, quite often, the uncomfortable, off-the-shelf type gets left in a sports bag or locker, a custom fitted sports mouthguard is much more likely to end up where it is supposed to be – in the mouth! They fit better, are more comfortable, kids are not worried that their mouthguard is going to move in their mouth, or drop out – and best of all, like them because they can speak clearly and breathe comfortably.

Diane Tozer also points out that parents like the mouthguards she supplies because:

  • They are affordable, even if the purchaser does not have a Healthcare plan
  • They are durable and easy to take care of
  • They can have the practical feature of name and contact number added in case they get misplaced.

Children seem to like the range of colours available, which range from fluorescent to team or school colours. It is great to think that something that keeps them safe is also appealing as this encourages compliance.

Why Risk Your Child’s Smile?

Remember a mouthguard is unlikely to be worn if it is uncomfortable. Custom mouthguards really do provide superior levels of protection to teeth, jaws, tongue, gums and lips. The prospect of lost teeth and dental surgery is not a good one.

Many injuries are preventable simply by wearing a mouthguard; Mark Brirghitti, goalkeeper for Newcastle Jets football team will certainly wish he had been wearing one when an on-pitch incident resulted in 40 stitches and several lost teeth! So make sure your child has 60 times the protection, give Westside Dentures Brisbane a call today on 07 3278 0580.

¹ http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Science%20and%20Research/Files/patient_69.ashx

² ADA http://www.mouthguardawareness.info/about-mouthguards.html

 

 

 

 

 

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis

rheumaRheumatoid arthritis can be a debilitating condition that can leave joints painful, swollen and permanently deformed, affecting peoples’ daily lives.  Although chiropractic is definitely not a cure for such a condition, according to one Perth chiropractor, chiropractic care may help these patients be more comfortable and improve their symptoms.

Are you sick of red, hot, swollen joints? Have they stopped you from doing things you once loved to do? If so, call the practice now on (08) 61508785 Scarborough or (08) 61508783 Mount Pleasant to arrange an appointment with your Perth Chiropractor and find out if chiropractic can help you with your arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, meaning that the body’s white blood cells get confused and begin to attach other cells in the body .  It is most common in women between the ages of 25 and 50, although it may also start in children .  The causes of rheumatoid arthritis remain a mystery, although genetics are believed to play a role, alongside recent infection or illness .  It primarily targets the hands and feet, although it may also affect other synovial joints throughout the body.  In some cases, the skin, lungs, heart and blood vessels may also become inflamed and damaged .

Chiropractors specialize in the diagnosis, management and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal conditions.  Chiropractors help a range of conditions by improving joint mobility, muscle tone, length and power.  Treatments focus on improving joint range of motion that has become stiff due to pain and immobilization, as well as relaxing muscles and other structures that may have seized up .  The chiropractor will use individualized techniques,based on each individual, as not all techniques are appropriate for everyone.

Chiropractors may also help by providing education, ergonomic advice, rehabilitation exercises, icing and heating advice and nutritional and supplementation support.

Nutrition and supplementation is key to managing chronic inflammation in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.  Certain food triggers not only exacerbate present symptoms but are also predisposing to other chronic health issues such as diabetes type II, obesity and atherosclerosis.  One example is sugar.  This is because sugar is said to increase cytokine release, a pro-inflammatory messenger cell. Don’t forget that sugar has many names and may often be referred to as fructose or sucrose!Other foods to avoid include saturated fats (such as in our cheese, pastas and pizzas); trans fat (in our takeaway, cookies and fried foods); MSG; artificial sweeteners such as aspartame; and alcohol.

As part of their treatment, chiropractors often provide nutritional advice and support, which can help you make informed decisions about the foods that you eat .  Eating more greens and vegetables, increasing omega-3 intake and taking vitamins to maximize cell function are common recommendations made that help minimize arthritis effects on the body.

If you believe chiropractic may be able to help you to live more comfortably with your arthritis, then call the practice now on (08) 61508785 Scarborough or (08) 6150873 Mount Pleasant to arrange an appointment.

Food Allergies Effects on Brain & Body Health

food allergy and bodyMany people, suffering from a diverse range of symptoms including joint stiffness, inflammation, and muscle aches attribute these symptoms to ageing. Those with memory problems and lack of focus (brain fog), even fear Alzheimer’s Disease or similar conditions. Many of these worries could be groundless – in fact, many could be directly attributable to a food or ingredient in the diet that is causing these inflammatory reactions.

Food allergy treatment is something that more people are investigating now that food allergies and intolerances are more widely publicised. For many, finding the root cause of their symptoms and eliminating the offending foodstuff from their diets has led to an improvement in health. Sadly, many more people continue to suffer with these undiagnosed problems with the result that the inflammatory changes within their bodies are worsening over time and, in some cases, can result in serious health issues.

Research on the effects of inflammation in the body have shown some worrying results; Brain inflammation, for example, has been linked to many problems, from mild conditions such as brain fog to more serious problems including clinical depression and degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s. In the body, inflammatory problems such as arthritis can cause a great deal of pain and incapacity as the immune system attacks body tissues and causes damage to joints.

The Difference between Food Allergies and Food Intolerance

The symptoms of food allergy can manifest very suddenly and while for some, they may be mild, for others, anaphylactic shock can be life-threatening. For those with food allergies, the only solution is to stay away from the foods causing the problem.

For food intolerance sufferers, while the symptoms may not be as dramatic as in the case of an allergy, however, food intolerance can cause very serious long-term health problems. Psychological symptoms can be mild (feeling slightly ‘brain fogged’) to more serious conditions such as depression and even dementia. Physical symptoms may include skin problems (for example, eczema), mouth problems including ulcers and canker sores, and digestive upsets including bloating, wind, constipation and/or diarrhoea.

Many people are surprised to learn that foods that have never caused a problem before can suddenly provoke a reaction at any age.

Do You Suspect a Food Allergy or Intolerance?

It is estimated that 2% of the Australian population has some level of food allergy while for children, the figure is as high as 5%. Coeliac disease where wheat gluten causes major problems for sufferers affects one in every hundred people but as many never get a diagnosis there may be many more people affected than we know.

For undiagnosed Coeliacs and for others who have a sensitivity to gluten or another type of food intolerance, inflammatory changes caused by the allergen in the diet may be causing long term harm and storing up potentially serious health consequences later on.

However, for those who suspect that the clues to the cause of our ‘brain fog’, aching muscles, upset tummies and stiff joints may lie in our diets, food allergy treatment can be sought. Sunbury Chiropractor Daniel Chatfield can offer nutritional guidance and supplement advice as well as Chiropractic treatment for his patients. Please arrange an appointment to discuss the options and possible treatment alternatives available, call Chatfield Chiropractic today on (03) 9746 3977 (Sunbury) or (03) 9303 9952 (Roxburgh Park).

Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Falls

fallsAs we age, falls, and injuries from falls, become more of a concern. Nine out of every ten hip fractures occurs as the result of a fall, and more than 80% of people over the age of 65 hospitalized for injury were injured in a fall. It may seem that simple aging is a risk factor for falls, but people don’t fall just because they get older, there are a variety of other problems, generally associated with aging, that increase a person’s risk of falling. Some of the greatest risk factors associated with a fall include:

  • Vertigo, which can be a side effect of several medications as well as a symptom of several possible conditions
  • Muscle weakness
  • Drops in blood pressure, especially on standing, which can have a variety of causes
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Problems in the legs and feet that can impair gait
  • Visual and other sensory impairments
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Trouble with balance

Good nutrition and exercise can help reduce many of these risk factors and can reduce the risk of injury in the event a fall does occur.

Preventing falls with nutrition starts with staying well hydrated and eating frequently. Dehydration and drops in blood sugar or blood pressure can cause dizziness and lightheadedness, which can lead to a fall.

Drops in blood pressure, especially on standing, may occur when the heart isn’t functioning efficiently. Consuming plenty of foods that are rich in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids can promote heart health and stabilize blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids also promote brain health, which can reduce confusion that can also be a factor in falls. In addition, some deficiencies, such as magnesium deficiency, can cause dizziness, and good nutrition can help prevent deficiencies and their associated symptoms.

Good nutrition also helps to strengthen bones, making them less likely to fracture in the event of a fall. Most people know how important calcium is to healthy bones, but calcium is only one of the nutrients critical to healthy bones. Magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin K are all needed to build healthy bones, and vitamin D helps improve absorption and assimilation of calcium into the bones. Getting adequate sunshine and eating foods high in these nutrients helps improve bone health, making bones less likely to fracture in a fall.

Good nutrition also provides energy needed for exercise, which is just as critical to preventing falls and injuries. Weight bearing exercise doesn’t mean lifting weights (though it could). Rather, any exercise that involves staying upright against gravity, such as walking, climbing stairs, or using an elliptical, counts as weight bearing exercise. Weight bearing exercise can be high impact, low impact, or even no impact. The level of impact you choose will be based on your own comfort level, but any of these will provide many of the same benefits.

Weakness in the lower body can making walking difficult, while weakness in the upper back can make it difficult to stand erect, throwing off balance. Weight bearing exercise can help improve overall strength, making walking easier. Exercise also helps increase bone density and strength, protecting against injury, and builds muscle strength, providing additional support for the bones and joints.

To find out more about how how your lifestyle might be increasing your risk of falls, and what changes you can make to protect yourself, call Neurobalance now at 02 9938 5456 to arrange an appointment. We’ll talk with you about your diet and recommend specific exercises you can do to reduce your risk of a fall or fall-related injury.

 

FebFast – Make this month matter!

brainTake a break from alcohol, sugar, caffeine and digital overload this month because you deserve to give your brain health a kick start.

Food substances and brain health

Many people find it surprising that what you eat can actually damage your brain. Have you ever heard someone say: “You are what you eat?” The thing is that it is valid argument and a great part of who you are comes from your brain.  Let’s have a look at the effects that certain food substances has on brain health.

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages are made up of many different substances, but the main substance that has the potential of damaging our brains is ethanol. The relaxing and euphoric effects of this psycho-active substance cause people to enjoy such beverages. Short term and long term alcohol use could have drawbacks for your brain health. Your brain cells will potentially degenerate and brain dysfunction is very likely to follow. [1]

Sugar

The sugar (sucrose) we use in our diets is made up of glucose and fructose and in our bodies, our blood glucose levels are regulated by two hormones.

  • Insulin: lowers blood sugar levels
  • Glucagon: raises blood glucose levels

Our bodies have less control over fructose and this is where the trouble starts. If our blood glucose levels are in excess, the glucose is changed into glycogen which is a storage form of glucose in the muscles and the liver and from there it may even be converted into fat, again for storage.

Fructose however, can be directly converted into fat and this may cause damage at any particular site. Also, if you eat too much sugar for too long, your body may become resistant to insulin and your brain health could be in severe jeopardy. [2]

Why do our brains need rest?

Sleep plays a major role in brain health and sleep disruption has an impact on cognitive functioning and brain recovery. It is of cardinal importance that we get some shut-eye during every 24 hour (or circadian) cycle.

Sleep disruption after traumatic brain injuries range from metabolic disturbances and compromised blood brain barrier (BBB) to brain cell degeneration and it may also have an impact on neuroplasticity.

Experts advise at least 6-7 hours of sleep per night and they believe that proper sleeping habits may postpone or slow down the onset of neuropsychiatric, neuro-traumatic and neurodegenerative disorders. [3][4]

To summarise

It is highly advisable to give your brain the treatment it so desperately deserves. I mean think about it our brains are basically the computers of our bodies and they are at work 24/7. Listen to your body: stay away from sugar and energy drinks containing caffeine, dim your lights for a while before counting those sheep and try to stick to regular sleeping patterns to support the health of your brain and become a refreshed version of yourself!

References:

  1. Oscar-Berman M, Marinković K. Alcohol: effects on neurobehavioral functions and the brain. Neuropsychology review. 2007 Sep 1;17(3):239-57.
  2. Tomlinson DR, Gardiner NJ. Glucose neurotoxicity. Nature reviews. January 2008; vol. 9: 36-45.
  3. Lucke-Wold BP, Smith KE, Nguyen L, Turner RC, Logsdon AF, Jackson GJ, Huber JD, Rosen CL, Miller DB. Sleep disruption and the sequelae associated with traumatic brain injury. Neuroscience & Bio-behavioural Reviews. 2015 Aug 31;55:68-77.
  4. Farooqui AA. The Effects of Diet, Exercise, and Sleep on Brain Metabolism and Function. Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in Neurological Disorders 2014 (pp. 1-42). Springer International Publishing.

Asperger’s, Symptoms and Treatments

aspAt Perth Brain Centre, the team see many children affected by Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s treatment Perth using Neurofeedback has been very helpful for those affected by the condition, one of the less severe on the Autistic Spectrum.

Children with Asperger’s have difficulties in social skills, often having an overwhelming desire to know everything about a very precise or narrow area of interest such as train timetables or a particular comic book character.

No medication can ‘cure’ Asperger’s, although there are medicines that can be valuable in the treatment of symptoms. At Perth Brain Centre, we offer a different way, Neurofeedback therapy. This, along with the other help available to our young patients and their families has proved hugely beneficial. To learn more about treatment options we can offer in Asperger’s treatment Perth, contact us on (08) 6500 3277 and arrange a preliminary appointment.

Symptoms

Children do not usually experience delayed development of language skills but, in common with others affected by disorders on the Autistic spectrum, they do have delays in development of fine and gross motor skills. They often have problems building friendships and can go on to experience depression and anxiety as adults.

Symptoms and their level of severity can vary widely between individuals and can make getting an initial diagnosis difficult. However, the treatments available can produce great results and benefits for the whole family.

Symptoms may include:

  • Motor skills problems leading to clumsiness and a general lack of co-ordination
  • Problems with understanding and making facial expressions
  • Difficulties with eye contact
  • Speech lacking inflection, often rapid
  • Lack of empathy with others
  • Problems understanding humour
  • Obsession with a very specific subject

What Help Is Available?

At Perth Brain Centre, we focus on Neurofeedback therapy to address the condition as a whole, rather than on medications prescribed to help with the individual symptoms.

Neurofeedback is producing some impressive results in the reduction of symptoms of disorders in the Autistic Spectrum.

We can particularly highlight improvements in patients’ physical health, behaviour, cognitive and sensory awareness, speech, language, communication and social skills.

How Does Neurofeedback Therapy Work?

Neurofeedback works to strengthen weak or abnormal areas of connectivity, restoring or instigating normal function. It is an invaluable tool with positive effects on the functioning of the brain without using drugs and makes improvements possible in the symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome.

Positive changes seen and experienced include:

  • Becoming calmer with less anxiety and a reduction in hyperactive behaviour
  • Better behaviour and compliance, with improved focus, attention and creative thinking skills
  • More empathy with the emotions and feelings of others, improved social skills and cultivation of friendships with others
  • Improvements in language with slower speech and more ordered, ‘normal’, patterns of speech

Perth Brain Centre could help your child, find out about Asperger’s treatment Perth by calling us today on (08) 6500 3277. Neurofeedback Therapy is a safe, drug-free treatment that produces positive changes in the brain with long-term benefits for your child – and for the whole family.