What can I do about my vertigo? Can chiro help?

Hey there, everyone. Doctor Adam Smith here, chiropractor, and I get asked a lot about vertigo and that dizziness that you get when you change position in bed and the room starts to spin, or you feel your head spinning and you just don’t know what to do.

Now, oftentimes, this is something called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV for short. Now, if you go and see your doctor, they will have a look at your balance centers, they’ll do various different tests and they’ll want to rule out any inner ear infection and all that sort of stuff. But if there is no apparent cause like that, then it can be the upper neck dysfunction that could be leading onto that vertigo.

That happens in this part of the neck, right up the top here, so it’s around that C1, C2, even in the occiput area at the back of your neck because your balance relies upon three things. It relies upon what you see, what the balance centers in your ears sense, and what your body is sensing and sending back to the brain. So if your brain gets all three of these bits of information at the same time in the same way, then you are balanced. If one of those bits of information is off, for example if you do have an ear infection and your ears aren’t sending the right message to the brain properly, then your balance can be off.

This is where chiropractic can be helpful, if there is a dysfunction in the neck that is causing that dysfunctional message back to the brain. What I always recommend is, if you’ve had everything else ruled out in terms of the causes of vertigo, come and get it checked and we’ll assess the upper part of your neck and see if that could be causing part of the dysfunction between this part of the neck and the balance centres in the brain, so that you can hopefully help your vertigo improve without having to rely upon anything more nasty down the track. So get the upper neck checked out if you’ve got any vertigo going on. Come in, have a chat to us if you’ve got any questions, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

We are located at Elemental Life – Parkwood Village, off the lower carpark –  76 – 122 Napper Road, Parkwood, QLD, Australia – check out the Contact Us page for more info and a video on how to find us.

Additional info – you can try the Epley manoeuvre at home if you are game. Please be warned that this can often help with vertigo, but it can also provoke a vertigo episode too, and even sometimes nausea and vomiting. Use with caution and only once other causes of vertigo have been ruled out!


sore_back_chiro_parkwood_arundel_gold_coastWe can all relate to carrying as many bags as possible to save us making another trip. Is the time you’re saving worth it though? Lifting more than you are able to carry can cause immense strain on your body. Furthermore, with bad lifting technique, it can be even worse for your back.

This is not just true for carrying shopping bags. We often carry heavy suitcases and handbags without thinking of the consequences. Lifting heavy objects carelessly can result in strained back muscles. A tear or inflammation can result in severe pain and a long recovery.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 3.7 million Australians reported back problems and it has become the third leading cause of disease burden after cancer and cardiovascular problems1. With back problems being such a prevalent ailment, it’s important to make the necessary lifestyle changes to try and prevent back pain, your local chiro in Parkwood at Elemental Life – Dr Adam Smith has some tips for you:

  • Share the load – if you have a lot of shopping to carry, make more than one trip or ask a friend or family member to help you.
  • Use the correct lifting technique – with your knees bent and your back in a neutral position, lift the object carefully by slowly bringing it towards your chest. Avoid twisting or slouching when lifting and lowering.
  • Stretch – incorporating stretching into your daily routine keeps the muscles flexible and healthy. We need this flexibility to maintain a range of motion in our joints.

Your local Parkwood chiro can help!

Chiropractors can help address the strain caused on the body from excessive lifting of heavy objects. Although back pain is common, each patient is different and chiropractors tailor their approach accordingly.

For back problems, chiropractors use a variety of non-surgical techniques, such as spinal adjustment or manual therapies. They also advise patients on self-management of pain through exercise, stretching and lifestyle modification. Speak to your local CAA chiropractor about the type of exercise or stretching most suited to your needs.

Book an assessment with us now for more information on how we can help improve your quality of life.

For more information on maintaining a healthy spine, please visit the website of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA) at www.chiropractors.asn.au

‘Chiro Can Help’ is the theme for Spinal Health Week this year. Spinal Health Week is a health initiative of the CAA and is taking place on 21-27 May 2018. #ChiroCanHelp

This article is adapted from the Chiropractors Association of Australia website of which Dr Adam is a member.

[1] The burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia (2017), Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, www.aihw.gov.au


binge-wathcing-back-ache-parkwood-chiro-gold-coastThere is no denying that we live an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, spending hours each day sitting at desks or curled up on couches watching TV. The average Australian spends 2 hours and 25 minutes a day watching television1 and that includes Gold Coasters! That’s a long time in one position and it can be hazardous to your health.

Most of the time, when people watch TV, they are either slouching or lying in ways that put strain on their shoulders, back, or hips. Unwinding in front of the television shouldn’t feel like work but it also shouldn’t leave you feeling miserable the next day (which can happen if your body is not properly aligned).

Elemental Chiro at Parkwood Village has some tips on things you can do to keep your spine happy while watching television:

  • Pay attention to your posture – sitting up straight may not feel comfortable at first but overtime you’ll be able to maintain good posture as a habit. Keep your shoulders and back relaxed, and avoid tilting your head forward, backwards or sideways.
  • Take a break – a great way to remember to move is by getting off the couch and walking around during commercial breaks or between episodes of your favourite series.
  • Reduce sitting time – you can make screen time productive by doing household chores such as ironing or folding clothes while watching your favourite shows.

Your local Gold Coast Chiropractor can help!

If you are already experiencing the side effects of poor posture and prolonged sitting (pain, headaches or stiffness), it is advisable to BOOK A VISIT TO SEE US to see how we can help you improve your quality of life.

We are local to the northern Gold Coast, in Parkwood, and we can provide advice on self-care, depending on your condition and its severity. Research has shown that chiropractic care can help patients who suffer with back pain. In fact, a systematic review of articles published between 2009 and 2014 concluded that “the evidence supports that doctors of chiropractic are well-suited to diagnose, treat, co-manager, and manage the treatment of patients with low back pain disorders”.2

If you don’t live on the amazing Gold Coast then you should Visit your local CAA chiropractor to see how they can help.

For more information on maintaining a healthy spine, please visit the website of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA) at www.chiropractors.asn.au

‘Chiro Can Help’ is the theme for Spinal Health Week this year. Spinal Health Week is a health initiative of the CAA and is taking place on 21-27 May 2018. #ChiroCanHelp

This article is adapted from the CAA Spinal Health Week 2018 by Dr Adam Smith (Chiropractor) who is a member of the Chiropractors Association of Australia and Board Secretary for CAAQLD.

[1] Digital in 2017:ANZ and Pacific, 2017, We are Social & Hootsuite

[2] Globe G et al, 2015, Clinical Practice Guideline: Chiropractic Care for Low Back Pain

Is the daily grind giving you a headache?


chirocanhelp_chiropractor_parkwood_headacheHeadaches are becoming increasingly common and we are often guilty of taking some painkillers and ignoring the problem. Headaches can take different forms such as migraines or tension headaches, and these can greatly impact quality of life.

Headaches can be caused by various reasons, including but not limited to, poor posture, stress, sleeping patterns and poor nutrition. Here are some tips which can help decrease the severity or frequency of headaches:

  • Get enough sleep -adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Getting enough sleep plays an important role in your physical, mental and emotional health.
  • Fix your sleeping posture – an awkward sleeping position affects the alignment of your spine and can cause stiffness in the morning. Avoid sleeping on your stomach and try to sleep on your back instead to maintain the natural curve of the spine.
  • Be mindful of your posture – whether it’s during your commute or at the office, maintaining a good posture is very important for spinal health
  • Improve your nutrition – having a nutritious breakfast can make you feel good as you go about your day.
  • Drive Smart – if you drive regularly, adjust your seat to make sure that you are not straining any part of your body. Move the seat closer to the steering wheel to support the curve of your back.

Did you know that Elemental Chiro in Parkwood Village can help?
Chiropractors regularly diagnose, care for and manage headaches, and many studies have reported on the effectiveness of chiropractic care in alleviating migraine pain and other health issues that arise from neck and back issues.

An Australian study published in the Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapy demonstrated the effectiveness of chiropractic care in treating migraine pain. The Macquarie University study analysed the responses of 127 volunteers who suffered from migraines aged from 10 to 70 years. The researchers found that more than 80% of people who were provided with chiropractic care reported an improvement in migraines.1

Visit our CHIRO PAGE for more information on how we can help improve your quality of life, or click on the “BOOK CHIRO” link at the top of the page to book either an comprehensive Initial Consultation or a Spinal Health Assessment.

For more information on maintaining a healthy spine, you can visit the website of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA) at www.chiropractors.asn.au

‘Chiro Can Help’ is the theme for Spinal Health Week this year. Spinal Health Week is a health initiative of the CAA and is taking place on 21-27 May 2018. #ChiroCanHelp

(Adapted from the Chiropractors Association of Australia – Spinal Health Week 2018 campaign)

[1] Tuchin PJ1, Pollard H, Bonello R, 2000, A randomized controlled trial of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine, J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2000 Feb;23(2):91-5

Keto Lifestyle Food Guide

Full Credit for this great graphic goes to www.paleomagazine.com



What I learned about Optimal Performance working with V8 Supercar Champions.

In 2013, a brand new V8 Supercar team took the track, and they did so with the help of Chiropractic care! Erebus Motorsport, owned by the first female racing team owner, Betty Klimenko went from an idea to having 3 cars on track in almost 100 hectic days.

I first met the then CEO of Erebus, Ryan Maddison at Christmas time in 2012, and he was concerned that the pace the team was going at, preparing the cars for the first race was ruining not just his health, but the health of his team too.

Racing, like life, is often a mad dash just to get to the start of something. In this case, the team was working night and day developing the 3 cars to exacting standards, and to be as fast as possible – and they had just 100 days to get it done.

That is crazy!

The team liked the idea of having Chiropractors on the team, and they were very open to trying a new way of managing their health needs.

Once we explained how the brain controls the body through a free functioning nervous system, and how chiropractic adjustments can help the spine (and hence the nerves) move and function better, they were convinced it was the missing link.

For the next three years, I worked alongside a colleague as part of the Erebus Chiro Team. We traveled to the race weekends all around the country, we looked after the drivers and the staff here on the Gold Coast. We helped to keep the team in some of the best shape of any on the circuit.

Injuries were very few and minor. The team recovered quickly, and the drivers felt like their reflexes improved after an adjustment too.

So here are my top 5 tips for optimal performance that I learned during my time in the Supercar series:

1 – If you expect a lot from your body, then your body also expects a lot from you. Look after yourself with ‘pre-hab’ and ‘rehab’ routines that maximise your speed, flexibility and endurance.

2 – Your body needs a properly moving and functioning spine in order to work efficiently. Regular Chiropractic check-ups and  adjustments throughout the whole racing season will keep you in great working order, and identify any issues early.

3 – Listen to your body signals. Your body tells your brain what is going on, when there is a problem, and even sends subtle signals about what to do to fix it – you just have to either know how to listen, or recruit the help of a “interpreter” (we can help you there!)

4 – Great nutrition is vital. If you don’t feed your body with the right nutrients, it cannot heal you and repair from injury or illness. Great nutrition is more than just calories in and calories out! The same number of calories from vegetables is not used the same by your body and if those calories came from sugar. We have some awesome resources at Elemental that can help you get this sorted easily.

5 – You must, must, must move your body regularly. Even the engineers who used to sit for the whole race in front of their computers, now move more regularly. They feel the benefits, and so can you. Sitting has been identified as so detrimental to the human spine it is akin to how bad smoking cigarettes is for the lungs! Move! Anyone for some hot yoga?

So there you have it, 5 straightforward tips that can have you functioning at your best in the race of life!

Just remember life is an ‘enduro race’ not a ‘sprint’, so if you want to go the full race distance come in and talk to us about your best plan to get there.

~ Dr Adam Smith – Chiropractor


How does the health of my Spine effect my Happiness?

Our spine and its purpose, is something that most of us never pay any attention to unless we experience a problem with it.

However, without a healthy functioning spine, life as we know it would be reduced, instantly, to a sub-standard version to the degree that our spine was no longer functioning optimally.

However, without a healthy functioning spine, life as we know it would be reduced, instantly, to a sub-standard version to the degree that our spine was no longer functioning optimally.

Our spine has 3 main functions. Support, mobility and most importantly,  protection of our central nervous system. It provides us with the ability to stand upright (support) and has a shock absorbing, suspension system built in which allows us to walk, run and be active comfortably and without damage. It provides us with our posture. As such, our posture is a window to our spinal health. How’s your posture?

Whether we stoop over or stand tall is dictated by the health of our spine and our posture, which has a significant bearing on our overall physical and mental health. When we are deprived of a health in either or both of these areas of our lives, to that same degree we are deprived of the happiness that is otherwise available to us.

Our spine provides us with a ‘suit of armor’ which protects the Central Nervous System of our body. Your Central Nervous System is what allows your brain to communicate an enormous number of moment-to-moment functions required to take place in the body for it to stay alive and function optimally, among many other things. If the spine is not able to move properly or becomes inflamed, the nerves that exit the spine to convey the messages to and from every cell in your body are unable to transmit the signals clearly. This leads to a communication error and then things can get a bit out of whack in terms of your health. And if your health is off, your happiness is off!

Many times, these things happen so slowly, we don’t even notice how much energy we’re no longer feeling or we convince ourselves that we’re just ‘getting older’. Often, once we have had our spine assessed and start getting adjusted, we are astounded at how much better and more vital we feel. It’s like someone has switched the power back on!

Once you begin to understand the important roles the spine plays in your overall health, it becomes much easier to understand how the health of your spine directly impacts your ability to experience happiness and fulfillment in your life.


Why do I sometimes get headaches after yoga?

As you can imagine, we get a lot of questions about yoga. One of the great things about Elemental is that we are a team of highly educated health professionals and yoga teachers, so we can really hone in on your health and wellbeing issues. One question we hear occasionally is, “Why do I sometimes get a headache after yoga?” I thought I would share my answers to the whole community.

There can be a few reasons for getting a headache after yoga. As we practise hot yoga, the most common reason for us is dehydration or magnesium (or other electrolyte) deficiency. Of course this can be easily rectified by making sure we’re drinking enough water (2 litres per day) even on days when we’re not practicing yoga. To replace the electrolytes we sweat out you can use coconut water, ‘Restore’ or some other high quality electrolyte replacement (I don’t recommend the chemically laden Gatorade/Powerade type drink) and eating quality vegetables and fruit – organic will have a higher mineral content. Bananas are a great source of potassium. We also use Himalayan Salt with each meal to assist with replacement of 84 minerals. If you’re practising a lot of hot yoga, we recommend a high potency magnesium such as ‘Bioceuticals Ultra Muscle-eze Night’ which not only replaces magnesium but also contains choline bitartrate which assists rehydration of the central nervous system. Ask one of our health team if they think that product might be right for you. We have plenty in stock and it is classed as a ‘Practitioner Only’ item – so be sure to ask about it first.

But this is not the most common reason behind post-yoga headaches and the real reason just might surprise you. The most common reason is actually due to the structure of your neck. If we took an x-ray of your neck from the side, we need to make sure you have a curve that goes forward, like an arc. This is the structure that is the most stable and needs the least amount of muscle support or protection.

Normal Neck Curve

Normal Neck Curve

No neck curve

No neck curve

If the curve is missing (which is very common) the neck becomes tight and you have a stretch on your spinal cord and brainstem (Not good – remember, this is your lifeline for your entire body and it is responsible for carrying all of the messages to control and regulate every function in your body. So you don’t want any undue tension on your spinal cord!!!) When we do yoga, we are using the muscles differently and they can become easily aggravated and the headache can be either what we call ‘cervicogenic’ which is primarily due to muscle tension OR due to the stretch on the spinal cord itself in different positions. Either way, the cause is most likely a lack of neck curve.

If you then add in some advanced postures such as headstands, then you can make the problem even worse.

All is not lost however. This curve can be restored if caught early enough (i.e. before the spine degenerates or becomes arthritic) At Elemental, our chiro team have an amazing track record of cervical curve restoration. We use a combination of adjustments, specifically tailored exercises and stretches, regular re-measurements and modification (if needed) of your yoga practice. Now, some people are just not too sure about chiropractic and we understand so we have a couple of options available. You can come in for a free, no-obligation chat with our doctors to find out if your may have a case that chiropractic can help or you can come along to one of our free half-hour evening workshops – just ask one of our team members for the details of the next one. Most of our team is under regular chiropractic care, so we’ll be able to answer most of your questions. But the greatest thing about getting onto this issue early is that if it can be sorted, it can prevent pain, degeneration and arthritis in the spine as you get older. That way you’re unlikely to need future neck surgery or to be on long-term pain/anti-inflammatory medication. A far rosier outcome than just hoping that nothing will go wrong!

Of course, headaches can also be a sign of something more rare and sinister so if you’re getting them regularly, they don’t respond well to pain medication or you’re noticing a change in their type/frequency/severity don’t hesitate to contact your health professional for an assessment.

If you want to find out if you have a normal neck curve, or if you suspect you don’t, just call the Chiro Team today for a chat on 0499 00 33 88.