Digital detox- Part 2

Digital Detox Part 2- The Blue Light Hazard!

 

Modern society is becoming increasingly reliant and addicted to the benefits and lures of digital devices of all forms, but as with all good things, there are downsides.  In this series articles I will cover the health issues surrounding our rising use of technology.

 

What Is Blue light:

All normal white light is made up of a spectrum of different wavelengths of light. These different wavelengths are seen when rainbows are created. Blue light is toward the ultraviolet end of the spectrum at around 475nm.

All colour digital screens and LED light sources, including energy efficient bulbs produce high levels of blue light.

 

Why is blue light bad for us?

The body has evolved to be active during daylight hours and sleep during the night. This is one of the large driving forces behind our circadian rhythms.

Any exposure to light at night can disrupt this rhythm and produce the symptoms of excessive light exposure however blue light is the most damaging. Blue light hugely decreases the production of melatonin, the hormone which helps us to sleep.  This can lead to a host of health related issues especially those linked to decrease sleep quality.

A very recent study has found that in a lot of people with altered sleeping patterns AND back pain, that the pain may actually be caused by the degeneration of specific cells within the lumbar discs which are controlled by circadian rhythm.

 

How to minimise blue light exposure:

  • Avoid any digital screens for at least 2 hours before bed time.
  • Set your digital device to greyscale mode as the lack of colour on your phone will break the habits of even the most addicted digital user.
  • Use apps such as ELECOM or KOALA web browsers (search blue light filter in the appstore) to negate blue light whilst browsing the web.
  • Make sure your bedroom has blackout curtains and no emitting light sources
  • Consider a swap to none blue light emitting light bulbs throughout the house.

Off to a Tee!

Golf is hard, let’s make it easier.

 

Tour golfers are surrounded by a team of professionals whose aim is to ensure that they achieve the optimal performance and as the Olympic cycling team showed, incremental improvements add up to a better overall performance. Tour professionals have a masseur, physiotherapist, swing coach, strength coach, chiropractor, physician and dietician to name but a few. As amateurs, very few people have this type of team, most people take a lesson occasionally and may go to the gym but don’t access any clinical input unless they actually injure themselves.

Injury prevention and technique optimisation should be something you think about as an amateur also, we are all happy to buy new equipment and these days club fitting is offered by most centres but when was the last time you actually looked at the body that is swinging the club?

 

 

How are your restrictions and aches/pains affecting your golf game?

Can you lower your handicap and improve your golf with some assessment? Absolutely you can.

 

Golf, Sunset, Sport, Golfer, Bat, Einlochfahne, Outdoor

 

The Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) teaches clinicians to assess a golfers’ range of motion and how a lack of stability or mobility in the golf swing leads to particular swing errors. From that assessment, appropriate mobilisation or stabilisation can be put in place to optimise function and improve your swing. In conjunction with a golf pro who knows your swing mechanics and a fitness programme designed for you, you will be on the road to improving your handicap and seeing that little white ball travel a little further and a little straighter.

 

Why not give us a ring and see whether our TPI certified chiropractor, David,  can help you get more out of your game, come on, let’s unleash that inner Tiger

Massage for Body AND Mind

Massage Therapy is more than just relaxing ‘me’ time and often gets misconstrued as a pamper treatment rather than something that aides physical and emotional well-being. Its not thought of as anything medical at all or related to anything medical, but if we went in depth about massage, it’s not just about releasing muscle tension, it also affects blood flow, flushes out toxins and affects your organs. An example would be that it aides digestion and carries more oxygen enriched blood around your body. To me, massage should be as essential as breathing.

Image result for massage images

There are many benefits to massage and there is an exhaustive list at that, but these are some main points. It improves mobility, circulation, lowers blood pressure, improves rehabilitation after injury, relieves stress, strengthens the immune system and promotes easier and deeper breathing. I have found the most stressed and high energy person, able to deeply relax during and after a massage and this is a vital component in our individual healthcare. To relax. To de-stress,. I find a lot of illness starts from stress. If we can manage and maintain our stress levels, we can help prevent illness further down road. Not all illness of course. That would be a miracle. But it would be giving us a running start I think. Stress actually increases blood pressure and heart rate, thus its putting pressure on all your vital organs, so if you can take just one thing away from massage, learning to deeply relax would be a very good start. The relaxation part doesn’t come from a bit of relaxing music either, as I personally don’t use any music and its not something that requires any effort on your part. It comes from the Therapist working deeply with the muscles to encourage deep relaxation from within. If you fall asleep during a massage great! Don’t fight the relaxation, just give into it. I always think of Massage as getting that all important MOT. It’s maintenance. Massage needs to come off the Spa shelf I think and should really be thought of as a health check.

Another point that’s misconstrued, is that Massage Therapists are Beauty Therapists and although Beauty Therapists do get some massage training, Massage Therapists have in depth medical training very much similar to that of a Nurse, so please feel free to discuss ailments and the medication you are taking. Its not only important for Therapists to know how they can personalise your treatment, its also a way to find out if there is anything that prevents you from having a massage. An example would be if someone suffered with low blood pressure, because Massage further lowers blood pressure, so try a short treatment first to test the waters. It doesn’t mean you can’t have one. It just means it could result in you feeling temporarily light headed or faint.  Good communication between you and the Therapist is really important.

So I guess the last point is don’t just think of it as a Spa treatment and no medical information is relevant or necessary. Please trust your therapist and make the most of the initial consultation and communicate throughout the course of your treatments and feed anything back, as we want to provide the best possible care we can.

Digital Detox Part 1- Tech Neck!

Modern society is becoming increasingly reliant and addicted to the benefits and lures of digital devices of all forms, but as with all good things, there are downsides. In this series articles I will cover the health issues surrounding our rising use of technology.

 

tech-neck-3
Tech Neck:
Whilst the 19th and 20th century were dominant by manual labour, industrial revolution and vast occupational hazards the 21st centuries biggest issue is set to be digital related health risks. The first victim of this is likely your neck!
Tech neck is a form of postural induced neck pain caused by the head and neck being in prolonged flexion whilst looking at a smart phone, tablet or other screen device.

tech-neck-2

Below is a list of ways to avoid tech neck:
• The head is a heavy weight, so sitting with it forward of your body puts unnecessary strain on your neck and back, so always sit with your head directly over your body.
• Avoid sitting in the same position for more than 40 minutes, less if possible. When you do take a break, walk around and stretch a little.
• Your seat should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground and knees bent, but with a slope from your hips to your knees. You should end up with your hips higher than your knees and your eyes level with the top of the computer screen. You may need to put the screen on a stand, book or ream of paper to bring it to the right height.
• When using your mobile, smartphone, laptop or tablet whilst sitting down, including on your commute, take the time to break position on a regular basis and stretch your arms, shrug your shoulders and move your fingers around as this helps to keep the muscles more relaxed.

 

tech-neck-1
Wi-Fi Free Hour:
I am a huge advocate of the Wi-Fi free hour in our house and discuss this regularly at the clinic. Much to Joanne’s annoyance I regularly unplug the router and round up all the house hold phones and computers and get them out of hands for at least an hour. Not only does this help hugely with EMF exposure but it gives your posture a much needed break and actually allows you to re-communicate as a family in the ever increasing chaotic 21st century.

Wear and Tear…..

Is ‘wear and tear’ causing my back pain?

At the clinic we often see people coming to our clinic in pain stating that they have been told that ‘it is due to their age’ or ‘wear and tear’.

In this article I want to discuss why this often simply isn’t the case.

What is ‘wear and tear’?spine-for-blog-14-9

‘Wear and tear’ is a layman’s term for Osteo-Arthritis (OA) which is the normal process of degeneration that’s occurs in all humans as we age.  This process occurs for several reasons. A normal joint can be exposed to abnormal loads such as trauma or repetitive activity OR a joint which is not functioning correctly can be exposed to normal everyday forces.

How is OA diagnosed?

OA can only be diagnosed with the use of medical imaging, most commonly X-ray’s.

Under medical guidelines it is inappropriate to diagnoses OA without the use of an X-ray as symptomology is simply not accurate enough to formulate a diagnosis as we will discuss later.

On an X-ray, OA will be seen at the joints of your body where two bony surfaces meet and is often classified as mild, moderate or severe.

How and when does OA occur?

OA has been shown by many studies  to be seen on X-rays in most people from the late 20’s to early 30’s and may slowly progress in severity as we age. Interestingly there is a large evidence base to suggest that the severity of OA is poorly related to the level of pain experienced by a patient meaning you can have a small amount of OA and lots of pain or large amounts of OA and little to no pain.

Putneck-pain-chiropractorting it all together:

 

 

OA begins to develop in your late 20’s to early 30’s as a result of trauma or incorrect joint function which both place increased stress into the joints.  As there is no correlation between the severity of OA and the amount of pain you experience it is logical to suggest that you could have as much or more pain for OA in your younger years than you may as you age which begins to dispel the myth of Ageing= increased pain.

Now consider this also. We now know that a vast percentage of the human population over the age of 30, when imaged, will show some signs of OA. We also know that most people who have an X-ray of their lower back do so because they are in pain. What happens now is a case of ‘guilty until proven innocent’, the OA is often blamed for the back pain because it is at the scene of the crime at the time the crime despite the fact it may have been there before the back pain and will definitely be there after the pain has gone! This begins to challenge the view that ‘wear and tear’ is always the cause of the back pain when nothing else is seen on the imaging.

Thespine-for-blog-2 far more likely culprit is the trauma or incorrect joint function which is cause the OA to occur…

Camping

camping

With the bank holiday approaching, Reading and Leeds festival nearly here and the school summer holiday in full swing many people will be dusting off their camping gear. Sleeping in a different environment, on a harder surface, with different pillows and all the weather the British summer can throw at you could cause some problems for your spine so here at Harding Chiropractic were here to help!

 
Protect your back – Ensure your back is protected against a hard and potentially damp surface by sleeping on a quality approved camping mat or air mattress. Most large well stocked outdoor shops will have a host of samples to try before you buy so you should be able to find the best option for your trip.

A pillow is an often forgotten item despite the fact that most people wouldn’t sleep in their bed without one! Taking your own pillow is by far the best options however should you be tight on space an inflatable pillow is a much better option than a rolled up jumper!

 

Prep your sleeping area first – Before setting up your camping mat or air mattress it is advisable to first prep your sleeping area. To start with ensure you are on the most level ground available and that you remove any large stones or sticks that could dig into your spine and disrupt your sleep. Secondly make sure you are positioned away from the walls of the tent to avoid any unwanted moisture build up affecting your sleeping bag or clothing.

 

Sleep sensibly – Correct sleeping posture is often easy on a defined camping matt or airbed, if however you are however playing ‘sardines in a tin’ try where possible to achieve a straight spine position.  We advise also taking a set of ear plugs and night mask with you just in case! The night mask will allow you to sleep beyond the sunrise if you desire (there are no curtains in a tent!) and should you end up with noisy neighbours away from home, ear plugs are a god send!

 

Keep hydrated – If it is hot, then you can get very warm ‘under canvas’. Make sure you drink plenty, at LEAST 2 litres of pure water per day and have a bottle of water available during the night.

 

Lift and carry with care – 60% of Brits believe that lifting and carrying is the most likely cause of their back pain, so take care when loading and unloading your camping gear. Two bags are better than one – If possible, pack your gear into more bags rather than less, so you can distribute the weight more evenly and reduce the strain on your back when lifting and carrying them. A fold out wheelbarrow or sac trolley can be a superb purchase for those looking to ‘pitch up’ for several days or longer.

 

Optimal Foetal Positioning – Helping To Make Birth Easier

I talk a lot about the importance of optimal foetal positioning with my pregnant patients, how the pelvis influences this during pregnancy, and what we can do to achieve it.

It is well known that a baby in a breech or transverse position are not ideal for vaginal delivery. However, did you know that there are even better positions for your baby to be in than simply head down?

What is Optimal Foetal Positioning?
The posture of a mother to be and the way she moves during pregnancy can influence the way a baby is positioned in the pelvis at term thus having a major effect on labour and birth. There is a large school of thought that many difficult births may be the result of a mal-positioned baby. This can result in long and painful labours, and the use of medical interventions.

imageIn the optimal position the baby is head down, facing the mothers back, with its own back on the front left side of the mothers tummy. The baby in this position allows for a smooth passage through the birth canal as the chin is tucked to the baby’s chest allowing the smallest part of the head to be presented first. This ideal position is called an occiput anterior (the baby’s occiput or back of head is facing the mothers front) and has been shown to be more likely to result in an easier labour. Occiput posterior presentations – where the back of the baby’s head is facing the mothers back are more likely to produce longer and more painful labours as the baby will need to turn during labour to enter the birth canal.

What can be done to achieve the best position for my baby?
There are lots of things you, as an expectant mother, can do to help with this – starting in the first trimester. To achieve this optimum position the baby needs to have plenty of room in the womb to move around. Balance, gravity and movement are three core principles that are relevant during pregnancy.

imageEnsure that your pelvis, spine and associated soft tissues are functioning well, and are balanced and symmetrical. Low back pain, pubic pain (SPD)or pelvic discomfort (PGP) are all indicators of pelvic dysfunction and therefore imbalance. Chiropractic treatment delivered by a practitioner experienced in the care of pregnant women is an effective, gentle and non-invasive way of resolving such issues in addition to balancing your pelvis.

As pregnancy progresses your abdomen increases in size. Use gravity and movement to encourage your baby into the ‘hammock’ this creates. Rest smart, and be mindful of the position you are relaxing in. Regularly sitting in a slouched position, causes the pelvis to tilt backwards encouraging the baby to enter the pelvis in a posterior position as their back, heaviest part of them is more likely to to be positioned against your back.

imageTry and sit forward rather than slouching backwards when in a chair or on a sofa. Sitting on a gym ball (or birthing ball) will also encourage this position; ideally, your knees should be slightly lower than your hips when sitting on a chair or ball. Kneeing forwards, on hands and knees, or sitting leaning onto a ball is a great way to relax in the evenings.

If you prefer to sit on the floor then sitting cross legged sitting can be comfortable by following these tips. Place cushions under your bottom to raise your hips slightly higher than your knees can help increase comfort and placing firm cushions under your knees can help to increase stability and enable you to relax. The same principle applies when sitting in a car. When in a car have the seat upright and tilt the pelvis forwards using a wedge cushion.

Sleep on your left side, not your back (lying on your back puts pressure on your major blood artery). As you lie on your side, place a pillow underneath your bump. This helps prevent the weight of your baby pulling your pelvis forwards; another pillow should be placed between your knees and ankles to assist alignment and reduce strain on your hips, spine and pelvis.

Using these positions regularly during your pregnancy will help to give you the best chance of optimally positioning your baby prior to labour.

If you have any questions about any of the points raised in this article or require a y further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the clinic.

Summers Here!!

As plants blossom and grow, hanging baskets become laden and the demand for water is incessant, keeping on top of your garden becomes an increasingly physical affair.

 

Here at Harding Chiropractic we have put together a few tips that should keep you functioning well right through the growing and harvest period. 

 gardening wheelbarrow

 

Before you begin:

 

Before you even get out into the garden there are a few steps you can take keep yourself in top condition.

 

Clothes

Don’t wear clothes that are tight or could constrict your movement.

 

Warm Up

Gardening is like any other exercise; you need to warm up first. Firstly check out these warm up exercises supplied by the BCA which are great to get you moving Straighten Up!. Secondly, don’t go straight into the heavy work; start off with lighter jobs as this will lessen the chance of muscle strain.

 

Water

The easiest way to stay hydrated throughout the working day is to keep a large bottle of water out in the garden with you. Not only will this help remind you to keep drinking regularly but it will allow you to track your fluid intake throughout the day.

 

Take a break

Vary your activity by spending no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing and make sure you take regular breaks.

 

Clever spring pruning
Get as close as possible to the things you are pruning and avoid overstretching to reach the area you are dealing with.
Invest in some long handled secateurs to reach plants and bushes that are beyond normal reach.

gardening man

 

Plan ahead

 

If you are planning a trip to the local garden centre store to buy heavy items such as compost, buy smaller bags rather than one big bag as they are easier and safer to carry. Better yet, have it delivered direct to your home and have them deliver it as close to where you need them as possible.

 

Don’t lift with your arms straight out, keep the elbows bent and to your side to minimise the stress on your back.
A specialist garden trolley might be worth investing in to move these sorts of materials around, especially if you have lots of patio pots to move around as well.

gardening fork

 

Making the “Transition”

n this article we will discuss:

  • What are transitional Zones?
  • Why do these areas produce pain?
  • Where do these areas cause pain?

 

What are transitional zones?

The transitional zones of the spine are junctions at which the 4 main areas of the spine meet each other. These are as follows:

  • Occipital Cranial Base (Where the skull meets the neck).
  • Cervico-Thoracic Junction (Where the neck meets the rib cage).
  • Thoraco-Lumbar Junctions (Where the Ribcage meets the lower back)
  • Lumbo-Sacral Junction (Where the lower back meets the pelvis)

Why does dysfunction in these areas produce pain?

Theses 4 junctions, similarly to a set of 4 way traffic lights are areas where the body can become pressured and congested often resulting in pain.

These junctions are particularly prone to dysfunction as they are the meeting points of two areas of the spine which do very different jobs.

The biggest difference between two areas is usually their amount of mobility Vs their amount of stability or their amount of mobility in one direction compare to another.

For example:

  • The neck is a very mobile structure which is able to move in lots of different direction aid us with vision and functional activities. On the opposite side of the mobility scale is the rib cage which is a very stable structure which helps to protect your lungs, heart, stomach other vital organs. At Cervico-Thoracic Junction (where the neck and ribcage meet) we have an area of large mobility meeting an area of large stability so problems often arise.
  • The Thoraco-Lumbar junction has large amount of rotational movement whereas the lumbar spine loves to bend forward and backwards. Where these two areas of different movement meet there has to be a compromise which can sometimes be difficult for the body to achieve and leaves the area more prone to injury.

Common Pain Patterns:

When any of the 4 transitional zones become dysfunctional, common pain patterns can arise. Some of which you may recognise in yourself.

 

  • The Occipital Cranial Base, if dysfunctional, often produces neck pain and headaches.

 

  • blog pics july16
    • Cervical Thoracic junction dysfunction often causes lower neck pain, shoulder pain, arm pains and shoulder blade pain
  • blog2 july16
    • Thoraco-lumbar junction dysfunction oftern produces flank pain and lower back, groin and inner thigh pain which is also known as Maigne syndrome
    • blog3 july16
    • Finally Lumbo-Sacral Junction dysfunction can produce lower back, buttock, groin and posterior thigh pain.
    •  blog4 july16

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting to the Core…..

Over the past few years core stability training has exploded and became its own entity entirely. Many discussions are now held regarding the importance of core stability. Due to this I am going to construct a series of weekly articles reflecting my opinion on the ‘core’ and how best to begin its rehabilitation.

In this article I am going to discuss:

  • What is stability and the core?
  • Why is this important to you?
  • Future article topics

 

What is Stability?

Stability within the human body is the ability to hold the spine in a neutral position whilst the limbs are moving.

What is the core?

The core of the human body is situated between the ribcage and the pelvis.

Imagine the core like a ships mast. In order for the mast (spine) to stand it must be held in place by guy ropes.  In order for the mast to be supported in all directions, it must be supported in all directions as can be seen on the picture below.

 

pelvis

 

Each muscle in the core resists the action of its opposite muscle to help hold the mast (spine) vertically. If any of the muscles in the core are weak or tight, the mast will become un-level and unstable. This results in dysfunction and pain.

Along with these guy wires the mast (spine) is also support by a base. In the body this base is the pelvis. The function of the pelvis is to transfer force from the lower limbs to the trunk and to provide stability for the body. If this base is un-level or unstable there is no possibility of the mast (spine) being stable.

A large component of pelvic stability is controlled by the gluteal muscles (muscles of the buttocks) and this is why they are so important in core stability and why they are often the start of a core stability program.

 

Why is this important to you?Gluts pic

A strong core helps not only to decrease lingering pain following an injury but also plays a huge role in the prevention of future injuries.

Building a strong core is not only for patients with lower back pains, it is also an essential component in many shoulder, hip knee and ankle complaints.

Future Articles:

In the next article I will begin to discuss how to begin core rehabilitation and start to evaluate the individual muscles within the core and how they function as a unit.

If you have any questions about this article or would like individual advice I would be more than happy to help.

Pain

Now that we have discussed the fact that pain is simply and alarm signal for the brain to take action we need to discuss why we have this alarm in the first place.

Pain is a protective mechanism that serves to give the body time to process its current situation. This I very much like the body calling a ‘time out.’ This should be viewed as time for you to evaluate all the factors in your life that have led you to this particular moment of pain.

In this ‘time out’ phase the body sends pain signals to the brain via the spinal cord. The spinal cord acts like an amplifier on a guitar. The signals can be turned up or down dependant on the amount of danger the brain ‘perceives’ the body to be in. This is often known as your ‘pain threshold’ or ‘pain sensitivity’.

The amount of pain you feel is determined by this sensitivity NOT the amount of damage that has occurred. If we again consider pain as an alarm and sensitivity as a guard officer, if the guard officer is on high alert and is edgy they are much more like to pull the alarm (produce pain) than if they are relaxing enjoying a cup of tea (think tense horror movie situation).

Whether the amplifier turns up or down (guard pulls the alarm) is determined by the factors outlined in the previous article such as environment, temperature, nutrition, emotion etc.

The issue here is that longer term pain sensitivity is a vicious cycle. For most pain free people their tissue damage threshold (the amount of load a tissue can take before it is injured) and their pain threshold/sensitivity are quite close. This means you only experience pain when you are close to tissue damage occurring e.g pain after an ankle sprain that then decreases rapidly (5-7 days) after the injury.

For none pain free individuals the longer the pain persists the more sensitive you become so the gap between tissue damage threshold and pain threshold/sensitivity becomes much wider meaning you experience pain more often and sooner than other and you experience pain that is disproportionate to the amount of tissue damage present. This often the case when people have had every X-ray, MRI, Ultrasound and blood test going and are told nothing is wrong but they are still in pain.

The take home message is that exposure to prolonged pain leads to increased pain sensitivity which leads to more pain, a viscous cycle. By altering our pain sensitivity by using manual therapy, changes to lifestyle, environment, nutrition and emotions we can decrease pain sensitivity and thus decrease pain PERMANENTLY not just in the short term.

In the next article we will discuss further how initial trauma and pain leads to prolonged pain with the concluding article discussing how you can begin to reduce your pain.462461267

Are you being asked the correct questions? Heres Why!

In this series of articles I am going to discuss various aspects of pain from why we feel pain, through what pain is to how pain can even be viewed as a positive thing.

 

As a chiropractor 99% of the time a person who first presents to our clinic is in some form of pain.

As with all things, discussing pain is a series of questions the first of which tend to be what most people focus on:

why-image-for-why-video-blog

 

  • How does the pain feel?
  • What caused the pain?
  • When did the pain begin?
  • Where is the pain?
  • What aggravates the pain?
  • What helps the pain?
  • Who have you seen about the pain?
  • What can’t you do because of the pain?

And so the list of who what when and how goes ever onwards. Very seldom do people stop to ask WHY!

images

 

 

Now the above questions are very important however they are secondary to the WHY.

 

When discussing any given subject the logic of ‘ask better questions receive better answers’ is always true especially in the case of pain.

 

So let’s turn this around and ask the WHYS of pain:

 

  • Why do you think you are in pain?
  • Why are you still in pain?
  • Why has this pain not gone away like any other pain you have had before?
  • Why does the pain get better or worse at certain times or with certain activities?
  • Why is this pain occurring now?
  • Why is the pain where it is?

 

As you can see when asking why you open up a whole can of other questions and answers opposed to the closed answer of how what when and who.

 

A good example of this is see below:

 

Patient A: My lower back is really painful, all I did was pick up a pencil off the floor 3 weeks ago and I got this sudden sharp pain in my back which went into my buttocks and right leg.

 

Chiropractor: Why do you think you are in pain from picking up a pencil?

 

Patient A: I don’t know, I had lifted lots of things before and had been fine/ I think I have pulled a muscle.

Chiropractor: If you have picked up pencils all your life without injury/ you have sprained muscles periodically over the past 30 years and never had to see a chiropractor why do you think this time the pain has occurred sand not gone away?

 

Patient A: I don’t know, this is what I would like to find out from the consultation today.

 

Now the patient and the chiropractor are both able to examine, discuss and find the true cause of the pain instead of just treating the presenting symptoms.

 

Why is this important to you?

 

If you think back through your life to all the times you have been in pain since childhood, scraped knees, paper cuts, bruises, black eyes, sprained ankles, sore muscles; these injuries are no longer painful and the body healed itself in around 2-7 days or so with no help needed (except from the obligatory ‘you’ll live’ from a parent).

 

So why is your current condition different? Why is this pain not going away after 1 week or 2weeks?

The very simplistic answer is that there is a barrier to your body’s ability to heal itself whether it is physical, emotional, chemical, nutritional, environmental or structural.

 

By consulting the clinic and first asking WHY instead of WHO WHAT WHEN and HOW the focus shifts from merely treating your pain to actually finding the root course of the pain, removing any barriers to healing and assisting the body to do its job as it has done thousands of times before throughout your life.

 

The next article:

 

In the next article I will discuss why we feel pain and what pain is.

 

Anti-Inflammatory Alternatives

 

 

When an injury is experienced, whether it be a rotator cuff tear or long term knee pain I often hear of people reaching for ibuprofen as a solution.

 

Whilst I am not here to change your current medication I would like to discuss the purpose of ibuprofen and suitable alternatives should you prefer a more natural approach or if you struggle to take ibuprofen due to other underlying medical conditions, especial those of a gastrointestinal nature.

 

In this article I will discuss:

 

  • What is Ibuprofen and how does it work?
  • Natural Alternatives to Ibuprofen
  • Suggested natural anti-inflammation supplements.

 

What is ibuprofen and how does it work?

 

 

When the body is injured the process of healing begins. One of the stages of wound healing is the inflammatory stage. This stage is vital for the repair of the body however if the inflammation gets out of control pain can be experienced.

 

Pain produced via inflammation is caused by chemical substances known as ‘inflammatory mediators’ such as prostoglandin and interleukin.

 

None Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen are designed to reduce the production of inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandin and interleukin by shutting down the enzyme that makes them (COX).

 

There are several natural supplements which also help to shut down the COX enzyme and can also increase tissue healing alongside reducing inflammation.

 

 

Natural Alternatives to Ibuprofen:

 

 

 

  1. Omega 3 fish oils are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, in particular n3 PUFAS, which have been shown to have a large anti-inflammatory affect and also to enhance tissue healing and decrease repair times. Omega 3 has been found in numerous studies to be equally as affective as ibuprofen with no severe side effects. The whole purpose of increasing omega 3 fatty acids it to rebalance the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids in your diet which is a particular problem of modern western diets. This is a great area to look into to if you are interested in living a healthy lifestyle. .

 

  1. Curcumin, derived from turmeric is a spice which has a large number of well know health benefits, not least among which are its ability to reduce inflammation.

 

 

  1. Sage oil is another nutrient with great anti-inflammatory effect. The Ursolic acid found in sage is often used to compare the relative potency of other anti-inflammatory substances.

 

 

  1. Ginger, like the other natural supplements above also helps to affect the Cox2 pathways of inflammation and the production of inflammatory substances such as interleukins and prostaglandins discussed earlier in the article. Ginger also increases circulation which helps to supply freshly oxygenated blood to the injured area.

 

  1. Anti-Oxidants are also a great way to reduce tissue healing times. Anti-oxidants scavenge substances known as ‘free radicals’ from the body. These ‘free radicals’ peak in times of stress on the body, such as an injury.

 

  1. Pine bark has been shown to enhance circulation at a cellular level meaning that wound healing times are often reduced.

 

Suggested Supplements:

 

Below is a list of 6 supplements, 3 from each manufacturer. I would advise utilising all 3 from either manufacturer as per the recommendation on the bottle. At a bare minimum use of either Curcumin Plus or Phyte-Inflam would be of good benefit.

 

Cytoplan Discount: SA16

Biocare Discount: P6727

 

 

  1. Biocare Curcumin Plus
  2. Biocare Anti-Oxidant
  3. Biocare Omega 3
  4. Cytoplan Omega 3
  5. Cytoplan Phyte-Inflam
  6. Cytoplan Anti-Oxidant

Stop Sitting On The Problem!

If you spend a large amount of time in a seated position either at a desk or driving then this blog is for you!

Some great advice is already available on our website about how to correctly position yourself and improved your posture while seated. These can be found on the links below.

Computer Posture:

http://www.hardingchiropractic.co.uk/is-work-a-pain-in-the-neck/

Laptop Posture:

http://www.hardingchiropractic.co.uk/using-a-laptop-tips-for-maintaining-a-good-posture/

Driving Posture:

http://www.hardingchiropractic.co.uk/back-and-neck-pain-advice-on-driving-postion/

In this article I am going to discuss the muscular implications of long periods of sitting, even in a good posture and how the daily habit can be counteracted with some simple exercises.

There are 3 main areas to discuss when it comes to improving spinal strength to resist the effort of prolonged sitting. These are:

1. Hip and Buttock Strength
2. Shoulder Blade Strength
3. Neck Strength

Today I will discuss Hip and Buttock Strength, including:

• The function of the buttock (gluteal) muscles and the role they play in core stability.
• What happens if they are poorly utilised.
• How to begin to train the buttock (gluteal) muscles.

What is the function of the gluteal muscles?

Gluts pic

 

 

 

The gluteal muscles are a group of 3 muscles commonly referred to as ‘the gluts’. The gluts are made of the Gluteus Minimus, Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Maximus. The gluteal muscle are responsible for stability in the pelvis, pushing the leg back when walking, running, climbing stairs and standing from a chair. The gluteal muscles, along with a deeper muscle called the Piriformis also help to rotate the hip outwards and provide stability when standing on one leg

What happens if they are under used and under worked?

All of the actions above involve straightening a bent thigh e.g. raising from a seated positon. With the vast increase in time spent seated, decreased time spent walking and less activities which require one leg balance most people’s gluteal muscles have become inefficient and lazy.

Everyone muscle in the body has and equal and opposite muscle which opposed its action to maintain balance or equality. It stands to reason that if the gluteal muscles are inefficient then another muscle must being doing a lot more work to maintain balance.

Due to the glutes being located at the back of the pelvis, the muscle which becomes hyperactive and over worked is located is at the front of the pelvis and is called the Psoas.

Pelvis pic

The Psoas muscle is located on the front of the hip and is involved in lifting the knee to the chest. When you are sitting you sit with your hips bent up towards your chest which results in an overactive psoas and underactive gluteal muscle. Due to the Psoas muscles attachment onto the pelvis, if it becomes tight and over active it can often lead to a change in pelvis function and position, producing lower back pain.

When you then go to stand up, the glutes are underactive and the lower back has to work much harder, this is often why people find it painful when moving from sitting to standing.

Underactive gluteal muscles also overload the hamstrings and cause poor pelvic stability when on one leg (such as every time you take a step!) these functions however will be discussed in another article as they are outside of the scope of this blog.

Exercise for the gluteal muscles:

Now we know the issues that can arise form inactive gluteal muscles it is important to begin to train them effectively with the exercises below.

To really help to activate the gluteal muscles you can use looped exercise bands. Whilst not essential they are highly recommended!

• Gluteal Bridge

Lay on your back with your hands by your sides and your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent. From this position squeeze your bum as hard as you can to lift your buttocks and lower back of the floor. Your knees hips and stomach should now all be in a straight line.
Hold this position for 2-3 seconds. Work up to 3 sets of ten repetitions 4-5 times a week.

Once this exercise becomes easy, progress onto the video below.

http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/movements/glute-bridge.html

If the tennis ball falls out, you are arching your back to compensate as discussed above. If your Hamstring cramps you are also over compensating. If these problems occur focus on squeezing the gluts very firmly and only moving a small amount to start with.

• Clam Exercise

Lay on your side against a wall with your head supported by your arm or a pillow. You should be completely on your side with your shoulders, hips, knees and ankles all stacked on top of each other.
Bend both of your knees up towards your chest ensuring everything is still stacked on top of each other. You should bend your knees until your feet are in line with your buttocks and are flat on the wall.
Gently open your top leg by rotating the leg upward and backwards, ensuring your feet stay in contact with each other.

It is very important not to roll through your hips and lower back. To ensure you do not do this, make sure your lower back does not press into the wall when lifting the leg.

Return to the start position and repeat 10 times. Work towards 3 sets of ten repetitions 4-5 times a week. Once this exercise becomes easy, looped exercises bands can be purchased as shown in the link at the start of this section. Simply loop the band around the knee and perform as usual.

• Band Walk

Place a looped exercise band around your ankles or knees as demonstrated in the above video. Whilst keeping your upper body stable and your spine neutral proceed to take ten small steps to the right and then ten small steps to the left.Do not rock into each step. Make each step individual.

Work up to 3 sets of 10 repetitions 4-5 times a week.

• Step up

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/multimedia/step-up/vid-20084661

Stand in front of a step. Squeeze your gluts quickly and firmly to allow you to simply step up onto the step as you normally would. During this exercise really focus on ensuring your knee stays over your toes anddoes not move inwards towards the big toe.

Work towards 3 sets of ten repetitions 3-4 times a week. Once these are easy, try stepping on to the step sideways and eventually backwards, all the time controlling the knee over the toes and squeezing the gluts.

In the next article we will discuss how to improve neck and shoulder blade strength to further prevent injury form long period of sitting.

 

If any of the above patterns of pain or information fits how you feel contact us today to see you we can help you.

By Drew Smy (Chiropractor)

 

 

Low Back Pain – Some Common Causes

A lot of patient’s consult us with generalised lower back pain of varying intensity and duration.

As primary health care officials are primary job is to determine the cause of your lower back pain. Hopefully in this article I will shed some light on the multi-faceted issue of lower back pain and various things we consider when formulating a diagnosis.

Common patterns of back pain:

Back pain is most commonly seen in one of 3 generic stages:

1. The acute stage- at this point back pain has only just started (the last 2-14 days) and is at its most severe. Patient’s often cannot get comfortable in any position, have severely restricted movement and struggle to straighten. They often report ‘walking like they have just gotten off a horse’ or like they are a stooped old man/woman. Patients may also feel they are bent to one side or that there pelvis is not underneath there body. Often in this stage getting from sitting to standing is one of the hardest tasks.

2. The sub-acute stage- at this point patients are often out of their intense agonising pain (2-8 weeks) and are suffering from a constant dull ache with occasional episodes of intense stabbing or shooting pains. The pain is often located in the centre of the lower back and across both sides, sometime into the buttocks. The pain can also commonly be located on one side of the back, often over the small bony dimple on either side.

3. The chronic stage- patients have had the pain for ‘as long as they can remember’ potential up to 20 or 30 years. The pain is often and constant dull stiffness that limited there movement in general when perform tasks such as putting on their socks, rolling over in bed or turning to look around in the car.
All of these stages respond well to chiropractic care. It is important to remember that you can start in any of the stages; they do not have to occur in order.

Common tissues involved in lower back pain:
The cause of lower back pain can be very simple or very complicated and this is why a thorough consultation is vital for a specific, tailored diagnosis.
Below however I have included some information on the tissues which may be involved in your complaint for any given reason.

Facet joints:
Facet joints are the small joints in between each of the vertebrae in the back. These joints allow your spine to move and bend in all directions. When these joints become inflamed and the movement is restricted the often produce pain is predictable patterns as shown in the diagram below.

vertebrae

referral pattern

Sacroiliac joints:
Sacroiliac joints are also known as your pelvic joints. You have one on the left and one on the right and they form part of the pelvic girdle. The can be felt by feeling the bony dimple either side of your spine, just above your buttocks.
Like facet joints, when inflamed and restricted, sacroiliac joints caused pain In an often predictable and reproducible manner.

pelvis

Spinal Discs:
Spinal discs can become inflamed or can ‘bulge’ which produces pain. This is commonly known as a ‘slipped disc.’ A bulge in a disc however does not automatically mean you should have pain, a lot of people can have a bulging disc for most of their life and never experience any pain as a consequence.

disc

Spinal Muscles:
Muscles can become aggravated for a host of reasons, most commonly due to underlying dysfunction of the above structures. Muscles like the other tissues can produce common pain patterns as illustrated below.

trigger pt

If any of the above patterns of pain or information fits how you feel contact us today to see you we can help you.

By Drew Smy (Chiropractor)

Pregnancy and Pelvic Pain – A Patients’ Perspective

 

Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) affects around 1 in 5 pregnant women and although not uncommon, it’s not considered normal to have pelvic pain, so it’s not something that you should just put up with until your baby is born.

 

One of our lovely patients Kate, writes a great Blog called Organically grown, imperfectly sewn about being a mum and the parent journey, bringing up two wonderful boys and now her two new arrives – her beautiful twin girls!

Kate suffered with pregnancy related spinal pain whilst carrying her wonderful bundles of joy and has been having treatment from the clinic to help reduce pain and improve mobility.

We’d like to take this opportunity to say a great BIG congratulation to Kate and her family on the new arrivals, we are happy we could help you along the way.

Take a look at what she has to say about (PGP) and her treatment at Harding Chiropractic Clinic.

“If you’re a regular reader, you will have seen me mention the difficulties I’ve been having with my mobility during this pregnancy.  When I was pregnant with Pooh Bear, I had some hip pain during the middle of my pregnancy which eased off before birth then returned for a while after he was born.  This pain wasn’t constant and usually occurred the day after I’d walked too far or over done it slightly.  This time it’s been much worse. The fact that I’ve had SPD before, bursitis when I’m not pregnant and am carrying two chunky twins has put even more pressure on my pelvis and pubic bone has meant I’ve been suffering for longer.

It wasn’t until my pelvis started crunching and clunking when I was getting up in the morning that I started to wonder if it would cause any long-term damage and if here was something more I could do to manage it.

Just at the right time I met a lovely Chiropractor, Helen who explained that there was something which could be done to loosen up my joints and help with my mobility.  

At Helen’s chiropractic practice is just outside Chester, there are three practitioners all of whom have slightly different techniques depending on their specific interest and your complaint and are all really knowledgeable about how pregnancy affects your body.

 image

With all the changes taking place to your body during pregnancy Its not surprising that around half of all mums-to-be suffer with back pain at some pointPelvic girdle pain (PGP) affects around 1 in 5 pregnant women and although not uncommon, it’s not considered normal to have pelvic pain, so it’s not something that you should just put up with until your baby is born.

Early diagnosis is key, it’s best to seek help early if you start to feel pain as treatment will be far more effective in managing your symptoms throughout your pregnancyPGP usually improves after birth although around 1 in 10 will have ongoing pain, it’s far more likely to persist if you had more severe pain during pregnancy. If you are still experiencing pain following birth you should continue to receive treatment until the pain fully resolves to reduce the likelihood of future episodes.

If you have had PGP, you are more likely to suffer in a future pregnancy. Making sure you are as fit and healthy as possible before you get pregnant again may help or even prevent it from recurring. Strengthening abdominal and pelvic floor muscles will reduce the chance of developing PGP in the next pregnancy.

– Helen Harding BSc (Hons) Chiropractic

In my case, my appointments started off closer together, two per week, then as I improved we spaced them out.

I can honestly say that the treatments have been a lifesaver.  Of course, they haven’t cured me.  It will ease off once the babies are born due to the initial weight-loss but it may take a few months before my hormones settle and I feel completely comfortable again.

Before I started treatment I tended to sit on the sofa as much as possible because everything was such an effort and painful.  I was stuck in a rut and sitting for long periods was (and still is) as bad as walking around all day.  Thanks to having my joints loosened up and my spine and pelvis realigned, I feel much more mobile and am able to potter about within my limits and feel much happier in myself too.

That’s not to say I’m prancing around now and can do all the usual things we take for granted before pregnancy but I’m not in constant pain and discomfort anymore as long as I don’t over do it, it is definitely manageable without the need for painkillers.  There are days I need help to get dressed etc but others I can manage and I have had to crawl up the stairs on one occasion because of the pain in my hips!  My flexibility is better after Chiropractic sessions and it feels like my body recovers more quickly if I have stood or walked for too long or far.

Unfortunately, lots of Mums are given a wealth of information on how to help manage SPD during pregnancy and what to avoid but most of that is common sense and you will get to know your limits and you can’t physically do some things due to reduced mobility as your joints tighten up and you’re yelping in pain.

My referral to the NHS Physio was useful in that I was given info and a support belt but (in my area at least) that’s as far as it goes.  You don’t get any physical treatment.  This has made me wonder about how many Mums struggle on and why there isn’t more awareness of the treatments available which can help.

SPD has been so bad at certain points for me that I can appreciate how limiting similar disabilities are.  I had to hire a mobility scooter at the zoo and can’t do anything at speed anymore.  It takes an age just to get out of the car never mind walk anywhere once you’re out and I almost had to phone hubby to pick me up after being in too much pain to continue walking after five minutes.  Last week we used a wheelchair to run errands in town because it would have taken me too long without and I know I’d not have been able to walk that far with the weight of my bump bearing down on my hips.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has had any treatment for SPD during pregnancy or if you feel there should be more done to help Mums cope.  Even if various treatments and option were discussed rather than it being an expected side effect of pregnancy which will go away once baby arrives (or at least after a few months of birth) that would be a start.

After my own experience, I’ll be taking the twins for a session after birth to help realign their bodies especially if we have to have a caesarean.”

 

To read the full blog and to follow Kate along her journey click here.

Tennis Elbow

In this article I will discuss:

• What is ‘tennis elbow’?
• Common causes of tennis elbow.

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow also known as ‘lateral epicondylitis’ is an inflammation of the tendon on the outside of the elbow.

image

If you hold your arm out in front of you with your palm facing upwards, the muscles on the outside are known as the extensors. Place your other hand on these muscles and bend your wrist down towards the floor (wrist extension, you will feel the muscle contract under your hand. If you move your free hand up towards the crease of the elbow, on the outside you will feel a bone prominence. This is known as your lateral epicondyle hence the name lateral epicondylitis, as the ‘itis’ simply means inflammation. The muscles you felt contracting all attach to this bony prominence by a small tendon. It is this tendon that when inflamed causes the pain associated to tennis elbow.

As you can see the muscles in your forearm are responsible for movement of the wrist. This is why tennis elbow can often refer pain into the wrist and hand and affect grip strength.

Causes of tennis elbow:

Tennis elbow is produced because of excessive force being placed through the tendon. This can be due to repetitive activities involving wrist bending or a few high force events such as when lifting a heavy object or playing sport.
Once the tendon is damaged the body attempts to repair it however as the muscles moving the wrist are used every day it does not have the time to rest or heal properly.

Due to this you may think that by simply resting the tendon then it may heal itself perfectly. This however is often not the case and leads to the long term problems seen in many clinics.
Once damage has been caused simply resting the tendon will not fix it because in an attempt to rebuild the tendon your body drops off all the raw materials it needs to repair the tendon at once. This is like having all your bricks, cement and concrete dropped off to build a house. This is the inflammatory stage. The problem is that none of these materials are ordered correctly and need to be arranged, much like a brick layer building a house. This is where corrective treatment exercise plays the vital role of ‘the bricklayer.’

Nutritional and ice advice is also recommended to help reduce inflammation. By reducing inflammation you are essentially reducing the rate at which raw materials (bricks) are deposited, which makes them easier to arrange (laying one brick at a time instead of 20), meaning the condition heals more quickly and with a much greater structure.

Tennis Elbow Exercises:


For further advice or information you can contact us by clicking here, or alternatively call us on 01244 880186.

The Shoulder: Part 2.

By Associate Chiropractor Drew Smy

 Frozen_shoulder

In this article I will discuss:

  • The structure of the Shoulder Blade (Scapula).
  • The function of the Scapula
  • How Scapula dysfunction can lead to injury
  • How to rehabilitate or prevent scapular dysfunction

 

Structure of the Scapulas:

The Scapulas are large flat triangular shaped bones located on the back of the body and are commonly known as the shoulder blades.

scapula_post1310747152236

 

Due to the scapula’s large size and position within the body it acts as an anchor point for a host of different muscles in the back, neck and shoulder. This is one of the main reasons that neck and back problems can cause shoulder problems and vice versa.

As well as forming this vital anchor point the Scapulas form the ‘socket’ of the shoulder (Glenohumeral joint) and also form the tip of the shoulder (Acromioclavicular joint).

 

Function of the Scapulas:

The Scapula acts in the same way as the sail of a ship, with all of the muscles that attach to it acting as the ropes to control it. If you lengthen or shorten any of the ropes (muscles) the sail (Scapula) will move and act differently. When a sail is moved to catch more wind, it is place under much more tension, if this tension is to large or applied for too long the sail or ropes can be damaged. This is exactly the same as the Scapula. If its position is changed by the muscles acting on it, and this position causes more stress on the muscles, then injury can occur throughout the shoulder.

As the scapula forms part of the shoulder joint (Glenohumeral joint) its position is constantly moving dependant on the position of the arm.

To ensure the scapula is in the correct position relative to your arm the body utilises a concept known as ‘Scapulohumeral Rhythm’ (Scapula-Arm movement relationship). This simply means that for a certain amount of arm movement, the scapula also moves a certain amount. For example if you move your arm 10° your scapula should move approximately 5°.

back

How Scapula Dysfunction Leads to Injury:

As discussed above, if the scapula is moved into a position which creates increased tension on the muscles then injury can occur.

Dysfunction of the Scapulo-humeral rhythm is one of the main reasons for incorrect scapular positioning. Poor postural habits, repetitive activities and trauma of the shoulder are the most common causes of poor scapular rhythm.

 

How to manage and prevent injuries:

As with any injuries it is advised that you have your condition checked out by an appropriate healthcare professional.

Rehabilitation is also advised alongside treatment to strengthen certain muscles that attached to the Scapula. The most common muscles that become weak are the Lower Trapezius and Serratus Anterior. These muscles are the ones affected mostly by poor seated posture with rounded shoulders.

Below are some exercises to begin rehabilitation to help manage and prevent Scapula dysfunction.

 

Brugger Relief Position:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lgm3j66fpBA

 

 Lower Trapezius Exercises:

http://www.elitefts.com/education/rehab-recovery/band-pull-apart-super-series-for-healthy-shoulders/

 

Serratus Anterior Exercises:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C1M9ms20jI

 

 

For further advice or information you can contact us by clicking here, or alternatively call us on 01244 880186.

Headaches and Migraines – Causes and Treatment

Courtesy of our associate chiropractor Drew Smy.

 ^2E2885DD1685955D652699081D5D302DE38A97ECEA3A482C92^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr

Often people will suffer multiple types of headache throughout their lives or the same headache caused by a multitude of factors.

headache

Due to the complicate nature of a headache it is essential that they are diagnosed correctly and this is the basis of a chiropractic consultation, naming the ‘what’ and answering the ‘why’ behind it.

In this article I will discuss:

  • What to expect when seeing a chiropractor about your headache.
  • The common types of headache.
  • How chiropractic helps headaches.
  • Useful self-help tips.

What to expect from your first visit?

As primary health care practitioners chiropractors are presented with a myriad of signs symptoms and conditions on a daily basis. The purpose of your initial consultation is to identify the type of headache and its cause.

Firstly a chiropractor will discuss your symptoms and try to identify any areas of your lifestyle which may trigger or affect your headaches.

Secondly any underlying neurological or vascular cause would be ruled out using a thorough neurological examination, taking you blood pressure and assessing your vital signs.

Next a full biomechanical assessment is performed to aid in identifying the ‘why’ behind your headache.

After all of this information is collected the chiropractor will sit down and discuss your case with you. They will explain the ‘what’ and ‘whys’ of your headache whilst discussing how chiropractic can help you.

If there is a need to refer for additional medical testing such as an MRI scan or blood tests then this is instigated by the chiropractor to help diagnosis your condition.

types of headache

Chiropractic and the common headaches:

Cervicogenic headache-

Cervicogenic headaches are caused by dysfunction in the joints and muscles of your neck and middle back. They can be aggravated by poor posture, altered biting and chewing patterns, trauma and poor neck stability. This type of headache responds very well to chiropractic care and rehabilitation.

For further advice on improving posture at work/ when sat at a computer click here or if you’re a laptop user click here!

Migraine-

There are currently several suggested causes of migraines with a host of known triggers. These triggers can range from certain foods, changes in climate, altered light levels, musculoskeletal function and emotional states.

Chiropractic management of these patients is similar to that of cervicogenic headaches however identifying and controlling migraine triggers also plays a large role. Chiropractic care for migraine can be both preventative and reactive.

Tension Headache-

Tension headaches are brought about by changes in emotional state and increases in lifestyle related stress levels.  Whilst all headaches have an emotional factor, it is very prominent in tension headaches. Once these headaches are identified by your chiropractor a host of techniques and recommendations can be utilised to help you learn to manage the cause of your headache.

hlmtii-body

Self Help:

The first step in solving any condition including your headache is to get an accurate diagnosis however whilst you are awaiting a diagnosis there are several things you can try in the meantime.

  1. Increase your intake of water.
  2. Decrease your caffeine and alcohol intake.
  3. Improve your posture and stretch the muscles of your neck and jaw.
  4. Try to find 5-10minutes in the day (early morning is often the best) to use techniques such as yoga, meditation, a stress diary http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTCS_01.htm  or simply listening to your favourite song or read a few pages of your favourite book.
  5. Minimise your time spent on a tablet, smartphone and computer to reduce the strain placed on your neck.
  6. If you suffer with migraines, keep a migraine diary to identify triggers. http://diary.migrainetrust.org/

foodmedley

For further advice or information you can contact us by clicking here, or alternatively call us on 01244 880186.

Arthritis and Joint Pain – Causes and Treatment

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Pain and stiffness in your spine, hands, hips, knees or feet?

Pain and stiffness can be caused by an inflammation of the joint and often develops or become more acute as we age. This is broadly known as arthritis, but there are many different types of arthritis, in fact there are over 100 known types of arthritis!

Two of the most common forms are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis…

Osteoarthritis is a breakdown of cartilage between the bones in a joint, this causes the ends of the bones to grind against one another, which causes pain and inflammation. Osteoarthritis may be develop with age, repetitive use, being overweight or family history.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder of the joints which causes swelling, pain, redness and a feeling of warmth in the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis usually develops during the ages of 30-50 years and begins in the small joints of the hands, wrists and feet. It is also more common in women than men.

pain-in-finger-300x300

There are many more types of arthritis, the most common include gout, lupus, fibromyalgia, Scleroderma and carpel tunnel syndrome. Arthritis can be a disabling condition, affecting a person’s ability to work, exercise and lead a normal life.

How can Chiropractic treatment help?

Arthritis causes pain which prevents a person using the joint as they would normally do, this decreases the range of motion of the joint and increases stiffness, making the condition worse. However, chiropractic treatment may be helpful in a number of ways!

Firstly chiropractic adjustments help to increase mobility, allowing more movement on a daily basis and a reduction in pain, allowing you to go about your daily life with greater ease. Therefore, regular chiropractic treatment, exercises and massage therapy may help to slow the progression of an arthritic condition, by promoting greater mobility and a regular reduction in pain. Chiropractic adjustments help to keep the spine aligned, which has a positive effect on the nervous system and allows the immune system to function properly, this will particularly help a person suffering with Rheumatoid arthritis.

On the whole, chiropractic treatment encourages a healthy lifestyle, weight management and exercise, including specific exercises that promote correct postural behaviours and may help to prevent arthritic conditions. It can be very helpful for reducing the symptoms of arthritis and managing the condition.

For further advice or information you can contact us by clicking here, or alternatively call us on 01244 880186.