Advice Blog


Work Station Ergonomics

Ergonomics : Tips to help you at home!

With an increase in the number of people working from home we have seen a surge in problems related to our patients home setup.

 

Many people find themselves using a computer for a large part of the day, and during these difficult times it's happening even more so.

 

Incorrect workplace design and layout can contribute to work related injuries (such as repetitive strain injuries), whilst correct chair height, adequate equipment spacing, and good desk posture can help you stay comfortable.

 

 

Quick Top Tips

  • Take short frequent breaks, we're built to move. Many working from home are missing the mini-breaks they had working in an office environment, less distance to the kettle! 
  • Set an alarm/timer every 30 minutes to remind you to change position and correct posture.
  • Build postural stretches and exercises in to your daily routine.
  • Mix up your tasks during the day to use different muscle groups. 
  • Consider a standing desk to help vary the pressure on different parts of your body
  • Those using laptops consider having a separate monitor or wireless mouse and keyboard so that you can position all well. 
  • Reduce screen time by listening to audio books or podcasts during your spare time, instead of watching TV or using phones.
  • If you aren't able to access a computer chair remember to support your lower back with extra cushions.
  • When choosing where to set up consider appropriate natural light, screen glare, and sight line. Ideally position somewhere you can occasionally look in to the distance to reduce eye strain (so not facing a wall or with sunlight directly behind you).

As home working seems likely to continue long term, more patients are considering investing in their own desks and office equipment. For our suggestions on how to set up your workstations, equipment ideas and more, please read on below.

 

 

Desk

  • Consider investing in a variable height desk to allow you to easily vary your posture without having to interrupt your work or meetings.
  • Variable height desks allow for bespoke adjustments to suit your height, so can eliminate the need for footstools and ensure optimal positioning for you.
  • Make sure you have plenty of space to work with so that you are not cramped (see document holder below).

Chair

  • Ideally, use a swivel chair with wheels or glides to allow easy chair movement.
  • Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest comfortably on the floor or, if this makes your chair too low in relation to the desk, use a footrest. 
  • Your position when sitting, your knees should be about level with your hips, and the seat of your chair should not press into the back of your knees. Your spine should be against the back of the chair and your shoulders relaxed back and down.
  • If your chair can’t be adjusted so that your back is straight, place a cushion between the curve of your lower back and the back of the chair.

 

Monitor

  • Position the monitor should be roughly an arm’s length away. The top of the screen should be at eye level or just below so that you look down at a slight angle to your work.
  • If you wear bifocals, position the monitor lower than normal to compensate for needing to look through the bottom of your lenses. Raise your chair until you can view the monitor without tilting your head back. This may mean that you have to raise the keyboard and use a footrest. Alternatively when working at the computer, use a pair of single-vision lenses with a focal length designed for computer work.

 

  • Reduce glare and reflections, by ensuring neither you or the monitor face the window. Tilting the monitor slightly downwards can help with glare, and adjust the monitor’s brightness to a comfortable level.
  • Remember to rest your eyes every 30 minutes or so, by looking away into the distance.

Keyboard

 

  • Arm position should be such that you are able to have your forearms close to horizontal and your wrists straight when using the keyboard, and your elbows close to your body. 
  • Align with the monitor and directly in front of you, so that you don’t have to twist or rotate to use it.

 

  • Put reference documents either between the monitor and the keyboard or directly alongside the screen in a document holder so the keyboard is not pushed too far back on the desk, disrupting your posture.
  • The keyboard should not be so close to you that your wrists rest on the sharp edge of the desk.

Mouse

  • Consider using an ergonomic mouse to better align you shoulder and reduce strain on your arm and neck.
  • Position your elbow close to your body to help with arm and shoulder alignment and reduce strain.
  • The mouse should fit the size of your hand so that it is comfortable to work with. 
  • Your wrist should be in a neutral position (minimal bend in any direction at the wrist) when you use the mouse, and your fingers should be able to rest on the push buttons between actions. 
  • If possible position the mouse on the desk so that the weight of your arm is supported by the desk. 

Laptops and Tablets

 

 

Laptops were designed for short term or mobile use; however, this portability means that people often use them at an unsuitable work height and this may result in discomfort over a long period. There are several ways to address these problems such as

 

 

 

 

  • Docking the laptop into a desktop computer at a suitable workstation.
  • Connecting the laptop to stand-alone equipment such as a separate screen, keyboard and mouse. 
  • Transferring your information onto a desktop computer if working for long periods. 
  • Use on a desk where possible with a suitable chair.
  • If on lap use a tray over a cushion to elevate the laptop, and the tray will insure the fans aren’t blocked.
0 Comments

Chiropractic Awareness Week 2022

Prioritising your back health in FIVE easy steps this Chiropractic Awareness Week

 

 

Back pain is more common than you’d think, with recent data showing that 80% of the nation will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime1. This Chiropractic Awareness Week (4-10 April), we’re encouraging Brits to take back their back health.

Did you know there’s currently 10 million people in the UK living with back pain?2 What’s more, research from the British Chiropractic Association found that cases of back pain rose by a third during the pandemic and resulting lockdowns3. Despite this increase, only 10% of people experiencing symptoms sought support from a GP or chiropractor, with 46% of people not taking any steps at all to tackle their back pain, indicating a large portion of the population is still living with daily symptoms into 2022.4

Whilst these numbers may seem high, by actively taking simple steps as part of your daily routine evidence shows that symptoms and the risk of developing a more challenging musculoskeletal condition can be reduced.

Here are our five top tips from that anyone can take to support their back health:

  1. Start the day right and keep on moving: Physical activity can be beneficial for managing back pain, so aim to incorporate at least 30minutes of movement into your day. It’s important that if this is of a moderate to high intensity that you warm up and down properly to get your body ready to move. If a previous injury is causing you pain, adapt your exercise or seek some advice. Activities such as swimming, walking or yoga can be less demanding on your body, while keeping you mobile!

  2. Take a break: If you sit for long periods of time as part of your job, ensure you stand up and move around every 30 minutes – particularly so for hybrid work set ups and working from home if you don’t have ergonomic office equipment.

  3. Lifting and carrying: If you’re taking on DIY or spring-cleaning projects this Easter, remember to bend from the knees, not the waist when lifting heavy items. Face in the direction of movement and take your time. Hold the object as close to your body as possible, and where you can avoid carrying objects which are too heavy to manage alone, ask for help or use the necessary equipment.

  4. Sleep comfortably: The Sleep Council recommends buying a new mattress at least every seven years. Mattresses lose their support over time, so if you can feel the springs through your mattress, or the mattress is no longer level, your mattress is no longer providing the support you need. Everyone has different support requirements, so when purchasing your mattress ensure it is supportive for you. If you share a bed and require different mattress types, consider two single mattresses which are designed to be joined together, to ensure you both get the support you need.

  5. Seek out support: If your symptoms of back or joint pain last more than two weeks, or prevent you from carrying out your daily routines, see a chiropractor or GP for advice. You can find a registered chiropractor on our ‘Find a Chiropractor’ page.

Feeling physically well positively impacts every aspect of how we live our day-to-day life, so maintaining good back health is extremely important. In partnership with the BCA, we want to raise awareness and show that anyone can be proactive about their back health this Chiropractic Awareness Week!

 

Easy changes can make a significant difference, but if your pain doesn’t reduce or is prolonged, you should always see a health professional for further guidance.

1 British Chiropractic Association One Poll consumer survey, 2021

3 British Chiropractic Association One Poll consumer survey, 2021

 

4 British Chiropractic Association One Poll consumer survey, 2020

Back & Neck Pain During Pregnancy

Image from; Natural Childbirth Education
Image from; Natural Childbirth Education

Unless you have had back problems previously to being pregnant, or during previous pregnancies, it is uncommon that you should have any in the early stages.

 

In the mid to later stages women develop an increase in the lumbar curve due to the increased weight being carried out in front. This puts more pressure on some of the joints of the spine, causing discomfort and, for some women, pain.

 

As pregnancy progresses into the final stages, relaxin is released in order to prepare for birth which softens the muscles, ligaments and tendons. At this time the body is more unforgiving, old problems with the back and joints are highlighted, and it is easy to overstretch or lift something and it cause more of a problem than normal.

Treatment

Some chiropractors have under taken post graduate studies to train to work with women who are pregnant, and there are many adaptations we can make to our treatment methods and benches to ensure the comfort of our pregnant patients.

 

Evidence suggests it is very beneficial to both mother and baby if the pelvis and lower back functions biomechanically at its best during pregnancy, and especially during the birth. The three joints of the pelvis need to work and expand equally during pregnancy and birth to reduce the risk of over stretching which can lead post-natal pain in that joint. There are also some research articles that suggest chiropractic can reduce labour times and the need for pain relief, due to decreased pressure on the back. 

 

For further details of the benefits and research follow this link to the International Chiropractic Pediatric Assiociation

 

For a personal account of an experience of chiropractic during pregnancy follow this link to Natural childbirth Education 

Prevention

  • Talk to your healthcare professional to discuss stretches and exercises that are suitable for you.
  • The fitter you are and the more muscle tone you have before pregnancy, the more likely you are to be able to cope with the body’s postural changes. 
  • Sleeping with a pillow between the legs, or supporting your bump may help with lower back pain.
  • Core exercises are very useful and you can talk to a chiropractor, GP, midwife or other healthcare professional for advice on this.  During pregnancy specialist yoga classes, taken from 12 weeks onwards, can be very beneficial.  Swimming and aqua natal classes are also of benefit, as being in the water takes the pressure off strained joints whilst providing good exercise and relaxation.  
  • Avoid high heels and wear comfortable, supportive shoes.  If you have children already, it can be difficult as they will need lifting and carrying. 
  • Always lift with your spine straight and bend knees to avoid leaning, stretching or bending.  
  • Do not sit for prolonged periods, take regular breaks and, when sitting, let the seat take your weight and, if possible, keep as much of your body in contact with the chair so that your whole body is supported. Knees should be lower than your hips. 
  • Try to keep stretching leg muscles to make sure unnecessary extra pressure is not put on the knees.
  • Elevate legs whenever possible to offset any weight pressure and reduce any swelling - ankle circles will also help. 

 

Neck and mid back pain is also common during pregnancy due to an increase in breast size;

 

  • Get measured for bras regularly throughout your pregnancy. This will help make sure you are wearing the right size and, therefore, getting the maximum support possible. 
  • Do neck and shoulder stretches regularly to relieve tension in the muscles.
0 Comments

The Importance of Wearing Suitable Trainers

As people start preparing for competition runs, such as the Cardiff Half Marathon, Sports Therapist and ex professional track runner Gareth Warburton says:

 

"I cannot emphasize enough the importance of trainers in helping to prevent injury when running. You should be swapping out your running shoes every 400 to 500 miles. This means if you average 25 miles per week, you need a new pair every four to six months. If you push beyond this mileage, you risk discomfort and possibly a long-lasting, debilitating injury."

Running shoes wear out over time, and so does the support and shock absorption that they offer.

Things to keep in mind:
1. Keep track of monthly mileage
2. Check shoe tread
3. Check shoe absorption 
4. Any signs of pain (especially lower limb) it might be time to look for a new pair.

To find out more about Gareth follow this link to his website
http://www.garethwarburton.com/
0 Comments

Avoiding Injuries When Running

Spring is here and with it, for many comes the desire to don a pair of trainers and hit the road for a run.

Here’s how not to make it a troublesome one for your joints and muscles…
 

Spring brings warmer weather and longer days, which is a great incentive to keep on running for longer than usual and push your body that little bit more. Of course reaching your goal is good, but pushing your body too hard might result in unwanted injuries.

 
You should always listen to your body’ natural resistance and follow these tips for a safe and effective wind down after your run:
 
Don’t Stop Moving
Keep gently mobile right after your run. Try regular walking for 5-10 minutes; it might be the last thing you feel like after running a few miles but remaining static should be avoided at all costs to avoid injuries.
 
Ice
Applying ice to specific injuries such as problems with joints is highly recommended. This is most effective when the ice is applied immediately after a run but still works when applied a few days following.
 
Heat
Taking a hot bath after a long run is ideal for strained muscles. It also helps with overall rejuvenation and relaxation, which is often needed after a strenuous or draining stretch.
 
Food For Thought
What we put in our bodies pre and post run is particularly important. Snack regularly, ideally on something that is high in carbohydrates, low in fat, which contains some protein; for example, a tuna sandwich is ideal. Ensuring you drink lots of fluids is also another very important factor for runners to remember. Water is of course an excellent choice when it comes to keeping well hydrated but there are plenty of other options out there, too, such as sports drinks and gels. Remember: after finishing your run, rehydrate as soon as possible, preferably within the first hour and always refrain from drinking alcohol until fully rehydrated.

0 Comments

Leg Pain Athletes & Sports People

With the growing popularity of community-based races and charity half marathons, more and more people are taking up running for fun. While running is associated with a lot of health and general wellness benefits, some athletes experience overuse injuries while running and training. One of these is exercise-related leg pain (ERLP), otherwise known as shin splints, with pain between the knee and ankle during or after exercise.

 

M Reinking, T Austin, and A Hayes (2013) looked into the prevalence of ERLP in adult runners and how the pain affected their running and daily activities. They also analysed risk factors to determine who is most likely to have leg pain from running. Out of over 200 runners, more than 50% of the runners reported at least one episode in the past year. Of this group, about 40% said that the leg pain interfered with running. They found that the most significant risk factor was previous leg injury or pain and participants who had less than three years experience running were at greater risk than more experienced runners. Those who ran less than 15 miles per week were more likely to suffer leg pain than those running more. The greatest occurrence was among amateur runners who raced at a pace of 9 minutes per mile or greater.

Some Causes of Leg Pain in Sport

Trigger Points

 

 

A trigger point is a hypersensitive, nodal point of muscle that can refer pain in specific patterns (Travell and Simon's Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction Vols 1 & 2) depending on if they are active or latent. Trigger points can build up due to an acute overload/injury, or chroinic overload such as repetative strain injuries.

 

 

This can be caused by a change in technique, increased training, or faulty mechanics in a joint or muscle (scar tissue etc). Trigger points weaken and shorten the muscle, effecting both strength and endurance. This in turn leads to further dysfunction in the surrounding tissues and joints as they compensate and are over loaded. Further trigger points then form in a snowball effect.

Snapping Hip Syndrome

 

 

 

 

‘Snapping hip’ or coxa saltans/iliopsoas tendinitis/dancer's hip describes an audible snapping or popping noise as the hip moves from flexion (knee toward waist) to extension (knee down and hip joint straightened). After extended exercise pain or discomfort may be present caused by inflammation of the iliopsoas bursae. Pain often decreases with rest and diminished activity.

The more common lateral extra-articular type of snapping hip syndrome occurs when the iliotibial band, tensor fascia lata, or gluteus medius tendon slides back and forth across the greater trochanter.

 

Less commonly seen medial extra-articular type is caused by the iliopsoas tendon catching on the anterior inferior iliac spine(AIIS), the lesser trochanter, or the iliopectineal ridge during hip extension, as the tendon moves from an anterior lateral (front, side) to a posterior medial (back, middle) position.

 

‘Snapping Hip’ syndrome is commonly associated with a leg length difference (usually the long side is symptomatic), tightness in the iliotibial band(ITB) on the involved side, weakness in hip abductors and external rotators, poor lumbopelvic stability and abnormal foot mechanics (Overpronation). Intra-articular can also be indicative of injury such as a torn acetabular labrum, recurrent hip subluxation, ligamentum teres tears, loose bodies, articular cartilage damage, or synovial chondromatosis (cartilage formations in the synovial membrane of the joint).

Stress Fracture

The more rapid the onset and the more acute the onset, the more likely it is that this could represent a stress fracture.  Stress fractures are subtle fractures that occur in the bone as a result of putting too much constant stress on the bone, to the point where the bone starts to break — initially at a microscopic level.  Stress fractures are common in athletes or runners who have changed their training schedules, increased the amount of time that they are playing or running… or simply bad luck.  The pain from a stress fracture will typically be present from the first step you take on the court or the road.  

 

Compartment Syndrome

 

 

A compartment syndrome is characterised by having too much pressure in the muscle compartments in our leg.  Our muscles are surrounded by very tough tissue we call fascia, it is not very flexible and some runners or athletes experience muscle swelling during activities.  If this swelling is significant enough, the fascia will squeeze or put pressure on the muscle.  This reduces blood flow to the muscle and the muscle will fatigue rapidly and start to hurt. People with compartment syndromes typically have no pain at the start of their run/game, but at some point during the run/game pain will start and steadily build. You will typically need to stop your activity to relieve the pain.  Sometimes compartment syndrome can become so chronic and severe that it requires surgery to reduce the pressure, so best to get it looked at by chiropractor as soon as possible for prevention.

Shin Splints

The pain from shin splints or medial tibial stress syndrome tends to build gradually and is a form of compartment syndrome.  You can usually initiate a run, or a game and then the pain begins shortly thereafter, or possible after the game or run itself.  Medial tibial stress syndrome (or ‘shin splints’) is characterised by pain along the lower part of your leg or tibia, and the pain is along the inner border of the tibia.  This is a very common cause of disability in runners and they often develop after sudden changes in physical activity, such as running longer distances or on hills, or increasing the number of days you exercise each week. Flat feet (weak arches) are another factor that can contribute to increased stress on the lower leg muscles during exercising.

Tendonitis

 

 

Tendonitis (tendon inflammation), or Tendinosis (degeneration of the tendon) is a very common issue sports medicine specialists see in sports and runners.  One of the most commonly affected tendons is the achilles. If the tendon, a few inches above your ankle joint is tender, but you do not feel or see any nodules you are most likely suffering from a form of tendonitis or peri-tendonitis where the tendon itself, or the tissue around it is inflamed from chronic use. Achilles tendinosis is caused by a chronic tendonitis, causing nodules or enlargement of your tendon that is tender to touch, diagnostic ultrasound can confirm the diagnosis.  Chronic achilles tendinosis causes scar tissue and weakening of the tendon, which can potentially lead to rupture.

Treatment

Chiropractic care and Sports Massage have been shown to be a great option for athletes in both treating and preventing sports injuries and pain. One such study found that chiropractic treatments led to less muscle strains in the legs. Another study showed that chiropractic adjustments improved athletic performance among competitive athletes (references below). Through soft tissue techniques and spinal manipulation, combined with advice, we can work to prevent injury occurrence.

References

Botelho, Marcelo and Bruno Andrade. “Effect of Cervical Spine Manipulative Therapy on Judo Athletes’ Grip Strength. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapies. 2011; 35(11): 38-44.

 

Hoskins W, Pollard H. The effect of a sports chiropractic manual therapy intervention on the prevention of back pain, hamstring and lower limb injuries in semi-elite Australian Rules footballers: a randomized control trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2010;11:64.

 

Reinking M, Austin T, Hayes A. A survey of exercise-related leg pain in community runners. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy 2013; 8(3): 269-276.

EXERCISE - THE NEW PRESCRIPTION

1. For Living Longer – Jogging

 

A US study showed that adults over 65 who ran or jogged for at least 30 minutes 3 times per week were as healthy as young adults in their 20s.[1] This might not sound important, but your walking style is a key indicator of mortality, so the longer you can stay spritely on your feet, the longer and healthier your life should be. Meanwhile, another study found that light jogging (between 70-120 minutes per week) was linked to the lowest mortality rate compared to sedentary people and heavy runners - so little and often is key here. [2]



2:  For Improving Memory – Dancing

 

A study from 2017 found that all exercise can help reverse the signs of ageing in the brain, but dancing more than any other sport.[1] The study, which focused on adults in their late 60s who took part in a weekly dance class, found that all participants showed an increase in the hippocampus region of the brain, which can be affected by diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as more general age-related decline.
https://www.newswise.com/articles/new-study-jogging-keeps-you-young


 

3. For Back Pain – Active Therapies

 

Many GP appointments are connected to muscle and nerve problems- and these are often based in the back. If you suffer with back pain, you will know that it can affect your movement and sleep and leave you feeling quite low. Luckily, help is at hand in the form of gentle stretching.  Also, research shows that active therapies, such as chiropractic treatment, are a great option for managing back pain and to create optimal alignment, balance and symmetry. 


4. For Depression and Anxiety - Walking

Science agrees - walking outdoors has been linked to a reduction in stress and a boost in mood, particularly for those who have just been through a negative life event such as a serious illness or the loss of a loved one. Brisk walks have also been shown to help women deal with anxiety and stress that's sometimes associated with menopause. Movement helps your brain to release endorphins, the feel-good hormones that can reduce the perception of [pain as well as depression and anxiety. 


5. For Bone and Muscle Health – Weight Training

 

Experts are increasingly suggesting a bit of strength training goes a long way when it comes to better bone and muscle health. As we get older, we start to lose muscle mass, which can leave us prone to falls, as well as making it easier to gain weight. So think of strength training as insurance for your later life. While this could mean leading to lift lightweights, it can also mean strength exercises using your own body weight – such as sit-ups or squats. It’s really never too late to start. A study of 90-year-olds found that 12 weeks of strength training improved their muscle tone, ability to balance, general power and walking speed.

 

 

Don’t forget 150 minutes (just over 21 mins daily) is the minimum moderate exercise the NHS recommends for adults to stay healthy! And the best part is, it’s freely available to most of us, small things make a big difference. Movement is the new medicine!



0 Comments

Sleeping Positions

We all have our favourite sleeping positions, but some may be doing more harm than good. People are find it difficult to get comfortable and have a good quality sleep, will toss and turning into weird and wonderful positions! 

 

More patients have been coming to see me in the last few weeks with pain they have woken up with, or they're not quite sure how it started through the day. Very often this is caused by the way they have slept. This image illustrates some of the most aggravating positions that we can sleep in (front being the worst), and some options if you have back pain to keep you comfortable.

REMEMBER DRINK PLENTY OF WATER! This helps us keep our muscles and joints hydrated and therefore pain to a minimum.

 

AVOID SLEEPING ON YOUR FRONT! A lot of front sleepers present to us in clinic with chronic problems as it’s difficult to maintain a neutral spine position.

 

Sleeping on your stomach forces your head and spine into an unnatural position, and staying in this position for hours on end is not good for your back or neck and can result is significant discomfort and restless sleep. Patients have seen great results from trying to change their habits.

 

As I always say you can't control what you do in your sleep (especially snoring!) and it is hard to change the habit of a life time, but we can try and set up in a good sleeping position to avoid it.

 

 

 

 

This image shows how the spine and pelvis position can be distorted without the appropriate support or positioning.

This gives an idea of optimal positioning for whole body, with a pillow used between or under the legs for support

 

*Some patients tell me they find it hard to keep a pillow in place so suggest trying a longer body pillow or small folded quilt. This is especially good for front sleepers who want to avoid rolling.

Pillows

This illustration demonstrates how an incorrectly placed pillow can stress the neck.

On your back you need fewer pillows than on your side so if you change from on position to another bare this in mind. We are also all different shapes so the amount of support we need varies from person to person.

 

If you're a back sleeper I recommend using one pillow, thickness depends on the depth of your natural curves, and pull the lower corners around your lower neck so the pillow is no lower than your shoulders.

 

For side sleepers, or those who tend to end up in this position, you need plenty of support so try two pillows, again the depth required depends on the width of your shoulders. Ensure you are not at the edge of the pillow and the lower front corner is pulled down to your shoulder and around the cheek. This will prevent you head dropping or rotating which can irritate the neck or lead people to sleep on their front.

0 Comments

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

Hopefully, after a year of restrictions,  this Christmas season many of you will be heading away either to visit family, celebrating the new year, skiing, or just escaping. 
So often, when people are on holiday and out of their normal routine, they can end up causing themselves unnecessary discomfort and stress by injuring themselves, so the British Chiropractic Association have put together some top tips to remain fit and healthy when away. 

Suitcase selection – Choose wisely, buy the lightest case possible that has wheels; hard cases tend to weigh quite a lot before you even start to fill them.

 

Two cases are better than one If possible, take two light suitcases rather than one, so you can distribute the weight more evenly.

Get a good night’s sleep – Travelling when tired increases your chances of injury, so make sure you sleep well the night before a long journey and avoid rushing around.

Driving

 

Make adjustments - Many back problems are caused or aggravated by a poor driving
posture. If you’re driving to your holiday destination, ensure the seat position is
slightly backwards so that it feels natural and that your elbows are at a comfortable and relaxed angle.

 

Relaxing – Relax at the wheel, as this reduces stress on the spine and allows your seat to take your weight.


Keep an eye on the clock – Stop and stretch your legs (and arms!) at least every two hours.


Clench! – If you are stuck in traffic, exercise in your seat. Try buttock clenches, side bends and shoulder shrugs and circles.


Keep it lose – Don’t wear tight clothing as they will restrict your movement.

Flying...

Flying high – Avoid alcohol before and during the flight as this will cause you to
dehydrate and, in turn, exaggerate muscle pain. Drink plenty of water instead.

 

Air-exercise – You will be restricted to your seat for most of the flight, but avoid stiffness by doing shoulder shrugs, buttock clenches and foot circles. Take the opportunity to get up and stretch your legs whenever you can.

 

Avoid ‘travelators’ – Get your joints moving quickly after a flight and walk to
arrivals rather than the easy option of a moving walkway.

 

Round and round – Ensure your bags are easily identifiable (e.g. knot a ribbon around the handle) to avoid lifting other people’s heavy cases in error.

 

Push, don’t pull! – Many wheeled cases encourage you to pull the case handle from behind, but this makes the upper body/back twist. If possible, push the case in front of you or use a trolley making sure you choose one from the stack which does not have ‘wonky wheels’, as keeping it on track will not do your back any good!

At Your Destination


Bed down – When you get to your hotel, if your bed is too hard ask the hotel staff for a spare duvet or blanket to put between you and the mattress. Firm beds are not always best, but it is easier to soften a hard bed than make a soft bed harder.

 

Lounging around – If you’re heading to the sun loungers in search of the perfect tan, try not to lie on your tummy with your back and neck arched back when reading your book or magazine. Put the reading matter on the floor, so that you can view it over the edge of the sun bed; this should allow you to keep your head and neck in a more neutral position.

 

Exercise in safety – If keeping in shape is on your holiday agenda, ensure you have a full induction to the hotel gym equipment.

 


Further information about chiropractic can be obtained by logging
on to www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk
For further information contact the
British Chiropractic Association on 0118 950 5950

0 Comments

CHRISTMAS 2021

'Tis the season to be jolly'

As Christmas day is fast approaching, we are all hitting the shops to buy special gifts for our loved ones.

 

However all this shopping can be both physically and emotionally stressful, resulting in head, neck and back pain. 

Here at The Whitchurch Clinic, we do see an increasing amount of patients with back, neck and shoulder pain during the festive period.  

 

The most common reason for this is due to carry large heavy bags and poor posture when sitting for long periods of time.  These both add extra strain on the joints, ligaments and muscles in your back and shoulder which can lead to an episode of pain.

 

Top tips to avoid back pain this Christmas

We have put together some tips in order to avoid back and shoulder pain this Christmas:

  • Wear sensible shoes - to avoid any abnormal stresses through the lower back.
  • Avoid carrying heavy bags, including a hand bag - check your hand bag before leaving and only carry the essential items required.  Spread your shopping into different bags to lessen the weight, and try to have an even amount on each side.
  • Park Nearby - try to park as close as possible to the shops, to limit the amount of time that you are carrying bags.  Also try to make regular trips back and for of the car to reduce the amount of bags carried at one time.
  • Take your time and plan your journey - allow your self plenty of time and make a list of the places you need to visit. This will not only reduce the amount of time that you spend shopping, but will help to reduce down your stress levels.
  • Take regular breaks - if shopping on foot, try to take regular breaks on benches etc to give the body a rest and to ease the loads.  If shopping online, take regular breaks every 20-30 minutes away from the computer.  Try to stretch out tired and sore muscles to encourage activation and loosen up the area. 
  • Be conscious of your posture - take time to look at your posture when walking or sitting.  If walking try to maintain a neutral pelvis and stand tall.  If you sitting for long periods ensure that you back is fully supported and you are not leaning to one side.  Make sure that you are not slouching or dropping the shoulders forward.
  • Breaking it up into stages - avoid doing anything in one go such as shopping, putting up the decorations or cleaning the house.  Try to break them up in stages and get help with heavy items.  Carrying these out in one go can cause the muscles to fatigue and taking awkward movements which can result in you straining the muscles, ligaments or joints and hen resulting in pain.  
  • Keep active - Christmas is about of time of relaxing, however keep yourself moving about often.  Try to do 30 minutes of light exercise every day to keep your body supple.

'I have overdone it'

If however the above advice is too late or you are currently in a pain episode, we at The Whitchurch Clinic are here to help.

 

Our Chiropractors, Andrea, Sarah, Amy and Katie can help by:

 

  • Soft tissue massage
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Acupuncture/dry needling
  • Spinal manipulation/mobilisation
  • Home exercises/stretches
  • Ergonomic and postural advice

Other treatments that may be benefit and are available at TWC:

  • Deep tissue massage to help release trigger points or provide relaxation

As with any new symptoms it is always important to visit your GP or chiropractor to rule out any other disorders before reaching a diagnosis yourself.

0 Comments

Winter Woes

Winter Woes

As the clocks go back and the change of seasons are here, we start to feel tired and sluggish.  As well has stressed and less motivated.

  

So here at The Whitchurch Clinic we have develop a some tips and advice to help you through these winter months!

Stress

Stress is something that will affect most of us at this time of year, due the demands of the Christmas season.

“Stress manifests itself as a physical, psychological or social dysfunction resulting in individuals feeling unable to bridge the gap with the requirements or expectations placed upon them.”

http://isma.org.uk/about-stress/facts-about-stress 

People deal with stress in different ways. The symptoms of stress can effect your body, thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

Stress and pain are very closely linked together, but does stress cause pain or does pain cause stress?

 

 

Chapman et al, 2008, studied a review of psycho-physiological systems in relation to pain whereby a  physical injury or wounding can generate a complex stress response. They concluded that acute pain is an effect of multiple dimensions, and are products of the bodies 'supersystem'.  They also proposed that when the 'supersystem' is dysregulated, then health, function, and sense of well being suffer, and can be a result of chronic pain. 

 

Helpful tips to manage stress

Here at The Whitchurch Clinic we have a few tips on how to manage with the seasonal stress:

  • Make lists - not only does it help you put your thoughts to paper, but gives you a self of achievement when you tick one off your list.
  • Relax -   find ways to help you relax such as breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, time away from daily stresses.
  • Treat yourself - try to help reduce tension with a massage or reflexology; find new ways to relax with Hypnotherapy; treat those aches and pains with a Chiropractic treatment; or take it all out with a personal trainer session.

There are many contributing factors to stress, and it is important to identify the cause. If you are not sure what is causing stress, or if you are unable to control your levels of stress, then it you will need to seek professional help.   

Tiredness or lack of sleep

One of the most important factors for getting a good night sleep is getting your mattress and pillow right for you.  We get asked many of times which mattress would you recommend, please free to ask for some bespoke advice on your next visit

Sleeping postions

Your sleeping position is very important as this is where you will spend nearly half of your day.  With the darker nights we may find ourselves retreating to bed earlier than in the summer months.  

 

REMEMBER DRINK PLENTY OF WATER! This helps us keep our muscles and joints hydrated and therefore pain to a minimum.

 

AVOID SLEEPING ON YOUR FRONT! A lot of front sleepers present to us in clinic with chronic problems as it’s difficult to maintain a neutral spine position.

 

Sleeping on your stomach forces your head and spine into an unnatural position, and staying in this position for hours on end is not good for your back or neck and can result is significant discomfort and restless sleep. Patients have seen great results from trying to change their habits.

 

As I always say, you can't control what you do in your sleep (especially snoring!), and it is hard to change the habit of a life time, but we can try and set up in a good sleeping position to avoid it.

Less sun means less Vitamin D

Vitamin D is necessary in order to protect musculoskeletal health, as it assists with the absorption of calcium.  During the summer months our vitamin D levels are maintained by the amount of sun we exposes our bodies to.  However in the winter months most of us do not have the luxury of chasing the sun, so our Vitamin D stores maybe depleting.  The department of health, as well as a recent publication from the Scientific Advisory Committee of Nutrition (SACN), recommend a daily supplement of 10 micrograms of Vitamin D.

 

More research is being carried out into the benefits of vitamin D, and recommendations may vary depending on what you read.  Therefore the above information should be taken precautionary.

 

It is important to note that too much sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer, and this information should only be taken as advisory.

 

For further reading on the SACN Vitamin D and Health report please click on the following link:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/537616/SACN_Vitamin_D_and_Health_report.pdf

 

and the following for an additional press release:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/539596/SACN_Vitamin_D_Press_Release_July_2016.pdf

Exercise and Diet

Don't let the cold weather put you off keeping fit and healthy.  Not only will exercise and a good diet reduce your risk of major illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, help you to live longer but it will give you more energy.  More energy will mean a happier you!

 

 

Here are  some tips to keep you moving:

  • Get up, stand up. Inactivity is a leading cause of back pain. If you spend most of your day sitting make sure that you take regular breaks, ideally every 20-30 minutes. Stand up to stretch, change position, and walk around a little.
  • Stretch it out. If you struggle to get away from your seat at work, simple activities such as stretching and shoulder shrugging, and even simply fidgeting in your seat, can all help to keep the joints and muscles in your back moving.
  • Keep moving. Exercise is key to a healthy back, however you don’t need to embark on any extreme fitness regimes. Adding just a few extra minutes of walking a day can have a huge impact on your posture.
  • Straighten Up. Try incorporating some simple exercises into your daily routine. The British Chiropractic Association has developed - bit.ly/straightenupuk - a series of simple exercises designed to improve posture and help prevent back pain by promoting balance, strength and flexibility in the spine.
  • Perfect your posture. Paying close attention to your posture can help you recognise back or neck pain triggers. People who want to improve their posture should try imagining they have a plumb line hanging straight from their ears to ankles - with everything in the middle sitting on the same line. One way to do this is to try standing in a relaxed way and then gently contracting the abdominal muscles. 

 

There is always temptation to over indulge in the festive season so here are few tips to keep your diet healthy:

  • Remember your 5 a day portions of fruit and veg.  Take advantage of  seasonal vegetables like carrots, parsnips and swede.
  • Avoid comfort eating, keep your meal times regular, and try not to skip meals.
  • Be carb smart.  Carbohydrates are good for us if eaten in the right quantities at the right time.  

DISCLAIMER

 

All of the above is advisory and therefore we would recommend that if you have any queries to either contact us here on 02920 617700 or contact your local healthcare practitioner.  

0 Comments