Are we sitting comfortably?
Sitting on the floor, in front of my wife and me, the other night, was our son, bolt upright with that perfect posture only young kids seem to manage, relaxed but not slumping.
I commented about this to my wife and we discussed how wonderful the young’s instinctive posture is; unsullied by years of poor school seating, lack of exercise and hours spent in front of TV or computer screen.
Any chiropractor will confirm that this upright posture is the best for the preservation and functioning of the spine, its associated muscles and the nervous system.
The body we are born with has all the bits and bobs to develop perfectly well on its own; it’s modern man with our modern ways that disrupt the normal developmental processes.
How can sitting at a desk all day, let alone an hour on the train, be good for you?
We are sleepwalking into an epidemic of spinal developmental problems.
In young children, the curves in the spine need activity to develop.
Running around and climbing trees is far better for your sensory system, cardiovascular system, nervous system, digestive system, lymphatic system, well just about every system you’ve got plus some sunlight to up your vitamin D levels, important for young and old bones alike (rickets is making a come back).
Playing on an X-Box or PS4 may give you some improved hand-eye coordination and strategy-making skills but you’ll get that outside when your friends are lobbing things at you or you’re climbing a tree.
Plus if you fall out of the tree you’ll get a sense of your own mortality, possibly a free trip to the Royal Surrey hospital and a clip round the ear which will improve your mum’s hand-eye coordination.
The ripple out benefits are endless.
We all need to be aware of poor posture. Slumping over a keyboard overloads the disc, which over time can cause a multitude of problems.
In offices get an agreement between yourself and your colleagues that if you see each other slumping you’ll shout “posture!”.
Have some fun and do yourselves some good in the process.
For exercises that could be useful to you, follow this link to Straighten Up UK, an incentive by the British Chiropractic Association to help us all improve our posture. https://chiropractic-uk.co.uk/straighten-up-uk/
“It can’t be tennis elbow, I don’t play tennis!”
Tennis elbow is a painful condition affecting the outside of the elbow, and the muscles of the forearm. It is a fairly common condition, affecting up to 3% of the population, however, only about 5% of cases are linked to tennis. It is most common between the ages of 40 and 60, and usually affects the dominant arm.
Tennis elbow is a repetitive strain injury in which the extensor muscles of the forearm are overused. This leads to small tears developing in the tendon of one of the muscles, close to the bony lump (lateral epicondyle) on the outside of the elbow. These tears result in localised inflammation, and put extra stress on the rest of the arm, making it very painful to perform certain actions.
Although its name suggests that the condition is caused by playing tennis, many other work or recreational activities involving repetitive arm, elbow or wrist movements, can also cause repeated strain on the extensor tendons of the elbow. These include playing some musical instruments eg violin or guitar, excessive playing on games consoles, and prolonged periods of decorating, gardening, carpentry, DIY (especially using a screwdriver), or intensive housework.
The most common symptom of tennis elbow is pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow, and in the extensor muscles of the forearm. There may also be some wrist pain, and elbow stiffness, making it difficult to fully straighten the arm. The elbow pain may increase until the elbow becomes too painful to touch.
The pain is usually worse on lifting the arm up, bending the elbow, rotating the forearm eg turning a door handle, opening a jar, or pouring water from a kettle. Grip may also be affected, making it painful to hold a cup or shake hands.
The symptoms may develop immediately after performing a specific activity, or gradually over a period of days or weeks, as a result of periods of unaccustomed intensive exercise or activity, such as lifting heavy boxes when moving house or playing a lot of sport on holiday. Alternatively in some people the condition develops for no apparent reason, and may not be linked to any particular event or injury.
Tennis elbow is usually a self-limiting condition and will often get better without treatment. However, more stubborn cases may require some sort of intervention.
Try to avoid or modify activities that aggravate the pain, especially lifting, gripping or twisting movements.
Apply an ice pack 2-3 times a day for 10 minutes to help calm any inflammation.
Wearing a tennis elbow support to compress just below the elbow reduces the strain on the tendon attachments on the lateral epicondyle and allows them to rest.
Chiropractors can help to speed up the recovery time by using massage, trigger point therapy and acupuncture to the affected muscles, mobilisation or manipulation of the elbow joints, or applying kinesio-tape to the affected muscles. We can also advise on stretching and strengthening exercises when it is appropriate to do them. In most cases this works very well.
If the tennis elbow doesn’t respond favourably to treatment, or if the pain is severe, your GP may suggest a steroid injection into the painful area, or botox injections into the affected muscles. If conservative options still fail to work, surgery may be advisable.
For more information on how Guildford Chiropractic Centre can help you and your family, please contact the clinic here http://www.guildfordchiropractic.co.uk/contact-us/
Can chiropractors help with carpal tunnel syndrome?
I have totally lost count of the number of times a patient has self-diagnosed themselves with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
“My friend says I’ve got Carpal Tunnel!” is a remark often made by anyone who has some sort of ache and tingling in the hand or wrist. CTS is without doubt a common disorder, but not as common as some might think.
First of all, before addressing how chiropractors deal with CTS, let’s briefly discuss what it is. CTS is ‘simply’ a nerve compression disorder in the carpal tunnel of the wrist. The hand itself is provided with a series of blood vessels, nerves, muscles and tendons. The wrist is made up of rows of bones (called the carpal bones) which form a curved arch. This arch is reinforced by surrounding ligaments which form a narrow canal; this canal is called the carpal tunnel. A nerve, called the median nerve, passes through this arch alongside blood vessels and muscle tendons. Due to the crowded nature of the carpal tunnel, anything that reduces this space can irritate the structures inside it. If the median nerve is irritated, a true CTS is created.
Patients who complain of wrist or hand pain first need to be assessed properly. Chiropractors, are musculo-skeletal experts and will spend time to take a case history and carry out a physical examination to reach a diagnosis. Once a diagnosis has been made and should chiropractic treatment be appropriate for the patient, a treatment plan will be drawn up. If chiropractic treatment is not appropriate, the patient will be referred for further investigation.
Most causes of CTS are easy to define – poor hand positioning or repetitive strain injuries (e.g. from typing), but other causes are possible. Fluid retention (as a result of pregnancy) can be a cause of CTS as can certain types of arthritis. A commonly overlooked area for CTS is that sometimes the source actually stems from the neck!
Whatever the cause, our chiropractors are well trained to deal with it. CTS is one of the most common conditions to be treated by surgery nowadays. Yet, in many cases an operation can be delayed or even avoided through a course of ‘hands-on’ chiropractic treatment.
Our chiropractors provide a very high standard of treatment using a variety of techniques, including chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture and soft tissue therapy to improve CTS, thus preventing the need to go ‘under the knife’.
For further information on Chiropractic treatment visit: https://chiropractic-uk.co.uk/chiropractic-care/
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a very common joint disease. It is characterized by stiffness, pain and sometimes swelling around the affected joint. It is also referred to as “wear and tear” or degenerative joint disease.
Like most non life-threatening conditions it is mainly treated by “tea and sympathy”. If it becomes too painful and disabling your GP will be very likely to give you pain killers (eg: Paracetamol, Co-codamol) and anti-inflammatory drugs (eg: Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, Celecoxib). To alleviate pain and improve function physiotherapists and chiropractors use physical therapy.
But how does one become osteoarthritic? Well, if you are not a vegetarian and pay a visit to your family butcher you may have noticed that, where the bones meet to form a joint, bone extremities are white, shiny and very smooth. This represents the cartilage, which provides a rubbery, lubricated cushion. Cartilage allows the two bones to glide easily with one another during joint movement.
In individuals with OA, the cartilage gradually wears away with the result that, over time, the two bones start “rubbing” against each other. This in turn will gradually cause pain, stiffness and sometimes swelling around the joint. OA commonly affects the fingers, knees, hips and spine. Although OA has a higher incidence in an older population, it still can affect younger people by trauma or overuse of a joint (e.g in athletes).
In order to establish whether a patient is suffering from OA a thorough medical history and an in depth physical examination needs to be performed. Plain X-rays films, to confirm the diagnosis and to assess the extent of OA, may also be required.
Once the chiropractor has ruled out other possibilities for the pain and the disability and a diagnosis of osteoarthritis has been confirmed a treatment plan can be drawn. In addition to a programme of pure joint and muscle rehabilitation patient suffering from OA may be advised to modify their lifestyle, as exercise and diet are important factors in the treatment of OA.
Unfortunately, most sufferers consult only once they have lost a substantial amount of joint mobility and muscle power. Chiropractors and physiotherapists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis. If you think you suffer from joint “wear and tear” why not consult one?
Additional information can be found:
Pain is usually the reason why most patients consult a chiropractor.
The practitioner’s task is to try to determine the source of the pain so that it may be addressed effectively. Once any serious underlying pathology such as bone damage, tumours and infection has been ruled out, we are left with pain of a mechanical origin. It is then important to consider the onset of the pain, which everybody likes to be able to associate with a particular cause.
When the onset of the pain is sudden, as often happens after lifting or bending awkwardly, twisting suddenly or making a jarring movement, it is reassuring for the patient to be able to attribute the cause to a specific event. “I did something foolish”, “I know I should not have done that” are the types of comments we hear regularly.
“The pain came from nowhere”,
“It came out the blue”,
“I was fine when I went to bed and the following morning it was so painful that I could not get my head off the pillow”
However, although the onset can still appear to be sudden, there may be no particular event, which can be identified as a possible trigger. In these cases the patient often feels let down by his/her body. “The pain came from nowhere”, “it came out the blue”, “I was fine when I went to bed and the following morning it was so painful that I could not get my head off the pillow” are the comments we hear.
This impression that the pain has appeared “from nowhere” occurs because the process has been developing well before we become aware of it. In addition to this gradual build-up of a problem, the culmination comes when some minor, trivial activity (eg lying in bed) acts as a trigger. The British describe it as ‘the last straw that breaks the camel’s back’ and the French, ‘the last drop that makes the vase overflow’ and this is exactly what occurs.
What happens is that long before we’re aware of the severe pain, most of us suffer from all sorts of periods of mild discomfort and stiffness caused by general ‘wear and tear’. All this takes a gradual toll on our joints and their supportive structures. Add to that a lifestyle of poor posture at work, long hours of driving, slouching on the sofa in front of the television and you have the perfect recipe for an acute episode of neck, mid back or low back pain one day.
But, you will say, what steps could I take to avoid reaching the acute stage? Our advice would be to monitor your health and keep your body working as smoothly as possible. Think about your car, do you keep it regularly serviced, or do you wait until you break down in the pouring rain in the middle of nowhere before you call a mechanic?
The analogy may be obvious, but don’t you think your body is just as important as your car? If so, a visit to the chiropractor may save you a lot of trouble and pain further down the road.
For further information, please visit http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/chiropractic-pain-relief#1
Guildford Chiropractic Centre wins National Award
The PPQM is awarded to chiropractic clinics that demonstrate excellence in meeting patient expectations in a range of areas including accessibility, cleanliness and safety and patient communication. The decision to award the PPQM is made by a panel comprised of patients and the general public who form the Royal College of Chiropractor’s patients’ committee.
The award was announced by the Chair of the Royal College of Chiropractors patients’ committee, Mr Hew Helps, at a ceremony held in London on 1st February 2017.
Maureen Atkinson, Chair of the Chiropractic Patients Association (CPA), said that “as one of the sponsors of the Patient Partnership Quality Mark, the CPA knows from their members how valuable the award has been in encouraging clinics to go that extra mile in the care they provide for their patients. We congratulate the chiropractic clinic on achieving such a standard of excellence.”
This will be the fourth time the Guildford Chiropractic Centre has received this award, demonstrating its continued commitment to providing excellent service to the community. The centre has been established for over 60 years with a long tradition of providing high quality chiropractic treatment.
Clinic Principal, Mr Alain Michelotti says “We are delighted to announce the receipt of this award once again! The award of the Patient Partnership Quality Mark recognises this clinic’s commitment to meeting the expectations our patients have when they visit us for advice and treatment. The aim of our clinic team is to continually improve our levels of service and the award is an indication to us that we are achieving this. Finally, I’d like to express my gratitude to the clinic team for making this possible once again.”
Treatment for Temporomandibular Joint Pain (Philip J Hehir DC)
Some of you may be surprised to learn that our clinic sees more than just back or neck pain.
A frequent condition we see is jaw pain – medically referred to as temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD).
TMD is a common condition characterised by pain, and sometimes clicking, on opening of the jaw, usually on one side. Headaches, toothaches, limited range of movement of the jaw can also occur.
I want you now to swallow.
What happens during this process?
We approximate our teeth and, in so doing, mobilise our jaw.
When you realise that this process takes place approximately 2,400 times per day, it is not difficult to imagine that the temporomandibular joint is the most highly used joint in the body. As it is involved in swallowing, talking, biting and chewing, it is no wonder that a troublesome jaw can be a painful and frustrating problem.
The jaw joint is made up of the mandible (the real jaw bone) and the outer side of the skull, called the temporal bone.
If you place your fingers just 1cm in front of your ear, they will be on the temporomandibular joint. Then slowly open and close your mouth as far as you can. Ideally you should feel a symmetrical movement that is taking place under your fingers and the movement should be pain-free. However, if you suffer from TMD, when you open and close your mouth you may notice that one jaw joint moves before the other one; that it clicks; or that it is sore or even painful.
Apart from trauma to the joint itself, bruxism (or grinding of one’s teeth) seems to be the biggest causative factor in the development of TMD.
The jaw itself is controlled by powerful muscles. Bruxism causes over or under-activation of certain muscle groups and restriction of the jaw joint itself, which over time results in pain and headaches.
In order to secure the best outcome, your chiropractor will use specific muscle and joint mobilisation techniques with a view to restoring better mechanical function. This, in turn, will reduce pain. Exercises and advice will then be given to prevent recurrence of the problem.
If you think you are suffering from TMD, you do not have to learn to live with it. Something can be done about it!
Our Guildford Chiropractors see patients who have suffered with this debilitating condition for years and, with hindsight, regret they had not received treatment sooner.
For further information please visit To Your Health.
Strictly Come Back Pain (Andy Hewitt DC)
It’s capable of hauling you around for years on end with no more than an occasional grumble after slumping too long in front of “Strictly.”
Being the custodian of your spinal cord is a heady job.
Would you want to protect the nervous system as it leaves the brain to connect with the rest of the body?
It’s no mean feat when you consider the spine is made up of 22 articulating vertebrae with spinal nerves exiting out of holes on the side at each level. These connect your brain with all parts of your body although judging from “Strictly” this isn’t always the case.
So a wobbly pile of bony articulating blocks somehow manages to do its job for years upon end with barely a grumble. It begs the question how on earth do we ever get beyond the first year of life without complete spinal meltdown?
The aircraft makers Boeing and Airbus would be chuffed to bits if they managed the same incredible levels of reliability as the spine. They have scheduled servicing and parts that get replaced after a certain number of hours regardless (sometimes sooner if it’ a Boeing).
So next time you’re out on the dance floor strutting a paso doble or cobbling together a slightly shoddy rumba, think of your spine.
Think about what a fabulous job it does and how we so often take our wonderful bodies for granted.
If your back has been niggling more than normal, pop it into see us at Guildford Chiropractic Centre for a service (no replacements possible).
Get a tune up and get those problems resolved before they escalate. So that next time you go out on to the dance floor to “bust some moves” as my kids call it, your body is better prepared.
Throw on some sequins, get out there dance like a hairy biker and, at the very least you’ll be having fun and that’s got to be good for you.
The story begins with a telephone call,
From the wife of a man who’s had a big fall.
A reluctant husband, hates people like me,
She’s insisted he come, what harm could it be?
Later that day through the door he crawled,
In absolute agony, on the floor he sprawled.
Screaming in pain, the other patients looked on;
Rather him not me, wouldn’t wish it upon.
Calming him down with a packet of ice,
Slow down the swelling, make it feel nice.
He sat in the chair, grumbled through it all
As I sat and listened about his big fall.
Turns out this was the tip of the iceberg,
It’s been two years he’s been out of work!
He was then examined and referred for an x-ray,
To look for damage and signs of spinal decay.
An extra bone he had on the base of his spine,
With its own fused joint on the right hand side.
I drafted up a plan to help get him well,
Get back to work and get out of this hell.
Through unique hands on treatment, exercise and diet
We were able to make that back pain go quiet.
As time went by and what I saw him achieve,
He regained his hope and something to believe.
By two months he was moving and totally pain free,
Regained a sense of humour and very happy.
“I wish I’d seen you sooner, shouldn’t have left it this long,
I can’t wait to go to work, now I’m this strong”
So yet another satisfied patient, all full of life.
Wasn’t all about him, don’t forget his dear wife.
A happier family, lives no longer out of whack.
“Thank you so much, for giving my husband back”.
Pot Holes Of Back Pain (Philip J Hehir DC)
Last week I was driving down one of our beautiful Surrey country roads. Lovely as they can be, they can be abundant with pot holes and rocks which really irritate the wheels of my car. Just as any luck would have it, I had a flat tyre by the time I reached home. Brilliant.
Off I went to the mechanic to have my tyres changed.
As with most motoring costs, the bill is usually more than you’d expect.
After quoting me on a some new tyres (wasn’t just the punctured one that needed replacing) the mechanic asked me that for an extra £40 he could check my wheel alignment and adjust it, if necessary.
My initial thought was, have you not taken enough already?
This man was in luck however, because as a chiropractor, I totally appreciate the importance of good alignment.
You see without the wheel alignment being checked my car would have quite comfortably driven off without any worries, for now at least. The tyres would however wear out much faster had the wheels not been straightened. My car just wouldn’t work at it’s best.
The spine can behave a bit like this. A joint that doesn’t sit well within it’s socket maybe ok for now, or it may be just a little achey, but it won’t be able to work at it’s optimum. And just like the tyres, will wear out prematurely.
The pot holes that cause back pain in your life include:
If you haven’t had your spine serviced or checked in a while, come and visit one of our Guildford Chiropractors.
We’ve been doing this for 60 years.