Donald Trump Could Help You Get it….10 10 3 (Andy Hewitt DC)
What do pelvic floor muscles have to do with Donald Trump?
If you are of a delicate disposition or easily upset, may I suggest that you walk out into the kitchen and make a cup of tea or close the webpage.
The reason for this is two-fold.
Firstly, I will be mentioning Donald Trump and secondly, I will be referring to pelvic floor muscles. The latter are by far the most important to the individual; we talk about them but do nothing about improving their function. Donald Trump on the other hand is talked about most, but has virtually no effect on us as individuals.
Your pelvic floor muscles as any chiropractor will tell you are the bedrock of all movement. They are or should be intrinsic to all our movement but how often do we hear about them as opposed to pecs or lats? Woefully little, especially as they should have kicked in before you initiate any action with the aforementioned muscles.
To get them to fire up (and I have to apologise here) imagine that you’re sitting next to the Queen and that Friday nights curry is trying to make a break for the border and must be kept in at all costs. Now the critical bit: squeeze your buttocks together and hold onto that wind (imaginary or otherwise) like your life depends on it. Once in the clench count to ten and relax. Next do 10 pulsed short clenches like you would if you sneezed. After those, clench for 3 seconds and relax then clench again for 3 seconds but harder, finally clench for the last time as hard as you possibly can for three seconds. All you have to remember is 10 10 3.
Stick a reminder on the monitor at work or the fridge, how about next to the teabags so next time you make a cuppa, fire off a 10 10 3 or just a quick 10. It’s simple not unlike Donald.
An additional benefit is that its action fires up your transverse abdominal muscles improving your posture and often alleviating low back pain. The pelvic floor muscles are important in both women and men alike and both can be affected by weakness. Poor pelvic floor tone (the quality and quantity of contraction) can lead to incontinence, poor urge control and reduced fun in the bedroom department. Surely that’s enough to encourage even the most diehard couch potato to do something?
All you have to remember is 10 10 3.
If you didn’t understand how to fire up your pelvic floor muscles think of Donald Trump with his finger poised over the nuclear button.
If you would like to know more please contact the clinic to speak to one of our chiropractors who will be able to advise.
Those who’ve never seen a chiropractor, will have never experienced a chiropractic spinal adjustment.
There are a lot of misconceptions about what an adjustment is.
Although not the only technique up a chiropractor’s sleeve, the adjustment is most certainly the most major tool a chiropractor uses.
So what exactly is an adjustment?
Adjustments are specifically applied manoeuvres aimed at restoring joint mobility where mobility is lost and subsequently resetting the nervous system. A lot of the time an audible ‘pop’ is heard.
We are frequently asked what this popping noise actually is, and whether the practice of this technique is effective and safe. Let’s talk about it:
The majority of the joints in your body are designed to move and to be kept mobile.
Different joints move in different ways, and with differing degrees of movement.
Some, like the knee joint, will move in a few directions and some, such as the shoulder joint, can move in many directions.
A lot of the aches and pains we see on a daily basis are associated with a loss of joint mobility.
Whether it be neck, back or foot pain, it is important to assess the joint in question first and then adjust the joint if it needs in the direction it needs to move.
The joints a chiropractor can adjust, called synovial joints, contain liquid and gas. During an adjustment, a gentle separation occurs within the joint, which results in a change of pressure. The displacement of gas around the fluid causes a pop to he heard. There is massive stimulation to local nerve receptors within the joint.
When you open a bottle of fizzy drink, you often hear a noise as you open the bottle. This is very similar to what happens during an adjustment. That’s what the noise is!
It’s very subtle, there is nothing crude about an adjustment performed by a chiropractor. It is a very specific manoeuvre using the minimum amount of pressure and force.
Chiropractors undergo intensive training to perform manipulative therapy. They do not learn this specific, delicate technique on weekend courses; but in detail in their five year chiropractic degree programme. As such, one can be assured that chiropractors are experts in this art. Performed by a qualified chiropractor, this technique should not be painful and is perfectly safe.
And yes, it can be incredibly effective for joint, muscular and nerve pain!
It’s very subtle, there is nothing crude about an adjustment performed by a chiropractor. It is a very specific manoeuvre using the minimum amount of pressure and force.
Finally, it must be noted that adjustments are not suitable for every patient.
Some of our older patients, for example, may not be candidates for this sort of treatment. So other techniques will be used to help them to get better and bring them to better health.
So, not only do chiropractors know when and how to perform joint manipulation, but they also understand when not to use it. This again reinforces the safety aspect of receiving this type of treatment from a qualified chiropractor.
When was the last time someone looked at how your skeleton was moving?
We are currently offering free 10 minute consultations to discuss whether chiropractic could help to solve your problem, and if we consider that chiropractic is inappropriate, we would suggest an alternative.
To book an appointment, please speak to one our receptionists who will be happy to advise.
If you are looking for information on treatment for hip pain, then you please read this article written by our Chiropractor and Physiotherapist, Alain Michelotti
So, tired of hearing your complaints about the nagging pain at the front of your thigh and knee, friends have finally persuaded you to consult a chiropractor.
You like walking and for the last few months, this has spoiled your outings with the ramblers’ group.
You enjoy good health and did not think this pain was a good enough reason to bother your GP.
You know plenty of people who have had new hips and knees but you are pretty sure that in your case it is “only muscular”.
The day of the consultation comes and when your partner comes home in the evening you are asked what happened:
“Well”, you say, “I was asked a lot of questions, was examined and told that, despite feeling the pain in front of my thigh down to my knee, it was, in fact, my hip that was responsible for the pain. It was pretty obvious when the chiropractor compared the mobility of my two hips. On one side I could move my hip fairly freely but on the other side it was quite restricted and painful. The chiropractor said that it needed to be confirmed by an X-ray and is going to write to my GP. He was very reassuring and said that it was almost certainly a mechanical problem and if so, there was plenty that could be done to help my condition”.
This scenario is relatively common: a gradual pain, most of the time developing over months or even years. The first thing the chiropractor has to decide is what the patient means by “it is my back”, “it is my hip”, “it is my knee”. The “hip” often refers to the buttock or even the back, and a pain in the knee can originate from the hip.
….despite feeling the pain in front my thigh down to my knee, it was in fact, my hip that was responsible for the pain.
Once the origin of the pain has been determined, in this case it would be the hip, additional investigation is necessary to rule out any pathology. Depending on the amount of wear and tear shown on the X-ray and the amount of disability experienced by the patient, the GP may decide to refer you to a consultant.
At the end of the day, hip degeneration is a fairly common problem, and surgery to replace the faulty joint will only be performed when the patient is in so much discomfort that his or her quality of life is seriously affected.
On the brighter side, plenty can be done to restore and maintain some mobility in the joint. Conservative measures can take the form of mobilisation, stretching and muscle strengthening exercises.
Advice designed to help you avoid irritating and overloading the joint is also an extremely beneficial way to alleviate the pain and reduce disability.
In some instances, when the wear and tear is not too advanced, these steps are even sufficient to delay surgery for many years. Then, if and when surgery becomes the only available option, thanks to these conservative measures which you will already have taken, the quality of the joint environment, particularly the musculature, will have been maintained to the maximum and post surgical recovery will be easier and quicker.
So, it really is worth having your nagging pain investigated – it could quite easily be alleviated and your walks will become enjoyable again
.If you would like to know more about how Chiropractic or Physiotherapy as a treatment for hip pain, please contact clinic reception and ask to speak to one of our practitioners.
Previously we have looked at mattresses in regard to lower back pain, but your choice of pillow, and the number of pillows you sleep with, can also affect your neck and shoulders.
There are three curves in the spine which need to be properly alignment to minimise back problems developing, and at night, when you are lying down, these curves need to be supported correctly.
As we generally spend about one third of our life sleeping, having the right combination of a supportive mattress and pillows, and sleeping in the correct position, is very important.
If you regularly wake up in the morning with neck or shoulder pain and stiffness, then your pillow(s) and your sleeping posture may be the problem.
Just as you need a good mattress to support your lower back, your neck needs to be properly supported by your pillow to ensure a good night’s sleep. Unless you are a rugby player or weight lifter, your neck is usually narrower than you head, both from the front to back, and from side to side. This means that if your pillow is too firm, it will be supporting your head rather than your neck, and if your pillow is too soft, your neck will sink in to the pillow. Both of these scenarios mean that your pillow will not be providing sufficient support to your neck, and you may find that you wake up in the morning with a stiff and sore neck.
There is a large variety of pillows available, with different shapes and sizes, and a choice of fillings, and finding the right one for you is not always easy.
A good pillow should hold your head in the correct alignment so that you head is in the same position relative to your shoulders and spine as it would be if you were standing upright with a good posture.
It should also be able to be tucked well into your neck and shoulders, or be shaped accordingly, to support the curve of your neck appropriately.
The most basic pillows are usually filled with a man-made fibre, which does not generally offer as much support as you may need.
Feather, goose down and duck down pillows are much better as you can either tuck them in to your neck, or shake the feathers down to the long edge of the pillow to make a roll, and use this to support your neck. Alternatively there are a variety of pillows that are already shaped to support your neck properly. These are often made of foam, in particular memory foam, where your body heat works with the foam to give good support for your neck specifically.
As with buying a mattress, it is a good idea to buy good quality pillows and replace them every few years, either when they have lost their height, or become lumpy, discoloured or misshapen.
The position you sleep in can also cause neck and shoulder pain. Sleeping on your stomach is not good for your spine at all; in your lower back it causes you to increase the curve in your lumbar spine, compressing the small facet joints in the spine, and in your neck, as you have to turn your head to one side or the other, it causes compression of the facet joints on the side you turn your head towards, leading to neck stiffness and possible pain.
If you tend to sleep on your back, your head will usually turn to one side or the other, leading to similar problems.
If you sleep on your side, a pillow needs to support your neck in a neutral position. If your pillow is too low it may feel as if your head and neck are dropping too far to the side, but if your pillow is too high your neck will feel as if it is being propped up too much.
However, if you are broad shouldered, you may need to use a thicker pillow, or two thinner pillows, rolling one up in to your neck, to give better support.
If you need any further advice, please speak to one of the chiropractors at the Guildford Chiropractic Centre.
A better nights sleep is something we all would like. Sandy Boniface, Chiropractor at Guildford Chiropractic Centre gives some professional advice on the matter.
Do you ever wake up in the morning with pain in your lower back that wasn’t there when you went to bed the previous night, and that resolves once you get out of bed and become more mobile?
Or do you find it difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep in, tossing and turning throughout the night?
If you can answer “Yes” to either of these, then the problem may be to do with your mattress, or your sleeping posture.
Many people buy an “orthopaedic” mattress, believing that, because it is very firm, it will be best for their back and gives them a better nights sleep. However, in many cases, an “orthopaedic” mattress is too firm, giving too little support to the spine.
As we generally spend about one third of our life sleeping, having the right bed, and sleeping in the correct position, is very important.
A good mattress should be both comfortable and supportive, moulding to the shape of your body to support the natural curves of the spine, no matter what position you lie in.
When lying on your side, your spine should be horizontal. If you lie on your back, try sliding your hand under your lower back; if there is a hollow under your lower back and your hand slides in easily, the mattress is too firm, but, if it is very difficult to slide your hand in, the mattress is probably too soft. A mattress that is either too hard or too soft will not give your spine the support it needs, leading to stress on the spine, muscles and ligaments.
If you regularly experience lower back pain when you get up in the morning, you may need to replace your mattress; it is generally recommended that a mattress is replaced every 10 years or so. If you think that your mattress is too firm you can soften it slightly by putting a spare duvet on top of the mattress. If this resolves your back pain, it may be worth investing in a memory foam topper mattress. If you decide to replace your bed and mattress, you need to allow sufficient time for trying new beds out. It is recommended by the Sleep Council that you spend at least 10 minutes lying on a bed, preferably with your partner, and to lie in different positions to see how comfortable each bed is.
The position you sleep in can also have a significant impact on lower back pain. The majority of people find that sleeping on either side in a fetal position, is the most comfortable. Many people sleep on their back, which is fine if the mattress supports the normal curve in your lower back, but, if your mattress is too soft, your spine will sink in to the mattress, flattening the normal curve which can result in pain and stiffness. Lying on your stomach is the worst position to sleep in as it increases the curve in your lower back which can cause compression of the lumbar facet joints, leading to lower back pain and stiffness.
If you need any further advice please speak to one of the chiropractors at the Guildford Chiropractic Centre.
Sandy will discuss more on getting a better nights sleep in Part 2!
Manual therapy can be exceptionally safe and effective as an option for coccyx pain treatment. Alain Michelotti, our Chiropractor and Physiotherapist, discusses more:
Coccyx pain: what a pain in the bum!
A term we use to describe a painful condition caused by damage or irritation to the coccyx is coccydynia.
The coccyx is a small bony structure, which is found at the very base of the spine. It is the human equivalent of a tail seen in animals, and so is often referred to as the tail bone.
It is triangular shaped where the tip of the triangle faces downwards.
The coccyx varies in structure between individuals, where some it can consist of five segments others just three! The physical size of the coccyx can also vary considerably.
Due to its position within the pelvis, it is vulnerable to injury.
There are many causes of coccyx pain – falling onto your backside being the most common cause.
Other causes can include:
Repetitive small trauma/irritation when riding a bike equipped with a hard saddle,
Childbirth and/or pregnancy
The coccyx is a richly innervated structure, so is very sensitive when irritated.
It is also an important structure for the muscles of the pelvic floor.
Landing on your backside has the potential to bruise the bone, to strain the joint between the coccyx and the sacrum and to create spasms of the pelvic floor muscles. As a result, recurrent pain every time the sufferer sits down will occur.
A donut cushion is commonly prescribed for these people – not always the most convenient thing to take with you everywhere you go! Changing position (getting up after sitting) and sometimes even walking typically triggers pain.
As we spend an important (too important!) part of our life sitting, this condition can be debilitating.
It becomes difficult to concentrate, to drive, to participate in social activities. It is no surprise that chronic coccydynia can result in low mood and in some cases depression.
Conventional medical treatment includes anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers and mild anti-depressants. If this fails, the sufferer is usually offered a local injection. Surgical removal of the coccyx is a rarely performed procedure.
What is not so widely known is that very gentle manual procedures aimed at relieving the tension and irritation around the coccyx can improve and often entirely cure this condition.
Two to three sessions are usually enough for the patient to feel a noticeable difference.
Summer holidays are finally here! Holidays are supposed to be a time to relax, soak up some vitamin D and be good to ourselves.
You would think that a break from the usual routine would leave you feeling better than ever, however whether you like to rest and relax or get active on your holiday, many of us find that the change in routine is not always welcomed by our bodies.
Changes in beds/mattresses/pillows, long haul flights, jet lag, flip flops, reduced movement or change of activities all adds up to a rather un-welcome challenge for our frames to adapt to. It’s no wonder at Guildford Chiropractic Centre we commonly see patients booking straight in after their summer holidays, not feeling quite as replenished as they were hoping…..
If you are travelling further afield this summer, these tips are for you.
1. Luggage: Before you consider ensuring you get your monies worth of baggage allowance, think again. A typical 25kg piece of luggage is a heavy piece of kit and when that moment comes where you have to heave it on to the travellator, your back and arms would really appreciate it if didn’t strain them too much. Tip 1: Take only what you need, watch your posture when lifting, squat if possible or get someone younger and stronger to help you out.
2. Plane Seats: You’re on the plane, regretting the fact you booked economy, and you’re stuck in the middle seat of the aisle. Tip 2: Get up every 30-40 minutes to off load your spine. Walk up and down the plane to mobilise your joints and get some blood pumping through those legs. If the guy at the end of your seat aisle complains – let him.
3. Sun loungers: You’ve been looking forward to getting your annual dose of vitamin D since January. If you are one of those who loves to lounge around on a sun lounger, please beware that this is a common source of lower back pain. Sitting for long periods upright with your legs up at 90 degrees concentrates all your weight into your lower back. Whilst you’re getting into the latest Baldacci novel, your spinal discs and joints are being squashed and irritated. Tip 3: Sun lounge lying flat on your back or tummy; get up and move around at least every 30-40 minutes and keep the 90 degree sitting to a minimum!
4. Over indulgence and lack of activity: Sampling the local cuisine at a taverna is great, but with the average person putting on 7lbs during a fortnight holiday (that’s like a new born baby!) we should keep an eye what we guzzle down. Tip 4: Keep active during your holiday, do something active every day for at least an hour. Take a good multivitamin daily and don’t feel the need to have three courses with every meal.
5: Footwear: We know that your foot health and biomechanics affects the way the rest of the body functions. Be kind to all those little muscles in your feet and don’t give them too much of a shock whilst you’re away. Tip 5: Look for sandals with a back strap rather than flip flops which cause havoc for those little muscles under your arches. Whilst at the beach you may wish to go bare foot and give your feet a lovely stretch in the sand.
Where ever you are jetting off to this summer, we would like to wish you a wonderful holiday from everyone at Guildford Chiropractic Centre!
Looking for information on thumb pain? Read on.
I saw a lady this month, who’s actual primary complaint was neck pain.
As she was putting her coat back on after her adjustment, I heard her groan about the pain in her thumb.
“What’s up with the thumb?” I asked.
She tells me: “I’ve had this nagging pain in the base of my thumb for the last six months and it’s a real nuisance! My GP tells me its wear and tear and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.”
“Why didn’t you tell me about this before?” I queried.
“Well I didn’t really think. I didn’t know you treated thumbs.”
“You’ll be surprised what I can help with. Let’s have a look at it.”
The thumb joint, due to overuse is susceptible to arthritis and other types of injuries.
Hairdressers, dress- makers and, dare I say it, chiropractors, are all professions which have a higher incidence of osteoarthritis (OA) or repetitive strain-type injuries associated with the thumb. Granted there are other causes of thumb pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and infection, but fortunately these are rare. It’s reassuring to know that we chiropractors are trained on how to look out for these things.
If a mechanical diagnosis has been made, the chiropractor can begin to work his magic. Very often treating not only the thumb, but other joints including the wrist, elbow, shoulder and neck which all can play a role in the genesis of the thumb pain.
It is this particular approach that makes our treatment so effective, even for cases that haven’t had good results with other physicians.
After an examination of this patient’s thumb, my diagnosis was of a classic case of osteoarthritis of the base of the thumb. I treated the area using adjustments to her thumb, wrist, elbow and neck, some muscle/ligament techniques and I showed her some exercises to do at home that could help.
When she came into see me a week later, she walked into my room with a whopping-big smile on her face.
“So, how are we getting on?” I asked.
“I don’t know what you did to me last time, but my thumb hasn’t felt this good in a long time.”
If you suffer with thumb pain, or know of anyone else who does, feel free to contact our clinic for a discussion with one of our chiropractors who will be happy to advise whether we can help.
Ah! The Joys of life!
Hugging your children or nearest and dearest, hitting a cracking golf/football shot, a lovely walk in the country, a meal with family and friends, tinkering in your shed. Are you getting the drift? Wouldn’t all the above be somewhat sullied by the feckless appearance of pain?
Pain, one of the most common of symptoms can arrive in our bodies with little or no warning.
It’s not Ebola – let’s be thankful for that but in its infinite variety and corrosive, all-pervasive effect there is little else on the planet to match its devastating impact on so many lives.
In contrast to this, as I tell my patients, pain is good and even beneficial to a certain degree.
“Surely not!”, I hear you say, but pain is our early warning system, the body’s radar alerting us to take action before having to go to DEFCON 3.
It is there to act as a warring shot across the bows, letting us know that if we don’t change course or alter what we’re doing, there could be trouble ahead.
The classic removal of your hand from something hot before you’ve realised it, hobbling down the road with a sprained ankle because the knifelike stabbing pain prevents you from weight-bearing fully and inflicting more damage: reactions like these show the body protecting itself as a result of pain.
What about pain that is not transitory but stays and persists, grinding you down? Pain for which there is often no single, significant cause?
Most of us wing it through life pain-free apart from self-inflicted injuries and occasional toothache, but for some, persistent chronic (long-standing) pain is a daily companion.
The bane of many is osteoarthritis (OA), not quite one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse I grant you, but insidiously this single condition is primarily the result of cumulative trauma over many years and can impede living fully.
If you do have pain, don’t accept it and do the British stiff upper lip bit.
Don’t accept that your condition cannot be helped, that it is a fait accompli.
Do everything you can to ease, moderate and understand the cause of the condition and control its effects.
Remind yourself that many people spend their lives oblivious of their OA so why shouldn’t you?
There are many different treatments and approaches available, chiropractic and physiotherapy being some of the most effective and safe treatments, to advise and help, so you don’t need to rely on the welcome but palliative effects of painkillers.
Keep looking: you might just find a better quality of life.
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, SPD. (Sandy Boniface, DC)
Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), also referred to as pubic symphysis dysfunction, is a common and debilitating condition predominantly affecting women.
It is usually associated with pregnancy and childbirth, with an incidence of up to 1 in 50 pregnancies, but it can continue after childbirth for some women.
It can also be caused by trauma to the area, sports injuries and in some cases osteoarthritis.
The symphysis pubis is found at the front of the pelvis, and together with the sacro-iliac joints at the back of the pelvis, forms part of the stable pelvic ring.
The joint contains a disc, similar to those found in your spine, and is held together by strong ligaments, which need to function effectively to avoid excessive strain on the pelvic joints.
The width of the symphysis pubis is normally about 4-5mm in women (less in men), but can widen by 2-3mm during the third trimester of pregnancy, due to the action of the pregnancy hormone relaxin. This softens the pelvic ligaments, allowing the pelvic joints to widen, and making it easier for the baby to pass along the birth canal. This widening usually decreases within a few days of delivery, but the ligaments can take up to 6 months to tighten up again.
During pregnancy, the increased weight in the abdomen and the weakening of the abdominal muscles, together with the softening of the pelvic ligaments, can lead to instability and misalignment of the pelvic joints, and subsequent pain.
SPD is characterised by pain over the symphysis pubis joint.
The pain can be a mild discomfort or tenderness to the touch, but may become more severe and prolonged, with a burning, stabbing or grinding quality.
It can also be referred to the lower back, the sacroiliac joints, groin, hips, abdomen, perineum (the area between the vagina and anus) and the inner thighs.
Hip mobility, especially moving the legs sideways, may be reduced and painful, leading to a waddling or shuffling gait.
Normal daily activities such as walking, going up and down stairs, sitting down and getting up, getting in and out of a car, turning over in bed, getting dressed, standing on one leg, moving the legs apart, bending down, and lifting may become more difficult and painful to do.
The pain is often relieved by rest, and usually resolves as the ligaments tighten up again after giving birth, but it can be so severe for some women that it affects their quality of life, and can lead to depression, anger and guilt, especially as they may be unable to take care of their baby without help.
Chiropractic treatment can be very successful in improving the function of the pelvic joints and reducing the pain caused by SPD.
Treatment could include soft tissue work, mobilisation of restricted joints, blocking techniques, activator, ice packs to reduce inflammation, exercise advice, and the use of a sacroiliac support belt.
Other advice is to sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees, sit with your back supported and without crossing your legs, sitting rather than standing to perform tasks where possible e.g. getting dressed, go up or down stairs one stair at a time, avoid straddle type movements, keep your legs tightly together when changing positions, avoid lifting, avoid twisting movements, strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, and do not do anything for a prolonged period of time.
If you are suffering from pelvic pain associated with pregnancy and would like further advice or management of your condition, please contact clinic reception for further details. If you would like to request a call back, one of our chiropractors would be happy to speak to you.
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