Backcare Awareness Week 2018

Backcare Awareness Week 2018

The theme of this years #Backcare Awareness Week is Back Pain in Older Adults.

For many older adults this is something that people live with on a daily basis, whether it’s a niggle here and there or something more persistent that affects how you do the things you enjoy and the jobs around the house. All too often I have patients who come in and have been told ‘Oh, it’s arthritis, there’s nothing we can do’ or ‘It’s just your age’.

Well at Chiropractic Works we don’t say the ‘A’ word. We find that many people who have a condition such as osteoarthritis or spondylosis can be helped, and whilst we aren’t saying we can do miracle cures, for many we can help manage the problems they are having in a better way.

What is osteoarthritis anyway? Osteoarthritis is when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones breaks down, causing pain, swelling and problems moving the joint. Bony growths can develop, and the area can become inflamed. When this happens it is irreversible, what we can have an impact on is how the joint functions and moves. This will reduce the pain and discomfort people experience from osteoarthritis.

Chiropractic offers relief for many back and neck pain sufferers. It’s not a long term fix, it is gentle, it can be very effective in increasing the range of motion within the area i.e. flexibility and also reducing pain and stiffness levels.

It is well known that exercise helps with many conditions of the body. This is true of many back conditions too. However, sometimes you need that relief of discomfort or pain before you feel you can exercise. This is where Chiropractic can help. It could be the stepping stone you need in order to do that exercise which will help you feel fitter and keep you well.

Quite often it is a concerned family member who recommends chiropractic care. So if you think it may help someone then we suggest a 15 minute complimentary chat as an introduction to your chiropractor and allow any of your queries to be answered.

For more information about backcare and what they do check out their website backcare.org.uk.

Ready to Book?

Use the online booking facility or ring us on 0114 266 5959
Sleeping habits causing you pain?

Sleeping habits causing you pain?

The way you sleep could be causing you unnecessary aches and pains. We are told time after time that we should be sleeping flat on our backs, but many of us have already developed habitual sleeping patterns, which are hard to get out of. However, if you suffer from neck or shoulder stiffness, muscle tension or more commonly back pain, you might want to think twice about curling up into a ball next time you reach for the sheets.

Incorrect alignment and poor support of your spine and limbs will put pressure on different areas of the body, which is why you may sometimes wake up with pain or discomfort.

Your spine also plays a huge role in sending nerve signals around the body; delicate nerve tissues help control all the systems within your body.

Follow these sleeping tips and give your back a break:

  • Refrain from sleeping on your stomach as this causes your spine to arch unnaturally and usually results in both back and neck stiffness

  • Laying on your back or side is the ideal position, however to perfect your alignment try to use an orthopaedic pillow to give your neck adequate support

  • If you sleep on your side, consider placing a pillow in-between your knees for support to prevent your back and pelvis from twisting

  • If you sleep on your back, consider placing a pillow under your knees to take the tension off your lower back

  • Acknowledging and correcting your posture throughout the day will help you find ease when it comes to sleep

Importantly, remember that an underlying neck can cause poor quality sleep or back problem causing increased muscle tension. So if you are experiencing poor sleep, see a chiropractor to have your neck and back checked.

Ready to Book?

Use the online booking facility or ring us on 0114 266 5959

Seven Reasons To See A Chiropractor

1. It’s good for your nervous system
This is the system that controls and regulates every single function in your body.
Haldeman, S. Neurological Effects of the Adjustment.
JMPT 2000; 23

2. It’s good for your posture
The author of the supporting paper also suggests that you may need more than one or two adjustments if you want to train yourself out of poor postural habits.
Troyanovich et al. Structural rehabilitation of the spine and posture: rational for treatment beyond resolution of symptoms.
JMPT 1998.

3. It keeps your joints young and well lubricated
An adjustment can help restore normal joint movement and mechanics and help remove joint adhesions or scar tissue.
Nugent-Derfus GE, et al. Continuous passive motion applied to whole joints stimulates chondrocyte biosynthesis of PRG4.
Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2007 May;15(5):566-74.
  
4. It can make you more flexible
This article uses hamstrings as an example of how being adjusted and stretching can help your muscles to relax.
Fox, M. Effect on hamstring flexibility of hamstring stretching compared to hamstring stretching and sacroiliac joint manipulation.
Clinical Chiropractic – Volume 9, Issue 1, March 2006, Pages 21-32.5. It can make your muscles stronger and more flexible
Quite an in-depth explanation into why getting adjusted can improve neurological control and muscle strength.
Smith DL, Cox RH. Muscular strength and chiropractic: theoretical mechanisms and health implications.
Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research 1999-2000; 3(4):1-13.
6. It can improve your co-ordination
Significant improvement to hand-eye co-ordination are noted in this article following a series of adjustments.
Dean L. Smith, DC, PhD, Marvin J. Dainoff, PhD, and Jane P. Smith, DC. & The effect of a Chiropractic adjustment on movement time… Fitts law.
JMPT May 2006.

7. It is an effective treatment for back pain
Chiropractic came out on top in this article relative to hospital out patient physiotherapy treatment.
Meade et al. Low back pain of mechanical origin: randomised comparison of chiropractic and hospital outpatient treatment.
British Medical J, 1991.

 

We offer a 15 minute complimentary consultation to new patients to find out more about chiropractic and how it can benefit them.
To book use the online booking feature or call us on 0114 266 5959.

Students and Studying

I think it’s my age…

At Chiropractic Works, we here this all too often. Yes age does play a factor with spinal problems but the majority of the time it is not the causative factor. A point in case is the increase in the number of students that we have seen recently.

[ezcol_1half]One trigger for the students who have been in to see us is exam time! Prolonged periods of sitting, working on the computer or staring at books. Not to mention the extra stress, long hours and by the time you throw in a poorer diet due to time constraints, eventually something has to give.

Most students that we see come in with upper back and neck problems from the long periods of studying. So here are some tips on how to minimise the strain that studying puts on you:

[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]students suffer back pain from studying sheffield[/ezcol_1half_end]

  • Plan your day, know what you are doing and when you are doing it – as dull as it sounds this will free up a lot of your time, and if you have planned well it will be a case of looking at what you should be doing and getting on with it.
  • Have a work free area, a sacred space where no studying takes place, this is especially problematic if you study in a bedroom – you want to keep that area as a sleeping/relaxing zone.
  • Plan down time – meet up with friends, play the Xbox or catch up on tv. Be strict with yourself, you don’t want to end up doing a marathon of Game of Thrones.
  • Take regular breaks, prop your books/laptop up so you are looking ahead not looking down.
  • Stretch.
  • Snack well – ditch the chocolate and energy drinks, stick to fruit & veg and the odd tea/coffee.

If you have any questions give us a call on 0114 266 5959, or if you would like to book a complimentary 15 minute consultation to discuss how we can help you get in touch.

 

Driving and Back Pain

Driving and Back Pain

Driving and back pain

 

Driving is a tricky subject, we all do it, some for longer than others and at some stage we all feel the effects of driving. Whether it’s your daily commute or a longer drive to see family or friends it can all rack up and put more stress on your spine and your health.driving back pain

Why does it create strain?

Sitting creates strain on the spine, that’s why we advise people to take a break from sitting every 45 – 60 minutes. When we drive we usually are not sitting in the optimal position for our bodies. Generally, the sportier your car the worse the position is likely to be due to space constraints.

Sitting in the car creates a lot of strain in two key areas the low back/pelvis and the neck. The low back is affected as the normal curve (lordosis) is usually reduced – the aim of a lumbar support is to maintain the curve while you are sitting. The second area affected is the neck, I think part of this is because we are so focused on the low back we ignore the fact that we sit in our cars with our heads poking forward – this increases the strain onto the neck as your body has to work harder to keep your head up!

 

So what can you do to reduce the impact of driving?

 1. Take 30 seconds to sort out your car!

This is really important if you share a car, put the mirrors, seat and back support into the correct position FOR YOU. If you don’t you will be under/over-stretching to reach the wheel and pedals.

2. Relax your shoulders.

Make sure you aren’t holding yourself in an artificial position. On your daily commute there’s enough to deal with without overloading your postural muscles and increasing stress on the spine and nervous system. This will also allow you to breath more easily which is always handy.

3. Take regular breaks.

It is always tempting to do a 4 hour journey in one go, I would recommend taking at least one break. You do not need to go into the services and buy a latte and a disposable tooth brush, instead have a brisk walk, do some basic stretches or tai-chi. It will only add 5 minutes to your journey but the difference it will make to your spine will be much greater.

 

Lumbar supports

Many cars now come with in built lumbar supports but they may not be suitable for everyone. Although car seat designs have improved significantly they are still built for the masses, or built to fit a ‘standard’ person, as we are all unique it means that for some it will work and others it wont. The solution is simple, a small pillow or a rolled up towel placed in the low back with the purpose of maintaining the curve.

Head rests

There are two key factors with head rests:

1. The top of the headrest should be level with the top of your head.

2. The head rest should be as close to your head as possible, no more than 10cm from your head.

For some great advice on how to adjust your car seat have a look at the BackCare information sheet

If you feel you are struggling due to driving allow us to help you, book an examination or a 15 minute complimentary consultation on 0114 266 5959.