Top Tips on Caring for Someone with Chronic Pain

Caring for someone with chronic pain? It isn’t easy, but there are ways you can support them in managing their condition with these top tips from our Newcastle Under Lyme chiropractor:

If you know or care for someone who has chronic pain, there are things you can do to help support them in managing their condition.

Listen

Understanding what chronic pain feels like can be difficult if you haven’t experienced it yourself. Do your best to listen when the person you care for tells you how they feel. It may also be a good idea to speak with their medical team or go along to appointments to gain a better insight into their condition.

Encourage teamwork

Chronic pain isn’t something anyone should have to experience alone. A strong support team is likely to help the person you’re caring for to manage their condition.

Continue to treat them as a person

Although you’re naturally going to show concern about a person in pain, it’s also important to show interest in other parts of their life such as their hobbies, job and family. This will help to remind your loved one that you see them as a rounded human being and that you don’t define them by their chronic pain condition.

Our team of chiropractors are always here with help and advice.

Is Back Pain Putting You Off Exercise Asks Our Newcastle Under Lyme Chiropractor – Read This!

Exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing when you feel chronic pain. But if you’re inactive, your muscles lose their conditioning, your body won’t function as well as it could do and you’ll actually feel more pain!

As difficult as it may sound, exercise and general physical activity is likely to be part of your ongoing treatment for chronic pain. Your doctor or chiropractor may tell you to rest for a little, but gone are the days when you’ll be advised to take it easy in bed! If you want to ease pain, then get moving!

There are simply too many benefits to exercise to list, but some specific ones for chronic pain sufferers are:

1.     It helps to keep your joints moving well.

2.     It helps to keep your muscles strong.

3.     It helps to maintain a positive mood.

Remember that those who don’t make room for exercise will sometime or another, probably have to make room for illness.

Recovering from a Back Injury: Our Newcastle Under Lyme Chiropractor Outlines What to Expect

back care advice from our chiropractor in newcastle under lymeMany of the patients who visit our Newcastle Under Lyme chiropractors come to us as a result of a back injury. The back is an intricate structure of muscle and bone, which is supported by ligaments and tendons and nourished by a network of blood vessels and nerves. It also bears a significant amount of the body’s weight and is subsequently prone to injuries – especially in the lower back.

Two of the most frequent back injuries that we deal with include sprains and strains. But what exactly are these commonly-heard complaints and why do they occur?

Back strain is a term used to describe an injury to either a tendon (the tough, fibrous bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones) or a muscle. A strain is usually diagnosed if the spine-supporting muscles and tendons are pulled, torn or twisted.

A back sprain, on the other hand, involves the ligaments that support the spine. Ligaments are the fibrous bands of tissue that connect two or more bones at a joint and prevent the joint from moving excessively. A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched or torn.

The symptoms of a sprain and a strain are often similar with the majority of patients experiencing one or more of the following:

  • Pain that worsens with movement
  • Muscle cramping or spasms
  • Difficulty walking, bending forward or sideways, or standing straight

If you suspect that you have sprained or strained your back, you should stop doing the activity that caused the injury and rest for the first day or two. Ice packs and compression can be effective in reducing painful symptoms.

You should then try to return to normal activities 48 hours following the injury, as despite what many people think, staying inactive for too long can prolong symptoms and slow down your recovery period.

Most people with back strain/ sprain will see a significant improvement in their symptoms in about two weeks. But you should contact your doctor or chiropractor if your symptoms continue for longer, your pain is too severe to return to your normal activities after 48 hours or your symptoms or pain worsen at any time.

You should contact your health care provider immediately after the injury takes place if:

  • You have severe pain and cannot walk more than a few steps.
  • You have numbness in the area of injury or down your leg.
  • You have injured your lower back before.
  • You have a lump or area that looks like an unusual shape.
  • You have pain that interferes with sleep.

Our chiropractors are here to help you, so contact us for advice.

Back Pain Symptoms You Should Never Ignore!

Back pain is common and very rarely an indication that something is seriously wrong with your health. But there are a few “red flag” signs that everyone should be aware of. These are signs and symptoms that may indicate to your doctor or chiropractor that you have an underlying medical condition.

You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:

Saddle anaesthesia, which is a nerve related symptoms in the area of your seat.  With this condition, you are likely to notice numbness located at the bottom of your pelvis and around the area of your seat.

Bladder or bowel problems.

Weakness and numbness, especially if it is severe or keeps getting worse.

Our Newcastle under Lyme chiropractor is here to answer any of your questions on back pain and symptoms.

Easy Health Tips for 2018

It’s January and you’re probably feeling bombarded with advice on healthy living. From diet fads to miracle weight loss gadgets, every page we turn and channel we flick to will no doubt promise us a quick and easy path to our New Year health goals. But here, our Stoke on Trent chiropractor sorts out the myths from the facts with our top 5 ways to improve your health this January:

1: Do not ‘go on a diet’; even if Vanessa Feltz’s two-week tummy trimming recipes guarantee to shred you of all your festive weight, don’t go on a diet. Instead, switch to healthier eating habits that you can continue long term. When you lose weight gradually, you are more likely to keep it off.

2: Eat a varied diet. Look for different, brightly coloured fruits and vegetables as these provide plenty of nutrients.

3:  Exercise regularly. Activities such as walking, jogging and cycling are easy enough to fit into your weekly routine and will help to improve your overall health and fitness.

4: Laugh a lot. Not only does laughing release the happy chemicals in your brain, but it also strengthens your tummy muscles and relaxes knotted muscles.

5: Stand up straight. A good posture offers a host of health benefits, including a healthier spine.

It doesn’t have to be complicated or costly to make a positive difference to your health this year. Sometimes, it’s the simplest things that have the biggest impact.

 

 

Back to Work, Back to Back Pain?

January is in full swing, and for many of us it’s back to the daily grind of alarm clocks, commutes and deadlines. It’s a tough month, but if you work in an office, it could get even tougher. According to our Newcastle under Lyme chiropractor, hunching over a computer is a leading reason why so many office workers end up with crippling back pain. But a few small changes in the way you work can make your pain disappear. This is what you need to be doing ASAP:

Keep your head up

When you’re working at your keyboard, focus on aligning your head and neck right above your shoulders instead of hunching over or straining forward.

Keep your mouse close

Ideally, your mouse should be placed right next to your keyboard so you don’t have to overreach or twist your shoulder, arm, or wrist when clicking.

Choose your chair wisely

Pick a chair that allows your lower back to rest comfortably against a lumbar support. You should also be able to tilt the back of the chair so that it’s very slightly reclined.

If you suffering from back pain why not make an appointment to visit our experienced chiropractors at Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic.

The Lowdown on Fibromyalgia

Are you experiencing unexplained back pain, fatigue and other symptoms? If so, has fibromyalgia been ruled out?

Fibromyalgia, (also called fibromyalgia syndrome), is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body and affects up to 1 in 20 people.

As well as widespread pain, fibromyalgia sufferers may also experience:

  • an increased sensitivity to pain
  • exhaustion fatigue (extreme tiredness)
  • muscle tension and stiffness
  • sleeping problems
  • difficulties with mental processing, including problems with memory and concentration
  • headaches
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 

It’s important to seek medical attention if you suffer with any of the above symptoms or if you think you may have fibromyalgia. Although there is no known cure for the condition, there are many treatment options available that can help to ease the symptoms.

So what causes fibromyalgia?

Even though the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, it is thought to be related to abnormal levels of chemicals in the brain and changes in the way the central nervous system transmits pain messages around the body.

It’s is also possible that certain people may be more likely to develop fibromyalgia because of genes inherited from their parents.

In other cases, the condition is triggered by a physically or emotionally stressful event. This may include:

  • an  infection or injury
  • the birth of a child
  • having an operation
  • the breakdown of a relationship 
  • the death of a loved one

It’s important to remember that despite the risk factors, anyone can develop fibromyalgia at any time. The condition usually develops between the ages of 30 and 50, but it can occur in people of any age, including children and the elderly.

How to get a diagnosis

Fibromyalgia is a difficult condition to diagnose, which may mean that many people are living with it without a diagnosis. There’s no specific test for the condition, and the symptoms can be similar to a number of other conditions. However, medical professionals can use a number of evaluations and processes to reach a diagnostic decision.

Treatment tends to be a combination of:

  • medication, such as antidepressants and painkillers
  • talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and counselling
  • lifestyle changes, such as exercise programmes, diet changes and relaxation techniques

If you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, there are many ways that you can change your lifestyle to help relieve your symptoms and make your condition easier to manage.

The healthcare professionals treating you can offer advice and support about making these changes part of your everyday life. Don’t ignore your symptoms; seeking help is the biggest step in your journey back to good health

Can the January Blues Cause Back Pain?

back care advice from our newcastle under lyme chiropractorThere’s no doubt that January is one of the most depressing times of the year; December’s festivities are over, our wallets are emptier and it’s back to the daily grind. But could the January blues cause back pain? Quite possibly, according to our Newcastle under Lyme chiropractor.

Depression is the most common emotion associated with chronic back pain. Depression can cause pain, and pain can cause depression. Sometimes, back pain and depression result in a vicious cycle where the pain worsens symptoms of depression, and then the resulting depression increases the feelings of pain.

For some people, depression can cause unexplained physical symptoms such as back pain, neck pain or headaches.  For many, this kind of pain is the first or only sign of depression. Inevitably, pain and associated problems can wear you down over time and have a negative impact on your mood.  As well as this, chronic pain can cause a number of problems that can lead to depression, including sleeping problems, stress and low self esteem.

The type of depression that accompanies chronic pain is referred to as major depression or clinical depression. These feelings go further than what would be considered normal sadness or feeling “down” for a few days.

Some of the symptoms of depression may include:

  • A predominant mood that is depressed, sad, blue, hopeless, low, or irritable, which may include periodic crying spells
  • Reduced appetite or significant weight loss or increased appetite or weight gain
  • Sleeping issues
  • Feeling restless or experiencing feelings of fatigue
  • Loss of interest in activities/ hobbies
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Thoughts of death, suicide, or wanting to be dead

To get symptoms of pain and depression under control, you may need separate treatment for each condition. However, for some people, certain treatments may help with both.

Remember that it’s relatively normal to feel a little “blue” in January, but it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of depression, including chronic pain.

Walk Your Way to a Healthy Christmas!

It’s Christmas! And what does that mean? A week or two of lounging on the sofa, watching every TV special under the sun while eating and drinking way too much? Not if you want to start the New Year in good health.

We all like to relax over the festive period; and we’re all entitled to indulge, but doing too little over the festive period could set us up for back pain and a host of other health issues. While no one expects you to hit the gym every morning over the holidays, getting a few walks in is a really good idea.

Here our Newcastle under Lyme chiropractor highlights just some of the benefits of walking over the Christmas holidays:

  • It can help you to keep those extra holiday pounds off.  Remember that unnecessary weight is unnecessary strain on your spine!
  • It can help to prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
  • It can aid in strengthening your bones and muscles
  • It can improve your mood and reduce your stress levels

The more regularly you walk, the greater the benefits. Don’t wait until the New Year to get healthy. After all, poor health won’t wait for you!

Top Tips for a Stress Free Christmas

For some people, Christmas means stress, stress and … you guessed it, more stress! From gift wrapping to decorating to cooking, the festive season can take its toll on your health! But you can have your most relaxed Christmas ever with these simple tips from our Newcastle under Lyme chiropractor:

1: Keep it simple

Who are you in competition with? Yourself? Your neighbours? The mums at the school gate? Christmas isn’t a showcase and there is no need to go bigger and better than everyone around you. Do the necessary; don’t try to be a hero.

2: Ask for help

Christmas is a time for helping others, so make sure you have people around to help you! If you’re inviting people for lunch, suggest that they each bring something to contribute to the meal. If you have a partner, share the Christmas shopping duties with them. If you have friends close by, organise a gift wrapping party.  Don’t be afraid to ask for a lending hand – people like to help, especially at this time of year.

3: Mix it up

Let’s be honest, there comes a time when you just have to let go of those Christmas traditions! If you find yourself dragging your partner to The Nutcracker for the 15th year in the row, or your kids are whining at the thought of yet another Christmas Carol concert, do something else!  Christmas is a time to enjoy, not  just to stick by the “rules”!

Here’s to your most stress-free Christmas ever!