Hitting The Golf Course?

The US Masters has rolled around again. It never ceases to amaze us how beautiful and challenging the Augusta course is.

Of course as chiropractors we can’t help but think about the golfing injuries and strains we treat!  Unfortunately most of these can be put down to a few things, namely, poor technique, inadequate stretching both before and after playing and finally incorrectly carrying heavy golf bags!

If you’re a golfer, following a few simple tips before teeing off could save you a whole heap of problems down the line. Our chiropractors have put together these tips for you:

Keep it light and even: Lifting and carrying a heavy golf bag can place strain on your neck and back so invest in a light weight model to reduce the risk when carrying and lifting your bag. Also look for a bag with dual harness straps over the shoulders which will help distribute weight more evenly.

Warm Up & Down: Spend a few minutes warming up before teeing off by doing some simple stretches. You want to stretch your hamstrings, quads, chest and shoulders. Likewise stretch out after finishing your round – before heading to the bar!

On the Course: Wear good fitting shoes that provide you the best stability. Always bend your knees when picking up your golf bag. Consider using a power or electric caddy instead of a trolley. Pulling a trolley puts your body in an awkward position which can result in injuries and strains.

 

The Modern Causes of Back Pain

Back pain is not as uncommon as you may think. Increasingly our lifestyles are placing a great strain on our backs.

Pressure and stress are all too common symptoms of the hectic lives we lead. Unfortunately they can contribute to back and neck pain as we physically and emotionally tense and round up our shoulders.

In addition, we continue to work (a lot of us) in environments where we sit for long periods of time, mainly at desks glued to our computer.  For some people, sitting in a chair for 40 hours plus per week is the fastest way to develop back pain that seriously hurts! And what’s worrying is that for some people, they have never even experienced back pain before; they have never had lower back pain, shoulder issues or neck pain, but suddenly notice these symptoms coming on. Even if the symptoms don’t last for very long, they can start affecting people on a daily basis.

The worst part is that when you do get lower back pain, it can seem so hard to get rid of. You try adjusting your posture and it still hurts. You try rubbing it or massaging it or stretching it out quickly – and yet it still hurts.

You try getting up and walking around and then it hurts again ten minutes later. It can be incredibly frustrating.

So here are some exercises you can do right now for lower back pain relief.

Exercises For Your Lower Back

The underlying premise is simple: you’re experiencing pain because of chronic inactivity and stress and this weakens certain muscles and tightens others. So here are two effective exercises that we know work. (Even famous celebrities and professional athletes do these to manage their back pain)

Exercise one – (Duration: 5-10 minutes)

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back with both legs bent at right angles either on a chair or block
  • Rest your hands on your stomach or lay with your arms out at the side below shoulder level,  with your palms facing up
  • Breathe from your stomach. Let the lower back relax.
  • Hold the position for 5-10 minutes

Exercise two

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back with one leg resting on a chair, with your knee bent at 90 degrees, while the other leg is extended straight out and resting on the floor.
  • Make sure both legs are aligned with your hips and shoulders
  • The foot of your extended leg should be propped upright to prevent it from rolling to one side
  • Hold this position for a few minutes then do the same on the other side.

Exercise three

Make sure you move and walk even if you can only manage 10 minutes at a time. Try and do your 10 minute walk 3 times a day.

We also recommend doing the exercises that can be found on our website http://chiropractorinstoke.co.uk/rehab-posture-exercises in particular the Cat and Camel, Leg and Arm raises and Curl Ups.

These exercises can go a long way in helping to maintain the health of your spine. Start today and you may be able keep back pain at bay! After all, no one wants to deal with a sore or achy spine.

We do recommend that you always consult your health care professional before beginning any exercise programme.

Try This To Help Improve Your Posture

Did you know that your posture could be contributing to your back pain?

Our chiropractor in Newcastle under Lyme cannot stress enough how important it is to have and maintain good posture. The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to  improve your posture and help reduce the risk of back pain.

The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) have developed a great programme, designed to improve posture and help prevent back pain called Straighten Up UK. The programme is designed to be done on a daily basis – just like brushing your teeth!

It’s a set of simple, three minute straighten up exercises. The programme is divided into three simple sections:

  1. Stars: Warm Up
  2. Flying Friends: Posture Care
  3. Core Balance: Finish the Session

Whatever your age you can participate. However, check with your health care provider before undertaking any new form of new exercise.

Here is a video for you to follow:

Could Your Bed Be Causing You Back Pain?

back care advice from our chiroprator in newcastle under lymeAs it’s National Bed Month, our chiropractor in Newcastle under Lyme thinks it’s a great time to remind everyone of the importance of having a bed/mattress that supports them.

It is not uncommon for patients to be surprised to find that their bed/mattress could be contributing to their back pain. In research undertaken by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) it was found that a large proportion of people who get back pain said it could be brought on by a night’s sleep.

As we spend a third of our life in bed it makes sense that we ensure that we have the best possible bed/mattress that adequately supports our bodies.

A common question that patients ask our chiropractor is “How do I know if my mattress is a problem?”. If you are unsure yourself how to check this, here are three questions that will help you work it out:

  • Do you and your partner experience a good night’s sleep? If the answer is no, then your bed/mattress could be to blame.
  • Can you feel the springs through the mattress? If the answer is yes, then it’s definitely time to invest in a new one.
  • How old is your bed/mattress? If it is older than 10 years then the time has come to start looking for a new one.

If your next step is to invest in a new mattress, you want to choose wisely.

Here is our chiropractor’s advice for choosing a new bed/mattress:

Choosing the right bed for you is an important purchase so you want to allow yourself enough time to find the one that’s right for you. You will want to search out a store that you can visit and try out the beds yourself. Make sure the store has a great range of beds and mattress that you can try.

Choose a bed that’s as big as possible but make sure it’s not too big for your bedroom. You want to make sure you can move around the bed comfortably in your bedroom without the risk of injuring yourself.

You are looking for a mattress that provides you with the most support. As a guide, when you are lying on your side on the mattress your spine should be parallel to the mattress. You will need to ask someone to check this for you whilst you are lying on the mattress. You should also try a pillow with the mattress. You must ensure that when you head rests on the pillow your neck is a continuation of your spine, all being straight and parallel to the mattress.

Choosing a mattress is a highly individual matter , therefore, if you have a partner then it’s really important that they join you to choose a mattress that’s right for both of you. If you find that you both have very different support needs you may want to buy two single mattresses that can be zipped together.

Choosing the right bed for yourself can help your back and your overall health, so choose carefully.

Our chiropractors at Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic are here to help you if you are suffering with back pain. Why not give us a call today to arrange an appointment.

 

 

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.

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.

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.

Avoid Back Pain Wrapping Presents

The gift wrapping season is upon us and while most of us think of it as just a pesky chore, you could be putting yourself at serious risk of back and neck pain if you overdo it with the wrapping this year. Our Newcastle chiropractor has a few things for you to keep in mind to make sure the presents still get wrapped in time while minimising your risk of back, neck or shoulder pain.

First of all, make sure you are prepared! Gather all your presents, wrapping paper, ribbon, tape and scissors so you aren’t running around looking for materials. Then, find a suitable place to wrap, such as at a table that comes to your waist level to ensure you don’t have to bend over a lot.  While wrapping ensure your wrists are straight and that your elbows are close to your body to eliminate the need to reach. Your neck should also be straight, so that you are not leaning over. And of course, if you have a lot of gifts to wrap, take regular breaks, get up and walk around.

Nothing is worth the risk of back pain, especially at Christmas time.