Many 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 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.
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!
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!
Back pain affects 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. And it’s one of the most common reasons for people to miss work or to pay a trip to the doctor or chiropractor to find relief.
Many cases of chronic back pain can be traced back to structural problems with the spine such as scoliosis, or injuries such as car accidents or muscle strain. But some people are simply mystified about the cause of their symptoms. Yet there are many surprising things that can cause your back to play up, according to our Stoke on Trent chiropractor. Take coffee, for example. You wouldn’t think that your daily dose of caffeine could cause pain in your spine, would you? But it absolutely can!
Not many people know this but caffeine puts extra stress on the adrenal glands – just a single cup of coffee can stimulate them into overdrive! And guess where these glands are located? Right in the lower back!
Any undiagnosed back pain needs to be checked out by a reputable chiropractor or healthcare professional, but it’s always worth thinking outside of the box when it comes to the cause of your symptoms.
If you are suffering back pain then our experienced chiropractor in Newcastle under Lyme is here to help you. Call our friendly team on 01782 711 191 to book an appointment now.