Can A Healthy Lifestyle Help Your Back?

Back pain is the leading cause of disability in the United Kingdom, affecting almost 1 in 10 people.  Suffering from back pain can be debilitating and have a significant impact on your work and social life.

But did you know that making some simple lifestyle changes can reduce the amount of back pain you experience?  A recent study from researchers in Sweden found that people who lived a healthy lifestyle were much less likely to develop chronic back problems.  This article will explain why healthy living can have a positive effect on your back.

What is a healthy lifestyle?

A healthy lifestyle is living in a way that maximises your health, energy levels and physical capacity.  The five main components of healthy living include:

  1. Eating a nutritious diet
    Enjoying a healthy and balanced diet ensures that your body has the energy and nutrients it requires to remain healthy.
  2. Exercising regularly
    Adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week (half that if exercising at a high intensity). You should also perform some strength training for all major muscle groups each week.  This ensures that your muscles, ligaments, bones, and cardiovascular system remain healthy.
  3. Managing your weight
    A healthy lifestyle includes staying at a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
  4. Managing your stress levels
    Being stressed can have a dramatic impact on your body, increasing your blood sugar levels, causing anxiety, and slowing your metabolism. Finding ways to manage stress is an important part of enjoying a healthy lifestyle.
  5. Getting enough sleep
    The body uses sleep to heal the body, regulate hormones, remove toxins, and much more.  Sleep is an important part of remaining healthy and happy.

 

How will living a healthy lifestyle help your back?

Not only will living a healthy lifestyle give you more energy, improve the quality of your life, and help you live longer — it also can help you avoid back pain.  Here is how:

Better core strength to support your back

Exercising regularly will ensure that the muscles in the abdomen and lower back are well-developed.  Keeping these muscles strong will help to take some strain off your spine and provide it with support.  You will be less likely to injure or strain your back and there will be less pressure on it each day.

Better posture

Being active and physically fit will also help you improve your posture.  It will become easier to keep your spine straight when sitting, walking and running, which helps you avoid back pain.

Less weight means a healthier back

The United Kingdom is still going through an obesity epidemic with over 62% of adults being overweight or obese.  Unfortunately, carrying all of this extra weight can contribute to back pain and change the alignment of your spine. Living a healthy lifestyle helps you avoid obesity and remain in a weight range that is appropriate for your age, gender, and height.

Spending less time sitting down
Sitting down for long periods is one of the major risk factors for back pain and lumbar disorders.  Essentially, the more time you spend sitting down, the more likely it is that you will have back pain.  Living a healthy lifestyle helps because it is a more active lifestyle.  You will spend less time sitting down in front of the computer or television, and more time moving about.

Your spine will have the nutrients it needs

The human spine requires many nutrients to grow new tissue and repair itself including vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Iron, and protein.  Eating a healthy and nutritious diet ensures that your spine has all these important nutrients. 

Less risk of degenerative spinal injuries

A healthy lifestyle is one that avoids cigarettes and excessive alcohol consumption.  This can help you avoid certain illnesses and injuries.  For example, researchers have discovered that smoking can increase the risk of degenerative disc disease and lower back pain.  Other research has shown that people who drink excessively are more likely to injure their back. 

More likely to get professional help

Having a healthy lifestyle makes a person more health conscious and more likely to see a medical professional if something is wrong.  This means you won’t hesitate to see a chiropractor or general practitioner if your back hurts — which helps you identify and treat a spinal injury or other back problem before it becomes worse.

If you are suffering back pain our chiropractors at Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic are here to help you. Why not call us to book an appointment.

Brush Off The Walking Shoes And Take A Walk

As we start to leave summer behind and head into Autumn now is a great time to brush off your walking shoes and take a walk. The evenings are still light enough to get familiar with walking routes that suit you. The temperature should have cooled off but not be too cold! So no more excuses now is a great time to get off the sofa and get some exercise in.

Our chiropractors at Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic and our sister chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent can’t stress enough the importance of taking regular exercise for your overall health and well-being. It’s also really important for the health of your back. Walking is an excellent form of exercises for people of all ages.

We are very fortunate in the opportunities we have for great areas to walk in around Newcastle under Lyme and Stoke on Trent.

You may not be aware that Stoke on Trent is the greenest city in the UK. We are surrounded by green space, beautiful parks, gardens and open spaces.

So get outside, get walking and enjoy the open spaces we have around Newcastle under Lyme and Stoke on Trent.

 

 

 

Back Safe – Back To School

The Bank Holiday Weekend is over and for most parents their attention will be turned to preparing for the new school term. For some this will be the first time with all the excitement and trepidation that brings. Whether your children are heading off to school for the first time, starting a new school or simply moving up a class, our chiropractors at Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic want to help you to keep your child’s back safe with these few tips:

Backpacks

Backpacks are a great carry option, however, there are some things to be aware of.

The backpack needs to be carried and adjusted properly. The backpack should be carried on both shoulders with the straps adjusted to ensure that the backpack rests as close as possible to your child’s back.

Most children carry way to much weight in their bags. It’s a good practice to empty out the contents on a regular basis and remove unnecessary things from the bag.

Posture

Maintaining a good posture is important for a healthy spine. Nagging your child to sit up straight or stand up straight may not get you very far. To help improve posture the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has developed a simple 3 minute programme. The programme has been designed for people of all ages so you can join in with your children! You can watch the video below.

Our team of chiropractors in Newcastle under Lyme wish your children all the best for a new school term.

The Many Benefits Of Good Posture

Having good posture is an important part of remaining healthy.  It helps you avoid back pain and premature wear on your bones, improves lung performance, and much more.  In this article, we will explain what good posture is before explaining the many benefits that it provides.

What is good posture?

Posture is the form that your body takes when you are sitting, standing, and laying down.  Maintaining “good” posture is positioning your body so there is less strain placed upon your body’s muscles and ligaments when in these positions.

It requires your body to be as close to its natural shape as possible.  So if you are sitting down, this would mean:

  • Keeping your chin up and looking forward
  • Keeping your shoulders back (not slouching)
  • Bending your knees at a right angle
  • Keeping your feet flat on the floor
  • Keeping your back straight enough that all 3 natural curves of the spine are present.

Sitting with good posture distributes weight more evenly across your muscle groups — helping you avoid neck, shoulder and back pain.  It also allows you to comfortably work for longer periods and avoid some serious long-term health problems.

Having a chair with lumbar support will help you maintain good back posture.

What are the benefits of good posture?

Protects your future health

Having good posture will keep your joints correctly aligned, protecting the joint surfaces from abnormal wear-and-tear.  By preventing this type of wear-and-tear, you can lower your risk of various illnesses including arthritis and postural hunchback.

It makes it easier to breathe

The diaphragm is a large muscle that is responsible for respiration.  When the diaphragm moves, it changes how much pressure there is within the thorax — causing air to either enter or exit the lungs.

Posture affects breathing because it changes how much room the diaphragm has to move.  If you are slouched in a chair or while walking, the diaphragm cannot contract or expand as easily, preventing you from taking deep breaths.  As soon as you correct your posture, you will immediately notice how much easier it is to breathe.  This is a particularly useful benefit for anyone who has a health condition that affects their breathing.

Can help prevent back pain
Developing good posture can eliminate back pain caused by stressed muscles and poor joint alignment.  It does so by actively reducing the strain placed on the muscles and joints by spreading weight across the entire body.  This ensures that certain muscles or joints are not overworked or damaged.

Over time, having good posture will even improve the alignment of your spine, which will improve the condition of your back and reduce the risk of back injuries.  You will be less likely to suffer from herniated discs, muscle strains or other back problems. 

Improved physical performance

Good posture requires the use of more muscle groups.  Not only does this reduce the chances of straining a single muscle, it can lead to an improvement in overall physical performance.  Having the ability to engage muscles more evenly will help you perform better during daily activities and any sports that you play. 

Strengthens the core

If you have already made improvements to your sitting posture, you will have noticed that your abdominal muscles feel more engaged.  Your abdominals will be “sharing the load” with your back muscles as they keep your torso stable.  The more you improve your posture, the stronger your core will get, thus improving the alignment of your spine, reducing stress on your back muscles, and improving your mobility.

Makes you look more attractive
Have you ever seen an actor or actress on a talk show?  Did you notice how impeccable his or her posture was?  Actors and actresses concentrate on having good posture because they understand how much it affects their appearance.  By sitting tall in their seat and keeping their chin up, they will look much more beautiful or handsome to the viewers at home.  You will gain the same benefits as you improve your posture.

Improved digestion of food

Sitting or standing with good posture will ensure your internal organs are in their natural position.  This makes it easier for the body to digest food and perform other important functions like maintaining good blood circulation. 

Can improve your mood

Researchers from the University of San Francisco have discovered that having good posture can help improve a person’s mood.  They found that improved posture could also increase energy levels and reduce the risk of mental illnesses like depression.

Improving your posture can deliver some amazing benefits to your health and lifestyle.  If you are interested in developing good posture, talk to a chiropractor or general practitioner.  You can also use online resources like NHS choices to learn more.

Back Aches & Pains Are Not Uncommon During Pregnancy

During pregnancy a woman’s body goes through a lot of changes. Many of these changes will result in extra pressure and stress on the joints of the spine and for some women this can result in back aches and pains.

Some of the more common reasons for back aches and pains during pregnancy include:

  • increased lumbar curving due to the increase in weight being carried at the front of the body
  • increased breast size
  • softening of the muscles, ligaments and tendons due to the release of relaxin leading to an increase in risk of problems resulting from overstretching and lifting

Stretches and exercises may be able to help you during pregnancy and our chiropractor in Newcastle under Lyme recommends that you visit your healthcare professional who should be able to advise you on stretches and exercises that are appropriate for you.

You may also want to do the following if you are experiencing back pain during pregnancy:

  • sleep with a pillow between your legs
  • get measured for bras regularly to ensure you get the maximum support
  • keep your legs elevated as much as possible to offset the extra pressure.

We wish you all the best during your pregnancy.

 

Who Bears Back Pain The Longest – Men or Women?

back care advice from our newcastle under lyme chiropractorThe British Chiropractic Association (BCA) recently published the results of consumer research* that was undertaken on their behalf. The research revealed some interesting results with regards to how British people tolerate back and neck pain.

The research reveals that 34% of British people would wait a month or more before seeking professional help for their back or neck pain. However, women bear the pain for twice as long as men, with women taking on average six weeks and men taking on average three weeks.

The fact that people do bear back pain for weeks and sometimes months does not come as a complete surprise to our chiropractors at Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic in Newcastle under Lyme. They often treat patient who have been suffering back pain for some time before seeking help or may have been self medicating with over the counter medication before seeking professional help.

Our chiropractors recommend that anyone suffering back pain for more than a few weeks do seek professional help. Some of the  patients who visit our clinic have come to think that back pain is something “you have to live with“. Our objective at Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic is to erase this phrase from patients’ lives.

Our chiropractors are committed to providing the highest standard of care to all our patients. Every one of our patients is treated as an individual and you can rest assured that your problem will be taken seriously.

As a patient of our clinic, our highly trained and experienced chiropractors will spend the required time finding out your problem and considering the best solution for you. You will receive a consultation, where we discuss your history and investigate the cause of your complaint. We will then undertake a detailed examination and conduct X-Rays if necessary.

If our chiropractors cannot treat you, we will refer you to the appropriate specialist.

Whilst our chiropractors are experienced at treating patients suffering back pain, they advocate that prevention is better than cure. Many people are suffering back pain in this day and age due to the lifestyles that they lead. Increasingly people are moving less and leading stressful lives. This kind of lifestyle does not help the health of our spines and backs.

Simple lifestyle changes can help prevent and improve back pain. These changes include moving more, taking regular exercise, stretching, getting a good night’s sleep and maintaining good levels of hydration.

You can find information on our website that provides advice and tips on how to achieve these changes. You can also find videos with pain prevention advice when undertaking many day to day activities.

If you are suffering back or neck pain right now then our chiropractors are here to help. You can call us on 01782 711 191 to book an appointment with one of our team.

*Consumer research carried out between 28/02/2018 and 07/03/2018 on a sample of 2,066 UK adults aged 16 + on behalf of the British Chiropractic Association.

Are Sports Injuries or Niggles Holding You Back?

Whatever sport you play  and whatever level you play it at there is a high probability that at some stage you will suffer an injury or a niggle that may prevent you from continuing or affect your performance. Whether it’s a pain or a niggle our chiropractors at Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic recommend that you seek advice and treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you seek care the sooner that the problem can be addressed and treated appropriately. Injuries and niggles that are allowed to continue can get worse and take longer to treat.

Our chiropractors in Newcastle under Lyme do  treat patients who are suffering sports injuries and frequently these patients have had to stop their sporting activities after ignoring their symptoms for too long. Most frequently the types of sporting injuries that our chiropractors treat relate to the back, neck, shoulder, elbow, hip, knee or ankle.

Our chiropractors are trained and specialise in assessing, diagnosing and managing conditions relating to the musculoskeletal system i.e. the bones, joints and muscles. Whatever your injury, we are committed to finding the cause of your problem and developing a treatment plan that is unique for your condition.

When you visit out clinic you will receive a consultation, where we discuss your history and investigate the cause of your complaint. We will then undertake a detailed examination and conduct X-Rays if necessary.

If our chiropractors cannot treat you, we will refer you to the appropriate specialist.

If treatment is appropriate, we will give you a full verbal report of our findings and start the appropriate treatment. Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic will always keep you updated about your condition.

Don’t let a sports injury or niggle hold you back our chiropractors are here to help you.

 

 

Has Wimbledon Got You Reaching For Your Racket?

Two weeks of watching Wimbledon can have many people reaching for their tennis racket and heading to the tennis courts. Our chiropractors at Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic encourage people to get more active and to take regular exercise, however,  it’s important to do it in a safe way.  After all taking the exercise is meant to make you be and feel healthier and not find yourself with an injury!

Whether you are planning on hitting the tennis court or taking some other form of exercise our chiropractors have some simple steps they recommend you take to stay injury and strain free:

  • Be sure to warm up before starting
  • Ease yourself gradually into the exercise
  • Keep your fluid intake up to prevent dehydration
  • Be mindful of the pressure you are putting on your joints especially if you are repeating the same actions
  • Always allow time to warm down as part of your exercise

Before starting any new form of exercise and especially if you have a pre-existing condition it may be advisable to seek medical advice from your chiropractor or other medical professional who will be able to advise you appropriately.

Can A Chiropractor Help Your Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain is a very common condition that most people experience at some point in their lives.  In the United Kingdom, almost 10 million Britons deal with lower back pain daily and it is now considered to be a leading cause of disability by medical experts.

Fortunately, there are some very effective treatments available for lower back pain.  One of the most best options is chiropractic treatment.  It involves the non-surgical manipulation of the spine to correct alignment issues and ensure the body’s musculoskeletal structure is correct.  This article will explain how a chiropractor can help you alleviate lower back pain.

Common causes of lower back pain

There are multiple potential causes of lower back pain, but the most common include:

Strains or tears in muscles and ligaments (mechanical pain)

Many people suffer from lower back pain because they have injured the muscles or ligaments in their back.  Often, this has occurred from sports injuries, picking up heavy objects, lifting while twisting the spine, or a serious accident.  Damage to your muscles and ligaments can even be caused by sleeping in an awkward position or having improper posture for many years.

Slipped (herniated) disc
The spinal column consists of a series of bones that are stacked upon one another.  It includes bones in the cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, sacrum, and coccyx.

Each bone is cushioned by a disc, which helps your body absorb shocks.  The discs have two sections — a soft inner section and an tough outer ring.  If a disc has been damaged or weakened, the soft section may push through the tough outer lining.  This is called a herniated or slipped disc.  It can be very painful and cause inflammation in your lower back.

Pinched sciatic nerve
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body.  It consists of many nerve roots that branch out from the spine in the lower back.  If a part of the sciatic nerve is compressed by a poorly aligned spine or an injury, it can cause a significant amount of back pain.  The pain from a pinched sciatic nerve can also appear in the buttocks and legs.

Referred pain

Referred back pain is pain caused by the legs, ankles, feet, and hips that affects the back.  This can often be corrected by improving a person’s posture.

How can a chiropractor help your lower back pain?

Chiropractic treatments involve a hands-on manipulation of the body to properly align the spine and the body’s musculoskeletal structure.  This helps the body heal without the need for surgery or medication and can relieve lower back pain. 

Chiropractors often perform a spinal adjustment to realign the spine and surrounding muscles.  This procedure involves the use of controlled force to the joints of the spine to bring the spine back into its natural position.  This kind of procedure can restore mobility, help the body heal and relieve pain in the lower back.  

Some of the techniques that may be used by a chiropractor when performing a spinal adjustment include:

  • Direct thrust technique
    The chiropractor uses high velocity force to realign a specific part of the back. This is what people commonly called having your back cracked.
  • Functional technique
    Force is gradually applied to a joint until a release is felt and the joint is re-aligned.
  • Table adjustments
    The chiropractor may use a table with a drop piece that releases when they apply pressure to the spine.
  • Pelvic blocking
    The chiropractor places wedges under the patient’s body, then gently moves a spinal disc away from a nerve. The wedge helps the chiropractor move the spine with less pressure.  This technique is often used to treat a pinched sciatic nerve or slipped disc.
  • Articulatory
    The chiropractor will move joints through their full range of motion.

Over the years, various studies have looked at the effectiveness of chiropractic treatments for dealing with lower back pain.  One study, published in 2013, found that chiropractic treatments significantly decreased pain and improved function in military veterans suffering from back pain.

Other studies have found that:

  • Chiropractic treatments produce equivalent or superior results compared to other treatment methods like medication and exercise for lower back pain relief.
  • Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy in conjunction with standard medical care offers a significant advantage for decreasing pain and improving physical functioning.
  • Patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction at one month than patients treated by family physicians.

If you are suffering from lower back pain, consider visiting a chiropractor.  They may be able to correct any issues that you are experiencing and help you enjoy life without lower back pain.

Don’t Let Summer Travel Hurt Your Back

In our recent post ‘Taking to the air to reach your holiday destination’ our chiropractors at Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic shared their top pieces of advice for keeping our back safe when flying. However, we recognise that not everyone in Newcastle under Lyme, Stoke on Trent and the surrounding areas will be jetting off this summer. Whether you are driving, letting the train take the strain or hopping on a bus to whisk you to your holiday destination our chiropractors want you to keep your back safe getting there.

Here are three things that out chiropractors want you to do:

Keep moving: We can’t stress enough how important this is. Travelling usually means long periods of time sitting in confined spaces which isn’t good for our backs. There are simple exercises such as shoulder shrugs, buttock clenches and foot circles you can do even in confined spaces, so do these on a regular basis. If you are the designated driver then only do these when your car is stationary and it’s safe to do this. If you can get up and move around then do so. Once you reach your destination then get moving as quickly as possible.

Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your body and spine hydrated.

Mind your back when you are lifting and carrying: Remember to keep your back straight, feet shoulder distance apart and bend your knees when lifting your luggage. Avoid twisting your body when lifting.  Reverse the process when putting the luggage down.

Keep your back safe travelling this summer and have a wonderful time away.