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Understand your pain

Most of the patients who come to see us in our chiropractic clinic in Eastbourne do so because they are in pain. Some of them are in acute pain, which has only been going on for a very short period of time. But the majority of patients who come to see us are in chronic pain, which has been going on for months or even years, in this blog I hope to help you to understand your pain.

Inflammation and pain: acute and chronic

Inflammation often causes pain in the body. Pain varies in a lot of ways. It can be constant or intermittent. It can feel like stiffness and aches. It can be sharp, pinching, burning, and throbbing. The inflammation that caused the pain is either acute inflammation or chronic inflammation.

Acute inflammation occurs when there is an injury to the body.

The body naturally responds to this injury by creating an inflammatory response that is mediated by the immune system. It is the body’s way of trying to heal and protect itself. It does this with the purpose of repairing damage done to cells and tissues. Inflammation occurs in stages: first, there is the irritation stage. Something has happened to the body, or irritated it, and the inflammatory process begins. You can observe this phenomenon in progress when you fall and scrape your knee. It will become red, swollen, and sore. That is your body getting to work right away to heal the tissue. White blood cells come to the area and sometimes you can see pus in a wound. This is the suppuration stage. Your body is trying to destroy and expel damaged tissue and cells from the body.

Chronic inflammation is when this same process goes on, but for a prolonged period of time in the body.

This can last several months to years. The body is failing at its attempt to heal itself. This chronic state of inflammation in the body can lead to an auto immune response where the body starts to see itself as harmful and foreign, and an immune response mediates an attack on tissue that was once otherwise healthy. This type of pain is usually less intense and persistent, but not necessarily constant.

Inflammation has five things associated with it:

  1. Pain,
  2. Heat,
  3. Redness,
  4. Swelling,
  5. Loss of function.

However, inflammation can be present in the body without all five being present. For example, you can have a bleeding ulcer but not know it because there are not a lot of sensory pain receptors on organs. But when tissues such as muscles and joints get injured, they are able to communicate much better with pain receptors, especially when there is swelling, and then pain can be felt more easily.

Image shows a man gardening and holding his lower back in pain, this accompanies the blog by Deborah Ben Shah on understanding your pain

Understand your pain

Different types of pain

Pain comes in a few different types.

The first type is nociceptive pain.

This pain is caused by damaged tissue releasing certain chemicals that bind to receptors (nociceptors) in the body and trigger pain. Anti-inflammatory medications work here to interrupt this process and block pain. There is also non-nociceptive pain which occurs inside of the nervous system itself.

Then we have somatic pain.

This is sharp and localised pain and occurs within the musculoskeletal system which involves muscles, joints, ligaments, bones, and tendons. As a chiropractor, I see and treat this type of pain most often.

And finally, we have visceral pain.

Visceral pain is not easily localised. It is often a pain that is felt deep in the body and is coming from the organs, aka viscera. Kidney infections and menstrual cramps are two types of visceral pain. And they are often mistaken for pain that is arising from the back muscles and joints, aka somatic pain.

When you come to see us at our clinic in Eastbourne, our chiropractors are specialists in muscle, joint, and nerve-type pain. We know how to diagnose, manage, and treat your somatic pain through chiropractic treatments, massage, and acupuncture and we help you to understand your pain And we also advise our patients on nutrition and lifestyle changes to improve their overall health.

Thanks for reading!


Eastbourne Chiropractor’s Self Help Advice for Neck Pain and Headaches

So, you have probably read my previous blog post about Chiropractic Treatment for Neck Pain and Headaches

The post (read here) which detailed some of the types of neck pain and headaches that people such as yourself can suffer from. At the end of that article I mentioned that this following blog would discuss some very useful self-help tips that you can do at home. These will allow you to manage your symptoms and will give you a measure of control over how you are feeling. These small everyday actions achieve this by keeping your joints moving well and releasing your neck muscular tension in between your treatments, and therefore making your spine function better in general. We will discuss posture and ergonomics, but firstly, we will go through a few key neck stretches.

Neck Stretches

These are simple to do and will help to relieve your muscular tightness and can help you avoid headaches. Do them regularly (every day) and also when you feel a headache coming on. The upper trapezius muscles are the ones that you feel at the tops of your shoulders, going up into the neck, and when tight these muscles can often contribute to headaches felt up and over the head and behind the eyes. To stretch the upper trapezius muscles, begin by standing (or sitting) tall with your shoulders straight, then bring your right ear down to your right shoulder so that your head is tilted, and use your right hand to very gently pull down the head to increase the stretch. Repeat on the left side to keep it even.

The small suboccipital muscles are at the back and top of the neck. They go from the top of the neck to the base of the skull and when tight can cause headaches to be felt in that same area. To stretch the suboccipital muscles keep your shoulders and back straight (as always!) and tuck your chin down to give yourself a double chin. Then use your hands to gently pull to increase the stretch.

Eastbourne Chiropractor Vicky White shows us an example of good and bad posture. to accompany her blog on neck pain and headaches.

Eastbourne Chiropractor Vicky White gives us an example of good and bad posture.


Improving your posture is vital when you suffer from neck pain and headaches. Simply put, if you are constantly putting your spine in awkward positions then how can you expect the joints and muscles to function normally?

Awkward postures/positions and how to fix them are detailed here…

Problem    Lying on your side on the sofa.

Fix –            Sit straight on the sofa, with cushions behind you so your back is straight and with both feet flat on the floor.  The TV should be directly in front of you so you don’t need to turn your head.

Problem    Sleeping with the incorrect number of pillows (or even worse, on your front).

Fix –            Sleep on your back with one pillow or on your side with two. Speak to your chiropractor for more details as this is a whole topic in itself!

Problem –   Holding the phone between your shoulder and your ear for prolonged periods of time

Fix –            Avoid this completely

Problem –   Reading with your head tilted downwards towards your book/phone.

Fix –            Bring your book or phone up towards your face, not the other way around


Check that your desk is set up in an ergonomically correct position, and that everything you need to reach is within arm’s length. Speak to your Eastbourne chiropractor for more details, or take a photo of yourself sitting at your desk in with you to your chiropractic treatment to ask for individual detailed advice.

I hope you have found these tips useful to help control your neck pain and headaches. Please ask your chiropractor if you are ready to do these stretches at home or if you have any questions regarding your individual treatment for your neck pain and headaches.

Thanks for reading,


Eastbourne Chiropractor: A Case of Knee Arthritis

What is Knee Arthritis and How Does Chiropractic Care Help?

Eastbourne chiropractor Dr Gemma Crouch shares how chiropractic care can help relieve knee pain from arthritis. This is done through two case studies which describes the journey of many people who receive chiropractic care for knee arthritis pain relief.

Image shows Eastbourne Chiropractor Gemma Crouch to accompany her blog on knee arthritis

Eastbourne Chiropractor Gemma Crouch

Here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne we see a number of people suffering from arthritis and know just how much it can affect different aspects of your life. There are approximately 360 joints in the human body and one of the major joints targeted by arthritis is the knee. So, what really is arthritis?

Arthritis, put simply, is inflammation of a joint. There are many different types of arthritis with the most common being osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is wear and tear of a joint which most of us will suffer from as we get older. This case study looks at how ‘Mr C’ and ‘Mrs T’, fictitious characters based on guests I have seen in practice with knee arthritis, have experienced pain relief from chiropractic care.

Mr C

Mr C is 55 and came to see me in the clinic about his left knee pain and stiffness. He told me that he has suffered from knee pain on-and-off for 15 years or so. It started gradually and has become worse over the last five years and now stops him from doing most things. He used to play a lot of sports but as his knee pain became worse, he had to stop which meant he could no longer participate in his local cricket team. Mr C is also a keen gardener but struggles now with his knee to stay out for longer than half an hour at a time and notices that his knee pain is worse in the evenings. Mr C was told by his doctor that pain medication and a knee replacement was the most likely treatment for his type of knee arthritis.

Mrs T

Mrs T is 68 and came to see me in the clinic about her right knee pain and stiffness. She has suffered from knee pain on-and-off for 7 years and has noticed that it has become worse in the last 3 years and now feels like her knee clicks and grinds a lot. Mrs T and her husband are keen walkers in their spare time but these days she cannot walk more than 15 minutes without her knee starting to hurt. She told me that it is also painful to walk up and down the stairs in her house and feels like her knee gives way sometimes. Mrs T also told me that when she saw a specialist, they told her that she has osteoarthritis in her right knee and the only treatment was pain medication and a knee replacement surgery.

These two cases are common stories we hear in the chiropractic clinic for people who suffer with knee pain from arthritis. The aim of chiropractic care for people with knee arthritis is to improve the function and mobility of the knee joint itself and the surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Chiropractors believe that the body acts a functional unit and therefore we look at the body as a whole and consider all aspects to see if your ankles, hips and spine are affected by the pain in your knee. So, what is the treatment?

Most cases of knee pain caused by arthritis respond very well to conservative care provided by a chiropractor. The treatment usually involves a few different techniques to target specific areas. These include chiropractic adjustments which are gentle and direct to help restore mobility into the joints, myofascial release which relieves tension in the surrounding soft tissues and functional rehabilitation which involves exercises to help you prevent knee pain in the future.

Since receiving treatment, Mr C is now able to spend as much time as he wants in the garden without being restricted with his knee pain. Mrs T is able to return to her walking sessions with her husband and is back to her normal walking distance and feels much more confident walking up and down her stairs at home.

If you want to find out more about how chiropractic care can help you to improve your quality of life by reducing knee pain from arthritis or to make an appointment, visit Lushington Chiropractic to find out more.

Thanks for reading,

Gemma Crouch


Interesting facts about the nerves

The Nerves

The nervous system is basically the body’s electrical wiring with electrical signals being sent to and from the brain. The nervous system is made up of two parts which are the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (everything else). The peripheral nervous systems job is to connect the central nervous system with the rest of the body therefore allowing our brain to send and receive signals.

There are many interesting facts about the nerves but these are a few that I find very interesting and I hope that you do too. Next time you are visiting us here in Eastbourne ask your chiropractor to show you the nerve chart.

Image shows Eastbourne Chiropractor Mykel Mason looking at a nerve chart to accompany the blog he has written about interesting facts about the nerves.

Eastbourne Chiropractor Mykel Mason explains about the nervous system.

Nerve facts in numbers

  1. There are more nerve cells in the human body than the number of stars in the Milky Way.
  2. 100 billion neurones make up the human brain and if these were to be lined up would measure 600 miles long.
  3. In a foetus, neurones grow at 250,000 neurones per minute.
  4. 5 million neurones make up the spinal cord with the cluster of nerves at the base being the most sensitive.
  5. To connect the central nervous system to the rest of the body there are 43 different pairs of nerves. 12 pairs come out from the brain (protected by the skull) and the other 31 from the spinal cord (protected by the spine).
  6. Messages sent to the brain can travel as fast as 180 miles per hour.
  7. During the course of its first year a baby’s brain will grow to almost three times the size at birth.
  8. Because of the shape of the brain the total surface area is about 25,000 square centimetres.
  9. The brain of a man, on average, weighs around 100g more than that of a woman.
  10. The brain of a fully-grown adult is approximately three times as heavy as that of a newborn baby however, after the age of 20, we lose 1g in weight every year.

Miscellaneous Nerve facts

  1. Due to an area at the top of the neck the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and the right side of the brain the left side of the body.
  2. The brain and spinal cord begin to develop in a foetus three weeks after conception.
  3. Most of the brain, at any given point, is inactive and resting with only 4% of the cells active at any moment in time.
  4. It has been estimated that 12% of people dream in black and white. This is believed to be due to watching black and white television as most of these people are over 55.
  5. When blind people dream, whether they dream in picture is down to whether they could see when they were born or were born blind. If they were born blind dreams would typically consist of different senses such as sound, smell, taste and touch.

The study of the nervous system is called neuroscience. Nerves can be very sensitive and are susceptible to physical injury and injury through disease. This can lead to severe pain, tingling, numbness and weakness. One of the most common injuries to nerves occurs to the sciatic nerve and this is often accompanied by severe pain down the back of the leg with tingling and numbness in the foot and often weakness also. This kind of injury generally only effects one side and can be due to a multitude of things. One of the most common is a disc injury in the lower spine (slipped disc).

Look out for my next blog on interesting facts about bones.

Yours in health,

Mykel Mason, your Eastbourne chiropractor

Ice v Heat – What to use when?

Chiropractors often see problems that are chronic, that is the person has been experiencing problems months if not years. On top of this, at our clinic in Eastbourne we also regularly see new injuries that are only days old.  Among both these groups of patients, a topic that often causes a lot of confusion is icing, or rather when to ice vs when to heat. This is something that can be very confusing, so hopefully reading this blog will help you understand this topic better.

Firstly, what are ice and heat used for?

photo of Josh French, the Eastbourne chiropractor who authored this blog about ice and heat.

Joshua with Ice

Ice is primarily used for injuries. When a tissue in the body gets injured, an inflammatory process takes place. This process is healthy and natural, but unfortunately also is painful and can take a longer time to occur than it needs to. Inflammation causes the damaged tissues to become red, hot and swollen, which is where ice helps. In this sense, ice can be thought of as a mild, drugless method to reduce inflammation. Your chiropractor at our Eastbourne clinic may even use cooling gel as part of a massage or soft tissue technique to enhance this effect.

Heat on the other hand is predominantly used for muscles, stress or chronic pain. Heat can be used in this way to take the edge off of the pain, to reduce the pain of whole muscle spasms and for calming down the nervous system and the mind, which we know is a major help in chronic pain problems.

What are heat and ice not to be used for?

Due to the opposite action of ice and heat, there is the potential that using the wrong method may actually make the problem worse. Heat and inflammation in particular are a very bad combination. Remember what we discussed above: fresh injuries cause inflammation, which leaves the area red, hot and swollen. Adding heat to this area that is already warm and swollen can cause the area to swell up even more and worsen the pain.

On the contrary, ice has the potential to make muscle spasms and chronic tension worse. Trigger points, which are painful sensitive spots within muscles, often develop in people with chronic pain problems. Despite feeling like something that may be helped by ice, these trigger points can actually worsen the pain and ache more acutely if iced. This is a common mistake people make with low back pain and neck pain.

Both of these methods are pointless when unwanted – for example heating when you’re already sweating or icing when you’re already freezing. Not only will this feel very uncomfortable, but the brain can sense things that are in excess as a threat, and when this occurs, the brain may also increase the pain sensation.

So if ice is supposed to be used on injuries and heat is supposed to be used on muscles, what do you do if there is a muscle injury? After all, this is one of the most common injuries that we will encounter on a day to day basis. Unfortunately, like most questions such as this, the answer is – it depends. Usually I would recommend icing for the first couple of days at most, before switching to heat. This should only be done if it is definitely a true muscle injury. Muscle injuries are normally caused by obvious trauma or overload during intense effort, causing sudden and severe pain immediately. In cases such as this, ice can be used to take the edge off the inflammation first, and then once the worst is over heat can be used to soothe the muscle.


At the end of the day, both heat pads and ice packs are not the most powerful forms of treatment, however they have both been shown to have mild benefits, so they are well worth trying. Despite the information above, the bottom line is use whatever feels best for you. You know your body better than anyone else, and if you hate the idea of taking a dip in the Eastbourne sea at Winter, icing may not be at the top of your wishlist! Similarly if you start to use one method and decide you don’t like the feel of it, then by all means just switch to the other and see if that helps.

Thanks for reading and I hope that you have learnt something. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us here contact us here or ask us next time you are in our clinic in Eastbourne for an adjustment.

Joshua French

Low Back Pain Exercise

One of the most common problems I see at our clinic in Eastbourne is low back pain. Often this is accompanied by some hints of instability of the joints in the lower back. This is one of the most common complaints that chiropractors are trained to deal with. In the majority of low back pain complaints that I see here in Eastbourne, the true cause of the dysfunction can be traced back to the same couple of things. This is a problem that is easily fixed, and prevented, with the help of home exercises. The following low back pain exercise is very simple, and when practiced and performed daily can help to build a more injury resilient spine, and therefore keep you functioning at your best!

Image shows Eastbourne Chiropractor Joshua French to accompany his blog on low back pain exercise

Lushington Chiropractor Joshua French

Bird dog

This exercise has a funny name and can seem difficult to perform properly. However, it can still be scaled back if it is too difficult. The purpose of the Bird dog exercise is to improve the endurance capabilities of the “core” musculature, that is the muscles deep to the spine and in the abdomen. These muscles deep to the spine tend to switch off after prolonged sitting or poor movements.

To perform this exercise:

  • Get on the floor with your knees under your hips and your hands shoulder width apart
  • Keep the spine neutral and the pelvis level to the shoulders at all times
  • Maintain a firm abdominal brace before starting to initiate movement of the arms or legs. This should feel as though you are blowing up a balloon or preparing to be punched in the stomach
  • While keeping the abdominal brace, slowly move one arm out in front of you while moving the opposite leg away from you
  • Keep the arm and leg in the extended position for a second or two, and then slowly bring the arm and leg back to neutral.

Watch me performing this exercise

The above steps are one repetition, and this exercise is best performed with 12-20 repetitions on each side, done for three sets. However, as this exercises aim is to improve endurance, it is important that you do not feel too fatigued after each set. If you feel you cant complete 12 repetitions on each side without shaking and falling over, make the exercise easier. This can be done by only moving your legs, keeping your arms stationary. This will allow you to improve the endurance of the muscles we are targeting without getting too fatigued and using other muscles instead of the ones we are trying to train.

Progressions and Regressions

If this exercise is too easy for you then perform a harder variation. This exercise can be made harder by starting with your hands and knees closer to each other. This narrows your balance base, which makes you work harder on keeping your pelvis balanced and therefore works the muscles in a more extreme way.

To make it even harder, while your arm and leg are in the extended position, try to draw a square with your arm and an inverse square with your leg, such that when you move up with your arm, you move down with your leg and vice versa. This will really challenge your ability to maintain a neutral pelvis and spine position. After doing 3 sets of 15 repetitions of this on both sides, you can count yourself an expert on the bird dog exercise!

I hope this has been a helpful insight into one of the most common home exercises given by chiropractors for low back pain. Chiropractors are trained to be holistic. This means seeing a chiropractor should be more than just receiving treatment. I love to give advice about nutrition and exercises to help everyone I see improve their quality of life.  If you are having any difficulties with the exercise, please feel free to comment below or contact us at our Eastbourne clinic  if you have any other worries.

Joshua French

An interview with James Revell, Clinic Director at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne.

If you attend the clinic here in Eastbourne, you may have noticed a smart looking Chiropractor walking about wearing a tie and a big smile on his face. That man is James Revell, a Doctor of Chiropractic and Clinical Director of Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne. The thing that strikes me when talking to James, is his passion about Chiropractic and how happy he is to talk about. This made him the obvious choice of person for me to interview and to see what he has to say about Chiropractic care. In fact, James, can talk so much, we had to divide this blog into two parts!!

Hi James, thanks for agreeing to be interviewed. You’re here with your children today. Have any of them had chiropractic treatment?

Yes. My youngest had some gentle cranial chiropractic treatment when she was younger. Her brother has had check-ups on and off for most of his life. In fact, my wife had chiropractic care throughout both pregnancies. She found it helped with some of the backaches associated with pregnancy. I have seen and treated many children throughout my career as a chiropractor. I find it particularly rewarding to help pregnant mothers and babies or children of any age.

Image shows James Revell, a Doctor of Chiropractic and Clinical Director of Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne. with his 2 children.

James Revell, a Doctor of Chiropractic and Clinical Director of Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne.

Do you personally treat many children here at Lushington chiropractic clinic?

I don’t see many children anymore because my clinical hours are less than they used to be.

Having benefited from chiropractic as a child myself, I enjoy helping other young people who are suffering with aches and pains. I have seen a lot of children and young people with a wide range of conditions: from headaches to back pain. Personally I find that children respond particularly well to chiropractic treatment. I remember myself that it only took a couple of visits before I started to feel better. I now realise as a chiropractor that kind of fast response to chiropractic treatment is fairly typical for children.

It’s great when a child or teenager wants to help themselves and I’ve made some leaflets and handouts for them to give them some advice and guidance on how to improve their posture, eating habits, etc.

That’s great James, have you seen much change in the reasons children with back pain who present to the clinic over the past few years?

The biggest change I’ve seen in the last few years has been the massive use of social media with children and teenagers stooped over their phone; not only during the day, but sometimes evenings and late at night. Poor posture caused by sitting in the same position constantly can be associated with added tension within the musculoskeletal system. We are seeing more and more children coming in with headaches as a result.

Great. Taking it from the beginning, how did your chiropractic journey begin?

I was first inspired by chiropractic when I was a teenager and saw a chiropractor for my headaches and back pain. I was very impressed with the chiropractor’s manner. He could work out what was causing my headaches and back pain and more importantly to do something about it. I was impressed by the chiropractor’s qualifications and the practical approach to treating aches and pains.

However, I did not see chiropractic listed in any university prospectuses so I decided to take biological sciences as a degree at university. Whilst there I injured my back and neck which resulted in me trying physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment again. The physiotherapist was a lovely lady, but clearly fed up with her job and strongly recommended I consider something other than physiotherapy as a way of helping people. Then I asked my chiropractor about studying to be a chiropractor myself. He was overwhelmingly positive.

I applied and was accepted to study chiropractic sciences at the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic. I decided to finish my Biology degree first before embarking on my chiropractic studies and career.

James Revell, a Doctor of Chiropractic and Clinical Director of Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne pictured outside of the clinic.

James Revell, a Doctor of Chiropractic and Clinical Director of Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne.

Where did you see your first chiropractor?  

I grew up on the Sussex coast, just outside of Brighton, which is where my chiropractor worked. I did not realise at the time that he was a specialist paediatric chiropractor. My sister saw him first for her headaches and my Mum eventually plucked up the courage to also see him for her bad shoulder. Which subsequently got better.

To be continued….

Look out for the second part of this interview.


What is McTimoney Chiropractic and how is it different from the Chiropractic we do here in Eastbourne?

The differences between McTimoney Chiropractic and the Chiropractors here at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic?

You may have noticed some chiropractors advertise themselves as McTimoney Chiropractors. You might be wondering what a McTimoney chiropractor is and how they differ from the Chiropractors here at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne? This isn’t a straight forward question to answer as it involves a bit of over generalisation about chiropractors and McTimoney Chiropractors. The trouble when explaining the differences between Chiropractic and McTimoney, is chiropractic is the name of a profession and not a technique or approach. Within the profession there are a variety of different approaches and Techniques. One Chiropractor may work very differently to another Chiropractor in terms of evaluation and treatment.

It is also worth mentioning that I have not trained using McTimoney technique. So, I am not an expert in that technique and may present information with an unintentional bias towards what I do. But I can tell you what I do know about McTimoney. This is based on my knowledge from speaking to different McTimoney Chiropractors at various seminars. Plus, the information I gathered from the McTimoney Chiropractic College website.

What is McTimoney Chiropractic?

McTimoney Chiropractors are graduates of McTimoney College Chiropractic. The college bases its training on a particular technique developed by a chiropractor called John McTimoney. The technique is quite distinctive and a separate branch of chiropractic. Their main tool is a specific type of adjustment that doesn’t cause the audible popping or cracking sound. It is very gentle and involves a flicking motion on specific joints within the spine. The course is a 5-year part time course, although recently they have added a full-time curriculum. There is less emphasis on learning soft tissue techniques, rehabilitation exercises or how to take x-rays within the curriculum.

Where did I train to become a Chiropractor?

I personally trained at the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) where there was a strong focus on evidence informed treatments. This included chiropractic adjustments (spinal manipulation), rehabilitative exercise, soft tissue massage and stretching techniques, alongside other useful strategies to help prevent further injury. We were taught how to take and read x-rays. The type of adjusting I was taught and use, often results in an audible joint popping sound. This is caused by Nitrogen gas leaving the joint. I also use gentler techniques, for those who aren’t keen on the noise. My main aim with the adjustments is to increase movement within the joints and to ease muscle tension.

So what is the difference?

Starting with the adjustments used, the McTimoney chiropractors will focus their adjustments on misaligned vertebrae and will follow a specific protocol to determine which areas of the body require an adjustment. Whereas my adjustments are based on a range of factors including posture, pain location and more importantly where movement is lacking in the spine. So, our approach as to where in the spine the adjustment is performed is different.

Around stiff joints there is normally a tight muscle. So here in Eastbourne, I use more soft tissue massaging techniques and stretching techniques to relieve the tension within the tight muscles. This is something a lot of McTimoney Chiropractors tend to avoid doing, unless they’ve done additional post graduate training.

Image shows Eastbourne Doctor of Chiropractic Stuart Soffe with a guest at Lushington Chiropractic

Eastbourne Doctor of Chiropractic Stuart Soffe with a guest at Lushington Chiropractic who is kneeling on the bench and stretching his arm

One of the areas I am passionate about in chiropractic is the rehabilitation side of things. Being able to identify specific areas within the body that require strengthening, stretching or better muscle control through various functional tests. Is something I find useful in preventing further injury. Traditionally this isn’t an area McTimoney Chiropractors would typically focus on quite as much. Although I have met some McTimoney Chiropractors with an interest for rehab at various seminars.

If you have any questions about the blogs or would like to know any more information. Do not hesitate to contact me here Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne.

Thank you for reading my blog, Stuart Soffe, DC, MChiro, PGCert, MRCC

How to do a Proper Squat

Squats are really excellent exercises to train the core muscles and to get the whole of the lower body working together. The problem with the squat is technique is incredibly important.  The number of times I have seen people squatting incorrectly in the gym is ridiculous. As a result, I have written this blog to teach you how to do a proper squat without weight and you can then add weight afterwards. It is important to do this first without weight as you can then perfect the technique. If a weight is too heavy, your body compensates and therefore you lose the technique.

A Proper Squat

The most effective squat is defined by two components:

  1. Keeping the back straight
  2. Not allowing your knees to go over your toes.

These two work hand-in-hand to work the muscles in the correct way.

Image shows Mykel demonstrating how to perform a good squat with his back arched and his lower leg perpendicular to the ground.

Eastbourne Doctor of Chiropractic Dr Mykel Mason demonstrating a good squat technique.

To do a proper squat it will feel like you are going to sit down, and this is a good way to imagine it. Your weight will drop backwards and therefore the upper part of your body will come forwards to counteract the weight distribution. Everyone has a different depth of squat. This all depends on your flexibility, not your strength. Your hamstrings will dictate how low you can go.  When you are at your limit you will feel a pulling in the hamstrings. If you go too far, this will then cause your low back to start to curve in the opposite direction because the buttocks are being pulled under.

Common Squat Mistakes

The most common mistakes that happen are the knees going over the toes and the low back rounding. This is common because people are trying to go too low, or lift too heavy a weight.  Due to this the body compensates and these are the areas that suffer. What can also happen is that when you go too low the tightness in the back of the legs causes your heels to come up. This will only happen if the knees are going over the toes though.

Image shows Mykel Mason demonstrating a poor squat technique with his back rounded, knees going forward over his toes and heels off the ground.

Image shows Eastbourne Chiropractor Mykel Mason demonstrating a poor squat technique with his back rounded, knees going forward over his toes and heels off the ground.

Why is Squat Technique So Important?

Squat technique is so important to train the body correctly and to prevent injury. When you are lifting a heavy weight if the technique is incorrect, the rounding in your back can lead to injury as this puts extra pressure on the small muscles within the spine, the ligaments holding the spine together and the disc. Consequently, in my clinical experience I have seen many injuries that have stemmed from poor squat form.  Good technique can actually help to strengthen the low back and leg muscles and therefore help to prevent injury.

This can be used as an effective strengthening exercise and I regularly give this to my patients to help to strengthen the core and to help lifting and bending technique.

I hope this has been helpful, and if you have any further questions please feel free to give me a call at Lushington Chiropractic clinic in Eastbourne on: 01323 722499.

Yours, in health

Mykel Mason
Your Eastbourne Chiropractor

Natural relief from referred or radiating low back pain

What is radiating low back pain?

Radiating low back pain is characterised by constant or intermittent low back pain that causes referred buttock, hip, and thigh pain. The problem usually extends down just one leg and can reach as far as the knee. The pain is described as a travelling, shooting pain that is aggravated by sitting – especially for prolonged periods of time. Low back pain associated with sciatica will give you pain in the low back and buttocks or thigh, but might travel below the knee and have associated symptoms like numbness, tingling and burning pain.

 Natural treatment for radiating low back pain

Low back pain often clears up on its own within a few weeks or a few months, but there are some ways you can help to alleviate your symptoms naturally.

 1. Yoga

Your chiropractor can advise you on some home stretching exercises to help manage your pain.

There are certain yoga poses such as the cat and camel, the cobra, and the child pose that can help relieve symptoms. An internet search of these poses will show you how to perform them.

Image shows a girl performing the yoga child pose to help naturally relieve low back pain

A girl performing the yoga child pose to help naturally relieve low back pain

 2. Alternating between ice and heat

Use ice and heat alternately as a natural way to ease your pain. Ice is a natural anti-inflammatory because it constricts blood flow to the area on which it is applied and slows down the pain signals going along the nerves to the brain. Heat, on the other hand, can increase blood flow to the deep muscles which increases their circulation and nourishes and helps them heal and also relaxes the muscles.

I often advise my patients to use heat from a hot water bottle or to take a hot bath, then do some yoga stretches and follow up by putting ice on the area. This can be done a few times a day. Make sure you have a protective barrier such as a tea towel, between your skin and the ice or heat to avoid skin irritation and don’t leave either on for more than 20 minutes at a time.

 3. Avoid sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time

Sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time such as sitting at your desk, sitting at a computer, studying, being a couch potato, or commuting can all exacerbate your symptoms. Getting up and moving around can help relieve the pain. If you were on a long drive, stop every two hours, get out of the car, walk around and stretch for 10 minutes before getting back in your car. And if you’re sitting at a desk all day, get up and go to the drinking fountain, or find some other excuse to get up and walk around and stretch.

Low back pain is incredibly common in one form or another. It is estimated that 80% of the population suffer from back pain at one time or the other, and when left to worsen it can cause serious long-term health problems. If you are struggling with your back, it is important that you seek help from a qualified professional, rather than simply hoping that the problem goes away.

If you are based in the Eastbourne area, why not come and see the team here at Lushington Chiropractic. We’d love to see you and advise you on the best ways to tackle your discomfort.

Thanks for reading,