McTimoney Chiropractor in Eastbourne
Hi, I’m a McTimoney chiropractor practicing in Eastbourne. I often get asked about McTimoney chiropractic. Some people want to know what the McTimoney Chiropractic technique feels like. Others are interested in my journey to becoming a chiropractor here in Eastbourne, especially as I started my clinical practice life as a graduate sports massage therapist. This blog is my first attempt to answer some of these questions. If you are looking for a McTimoney Chiropractor in Eastbourne then I’d love to help. I’m the only McTimoney chiropractor in our Eastbourne chiropractic clinic and am always happy to answer questions.
What is Chiropractic? And McTimoney Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is defined by the General Chiropractic Council as: “Chiropractic is a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints and muscles), and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health. There is an emphasis on manual treatments including spinal adjustment and other joint and soft-tissue manipulation.
Chiropractors have a specialist interest in neck and back pain but when they assess their patient they take their entire physical, emotional and social wellbeing into account.
Chiropractors use a range of techniques to reduce pain, improve function and increase mobility, with an emphasis on hands-on manipulation of the spine.
They may also offer advice on diet, exercise and lifestyle, and rehabilitation programmes that involve exercises to do in your own time. Some chiropractors may also offer other treatments, such as acupuncture”.
Recently a chiropractic patient of mine here in Eastbourne asked me “What’s so different about a McTimoney chiropractor?”. They’d read something about McTimoney Chiropractic in the press and wanted to know more.
I explained that a McTimoney Chiropractor is a chiropractor that has had specialist chiropractic training to use the chiropractic technique called “McTimoney”. I have discussed the McTimoney chiropractic technique itself later in this blog.
I also explained that the techniques I used on them were actually a combination of diversified chiropractic technique, acupuncture and McTimoney, because I’ve done extensive post-graduate training in a wide range of chiropractic techniques. One of the benefits of working in such a large and established clinic in Eastbourne is that we share techniques and knowledge with each other.
McTimoney Chiropractic Technique
There are many chiropractic approaches and techniques used around the world, often named after their originator. I graduated as a Doctor of Chiropractic from the McTimoney College of Chiropractic.
The chiropractic approach I follow is the McTimoney approach which was developed by the late John McTimoney in 1972. Check out this link to the biography of John McTimoney.
The McTimoney approach is typified by a whole-body assessment, which uses light force adjustments making it a comfortable technique to receive. The adjustment demands great sensitivity and skill and is extremely effective. The purpose of McTimoney chiropractic is to balance and realign your body to help relieve discomfort and pain, it may also help to increase your mobility.
The McTimoney chiropractic technique can be used on people of all ages from the very young, including babies to the elderly, frail and infirm. The McTimoney technique is a gentle and effective manipulative technique that treats the whole body to maintain and correct the alignment of the spine and allow the nervous system to function at its optimum potential. Quick, gentle adjustments are used to bring your body back into balance, reducing restrictions, relieving pain and promoting natural healing. X-rays are not routinely used, and McTimoney chiropractors rely on their finely tuned sense of touch to palpate restrictions in the spine.
Problems can occur due to a traumatic incident like a car accident or a fall from a horse or they can be the result of the build of tension and stress in the body due to the repetitive activities of daily living.
Activities such as sitting at a computer for prolonged periods, doing lots of driving or carrying young children are all part of many peoples’ daily lives and these are the sort of things that can cause a build-up of tension, pain and stiffness. Some of these activities may resonate with you!
I have found that people with cervicogenic headaches respond exceptionally well to the McTimoney technique. People often say that they feel lighter and more flexible after experiencing the McTimoney approach to chiropractic care. I had a 12-year-old girl who was getting headaches almost every other day and after receiving just one McTimoney treatment her headaches significantly reduced. After she completed her plan of care she did not experience any headaches at all! She was very happy when she started her new term at school in September headache free.
Interestingly McTimoney chiropractic is often used on animals. For more than 40 years, those trained in McTimoney animal techniques have been helping horses, dogs, cats and farm animals. Even more exotic animals have benefited from the technique. Again, the whole body is assessed and treated to eliminate the cause, and not just the symptoms.
In my experience I find that McTimoney is most helpful with people that do not like or respond well to the traditional chiropractic techniques that may involve audible ‘clicking’, and often the elderly who are nervous about the stronger chiropractic techniques also respond very well, which has made it a particularly popular in my work as a chiropractor in Eastbourne.
To summarise, McTimoney Chiropractic is the use of the specialist McTimoney chiropractic techniques used by a chiropractor. Sometime those chiropractors who use McTimoney chiropractic restrict themselves to that technique alone. However, as I mentioned earlier, I prefer to use a wide range of techniques to suit the individual and their needs. That means I can combine a range of chiropractic techniques with the McTimoney chiropractic technique to get the best possible results. I also combine acupuncture, some massage/soft tissue release and muscle energy (stretching) techniques to help. I found that this combination of techniques seems to be particularly helpful to my elderly chiropractic patients here in Eastbourne.
Looking for a McTimoney Chiropractor in Eastbourne?
So, if you’re looking for a McTimoney Chiropractor please come and visit me at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne to find out more. I have been working in the health care profession as a sports massage therapist and now chiropractor since 2009. You will find me kind, caring and attentive to your recovery. As a McTimoney chiropractor, I have a very finely tuned sense of touch, developed over my 5 years of training, which enables me to identify misalignments and restrictions of the vertebrae and other bones in the body.
You’re first chiropractic visit would be a consultation that takes about an hour. After that I’d explain what we found, how we can help you and discuss what your chiropractic treatment plan would be and answer any questions you may have.
Lushington Chiropractic is Eastbourne’s largest and most award-winning chiropractic clinic. We are based in Eastbourne’s town centre, with easy parking and accessible rooms. Our chiropractic clinic is open late and Saturdays. We have a lovely team of chiropractors serving the people of Eastbourne so if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me on 01323 722499.
Thanks for reading.
Differences between Chiropractic associations
As a Doctor of Chiropractic in Eastbourne I often get asked about the chiropractic associations and the difference between them. In this blog I share information about the different associations and why we require them. Another commonly asked question is the difference between chiropractic, osteopathy and physiotherapy which I have briefly explained in this blog. However, one of my colleagues at Lushington chiropractic in Eastbourne wrote a fabulous blog explaining this in further detail. Check out the links towards the end of this blog to be enlightened.
I am currently a member of the McTimoney Chiropractic Association (MCA) and the United Chiropractic Association (UCA), as I believe that these are the ones that resonate with me as a chiropractor and whom support me entirely as a Doctor of chiropractic in Eastbourne.
The McTimoney Chiropractic Association currently governs membership, ethical conduct, and provides insurance for its members. There are currently over 550 members in the United Kingdom, which represent over a quarter of the profession, plus a small number overseas. The McTimoney Chiropractic Association is the second largest professional chiropractic association in Europe.
Here’s how the McTimoney Chiropractic Association define chiropractic:
“Chiropractic is a primary health care profession focused on your health and wellbeing”.
“Emphasis is placed on the spine and the neuro-musculo-skeletal system and how conditions affecting these areas can affect your health and performance. Chiropractors do not use medicines or surgery and the gentle manual approaches we use are extremely safe and comfortable to receive.
Chiropractic care is used regularly to help maintain good posture, promote health and improve performance, no matter what it is you do, from a high-performance athlete to a senior member of the community enjoying a potter in the garden. Patients undergoing chiropractic care often report benefits from back, neck and general joint pain, headaches, sports injuries and many other conditions.
Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle advice.
Chiropractic students in the United Kingdom study for four to five years to gain their Integrated Masters in Chiropractic (MChiro) degree. In the United Kingdom, chiropractors are Statutorily Regulated by the General Chiropractic Council (GCC)”.
Similarly, the United Chiropractic Association defines chiropractic as:
“Chiropractic is a major contributor to natural health in the UK. And for many good reasons:
Chiropractors avoid drugs and surgery. Our approach is to remove nervous system disruptions (usually along the spine) that can restore your ability to self-heal.
Chiropractors provide care that is safe. Because the techniques used by chiropractors are acquired over years of study and experience, chiropractors have an enviable safety record. In fact, in the words of a classic New Zealand study, chiropractic care is “remarkably safe.”
Both the McTimoney Chiropractic Association and the United Chiropractic Association have a big focus on health and wellbeing and how chiropractic optimises health. In contrast, the British Chiropractic Association has a pain based, functional approach to chiropractic care.
The British Chiropractic Association defines chiropractic as:
“Chiropractors use a range of techniques to reduce pain, improve function and increase mobility, including hands-on manipulation of the spine. As well as manual treatment, chiropractors are able to offer a package of care which includes advice on self-help, therapeutic exercises and lifestyle changes.
Chiropractic treatment involves safe, often gentle, specific spinal manipulation to free joints in the spine or other areas of the body that are not moving properly. Apart from manipulation, chiropractors may use a variety of techniques including ice, heat, ultrasound, exercise and acupuncture as well as advice about posture and lifestyle”.
After five years of study, licensing examinations and continuing education seminars, chiropractors in the United Kingdom are at the top of their game, using proven techniques and natural methods to help you get well and stay well.
As a doctor of chiropractic in Eastbourne I will honour your health goals. Whether you require short-term relief or lifetime wellness care, I will be ready to listen, provide choices and support you and your family in achieving your individual health goals with a view to potentially optimise your life.
In summary, each chiropractic association embraces a different belief system and a different chiropractic approach to chiropractic care. I am very fortunate and honoured to be working at Lushington Chiropractic clinic in Eastbourne because I am supported by a large team of chiropractors whom all enjoy sharing various chiropractic skills and techniques with each other and whom all have different beliefs and approaches in the way they work as a Doctor of chiropractic enabling us the opportunity to give the very best care to all walks of life.
What’s the Difference Between Chiropractic, Osteopathy and Physiotherapy
Another hot topic for my Eastbourne patient’s is “what the differences are between physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractors?”.
Generally, in my experience, physiotherapists work on soft tissues and do not usually involve spinal manipulation; osteopaths use longer lever techniques to manipulate the spine and various other joints and chiropractors applies short levers to adjust individual vertebrae. As mentioned above, one of my lovely colleagues at Lushington chiropractic Eastbourne has written a blog comparing the differences between physiotherapist and chiropractors here, and also between osteopaths and chiropractors here.
If you would like to find out more about the chiropractic associations and discover more about chiropractic in Eastbourne, then come and visit us at Lushington Chiropractic.
Lushington Chiropractic is Eastbourne largest and most award-winning chiropractic clinic. We are based in Eastbourne’s town centre, with easy parking and accessible rooms. Our chiropractic clinic is open late and Saturdays. We have a lovely team of chiropractors serving the people of Eastbourne so if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me on 01323 722499.
Eastbourne cyclists and runners discover Sports Massage
The growing popularity of cycling and running in Eastbourne has led to an increased demand for Sports Massage. Massage is no longer just a luxury for elite athletes, it’s for everyone. One of the reasons that more people are joining in with these sports is that Eastbourne has been hosting some fantastic events which have inspired all ages to take part. Fitness enthusiasts are taking advantage of the great natural outdoor playing field that Eastbourne is.
As the popularity of outdoor pursuits continues to grow in Eastbourne, cyclists and runners seek support for performance and sports injury management from therapists at local clinics. Sports Massage is now also a large part of Chiropractic clinics in Eastbourne and for those who are yet to discover it I’ve opened up the benefits of it here.
So, what is Sports Massage for?
Sports Massage uses a variety of different techniques to soften the stress and tension which can build up in the tissues of the body after any physical activity. Micro tears and damage are quickly broken down during a treatment. Whether you are just beginning to run or cycle or if you are a dedicated athlete training hard for a future event, Sports Massage can keep those niggling injuries away that can slow achievement and affect performance.
How does it feel? – Will it hurt?
Sports Massage can be a deeper and more intense experience than having a softer massage like perhaps ‘aromatherapy’ It’s purpose is to ‘fix’ the problem. One of the reasons that some treatments can be a bit painful after training/exercise is because the muscles have been contracted during the workout and the massage is stretching them out, lengthening the muscle fibres and increasing blood flow which promotes speedy healing. A painful massage usually means that you need to have treatment more often. Supple relaxed muscles do not hurt when pressed and squeezed.
How do I know when I need a Sports Massage?
You don’t have to be injured to have a Sports Massage. If you are feeling stiff and it’s difficult to stretch and do ordinary movements then you may have left it a bit long in between treatments. As soon as you feel fatigue and a few tight muscles during your training, book in straight away and keep it regular. Maintenance treatments once or twice a month are usually enough unless you increase your training hours.
The key muscles for cyclists to look out for:
For a cyclist, the main muscles used are in the hips and legs, revolving at 80 – 100 reps per minute they are responsible for producing speed and power. These muscle groups include:
- The Quadriceps- Thigh muscles. A group of four muscles working together. Used at the top of the ‘push ‘ phase of a pedal rotation for forwards propulsion. Look out for Quadriceps Tendinitis- painful thigh muscle where it joins the knee.
- Hamstrings- At the back of your legs. Susceptible to microtear and shortening (feeling tight) especially during strenuous cycling in a low gear. Used during the ‘push ‘ phase of a pedal rotation with the Glutes.
- Calves – Used during the ‘pull-up’ phase of a pedal rotation, calves can become tight and overused this can travel into the Achilles tendon and create irritation and inflammation or Achilles Tendinitis/Tendinopathy.
- Glutes. – Around your bottom. Here you have a group of three muscles working in synchronicity at slightly different points of the ‘push’ phase: a large band of muscle (Glute. Max.) overlaying slightly smaller band (Glute. Medius) which overlay the smaller band of bottom muscles (Glute. Min.) Seated Climbing in too heavy a gear can lead to micro-tear, dysfunction and painful cycling.
- ITB Syndrome (Ilio-Tibial-Band)- A strong band which lies on the outside of the thigh and joins into the Glutes. Biomechanical issues, bad bike set-up and overuse can all lead to the ITB becoming shortened and tight. Left untreated irritation can occur at the knee where the ITB joins into. Known as ITB Syndrome. Painful and restrictive.
The key muscles for runners:
Running is one of the simplest ways to stay fit but it has its down side. Due to the forces placed on the body on impact and propulsion, it has the highest incidence of injuries of all sports. This impact will also create tightness, shortening and hardness of the muscles involved which is why regular Sports Massage is important.
Common running injuries to watch out for are:
- Plantar Fasciitis- under the sole of the foot, this band will become irritated if you run too far too soon or run too much on hard or undulating surfaces.
- Calf strain or tears – forefoot runners are more susceptible to calf problems.
- Achilles Tendinopathy- inflammation of the tendon above the heel. Overuse.
- Hamstring tear or strain.
- Glute tear or strain.
At my Eastbourne runners’ clinic, I encourage athletes to have regular monthly maintenance treatments to avoid injuries.
If you would like to find out how I can help you then book a sports massage with me by telephoning Lushington Chiropractic on 01323722499.
Why inflammation isn’t necessarily a bad thing
Are you suffering from inflammation?
If you come to visit our chiropractic clinic in Eastbourne, it is most likely due to the fact that you have some type of joint or muscle ache, or perhaps a trapped nerve.
It is our job as chiropractors to perform a chiropractic examination which will assess the function of your muscles, joints, and nerves. We will also look at your lifestyle, diet, and other illnesses that you may have. This helps us to get to the root of your problem so we can determine if we are able to help you through chiropractic care or not.
Usually, when you feel pain, there is some type of inflammation going on in your body. As chiropractors, we try to figure out exactly what the source of inflammation is. Often, it is due to things such as arthritis, sport-related injuries, posture, or the joints just not working and moving at their best.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is a normal and healthy process that goes on in our bodies. It can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing. When inflammation is acute, it’s a good thing. But when inflammation becomes chronic, that’s when it becomes bad.
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 is 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.
Once this phase has passed, the tissue begins to repair itself and close and reinforce the wound. This is the granulation stage. New and stronger tissue is being rebuilt in the area. It forms scar tissue which is stronger tissue than what was there before it because the body is very clever and wants to make sure it does not get injured again. This process happens on the outside of the body as well as on the inside of the body in tissues you can’t see. People often seem surprised when I tell them it is possible to have scar tissue inside the body.
Chronic inflammation is when this process goes on 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. Chronic inflammation has been linked to cancer, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease, and Crohn’s disease. Many patients have come to our clinic in Eastbourne for back pain and often have associated illnesses such as these.
Our body has an innate intelligence. It knows how to heal itself most of the time. As a chiropractor, I try to identify if there is something related to the muscles, joints, or nerves that might be interfering with this process. I also advise patients on nutritional aspects of inflammation. There are many foods that can cause inflammation in the body such as sugar, grains, and dairy. And other foods such as blueberries, flaxseed, and turmeric can help fight inflammation.
If you live in the Eastbourne area, and want to know if I can help in anyway, please feel free to call the clinic and arrange for a free complimentary chat with me.
I have also written other blogs about diet and inflammation on this site if you are interested in further reading.
Click here to read my blog – Inflammation in the joints – what causes it and how nutrition can help.
Thanks for reading
An Eastbourne Chiropractor’s advice for muscle spasm in the lower back
Muscle spasm is one of the things that I most commonly see lots of conditions can have associated muscle spasm. As a specialist in muscle joint and trapped nerve type problems it is my job to ask, ‘why is this muscle in spasm’. Often people will think that the muscle spasm itself is the root cause, and yes this may be causing a lot of the pain but the real question is ‘why is this muscle in spasm?’ If you address the underlying issue, then the muscle spasm will not need to be there.
Causes of muscle spasm in the low back
There are many different causes of muscle spasm. Take for example muscle spasm in the low back. This can be caused by a ligament sprain in one of the small ligaments around the joints in the spine. This can be caused by many things but the most common reason I find is bending and twisting whilst lifting. Another cause of muscle spasm in the low back could be damage to the disc in the lower lumbar spine. This damage could be a slipped disc. In this instance the body contracts certain muscles to prevent the body going into the positions that aggravate the disc. This is what we call an antalgic posture. An antalgic posture with muscle spasm can also be caused by inflammation in the joints of the low back. All of these problems can cause the same sort of muscle spasm but all have different associated healing times.
Treatment of muscle spasm
The treatment for muscle spasm all depends on the cause. Understanding what is causing the muscle spasm is the most important thing. With acute muscle spasm, anything less than 72 hours I’d say, ice is a very effective tool. No matter what the underlying cause ice helps to relax inflammation and therefore can ease muscle spasm by easing the underlying cause. When using an ice pack, you want to apply it for ten minutes, take it off for twenty, and apply it for another ten. Make sure that you do not apply the ice pack directly to the skin as this can cause an ice burn, ensure you wrap it up first.
Many other things can help including massage, chiropractic, physiotherapy, osteopathy, exercise, medication and rest. To know what is best, is to identify the root cause which means being assessed by a specialist such as a chiropractor, who is a specialist in muscle, joint and trapped nerve type problems.
What should I do if my back goes into spasm
If your back was to go into spasm the first thing to do will be to get some ice on it. Do as said above with regards to how and repeat often is key in those early stages. Try to keep moving, as long as it is not too painful, and rest too. Regular little walks and regular little rests.
The most important thing, especially if you have had episodes like this in the past, is to get it checked out properly. This is to find out what the best plan going forwards is and if there is anything that can be done to prevent this kind of problem in the future.
If you have muscle spasm and have any questions then feel free to ring Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne on 01323 722499.
Yours in health,
Mykel Mason, your Eastbourne chiropractor.
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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,
Interesting facts about 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.
Nerve facts in numbers
- There are more nerve cells in the human body than the number of stars in the Milky Way.
- 100 billion neurones make up the human brain and if these were to be lined up would measure 600 miles long.
- In a foetus, neurones grow at 250,000 neurones per minute.
- 5 million neurones make up the spinal cord with the cluster of nerves at the base being the most sensitive.
- 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).
- Messages sent to the brain can travel as fast as 180 miles per hour.
- During the course of its first year a baby’s brain will grow to almost three times the size at birth.
- Because of the shape of the brain the total surface area is about 25,000 square centimetres.
- The brain of a man, on average, weighs around 100g more than that of a woman.
- 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
- 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.
- The brain and spinal cord begin to develop in a foetus three weeks after conception.
- Most of the brain, at any given point, is inactive and resting with only 4% of the cells active at any moment in time.
- 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.
- 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,
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?
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.