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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

 

Sugar – Which sugars you should and shouldn’t be eating.

Unfortunately, most adults and children in the UK are eating far too much sugar.

Most of the time we are unaware of the amount of sugar that is in the food we are consuming.  The obvious ones of course sweets, chocolates and fizzy drinks. But what about the foods we don’t think of that contain ‘natural’ free sugars such as in: honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices.

The NHS suggests that free or added sugars shouldn’t make up more than 5% of calories that you consume each day. That’s a maximum of 30g (seven sugar cubes) of added sugar a day for adults and children aged 4-6 years of age should have less than 19g, and no more than 24g (6 sugar cubes) for children aged 7 to 10 years old.

Top tips to cut down on sugar intake from Lushington Chiropractor Dr Caroline Mulliner:

  • Instead of sugary fizzy drinks or sugary squash, go for water, lower-fat milks, or sugar-free, diet and no added sugar drinks. Remember that even unsweetened fruit juice is sugary, so limit the amount you have to no more than 150ml a day.
  • If you prefer fizzy drinks, try diluting fruit juice with sparkling water.
  • If you take sugar in hot drinks or add sugar to your breakfast cereal, gradually reduce the amount until you can cut it out altogether.
  • Rather than spreading jam, marmalade, syrup, treacle or honey on your toast, try a lower-fat spread, sliced banana or lower-fat cream cheese instead.
  • Check nutrition labels to help you pick the foods with less added sugar, or go for the lower-sugar version.
  • Choose wholegrain breakfast cereals, but not those coated with sugar or honey.

Some sugar alternatives

There are now so many sugar alternatives on the market it can become confusing and difficult to know where to start, so here is a quick summary of some of the possible alternatives.

Honey

Honey comprises of 80% natural sugars, 18% water and 2% minerals, vitamins, pollen and protein, because of this, honey is slightly higher in nutrients than table sugar and also contains wonderful antimicrobial properties, but it still contains calories.

100g of caster sugar provides 400kcals of energy and 100g of carbohydrates, the equivalent amount of pure clear honey provides on average, 330kcals of energy and 81g of carbohydrates.

Honey is also ideal for baking cakes as it attracts water and keeps them moist for longer.

Agave nectar

Agave is a sweetener that comes from several species of the agave plant, it consists of glucose and fructose.

The syrup is about 1.5 times sweeter than table sugar and has a similar consistency to honey. It is often used as an alternative to sugar given it has a much lower glycaemic index than that of sucrose. The glycaemic index is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels.

Low Glycaemic Load High Glycaemic load
Oatmeal Baked beans
Eggs Butternut squash
Olives Chips
Cheese Parsnips
Black beans Potatoes
Turkey Peas
Salmon Sweet potato
Tuna Banana
Cottage cheese Figs
Almonds Dates
Macadamia nuts Mango
Avocado Raisins
Tofu Bread
Tomato Biscuits
Lettuce Bulgar wheat
Mushroom Cakes
Cucumber Noodles
Peach Popcorn
Any berries Rice
Asparagus Ketchup
Pineapple Honey
Chickpeas Maple syrup
Pears Ice cream
Chicken Sugar
Raw Carrots Jelly
Kidney beans Fruit juices
Plums Watermelon
Courgette Cereals

Stevia

Stevia is a natural sweetener made from the leaves of the stevia plant. Steviol glycosides are high intensity sweeteners, 250-300 times sweeter than sucrose, and comes in liquid or powder form.

It has no calories, contains no sugar or carbohydrates and boasts a glycemic index of 0, making it attractive to dieters.

Coconut palm sugar

The newest trend of the sugar alternative world is coconut sugar. Produced from the sap of the coconut palm’s flower buds, coconut palm sugar has a glycaemic index rating of 35, much lower than refined sugar.

It has also been found to contain amino acids, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron and B vitamins.

It can be used in the same amounts as refined table sugar in recipes.

Find out more about me by visiting my website www.clearlychiropractic.co.uk

Caroline Mulliner Doctor of Chiropractic at Lushington Chiropractic explains about the different types of sugars.

Caroline Mulliner Doctor of Chiropractic at Lushington Chiropractic explains about the different types of sugars.

Caroline

 

Are you getting enough sleep?

Sleep

Sleep is an essential process that we all should be doing each night. This time is crucial for growing, healing and repair. An average amount of sleep of six hours or less has been shown to increase our risk of developing illness.

What regulates our sleep?

The two main components of sleep regulation are Melatonin and Cortisol. These are both hormones made by the body. Melatonin helps to get our bodies to sleep, it builds as the day light decreases and it starts reducing around 4am. The next hormone that takes over is Cortisol, this starts building from the early hours to help us wake up.

The process of sleep

Sleep has five phases, which take a total of 90 minutes to complete. At the end of this cycle we usually lightly awaken before the cycle starts again.

Stage one lasts for about five minutes, it’s when our brain and body starts to relax allowing the brainwaves to slow.

Stage two is when we are drifting off – light sleep. Brainwaves continue to slow and we begin to dream. This is the stage of sleep where we do most of our consolidation of the day’s events.

Stages three and four are slow wave sleep. During this stage we are deep asleep and it is the most difficult phase to be woken from. At this point our body is doing most of its healing and repair.

Stage five is REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement), is another short stage of around 5 minutes. During this phase we tend to dream in colour because our brains become more active.

Tips for a good night’s sleep

  • Hydrate well through the day and then start reducing liquid intake from around 5pm, this will help to reduce bathroom trips during the night.
  • Create a cool, dark quiet environment free of any noises or distractions.
  • Turn off that phone, the blue light given out from electronic devices tends to stimulate our brain thereby making it harder to turn off.
  • Use only one pillow; this will help you to keep your neck and spine in a neutral position during your sleep so you wake up free of aches.
  • Exercise more than two hours before sleep, so that you have plenty of time to cool down and for your heart rate to slow.
  • No bathing before bed! Having a bath is a relaxing and soothing thing to do. However, it increases body temperature which will keep you awake longer and it also relaxes all your muscles. The second sounds like a great thing, but your spine actually relies on the support of your muscles at night so it too is able to relax and recover. If you take away the muscle support to your spine, you are leaving it more at risk of aches in the morning.
  • Buy a medium firm mattress, one that is able to support all the curves of your spine.

    Sleep is important for all of us, even our furry legged friends. Image shows sleeping cat to accompany blog written by Eastbourne Doctor of Chiropractic Caroline Mulliner

    Sleep is important for all of us, even our furry legged friends.

If you have found this blog post helpful and would like to read more by myself; Caroline Mulliner, Doctor of Chiropractic then please feel free to explore the rest of Backblog. Alternatively, you can check out my individual Chiropractic site www.clearlychiropractic.co.uk for more information.

 

Health Benefits of Love

Love can positively affect your health and wellbeing.

Whether you have been married for years or are single and looking for that right someone it is important to make room for love in your life. Love doesn’t just put a sparkle in your life – love can positively affect your health and wellbeing.

Love has a physical, mental and emotional impact on your life. Making time for a special someone can motivate you and help to keep you in better physical and mental shape.

Romance can bring you more than just butterflies in your stomach. It can:

  • Lead to a longer life – The National Longitudinal Mortality Study, which has been tracking more than a million people since 1979 has found that married people live longer.
  • Improve your Physical Fitness – Couples who exercise together have more success than people who exercise alone. Both men and women work between 12 – 15% harder when training with a romantic partner.
  • Reduce Stress – People in happy relationships experience less stress and less stress means better health
  • Protect your Heart – A University of Pittsburgh Study found that women in good marriages have a much lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Hugging a loved one daily has also been linked to higher oxytocin levels and lowers blood pressure which is also great for your heart.

Image shows two hands making a heart shape to accompany the blog by Eastbourne Doctor of Chiropractic James Revell

Love and Health

While LOVE can bring some surprising health benefits it is also important that you live a healthy lifestyle if you want your heart to keep loving for many more years to come.

Reduce the Risk Factors that are under your control such as smoking, excessive weight, stress, lack of exercise and poor diet TODAY. If you are in a happy relationship, why not work together to tackle those areas that you know could do with improvement. This could include a better fitness regime, improved fruit and vegetable consumption or giving up a vice – such as smoking – with proper support.

Your Chiropractor here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne can give you the advice and support you need to change and apply new health strategies.  Call us to book your appointment on 01323 722499.

‘Health is the greatest possession’ – United Chiropractic Association.

Reference: Health Benefits of Love.  United Chiropractic Association Press Media Statement Feb 2014

Your Eastbourne Chiropractor James

 

Healthy strong skeletons

Every one of us will inevitably suffer a natural degradation of bone density as we get older. But if we are mindful of this, it’s possible to take some pretty smart measures to enable us to maintain healthy strong skeletons.

When we are a child and rapidly growing we have more bone producing cells, to help us develop healthy strong skeletons. But as we age this decreases and instead we develop more cells which are created to tidy damaged cells.

This post highlights my top 5 ways to exercise and care for yourself in order to promote bone strength; what we can eat, and what we could avoid in order to help build a healthy strong skeleton.

EAT RIGHT

If you have read any of my other posts here, you have probably realised that food is a massive part of my life and something that I am very much passionate about.

The body has a constant process of self-renewal, constantly creating new bone, muscle, blood, skin etc. I believe that what we put into it determines the quality of its rebuild. Foods that are high in simple sugars – sweets and fizzy drinks – don’t just promote tooth decay; they can also inhibit the body from being able to absorb bone friendly calcium. Salty foods can cause calcium to be lost via the kidneys.

Even if little is consumed, the body maintains calcium levels in the blood by sapping it directly from the bones, so it is a good suggestion to consume around 1200mg of calcium a day, this can be sought from milk, yoghurt and cheese, kale, broccoli, salmon and sardines.

DRINK LESS

Regularly blitzing the recommended alcohol limits is unhelpful for most bodily functions, but it also has a direct effect on decreasing your bone mass. Large amounts of alcohol can be toxic to ‘osteoblasts’ – the cells that synthesise new bone.

Too much caffeine is also thought to leach calcium from the bones and thus reduce their strength, as well as causing unsightly staining to the teeth and enamel degradation – reducing the amount of caffeine daily should do the job!

EXERCISE APPROPRIATELY

Movement and gentle impact can help to build bone strength, as well as any weight-bearing activity that makes us work against gravity! Thankfully that covers a huge number of active pursuits, but some of the most commonly recognised forms are:

* skipping

* power walking

* dancing

* hiking

* stair climbing

* tennis

* jogging

* aerobics classes / boxercise / circuit training

* weight training

The beauty of the above is that your average day in the office might well dictate regularly climbing 4 flights of stairs, and a 15 minute walk to fetch your lunch. You should aim for 30 minutes of these activities a day as a great bone stimulating target.

VITAMIN D

Vitamin D is essential to helping your body absorb the calcium you’re consuming as part of your diet. It’s hard to synthesise, and is broadly produced when our skin is exposed to daylight and even more so in direct sunlight. Nowadays it’s also easy to pick up Vitamin D supplements to bolster your intake through diet.

Doctor of Chiropractic Dr Caroline Mulliner with our display spine

Doctor of Chiropractic Dr Caroline Mulliner with our display spine.

Find out more about me by visiting my website www.clearlychiropractic.co.uk

Caroline

 

Osteoporosis

As a chiropractor, I see a large number of joint, muscle and nerve problems each day. Osteoporosis is one such problem I regularly encounter. Osteoporosis is a disease characterised by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, with a consequent increase in bone fragility which can increase a client’s susceptibility to fracture (NICE 2013).

Many patients ask whether chiropractic is safe for those with this condition. The answer is yes, as a chiropractor we use a number of different techniques. From very light treatment suitable for babies to a high speed adjustment which would be suitable for most adults. If a patient were to have osteoporosis we can adapt our treatment so it is suitable for their needs.

More about osteoporosis

Bones contain collagen (protein), calcium salts and other minerals. Each bone is made up of a thick outer shell known as cortical bone and a strong inner mesh of trabecular bone. Like all parts of the body, our bones are alive and constantly changing throughout life. Old, worn out bone is broken down by cells called osteoclasts and replaced by bone building cells called osteoblasts, in a process of renewal.  After the age of 35, bone loss increases very gradually as part of the natural ageing process. This bone loss becomes more rapid in women for several years following the menopause and can lead to osteoporosis.

An image depicting, four models showing varying degrees of damage/ wear and tear that could happen to the spine.

Spinal models to show the varying degrees of wear and tear

Managing risk factors for osteoporosis

 Healthy eating tips:

  • Eat plenty of starchy foods but try to make them the whole grain variety, such as brown rice and pasta.
  • Eat more fish. Try for two portions a week and remember oily fish, such as mackerel, are also a good source of vitamin D.
  • Cut down on saturated fats and sugar. Check out food labels before you purchase. 5g or more of saturated fat per 100g and 10g or more of sugars per 100g is a lot.
  • Try to cut down on the amount of salt you eat. Again, read food labels carefully and remember that 0.5g or more of sodium per 100g is high.
  • A calcium intake of at least 1000 mg/day is recommended for people at increased risk of a fragility fracture. 10 micrograms (400 units) of vitamin D with at least 1000 mg of calcium daily, available as Calcichew D3® chewable tablets (calcium 500 mg, colecalciferol 5 micrograms).

Exercise

Bone is a living tissue which reacts to increases in loads and forces by growing stronger. It does this all the time, so exercise will only increase bone strength if it increases the loading above normal levels.

These types of activities are often recommended for people at high risk of fracture or recovering from fracture:

  • Strength-training exercises (exercises using body weight as resistance), especially for the back.
  • Weight-bearing aerobic activities.
  • Flexibility exercises.
  • Stability and balance exercises to reduce the risk of falling.
  • Aerobic training with controlled movements.
  • Prolonged exercise is not necessary in order to stimulate bone.

What exercises not to do with osteoporosis

  • It is important not to rush into unaccustomed exercise too quickly – Begin with activities you know you can do comfortably and then gradually increase the intensity.
  • A little muscle stiffness for a day or two after exercise indicates that you have done more than usual; this will stimulate improvements – However, persistent pain may be a sign of injury and if it persists for longer than a few days you should arrange to see your GP.
  • Think carefully about undertaking activities that may increase the chance of a fall.
  • Always maintain an upright posture – Avoid too much forward bending, such as touching the toes.
  • Avoid: High-impact, fast-moving exercises such as jumping, running, jogging or skipping.
  • Avoid: Exercises in which you bend forwards and twist your waist, such as touching your toes or doing sit-ups.

Suitable osteoporosis home exercises

These exercises target the muscles that support the spine and enable us to maintain an upright posture. They can be done in bed if you do not find it possible to lie on the floor.

Lying-down exercises for strength (on your front) – Put your arms at the sides of your body, with your palms facing downwards and resting on the floor. Your forehead should also be facing downwards and resting on the floor. Raise your back, head and shoulders, keeping your hips and legs on the floor. Repeat the exercise. Progress by turning the palms and forearms up towards the ceiling, still resting on the floor.

Back, neck and head lifts – Lie on your back. Push your hands and arms gently into the floor and raise your forehead off your hands by a few inches, keeping the back of your neck long as you do so and keeping your chin in. This will help you to get the feel of the movement.

 Leg lift – Lying on your front, rest your head comfortably on crossed arms. Keeping your legs straight, tighten your buttock muscles and, keeping the leg as long as you can, raise one leg slowly off the floor by a few inches. Hold then lower slowly back to the floor. Keep both hips in contact with the floor throughout. Count five on the way up and five on the way down. Relax completely for a count of 10. Repeat with the other leg.

Build up to two sets of 10 repetitions. This is also an excellent exercise for helping to reduce spinal curvature. You may like to use ankle weights, to increase the effectiveness of this exercise.

Cat-Camel – Get onto your hands and knees, making sure that your shoulders are above your hands and your hips are above your knees. Start by make a U shape with your back. Take a deep breath in, as you exhale face ahead, relax your lower back and allow your pelvis to move forwards towards the floor. Only move as much as is comfortable. Hold for a few seconds and release.

The second stage involves making your back into an arch shape, breath in and as you breathe out, gently pull your tummy in and press your back towards the ceiling. Let your head drop so that you’re looking at the floor. Hold for a few seconds and release.

Gym Exercises

Weight-bearing aerobic activities involve doing aerobic exercise on your feet, with your bones supporting your weight. Examples include walking, dancing, low-impact aerobics, elliptical (cross) training machines and stair climbing. These types of exercise work directly on the bones in your legs, hips and lower spine to slow bone loss. They can also provide cardiovascular benefits, which boost heart and circulatory system health.

Swimming and water aerobics have many benefits, but they are not generally classed as weight-bearing and don’t have the impact on the skeleton required to influence bone strength.

  • Stationary bikes – The seat of your stationary bike needs to be positioned high enough so your knees do not bend more than 90 degrees or come up higher than your seat when you are pedalling. With the pedals positioned further away like this, you reduce stress on your knees. A regular, upright stationary bike provides a more intense workout than a recumbent bike. However, a recumbent bike reclines and is designed to reduce stress and strain on your knees and lower back.
  • Elliptical trainer – An elliptical trainer provides a low-impact workout, similar to walking, but with a high-intensity cardio workout. The elliptical trainer, a cross between a stair climber and stationary bike, works all of your major muscle groups and can help you lose weight and shape up without hurting your knees (Eustice 2014, Arthritis Foundation 2014).
  • Tai Chi– is a safe intervention for reducing multiple fracture risks. The slow movements help to improve balance while its deep breathing techniques aid relaxation. Tai Chi addresses muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and, to a lesser degree, aerobic conditioning (Graham 2011).

If you have found this blog post helpful and would like to read more from me, then you can find more here on Backblog or on my own chiropractic site www.clearlychiropractic.co.uk for more information.

Caroline Mulliner, Doctor of Chiropractic.

Top tips for managing stress

Managing stress

The team at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne share their tips on how to reduce and manage stress.

The spine and posture are important factors in the ability of the body to cope with stress. In fact, a healthy spine and nervous system can help to manage stress more effectively.

Everyone experiences stress on a daily basis due to the modern world that we live in and the increase in demand for our time and attention. Stress, in its negative sense can be defined as an imbalance of the bodily system(s) due to excessive stimulus that upsets normal functioning and disturbs mental or physical health.

The most common symptoms of stress include headaches, backaches and fatigue, as well as cardiovascular disorders (high blood pressure) digestive problems and sleeping difficulties.

At Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne, the chiropractors and massage therapists tailor treatment to get to the root of each individual’s problem

Image shows women with eyes closed and holding her head to accompany the blog written by Eastbourne Doctor of Chiropractic James Revell

Manage stress by recognising some of the symptoms

Tips on managing stress

  • Recognise Stress – Acknowledging that the fact that you are feeling under the weather may be a reaction to too much pressure. Know yourself and your limits.
  • Set Priorities – Examine what in your life is causing stress. What can be changed to help you introduce a better balance between work, social life and home life. Set priorities each day (no more than 3) and make a separate list for long term things to be addressed.
  • Learn to say “No” – This is not a sign of weakness. It is easy to say ‘yes’ and difficult to say ‘no’ but in the long run, doing less will benefit everyone in your life.

Learn to Relax:

  • Yoga – can be effective in reducing stress and anxiety, lowering blood pressure and heart rate. The concept behind all relaxation therapies is the relationship between mind and body; when the mind is restless and agitated the health of the body will be affected
  • Meditation – can be extremely effective in that is slows the breathing rate, increases oxygen consumption, creates a relaxed brain rhythm and increases blood flow.
  • Exercise – make time to exercise regularly. Not only is it good for your health but exercise can also make you feel good too. Exercise decreases the stress hormones, such as cortisol, and increases endorphins which are the body’s natural feel good chemicals.
  • Diet – avoid caffeine and food additives. Reinvigorate your diet and gradually introduce healthy fresh whole foods to your daily intake.
  • Sleep – sleep is an important resource that keeps you healthy, mentally sharp and able to cope with stress more effectively. Make sure that you stop doing mentally demanding work several hours before going to bed. This gives your brain time to calm down before you try to sleep. Try reading a calming, undemanding book for a few minutes to relax your body, tire your eyes and help you forget about the things that are worrying you.
  • Indulge yourself – If you are unable to take time off work or have the resources for a holiday then find a way to indulge yourself. Spend a little extra money on a luxury item, even if it is a more expensive shampoo or bubble-bath that you wouldn’t usually buy. Set aside time each day for yourself even if it is just 10 minutes.
  • Confide in someone – don’t keep emotions bottled up. A well-known saying is ‘A problem shared is a problem halved.’

Focus on the positive aspects of your life.

 Steve Clifford, Psychotherapist at Lushington Chiropractic, says, “Most of the time we cope very well in spite of incredible stresses.  At other times even the simplest request feels impossible.  From time to time each of us may experience problems and difficulties which we feel unable to resolve.  Having the opportunity to explore them with another person may help a great deal”

Visit www.chirocare.co.uk for further information and advice or call us on 01323 722499

Your Eastbourne Chiropractor James Revell.

Staying hydrated – how to make infused water

Trying to drink more water? Infused water tastes better and encourages you to drink more

We all know that drinking more water is one of the best thing you can do for your health. Yet for many of us drinking more water can be a struggle because it simply tastes so dull. If you are trying to drink more water this summer, and you’d like a helping hand, then try infusing your water. This makes it look more appealing, taste better, and can even give some health benefits too!

I usually just infuse in a large glass, but you could also make up a bottle or a glass jug in the fridge and keep it topped up – change the water and fruit or leaves daily to keep it fresh and don’t use plastic as it will change the taste of your lovely infused water.

Infused Water - Image shows jug of water and glass of water infused with lemon, mint and cucumber to accompany the blog by Eastbourne Doctor of Chiropractic Victoria White

Infused Water

When you add your ingredients give them a little squeeze, and crush the leaves in your fingertips before adding to the water in order to release the flavour and oils. Infused water tastes better than simply squeezing the juice from the same fruit because there is also flavour coming from the rind which leaches into your water. And it looks better, which will encourage you to drink it.

These infusions are popular and worth a try: grapefruit and rosemary, strawberry and lime, watermelon, pineapple and basil. But of course you can always just make up your own! Let us know if you come up with a good combination.

You can even make infused water ice cubes to add to your glass. Put washed basil, mint or fruit into an ice cube tray and top up with water, freeze and bring out of the freezer when you need them. These also work outstandingly well in a jug of Pimms, but that’s another story…!

For more information, why not check out more Backblog articles?

Thanks for reading!

Vicky

Breakfast Nutrition

Many claim that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

If this is the case then surely we should make it the most nutritious and beneficial? Breakfast nutrition has been argued about for years. Due to our busy lives we are now spending less time making nutritious meals. Instead, we choose to opt for convenience foods that don’t fuel us properly and can cause drops in energy or mood through the course of the day.

Trend Breakfasts

A picture to show one of my green breakfast smoothies. This one contained pineapple, spinach, kale, avocado and an Arbonne vanilla protein shake. Accompanies blog written by Eastbourne Doctor of Chiropractic Caroline Mulliner

One of my many breakfast smoothies, this one containing a brilliant creamy vanilla protein shake.

Over the last couple of months I have been testing out a number of recent “trend” breakfasts. The first is the smoothie. Initially I started as most would, by blending fruit and adding yoghurt. This is of course very yummy and actually rather filling. However, I was finding that after a couple of hours at work I would find myself nibbly and wanting more food.

I looked into this and found that a high proportion of fruit would cause a sudden increase in sugar levels. The body processes these sugars at a rapid rate, causing an initial spike of sugar in the blood followed by a crash that can leave an individual feeling hungry, tired and generally low in energy.

After reading this, I decided to adapt my recipe. Instead of fruit and yoghurt I instead opted to find a better balance between vegetables and slow-release fruit, such asred berries. I went from a 100% fruit smoothie, to 70% vegetables and 30% fruit. The fruit provides the obvious yummy taste and sweetness, but the vegetables allow for the more sustainable nutrition.

Smoothie Extras

I have also tried a number of extras in my smoothies to keep me feeling fuller for longer, this includes the popular chia seeds, oats, nuts, bee pollen, protein powder/shakes and ice. Personally I think chia and oats give the best consistency, both of these are also extremely nutritious

A picture showing two of my favourite nutritional breakfast items, chia seeds and bee pollen. Accompanies blog written by Eastbourne Doctor of Chiropractic Caroline Mulliner

Chia seeds and pollen are part of the majority of my breakfast.

.

Chia

Chia contains a large amount of antioxidants and a minimal amount of carbohydrate. The majority of this is actually fibre. Chia is also high in protein, making it not only a nutritious option but also an ingredient that could help with controlling appetite and managing weight.

The fibre in the chia expands in the stomach, this helps to slow absorption. The last brilliant fact about chia is that it contains omega-3 fatty acids, however the omegas found in plant based foods are not as easily absorbed by humans compared to oily fish.

Oats

We have been eating oats for years mainly as porridge. Why are oats so good for us? They are a good source of fibre and are also reasonably high in vitamins and anti-oxidants. It is also claimed that they have health benefits such as lowering blood sugar and cholesterol. Much like chia, they also contain protein. Oats are ranked number 1 breakfast food to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Due to the great nutritional benefits of both oat and chia I thought I would next try using these as my breakfast nutrition. Porridge is obviously the most well know breakfast food. Unfortunately, I have never grown accustomed to the taste and texture, which appears to put lots people off. A great way to improve this is by placing some ground nuts in your porridge after it’s cooked and also adding a small handful of your favourite fresh berries to add some yumminess and sweetness. I also tend to make my porridge with water instead of milk because I add extra bits to it.

Here is a picture of one of my nutritional breakfasts, a chocolate chia pudding with extra flavours of orange and blueberry. Accompanies blog written by Eastbourne Doctor of Chiropractic Caroline Mulliner

This is a chocolate chia pudding with orange and blueberries.

Next I tried making the very fashionable chocolate chia pudding, as a definite “chocoholic” myself; I thought this would be the obvious choice to balance my breakfast nutrition.

I found it rather disappointing in all honesty. The first thing to point out is the thick lumpy texture and also it’s less than chocolaty taste. However, I did not give up on chia that easy. Instead I thought I would try combining chia and oats in an overnight soaked “bircher” style muesli. The great thing about this is that it takes 1 minute to make then you just leave it in the fridge overnight to soak, all you need to do in the morning is add fruit and a drizzle of honey.  This makes it very yummy and it definitely keeps you going for longer.

If you have found this blog post helpful and would like to read more by myself; Caroline Mulliner, Doctor of Chiropractic then please see www.clearlychiropractic.co.uk for more information.

Spinal Awareness – The key to a Healthy Spine

A healthy spine is an amazing thing

Your spine holds everything together in the body! So it goes without saying that taking care of it should be one of your main health priorities. In this article, the team at Lushington Chiropractic is provide some top tips on how to keep your spine in tip-top shape.

The good news is that in many of cases, the wellbeing of your spine and health is in your own hands; it’s simply a case of changing lifestyle habits and committing to regular stretching and strengthening exercises.

The key to a healthy spine and, therefore, a healthy you, is the ‘P’ word: Posture.

Posture has been an overlooked factor in our health in the past. But research is now helping to raise awareness of the issues surrounding poor posture and explain why it is so important to make changes.

Younger people are now at an increased risk of having problems through the top of their neck and back because of the effects on posture of the modern lifestyle. Spending many hours each day sat at a computer, staring at a mobile device or in front of a TV screen gradually causes a change to the curvature of the back. This can not only cause serious pain but also lead to more long term health problems.

Pressure on the joints and discs in your neck when you text or read your tablet

Pressure on the joints and discs in your neck when you text or read on your tablet.

Pressure on the joints and discs in your neck when you text or read on your tablet.

 If you’re reading this blog post on your tablet or another mobile device, why not take a second to consider the position of your own neck right now. Hold your tablet up to eye level and you can help to reduce the pressure on the joints and discs in your neck.

Modern life is also behind the increasing use of very heavy bags. As our lives have become busier, so we tend to carry more and more things around with us on a day-to-day basis – this applies to schoolchildren as well.

The spinal health experts at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne have some great tips on how to prevent injury and chronic problems as a result of lugging around heavy bags:

  • Use a bag with lightweight material and multiple compartments to distribute the weight
  • Pack only what you really need
  • Use both shoulder straps when carrying a rucksack
  • Alternate shoulders regularly to avoid strain
  • Ensure the rucksack sits above the waist to reduce pressure on the spine and nervous system;
  • If you can’t pack light, then use two bags.

Great posture begins with the spine – and chiropractic is a safe and effective way to achieve a healthy spine.

At Lushington Chiropractic we know all about posture and healthy spines, we genuinely care about our patients and improving their quality of life. We have an extremely professional and dedicated team who deliver the highest service and have over 80 years expertise between them. Call today on0 1323 722499 to see why over 8,000 local people have already chosen us to help them.