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Back pain during Pregnancy

Eastbourne chiropractor Gemma Crouch shares how chiropractic care can help to relieve the pain and discomfort felt in the muscles and joints during pregnancy. Gemma has a special interest in chiropractic care for pregnant mums-to-be, babies and children of all ages. Since completing her masters’ degree in chiropractic, she has continued to study within this area. This blog has been written to share with you the benefits of chiropractic care in pregnancy.

Image shows a heavily pregnant women laying on a chiropractic bench to accompany the blog written by Doctor of Chiropractic Gemma Crouch on back pain in pregnancy

Do you know someone suffering from back pain in pregnancy, why not give us a call to see how we can help?


I have written this blog with two real-life Eastbourne case studies who represent many women who come to see me in the chiropractic clinic with back pain during pregnancy. Chiropractic care is very safe and effective for all ages and stages of life.

At Lushington Chiropractic, I see a number of pregnant women suffering from back pain, tension and discomfort and understand how much it can affect different aspects of life. Up to 50% of women experience some form of neck pain, back pain, headaches, tension or general aches during pregnancy. For more information about back pain in pregnancy please follow the link here.

If you know anyone who would benefit from reading this blog or from having a chat with a chiropractor about pain and discomfort during pregnancy, please visit Lushington Chiropractic to find out more.

Mrs C

Mrs C came to see me in the clinic about her pain and discomfort during pregnancy. Specifically, she was experiencing pubic bone pain, neck pain and headaches. Mrs C related the onset of her discomfort to the stresses and physical demands of pregnancy and looking after her young child. She reported that her first pregnancy was “really easy and not painful at all” so was quite concerned about her pain.

Mrs C’s pain started gradually in the pelvis and had become so unbearable towards the third trimester that she was unable to sit or even sleep comfortably. The lack of comfort and sleep over time was causing her tension to become even worse.

Miss F

Miss F also came into the clinic to see me about pain and discomfort during pregnancy. As a first-time mum, Miss F was concerned about the level of discomfort she was experiencing and didn’t feel she was given the support she needed.

Specifically, Miss F was experiencing low back pain, leg pain and pain around the rib cage. Miss F’s pain and discomfort started in the first trimester of pregnancy and was having a negative effect on her family life and her job.

Chiropractic Treatment during Pregnancy

These real-life cases represent common stories I hear in the chiropractic clinic for women who suffer from pain and discomfort during pregnancy. Although every person is different, there will be commonalities with each case.

The aim of chiropractic care is to relieve the tension and discomfort felt during pregnancy and to improve the function of the neuromusculoskeletal (nerves, muscles and joints) system. 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 strengthen the area.

Chiropractic care for pregnancy women is very safe and effective and tailored to your specific needs. Prior to the commencement of treatment, a thorough consultation and physical examination is performed to focus on getting to the root cause of the problem.

Please feel free to ask any questions or to book a consultation with myself at the clinic in Eastbourne, call us on 01323 722499.

Yours in Health,

Gemma Crouch, your Eastbourne Chiropractor

Benefits of Turmeric

Benefits of Turmeric

At Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne, we help many of our guests with lots of different neuromusculoskeletal (nerves, muscles and joints) problems and often provide lifestyle and health advice too. You may have heard of Turmeric as a supplement or seen it on our product shelf, but what is Turmeric and what are the benefits of taking it?

To fully understand what the benefits of Turmeric are, we first need to talk about where the spice comes from and what is contained within the tablets in the supplement form.

Image shows Eastbourne Chiropractor Gemma Crouch at Lushington Chiropractic holding a carton of Lamberts Turmeric Food Supplements to accompany her blog on the Benefits of turmeric

Eastbourne Chiropractor Gemma Crouch tells us about the benefits of Tumeric.

 What is Turmeric?

Turmeric is the spice that gives curries their strong yellow colour. It was first discovered thousands of years ago as having health benefits in India and was used as a herbal medicine. More recently, scientists have discovered its medicinal benefits and how important the spice can be for our health and wellbeing.

Turmeric is part of the ginger family and it is the root of the plant that is used to create the powder or supplement. Turmeric contains compounds called curcuminoids and it is the active ingredient of curcumin which provides Turmeric with it’s health benefits.

Curcumin is a strong antioxidant and contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric as a spice only contains around 3% curcumins which is why Turmeric supplements in the form of tablets with higher concentrations of curcumins can be found on the shelves of many health food shops.

In order to gain the biggest benefit from Turmeric supplements, we recommend Lamberts Turmeric tablets which contain up to 95% Curcumins.

What are the Health Benefits of Turmeric?

The anti-inflammatory effects of curcumins are probably the most well known and most potent health benefits from taking Turmeric tablets.

Inflammation is the body’s natural immune response which helps us to fight off nasty bacteria or viruses when we have an infection or when we have an injury. This type of immune response usually only lasts for a few days or weeks and is known as short-term inflammation. Short-term inflammation is beneficial to humans to help stop viruses and bacteria from taking over the body and to aid the healing process when we are injured.

Inflammation which lasts much longer than a few weeks (long-term inflammation) is the cause of many autoimmune illnesses and can be detrimental to our health in many ways. Conditions such as arthritis, heart disease and psoriasis involve long-term inflammation.

Research suggests that Turmeric as an anti-inflammatory supplement can help reduce these levels of long-term inflammation and can actually reduce the levels of pain felt with certain conditions involving inflammation.

Curcumins also have a powerful antioxidant component. Antioxidants are substances that prevent cell damage (oxidative stress) by free radicals, which are produced by the body under stress or inflammation (e.g. smoking, stress, excessive exercise, radiation, pollution, etc.).

Oxidative stress has been linked to heart disease, cancer, arthritis and many other conditions due to the negative effects it has on the cells in the body.

Antioxidant substances are said to neutralise or ‘bond’ with free radicals to limit their cell damage capabilities. There is some research which suggests a reduced risk of certain diseases with consumption of antioxidant substances.

It is always advised to read the full product label before taking any supplements.

Please feel free to ask any questions or to book a consultation with myself at the clinic in Eastbourne, call us on 01323 722499.

Yours in Health,

Gemma Crouch, your Eastbourne Chiropractor


Aggarwal, B.B., Yuan, W., Li, S. and Gupta, S.C., 2013. Curcumin‐free turmeric exhibits anti‐inflammatory and anticancer activities: Identification of novel components of turmeric. Molecular nutrition & food research57(9), pp.1529-1542.

Maroon, J.C., Bost, J.W. and Maroon, A., 2010. Natural anti-inflammatory agents for pain relief. Surgical neurology international1.

Jayaprakasha, G.K., Rao, L.J. and Sakariah, K.K., 2006. Antioxidant activities of curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Food chemistry98(4), pp.720-724.

What’s Holding you back from your New Years’ Resolution?

The start of the New Year is the perfect time (and most popular time) of year to start up a new hobby, improve your diet, become more active or just generally improve your overall health and wellbeing.

With 26 million British people starting a New Years’ Resolution (with lots in Eastbourne) a staggering 80% of these are said to fail by February. It is thought that most people struggle to keep their motivation towards the end of the four-week mark due to ‘something’ holding them back.

Whether it be time, money, or even aches and pains that are holding you back, there’s always a simple solution to get you back on track to achieve your healthy goals.

Eastbourne Chiropractor Gemma Crouch explores some of the reasons which may be holding you back from completing your active goals and gives some chiropractic tips on how to overcome these barriers.

 “My neck Hurts!” “My Back Can’t Take Anymore!” “My Headaches are Worse!” “I’m Bored of the Same Gym Routine”

Do any of these statements sound familiar to you? Then you are not alone!

Some of the most common reasons why motivation starts to fade towards the four-week mark when starting up a new exercise regime or improving health and wellbeing include:

  • general aches and pains associated with movement
  • joint pains
  • a lack of motivation
  • fatigue and boredom

As a chiropractor, I see people of all ages and stages of life complaining of these types of problems. Chiropractic is a safe treatment for everyone, including pregnant mums-to-be and children of all ages. Here’s how chiropractic could help you to get back on track with your health goals.

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractors are specialists in the detection and correction of mechanical musculoskeletal (muscles and joints) problems throughout the body and hold an emphasis on helping people achieve a healthier spine.

Chiropractic not only helps to alleviate general aches and stiffness but it also helps your body to function at its best and to help your body to repair itself. You may even notice that your energy levels start to improve.

How could Chiropractic help me?

With today’s modern lifestyle and pressures, it is quite common to experience some tension relating to stress. You may also feel the inability to relax.

When starting a new exercise regime or becoming a little bit more active, underlying joint and muscle dysfunction can become more pronounced and a ‘niggle’ can often become more of a constant problem.

Some of the most common problems chiropractors can help with include neck and back pain, prevention of migraine headaches, sciatica and other types of joint pain.

If it’s just health and wellbeing that you’re looking to improve, taking simple steps can really help such as:

  • Drinking more water (at least 2-3 litres per day)
  • Eating more portions of fruit and veg per day (at least 5)
  • Walking or cycling to work or the train station (30 minutes each day)
  • Taking vitamins or supplements (for more information click here)
  • Getting enough sleep (8 hours per night)
  • Doing the exercises your chiropractor gives you regularly 😊

What’s the Best Way to Get Active, from a Chiropractic point of View?

There are many different ways to get active and to keep on track with your goals. Some of the best exercises include brisk walking, swimming and gentle jogging. These exercises are good for your spine as they prevent your spine from becoming over-flexed.

It’s a great time of year to get the pedometer up by going for long walks on Eastbourne’s beach with beautiful early sunsets and crisp winter weather.

It’s a great time of year to get the pedometer up by going for long walks on Eastbourne’s beach with beautiful early sunsets and crisp winter weather.

Make the most of Eastbourne’s seafront by taking a walk along the beach or even the dog for a jog. You may prefer taking a trip to one of Eastbourne’s swimming pools and doing a few lengths in the pool.

The most important thing to remember is to listen to your body and seek help with any problems you may have.

Stay active this winter,

Gemma Crouch

Eastbourne Chiropractor

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 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 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.



Are you getting enough 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.


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.


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!


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 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




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).


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.

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