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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.

Picture of Dr Carran Lefever doing a McTimoney atlas toggle on a patient 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.


Interesting facts about the muscles

There are many interesting facts about the muscles but these are a few that I find very interesting and I hope that you do too.

Longest, strongest, biggest muscles

  • The strongest muscle in the body is probably one you haven’t even heard of and is called the masseter. This muscle is predominantly used in chewing and tensing the jaw. The tongue is often described as the strongest muscle but is made up of eight muscles meaning it technically is not the strongest muscle.
  • The longest muscle in the body is called the Sartorius. Another one you probably haven’t heard of. It comes down from the front of the hip and connects to the upper part of the shin bone (Tibia).
  • The biggest muscle in the body is the gluteus maximus. This is regularly called the buttocks and is a very important muscle. This muscle is the main reason that we can walk on two feet as it connects the pelvis to the legs.
  • The smallest muscle in the body, Stapedius, is in the ear and measure around 2mm in length. These are there to help to control the vibration of the smallest bone in the body, the Stapes.

Miscellaneous muscle facts

  • When you take one step, as long as you swing your arms, you are using up to 200 muscles. You can take plenty of steps along Eastbourne seafront!
  • The word muscle comes from the Latin word musculus which translates to little mouse. This is because a flexed muscle was thought to look like a mouse.
  • Without your little finger, you would lose about 50% of your hand strength.
  • There are 650 skeletal muscles in the human body. This does not include the muscles of the internal organs.
  • It takes 43 muscles for us to frown but only 17 to smile.

    Image shows Eastbourne Doctor of Chiropractic Mykel Mason smiling and tells us it only uses 17 muscles to smile

    Eastbourne Chiropractor Mykel Mason tells us we use 17 muscles to smile

  • The muscles on the outside of the eye are 100 times stronger than they need to be making them the strongest muscle in the body in relation to the job that they do.
  • Muscles are only designed to pull and not actually push. The only reason that we can push is because of an opposite pulling force e.g. the back of your arm pulling the elbow straight.
  • As all muscles pull, if you were to get them all to work in the same direction it would create a force of 25 tonnes. This is enough to lift one of the stones at Stonehenge.
  • There are more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments in a single foot.

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

Whether you’re suffering with a simple muscle spasm in your back / neck or have a more serious injury or long term problem Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne are happy to help you.

Yours in health,

Mykel Mason, your Eastbourne chiropractor

Different types of headache

Headaches are incredibly common.

Many people don’t realise that there are different types of headache. Here I will discuss here five common types of headache.

Tension headache

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache and are often described as a tight band around the head. It can also be described as a pressure over the temples and/or the back of the head and neck. Experts believe that this may be due to contraction of head and neck muscles and some research has suggested posture could be associated.

Cluster headaches

These are headaches that tend to appear in groups or cycles and are most commonly severe. These are commonly affecting one side of the head and can be accompanied by a runny nose or watery eye. Unlike with migraines, people suffering with a cluster headache are unlikely to lie down and generally struggle to get comfortable.

Sinus headaches

These are normally associated with a sinus infection which causes sinus inflammation. Pain is generally at the front of the head and face and often are worsened when leaning forwards.

Rebound headaches

Have you ever looked at the side effects of paracetamol and noticed that one of the side effects is a headache? This is what a rebound headache is. Overuse is generally the trigger. There are a few theories as to why this happens but the best thing is to not take these medications too much. I have often seen people in the clinic and that are frightened to leave the house if they do not have paracetamol in their bag and this is an unhealthy way to live.

Follow this link to a BBC article on this.

Image shows Doctor of Chiropractic at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne holding his brow with his eyes. In his blog he talks about different types of headache

Eastbourne Doctor of Chiropractic Mykel Mason talks about headaches.

Migraine headaches

These are a lot more common than we originally thought. There are also many different sub types of migraines many of which are still being classified. These are described as recurrent headaches lasting 4-72 hours and are often accompanied by nausea/vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, or an aura with hand or arm numbness or visual changes.

Migraines have been identified as a neurological condition as they affect the bodies brain chemistry.

To see more about different types of headaches have a look at the National Headache Foundation website.

Yours in health,

Mykel Mason, your Eastbourne chiropractor.

Sitting posture exercise – Brugger exercise

Poor sitting posture

Mykel Mason of Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne offers advice on one useful stretching exercise for people spending many hours sat behind a desk each day.

With most people these days either sitting at a desk or driving for hours on end, sitting posture has never been more important. According to a survey in 2010 Britons average over 14 hours sitting every day. This will be at work, in the car, on the sofa etc. This is why it is so important that that posture is as good as we can get. I have one simple exercise that can help to maintain that posture and it only takes 10 seconds to do.

Image shows Mykel Mason, Doctor of chiropractic, adopting a poor sitting posture with his upper back rounded and head coming forwards.

Here I am demonstrating a poor sitting posture

The Brugger exercise

This is performed seated so you can do while you’re seated.

Perch on the edge of your chair and sit up tall ensuring your low back is curved inwards.

  1. Push your chest up and pull your shoulder blades down and backwards.
  2. Put your arms straight down by your side and turn your palms out.
  3. Splay your fingers and tuck your chin in.
  4. Hold this for five seconds.
    Image shows Mykel Mason, Doctor of chiropractic, demonstrating the Brugger exercise as explained in the step by step guide.

    Brugger exercise demonstrated

    What this does is it helps to switch on the postural muscles to hold a better position. Therefore, following this exercise, you will naturally be adopting a better posture. This exercise needs to be repeated as these muscles will tend to switch off again as they have been trained that way over time. Ideally it is recommended to do this exercise every 30 minutes.

    It is also very important that your workstation is set up optimally. This will also help you to maintain a good posture at your desk. For tips on how to set up your workstation see the Posturite website which has plenty of advice and guidance on how you should set up your desk.


    Failing to maintain good posture at your desk or even in your car seat can lead to long term problems due to the ill effects of spending a long time with increased pressure on your spinal discs. If you are experiencing back pain in may be necessary to seek the help of your local chiropractor to ease these symptoms and assist you in making the necessary changes to your daily regime.

    At Lushington Chiropractic 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. If you are based in Eastbourne and suffer from back pain, why not get in touch with us today.

    Yours in health,

    Mykel Mason, your Eastbourne chiropractor

What is tennis elbow?

“What is tennis elbow?” is a question that I am asked regularly in day to day practice, so I decided to write this blog to help to answer a few questions.

Image shows Dr Mykel Mason demonstrating where tennis elbow is located.

What is tennis elbow?

What causes the pain in tennis elbow?

The pain in tennis elbow is generally caused by the inflammation of the tendons around the elbow. Typically this is due to either overuse or chronic underuse.

I’ve never played tennis; why do I have tennis elbow?

When people get tennis elbow it is rarely actually associated with tennis. In my years in practice it can generally be attributed to a recent increase in a certain activity. Sometimes this is something as simple as typing, waitressing or manual work such as using a screwdriver.

What symptoms do people with tennis elbow have?

Tennis elbow is characterised by pain over the outside part of the elbow. This can be felt directly over the bony part of the elbow or within the muscles in the forearm. People also often experience weakness in the arm or hand and can sometimes struggle to grip things and resort to using their less dominant hand. This is because 75% of the time the dominant hand is the arm that is affected.

What can I do to help my tennis elbow?

The best things to do to help tennis elbow:

  • Rest the arm to help reduce the inflammation
  • Ice the area that is painful as this will help to reduce the inflammation quicker. Remember to not put ice directly on the skin as this can cause an ice burn.
  • Do not use heat in the acute phase (first three weeks or so) as this can increase the inflammation, therefore increasing discomfort.
  • Light stretching can be very useful to help realign the fibres. This is performed by flexing the wrist and applying light pressure on the back of your hand with the other hand. This is done with the arm stretched out straight (see image).
  • Light strengthening of the forearm once the acute pain has decreased.
  • If these don’t resolve the problem completely then consult a health professional such as a chiropractor, physiotherapist or a sports massage therapist.
Picture showing a forearm stretch for tennis elbow. Arm is out straight with wrist flexed and hand towards the floor with light pressure being placed over the hand with the opposite hand. Demonstrated by Eastbourne Doctor of Chiropractic Mykel Mason

In this photo you will see a forearm extensor stretch which should be held for around thirty seconds and repeated twice a couple of times a day.

Most cases should clear up within 4-6 weeks however if it hasn’t then consulting a professional is advised.

If you would like to get things checked out properly or if you have any further questions, please feel free to give me a ring at the clinic on 01323 722499.

Yours in health,

Mykel Mason your Eastbourne chiropractor


Avoid back pain on holiday

My top tips to protect your spine and avoid back pain on holiday.

Back pain on holiday can be a real problem but there are some simple things you can do to lower the risk of injury.

Avoid back pain on holiday. Image shows Eastbourne Doctor of Chiropractic Dr Mykel Mason and Megan on holiday in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Avoid back pain on holiday

  1. Choose the right suitcase

Choose a lightweight suitcase and ideally something with wheels and a long enough handle to decrease the pressure on the low back.

  1. Get to bed early the night before travel

Travelling when you’re tired increases your chance of injury so make sure you get a good night’s rest the day before travel.

  1. Keep moving

With most travel, be it by car or plane, most of your time is spent sitting. Counteract this by making sure that you get up regularly and keep the joints moving throughout the spine. Movement will also encourage better blood flow around the body and to the spinal discs.

  1. Lift properly

Lifting your case is something you will do quite a few times during your holiday. Make sure that you keep your back straight and you keep the weight close to you. When putting items in the boot make sure you lift them to the edge of the boot first, rather than overextending forward in one movement. Once the suitcase is perched on the edge, you can then reposition your body to slide it back.

  1. Good sun lounger posture

Sunbeds are not designed ergonomically therefore you need to be aware that they may place pressure on your back and neck. It is actually better to have the sunbed completely flat in many cases, although you should try to avoid reading whilst lying on your front and propping yourself up on your elbows. Most importantly, try not to arch your back and neck for long periods on a sun lounger.

  1. Try and exercise

Holidays are a time to relax but keeping the joints moving is very important. Swimming and walking are fantastic low impact exercises that you can do while you’re away.

Above all do not worry unnecessarily. Take all the advice on board and enjoy your holiday.

Mykel Mason, doctor of chiropractic, shown bending the knees and curving the low back forwards which will increase disc pressure

Poor lifting technique. Mykel Mason, doctor of chiropractic, is shown bending the knees and curving the low back forwards which will increase disc pressure.

Good lifting technique, Mykel Mason doctor of chiropractic is shown lifting a box bending his knees and hips keeping the low back straight to reduce disc pressure.

Good lifting technique. Mykel Mason doctor of chiropractic is shown lifting a box bending his knees and hips keeping the low back straight to reduce disc pressure.

If you like these tips there are more tips on my website. Please follow this (hyperlink to http://chiropractic-eastbourne.co.uk/backpainadvice.html) link

Yours in health,

Mykel Mason your Eastbourne Chiropractor

How I found Chiropractic

Mykel Mason

As a teenager I knew nothing at all about chiropractic, I hadn’t even heard the word. Now I am a chiropractor at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic, and people regularly ask me how I got into it.

Like many people I was very active growing up. I enjoyed karate, football and athletics to name but a few sports. Also like many others, I started to get aches and pains, especially in my lower back. I did nothing about it expecting it to improve by itself, but it never did. I sought help and was told that my problems were likely to be related to growing pains, even though it felt like simple back pain. I was told that the issue was something I just had to deal with.

As my problems worsened my ability in my sports decreased, I even found myself having to swap places with the goalkeeper in football as I couldn’t bear running around for more than 10/15 minutes. I was getting irritable and my sleep was being affected, which left me feeling desperate.

Discovering chiropractic

It was then recommended that I visit a chiropractor. I cannot actually recall anything that was said at my consultation other than the fact that my condition was a simple case of back pain. I do, however, remember my first treatment a few days later. I was pushed on and twisted with an exorbitant amount of ‘pops and clicks’ and remember saying ‘ow’ as a reflex even though it didn’t hurt.

Similar subsequent visits followed and I started to feel a massive improvement. It made so much difference to me that it made me wish that I could make the same difference to others’ lives. Since that time, I have never looked back. From that point I was destined to be a chiropractor myself.

I have always been fascinated by how things work, and in discovering chiropractic treatment I have been able to learn about how the miraculous and complex human body works.

Chiropractic - Low back pain

Low back pain

This article was written by Lushington Chiropractor Mykel Mason.

Lushington Chiropractic is a multi-award winning chiropractic and sports massage clinic in Eastbourne town centre. The clinic provides a range of treatments from expert chiropractic care to nutritional therapy, counselling, acupuncture, podiatry, sports massage and relaxing massage.