New NICE guidelines recommend chiropractic techniques for the lower back pain and sciatica
Chiropractic for the treatment of lower of back pain and sciatica
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recently published new guidelines for the treatment of lower back pain and sciatica. NICE is an organisation that provides guidance and advice to improve health and social care on a national level. These are the guidelines used by the NHS and other healthcare professionals. This guideline for the treatment of low back pain and sciatica covers everything from public health advice to surgical interventions.
The guidelines recommend a number of interventions for low back pain, including spinal manipulation and soft tissue massage techniques. Exercise and psychological therapies are also recognised as important in the treatment of lower back pain and sciatica.
What is spinal manipulation?
Let me explain in a little more detail what these treatments consist of. Spinal manipulative therapy is an umbrella term for a variety of methods and techniques available to chiropractors and other healthcare professionals. Depending on the nature of the issue, one or more of these interventions can be utilised to restore joint movement and function.
The chiropractor will observe and feel the movement of your spinal joints, looking for stiff joints. They will then apply a small thrust to a specific joint, to help improve movement there. The amount of force or movement used in the manipulation varies according to the techniques that the healthcare provider has been trained in, and how they can adapt them to your needs.
Spinal manipulation has been practiced by health practitioners for thousands of years. There are reports suggesting it’s use as far back as Egyptian times. Over the last 100 years’ chiropractors have been increasingly considered as some of the leading specialists in spinal manipulation. Although chiropractors carry out a wide range of types of treatments from massage to exercise advice, we have developed over a hundred different spinal manipulation techniques, which we refine for each person individually.
When you see a chiropractor they often refer to the spinal manipulation as an “adjustment”. It’s worth noting as well that we are trained to adjust and treat other joints or muscles throughout the body.
In relation to spinal manipulation itself, which is one of the treatment types recommended in this NICE guideline for the treatment of lower back pain and sciatica, the only healthcare professionals in the UK to have these techniques included as part of their required degree training are chiropractors and osteopaths. If a physiotherapist or GP wants to learn how to manipulate spines they have to undergo additional postgraduate training.
Soft tissue techniques
The guidelines recommend the use of soft tissue techniques for the treatment of lower back pain and sciatica.
There’s a wide variety of soft tissue techniques that can be used to treat back pain and sciatica. I predominately use stretching and massage techniques to help reduce stiffness and tension within the muscles and connective tissue. There is nothing more satisfying than improving someone’s hip and back range of motion with well-targeted massage and stretching.
At our chiropractic clinic in Eastbourne we have a large team of chiropractors, which is great for our patients, because we often discuss severe cases and share techniques we specialise in.
For a wide variety of people, I find that spinal manipulation and soft tissue techniques are best combined with specific therapeutic exercises, that are aimed to strengthen specific muscles and stabilise joints. Part of my assessment at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic is to identify the areas of the body that need to be strengthened and the areas that need increased mobility. This assessment helps me to develop a personalised care plan, based on the individual findings of each guest.
You may be wondering what role psychological therapies have in the treatment of lower back pain and sciatica.
What we do know, how we feel and our past experiences of pain have a big influence over our pain levels. Especially persistent pain that has been around for a long time. Our pain threshold becomes reduced when we feel anxious or depressed. We also know that our muscles can become tense when we feel like this. One technique I use alongside the manual therapy and exercise is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This is useful in reducing anxiety, stress and helping people to manage depression.
Nice to hear from NICE
This was something I was pleased to hear about. Considerable thought goes into devising the treatment plans for the guests at our clinic, so it is gratifying to read that the techniques we use have been incorporated into the NICE guidelines. This reinforces our belief that the treatment packages used here in Eastbourne are of the highest standard.
If you would like to find out more about the treatments available here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne, do not hesitate to contact either myself or another member of the team.
Is salt bad for me?
Is salt bad for me?
Salt is seen as something that is bad for your health when consumed in excess. But actually, salt can contain vital minerals that are fundamental to our health. You’ll notice that I said ‘can’. The reason for this is that some salt is good for you and some is not. It is important that you make sure that you are consuming the right type of salt.
Table salt is made up of sodium and chlorine and these elements only. This is because it has been chemically produced and altered to refine and get rid of any other trace nutrients. It is also bleached and dried at over 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, it is not naturally occurring.
Furthermore, table salt has been associated with: destabilising blood pressure; upsetting fluid balance; dehydrating the cells; slowing down the metabolism; and has even been linked to cellulite, kidney stones and rheumatism.
Just something to get you thinking: when salt water fish are placed in salt water made with table salt, they die quickly. Yet this is what is added to most processed foods, meats and snacks!
So ‘good’ salt is 100% naturally occurring salt. This has not been bleached or processed and is taken from a natural source in its crystalline form.
So this can be sea salt or rock salt with the highest quality seen as Himalayan rock salt. This does consist of sodium and chlorine but there are 82 further minerals when it’s in its natural crystalline form.
All unprocessed salt should be marked clearly as either unprocessed or unrefined.
Naturally occurring salt has been associated with very different things to table salt. It has been linked to: regulating blood pressure; regulating water content throughout the body; balancing excess acidity in the cells; reducing your ageing rate; balancing sugar levels in the blood and making bones firmer. Plus, many more. With all these benefits it begs the question, ‘Why are we using table salt over naturally occurring salt?’
If you like this information, read our other nutritional posts here on Backblog.
Yours in health,
The Health Benefits of Quinoa
There are many health benefits to quinoa. It is a fantastic source of protein and well worth adding to your diet. Do you use it as much as you should?
Quinoa, pronounced ‘keen-wa’, comes in two types – red and white. Both are nutritionally superior to most other grains, including bulgarwheat, couscous and certainly rice, and were the staple diet of the Incas for thousands of years. It has a slightly nutty, subtle flavour that may be used in any meal.
As a vegetarian I’m often looking for sources of protein that aren’t meat-based. The many health benefits of quinoa have led to it being labelled a superfood, largely because it is a complete protein – it contains all 9 essential amino acids (including lysine and isoleucine amino acids) that many other grains lack. Quantity-wise, it has two times the protein content of rice or barley and is a very good source of calcium, manganese and magnesium. It also contains iron, B-vitamins, phosphorus, potassium and vitamin E.
Impressive, isn’t it?!
It is also high in dietary fibre and is low-GI so is digested slowly by the body. This is great for those wanting to keep an eye on their blood sugar levels or their weight. Quinoa doesn’t cause a large sugar spike in the blood when eaten. In addition it is wheat-free which means it’s perfect for those of us with gluten-intolerance or coeliac disease. Interestingly, it is also good for those who typically suffer from bloating when they eat too much wheat.
I know about the health benefits of quinoa but how do I cook it?
Store your quinoa in an airtight container and keep it in a cool, dry place where it will last for several months. Cook it by rinsing thoroughly (to remove the saponin seed coating) and then boiling it in the same way that you would cook rice. When they’re cooked the grains will open up to release little white ‘tails’ as they soften. Add it to soups, stews, and sprinkle it onto salads. The quinoa, lentil and feta salad seen here is a favourite of mine!
For more information and advice on general health and chiropractic, explore the rest of www.backblog.co.uk
Thanks for reading!
Back pain in young children
There are fears that back pain in young children may be caused by the weight of heavy school bags.
Children are literally being weighed down by their school bags. You only need to look at some of the local school children here in Eastbourne to understand the nature of the problem.
There is concern that in many cases, children are carrying much more than the recommended maximum of 10% of their body weight. By increasing the load beyond this point, it is possible for youngsters to develop postural and even spinal problems.
For young children, 10% of their body weight might only be a few kilos – the equivalent of a few books and a lunchbox. Once this is exceeded, there is a very real possibility of back pain in young children. You see it every day, children with their heavy backpacks, leaning forward as they’re walking.
Long term impact of heavy bags
Carrying that sort of weight every day not only causes back pain in young children but can have a profound effect on their posture. Once established, poor posture can be lead to life-long issues. Children can start to experience back pain from the age of 11-15. If it starts then, there is a greater likelihood of it continuing into adulthood. Often, children and their parents don’t take back pain seriously because it comes and goes.
Clinic Director and Doctor of Chiropractic in Easbourne, James Revell’s first experience of Chiropractic was as a teenager with headaches. He’d been putting up with back aches for a long time because he’d been told they were just “normal growing pains for a teenager”. However, when he began to get headaches, his mother took him to see a chiropractor. James didn’t think it would work, but, after a few treatments not only were his headaches gone – but so was the back pain.
That was the beginning of James’ journey to become a Doctor of Chiropractic himself. James and the whole team at Lushington Chiropractic remain committed to helping everyone, of all ages and stages of life. There’s often a simple solution to help relieve pain, improve posture and help prevent future problems too.
Tackling back pain in young children
Here are some remarks from a couple of our teenage guests. If you want to see more testimonials check out: http://www.lushingtonchiropractic.com/test.php
Imagine the weight school children carry every day, carrying all the books they need for the day, and then bringing the books home again for homework. It’s a significant weight. Plus everything else they might need for the day, football/hockey/rugby boots, training shoes, the list is endless…..
By providing advice to children and their parents it is hoped that preventative measures can be taken.
The chiropractors here at Lushington Chiropractic are offering tips to parents on how to minimise the load to prevent potential back pain problems for schoolchildren.
- Always wear backpacks on both shoulders, buy a bag with thick shoulder straps to distribute the weight evenly.
- Choose a bag made of lightweight material and has multiple compartments for better weight distribution, and adjust the straps on a backpack to ensure the bag sits above the waist which reduces the pressure on the spine.
- Bags with a waist strap are also recommended.
Other tips are to use school lockers where provided, use lightweight packed lunch containers and, crucially, to carry only what is absolutely needed.
Parents can also look out for tell-tale signs that their child is struggling under the weight of their bags. Warning signs include a change in posture when wearing their backpack, tingling and numbness in the arms and hands, and back, neck or shoulder pain.
Here at Lushington Chiropractic we care for all ages, birth to 90+, so be assured we can help you and your children. If you have any concerns, give us a call on 01323 722499 and make an appointment with any of our chiropractors.
Headache – find out what yours is telling you?
Headache – what is yours telling you?
How often do you get a headache? If you suffer from headaches, regularly or even occasionally, it helps to know what is causing your headaches so you know how you can treat them, manage them, and in some cases prevent them. As a chiropractor, I help patients determine the cause of their headaches.
Where is your headache exactly?
Headaches tend to have patterns. If you tend to get headaches in your forehead, these can be due to sinus problems caused by infections or allergies, or high blood pressure. In both cases, you should consult your GP for treatment and management. Especially if high blood pressure is the cause.
Does your headache go up the back of your head and go to your temples and even behind your eye or eyes?
This is a common presentation of tension headaches. They are often worse by the end of the day when the muscles in the neck and shoulders are probably the most tired and overused. Chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy can help you to release the tension in your head and neck. Remember to “drop your shoulders” often throughout the day and don’t spend too much time looking at the computer or your phone or laptop.
Looking down for prolonged periods of time at phones and laptops, or staring at a computer too long, causes the muscles in the head and neck to become overworked. Over time, the muscles will have a decrease in blood supply which will leave the muscles chronically tight.
Do you have headaches so bad that you see auras?
Do noises and lights affect you? To the point where you need to sit in dark rooms? Do they make you vomit? This can be a sign of a more serious type of headache and you should see your GP as there is help available. Constant and prolonged headaches could be due to something more sinister like a brain tumour or aneurysm. If you have a headache that presents like this, visit your GP or A&E immediately.
Do you get headaches once a month that coincide with your menstrual cycle?
These types of headaches are often hormone-related. Again, see your GP to determine if this is the cause of these headaches.
Glasses – do you wear them or do you need them?
Another reason why you may be suffering from headaches is because you need glasses, or if you already wear glasses, it might be time for a new prescription. If we think your headache might be caused by vision problems, we will advise you to see an optometrist.
Here 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. Call us on 01323 722499.
Thank you for reading, all the best of health to you,
High Heels in the Workplace
Do you love wearing sky-high heels in the workplace all day? Your ankles may not love you for it!
It’s a hot topic at the moment – the wearing of heels. People are wearing ‘barefoot shoes’ to run on the beach, with the aim of making their gait a more natural one to enhance and strengthen the muscles and tendons. It is yet unproven but many think modern cushioned running shoes reduce proprioception (the sense of how the body is positioned in space) and may increase the risk of running injuries. Other people are wearing curved-sole shoes to make their calf muscles work harder and become stronger. However, high-heel wearing has been around much longer, beginning in this part of the world in the 14th century. And it is not uncommon for women to wear high heels in the workplace for all or some of the working week.
These days millions of women across the world wear heels to work every day, and some Australian scientists have done an interesting study to find out what effect this is having on them.
What they found was that women who were used to wearing heels every day walked differently from those who typically wore flat shoes, even when the regular heel-wearers went barefoot. The heel wearers moved with shorter, more powerful strides than the others with their feet always in a flexed, toes-pointed position. This movement pattern continued even when the women removed their shoes and walked barefoot.
The changes were permanent, and were caused by shortening of the fibres in their calf muscles because they put much greater biomechanical strain on their calves than those who wore flats. They also used more energy to cover the same distance as non-heel wearers which probably caused more muscle fatigue. These changes happened young – the volunteers were only 25 – showing that it doesn’t take long for these changes to be made.
So, the muscle strains that occur when walking in heels may ultimately increase the likelihood of strain injuries, quite aside from the risk of falling! This risk is still higher when heel wearers switched to trainers for gym activity, as their calf muscle are unused to walking in flats and exercise puts a greater strain on them.
So how can you switch from heels to flats? Try changing your regular work shoes gradually and only wearing heels once or twice a week, and remove your shoes when you can. Bit by bit you can reduce this to wearing mostly flats and save those heels for nights out and special occasions.
Read the study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22241055
For more information see our backblog: www.backblog.co.uk
Thanks for reading!
History Of Chiropractic
The history of chiropractic explained
It’s a question I am often asked as a chiropractor: how was the therapy first discovered and where did it come from? The Chiropractic profession is 120 years old and celebrated its 120th Birthday on September 18, 2015. While the chiropractic profession has been growing and developing over this time, fewer people recognise that the first principles of chiropractic were actually being developed as early as 2700 B.C.
Writings from China describe the use of spinal manipulation to ease low back pain. Hippocrates, the Greek physician, who lived from 460 to 357 B.C., also published texts in which he suggested to: “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases”.
The practice of spinal manipulation and the development of chiropractic initially began in the United States, gaining momentum in the late nineteenth century. Daniel David Palmer founded the chiropractic profession in 1895. In 1897, Palmer went on to begin the Palmer School of Chiropractic, which has continued to be one of the most prominent chiropractic colleges in the world.
Throughout the twentieth century, Doctors of Chiropractic gained continuing recognition all over the world. A portion of this growing recognition is down to an increased amount of research into chiropractic and spinal manipulation. The results from these subsequent studies have helped to change, shape and mould perceptions of chiropractic care.
Lushington Chiropractic’s 10th Birthday
Lushington Chiropractic also recently celebrated its 10th Birthday, celebrating with a fun-packed and information-filled open day at our clinic.
It was great to celebrate being part of the Eastbourne community. Although this is only a small portion of time in comparison to the 120 year history of chiropractic itself. We hope to keep serving the community for many more years to come.
A report entitled “Chiropractic in New Zealand” was published in 1979. It strongly supported the efficacy of chiropractic care and prompted medical co-operation in conjunction with chiropractic care.
The 1993 Manga study published in Canada investigated the cost effectiveness of chiropractic care. The results of this study concluded that chiropractic care would save hundreds of millions of dollars annually with regard to work disability payments and direct health care costs. More recently, the 2010 Bronfort report on the “Effectiveness of Manual Therapies”, discovered that spinal manipulation/mobilisation is effective in adults for: acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain; migraine and cervicogenic headache; cervicogenic dizziness; manipulation/mobilisation is effective for several extremity joint conditions; and thoracic manipulation/mobilisation is effective for acute/subacute neck pain.
As a profession, the primary belief is in natural and conservative methods of health care. Doctors of Chiropractic have a deep respect for the human body’s ability to heal itself without the use of surgery or medication. These doctors devote careful attention to the biomechanics, structure and function of the spine, its effects on the musculoskeletal and neurological systems, and the role played by the proper function of these systems in the preservation and restoration of health. A Doctor of Chiropractic is involved in treatment and prevention, as well as the promotion of public health, and a wellness approach to patient healthcare.
Chiropractic wellness and Dr You
At Lushington Chiropractic we are keen to practise using a wellness-based approach. Therefore we take care of the whole person, not just the area of discomfort. The body is an interconnected system, which is made to self-heal. A Chiropractic adjustment helps facilitate this healing action.
If you are interested in finding out more about your body, how it heals itself and how chiropractic manipulation can aid the healing process. Then ask your Chiropractor for a “Dr You” booklet and a “It’s as Simple as That” booklet.
If you would like to find out a little more about chiropractic, then please explore Backblog further or check out our website.
Why I Chose to Study Chiropractic
I knew that I wanted to study chiropractic at the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic
When it came to going to university I knew that I wanted to study chiropractic. The choices at the time were the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic and the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic. These are the two main colleges in the UK. Both the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic and the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic have good reputations for training chiropractors.
I visited both chiropractic colleges and assessed their chiropractic courses before making my decision. Both were four years full time chiropractic courses. Both covered the history of chiropractic, chiropractic technique, chiropractic case management, neurology, physiology, anatomy and much, much more.
Both courses looked great and I was actually keen on both of them. I was living in Eastbourne at the time with my family and this made Bournemouth (The Anglo-European College of Chiropractic) a better proposition due to distance. However, the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic only had chiropractic courses and no other studies there. At the time I wondered if it might be a little too much chiropractic talk to be at an educational institution where there was no variety. I thought that chiropractic in lectures, then chiropractic at home, and socialising only with chiropractors might be a little intense. Everyone needs to talk about something different sometimes.
The Welsh Institute of Chiropractic, however, was attached to the University of Glamorgan (now the University of South Wales). This university offers a broad range of courses and I thought that the variety would create a better learning and living environment for me, personally. Having been through the experience, I am very happy that I chose the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic.
I feel that I am a well-trained and well-rounded Chiropractor because of my intensive studies and a massive bonus is that I met my fiancée at University. She now lives down here with me in Eastbourne.
If you are thinking about studying to be a chiropractor then I would urge you to take a look at both the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic and the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic to decide which is right for you. Both have great courses and it may simply come down to personal preference when you choose between them.
If you are thinking about studying chiropractic here are the links to the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic website:
and the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic website:
Yours in health,
Mykel Mason your Eastbourne Chiropractor
Chiropractor’s search for Exercise in Eastbourne
My Search For Exercise
Eastbourne chiropractor, Caroline, talks about finding the right environment to stay fit and healthy through exercise.
Since I recently moved home I have been searching for the ideal place to exercise in Eastbourne. I have always enjoyed swimming and prior to moving to the area I went swimming once a week and also went to the gym. Whilst settling into my new chiropractic position and finding my way around Eastbourne there have been a number of venues that have caught my eye. However, I have yet to make the time to go.
Luckily enough, recently because of one of the patients/guests I have been in contact with a personal trainer who owns and runs a local fitness studio in Eastbourne. With my patient’s consent I was able to discuss with Emma Rogers about the needs of this person and was able to advise her on which exercises would and wouldn’t be suitable for them. When I spoke to Emma, I was delighted to hear of her passion and enthusiasm for taking a client through an individualised exercise programme. Following our conversation I was persuaded to try one of Emma’s exercise classes for myself and was not disappointed.
I openly admit to not being the sportiest of people and do struggle to find an exercise that I enjoy. However, I am lucky to live in such a fantastic location; there are numerous great locations to exercise in Eastbourne, even if it’s just heading out for a simple walk. Each day I spend 30 minutes walking to and from Lushington Chiropractic and at the weekend I always tend to be on the go, completing on average more than 10,000 steps.
My weekend walk up Beachy Head, Eastbourne
I also try and team my daily walking with a healthy balanced diet. I am always the first to try a new exciting recipe that will help to keep my body working at its best. However, it is also very important for the health of your brain and circulatory system to get in some high intensity exercise into your daily life.
If you have any suggestions of local Eastbourne spots for me to explore or exercise classes I need to try then please comment. Also you can find some quick and healthy recipes by following my blog.
Lushington Chiropractic is a multi-award winning clinic in Eastbourne, helping thousands of patients to achieve relief from pain and discomfort.
My Top Three Knee Pain Exercises
Knee pain and injuries. Knee facts.
Osteoarthritis of the knee is unfortunately a common problem. One thing that experts an agree on is that prevention is better than cure. My guests (patients) often ask me what the best knee pain exercises are to help them prevent, manage and rehab.
This blog post is designed for my guests to use as a reference as these are some of the exercises I use most often. If you’re not one of my guests and wish to try these exercises you do so at your own risk.
I really enjoy helping people with knee pain. Some knee problems are quite simple to correct, others a lot more difficult. I think it is important to get to the root of the problem and find out what is causing it. Once I have found out exactly what is going on, be it osteoarthritis, a muscle spasm, or a compensation for something else, I often use the rehabilitation exercises below to help.
Knee rehabilitation exercises are essential if you want the best possible results. The following three exercises are the most common I use. I find that they are the most effective for people who have suffered with knee pain. These exercises can be useful in many different types of knee pain as a lot of conditions have an associated muscle imbalance where the muscles aren’t quite doing the jobs that they are supposed to.
These can also be used for prevention of knee pain “prehab”.
In these cases I see the muscles are generally not working as they should be. The calves play an essential role in the efficient functioning of knee and ankle.
For this exercise all you need to do is make sure that you are supported, just in case you lose your balance. Slowly raise your heels off the ground. You then slowly lower your heels back down. For this exercise slow is important as it teaches the control of the muscle. This should be done in sets of ten and repeated three times.
This exercise is designed to improve the strength of the calf muscles but also helps to improve control and stability around the knee and ankle. This is also a good exercise for those who have had an ankle sprain (once the ankle is stable).
The next progression of this exercise is to perform the movement with the heel hanging over the end of the stairs.
2. Seated leg lifts
I have found the most common area of muscle imbalance is the thigh (quads) in knee problems. The muscles here help to control the movement of the knee cap.
For this exercise you are seated with the leg you are not targeting relaxed back. The other leg is at a right angle. Slowly lift up the leg in front keeping the knee bent. For this exercise you do not have to lift it too high but it is most effective when performed slowly. Something to watch out for is curving your back forward as you do this knee pain exercise as this can put extra strain on the spine. This exercise should be performed in sets of ten and repeated three times each side.
Seated leg lifts
This works on improving the strength and stability of the front thigh muscles the quadriceps. It also helps to strengthen and control the muscles that lift the leg up and can therefore be used in most hip cases also.
3. Lying leg lifts
This is an advanced knee pain exercise designed to work any imbalances in the thigh muscle.
For this exercise you are lying on your back with the knee you are working lying straight out and the other bent up. You need to contract the front thigh muscle and slowly lift the leg up for a count of three and then lower it for a count of three. Keep your bottom on the floor. You should lift your leg around thirty centimetres from the ground. This should be repeated ten times with three sets performed each side.
This is also designed to work on strengthening and stabilising the knee through the thigh muscles. Strengthening these muscles in different positions gets the muscles working the way they should when you do different activities such as walking or going upstairs.
Please remember these three knee pain exercises are to work alongside regular exercise such as walking or cycling and in combination with hands on treatment and nutritional changes if necessary.
Yours in health,
Mykel Mason, your Eastbourne chiropractor