" />
Did you know? Lushington Chiropractic EXPERT GENTLE EFFECTIVE

This website is managed by the award winning Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne

Book a consultation

Our team will contact you to confirm your appointment

Visit the Lushington Chiropractic WebsiteVisit the main Lushington Chiropractic website Click here

Common gardening mistakes that are bad for your back

This time of year, everyone starts going out into the garden and they tend to overdo it a little. Here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne I have more and more people coming in with injuries related to what they’ve done in the garden. Some have just overdone it but others will continue to do things that are bad for their backs and necks. So I thought I’d go through and describe some of the most common mistakes that people do that aggravates their body.

Weeding in the garden

The first one that lots of people do that causes injury is weeding. This can be a very bad thing for the back when done with poor posture. We don’t consider it necessarily that bad because we’re not necessarily carrying a heavy weight. The realism is that as we are pulling, yanking, tugging on these weeds this provides the same increased pressures as lifting. The stronger we have to pull the heavier the weight it could be compared to. This means that a lot more pressure is put on the muscles, the joints the ligaments and even the disc in the spine. As a result of this I am seeing lots of people who have aggravated their back’s, especially if they already had low back issues.

Obviously, what we also do is we aim to do a small area in the first place for half an hour or so but that area soon gets bigger and becomes longer. This then results in us suffering for a few days. This means that you have actually injured your spine, it may not cause you a long-term problem now but with repetitive use and repetitive damage like this it can lead to a real problem. So, it is best to adopt good positions whilst weeding now rather than when you actually have a back problem.

First keeping your back straight you can usually do this by kneeling, this gets you closer to the weeds and therefore easier to get into the area but also without putting that pressure through the spine.

A picture of man kneeling in front of weeds to be down at a lower level to accompany the blog on gardening by Eastbourne Chiropractor Mykel Mason

Kneeling whilst weeding

Using specific tools can be very helpful also, they help to loosen the soil and release the weeds which means it takes less pressure to pull them out. Some people won’t be able to do it like this because they can’t bend due to their knees. In this case you can do what’s called a golfer’s lift where you can grab on to the weed and used your momentum going backwards to pull it out without having to round your back. Again, the use of tools to help to loosen the weed and the soil around it is very very useful so that you don’t have to use as much pressure to pull it out.

The picture demonstrates a man bending over with his back leg out whilst he reaches down and pulls on a weed. To accompany the blog on gardening by Eastbourne Chiropractor Mykel Mason

A straight back demonstrated with a golfer’s lift whilst weeding

Trimming the hedges

The other thing we do at this time is we like to reshape our garden so it grows in the right way. This means we’re out there with the secateurs and big scissors trimming things back. What we tend to do when we do this as we tend to reach and crane and try and get into awkward positions to get those little bits. Realistically what we should do is just move because some things can be quite high. Getting a step ladder is very useful so we can get those top bits without having to reach so far. Reaching can lead to pulling in lower back muscles that can lead to aggravating the shoulders, it can also lead to the neck craning so can lead to injury. Especially if you do this a lot and the likelihood is the next day you will wake up with a pain or two and if you do this repetitively, once again this can lead to long-term issues.

A picture of a man trimming the high parts of a tree and overreaching so risking more damage. To accompany the blog on gardening by Eastbourne Chiropractor Mykel Mason

Trimming hedges whilst overstretching

Replanting

The other thing that we do at this time is replanting. This means that we are digging and moving soil. With this we need to make sure that we move things in the best way possible with digging getting your body behind the way as you put the pressure into the ground is really important that again keeping the back straight is incredibly important. What we tend to do is we tend to round our backs as we do this which again can lead to injury as that is a position that the back is very susceptible to injury.

Moving soil can be very detrimental also, when we move it with a shovel or spade it is important again to keep the back straight and you want the pressure to go through the legs instead again what we tend to do is round the back and use our back to help us to move the soil this is not ideal and again can lead to injury.

You want to adopt a long forward stance and this can help to keep the back straight. When moving bags of soil, it can be incredibly heavy so if you do you have a wheelbarrow this can be very helpful, alternatively having someone help you carry them is definitely a good option. This means that you spread the weight which means you are literally carrying half the weight that you would have been.

Yours in health

 

Mykel Mason your Eastbourne chiropractor

 

Returning to Eastbourne and being back in practice at Lushington Chiropractic

It’s strange being back at the Lushington clinic, most people have been asking me that I must be planning my next trip. The realism is that I’m really enjoying being back in practice. It’s a fantastic feeling, helping people again, and I can’t wait to help more people. While my wife and I were away it was a fantastic experience but I felt like my purpose was to be away and to travel and for me that wasn’t enough for the long term. Since returning I feel like I have my purpose back. I’m helping people again and that makes me happy. Here is an example of someone who I have seen since I’ve returned and I’m really proud of how well we have worked together to get her back to where she wants to be.

First new patient back

This lady I’ve recently started seeing has been seeing chiropractors for years for her neck. This had been where she was previously living and also since she had moved to Eastbourne. She only came to see me because she had acute low back pain and the person that she normally saw wasn’t open. This pain was severe and debilitating and had come on when she had bent over to pick something up. This is a really common onset of pain but the key thing for me was finding out what had caused the issue.

For me, she clearly had an underlying issue, as she had done this kind of bending a million times before and it wasn’t this one occasion that started this all off.

On further questioning it was revealed that she had actually been getting a mild low back pain on the left-hand side for about six months.  This pain was very infrequent and not severe therefore was not concerning her, but I believe this was the initial signs that this acute low back pain was going to happen. On examination she had no radicular signs, meaning she had no pain in the legs or tingling or numbness, there was also no weakness present. Examination revealed that the pain stemmed from the sacroiliac joint, which are the joints that connect the pelvis and the lower back.

As this pain was acute I recommended ice immediately as this helps to reduce the inflammation and therefore reduce the pain.

With ice ensure that it is wrapped up and not put directly on the skin. The treatment that I decided to deliver was using sacro-occipital technique, which is a technique that I have learnt post-graduation as part of my continued professional development. I have found this technique very useful, especially in cases with sacroiliac joint pain, it is also a very light technique which is helpful in acute pain. We are now two weeks into her care and the results have been excellent.

On our last visit she reported a 100% improvement in her lower back pain.

There is still some dysfunction present and we are continuing to address this so that episodes like this do not occur again. We have also been treating her neck, for which she has had treatment for years, and this is also improving. As this is a chronic issue it will take longer to resolve but I’m very happy with the progress so far and movement has certainly improved around the neck.

This kind of case really helps me to appreciate the difference that I and chiropractic can make.

I really enjoy helping the people of Eastbourne and the surrounding area but it is also very helpful when these people want to help themselves.

People always improve quicker if they are willing to do what is required to help things to improve quickest. The long-term aim for me, as long as my guests want this also, is to obviously improve how they feel but also to prevent problems in the future. I want everyone to be functioning as well as they possibly can.

A picture of me standing outside the clinic front. To accompany the blog by Eastbourne Chiropractor Mykel Mason

Me in my first few days back in practice

 

Yours in health,

 

Mykel your Eastbourne Chiropractor

Shoulder Strengthening Exercises to Do at Home

Who are these exercises for?

If you have suffered from a shoulder injury then these exercises may be for you. This blog will help those of you who have had a shoulder injury to gently strengthen the shoulder musculature and therefore work to stabilise the shoulder joint itself. Simple home-strengthening exercises for the shoulder can be done daily, however, make sure you check with your chiropractor at Lushington clinic in Eastbourne first. This is in order to ensure you’re ready for these exercises, since doing them too early may cause further injury. An injury may include rotator cuff tears (chronic or acute), weakness from osteoarthritis or muscle strains. Read on to find out how you can potentially strengthen your shoulder at home with some of these simple exercises.

 Internal rotator cuff muscle strengthening exercises

The shoulder joint is one of the most mobile joints in the body, with a huge range of motion in many directions. This gives you the mobility and strength to lift your kids, your shopping, to push open a door, and many of the other things that we take for granted in life! However, it does make the shoulder more prone to instability and therefore more prone to injury. Injury can often affect the rotator cuff muscles and their tendons (where those muscles attach to the bones of the shoulder). The rotator cuff muscles are the four main muscles that support the shoulder joint and help with movements such as internal (inwards) rotation, external (outwards) rotation, and abduction (lifting the arm out to the side).

To exercise the internal rotators, use a TheraBand or other resistance band. This is a stretchy piece of elastic band about 3 inches wide, and made in varying degrees of resistance. Start with the easiest/most stretchy one (usually yellow in colour) and take a length 1 metre long. Tie a secure knot at the end and trap it in a door frame by shutting the door with the knot on the other side of the door. Stand with your bad shoulder at 90 degrees to the door and tuck your elbow into your side with your elbow bent at 90 degrees. Now, slowly bring your lower arm into internal rotation (i.e. the wrist moves away from the door) and back to the neutral starting position. It’s very important to keep the elbow tucked into your side. Repeat 15 times.

Image shows Eastbourne chiropractor Victoria White demonstrating external rotator cuff muscle strengthening exercises using theraband.

External & internal rotator cuff muscle strengthening exercises as demonstrated by Eastbourne Chiropractor Victoria White

External rotator cuff muscle strengthening exercises

Set up your TheraBand as above, for the internal rotator cuff muscles, but stand with your good shoulder towards the door. Do the same movement where the wrist moves away from the door, and repeat 15 times. Keep the elbow tucked into your side.

Abductor rotator cuff muscle strengthening exercises

Step on the knotted end of the TheraBand, and keeping the elbow locked and arm straight, raise the arm and then lower it slowly. Don’t go above the shoulder. Making sure you keep the arm straight ensures that you’re working the correct muscles. Repeat 15 times.

Image shows Eastbourne chiropractor Victoria White demonstrating abductor rotator cuff muscle strengthening exercises

Abductor rotator cuff muscle strengthening exercises

If you have any questions about these shoulder exercises then please ask your chiropractor, and remember to check with them or another medical professional before you begin your shoulder rehabilitation program. A key point is to do little and often, to minimise strain on your injured shoulder, and to do the exercises with good posture. You can also use TheraBands with more resistance as you progress and get stronger. You can get in touch with us at Lushington chiropractic clinic in Eastbourne to book your shoulder assessment and treatment.

Thanks for reading

Vicky  

 

How Can I Strengthen my Neck at Home, and Why Would I Need To?

Here are some quick and easy neck exercises to help strengthen your neck, that you can do in the convenience of your own home.

How many of us suffer from neck aches and pain? Well, of those coming in to see us at Lushington chiropractic clinic in Eastbourne, a fair number!! In combination with chiropractic treatment and a program of home-stretches, there are some fantastic strengthening exercises that you can do at home. These will effectively help to strengthen the neck muscles, alleviate your pain and improve your neck function.

Which muscles should be stronger, and why?

Firstly, let’s focus on which neck muscles need to be stronger. Typically, people with neck issues, pain, or just neck and shoulder stress or tightness are prone to becoming weak in the lower trapezius muscles, and tight in the upper trapezius muscles. The upper trapezius muscles are the ones that you feel on the tops of your shoulders, and they attach at the neck right to the top. You can see in the picture below where the upper trapezius muscles are found (under the model’s hand)….

Image shows women rubbing the left hand side of her neck.

The upper trapezius muscles are found at the tops of the shoulders

These muscles tend to tighten in the ‘fight-or-flight’ response, so are often tense in people with anxiety, stressful jobs or busy lives. Additionally, they can cause headaches in a specific referral pattern. The referral headache is usually felt at the back of the head, over the top of the head, and behind the eye. To help release these muscles you need to work to strengthen the antagonistic muscles, that is the muscles that do the opposite action across the same joint of the body. In this instance that is the lower trapezius muscles and rhomboids which pull the scapula (shoulder blades) downwards and hold them stable.

How to strengthen the lower trapezius muscles and rhomboids…

Stand straight with your best posture. Now, ‘open up’ the chest and pull your shoulder blades together using the muscles in between them. Hold for a few seconds and squeeze tightly, then release, and repeat 10 times. As with most exercises, little and often is the key so do this a few times daily until the posture is better.

How to strengthen the lower trapezius muscles and rhomboids…

The other muscles that frequently get tight and cause neck pain are the suboccipitals. When tight and dysfunctional, these can cause headaches that are felt at the back and top of the neck, where the neck meets the skull. They are small muscles but can cause painful headaches.

To help release them you once again need to strengthen the antagonistic muscles, which do the opposite action. Here that is the deep neck flexors located at the front of the neck. These muscles help the chin to tuck downwards. To strengthen the deep neck flexors, lie down on your back, on your bed or sofa, with your head hanging off the edge. Make sure that your chin is tucked down (this is very important) and that your spine is straight, and hold the weight of your head up to work those muscles at the front of the neck. You should be able to last up to one minute – if your neck starts shaking or if your chin juts out then stop, and try again. Do daily for best results.

Thanks for reading. Read my previous blog for information on how to stretch out the tight and tender muscles that typically cause you neck pain.

Vicky

What is the Best Sleeping Position for my Back Pain?

Sleeping positions and their impact on your back pain, explained!

 In Lushington chiropractic clinic in Eastbourne, we are often asked “what’s the best sleeping position for my back?” and “why does my lower back hurt so much and feel so stiff in the mornings?” Well, unsurprisingly, the two issues are related!

If you are a long or a short-term sufferer of back pain, then you may know that feeling of being stiff and achey in the mornings. What a horrible way to wake up! This blog will help you to minimise or even avoid this feeling, and better prepare your body for a more pleasant, less painful wake-up.

Why does my back hurt so much in the mornings?

Any tissues in the body that are inflamed, whether they be muscles, ligaments, joints or around nerves, can become more inflamed with inactivity. This is because when you’re lying still all night (or sitting still in the day) the fluid collects in those irritated tissues and the result is pain when you do finally go to move! Now, of course it’s not practical or desirable for you to get up and exercise during the night, BUT, there are a few changes you can make to your sleeping position that will help to minimise and alleviate that morning pain. You can do this by putting your body in a better position at night so that those tissues are not stretched and strained and to minimise aggravation as much as possible. You’ll be surprised how much it can help!

Remember, the spine is a column of vertebrae (bones) with fluid-filled, shock-absorbing discs in between to stop those bones rubbing on one another. In the daytime when you’re standing and mostly vertical the pressure of gravity, and your bodyweight, compresses these discs very slightly (don’t worry, you don’t lose height!). On the reverse, when you’re asleep there is much less pressure on these discs and so overnight, they become plump and hydrated. This means that first thing in the morning they are most susceptible to being damaged or injured, and are particularly vulnerable to flexion (leaning forward) and twisting injuries. So, wait an hour before doing yoga and other exercises as they’re not the best movements to do as soon as you wake!

What is the best sleeping position? On your back!

Studies have shown that the lying position where the least pressure is placed on your lumbar discs is supine, i.e. lying on your back, face up. You can see from the picture here that if standing vertically is considered a baseline of ‘100%’ of your normal spinal disc pressure, then sleeping while lying on your back puts only 25% of that pressure on your discs. When sleeping on your back, in the supine position, it’s best to only use one pillow under your head for comfort (any more that this and your neck will be tilted upwards). Another good tip is to put two pillows underneath your knees, to make them slightly bent; this will take the pressure off the hamstrings, the lumbar facet joints, the pelvis and the sciatic nerves, and will feel very comfortable when you get used to it.

On your side…

Since not all of us are able to sleep on our backs, then the second-best position would be to lie on your side. If you do this it is very important to make sure that you assess your lying position when you’re in it, and ask “is my spine in line?”. You should be looking for a straight spine where your head and neck are properly supported by pillows. Too many and your neck will be tilted upwards, too few and it will be tilted downwards. Two pillows is usually about right for most people. Go for supportive synthetic pillows or an orthopaedic one if you prefer, as feather pillows are not supportive once the weight of your head is on them (the feathers push out to the sides and leave your head tilted downwards towards the mattress). The spine should be in alignment through the low back as well; bend both knees and keep them together without sprawling into the recovery position. You can put some of your duvet or a pillow in between the knees if it’s more comfortable. If it helps, you can ask a friend or partner to look at you and help with the “is my spine in line” check, if you wish.

Image shows building blocks demonstrating different spinal disc pressures to accompany the blog by Eastbourne Chiropractor Victoria White on sleeping positions.

The best positions for your lower back are lying on your back and after that, lying on your side

So, if you suffer from back pain in the morning then perhaps it’s time to do the “is my spine in line” check at home tonight! Please ask your chiropractor if you have any questions.

Thanks for reading

 

Vicky

 

 

Health Benefits of Salmon & Why I Love It – Its Amazing!

Why I Love Salmon and its Amazing Health Benefits

I love Salmon and given how good it is for you, so should you. Not only does it taste great but it can also provide some great health benefits.  So how much do you know about salmon?  Most of us know its a fish with a pinky/orange type colour, but what beyond this?  Below I have given some of the reasons I love salmon. My colleagues here at Lushington Chiropractic will tell you it’s not only Salmon I love. I love all fish and often enjoy it for breakfast! Luckily here in Eastbourne we have access to fresh fish on our doorstop.

Omega 3s

Salmon is a fantastic source of omegas 3s.  If you have visited us here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne you will know that it is one of our “must have enough of” and if people aren’t getting enough in their diet they could get it with a supplement.  The importance of omega 3s is well researched and they are important for pretty much everything!  Firstly they are converted into compounds that have an anti-inflammatory action, this is important for many health reasons.  Omega 3s are linked to cognitive function (your brain function), eye health, cardiovascular health, skin and hair.  So pretty important stuff and salmon is one of the best dietary sources. The health benefits really are amazing!

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is also called the “sunshine vitamin” due to the fact that our body makes vitamin D when we are in the sunlight.  It is also available however in some foods.  Salmon, together with eggs and fortified milk or cereals, is one of these.  Vitamin D has long been known to play a part in bone health.  More recently however, its importance is being found to be further reaching and the vitamin is being linked to various chronic diseases.

Some people are more at risk for vitamin D deficiency these are :

  • People who don’t consume good amounts over time, for instance people with a strict vegetarian diet (because most of the natural sources are animal based), or people with poor diets.
  • Those who have limited exposure to sunlight, either because they live in northern latitudes, are housebound, cover up for religious reasons or other reasons such as an occupation which means they don’t get much sunlight.
  • People with darker pigmented skin as this reduces the skin’s ability to make vitamin D
  • Older people and people with kidney problems as the kidneys play an important role in converting vitamin D to its active form.
  • People who have trouble absorbing nutrients from food due to digestive problems
  • Obese individuals as vitamin D is extracted from the blood by fat cells changing how it is released into the circulation, i.e they may have lower blood levels.

Recently there has been some concern over the population’s vitamin D levels, reasons suggeted have been a poor summer leading  into the winter and there has been a recurrence of rickets (bone softening due to vitamin D deficiency) in children.

If you think you may be deficient in vitamin D it is worth talking to your doctor or other suitable healthcare professional and the Department of Health recommends a supplement for the following people:

  • All children aged six months to four years.  See this NHS page for more details on babies.
  • All pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • All people aged 65 and over
  • People who are not exposed to much sun as described above

Great source of protein

I am not going to write much on this.  Essentially protein is important for everything!  It is one of the major food groups and very important for all body processes, growth, development and repair.

Good source of selenium

Selenium is a less well known mineral, but is important in working with vitamins as an antioxidant.  It plays a role in thyroid function and the immune system and is also important in male fertility.

So these are the more “sciencey reasons” for why I love salmon and why it can be great for us, but also when we eat salmon it is normally with vegetables and potatoes or cous cous and salad, not so often with chips or other unhealthy items so helps us there too! It also tastes great and is easy to cook, put it in the oven for 20 minutes and bake, it’s so versatile and can be grilled or poached as well.  My latest discovery is the smoked salmon trimmings in the supermarkets makes a lovely salad.

So there we have it, many, many good reasons to eat more salmon if you aren’t eating enough already.

This blog from our old colleague Caroline Mulliner shows us her favourite Salmon recipe.

Why do you love salmon?

Has anybody got any good salmon recipes they would like to share with me?

Thanks for reading.

James

 

What is the difference between a Physiotherapist or Chiropractor?

Physiotherapist or Chiropractor?

I frequently get asked by patients here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne, what is the difference between a chiropractor and a physiotherapist? Well, there are a lot of similarities between both professions. We both use manual therapy and prescribe exercises to help people move and feel better. So it’s an understandable question, but like most things in life the devil is in the detail as to what the differences are. My personal view is from that of a chiropractor, but I have worked alongside physio’s in the past and will be as impartial as I can be.

Image of James Revell - Doctor of Chiropractic at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne to accompany his blog on the differences between Physiotherapy and Chiropractic.

James Revell – Doctor of Chiropractic

What do physiotherapists and Chiropractors have in common?

Based on the NHS choices website definition of physiotherapy, it is described as a profession that helps to restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness, disability. It can also help to reduce the risk of injury or illness in the future. It takes a holistic approach that involves the patient directly in their own care. From this definition you can see there are a lot of similarities between physiotherapists and chiropractors. The most obvious being the focus on restoring movement and function. We both share those goals of wanting you to move and feel better. We also both use manual therapy to help achieve that goal. Generally manual therapy is used more by physiotherapists working within private practice than those working within an NHS hospital setting which is moving more towards exercise based treatment approach.

What kind of manual therapy techniques do chiropractors and physiotherapists use?

We both use a variety of soft tissue techniques such as massage or trigger point therapy for treating stiff and sore muscles. We can combine that with different stretching techniques to help reduce stiffness that can build up within muscles. To help joints move better, we both use joint mobilisation techniques. These are repetitive movements of joints into a specific direction, usually into the direction of joint stiffness. Looking at the updated guidelines from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of lower back pain. Spinal manipulative therapy is recommended. Incidentally NICE is the organisation that recommends the best practice for the treatment of certain conditions. These guidelines are often used by GPs, consultants and other health care professionals. Chiropractors and osteopaths are trained to manipulate the spine within their education. Whereas if a physiotherapist or GP wants to use spinal manipulation, they have to undergo additional post graduate training.

What sort of education does a chiropractor or physiotherapist have?

To become a qualified chiropractor involves undergoing a four or five year undergraduate degree programme where students learn to diagnose, treat and rehabilitate a wide range of disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system. They will also learn how to take and read x-rays, as well as interpret MRI scans. Once graduated chiropractors will continue their professional development with additional training. To become a qualified physiotherapist involves a three year undergraduate programme or a two year Masters programme for someone who has a relevant degree such as sports science. The focus is not just on the treatment and management of the musculoskeletal disorders. But will learn how to rehabilitate other disorders such as cardiac and respiratory conditions. This is something chiropractors or osteopaths are not trained to do. Physiotherapist do get good training opportunities in their post graduate training working within the NHS.

So who should I see about my back or neck pain?

The answer to that question is it doesn’t matter. As long as you find a good chiropractor or physiotherapist, they will both help you with your lower back or neck pain. If you would like to find out a bit more about what I can do to help you, have a look at the Lushington Chiropractic website.

Thanks for reading.

James

 

Vitamins and Minerals, What’s in the Pot?

Part 1: Vitamins

Have you ever wondered what vitamins and minerals are in a multi-vitamin tablet and what they do? My patients in the chiropractic clinic often ask me how vitamin and mineral supplements can help to promote their health and wellbeing.

Eastbourne Chiropractor Gemma Crouch investigates the contents of one type of multi-vitamin and mineral supplement from BioCare and sums up their main function in the human body.

Image shows container of One a Day Vitamins & Minerals to accompany the blog by Eastbourne Chiropractor Gemma Crouch.

Food supplements, vitamins and minerals by BioCare are stocked at the clinic, ask your chiropractor for more details

Part 1 describes why vitamins are essential for our health. Part 2 to follow describes how minerals are essential for our health and well being.

Vitamins: What’s all the Fuss?

Vitamin A

Vitamin A has an essential role in bone growth, reproduction and immune system health. It also helps the skin and mucous membranes to resist bacteria and viruses effectively and is key to retina function. One of the first signs of vitamin A deficiency is struggling to see in the dark.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is converted into a hormone Calcitriol in the body. This hormone circulates in the blood and helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate nutrients in the body which are essential in the optimal function of the nerves, muscles and immune system. Some of the symptoms of low vitamin D levels are muscle weakness, fatigue and softened bones.

To find out more about Vitamin D, click here to read my blog.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant vitamin which removed oxygen free radicals which are the unstable compounds that damage healthy cells. Vitamin E is also essential in optimal immunity and lowering cholesterol and helps to prevent skin ageing. An early symptom of vitamin E deficiency is muscle weakness and wasting leading to loss of coordination.

Vitamin C

Like E, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which can help fight off infection. It also helps the body to maintain optimal function of connective tissues, bones, blood vessels and skin. Some more advanced deficiencies of vitamin C include gum inflammation, brittle hair and a decreased ability to ward off infection.

Vitamin B1

One of the 8 water soluble B vitamins, B1 helps to covert carbohydrates into glucose to produce energy and to breakdown fats and protein. It is also essential to maintain digestive function and promotes the immune system, hair and liver. Vitamin B1 deficiency can lead to fastened heart rate, shortness of breath and swellings.

Vitamin B2

One of the 8 water soluble B vitamins, B2 helps to covert carbohydrates into glucose to produce energy and to breakdown fats and protein. It is also essential to maintain digestive function and promotes eye health and blood cell health. A lack of vitamin B2 can lead to dry skin and skin rash, anaemia, inflammation of the tongue and weakness.

Vitamin B3

One of the 8 water soluble B vitamins, B3 helps to covert carbohydrates into glucose to produce energy and to breakdown fats and protein. It is also essential in the production of adrenal hormones in the adrenal glands and is thought to suppress inflammation. A deficiency of vitamin B3 can lead to dry cracked skin, inflammation of the tongue and swelling of the mouth.

Vitamin B5

One of the 8 water soluble B vitamins, B5 helps to covert carbohydrates into glucose to produce energy and to breakdown fats and protein. It is also essential in the production of adrenal hormones in the adrenal glands, blood cells and helps the body to lower cholesterol. Vitamin B5 deficiency can lead to low moods, fatigue, insomnia and mood swings.

Vitamin B6

One of the 8 water soluble B vitamins, B6 helps to covert carbohydrates into glucose to produce energy and to breakdown fats and protein. It is also essential in the production of neurotransmitters in the brain for normal brain function. Low levels of vitamin B6 can lead to dry skin, low moods and a reduced ability to fight off infection.

Vitamin B7

One of the 8 water soluble B vitamins, B6 helps to covert carbohydrates into glucose to produce energy and to breakdown fats and protein. It is also essential to strengthen and maintain healthy hair, nails and skin. A lack of vitamin B7 can lead to hair loss, a red facial rash and weakness or tingling of the hands and feet.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is important in the prevention of certain birth defects, which is why it is often recommended for pregnant women. It is also helpful in reducing blood pressure and helps the body to maintain healthy cells. Low levels of folic acid can lead to signs of anaemia and the inability to fight off infection.

For more information about supplements, multivitamins and minerals, ask your chiropractor. If you are concerned about any of these symptoms, make sure to ask your GP for advice.

Ingredients Table

This table has been taken from the BioCare website and refers to the one a day vitamins and minerals.

INGREDIENT AMOUNT PROVIDING % EC NRV
Vitamin A 2667iu 800 mcg Retinol equivalent 100
Vitamin D2 400iu 10 mcg 200
Vitamin E 100iu 67 mg Alpha Tocopherol equivalent 558
Vitamin C 191.8 mg 240
Thiamin (Vitamin B1) 32 mg 2909
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 25 mg 1786
Niacin (Vitamin B3) 100 mg Niacin Equivalent 625
Vitamin B6 30 mg 2143
Folic Acid 400 mcg 200
Vitamin B12 (hydroxycobalamin) 100 mcg 4000
Biotin 400 mcg 800
Pantothethic Acid (Vitamin B5) 60 mg 1000
Calcium 30 mg 4
Magnesium 19 mg 5
Iron 7.5 mg 54
Zinc 15 mg 150
Manganese 4.45 mg 223
Selenium 200 mcg 364
Chromium 100 mcg 250
Molybdenum 500 mcg 1000
Iodine 151 mcg 101
Choline bitartrate 60 mg
Inositol 25 mg
PABA 25 mg
Bilberry Extraxt 4:1 20 mg Equivalent to 200 mg Billberries
Lutein 5 mg
Beta carotene 2 mg Providing 333 mcg retionol equivalent
Boron 1.2 mg
Image shows Eastbourne Chiropractor Gemma Crouch to accompany her blog on The Health Benefits of Chocolate

Eastbourne Chiropractor Gemma Crouch

Thanks for reading, look out for Part 2 to find out how minerals are essential for our health and well being.

Gemma Crouch

Do I need acupuncture or a chiropractor to treat my lower back pain?

Acupuncture v Chiropractor

At some point in your life the chances are you will experience lower back pain. You may have heard acupuncture and chiropractic care are both good for treating lower back pain. So who do you go and see? Well, like my last blog comparing chiropractors and osteopaths the answer is not black and white. This is due to differences that occur within each profession and personal preferences of the individual seeking treatment. So the aim of this blog is to explain and compare what each profession does, so you can make an informed choice as to whether you would prefer to see an acupuncturist or a chiropractor.

Doctor of Chiropractic James Revell

Doctor of Chiropractic James Revell

Traditional Acupuncture

Starting with acupuncture there are two distinct schools of thought. The first is Traditional acupuncture and the second is western medical acupuncture or also called dry needling. A description from the British Acupuncture Council describes traditional acupuncture as a Health care system based on ancient principles of Chinese medicine that dates back more than 2000 years. It is concerned with the health and function of an individual, and looks at illness and pain as signs the body is out of balance. Balance can be restored by enhancing the flow of Qi or vital energy through the body. The flow of Qi is improved by inserting acupuncture needles at specific points within the body to remove blocked energy. Qi or vital energy is described as life energy that needs to flow freely through the body to maintain good health. To train and become a qualified acupuncturist, normally takes about three years to complete.

Western Medical Acupuncture

Image shows Doctor of Chiropractic at Lushington Chiropractic James Revell showing an example of an acupuncture needle in position.

An example of an acupuncture needle in position.

The second school of thought is Western medical acupuncture, although acupuncture needles are used it is based on an entirely different rationale. This has evolved from traditional acupuncture, where needles are inserted into areas based on current knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology. As opposed to the traditional acupuncture which is based on mapped out areas of the body where qi is thought to be blocked. The western medical acupuncturist will look to insert needles into trigger points, which are essentially knots that can build up within the muscle either through trauma or over use. This style of acupuncture is typically used by chiropractors, osteopaths, GPs or physiotherapists who have attended post graduate courses.

What the guidelines say

The recently updated NICE guidelines (The guidelines used by the NHS as to being best practice for health professionals) recommend spinal manipulative therapy (also known as chiropractic adjustments), massage techniques and combined psychological and physical exercise programmes. These are all treatment modalities I use with the guests at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic. Acupuncture was recently dropped from the updated guidelines, but that is not to say it does not work, just more research is needed. I know through my personal experience patients who have chiropractic treatment and see an acupuncturist, do very well.

We both want to improve your health

Chiropractic care and acupuncture are both more than treating a back pain, they are about improving overall health – see our blog what is chiropractic. As a chiropractor my main goal is to improve the movement of your musculoskeletal system, and understand how that can reduce your pain and have other health benefits. The acupuncturists goal is also to promote health, so from that point of view we have similar goals. If you are not sure who to see for your back pain, see what approach resonates with you. Speaking as a chiropractor I would say that if you came to see me, I would make sure you get a good diagnosis and a personalised treatment package which would be appropriate to your needs. I am confident I can help with most types of mechanical back pain, but am also sure an acupuncturist might say the same thing. If I felt acupuncture would be a useful adjunct to your treatment, I can refer you to my colleague Victoria White a chiropractor here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne who practices western medical acupuncture.  I have done my best to give a balanced opinion on the different approaches and be as accurate as possible. However, I am a chiropractor and not an acupuncturist, so you might get a different opinion from an acupuncturist.

Thanks for reading.

James

 

 

 

 

 

 

A chiropractor’s guide to protecting the back when gardening

So the focus for my blog this month is GARDENING and some tips for protecting the back when gardening.  It is inspired by my mum and all my patients here in Eastbourne who are just starting to get back out in the garden now the weather is warming up.

Getting out in the garden can be very therapeutic. It can be stress relieving and being out in the fresh air is lovely, plus the sun is great for Vitamin D levels.  Growing plants, especially your own vegetables can be very satisfying, and having that nice environment to sit out in on a nice summers day or for a BBQ is well worth the effort.

Of course, as a chiropractor here at Lushington Chiropractic there are a few things I would say to keep in mind.  If you are prone to back problems, it is important to be aware that certain activities can exacerbate discomfort and that certain steps should be taken to protect your back when gardening.  I firstly started out doing a little research of my own by getting out in the garden at home to appreciate what it is my patients are doing when they tell me they have been doing a little digging!  Wow when those roots are holding tight they are hard to get out! Not like the plants we have in our little patio garden outside of our X-Ray suite.

Image shows James Revell - Doctor of chiropractic getting to grips with the patio plants outside of the Lushington Chiropractic X-Ray Suite here in Eastbourne.

James getting to grips with the patio plants.

So what is it about gardening that means we need to take care?

To those unfamiliar with what is entailed in maintaining an attractive and orderly outdoor space, gardening may seem like a sedate pastime. Yet, the reality is that many aspects of gardening can involve sudden bursts of activity that the body may well not be ready for, such as twisting and lifting. Combine these movements with poor posture and poor technique and the results can be extremely painful.

The first point to make is that if you have good strong core and back muscles and have looked after your back in other daily activities and sports then your body is much more likely to be robust and ready for the exercises and challenges that you may throw at it.

If you are unsure about how to do this then ask advice from someone who can help, such as a chiropractor or a good personal trainer.

Secondly here are some tips that you should bear in mind:

Like any other exercise, start off slowly and warm up.  Going for a gentle walk, doing some light movement or starting off with lighter/easier jobs first will help your body warm up and lessen the chance of muscle strain. This may seem like overkill for a spot of gardening, but if you are serious about protecting your back it can be essential.

You will also need to wear clothes that are suitable for the task at hand when you step outside.  Tight clothes could constrict your movement. Also be mindful of the type of footwear that you have to prevent slipping in wet conditions.

When using a ladder or steps, make sure it is planted firmly in position.  Have someone with you if necessary to help and try not to overextend when you reach or lean out. Avoid this temptation by moving the ladder frequently when you are working over a large area.

Over-reaching and leaning is one to avoid even when not on a ladder.  Keep what you are doing closer to you, this will put less strain on the body.  You can get tools with longer handles to help with this.

Image shows Doctor of Chiropractic James Revell of Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne attending to the plants on the patio of the X-Ray suite.

Gardening? Not much digging going on here!

When digging, push down rather than pushing too far out in front, this helps to minimise bending.

If you are buying heavy items that are delivered, have them dropped off as close to where you need them as you can, to avoid having to carry them later.  Also if you are buying big bags of compost for instance, consider getting more smaller bags to make the lifting easier and alway carry heavy things close to the body.  A wheelbarrow is also handy to limit carrying.

If you are doing lots of potting, think about doing this on on a work surface at a comfortable height so as to limit stooping over.

Vary your activity and take regular breaks, don’t be tempted to do it all once due to the weather forecast!

A knee pad is useful for those knees, rather than kneeling on hard surfaces.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated in hot weather.

Finally if you think something is a bit too much, get someone to help out, take it easy and don’t overdo it.

If you are concerned about protecting the back when gardening, consider all the points above when you are getting outside this summer.  If you need some further advice or have back pain you can always contact us.  Our website is a good place to start.

Thats all for now, above all enjoy!

James