An Eastbourne Chiropractor’s tips for prevention of migraines
For me prevention is always better than cure. Here I will cover some things that my patients have found effective in preventing their migraines, therefore reducing the frequency and severity of these attacks.
What is a migraine
Migraines have been identified as a neurological condition as they effect the bodies brain chemistry. They are also a lot more common than we originally thought. There are many different sub varieties of migraine and many have still not been classified. They are typically 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.
Predisposition to migraine
There are a few factors that have been associated with the presence of migraines and therefore sometimes management of these can help to prevent them. These include: stress; depression or anxiety; menstrual period; menopause; head or neck trauma. As a chiropractor, I have seen many people presenting to me with migraines and it is very common for them to have one or more of these factors so key to my care, is giving advice about managing these issues.
Migraines are often set off by certain things and these can be common amongst many different people. Common triggers are: altered sleep patterns; stress; foods such as chocolate, cheese, caffeine and alcohol; strong smells; bright lights; dehydration; and strenuous exercise. The best way to identify your triggers is to keep a migraine diary recording what time of day, how severe out of ten, how long it lasted, and if you had any associated effects such as sensitivity to light/sound, nausea etc. This can sometimes help to identify possible triggers. It is important not to just try and focus in triggers though as they can be hard to identify.
Active migraine prevention
As well as being aware of your possible triggers there are a few active things that you can do that have been shown to help prevent migraines in many people. Chiropractic treatment has been recommended for prevention of migraine and I have seen the effectiveness of this in my own patients even in the instance of those that are only present during the menstrual period. This is believed to be due to addressing underlying issues around the head and neck potentially linked to previous trauma causing an underlying dysfunction. Acupuncture has also been recommended for prevention of migraines and a piercing in the ear, based on acupuncture points, has been effective in some people and again some of my own patients have found this useful. This piercing is through the Daith in the ear (shown in the photo).
Adopting good posture can also take unnecessary pressure off the muscles around the head, neck and shoulders; and sunglasses help to prevent squinting and aggravating tension in the facial muscles.
For more different types of headaches go to this site: http://www.headaches.org/2008/12/11/the-complete-headache-chart/
Yours in health,
Interesting facts about the nerves
The nervous system is basically the body’s electrical wiring with electrical signals being sent to and from the brain. The nervous system is made up of two parts which are the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (everything else). The peripheral nervous systems job is to connect the central nervous system with the rest of the body therefore allowing our brain to send and receive signals.
There are many interesting facts about the nerves but these are a few that I find very interesting and I hope that you do too. Next time you are visiting us here in Eastbourne ask your chiropractor to show you the nerve chart.
Nerve facts in numbers
- There are more nerve cells in the human body than the number of stars in the Milky Way.
- 100 billion neurones make up the human brain and if these were to be lined up would measure 600 miles long.
- In a foetus, neurones grow at 250,000 neurones per minute.
- 5 million neurones make up the spinal cord with the cluster of nerves at the base being the most sensitive.
- To connect the central nervous system to the rest of the body there are 43 different pairs of nerves. 12 pairs come out from the brain (protected by the skull) and the other 31 from the spinal cord (protected by the spine).
- Messages sent to the brain can travel as fast as 180 miles per hour.
- During the course of its first year a baby’s brain will grow to almost three times the size at birth.
- Because of the shape of the brain the total surface area is about 25,000 square centimetres.
- The brain of a man, on average, weighs around 100g more than that of a woman.
- The brain of a fully-grown adult is approximately three times as heavy as that of a newborn baby however, after the age of 20, we lose 1g in weight every year.
Miscellaneous Nerve facts
- Due to an area at the top of the neck the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and the right side of the brain the left side of the body.
- The brain and spinal cord begin to develop in a foetus three weeks after conception.
- Most of the brain, at any given point, is inactive and resting with only 4% of the cells active at any moment in time.
- It has been estimated that 12% of people dream in black and white. This is believed to be due to watching black and white television as most of these people are over 55.
- When blind people dream, whether they dream in picture is down to whether they could see when they were born or were born blind. If they were born blind dreams would typically consist of different senses such as sound, smell, taste and touch.
The study of the nervous system is called neuroscience. Nerves can be very sensitive and are susceptible to physical injury and injury through disease. This can lead to severe pain, tingling, numbness and weakness. One of the most common injuries to nerves occurs to the sciatic nerve and this is often accompanied by severe pain down the back of the leg with tingling and numbness in the foot and often weakness also. This kind of injury generally only effects one side and can be due to a multitude of things. One of the most common is a disc injury in the lower spine (slipped disc).
Look out for my next blog on interesting facts about bones.
Yours in health,
Part 2 An interview with James Revell, Clinic Director at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne.
Continuing from last time, here is part 2 of the interview with James Revell, Doctor of Chiropractic and Clinical Director of Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne. If you missed part 1 you can read it here.
Once graduated, whereabouts did you go to and work?
Having grown up on the coast in Sussex near Eastbourne, it was always natural for me to work in the south. I looked at chiropractic clinics, osteopaths and even multi-disciplinary clinics for physiotherapists across the south of England.
One of the chiropractors I was most inspired by was a “chiropractor neurologist”. He specialised in neurological (nervous system) conditions understanding and treating them using chiropractic neurology.
I spent eighteen months working with him in West Sussex, as well as other clinics before branching out towards Eastbourne to open a chiropractic clinic at the Horder Centre, which at the time was known as the Apollo Centre.
How long were you there at the Horder centre in Eastbourne?
I worked at the Horder (Apollo) Centre for three years. During that time, I used to commute to Eastbourne from Brighton. After a little persuasion, my wife agreed to move to Eastbourne so we could open up our own chiropractic clinic.
Was Lushington Road your first choice to open a chiropractic clinic?
Initially we looked at the potential of opening up a chiropractic clinic in Seaford, or Hailsham, but favoured Meads High Street in Eastbourne in the end. However, when 30 Lushington Road came on the market we fell in love with it. It is a big building with great potential to convert into the kind of warm welcoming chiropractic clinic that fitted our vision.
What do you really enjoy about being a chiropractor here in Eastbourne?
Something I really enjoy about being a chiropractor is helping people and making a difference. Eastbourne has already got a lovely community feel – there’s lots going on, especially for us as we are bringing up our young family. I find it really rewarding as a chiropractor to be able to contribute to the community; not only helping individuals, but joining in with local charity events and even running some ourselves.
I like to be able to help people and to feel that I have made a difference, so in a town like Eastbourne, you really can make a difference, rather than some of the larger towns and cities.
I also really like Eastbourne’s location next to the sea, the Downs and, when you need it, there is easy access to London and Brighton.
You’ve been working as a chiropractor in Eastbourne for over a decade – how many more years have you got left in you?
My role as a chiropractor has grown, just as our clinic has grown too. I really enjoy working with people and still run clinics on a weekly basis myself. However, I do have to balance that now with managing the clinic overall as well.
I have got no immediate plans to retire and hope to continue practicing as a chiropractor in Eastbourne for at least another twenty years.
Why did you decide to have other therapists alongside chiropractors working with you?
I think it is important that a patient’s treatment is tailored personally to them. By having a team of practitioners who are experts in their own individual fields, the patient can get the best possible treatment personally tuned to meet their individual needs. That’s why I insist on meeting with all the massage therapists every week to discuss cases with them.
Lushington is the largest chiropractic and multi-disciplinary clinic in Eastbourne – in fact, we are one of the largest clinics in East Sussex! We have a team of over twenty covering sports massage, medical acupuncture, Chinese acupuncture, nutrition therapists, podiatrists, psychologists and counsellors. I think for a little clinic here in Eastbourne we are doing rather well, but what I am most proud about is the genuine collaborative atmosphere that puts the patient first.
That’s great James, keep doing the hard work and thank you for agreeing to be interviewed!
Am I hypermobile?
Am I hypermobile is a question I get asked regularly as it is actually really quite common.
As a chiropractor, here in Eastbourne, I generally see people with hypomobile joints but we do see people with hypermobile joints also and we just need to change the type of treatment for those people.
Hypermobility vs hypomobility
Hypermobility is where a joint or multiple joints in the body move more than they are designed to.
Hypomobility is where joints move less than you’d expect and are relatively stiff. Hypermobility can be due to previous injury, overstretching, congenital anomalies or specific conditions that effect the connective tissue (A protein present in muscles and ligaments).
- Previous injury that causes hypermobility would typically be a dislocation, with the shoulder being the most commonly effected area. This damages the ligaments and stability in the shoulder is lost and further dislocation can then happen.
- Overstretching can cause slight hypermobility in the case where someone is already flexible and stretches too regularly that it pushes the joints past the natural amount. This is often commonly associated with a lack of exercise and potentially previous injury or congenital anomalies.
- Congenital anomalies are slight alterations in the structure that we are born with. In the case of hypermobility this is alterations in the bone structure around the joint such as a shallow joint socket such as the hip. This then allows extra movement within the joint.
- Conditions that effect the connective tissue can cause the ligaments and muscles to have more give naturally therefore not stabilising the joint quite as well and providing excessive movement.
Beighton hypermobility scale
There is a simple scale which you can calculate yourself at home to tell if you have gross hypermobility. At the end, you will have a score out of nine. To give you an idea, I am not hypermobile at all and scored 0/9. The Beighton score is calculated as follows:
- You score one point for bending forwards with your legs straight and being able to touch the palm of your hand on the floor.
- One point is scored for each side if your elbow bends backwards passed straight.
- One point is scored for each side if your knee bends backwards passed straight.
- One point is scored for each side if you can touch your thumb to your forearm.
- One point is scored for each side if when you bend your little finger back it goes passed 90 degrees.
If your Beighton score is four or more then it is likely that you have joint hypermobility.
For more information, you can visit the hypermobility syndromes association’s website.
Here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne we put your interests first. Our mission is to provide a warm, welcoming clinic which consistently delivers the best possible customer care, expert diagnosis and personalised healthcare. Everything about your care will be personally tailored to your needs.
Yours in health,
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to do a Proper Squat
Squats are really excellent exercises to train the core muscles and to get the whole of the lower body working together. The problem with the squat is technique is incredibly important. The number of times I have seen people squatting incorrectly in the gym is ridiculous. As a result, I have written this blog to teach you how to do a proper squat without weight and you can then add weight afterwards. It is important to do this first without weight as you can then perfect the technique. If a weight is too heavy, your body compensates and therefore you lose the technique.
A Proper Squat
The most effective squat is defined by two components:
- Keeping the back straight
- Not allowing your knees to go over your toes.
These two work hand-in-hand to work the muscles in the correct way.
To do a proper squat it will feel like you are going to sit down, and this is a good way to imagine it. Your weight will drop backwards and therefore the upper part of your body will come forwards to counteract the weight distribution. Everyone has a different depth of squat. This all depends on your flexibility, not your strength. Your hamstrings will dictate how low you can go. When you are at your limit you will feel a pulling in the hamstrings. If you go too far, this will then cause your low back to start to curve in the opposite direction because the buttocks are being pulled under.
Common Squat Mistakes
The most common mistakes that happen are the knees going over the toes and the low back rounding. This is common because people are trying to go too low, or lift too heavy a weight. Due to this the body compensates and these are the areas that suffer. What can also happen is that when you go too low the tightness in the back of the legs causes your heels to come up. This will only happen if the knees are going over the toes though.
Why is Squat Technique So Important?
Squat technique is so important to train the body correctly and to prevent injury. When you are lifting a heavy weight if the technique is incorrect, the rounding in your back can lead to injury as this puts extra pressure on the small muscles within the spine, the ligaments holding the spine together and the disc. Consequently, in my clinical experience I have seen many injuries that have stemmed from poor squat form. Good technique can actually help to strengthen the low back and leg muscles and therefore help to prevent injury.
This can be used as an effective strengthening exercise and I regularly give this to my patients to help to strengthen the core and to help lifting and bending technique.
I hope this has been helpful, and if you have any further questions please feel free to give me a call at Lushington Chiropractic clinic in Eastbourne on: 01323 722499.
Yours, in health
Your Eastbourne Chiropractor
An Eastbourne Chiropractor’s Wellness Tips
I’m the Clinic Director here at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne. As such I’ve had the opportunity to work with some excellent chiropractors, sports massage therapists and other practitioners over the years. Within the team we often share knowledge, ideas and research or techniques we’ve specialised in. I’ve learnt a lot from my chiropractic colleagues and in this blog, I’m sharing some Wellness Tips I’ve picked up from one of our chiropractors.
These Wellness Tips were originally created by one of our lovely associate chiropractors Caroline Mulliner, when she lived in Eastbourne. They were so good I wanted to share them on a blog, not only for our local community but for anyone who’s looking for some practical advice to keep themselves and their spines a little healthier.
Caroline was a very popular chiropractor with us. In 2016 she moved to practice abroad. I’d like to thank Caroline for her time with us and these fantastic wellness tips:
A large majority of guests visit Lushington for bad back pain, quite often there has been an incident which has triggered these events, although many guests struggle with ways of best looking after their backs. Most of us find it easy to forget to look after ourselves properly. Lots of us take more care of our teeth than our spine.
Keeping healthy and active is great but take care to avoid these common pitfalls. The more abuse you put your body through the more wear and tear can build up.
Remember, there’s no such thing as a replacement spine, so look after it today to protect yourself for tomorrow.
Wellness tips to look after yourself at home:
- NEVER bend forward during the first hour of the day – it puts your back more at risk of injury.
- Find a way to de-stress. Fatigue and stress lowers our pain threshold, making any aches and pains feel worse. When this is the case we’re less likely to do the things that are good for us like sit properly, drink water (not coffee) and do our stretches etc.
- Caroline loved cooking and found that it helped her to unwind. She often juiced and made healthy meals but occasionally enjoyed an unhealthy treat, too! As yourself what is your relaxation and unwinding trick? Find the best way to switch off and then try to make time to indulge in that activity. Have you tried cycling, baking, an exercise class, walking etc? If not, why not give them a go.
- Get sweaty and exercise for at least 20 mins a day, 3 times a week. Find an activity or sport you enjoy; this helps to make it less of a chore and more for enjoyment. Regular exercise is great – find something you’re going to stick with.
- Remember to evenly distribute bags when carrying them. Laptops and those large heavy handbags are the worst offenders. Almost everyone seems to have them hung over their shoulder on a long strap. A back-pack with two straps is best.
Office wellness tips:
As we all work more and more around technology, it has never been more important to think of ways we can make our workplaces a healthier environment.
So, start making some small changes to your routine and build a better workplace. Not only will you feel better at the end of the day, you will hopefully start to feel better about your whole job. Here are some easy to change tips and advice which can help your body function better whilst being at work.
If you are sitting for long periods of time it makes sense that an old basic office chair isn’t doing you any favours. This is because it allows you to slump and lose the natural S shape protective curve in your spine. The best thing to do is invest in a quality chair with good lumbar support, or buy an extra lumbar support pillow to force that curve into your low back. The cheapest and simplest option is to roll up a towel and put that behind your back around the area of your trouser waist line.
Standing desks have become very popular and it makes sense. It isn’t healthy to sit all day; we’re not made for this! It also can become a little uncomfortable standing all day as well. Regular interchanges between sitting and standing is not just beneficial to our physical health, standing has a great effect on your tone of voice when on the phone as well as promoting creativity.
This is an obvious one but you do need a break from the screen, even for just a minute or two. Set a subtle alarm for every 30 minutes, when you hear it, just stretch, stand up, make a cup of tea, or go visit a colleague. Anything just to be away from the screen and your desk for just 5 minutes whilst getting your body moving. The best thing to do is pop outside and get some fresh air every couple of hours, this helps to rest your eyes, refocus your mind and de-stress. Cigarette breaks don’t count!
Computer screen height
This is something that we chiropractors in Eastbourne see regularly. You want your computer screen to be at the same height as your eyes. It’s cheap to buy a couple of blocks to build it up or simply use some big heavy books to rest it on. If your neck is in a straighter position you are more likely to use the muscles around your neck and shoulder girdle appropriately, so less likely to suffer with neck, shoulder pain and/ or headaches.
Another common work place injury is RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) from constantly using the mouse and typing all day. A good way to get around this is to evaluate your desk area, make sure your mouse, keypad and computer screen are all in alignment. Another thing to think about is an ergonomic mouse, these slightly change the position of your hand creating less stress through the area.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these simple but effective tips from Caroline Mulliner.
Remember that simply reading them won’t help – you need to get start following this chiropractic advice. If you need advice specifically on back pain, then please visit my own website for further help and advice.
Thanks for sharing these with us Caroline.
What is an ankle sprain?
Mykel Mason from Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne, explains what an ankle sprain really is and how it happens.
An ankle sprain, typically described as a twisted ankle, is when the ligaments of the ankle are quickly overstretched and damaged. The most common type is an inversion ankle sprain which damages the ligament on the outside of the ankle towards the front. This ligament is called the anterior talofibular ligament.
How can you sprain an ankle?
It is very common for people to sustain this kind of injury during impact exercising, such as football, rugby or hockey. But it is actually just as easy to suffer sprains in simple innocuous ways like stepping off a kerb. You are also more likely to sprain your ankle if you have previously done so.
How bad is an ankle sprain?
There are three different grades of ankle sprain.
A grade one ankle sprain
Is a mild overstretching of a ligament with minimal tearing. With this you get mild tenderness and swelling but there is no instability and generally you are able to bear weight with minimal pain.
A grade two ankle sprain
Is an incomplete tear of a ligament. Consequently, you get moderate pain and swelling with some bruising and difficulty weight bearing.
A grade three ankle sprain
Is a complete tear of a ligament. As a result, you get extensive swelling and bruising with loss of function and instability.
The healing process
There are three stages of healing for an ankle sprain. The acute inflammatory phase, the reparative phase and remodelling phase.
The acute inflammatory phase
This lasts 24-72 hours. Damage to the blood vessels results in swelling and bruising.
The reparative phase
This is where repairing happens. Dead or damaged tissue is replaced with healthy cells and connective tissue. Cells that promote ligament repair are then supplied to allow ligament healing.
The remodelling phase
This is where the fibres of the ligament align themselves longways. New collagen needs time to mature with pre injury strength potentially regained by three months post injury.
Non-surgical treatment and management of an ankle ligament sprain has been shown to improve the rate of healing and appropriate rehabilitation to prevent further recurrence.
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.
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.
- Push your chest up and pull your shoulder blades down and backwards.
- Put your arms straight down by your side and turn your palms out.
- Splay your fingers and tuck your chin in.
- Hold this for five seconds.
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,
Do I need a new mattress?
‘Do I need a new mattress’ is a very good question.
Many people don’t actually know when it is time to replace the old one. I’ve had people come to see me who have had the same mattress for 25 years and swear it’s really comfortable but just because it feels comfortable doesn’t necessarily mean that it is giving your body the support that it needs. Here is some advice on the main things to look for to tell if it is time for a new one.
There are some tell-tale signs that it is time to get a new mattress with some being more obvious than others.
- Your mattress has visible signs of wearing such as sagging, ripping, tearing or holes. These are typical signs that your mattress needs an upgrade and you might even start to feel the springs digging in your back.
- You had a much more comfortable sleep in another bed, such as a hotel or staying over at a relatives. This is commonly because the mattress is a lot more comfortable and provides all you need.
Less obvious signs:
- You wake up with stiffness, aches and pains. Now this can be due to many reasons but your mattress not providing you the support you need is a very common reason and therefore worth investigating.
- Your mattress is over seven years old. Probability says that if you have had your mattress for seven years or more then it is not providing the support you need and it is worth comparing it to a brand new mattress by going and lying on one in the shop. The length of time a mattress lasts does depend on a few things such as amount of use and general quality when you bought it but on average you should be expecting around the seven year mark.
- You’re tired after a full night’s sleep. One of the most common things I hear from my guests who have just bought a new mattress is that they slept so much better than they normally do.
If you think that you might need a new mattress my colleague and fellow Doctor of chiropractic Victoria White will soon be publishing a blog post with advice on what to look for when you’re buying a new mattress.
However, not all aches and pains are down to your mattress so if you are suffering, give us a call at Lushington Chiropractic and see how we can help you.
Yours in health,
Mykel Mason, your Eastbourne chiropractor