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.
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.
An Interview with Eastbourne Chiropractor Dr Joshua French: Part 3
This is the final part to an interview with Eastbourne Chiropractor Dr Joshua French. Dr Gemma asks her final questions and finds out how Dr Joshua came to live in Eastbourne and what he likes to do in his spare time.
Josh, why did you decide to move to Eastbourne to work at Lushington Chiropractic?
During my final year at University, I was looking for a chiropractic clinic that would suit me well. When I saw the advert for the job at Lushington Chiropractic, I felt that would be a very good fit for the clinic. When I came for the interview and saw that the clinic was in Eastbourne town centre, I immediately knew that it was the right place for me to work.
I particularly enjoy working with such a diverse group of practitioners here at Lushington Chiropractic and am very glad I have chosen Eastbourne as the place to practice chiropractic.
How are you settling into Eastbourne?
Week by week I find myself getting more and more settled into life in Eastbourne. I particularly enjoy being so close to the sea and frequently go on walks along the Eastbourne beaches. As an Eastbourne chiropractor, I particularly enjoy everyone’s friendly attitude and frequently run into patients out and about in Eastbourne.
As Mykel is going on holiday for six months very soon, Josh, you will be looking after his patients whilst he is away, is that right?
I will be looking after all of Mykel’s patients whilst he is away. I am particularly looking forward to meeting and working with everyone. I have already met and observed Mykel with a lot of the patients and everyone I have met so far has been incredibly friendly.
Obviously Mykel is an excellent chiropractor, so I am honoured to have been given this excellent opportunity, as I know how big a responsibility this is.
What is it like working at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne?
It is incredibly enjoyable working at Lushington Chiropractic surrounded by so many like minded chiropractors, as well as exceptional chiropractic assistants. I thoroughly believe that one of the reasons that Lushington Chiropractic is such a successful clinic is because of how multi-disciplinary it is and I know that a lot of our patients in Eastbourne get a lot of benefit out of seeing the massage therapists, as well as the acupuncturists and other practitioners we have here.
What sports are you playing in your spare time?
Now that I have moved to Eastbourne, I am really enjoying playing at all the local Eastbourne golf clubs, even if my level of playing is not up to par(!). I have also joined a local jiujitsu gym, so two nights a week I drive over to Hailsham to train jiujitsu.
On top of this, I like to keep a generally healthy lifestyle, so I also go to my local gym a few times a week. I find that this is essential for me because I am working with my patients every day, so I need to make sure that I stay on top of any niggles that I pick up during golf or jiujitsu and serve the patients at Lushington Chiropractic to my best ability.
There we have it! We have gotten to know Dr Joshua French over the last interview. Thanks to Josh for your time today.
Thanks for reading,
Eastbourne Chiropractors Blog on Improved Sleep
Here at Lushington Chiropractic I often get asked by my guests how they can increase the speed of their recovery, feel more energetic and be healthier. This blog will give you advice on how improved sleep will help you benefit more from your chiropractic care here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne.
Sleep is an essential part of feeling well and feeling happy, but almost everyone experiences problems sleeping at certain points in their life.
Sleep disruption is common, especially during times when you may feel emotionally overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed about the events of the day which may all significantly interfere with your sleep. Lack of sleep steals you of needed rest that your body requires to heal and repair.
Bringing sleep patterns under control is important – you need your rest! However, it often takes some time to get problematic sleep under control and rarely can this be done overnight!
The most common cause of insomnia is a change in your daily routine or stress. For example, travelling, exams, work stress, change in work hours, disruption caused by eating, exercise, or leisure, relationship conflicts, etc. may all cause problems.
Being aware of good sleep hygiene is the most important thing you can do to maintain good sleep.
Your chiropractic also helps you function better via the spine to the nervous system, and there are many things you can do to support this care and improve its effectiveness for optimal benefit.
One of which is SLEEP!
High quality sleep strengthens your immune system, balances hormones, boosts your metabolism which in turn may help you lose weight, increases physical energy and improve your memory. With all these essential benefits, you will only have the health you want if you get the right amount of sleep.
Sleep comfort is essential for quality and this is one of the areas that chiropractic helps, by reducing your pain and easing your movement you are less likely to wake. There are many tips to help you improve your sleep further:
- Create habits to improve your sleep, have a regular bedtime routine and wake up time, even on your days off. Create a routine that you do before bed, so that you start to get ready for sleep before you lie down. Consistent sleep habits improve quality of sleep over time.
- Make your bedroom a place for sleep, remove all other distractions, TV, Phones and tablets, know that when you go into that room at night it is for sleep. Create a space that is dark and quiet, we also sleep better in cooler conditions but if your feet get cold wear a pair of socks as cold feet can keep you awake.
- Stop using all phones, tablets and TVs at least an hour before bed. These devices emit blue light convincing your brain it is daytime. Human animals evolved sleep/wake cycles called the circadian rhythm, these match light of the day and dark of the night, as it gets dark an important sleep hormone melatonin is released, our devices stop this happening.
- Exercise early in the day and get out into nature and sunlight. These all help with creating and supporting the natural rhythms of your body and mind.
If you find your mind whirling at bedtime put a notepad next to your bed and scribble the thoughts down, this way you take them out of your head and can review them in the morning, allowing you to relax and sleep. If you have constant stream of thoughts then having a daily meditation practice can help calm this, which ultimately will help with your sleep.
Disconnect Before Bedtime
Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, emails, TV, podcasts, Instagram, texting, WhatsApp, the list goes on.
We are constantly connected and being bombarded with messages from all avenues. It can be so stressful keeping up with it all and trying to respond to all messages and emails etc.
Consider if you really need so many ways for people to be able to connect with you.
Turn off notifications for these things on your phone or delete them from your phone entirely, and try to limit your checking of these apps to once a day at the most.
Aim for at least one day per month for a complete and utter digital detox that means no phone, TV, internet, iPad, etc for the whole day.
Instead read a book, speak to people, and discover just how beautiful the world really is.
It’s an amazing experience.
Lushington Chiropractic is Eastbourne largest and most award-winning chiropractic clinic. We are based in Eastbourne’s town centre, with easy parking and accessible rooms. Our chiropractic clinic is open late and Saturdays. We have a lovely team of chiropractors serving the people of Eastbourne so if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me on 01323 722499.
Thanks for reading,
Eastbourne Chiropractor Discusses Hip Pain
Here at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne, I often get asked about hip pain. If you have hip pain, you are probably trying to find ways to reduce your pain. Walking around Eastbourne isn’t fun when you have hip pain!
What to do? Lushington Chiropractic Clinic is here to help, not only will we be excited to help you walk without pain, we plan our care so that it is specially designed for you and your individual case.
Types of Hip Pain
You probably want to find out what we can do at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne to help manage your hip pain, but since your care plan is tailored to you we have to know what’s going on with the hip first. Here are the most common reasons people see chiropractors for hip pain and some of these may be familiar to you.
- Inflammatory diseases (like osteoarthritis): This is one of the most common causes of hip pain among the older population. It is a degenerative condition of the joints and has no specific cure, however you could potentially slow the progression and possibly prevent the symptoms from getting worse.
- Inflammation: There are many ways the hip or surrounding ligaments can become inflamed. One is a trauma triggering the space in the hip to become filled with blood or fluid, preventing the femoral head from moving and functioning as it should. Another is bursitis, this is inflammation of the sac outside the hip, which can be caused by overuse or minor trauma.
- Trauma: If you damage your hip via a trauma it is most likely going to hurt. Broken hip bones are more common in the elderly, but strained ligaments in the hip from an accident can hurt too.
- Overuse: Overuse of the hip joint can cause arthritis or inflammation. Everyday activities and routines can place stress / strain on the hip and can inflame the surrounding ligaments, tendons and muscles. This pain can build up gradually overtime.
- Referred pain: Patients often complain of pain in the hip that is originating from nearby nerve pain. For example, a Lushington Chiropractic patient will often complain about hip pain when the actual cause of the pain originates from the back, where bones and muscles are pressing on the nerves due to spinal degeneration.
Do any of those sound familiar to you? As you can see, there are many reasons for a hip to hurt. At Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne we will determine what is causing the pain, so that we can treat it properly. So now that we know why you are suffering from hip pain let’s look at what chiropractors can do about it.
How Chiropractic May Help
After determining the underlying cause of the hip pain, as chiropractors we use chiropractic adjustments of the spine and hip bones as well as incorporate other therapies like exercise, posture advice, stretching, massage, acupuncture and more. For example, if your hip pain is being caused by back pain then spinal adjustments will probably be effective in reducing the pain in the hip.
Your care plan will consist of chiropractic adjustments as the main treatment, however there is lots you can do at home to help yourself. Your chiropractor will discuss and show you exercises, stretching and posture correction exercises to help alleviate your hip pain. At Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne we also have massage therapists that work closely with us, therefore we may refer you to them to help reduce your pain further, depending on where your pain is derived from.
If you would like to find out what the underlying cause of your hip pain may be then please come and visit us.
Lushington Chiropractic Clinic is Eastbourne largest and most award-winning chiropractic clinic. We are based in Eastbourne’s town centre, with easy parking and accessible rooms. Our chiropractic clinic is open late and Saturdays. We have a lovely team of chiropractors serving the people of Eastbourne so if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me on 01323 722499.
Thanks for reading.
Eastbourne Chiropractor Discusses Elbow Pain
At Lushington Chiropractic, we have had many patients come in to the clinic complaining of elbow pain. Are you experiencing elbow pain and are you unable to relieve the soreness? Or maybe you have noticed a reduction in your grip strength in your hand?
If so Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne is the right place for you…
First let’s explore the anatomy of the elbow…
There are three bones that join at the elbow, these are the humerus, that connects the elbow to the shoulder, the ulna which is the stationary bone in your forearm connecting the elbow and the wrist and the radius is the bone that rotates around the ulna allowing the lower arm to twist.
There are many muscles that flex the elbow in the upper arm, these are the brachialis, brachioradialis and biceps brachii. The muscles that extend the elbow are the triceps brachii and the anconeus. You also have muscles in the forearm that extend and flex the wrist. When these muscles aren’t working properly the elbow pain may occur.
Causes of Elbow Pain
In my experience at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne, the most common elbow complaints that I see in patients are caused by overuse, fractures or dislocations:
- Tendonitis: is a common complaint and is can be caused by overuse of the tendons in the joint. Tendonitis is on the outside of the elbow and is commonly referred to as “tennis elbow”. Pain experienced on the inside of the elbow is called “golfer’s elbow”.
- Fracture: there are three bones at the elbow joint and any combination of these bones may be involved in a fracture which is a crack or a break in the bone. If you can move your elbow correctly with no restrictions then it is likely not fractured, however an x-ray is the best way to rule this out.
- Dislocation: is when one of the bones in the elbow joint moves completely out of place. This usually happens due to trauma with hyperextension of the elbow joint.
- Bursitis: bursae are located at the points where muscles and tendons attach at the joints. There function is to protect the joint. When the bursae become inflamed they start to cause pain and swelling. This can be caused by overuse of the elbow.
Conservative care is the primary form of treatment that should be diagnosed for most patients as long as they do not have a dislocation or fracture. Conservative care means care that involves not operation or intervention.
Conservative such as chiropractic care involves teaching the patient how to move there elbow correctly in order for the elbow to heal and function in the correct way without the use of surgery and medications.
There are many other examples of conservative care to treat elbow pain such as massage therapy and acupuncture. We are fortunate at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne to have massage therapists working alongside the chiropractors and many of us perform acupuncture.
At Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne, we work through the following steps when evaluating patients experiencing elbow pain; an in-depth assessment of the joint and arm/shoulder complex will be completed; including range of motion, orthopaedic tests, muscle tests and neurological test, and a physical examination will be performed of the local area to evaluate tight muscles.
If you have noticed your grip strength has got worse and you are experiencing pain near the elbow, the wrist extensors may be overworking and taking over the job of the tiny grip strength muscles in your hand. All muscles throughout the body are connected therefore the whole group or area including muscles and joints should be evaluated because if the joint isn’t functioning properly then the symptoms may never fully be resolved.
What to do about Elbow Pain in Eastbourne?
If you have been complaining of elbow pain, then do not hesitate to come in and talk to me about it. I am here to help and educate people about various treatment options. Lushington Chiropractic is Eastbourne largest and most award-winning chiropractic clinic. We are based in Eastbourne’s town centre, with easy parking and accessible rooms. Our chiropractic clinic is open late and Saturdays. We have a lovely team of chiropractors serving the people of Eastbourne so if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me on 01323 722499.
McTimoney Chiropractor in Eastbourne
Hi, I’m a McTimoney chiropractor practicing in Eastbourne. I often get asked about McTimoney chiropractic. Some people want to know what the McTimoney Chiropractic technique feels like. Others are interested in my journey to becoming a chiropractor here in Eastbourne, especially as I started my clinical practice life as a graduate sports massage therapist. This blog is my first attempt to answer some of these questions. If you are looking for a McTimoney Chiropractor in Eastbourne then I’d love to help. I’m the only McTimoney chiropractor in our Eastbourne chiropractic clinic and am always happy to answer questions.
What is Chiropractic? And McTimoney Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is defined by the General Chiropractic Council as: “Chiropractic is a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints and muscles), and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health. There is an emphasis on manual treatments including spinal adjustment and other joint and soft-tissue manipulation.
Chiropractors have a specialist interest in neck and back pain but when they assess their patient they take their entire physical, emotional and social wellbeing into account.
Chiropractors use a range of techniques to reduce pain, improve function and increase mobility, with an emphasis on hands-on manipulation of the spine.
They may also offer advice on diet, exercise and lifestyle, and rehabilitation programmes that involve exercises to do in your own time. Some chiropractors may also offer other treatments, such as acupuncture”.
Recently a chiropractic patient of mine here in Eastbourne asked me “What’s so different about a McTimoney chiropractor?”. They’d read something about McTimoney Chiropractic in the press and wanted to know more.
I explained that a McTimoney Chiropractor is a chiropractor that has had specialist chiropractic training to use the chiropractic technique called “McTimoney”. I have discussed the McTimoney chiropractic technique itself later in this blog.
I also explained that the techniques I used on them were actually a combination of diversified chiropractic technique, acupuncture and McTimoney, because I’ve done extensive post-graduate training in a wide range of chiropractic techniques. One of the benefits of working in such a large and established clinic in Eastbourne is that we share techniques and knowledge with each other.
McTimoney Chiropractic Technique
There are many chiropractic approaches and techniques used around the world, often named after their originator. I graduated as a Doctor of Chiropractic from the McTimoney College of Chiropractic.
The chiropractic approach I follow is the McTimoney approach which was developed by the late John McTimoney in 1972. Find out more about John McTimoney here.
The McTimoney approach is typified by a whole-body assessment, which uses light force adjustments making it a comfortable technique to receive. The adjustment demands great sensitivity and skill and is extremely effective. The purpose of McTimoney chiropractic is to balance and realign your body to help relieve discomfort and pain, it may also help to increase your mobility.
The McTimoney chiropractic technique can be used on people of all ages from the very young, including babies to the elderly, frail and infirm. The McTimoney technique is a gentle and effective manipulative technique that treats the whole body to maintain and correct the alignment of the spine and allow the nervous system to function at its optimum potential. Quick, gentle adjustments are used to bring your body back into balance, reducing restrictions, relieving pain and promoting natural healing. X-rays are not routinely used, and McTimoney chiropractors rely on their finely tuned sense of touch to palpate restrictions in the spine.
Problems can occur due to a traumatic incident like a car accident or a fall from a horse or they can be the result of the build of tension and stress in the body due to the repetitive activities of daily living.
Activities such as sitting at a computer for prolonged periods, doing lots of driving or carrying young children are all part of many peoples’ daily lives and these are the sort of things that can cause a build-up of tension, pain and stiffness. Some of these activities may resonate with you!
I have found that people with cervicogenic headaches respond exceptionally well to the McTimoney technique. People often say that they feel lighter and more flexible after experiencing the McTimoney approach to chiropractic care. I had a 12-year-old girl who was getting headaches almost every other day and after receiving just one McTimoney treatment her headaches significantly reduced. After she completed her plan of care she did not experience any headaches at all! She was very happy when she started her new term at school in September headache free.
Interestingly McTimoney chiropractic is often used on animals. For more than 40 years, those trained in McTimoney animal techniques have been helping horses, dogs, cats and farm animals. Even more exotic animals have benefited from the technique. Again, the whole body is assessed and treated to eliminate the cause, and not just the symptoms.
In my experience I find that McTimoney is most helpful with people that do not like or respond well to the traditional chiropractic techniques that may involve audible ‘clicking’, and often the elderly who are nervous about the stronger chiropractic techniques also respond very well, which has made it a particularly popular in my work as a chiropractor in Eastbourne.
To summarise, McTimoney Chiropractic is the use of the specialist McTimoney chiropractic techniques used by a chiropractor. Sometime those chiropractors who use McTimoney chiropractic restrict themselves to that technique alone. However, as I mentioned earlier, I prefer to use a wide range of techniques to suit the individual and their needs. That means I can combine a range of chiropractic techniques with the McTimoney chiropractic technique to get the best possible results. I also combine acupuncture, some massage/soft tissue release and muscle energy (stretching) techniques to help. I found that this combination of techniques seems to be particularly helpful to my elderly chiropractic patients here in Eastbourne.
Looking for a McTimoney Chiropractor in Eastbourne?
So, if you’re looking for a McTimoney Chiropractor please come and visit me at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne to find out more. I have been working in the health care profession as a sports massage therapist and now chiropractor since 2009. You will find me kind, caring and attentive to your recovery. As a McTimoney chiropractor, I have a very finely tuned sense of touch, developed over my 5 years of training, which enables me to identify misalignments and restrictions of the vertebrae and other bones in the body.
You’re first chiropractic visit would be a consultation that takes about an hour. After that I’d explain what we found, how we can help you and discuss what your chiropractic treatment plan would be and answer any questions you may have.
Lushington Chiropractic is Eastbourne’s largest and most award-winning chiropractic clinic. We are based in Eastbourne’s town centre, with easy parking and accessible rooms. Our chiropractic clinic is open late and Saturdays. We have a lovely team of chiropractors serving the people of Eastbourne so if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me on 01323 722499.
Thanks for reading.
Understand your pain
Most of the patients who come to see us in our chiropractic clinic in Eastbourne do so because they are in pain. Some of them are in acute pain, which has only been going on for a very short period of time. But the majority of patients who come to see us are in chronic pain, which has been going on for months or even years, in this blog I hope to help you to understand your pain.
Inflammation and pain: acute and chronic
Inflammation often causes pain in the body. Pain varies in a lot of ways. It can be constant or intermittent. It can feel like stiffness and aches. It can be sharp, pinching, burning, and throbbing. The inflammation that caused the pain is either acute inflammation or chronic inflammation.
Acute inflammation occurs when there is an injury to the body.
The body naturally responds to this injury by creating an inflammatory response that is mediated by the immune system. It is the body’s way of trying to heal and protect itself. It does this with the purpose of repairing damage done to cells and tissues. Inflammation occurs in stages: first, there is the irritation stage. Something has happened to the body, or irritated it, and the inflammatory process begins. You can observe this phenomenon in progress when you fall and scrape your knee. It will become red, swollen, and sore. That is your body getting to work right away to heal the tissue. White blood cells come to the area and sometimes you can see pus in a wound. This is the suppuration stage. Your body is trying to destroy and expel damaged tissue and cells from the body.
Chronic inflammation is when this same process goes on, but for a prolonged period of time in the body.
This can last several months to years. The body is failing at its attempt to heal itself. This chronic state of inflammation in the body can lead to an auto immune response where the body starts to see itself as harmful and foreign, and an immune response mediates an attack on tissue that was once otherwise healthy. This type of pain is usually less intense and persistent, but not necessarily constant.
Inflammation has five things associated with it:
- Loss of function.
However, inflammation can be present in the body without all five being present. For example, you can have a bleeding ulcer but not know it because there are not a lot of sensory pain receptors on organs. But when tissues such as muscles and joints get injured, they are able to communicate much better with pain receptors, especially when there is swelling, and then pain can be felt more easily.
Different types of pain
Pain comes in a few different types.
The first type is nociceptive pain.
This pain is caused by damaged tissue releasing certain chemicals that bind to receptors (nociceptors) in the body and trigger pain. Anti-inflammatory medications work here to interrupt this process and block pain. There is also non-nociceptive pain which occurs inside of the nervous system itself.
Then we have somatic pain.
This is sharp and localised pain and occurs within the musculoskeletal system which involves muscles, joints, ligaments, bones, and tendons. As a chiropractor, I see and treat this type of pain most often.
And finally, we have visceral pain.
Visceral pain is not easily localised. It is often a pain that is felt deep in the body and is coming from the organs, aka viscera. Kidney infections and menstrual cramps are two types of visceral pain. And they are often mistaken for pain that is arising from the back muscles and joints, aka somatic pain.
When you come to see us at our clinic in Eastbourne, our chiropractors are specialists in muscle, joint, and nerve-type pain. We know how to diagnose, manage, and treat your somatic pain through chiropractic treatments, massage, and acupuncture and we help you to understand your pain And we also advise our patients on nutrition and lifestyle changes to improve their overall health.
Thanks for reading!
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,
Eastbourne Chiropractor’s Self Help Advice for Neck Pain and Headaches
So, you have probably read my previous blog post about Chiropractic Treatment for Neck Pain and Headaches
The post (read here) which detailed some of the types of neck pain and headaches that people such as yourself can suffer from. At the end of that article I mentioned that this following blog would discuss some very useful self-help tips that you can do at home. These will allow you to manage your symptoms and will give you a measure of control over how you are feeling. These small everyday actions achieve this by keeping your joints moving well and releasing your neck muscular tension in between your treatments, and therefore making your spine function better in general. We will discuss posture and ergonomics, but firstly, we will go through a few key neck stretches.
These are simple to do and will help to relieve your muscular tightness and can help you avoid headaches. Do them regularly (every day) and also when you feel a headache coming on. The upper trapezius muscles are the ones that you feel at the tops of your shoulders, going up into the neck, and when tight these muscles can often contribute to headaches felt up and over the head and behind the eyes. To stretch the upper trapezius muscles, begin by standing (or sitting) tall with your shoulders straight, then bring your right ear down to your right shoulder so that your head is tilted, and use your right hand to very gently pull down the head to increase the stretch. Repeat on the left side to keep it even.
The small suboccipital muscles are at the back and top of the neck. They go from the top of the neck to the base of the skull and when tight can cause headaches to be felt in that same area. To stretch the suboccipital muscles keep your shoulders and back straight (as always!) and tuck your chin down to give yourself a double chin. Then use your hands to gently pull to increase the stretch.
Improving your posture is vital when you suffer from neck pain and headaches. Simply put, if you are constantly putting your spine in awkward positions then how can you expect the joints and muscles to function normally?
Awkward postures/positions and how to fix them are detailed here…
Problem – Lying on your side on the sofa.
Fix – Sit straight on the sofa, with cushions behind you so your back is straight and with both feet flat on the floor. The TV should be directly in front of you so you don’t need to turn your head.
Problem – Sleeping with the incorrect number of pillows (or even worse, on your front).
Fix – Sleep on your back with one pillow or on your side with two. Speak to your chiropractor for more details as this is a whole topic in itself!
Problem – Holding the phone between your shoulder and your ear for prolonged periods of time
Fix – Avoid this completely
Problem – Reading with your head tilted downwards towards your book/phone.
Fix – Bring your book or phone up towards your face, not the other way around
Check that your desk is set up in an ergonomically correct position, and that everything you need to reach is within arm’s length. Speak to your Eastbourne chiropractor for more details, or take a photo of yourself sitting at your desk in with you to your chiropractic treatment to ask for individual detailed advice.
I hope you have found these tips useful to help control your neck pain and headaches. Please ask your chiropractor if you are ready to do these stretches at home or if you have any questions regarding your individual treatment for your neck pain and headaches.
Thanks for reading,
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,