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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

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. 

Picture of a man sleeping in bed to accompany the blog on improved sleep by Eastbourne Chiropractor Carran Lefever.

Sleeping soundly!

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,

Carran Lefever

 

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.

Picture of a right Hip X-ray showing degeneration to accompany the blog by Eastbourne Chiropractor Carran Lefever on hip pain

Picture of a right Hip X-ray showing degeneration.

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.

Carran Lefever

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…

Picture of a lady holding her elbow in pain to accompany the blog from Eastbourne Chiropractor Carran Lefever on elbow pain.

Are you suffering from elbow pain?

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.

Carran Lefever

 

 

Eastbourne Sports Massage Therapists’ Shoulder Injuries report

Shoulder injuries are a common complaint. There are a wide variety of causes. At my Eastbourne clinic I often see (at least) one of the types below daily and see a great response to Sports Massage Therapy.

Common injuries are easily treated.

A shoulder injury can happen at any time. As Eastbourne has a competition pool, lawn tennis club and busy working community, the incidences are high. Whether you are pushing a lawn mower, lifting boxes or paddling a canoe, the shoulder joint is vulnerable to damage or injury.

Massage can bring relief.

Image shows man laying face down on the massage bench with his shoulders exposed to accompany the blog by sports massage therapist Kim Brown on shoulder injuries

Massage gives good results to most shoulder injuries

Sports Massage Therapy gives good results with most Shoulder injuries. Using myofascial techniques to mobilize the body’s connective tissues, break down fibrous adhesions. This smooths and lengthens muscle fibres damaged during the injury promoting good healing conditions to bring the muscles back to full functioning capacity. Alongside this, swelling and inflammation are reduced. Deep fibrous tissue adhesions and tendon pathologies respond well to a variety of Sports Massage techniques.

Assessments-Investigation.

A couple of assessments can be made to see where the root cause of the pain is and work out what has happened. These include;

  • Postural check (relevant to the shoulder injury)
  • Range of movement test
  • Check strength / weakness in the rotator cuff.
  • Check surrounding muscle tone for spasms, hardness and imbalance.

Types of shoulder injury

Some of the most common shoulder injuries have specific names such as:

Frozen Shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)

Characterised by chronic pain especially at night, this can result from trauma to the area. Range of motion is limited – unable to lift arm up above head- due to the shoulder capsule and surrounding tissues of the Glenohumeral joint becoming inflamed. Responds well to massage therapy although can be painful to begin with.

Rotator cuff tear.

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles of the upper arm attached to the bones by ligaments acting to keep the shoulder together. They allow the arm to rotate and be lifted up and out. Symptoms include difficulty and pain performing normal shoulder movements. The shoulder may look high up or forward compared to the other (misshapen).  It may feel weak doing daily tasks. Mild tears respond well to the release of the surrounding muscles and fibrous adhesions using Sports Massage Therapy.

Post-Surgery Mobilization, e.g. Acromion/ Clavicular repairs

Some sudden severe injuries require surgical intervention to join severed tendons back together. during this surgery, the surrounding tissues can become stretched or damaged and some scar tissue is the result. To protect the joint the body can go into ‘lock down’ where we feel unable to use the arm and shoulder and hold it close to the body. Recently an Eastbourne gentleman came for Sports Massage to mobilize and release surrounding soft tissue. With some encouragement to use the shoulder normally, his confidence grew and range of motion quickly improved.

Sporting Hazards- swimmer’s shoulder/ thrower’s shoulder.

Impingement Syndrome… During repetitive sports like swimming or bowling, the surrounding tendons can become squeezes as they pass through a narrow bony ‘Sub acromial’ space. Repetitive pinching can irritate the tendons and cause them to become inflamed and thickened which makes things worse as there is very little space and they can become impinged further. The pain comes on gradually at the front and side of the shoulder joint. When swimming or taking the arm across the body. Impingement responds well to Sports Massage Therapy alongside some swimming technique changes and healing time.

Posterior Deltoid Strain.

The Deltoid is a big muscle on the back of the shoulder. It lifts the arm up and backwards (extension) My guests from the Eastbourne racket clubs are familiar with this one. Contributing factors can be, tightness and restriction in the upper back which can spread across the scapula and into the posterior deltoid. During a sudden lift or smash with a racket fibres of the deltoid are pushed to their limits and tear. This results in pain and restriction. Myofascial techniques used to stretch out the fibres work very well and alleviate a lot of the initial pain.

Pectoralis Minor (pecs-across the chest into the armpit)

Resulting in protracted or rounded shoulders this is one of the most common Shoulder Injuries that I see among my Eastbourne guests. I’m classing this as a shoulder injury as dysfunction in this muscle can have a negative effect on the surrounding rotator cuff muscles. All the time the ‘Pecs’ are weak and underused, the opposing Rhomboid, Trapezius muscles (upper back) become overworked and more likely to get injured. Release of the Pectoralis Minor muscle during Sports Massage followed by strengthening the opposing muscles is very effective in improving posture and limiting adhesions and strains in the rotator cuff.

Image shows sports massage therapist Kim Brown working on the shoulder of colleague Oliver Ody to accompany her blog on shoulder injuries

Sports Massage Therapy gives good results with most Shoulder injuries

I would definitely recommend Sports Massage therapy as a first point of call for shoulder injuries.

To find out if I can help you, make an appointment to see me by calling Lushington Chiropractic on 01323722499.

Kim

 

 

 

 

 

 

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:

  1. Pain,
  2. Heat,
  3. Redness,
  4. Swelling,
  5. 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.

Image shows a man gardening and holding his lower back in pain, this accompanies the blog by Deborah Ben Shah on understanding your pain

Understand your pain

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!

Deborah

Ice v Heat – What to use when?

Chiropractors often see problems that are chronic, that is the person has been experiencing problems months if not years. On top of this, at our clinic in Eastbourne we also regularly see new injuries that are only days old.  Among both these groups of patients, a topic that often causes a lot of confusion is icing, or rather when to ice vs when to heat. This is something that can be very confusing, so hopefully reading this blog will help you understand this topic better.

Firstly, what are ice and heat used for?

photo of Josh French, the Eastbourne chiropractor who authored this blog about ice and heat.

Joshua with Ice

Ice is primarily used for injuries. When a tissue in the body gets injured, an inflammatory process takes place. This process is healthy and natural, but unfortunately also is painful and can take a longer time to occur than it needs to. Inflammation causes the damaged tissues to become red, hot and swollen, which is where ice helps. In this sense, ice can be thought of as a mild, drugless method to reduce inflammation. Your chiropractor at our Eastbourne clinic may even use cooling gel as part of a massage or soft tissue technique to enhance this effect.

Heat on the other hand is predominantly used for muscles, stress or chronic pain. Heat can be used in this way to take the edge off of the pain, to reduce the pain of whole muscle spasms and for calming down the nervous system and the mind, which we know is a major help in chronic pain problems.

What are heat and ice not to be used for?

Due to the opposite action of ice and heat, there is the potential that using the wrong method may actually make the problem worse. Heat and inflammation in particular are a very bad combination. Remember what we discussed above: fresh injuries cause inflammation, which leaves the area red, hot and swollen. Adding heat to this area that is already warm and swollen can cause the area to swell up even more and worsen the pain.

On the contrary, ice has the potential to make muscle spasms and chronic tension worse. Trigger points, which are painful sensitive spots within muscles, often develop in people with chronic pain problems. Despite feeling like something that may be helped by ice, these trigger points can actually worsen the pain and ache more acutely if iced. This is a common mistake people make with low back pain and neck pain.

Both of these methods are pointless when unwanted – for example heating when you’re already sweating or icing when you’re already freezing. Not only will this feel very uncomfortable, but the brain can sense things that are in excess as a threat, and when this occurs, the brain may also increase the pain sensation.

So if ice is supposed to be used on injuries and heat is supposed to be used on muscles, what do you do if there is a muscle injury? After all, this is one of the most common injuries that we will encounter on a day to day basis. Unfortunately, like most questions such as this, the answer is – it depends. Usually I would recommend icing for the first couple of days at most, before switching to heat. This should only be done if it is definitely a true muscle injury. Muscle injuries are normally caused by obvious trauma or overload during intense effort, causing sudden and severe pain immediately. In cases such as this, ice can be used to take the edge off the inflammation first, and then once the worst is over heat can be used to soothe the muscle.

Summary

At the end of the day, both heat pads and ice packs are not the most powerful forms of treatment, however they have both been shown to have mild benefits, so they are well worth trying. Despite the information above, the bottom line is use whatever feels best for you. You know your body better than anyone else, and if you hate the idea of taking a dip in the Eastbourne sea at Winter, icing may not be at the top of your wishlist! Similarly if you start to use one method and decide you don’t like the feel of it, then by all means just switch to the other and see if that helps.

Thanks for reading and I hope that you have learnt something. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us here contact us here or ask us next time you are in our clinic in Eastbourne for an adjustment.

Joshua French

Back pain in young children

There are fears that back pain in young children may be caused by the weight of heavy school bags.

Children are literally being weighed down by their school bags. You only need to look at some of the local school children here in Eastbourne to understand the nature of the problem.

There is concern that in many cases, children are carrying much more than the recommended maximum of 10% of their body weight. By increasing the load beyond this point, it is possible for youngsters to develop postural and even spinal problems.

For young children, 10% of their body weight might only be a few kilos – the equivalent of a few books and a lunchbox. Once this is exceeded, there is a very real possibility of back pain in young children. You see it every day, children with their heavy backpacks, leaning forward as they’re walking.

 

Long term impact of heavy bags

Carrying that sort of weight every day not only causes back pain in young children but can have a profound effect on their posture. Once established, poor posture can be lead to life-long issues. Children can start to experience back pain from the age of 11-15. If it starts then, there is a greater likelihood of it continuing into adulthood. Often, children and their parents don’t take back pain seriously because it comes and goes.

Clinic Director and Doctor of Chiropractic in Easbourne, James Revell’s first experience of Chiropractic was as a teenager with headaches. He’d been putting up with back aches for a long time because he’d been told they were just “normal growing pains for a teenager”. However, when he began to get headaches, his mother took him to see a chiropractor. James didn’t think it would work, but, after a few treatments not only were his headaches gone – but so was the back pain.

That was the beginning of James’ journey to become a Doctor of Chiropractic himself. James and the whole team at Lushington Chiropractic remain committed to helping everyone, of all ages and stages of life. There’s often a simple solution to help relieve pain, improve posture and help prevent future problems too.

 

Tackling back pain in young children

Here are some remarks from a couple of our teenage guests. If you want to see more testimonials check out: http://www.lushingtonchiropractic.com/test.php

I first saw the chiropractor when I was 13 years old for my headaches. He explained that the headaches were down to my neck and poor posture. It has been a great help and I would really recommend Lushington Chiropractic and chiropractic care.

Mia – I first saw the chiropractor when I was 13 years old for my headaches. He explained that the headaches were down to my neck and poor posture. It has been a great help and I would really recommend Lushington Chiropractic and chiropractic care.

Image of teenage guest Laurel

Thanks so much! My back has been feeling so much better and my posture has improved too.
Thank you, Laurel

Imagine the weight school children carry every day, carrying all the books they need for the day, and then bringing the books home again for homework. It’s a significant weight. Plus everything else they might need for the day, football/hockey/rugby boots, training shoes, the list is endless…..

By providing advice to children and their parents it is hoped that preventative measures can be taken.

The chiropractors here at Lushington Chiropractic are offering tips to parents on how to minimise the load to prevent potential back pain problems for schoolchildren.

  • Always wear backpacks on both shoulders, buy a bag with thick shoulder straps to distribute the weight evenly.
  • Choose a bag made of lightweight material and has multiple compartments for better weight distribution, and adjust the straps on a backpack to ensure the bag sits above the waist which reduces the pressure on the spine.
  • Bags with a waist strap are also recommended.

Other tips are to use school lockers where provided, use lightweight packed lunch containers and, crucially, to carry only what is absolutely needed.

Parents can also look out for tell-tale signs that their child is struggling under the weight of their bags. Warning signs include a change in posture when wearing their backpack, tingling and numbness in the arms and hands, and back, neck or shoulder pain.

Here at Lushington Chiropractic we care for all ages, birth to 90+, so be assured we can help you and your children.  If you have any concerns, give us a call on 01323 722499 and make an appointment with any of our chiropractors.

Your Eastbourne Chiropractor James Revell

 

Sitting too long? It may be affecting your Spinal Health

Are you sitting too long at a computer all day?

Do you spend a lot of time commuting? Sitting for hours in the car or train? Are you a couch potato when you’re at home and find yourself sitting too long in front of the TV?

All of this prolonged sitting can cause neck and back pain. Any posture that is held for too long, like sitting at a computer, or driving your car, can cause an imbalance in the muscle of your back and neck and cause pain. When muscles are being used for a long time and held in a static position, like sitting all day or sleeping with lots of pillows, they will become “tight” or “facilitated”. This typically results in a reflexive “weakening” or “inhibiting” of the muscles on the opposite side of the spine at the same level.

Chiropractor Mykel demonstrating incorrect sitting position at computer

Chiropractor Mykel demonstrating incorrect sitting position at computer

When this happens in the neck and upper back it is called “upper-crossed” syndrome.

There are very predictable muscles that will be involved. The muscles in the back of the neck will be tight, or facilitated, and the muscles in front of the neck will be weak, or inhibited.  The chest muscles tend to be tight because our hands are always in front of us doing things like driving, and the muscles between the shoulder blades are weak. Symptoms can include neck and upper back and even shoulder pain. This typically happens when people habitually spend long hours on the computer or regularly commutes for long periods of time.

Lower-crossed syndrome is the pattern of weak and tight muscles in the lower back and abdomen.

The lower abdominal muscles are “weak” or “inhibited” and the low back muscles are “right” or “facilitated.”  The hip flexors are tight, and the gluteal muscles are weak. The cause of these problems is often prolonged sitting while driving or at the computer, or being a couch potato.

Your chiropractor is trained to assess you for these postural imbalances and can prescribe home exercises to strengthen the weak muscles and stretch the tight ones. Massage therapy and passive stretching can also help work the tight muscles. Often, these postural imbalances cause neck and back ache and your chiropractor can help treat that.

Lushington Chiropractic is a multi-award winning chiropractic and sports massage clinic in Eastbourne town centre. We provide a range of treatments from expert chiropractic care to nutritional therapy, counselling, acupuncture, podiatry, sports massage and relaxing massage. Call us on 01323 722499 to see how we can help you.

Thanks for reading and all the best of health to you!

Deborah

mobile phones and posture: Is your PC and mobile device changing your posture?

How are mobile phones and posture related?

Think about it: when using our mobile we tend to drop our heads forward. This rounds the shoulders and this is what we term forward-leaning posture. People are now definitely at an increased risk of having problems through the top of their neck due to this change in posture as it causes a change to the curvature of the back. And the link between mobile phones and posture isn’t just something that can affect older people? Due to the increasing length of time that young people spend sat at computers or using mobile devices, the risk of misalignment is now greater than ever from an early age.

The problem is that when someone drops their head forward and rounds their shoulders, it becomes impossible for them to take a full breath in because of the restriction through the muscles and because the ribs can’t move properly. So the heart and lungs can’t function to their full effectiveness. Research is suggesting that the decrease in life expectancy may come from this. Think how many times each day we use our mobile.

Pressure on the Joints and Discs in Your Neck When you Text or Read Your Mobile

Pressure on the joints and discs in your neck when you text or read your mobile

If you’re reading this blog on your tablet then how’s your neck looking? Hold your tablet up to reduce the pressure on the joints and discs in your neck.

Whether the benefits are large or small it’s always worth improving your posture.  If you want posture advice, just ask your chiropractor when you are next in.  They’ll love it that you’re interested and will be able to give you some really useful tips.

Lushington Guest Caroline

Lushington Guest Caroline

One of our guests (patients), Caroline, had been suffering with back and neck pain, which was aggravated by bad posture using her laptop. As well as hands on chiropractic care, she found the self-help posture advice and explanations of why posture is so important really effective.

“I really feel they have improved not only my physical self but given me an understanding of the cause & effect of bad posture and how to combat it.

“I highly recommend Lushington Chiropractic, their team is extremely helpful, easy to talk to and you can feel secure knowing you are receiving the best professional care available.”

Caroline, from Eastbourne

If you are suffering with posture problems, back pain, neck pain, muscle spasms or joint aches then call today to see why over 8,000 local people have already chosen Lushington Chiropractic to help them: 01323 722499.

We regularly see patients who are suffering from the close link between mobile phones and posture. In these cases we welcome patients in for an initial consultation before explaining how our range of treatments can help.

The Lushington Chiropractic team in Eastbourne also treat an array of other issues. Alongside expert chiropractic care, we also offer services such as nutritional therapy, podiatry, acupuncture, counselling and more.  We have an extremely professional and dedicated team who deliver the highest service and have over 80 years’ expertise between them.

This article was written by James Revell.