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Shoulder Strengthening Exercises to Do at Home

Who are these exercises for?

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

 Internal rotator cuff muscle strengthening exercises

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

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

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

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

External rotator cuff muscle strengthening exercises

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

Abductor rotator cuff muscle strengthening exercises

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

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

Abductor rotator cuff muscle strengthening exercises

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

Thanks for reading

Vicky  

 

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

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

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

Which muscles should be stronger, and why?

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

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

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

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

How to strengthen the lower trapezius muscles and rhomboids…

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

How to strengthen the lower trapezius muscles and rhomboids…

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

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

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

Vicky

What is the Best Sleeping Position for my Back Pain?

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

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

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

Why does my back hurt so much in the mornings?

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

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

What is the best sleeping position? On your back!

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

On your side…

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading

 

Vicky

 

 

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.

James Revell

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.

James Revell

 

 

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?

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.

James Revell