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,
Chiropractic Treatment for Neck Pain and Headaches
How Common are Neck Pain and Headaches?
Neck pain is very common, and so are headaches. Here at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne we frequently meet patients who come in to see us complaining of neck pain and headaches. In some cases, they come in for other problems and when asked they also tell us about their headaches, not realising that chiropractors could treat these issues as a matter of course. From personal experience, I had neck pain and associated headaches myself as a teenager, which is when I saw my first chiropractor for treatment that helped tremendously and allowed me to manage the problem. So, you could say that without my neck pain and headaches I wouldn’t be a chiropractor today!
Can Chiropractic Treat These Problems?
During your initial consultation we take a very thorough history and do an in-depth neuro-orthopaedic examination. The purpose of this is to find out the cause of your neck pain and headaches, and to rule out any serious pathology that would warrant a referral to your GP or elsewhere. Once we have ascertained the cause of your headaches, and ruled out more serious causes then we diagnose the headache type. If they are the types that we can tackle with chiropractic treatment, then we will go on to discuss your options for care with you.
Chiropractors can treat cervicogenic headaches (this translates to ‘coming from the neck’) and we can also help people with the prevention of migraine headaches.
Cervicogenic headaches originate from the stiff joints and tight muscles of the neck, so our aim with treatment is to release the tension in those affected muscles and to enable the joints to move more freely with specific chiropractic adjustments. Improving the function of your neck will allow it to work as it should and will reduce the pain you feel from irritated tissues. You will notice, as you go through a course of care for your neck pain and headaches, that your mobility improves and your neck feels looser. A lot of patients tell us that they no longer have problems looking over their shoulder when they are driving, or that they feel much less aching in the mornings when they used to wake with significant pain and stiffness.
As chiropractors, we focus on improving the function of the spine and rest of the body, so we will be keeping a close eye on your clinical progress with regular review sessions throughout your course of care. This means that we can assess you clinically to see how your symptoms (including pain levels) and function (such as range of motion and mobility) improve with care.
What Advice Will Be Given During Treatment?
During your course of chiropractic care at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne you will also be given self-help advice, including stretches and tips, for you to do at home so that you may better control your symptoms yourself. This helps you to release the tension of the muscles in between your visits for chiropractic treatment. Well also give you ergonomic advice so that your workstation is set up as well as it can possibly be, to allow you to sit straight and in the best possible position for your muscles, joints and nerves. Improving your posture is key to healing as it means that there is minimal extra strain on the body, allowing it to recover faster and more effectively. All of these tips will be covered in much more detail in next month’s blog: Self-Help Advice for Neck Pain and Headaches. Please read the blog for more information, and of course, ask your chiropractor if you have any questions regarding your individual treatment for your neck pain and headaches.
Thanks for reading,
Sunglasses and Why They Are Important
Why are sunglasses important?
What damage can sunlight cause to the eyes?
There are several well-known effects of over-exposure of the eyes to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight. Included in these are cataracts, which are a clouding of the lens of the eye which causes distortion of the vision. According to research, some twenty percent of cataracts are caused by ultraviolet exposure to the eyes. Too much sun exposure can also damage the retina and lead to macular degeneration, which affects the vision in the centre of the field of view. In addition, sunlight damages the pterygium, the layer of tissue located over the white of the eye. Damage here may change the curvature of the eyeball and result in astigmatism which again damages your vision.
What to look for when buying sunglasses?
I will admit, I have been very bad at this myself for many years. For a long time, I only purchased cheap sunglasses that in hindsight (ha!) didn’t block a high proportion of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, simply because they are cheaper. Sadly, I’d always find out they were cheaper because they were badly made and they would fall apart within a year or two – a false economy in the end. Now I purchase decent eyewear that blocks 99-100% of UVA/UVB radiation and often will use a hat as well, to shield my eyes especially if I’m abroad. I use my sunglasses when driving on a sunny day, even in winter in the UK, after all Eastbourne is known as sun trap of the south!
Polarised sunglasses are great because they also block horizontal light waves, the waves which are reflected from surfaces such as water or the road. This means that when you’re wearing them you will get less eye fatigue and damage. A good trick to finds out if your sunglasses are polarised is to look at a LCD computer or phone screen with them on. If they’re polarised, then you won’t be able to read it properly as it will be darker due to the blocking of the horizontal light. Go for these but avoid the brands that only paint a cheap polarising layer on top of the lens as it can easily scratch and lead to UV exposure.
So who should wear sunglasses?
Everyone! Particularly children as they have larger pupils which naturally let in more light. This makes them particularly susceptible to sun damage of the lens and retina.
I hope you’ve found this blog useful. You can find lots of hints and tips from the chiropractors and other practitioners here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne by looking at our website and our chiropractic blog site.
Perhaps now is a good time to book that eye test that you’ve been meaning to have…? I’m off to book mine….!
Thanks for reading,
What’s the difference between a probiotic and a prebiotic? Read on to find out.
So what is the difference between a probiotic and a prebiotic?
If you have read my most recent blog on probiotics and their use (read it here) then you know all about the importance of taking probiotics at certain times in your life. Here in this blog I’ll explain what prebiotics are and why they’re useful. In addition, you don’t even necessarily need to buy them as an extra supplement; you can eat them as part of your normal diet.
Prebiotics are substances that are not able to be digested by the human body, but that within the body stimulate the growth and successful multiplication of beneficial probiotic bacteria.
This all happens within the intestine and colon, where digestive probiotics mainly reside. The prebiotic substances are usually dietary fibres and non-digestible sugars (by humans) that give probiotics a good ‘boost’ by providing them immediately what they need to be successful. This allows the probiotics to thrive and take up residence on the gut lining so they can do their work and help with your digestion and immune system function. By providing this probiotic-nurturing environment in the colon and small intestine it encourages the healthy bacteria to proliferate, which in turn means there are less pathogenic bacteria in the gut. There is only so much space, after all, and if it’s being taken up by probiotics then bacteria like E.Coli and Salmonella have less chance of thriving.
Another benefit of prebiotics is that they aid with removal of cholesterol from the body.
This occurs because they bulk up the volume of indigestible fibre passing through the intestine, increasing the amount of waste solids you pass and therefore the cholesterol that is removed along with it. This helps keep your intestine and colon healthy because it doesn’t allow carcinogenic toxins or waste products from digestion to sit too long in contact with the gut wall – it flushes them through your body the same way that water flushes out your renal system. In addition, high fibre diets are correlated with lower bodyweight.
Whole grains (for example flaxseeds, wheat germ and oats) have prebiotic chemical properties, because they are not absorbed in the gut but break down by fermentation into short-chain fatty acids which are used by the beneficial bacteria to survive. Probiotics sources also include Spirulina, raw chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic and leeks, banana, wheat bran and flour, and fermented dairy products like kefir, cheese and sour cream. So add them to your shopping list!
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, please ask your chiropractor next time you come in to see us in Eastbourne.
Supplements for Energy
Feeling tired and lacking energy? This blog will help you decide on the best supplements to take in order to feel more energised
We are all accustomed to that feeling you get when the alarm clock goes off early in the morning and all you want to do is ignore it. Most of us have also experienced that sense of mid-afternoon exhaustion when your body is crying out for a nap to recharge (but the boss wouldn’t appreciate it!).
Do these sound familiar to you? If they do, then perhaps its time to reassess your diet and look at taking certain supplements to improve your energy levels.
In any discussion surrounding supplements it is important to say that nothing makes up for a poor diet. It is really necessary to assess what you are eating and decide if there are vital nutrients and minerals missing before you look at any other form of sustenance. Eating a well balanced meal and enjoying adequate sleep are by far the best ways of keeping your energy levels high throughout the day.
If you’ve done this already and think that you have a pretty good diet, then read on for some tips about how to get more energy.
A good multivitamin is a great place to start. It can be difficult to get all the vitamins and minerals you need every day unless you are single-minded enough to plan each perfectly balanced meal. There will be days when your body needs more of certain nutrients than usual. For example when your muscle cells are healing after a hard gym session. Because of this, it’s a good idea to take a high-quality multivitamin on a regular basis. I use BioCare but there are many others out there such as Lamberts.
I find that taking additional Vitamin D is a great way of keeping my energy levels up. Vitamin D is used by the body to help with calcium absorption, so it supports the building of strong bones (deficiency is linked with soft bones, or rickets).
Vitamin D is fat-soluble so is best taken in liquid form. You can buy capsules or use a dropper. The one I take requires only one drop to be placed under the tongue, once a day.
Also good are daily Vitamin B complex solution/suspensions (as they are water-soluble). Vitamin B in its various forms is used by the body during energy metabolism, so it is absolutely crucial for sustaining life. Vitamin B9 is used in the repair of damaged DNA; vitamin B2 helps to activate other vitamins; vitamin B1 allows the body to gain energy from carbohydrates taken through the diet. These are just a few of the many functions of B vitamins! A good quality complex will often contain vitamin B1 (which is thiamine), B2 (also called riboflavin), B3 (niacin), and also vitamins B6 and B12. Taking these supplements daily may help you feel much better on first waking up, and hopefully to avoid the groggy early-morning feeling!
I hope this post has been useful, thanks for reading
For more information, hints and tips from all of the chiropractors here in Eastbourne, why not explore the rest of www.backblog.co.uk
A step-by-step guide on how to improve your workplace ergonomics
How many hours do you spend sitting at a desk? If it’s anything like most of us, then the answer would be ‘a lot’! In my previous jobs, before retraining as a chiropractor, I spent between 7 and 9 hours per day sitting down in front of a PC. That’s a HUGE proportion of the day. A bad desk setup or chair can have a big impact on how you feel and how your spine works simply because of the time spent in that position. That is why it is very important to make sure your workplace ergonomics are correct.
In this blog post we will discuss how you can set up your desk to be the best possible situation for you to spend time at (remember, sitting all day is never going to be a good thing, even with perfect ergonomics).
To start with, have a look at your chair – is the height correct for you? When sitting, your knees should be bent to 90 degrees, as should your arms at desk-level. See the picture below. You should always use a lumbar roll if you have an office job; it maintains the natural curve of the lumbar spine and reduces flexibility of the lower back and slumping of the shoulders. Essentially, it helps you keep a better posture which is more stable for the back. See my previous blog on lumbar roll use for more details.
Now check your desk, as this must also be at the correct height. Your arms should be at 90 degrees when your forearms reach the desk, and your chair should be able to push underneath it so you don’t need to lean forward to reach your keyboard and books. Everything on top of your desk that you need to get to should be within easy reach; no twisting to reach the printer on the floor! You can also get various aids to help make your wrists more comfortable if you suffer with wrist issues, such as ergonomic mouse pads, and gel pads to fit to your keyboard if needed.
Ok, now look at your monitor. Ideally, you should have a desktop monitor if you work all day at the same workstation. Working from a laptop is problematic for your posture because it becomes impossible to keep the keyboard and screen in the optimal position. If you do work from a laptop, it is advisable to invest in a separate keyboard and monitor to plug in for those extended periods of time at your desk.
The reason it is important to have a monitor on the desk is that it should be at eye level. Keeping your eyes looking straight ahead prevents your head from dipping forwards, which places pressure on your neck, shoulders and back. If you find that your chin juts out and you lean forwards while you work, take a moment to assess your desk environment.
We sometimes use shelves to perch our monitors on here at Lushington. Monitors should be within arm’s reach so you aren’t tempted to lean forward to squint at it! At home I also change my screen resolution so that the icons and text are larger. This isn’t just for those with poor vision; it actually makes it easier to see what you’re doing.
Lastly, remember that it is vitally important to fit in regular breaks when working at a desk. Get up at least three times an hour to walk around, and have a large glass of water on the desk to remind you to keep hydrated!
I hope this article has been a useful guide for workplace ergonomics. Thanks for reading.
For more information, why not explore the rest of www.backblog.co.uk.
Choosing Your New Mattress
So you have read Dr Mason’s blog article ‘Do I need a new mattress’. Now, you’ve decided to buy a new one. Here are some tips to help you decide which to go for. Let’s begin with the main types:
This has been one of the most popular types of mattress for many years. The springs are sewn into individual fabric pockets to keep them in place, giving you good support across the width of the mattress. However, if you choose a pocket sprung mattress then be aware that the more springs the better, which will of course be reflected in the cost! This is because the more springs there are in your new mattress, the more support your body will get when you lie on it.
This is particularly true if you share a bed with a partner. If there are two of you, a cheap, minimally-sprung mattress may result in you rolling towards one another at night! This will both leave you lying in an uncomfortable position, may reduce the support your body receives and can impact on the quality of your sleep.
Finally, pocket sprung mattresses are typically cooler than memory foam mattresses. This is because they are less dense and aren’t activated by heat. They may be a better choice if you often find yourself too warm at night. Check the description and aim for 1000+ pockets if you can.
This type of mattress is topped with a layer of temperature-sensitive viscoelastic material (memory foam). One brand that helped to popularise this technology is Tempur, although there are now many brands on the market, offering variations on the same theme. The shape of the mattress changes to fit the shape of your body, and as the topping is dense it tends to make the mattress feel warmer. Be aware, if you jump on or sit down quickly onto this mattress you won’t feel the ‘bounce’ you expect!
Less common and more expensive, latex has some of the advantages of memory foam and may last longer. They are made up of layers of springy latex.
Continuous and Open Coil
Continuous coil mattresses are made from a single looped wire, and open coil from single springs fixed together by one wire. These are typically the cheapest mattresses, but they have a downside – because the springs move as one unit you’re more likely to be disturbed by your partner moving around during the night, and the coils wear out more quickly than those in pocket sprung mattresses. This will again lead to the rolling-into-the-middle situation. However, if you intend to replace it every few years then this may be the option for you!
I hope this post has helped inform you – good luck with your mattress shopping and thanks for reading!
A Typical Tuesday for your Chiropractor at Lushington Chiropractic
Here’s your chance to find out what else the chiropractors at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne get up to in the course of a normal day. You will only ever see them during your treatment but there is so much more and we thought it would be nice to share a typical day with you.
Our Doctor of Chiropractic and Clinic Director Dr James Revell starts us off by telling us about his day.
I arrived early this morning to catch up with some files and paperwork before the day gets going. I live in Old Town, near Motcombe, so there’s no commute to work – but even on that short drive you notice how quiet and sleepy Eastbourne is at 6 O’clock. I don’t usually see patients on Tuesdays but today I’m seeing some of Mykel Mason’s because he’s away on Honeymoon.
With a team of five chiropractors and four massage therapists the clinic is always busy during the day, so I start extra early sometimes to get on with projects. The phone doesn’t ring and there’s no distractions. We increased our opening hours this summer to keep up with things, so now there’s less “quiet time” in the mornings before our clinic assistants start to arrive from about 7.15am onwards.
Started my chiropractic work at 8am and have now just seen my second guest of the day. He is a roofer and the years of laying felt on our Sussex roofs have taken their toll, resulting in severe lumbago.
He’s got a lot of back pain at the moment. I’m used to seeing people in severe pain and in his case I’ve been using chiropractic techniques to help his muscles which have cramped up and gone into spasm around his low back. The muscle spasm is starting to improve and today we were able to use some gentle mobilisations techniques to take the pressure off the stiff joints in his low back. The chiropractic adjustments I used will have improved the movement between the joints.
I always enjoy helping people who are in pain. They appreciate it and it’s rewarding to see the difference you’ve made. He felt easier as soon as he got off the chiropractic treatment bench. He’s not taking any time of work and has a busy day ahead here in Eastbourne, but at least this one is starting better than yesterday.
I like to know that I’ve made a difference and it’s always rewarding when someone feels better – especially when they feel better straight after their chiropractic treatment! My main focus is always on treating the root of the problem. I take a functional approach, which means I am aim to work out what has caused the back, hip, knee pain or whatever problem the patient has. My chiropractic treatment plan is focused on helping the muscles and joints heal, repair and actually recover, not just “feel better”. I think people like it that the hands on chiropractic treatment actually does something to help. People also appreciate the time we give them, the explanations of what wrong with the muscles and joints and what they can do to help themselves.
Ultimately I want the body to heal better not just feel better.
Although the chap I saw this morning was feeling better after the treatment I want to help his back properly repair and recover from his chronic back pain, so that we create a sustainable improvement for him. It’s still early days but I’d expect his treatment will develop to include some low-back strengthening exercises to reduce his low back pain (by the way never so sit ups!) and exercises he can use when he’s at work if his back gets painful, stiff or achy.
He also has some general aches and pains in various muscles and joints because of his years roofing. The noisiest of those is his knee, which grinds and clicks a lot. I have diagnosed him with patellofemoral pain syndrome associated with arthritis of the knee. At the moment my main focus is his low back pain, but once that starts to settle, I’ll focus treatment to include his knee as well.
I’ve seen a lot of people with osteoarthritic knee pain in Eastbourne. Although Eastbourne is famous for our ageing population, osteoarthritis can affect people of various ages. Osteoarthritis is common and often ignored by a lot of people. In my experience people can tend to just put up with it.
With osteoarthritis, every individual’s treatment varies but I usually carry out a combination of hands on treatment, including knee and leg massage and knee joint mobilisation, combined with home exercise rehabilitation, advice about vitamins and sometimes ergonomic changes.
Over the last year I’ve increasingly used a form of support taping (like kinesiotape) which seems to be helping some people and is a cheap and simple solution. My colleague Dr Vicky White will also use acupuncture (western dry needling) if that’s helpful to manage her patient’s pain.
At our chiropractic clinic, we have a big team so it’s easy to personalise the individual’s treatment to suit them, rather than to suit what I can do. Treatment for osteoarthritis is always personalised to the individual and we work in conjunction with their GP’s core osteoarthritis treatments as well.
I caught up with Michaela Jezzard our nutritional therapist about some new plans she has for her nutritional therapy work at the clinic. She’s been doing more courses and studies focusing on detox systems, working on a very holistic basis considering energy-lines and chakras. She’s keen to offer this approach to people here in Eastbourne and surrounding areas, which would make her the only person in Sussex offering the specific approach.
Just seen mum for a treatment. What a privilege to help your own family.
She used to get some terrible neck pain, which can cause headaches and even shoulder pain too. Some morning’s mum couldn’t even lift her head off the pillow it was so sore. She is getting on really well with chiropractic and massage treatment and day-to-day life is much easier. She’s back to gardening, hobby craft, decorating and most appreciated of looking after the grandchildren!
Today mum’s chiropractic treatment focused on some general tension and difficulty relaxing she’s noticed recently. I worked on some of the muscles at the back of her head and eased the tension through the shoulders and neck. She left feeling much better and will see Andy Swan for a massage on Thursday, which will help too.
So it’s the end of a busy morning as a chiropractor.
I love to be busy and make a difference. I think that’s one of the things that has affected the way that I work. I am focussed on getting to the root of a problem and helping the body to work at its best, rather than simply managing symptoms.
I don’t want to just “rub it better” I want to work out a plan of treatment (chiropractic, massage, acupuncture or whatever is needed) to help the problem that the patient is suffering with health repair and recover, to “heal better, not just feel better”.
In a few minutes we’ll discuss cases with the massage team. I’ll catch up with Andy Swan, who’ll be seeing my mum on Thursday about what she needs and he’ll let me know how he’s getting on with the patient’s he saw last week.
Next we hear from Doctor of Chiropractic Dr Deborah Ben Shah
7:45 Tuesday Morning
First of all, it is a half day at work for me, so we are already off to a good start! But the CA’s won’t be happy with me if I don’t have a look at some daily notes they have for us chiropractors to make sure the clinic is running smoothly!
Then it’s time to check the pigeon hole. I am always pleased when it has nothing new in it! All clear this morning!! Yay! But the morning is still young…
Then it is time to pull my patient charts for today’s guests. I have a look at the diary to make sure everything is in order. Then, I fire up the computer and get my room ready for my shift. I will always have a peak at my guests’ files to see what type of guests I will be seeing for the day. Usually it is a combination of regular visit guests, new guests, and report-of-findings guests. So I like to feel that I am prepared for the day! Of course all of this is done while I am enjoying my morning coffee! No milk for me these days as I am trying to cut back of gluten and dairy. That means sad and boring coffee.
I have a little break between guests so it is time to catch up on some paperwork. When you are in the health care profession, there is ALWAYS paperwork to catch up on! The clinic is a little quieter now than it has been in recent months. Boy was it busy, and it seems I could never get on top of all my paperwork. It’s much more manageable now!
My last guest of the day has been seen, and it is time for me to have a quick little break before our afternoon meetings! I am enjoying my delicious roasted vegetable and couscous salad that I made with lots of garlic to keep the vampires away! It has been a great day. I have had a morning streak of lots of patients telling me how well they are feeling and how happy they are with care. It almost brings a tear to my eyes sometimes when I hear guests talk about how much better they are feeling and how grateful they are. I love what I do, and even more so on days like these! But before I head home for the day, I am getting a nice little neck and shoulder rub from Kirsty, one of our fabulous massage therapists! Chiropractors need love too…and there is no shortage of love in this clinic from the staff!
Meetings are done, and I am on my way to get my haircut. And then home for a nice relaxing afternoon and I will spend some time on Facetime this evening with my daughter and family to catch up!
Thanks for sharing your day with us Deborah.
Next we hear from Doctor of Chiropractic Dr Caroline Mulliner.
On Tuesdays I arrive mid- afternoon for our clinic team meetings. After this it’s a quick dash to get myself sorted and ready for a day of seeing guests. These afternoons always flash by in the blink of an eye because they tend to be my busiest shift at Lushington Chiropractic.
Prior to seeing guests, I like to look through my shift ahead, making sure that I have filled in all paperwork, GP letters, written x-ray referrals or have exercise sheets to hand ready to give out. I find my day flows much smoother if I get it all sorted beforehand.
Today I start chiropractic treatments from 2:50pm and have 10 guests in a row to see. At the beginning of a shift I always aim to stay as much on time as possible so I am on time for those who I am seeing later. This shift I have a couple of my regular chiropractic guests booked in. The first has been suffering with a lifelong history of neck related headaches. Now I only see her from time to time to ensure her body is working at its best and not tightening up due to daily stresses.
This shift I also have a number of guests who are quite new to care. It’s exciting seeing these people as they’re just beginning to feel the results of chiropractic care and realising that they don’t have to live a life with discomfort. Sometimes it can be challenging as a clinician to be positive, whilst someone is in pain and discomfort. It makes my day as a chiropractor when one my patients comes in saying that their pain has decreased or they haven’t had a headache in a week.
Once I finish with my guests, I ensure all the days’ files are written up and finished with. I tidy up my room, ready for the following day. Turn of the lights and head off home. Ready for a relaxing evening and a nice dinner after a busy afternoon.
Thank you Caroline.
Next we hear from Doctor of Chiropractic Dr Vicky White
I arrive at work and spend some time catching up with two of our lovely clinic assistants, Claire and Judy, about our weekends. Last night I flew back from a long weekend in Madrid and it’s great to see everyone again! I’ve brought with me some Spanish pastries for the team to try so we’ll open those later on. At this point in the day I usually check through my files so everything is ready for the morning shift, and begin with a mug of tea as well as breakfast, which today is spiced couscous with sundried tomatoes (I know, I’m strange like that). Dr Revell also photobombs my morning selfie…!
I see one of my regular guests who has maintenance treatments on a regular basis to keep her in good shape. We get along so well and its lovely to see her and has been a pleasure to treat her for the last year or more. I also have to thank her for the delicious chutneys and jam that she made for me and gave me at our last treatment – amazing!! You can tell by the photo taken at the time how pleased I was. I also see a guest who has a new problem affecting his knee and take my time thoroughly assessing his knee and discussing a management plan with him, as well as give him some tips and some home exercises to strengthen his quads and stretch his hamstrings.
The shift is over and we go into team meetings where we discuss with the massage therapists which guests they will see that week and the progress of each guest on an individual case-by-case basis. Today this means discussing with Kirsty a guest that I’m referring to her who needs a lot of soft tissue work for her (very!) tight shoulders and lower back. The rest of the meeting involves the team going through any outstanding issues and plans for outreach events, which we have booked for the next several months throughout winter. Now I am finished and off for the rest of the day to have lunch and walk my dog!
I hope this has given you an insight into a typical day for us. You can read more by following our online chiropractic blog Backblog
Thanks for reading,
Do You Have Magnesium Deficiency?
Who gets magnesium deficiency?
Magnesium Deficiency? Most people should be able to get all the magnesium they need from a healthy balanced diet, but let’s be honest, how many of us actually have that ‘perfect diet’?!?
Magnesium deficiency at a severe level is uncommon but can sometimes happen in older people, those with diseases such as kidney or Crohn’s disease, or thyroid issues. Certain medications may also affect magnesium metabolism and cause a deficiency to arise.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency
There are a few early signs of magnesium deficiency that you may notice: headaches and nausea, and particularly feelings of tiredness and/or weakness. Those in later stages may suffer from muscle cramps (including of the heart muscle) and seizures.
In fact, it has been shown that almost 80% of those in the USA are magnesium deficient! You can read the article by Dr Mercola here
How do I increase my magnesium intake?
You can increase your magnesium intake through diet by eating the following foods which are rich in it: leafy green vegetables such as spinach, oily fish (for example herring etc.), nuts and cereals (wholegrain is best). Whole foods are always best because magnesium can be lost during food processing procedures. It’s advised to take, daily, 300mg (milligrams) if you are a man and 270mg if you are a woman.
This can also be taken in other ways – via a magnesium supplement; and by using an Epsom salt bath. If you use an Epsom salt bath make sure you put a good few handfuls of the salts into warm water, and stay in at least 20 minutes so your body can absorb it through the skin.
How might magnesium supplements help me?
There have been studies that suggest that those people who take sufficient magnesium in through their diet are 50% less likely to suffer from diabetes than people who didn’t take in enough magnesium. It has also been shown that supplementing with it may aid overweight people with insulin resistance in avoiding diabetes (type 2)! It reduces blood sugar levels and helps increase insulin sensitivity to a healthier level.
However, overall, Diabetes UK advise that those diabetics without professionally diagnosed deficiencies do not need supplemental magnesium. You can read more about this here . In addition, if you take supplements be careful as taking more than 400mg of magnesium can cause diarrhoea, and magnesium supplements may not be safe for people who take certain medications The official advice is that a daily magnesium supplement of 400mg or less is unlikely to cause any harm but you should take your medical doctor’s advice regarding supplement use.
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Do You Need Lumbar Support?
Lumbar Rolls – Support Your Back!
In clinic, here at Lushington Chiropractic, we are often asked about the best types of lumbar supports to use at work or in the car. This post will hopefully give you the information to decide which type of lumbar support you may need, and will explain why we recommend them in the first place.
Why use lumbar support at all?
There are many reasons to invest in a lumbar support, not least because sitting is one of the worst positions for your lower back to be in. This is due to the fact that sitting flattens the natural curve of your lumbar spine and puts increased pressure on your discs. For people with sciatica caused by a lumbar disc bulge this usually aggravates their leg pain as it intensifies pressure on the nerve roots. Sitting also worsens the pain of people who have a history of pelvis ligament sprain because it pulls the delicate and weakened ligaments at the back of the pelvis. Often, women who have had a child in the last few years fall into this category because of the changes that the pelvis goes through during pregnancy and childbirth. Under these circumstances, hormone changes (including the release of relaxin) cause the pelvic ligaments to stretch and become weaker and painful.
Sitting for any length of time causes constant overpressure on these injured structures which slows healing. This can mean that sciatica takes much longer to centralise (improve and the pain reduce in the leg) and that the pelvis doesn’t stabilise and heal as it should after an injury. Lumbar supports help by gently pushing the lower lumbar spine back into a more natural position, similar to the one that it would be in if you were standing, and by stopping the spine from being in a flexed position for a prolonged period of time. In addition, we often advise people to avoid sitting on the sofa when possible, particularly early in their course of care, and to keep moving or go for a walk immediately after their chiropractic adjustments.
So to summarise, lumbar supports are useful for anyone (I have one in my car and we have them on all our office chairs in the clinic!), but particularly for those who have been diagnosed with pelvis sprain/instability or lumbar disc bulges and sciatica. We offer McKenzie rolls as they are comfortable and can be taken from the car to the office chair, and clipped on using a strap. However, you can buy whichever type you wish but I’d recommend the round rolls as they give most support.
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