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 James Revell starts us off by telling us about his day.
As the principal Chiropractor 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 my chiropractic care to include treatment of his knee osteoarthritis as an adjunct to core osteoarthritis treatments.
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 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 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 Chiropractor 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). Doctor of Chiropractic James 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,