Healthy pregnancy

Low back pain during pregnancy

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When I was studying towards my chiropractic degree, I become very interested in treating females during pregnancy who suffer from different aches and pains. I found that the anatomical and physiological changes that the female body goes through during pregnancy are fascinating and therefore decided to write my final year dictation about low back pain during pregnancy.

Now that I am pregnant myself I can relate better to some of the symptoms my patients are experiencing. Luckily I have my husband who is also a chiropractor to help with any trouble my back gets into and to make sure that my body (especially the pelvic region) is correctly aligned to help prepare for the birth.

What causes low back pain during pregnancy?

There are a few factors that may contribute to having low back pain:

  1. There is a change in the centre of gravity of the body, especially in late pregnancy. In order to compensate for this, the mother tends to straighten her neck and upper back, and throw her shoulders backwards, resulting in increasing the lumbar (low back) curve. This generates stress on the disks, spinal joints and ligaments, which creates pain and increased sensitivity to movement.
  2. The influence of circulating sex hormones in the body increases the laxity of pelvic ligaments causes some instability of the pelvis, which may lead to backaches during pregnancy.
  3. The growing uterus can apply pressure on the main blood vessels, especially in the lower part of the back and abdomen. These changes may lead to restriction in blood supply and metabolic disturbances, which can induce low back pain.

Chiropractic treatment

There are a few different techniques being used for treating low back pain during pregnancy. One of the techniques used by chiropractors is the Webster technique. This technique is designed to help change breech presentations to cephalic presentation and to avoid cesarean section or breech delivery. This technique involves analysis of the bones of the pelvis and manual correction by a light-force adjustment of the sacrum (tail bone). It also involves analysis and relief of abdominal muscle tension or spasm.

Effectiveness of chiropractic care

The literature about chiropractic management during pregnancy mostly shows improvement in pain scale and activities of daily living. Adverse side effects for chiropractic treatment are rare.
As a chiropractor, I will tailor my treatment based on the patient’s history, their clinical examination and their specific goals and needs to give the best treatment option to my pregnant patients.

If you would like to find out more about our care please book a free 10 minutes consultation here

I look forward to treat you in our chiropractic clinic,

Orit Edwards
Doctor of chiropractic.

How does our diet affect Pain

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Diet, Inflammation & Pain

 

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If you were asked to give a list of things that causes you pain you would probably list a trip or fall, overdoing it at the gym or any sport relate injury, sitting for long hours in front of the computer and so on. But how many of us think of our diet when we consider the factors that can lead to pain? Are you aware that pain is most often due to inflammation in the body?

The process of inflammation and tissue healing is one that involves certain chemicals to be present in order for it to take place. There are some chemicals that are known as ‘anti-inflammatory’ (which lessen the inflammatory response and therefore reduce pain). On the other hand, there are chemicals that are ‘pro-inflammatory’ (which aggravate the inflammation process).

Which food is good for us?

The list is endless, but here are some examples of good food:

  • Fruits, nuts and Vegetablesare full of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber, phytochemicals and antioxidants which act as anti-inflammatory foods and help your body deal with inflammation.
  • Fresh Fish and good quality fresh meats are full of proteins that help cope with inflammation. Oily fish especially also contains omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce the inflammatory process. Other sources of Omega-3 fatty acidscan be found in eggs, extra virgin olive oil, avocados, flax and pumpkin seeds, grape-seed oil and walnut oil.
  • It is not all boring! Moderate consumption (a glass a day) of red wine has also been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect, as well as dark chocolate (80% and above).
  • Spice-up your life! Ginger, turmeric, garlic, oregano, marjoram and many other spices have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Wateris also very important for the healing process as well, so make sure you’re well hydrated.

Which foods should we avoid?

Processed foods, Junk Food, Packaged foods (containing refined sugars and trans fats) and deep fried foods are full of pro-inflammatory chemicals and excessive consumption of them will make any inflammatory reaction in your body go wild!. You may find yourself suffering more than necessary if your diet is packed with these foodstuffs.

If you would like some more nutritional advise please do not hesitate to ask one of us at Tunbridge Wells Chiropractic and Shockwave Clinic.

Improve your Posture – New Years Resolution

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Improve your Posture Top Tips

Make better posture your New Years resolution

Want to have a healthy back and keep pain at bay for 2016? Regular movement and improving your posture can help you achieve

A staggering 35 million working days a year are lost to back and neck related problems. it’s really important that people think about their backs when going about their daily activities and when at work. If the problem persists they should seek the right help.

Our advice is to take regular breaks when sitting at a desk and avoid sitting in one position for more than an hour.

These two simple exercises can help relieve tension.

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BCA has developed this infographic, to help remind people how to maintain a good posture throughout the day:

ENJOY CHRISTMAS WITHOUT BACK PAIN

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This time of year may involve a fair bit of stress, trying to make everything ready for the Christmas holidays.                                                                   Here are a few tips to consider before you do something silly to injure your back and to help you enjoy this magical time.

Top Tips to avoid back pain

 

  1. When getting the Christmas tree, be careful when you lift it and get it into the car. Avoid leaning forwards too far and then twisting, as those are the worst movements for your back. The pictures below illustrate the wrong and right ways of lifting your tree. To move your tree safely, stand close to it, keep your back in a ‘neutral’ position and use your legs to take the strain by bending your knees and sticking you buttock out with your abdomen ‘braced’.

 

  1. If you are using a tree bucket, fill it in the house or get help to lift and move a heavy bucket. Always position the tree before you take its cover off and before decorating it.

 

  1. When decorating the tree, don’t try to reach too far around the back of the tree with the lights, get help or Use a step ladder rather than stretching.

 

  1. Don’t sit to write cards for hours on end as you may feel OK while you are doing it, and then feel pain and stiffness in your shoulders, neck region and lower back later on when you try to move. Take regular breaks, stretch and move around (also when doing housework or cooking).

 

  1. Always get help lifting awkward items.

 

  1. When you are laying the table, walk around it and don’t reach over. It may take a few more seconds of your time, but it will save you a lot of pain later on.

 

  1. When you put the turkey into the oven, bend your knees and keep the baking tray as close to you as possible. Keep your spine in ‘neutral’ position.

 

  1. Don’t just sit indoors. Get out for a regular walk over the holidays, breath the fresh winter air!

 

  1. Take it easy on alcohol, sugar and fatty foods, as this may aggravate back pain caused by inflammation.

 

Remember that the worst movements for your back are bending and twisting and Christmas involves a lot of this kind of movements. You can avoid injury if you think for a few seconds about how you do something before you rush to do it.

 

We hope you have a wonderful time during Christmas, free from back pain! If however you do need to see us, we are here between Christmas and New Year.

 

Happy Christmas from Tunbridge Wells Chiropractic & Shockwave Clinic.

Poor Lifting

Poor Lifting

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Top Tips for Sciatic Pain

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Top Tips for Sciatic Pain

Sciatic pain commonly refers sharp pain down the leg and sometimes into your foot.  It can be extremely painful and debilitating and can commonly feel that pain and discomfort is getting out of control. Unfortunately there is no easy cure for sciatica however, chiropractic care can make a big difference to your symptoms.

What is Sciatic ?

Sciatica is not a diagnosis it’s a name of a long nerve that comes out of your lower spinal column through your buttocks down the back of your legs and ends at your big toe.

Here are 12 top tips for managing sciatic pain

1) Avoid prolonged sitting

Your disc bulges most when you are in a forward bending position or when sitting. So sitting at your desk for prolonged periods of time can irritate your nerve. We advise taking regular breaks every 20-30 minutes. This breaks should only take you about 10-20 seconds to allow yourself to get up, move your legs and stretch your back and neck. Also, when you are sitting Sit with your bottock and shoulder blades against the backrest, so you are nice and tall and upright. Getting up and moving will help the disc to stay where it belongs and prevent it from slipping.

2) Squat! Don’t Slump.

Don’t bend your spine forward when leaning over to do things. Make sure you bend the knees and hips but not your lower back. This will protect your back from injury. Use this squat to pick things up or do your shoelaces.

3) Ice instead of Heat

When it’s really hurting use ice and NOT heat. Ice will act as an anti-inflammatory and will also slow the conduction of pain signals to the brain and therefore will help numb the pain. Heat will only aggravate the inflammatory process that is happening when the disc is irritating the nerve. Ice with an ice-pack wrapped in a damp tea-towel for 20 minutes at a time, and repeat this every 1-2 hours.

4) Sleep Position

Try to sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees, or on your side with a pillow between your knees. This keeps the lower back nice and neutral and helps the disc to stay where it belongs and reduces the bulge. It also takes the pressure off the sciatic nerve making leg pain less severe.

5) Keep Moving

Moving is better than staying still. Moving will help to clear the inflammatory metabolites that are surrounding the bulging disc. The movement of the lower back and pelvis will gently mobilise the disc, and help it to heal faster.

6) Extend you back

As mentioned above, bending forwards or slouching can aggravate a disc. However extension (leaning backwards) can help. Try Lying on your front resting on your forearms, elbows bent, and slowly extend your arms to arch your lower back (in yoga this is called a Sphynx or Cobra movement).

7) Strengthen the Core for support

Imagine that your disc is surrounded by many muscles, which help support it and hold it in it’s correct place. Now imagine that those muscles are small and weak, meaning there is no support which causes extra pain. Exercises which are challenging  the core muscles will help to support the disc and prevent it bulging further.

8) Avoid running and jumping

Running and jumping or any other high impact exercises may aggravate your bulging disc. However, low impact exercise like swimming and pilates can really help it. Swimming is particularly good as you are not weight bearing and exercising against resistance.

9) Lie down and put your feet up

If you can’t do anything as the disc is really debilitating, try lying on the floor with your lower legs up on a chair. This is a relief position and will help you to feel more comfortable as your sciatic nerve is slackened in this position. You can add an ice-pack under your lower back to help it abit more.

10) Lose weight

The heavier your body is, there is more pressure on the disc, causing it to bulge more. By shedding a few pounds you will decrease the amount of bulging, and therefore reduce the pain. Weight loss is mostly achieved through diet in combination with increasing physical activity.

11) Don’t Panic!

Disc problems are extremely common, and are rarely a permanent fixture. They do take a while to heal, but the pain will get better with time. There will be good days and bad days, but eventually more good than bad. Follow the advice above and the disc will be best positioned to heal as fast as possible.

12) GO AND SEE A PROFESSIONAL!

All of the above advice should be implemented in accordance with the advice of a registered health professional such as a chiropractor. The advice in this blog does not replace that given by a health professional who has taken a thorough case history and performed a full examination of the area. To find out more about how can chiropractic treatment help BOOK AN APPOINTMENT HERE

 

 

Winter Weather Walking

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Winter Weather Walking

Cold, wintry weather is sweeping the UK. Icy roads and pavements mean potentially hazardous conditions underfoot and a rise in injuries caused by slips and falls.
It is quite natural, therefore, for us to be wary when walking outdoors and adopting our ‘ice walk’; the problem is that an unnatural walking posture could cause as many problems as the icy conditions themselves.
Tips to stay safe and adopt a better ‘ice walk’:

Best foot forward

– It is a good idea to have two pairs of shoes, one for walking in the ice and snow, the other for indoors or whilst driving.
– Waterproof or other, lined shoes are preferable as are thermal socks, as these items will help keep your feet warm. Cold, numb feet are less able to sense and adapt to changing conditions.
– Footwear should have a solid and large, raised treads on the sole; essential for maximising your grip on the ice.
–   Shoes with support features are important – walking shoes with a firm ankle support are ideal as they help prevent you ‘going over’ on your ankle and help you feel more stable in slippery conditions.  If shoes have laces, they should be firmly laced to give a close fit without limiting the circulation.
What to avoid…..Wellingtons can be practical, but they often don’t give enough support and can be difficult to take off. Also avoid walking outside in leather or other, smooth soled shoes.
Top Gear
–    Clothing should be warm and allow you to move freely. Anything that impedes you from walking ‘normally’ could make you more prone to falling over or lead to you walking in an unnatural way.
Be Prepared
–    There are things you can do to prepare yourself for better balance. Standing on one leg, as an exercise, is a great way to help improve your balance.
–    When you are out and about, keeping your hands out of your pockets (use gloves) so that you can use your arms for better balance is a great idea too.
–    Watch out for parts of the pavement that may have been in shadow or under trees, where there is more likely be black ice, but make sure you pay attention to what is ahead too!
Falling Gracefully
If you do fall, try and curl up and ‘roll’ with the fall and stay relaxed, this will minimise any jarring to your body. Whilst it may be an automatic reaction, try to avoid putting your hands out to save you – this may cause wrist injuries.
Keep Your Wits
Try to avoid alcohol. Not only will you be more prone to feeling the adverse effects of the cold (because alcohol causes loss of body heat) but it may also cause you to take risks that you wouldn’t normally do and, of course, make you more unsteady on your feet. Keep topped up with warm drinks to keep your temperature up

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Getting fit for 2015?

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Feeling enthusiastic about losing weight and improving your health through exercise for 2015? After an over-indulgent Christmas, take care before launching yourself into a full-on physical programme as you could be at risk of injury.

Kick-start your New Year routine and maintain optimum posture with advice from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) and the Team a Caterham Chiropractic clinic

It’s All in the Prep

•    checkup-in-exam-roomBefore you begin any exercise programme, it is really important to check that there are no medical reasons why you cannot commence the activity, particularly if you are not normally physically active. Consult your GP if in doubt.

•    A BCA chiropractor can advise you on how to approach a new exercise routine and tell you what signs to look for if you’re overdoing it

•    athletes-posing-with-a-fitness-equipmentMake sure you get the right attire for your chosen activity.  Wearing clothes that are too tight when exercising could constrict your movement and lead to injury. You should also make sure you have appropriate footwear for the type of exercise you are doing – most specialist sportswear retailers will be able to guide you on this.

•    jogging-for-sport-outdoorsWith all exercise, you need to warm up first.  Don’t go straight into it, start with lighter movements like walking or jogging to lessen the chance of muscle strain. Use Equipment Properly

•    weight-lifting-bar-womanWhen using weights, make sure your legs are at least hips’ width apart and lift with bent knees.  Never keep the knees straight, as this could lead to over-stretching and cause damage to your back.  Avoid bending from the waist too, as it will increase stress on your lower back

•    17050611-girl-dumbbell-and-man-weight-lifting-bar-workout-at-crossfit-gymA weight held at arm’s length can have the effect of being up to five times heavier, so try to work with weights closer to the body to help avoid injury.  Always face the direction you want to carry the weight and lift using a relaxed, straight back without twisting

•    young-girl-in-the-gymIf using machines, make sure the seat is positioned correctly for your height.  You want to avoid stooping or reaching when using equipment, or you could over stretch your back. Dedicate Time to Your Back

•    people-stretchingWhilst you are ‘in the zone’, why not throw in some stretches and exercises specifically designed to strengthen your back? 
Easy to learn and do, the British Chiropractic Association has developed a sequence of precise, slow stretches, each with a specific purpose.
To watch some videos please click here

joint pain in winter

Pain relief tips for aching joints in winter

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Joint pain in winterOsteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease, which is mainly characterised by damage and loss of cartilage and changes in bones surrounding the joint. People with OA frequently report that the severity of their pain is influenced by weather conditions. Although there is very little scientific evidence to support that joint pain is weather related, you can still use the following pain relief tips when your joints are aching in winter:

Dress warmly:

If it is cold outside, keep yourself warm with gloves over hands that ache and added layers over knees and legs.

Exercise indoor:

A study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that the amount of sedentary time increased by over three hours during winter. People with joint pain should stay active in the winter with an indoor exercise plan.

Warm water:

Swimming in a heated pool is both great exercise and soothing to joints. You can also get relief from warm baths. However, avoid going right into the cold after your soak. Let your body temperature normalise first.

Stay safe in icy weather:

If you are going outside, pick solid, supportive shoes with good treads and try to walk on a surface that does not look icy.

Manual therapy or massage:

The team in Caterham Chiropractic Clinic will mobilise your joints, stretch the tight muscles and increase the blood flow to help ease off your pain and discomfort.

For your FREE 10 minutes consultation please book online or call 01883-340411

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BackCare Awareness week

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24 Hours of strain: sleeping and sitting named as top triggers for back pain

Gary and Orit from Caterham Chiropractic Clinic are urging people to think about what they put their backs through during an average day, as research findings reveal that sleeping and sitting are two of the main culprits for triggering neck and back pain in the UK.
More than three quarters (76%) of people surveyed in the South East say they are currently experiencing back or neck pain or have done in the past. One in five (21%) say they suffer on a daily basis*.
Surprisingly, it’s not strenuous exercise putting most people’s backs out – 43% of respondents in the UK pin sleeping as their most common pain trigger and 44% said sitting is also a trigger.
In the UK, it seems modern lifestyle could be to blame; 82% of those surveyed say they spend up to six hours a day sitting in front of a computer screen and almost one in five (19%) spend more than 4 hours a day watching TV.
Today, as part of BackCare Awareness Week (6-12 October) Gary and Orit cautions that inactive lifestyles could be causing unnecessary pain and are encouraging the nation to make small adjustments to daily routines, to help improve their back health.
Breakdown of a sedentary day:
• 73% spend more than six hours sleeping
• 28% spend over six hours sitting
• 33% spend between two and six hours looking at a laptop or tablet
• 49% spend between two and six hours watching TV or a film
• 82% spend up to six hours a day sitting in front of a computer screen
Gary from Caterham Chiropractic clinic comments: “As a nation we’re becoming increasingly sedentary and struggle to switch off – whether it’s sitting at a desk or lounging on the sofa, hunching over a mobile device or lying in bed for too long, the effects of modern lifestyles are taking their toll. Understanding how to sit properly and keeping active will help improve posture, strengthen muscles and therefore reduce neck and back pain.
“With 35 million working days a year lost to back and neck related problems* it’s really important that people think about their back health when going about their daily business, and that they seek help from an expert if they are in pain to avoid more long term problems.”
Caterham Chiropractic clinic TOP TIPS for maintaining a healthy back and neck:
• Sit up straight – keep arms relaxed and close to the body and place arms on the desk when typing. Make sure the top of the screen is level with the eyebrows and the chair is titled slightly forward, allowing for the knees to be lower than the hips and the feet to be flat on the floor.
• Keep moving – if sitting in the same position all day take regular breaks – ideally every 30 minutes. It’s good to stretch your arms and legs, shrug your shoulders and move your fingers around – this helps to keep the muscles more relaxed.
• Switch off – try to limit the time you spend leaning over you mobile devices or with your laptop on your knees especially after a day spent in front of a screen, to help improve your posture and relieve neck strain.
• Sleep easy – test out your mattress before you buy it to find the perfect one and lie on your side rather than lying on your front with your neck twisted to one side.

For more information please call us on 01883 340411

Slouching making you sad?

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Slouching making you sad?

Slouching and poor posture can put you at risk from back and neck pain and now a new study, published in the journal, Health Psychology, has found that slouching contributes to feelings of stress which, in turn, affect sleep and energy levels.

It is important to mind your posture and stop yourself from slouching at home and at work. Take a look at this advice from the British Chiropractic Association:
– When relaxing in front of the TV at home, the tendency is to ‘slouch’. An ideal sitting position is to let the seat take your weight and, if possible, keep as much of your body in contact with the chair so that your whole body is supported.
– Don’t sit for more than 30-40 minutes at a time, stand up to stretch, change position and walk around a little.
– Drink Up! – Try drinking water instead of tea or coffee; it will be healthier and keep your body hydrated.
– Look for small opportunities to exercise during the day; use the stairs instead of the lift or escalator, get off your bus/train/tube a stop earlier and walk or take a walk during your lunchbreak.

Using a computer at work or at home:
– Always take the time to adjust your seat, particularly if you share your desk with others.
– Your seat should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground, your knees bent, but with a slope from your hips to your knees. You should end up with your hips higher than your knees and your eyes level with the top of the computer screen. You may need to put the screen on a stand or even on a ream of paper to bring it to the right height.
– Relax when sitting into your chair, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back with your shoulder blades are touching the back rest of the chair.
– Arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk or table you are using. Use a seat with arm rests.
– Remove any obstacles from under your desk to ensure you have enough leg room.
– Take regular breaks. Never sit at the computer for more than 40 minutes; less if possible. When you take a break, walk around and stretch a little; do something completely different.
– If using a laptop, a stand is a good idea (or use a ream of paper or similar). This ensures the screen is at eye level. Using a plug in keyboard and mouse whenever possible makes it much easier to use the laptop in a more ‘back friendly manner’.

For more Advice please contact the clinic  on 01883 340411

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