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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.

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

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

leg-pain

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

BCAW-Logo-Generic

BackCare Awareness week

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BCAW-Logo-Generic

 

 

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

school bags and back pain

Back to School

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How to keep your child’s back healthy? 

As part of the preparation for the new school year, we would like to give you some advice on how to avoid back problems in your children.

According to a new research which was carried out by the British Chiropractic Association, over a third of parents say that their child has suffered from back or neck pain in the past and, whilst back pain can be caused by a number of different factors, an overloaded school bag can be a common trigger.

Despite the fact that most people know that a rucksack is the best type of bag to use to promote better posture, nearly a third of children carry a one-strapped bag that can cause a number of problems due to the asymmetrical load on one shoulder.

Parents report that their children carry in their school bag some books, lunchbox, sports gear and mobile phones. Collectively, these items can become a heavy weight and, if carried incorrectly, that weight can cause aches and pains. We would recommend parents to frequently keep an eye on what their children carry and how they carry it around.

Tips from Caterham Chiropractic Clinic:

bag

  • Keep the bag light! Make sure your child is not carrying any unnecessary weight – check that all the items in their bags are essential for the day’s activity.

 

  • Choose the right bag – a rucksack is the best option as long as it is carried over both shoulders and the straps are adjusted so that the bag is held close to the back and weight is evenly distributed. If your child has a one-strapped bag, make sure they carry it across the body and alternate which shoulder they carry it on.

 

  • Footwear is important too! Make sure your child has good footwear; soft-soled shoes that are supportive and have a good grip will make it easier for the child to carry a school bag.

 

Good luck for the new school year and keep healthy!

Caterham Chiropractic Clinic

Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow

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Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow can be a very painful condition that can stop you from using your arm normally. There is a good chance that your elbow will get better with time. However, chiropractic treatment can help you with the symptoms and accelerate the recovery time.

 

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow causes pain on the outside of your arm, around the bony part of your elbow. It happens when you damage the tendons that connect your arm muscles to the bone of your elbow. You can damage these tendons by performing movements that strain your elbow such as playing tennis, using a screwdriver, or raking leaves. The damage could happen by a particular incident however, it often happens slowly over long period of time.

 

What are the symptoms?

There is pain in the elbow, especially when holding things or twisting the arm. The pain may spread into the lower part of the arm, the back of  the hand and in some cases there is referred pain to the neck or shoulder.  You are most likely to develop tennis elbow in your dominant arm (the arm you use the most). The pain may come and go depending on how much you use your elbow.

 

When should you make an appointment to see us?

If your pain has not resolved after two weeks you can make an appointment with one of our chiropractors.

 

What is the treatment for tennis elbow ?

At Caterham Chiropractic Clinic we would confirm the diagnosis by taking a case history and performing some orthopaedic tests. The treatment may include kinesio-tape to help support the elbow, trigger point therapy, active release technique (deep massage during movement), dry needling, rehabilitation exercises and anti-inflammatory medication advice to help resolve the problem.

 

To book a free 10 minute consultation to see if chiropractic care can help you, please call 01883 340411 

Back Pain

Back Pain

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Back Pain

 

Back pain is extremely  common. Most people will suffer one or more episodes of back pain during their lives. In many cases, it starts suddenly and gets better quickly, without the need for any treatment.

However, back pain can be painful, debilitating and persistent, and some people suffer repeated episodes. It can also be associated with other symptoms, such as leg pain or sciatica. It may start following a specific incident, such as bending awkwardly or lifting a heavy weight. Or it can develop gradually, perhaps as a result of poor posture, an uncomfortable work position or repetitive strain.

Types of back pain

There are many different types of back pain, with different causes. The key to getting the right treatment is to establish which type of back pain you may be suffering from and to seek advice if it is not improving.
Your spine is one of the strongest parts of your body. It is made of solid blocks of bone known as vertebra, joined together by softer pads or discs which act as shock absorbers and maintain flexibility. Your back is reinforced by strong ligaments, surrounded by powerful muscles for support. It is, in fact, surprisingly difficult to damage your spine.
The majority of people with back pain are suffering from what is known as ‘simple’ or ‘mechanical’ back pain. This means that the pain is not related to any serious underlying condition and there are no trapped or compressed nerves. We do not always know the exact tissues that are involved in simple back pain. Muscles, joints and ligaments can all be involved. Simple back pain can be caused by poor posture, prolonged sitting in an uncomfortable position, and even muscular tension due emotional or work-related stress.
As we get older, wear and tear may contribute to back pain. The shock-absorbing pads or discs between the bones of the back can narrow with age and this can cause stiffness, pain and make it difficult to move.
Simple back pain is relatively common. Less frequently, the nerves of the back can sometimes become irritated, compressed or trapped. Again, there can be many reasons why this happens, but slipped discs or wear and tear can lead to pain spreading down the leg, which is commonly referred to as sciatica. This can be accompanied by pins and needles, tingling, numbness and weakness in all or part of the leg and foot.

Why do people get back pain?

People experience back pain for all sorts of reasons. It might be the way they sit or stand, or because their work or lifestyle causes stress and strain on their back. Worry or stress can cause tension in the back muscles, or can delay recovery of existing back pain. Sometimes an old injury, or wear and tear over time, might also cause problems.
However, there is often no obvious reason why back pain develops.
Although it can be very painful, back pain rarely has a serious underlying cause. Seeing a qualified health professional, such as a chiropractor, who is experienced in diagnosing conditions of the back and spine, can help treat back pain, and also identify if a referral or specialist investigations are needed.

Symptoms of back pain

Back pain can be very uncomfortable as the tissues and structures of the back are very susceptible to pain.
Back pain can be felt in one or both sides of the back, sometimes between the shoulder blades or from waist level and into the buttocks and down the front or back of the legs. It can be a sharp or dull pain, and can spread into the lower legs and sometimes as far as the feet.
If the pain does not go after a few days, or starts to get worse, it is worth seeking professional advice. Early treatment will help you get better faster.

Coping with back pain

About half of people who have an episode of back pain will have another episode within a couple of years. But that still doesn’t mean that it is necessarily serious. Between episodes most people return to normal activities within two or three weeks, with few remaining symptoms.
Back pain can be very painful due to inflammation and muscle spasm, and you may need to take it easy for a while. But resting for more than a day or two does not usually help, and may actually do more harm than good. It is best to try to keep moving and seek the help of a trained professional, such as a chiropractor, if you are finding it difficult to cope, or to speed up recovery.
Your back is designed for movement. The sooner you get back to normal activity, the sooner your back will feel better. The people who cope best are those who stay active and get on with their life despite the pain.
If your back pain does not improve, it is important to seek help. Early treatment will get you better faster.

What we can do to help

Chiropractors specialise in assessing, diagnosing and managing conditions of the spine. They are highly trained in finding the cause of pain in the spine. In the UK they undergo a minimum of four years’ full-time training. Importantly, chiropractors are regulated by law and must work within strict professional and ethical boundaries.
Before starting treatment, a chiropractor will do a full assessment. This will involve taking details about your condition, current health and medical history, and performing a physical examination. Sometimes it may be necessary to refer you for other tests, such as X-rays, MRI scans or blood tests. It is important for your chiropractor to gather as much information about your back pain as possible so that the most precise diagnosis can be made.
Your chiropractor will then explain what is wrong, what can be done and what you can expect from chiropractic treatment.

Treatment options

Chiropractors are best known for manual treatments such as spinal manipulation, where they use their hands to free stiff or restricted joints, or mobilisation, which is the gradual moving of joints.
But they may also use other recommended treatments such as certain types of acupuncture, electrotherapy, stretching exercises and rehabilitation, all of which form part of a chiropractor’s package of care. Your chiropractor may also offer lifestyle advice to help recovery and to prevent repeated episodes of back pain.Back Treatment
If your chiropractor does not think you can be helped by chiropractic treatment, you may be referred back to your GP or to another health professional. Chiropractors do not prescribe medication, so if this is needed, you may be referred back to your GP. As chiropractors support a joined-up approach to care, they may ask if they can send a brief report to your GP.
Many people who suffer long-term back pain benefit from regular, supportive chiropractic care to reduce the risk of recurrent episodes.

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