Category 'Chiropractic'

Since becoming a Chiropractor I have been intrigued over the years by the number of patients that visit my clinic and openly talk about their day to day troubles of life or work. I feel this is a very important part of the whole package of chiropractic care as this sort of deeper information about a patient can at times be part of the problem and the bigger picture.  Many business owners have different stresses, but one of the main issues that keeps popping up in general conversation during treatment is sick pay or absence and the detrimental affect this can have a small or large business.

The sick pay cycle for a business owner:

Employee off work with musculoskeletal complaint (E.g neck pain)-----------------------------------two weeks later -employee still off work----------------------------------one week later ----neck pain getting worse so would be silly to come back now and make it worse sat at my desk for 40 hours per week ------stressed employer --------------workload builds up----------desperation kicks in! ----------cost of additional staff rising day by day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Result -

  1. Employer has had to cover the work that the employee would normally undertake by paying an additional member of staff or completing it themselves.
  2. Sick pay  ££££££cost for the company
  3.  Increased workload may affect other members of staff
  4. Dependant on timescale, this can affect mood of the workplace and individual.

The government over the recent months or years have been attempting to find a way to reduce the ever growing sick/absence pay that is contributing to 131 million sick days per year in the UK and costing the national economy £100 billion.  These figures are staggering and are likely to increase if anything over the coming years.

Between 2010 and 2013 over 960,000 employees were on sick leave for a month or more.  Now, everyone gets ill every now and then but there is a clear difference between that and a constant reoccurring musculoskeletal complaint.

If only there was a simple and effective way of making these terrible figures reduce and most importantly, actually help, treat and educate the employee in the early stages of a complaint.

A Chiropractor, who is a qualified musculoskeletal specialist could come to your workplace every couple of weeks, once a month, whatever works for the business.  This allows the employees to have immediate access to a medical professional that specalises in exactly what they have been moaning about for days.  This is the important thing, it's days and not years!  Having this as a regular part office life would provide the workplace with an education on posture, desk set-up and the opportunity to provide assessments and treatment. This a proactive way to reduce sick pay and the costs that businesses are building up throughout the year.

If you know any business that would be interested in making a difference to the health and well being of their employees in such a simple an effective way then pass on my details and we can start making a difference.

It's that simple!

Do you respect your Spine like you do your teeth? Do you brush your teeth every day? Maybe once, maybe twice per day? Either way you are aware that your teeth require cleaning on a regular basis, otherwise they may discolour, build up tartar, fall out, need a filling and so on. It’s not just brushing them that keeps them healthy though, you must watch what you eat and drink, whether you smoke or even chew gum. These are external factors that we as individuals control and if pointed out, we must address. If someone went to the dentist and presented with generally good, healthy teeth then the dentist would advise they keep brushing well and look after what they have. If by the time they visit in six months for a check up and they are discoloured, needing work then the individual has clearly neglected them. On the other hand, if a patient presented with a fairly bad set of teeth and was required to have a scale and polish along with an extraction or further treatment then they would be advised and treated accordingly. So, this person comes back three months later and has actually brushed twice a day for this time and they are still in one hell of a mess!! The patient says to the dentist . .Well I’ve brushed like you said and you still need to take out three teeth!! What’s going on? It turns out the patient has been drinking four cans of fizzy drinks per day, multiple bars of chocolate and sweets on a daily basis and smokes 15 cigarettes a day. This scenario shows the importance of the patient understanding what happens to the body and treatment doesn’t simply fix everything. You as the patient must take responsibility between treatments or appointments and lead a healthy lifestyle in more ways than one. Treatments are very effective and can aid in recovery but you must understand what the body requires to function at a healthy and sensible level. In my professional opinion the teeth and spine are the most common areas with regards to pain complaints that we see across the nation and the world for that matter. Both require attention on a daily basis, both require regular checkups or treatment, nutritional education and how you live your life every second is vital to their function. If you neglect one or more of these points then you increase the risk of problems in the given region. The spine depends on mobility, function, free moving joints, relaxed muscles, free flowing nervous system. Without these, the spine will not be happy and let you know about it!! That’s why you are probably sat here now reading this..... People generally don’t just wake up with back pain or tooth ache, there is usually a logical reason for why this has presented. If we can be more aware of these factors then we can all live a longer and healthier life and enjoy the good things! Take care of yourself, educate yourself and respect the body you have been given . . . . . EVERYDAY!!!

Babies can be heavy and difficult to lift from newborn until years old, thus causing stress and tension on our neck, back, shoulders and wrists. The sheer number of times you are required to lift or move your child in one day is staggering and that is why it is essential that these movements are carried out in the safest and most sensible way possible . . . . . .every time! Cot/bed Try and get your baby as close to you as possible, support the neck with one hand and the lower back with the other and then SLOWLY lift until your back is straight.  Avoid sharp, abrupt lifting as this can easily damage your back. Floor/Stroller Get onto your one knee and as close to the baby as possible, support the neck and lower back, slowly bring the baby close to your chest.  Again, slowly push off with you placed or supporting leg and extend to a standing position.  Avoid bending down at the waist and lifting quickly. Feeding Avoid rushing whilst feeding as a starting point.  Try not to lean over from a position that is obviously a little too far away from the baby. Always sit on a chair as close to the baby as possible and feed from this position. Bottle/Breastfeeding Typically carried out leaning forward, no support under the baby and in any chair you are close to.  This causes stress on the neck, back, shoulder, wrist and elbow. Lean against the back of a comfortable the chair, with your neck in line and not slouched forward.  This will reduce the stress placed on your spine which is vital as feeding can last for some time.  Also, place a pillow under the baby so the shoulder, wrist and elbow are now supported.   These may seem very obvious when reading the tips, although we often forget to do the basics on a daily basis!!!

As a society we generally sit down way too much!  Whether it is due to our job, hobby, relaxing time or even sleeping, we all sit down more than we should. Unfortunately, the implications of leading a sedentary lifestyle in and out of work can lead to more serious outcomes if not addressed asap. If you are a typical 'office worker' and work 35-40 hours per week and sit at the desk all day then you will generally not get up much in your normal day, apart from lunch and toilet breaks. If done over a prolonged period of time , then this can lead to physical symptoms and sometimes more serious conditions. Sitting The human body is built to move and not sit still all day.  It is made up of 360 joints, over 700 muscles,  206 bones and billions of nerves.  Together all these components work as a finely tuned unit to enable us to move, run, walk and perform all of our daily activities. Image result for sit up straight at the desk Blood flow in the human body is dependent on movement, allowing it to circulate properly and reach all areas of the body that require it. Nerve cells benefit from movement so they are able to communicate with the brain and muscles far easier. When we are stationary or sitting, the muscles do not get as much blood and oxygen and the nerves do not function to their optimum level.  The result can sometimes be very obvious! sitting Spine The spine is held together by joints, muscles and ligaments, enabling us to stand or sit upright.  Sitting for prolonged periods of time in the same position can have an impact on the curvature of the spine and alter the way in which these structures function.  As the person sits with their shoulders rounded and their back hunched over, the joints are compressed, the chest cavity is decreased, the muscles are stretched or overworked.  This all leads to the inevitable, this being aches and pains! The reason for this is as the spine is compressed during the poorly adopted posture, the nerves, arteries and veins are also compressed,along with the legs continuously being bent, thus reducing blood flow.  The body depends on these vital structures to continue functioning automatically without any problems, therefore allowing everyday activities and exercises to be carried out successfully and pain free.  Although, if this is not the case then a symptom such as swelling can appear due to the reduction of blood flow in the given region. Eg . Sitting down in the office with legs crossed all day =  can result in swelling in the ankle or numbness in the leg, calf or foot. Weight & further complication Sitting for long periods of time can temporarily deactivate lipoprotein lipase.  This is an enzyme in the walls of capillaries that breaks down fats in the blood.  If the enzyme is deactivated then the fat cells will build up and potentially cause blockages in the capillaries.  This can result in a condition called Atherosclerosis.  Atherosclerosis is a disease by which the arteries thicken due to a build up of plaque.  The plaque consists of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances in the blood. The blockage in the artery can then lead to a lack of blood flow to the heart and other major organs.  In serious cases this can result in a heart attack, stroke or even death. Brain Prolonged sitting  reduces blood flow throughout the body and consequently to the brain.  The brain must receive a constant supply of oxygen rich blood to keep us alive.  The more we sit, the more restricted blood flow is, the less blood flow to the brain.  Being alert and switched on requires a constant flow of blood to the brain, but unfortunately the lack of blood flow when sitting for long periods of time can see concentration levels dip.  This can obviously have an impact on someone's job, driving or any activity that requires a certain degree of concentration. Lastly, to put everything into perspective, this is not a topic to take lightly and more of us should be aware of the implications of a sedentary lifestyle in and out of work.  Having a basic education and education others is what will help our society to be a healthier one.  Research has been published showing a link to conditions such as specific types of cancer, diabetes, liver  kidney problems. So not just the simple back pain that we all moan about each day. Tips -Get up every 30 minutes and have a walk around and a stretch. -Sit up straight at your desk -Stay well hydrated -Try and exercise for 30 minutes per day  

Before we talk about a condition known most commonly as a 'slipped Disc', it is important to know where and what it actually is. The discs lie between the vertebra in the spinal column, which span from the base of your skull down to the small of your back. The discs are gelatinous in nature and consist of an inner (nucleus pulposus) and outer layer (Annulus Fibrosis). They act as shock absorbers to the spine, enabling the body to carry out normal everyday activities with function and ease. IVD When a disc is herniated, prolapsed or 'slipped' then this basically means that the inner layer has been compromised. When the back is placed under extreme pressure or force, the gel-like layer can protrude outwards and tear. Depending on the severity of the tear and the cause, the gel then leaks out and can press on a nerve at that level of the spine. This dictates the area by which the person will feel the symptoms. The lowest disc being the L5/S1 is the most commonly damaged region and accounts for approximately 95% of disc herniations. The lower the disc, the more pressure is placed upon it, hence why the L5/S1 is the most commonly affected. A typical example of a patient presenting to the clinic with a slipped disc, would be: 33 year old female office worker that works 40 hours per week sat at a desk with a generally bad posture. Whilst doing a kettle bell class in the evening she bent down to pick up the kettle bell and felt her back go. Pain was a severe 8/10 and now refers from the lower back on the right, down into the gluteal muscles, hamstring and into the toes. Bending forward brings on the pain and daily activities are a struggle. disc bulge This is a typical presentation of a herniated disc. There may also be weakness in the lower limb muscles, sensation changes, numbness and sometimes people may complain of changes in their bowel and bladder movements. The main causes for a disc complaint in the lower back are age, trauma, posture, obesity and smoking, with the most common age group between 20-40. Although extreme or heavy pressure on the spine usually causes a damaged disc, it can also be caused something innocuous, such as bending down to pick a pen up. If the spine has been damaged through constant postural problems or previous trauma then the disc may simply be waiting to tear no matter what the cause. Chiropractors are well trained diagnostic musculoskeletal specialists. They focus on diagnosis, treatment and management of the most common conditions that we suffer from everyday. With regards to the disc injury, the Chiropractor would take a full history of the presenting complaint, examine the patient thoroughly and explain their findings. Following this, treatment may be provided straight away or additional advice such as ice or exercises may be given. Over the period of a given number of treatments the Chiropractor would use their expertise in spinal manipulation to ease the pain and restriction in the spine , thus reducing the inflammation around the injured region. Every Chiropractor has a slightly different approach to a patient and may use varied manual techniques when treating a condition, but there is one constant . . . . . . we are here to help, diagnose, treat, manage and advise. Be proactive and treat the spine before you treat the pain!

inflammation pic One of the most frequent questions I get asked by patients every week is 'So do I use heat or ice for my neck pain?' The answer is Ice!!! With any injury, sprain or strain where a joint or muscle has been stressed to the extreme and causes pain and dysfunction, then ice should be applied immediately. The instant effect of ice is to reduce the swelling and inflammation around the injured area. This in turn reduces the pain and discomfort, thus allowing for easier range of motion in the joint and general function. A good example I use at my clinic is: If you were to sprain your ankle and the joint became black and blue, swollen and extremely painful then you would rest, ice and take the pressure of it. The problem with the neck and back is that there are so many smaller joints either side of the spine that can become inflamed due to everyday activities, work, posture, sport and exercise. These smaller joints sometimes do not appear to be as severe as maybe an ankle would present. Due to the fact that we may not need to rest or take time of work with back and neck pain, we simply continue as normal, thus aggravating the inflamed joints and irritated muscles. Best advice is to listen to your body when it tells you something is wrong or gives you a hint that something is brewing. Lastly, always use ICE instead of heat with inflammation type injuries or conditions as the heat can actually make things worse is some cases. Tips - 15 minutes on, 15 minutes back in the freezer - Repeat this three times

6
Jun

Did your business suffer this year from an increase in sick pay? MAYBE THERE’S A WAY FOR REDUCE IT!

Chiropractic | Comments Off on Did your business suffer this year from an increase in sick pay? MAYBE THERE’S A WAY FOR REDUCE IT!

Since becoming a Chiropractor I have been intrigued over the years by the number of patients that visit my clinic and openly talk about their day to day troubles of life or work. I feel this is a very important part of the whole package of chiropractic care as this sort of deeper information about […]

10
Oct

Do you respect your Spine like you do your teeth?

Chiropractic | Comments Off on Do you respect your Spine like you do your teeth?

Do you respect your Spine like you do your teeth? Do you brush your teeth every day? Maybe once, maybe twice per day? Either way you are aware that your teeth require cleaning on a regular basis, otherwise they may discolour, build up tartar, fall out, need a filling and so on. It’s not just […]

16
Jul

Posture Tips for New Mum and Dads!

Chiropractic | Comments Off on Posture Tips for New Mum and Dads!

Babies can be heavy and difficult to lift from newborn until years old, thus causing stress and tension on our neck, back, shoulders and wrists. The sheer number of times you are required to lift or move your child in one day is staggering and that is why it is essential that these movements are […]

11
Mar

Why is Sitting So bad?

Chiropractic | Comments Off on Why is Sitting So bad?

As a society we generally sit down way too much!  Whether it is due to our job, hobby, relaxing time or even sleeping, we all sit down more than we should. Unfortunately, the implications of leading a sedentary lifestyle in and out of work can lead to more serious outcomes if not addressed asap. If […]

5
Feb

A ‘Slipped Disc’ and How Chiropractic Care Can Help!

Chiropractic | Comments Off on A ‘Slipped Disc’ and How Chiropractic Care Can Help!

Before we talk about a condition known most commonly as a ‘slipped Disc’, it is important to know where and what it actually is. The discs lie between the vertebra in the spinal column, which span from the base of your skull down to the small of your back. The discs are gelatinous in nature […]

21
Jan

Ice or Heat? Which one do I use?

Chiropractic | Comments Off on Ice or Heat? Which one do I use?

One of the most frequent questions I get asked by patients every week is ‘So do I use heat or ice for my neck pain?’ The answer is Ice!!! With any injury, sprain or strain where a joint or muscle has been stressed to the extreme and causes pain and dysfunction, then ice should be […]