Acupuncture and dry needling treatments both
use thin, stainless steel needles. For both practices, needles are inserted
into the skin to treat pain. But that is where the similarities end.
One practice has been used for thousands of
years as an alternative treatment and has some solid research of effectiveness.
The other’s been adopted in the last couple of decades.
One is designed to relieve pain, discomfort,
or issues by opening up a person’s energy flow or chi. The other is designed to
stimulate trigger points, or muscles that are irritable.
Knowing the differences can help you decide which type of treatment is right for you...
Dry needling (sometimes referred to as
intramuscular stimulation) is a modern treatment designed to ease muscular pain
and its popularity is growing. During a dry needling treatment, several
filiform needles are inserted into your skin. Filiform needles are fine, short,
stainless steel needles that don’t inject fluid into the body, hence the term
These needles are placed in trigger points in your muscle or tissue. These points are areas of knotted or hard muscle. The needle helps release the knot and relieve any muscle pain or spasms. The needles remain in your skin for a short period of time, before they are safely removed.
The benefits of dry needling...
Dry needling may provide relief for some muscular pain and stiffness. Additionally, patients report an easing of the trigger points which can improve flexibility and increase range of motion. This method is often used to treat sports injuries, muscle pain and fibromyalgia pain.
Acupuncture is a form of medical treatment that dates back hundreds, if not thousands of years. It originated in Asia and is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine. The fundamental belief of acupuncture is that illness is the result of blocked or interrupted ‘chi’. In ancient Chinese belief, chi is a life force that provides your body with healing energy. Acupuncture seeks to remove blockages in order to return your energy flow to a state of balance.
Acupuncture is used to treats hundreds of conditions and symptoms, including:
Some people have even found success using acupuncture to treat addiction and chemical dependency!
If you’re unsure whether acupuncture or dry
needling is the right treatment option for you, the choice may come down to a
matter of preference. To summarise:
Currently, acupuncture is better supported by medical research and practitioners are regulated in training and practice. If you prefer a well-established alternative treatment option from a highly-trained chiropractor, then acupuncture may be the most beneficial option for you.
Dry needling on the other hand, is rather new, so research remains limited. Existing research documents very few side effects and the treatment has the potential to relieve pain. If you’re willing to try something that’s less established but promising results, you might find dry needling a better treatment option for you.
If you’re unsure, please get in touch to book an appointment and Andy can go through your options and advise which treatment is likely to see the best results for your condition. To book, please give us a call on: 02921 159 435.
You're taking your dog for a walk. It's a beautiful sunny day. You're texting a friend about your upcoming trip to...
Suddenly — faster than you can say, "squirrel!" — your dog takes off.
You may not realise how common dog walking injuries are, but here at the clinic we see disgruntled dog lovers regularly.
Walking your furry little friend is a great way to maintain a healthy daily exercise routine. In fact, regular walking can even help with chronic low back pain. Owning a dog ensures you go for regular walks which strengthens the small of your back where the spin curves in. For all its benefits, walking a dog can have at least one major health disadvantage – back problems.
Avoiding back problems...
Even if you have no history of spinal issues, the daily grind of walking the dog can lead to serious issues if done incorrectly. When your back remains stiff, it absorbs the force of your dog pulling on the lead which can lead to lower back problems over time. Younger dogs in particular are full of energy and are more likely to pull you along. However, any dog, if not properly trained, can cause similar problems.
One of the best ways to avoid lower back pain is to bend your knees while walking. This way, your knees and not your back will absorb the force of your dog tugging. Use your core to stand straight and walk at a steady pace, using your body to turn the dog.
Try to wear sensible footwear that cushion your steps and avoid picking up your dog when possible. Footwear should provide comfort and adequate padding that supports your heels (i.e. avoid flip flops).
You can greatly minimise the risk of injury by improving your lead technique. Here are a few points to remember:
The lead should be a comfortable distance so that your arms are not overstretched, allowing slight flexion at the elbows.
Allow flexibility with the lead to avoid over extension if your dog suddenly lunges forward; however, try to not let your dog get too far ahead of you.
Avoid erratic movements to avoid injury. Sudden extension can injure your back, particularly the facet joints.
The longer the lead, the more lead there is for the dog to pull — and more potential for trouble if the dog takes off.
Do not go to the point of exhaustion, but rather gradually increase the distance every couple of days. Take frequent breaks if you need to; it gives your dog a break too. Treat walking just as you would any other physical exercise. Make sure you stretch before and after to avoid pulling a muscle!
When picking up after your dog, bend with your knees and use your leg muscles to squat down. Focus on using your core for stability.
Vary the terrain that you walk on. Take your dog down to the beach, explore the forests and fields and all the grass you can find. All of this variation will help to strengthen your ankles and be a welcome break for your lower body from the unforgiving tarmac.
Most importantly, pay attention. This makes sense for your physical and mental health. Getting outside for a bit of fresh air with your furry friend is a great time to switch off and focus on the present moment. Paying attention to your dog also means you’re ready for any tugs at the lead that could lead to a potential injury. That means the following:
Don't talk on your phone, text or engage in social media.
Don't wear headphones or a bluetooth headset.
Scan the surrounding area for things that might attract or frighten your dog, such as other animals, children or cars.
Watch where you're walking so you can try to avoid obstacles or unstable terrain.
Avoiding Neck and Shoulder Injuries...
These are generally caused in two ways. Firstly, by the dog pulling on the lead too much. Having a dog pull you along rather than walking alongside you causes your arm to be pulled forwards, often at an awkward angle. This irritates the muscles and joints of the arm, shoulder and neck and can damage the soft tissues and joints in these areas.
Solution: Change up your lead! There are different types of leads that can help stop dogs pulling or you can read this post which has a number of ways to change your dogs behaviour to stop them pulling on the lead.
The second thing that irritates the neck and shoulders is by throwing balls and sticks for your dog. If this is done repeatedly with poor technique, you might end up with rotator cuff problems in the shoulder or pain and stiffness in the neck. Both of these injuries can lead to pain and lack of movement in the neck or shoulder.
Solution: Use a tennis ball thrower. This helps to reduce the stress on the arm and shoulder during the throwing action.
My top tips for avoiding dog walking injuries...
Train your dog to be well behaved when walking and not to pull on the lead – this will help your neck, back and shoulders.
Try different types of leads to help stop your dog from pulling too much. Halti head collars and harnesses are effective for controlling your dog when walking on a lead.
If you regularly throw a ball for your dog, consider getting a ball thrower to help take the strain off your shoulder and arm. You can pick up one like this online for as little as £2.
If your dog cannot easily get in and out of your car consider a ramp so that you do not have to lift them and potentially injure your back.
Wear footwear that supports your foot and has good amount of grip to deal with muddy or slippery conditions.
You might be someone without enough time in the day to fit everything in, so why not turn your dog walk into an exercise routine? You can even add stretching and strengthening exercises into your routine, like lunges or a round of push-ups against a park bench. Be sure to let your dog have some off lead exercise time too!
I hope these tips help you to prevent injury when walking your dog, as they have helped me. If the niggles just won’t go away however, or if you do have any aches or pains following a dog walking incident then make sure you have them examined. Pop into the clinic and or give us a ring to book an appointment at Andy Davies Chiropractic Clinic and we will do our best to help you.
Pharmacists provide an important service for our local communities, and their health and well being is key to ensuring drugs are prescribed correctly and safely.
Over the last year I have treated a number of different pharmacists, varying in gender, age, height, time in the job and the common factor between all of these patients? They all needed my help!
I conduct a detailed investigation into the reason why every single one of my patients has visited the clinic and the more pressing matters of poor habits they pick up on a daily basis. Many arise from our workplace, and pharmacies are no exception.
Posture in the workplace
The main factor that every pharmacist has expressed in my
company is a concern over the intensity of a working day with limited breaks,
if any, and the stress that can be placed on the spine as a whole.
Regular breaks in any
job is vital in allowing the spine to have a chance at recovery or to stretch
it out, promote healthy mobility within the joints, muscles and ligaments. Taking a break is important and beneficial
for your mental health too!
The computer screens that the pharmacist must use are predominantly on a standard or lower than normal desk and due to the nature of the business the professional will usually lean over towards the desk to type in the relevant information, for hours on end. I have been told on occasions that stools are not allowed so that they are able to sit for five minutes during the day to work at the desk... which I find strange!!!
The workstation or desk is usually far too low to be flexed at the lumbar spine all day long, potentially causing strain and stress on the spine in multiple areas. Most of us may get away with this on the odd day in a week, but to carry out this negative posture and strain maybe 48 out 52 weeks in a year is tough going! And I’m sure most of can admit to ignoring aches and pains most days until one day an episode properly kicks us up the butt!
Fit a computer stand at the average shoulder height so that the pharmacist can simply use the computer without having to lean or hunch over the desk. The screen should be roughly at eye height, therefore promoting a straight spine and engaging the core, reducing increased kyphosis, pressure on the neck and surrounding muscles, which can potentially lead to cervicogenic related headaches.
Introduce a standard desk that is much higher than the normal desks, which are in most practices now. Positioning a desk where most would have to simply raise their arms slightly to arrange medications instead of leaning over for long periods of time would take a lot of the stress off the spine and surrounding structures. A plus point to this is extra storage as there will be more space to keep the medication etc.
Store the rare and less prescribed medication in the bottom drawers of the unit and the most common higher up. This limits the amount of bending forward for the pharmacist in the average day. Many pharmacies may already have implemented this system, but if not this is an easy solution to implement and improve the health of pharmacist employees.
Take regular breaks! My understanding for most pharmacies is that the pharmacist is not contracted to have a break as their place of work does not actually close during the working day (8.30am - 6pm). They must be available throughout this working day period at all times to provide their service. This is clearly not right on a humanity front but the problems can lie deeper. It has been proven that mistakes are increasingly common when the mind is fatigued. I would like to think that the medication I am prescribed is always 100% bang on. Now I am not saying that this happens, but isn’t it possible and more likely for mistakes to happen if the pharmacist in that practice is tired, losing concentration or in pain…? Which is completely understandable given the circumstances. Unfortunately, this can absolutely not happen as medication is a serious business and ensuring patients are given the correct ones is important and could be life changing if incorrect.
These are my thoughts based around what I’ve been told by the patients I have previously treated and the general information I have learned over the last few years. Every time a patient enters the clinic, I aim to help them achieve their goals, whether that is increased mobility or eliminate the pain they experience in daily life. I like to say to my patients that we can educate, successfully fix the complaint and improve the patient’s lifestyle, however where their workplace is concerned, we have a slightly bigger barrier to overcome as jobs can differ so greatly. Many of my pharmacist patients are regular maintenance patients as the changes that need to be made at their workplace in order to eliminate the cause of their back pain are simply not happening…
The general stress caused on the spine in a normal day of work for a pharmacist can at time be greater than other professions, but we can treat this! I can educate my patients on better ways to stand and hold themselves, as well as various treatments, stretches and exercises to improve posture and overall spinal health. Despite all of this, it is still an uphill battle every day and the negative work factors are extremely powerful in the case of pharmacists.
If you’re reading this and find any of the above relates to you and you would like to learn more about ways to help your spine when in work, please check out our website for more details and book your first consultation.
Here are some of the amazing benefits of receiving chiropractic treatment...
You might be thinking that you don't need chiropractic care because you are not experiencing pain in your back or neck. But you don't need to be in pain to get adjusted. Pain is the body's way of indicating there is a problem, but sometimes aches, stiffness or soreness can go unnoticed. Spinal check ups are important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Catch the little niggles before they turn painful.
[caption id="attachment_732" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Our motto here in the clinic[/caption]
1. Improved sleep and increased energy
One of the most common side effects of visiting a chiropractor is a sound night's sleep. Poor sleep is commonly related to stress, pain, and body aches. Getting adjusted helps alleviate all three. Chiropractic care works by helping individuals improve the quality of their sleep by enhancing the nervous system’s blood flow. Correcting any misplacement in the spine helps individuals attain the right balance of their system.
2. Boosts mental health
1 in 4 people in the UK will experience mental health difficulties at some point in their life and it's so important to seek help if you're struggling. Alongside treatment for your mental health condition, a professional may recommend exercising and healthy eating to help manage your condition. Chiropractic treatment can serve as supplementary care to help you manage your mental health as it maximises the health of the nervous system. Your emotional and psychological health are controlled by the nervous system. Recent studies have highlighted the improvements in the autonomic nervous system as a result of chiropractic treatment.
3. Lifestyle advice
Our clinic focuses on all aspects of health and wellness, from the manual therapy treatment to the nutritional, postural and general lifestyle aspects. These key points combine to play a significant role in the cause and rehabilitation of the condition or injury. We know that no two patient's lives are the same. That's why all advice Andy gives is specific to your individual lifestyle. For example, if you spend your day sat in the office, then you might be advised to be mindful of your posture and receive guidance for gentle stretches you can do to help your spine. If you spend most of your day active or playing sports, you might receive advice on preventing injury.
4. Stress relief
The busy work week, parenting and having a social life all take their toll on you and your body. The exhaustion of juggling all the tasks of daily life can manifest as mental and physical stress. During a chiropractic treatment, Andy realigns your muscular and skeletal system to assist the body in working correctly. Mental and physical stress can be eliminated when these systems are aligned and in the correct positions.
5. Improved digestion
Many people experience gas, heartburn and acid reflux on occasion. This can happen because of misalignment of the vertebrae. Patients who implement Andy's nutritional advice alongside their treatment are more likely to see improved digestion.
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If you are finding that back and neck pain is keeping you awake at night, the way you sleep might be contributing to it. Here are some helpful tips to encourage a better night’s sleep...
The best: Sleeping on your back
Good for: Preventing neck and back pain, reducing acid reflux.
Sleeping on your back makes it easy for your head, neck, and spine to maintain a neutral position. You’re not forcing any extra curves into your back, and is ideal for fighting acid reflux. If the head is elevated, your stomach will be below your esophagus so acid or food can’t come back up.
Next best: Sleeping on your side
Good for: Preventing neck and back pain, reducing acid reflux, snoring less, sleeping during pregnancy
Side-sleeping is great for overall health—it reduces snoring and keeps your spine elongated. If you suffer from acid reflux, this is the next best thing to sleeping on your back.
If you're suffering from uncomfortable back or neck pain, you could be sleeping in a position which is detrimental to your spine and overall health. The following positions are to be avoided.
Not ideal: Sleeping in the fetal position
Bad for: Avoiding neck and back pain
When you snooze with your knees pulled up high and chin tucked into your chest, you may feel it in the morning, especially if you have an arthritic back or joints. This curved position also restricts diaphragmatic breathing.
The worst: Sleeping on your stomach
Bad for: Avoiding neck and back pain
Sleeping on your stomach makes it difficult to maintain a neutral position with your spine. It puts pressure on joints and muscles, which can irritate nerves and lead to pain, numbness, and tingling. Think about the soreness you’d feel if you kept your neck turned to one side for 15 minutes during the day. In this position you have your head to one side for hours at a time. You won’t necessarily feel it the next day, but you may soon start to ache.
Swear you don’t move at all at night?
Think again. While you generally spend the most time in the position you fall asleep in, even those who barely have to make their beds in the morning move 2 to 4 times an hour, which may add up to 20 or more tosses and turns a night!
Here are some helpful tips to get a better night's sleep and help your spine.
If you're a back sleeper: Place a pillow under your knees to allow your spine to maintain its natural curve.
If you're a stomach sleeper: Place a pillow under your lower abdomen and pelvis to ease back strain.
If you're a side sleeper: Lift your legs up slightly toward your chest and sleep with a pillow between your knees.
If you're struggling with aches and pains, don't hesitate to book yourself in for an appointment at our clinic and get it sorted out.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Top tips from a chiropractor...
Get up every 30 minutes and have a walk around and a stretch.
Sit up straight at your desk
Stay well hydrated
Try to exercise for at least 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.
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.
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!
One of the most frequent questions I am 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 reduces the pain and discomfort, allowing for easier range of motion in the joint and general function.
An example I use in 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. Sometimes these smaller joints do not appear to be as severe as maybe an ankle would present.
We may not need to rest or take time off work with back and neck pain, so we simply continue as normal, thus aggravating the inflamed joints and irritated muscles.
My 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.
To summarise, ice is for injuries — calming down damaged superficial tissues that are inflamed, hot, red and swollen. The inflammation process is healthy, normal and natural, but can also be incredibly painful and so ice can be used as an effective form of pain management.
Heat is for muscles, chronic pain, and stress — taking the edge off symptoms of muscle ache and stiffness, which have many unclear causes.
Tips for icing injuries
Put an ice-pack on the injured area for 15 minutes, before returning it to the freezer for 15 minutes. Repeat this three times. If the pain persists, make sure to get it checked out by a medical professional as it could be more serious than you initially realised.
Acupuncture and dry needling treatments both use thin, stainless steel needles. For both practices, needles are inserted into the skin to treat pain. But that is where the similarities end. One practice has been used for thousands of years as an alternative treatment and has some solid research of effectiveness. The other’s been adopted in […]
Chiropractic|Comments Off on Dog walking mistakes to avoid for a healthy spine…
You’re taking your dog for a walk. It’s a beautiful sunny day. You’re texting a friend about your upcoming trip to… Suddenly — faster than you can say, “squirrel!” — your dog takes off. You may not realise how common dog walking injuries are, but here at the clinic we see disgruntled dog lovers regularly. […]
Chiropractic|Comments Off on Can more be done to help pharmacists in the workplace?
Pharmacists provide an important service for our local communities, and their health and well being is key to ensuring drugs are prescribed correctly and safely. Over the last year I have treated a number of different pharmacists, varying in gender, age, height, time in the job and the common factor between all of these patients? […]
Chiropractic|Comments Off on 5 Surprising Benefits Of Chiropractic Care
Here are some of the amazing benefits of receiving chiropractic treatment… You might be thinking that you don’t need chiropractic care because you are not experiencing pain in your back or neck. But you don’t need to be in pain to get adjusted. Pain is the body’s way of indicating there is a problem, but […]
Chiropractic|Comments Off on What are the best sleeping positions ?
If you are finding that back and neck pain is keeping you awake at night, the way you sleep might be contributing to it. Here are some helpful tips to encourage a better night’s sleep… The best: Sleeping on your back Good for: Preventing neck and back pain, reducing acid reflux. Sleeping on your back […]
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 […]
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 […]
Chiropractic|Comments Off on Why is Sitting bad for my Posture?
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 […]
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 […]
Chiropractic|Comments Off on Ice or Heat – Which one do I use?
One of the most frequent questions I am asked by patients every week is ‘So do I use heat or ice for my neck pain?’ The answer is ice!!! Why 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 […]
The primary healthcare practitioner uses manual therapies such as manipulation of the spine and extremity joints, soft tissue work, acupuncture, stretching and strengthening exercises, rehabilitation and postural and lifestyle advice.