A very happy new year from us all at Beeston Chiropractic Clinic! In keeping with all the thousands of new years resolutions being made, this months newsletter will discuss how to set and keep those targets, as well as useful tips for sports and nutrition. Usually in February (or January if you're unlucky!) we get lots of patients calling in with new problems - whether its the back, neck, knee or elbow, and a lot of these come from starting new sports or activities as part of a new year, new you! Keep reading for useful tips on trying to prevent these injuries in the first place and how to have a healthier 2017.
Buzz Buzz Buzz ... Clinic News
As discussed below the new year is a good time to reflect and review to see how well you are doing. At the clinic we do this every month at our staff meetings, with the aim of continuing to provide you with the best possible service. For 2017, as well as our monthly newsletter we will be posting regular smaller articles or links on Facebook covering a wide range of current health and lifestyle topics, and probably some things to do with your spine too! To see these please 'like' our Facebook page to keep yourself updated.
Are new years resolutions the way to a new you?
Making a change for the better at the start of the new year can be a fantastic thing for your health, with aims such as quitting smoking, joining the gym and cutting out chocolate probably high up on the average list! Think about it, if you started making new years resolutions at the age of 18, and successfully followed through each year, the list of lifetime achievements could be amazing! However many people either don't make new years resolutions, or start them but at some point lose momentum, and 'fail'...
And there lies the downfall with the new years resolution - people are setting themselves up for failure most of the time. 'I'm never eating chocolate again', 'I'm going to the gym 5 times a week this year' and many other claims you will no doubt hear from friends, co-workers and family! But with those targets, the moment you slip up by missing a gym session or indulging in some Lindt chocolate balls (other chocolates are available...) a part of your mind thinks 'I've not achieved my target I might as well forget the whole thing', and then you go back to how you were last year - maybe until the next new years resolution where you might try again with the same or a slightly different tactic.
The 'new month resolution' resolution approach:
Personally, I don't want to wait each year to try and rectify a mistake ormake a change! At the start of each month I think about how everything is for myself and my family at the moment, and what I WANT to change. I will put them in an order and choose my target for the next month. I will also review what changes I have made in the past; do I need to start any of them again from where I 'failed', and if so how will I change it this time. Once a change has become so routine that I don't even think about it in my list, then it is a habit - and that is the main aim. Habits are much simpler to keep, its a habit!
Here are some tips on making successful changes in terms of a healthier lifestyle:
- Make three lists (either on paper or in your head). The first is everything that you are doing now that makes up your health plan i.e. getting 5 veg a day. The second is list of things you could stop doing because you know they are unhealthy. And finally the third list includes things you want to start doing /add in for your health. These are all your possible targets to change and from your lists you can choose something to either modify (list one), remove (list two) or add in (list three).
- Don't set yourself up to fail! Pick something from the list that is attainable and that you know you have a chance of changing.
- Add, don't take away. If you are changing your diet for example, it is much easier to add something in that is healthy, rather that eliminating food groups all together.
- Have a good support network - If you are training for a marathon but have a slight niggle in your back or knee, then see your Chiropractor at the clinic to make sure it isn't going to be an injury that stops you from achieving your goal!
- Use stepping stones. Using sugar as an example, the goal might be to eliminate it from your diet. If you know going cold turkey is going to be too hard, step one might be to reduce to 1 teaspoon of sugar as opposed to 2. Or you may want to change from white to brown organic sugar. Or add a healthy sweetener such as agave or stevia (nothing containing aspartame). You can then make that change easier, and address the next step whenever you are ready.
- Review what you have achieved and tried in the past. If you didn't manage something, think about how you can change your approach this time so you can succeed.
- Only change something that you want to change. If you aren't ready to change it either think about what that reason is, or modify the change to make it easier i.e. using the stepping stone approach.
- Add to your list! There is a 4th list, which includes everything that you don't know YET: this includes all things you could be adding in to your diet or lifestyle to make it better, and all the things you are doing now which you could stop, or modify, to become a healthier version of yourself
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Sure, there are plenty of things you don't want the whole office knowing when you have been to the Doctor! But unfortunately everyone* in your family or in the office has either had, got, or will get an episode of a bad back or neck (or even both!). So this months challenge is to get talking about it with someone at home and on or two colleagues at work.
By following a few of the tips outlined below you will actually be reinforcing your understanding of your problem, cementing in place the ideal changes that your Chiropractor has shown you (so you will be more likely to remember them), and finally you’ll be getting a few more people ‘on your team’ for helping you to get better. For example, after your first visit your Chiropractor will explain what your problem is, how you’ve done it and what to do about it – that’s actually a LOT of information and the sooner you tell someone, the more of it you’ll remember. When your Chiropractor shows you some tips for at work - ie stretches or how to set up your computer – tell someone else at work. Not only will you be helping them out, but just give it a few days or a week and they’ll be asking you how you’re doing and give you a little ‘reminder’ about which stretches to do!
So in Summary
1) Tell someone you’ve been here and found out what your problem is, how you’ve done it and why it happened in the first place
2) Show someone else your set of stretches advised from your Chiropractor
3) Wait for your ‘team’ to check up on you and help keep you on the road to recovery!
*the stats say it’s actually 80%, but I've never met anyone in the 20%!
Calf injuries - cause, symptom, prevention, tips
With long distance running marathons and triathlons becoming increasingly popular as well as a increasing array of high intensity exercise classes like Zumba, Barry’s Bootcamp, HulaFIt, calf muscle injures are seen more commonly.
How does it happen?
Calf strain occurs when the muscle at the back of the lower leg becomes damaged or inflamed due to excessive strain or force being placed on the calf muscle. These injuries often arise from sports that involve repeated jumping or change of direction as well as explosive sprinting or long distance running.
Calf muscle tears get more common as we get older due to the loss of elasticity in our muscles and tendons. Soft tissue injuries get more common if you over train a certain structure and eventually it breaks. Often injuries can start with micro-tears in the calf muscle and achilles tendon and this in turn can result in a to a complete tear.
What are the symptoms?
Patients are likely to feel aching and stiffness which becomes more apparent first thing in the morning and often the calf will feel weak, making the patient unable to resume activity and sometimes bear weight resulting in a limp.
How can I prevent it?
If you’ve been inactive for an extended period of time, to prevent injuries you need to start off very slowly and gently. Start with non-ballistic exercises such as calf raises and progress the program to eventually include ballistic exercises, maybe 3 months later.
Warming up and stretching after exercise is always recommended but be careful not to overstretch or put excess force on calf muscles. Stretch until there's light tension in the muscles, taking a deep breath and slowly exhaling. Hold that position for 15-to-30 seconds, relax and repeat up to four times. Stay still and don't bounce during stretching. Don't push yourself to the point of pain; ease the stretch until it is comfortable.
The Art of Mindfulness
Whether you have an important work deadline to meet, a dentist appointment to book, or simply remember to pick up milk on the way home, we are all guilty of succumbing to the pressures of a never ending to do list.
Multi-tasking and always switched on?
With our fast paced and demanding lifestyles, we tend to put the majority of our thoughts to the back of our mind. However, when we are not able to recognise the relevance or influence of individual thoughts they can filter into the physical body as muscle tension or inflammation, which is why local Chiropractor from in recommends the practice of mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of becoming aware of yourself in the present moment, enabling you to identify how you feel inside and out. With this mind-body approach, you can clear your mind of negativity and unnecessary strains and ultimately, help against physical aches and pains.
Why is it beneficial?
Mindfulness allows you to understand your pain and teaches you how to let go of any anxiety associated with it, as these thoughts can contribute to increased tension, forming a vicious cycle of increasing pain.
As well as stress and chronic pain, mindfulness can help combat anxiety, sleep and eating disorders. explains, “Mindfulness increases positivity and energy levels which encourage healthier life decisions, improving your overall sense of wellbeing.” So not only are you likely to make better food choices but you should be able to finally relax when it comes to getting a good nights sleep too.
How to practice mindfulness?
recommends you simply take 10 minutes out of your day to practice mindfulness, by working on five basic tips.
Sit comfortably and relax
Focus on your breath
From your head to toes, bring awareness to each body part
Identify any sounds or smells and let them pass
Acknowledge and accept how you feel emotionally
Change Your Diet To Minimise Osteoporosis Risk
As lifestyle changes in the 21st century make the condition of osteoporosis ever more prevalent, it becomes a threat that you should take into consideration.
The ageing population, dietary trends such as dairy intolerance and the increase in eating disorders like anorexia all contribute to the growing numbers of sufferers. Today’s indoor lifestyle is also a factor, since a lack of vitamin D from the sun hinders your absorption of dietary calcium.
The frightening part of this condition is that it is sometimes not diagnosed until a bone is broken. A way to assess your risk of fracture is a bone density scan. This is the most accurate way of measuring the strength of bones. This scan can be organised through your GP or private clinics, and then appropriate advice can be given by your GP or chiropractor.
There are precautions we can all take to minimise the threat of osteoporosis to our physical health and mobility, both by medical and natural means.
A nutritious diet, and taking supplements where need be, is of paramount importance. If you’re vegan or don’t consume dairy products for other reasons, it’s important to find an alternative source of calcium in your diet. Leafy greens or tinned, soft-bone fish such as salmon or sardines are great options. It’s important to be aware that some foods make it harder to absorb calcium, such as carbonated drinks.
To help your body absorb calcium, vitamin D is essential. As well as synthesizing this from the sun’s UVB rays, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines provide some vitamin D. However, especially in the UK, vitamin D supplements are recommended.
Another key nutrient for bone health is magnesium. While this mineral contributes to many functions in the body from nerve function to immune health, it is primary found in bone crystals, contributing to their strength. Magnesium is often included in calcium supplements.
Vitamin C plays an important role too. Collagen is the main protein in bone, and Vitamin C is necessary for collagen synthesis. Vitamin C is present in citrus fruits, tomatoes, and in many vegetables.
Chiropractors are fully qualified manipulative practitioners who diagnose and treat disorders of bones, as well as muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons. Your chiropractor will give you specific advice on how to strengthen your skeleton and minimise your risk.