As we welcome our sports massage therapists Ruth and Jenny back to the clinic after their month of lockdown, we also head into the festive season.
Alex will be taking a short break in the run-up to Christmas but will be back before the end of the year. Troy gets to escape to Scotland, travel restrictions permitting to spend time with family and Lucy will be holding the fort.
Please see the clinic notices or visit the website for clinic opening hours.
This month we will look into exercises to keep you moving during this pandemic, how much chiropractic can help with your tech neck and those of us who are hoping to get a bit more sleep over the festive period, make sure that your sleeping habits are not upsetting your spine and finally some nutritional support for the winter weeks ahead.
Check out our section on Therapists' Thoughts and listen in to a very brief chat Alex had with Alan Clifford at BBC Radio Nottingham last week.
Ruth reminds us that as the nights draw in and the winter chill sets in, it's all too easy to become inactive and sit for hours on the sofa eating far too much food! This is not good for our bodies or our minds - so wrap up warm and get out for a brisk walk to control unwanted weight gain, reduce pain and boost your mood. We are looking to make extra appointments available so keep an eye on the Jane app or call the clinic to book a sports massage appointment and keep yourself in tip-top condition.
Jenny is very much looking forward to getting back into the clinic and seeing everyone again. She has spent the month off being productive around the house with lots of decorating, exercising and expanding her knowledge by doing an online course about the Shoulder. She will see you all soon for the Festive period.
Anne does not have a date yet for her return to the clinic but is still working from home.
5 Great Exercises For Those Who Suffer From Back Pain
Chronic back pain has been called a modern epidemic- so how do we help prevent and manage it?
Back pain is the second most common reason to visit the GP, after skin conditions, and almost eight out of 10 of us will suffer from it at least once in our lives. It’s also the number one cause of sick leave – and sufferers are getting younger. It rarely has a serious cause, usually being brought on by bad posture, awkward sleeping positions and other lifestyle habits.
Exercise is one of the best ways to help reduce back pain and keep it from returning. Most minor cases of back pain can be reduced with regular exercise and tailored workouts. Stretching, strengthening, and conditioning exercises can result in stronger muscles that support the spine and your body’s weight. When your body’s skeleton is supported, you are less likely to suffer injury and back pain. 5 great exercises to beat back pain:
You need to take care of the core muscles that support your spine. There are many workouts for back pain that do this, and your doctor or therapist should be able to give you specific advice and training for your unique back pain condition.
A good example of a safe strengthening exercise is the pelvic tilt. To do this exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent. Tighten your stomach muscles until you can press the small of your back flat against the floor. Hold the press for about five seconds and repeat up to 10 times.
Keeping your core muscles limber is as important as keeping them strong. Two good stretching exercises are the knee-to-chest and the hamstring stretch.
To do the knee-to-chest, lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bring one knee up to your chest and use your hands to pull the knee close while flattening out your back; then repeat with the other knee. The hamstring stretch is done from the same starting position. Pick up one leg with both hands placed behind your knee and then straighten your lower leg. These stretches should be held for about 20 seconds and repeated five times. Be sure to warm up before you stretch.
Stretches to avoid: One of the worst stretches for a person with back pain is bending over to touch your toes while keeping your legs straight. Even worse is bouncing while trying to touch your toes. Other bad workouts for back pain are ones that require you to bend or twist with any type of weight in your hand.
An aerobic exercise is any exercise that uses the big muscles of your body in a rhythmic and repetitive way. Aerobic exercise can get blood flowing to your back muscles, which can really help them recover from injury and increase their strength. Walking is a good low-impact aerobics choice for your back, but swimming may be an even better workout for back pain if you get backaches.
In general, swimming is an excellent form of low-impact aerobic conditioning that is easy on the back and spine, with swimming there is practically no impact on the spinal structures. The water supports the body, relieving stress on all joints in the body.
Yoga and Pilates
Three all-around good workouts for back pain are Yoga, Pilates and working with an exercise ball. Yoga and Pilates are great because, as long as your teacher knows your limitations, they can be adapted safely for most people with back pain.
Yoga and Pilates are both fantastic mind-body workouts that can dramatically improve your overall fitness and wellbeing if a regular practice is put into place. In terms of flexibility, both workouts can improve overall flexibility as well as increasing spinal flexibility. Increasing spinal flexibility will really help to improve your fitness performance, in addition to helping prevent injuries.
Pilates focuses on spinal flexibility through articulation of the spine. It is excellent as a strengthening exercise and supporting your back. Pilates and Yoga stretches benefits include improving your posture, helping support the spinal column and alleviating back pain. However certain postures such as deep back bends and cobras can be a bit risky, especially if you suffer from any back pain.
Neck Tension and Chiropractic Care
Neck Tension is one of the most common issues treated in the chiropractic office and it’s no mystery why.
When we look down for prolonged periods of time, we disrupt the natural position of the neck. Our neck is designed to have a nice curve in it so that the weight of the head can be supported by the entire spine.
By looking down too often, all of the weight and pressure of the head is put on the neck and upper back. As the average human head weighs 5kg, that is a heavy load! This causes our neck to actually change shape – becoming straighter rather than curved.
When muscles get tight and irritated, the joints become stuck, the ligaments are overstretched and, worst of all, this causes interference in the spinal cord. If you spend several hours a day looking down at your phone or computer, chiropractic care would be extremely beneficial to you.
Since the neck supports the entire head and cervical spine, it is important to treat neck tension properly. The neck most commonly experiences stress and tension leading to pain. Neck pain may involve muscle spasms and strain. The presence of problems on the muscles and bone at the neck can cause limitation of motion of the neck joint. Most commonly, people complain of stiff necks.
If you experience any neck pain ask your chiropractor how to reverse the effects of neck tension.
Are your sleeping habits causing you pain?
The way you sleep could be causing you unnecessary aches and pains. We are told time after time that we should be sleeping flat on our backs, but many of us have already developed habitual sleeping patterns, which are hard to get out of. However, if you suffer from neck or shoulder stiffness, muscle tension or more commonly back pain, you might want to think twice about curling up into a ball next time you reach for the sheets.
Why do I wake up in pain?
Incorrect alignment and poor support of your spine and limbs will put pressure on different areas of the body, which is why you may sometimes wake up with pain or discomfort.
Why is it so important to look after my spine?
Your spine also plays a huge role in sending nerve signals around the body; delicate nerve tissues help control your critical organs, so any damage to these tissues can lead to problems affecting impairment in balance, vision, temperature regulation, digestion and hormonal regulation problems.
- Refrain from sleeping on your stomach as this causes your spine to arch unnaturally and usually results in both back and neck stiffness
- Laying on your back or side is the ideal position, however to perfect your alignment try to use an orthopaedic pillow to give your neck adequate support
- If you sleep on your side, consider placing a pillow in-between your knees for support to prevent your back and pelvis from twisting
- If you sleep on your back, consider placing a pillow under your knees to take the tension off your lower back
- Acknowledging and correcting your posture throughout the day will help you find ease when it comes to sleep
What if the pain persists?
Importantly, remember that poor quality sleep can be caused by an underlying neck or back problem causing increased muscle tension. So if you are experiencing poor sleep, you need to ask your chiropractor to check your neck and back.
Staying Healthy, Safe and Fit During Winter
With shorter days and colder weather, finding the motivation to stay healthy and fit can be difficult. And that can lay the foundation for a weakened immune system, posing a greater risk of developing illness or injury. No wonder they call it the winter blues! Here are some easy tips on exercise, diet, health and wellness that you can follow during the cold season.
Start a Keto diet
The ketogenic diet (or keto diet, for short) is a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits. In fact, over 20 studies show that this type of diet can help you lose weight and improve your health. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain. Ketogenic diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has numerous health benefits. Ketogenic diets may even have benefits against diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.
Add Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are a healthy type of fat that are naturally found in many food types including fish, plant seeds and nuts. Omega 3 fatty acids are great for reducing joint pain and stiffness as they are a natural anti-inflammatory”. Studies have also shown that omega 3 fatty acids help lower levels of depression, which people commonly feel during the shorter, darker days of winter.
Cook with Spices and Spice Related Foods
Onions, garlic, ginger and turmeric are the perfect items to add flavour to your dishes. Not only do they make food taste great, but they’re also shown to help improve immune function. Fresh garlic, ginger and onions are more than flavouring. Using all three together has a synergistic effect on lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Turmeric is a spice traditionally used in Chinese and Indian medicine. This spice helps to combat a number of conditions including inflammation and heart disease, and it also acts as a powerful antioxidant.
Plan your Workouts
If you don’t feel in the mood for fitness, you can do exercises at home. There are plenty of resources online that supply workout videos and exercises. These resources offer a variety of workouts including yoga, strength training, aerobics and other body-weight exercises. But try to stick to a weekly exercise plan so you don’t put off your regular exercise activities. On Sunday night, write down your exercise schedule for the next seven days. Choose your exact workout routines, activities or exercises for each day and how long they will be. Knowing what you’re scheduled to do each day ahead of time makes it easier to stick to.
Head to a Steam Room or a Sauna
If you begin to feel yourself experiencing depression or higher levels of stress after the holiday season, steam rooms and saunas can help. They help tense muscles to relax, which can alleviate feelings of stress. The high temperatures also get you working up a sweat, which is a great way to detoxify your body and your skin.
Frequent Hand Washing and Vitamin C
Frequent hand washing throughout the day and consuming lots of vitamin C are an absolute must in maintaining your health during the winter.
Not only do they help protect your immune system and prevent you from developing flu and colds, they also protect others around you.
We treat all conditions that affect any muscle or joint in your body, from your head to your little toe! One of the most common complaints that we treat is back pain and Chiropractic is recommended by the government authority, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) for acute and chronic back pain. Some of the other conditions that we treat are: neck and head ache, shoulder pain, leg and hip pain, knee and foot pain, sciatica and arthritis. Our registered Chiropractors all have at least five years training. Treatment costs can be covered through most health insurers. If you are in any doubt, we are always very happy to talk with you on the phone to see if your condition will respond well to Chiropractic treatment or offer you a free advice session to discuss your condition in person. Call the clinic now to arrange an appointment time that works for you. 0115 9225085 If you would like to opt out of receiving these newsletters please follow the unsubscribe link below, email email@example.com or let us know at your next appointment.