The clinic received the PPQM (Patient Participation Quality Mark) awarded by the Royal College of Chiropractors at the AGM last month and Alex went to London to collect the award: The Royal College of Chiropractors believes that chiropractic services should be centred on the users of those services. The College supports the delivery of services that are flexible and responsive to the needs of patients, acknowledging them as partners in their own care.â€ This is a team effort for us all to provide this service, so well done to the team for obtaining the award for the fourth time spanning a consecutive 12 year period.
Diary Notes: 25th Birthday news: 12 weeks to go: Saturday 28th April 2018 from10am-1pm. We will be raising money for a defibrillator for the outside of the clinic, to be placed we hope on Queens Road for the community to use. We will be raising funds by asking local businesses for a prize donation that we can use for the prize draw. Entry will be by pre-purchase ticket only and the party will include something for everyone to enjoy. Look out for more details in next months newsletter.
February Challenge - Are your calves too tight?
The body is fantastic at compensating for problems and you must have heard your Chiropractor tell you that the problem is somewhere different to where your pain is! And tightness in your calves can contribute to lower back problems!
Test your calf tightness:
(You will need yourself, your feet, a ruler, and a wall)
- Find a wall and place a ruler on the floor, measuring 10cm away from the wall
- On the leg being tested put your big toe on the 10cm mark facing the wall
- Keeping your heel on the ground (!) try to touch your knee to the wall
- Repeat on the other leg
How did you do?
If you failed the test you can simply start stretching out those calves, or ask you Chiropractor (this test will also pick up on ankle joint problems)
How to prevent Ski-Born Knee & Calf Pain
Skiing is both a thrilling and strenuous sport
but… it can put a lot of stress upon the body.
Did you know… One of the most common grievances is pain or stiffness around the knees otherwise known as ‘anterior knee pain’.
However… there are plenty of things you can do to minimize discomfort in this region.
Why are we more vulnerable to injury when skiing? “The low temperatures when you’re skiing can mean muscles are stiff, slow to react or suffer from a limited range of movement. If you’re not careful this can mean that even a small fall could result in an injury.
What you can do before you go skiing to prepare yourself:
- Regular stretching
- Participation in sports that demand quick movement
- Cycling and swimming will build up your baseline fitness as well as increasing your cardiovascular strength
- The British Chiropractic Association also recommended trampolinig as this work al the ‘skiing’ muscles that you will use during your trip
Try Gluteal exercises
Why? Training your gluteal muscles beforehand can help shift the workload onto neighbouring muscles.
How? Deep squats are an excellent way to do this. Do at least 30 knee bends three or four times a day before you go skiing.
Many people also make the mistake of pushing themselves to the limit as soon as they get onto the slopes, and not giving their body enough time to warm up and adapt to the conditions. It is vital that you always stretch fully before you get out on to the slopes and start off gently rather than heading straight for the black runs. It is also important to round off the day with a few squats and stretches.
another common skiing complaint is pain in the calf muscles often caused by overuse and delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The calf complex is made out of two muscles: the gastrocnemius and soleus. Both are important, however, the soleus is crucial for keeping our feet against the ground when we bend our knees. As a result the calf complex is repeatedly stretched and contracted as we use our forefeet to control our speed and direction.
Therefore… Simple exercises such as cycling, spinning or lunges can help strengthen your quads, which in turn helps increase your calf muscle endurance.
New Exercise Regime Preparation
Don’t launch yourself into a new exercise regime without taking the necessary precautions to prevent back and neck pain…
While more exercise can in fact improve bone mass density and prevent osteoporosis, throwing yourself into a full-on physical programme after a lull in activity could put your back and neck at risk. Try introducing your body to exercise in a safe way by following these easy tips:
- Before you begin any exercise programme, check that there are no medical reasons why you cannot carry out the activity, particularly if you are not used to the type of exercise
- Make sure you wear the right clothing while carrying out your chosen activity. Wearing clothes that are too tight could constrict your movement and lead to injury; appropriate footwear is a must for any type of exercise
- Make sure you warm up before exercises; don’t go straight in and start with lighter movements like walking or jogging to lessen the chance of muscle strain
Ensure that you are using equipment properly to prevent injuries.
- make sure legs are at least hips width apart
- lift with bent knees
- never keep knees straight, as this could lead to over-stretching and cause damage to your back
- work with weights closer to your body to help avoid injury
- make sure the seat is positioned correctly for your height
- avoid stooping or reaching when using equipment or you could over stretch your back
Stretches and exercises designed to strengthen your back will help prevent injuries later on. Try sequences of precise, slow stretches, which will help build up your strength.
Eating to beat stress
Chronic stress can have a negative effect on our physical health as well as our mental wellbeing. It can play a role in our susceptibility to illness and disease, but also in day-to-day functional problems such as pain and stiffness.
There are many steps we can take to improve our ability to cope with stress; nutrition is one of them. Find out what and how to eat to better manage stress…
Balancing your blood sugar
To cope well with stress, we need our food to provide us with balanced, sustained energy. Foods that quickly break down into glucose and are quickly absorbed – such as sugary foods and fast-releasing carbohydrates – may give us a burst of energy, but can cause our blood sugar to peak and then dip. This can actually increase our body’s stress response and stress hormone levels, as well as making us feel irritated and out of control.
Here are the three fundamental steps to balancing your blood sugar:
- Eat primarily whole foods: vegetables, animal foods (eggs, fish, unprocessed meat, unsweetened dairy foods), nuts and seeds, beans and lentils, and some fruit. Avoid sugary snacks, refined carbohydrates and other processed foods such as breakfast cereals
- Making sure every meal includes a good serving of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. The primary protein foods are the animal foods mentioned above, and nuts and seeds, and beans and lentils. Healthy fats are found in nuts and seeds, oily fish, avocadoes, and coconut. Complex carbs are found in vegetables, whole fruit (i.e. not fruit juices), whole grains, beans and lentils
- Eat regularly. Skipping meals or leaving too long between meals can cause your blood sugar level to drop too low, which can also trigger a stress response
Getting enough food
As well as eating regularly, getting enough food is important when you’re dealing with stress. Going on a weight loss diet – whether it’s low-calorie, low-carb or low-fat – during a stressful time can be particularly bad for your stress levels. Instead, now is the time to focus on balancing your blood sugar as outlined above, by eating regular meals, getting enough protein, healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables and cutting the refined carbohydrates and junk foods. You should find it easier to manage your weight – or lose weight – by eating in this way anyway.
Although regular snacking is not the best thing for everyone, it can be helpful if you’re coping with stress, again by helping to keep your blood sugar on an even keel. Your snacks need to be based on whole foods, and contain some protein and complex carbohydrates.
- Two or three oatcakes with one of the following: a tablespoon of hummus, guacamole, cottage cheese, half an avocado, a hard-boiled egg or a teaspoon or two of nut butter (e.g. almond butter).
- A pot of natural yoghurt (without added sugar) with some berries and/or a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds mixed in.
- A wedge of left-over home-made frittata/omelette.
However, you shouldn’t need to be snacking more than once between meals; constantly ‘grazing’ can have a negative effect on your weight and your digestion!
The mineral magnesium plays a vital role in our psychological health, including our mood and how well we cope with stress. It’s thought that both physical and emotional stress can increase the body’s need for magnesium; and that having a low magnesium to calcium ratio can actually increase the release of stress hormones such as adrenaline.*
The best food sources of magnesium are green leafy vegetables such as kale, chard and spinach; seeds and nuts; and whole grains – especially buckwheat and rye.
B vitamin-rich foods
Like magnesium, B vitamins also play a vital role in our energy as well as our psychological function.
The various B vitamins are found in different foods, but the best all-round sources include eggs, oily fish, organ meats (especially liver), seeds and nuts, and beans and pulses. Luckily these are also foods that are great for our blood sugar balance!
Avoid overdoing stimulants
Many of us turn to stimulants such as tea and coffee when we’re feeling stressed. But stimulants of any kind also trigger the body’s stress response. Try to keep your coffee consumption in particular to a minimum. Tea can have a gentler stimulating effect so can be better tolerated, but keeping it to one cup a day can still be advisable. Try to introduce calming herbal teas such as chamomile and spearmint – especially later in the day.
Note that alcohol can also act as a stimulant as well as a relaxant. It also disrupts your blood sugar balance. Keep alcohol to a rare treat and stick to one drink only.
* Seelig MS. Consequences of magnesium deficiency on the enhancement of stress reactions; preventive and therapeutic implications (a review). J Am Coll Nutr. 1994 Oct;13(5):429-46.