Happy New Year!
May we wish you all a very happy new year and we hope to continue to be part of your journey to maintain health and well-being throughout 2019.
For us to maintain the very high standard of service, care and support for you, we will be restructuring and slightly increasing clinic fees from April 2019 – please see notice board for details or visit our website
The clinic received RCC CMQM - Royal College of Chiropractors Clinic Management Quality Mark -Alex will be collecting the award at this month’s AGM.
Beat the post-Christmas blues and join Sophie in RED January!
Usually we post challenges in the clinic for you all but we want you to know that we are always setting ourselves new challenges too. This year Sophie is taking on RED January and for those that have no idea what that is; RED stands for Run Every Day… It is organised by the mental health charity MIND and is free to take part in, but donations are welcomed from participants.
The aim of the challenge is to be more active every day in order to improve your mental health; Sophie would NOT recommend running every day if you are new to running but it can be a walk, exercise class, swim, bike ride –absolutely anything active!
Why not try joining Sophie in being more active each day during January and don’t forget to ask her how she’s getting on –I’m sure she’ll appreciate some encouragement, Sophie has set herself a minimum of 2Km (just over a mile) each day and she’s hoping it’s not too icy underfoot this month.
- Expensive Christmas? RED is free to take part
- RED provides a goal and focus to help you through a characteristically tough month
- People can feel isolated and pressured to achieve New Year’s resolutions. RED is a no pressure movement fuelled by community spirit.
- RED empowers, educates and supports people to start the year as they mean to go on, forming healthy habits to continue beyond January.
More info: www.redtogether.co.uk
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.
Nutrition for Bones, Muscles and Joints
Choosing a balanced diet containing the right vitamins and minerals decreases our chances of developing deficiencies later on in life. The body’s structure relies on vitamins and minerals to ensure muscle tone (including the heart), healthy functioning of nerves; correct composition of body fluids; and the formation of healthy blood and bones.
A Healthy Diet Plan
For bone, muscle and joint health try and include Calcium in your diet, which is essential for optimal nerve and muscle function and blood clotting.
Dairy products are rich in calcium that is easy to absorb. Non – dairy sources with equally absorbable calcium are green leafy vegetables from the kale family. Spinach, rhubarb, sweet potatoes and dried beans are rich in calcium but from these foods it’s not easily absorbed
Required for efficient muscle contraction and conduction of nerve impulses. Low magnesium levels in the body can affect the body’s calcium levels, putting bone health at risk.
Green leafy vegetables, unrefined grains and nuts. Small amounts are present in meat and milk. Large quantities of fibre in the diet and low protein intake can reduce the amount of magnesium able to be absorbed by the body.
Essential for regulating the formation of bone and the absorption of calcium from the intestine. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that functions to help control the movement of calcium between bone and blood.
Primarily from the action of UVB light on the skin. Food sources such as cod liver oil, sardines, salmon, tuna, milk and milk products contain small amounts of Vitamin D.
The structure of bones, cartilage, muscles and blood vessels is provided in part and maintained by collagen. The formation of strong efficient collagen requires Vitamin C.
Citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, cauliflower, potatoes, green leafy vegetable and peppers. Also important for producing strong collagen and therefore strong bone structure, is Folic acid. Folic acid is found in cereals, beans, green leafy vegetables, orange and orange juice
Vitamin C is also a strong antioxidant and is capable of regenerating other antioxidants like vitamin E. The role of antioxidants is to mop up free radicals (the by-products of normal metabolism). Excessive amounts of free radicals cause damage to joint surfaces and muscle cell regeneration. Antioxidants reduce the potential of these free radicals to cause joint damage.
Antioxidants are vitamins A, C, E and the mineral selenium and are present in fruits and vegetables, the highest quantities are found in the most deeply and brightly coloured. Cartilage that lines the articulating surfaces of all joints is critical to joint health. Cartilage is the shock absorber of joints and is continually rebuilt if a source of raw materials is available. Supplements such as glucosamine sulphate can be added to a healthy diet to assist joints that maybe showing signs of wear and tear.
Essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) also reduce the degenerative changes in tissues and cells. EFA’s are unsaturated fatty acids such as Omega 3. They aid in decreasing the inflammatory response and help relieve pain and discomfort in joints and muscles.
EFA’s can be found in oily fish (sardines, fresh tuna, mackerel), flax seed and linseed.
Foods to avoid…
There are certain foods and substances that adversely effect the body’s use of minerals and vitamins. High saturated/animal fats, refined foods, white flour, white sugar, white rice, chocolate, carbonated drinks and fruit juices with high sugar concentration should be kept to a minimum if not weaned from the diet completely. Meat and dairy products should be kept within a recommended weekly amount. Dairy products as calcium sources should be varied with other non-dairy sources.
Core Stability Helps Prevent Back Pain
If you’re following the trends in exercise and fitness, you’ve probably heard the phrase “core strength” or “core stability.” These terms refer to the muscles of your abdominals (stomach) and back and their ability to support your spine and keep your body stable and balanced, helping to prevent back pain.
The core muscles lie deep within the trunk of the body. They generally attach to the spine, pelvis and muscles that support the scapula. They stabilise these areas to create a firm foundation for co-ordinated movement of the legs and arms.
Core stability is also needed in everyday life, helping to keep you fit and to prevent injury when you are lugging those heavy shopping bags or doing the ironing. Rises in back pain incidence have been linked to the sedentary lifestyle that many of us lead. How about neck and shoulder pain? Time spent hunched over the desk instead of getting out and about can mean that we don’t pay enough attention to posture, and the muscles of those crucial “corset” muscles.
To strengthen your core stability:
- Start by lying on your back with knees bent.
- Your lumbar spine should be neither arched up nor flattened against the floor, but aligned normally with a small gap between the floor and your lower back. This is the “neutral” lumbar position you should learn to achieve.
- Breathe in deeply and relax all your stomach muscles.
- Breathe out and, as you do so, draw your lower abdomen inwards as if your belly button is going back towards the floor.
- Hold the contraction for 10 seconds and stay relaxed, allowing yourself to breathe in and out as you hold the tension in your lower stomach area.
- Repeat 5-10 times.
Bear in mind the following points:
- Do not let the whole stomach tense up or your upper abdominals bulge outwards, as this means you have cheated by using the large rectus abdominus muscle (the six-pack).
- Do not brace too hard; just a gentle contraction is enough. Remember it’s endurance not max strength your are trying to improve.
- Do not tilt your pelvis nor flatten your back, as this means you have lost the neutral position you are trying to learn to stabilise
- Do not hold your breath, as this means you are not relaxed. You must learn to breathe normally and maintain the co-contraction.
- Use your fingers for biofeedback on either side of your lower abdomen to feel the tension.
Once you have mastered the abdominal hollowing lying on your back, practise it lying on your front, four-point kneeling, sitting and standing. In each position get your lumbar spine into neutral before you perform the hollowing movement. If you feel any pain or discomfort while doing these exercises, then stop immediately and seek medical advice before continuing.