As thoughts of a long hot summer approach we want you to start thinking about the things that may bring your plans to an abrupt holt or stop you enjoying the well-earned rest.. yes BACK PAIN! It can strike when we least expect it and can causes weeks and even months of misery, so let us help you get ahead of the game this month and highlight what you can do to minimise the risk, read the signs and capture those magical memories made by holidays and spending time with your loved ones.
The decorating is finally complete - we are very pleased with the work Dave has done and we hope you like the more modern look.
Sophie continues to run rings around us with her amazing achievements running having just completed the Liverpool half marathon in appalling weather - well done!
We say goodbye to Andrew next month as he follows his dream of running his own practice in Derby - we wish him well and assure all his patients that they will be well looked after by Alex and Sophie over the coming months. Alex and Sophie will be increasing their hours until his replacement is found.
If you didn't get a chance to tune in with Alex and Alan Clifford at BBC Radio Nottingham last month and would like to hear the podcast visit our website with this link: http://www.beestonchiropractic.co.uk/keep-supple-on-those-long-holiday-journeys/ Alternatively listen in on Tuesday 25th June from 3pm where they're talking all things shoes!!??
Dont Let Back Pain Spoil Your Holiday!
Think of holidays and most people will dream up images of days spent having a good time, perhaps relaxing in the sun or pursuing new interests. But how many people would wish to imagine themselves lying down indoors with back pain?
Unanticipated injury, such as back pain, can spoil a good holiday – don’t let it spoil yours. Aim to reach a good level of fitness before you go away, and when taking part in sports, make sure you know how play them properly.
Whatever physical activities you choose to engage in, bear in mind that a good number of back complaints are offset by failing to warm up properly before exercising.
Different sports have different guidelines as to how you should take care of your back. For example, when swimming it’s important not to try to keep the whole of the head out of the water, as this places considerable strain on the neck and shoulders, which can lead to problems in the lower back
Golf can present its own problems, particularly if the muscles aren’t warmed up before hand in order to cope with the rotation (twisting) of the lower back when swinging the club. Prevent this by practicing stretching and flexibility exercises before playing.
How To Beat Jet Lag Naturally
Travelling to new places can be interesting and exciting. However, the excitement of holidays can be dulled by jet lag. If you’re travelling for business, overcoming jet lag can be even harder as you often need to arrive at your destination ready to work.
Your body’s 24 hour cycle, or circadian rhythm, relies on many external triggers. These triggers, called zeitgebers, include light, temperature, social interactions, exercise, eating and drinking. Many of these cues are disrupted when travelling to a different time zone. Jet lag occurs when your circadian rhythm is no longer in sync with your external environment.
Using knowledge of zeitgebers, you can use natural methods to support recovery from jet lag to help you enjoy your travels as much as possible.
- Use light cues
If you arrive at your destination when it’s night time; while you are travelling, try to stay in the dark to induce a feeling of sleepiness and avoid the blue light from electronic devices. If you arrive in the morning, try to maximise your exposure to natural, bright light.
- Get optimal amounts of sleep
Leading up to your travel date, ensure you get some good quality sleep. If you’re already exhausted when you travel, jet lag will be harder to deal with. If you feel like you need to sleep on a long haul flight, do so.
- Take advantage of fans and air conditioning
Lower external temperatures lower your body’s core temperature, signalling that it’s time for sleep. So, if you arrive leading up to bedtime, set the temperature of your room to be a little cooler than normal to help you to drift off.
- Get active & social
Social interaction stimulates wakefulness. So, if you arrive in the morning, why not get out and explore the locality! Exercising during the day will also help you to feel awake. If you’re on a busy business trip however, this may mean paying a quick trip to the hotel gym before your meetings.
- Eat meals at local times
Enjoy the local cuisine, and enjoy it at the times that the locals do. Try altering your normal eating pattern up to three days before travelling to help your body acclimatise. Beware that aeroplane meals are often served at ‘home’ time and this can sabotage your efforts to reset your bodyclock. Focus on meals with protein to stay awake (a protein-based breakfast is great for your health anyway!) and choose meals with carbohydrates to help you fall asleep.
Joint support for summer sport
The long evenings and warm temperatures encourage many of us to be more active over summer. It’s a great time to take up a new activity, improve our fitness, or lose weight.
One of our most popular summer sports is, of course, tennis. Tennis is a fantastic activity: it builds strength, improves cardiovascular fitness, can help to strengthen our bones, improves coordination, an
d gets us exercising outside in the sun (for our vitamin D!). Another thing that’s great a
out tennis is that it has a social element too – giving us one-to-one time with friends and helping us meet other people, which is so often lacking in today’s technology-driven world. However, tennis can be tough on our joints, especially for those who are not used to impact sports.
Here are our top foods and supplement suggestions that can help keep you in action on the court.
- Get plenty of vitamin C
Vitamin C is not just important for immunity. It’s also vital for our body to make collagen, which in turn is used to make cartilage – the flexible material that helps to cushion our joints. When carilage wears away, as in osteoarthritis (‘wear and tear’ arthritis), joints can become very painful.
So where should you get your vitamin C? Ideally not by drinking fruit juices, which contain lots of quickly absorbed sugar (even if it’s just natural fruit sugar) and can end up causing more problems for our health. It’s best to get vitam
in C from a range of whole vegetables and fruit. Some of the best sources are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, red cabbage, pepper, kiwi fruits and blackcurrants. Aim for at least the recommended 5 servings of vegetables and fruit per day – although the ideal is
more like 7 to 9! The antioxidants in vegetables and fruit also have anti-inflammatory activity, helping to keep pain in check.
Vitamin C supplements can also be supportive for your joints if you struggle to get enough through food.
- Eat oily fish
Oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines and herring contain the all-important omega-3 fats known as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). As well as being vital for our eyes, brain and heart, these omega-3 fats have anti-inflammatory activity, and possibly direct pain-relieving activity too [1, 2, 3]. This means eating oily fish could be helpful to manage or reduce joint pain, and even prevent inflammation that causes sore joints after exercise.
Don’t like fish? A daily fish oil supplement can be a good alternative.
- Avoid pro-inflammatory fats
Just as it can be helpful to increase your anti-inflammatory omega-3s, it’s equally important to avoid pro-inflammatory fats – the ones that can worsen inflammation. Unfortunately, these are the fats that we’ve long been told are good for us: vegetable oils. In general anything labelled ‘vegetable oil’ is bad news, and other general cooking oils such as sunflower oil or rapeseed oil. Margarines and spreads made with vegetable oils can be even worse because they contain hydrogenated vegetable oils – oils that have been turned into a solid fat by bubbling hydrogen through them. A lot of processed foods also contain vegetable oils, from cakes to breads to ready meals: another reason to eat more ‘real’ foods and ditch processed foods – especially those that come with a long list of ingredients on the label!
- Eat magnesium-rich foods
Magnesium is an important mineral for our muscles and bones. It’s also been found that having good levels of magnesium in our body may help to lower inflammation .
So eating magnesium-rich foods can be another good step towards better joint health. These include green vegetables, seeds and nuts, beans and pulses, and whole grains including oats, rye and buckwheat.
- Turmeric and ginger
These traditional spices are not only delicious in curries and Asian food; they also have anti-inflammatory activity. Turmeric in particular (or its active component curcumin) has been shown in many studies to help reduce inflammation, and specifically to help to manage joint pain in knee arthritis [5, 6, 7]. Ginger may also help to reduce joint pain and inflammation .
Turmeric and ginger can be used every day in cooking. You can also use either of them to make tea: chop or grate fresh ginger or turmeric root and pour on boiling water (although watch out with fresh turmeric, as it can stain everything!). Try making a ‘turmeric latte’ with turmeric powder – it’s become the drink of the moment among those looking for a healthier alternative to coffee. You can also just buy turmeric or ginger tea bags. Or if you have a juicer at home, try making fresh ginger juice and drinking a shot every day – it really packs a punch! Another alternative is to pickle ginger – delicious!
If you struggle to get a daily dose of turmeric or ginger in your food, or you want a more convenient option, try turmeric or curcumin supplements.
- Bone broth / collagen
Bone broth is another traditional food that’s become popular as a ‘health food’ again. This is because bones are actually very rich in nutrients, and so properly prepared bone broth (made by simmering animal or fish bones for up to 24 hours or longer) is a natural, easy-to-absorb source of these nutrients, including vital minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Bone broth also provides natural collagen, primarily in the form of gelatin. As mentioned above, collagen is a building block for the cartilage that helps to protect our joints.
Taking collagen in supplement form may also be supportive for joint health. A study found that taking collagen over 6 months reduced joint pain in a group of athletes .
If you’ve ever looked into taking supplements for joint health, you’ve probably heard of glucosamine. Glucosamine is a building-block for making cartilage and synovial fluid in the joints. Taking glucosamine supplements has been found in some studies to be helpful for knee pain, especially in those with a prior injury or with osteoarthritis in the knee [10, 11]. Some studies do not show benefits, however. It’s worth noting too that glucosamine has been found to be effective with doses of at least 1,500mg a day, and that it may take three months or more to work fully. So ideally, this is one to start taking in the spring if you want it to help keep you active over the summer!
- Devil’s claw herbal remedy
Devil’s claw is a traditional herb used for relief of joint pain, as well as muscle pain and backache. Like turmeric and ginger, devil’s claw is thought to have an anti-inflammatory effect. It could be a good choice to help relieve pain more quickly, compared to the longer-term protective effect of collagen or glucosamine.
- Arnica gel
If you experience muscle or joint pain after activity, try a topical arnica gel for additional support. Arnica gels are traditionally used to help with joint pain as well as muscle pain, stiffness, strains and bruising. In one study on a group of people with arthritis in their hands, using an arnica gel was even found to be as effective as ibuprofen gel for reducing pain .
- Calder PC. n−3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids, inflammation, and inflammatory diseases. Am J Clin Nutr June 2006 vol. 83 no. 6 S1505-1519S
- Corder KE et al. Effects of Short-Term Docosahexaenoic Acid Supplementation on Markers of Inflammation after Eccentric Strength Exercise in Women. J Sports Sci Med. 2016 Feb 23;15(1):176-83.
- Goldberg RJ, Katz J. A meta-analysis of the analgesic effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation for inflammatory joint pain. Pain. 2007 May;129(1-2):210-23.
- Dibaba DT et al. Dietary magnesium intake is inversely associated with serum C-reactive protein levels: meta-analysis and systematic review. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Apr;68(4):510-6.
- Aggarwal BB et al. Curcumin-free turmeric exhibits anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities: Identification of novel components of turmeric. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2013 Sep;57(9):1529-42.
- He Y et al. Curcumin, inflammation, and chronic diseases: how are they linked? Molecules. 2015 May 20;20(5):9183-213.
- Henrotin Y, Priem F, Mobasheri A. Curcumin: a new paradigm and therapeutic opportunity for the treatment of osteoarthritis: curcumin for osteoarthritis management. Springerplus. 2013 Dec;2(1):56.
- Bartels EM et al. Efficacy and safety of ginger in osteoarthritis patients: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2015 Jan;23(1):13-21.
- Clark KL et al. 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008 May;24(5):1485-96.
- Braham R et al. The effect of glucosamine supplementation on people experiencing regular knee pain. Br J Sports Med. 2003 Feb;37(1):45-9; discussion 49.
- Herrero-Beaumont G et al. Glucosamine sulfate in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study using acetaminophen as a side comparator. Arthritis Rheum. 2007 Feb;56(2):555-67.
- Cameron M, Chrubasik S. Topical herbal therapies for treating osteoarthritis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 May 31;(5):CD010538.
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.
For further information or comments, please contact us at the clinic or email firstname.lastname@example.org
* 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.