All posts by Alex Newton

Christmas Opening Hours

Christmas 2018 Opening Hours

     Friday 21st December 8am – 5pm

Sophie, Ruth

              Saturday 22nd December 8am –12 noon

                                     Sophie                             

Sunday 23rd December Closed

   Monday 24th December 8am-12 noon

                                      Andrew

               Tuesday 25th December Closed

            Wednesday 26th December Closed

            Thursday 27th December 8am-8pm

                                Andrew, Alex

              Friday 28th December 8am -5pm

                                         Alex

              Saturday 29th December 8am-12noon

                                     Andrew

              Sunday 30th December Closed

               Monday 31st December 8am-12 noon

Andrew , Alex

Tuesday 1st January Closed

                 Wednesday 2nd January 9am -8pm

                            Normal hours resume

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Is Slouching Affecting Your Mood?

We know that facial muscles affect facial expression, and in turn can influence emotion, but it’s rarely considered that other muscular states can also affect mood. Research suggests that this is the case and that sitting upright can build resilience to stress.

Especially when under pressure and distracted, people are likely to pay less attention to their posture. However, research indicates that good posture at times of stress can help to maintain self-esteem and positive mood, whereas slumped postures have the opposite effect.

It is important to take care of your posture and there are a number of ways to do this, both at home and at work, and especially when using a computer.

  • When relaxing in a chair, such as when watching television, it is important to ensure that as much of the body as possible has contact with the chair for optimal support.
  • Avoid sitting for more than 30-40 minutes at a time. Remember to stand up, stretch, change position, walk around and go and get a drink of water!
  • When stretching, concentrate on opening up your chest, abdominal area and hip flexors. Your chiropractor can advise you on the best movements for this.
  • Perform exercises to strengthen the muscles that support your posture. Exercises such as resistance band pull-aparts are good, and your chiropractor can advise you on other suitable exercises.

Of course, perhaps the time that slouching most commonly occurs in our society is during the hours that are spent hunched over a desk, working at a computer.

  • Ensure that your desk, chair and monitor are set up following proper guidelines.
  • Take regular breaks. Set a timer to remind yourself if you’re guilty of forgetting to do this when immersed in work.
  • If using a laptop, ensure that is placed on a desk or table rather than your lap to avoid looking down, slouching, and leaving your neck unsupported.”

Your chiropractor will be able to conduct a postural analysis and suggest stretches, exercises and lifestyle changes that can improve your seated posture and enhance your mood.

 

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High Heels & Back Pain

Sometimes the cause of back pain is obvious, for example a sports injury.

However… Sometimes the culprit could be surprising, such as improper footwear, especially high heels.

Why do they cause damage? When women wear high heels their body will attempt to compensate for the uneven balance they cause by flexing or forward bending their hips and spine. Heels can cause people to mimic the way a person would walk on a ramp and thus increase the pressure placed on the balls of the feet and the knees.

Lower Back 

The lower back is also pushed forward causing the hips and the spine to become dis-aligned. The changes to the posture cause a prolonged tensing of the calves, hips and back muscles. This results in excess muscle fatigue and strain at the end of the day. Over long periods of time this can cause serious problems for your leg muscles and spine health

The Height of the Heel 

The height of the heel can also determine the weight carries be the footwear. As the height of the heel increases so does the pressure on the ball of the foot. Stilettoes can therefore cause the most damage to your posture and overall spine health. It is therefore advised where possible to wear as lower a heel as possible

How to help your back: 

If you do wear high heels take a few aspects into consideration to make sure you’re causing yourself as little damage as possible

  • Try and avoid wearing high heels for long periods of time where possible
  • If you have to commute each day it is wise to commute in flat shoes that cushion and support the natural arch of your foot and change into high heels when you get into the office
  • If you do wear a lot of high-heeled shoes try and opt for ones with a lower, wider heel, preferably no higher than two inches, to reduce the amount of pressure being placed on your feet and calf muscles
  • It can also be wise to buy shoes in the afternoon, when feet are at their largest, this will make sure your shoes will be to accommodate for the natural expansion of the feet throughout the day.

Make Sure Not To Trip! 

As your balance can be more unsteady when you wear high heels it increases the possibility of you tripping over and causing yourself an injury. In consideration of this, it is a good idea to opt for shoes with a leather insole to keep the foot from slipping and provide a steadier grip when you’re walking around

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Pillows For Sound Sleep

Today’s modern living which often entails hours of driving and hunching over work stations plays havoc with your neck. Neck pain can be felt in a large number of ways, either in your neck itself, across the shoulders, down the arms or as a headache. Neck and back problems are often worsened, if not caused, by improper sleeping habits and bad or worn out pillows. Sleep is very important to your body’s repair process, and a poor pillow often accounts for disturbed sleep. Compromise the quality of sleep, and overall health and mental fitness may suffer as well.

To support your tender and vulnerable neck you need to use a pillow that can be shaped to hold your neck in alignment and adequately support your head. This relieves muscle tension around your neck and shoulders and correctly positions your head, arms, and lower back for a relaxed sleep.

The support of a pillow should be mostly under your neck. Pillows that can be fluffed and squished to fit your unique contours, shape, and sleeping posture offer the best solution. A pillow should “fit”, just like a pair of shoes.

Natural-fill pillows such as down and feather provide the most comfort, long-term performance, and adjustability of any pillow, and they gently support your head. Unfortunately, most people hang on to a pillow long after its healthy sleeping power.

It is crucial you avoid using little or no pillow as this places your unsupported neck under strain all night long. It is equally unwise to use too many pillows or a pillow that is too firm as this can push your neck up, preventing the neck joints from moving properly, regardless of which position you sleep in.

It is also important to remember that a pillow should be placed between your neck and shoulder, but not underneath your shoulder itself. Taking this into account, a person with broader shoulders will require a larger pillow than someone with narrower shoulders, if they sleep on their side.

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Two Steps Forward One Better Back

As Chiropractor’s we mainly see patients presenting with back and neck pain. Over the years and thousands of appointments there are most certainly some common themes that have repeated themselves – either in terms of the process that results in an injury, or what advice we give out to help prevent it from happening again. Here is our tried and tested two-step process that is a great foundation for minimising spinal injuries and the impact they can have on your life:

1. Understanding how injuries to the spine happen: In clinic the level of pain that patients sometimes present with can be quite high! And you would expect the level of force that caused the injury to mirror that. However only 5% of the problems we see in clinic are due to a substantial amount of sudden force. 95% of the problems arise from milder, but accumulative strains over time. These smaller strains often go un-noticed, until they build up and the ‘my back just went’ story starts. This is where the threshold for injury has been reached, and most often results in the call to the Doctor or Chiropractor. If you listen to your body whisper and you won’t have to hear it shout. In reality sometimes it is too late and it is definitely shouting (in the form of pain and damage). Once you have had treatment or have recovered you can learn to pick up on the whispers (niggles and tension) and aim to prevent problems from occurring.

2. Planning for injury prevention: Everyone knows prevention is easier than cure, and now we know how most spine injuries happen we need some prevention tactics. ‘Micro-breaks’ are a key addition to your spinal health and minimise the accumulative strain process. For example if you are at your desk all morning, every 20 minutes you can roll your shoulders backwards 10-15 times, give the back a good stretch up with a deep breath in, or just volunteer to make someone (and that can include oneself!) a cuppa. In the garden you can of course use the same micro-break process, but can also take advantage of ‘active breaks’ to share the load to different areas of your spine, without losing valuable working time. In this scenario if you are working for 4 hours in the garden, and spend 2 hours on your knees working low down, and then 2 hours digging, those accumulative strains have time to build up and possibly take you closer to that injury threshold. If you switched tasks every half an hour or so, this varies the load and allows the area of your body to recover whilst doing a different task. Dealing with back and neck pain is obviously more complicated than just using these two steps (otherwise that was a long seven years of studying for that concept!), however with our approach these two steps are always integrated in successfully treating and preventing so many types of spinal problems. Try to listen when your body whispers and use these tips for a healthier spine.

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Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire -Results

We would like the thank the 242 patients who completed the questionnaire  in August for their support – the results are great as you can see – thank you. It was amazing that 100% of you felt that you would recommend your friends and family to us and this is  the best way to share the benefits of chiropractic – by sharing your experience.

We were sad to learn that many of you are unaware of the information available to you on our website – so try and have a little browse around there when you have time – if you are on Facebook – don’t forget to like us then you will get up to date tips and information as soon as we get them.

Look out for this months challenge where Andrew is asking you to give us a review on Google please.

The Clinic:

  1. Do you find the clinic’s opening hours meet your requirements for calling to make appointments and for your treatment sessions? 100% Yes
  2. When you call the clinic to make appointments do you find your call is answered promptly?

Always  92%       Sometimes 5%   Not often 1 %    Never 0%

  1. Do you find the receptionists to be helpful and pleasant in offering you the appointment you require?

Always  96%       Sometimes 3%   Not often 0%     Never 1%

  1. If you are unable to gain an appointment, are you offered a place on the waiting list?

Always  47%       Sometimes 7%   Not often 1%     Never 0%   NA 45%

  1. How do you travel to the clinic? Please circle all that apply

Car 93%               Taxi 4%   Bus  2%   Tram 4%          Bike 5%     Walk 13%   Other 8%

  1. If you travel by car do you manage to obtain a parking space?

Always  82%       Sometimes 8%   Not often 0%     Never 1%            N/A 9

  1. When you arrive at the clinic are you always welcomed by the receptionists?

Always  99%       Sometimes 1%   Not often 0%     Never 0%

  1. Do you find the facilities the reception area offers meet your needs?

Fully      92%       Mostly  8%          Not Really 0%    Not at all 0%

Your treatment experience:

  1. Are you seen on time for your appointment?

Always  52%       Sometimes 45% Not often 3%     Never 0%

  1. Do you feel that your chiropractor listens to you?

Always  98%       Sometimes 2%   Not often 0%     Never 0%

  1. Do you find that your chiropractor understands your condition and helps you understand what your problem is?

Always  98%       Sometimes 2%   Not often 0%     Never 0%

  1. Does your chiropractor explain what your treatment procedure involves and what it is trying to achieve?

Always  90%       Sometimes 10% Not often 0%     Never 0%

  1. Does your chiropractor share addition advice and information with you? Yes 100%

If yes please circle all that apply:

Exercise and fitness 79%,              postural advice 58%        diet advice 15%   

Healthy living and lifestyle 21%  other­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ 8%

Communication:

  1. Do you find the text reminder service helpful? Yes 95% / No 1% / NA 4%
  2. Did you know there is an out of hours help line? Yes 53%/ No 47%
  3. Do you find the clinic newsletters informative? Yes 62% / No 13%/ NA 25%
  4. Do you use the clinic website? Yes 19% / No 72% / N/A 9%
  5. What do you use it for? Circle all that apply:

contact details   4%          opening times 5%            price guide 2%                  information 7%

blogs     3%          podcasts 8%       newsletters 7%   exercise videos  41%     other 8%

  1. Are you on Facebook? Yes 55% / No 42% / N/A 3%
  2. Did you know that the clinic shares topical information on Facebook on a regular basis?

Yes 19% / No 70% / N/A 11%

  1. Would you recommend your friends and family to the clinic? Yes 100% /No
  2. How would you rate your overall experience of the clinic on a scale of 1-10?­­­­

(10 being excellent and 1 being poor) 66% 10/10, 27% 9/10, 6% 8/10. <1% 7/10

 

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Acupuncture …Did you know?

At the time of writing this there were 54 sleeps till Christmas! I know, where has the year gone? Which caused you most dread? Sleep? Or Christmas? The thought of going to bed is not something you look forward to if you can’t sleep.  The inability to sleep can come from a variety of causes; pain, feeling hot, over thinking, anxiety, having to go to the loo multiple times.  What have you tried to fix it? Milky drinks, chamomile tea, alcohol, reading, no screen time before bed? Perhaps lack of sleep isn’t the problem, maybe you struggle to get through the day without a nap and long to return to bed.

Have you tried acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine? Both have been used for thousands of years to bring the body back in to balance.  It is used by many to aid a good night’s sleep and stress relief. Practitioners look for and treat the root of the problem and not just treat the symptoms.

Acupuncture can be a very relaxing treatment and some people even manage 40 winks whilst they have their needles in.  So, if the thought of the festive period is causing you sleepless nights, or life at the moment is making you feel shattered. Chinese medicine can get you through this, with an enhanced feeling of well-being and calm.

Did you think acupuncture was just for pain? Anne and Sarah welcome any questions you have about acupuncture or herbal medicine and how they might help your individual concerns.  They are in clinic on a Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, but you can reach them through.

www.brierleytherapies.co.uk          www.acupunctureuk.co.uk

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Back Pain Myths

In the UK, back pain is one of the most common reasons people miss work, and is the leading cause of disability worldwide. With something so common, it has easy for people to get confused about back pain and misconceptions to arise!

We know that the easiest way to tackle back pain is to keep moving, but sometimes these myths and misconceptions can stop people from doing exercise or seeking proper treatment.

One of the most common myths about back pain is that people think it’s not going to happen to them. In fact 4 out of 5 of us will be affected by back pain at some point in our lives!

Here are the top myths about back pain debunked:

  • MYTH: Exercise will cause or worsen back pain
  • Staying bed bound with back pain can be one of the worst things you can do! Without exercise muscles become weakened, deconditioned and stiff. To reduce back pain you should rest, calm the pain, followed by gentle exercise.
  • MYTH: If you see a spine specialist you will end up getting surgery
  • Spinal surgery is only recommended in about 1% of cases. In most cases the treatments recommended will be non-surgical, such as exercise, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication.
  • MYTH: Back pain is a normal part of aging
  • Some people believe that back pain is a typical part of getting older but it shouldn’t be a normal part of your day. We all get aches and pains as we age, however with all the options to ease back pain available today you shouldn’t suffer in silence.

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When to Use Hot or Cold Treatment for Back Pain

When you are suffering with back pain, whether it is in the neck, between the shoulder blades or in the lower back, it can sometimes be difficult to know what to do. Do you sit, rest, keep active, use heat or cold?

The most common cause of back pain is when the joints of the back become restricted due to abnormal stress such as, incorrect posture, degeneration and emotional stress. This causes tightening and inflammation around the joints resulting in muscles tightening in order to protect that area of the spine from further trauma. Muscle tightness causes the joint to be even more restricted in movement and therefore causes more joint inflammation and the cycle continues. People suffer from different types of back pain, some with tightening but others without, and therefore they will require a different treatment plan.

Chiropractors have the skill of removing joint restriction by using spinal adjusting to address the underlying problems of back pain.However, secondary problems of muscle tightness and joint inflammation require ongoing treatment so there are certain things a patient can do to relieve the pain.

Cold Treatment

  • The recommended treatment for back pain without muscle tightness is a cold treatment. This is simply a cold pack applied to the injury, which acts like a painkiller reducing the inflammation.
  • A Cold treatment can be used in any area of inflammation. i.e. spine or joint inflammation and restriction, knee swelling, sprained ankle etc.

Hot Treatment

For back pain with muscle tightness a hot pack is more suitable. Tight muscles are usually tender to touch, you can sometimes feel pea-sized knots and crystals in the muscle, heat relaxes the muscle and improves flexibility. Hot treatment can be used alone over tight muscles when they have contracted due to overuse, or ache following being used in a different way.

Hot & Cold Treatment

Leaving a hot pack on the spine for a long time can increase the inflammation and cause the pain to increase. In this case once relaxation has occurred a cold pack is placed over the area to help decrease the joint inflammation.

It is always best to consult a Chiropractor first but the advice is not to rest, but to try and keep active, manoeuvring the joint at least every 20 – 30 minutes. Combine this with the hot or cold method of treatment and you will help relieve the pain resulting in a quicker recovery.

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Back Care Awareness Week (#backpainweek) – 8th to 12th October 2018 – Back pain in Older Adults

Coming up this month is the awareness week for the charity ‘BackCare’.

 

Back pain is one of the major disabling health conditions among older adults aged 60 years and older. Many causes of lower back pain are age-related with physical and psychosocial changes. There is a distinct lack of awareness, especially in older adults to the causes and effects of back pain and pain management.

Existing evidence suggests that prevalence rates of severe and chronic low back pain increase with older age. As compared to working-age adults, older adults are more likely to develop lower back pain like osteoporotic vertebral fractures, tumors, spinal infection, and lumbar spinal stenosis

                                                                                               – NCBI (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)

In the clinic your chiropractors are constantly aware of the risks our older patients are prone to and are keen to encourage exercise and advice to support as best they can -why not ask for some tips when you see your chiropractor next.

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