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Clinic News

Clinic News:

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. 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.

 

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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)

  1. Find a wall and place a ruler on the floor, measuring 10cm away from the wall
  2. On the leg being tested put your big toe on the 10cm mark facing the wall
  3. Keeping your heel on the ground (!) try to touch your knee to the wall
  4. 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)

Happy stretching!

 

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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.

Calf Muscles 

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.

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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:

Preparation

  • 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

Equipment

Ensure that you are using equipment properly to prevent injuries.

Weights

  • 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

Machines

  • make sure the seat is positioned correctly for your height
  • avoid stooping or reaching when using equipment or you could over stretch your back

Stretching

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.

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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:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.

Healthy snacking

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.

Examples include:

  • 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!

Magnesium-rich foods

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.

 

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The best exercises for Arthritis Sufferers

If you suffer from arthritis, or very stiff joints, exercise may be the last things you want do.

However… getting out into the fresh air and doing some low intensity, aerobic exercise can be extremely beneficial and help to prevent stiff joints.

Some sports can help to build up your core muscles, and the muscles which support your joints, and also reduce joint inflammation. These include:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Walking

Opt for gentle movements and light stretches and build up slowly, the gentle stretching involved in each exercise can help you to maintain mobility and movement.

Be careful… try and avoid any hot or power yoga as this can end up putting excessive pressure on your joints.

Try this… Swimming can be particularly good as the buoyancy of the water can help relieve any pressure on your joints while you exercise, giving you that extra supportive barrier which will help cushion any inflamed joints.

Or this…. Cycling also acts in a similarly supportive manner as is helps you avoid the pounding of high-impact aerobic activities. A gentle cycle can help to strengthen your leg muscles that support your joints. So whether it’s on an exercise bike or in the great outdoors, cycling can be an effective way of staying fit while making sure your joints aren’t placed under too much pressure.

If you are experiencing a severe flare up it is best to rest for a couple of days before taking part in any kind of physical activity. Remember, it’s not a race. Don’t push your body to do anything if you feel you can’t manage it.

If you feel like it, you could simply go for a walk, but make sure not to push yourself too much if you are in pain. The best thing you can do is to listen to your body.

Remember… pain is your body’s way of telling you to stop, so always go at your own pace.

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Become A Morning Person This Winter

It’s that time of year again. The clocks have changed, that highly-anticipated ‘extra hour in bed’ has been and gone, and soon the mornings will be darker than they were before. In some people, this can trigger SAD, or at least an increased struggle to get out of bed in the morning.

With darker mornings, many people find it harder to wake and become motivated for the day ahead. There are several things that you can do to avoid repeatedly pressing the snooze button and instead, set a healthy tone for the rest of the day.

Wake up gradually

Many people become irritated by sudden and annoying alarm sounds. Start your day in a better mood by downloading an app that wakes you more gradually, with music or with a tone that gradually increases in volume, easing you in to your morning routine.

At this time of year, light alarm clocks are especially beneficial. These wake you with a gradually brightening light that simulates sunrise. Waking up naturally and gradually this way is much more welcome than being shocked out of a sound sleep.

Nourish your body

Feeling groggy, or even as if you have a hangover, isn’t uncommon when your alarm sounds. However, this may not be caused by tiredness. Baring in mind that you have not consumed any food or drink for at least 7 hours (hopefully!), you may be dehydrated.

Keep a bottle of water by your bed to drink first thing. If you’re a coffee drinker, try to have a glass or two of water before your brew.

It’s also important to replenish your body with nutrients after a night’s sleep. Avoid opting for high-sugar and high-carbohydrate foods that will cause your blood sugar to spike and then drop just a couple of hours later. Instead, build your breakfast around complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, proteins such as eggs, and healthy fats like avocado and nuts. Having a nutritious, filling and enjoyable breakfast to look forward can also be a great motivator to get out of bed!

Exercise

Whether you’re a yogi, gym-goer or enjoy a revitalizing morning stroll, exercising in the morning will get your heart pumping oxygen-rich blood around your body, helping you to function more effectively. Exercise can also be a great way to clear your mind, preparing your for a productive and more stress-free morning, and obviously has huge benefit to your health.

Introduce these tips to your morning routine, aiming to commit for at least 21 days. This will help you to form healthy habits that both your mind and body will thank you for!

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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

Calcium

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.

Obtained from

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

Magnesium

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.

Obtained from

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.

Vitamin D

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.

Obtained from

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.

Vitamin C

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.

Obtained from

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

Antioxidants

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.

Obtained from

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.

Obtained from

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.

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Christmas 2017 Opening Hours

Friday 22 December 8am – 5pmholly

Alex, Sophie, Ruth.

Saturday 23 December 8am-12 noon

Sophie, Andrew.

Sunday 24 December Closed

Monday 25 December Closed

Tuesday 26 December Closed

Wednesday 27 December 9:30am – 5pm

Sophie

Thursday 28 December 8am-8pm

Sophie, Alex

Friday 29 December 8am – 5pm

Alex, Sophie

Saturday 30 December 8am-12 noon

Andrew

Sunday 31 December Closed

Monday 1 January Closed

Tuesday 2 January 8am-8pm

Normal hours resume

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Top Tips to Avoid Back Pain at Christmas

tree

As we approach the Christmas season, you might be more worried about piling on the pounds and feeling like a Christmas Pudding on the big day than anything else, but you’d be surprised how many people hurt their back over the festive period!
Did you know… There is an increase in patients coming in to the clinic with backaches and pains that have appeared during the Christmas period.

In fact… There are many ways you can hurt your back at Christmas. Bending and lifting heavy items like Christmas trees, furniture or even the turkey can easily strain your back or exacerbate existing aches and pains.

If you do hurt your back or neck during the holidays, your first thought might be to put your feet up on the sofa and watch some festive films and wait till the pain disappears.

But remember… Although this may seem like the obvious option, it is much more beneficial for your back to keep your muscles moving.

Here are our top tips to avoid back pain at Christmas:

  • If you’re lifting heavy or awkward objects like the Christmas tree or furniture, always ask for help and make sure you also bend your knees when lifting heavier items!
  • When you’re putting up decorations, use a stepladder to avoid over stretching or straining your back or neck.
  • Make sure you go for regular walks over the holidays, and if you don’t have time, make sure you’re supporting your back at all times with a small cushion.
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