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Weather Changes and Chronic Back Pain

Temperatures are changing as the colder seasons approach. Those who suffer with chronic back pain might notice that their condition aggravates as temperatures or seasons change. Although there’s not much scientific evidence to prove a link between chronic pain and humidity, temperature changes and wind speed, weather changes can certainly affect those who suffer with joint pain conditions, especially arthritis and osteoarthritis.

The most commonly accepted reasoning is that with colder temperatures comes lower air pressure, which can cause joint tissues to expand and further worsen joints already prone to swelling and tenderness.

If cold weather worsens your pain, you can take these three simple steps to combat it.

  1. Heat Therapy

Including heat therapy in your daily routine can help to reduce stiffness and boost healing through increased blood circulation. Try applying a warm towel or a heating pad to your painful area for about 20 minutes for temporary pain relief. You can also opt for over-the-counter heat wraps.

  1. Water Therapy

If you like swimming, try to visit heated indoor pools with hot baths, Jacuzzis and saunas a few times a week for almost instant pain relief.

  1. Stay Active

As tempting as it is to lounge on the sofa during winter evenings, it is crucial to keep your spine mobile and stay active. If your pain is too severe to go to the gym, try long walks with hiking poles or a Pilates routine at home.

However, if your pain stops you from leading a normal life, the best option is to visit your doctor and professionally address the root causes of joint and back pain.


Staying Healthy, Safe and Fit During Winter

With shorter days and colder weather, finding the motivation to stay healthy and fit can be difficult. And that can lay the foundation for a weakened immune system, posing a greater risk of developing illness or injury. No wonder they call it the winter blues! Here are some easy tips on exercise, diet, health and wellness that you can follow during the cold season.

Start a Keto diet

The ketogenic diet (or keto diet, for short) is a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits. In fact, over 20 studies[1] show that this type of diet can help you lose weight and improve your health. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.

When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain. Ketogenic diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has numerous health benefits. Ketogenic diets may even have benefits against diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.

Add Omega 3 fatty acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are a healthy type of fat that are naturally found in many food types including fish, plant seeds and nuts. Omega 3 fatty acids are great for reducing joint pain and stiffness as they are a natural anti-inflammatory”. Studies[2] have also shown that omega 3 fatty acids help lower levels of depression, which people commonly feel during the shorter, darker days of winter.

Cook with Spices and Spice Related Foods

Onions, garlic, ginger and turmeric are the perfect items to add flavour to your dishes. Not only do they make food taste great, but they’re also shown to help improve immune function. Fresh garlic, ginger and onions are more than flavouring.  Using all three together has a synergistic effect on lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.  Turmeric is a spice traditionally used in Chinese and Indian medicine. This spice helps to combat a number of conditions including inflammation and heart disease, and it also acts as a powerful antioxidant.

Plan your Workouts

If you don’t feel in the mood for fitness, you can do exercises at home. There are plenty of resources online that supply workout videos and exercises. These resources offer a variety of workouts including yoga, strength training, aerobics and other body-weight exercises. But try to stick to a weekly exercise plan so you don’t put off your regular exercise activities. On Sunday night, write down your exercise schedule for the next seven days. Choose your exact workout routines, activities or exercises for each day and how long they will be. Knowing what you’re scheduled to do each day ahead of time makes it easier to stick to.

Head to a Steam Room or a Sauna

If you begin to feel yourself experiencing depression or higher levels of stress after the holiday season, steam rooms and saunas can help. They help tense muscles to relax, which can alleviate feelings of stress. The high temperatures also get you working up a sweat, which is a great way to detoxify your body and your skin.

Frequent Hand Washing and Vitamin C

Frequent hand washing throughout the day and consuming lots of vitamin C are an absolute must in maintaining your health during the winter.

Not only do they help protect your immune system and prevent you from developing flu and colds, they also protect others around you.


How to Beat Winter Exhaustion?

The nights are still long, temperatures have plummeted and flu season is very much upon us. From shorter days with less sunlight, changes in hormones and potential nutritional deficiencies, there are so many factors that can contribute to feeling of exhaustion at this time of the year. But here are a few simple ways to put the spring back into your step!

Move more, yawn less

Regular low-intensity workouts help boost energy levels in people suffering from fatigue. In a study, subjects trying low-intensity exercise, like leisurely walking or bike riding, reported the biggest drop in feelings of fatigue compared to the group doing more intense exercise. You should keep moving and ensure you continue exercising regularly, as the endorphins released during activity will help give you a much-needed lift. Regular exercising should also help you achieve a better night’s sleep so you feel more energised in the morning.

Multiple studies have shown that regular exercise strengthens your immune system, so it can fight off bacterial and viral infections. When you exercise and get your blood pumping, immune cells circulate through your body more quickly, helping them to seek and destroy infections. This boost only lasts for a few hours, which is why it’s good to exercise consistently.

Let the light in

February is the worst month for sleep. Research found that it takes longer to nod off in February than any other month. This can certainly be a contributing factor towards people reporting lower energy levels in February than any other month of the year. Aim to go to sleep and wake up at the same hour every day, so you get a good length of rest. Avoid sleeping too much at the weekends, because it might result in you actually feeling even more tired and sluggish.

Check your room temperature, too. If it is too high, it can make you feel like you didn’t get enough sleep, even when you have slept a proper amount of hours. And if it’s too cold you might wake up several times during the night. Sleep experts recommend bedroom temperatures to be between 20-22C degrees. Even if you are sleeping well, you may experience fatigue as a result of increased levels of melatonin, because of lack of exposure to sunlight. To help regulate your melatonin levels, spend as much time outdoors in daylight as you can – take a walk at lunchtime, or make sure the blinds are open if you sit near a window at work.

Boost from within

For most of us, the colder it gets, the more we crave carbs. It’s true that if we’re shivering, we burn more energy to keep warm, but as we spend most of our time in heated environments, most of us don’t need the extra calories. Comforting drinks and foods are often higher in fat, carbohydrates, and added sugars, and they can have a detrimental impact on energy levels, which can end up making you feel worse. Swap in healthier alternatives, like sweet potato, lentils, veggie soups and porridge. It’s also important to include a vitamin D supplement in your diet as our bodies are unable to create enough at this time of year. Food sources such as eggs, oily fish, spreads and fortified cereals are helpful to include in your diet, but a good quality vitamin D3 supplement is more effective. Nutritional deficiencies can cause low energy levels and exhaustion.


Top Tips to Avoid Back Pain at Christmas

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.

Chiropractors also treat feet!

Amongst other things, chiropractors frequently also treat the hips, knees and feet…

In an average lifetime, our feet carry us an equivalent of five times around the Earth. In addition to this, the feet must take the strain of supporting the body’s weight even when just standing still. Given how often we use our feet, and the demands we make upon them on a day to day basis, it’s important to look after them properly.

Each foot is made up of a total of 26 bones, and damage to any one of them, or related muscles, ligaments or cartilage can result in problems with the foot that may need attention from a trained professional in order to prevent longer term damage.

Follow these tips for keeping your feet in good condition:

  • You should inspect and feel your feet daily for cracks, corns and ulcers
  • Toenails should be cut straight across, not too close to the skin.
  • Take extra care when walking barefoot.
  • A well fitting shoe should not require a long and painful breaking in period.
  • Pay good attention to your feet; changes and/or pain in the feet and ankles could indicate a more serious foot ailment or circulatory problem, so if in doubt, check with your chiropractor.

Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety

At some point, anxiety and stress affect everyone. They can manifest differently in different people, but there are ways to manage anxiety and stress, even if it feels out of control. Let’s dive into some practices to help you feel calmer and happier. 

Embrace the Present Moment

Imagine this: you’re sipping your tea, but your mind is racing with thoughts about the past or worrying about the future. Sound familiar? By practising mindfulness, you learn to appreciate the present moment. So, take a pause, breathe in the lovely aroma, and fully immerse yourself in the sensory experience of your tea time.

Create a Serene Space

Having a tranquil space is crucial. It could be a cosy corner in your living room, a peaceful spot in your garden or your work desk. Personalise it to your liking with comfortable cushions, scented candles and items that bring you joy. Make it your sanctuary, where you can escape the chaos and find inner calm.

Take Small Steps

Just like mastering any skill, meditation takes practice. Begin with short sessions—just five minutes a day—and gradually increase the duration as you strengthen your mental muscles. Remember, finding inner peace is a journey, not a sprint.

Focus on Your Breath

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and exhale slowly. Pay attention to the sensation of your breath entering and leaving your body. Let it be your anchor to the present moment. When distracting thoughts pop up, gently acknowledge them and refocus on your breath.

Engage in Mindful Movement

Who says mindfulness is limited to sitting still? Explore mindful movement practices, such as a leisurely walk in nature or gentle yoga. Feel the ground beneath your feet, listen to the sounds around you, and relish the joy of being in motion. Let your worries dissipate with each step.

Cultivate Gratitude

In the whirlwind of daily life, we often overlook the small blessings. Take a moment each day to express gratitude for the simple joys. It could be the warmth of a loved one’s smile or the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Write them down in a gratitude journal and let gratitude brighten your days.

Find a Mindfulness Buddy

Sharing is caring, especially when it comes to mindfulness. Join a local meditation group or invite a friend or family member to embark on this journey with you. Share tips, meditate together, and revel in the joy of connecting with others who share your quest for inner peace.

Remember, managing anxiety and stress is a lifelong pursuit, and every small step contributes to your overall well-being. Embrace the power of the present moment, breathe deeply and let your worries float away.


The Dangers of High Heels

With party season approaching, ladies are likely to be high heel searching! However, there are many problems associated with wearing high heels. Beyond the traditional parental warning of “you’ll break your ankle in those!”, there are many other issues, seen every day by professionals, that are caused by high heel wearing.

High heels are the worst possible shoes for your feet. When heels are excessively high, the ball of your foot absorbs the full amount of pressure on your foot and the weight of your body on this one area can cause a huge range of problems, including bunions, aching and tired feet, and a burning sensation in the balls of your feet.

As the fashion for higher and higher heels grows, as does the range of foot problems occurring. Conditions such as bunions are becoming more prevalent as women opt for skyscraper heels and the higher the heel, the greater the risk of falling and causing serious injury.

The height of the heel is directly proportionate to the increase in pressure on the ball of the foot and to how short each stride becomes.

It’s not uncommon to hear notorious high heel wearers complaining of bunions. High heels, especially those with pointed toes, force your foot to slide forwards, so that all the weight of your body is on this part of your foot. This crams your toes together and pushes your big toe in toward your other toes. Over time, this repetitive action can cause a permanent distortion, called Hallux Valgus as your foot tries to change its shape to fit such shoes. To protect the area a fluid filled sack builds up over the area called a bunion, when this becomes inflamed it can be very painful.

Wearing high heels can also cause issues beyond your feet. High heels cause the calf muscle fibres to shorten, even when not wearing heels. If you wear heels most of the time, your foot and leg positioning that is adopted in heels becomes the default position for your joints and the structures within your leg and foot.

Advice is not to wear heels or flat shoes all the time, but both in moderation. Wearing a variety of heel heights will help you to get your calf muscles used to change. Also, if you wear heels day-to-day, kick them off wherever possible to allow your foot to relax back to a better position. So, enjoy heels during party season but give your feet some TLC, too, allowing them time to recover between festivities.


Good nutrition for bones muscles and joints

Good 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. Try this healthy diet plan for optimum bone, muscle and joint health.

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.

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.


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 (sunshine) 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.


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 and help guard against some cancers. EFA’s are unsaturated fatty acids. They aid in decreasing the inflammatory response and help relieve pain and discomfort in joints and muscles.

Obtained from:

EFA’s, such as Omega 3, can be found in oily fish, (sardines, herrings, mackerel), and seeds.

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.


Arm Pain

There are thirty bones, over forty muscles and fourteen major nerves making your arm more diligent, dexterous and adaptable than any tool mankind can emulate. So why is it that when it starts to hurt, we so often ignore the pain and hope that it will go away? Are we scared or is it that we just don’t have the time to do anything about it? But arm pain is a warning signal and should not be ignored. More often than not arm pain is caused by injury to the area of pain but it can also be an indication of more serious underlying problems.

Constant overuse or micro-trauma can go unnoticed on a daily basis. If you go to the gym, play racket sports, use a computer, play musical instruments or even use the text on a mobile phone enough, then overuse injuries are a likely cause of the pain. Positions that strain muscles repetitively are likely to result in an insidious onset of wrist or forearm pain such as carpal tunnel syndrome or lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow).

Arthritis is the body’s way of trying to stabilise unstable joints. Joints can become unstable for many reasons from trauma to overuse. If joints are allowed to remain unstable they start to fuse stopping you from carrying on with everyday activities and the wrist and hands are often the first place arthritis attacks.

When neck pain is caused by muscle strain you may have aches and stiffness that spread to the upper arm and forearm. Shooting pain that spreads down the arm into the hand and fingers can be a symptom of a pinched nerve in the neck. The most common cause of a pinched nerve in the neck is arthritis. Bony growths (osteophytes) press on the nerve that branch from the spinal canal. A pinched nerve in the neck can also be caused by injury, a herniated disc, or a tumour or infection of the spine. When a nerve has been pinched in the neck, numbness and weakness of the hands or arms as well as pain, may occur.

Heart problems can often cause referred pain in the left arm due to the shared neural pathways in the spinal cord. Information about the heart can be confused in the spinal column leading to apparent pain in the arm. Arm pain accompanied by chest pain or shortness of breath may signal a heart attack. Treat this as a medical emergency.

Hormonal changes such as those during pregnancy can cause wrist pain. Numbness and pain in your wrists and hands can also be an indication of thyroid and diabetic problems.


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.