Hands on Health - Family Chiropractor

Your local Camberley Chiropractor


01276 501777  

07/06/17
In case you get a flat, the temporary “donut” in your trunk is meant to get you off the road and to the nearest service station for proper repair ASAP. Manufacturer’s instructions warn you to take it slow and easy when driving on them - those tiny tires aren’t designed to withstand the load of normal driving. But regardless of that warning, you’ve probably seen some idiot speeding down the highway on one, oblivious to the potential risks.

Some people treat their health that way. When they get an injury or a health problem they mask their symptoms with ‘spare tire’ medication, all the while continuing the activities that got them there in the first place. They pay little attention to the risks of temporarily patching their problem with drugs and pass on fixing the CAUSE of their problem. That can get you into trouble.

When it comes to acute or chronic health problems, the best policy is to fix the underlying cause of the problem the right way instead of masking the symptoms with medication. That’s the core philosophy of drugless Chiropractic care. In the short term drugs may bring you false comfort, but in the long run you’re risking a serious blow out.
26/02/17



Turgor is the scientific name for stiffness or rigidity within a tissue... a wilted plant, due to lack of water, has LOW turgor where as one with NORMAL turgor stands strong and upright while maintaining its flexibility.

Your body also has turgor. When too high, you experience extreme stiffness and rigidity - that's a bad thing. Think of a balloon that's filled with air right up to its bursting point. Too much turgor pressure in this case has rendered it stiff, tight, unpliable, rigid, unyielding and on the brink of popping. Likewise, too much turgor in your body, especially in your spine, can put you on the edge physical failure (like a blown disc, strained muscle or sprained ligament).

Like releasing air in an over inflated balloon, Chiropractic adjustments can often reduce the stress and tension that builds in your body from daily stress (Chiropractic clients often express a sense of lightness and overall ease after they get adjusted). Purging that excess pressure from your spine is not only great for your Nerve System, but with the right balance of flexibility and stability (turgor) you'll enjoy a better quality of life.
29/08/16
The new school year is well underway. Children are back in the classrooms, running around playgrounds and playing sports. However, children, like adults, can be prone to back pain, and there can be several causes.
The most common causes of joint and back pain in school children are:

Lack of exercise or excessive exercise
Weight of school bags
Bad posture
Poorly set up desks
Use of a computer or computer games
Sports injuries
Ill-fitting shoes/improper shoes


Lack of exercise and excessive exercise
The general finding from various studies is that children involved in competitive sports and those who are sedentary are more prone to getting low back pain while those that participated in moderate activity were protected. The children involved in competitive sports run the risk of getting repetitive strain injuries. Those children who are sedentary are often those who sit and watch a lot of television or play on a computer. The implication of this will be discussed below.

Weight of school bags
School bags are exceptionally heavy for those attending secondary school due to the number of different subjects covered and therefore the number of textbooks required and the fact the children often have to move between classes. Not all children have access to lockers, which mean that books have to carried with them. Bags carried on one shoulder causes an asymmetry of the body and therefore certain muscles will have to tighten and others lengthen in order to carry the bag. These kind of imbalances can cause long-term problems.

Bad posture
All aspects of life can induce bad posture; lack of exercise, weight of school bags, spending too much time playing computer games or on the computer, incorrect shoes, and growth. Those children who grow faster and become taller than their peers may slouch in order to not tower above their friends and this can ultimately lead to bad posture.

Poorly set up desks
Whether at school or home, ill fitting desks can lead to bad posture. School desks and chairs cannot cater for individual heights of children and, as mentioned earlier, the children often have to move between classes. The desks and chairs are uniform and unable to be altered to the child’s individual needs. Guidance on correct desk set up should be implemented at home; not just for the kids but also for everyone in the family who uses the desk. At school this can’t be done, but by advising the child to sit upright and not to slouch and not to cross the legs will help.

Use of a computer or computer games
Any body position requires certain muscles to shorten and others to lengthen. This occurs every time we move. If we were to stay in one position for too long those muscles will eventually stay that particular length. When children play on computer games it quite often requires time. This leads to the above situation with muscles. Children should be encouraged to not spend longer than 30-40 minutes at any one time playing games, using a computer, or even doing homework before having a break. The child should spend a few minutes walking around and then returning to the game/homework by reviewing their posture and sitting correctly.

Sports injuries
Those children who play a lot of sport and those who play contact sports such as rugby may be injured either by direct contact or by overuse of certain muscles. If a child is injured it is advisable that they are seen by a chiropractor as problems unresolved can lead to compensations, ie walking differently due to sprained ankle leading to low back pain, a rugby tackle causing neck pain and headaches.

Ill-fitting shoes/improper shoes
Children are conscious of fashion, which can affect their shoe wear. Girls particularly may wear shoes with a high heel. This causes the calf muscles to shorten and pushes the body forward. To prevent falling over the girl would have to lean back and causing an increase in the low back curvature which can not only cause low back pain but also pain between the shoulder blades.

Wearing improperly fitting shoes can cause many problems from blisters, pressure sores and ingrowing toenails in the short-term, to feet deformities like hammer toe, and knee and posture problems in the long-term. It can take up to 18 years for feet to fully develop, so teenagers feet need to be looked after just as much as younger children’s.

Shoes should be the correct size and offer the right amount of support. When purchasing new shoes, get the child’s feet correctly sized by the shop assistant and ensure that the shoes are the correct length as well as width.

Here’s some advice to help your child:
Rucksacks should be worn across both shoulders and the straps adjusted so the bag is held close to the body.

If a locker is available, encourage your child to use it and ensure they only take the books and equipment needed for that day.

Check their shoes are correctly fitted, supported, relatively flat, and are not too worn.

Encourage your child to enjoy regular exercise, such as swimming and cycling.

Use of the computer, playing computer games and homework should be in blocks of no more than 30-40 minutes.

Advise them to have a little walk before returning and again that they sit with their shoulders down and back (not slumped) and their legs are uncrossed.

See a chiropractor if your child is experiencing pain or discomfort, or even just to get a check up.
15/07/16
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.

1.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 vitamin 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 hydrogenatedvegetable 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!



4. 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 [4].

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.

5. 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 [8].

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.

6. 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 [9].

7. Glucosamine

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!

​8. 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.

9. 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 [12].


References:

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

13/06/16
Hands on Health Family Chiropractic Clinic is proud to be a sponsor of this local community event.

Bring the family and join in the fun!!
26/04/16
The primary factors that can cause or worsen pain include poor posture, injury, too little (or too much) activity, and specific conditions such as arthritis. However, what you eat can also help to manage or relieve pain, or even prevent it injury in the first place.

Here are some of our top nutrition tips for managing pain.

Ditch the processed foods

Processed foods generally refers to most things that come in a packet with a list of ingredients: from biscuits to ready meals to breakfast cereals. They often contain little in the way of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. They may worsen inflammation and pain because they contain higher levels of unhealthy fats – in particular, processed omega-6 fats and ‘trans’ fats, which have pro-inflammatory properties. They often contain quickly absorbed sugars or refined carbohydrates too, which may exacerbate inflammation when consumed in excess.

In contrast, ‘real’ foods are as close as possible to how they are found in nature. They can include whole vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds, whole grains, fish, eggs and meat (whole cuts, not ‘deli’ or processed meats). These foods naturally contain higher levels of nutrients that can help reduce inflammation and pain, such as those we’re going to look at in more detail below.

Eat magnesium-rich foods

One of the nutrients that may help to manage pain and inflammation is magnesium. Magnesium helps our muscles to work normally, including helping them to relax, which in turn helps to avoid or relieve muscle tension that can contribute to pain. This mineral is also important for the nerves.

Magnesium is found primarily in whole unprocessed plant foods – especially green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, seeds and nuts, and whole grains including rye and buckwheat.


Include oily fish

Oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, herring and anchovies are high in omega-3 fats. These fats have anti-inflammatory properties and therefore may help to manage pain. The specific omega-3s in fish (EPA and DHA) can be more beneficial than the types of omega-3 found in seeds such as flax seeds.

Aim to eat a serving of oily fish around three times a week. These can include tinned sardines and salmon as long as they do not contain added vegetable oils (olive oil is fine). Note that ‘omega-3 fish fingers’ are not a good source of omega-3 fats – stick to the real thing!

Get plenty of vitamin C

You may know vitamin C for its role in the immune system. But in fact the primary role of vitamin C is in making collagen – a protein that forms the basic structure of most of the body’s tissues, including the bones, joints and muscles. If your body can’t make collagen properly, these tissues will lose strength and function, contributing to not only day-to-day pain but also potentially painful conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis.

Eating a variety of vegetables and fruit is the best way to get enough vitamin C. Although ‘five-a-day’ is the well-known recommendation, we should be aiming for at least seven portions a day, primarily of vegetables, in order to get good amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants. Some of the best sources of vitamin C include peppers, kale, broccoli, kiwi fruits, Brussels sprouts, watercress and red cabbage. If you can, get your veg and fruit from a local producer (e.g. a farmer’s market) as it can lose its vitamin C when it’s stored or transported for long periods of time.


Include anti-inflammatory spices

The spices ginger and turmeric in particular can have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Use fresh ginger and powdered turmeric in your cooking whenever you can, make fresh ginger tea with a grated thumb-sized piece of ginger. If you have a good vegetable juicer you can even make fresh ginger juice to sip on – but watch out, it’s strong!

Try avoiding nightshades

The ‘nightshade’ or solanaceae vegetables may worsen inflammation and pain for some people. These are aubergines, tomatoes, potatoes (not sweet potatoes), and peppers – including chillis and all types of chilli powder (cayenne, paprika etc.). If you’ve implemented the other changes for at least three months and not noticed a significant improvement in your pain, then try eliminating the nightshade vegetables.

Consider eliminating gluten

Gluten is a protein that’s found primarily in wheat, barley and rye. The most severe reaction to gluten is coeliac disease, where the sufferer has to avoid gluten for the rest of their life. But some people who do not have coeliac disease may also react to gluten in a less severe way, which can contribute to inflammation in the body. If you’re cutting out gluten it can be best to work with a nutrition practitioner (e.g. a nutritional therapist) for support to make sure you’re not missing out on any nutrients.

For further information or comments, please contact Lara Cawthra at Hands on Health Family Chiropratic on 01276 501777or email at lara.cawthra@ntlworld.com
18/01/16
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.

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.
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.
11/01/16
Findings from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) show that 40% of 11 to 16 year olds in the UK have experienced back or neck pain. More than one in seven (15%) parents said their son’s or daughter’s pain is a result of using a laptop, tablet or computer.

The research revealed that almost three quarters (68%) of 11 to 16 year olds spend between one and four hours a day on a laptop, tablet or computer and 73% spend between one and six hours on the devices. More than a third (38%) of parents said their child spends between one and six hours a day on their mobile phone.

Chiropractors are now noticing a rise in the number of young people presenting with neck and back problems due to their lifestyle choices. Today, the BCA is encouraging parents to limit the time their children spend using technology and instead encourage more active pastimes over the Easter holidays.

Based on a two hour period, young people spend more time on games consoles (33%) than doing an activity like riding a bicycle (12%). When asked how much time their teenager spends on their bicycle, one in five (21%) parents admitted that they don’t have one.

Nearly half (46%) of parents questioned, acknowledged that their children don’t spend enough time exercising, despite NHS guidelines stating that children and young people between 5 and 18 years old need to do at least one hour of physical activity every day.

More people under the age of sixteen are being seen with back and neck pain, and technology is so often the cause. Young people are becoming increasingly sedentary which is damaging their posture. There is the tendency to sit in a hunched position when working on computers and laptops, putting a lot of strain on the neck.

Learning how to sit properly and keeping active will help to keep young people healthy and pain free. It’s important that parents seek help for their children from an expert as soon as any pain starts – if conditions are left untreated it could lead to chronic back and neck problems in later life.

The BCA offers the following top tips for parents to help their teenagers reduce the risks of back and neck pain:

Get your kids moving: The fitter children are, the more their backs can withstand periods of sitting still. To increase fitness levels, your child should be more active which can be achieved by doing activities including walking to school, riding a bike or going for a run.
Teach them how to sit: It’s important that children learn the correct way to sit when they’re using a computer. Teach them to keep their arms relaxed and close to their body and place arms on the desk when typing. Make sure the top of the screen is level with the eyebrows and the chair is titled slightly forward, allowing for the knees to be lower than the hips and the feet to be flat on the floor. Using a laptop or tablet away from a desk will encourage poor posture, so limit time spent in this way.
Don’t sit still for too long: Make sure children take a break from the position they’re sitting in on a regular basis and stretch their arms, shrug their shoulders and move their fingers around – this helps to keep the muscles more relaxed.
Lead by example: Maintaining good posture and promoting good back health is something that everyone should be doing, adults and children alike. If you make it a priority, it’s easier for your children to see the relevance.
Seek medical advice: Seek professional advice if your child is experiencing pain which has lasted for more than a few days. If your child wants to be more active, check that there are no medical reasons why they should not exercise, particularly if they are not normally physically active.
20/12/15
The Scottish Chiropractic Association offers its top tips for having a happy Christmas:

Keep it Simple:
To avoid stress, headaches and neck or back pain, ensure that your expectations of Christmas are realistic. Resist the notion of perfection: there is no such thing as a perfect Christmas, despite what the “family around the fireside” adverts imply. Opt instead for a relaxed atmosphere in which everyone shares tasks and agrees that “good enough” is the yardstick.

Revisit Christmas Past:
As more and more people suffer from back problems, we need to proactively move away from our sedentary habits. Encourage the whole family to take Christmas walks (they might even enjoy it!). Give children and young people Christmas presents which will prompt everyone to be more active: skipping ropes, space hoppers, hula hoops, Frisbees, balls etc.

Shopping:
To avoid undue strain on your spine you should
•Warm up before you start with stretches
•Balance the weight of shopping bags evenly in each hand or use a shopping trolley – these are fashionable for all ages now!
•Have a break regularly and keep hydrated
•Use mail-order or home delivery services where possible
•Where sensible, flat, supportive shoes
•Do several small trips rather than one large over-loaded trip

Everything in Moderation:
Eating and drinking:
Drink plenty of water, avoid excessive eating or drinking as both of these impact negatively on your health and well-being. Nearly a third of Britons have injured themselves so badly while drunk that they have had to seek medical help**.

Sitting:
Sitting glued to the television for prolonged periods may cause your spine to go into spasm. Move around and stretch regularly. Ensure your chair has good spinal support and that you are not slouching.

Gaming and Electronic Gadgets:
Officially Britain’s most popular pastime now, a range of persistent back and neck problems has emerged from these screen-based activities. If sedentary, you should take regular breaks and move around. If using a Wii, warm-up exercises will help to avoid injury. Repetitive strain injury from text messaging, using Blackberries and iPod use are increasingly common. Ensure that teenagers do not spend prolonged periods at any of these activities – they need to exercise and move around too!


Background:

Chiropractic is a primary health-care profession that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and overall management of conditions that are due to problems with the joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves of the body, particularly those of the spine. Chiropractors focus on the relationship between the structure and function of the human body, primarily coordinated by the nervous system. Treatment consists of a wide range of techniques designed to improve the function of the nervous system, relieving pain and muscle spasm and improving overall health.



*Survey by mental health charity Mind.
**British Chiropractic Association survey.

Lara Cawthra is a Chiropractor in Camberley, Surrey and member of the Scottish Chiropractic Association.. She has been a chiropractor since 1996 and is one of the few chiropractors in the UK with formal training in Paediatrics
27/10/15
The 2015 Rugby World Cup has focused the world’s attention on a sport where injury is the norm. Some teams have played games that are just four days apart and, because of the intensity of the action, injuries become part and parcel. Studies at the University of Bath have shown that for every 1000 hours of international rugby there are 58 injuries. This compares to 17 for international football and just 2.8 for international cricket.

Many situations around the rugby field particularly increase the chance of injury occurring, such as tackling and scrummaging. The average force through the shoulder during a tackle is 166kg and stresses are passed right through the body to the neck, upper back, arms, low back, hips, knees and ankles. Injuries don’t just occur with contact; as with any physical activity muscular injuries can also occur when running and kicking.

As with many sports, rugby injuries fall into two categories: traumatic and overuse. Traumatic injuries usually result from tackles or collisions with other players and are often unavoidable, even during training. Concussions, ligament damage and fractures do occur on the pitch although the impact and severity of these traumatic injuries can be reduced by maintaining good technique at all times as well as wearing gum shields, headgear and shoulder pads.

Overuse injuries build over time and are the result of the combined negative effects of a mildly traumatic action that’s repeated over and over again. Shin splints that result from regular training and practicing are an example of overuse or chronic injury. The injury usually starts as a niggling discomfort with increasing pain developing over time.

It is also common for an overuse injury to develop into an acute traumatic injury where a succession of micro-traumas weakens the area making it more susceptible. Sudden sprains, muscles and ligament tears often occur in this manner.

The most common rugby injuries are leg injuries such as groin or hamstring strains where adductor or hamstring muscles are stretched beyond their limits. Strain injuries can vary in intensity but are usually painful and result in swelling, bruising and a reduced ability to use the affected muscle. The same occurs for a sprain with the ligaments that support the joints becoming over-stretched. Pain, swelling and bruising occur along with difficulty moving the joint. Joints commonly affected in this way during rugby participation are shoulders, lower back and sacroiliac joints.

Rapid stopping, starting and changing direction also places stress onto the knees and ankles. The structure of the knee means a ligament injury is most common, with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) strains, ruptures and tears, the most common. Both the ACL and PCL can be injured or torn by a sudden twisting of the knee joint. Meniscal (cartilage discs that sit in between the femur and tibia) injuries also commonly occur as a result of twisting, pivoting, decelerating or a sudden impact and often require surgical repair if severe or non-responsive to more conservative care.

It is important to remember, as with any sport, that prevention is better than cure! Stretching properly before and after any sport is vital to reduce injuries, especially in the frequently affected muscle groups such as the groin and hamstrings.

Often, subtle differences in the way we move can place more stress on the joints of our body. The best way to minimise the chances of an injury taking place is to ensure your body is working optimally. A chiropractor will be able to assess how your joints are working, and identify any areas that could potentially lead to an injury. They will then help to address the problem and to strengthen the area, working with you to ensure your body is functioning as required.