Archive for February, 2015
- First thing in the morning don’t put immediate demands on your back, give it 30 minutes to warm up!
- Exercise your back regularly – walking, swimming (especially back stroke) and using exercise bikes are all excellent to strengthen your back muscles.
- Always bend your knees and your hips, not your back.
- Never twist and bend at the same time.
- Always lift and carry objects close to your body.
- Try to carry loads in a rucksack – avoid single sling bags.
- Always maintain a good posture – avoid slumping in your chair, hunching over a desk or walking around with your shoulders hunched up.
- Always use a chair with a backrest and sit with your feed flat on the floor or on a footrest. Don’t forget to change your sitting position every few minutes.
- Cut down, or better still QUIT SMOKING.
- Always choose a mattress bearing in mind your height, weight, age, sleeping position and your type of backache, if any.
What is frozen shoulder?
It is understood that the inflammation of the synovium and related tissue (surrounding the head of the humerus) is the underlying feature of frozen shoulder. The reasons however are less clear, with some authors suggesting reactions to old injuries, infections or autoimmune reactions as possible causes. It will most likely affect the non-dominant arm.
Due to the chemical changes arising in the glenohumeral joint, other tissue, for example ligaments and tendons will be affected. The result is that familiar stiffness that starts to emerge as the underlying muscles become less extendible and less elastic.
It is also reported that in the early stages of frozen shoulder, there is a rapid muscle wasting. This would exclude any vigorous stretching techniques to mobilise the frozen shoulder, due to the risk of tearing already weakened muscle tissue – (Neil Asher 2013).
What are the symptoms?
Frozen shoulder goes through three quite distinctive phases, freezing, frozen and thawing.
Freezing, can last between 2-8 months and the patient will be aware of pain on the outside of the arm, a sharp pain on movement and severe night pain.
Frozen, pain will be less severe, more an ache than a stabbing pain, with a continued loss of movement.
Thawing, will see a spontaneous recovery but may take a further 12 months to materialize.
What treatments are available?
There are a number of recognised treatment protocols that claim to help frozen shoulder, including manipulation therapies, like chiropractic, acupuncture and trigger point release techniques.
What we have found at the clinic, is that a combination of all the treatments protocols will reduce symptoms if applied in a careful and sensitive way. Frozen shoulder takes time to respond to treatment and requires a high degree of patient compliance.
What causes joint pain?
After lower back pain and neck pain, the most common joint pain chiropractors treat is what is often referred to as peripheral joint pain. This will include shoulder, hip and knee pain. These joints are more prone to wear and tear and early signs of osteoarthritis.
The risks associated with joints include old injuries, obesity, repetitive activity, weak muscles and to a lesser extent heredity factors. Other factors that can have an adverse effect on our joints include posture, footwear, and lifestyle.
Why it is important to understand the causes
To offer the most appropriate treatment the causes of joint pain must first be understood, e.g. sprains and strains, tendinitis, and secondly those key factors that are placing the patient at risk, e.g. posture, muscle imbalances and excessive use.
What treatment protocols work?
As well as chiropractic treatment consideration will also be given to soft tissue massage, acupuncture, kinesiology and a rehabilitation program tailored to the specific needs of the patient.
What’s the difference between arthritis and osteoarthritis?
There are many different types of arthritis, all of which describe the inflammation of a joint and, often, subsequent pain.
Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear, mainly due to our natural ageing process. The cartilage surrounding each joint degenerates, and, as a result, tendons and ligaments become deformed. This can lead to pain and stiffness in and around the joint. Typical symptoms are deep aching pain, morning stiffness and loss of movement in the joint.
Other forms of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory form of arthritis that occurs when the body’s own immune system does not work properly and gout, which is caused by crystals that collect in the joints. Other common types include psoriatic arthritis, lupus and septic arthritis.
Can you reverse osteoarthritis?
Chiropractic can slow down the spread of the condition, and reduce its impact on the other joints in the body. It’s not possible to reverse the condition, but, by adjusting the spine and peripheral joints, chiropractic can ease the pain, increase mobility and slow down joint degeneration.
So, chiropractic can really help osteoarthritis?
Absolutely. Jean started coming to the clinic a year ago, having been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in her hip following an X-ray, arranged by her GP. She reported groin and thigh pain as well as lower back pain. Using conservative chiropractic treatment including acupuncture, her lower back was realigned and her hip pain improved considerably. With regular maintenance she has remained pain free.
What causes headaches?
Causes of headaches include high blood pressure, reactions to drugs, knocks, and repetitive strain injury, amongst other things.
Cervicogenic headaches are usually the result of an injury or repetitive strain to the neck, causing a dull aching pain at the base of the skull. This pain often projects behind the eyes, and can be exacerbated by movement. The neck muscles are often painful to touch.
A migraine is a severe headache, usually one-sided, throbbing in nature and is often accompanied by nausea, increased sensitivity to light, noise and movement. Causes of migraine can include skeletal misalignment, hormones, diet, and physiological and emotional trauma.
How can chiropractic help headaches?
There are many causes of headaches and migraines, including hormonal, food allergies, emotional stress. Those headaches that can be help through chiropractic treatment have their causes in the misalignment of the neck bones and underlying muscle tension.
Back pain is the second most common reason, after respiratory disorders, that patients seek help of the healthcare system. Eighty-five percent of people will be disabled by an attack of back pain during their lives, and at any given time 7% of the adult population will be suffering a bout of back pain
What are the main causes?
Most back pain symptoms are in fact not caused by any underlying pathology, such as a disease, fracture or slipped disc but rather the way we lead our lives.
Why is early-intervention important?
There is little doubt that our sedentary lifestyles and work habits are key factors in the incidence of back pain. Putting up with pain is neither helpful to your long term health nor commensurate with leading a happy lifestyle. What is important is that help and treatment is sought early thereby reducing the risk to chronic back pain and long term disability.
Studies over the years have repeated shown that Chiropractic has successfully treated both acute and chronic lower back pain. Chiropractors are trained to not only diagnose the causes of back pain but undertake a course of treatment that brings relief and lasting help to the patient.