Today is World Spine Day and the theme this year is “Love your Spine”. Too often, we hear from our patients “my joints are wearing out”, “I’ve got a bad back”, “I’ve got a weakness there”, “my back’s gone again.”
It’s world Nutrition and Hydration Week! To celebrate, we are holding a one-off event for a limited number of guests.
Dr Philippa Oakley (Doctor of Chiropractic) has a specialist interest in chronic pain management, and will be leading a workshop on Saturday 17th March from 10-11.30am at our clinic in Emsworth. The focus of the workshop will be to discuss foods that influence pain, and how you can use your diet to manage chronic pain and inflammation. You will also benefit from a group health coaching session with Rhiannon Oakley, qualified Personal Performance Health Coach who will help you plan your next steps to a healthier lifestyle. The workshop is ideal for people who are working towards their ideal weight, managing chronic pain conditions or IBS symptoms.
Throughout the week,we will be providing advice on nutrition and hydration across social media and we’re excited to partner with Emsworth Cookery School who are producing exclusive healthy homemade recipes for you to cook at home. Don’t forget to follow our Facebook Acorn Health to receive updates.
After witnessing first hand the amount of plastic strew over the beaches in Emsworth after the storm Eleanor in February Philippa and Rhiannon got to work organising the Acorn Health big beach clean competition where the community can go out all week and collect as much plastic as possible to commemorate Nutrition and Hydration week. Cleaning up our beaches is everyones responsibility and after the team posted about how much rubbish they collected a patient said they now take a bag with them on their daily dog walk and pick up anything they find. It’s compassionate community minded people like our patients that make Emsworth the beautiful place it is to live and work. The exercise is great for healthy joints and bones, and the beach clean is great for a healthy environment.
To take part in our beach clean competition go out between 12-18th March take a walk to collect as much plastic from our coastlines as possible. Once you’ve finished take a picture of you and your bags and tell us how much you’ve collected including any remarkable objects. Send us the photos by either by uploading and tagging us on social media @Acorn Health or by emailing your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winner will be announced on Friday 23rd March via social media and our email channels.
The winner will receive a fantastic prize of a hamper of nutritious, healthy food donated from local businesses including:
– An HH Treagust & Sons Family Butchers shopping bag with voucher to spend in the butchery
– Organic vegetables and a jar of homemade marmalade from Tuppenny Barn Organics
– Dairy, gluten and refined sugar free energy bites from Frog Hollow Catering
– 2 x 750 ml glass bottles of locally sourced natural mineral water from South Downs Water (One sparkling, one still)
Terms and Conditions:
No cash alternative
Practitioners or staff members of Acorn Health are not eligble for the prize draw but may (of course!) take part in the beach clean
The winner must be available to attend Acorn Health, Emsworth to collect their prize the week beginning Monday 26th March.
Don’t forget to pop over and reserve your place for our Exclusive Workshop: Nutrition & Hydration Week, where you can learn how to manage pain and inflammation using your diet, and take part in a group coaching session to plan your steps to a healthier you!
What on earth has a beach clean got to do with back pain? Well, you might be interested to know that carrying heavy items may actually be of benefit to your back. We’re proud to support Final Straw Emsworth and their bid to help the Emsworth community cut their use of single-use plastic. So, we’re taking our pledge to help clean up the Emsworth coastline seriously. This week the Acorn team did a (long) walk around Thorney Island- all 8 miles of it!
As we went, we did a lot of bending, lifting and twisting to collect plastics and other items that had been washed up along our coastline.
Here’s just some of what we collected:
– The giant rubbish sack we put all the stuff in (!)
– 27 bottle caps
– 14 plastic straws
– 8 foot of nylon rope
– A jerry can half full of petrol
– One large glass bottle (no message in this one!)
– Dozens of plastic bottles
– A very old, rather soggy football
Plus various other unrecognisable plastic bits and bobs… Our bag was quite heavy by the end of the day!
Now, you might wonder what a beach clean has to do with back pain. It’s a common concern to worry that heavy lifting will hurt your back.
Truth is- Even with back pain, lugging a heavy bag of rubbish around might just be what your spine really needs!
Heavy carrying increases muscle gain, and fat loss whilst improving whole body strength. In addition, it works your core and grip strength by forcing your body to stabilise itself. (In this case, ours was working against a heavy bag full of rubbish and unstable rocky/sandy ground).
Carrying heavy also requires a lot more core stability than a simple deadlift. So if you feel your training has maxed out, maybe try a heavy carry instead!
Of course you have to be careful what and how you carry. Have your spine checked first of all before you start adding in heavy carries to ensure you’re ready to do so. Most notably, heavy carries are “functional”, meaning they stress your body in a real-world situation, requiring multiple joint control and movement. As a result this is unlike weightlifting in a gym which generally only focuses on a few muscle groups. Functional training can consequently mean you’re better equipped to cope with everyday situations.
So next time you’re out on the foreshore, grab a bag, pick up some litter and help clean up our environment. You’ll enjoy a strong, stable spine as a result!
To find out more about The Final Straw Emsworth, visit their website here.
Kinesiology tape has become massively popular over the past few years, gracing the torsos of Olympic athletes and sportspeople around the world- and whilst there are conflicting messages coming from the research around it, the tape appears to show promise for a range of issues. A recent review showed that there was moderate evidence to support the use of tape to reduce pain, so let’s look at how tape can help.
Properties of kinesiology tape
100% cotton, latex free tape
Medical grade acrylic adhesive which is heat sensitive allowing the tape to stick to the skin
The thickness, weight and elasticity of the tape is approximately that of skin, so most people can tolerate the tape without issue
Allows for free movement and does not restrict movement like other tapes may
The elastic properties provide support and reduce muscle fatigue
Where some tapes are stretched out to maximum capacity before being applied, kinesiology tape is less effective when fully stretched out- in fact, mastering the art of how much stretch to apply is one of the main skills to learn when using tape.
The risks of using tape are minimal, and whilst the research surrounding tape is still in its infancy, we can use it safely in clinic knowing that we’re not causing any harm and are instead likely to see great results which will help contribute further to the use of kinesiology taping.
How taping works to reduce pain
When taping for pain, inflammation, swelling or oedema, we use a technique called “space correction”. This does what it says on the tin- creates more space directly above an area of pain, inflammation, swelling or fluid build up, which helps decrease pressure by lifting the skin away from the fascia.
This has a number of effects:
Decreased pressure alleviates the irritation on chemical receptors in the underlying structures, thus decreasing pain
Increased circulation may occur in the area, allowing for increased removal of cells or fluids that can build up during the inflammatory process
Stimulating mechanoreceptors (sensory receptors in our skin that pick up pressure or distortion) can help decrease pain
The initial benefits are reducing inflammation and pain, but there are thought to be neurological benefits
too- when the tape is placed over tight muscles, it appears to reduce their response to being stretched, helping to make them feel less sore and painful. When applied over weak or injured tissues, the feedback these tissues send to the brain is altered and improved, which can help the body to stabilise the area. This is how we can then move on to use the tape for fascial correction.
In some cases, as with ankle inversion injuries (rolling over on the ankle), there is an imminent risk of further injury as the ligaments in the muscle have been stretched out and therefore aren’t able to stabilise the joint as effectively as usual. In this case, the patient’s initial injury was over 7 days ago so we have used a fan application to encourage lymphatic flow but also applied a light-stretch support around the lateral part of the foot to help stablise the injured ligaments.
Lymphatic fan taping helps to reduce fluid build-up by directing lymph fluid towards a less-congested lymphatic pathway and lymph nodes. We use the anchor of the tape to indicate where we want the lymph to flow, much like directing traffic! Whilst this is an advanced taping technique and one that would be applied by your practitioner, it demonstrates the myriad uses of kinesiology taping perfectly and shows how effective it can be in helping reduce inflammation and aid recovery at a cellular level.
Take home notes:
There isn’t a barrage of research to support the use of kinesiology tape, the papers that are available show positive and encouraging results. Every new treatment modality has to start somewhere, after all!
(Think of Louis Pasteur testing out his Rabies vaccine on a 9 year old. Sounds nuts now, but that’s where most great ideas starts from- somebody going “I wonder if….?”)
Much like any treatment, there will be an element of placebo involved, but studies like this and this have shown that the effects of kinesiology tape can’t be reproduced by placebo taping.
Simply put, the mechanisms and understanding behind how and why kinesiology tape works are grounded in scientific thinking and understanding. It’s a safe, low risk, effective way to help your body towards recovery, and whilst it’s no replacement for treatment, rehabilitation and injury management, it helps to put some of the power of recovery back into your hands.
NB: Whilst tape can be applied by anyone, it is important to have the issue diagnosed by an appropriately qualified healthcare or medical professional prior to using kinesiotape or allowing someone else to apply it. As with any form of treatment, you want to ensure the treatment is appropriate for the issue and eliminate any other underlying issues which may mean taping is inappropriate.
On Saturday 4th February we are opening our doors from 10-1pm and hosting several workshops, taster sessions and more for the whole family to enjoy as a thank you for supporting us in our new venture at 2 Palmers Road.
We have an open for policy and welcome walk-ins but are hosting an extra special day for all of our patients, friends and family on Saturday 4th.
Free health and posture checks for children, please book to avoid disappointment.
Free spinal checks for adults, please book to avoid disappointment.
Seated massage taster session – please book your 10 minute taster session for £10, and if you book a subsequent massage treatment on the day you will receive £10 off your next massage with Cat. Please book to avoid disappointment.
Exclusive discounts for booking with us on the day.
Talks from our homeopath, sleep management therapist, counsellor and more!