carrying back pain beach clean final straw emsworth chiropractic chiropractor heavy lifting

Plastic means prizes

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.

carrying back pain beach clean final straw emsworth chiropractic chiropractor heavy lifting

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 acorn@acornhealth.org.uk. 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!

KnowNovember

💭KNOWvember  💭
Did you know that oral health and general health are closely linked?�
Gum disease may increase your risk of all kinds of other health complications, including diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. It has even been linked with problems in pregnancy and dementia.

All the more reason to take good care of those pearly whites!

💭KNOWvember💭

What to give the person who has everything? How about a voucher for a Thai or Remedial Massage?

£50 for a one hour massage, or £30 for 30 minutes, it’s the perfect pre-Christmas treat.

Pop in to clinic to purchase your voucher.

💭KNOWvember 💭 

The health watchdog NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) is to recommend that vaginal mesh operations should be banned from treating organ prolapse in England.

The documents are currently undergoing consultation prior to publication, and in them NICE said there were “serious but well-recognised safety concerns” and that “evidence of long-term efficacy [for implants treating organ prolapse] is inadequate in quality and quantity”.

Hypopressives is a specific form of training which targets the core and pelvic floor, providing a non-invasive method of treating pelvic organ prolapse. Hypopressives training can negate the need for invasive surgery such as vaginal mesh operations, which are increasingly shown to be unnecessary and ineffective.

For more information on hypopressives training, please click here.

💭KNOWvember💭 

Back pain during pregnancy- it might be common, but it isn’t normal!

With top tips on how to avoid back pain during pregnancy, along with information and advice on the causes of lower back pain and how chiropractic can help, this resource is a must-read for all expectant mums!

In this resource, we also discuss the other considerations for expectant mums, including nutritional advice, exercises, and other factors that could affect your pregnancy. Download it here. 

💭KNOWvember💭 

Did you know… A growing body of research shows that drugs such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, gabapentin and diclofenac are largely ineffective for back pain.

Opioids (such as oral hydromorphone, oxymorphone, morphine, tramadol, tramdaol with paracetamol, tapentadol, oxycodone, fentanyl and hydrocodone) have also been found to be largely ineffective with high risk of side effects including dependence.

Research recommends manual therapy, exercise, and cognitive behavioural interventions… all of which can be provided by a chiropractor!

💭KNOWvember💭 

What sort of training do Doctors of Chiropractic have?

A chiropractic degree is a four year full-time course, the first two years of which covers topics that are almost identical to those covered in a medical degree, and range from basic sciences such as embryology, physiology and biochemistry, to clinical sciences such as pharmacology and radiology. The key difference between chiropractic and medicine degree programmes is the weighting of the subjects. For example, chiropractic students spend a far greater amount of time on anatomy than medical students, but do not study pharmacology in as much detail as chiropractors opted not to have prescription rights.

A huge focus of training is on practical and clinical work, covering orthopaedic and neurological examination, general diagnosis, clinical nutrition, anatomy and physiology, behavioural sciences, psychology and mental health, clinical imaging, joint biomechanics, functional management, paediatrics, obstetrics, geriatrics and pathology.

As part of their training, chiropractors also engage in prosection and study of cadavers to truly appreciate the structure of human tissues and the anatomy of the body. In addition, our training focuses heavily on perfecting the manual techniques used in practice. Practical classes begin with learning to assess joints, muscles and nerves, introducing methods of treatment alongside. These classes build from a very basic level to the most advanced manual techniques in current medicine.

Finally, after years of academic and practical development, chiropractic students enter into a clinical year. This year is based in a specially designed teaching clinic. Students are supervised throughout this process, and by the end of the year have delivered over three hundred treatments and consultations each.

But it’s not over yet…. After completing their clinical year and graduating, chiropractors then must complete a year of supervised practice before becoming fully-fledged Doctors of Chiropractic!!

💭KNOWvember💭 

Did you know… why Brad Pitt has such a defined jaw? It’s probably due to overdevelopment or hypertrophy of the masseter muscle.

The masseter is located in your jaw, and based on its size, it’s actually the strongest muscle in the human body. With all muscles of the jaw working together it can close the teeth with a force as great as 55 pounds (25 kilograms) on the incisors or 200 pounds (90.7 kilograms) on the molars.

Think of that as you’re tucking in to your Sunday lunch!

 

💭KNOWvember💭 
Mac’s Story

Mac came to see us in September because he’d had hip pain for over 7 months. As a keen footballer, it had stopped him from playing and was understandably getting him down. He had a severe limp and was struggling to walk and sleep

After a thorough assessment, we diagnosed him with sacroiliac joint dysfunction, a complex issue which is common in footballers, complicated further by an old quadricep muscle tear in his right thigh causing some issues!

We’ve treated him five times with a combination of joint adjustments, soft tissue work, kinesiology taping and rehab exercises. Here he is with Philippa today having popped in for his final appointment- We’re delighted he’s pain free and back on the pitch playing for Widbrook FC.

Chiropractic- it’s not just for back pain!

 

💭KNOWvember💭 

Your brain cannot feel pain.

When you stub you

r toe or touch a hot stove, your body releases chemicals that trigger signals to go up to the brain, telling the brain about the pressure from the stubbed toe, or the heat from the hot stove. Your brain then interprets that information and decides what to do with it- generally, it’ll tell you it’s painful so you stop touching the stove or rub your toe better!

Although the brain interprets these pain signals, the brain itself does not feel pain, only the structures around it can do that!

As a matter of fact, once inside the brain, surgeons can operate on the brain without anaesthesia. In one technique known as brain mapping, surgeons probe brain tissue while monitoring reactions like muscle movement and speech — all while the patient is awake!

💭KNOWvember💭 

You might have seen this poster on Philippa‘s treatment room wall. This chap wasn’t caught up in an explosion in a paint factory, this image shows a “dermatomal map” of the human body. (The colours are actually just for fun!🌈)

A dermatome is an area of skin supplied by a single spinal nerve. By testing the dermatomes in conjunction with a range of other neurological and orthopaedic tests, your chiropractor can identify not only where a problem might be in your spinal cord, but also what type of problem it is!

 

 

💭KNOWvember💭 

This rather fetching looking chap is called a “homunculus” and he’s a little man who lives in your brain. (Sort of!)

The homunculus is a model that shows how your brain sees your body. The cortical homunculus represents the importance of various parts of your body as seen by your brain. Most of us have very sensitive hands and lips, hence why these areas appear larger on the homunculus.

Did you know these “mental maps” can change with experience. People who read Braille (which is done with an index finger) develop large areas that respond to stimulation from the index finger. A homunculus mapped on the motor cortex of a Braille reader would have an absolutely enormous index finger!

 

 

💭KNOWvember💭 

The word “muscle” comes from the Latin for “little mouse”, musculus (the diminuitive of mus).

There are two theories behind a mouse becoming a muscle- firstly, that the Romans thought the movement of a contracting muscle resembled a mouse moving under a rug. Or secondly, that in a rather abstract way, a muscle looks a little like a mouse- with a round body (muscle belly) ending in a long thin tail (the tendon).

What do you think, can you see a resemblance? 🐁

 

💭KNOWvember💭 

Did you know… Kinesiology tape is just one of the many adjuncts that might be used during your chiropractic treatment. You can purchase Sporttape from us in clinic- find out how it works and why we use kinesiology tape for pain and problems. Read more here. 

 

💭KNOWvember💭 

Did you know… Our acupuncturist Gillian is a former midwife and has specialist knowledge in helping couples undergoing fertility treatment.

Acupuncture may help boost fertility by:
– Regulating hormone function
– Increasing blood flow to the ovaries and uterus and helping to relax your muscles which can improve the chance of an embryo implanting.
-Tackling the causes of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – a common cause of infertility
– Generally helping to relieve stress and make you feel more relaxed

 

💭KNOWvember💭 

Did you know…. Chiropractic is the third largest primary healthcare profession in the world after medicine and dentistry!

💭KNOWvember 💭

Did you know….
Although chiropractors are known as spinal health care experts, chiropractic care is also effective for:

– Ankle sprain
– Cramp and muscle spasms
– Elbow pain and tennis elbow that has arisen due to an ssociated musculoskeletal condition of the back or neck
– Headache arising from the neck (cervicogenic)
– Inability to relax
– Joint pains including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis
– General, acute & chronic backache and back pain
– Sciatica
– Generalised aches and pains
– Lumbago
– Mechanical neck pain
– Migraine prevention
– Minor sports injuries and tensions
– Plantar fasciitis
– Rotator cuff injuries, disease or disorders
– Shoulder complaints (dysfunction, disorders and pain)
– Soft tissue disorders of the shoulder

💭KNOWvember💭 

Did you know… Your spinal cord has an incredible memory for pain. When you experience an instance of intense pain, such as an acute back pain episode, the neurons in your spinal cord will carry signals more easily to the nerves in your back for several days, making your back feel more sensitive during this time. This is the result of a molecule thought to be the precursor to memory, known as PKMzeta. Your spinal cord is especially sensitive to this molecule and “records” instances of pain as a result.

This can make us more susceptible to future episodes of pain when we repeat actions that previously lead to injury, as the spine “remembers” those signals and (much like anything that is practiced over time) gets very good at sending them.

Learn more about how pain works, and why chronic pain can be such an issue. Download our “understanding pain” resource here: http://acornhealth.org.uk/product/understanding-pain/

 

💭KNOWvember 💭

As a gentle, safe, non-invasive way of dealing with back pain, look no further than chiropractic care.

 

💭KNOWvember 💭

Did you know… We’re often asked where the name “Acorn Health” comes from. It’s from the old English proverb “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow” meaning great things can come from small beginnings!

Our clinic started in 2014 with just Philippa practicing from a single room in Emsworth, and our ‘little acorn’ has grown and flourished into its own premises in the heart of Emsworth with a wonderful multidisciplinary team. This is all thanks to some hard work and the incredible support of our colleagues, friends, family, patients and the local community.

The proverb also conveys to us a sense of growth, health and vitality- and our belief that no matter what, everyone can achieve optimal health… Something we are privileged to see our patients achieve under our care.

💭KNOWvember 💭
The quicker you’re seen by your chiropractor, the faster you’ll get better.

Too often, people suffer in pain for months before seeing a chiropractor as their “last resort”.

Research consistently shows that early intervention and care has a profound effect on both how well and how quickly you’ll recover.

💭KNOWvember💭 

Our ethos is delivering effective, evidence-based healthcare that is uniquely tailored to you.

You deserve the very best healthcare available, and we’re continually reinvesting in ourselves, our knowledge base and our clinic to ensure we provide you with an exceptionally high standard of healthcare.

At our clinic you’ll be treated as an individual, listened to and respected every step of the way.

💭KNOW-vember💭

Did you know… Chiropractors are trained to treat all areas of the body, but specialise in assessing, diagnosing and managing conditions of the spine.

Before starting treatment, your chiropractor will do a full assessment, which will involve taking details about your condition, current health and medical history, and perform a full physical examination (to assess the function of your joints, nerves and muscles) to help make a diagnosis.

💭“KNOW”-vember! 💭

If you’ve seen a chiropractor before but it’s your first time seeing Philippa, you might be surprised at just how different her treatment and treatment programmes can be. Philippa often refers to her metaphorical “treatment toolbox”- the skills and treatment modalities she has to choose from which she tailors to your needs based on what’s wrong and what type of treatment you would prefer. This means each and every patient receives an entirely new and individual treatment programme, based on your requirements.

 

stretch muscle reflex stretchy injury knee pain relief chiropractic chiropractor education blog physiotherapy physiotherapist health rehabilitation painful sports injury training fitness emsworth chichester hampshire sussex stretching

Stretching doesn’t work the way we think it does. At all. If you’ve ever spent your time gritting your teeth, pulling your arms or legs or (eek) neck into weird and wonderful positions to feel that pull, before noticing that a few hours later they’re back to where they were before, you’ll know that stretching doesn’t make your muscles stretchy. To understand why stretching isn’t the key to flexibility, we first have to understand a bit more about how and why our muscles stretch in the first place.

All humans have a reflex in our nervous system called the myotatic reflex. Believe it or not- you’ve probably had this tested without even knowing it. It’s the one we activate when we use a reflex hammer to hit just below your knee which makes your leg jump, or the one just above the elbow which does the same to your arm.

stretch muscle reflex stretchy injury knee pain relief chiropractic chiropractor education blog physiotherapy physiotherapist health rehabilitation painful sports injury training fitness emsworth chichester hampshire sussex
The C6/7 reflex

This reflex is the body’s pre-programmed response to a stretch stimulus in the muscle. When the muscle is stretched (as in when hit by the reflex hammer), an impulse is sent to the spinal cord to contract that muscle (and relax the muscle that works in opposition to it), causing the limb being tested to jump. These reflexes are what are called “monosynaptic” as there is only one junction for any signal to pass through before the body sends a response (the message going in->junction->message coming back happens in the spinal cord, bypassing the brain to make sure the response happens quickly) Think how rapidly your knee jumps when it’s hit by the reflex hammer- it’s usually just 1-2 milliseconds before the body responds.

We use these tests in clinic to check the integrity of your spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system, and they can be vital in helping us identify neuromuscular conditions. But that’s not what we’re talking about today. You might be wondering what purpose these reflexes have? Well, one of their most important functions is to prevent us from tearing our muscles/tendons/ligaments. Let’s look at the patella reflex to demonstrate this:

The patellar tendon is tapped just below the knee, which puts a rapid stretch into the tendon which attaches to your quadriceps muscle (the muscle in the front of your thigh). Muscle spindles (sensory receptors that pick up changes in the length of the muscle) pick up on this rapid increase in the length of the muscle, and very quickly send a message to contract your quadriceps in order to stop the muscle or tendon from over-stretching and causing damage. What happens when your quadricep contracts? Your lower leg comes flying up! If it doesn’t, it could indicate an underlying condition or disease affecting your muscles and nerves (which is why we always test them in clinic!)

What else do reflexes do? Well, they also stop us from falling over all the time. Stand up for a second. Now lean over. As far over to one side as you can go. What happens? The muscles on the opposite side to the lean become stretched, and that reflex is activated again, telling those muscles to contract in order to correct your posture and stop you toppling over. Now, this is a more obvious demonstration of how reflexes maintain our posture, and these postural corrections are generally carried out subconsciously (so we don’t spend all day feeling like we’re going to fall over!) It’s one of those things that we notice more when it stops working.

So what do reflexes have to do with stretching my tight muscles?

When we activate stretch receptors in the muscle, the message the body receives is to contract that muscle to prevent overstretch. So the usual static stretching that we do (for example when we bring our foot up behind us and grab on to it to stretch our quadriceps) puts our conscious and subconscious brain into war against each other. You’re consciously grabbing that foot to pull that muscle into a stretched position, and your stretch reflex (the subconscious brain) is automatically kicking in (as reflexes do) saying “No!” and tries to stop you from over-stretching and causing yourself an injury. What do we tend to do in this situation? Most people say “oooh that’s tight!” and promptly pull harder… Static stretching has actually been shown to decrease strength and athletic performance, while failing to reduce risk of injury to any significant degree.

Why does stretching feel so good then?

There are a few reasons why stretching might make you feel like you’re getting somewhere.

One: If you continually statically stretch your muscles, you can cause that stretch reflex to become less active. This can mean the muscles do lengthen, but only for a little while. Give it an hour or two for that reflex to go back to normal and the muscles will tighten back up again. This can cause problems for athletes- static stretching means the muscle is unable to contract properly because those muscle spindles aren’t functioning right. There’s plenty of research out there to show that static stretching before exercise can reduce your muscle strength, power, performance and joint stability.

Two: The more we stretch, the better we’re able to tolerate the sensation of “pulling” in our muscles. Yep, we’ve all said it “Ooooh, that’s a good stretch!” That temporary lengthening and release does feel good, but not for long.

Three: Pull a muscle or tendon enough, and you’ll begin to stretch your ligaments. Ligaments can, over time, then become stretched out to the point where they’re unable to function properly, resulting in joints that move too much, and are unstable. When ligaments get to this point, they might never regain their original length and strength.

stretch muscle reflex stretchy injury knee pain relief chiropractic chiropractor education blog physiotherapy physiotherapist health rehabilitation painful sports injury training fitness emsworth chichester hampshire sussex stretching
Someone tell him to stop…

Stretching- Will it get you out of pain?

In a nutshell, no. The nervous system rules the road. It’s totally in charge of everything that we do. If you’ve had treatment with me, you’ve probably heard me talk about the reasons why the brain can cause our joints to stiffen and feel like they’re “locked up”. It’s your brain’s way of stabilising an area that it perceives to be at risk of injury (whether that perception is founded in fact or fiction!) So on a very fundamental level, if your brain still perceives there’s an issue in that area, no amount of pulling on your muscles is going to change that. Equally,if the muscle is tight and sore because there’s a joint somewhere that’s misbehaving and preventing the muscle from functioning as it should, then stretching isn’t going to do much for that problem.

stretch muscle reflex stretchy injury knee pain relief chiropractic chiropractor education blog physiotherapy physiotherapist health rehabilitation painful sports injury training fitness emsworth chichester hampshire sussex stretching

The process that tells us how tense our muscles should be at rest (known as “resting muscle tone”) is called the alpha-gamma feedback loop and it’s a lot more intelligent than we give it credit for when we’re yanking on our body to get it to stretch. In order to reset an over-enthusiastic resting muscle tone, we need slow, controlled movement which provides vital sensory feedback, allowing this system to reset itself. This makes it fairly clear that pulling our muscles into, or beyond, their stretch capacity does little other than provide a temporary increase in muscle length which then rebounds when those muscle spindles reset, giving you little more than temporary relief from pain and probably serving to prolong your discomfort by making your muscles tighter overall.

So how do we make muscles stretchy without stretching?

First we have to look at what’s causing the muscle tension in the first place. Let’s look at the hip joint as an example. It’s got anywhere between 170 to 200 degrees of flexion and 40-60 degrees of extension, so is well over the 180 degrees needed to do the splits. So aside from structural changes in the hip joint, is mainly restriction in the soft tissues that stops most of us from being able to pop the splits whenever we fancy. No amount of stretching or “bouncing” into the splits is going to get you there- for whatever reason, the muscles you need to do the splits are activating way before their supposed maximum load and your brain is telling those muscle spindles to stop before you hurt yourself.

We have to stop thinking that we can teach our muscles anything. Our muscles don’t call the shots- our brain does. If a muscle gets tight, it’s because the brain is telling it to contract. So if stretching isn’t the answer, what is?

  1. Chiropractic care to correct the cause of the problem- We find, assess, diagnose and treat the underlying reason for the muscle tension. If you don’t know why they’re tight, how can you possibly get them better?
  2. Foam rolling. It’s not just rolling about on the floor (although that helps!) Foam rolling activates a different receptor in the muscle (called the Golgi Tendon Organs) which sit at the junction between your muscles and tendons. When we foam roller correctly, we stimulate these GTO’s which encourage the muscle spindle activity to calm down, helping to decrease muscle tension, reduce pain and improve function.
  3. Functional movement. Simply put, warm up based on movements you actually do in real life. How often do you actually grab your neck and pull it into a weird angle in real life? Not often. If you’re a runner, instead of doing straddle-stretches or the good old foot-behind-your-bum-and-pull stretch for the quads, try lunges, high knees and skipping instead to replicate the movement you’re going to do.

So there you have it. Stretching tight muscle tissue will only make it tighter. Find and correct the reason for the tension and enjoy super-supple muscles instead!

Fitness February

Throughout February we have been posting our top tips to get fit and healthy the best way possible in February. Here’s to committing to your workouts after the initial ‘New Year’ rush! Are you ready for our top tips to conquer ‘Fitness February’!? (More to be added soon!)

Protect Your Neck – Tuck your chin in and put your tongue on the roof of your mouth when you do crunches. It will help align your head properly, which helps reduce neck strain.

Don’t exercise when you’re sick – You’re better taking a day off so your body will use its resources to heal itself, not build muscle and endurance.

If you want to exercise before work but aren’t a morning person, try this trick: For a set period, let’s say 4 weeks, force yourself to get up 15 minutes earlier than normal and go outside for a quick walk. Make it so easy that you don’t even have to change into your workout clothes. As you near the end of the 4 weeks, you’ll have a new habit and will then be able to progress to either longer walks or a run in the morning!

Improve your balance – Stand one-legged on a sofa cushion and move a medicine ball (or heavy phone book) from hand to hand, side to side, and behind your head. Once you’ve mastered the move, try it with your eyes closed. This technique will improve your balance, coordination, and body control, all important athletic attributes.

Run Injury-Free – One week out of every six, cut your weekly training mileage and frequency in half. You’ll give your body a better chance to recover, and you’ll avoid permanent, nagging injuries. Find out more in our Running without pain resource.

Run Hills Faster – When running uphill, keep your head up and your eyes focused on the top of the hill. This opens your airways, making it easier to breathe than if your upper body were hunched forward. Find out more in our Training, Injury prevention and recovery resource.

Loosen Your Hips – Keep your heels on the floor when you squat. If you can’t, your hip flexors are too tight and need to be stretched out! Try this stretch: Hold onto the sides of the squat rack and lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Hold this for 30 seconds. Return to a standing position, then repeat five times

Replace Your Shoes (Not Your Knees) – To avoid injuries, write an “expiration date” on your shoes as soon as you buy them. Shoes last about 500 miles, so simply divide 500 by your average weekly mileage to determine how many weeks your shoes are likely to last.

End Back Pain – For every set of abdominal exercises you perform, do a set of lower-back exercises. Focusing only on your abs can lead to poor posture and lower-back pain.

Opening Times

Monday 08:30 – 19:00
Tuesday 09:00 – 19:00
Wednesday 09:00 – 19:00
Thursday 09:00 – 19:00
Friday 08:30 – 19:00
Saturday 09:00 – 12:00

Acorn Health © 2018

Website Created by WebHolism

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Opening Times

Monday 08:30 – 19:00
Tuesday 09:00 – 19:00
Wednesday 09:00 – 19:00
Thursday 09:00 – 19:00
Friday 08:30 – 19:00
Saturday 09:00 – 12:00

Acorn Health © 2018

Website Created by WebHolism