Understanding Disc Injuries- Back to Basics

First and foremost, what is a spinal disc?

A spinal disc, also known as an intervertebral disc, is basically a cushion located between each of the joints of our back. These discs act as shock absorbers, providing flexibility and support to the spine while allowing for movement. Each disc has a tough outer layer called the annulus fibrosus and a gel-like inner core called the nucleus pulposus. They play a crucial role in maintaining the structural integrity and function of the spine.

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Five Simple Steps for Headache Relief

Headaches are something that unite us. Whether you’re one of the lucky few who only has them on occasion… or whether you’re affected with them on a daily basis, it can be a familiar sensation for many.

“It feels like a vice around my head.”
“I get a shooting pain into my temples.”
“It starts at the back of my head and radiates around, even my eyes can feel sore.”

The problem with headaches

If you struggle with headaches, you’ll know how debilitating they can be. They can leave us feeling crabby, tired, tearful and short-tempered. And understandably so! Headaches can emerge from various sources – fatigue, stress, or even not giving our bodies the hydration they need.

So here are our five top tips for dealing with headaches.

Read more: Five Simple Steps for Headache Relief

Step 1: Hydration Station

Water often holds the key to diminishing headaches. Ensuring that we maintain adequate hydration throughout the day is a gift to our bodies. Keep a trusty water bottle by your side and sip thoughtfully – it’s a small action that can yield significant relief from those nagging headaches.

Step 2: Embracing Restorative Sleep

Sleep offers us a chance to reset and renew. Prioritising the right amount of sleep is vital for restorative sleep. Crafting a bedtime ritual that soothes your senses and invites restfulness can help you wake up feeling brighter. Hint: If you wake up with headaches, this could be a sign that you’re clenching or grinding your teeth at night. This is called nocturnal bruxism and it can be a good idea to speak to your chiropractor and dentist about it!

Step 3: Check your neck

Headaches that arise from problems in the neck or upper back are so common they have their own name- cervicogenic headaches. Joint stiffness, muscle tension, poor posture and stress can all contribute to problems in the neck that can lead to headaches. If you find your headaches are worse towards the end of the day, this could be the likely culprit.

Image shows a young man wearing a dark t-shirt clutching his neck and shouting in pain.

Step 4: Feeding Your Mind and Body Well

Our food choices can have a profound impact on our headaches. Opt for nourishing snacks like vibrant fruits, fresh veggies, and wholesome nuts. By steering clear of sugary treats and greasy fast foods, we offer our brains the sustenance they crave, which in turn aids in keeping headaches at bay. Ultra-processed foods contain preservatives and high levels of sodium which can trigger headaches and migraines. If you’re interested in finding out more about this, we highly recommend Chris van Tulleken’s book!

Step 5: Get Moving

Physical activity is a powerful tool against headaches. Incorporating movement into your daily routine, be it a sport you love, a dance session, or a leisurely stroll, can make a remarkable difference. It has a profound impact on our physical and mental health, giving us healthier bodies and reducing stress. Movement isn’t just about the body – it’s a journey towards holistic well-being.

Here’s a quick video to show an at-home release you can do to relieve pain from headaches.

A Note of Curiosity

If you frequently struggle with headaches, you’ll be pleased to know that chiropractic care is proven effective in the management of headaches, and migraine prevention.

Come and see us, and let’s get to the root cause of your headaches.

Swallowing Awareness Day

Eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties have potentially life-threatening
consequences. They can result in choking, pneumonia, chest infections, dehydration, malnutrition and weight loss. They can also make taking medication more difficult and they can lead to a poorer quality of life for the individual and their family.

Dysphagia can affect people at any stage of their lives and speech and language therapists support and enable them to eat and drink safely.

Are you, or someone you know, suffering from difficulties swallowing?

Swallowing difficulties, also known as dysphagia, affect a significant proportion of the population for a variety of reasons. Both adults and children can be affected and at any point in their lives. There is always an underlying reason for the swallowing difficulty and can be either short or long term, static or progressive. In any event advice should always be sought.

For adults swallowing difficulties can occur post stroke, from progressive neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Alzheimers and other dementia’s. Those with learning difficulties or post traumatic brain injuries can also be affected, along with those post head and neck surgery. Even a urinary tract infection can affect a person’s swallow.

For children swallowing difficulties can occur with cerebral palsy, cleft lip and palate, muscular dystrophy, other cranio-facial abnormalities.

Swallowing difficulties can manifest as:

  • Coughing and choking during or after eating and drinking,
  • Feeling like something is stuck in the throat,
  • Loss of food and / or drink from the mouth,
  • Holding food or drink in the mouth and not swallowing,
  • Signs of anxiety or distress when eating or drinking,
  • Refusal to eat or drink,
  • Chronic weight loss,
  • Recurrent chest infections.

Chest infections and pneumonia can be due to food or drink going into the lungs instead of the stomach. With some people this can occur without any coughing or choking and is known as ‘silent aspiration’. As such difficulty with swallowing may have life threatening consequences and can lead to an impaired quality of life.

An impaired quality of life may not just be due to health and the physical aspect of swallowing but also due to embarrassment and lack of enjoyment of food, which can have profound social consequences for both the person and members of the family. Anxiety, distress and frustration can occur.

Treatment of swallowing difficulties is through a team approach. If you, or somebody you know is suffering inform the GP. They can then signpost you to professionals who can help:

Chiropractors: Can listen to the chest post swallowing. They can advise on posture, address mechanical issues that may affect the swallow or help improve posture and can advise on breathing and exercises to keep the chest clear.

Speech & Language Therapists (SLTs) : SLTs are fully qualified to assess, advise and treat swallowing difficulties. They are the first port of call when difficulties occur. They look at the swallow to determine what is working well and where difficulties might be occurring. As well as this they also look at how posture, environment, medication and anything else might be affecting the swallow. Different textures of food and drink may be trialled to determine what is the safest and most comfortable for someone to swallow. In addition strategies or exercises might be given to improve the swallow itself.

Occupational Therapists: They can look at the utensils that are being used and give advice on anything that could be used to assist e.g. special cups, adapted cutlery. They can also give advice regarding wheelchairs and positioning. All working towards a person being as independent as possible.

Dietitian: They will work very closely with speech and language therapists to look at the nutrition and hydration the person is receiving. If the person is unable to take much by mouth the dietitian can advise on supplements and how to fortify food in order to make sure the person is receiving adequate nutrition.

Throughout any intervention the person themselves, family and carers are central. They are the ones who experience what is going on day to day, give information to the therapist and implement strategies and advice. It is a truly collaborative approach.

So if you, or a loved one, are experiencing any difficulties with swallowing no matter how big or small please do seek advice – you can be helped! Reduce the stress, anxiety and discomfort, It’s time to enjoy meals again….

Why being in pain can make us grumpy

One of my Telehealth patients recently asked me “Why does my back always hurt more when I’m having a bad day at work?” A good question, and one that comes up quite regularly in fact! My simple response to this is normally something like “Because pain is an absolute blighter, and likes to kick us when we’re already down” but I thought today I’d put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, these days) and explain why and how our mood and pain levels are linked.

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Amazing Apps

Up and app ’em!

There is an assumption that spending more time on our phones is a bad thing for our health. If we think of this only in terms of sitting down for longer periods, being hunched over, or disrupting our sleep with bright screens, we may be right! However, our phones can actually be a great help when it comes to our wellbeing – encouraging us to improve our lives by adding in more exercise, mindfulness or knowledge about self-care!

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T: 01980 761229

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Website Created by WebHolism

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Acorn Health © 2014 - 2022

Website Created by WebHolism