back pain children neck pain rucksack backpack school toddler teenager children weight pain growth injury spine health emsworth chiropractic chiropractor

Back pain in children

Do you have back pain? Do you remember when it started? A lot of our patients don’t, it’s just “crept on over the years”, which often means that it is mistaken as an “older person’s problem”.  Unfortunately, back pain is something that is becoming more of a problem in younger generations (one study of 34,076 participants found that over 50% first experienced back pain before the age of 20!)

So why is back pain affecting young people? Let’s divert slightly and talk about teeth for a minute- most babies cut their first tooth at around 6 months old.  This is when parents then bring out the baby toothpaste and start encouraging healthy dental hygiene habits.  Babies can start to roll from the age of 4 months, and gradually progress through important developmental milestones, but when do we start promoting healthy spine habits in our children?  Unfortunately, we don’t.  It’s an area that has, and continues to be, overlooked.  Our aim is to promote healthy postural habits in children of all ages to help them grow “from little acorns to mighty oaks” and avoid having back, neck and postural pain.

Source: telegraph.co.uk
Source: telegraph.co.uk

You can help us do this, by continuing to promote healthy habits in your children as they grow up and start going to school.  A recent study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood analysed 1403 children, and found that 61.4% of these children had backpacks that weighed in excess of 10% of the child’s bodyweight!  Those carrying the heaviest backpacks and a 50% higher risk of back pain, and girls had a higher risk of back pain in comparison to boys.

What can I do to help?

  • Babies:  Minimise the amount of time spent in baby equipment.  Yes, it’s easier to pop munchkin into a baby carrier so you have your hands free, but babies often spend their time being transferred from bouncer to car seat to baby swing back to car seat, and get very little time to develop the new motor skills that come from being able to wriggle around, practice, and experience using their arms and legs!  Occasional use is fine, but just be aware that every minute that little one is in baby equipment, is a minute of lost experience, so try to give them as much wriggle time as possible!
Source: blog.corewalking.com
Source: blog.corewalking.com
  • School aged children: Check your children’s rucksacks when they get in from school- remove any books that don’t need to be there.  (A good opportunity to also remove the toys, twigs, sweetie wrappers, stones or anything else that has been “acquired” by kiddo throughout the school day!) Also, don’t underestimate the importance of good footwear. Children are forever running around and supportive, soft-soled shoes with a good grip will make it easier for your little one to carry a school bag and avoid strains or sprains from poorly-fitting footwear.
  • Teenagers: Encourage regular breaks.  Yes, schoolwork is important, but taking a break every 30 minutes will help to stop postural pains and stresses from creeping on.  Ensure their desks are set up suitably- if you’d like some advice about workstation ergonomics and correct setup, let us know!
Source: gettyimages.com
Source: gettyimages.com

 Remember- if your child continues to report back pain, it is important to consult a medical professional for appropriate advice.  If you would like more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

If you have any further questions you’d like to ask, please feel free to get in touch by calling 01243 379693 or book your appointment today.


PPQM award chiropractic Emsworth Hampshire

PPQM Award

We are excited to announce Acorn Health in Emsworth has been awarded the highly regarded Patient Partnership Quality Mark (PPQM) from the Royal College of Chiropractors which recognise excellence in terms of meeting patient expectations. This award is a great contribution to the Emsworth health care community as less than 150 clinics in the whole of the UK hold a PPQM.

Philippa Oakley, principal Chiropractor adds, ‘We are thrilled to have been recognised as one of them in just over 6 months from opening and we are looking forward to going up to London to collect the award in January! As part of the mark, we are required to demonstrate that we meet patient expectations in a wide range of areas including; accessibility, communication with our patients, privacy, patient aftercare and record keeping.’

For more information about the Quality Marks, visit the Royal College of Chiropractors website here.

water

Water

What is the single best drink for your health?

We recommend you visit this youtube link to find out more about why water is and will always be the best drink for you and your healthy body. Click here to see more.

Going out for a run this morning? Did you know that at even 5% dehydration, your maximal performance will have reduced from 100% to 70%!

Water is often ignored, and passed-up in favour of more exciting drinks, but it is the single best thing that we can consume to help our bodies function properly and recover quickly.


The dreaded “Holiday Weight”

January is the time of year when some of us will set a new years resolution, and it’s not uncommon for these goals of “lose weight” or “get fit” to be at the top of the list. So why is it, that only after a mere 6 months later, only around 8% of us will have managed to stick to those resolutions?

Photo courtesy of HuffingtonPost.co.uk
Photo courtesy of HuffingtonPost.co.uk

“Lose weight”, in itself, is a vague term. How much weight? How quickly? How am I going to achieve this? The way to success is to set yourself an achievable goal with tangible results. “I want to lose a pound a week, and my end goal is to lose half a stone. To do this, I’m going to cut down on the amount of fatty food I eat, and make sure I take a 20 minute walk around the town three times a week.” Avoiding overindulgence at Christmas will also put you in the right frame of mind to start 2015 off right- don’t set yourself up for failure by jumping on the scales after Christmas and berating yourself for the amount of mince pies you enjoyed, this is only going to make you feel worse! A positive attitude towards health and weight loss is important to ensure success.

Christmas weight is, in itself, no harder to lose than any other weight. In fact, research suggests that sudden weight gain (the average person gains around 2lb between November to January) is easier to lose than weight that has been put on gradually, over several years. So why do we tend to put on weight over Christmas? A lot of us indulge in the occasional treat every now and then, but at Christmas we tend to indulge in fatty foods more frequently than we do throughout the rest of the year. It’s not just the food we need to think about, but the amount of alcohol we consume over the festive season- a 250ml glass of red wine contains around 230 calories. A few pints of beer soon adds up to a significant calorific intake at 170 calories a pint.

Christmas dinner nutrition Photo courtesy of rulethediet.blogspot.com

So how can you help avoid piling on the pounds this Christmas? Start off by planning your meal and give nutrition a passing thought- why not purchase your fruit and vegetables from the market as close to Christmas day as possible? That way, they’ll stay fresh, and provided you don’t boil your Brussels sprouts into oblivion, will retain the majority of their nutrients. (Note for your diaries- the last farmer’s market in South Street is on 20th December so why not get your veggies then and support your local farmers? Website here) Turkey is a low-fat, high protein meat source so provided you can resist the temptation of the fatty skin on the outside, that won’t add inches to your waistline either. Delicious though it may be, drowning your booze-soaked Christmas pudding in brandy cream might just be an indulgence too far!

The traditional post-Christmas walk is also an excellent idea, and it might surprise you to know that this has a solid research backing. Even just a 15-minute walk after a meal can improve digestion, helping to avoid the dreaded post-Christmas-dinner-bloat, and it will also reduce spikes in your blood sugar levels, which is excellent if you are a diabetes sufferer. Heading out for a walk after Christmas dinner is also a great opportunity to bump into friends and neighbours and wish them a happy Christmas too!

Christmas walk suggestions courtesy of EmsworthWalks.org

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Westbourne and Back, 3.1 miles (Approx 1hr 30) Download
Nore Barn Woods, 2.6 miles (Approx 1 hr) Download
Two Millponds, Two Marinas, 3.7 miles (Approx 1 hr 45) Download

 

 

Remember, always wear correct footwear when walking especially if icy underfoot!

Stay ski-fit on the slopes!

Off skiing this winter? You might find it more of a workout than you expect.

Skiing involves a lot of the same muscles that are used when we squat, so one of the best ways to get yourself ski-fit is to practice your ski-squat!  Click here to view a short how-to video.

At altitude, the air is thinner, and so the heart and lungs have to work harder to pump blood and oxygen around your body. Bear this in mind, as you might find yourself getting more tired and out-of-breath than you would expect!

Start working out with your ski squats regularly a few weeks before you’re due to go on holiday, focusing on stamina and strength to ensure you can maximise your time on the slopes. Running, walking, and step machines, as well as squat exercises, are a great way to develop the muscular endurance needed for skiing and snowboarding.  You’ll be ski-fit and raring to go from day one on the slopes!

1, 2, 3, Lift!

Back injury is the number one cause of days off work in the UK,  and so injury prevention and rapid return to work of injured workers is a major focus of industries throughout the world.  The burden of low back pain is huge, both financially for companies, and emotionally for workers.  Reducing injury at work is crucial, for both employee and employer.

Many companies try and counterract this by paying for employees to take manual lifting courses, teaching us to “bend through the knees and hip, not the back.” Unfortunately, this conventional method of lifting isn’t always possible, or appropriate.  Objects have to be lifted from the floor, from parts bins, from above- any number of possibilities, and so this conventional lift won’t help avoid injury in these situations.

Lifting man
Source: chiroone.net

The thought process behind a conventional lift is that it reduces physiological load (the amount of stress put on your joints and muscles) and is more energy efficient, however the validity of this depends on a number of different factors, such as the size, weight, and density of the object, coupled with where we are moving it from and to, over which terrain, and how many times we have to repeat the lift.  Squatting repeatedly throughout the day is physically tiring, and we know that many workers end up stooping to lift objects as they tire throughout the day.

If there is no one perfect lift, how do we help avoid injury?

  • Remove the stressors that are causing or aggravating the injury
  • Enhance the activities that build healthy supportive tissues

Injuries don’t often occur as the result of one major event- often because minor injuries accumulate over time, amounting to pain and problems when eventually the structures are no longer able to cope with what is being asked of them.  It is therefore more important to address the cumulative causes of the injury in order to prevent reoccurrence.

Woman files
Source: woman.thenest.com

You may think that injuries are more common in those with physical jobs, however injuries are just as prevalent in those who have sedentary jobs.  Gagnon (2003) studied “expert lifters” and concluded that their personal body movements, as well as their individual lifting strategies, were key to their avoidance of injury- in fact some evidence exists to suggest that our personal spine movements (how we naturally move our backs) can influence whether or not we will become injured.

Olympic weightlifters often provide the best example of lifting technique, as they have recognised the importance of avoiding lumbar flexion (bending from the lower back) to prevent injury.  We therefore need to stop emphasising the importance of stooping or squatting to lift, and instead work on placing the load closer to the body to help reduce forces on our joints, and avoiding full flexion of our lumbar spines when lifting.  This avoidance of full flexion is really the key element in lifting.

So what other lifting techniques could be used?

Here’s two alternatives for the conventional technique and when they could be used.

Golfer’s lift-

Golfers lift
Source: experiencelife.com

When to use: Great for picking up light objects out of deep bins/containers or picking up small objects off the floor

How:

1- Place one hand on a stable surface next to the object to be lifted- this is to help stabilise your upper body during the lift.

2-  Keeping your back straight, lean forward, allowing the leg opposite the stabilising hand to swing out straight behind you as you lean down.  This will act as a counterbalance to the weight of your body.

3- Prepare for the lift: Look forward, and begin to push down on the stable surface with your hand as you lower your leg to the floor.  Focus on keeping your spine straight.

Tips: Good for people with knee problems.

Tripod lift-

When to use: Good for heavy objects with uneven weight distribution (such as sacks of food)

Tripod lift
Source: veitchphysio.com

How:

1- Put one foot next to the object, keep your spine straight, push your buttocks out and lower yourself down to the floor, keeping one knee bent up, one knee on the floor.

2-  Position the object close to the knee on the ground.

3- Slide the object from the ground on to the mid-thigh of the knee on the ground.

4- Keeping your spine straight, lift the object on to the opposite thigh.

5-  Palms upwards, put both forearms under the object and hug it into your chest.

6- Prepare for the lift: Extend your legs with your back straight, pushing your buttocks out, keeping the load held close to your body.

Tips: This is a good lift for people who may not have great arm strength.

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Acorn Health Limited © 2014 - 2020

Website Created by WebHolism