BCA Chiropractor of the Year 2022

Local Chiropractor Philippa Oakley wins the prestigious Chiropractor of the Year Award.

Amesbury-based Chiropractor Philippa Oakley has won the renowned “Chiropractor of the Year” award, the most prestigious award presented by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA). This award is presented to one chiropractor each year in recognition of their outstanding achievements within the chiropractic profession.

Philippa comments, “This award comes following an exciting year for me, after relocating my clinic to Amesbury at the beginning of the year. I am thrilled to have been recognised as Chiropractor of the year for my contribution to the promotion and understanding of healthcare inequalities and the impact these can have on people’s health and well-being, which has seen me support healthcare organisations from around the world to improve their services in this area.”

Catherine Quinn, President of the British Chiropractic Association comments, “Philippa Oakley is recognised by the Board for the outstanding contribution she has made in the promotion and understanding of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in chiropractic. As well as providing multiple CPD sessions for the BCA Family this year, Philippa has shared her passion for EDI with chiropractors as far and wide as Canada and South Africa. It is rare to find individuals who will make significant impact on the profession and Philippa, together with Rhiannon has certainly done so. Congratulations to Philippa and thank you to her for highlighting such important topics for our profession and the wider healthcare family, we are proud that she is an active member of the BCA family.”

Philippa graduated from the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic in 2012 with a Master of Chiropractic degree, and her commitment to clinical excellence has been recognised through the awarding of several prestigious accolades. She began her career working with NHS patients, before establishing her clinic, Acorn Health, in 2014. 

Acorn Health has received awards from the Royal College of Chiropractors in recognition of their commitment to patient care and clinical excellence. In addition to her role as a Chiropractor, Philippa is also a qualified Coach and Mentor with the NHS Leadership Academy, working to support individuals in meeting their personal and professional goals, and is a professional member of the Royal College of Chiropractors Pain Faculty.

To make an appointment please visit acornhealth.org.uk and follow the online booking details. 

Watch the video from the event here!

plantar fasciitis heel pain plantar fascia running runner foot pain heel achilles tendon run pain chiropractor chiropractic treatment

Stepping lightly: A guide to managing plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis

Warm Breeze and the Scent of Lavender – Why We Love Provence

22 January 2024

Plantar fasciitis is a common and painful foot condition that occurs when the thick band of tissue running across the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, becomes inflamed. Whether you’re an avid runner, spend long hours on your feet at work, or simply want to maintain good foot health, preventing plantar fasciitis is crucial. In this guide, we’ll explore effective strategies to keep this condition at bay.

Read more: Stepping lightly: A guide to managing plantar fasciitis

Choose the Right Footwear:

Let’s start out on the right foot, investing in proper footwear is a must. Opt for shoes that provide adequate arch support, cushioning, and a comfortable fit. Avoid high heels or shoes with inadequate support, as they can contribute to strain on the plantar fascia. Regularly assess the condition of your shoes and replace them when they show signs of wear, as worn-out footwear can contribute to foot problems.

plantar fasciitis heel pain plantar fascia running runner foot pain heel achilles tendon run pain chiropractor chiropractic treatment
Source: D Max. https://www.flickr.com/photos/35080385@N08/30956691112 No changes made

Gradual Exercise Progression:

Sudden increases in physical activity, particularly high-impact exercises like running, can strain the plantar fascia and lead to injury. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts to allow your feet to adapt. Incorporate low-impact activities like swimming or cycling to reduce stress on the plantar fascia while maintaining overall fitness.

Stretching and Strengthening:

Performing regular stretching exercises can help keep the plantar fascia flexible and reduce the risk of injury. Focus on calf stretches, toe stretches, and Achilles tendon stretches to improve the overall flexibility of the foot and lower leg. Additionally, incorporating exercises to strengthen the muscles supporting the foot can contribute to better stability and reduce strain on the plantar fascia.

Maintain a Healthy Weight:

Carrying excess weight puts additional stress on the feet, increasing the risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise. Losing even a small amount of weight can significantly alleviate pressure on the plantar fascia and decrease the likelihood of developing foot-related issues.

Supportive Insoles:

Consider using supportive insoles or orthotic inserts to provide additional cushioning and support to your feet. These can be particularly beneficial if your regular footwear lacks proper arch support. Customised orthotics, prescribed by a podiatrist, can address specific foot conditions and help prevent plantar fasciitis.

Mind Your Walking Surface:

Be mindful of the surfaces you walk on, especially if you’re prone to foot pain. Hard, uneven surfaces can exacerbate strain on the plantar fascia. Whenever possible, choose softer surfaces for walking or exercising. If you’re a runner, vary your running routes to avoid consistently pounding the same pavement.

Conclusion:

By incorporating these proactive measures into your daily routine, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to foot health. Listen to your body, invest in quality footwear, and adopt a well-rounded approach to maintaining strong, flexible, and pain-free feet. Your foundation for a healthy, active lifestyle starts from the ground up.

Chiropractic care can prove highly effective for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. Watch the video below to see how we can help you.

Philippa Oakley

Principle Chiropractor and founder of Acorn Health. BCA Chiropractor of the Year 2022 for her work in LGBTQ+ EDI and a specialist interest in chronic pain.

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Essential Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Back While Driving

Getting your back in gear 
8 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Back While Driving
 

The other day I was stuck in traffic, again, and two thoughts crept into my mind. Firstly, for all the roadworks I see, how can there be quite so many potholes still? However, secondly, and more importantly, do you ever stop to think just how much of our lives we spend sat in cars? Prolonged periods behind the wheel can take a toll on your back if you’re not careful. Poor posture, inadequate support, and prolonged sitting can contribute to back discomfort and even lead to long-term issues. To ensure a comfortable and pain-free driving experience, here are some essential tips for looking after your back while on the road: 

 

  1. Adjust Your Seat Properly: One of the fundamental aspects of back care while driving is setting up your seat in an ergonomic position. Start by adjusting the seat height so that you have a clear view of the road and easy access to the pedals without straining. Ensure that your seat is not too far from the pedals to avoid overstretching your legs, which can strain your lower back. 
  1. Maintain Proper Posture: Maintaining good posture while driving is crucial for preventing back pain. Sit upright with your back against the seat and your shoulders relaxed. Keep both hands on the steering wheel at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions to distribute the workload evenly and minimise strain on your arms and shoulders. Prolonged leaning onto one arm or out a window might work wonders for casual driving image, but your body won’t be impressed, sorry! 
  1. Use Lumbar Support: Many modern cars come equipped with adjustable lumbar support to help maintain the natural curve of your spine and alleviate pressure on your lower back. If your car doesn’t have built-in lumbar support, consider using a lumbar roll or cushion to provide additional support and promote proper spinal positioning.
  1. Take Regular Breaks: Prolonged sitting, even with proper ergonomics, can still strain your back muscles over time. To combat stiffness and improve circulation, make it a habit to take regular breaks during long drives. Plan a quick stop every hour or two to stretch your legs, walk around, and perform simple back stretches to relieve tension.
  1. Adjust Your Steering Wheel and Mirrors: Ensure that your steering wheel and mirrors are properly adjusted to minimise the need for twisting and reaching while driving. Your steering wheel should be positioned in a way that allows you to maintain a relaxed posture with your arms slightly bent. Adjust your mirrors to provide optimal visibility without straining your neck or back.
  1. Stay Hydrated and Avoid Caffeine: Proper hydration is essential for maintaining the health of your spinal discs, which act as shock absorbers for your back. Drink plenty of water during your journey to keep your discs hydrated and flexible. Avoid excessive caffeine consumption, as it can contribute to dehydration and exacerbate back pain. I should add I am not telling you that coffee is off limits at the next service station, I’m not that brave, but to try and drink it in moderation. 
  1. Invest in Supportive Accessories: Consider investing in supportive accessories such as seat cushions, ergonomic seat covers, or backrests designed specifically for driving. These accessories can provide additional comfort and support, especially during long drives or if you have a history of back problems. They are easy to find and relatively cheap to get hold of. 
  1. Perform Regular Back Exercises: Strengthening and stretching exercises can help improve the flexibility and resilience of your back muscles, reducing the risk of discomfort and injury while driving. Incorporate exercises targeting your core, back, and hips into your daily routine to keep your back strong and supple.

 

And there you have it! Implementing good back health is important in all aspects of life, but maintaining a healthy spine will at least give you one less thing to worry about out on the roads. Furthermore, for those standstill moments such as at the traffic lights you can always take the opportunity to do other exercises such as neck stretches. Please do remember to put safety first and while driving keep your focus on the vehicle and the road. Safe Travels!  

Glen Wyatt

Glen comes from an emergency medicine background having spent 8 years working as part of an ambulance crew. He recently then graduated as a chiropractor from AECC College.

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plantar fasciitis heel pain plantar fascia running runner foot pain heel achilles tendon run pain chiropractor chiropractic treatment

Stepping lightly: A guide to managing plantar fasciitis

Introduction:

Plantar fasciitis is a common and painful foot condition that occurs when the thick band of tissue running across the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, becomes inflamed. Whether you’re an avid runner, spend long hours on your feet at work, or simply want to maintain good foot health, preventing plantar fasciitis is crucial. In this guide, we’ll explore effective strategies to keep this condition at bay.

Read more: Stepping lightly: A guide to managing plantar fasciitis

Choose the Right Footwear:

Let’s start out on the right foot, investing in proper footwear is a must. Opt for shoes that provide adequate arch support, cushioning, and a comfortable fit. Avoid high heels or shoes with inadequate support, as they can contribute to strain on the plantar fascia. Regularly assess the condition of your shoes and replace them when they show signs of wear, as worn-out footwear can contribute to foot problems.

plantar fasciitis heel pain plantar fascia running runner foot pain heel achilles tendon run pain chiropractor chiropractic treatment
Source: D Max. https://www.flickr.com/photos/35080385@N08/30956691112 No changes made

Gradual Exercise Progression:

Sudden increases in physical activity, particularly high-impact exercises like running, can strain the plantar fascia and lead to injury. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts to allow your feet to adapt. Incorporate low-impact activities like swimming or cycling to reduce stress on the plantar fascia while maintaining overall fitness.

Stretching and Strengthening:

Performing regular stretching exercises can help keep the plantar fascia flexible and reduce the risk of injury. Focus on calf stretches, toe stretches, and Achilles tendon stretches to improve the overall flexibility of the foot and lower leg. Additionally, incorporating exercises to strengthen the muscles supporting the foot can contribute to better stability and reduce strain on the plantar fascia.

Maintain a Healthy Weight:

Carrying excess weight puts additional stress on the feet, increasing the risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise. Losing even a small amount of weight can significantly alleviate pressure on the plantar fascia and decrease the likelihood of developing foot-related issues.

Supportive Insoles:

Consider using supportive insoles or orthotic inserts to provide additional cushioning and support to your feet. These can be particularly beneficial if your regular footwear lacks proper arch support. Customised orthotics, prescribed by a podiatrist, can address specific foot conditions and help prevent plantar fasciitis.

Mind Your Walking Surface:

Be mindful of the surfaces you walk on, especially if you’re prone to foot pain. Hard, uneven surfaces can exacerbate strain on the plantar fascia. Whenever possible, choose softer surfaces for walking or exercising. If you’re a runner, vary your running routes to avoid consistently pounding the same pavement.

Conclusion:

By incorporating these proactive measures into your daily routine, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to foot health. Listen to your body, invest in quality footwear, and adopt a well-rounded approach to maintaining strong, flexible, and pain-free feet. Your foundation for a healthy, active lifestyle starts from the ground up.

Chiropractic care can prove highly effective for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. Watch the video below to see how we can help you.

Enjoying a Pain-Free Holiday: Tips to Avoid Back Pain This Christmas

Enjoying a Pain-Free Holiday: Tips to Avoid Back Pain This Christmas

The holiday season is a time for joy, celebration, and spending quality moments with loved ones. However, for many, it also brings the unwanted gift of back pain. Whether it’s from lifting heavy decorations, sitting for extended periods during festive dinners, or the stress of holiday preparations, back pain can put a damper on your Christmas spirit. To ensure you have a pain-free holiday season, here are some tips to keep your back in good shape:

1. Mindful Lifting:

   When decorating, rearranging furniture, or lifting up the not-so-little ones, be cautious about how you lift! Bend at your knees, not your waist, and use your legs to lift rather than your back. Enlist help for heavier items or bigger kids, to distribute the load.

Read more: Enjoying a Pain-Free Holiday: Tips to Avoid Back Pain This Christmas

2. Ergonomic Christmas Gift Wrapping:

   While wrapping gifts, maintain good posture. Sit at a table with your back straight and avoid prolonged periods of sitting on the floor. Take breaks to stretch and walk around to prevent stiffness and help yourself to another cuppa!

3. Supportive Seating:

   Choose chairs that provide proper lumbar support during festive gatherings. If you’ll be sitting for an extended time, consider using a small cushion or rolled-up towel to support the natural curve of your lower back.

4. Stay Active:

   Incorporate short breaks for light exercises or stretching into your holiday routine. This can help alleviate tension and improve blood circulation, reducing the risk of back pain. This one is a big favourite for the family dog.

5. Smart Sleeping Habits:

   Ensure you have a comfortable mattress and pillows that support a neutral spine alignment. A good night’s sleep is crucial for overall health, including the well-being of your back. This includes falling asleep on the sofa after a second helping of Christmas lunch!

6. Mind Your Posture:

   Pay attention to your posture, especially when engaging in holiday activities. Whether you’re cooking, cleaning, or enjoying festive games, maintaining a neutral spine position can prevent strain on your back.

7. Hydration and Nutrition:

   Proper hydration and a balanced diet contribute to overall health, including the health of your spine. Staying hydrated helps maintain the elasticity of spinal discs, reducing the risk of discomfort. Don’t worry though, you can still enjoy some added treats.

8. Delegate Festive Tasks:

   Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks. Whether it’s preparing a holiday meal or lifting heavy decorations, sharing responsibilities can prevent overexertion and reduce the risk of back injuries. This is not an excuse to get out of your fair share of the washing up.

9. Ice and Heat Therapy:

   If you do experience back pain, consider using ice or heat therapy to alleviate discomfort. Ice can help reduce inflammation, while heat can relax tense muscles.

10. Consult a Professional:

    If your back pain persists or worsens, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional. Don’t worry as we are here for you in the new year to help fix any damage that might have happened.

By incorporating these tips into your holiday routine, you can minimise the risk of back pain and fully enjoy the festive season with your loved ones. Wishing you a happy and pain-free Christmas!

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.

Is your golf swing causing you a bit of a headache?

Well did you know there is some evidence that might associate the two together.

Here are the four main connections to why your golf swing has similarities to headaches.

First, we have Biomechanics and Muscle Tension:

Both golf swings and headaches can involve biomechanics and muscle tension. In a golf swing, proper body mechanics and muscle coordination are essential for achieving an effective and accurate shot. If a golfer’s swing mechanics are off (like mine), or if they are using excessive force, it can lead to muscle tension and strain, potentially causing discomfort or pain in the muscles. Similarly, headaches can be triggered or exacerbated by muscle tension and poor posture. Tension headaches, for example, are often caused by muscle contractions in the head, neck, and shoulder regions. Poor posture, including a hunched posture during a golf swing, can contribute to muscle tension and potential headache triggers.

Up next is Stress and Performance Pressure:

Both golf swings and headaches can be influenced by stress and performance pressure. Golfers often experience stress when competing, and this stress can affect their swing mechanics and overall performance. Similarly, stress and pressure from various sources can contribute to the onset or worsening of headaches. Stress is a known trigger for tension-type headaches and migraines. Focus and Concentration: Both activities require a high level of focus and concentration. Golfers need to concentrate on their swing technique, their stance, the position of the ball, and more. This level of concentration can also apply to other sports and activities. Similarly, headaches can be influenced by the ability to concentrate and focus. For example, intense mental concentration for extended periods can contribute to tension headaches.

Another connection is Physical Activity and Blood Flow:

Engaging in physical activities like golf swings can increase blood flow to various parts of the body, including the brain. While this increased blood flow is generally beneficial, in some cases, it could trigger headaches, especially if a person is prone to migraines or if they have underlying health conditions that affect blood vessel dilation.

And finally, Hydration and Dehydration:

Proper hydration is important for both activities. Golfers need to stay hydrated to maintain their performance levels and prevent fatigue. Dehydration can affect concentration, coordination, and overall performance in golf. Dehydration is also a known trigger for headaches. Ensuring adequate fluid intake can help reduce the risk of headaches related to dehydration. It’s important to note that while these connections exist, they are not direct causal relationships in all cases. Some individuals may experience headaches related to their golf swing, while others may not.

If you experience headaches consistently during or after golfing, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional to identify any underlying causes and develop strategies to minimise discomfort. While I won’t promise to improve your back swing and reduce your handicap (although Rhiannon has helped with a coaching client accidentally there), there is good evidence to support chiropractic care as a good treatment option for several headache disorders such as tension type headaches.

Being someone who suffers from headaches myself, I know there is no better feeling than when that pain finally goes away which is why helping clients with headaches is still one of my favourite areas of treatment. If you or someone you know need some help with headaches, or you just wants to be on the top of their game for the next game of golf visit me in clinic. Book online here.

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Stonehenge Walk
Amesbury
Wiltshire
SP4 7DB

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Acorn Health © 2014 - 2022

Website Created by WebHolism