Tag: massage

Flexibility vs. mobility

Flexibility vs. mobility – what’s in a word?

There are some words that are used without really understanding what they refer to. Flexibility and mobility are two examples of these. You may be forgiven for thinking that they are basically the same thing. However, it’s important to understand the difference between the two when it comes to our aims.

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Fascial blading- how it can help reduce pain and improve function

Fascial blading is a form of gentle, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilisation. The blade itself acts as an extension of the practitioner’s hands and allows the clinician to gently identify and breakdown scar tissue adhesions and fascial restrictions.

Fascia is the cling-film like tissue that connects everything in the body. It runs along and through all our muscles, organs, vessels and nerves and even attaches on to our skeleton, forming a continuous 3D web of connective tissue. Traumas or scars to any area or the body can lead to problems in other areas through disruption of this connective tissue web.

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World Spine Day 2018

World Spine Day 2018

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.”

…. When did we all stop loving our spines?

Let’s learn to love our spines again with some quick back pain facts from our chiropractor Philippa Oakley:

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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.

 

2017 Small Business Saturday

We are opening our small family owned business in Emsworth to celebrate Small Business Saturday on the 2nd December 10-12pm offering free chats with practitioners about health problems and more.

Book a 10 minute posture check with Philippa Oakley DC MChiro, (limited spaces available, please call reception to book) and discover the range of therapies we have on offer here at Acorn Health.

Donations will be gratefully received for Neuroblastoma UK, suggested donation for posture check is £5.00. Find out more about the charity here.

Feet back pain chiropractic chiropractor osteopath physiotherapy massage back pain neck pain treatment injury recovery Hampshire Emsworth Chichester Sussex

Two reasons why your back still hurts…

Why do so many of us have back pain?

We (as a society) throw huge amounts of money at back pain. There’s new gadgets, research, more effective drugs, better surgeries and dozens more practitioners out there all touting to be the next big thing in curing back pain, yet back pain remains as prevalent as it ever was. In fact, it seems to be getting worse.

So why is it that back pain is still such an issue?

  1. Everyone is different. Gosh, wasn’t that a groundbreaking statement. Yes, well, forgive me for stating the obvious but, it’s true. If we treated your back pain the same way we treat everyone else’s, we’re not going to get very far, as unfortunately everyone’s backs behave differently (and misbehave differently!) That’s why all of these treatment that work for everyone else don’t necessarily work for you- because your back is different to theirs and you need to find the approach that works for you!  P.S. This is why whenever someone asks me if I get bored “cracking backs all day” I can answer with a resounding NO! a) Because I don’t “crack backs” and b) because I have to not only work out what’s going on and diagnose it correctly but also work out how best to treat it based on what’s happening and what you want! It’s not quite as simple as handing over a pill and sending you out the door. Blimey, how boring would that be!
  2. We’re treating it far too literally.
    This is the big one! So many treatments out there focus on treating the area of pain as though that’s the cause of the pain. Pain in the lower back, treat the lower back. Monkey see, monkey do. Do you follow? Well, there’s two problems there. Firstly, if it was that simple to treat back pain, it wouldn’t be such a massive problem. Secondly, if we isolate our treatment and just focus on the spine, we are ignoring everything the spine connects to (and you don’t need a genius to tell you that the spine connects to everything!) As such, treating just one thing in the giant jigsaw that is your back pain is going to end up in tears and a lot of wasted time (and money). Of course we need to treat the site of pain (duh, that’s where it hurts!) but pain in itself only tells us there’s a problem, not where the problem is or what it is. Treating the site of the pain is lazy- we need to look at everything inside your body that impacts on the area of pain and could, as a result, be affecting it. Then, we need to look at everything outside your body (like your job, hobbies, environment) and see if that’s having an impact too!

    back pain diagnosis treatment Rolf Rolfing neck pain treatment Hampshire Emsworth chiropractor chiropractic massage therapy osteopath physiotherapy
    Image source: siguy.ca

    As a really simple demonstration of this, do me a favour- Google “Cervicogenic headache.” Done it? What does it say? That it’s pain referred to the head from structures (i.e. soft tissues and joints) in the neck. So as you see, you could take a paracetamol or sit with an icepack on your forehead but as this isn’t the source of the pain, it’s not going to do much good in the long term. A good clinician needs to look further afield to find out what’s actually causing that pain.

    Have a look at the image below- see how forward head carriage can cause dysfunction in your back and thoracic extensors?! What a waste of time it would be just treating the back and not addressing the forward head carriage (i.e. the issue that’s actually causing the pain!)

    back pain diagnosis treatment Rolf Rolfing neck pain treatment Hampshire Emsworth chiropractor chiropractic massage therapy osteopath physiotherapy
    Image source: fixtheneck.com

So if back pain is really so tricky to treat, what can we really do about it? Here’s two super simple tips.

Feet back pain chiropractic chiropractor osteopath physiotherapy massage back pain neck pain treatment injury recovery Hampshire Emsworth Chichester Sussex1) Get in touch with mother nature. No, we don’t mean making skirts out of hemp and running naked through the wilderness (although feel free, if that’s your thing). We mean take your shoes and socks off and feel the ground.

The nerves in your lower back run all the way down to your feet for a reason! Your feet provide feedback to your brain that not only tells your brain where you are in space, but they also provide invaluable feedback to help stabilise your body. Stick some bulky trainers on to stop your feet from being able to feel the ground and those feedback signals sent to your brain get confused, which leads to instability. When the brain feels unsafe, or unstable, it’s going to make things hurt and reduce the amount of movement in the area.

(While we’re on the subject, where most people go wrong is that at this point, right when they have less movement, they strain against it to push the body beyond that threshold. As soon as you go beyond where your body is happy to go, the body has a habit of going into shutdown- it tenses up and produces pain to stop you from doing it again!)

Simply put- the more skin in touch with the ground, the more sensory input your brain gets, which it in turn feeds forward to your spine, giving you more stability and in turn reducing pain.

2) Breathe!
You’d think, given it’s something you’ve been doing your whole life, thatPosture Chiropractic work desk office neck pain injury help health pain back pain chiropractor Hampshire Emsworth Fareham Havant Osteopath Osteopathy Chiropractic Health Fitness Exercise Sport you’d know how to breathe by now. But I bet you don’t! Do yourself a favour- for the next 24 hours, try and pay attention to how you’re breathing when you’re moving. My bet is that you hold your breath when you’re performing dynamic movements. Why? Read on, dear friends and all shall be made clear.

Breathing is closely related to spinal stability. If you think of your body as a barrel, the diaphragm is the top, and the pelvic floor the bottom. The diaphragm regulates our intra-abdominal pressure and contributes massively to our spinal stability. So when our spine is unstable and weak, we hold our breath to perform movements. This is an ill-informed attempt by our brain to increase our intra-adnominal pressure and maintain spinal stability because it’s worried that if we don’t, we’ll become unstable and get injured. Pull that belly button in towards your spine and breathe OUT as you perform dynamic movements- this will engage the good ol’ core musculature and take the pressure of your diaphragm and stop relying on the diaphragm alone to provide spinal stability. 24 hours, focusing on your breathing, that’s all I ask. Being mindful and aware is key to changing your habits.

In a nutshell,  part of your treatment programme is going to involve teaching you how to breathe!

So there you have it!

Now you understand why back pain can be such a nuisance to treat. Fortunately, you’ve got those two simple steps to reducing your back pain. Doesn’t that sound like a great catchphrase?! Honestly though, if I could give one (okay, two) pieces of advice to every person I see in clinic, it would be those. Create some healthy habits to help your spine and I guarantee you’ll see an improvement.

Until next time…

Philippa Oakley
Chiropractor

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Mills Way
Amesbury
Wilts
SP4 7AU

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Acorn Health © 2014 - 2022

Website Created by WebHolism