Tag: pain

Chiropractic Awareness Week 2022: Stay Active

Happy Chiropractic Awareness Week everyone!

Are you aware that over half of us regularly suffer with backaches, neck pain or headaches? So why not seek out professional advice sooner rather than later to sort out those pesky niggles before it becomes a serious problem.

Take care of the back you have, because we have never heard of a replacement spine, have you?!

Here are our top 5 tips to help you to spinal health bliss:

Sitting Posture: Support your lower back when sitting down at your desk or at home, try not to curl up on the sofa, as it’ll twist your spine causing back ache and possible problems in the future.

Bedtime: Sleeping on your back (with a pillow behind your knees) is best for your spine. If you really want to sleep on your side, then put a pillow between your knees so you don’t twist into the recovery position.

Keep active! Get into the habit of taking a brisk walk daily. Try to make it fun or work out with a group like  class or running group.

Pain is often a warning sign. If something is hurting, don’t ignore it. Particularly important this time of year when we start hitting that gardening again!

Ice. If you’re achy use an ice pack, wrapped up in a tea-towel for 5-10 minutes every half an hour to calm any swelling and promote recovery.

We hope this helps, but if you would like more specialist advice for your particular problem please do not hesitate to contact our principal chiropractor Philippa Oakley.

E: acorn@acornhealth.org.uk
twitter.com/AcornHealthUK
facebook.com/AcornHealthUK

Sciatica – just a pain in the backside?

Sciatica is a general term for a set of symptoms; namely, pain in the buttock that radiates into the leg. It’s not a condition in itself, because it has different triggers.

What is sciatica?

location of the sciatic nerve sciatica

Sciatica gets its name from the sciatic nerve. The longest nerve in the body, it runs from the lower spine, down the leg into the foot. The term sciatica refers to irritation of this sciatic nerve, usually due to compression. This can be caused by a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease for example. Conditions that place strain on the spine like being overweight or sitting for prolonged periods can also trigger irritation.

Continue reading

Lifting to avoid back pain

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.

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.

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-

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)

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.

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….

Top 10 tips to achieving your goals, now!

In the words of Mark Twain, “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done the day after tomorrow just as well.”

Procrastination is a motivation killer, but it’s often not the only reason why we haven’t achieved our goals.

At some point in our life, we all become a little stuck. Perhaps you can’t decide the best route forwards. Perhaps you have so much on your plate you don’t know where to start. Either way, there’s a few simple steps that can get you back on track. So in this blog, I’ll share with you my top 10 tips to achieving your goals, now!

Continue reading

Join The Conversation

Mills House
Mills Way
Amesbury
Wilts
SP4 7AU

Acorn Health Ltd © 2014- 2022

Website Created by WebHolism

Join The Conversation

Acorn Health © 2014 - 2022

Website Created by WebHolism