Tag: posture

I’m still standing… yeah, yeah yeah!

Standing desks – is working on your feet ideal?

The benefits of an active lifestyle are commonly-known. Long periods of inactivity can lead to serious conditions such as heart disease and obesity. However keeping active can be easier to achieve for some. Many office workers have to spend long periods of time at a desk. This sedentary behaviour can put them at risk from back, neck and shoulder discomfort.

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Three solutions to beating stress

When real or imagined stresses exceed our perceived ability to cope, we experience stress. This is not always a bad thing. Short term, manageable stress can help motivate us and facilitates learning and change. But what happens when stress becomes chronic or long-lasting? This type of toxic stress can have major health implications…

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A doctor looking at an X-ray.

Low back pain: The world’s leading cause of disability

At Acorn Health, I strive to deliver the best chiropractic care possible for my patients in accordance with evidence-based guidelines. Recently, what is arguably THE leading medical journal The Lancet lifted an embargo on their Low Back Pain Series.

These papers reveal that low back pain is now the number one cause of all disability globally, and is medically mismanaged often against best practice guidelines.

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chiropractor better posture poor posture upper crossed syndrome Upper crossed posture postural muscles chiropractic chiropractor stress muscle imbalance Janda postural control weak inhibited suboccipitals stress stressed kinematic neck weak headache migraine sitting desk Emsworth Chichester Portsmouth Southampton Havant Cosham Southsea

How poor posture causes pain

Sitting at a desk all day may mean you’re conscious of poor posture. You’ll know it can lead to headaches, muscle pain, stress and more. You may therefore be familiar with “Upper Crossed Syndrome “without even knowing it.

It’s not a serious condition but it can give rise to headaches, migraines, joint pain, muscle pain and stress. If you’re a keen gym-goer, it can also prevent you being able to reach your optimal training threshold.

What is Upper Crossed Syndrome?

It’s caused by overlapping overactive and underactive muscles throughout the neck, chest and shoulders. The chest muscles (pectorals) and muscles at the rear or side of the neck (upper trapezius, levator scapulae, suboccipitals and sternocleidomastoid) are overly tight or “facilitated”. The deep flexor muscles in the front of the neck and the rhomboids, lower trapezius and serratus anterior muscles are weak or inhibited.

chiropractor better posture poor posture upper crossed syndrome Upper crossed posture postural muscles chiropractic chiropractor stress muscle imbalance Janda postural control weak inhibited suboccipitals stress stressed kinematic neck weak headache migraine sitting desk Emsworth Chichester Portsmouth Southampton Havant Cosham Southsea
Source: http://www.muscleimbalancesyndromes.com/janda-syndromes/upper-crossed-syndrome/

A chap called Janda coined the term “Upper Crossed Syndrome”. According to his book “Assessment and Treatment of Muscle Imbalance: The Janda Approach” Upper Crossed Syndrome can lead to…..

“Dysfunction, particularly at the atlanto-occipital joint, C4-C5 segment, cervicothoracic joint, glenohumeral joint, and T4-T5 segment.  Postural changes decrease glenohumeral stability as the glenoid fossa becomes more vertical due to serratus anterior weakness leading to abduction, rotation, and winging of the scapulae. This loss of stability requires the levator scapula and upper trapezius to increase activation to maintain glenohumeral centration (Janda 1988).”

You can see how a simple matter of muscular imbalance can lead to a range of issues.

What causes it?

This is caused by a build up of small issues, such as:

  • Prolonged sitting at a desk then causes forward head carriage.
  • Poor technique when training (such as overtraining the chest and neglecting the mid-back) affects the chest and upper back.
  • Having a large bust contributes to rounded shoulders.

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Forward head carriage- when looking at yourself side-on in a mirror, your ear should be in line with your shoulder. If it’s not, it’s what we call forward head carriage.

    chiropractor better posture poor posture upper crossed syndrome Upper crossed posture postural muscles chiropractic chiropractor stress muscle imbalance Janda postural control weak inhibited suboccipitals stress stressed kinematic neck weak headache migraine sitting desk Emsworth Chichester Portsmouth Southampton Havant Cosham Southsea
    Source: https://www.physio-pedia.com/Age-related_hyperkyphosis
  • Increased inward curvature of the cervical spine (hyperlordosis).
  • Increased outward curvature of the thoracic spine (hyperkyphosis or “humpback”) . Tight muscles in the front of the chest pull you forwards, weak muscles in the upper back can’t resist the pull. Add in forward head carriage and you can end up with hyperkyphosis. In some cases, the neck can look normal because we simply overextend through the neck to hold the head up properly!
  • Breathing dyfsunction caused by over-activated muscles and compression of the rib cage.
  • Rounded shoulders and rotator cuff issues- Muscular imbalances affect the function of the shoulder joint. Due to the imbalance, rotator cuff muscles then have to work harder to stabilise the shoulder joint. This can ultimately lead to shoulder impingement and rotator cuff strain.
  • Winging of the scapula- the shoulder blades jut out instead of lying flat against the ribcage.
  • Chronic pain caused by trigger points (tender points) in the affected muscles.
  • Migraines and tension headaches due to tension in the surrounding muscles and dysfunction in the cervical and thoracic spine.
  • Pins and needles or tingling in the arms- Rounded shoulders and forward head carriage can compress the blood vessels or nerves in the space between your collarbone and first rib.

The affected muscles have a lower threshold for irritation and dysfunction. This means they very quickly become affected by faulty movement, leading to more pain and problems. As a result this puts stress on the involved joints, leading to further pain. As you can see, poor posture is contagious. Not like a bad cold shared around the office…  Instead it starts in one area and then affects another, which in turn affects another.

How can we treat Upper Crossed Syndrome and Poor Posture?

Your chiropractor will work with you to restore normal function to your upper back and neck. If underlying joint function is abnormal, exercising in this state may simply cause the muscles to adapt to the underlying dysfunction. (For more on this, read our stretching blog here.) This is why joint function must be restored first and foremost. Gentle stretches and exercises can then help relieve tension and strengthen the weaker muscles.

Here’s a video on our one simple way to improve your posture at the desk.

Begin with the chin tuck exercise. This ultimately counteracts forward head carriage.

chiropractor better posture poor posture upper crossed syndrome Upper crossed posture postural muscles chiropractic chiropractor stress muscle imbalance Janda postural control weak inhibited suboccipitals stress stressed kinematic neck weak headache migraine sitting desk Emsworth Chichester Portsmouth Southampton Havant Cosham Southsea
Source: http://www.orthoneurophysio.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/download-1.jpg
  • Stand upright with your back to wall.
  • Slightly tuck chin to chest and draw head back to wall.
  • The muscles in the front of the neck should be active when holding this position for 5-10 seconds.

You may feel some stretching of the scalene muscles on the side of the neck that go down to the collarbone. You may also notice the suboccipital muscles at the top of the neck and the base of the skull. This exercise begins to strengthen the muscles in the front of the neck and muscles of the upper back.

You can do this exercise lying down in bed, pushing back into a pillow. Once you get the hang of it, you can then do it standing upright. You’ll soon be able to do this whilst sitting in the car or at your desk at work. Repeating the exercise throughout the day will also help improve your posture over time.

Chiropractic care can help to restore normal joint movement and alleviate muscle stress. As part of your treatment programme, you’ll be given further specific exercises to help address muscle tension and restore joint function.

To book your appointment with our chiropractor, simply use the link below.


💭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!


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.


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. 


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!


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!!


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!


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!



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!


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!




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!




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? 🐁



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. 



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



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


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.


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.


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.


Half Term Children’s Posture Checks

This spring half term (from Saturday 18th – Saturday 25th February) we are offering free children’s posture checks, please phone 01243 379693 to book to avoid disappointment.


Donations will be gratefully received for Neuroblastoma UK. 

Neuroblastoma is an aggressive childhood cancer. At Neuroblastoma UK they save children’s lives by funding crucial research which is carried out by scientific experts in cancer centres and universities all around the UK and it produces results such as new treatments that save children’s lives and are kinder on their young bodies than chemotherapy and other existing therapies.

Their work relies entirely on the generosity of voluntary donors – individuals, companies and trusts – to continually fund new research projects to produce new and better treatments in order to save more children’s lives. They are staffed only by Trustees and volunteers, with no paid staff or offices, meaning that 95% of everything you donate goes directly into funding the best UK-led research.

Your support means they can fund more research and bring closer the day when neuroblastoma will be beaten.

You can make a huge difference to the chances of survival for children with neuroblastoma by donating. Thank you!


Why are we doing this?

– Because children’s cancer research attracts a tiny proportion of the money available from big funders because of its rarity. Yet these so-called “rare” cancers are collectively as common as the “common” ones!

– Research is funded by incidence, so the individual rare cancers are doomed forever to receive just a fraction of the money given to the big four adult cancers.

– Out of total cancer funding of just over £3,000 million, £83 million is relevant to childhood cancer… so just under 3% of all funding.

– In the UK, cancer is the most common cause of death in children aged 1 to 14 years, accounting for around one fifth of deaths in this age group.Read more here.

We wanted to support Neuroblastoma UK in whatever way we could and so we are offering free advice and expertise in relation to posture and healthy spinal habits, in return for a donation to Neuroblastoma UK. Together we can support the vital work these charities do and together change the future of paediatric cancer.

NB. These posture checks are in no way a screening for any form of paediatric cancer.

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01243 379693

Acorn Health Ltd © 2014- 2020

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Contact Info

01243 379693
Virtual Chiropractic Care for the UK

Acorn Health Limited © 2014 - 2020

Website Created by WebHolism