Whether you have lower back pain, neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain etc etc, many people think that where it hurts is where the problem is. Sometimes this is true, but often not. The reason is that the spine is a synchronous unit comprising the vertebral spinal column as well as the cord it protects.
This means that if something goes wrong in one area, other areas will have to compensate. These compensations are frequently where we feel pain. As chiropractors, we don’t view and treat the body in segments; after all, we’re not made of lego! We look at it all, and recognise that symptoms such as pain and immobility can be attributed to problems elsewhere in your body. A clue that this may be happening is if you feel pain gradually set in without having sustained an injury to that area. Or, if you have had some form of therapy to treat an affected area that feels better for a while and then starts to hurt again as the compensation returns.

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In this short blog, Rob outlines why our posture should support us, not the other way around.

Last month, I attended a business networking meeting. The lady speaking was Sarah Gardner, Chief Executive of a charity called ATE (Action Through Enterprise). Sarah founded ATE whilst working as a VSO volunteer in 2012. Posted to teach at a school in rural northern Ghana, she quickly realised that the children and families there needed more than just a teacher. They needed the support that would enable them to attend school, rather than having to work every day to help feed their families.

Sarah, with the support of her family, subsequently set up ATE to provide educational teaching resources, free meals for children, as well as supporting children with special needs and small business start-up funding.

 

Carly and I felt that the work being done by ATE was so important, that we wanted to help in some way. To this end, between 30th May and 2nd June Rebalance Chiropractic will be giving 50% of the proceeds of our Initial Consultation fees to ATE. This means that £25 of the £50 new patients pay for their first assessment and adjustment will be paid to ATE at the end of this week.

So, if you too are passionate about the work that Sarah and ATE are doing, and feel that chiropractic may benefit you, call and make an appointment with us during this week.

ATE is a registered charity 1149988.
For more details on their work, visit http://ateghana.org/

Of course we all want the best possible care for our dogs when something isn’t right and now there are many treatment options available to help dogs recover from physical injuries or conditions. Chiropractic can offer so much more for our dogs as well as supporting them through a physical problem it will also help their body function to it’s full potential. It’s difficult to know what type of treatment to choose for your dog and I have found that I am often asked the questions that appear in this blog, when I tell people that I am an animal chiropractor; if you are interested in learning more about animal chiropractic and how it could help your dog read on!

 

beachdog

 

What is animal chiropractic?

It is a form of physical therapy for animals that focusses on the health of the neuro-musculo-skeletal systems. Sounds very complex but this simply means that we assess and work with the skeleton, muscles and nerves that form the joints of the animal’s body. We are checking that every joint of the body is moving correctly so that the bones, muscles and impulses (neurology) can function effectively. When we find a restricted joint we “adjust” to restore normal motion. The aim of chiropractic care is to allow the body to function and move normally and support the natural healing process.

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skier

With winter upon us, many of you will be looking forward to hitting the piste, carving up the slopes and savouring alpine life.

But for many, amidst the excitement, there will always be the niggling concern “will my knee, or knees, hold up this year”? If so, then you’re in the same boat as me, and many others.

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headaches1

Regular headaches are something that many of us just put up with. Maybe it’s due to not getting enough sleep, stress, hormones or needing new glasses.  However, if you find that you get headaches and also suffer with neck and shoulder pain / stiffness, this could be the source of the headaches.

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School term has started again and with it the topical debate of school bags and are they giving children bad backs.

backtoschoolIn a nutshell, the debate revolves around the weight of school bags, and how they are carried. Research suggests that a child’s bag should not be more than 10% of their body weight. If it is heavier than this, posture will be compromised and lean forward to compensate for the weight. In doing so, weight is not being transferred through the body as designed, but rather forward of it, causing postural muscles to work overtime.

If there’s one thing worse than carrying a heavy bag on your back over two shoulders, its carrying it on one shoulder. Not only will you lean forward to compensate, but also to the side.  In summary, simple tips to follow are:

1) Keep the weight down!

2) Carry the bag close to the body, in contact with the mid and upper back. Allowing it to sag backwards actually increases the effective load being carried. A simple way to illustrate this concept is to take something like a bag of sugar and hold it close to your body for a minute. Easy. Now hold it out in front of you for a minute. Not so easy!

3) Don’t carry your bag on one shoulder as it will cause you to compensate your weight to the other side, putting strain on the back, shoulder and neck.schoolbag-posture

 

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Standing posture checkWhen standing, our body should be upright to allow your weight to be distributed through our skeleton. All too often nowadays, people’s posture is bent forward, especially at the head and shoulders due to the proportion of our day we spend sitting.

The average head weighs 12lb, but for every inch the head rests forward of its designed position (roughly level with the shoulder), an extra 10lb is added to the ‘effective’ weight due to the biomechanics and leverage being altered. No wonder we see so many patients with tight muscles in their upper back and neck, often complaining of headaches and fatigue!

A simple way to check your own posture is to stand with your back against a wall. If your posture is optimal (and you are of average build), you should be able to stand with your bottom, shoulders and back of head against the wall comfortably. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and and arms relaxed beside you. Many of you will find that to achieve this you need to push our head backwards towards the wall, and will probably feel your lower back arch away from the wall as you do this.

 

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