My Back Pain Has Gone – Now What?

Non-specific low back pain is one of the most common – and costly – healthcare problems in this country. This type of back pain typically recurs and has a huge impact on individual sufferers through time off work, poor sleep, reduced physical activity, increased use of pain medication, and on society as a whole through lost work days, GP appointments and so on. Chiropractors generally treat low back pain with gentle spinal manipulation and mobilisation techniques, backed up with the use of exercises. Many studies show that, for many people, this is the most effective approach. However, non-specific low back pain is a complex, multi-faceted problem, which encompasses social, behavioural and psychological factors, and there is little evidence about how best to prevent the pain from returning.  Many chiropractors use one of two strategies once a patient has recovered from their low back pain: to finish treatment and possibly continue with exercises, and only have further treatment when the pain returns (this is known as symptom-guided treatment) or to go on to a maintenance care programme. This involves regular treatment sessions at three, four or even six-monthly intervals to remove any areas of spinal dysfunction as they are found and before they become symptomatic. This is a common approach used by chiropractors and one which, anecdotally, seems to work for many people, although there has been no quality research on it until now. A recent Swedish study looked at a group of over 300 patients with non-specific low back pain who responded well to chiropractic care. They were then either left to return for treatment if and when their pain returned, or they...

Dizziness

Do you suffer from a whirling, spinning or dizziness feeling? If so you are not alone, it is reported that up to 50% of adults will experience dizziness at some point. There are many causes for dizziness, one of these is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), which is a condition of the inner ear. We can assess for this using the Hallpike-Dix test. This helps us to determine if your inner ear is the cause of the dizziness. If this is the case then the Epley Manoeuvre can be simply performed by our trained health professional. In most cases this quickly resolves the symptoms. Commonly, with BPPV, people will complain of dizziness when turning over in bed, looking up, looking down or laying down. This spinning feeling may be accompanied with nausea/vomiting and falling. Here at the Iveson Clinic we are proud to have health professionals fully trained in the assessment and treatment of BPPV. Call to make your appointment today on 01787...

I Like to Move It, Move It!

How active are you? Do you exercise regularly or do you feel you could do more? Physiotherapists recommend 30 minutes of exercise at a moderate intensity, five times a week. Don’t worry if you aren’t keen on joining a gym or exercise class though; it’s easier than you think to incorporate activity into your day. From vacuuming to walking to digging in the garden and dancing – anything that gets you moving and increases your heart rate counts! Take it gently at first and build up your pace and duration gradually. Don’t be tempted to overdo it. Walking: take a brisk walk for as long as you can – 30 minutes is a good target to work towards. Maybe get off the bus a stop or two early and walk to rest of the way Dancing: turn up your favourite tunes and dance around your home! At work: take the stairs instead of the lift and do some desk-based stretches and exercises Housework: turn chores into a workout by speeding them up or being more energetic. Try vacuuming or cleaning the bathroom with music on, to make it more enjoyable Physical activity makes us feel good, keeps us mobile and can help ward off illness, aches and pains. So get up, get out there and move it, move it!...

Ice, Ice, Baby!

With temperatures set to plummet this week, we may well see some ice and snow again. Slippery surfaces can be hazardous and many injuries are caused by falling or slipping on ice. However, with a little bit of preparation and care, accidents can hopefully be avoided. Here are some useful tips from the British Chiropractic Association to keep you safe & sound in the wintery weather: FOOTWEAR Wear waterproof shoes with thermal socks or insoles. This will help keep your feet warm. Cold, numb feet are less able to sense and adapt to changing conditions. Footwear should have a solid raised tread on the sole to maximise your grip. Or you can attach ‘ice grippers’ to your shoes, which have studs to help give a sure footing on the ice. Shoes or boots should be supportive, with firm ankle support to prevent you ‘going over’ on your ankle and help you feel more stable in slippery conditions.  If shoes have laces, they should be firmly laced to give a close fit without limiting the circulation. What to avoid: Wellingtons can be practical and keep your feet dry, but they often don’t give enough support and have poor grip. Also avoid walking outside in leather or other smooth-soled shoes. CLOTHING Clothing should be warm and allow you to move freely. Anything that impedes you from walking ‘normally’ could make you more prone to falling over or lead to you walking in an unnatural way. Layers will help keep you cosy Keep your extremities warm with a hat and gloves PREPARATION Build up your balance and stability at home by standing...

Are your New Year Resolutions looking rocky?

Did you make a New Year Resolution to get fitter, lose weight or start exercising? January is the peak time for joining a gym or signing up to a weight-loss programme. However many of us find ourselves flagging by the end of the month (if not before!) and our resolutions start to look decidedly rocky. One of the reasons people give up on exercise can be pains or strains. According to the British Chiropractic Association, exercise is the trigger for 30% of those experiencing back or neck pain. It’s vital to be well-prepared before starting an regime, especially if you are new to physical activity, and to be appropriately taught or supervised whilst doing it. If you stay pain-free, you are far more likely to enjoy exercising and stick to your new regime. Here are some top tips to get the most from exercise and minimise the risk of injury: •    Speak to your GP first, to check that there are no medical reasons why you should not exercise or increase your activity. •    Remember to warm up and warm down before and after any physical activity, to minimise the risk of strain or injury. Start with something less strenuous like walking or jogging and finish with some light stretches. •    Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during and after exercise – this will help your muscles work more  efficiently and will reduce aches and pains after exercise. •    Make sure you wear comfortable clothing.  Tight clothing could restrict your movement and lead to injury. •    Wear appropriate footwear for the type of exercise you are doing,...

Back in the Garden

Although we are still in the depths of winter, signs of spring are beginning to appear, with bulbs emerging from the soil and buds forming on the trees. For many of us, with spring comes the urge to get back in the garden. However, as well as resulting in beautifully borders, gardening can also cause aches, pains and strains, especially in the lower back and shoulders. Some new research has just been published by Coventry University, along with the Royal Horticultural Society, which used some innovative techniques more usually found on the set of a Hollywood blockbuster than a research lab. The aim was to discover how best to prevent or minimise the damage that can be done by gardening. The team at the university used ‘motion capture’ (the technique used to create life-like characters such as Gollum in Lord of the Rings films) to record exactly how the body moves when digging. A computer programme then created an animated 3-D model of the human skeleton, major joints and muscles associated with movement, enabling the researchers to study the wear and strain on the body. The top tips to emerge from the research were: When digging, use a regular, repetitive technique rather than erratic movements Bend with your knees rather than your back where possible Avoid reaching, bending or stretching forwards. Instead work with your spade or fork close to your body Try not to twist as you dig or lift. Turn your whole body instead You can read more about the research here This clip from BBC Breakfast News shows how it was done: How Hollywood can help reduce your...