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...

Katie’s Fantastic Fundraising

Katie McLernon, one of the physiotherapists at the Iveson Clinic, recently took on the daunting challenge of completing the Lakesman Triathlon in Cumbria (comprising a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride followed by a full 26.2 mile marathon, all within a 17 hour time limit.) Katie and her sister Lucy took part to raise money for charities which had helped their mum, Carol, who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in 2016. Whilst undergoing treatment she contracted pneumonia due to weakened immune system and later had a stroke. Against all odds she is pulling through and is on the mend. The sisters raised a phenomenal amount of money, some of which they donated to My WiSH, the West Suffolk Hospital charity. The funds were used to purchase new fans for the stroke unit, to help keep patients and their families comfortable. Katie, Carol and Lucy visited the stroke unit to present the fans to the staff. All of us at the Iveson Clinic are immensely proud of Katie’s achievement and wish Carol all the best for her continuing recovery....

Acupuncture to Alleviate Pain

Acupuncture is one of the oldest recorded forms of medicine, having been used for over 3000 years by the Chinese. Modern scientific research shows that acupuncture stimulates the brain to produce natural chemicals called endorphins,which aid pain relief and help the body heal itself. A recent study* in Australia has shown acupuncture to be an effective alternative to pain medications for some emergency department patients, producing better results than pain relief drugs alone. The research involved 528 patients, making it the world’s largest randomized, controlled trial of acupuncture in an emergency department. The study looked at patients with acute low back pain, migraines and ankle sprains. Patients who reported their level of pain to be at least 4 out of 10 were given either acupuncture alone, acupuncture combined with pain relief medication, or medication alone. Interestingly, more patients in the acupuncture-only group said they would probably or definitely repeat their treatment compared to those in the combined group or the pain relief medication-alone group. Lead investigator for the study Marc Cohen, MBBS, PhD, a professor in the School of Health & Biomedical Sciences at RMIT University in Melbourne, said of the results “Emergency nurses and doctors need a variety of pain-relieving options for patients, given the concerns around opioids such as morphine, which carry the risk of addiction when used long-term.” Acupuncture is available at The Iveson Clinic, and many of our patients report great results after having it. If you would like more information or to make an appointment, please give us a call on 01787 374964. * Cohen MM, Smit DV, Andrianopoulos N, et al. ‘Acupuncture for analgesia in...

Green Fingers… Sore Backs?

Summer is in full swing and many of us like nothing better than to get out in the fresh air and potter in the garden. Digging and weeding can be strenuous work though, and it’s all too easy to overdo it and end the day with aches, pains or pulled muscles. However with a bit of thought and planning, it’s simple to avoid those injuries and continue to enjoy putting your green fingers to work. Here are our Top Tips for pain-free pottering: Warm up first Gardening can involve muscles that you don’t use very often, so take a few minutes to warm up before getting down to the hard work. Try a brisk five-minute walk and some stretching exercises Lift carefully Take care when lifting heavy pots, bags of compost, full watering cans and so on. To lift correctly, begin by squatting, not bending at your waist. Use both hands to hold the object, keeping it close to your body. Slowly stand up, using your leg muscles to lift, not your back. Use a wheelbarrow or trolley to move heavy items from place to place. Fill large watering cans just halfway, and consider alternative watering options, such as hoses Take breaks It’s easy to lose track of time when gardening. Take frequent breaks and do some stretches during these breaks. Avoid doing the same kind of job for a long period. Don’t bend over for hours, determined to finish weeding a flower bed in one go! Switch to something else for a while, such as cutting the grass or dead heading, then finish the weeding later Get support...

What about Whiplash Injuries?

Richard Iveson, The Iveson Clinic’s Chiropractor, has recently attended a conference on the most up-to-date thoughts and research on whiplash injuries. Current thinking is that the efficacy of treating whiplash with traditional, hands-on treatments, using mobilisations and muscle relaxing techniques, could be enhanced by also looking at psychological factors. It appears that whiplash can alter the way the brain processes information from the eyes and neck muscles, and there is evidence that treatment and exercises for these systems can help patients recover faster. Research indicates that 50% of people with whiplash will see their symptoms resolve within the first three months 25% will resolve gradually after this and 25% will experience long term pain Whiplash is a relatively common injury, usually occurring from motor vehicle accidents. The sudden acceleration-deceleration force causes unrestrained, rapid forward and backward movement of the head and neck thus causing injury. If you have a pending court case for an injury visit this injury law firm Orlando. However the precise nature of the injuries that come under the name ‘whiplash’ are still not well understood. Clearly the spinal joints in the neck are injured but other mechanisms are probably involved as well. It will be interesting to see what further discoveries are made about whiplash in the future. If you are suffering from whiplash, the practitioners at the Iveson Clinic should be able to help relieve your symptoms, so get in touch with us on 01787...

Middle Aged? A Good Night’s Sleep Helps Prevent Aches & Pains

The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has recently published some new research* showing that middle age (45 – 54) is the time of life when the quality of your sleep (or lack of it) is most likely to cause back and neck pain. Nearly two fifths (39%) of those questioned, who have suffered from back or neck pain, thought that sleeping and/or their mattress was the trigger for their aches and pains. More than half (58%) admitted that pain kept them awake and a huge 87% said they sometimes woke up in the morning with back or neck pain. Why should this happen particularly in middle age? Poor posture, old injuries, the aging process or a worn out mattress can have a cumulative effect on our bodies, which can lead in turn to pain triggered by sleeping. Here are the BCA’s top tips for good night’s sleep: Update your mattress: Chiropractors recommend buying a new mattress at least every 10 years. Mattresses lose their support over time, so if you can feel the springs or the mattress is no longer level, it won’t be providing the support you need. Buy the right mattress: Ensure your mattress is giving you the correct support. Your spine should be parallel to the mattress and should not sag (meaning the bed is too soft) or bow (if the bed is too hard). If you share a bed with your partner, you could consider two single mattresses which can be joined together, to ensure you both get the support you need. Start your day right: Getting up out of bed too quickly in the morning...

A Warm Welcome to a Returning Member of Staff

A new member of staff has recently joined the Iveson Clinic, or rather an old colleague has returned! Katie McLernon qualified as a Chartered Physiotherapist in 2010 and began work at the Iveson Clinic in 2011 on a part-time basis, as well as working for the NHS for several years. She then went travelling and worked abroad. After spending a year working as a physiotherapist in Singapore, Katie returned to the UK and we are excited that she has chosen to come back to work at the Iveson Clinic. Katie’s special areas of interest are managing chronic injuries, sports injuries and paediatrics. She has qualifications in clinical Pilates, which she uses to assess and treat chronic injuries. She can also provide one to one Pilates sessions, to enable patients to gain good foundation knowledge and technique, either to help their recovery or prior to commencing Pilates classes elsewhere. Katie is also very passionate about providing stroke rehabilitation and this can be done either in the Clinic or as a home visit. She is proud to have had fantastic results with stroke patients, in improving balance, walking and restoring function in patient’s limbs. Katie will be treating patients at the Iveson Clinic on Thursdays, as well as offering home/domiciliary visits....

The Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage Therapy

At The Iveson Clinic we use many pieces of equipment to help patients recover as quickly as possible. A few years ago we were contacted by an Australian chiropractor called Dr Graeme who wanted to send us an electric deep tissue massage machine to trial. Deep tissue massage can be used to relax and lengthen tight muscles and is also very effective in treating trigger points. What is a Trigger Point? If you’ve ever had a masseur find a tender spot in a muscle, which feels a bit like a ‘pea’ in structure and is tender when pressed, that is a trigger point. The problem with trigger points is that they can interfere with the way nerves control the muscles. For example around the shoulder joint, they can affect the co-ordination of smooth movement, and this can lead to pain and dysfunction in the way the arm moves. Trigger points are very common. Most people, if they press firmly into the muscle between the neck and shoulder, will find some tender spots. The Dr Graeme Massager We were very impressed when we tried the Dr Graeme Massager, and we have used it in The Iveson Clinic for a number of years now. Many patients find the treatment very effective for releasing tight knots in the muscles, as well as for general relaxation. It’s great to get this treatment during a clinic appointment, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to get the same relief at home? The good news is that you can. Traditionally, hand-held, professional standard massagers have been very expensive but the Dr Graeme one retails for just £42 and...

Acupuncture & Knee Pain

Some interesting new research seems to show that acupuncture can relieve chronic pain and improves physical function in patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee. The research involved ten randomized controlled trials of acupuncture compared with sham acupuncture, standard care or no intervention for chronic knee pain in patients who had a confimred diagnosed of knee osteoarthritis. The studies demonstrated that acupuncture can improve short and long-term physical function, however in some patients the pain relief from acupuncture appeared to be only short term. The research was carried out by the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China. You can read more about these fascinating results here Julie Iveson, senior physiotherapist at The Iveson Clinic, is a qualified and experienced acupuncturist. To find out more or to book an appointment, please click here or call us on 01787 374964....