summer holidays protect your back

It’s holiday time! Protect your back

So with summer holidays almost upon us you are probably getting excited about the sunshine and sandy beaches. But have you taken time to consider your back?  Back pain can really ruin a holiday so make sure you protect your back. Here are some hints and A from Alison Eaves, chiropractor in Leeds, to help protect your back and have a great and comfortable time away.

 

  • Packing

Do not pack too much. Do you really need all that stuff? Remember you are going to have to lift that bag in and out of cars and up and down hotel stairs. Don’t make your bag heavier than it needs be. A heavy bag increases the chance of you straining your back from bending or twisting. Protect your back by keeping your bag as light as possible.

 

  • Keep active on long journeys

This applies to when you are travelling in the car or on the plane. Do not stay sitting in the same position for long periods. Protect your back and take regular breaks on long car journeys and get up and move regularly if you are on a long flight.

 

  • Don’t sunbathe in the same position all day

Remember to protect your back when sunbathing as well. You wouldn’t usually lie or sit in the same position for hours at work so don’t do it on holiday. Protect your back and keep getting up and moving around

 

  • Remember the same advice for sleeping

Just because you are in a new environment don’t forget to protect your back. Sleep on your side or on your back. And don’t sleep with lots of pillows just because you are in a hotel. One medium sized pillow to keep the neck in a neutral position is best.

 

  • Relax and enjoy your holiday

The final point to remember to protect your back is to relax and enjoy yourself! When we are stressed we tend to be more sensitive to back pain.

 

Alison Eaves is a chiropractor in Leeds. To make an appointment with Alison book online at www.leedschiro.co.uk or call 0113 3472801

Running Injuries Part 1

Following on from last weekend’s London Marathon, it seems a great time to discuss some of the most common running injuries and how low back pain can occur in runners. So look out for the next series of articles and blog posts from Revive Chiropractic all about running injuries and back pain in runners.

We see lots of runners here at Revive Chiropractic; from parkrun first timers to athletes training 5 or 6 times a week and no group are immune from running related injuries. From a back pain point of view, one of the first things to look at is tight hip flexors.

The hip flexors are the psoas muscle and the iliopsoas muscle that run from the low back and pelvis and attach onto the top of the thigh bone.

The job of the hip flexor is as the name suggests flexing the hip! In layman’s terms this is lifting the leg up in a bent position as if you are marching on the spot. Because when you run you use your hip flexors repeatedly there is a tendency for the hip flexors to over-tighten and become chronically shortened. This in turn leads to anterior tilting of the pelvis and resulting additional pressure on the lumbar facet joints (the joints of the spine).

psoas muscle

The psoas and the iliacus muscles make up the hip flexors

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Lower cross syndrome placing additional strain on the lumbar facet joints through anterior pelvic tilt and increased lumber lordosis

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Tight hip flexors causing anterior pelvic tilt

 

 

 

 

If you are feeling a bit tight and achy after a run then stretching is a good place to start. The quadriceps also works as a hip flexor so good to stretch that out too!

Stretches should be held for at least 30 seconds and repeated at least daily and definitely after any running. Chiropractic treatment can also help to mobilise or free-up the restricted lumbar facet joints and help to restore normal pelvic movement. This in turn will allow for a more fluid and energy efficient running style so you waste less energy and run quicker.

quadriceps stretch

Quadriceps stretch

hip flexor stretch

Psoas muscle stretch

 

Half term back pain?

Are you suffering from half term back pain? This blog post will offer help and advice to help you enjoy your half term without any annoying, nagging back pain.

This week is half term and many of you will be spending extra time at home with your children. Or maybe you are grandparents who are willingly helping outwith your grandchildren. Either way I know that on Monday morning the phone will ring with patients telling me they have back pain that started over the holidays.

So why is back pain such a problem at holiday time?

Our bodies and our back’s in particular like routine. So when we do something out of the ordinary such as spending more time with young children then our back’s tend to grumble. We also do more of the things that we know aggravate back pain like bending and twisting. Grandparents especially may find that they are spending additional hours bending over playing with young children and all of the additional twisting and lifting that goes with looking after children.

We also tend to go on more days out and more adventures! This often means loading the car with picnics, toys and heavy items, all of which have the potential to strain your back. Sometimes there may be a long drive to get to your destination and we know that sitting and particularly sitting in a car for long periods can aggravate back pain. Why? Because sitting puts additional strain on the structures of the low back such as the disc’s, joints, muscles and ligaments of the spine.

So how do I avoid half term back pain?

  • Take regular breaks from any activities to get up and move about
  • If you are sat down then think about your posture and try to suck your tummy and core in as this helps prevent slouching
  • Only sit on the floor with young children for short periods. Sitting cross-legged or with your legs out to one side will cause rotation of the hips and lead to tightness in the low back
  • Go outside for a walk. Walking is great for back pain as it keeps you mobile. Either take the kids with you on a short walk (depending on their age) or get out for a walk at a convenient time when your partner or another family member is able to take over responsibility for the children
  • Use lumbar support if sat in the car on a long journey. A rolled up hand towel placed horizontally in the curve of the low back should do the job

If despite the above you still have half term back pain then you can make an appointment to see chiropractor Alison Eaves at either the North Leeds Clinic (Otley Road) on 0113 3472801 or the East Leeds Clinic (Mortec Park) on 0113 3470024. Alternatively you can book online https://revivechiropractic.cliniko.com/bookings#location

Exercises for Lower Back Pain

Exercises for lower back pain are a great way to help low back pain. It doesn’t matter how long you have had back pain for, most people will benefit from doing regular exercises. For most patients who visit a chiropractor exercises for lower back pain will form a key part of the treatment plan.

Why do exercises for lower back pain?

Exercises will prevent the back from becoming too stiff and immobile in the short term and then over time exercises will build strength in the lower back muscles and just as importantly stability. It is the combination of mobility, strength and stability that is key to improving and getting rid of lower back pain.

What exercises should I do?

1) Start of with something like the Cat-Camel exercise. Complete 10 repetitions.

2) You can then build to the quadruped. Complete 10 repetitions on each leg but keep on alternating sides.

These are great to get you started.

What if doing the exercises hurts?

This can be a real problem if you are suffering from lower back pain because it will often hurt to move and change position, patients think that the best thing to do is to rest and do nothing. In most cases resting will simply prolong your back pain and make it worse and you are better to try and keep moving about, albeit just gentle pottering.  As long as you are only experiencing mild discomfort and the discomfort does not last for more than 10-15 minutes after doing the exercises then carry on. If you are in any doubt regarding how to do these exercises for lower back pain then consult a professional back pain specialist such as a chiropractor, osteopath or physiotherapist for advice.

You can book an appointment with our chiropractor Alison Eaves at either the North Leeds or East Leeds Clinics. To book please call 0113 347 2801 or see the contact information at the top of the page.

 

Tips For Avoiding Back Pain On Holiday

Helpful tips for avoiding back pain when you go on your holidays. Revive Chiropractic chiropractors in Leeds share some tips.

You’ve been looking forward to your holiday for ages. Months of long hours and working hard and then when it finally comes around you are faced with back pain. We get lots of calls to Revive Chiropractic just before holiday time saying “help!”. All the pre-holiday rushing about you’ve pulled your back or maybe you have had back pain for a few days or a few weeks and it just hasn’t quite gone away.

Here are some tips to ease the burden of back pain on your holidays:

Suitcases: Choose the lightest suitcase you can find and preferably one with wheels and where possibly pack two lighter suitcases rather than ne very heavy one. If you do end up with a very heavy suitcase then push it rather than pull it.

Lift cases correctly: bend your hips and your knees and not your back! Keep your feet wide apart and avoid twisting through the back or dragging and arm/shoulder behind you as this also twists the spine.

Sleep well: tiredness increases the chance of back injury so get a good night’s sleep before you jet off and have plenty of rest

Keep moving: travelling in the car or by aeroplane then consider your poor back and keep moving. Get up out of your seat a regular intervals if on the plane, you wouldn’t sit for hours at a time usually so don’t do it. If you are travelling by car then stop regularly and take a brief brisk walk as this will loosen and relief any tightness in the low back form prolonged sitting

Sunbathing: do not arch your back or neck for long periods and lying propped up on your elbows reading a book is a no no.
Remember all this advice on the way home as you don’t want to ruin a perfectly good holiday.. Have a great summer.

If you are worried about back pain ruining your holiday then call 0113 347 2801 to book an appointment at Revive Chiropractic to see a chiropractor in North Leeds.

Chiropractic Awareness Week 13th-19th April 2015

Did you know that this week is chiropractic awareness week? Chiropractic awareness week is running 13th-19th April and there has already been some great coverage in the press. Just in case you may have missed it here are some articles you may be interested in:

The Independent:

Looking at electronic devices leads to increase in neck and back problems

Daily Mirror:

Back pain soars among young people because they are sitting down for too long

The Times:

Youngsters are becoming sitting targets for back pain

All three of these articles focus on the shocking rise in back pain amongst young patients under the age of 30. It is suggested that the near constant use of mobile phones, laptops and tablets is causing too much stress and strain to our spines, leading to pain and disability. There has been a steep rise in the number of people in this age group reporting back pain and neck pain and I would definitely say that my practice reflects this. I’ve been working as a chiropractor now for nearly seven years and more and more younger patients are coming in to see me for help with painful back and neck conditions. It always used to be old age causing the trouble!

The good news is that this type of pain is usually relatively straight-forward to sort out and responds very well to chiropractic treatment. Whilst patients are young you have the opportunity to change postural habits and explain the importance of good posture and how to sit properly. This should lead to less spinal problems in the future and a healthier, happier population.

Neck and back pain in patients under 30 years old is not ‘normal’ and we need to address this sudden and dramatic rise in spinal pain with sensible advice on how it can best be avoided. It is great to see such great news coverage for the chiropractic profession and we need to work alongside osteopaths and physiotherapists to help the population reduce the surge in back pain that is highlighted in this survey.

What does chiropractic treatment do?

Once the cause of the pain has been identified I will work on the patient’s spine to restore movement to any parts of the neck or the back that have become stiff or jammed. Conversely if there is instability and too much movement we may look at exercises to strengthen specific muscles. Check out these simple exercises that can be performed daily to help you with any neck or back pain from Revive TV.

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Spread the word about chiropractic

Maybe it is your son or daughter who is complaining of back or neck pain or a friend? If you have personally benefitted from chiropractic treatment then suggest that they come and see us at Revive Chiropractic and we can help. It is amazing just how many people still don’t know what a chiropractor is or what we do!

Is housework causing you back pain?

Is housework causing you back pain? Well according to a recent survey, housework is the leading activity for causing back pain.Back pain is extremely common and it is the main reason people seek treatment from a chiropractor. So when I see surveys about people’s attitude to back pain I take interest. Last week I came across a survey from backpainhelp.com where they asked over 2000 people who suffered from back pain what activities they were prohibited from completing. Top of the survey was housework with 26% of those surveyed forced to quit. In second place was working or studying (22%), followed by sex (14%) and driving (14%).

A few of my patients have certainly tried the line “Alison told me I can’t do any housework!” but this is a long way from the truth. Whilst some household activities such as leaning over the sink to wash up and using the vacuum cleaner can be uncomfortable if you suffer from back pain, the solution is not to stop doing them. If you really want to beat back pain the reality is that most people have to do back strengthening exercises alongside receiving chiropractic treatment. This is especially true if you have chronic back pain (longer than six months) as research has shown that many of the low back stabilising muscles shrink and deteriorate over this time period.

So instead of avoiding certain activities you work to strengthen back muscles with specific exercise and also modify your activities. For example you may find you have to spread your normal household chores over two or three days rather than doing it all in one go. When driving use the lumbar support in your car or use a small rolled up hand towel in as support for the low back.

Alison Eaves is a chiropractor based in Leeds. To book an appointment with Alison or to find out how you can improve your back pain call 07828 686 026 or book online for further information.

Back Pain ‘Leading Cause of Disability’ Confirms New Study

Back pain may now be the leading cause of disability worldwide according to a new international study stating that ‘back pain is behind more disability than any other condition’. The study in Annals of Rheumatic Disease found back pain affecting nearly 1 in 10 people worldwide. Unfortunately Western Europe is the continent where back pain is most common, followed by North Africa and the Middle East, and was lowest in the Caribbean and Latin America. It also found back pain becomes more common with increasing age.

So what does this mean for the people of Leeds and the UK in general? In the UK the prevalence of back pain is much higher with back pain affecting 8 out 10 people in their lifetime. And with the UK’s aging population this can only mean that as a nation we have to become better prepared to cope with the future back pain problems.

The good news is that chiropractors are in a great position to be able to help. All day every day is spent assessing peoples’ spines, learning what good movement is and what restricted or dysfunctional movement is. Restricted and/or dysfunctional movements (with or without accompanying pain) will more often than not cause pain in the future. In simple terms, as a chiropractor, I work to maintain the spinal joints, ligaments and surrounding muscles and soft tissues in optimum condition to enable free movement. This may mean manipulation to give more mobility or in some cases exercises to build strength and stability.

Find out how visiting a chiropractor can help your back pain, book an appointment at our Leeds clinic by calling 07828 686026.

What Is Sciatica?

Working as a chiropractor in Leeds, the phrase “I think I have sciatica”, is one of the most common things I hear. But what exactly is sciatica and what can a chiropractor do to help sciatica? Leeds chiropractor Alison Eaves, at Revive Chiropractic in Adel explains all.

The term sciatica is commonly misused. Sciatica describes low back pain with accompanying leg pain. It is not just leg pain into the buttocks or the back of the thigh, to be true sciatica, the pain must travel past the knee and into the calf and sometimes the foot. It may be accompanied with pins and needles or numbness in certain areas of the leg. Sciatica is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve as it exits the low back and if the compression is severe then you may experience pins and needles & numbness as well as pain.

What causes Sciatica?

This largely depends on the age of the patient and the mechanism of injury. In younger patients, aged between 20-50 years old, the most common cause for sciatica is lumbar disc bulge or herniation. This is when trauma, such as heavy lifting or repeated twisting, can cause a tear in the lumbar disc. This allows the liquid core of the disc to bulge outwards so the disc puts pressure directly onto the sciatic nerve. Usually this is very painful and you may be unable to sit for any length of time.

In older patients, aged 50 plus, it is often degenerative changes in the lumbar disc and the bony vertebrae that lead to compression of the sciatic nerve. Pressure on the spinal joints from everyday ‘wear and tear’ can cause extra bone to grow around the joint (osteophyte formation). If the extra bony bits grow in the wrong place they can compress or catch on the sciatic nerve. The lumbar discs also start to lose height and this has the effect of narrowing the space where the nerves leave the spine and again can increase the chance of the nerve becoming compressed.

A third cause is spondylolisthesis, when one vertebra slips forward on another. It may be caused by trauma or degenerative changes due to ageing. It is less common than the other two causes and in many cases a minor slip will not cause any symptoms.

Can a chiropractor help Sciatica?

Yes! There are many different techniques a chiropractor can use to treat sciatica. In simple terms we work to mobilise the joints of the spine to relieve pressure on the nerve and the disc. Treatment may consist of spinal manipulation or more gentle stretching and mobilisation techniques. Chiropractors will also give home exercises to increase core stability that will support the spine.

Back to school – Make sure your children don’t succumb to back pain

The children may be back at school this week but make sure you are helping them to avoid back pain. Alison Eaves, chiropractor here at Revive Chiropractic in Leeds, discusses some research from the British Chiropractic Association on increasing rates of back pain in children.

So why is back pain affecting children and why is it getting worse?
Children of today’s generation are much more sedentary than they have previously been, largely due to the amount of time spent on mobile phones, tablets, computers and social networking sites. Children are also getting much less exercise. Sitting for long periods of time can lead to the muscles, joints and soft tissues becoming stiff and painful. The use of handheld devices such as mobile phones and tablets only adds to the slumped posture and rounded shoulders.

Is back pain in children normal?
No – but don’t panic. Whilst back pain in children can be a sign of more underlying conditions this is very rare. Most back pain is easily treated with just a few sessions and some simple exercises and advice. Kids respond really quickly to treatment and it is important to get to the root cause of any back pain so that they do not grow up thinking back pain is ‘normal’.

What can be done?
Firstly, get your children up and about. Limit them to about 40 minutes of sedentary activity and encourage them to get up, move about and get active. If they are sitting for any length of time, make sure they are sitting upright and not lying on their front propped up on elbow or sat slumped on the floor.

If they complain of back pain or neck pain for a period of several weeks then it may be worthwhile booking an appointment to see a chiropractor who is used to treating young children. Alison is a chiropractor in Leeds and has experience treating young children and teenagers.

You can visit www.revivechirorpractic.co.uk or call 0728 686026 to book an appointment with Alison.