Sports chiropractic

Sports Chiropractic – perform like a Brownlee

Calling all Leeds triathletes

The Brownlee brothers come to Leeds this weekend to compete on their home patch in the ITU World Series Event. If you are competing at the weekend then it is time to get excited! I hope you’ve done your open water swim preparation, fine-tuned the bike and practised your bike to run transitions. Whether you’ve spent a fortune on the latest kit in pursuit of super quick times, or just aim to finish, have you given a thought to your body? More specifically sports chiropractic and how it could help your triathlon performance.

What Sports Chiropractic can do for you

Here at Revive Chiropractic I treat lots of runners, cyclists and triathletes of all abilities. They all share two common goals – (1) to perform faster and (2) remain injury free. I will deal with the injury side of things first. This is a more obvious reason for seeing a chiropractor.

A patient may seek treatment for a specific injury such as back or neck pain, or perhaps a muscle strain. A simple plan can be put in place to treat the injury and guide the athlete back to full training. Some patients will then choose to leave care. Patients are happy that their injury has been resolved and they can return at any point in the future. Those who stay in care move to what we call maintenance care. The aim here is to prevent injury recurrence by working on stiff joints and tight muscles. Chiropractic treatment in the maintenance phase may be once a month to once every six months depending on the individual. The aim is to prevent stiff joints and tight muscles as they arise and before stiffness and tension can build up to the point that it starts to cause pain.

How does maintenance care play a part?

As part of ongoing maintenance care sports chiropractic comes into its own. Sports chiropractic aims to improve the function of joints in the spine and surrounding muscles. Put simply, joints that move freely and muscles maintained at optimum length will allow for optimum sports performance. A muscle that must contract more forcibly to move a stiff or restricted joint will mean the body expends extra energy. A muscle that is full of knots will not contract and work with the same efficiency as a muscle that is relaxed. A body that moves freely and easily will move fast!

Talk to our chiropractor Alison Eaves to find out how sports chiropractic could help. You can book online at https://revivechiropractic.cliniko.com/bookings#location or call 0113 347 2801. Revive Chiropractic has 2 locations in Leeds. Both our Adel and Scholes clinics offer appointments from 8am to 8pm.

Neck pain when cycling 100 miles? The PRU ride 100

Neck pain when cycling

Some of you may have noticed the pictures from this weekend’s Prudential Ride London on the Facebook page. I’ve also treated a few cyclists recently complaining of neck pain when cycling.

 What causes neck pain when cycling?

Quite simply as human beings we are not designed to be on a bike. We are designed to be upright on two feet. On a bike, in order to be able to see the road ahead, the neck is pulled back into extension. This causes the joints to jam against each other and leads to neck pain when cycling. Riding with the arms outstretched for 2 or 3 hours at a time can also cause fatigue and neck pain when cycling long distances. If the neck and shoulder muscles are not strong enough to support the weight of the head (typically 6kg!) in this position then tension will build up in the neck muscles and lead to neck pain.

What can be done to prevent neck pain when cycling?

A combination of chiropractic treatment to loosen restricted joints in the spine and massage to specific tight neck muscles will help ease neck pain when cycling. Usually a course of treatments are required, typically 6 to 8 treatments.

There are also some great exercises that you can do lessen neck pain. These can all be found at leedschiro.co.uk/blog or by searching “Revive Chiropractic Leeds” on YouTube. There are some great general neck stretches to be found on the blog and chin tuck and wall angels are also a great start. It can take 8 to 10 weeks of doing the exercises daily to really strengthen the neck muscles and improve neck pain when cycling.

Also don’t forget a bike fit! The strongest neck and shoulder muscles won’t be much help if the setup of your bike is incorrect.

If you need further advice you can call and book an appointment with Alison Eaves at Revive Chiropractic in Leeds, West Yorkshire by calling 0113 347 2801.

Weak Hip Stabilisers in Runners

Running injuries part 2 – weak hip stabilisers

Weak hip stabilisers in runners are one of the most common causes of injury in runners. Are there any Leeds Half Marathon runners out there? Maybe you ran at the weekend and enjoyed your half marathon experience so much that you are now looking to try and improve your running performance and start running faster? Or maybe you just want to train and race injury free? This blog is looking at the role of hip stabilisation in runners and why hip stabilisation is important. If you missed last week’s blog on tight hip flexors then you can (click here)

What are the hip stabilisers?

You probably hear people talking about your ‘gluts’. Well more specifically they are the gluteus maximus, minimus and medius or your bum muscles. More specifically it is the gluteus medius muscle that plays a key role in hip stabilisation and stops us swaying from side to side as we run.

 

gluts

Gluteal muscles

If the glut med muscles are weak then you get excess movement in the pelvis that can lead to altered pelvic movement and strain on the lumbar spine. You might get away with poor hip stabilisation if all you do is sit and walk all day. But start training 10, 20 or 30 + miles a week and the excess forces placed on the pelvis start to take their toll.

Not just low back and pelvic pain

Poor hip stabilisation has been linked to increased incident of iliotibal band syndrome and patellofemoral problems and a host of other lower limb conditions such as plantar fasciitis and shin splints. This is because excess movement at the hip will alter forces and rotation through the lower leg and knee. For example, weak hip stabilisers can cause too much inward rotation of the femur (thigh bone) leading to excess strain on the iliotibial band.

Read the next blog for some great exercises on how to assess for weak hip flexors and how to strengthen the hip flexors f you find you have weakness.

If you want to discuss your running style or any running injury with our chiropractor here at Revive Chiropractic please call 0113 347 2801 to make an appointment. Alison Eaves has clinics across West Yorkshire.

 

 

 

sports massage for Leeds Half Marathon Runners

Sports Massage for Leeds Half Marathon Runners

Sports Massage for Leeds Half Marathon Runners

Congratulations to all of the runners who completed the Leeds Half Marathon at the weekend. How are the legs feeling today?! As a reward for all your hard efforts why not treat yourself to a recovery sports massage for all Leeds Half Marathon Runners at Revive Chiropractic?

Sports massage is known to aid the recovery process of tired and aching muscles, working in several different ways. Massage to tired legs will stimulate blood flow to the muscles and so bring anti-inflammatory chemicals to the muscles and remove the toxic build-up of chemicals from running. Sports massage will also break down any adhesions or ‘knots’ in the muscles and stretch the muscles to restore them to their optimum length. If you want to recover more quickly from hard races and hard training sessions then it is definitely worth considering sports massage as part of your training plans

In fact regular sports massage can be a very effective tool in reducing day to day aches and pains that come with regular running and help to prevent injury. A regular sports massage about every six weeks is a good starting point for most people but some people may require massage more or less frequently than this.

Any bookings made up until Saturday 14th May will be eligible for a £10 reduction in the cost of sports massage. A 30 minute sports massage will cost just £20 and 60 minutes just £40. To redeem this offer just mention ‘Leeds Half’ when you come to pay. Revive Chiropractic is a chiropractic and sports massage clinic in north Leeds run by runners for runners. We talk running. Go online to book an appointment at leedschiro.co.uk or call 0113 347 2801. We have sports massage appointments available Monday to Friday 8am-7pm.

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

lowerCrossSyndrome-339x400-254x300

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

lower crossed 2

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

 

Chiropractic fitness for 2016

Chiropractic fitness is concept raised by Alison Eaves, a chiropractor in Leeds. Alison is on hand to offer advice to anyone wanting to improve their health and fitness in 2016. For many people, the New Year brings promises of becoming healthier and exercising more. So what is chiropractic fitness and how can visiting a chiropractor help before you dig out the running shoes or rediscover the long lost gym membership card?

A chiropractor will be able to help with any pre-existing injuries or stiffness and be able to look at your movement and suggest ways of improving it. This is because ultimately it is free and easy movement of the joints, muscles and ligaments that leads to full and pain free movement. So this is chiropractic fitness.

If you begin a new exercise regime and you are carrying an injury then you will likely make that injury worse. Sometimes even if it is just tight neck and shoulders that you notice from time to time when sat in the office then this can be exacerbated by the new exercise regime. This is because our bodies are particularly susceptible to changes in habits. So going from being sedentary to the gym even a few times a week can send shock waves through the body.

Visiting a chiropractor will include a full assessment of the body and highlight any stiffness, muscles tightness or muscle weakness. The chiropractor can make numerous suggestions as to what exercises may be beneficial and also the type of exercise you should be undertaking and how often and at what intensity etc. This advice is given alongside any hands on manual therapy or chiropractic manipulation as in my opinion both aspects are important in maintaining a healthy and well-functioning body.

Even if you have no pain you may still benefit from visiting a chiropractor as they will likely find areas that can be improved and decrease the likelihood of pain developing in the future. Chiropractic fitness really is for everyone.

Alison can be contacted at the North Leeds Clinic on 0113 3472801 or the East Leeds Clinic on 0113 347 0024. Appointments with the chiropractor are available Monday to Friday 8am-7pm and on Saturdays by appointment.

Barefoot Running: What’s It All About?

Many runners seek help from a chiropractor for running injuries. Some seem to get endless injuries whilst others do not. Is barefoot running the answer? In this edition of the blog I look at the evidence base for and against barefoot running.

Barefoot running is simply running in thin soled shoes (or without shoes at all!). Barefoot running turns the normal runner from a heel strike into a forefoot strike and it is argued that this running style can decrease injuries. Supporters of barefoot running argue that we have evolved to be able to walk and run long distances barefoot as a survival mechanism and that by wearing footwear we are weakening our intrinsic foot muscles and diminishing proprioception. Weak foot muscles they say can lead to increased injury rates. But is there any evidence that it works?!

Yes and no. Rates of injury amongst runners have remained almost unchanged since the 1970’s despite the massive development in running shoe technology. Today’s running shoes are designed with increased heel cushioning and arch support and a whole host of other very complicated features that supposedly lessen the impact as our foot strikes the ground. If you are thinking of trying barefoot running, consider the following:

1) Not everybody who wears barefoot running shoes runs in the same way. A significant number of runners (around 25%) still run in a heel strike pattern as if they were wearing conventional running shoes.

2) We know that running style changes as fatigue sets in but the studies have not looked at barefoot running biomechanics over longer distances.

So the jury is out but what can be said is that the advent of barefoot running has created huge sales in footwear and a massive new industry has evolved. What is important is that if you do try barefoot running then it is paramount that you make a gradual transition. There is a greatly increased risk of injury on the initial stages of barefoot running so you must give your body time to adapt to the new running technique. Initially wear barefoot shoes for just walking and then for short periods running, gradually building the time and distance.

Am I a barefoot runner?

No! I like to think that regular chiropractic treatment and good core stability help to keep good form whilst running. There are also other ways to try and build intrinsic foot strength such as multi-direction lunges and single leg squats. So if you are a runner with persistent lower limb injuries then weigh up the evidence and decide if it is worth a try. Personally, I’d rather suggest exercises and an individual rehab program alongside chiropractic care.

Blog author Alison Eaves. Alison is a qualified chiropractor working in Leeds. Call Revive Chiropractic on 07828 686026 to book an appointment with Alison.

General Neck Stretches

This is another great exercise to help with neck pain from Leeds chiropractor Alison Eaves at Revive Chiropractic.

 

Neck Range of Motion

Take your neck through its full range of motion. Even if you experience mild to moderate pain it is often beneficial to keep joints moving.

• Drop your chin down to your chest as far as you can and then do the opposite and look up to the ceiling.

• Keeping your shoulders relaxed and facing forwards look as far as you can over the left shoulder and then the right.

• Now try to touch your ear to each shoulder. Don’t worry if you can’t move it too far but don’t cheat and bring the shoulder up to the ear.

Tips:

Repeat 2-3 times daily

 

Neck Stretches

• To stretch the upper trapezius muscles and the neck muscles turn the head 45 degrees to the side

• Gently bring the chin towards the armpit by putting gentle pressure on the head with the arm on the side you are turning your head towards!

Tips:

Don’t pull the head hard. Instead you may find that reaching towards the floor with the opposite hand increase the stretch

 

You can see a video that accompanies this post here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVvYUM0z4Y8

More Half Marathon Madness for Chiropractor in Leeds and a Personal Best

So what did you do with your weekend? Half marathon madness was what I did! I went down to Nottingham for the weekend to take part in the Robin Hood Half Marathon. What a great race to take part in.

After the wind and rain of the great North Run we were blessed with sunshine and clear blue skies. The course is mercifully flat and so lends itself to quick times and so I was very happy to smash my personal best with a time of 1 hour 53 minutes. Always good to see the training paying off and now I’m even more determined to keep up with the running and try and dip below 1 hour 50 in a race next year.

Stretching after running

Stretching after running is very very important for a quick and relatively pain free recovery following a race like a half marathon. I’m quite surprised that the legs don’t feel too sore after running, maybe because I did all the correct stretches after finishing the half marathon. I spent around 20 minutes stretching the legs, buttocks and back after the race. It is vital to do your stretches before getting back in the car to drive home or you will be incredibly stiff when you try and get out at the other end. Can you imagine what punishment the body suffers over 13.1 miles? You will get micro-tears in the muscle fibres from exertion and exhaustion and a large build up of toxic metabolites (waste products). These combine to give you the stiffness and muscle soreness that is associated with running distance events like the half marathon.

I think it is time for a rest though after the Great North Run, Wetherby 10K and this weekend’s half marathon. September has been busy! I shall have a relaxing week and maybe get an entry in for the Abbey Dash in November. Anybody else fancy joining me?!

Are you a runner? Would you like chiropractic treatment to help you run better and recover better? Call 07828 686026 and discuss your aches and pains and how treatment could help.