New Research Supports Manipulation

I’m a chiropractor in Leeds and part of being a good chiropractor is keeping up with the latest research into back pain. Great news for chiropractors as a new study published this week finds that spinal manipulation is more effective than non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID’s) and placebo for acute non-specific low back pain. The study adds to the growing body of research that supports chiropractic manipulation as a treatment for back pain.

If you want to read details of the study for yourself please see attached link and click on the third study down http://journals.lww.com/spinejournal/pages/currenttoc.aspx. Note: only access to the abstract (summary) is available to the public for free.

What is acute non-specific low back pain?

Acute simply means back pain that started less than 6 weeks ago. We know that the longer patients have back pain the longer it will take to improve symptoms and the less favourable the outcome. So if you can intervene with treatment in the early stages of back pain then it is more likely that symptoms will completely resolve.

Specific back pain is where there is a known cause for example degenerative processes (disc alterations, spinal stenosis, spondyloarthrosis) or less common structural lesions such as osteoporotic compression. However in the majority of cases there is no known cause and is simply termed non-specific.

What about other types of back pain? Can chiropractic treatment help?

Yes chiropractic treatment can help long term back pain. It may take a little longer and you will probably need more treatments than someone who has had back pain for only a few weeks but significant improvement can be achieved. You may find that 100% improvement in symptoms is not realistic but I would always discuss the prognosis and likely improvement before starting any treatment program.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of chiropractic treatment or to book a consultation at Revive Chiropractic in Leeds please call Alison Eaves on 07828 686026. Revive Chiropractic is located in the north Leeds suburb of Adel, approximately one mile from the ring road. Parking is available outside.

Happy Easter Bank Holiday

Happy Easter from Leeds chiropractor Alison Eaves at Revive Chiropractic.

My bank holiday so far has consisted of cleaning the house and the car, taking the dog for long walks, completing park run on Saturday morning and a 20 mile bike ride. Plenty of post exercise stretching required by me this weekend! All this has got me thinking about how important it is to take time away from work every now and then and do the things you enjoy (I accept the irony that I am sat writing this on a bank holiday).

Whatever your plans for the bank holiday try to relax and make the most of your time away from work. Whether you are travelling to see friends or family, staying at home to get started on some DIY or just spending the bank holiday weekend doing the things you enjoy, make sure you find time to relax and unwind a little.

Time to de-stress

Everyone leads such busy lives that sometimes we rush around at 100 miles per hour trying to cram in all the things we perceive that society expects of us. All this stress and anxiety can lead to trouble for your back and make your back pain symptoms worse. Take the time to do a little extra physical exercise and do your back pain exercises and see how much better you feel. Then value the time you spend with those around you and maybe do something extra special for them to show them that you care.

Sorry to those who are working…

I appreciate that for many people in certain jobs and professions bank holiday doesn’t mean a holiday. Don’t worry, your holidays and time off will come and you get to enjoy it when the roads are not overcrowded and everywhere overrun with people so it is not all bad.

Happy Easter folks.

If you would like to make an appointment to see Alison Eaves at Revive Chiropractic then please call 07828 686026. The clinic is located in the north Leeds suburb of Adel, just over a mile from the ring road.

Am I too old to see a chiropractor?

Nobody is too old to see a chiropractor says Leeds chiropractor Alison Eaves at Revive Chiropractic in north Leeds.

I think my oldest patient currently is 88 years old! As a general rule I will use slightly gentler techniques with older patients but chiropractic treatment techniques can vary a great deal and as a skilled professional I will decide which techniques best suit each individual. Which technique you use is not only dictated by age of the patient : it will depend on a number of factors including overall flexibility of a patient, the history of the condition, type of medication being taken and the general activity and mobility levels of an individual.

The ability to get on and off the treatment bench is the main factor that prevents patients from undergoing chiropractic treatment, much more so than any factors directly related to chiropractic treatment. I have a downstairs treatment room and so there are no difficult stairs to negotiate and I will always try to help as much as possible to help patients on and off the treatment bench. I’m well practised in helping people with severe back pain on and off the bench and it’s usually the younger patients who pose the biggest challenges as they tend to experience the most severe back pain!

Will chiropractic treatment be too aggressive or too painful?

Treatment itself should not be overly painful. You may experience some mild discomfort during treatment as I work to free restricted and stiff joints and loosen the surrounding soft tissues (muscles and ligaments). However this should not be unduly distressing and most people comment that it feels like a “nice pain” and that it “feels like it is doing some good”. Some patients may experience short term discomfort for a period of 24-48 hours following treatment but this is short-lived and often improves after the first session once your body gets used to the treatment.

Spinal manipulation is always viewed as one of the more aggressive chiropractic techniques. Manipulation involves freeing stiff or restricted spinal joints with a quick, specific movement directed through the natural joint planes. But even spinal manipulation can be modified so that more force can be used on younger, athletic individuals than would be used on older or more sedentary patients.

If you would like to book an appointment at Revive Chiropractic please call 07828 686026. The clinic is conveniently located in north Leeds in the suburb of Adel, just over a mile from the ring road and there is parking directly outside.

Should I see a Chiropractor or an Osteopath?

This is one of the most common questions I get from prospective new patients when they call the clinic considering booking a chiropractic consultation. There isn’t a straight forward answer as both chiropractors and osteopaths can work in quite varied ways.

Similarities between chiropractors and osteopaths?

Chiropractors and osteopaths are both manual therapists, they perform hands on treatment and they are both manipulative therapists. In many cases both will also work on the muscles and soft tissues as well.

Differences between chiropractors and osteopaths?

The spinal manipulation techniques themselves may vary. There are many different ways of manipulating a joint and it comes down to the individual preference of the therapist for certain manipulation techniques. In some cases osteopaths favour a longer lever adjustment which can sometimes be a little rougher than chiropractic manipulation but it has to be said that some osteopathic techniques are extremely gentle.

Historically there were more differences with osteopaths believing all pain to come from dysfunction of the blood vessels and chiropractors’ claiming it is nerve dysfunction that causes pain. However if you take a look at an anatomy textbook you will see that every nerve is closely followed by a blood vessel so interference of one structure is likely to also affect the other. Also chiropractors used to take a lot of x rays of their patients and structural changes were important. Some chiropractors do still routinely use x rays however I do not unless I think there is a valid clinical reason for example fracture or infection of the bone.

So who should I see?

As with most professions and especially in manual therapy, there are different styles of practice and chiropractic and osteopathy are no different. It is more important to find a chiropractor or an osteopath who you trust and feel comfortable talking to and someone who you feel understands your symptoms. In truth, if the clinician has graduated (both professions now require university education) within the last 5-10 years they will practice in a very similar fashion. Evidence based medicine is upon us and so students are taught according to the latest research meaning educational syllabuses have a lot in common. Chiropractors, osteopaths and even physiotherapists all look at each other’s techniques and where there are examples of good practice we tend to steal the idea and incorporate it into our practices. I personally have a lot of respect for other treatment techniques and would never suggest chiropractic treatment is superior over anther profession. This is for patients to decide!

Do we just crack backs?

So a chiropractor just cracks backs?

No. As a chiropractor here in Leeds, mostly I’m talking to my patients about back pain and neck pain and providing effective treatment for their problems. But chiropractic treatment is not just about spinal manipulation. A chiropractor will find the correct technique for the individual and the symptoms you are experiencing. Manipulation is a great tool but it’s not the only skill chiropractors use on a daily basis.

What do you do if not cracking backs then?

In some cases a more gentle form of treatment called joint mobilisation is used. You so sometimes still get a click or pop associated with this treatment but the force applied is gentler and slower than in manipulation. There is also an instrument called an activator which can be used directly on at restricted joints and gives a quick, small mechanical stimulus to the joint to help get it moving again. Aside from hands on treatment of the joints, I also choose to work on the muscles of the back and pelvis. Some chiropractors will only manipulate the joints but I believe that as muscles are required to move joints then you have to work on muscular tightness as well as the joint itself.

Physiotherapists give exercises : do you?

Yes! But I combine hands on treatment with a spinal strengthening program. Strong spinal muscles are essential to maintain a fit and healthy back and to prevent the likelihood of back problems recurring. Some patients benefit from just a few very simple exercises whereas for some conditions a more thorough program of rehabilitation exercises may be prescribed for you.

What about older patients

Again no two patients are the same. Some patients are good candidates for manipulation even in their 80’s but I wouldn’t manipulate a female spine with a known history of osteoporosis (loss of bone density). In these cases there are many lighter force chiropractic techniques that work effectively to mobilise the joints and relax surrounding muscles and soft tissues and restore movement to the spine in a gentle but very effective way.

If this sounds like the right sort of chiropractic treatment for you then call Alison at Revive Chiropractic on 07828 686026. The clinic is based in Adel, north Leeds just a few minutes from the ring road.

Legends of Sherwood Forest 10K Complete!

On Saturday 2nd March Leeds chiropractor Alison Eaves from Revive Chiropractic took part in the Legends of Sherwood Forest 10K race. The run forms part of the Notorious Night Runs series : off road adventures that take place at sunset and end in the dark of the night with only your head torch to guide the way.

The 10K run formed part of my training schedule for the Great North Run 2013. The run itself was great fun and a brilliant way to spend a Saturday evening but I have to admit to feeling a bit battered and bruised after the event, I think some of the obstacles punished my body a bit!

The run took place on a variety of forest tracks, winding paths through the woods and some sections running over mountain bike tracks so there were plenty of obstacles waiting to catch you out! I had at least one tree branch in the eye and saw a couple of fellow competitors face plant after tripping on tree roots. The terrain seemed to get more undulating and the tree branches lower as it got darker and the body got tired. By the end it was so cold and so dark that my breath started fogging up the head torch beam.

Swamps and underground tunnels

The running part in itself was not too severe and was quite enjoyable but the obstacles and the freezing cold water that were sporadically placed around the course were hell. Lying face down in stinking freezing cold mud and water and crawling along on your stomach was tough. And so cold. And then there were logs to be jumped over, hay bales to climb and steep ramps to overcome which all added up to making this event a little different to your average 10K race. The winners completed the course in just under an hour and I think I came in about 30 minutes later. A normal, flat, road based 10K will feel easy in comparison now I’m sure.

I drove home from Nottinghamshire wrapped in a blanket and headed straight for a hot bath when I got in. The stinking, wet, muddy running gear has gone through the wash three times and is now looking close to its original colour. Sadly I don’t have any photos because I was so cold when we finished that I just wanted to get into some warm, dry clothes. But what fun!! Now I just need to select the next event to keep me inspired on my journey towards the Great North Run 2013.

And what about back pain?

After all the ducking and bending to avoid tree branches and crawling about on hands and knees my back has been feeling a little stiff and I’ve had to call in a favour from a local Leeds chiropractor. Bit of chiropractic treatment has done the trick and I’m fighting fit and ready to punish the body again this weekend.

Notorious Night Runs : mud, mud and more mud!

So this Saturday evening Leeds chiropractor Alison Eaves will be taking part in an event at Sherwood Pines in Nottinghamshire called Notorious Night Runs.

I’m taking part alongside another fellow chiropractor and some friends. The race is described as 10K ish! Sounds ominous and I’m a little apprehensive about what to expect. A 10K race in the dark with obstacles, steep hills and drops and lots of water sounds like fun though don’t you think? As I understand it the idea of the event f to have lots of fun. It is not really one for serious runners but nevertheless it is a good thing to be doing in preparation for the Great North Run in September.

Hopefully I will avoid spraining my ankle on any obstacles and will turn up for work at Revive Chiropractic on Monday morning fit and well. We shall see?! Look out for photos to be uploaded next week. Thankfully with another chiropractor taking art alongside me, if I do suffer any injuries I will at least have immediate treatment options!

State of the Art MRI Scanner Available in York

I was recently invited to view the 3 Tesla MRI scanner facility at York Neuroimaging Centre (YNiC) based at York Science park. As a chiropractor I sometimes need to refer patients for an MRI scan to obtain images of the spine and it is great to have such a high quality service nearby. We had a tour of the scanner and the facilities and were introduced to the radiographer who takes the scans and has direct contact with patients who arrive for a private MRI scan. I was really impressed by the welcoming atmosphere and the lengths they go to make patients feel welcome and comfortable.

Only a minority of patients need an MRI scan

In a minority of cases, after performing a thorough case history and examination, if I think it is in the patients’ best interest I may suggest getting an MRI scan. Patients then have two routes to follow. Either a written letter to your GP asking for an MRI scan to be considered or a private referral to a private MRI scanner such as the facility on York (we also refer private patients to an MRI scanner at Dewsbury Hospital). Via your GP you will probably have to wait a minimum of a month before the scan but this may be slightly less if deemed urgent. If you go privately the scan can be arranged and a report written within a few days.

What are the costs and how can I get a private MRI scan?

If following discussions with e as your chiropractor you decide you want to have a private MRI scan then the cost at York is £260 plus VAT for reach body part scanned. I simply write a referral letter and as long as the radiographer agrees there are good clinical reasons for the scan they will then contact you directly to arrange a convenient date and time for the scan. They then send me the report within 48 hours of your scan allowing us to formulate a clear plan of management and decide the best way to treat your condition.

For further details about the facilities at York Neuroimaging Centre please contact Alison Eaves at Revive Chiropractic using the details below.

To book an appointment with Leeds chiropractor Alison Eaves at Revive Chiropractic please call on 07828 686026 or e-mail info@revivechiropractic.co.uk.

Great North Run training falters at week one!

Hi and welcome to my Great North Run 2013 training blog. I’m Alison Eaves, the principle chiropractor here at Revive Chiropractic in Leeds and will be sharing my experiences of training and preparation for the Great North Run in September 2013. From a chiropractor’s point of view it offers the chance to discuss loads of interesting topics surrounding injuries, running and training for an event like the Great North Run. So share my ups and downs and hopefully learn something along the way!

All my chat and enthusiasm about getting training underway for the Great North Run and I’m struggling already and it is only week one! I happily headed out for a pre-work run last Tuesday, not feeling full of energy and was puffing a bit. I thought the 3 mile run felt harder than usual but just put it down to being unfit. As the day progressed though, my nose started dripping continuously and the cold symptoms set in. Poor patients here at Revive Chiropractic (plenty of anti-viral hand wash for me!). What followed was 3-4 days of feeling tired and lousy so no more running for me and more lemsip chiropractor than running chiropractor.

So this seemed a good time to start a discussion about the effect of exercise on the immune system. What you find is that exercise can both benefit and harm the immune system depending on what sort of exercise you do, how long you exercise for and how often you exercise.

But isn’t running good for boosting the immune system?

There is quite good evidence out there now that moderate exercise helps to stimulate the immune system and those who participate in regular exercise are less susceptible to illnesses such as the common cold. Studies have found that during moderate exercise, immune cells circulate better through the body and are therefore faster at killing bacteria and viruses. Furthermore, the more frequently and regularly you exercise the longer these changes last following a training session.

Too much exercise and you will harm the immune system

If you exercise at very high intensity or for durations of longer than 90 minutes then be careful as it has been shown to lower the immune response. Cortisol and adrenaline levels increase during this sort of exercise as they are so-called “stress hormones”. Increased adrenaline and cortisol actually depress the immune system.

I can’t really blame my symptoms of the common cold on high intensity or long duration exercise but I think it probably accelerated the onset of my cold. Just be aware that if you started doing longer runs of 90 minutes or more then make sure you leave enough recovery time.

Thankfully I’m back to feeling fit and well so hopefully this week will bring better training results than a measly 3 miles registered in the training log.

Take care of your loved ones AND their backs!

It is February 14th and Valentine’s Day and whilst I do have a romantic streak I’m afraid this blog post is not indulging that side of my personality. I’m a chiropractor and so more than a little obsessed about back pain!! So maybe spare a thought for your loved one today if they are in pain. Back pain is not pleasant, it leaves people feeling tired, anxious, grumpy and just generally fed up. These emotions are only made worse if the pain is affecting daily activities and your partner is unable to do the things they usually love and enjoy. So be patient and be understanding and they will thank you for it.

Often it is the husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend of the individual who is suffering from back pain that makes the call to my office. They get tired of hearing their loved one complain about back pain and say “go and see a chiropractor”. I have had one such phone call already today. Sometimes people just need a bit of a push to actually book an appointment to see a chiropractor. I don’t know why people don’t seek treatment more quickly but so often they put up with pain and discomfort. This is unnecessary as in so many cases chiropractic treatment can help : whatever the cause or reason for the back pain. The sooner you go and see a chiropractor to discuss your back pain the sooner work can begin on resolution of the symptoms. Acute back pain (short-term i.e. less than 6 weeks) responds brilliantly to chiropractic care and the shorter the duration of symptoms before you seek treatment the better the overall prognosis and the more likely you are to achieve complete resolution of symptoms.

A chiropractic consultation at Revive Chiropractic in Leeds will aim to identify the cause of your back pain and I will then put together a specific chiropractic treatment program to help reduce pain and get you feeling human again. Call us today on 07828 686026 to book an initial consultation with chiropractor Alison Eaves.