A New Member of the Team

This month saw a new arrival at Revive Chiropractic!! Sweep is a Lakeland Border Terrier Cross and is 10 weeks old. Sweep has joined the team mostly for the cute and fluffy factor but she is also on hand to offer advice on all matters, chiropractic or otherwise.

Payment can be arranged via doggy treats!

Will Yoga help my back pain?

This is a question lots of patients ask me. A number of my chiropractic patients regularly practice yoga and although I have never formerly studied its effect, anecdotally at least it does seem to help with flexibility. Patients tell me that alongside regular chiropractic treatment, it helps them manage their back pain.

What is Yoga?

Of course there are many different types of yoga based upon a range of techniques and principles. Yoga has been around for hundreds of years and in essence it is a physical, mental and spiritual practice having originated in ancient India. A number of the focus points of yoga include strength, flexibility, breathing and posture and all of these areas have the potential to benefit musculoskeletal care.

With this in mind, a couple of contrasting articles in the press looking at the safety and efficacy of yoga caught my eye. A book published by New York Times’ science writer William J Broad warned of the dangers of some yoga positions that in some cases have the potential to lead to strokes. British Wheel of Yoga Chief Executive Pierre Bibby, responded by putting this down to “bad teaching and bad practice”.

In contrast to these reports, two recent research studies into the benefits of yoga showed promising results. The first study appeared to show that yoga instructors had a lesser degree of degenerative disc changes than those who did not practice yoga (no patients in the study had any back or neck pain symptoms). A second study loked at if yoga was effective as a treatment for low back pain and concluded that it was likely that yoga appeared a safe and effective treatment for chronic (over 6 months) or recurrent low back pain. (There were weakness in both of these studies but this is beyond the scope of this article).

What I think is great about the latter two studies is that it shows research is being undertaken. Any treatment, whether it be chiropractic, yoga or conventional medicine must actively develop its research base and prove its validity.

If you are thinking of taking up yoga be sure to find an experienced teacher with small class sizes. I have excellent links with local yoga and pilates teachers (more on pilates coming soon) and can refer you to a suitable practitioner.

Studies discussed.

1. Jeng C et al. Yoga and disc degenerative disease in cervical and lumbar spine: An MR imaging-based case control study. European Spine Journal 2011; 20: 408.413.

2. Tilbrook HE et al. Yoga for chronic low back pain : A randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine 2011; 155: 569.578.

Chiropractic during Pregnancy (3) : The Webster Technique

Do any reading about chiropractic treatment during pregnancy and the chances are you will read about or have seen videos posted on the internet of “The Webster Technique”. So what is the mystery surrounding it?

What is it?

The Webster Technique is essentially an adjustment to the sacrum. The sacrum is the large triangular bone at the base of the spine and it forms an important articulation (joint) with the pelvis. Tension in the sacroiliac joint and the ligaments that overly it can cause pain and low back pain that is so common in pregnancy. Restriction in the sacrum is identified in the heel to buttock test where restricted flexion indicates restriction in the sacroiliac joint on the same side. A correction is made with an adjustment to the sacroiliac joint with the patient usually laid on their side.

How does it work?

It is proposed that tension/misalignment/restriction in the sacroiliac joint may cause tension and altered stresses on specific pelvic muscles and ligaments. Tension in these structures can alter the normal mechanics of the pelvis and the uterus. It is hypothesised that this tension can have a negative effect on the uterus which may prevent the baby from comfortably assuming the best possible position for birth.

Does the Webster Technique turn breech babies?

No. Whilst the technique is reported to have a high success rate in turning breech babies there is currently no high quality research studies that support this. The Webster Technique does however play its part in chiropractic care during pregnancy but for optimising biomechanics of the spine and pelvis.

My chiropractic treatment includes, but is not limited to, adjustments of the sacroiliac joint (or ‘The Webster Technique’). I will supplement this with soft tissue work and massage to affected muscles and ligaments and posture advice and exercises to help maintain core musculature .The aim is to make pregnancy as pain free as possible and to minimise distress to birth mother and baby during and immediately after the delivery.

Will one treatment fix the problem?

Not normally. The nature of the problem will determine how many treatments are required however most people will require 4 to 6 sessions to bring about and maintain the changes to the pelvis and surrounding connective tissues.

For further information or to speak to Alison about chiropractic care during your pregnancy please call 07828 686026.

Chiropractic Care during Pregnancy (2)

Changes in pregnancy may affect the body in a number of ways. Some of these changes are a direct result of the mechanical changes of the developing foetus and others are more general affecting the arms and legs. Fluid retention and weight gain during pregnancy may predispose women to muscle cramps, carpal tunnel syndrome (pain, pins and needles and/or numbness in the thumb first and the first two fingers) and meralgia paraesthestica (pain and numbness down the front and outside of the thighs from compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve). Compression of nerves in the low back can lead to leg pain or sciatica.

The uterus itself is kept in place by a series of ligaments and connective tissues and any tension or torsion (twisting) in these structures can cause discomfort. The uterus is connected to the pelvis via the round ligament, broad ligament, posterior ligament and uterosacral ligament. Treatment often includes gentle stretching of these structures or sometimes supervised exercises to increase the general muscle tone of the pelvic floor muscles, pelvic ligaments and surrounding connective tissues.

Symptoms of pelvic girdle pain (PGP)

• Pain across the low back

• Pain on weight bearing on one leg or walking

• Pain on straddling movement e.g. getting in/out of car or bath

• Grinding or clicking in hips and/or pelvis

Chiropractic treatment/manual therapy aims to

• Lengthen the muscles and normalise muscle tone

• Relax muscle trigger points (hypersensitive bands of muscle fibres)

• Reduce pain and tenderness

• Improve joint mobility if found to be restricted

• Greater control of body movements and awareness of body positioning

If you or somebody you know may benefit from chiropractic care during or following pregnancy please call 07828 686026 and book an appointment.

Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy (1)

Chiropractors have long been treating ladies during pregnancy for pelvic and low back pain and often continue to treat both mother and baby post-partum. I’ve been swotting up on treatment aimed at pregnant ladies and babies and I recently spent a weekend in Pocklington attending a seminar given by chiropractor Elizabeth Davidson. Elizabeth has many years of experience working with pregnant mothers and is extremely knowledgeable regarding the biomechanical changes that affect women during pregnancy.

Pelvic girdle pain

Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is the most commonly encountered problem in females during pregnancy and covers both the sacroiliac joints and/or the pubic symphysis. You may have heard it called symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) in the past but both terms can be used inter-changeably.

Around 50-70% of pregnant women will experience lumbopelvic pain of some sort and the number that experience severe PGP is around 14-22%. For the unlucky 7-10% they will continue to experience pain post-partum. With figures suggesting as many as 1 in 5 women experience severe pain then it is a condition that needs to be well managed.

Check out the next blog entry for explanations of the changes that occur during pregnancy to cause PGP and how as a chiropractor I work with pregnant ladies to help alleviate pain.

Less pills, more prevention

Chiropractors have long been asking patients about their lifestyle. This is because we recognise that pain is a multi-faceted entity and every patient has unique factors that influence their recovery from injury. Any new patient consultation involves questioning the patient about diet, exercise habits, alcohol intake and smoking history.

A new NHS proposal from the NHS Future Forum has made a series of recommendations to doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to do just that. Staff are being asked to “make every contact count in an effort to promote health and in doing so help to control the spiralling costs NHS treatment required as a result of lifestyle factors.

A change in the right direction

It is great to see the NHS recognising the role of discussing lifestyle factors in face to face patient consultations. Whatever the profession or speciality, patients place trust in our healthcare professionals and they are in a unique position to offer expertise and advice. In private practice however we have the luxury of time whereas I worry how successfully thee measures can be implicated in the current NHS system that is short on time and desperately understaffed. We shall wait and see.

Hamstring Injuries : What treatments work?

Ask someone you know if they have ever pulled a hamstring and the chances are they will have experienced it, that’s how common hamstring injuries are. So what is the treatment? Well a wide variety of treatments are used and new treatments are being developed all the time.

As a chiropractor I will often manipulate the sacroiliac joint and low back and may encourage stretching of the hamstring, alongside exercises to strengthen core musculature to try and prevent injury recurrence. A GP or sports medicine practitioner may inject cortisone. The very latest interventions to be trialled are injections of substances like Actovegin and these substances act to increase oxygen flow to the injury site and reduce inflammation.

Recent research

A study published this month in the British Journal of Medicine http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2011/10/28/bjsports-2011-090447 tried to compare these different treatment approaches and reach a consensus over which works best. However the study failed to come up with any firm conclusions and highlighted the need for further high quality studies to compare treatment modalities! Limited evidence was found in favour of stretching, agility and trunk stability exercises. Limited evidence was found that there is no effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Likewise the same was found for manipulation of the sacroiliac joint.

What is means

The problem with studies like this is that very rarely does a chiropractor use only one of these treatment modalities. I personally will look at the latest evidence from scientific trials and integrate this with clinical experience learnt from treating patients. This may include joint manipulation, soft tissue therapies and exercises to develop strength and flexibility. It is very hard therefore to compare the effects of research studies carried out in strict, controlled conditions and the realities of practice where a multi-modal approach is common. Always a good idea to keep any eye on the research though!

**New Year Offer: £20.12 in 2012**

The Deal

I know it is January and finances may be a bit stretched but give your back and your wallet a break and book in for a new patient consultation for only £20 (usually £45). Tell your friends, colleagues and even random strangers! Everyone is welcome but hurry as the offer is only available to new patients and only for appointments booked before January 31st.

Book Today

So what are you waiting for, don’t delay. Book today!! Okay, enough of the rhyming. In all seriousness so many people accept pain as part of their daily life and it doesn’t need to be that way. Chiropractic treatment can so often be the answer. So if you want to experience less pain, and greater freedom of movement then call 07828 686026 today.

Clinics in Leeds CIty Centre and North Leeds.

Is Spinal Manipulation An Effective Treatment for Neck Pain?

Neck pain is very common. Chiropractors have been using manipulation (physical manoeuvres to mobilise bones in the neck and back) for many years to help alleviate symptoms of back pain. Numerous studies have proven that manipulation for neck pain works however it has never been compared against medicine (i.e. taking painkillers) or exercise as a treatment for neck pain.

A new study out this month does just that! You can read all about it here http://www.annals.org/content/156/1_Part_1/I-30.full where the study is explained in simple terms so it makes sense for patients.

Revive Chiropractic in the News!!!

Spinal manipulation was more effective than medication at improving neck pain by the end of 12 weeks of treatment and 1 year later. However, participants who did home exercises experienced improvement in their pain similar to that achieved with spinal manipulation. Participants who received spinal manipulation were more satisfied with their care.