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Preventing and Avoiding Injury in Runners

running injuryRunning is a fun, safe, and relaxing activity that has many health benefits, both physical and mental. However, pounding the pavement over time can take a toll on your muscles, joints, back, knees and soft tissues.

Sprains and strains can affect your performance and even lead to more serious complications. Some of the injuries brought on or exacerbated by a regular running routine include knee/hip pain, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis. While a visit to the doctor and use of ice packs and over the counter pain medication can help ease the pain, seeking chiropractor care can help keep you in tip-top shape.

Here are the various ways runners can benefit from chiropractic care:

1. Faster Healing Time

Soft tissue injuries and severe muscles tears typically require four to eight weeks of recovery time. However, with chiropractic treatment and follow-up exercises, your recovery time can be significantly reduced.

Chiropractors use manipulations and adjustments to restore optimal joint mobility, treat nerve interference and align the spine. These reduce inflammation, reduce pain and tension in muscles, and improve blood flow to the hurt area, all of which improve the body’s ability to heal itself.

2. Reduced Pain and Discomfort

Chiropractors use a variety of non-invasive treatments to address pain caused by sprains, strains, pulled muscles, and lactic acid buildup. Examples of the treatments used by these experts to manage pain include spinal manipulation and deep tissue massage. They target specific trigger points in the body to manage the discomfort and soreness associated with the injury.

3. Increased Range of Motion

Your range of motion and stride length are essential in improving your running technique. Unfortunately, most runners have trouble pushing off the back leg or picking up the knee due to mild scar tissue or microfibre restricting the hips. A qualified chiropractor can break up the restricting scar tissue and microfibre allowing for an increased range of motion, wider stride angle, and a longer stride.

4. Reduced Risk of Injury

A misaligned spine, also known as a “spinal subluxation,” can cause other parts of the body to be weaker and more susceptible to injury. Chiropractic care can align bones in the spine, restore joint mobility and remove nerve interference, all of which can have a ripple effect throughout your body.

Regular chiropractic adjustments and manipulations can reduce the negative effect the jarring motion of running has on your body and help reduce your risk of injury.

5. Better Balance

Having hips that are off balance can cause one side of your body to carry more weight than the other. Being out of balance will make your strides to be shorter, causing you to run slower. A chiropractor can adjust your hips to ensure your body is properly balanced. This can help increase your stride length and improve your mile time.

Incorporating regular chiropractic care into your overall fitness regimen can help ensure your body is in prime running condition and resistant to injury. If you have an injury, chiropractic treatment can boost your healing time and manage pain.

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Cold Weather and Joint Pain

joint painDuring the cold winter months the weather can have many effects on your wellbeing, both mentally and physically. For many people one of these physical effects manifests itself as painful, aching joints. Chiropractic care can often provide help to reduce and prevent aching joints, and helping to alleviate joint pain throughout the cold season.

Why does cold weather affect your joints?

To date cold weather joint pain is an area that has not received much scientific research. However there seem to be two main reasons that your joints can begin to ache as the temperature drops. One theory is that as the body tries to conserve heat, blood flow is redirected towards the major organs in the centre of the body, such as the lungs and the heart. To encourage this, blood vessels in the extremities begin to constrict. As this happens, the decreased blood flow in these areas causes the joints to become stiffer and colder, leading to pain in the areas.

The other common theory is that as the barometric pressure in the air changes with the weather, the joints react by expanding, which leads to changes in circulation and sensitivity in the nerve fibres. You may have heard people say that they can feel the weather changing in their bones, and this is what they mean!

What effect can this have on your body, and how can I prevent it?

The most obvious physical effect is stiffness in the joints, particularly in the knees, hips and ankles. In addition to this, you may also feel low-level pain that drags on, almost like a continual dull ache which can be very annoying.
While we can’t control the weather, we can take steps to deal with the issues it causes. To deal with the pain, an obvious starting point is to keep yourself as warm as possible, whenever possible. In addition to this, you can prevent additional swelling with simple steps such as wearing well-fitting items, and it is important to also stay active.
Alternatively, with the help of expert chiropractic care, you can take preventative steps to help you identify underlying issues and look after your joints to stop cold weather pain before it starts.

How Can Chiropractic Care Help?

Chiropractic care can also help you in a number of ways, from keeping your spine properly aligned to allow your joints to take on a bit more heat and pressure, through to keeping you limber and more flexible to stave off the discomfort that can come from not being able to exercise due to your pain. Our highly qualified practitioners will help to thoroughly examine and diagnose what can be done to help you, and above all else, will provide you with effective treatment and management of the pain. While other methods leave you having to manage the pain daily, if you book an appointment with us now, we can help you to actually enjoy the cold weather months. Visit us at Bradford House Chiropractors today for a consultation or call 01962 861188 for more info.

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What to Look for in a Mattress

MattressSleeping on the wrong mattress can worsen or make LBP (lower back pain) become worse. Lack of support from your mattress strains your muscles, reinforces poor sleeping and doesn’t improve spine alignment: all these contribute to LBP. Sleep comfort is sacrificed if your mattress doesn’t match your preferences.

A mattress providing both back support and comfort helps to reduce LBP and can help  the structure in your spine to rest and rejuvenate when you are sleeping at night. There are a wide variety of mattresses available on the market and looking for the right one is important for optimal comfort. If you are suffering from LBP, these practical guidelines will help you choose the ideal mattress for both sleep comfort and back support.

Personal preference should determine the best mattress.

There’s no single mattress type or style that works for all low back pain patients. Any mattress that will help you sleep without stiffness and pain is the best mattress for you. If you are suffering from LBP, you should choose a mattress that meets you’re the best option for you, for support and comfort and allows you to enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Ask about the mattress physical components.

The inner springs or coils of any mattress provide the support. Mattresses vary when it comes to the arrangement and number of coils. Padding on top of every mattress comes in various thickness. Mattress depths range anywhere from seven to eighteen inches deep. Choosing the mattress depth, type of padding and the number of coils should be determined by your preferences.

Look for a mattress that has back support

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The right mattress is one that provides support for your natural curves plus the alignment of your spine. The correct amount of back support helps you avoid muscle soreness when you wake up in the morning. Studies suggest that medium-firm mattresses provide patients with more back pain relief when compared to firm mattresses.

Sleep position recommendation for specific painful back conditions.

Spinal Stenosis

If you have this condition, you should sleep on your side and make sure your knees are curled up (fetal position). This will help to relieve pressure on your nerve root. Also, sleeping on an adjustable bed or a reclining chair that allows your knees and head to remain elevated relieve pressure on your nerve.

Osteoarthritis

If you are suffering from this type of joint disease, sleep sideways with your knees curled up (fetal position). This position will open up the zygapophysial joints in your spine, and it can relieve corresponding pressure. You can also sleep in an adjustable bed or a reclining chair, which will elevate your knees and head and relieve pressure on your facet joints.

Isthmic spondylolisthesis

Sleeping in a reclining position may relieve pain from isthmic spondylolisthesis. You can test this position by using pillows under your head, neck and back to support your body as if it is in a reclining chair.

Bursitis

Pressure from a mattress that’s too firm can aggravate a condition like inflammation of the bursa over your hips (greater trochanteric bursitis). If your mattress is too firm, a pillow-top mattress (mattress that has thick padding on top) can reduce pressure on your hip.

Herniated lumbar disc

The recommended sleep position depends partially on the disc position. For the most common paracentral disc herniation, patients tend to do better when they lie on their stomach. As for the foraminal herniated disc, sleep on your side (fetal position) to get relief.

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Reducing the Risk of Joint pain, Including Hip and Knee Pain from Osteoarthritis

joint painJoint Pain is common, but it’s not well understood. It is in fact not a single disease; it’s a term used to refer to all sorts of pain in joints from osteoarthritis. There are over a hundred types of different joint pain related conditions. It’s most common among women, and it occurs more frequently as you get older. People of all races, sexes and ages can have joint pain or osteoarthritis.

Symptoms of Joint Pain

The symptoms of common joint paint include decreased range of motion (ROM), stiffness, pain and swelling. These symptoms might come and go, and they can be severe, moderate or mild. They can stay about the same for many years, but they can progress or worsen over time.

Severe joint pain can lead to an inability to do day-to-day activities and chronic pain can make it hard to do activities climb or walk stairs. Joint pain can lead to permanent changes. The changes may be visible, like knobby finger joints, but usually, the damage will only be viewed on X-ray. Also, some types of joint pain can affect your skin, kidneys, lungs, eyes and heart.

How Do You Prevent Joint Pan?

There’s no sure way of preventing joint pain. However, you can help to reduce your risk of osetoarthritis and delay the possible onset of some types of other types of joint pain. If you’ve healthy joints, do everything you can to ensure that you maintain mobility and function. This will help you avoid the pain and disability.

Risk Factors

The types of joint pain plus related condition all have risk factors, circumstances associated with the disease, behaviours and individual features.

Non-Modifiable Risk Factors

There are risk factors that aren’t modifiable, meaning that you cannot do anything about them. If you have a family history of osteoarthritis or you are a female, you are more likely to get certain types of joint pain.

Modifiable Risk Factors

On the contrary, some risk factors are regarded as modifiable. They are the circumstances and behaviours you can change to delay onset, reduce your risk or completely prevent joint pain and swelling. The following are some examples of osteoarthritis and related diseases plus associated modifiable risk factors:

• Gout – Eat a healthy diet that is low in sugar, purines and alcohol.
• Rheumatoid arthritis – Don’t smoke.
• Osteoarthritis (OA) – You should maintain a healthy weight.

In some cases, when you reduce a prior incident, it can significantly reduce your risk of joint pain and osetoarthritis. Also, avoiding sports injuries through safe play, adequate training and proper equipment can prevent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears that may result in OA several decades later or in a few years.

Hope for Prevention

Right now, because scientists do not fully understand the mechanisms and causes of these diseases, true prevention appears to be impossible. However, there’s real hope that someday all or some types of joint pain and osteoarthritis plus related conditions will be prevented. The breakthroughs are closer than they seem.

It’s believed that many types of osteoarthritis are caused by a mixture of genetic predisposition plus an environmental trigger, like toxin and virus. Discovering the trigger for a certain type of joint pain could be the answer to its prevention, even if you have a genetic risk.

 

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What to Consider When Choosing the Right Pillow

 Choosing the Right PillowYour pillow plays an essential role in your sleep. A bad pillow can lead to back, neck and shoulder problems, making you restless as you try to find comfortable sleeping positions. With so many types of pillows on the market, how do you pick the right one? Taking your time to determine the best pillow based on your personal needs and sleeping habits will ensure that you are waking up refreshed and ready for the new day.

Everyone has got their favourite sleeping positions, including tummy and the back snorers. Since some of the sleeping positions are not necessarily excellent for your posture, it’s essential to choose the right pillow that will support you. You should also understand that quality sleep is crucial for good health and an excellent chiropractic pillow can help ward off neck pain since it properly cradles your neck. As you shop for the right pillow, keep these simple tips in mind.

Consider Your Sleeping Position

Your sleeping position will affect the height or loft of your pillow. Different sleeping positions require different types of support. Stomach and back sleepers can choose a flat pillow since it helps to keep the back aligned properly. If you always sleep on your side, a loftier pillow is the best for you since it fills the gap between the neck and head. Also, a firm-to-extra-firm pillow is ideal for you if you like curling on your side. It ensures that your spine is well supported and at a consistent height.

Pillow Materials

The main materials that are used to manufacture pillows differ from one brand to the other. Some of them are made from memory foam, which is a material that helps your body to control its temperature during hot or cold nights. Other pillows are made from latex, which is renewable and biodegradable, feather and down, polyester, cotton and wool.

Chiropractic pillows are mainly designed to support your neck properly and maintain the natural and neutral shape of your spine while resting on it. If you are planning to purchase the best chiropractic pillow, you should consult your chiropractor or physician to guide and help you determine which material and style suit your unique needs.

Choose a Filling

Your preference is unique as you are, but there are various types of fillings you can choose from. If you like feeling cradled, feather or goose down filling are the best options for you. They help you retain your warmth and keep you toasty during cold nights. If you are looking for good quality versions, you should look for the power indicator that refers to how much filling your pillow has.

The main advantage of purchasing the down material pillows is that they lack the sharp ends of feathers that can poke through your pillowcase and prickle your delicate skin. They are also suitable for allergy suffers who need the comfort of feathers or down.

Polyester filling is less expensive, but it tends to offer excellent support, and it holds its shape reasonably providing you with a comfortable sleep. The memory foam pillow moulds itself to your body shape and relieves pressure on sensitive areas. Since it conforms to your body movement while sleeping, it is an excellent choice for restless sleepers.

Talk to our friendly team at Bradford House Chiropractic about which pillow may be best for you.

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Help to Prevent Back Pain for Manual Labourers

back painBlue-collar workers are known to be at higher risk for work-related aches and pains because their tasks always require greater exertion. LBP (lower back pain) is one of the most common disorders that people employed in manual labour positions experience.

Studies reveal that 50 per cent of workers experience back pain symptoms at least once yearly. In 2011, the GBD (Global Burden of Disease Study) revealed that lower back pain is the highest contributing factor to disability worldwide.

How Manual Labourers can Prevent Back Pain

Chiropractic

In a physically demanding work, your body needs to be prepared to avoid LBP. One step to help prevent back pain is going for a complete chiropractic exam. Your chiropractor will do a comprehensive assessment of your joints and spine, together with a thorough health history to correctly pinpoint the regions that require adjusting. Typically, adjustments are natural and safe, and they help keep your joints and spine in optimal alignment, which reduces pain and helps to prevent any future injuries.

Other Steps You Can Take

As well as considering chiropractic treatment, it’s essential for manual labourers to take the following steps to prevent back pain:

• Work boots usually wear out over time and start to offer reduced shock absorption. You should replace your work boots on a regular basis, and also consider orthotics or insoles to improve arch support plus shock absorption.

• Keep moving because when you stand in one place for a long period, it increases fatigue in your leg as well as your back muscles, resulting in comprised posture. Despite what you were told by your teachers when you were still in preschool, fidgeting is always a good thing for you.

• Proper lifting techniques are very important. Avoid twisting whenever you’re lifting any item and always remember to lift properly using your legs strong muscles: never use your back.

Regular chiropractic care and safe work practices can help you prevent or avoid lower back pain and other related work related pain.

 

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Spinal Manipulative Therapy for Low Back Pain

low back painLow back pain, defined as pain between the rib cage and the gluteal folds, is a common reason for chiropractic visits in the UK. It is also a common cause of disability in persons younger than 45 years of age.

The pain can be characterized by its duration:
• Acute pain – is pain that lasts less than four weeks.
• Subacute – is an episode of low back pain that lasts from four weeks to three months.
• Chronic – is ongoing pain that lasts longer than six months.

People experiencing low back pain can manage their pain using pharmacologic treatments or nonpharmacologic options. The former include muscle relaxants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, and opioids while the latter comprise manual therapy, yoga, exercise, acupuncture, and massage. Self-care, such as the application of ice and/or heat, interdisciplinary rehabilitation and cognitive-behavioural therapy can also help relieve your low back pain. However, it’s important to note that some measures such as bed rest, the use of traction, corsets, and diathermy are harmful. They can cause disorders of the vertebrae, worsening your back pain.

The new ACP guidelines published in the Annals of Internal Medicine recommend trying spinal manipulation or other nondrug treatments such as massage, exercise, and acupuncture before using OTC pain relievers. Additionally, they recommend avoiding the use of prescription opioid painkillers due to the risk of addiction and overdose.

Spinal Manipulative Therapy for Low Back Pain

Spinal manipulation is an intervention that is widely practiced by a variety of practitioners including chiropractors, orthomanual therapists, manual therapists and doctors of osteopathic medicine. This involves a therapist applying controlled forces and moments to the spine to improve alignment, allow the joints to move more easily and relieve back pain.

The therapy includes both manipulation and mobilisation. In mobilisations, the health care provider applies slow, passive movements on joints and muscles. It can be gentle or deep depending on what is appropriate for your condition. Manipulation, on the other hand, is a passive technique that involves the therapist applying a manual impulse of thrust to your joint.

If you’re seeking relief from acute or chronic back pain, spinal manipulation is a great option. The therapy is effective and doesn’t have serious adverse effects. Just be sure to get a medical clearance from your doctor before seeing a chiropractor. The qualified team at Bradford House Chiropractic offer spinal manipulative therapy that may help your back pain. Contact the friendly staff on 01962 861188 today.

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Enjoy Your Walks with Help of Chiropractic Care

arthritisUnevenly or overloaded knee joints can cause osteoarthritis, or cause your osteoarthritis to worsen. Learning how to walk in a different way can correct the loading problem and reduce your hip and knee pain. This approach was studied in patients with inner, or medial compartment osteoarthritis – which is ten times more common compared to other forms of knee osteoarthritis.

The medial knee compartment carries a much higher load compared to the outside (lateral) compartment. The inside knee compartment usually experiences a force (or loading) that is 2-3 times higher than the lateral.

Researchers are studying ways of shifting some of the load of the medial compartment to the outside one. The outside compartment almost constantly has healthy cartilage. By changing the way you walk you can get help your cartilage in the compartments to start wearing evenly.

What do Studies Show?

A study done in 2011 (Journal of Biomechanics, Pete Shull, PhD, assistant professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, China) looked at nine patients with medial compartment knee osteoarthritis and self-reported pain. The participants walked on a treadmill while they were wearing equipment for measuring the forces on their knees and health professionals gave feedback on how the patients were walking.

With that feedback, the patients learned how they can shift weight to various parts of their knees. Their scores for function and pain improved by 32 per cent and 29 per cent respectively.

What You Should Do Now

Chiropractors can help patients to get movement retraining. Your chiropractor can help you walk symmetrically where you start spending equal time on both of your legs, ensuring that your trunk is over your legs and not swinging side to side. You lose efficiency when you limp and this can make your knee and hip pain worse.

The most important thing is practising the new movement because once your chiropractor has taught you a new and improved way of walking, your pain should start to be relieved and you can start enjoying walking again.

Benefits of Walking on Your Lower Back

Walking Is a Proven Natural Pain Reliever

Endorphins (endogenous opioid neuropeptides plus peptide hormones in your body) are one way you can limit your response to knee and hip pain. Endorphins interact with the receptors in the brain and reduce your perception of pain. Walking regularly and consistently releases endorphins and can help limit your pain and also improve your mood. As you continue increasing your time and distance walked, the benefits you notice should continue improving.

If walking is painful, strenuous or too difficult, your chiropractor will advise you to begin with one of the low impact exercises. For instance, rowing machine, cross trainer, an elliptical machine, riding a bike or walking in a pool.

If you are concerned about the pain you experience when walking speak to your chiropractor. The benefits of walking regularly are well known; you’ll notice the benefits when you start. Keep in mind that if you want to go on getting the most benefit that comes from walking, you should gradually increase the speed, distance or the time you spend walking as recommended by your chiropractor.

Bradford House Chiropractic offer a caring and experienced service. Contact us today on 01962 861188.

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Chiropractic Care and Swimming

swimmingSwimming is a great all-around workout as well as fun for many people. It is a low-impact exercise that’s an excellent option for many individuals, particularly those whose body does not do well with sports or exercise of higher impact. Chiropractic care can be helpful for many swimmers.

Before

The exercise you do directly before swimming can help your performance and reduce the risk of getting an injury. Stretching before swimming is a wise idea. Pay special attention to your hip flexors – the major muscles that are responsible for the bending movement of your spine, hips and leg.

These muscles contribute to your kicking whether it is dolphin, breaststroke or straight freestyle kick. The gluteal muscles (a group of 3 muscles that make up your buttocks) are important to stretch as well. These also help in your kicking. Your shoulder and upper body stretches are essential as shoulder injuries are a common issue with avid swimmers.

Warming up is also helpful for preventing injury and getting the best performance while you are in the water. You can spend 5 minutes swimming laps at a significantly reduced pace, doing lighter work. Then you can swim 1-2 laps with more intensity, finally getting into your normal workout pace. A warm-up exercise gives your body and muscles time to adjust to the heightened workload to perform properly.

During

While you are swimming, you should be mindful of your stroke path and body alignment. Move through full ROM (ranges of motion) and ensure that you are focusing on the correct strokes and kicks. It is easy in workouts, especially when you are getting tired, to make disjointed movements and put your body at much higher risk for injury.

If you are feeling pain and it persists, you should give yourself a rest, then try again to find out if it is still present: if it isn’t, carry on. If it’s persisting, switch to another less strenuous stroke and continue. Keep in mind that some movement is always better than no movement. However you should try to be safe while you are trying to achieve optimum health.

After

Typically, wrapping up your swimming exercise is just like beginning it; you should stretch the very muscles you did before starting because they have been worked out vigorously. Take several cooling off laps or you can take a warm-down lap to allow your body to adjust to a reduction in the demands you are placing on it.

Sudden starts and stops do not serve your body well when exercising. That acclimation time also lets the physiological processes of your body to slow down in accordance.

Regular Chiropractic Care

Regular chiropractic adjustment can support your optimal nervous system functioning. Your nervous system is an important part responsible for all the functions in your body. This includes all the messages to the muscles and joints responsible for movement when you are swimming and breathing as well as the heart rate that usually increases as you work out.

Regular chiropractic adjustments can support the proper joint ROM for your spine and the muscles that are attached to it, which are all used when you are swimming. The Chiropractors at Bradford House Chiropractic Clinic can manipulate extremity joints like ankles, knees, hips, wrists, elbows, and shoulders. These joints are all used during a swim workout as well as full ROM of these joints, and they support injury prevention plus improved performance.

If you happen to get a minor injury while swimming or from your stroke repetitive motions, visit Bradford House Chiropractic Clinic. Chiropractic adjustments can increase the ability of your body to heal faster and with greater efficiency.

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Cricket and Chiropractic Care

 Chiropractic CareCricket is a popular sport in many Commonwealth countries including the UK, Australia, and India among others. It is also played in some non-Commonwealth countries such as the Netherlands – the country’s national team has regularly participated in international cricketing events including the World Cup.

Injuries Associated With Cricket

While cricket is a non-contact game, injuries arising from the game can occur in different ways. They may vary from minor to moderate injury.

Some of the common injuries include:

• Micro Trauma injuries – They are associated with almost all aspects of the game including batting, bowling, running and throwing. Other factors that contribute to micro trauma injuries include training, footwear, playing surface and conditioning.

It is therefore important to take precautionary measures to help prevent cricket injuries. These may include pre-participation screening, pre-season conditioning and wearing protective gear. It is also crucial to seek medical attention when you’re injured. Chiropractic care can be an effective treatment option you may want to consider. This method may not only treat minor injuries but may also help to prevent some injuries in cricketers.

Chiropractic Care and Athletic Performance

Chiropractic care is very popular among athletes as it is a natural, non-invasive way which may support boosted health and performance. Many athletes, including cricketers, use chiropractic care regularly.

The stress and force exerted on the body when playing cricket can cause the vertebral column to lose their proper structural position. These misalignments which are commonly known as subluxations cause nerve interference and can weaken the structure of the spinal column.

A chiropractor can identify these misalignments by adjusting the spinal column manually. This restores the spinal column and nervous system to an optimal level of function maximizing the performance and healing potential of your body.

If you’re a cricketer looking to improve your sports performance, getting chiropractic advice is a great option. At Bradford House Chiropractic Clinic, we offer chiropractic care to cricketers to help prevent and treat minor injuries.

Call us today at 01962-861-188 to arrange an appointment.

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