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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


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.


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.


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.


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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Sciatica and How Chiropractic Can Help

Anyone who has ever suffered from sciatica knows that it can be intensely painful. Despite the fact that the pain can occur in either leg it is actually an issue with the lower back and is caused by compression of one or more of the 5 sets of nerve roots located there. Sciatic nerve compression can be caused in various ways, the most common of which is a bulging or herniated disk. However, it can also be caused by lumbar spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, trauma, piriformis syndrome or spinal tumours.

Visiting a chiropractor can be an effective method of treatment. Your chiropractor can work with you to create a specialised treatment plan that is designed to relieve the pain. The most common treatment types are gentle chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, spinal decompression therapy and massage therapy. Manual adjustment of the spine is an effective way to treat the issues that lead to sciatic pain and these adjustments can be performed without any additional discomfort being caused.

Spinal decompression therapy is an effective technique for relieving sciatic pain. It is performed on a specially designed table known as a Flexion/Distraction Table. The technique isolates individual spinal joints before slowly opening them up with the use of constant pressure. This is a proven therapy which is used by many chiropractors.

As well as treating sciatica symptoms, a chiropractor can look into diagnosing the underlying causes and improving your general quality of life. These issues are usually diagnosed when a chiropractor analyses your posture and once they help you to recover from the sciatic pain, they can help you ensure that it is not repeated.

While the pain occurs in the muscle, it is caused by nerves. This is because muscles are incapable of doing anything without a signal coming from the associated nerve. With sciatica, the nerve has become irritated which causes the muscle to tighten in a kind of subconscious defensive move. Chiropractors can help to relieve the muscle tension as part of the treatment, which will lead to much greater comfort.

Chiropractors do not just manipulate the spine. They seek to improve the factors in your life that cause the issues to occur in the first place. When recovering from sciatica, your chiropractor will also provide you with advice as well as rehabilitation exercises and stretches for use in the home. The program will be specifically tailored to suit your needs, so be sure to inform your chiropractor if you have any other issues that would impede your ability to complete the exercises. This comes from the chiropractors’ belief that treatment should not end with individual issues. Instead, they seek to make their patients’ lives better in as many ways as possible.

If you suffer from sciatic pain are interested, or you want to know about any of our services please call to arrange an appointment on 01962-861-188 now.

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Simple Steps to Avoid Neck Pain at the Office

neck painRecent studies have found that the average human will spend more than 18 years of their adult life sitting at a desk and correct posture is very important. Incorrect posture can often lead to neck and back problems if the correct habits are not adopted. Although we might not be able to fully control our work environment, it is still a fact that a handful of suggestions will help to prevent common neck pain and discomfort. Let us take a closer look at what the experts have to say.

Taking Ergonomics Into Account

A considerable amount of neck and back pain can arise from being seated in the wrong position for a prolonged period of time. We therefore need to appreciate the role of ergonomics. In order to adopt the correct position, the following tips for prolonged sitting are recommended

  • Keep your elbows above the desk at an angle between 90 and 110 degrees.
  • Your wrists should be aligned with your forearms.
  • Your knees should be at a 90-degree angle when seated.
  • Keep both feet firmly planted to the ground.
  • Your head should remain upright and your shoulders parallel to the floor (both at the same height).

Habits such as crossing your legs or leaning back should be avoided, as they can cause your body to become unbalanced. It is a good idea to stand up and walk around every 30 minutes to an hour. Mild stretching exercises will help to reduce fatigue and cramping; important concerns if you remain sitting for extended periods of time.

Your Nearby Devices

We need to keep in mind that neck pain is also affected by the location of nearby devices such as keyboards, monitors, and laptop computers. Try to place your keyboard as close to your chest as possible by tucking your chair underneath the desk. In terms of the height of your monitor, it should allow your eyes to fall within the top half of the screen. If you happen to be using more than one monitor, place the most frequently viewed in front of you. It should also be located within easy reach so you will not be forced to overextend your shoulders or lower back to make adjustments. For a greater degree of flexibility, it could be a good idea to invest in a wireless mouse and keyboard.

Adjusting Your Chair

Always choose an upright chair which provides you with excellent lumbar support. It should also be an adjustable model, as you might need to change its height or the height of the armrests. Although the chair should be able to lean back, make certain that it is able to offer stability.

There is no reason that you should be forced to endure needless neck pain while at the office. If you would like to learn more or to schedule an appointment to diagnose your neck pain, please call Bradford House Chiropractic Clinic at 01962-861-188.

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Osteoarthritis of the Hip – How Chiropractic May Help

osteoarthritis of the hipAt Bradford House Clinic, Chiropractor, Max Atkinson, has noted that many patients with Osteoarthritis of the hip are turning to non-pharmacological (drug-free) treatments such as Chiropractic and Physiotherapy to help them remain active, manage pain and to delay, or avoid, the need for hip surgery in the future. Many patients choose Chiropractic in conjunction with their medical treatment as Chiropractic techniques have the aim of restoring as much function as possible to an arthritic joint.

What is Osteoarthritis of the Hip?

This type of arthritis is often named “wear-and-tear-arthritis”, because it is a condition that is more likely to develop as the number of birthdays we have accumulated goes up! It is most common in middle-aged or older people and more likely in hips and knees because these are weight-bearing joints.

This is a condition with no identifiable single cause, although there are risk factors that could make you more susceptible. These include being overweight, having a pre-existing hip injury or other family members with osteoarthritis.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a condition that generally, gets gradually gets worse although it can begin suddenly in some cases. Patients usually report pain in and around the hip joint, often worse after a night’s rest or after sitting for a long period (for example after a long car journey).  The pain may radiate to the buttocks, groin and knee and may be worse after any vigorous exercise.

The hip joint is a large, ‘ball and socket’ joint. Smooth cartilage that cushions and protects bones and allows for smooth movement of the joint covers the ball and the socket. The whole of the joint surface is coated with a thin, lining layer called the Synovium. This secretes fluid to lubricate the joint.

In Osteoarthritis, the joint cartilage is gradually eroded, becoming roughened and with tiny fragments breaking away. This results in the joint space between the ball and the socket bones becoming smaller.

What are the Symptoms?

The symptoms begin with stiffness and pain that can worsen until simple activities like walking sitting down in a chair or getting up again can become very difficult.

Crepitus, a grinding noise from the affected hip can be somewhat disconcerting. The sound is a result of the degeneration of cartilage in the joint. Degeneration leaves the joint unprotected against friction, loose fragments of cartilage interfere with the biomechanics of the hip. In severe cases, the bones grind against each other.

Sometimes, the body may attempt to protect itself from this loss of cartilage by producing bone spurs but these can cause pain and the locking or ‘sticking’ of the hip joint.

Some patients report that the pain is worse in cold, damp and rainy weather conditions.

How May Chiropractic Help?

Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, your Winchester Chiropractor can offer several treatment options with the aims of helping you to manage pain and remain active.

Chiropractic adjustments can be helpful in improving the mobility of affected hip joints. Other treatments, such as soft tissue stretching can also help to make movement more comfortable. These treatments have the added benefit of helping the patient to be more active, a very good way to improve strength and flexibility.

Winchester Chiropractor, Max Atkinson, invites you to call Bradford House Chiropractic to arrange an appointment on 01962-861-188. As he points out, there is no cure for Osteoarthritis, but with help and advice on diet, exercise and weight management, combined with gentle Chiropractic techniques to improve mobility, there is a great deal that patients can do to help themselves to enjoy as full, and as active, a life as possible.

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4 Ways to Keep Up Your Workout Motivation This Winter

winter workoutIf you find yourself struggling to keep up your motivation for your workout routine, you are definitely not alone. It is so much harder to head out for a run or a gym session on a cold dark winter morning or a chilly winter evening after work.

So if your willpower needs a bit of a boost to maintain your fitness level going into Spring and Summer, here are four ways to help yourself!

Listen To Your Body

We all suffer from the ‘winter blues’ from time to time. Remember that exercising can help to boost the body’s natural ‘feel good’ endorphins. It may be, that changing the intensity or type of workout that you do during the summer months or adding some Yoga or Pilates to help you rebalance mind and body will help you.

Winchester Chiropractor, Max Atkinson adds that during the colder weather, it is even more important to practice a correct warm-up and cool-down routine to stretch and mobilise joints and muscles, helping to keep your body injury-free.

He adds that trying to keep to a healthy diet will help to avoid that groggy, foggy, sluggish feeling and will help you to feel energized and motivated for your workout.

Workout with a Friend or in a Group Class

If you need more motivation to get out of bed for a morning trip to the gym, a run, or to get off the couch in the evening for a class – make a date with a friend. Having someone depending on you to turn up makes you accountable and helps to keep your motivation and reach your goals.

If you do not have a like-minded friend to workout with, consider joining an exercise class or running group. Often this will involve spending some cash – which is another great motivator for not ‘bailing’ and having a lie-in!

Exercise classes and group sessions are also a good way to socialise, make new friends and catch up with old ones. This in itself can be motivating but setting group goals can also help you raise that bar and aim higher yourself.

Winter is a great time to try something new!

A great way to boost your motivation and enjoyment of your winter workouts is to try something new. If your winter willpower is lacking – you could just be bored with your current workout routine! One great way to keep motivated is to switch it up and try something new.

You could –

  • Try High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – these workouts alternate between very intense bursts of activity and either resting or a period of less intense activity.
  • Take a Barre class (which makes use of a Ballet barre to perform poses based on a combination of ballet, Yoga and Pilates.
  • Try a Spinning Class – this is a cardio workout to music on a stationary bike – great fun!
  • Try a Yoga Class – great for mind and body.

Do not let bad weather stop you!

The explorer and adventurer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes famously said that – “There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” There is no doubt that equipping oneself with appropriate footwear and the right clothing can make exercising outdoors more enjoyable in rain and wind. However, in snowy, icy conditions, unless you fancy sledging or skating, an indoor workout could be the safer solution.

Workout DVDs are often as good as going to a class. Even if you do not want to invest money in these, there are some great workouts available on YouTube that are not only, completely free, but also do not need any special equipment.

To Sum Up

Max Atkinson says that the single best way to stay motivated with your winter workouts is to plan your goals. Do not treat it like a marathon and set a single goal, the finishing post! Instead, set yourself smaller, more realistic and achievable goals along the way and reward yourself for reaching them. Schedule your workout sessions, write them down or set a reminder on your phone – treat them as if they were a vital appointment! To make an appointment with your Winchester Chiropractor, please call 01962-861-188 today!

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Please take a look around our site and if you think we can help you please call 01962 861188. If you are new to chiropractic why not book a FREE SCREENING appointment with our chiropractor to chat about your problem and see if we can help.