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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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How To Succeed With New Year’s Resolutions For a Healthier You in 2018

New Year’s Resolutions For a Healthier YouAs someone, (not your Winchester Chiropractor, Max Atkinson!) once, sagely, said – “New Year’s Resolutions are like babies – fun to make, but hard to maintain”!

However, Max points out that a single resolution, broken down into small, achievable goals to aim for in a given time-scale will be easier to achieve. Being able to celebrate small milestones along the way is more likely to lead to success than waiting to celebrate when we have attained the end-goal.

Healthier Lifestyle Resolutions

These are the most common among healthy New Year’s resolutions. Below, are some tips and links for help and advice to get you started on – and sticking to, your chosen resolution:

  1. Lose Some Weight

Losing weight really goes hand in hand with resolution number 2, “Get Active” as making changes to our diet to lose those excess pounds is really only half the story! If you are an otherwise healthy adult with a BMI over 25, the brilliant, free, 12-week plan downloadable from the NHS website should help you get on the right track and stay there!

  • It has twelve weeks of menus planned out for you.
  • You can sign up for the free, email, weight loss support.
  • It has suggestions for non-food rewards for reaching your goals in your weight loss journey.
  • There is a planner you can download, stick on the wall or the fridge and track your progress.
  1. Get active

A ComRes poll conducted in November 2015(1) placed “Exercise more” at the top of the UK’s New Year resolution list, with 38% of us wanting to be more active and 33% of us wanting to lose weight.

The British Heart Foundation has lots of tips and advice on getting more active. If the gym is not your thing, there are many ideas for getting active indoors and outdoors, Even if your mobility is poor you can still get more active with their ideas for chair-based exercises. With free fitness apps to download, ideas on getting fit for free – and lots more, there is sure to be something that inspires you! Check out the website here.

  1. Drink less alcohol

Have you found that your alcohol consumption is creeping up, maybe as a way to unwind after a busy, stressful day – or that you are drinking to excess on nights out with friends and perhaps putting your health and safety at risk as a result. Whatever your reason for wanting to cut down on your alcohol consumption, the Drinkaware website has all the information you need and the steps you can put in place to cut down on alcohol wherever you are.

Other Health-Related Resolutions

We have chosen just three of the most popular resolutions in our list above. Other popular resolutions you may have chosen include, to improve your diet, quit smoking, get more sleep or to reduce the stress in your life.

Obviously, Chiropractic treatment will not help you to lose weight or achieve success with any of the other resolutions we mention. However, if you have some niggling aches and pains that prevent you from exercising or being as active as you would like, if there is a biomechanical cause, Chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue work may help. If this issue is affecting you, why not contact your Winchester Chiropractor. You can book an appointment by calling us on 01962 861188.

Whatever your aim, your Winchester Chiropractor advises that to have the best chance of success, you:

  1. Make only one resolution and that you think about what this should be well in advance of New Year’s Eve.
  2. Make a resolution that is important to you; enlist the help and support of friends, family and perhaps even a healthcare professional or coach.
  3. Break down your goals into a series of smaller, more easily achievable goals – and reward yourself for reaching them.

And Finally …

Finally, Max’s best piece of advice is to be kind to yourself! Don’t feel you have failed because you have that extra slice of cake or glass of wine, or because you have a couch-potato day without exercising – we all revert to old habits from time to time but that doesn’t mean we have failed.

(1) Statistics quoted from the ComRes Poll are contained within this article for the Telegraph. If you wish to read the full Poll results, they are available in this downloadable PDF.

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Depression Awareness in Men

depressionIt is a fact that women are more likely to have an awareness of the problem of depression and to seek help if they are affected. Estimates suggest that one in four men is depressed, but men are much more likely to mask the symptoms. In many cases, they experience physical symptoms such as persistent headaches or back pain. Their loved ones, and even their GPs, may not recognize that they are suffering from depression.

Depression can affect men of all ages, regardless of their profession or ethnic background but, even when aware that they have a problem, many men are unwilling to look for help, seeing this as an expression of weakness or something to be ashamed of.

Being Aware of the Signs of Depression

We all feel sad, or ‘down’, from time to time in our lives, but if these symptoms persist and just will not go away, it could indicate depression. The most common psychological symptoms are –

  • A loss of interest in or enthusiasm for, things previously enjoyed, including social and sporting activities, resulting in withdrawal and isolation
  • Finding it difficult to focus and concentrate
  • Experiencing feelings of guilt and anxiety about things that you have no control over
  • Feeling pessimistic about life and about what the future may hold
  • Stopping paying attention to personal grooming, or the way you look after your home.

At worst, feelings of hopelessness creep in and suicidal thoughts can emerge.

Depression Can Have Physical Symptoms Too!

Many are surprised to learn that depression can be a cause of pain and other physical symptoms

  • Headaches and back pain are both common in those with depression. Migraine sufferers and those with chronic pain can find that being depressed makes their symptoms worse.
  • Chest pain is another physical symptom associated with depression. However, it is vital that any chest pain is investigated immediately to rule out any serious condition such as a heart problem.
  • Problems with digestion can result in diarrhoea, constipation or alternating between the two. Nausea or sickness can also be a problem. Some people with depression find they lose their appetite, others ‘comfort eat’ craving starchy and/or sweet foods with a resultant weight gain.
  • Sleep problems may mean that falling asleep or staying asleep result in daytime fatigue. Others sleep more than normal yet still find themselves feeling exhausted.
  • Anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as feeling breathless, shaky, experiencing palpitations, churning stomach, dry mouth or sweating.

Men Can Also Experience More Anger

For men more than women, depression can also manifest in irritability, aggression and sudden angry outbursts. In some men, it can also result in a loss of control, more reckless behaviour such as driving too fast and taking unnecessary risks.

Men May Use Alcohol or Drugs to Help Them Cope

Women are better at talking about their problems. It is harder for men to admit they need help – which may be why more women than men are diagnosed with depression than women. Men do, however, seem to use drugs and alcohol more heavily as a way of self-medicating in a bid to help them cope with their symptoms.

The Most Common Cause of Depression in Men

Problems in a relationship and at worst, separation or divorce are the most likely causes of male depression. For those who are divorced, not seeing the children regularly or losing contact with them, having to move house and money worries, often result in the symptoms being more severe.

Are You Aware of These Symptoms of Depression in Yourself?

Depression awareness in men is important. If you recognize the psychological or physical signs outlined above in yourself, trying to suppress or hide these symptoms will only make matters worse. It can affect every aspect of life and make those you love miserable as well as yourself.

Below, we have listed some helpful online resources that may enable you to take that first step towards seeking treatment. It is important to talk to your Doctor so that you can receive appropriate help.



The Movember Foundation – Men’s health charity addressing physical and mental health conditions experienced by men and suicide prevention.

NIMH – National Institute of Men’s Health “Real Men. Real Depression” campaign.

Men Get Depression – Downloadable pdf booklet packed with advice and information.

Help Guide – A guide to the symptoms and warning signs and how to get the help you need. This includes a questionnaire to assess how depressed you may be.

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Preventing Back Pain for Back Care Awareness Week

back painBackCare, the leading charity in the UK for those affected by neck or back pain problems, runs an awareness week on a different theme each year. The theme for this year’s Back Care Awareness Week (BCAW), which runs from 2nd – 6th October this year, is “Back Pain in Education”.

Back and neck pain affecting adults costs the UK economy £15bn and result in more than 4,000,000 lost working days every year. BackCare has decided to target children and young adults during BCAW this year because, many causes of back and neck pain in adults, result from children and young people not taking proper care of their backs as they grow up.

Three Minutes a Day Could Prevent Back Pain!

The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has designed a simple three-minute exercise program for adults and children. These exercises will help to improve posture and help participants to prevent back pain if incorporated into the daily routine. The program, called “Straighten up UK” works on improving strength, flexibility, and balance in the spine.

The three-minute program is easy to learn and comprises specifically designed, precise, slow stretches. A warm-up, is followed by posture care, with a core balance section to finish. The BCA has produced a leaflet for adults and a separate one for children, demonstrating all the exercises in the program. You can download one for yourself, here (link to

If you have not exercised for some time or have a pre-existing problem with back pain, it would be wise to discuss the program with your Winchester Chiropractor, Max Atkinson, prior to beginning – as he will be able to advise you on adapting the exercises to your own capabilities if necessary.

Check Out Max Atkinson’s Top Tips for Preventing Back Pain

  1. Strengthen your Core Muscles with the “Straighten Up UK” exercise program mentioned above. Core muscles support the lower back and a strong core helps to prevent injury.
  2. Keep your weight in check. Being overweight puts extra strain on the back. If weight gain is a problem for you, take advice on correcting your diet and nutritional intake and increasing your exercise levels to get your weight back under control.
  3. Get workplace ergonomics right. Poor workplace ergonomics are responsible for a great deal of back pain. A good ergonomic chair that supports the lumbar spine, a footrest to enable feet to be placed squarely down, a standing desk that enables you to stand rather than sit for part of your working day, are all things that will help to protect your back at work.
  4. Take care when lifting. If lifting is part of your job, your employer is required (by law) to provide proper training to help prevent injury. The three simple rules are, keep your chest forward, keep the weight close to your body and lead with your hips (not your shoulders).
  5. Take care when travelling. Being in the same position for a long time on a car, train or plane journey can be very hard on the back and neck. Try to stretch your legs and hips every half an hour or so during your journey. Make use of a lumbar support pillow to support your lower spine. If you are likely to doze off, pack an inflatable neck pillow.

What if I already have back pain?

Although back pain affects an astonishing 80% of us at some time during our lives, the cause is most usually, biomechanical in origin, with no underlying disease process.

Your Winchester Chiropractor can help with this type of biomechanical back pain as well as with helping you to prevent back pain in the future so please call to arrange an appointment on 01962-861-188 now.




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Migraine Awareness Week in UK

Migraine Awareness Week Migraine Awareness Week is running from 3rd – 9th of September this year. Migraines and headaches of all kinds can bring misery and, as Winchester Chiropractor Max Atkinson knows all too well, the problem can have a severe impact on the lives of those affected.

The theme of this year’s awareness week is ‘Breaking migraine stigma together’. Migraine can carry a stigma – as many people still do not understand the condition. This results in those affected feeling alone, isolated and left to cope with the condition as best they can.

The dual aims of Migraine awareness week are:

  • To help those suffering from Migraine to get the help, support and treatment that they need
  • To raise awareness of the problems faced by Migraine sufferers in the rest of the population in order to help them to be more supportive

Max Atkinson supports both these aims, underlining how important it is that no one feels fearful or isolated because of the debilitating symptoms they are experiencing and that everyone should have the opportunity to receive the help that they need.(1)

What is Migraine?

Migraines are usually experienced as a very intense and painful headache. This can often be on one side of the head only and may come with a raft of associated symptoms including throbbing, aura (blurred vision or lights), nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light.

Chiropractors can often help in the case of migraine arising from misalignments in the spine and especially in the cervical spine (neck). This can cause irritation and compression of the nerves that pass through the head and face. It can also result in residual pain in the frontal region of the head, around the forehead, in the orbital region, affecting the eyes as well as the ears and temples.

Because these misalignments are biomechanical in nature, Chiropractic care can be beneficial as gentle Chiropractic adjustments can correct the problem and the associated nerve irritation and compression.

Chiropractic For Migraines

The holistic approach of Chiropractic can be very helpful as Migraines are complex, often presenting with several different systems and, after investigation, are discovered to have more than one trigger. Holistic Chiropractic care focuses on the body as a whole. In the case of migraines, it looks at how triggers and pain symptoms can be relieved.

If a biomechanical problem is the cause or a contributory factor for a patient’s Migraines, Chiropractic adjustments and other techniques can improve the alignment of the spine and relieve the pressure on surrounding soft tissues and joints.

Holistic Chiropractic care also looks at other dietary, health and lifestyle factors that may be triggering a migraine. For example:

  • For those spending most of the day working at a desk, posture while sitting and the stresses of a demanding job may both be contributory causes. Your Winchester Chiropractor can help improve your posture and help you learn techniques that will aid in managing stress.
  • Dietary factors may also be triggers, certain foods such as chocolate, cheese and citrus fruits are among those that can be triggers for migraine. Alcoholic drinks, particularly red wine and beer can also be culprits.
  • Many migraine patients are low in a variety of nutrients, the chief among which are, Vitamin D, Coenzyme Q10 and Riboflavin (one of the B-Group vitamins).

So, learning how to improve posture and manage stress, avoiding the food triggers that affect migraine and correcting any nutritional deficiencies with improved diet and/or supplementation, if necessary can all be beneficial.

As you can see, Chiropractic treatment for migraines can positively affect the quality of life for migraine patients, helping them with relief of symptoms and understanding the triggers. It can also result in a reduction in the number, frequency and severity of attacks. To find out more and to arrange an appointment, please contact your Winchester Chiropractor today at the Bradford House Clinic on 01962-861-188 today. We are always ready to help.

(1)Bradford House Chiropractic supports the aims of Migraine Awareness Week but would like to make clear that it is not affiliated with this event or endorsed by it.


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Why You Should Try The New Warm-up Program For Rugby

New Warm-up Program For RugbyThe Rugby Football Union (RFU), have announced that they are rolling out a new warm-up program this summer across all levels of the community game. This simple to implement, four-stage workout, developed as part of a study on young Rugby players, by the University of Bath, reduced injuries among the young players who participated, by at least 70% and the incidence of concussion by 59%.

Winchester Chiropractor, Max Atkinson, says that this program, focusing on balance, strength and movement demonstrated a significant positive benefit for the children and teenagers who did these exercises regularly during training sessions and pre-match warm-ups. Continue reading

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Preventing Common Cycling Problems

cycling injuryThere are a number of high profile campaigns that urge us to ‘get on our bikes’ with the dual aims of reducing pollution and making us healthier and more active.

While cycling is a great way to exercise and an exciting sport to participate in, unfortunately it is often a cause of injury with Casualty departments and GPs seeing additional cases of cycling injuries around the time of the Tour de France as ‘armchair cyclists’ attempt to emulate their heroes!

In this article however, we look at preventing cycling problems not caused by a traffic accident. Continue reading

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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.