Proudly Announcing the Renewal of our Award for Excellence in Patient Partnership

PPQM 2016

Here it is, all shiney and bright, and lovely!  Our PPQM renewal!

PPQM stands for Patient Partnership Quality Mark.  It’s awarded to clinics that meet the Royal College of Chiropractor’s strict standards of excellence in meeting patient expectations.

We work really hard towards being the best that we can be, and to provide the best care that we possiblty can to each and every individual patient.

It makes us very proud to achieve recognition for this from the RCC, and to be able to give you that extra bit of peace of mind.

Well done team.

Leah Rose

PS – apologies for the dreadful photography, it was my best effort!!

Back to School!

The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) is urging parents to think about their children’s posture as part of the preparation for the new school term. Whilst stationary and school books are important, it’s how your child carries them that can have the most impact on their health.
According to new research from the BCA, over a third (33%) of parents say that their child has suffered from back or neck pain in the past and, whilst back pain can be caused by a number of different factors, overloaded school bags are a common trigger.
Despite most people knowing that a rucksack is the best type of bag to use to promote a more healthy posture, nearly a third (31%) of children carry a one-strapped bag which can cause a number of problems due to the weight being loaded to just one shoulder.
When parents were questioned about what their children usually carry in their school bags, the most common items included books (87%), lunchbox (59%), sports gear, including trainers (43%) and mobile phones (32%). Collectively, these items can become a heavy weight and, if carried incorrectly, that weight can cause aches and pains. With 16% of parents admitting to never checking their child’s school bag, the BCA is calling for more parents to keep an eye on what their children carry around with them on a daily basis.
TOP TIPS:
•    Keep it light – make sure your child is not carrying any unnecessary excess weight – check that all the items in their bags are essential for the day’s activity.
•    Check it out – make sure you know what your child is taking to school with them every day as they may be carrying heavy items with them unnecessarily.
•    Choose the right bag – a rucksack is the best option as long as it is carried over both shoulders and the straps are adjusted so that the bag is held close to the back and weight is evenly distributed. If your child has a one-strapped bag, make sure they carry it across the body and alternate which shoulder they carry it on.
•    Footwear is key – Make sure your child has good footwear; soft-soled shoes that are supportive and have a good grip will make it easier for the child to carry a school bag.
Call us on 01452309372 to book a consultation for your child with one of our chiropractors if your child is suffering with back pain.

Award Winning Clinic and Chiropractors – That’s Us!!!

It’s exciting times for the Longlevens Chiropractic & Sports Injury Clinic!  On 30th January 2013 we will be awarded the prestigious Patient Partnership Quality Mark (PPQM) 2013 – 2015 by the College of Chiropractor’s, who were themselves recently awarded Chartered status by the Queen.

The College of Chiropractor’s states: “The College of Chiropractors believes that chiropractic services should be centred on the users of those services. The College supports the delivery of services that are flexible and responsive to the needs of patients, acknowledging them as partners in their own care.” (Tim Jay DC FCC, President)

The award recognises the achievement of outstanding levels of care and service provided to patients, in areas including cleanliness and safety, communication and patient education, privacy, accessibility and record keeping.  More information will follow and of course pictures, after the 30th January ceremony!

In addition to the PPQM award, one of the Longlevens Chiropractic & Sports Injury Clinic’s Chiropractors, Danny Adams, will be presented with an award identifying him as Outstanding PRT Chiropractor of the Year on the College of Chiropractor’s postgraduate Training Scheme, under Mentor and Clinic Director, Simon Rose.

Congratulations also to Danny (who has been busy!) for recently achieving his International Chiropractic Sports Science Diploma, awarded by the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic.  This post doctoral qualification ensures extremely high standards of theoretical and practical competency in treating sports injuries and qualifies him to participate in major national and international events such as the Olympic Games.

More information will follow soon about all of the above.

 

 

Look After Your Neck and Back at Christmas Time!

 


A few seasonal tips to help you have a pain free Christmas this year :-)

Tip 1: Did you know everyone has a built in lower back safety belt? To put it on all you have to do is maximally contract your abs, then back it off 50%, then 50% again, this leaves you with a 25% of maximum contraction at the lower part of your abs. When wearing this belt your lower back is exponentially stronger, if you keep using this safety belt it will become natural and you wont even have to consciously think about putting it on. Just make sure your are wearing it when lifting any heavy Prezzies ;-) .

Tip 2: To avoid muscle tightness you have to move properly, when using your arms, whether it be for lifting, reaching, even subtle motions such as waving make sure you keep your upper shoulder muscles relaxed. Try to concentrate on using your arms without shrugging your shoulders, shrugging the shoulders repeatedly leads to chronic tightness. Make sure your aware of this when your around the house putting up those Christmas decorations :-) .

Tip 3: Stay loose, a tight muscle is usually sore, relatively stiff into touch and occasionally feels like it has strings of linguini running through it. If you notice you have muscles like these then I would recommend getting a massage or seeing a manual therapist such as a chiropractor help get them loosened out. Depending on the region of tightness tight muscles can lead to strains, sprains, headaches and muscle tears.

Remember, as Santa always says “HO HO HO!!” “always be pro active, not reactive!” :p and finally…

Have a Very Merry Christmas from us all at Longlevens Chiropractic and Sports Injury Clinic!

Danny Adams

Great advice on Sleeping and Beds from the BCA

Research carried out on behalf of Premier Inn suggests that you can tell a lot about someone’s personality by the position they sleep in. Your bed can also be the cause of back pain and the British Chiropractic Association has some great advice for sleep posture and how to choose your bed and pillow.

Choosing the right bed can minimise those factors that may lead to, or aggravate back pain. Research by the British Chiropractic Association in 2011 showed that of those experiencing back pain, 41% of women and 36% of men said that their pain could be brought on by a night’s so-called ‘rest’.
We come in different weights, shapes and sizes, but have one thing in common; we spend more than a third of our lives in bed, so should choose our beds carefully.
Which is better, a hard or soft mattress? – The best mattress is a ’supportive one‘. A 16 stone person sleeping on a mattress may not get the same support as a 10 stone person sleeping on the same mattress.

How do I know which is the right mattress for me? – If you are lying on your side, your spine should be parallel to the mattress and your spine should not sag (bed too soft) or bow (bed too hard). The longer you can spend lying on a mattress before you buy it, the more accurate this feeling will be. – Your pillow should be an extension of this i.e. your neck should be a continuation of the straight spine and not too high or too low.
What about my partner? –   Always shop with your partner as your respective ideal mattress tensions could be very different.  If this is the case, buy beds from a range that allow two single mattresses to be zipped together, so that you both get the support you need.

How do I know if my current bed/mattress needs replacing? –  Are you and your partner getting comfortable nights sleep? If the answer is no, your bed may be the problem. -Can you feel the springs through the mattress? If the answer is yes, it is definitely time to buy a new one. –  Is the bed more that 10 years old? If the answer is yes, consider purchasing a new one – beds wear out and may sag or lose support with time.

What things can I do to help prevent back problems even with my new mattress? – Try and adopt a sleeping position which creates less physical stress on the back. For example, lying on your side is better than lying on your front with your neck twisted to one side. –  Keep moving and avoid being in any one position for too long.

No matter how comfy the position may initially feel, the longer you stay in one position, the more this will ‘load joints’. If your partner moves around a lot at night, try separate beds for a while as your partner’s movement could aggravate YOUR back condition! –  Drink water. Keep well hydrated; dehydration can make muscles ache. –   Don’t leap out of bed first thing in the morning. After you have woken up wake up, try some gentle stretches. –   Wake up your body. Once up, avoid bending or doing anything sudden or strenuous until you back wakes up!

Rugby Injuries: The Stinger

 

 

In this post I will be explaining what occurs and what is felt with a stinger injury and I will also give some advice on what to expect with regards to recovery.

“Stingers”, also known as “Burners”, occur when a persons neck is taken too far to one side too quickly whilst at the same time the shoulder is depressed downwards too far and too quickly also. The usual mechanism is as a result of a tackle during Rugby or American Football, the resulting pain is described as stinging or burning sensation. The reasons for these symptoms are because the nerves exiting the neck that innervate the arm (via the “brachial plexus”) are stretched during the tackle and therefore injured.


The type of pain that is felt is regarded as a sharp shooting neurological type pain with regions of stinging and burning locally and often distally down the arm. The pain location can vary, though the most commonly affected area is that which is innervated by the C5 nerve as this is the nerve where most of the over stretching is likely to occur as the shoulder is depressed too far downwards. As you can see in the picture below, the C5 nerve root is the highest exiting nerve that innervates the arm from the neck region.
Look at the yellow nerves exiting the spine in to the arm in this picture, C5 is the highest level.

The regions of skin innervated by C5, C6, C7, C8 and T1 are shown here in this picture, when suffering from a Rugby stinger you may feel discomfort along one or more of these regions with C5 being the most likely.

The muscles that you may find weak as a result of a stinger playing Rugby are most likely to be those innervated by C5 and then decreasing in likelihood C6, C7, C8, T1.

As you can see the main muscles innervated by C5 and C6 are those surrounding the shoulder girdle, therefore expect dysfunction to occur in this region. The rate of healing for a nerve is very slow so make sure you are patient and perform rehab sensibly. I would recommend seeing a specialist (e.g chiropractor) for advice and guidance throughout this process as too little or too much rehab or treatment at the wrong time could decrease your recovery rate and prolong your return to action.

Tips To Improve Your Posture

1. Stretch regularly – Yoga and Pilates are brilliant to improve your posture, the better you move, the better your posture and the less problems you will experience. If you feel tight in one particular area or are not sure where you are moving incorrectly then your teacher (yoga/pilates) or manual therapist (e.g. Chiropractor) can help you.

2. Correct your ergonomics at work, if you sit at a desk for long periods at work for example then make sure you ergonomics are perfect. A lot of companies will assess this for you, however make sure it is kept up to date as it is very important for your posture and to prevent injury.

3. Take regular short breaks, if you have to stay in one place for a long period of time (e.g. sitting down) make sure you take a break and move about for at least 5 minutes every half hour. This will allow  the structures within your body to recover from a prolonged period of stress in one position which can lead to poor posture.

4. Drink lots of water – staying hydrated keeps your muscles and joints supple and strong preventing your body from getting lazy and adapting a poor posture.

5. Feel free to fidget! Fidgeting is your body telling you that you need to move to get comfortable, listen to your body. If your body needs to move to be comfortable then let it be comfortable, just don’t let it be comfortable in one position for too long ;-) .

Always remember, keep moving and stay loose, keep your back straight when bending and use your knees!

If your company would like us to pay you a visit to conduct free postural assessments please get in touch!

Posture Advice from Massage Therapist Kate West

It’s rare to that you find someone with the ‘perfect’ posture, but the idea is that it is aspired to. Below is a diagram of what we should all be aiming for.

 

There tends to be 3 types of ‘bad’ posture that practitioners see most often:
Sway back posture:

• Head is too far forward
• Neck has an increased curve
• Shoulders are falling forward and down
• Chest and Rib Cage The Upper chest collapses, flattening out the chest wall. Chest also moves back and in.
• Upper Back has an increased bend forward (Kyphosis).
• Lower Back flattens out
• Pelvis tilting under (Posterior tilt) and pushing forward.
• Knees locked
Flat back posture:

• Head is too far forward
• Neck has an increased curve
• Shoulders are falling forward and down
• Chest and Rib Cage falling forward
• Upper Back Straightening out as you move down the spine
• Lower Back flattens out
• Pelvis tilting or tucking under (Posterior tilt)
• Knees locked

Hollow back posture:

• Head is too far forward
• Neck has an increased curve
• Shoulders are falling forward and down
• Chest and Rib Cage collapsing
• Upper Back is rounding (Kyphosis)
• Lower Back has an increased curve (Lordosis)
• Pelvis tilting forward (anterior tilt)
Knees locked

Poor posture can effect the body massively. It can mean some muscles shorten and so cannot perform normally and therefore others lengthen which decreases strength. It can also effect blood flow through muscles which can lead to pain spasms.

Poor posture can be the cause of much discomfort and injuries due to the short/tight muscles or the lengthened muscles that allow too much movement possibly leading to injury.

Posture is something that everyone should be very aware of and be trying to correct every minute of every day.

References:

Kendall, 1993
NLSSM – North London School of Sports Massage

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash – you hear the term used all the time but do you really know what it is and why it occurs? Here it is for you, put simply by Danny Adams, Chiropractor at Longlevens Chiropractic & Sports Injury Clinic:

Studies show that a rear-end collision of as slow as 5 Mph can result in what is known as a “Whiplash Associated Disorder” (WAD). (This is the correct term for whiplash used by medical professionals). Classically, most people will tell you that a rear end car collision is what leads to Whiplash. However, this is not the case, as you can see from the term ‘Whiplash Associated Disorder’ Whiplash can occur in many different ways. If you follow the definition you would be forgiven for thinking that Whiplash can only be as a result of hyper flexion and hyper extension. However, what is more common is that when a person experiences whiplash it is as a result of the person’s neck not being prepared correctly for the rapid change in movement. Whether the impact to the persons body came from behind or the sides. This is because the muscles of the neck are not prepared correctly to brace the neck bones and tissue (usually because the person was not expecting to injure themselves). Then by the time they have braced it is too late and the damage has been done. Also, mistakes are made in treating, where it is commonly thought that the ligaments surrounding the facet joints (little joints that connect each segment of the spine) get sprained due to hyperflexion (too much flexion) and subsequent hyperextension (too much extension) whereas, in fact, a large amount of joint compression occurs as the neck gets taken through and ‘S’ shape curve just after impact seen in the middle picture below.

Here is the classification of WAD injuries just to show you how different each Whiplash injury can be. There are a few different classifications though this one is most common at the moment, designed by ‘The Quebec Task force”. If you have suffered Whiplash then you would have fallen in to one of these graded categories.

Now, another very common mistake to make with Whiplash is that the injury only occurs within the bony part of the neck and local tissues. In fact a large part, if not the majority of your pain will be coming from the surrounding musculature that braced the neck too late. What happens is that the muscles that failed to respond quickly enough at the time of impact are kept in a state of neurologically controlled hypertension (too tight!) as they form their own protective brace around the bones and tissue of the neck. Don’t get me wrong, there may have been bone, joint and tissue damage but it is usually the muscles that are responsible for the long term effects of Whiplash. Often the segments of the spine, their joints and local tissue have often healed while the muscles can stay in a state of unnecessary tightness for years after.

A simple but frustrating mistake I hear time and time again when advice is given for Whiplash is “use heat to relieve the pain and symptoms”. For the life of me I do not know why this is suggested, if you get a bruise or you tear/strain a muscle why would you want to encourage the inflammation with heat in the early stages?  Heat feeds inflammation, if you read the physiology behind inflammation you will see that inflammation is a genius evolutionary process but essentially quite crude. The body does a great job with inflammation breaking down and clearing out dead and diseased tissue, though it often goes too far and can in fact damage it’s own healthy cells, thus prolonging the recovery of an injury. By applying heat you will get relief at the time of application due to the over riding of the ‘pain gate’ at the damaged region. However, a few hours later the pain often will return and sometimes it can be worse. I’d suggest using ICE 10-15 minutes every 2 hours and observe the difference.

If you would like further information on whiplash please contact us on 01452309372 or email contact@longlevenschiro.com.  See more of Danny’s articles here.

Danny’s Blog: Neck Pain, Chiropractic & Exercise = The Perfect Relationship?

An interesting study…

The results below are from a study, funded by the National Institute of Health, that tracked 272 patients with recent-onset neck pain who were treated using three different methods: Medication, Exercise or a  Chiropractor.

After 12 weeks the patients who used a chiropractor or exercised were more than twice as likely to be neck pain free compared to those who relied on medicine. The patients treated by a chiropractor experienced the highest rate of neck pain relief with 32 percent saying they were neck pain free, compared to 30 percent of those who exercised. Only 13 percent of patients treated with medication said they no longer experienced neck pain.

A Chiropractors View

As a Chiropractor myself, I always recommend Chiropractic treatment along with a personally prescribed exercise plan. Part of your chiropractic treatment is to receive advice on which stretches and exercises to perform. The exercises are designed to train areas of your body so that it is less likely to re-injure itself. I also give ergonomic advice, advice for around the house and advice on the correct nutrition to aid you in healing faster. Exercises are usually given after one or two treatments once a patient is out of pain and can move a bit better. You must be careful as exercise during the acute phases may increase the pain levels and actually hinder progression. This is because the inflamed areas can get further irritated by the compressing, stretching and pulling movements aggravating the injury.

What to expect

It’s crucial for everyone to know that Chiropractic is more then just hands on treatment, Chiropractors assess all contributing factors and give you advice to correct each possible factor that may have led to the injury onset. Once out of injury or even before they get injured many people see their Chiropractor for a regular spinal and body check up. During these visits a Chiropractor will check to see if any part of the body could lead to future discomfort and to see if their patient has been performing their exercises correctly to prevent injury or re-injury.

This Chiropractor’s ‘Dream’

Chiropractic and exercise go hand in hand, on their own they are OK, but together they are unbeatable. In a perfect world everyone would see their Chiropractor on a regular basis for regular check ups, this is the dream as back pain is one of the leading causes of work absence. Think about it!! if we all saw our Chiropractor regularly we would have less days off work as a country due to back pain which would lead to a boost in the economy and decrease our taxes!!… what do you think? it’s a nice dream, make it happen ;-) .

Remember

“prevention is better than cure”.

References: Forer, B. (2012). Neck Pain: Chiropractors, Exercise Better Than Medication, Study Says. Available: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/01/04/neck-pain-chiropractors-exercise-better-than-medication-study-says/. Last accessed 22nd March 2012.