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!!

Are You a Spoon or a Bridge?

BCA spoon
The shape of a woman’s side profile could be used as an indicator of neck and back problems. According to research from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA), the average age where women start to suffer from back or neck pain is 34.
Women whose heads lean forward are most likely to be currently suffering from back or neck pain (58%), followed by those with an arched back (56%).
Women whose heads lean forward are also the most likely to suffer from back or neck pain ‘every day’ (29%). Those with a flat back were the least likely to have experienced pain, with 21 per cent having remained pain-free.*
Although many women would recognise what category they fall into when it comes to the more traditional body shapes, knowing about their side-shapes is important too.
BCA Chiropractor, Tim Hutchful, comments: “Rather than worrying about being an apple or an hourglass, we want people to think about what they look like from the side. Paying closer attention to your body’s side profile can really help to identify back or neck pain triggers.”

What side-shape are you?
• Spoon – flat back, rounded shoulders
• Leaning tower – head leans forward
• Bridge – arched back
• Flat-pack – flat back

With just over 25 per cent of women saying that a bout of back or neck pain can last for one to three days at a time, it is important to pinpoint what can be done to prevent it. Fortunately, making changes to your posture doesn’t call for extreme dieting or exercise programmes.
Tim Hutchful explains: “The perfect posture should give you a neutral side-on appearance, with your ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles in line.

“People who want to improve their back and neck pain symptoms through a better posture should try imagining they have a plumb line hanging straight from their ears to ankles – with everything in the middle sitting on the same line.

“One way to do this is to try standing in a relaxed way and then gently contracting the abdominal muscles. When sitting, the gravity line should pass thorough ear, shoulder and hip.”

The BCA has also developed a programme of simple stretches and exercises, designed to improve posture and help prevent back pain by promoting balance, strength and flexibility in the spine. Click here to view.

Research carried out on behalf of the BCA in January 2015.

*Out of all women with an arched back, a flat back, rounded shoulders, or head leaning forwards
BCA Dec 2015

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.
•    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.

Caring for Carers – Back Pain Awareness Week

This week is Back Pain Awareness Week – a campaign run by the charity Backcare – Visit their website to find out more, and to see their useful tips and information.

Back Pain is well documented for costing the UK economy millions of pounds in time lost to sickness, each week. What is less documented is the strain on the backs of people who are carers – lifting, carrying and helping others everyday, despite the toll on their back. This is the theme of this year’s Back Care Awareness Week.

If you are a carer and would like advice on posture and lifting, or are suffering with back pain due to your lifestyle as a carer, please do get in touch with us to find out about our consultations and our posture analysis.


Great Summer Camping Tips from the BCA!

School holidays and the tents are out of storage, brushed down and ready for action. Sleeping away from your normal mattress and on harder surfaces could cause problems for your back, so the British Chiropractic Association has some great tips for more comfortable camping.

Protect your back – Ensure your back is protected against a hard and potentially damp surface by sleeping on a quality approved camping mat or air mattress. Try these out in the outdoor shop before buying – most good stores will have samples available. Try to also take a pillow, if you are used to having one. A blow-up pillow is the most portable…. even better, take your usual pillow from home.

Prep your sleeping area first – make sure to remove large stones or sticks that could dig into your spine.

Sleep sensibly – You should endeavor to sleep in a position where your spine is in a straight line as this helps to avoid neck and back pain.

Lift and carry with care- 57% of Brits believe that lifting and carrying is a major trigger for their back and neck pain, so take care when loading and unloading your camping gear. Two bags are better than one – If possible, pack your gear into more bags rather than less, so you can distribute the weight more evenly and reduce the strain on your back when lifting and carrying them. You can get advice on lifting and carrying here.

Straighten Up! Our set of simple stretches and exercises can be done at home and on the campsite and help support a healthier posture. See them in action and learn how to do them here.

Great Tips to Stay Pain Free for the Easter Weekend from the BCA

The British Chiropractic Association has some great tips to help avoid any problems with your back and posture this Easter:

DIY projects:

People in some parts of the UK are unlikely to be gardening, but there will be plenty of indoor projects to be getting on with.

When using a ladder or steps, make sure you are always facing it, keeping your shoulders, hips and knees pointing in the same direction.

Rather than leaning or reaching, move the ladder or step regularly to keep up with where you are. Any kind of ladder must be firmly and safely planted in position and, if possible, have someone else there to keep an eye on things.

If you are painting a ceiling, think about getting the largest amount of paint on in the shortest space of time. Use a paint pad or roller with an extended handle and hold it at chest height. Keep your head as neutral as possible and keep facing forward so you don’t over exert your neck. If you can lie down – do!

Plan ahead – If you are planning a trip to the local DIY store to buy heavy items such as cement or gravel, buy smaller bags rather than one big bag as they are easier and safer to carry. If buying in bulkier amounts, shovel the contents of the large bags straight into smaller containers or wheelbarrow from the back of the car.

If having items delivered, have them unloaded as close to where you need them as possible; this will save the effort of moving them again.


If you are flying, drink plenty of water and NOT alcohol during the flight as this will cause dehydration, which could aggravate muscle pain.

Whether travelling by plane, train or car – you will be restricted in your seat for most of the journey, but avoid stiffness by doing shoulder shrugs, buttock clenches and foot circles.

If on a train or plane, try to stand up and move around every 20-40 minutes or, when you stop for a petrol/food break on a car journey, take the opportunity to just stretch and shake out your limbs to allow your muscles to relax.

Compensate for your prolonged time of inactivity during the journey by doing light exercise – just going for a brisk 20 minute walk once you have arrived at your destination will help

Staying at home:

Although the TV schedules are likely to have plenty to please or you may want to spend time playing your latest computer game, try to avoid sitting for long periods; take a break at least every 40 minutes.

Make the most of the leisure time and fit some exercise in – whether it be a run, time at the gym or going for a walk with friends and family. Active games such as Wii, Kinect or old fashioned favourites like Twister will help keep you moving!

Happy Easter!!

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

Is Wearing High Heels Bad for my Back?

This is a common question I often get asked about, I have written this post as a recent study looked at the effects of high heels >10cm on the lower back.

The paper is called “The effect of walking in high- and low-heeled shoes on erector spinae activity and pelvis kinematics during gait” by Mika A, Olesky Ɫ, Marchewka A, Clark BC published in October 2012.

The conclusion they found was “wearing high-heeled footwear may have clinical consequences, including increasing general or muscular fatigue, creating swelling or limited movement, raising the possibility of cumulative strain, promoting fibrosis in the paraspinal musculature, altering joint loading profiles…this list could go on and all these factors could be both consequences and potential causes of LBP.” LBP is short for ‘Lower Back Pain’.

As usual like most research papers state there is always more research required. However, as you can see this paper found good reason to suggest high heels >10cm as a cause of lower back pain.

My answer to the question is usually that the high heels may be a contributing factor but not the sole reason for your back pain. There are usually lots of individual reasons that all add up to the crescendo that is the back pain. Eliminating/treating each small reason bit by bit is the route to a healthy back. Maintaining a healthy back requires continuing exercises and stretches at home to combat the inevitable compensations your body has to make due to the activities of daily life and our hobbies.

If you are going to wear heels, I would recommend doing the exercises and stretches necessary to reverse the effects they cause. Some of which are stated by the above stated research paper. A good Chiropractor should be able to help you with these problems and any back pain you may have.

Danny Adams

Postural Advice From Danny Adams: The Brugger Break

The Brugger Break, also known as the Brugger relief position is an exercise that is brilliant for desk workers as it reverses the effects of sitting at a desk for long periods. It is a quick exercise at only 10 seconds duration and is easy to perform. When performed regularly (every 20 minutes) it can be one of the answers to the nagging question “how can I improve my posture?”

Here is how to perform it: i) Sit forwards onto the front edge of your seat ii) spread your legs out to 45 degrees each side and lean forward slightly so that your body weight is distributed in to your feet as well as your back. iii) extend your arms and then pull them back and down behind your body with your thumbs turned outwards and palms open. iv) tuck your chin straight back in to your chin (essentially giving  your self a double chin) v) push you chest forwards vi) take a deep breath in… then out, as you are breathing out push your chest even further forwards, remember to keep your hands back and to the sides behind you. vii) hold the out breath for 10 seconds and then return to work. viii) Set a timer or write yourself a post it note reminder for on your computer so that every 20 minutes it can be performed.

it only takes 10 seconds and will improve your posture, decrease your chance of back pain and aid any on-going treatment you are currently receiving.