New research finds increasing numbers of people in the South West are suffering from back and neck pain
New research released to mark Chiropractic Awareness Week (9 – 15 April), has found that 47% of people in the South West are currently experiencing back or neck pain, a 15% increase on 2017.
The research, which was carried out by the British Chiropractic Association, found that for sufferers in the South West the top triggers for this pain were;
- Lifting or carrying heavy objects (60%)
- Sitting for long periods of time (52%), and;
- Poor posture (35%)
Notably, incidences of neck and back pain among younger people are also on the rise, with 23% of people in the South West experiencing neck or back pain by age 20.
Principal Chiropractor Simon Rose comments on these findings:
“The BCA’s research findings align with what I see in my clinic on a day to day basis, however it’s particularly interesting that lifting and carrying was the most cited trigger for neck and back pain. It really highlights the importance of maintaining a strong and active body that can move well and cope with the demands you are making of it.
“For those in the South West who are finding that sedentary lifestyles and sitting for long periods are causing them a problem, we would encourage they make a change. We are designed to move and if you hold your body in any position for an extended period of time, it is likely that you will feel pain.
“To help counteract the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, and help prevent back and neck pain occurring, there are a number of simple exercises and small changes you can incorporate into your daily routine. For example, shrugging and circling your shoulders whilst sitting and taking the stairs are easy ways to improve your back health – these may sound simple but I know from my patients that they really work!”
Simon’s top tips to help local residents to prevent and manage neck and back pain are:
- Take a break: When sitting for long periods of time, ensure you stand up and move around every 30 minutes. When at work, also make sure your desk is set up to support a comfortable position. This is different for everyone so if you don’t feel comfortable in your current set up, try altering the height of your chair or screen.
- Keep on moving: Physical activity can be beneficial for managing back pain, however it’s important that if this is of a moderate to high intensity that you warm up and down properly to get your body ready to move! If a previous injury is causing you pain, adapt your exercise or seek some advice. Activities such as swimming, walking or yoga can be less demanding on your body while keeping you mobile!
Other things which you can bear in mind are:
- Lifting and carrying: Remember to bend from the knees, not the waist when lifting heavy items. Face in the direction of movement, and take your time. Hold the object as close to your body as possible, and where you can avoid carrying objects which are too heavy to manage alone, ask for help or use the necessary equipment.
- Sleep comfortably: The Sleep Council recommends buying a new mattress at least every 7 years. Mattresses lose their support over time, so if you can feel the springs through your mattress, or the mattress is no longer level, your mattress is no longer providing the support you need. Everyone has different support requirements, so when purchasing your mattress ensure it is supportive for you. If you share a bed and require different mattress types, consider two single mattresses which are designed to be joined together, to ensure you both get the support you need.
- Straighten Up!: The BCA has created a programme of 3-minute exercises, Straighten Up UK, which can be slotted in to your daily schedule to help prevent back pain by promoting movement, balance, strength and flexibility in the spine.
The BCA recommends that, if you are experiencing pain for more than a few days you should seek professional help, for example from a chiropractor, who can assess you and help you to get moving again without pain. You can book an appointment with us by calling 01452309372
Supporting our team of professionals this role is a varied and interesting one – you will get to meet lots of lovely people and there will never be a dull moment!
Receptionists at our clinic are the first point of contact both face to face and over the telephone to new and existing patients. They handle appointment bookings, general enquiries, process payments, and take responsibility for a wide variety of administrative and housekeeping related duties.
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We are looking for a very well presented and empathic “people person” with excellent communication skills to join us on our reception team. You need to be computer literate, particularly with Word and with email, and have experience of working within an administration based role. Previous experience of working on reception is not essential, but administration / office based skills are essential, as are interpersonal and telephone skills.
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We continually strive to deliver the very best possible chiropractic care and customer service and so we are very proud of our most recent award that recognises our efforts and officially marks our standards as “excellent”. Lovely article about us in the most recent edition of Cotswold Life. Take a quick look at our copy in reception next time you are in!
The holidays are the perfect time to get together with family, indulge in a good meal and stay cozy inside, but these comforts can often combine to equal a decline in your physical activity. It can be hard to schedule gym time when you’re traveling or entertaining guests, and to get back into it in the New Year, but you can still fit in some light physical activity at home before the day gets too busy.
1. Lunge and twist – quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, abdominals, glutes
Place your hands on your waist and lunge forward with one foot. Hold that position and twist your torso in the direction of the forward leg, feeling the muscles fire in your obliques, glutes and lower body. Return to a standing position and repeat with the opposite foot forward. Repeat for 5 reps per side.
2. Standing mountain climbers – quadriceps, hamstrings, abdominals, coordination
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your head up and shoulders back as you lift your left knee. At the same time, crunch forward while squeezing your abdominals and touch your left elbow to your raised knee. Repeat on the opposite side, alternating until you’ve completed five crunches on each side.
3. Cross-chest flys – arms, shoulders, upper back
Stand with your shoulders, back and hips in a neutral position. Raise your arms to your sides with palms forward, then swing and cross them in front of your chest, allowing your elbows to bend. Swing your arms back as far as possible, opening your chest. Repeat this movement, crossing and uncrossing your arms, 10 times.
4. Torso twists with arms out at sides – abdominals, back
Raise your arms to your sides and hold them in a T position. Without breaking the T, twist your torso to one side until you feel the stretch in your abdominals. Hold the stretch for a few seconds, then twist to the other side. Repeat 10 times.
5. Windmills – abdominals, hips
Set your feet in a wide V-stance and raise your arms to your sides in a T position. Without swinging your arms or hunching your back, bend forward and twist to reach your left hand to your right foot. Rise and touch your right hand to your left foot. Repeat 10 times.
6. Knees to chest – hamstrings, back, neck
Find a clear space to lie with your back flat on the floor. Draw your knees up to your chest and wrap your arms beneath your thighs, gently squeezing your legs to your chest. Bend your head toward your knees. If you’re on an exercise mat, carpet or other padded surface, carefully rock side to side, allowing your back to relax. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
7. Kettlebell swings sans kettlebell – hips, shoulders, back
Position yourself in a wide V-stance, raise your arms in front of your chest, and intertwine your fingers. Sink into a semi-squat and swing your arms down and between your legs, as though you were swinging a kettlebell. Rise to a standing position and raise your arms toward the ceiling, then repeat the kettlebell swing movement 10 times.
8. Side bends – abdominals, back
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and back straight. Without hunching forward or twisting your shoulders, bend sideways at the waist, reaching down the side of your leg with one hand. Hold the stretch for five seconds, then rise and repeat on the opposite side. Repeat five times on each side.
9. Straight-leg kicks – quadriceps, hamstrings, abdominals
Stand with your back and legs straight. Without hunching forward, contract your abdominals and raise one leg in front of your body. Repeat on the opposite side, alternating until you’ve performed 10 kicks.
10. Snow angels – shoulders, arms
Lie flat on your back with your arms against your sides. One arm at a time, arc your arm up and over your head, then all the way around your body, tracing a circle along the floor with your fingertips. Repeat with each arm five times.
After performing these stretches, your whole family will be energized and ready for a day of holiday fun. Happy New Year!
Women in the UK are starting to suffer with back and neck pain at the tender age of 28, according to new research from the British Chiropractic Association.
Over a fifth (22%) of women who have struggled, or currently struggle with back or neck pain say they do so on a daily basis and a quarter (24%) have suffered for over 10 years. Men fare a little better – first battling back and neck pain from the age of 32.
Now, the BCA is urging women to take control and adopt healthier habits to prevent the onset of back pain, by incorporating a few simple steps into their daily routine.
The most common back or neck pain triggers for women are*:
- Lifting and carrying
- Bad posture
- Sleeping/ mattress
- Housework/ DIY
- Exercise/ sport/ physical activities
Housework / DIY and sleeping/ mattresses were more common triggers for women; while men were more likely to point to exercise as the cause of their back or neck pain. For both men and women lifting and carrying was the most common trigger.
Making just a few simple lifestyle changes can have a big impact on our back and neck health. The BCA has issued the following golden rules for protecting back health and preventing against the key pain triggers.
- Perfect your lifting and carrying technique: To avoid injury, make sure your legs are at least your hips’ width apart with the knees bent. Keep your head and shoulders directly above your waist and keep the weight you are carrying as close to you as possible – avoid twisting. Avoid bending from the waist, which increases the stress on your lower back. For more information on the perfect lifting and carrying technique, click here.
- Choose your bag wisely: Carrying heavy bags around all day can put strain on your back and contribute to pain. Make sure you regularly empty your bag and only pack the things you actually need. Ideally, opt for bags which can be carried on both shoulders, or across your body to distribute weight more evenly.
- Take regular breaks: When doing housework or DIY, make sure you vary your activity and try to spend no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing. If painting, you can still take short breaks without causing a problem. Likewise, if using a ladder move it regularly, rather than leaving the ladder in one place and having to stretch or reach out. It is important to take breaks to avoid being in the same position for too long, and this will help relieve the build-up of tension in your lower back
- Stop the slouch: Slouching can put you at risk from back and neck pain. Relax when sitting into your seat, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back with your shoulder blades touching the back rest of the chair. Try to ensure that your hips are higher than your knees.
- Get a good night’s sleep: Recognise the warning signs that it’s time to change your mattress; you wake up feeling stiff or aching, your mattress is misshapen or sagging or you can feel individual springs. If your mattress is over seven years old, you might want to think about buying a new one.
- Warm up: When exercising or playing sport, it may seem obvious, but make sure your muscles are prepared by gradually increasing the intensity of your warm up, to avoid lack of flexibility and injury. A warm down may also help with those post exercise aches.
- Promote a good posture: Having and maintaining a good posture can help to keep back pain at bay. To promote a good posture, try incorporating some simple exercises into your daily routine.
The BCA has developed – Straighten Up UK – a series of simple exercises designed to improve posture and help prevent back pain by promoting balance, strength and flexibility in the spine
Posted on by BCA
Some of you may have wondered where we were recently – answerphone permanently on and the doors firmly locked – we were on one of our fabulous Away Days!! A combination of training, brain-storming, team building, and eating a lot, these days are crucial in ensuring that we continue to deliver the very best possible care to all of our patients. A great day was had by all, very productive and really enjoyable. Well done team.