Category Archives: Chiropractors – What are they and what do they do?

Get Back Your Healthy Back

A weak back can lead to a number of health problems. Unfortunately many of us neglect to look after our backs in the correct way. Small changes can have a dramatic effect on your spine health which in turn will have a positive effect on your overall health. If you suffer from back pain then it may be worth checking out these simple measures to help you get back your healthy back.

bristol back pain clinic Posture and Movement

One of the simplest and most effective ways to help your back is to correct your posture. Many people tend to slump when they sit and hunch their shoulders when they walk. Sit and stand up straight, hold your head up and use your abdominal muscles to release the tension in your back. Try to always be aware of your posture and correct it when you feel yourself slumping. Avoid lifting heavy objects, but if you have to, use your leg muscles to take the burden. Keep your stomach muscles tight and lift the object as close to your body as possible.

Buy A Good Mattress

It’s worth investing in a good orthopaedic mattress to help support your back, ensuring a good night’s sleep. Many mattress suppliers now have computer aided technology to advise which mattress will offer the best support specifically for you.

Lose Weightbristol back pain clinic

Being anymore than 10lbs overweight can cause back strain. A nutritious diet and gentle exercise will help you lose weight and regain a healthier back.

Quit Smoking

Nicotine restricts the flow of blood and oxygen from reaching the discs that cushion your vertebrae. If you smoke, congested lungs can also lead to upper back pain. So, do your back a favour and quit smoking.

Take Up Pilates Or Yoga bristol-back-pain-clinic

Pilates and yoga techniques can help re-align your spine by stretching and strengthening core muscles and improving overall flexibility for long term spinal health. Whatever your age or ability, you’ll be able to find a pilates or yoga class suitable for you.

bristol back pain clinic Massage

Massage is not only effective in the treatment of injuries. Regular massage and chiropractic treatments can help strengthen your back and prevent further injuries. Massage releases tension and aids the flow of blood, oxygen and essential nutrients, helping them to reach the muscles and ligaments in your back.

Bristol Chiropractic has a dedicated back pain clinic in Bristol. Our qualified experts offer a range of chiropractic and massage treatments, exercise techniques and healthy lifestyle programmes. Contact our Bristol back pain clinic for more information and advice on getting back your healthy back.

How Winter Causes Back Pain

Back pain can be crippling and debilitating. It decreases mobility and makes every day activities such as carrying children, housework and even getting dressed hard to perform. Chronic back pain can extend down to the buttocks and into the legs causing pain when sitting, standing and walking.

Back pain can also effect your mood, concentration levels, appetite and prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.

It’s a year round problem that is exacerbated during the long, cold winter months. So how can you cope with back pain over the winter season?

Posture back pain

Cold weather can make your posture worse. We tend to huddle, slouch and shiver more, causing our muscles to tighten and increase the risk of strains.

• Make a conscious effort to be aware of your posture. Sit and stand up straight and try to avoid slumping, especially if you are working on your computer.

• Wear warm clothes and keep moving as much as possible.

• Place a hot water bottle or warm compress around your neck and upper back when watching TV or lying in bed.

• Use relaxation techniques and gentle stretching exercises to release back tension. Consult a qualified chiropractor for advice.

• Your chiropractor or physiotherapist can help you with good posture techniques and implement relevant treatments to realign your back and relieve pain.

Sciatica

This condition can worsen in the winter months. During cold weather, nerve roots in the lower back are compressed resulting in pain that extends down into the buttocks and legs. Cold temperatures cause the muscles to stiffen and become tight and tense, increasing the risk of strains. This affects the sensitive nerves in the lower back.

Massage and chiropractic therapy can treat muscle strains, relax tight muscles and help to prevent further injury.

Back Injuries back pain

You back is more at risk of injury when you perform the following winter chores:

• Shovelling snow from paths and driveways.

• Humping heavy loads such as salt for gritting, wood baskets and coal buckets.

Learn to carry heavy loads correctly. Ask your chiropractor about safer lifting techniques.

Back injuries caused by falls are more common during wet or icy weather. Wear non-slip footwear and be extra cautious when outside.

Keep as active as possible and consult your chiropractor about exercises to help keep your back healthy this winter.

Bristol Chiropractic Clinic, Clifton, can offer a range of therapies for back ailments including prevention techniques and sports massage. For more advice and information, call us today for a consultation with one of our qualified therapists.

Common Sporting Injuries That Require A Sports Massage

Summer’s over and the cooler weather and shorter days have returned. But that doesn’t mean you should be preparing for hibernation. Many sports can be enjoyed throughout the autumn period before the cold, icy, New Year weather is upon us.

Early autumn marks the beginning of seasonal team sports such as football, rugby and hockey. Autumn is also a great time to go jogging and fell running, before the colder weather sets in. Playing sport during the colder, shorter months will not only keep you fit and maintain a healthy weight in the run up to Christmas, but it also helps with depression and seasonal affective disorder. However, with the new season come new sporting injuries, particularly for those who are trying a sport for the first time. Here is a guide to the most common sporting injuries that occur in October.

Hamstring Strainsports massage

Autumn is the season for high impact, team sports such as rugby, football and hockey. A hamstring strain is probably the most common injury associated with these sports. Hamstring strain is a result of a tear in one of the four main hamstring muscles. It’s usually caused by one of the following:

• Inadequate warm up and cool down sessions

• Fatigue

• Playing on a wet and slippery surface due to rain

Immediate treatment involves RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). Once the initial symptoms have worn off, regular sports massage therapy should be performed by a qualified therapist. Sports massage will help reduce pain and inflammation, improve the blood and lymph flow, strengthen the muscles, improve mobility and help prevent further injury.

High Ankle Sprain sports massage

High ankle sprain is a result of excessive force on the ankle area or by a sharp, twist. It’s a common injury sustained during football tackles and rugby scrums. After RICE, during the following six weeks, sports massage is recommended to help re-stabilise the tibia and fibia bones and to prevent the build-up of scar tissue. Sports massage can also help restore muscle strength, prevent further injury and improve your sporting performance.

Dislocated Shoulder sports massage

A common injury for rugby players, a dislocated shoulder occurs when the ball of the upper arm is forced out of its socket causing extreme pain. Once the arm has been manipulated back into its original position, physiotherapy will be needed to help joint alignment and mobilisation using a range of muscle stretches, rotator cuff exercises and sports massage therapy.

Rugby, football and hockey are popular autumn sports in the Bristol area. For more information on sports massage call Bristol Chiropractic Clinic today.

Posture Advice For Those With Back Pain

Chronic back pain is a debilitating condition to deal with, especially on a daily basis. It limits activity and has a knock-on effect for any other aches and pains you may feel. There are many reasons for back pain such as strained muscles, torn ligaments and inflammation, notably through sporting or gardening activities. However, everyday activities can also cause back pain:

• Bending frequently

• Lifting incorrectly, especially heavy objects

• Twisting suddenly

• Working on a computer for long periods

Yet one of the main causes of chronic back pain is also one of the most easily rectifiable: bad posture. Many people are so used to living with bad posture they aren’t even aware they’re doing it. If you suffer from back pain, here is a brief guide to improving your posture.

Sittingback pain

Sitting hunched forward in front of your computer for long periods is not only bad for your back, but also for your eyes. Firstly, make sure that you have a good chair with adequate back support. Sit back in the chair with your shoulders relaxed and loosen up your arms. This will also take the strain off your neck. This is also applicable for driving. Stop ‘hugging’ the steering wheel, move the seat back and adjust the back support for your lower back.

Lifting Objectsback pain

Many back strains are caused by lifting heavy objects incorrectly. Get as close to the object as possible and think about your posture. Don’t lift or twist suddenly. Stand with your feet apart and your head up, bend your knees while keeping your back straight and your stomach tight and let your stronger thigh muscles do most of the work.

Walkingback pain

Make a conscious effort to think about your posture, when you’re walking. Imagine a thread is attached to your head and pulling you up. Keep your head up, your shoulders back, and stomach muscles tight. This will help stretch your back muscles, align your spinal column and also help you to breathe better.

Good posture is a daily habit that you should be constantly aware of. Bad posture not only causes back pain, but also indigestion and breathlessness. Sitting or standing incorrectly will prevent your lungs from working to their full capacity. Regular sessions with a qualified chiropractor are highly recommended, both for back pain treatments and valuable advice on good posture practice. Bristol Chiropractic Clinic at Clifton offers a range of chiropractic treatments and specific exercise programmes for maintaining a healthy back. Contact us today for a consultation with one of our expert chiropractors.`

Tips To Avoid A Sporting Injury

Practising a sport can keep you fit, help you maintain a healthy weight and increase your sense of well-being. However, injuries can easily occur if you don’t take care. The most common sporting injuries are sprained ankles, hamstring, knee and shin injuries. Injuries usually occur due to overuse or inadequate preparation. Here are some important tips to help you avoid the more common sporting injuries.

Warm Upsports massage

It is essential that you warm up properly before exercising. Warming up will loosen up muscles and slowly increase blood flow. Injuries will almost certainly occur if your muscles are tight and cold. A warm up will raise your body temperature and heart rate, and warm your muscles, preparing your body for more vigorous exercise.

Warm up sessions consist of gentle cardiovascular exercises and stretches that will help lengthen your muscles and prepare them to perform in peak condition. Warm up sessions are particularly effective in the prevention of hamstring injuries.

Cool Down sports massage

A cool down session after exercise is just as important as the warm up. A cool down session involves light exercises and gently stretching to decrease the heart rate and progressively cool the body down. Cool down exercises will help to prevent the build up of lactic acid which can cause stiffness, pain and cramps. Cooling down will assist the blood flow and prevent the build up of blood pooling, whereby blood collects around contracted muscles during a vigorous exercise session.

Equipment sports massage

Choosing the right equipment is essential for preventing common sports injuries. Make sure you invest in a pair of correctly fitted running shoes and avoid running on uneven surfaces where the chances of spraining an ankle are more likely. If you play a high contact sport such as rugby, wear a gum shield to protect your teeth. If you play football or hockey, you need to wear shin pads to protect against knocks. Joints that have already been weakened through injury require additional support to prevent further injury.

Sports Massage      sports massage

Sports massage helps to increase the blood, lymph and oxygen flow, delivering essential nutrients to your muscles. Sports massage will loosen tight muscles, increase elasticity and help flush out toxins such as lactic acid. Those who incorporate regular sports massage into their sporting programme, suffer from little or no injuries. Bristol Chiropractic Clinic has qualified sports massage therapists available to offer treatment and advice on the prevention of sporting injuries. Contact us today for more information on our range of preventable treatments.

What Types Of Sports Injuries Chiropractic Clinic Deals With

Chiropractic ClinicWith the arrival of long days and warm nights, summer is a great time to take part in a sporting activity. Many people only practise sports in the warmer summer months. However, injuries can occur to both ‘fair weather’ types and the more dedicated year-round athlete. The most common cause of sports injuries during the summer months is over use of muscles or joints. This can cause longer term injuries, especially if you are not used to exercise.

A major cause of injuries in the summer is that people don’t warm up properly. It is never a good idea to start exercising excessively without even giving the muscles and joints a chance to get accustomed to a new activity. De-hydration can also cause injuries. Staying adequately hydrated will keep your muscles working properly and help prevent cramps and pulled muscles.

Here is an overview of some of the most common sports injuries that occur in the summer months.

Tennis ElbowChiropractic Clinic

Tennis is one of the most popular sports to play during the summer. However, overuse of the predominant arm can lead to ‘tennis elbow’. Tennis elbow effects the upper arm, forearm, wrist and hand muscles. Overuse or a sudden, unfamiliar movement can cause a tear in the tendons surrounding the elbow. Pain usually develops gradually and most people only realise there is a problem when they find it increasingly painful to lift objects, shake hands or even brush their teeth.

Sports massage can help to alleviate pain and speed up recovery. Soft tissue therapy will help flush out the toxins by delivering oxygen to the injured part and re-align the damaged fibres.

Swimmer’s ShoulderChiropractic Clinic

Swimming is a fantastic sport, especially during the summer. However one of the most common injuries that can occur is ‘swimmer’s shoulder’. The rotator cuff muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder become inflamed through overuse, resulting in a deep ache in the neck and shoulder area.

If left untreated, the tendons can tear, causing serious damage to the rotator cuff area. Sports massage techniques can help improve blood flow to the area, relax tense muscles and with continuous therapy, break down scar tissues in the shoulder.

Ankle Sprains

Running, hiking, playing tennis are great summer activities but one of the most common injuries that can occur is a sprained ankle. A sprained ankle is caused by a sudden twist or roll, causing the ligaments to stretch, and in severe cases, tear.

Immediate treatment involves reducing the swelling using RICE:

 Rest

 Ice

 Compression

 Elevation

For more severe injuries, sports massage may be needed to prevent stiffness, increase ankle mobility and strengthen the muscles surrounding the area.

Shin SplintChiropractic Clinic

Shin splints refer to an acute pain along the tibia in the front of your lower leg. It is very common with runners. It is mainly caused by running with inappropriate footwear and by running on different types of surface.

Initially, a shin splint injury can be treated with RICE (see above). Sports massage can help to drain away lactic acid build-up and relax tight muscles.

Knee InjuriesChiropractic Clinic

Knee injuries are a common occurrence with whatever sport you decide to play. Overuse or a sharp movement can cause a range of knee injuries. The most common sports-related injury is a tear in the lateral ligaments at the sides of the knee joint.

A cross friction massage technique can be performed to re-align the fibres and prevent scar tissue build-up. Frictions are applied in a backwards and forwards motion with the fingers, gradually moving in towards the injured area. This type of massage should be performed by a qualified therapist to avoid further injury.

Remember, warm up, stay hydrated and contact Bristol Chiropractic Clinic for any injury enquiries you may have. Keep updated in the latest news section of our website for a more detailed guide to each specific injury.

Regular Sports Massage For The Prevention of Sports Injuries

Sports massage therapy can be an incredibly beneficial pre-workout treatment to help athletes warm up properly. It is also beneficial as a post-workout treatment to soothe sore muscles and increase limb flexibility.

However, to really benefit from the effects of sports massage it is important to incorporate a regular session into your sporting routine. Regular massage can have cumulative benefits on the body and is an important measure for preventative maintenance.

Those who compliment sporting activities with regular massage suffer from little or even no injuries. Here are some reasons why regular sports massage can leave you feeling physically and psychologically better.

Stretching sports massage

PNF stretches are assistant-aided stretches performed after a vigorous exercise session. The therapist will gently push the muscles as far back as they can comfortably go. This releases tension build-up in the fascia: a band of fibre that surrounds the muscles, resulting in more pliable and healthy muscles.

Stretching also helps to re-align the fascia, which, if out of line, can cause pain and subsequently injuries.

Breaks Down Scar Tissuesports massage

The formation of thickened scar tissue can occur during the healing process of an injury. Collagen fibres surround the muscles and repair them. However, these fibres lack elasticity and can form tight, knotty bands around the surrounding muscles. The build-up of scar tissue can restrict limb mobility and elasticity.

Regular sports massage works towards breaking down the fibres that have knotted together. Deep tissue massage is performed to release toxins, increase blood flow to the injured area and reduce inflammation.

Although, initially painful, regular sessions will lengthen the soft tissue muscles and greatly improve elasticity.

Pain Reduction

Regular sports massage helps block the pain indicators within the muscular system from reaching the brain. Lymphatic drainage removes the toxic build-up of lactic and carbonic acid which can cause cramps after exercise. Massage will increase the blood flow and deliver oxygen and essential nutrients to the treated area, reducing pain, swelling and inflammation.

Delayed onset muscle soreness can occur a few hours after exercise. Sports massage can reduce muscle fatigue and pain by improving blood and lymph flow.

sports massagePsychological Effects

Regular massage has a positive effect on the nervous system. Endorphins and oxytocin are released, producing a feeling of calm and well-being. It can also reduce anxiety and help you sleep better.

Regular sports massage improves condition and performance and aids a faster recovery of existing injuries. For more information talk to one of our qualified therapists at Bristol Chiropractic Clinic.

Reasons Why Sports Massages Are The Cure To All Common Sporting Injuries!

With the arrival of long days and warm nights, summer is a great time to take part in a sporting activity. Many people only practise sports in the warmer summer months. However, injuries can occur to both ‘fair weather’ types and the more dedicated year-round athlete. The most common cause of sports injuries during the summer months is over use of muscles or joints. This can cause longer term injuries, especially if you are not used to exercise.

A major cause of injuries in the summer is that people don’t warm up properly. It is never a good idea to start exercising excessively without even giving the muscles and joints a chance to get accustomed to a new activity.

De-hydration can also cause injuries. Staying adequately hydrated will keep your muscles working properly and help prevent cramps and pulled muscles. Here is an overview of some of the most common sports injuries that occur in the summer months.

Tennis Elbowsports massage

Tennis is one of the most popular sports to play during the summer. However, overuse of the predominant arm can lead to ‘tennis elbow’. Tennis elbow effects the upper arm, forearm, wrist and hand muscles. Overuse or a sudden, unfamiliar movement can cause a tear in the tendons surrounding the elbow. Pain usually develops gradually and most people only realise there is a problem when they find it increasingly painful to lift objects, shake hands or even brush their teeth.

Sports massage can help to alleviate pain and speed up recovery. Soft tissue therapy will help flush out the toxins by delivering oxygen to the injured part and re-align the damaged fibres.

Swimmer’s Shouldersports massage

Swimming is a fantastic sport, especially during the summer. However one of the most common injuries that can occur is ‘swimmer’s shoulder’. The rotator cuff muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder become inflamed through overuse, resulting in a deep ache in the neck and shoulder area.

If left untreated, the tendons can tear, causing serious damage to the rotator cuff area. Sports massage techniques can help improve blood flow to the area, relax tense muscles and with continuous therapy, break down scar tissues in the shoulder.

Ankle Sprains  sports massage

Running, hiking, playing tennis are great summer activities but one of the most common injuries that can occur is a sprained ankle. A sprained ankle is caused by a sudden twist or roll, causing the ligaments to stretch, and in severe cases, tear.

Immediate treatment involves reducing the swelling using RICE:

 Rest

 Ice

 Compression

 Elevation

For more severe injuries, sports massage may be needed to prevent stiffness, increase ankle mobility and strengthen the muscles surrounding the area.

Shin Splintsports massage

Shin splints refer to an acute pain along the tibia in the front of your lower leg. It is very common with runners. It is mainly caused by running with inappropriate footwear and by running on different types of surface.

Initially, a shin splint injury can be treated with RICE (see above). Sports massage can help to drain away lactic acid build-up and relax tight muscles.

Knee Injuriessports massage

Knee injuries are a common occurrence with whatever sport you decide to play. Overuse or a sharp movement can cause a range of knee injuries. The most common sports-related injury is a tear in the lateral ligaments at the sides of the knee joint.

A cross friction massage technique can be performed to re-align the fibres and prevent scar tissue build-up. Frictions are applied in a backwards and forwards motion with the fingers, gradually moving in towards the injured area. This type of massage should be performed by a qualified therapist to avoid further injury.

Remember, warm up, stay hydrated and contact Bristol Chiropractic Clinic for any injury enquiries you may have. Keep updated in the latest news section of our website for a more detailed guide to each specific injury.

Why Cheap Hotel Beds Can Cause Back Pain Injuries

We all know the importance of choosing a good mattress to ensure a correct sleeping position, therefore aiding a restful night’s sleep. Whether it’s memory foam, latex or coiled spring, the range of mattresses on the market today is vast. You can even get computer-aided assistance in choosing the perfect mattress, tailor-made for your body.

But when you’re away from home?back pain

A cheap hotel bed can ruin your holiday or your weekend away. And for those who travel frequently, it can be a real problem. Upper end hotel chains offer thicker, firmer, higher-quality mattresses to ensure the utmost comfort for their guests. But many of us can’t afford to stay in luxury five-star accommodation. Many people have to travel for necessity: Flight attendants, pilots, long–distance lorry drivers, sales representatives who don’t have a choice of where they can stay, never mind, what bed they are going to sleep in. Many of the cheaper hotel chains provide thin mattresses with little concern for back support. Some hotels will offer a wooden board to place under the mattress, but it will have little effect if the mattress is old and sagging. If your choice of sleeping accommodation away from home is limited, then here are some suggestions to ease back pain.

Self-Help Methods

 For lower back pain, roll up a towel and place it under your lower spine. This will offer better support and fill the gap left from a poor quality, over-used mattress.

 Place a pillow under your knees.

 If you tend to sleep on your front, try sleeping without a pillow to alleviate neck and  upper back pain.

 Take a warm shower or bath before going to bed.

 Visit a chiropractor to learn some effective back stretching exercises to strengthen and relax the muscles in your back.

 Avoid lounging in bed for long periods. Use a chair or sit at a table if you are working on a computer. Propped up pillows offer poor support and prevent good posture.

Professional Helpback pain

If your back pain is acute then it is worth making an appointment with a chiropractic clinic. A trained chiropractor will use manual manipulation to re-align your musculoskeletal system and alleviate pain. Chiropractic treatment can be combined with massage therapy to treat chronic conditions. A good chiropractor will also advise you on self-help exercises to strengthen your back.

The Clifton-based Bristol Chiropractic Clinic incorporates chiropractic techniques with one to one exercise programmes for optimum back health. Contact us today for a consultation.

What Are Chiropractors and What Do They Do?

The Bristol Chiropractic Clinic’s new website contains a wealth of information about the various conditions we help with and types of treatment available. For many people, our treatments can help relieve them of terrible pain that greatly restricts their quality of life.

But what exactly are chiropractors and what do we do?

A Natural Process

Under the treatment of a chiropractor, you will never be administered drugs nor required to go through surgery, although if your chiropractor assesses you and believes this type of care to be more appropriate you will be referred to your GP immediately.

The chiropractor will seek to solve your problem by using manipulation or mobilisation of the spine, which in essence, this is a completely natural process that has been utilised by various health professionals since Egyptian times.

At Bristol Chiropractic Clinic you will be given home rehabilitation exercises, lifestyle and basic nutritional advice alongside your treatment. You may even be offered western medical acupuncture.

back pain BristolHow Does It Work?

There are two main approaches to chiropractic treatment: spinal manipulation and spinal mobilisation.

Spinal Manipulation

This involves positioning the body in a specific way and applying force to irritated joints in order to correct them. You will often hear a popping or cracking sound coming from the joint that is purely cavitation or popping of gas bubbles as the pressure changes within the joint.

Spinal Mobilisation

Spinal mobilisation is a gentler approach. We use a number of techniques, depending on the condition and particular circumstances of the patient. It’s distinguished from spinal manipulation as no application of force or twisting of the body is required.

Is It Safe?

Chiropractic is an area that hasn’t been fully explored yet and research is still ongoing. As such, questions persist about how safe and effective it is.

There is no evidence that when applied by a qualified and trained health professional it can cause any damage. There have been cases of vertebral artery dissection after manipulation of the neck reported in the literature and at Bristol Chiropractic Clinic we only apply cervical manipulation where deemed necessary and after a full history and examination. Research has shown however, that you are just as likely to suffer from vertebral artery dissection after visiting your GP with neck pain and headaches.

Often people experience a temporarily worsening of their symptoms and some post treatment soreness, especially early on in the treatment plan and these are very normal responses.

Chiropractic treatment has repeatedly been proven successful and many people swear by it. As long as you visit a reputable chiropractor who’s registered with the General Chiropractic Council, you’re in safe hands.

Chiropractors are able to treat a whole range of conditions using a variety of natural methods. For many patients, the positive effects of such treatments have been life changing.

Have you thought about seeing a chiropractor? Have a look at the Bristol Chiropractic Clinic’s new website for more information.