I often hear patients say that they have not done any exercise since they hurt their back, as they are worried that it will make their back worse. I am also asked is it OK to exercise with a bad back.
The short answer is yes. Resting your back from intensive exercise, lifting, twisting or forward bending is be advisable in the early days, particularly if these were the movements that triggered the event.
People are usually concerned about stretching or exercising when in pain. You should always work within your own limits, if it is too painful use ice or heat and gently stretch as much as you can handle. If you are still concerned speak to your chiropractor or GP before you start the exercises.
Once you are in less pain increase the intensity of the stretching and once you are pain free start strengthening your back.
Additionally research has shown that exercise is the best protection against back injuries. The good news is that it doesn't really matter what type of exercise you do - flexibility, core strength, general strength, stretching - it is all effective in the prevention of back pain.
At Bristol Chiropractic Clinic you will be prescribed stretches and exercises to do alongside your manual therapy. Call 01172140785 to book your consultation today.
Looking after your body requires an holistic mindset including core/resistance and cardiovascular exercises and optimum nutrition. The current scandal surrounding the supplementation of beef with horse meat in processed foods raises the question of what is in our food chain. To ensure that you are eating as healthily as possible you want to eat food that is minimally processed. Ideally you would grow and make your own food, however for many of us this is not a possibility.
Buying organic is one way to reduce the amount of chemicals in your food, but can get expensive, so it is useful to know which fruit and veg are high in pesticides.
Pesticides were designed to kill plants, weeds and insects and have been implicated in causing cancer, nervous system problems and causing hormonal deregulation.
The EWG's 2012 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ is useful to help you decide which are more important to buy organic.
The picture below lists the fruit and vegetables that are high in pesticides so ideally source them organically grown.
The fruit and vegetables listed below contain much lower levels of pesticides.
When people look at you they unconsciously notice your posture and judge you on it! Think about if you saw somebody sitting up straight but relaxed with a smile on their face compared to someone sat slouched with a scowl... Which one would you feel more positive towards? Which one would you think is happier and healthier?
A 2005 study in the journal Spine commented that 'all measures of health showed poorer scores as forward head and body posture increased.' Therefore your judgement is true! People with an increased forward posture are less well!
There is enough evidence to suggest that addressing your posture will improve your health. Anecdotal evidence suggests there are links between bad posture and the following conditions*:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
High blood pressure
Joint wear and tear
Musculoskeletal pain for example low back, neck or shoulder pain
So address your posture now!
*posture will be a component of the problem, if you are suffering with any of these conditions seek medical advice as soon as possible.
Here are some checks you can do on yourself to assess whether you have good posture. Get someone to take a photo of you preferably with just underwear on. You will need a side, front and back photo. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, march on the spot for 5-10 steps to ensure your feet are in a natural position and stand as normally as you can. Check the pictures against the points in the above diagram. A qualified chiropractor will be able to accurately assess your posture for problems that may contribute to current or future problems and help give advice and treatment to improve things.
Ever wondered what all the hype was about fish oil?
The component of fish oil that is important are the Omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are well known for their ability to help support healthy circulation, joints and skin, as well as playing a vital role in cognitive function.
Fish oil has many benefits including reducing levels of cancers, particularly breast, colon and prostate cancer, hypertriglyceridemia, secondary cardiovascular disease prevention and high blood pressure, cardiac dysrhythmia, may reduce the risk of depression and suicide, may help protect the brain from cognitive problems associated with Alzheimer's disease, lupus disease activity,possibly protect against the effects of parkinsons disease, psoriasis and protect against fetal brain injury and promotes fetal and infant brain health.
It is important to take a high quality fish oil that does not use fish livers as this is where the toxins such as mercury are processed.
At Bristol Chiropractic Clinic we sell Eskimo - 3 please ask about special offers.
Its been a while since I updated my blog have some interesting ones coming up on posture and nutrition. Been really busy sorting out the two clinics in Bristol. Since March I have been working from both the Clifton branch and The Beauty Clinic in Staple Hill serving South Gloucestershire and North Bristol. Come in and say hello! 37 High Street, Staple Hill, BS16 5HD.
Bristol Chiropractic Clinic is happy to announce we will be accepting the Bristol Pound! This is being launched on September 19th. This is an amazing venture supporting independent Bristol businesses check out the website for more details http://bristolpound.org/
Here are my top tips to keep your back fit and healthy and prevent recurrent back pain problems. Thank you for reading! Bronwen Henley, Chiropractor (MChiro, LCC)
1) Do not bend to lift anything within the first hour of getting out of bed in the morning. This is when your discs are at their most vulnerable. Overnight they change shape due to the forces of gravity and need some time to settle once you are upright again.
2) When lifting items from below waist level always ensure you are face on to the object as the most common cause of disc injury is bending to lift then twisting the waist. Firstly lightly brace your tummy and make sure that you bend from your knees. If you need to twist to put the item down then pivot on your feet to avoid twisting the spine.
3) Protect your spine by strengthening your core muscles. These are the muscles deep within your abdomen. If you subscribe to my emails I will update you regularly on easy exercises to strengthen these muscles. If you aren't sure about implementing exercises unsupervised then attend a Pilates or Yoga class. These both have good evidence for preventing and reducing low back pain alongside manual therapy. Ask your friends to recommend a good teacher or do some research on whether the teacher specialises in back pain health and go along to a class.
4) Eat healthily. A healthy balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and proteins especially fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel decrease the bodies inflammatory reactions and increase the bodies ability to heal. Processed foods have the opposite effects. If you don't like fish then try a good quality omega 3 supplement contact me if you wish me to recommend a good quality brand.
5) If you do suffer from an episode of back pain leave it a day or so as the majority of back pain resolves on its own. However if you find that after a day or so it isn't getting any better or is still extremely painful go see your chiropractor straight away. Earlier is better than later as should respond more quickly to chiropractic care and be easier to treat. The longer it is left the more likely that it is to become a chronic problem for you.
6) If in doubt talk to someone. Bristol Chiropractic Clinic offer a free 15 minute consultation to discuss whether chiropractic treatment can help with your back pain. Discuss your case with your chiropractor to help you decide whether chiropractic care can help you.