No click chiropractic is here

If you don’t like the clicking or popping associated with chiropractic manipulation then you are not alone. Lots of people don’t like the feeling or the sound as it can be a bit scary even though it is actually quite safe. So we have developed a range of techniques and procedures that get the same great results with back pain and neck pain but without the clicking – our No Click Chiropractic.

We use a special high-tech instrument, the Impulse iQ, which gently mobilises the joints by a soft tapping at just the right frequency to loosen up the stiffness. It is completely safe and is one of the reasons people choose us as we are the only clinic in the area to use them.

The Impulse iQ is a computerised adjusting instrument that has been developed to help us identify the problem areas and measure the spine’s response to the treatment. With this technology, spinal problems can be treated precisely with comfortable chiropractic adjustments that are 100x faster than traditional manual adjustments.

 

 

Key Features of the iQ

  • Extreme Speed – 100x faster than traditional manual adjustments
  • Equipped with a motion sensor to measure how well the problem area is functioning
  • The technology regulates the treatment in real-time to your body’s natural frequency
  • Auto-sense technology signals the device to stop the treatment when function is restored

Key Benefits of the iQ

  • Treating you at your body’s natural or resonant frequency allows us to use less force to accomplish the adjustments
  • Comfortable treatments
  • No twisting, turning or popping
  • Fewer side effects – i.e. soreness

 

FDA Registered, UL Listed, ISO 13485 Certified Medical Device

Half of people in the South East fail to prevent or manage back pain

Low back stretchPeople in the South East encouraged to stay active this Chiropractic Awareness Week

This Chiropractic Awareness Week (8th – 14th April) the British Chiropractic Association is encouraging people in the South East to keeping moving, after finding that 42% of people in the South East don’t take any steps to look after their back health.

The findings come from a survey conducted by the BCA, which unearthed that 25% of people in South East don’t take any action when they experience back or neck pain and 13% wouldn’t seek help from a health professional if they were experiencing these issues.

Chiropractic Awareness Week aims to educate people about the easy ways they can avoid or alleviate back pain, which on average 80% of the nation has experienced. Regularly changing posture and remaining seated for no longer than 30 minutes at a time are just a couple of the simple ways to prevent or reduce pressure on the back.

According to the BCA’s survey, when it comes to back and neck pain, they found that people in the South East:

  • 42% don’t take any steps to look after their back health
  • Only 58% have taken preventative steps to protect themselves from developing back or neck pain
  • 82% have experienced back or neck pain
  • 13% wouldn’t seek help from a health professional for back pain and, 31% would wait a month or longer
  • Only 13% would make changes to their daily routine if experiencing back or neck pain
  • 18% choose their mattresses bases on price, rather than comfort

Matthew Bennett from Sundial Clinic in Brighton, commented on the findings:

“There are so many people in South East living with neck or back pain because they don’t know what preventative steps they can take, so we want to shine a light on the simple changes which can help. Chiropractic Awareness Week is designed to educate everyone on the best ways to prevent and tackle back or neck pain, from changing up your posture when sat at a desk, to sleeping on the right mattress.”

“Easy changes to your day-to-day life can make a significant difference, but if your pain doesn’t reduce or is prolonged, you should always see a health professional for further guidance.”

Matthew Bennett’s top tips for keeping on top of neck and back pain include:

  • 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!
  • 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.

Other things which people can bear in mind include:

  • 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 three-minute exercises, Straighten Up UK, which can be slotted into your daily schedule to help prevent back pain by promoting movement, balance, strength and flexibility in the spine.

If you have back pain book in for a free consultation

  • Queens Road, Brighton 01273 774114
  • Kemptown, Brighton 01273 696414

 

Back pain in pregnancy and chiropractic

freestocks-org-71789-unsplash

During pregnancy your body changes to adapt to your growing baby. These changes happen fast and you can experience pain and discomfort in your pelvic and lower back area.

Hannah’s story

Hannah came to me here at Sundial during her 4th month of pregnancy because she was experiencing pelvic pain for few weeks and the intensity of pain was increasing with time. She was also suffering with pubic pain for the last few days.

She would feel more pain turning in bed, walking and going up or down stairs. Being a nurse Hannah needed to be on her feet most of the day and she desperately needed relief.

After an examination I explained to Hannah that she was experiencing pain because of a sacroiliac dysfunction, a lack of movement in the joint of the pelvis.

These types of pain are very common during pregnancy. In fact 20% of pregnant women suffer with pelvic pain and 50 to 85% with low back pain. This is mainly due to the hormonal changes during pregnancy as your body starts to produce relaxin, the hormone that relaxes your ligaments in order to increase the space for your baby and birth. Also mechanical changes occur as the pregnancy goes along. As your tummy gets bigger the curve of your lower back increases and creates pressure on your back joints and muscles too.

We started working on this sacroiliac dysfunction using very gentle techniques to free up the joints and also working on the ligaments and muscles of the pelvis with gentle pressure. I also gave Hannah stretches and exercises to stabilise her core muscles and pelvis at home.

I saw Hannah regularly throughout her pregnancy in order to maintain the right sort of movement in her pelvis and, fortunately, she didn’t experience pelvic pain anymore!

Headaches – the hidden cause

Neck exercise to relieve headacheAnyone who has suffered from regular headaches knows how unpleasant and disrupting they can be. Many headache sufferers find it difficult to concentrate, to work or even carry out simple activities without feeling grumpy.

Jamie’s story

Jamie came to me here at Sundial because of six years of headaches that were affecting his work and his life with his partner. And things were getting worse. A recent increase of the frequency of the episodes made him realise he had to do something.

Headaches can be bad enough but Jamie’s symptoms started a journey all of their own. His pain was travelling from his neck to the top of his head on one side and travelling down to the shoulders and to between his  shoulder blades. He would always have the headaches during the week and only found respite at the weekends. A stressful day at work or being on a computer for long period of time was increasing the pain to unbearable levels so even painkillers were ineffective

Jamie has a job with a lot of responsibilities in a big company and needs to manage a team. He spends a lot of time sitting in meetings and even more staring at  a computer screen. Stress is a constant feature in his work.

When Jamie came to see he was keen to end this agony. After an examination I found that some of the joints in his neck were stiff and not moving correctly. The surrounding muscles were in spasm and were very sore to the touch. It was clear that Jamie was suffering from headaches caused by referred pain from the neck – so called cervicogenic headaches.

In Jamie’s case the dysfunction has been triggered by his repetitive poor posture, especially sitting at the computer for long periods of time.

Successful treatment begins

I started to treat Jamie for cervicogenic headaches, by addressing the cause. As a chiropractor I worked on the muscles of Jamie’s neck and shoulders applying gentle pressure to relax the muscle tension. I also used my hands to increase the mobility of his neck joints using gentle pressure.

But Jamie had to bring some change in his life as well. Here are the tips I gave him and it could help you too to deal with your cervicogenic headaches.

Jamie has now far fewer  episodes of pain and during a really stressful day at work, if the pain starts, he can decrease the intensity and the duration of the episode by himself using these tips

If you would like a free check up to see if chiropractic can help you then call to make an appointment or use our online booking above.

Brighton half marathon recovery tips: how to manage an acute injury

knee-examination-brighton-physioAs a physiotherapist, I get asked how to manage an acute running injury a lot and having just completed training session or race itself you may be asking the yourself the same question.  So in order to help you with your post run recovery here’s a few useful tips to ease you back to fitness and training for your next race.

Physiotherapists love an acronym and what used to be known as RICE or PRICE is now often  referred to in the industry as POLICE.  With each letter relating to a useful management strategy this acronym can be a helpful tool in guiding anyone suffering from an acute injury.

Protection:  Depending on the severity of your injury you may want to use a brace, tapping or in more extreme circumstances casts and crutches, this will help to prevent excessive movement and protect the site of injury.

Optimal Loading:  The key part to remember here is OPTIMAL, the right amount of loading will help stimulate the healing process of a muscle, tendon, ligament and bone. This could be any type of activity such as standing, walking or swimming, however in more serious injuries such as fractures or full tendon ruptures the OPTIMAL load might be no loading and may require casting, crutches or surgical intervention.runners-start-vitality-brighton-half-marathon-sm

Ice:  Applying ice during the initial stages of an acute injury can be beneficial for reducing both pain and swelling.  Although medical professionals have been recommending ice for several years the evidence is far from conclusive.  I usually advise my patients to wrap an ice pack in a flannel or thin towel and apply directly on the site of pain for 15 minutes 3 to 4 times daily within the first 72 hours of injury.

Compression:  Similar to ice compression can be used for managing swelling, applying a simple tubigrip or neoprene strap can help to compress the injury site.  The applied compression should be tight but comfortable with good circulation above and below the strapping, I often ask patients to remove the compression for short periods throughout the day and take the strapping of at night to allow the skin time to breath.

Elevation:  Can also be very useful in reducing swelling.  For example, if you’ve acutely sprained your ankle lying on your back with your leg raised and supported can reduce the amount of blood rushing to the affected area.  With this specific injury you may wish to do a few ankle pumps to improve the blood flow and help with the healing process.

At this point it is probably worth mentioning that I recommend anyone to seek medical advice if you are unsure about an injury.  Although the POLICE protocol is a useful tool for managing an acute injury it is not a one size fits all strategy!!  If you are having difficulty weight-bearing or have symptoms such as bony tenderness, considerable swelling, loss of range of movement or the feeling of instability in a joint then I recommend seeing a medical professional ASAP.

James
Sundial’s Physiotherapist

VBHM logoSundial is a partner for the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon on 26th Feb 2017  providing clinical care and advice for sports injuries for the runners. If you have any niggles then give us a call and our physio’s, chiropractors and massage therapists can see you quickly. Sundial Clinics offers a free 20 minute physiotherapy assessment to anyone who would like advice about an injury, this session is a great way to get some useful tips on how best to manage your injury and to see if physiotherapy is right for you. Call for a free Runners MOT

How to beat running injuries with strength training

single-leg-squat-strength-exerciseTo avoid common running injuries you should follow the lyrics of Daft Punk – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger!

As a physiotherapist I get to meet lots of runners with common overuse injuries and I believe most of these problems can be overcome with some simple strength and conditioning principles.

If you’re planning on competing in a running event this year such as the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon it’s likely that at some point during your training you will pick up an injury.  Like most people you’ll probably turn to the internet or a running magazine where you’ll find lots of information on the benefits of warming up and stretching but less likely to find any guidance on strength exercises for running.

In a recent study with 26,610 participants by Lauersen et al (2013), looking at the effectiveness of exercise interventions to prevent sports injuries, found that overuse injuries could be almost halved with strength training alone.

With this research in mind I have put together three basic strength and conditioning programmes for you to work on as part of your running training.  Begin with stage one giving yourself roughly four to six weeks or until you feel confident before moving onto the next programme.

3 strengthening moves for runners from Vitality Brighton Half Marathon on Vimeo.

Remember this is just a rough guide to strength training and your ability to perform these exercises will depend on many factors, so if you have an injury or you don’t feel confident then get it checked out!

Sundial offers a free 20 minute physiotherapy consultation to anyone who is unsure about an injury so please get in touch if you need any further advice.

James
Sundial’s Physiotherapist

VBHM logoSundial is a partner for the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon on 26th Feb 2017  providing clinical care and advice for sports injuries for the runners. If you have any niggles then give us a call and our physio’s, chiropractors and massage therapists can see you quickly. Running the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon? Call for a free Runners MOT

Should you stretch as part of your warmup for running?

hamstring-stretch-on-floorShould I Stretch or Should I Go Now?
If I don’t there will be trouble and if I do there could be double,
so come on and let me know…should I stretch or should I go?

The great stretch debate has been going on for several years now with lots of conflicting views leaving the average weekend athlete confused and unsure what to do.  It’s a question I get asked a lot as a physio.

“Should I stretch before or after exercise and what type of stretching should I do”?

This is a quick and simple guide into the benefits of stretching for warming up and cooling down during your half vbhm-sussex-beacon-runner-smmarathon training.  At this point it’s probably worth mentioning that there is no one size fits all plan, every individual is different and because of the conflicting evidence on this subject this post is partly based on research and personal experience as a runner and physio.

A study by Simic et al (2012) concluded that static stretching as a sole activity during a warm up routine should generally be avoided, as it was found to reduce power, strength and explosive performance.  However, the negative effects were only short term and generally returned to normal after 5 to 10 minutes, these negative effects were also unlikely to occur if the stretch was kept under 45 seconds.

Behm et al (2011) documented that dynamic stretching either has no effect on performance or may improve performance especially when the stretching duration is prolonged.  However, the study also went on to say that static stretching used in a separate training session could actually improve range of movement and health.

Confused?  Join the club.

Behm et al concluded that:

“Generally, a warm-up to minimize impairments and enhance performance should be composed of a submaximal intensity aerobic activity followed by large amplitude dynamic stretching and then completed with sport-specific dynamic activities. Sports that necessitate a high degree of static flexibility should use short duration static stretches with lower intensity stretches in a trained population to minimize the possibilities of impairments”.

In other words if you’re doing an activity that uses long drawn out movements such as martial arts or ballet then static stretches may be useful.  However, if you’re a runner then short low intensity aerobic exercise, followed by dynamic stretches and finished off with a few running specific dynamic exercises is likely to be more important.

In my opinion stretching is very much a personal thing, I tend to spend 10 to 15 minutes warming up with a combination of light aerobic work followed by dynamic stretches and sports specific exercises.  When it comes to static stretches this is very much dependent on how much time I’ve already had away from the wife and kids, If I can get away with it I might spend 5 minutes doing short duration (under 45 seconds) static stretches on all the major lower limb muscle groups.

So to conclude you can find lots of conflicting views and counter arguments for all types of stretches, if you want my advice do what feels good for you but don’t spend all your non-running time stretching!  In my opinion a good balance between warm up, running, cool downs and strength work is the winning formula.

James
Sundial’s Physiotherapist

VBHM logoSundial is a partner for the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon on 26th Feb 2017  providing clinical care and advice for sports injuries for the runners. If you have any niggles then give us a call and our physio’s, chiropractors and massage therapists can see you quickly. Running the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon? Call for a free Runners MOT

 

Acupuncture and homeopathy to reduce symptoms of perimenopause.

Acupuncture BrightonThough the severity is variable, most women report experiencing some symptoms once they enter the perimenopausal phase of their lives, which may last anything from months to years until their periods cease at menopause. The average age for menopause is 50 with perimenopause generally starting in the mid 40’s although it is not uncommon for women to experience premature menopause and the onset of these symptoms in their late 30’s and early 40’s.

Common symptoms during this time include:

-Changes to the normal pattern of menstrual cycle with heavier or lighter bleed.
-Hot flushes.
-Night sweats.
-Difficulty sleeping.
-Reduced libido.
-Vaginal dryness.
-Headaches,
-Low mood, anxiety.
-Palpitations.
-UTI’s.

Case study:

44-year-old Etta was struggling and came to see me for treatment of her increased anxiety and extremely low moods, erratic menstrual cycle, low backache & hot flushes.
Having taken her case history it was evident that in the terminology of Chinese medicine it would be necessary to rebalance her kidney, heart and liver energy.
A weekly treatment plan of acupuncture was undertaken and homeopathic remedies were prescribed. Dietary changes were also suggested to help support with the inclusion of phytoestrogens such as cabbage, fennel, sage, alfa  & EFA’S.
Improvement was shown after the first treatment with Etta reporting a reduction in anxiety, hot flushes, and backache. After six weekly sessions a 29-day cycle was established and mood lifted. She now comes for monthly sessions to maintain her health and wellbeing addressing any symptoms that may arise.

I practice at Sundial Clinics in Brighton and in London, visit my website www.juliabaker.net for details.

To book an appointment or for further information you can contact me at hellojuliabaker.net or on 07791 345 053.

Sundial visits Sussex Beacon

brighton-chiropractors-matthew-bennett-and-richard-hollis-visit-sussex-beaconRichard and Matthew visited the Sussex Beacon recently. As keen supporters of the Beacon they were wanted to understand more about the amazing work going on there. They were shown around by Jason Warriner, Clinical Services Director, who explained the range of services provided by the Beacon which includes specialist care and support for people living with HIV. The service promotes independence and improve health and wellbeing by providing inpatient and outpatient services. The charity is  funded through donations as well as receiving some local NHS funding .

Richard said “The Sussex Beacon is an impressive organisation providing much needed support for people living with HIV. We love working with the Beacon and helping then achieve their goals by assisting with fundraising.”

Richard and Matthew learned that living with HIV can lead to complex health needs that require timely intervention from several health professionals. The 10-bed inpatient unit is well utilised and the other therapies and services provide a lifeline to many people experiencing the stress of coping with ill health.

Matthew said “The Beacon has a huge range of people with different skills working here. The dedicated staff make a massive impact on the lives of those with HIV. On top of that, they work with a cheery attitude that makes the Beacon a wonderful place to be.”

Sundial supports the Beacon by providing massage therapy at the Vitality Half Marathon here in Brighton. Last year Sundial carried out over 200 massages in three hours using 45 volunteers from Brighton Medical School physio course. During the day Sundial raised over £2000 to support the event. David Hill who organises the race also accompanied Matthew and Richard.

As preferred provider, Sundial also offers physiotherapy and chiropractic to Sussex Beacon runners at preferential rates. Sundial physio, James Masterson, also offers training and recovery tips for runners.

The next Vitality Brighton Half Marathon 2017 is on Sunday 26 February and entries are open now.

From left to right in photo above: Jason Warriner, Richard Hollis, Matthew Bennett, David Hill.

 

Knee arthroscopy not all it’s cracked up to be

physio or chiropractic for PFS in BrightonMany people with recurrent knee pain have keyhole surgery to trim the cartilage in the knee. Recent research suggests that this operation – an arthroscopy, is no better than doing exercises. This surgery is one of the most common in the UK. About 150,000 people, mainly middle aged and older adults undergo this procedure every year so you would think there is good evidence to show that it works.

Over the last 10 years several studies have looked at the effectiveness of knee arthroscopy. This includes studies that group together all these results in a so called meta-analysis. In science terms, this is a good as it gets – gold standard evidence one way or the other. It showed no benefit for keyhole surgery for the knee. Keen to sew this up once and for all this new study compared two groups.

A Norwegian team looked at people with knee pain with a tear of the cartilage (meniscus) which had been verified on MRI. The patients did not have any evidence of osteoarthritis. They divided these 140 patients into two groups – one group had the surgery and the other a 12 week course of exercises. The exercise group did a series of knee exercises two or three times a week.

The patients in the exercise group had improved muscle strength in the thighs and reported less pain, swelling and restricted joint movement. This is not surprising as surgery can cause these symptoms. Both groups reported similar improvements to the surgery group patients when asked about daily activities. Nearly a quarter from both groups went on to have further knee symptoms of pain, swelling and dysfunction.

If you have knee pain and have a suspected tear to the meniscus this study suggests that a course of supervised exercises would be well worth a go. The surgery for this condition is no better and may well be worse – especially in the short term. Given that surgery  carries a risk it merely highlights the benefits and safety of exercises.

If you have knee pain and want to have the best evidence based care then book an appointment with our physio.

Reference: BMJ 2016;354:i3934