Matthew meets Minister at House of Commons

Matthew meets Minister Justin Tomlinson
Matthew meets Minister Justin Tomlinson

Sundial Principal, Matthew Bennett, recently attended a reception at the House of Commons and met a minister and several MPs as well as representatives from the MSK community. He was invited as President of the British Chiropractic Association to the launch of the new Arthritis Research UK report – Working with Arthritis. This report laid out the extent of conditions including back pain, osteoarthritis and other inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and the impact this has on work.

Matthew met Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister for Disabled People who said “Supporting disabled people into work is a priority for this government which is why our Access to Work grants are available throughout people’s careers.

“I strongly encourage employers and employees to take up this support so that we can reduce the disability employment gap and make sure everyone benefits from being in work.”

The Minister went on to say that the government was providing a further 25,000 places this year in addition to the 37,000 places currently available on the Access to Work scheme. This scheme helps especially small and medium-sized businesses provide support and to make adjustments to the working environment to get disabled people back to work and to keep them in work.

At a national level, the need to address MSK conditions in a work context is clear. Only two thirds of working age people with a musculoskeletal condition are in work and these conditions are now leading the cause of sickness absence, resulting in a fifth of all absence-around 3.6 million working days lost each year. Back pain alone cost the economy an estimated £10 billion each year. The burden of MSK conditions is likely to worsen as the population ages and people are expected to lead longer working lives.

The report highlighted that people with MSK conditions often make adaptations so that they can keep working. Some choose to change the type of work they do, reduce their hours, or become self-employed changing duties, flexible arrangements which allow people to work in comfortable settings and pace activity, and the ability to take emergency leave can help people with arthritis to stay in work.

Matthew Bennett said “The reception was a wonderful opportunity to meet the Minister and MPs and hear their views on the importance of MSK conditions. It is clear that the government is taking this problem very seriously

“Chiropractors have a key role in treating not only spine related MSK conditions but also advising and supporting people with other inflammatory conditions and osteoporosis. The BCA is committed to working with all stakeholders in the MSK community. Indeed, our vision is to become the leader in spine care and to work collaboratively to achieve this.”

Arthritis research UK is the charity dedicated to stopping the impact that arthritis has on people’s lives. Their focus is on reducing the pain and keeping people active. Their remit covers all conditions which affect the joints bones and muscles including back pain osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. They fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis and they provide information on how to maintain healthy joints and bones and how to live well with arthritis. Along with BCA they are members of ARMA.

 

 

Check list for choosing the best chiropractor in Brighton

Choosing a chiropractor is easy, choosing a good chiropractor takes a bit more thought. Here are a few tips to make the process more straightforward.

As with choosing any professional service, recommendation by someone who has been is best. Ask around amongst friends and family. There are a million visits a year to chiropractors in the UK and several in Brighton so chances are someone you know has been to one. It is worth asking them why they went to see a chiropractor in the first place and how they got on.

All chiropractors in the UK have to be registered with the General Chiropractic Council by law. You can check the register here to make sure they are on it. If they aren’t – don’t go.

You might also like to check if they are members of the British Chiropractic Association. The BCA is the oldest, largest and most reputable association in the UK and its members adhere to the highest standards of care and professionalism. You can check their register here (chiropractic-uk.co.uk). Their website also has lots of useful tips and advice about what to expect when you visit a chiropractor.

All the Brighton chiropractors at Sundial are GCC and BCA registered.

Most chiropractors stick to treating muscle and joint problems for which there is good evidence for effectiveness. If a chiropractors website makes bold claims to treat all sorts of other conditions without good evidence then best choose someone else. If you want to know what chiropractors can treat effectively then this recent research may help by Bronfort.

If a chiropractor recommends that everyone have an x-ray then this is not considered good practice. X-rays can be very helpful in certain circumstances but useless in others. Good clinical decision making is more important than universally x-raying all new patients.

Most chiropractors will treat you in a private room. We think this is necessary for confidentiality and a more personal approach. Some chiropractors will use an open plan room with several treatment tables and patients in there at once. This may be down to your personal preference. Treatment fees should be lower for this sort of care but often they are the same as for clinics using only private rooms. Be sure to check.

A range of treatments should be available and you should be given a choice. Sometimes there are good reasons to recommend one form of treatment over another, but this should be clearly explained. We have physio’s, massage therapists and podiatrists as well as chiropractors here at Sundial.

You should not be required to attend health education classes. Here at Sundial, we feel that if anything needs explaining, it is best done on a one-to-one basis to make sure that you get the advice that is specific to you and that you have the opportunity to ask questions.

The number of sessions you need should be made clear at the start and you should start to feel an improvement within the first few sessions. If you are not improving as we both would expect them a full reassessment will be carried out and another approach to treatment will be recommended.

Fees should be clearly laid out in advance and you should not be required to pay large up-front fees. Here at Sundial you will have the option to pay in advance and receive a discount and be refunded any fees you do not use.

We hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions then feel free to email us or call for an appointment for a free check-up, no strings attached.

Back Pain in Children – top tips for prevention

It is incredible to think that even children can get back pain but it’s true. At Sundial we did free half-term kids and teachers chiropractic checks in Brighton. 32 per cent of six and seven year olds get back ache at some time according to research by the British Chiropractic Association. This rises to 45 percent by the age of eleven. To highlight this issue the focus of last year’s BackCare Awareness Week, 17th-23rd October, was school children and their teachers.

One of the main reasons school children are prone to getting back strains is because they are carrying heavy school bags. Now school lockers are no longer available in most schools, children have to carry a bag with the full day’s books as well as all the other stuff that they need. Some kids carry all their books around for the whole week and then games bags as well. An adult wouldn’t put up with it.

Not only are the bags heavy they are often not very well designed. A hand strap sport type bag or book bag means all the weight is carried on one side of the body. A better option is a shoulder strap ideally carried across the body. The option, however, is a rucksack with both shoulder straps used and has been shown to reduce back pain by a third.

School Chairs Cause Back Problems

Schools themselves can also do more to prevent back problems in their students. Budget constraints mean that classroom chairs are often cheap and nasty providing poor support and no adjustability. If an adult was provided with a similar design of chair they would refuse to work in it for more than a few minutes with out screaming for a better one. Indeed, employers have a legal duty to provide a decent chair which is fully adjustable and supportive. Schools have no such duty.

Brighton Chiropractor Interviewed by BBC

The fashion of having children seated in groups around circular tables also adds to back strain some children have their back to the teacher and are constantly twisting round to see what is going on at the front of the class. Chairs that swivel would make this much safer. See an interview with Brighton chiropractor, Matthew Bennett by BBC Newsround on this issue here.

It is not just poor chairs that are associated with more back pain in school kids. The length of lessons themselves is also associated with more back aches. The longer the lesson the more aches and pains children reported in a study at the University of Surrey. Researchers visited classrooms and looked at what children were sitting on and how they perched on chairs as well other factors like length of lessons and how much movement was allowed. They found that if children sat in a flexed posture they had an increased incidence of low back pain. If the children did not move much and sat still they had an increase in upper back and neck pain.

Lifestyle Factors

A recent survey by Ofcom showed that computer game use and watching DVD’s has actually declined in teenagers it has been replaced by other screen based entertainment such as iPads and laptops to browse the internet as well as texting. In fact most teenagers do these things whilst also watching television. It is not just teenagers who are glued to screens, 40 percent of five year olds use an internet enabled computer at home.

But does this digital overload lead to health problems. Previously boffins in Scandinavia found that increasing television watching led to an increase in back ache in children. Certainly sedentary lifestyles have been associated with more back pain in children but does screen time also lead to obesity. The answer is maybe.

Studies are unclear whether gaming and computer use are one cause of obesity. Still, it is probably a good thing if children are running around rather than sitting around. Weak core abdominal and back muscles are more likely in children who get back trouble. It seems however, that you can have too much exercise if you are a child. High level sport and training is associated with more pain.

If a child does get a bout of back pain it will usually disappear in a few days. For a third of kids this doesn’t happen however and they go on to have longer term or recurrent symptoms.  It is important to take steps to reduce the postural stresses and other lifestyle factors that can aggravate the spine and if symptoms are not resolving to get a chiropractic check up.

At Sundial we are doing free half-term kids and teachers checks and have reduced our treatment fee to £24, saving £10 per visit. For a video showing treatment of a six year old go here.

Top Ten Tips to Prevent Back Pain In Children

  1. Use a back pack and use both shoulder straps
  2. Ask the school if they have ergonomic chairs
  3. Don’t sit on the floor to play computer games, use a chair
  4. Don’t allow long periods of laptop use in a poor posture
  5. Limit television to 1-2 hours maximum per day
  6. Ideally use a PC rather than a laptop
  7. Set up the computer screen so the top is at eye level
  8. Consider a office swivel chair at a desk for homework
  9. Build in active games and moderate levels of sport
  10. Get a chiropractic check-up if back or neck pain persists

Further information

https://sundialclinics.co.uk/2008/11/

http://www.advms.pl/?q=system/files/53_52SBockowski.pdf

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/779f55c2-5110-11dc-8e9d-0000779fd2ac.html#axzz1b7a3nwEv

http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=40136

Troussler B et al. Back pain in school children: A study among 1178 pupils. Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitative Medicine, 1994, Vol 26, 143-146.

Acupuncture & Chiropractic recommended on the NHS

NICE, an advisory body to the NHS, are actively recommending alternative therapies for the treatment of ongoing back pain:

Patients whose back pain has continued for more than six weeks but less than a year should be offered a choice of 12-weeks of complementary therapy on the NHS, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has concluded.

Patients should be able to choose between eight exercise classes over 12 weeks in a class or individually, nine sessions of manipulation which could be performed by a chiropractor, osteopath, or specially trained physiotherapists and doctors, or ten sessions of acupuncture over 12 weeks. Continue reading “Acupuncture & Chiropractic recommended on the NHS”

Matthew talks to BBC on back pain in children

Brighton Chiropractor Matthew Bennett talks to the BBC about back pain in children

Nearly half of Britain’s children have suffered from back pain before reaching their 11th birthday, new research has found. Dr Matthew Bennett, from Sundial, talked to BBC’s Newsround about it. Experts believe the trend is largely down to children’s sedentary lifestyles.

A survey by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) found that 45 per cent of 11-year-olds have experienced back pain, and 32 per cent of youngsters have had problems by the age of six or seven. More than four fifths of six to 15-year-olds admitting that they spend most of their half term sitting down for computer games or television.

Matthew Bennett from Sundial Chiropractic Clinic, in Brighton commented: ‘This survey clearly highlights the alarming rate at which back pain is growing within the UK.’

Dr Bennett advised parents to ensure their children do not carry unnecessary items in their bags and that they wear a rucksack with a strap over each shoulder.

He also described the nation’s lack of exercise as ‘children’s number one enemy’ and asked that parents encourage spending time outdoors being active. On cold and wet days this can be a challenge.  Active games indoors can help and whilst gadgets like the Wii Fit may have a role there is no substitute for running around, ball games and balance activities outside.

Click on the image below to see Matthew talking to BBC’s Newsround:

Brighton Chiropractor Matthew Bennett talks about back pain prevention for childron on BBC's Newsround