How to avoid winter colds by boosting your Immune System with Vitamin D and Chiropractic

How to avoid winter colds by boosting your Immune System with Vitamin D and Chiropractic

How to avoid winter colds by boosting your Immune System with Vitamin D and Chiropractic I went to my local GP surgery the other day and was shocked at the amount of adverts promoting the new flu shot.  There were banners, flags, huge roller banners, leaflets etc.  It appears the pharmaceutical company promoting/selling it has a bigger advertising budget than coca-cola!  I’m not writing this blog to talk about the shaky benefit of this vaccination, or to express my opinions on the recommendation in the UK for every child aged 2-16 to have the nasal spray.  I’m writing this blog to look at the alternatives to boosting your immune system to avoid the winter cold, influenza and more…  There are many facets to a healthy immune system.  I am going to write about 2, the function of your nervous system and vitamin D. The role your nervous system plays in immunity Chiropractic philosophy, which has been around since 1895, has long boasted that a better functioning nervous system equals a better functioning immune system.  Anecdotally, its be know for years, however now research is catching up and proving that very thing. Recently, a hospital in Toronto1 found that the nervous system played a role much larger than previously ‘known’.  They found that nerves send information from an area of infection to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) so it can co-ordinate the body’s response.  The information is hypothesised to be more in-depth than previously thought.  The nerves are thought to send danger warnings of not only where the infection is but also whether the infection is caused by...
Should I see a Chiropractor or have NHS outpatient treatment for my low back pain?

Should I see a Chiropractor or have NHS outpatient treatment for my low back pain?

Should I see a Chiropractor or have NHS outpatient treatment for my low back pain? When people get back pain most people take pain killers and if that doesn’t do the trick they go to see their GP.  The GP will generally do 1 of 3 things: Prescribe stronger pain killers and potentially time off work Refer you to see an NHS physiotherapist as well as no. 1 If things are really bad, refer you for an x-ray or MRI as well as an appointment with a neurosurgeon or similar Sometimes option 1 does the trick, however if not then you move on to option 2 etc.  So the question is, if the pain is hanging around for a while and you’ve been referred to the NHS physiotherapist or similar, should you wait the 6+ months (sic) or go and see a Chiropractor? What does research say you should do? I’m a Chiropractor and therefore will have my own biased opinions.  So, I’m going to answer this question with research.  In my experience most patients are given a sheet of simple exercises when they see the NHS physiotherapist.  However, most patients need a more ‘hands on’ approach and end up coming to see me.  For this blog I’m looking to compare the improvements from the physical, hands on treatment offered by the NHS with improvements from Chiropractic treatment. One specific study looked to compare the 2 different treatment types.  They split 741 patients, aged between 18-65 with low back pain, into 2 groups.  One group received Chiropractic treatment and the other ‘hospital outpatient treatment’, which consisted mainly of mobilisations, manipulation, traction and exercises.  The...
Sciatica and Chiropractic Care

Sciatica and Chiropractic Care

Sciatica and Chiropractic Care This article is going to focus on sciatica and Chiropractic care. First of all, what is sciatica? Your sciatic nerve is about the size of your thumb and runs all the way down the back of your leg. It begins by exiting from your lumbar spine, where it is called your lumbar plexus. The nerves of your lumbar plexus join together and travel along the back of your leg as the sciatic nerve, it then branches off  as different nerves as it travels past your knee. How do you know if you have a problem with your sciatic nerve? Do you experience burning or pain along the back of your thigh or cramping in the back of your leg? When I have sciatica and need a Chiropractic adjustment, it feels like a squirrel is chewing on the back of my leg and won’t stop! It is miserable and if you have had it, you would do anything to make it go away. Can Chiropractic care help with sciatica? So, how do you know if Chiropractic care is the right choice for your sciatica? Have you ever had lower back pain before the sciatica started? Have you had an injury to your back previously? Have you had Chiropractic or other care for spinal stiffness before, even if it was another region of your spine? Is your back stiff on a regular basis? If you answered yes to any of these questions, your spine is probably the problem causing your sciatica and you should be checked by a Chiropractor. If your spine does not move the way it was designed to...
Chiropractic Works – It’s Written In Your Blood!

Chiropractic Works – It’s Written In Your Blood!

It’s written in blood – Chiropractic heals through chemistry. Fact! We all know Chiropractic works and adjustments make you feel better.  Not only do we hear it all the time from our patients, we see it in the research conducted on the benefits of a Chiropractic care.  Now a recent research article takes our understanding one step further… Scientists at the University of Spain decided to look at the changes in your blood after a Chiropractic adjustment.  Using 30 students, who suffer no symptoms, they split them into three groups.  One group received cervical (neck) adjustments, another thoracic (mid back) adjustments, and the final group no adjustments at all.  The scientists took blood samples before the student’s adjustment (or lack of), immediately after, and then two hours later.  What they were looking for was the changes in the hormones and neurotransmitters present in the students blood sample in relation to their adjustments. What happened to the hormones? The scientist were tracking four hormones in the blood plasma: neurotensin, oxytocin, cortisol, and orexin-A (learn what they are below).  They found that immediately after a Chiropractic adjustment the levels of neurotensin and oxytocin significantly rose and cortisol also rose significantly after the cervical (neck) adjustment.  There was no change in the levels of orexin-A in any group. But what on earth do these biochemical markers do? Neurotensin When times get tough and the stress levels increase then neurotensin is thought to help neutralise associated, stress-related pain.  It also interacts with the serotonin neurons of the brain helping to chill you out.  It also affects the activity the hormone oxytocin in the brain. Oxytocin...
I click my own neck, what more can a Chiropractor do? – Self manipulating spine

I click my own neck, what more can a Chiropractor do? – Self manipulating spine

Lots of people click their own necks; sometimes for relief, sometimes for dramatic effect, sometime just because they can, often without trying to.  But what is the difference between clicking it yourself and a Chiropractor doing it? The need to click one’s own neck is potentially a sign of an underlying problem.  Often the need to do it is down to poor posture putting excess stress on the joints in the cervical (neck) spine.  Due to the stresses on the spine, the joints become restricted and uncomfortable.  If an on-going problem, it may get to the stage of a trapped nerve!  When you click your own neck (self manipulating) you are mostly ‘clicking’ either the joint above or below the restricted one that needs to move properly.  Chiropractors train over 4-5 years to adjust the right joint in the right way (see picture below).  This relieves the restricted joint and frees up any trapped nerves. Is there anything wrong with clicking my own neck? The danger of doing it yourself is you’re clicking the wrong joints.  When you self manipulate it may make the same ‘popping’ noise (air being released from the joint) as a Chiropractic adjustment; it might provide some relief, due to the natural release of a pain-relieving chemical called endorphins.  But it can cause damage. When a joint is restricted, the joints above and below work harder to compensate for the lack of movement in the stiff joint.  So these joints are moving too much already and when you self adjust you are forcing them to move even further (see picture).  This can, over time, cause stretching of the...