Headaches

Headaches

Headaches Do you suffer from headaches or migraines? For those of you who have visited us here at The Chiropractic Centre: Bristol, you would recognise this question, regardless of the reason you came in to see us. It has been estimated that 10 million people in the UK suffer from headaches on a regular basis (nhs.uk). So unsurprisingly here at the clinic we see a lot of patients suffering headaches, whether it being their main complaint or something that we have uncovered during the case history. Quite often they can describe these as ‘normal’ headaches. There is no such thing as a ‘normal’ headache. Some of you may ask, ‘What do headaches have to do with your spine?’ Well there are hundreds of types of headaches but some of the most common are tension headaches, migraines and cervicogenic headaches, all of which can be influenced by spinal health and posture. Tension Headaches Those who suffer with tension headaches, often describe a feeling of band like pressure across the forehead and temples. They can also describe tightness within the muscles of the neck. The exact causes aren’t clear but can range from stress and poor posture to dehydration. Migraines Migraines are typically less common but are felt as a severe, throbbing type pain that can affect the front or side of the head. Some will also suffer with nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light. Cervicogenic Headaches These are headaches that originate from the neck and refer pain up into the head. Typically it is felt as a dull, aching pain that can really affect any area of the head but most commonly...
What is Sports Massage?

What is Sports Massage?

What is Sports Massage? Broken down into its acronym let’s explore what ‘sports massage’ is: Sports It is a common misconception that sports massage deals predominantly with athletes.  In my eyes we are all sports people as life is one ever increasingly competitive, intense physical activity.  To live life to its fullest we all must have ‘fit’, well functioning muscles that are prepared for fight or flight, whether that be performing to your best ability in a weekly tennis match, chasing after your kids or gardening with ease. Posture In today’s society postural misalignment is often the origin of chronic aches and pains within the body.  Bad posture, from sitting at a desk all day, playing sports and also general life, can lead to under/over developed muscular tissues as imbalanced forces are exerted upon the body.  My role as a sports massage therapist is to work closely with you to regain the healthiest posture for you in whatever you do.  By relaxing over-used muscles and re-engaging under-used muscles, your postural awareness increases and your neuromuscular (nervous and muscular)  system functions better.  More on posture another week! Organic All the cells in our muscles are living and responsive to the physical and emotional state of our body.  They are essential to our complete, holistic functioning and sometimes these cells need encouragement.  Muscle therapy creates an involuntary relaxation response carried out by our peripheral nervous system.  There is also a mechanical response, issued by our sympathetic nervous system, which cleanses and improves cellular health.  *If you have had the pleasure of attending our Health Class you will understand the connection between the spine and our neuromuscular system. Recovery and prevention In day-to-day...
Most cyclists haven’t done this lifesaving safety check! It takes 10 seconds!

Most cyclists haven’t done this lifesaving safety check! It takes 10 seconds!

Most cyclists haven’t done this lifesaving safety check! Cyclists invest a lot to make sure they are seen by others on the road; flashing lights, high visibility jackets and the trusty bell.  This helps prevent a huge number of serious accidents.  However, it’s not only important for others to see you, you also need to look out for other road users too.  Cars have mirrors to see what’s behind them.  The only person I’ve seen with a mirror on their bike is my father-in-law.  Therefore, everyone else has to twist and look.  So what happens if you have a dodgy neck and you can’t see behind you? How do you test if you can safely see behind you? Do this simple test.  Step 1: Sit on your bike holding on to the handle bars as you would when you’re cycling.  Step 2: Turn to see if you can look directly behind you.  It should be easy to do and not cause any discomfort.  Make sure you do this in both directions, although you’ll mostly look over your right shoulder (in left-side driving countries) it’s important to be able to look both ways.  If you can do it then get out and enjoy cycling the city.  If you can’t, then we need to look into what is preventing you from turning fully and creating a dangerous ‘blind spot’ behind you. Where does rotation come from? Well most people can answer this, you turn your neck!  Your neck should be able to rotate your neck to around 90º (able to look directly over your shoulder), 45-50% of this coming from your atlantoaxial joint (right...
Before you give your kids your iPad, read this!

Before you give your kids your iPad, read this!

With the children off school over the summer holidays, it was great to meet some of our existing patient’s kids. For many of them it was the first time they’d seen a chiropractor work their magic, and the popping and clicking captivated the majority. However, those children that were ‘old hat’ with what we do played on an iPhone or iPad. You didn’t have to be a chiropractor to notice the childrens posture when they were hunched over the phone playing Angry Birds or watching Peppa Pig! You can’t help but wonder the influence prolonged periods slouching over these devices will do to young malleable spines. We all say that we were much more active as kids compared to the current generation but I needed to have a look at some of the statistics. A recent study from this year took a sample of 461 parents with children between the ages of 11-16. 40% of these children had suffered from neck or back pain and, worryingly, 15% of parents said their child’s pain was directly resulting from using technology. Parents suggested a staggering 68% of children spent more than four hours on a laptop, tablet or phone. The NHS suggests a child should spend at least an hour a day doing rigorous activity. 48% of parents in this study suggested their children didn’t meet this. You can only hypothesise about the long-term affect of children leading more sedentary lives. I have seen the affect this has had on hundreds if not thousands of adults, many of which come in when their posture has changed, the shoulders have rounded, the mid back is hunched and the...