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...
Back pain: My back just went and I’m in agony – I only picked up a pencil!

Back pain: My back just went and I’m in agony – I only picked up a pencil!

All I did was pick up a pencil! And the back pain is horrific! We have a lot of people come and see us in agony; excruciating back pain radiating down their legs (sciatica), that started after picking up a pencil off the floor! It’s not always a pencil, however some arbitrary movement you’ve done many times before.  So why does your back ‘go’ in such an extreme way when you weren’t doing something silly or heroic?!  The best answer is the saying: ‘The straw that broke the camel’s back’.  What this means is, a camel can carry a lot of straw, however eventually there will be the difference of one piece of straw that will ‘break the camel’s back’. So what do humans and camels have in common? Well, I’m not going to go down the hump route.  The similarity is, as modern day humans our 21st century lifestyles are constantly putting stress (bits of straw) on our backs.  We are not designed to sit, yet we sit for hours on end at work or in front of the tv, often in poor postures slouching.  Research tells us we sit on average for 7.7 hours per day, which is 55% of our waking day.  We are designed to lift using our legs but we lift mostly using our backs.  We aren’t designed to live constantly stressful lives, yet we live lives filled with deadlines, worries and negative thoughts.  So what happens is we constantly load and stress our lives with pieces of straw, and often our spine is taking the brunt of it.  One day we do something we have...
The BIG Idea – BJ Palmer 1944

The BIG Idea – BJ Palmer 1944

The BIG Idea Written in 1944 as part of the Chiropractic Green Books, here is BJ Palmer’s Big Idea.  The Green Books have acted at the foundations for Chiropractic Philosophy and are still relevant today.  Here is BJ’s Big Idea:   The BIG Idea A slip on the snowy sidewalk in winter is a SMALL thing.  It happens to millions. A fall from a ladder in the summer is a SMALL thing.  It also happens to millions. The slip or fall produces a subluxation.  The subluxation is a SMALL thing. The subluxation produces pressure on a nerve.  That pressure is a SMALL thing. That decreased flowing produces a dis-eased body and brain.  That is a BIG thing to that man. Multiply that sick man by a thousand, and you control the physical and mental welfare of a city. Multiply that man by one hundred thirty million, and you forecast and can prophesy the physcial and mental status of a nation. So the slip or fall, the subluxation, pressure, flow of mental images and dis-ease are big enough to control the thoughts and actions of a nation. The pressure on a nerve is a SMALL thing. The released pressure restoring health is a BIG thing. Now comes a man.  And one man is a SMALL thing. This man gives an adjustment.  The adjustment is a SMALL thing. The adjustment replaces the subluxation.  That is a SMALL thing. The adjusted subluxation releases pressure upon nerves.  That is a SMALL thing. The released pressure restores health to a man.  This is a BIG thing to that man. Multiply that well man by a thousand, and...
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...