26 Mar / 2016
A vibrant new carpet, comfy sofas (as well as the normal firmer chairs for you back pain sufferers!), new pics, new reception desk, new window graphics at front of clinic. Certainly looks different. Come and have a look!
26 Mar / 2016
The nation’s gardeners will come out of the woodwork over the next few weeks as the gardening season sets in. But what are the physical effects of getting the garden smartened up for summer? Nick Metcalfe, our sports chiropractor, talks about how to avoid injuries such as gardeners’ back, weeder’s wrist and pruner’s neck?
At this time of year the number of people attending our clinic with gardening-related ailments is often higher than injuries associated with football, tennis or cricket. Lower back pain takes the gold medal as the most common injury attending the clinic, but knee injuries, neck pain and wrist pain follow close behind.
It is common to get a flurry of emergency appointments on a Monday morning after a sunny weekend, followed by a trickle of more chronic complaints thereafter. These ‘weekend warriors’ have often jumped straight into the garden when the weather warms up but have forgotten that their own bodies need a warm-up too.
Gardening can rightly be viewed as a fantastic form of exercise as it can help improve flexibility, stamina, strength and circulation, but it must be performed safely. Many people wouldn’t think twice about spending the first warm day of Spring digging, mowing and weeding in the garden but would you spend five hours in the gym doing squats and lunges if you hadn’t been exercising for six months?
Every year we chiropractors prepare ourselves for these gardening related injuries, but the majority of them are totally preventable:
Top Tips for avoiding injury in the Garden this Spring
- Dress appropriately. Don’t wear clothes that are tight or constrict your movement.
- Gardening is like any other exercise; you need to warm up first. Don’t go straight into tackling digging up the patio, start off with lighter jobs first. The British Chiropractic Association support “Straighten-Up UK” an excellent 5 minute warm up routine to reduce the likelihood of back pain. It can be found on their website www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk
- Clever pruning. Get as close as possible to the things you are pruning; avoid overstretching to reach the area you are dealing with. Invest in some long handled secateurs to reach plants and bushes that are beyond normal reach.
- Digging deep. When digging, try not to bend or twist during the movement and alternate the foot you use to drive the spade into the ground. Raking is best achieved with short movements; don’t reach out too far and swap the sides you use.
- Potting/planting. Use a mat and kneel when doing close weeding work. When potting up your plants, it is much better to do this at a table and, if at all possible, sit.
- Vary your activity. Split your tasks into 1) tasks below knee height, 2) tasks at waist height, 3) tasks above shoulder height. Spend no more than 20-30 minutes on any one area. Take regular breaks. Alternate different tasks.
As our knowledge of the human body increases the old adage of a healthy body healthy mind has never been more true. We evolved through and for movement, and the majority of neuron’s in our brain are geared to producing movement. As we move signals are sent from my muscles to our brain. This provides us with information on our posture, the strength of muscles, and speed of movement. Without this information it becomes increasingly difficult for the brain to produce healthy and normal movement. Furthermore this information is one of the key driving forces in brain activity.
In return the more information that the brain receives about the body the greater the control of muscles. This allows for better posture, better balance, and better coordination. This means that generally people will suffer from less pain and injury if they have an active lifestyle compared to those who are sedentary. The difficulty that we have in our modern culture is that many of us sit for a living. this results in less use of the muscles less feedback to the brain and therefore reduced control of those every same muscles. Resulting in poor posture, atrophy or wasting of the muscle and pain. We end up in a negative spiral. There has been a huge amount of research looking at the consequences a sedentary lifestyle and an incredibly wide range of health conditions.
One of the reasons chiropractors are able to help people with a range of health conditions is probably related to the ability to improve movement of the joints and muscles, and therefore improve the feedback to the brain. This results in improved posture, balance, coordination and a reduction in pain. It is also the reason that exercise and moving regularly over the day is so important. However, embarking on exercise while in a less than optimal state of health is not always advisable and it’s best to ask the opinion of a trained professional before starting.
The health care professionals at New Malden chiropractic clinic are highly skilled at the assessing the flexibility, strength, and coordination of muscles, as well as the mobility and stability of joints. Using this information we can create treatment program to help you reach your health goals whether that is to be pain free or to improve your movement and posture.
13 Aug / 2015
Our Chiropractor Jake talks about Dizziness and Balance difficulties.
Dizziness is an outrageously common condition, which will affect 40% of the general public and 65% of people over the age of 60. It is increasingly common with age, and the causes are widespread and varied. We take our balance for granted because for most of the time it requires no thought at all.
However, balance is actually incredibly complex. It is only until our third decade of life that we really master standing upright. We are the only animals to do it for extended periods of time, and this is because it requires a large and powerful brain.
Balance requires the following three things: vision, the balance organs in your ears (i.e. the vestibular system) and sensation from your muscles, primarily in the neck and back. A change in the function of either one, or a change in the integration of that information, will result in a change of balance.
To simply prove the above, stand with your feet together, and close your eyes. You should be very stable with little sway. Now with your eyes open, try lifting up one foot and see how long you can maintain your balance. With good health and co-ordination 20 seconds should be easily achieved. If safe to do so, try again with you eyes closed. There should be only a little difference.
Dizziness can range from a mild annoyance to a serious impairment. Many of us believe that it is normal to feel slightly unsteady. We might find we need support from a wall, walking stick or perhaps our partner in poorly lit environments. This isn’t something that should be tolerated, as falls are one of the leading causes of serious injury across all age ranges.
The common causes of chronic balance problems or dizziness may be due to changes in the bio mechanics of the neck, head trauma/concussion, previous ear infections or from benign positional paroxysmal vertigo (BBPV).
A huge percentage of my patients consult me for their chronic neck and back pain, when really they should be consulting me for the balance or dizziness issues they are having. These patients have usually already spent a large amount of time and money consulting all kinds of different healthcare practitioners, often with poor or short-term results.
We see fantastic results with regard to these complaints through the prescription of specific exercises and therapies, which are tailored to treat the impaired balance and co-ordination malfunctions.
The results are normally quick, pain free and cost effective.
04 Aug / 2015
04 Aug / 2015
25 Nov / 2014
25 Oct / 2014
Having practiced for nearly 40 years Tony has decided to take his well earned retirement. He will be missed by all. Nick (his son) and Dominic (his brother) will be continuing the care of his patients. More golf awaits!
19 Sep / 2014
Until the 30th September 2014 we are giving away FREE low back and neck pain exercise DVD’s! Pop into clinic to pick up yours – no appointment necessary!
26 Mar / 2014
We now offer cool water, hot teas and coffee in the reception area. Just help yourself. We hope you feel relaxed and comfortable while you wait for your appointment!