Articles

Keep the wheels turning…

Posted on December 4, 2014 | Posted in articles, commuting, health, sport

Commute by bike

Commute by bike!

It may be cold, dark and occasionally wet outside, but continuing to commute by bike to work during winter has a host of health benefits – so don’t give in

As the weather takes a turn for the worse and the nights start to draw in closer, the thought of riding to and from work during winter becomes ever less appealing.

It’s understandable though. After a hard day, the thought of pedalling home through harsh weather conditions doesn’t exactly fill the body with excitement and enthusiasm. However, it’s important you keep at it, as regular riding over the winter will not only maintain your fitness levels, but also help build momentum for when the sportive or racing season starts again in spring.

Riding to and from work during autumn and winter can be tough, but with the right clothing, bike modifications, lights and willpower, it’s easily achievable. For the good of our heart, health and wellbeing, more people should be turning to two wheels, whatever the weather.

Read more at Cycling Weekly

Cyber Shopping

Posted on December 4, 2014 | Posted in articles, health, shopping

Typing at the computer

Are you sitting comfortably?

Many of us will be doing a large part of our Christmas shopping online this year. Whilst it saves on the heavy bags, crowds and frayed tempers, you could end up with aches and pains without even leaving the house!

Online purchasing

Online shopping for some or all of your Christmas gifts and supplies means they can be delivered directly to your door, so avoiding carrying heavy objects and straining your back and neck. However, you can cause stresses and strains hunched over a computer or laptop for hours on end.

The British Chiropractic Association has advice on great computer posture:

  • Set up your desk and chair at work to make it as optimal for you and your back as possible.
  • Your seat should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground, your knees bent, but with a slope from your hips to your knees. You should end up with your hips higher than your knees and your eyes level with the top of the computer screen.
  • You may need to put the screen on a stand or even on a ream of paper to bring it to the right height.
  • Relax when sitting into your chair, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back with your shoulder blades are touching the back rest of the chair. Arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk or table you are using. Use a seat with arm rests.
  • Avoid sitting on the sofa with a laptop, you will be concentrating so hard on the screen, that you may not realise you are getting a stiff back or neck.
  • Take regular breaks and get up to do something different – changing position is good for you.

If out shopping the old fashioned way…

  • Distribute the weight of shopping bags evenly between both sides; try to take bags back to the car periodically or leave at a secure shopping ‘crêche’ (many shopping centres have these at this time of year).
  • Take regular breaks and keep hydrated.
  • Carrying large light items can be worse than carrying small heavy items – avoid contorting your body into unaccustomed positions in order to accommodate those larger items.
  • A weight held at arm’s length can have the effect of being up to seven times heavier so always carry heavy loads close to the body

http://www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk/Home-Home-Page-1-mi.aspx

24 Hours of Strain

Posted on December 4, 2014 | Posted in articles, health

Spending hours in front of a screen...

Spending hours in front of a screen…

The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) is urging people to think about what they put their backs through during an average day, as research findings reveal that sleeping and sitting are two of the main culprits for triggering neck and back pain in the UK.

More than three quarters (77%) of people surveyed say they are currently experiencing back or neck pain or have done in the past. Nearly a quarter (24%) say they suffer on a daily basis.

Surprisingly, it’s not strenuous exercise putting most people’s backs out – 43% of respondents pin sleeping as their most common pain trigger and 44% said sitting is also a trigger.

It seems modern lifestyle could be to blame; 82% of those surveyed say they spend up to six hours a day sitting in front of a computer screen and almost one in five (19%) spend more than 4 hours a day watching TV.

The BCA is warning that inactive lifestyles could be causing unnecessary pain and is encouraging the nation to make small adjustments to daily routines, to help improve their back health.

Breakdown of a sedentary day:

  • 73% spend more than six hours sleeping
  • 28% spend over six hours sitting
  • 33% spend between two and six hours looking at a laptop or tablet
  • 49% spend between two and six hours watching TV or a film
  • 82% spend up to six hours a day sitting in front of a computer screen

BCA chiropractor, Rishi Loatey comments: 

“As a nation we’re becoming increasingly sedentary and struggle to switch off – whether it’s sitting at a desk or lounging on the sofa, hunching over a mobile device or lying in bed for too long, the effects of modern lifestyles are taking their toll. Understanding how to sit properly and keeping active will help improve posture, strengthen muscles and therefore reduce neck and back pain.
“With 35 million working days a year lost to back and neck related problems* it’s really important that people think about their back health when going about their daily business, and that they seek help from an expert if they are in pain to avoid more long term problems.”  

The BCA’s TOP TIPS for maintaining a healthy back and neck:

  • Sit up straight – keep arms close to the body and supported if possible. Make sure the top of the screen is level with the eyebrows and the chair is titled slightly forward, allowing for the knees to be lower than the hips and the feet to be flat on the floor. Sit into the back of the chair and use as much of the chair for support.
  • Keep moving – if sitting in the same position all day take regular breaks – ideally every 30 minutes. It’s good to stretch your arms, shrug your shoulders and move your fingers around – this helps to keep the muscles more relaxed.
  • Switch off – try to limit the time you spend leaning over your mobile devices or with your laptop on your knees especially after a day spent in front of a screen, to help improve your posture and relieve neck strain.
  • Sleep easy – test out your mattress before you buy it to find the perfect one and lie on your side rather than lying on your front with your neck twisted to one side.

For more information on how to maintain a healthy posture, the BCA has developed ‘Straighten Up’ – a simple, three minute exercise programme for all ages, designed to help strengthen the spine and improve posture and help joints.

http://www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk/For-You-5-Straighten-Up-UK-0-ms.aspx

Five Alps For Simon

Posted on July 6, 2014 | Posted in articles, sport

A message from Dom and Matt:

ready for the off“We are joining five nervous men and taking on the French Alps in September this year. The challenge is to commemorate the loss of a friend, Simon Cupitt to Motor Neuron Disease (MND) in January 2013. Simon was a very keen athlete, in-particular a kayak instructor in the French Alps and a very good cyclist having completed the Etap du Tour (a monstrous pro-like tour).

The Challenge takes in five of the main Col’s seen in the Tour du France, the Col du Telegraphe, Col du Galibier, La Croix de Fer and Alpe D’Huez followed by ‘The Beast of Provence’ Mont Ventoux. All in all this is over 10,000 meters of climbing. All riders will be self funding and all donations will be given to the Motor Neuron Disease Association (MNDA).

MNDA are an amazing organisation with regular news updates on the battle against MND http://www.mndassociation.org.

Matt and I will be training regularly to toughen us up for the 4 days sat in our saddles and for the accumulative effect of riding consecutive days. The training should help improve, heart rate, power output, pedal stroke efficiency, leg dominance and cadence not to mention our ability to fit in lycra.

Should you have any questions please contact me (Dom) or Matt (foxygti@hotmail.com)

We will keep you posted regarding our MNDA challenge in our newsletters

We would like to thank everybody who has offered support so far. If you would like to sponsor/donate please do so at http://www.justgiving.com/FiveAlpsforSimon.”

The Anti-inflammatory Diet

Posted on July 6, 2014 | Posted in articles, food

Diet

Bt tipstimesadmin Some rights reserved

The “anti-inflammatory diet” is named to describe the positive, metabolic effect the diet has on the body.

Any diet that removes sugar, flour, omega-6 oils, and trans-fats, and encourages the consumption of low glycemic index foods IS anti-inflammatory. And all of the aforementioned diets make these recommendations. So while they vary ever so slightly, they are all anti-inflammatory. David Seaman wrote a book about the anti-inflammatory diet and was the first to publish a paper in the scientific literature (2002) that described the diet as being pro- or anti-inflammatory.

In short, humans are genetically adapted to eat an anti-inflammatory diet; humans are supposed to eat vegetation (fruits and vegetables) and animals that eat omega-3 containing vegetation. It is important to realize that omega-3 animal products are still available as wild game, grass/pasture fed meats, specific chicken meats and their omega-3 eggs.

Only a small percentage (perhaps 10%) of calories in the current modern diet come from fruits and vegetables and virtually no calories come from omega-3 animal products.

Important Anti-inflammatory Educational Information

“Deflaming” is the term coined to describe the process of inflammation reduction. You can deflame with an improved diet.

Click here for the DeFlaming Guidelines, which will open as a PDF document that you can print. The Deflaming Guidelines provide the important details about how to reduce inflammation with diet and nutritional supplements.

Part 1 describes deflaming with diet.

Grain consumption is an emotional issue. In short, an attempt should be made to completely avoid refined grains and if whole grains are consumed, it is recommended that they are consumed in moderation and in condiment-sized portions. Grains should never replace vegetables, fruits, sweet potatoes, and nuts.

Why Grains Inflame – The Details From the Experts

As mentioned in the Deflaming Guidelines PDF, whole grains (organic or non-organic) contain gluten, lectins, phytates, a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, and promote an acidic pH, all of which are pro-inflammatory. The primary gluten grains are wheat (including spelt, kamut, triticale, and semolina), rye, and barley (including malt). All other grains may not contain gluten but do contain lectins, phytates, a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, and an acidic pH.

These several pro-inflammatory factors outweigh the fiber benefits of whole grains, and we get significantly more fiber on a caloric basis from fruits and vegetables. Accordingly, we should try to avoid eating grains. If you would like a starchy food, potatoes are our best choice – sweet, red, white (in moderation).

The pro-inflammatory nature of grains are discussed in more detail in the attached articles:

Grain review, 1999

Lectins, 2000

Wheat lectins, heart disease, 2008

Gluten headaches, 2001

Gluten – neuro Illness, 2002

Celiac Review, 2007

A pro-inflammatory diet can be associated with excess body fat. This excess body fat serves as a metabolic factory that produces inflammation and disease. A quick way to estimate how close you are to being at an appropriate weight for your height, is to determine your body mass index (BMI). If your BMI is high, it is likely because you have some excess body fat and need to DeFlame. BMI is only a guide…

Body mass index (BMI) is an estimate of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women. While it does not apply to all individuals, what we find is that it applies very nicely to those who know they need to lose excess body fat. BMI is a numerical value that lets us know if our body weight is appropriate.

Determine your BMI at: http://nhlbisupport.com/bmi/

Underweight =

Normal weight = 18.5-24.9

Overweight = 25-29.9

Obesity = 30 or greater

Can’t resist a new bag?

Posted on July 6, 2014 | Posted in articles

By garryknight Some rights reserved

By garryknight Some rights reserved

A consumer report has found that 16% of women buy a handbag on impulse and nearly one in 10 men purchased a bag in the last year. The report, by Mintel, also found that 21% of women would buy a bag to accompany a new outfit.

How you pack and carry a bag, especially large bags, can have important effects on your posture. Large bags can weigh up to 3kgs before anything gets put in it and this only gets worse as the user loads it up. Also, a larger bag is more unwieldy and more difficult to deal with. Heavy big bags can cause neck and shoulder strain as well as the long term affects on posture.

Here are some useful tips:

– The lighter you keep your bag the better, especially if you have to carry it about all day. The most important thing is to check the contents of your bag(s) each day and only carry those items you need for the day ahead – it is surprising how many people carry unnecessary weight each and every day.

– If buying a single strap bag, make sure the strap is long enough so you can wear the bag cross body, enabling you to keep the bag and it’s weight close to your body. Remember to keep your shoulders relaxed when carrying a bag in this way.

– Avoid holding a bag with long straps high up in the crook of your arm or down towards your knees as this will put an uneven load on your body.

– There is no ‘maximum’ weight for a bag, as it all depends on the size and strength of the person and the style of bag used. Bags that distribute weight more evenly across the back will put less strain on the body, so something like a rucksack is always best as long as it is carried on both shoulders and the straps adjusted so that the bag is held close to your back.

Technology and Teens

Posted on July 6, 2014 | Posted in articles, Technology

During the Chiropractic Awareness Week 2014, the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) warned parents that their teenagers could be at risk from suffering back or neck pain due to sedentary lifestyles and the excessive use of technology.

New findings from the BCA showed that 40% of 11 to 16 year olds in the UK had experienced back or neck pain. Worryingly, more than one in seven (15%)

By dgoomany - Some rights reserved

By dgoomany – Some rights reserved

parents said their son’s or daughter’s pain is a result of using a laptop, tablet or computer.

The research revealed that almost three quarters (68%) of 11 to 16 year olds spend between one and four hours a day on a laptop, tablet or computer and a staggering 73% spend between one and six hours on their devices when including television watching.  More than a third (38%) of parents said their child spends between one and six hours a day on their mobile phone.

Now chiropractors are noticing a rise in the number of young people presenting with neck and back problems due to their lifestyle choices. Today, the BCA is encouraging parents to limit the time their children spend using technology and instead encourage more active pastimes over the summer holidays.

Based on a two hour period, young people spend more time on games consoles (33%) than doing an activity like riding a bicycle (12%). When asked how much time their teenager spends on their bicycle, one in five (21%) parents admitted that they don’t have one.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, nearly half (46%) of parents questioned acknowledged that their children don’t spend enough time exercising, despite NHS guidelines stating that children and young people between 5 and 18 years old need to do at least one to two hours of physical activity every day.

Commenting on the findings, BCA chiropractor, Rishi Loatey, said: “We are seeing more and more people under the age of sixteen with back and neck pain and technology is so often the cause. Young people are becoming increasingly sedentary which is damaging their posture. There is the tendency to sit in a hunched position when working on computers and laptops, putting a lot of strain on the neck.
“Learning how to sit properly and keeping active will help to keep young people healthy and pain free. It’s important that parents seek help for their children from an expert as soon as any pain starts – if conditions are left untreated it could lead to chronic back and neck problems in later life.”

The BCA offers the following top tips for parents to help their teenagers reduce the risks of back and neck pain:

  • Get your kids moving: The fitter children are, the more their backs can withstand periods of sitting still. To increase fitness levels, your child should be more active which can be achieved by doing activities including walking to school, riding a bike or going for a run.
  • Teach them how to sit: It’s important that children learn the correct way to sit when they’re using a computer. Teach them to keep their arms relaxed and close to their body and place arms on the desk when typing. Make sure the top of the screen is level with the eyebrows and the chair is titled slightly forward, allowing for the knees to be lower than the hips and the feet to be flat on the floor. Using a laptop or tablet away from a desk will encourage poor posture, so limit time spent in this way.
  • Don’t sit still for too long: Make sure children take a break from the position they’re sitting in on a regular basis and stretch their arms, shrug their shoulders and move their fingers around – this helps to keep the muscles more relaxed.
  • Lead by example: Maintaining good posture and promoting good back health is something that everyone should be doing, adults and children alike. If you make it a priority, it’s easier for your children to see the relevance.
  • Seek medical advice: Seek professional advice if your child is experiencing pain which has lasted for more than a few days. If your child wants to be more active, check that there are no medical reasons why they should not exercise, particularly if they are not normally physically active.

For more information on how to maintain a healthy posture, talk to any of the chiropractors here at Tettenhall Road Chiropractic Clinic.

A New Year might mean New Bed!

Posted on December 15, 2013 | Posted in articles

3874381870_1642f1866dResearch has shown that sleeping triggers back and neck pain for 30 per cent of people, yet one fifth (21 per cent) admit to changing their mattress less than once a decade and 10 per cent have never changed it at all.

Research released by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) shows that over two fifths (42 per cent) of people have been kept awake by their back or neck pain. However, one third (33 per cent) of people only change their mattress once every ten years, despite recommendations to do so every seven*.

While a mattress is a significant investment for most, other items of bedding that can make a big difference to back and neck health are also overlooked – 64 per cent of people admit to not testing a pillow before buying it.

It is perhaps unsurprising then that a huge 83 per cent of people feel stiff or ache when they wake up in the morning.

How often you should change a mattress depends on lots of factors including your weight and how well you have cared for your mattress. But as soon as a mattress stops supporting your back it’s vital you get a new one. A mistake that people often make when choosing a new mattress is thinking ‘the firmer the better’ – this is not always true – one bed does not fit all.

NB we spend a third of our lives in bed so it’s important to spend time choosing your new mattress and remember; if you’re planning on sharing your bed with your partner, take them with you to test it.

Five signs that it’s time to change your mattress:

  • You wake up feeling stiff or aching
  • You had a better night’s sleep somewhere else
  • Your mattress is misshapen or sagging
  • Your mattress creaks when you move
  • You can feel individual springs

In terms of the best position to sleep in to avoid back and neck pain, Tettenhall Chiropractic Clinic advises you to lie either on your back or side and avoid sleeping on your front. If you lie on your side, ensure that the pillow and mattress allows your head, neck and spine to be parallel to the floor with no bowing or sagging.

For more information on how to maintain a healthy posture and avoid triggering neck and back pain whilst in bed, ask one of the team here at Tettenhall Chiropractic Clinic.

*Information taken from the Sleep Council.

Winter Tidy Up

Posted on December 15, 2013 | Posted in articles, gardening

2438340210_1c29a95e92_nWe love our gardens and in winter there is a lot to do – planting for the spring; clearing never ending piles of leaves and tidying dead growth from summer shrubs. Your back is vulnerable to injury with lots of heavy work, so Tettenhall Chiropractic Clinic has some helpful tips.

Clothes

Don’t wear clothes that are tight or could constrict your movement.

Warm Up

Gardening is like any other exercise; you need to warm up first. Don’t go straight into heavy garden work; start off with lighter jobs as this will lessen the chance of muscle strain.

Clever pruning

 Get as close as possible to the things you are pruning and avoid over-stretching to reach the area you are dealing with.
Invest in some long handled secateurs to reach plants and bushes that are beyond normal reach.

Using the rake

Keep your body in line with the rake and don’t over stretch by leaning too far forward or dragging your arms too far behind. Use short, precise movements. When going to pick the leaf litter up, bend both knees and keep your back straight.

Take a break

Vary your activity by spending no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing and make sure you take regular breaks.

Plan ahead

A specialist garden trolley might be worth investing in to move pots around to protect them from the cold weather as well as being great for carting heavy bags of compost around.
Enjoy the fresh air – and dare I say it… mild conditions.

High Heels this Christmas?

Posted on December 15, 2013 | Posted in articles, health

3541823308_c646b462e1_q

A new study by researchers from the Faculty of Sports Science, at Ningbo University, China and published in the International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology indicate that 9 out of 10 high heel wearers report getting soreness, fatigue and numbness.

Tim from the British Chiropractic Association points out:

“Good footwear is essential. Our feet carry all of our weight and the shoes we chose have a lot to do with the way we walk and the pressure we put on the rest of the body. Feet need a surface which allows them to bend, grip and roll as you walk, which is difficult to do when constantly wearing heels. You don’t have to say goodbye to high heels, as they should be safe to wear in moderation, but you need to make sure they fit properly and take extra care when walking”.
Wearing the right shoes can improve posture. If the shoe supports your foot and allows you to use your foot properly, you can do as you please. If buying a pair of heels, make sure the shoe isn’t too tight, short or solid, otherwise you will restrict movement and you won’t be able to use your foot properly.”

Here at Tettenhall Chiropractic Clinic we will be able to give you some good advice regarding posture and footwear.

Henryk’s Top tips for walking in heels:

  • Tense your pelvic floor muscles
  • Keep your head upright and don’t stick your chest out
  • Put your shoulders back and chest in
  • Spread weight evenly over the whole shoe when walking
  • Don’t walk too fast, be elegant
« Page 1, 2, 3 »