Articles

Straighten Up!

Posted on May 4, 2013 | Posted in articles, health

Standing-PostureThis exciting initiative was first developed by Life University, launched as Straighten Up America and has subsequently been launched by several other countries.

The BCA is pleased to have picked up this fantastic programme and to be taking it forward for use in the UK under the registered mark of Straighten Up UK (SUUK). SUUK is a posture care programme that aims to improve the nation’s posture and to help prevent back pain by promoting balance, strength and flexibility in the spine. The BCA wants to encourage people to start using the simple, daily three minute straighten up exercise routine designed to strengthen and improve posture for adults and children alike.

The message at the heart of the campaign is that the effects of bad posture are two-fold. Not only does it affect health but also how people are perceived or judged by others.

Back Pain

Increasingly, individuals of all ages are experiencing back pain and back discomfort and much of this is related to poor posture. As a nation we live ‘stop/start’ lifestyles; dashing about one minute, full of stress and time pressure and then subject ourselves to long periods of sedentary behaviour; driving longer distances, playing computer games and watching TV. Every year, back pain results in billions of pounds in losses due to lost days at work, sickness benefit payments; not to mention the reduction in people’s quality of life.

Social

Bad posture or slouching can also have a negative impact on how a person is perceived; this is especially evident in important situations where first impressions really count such as a job interview or first date.

Watch the BCA video
(British chiropractic association website)

A high-fat breakfast of bacon and eggs may be the healthiest start to the day, report shows

Posted on October 29, 2012 | Posted in articles, food, health

The first meal eaten after a night’s sleep appears to programme the metabolism for the rest of the day, the researchers found. And the age-old maxim “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper” may in fact be the best advice to follow to prevent metabolic syndrome, according to a new study produced by the University of Alabama / Birmingham.

Metabolic syndrome is characterised by abdominal obesity, high triglycerides, insulin resistance and other cardiovascular disease-risk factors.

The study, published online March 30 in the International Journal of Obesity, examined the influence exerted by the type of foods and specific timing of intake on the development of metabolic syndrome characteristics in mice. The UAB research revealed that mice fed a meal higher in fat after waking had normal metabolic profiles. In contrast, mice that ate a more carbohydrate-rich diet in the morning and consumed a high-fat meal at the end of the day saw increased weight gain, adiposity, glucose intolerance and other markers of the metabolic syndrome.

“Studies have looked at the type and quantity of food intake, but nobody has undertaken the question of whether the timing of what you eat and when you eat it influences body weight, even though we know sleep and altered circadian rhythms influence body weight,” said the study’s lead author Molly Bray, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology in the UAB School of Public Health.

Bray said the research team found that fat intake at the time of waking seems to turn on fat metabolism very efficiently and also turns on the animal’s ability to respond to different types of food later in the day. When the animals were fed carbohydrates upon waking, carbohydrate metabolism was turned on and seemed to stay on even when the animal was eating different kinds of food later in the day.

“The first meal you have appears to program your metabolism for the rest of the day,” said study senior author Martin Young, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine in the UAB Division of Cardiovascular Disease. “This study suggests that if you ate a carbohydrate-rich breakfast it would promote carbohydrate utilisation throughout the rest of the day, whereas, if you have a fat-rich breakfast, you have metabolic plasticity to transfer your energy utilisation between carbohydrate and fat.”

Bray and Young said the implications of this research are important for human dietary recommendations. Humans rarely eat a uniform diet throughout the day and need the ability to respond to alterations in diet quality. Adjusting dietary composition of a given meal is an important component in energy balance, and they said their findings suggest that recommendations for weight reduction and/or maintenance should include information about the timing of dietary intake plus the quality and quantity of intake.

“Humans eat a mixed diet, and our study, which we have repeated four times in animals, seems to show that if you really want to be able to efficiently respond to mixed meals across a day then a meal in higher fat content in the morning is a good thing,” Bray said. “Another important component of our study is that, at the end of the day, the mice ate a low-caloric density meal, and we think that combination is key to the health benefits we’ve seen.”

Bray and Young said further research needs to test whether similar observations are made with different types of dietary fats and carbohydrates, and it needs to be tested in humans to see if the findings are similar between rodents and humans.

“We’re also working on a study right now to determine if these feeding regimens adversely affect heart function,” Young said.
(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7540732/A-high-fat-breakfast-of-bacon-and-eggs-may-be-the-healthiest-start-to-the-day-report-shows.html)

The Thyroid and its function

Posted on October 29, 2012 | Posted in articles, health

The thyroid is the regulator of your body and mind. The thyroid gland makes two hormones that are secreted into your blood: thyroxine (T4) which contains 4 atoms of iodine, and triiodothyronine (T3) which contains 3. These hormones are necessary for all the cells in your body to work as they should.

The hormones that the thyroid gland produces regulate the speed at which your cells function. If the gland produces too many or too few of these hormones the following problems occur:

Hypothyroidism – the cells and organs of your body slow down.

Hyperthyroidism – too much activity in your cells and organs.

The symptoms can range from feeling overly tired, drained and muddled headed, to feeling ‘pumped-up’, sweaty and anxious. A swollen or enlarged neck may be the result of hypo- or hyperthyroidism. Weight loss (unexpectedly) or weight gain can also be early signs. In short:

Hypothyroidism –

  • Dry skin and brittle nails.
  • Numbness and tingling of the hands.
  • Constipation.
  • Menstrual cycle irregularities.

Hyperthyroidism –

  • Muscle weakness or trembling hands.
  • Vision problems.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Menstrual cycle irregularities.

If you feel as though you are presenting with any of the symptoms then contact your GP. the doctor will assess your symptoms and if deemed appropriate, recommend a blood test. If you are diagnosed as having hypothyroidism you will be prescribed thyroid hormone tablets. Once the course of medication takes effect you will notice a positive change which might include; more energy, lower cholesterol, and gradual weight loss.

(Talking Health , BMI Edgbaston Hospital)

NICE Guidelines for the treatment of headaches

Posted on October 29, 2012 | Posted in articles, health

The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) was pleased, as a Stakeholder, in conjunction with the Anglo European College of Chiropractic to have input to the Guideline Development Group:
“Headaches – Diagnosis and management of headaches in young people and adults”
In several studies, the clinical trials used to base best practise guidlines, suggest that manual therapy is at least as good as conventional care for headaches. More recent trials, not yet considered by NICE, show even more favourable outcomes (1) (2).

Medication overuse has been associated with harm. The BCA suggests that manual therapy is a low risk intervention that may offer relief to those who do not wish to take medication.

The BCA supports the need for further research into this often debilitating condition. The research should include the class of cervicogenic headaches responsible for one in six cases of headache caused by neck problems which have not been included in the NICE guidelines.

References
(1). Effectiveness of manual therapy for chronic tension-type headache: a pragmatic, randomised, clinical trial. Castien RF, van der Windt DA, Grooten A, Dekker J. Cephalalgia. 2011 Jan;31(2):133-43.
(2) Dose response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic cervicogenic headache: a pilot randomised controlled trial. Haas M, Spegman A, Peterson D, Aickin M & Vavrek D. The Spine Journal 2010; 10:117-128.

Sports Chiropractors

Posted on October 29, 2012 | Posted in articles, sport

A British chiropractor has achieved his dream! As team chiropractor to Red Bull’s Formula One Racing Team, he is immersed in the fast-paced and glamorous world of motor racing, travelling the globe and providing chiropractic care to some of the legends of motor sport.

Paul (Paul Cheung – based in Leeds) qualified from a British chiropractic college in 1990. His interest in sports chiropractic started while he was a student working as an intern within the college clinic (Portsmouth):”I was in the final year at Portsmouth when a golfer came in with a back complaint. After treatment he could hit the ball further and straighter than he had before sustaining the injury. It kindled an interest and I saw first-hand what chiropractic could do”.

Before getting involved in motor racing Paul’s specialist work was within football. Since 2000 he has been the team chiropractor to Leeds United after volunteering to take a look at a player who had sustained a head injury. Leeds were so impressed with Paul’s management of the case that they retained his services and since then Paul has gone on to work with Middlesborough and Sheffield Football Clubs.

Paul’s golden opportunity came in 2007 when he was telephoned by F1 driver Mark Webber’s trainer and asked to get involved with Red Bull Racing. After two test sessions in Spain, he was invited to join the team.

There aren’t many chiropractors who have to fight their way through hoards of fans and media scrums to get to work, but on race day that’s exactly the challenge Paul faces: “On the morning of race day, Tommi (Sebastien Vettel’s trainer) and I get up to go to the hotel gym for a light training session. We then change into our team kit and have breakfast. We have a car supplied by our sponsors to take us to the track and on the way Sebastien usually stops to meet fans who have gathered to see him. It’s a very similar experience arriving here at Tettenhall Chiropractic Clinic.

http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/paul-cheung/32/a76/6a5

Healthy Diets for Under 5s

Posted on July 20, 2012 | Posted in articles, food

Food and nutrients help to form strong teeth and bones, muscles and a healthy body; a good diet can also help to protect your child against illness now and in the future.

Young children’s need for energy and nutrients is high, but their appetites are small and they can be fussy, too, and it can be a challenge to get your child’s diet right.

Remember, pre-school children can normally eat the amounts they want, even if it seems they’re
not taking in very much. At this age, children are often good at regulating their appetite. If they’re not hungry, insisting on larger amounts of food can create a battle, which you’re likely to lose.

Key foods for a toddler

Base your child’s intake on the following food groups to help ensure he/she’s getting all the important nutrients. There’s no need to rely on pre-prepared toddler foods. If the family diet is healthy, children can just have family food.

Make sure your child has the following, every day:

Fruit and vegetables

Aim for at least five servings a day, where a serving is about a handful in size. Use fruit in puddings and as snacks. Frozen and canned fruit and vegetables can be just as nutritious as fresh varieties. Vegetables can be eaten raw or cooked (serve crunchy rather than very soft to preserve the vitamins and minerals).

If your child doesn’t like vegetables, try hiding them by pureeing in to soups, sauces, casseroles and pizza toppings.

Meat, fish and alternatives

Meat, fish and alternatives should be eaten once or twice a day. Cook minced beef, turkey, chicken and pork slowly to ensure it’s soft and tender.

Nutrition experts recommend at least two servings of fish a week, one of which should be oily. But don’t give your child more than four servings of oily fish a week for boys and two servings a week for girls.

Use eggs, either boiled, in sandwiches, as omelettes or scrambled. Try different beans and pulses, such as lentils, baked beans, peas and chickpeas.

Milk and dairy foods

Milk and dairy foods are an important source of calcium. Your child should be having the equivalent of about one pint (500 to 600ml) of milk a day.From the age of one, normal cows’ milk is fine, and you don’t need to use formula.

Use full-fat varieties for the under-twos; semi-skimmed may be given from the age of two if the overall diet contains enough energy and nutrients.

Milk can be used on cereals or in drinks, puddings and sauces, and cheese, fromage frais or yoghurt can be given instead of some milk. Grated cheese, cheese spread or cheese portions can be used on sandwiches or toast. Try yoghurts as a pudding or snack between meals, served alone or with fruit.

Happy eating

  • Give your child regular meals and snacks, and try to time these for when your child isn’t too tired or hungry
  • It’s helpful to sit down and eat together as a family, and to include your children in buying food and preparing meals
  • Offer small portions on a small plate, and allow your child to have more if they’re still hungry
  • Keep sweet foods out of sight until the main meal has been eaten

Healthy snacks

Healthy snacks include fresh fruit, vegetable sticks (such as carrots and peppers), dried fruit, cheese cubes and crackers, toast, small sandwiches, and yoghurt or fromage frais.

Faddy eating and refusing food

Many children go through phases of refusing to eat certain foods or anything at all. This is particularly common for children up to the age of five, and is a normal part of growing up and asserting independence. In fact, children won’t harm themselves if they don’t eat very much for a short while.
It’s quite normal for young children to refuse a new food without even trying it. If this happens, stay calm and don’t force your child to eat it. Take the food away and introduce it again in a few days’ time.

Research shows new foods often need to be offered several times before some children will try them. Offer regular meals and snacks to establish a structured eating pattern rather than allowing your child to pick at food throughout the day. Use brightly coloured plates, present the food in an attractive way, and try to remain calm and relaxed. If the problem shows no sign of improving, speak to your health visitor, GP or dietitian to get further advice.

Read more on the BBC website

Getting more active

Posted on July 20, 2012 | Posted in articles

To help narrow the exercise gap between boys and girls the British Chiropractic Association has a great way for kids of all ages to mind their posture as part of healthy exercise.

Straighten Up UK is an exciting programme from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA), designed to improve posture and help prevent back pain by promoting balance, strength and flexibility in the spine. Chiropractors want to encourage adults and children alike to start using this set of simple, three minute straighten up exercises. They are designed to be done on a daily basis and become part of the daily routine, just like brushing your teeth.

View the exercises in action and request a free leaflet explaining the exercises.

It’s worth noting that The Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation has issued a report that shows that a gender gap between girls and boys develops as they get older. In research carried out by the Institute of Youth Sport at Loughborough University, over half (51%) of secondary school girls said they were being put off sport and physical activities because of experiences at school in ‘PE’ lessons.

The British Chiropractic Association shares the belief that children should all be active in order to promote their health and to help future issues with back problems.

View the Straighten Up UK website

Hooray for Holidays!

Posted on July 20, 2012 | Posted in articles, holidays

Its holiday season and I hope you are all looking forward to having some time away from work with your families. Unfortunately this time of year can be a hectic time as you prepare to leave work for your trip away. Often here at the Tettenhall chiropractic Clinic, we will have patients call our clinic one or two days before they are due to travel having suffered from a neck, mid back or low back injury while rushing to pack, prepare their car or carry heavy cases.

Here are a few ideas: how to avoid the aches and pains that can be experienced when packing and
travelling.

Packing

Packing is probably the most important task when going on holiday. This is where your lists
will come in handy!

Here are a few tips on packing:

  • Select a sturdy case with wheels.
  • When packing, place the case on the bed and not on the floor. This will save you bending.
  • Travel light, you may not use much of the stuff you take anyway!
  • Take clothes that you can mix and match, as this will save you over-packing.
  • Check that your hotel has a hairdryer to save the weight in your bag.
  • Take only as much shampoo, suntan lotion etc as you will need. Bulky containers take up a lot of room.
  • Distribute your items between cases, especially if your travel partner is travelling slightly lighter.

Travelling

You may think that all the stresses and strains are put on hold while you travel, but that isn’t the case.
Sitting in one position for hours can do as much damage to the body and spine as overexertion.
Here are a few tips while you travel:

  • Try not to sit for too long in a car, plane, train or bus.
  • Move around whenever you can and stretch out your legs.
  • Stop the car every two hours for a ten minute walk to stretch your legs, back and shoulders.
  • Stretches are extremely important and a lack of movement can lead to tiredness, swollen legs and sore joints.
  • You can become dehydrated in compact environments, so keep drinking those fluids. Avoid alcohol.
  • If the journey is a long one, why not have a nap.
  • Bring a cosy cushion with you and try not to arch to the left or right while sleeping.

Exercises while travelling on a plane

  • Move your head in a circle, nice and slowly, ten times.
  • Roll your shoulders, five forwards and five backwards.
  • Stretch out your arms in front of you and circle your wrists gently, five circles left then right.
  • Stand up and raise your heels to stretch your legs.
  • Plant your heels and raise your toes (you will have to sit for this one).
  • Place your hands on your armrests and raise your knees slowly.
  • Move your pelvis forward and backwards while seated.

From everybody at Tettenhall Chiropractic Clinic we wish you a safe and relaxing holiday.

Gardening tips

Posted on March 20, 2012 | Posted in articles, gardening

As a nation, we love our gardens and spend a considerable amount of time and money on them. As we rush to get those jobs in the garden done, there is a risk that gardeners may injure themselves. What everyone wants is to be fit and healthy enough to actually enjoy sitting in their garden and enjoy the fruits of their labours come summer time, so here are some helpful tips from the British Chiropractic Association.

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.

Using a ladder

When using a ladder or steps, make sure you are always facing it, keeping your shoulders, hips and knees pointing in the same direction.

Rather than leaning or reaching, move the ladder or step regularly to keep up with where you are.

Any kind of ladder must be firmly and safely planted in position and, if possible, have someone else there to keep an eye on things.

Clever pruning

Get as close as possible to the things you are pruning and 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.

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.

Be clever with the paving

If laying a patio, keep the slab close to your body and bend your knees; it is sometimes better to bend one knee rather two, as your supporting leg gives you a position of strength.

If using railway sleepers, two people will probably be needed.

Plan ahead

If you are planning a trip to the local DIY store to buy heavy items such as cement or gravel, buy smaller bags rather than one big bag as they are easier and safer to carry.

If you do buy heavy items, use a trolley and if on your own, ask an assistant at the store to help you.

If buying things like compost, sand or gravel in bulkier amounts, shovel the contents of the large bags straight into smaller containers or wheelbarrow from the back of the car.

Don’t lift with your arms straight out, keep the elbows bent and to your side to minimise the stress on your back.

If having items delivered, have them unloaded as close to where you need them as possible; this will save the effort of moving them again.

A specialist garden trolley might be worth investing in to move these sorts of materials around, especially if you have lots of patio pots to move around as well.

Further information about chiropractic can be obtained by logging on to >>
www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk

Can three minutes of exercise a week help make you fit?

Posted on March 20, 2012 | Posted in articles

A recent BBC Horizon program suggested that if you were genetically inclined you would benefit from very short bursts of high intensity exercise at regular intervals (one session per week), and that these benefits would include an increased insulin sensitivity (great news if you are a type 2 diabetic). As with all quick fixes there are caviats, principly that you are able to sustain and tolerate these particulary difficult bouts of exercise.

Find the BBC article here >> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17177251

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