Keep the wheels turning…

Posted by admin | Posted in articles, commuting, health, sport | Posted on 04-12-2014

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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 by admin | Posted in articles, health, shopping | Posted on 04-12-2014

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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 by admin | Posted in articles, health | Posted on 04-12-2014

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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

High Heels this Christmas?

Posted by admin | Posted in articles, health | Posted on 15-12-2013

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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

Straighten Up!

Posted by admin | Posted in articles, health | Posted on 04-05-2013

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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 by admin | Posted in articles, food, health | Posted on 29-10-2012

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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 by admin | Posted in articles, health | Posted on 29-10-2012

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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 by admin | Posted in articles, health | Posted on 29-10-2012

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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.