Proof that chiropractic treatment helps migraine sufferers

Seventy-two per cent of migraine sufferers in a clinical trial experienced either ‘substantial’ or ‘noticeable’ improvement after a period of chiropractic treatment, defying historical skepticism of chiropractics by some medical practitioners.

The randomised clinical trial was undertaken by Dr Peter Tuchin, a chiropractor for the past 20 years, as part of his recently-completed PhD thesis at Macquarie University.

“Around 22 per cent [of patients] had substantial reduction – which means that more than 60 percent of their symptoms reduced during the course of the treatment,” Tuchin says. “What makes this a really strong result is that this was a really chronic group – the average length of time they’d had migraines was 18 years. To get a change of that sort of magnitude in a really chronic group was quite amazing.

“Another 50 per cent had quite noticeable improvement. They either found that the frequency of the migraines was less, the length of time they had them was less or that they didn’t need to use their medications as much. This last result is very significant because some of the migraine medications are very strong drugs which have lots of side effects. Some of the migraine medications also have the problem of giving instant relief to the migraine, but creating another ‘rebound migraine’ the next day.”

The trial used 123 migraine sufferers, whittled down from around 1000 who applied after seeing a television program about the research. This group was divided into a treatment group who received chiropractic care, and a control group who were told they were receiving a form of electrical physical therapy.

“Both groups kept a record of their migraines for the whole six months, noting down how often they got them, how severe they were, how long they lasted, and if there was anything they could think of that contributed to them,” Tuchin explains. “For two months prior to any treatment they just diarised their migraines, followed by two months of treatment and then two months of post-treatment.”

Despite this study, some medical practitioners still dispute the ability of chiropractic care to help migraine sufferers. However, Tuchin believes this is a fast-diminishing group.

“I think the vast majority of medical practitioners are now open to chiropractic, but there’s a very small percentage who don’t realise what developments we’ve had, what inroads we’ve made,” Tuchin says.

“Chiropractic is not the be all and end all, but for a good percentage of migraine sufferers the neck is a significant contributing factor, and for them chiropractic treatment is really effective. I’m not saying that everybody’s going to be cured, but there’s very little to lose.”

May 23-29 is National Chiropractic Care Week. This year the theme is safe drugfree treatment of headaches. It is estimated that 10 to 12 percent of the Australian population suffer from migraines which costs the country $1.5 billion each year.

 

Chiropractic and Migraine

Although migraine attacks affect a significant number of people the triggering processes for the headaches are not fully understood.

 

Changes in the function of the blood or nervous systems in specific areas of the brain and changes in chemical balances within the body have been related to the cause of migraine attacks.

So, it is interesting that chiropractic treatment has beenshown to be effective for migraine sufferers.

Migraines are normally divided up into two different typesalthough many more subdivisions exist. These two main categories are ‘common’ and ‘classic’ migraine.

The pain of the headache is normally one sided covering half of the forehead and one eye however pain can also spread from the back of the head over to the eye or in some cases be located over both eyes.

Sensations described include, throbbing, pulsing and stabbing pains.

This is the most common type of migraine accounting for 80-85% of attacks. Research indicates that a change in cerebral blood flow could be responsible for the symptoms of this headache.
Common Migraine

It normally involves:

  • a unilateral pulsing headache
  • more commonly in females
  • is usually found to have started in young adulthood
  • headaches are usually severe although sufferers are able to carry on with their daily activities
  • there is often associated nausea and vomiting.

Classic Migraine

This type of migraine accounts for about 10-15% of attacks with the typical throbbing unilateral headache as in a common migraine, but is preceded by what is known as ‘aura’ or ‘prodrome’. This describes symptoms experienced prior to the onset of the throbbing headache such as:

  • visual symptoms such as flashing lights (scintillation)
  • the presence of a blind spot (scotoma).

This usually lasts up to 30 minutes after which it is replaced by a disabling headache that can last for a few hours to 3 days.

  • Nausea and vomiting may occur.
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to bright lights) is common and bright lights can also provoke the pain.
  • Rest in a cool dark and quiet room is often reported to be the only relieving factor.

Again, the cause of these headaches are not fully understood but are thought to be related to the changes in blood flow, the presence of certain chemicals and the way in which nerves send signals.

If you want to read more about other types of migraine go to Chiropractic and migraine variants.

Triggers

Many triggers have been related to the onset of a migraine attack some of the more common are listed below:

  • after periods of stress (commonly occurs on over the week end or holidays)
  • Foods (commonly; chocolate, caffeine, nitrates, cheese, nuts, wine and many more)
  • Some medications (including vasodilators)
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Hormonal changes (associations with the menstrual cycle)
  • Tension in the neck (especially the upper part of the neck)

But it is important to know that in reality, for many people, the symptoms are a mixture of more than one type of headache. Many specialists, including chiropractors, now talk about a headache continuum, where the, severely disabling, classical migraine is at one end ranging to the, less disabling, mild tension headache at the other end.

Treating Migraine

 

Identification of a specific trigger is essential in the management of the problem in a regular sufferer, with behavioural or lifestyle changes playing an important part in the treatment (e.g. avoidance of certain foods or maintenance of a regular sleep pattern).

Nutritional and herbal support have indicated that the use of supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D among others useful in the treatment of migraine. However always consult your chiropractor or doctor before beginning any supplements.

Medications can be of use in some cases but are mainly prophylactic. Initially over the counter medications can be used but if persistent your GP may advise the use of prescription drugs.

Acupuncture treatment has also been shown to help in some cases among other alternative techniques.

Chiropractic has been shown to help reduce the severity and frequency of migraine attacks in many cases, especially cases of common migraines, and we therefore recommend that you undergo a trial treatment.

Chiropractic treatment also deal with many contributory factors or after effects including relieve of restriction in movement of the neck, muscle tension in the neck, upper back and shoulders and helping correct any postural issues that may influence the occurrence of both migraine and tension headaches.

Tennis and Chiropractic

To become as good a tennis player as Andy Murray take many years of dedicated practice and with years and years of practice increases the risk of accumulated injuries.

With Wimbledon comes an upsurge of interest in tennis,we offer some invaluable advice on staying injury free this tennis season.

For two weeks at the end of June, a certain ‘fever’ tends to sweep the country, this being ‘tennis fever’. Tennis is the second most played racket sport in the UK, close to overtaking badminton in popularity, with an estimated 860,000 people playing.

Bedford Chiropractic Clinic will  see an increase in tennis related injuries. Just the same thing happens every year  in the tennis season but with Andy Murray winning even more people will try tennis for the first time.

Playing tennis is a great way to stay physically fit but it requires a variety of physical attributes, including power, endurance, speed, strength, balance, and of course specific playing skills. Compared to other sports, the risk of injury from playing tennis is relatively low, but there are certain factors that increase the risk of an injury that apply to both competitive and social players:

  • Incorrect technique – poor serve and swing technique will increase the chance of injury, particularly to the elbow and wrist. Relying on only the arm to hit the ball, as opposed to the body’s full strength, leads to an incorrect swinging action. A healthy spine able to flex and absorb these heavy twisting loads the discs in the spine can suffer serious injury that can impact everyday life not just sporting ability.
  • Failure to warm up and cool down – warming up / cooling down reduces the risk of muscle and joint injuries, and improves performance.
  • Time spent playing – overexertion is one of the most common causes of injury, and with insufficient rest and recovery time for the body, overuse injuries are more likely to occur.
  • Previous injury – previous injury can lead to similar injuries in the future, especially if you hadn’t taken enough time to fully recover.

When it comes to tennis injuries, they fall into one of two categories; two-thirds of tennis injuries are due to overuse, and the other one-third due to trauma or an acute event such as sudden force or impact. Cumulative, or overuse, injuries most often affect the shoulders, elbows and wrists, with acute injuries affecting the low back, knee or ankle.

Tennis Elbow – the most well-known of all tennis injuries, it is estimated that over 50% of players will suffer with it at some point in their career. It is an overuse injury of the muscles that bend the wrist backwards, from repeated contraction, and can also be caused by improper technique, such as using too much wrist and not enough arm when you hit a backhand shot (faulty backhand follow-through).

Tennis Shoulder – shoulder overuse injuries are usually a result of poor conditioning and strength of the rotatory cuff muscles, a group of muscles at the back of the shoulder. These muscles help to position the shoulder correctly in the socket, and a weakness can cause an increase in ‘play’ of the ball in the socket, irritating the tissues. Tennis shoulder injuries often appear after over-loading the rotator cuff when the muscles are contracting, and are usually caused during the follow-through phase of the serve. These injuries cause pain when the ball makes contact with the racquet during the serve, and cause a decrease in serve velocity.

Tennis Ankle – these injuries fall into the traumatic/acute bracket and are caused by a sudden sideways movement, such as pivoting while making a subtle but rapid change in direction, resulting in twisting or turning the ankle inwards. Playing on a slippery wet surface increases the risk of these types of injuries, as does continuing to play, even when fatigue is overwhelming you.

Low back pain – many tennis players will suffer with low back pain at one time or another. It can be caused by the twisting/rotating movement when trying to hit the ball, the sudden deceleration and changes in direction during a game, or over-extending the back during the serve; this repetitive action places considerable stress on the muscles, tendons and ligaments around the spine, and on the spinal joints themselves. Any accumulation of injury to the discs must be avoided at all times as the discs do not have a blood supply and cannot heal very well. All too often this fact is ignored and the damage accumulated becomes too extensive and permanent disability is the result. Just taking painkillers and waiting for such injuries to heal is a recipe for disaster.

What is a Stress Fracture of the Back?

A stress fracture of the back, or lumbar spine, is one of the more common bone injuries in young tennis players. Lower back stress fractures are usually characterized by an ache in the lower back which is exacerbated by sporting activities and eased by rest, although a small percentage of people with a stress fracture can be pain free. Typically it is sore when the patient bends backwards, particularly if standing on one leg. If a lower back stress fracture is suspected, a chiropractor may decide to refer the patient for a MRI scan to confirm the diagnosis.

What can you do to prevent a Stress Fracture?

Serving in tennis requires a combination of spinal hyper extension (bending back) together with rotation and side bending of the trunk. This puts a lot of stress on an area of the vertebra called the Pars Interarticularis and this is where stress fracture develops.

Practicing the service should be carefully monitored by the coach to ensure the lower back is not being overloaded. This is particulary important in adolescent players who have just experienced a growth spurt as they are known to be more at risk from this injury.

core stability exercises can help prevent back problems in tennis players.

What should you do if you suffer a Stress Fracture of the Back?

In most cases, complete rest from tennis is the treatment of choice. This would usually be for a period of 6 weeks to allow the bone to heal. In the early stages, a soothing ice pack can reduce back pain and alleviate back pain. During this period, a progressive exercise programme may commence, under the supervision of a qualified chiropractor. This usually starts with exercises to increase the muscular stability in the lower back.

Research has shown that a lack of muscular stability in the lumbar and pelvic regions can lead to low back pain and stress fractures. The principle behind this is that if certain specific muscles can be recruited or contracted, the spine will have much better support. This prevents postural faults which can predispose a person to back pain.

Spine injuries common in young tennis players

Elite tennis players in their teens appear to have a very high rate of lower spine injury, a 2007  study suggests. Although the subjects in this study did not have symptoms, the researchers point out that these injuries will probably progress to more serious conditions if training techniques are not modified. As with common back problems because it doesn’t hurt doesn’t mean that a problem doesn’t exit.

The British researchers found that of 33 elite-level tennis players they examined, 85 percent had some sort of abnormality in the lower spine. Damage to the joints at the back of the spine, stress fractures and herniated discs were among the problems seen on MRI scans.

Tennis players’ careers depend largely on how well they perform at the junior level, the study authors note in their report, published online by the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

This means that during their growth spurt years, young athletes are going through frequent and intense training that can raise their risk of injury.

Tennis involves constant spinal movements — like quick twists and backward arching — that can account for the injuries seen in this study, according to the authors, led by Dr. David Connell of the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital.

The findings are based on 18 male and 15 female athletes training at a UK national tennis center. None complained of any back pain, but using MRI scans, Connell’s team found that only five players had normal exam results.

The most common abnormality was facet joint arthropathy, damage to joints at the back of the spine that are involved in backward arching. A full 70 percent of the players showed this problem; in contrast, studies of middle-aged adults in the general population have found that 8 percent to 21 percent of symptom-free people have facet joint arthropathy, demonstrating that spinal wear and tear is not painful until we then overload already weakened joints.

In addition, the researchers found, more than one quarter of the players had sustained stress fractures in bone structures at the back of the spine, while nearly 40 percent had herniated spinal discs.

It’s important to spot such abnormalities, they conclude, so that training can be modified to prevent the problem from worsening.

SOURCE: British Journal of Sports Medicine, July 19, 2007 online.

When looking at ways to help avoid tennis injuries, we can split it into 5 key areas:

Environment:

  • avoid playing on hard surface courts with no ‘give’, such as cement, asphalt or synthetic courts.
  • inspect the court for holes/cracks that may trip you up.
  • ensure the court is well lit if playing at night.
  • avoid playing in extreme weather conditions.
  • never play on a wet court.
  • clean off leaves, debris, loose balls etc. from the court.

Dress:

  • wear shoes specifically designed for tennis that support the heel and prevent ankle rolling, choose tennis shoes with skid-resistant soles and high arch supports.
  • consider wearing heel inserts or specially padded tennis socks to absorb the shock when playing on hard services to protect the lower back.

Equipment:

  • see a professional to select a racquet that is the appropriate size and weight, and one that suits your skill level; too light or heavy will increase the risk of shoulder/elbow injuries.
  • a flexible racquet with a larger head is gentler on the arm as the flexion absorbs some of the shock, spreading it over a longer period; this helps to prevent a tennis elbow injury.
  • low string tension is better on the arm as it increases the dwell time of the ball on the strings.
  • thinner strings are more elastic and have better shock-absorbing capacities, making them better for the arm.
  • a grip that is too small or large will increase the risk of an elbow injury as the player has to grip the racquet too tightly to prevent it from twisting.
  • never play with wet tennis balls, especially if you have had a previous shoulder/arm injury.
  • avoid old or low-pressure balls; aim to replace them as soon as they start to lose their bounce.

Preparation:

  • working on stretching and toning your arm muscles off the court will guard against injury; swimming is a good way to achieve this.
  • warm up gently, increase your heart rate with a slow jog or jumping jacks.
  • slowly stretch muscles to improve joint range of motion, and promote elasticity in the ligaments and tendons; hold stretches for 30 seconds.
  • start slowly, hitting a few balls to your opponent; serve several times until the shoulder feels looser.
  • be sure to cool down with stretches after playing to prevent stiff and sore muscles and joints.

Technique:

  • take lessons from a qualified coach to develop skills and technique.
  • when serving/hitting overhead, avoid over-arching the lower back; bend your knees and raise your heels instead, so the upper body weight is evenly balanced.
  • avoid landing on the ball of the foot as this can lead to an Achilles’ tendon injury.
  • hitting the ball in front of the body makes it easier to fully use the shoulder and trunk.
  • forearm muscles are better able to handle the shock if the wrist is held straight when the ball impacts the racquet.
  • use the forearm for control, and the shoulder/trunk for strength.
  • use the other arm for balance with one-handed backhand.
  • in the event of a previous injury or weakness to the elbow, try a two-handed backhand. If you sustain an injury on the tennis court, the best plan of action is to stop playing and seek the appropriate advice and treatment.
  • Chiropractors, whilst best known for treating spinal injuries, are also trained in treating all of the other joints of the body, including the shoulder, elbow and wrist. If you get gripped with tennis fever, and even with following these hints and tips, you still sustain an injury of your muscles, bones or joints, chiropractic may have the answer.

Our New Activator 5!

Hi! Dr Sandhu here, hope you have all recovered from the excitement from last night, what an incredible display of the power of our weather. I must say I’m really excited as I have just received my brand new Activator 5! Another example of our continual drive to give the best chiropractic adjust possible to our patients!

The Activator Method is one of the most widely-researched chiropractic techniques and the only instrument adjusting technique with clinical trials to support its efficacy. Activator Methods has published hundreds of clinical and scientific peer-reviewed papers, worked with major academic research institutions, and received grants from recognized entities like the National Institutes of Health.

Activator 5

  • Utilizes a force wave that allows deeper penetration of the force without discomfort to the patient.
  • Recognized for superior control of speed, force, and direction of thrust.
  • Perfect for use on the more tender areas of the body, due to the light, pre-load spring.
  • Ideal for treating Cervicals, TMJ, Children, Geriatrics, and small body frames utilizing the #1 setting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out our website http://www.thebedfordchiropractor.co.uk

 

Essential super foods for every mans diet

Lean Steak With VegetablesLean Red Meat

If you’re a steak-and-potatoes guy, you’re in luck. Red meat can be good for you, says Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, a dietitian for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Lean cuts of beef and pork are packed with protein and have only a little more fat than chicken breast. Red meat is also a good source of leucine, an amino acid that helps build muscle.

 

Bowl Of Cherries

Tart Cherries

How do the Pittsburgh Steelers soothe sore muscles? Cherry juice. Bonci says she keeps some in their training room at all times. “The pigment in cherries and cherry juice mimics the effects of some anti-inflammatory medicines,” says Bonci. “And there are no side effects.”

Couple Eating ChocolateChocolate

Chocolate may improve blood flow if you eat the right kind.The flavanols in dark chocolate may curb levels of bad cholesterol, improve circulation, and keep blood pressure in check. Men with poor blood flow are more likely to have erection problems, so heart-wise foods may protect your sex life, too. But too much chocolate can lead to weight gain. Enjoy 1 ounce a day instead of other sweets.

 

Assortment Of Fresh SeafoodShellfish

Shellfish and other types of seafood are rich in zinc, which is critically important for the heart, muscles, and reproductive system. Zinc levels below normal are linked to poor sperm quality and male infertility. Not fond of seafood? Beef, turkey, chicken, nuts, and seeds offer a healthy dose of zinc, too.

 

Sliced AvacadoAvocado

Sure, this creamy fruit is high in fat, but it’s the good kind. The monounsaturated fat in avocados packs a one-two punch against cholesterol. It can knock down total cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol (LDL), too. The trick is to use a “mono” fat instead of saturated or trans fats. And eat no more than 25%-35% of all your calories from fat. Olive oil and nuts also contain good fats.

Salmon SteaksFatty Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, herring, sardines, and halibut are another excellent source of healthy fat. They have a special type known as omega-3 fatty acids. These protect against heart disease, the top killer of men in the U. S. Two servings of fatty fish a week can lower your chances of dying from heart disease.

ginger

Ginger

Slices of this spicy root are often served with sushi or grated into an Asian stir-fry. Health-wise, ginger may help calm inflammation in the body — which can come in handy when you push yourself too hard. Eating ginger regularly may help reduce the pain of exercise-related muscle injuries

 

dairy products

Milk and Yogurt

The whey in milk and yogurt is another source of leucine, a muscle-building amino acid. Bonci recommends Greek yogurt, with a thick, creamy taste that men may like better. It’s also packed with protein, potassium, and friendly bacteria that keep the gut healthy. “Plus, it requires no preparation whatsoever.”

 

bananas

Bananas

The banana is celebrated for its bounty of potassium — and with good reason. Potassium is critical for muscle contractions and bone health. It also helps blood pressure. Getting enough potassium may be as important as eating less sodium when it comes to lowering blood pressure.

 

pistachios

Pistachios

Nuts provide protein, fiber, and zinc while satisfying the urge for a crunchy, salty snack. Pistachios are a stand out — higher in plant sterols that can improve cholesterol levels. Eat them from the shell, so you work harder for each one. It’s a fun way to snack and keeps you from gobbling up too many calories too quickly.

brazil nuts

Brazil Nuts

A single ounce of Brazil nuts has seven times the daily value of selenium. This mineral boosts the immune system and helps the thyroid gland.

 

 

 

tomato sauce

Tomato Sauce

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a substance that may protect against some cancers. Some research suggests that men who eat tomato sauce regularly are less likely to get prostate cancer, but not all studies support this. Tomatoes have many other plant nutrients, too, that support good health. Adding salsa to a burrito or tomato sauce to pasta is an easy way to make a meal more nutritious.

Man Cooking VegetablesMixed Vegetables

Vegetables are packed with phytochemicals, nutrients that boost cell health and protect against cancer. There are many different phytochemicals, and the best way to get a variety of them is to eat different colored veggies. “There should be color on your plate at every meal,” Bonci says.

red peppers

Orange Vegetables

Orange vegetables are an excellent source of beta-carotene, lutein, and vitamin C. These nutrients may lower your odds of developing an enlarged prostate, according to a large study. Good choices include red bell peppers, carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes.

 

Bunch Of Spinach

Leafy Green Vegetables

Spinach, collard greens, and kale can help the eyes as well as the prostate. These leafy green vegetables have plenty of lutein and zeaxanthin. Both nutrients protect against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, an eye disease that impairs vision.

 

Sunny Side Up Eggs

Eggs

Eggs provide lutein, protein, and iron, but you have to eat the whole egg. One yolk, with 185 mg of cholesterol, fits into the 300 mg daily limit for healthy people. You might also cut back on high-cholesterol sweets to make room for whole eggs in your diet. If you have high cholesterol, ask your doctor if you should limit how many eggs you eat per week.

Bowl Of High Fiber Cereal

High-Fiber Cereal

Fiber may not sound manly, but it can be a performance enhancer. Executive or athlete, you can’t focus on your goals if your gut is acting up. Fiber keeps you full longer and helps your digestive system run smoothly. This doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite cereal — just try mixing in some shredded wheat. “Don’t deprive yourself,” Bonci advises, “but add something good.”

Brown Rice And Fish

Brown Rice

Brown rice is another great source of fiber, and it’s easy to dress up with tasty, colorful food. Try adding lean meat, baby spinach, and pineapple. If you don’t like the texture, mix some white rice with the brown. Brown rice and other whole grains can help you stay at a healthy weight and lower your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Mixed Berries

Berries

“Berries can help you be on top of your game mentally as well as physically,” Bonci says. They’re loaded with antioxidants that may help lower the risk of cancer. Animal studies suggest blueberries can also enhance memory and thinking. Similar research in people is in its infancy, but looks promising. When fresh berries are expensive or tough to find, try buying them frozen and making a shake.

 

Check out our website! www.thebedfordchiropractor.co.uk

 

Stress Awareness Day

The modern world is becoming increasingly complex, and the demands on our time and attention are many. Our jobs are also more complex, and the business world has become more competitive. With the industrial age came helpful machines and increased productivity, but it also brought us the jackhammer, the loudspeaker, the motorcycle and car, and innumerable noisy machines. Physical stresses such as sound, air and water pollution have worsened over the last century, especially in the United States. We are also, because of electronic media and the Internet, aware of troubles and tragedies around the world that previous generations would never have known about, creating anxiety. Taken together, these assaults on our senses create a physical and emotional reaction.

The word for this overwhelming feeling is stress. It’s a term borrowed from the field of engineering, in reference to physical forces upon mechanical structures. The term was first used in its modern medical sense around the turn of the 20th century by Walter Cannon, a Harvard physiologist. Cannon also first described the “fight or flight” syndrome, and noted the damaging physical effects of a continuous stress response. Modern healthcare is increasingly recognizing that many illnesses are caused by stress, or worsened by stress. In fact, in every chiropractic office, many patients will show the ravages of chronic stress. While chiropractic can treat the effects of stress on the body, such as headaches, it can also help the body manage and process stress in a healthy way.

The different factors that create stress:

Physical Stress

A whiplash injury from a c
ar accident is an obvious source of physical stress. As is repetitive motions, a slip and fall, lack of sleep or overdoing it in the garden. Early on, learning to walk, ride a bike and the birth process itself are sources of physical stress.

It’s not the stressphysical stress—it’s your reaction to it that matters!

Accumulated stress exhausts our reserves. Then, something as simple as mowing the lawn can put us over the edge. Chiropractic care helps restore your adaptive capacity.

 

Emotional Stress

Fear, grief, anger and other emotions affect our entire body. Notice the posture of someone who isemotional stress sad or depressed. Frustration, or a sense of powerlessness at work, is a common form of emotional stress.

Clearly, it’s not the stress, but our response to it that is critical. Chiropractic care, because its focus is to reduce tension to your nervous system, can help you respond more resourcefully.

 

Chemical Stress

Common sources of chemical stress include poor nutrition, sugar, refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. Drugs, preservatives, tobacco, alcohol, vaccinations, pollen and a host of other substances also affect our nervous systems, muscle tone and our spine.

The problem isn’t the pollen or chemical stresschemical. Because not everyone reacts. Symptoms can appear when you lose your ability to adapt. Chiropractic care has helped millions reduce or eliminate reactions to many types of chemical stress

If you lack the reserves to adapt to stress in a healthy way, it takes a toll. If your body reacts by “tripping a circuit breaker,” causing vertebral subluxation, chiropractic care is likely to help.

Martini caption: Clearly, chemical stress can affect our muscle tone, coordination and the way our nervous system works.

 

How can stress affect my spine?

Think of your spinal cord as a guitar string. The greater the tension, the higher the note. Your nervous system has “tone” as well. With each stressor, your body tightens up, like bracing yourself for a tight curve on a roller coaster. The weakest joints of your spine are forced out of their normal position. Like the shrill notes from an over-tightened string, your body loses its capacity to respond to the full range of human experience. And ill health can result.

Effects of Stress on Health

Stress, whether physical or perceived, triggers a fight or flight response. This is a systemic physical reaction, affecting almost every part of the body. The hypothalamus, a part of the brain, stimulates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). The heart rate increases, blood volume and blood pressure increase, blood is directed away from digestion and the extremities. Vision becomes more focused, hearing more acute. In response to the messages from the SNS, the adrenal glands secrete corticoids, including adrenaline, epinephrine and norepinephrine. All of this is very useful if we’re running from a prehistoric raptor, or confronting a more modern threat to physical safety. When prolonged, however, the long-term effects of this state can be disastrous to good health.

Many studies of people who have been subjected to chronic stress have found evidence of the negative health effects of stress. These effects include high blood pressure, damage to muscle tissue, diabetes, infertility, damage to the immune response, and slowed healing from disease and injury. Stress reactions are also at the root of disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, and stress has been linked in human and animal research with cardiovascular disease.

Chiropractic Treatment and Stress

Chiropractors work primarily with the spine, the root of the nervous system through which nerve impulses travel from the brain to the rest of the body. One effect of chronic stress is prolonged muscle tension and contraction. This muscle tension creates uneven pressures on the bony structures of the body, often leading the misalignment of the spinal column, known as subluxations in the Palmer tradition of chiropractic.

Chronic stress also leads to nerve irritation. The adjustments of a chiropractor release muscle tension, and that helps the body return to a more balanced, relaxed state. Adjustments also reduce spinal nerve irritation, and improve blood circulation. These changes may be enough, in many cases, to convince the brain to turn off the fight or flight response, beginning the process of healing. A healthy and balanced spine is one key to effectively managing stress.

Dr Sandhu has been studying nutrition and other therapies for stress. Several nutritional supplements, including B vitamins, help the body cope with stress. As can relaxation techniques, coupled with posture and environmental changes to help recovery from chronic stress.

Unfortunately we cannot make a job less stressful, or create a quieter, calmer world. What chiropractic treatment can do is help you develop healthy responses to stress, reducing potential physical damage.

Chiropractic is based on the concept that given the opportunity, the mind and body can heal itself. In relieving some of the effects of chronic stress, chiropractic care provides just such an opportunity. So why not get yourself booked in for an initial consultation for only 10 and let’s see what we can do.

Do you suffer from ‘Big Boob’ Problems?

Here at the Bedford Chiropractic Clinic I see a lot of women with neck, shoulder problems, back pain and headaches who’s poor posture and in many circumstances breast size is a significant contributing factor to these symptoms. Research by the British Chiropractic Association in 2008 actually showed that 25% of UK women would like their breasts to be smaller with the main reason being back pain. 70% of the women in the survey reported to having suffered from back pain at some point in their lives and 47% believed their breast size affected their posture.

The most common postural change large breasts can cause are an increased kyphosis (curve in the upper back) and rounded shoulders. This is due to the weight of the breast but also to tight pectoral muscles and women trying to hide themselves. The resulting posture is known to predispose people to suffer from neck and back pain, and can even lead to shoulder problems such as impingement syndromes.

 Your body is designed in a particular way to carry itself. You have a spinal curve that acts like a shock absorber, and the curves are set at an angle to create maximal effect. If these curves change stress is placed on your spine and back pain can develop.

In fact back, neck and shoulder pain is created by three main issues:

 Muscle Imbalance – this is where certain muscles tighten and others lose strength. The loss of strength may not just be physical strength but a loss in blood or nerve supply.

 Joint Imbalance – this is mainly centred around the pelvis which is like a foundation to a house. If the pelvis is out of balance then the entire spine will distort and lead to back pain and muscle imbalance. You can also have individual joint imbalances which relate to the small intrinsic muscles around the joint and the joint itself.

 Trigger Points – these are small nodules of muscle spasm which can develop after trauma to a muscle, whether this is chronic strain or an acute trauma situation. Trigger points can commonly refer pain remotely to their location.

The point is: when your cup size is too large for your actual frame, you place stress on the muscles and joints in your spine. The curvature of your spine fails to be balanced and back, neck and shoulder pain is likely.

Often these problems are not felt when younger, but can gradually develop over the years. Over time these postural changes set in but it doesn’t mean that something can’t be done to help reduce the pain and to improve posture. Chiropractic treatment focuses on correcting joint restriction and muscle tension and involves home exercises too which can all help to reduce pain and improve function. Along with treatment it is often worth looking at how well your bra fits, especially if you have larger breasts. It is important to get the right size and style of bra to suit you.

According to a recent study done by Swiss lingerie company Triumph, a startling number of women are choosing their bras incorrectly. The international survey of 10,000 women found that 64 percent are wearing the wrong size bra, reports Women’s wear daily Out of that 64 percent, “29 percent know they are wearing the wrong size.”

What’s worse is that those women are admittedly unhappy about it. 73 percent of women agreed that badly-fitting undergarments can make or break their day, writes WWD.

Despite it being the 100th anniversary of the brassiere this year, eighty per cent of women in the UK are still wearing an ill-fitting bra, usually as a result of never having been measured properly.

Even if you are not in pain getting the right sized bra when young can help prevent problems in the future.

When checking your bras at home the British Chiropractic Association recommends that you check the following key areas;

  1. The under band/wire,
  2. The shoulder straps,
  3. The back strap and the centre fold.

When you raise your arms up in the air your underwire should stay next to your body and not come away.

It may be surprising to hear but the underwire should take 80% of the support whereas the shoulder straps should only take 20%. If the shoulder straps dig in, the under strap may be too loose.

The most common thing I see with patients is the bra strap at the back if not fitted properly will creep up the back and can even rise as high as the top of the shoulder blades. This will certainly increase the stress on the upper back and allow the shoulders to roll forwards. Again this can occur if the shoulder straps are too tight or if the under band is too loose.

The final most important thing to check is the centre fold; if this is lifting away from the body the cup size may be too small. Following these simple steps will allow you to see if you could do with a fitting and many shops now provide this as a free service.

The important thing to know is that if you are suffering with neck, shoulder or upper back pain then a chiropractic consultation will help you find the cause of the problem. If this is something you or someone you know could benefit from then just give the clinic a call on 01234 353 937 to book your consultation today.

Check out our Website: http://bedford-chiropractor.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bedfordchiropractic.uk

Blog: https://bedfordchir0.wordpress.com/

Exercise for Your Bone Health

Why Exercise?

Like muscle, bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger. Young women and men who exercise regularly generally achieve greater peak bone mas20100528-swimsuit-workout-push-press-600x411s (maximum bone density and strength) than those who do not. For most people, bone mass peaks during the third decade of life. After that time, we can begin to lose bone. Women and men older than age 20 can help prevent bone loss with regular exercise. Exercising allows us to maintain muscle strength, coordination, and balance, which in turn helps to prevent falls and related fractures. This is especially important for older adults and people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.

  The Best Bone Building Exercise

The best exercise for your bones is the weight-bearing kind, which forces you to work against gravity. Some examples of weight-bearing exercises include weight training, walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, tennis, and dancing. Examples of exercises that are not weight-bdownload (7)earing include swimming and bicycling. Although these activities help build and maintain strong muscles and have excellent cardiovascular benefits, they are not the best way to exercise your bones.

Exercise Tips

If you have health problems—such as heart trouble, high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity—or if you are age 40 or older, check with your doctor before you begin a regular exercise program.

According to the Surgeon General, the optimal goal is at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days, preferably daily.

Listen to your boimages (3)dy. When starting an exercise routine, you may have some muscle soreness and discomfort at the beginning, but this should not be painful or last more than 48 hours. If it does, you may be working too hard and need to ease up. Stop exercising if you have any chest pain or discomfort, and see your doctor before your next exercise session.

If you have osteoporosis, ask your doctor which activities are safe for you. If you have low bone mass, experts recommend that you protect your spine by avoiding exercises or activities that flex, bend, or twist it. Furthermore, you should avoid high-impact exercise to lower the risk of breaking a bone. You also might want to consult with an exercise specialist to learn the proper progression of activity, how to stretch and strengthen muscles safely, and how to correct poor posture habits. An exercise specialist should have a degree in exercise physiology, physical education, physical therapy, or a similar specialty. Be sure to ask if he or she is familiar with the special needs of people with osteoporosis.

A Complete Osteoporosis Program

Remember, exercise is only one part of an osteoporosis prevention or treatment program. Like a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, exercise helps strengthen bones at any age. But proper exercise and diet may not be enough to stop bone loss caused by medical conditions, menopause, or lifestyle choices such as tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption. It is important to speak with your doctor about your bone health. Discuss whether you might be a candidate for a bone mineral density test. If you are diagnosed with low bone mass, ask what medications might help keep your bones strong.

This Halloween Take Care of Your Skeleton!

halloweenHappy Halloween!  This year, while ghosts and goblins lurk outside, look within – to your own skeleton.  Bone health is an essential, yet often ignored, component of a winning wellness plan.  Taking care of your bones can scare off a host of frightening conditions such as osteoporosis, back pain, fractures and arthritis.

This Halloween, join Dr. Surinder Sandhu here at our Bedford chiropractic clinic in focusing on bone health.  Read on to learn about the revolutionary chiropractic formula for making your skeleton smile.

Spooky Subluxations

The foundation of the chiropractic approach to bone health is the correction of dysfunctional areas in the spine.  These areas, called vertebral subluxations, arise when movement is restricted or bones (vertebrae) are misaligned.

Vertebral subluxations are linked with a myriad of conditions including back pain, neck pain, headache and carpal tunnel syndrome.  One study found that 84% of patients with migraine or tension headache had at least 2 major vertebral subluxations in their upper neck (Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics 1992;15;418-29).  Another investigation tracked 59 people with sciatic pain.  When doctors of chiropractic just like Dr. Surinder Sandhu here at our Bedford chiropractic clinic evaluated these patients, they showed signs of vertebral subluxation in their low-backs.

Additional reports suggest a possible link between vertebral subluxations and premenstrual syndrome, asthma, ear infection, bedwetting, high blood pressure and sinusitis.

Chiropractors like Dr. Surinder Sandhu aour Bedford chiropractor, correct vertebral subluxations with gentle manoeuvres called chiropractic adjustments.  A wealth of scientific studies show that chiropractic adjustments safely and effectively correct spinal dysfunction – and the disorders associated with it.

How Scary Is Your Posture?

Posture is the key to a sound skeleton. Poor posture spurs structural imbalances, inciting bone disease.  When the spine is out of alignment, a straightening or reversal of the back’s natural curves occurs.  This leads to conditions such as “military neck” “hunch back” and “sway back.”

Structural imbalances like these alter the natural motion of the spine, leading to degeneration and osteoarthritis.  Imbalance spines are also predisposed to injury from repetitive work or sports activities.  In fact, many “injury-prone” individuals aren’t mepoor-posture-exercises-to-improverely unlucky – they have postural discrepancies.

Poor posture doesn’t just affect the spine, it influences the entire skeleton.  For instance, imbalances in the spine often cause one hip to rise slightly, raising up the adjoining leg.  During walking or running, the legs receive a disproportionate amount of force – triggering injury.

Dr. Sandhu our Bedford chiropractor teaches patients simple “posture checks” to monitor their spinal alignment.  When posture is askew, patients learn to regain alignment – and prevent future posture problems – through chiropractic adjustments, ergonomic modifications and exercise.  Patients enjoy more attractive stances, warding off bone disorders while enhancing self-confidence.

Things That Go Creak in the Night

Are your joints haunted by lack of motion?  Restricted joints are starved of the fluids and nutrients that keep joints healthy – putting them on a collision course with a number of agonizing conditions, such as chronic back or neck pain.  What’s worse, long-term restricted range of motion, due to injury or a sedentary lifestyle, magnifies the risk of osteoarthritis

Chiropractic cdownload (5)are can help you steer clear of this collision course.  Range of motion (ROM) problems are associated with vertebral subluxations.  Chiropractic adjustments effectively correct vertebral subluxations, promoting optimal ROM.  In one study, investigators measured neck ROM prior to chiropractic adjustment, and then again 30 to 45 minutes following the procedure.  Chiropractic adjustments to the side of the neck, where motion was restricted, produced a “dramatic reduction” in ROM restriction (Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics;1989;126:419-27).  Over time, chiropractic adjustments stimulate long-term ROM corrections.

In addition to chiropractic adjustments, chiropractors recommend custom-tailored exercises;  designed to encourage optimal ROM.  Regular workouts are an integral part of the chiropractic approach to bone health.  Exercise has been shown to boost skeletal integrity by increasing bone density.  Especially helpful are “impact” or “weight-bearing” sports such as power-walking, running, volleyball, soccer, kickboxing and weightlifting.  These activities subject the skeleton to mild trauma.  Bones respond to this trauma by becoming stronger.

People who suffer from joint pain and other skeletal problems often turn to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as asprin, ketoprofen (Orudis) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin and Nuprin).  However, research indicates that these medications can actually aggravate joint de-generation and cause other health problems.  According to one study, “Given the detrimental effects of NSAIDs on joints and other organs, their use should be discouraged and their classification as a first-choice conservative treatment should be abolished.”  (Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics 1997;20:400-14.)

 Frighten Away 

Scientific studies show that certain foods, including sugar, hasten bone degeneration – while other foods boost bone health.  Bone-eroding foods include refined sugar, grains and flour, processed foodimages (2)s, foods containing additives like EDTA, caffeine, soda, sodium-rich foods and meat.

On the other hand, bone-building foods include fruits and vegetables; whole grains and high-fiber foods; fish with edible bones, soy products, low-fat dairy products, raw nuts and seeds.  When it comes to dietary supplements, calcium is the most well known bone-boosting supplement.  However, simply choosing a calcium supplement off the drugstore shelf – without doing your homework – may give you nothing but a false sense of security.

First, look for a calcium citrate formulation.  According to scientific research, calcium citrate is more potent than other forms of the mineral.  For example, one study compared subjects who took calcium carbonate.  Findings revealed that the blood calcium levels of participants taking calcium citrate were 2.5 times higher than those taking calcium carbonate.  These findings indicate that the body is better able to use calcium citrate than calcium carbonate.  Many experts also caution that calcium be taken in conjunction with magnesium for optimal effectiveness.  In addition to calcium, other bone boosting supplements include vitamin D, potassium, vitamin K, manganese, zinc and antioxidant vitamins.

While calcium is the most popular supplement used to prevent osteoporosis, glucosamine and chondroitin sulphates are the most celebrated anti-osteoarthritis remedies.  These supplements prompt the growth and repair of damaged joint cartilage by stimulating the production of two connective tissue building blocks – glycosaminoglycans and hyaluronic acid (Alternative Medicine Review 1998;3:27-39).  By keeping joints healthy, glucosamine and chondroitin protect surrounding bones from degeneration.  Other potent all-natural, anti-inflammatory, agents include the pineapple enzyme bromelain, flavonoids, curcumin (the active ingredient in the spice turmeric), and thyme and fish oil.

Skip the Tricks and Treat Yourself to A Chiropractic Check-up

This Halloween, don’t get spooked by thoughts of future bone disease.  Turn to your doctor of chiropractic for sound advice on how to prevent skeletal disorders.  Don’t delay – schedule an appointment with Dr. Surinder Sandhu here at our Bedford Chiropractic clinic for a Consultation today.  It’s just the treat that will keep the trick knees, trick backs and other trick skeletal flaws away. Halloween!

Have a look at our WEBSITE and FACEBOOK!

A great way to start your day with YOGA!

A great way to start your day with YOGA!

8 reasons why yoga is so good for you:

1. Lowers stress and improves your mood
Some yoga methods use specific meditation techniques to focus the mind on your breathing that quietens the constant ‘mind chatter’, relieves stress and allows you to feel relaxed. Practising yoga can also boost oxygen levels to the brain, leaving you feeling happier and more content with everyday life.
2. Boosts confidence
Aside from the uplifting spiritual values, the act of meditation can actually boost your confidence. The process works by releasing tension from your mind so you can feel confident about your physical body. Without any forms of anxiety, you are able to establish an internal connection with yourself. This is consequently reflected in your perception of others and will help to better your relationships by improving compassion and awareness.
3. Lowers the risk of injury
Exercise, such as running, is usually a series of rapid, forceful movements, which means that effort is at a maximum and there is a higher risk of injury and increased muscle tension. Often, strenuous exercise also engages an imbalance of opposing muscle groups whereas yoga concentrates on balancing this activity. Yoga unites your body and mind and therefore allows you to move in a way that results in an injury free, healthier you.
 yoggggga
4. Helps you lose weight
Being overweight is a sign that there are imbalances in your everyday life and one major contributor to weight gain is excess stress. Practising yoga enables you to bring a deep sense of relaxation to your body and your mind, helping you to de-stress and allowing you to lose weight naturally.
5. Increases flexibility
People often say that they are not flexible enough to do yoga. The truth is it doesn’t matter how tight your muscles are as yoga asana works by safely stretching your muscles and help you to practise it further. Moreover yoga also stretches other soft tissue in the body such as ligaments and tendons, increasing the range of motion in the joints and allowing you to move around more freely.
6. Improves muscle tone and strength
Many yoga asana have a profound effect on your upper body strength, such as the downward and upward dog and the plank focuses on your core. Likewise standing poses strengthen your upper leg muscles and lower back. Essentially any pose will strengthen an area of the body if it is practised in the right way, without putting too much stress on specific muscle groups.
 yoga
7. Benefits breathing and lowers blood pressure
If you are to practise yoga consistently, your lung capacity will increase as a result of the deep breathing process. This will then have a positive effect on more intense sports that you might be a part of, increasing your stamina and endurance. Furthermore, meditation and calming yoga asana slow down your heart rate which in turn lowers blood pressure and have also been linked with improving the immune system and lowering cholesterol.
8. Improves your posture
By practising yoga you maintain a healthier weight, become more flexible and improve your muscle tone and strength. You will find that your posture will greatly improve because of this. Your abdominals and back muscles can now fully support your weight and you will be able to sit and stand tall, preventing niggling injuries, aches and pains

Chiropractic care and Yoga can complement each other and help to build a strong, stable spine.  Chiropractic works by addressing underlying spinal conditions, and Yoga can be a wonderful and gentle way to build core strength, stabilising the muscles around the lower back.

Combining Chiropractic care with Yoga can increase stability, flexibility and lead to greater body function.

For more info Take a look at our Website!

What Are The Basic Causes Of Breast Cancer?

According to Ayurveda philosophy, breast cancer is a tridoshic (involving all three body humors) disorder of breast tissue. Basic causes for breast cancer could be both hereditary and acquired. Researchers have identified hormonal, lifestyle and environmental factors that may increase your risk of breast cancer.

   Basic Causes of Breast Cancer:

age-Age

The risk of breast cancer goes up with age.

-Family Historyfamily tree

The risk is higher among women whose close blood relatives have this disease.

-Genetic Rgeneticisk factors

Inherited changes (mutations) in certain genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2 can increase the risk.

breast_cancer   -Personal History Of Breast Cancer

A woman with cancer in one breast has a greater chance of getting another breast cancer (this is different from a return of the first cancer).

races_grande   -Race

Overall, white women are slightly more likely to get breast cancer than African-American women.

28 day menstrual cycle diagram smallMenstrual Periods

Women who began having periods early (before age 12) or who went through menopause (stopped having periods) after the age of 55 have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer.

1012DIEuCoverFig2Dense Breast Tissue

Dense breast tissue means there is more gland tissue and less fatty tissue. Women with denser breast tissue have a higher risk of breast cancer.


Breast radiation early in life

Women who have had radiation treatment to the chest area (as treatment for another cancer) as a child or young adult have a greatly increased risk.

no_smoking_alcohol_thai_sign_poster-r732aceb2f86b4b92b6537d01ec773a71_i3cxj_8byvr_1024-Alcohol And Smoking

The use of alcohol and tobacco smoke is clearly linked to an increased risk of getting breast cancer. Even as little as one drink a day can increase risk.

reason-being-overweightBeing Overweight Or Obese

Being overweight or obese after menopause (or because of weight gain that took place as an adult) is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer.