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.
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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.

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.

Popular Exercise Found To Accelerate Aging And Cause Middle-Age Weight Gain

Surprisingly, not all exercises are good for you. In fact, recent studies have discovered that exercises once considered to be an effective way to trim belly fat, get lean & fit and look younger… have now been shown to cause middle-age belly fat, loss of lean toned muscle and inflammation that causes you to age faster.

Chronic Cardio Ages Your FasterDid you know that after the age of 35 your body hormonal changes and you start to gain weight easier… especially around your stomach area? Not only that, you also begin to lose lean muscle tone, making you weaker and flabbier?

And did you know that doing MORE only makes things worse?  By that I mean exercising more than you are now and being even more strict with your diet… only adds to your frustrations!

The reason for all this can be blamed on your diminishing levels of youth-enhancing hormones… particularly growth hormones.  And unfortunately it’s largely a natural process that occurs as you age.

A gradual and progressive hormonal decline that usually begins around middle age and continues insidiously for the rest of your life, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as the “middle-age spread”.

And some of the most annoying symptoms of the middle-age spread is an increase in belly fat and the loss of lean muscle tone that results in a dumpy, shapeless middle-age body.  It’s no coincidence that most people over 40 stop wearing form fitting clothes.

And to top it off, it doesn’t help that life gets busier as you get older as well.  Between family and work, most people don’t have time to do anything else, let alone take care of themselves.  An over worked and over stressed life is another big culprit that adds even more pounds to your already compromised aging body.

Now you may not be able to stop aging …yet, but you CAN slow the aging process and actually REVERSE the effects of the middle-age spread.  And I’m not talking about having to take anti-aging pills or hormone supplements.  Nope.  It’s much safer and more effective.

Research has discovered that your body has the ability to re-stimulate lagging youth-enhancing hormones naturally.

And it all begins with these 3 key principles you must apply in order to regain control of your body’s accelerated aging process and stop the middle-age spread dead in it’s tracks.

Now I need to warn you… what you’re about to read is probably going to go against all of the exercise and diet advice you’ve been told, but that’s because very few people actually know how to effectively re-activate hormones responsible for stopping and reversing the effects of the middle-age spread.

These next steps will reveal the 3 things you MUST AVOID if you want to burn off unwanted age-related stomach fat, regain lost muscle tone and get your lean and fit.

1. Cardio

Chronic cardio ages you faster

Chronic cardio increases belly fat and speeds aging.

Too many people think that cardio is the answer to everything related to weight-loss and fat-loss.  But current studies prove otherwise… doing conventional long cardio overtaxes your body and increases the production of stress hormone “cortisol”, which causes you to gain belly fat.

Studies have also found that doing long frequent cardio sessions break down your lean muscles and increase the production of free radicals.  Free radicals are nasty little molecules that damage cells in your body and cause chronic inflammation that accelerates aging and lead to serious diseases.

So if you’ve been pounding away on a treadmill, cranking away on a stationary bike or slaving away on some other cardio machine… you need to STOP.  There’s a much better way….

In a minute, I’ll show you the most effective way to burn off stubborn stomach fat, without experiencing any of the negative side effects of conventional cardio.

2. Sleep

Lack of sleep causes stubborn middle-age belly fat

As you get older and busier, getting enough sleep becomes a BIG issue.  Although your body is resilient and can handle a lot of stress, there’s one thing it can NOT cope well without… and that’s sleep.

In fact, when you’re sleep deprived your body becomes overwhelmed with stress hormone “cortisol”, which loves to deposit fat in and around your belly.

And unfortunately, you can’t exercise or diet your way to a flat stomach, if cortisol is the cause of your problem.  You need to get quality sleep… period.

Here are 2 simple steps you can take to get better sleep starting tonight…

  1. Get some room-darkening shades or put a dark blanket up over your windows—especially if you live in the city!  This will ensure that you maximize melatonin (sleep hormone) production to improve the quality of sleep.
  2. Try to fall asleep between 10:30 and 11:00 pm.  Your melatonin (sleep hormone) levels peak during that small window of time, which means it’s you best chance of falling asleep faster.  It’s also the most effective way to get into deep REM sleep, giving you a much better quality of sleep.

Try these simple effective tips to help you get better sleep tonight, so you can restore normal cortisol levels in your body and start burning of your stubborn belly fat once in for all.

3. Ab Exercises

Sit ups DO NOT get rid of stomach fat

Sit-ups and crunches DO NOT effectively reduce your belly fat.

If you want to get rid of those pesky age-related stomach weight, you have to get to the source of the problem.

Unfortunately, doing ab-targeted exercises like sit ups, crunches and side bends will do absolutely nothing to help you get rid of your ab flab, because it’s not getting at the heart of the problem.

In fact, doing excessive ab-targeted moves can injure to your low back by causing unnecessary stress on your spine.  This may come as a surprise but the purpose of your ab muscles is to PREVENT excessive bending and twisting.

Bottom line… don’t waste your time doing typical ab exercises

The cause of fat accumulation in your stomach area is due to hormonal changes in your body that occur as you get older.  That means you have to stimulate the right biochemical processes in your body to trigger the youth-enhancing hormones that enable you to burn off your stubborn belly fat.  And that’s exactly what I’ll reveal next…

You’ll discover a scientifically proven way that re-activates your lagging hormones to effectively slow the aging process and burn off stubborn middle-age stomach fat.

But I need to warn you this method I’m about to show you is NOT for everyone!

For example:

  • If you enjoy spending hours working out, socializing with other gym rats… this is NOT for you.
  • If you THINK you can run, cycle or do other forms of cardio for hours to burn off belly fat… this is NOT for you.
  • If you’re not willing to workout hard for a VERY short period of time to get the best result possible… this is NOT for you.

Here’s the truth… the KEY to this scientifically-proven method is based on doing specific exercises performed at HIGH INTENSITY for a very short duration.

These essential factors combined together elicit a powerful physiological response that floods your body with anti-aging and fat-burning hormones – so you can burn off ALL of your middle-age stubborn belly fat and get a lean toned body…. in the quickest way possible.

Your results are intensity dependent… not time dependent.  So you’ve got to be willing to give it your best effort .  But if you are, you will reap the rewards of a leaner, fitter and more youthful body.

Most people are simply unaware that your body has the amazing potential to slow down aging and stop the middle-age spread on it’s own.  Your body is already equipped with the essential hormones, enzymes, and neurons to make this work.

I find this website a brilliant and effective way of loosing weight! have a look at their website! http://www.maxworkouts.com/  

why not have a look at our website! http://bedford-chiropractor.co.uk/

essential hormones, enzymes, and neurons to make this work.

Chiropractic care on holiday!

So, it’s holiday time again and you’re off for a well-deserved break! Make sure that, regardless of how long or how little you’re away for, your precious time off doesn’t affect you and your family by becoming a pain!

Before the holiday

This is my favorite time – the suspense of waiting and the build-up of excitement. But for many, the activities associated with holiday preparation can be a direct journey to the Chiropractor.

As you prepare for your summer holiday, it is easy to become stressed as you make lists, shop, pack and plan. This stress can lead to tension in the spine and shoulders, causing back pain and headaches.

Plan as early on as you can and keep any prior lists you have made. When planning, sit comfortably with your back supported and give yourself plenty of time. You could also use this time to enjoy a cuppa with a friend to relax, and they may think of some of the things you have forgotten.

Shopping

Walking from one shop to another can place strain on your feet. Despite the fact that our feet are strong enough to ‘carry’ our bodies, an excess of activity can cause them to become sore and tired, especially with inappropriate footwear. This in turn places strain on the legs, back and shoulders.
I’m a fan of ‘everything in moderation’, so distribute your shopping trips over time.

Here are a few tips for your shopping trips:

  • Eat a hearty breakfast beforehand (porridge is a slow release food, so will keep you fuller for longer improve it by adding, ground nuts and seeds, full fat yogurt and manuka honey) and stop when you feel hungry to top up on your energy levels.
  • Wear your comfortable shoes with the Superfeet orthotics or Fitflops because no shoe has the right arch supports.
  • Wear loose clothing for all weather conditions. Something you can put on and forget for the day.
  • If you have a backpack, then bring it with you. This will distribute the weight of your purchases.
  • When carrying bags, don’t over-fill them. Separate into smaller bags and carry an even weight in each hand. If you have purchased something quite heavy, then ask about delivery or organise a way of using transportation that allows you to walk as short a distance as possible to it.
  • Stop often to rest and exercise the shoulders by rolling them backwards and forwards.
  • Bring a of bottle of water with you and sip each time you stop.
  • Don’t over-shop.

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 for packing

  • Choose luggage that fere are a few tips on packing:its the purpose of your trip and the transport you will be using. You will ideally be selecting something that is not too heavy, as you will need to be able to lift it from the airport carousel, boot or coach/bus compartment comfortably.
  • 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 won’t use half 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 that all the stresses and strains are put on hold while you travel, but that isn’t the case (excuse the pun). Sitting in one position for hours on end 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 deep vein thrombosis, tiredness, swollen legs and sore joints.
  • I’ve included a few exercises for when you are travelling on a plane below.
  • You can become dehydrated in compact environments, so keep drinking those fluids.
  • 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. If you have a recliner, use it.

Exercises while travelling on a plane

  • Move your head in a Right, Left, Up, Down 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 your chin.
  • Move your pelvis forward and backwards while seated.

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