Hip Pain or Bursitis

There are many causes of hip pain. Pain in the hip can come directly from the hip joint itself or it may be experienced in the hip joint as a referred pain from a problem somewhere else. Your chiropractor will do an evaluation and history of your entire musculo-skeletal system to find out where the hip pain is coming from.

The hip joint is unique as it is a weight bearing joint. Weight is transferred through the spine into the pelvis and into each of the hip sockets. There can be an imbalance in the way the weight is distributed and several different joints can cause the hip pain. Our first priority will be to examine you to establish where exactly the hip pain is coming from. We will evaluate the lumbar spine, the pelvic bones and the hip socket itself to understand what is affected and what needs to be corrected in order to resolve the symptoms.

Hip Pain or Bursitis

As chiropractors we pay particular attention to the lumbar spine and the sacroiliac joint which are weight bearing joints. Quite often people think that they have a hip problem or bursitis but in fact it is lumbar spine dysfunction or a sacroiliac sprain/strain injury causing pain that feels like it is coming from hip joint.

You can also have pain in the ball and socket of the hip itself. It can be caused by arthritis or other injuries to the cartilage within the joint. Occasionally, at the very end stage of degeneration some patients may require a hip replacement, however we like to work with our patients way before a hip replacement is considered. In fact for those people the name of the game is to prolong or avoid the replacement for as long as possible.

Chiropractic is the perfect technique for helping people get out of or lessen the pain and help the degeneration. Chiropractic treatment if required involves a specific thrust applied to the spine in the lumbar area, the pelvis or to the hip itself to help restore a more normal alignment or movement of the pelvis, spine and/or hip, or we may choose to use effective non-force techniques, if that is required.

Other therapies we use include massage therapy, trigger point therapy or myofascial release and we may also want to get you started on some stretch and strengthening exercises for the area to help the body heal and function better.

It’s important to treat hip pain as early as possible as it really can affect your lifestyle. It can affect your ability to sit, sleep and walk comfortably Get yourself checked out and evaluated. It may turn out to be the best thing you ever did…

I Have Osteoarthritis……should I just live with it?

NO! so much can be done……

Osteoarthritis (OA), more commonly known as degenerative joint disease, affects the cartilage on bones that meet in a joint and makes it difficult for those bones to glide smoothly. Instead of sliding against each other they rub causing pain and swelling with decreased range of motion. Although many think OA is an age-related issue only, there have been indicators showing risk factors such as family history, body weight, exercise levels and prior injuries play a role too. So while age cannot be fully dismissed from being related to osteoarthritis development it should not necessarily limit possibilities either

How Is Osteoarthritis Diagnosed?

OA is diagnosed through a combination of clinical history, patient examination and x-rays.

The signs of OA include:

  • Steady or intermittent joint pain (most common: back pain, neck pain, hip and knee pain)
  • Joint stiffness after sitting, sleeping, or otherwise not moving for a long time
  • Swelling or tenderness in the joints
  • A crunching feeling or the sound of bones rubbing against each other.

If you experience any of these signs, consult your chiropractor. Timely diagnosis and treatment can help manage pain, improve function, and slow the degeneration.

Should Osteoarthritis Patients Exercise?

Exercise is one of the best forms of OA treatment – and prevention. It strengthens the muscular support around the joints and improves and maintains joint mobility and function.

In addition, exercise helps control weight and improves the patient’s mood and outlook – important factors influencing the severity of the symptoms.

If you suffer from Osteoarthritis, consider the following exercise tips:

  • Low-impact or non-weight-bearing activities, such as walking, stationary training, and light weight training work best for OA patients.
  • Use strengthening exercises if the key muscle groups that relate to the function of the joints are weakened by the degeneration (We will assess this during the examination)
  • If you are overweight, start exercising carefully, so as not to put too much stress on the hip, knee and ankle joints. And lose weight.
  • Stair climbing, water aerobics, yoga, biking and similar exercises will help to keep the joints mobile without straining them.
  • Learn to read the body’s signals and know when to stop, slow down, or rest.

How Can Your Chiropractor Help?

Chiropractors, by the nature of their work, can detect the earliest degenerative changes in the joints. They see the impact of degenerative changes in the spine, as well as in the hips, knees, and other weight-bearing joints.

Chiropractors are also trained to relieve the pain and improve joint function through natural therapies, such as chiropractic manipulation, trigger-point therapy, stretching or some massage techniques.

We will also help you choose the exercises that are best for you and we may recommend supplements for your joints and general well-being.

If a sore or swollen joint prevents you from exercising, talk to us about other drug-free pain-relief options, such as applying heat or cold to the affected area.

Neck and Shoulder Tension

In most cases, neck and shoulder tension is nothing to be worried about. However, it can be very annoying and, in some cases, somewhat debilitating. The good news is that through chiropractic treatment and finding out what is causing your particular problem, you can get great relief.

Believe it or not, the rise of the computer age has also given rise to a simultaneous increase in neck and shoulder tension cases. It stands to reason when you consider how much time we spend staring at computer screens or playing with the mobile phone or tablet. Neck and shoulder tension in such cases is due to postural strain put on the neck and shoulder musculature due to the constantly looking down while restricting the movement of the arms and shoulders.

Another common cause of neck and shoulder tension is the weight put on the shoulders by handbags, laptop bags and the like. Even the backpacks used by schoolchildren can cause neck and shoulder tension if too heavy or not worn properly.

Neck and shoulder tension can from time to time give rise to Tension Headaches (Cervicogenic  Headaches) which is usually felt at the back of the head and behind the eyes. They tend to come on later in the day and are normally relieved by rest.

The key to alleviating the tension is get treatment to the affected area and then identify and stop doing what caused it in the first place!

We will do a full examination, a posture analysis and ask you lots of questions about your life style to help identity the cause of your discomfort. Having treatment to relax the muscles and realign the spine combined with adjusting your behaviour/lifestyle accordingly should solve the problem.

Lastly, getting enough relaxed sleep is another big help.

In any case, there is no reason for you to live with chronic neck and shoulder tension or putting up with tension headaches. The combination of chiropractic care and a change of behaviour/lifestyle can help give you long term relief.

Lumbar Disc Herniation (aka slipped disc )

Slipped disc or Mechanical lower back pain?
The spine is a very, very strong part of your body. It is made up of solid pieces of bone known as vertebra, joined together by softer pads or discs which act as shock absorbers and maintain flexibility.

The spine is then reinforced by strong ligaments and also surrounded by powerful muscles for support.

By far the most common type back pain is ‘mechanical’ back pain. This means that the pain is coming from the spinal muscles, joints and ligaments.

Although it can be extremely painful and the pains very very sharp making even small movements difficult, ‘mechanic’ back pain is not related to any serious underlying condition and there are no trapped or compressed nerves.

Simply put, the pain is from stiff/locked or restricted spinal joints and tight spinal musculature. The good news is that it is quite a simple condition to treat no matter how long you have had it for. We treat this kind of low back pain many times every single day of the week.

Less frequently, the nerves of the back can become irritated, trapped or compressed by a prolapsed disc or herniated disc also referred to as a ‘slipped disc’. This is what most people think they have got but fortunately it is rarely the case.

The intervertebral disc sits in the space between the bones which make up the spine. The disc normally acts as a shock absorber. It is made of two parts. The center, called the nucleus pulposus, which is spongy and provides most of the shock absorption and the outer strong ligament rings surrounding it, called the annulus fibrosus.

A disc herniation happens when there is a weakness or injury to the outer fibers allowing some of the spongy material to ‘run out’ causing pressure/irritation to the nerve root as it leaves the spine.

In the lower back the most commonly injured discs are the one between the 4th and the 5th lumbar vertebra, the L4/5 disc or the one between the 5th lumbar vertebra and the sacrum, the L5/ S1disc. This tends to put pressure on the L5 nerve root or the S1 nerve root ( trapped nerve) and sends severe pain down the leg. This is often referred to as sciatica.

It may also be associated with numbness, pins and needles, tingling and even weakness in some of the leg muscles.

A thorough examination is usually enough to diagnose a lumbar disc herniation but on a rare occasion we may refer you out for a MRI scan.

Golfers Elbow

What is Golfer’s Elbow and How Can You Treat It?
If you’ve ever experienced pain in your elbow while playing golf, you may be suffering from golfers elbow. This condition is caused by overuse of the muscles and tendons in the forearm, resulting in inflammation and pain. Fortunately, chiropractic care can help manage this condition and reduce the pain associated with it.

Golfers elbow is caused by repetitive motions that involve using the muscles and tendons in the forearm. When these motions are done too often or with too much force, they can cause inflammation to occur around the inside of the elbow joint. This can lead to pain and discomfort whenever the arm is moved or even just touched. In severe cases, it can even limit a person’s range of motion.

Chiropractors are trained to identify and treat conditions like golfers elbow through manual manipulation of the joints and soft tissue surrounding them. This will help to reduce inflammation and improve range of motion while also relieving pain and discomfort. We may also recommend other treatments such as massage therapy or stretching exercises that can help improve strength and flexibility in the affected area.

Chiropractors may also suggest lifestyle changes that could help reduce symptoms of golfers elbow such as taking regular breaks from activities that require repetitive motions or using lighter weights when lifting objects with your arms. They may also suggest ways to modify your technique so as not to strain your muscles any further than necessary. By making small lifestyle changes in combination with chiropractic care, most people find relief from their symptoms after several weeks of treatment.

As well as treating your elbow, a chiropractor will always check your neck for any dysfunction, as a loss of spinal movement can lead to a weakness in the arm muscles. This can be an underlying cause as you stand a greater risk of incurring golfers elbow if you have weak forearm muscles and then engage in some sort of activity that puts a lot of strain on your elbows.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder Treatment: Understanding the Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Frozen shoulder aka Adhesive Capsulitis affects nearly 3% of the adult population at one time or another.Most cases occur in people between the ages of 50 and 70 and it affects more women than men.

Frozen ShoulderFrozen shoulder occurs when the connective tissues surrounding the shoulder joint become inflamed, thickened, and more rigid. This causes intense pain that typically worsens over time. It generally begins with a dull ache that gradually progresses to a severe burning sensation or sharp throbbing pain with simple movements such as raising your arm above your head or reaching
behind you. As the condition progresses, stiffness around the joint increases until finally, you may be unable to move your arm at all. It may cause sleep disturbance as every little movement hurts and it can be difficult to sleep on the affected side.

Chiropractic care is an effective treatment option for those suffering from a frozen shoulder By combining soft tissue manipulation with stretching exercises, deep massage and trigger point therapy chiropractors have been successful in treating
many cases of frozen shoulder quickly and effectively without resorting to invasive surgery or long-term medication use.

The function of the neck, upper spine and rib cage also needs to be assessed as these areas are working hard to try to compensate for the lack of mobility in the shoulder joint. Home exercises will usually be prescribed.

If left untreated, it will in most cases resolve itself but this generally takes around 2 years! Chiropractic treatment aims to get it better much quicker than that.

Acute and Chronic Back Pain

Acute back pain is defined as that which is of less than four weeks duration. Chronic back pain is that which exceeds twelve weeks.

There are a number of causes of back pain including muscle and joint strains and sprains, poor posture or postural abnormalities, being overweight, different forms of arthritis, trapped nerves, bulging or herniating discs, or fractures.

Acute and Chronic Back Pain

A chiropractor will undertake a full and thorough case history and examination which includes relevant orthopaedic and neurological testing to determine the cause of the pain. If necessary they will also arrange x-rays or other forms of imaging.

The majority of cases can be treated effectively with chiropractic care, however if any underlying pathology is thought to be the cause then the chiropractor will refer as appropriate.

Chiropractic treatment of acute and chronic back pain involves manipulations and mobilisations of the joints of the spine combined with various soft tissues techniques to restore the normal biomechanics, and reduce inflammation and pain.

We also give specific stretch and strengthening exercises to suit your condition.

Tips On How To Fit Exercise It Into A Busy Life

The Benefits of Exercise and How to Fit It Into Your Busy Schedule!

Exercise is an essential part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Not only does it keep your body in shape, but it also boosts your mental health and provides numerous other physical and psychological benefits. But with our increasingly busy lives, it can be difficult to fit exercise into our daily routine. Here are some tips on how to make
exercise a priority and the importance of doing so according to chiropractors.

From a chiropractors point of view exercise is key for maintaining overall health and wellbeing. Regular activity helps reduce pain and stiffness caused by sitting at the desk all day. Additionally, exercising regularly helps improve posture, which can help prevent injury as well as promote better balance. Finally, regular physical
activity releases endorphins which provide a natural boost in mood and overall energy levels throughout the day.

How To Fit Exercise Into A Busy Schedule

The most important thing is to set realistic goals for yourself based on the amount of time you have available each day or week. If you don’t have much time, start small with just 15 minutes of light activity each day such as walking or stretching. As you get more comfortable with making time for exercise, consider setting aside 30
minutes a few times a week for more intense activities like running, fast walking or strength training. Additionally, taking advantage of outdoor activities like biking or swimming are great ways to get in some extra physical activity while enjoying nature at the same time!

Finally, if you’re finding it hard to motivate yourself to stick with an exercise routine, consider joining a gym or signing up for classes such as yoga or dance lessons that offer accountability from instructors and peers alike. Or arrange to go for a walk with a friend allowing you to catch up on the gossip at the same time. That way you can stay motivated while having fun at the same time!

Overall, exercise offers numerous benefits both physically and mentally that cannot be overlooked when trying to maintain good health. With busy work schedules and family commitments it can be hard to find the time needed to fit in regular workouts, but these tips provide various ways that make it easier than ever before! So don’t
hesitate any longer – start exercising today! You won’t regret it! And remember a little is better than nothing!

Lumbar Spine – Lower Back

Mechanical back pain means that the pain is coming from restricted or stiff/locked spinal joints with overlying muscle spasm. THIS IS THE MOST COMMON TYPE OF LOWER BACK PAIN and we are very good at treating this no matter how long you have had it for. Back pain treatment often involves gentle adjustments to the back to free up the stiff joints, stretching and soft tissue techniques to relax the surrounding muscles.

The lumbar spine has five lumbar vertebrae which are numbered L1, L2, L3, L4 and L5. These vertebrae make up the lower back portion of the spine and are aligned in a reverse “C” like the cervical spine, creating a normal lumbar lordosis. The five lumbar vertebral bodies are the weight-bearing portion of the spine. The vertebrae are much larger in diameter compared to the thoracic and cervical vertebral bodies. The upper lumbar vertebrae, L1, meets the bottom of the thoracic vertebrae, T12, located below the shoulder blades and the lower vertebrae, L5, sit atop the sacrum, which is a triangular bone forming part of the pelvis.

The lumbar discs sit between the lumbar vertebra and a healthy disc is cushiony, with a lot of water, and has a sponge-like substance. It acts like a shock absorber in the spine, allowing flexibility and providing protection from jarring movements.

The lumbar spine’s lowest two spinal segments, L4-L5 and L5-S1, which include the vertebrae and discs, bear the most weight and are therefore the most prone to degeneration and injury. This is the reason why most disc problems (disc protrusion, discus prolapsed) occurs to the disc between L4 and L5 or to the disc between L5 and the sacrum (S1) and why it’s the area of the lower back most commonly affected by wear and tear/osteoarthritis.

The lumbar spine is built for both power and flexibility – lifting, twisting and bending and the joint between the L5 and S1 is of most importance as it allows for considerable rotation to enable the hips and pelvis to swing when the body runs or walks. Because of the anatomy and the importance of the lower part of the spine, this is an area of the spine which chiropractors treat very frequently and fortunately most of the problems here are mechanical in nature.

There are nerves that branch off from the spinal column at each level of the spine. They pass through small holes in the back of the lower spine. They then connect together to form the sciatic nerve, which travels into the legs down the back of each thigh and into the calves and feet.

Sometimes degenerative disc diseases to the spinal structures or disc herniations can cause irritation to or put pressure on one of the nerve roots in the lower back. This is often referred to as sciatica. Spinal disc herniation pressing on one of the lumbar or sacral nerve roots is the primary cause of sciatica.

Sciatica is a relatively common form of low back and leg pain, but the true meaning of the term is often misunderstood. Sciatica is not really a diagnosis but more a set of symptoms caused by the nerve  ressure/irritation and a patient’s pain and specific sciatica symptoms depends on where the injured/irritated nerve originates in the lower back.

Treatment for sciatica or sciatic symptoms depends on underlying cause and the level of pain. A thorough examination will determine this. Sciatica can be caused by compression of the sciatic nerve roots by a herniated (torn) or protruding disc in the lower back, wear and tear/osteoarthritis, tightness of the piriformis muscle (piriformis syndrome), pregnancy and trauma ( see post on Sciatica)

Conditions often associated with the lumbar spine that we treat include:
Low back pain, low back pain with pain radiating down the leg, trapped nerve in lower back, disc protrusion, disc herniation, pulled muscle, low back stiffness, sciatica, piriformis syndrome, hamstring problems caused by low back dysfunction, pain around the hip area.

Using an iPad can give you Neck and Shoulder Pain

Using an iPad can give you Neck and Shoulder Pain

The iPad has had an incredible impact on how people stay connected and entertain themselves, but it’s important to be aware of the potential chronic neck pain or headaches that can result from extended use.

At our clinic we’ve witnessed a rise in patients experiencing soreness, tension, and cervicogenic headaches due to looking down at their tablets for hours with a head forward posture. This places a lot of pressure on the discs and joints of the spine as well as strain on surrounding muscles and ligaments which can lead to long-term neck issues.

To reduce the risk of back, neck and shoulder pain associated with tablet use, we recommend avoid sitting with your wireless device on your lap. Instead use a couple of cushions to elevate the iPad when sitting on the sofa or opt for a raised surface with an external keyboard. These positions place less stress on muscles as well as discs and ligaments over time – resulting in improved comfort while using tablets like iPads.

Remember preventing is better than cure!