What to expect when you see a chiropractor (part two)

At your second visit, you can expect:
Report of Findings – This is a detailed explanation of your condition and the treatment options. During this visit you will be given the following:
• Diagnosis
• Explanation of the cause of the problem
• Plan of management
• Prognosis (how you are expected to respond with and without treatment)
• Any risks associated with treatment and advice on other treatment options
• Opportunity to have any remaining questions answered by the doctor
• Consent form for you to sign in order to begin treatment
Treatment – 30 Mins
We are able to provide a wide range of treatment options and your treatment will vary depending on your condition. More specific information about the best treatment options for you will be given to you at the Report of Findings.
We make every attempt to minimize risk to patients but with any treatment there is always some element of risk. Serious adverse effects are extremely rare, more rare than serious side effects of anti-inflammatory medication. Mild reactions are fairly common however. About 50% of people will experience mild discomfort in the area treated for up to 48 hours, this is completely normal.
The number of sessions you will need depends on your condition and your goals. A typical course of treatment is ten sessions and this should give you a noticeable improvement if not full recovery. Some conditions will need ongoing treatment called maintenance treatment. This is usually around one session per month. We often recommend patients take action to prevent the problem returning which may be in the form of home exercises or a supervised rehabilitation program in the gym.

What to expect when you see a chiropractor (part one)

Our chiropractors are registered with the General Chiropractic Council in the UK, which means you can be confident that you will receive a high standard of care from qualified professionals.
Here is what you can expect when you book an assessment with one of our chiropractors.
The assessment usually takes around 30 minutes and involves taking a history and performing an examination. Treatment will usually begin at the following session, when you will also be given a detailed explanation (Report of Findings) of your condition and the treatment plan.
Assessment – 30 mins
• What to bring – It is a good idea to bring any reports , details of medication or previous treatments you have had in order to help the chiropractor get a clear understanding of your case. If you wish you can bring clothes for the examination such as shorts and vest. Gowns are also available at the clinic if you wish.
• Before you are seen – You will be given a form to fill out before seeing the doctor. On this form you should detail any previous or existing medical conditions and give a description of your problem in your own words.
• Medical History – The chiropractor will ask about any illnesses, accidents, surgeries etc. that may be relevant. If you have brought x-rays or reports etc. the doctor will also examine these.
• Case History – You will be asked to describe your condition in detail and answer general and specific questions, such as how it started and what aggravates it. You may also need to answer some personal question in order to help rule out serious causes.
Examination – The examination will vary depending on your complaint but includes the following:
• Postural analysis
• Orthopaedic exam
• Neurological exam
• Cardiovascular/abdominal exam

After the exam a brief explanation of the findings will be given. If further tests or onward referral is required you will be informed at this stage. If the chiropractor thinks you will benefit from a course of treatment, you will be booked in for a Report of Findings (detailed explanation) and first treatment to be performed at your next visit.
Chiropractors see many people with low back pain. To let us help you, you can book your first session by calling 9922121556.

Keep your core strong to help protect against low back pain

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Your core muscles are the deep muscles of your abdomen, pelvis and lower back, specifically
• Transverse abdominis
• Multifidus
• Pelvic floor
• Diaphragm.
The co-ordinated effort of these muscles helps maintain correct alignment of your spine, and they stabilise your posture when you move. Weakness of one or more of these muscles, such as can occur with too much sitting and too little exercise, makes you more vulnerable to low back pain.
Doing specific exercises to strengthen your core helps with low back pain by:
• Improving muscle strength and endurance
• Relieving postural stress caused by sitting or standing for too long
• Improving blood supply to tissues in and around the low back
• Encouraging the release of endorphins, which improve mode and decrease pain.

Basic core exercise:

• Lie flat on your back, knees bent
• Place a small towel roll under your lower back
• Gently tighten your pelvis muscles while pulling your stomach inwards
• Hold for 5 seconds while maintaining normal breathing.

If you have had low back pain for a while, consult a professional to get a clear diagnosis before embarking on any exercise programme. At Walking Tall we offer many therapies for the conservative management of back pain including chiropractic care. Come and see us in Margao, Goa for a healthy back.

How to avoid low back pain and still enjoy gardening

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Monsoon is a great time to do some gardening. Witness all the lovely flowers currently in bloom. And research shows that gardening is a great exercise, too. A study on factors contributing to a long life confirmed that people who do a regular exercise they enjoy, like gardening, which they pursue throughout their lives, get a greater health benefit than people forcing themselves to do exercise they do not like.

However gardening is like any other exercise – you can overdo it and get back pain. Here are some tips to help you stay fit and injury free.

• Wear clothing that is loose fitting and comfortable to move around in
• Warm up by starting your gardening with some lighter, easier jobs first
• Position any ladder or steps as close to the job as possible. Make sure the steps are securely placed, not wobbling, and position yourself straight on them, with your knees, hips, pelvis and torso facing the same direction
• Get as close to plants you are working on as possible. Bend your knees, not just your back, to reach ground level, and invest in tools with long handles to avoid reaching uncomfortably far forwards
• Vary your activity, taking a break and/or changing position every 30 minutes
• Where heavy lifting is involved, get help, use wheel barrows, and get large bags of material split into smaller containers.
• As with any lifting, bend your knees, keep your elbows close to your sides, and keep what you are carrying as close to your body as possible.

If you do get low back pain while gardening, call us and ask to see a chiropractor. Most back problems are due to muscles and joints, and can be helped with chiropractic care.

Chiropractic Methods for Good Posture When Using a Laptop and Tablet

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           Laptops and tablets are a great convenience and prevent problems associated with carrying heavy books and files all day. However, now that consumers are trading in desktops for laptops and laptops for tablets, chiropractors are seeing an increase in posture issues, mainly in young adults.  This is because people are using the computers for longer and not taking care of their posture while doing so. Setting up a laptop for everyday use is essential.

           Neutral back posture can be maintained by placing the screen so it is eye level.  Using a laptop stand or using a stable surface and raising the screen using books or ream of paper can help maintain this.  The screen can then be manipulated to adjust the line of vision rather than bending your neck.  This can also help to reduce glare on the screen.  Use of document holders to angle documents will also promote neural neck posture.  It is recommended that while using a laptop, the elbows be kept close to the body and bent at an angle of 90-120 degrees with hands and wrists straight.  Since it is difficult to maintain this position with the screen raised, attaching an external keyboard will be helpful in maintaining this position.

           Knees should be just below hip level to reduce pressure on discs

           Recommend short breaks, 3-5 minutes long once an hour

           If using a laptop for less frequent use, there are many quick fixes to help maintain proper posture and comfort.  Seating is the key, a chair that supports a comfortable or slightly reclined position is recommended.  If sitting in a reclined position, keep proper trunk/thigh angle by propping your feet up.  To help provide lower back support, use of a lumbar pillow or rolled towel.  Using a 2-3 inch binder will help keep wrists straight while typing.  The hard surface will also help with circulation of the computer’s fan.  Use of a pillow or other soft material is not recommended due to the fact that it can cause issues with the computer’s cooling system.

           Whether your lap is set up for everyday use or occasional use, it is imperative it is set up for good posture and comfort. A chiropractor can assist in helping you heal any damage that has already been done and provide methods for preventive support.  In either situation, be sure you are maintaining neutral neck posture, straight hand/wrists, and a proper trunk/thigh angle.  Be sure you are standing and stretching frequently as well!

Weight Gain and Back Pain – Do They go Together?

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     The nation’s obesity rate has tripled and the instances of back pain have doubled.  Coincidence?  Not at all.  Added weight, especially in one’s midsection, adds pressure to the soft tissue along and around the vertebrae and wreaks havoc with back muscles.   It can also affect the natural curve of the back that is needed to distribute forces evenly.  All of this can cause chronic lower back pain.  To add to the skeletal mishaps, belly fat is known to release inflammatory chemicals that weaken the spine’s discs.  Add in periods of sitting behind a computer or in front of the TV and it is a recipe for an aching back.

     Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is one result of carrying too much weight.  The risk of the disease increases 30-79% with increased weight.  Symptoms of DDD can include pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in the legs, , and of course, plenty of back pain.  While DDD can heal within 6 months, 1 in 10 sufferers will end up needing back surgery. Even after surgery, overweight patients have a higher risk of complications and lower rate of success than patients of a healthy weight.

      Losing weight can alleviate much of this pain. As one loses weight, the strain on the vertebrae and muscles lessens and posture improves.  Weight loss can also allow one to exercise more easily.  This strengthens the core muscles, giving more support to the back. Exercises that strengthen and stretch the back can help alleviate pain in both the upper and lower back.   Chiropractic treatments help reduce back pain but weight loss may be needed long term.

      Speak  to your chiropractor about how your weight might be affecting your posture and what nutrition advice/exercise plan is most suitable for you.

How Fit Are You?

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      Obesity is a growing condition not only here in India, but worldwide.  Packing on the kilos affects the organs, skeletal structure, stamina, and overall well-being.  One is considered “overweight” when the body mass index, or BMI, is between 25-29.9.  Reach 30 or higher and one is considered obese.  BMI looks at height and weight, if someone is 1m 65cm tall, being over 82 kilos would put them into the obese category. In order to stay fit, one must stay active.  Before beginning a fitness regimen, start a log to show your own progress.  While the scale will show your weight loss, the addition of muscle, which is more dense  and weighs more than fat, can cloud your actual progress.  Keeping a journal will keep you motivated and help you create and reach personal goals.

     To begin, try and track these simple tasks:

     Aerobic Fitness:  Walk one kilometer.  This can be done anywhere, on a treadmill, in a mall, even around the neighborhood.  Walk at a brisk pace.  At the end of your walk, find and record your heart rate.  This can be done by finding your pulse (either on your neck at the base of the windpipe or wrist, between the bone and the tendon).  Count the number of beats for 10 seconds and multiply it by 6 to get your heart rate per minute.  Record your heart rate.

     Muscular Fitness:  Do as many push-ups as you can in one minute.  These can be the classic push-ups, or modified with your knees on the floor.  Keeping your back straight, push up until your arms are extended.  Lower your body until your chest touches the floor.  Push your body back to the starting position.  This is one push-up.  Record the number you can complete in one minute.

    Flexibility Fitness: This task will measure the flexibility of your legs, hips and lower back. Sit on the floor with legs in a V-position.  Place a meter stick on the floor, vertical with your legs.  Reach as far as you can and hold the position for 2 seconds.  Repeat 2 times and record your best distance.

    Body Fitness: Measure your waist just above the hipbones using a measuring tape. Record your measurements in your journal.

    Record your BMI. Visit Walking Tall Chiropractic and Physiology located in Margoa, Goa India for a very accurate BMI assessment along with a body composition test to find out how much lean body mass you have compared to the fat you are carrying. They can be reached at 9922121556.

    These tasks will give you a great starting point to track your progress. Be sure to document specific ways you completed your tasks (where you walked, did you modify your push-ups, where was the starting point of the yardstick when you reached etc.).  In 6 weeks, after implementing your fitness plan, complete the tasks again and determine your progress.  You can now set your own personal goals for the next 3-6 weeks.

Chiropractic Methods for Proper Posture at the Computer

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Having frequent back, neck, knee pain, or tingling in your hands and fingers?  Your computer may be the one to blame.  Sitting at your computer for long periods can wreak havoc on your body.  That is why it is imperative to maintain proper posture while sitting in front of your computer.  A chiropractor can assist not only in repairing previous damage cause from improper posture, but also provide you with methods to avoid problems from bad posture.

Sitting:  It is suggested that you invest in an adjustable chair so it can be manipulated to seat you properly.  Your feet should be flat on the floor and knees even with, or lower than, your hips.  Both your upper and lower back should be well supported.  If your chair does not provide such support, pillows or cushions can be used.  You should be sitting at a 90-120 degree angle.  If arm supports are provided, make sure that they are adjusted so that your arms are relaxed.  If they get in your way, remove them completely.

Your keyboard should be positioned so it is directly in front of you, with the keys centered to your body.  They keyboard should be positioned so that your hands and wrists are straight; your shoulders are relaxed, with your elbows in an open position.  If needed, tilt the keyboard.  This can be done using the adjustable pegs found under the keyboard (towards the back on either side).  If more of a tilt is needed, use a binder (1/2 inch maybe most helpful) that best suits your need.

Your wrists should sit so that your palms are not touching the board or desk while typing.  Wrist rests may be used to pad the surface or to rest the palms while not typing.  The monitor should be adjusted to it approximately 2-3” above eye level.  Your neck should be in a neutral, relaxed position.  Sit so you are arm’s length away from the keyboard.  Adjust as necessary for vision and glare.

A document holder is recommended so documents sit vertically for ease of view.  Be sure to take small stretch breaks throughout the day.  For every 20-30 minutes of work, stand and stretch/walk for 1-2 minutes.  For every hour of work, move away from the computer area for 5-10 minutes.  Eye fatigue can be avoided by refocusing your eyes periodically.  This can be done by looking away from the computer and focusing on another object.

 

Proper computer posture is essential for maintaining not only comfort and health, but good circulation as well.  Even if you do not feel pain now, you will later in time as bad computer posture starts to wear your body down.  There are many procedures a chiropractor can perform to assist in your body healing from damage caused from bad posture.  Positioning your body is very important and learning correct sitting methods can assist you in preventing further injuries.

Has Back and Neck Pain Prevented You from Carrying Your Child?

Here are some tips so you can become pain free

Research from the British Chiropractic Association shows that up to 79% of the UK population has suffered from back and neck pain  at some point in their lives – 61%* of those being parents.

The research commissioned by the British Chiropractic Association also shows that over half (55%*) of parents’ back or neck pain has prevented them from lifting or carrying their child.

According to these new statistics, parents are not just limited in lifting and carrying their children. 40%* of women said their back and neck pain had prevented them from carrying their child’s car seat or carry basket, and 40%* of men said that back or neck pain had prevented them from playing with their child.

The British Chiropractic Association offers the following advice on how parents can look after their children whilst maintaining a healthy back:

Carrying your baby or toddler
  • Carrying your baby as close as possible to your centre of gravity is advisable – across your back or front is best. A carrier/sling or papoose is a good option
  • Select a carrier that ‘criss-crosses’ at the back, so baby’s weight is distributed more evenly. Make sure you read the instructions that come with the product to ensure that you are using it correctly
  • As your baby grows, lifting and carrying gets more difficult. Encouraging toddlers to do as much as possible for themselves, as appropriate, such as getting into the car seat, will save your back a lot of stress
Playing with your child
  • Get down to your child’s level, rather than bending over
  • Avoid spending too long kneeling down as this can put pressure on the knees. If you are kneeling, keep your back straight
  • In any position, it is easy to get absorbed in what you and your child are doing. Try to remember to change position regularly
  • Don’t bend to pick up toys, bend your knees. Watch your child and observe the natural squatting posture they use to pick things up

However, even if you follow all of the above tips you may still continue to experience back and/or neck pain. We here are Walkingtall.co.in offer many different types of therapies including Chiropractic and sports therapy that can help you get rid of that pain. Please visit our website to learn more.

Protecting the backs of school-age children

Studies in the UK have shown that up to 45% of children have some back pain before age 11. From the shoes they choose, the bags they carry, and the amount of time they spend watching TV, using computers and mobile phones, they are constantly putting a strain on their posture.

What can you do as a parent to help? Here are some simple tips:

· Choose a rucksack style bag, but ensure the straps are adjusted so the bag is carried close to the back, the weight evenly distributed, and the rucksack should be carried on both shoulders.
· Only essential items on each day – try to minimise the bag weight.
· Choose the right shoes – soft soles with medial arch support and good grip.
· Encourage your child in regular exercise. The fitter they are, the less likely they are to hurt themselves. This applies to girls as much as boys.
· Move around – limit time spent in one position to 30 minutes.
· Set up a work station for them, for their homework and computer study, that is right for them. See other articles @walkingtall.co.in for the right posture when sitting.

For help getting your child started with exercise, see the attached video for some simple, quick exercises to do at home.
http://www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk/For-You-5-Posture-111-ms.aspx