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Tewkesbury’s local experts in clinical chiropractic & remedial massage.

Call today on 01684 291 261 to arrange a free chat with Aidan (our chiropractor).
We'll let you know if we can help you, and if we can't, who can.

NB: This is a blog of our personal opinions, and is provided as a brief overview of things we think you might find interesting.

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  • Good Sleep HygieneWe're coming to the end of Mental Health Awareness Week; and sleep is one of the prime contributors towards mental health - especially in these days of pandemic, so let’s take a look at sleep hygiene.

    The modern world seems to be seeing an “epidemic” of insomnia, with its knock on effects throughout the body as our hormone levels are thrown out of balance by so many aspects of life (mood, mental state, appetite and digestion…). It is often a condition of dysevolution. Essentially, we’re running a modern, well lit, interconnected lifestyle software on hunter-gather / subsistence farmer hardware. Homo Sapiens have existed for approximately 7,500 generations, farming started 500 generations ago, the electric light 5 generations ago, and about 1.5 generations since lit screens were invited into the bedroom.

    We are evolved for a dusk which takes about 25-45 minutes from bright white-blue, through yellows, oranges and reds, into darkness. Our hormone levels, particularly cortisol and melatonin take their cues from habit, and habitat; and require about 25-35 minutes to switch across; cortisol waking us up, melatonin making us sleepy.Poor Sleep Hygiene

    An evening routine for our ancestors would have seen the sky dim and change colour, being replaced by soft firelight, voices would naturally lower. We can assume they’d snuggle together under furs/blankets for a time before lying down to sleep – just like we do when we camp out. They are receiving plenty of cues for ever less interaction, ever dulling sounds and light levels. Even 120 years ago most internal heating and lighting was in the form of flame from the fireplace, candles or gaslights; with ever fewer people to interact with as the day got later.

    These days, of course, we have white-blue LED lighting, LED TV, phone and tablet screens with loudspeakers and exciting action – constantly demanding our attention. Dusk happens when WE want it to, literally at the flick of a switch.

     

    If you have difficulty getting to sleep (or if your partner does, and you want to help) – then mimic a natural dusk as well as you can. Natural Colours of SunsetCreate a habit that sees a gradual dampening of light, sound and mental effort – one that takes somewhere around 30-40 minutes. The bedroom should be a shrine to rest, used only for the 3 S’s – Sleep, Sickness and Sex (famously sleep inducing). At the same time each night (give or take a few minutes) switch all screens off, and make a hot drink (caffeine free – ideally something soporific like chocolate or chamomile). Set the night-time temperature to cool-but-comfortable. Change the upstairs lightbulbs to a softer yellow, (get a professional to) install a dimmer switch. Replace the bedside LED light with an orange-red salt lamp. Switch off the wifi, and ban anything with white-blue light from the bedroom, interact only with each other not the wider world (or the clock). Soft background noise is fine – especially if peaceful and predictable (low music, natural soundscapes etc). Read a book made from paper, or an audiobook – or change the tablet’s settings to a golden text against a black background. Maybe try some calming essential oils in a diffuser, or a drop of CBD under your tongue.

    Natural Colours of a FireGradually think about less and less – treat your brain like a dimmer, not a switch.

    #SleepHygiene #Dysevolution #HealthyLifestyle

    You can find out more here:
    www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-to-get-to-sleep
    www.sleepfoundation.org
    www.sleepcouncil.org.uk

     

    At Back In Action, we are now offering face-to-face consultations for URGENT cases; whilst still offering remote consultations for those needing some advice, exercise, self-help strategies, or simple diagnosis and information. If you have a muscular or jointy pain, try us, rather than burdening the NHS. We are also offering musculoskeletal triage (an assessment of urgency) free of charge.

    #BackToWork #VirtualConsultations #Telehealth #SelfEfficacy #WorkFromHome #SocialDistancing #Quarantine #MSKTriage

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    MRI of Cauda Equina SyndromeToday is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day; so let’s take a look at cauda equina syndrome (CES).

    Cauda equina syndrome is a rare and severe type of spinal stenosis where the bundle of nerve roots at the lower end of the spinal cord become compressed. Typically this compression is from a disc prolapse, but can be caused by other conditions, such as trauma, arthritis or other bone disease.

    This causes a range of problems, including saddle anaesthesia (numbness in the skin around the anus and undercarriage);Symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome loss of control or sensation for the bowel or bladder or dysfunction or loss of sensation for the sexual organs.

    These more serious symptoms may present alongside more typical pain, numbness or pins and needles into the legs; with CES particularly liking causing symptoms into both legs at the same time. Depending on the cause, these problems can come on suddenly, or gradually; and may plateau or continue to progress.

    Nerves in volved in Cauda Equina SyndromeIf left untreated, these symptoms may rarely become critical, or permanent; but we have no reliable way of telling if that is going to be the case. Consequently suspicion of CES requires emergency hospital admission and scans; and will often be operated on as a matter of some urgency.

    #SpinalCordInjury #SCIAwareness #CaudaEquina #Incontinence #BackAndLegPain #Tewkesbury

    You can find out more here:
    Spinal Injuries Association; www.spinal.co.uk
    www.physio-pedia.com/Cauda_Equina_Syndrome
    www.webmd.com/back-pain/guide/cauda-equina-syndrome-overview#1

     

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    Things not to say to someone with chronic painAs today is World Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, let’s take a look at fibromyalgia (FMS).

    Fibromyalgia syndrome affects the muscles and soft tissue. Because the classic symptoms of FMS aren't very distinctive, the condition is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood. Those common symptoms include pain and tender points, fatigue, sleep disturbance, concentration issues, anxiety or depression, morning stiffness, numbness &/ pins and needles, headaches, bowel &/ bladder issues and menstrual cramps.Symptoms of fibromyalgia

    Living with fibromyalgia means making adjustments, from work through parenting responsibilities to household chores and having fun. By taking a more active role in managing your condition, you may feel a sense of control and boost your self-esteem along with your quality of life.

    Exercise such as Tai Chi, walking, swimming or dancing can boost your strength, fitness, energy levels and resilience (both mentally and physically). Diet and sleep hygiene can help with your energy levels and mental state; whilst having a support network around that you understands – or even just accepts the problem can be invaluable. Therapies like massage, acupuncture or aromatherapy can help with pain or stress relief. Others, like cognitive behavioural therapy can help you to take ownership of, and deal with your problems.

    Find out what really matters to you, and the people you care about; then plan your activities and save your energy to be at your best for those times.Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't real

    FMS is NOT just one condition; it is a complex syndrome involving many different factors that can severely impact and disrupt a person’s daily life.

    #UKFMAwareness #Fibro #Massage #FMS #Tewkesbury

    You can find out more here:
    www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Fibromyalgia/Pages/Introduction
    www.chiro-trust.org/fibromyalgia/what-can-i-do-for-pain

     

    At Back In Action we now offering FREE virtual consultations via ZOOM. For the time being, these are free of charge, Keep calm and fight fibroin a bid to help the NHS – if you have a muscular or jointy pain (such as the above), try us, rather than burdening the NHS.
    These consultations can cover triage (how serious your condition is) diagnosis, and the most important aspects of treatment (education, home exercises and self-efficacy). Contact us via facebook or phone to arrange this.

    #VirtualConsultations #Telehealth #SelfEfficacy #WorkFromHome #SocialDistancing #Quarantine #MSKTriage  

    We are now open for emergency chiropractic care only, and only after initial remote consultation.

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    Plantar fasciitis heel painLet’s take a look at plantar fasciitis.

    Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, accounting for around four out of five cases. Another condition commonly caused by people who are suddenly doing more exercise than they are accustomed to, or doing so with inappropriate footwear - such as people taking up jogging under lockdown, as a random example.

    The plantar fascia is the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone with the rest of the foot, forming the arches of the foot, and is essential in the spring mechanism when toeing off in gait. The plantar fascia can become damaged and thickened either by trauma, or through the micro-trauma of gradual wear and tear. The plantar fascia share fibres with the achilles tendon, and it is often a good idea to look at both of these areas for treatment, along with things like footwear, gait etc.

    What is plantar fasciitisThe symptoms of plantar fasciitis can come on over the course of several hours to several days; and will often get worse with time; potentially leading to the formation of heel spurs. Patients typically experience sharp pain and tenderness in the heel, or sole of the foot; which can be aggravated by activity, or by prolonged rest. There are many, many potential causes of plantar fasciitis; and getting to the root cause of the issue for an individual can often be the single most useful piece of information for treating them. However, treatment with the POLICE principal of Protection, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression and Elevation; specifically with ice massage, stretching and strengthening the muscles of the foot and ankle are also useful in most people; but they may have limited use on preventing recurrence.

    #HeelPain #FootPain #PlantarFasciitis #SportsMassage #Tewkesbury

    You can find out more here:Exercises for plantar fasciitis
    www.physioadvisor.com.au/injuries/foot/plantar-fasciitis
    www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/foot-heel-pain/plantar-fasciitis

     

    At Back In Action we now offering FREE virtual consultations via ZOOM. For the time being, these are free of charge, in a bid to help the NHS – if you have a muscular or jointy pain (such as the above), try us, rather than burdening the NHS.
    These consultations can cover triage (how serious your condition is) diagnosis, and the most important aspects of treatment (education, home exercises and self-efficacy). Contact us via facebook or phone to arrange this.

    #VirtualConsultations #Telehealth #SelfEfficacy #WorkFromHome #SocialDistancing #Quarantine #MSKTriage
    We hope to be open for face-to-face consultations again fairly soon urgent cases only)

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    Safe Tick Removal, Lyme DiseaseMay is Lyme disease awareness months, organised by @LymeDiseaseUK and @LymeDiseaseAction, so let’s talk about Lyme Disease

     

    Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans from tick bites; with an estimated 2,000-3,000 cases a year through England and Wales; with about 15% having been acquired abroad.

     

    Ticks don’t jump or fly, but climb onto you if you brush against something they’re on, typically longer grass. In the UK most ticks do not carry the Lyme-causing bacteria, so there’s no need to worry; but the longer the tick is attached for, the greater the risk, especially if the tick is attached for more than 24 hours. However, the ticks that carry Lyme are very small, and can be difficult to spot, especially if they’ve crawled to a more hidden location; bites are not painful. Having a shower can be a good idea soon after any high risk activity (hiking in long grass wearing shorts; picnic without a rug etc) as both the water, and the towel can shake them off if not firmly attached already.

     

    Bullseye Rash of Lyme DiseaseIf you do get bitten by a tick, remove it as soon as possible using a tick removal tool, or fine tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible and pull upwards slowly and firmly (trying to remove the tick, not rip its body, leaving mouth parts in your skin). It’s a good idea to then clean the area with antiseptic and keep an eye on it for a few weeks for any changes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27McsguL2Og

     

    65-75% of cases of Lyme disease develop a circular rash in the area, which can have a distinctive “bullseye” colouration; usually appearing a couple of weeks after being bitten, and typically 6 inches in diameter. Other early symptoms include fever, sweats, chills, fatigue and pain &/ stiffness in the head, neck or back. Paralysis of facial muscles and sharp, prickly nerve pains can also occur. Many other conditions share these same symptoms, so diagnosis can be difficult; especially in the absence of a rash.

    July - September is peak season, Gloucestershire is a whole is considered medium-high risk, whilst Lyme disease is known to be carried by some of the ticks in and around Tewkesbury.

     

    Symptoms of Lyme DiseaseYou can find out more here:
    www.nhs.uk/conditions/lyme-disease
    www.physio-pedia.com/Lyme_Disease

    www.lymediseaseuk.com
    www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk

     

    At Back In Action we now offering FREE virtual consultations via ZOOM. For the time being, these are free of charge, in a bid to help the NHS – if you have a muscular or jointy pain (such as the above), try us, rather than burdening the NHS.
    These consultations can cover triage (how serious your condition is) diagnosis, and the most important aspects of treatment (education, home exercises and self-efficacy). Contact us via facebook or phone to arrange this.

    #VirtualConsultations #Telehealth #SelfEfficacy #WorkFromHome #SocialDistancing #Quarantine #MSKTriage  

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    Foam Roller 28 April 2020 | Comments (0)

    Foam roller glutealsLet’s take a look at foam rolling - the poor wo/man's massage.


    Of course, these work best in conjunction with actual massage, especially when it comes to highlighting which muscles you need to concentrate on. We would recommend using the foam roller twice a week, and an actual massage every month.

    Foam rolling is a technique widely used by athletes and therapists to target the fascia. The fascia is the band of protective tissue fibres which serves to stabilise, enclose and separate the muscles and organs, and includes tendons and ligaments. When the fascia is functioning poorly athletic performance is affected - for instance tension and dehydration of the fascia causes a faster onset of fatigue during physical exertion, and movement control may be affected. In material terms, a foam roller is fairly self-explanatory - a cylindrical section of firm foam - however the specific material used will impact upon product density and firmness.

    Foam roller ITB

    The foam roller uses resistance from bodyweight to effectively target overactive muscles and tendons in the body. The applied resistance effectively massages the body to release muscular tension and tightness. By using your own body weight to apply pressure where needed, a foam roller allows you to effectively and efficiently target muscle discomfort, adhesions and tension, aiding muscle recovery after exercise. Using sustained pressure to target tension in the muscles and fascia, is referred to as myofascial release. Myofascial release is a massage technique used widely by physiotherapists and massage therapists etc to release muscular tension, ease discomfort and improve general mobility.

     

    #FoamRoller #FoamRolling #HomeMassage #Massage #Tewkesbury

     

    You can find out more here:Foam roller pec.s
    www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/features/why-a-foam-roller-should-be-part-of-your-kit
    www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/rehabilitation-exercises/foam-roller-exercises

     

    At Back In Action we now offering FREE virtual consultations via ZOOM. For the time being, these are free of charge, in a bid to help the NHS – if you have a muscular or jointy pain (such as the above), try us, rather than burdening the NHS.
    These consultations can cover triage (how serious your condition is) diagnosis, and the most important aspects of treatment (education, home exercises and self-efficacy). Contact us via facebook or phone to arrange this.

    #VirtualConsultations #Telehealth #SelfEfficacy #WorkFromHome #SocialDistancing #Quarantine #MSKTriage  

    Read more ›
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