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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  • This coming week is Migraine Awareness Week; but I wrote about that in June. So this week, let's take a look at a different, but related form of headache; cervicogenic headaches.
    Cervicogenic headaches are headaches caused by structures in the neck. Cervicogenic headaches are sometimes misdiagnosed as either migraine headaches or cluster headaches, both of which originate in the head. The incidence rate for cervicogenic headaches is estimated around 15%-20%, but is almost certainly higher due to misdiagnosis. Presentation of cervicogenic headaches can vary wildly, depending on what structure in the neck is causing the pain. The most common presentation is probably a tight, squeezing type of pain in a band-like distribution from the base of the skull to the forehead.
    #Headaches #Massage #Chiropractic
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    Dog with headache
    Pain referral patterns for headache
    Common types of headache
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    LBP is the fifth most common reason for physician visits, which affects up to 85% of people at some point. The exact cause of the acute low back pain often remains unknown, though thorough case history and physical examination can significantly reduce the number of possibilities. This often leads to LBP being inaccurately labelled as “non-specific”, whilst in reality it’s usually specific, just hard to identify – leading to great difficulty in the field of research/evidence.

    Low back pain can come on suddenly after lifting things, or gradually through overuse, or even for no easily identifiable reason. Many cases will resolve within a few days and minimal intervention (Rest, Ice & Movement); those that last more than a week or so may require a helping hand.


    #Lumbago #LBP #Chiropractic #Massage


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    Likelihood of surgery for low back pain

    Acute Low Back Pain

    Natural History of Back Pain

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    There is a lot of misinformation, and fear in relation to posture; but ultimately there is no such thing as a frankly “wrong posture”; or a “right posture” for that matter. What is most important is that you don’t maintain any one posture for too long. Having said that, there are variations of “relatively better posture” and “relatively worse posture” that people can use. The better the posture the better the bones and joints aligned, reducing fatigue, strain and overuse. More to the point though, the better the posture, the longer you can hold that one position before fatiguing, straining or overusing your muscles, ligaments and tendons. You can have textbook perfect posture… and still develop fatigue and pain after a couple of hours; or posture to make any therapist flinch and be happy there… for a few minutes.

    The best posture is your next posture; and keeping mobile is what your joints really want – it’s what they’re for after all!

    As a rule of thumb, we recommend against holding any one posture for more than 10 minutes at a time. Where that’s not practical (long car journey, board meeting etc) then take a break every hour; and use that break to return mobility to your joints (as opposed to sitting in a different chair).


    #Posture #Ergonomics #Chiropractic #Massage


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    Good Sitting Posture

    Good Standing Posture

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    Tension headache is a neurological disorder characterized by a predisposition to attacks of mild to moderate headache with few associated symptoms. This is the most common type of primary headache: its lifetime prevalence in the general population is estimated as up to 70-75%. The pain from tension headaches typically comes from muscle tension, often the muscles of chewing, or those which hold the head stable at the top of the neck. Consequently there is a large overlap between tension headaches and cervicogenic headaches; where the same headache could be correctly classified both ways simultaneously.


    #Headaches #Massage #Stress


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    Tension headache

    Tension Headache

    Types of Headache

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    Whiplash, or acceleration / deceleration injury as it is also known, is injury to the neck, caused by a rapid forwards and backwards motion of the head. This occurs most commonly from a car accident, although can also be sustained through sports involving direct contact or a fall onto the head. Whiplash tends to be a very complicated injury, involving many different structures including muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, joints and the bones of the neck &/ shoulder; and can even involve the lower back.


    #Whiplash #Chiropractor #Massage


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    Basic Symptoms of Whiplash

    Effects of Whiplash on X-Ray

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    First of all – what is meant by your Core Musculature? Well, this largely depends on who you ask. As physical therapists, we mean the deep muscles that stabilise your body, and allow other, larger muscles to create movement from a firm base – the foundations if you like. The 2 most important areas for this core stability are for the pelvic girdle and lower back; and for the shoulder girdle and neck (the subject of this post).

    As humans, we’re evolved originally to be 4 legged animals, with pillars (arms), our spine suspended from here by lower shoulder stabilisers (rhomboids, lower trapezius), and reinforced by bracing from below (clavicle). The lower shoulder stabilisers are therefore postural in nature and, in bipeds, provide stability of the shoulder girdle, for the arms and neck that use that as a base. This is doubly important as the clavicle provides stability at the front upper quadrant; whilst these muscles provide stability at the lower rear quadrant of the shoulder girdle; which is great for stability. However, most of us have poor strength and control here, as our bipedal posture prefers to use the upper trapezius and levator scapula muscles to resist the downwards pull of gravity, so that muscular stability comes from the upper upper quadrant, alongside the clavicle; whilst the core stabilisers waste away.


    #ShoulderStability #UpperCore #Chiropractic #Massage


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    Lower Shoulder Stabilisers, Core

    Wall Angels Lower Shoulder Stability

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    First of all – what is meant by your Core Musculature? And this largely depends on who you ask. As physical therapists, we mean the deep muscles that stabilise your body, and allow other, larger muscles to create movement from a firm base – the foundations if you like. The 2 most important areas for this core stability are for the shoulder girdle and neck; and for the pelvic girdle and lower back (the subject of this post).

    As humans, we stand upright, using our spine as a pillar, which needs to be supported to stay that way; that support largely comes from the deep intrinsic lumbar muscle group (especially multifidus) which tether each vertebra onto the one below, alongside the transverse abdominus muscle which acts more like a weight-lifter’s belt… that’s active, in the right place, and with you 100% of the time. Unfortunately, the deep intrinsic muscles are directly inhibited by pain in the lumbar or pelvic areas, and waste away quite quickly; it is also a muscle group for which you have no conscious control. Despite having no control over these muscles, they will contract alongside the transverse abdominus muscle; which is how you can go about strengthen and stabilising an unstable spine. Once you have that stability your lumbopelvis will move more efficiently, with less chance of injury, and if/when injured, should recover more quickly.


    #LumbarStability #Core #Chiropractic #Massage


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    Deep Intrinsic Lumbar MusclesCore StabilityCore Stability

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    Facet syndrome is the irritation of the structures that form the facet joints – the small joints in the spine, which control movement. These can be irritated by pinching or stretching of the capsular ligaments which surround the joint, or as a result of local inflammation. Facet syndrome classically includes pain referred away from the location of the injury, which may follow typically pain referral patterns. Pain at the site of the facet is often a local, sharp sensation, whilst the referred pain is often duller and more diffuse. Stiffness or locking of the affected joint is a common sign, and the surrounding muscles may tense up, or even go into spasm, to protect the damaged joint.


    #ReferredPain #Chiropractor #Massage


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    Facet SyndromeFacet Syndrome Pain Referral

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