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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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  • Hydration 25 October 2019 | Comments (0)

    Let’s take a look at hydration.

    About 60% of your body weight is made of water. You need it for every single body function. As little as a 2% decrease in body water can lead to dehydration and performance detriments in sports. When your water levels decrease by higher levels like 3% or 4%, there are physiological changes that occur that may have health consequences, such as increased heart rate and body temperature.

    So how much water do we need?
    Well, the short answer is that everyone’s different; but we lose water every time we go to the toilet, every time we breath, etc. As a rule of thumb, given the British climate; we ideally want to drink about 30ml of water for every 1kg of body weight – which equates to 1 pint for every 3 stone. This needs to increase when we exercise or are in a warmer or drier environment (such as a heat wave. It should also be noted that children tend to have higher metabolisms, so they need approximately half again.
    Bear in mind, that you don’t want all your water in one go, or you will flood your kidneys, and they’ll just pass it all out; so drink little and often through the day. 4 pints a day can be easily broken down as ¼Pt every hour for 16 hours.

    What counts as “water”?
    Well, any drink does; as do high-water content foods like soup, yoghurt or ice-cream.
    It is also true that caffeine and alcohol both have a diuretic effect that can alter your personal need; that would depend on how strong the drink is. Quite honestly, caffeine and alcohol at strengths to actively count as negative hydration; doesn’t tend to come in portions that are worth counting for water intake anyway. As a rule of thumb, I wouldn’t count “real” coffee, energy drinks or spirits-strength alcoholic drinks when assessing water intake; but would count weaker drinks – whilst acknowledging that this is a fudge and that everyone is different.

    You can find out more here:
    www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/water-drinks-nutrition
    www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/hydration
    www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuri…/general/dehydration
    www.thrillist.com/…/i-drank-a-gallon-of-water-a-day-for-30-…

    How Dehydrated Are You

    Healthy Hydration

    Hydrating Foods

    At Back In Action we also offer free chats. This will take about 10-15 minutes where we can talk in general terms about your condition, and see if we can point you in the right direction for treatment. Whether that is with ourselves, someone else, or on your own at home. Call today to schedule your no obligation free chat.

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    Today is World Spine Day, organised by the World Federation of Chiropractic, and supported by the British Chiropractic Association (amongst others).

    Low back pain, is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, with a global prevalence of 18.1%; it is one of the most common reasons for missed work, and one of the most common reasons for visits to the GP surgery.

    Most back pain is mechanical, and non-serious; and it can often be seen as being a disease of dysevolution – which is to say that we are subjecting our spines to environmental factors which we are simply not evolved to cope with.
    We evolved as a species with a complete absence of chairs and desks; computer screens and electric lights; shoes and processed foods. We were constantly mobile, hunting, gathering, playing; and later weeding and cultivating. Our lives were rules by the natural rhythms of the seasons, the sun and the moon; with a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts and fresh meats – with a huge variety. Essentially, the Homo genus of ape has existed for circa 125,000 generations; with 7,500 generations of Homo Sapiens. The advent of farming came about 500 generations ago, bringing with it a contraction of dietary variety, and the first possibility for sedentary individuals (chiefs). It has been 20 generations since Copernicus ushered in modern science, only 5 since the invention of the light bulb, and the advent of highly processed foods. It has only been about 1.5 generations since the TV/tablet screens were commonplace in the bedroom, or the majority of the British workforce became sedentary. It has also been about 1.5 generations that we have been seeing “epidemics” of non-communicable diseases such back pain, obesity, autism, diabetes, allergies&intollerances etc.

    If we move more (both habitually, and in terms of moderate level exercise), improve our sleep hygiene (take 30-40 minutes of decreasing light levels, especially screens), and improve our diet (more variety, less inflammatory / highly processed foods). This will make a huge difference – use our bodies the way they’re “designed” to be used. Straighten up, and move. Unfortunately these are lifestyle solutions to lifestyle problems; and human nature prefers quick fixes, making someone else responsible, and prioritising short-term comfort over long-term health / comfort.

    You can find out more here:
    www.worldspineday.org
    www.getbritainstanding.org
    www.sleepcouncil.org.uk
    www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk

    Get Spine Active

    Proactive Healthcare and Lifestyle Changes

    Walking Rugby

    At Back In Action we also offer free chats. This will take about 10-15 minutes where we can talk in general terms about your condition, and see if we can point you in the right direction for treatment. Whether that is with ourselves, someone else, or on your own at home. Call today to schedule your no obligation free chat.

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    We're coming to the end of National Arthritis Week; whilst today is World Arthritis Day; brought to us by Versus Arthritis (formerly Arthritis Research UK) and EULAR, supported (amongst other) by the BCA. So this week, let’s take a look at degenerative joint disease (DJD).
    AKA Osteoarthritis, Spondylosis, or even “Wear and Tear”.

    DJD is a normal part of aging - just like grey hairs; and is not painful in and of itself; but can cause other structures to become symptomatic. Consequently, whilst medical imaging (X-ray, MRI) can confirm that DJD is present or not; the severity of change on the image tends not to be in proportion to the severity of symptoms the patient is experiencing; and therefore imaging is RARELY appropriate or necessary to diagnose or assess DJD.

    It is caused by an excess of movement or load – whether briefly in the case of traumatic onset; just a little every day, for decades; or through carrying too much weight every day for several years. DJD symptoms include joint pain with stiffness and increased muscle tension as the body try to stabilise the area; eventually growing new bone to buttress the joint.

    Treatment typically involves pain control by medication or other measures; controlled mobilisation of the joint, through exercise and/or manual therapy; and strengthening of the muscles which support the joint, through exercises like pilates or rehab. If you are overweight, weight loss can often help improve DJD symptoms, but is unlikely to be a “golden bullet” unless combined with increased activity and fitness.

    NB: There is no way to treat DJD itself, and any treatment plan can only have the aim of relieving symptoms, which can only be temporary (though “temporary” may mean anything from hours to decades). Consequently, we talk in terms of “management” rather than “cure”; and it may be a good idea to consider maintenance based treatment whilst feeling pain free and mobile, to keep you that way.

    You can find out more here:
    www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Osteoarthritis
    www.physio-pedia.com/Osteoarthritis

    X-Ray Results for DJD / Osteoarthritis

    Pathology of DJD / Osteoarthritis

    DJD / Osteoarthritis Target Sites

    At Back In Action we also offer free chats. This will take about 10-15 minutes where we can talk in general terms about your condition, and see if we can point you in the right direction for treatment. Whether that is with ourselves, someone else, or on your own at home. Call today to schedule your no obligation free chat.

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    This coming couple of weeks has a number of awareness events relevant to us, so I’ll be posting more than usual. Next whole week is both Back Care Awareness Week and National Arthritis Week; whilst World Arthritis Day takes place on Friday. So for today, with back care awareness week starting yesterday, let’s take a look at chronic low back pain (Chronic LBP). Back care awareness week is organised by BackCare, and supported by the British Chiropractic Association amongst others.

    Low back pain that has been present for longer than three months is considered chronic. More than 80% of all health care costs can be attributed to chronic LBP. Nearly a third of people seeking treatment for low back pain will have persistent moderate pain for one year after an acute episode. Almost by definition, anyone suffering with chronic pain will also suffer an altered perception of pain, where the brain retrains itself, becoming very good at feeling pain – whether it needs to or not.

    Chronic pain is always a complex condition, involving tissue damage, adaptation strategies, altered pain perception, altered psychology (depression, sleep disturbance etc) and usually secondary complaints brought about by the adaptations – in fact, the original condition can often have already resolved at presentation, but the cascade of reactions is still continuing to cause problems. This makes chronic pain very complex to treat, and means that we need to use manual therapy, home advice and psychological support all at the same time, to get the best results. There are no short cuts when it comes to dealing with chronic pain; and it can be hard work, for both the clinician and the patient.

    You can find out more here:
    www.facebook.com/BackInAction.Tewkesbury/posts/1841525875953305
    www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk/back-pain
    www.chiro-trust.org/…/chronic-low-back-pain-treatment-effec…
    www.physioadvisor.com.au/injuries/lower-back

    Vicious Cycles of Chronic Low Back Pain

    Tips to Alleviate Chronic Low Back Pain

    Maintenance Care for Chronic Low Back Pain

    At Back In Action we also offer free chats. This will take about 10-15 minutes where we can talk in general terms about your condition, and see if we can point you in the right direction for treatment. Whether that is with ourselves, someone else, or on your own at home. Call today to schedule your no obligation free chat.

    Read more ›

    This coming couple of weeks has a number of awareness events relevant to us, so I’ll be posting more than usual. Next whole week is both Back Care Awareness Week National Arthritis Week; whilst World Arthritis Day takes place next Friday. The following week includes both World Spine Day (16/10/19) and World Osteoporosis Day (20/10/19).

    So for today, with back care awareness week starting on Monday, let’s take a look at acute low back pain (Acute LBP). Back care awareness week is organised by @BackCareCharity, and supported by the @BritChiro amongst others

                                                                         

    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 examination can reduce the number of possibilities. The 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 (reduced loading, ice and movement). It is rarely serious; though it can be debilitating; and rarely needs imaging – except in cases of direct trauma, suspected inflammation, or medical red flags.

     

    Acute vs chronic are measures of duration, not severity; with Acute being anything that has lasted less than 8 weeks; with Chronic being more than 8 weeks. Between 6-8 weeks duration is often labelled as Subacute.

     

    Whilst most cases resolve within a couple of weeks; for those that do become chronic, the best thing you can do to improve the prognosis, is to start treatment sooner; which is a bit of a catch 22. As a rule of thumb, if the back pain is significantly reduced after 5-6 days, then you shouldn’t need any treatment; if it is barely improved, or still worsening, then treatment might be a good idea, even if it’s just in the form of advice on how to manage the pain at home, and prevent it coming again.

    In the mean time, you can use the POLICE protocol for managing acute pain, and keep your back as mobile as you can, and try not to be over-protective. Mobility, balance and strength training are the best ways to prevent episodes, though these things do happen as part of the human condition. If caused by significant trauma, or if the pain is intolerable, see your GP, minor injuries (Tewkesbury) or A&E Cheltenham / Gloucester).

     

    You can find out more here:

    www.back-in-action.net/blog/15561-acute-injury-care.aspx

    www.physio-pedia.com/Non_Specific_Low_Back_Pain

    www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk/back-pain

    www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/low-back-pain/lumbago

    Management of Low Back Pain

    Management of Low Back Pain

    Acute Low Back Pain

    At Back In Action we also offer free chats. This will take about 10-15 minutes where we can talk in general terms about your condition, and see if we can point you in the right direction for treatment. Whether that is with ourselves, someone else, or on your own at home. Call today to schedule your no obligation free chat.

    Read more ›

    Posture 27 September 2019 | Comments (0)

    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 are 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 muscles and 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).

    You can find out more here:
    www.physio-pedia.com/Posture
    www.physioadvisor.com.au/health/ergonomics/posture

    Different Sitting Postures Are All Healthy

    Different Standing Postures Are Both Healthy

    Posture Cartoon by Jeff Stahler

    At Back In Action we also offer free chats. This will take about 10-15 minutes where we can talk in general terms about your condition, and see if we can point you in the right direction for treatment. Whether that is with ourselves, someone else, or on your own at home. Call today to schedule your no obligation free chat.

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