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Suffer with neck pain in Bridgend, or any other aches and pains that you could do without, then welcome to the news pages of Youngs' Spinal Health. Your mobile chiropractic clinic serving Bridgend and the surrounding area.


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Let's go back to basics: Back Pain

We have discussed multiple reasons to seek chiropractic treatment on previous newsletters but sometimes it is good to revisit the basics. Back pain is very common. Most people will suffer one or more episodes of back pain during their lives. In many cases, it starts suddenly and gets better quickly, without the need for any treatment. However, back pain can be painful, debilitating and persistent, and some people suffer repeated episodes. It can also be associated with other symptoms, such as leg pain or sciatica. It may start following a specific incident, such as bending awkwardly or lifting a heavy weight. Or it can develop gradually, perhaps as a result of poor posture, an uncomfortable work position or repetitive strain. Types of back pain There are many different types of back pain, with different causes. The key to getting the right treatment is to establish which type of back pain you may be suffering from and to seek advice if it is not improving. The majority of people with back pain are suffering from what is known as ‘simple’ or ‘mechanical’ back pain. This means that the pain is not related to any serious underlying condition and there are no trapped or compressed nerves. We do not always know the exact tissues that are involved in simple back pain. Muscles, joints and ligaments can all be involved. As we get older, wear and tear may contribute to back pain. The shock-absorbing pads or discs between the bones of the back can narrow with age and this can cause stiffness, pain and make it difficult to move. Simple back pain is relatively common. Less frequently, the nerves of the back can sometimes become irritated, compressed or trapped. Again, there can be many reasons why this happens, but slipped discs or wear and tear can lead to pain spreading down the leg, which is commonly referred to as sciatica. This can be accompanied by pins and needles, tingling, numbness and weakness in all or part of the leg and foot. Treatment options Chiropractors are best known for manual treatments such as spinal manipulation, where they use their hands to free stiff or restricted joints, or mobilisation, which is the gradual moving of joints. But they may also use other recommended treatments such as certain types of acupuncture, electrotherapy, stretching exercises and rehabilitation, all of which form part of a chiropractor’s package of care. Chiropractors may also offer lifestyle advice to help recovery and to prevent repeated episodes of back pain. If your chiropractor does not think you can be helped by chiropractic treatment, you may be referred back to your GP or to another health professional. We do not prescribe medication, so if this is needed, you may be referred back to your GP. As chiropractors support a joined-up approach to care, they may ask if they can send a brief report to your GP.
Sleep Advice

It doesn't matter who you are or where you're from, we all need to sleep and as a result we spend a third of our lives asleep. <br /><br />Due to our diverse nature of size, shape and weight, there is an abundance of beds aimed at helping you get the most comfortable night sleep, but how do you choose what is right for you?<br /><br />Dr. Laura Young has found a surprisingly common cause of back and neck pain is ‘I just woke up with it', and research by the British Chiropractic Association found that 41% of women and 36% of men reported pain brought on by sleep. <br /><br />By choosing the right bed for you can minimise risk factors that lead to, or aggravate back pain. This months news letter focuses on advice aimed to help you choose a bed.<br /><br />Which is better, a hard or soft mattress?<br />The best mattress is a 'supportive one‘. A 16 stone person sleeping on a mattress may not get the same support as a 10 stone person sleeping on the same mattress.<br /><br />How do I know which is the right mattress for me?<br />If you are lying on your side, your spine should be parallel to the mattress and should not sag (bed too soft) or bow (bed too hard). The longer you can spend lying on a mattress before you buy it, the more accurate this feeling will be.<br />Your pillow should be an extension of this i.e. your neck should be a continuation of the straight spine and not too high or too low.<br /><br />What about my partner?<br />Always shop with your partner as your respective ideal mattress tensions could be very different. If this is the case, buy beds from a range that allow two single mattresses to be zipped together, so that you both get the support you need.<br /><br />How do I know if my current bed/mattress needs replacing?<br />• Are you and your partner getting comfortable nights sleep?<br />If the answer is no, your bed may be the problem.<br />• Can you feel the springs through the mattress?<br />If the answer is yes, it is definitely time to buy a new one.<br />• Is the bed more than 10 years old?<br />If the answer is yes, consider purchasing a new one – beds wear out and may sag or lose support with time.<br /> <br />What things can I do to help prevent back problems even with my new mattress?<br />• Try and adopt a sleeping position which creates less physical stress on the back. For example, lying on your side is better than lying on your front with your neck twisted to one side.<br />• Keep moving and avoid being in any one position for too long. No matter how comfy the position may initially feel, the longer you stay in one position the more this will ‘load joints'. If your partner moves around a lot at night, try separate beds for a while as your partner's movement could aggravate your back condition!<br />• Drink water. Keep well hydrated; dehydration can make muscles ache.<br />• Don't leap out of bed first thing in the morning. After you have woken up wake up, try some gentle stretches.<br />• Wake up your body. Once up, avoid bending or doing anything sudden or strenuous until you back wakes up!<br /><br />If you would like to speak with Laura Young regarding aches and pains associated with sleep or otherwise, please cal 01656 856162 today.
Say No to Couch Potato

Many forecasters are predicting a harsh winter this year, so it will be extremely tempting to stay in the warm and relax in front of the television. However, with 36% of Brits saying that their back pain is triggered by sitting still for long periods of time, Young's Spinal Health offers the following advice on how “couch potatoes” can keep their backs healthy:-

• The ‘squishier' the sofa the worse it is for your back, ideally you would benefit from a firm sofa where the hips are positioned higher than the knees. This position reduces the pressure on the low back, which in turn reduces the risk of back pain.

If you don't have a firm sofa:-

• It is a good idea to have a range of chairs in the living room rather than always choosing to sit on the sofa.

• Vary your seating position – you should alternate sitting on the sofa to sitting on the floor with your back rested firmly against the base of the sofa to keep your posture upright.

• Lie down rather than sitting for long periods of time. You can also place a pillow between your legs to open the pelvic joints.

Regardless of the type of sofa, follow these measures:-

• It is important to ensure you get up at regular intervals (at least every 20 minutes) to change position and walk around the house to stretch your muscles.

• Allow yourself to move while you are still seated and not stay completely stationary, for example, roll your shoulders forward and backwards to loosen your muscles.

The British Chiropractic Association has launched Straighten Up UK, a three minute exercise programme for all ages, designed to help strengthen the spine and improve posture. Easy to learn and do, the sequence of exercises consists of precise, slow stretches, each with a specific purpose. This exercise can be carried out during television advertising breaks and is most effective when performed daily. To see a video of these exercises please follow this link, http://www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk/For-You-5-Straighten-Up-UK-0-ms.aspx.

If you are developing low back pain, don't let it affect your Christmas. Contact Young's Spinal Health today on 01656 856162 or e-mail us on enquiries@youngsspinallhealth.co.uk........
Arthritis care

Arthritis is a broad term, basically meaning joint pain. As a result it is a common complaint presented to chiropractors. Many people don't realize that there are over 200 different types of arthritis affecting any age group and any joint in the body. The most predominant that I personally see is osteoarthritis also known as wear and tear or degeneration. During treatment I often find simple advice regarding things like diet and exercise, as detailed in this article, can have a profound effect on my patients' quality of life. 

Diet
  • There have been no definitive links between given food groups and inflammatory flare ups, although certain foods are known to reduce pain and inflammation, including; apples, berries, cherries and citric foods. 
  • Certain types of arthritis such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, long term steroid intake and/or inactivity can lead to bone density issues so it's important to get Calcium and vitamin D from dairy products and leafy greens like spinach, kale and broccoli. 
  • Essential fatty acids (EFAs) can help some people with arthritis. Including; Omega 3 and Omega 6, usually found in oily fish, nuts, meat and cheese. (Beware, Omega 6 may be linked to an increase in inflammation). 
  • Popular supplements include glucosamine chondroitin, Aloe Vera and Evening Primrose Oil. Always check with your health care provider if on medication before taking these. 
  • Control your weight; less weight means less pressure on aching joints. 

Exercise
  • Combat morning stiffness by taking time to mobilise joints. Draw circles with your neck, shoulders, wrists, pelvis and ankles. You can also try lying on your back and bringing your knee to your chest. This is a gentle way to improve motion. 
  • Fitness in the pool is another way to gently improve function. If you don't like swimming there are many Aquafit and Aqua Zumba classes. 
  • Strength training - you don't have to be lifting heavy weights, resistive bands will often suffice. 
  • Remember that with inactivity comes osteoporosis, so use it or lose it! 

My patients who suffer with Osteoarthritis or cervical spondylosis often report increased mobility and less pain when undergoing chiropractic treatment. Those who adopt the lifestyle changes relating to diet and exercise understand it is a way of life and not a one off stretch or supplement.

Take control of your health today and make some positive changes.

To book an appointment please call Laura Young M(Chiro) on 01656 856162 or email on enquiries@youngsspinalhealth.co.uk
Chiropractic care and your child

At any park where children are playing, it seems there's always one who falls over or has a collision with a nearby object. Children have lots of bumps and scrapes as they grow and develop, just as adults have their fair share too! Chiropractor Laura Young, has seen how chiropractic can help children grow and develop by maintaining the function of the developing body, allowing kids to cope with the odd bump and fall.

“Treatment for children is always very gentle – they need very little to keep their spines healthy, and most of the time they have no problems at all. If you think of all the bending and twisting they go through at birth, those little spines can cope with a lot! However I would recommend any parent bring their child in for a chiropractic check-up, just like the dentist.”

And parents should not neglect their spines too – all that bending and lifting takes its toll. “The adult spine is less flexible than a child's, and repetitive actions like carrying a child on one hip or bending down to play can lead to restrictions in the spine and surrounding muscles,” says Laura.

Call today  01656 856162
Can Chiropractic help With Headaches?

Chiropractic is a low risk, hands on approach for dealing with a variety of disorders. Some of which you may not automatically think about, and headaches are one of them. As with all medical conditions, there are many classifications, in fact there are 150 diagnostic classifications for headaches. Chiropractic is not suitable for all but it is suitable for some of the more common varieties, including migraines and cervicogenic headaches (headaches resulting from neck pain).

Both of which are highly prevalent, recent research shows between 22-25% of adults suffer from cervicogenic headaches, with women being four times as likely. And migraines stand at around a 5-12% of the overall population.

Cervicogenic headaches can arise from relatively common irritants including, poor posture, whiplash, uncomfortable sleeping arrangements or repetitive strain injuries. Aspects of life that most of us can associate with. It is through a series of abnormal muscle and joint movements and heightened pain sensitive nerve signals within neck pain that develop into a headache. In a nutshell, the brain gets confused as to the location of the pain and it presents in the head, often as a one sided head pain around the eye.

A cervicogenic headache can also act as a preceding factor for migraines and can lead to an increase in the frequency, duration and severity of pain during a migraine attack. Once a migraine has started, many patients state there is little that improves the symptoms indicating prevention is better than reactive treatment in such instances.

Chiropractors are ideally placed to treat cervicogenic headaches as we are concerned with improving the function of joints and their supportive tissues. When your chiropractor is treating you for migraines he or she is looking to affect 2 of the 3 main aspects. (Frequency, Duration and severity of pain.) We often find this dramatically reduces patients discomfort and improves quality of life.

The British Chiropractic Associate suggests that manual therapy is a low risk intervention that may offer relief to those who do not wish to take medication.

So, if you or someone you know is suffering, then contact Young's Spinal Health. With our mobile operation we will arrange an appointment you at your convenience. Take control of your health today and make some positive changes.

Laura Young M(Chiro) Tel: 01656 856162 E-mail: enquiries@youngsspinalhealth.co.uk
The Happy Commuter

We all spend a fair amount of time commuting, new research from the TUC has found that the average commute is just over 52 minutes per day. <br /><br />This can play a large part the development of back ache, The British Chiropractic Association has found that one in three commuters (32%) are suffering from back pain. With this in mind, Young's Spinal Health has some great advice for travel-worn commuters.<br /> <br />Driving<br />Commuting by car may be seen, by some, like the easy route, but driving remains a key trigger of back pain, contributing significantly to the length of time spent sitting inactive each day at both work and home. Sitting down can put twice as much pressure on the spine as standing up. <br />- If driving (as we are all different shapes and sizes), make sure you adjust car seats, head rests and steering wheels to meet your individual requirements. This will not only improve your comfort in the car but also your safety.<br />- When dirving long distances, make sure you stop regularly and go for a walk. aim for a break every 30-40 minutes.<br /> <br />Public Transport <br />- If you mainly stand on your commute, make sure you wear comfortable shoes and loose clothing. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold onto a rail comfortably, don't over stretch.<br />- If you do get a seat, relax when sitting into your chair, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back and your shoulder blades are touching the back rest of the chair. Avoid stiffness by doing shoulder shrugs, buttock clenches and foot circles.<br />- If using a laptop, don't sit in the same position for long periods, as you are looking down onto the screen with your head unsupported. Rest the laptop on a table, not on your lap, arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk or table you are using.<br /> <br />Don't forget........Muscles and joints are designed for movement so, where possible, walk as it will help improve muscle tone, improve circulation and posture. Walking also works to reduce the appetite so is very good for all those looking to get fit and lose weight.<br /><br />If you are suffering with niggling pains or would like a check, contact Laura Young M(Chiro) on 01656 856162 or by e-mail, enquiries@youngsspinalhealth.co.uk
Winter walks

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise available and as a Chiropractor I regularly encourage patients to walk more. Given the current icy weather conditions people are rightly concerned about causing injury and as a result they are missing out on a fantastic exercise. Not only are people more likely to slip and fall but this increased likelihood of injury leads to people adopting an altered walking pattern, which in itself can result in back ache. To help get people out and walking safely here is some advice that we can all follow: - <br /><br /><br />Best foot forward<br />- It is a good idea to have two pairs of shoes, one for walking in the ice and snow, the other for indoors or whilst driving. <br />- Waterproof or other, lined shoes are preferable as are thermal socks, as these items will help keep your feet warm. Cold, numb feet are less able to sense and adapt to changing conditions. <br />- Footwear should have a solid and large, raised treads on the sole; essential for maximising your grip on the ice. <br />- Shoes with support features are important – walking shoes with a firm ankle support are ideal as they help prevent you ‘going over' on your ankle and help you feel more stable in slippery conditions. If shoes have laces, they should be firmly laced to give a close fit without limiting the circulation.<br />What to avoid…..Wellingtons can be practical, but they often don't give enough support and can be difficult to take off. Also avoid walking outside in leather or other, smooth soled shoes.<br /><br />Top Gear<br />- Clothing should be warm and allow you to move freely. Anything that impedes you from walking ‘normally' could make you more prone to falling over or lead to you walking in an unnatural way.<br /><br />Be Prepared<br />- There are things you can do to prepare yourself for better balance. Standing on one leg, as an exercise, is a great way to help improve your balance. <br />- When you are out and about, keeping your hands out of your pockets (use gloves) so that you can use your arms for better balance is a great idea too. <br />- Watch out for parts of the pavement that may have been in shadow or under trees, where there is more likely be black ice, but make sure you pay attention to what is ahead too!<br /><br />Falling Gracefully<br />If you do fall, try and curl up and 'roll' with the fall and stay relaxed, this will minimise any jarring to your body. Whilst it may be an automatic reaction, try to avoid putting your hands out to save you - this may cause wrist injuries. <br /><br />Keep Your Wits<br />Try to avoid alcohol. Not only will you be more prone to feeling the adverse effects of the cold (because alcohol causes loss of body heat) but it may also cause you to take risks that you wouldn't normally do and, of course, make you more unsteady on your feet. Keep topped up with warm drinks to keep your temperature up.<br /><br />If you have any questions or require a check up before or after a walk please contact Dr. Laura Young on 01656 856162 or e-mail her on enquiries@youngsspinalhealth.co.uk
Posture, Posture, Posture!!

Posture is extremley important, not only can it create back and neck pain but it can also prolong and exacerbate existing instances of these aches and pains.

For this reason, it is a problem that is often seen in Chiropractic clinics, so postural advice plays a large role in any treatment plan.

Small postural improvements result in major major benefits to the body, please see below for some general advice on improving your posture.

Don't just sit there
  • A lack of exercise is your worst enemy. Regular exercise is essential as the fitter you are, the less likely you are to injure yourself.
  • Do not sit for prolonged periods. After 20-30 mins of sitting at a desk, get up and move around.Simple activities such as stretching and shoulder shrugging can all help to keep your back in line.
  • If you are sat at a desk, ensure your chair is close to the desk and the right height for you. At no point should your knees be higher than your hips. Use a chair with back support, arm rests and a swivel function.
  • Those big squishy comfy sofas aren't always recommended for the low back. Again your hips should be higher than you knees and you shouldn't lean to one side. If you find you do, get a foot rest and lean back into the chair.
Give your posture a sporting chance
  • Any unaccustomed exercise can put you at risk of back pain. You might only play a relaxed, low-risk sport once a week, but you still need to prepare yourself sufficiently – mentally and physically.
  • Warming up and warming down is essential to ensure that your joints and muscles don't get a shock.
Don't drive yourself around the bend
  • Driving long distances for work, on the school run or picking up the monthly shop,the last thing on our minds is the state of our backs whilst in the driving seat.What many people do not realise is that There is almost twice as much pressure on your back when you are sitting, so stop regularly and allow the body to recover.
  • When you are driving try not to hunch over the wheel, and yet again, make sure you are high enough that your knees are positioned no higher than you hips. you may need to make use of an extra cusion.
Remember, we are dynamic creatures, we are designed to move. Take a look at the image to the right it depicts 2 different postures. The one on the left is typical of many a modern day posture whereas the one to the right is what we should be aiming for.

If you are suffering aches and pains or have concerns with your posture, please contact Dr. Laura Young M(Chiro) on 01656 856162 or e-mail enquiries@youngsspinalhealth.co.uk

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Let's go back to basics: Back Pain
We have discussed multiple reasons to seek chiropractic treatment...
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Sleep Advice
It doesn't matter who you are or where you're...
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Scottish Chiropractic Association
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