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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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For Festival goers and Happy Campers

Many festival-goers and campers are at risk of damaging their backs by simply doing what they love. Whilst they may remember all the essentials like wellies, glow-sticks and a sleeping bag, they might not spare a thought for the effects that camping and general festival-life can have on their back.
Research released earlier this year by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA)* and Sealy Posturepedic found that 43% of those who have suffered back pain in the past or continue to do so now cited that their bed/mattress/pillow is/was a major factor in triggering that pain. Given that those surveyed were sleeping on a normal mattress, extra precautions are certainly required when sleeping on the hard ground under canvas.
To ensure you don’t miss out on your camping holiday or festival fun, Young's Spinal Health has the following advice:
  • Protect your back – Ensure your back is protected against a hard and potentially damp surface by sleeping on a quality approved camping mat.
  • Pillow Talk - Try to also take your pillow from home, if you find it comfortable and supportive. If this is not practical, a blow-up pillow is the most portable. Have a 'dry run' on it before you leave home to make sure you can sleep comfortably on it.
  • Prep your sleeping area first – make sure to remove large stones or sticks that could dig into your spine.

Another consideration that festival-goers and campers should bear in mind is the size and weight of their rucksacks and luggage.  59% of Brits believe that lifting and carrying is a cause of back pain they have experienced.
Standing for hours at a time during your journey there with a heavy bag weighing down on your back could cause an injury before you even start your weekend, so be sure to consider the following advice:
  • Two bags are better than one - If possible, take two or more lighter bags rather than one so you can distribute the weight more evenly.
  • Rucksacks are best - Make sure you can pack all your kit into something that is easy to carry. A rucksack that has wide straps distributes the load more evenly over your back and if it has chest straps this further helps to dissipate weight.
and finally:
  • Keep hydrated - If you are queuing in the sun for long periods of time, rather than alcohol, which will cause dehydration which, in turn, can aggravate muscle pain, drink plenty of water and juice.
  • Still Standing – If you know that you are going to be on your feet for a long time, make sure you wear comfortable shoes and loose clothing. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart to support your back and hips
If you would like to speak to Laura Young M(Chiro) DC about any of these points please call on 01656 856162 or email on

Make some positive changes today and enjoy your summer to the fullest.
Back to School

September's here and children and parents alike are preparing for the new school year. Often parents look at durability when buying school supplies including uniform, stationary and possibly the most important item, the back pack. But it is also important to consider function. <br /><br />For a long time concern has been raised about the demands placed on the developing spine when carrying heavy back packs to and from school. Whilst there has been a lot of research into the matter, there are still no definitive guidelines as to a safe weight limit. Some authors have suggested 15-20% of the child's body weight but other authors refrain from offering suggestions. Even though, this is the case, we can all use some common sense. <br /><br />For this month's news item, please see the advice below, as this may help a little spine you know:-<br /><br />• Lightweight material (canvas as opposed to leather) <br />• Two padded, wide (2-inches), adjustable shoulder straps on the backpack <br />• Padded back <br />• Individualized compartments <br />• Hip strap, waist belt, or frame to redistribute the weight of the backpack from the shoulders and back to the pelvis <br />• Wheels so that the backpack can be pulled rather than carried <br />• Consider using a separate bag for the child's laptop or other heavy items<br /><br />If you have a child complaining of back pain, please put this advice into action. It is also important to have an assessment as to ensure there are no other considerations to be concerned with, for more information contact Dr. Laura Young on 01656 856162
Video from the British Chiropractic Association

A recent video was produced by the British Chiropractic Association and broadcast on NHS TV.

It beautifully explains the practice of Chiropractic, what it treats, how it treats and what you should expect as a patient.

If you are thinking about starting Chiropractic treatment but you're not too sure if it's the correct discipline for your problem, then take time out and watch this short video.

If you still have questions then please contact Laura Young M(Chiro) on 01656 856162 or by e-mail
Lifestyle Changes

Young's Spinal Health is urging people to think about what they put their backs through during an average day, as research findings reveal that sleeping and sitting are two of the main culprits for triggering neck and back pain in the UK.
More than three quarters (77%) of people surveyed say they are currently experiencing back or neck pain or have done in the past. Nearly a quarter (24%) say they suffer on a daily basis.

Surprisingly, it's not strenuous exercise putting most people's backs out - 43% of respondents pin sleeping as their most common pain trigger and 44% said sitting is also a trigger.

It seems modern lifestyle could be to blame; 82% of those surveyed say they spend up to six hours a day sitting in front of a computer screen and almost one in five (19%) spend more than 4 hours a day watching TV.

Today, Laura is warning that inactive lifestyles could be causing unnecessary pain, small lifestyle changes can make a huge impact on reducing back pain.
Breakdown of a sedentary day:73% spend more than six hours sleeping
  • 28% spend over six hours sitting
  • 33% spend between two and six hours looking at a laptop or tablet
  • 49% spend between two and six hours watching TV or a film
  • 82% spend up to six hours a day sitting in front of a computer screen
 Lauras' TOP TIPS for maintaining a healthy back and neck:
  • Sit up straight - keep arms close to the body and supported if possible. Make sure the top of the screen is level with the eyebrows and the chair is titled slightly forward, allowing for the knees to be lower than the hips and the feet to be flat on the floor. Sit into the back of the chair and use as much of the chair for support.
  • Keep moving - if sitting in the same position all day take regular breaks - ideally every 30 minutes. It’s good to stretch your arms, shrug your shoulders and move your fingers around - this helps to keep the muscles more relaxed.
  • Switch off - try to limit the time you spend leaning over your mobile devices or with your laptop on your knees especially after a day spent in front of a screen, to help improve your posture and relieve neck strain.
  • Sleep easy - test out your mattress before you buy it to find the perfect one and lie on your side rather than lying on your front with your neck twisted to one side.
For more information on how to maintain a healthy posture, contact Young's Spinal Health on 01656 856162 or by e-mail on
Fibromyalgia and chronic pain syndromes

May 12th 2015 is the national fibromyalgia awareness day. So don on your purple and show support for those struggling with chronic pain and discomfort.

It is an often mistaken idea that fibromyalgia and chronic pain are always the same. Fibromyagia is a condition whereby the patient experiences heightened sense of pain, thoughout the body. This is usually coupled with fatigue, “fibro fog” cognitive difficulty, insomnia, and occasionally bowel or bladder problems, headaches and depression.

Chronic pain can be a local issue, as in a long term back ache with multiple aetiologies. It is known that when a pain becomes chronic (over 3 weeks) sensory receptors in the body (mechanoreceptors) actually morph into pain receptors (nociceptors). Therefore the body is more sensitive to pain. In addition to that, the length of time that continual pain is experienced the brain develops a heightened sensitivity. This is often known as “central sensitisation”.

Whereas both of these issues are very different, they often overlap. There is no definitive diagnostic test for fibromyalgia and as such, is an exclusion diagnosis. It can often be preceded by a number of physical, physiological or psychological stressors. For this reason it remains a contentious issue for many diagnosticians. For example, a chronic pain episode can result in the development of fibromyalgia.

In both instances, positive lifestyle changes are recommended. Not only do you want to utilise the best medical care available and also cognitive behavioural therapy. But a healthy diet and optimal physical activity, given the limitations created by the condition. Some doctors even believe food sensitivity to play a part in the pain and fatigue noted with both conditions.

It is also important to note that even if you have a chronic pain or even fibromyalgia, hands on treatment can still alleviate simple mechanical issues. Chiropractors have a varied toolbox of treatment options available, including very gentle techniques. If you have any questions, please contact our chiropractor Laura Young on 01656 856162 or by e-mail on

Healthy Bones, Healthy Body!

As we may know, bones are extremely important for our existence, and without healthy bones, we may experience a number of ailments. The human skeletal system, made of bones, is the foundation that supports the human body. The skeletal system executes important functions such as protecting the vital organs, giving a structure to the human body, supporting movement, etc. It is extremely important to maintain the health of your bones. If your bones are not healthy, then you may start to experience conditions like joint pain, experiencing pain while moving/walking, stiffness in the joints, arthritis, etc. If you neglect the health of your bones, you may also be prone to serious disorders. So, if you want to keep the health of your bones intact, then you can follow certain tips, as suggested by orthopaedics and our chiropractor Laura.<br /> <br />1. If you are concerned about the health of your bones or if you have had a few fractures on a short term basis, you should get a bone density scan. This will give you a quantitative basis to work from. <br />2. Always aim to get some sunlight every day, as the vitamin D from sunlight helps your bones absorb calcium. <br />3. Ensure you add calcium-rich foods to your diet such as dairy product and fish but also cruciferous vegetables such as, broccoli and kale as without them your body will struggle to convert calcium to its useful components.<br />4. Consuming nuts is also a good tip for having healthy bones, as nuts like almonds are rich in calcium content and also magnesium and potassium, both important minerals for bone health.<br />5. Including eggs in your diet is considered a positive agent as the protein content in the eggs can minimise the risk of fractures by strengthening bones. <br />6. Exercising is extremely important for healthy bones. We react to extra demand by developing extra support, aka bone density. Concentrate specifically on abdominal exercise, as these core exercises can strengthen your spine so as to better distribute forces.<br />7. Quit smoking, as smoking can increase the risk of osteoporosis. <br />8. Maintaining a healthy weight, as obesity can make your bones weaker and it actually increases the risk of osteoarthritis. <br /><br />We like to think of health as in our control, therefore proactive healthcare is key. By following these simple lifestyle suggestions you should be able to maintain good skeletal health. If you are concerned about osteoporosis please seek help from a medical practitioner.<br /><br />Here is a recipe for Salmon Chowder to ensure strong bones<br /><br />Ingredients <br />• 3 tablespoons tub margarine<br />• 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped<br />• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced<br />• 3 red bliss potatoes, skin on, diced<br />• 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk<br />• 1 6-ounce can skinless, boneless, salmon, drained; or 6 ounces cooked salmon<br />• 1 tablespoon dried parsley<br />• Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste<br /><br />1. Heat margarine in medium saucepan over medium heat.<br />2. Add onion and sauté until nearly translucent; add garlic, stirring constantly and cooking until softened.<br />3. Add potato and milk to the pan.<br />4. Cover and simmer on low heat, stirring every few minutes or so, until potatoes are cooked, about 15-20 minutes.<br />5. Add salmon and parsley and stir. Serve warm. Refrigerate unused portion.<br />6. Makes 4 servings (about 3/4 cup each).<br /><br />Per serving: 348 calories; 18 grams protein; 35 grams carbohydrate; 3 grams fibre; 15 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 trans fat; 40 milligrams cholesterol; 213 milligrams sodium; 169 International Units Vitamin D; 155 milligrams calcium.

In the UK alone, 1 in 2 women over the age of 50 will break a bone due to Osteoporosis. For men, it is 1 in 5. During a survey in 2014 which looked at 3,000 people suffering from the condition, 42% had experienced fractures that have resulted in long-term pain that they do not believe will go away. Awareness about Osteoporosis must be made as 1/5 of women who have broken a bone break 3 or more before being diagnosed with Osteoporosis. This is why we are trying to raise people's understanding of the condition. What is it? Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones to a fragile state and therefore makes you more prone to fractures. It can cause fractures even by the impact of a sneeze or a minor fall. Although Osteoporosis can affect all bones in the body, the most common areas are wrists, hips and spinal bones. Symptoms • Multiple fractures that are caused my minor or major falls. • Back pain • Loss of weight over time • Stooped posture What causes it? As you age, you start to lose bone density, usually after your late 20s. This happens naturally to everyone but some people can lose bone density quicker. Women are at more risk of Osteoporosis as females naturally have smaller and thinner bones than men. The menopause can also affect bone density due to the hormone changes. Low testosterone in men can also be a factor that can cause the condition. But there are also many other causes and the condition is usually born of a mix of factors. Contributing factors • Medication that includes steroids • Smoking • Alcohol • Poor diet • Inactivity Wolff’s law Wolff's Law states that bones grow and remodel themselves in response to the forces they are placed upon it. This is very important when looking at treatment options. We need to continue to therapeutically stress the skeletal system through gentle exercise and activity in order to improve the health of our bones. What to do if you suspect you have osteoporosis? • Speak with your primary health care provider. They can refer you for a DEXA scan and possibly prescribe mineralising medication depending on the outcome • Reduce your intake of carbonated drinks, alcohol and caffeine • Eat more protein rich food; bone is made up of 50% protein and is under a constant turnover • Increase your intake of magnesium (i.e. nuts), Calcium and Vitamin D (They go hand in hand!) • Have your hormones checked (Oestrogen and testosterone protect bone mineralisation) • Keep active (Swimming and vibration plates are ideal in even the more severe stages) The main thing to remember is this is a reversible condition and can most of the time be managed through lifestyle choices. If you have any concerns please contact Young’s Spinal Health and speak with one of our Chiropractors on 01656 856162.

People are advised from many different quarters about the huge benefits of physical activity for several aspects of physical and mental health. For example, it is not clear that low fitness levels are worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and obesity combined! However, many people who experience pain are naturally reluctant to take part in exercise, because it can initially be painful. Also, many people with pain fear it may cause them more problems. This, though, is not the case! Not only is regular exercise important for a person’s general health, it also helps reduce pain and disability once a person starts gently, progresses the amount they are doing sensibly and sticks with it in the long term. Which type of exercise? All types of exercise are beneficial, with no single type clearly being the best at reducing pain or improving function. Studies have shown no difference between walking, cycling or Pilates for chronic low back pain. Across a wide range of painful conditions, walking, stretching, cycling, jogging, running, yoga and many more formats all seem to be safe and equally effective for pain reduction. How to get started: You can start by doing some gentle light activity and then increase your levels when you feel confident to do so. Here at Young’s Spinal Health, our chiropractors can help you form an exercise plan, which will involve increasing your activity gradually and when you are happy to do so. These are the benefits of regular exercise for your pain and general health: • Reduces muscle tension and nervous system sensitivity, by activating our own body’s natural painkillers (endorphins) in the body. • Improves memory and concentration (reduces the rate of thinking and memory decline in Alzheimer’s disease). • Improves mood by releasing endorphins, and by giving you a sense of self-mastery, control and achievement. • Strengthens your immune system. • Helps with weight control when supplemented with a healthy diet. • Reduces the risk and progression of heart disease, blood pressure, cholesterol, chest and lung problems, type 2 diabetes and neurological conditions. • Increases muscle strength (can reduce falls in the elderly). • Can reduce the need for surgery (as effective as surgery for low back pain, hip and knee osteoarthritis and shoulder pain conditions). • Improves sleep quality. • Reduces fatigue, tiredness and increases energy levels. • Can prevent and reduce stress and anxiety. In short, exercise is medicine without the drugs or tablets. All types of exercise are good and are equally beneficial for reducing pain. Just always remember, pick an exercise you enjoy, is easy to afford and is easy to get to.
Is work literally a pain in the butt?

Increasing numbers of workers could be risking their back health by not working in posture-friendly environments at home, according to new research from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA). New findings from the BCA revealed that many Brits are opting for home-comforts over health, with just under a fifth (19%) of those working remotely on a laptop /desktop computer admitting to working from the sofa and more than one in ten (11%) saying they work from their bed. Work was cited as a trigger of back or neck pain by nearly a fifth (19%) of sufferers, but despite this, more than a quarter (26%) of workers admit to taking no proactive measures to protect their back whilst at work; whether at home or in an office. Young’s Spinal Health has the following tips for people working at home: • If possible, designate a specific area in your home for working and always work at a table, sitting on a chair, rather than on the sofa or in bed. • The top of your screen should be level with your eyebrows and if you are working from a laptop, make sure you are not hunching over the screen. If you don’t want to invest in a computer stand, place sturdy books, for example shopping catalogues, under your laptop so that you can adjust the level of the screen to fit your eye line. • Use a detachable keyboard and mouse whenever possible, as this will ensure that your movement is not restricted and you are not placing unnecessary strain on your back. • Taking regular breaks is extremely important and the BCA recommends workers move around every 20-30 minutes. An easy way to ensure that you get away from your desk is to set a loud alarm in another room. • When making phone calls, take the opportunity to get up from your desk and move around as you talk. • Embrace the privacy of working from home by doing regular stretches. The BCA has developed a series of simple exercises to improve posture and help prevent back pain. Our chiropractor, Laura Young, recommends that, if you are experiencing pain for more than a few days, then you should seek professional help, as an undiagnosed problem could lead to longer-term problems if left untreated. To find out where your local chiropractor is, please visit and search for a chiropractor. The research was carried out on behalf of the British Chiropractic Association. * Referenced here: 1 Taken from the TUC’s analysis of unpublished data from the ONS Labour Force Survey
Preparing your back for a car journey

This month we have 2 bank holiday and many of us will be planning day trips. With that in mind here are some tips to ensure your day trip doesn’t lead to a pain in the back! Make adjustments - If you share a car, make sure the seat position is adjusted to suit you each time you get in. - The back of the seat should be set slightly backwards, so that it feels natural and your elbows should be at a comfortable and relaxed angle for driving. Steering wheel - Once you have adjusted your seat correctly, your hands should fall naturally on the steering wheel, with just a slight bend in the arms. If the wheel is too high and far away, tension will build up in your shoulders and upper back. If it is too low and close to you, the wheel may be touching your legs, which will reduce your ability to turn it freely, putting strain on the wrists and the muscles of the upper back. Mirrors Your reactions must be quick, so you should not need to move your head a lot. The mirror positions should allow you to see all around the car with the movement of your eyes with minimal head movement. - Set your mirror positions to suit you before you drive off. Seatbelts - Your seatbelt should always lie across the top of your shoulder and never rub against your neck or fall onto the top of your arm. - Depending on your height, you may need to adjust the position at which the seat belt emerges from the body of the car. (If the adjustments available are insufficient, it is possible to purchase clips that help you adjust your seat belt height without impairing safety.) Footwear - Once you have adjusted your seat correctly, your feet should fall naturally onto the pedals. You should be able to press the pedals to the floor by mainly moving your ankle and only using your leg a little. - Avoid wearing wear high heels, or very thick-soled shoes, as you will have to over-extend the ankle in order to put pressure on the pedals. As well as making it much harder to deal with an emergency stop, this position will raise your thigh from the seat (reducing support to your leg) and create tension (and possibly cramp) in the calf. This, in turn, will impair the blood flow on a long journey. Relax - A relaxed driving position reduces stress on the spine, allowing your seat to take your weight. - Take regular breaks - stop and stretch your legs (and arms!) at least every two hours, more often if possible. You should certainly stop more frequently if you are feeling any discomfort. - Clench your cheeks - If you are stuck in traffic, exercise in your seat. Try buttock clenches, side bends, seat braces (pushing your hands into the steering wheel and your back into the seat – tensing and relaxing) as well as shoulder shrugs and circles. - Leave the tight clothes at home - They will restrict your movement. - It’s all in the timing - Allow plenty of time for journeys to avoid stress. Good luck and enjoy your extra 2 days off this month.

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