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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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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.
Do Chiropractors only treat backs?

This is a common assumption and I can certainly say No. The most common reasons people seek chiropractic treatment is for low back and neck pain. But there are also many other conditions that people seek chiropractic treatment for. The most common include headaches, hip, knee and shoulder conditions.

Around about half of patients at Young’s Spinal Health are seen for low back and neck conditions, the other half make up a myriad of additional musculoskeletal problems. These too can have many causes. For example, a runner with a bad knee could have meniscal (Cartilage) damage, Osteoarthritis, repetitive strain or altered muscle activation due to previous trauma or poor technique. It is the job of the chiropractor to determine the cause and therefore the potential improvement that can be made.

The same goes for the shoulder although this is a very complex joint. It is primarily controlled by the exact muscle activation surrounding the joint as the ball and socket of the bony structure is relatively unstable. It is very important that your practitioner spends time assessing the function and muscle activation this will form the basis of your rehabilitation. The exercises can sometimes seem too easy but they are designed that way to retrain the basic muscle function on which more complex manoeuvres are performed.

It is often very easy to overlook limb pain as you can compensate and avoid painful activities. This too can lead to additional stress and strain to other structures such as the spine.  For this reason we often see people in the clinic after they have experienced limb pain for a number of months and years which has progressed to a more debilitating condition involving one or more other area. This also makes treatment a longer process as your practitioner will almost have to “peel back the layers” of musculoskeletal dysfunction.

Our Chiropractor Laura Young explains “Chiropractic treatment is directed at restoring normal function and reducing the strain on the body. If there are bones, muscles, ligaments and cartilage involved, chances are chiropractic can help”

If you are unsure whether chiropractic is a viable treatment option for you, please contact the clinic and book in for a 5 minute free consultation where you can briefly discuss your problem with one of our chiropractors. We will endeavour to advise you of the route of appropriate care. For all enquiries, please call 01656 856162 or email on enquiries@youngsspinalhealth.co.uk.
Full Patient Story - A. Johnston

I have suffered many years with back pain and severe sciatica due to a prolapse disc. I have undergone two spinal operations to remove the prolapse disc and then to stabalise the facet joints.

Although the surgery helped, I still had post operative pain due to nerve damage and due to lack of core stability and poor posture, pain was still causing me a huge problem.

Laura has worked with me to alleviate the pain and to build my core stability. I now see Laura on a maintenance based approach. this enables me to be active and maintain a normal healthy life. When I first met Laura my quality of life was pretty poor, I can now enjoy family life and holidays, I would recommend her services to anyone. As far as I am concerned she has healing hands.
January Newsletter - return to exercise

Advice for January

The first Monday in January is invariably the busiest day in the gym and you'll be hard pressed to get on your favourite machine. This enthusiasm however, is often short lived. Sometimes, it's not just a general dip in motivation that causes us to slowly break our resolutions, but underlying musculoskeletal aches and pains, only made worse by periods of inactivity.

There is now a wealth of evidence that points to aerobic exercise, strengthening and Chiropractic treatment helping those with low back pain. If you want to make the most of improving your fitness and wellbeing this coming new year then make sure you are “gym ready” first. Here are a few points:-

1. Stretch – Make sure you stretch before and after an exercise routine. By stretching before it helps prevent injury whilst exercising, whereas stretching after helps to prevent the onset of post exercise soreness and muscle tension. Note, hold a stretch for 10 seconds and don't bob back and fore as this can cause micro tears in the muscle and ligaments.
2. Warm up – Always build up to the physical peak of your activity, never throw yourself straight into high cardiac output or heavy weights.
3. Choose your exercise carefully – If you have a pre-existing problem discuss the exercise programme with your Chiropractor. For example, if you have had a history of knee, hip or low back problems, running isn't for you. Instead choose a type of exercise that puts less impact on the joints such as using a cross trainer or swimming. If you know you have heart or lung problems, it is advisable to speak with your general practitioner first.
4. Musculoskeletal preparation - If you have “a niggle” or even a “slight ache” it is advisable that you see your chiropractor before starting a new exercise regime. That slight ache is your body telling you that something isn't right. By ignoring it and exercising regardless can cause more damage.

Take control of your health and make some positive changes.

If you would like further information or to book an appointment please call 07591 424338 or contact Dr. Laura Young on enquiries@youngsspinalhealth.co.uk.
On Your Marks

As Great Britain gets to grips with ‘Olympic fever', we all look to get involved. Many of us will lend support by watching the games on television, or even from one of the many stadiums across the country. Some may be inspired to take up a new sport or ‘up their game' in existing activities. For the nation as a whole, this can only mean good things!!! It makes for a happy, healthy society. And to keep this up and ensure it doesn't lead to avoidable sporting injuries, I thought it best practice to go over the basics: -


Warm up – Before you start your work out always warm up. Start with circling your joints and gradually build to a low impact, low intensity, activity such as a jog or a slow stroke swim.


Keep hydrated – Make sure you dink enough water! Remember, we lose 3 litres of water per day through breathing, sweat, urine and excretion. Most is lost through breathing and sweating alone, so it only makes sense that this will increase with exercise.


Stretch- Ensure you stretch at the end of a workout to keep your muscles and ligaments supple and less prone to damage. Hold each stretch for around 10 seconds and remember DO NOT BOB!


Ask professional advice – If you are in the gym and using new equipment and are unsure of technique, it is always best to seek advice from the professional trainers.


It is important to note that 48% of the population is suffering with low back pain.* Exercise can greatly improve suffering and also helps to improve if not prevent most avoidable back problems.


When you get involved, don't forget these simple points.


If you are concerned about back pain, whether it is exercise related or not, it is advisable to ask advice from a chiropractor. You can contact Dr. Laura Young MSc (Chiro) on 07591 424338 or e-mail directly to enquiries@youngsspinalhealth.co.uk.



*British Chiropractic Association, February 2012

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Youngs Spinal Health is registered with the General Chiropractic Council