Why Chiropractic care is different and how it works

I love being a chiropractor and being able to help people. Whether it is through improvement of spinal function; exercise; or general lifestyle advice, our main goal is often helping you to achieve your potential and not just about chasing pain and symptoms.

Whilst we often use many manual and rehab techniques to suit you and your complaint, chiropractors primarily focus on improving joint function through mobilisation and manipulation. We are experts in this respect and train for many years to deliver safe, effective techniques to peripheral and spinal joints that are restricted (or “dysfunctional”).  However, how this works is often a subject of debate. Recently, I attended a very interesting and inspirational seminar which highlighted some of the exciting neurophysiological research that is occurring in Chiropractic. In particular, how manipulation of the spine affects our body’s awareness and brain function.

Why is this important?

Imagine you are doing something apparently simple like picking a ball up. What happens? First, your brain tells your core abdominal muscles to “switch on” to create a stable platform; then you lift your arm and reach out; then you anticipate the shape, weight and size of the ball from past experience and visual input; then you pick it up. Although this all happens subconsciously in seconds, during that time billions of signals are being sent from the tissues to your brain (and vice-versa) to carefully control and modulate your muscle contractions and keep you stable. The nerve signals from your limbs, and the position and movement of the joints and small muscles around the spine are essential in this process. If this is working at its best, you are unlikely to get joint or muscle pain.

Why is this important to Chiropractic?

Research has shown that the brain can interpret these signals differently if spinal joints are not moving well. This can lead to poor control of your body movements, decreased stabilisation and potential injury or long term adaptive changes (often known as “compensation”). Correcting these dysfunctional spinal joints can aid in the “normalisation” of the information from the spine to the brain, and help the brain to accurately perceive what is happening in and around the body. When this happens it can help the muscles and nerves to respond more accurately and appropriately, and can reduce your likelihood of injury or painful conditions.

We can help you to achieve better health. Why not come and see what our chiropractors and massage therapists in Stafford and Newport can do for you. We look forward to seeing you.

Chris Mallett
Principal Chiropractor
Pure Health Chiropractic & Wellness (Stafford and Newport)

Glute activation for a healthier back and hips

Making sure you have good gluteal activation is essential to help with stabilising the lower back and hips through movement. Unfortunately with our generally sedentary lifestyles, the glutes are often ignored and can end up inhibited through lack of use. These exercises can help to get them fired up again!

Subscribe for more content from Pure Health Chiropractic & Wellness for more advice, exercises, and product reviews:

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCes0… 
Website: http://www.purehealthchiropractic.co.uk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/phchiro/

Follow our chiropractor, Chris on his channel MTBChiro for general advice and mountain biking adventures:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmWx…
Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/177911
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themtbchiro/

Let us help you to achieve better health. You can book an appointment with our chiropractor Chris or massage therapists Liesa or Matt, by calling 01785 530911 in Stafford, or 01952 825042 in Newport. Alternatively you can book using our online diary.

We look forward to seeing you.

A good year for Chiropractic & Massage?

Amazingly, Pure Health Chiropractic will be eight years old this month and that’s largely due to the many grateful and satisfied clients that have kindly referred their family and friends to us. If you are one of those lovely people, we would like to say a huge thank you for supporting us, and enabling us to help those you care about get well again.

As we age, maintaining some form of activity is vital since movement helps to promote good health. However, this isn’t easy for all of us, particularly as many of us now have to work into old age and with longer hours. If you suffer with back or neck pain, this can become a daunting prospect, and movement can become very restricted.

In 2012, the British Chiropractic Association unveiled consumer research that highlighted the need for action for those over 55. Some of the results were eye-opening: 51% suffered from back or neck pain with 33% of those complaining that they suffer daily and 24% stating they have endured their complaint for more than 10 years. 13% of those suffering from back or neck pain experienced difficulties with going to work – a clear concern for the ageing workforce. Perhaps more worryingly 13% found their pain impacted on their ability to socialise with friends and family.

With such concerning findings, it’s clear that getting the right advice and care is important. Although some exercises and hands-on treatments may seem daunting, they may be perfect for mobility and fitness if done at an appropriate level.

If your joints are not moving well, you are more likely to be in pain. Chiropractic treatment or massage can often help to restore or improve issues with joint and muscle restriction, particularly when combined with suitable postural, stabilising, and movement exercises. Adding just a few minutes of exercise or stretches to your daily routine could be a huge benefit. We can help you to find the most tailored solution to your problems.

Let us help you to achieve better health. You can book an appointment with our chiropractor Chris or massage therapists Liesa or Matt, by calling 01785 530911 in Stafford, or 01952 825042 in Newport. Alternatively you can book using our online diary.

We look forward to seeing you.

Spare your back with the “Hip Hinge”

When it comes to low back pain, being able to move through the hips in a relaxed way is essential to help avoiding injury. Our Chiropractor, Chris explains why the “hip hinge” is so important in everyday activities, but also when riding your mountain bike!

Subscribe for more content from Pure Health Chiropractic & Wellness for more advice, exercises, and product reviews:

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCes0… 
Website: http://www.purehealthchiropractic.co.uk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/phchiro/

Follow our chiropractor, Chris on his channel MTBChiro for general advice and mountain biking adventures:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmWx…
Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/177911
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themtbchiro/

Let us help you to achieve better health. You can book an appointment with our chiropractor Chris or massage therapists Liesa or Matt, by calling 01785 530911 in Stafford, or 01952 825042 in Newport. Alternatively you can book using our online diary.

We look forward to seeing you.

Help your back pain with the Dying Bug

If you suffer with a back injury or pain, it can be a real burden getting back to normal movement.

The Dying Bug track is a progression of exercises designed to help you learn to engage the spinal and pelvic muscles again, and give you the confidence to return to normal activities. Here, our Chiropractor Chris runs through some of the steps of the progression and explains why it is so important.

Subscribe for more content from Pure Health Chiropractic & Wellness for more advice, exercises, and product reviews:

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCes0…
Website: http://www.purehealthchiropractic.co.uk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/phchiro/

Follow our chiropractor, Chris on his channel MTBChiro for general advice and mountain biking adventures:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmWx…
Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/177911
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themtbchiro/

Let us help you to achieve better health. You can book an appointment with our chiropractor Chris or massage therapists Liesa or Matt, by calling 01785 530911 in Stafford, or 01952 825042 in Newport. Alternatively you can book using our online diary.

We look forward to seeing you.

Sleeping and your bed

As a Chiropractor, I am often asked for advice on pillows, beds and mattresses and which ones can help to prevent back or neck pain. In truth, there is no single answer that suits all.

Research by the British Chiropractic Association in 2013 showed that of those experiencing back or neck pain, 30% said that their pain could be brought on by a night’s so-called ‘rest’. We all come in different weights, shapes and sizes, but have one thing in common: we spend more than a third of our lives in bed, so choosing the right bed, pillow or mattress is essential to help reduce the risk.

Which is better, a hard or soft mattress?

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. If you are lying on your side, your spine should be parallel to the mattress and your spine 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.

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. In clinic we sell the fantastic Complete Sleeprrr pillow and highly recommend it if you suffer neck problems and need a new pillow. For more information visit: Which Pillow Do We Recommend?

 

How do I know if my current bed/mattress needs replacing?

Are you and your partner getting comfortable nights sleep? If the answer is no, your bed may be the problem. Can you feel the springs through the mattress? If the answer is yes, it is definitely time to buy a new one. Is the bed more than 8 years old? If the answer is yes, consider purchasing a new one – beds wear out and may sag or lose support with time.

How do I minimise back or neck problems?

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. Also try to avoid being in any one position for too long, and 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!

Let us help you to achieve better health. You can book an appointment with our chiropractor Chris or massage therapists Liesa or Matt, by calling 01785 530911 in Stafford, or 01952 825042 in Newport. Alternatively you can book using our online diary.

We look forward to seeing you.

Back Pain – don’t let it stop you!

As I was sorting through some of our old things a few days ago, I happened to come across something really quite interesting.

It was an old MRI scan of my lower back when I was in my first year of chiropractic school, at the ripe old age of 28 (I’m now nearly 42!). I was suffering quite severe back and leg pain at the time, and I can still remember being told that I had the “spine of a 65 year old” by one of the doctors. However, as I looked at it, I realised that it was very similar to many other MRI scans that I have seen since graduating, and I’m not concerned in the slightest!

Over the years, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen clients who are so afraid that they will damage their back due to “disc bulges” or a “crumbling spine”, that they are almost too apprehensive to move. I can appreciate that. Severe back or nerve pain is excruciating. Debilitating. Until you experience it, it’s difficult to describe how painful it is and you will do anything not to experience it again. However, allowing your fear of injury to control you is not the answer for long term management.

One of the main challenges with persistent back problems is learning how to move better again with confidence and coordination. A big part of this is building stability, strength and mobility through exercise, a healthy lifestyle and techniques such as Yoga, Pilates, massage and Chiropractic. Getting good advice and maintaining good movement is essential.

Being out of pain, or trying to get fit is most people’s goal when exercising but I think it’s also a great idea to find something you enjoy doing and train towards being able to do that more. For example, strength and mobility training helps me to do what I really love: riding my mountain bike. Having recently completed the brilliant ‘Ard Rock Enduro in Yorkshire, I can confidently say that I feel fitter and stronger than I’ve ever felt on a bike. But I’ve had to work hard at it – there are no shortcuts!

My message for all those with chronic, recurrent back pain is this: OK, so you’ve got back problems. Now, what are you going to do about it? Your spine is far stronger and more resilient than you may be led to believe, and back problems don’t have to stop you doing the things you love. Unless you let them.

Let us help you to achieve better health. You can book an appointment with our chiropractor Chris or massage therapists Liesa or Matt, by calling 01785 530911 in Stafford, or 01952 825042 in Newport. Alternatively you can book using our online diary.

We look forward to seeing you.

Pure Health Chiropractic

Image by Jerry Tatton of DialledInUk

Straighten Up UK!

Recent consumer research by the British Chiropractic Association has shown that people of all ages are experiencing higher levels of back pain and discomfort and much of this is related to poor movement or posture. In the Midlands particularly, incidences of back pain have increased 12% on 2017, and we are the most likely to develop back pain before the age of 30!

As a nation, we live busy and yet sedentary lifestyles. We are dashing about one minute, full of stress and time pressured, and then subjecting ourselves to long periods of sedentary behaviour by driving for long periods, playing computer games or watching television. This often leads to de-conditioning, fatigue and ultimately poor movement, stiffness and pain. Every year, back pain results in billions of pounds in losses to the nation due to lost days at work and sickness benefit payments; not to mention the significant impact this is having on a sufferer’s quality of life.

Chiropractors are keen to highlight this issue to show people in the UK ways in which they can help themselves towards a healthier lifestyle through education, advice and if necessary a treatment plan.

As part of this, the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has introduced an exciting programme called Straighten Up UK, designed to improve posture and help prevent back pain by promoting balance, strength and flexibility in the spine. Chiropractors want to encourage adults and children alike to start using this set of simple, three minute straighten up exercises. They are designed to be done on a daily basis and become part of the daily routine, just like brushing your teeth.

The exercises can be adapted to suit individual capabilities (although please discuss with your GP, chiropractor or other healthcare practitioner first). There are kids’ and adults’ versions of the website and leaflets, so everyone can take part. Further information about chiropractic and the programme can be obtained by visiting www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk.

If you are struggling with back pain that won’t settle after more than a few days, it’s recommended that you see a qualified professional, such as a chiropractor, who can assess you and recommend a care plan to help get you moving again.

Let us help you to achieve better health. You can book an appointment with our chiropractor Chris or massage therapists Liesa or Matt, by calling 01785 530911 in Stafford, or 01952 825042 in Newport. Alternatively you can book using our online diary.

We look forward to seeing you.

Pure Health Chiropractic

Shockwave is here!

No, it’s not the next superhero movie, but it is something quite new and exciting! We are pleased to reveal that we now have a revolutionary type of treatment called Radial Shockwave Therapy (RSWT) available at both of our clinics for new and existing clients.

It has been shown to be particularly successful in treating stubborn soft tissue conditions in the shoulder, hip, knee, foot or ankle, that are struggling to respond to conventional therapy.

Why not see what shockwave can do for you? For more information, please visit our Shockwave Therapy page or Contact Us. We look forward to seeing you.

Suffering back or neck pain? Here are some helpful tips

New research finds increasing numbers of Midlanders suffering from back and neck pain

New research released to mark Chiropractic Awareness Week (9 – 15 April), has found that more than two fifths (41%) of people in the Midlands are currently experiencing back or neck pain, a 12% increase on 2017.

The research, which was carried out by the British Chiropractic Association, found that for sufferers in the Midlands, the top triggers for this pain were;

  • Lifting or carrying heavy objects (53%)
  • Sitting for long periods of time (43%), and;
  • Poor posture (35%)

Notably, incidences of neck and back pain among younger people are also on the rise, with 40% of people in the Midlands experiencing neck or back pain by age 20.

 

GB back pain

 

Local chiropractor, Chris Mallett from Pure Health Chiropractic in Stafford and Newport, comments on these findings:

“The BCA’s research findings align with what I see in my clinic on a day to day basis, however it’s particularly interesting that lifting and carrying was the most cited trigger for neck and back pain. It really highlights the importance of maintaining a strong and active body that can move well and cope with the demands you are making of it.

“For those who are finding that sedentary lifestyles and sitting for long periods are causing them a problem, we would encourage they make a change. We are designed to move and if you hold your body in any position for an extended period of time, it is likely that you will feel pain.

“To help counteract the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, and help prevent back and neck pain occurring, there are a number of simple exercises and small changes you can incorporate into your daily routine. For example, shrugging and circling your shoulders whilst sitting and taking the stairs are easy ways to improve your back health – these may sound simple but I know from my patients that they really work!”

Chris’s top tips to help local residents to prevent and manage neck and back pain are:

  • Take a break: When sitting for long periods of time, ensure you stand up and move around every 30 minutes. When at work, also make sure your desk is set up to support a comfortable position. This is different for everyone so if you don’t feel comfortable in your current set up, try altering the height of your chair or screen.
  • Keep on moving: Physical activity can be beneficial for managing back pain, however it’s important that if this is of a moderate to high intensity that you warm up and down properly to get your body ready to move! If a previous injury is causing you pain, adapt your exercise or seek some advice. Activities such as swimming, walking or yoga can be less demanding on your body while keeping you mobile!

Other things which you can bear in mind are:

  • Lifting and carrying: Remember to bend from the knees, not the waist when lifting heavy items. Face in the direction of movement, and take your time. Hold the object as close to your body as possible, and where you can avoid carrying objects which are too heavy to manage alone, ask for help or use the necessary equipment.
  • Sleep comfortably: The Sleep Council recommends buying a new mattress at least every 7 years. Mattresses lose their support over time, so if you can feel the springs through your mattress, or the mattress is no longer level, your mattress is no longer providing the support you need. Everyone has different support requirements, so when purchasing your mattress ensure it is supportive for you. If you share a bed and require different mattress types, consider two single mattresses which are designed to be joined together, to ensure you both get the support you need.
  • Straighten Up!: The BCA has created a programme of 3-minute exercises, Straighten Up UK, which can be slotted in to your daily schedule to help prevent back pain by promoting movement, balance, strength and flexibility in the spine

The BCA recommends that, if you are experiencing pain for more than a few days you should seek professional help, for example from a chiropractor, who can assess you and help you to get moving again without pain. You can book an appointment with our chiropractors Chris or Nick, by calling 01785 530911 in Stafford, or 01952 825042 in Newport. Alternatively you can book using our online diary.

We look forward to seeing you.