Is your Sacro-Iliac joint causing your back pain?

What on earth is a sacro-iliac joint I can almost hear you ask?

Well, the clue is in the name – it’s the joint that connects the sacrum at the base of the spine, to the ilium of the pelvis (hence sacro-iliac). It is essential in effectively distributing forces from the spine to the hips and lower limbs (and vice versa), but it can also be an often overlooked pain source in low back pain injuries.

The sacro-iliac joint (or SI joint for short) is normally a fantastically strong and stable joint, and can tolerate amazing amounts of downward force to create stability when we lift or move. This stability is largely generated by well-controlled contraction of the surrounding muscles and tissue creating “closure” of the joint. Problems arise when this balance isn’t adequate, the joint is not sufficiently stable, and tissues or cartilage become damaged as a result. This can be acute (sudden) or could be chronic (long term and recurring), but in all cases it tends to hurt quite a lot.

Pain originating from the sacro-iliac joint is often confusing as it can be mistaken for injuries to other structures. For example, acute SI joint pain can often refer to the buttocks and down the back of the leg mimicking sciatica or disc symptoms. It could also refer to the groin and anterior thigh, mimicking hip arthritis. Or it could simply radiate to the spine, mimicking a spinal joint issue.

Often with long term and recurrent problems, repeated flare-ups are caused by either too much movement (hypermobility) or too little movement (hypomobility) of the joint. Both can respond well to rehab and/or chiropractic adjustments and it is important to determine possible faulty or poor muscle activation around the pelvis, and improve these as necessary.

Chiropractic assessment

In all cases, it is vital to get checked out by a qualified and experienced spinal professional such as a chiropractor. We will assess and treat not only the painful symptoms, but also look to address the underlying causes.

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)

Stafford massage review

Clinic holiday hours!

Our lovely massage therapist Liesa and chiropractor Chris will be away on their holidays from this week and back on the 12th August.

But don’t worry – Matt our fantastic massage therapist and PT will still be here if you need a helping hand!

To book an appointment with Matt, call 01785 530911 or have a look at our online diary.

Family holiday

We hope you have a great summer and see you when we are back!

Best wishes,

Chris & Liesa
Pure Health Chiropractic & Wellness

Back bend

The hips don’t lie

One of the things I may ask my clients to do when I assess them is to try and bend forward to touch their toes (if they can), or perform a simple body weight squat.

Despite appearances, this isn’t really to test tightness of the hamstrings or flexibility of the spine, (although we do look at that as well). Instead, I’m particularly looking at the mobility and coordination of certain parts of the body as they progress through the ranges of motion.

Our bodies are amazing. From birth, we develop an innate ability to move in complex neuro-muscular patterns without even thinking about it. For example, if you watch a toddler playing or picking things up, they will often squat or bend over for long periods of time without any movement restriction and with immaculate form. No-one has taught them that – it’s an inherent and fundamental movement. Unfortunately, as we progress through life, these movements can become “corrupted” by factors such as posture, injury, and a general lack of mobility.

To move well, some areas of the body need stability and others need mobility. The feet, knees, low back, and shoulder blades for example, need to stay stable as a base for the more mobile joints such as the shoulders, thoracic spine, hips and ankles. If one or more of these areas becomes too mobile, or not mobile enough, then other areas have to compensate.

Rehab

The hips in particular, are prone to losing mobility largely due to the amount of time we spend being sedentary. When we sit for long periods, our hips are in a shortened, flexed position, and our spinal and abdominal stabilisers are mostly inactive. This can often combine to cause “switching off” of the gluteals (which are vital to optimal hip coordination), restricted hip mobility (important for relaxed, efficient forward bending and squatting), and poor abdominal/spinal muscle activation (important for stability). The end result can be a loss of the ability to “hinge” through the hips in a relaxed, coordinated way when squatting or bending, whilst still keeping your spinal stabilisers engaged. Over time, this can cause poor movement patterns and increased tension in areas such as the low back and hamstrings, often leading to an increased likelihood of getting injuries and pain.

How do you fix any problems you may have? Come and see us, so that we can assess your posture and movement, and can help you to restore normal function through education, manual therapy and corrective exercises.

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)

Text neck chiropractic

What is “text neck”?

It’s an all too common scene that I’m sure we’ve all seen before: people standing in a queue; in the office; or even walking down the street with their head forward and down.

Their eyes are transfixed on the screen of their smart phone, texting furiously as if their lives depended on it. It’s become such a part of our lives that it’s now seen as normal. But, is this modern day phenomena causing us more harm than good? Yes, maybe, is the short answer. There’s even a term for it: “text neck” – and long term it could lead to all sorts of problems.

Essentially, “text neck” is a new-fangled term for yet another postural syndrome. Postural problems aren’t new; they’ve always been around (and always will be). However, with our modern obsession with smart phones, the prolonged forward head carriage posture we often see with computer, desk or laptop use is becoming far more prevalent in general everyday life. This is particularly true of teenagers and school kids who often seem to have their phones glued to their face.

Why is this important? Posture is talked about all the time in the health professions, and blamed for a whole host of problems. There’s a reason for this – good posture puts less stress on muscles, joints, discs and vital organs! Although the human body is a fantastically adaptive and tolerant structure, if you have poor posture for long enough, then sooner or later it will start to show symptoms. There’s nothing good about the body adapting to a non-neutral forward head posture (FHP). Prolonged FHP can lead to premature disc and joint degeneration, pinched nerves, muscle pain, decreased respiratory capacity and changes to the curvatures of your entire spine. Once a poor postural pattern is set in, movements can become dysfunctional and follow us into everyday activities, including exercise. This is when further injuries can occur, often seemingly unrelated to your neck.

Chiropractic assessment

How do you fix it? Come and see us, so that we can assess your posture and movement, and can help you to restore normal function through education, manual therapy and corrective exercises.

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)

Featured Image By Helar Lukats, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48993365

Chiropractic can help your back pain

“I’ve got Sciatica!”

As an experienced chiropractor, I am frequently presented with the phrase ‘I’ve got sciatica’. But did you know that ‘sciatica’ isn’t really a diagnosis?

‘Sciatica’ is a term that loosely describes any injury in the low back that causes pain down the legs or buttocks. It is derived from the name of the largest and longest nerve in that region: the sciatic nerve.

There are also different types of sciatica. True sciatica (also known as neurogenic or radicular pain) is typically caused by an injury to a spinal (intervertebral) disc, and can lead to irritation or damage to the nearby spinal nerves which then form the sciatic nerve. This frequently leads to pain in a particular pattern down the leg, often past the knee, and can also be accompanied by pins and needles, sensation changes and muscle weakness. Usually the leg pain is far worse than the back pain.

Non-radicular sciatica (or referred pain) is much more common and is caused by an injury in the muscles, joints or ligaments of the back which then radiates pain into the buttock and/or leg. This typically stays above the knee and doesn’t cause symptoms such as pins and needles or loss of strength (although severe pain may cause weakness). The back pain is generally worse than the leg pain.

In all cases it is essential to get a diagnosis with suitable treatment and advice as soon as possible.

As chiropractors, we are experts in assessing and treating these types of injuries so that the most appropriate treatment, education or referral can be given. The most important step is to take a detailed case history, and perform a thorough neurological and orthopaedic examination, prior to any treatment plan.

Most people respond well to treatment. Once a certain level of improvement has been achieved, appropriate exercises will be offered to help stabilise the spine and take control of your health. Depending on your circumstances, regular chiropractic care and exercises may be recommended to help to maintain spinal function, so that in the long term the problem is less likely to return.

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)

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)

Need help recovering? – Get £5 off Sports Massage

Are you training hard for an event this year? Sports massage can help you recover faster and train harder, so to help you get that personal best, we are currently offering £5 off sports massages with Matt until the end of March 2019! Get yourself booked in now, and let us help you perform to your best!

Terms: Expires 31st March 2019. Valid for Sports Massage in Stafford with Matt Price (Sports Massage Therapist) only, usual price £35. We reserve the right to withdraw this offer at any time.

Shockwave Therapy – my experience

By Matt Price (Sports Massage Therapist & Crossfit athlete)

I had a recurring issue with repetitive strain in my elbow other wise known as “tennis elbow”. It kept me back from training and enjoying it was impossible. I wasn’t able to carry out a number of exercises that I’d need to do to train effectively and I’d been searching and searching for an answer to resolve my issues. However, nothing was long lasting and effective as I wanted it to be.

Chris at Pure Health Chiropractic & Wellness was able to introduce me to Shockwave treatment. As I’d never heard of it before this was a slightly concerning treatment to be faced with, but the pain and annoyance my arm was causing me I decided it was worth a go to see if we could resolve it once and for all.

Treatment 1

During my first treatment I was introduced to the Shockwave device and the procedure. Chris carried out a full examination and reassured me that it was only a local injury that was causing the pain, rather than coming from somewhere else. We then started the treatment and initially the noise the machine head created was a little concerning, however Chris explained what was happening and that the noise was normal and wasn’t to be feared. There was a little pain and discomfort from this first treatment (to say the least) but I could feel the muscle fibres separating with each tap of the Shockwave. You can see my first session in the video below:

Treatment 2

By the second treatment I still hadn’t tested the area or over-used it due to the rawness being created form the previous treatment but I had been assured that this was normal and actually a good thing. The 2nd treatment was just as painful as the 1st but with even better results. The pain after the treatment wasn’t anywhere near as brutal or as awkward to deal with. Within 2 days of this treatment I was able to carry out light movements that aggravated the area before, from bench press to push up or even burpees. All of these were out of the picture until after this treatment and the results spurred me on to the next as the result I’d been looking for was on its way.

Treatment 3

Now number 3! I now believed I was on the road to recovery and nothing could stop me. I was starting to get the pains increasing back but I was training more than I’d been advised. This treatment wasn’t as painful as I’d expected which is always good. The pain centre had changed due to the recovery and the movements I’d been carrying out, the amazing Shockwave machine is versatile and allows the user (in this case Chris) to change the size of the treatment head to target the area further. Although there was still some discomfort this was so much more manageable than the previous treatment and I was already looking forward to training on it. See the progress in the video below:

Treatment 4

This was the most satisfying and energising treatment to date, Chris rechecked my overall spine and alignment and made sure I was still only having issues in the area we were treating. In this treatment we increased the intensity of the striking head of the Shockwave treatment machine (oh joy I thought), however this wasn’t as bad as anticipated and the results were amazing. Almost immediately I could feel the muscle relax and the tissue move allowing the pain the decrease and the tension to be reduced.

Overall Experience

The results from the treatments have allowed me to overcome the pain and the discomfort I’d been struggling with for the past 6-8 months. I put this down to both the Shockwave treatment and the knowledge of Chris at Pure Health and I’d definitely recommend seeking out this procedure if you have been struggling with recurring issues on any part of your body.  This machine will sort you out and give you a new determination to train or recover and enjoy life pain free!

For more information regarding this treatment, please visit our Shockwave page.

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.

Shockwave for Tennis Elbow – Update!

Shockwave therapy has been shown to be effective for a number of acute or chronic soft tissue injuries. In this video, we are checking up on the progress of Matt who, after a six month history of severe lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), has had three sessions of shockwave.

For more information regarding Shockwave, please visit:

Matt’s first treatment: http://purehealthchiropractic.co.uk/shockwave-for-tennis-elbow
Our website: https://goo.gl/it7PSa
Zimmer website: https://goo.gl/sAVuzE

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.

Shockwave for Tennis Elbow

Shockwave therapy has been shown to be effective for a number of acute or chronic soft tissue injuries. In this case study, we are going to treat Matt over a series of sessions for chronic lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) – but will it work? Watch below for an explanation of Shockwave treatment and also Matt’s first session.

For more information regarding Shockwave, please visit:

Our website: https://goo.gl/it7PSa
Zimmer website: https://goo.gl/sAVuzE

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.