Squatting to help your low back and hips

The squat is one of the most fundamental movements to help keep our hips mobile and strong, and to help spare our low back from too much stress and potential injury. Being able to squat with a good movement pattern is a good indicator of general health and is something we should all be able to do.

Unfortunately, with a more sedentary lifestyle nowadays, particularly sitting, the ability to squat properly is being lost. Here, our chiropractor, Chris gives you some tips to help get that movement back!

To be able to squat properly takes good spinal stability, good gluteal/hip coordination and a good “hip hinge”! If you struggle with any of these areas, practice these too below:

For our “Hip Hinge” video: https://youtu.be/-KQnWH8iUTk

For the “The Dying Bug” stabilisation progression: https://youtu.be/zkzk86QL86I

For our “Gluteal activation” video: https://youtu.be/ko4eGs3bbFg

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

Youtube: Pure Health Chiropractic & Wellness
Website: http://www.purehealthchiropractic.co.uk

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

YouTube: MTBChiro
Instagram: TheMTBChiro

Let us help you to achieve better health. Unfortunately due to Covid-19, we are closed at the moment, but once open again 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.

Need a good massage?

Are you looking for a top quality sports or remedial massage in or around Stafford?

Meet our excellent massage therapists Liesa and Matt. Whether its general aches and pains, a muscular injury, or simply helping with training recovery – they’ve got you covered.

With the Stafford Half marathon just around the corner, regular massages could help you get that PB you’ve been after!

For more information, visit our Meet The Team and Sports & Remedial Massage Therapy pages.

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.

Gardening and Chiropractic

Calling all gardeners!

It’s been an interesting few days, with storm Ciara bringing rain, wind and snow to the region. Hopefully once everything settles back down we can get back to normal and spring will be on the way!

Spring seems to be the time of year when the gardeners come out in force and many of them end up seeing someone like myself for those new found aches and pains, so to help avoid potential problems, here are a number of handy tips:

Don’t start with heavy-duty gardening. Warm up with the lighter jobs, like mowing the lawn, and then move on to something else. It is important to vary your activity every 30 minutes or so rather than be in one position for too long.

If you are laying a patio, keep the slab close to your body and bend through your knees and hips. It is sometimes better to bend one knee rather than two to pick up or move objects (also known as a ‘golfers lift’) as your supporting leg gives you a position of strength.

If you are planning a trip to the garden centre to buy heavy items such as bags of compost or pebbles – buy multiple small bags rather than one big bag. Smaller items are easier and safer to carry. If there is no other option, ask someone else to help carry it to the car and then when you get home, shovel out smaller quantities straight from the car and put it into smaller containers.

Do not ignore pain. It can be a warning sign and could indicate something more serious or damaging. If you start to ache then stop what you are doing, have a break and come back to it later once the pain has eased. If there is no improvement, have it checked out as soon as possible.

Most injuries that I see are typically avoidable and we specialise in helping you to recover and then manage them. Studies have shown that chiropractic care, including spinal manipulation and mobilisation combined with appropriate exercises and education, is a very effective method in keeping back pain at bay.

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)

Mountain Biking

Have the January blues? Getting active can help!

After all the build-up and hype around Christmas, it’s gone so quickly that January can often be a bit of a let-down. It’s hard to get back into the routine of things, particularly when it comes to exercise and staying healthy.

I’ve found it difficult this year too. With a number of injuries, a rather stressful house extension, and a very busy practice; it’s been a struggle to keep motivated to stay fit and strong. Despite this, I know I’ll get back to it again because I enjoy my mountain biking.

One of the things I often try to encourage my clients to do is to find something they enjoy that gets them active. It doesn’t matter what it is: swimming; cycling; Zumba; Pilates or simply going for a walk. Being active and doing something you enjoy is just as good for you mentally as it is physically. It has been shown to be one of the most effective remedies for feeling down and for your general well-being.

However, I know it’s not always easy when you’ve got aches and pains. I’ve been through back injuries and surgery and have been told before that I should give up riding down ‘bumpy hills’ as it’s not good for my back. I strongly disagree.

In all activity, having a spine that functions well but is also strong and stable is vital to both good movement and staying injury free. It’s the biggest reason why everyone (including athletes or those just looking to stay healthy) should be maintaining good spinal function, good movement patterns, and good core stability. These three factors are hugely important in both professional and amateur sports (and movement in general) if you want to enjoy your chosen activity as much as possible.

Unless there’s a very good reason, no-one should ever tell you to stop doing a sport or activity you love doing. With the right treatment, advice and training, almost everyone can continue with their chosen activity and lead a better quality of life.

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)

Christmas

Need some gift ideas? Try our new online store.

If you are like me and struggle for gift ideas around this time of the year, then we have a few good suggestions for you in our new online store.

The Complete Sleeprrr pillow has always been popular ever since we started selling it around 8 years ago. People love how adjustable and comfortable it is, and compared to other orthopaedic pillows is very good value.

Memory Foam pillow

For more information, please see our Complete Sleeprrr product page.

 

What about a gift voucher?

If you know someone who would benefit from a massage or chiropractic session, then it would be a nice gesture to get them a gift voucher for some treatment.

Gift Vouchers

For more information, please see our Gift Vouchers product page.

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.

From all of us at Pure Health Chiropractic & Wellness, we hope you enjoy your Christmas and New Year break. See you in 2020!

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

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.

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)

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)