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)

Congratulations to our massage therapist Liesa!

After over two years of hard work, study and practice we are very proud to announce that our massage therapist Liesa has recently become a fully qualified NLSSM practitioner!

Congratulations to Liesa, who trained at the well respected NLSSM School of Sports Massage to obtain one of the highest standards of massage therapy training: a BTEC Level 5 Professional Diploma in Sport and Remedial Massage Therapy. After already gaining many hours of experience whilst training at our Stafford clinic, and enjoying seeing her regulars, Liesa looks forward to helping more people during her future career as a massage therapist!

As Liesa has now completed her massage training, she is now able to officially charge a fee for her services and so prices for appointments will be going up to £35 for an hours session (which is still excellent value!). She will, however, be honouring her appointments up until the end of March for those already booked in.

Stafford Massage Room

Appointments can be booked online or by calling us on 01785 530911.

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you.

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

Chiropractic assessment

Why should you see a chiropractor?

With the likes of Google and social media readily available to most people, it’s fairly easy to find news and information about what chiropractors do nowadays. Despite this, I still see a surprising number of people who are unsure of the conditions we can help with and our level of skill, qualification, and competency.

Chiropractic is a health care profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on general health (World Health Organisation, 2005).

In 2005 when I decided to train to become a chiropractor, I assumed that because it wasn’t seen as ‘mainstream’ medicine that it wouldn’t be too difficult. I was very wrong. As part of our training, we had to complete a four year full-time undergraduate Masters of Chiropractic degree which included extremely high standards of education in anatomy, neurology, physiology, radiology, psychology and general diagnosis. We also spent many, many (many!) hours learning specialised manual (hands-on) methods such as joint and soft tissue manipulation and exercise rehab. There were no weekend courses here!

In the final year, those that passed a stringent entrance exam worked within a training clinic for 12 months with the general public. We needed to see 40 new patients and perform 400 treatments within this time, as well as write up the cases and present them to tutors, attend lectures, revise for exams, write a dissertation and create a reflective portfolio. Then, after passing an even tougher clinic exit exam, you were considered as competent to go out into the wider world.

Completing the degree was really just the beginning though. Like all healthcare providers, chiropractors are always learning! Every year the General Chiropractic Council check that chiropractors continue their professional development (CPD), and that we have appropriate qualifications, adhere to competency and criminal records checks, and have professional indemnity insurance. All of this helps to ensure that patients are protected and get the best care possible.

In short, you should see a chiropractor because they know what they are doing. They safely help millions of people a year worldwide with their nerve, muscle or joint problems, and you can be re-assured that you are in good hands.

If you need help, then come and see what our chiropractors 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)

Our Chiropractor rides the Alps!

I’m pleased to report that I managed to survive a week of mountain biking in the French Alps relatively unscathed despite one high speed crash and a few scrapes and bangs on the head.

My knee performed well, although a bit achy, and after 175 miles of downhill (and even some uphill), I came home feeling like I needed another holiday!

The area we were in (around Briançon in south-east France) was hosting part of the Tour de France this year, which provided the inspiration to hire a road bike for a day with some friends. I’d never ridden a road bike before (the lycra look and the UK roads put me off!), but this was France and the Alps are amazing, so we decided to ride up the Col du Galibier, one of the highest mountain passes on the tour. Overall, it was an awesome experience, and although I didn’t find the climb too bad, holding my head up on the 45 mph descent was agony! I can now fully understand why I see cyclists with painful necks as chiropractic patients!

Stafford and Newport Chiropractor

Recently, back in the Stafford and Newport chiropractic clinics, I’ve seen a few clients who seem surprised when I say that I can look at their foot, knee, ankle, hip or shoulder problems as well as their back pain, neck pain or headaches. Many people think that chiropractors only treat backs, but that’s simply not the case. Chiropractors are well trained in recognising, treating and giving advice and rehab plans for many different neuromusculoskeletal (nerve, muscle and joint) conditions. The main difference between chiropractors and other therapists, is that we also look to identify and address any spinal joint dysfunction i.e. movement issues in the small joints of the spine. Without a stable and well-functioning spine and torso, your peripheral movement, strength and coordination will almost certainly be compromised too.

Good spinal function is essential for movement; Good movement is essential for health; Chiropractic helps to maintain good spinal function.

Whatever your injury or movement problems, we will work tirelessly to help you to get back to your optimum and stay that way. See what chiropractic can do for you – I am available in Newport on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and also in Stafford on Wednesdays and Fridays. I look forward to seeing you.

Chris Mallett
Pure Health Chiropractic & Wellness – Stafford and Newport