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Is bedtime a pain in the neck?

Research shows people don’t make the link between back pain suffered at night and their beds.

New research from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) and Sealy beds reveals that neck or back pain has prevented nearly half (48%) of people from sleeping.
The research indicates that people are not making the link between their pain and their beds. Despite 43% of people saying that sleeping can cause them to suffer from neck or back pain, nearly two thirds (61%) do not think that their sleeping position is important for their back or neck health.
Worryingly, a staggering 96% said that they do not think that the way they get in and out of bed is important for their back or neck health, which chiropractors regularly attribute to triggering back problems in patients.
Despite complaining of back and neck pain occurring after sleep, most people don’t think that getting in and out of bed is important to their back health.
In fact, disc injuries are more likely to occur with bending movements first thing in the morning.  As you sleep, the discs in your back hydrate and increase in size. This makes the disc fibres more susceptible to injury. Try and avoid bending movements for the first hour after waking. Your chiropractor will be able to recommend some gentle stretches you can do in the morning.

An important part of a good night’s sleep is a supportive mattress. You should change your mattress every 7-10  years and if you’re in pain at night, it might be that you need to buy a new one. If you are buying a new mattress, it’s vital to try it before making the purchase – you wouldn’t buy a pair of shoes without trying them on and mattresses are no different, especially as we all spend such a large amount of our lives in bed.

 

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Top tips for buying a mattress and protecting your back in bed:
•    Try before you buy: 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.

If you are lying on your back flat with your neck on a pillow, you should be able to slide your hand in the small of your back and it should be a nice snug fit. If it’s too difficult to slide your hand in the small of your back, then the mattress is too soft for you. If it’s too easy to slide your hand in the small of your back then the mattress is too hard.
•    Don’t go it alone: Always shop with your partner as your respective ideal mattress tensions could be very different.
•    Wake your body up slowly: Don’t leap out of bed first thing in the morning as this can damage the back. Instead, gently get out of bed and avoid bending or doing anything sudden or strenuous until your back wakes up.
•    Adopt a good sleeping position: Lie on your back or  side, rather than lying on your front with your neck twisted to one side.
There are many mattresses out there to choose from and what suits one person does not necessarily suit another, so take time to research and try them. Some companies now offer a trial period so if you cannot get on with the mattress that you purchased they offer you a different one or refund your money. It’s worth asking.

So until next time, sleep well and awaken refreshed.

 

Sweet dreams!

 

Yours in health

Jamie Fraser-Nash ( Doctor of Chiropractic & Clinical Hypnotherapist)

DC, MRCC, GQHP, DipCHyp, CH

 

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Getting Your Physical and Mental Power Back

Did you know that your nervous system controls every cell, tissue, organ and part of your whole body?

When our nervous system is working at its best we are both physically and mentally well. However, when  our nervous system is interfered with and we get nervous system interference, either physical or mental, this can have a detrimental effect on our health and well-being.

 

As the bony spine protects the spinal cord and the nerves that exit the spine, if there is a spinal problem or an area that’s not functioning or moving as it should do, then the nerves sometimes can be interfered with, becoming irritated or inflamed and this can change the electrical activity travelling from the brain to the spinal cord through the nerves that exit the spine to different parts of the body. If a part of the body is not receiving the normal neurological input that it should be receiving then it doesn’t work as well as it should do. Now, those parts could be muscles or joints, but they could also be part of your brain that affect your energy or your ability to think,  or your emotions, your mood, your feelings ,as well as your heart, your lungs ,your digestive system and so on.

 

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At the Amethyst Chiropractic and Hypnotherapy clinic there have been many times where patients have reported that they have not only had pain relief but have also noticed other improvements. Like being able to think more clearly, not feeling mussy headed. Having more energy to do things and being able to focus and see more clearly as well as being able to make decisions more easily because their thinking ability is better (their nervous system is functioning better) and their mobility is better and because of this, they are able to do more in their life. How does this work you might ask . Well it works by delivering a good chiropractic adjustment in the specific areas that need to be improved in function .What is a chiropractic adjustment you might ask. A chiropractic adjustment is a specific manual manoeuvre with  a specific gentle force of thrust in a specific direction to stimulate the nervous system and improve joint function and remove nervous system interference.

So what’s the benefit of Chiropractic and Hynotherapy in getting your power back.

Well as I’ve mentioned above chiropractic can help you physically to  improve your nervous system function, helping you to think more easily and make decisions more easily. Hypnotherapy can help change the way that you think and therefore  change how you feel and think mentally about certain things in life, which can have a significant effect on  your energy, your enthusiasm, and give you that boosted get up and go drive back in your life.

Chiropractic is primarily interested in your nervous system. It’s this that runs the whole of your body. It’s the communication network and it sends messages to and from your brain, millions upon millions of them every second, through your spinal cord every second of every day. Your spinal cord is housed in your spinal column (the bones of your spine) and sends branches out to every tiny bit of your body. By keeping the bones of your spine moving and positioned properly, chiropractic treatment  keeps the nerves free of interference. This keeps your body working better, the messages to and from your brain can get through, and that helps you to be healthier. The nerves can be easily irritated – it doesn’t take much to  significantly reduce the function of a nerve . Sometimes it can be a bone pressing on a nerve but often it’s swelling and inflammation from strained tissues that causes the pressure. This nerve pressure may give rise to pain but it may only produce pins & needles, tingling, weakness or other odd sensations and low energy feelings as well.

Hypnotherapy is primarily interested in your nervous system through your imagination and the use of your  senses ( your sight, hearing, feel, smell and taste). Your conscious mind is bypassed and your unconscious mind awakened. It’s like writing a new healthy programme and addressing and removing old habitual programmes that are not helping you or are holding you back from fulfilling your full potential and dreams that you what to achieve in your life.

Sometimes in life we all need a little help to get back our get up and go , our internal life force , call it what you will. I have being treating patients for over 25yrs both with Chiropractic (physically) and hypnotherapy (mentally)  and have seen significant changes in peoples lives. It’s like switching the light back on or having your engine back running on all four cylinders instead of running on two or three cylinders.

 

So as to what’s most important? Well, it’s your nervous system, and it’s how we look after it: 1. Having regular  chiropractic check ups and 2. How we take control and master our own minds with the use of positive suggestions that have an action effect on our subconcious minds through hypnotherapy.

More than anything, that is what we work on at the Amethyst Chiropractic and Hypnotherapy clinic !

Till next time

Yours in health

Jamie Fraser-Nash ( Doctor of Chiropractic & Clinical Hypnotherapist)

DC, MRCC, GQHP, DipCHyp, CH

 

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  • It is very important to exercise regularly.  Little and often is better than sudden bursts of activity.  Regular use of light weights as well as cardio exercise 3-4 times per week is ideal.  Strong core muscles (abdominal muscles) help to stabilise the back
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  • Watch your posture.  Try not to slump, shoulders should be down and relaxed.
  • Be aware of your neck position. Your chin should be held back rather than forward.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Try not to twist and bend at the same time.
  • Don’t smoke.  Smoking has been shown to reduce the blood supply to the discs between the vertebrae, which may lead to disc degeneration and pain.
  • Never ignore pain, seek advice from your chiropractor as early intervention can aid a speedy recovery.

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As the weather improves, and we start to spend more time in the garden, it is easy to overdo things and end up in pain. Gardening is a very physical activity and like any exercise it is important to warm up first with lighter jobs, to avoid muscle strain. It is useful to keep a small stool, or cushion for gardening so that you can prune or pot plants whilst sitting . Bending from the back,  with straight legs is likely to cause aching muscles, so bend using your knees and the large quadriceps muscles of your legs.

Avoid overstretching and use long handled secateurs to reach plants and bushes that are beyond normal reach. If you do have to lift heavy items, don’t lift with your arms straight out, keep the elbows bent and to your side to minimise the stress on you back.  As you lift try to pull your stomach muscles in (your core muscles) to stabilise the back, and provide support.  If you do find that you are in pain, then chiropractic care can help to improve the function of the joints, relieving pain and muscle spasm.

Happy gardening!

Headaches and Migraines Blog

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Most people have suffered from headaches at some point in their life and they usually do not cause a problem, but if you are having more frequent or severe headaches then chiropractic care may be appropriate for you. Headaches are often caused by tight knots called trigger points which can form in the muscles around the base of the head, the neck and top of the shoulders. They can be caused by stress (hunching your shoulders up), poor posture, and sitting in one position for too long.

Headaches and MigrainesChiropractic treatment is very effective at treating headaches caused by neck tension. Loosening the stiff upper back, strengthening the neck muscles and working on posture, combined with chiropractic adjustments, is very effective at easing headaches.

Arthritic Joint Blog

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Arthritis is an overall term for a group of conditions that can cause pain, inflammation and stiffness in and around the joints – and often reduced mobility. Osteoarthritis is the most common, affecting 8.5 million people in the UK. In fact, according to Arthritis Care, 5.4 million women in the UK suffer from osteoarthritis – and nearly a million are under 54. Age, injury, your biomechanics, family history and being female all play a part.

Chiropractic care can help people with arthritis in many ways. As a way of protecting joints muscles may become overworked, and mobility may become reduced. Treatment is aimed at maintaining mobility of joints and muscles, using joint adjustments, mobilisation and exercises to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, strengthen weak muscles and improve flexibility. Your chiropractor can advise you on the best exercises for you – arthritis does not mean you should stop using the joint – you may just need to modify what you do. We have found that this combined approach, along with any treatment that your GP may advise, can make a big difference to the pain and stiffness of arthritis and help you live your life to the full.

Just because you have arthritis doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise. There are exercises that can help you if you have arthritis such as:

  •  Walking: Walking maintains joint flexibility and builds the strength of joints which is good for arthritis because it is mainly caused by an inflammation of the joints.
  • Tai Chi: A martial art exercise that originated from China that includes flowing fluid like circular movement of the arms and legs that allows you to relax and improves your range of motion.
  • Yoga: This relaxing activity provides relief to stiff muscles and relieves sore joints through the use of deep breathing techniques, controlled movements, stretches and pressures.
  • Exercise in warm water: This eases stiff joints and eases muscles that are sore. Water allows the body to move in full motion without any pressure or difficulty.