Low back pain is one of the most common conditions people suffer with, with at least four out of five adults experiencing it at some point in their lives. The causes of low back pain vary from poor lifting or incorrect carrying of heavy weights, poor posture, stress, pregnancy and general wear and tear.
The body is supported by the spine, which carries our spinal cord and nervous system. Nerves branch off the spinal cord between the vertebrae. Therefore, injury may not only lead to local inflammation and pain, but also to irritation of the spinal nerves causing pain elsewhere in the body. Commonly the pain will refer into the buttock and the back or front of the thigh and occasionally all the way to the foot and toes.
A common myth is that acute low back pain is caused by a ‘slipped disc’. Discs do not slip – they can bulge and sometimes this can cause leg pain.
Acute and chronic low back pain responds well to chiropractic treatment. Official government guidelines from the NICE and guidelines from the Royal College of General Practitioners suggest the early referral for manipulative treatment, such as chiropractic is the most effective way of dealing with acute and chronic low back pain.
Your chiropractor will identify the source of your problem, treat the cause of pain and advise how to best keep it from recurring.
Neck Pain / Whiplash
Lifestyles and working practices today often result in us all spending too long sitting at a desk or leaning forward working on a computer or performing repetitive tasks. This often results in muscle tension from poor posture, which applies extra pressure on the neck, back and shoulders, causing headaches, migraines or other neck pain.
Tension caused by stress can increase muscle tension, placing pressure on the joint in the neck, which irritates the spinal nerves, sometimes leading to “referred pain” in other parts of the body or numbness in shoulder, arm and hands.
The neck is vulnerable to damage as it supports the weight of the head. In fact our neck supports 10 to 13 lbs!!
Whiplash injuries are common especially as a result of car accidents. Whiplash can occur even at relatively low speed impact and does not necessarily cause any pain at the time of the accident, because of the body’s ability to compensate for injuries. Problems can arise weeks, months or even years later. Speak to us to find out how you can get out of pain and stay that way.
Chiropractic treatment and associated soft tissue therapy, mobilisation and exercise advice will restore normal movement to the joints between the vertebrae of the spine, providing relief from the discomfort and pain.
The medical term “arthritis” is used to describe joint pain or inflammation and is not in itself a diagnosis but rather a description of the joint. In arthritis, the joint inflammation may present as any combination of swelling, tenderness, stiffness, redness or warmth. There are several different types of arthritis but broadly speaking they can be split into two broad categories; osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthropathies.
Osteoarthritis the ‘wear and tear’ arthritis is the most common type especially as we age.This can lead to the growth of bony spurs, inflammation and stiffness of the affected joint. When a joint is not functioning correctly it becomes painful and the muscles surrounding the joint tighten. Osteoarthritis tends to affect weight bearing joints, hips and knees, but it can also affect the hands and the spine.
This means that there are irreversible degenerative changes in the joints. While chiropractic cannot reverse these changes, it can promote healthier joints by improving their function and mobility, decrease pain and discomfort and help slow any further wear and tear.
Chiropractic can also decrease pain and speed up recovery as well as minimize resultant dysfunction with conditions such as tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive strain injury. Depending on the nature and extent of your condition, we will design an individual treatment programme to help improve your joint mobility. If necessary you will be referred to see a rheumatologist or orthorpaedic consultant
Headaches / Migraine
There are many types of headaches, which present themselves in different ways. The International Headache Society in 1988 released criteria on classification in which twelve different categories were presented.
Two of the main types are:
- Cervicogenic headaches usually caused by misalignment or nerve irritation in the upper neck. This causes pain from the back of the head to the front on only on one side of the head.
- Migraine headaches
can be very distressing and last from a few hours to several days. Symptoms include pain, dizziness, nausea, and visual disturbance.
Cervicogenic headaches are very common and often patients who seek chiropractic care experience immediate relief from the symptoms of the headache following treatment. Patients suffering with migraine headache experience a significant reduction in the frequency of headache episodes.
After we have carefully diagnosed your condition, we can then give you recommendations for care. If yours is not a chiropractic case, you will be referred to the appropriate health care provider.
Hip / Knee / Ankle pain
Hip pain can be caused by muscle strain around the hip or injury to the hip joint. Hip pain may also be caused by referred pain from the spine or due to wear and tear of the joint (osteoarthritis).
The knee is under constant use and suffers from muscle strains, ligament sprains and injury to the meniscus (cartilage pads). The knee is prone to wear and tear and problems with the knee cap due to muscular imbalances. However leg pain and knee pain may be caused by “referred pain” from the lower back, hip or foot.
Foot and ankle pain may result from a direct foot injury to the joints, ligaments or muscles. Foot pain is often caused by fallen arches (flat feet), which place the feet under abnormal strain. However foot and ankle pain can also be caused by ”referred pain from the lower back, which travels along the nerves in the leg.
Some other leg problems treated by chiropractors are:
- Patello-femoral Syndrome
- Patellar tendonitis
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Shin Splints
- Plantar Fascitis
- Heel Pain
The shoulder joint is a shallow ball and socket joint therefore it relies on stability from its surrounding soft tissues. The shoulder provides a wide range of motion,in fact it is probably the most mobile joint in the body however, these characteristics make it prone to injury. There are four joints which have to function properly for good shoulder mobility.
Shoulder pain can be caused by sport or other injuries when the joint, muscles or ligaments become inflamed from undertaking repetitive motions, a fall, or yanking the arm as well as poor posture.
A condition commonly referred to as “frozen shoulder” also known as adhesive capsulitis occurs when chronic inflammation of the shoulder joint leads to the accumulation of scar tissue within and around the joint. If untreated the shoulder can become severely limited in motion.
- Rotator Cuff Strain
- Frozen Shoulder
Elbow pain is often caused by “referred pain” from the neck or shoulder.
You don’t have to play tennis to have a tennis elbow. Repetitive use of your wrist (such as using a screw driver or typing) can cause an overload of the tendon which inserts into the outside and back of the elbow. This can be very painful and often causes weakness of the affected arm.
- Golfers Elbow
- Tennis Elbow