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Chiropractic Treatment Can Help Relieve Stress as well as Pain

If stress seems to follow you around, no matter what efforts you put into place to get rid of it, you might want to begin looking at alternative therapies and methods. Chiropractic care is something that many people are surprised helps with their stress, as well as their back pain.

Reduce Stress in your Body

When stress takes hold of your body it can impact so many things. Many people experience muscle tension, headaches, migraines, joint pain, back pain – all triggered by stress and (sometimes) anxiety. Stress can make even the smallest tasks difficult, and can make everyday life difficult and a struggle for so many people.

There are many ways a chiropractor can help you combat your stress levels, here are just a few of them:

Reduce muscle tension

When we’re stressed, muscle tension is one of the biggest changes we notice in our body. Muscle tension can make life uncomfortable… It can limit movement, stop you being active and even cause pain. A chiropractor through their treatments with you, can ease the pain and help relax the body and the muscles. This lowering of tension will hopefully help ease any stress that was occurring because of it.

Restore function to the body with adjustments

You might be feeling stressed because you know your body isn’t functioning how it should. This is really common, and it’s something chiropractors see a lot. People notice their joints or body isn’t functioning how it should be (maybe it’s back pain or hip pain) and then they become stressed from worrying about the pain. When you take steps to eliminate the pain, and when you begin to feel improvements, a lot of that stress naturally disappears because you’re feeling improvements.

Counsel you about nutrition

Stress can sometimes be linked to what you’re eating and drinking, and so if you address any stress-inducing eating habits, you’ll hopefully notice those stress level lowering. Your chiropractor will be able to counsel you on what to do more of, and what to avoid.

Offer relaxation tips

A big part of tackling stress, is learning how to control it. Chiropractors may be able to offer you relaxation tips for getting your stress under control, as well as breathing tips, and even special stretches and movements to help loosen any problematic muscles or joints. Feeling more relaxed can also help you sleep better – and better sleep is one of the things proven to reduce stress levels.

Chiropractic and eye health

Chiropractic and eye health

Chiropractic care, despite being around for many many years, is often still met with scepticism from people who don’t know enough about it, or don’t understand the benefits. There are over 3,000 registered chiropractors in the UK, which shows evidence that this field of care is effective and popular amongst the British public.

But if you’re still feeling a little sceptical about chiropractic care, we thought we would address some of the common misconceptions people often have.

Misconception #1 – It’s bad for your eye health

A recent medical study found that high-velocity neck manipulation (like the kind some people may experience during their chiropractic sessions) has sometimes been associated with eye pain. A case emerged in the USA which led the American Heart Association to issue a warning statement in 2014.

In short, the rapid movements of neck manipulation has been shown to result in stress on the eye and lead to spotty vision. However, this is only in rare circumstances and because of the focus on the neck, shouldn’t be a problem if your treatments are focussed on your back, lower back or legs. The risk is rare, extremely uncommon, but it’s something you should discuss with your practitioner if you’re worried.

Misconception #2 – You have to be referred by a doctor

This is untrue. Because chiropractors work independently and are classed as ‘independent practitioners’ you don’t need to be referred by any medical facility. If you feel like a chiropractor could help any ailments you’re experiencing, you can contact them independently. Many people choose to do this if they don’t want to wait for a referral (which can often take months).

Misconception #3 – They’re not as qualified as doctors

You are right, chiropractors are not trained as doctors, and it’s important to remember this. They can’t technically diagnose you with anything, however they are trained specialists in their field, and so they know your back and spine very well. Many chiropractors will have years of training in their field, as well as many years treating the back and spine – and various different problems and conditions – they are truly experts in their field.

Misconception #4 – It’s painful

Many people who haven’t experienced chiropractic care believe that it is almost like a ‘rough’ massage, with tossing, clicking and manipulating of the body in extreme movements. This isn’t the case, and actually, adjustments to your spine and joints generally shouldn’t hurt. Chiropractors and chiropractic care can actually be a very gentle treatment, and many people find it quite relaxing.

Misconception #5 – You have to have repeat appointments

You’ll be under no obligation to have repeat appointments with your chiropractor, and many people can experience vast improvements to their discomfort or pain after just one session. You chiropractor will likely recommend a number of sessions to you, judged from the time they think will be needed.

Things you should tell a Chiropractor before starting treatment

Things you should tell a Chiropractor before starting treatment

If you’re starting a course of treatments with a chiropractor and you haven’t had any chiropractic care before, you might have a few questions about what to expect. One of the things many people wonder is if there’s anything they need to disclose to their chiropractor before starting any treatments, and what these things are.

The answer to this is, yes. As with any physical treatment, you’ll want to let you chiropractor know as much as possible. But don’t worry – they will also ask you plenty of questions too – so that they have all the information they need.

Here are some things you’ll want to be sure you’ve brought up with them before starting treatment:

Any past (or present) injuries

You may be receiving chiropractic care because of a past or present injury, or you may just need to disclose an injury so they know to be gentle around a specific area. Whichever applies to you, if you’ve suffered any kind of sprain, fracture, break or bruising in an area that might undergo treatment – you’ll want to make sure they know about it.

Any medications you’re on

This is standard with any chiropractic care, or any kind of treatment to the body. Even though your medication may not affect your treatment, it’s still good to be transparent about any that you’re currently taking.

If you’re pregnant

If you’re pregnant (even in the early weeks) it’s highly important to tell your chiropractor. Your pregnancy may make treatments unsuitable, or they may change the approach your chiropractor takes, or the methods they use.

Any muscle tightness

If you suffer with muscle tightness, or if you have certain areas of muscle that seem to seize up (or cause you pain) this is definitely something you’ll want to let your chiropractor know about. Not only will they aim to help ease that tightness and pain, but they’ll also try to work on the areas surrounding it too – to ensure the surrounding muscles or joints don’t end up compensating.

How long you’ve been experiencing pain for

The duration of your pain can often say a lot about the kind of pain it is, or the kind of treatment (or the length of treatments) that will be needed to see results.

Physiotherapist vs Chiropractor

What’s the Difference: Physiotherapist vs Chiropractor

If you are experiencing back, muscle or joint pain, you might be considering alternative treatment for the area. The good news is, there are lots of different therapists and techniques to explore and even though initially you may assume a lot of these techniques are similar, they actually have key differences it’s important to be aware of.

Two treatments you may be considering are Physiotherapy and Chiropractic. These two treatments are extremely beneficial for back, muscle and joint pain – and great results can be seen over time with an effective therapist.  But what are the differences between a Physiotherapist vs Chiropractor?

The three main differences between Chiropractors and Physical Therapists are the techniques used, treatment philosophy

Difference 1: The techniques of the treatment

One of the main differences you’ll find between Chiropractors and Physiotherapy is the range of movement and the techniques used for addressing issues and pain. Generally, Chiropractors will use their hands to manipulate and adjust the alignment of your spine. A chiropractor’s key principle is that the right alignment of the spine is the key to relieving stress, tension or pain the patient may be feeling – so their attention will focus on this area, and they will tend to use their manipulation techniques in this area. For some adjustments, the focus areas will be small, so you may not need to move very much during the appointment at all.

During a physiotherapy appointment, you may experience a wider range of manipulation techniques. For example, a physiotherapist may use massage techniques, electrical therapies and even exercises and stretches to help ease pain, restore movement.

Difference 2: Treatment focus

Both treatments can help ease pain, soreness or stiffness in the bones, joints and muscles. They can also help improve the mobility of certain areas of the body. However, the wider focus of both treatments does differ slightly. A Chiropractor will mainly focus on your musculoskeletal system and nervous system, and any effect, issues or problems caused by these things. Whilst Chiropractors treat lots of areas and problems, their main care helps to relieve issues such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, and other pain in joints, arms, and legs. These are usually areas of localised pain, which can be assisted and helped using the methodologies of chiropractic techniques.

Physical therapists, however, tend to focus more on evaluating, diagnosing and providing treatment to restore the body’s strength, range of motion and balance. A physical therapist may be dealing with patients who are in recovery, patients who need to build strength slowly and steadily, or patients who are seeing problems due to ageing, injury, disease or environmental factors. Physiotherapists do treat back and neck pain as chiropractors do, but they’re also likely to see a range of other issues too, such as arthritis, sports injuries, swelling, repetitive strain injury, and cartilage, ligament and tendon damage.

Physical therapists are also involved in promoting health, wellness, and fitness through risk factor identification and preventative care. Although they use different techniques, both Chiropractors and physical therapists use their expertise to help rehabilitate and relieve pain in their patients.

What to expect when you visit a Chiropractor

What to expect when you visit a Chiropractor

If you’ve never had an appointment with a Chiropractor and you’re thinking of booking one, you might be curious (or even a little nervous) as to what to expect. It helps to be as at ease as possible before receiving any kind of physical treatment, so the more relaxed about your appointment you are, the better for you. Knowing what to expect when you arrive, and during the course of the consultation is helpful, reassuring and takes away any of the nerves you might have.

Before you arrive

Before you arrive at your consultation, it’s important you feel comfortable with your consultant, and you should feel free to ask any questions you have. This obviously applies to during the appointment too, but most patients tend to have lots of burning questions before the appointment too – so don’t be afraid to ask!

During your first consultation

Your first consultation might be over the phone, or it might be in-person. The aim of your initial consultation is for your chiropractor to gather as much information as possible about the issue or pain you’re experiencing, so they can tailor the treatments and techniques specifically to you. Don’t consider any detail to small or insignificant – make sure you tell your chiropractor everything you think might be helpful. The better they understand the issue, the better they can treat you.

You might also be asked to fill in your medical history or fill in a form with lots of questions on it. This is totally normal, and the kind of questions to expect are:

  • When did the pain begin?
  • Do you remember if anything caused the pain?
  • Where is the pain located?
  • Describe the pain in detail. When does it occur? Is it sharp or dull?
  • Does the pain come and go, or is it continual?
  • Is the pain worse at certain times of day?
  • What activities/circumstances makes it better or worse?

If your first consultation is in-person, you might begin your treatment immediately afterwards and go straight into a session, or you might need to rebook for a following date. This differs from practitioner to practitioner.

During your first appointment

Usually, your first appointment with your Chiropractor will be a session to determine what the issue is, and how it can be resolved. This means you’ll most likely be given a  thorough chiropractic exam, including tests such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and reflexe. You might also be checked for range of motion (especially if your pain is related to this). Some chiropractors will also do posture analysis, or give you x-rays (if they deem it necessary) during this first appointment. The point of this is to give the chiropractor a clear and broad impression of the problem so that they can treat it effectively and efficiently.

Once your initial visit has finished, your chiropractor will explain their findings, usually including:

  • Diagnosed condition
  • Your personal chiropractic treatment plan
  • Anticipated length of chiropractic care

This will give you an idea of the care that will follow, including the timescale and the cost too. It’s a good idea to ask for this in written form, so you can take it away with you and study it closer, do additional research.

back care at a younger age

Taking Care of your Back at a Younger Age can have Long Term health Benefits

For many people, back issues aren’t something they consider or even think about, until the time comes when they start feeling problems and pain. It’s easy to ignore your posture and back health, especially if everything ‘feels fine’ and you’re not experiencing any discomfort or pain in that moment.

What you have to consider though, is the long game. Your back is going to be supporting you for your entire life, and it’s a part of your body that should be looked after and cared for. Just because you don’t currently experience any pain, doesn’t mean that bad habits or posture won’t affect the way your back feels in 10, 20 or even 30 years time.

Years of hunching, years of bad posture, years of heavy lifting can all weaken your back, and one day when you’re older, it might all creep up on you. But it’ll be too late to cure the irreversible damage you’ve done.

Taking care of your back at a young age is crucial to ensuring your back stays healthy and pain free when you reach middle age and old age. Forming good habits now, can save you a lot of discomfort later on.

So what good habits should you be trying to introduce to your daily routine? Take a read below:  

Sit upright at work (and try not to hunch)

The most important one (especially if you work at a desk or with a computer) is to avoid hunching and to practise good posture at your desk. You probably spend around 8 hours a day sat at your desk, and that’s a lot of time to be bent over or hunched over in poor posture positions.

Replace your work chair / desk with something more ergonomic

If you have the flexibility or the budget to look into new desks or new chairs  – then finding a high quality ergonomic option is ideal. There are loads of brands out there now that specialise in designing posture-friendly and back-friendly items, and you’ll really notice the difference. As well as well-designed chairs, standing desks are also a popular options right now – with many companies in Scandinavia providing them to all employees.

Stretch daily

A few basic yoga moves, or just some good old-fashioned stretching, can really help build strength and flexibility in your back muscles. Your back is always supporting you and your back muscles work extremely hard to centre your body and keep balance. Because of this, letting your muscles relax and stretching them out each day is a great habit to get into.

See a professional

If you experience any back pain in your youth, make sure you see a professional. Something that may seem small and annoying in youth, could end up being a bigger, more painful issue as the years tick by. A Chiropractor is there to assess your back’s posture and function, and they can suggest simple exercises and changes that will help improve even the smallest inconvenience or dullest pain. Start addressing any issues when you’re younger, and you’ll hopefully improve the situation for when you get older.

The sooner you address any back problems, the sooner you will reap the benefits of Chiropractic treatment and live in less pain.

How to avoid being scammed by a Chiropractor

How to avoid being scammed by a Chiropractor

Investing in your health is always a good idea, except for those time when it’s not…

For many people, when the time comes that need to see a chiropractor, they spend days researching the right practitioner and the right clinic. You might spend hours conducting online research, you may have initial phone consultations before paying for an appointment, and you might even scout out online reviews from their previous clients and patients.

But what if you do all this, and you still feel like you’re being scammed?

It’s a horrible thought, to think that your chiropractor might be scamming you and taking advantage of your pain or poor health – but it does happen and for many people it’s a reality.

What are the signs my chiropractor is scamming me?

Luckily, there are some ways you can spot if your chiropractor is scamming you, and our overarching advice here would be: If it doesn’t feel right, don’t continue paying money for treatments.

They use too many scare tactics

In a chiropractic clinic, you’re generally there for a specific purpose, or a specific type of pain. This can be scary and it can feel daunting and worrying – but your chiropractor should try and put you at ease at all times, and you should feel encouraged by progress. If you feel dread every time your chiropractor opens their mouth – because you’re worried about what warning or prediction they’re going to give – they might be trying to scare you into extra appointments and consultations.

Your treatment course seems never ending

Most chiropractors will want to work with you intensively over a few weeks to resolve or improve an issue, and in some extreme cases (such as vehicle accidents for example) the treatment course might take longer (maybe several months). If your chiropractor is recommending months and months (even years) of appointments, with no end in sight – it may be worth reassessing and choosing someone else who can deliver results in a more timely manner.

They offer a ‘miracle cure’

The interesting thing about chiropractic work is that the body can be an unpredictable and confusing thing. Most honest and reliable chiropractors will be open about this with you, and will explore potential avenues for your treatment to go down, before identifying the most effective route. A chiropractor who claims to have a one-size-fits-all miracle cure, is likely lying.  

There is too much sales-talk

If you feel like you’re constantly being sold to, and being offered discounts, deals and referral codes, then you may start to feel as though you’re being scammed. With anything health related, you want to be getting the best treatment – not necessarily the quickest or the cheapest.

Here at Canary Wharf Chiropractic, we will never scam you and have a number of quality standards that we upload on each and every visit.

We look forward to seeing you. Book a consultation here.

wait before seeing a Chiropractor

Should you wait before seeing a Chiropractor?

Back pain can often be the result of an accident or injury (such as a strain or a sprain) but it can also pop up unexpectedly or gradually over time too. Whatever the cause for your developing back pain, it often occurs because something is off in the way your core muscles, spinal discs, spinal joints and nerve endings work together or move. It could be strain, inflammation or injury – but if the discomfort is causing you pain, and is affecting your day to day routine, you shouldn’t wait before seeking chiropractic treatment.

Having back pain can be a frightening and unnerving experience, and something you should never overlook. Many people simply brush off their discomfort and think that ‘rest and time’ is recipe enough to see the improvements they want. But doing nothing can in some cases make things worse, as you may end up increasing the strain, or worsening the injury.

Here are some types of back pain to look out for, when we would recommend chiropractic care. While you may think you need to simply strengthen your core or maintain good posture, it’s always best to seek advice and treatment from a professional.

You back pain began because of trauma or injury

If you’re experiencing back pain because of an accident or trauma, it may be something that needs to be worked on slowly by a Chiropractor. Often, in situations like this, something may have been knocked or put out of place, so a Chiropractor can help identify what happened, and begin treating back pain.

The back pain has been consistent and won’t go away

Any back pain that has been constant for more than a week or so, should be looked at by a Chiropractor. Sometimes we can experience slight back ache after exerting ourselves (trying a new exercise or moving house for example) but temporary soreness should usually ease up after a week or so. Constant pain that is frequent throughout the day is a sign that something is wrong.

The back pain is constant and seems to be getting worse

We often mistake pain for muscle ache. And whilst the natural function of our body is to slowly improve muscle issues over time (where rest and stretching can aid in recovery), if the pain is constant it may not be a muscle related issue.

If you feel the backache getting worse instead of getting better, it may not be muscle pain, it may be something else. If time is making the pain increase – you need to see a professional Chiropractor.

You feel back pain in resting positions

If you’re feeling pain when in resting positions (such as sitting or laying down) it can be a sign that something is wrong. It is also hard for us to heal properly if we’re missing sleep or losing out on rest because it’s difficult to get comfortable. A Chiropractor can help advise on this, so you can recover quicker.

You feel off balance and struggle with good posture

Any issues with balance and poor posture could cause you safety worries in all areas of your life. If standing straight or walking slowly is too painful or too difficult (because of loss of balance and a bad posture) then you need to resolve the issues quickly.

Improving your posture and the way you hold your body would be a good place to start, but people with back pain should always seek professional help from a Chiropractor.

choose a Chiropractor

How to Choose a Chiropractor

So you’ve decided to see a chiropractor – now you need to choose a chiropractor clinic that suits you. It’s important to understand that as a health profession, chiropractic is a complementary and alternative medicine, meaning it differs from traditional medicine. It can be quite limited on the NHS as a complementary therapy, so you’ll often have to find your own private clinic and book an appointment without being referred. Read more