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Low Back Pain – Don’t Let It Slow You Down – Choose Chiropractic

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Back Pain – many episodes of low back pain are caused by damage to the muscles or ligaments in the lower back, leading to inflammation and muscle spasm, which results in severe pain and you subsequently having difficulty moving.

low back pain

Low Back Pain – Common Causes

The usual culprits are either lifting a heavy object such as your suitcase, lifting something while twisting, or a sudden movement or fall. Sports injuries are also a frequent cause of back pain, especially with those sports that involve twisting, such as surfing, golf and tennis. Losing your footing on the uneven cobbles in Lagos town centre, or being hit by a large wave while paddling in the ocean, can also cause problems, as many of our patients will testify.

Low Back Pain – The Chiropractic Solution

Spinal manipulation and chiropractic care is well documented as a safe, effective treatment for low back pain.

Do Chiropractors Really Help?

By incorporating specific gentle chiropractic adjustments of your spine to get your joints moving again, along with some deep tissue massage to help loosen those tight lower back muscles, we help lots of patients with these typical ‘holidaymaker’ injuries mentioned above.

Effective Quick Fix Until You Come In To See Us

We can usually fit you in on the same day you call…but until you can get to our clinic, try these two things for temporary relief:

·       Place ice or a cold pack on the area for 10 minutes every hour to reduce inflammation.

·       Take anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) to also help reduce any inflammation.

Remember, if you’re suffering from back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain (in fact, any kind of musculoskeletal pain), come and see us at Lagos Health Chiropractic. Or call us to make an appointment on +351 282 768 044.

My sciatica is playing up…will chiropractic care make it better?

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Research has shown that chiropractic treatment is certainly effective for sciatica.

In the last few months, we’ve had lots of patients coming into our Algarve clinic complaining of sciatica pain, either due to too much golf, too much gardening at their villas, or other strenuous activities…and we do tend to do a bit more when the Algarve weather is so lovely!

When sciatica flares up, it is helpful to know what can be done to alleviate the pain and stay active.

What Causes Sciatica and Leg Pain

The term ‘sciatica’ is used to describe pain that radiates down the sciatic nerve, which starts from each side of the lower back, extends down the back of the thigh and into the foot. It’s caused by compression of nerve roots in the lower part of the spine, which merge together to form the sciatic nerve in the pelvis.

The pain from sciatica can be severe, and it can also be very sharp. It may be associated with numbness, burning or tingling sensations.Sciatica and leg pain

Chiropractic Care For Sciatica

As you may know, chiropractors use their hands to gently adjust the part of the spine that is misaligned and causing the pain. Once the skeletal joints are moving freely, you will experience less joint irritation and less inflammation.

Ice Pack At Home

For sciatica pain, you can use an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel) and place it over the lower back, as that is where the sciatic nerve is usually pinched. Keep it in place for 15 to 20 minutes and repeat each hour for three or four hours.

Remember though that there are other causes of pain in the leg that may not actually be ‘sciatica’. Therefore, get ANY pain checked out by Dr Wen at Lagos Health Chiropractic. Call the clinic on +351 282 768 044 to make an appointment.

You can also check the other blog pages on our website for articles on all sorts of health issues, plus you can get health tips, chiropractic news and some fun things to make you smile by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

How Are You Feeling Today…Aching, Stiffness, Back Pain?

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How did you feel when you woke up this morning? Any aches and pains? Any stiffness? Perhaps you’ve been carrying something heavy recently? Perhaps something that weighs about 70 or 80kg?

Actually, that’s about the same weight as your head, shoulders, arms, rib cage, upper spine and muscles added together. And remarkably, just two vertebrae (L4 and L5…yes, they’ve got numbers) in your lumbar spine are supporting all that weight…18 hours a day…7 days a week…12 months a year!

It’s no wonder you get lower back pain!

your spine and how important it is

Plus, of course, the rest of your hard-working spine has to do lots of other things – allowing you to move and holding you upright, while at the same time protecting your spinal cord.   But that’s not all. Coming out from between those vertebrae and discs are the nerves from your spinal cord, going off to every part of your body, sending messages back to your brain.

Imagine if those nerves get compressed, twisted and knocked about too! You’re going to feel some pain. Should you take a pill or rub in a cream? Remember, any pain-killing medication may reduce the pain for a while, but the underlying cause of the pain remains.

Perhaps now is the time to consider chiropractic care.

You only have one spine. Peforming several vital functions, it’s important to look after it. And at Lagos Health Chiropractic, we can look after it! Come and see us. We’re in the big pink building just across the road from the Lidl supermarket. Or call us on +351 282 768 044.

How to choose the best mattress for your low back pain

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If you’re here in the Algarve on holiday, there’s not much you can do about the hotel bed…but at home, not sleeping on the best mattress can cause, or worsen, lower back pain. Lack of support from your mattress can cause poor sleeping posture, muscle strain and a misaligned spine, which all contribute to pain.

Top Tips To Choose The Best Mattress For Your Back Pain

choosing the best mattress for your back pain

Goldilocks must have found the best mattress, because it felt just right and in no time at all she fell fast asleep.

If you suffer from back pain, the following guidelines should help you choose the best mattress that combines back support with sleep comfort:

  • Understanding the physical components of the mattress. The coils or inner springs of a mattress provide support, with different mattresses varying in the number and arrangement of coils. Padding on top of the mattress comes in many different thicknesses, while mattress depths typically range from 7 to 18 inches. Your eventual choice of mattress should be based on what feels right for you according to your own (and your partner’s) individual preferences.
  • Achieve a balance between back support and comfort. A good mattress should provide support for the natural curves and alignment of the spine. Perhaps Goldilocks got it right with her choice…”it was neither too hard nor too soft. In fact, it felt just right, and in no time at all she fell fast asleep”. While there is little clinical data about mattresses, one study found that medium-to-firm mattresses provide more back pain relief than firm mattresses, because they allow the shoulders and hips to sink in slightly. Sleeping on a mattress that is too firm can cause aches and pains on pressure points.

Be Wary Of So-Called ‘Medical’ Slogans

With a variety of mattresses on the market, choosing the right one can be difficult. Be sceptical regarding claims that a mattress is “orthopaedic” or “medically approved”…there has not been extensive medical research or controlled clinical trials regarding mattresses and low back pain.

Breakfast In Bed?

If, unlike Goldilocks, you wake up one morning aching all over, come and see us at Lagos Health Chiropractic. Alternatively, call us on +351 282 768 044…we can’t offer you a bowl of porridge or cup of tea in bed, but we can offer professional help for your back pain!

 

Top Tips On Posture And How To Prevent Back Pain Infographic

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Long hours of sitting can jeopardize your lumbar spine and can even be felt in the middle-back and neck. Furthermore, you put the surrounding muscles under undue strain, only adding to the pain. Unfortunately, long periods of sitting are becoming more commonplace in today’s computer age.

Posture Infographic from Lagos Health Chiropractic

Top Tips on improving your posture and reducing irritating back and neck pain.

This process begins all too early in life, so maybe it’s time to ask: “How many hours a day do I spend sitting down?” If it’s two or more, perhaps it’s time to get off the sofa and get your spinal alignment checked by a qualified and registered chiropractor.

5 Top Tips On Posture and How To Prevent Back Pain & Neck Pain

1. Adjust your seat so that your feet are flat on the ground or on a foot rest.

2. Sit with your hips higher than your knees and your eyes level with the centre of the computer screen.

3. Relax when sitting in your chair, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back and your shoulder blades are touching the back-rest of the chair.

4. Your arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk or table you are using. Try to use a seat with arm rests.

5. Don’t sit at the computer for more than 40 minutes. When you take a break, walk around and stretch a little.

Get Checked By Your Chiropractor

If you have back or neck pain, or just feeling a slight twinge, perhaps now is the time to have a comprehensive examination by a trained, qualified and registered Doctor of Chiropractic, who can also advise you on all posture and pain-related issues.

By Dr Wen Oates DC MChiro (Principal Chiropractor at Lagos Health Chiropractic Clinic).

 

Suffering from Golfer’s Elbow or Back Pain? We Can Get You Back On The Fairway

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What are the most common injuries suffered by golfers? Golfer’s Elbow, Back Pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? How do you recognize them and what treatment is available?

Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s elbow is inflammation, soreness or pain on the inside of the upper arm near the elbow. Tennis elbow is similar, but on the outside of the upper arm near the elbow. Tennis elbow is actually more common among golfers than golfer’s elbow.

Back Pain

The golf swing (not to mention the hunched-over putting stance) puts great stress on the golfer’s back, so it’s no surprise that back pain is the most common problem for golfers. The discs, ligaments, muscles and  joints can all be affected.

Shoulder Pain

Golfer with Golfer's Elbow and shoulder pain still trying to get his ball into the hole

“I’ve got Golfer’s Elbow AND shoulder pain…but I still come here every weekend!”

Shoulder pain in a golfer might be caused by several underlying conditions, including rotator cuff tendonitis, an impingement in the rotator cuff, arthritis of the shoulder or instability in the joint.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a repetitive stress disorder that occurs in the nerves of the hands. At its worst, it’s extremely painful and sometimes incapacitating.

DeQuervain’s Tendonitis

DeQuervain’s causes pain in the wrist near the base of the thumb and is caused by inflammation in the tendons that control the thumb.

Proper warm up and stretching is important to reduce the risk of injury while playing. You can download a Golfer’s Exercise Sheet from the Sports Injuries section on our website that will help you avoid injury.

Of course, if you’re concerned about ANY pain, come and see us at Lagos Health Chiropractic. We’ll tell you what’s causing your pain and what can be done to make it go away…whether that’s rest, exercise, a chiropractic adjustment, applying Kinesio taping or just an ice pack! We’re the experts in golfing injuries.

Have you ever experienced any of the conditions mentioned here? If so, we’d like to hear about what you did to relieve the pain…did you go to a chiropractor, an osteopath or a physio…or did you just take some painkilling tablets or rub in a cream? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

Is Poor Posture Causing Your Back Pain? Here’s What You Can Do About It

aching back, back pain, bad back, chiropractic, health and wellness, help for back and neck pain, help for back pain, help for neck and back pain, help for neck pain, hip pain, improve your posture, Lagos Health Chiropractic - Back Pain, neck pain, posture, prevent back and neck pain, shoulder pain, spine, stiff neck, stop back pain No Comments »

Having good posture (head up, shoulders back) looks amazing, but good posture also plays a key role in your spinal health, helping to prevent back and neck pain.

The following are warning signs of poor posture:

  • Back pain that is worse at certain times of the day
  • Pain that starts in the neck and moves downwards into the upper and lower back
  • Pain that goes away after changing sitting or standing positions
  • Back pain that comes and goes for months

Variations in posture, forward head posture, poor posture, kyphosis of the spine

Everyday activities

It’s easy to forget about good posture when you’re on your smartphone or on the go, but try to use these times to notice when certain postures and back pain episodes coincide.

Sit with support

The act of sitting requires an incredible amount of muscular effort to keep the body erect, so a good sitting posture is important. For example, don’t sit on the edge of your chair and lean towards your computer…sit back and utilise the chair’s back support.

Keep moving

Maintaining a static position for more than twenty minutes is tough on the back, so by simply changing position or stretching, the tissue elasticity needed to protect your joints can be restored and any associated discomfort reduced.


Have you ever experienced any of the problems mentioned h
ere? If so, we’d like to hear about what you did to relieve the pain or discomfort…did you go to a chiropractor, an osteopath or a physio…or did you just take some painkilling tablets or rub in a cream? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

Aching Backs and Stiff Necks

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During the holiday season we see lots of patients with bad backs and stiff neck issues! Research has shown that sleeping in a strange bed is one of the culprits! Judging from what our patients say, their aching back and stiff neck has been caused by either sitting for hours in a cramped aeroplane seat, sleeping in a different hotel bed or sleeping underneath the air conditioning that’s blasting out cold air.

So, these tips should help…

  • Try to stretch your legs a bit on the flight home…if, of course, you can squeeze past the refreshment trolley!
  • You can’t change the hotel mattress, so try to have a stroll before breakfast to loosen up muscles and joints.

    tips and help to avoid neck pain at Lagos Health Chiropractic

    “I knew I’d get a bad back after sleeping on that lumpy mattress!”

  • Finally, to avoid a stiff neck, DON’T sleep with the air-con on all night! Have it on for half an hour before you go to bed to cool the room, but then turn it off once you snuggle down. If you wake up sticky during the night, turn it on for 5 minutes and then switch it off. In the morning, get up slowly and try not to make any sudden neck movements.

Come and see us

If you do have problems, come and see us at Lagos Health Chiropractic…we’re in the big pink building by the Lidl roundabout, about 10 minutes walk from the Marina. We’ve helped so many people these last few weeks, I’m sure we’ll be able to help you too.

By the way, have you ever experienced any of the issues mentioned here? If so, we’d like to hear about what you did to relieve the pain…did you go to a chiropractor, an osteopath or a physio…or did you just take some painkilling tablets or rub in a cream? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

Mum Was Right…Sit Up Straight As It Helps Prevent All Sorts Of Things

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Remember when you were little, your mum was always telling you to “sit up straight”? As usual, mum was probably right, as research in America recently warned that bad things can happen to your body if you sit for too long.

High Blood Pressure

Prolonged sitting has been linked to high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol, and people with the most sedentary lifestyles are more than twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease than those with the least.

Dr Wen Oates DC MChiro of Lagos Health Chiropractic & Wellness Clinic in Portugal says, “If most of your sitting occurs at a desk, craning your neck forward towards the keyboard, or tilting your head to cradle a phone while typing, can strain the cervical vertebrae and lead to instabilities”.

Think Twice Before Stretching For That Cuppa

“Furthermore, spines that don’t move become inflexible and susceptible to damage in everyday activities, like reaching for a cup of tea or bending down to tie up shoelaces. When we move around”, says Dr Wen, “the soft discs between the vertebrae expand and contract like sponges, soaking up fresh blood and nutrients. When we sit for a long time, those soft discs are squashed unevenly and lose their sponginess”.

Always Listen To Your Mum…And Dr Wen!

So what can we do? Dr Wen suggests sitting on something wobbly (like one of those big fitness balls), or a backless stool to force your core muscles to work. “If you’re sitting in your home office, try not to lean forward, keep your shoulders relaxed, asit up straight to avoid back pain and other problemsnd keep your arms close to your sides with your elbows bent at about 90 degrees. Ensure your lower back is supported by your chair or use a rolled up towel to do the same job. But don’t sit for too long – stand up every half hour or so and walk about”.

If you’d like to find out more about chiropractic care for you or members of your family, look at our other website pages. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Preventing Back Pain in School Children

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Each school year millions of children walk to, from and around school carrying backpacks filled with books and materials. Parents should be aware that overly stressing the back with a heavy backpack could cause back pain in their child. Following a few guidelines can help avoid this type of back pain.

How Kids’ Backs Respond to Backpacks

Using a backpack allows a child to carry a number of schoolbooks and items in a practical way, distributing the heavy load across the strong back and shoulder muscles. The risk, however, is overload, which can strain the back, neck, or shoulders.

backpack with school books and pens

The back will compensate for any load applied to it for an extended period of time. A heavy weight carried in backpacks can:

  • Distort the natural curves in the middle and lower backs, causing muscle strain and irritation to the spine joints and the rib cage
  • Lead to rounding of the shoulders
  • Cause a person to lean forward, reducing balance and making it easier to fall
  • Habitually carrying backpacks over one shoulder will make muscles strain to compensate for the uneven weight. The spine leans to the opposite side, stressing the middle back, ribs, and lower back more on one side than the other. This type of muscle imbalance can cause muscle strain, muscle spasm, and back pain in the short term and speed the development of back problems later in life if not corrected.
  • A heavy backpack can pull on the neck muscles, contributing to headache, shoulder pain, lower back pain, and/or neck and arm pain.

Medical Research on Backpacks

While the medical literature on backpacks is often inconclusive, and sometimes contradictory, a review of current medical literature suggests several general conclusions:

  • Carrying heavy backpacks, or carrying them in a way that strains the back, is a frequent cause of back pain in children and adolescents
  • The back pain caused by back packs is short term (e.g. muscle strain) and alleviat
    ed with a short period of rest or reduced activity; any type of back pain that persists is uncommon and should be evaluated by a medical professional

Although there are very few studies and the medical literature does not agree on specific guidelines for backpack safety to avoid back pain, parents can use common sense to reduce the chance that their child or teen will suffer back pain due to carrying a backpack.

Look for backpack design features that help reduce the chance of back pain:

  • Lightweight material (canvas as opposed to leather)
  • Two padded, wide (2-inches), adjustable shoulder straps on the backpack
  • Padded back
  • Individualized compartments
  • Hip strap, waist belt, or frame to redistribute the weight of the backpack from the shoulders and back to the pelvis
  • Consider using a separate bag for the child’s laptop or other heavier electronic items

Teach your child how to properly load and wear the backpack to avoid back pain:

  • Always use both shoulder straps and wear the backpack on the back rather than over one shoulder
  • Pack heaviest objects into the backpack first so they are carried lower and closest to the body
  • Fill compartments so that the load is evenly distributed throughout the backpack and items do not shift during movement
  • Pack sharp or bulky objects in the backpack so they do not contact the back
  • Adjust the straps to fit the backpack snugly to the child’s body, holding the bottom of the backpack 2 inches above the waist and keeping the top just below the base of the skull; do not carry the backpack low near the buttocks
  • Lift the backpack by using the leg muscles and keeping it close to the body, not by bending over with arms extended
  • Do not lean forward when walking; if this is necessary, there is too much weight in the backpack

Maintain a mindset to watch the weight carried in the backpack to reduce back pain:

  • If the child complains of discomfort, reduce the weight in the backpack immediately
  • Consider applying a guideline backpack weight limit as a percent of the child’s body weight. The American Physical Therapy Association suggests 15-20%; the American Chiropractic Association advises 5-10%
  • Coach your child to carry only those books needed in the backpack, leaving unnecessary items at home and making frequent trips to his/her locker during the day
  • Train your child to clean out the backpack at least once a week

Become a Proactive Parent on the Issue of Backpacks and Back Pain

  • Ask your child if they feel any back aches or pain
  • Help your child choose the smallest backpack that will meet his/her needs
  • Talk to teachers about how to minimize the need for children to transport heavy books back and forth daily in their backpacks; keep one set of books in the classroom for daily work while leaving heavy books at home; make photocopies of homework chapters and assignments that are easily carried
  • Attend PTA meetings and discuss any proposal by school administrators to remove lockers or to reduce time between classes making it difficult to store unneeded books and materials

Help for Back Pain

If you have any concerns or questions regarding anything mentioned here, feel free to contact us at Lagos Health Chiropractic Clinic on 282 768 044.

Lagos Health Chiropractic can ease your Back and Neck Pain in the Algarve

PREMIER CHIROPRACTIC & WELLNESS CLINIC IN THE ALGARVE

Lagos Quiroprático Centro - LQC | Lagos Chiropractic Centre
Praceta João da Costa Reis
Lote 2
Loja 5AD
Lagos
Portugal
Email: quiropraticalagos@gmail.com
Tel: +351 282 768 044

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