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Low Back Pain – Don’t Let Back Pain Slow You Down

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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.

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 town, 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 Solution

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. 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…what can I do?

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In the last few weeks, we’ve had lots of patients coming into our clinic complaining of sciatica pain, either due to too much gardening or maintenance work in and around their villas, or other strenuous activities…and we do tend to do a bit more when the weather is wonderful!

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

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.

Sciatica and leg pain

Chiropractic Care

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.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 us on +351 282 768 044 to make an appointment. You can also check the other blog pages on our website for articles on various health issues, plus you can get tips and news 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).

 

9 Top Tips On How To Stop Back Pain And Feel Better – Lagos Health Chiropractic

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  1. Go and see your chiropractor.
  2. If you have’t got one, ask within your circle of friends for recommendations.
  3. Make the appointment…this first visit may take up to an hour.

    Tips on how to stop back pain

    “My arms ache and my back hurts!”

  4. Until you can get to your appointment, do the following:
  5. Use an ice pack on the area to reduce the pain (20 minutes every hour for a few hours).
  6. Take simple pain medication, such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen.
  7. Find a comfortable position for sitting or lying down (at night, when sleeping on your back, use a pillow under your knees. When sleeping on your side, place the pillow between your knees).
  8. Keep moving – Try to walk about a little (even if it’s just to the kitchen and back).
  9. Follow your chiropractor’s advice regarding treatment and rehab.

Qualified Chiropractors ARE doctors

You WILL feel better after seeing a Doctor of Chiropractic. Chiropractors have studied and trained for more than four years to become qualified and therefore know more about your bones, joints, spine, muscles and ligaments than most physiotherapists, osteopaths and general medical doctors. Chiropractors are the REAL spine experts. By: Dr Wen Oates DC MChiro. Lagos Health Chiropractic, Algarve, Portugal

Your Spine And How Important It Is – Lagos Health Chiropractic

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Do you have one spine…or several? The answer, of course, is that you only have ONE. And, as it’s in use every minute of every day, it’s vitally important to look after it!

There are five important functions of the spine:

Your spine and how important it is

In the words of that old spine song, “Your hip bone’s connected to your back bone…”

  • Movement: With 24 vertebrae, it’s able to twist and bend. However, because it can move a little in many directions, you can easily injure it.
  • Protection: The vertebrae protect your spinal cord and all the nerves that come from it. As you may know, the spinal cord is the first thing that develops in life and it controls every single organ and function of the body.
  • Posture: The spine holds up upright. Therefore, if it’s crooked, your posture will also be crooked.
  • Support: The vertebrae in the neck support the head, which weighs 9-13lbs (or about 5kg). Lower down, we have just TWO vertebrae in the lower back that support all the weight above, which is about two-thirds of your total body weight.
  • Attachment: Your back and neck muscles attach to your spinal column. If the spine is not straight, the muscles on one side of your body will not be balanced and therefore will stretch to compensate, while the muscles on the other side will shorten. Muscle imbalance pulls the vertebrae out of alignment.

Finally, take a look at yourself in a full-length mirror. If you see that one shoulder is lower than the other, or your pelvis appears twisted, it really is time for a chiropractic check-up.

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

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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.

 

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.

 

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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