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Chiropractic Care of the Upper Back

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There are many sources of dysfunction in the upper back (thoracic spine), especially when we consider the numerous joints and the interlacing of muscles that comprise the thoracic spine and rib cage.

Thoracic Spine

The mid and upper back is known as the thoracic spine. It’s the largest portion of the spine, consisting of 12 of the 24 spinal bones (vertebrae). By comparison, the neck (the cervical spine) has 7 vertebrae, while the lower back (the lumbar spine) has 5 vertebrae. All of the thoracic vertebrae are connected to your ribs by cartilage and together protect the thorax – hence the name, thoracic spine.


In addition to the many joints and bones that comprise the thoracic spine, there’s also a network of interwoven and layered muscles that stabilize and move the spine, aid in respiration and allow you to move your shoulders and arms. Therefore, if one muscle or joint becomes injured or inflamed, it can lead to a great deal of pain and discomfort.

Upper Back Pain

Upper-back pain is a phenomenon that affects all age groups. Yet, while common, it seems to receive far less attention than neck pain and lower back pain. Furthermore, there’s less research carried out on the identification and treatment of mid- and upper-back pain compared to that of the neck and lower back.

However, you’ll be pleased to hear that chiropractors know all about upper back pain, so if you’re suffering at the moment, call +351 282 768 044 or pop in and see us. We’re next door to the coffee shop in the big pink building on the other side of the Lidl roundabout in Lagos.

Cuidados quiropráticos da parte superior das costas

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Existem muitas razões de disfunção na parte superior das costas (coluna torácica), especialmente quando consideramos o numero de articulações e o entrelaçamento de músculos que compõem a coluna torácica e a caixa torácica.

A parte média e superior das costas é conhecida como coluna torácica. É a maior porção da coluna vertebral, constituída por 12 das 24 vértebras. Em comparação, o pescoço (coluna cervical) tem 7 vértebras, enquanto a parte inferior das costas (coluna lombar) tem 5 vértebras. Todas as vértebras torácicas estão conectadas às suas costelas por cartilagem que em conjunto, protegem o tórax – daí o nome da coluna torácica.

Além das muitas articulações e ossos que compõem a coluna torácica, há também uma rede de músculos entrelaçados e em camadas que estabilizam e movem a coluna vertebral, ajudam na respiração e permitem que você movimente os ombros e braços. Portanto, se lesionar ou irritar um músculo ou uma articulação, isso pode provocar muita dor e desconforto.

A dor na coluna torácica é um fenômeno que afeta todas as faixas etárias. No entanto, e embora comum, parece receber muito menos atenção do que a dor no pescoço e dor na coluna lombar. Além disso, há menos pesquisas realizadas sobre a identificação e tratamento de dores na torácica, em comparação com a do pescoço e ou lombar.

No entanto, fique satisfeito ao saber que os quiropráticos conhecem tudo sobre dor nas coluna torácica, então, se neste momento está a sofrer, ligue para +351 282 768 044 ou visite-nos. Estamos ao lado do café no prédio grande, rosa do outro lado da rotunda do Lidl em Lagos.

Happy New Year and a Happy New You…with Good Posture

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What does good posture mean to you? Head up, shoulders back, chest out? Along with your bottom tucked under and a mild tightening of your abdominals, your mum was probably right when she nagged you about standing up straight.

Prevent back and neck pain

Your posture plays a key role in your spinal health, helping to prevent back and neck pain and even injuries to spinal structures. In any event, even if you have a spinal condition, try to be aware of your posture and make good posture part of your normal routine.

If you suffer from back pain, you may be consciously or subconsciously adopting an unnatural posture to try to limit movements that you fear will create potential pain. Unless there’s a fracture or other serious problem, try not to take on an unnatural or stiff posture.

Warning signs of poor posture

Be on the lookout for any of the following possible warning signs of poor posture:

  • Back pain that’s worse at certain times of the day or week
  • Pain that starts in the neck and moves downwards into the upper back, lower back and extremities
  • Pain that goes away after switching positions while sitting or standing
  • Sudden back pain that’s experienced with a new bed, a new sofa or a new car

If you’re experiencing any of these warning signs, take note of your posture and seek professional help. At Lagos Health Chiropractic Clinic we can identify and treat your problem and advise you on the best way to manage any symptoms. Call us on +351 282 768 044.

Happy New Year…and a Happy New You!

The Chiropractic Care Christmas Alphabet

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Dickie Valentine sang about something similar in the 1950’s. If you remember the tune, you can sing along…you’ll notice that we’ve changed the words a bit!

C is for your Chiropractor, sorting out your ills,

H is for the Headaches that come from taking pills.

R is for your Reflexes that Doctor Wen will test,

I is for Impingement of your nerves that mean that you move less.

S is for your Spine and vital Spinal cord,

T is for the Treatment that to miss, you can’t afford. 

M is for your Muscles that you pull and stretch and strain, 

A is for the Aches that give excruciating pain. 

S is for old Santa who’ll need Doctor Wen’s support, after sliding down the chimney on December 24th.

As you know, chiropractic care has been proven to help with all types of musculoskeletal pain, including low back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain, so make it a New Year’s Resolution to come and see us at Lagos Health. Remember, it’s important to take good care of your spine because it supports your weight, holds you upright, allows movements in your body and, most importantly, protects your spinal cord and nerves.

Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year from Dr Wen and her team at Lagos Health Chiropractic.

Backpacks…And How To Prevent Back Pain In Children

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Summer 2017 was the busiest ever at Lagos Health Chiropractic…Dr Wen and her team helped more holidaymakers with back and neck pain than ever before. We also saw plenty of golfers struggling with shoulder and elbow pain.

Heading into autumn, we will certainly see more golfers…and probably a few school children walking through our door!

Avoid heavy backpacks to prevent back pain in children

The cause of pain for the children often comes from overloaded backpacks. Although the back is pretty good at compensating for any load applied to it for an extended period of time, extra-heavy backpacks can:

  • Distort the natural curves in your child’s middle and lower backs, causing muscle strain and irritation to the spine joints and rib cage.
  • Pull on the neck muscles, contributing to headaches, shoulder pain, lower back pain and/or neck and arm pain.

Remember too that carrying backpacks over one shoulder will make your child’s muscles strain to compensate for the uneven weight. The spine leans to the opposite side, putting extra stress on the middle and lower back more on one side than the other, leading to muscle strain, muscle spasm and back pain.

So here are a couple of tips to help prevent pain:

  • Always use both shoulder straps and wear the backpack on the back, rather than over one shoulder.
  • Lift the backpack by using the leg muscles, not by bending over with arms extended.
  • Do not lean forward when walking. If you have to, there is too much weight in the backpack.

If your youngster comes home from school complaining of back pain, come and see us at Lagos Health Chiropractic…we’re in the big, pink building by the Lidl supermarket in Lagos. Or call us on +351 282 768 044.

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.

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!


Escolhendo o melhor colchão para dôr lombar

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Se está cá de férias no Algarve, não há muito que possa fazer sobre a cama do hotel … mas em casa, dormir no colchão errado pode causar, ou piorar a dôr lombar. A falta de apoio do seu colchão pode causar uma postura péssima para dormir, tensão muscular e uma coluna desalinhada, que provocam dôr.

Com uma variedade de colchões no mercado, escolher o caminho certo pode ser difícil. Seja cético sobre alegações de que um colchão é “ortopédico” ou “medicamente aprovado” … ainda não houve pesquisas médicas ou ensaios clínicos controlados sobre a relação entre colchões e dôr lombar.

Escolhendo o melhor colchão para dôr lombar

Se sofre de dôr nas costas, os seguintes princípios podem ajudá-lo a escolher o melhor colchão que combina o apoio das costas com o conforto no sono:

  • Compreender os componentes físicos do colchão. As bobinas ou molas interiores de um colchão fornecem suporte, variando no número e disposição de bobinas de colchão para colchão. O almofadado em cima do colchão vem em muitas espessuras diferentes, enquanto a altura do colchão varia tipicamente de 7 a 18 polegadas. A sua escolha final do colchão deve ser baseada em no que sente que seria melhor para si (e companheiro) e as vossas preferências individuais.
  • Atingir um equilíbrio entre o apoio de costas e conforto. Um bom colchão deve fornecer suporte para as curvas naturais e alinhamento da coluna vertebral. Embora haja poucos dados clínicos sobre colchões, um estudo descobriu que os colchões não muito firme or rijo fornecem mais alívio da dor nas costas do que os colchões firmes, porque permitem que os ombros e os quadris afundem ligeiramente. Dormir num colchão que é muito rijo pode causar dores nos pontos de pressão.

Se, acordar de manhã com dores no corpo, venha nos visitar em Lagos Health Chiropractic. Como alternativa, ligue para 282 768 044 … não podemos oferecer uma xícara de chá na cama, mas podemos oferecer ajuda para sua dor nas costas!

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.

Lagos Health Chiropractic Blogs can help ease your Back and Neck Pain in the Algarve, but an actual visit will help even more


Lagos Quiroprático Centro - LQC | Lagos Chiropractic Centre
Praceta João da Costa Reis
Lote 2
Loja 5AD
Tel: +351 282 768 044

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