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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.

Muscles

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.

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.

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).

 

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.

 

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

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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