It has been shown that 80% of the population will suffer from an episode of back pain during their lifetime. A smaller number will also suffer Sciatica, a referral into the leg which can be caused by a disc bulge, bony narrowing of the exit canal or entrapment of the nerve along its path down the leg, for example at the piriformis muscle.
Walking: It is important that you keep as active as possible, so we recommend short frequent walks for our patients who suffer from back pain or sciatica. Depending on the severity of the leg symptoms we also ask the patient to shorten their stride so this will put less pressure on the sciatic nerve particularly during the swinging of the leg forward.
McKenzie Extension: This is one of the few positions that patients or athletes will feel any relief from their leg pain, The extension exercise has been shown to centralise the disc material taking pressure off the nerve. You should feel the leg pain reduce during the hold, the pain may also localise to the low back or buttock area.
Cat & Camel: Spinal flexibility and control is important for the lumbar spine. The Cat & Camel exercise is a great exercise that we give to every patient. If you struggle with either of the movements then we suggest you use a mirror for feedback.
Nerve Flossing: This exercise will help with leg pain and also improve the sliding of the sciatic nerve from the low back all the way in the foot.
With any of the exercises it is important to work within a pain free range of motion, if you see an increase in your symptoms then please stop the exercise and consult your local health professional or contact us today for a consultation.
Dizziness can be a little bit complicated. It can be caused by a number of different reasons, but you probably never thought that your neck could be one of them!? Well Cervicogenic vertigo is exactly that, dizziness that is theorised to be caused from dysfunctional or lack of movement in the neck.
20-58% of people who have had head/neck injuries or whiplash will also experience dizziness
How can my neck contribute to dizziness?
Typically this specific type of dizziness is seen in people after an injury to the head and neck such as concussion or whiplash. But that is not always the case, sometimes it is also seen in people with severe muscle spasm in the neck or loss of movement in the neck.
Proprioception is your body’s ability to perceive where it is in space. Tricky to understand, but basically think about it as your ability to stay on balance. Proprioceptive receptors in the neck can be disrupted through concussion or whiplash injury, thus relaying incorrect information back to the brain about where the body is, causing the sensation of dizziness or the sensation of being pulled to one side, or the room spinning. Along with the dizziness people with this type of vertigo typically have pain and limited range of motion in the head and neck.
What are the symptoms?
Neck pain and/or loss of motion in the neck
Dizziness, sense of the room moving or spinning, or feeling disconnected from your body
The difference between other types of vertigo and this one are that the dizziness type symptoms you experience are made worse by holding specific positions of the head and neck. Moving the head doesn’t usually cause the symptoms to flare up but keeping the head in a certain position for a longer time does.
This type of vertigo or dizziness that is caused from injury to or lack of movement in the neck typically responds well to chiropractic care and physiotherapy. Using manual therapy such as manipulation, mobilisation, and Active Release Techniques (ART®) to release the muscles and improve range of motion has been shown to help in these cases. Also specific exercises for the neck and exercises to improve proprioception can be beneficial as well.
As with any condition it is important to have a thorough examination to figure out the true cause of the problem. Give us a call today to see if we can help with your problem!
Aimee had a great time last night at the Portlaoise Leisure center last night, May 12th, 2016, sharing their presentation “Sitting Is The New Smoking”.
For those of you who couldn’t attend, here is a little recap of the evening.
-Sitting is the new Smoking is a phrase coined by Dr. James Levine, an American endocrinologist. He says, ” Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV, and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”
Have you been diagnosed with a disc herniation? It is one of the most common conditions that we see in the clinic. Today we want to show you one effective exercise that can help reduce your pain: The McKenzie Extension exercise.
In the last blog, you learned what happens to your discs. We guided you through the stages of disc herniations, and how they can protrude outwards into the spinal canal, which can cause irritation around the nerves and pain. With this exercise we are trying to get a decompression of the discs, encouraging them away from the spinal canal and the nerves, which will be evident by an improvement in your pain.
If you are experiencing pain down one leg, what we would expect with the Mckenzie extension exercise, is that the pain starts to become more central. Meaning that instead of feeling it all the way down to the ankle, you start feeling it only at the knee, or down to the bum.
If your pain does not improve with this, that means you may need a different type of exercise for your lower back pain. As always, its important to get a proper assessment and diagnosis to get the best treatment plan for you!
You did it. You survived pregnancy and labour and now have a beautiful little person that will enrich your life! And all the little pains of pregnancy will magically go away right? In a perfect world, yes. But for many women, they find that their body is not quite what it used to be. This is especially true for the pelvis. We have talked about the pelvis, and how it changes during pregnancy before, but what happens with the pelvis after pregnancy and birth?
All about the Hormones:
Remember those lovely hormones that help prepare the body for the birth process? Relaxin is one of the main ones, and it does just what it’s name implies, relaxes things. It relaxes the muscles and ligaments so that the joints in the pelvis can spread to allow the baby to pass through. Relaxin remains in your system after the birth and can continue to cause problems for months after the baby is born. If you are breastfeeding, it may be even longer.
The pelvis continues to be unstable in most women after the birth of their baby.
Getting back to Normal:
After the maternal hormones have settled down back to a normal level, the pelvis can go back to being stable, although in some women, it remains unstable for years after the children are born. Even when the pelvis is stable again, that doesn’t mean that it has become stable in the right position. We see many women with pelvises that have stabilised, but did not stabilise correctly. Meaning one or both sides are out of balance, thus causing a lot of discomfort when walking, lifting the baby, or bending.
What about Treatment?
Don’t fret, this can all be corrected with proper treatment. Using different types of manual therapy on the pelvic ligaments and muscles including Active Release Techniques (ART®) and specific exercises to improve your core strength. To help the pelvis heal, it’s important to keep active, which may be difficult to do when you are in pain. We recommend gentle exercise such as light walking as a great way to start.
Book an appointment today to get your pelvis checked and get back to feeling like yourself again!
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic, Portlaoise
Specialising in the treatment of Pregnancy Related Disorders
At the Lawlor Clinic we provide Chiropractic for all the family from newborn to old age. Many of the problems that patients present with as adults can be addressed in childhood and treated appropriately with Chiropractic care.
Some of the common conditions we deal with in the different demographics include:
January is one of the busiest months in the gym as people try to get their fitness back on track. In the clinic we see an increased number of patients who have suffered from a gym related injury such as back & neck pain, sciatica, ankle sprain and shoulder pain.
Here are our top tips to stop you getting injured on your return to fitness
Proper Assessment and Screening: It’s important you know how your body is moving and of any physical limitations that might prevent good pain free movement. A good screening can also highlight potential areas of weakness that causes injuries to occur. Ask your medical and health professional for a functional movement screen (FMS).
Stay Hydrated: Increased training levels means that you will need to increase your water intake. Add himalayan pink salts to your water as a natural electrolyte
Warm Up: A 5 minute cardio session prior to a gym workout will get the core temperature up and prepare the body properly for each session.
Sleep: The best recovery tool on the market is sleep. Make sure you get a solid 8 hours a night.
No Pain No Gain: No one should train or do an exercise that gives them pain, this causes the body to move differently and compensate around the pain.
Overtraining: 3-4 gym sessions are optimal for maintaining good fitness levels. For proper recovery, training 6-7 times a week will only lead to injury.
If you would like a functional injury prevention screening or you are suffering from a gym related injury please contact the clinic for a consultation.
Other than the lower back pain, neck pain is one of the top complaints we have in the office. Neck pain is one of those things many people choose to live with, without taking action to help it. We want to give you a few things to check in your own life, that may be contributing to your neck pain, and small steps to help improve them. So what are some things that can impact the neck:
Poor Posture– siting hunched over a desk all day? Notice that your head keeps going further and further forward to read the screen? Every inch you go forward puts a lot of extra pressure on the neck. The same goes for looking down at a smart device or book for a prolonged period of time. Try to keep the neck in a neutral position when reading, typing, texting, etc. That means you have to bring the book or device up, while keeping the neck in a relaxed position.
Sleeping Position– are you a stomach sleeper? Hate to break it to you, but that is the worst sleeping position for the neck. Though sleeping on your back or side with the neck propped up higher than the rest of the spine with lots of pillows can be just as destructive. Ideally you want the neck to be even with the rest of the spine- not too far up, and not too far down. Try to get a partner or friend to look at your position while you are laying and help you figure out how you can adjust to be more straight.
Stress– tension headaches arise because of….tension. Tension can be formed from repetitive strain type injuries but also from stress. Manage your stress levels to help ease your neck pain. Things like meditation, yoga, exercise are some examples of things you can try. Find what works for you and keep at it.
Shoulder Tightness– many of the muscles in the neck also attach to the tops of the shoulders. Hold your stress or tightness in the tops of the shoulders? Its probably affecting your neck as well. Keep the shoulders loosened up to help with the neck tightness. Try some gentle stretching or foam rolling around the shoulder area and see how it affects your neck.
Trauma– car accidents, falls, and hits, can all cause damage to the neck. One of the common results we see in the neck from trauma, is a whiplash injury. Which is an injury in which the head gets whipped in one direction and then abruptly into another direction. Such as the case with car accidents and many sporting injuries. Disc herniations and other more serious injuries can also occur from trauma. With these types of injuries, it’s best to seek professional consultation before trying to do anything on your own.
If you are experiencing neck pain, go through the list above and see if you can figure out what may be causing the problem. You can try out things at home, such as avoiding the inciting posture or stress. If the problem persists, you may need a professional opinion. Contact us today to see if we can help with your neck pain!
Yours in Health,
The Lawlor Clinic
Chiropractic | Sports Injuries | Active Release Techniques (ART®)