Headaches can affect peoples life from work, hobbies and when you are trying to relax at home. The most common headache is tension-type headaches. This can cause pain in the back of the head, into the neck and around your eyes. This typically happens on both sides of the head.
There are many factors that contribute to tension-type headaches. These include:
Not drinking enough water
Holding your head in one position for a long time
Sleeping in an awkward position
Head and neck injury
Clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth
How can chiropractic care help your headache?
In the clinic, we can first check the lifestyle factors that may be aggravating your headaches and give you ways to manage them better. This includes looking at your posture and giving home exercises to you. We perform a full examination on every new patient which should identify the triggering factors for your headache.
We will also do various treatment methods that best suit you. These can be:
Soft tissue massage
Active Release Techniques
Drink more water
Especially with the weather warming up, it is important to touch on water consumption for headaches and general well being. The average person should be drinking at least 2 litres of water which is around 8 cups per day. But if you are active and exercising try 2-3 extra glasses per hour of exercise. Getting your recommended water intake will help with the following:
Normalising blood pressure
Regulate body temperature more efficiently
Flushes out bacteria using your body’s natural sewage system
If you have headaches or neck pain and are not sure what to do about them, then contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.
Elbow injuries are a common injury in desk workers and athletes. In people who lift weights they are one of the most common injuries to have.
Although the elbow may appear to be a simple hinge joint that simply has two movements (bending or straightening the elbow), the reality is far from it. The elbow is a more complicated joint than it seems because the movement occurs between three bones and surrounding this are 16 small muscles. These help to not only straighten and bend your elbow but also rotate it as your palm is either up or down.
Although many elbow issues are due to overuse of the muscles causing a repetitive strain injury, it is common for people to cause an injury to one of the several nerves in the arm. This can cause tingling, numbness, a burning sensation and possible weakness in the hand.
A type of exercise that is used to help nerve pain is nerve gliding. This aims to either stretch the nerve or glide the nerve.
Gliding techniques will stretch the nerve and have the aim of increasing the tension and pressure through the nerve. This sometimes makes symptoms worse in people.
Sliding techniques will move the nerve with a lot less tension and pressure and therefore don’t increase symptoms.
The goal is to use these techniques to increase blood circulation, reduce the swelling that is around the nerve and get the nerve back to its natural movement. This will decrease symptoms once these areas are restored.
Make sure you only do a few sliders at a time because overstressing the nerve even with a less aggressive technique will potentially increase your symptoms. It is not always the case that a little bit of something is good so let’s do lots of it in a more is better approach. So do this little and often throughout the day rather than all at once.
If you suffer from any elbow issues or capal tunnel then contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.
Chances are you know someone with a hamstring injury or have had one yourself. If you have had a hamstring injury you will know first hand they can be very difficult to get rid of. Also, you are faced with the problem that if you have a hamstring strain you have a very high chance of re-injuring the hamstring again.
But what are hamstring tears?
Class I: There are only a few muscle or tendon fibers are torn. You will usually have pain during or after activity which would be worse when sprinting. There may be a small amount of swelling and discomfort. Usually associated with minimal strength loss. You will likely be able to walk directly after the injury.
Class II: A partial tear of the fibers. You will usually have pain during activity which stops activity. There will be a significant loss of strength and a significant amount of pain. You will likely have some pain when walking.
Class III: This is when there is extensive tears to the muscle, you will usually have felt pain immediately and may have fallen to the ground. Your range of movement at 24 hours is usually significantly reduced with pain on walking. There is usually weakness in contraction.
Class IV: A complete rupture of the muscle/tendon. This will be associated with a huge loss of muscle function, often an inability to walk due to pain and massive bruising on the back of the thigh. This class can often be less painful than class III.
How to help
If you have suffered a low-grade strain of your hamstring, here are some explanations of exercises that you might find useful. If you have sustained what you think may be a grade 2 or above injury, it is recommended that you go see a medical practitioner for some hands on help and to effectively rehab the muscle.
A good exercise to start for a low grade hamstring strain is a bridge. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent. Drive your heels into the ground and imagine you’re about to get punched in the stomach (this will make sure your core is braced). Then drive your hips upwards and squeeze your butt muscles. You should then hold this postition for 5 seconds and then lower yourself to the starting position. If this is painful then STOP, you don’t want to over strain the tissues that are healing. 2-3 sets of 15 reps.
Also it is important to work on your balance. To do this, stand on one leg, then do a small hip hinge and attempt to hold this position for 10-20 seconds. Start with your eyes open and then once you are comfortable with this you can try doing it with your eyes shut which will make it much more challenging. Also, try to do this exercise barefoot. 2 sets of 5 holds.
If would suffer from recurrent hamstring issues, then contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.
Most low back pain is primarily caused by the way you move and how you sit. During the day there are ways to do these things that put less stress on your back. Your spine has 24 vertebrae and it is common to think that all the parts move evenly. But certain areas take on more movement than others which are called hinge points. This blog post will give you some techniques and ideas to help remove these hinge points and to start getting you more pain free.
In between the segments of your spine, there are discs that act as little shock absorbers. As you sleep the discs gather water and hold the water so they become more pressurised when you wake up first thing in the morning, this means they are easier to injure. After an hour the pressure decreases to nearly normal so this is why it is extra important to be careful in the morning.
Ways to manage this in the morning:
Don’t bend and round your back when getting out of bed
When brushing your teeth, avoid spinal movement. Try and hinge from the hips. You should feel like you’re gliding your bottom backwards in order to lean forwards. It’s fine to lean one hand on the sink for support.
Try not to be hunched over when putting on shoes and socks
Don’t have your back rounded when sitting down eating your breakfast
Other problems for your back throughout the day are when you try to lift something heavy. If your job requires a lot of lifting it is vital to know how to squat with good form.
To do this you should have your feet at shoulder width. Then keeping your back straight you should move your pelvis backwards and keep your heels down. To practice this if you get a pole or a golf club and held it along your spine touching the bak of your head, mid-back and tailbone, the pole or club should stay touching throughout the whole squat.
Also, when you are walking day to day it is important to do this correctly to reduce the strain on your lower back. So try to walk with your chest up and bring your head back and swing your arms. Interesting fact, walking is 12% more metabolically demanding with your hands in your pockets, this shows how your arms play a vital role in saving energy. Doing this will reduce tension in your lower back and walking can be therapeutic for back pain if you do these steps correctly.
I hope this helps, but if you do suffer from back pain and would like us to have a look at your problem and run through advice to get you pain-free, then contact the clinic today on 0578678904 or book now.
Antioxidants, herbs and spices are important ingredients in a healthy diet and are very important in helping to treat joint pain and arthritis. Different combinations of these herbs and nutrients are likely to be particularly powerful anti-inflammatories and painkillers, which can improve the progression of arthritis.
Curcumin (found in turmeric)
Boswellic acid (found in Indian frankincense)
Quercetin (found in tea, red onions, apples, citrus fruits)
Bromelain (found in pineapple)
Hydroxytyrosol (found in olives)
Cream-based anti inflammatories:
The major bone mineral is calcium. 99% of the calcium in our bodies is found in bone. Calcium should be taken in via your diet, but one of the greatest factors in calcium balance is exercise. Studies at NASA discovered losses of calcium in astronauts living in zero gravity conditions. They also demonstrated that weight-bearing exercise (such as walking) can raise calcium levels in the body by 2%, which will help slow down the progression of arthritis.
Without magnesium, calcium is unlikely to be used properly. Vitamin D is also needed to enable calcium to be used properly with the body. Boron is involved in the transportation of calcium around the body. It helps the body to retain calcium and magnesium. These are the main players in arthritis. Other key minerals which help managing arthritis include zinc, copper, manganese, phosphorus, folic acid, vitamins C, K and B6.
Calcium and magnesium:
Supplement 300-600mg daily
Oily fish (herring, mackerel, pilchards, sardines, tuna)
30mins of sunlight daily
Supplement 15mg daily
Supplement 3mg daily
With arthritis, there can be obvious joint degeneration and cartilage depletion. If this is the case, it may be advisable to:
Supplement a cartilage rebuilder (glucosamine, chondroitin) for at least three months
Supplement vitamin C 3-5g daily
The most effective way of tackling arthritis is:
Improve bone strength
Weight bearing (walking) and non-weight bearing (hydrotherapy) exercises
‘Say No To Arthritis’, by Patrick Holford is an excellent read for those suffering with arthritis. If you are struggling with arthritis, please do not hesitate to get in contact with the Lawlor Clinic on 05786 78904.
Yours in Health,
The Lawlor Clinic, Portlaoise
Chiropractic | Active Release Techniques (ART®) | Functional Range Conditioning (FRC®)
Fibromyalgia is a chronic syndrome marked by widespread muscular tenderness and pain. Those with FM commonly experience disturbances in sleep, mood, and cognition, as well as having neural symptoms also.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by 18 tender points (9 pairs) throughout the body. These tender points are located in the hips, neck, chest, elbow and knee.Fibromyalgia sufferers will have at least 11 tender points and will have had symptoms for >3 months.
It is accepted that the treatment of Fibromyalgia is multimodal. Generally, this encompasses relaxation, meditation, exercise, physiotherapy, acupuncture, nutrition, medication and laser therapy.
Resistance training is a great way to build up muscle strength, power, and endurance. Studies have shown that after 16-21 weeks of beginning a resistance training programme, the tenderness and pain levels in female Fibromyalgia sufferers reduced. The training helped to improve overall well-being, physical function, and muscle strength.
After 12 weeks of beginning a flexibility programme, overall muscle and joint pliability and flexibility improved. And, doing 20-30min walks @ approx. 60-70% max heart rate has been shown to improve mood and sleep patterns.
Evidence suggests that acupuncture can provide short term benefits to Fibromyalgia patients, generally up to one month within treatment. The acupuncture needles are placed on the 9 pairs of Fibromyalgia tender points. Its effects have been further enhanced when combined with other modalities, like exercise or laser therapy.
Laser has many benefits for those with Fibromyalgia. It is a painless intervention for those with Fibromyalgia. Laser stimulates cell growth, increases cell metabolism, invokes an anti-inflammatory response, promotes oedema reduction, stimulates nerve function, reduces the production of substance P, and stimulates the production of endorphins. Laser is applied to the area of pain and/or the 9 pairs of tender points for 20-30seconds per point.
Laser helps to improve sleep, improve physical function, increase mobility, reduce pain, muscle spasm and fatigue.
Nutrition is vital in managing Fibromyalgia. Various studies have connected Fibromyalgia to bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine and a compromised gut function as a result. There are a variety of ways to help cleanse your gut and improve your digestive function. For example: ultrainflamx, omega 3 fish oils, probiotics, turmeric, and vitamin D3 are all very effective in creating a healthy gut. It is also beneficial to either cut out dairy or wheat, depending on which is more sensitive to your gut.
Meditation has been shown to improve mood and sleep patterns in individuals with altered sleep and mood swings. Try to find a quiet room, darkly lit, for 10-15mins twice daily to listen to some relaxing music. Focus on taking deep, slow breaths and try focussing on something that makes you happy. The HeadSpace App is very effective in instructing meditation too.
As you can see, Fibromyalgia must be approached using a variety of different interventions. In our clinic, we have expert medical professionals who have experience in dealing with Fibromyalgia. If you think you suffer with this condition, or know of anyone that does, book an appointment today and let us help you get on the road to managing this condition and getting back to your life!
Dry needling is a minimally invasive procedure in which an acupuncture needle is inserted directly into a muscle (known as a myofascial trigger point – MTrP). An MTrP is a highly localized, hyperirritable spot in a palpable, taut band of skeletal muscle fibers. Essentially an MTrP is a knot within a muscle. 74-85% of patients with pain present with MTrPs in their area of discomfort.
Dry needling an MTrP is most effective when local ‘twitch responses’ are elicited, probably because of rapid depolarization of the involved muscle fibers, which manifests as local twitches. Once the needle hits a tight part of the muscle, the patients’ muscle can twitch. After the muscle has finished twitching, the spontaneous electrical activity subsides and the pain and dysfunction decrease dramatically.
Dry needling breaks up muscle tightness, tension, knots and scar tissue. It helps in reducing muscle spasms, pain and muscle sensitivity. More specifically, dry needling has been proven to be very effective for low back pain. It provides pain relief and functional improvement in those with chronic low back pain and lumbar myofascial pain. Evidence suggests the improvements are further enhanced when the muscle is stretched afterwards. Needling deep into the muscle has been shown to be more effective than superficial needling. Howver, over the areas of the lungs or large blood vessels, superficial dry needling has been shown to be more appropriate and just as effective. Dry needling is a very safe method of treating muscular injuries and pains, and adverse side effects post treatment are very rare.
If you are suffering with muscular pain and tightness, please do not hesitate to contact us to book a consultation
Yours in Health,
The Lawlor Clinic Portlaoise
Chiropractic | Active Release Techniques (ART®) | Functional Range Conditioning (FRC®)
Looking for a natural alternative to help reduce inflammation? Check out our list of a few of nature’s anti-inflammatory foods to try out.
Turmeric– a great way to flavor curries and different dishes and it contains curcumin which is one of the best natural anti-inflammatories.
Omega 3 oils– you can get these from animal sources like fish, but also from plant sources such as flax. Western diets tend to have much more omega 6, so its important to get enough 3 to keep the proper ratio.
Blueberries– and other dark berries have great anti-inflammatory properties as well as being full of beneficial antioxidants.
Pineapple– containing bromelain, a potent anti-infalmmatory, gives this delicious fruit a spot on our list today.
Green Tea– sipping on green tea throughout the day has been shown to help with inflammation.
If you are experiencing inflammation it is vital to get checked out by a medical professional to rule out serious illness first. But if you are looking to improve your diet, overall health, and keep down inflammation in your body, adding these is a good place to start!