With the middle of July now here, summer is in full swing, (with or without the cooperation from the weather!). And with summer comes travel and holidays. We get many patients that end up injuring themselves on holidays, and what should have been a good time, ends up being a painful week or two. So what are some ways that you can keep yourself injury free while traveling??
Smart travel posture- Weather you are flying or driving or taking the train, one of the easiest ways that you can safeguard your back health is by remembering to maintain good seated posture. That can be difficult depending on the type of seat. Most general airline seats for example are not made with good spinal posture in mind. The easiest way to help combat this? Sit all the way back in the seat with bum and back hitting the back rest. Then get an extra pillow, towel, blanket, or sweatshirt, and roll it up and place it behind your lower back. This will help you maintain the normal lumbar lordosis. Sitting back in the seat also helps keep the upper back in a better posture. And don’t forget about the neck, make sure not to keep the head in a bent forward posture for extended periods, be that for reading or texting. Keeping the head back on the headrest will ensure a neutral posture for your neck as well.
Proper lifting of luggage- Utilize the rolling capabilities of your luggage if it has it. If you end up in a hotel with no elevator and are stuck carrying your bag up three flights of stairs, here are a few tips for you. Keep the abdominal muscles contracted. Keeping these muscles active helps them to act as a natural weight belt for the lower back and prevent injuries. Bend from the hips instead of from the back. Always try to aim for keeping the back flat when bending over to lift something up, this will also help to protect the lower back from injuries.
Hydration- Especially true if you are somewhere warm, but drinking plenty of water is not just for times when the sun is shining. Keep your water bottle close by at all times. Water help to hydrate the joints and the muscles and can ease tension and pain. Dehydration leads to headaches and more aches and pains.
Exercise- Most people don’t associate holidays with exercise! But being on holiday can be a great opportunity to do exercises that you may not be able to do while at home. Hiking, walking, swimming, are all great lower impact activities to do to help keep your body strong and healthy. Forget about that lounge chair at the beach, get yourself out and moving.
Smart shoes- Speaking of all that walking you will be doing. Now is not the time to wear a brand new pair of shoes. Make sure you wear in the shoes before you go to avoid pain. And if you know you will be doing a lot of walking, make sure to bring proper shoes with the support you need, even if they might not fit in with the local fashion trends. It’s better to be pain free, than to be stylish and in agony!
Keep our tips in mind as you enjoy your summer travel, to help keep back pain at bay!
To date, Fibromyalgia is still a misunderstood condition. There are many theories as to what causes it, what can trigger it, and what can help with the pain. But we don’t know for sure. As you can imagine, that can be very frustrating for someone who has been diagnosed with this condition, not knowing what to do about it. Lets learn a little more about this common condition.
1. Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes wide spread muscular pain, it is more common in women than in men, and can run in families. Fibro= fibrous tissue, myo= muscle and algia= pain.
2. The newest theories on the causes of it are leaning towards a dysfunction in the nervous system. Something triggers the nervous system and the persons pain response is altered. Or how the brain is interpreting the pain is altered.
3. There are many other symptoms associated with this condition besides muscle pain, some of these include: fatigue, muscle weakness, poor concentration, brain fog, headaches, and anxiety, just to name a few.
4. There is no specific test for fibromyalgia. It cannot be detected in a blood test or scan. The best way to diagnose it is from the persons specific history. Guidelines from the American College of Rheumatology state that the person must have : ” widespread pain lasting more than 3 months, and other general physical symptoms including fatigue, waking unrefreshed, and cognitive (memory or thought) problems.”
5. There is also no specific treatment for fibromyalgia. Common is for patients to be put on pain killers, or anti-inflammatories, and sometimes anti-depressants.
You may be feeling quite grim right now, because we don’t know what causes it, and it can be hard to treat. So what can we do?
Exercise – regular exercises seems to be one of the biggest things that helps to keep fibromyalgia manageable. Not only is this shown in the research about the condition, but in our experiences here in the clinic.
Chiropractic treatments – chiropractic care can help relieve muscle tension and pain that comes along with fibromyalgia.
Laser – our class 4 laser is also a great tool at helping ease the pain of those tender points associated with this condition.
Dry needling/acupuncture- another one that our fibromyalgia patients feel the benefits from.
Nutritional supplementation- more research needs to be done, but there is some evidence to support certain supplements and their role in helping this condition, including vitamin D, co-enzyme Q10, probiotics, and trace minerals magnesium and zinc.
So you can see, there are things that you can do to actively work on taking control of this condition. Our best advice, find a provider who will work with you, looking at the whole picture and incorporating some of the things above, and help you to stay consistent.
Have fibromyalgia? Book an appointment today and let us help you get on the road to managing this condition and getting back to your life!
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!
Diastasis Recti is a condition we see commonly in the clinic. Most often it’s associated with pregnancy and the post partum times, but did you know that it can affect anyone? While can be considered a cosmetic issue, it is a major warning sign that a more serious issue with the core is going on. Lets learn a little more about this common condition.
What is it?
We all have a line down the middle of our body, that separates the two halves of the outer layer of abdominal muscles. It runs from the breast bone to the pubic bone. Diastasis recti occurs when there is a separation or widening between the two sides of of the muscles. Everyone has a little bit of a gap, but it is considered more of a problem when it’s 2 fingers wide or more.
What causes it?
Diastasis recti is common in pregnancy due to two things:
1. The growing belly that pushes out against the abdominal musculature, thinning the connective tissue.
2. The maternal hormones that cause the connective tissues to become softer and more flexible can promote laxity in the structures.
It is something that naturally happens to a degree during pregnancy, and after the baby is born, should come back to normal if your core was in balance before pregnancy. It is worth noting that in many studies, women who were active before pregnancy and continued that exercise throughout their pregnancy tend to be less likely to suffer with diastasis recti. But this is not always the case.
Outside of pregnancy, it can be caused by overdoing it on the wrong abdominal exercises, such as traditional sit-ups or crunches and/or weak deep abdominal musculature. It is not just about weak muscles though. An imbalance in the muscles of the abdomen, and your overall posture can also contribute.
Why is it a problem?
When you have a diastasis that continues for months after pregnancy, it is a problem. It is a sign that your core musculature is not working properly. If you’re wondering why you need your core working properly, here are a couple reasons to consider:
Many who have diastasis recti also have or will have pelvic floor issues including urinary incontinence.
A weak core can lead to ongoing lower back, sacroiliac joint, and symphysis pubis pain
How can we help?
Diastasis can be helped by improving your function and removing any imbalances in the core musculature. Some of you may be thinking, I know other women who are very fit and still have diastasis, what about them?? The answer to that would be that just because someone exercises, does not mean that their core is actually functioning properly and that they know how to properly activate and brace their core during exercise, breathing, and normal day to day activities. They may be loading their core in a way that is contributing to more tension (in the wrong way) on that front part of the abdominal muscles.
It’s important to seek expert advice if you are struggling to get your core back after pregnancy. Look for a practitioner that will take a varied approach to getting you functioning better as a whole to help get your core back in balance! For more information check out this book from Katy Bowman.
Ever wondered what you could do to make labour easier on yourself and your little one?
Times are changing for expectant mothers in Ireland with now having more information available to them via tv, internet and social media on natural birth. Education has improved and parents are more confident and willing to take an active roll in how their pregnancy and labour goes.
Gone are the days of simply lying on your back and purple pushing as they call it. Hypnobirthing has changed our preconceptions of labour and the associations with “purple pushing”, it and yoga also advocate active birth positions for mothers to ease the birth process. Women are finally stepping away from the tradition of lying on their backs on a hospital bed to have a natural birth.
We now know that when lying on your back to give birth the size of the pelvis is at its narrowest, due to the angle of the sacrum and tailbone. You lose the vital effect of gravity as now you will have to pass your baby over these structures and ultimately up hill.
Below are some Active Birthing Positions which can encourage the pelvic outlet to widen to at least 30% and with the aid of gravity help the descent of the baby through the birth canal. Therefore potentially making things easier.
Supported squat– using your birthing partner/ mid wife or bar as a prop can make you more comfortable during surges.
Kneeling– can be against a birthing ball or on the bed. It helps widen the pelvic outlet and can allow you to rest easier between surges.
Hands and knees – will also help relieve pressure on the low back and may help the baby reposition itself for delivery.
Sidelying– with one leg elevated or held by the birth partner allows the pressure of the baby to be redistributed within the pelvis and making things more manageable.
Birth pool– the effect of the warm water can lessen low back discomfort and can let the mother adopt the squatting or kneeling position much easier.
If you are due to have a little one please take the time to educate yourself in how you and your little one can have a smoother and more pleasurable experience. We hope this helps you in your journey to motherhood.
Our last few blogs have been about pregnancy and the time after pregnancy, and some associated issues women experience during these times. One of the main concerns is an unstable pelvis. Aside from getting treatment, what else is available out there to help women have a pain-free pregnancy?
The main issue during pregnancy is that the pelvis becomes unstable due to the maternal hormones released during this time. Which can cause a lot of dysfunction and pain in some women. Treatment and exercises can help to keep the pelvis pain free, but those alone cannot fully stabilise the pelvis. So how can we stabilise something that is unstable?
Our top tip for an unstable pelvis:
The Serola belt. It is a support, worn around the waist, in a similar way to a belt, that actively gives support to the pelvis, helping to stabilise it. It provides the support that the pelvis desperately needs during this time. Providing relief for sacroiliac joint dysfunction and symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) as well as lower back pain.
The Serola belt is not a permanent solution, as these hormones that relax the ligaments and joints are vital during labour to help the baby pass through the pelvis. But until that time, it can be a great companion to help take some of the pressure off that sore unstable pelvis! Keep a look out for our upcoming video on how to properly wear a Serola belt.
Yours in Health,
Chiropractic | Mums & Babies | Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization
There has been a worrying trend over the last decade, we have seen a increase in the number kids attending the clinic for injuries including Back Pain, Knee Pain, Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries.
These injuries are usually reserved for adults but with the training regimes that some of these children are undertaking is comparable with professional athletes.
Our top tips for keeping your kids injury free:
Recovery & Off Season: Sleep, Recovery and a 8 week off season is key to injury prevention. This allows the body to rebuild after long sporting sessions and the toll of a lengthy season.
Late Specialisation: All the latest research has indicated that kids should wait into their teens to specialise in one sport. By playing a number of sports it ensures that your child develops a number of movement based skill sets.
Good Balance of Training & Game Schedule: Parents and coaches should keep track of their youth athletes training schedules ensuring that they are getting at least 2 days off each week. The majority of injuries seen in children are from chronic over use injuries which is preventable if a kid has a sensible training and schedule. Do not over train you athletes!
Functional Movement Screening (FMS): The FMS is one of the simple ways to see if your child is at risk of injury. The screening is scored out of 21, any score under 14 indicates an increased injury risk. At the clinic we use the FMS with all our clients and athletes to help them identify areas of potential injury risk.
If you child is suffering from a sports related injury or you would like more information on injury prevention please contact us.
Many women these days are seeking natural alternatives for pain and discomfort during their pregnancies. One of these is, chiropractic care. Treatment during pregnancy is a bit different than normal chiropratic treatment in the clinic. Naturally much care is given to the growing baby and the fact that the ligaments and joints are become more unstable due to the hormones. And with pregnancy there are a new set of challenges for the chiropractor and the mother to deal with that she may not have had while not pregnant, such as:
Pelvic and back pain
round ligament pain
To give you an idea about what treatment during pregnancy is like, check out this short video of the Webster Technique. It is a technique developed and taught by the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association (ICPA), to help keep the pelvis aligned during pregnancy.
Wondering if chiropractic care during your pregnancy is right for you? Contact us today for more information!
Yours in Health,
The Lawlor Clinic
Chiropractic | Sports Injuries | Active Release Techniques (ART®)