With people still working from home it can become a big change in peoples lives. Therefore this blog post will go through the most effective ways to work from home safely and efficiently.
Get into a good routine
It is important to get into a routine, so a good way to do this is make a plan of how your working day is going to look. Having this routine set out from the moment you start work through until when you finish will make sure you get what needs to be done completed and also prevent you from overworking. Having a routine also will be less stressful. This is because knowing when you will finish will keep you motivated to work during your work hours and then switch off when you finish. Also it can be useful to have a schedule so you can tick off the jobs at the end of the day.
Making sure you have breaks from work is crucial for your over all health. Our bodies are designed to move about all day so sitting down for long periods can increase the risk of injury. To help this it can be useful to stand up every 30 minutes (people will an Apple watch will know all about this) or change your posture. It can also be beneficial to get out of the house and take a walk so you feel refreshed when you get back to work.
Keeping a good posture at work will help prevent you from getting aches or pains during work. The way to do this is when you are sitting, to make sure to find your natural best posture. To get into the right position push your hips slightly back, bring your back up straight, then bring your shoulders back and then bring your head over your shoulders. You can always stack your laptop on top of some books in case you need to have your laptop higher so you don’t strain your neck. It is also important for your feet to be comfortable. Whist working they should be shoulder-width apart and flat on the floor. Your knees should be lower than your hips and the way to do this is to shuffle forward on your chair.
When you have been sitting in a different position compared to what you are normally used to in the office, it is very common to develop aches and pains. This is because your body is sitting in a different posture to what you are normally used to and it is putting more stress and strain on certain joints and muscles in your body. If these joints and muscles are being loaded in a way they are not used to, that is when you will experience pain or discomfort.
If you have aches or pain while working at home and would like some treatment and advice about it, then contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.
With gyms opening up again and sports teams having training and matches, everyone will be getting much more active over the coming weeks. But after a long rest period, rushing back into training at full speed can cause an injury. So, if it is a casual round of golf or getting back into the gym here are some tips and advice to get performing safely.
Before training, it is important to do a targeted warm-up before you start actively. This might not mean doing a 5-minute cycle before your gym session because instead, it will be beneficial to target to muscles you are training that day rather than just simply getting the heart rate up. For example, if you are going for a run you should focus on warming up your hips and legs. This can be done with exercises such as lunges and side shuffles. Then some hip mobilising exercises such as hip CARs which are attached below.
Fuel your body
Having the right food before a workout is vital to performing at a good intensity. This doesn’t mean consuming protein shake after protein shake but instead having a well-balanced meal before your workout and also throughout the day so you do not feel like you are crashing throughout the day.
Before and during your workout it is very important to stay hydrated. So if you know you will be training later you should make an effort to make sure you are hydrated before. You can also include natural electrolytes into your diet such as coconut water or pink Himalayan sea salt.
After a long period of time off it is normal to have lost some of your strength or general physical fitness. So if you find it difficult to bench press what you used to or the number of reps has decreased don’t get discouraged. Set a goal to work to over the coming weeks and gradually increase your weights and sets. This will give you a great platform to get to where you were pre COVID and pugs beyond where you previously were.
If you have taken a break from the gym and you are feeling stiff or want to prevent a possible injury when you are back training then contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic: Spine & Sport, Portlaoise, Laois
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.
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic: Spine & Sport, Portlaoise, Laois
As many of you will have read over the past couple of days Rory Mcilroy had to withdraw from this week’s Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in the middle east after it was confirmed by MRI that he suffered a stress fracture of one of his ribs.
What is Stress Fracture?
A stress fracture is a small crack in the bone usually caused by overloading and by an increase in activity. They are normally seen in the weight bearing joints of the body including the foot, shin, thigh and hip.
Rory had been doing increased testing with his golf equipment in the off season due to Nike taking themselves out of the golf equipment market. This meant that Rory Mcilroy hit a lot more balls than his standard practice and this is the likely cause of the rib stress fracture as he didn’t have a fall or trauma.
What is the recovery time?
The most likely recovery time for a stress fracture is about 6 weeks which allows the bone to heal. The patient or athlete is usually prescribed full rest to allow the bone to heal. It will be very difficult to hit any balls during the 6 weeks as all golf shots will put load through the rib cage except putting.
Reducing the Pain?
Laser Therapy, Active Release Techniques (ART®) and Kinesiotaping can all help to reduce the pain levels during the recovery process. Load management is key to preventing a reoccurrence of a rib stress fracture.
Your GP will also be able to prescribe painkillers and anti-inflammatories, these will also help with pain reduction.
More about Golf Chiro
Shane is one of Europe’s leading Golf Performance Therapists having worked with over 40 different professional golfers on both the European & PGA Tours over the past 8 years. If your golf club is interested in having Shane do a presentation or talk on Golf Injuries & Injury Prevention or Performance & Fitness. Contact the clinic on 0578678904 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are suffering from any golf related injuries and would like to book an appointment please contact us today
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic: Portlaoise
Experts in the Assessment, Treatment & Rehab of Golf Injuries
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®)
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!
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.