Now that Spring’s here it’s time to get outside and start enjoying the warmer days. If you’re energised by New Year’s resolutions or are determined to get into that bikini before Summer, you may be considering a new exercise routine or taking up a sporting activity. Spring is the most popular time for outdoor sports; there’s nothing better than getting out in the fresh air and improving your fitness levels.
However if you’re not used to physical activity, you need to be aware of a few golden rules before you begin. Here’s a guide to avoiding sports injury this Spring.
If you’re pressed for time you may be tempted to skip the warm up and start exercising vigorously straight away. Many sports injuries are caused by inadequate preparation so always give yourself time to warm up properly.
Warming up is a way of waking up your body. It gets the blood flowing and gradually increases your heart rate. Tight, cold muscles and ligaments are the most common cause of sports injuries so make sure your muscles and joints are loosened and warm before you start to exercise or play sport.
Cooling down after vigorous exercise is just as important at the warm up. It gradually decreases your heart rate and prevents blood pooling in the legs and feet. Gentle stretches ease the muscles and keeps them flexible. Cooling down also helps to expel toxins from the body. Many athletes benefit from a sports massage during the cool down to protect the muscles from soreness and injury.
Many sports injuries occur by overdoing it in the beginning. Your body needs to build up stamina over a period of time. If you practise a weekend sport, incorporate another low impact activity during the week such as walking or swimming to help build muscle strength and resistance.
Adequate hydration is essential. It regulates the body temperature, lubricates the joints and improves the circulation of nutrients, blood and oxygen around the body.
Sports injury can benefit from specialised massage techniques to promote faster healing and also prevent injuries from occurring. If you’re serious about taking up a new sport this Spring, then consider incorporating regular massage sessions into your schedule to keep your body in good condition, improve your performance and prevent sports injury.
Back pain is one of the main reasons why people seek chiropractic treatment. Chiropractic care is an alternative therapy that can be used in conjunction with other alternative therapies and conventional medicines. It treats musculoskeletal disorders primarily associated with the spine; relieving joint and muscle pain and helping to speed up the recovery process.
Chiropractic care is particularly effective in treating chronic pain, posture complaints, sports injuries and accident recovery. It is also used to treat other related conditions such as arm, neck, leg pain and headaches associated with spinal problems.
Chiropractors believe that spine irregularities are directly connected to the function of the nervous system. Re-alignment of the spine will benefit the neurological system, reduce pain and improve overall health.
The expert and qualified practitioners at Bristol Chiropractic Clinic are specialised in all aspects of chiropractic care. Our clinic at Clifton offers a range of chiropractic services and associated therapies such as acupuncture, physiotherapy and nutrition advice.
If you’ve never received chiropractic care you may be unsure about how it all works. Here’s a look at what’s involved.
The First Visit
In the first session your chiropractor will take a detailed account of your medical history. They will then ask questions specific to the pain such as:
Cause of pain?
Type of pain: dull ache, sharp, pins and needles?
How long you’ve had pain?
The chiropractor will then perform a physical examination. They will exam muscle mobility, tone and strength, posture, blood pressure and pulse.
Depending on your condition, you may be referred for further diagnostic exams such as x-rays or an MRI scan. Once a thorough diagnosis has been established your chiropractor will recommend a personal chiropractic treatment plan.
Following sessions will include spinal manipulation, a hands-on technique to manipulate muscles, bones and joints to re-align the spine. This can involve short, sudden thrusts, moving joints in a certain position to relax the joint and increase mobility, and stretching the muscles to improve strength.
You may hear a popping sound and experience a clicking sensation in your joints during the session. Don’t be alarmed, this is a good sign. It’s caused by the release of gas bubbles in the joint fluids.
A chiropractic session will also include advice on nutrition, lifestyle and exercise. Chiropractic care also works well with other therapies such as acupuncture.
Our Clifton chiropractic services include an individual treatment and rehabilitation programme tailor-made to suit each patient. Contact our Clifton clinic for more information.
If you enjoy sporting activities and a healthy, active lifestyle then there’s nothing worse than sustaining a sports injury. Those who are used to physical activity find it frustrating to keep immobile for any length of time. As your injury heals your main concern is how long it will take for you to be back in good condition.
However, healing needs time. Many further or secondary injuries occur by returning to training too soon and not giving your sports injury enough time to heal properly.
Here’s a guide to the average healing times for common sport injuries.
Many have the misguided belief that as long as it’s not a fracture, it shouldn’t take too long to mend. Although a minor sprain should heal within a week, a more severe sprain can take up to 6 weeks to heal properly.
Calf and Hamstring Strains
Even a minor calf or hamstring strain will need up to 2 weeks to heal. A more serious strain could be the sign of a torn ligament. This may take up to 3 months to heal completely.
Groin strain is a common injury for footballers, tennis players and rugby players. It’s usually caused by stretching too far to reach for a ball, therefore straining the muscles in the delicate groin area. A groin strain can cause immobility problems: from a slight twinge to problems walking and standing.
Mild strains will usually heal in a matter of days, but severe groin strains can take several weeks to heal. In this case it’s important to be patient and try to rest as much as possible.
Knee Ligament Strains
Usually caused by twisting the knee awkwardly or running without the proper shoes, knee ligament strains can be particularly complicated and make take several weeks to heal completely. Complete rest is advised for the first few days followed by a course of physiotherapy to re-align the joint and aid healing more quickly.
How Sports Massage Can Help
Sports massage carried out by a qualified therapist can help reduce recovery times. A regular massage session will help the blood, oxygen and lymph flow, delivering essential nutrients to your sports injury.
Sports massage can also help prevent further injury by strengthening the muscles and ligaments and increasing joint flexibility.
Bristol Chiropractic Clinic offers sports massage and physiotherapy treatments to help reduce sport injury recovery times. A regular sports massage will also help prevent further injuries. Contact our Sport Injury Bristol clinic for a consultation with one of our expert therapists.
A weak back can lead to a number of health problems. Unfortunately many of us neglect to look after our backs in the correct way. Small changes can have a dramatic effect on your spine health which in turn will have a positive effect on your overall health. If you suffer from back pain then it may be worth checking out these simple measures to help you get back your healthy back.
Posture and Movement
One of the simplest and most effective ways to help your back is to correct your posture. Many people tend to slump when they sit and hunch their shoulders when they walk. Sit and stand up straight, hold your head up and use your abdominal muscles to release the tension in your back. Try to always be aware of your posture and correct it when you feel yourself slumping. Avoid lifting heavy objects, but if you have to, use your leg muscles to take the burden. Keep your stomach muscles tight and lift the object as close to your body as possible.
Buy A Good Mattress
It’s worth investing in a good orthopaedic mattress to help support your back, ensuring a good night’s sleep. Many mattress suppliers now have computer aided technology to advise which mattress will offer the best support specifically for you.
Being anymore than 10lbs overweight can cause back strain. A nutritious diet and gentle exercise will help you lose weight and regain a healthier back.
Nicotine restricts the flow of blood and oxygen from reaching the discs that cushion your vertebrae. If you smoke, congested lungs can also lead to upper back pain. So, do your back a favour and quit smoking.
Take Up Pilates Or Yoga
Pilates and yoga techniques can help re-align your spine by stretching and strengthening core muscles and improving overall flexibility for long term spinal health. Whatever your age or ability, you’ll be able to find a pilates or yoga class suitable for you.
Massage is not only effective in the treatment of injuries. Regular massage and chiropractic treatments can help strengthen your back and prevent further injuries. Massage releases tension and aids the flow of blood, oxygen and essential nutrients, helping them to reach the muscles and ligaments in your back.
Bristol Chiropractic has a dedicated back pain clinic in Bristol. Our qualified experts offer a range of chiropractic and massage treatments, exercise techniques and healthy lifestyle programmes. Contact our Bristol back pain clinic for more information and advice on getting back your healthy back.
Back pain can be crippling and debilitating. It decreases mobility and makes every day activities such as carrying children, housework and even getting dressed hard to perform. Chronic back pain can extend down to the buttocks and into the legs causing pain when sitting, standing and walking.
Back pain can also effect your mood, concentration levels, appetite and prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.
It’s a year round problem that is exacerbated during the long, cold winter months. So how can you cope with back pain over the winter season?
Cold weather can make your posture worse. We tend to huddle, slouch and shiver more, causing our muscles to tighten and increase the risk of strains.
• Make a conscious effort to be aware of your posture. Sit and stand up straight and try to avoid slumping, especially if you are working on your computer.
• Wear warm clothes and keep moving as much as possible.
• Place a hot water bottle or warm compress around your neck and upper back when watching TV or lying in bed.
• Use relaxation techniques and gentle stretching exercises to release back tension. Consult a qualified chiropractor for advice.
• Your chiropractor or physiotherapist can help you with good posture techniques and implement relevant treatments to realign your back and relieve pain.
This condition can worsen in the winter months. During cold weather, nerve roots in the lower back are compressed resulting in pain that extends down into the buttocks and legs. Cold temperatures cause the muscles to stiffen and become tight and tense, increasing the risk of strains. This affects the sensitive nerves in the lower back.
Massage and chiropractic therapy can treat muscle strains, relax tight muscles and help to prevent further injury.
You back is more at risk of injury when you perform the following winter chores:
• Shovelling snow from paths and driveways.
• Humping heavy loads such as salt for gritting, wood baskets and coal buckets.
Learn to carry heavy loads correctly. Ask your chiropractor about safer lifting techniques.
Back injuries caused by falls are more common during wet or icy weather. Wear non-slip footwear and be extra cautious when outside.
Keep as active as possible and consult your chiropractor about exercises to help keep your back healthy this winter.
Bristol Chiropractic Clinic, Clifton, can offer a range of therapies for back ailments including prevention techniques and sports massage. For more advice and information, call us today for a consultation with one of our qualified therapists.
Summer’s over and the cooler weather and shorter days have returned. But that doesn’t mean you should be preparing for hibernation. Many sports can be enjoyed throughout the autumn period before the cold, icy, New Year weather is upon us.
Early autumn marks the beginning of seasonal team sports such as football, rugby and hockey. Autumn is also a great time to go jogging and fell running, before the colder weather sets in. Playing sport during the colder, shorter months will not only keep you fit and maintain a healthy weight in the run up to Christmas, but it also helps with depression and seasonal affective disorder. However, with the new season come new sporting injuries, particularly for those who are trying a sport for the first time. Here is a guide to the most common sporting injuries that occur in October.
Autumn is the season for high impact, team sports such as rugby, football and hockey. A hamstring strain is probably the most common injury associated with these sports. Hamstring strain is a result of a tear in one of the four main hamstring muscles. It’s usually caused by one of the following:
• Inadequate warm up and cool down sessions
• Playing on a wet and slippery surface due to rain
Immediate treatment involves RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). Once the initial symptoms have worn off, regular sports massage therapy should be performed by a qualified therapist. Sports massage will help reduce pain and inflammation, improve the blood and lymph flow, strengthen the muscles, improve mobility and help prevent further injury.
High Ankle Sprain
High ankle sprain is a result of excessive force on the ankle area or by a sharp, twist. It’s a common injury sustained during football tackles and rugby scrums. After RICE, during the following six weeks, sports massage is recommended to help re-stabilise the tibia and fibia bones and to prevent the build-up of scar tissue. Sports massage can also help restore muscle strength, prevent further injury and improve your sporting performance.
A common injury for rugby players, a dislocated shoulder occurs when the ball of the upper arm is forced out of its socket causing extreme pain. Once the arm has been manipulated back into its original position, physiotherapy will be needed to help joint alignment and mobilisation using a range of muscle stretches, rotator cuff exercises and sports massage therapy.
Rugby, football and hockey are popular autumn sports in the Bristol area. For more information on sports massage call Bristol Chiropractic Clinic today.
Chronic back pain is a debilitating condition to deal with, especially on a daily basis. It limits activity and has a knock-on effect for any other aches and pains you may feel. There are many reasons for back pain such as strained muscles, torn ligaments and inflammation, notably through sporting or gardening activities. However, everyday activities can also cause back pain:
• Bending frequently
• Lifting incorrectly, especially heavy objects
• Twisting suddenly
• Working on a computer for long periods
Yet one of the main causes of chronic back pain is also one of the most easily rectifiable: bad posture. Many people are so used to living with bad posture they aren’t even aware they’re doing it. If you suffer from back pain, here is a brief guide to improving your posture.
Sitting hunched forward in front of your computer for long periods is not only bad for your back, but also for your eyes. Firstly, make sure that you have a good chair with adequate back support. Sit back in the chair with your shoulders relaxed and loosen up your arms. This will also take the strain off your neck. This is also applicable for driving. Stop ‘hugging’ the steering wheel, move the seat back and adjust the back support for your lower back.
Many back strains are caused by lifting heavy objects incorrectly. Get as close to the object as possible and think about your posture. Don’t lift or twist suddenly. Stand with your feet apart and your head up, bend your knees while keeping your back straight and your stomach tight and let your stronger thigh muscles do most of the work.
Make a conscious effort to think about your posture, when you’re walking. Imagine a thread is attached to your head and pulling you up. Keep your head up, your shoulders back, and stomach muscles tight. This will help stretch your back muscles, align your spinal column and also help you to breathe better.
Good posture is a daily habit that you should be constantly aware of. Bad posture not only causes back pain, but also indigestion and breathlessness. Sitting or standing incorrectly will prevent your lungs from working to their full capacity. Regular sessions with a qualified chiropractor are highly recommended, both for back pain treatments and valuable advice on good posture practice. Bristol Chiropractic Clinic at Clifton offers a range of chiropractic treatments and specific exercise programmes for maintaining a healthy back. Contact us today for a consultation with one of our expert chiropractors.`
Practising a sport can keep you fit, help you maintain a healthy weight and increase your sense of well-being. However, injuries can easily occur if you don’t take care. The most common sporting injuries are sprained ankles, hamstring, knee and shin injuries. Injuries usually occur due to overuse or inadequate preparation. Here are some important tips to help you avoid the more common sporting injuries.
It is essential that you warm up properly before exercising. Warming up will loosen up muscles and slowly increase blood flow. Injuries will almost certainly occur if your muscles are tight and cold. A warm up will raise your body temperature and heart rate, and warm your muscles, preparing your body for more vigorous exercise.
Warm up sessions consist of gentle cardiovascular exercises and stretches that will help lengthen your muscles and prepare them to perform in peak condition. Warm up sessions are particularly effective in the prevention of hamstring injuries.
A cool down session after exercise is just as important as the warm up. A cool down session involves light exercises and gently stretching to decrease the heart rate and progressively cool the body down. Cool down exercises will help to prevent the build up of lactic acid which can cause stiffness, pain and cramps. Cooling down will assist the blood flow and prevent the build up of blood pooling, whereby blood collects around contracted muscles during a vigorous exercise session.
Choosing the right equipment is essential for preventing common sports injuries. Make sure you invest in a pair of correctly fitted running shoes and avoid running on uneven surfaces where the chances of spraining an ankle are more likely. If you play a high contact sport such as rugby, wear a gum shield to protect your teeth. If you play football or hockey, you need to wear shin pads to protect against knocks. Joints that have already been weakened through injury require additional support to prevent further injury.
Sports massage helps to increase the blood, lymph and oxygen flow, delivering essential nutrients to your muscles. Sports massage will loosen tight muscles, increase elasticity and help flush out toxins such as lactic acid. Those who incorporate regular sports massage into their sporting programme, suffer from little or no injuries. Bristol Chiropractic Clinic has qualified sports massage therapists available to offer treatment and advice on the prevention of sporting injuries. Contact us today for more information on our range of preventable treatments.
With the arrival of long days and warm nights, summer is a great time to take part in a sporting activity. Many people only practise sports in the warmer summer months. However, injuries can occur to both ‘fair weather’ types and the more dedicated year-round athlete. The most common cause of sports injuries during the summer months is over use of muscles or joints. This can cause longer term injuries, especially if you are not used to exercise.
A major cause of injuries in the summer is that people don’t warm up properly. It is never a good idea to start exercising excessively without even giving the muscles and joints a chance to get accustomed to a new activity. De-hydration can also cause injuries. Staying adequately hydrated will keep your muscles working properly and help prevent cramps and pulled muscles.
Here is an overview of some of the most common sports injuries that occur in the summer months.
Tennis is one of the most popular sports to play during the summer. However, overuse of the predominant arm can lead to ‘tennis elbow’. Tennis elbow effects the upper arm, forearm, wrist and hand muscles. Overuse or a sudden, unfamiliar movement can cause a tear in the tendons surrounding the elbow. Pain usually develops gradually and most people only realise there is a problem when they find it increasingly painful to lift objects, shake hands or even brush their teeth.
Sports massage can help to alleviate pain and speed up recovery. Soft tissue therapy will help flush out the toxins by delivering oxygen to the injured part and re-align the damaged fibres.
Swimming is a fantastic sport, especially during the summer. However one of the most common injuries that can occur is ‘swimmer’s shoulder’. The rotator cuff muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder become inflamed through overuse, resulting in a deep ache in the neck and shoulder area.
If left untreated, the tendons can tear, causing serious damage to the rotator cuff area. Sports massage techniques can help improve blood flow to the area, relax tense muscles and with continuous therapy, break down scar tissues in the shoulder.
Running, hiking, playing tennis are great summer activities but one of the most common injuries that can occur is a sprained ankle. A sprained ankle is caused by a sudden twist or roll, causing the ligaments to stretch, and in severe cases, tear.
Immediate treatment involves reducing the swelling using RICE:
For more severe injuries, sports massage may be needed to prevent stiffness, increase ankle mobility and strengthen the muscles surrounding the area.
Shin splints refer to an acute pain along the tibia in the front of your lower leg. It is very common with runners. It is mainly caused by running with inappropriate footwear and by running on different types of surface.
Initially, a shin splint injury can be treated with RICE (see above). Sports massage can help to drain away lactic acid build-up and relax tight muscles.
Knee injuries are a common occurrence with whatever sport you decide to play. Overuse or a sharp movement can cause a range of knee injuries. The most common sports-related injury is a tear in the lateral ligaments at the sides of the knee joint.
A cross friction massage technique can be performed to re-align the fibres and prevent scar tissue build-up. Frictions are applied in a backwards and forwards motion with the fingers, gradually moving in towards the injured area. This type of massage should be performed by a qualified therapist to avoid further injury.
Remember, warm up, stay hydrated and contact Bristol Chiropractic Clinic for any injury enquiries you may have. Keep updated in the latest news section of our website for a more detailed guide to each specific injury.
Sports massage therapy can be an incredibly beneficial pre-workout treatment to help athletes warm up properly. It is also beneficial as a post-workout treatment to soothe sore muscles and increase limb flexibility.
However, to really benefit from the effects of sports massage it is important to incorporate a regular session into your sporting routine. Regular massage can have cumulative benefits on the body and is an important measure for preventative maintenance.
Those who compliment sporting activities with regular massage suffer from little or even no injuries. Here are some reasons why regular sports massage can leave you feeling physically and psychologically better.
PNF stretches are assistant-aided stretches performed after a vigorous exercise session. The therapist will gently push the muscles as far back as they can comfortably go. This releases tension build-up in the fascia: a band of fibre that surrounds the muscles, resulting in more pliable and healthy muscles.
Stretching also helps to re-align the fascia, which, if out of line, can cause pain and subsequently injuries.
Breaks Down Scar Tissue
The formation of thickened scar tissue can occur during the healing process of an injury. Collagen fibres surround the muscles and repair them. However, these fibres lack elasticity and can form tight, knotty bands around the surrounding muscles. The build-up of scar tissue can restrict limb mobility and elasticity.
Regular sports massage works towards breaking down the fibres that have knotted together. Deep tissue massage is performed to release toxins, increase blood flow to the injured area and reduce inflammation.
Although, initially painful, regular sessions will lengthen the soft tissue muscles and greatly improve elasticity.
Regular sports massage helps block the pain indicators within the muscular system from reaching the brain. Lymphatic drainage removes the toxic build-up of lactic and carbonic acid which can cause cramps after exercise. Massage will increase the blood flow and deliver oxygen and essential nutrients to the treated area, reducing pain, swelling and inflammation.
Delayed onset muscle soreness can occur a few hours after exercise. Sports massage can reduce muscle fatigue and pain by improving blood and lymph flow.
Regular massage has a positive effect on the nervous system. Endorphins and oxytocin are released, producing a feeling of calm and well-being. It can also reduce anxiety and help you sleep better.
Regular sports massage improves condition and performance and aids a faster recovery of existing injuries. For more information talk to one of our qualified therapists at Bristol Chiropractic Clinic.