Back Pain

Back pain is caused by irritation to the joints, discs, muscles or nerves of the spine. This happens with repetitive minor trauma such as bending and lifting or, more rarely, by a single traumatic injury such as a fall or accident. It can also be caused by inactivity which causes the joints of the spine to stiffen up and the back supporting muscles to become weak.

If the joints of the lower back get stiff they are less able to carry out normal movements and this can lead to further joint irritation, stiffness and pain. This is often called Facet Joint Syndrome. The nerves around the stiff joints get irritated too and send alarm signals into the nervous system which can cause further symptoms such as tingling and pain referred down to the hips and legs. This can mimic sciatica. The nerve irritation can cause muscles in the legs to weaken and cause problems in the hips and knees. 

Lower back pain and spinal problems are one of the most common physical ailments. While taking painkillers or muscle relaxants may provide relief for your back pain, it is only a temporary solution and does not fix the root of your problem. The medication often treats the symptoms, not the problem, so your pain comes back after the medication has worn off.

There are many factors which increase the likelihood of developing low back pain, here are a few:

  • Jobs involving lots of desk work or driving

  • Manual labour or awkward working positions

  • Previous trauma to the low back

  • Sedentary lifestyle

  • High stress levels

The discs, which are shock absorbers between the spinal bones can be a source of back pain. The rings of fibrous tissues act as spacers, connectors and shock absorbers for the spine. Trauma can cause the soft, pulpy material in the middle to bulge or herniate, putting pressure on delicate nearby nerves.

How can chiropractic help?

Chiropractic care uses specific adjustments and can help improve spinal function. It is safe, natural and aims to correct the underlying causes of the problem. After understanding your health history and performing examinations, the doctor will help put together a treatment plan to suit your needs and goals. Under regular chiropractic care, you can enjoy increased mobility, feel better, have proper posture, less medication and a better quality of life.

Neck Pain

Neck pain or shoulder stiffness can be caused by everyday activities such as using electronic devices, accidents, injuries like whiplash, falls, repeated bad posture or ergonomics, emotional and chemical stresses (e.g. painkillers and muscle relaxants). These cause the bones in the spine to become irritated and stiff. This then causes damaging pressure on the nerves going to the shoulders, upper back, and arms and hands, causing pain or aches in those areas. This can often be associated with headaches.

Whiplash

 

A large percentage of neck injuries are caused by car accidents, but the neck is always vulnerable as it supports the weight of your head. Neck injuries can occur at relatively low speeds depending on the head position at the time of impact. Pain is not always instant and can arise several weeks, even months later.

Headaches

When the spinal bones in the neck and upper back lose their normal position or motion, nerves that are transmitting through this region are affected and can result in chronic headaches. Commonly people experience one of two forms of headache; these are caused either by irritated joints, muscle spasm and nerve irritation in the neck (known as Cervicogenic headaches) or problems in the nervous system (known as migraine and tension headache). 

Migraine

There are many different types of migraine. Some may arise from muscle tightness in the neck and shoulders and decreased movement of the joints in your neck and upper back. Some are far more severe with some types arising from irritation of the nerves close to the vertebrae of the neck or even from muscle spasm. They are often associated with nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Some people can be sensitive to light or experience blurred vision and flashing lights. We will diagnose the cause of your migraine and treat you accordingly.

How can chiropractic help?

Chiropractic care is effective in treating neck pain and stiffness through specific adjustment techniques to relieve the pressure on the nerves. It can also improve range of motion, flexibility, posture, and the overall health of the entire spine. Chiropractic care has been shown to help reduce the frequency and severity of headaches and migraines.

Poor Posture

Postural changes commonly cause increased loading to joints and muscles resulting in restriction of movement, increased muscle tightness and sometimes pain. Often the type of work you do, the way you stand, sit or perform repetitive tasks will contribute to postural adaptations. Whilst you may not be experiencing restriction, tightness or pain at this moment, such postural changes may predispose you to these issues in the future.

How can chiropractic help?

By adjusting the stiff and restricted joints and working on the tight muscles, your spinal alignment and posture will hold better. Patients often feel they can stand and sit straighter. 

Arthritic Pain 

Arthritis affects people of all ages and has many causes. The most common is osteoarthritis, also known as spondylosis or wear and tear. It is a progressive disease that causes painful inflammation and stiffness of joints. Arthritis in the hips and knees can cause hip and knee pain, limping, stiffness, and muscular aches and spasms. This can affect the way you walk and have a knock on affect to your lower back.

How can chiropractic help?

 

Degeneration of the joints cannot normally be reversed; however, chiropractic care can decrease the associated pain and generally increase mobility and helps slow down progression. Strengthening rehabilitation exercises are given to help stabilize the affected joints.

Sporting Injuries

Sports injuries can vary from injured ankles in football, injured necks from rugby or overuse knee injuries from running. All injuries should be assessed and diagnosed before other areas are affected. Sports injuries are very often no more than everyday problems that have been exposed when we over-stress the body when taking up a new activity. Participating in sport may also leave you open to repetitive strain injury and over-use of specific parts of the body resulting in conditions such as shoulder tendonitis, tennis/golfer's elbow or even carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

How can chiropractic help?

 

We can help you recover quicker and with less pain. We can help athletes get their body moving well again and recommend when you should be fit enough to start training again. We will treat and strengthen any weak muscles and help prevent recurrent injuries and maintain optimal performance.

Maintenance Care

 

Maintenance care can be needed after long term problems including back pain, trapped nerves or headaches where patients seek assistance to prevent further flare ups. A common example would be shoulder, knee or spinal arthritis where a physical therapy cannot necessarily restore the areas to 100% however we can prevent further degeneration. NICE  (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) indicate that physical therapy including manipulation of arthritic joints can benefit the patients pain levels and increase mobility in the long term and therefore is recommended as part of your care.

However maintenance care is not simply for long term conditions. It can be used to counteract the stresses placed on the body due to everyday life. Constant sitting in a bad posture, decreased core stability and lack of physical activity can all take their toll on our bodies and therefore many patients benefit from occasional spinal care.