Plantar Fascittis is an injury in the foot that also goes by the name of policeman’s heel. It is an injury in the foot caused by a rupture or stretching of someone’s Plantar Fascia. It’s believes that small repeated injuries over time could be a cause of this inflammation. Here at the Tunbridge Wells Chiropractic we are happy to provide the best treatment for Plantar Fascittis.
Main causes for Plantar Fasciitis.
- Having little or no cushioning in your shoes could be a cause for Plantar Fasciitis.
- A tight Achilles Tendon may be the culprit to affecting your ability to flex and bend your ankle and may cause Plantar Fasciitis over time.
- Being overweight will put higher stains on your ankles and feet. This can contribute to Plantar Fasciitis
- If you spend lots of time on your feet at the office or you’re participating in lots of walking or running that you are not used to, then this could be playing a part in the development of Plantar Fasciitis.
- People that are not active in their day to day lives are more prone to Plantar Fasciitis
- For runners and people that participate in races, you’re technique starting off the block could be contributing to streching the soles of your feet, leading to Plantar Fasciitis.
What is the treatment for Plantar Fasciitis?
Firstly you should receive Conservative Therapy. You should be seen by a Physiotherapist, Chiropractor, Osteopath or Podiatrist and they will then asses the issue and advise you on how to proceed. You may be advices to change your shoes or make changes to the pair you already wear, by adding a heel cushion. The heel cushion with help to relieve pressure from the affected area of the foot, reducing pain and discomfort. We recommend you try the first line treatment for at least 3 months before considering moving to an alternative treatment such as Shockwave Therapy or Steroid Injections.
Shockwave Therapy For Heel Pain.
We offer our patients a free consultation for Shockwave Therapy. This is to determine if the therapy is going to be beneficial for the patient. If we determine Shockwave Therapy to be necessary then we would arrange 3 – 4 sessions for the patient at weekly intervals. We have the latest, state of the art Stortz Shockwave Therapy machine at our clinic. A session of Shockwave Therapy typically lasts around 30 minutes and these sessions can include acupuncture and passive stretching techniques. Some patients experience a little discomfort during the Shockwave Therapy and there may be a little redness around the skin after treatment, this is a completely normal reaction to the treatment. IN some cases the patients pain may be greater for a short period before going away.
How Does Shockwave Therapy Work For Heel Pain?
Shockwave Therapy is understood to work in 2 ways;
– Shockwaves cause micro damage to the tissue in affected areas and in doing so, stimulates healing.
- The treatment has an effect directly on the nerve endings which makes them less sensitive and thus less likely to transmit pain.
Shockwave Therapy’s main benefits aren’t experienced until the patient has had around 3 sessions of treatment and has a high 80% success rate. Shockwave Therapy is usually a permanent solution for patients and there will be no need for further treatment for the issue at hand.
(NICE) The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence have evaluated Shockwave Therapy in 2009 and came to the determination that the treatment is effective and should be offered to patients with heel pain. Read more about NICE here www.nice.org.uk.
We’re happy to announce that the Tunbridge Wells Chiropractic will now be offering Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT). LLLT is an extremely safe treatment that painlessly treats a massive range of conditions such as osteoarthritis, strains/sprains of tendons or muscles, post operative pain and tissue damage.
LLLT uses LED light beams that stimulate and repair damaged tissue and in turn, reduce inflammation and pain to the applied area. The treatment has been shown to stimulate the production of adenosine triphosphate which is where cells get their fuel. This gives our cells more energy and leads to them being able to heal and repair themselves.
Here at the Tunbridge Wells Chiropractic, we are working with Thor Lasers to ensure we offer the best treatment available when it comes to Low Level Laser Therapy. Thor Lasers have been used by many organisations such as NASA, The British Army and even many football clubs such as Manchester United.
What is Laser Treatment?
Low Level Laser Therpay has been proven to be an extremely safe and effective way of treating many acute injuries and chronic pain. It’s a great option of treatment for people suffering with Chronic back/neck pain, plantar fasciitis, arthritis and other muscle and joint pains. It’s a great way to accelerate the healing of injuries without the use of medication.
The treatment involves using red and near infra-red light on the injury. The laser/LED light stimulates your cells that repair tissue and reduce inflammation which reduces pain without the need for any pain killers.
Low Level Laser Therapy is a great treatment for people suffering with acute soft tissue injuries, chronic pain and slow healing wounds.
Therapeutic Benefits Of Laser Therapy.
Anti-Inflammatory Action – Reduces swelling which leads to decreased pain and less stiffness.
Reduced Fibrous Tissue Formation – Reduces the formation of scar tissue, leading to a faster and more complete healing process with less chance of weakness and re-injury.
Increased Vascular Activity – Laser light increases blood flow to the injured area.
Faster Wound Healing – The laser stimulates fibroblast development and helps to accelerate collagen synthesis in damaged tissue.
Stimulated Nerve Function – The laser speeds the nerve cell processes which can lower pain and numbness associated with some nerve related conditions.
Rapid Cell Repair – Laser light accelerates cellular reproduction
Conditions treated using laser therapy
Sprains and Strain (Acute soft tissue injuries)
Fractures and non union fractures.
Post operative pain, Infected wounds and tendon repair.
Chronic Pain Syndromes such as Frozen Shoulder, RSI and chronic low back pain.
Advantages of Low Level Laser Therapy over Medical Treatment
LLLT can be used straight away after injury and has no side effects. (you may occasionally experience mild ache after treatment.). An amazing drug free pain relief option.
Frequency of Treatments
Some patients feel results within the first session, some patients it takes between 4-6 sessions.
The more complex the issue, the more treatment you will need.
Frequency of treatment is 1-2 times a week for 2-4 weeks and then 1 time per week for a further 2-6 weeks.
Using Low Level Laser Therapy will significantly increase your healing time and will also reduce pain in the process. This will lead to getting you back to your normal day to day life as soon as possible. It’s an amazing alternative to pain medication which can leave you with some nasty side effects.
Advantages Of Low Intensity Laser Therapy.
No negative side effects
Firstly nearly all of us will suffer from occasional headaches, some more than others.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has defined the structures responsible:
- The Neck
- The Scalp Muscles
- The Brain Covering Sheath
Secondly, did you know…
Chiropractic treatment can help chronic headaches. According to a study carried out in North America, Europe and Australia approximately 10% of all chiropractic patients attend for the treatment of headaches.
Thirdly causes of headaches can be…
- Dysfunction of the joints in the neck
- Physical Trauma
- Emotional Stress
- Nutritional imbalance
- Visual Strain
However sometimes in rare cases, headaches and migraines, can be a sign of more serious problems. So if you suffer from recurrent or chronic headaches it is often good to seek professional advice.
Lastly, did you know…
People can get two types of headaches;
- The first of which is tension headaches. These are caused by cramps or spasm in the muscles surrounding the skull.
- The second are neck (cervicogenic) headaches. These are caused by problems of the joints and muscles in the neck referring the pain into the head.
How does chiropractic treatment help? Chiropractors will use a variety of specific manipulation or adjustment techniques in order to stretch, relax, mobilise the neck joints, strengthen the neck muscles and remove any spinal irritation or tension.
One of the most common side effects of pregnancy for women across the country is back pain.
It’s no wonder back pain is such a common complaint, as the body is gaining more weight, your centre of gravity is lowered and your ligaments are starting to relax to prepare your body for labour.
Did you know…
Gentle exercise to strengthen the core abdominal muscles can help to take some of the strain off your back and prevent acute localised pain in your lower back
Most women often find back pain most intense when they’ve been in the same position for along time as the muscles start to become stiff. Always make sure to change your position regularly and use the appropriate support, such as a cushion when sitting or sleeping, and a lumbar role when exercising.
Posture can also be key to managing lower back pain. When you’re moving around make sure to bend from the knees and keep your back straight. Don’t forget to move your feet when turning as this can help prevent excess twisting on the spine!
Keep these principles of good posture in mind to help relieve any stress on your spine: stand up straight and tall, hold your chest high, keep your shoulders and back relaxed and use a comfortably wide stance to keep your upper body fully supported.
Did you know…
Exercising in water, such as attending aquanatal sessions, can be an effective way of exercising the muscles without out causing any damage. This is due to the fact the buoyancy of the water can help provide you with the extra support your body will need!
Although back pain is common during pregnancy, it is important to make sure you’re getting the right exercise. Attending a class or speaking to a GP is a useful way to know you’re taking care of your body in the best way possible.
Try some gentle yoga exercises or going for a walk as a way to incorporate some exercise into your day and keeping your muscles active.
Stiff neck? No wonder!
A stiff neck is one of the most common complaints people come to chiropractors with. Most likely you have experienced a stiff neck or tenderness when pressing around the muscle of your neck.
And no wonder! An adult head weighs between 10-14 pounds, or around 5 kilos. To put that into perspective, at the upper end, this is the weight of a bowling ball! This gives a good indication of how strong your neck muscles must be and the demand that is constantly placed upon them.
There are a number of things that can cause a stiff neck. The most common are strain or sprain. This kind of damage tends to occur to the levator scapula, the muscle connecting your neck to your shoulder. This can make it uncomfortable for you to turn your head from side to side. Up and down, or even tilt it from side to side.
Most people notice a stiff neck first thing in the morning after waking. This is no surprise since a muscle sprain or strain can occur simply from holding your neck in an unusual position for a sustained period of time. People who sleep on their fronts with their head effectively forced to one side for around 8 hours are some of the most frequent sufferers! Using an improper pillow can cause stiff necks.; one that is too high or too flat and does not adequately support the neck.
As well as these common nocturnal causes of neck stiffness, our day jobs could also be to blame. Holding your neck too far forward when staring at a computer screen can place undue stress on the neck muscles. The same goes for watching television and using mobile devices.
Injury can also cause neck pain. Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a sudden movement of your head in any direction. It often occurs after a sudden impact such as a road traffic accident. The vigorous movement of your head can overstretch and damage the tendons and ligaments in your neck. As well as neck pain and stiffness, whiplash can cause tenderness in your neck muscles, reduced, painful neck movements and headaches.
The good news is that neck stiffness is not usually serious and soreness can go away within a few days. The better news is that chiropractic adjustment can help to stimulate the healing process and correct any misalignments that can be contributing to pain.
If you know someone suffering from a stiff neck, please share this article with them so that they can make changes to reduce discomfort.
One of the most likely times women will get back pain is during pregnancy and for men and women, it is when there is an infant in the house needing to be picked up and carried. Both these times are paradoxically when you would like your back to be functioning at it’s best.
Caring for an infant puts stress on your back. Initially, you may be lifting the 7 to 10 pound baby up to 20-30 times a day. By the time the child is a year old, you are lifting and carrying around 17 pounds. Two years later, you will be lifting a 25 to 30 pound child.
Here are some ways that new mothers and fathers can help reduce their risk of injury and back pain.
Safe lifting, the basics:
During pregnancy stand with your feet at least a foot apart, this will give you a stable base of support. Keep your back as straight as possible and bend your knees. Do not stretch your arms out straight to pick up the baby. Bring the baby close to your chest before lifting.
Lift using both arms and your thigh muscles, which are amongst the largest and strongest muscles in the body. To pick up a child from the floor, bend at your knees not at your waist. Squat down, tighten your stomach muscles and lift with your legs. When carrying and moving a child, pivot with your feet until you are facing your destination then lower the child into the crib or onto the floor by bending at the knees, with a straight back.
Hold your child in an upright position, directly against your chest. Carrying a child on one hip creates postural imbalances that can lead to low back pain over time. Consider using a “front pack” to carry the baby when you are walking.
Exercise for women:
Begin exercising again soon after delivery to restore muscle tone to the abdominal and back muscles. While the baby is napping, take 10 minutes to do stretching exercises on the floor each day. This will help restore hip and back flexibility. Try to return to your normal weight within six weeks after giving birth. If you had a Caesarean-section (C-section) delivery, wait six weeks or until you get the permission of your obstetrician before you begin exercising.
To avoid upper back pain from breastfeeding, bring the baby to your breast, rather than bending over the baby. While you are nursing, sit in an upright chair rather than a soft couch.
Massage and it’s amazing benefits!
Massage has had positive results in surveys for many different conditions. Conditions from stress and aches and pains to pregnancy and headaches. However, it is still not entirely clear why these benefits occur. Most recent research suggests two of the greatest changes induced by massage therapy are an increase in blood flow and in lymphatic fluid circulation.
The lymphatic fluid is an important element of the immune system as it contains white cells; and the drainage system, which rids the body of unwanted by-products and toxins. Massage can increase the effectiveness of both systems by increasing the flow of lymphatic fluid.
Increased blood and lymph circulation will bring about a reduction of swelling. It will also bring about faster healing, better delivery of nutrition to cells and the removal of cellular debris; it can also lower heart rate and blood pressure, increase the volume of blood and enhance overall health.
Massage can we used to treat acute and chronic sports injuries, It also helps maximize recovery. To help identify any soft tissue abnormalities, which left untreated, could lead to injury.
Sports injury massage should not be during the acute inflammatory response stage (straight after an injury). Once this period is over. Massage is often a very effective form of pain relief. By reducing the amount of pain producing chemicals in the affected tissues. Regular, professional massage has also been shown to increase the healing time for athletic injuries.
Massage also calls up the body’s natural painkillers, endorphins, into the brain and nervous system. It often provides deep relaxation as it relieves muscle tension, spasm, and stiffness, which can all contribute to pain. Experts suggest that tense muscles are usually deprived of oxygen because the tightness reduces blood circulation to the area. Massage improves blood circulation, bringing with it the oxygen and other forms of nourishment that muscles need. Muscles then relax and pain often decreases.
Whether it’s emptying the car boot or moving files at work, we all end up lifting heavy loads once in a while. However, many of us find it hard to lift objects correctly in way that we don’t injure our backs. So what should we be doing to protect our spines? Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions that could be useful in helping prevent back injuries:
Have you checked the object before you try to lift it?
- Test every load before you lift by pushing the object lightly with your hands or feet to see how easily it moves. This tells you about how heavy it is.
- Remember, a small size does not always mean a light load.
Is the load you want to lift packed correctly?
- Make sure the weight is balanced and packed so it won’t move around as loose pieces inside a box can cause accidents if the box becomes unbalanced.
Is it easy to grip this load?
- Be sure you have a tight grip on the object before you lift it.
- Handles applied to the object may help you lift it safely.
Is it easy to reach this load?
- You can be injured if you arch your back when lifting a load over your head.
- To avoid hurting your back, use a ladder when you’re lifting something high.
What’s the best way to pick up an object?
- Use slow and smooth movements. Hurried, jerky movements can strain the muscles in your back.
- Keep your body facing the object while you lift it. Twisting while lifting can hurt your back.
- Keep the load close to your body. Having to reach out to lift and carry an object may hurt your back.
- “Lifting with your legs” should be done only when you can straddle the load. To lift with your legs, bend your knees, not your back, to pick up the load. Keep your back straight.
- Try to carry the load in the space between your shoulder and your waist. This puts less strain on your back muscles.
How can I avoid back injuries?
- Pace yourself. Take many small breaks between lifts if you are lifting a number of things.
- Don’t overdo it – don’t try to lift something too heavy for you. If you have to strain to carry the load, it’s too heavy.
- Make sure you have enough room to lift safely. Clear a space around the object before lifting it.
- Look around before you lift, and look around as you carry. Make sure you can see where you are walking. Know where you are going to put down the load.
- Avoid walking on slippery, uneven surfaces while carrying something.
- Don’t rely on a back belt to protect you. It hasn’t been proven that back belts can protect you from back injury.
- Get help before you try to lift a very heavy load. Use a dolly or a forklift if you can.
Balance and co-ordination are an often overlooked part of fitness and should be trained as much as strength and endurance. Several parts of the body control balance and co-ordination. This includes the eyes and the ears. These senses pass on the data via the nervous system to the muscles to co-ordinate movement. In older people, though, these senses deteriorate and as a result, the balance may worsen. Improving balance and coordination can benefit everyone, especially the elderly, and make you healthier and fitter.
However, there are many factors that may hamper your balance and coordination.
The alignment of your neck, your spine, and your pelvis is one. When your pelvis is misaligned, your body needs to compensate and your neck or back may shift to one side so you can keep your balance, but this, in turn, causes you stiffness and neck pain.
Age and disease can also contribute to poor balance. With poor balance, the elderly are prone to slips and falls. It hinders mobility and lessens the overall quality of life. Diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis hamper balance and coordination.
Regular exercise improves flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination. Many sports, the gentler ones such as lawn bowls as well as the more athletic one, strengthen muscles which help to prevent misalignment.
Nutrition too is another important aspect of a healthy life. Important nutrients for balance and coordination include sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium as they are needed in regulating nerve impulses and muscle activity.
Foam rolling as a health and fitness practice has exploded alongside the growing fitness industry. It is a technique that has long been used by professional athletes, coaches, and therapists. It is now recommended to people of all ages and fitness levels.
Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release. This means self-massage, used to release muscle tightness or trigger points. Trigger points are ‘knots’ in muscles that cause and refer pain when pressure is applied to them.
When rolling or working on tight/sore muscles you will experience discomfort or pain. Think of it like the pain you get while stretching. It should be uncomfortable, but not unbearable, and when you are done it should feel better.
Myofascial release is often performed by chiropractors, but self-care is important too and foam rolling can complement chiropractic therapies. Your chiropractor can recommend the best foam rolling techniques to suit your needs.
There are a number of benefits to foam rolling:
- It can be a great warm up before exercise, as it helps to increase the blood flow to your muscles. Which means improving the delivery of oxygen during exercise
- For this reason, foam rolling after exercise can also improve recovery
- It is possible to focus on specific problem areas to relieve discomfort from tight muscles
- It can help to increase your range of motion and flexibility by stretching and lengthening your muscles
- The process can also stimulate the lymph system, helping your body to eliminate toxins
Overall, foam rolling can help to increase physical ability, reduce stiffness, prevent injury and help you to feel your best.
Have you tried it? If you’ve found it beneficial, or know someone who might, please share this article with them!
Birth is one of the most traumatic experiences a baby can go through. It is not often known, for example, that the baby’s cranial bones move and overlap affording the flexibility required during delivery. Even after a successful delivery, a baby’s spine is still at risk.
However, there are some precautions you can take as a parent to minimize this risk both to your baby and to yourselves. Here are the healthiest positions for you to care for your baby.
Your baby should be held close to you. With the back of your baby’s head supported with your index finger behind the ear.
Your baby’s head should be supported using your thumb and forefinger while your free hand is used for bathing and supporting your baby in the tub.
Throwing your child up and down can actually cause spinal problems due to a lack of support as your child is being bent forward and backward.
Picking children up:
When lifting your child, you should be on your haunches, lift your child while holding them under both arms, and avoid carrying them on one hip. Preferably, your child should be carried in front of you with one leg either side of you.
Papoose type slings and carriers:
Unfortunately, contraptions that allow your child to sit before it is naturally able to can cause major spinal problems. Most of the holding devices keep your baby’s spine in the ‘c’ shape curve it’s born with and do not allow the normal curves in the neck and low back to develop.
Dressing the child:
Clothing that has a tight collar can put a strain on your child’s spine in the neck and the area between the shoulder blades. Buttons and zips should be used as much as possible.
If breastfeeding, you should hold the baby at the level of the breast whilst supporting your arm on a pillow, to reduce spinal problems in yourself. You should place the baby so that it faces your breast so that rotation of your baby’s neck is minimised.
Crawling should be actively encouraged, as a lack of sufficient crawling is responsible for weak spinal architecture.
Emotional stress can also affect your baby. Domestic disharmony and maternal distress are very quickly picked up by the infant. This turns to irritability, crying and unsettled behaviour. The negative effect on muscle tone, sleeping and feeding patterns is a major contributor to spinal subluxations.
As parents, bonding should be encouraged immediately for you both. Holding the infant close to your body, maintaining sustained eye contact, smiling and making soothing sounds are all important.
Active recovery from chronic back pain.
Having treatment for chronic back pain? Don’t overlook rehabilitation. It is an essential part of any recovery programme if you want to avoid the recurrence of pain.
Once the cause of each episode of pain is pinpointed and treated. An exercise programme can draw up and supervised to help prevent recurrence.
Ideally, personalised stretching exercises for flexibility and strength should be introduced gradually and monitored carefully.
A proper rehabilitative programme should combine the following four important elements:
- Flexibility stretching
- Aerobic exercise for endurance
- Resistance exercises
- Strength, balance and coordination exercises
When stretching your muscles you should be doing it slowly and gently. After around ten seconds the stretch starts to have maximum benefit. A stretch should be held for at least 20-30 seconds. It is important not to bounce as you stretch, which may cause damage and does not improve flexibility.
Aerobic exercise releases stress-reducing hormones and burns fat and also increases your sense of well-being. It therefore, works in two ways. Firstly it will be strengthening muscles to make pain episodes less likely. Secondly, it will also reduce the tension that can cause initial injury.
Many drivers don’t realise that the back pain or a stiff neck may primarily be caused by bad driving habits. Although you might not always feel it while you’re on the road, It still causes pain!
Most of us spend a good couple of hours a day in our cars. This could be commuting to and from work or running errands. This may cause us to suffer from aches and pains known as Repetitive Driver Injury.
According to the British Chiropractic Association (BCA), 40% of people say that simply sitting down for long periods of time exacerbates neck and back pain.
Did you know…
Drivers commonly suffer from pain and stiffness in their lower back and neck due to irritation of the spinal joints. Long periods of time on the road puts extra strain on the vertebrae and discs and we lose the lumbar curves in our backs.
Avoiding back problems while driving may not require anything drastic, such as, buying a new car, however, taking practical measures should help drivers feel comfortable behind the wheel.
Did you know…
After a long journey muscles can become very stiff, therefore, simple exercises, such as side bends and seat braces, are very effective. Most importantly, remain relaxed whilst driving and take breaks.
If you have any issues you should book in for a checkup. These types of problems are more easily treated if dealt with promptly.
You may have heard the term ‘slipped disc’ but this is a rather inaccurate term, as discs cannot actually slip out of place. Discs are securely attached to the vertebrae. So, while it is possible for them to wear, split or herniate, they can’t slip!
So, what exactly are discs? The spine is made of a series of bones. The vertebrae, which can bend and twist because there are flexible, shock-absorbing ‘cushions’ between each of the bones. These are discs.
A normal, healthy disc is very strong. It is stronger than the vertebrae itself. If you have a compression injury in a healthy spine. It is more likely to cause a fracture of the vertebrae rather than a disc injury.
However, over time as the disc undergoes wear and tear following cumulative strain from repeated bending, twisting, lifting, and even prolonged sitting, the strong fibres of the outer disc can tear, allowing ‘leakage’ of the nucleus out of the centre of the disc. This is known as a disc herniation.
This ‘leaked’ material may then cause an inflammatory reaction and sometimes put pressure on your spinal nerve that runs next to the disc, resulting in leg pain (sciatica) if it affects the discs in the lower back, or arm pain if it affects the discs in the neck.
There are a number of things that you can do to prevent developing a disc injury:
- Avoid prolonged sitting, bending, twisting and carrying.
- Wear a support belt when doing manual work.
- Avoid prolonged driving.
- Improve your physical fitness through exercise.
- Improve your core stability through specific exercises.
- Stop smoking, if you are a smoker.
If your back muscles and tummy (core) muscles are strong, and if you are bending correctly and sitting with correct posture, your spine will be protected, including the discs.
If you are exercising regularly, it is also important to avoid exercises that involve repeated bending and twisting, especially whilst sitting. Sit-ups and twisting stretches of the back are not as good as you might think!