Sadly our practice will close from Tuesday 24 March!
We are monitoring the developing situation extremely closely and we are following all advice issued by the Chief Medical Officer. For the moment this means we can no longer treat our patients. As soon as the rules on social distancing are loosened we will re-open.
We look forward to seeing you soon and we will keep you updated as the situation evolves.
Our contact number: 056-7721836
We will be available on Monday 23 December, Friday 27 December and Monday 30 December 2019.
From Friday 3 January 2020 we will run our normal opening hours.
To book appointments call: 056-7721836
Happy Christmas and Happy New Year!!
To celebrate World Spine Day we are offering
FREE Spinal Checks
on Saturday 15th October.
Keeping in mind the “Straighten Up and Move” theme we are offering a
FREE Biometric Bike Fitting
to cyclists as part of their spinal check.
Spaces are limited, please call (056) 7721836 to book.
“Straighten Up and Move”
Every year on October 16th people from around the world join together on World Spine Day to raise awareness about spinal disorders as part of the Bone and Joint Decade Action Week. You can GET INVOLVED!
Millions of people in all continents of the world suffer with spinal disorders. These can include low back pain, neck pain, scoliosis and disc disease, to name but a few. Spinal pain and disability can have a profound effect on a person’s overall health, sometimes preventing them from working or even doing simple daily activities.
Research has demonstrated that poor posture and inactivity are major contributors to the development of back pain and other spinal disorders. According to the World Health Organisation, one in four adults is not active enough and over 80% of the adolescent population is not sufficiently active either!
The World Spine Day (WSD) theme for 2016 is “Straighten Up and Move”. We want to highlight the importance of physical activity and improving posture as part of good spinal health and prevention of injury. Therefore we are organising free spinal checks on Saturday the 15th of October. People of all ages are welcome to make an appointment for a free 30 minute check up. Cycling enthusiasts are encouraged to bring along their bicycles for a free biometric fitting, where their bike settings will be adjusted to create the best compromise between an efficient cycling posture and a comfortable one.
September is upon us and for most families that means ‘back to school’. New books, stationary, sports gear, lunch boxes and drinks all have to be transported to and from school each day, with most children using a backpack. Carrying heavy loads for a long time or distance isn’t good for anyone, least of all children. Researchers have found that the weight carried on their backs often exceeds 30% of their own body weight despite recommendations that schoolbags should not exceed 10-15%.
Carrying a heavy bag on the back causes forward leaning and bad posture, which can lead to improper weight bearing on the spine, and pains and aches in the back and shoulders. Carrying a backpack weighing over 15% of one’s body weight makes a child or adolescent unable to maintain proper standing posture. Children who use one strap bags (which put weight on one shoulder only) can have asymmetric weight distribution and sideways deviation of the spine. Forward bending of the spine due to the excessive weight of the bag also makes the work of breathing harder. A study published in 2013 found that 9-12 year olds experienced reduced lung function even with a back pack load weighing as low as 7.4% of body weight!
Tips for proper use of backpacks:
- Lighten the load. Keep the load at 10-15% or less of the child’s bodyweight.
- Carry only those items that are required for the day.
- Use lockers to store the remaining books or kit.
- Organise the contents of the backpack by placing the heaviest items closest to the back.
- Wear both straps: Use of one strap causes one side of the body to bear the weight of the backpack.
- Pay close attention to the way the backpack is positioned; it should rest evenly in the middle of the back and not below the hips.
- Adjust the shoulder straps correctly.
- Remove and put on backpacks carefully: Keep the trunk of your body stable and avoid excessive twisting
- Bend at the knees with the back straight when lifting the bag
Parents should look out for the following warning signs of excessive backpack weight:
- Change in posture when wearing the backpack.
- Struggling when putting on or taking off the backpack.
- Back, shoulder, neck pain or headaches.
- Neurological signs such as tingling and numbness in the arms and hands.
- Red marks on the shoulders.
Carrying a heavy back pack is not the only issue that can affect spinal health. Sitting for long periods also affects brain function in people of all ages, not just children! The spine has a powerful relationship with the brain, spinal cord, and overall organ function. In fact 90% of all the sensory information reaching the brain comes from spinal motion! It turns out that poor posture and limited mobility does not just create pain, dysfunction and degeneration in the muscles and skeletal system. Research shows that limited spinal motion negatively impacts the brain. The keys are to stay mobile and active with exercise (flexibility and strength), practice improving your posture (especially when seated) and get your spine checked regularly.
Make sure then that your child gets some physical activity/sport after school to combat the side effects of sitting for long periods during school time. Get them to go out and play before homework time. The evenings are still bright and fresh air combined with physical activity will actually make home work easier! And if you would like to get their spines assessed then please book in for a Free Spinal Check. If you have any questions relating to any of the above topics or about your (spinal) health, then please do not hesitate to contact us!
The Swedish Melanoma Cohort looked at the effect that smoking and sun exposure have on life expectancy. They found that those with the highest active sun exposure had a longer life expectancy. Non smokers avoiding the sun had a similar life expectancy as smokers with active sun exposure!
During the recent ECU (European Chiropractic Union) conference in Oslo, professor Johan Moan shared the results of the latest research on vitamin D and the importance of exposure to the sun.
For optimal levels of vitamin D we need half an hour of sunshine on our face and hands between 12.00 and 13.00! This means going for a walk before or after lunch, IN the sun, should provide us with enough of the sunshine vitamin.
BUT: These results were recorded during summer sun power levels with no clouds, NO SUNSCREEN and with participants of average age. Therefore, longer exposures are necessary for:
- Older people.
- Coloured people.
- Autumn, Winter and Spring.
Vitamin D is not just important for strong bones, teeth and muscles. Low vitamin D levels are also associated with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), type I Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s or Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS), Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
Furthermore, Vitamin D has also been shown to be anti-carcinogenic; it helps the body fight cancer in many ways. And it boosts the immune system, which could be why we get more colds in Winter than in Summer.
So, if you’re in doubt about your sun exposure, take vitamin D as a supplement on a daily basis. Take at least 1000 IU, preferably 2000 IU.
Just remember: AVOIDING THE SUN IS AS DANGEROUS AS SMOKING!
The Sunday Times (Irish Edition) published an interesting article last Sunday highlighting the cost of low pain on the Irish economy and how many sufferers (and GPs) are unaware on what action should be taken to address this issue.
The article states that the problem is partially due to the fact that there are no official guidelines in place for early management of the condition, which may explain the widespread misconceptions among Irish people about the causes and treatment of low back pain.
The seven myths are:
- If you have a slipped disc (herniated/ruptured disc) you must have surgery.
- Radiographs (X-rays) and newer imaging tests (CT and MRI) can always identify the cause of pain.
- If your back hurts, you should take it easy until the pain goes away.
- Most pain is caused by injuries or heavy lifting.
- Back pain is usually disabling.
- Everyone with back pain should have a spine radiograph (X-ray).
- Bed rest is the mainstay of therapy.
The article refers to the NICE guidelines (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) in the UK which provide evidence based advice for healthcare professionals on the most effective treatment methods for their patients. For low back pain sufferers (more than 6 weeks but less than 12 months in duration) these include drug treatment to manage pain AND a choice of physical treatments (exercise and manual therapy including spinal manipulation).
The guide lines go on to specify that manipulation should be performed by chiropractors and osteopaths, as well as by doctors and physiotherapists who have undergone specialist postgraduate training in manipulation.
For more information on the recommended early management of low back pain please check
The Sunday Times 22.05.2016
“The Myths of Low Back Pain” Ihlebaek and Eriksen. SPINE Vol 29, No 16, pp 1818-1822.
At the start of spring we are often motivated to get active again after the long winter. Whether it be a spare room make-over or a big tidy up in the garden, it often consists of lots of physical activity that we may not be used to. Follow these useful tips and take regular breaks to prevent extra stresses and strains on the spine:
- Keep your back straight and avoid damage by bending at the hips and knees. Don’t carry bags or boxes by their handles or at the top. Bend down, put your hands underneath the object and straighten the knee as you come up, keeping the back straight.
- Never bend and twist your back at the same time.
- Kneeling on both knees can create a rounding of the back and increase stress on the nerves and spine. Work with only one knee on the ground, keeping your back straight as possible.
- Take frequent breaks, especially if you are going to be bending forward for long periods of time.
Planting a garden or doing up the spare room isn’t just about getting your hands dirty. It involves lots of bending, twisting and lifting. By performing a few simple warm-up exercises you can significantly decrease your risk of injury.
Try these stretches, holding each for 20 seconds (keep breathing) and repeating 3 times.
- Bend forward as if touching your toes until you feel a gentle stretch in the low back and back of the legs (no bouncing!).
- Raise your clasped hands overhead. Lean to one side until you feel a stretch in the side of your trunk. Repeat on the other side.
- Place your hands on your hips. Lean back until you feel a gentle stretch in your lower back.
Text neck is the term used to describe the neck pain and damage sustained from looking down at your cell phone, tablet, or other wireless devices too frequently and for too long.
Of course, this posture of bending your neck to look down does not occur only when texting. For years, we’ve all looked down to read. The problem with texting is that it adds one more activity that causes us to look down—and people tend to do it for much longer periods. It is especially concerning because young, growing children could possibly cause permanent damage to their cervical spines that could lead to lifelong neck pain.
Now, the easiest way to prevent this is also the most obvious: look up! Or, in other words, look down less. Carry your head on top of your shoulders rather than of in front of them. Straighten up your neck and middle back, which can be done by sticking out your chest. Stand like a champion; they don’t slouch, they stand up straight.
In the practice we find that people have been slouching for so long that they find it difficult to stand up straight. Their spine is fixed in a stooped forward or slouched position. That’s where the chiropractor comes in. We are trained to detect your vertebral fixations and your tight and tender muscles. And we can fix them!
If you want to know more about your posture and our treatment, please call 056-7721836 or email email@example.com
You may also want to check these links: http://www.spine-health.com/blog/modern-spine-ailment-text-neck and https://youtu.be/uK_A3Tuq6UU
Chiropractic care is now recognised by the major Irish insurance companies so don’t forget to send in your treatment invoices with your out-patient insurance claim form.
Pauline Byrne and Marc-Jan Fransens are both accredited members of the Chiropractic Association of Ireland (CAI) which entitles their patients to (partial) reimbursement of treatment costs. Please check your policy to see what your entitlements are and if you have mislaid any of your previous treatment invoices then please do not hesitate to contact us for a reprint.
Websites of Irish Health Insurance Companies:
To compare your current health plan with other similar policies on offer please check out the Health Insurance Authorities website: www.hia.ie