Sports injuries, Problems with performance, Three advantages…
Chiropractic – sidelines your pain while you bounce back
When a runner injures a calf midway through a race, or a footballer pulls a hamstring as he kicks the ball in the same way he has kicked it thousands of times before, it may not be the running or the kicking that has caused the injury – but an underlying problem that is finally showing itself. Whether it is a previously undetected spine or joint problem, or years of poor posture, the resulting injury could potentially signal the end of a sporting career.
Whether you are an amateur sports enthusiast or a top-flight professional, your body is prone to the same kind of injuries. Repeated stresses can lead to a slight loss of proper movement in the bones of your spine (vertebrae) and joints, which in turn can interfere with the healthy working of your muscles and nerves. You may have ignored the pain and carried on with your sport for too long without treatment, and now find yourself with a chronic injury.
It’s not surprising that chiropractors often see patients with:
- Hamstring and calf strains
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Groin and thigh sprains
- Lower back pain
- Neck pain
- Tennis elbow
- Golfer’s elbow
- Shoulder sprains (rotator cuff injuries)
- Sciatica (often confused with hamstring pulls!)
These injuries often recur, may shorten promising sporting careers and turn enthusiastic amateurs into couch potatoes.
Problems with performance
Injury is not the only problem for sports enthusiasts and professionals. Many find that they reach a ‘threshold’ of ability, and cannot improve further, however much training they put in. This is why so many serious sportspeople consult chiropractors who will work to improve both function and health. Many chiropractors have areas of special interest in sport related injuries.
As well as speeding up your recovery from injury, your chiropractor can enhance your performance, and help to prevent future problems.
Unlike painkilling drugs, chiropractors get behind the cause of the injury, rather than just treating the injury itself. Your chiropractor will carry out a full examination (including x-rays if necessary), and ask you questions about your sporting life, posture, medical history and lifestyle, to discover the cause of your injury or poor performance and make a diagnosis.
Then your treatment will begin, often with gentle, specific manipulations done by hand, to free stiff joints and remove spinal nerve irritation. This effective drug free treatment is generally painless, although you may feel some short-term discomfort around the injured area. Treatment will normally be followed by a rehabilitation plan to strengthen the injured area, improve your flexibility and prevent future flare-ups.
Chiropractic treatment aims to restore normal function to your joints and muscles as well as your nervous system, and may increase your control, co-ordination and muscle strength.
Like most athletes who have benefited from chiropractic treatment, you may decide to return for regular check-ups to keep your body working at its best. Regardless of your age, condition or health, chiropractic care may improve your athletic potential.
How can a recurrence of the problem be prevented?
This, of course, will depend upon the problem itself, but many sports injuries are caused by a poor approach to sport. It is vitally important that you warm up before you start, and stretch when you have finished. If you have been away from your sport for a long time, your body will be less fit and supple, making injury more likely. Your chiropractor will be able to advise you in either case.
Will chiropractic improve sporting performance?
Yes, probably. By going ‘behind’ the injury, chiropractors will help to eliminate the cause of your problems as well as improving the mechanics of your joints and muscles and the nerves supplying them. Many athletes find a significant improvement in performance because of this.
What about just ‘running it off’?
This is usually not a good idea. If your body isn’t working properly, you will continue to overload the injury, prolonging the healing process and risking further problems as a result of your body compensating. When your chiropractor has improved the movement and strength of your joints and muscles, your injury will heal more quickly and be much less likely to come back.
Arthritis and joint pain, Repetitive strain injury, Putting a stop to it…
Like tooth decay, degeneration of your joints begins without you knowing. Like the hard skin on an often-rubbed toe, it happens –slowly – to all of us. The general wear and tear of a lifetime results in joints laying down extra areas of bone in an attempt to support the damaged area. Generally, our bodies compensate for this, and we feel little or no pain – even if the wear and tear is quite advanced. However, slight loss of proper movement in a worn joint may cause nerve irritation and inflammation, which could lead to pain.
Arthritis and joint pain
Arthritis, spondylitis or rheumatics are names normally given to the pain and stiffness resulting from wear and tear to your joints. They can occur in any joint of your body, including your spinal vertebrae, but chiropractic may often relieve the pain.
There are however, some types of arthritis – such as rheumatoid arthritis – that also involves periods of inflammation and destruction of the joints causing severe pain. Although chiropractors cannot treat the cause to this kind of arthritis, they may be able to help relieve the disability that results from it once the inflammatory phase is over.
Other joint problems, caused by repeated trauma, that chiropractors treat include:
- Shoulder pain
- Tennis elbow
- Golfer’s elbow
- Knee pain
- Repetitive strain injury (RSI) as a result, for example, of working at computer keyboards.
Putting a stop to it
Degeneration of your joints cannot be reversed, but your chiropractor can help to improve muscle and joint function and if necessary, reduce any nerve irritation. Once he/she has examined you fully, discussed your case history with you and, where necessary, taken x-rays, you will be given a diagnosis and appropriate treatment. This may involve often gentle, specific hand movements, known as manipulations, to treat the joints, reducing pain and inflammation. You may also be given advice about healthier habits in your workplace or favourite sport, as well as tips on exercise, diet and posture.
After chiropractic care, your body will become more resilient to further damage. Many chiropractors have a special interest in orthopaedic-related conditions.
Many elderly patients participate in spinal rehabilitation with specially modified exercise programmes.
What about just taking painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs?
These can dull your pain, but it may well return as they do not necessarily deal with the cause. They may also have side effects.
How can chiropractic help joints that are already degenerated?
Degenerated joints are sometimes the result of the surrounding joints not doing their fair share of work, so that the load is not managed equally. Chiropractic aims to restore your normal joint function spreading the load and taking excessive strain away from degenerated joints. Your chiropractors can also give you advice on exercise for maintaining joint function.
Can chiropractors help osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis happens when the amount of calcium in the bones (which gives them strength) is very low and leaves them weak and easily breakable. This is particularly common in women past the menopause. However, having osteoporosis doesn’t mean that you will have a fracture. Your chiropractor will be able to use various modified treatment methods to cater for someone with osteoporosis as well as advise on other available treatments. Chiropractic helps to keep your joints mobile and improve your balance and muscle tone to minimise the risk of falling.
Are you sitting comfortably?, Treating the cause, not the symptoms…
Almost everyone gets back pain at some time, but staying active, with the help of chiropractic treatment, may well be the best solution.
Are you sitting comfortably?
Poor posture may lead to back pain. Your chiropractor may advise you to make postural changes if you:
- Spend hours a day sitting at a desk or a computer
- Slouch in front of the TV
- Sleep in a bed that is too hard or too soft
- Find yourself hunching your back and shoulders in stressful situations
“I only bent to tie my shoe”
Repeating daily activities such as bending, lifting and twisting may result in a ‘bad back’. This is why your chiropractor will want to understand how you tackle these everyday movements. He/she will also ask about any major traumas to your back such as:
- Car accidents
- Sporting injuries
- Lifting heavy weights
- Treating the cause, not the symptoms
As you go through life, a slight loss of proper movement of the bones/joints can interfere with the healthy working of your spine, and the nerves that pass through it. These can lead to pain. Chiropractic, unlike painkilling drugs, treats the cause of pain, not just the pain itself. Your chiropractor will carry out a full examination (including x-rays if necessary), and ask you questions about your posture, medical history and lifestyle, to try and discover the cause of your back pain and offer a diagnosis of your complaint.
Then your treatment will begin, often with gentle, specific manipulations done by hand, to free stiff joints and remove spinal nerve irritation. This effective drug-free treatment is generally painless, although you may feel some short-term discomfort if your back is very sore.
Your chiropractor may recommend ice or heat treatment and massage. Scientific research shows that you should remain active – prolonged bed rest weakens the bones and muscles and reduces your chances of a full recovery so you may also be advised to take often gentle exercise to ease your pain, and help your body to recuperate.
Is it a slipped/prolapsed disc?
Spinal discs are fibrous rings, containing a soft gel like ‘cushion’, between each of your spinal bones (vertebrae). Discs cannot slip, because they are attached to the vertebrae, but the term ‘slipped disc’ can mean disc damage such as a bulge, (prolapse), a tear or rupture (partial or total). The resulting pressure or irritation on the nerves that exit your spine can cause pain in your back, or ‘referred’ pain over an area through which the nerves pass. Sciatica, for example, is leg pain caused by nerve irritation or pressure in the lower spine. Your chiropractor will explain the cause of your pain – it may not be a ‘slipped disc’ as many other problems have similar pain patterns.
How long will chiropractic take to work?
Guidelines for medical practitioners state that spinal manipulation can help back pain, especially if carried out within the first six weeks. The longer you have been in pain, the longer it may take to improve with treatment. Your chiropractor will advise you of your like recovery time, and how to minimise the chances of the problem happening again. Early treatment is important but chiropractors are also effective at treating long-standing or chronic pain.
Is chiropractic treatment possible after surgery?
Probably. Your chiropractor has the training and experience to treat each patient as an individual. You will receive appropriate treatment and manipulations for your specific condition, while areas not suitable for treatment will be carefully avoided. Many chiropractors are able to offer post-surgical exercise, advice and rehabilitation.
90% of back pain sufferers stop seeing their GP within three months – but most of them are still in pain a year later.
Headaches, arm and neck pain, Low back, hip and testicle pain…
Miss S, 33, visited a chiropractor because she had pain in her neck and right arm, headaches and tightness when rotating her neck. When she was asked about past injuries, she explained how, 16 years ago, she had a fall onto her right shoulder. At first, this resulted in pain in her right shoulder, but over the years she developed neck and arm pain on the left side. By the time of her first visit, she was having constant muzzy headaches, which were made worse by reading or computer work but eased by warmth and watching how she sat. She had seen both a physiotherapist and an osteopath for treatment on her neck and arm in the past, and she was taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen) prescribed by her GP.
The chiropractor gave Miss S a full examination, including blood pressure, pulse, sensation, reflex and muscle tests. All were normal, other than the range of movement in her right shoulder, and the movement of her neck, which were restricted. He found that some of her spinal joints were not moving properly, affecting the nerves in her neck. He diagnosed chronic traumatic cervical facet irritation – ongoing irritation of the joints of the neck, causing arm pain, due to the fall 16 years ago.
Treatment consisted of chiropractic manipulation to her spine. During the 24 hours following, Miss S had no headache, for the first time in four years. Her symptoms then returned, but less severely, and a treatment plan was agreed. As treatments continued, she experienced increasing improvement. She had a total of ten visits, after which her symptoms were 90% better.
Miss S was advised by her chiropractor to return for more treatment if necessary; as she had had the symptoms for so long, it is likely that they will return from time to time. Now she makes an appointment when she needs to.
Low back, hip and testicle pain
Mr P, 65, had suffered increasing pain in his lower back, hip and left testicle for six months when he consulted a chiropractor. He was asked about previous injuries and his general state of health. He confirmed that he had no history of injury or pain, and had noticed no change in his bowel, bladder or sexual function. To be certain, the chiropractor sent him for blood tests, which ruled out prostate problems such as cancer. He also took X-rays, as Mr P’s doctor had told him he may have an arthritic hip, and there was nothing to be done. The X-rays showed only mild degenerative changes in the left hip and a spinal disc in the lower back.
During the physical examination, the chiropractor found that Mr P had slight tightness in the rotation of his left hip and his left quadriceps muscle (on the front of his upper leg) was weak when tested. In addition, a straight leg raise test showed reduced movement and caused pain in Mr P’s lower back. The diagnosis was chronic insidious mechanical sacroiliitis – ongoing inflammation of the pelvic joint.
The treatment plan consisted of chiropractic manipulation and ultrasound therapy. Mr P’s symptoms disappeared after seven visits and he was discharged.
Elbow and wrist pain
Mrs B, 45, had had pain in her right elbow and wrist for four months, and had been unable to work for two. She told her chiropractor that she had played badminton twice a week. She had also started a new job in an office, which required repetitive use of a computer mouse, six months ago. The pain started in the elbow, then spread to the wrist and the middle finger of her right hand, and kept her awake at night. She had no other history of medical problems, accidents or injury.
When the chiropractor examined her, he found that her right grip was weak, and tests led to a diagnosis of tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome – inflammation of the muscles in the forearm and of one of the nerves that passes through the wrist. This was aggravated by the loss of proper movement in two vertebrae in her neck, which further irritated nerves from the neck down the arm.
Treatment involved manipulation to the elbow, stretching of the carpal tunnel tissues, spinal manipulation, ergonomic advice about the use of her computer and the use of an ice pack to help reduce inflammation. Mrs B’s symptoms began to subside after four treatments. She went back to work after three weeks, and was discharged after eight weeks, when all symptoms had gone.
The parents of a 12-year old boy took him to see a chiropractor when “growing pains” in his back and legs had not responded to painkillers or physiotherapy prescribed by the GP. The GP advised rest, but the pain spread to the boy’s stomach/abdomen, although an ultrasound scan showed nothing of concern.
The boy told the chiropractor that the pain had come on gradually about 18 months before, and was aggravated by playing football or sitting on the floor (in school assembly, for example). It was getting worse and he was starting to miss time from school, although he was in good health otherwise.
During the initial examination, the chiropractor found stiff joints in the thoracolumbar region of the spine – the area of the spine in the middle of the back – but all other orthopaedic and neurological tests showed completely normal results.
The chiropractor therefore diagnosed chronic insidious thoracolumbar facet irritation – gradual development of nerve irritation in that area.
The boy was treated with gentle specific manipulation to the affected joints, and his symptoms started to improve within three treatments. His chiropractor also gave him ergonomic and postural advice and he returned to normal activity and pain free sport within three months.
Chiropractic – the natural health choice for the whole family
Having a family is so natural, but it doesn’t always go smoothly. Your chiropractor may help you to enjoy your pregnancy and avoid some of the more uncomfortable effects, including changes in posture, due to weight gain, that cause pain in your back, buttocks, groin and legs.
Because of the way in which ligaments and muscles are attached to the pelvis, effects of postural strain may influence the positioning of your uterus and therefore the birth canal. Ensuring that this area of your body is functioning correctly may make the potential trauma of birth easier for both mother and baby.
Although a natural process, birth is sometimes traumatic for both mother and baby, Chiropractic may help you and your baby recover from any birth trauma. Treatment aims to relieve the stress that can affect your baby’s neck and head, especially if forceps, or other medical assistance was involved or if it was a breech birth.
Chiropractic care has helped children with:
- Prolonged crying
- Sleep and feeding problems
- Breathing difficulties
- Frequent infections, especially in the ears
- Growing pains
Continuing chiropractic care is important. In addition to children growing very fast, the rough and tumble of growing up puts a lot of strain on their spines and nervous systems. Your chiropractor is trained to find and help problems of the musculoskeletal system that may lead to difficulties in later life. Chiropractors often recommend that children receive check-ups, particularly if there has been any trauma.
Too many children suffer neck or back pain, headaches or other joint problems which are put down to ‘growing pains’ when chiropractic can provide fast, effective relief.
As for you, picking up your child as he or she gets bigger and heavier may put increasing pressure on your own spine and joints.
A natural solution
A natural process deserves a natural health choice. Chiropractic is drug-free and effective for your whole family. It involves safe, often gentle, specific manipulations, done by hand, to unlock joints that are not moving properly. This allows your body to use its own healing ability to keep you fit and healthy.
Your chiropractor is trained and experienced in a very wide variety of techniques designed to help you deal with the stresses of pregnancy, and keep you and your baby fit and healthy afterwards. Rest assured – the chiropractor will use the technique most often gentle and appropriate for the patient, however small!
A healthy future
As your children grow up, you will be getting their eyes and teeth checked regularly. Consider giving them regular chiropractic check-ups too, which could give them the best start in life with a healthy spine and nervous system. Get yourself checked out at the same time – many women have found that their general health, as well as period pains, back pain and headaches, have improved with chiropractic care.
Can a chiropractor treat a newborn baby?
Yes, in fact the sooner your baby is checked, the sooner any injury or stresses from birth can be dealt with safely and gently. Some chiropractors treat mothers and babies as an area of special interest.
Can chiropractic treatment be given during the first months of pregnancy, or in labour?
Yes. Your chiropractor will use safe, often gentle techniques that are suitable for your condition. He or she may also advise you on diet, posture and exercise. Some chiropractors work closely with their local health visitors and midwives.
Don’t children ‘grow out of it’?
Not necessarily. Problems with their spines and nervous systems might not show obvious symptoms for years. Colic, ear infections, learning difficulties or frequent illness may be signs that your child’s nervous system is not working efficiently.
Headaches are so common that almost everyone takes the odd one now and again for granted, but you may be suffering more than you can cope with. Did you know that chiropractors treat many of the causes of headaches?
Too much tension
Chiropractic may help to relieve tightness in your neck muscles due to stress and tension in your neck, shoulders and back.
Reduce tension headaches-band-like pains at the back and front of your head
Improve the function of the jaw-grinding teeth causes muscle tension and may be a major factor in chronic headaches
Include sensible advice on how to cut down the stress in your life
Chiropractic may also be very effective in the treatment of headaches that are the result of an injury or repetitive strain to your neck (known as cervicogenic headaches). These are usually dull or aching pains, affecting the base of the skull or one or both sides of your head.
Migraine is a severe headache, accompanied by other symptoms which may include increased sensitivity to light or sound, nausea or visual disturbances, that can last for hours or even days. Problems affecting the vertebrae (the bones of your spine) in your neck may also cause headaches, and may be a contributory factor in a migraine. Your chiropractor will be able to identify a loss of proper movement in the vertebrae and associated areas, and by treating them, improve their movement. This reduces stresses on the muscles, joints and nerves, which may be causing the problem.
Chiropractic – not just for backs
Unlike painkilling drugs, chiropractic treats the cause of the pain, not just the pain itself. Your chiropractor will carry out a full examination (including x-rays if necessary), and ask you detailed questions about your medical history and lifestyle, to discover the cause of your headaches.
Then, after you have received your diagnosis, your treatment will begin, often with gentle, specific manipulations done by hand, to free stiff joints, relax muscles and remove spinal nerve irritation. This effective drug-free treatment is generally painless, although you may feel some short-term discomfort if your neck is very sore.
You may also be given a massage or advice on exercise and posture, and changes you can make to your lifestyle, to help prevent headaches from occurring in the future.
Your chiropractor can provide a safe, long-term solution to headaches!
What’s wrong with taking painkillers?
Painkillers can dull your pain, but it may well return, as they do not necessarily deal with the cause. They may also have side effects. Regularly taking painkillers to treat headaches (i.e. on more than 15 days a month, every month) can actually cause more headaches.
How could lifestyle changes help?
Stress may often be the trigger of cervicogenic headaches and muscular pain in the neck. While chiropractic often helps, better results are obtained from treatment if you change some stressful habits. There are also certain substances in food and drink, and some mineral deficiencies that may be related to headaches. Small manipulations to your lifestyle can often make major changes to the quality of your life. Your Chiropractor may advise you about these.
What if it’s something serious?
If your chiropractor feels that chiropractic treatment is not appropriate for the cause of your headaches, you will be referred to your GP or to a suitable specialist.
Chiropractic – the way to sort out a pain in the neck
Your neck supports the weight and movement of your head – quite a job, since an adult’s head can weigh between ten and fourteen pounds! It also contains the vast majority of nerves that reach from your brain to the rest of your body, like a pipe full of fibre-optic cables. With the amount of driving, computer work and TV watching that most of us do, it’s not surprising that we need a little chiropractic help to keep our necks doing their job properly.
Hold yourself up
The further away from your body you hold something, the heavier it feels. Neck pain may often be caused by the long-term effect of bad posture, especially when you regularly hold a weight too far from your body. This might be:
- The weight of your head, as you bend over a desk
- Lifting babies and children
- Carrying shopping or golf clubs into or out of the back of your car
- Manual work
The result is a loss of proper movement in the joints in your neck, which may interfere with the healthy working of the nerves that run through it. It can lead to pain, although it may take days, weeks or even months to develop.
Not just a pain in the neck
Loss of proper joint movement may cause irritation of the nerves that come out of your spine. This, in turn, can lead to pain where the nerves end. This is known as ‘referred’ pain. You may already know about sciatica, which is leg pain often caused by nerve irritation in the lower spine. Brachialgia means ‘pain in the arm’, and may be caused by nerve irritation in the neck. This is why your neck may be treated
When you have consulted your chiropractor about shoulder and arm problems including:
- Frozen Shoulder
- Tennis elbow
- Golfers elbow
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Keep your joints moving properly
Chiropractic, unlike painkilling drugs, treats the cause of pain, not just the pain itself. Your chiropractor will carry out a full examination (including x-rays if necessary), and ask you questions about your posture, medical history and lifestyle, to help diagnose the cause of your neck, shoulder or arm pain.
Then your treatment will begin, often with gentle, specific manipulations done by hand, to free stiff joints and reduce nerve irritation. This effective drug-free treatment is generally painless, although you may feel some short term discomfort if your neck is very sore.
Your chiropractor may also recommend ice or heat treatment, massage and rehabilitative exercise.
Is it safe to adjust the neck?
Yes, 66-69% of visits to a chiropractor include cervical (neck) manipulations. Recent publications suggest that chiropractic treatment is extremely safe, when carried out by a skilled individual.
How about wearing a collar?
Although in the acute stage a soft collar may be worn for a short time, collars should not be relied upon. If you become reliant on a collar, the muscles of your neck will become weaker as their job is being done by the collar. It is important, therefore, to have an active treatment plan that involves your chiropractor, ergonomic advice and possibly an exercise programme to help support the muscles and joints of your neck.
Is rolling your head good for your neck?
No. Many people in the past have been given neck or head rolling exercises to help stretch their necks. However, the joints in your neck are really designed for single movements like turning or looking up, down, left or right – not all of these movements together. A safer exercise may be just to do each of these movements individually.
Don’t put up with neck pain!
Your chiropractor will treat the root of the problem
To give you a long-term solution.
Your car gets serviced regularly, but what about your spine?
Why do you get your car serviced regularly, even when it’s running well? To see that it goes on running well! So once your chiropractor has helped you back to health, don’t you owe it to yourself to keep your body in full working order, with regular check-ups?
You rely on your spinal cord
Like a telephone network, your spinal cord delivers messages from your brain to your body through the nervous system. The vertebrae – the bones of your spine – provide protection for this vital part of your body. As you go through life, a loss of proper function (movement) in the vertebrae, which some chiropractors call a subluxation, may interfere with the healthy working of your spine and the nerves that run through it. This may affect your body’s natural ability to recover from injury and you may find yourself increasingly unwell, unable to shake off apparently minor aches, pains and even some illnesses.
Life can be pain!
Loss of joint movement may be caused by your everyday lifestyle, through accident and injury, or just simple wear and tear. For example, you may have experienced:
- Sporting injuries
- Workplace discomfort
- Stress and tension
- Poor posture
- Industrial injury
- Car accident
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Stay well with chiropractic
You don’t wait until your car breaks down to have it serviced, so why wait until you don’t feel good to have a check-up? Chiropractors are trained and experienced in finding and correcting the loss of joint function which, undetected, may lead to pain or lower your ability to resist disease. They will use their hands to check the movement of your spine and joints before unlocking the problem areas (a process known as ‘manipulation’).
How often should check-ups be given?
Chiropractors practise in two main ways: one is to minimise the recurrence of your pain through ‘supportive care’. The practitioner may recommend a check-up every two to six months depending on your original complaint and your lifestyle. The other approach is known as ‘wellness care’. Here, the chiropractor may wish to check you more frequently, as well as exploring with you further ways you can enhance your well being..
Aren’t good diets and exercise enough?
They certainly help, but cannot always deal with an existing problem in the same way as chiropractic. This is because where exercise can improve overall fitness of your body, chiropractic can target the individual problem areas that are reducing its efficiency.
Isn’t too much chiropractic bad?
Your chiropractor is trained and qualified to diagnose your problem, evaluate when it is appropriate to give treatment and, in particular, when not too. Your case will be assessed on an individual basis. However, no-one should become dependent on any one treatment. If you have concerns, please discuss your treatment plan with your chiropractor.
Many patients find that, after chiropractic treatment for their back pain, their general well being improves!
Your spine protects a vital part of your body – the spinal cord, which delivers the messages from your brain to your body. Almost every day you carry your schoolbag, sit for hours at your desk, and work or play at a computer. You might play sports too. Are you sure you’re protecting your spine?
You’re not a superhero!
Sad, but true. Lifting, carrying, sitting for too long (particularly sitting slumped forward) and sporting injuries can all affect the proper movement of your spine if you don’t actively protect it. You might not notice at first, but after weeks, months or even years, you could start getting back pain, headaches and other problems that stop you leading a healthy life.
You don’t want to end up like this!
You can make sure this doesn’t happen to you by following the six golden rules on this page. Make sure that your parents and teachers read them too, so that they can help you to keep fit and healthy. You can tell them that a third of adults treated by chiropractors have pain that started then they were children.
Chiropractors can help too
What if you’ve already got pain in your back, neck or head? Your local chiropractor has been trained to find out the cause of your pain and use his/her hands to make manipulations to your spine that can make you feel better. Chiropractic is a treatment that can take the strain off your spine without using painkillers or other drugs. People of all ages get treated by chiropractors – including lots of parents and teachers!
According to chiropractors the common causes of joint and back pain amongst school children are:
- Lack of exercise
- Bad posture
- Computer games
- Ill-fitting desks
- Using a PC
- Golden Rules
Bag it up
If you have to carry a bag to school, a rucksack is the best option as long as you carry it over both shoulders, and the straps are adjusted so that the bag is held close to your back.
Keep it light
Make sure you’re not carrying any unnecessary excess weight – check that you are only carrying essential items.
Best foot forward
Make sure you’re wearing good soft-soled shoes that are supportive and have a good grip on the ground to make carrying a heavy bag easier.
Lack of exercise is your worst enemy. Take regular and frequent exercise – the fitter you are, the less likely you are to injure yourself. It doesn’t have to be at David Beckham levels – just something that you enjoy, uses all your joints and increases your heartbeats.
Staying still for a long time is bad for your spine. Limit yourself to 40 minutes on the computer or in front of the TV before you get up and do something else for a while.
Make sure your computer or games console is set up so that you’re sitting comfortably and your spine is supported. You may not realise that the position you’re sitting in is painful when you’re concentrating on what you’re doing.