Back pain is a common problem for a number of people, with most suffering from it at some point in their life. So what is McTimoney Chiropractic and how can it help? Mark Knowles our expert chiropractor has a wealth of experience of treating clients the McTimoney way. Now based at our clinic in the heart of Norwich, in his blog post, Mark suggests 3 simple tips to help prevent back pain and talks about the gentle and precise approach to chiropractic care and how it could help you…
Top tips for back pain with OGC McTimoney Chiropractor Mark Knowles
Is back pain leaving you feeling stressed, frustrated and fed up of constantly being in pain and not being able to move as much as you would like? Keep reading because tips from McTimoney Chiropractor Mark Knowles could prove invaluable for the relief of back pain and what to do if your back is always hurting you.
Why are so many people suffering from back pain? Top Tips.
When it comes to reasons for visiting the doctor, only the number one cause – the common cold – beats back pain. It’s estimated that four out of every five adults (a whopping 80%) will experience back pain at some point in their lives. It’s a problem that is affecting industry, with studies suggesting absenteeism through back pain is costing UK companies £673 per employee per year.
So what are the causes and what can we do about it? As Mark explains, some of the reasons are quite clear. “Very often people say to me ‘why have I got back pain’, and it can be some of the most obvious causes – bad posture, lengthy use of computers or tablets, and carrying heavy loads. Other contributory factors are less obvious, such as not drinking enough water and not eating the right foods.”
The good news is that there are some simple things we can all do to help ourselves. The United Chiropractic Association (UCA) has used Back Care Awareness Week on 7-11 October to issue some top tips to correct spinal problems.
Top tips to help back pain:
- If you work at a computer, take regular stretch breaks; sit correctly and make sure your workstation is ergonomically right for you.
- Take care when lifting – whether you’re at work, doing DIY, gardening or lifting a young child or baby.
- Gardeners and physical workers – always use the right tools, take frequent breaks and do regular stretches.
- Children – carry your schoolbags over both shoulders to prevent uneven weight distribution and take to school only what you need for that day.
- And ladies, it’s time you looked at the contents of your handbag – do you really need all those things you’re lugging around with you all day?
- Finally, get walking! Walking strengthens the body and helps position the spine in the natural shape it was designed for. It also helps to build up core strength, which is important in maintaining good posture.
Here Mark Knowles, McTimoney Chiropractor at the OGC, shares his own advice and top tips to help back pain:
There are lots of things we can all do to help our backs, and our general health, according to Mark:
Watching your posture. As anybody who has had treatment with me will testify I do tend to go on about posture quite a lot. It can be daunting at first when asked to focus on how you do things, but when you realise how important posture is and how it’s our constant battle against gravity, learning how to use yourself more efficiently makes life much easier. Slouching and slumping when seated and leaning forward when walking for example can be caused by various small misalignments in your skeletal system, none of which cause any pain but the cumulative effects lead to poor posture and poor function. Chiropractic can help to correct these misalignments and therefore improve posture.
2. Try to maintain full range of motion with gentle stretching. We spend too much time sitting – at work, at home in-front of the TV or computer, driving. So take some active action – take a daily 30 minute walk, or a stretch break (gently touch your toes, then reach up high, and slowly twist from side to side). Movement lights up your nervous system and makes you feel good, it’s also vital for a healthy spine. Stretching should be done even during periods when you feel good. I often find patients only stretch when they are feeling restriction or pain.
3. Learn how to relax. This is a process that usually takes a while for people to master! Muscles work in groups and sometimes individual muscles or even parts of muscles can become over developed due to prolonged contraction. Helping people to recognise muscular imbalance is key and I have found a combination of chiropractic and trigger point therapy highly effective.
So what is McTimoney Chiropractic?
The McTimoney way is a gentle approach to chiropractic care. By using quick, light adjustments and gentle re-alignment, the body’s self-healing is aided. It’s highly effective and suitable for all ages which is what makes it appealing to those who may have been apprehensive about chiropractic care previously.
An initial consultation lasts about 90 mins during which time all the joints of the body are assessed and adjusted where necessary. I also promote the use of other techniques such as soft tissue release, therapeutic massage and kinesiology taping. This means I am able to create an integrated treatment programme to suit individual needs.
Who would benefit from McTimoney Chiropractic?
Since practising McTimoney Chiropractic I have treated a variety of clients from the elderly to the active sports person. For most people they just want to ease their pain the best way possible but chiropractic is so much more than just pain relief. Chiropractic helps to maximise neurological performance within the body therefore enhancing many functions.
Sometimes you can’t pinpoint the reason for the pain, it could be poor posture at work, misalignment through pregnancy, joint stiffness or that you’ve moved or twisted awkwardly. The one thing about pain is that it affects more than just the site of pain. So if you have stiffness to your lower back, you’ll probably find yourself walking differently to compensate and therefore your posture is impacted too.
And although back pain is a very common presentation there are lots of other conditions McTimoney Chiropractic has been found beneficial for. Some of the symptoms that benefit from treatment are migraines, muscular aches, sports injuries and improving sports performance, arthritic pain, improving poor posture, and maintaining alignment during pregnancy.