Blog Posts

July 15, 2017 Blog

Hypermobility is a common symptom that presents itself in our clinic. In many cases the patient may not be overly aware of it whilst some people will know it to be a good “party trick” that might come out every Christmas or at the staff party!

Joint hypermobility essentially means that a patient has some joints that have an unusually large range of movement. Joints are held together by a joint capsule and ligaments made of connective tissue. Connective tissue is stiff but pliable which is important to allow just enough movement in the ligaments and joint while still holding the joint surfaces firmly together. For those suffering with hypermobility the connective tissue has a little more give then usual resulting in the joint surfaces displaying more movement than considered normal.

Many people with hypermobility experience no problems and in some sporting scenarios it is beneficial. Particularly swimming with Michael Phelps and Adam Peaty both having a degree of hypermobility.

For Those that are hypermobile and in pain it can be more problematic. Patients will often display an array of different symptoms including; pain and stiffness in the joints and muscles, clicking joints, joints that come out of the correct position easily and recurrent sprain injuries. Fortunately, hypermobility is easily diagnosed through a detailed history and examination. One test used to aid in diagnosis is called the Beighton Score which uses a simple nine-point system, where the higher the score the higher the laxity. In adults, a range a score of 4 points or more can indicate joint hypermobility.

Once correctly diagnosed treatment focuses on increasing muscle strength to support the lax joints, this will involve predominantly strength training. If you think you may be suffering from hypermobility and would like any help or advise our chiropractors would be happy to assist.

June 11, 2017 Blog

Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee is a very common problem, with as many as one in three young adults suffering from the condition. It is often caused by an imbalance in the muscles surrounding the knee which in turn affect the knee cap (patella) and cartilage within the joint. The kneecap lies in a grove and is shaped to move up and down in the centre of this grove when you bend and straighten your knee. If the muscles and ligaments surrounding your knee are imbalanced it can result in the kneecap moving away from the centre of the grove. This mal-tracking of the patella is what contributes to the pain people experience. There are lots of theories as to why these muscle imbalances occur and whilst it may not be fully understood fortunately the diagnosis and treatment of this condition is relatively straight forward.

For those of you that have suffered with patellofemoral pain syndrome will experience pain which can be accompanied by a clicking or grinding sensation in the front of your knee and behind the kneecap. The pain is usually most noticeable with activity, with the amount of activity varying depending on the severity of the condition. Some suffers will also notice a dull ache when going from sit to stand if you have been sat for a while.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a condition we see frequently within the clinic. Diagnosis is made by taking a history and performing an orthopaedic examination with imaging being very rarely required. Treatment is aimed at resolving the muscle imbalances through the use of soft tissue work and rehabilitation, resulting in the majority of patients being able to return to all activities pain free

May 15, 2017 Blog

This is a question I often get asked by patients and when I ask patients how much they drink they invariably say that they know they should drink more water. But how much is enough and can you have too much?

NHS choices recommends about 1.2 litres which is roughly 6-8 glasses where as in the US they recommend 2.0 litres or 8 good size glasses. I generally recommend at least 2 litres throughout the day. How much water one should drink mostly depends on your activity levels, if you are active and exercise daily then you will need more if you are sedentary then you will need less. Being thirsty is autoregulated just like breathing but that doesn’t mean people wouldn’t benefit from having a bit more.

Research outlining the ideal amount of water to drink is non- existent but there are plenty of articles outlining the benefits of more water consumption.

Research has shown that having a glass of water on an empty stomach can increase your metabolism which can lead to greater weight loss than those who don’t over a 12 week study! To put it simply drinking water burns calories. What’s not to like about that?! Other proven health benefits of drinking more water are it may help with constipation and kidney stones.

You can however have too much water. The kidneys are only able to excrete about 1 litre of water per hour. So to avoid water intoxication avoid going over this level.

Hopefully it’s a lovely sunny day when you are reading this so get up and grab a glass of the good stuff.

April 19, 2017 Blog

A new service we are offering at the clinic is shockwave therapy. This is a relatively new treatment modality which is aimed at those people with chronic tendon injuries that haven’t responded to other forms of treatment and where surgery may be the next step.

The kind of conditions that shockwave therapy has been used successfully to treat includes:
Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy, Calcific tendonitis, Tennis elbow, Patella tendinopathy, Osgood Schlatters, Heel spurs, Morton’s neuroma, Trigger finger.

Essentially most injuries involving tendons especially chronic issues!

Shockwave therapy works by breaking down scar tissue and kick starting the inflammatory process which allows the body to regenerate and repair the injured soft tissues. In the case of calcifications, it can help breakdown the deposits which in turn can decrease pain. A shockwave is a high energy low amplitude sound wave that travels faster than the speed of sound which can be specifically targeted on a small area. Treatment is quick with most people seeing improvements in as little as three treatments. It can be a little uncomfortable but not overly so with very little in the way of side effects outside of redness and bruising. Treatments will also include exercises and advice to compliment the shockwave therapy.

If you have had an injury that hasn’t responded to normal forms of treatment then shockwave therapy may be what’s needed to get you back on track. Contact the clinic to find out more.

March 23, 2017 Blog

Whiplash is a very common injury following a car accident. An impact causes extreme flexing of the neck which then whips in the opposite direction. This mechanism often results in damage to ligaments, tendons and muscles of the neck. The neck is designed to be flexible, as such it is less protected then the rest of your spine making it more vulnerable to injury then your low back.

Many whiplash sufferers do not feel any symptoms immediately after the incident, leaving people thinking they have got away lightly! Symptoms usually appear the day after the incident and can get progressively worse over the next few days. An array of different symptoms can be expected when suffering with Whiplash including; neck and shoulder pain, limited mobility, jaw pain, headaches, pins and needles or numbness into the arms, lower back pain and dizziness.

A diagnosis of whiplash is usually dependant on a thorough history and examination. Unless serious injury is suspected X-Rays or MRI scans are generally not required, as soft tissue injury does not show up on imaging. The length of time it takes to recover from whiplash can vary and is difficult to predict. Many people feel better within a few weeks but in some cases people can still be suffering with pain up to one year on. Factors that affect recovery rate include; previous neck and shoulder pain, occupation and how quickly treatment is sought after the accident. The sooner treatment is received the more quickly we would expect to see a patient recover. Chiropractic treatment for whiplash often involves spinal manipulation and mobilisation, soft tissue work and rehabilitative exercises.

If you are unfortunate enough to be in a car accident our advice is to stay mobile, even if no symptoms are present that day. Gentle stretches and heat are also beneficial in reducing the severity of symptoms.

Elizabeth Falco
DC, MChiro

March 2, 2017 Blog

The joint you’ve probably never heard of! This joint can be located either side of your low back, if you feel your low back now and look for two knobbly bits, that’s the top of your SI joint. This joint constitutes your sacrum and pelvis and it is the primary weight bearing joint in your lower back. This joint is supported by extremely strong ligaments and muscles which keep movement through the joint to a minimum. When there is an injury to the ligaments or imbalance in the muscles that is when people are likely to experience discomfort. This will almost always be one sided and can vary from a mild ache/tension to incredibly excruciating whereby the patient will not be able to walk.

Unfortunately issues in this area are often commonly misdiagnosed so can be poorly managed which results in ongoing pain and dysfunction. The reason being many “experts” still believe the SI joint can’t move/be moved so it can’t be the cause of someone’s pain. Fortunately, once it is identified it’s the kind of problem I love because it can respond very quickly to treatment in all but the most extreme cases which can require more patience and perseverance.

A big part of resolving issues with the SI joint involves rehabilitation for the core and hip musculature to help stabilise the pelvis as well as re-educating the patient on how to move to minimise the chance of re-injury.

If you have or know anyone who sounds like they have this issue then give us a call.

Guy Falco
DC Mchiro

December 19, 2016 Blog

When the cold weather blasts into town winter recreational activities and chores can pose problems for the outdoor enthusiasts whose body is not in condition. Winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding can cause painful muscle spasms or strains if you are not in shape. Simply walking outside in the cold weather without the appropriate layers of warm clothing can intensify older joint problems. As the muscles and blood vessels contract to conserve the body’s heat, the blood supply to the extremities is reduced. This lowers the functional capacity of many muscles, particularly among the physically unfit.

December 19, 2016 Blog

A very common but often poorly diagnosed condition that we see in the clinic is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The vast majority of patients that present with this complaint have been often told they are suffering with carpel tunnel syndrome and have been treated accordingly, as such treatment has failed to improve the symptoms. The reason for the confusion is that both carpel tunnel syndrome and thoracic outlet syndrome do have similar symptoms but there are key differences between the two conditions that allow for an accurate diagnosis.

December 15, 2016 Blog

BABY carriers can be very beneficial for both parent and child when used properly. However certain types of carriers and incorrect positioning can pose a risk to your child’s safety, health and optimal development. The main areas at risk being the spine and hips.