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Stepping it up !

Stepping it up !

Stepping it up!

It’s recommended that we take 10,000 steps a day. However, a recent study conducted at Stanford University found that the global average for steps taken per day is 4,961. Though the UK’s average is above this stat, it’s a far cry from the suggested amount.

Local chiropractor Jenny Garratt from Chiltern Health Centre – Sutton Chiropractic Clinic in Sutton, highlights the many benefits of walking; from reducing the risk of heart disease to helping you sleep easy! Swapping walking on pavements for paths in green spaces, you’re likely to improve your mood, get the creative juices flowing and reduce feelings of depression. With so many lovely green areas around Sutton and Surrey, a little change in your daily routine can do wonders for your wellbeing!

“A good walking technique is key to ensure your back is properly supported. Tighten your stomach muscles to engage your core and support your entire body weight. Spinal alignment is vital; try to stand up straight and keep your chin parallel to the ground. Let your arms swing naturally and roll through your foot from heel to toe.”

“As you move your body weight from heel to toe try and make a slight rolling motion inwards. This will help you when you push off with your foot and will give you a faster stride. Speed-walking can burn as many calories as jogging especially if your posture is correct. Try and hold your ribcage up and your tummy muscles in.”

It’s also a good idea to shorten your strides; this will reduce the strain on your knees, calves and shins. Make sure you get the right technique as you start off so that bad habits don’t develop! Getting the right footwear is key to ensuring you establish a good walking method. When buying shoes you’re going to walk in make sure you go at the end of the day as your feet will be a little swollen meaning you’ll purchase the right size. Its important that your toes have room to move and that your heel doesn’t slip. This will give you ample support both in your ankle and further up in your lower back.

Local chiropractor Jenny Garratt encourages incorporating a walk into your daily routine. By releasing endorphins and boosting vitamin D levels, walking’s benefits are sure to leave you feeling refreshed and energized.

 

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Upper Back Pain

Upper Back Pain

According to the National Office of Statistics in 2015 more than 1 million work days were lost in Britain due to back aches, and no wonder with more and more of us hunched over computers in the workplace upper back pain and stiffness has become far more common than lower back pain.

Upper Back Pain can be caused by: 

  • Injury
  • Poor Posture
  • Spinal Instability
  • Stress
  • Disc Problems

One of the best ways to beat back pain is through exercise but it is important to have your spine checked if you get pain before embarking on exercise.

However… Don’t over do it. By over exercising strained areas this puts further stress on the muscles and joints, creating additional nerve irritation and potentially worsening the underlying problem.

What Exercise is best? Pilates can be a great option for those suffering from back pain as it can help to strengthen and train the small and large muscles attached to the spine. Pilates also has the added advantage of helping you focus on your posture and a good posture allows for the optimum distribution of weight through the body so the musculoskeletal system can function at it’s best and protect against injury

Back Pain & Stress… Upper back pain can also be caused by stress, especially when you hold a lot of tension in your lower neck and shoulders

How to relax… If you experience high levels of stress at work it is important to take a deep breath every so often and gently roll your shoulders back 4 or 5 times to naturally help relieve the tension.

This will help relax the muscles and make sure to protect against spasms or cramps

How else is back pain treated? 

  1. Physical Therapy
  2. Massage
  3. Exercise
  4. Chiropractic Adjustment

How does seeing a chiropractor help? If you see a chiropractor they will first attempt to identify where the problem stems from and then advise how they can help to improve the underlying problem in order to relieve the pain

 

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Stress and Acupuncture

Stress and Acupuncture

Stress and acupuncture

Stress

Up to half a million people in the UK experience work-related stress every year, which often results in illness.(Health and Safety Executive 2011) Other factors that affect stress levels include alcohol, smoking, exams, pregnancy, divorce, moving, death in family, lifestyle, drugs, poor nutrition and unemployment.

The signs of stress can vary from one individual to the next.(NHS Choices 2011) They may manifest physically as an illness, tiredness or lethargy, or as symptoms such as sore, tight muscles, dull skin, lank hair, or erratic sleep patterns. Mental stress can result in depression, mood swings, anger, frustration, confusion, paranoid behaviour, jealousy or withdrawal.

Stress is a common complaint cited by acupuncture patients, with a variety of possible associated symptoms. The most prevalent of these is anxiety. Some other conditions that can be affected by stress are back pain, chronic pain, depression, headache, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, menopausal symptoms, migraines, premenstrual syndrome and urinary incontinence.

Conventional treatments include medication such as anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, cognitive behavioural therapy and relaxation techniques.(NHS Choices 2011)

 

How acupuncture can help with stress

Some studies have found acupuncture to be of benefit in reducing stress, among these are the following;

In a study using 17 volunteers, the use of one specific acupuncture point led to marked reductions in stress (Chan 2002). The acupuncture point called “Heart 7” was needled in four weekly sessions using volunteers recruited from staff in a hospice. 16 of them (94%) showed improved ‘psychological stress’ according to the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). The greatest fall in the EPDS scores was observed within the first two treatments and at the end of the study the average reduction was 44%.

Another study, which was a randomised controlled trial (RCT), suggested that acupuncture might be successful in treating the symptoms of chronic stress (Huang 2011). A group of 18 patients was used in the study. The Perceived Stress Scale 14 (PSS-14) and the “Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profile” (MYMOP) were completed before and after treatment. After 5 weeks, the acupuncture group reported significant changes. Improvements were not limited to the acupuncture group and were observed in other groups too. The study concluded that acupuncture might be successful in treating symptoms of stress

Other RCTs have investigated acupuncture in very specialised situations. As an adjunct to anaesthesia, it was found to help keep haemodynamics stable and reduce the stress response during laparoscopic cholecystectomy (Wu 2011). Acute acupuncture appeared to control excessive sympathetic excitation during mental stress in patients with advanced heart failure (Middlekauff 2002).

Several uncontrolled studies have looked at various aspects of stress and the effects of acupuncture. One found that it might be effective in attenuating psychological distress, as well as increasing cellular immunity (Pavao 2011). In another, acupuncture was associated with less stress around embryo transfer and improved pregnancy rates in women having IVF (Balk 2010).

In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being.

Research has shown that acupuncture treatment may specifically benefit anxiety disorders and symptoms of anxiety by:

  • Acting on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, which is responsible for anxiety and worry (Hui 2010; Hui 2009);
  • Improving stress induced memory impairment and an increasing AchE reactivity in the hippocampus (Kim 2011);
  • Reducing serum levels of corticosterone and the number of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive cells (Park 2010);
  • Regulating levels of neurotransmitters (or their modulators) and hormones such as serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine, GABA, neuropeptide Y and ACTH; hence altering the brain’s mood chemistry to help to combat negative affective states (Lee 2009; Cheng 2009; Zhou 2008);
  • Stimulating production of endogenous opioids that affect the autonomic nervous system (Arranz 2007). Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, while acupuncture can activate the opposing parasympathetic nervous system, which initiates the relaxation response;
  • Reversing pathological changes in levels of inflammatory cytokines that are associated with stress reactions (Arranz 2007);
  • Reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003);
  • Reversing stress-induced changes in behaviour and biochemistry (Kim 2009).

 

References on Stress

Arranz L et al. Effect of acupuncture treatment on the immune function impairment found in anxious women. American Journal of Chinese Medicine.  2007;35(1):35-51

Balk J et al. The relationship between perceived stress, acupuncture, and pregnancy rates among IVF patients: a pilot study. Complement Ther Clin Pract 2010; 16: 154-7.

Chan J, et al. An uncontrolled pilot study of HT7 for ‘stress’. Acupunct Med 2002; 20: 74-7.

Cheng CH et al. Endogenous Opiates in the Nucleus Tractus Solitarius Mediate Electroacupuncture-induced Sleep Activities in Rats. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2009; Sep 3.

Fassoulaki A et al. Pressure applied on the extra 1 acupuncture point reduces bispectral index values and stress in volunteers. Anesth Analg. 2003; 96: 885-90.

Health and Safety Executive, 2011.Stress-related and psychological illness [online]. Available: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress/scale.htm

Huang W et al. An investigation into the effectiveness of traditional Chinese acupuncture (TCA) for chronic stress in adults: a randomised controlled pilot study. Complement Ther Clin Pract 2011; 17: 16-21.

Hui KK et al. Acupuncture, the limbic system, and the anticorrelated networks of the brain. Auton Neurosci 2010; 157: 81-90.

Hui K.K.-S. The salient characteristics of the central effects of acupuncture needling: limbic-paralimbic-neocortical network modulation. Human Brain Mapping 2009; 30: 1196-206.

Kavoussi B, Ross BE. The neuroimmune basis of anti-inflammatory acupuncture. Integr Cancer Ther 2007; 6: 251-7.

Kim H et al. The effects of acupuncture stimulation at PC6 (Neiguan) on chronic mild stress-induced biochemical and behavioural responses. Neuroscience Letters. 2009; 460: 56-60.

Kim H et al. The effects of acupuncture (PC6) on chronic mild stress-induced memory loss. Neurosci Lett. 2011; 488: 225-8.

Komori M et al. Microcirculatory responses to acupuncture stimulation and phototherapy. Anesth Analg 2009; 108: 635-40.

Kwong EY, Yiu EM. A preliminary study of the effect of acupuncture on emotional stress in female dysphonic speakers. J Voice. 2010; 24: 719-23.

Lee B et al. Effects of acupuncture on chronic corticosterone-induced depression-like behavior and expression of neuropeptide Y in the rats. Neuroscience Letters 2009; 453: 151-6.

Middlekauff HR et al. Acupuncture inhibits sympathetic activation during mental stress in advanced heart failure patients. J Card Fail 2002; 8: 399-406.

NHS Choices, 2011. Stress Management [online]. Available: http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/stressmanagement/Pages/Stressmanagementhome.aspx

Park HJ et al. Electroacupuncture to ST36 ameliorates behavioural and biochemical responses to restraint stress in rats. Neurol Res 2010; 32 Suppl 1: 111-5.

Pavao TS et al. Acupuncture is effective to attenuate stress and stimulate lymphocyte proliferation in the elderly. Neurosci Lett 2010; 484: 47-50.

Wu Y et al. Effect of acupuncture-assisted anaesthesia on stress response during laparoscopic cholecystectomy in aged patients. [Article in Chinese] Zhongguo Zhen Jiu 2011; 31: 155-7.

Zijlstra FJ et al. Anti-inflammatory actions of acupuncture. Mediators Inflamm 2003; 12: 59-69.

Zhou Q et al. The effect of electro-acupuncture on the imbalance between monoamine neurotransmitters and GABA in the CNS of rats with chronic emotional stress-induced anxiety. Int J Clin Acupunct 2008; 17: 79-84.

 

 

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Sports Injuries and Acupuncture

Sports Injuries and Acupuncture

Sports Injuries and acupuncture

Sports injuries are common, and vary from minor toe injuries to major complex trauma. Usually, only soft tissue is damaged, but there can also be fracturing of bone. Soft tissue injuries include sprains, strains and bruising. A sprain is a partial or complete rupture of a ligament, a strain is a partial tear of muscles and a bruise is a rupture of tissue leading to a haematoma. Any soft-tissue injury can lead to a tenderness, swelling, haematoma, scarring, fibrosis and loss of function.

 

Most commonly, sports injuries affect the lower limb, particularly the ankle (e.g. Achilles tendinopathy, sprains) and knee (e.g. patellofemoral pain syndrome, ligament injuries). Other common sporting injuries include those of the shoulder (e.g. dislocations, acromioclavicular joint injuries, rotator cuff injuries); elbow (e.g. tennis, golfer’s); wrist (e.g. strains, sprains, breaks); leg (e.g. shin splints, stress fractures, hamstring injuries); foot (e.g. plantar fasciitis); groin (strain); and back (e.g. acute lumbar sprain).(Andres 2008; Arthritis Research Campaign 2004; Jarvninen 2000, McGriff-Lee 2003; Mitchell 2005; Wolfe 2001). Injuries can be caused by trauma as a result of a sudden impact or awkward movement, or can develop over time often due to continual use of the same joints or muscle groups. Contributing factors can be: not warming, using inadequate equipment or training too hard for current level of fitness.

The aims of therapy are to relieve pain, control inflammation, hasten resolution of a haematoma, and accelerate repair. Also, there should be restoration of function and recovery of muscle power. Conventional approaches to sports injuries include RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation), anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics, immobilisation, corticosteroid injections, physiotherapy and surgery.

How acupuncture can help

Generally the research indicates that acupuncture is beneficial in the treatment of sports injuries. Research is usually specific in terms of the injuries covered. Positive evidence from individual randomised controlled trials, shows that:

  • acupuncture reduced pain in patients with plantar fasciitis (Zhang 2001);
  • electroacupuncture had better therapeutic effects than medication, both in the short and long term, in patients with acute lumbar strain (Yao-chi 2007);
  • acupuncture plus warmed needle relieved the pain of chondromalacia patella (Qui 2006);
  • acupuncture reduced NSAID intake and relieved pain in patients with shin splints (Callison 2002);
  • acupuncture reduced the pain of patellofemoral pain syndromes (Jensen 1999);
  • acupuncture was effective for soft tissue disease (Yuan 1989).

One systematic review found strong evidence suggesting that acupuncture is effective in the short-term relief of lateral epicondyle pain (Trinh 2004). Case studies suggest acupuncture might be helpful in the treatment of shoulder injuries (Osborne 2010), medial collateral ligament injuries of the knee (Yan 2008) and plantar fasciitis (Tillu 1998).

In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, which is responsible for anxiety (Wu 1999).

Acupuncture may help relieve symptoms of sports injuries, such as pain and inflammation by:

  • stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors (e.g. neuropeptide Y, serotonin), and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord (Pomeranz 1987, Han 2004, Zhao 2008, Zhou 2008, Lee 2009, Cheng 2009);
  • delivering analgesia via alpha-adrenoceptor mechanisms  (Koo 2008);
  • increasing the release of adenosine, which has antinociceptive properties (Goldman 2010);
  • modulating the limbic-paralimbic-neocortical network (Hui 2009);
  • reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003);
  • improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility by increasing local microcirculation (Komori 2009), which aids dispersal of swelling.

References

Andres BM, Murrell GA. Treatment of tendinopathy: what works, what does not, and what is on the horizon. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 2008; 466: 1539-54.

Arthritis Research Campaign, 2004. Plantar fasciitis. Information and exercise sheet (H02). [online]. Available: www.arc.org.ukICSI.

Bizzini M et al. Systematic review of the quality of randomized controlled trials for patellofemoral pain syndrome. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy 2003; 33: 4-20.

Callison M. Clinical study: Acupuncture & tibial stress syndrome (Shin splints). Journal of Chinese Medicine 2002; 70: 24-7.

Cheng CH et al. Endogenous Opiates in the Nucleus Tractus Solitarius Mediate Electroacupuncture-induced Sleep Activities in Rats. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2009 Sep 3.

Goldman N et al. Adenosine A1 receptors mediate local anti-nociceptive effects of acupuncture. Nat Neurosci 2010 May 30.

 

Green S et al. Acupuncture for lateral elbow pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2002, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD003527. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003527.

Han JS. Acupuncture and endorphins. Neurosci Lett 2004; 361: 258-61.

Hui K.K.-S. The salient characteristics of the central effects of acupuncture needling: limbic-paralimbic-neocortical network modulation. Human Brain Mapping 2009; 30: 1196-206.

Jarvinen TA et al. Muscle strain injuries. Current Opinion in Rheumatology 2000; 12: 155-61.

Jensen R et al. Acupuncture treatment of patellofemoral pain syndrome. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 1999; 5: 521-7.

Kavoussi B, Ross BE. The neuroimmune basis of anti-inflammatory acupuncture. Integr Cancer Ther 2007;  6:  251-7.

Komori M et al. Microcirculatory responses to acupuncture stimulation and phototherapy. Anesth Analg 2009; 108: 635-40.

Koo ST et al. Electroacupuncture-induced analgesia in a rat model of ankle sprain pain is mediated by spinal alpha-adrenoceptors. Embase Pain 2008; 135: 11-9.

Lee B et al. Effects of acupuncture on chronic corticosterone-induced depression-like behavior and expression of neuropeptide Y in the rats. Neuroscience Letters 2009; 453: 151-6.

McGriff-Lee N. Management of acute soft tissue injuries. Journal of Pharmacy Practice 2003; 16: 51-8.

Mitchell C et al. Shoulder pain: diagnosis and management in primary care. BMJ 2005; 331: 1124-8.

Murray IR et al. How evidence based is the management of two common sports injuries in a sports injury clinic? Br J Sports Med 2005; 39: 912-6.

Osborne NJ, Gatt IT. Management of shoulder injuries using dry needling in elite volleyball players. Acupuncture in medicine 2010; 28: 42-5.

Pomeranz B. Scientific basis of acupuncture. In: Stux G, Pomeranz B, eds. Acupuncture Textbook and Atlas. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag; 1987: 1-18.

Qiu L et al. Combined therapy of acupuncture with warmed needle and muscle strength training in the treatment of 34 chondromalacia patellae patients: Randomized controlled observation on curative effect. Chinese Journal of Clinical Rehabilitation 2006; 10: 170-1.

Tillu A, Gupta S. Effect of acupuncture treatment on heel pain due to plantar fasciitis. Acupuncture in Medicine 1998; 16: 66-8.

Trinh KV et al. Acupuncture for the alleviation of lateral epicondyle pain: a systematic review. Rheumatology 2004; 43: 1085-90.

Wolfe MW et al. (2001) Management of ankle sprains. American Family Physician 2001; 63: 93-104.

Wu MT et al. Central nervous pathway for acupuncture stimulation: localization of processing with functional MR imaging of the brain–preliminary experience. Radiology 1999 ; 212: 133-41.

Yan XN, Ren CX. Cause and treatment of sports injury in knee joint medial collateral ligament. Journal of Clinical Rehabilitative Tissue Engineering Research 2008; 12: 5567-70.

 

Yao-chi W et al. Observation on short-term and long-term therapeutic effects of electroacupuncture at Houxi (SI 3) on acute lumbar sprain. Chinese acupuncture & moxibustion 2007; 27: 3-5.

Yuan CX et al. Observations on clinical therapeutic effect in treating soft tissue injuries by acupuncture, with pain threshold and electromyography as parameters. J Tradit Chin Med 1989; 9: 40-4.

Zijlstra FJ et al. Anti-inflammatory actions of acupuncture. Mediators Inflamm 2003; 12: 59-69.

Zhang SP et al. Acupuncture treatment for plantar fasciitis: A randomized controlled trial with six months follow-up. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011: 154108.

Zhao ZQ.  Neural mechanism underlying acupuncture analgesia. Prog Neurobiol 2008;  85: 355-75.

Zhou Q et al. The effect of electro-acupuncture on the imbalance between monoamine neurotransmitters and GABA in the CNS of rats with chronic emotional stress-induced anxiety. Int J Clin Acupunct 2008 ;17: 79-84.

 

 

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Facial Acupuncture

Facial Acupuncture

Facial or Cosmetic Acupuncture

 

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years and has helped millions of people maintain wellness, balance and longevity. It is a natural form of treatment which complements Western medicine. Acupuncture is recognized as effective by the World Health Organization with established guidelines for practice. Sterilized and disposable needles are used in every treatment.

Cosmetic acupuncture is a non-invasive treatment that involves using acupuncture to improve skin and fight the aging process. Sometimes referred to as an “acupuncture facelift” or “facial rejuvenation,” cosmetic acupuncture can be used as an alternative to surgical facelifts and other conventional procedures said to reverse signs of aging in the skin.

During the treatment a number of very fine needles are inserted into the face. As the needles puncture the skin, they cause tiny wounds, which are called positive microtraumas. When your body senses these wounds, it goes into repair mode. It is said that the punctures stimulate your lymphatic and circulatory system, which work together to deliver nutrients and oxygen to your skin cells, nourishing skin from the inside out. This helps even out your complexion and promote your skin’s glow. The positive microtraumas also stimulate blood flow and the production of collagen. This helps improve elasticity, minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Fresh blood and oxygen floods the face and helps to bring it back to life.

Research seems promising.  A study carried out in 2013 revealed that of the 27 participants who underwent five facial acupuncture sessions, the majority showed a positive improvement (1). Another study in the Journal of Acupuncture Research indicated that more research needs to be undertaken to fully conclude facial acupuncture’s health and skin care benefits (2).

For optimum results it is usually recommended to have around 9 to 10 weekly sessions. After that, you can go into what is called a “maintenance stage,” where you get the treatment every four to eight weeks. An unwanted side-effect for any kind of acupuncture is bruising. This only happens about 20 percent of the time, but is still a possibility. Bruising often heals quite quickly. However, people with bleeding disorders should bear this in mind before seeking treatment.

 

References

1- Yun Y, Kim S, Kim M, Kim KS, Park JS, Choi I, Effect of Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture on Facial Elasticity: An Open-Label, Single-Arm Pilot Study, Evidence Based Complementary  Alternative Medicine. 2013; 2013: 424313.

2- Tae Yeon Kim, Trend Analysis of Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture Study based on the Korean Traditional Medicine, Journal of  Acupuncture Research, 2013; 30(5): 125-137.

 

 

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Dr David Diamond on the Pro’s and Con’s of taking Statins

Dr David Diamond on the Pro’s and Con’s of taking Statins

We were told to “Go to work on an egg” until the cholesterol panic scared us into cutting our egg consumption drastically. New research now tells us that eating fried eggs beneficial rather than detrimental for our health.

In a recent article The British Heart Foundation suggests that eating an egg a day can reduce your risk of heart disease. Read more here

Watch Dr David Diamond’s comprehensive video on the subject below.

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Surrey Musculo-skeletal Meeting 20th June 2019

Surrey Musculo-skeletal Meeting  20th June 2019

Representatives from Sutton Chiropractic Clinic will be attending the second Surrey Musculo-skeletal meeting this evening at Denbies  to discuss Manual Therapy in Surrey.

Our Chiropractors and Osteopaths will meet with Physiotherapists and General Practitioners to promote the use of manual therapy in treating back and neck pain.

To find out more about how chiropractic can help your back condition chiropractic-uk.co.uk

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