We hope you are all keeping well and healthy during this difficult time. We wanted to update you on our re-opening and new policies.
Here at Chiltern Health Centre – Sutton Chiropractic Clinic we take your health and that of any visitors and staff at the clinic very seriously. We have had the clinic completely deep cleaned again this week and the new cleaning policies we introduced in March, on top of our normal hygiene routines, will continue along with some new procedures to ensure the clinic is as clean and safe as we can make it for everyone.
We will be open from 8am on Monday 18th May for emergency patients.
All patients must consider if their condition is severe enough to warrant the risk involved in attending the clinic and we will be asking you to sign a consent form.
To enable social distancing we will be limiting the number of people in the clinic. We will be asking you to wait in your car or outside until your appointment time. You will then be allowed to enter the clinic which will be by different entrances depending on which treatment room your therapist is using. The receptionist will direct you to the appropriate entrance at your appointment time.
We would ask you, where possible, to wear loose clothing and to bring your own PPE of mask and gloves with you. If you do not have these we will supply these to you. We will not be supplying dressing gowns but back opening gowns will be available if needed. We will also be asking you to remove your shoes on entering the clinic.
We will be allowing 1/2 hour for all appointments to allow us to clean and sanitise the room and equipment between patients.
All therapists and staff will be wearing PPE and they will be socially distancing where possible.
We have removed all literature from the reception area.
We would also prefer contactless payment if possible.
We would ask, if possible, for you to attend on your own unless you need assistance.
We will be reviewing and changing our policies where needed in line with new information and official guidance.
To book an appointment please call 020 8661 1613 and leave a message.
Here at Chiltern Health Centre – Sutton Chiropractic Clinic we take your health and that of any visitors and staff at the clinic very seriously.
As such, we have had the clinic completely deep cleaned this week. We have also introduced new cleaning policies, on top of our normal hygiene regimes, to ensure the clinic is as clean and safe as we can make it for everyone.
There is antibacterial gel in all the treatment rooms for use by staff before and after any contact with patients. Our receptionist will also be using antibacterial gel, along side, normal hand washing. Our credit card machine will be disinfected before you use it. All door handles will be disinfected hourly. Normal soap and water is available in all toilet areas.
We are open as usual for anyone needing treatment. We would ask patients, during this difficult period, to follow any advice or guidance given by the Government and the NHS regarding coronavirus or COVID 19. If you have either a high temperature or a new continuous cough we would ask you to stay at home, and if possible, inform us that you will be unable to make your appointment.
Should the Government decide we have to close for a short period we will ensure that email and telephones will be manned during normal clinic hours.
Dr Hammond often quotes Louis Pasteur “the germ is nothing, the terrain is everything”.
Whilst we know that some viruses such as Ebola, SARS and Cornoavirus are particularly virulent and contagious, there are many things that people can do to increase their immunity and decrease their chances of acquiring infections. A recent release by the College of Medicine highlights the following ways we can defend ourselves against the Coronavirus.
There is no treatment or vaccine currently available. As with other viral infections antibiotics will not be effective (unless there are secondary bacterial infections).
Although with current rates of spread we must now expect more cases near us, so far this strain of coronavirus is relatively mild but there are good reasons to build up our resilience. The main risks are to people who are already vulnerable or infirm, the very young and old, or with pre-existing conditions like lung disease and diabetes. For these groups active health-promotion will be particularly important.
Below are some home remedies with evidence for improving defences against respiratory viral infections. This evidence relates to other respiratory infections but the principle of improving resistance is likely to apply to protection against this strain of coronavirus.
In the unlikely event that you do contract the virus, the remedies recommended to relieve the symptoms of flu and the common cold may also be helpful.
Home remedies with evidence for improving defences against upper respiratory viral infections.
Fruit & Vegetables
Polyphenols, such as flavonoids and anthocyanidins, are very common constituents of plants, fruit and vegetables, especially those that are coloured. Supplementation with polyphenols has been shown to reduce the incidence and shorten the duration of colds and viral infections. High natural sources of polyphenols are red grapes (and red wine), cocoa (as in 70% + chocolate!), blueberries, any other coloured fruit, and pomegranate.
There is clinical trial evidence that mushroom supplements (containing β-glucans and other immunoactive constituents) reduce the incidence of respiratory tract infections. The main species studied are reishi (ganoderma), shiitake, and maitake mushrooms. Yeast supplements may also be helpful and are generally more available.
If choosing medicinal mushroom supplements, it is wise to choose a reputable supplier rather than buy indiscriminately on the internet.
The benefits of supplements may also be obtained by eating a range of mushrooms in the diet, and these are widespread as foods around the world. However there is no direct evidence for this.
In research studies of mixed quality, various probiotic supplements, especially containing strains of Lactobacillusand Bifidobacteria, have been shown to reduce the frequency, duration and intensity of respiratory infections, especially in children.
All these benefits were seen after at least several weeks consumption of these probiotics and it is less likely that short term use will have much impact. Probiotics may therefore best be seen as preventative rather than as treatments.
There is good quality evidence that vitamin D supplements can reduce the risk of catching colds or other respiratory infections.
Regular dosing is more effective than taking the vitamin intermittently and benefits will be felt most by people who are depleted in the vitamin. However in Britain and other urban cultures and where there is less exposure to sunlight, vitamin D deficiency is quite common.
* Official guidance from the UK government, the UK NHS and World Health Organisation
The priority in managing the risks from this new strain of coronavirus is to follow latest guidelines above, so that any cases are isolated (including self-isolation if there is a reasonable risk you have been infected). Notification is also vital, so that public health measures can be applied. However this should be by phoning (111 in the UK): health centres do not need the risk of further contagion.
It is most important that we do all we can to stop the spread of the virus. It appears to be relatively contagious and there is already evidence that it can spread before there are symptoms like coughing. This means that as well as airborne transmission it could be transmitted by direct contact. The advice is to wash hands frequently with soap or sanitary hand gels, and carefully dispose of tissues and other possibly contagious materials.
Knowledge and best practice in the health field are constantly changing. Each person and illness is also unique and no general information can anticipate every circumstance, nor be appropriate for every reader. Each individual case is best assessed in person by a qualified health advisor.
In the case of remedies or other products, users should read the label carefully for detailed information about safe use and in the case of natural products should choose responsible manufacturers with independently assured quality standards and safety monitoring procedures.
To the fullest extent of the law, neither the College of Medicine nor the authors, contributors or editors, assume any liability for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions or ideas contained in the materials herein.
Reliable Ways to Look after yourselves, – Self care and Social prescription resources from College of Medicine.
Every parent wants the best for their child, especially when it comes to health. Children go through developing stages and each one has an impact on their bones and spine, from the first lost tooth to the last sport injury. It’s important to check in with kids about how their back feels and get a check-up if they think that something doesn’t feel right. Just like going to the dentist for a check-up, a chiropractor will check your child’s spine for any misalignment or imbalance, and the aim is to restore the child’s natural posture and health.
There are ways to prevent children from experiencing back pain during their developing years, and it all starts with being physically active and how they carry their school rucksack. Here are four tips to safeguard your child’s spine:
1. BAG IT LIGHT: school bags are often filled with more than what a child really needs. Backpacks are the best bags because they spread the weight evenly on each shoulder. Try to keep the backpack to a light/medium weight, filling it only with what is required. Remember to adjust the straps so that the bag so that weight is evenly distributed and the child’s spine doesn’t have to compensate.
2. WALK ON AIR: supportive footwear is essential to maintain a healthy posture. Soft-soled shoes that have good inner arch support will keep the kid happy and balanced. It is worth considering replacing the insole that comes with the shoe (which are normally of low quality) with a soft supportive insole. This will usually make a difference to the aches and pains that a child may feel late in the day after being on their feet for most of it.
3. EXERCISE: 21st century kids tend to spend more time in front of a screen compared to older generations, lowering the time spent being physically active. It would be ideal to set aside the same time that a child spends sitting in front of a screen, to time being physically active. Dance or run breaks are great family activities.
4. GAMING POSTURE: Videogames tend to distract your kid from maintaining a comfortable posture while playing. If your kid is playing with videogames make sure their spine is supported while doing it.
80% of UK adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives – so what is causing it? With this rate being so high, it is important to highlight some of the everyday activities, which, if conducted wrongly, can lead to back pain. One of the main ones to focus on is sleep – everyone does it, so it is important to know how to do it properly!
Below are some of the sleep positions that can cause you pain:
• When sleeping on your front, your head is turned slightly to the side as not to suffocate completely. As a result, this can cause a large amount of strain on the neck, which could lead to pain throughout the day. This position also means that your spine is completely unsupported, which could lead to extreme back pain.
• When sleeping on your left side with your arms completely out, you are essentially restricting blood flow and putting a large amount of pressure on your nerves; which can result in soreness in the shoulders and arms. Like sleeping on your front, the spine is completely unsupported in this position and therefore could lead to both upper and lower back pain.
• Whilst sleeping in the foetal position is a favourite amongst many, it is actually one of the worst sleep positions because of its complete lack of support for the neck and spine. As a result of the curvature of the spine in this position, neck and back pain is extremely common.
These positions can ease back pain:
• By sleeping flat on your back, your spine is completely supported, which will help ease the pain caused to the neck and back. By keeping your arms by your side, you are reducing strain on the shoulders as well.
• If you continue to feel soreness in your back after sleeping on your back, try the exact same position but with a small pillow underneath your knees. This helps your body to maintain a healthy curve in the lower back.
• If you want to sleep on your side, you absolutely can by just making sure your arms are kept down by your side instead of being stretched outwards. This actually supports the spine in the position of its natural curve.
Top Tips to Avoid Back Pain at Christmas
As we approach the Christmas season, you might be more worried about piling on the pounds and feeling like a Christmas Pudding on the big day than anything else, but you’d be surprised how many people hurt their back over the festive period.
Chiltern Health Centre Chiropractor Jennifer Garratt explains, “Surprisingly, we often see an increase in patients visiting the clinic with back aches and pains which have appeared during the Christmas period.”
There are many ways you can hurt your back at Christmas. Bending and lifting heavy items like Christmas trees, furniture or even the turkey can easily strain your back or exacerbate existing aches and pains.
If you do hurt your back or neck during the holidays, your first thought might be to put your feet up on the sofa and watch some festive films and wait until the pain disappears. Although this may seem like a tempting option, it is much more beneficial for your back to keep your muscles moving.
Jennifer Garratt explains, “Try to stay as active as possible, sitting around for long periods of time can strain your neck and back, so why not go out for a walk on Christmas day!”
Going for a walk can also be a good break from wrapping presents! Spending hours on the floor slouching over wrapping paper and Christmas cards can hurt your back if you are in that position for too long.
“If you’ve left it to the last minute and have a lot of wrapping to do, make sure you sit or stand at a table to stop you bending over too much. If you’re sat down, make sure you’re supporting your back at all times with a small cushion.”“If you’re lifting heavy or awkward objects like the Christmas tree or furniture, always ask for help and make sure you also bend your knees when lifting heavier items! When you’re putting up decorations, use a step ladder to avoid over stretching or straining your back or neck.”
For further information, please contact Chiltern Health Centre on 020 8661 1613.
We are open normal hours all over Christmas except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day when we will be closed. We will also be closing early at 1pm on Christmas Eve. An answerphone will be available when we are closed and we will get back to you as soon as reception is open again.
Driving posture, do you sit correctly in you car?
You might love going on road trips and feel quite comfortable sitting in your car seat for hours on end but be aware that you may be setting yourself up for future spinal problems.
With back pain being the number 2 reason why we visit our GPs and costing the NHS £1.3Million per day, it is not surprising to see that over 60% of drivers in this survey agreed with the statement ‘my car seat can make my back ache worse after a long trip’ and maybe more importantly, over 40% of drivers said that the car seat was the main cause of their backache.
According to a recent survey commissioned by AutoExpress magazine, a poor seating position in your car can lead to both back in neck problems while a slouched position can also compromise your safety.
Local Chiropractor Jennifer Garratt explains; “a slouched position can alter the way you wear the seat belt, reducing its effectiveness while an uncomfortable car seat can also lead to driver distraction and loss of concentration.”
Jennifer shares some tips on how should a car seat should be set up to protect your back and neck:
“Make sure that your car seat is not too far away from the pedals. When you fully depress the clutch your legs should remain slightly bent.”
“Make sure that your backrest is not tilted back too far. Your elbows should be slightly bent when you position your hands correctly on the steering wheel in the ‘10 to 2 position’.”
“Make sure that you increase the lumbar support as much as possible to support the natural arch in your back to avoid slouching. If you do not have a lumbar support built-in, you can use a portable, dedicated lumbar support cushion or roll up a towel and put it behind your back.”
“Make sure that the top of your headrest is above the top of your ears. If it is too low it can increase the risk of neck injuries in case of an accident.”
“Now, stretch yourself up and make your spine as tall as possible sitting in an ideal posture. Set the rearview mirror so you can just about see the traffic behind you. This will help to correct your posture every time you look in your rearview mirror, because if you slouch you will not be able to use the rearview mirror.”
“Make sure that your seatbelt is correctly positioned. If possible, adjust the height so it is not sitting on your neck and according to the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), the belt should be worn as tight as possible, with no slack and the lap belt should go over the pelvic region, not the stomach.”
Why not call in to the clinic and speak to a chiropractor if you are concerned about your spinal health and get your car seat checked as part of our service.”
Could sleep actually be causing you pain?
The way you sleep could be causing you unnecessary aches and pains. We are told time after time that we should be sleeping flat on our backs, but many of us have already developed habitual sleeping patterns, which are hard to get out of. However, if you suffer from neck or shoulder stiffness, muscle tension or more commonly back pain, you might want to think twice about curling up into a ball next time you reach for the sheets.
Incorrect alignment and poor support of your spine and limbs will put pressure on different areas of the body, which is why you may sometimes wake up with pain or discomfort.
Your spine also plays a huge role in sending nerve signals around the body; delicate nerve tissues helpcontrol your critical organs, so any damage to these tissues can lead to problems affecting impairment in balance, vision, temperature regulation, digestion and hormonal regulation problems.
Follow these sleeping tips and give your back a break:
- Refrain from sleeping on your stomach as this causes your spine to arch unnaturally and usually results in both back and neck stiffness
- Laying on your back or side is the ideal position, however to perfect your alignment try to use an orthopaedic pillow to give your neck adequate support
- If you sleep on your side, consider placing a pillow in-between your knees for support to prevent your back and pelvis from twisting
- If you sleep on your back, consider placing a pillow under your knees to take the tension off your lower back
- Acknowledging and correcting your posture throughout the day will help you find ease when it comes to sleep
Importantly, remember that an underlying neck can cause poor quality sleep or back problem causing increased muscle tension. So if you are experiencing poor sleep, see a chiropractor to have your neck and back checked.
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.
Stress and acupuncture
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.