Do you have painful knees?
Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is twice as common in men as it is in women and generally affects both knees. It used to mainly affect the over 50s but this is now changing.
- Some known factors include:
- Being overweight.
- Having nodal osteoarthritis.
- A sports injury.
- Having had a knee operation, e.g., to
remove the cartilage (meniscectomy).
OA is becoming increasingly common. This may be due to the fact that the knee has to take extreme stresses, twists and turns. Osteoarthritis can affect the main surfaces of your knee and also the cartilage underneath
your kneecap (patella). With OA of the knees you are most likely to have morning stiffness that gets better with movement and the pain is likely to be felt at the front and the sides of your knee. The knee
joint may become unstable and it can give way when putting weight on it. This can be due to either muscle weakness or damaged ligaments.
Careful history and examination will reveal if you may suffer from OA of the knees, x-rays are often unnecessary.
In terms of treatments there are different physical treatments that I have found helpful:
l Using appropriate footwear especially if
there are biomechanical concerns of the
l Acupuncture and sports massage.
l Advice on exercise and alternative
I have found some exercises helpful:
1 Hamstring stretch: (hold for 20secs)
2 Calf stretch: use a chair for balance and
alternatively stretch both calves.
3 Straight leg raise: lift leg and point toes up.
4 Quadriceps set: flex and hold leg tense for
5 Pillow squeeze:
together seated. Hold
10 secs doing 10 reps.
6 Heel raise: do 2×10
7 Side leg raise: stand
with arms supported
on chair and
alternatively raise legs
to side holding legs
tense. Do 2×10 reps.
8 Sit to stand: place 2
pillows on chair and
sit with straight back
and feet flat. Use only
legs to slowly stand
9 One legged balance: hold for 20 secs.
Increase time and difficulty.
10Step ups: use a step and step up with left
foot and then right foot and climb down in
reverse order. Repeat 10 times.
Low impact exercises such as wateraerobics
and cycling are especially recommended for
gentle strengthening of the muscles around
the knee joint. q
At the Simpson Pain relief clinic (see website:
www.clcac.co.uk) you can have a detailed
assessment to see which treatment is the
most appropriate and to finally get some
relief with your pain.
The Three Ps
|Chiropractic Care and the Road to Good Health|
We need to make sure we have every advantage so as to do well in our increasingly stressful world. Good health is a key factor that impacts all aspects of our daily affairs. Therefore, taking steps to ensure optimal wellness provides a payoff in multiple arenas.
These steps include making sure we’re eating nutritious foods. Importantly, these steps also include getting regular chiropractic care. Nutritious foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, organic grains, healthy sources of protein, and plenty of water, provide the building blocks for active cells, tissues, and organs. Regular chiropractic care helps ensure that these valuable resources get used properly. When information is flowing freely between the nerve system and the digestive system, thanks to regular chiropractic care, you’re able to put that good food you’re eating to work.
2Wang YC, et al: Reaching the health people goals for reducing childhood obesity: closing the energy gap. Am J Prev Med 42(5):437-444, 2012
3Drewnowski A, et al: Sweetness and food preference. J Nutr 142(6):1142S-1148S, 2012
10 Chiropractic Myths And Truths
#1. Not Many People Go To See A Chiropractor:
Chiropractic is the 3rd largest PRIMARY health care profession in the western world next to Medicine and Dentistry.
#2. Chiropractic Doctors Are Not Real Doctors:
Doctors of Chiropractic and Doctors of Medicine take the same class load with some exceptions. Residencies are required by both degrees. These entail the student successfully completing several hundred clinical hours of “real” patient management in a clinical setting under professional supervision. This is different to other practitioners providing manual therapy.
Most Chiropractic colleges require students to partake in a clinical externship program which places them in actual chiropractic clinics. All Chiropractors in the UK have to be legally registered with the UK governing body the GCC. Continuing education is then required to maintain a high level of competency and to stay up to date on the latest research and techniques.
#3. Chiropractors Only Treat Back Pain:
Back pain is what Chiropractors are known for, but the root of Chiropractic is much deeper than that. Chiropractors affect your spinal column, which in turn affects your nerves and tissues. This allows us to help your body heal itself so you can develop Wellness from Within.
Some of the non soft tissue conditions we may be able to help treat are: migraine headaches, ear infections, colic, ADD, sinus issues, common cold, dysmenorrhea (painful menses), ulcers and bowel complications, just to list a few.
#4. Spinal Adjustments Always Hurt:
People usually feel instant relief after a spinal adjustment. Patients tend to get off the table feeling more relaxed, higher energy, out of discomfort/pain . Patients that are in an acute pain level sometimes experience pain during the actual adjustment because any movement during the acute phase causes them pain, but after the treatment they usually feel relief and a decrease in the pain level. At the Caldecotte Lake Clinic it is our aim to cause as little pain and discomfort as possible. We recommend icing and stretching following your treatment.
#5. Spinal Adjustments Are Really Dangerous:
Chiropractic adjustments are safe when performed by a Doctor of Chiropractic, but can be dangerous when performed by another healthcare professional that is less well-trained in the area of expertise. It has been shown that Chiropractic adjustments are among the safest and most effective ways to treat back and neck pain. It is openly acknowleged that and researched that conservative spinal manipulations should be pursued in most cases before considering drug and/or surgical intervention.
The result of injury following a chiropractic treatment is less than 0.01% according to medical studies. This compares with a much higher risk of invasive procedures involving injections, medications, and surgeries. Some people fear they will have a stroke if their neck is adjusted; the truth is there is no scientific evidence to show an increase risk of any serious event following a chiropractic adjustment. There are some who suggest that the chance of having a stroke after a spinal manipulation is about 1 in 1,000,000 other figures suggest 1:3,000,000.
This number has never been scientifically proven it is only estimated, but it shows that you have a better chance of being struck by lightening, being killed on a bicycle and dying from taking aspirin then by being seriously injured by chiropractic care. In fact, It is more likely that you will have a stroke from leaning your head backwards whilst going to a hairdresser.
#6. Cracking your Knuckles will give you Arthritis:
There was a study done to see if there was a correlation between one developing osteoarthrits and cracking their knuckles on their hands. The participants included 15 people who cracked their knuckles and 13 who did not crack their knuckles. Of the 15 that did crack their knuckles only 1 showed arthritic changes. On the contrary, 5 of the 13 who did not crack their knuckles showed that they had arthritic changes in their hands. This shows that joints receive a therapeutic effect from an adjustment. This is because the movement of the joint back into place allows the joint itself to get nourishment from the exchange of gases . It also allows the fluid and gases of the joint capsule to move and not stay stagnant, which also helps decrease the arthritic formation.
#7. Chiropractors Crack Your Bones:
At the Caldecotte Lake Clinic in Simpson Milton Keynes you have serveral options that do not include manipulations that cause audible releases such as Activator technique, massage, mobilisations, acupuncture and craniosacral therapy, etc.
A chiropractic adjustment is focused on mobilizing a specific joint that is fixated to restore normal function. This fixation affects your whole body through handicapping other joints, as well as, internal organs. The audible sound, which is sometimes heard during the adjustment, is the sound of Oxygen, Nitrogen and CO2 being released due to the opening of the joint space.
#8. Chiropractic Care Is Only For Certain People:
Chiropractic and Acupuncture care is safe for Pregnant Adults, children of all ages, including babies.
Chiropractic and acupuncture can be very effective in Pregnancy.
Childhood is the stage in life where you are growing, learning, exploring and playing so the musculoskeletal system is under a lot of stress. OSHA estimates that a child sustains 1,500 spinal related traumas before the age of 5.
#9. Chiropractic Care Is Expensive:
Most insurance companies have Chiropractic coverage. Insurances are turning to more cost effective, preventative measures to help their clients stay healthy and prevent complications and serious health issues later in life. Most Chiropractors also offer a cash based price for those patients that do not have insurance or do not have insurance coverage for Chiropractic care. This is usually at an affordable cost so that you can keep yourself and your family healthy.
#10. You Will Have To Continue Chiropractic Care For The Rest Of Your Life:
At our clinic we provide pain relief care. We do not tie you into any lengthy treatment contract as we do not believe that that is an ethical approach to chiropractic or acupuncture practice.Chiropractors promote preventative care to help their patients avoid pain, disease and sickness in their patients. After getting their patients out of acute pain, they usually recommend their patients return for checkups. This is equivalent to a dentist recommending checkups to help their patients prevent cavities and gum disease. The preventative approach in health care has been gaining large support in the medical community and with insurance because it has been proven to be cost and health effective in the long term. Chiropractic checkups are safe, convenient, quick and natural and prevent complicated problems in the future. Many patients see changes in their energy, immune function, sleep patterns and general well being with chiropractic care, but it always is your choice on how often you see your Chiropractor.
“Chiropractic adds years to your life and life to your years!”
I hope this answered any questions about Chiropractic you might have. If there are any questions or concerns that I have not addressed of yours please do not hesitate to contact me. I would love to help assist you in achieving Wellness from Within through Chiropractic Care, Massage and Soft tissue work, exercise advice, dietary and lifestyle advice, acupuncture, craniosacral therapy and manipulation.
Low Back Pain and Balance Exercises
The relationship between low back pain and balance, particularly our unfortunate increased tendency to fall as we grow older. Improving our balance by learning specific exercises that utilize the parts of our nervous system that regulate balance or, proprioception. Particularly, our cerebellum (back of the brain that regulates coordination), the vestibular system (the inner ear where the semi-circular canals are located), the ascending tracts in our spinal cord (the “highways” that bring information to the brain from our feet and the rest of our body), and the small “mechano-receptors” located in our joints that pick up our movements as we walk and run and sends that information through our nerves, up the spinal cord tracts to the brain. Here are some very practical exercises to do, “…for the rest of our lives.” Start with the easy ones!
- Easy (Level 1): Standing eyes open/closed – Start with the feet shoulder width apart, look straight ahead to get your balance and then close the eyes and try not to sway counting to 30 by, “…one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, etc.” Repeat this with your feet closer together until they touch each other. You can make this harder by standing on a pillow or cushion — but don’t start that way!
- Medium (Level 2): Lunges – from a similar starting position as #1, step forwards with one leg and squat slightly before returning back to the start position. Repeat this 5x with each foot/leg. As you progress, you can take a longer stride and/or squat down further with each repetition. You can even hold onto light dumbbells and/or close your eyes to make it more challenging.
- Hard (Level 3): Rocker or wobble board exercises – use a platform that rocks back & forth or, wobbles in multiple directions. Rock back and forth, eyes open and then closed, once you get comfortable on the board. You can rotate your body on the board, standing straight ahead (12 o’clock) followed by 45 degree angles as you work your way around in a circle at 45 degree increments (12, 1:30, 3, 4:30, 6, 7:30, 9, 10:30 and back to noon). Repeat these eyes open and closed. The Wii Balance board is a fun way to exercise.
You can “improvise” and mix up different exercises and create your own routine. Just remember, stay safe, work slowly until you build up your confidence and keep challenging yourself.
Low Back Pain: Where Is My Pain Coming From?
The Bronfort report (2010) established that chiropractic treatment is effective in the treatment of lower back pain. In fact, NICE guidelines which are recommended for all NHS GP’s established that chiropractic and acpuncture are recommended for chronic lower backpain. At the Caldecotte lake clinic we do our best to make sure that we establish the exact cause or your backpain. Low back pain can emanate from many anatomical locations (as well as a combination of locations), which always makes it interesting when a patient asks, “Jonathan, where in my back is my pain coming from?” In context of a clinic visit, we take an accurate history and perform our physical exam to try to reproduce symptoms to give us clues as to where may be the primary pain generators. In spite of our strong intent to be accurate, did you know, regardless of the chiropractor, there is only about a 45% accuracy rate when making a low back pain diagnosis? This is partially because there are many tissue areas that can be damaged or injured that are innervated by the same nerve fibers. Therefore clinically they look very similar to each other. In order to improve this rather sad statistic, the Quebec Task Force (1995) published research reporting that accuracy could be improved to over 90% if we utilize a classification approach where low back conditions are divided into 1 of 3 broad categories:
- Red flags – These include dangerous conditions such as cancer, infection, fracture, cauda equina syndrome (which is a severe neurological condition where bowel and bladder function is impaired). These conditions generally require emergency care due to the life threatening and/or surgical potential.
- Mechanical back pain – These diagnoses include facet syndromes, ligament and joint capsule sprains, muscle strains, degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis), and spondylolisthesis.
- Nerve Root compression – These conditions include pinching of the nerve roots, most frequently from herniated disks. This category can include spinal stenosis (SS) or, combinations of both, but if severe enough where the spinal cord is compromised (more commonly in the neck), SS might then be placed in the 1st of the 3 categories described above.
The most common category is mechanical back pain of which “lumbar facet syndrome” is the most common condition. This is the classic patient who over did it (“The Weekend Warrior”) and can hardly get out of bed the next day. These conditions can include tearing or stretching of the capsule surrounding the facet joint due to performing too many bending, lifting, or twisting related activities. The back pain is usually localized to the area of injury but can radiate down into the buttocks or back of the thigh and can be mild to very severe.