Articles in Category: General Health

Acupuncture

Written by Richard McMahon, BSc (Acupunture), Dip Remedial Massage on Monday, 03 July 2017. Posted in Newsletters, General Health, Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture

Acupuncture

By Richard McMahon

BHSc (Acupuncture), Dip Remedial Massage

 

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a therapy that has been an integral part of the Chinese Medical Tradition for over 2500 years making its way to the west in the early 70's. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine, single use needles into specific points in the body with the aim of increasing the natural healing capacity of the body and reducing pain.

 

Do the Needles Hurt?

Patients’ sensitivity is extremely varied but most people do not find Acupuncture to be especially painful. Once the needles are in place most patients find they feel deeply relaxed and calm. However, these treatments are not weak, and in order for a sense of pain relief to occur post treatment, some sensation will be felt. Sometimes treatments are uncomfortable but the idea is to get a good outcome, rather than being specifically gentle and potentially not get a specific result.

 

Are there any Side Effects to Acupuncture?

The most common side effects of Acupuncture are deep relaxation and drowsiness. However small amounts of bruising can occur occasionally, aching around a tight muscle that has been treated is common in sensitive patients, similar to a deep remedial massage which can last for up to 24 hours, and extremely rarely a patient may feel faint and light headed if they are sensitive and haven't eaten anything that day.

 

Can I Benefit from Acupuncture Even If I Don't Have Reason to Get Medical Treatment?

Acupuncture has a strong regulating effect on the body and nervous system and can be useful in reducing stress and encouraging better rest and recuperation. Overall, Acupuncture has the potential to create a positive outcome for different conditions.

 

How Long Will It Take to Recover?

Most patients are very relaxed and sleepy after treatment so intense activity shouldn't be scheduled immediately following treatment. If treatment was for specific injuries or strong muscle tension, it is best to rest after treatment and the area can be achy for up to 24 hours in sensitive people. The patient should expect to be sore the day after treatment however relief should be felt the following day. The acupuncturist is interested in the response the patient is feeling a couple of days after treatment rather than the immediate 24 hour response, often if the acupuncturist is interacting with the problem then a reaction is most likely going to occur, if a patient has a more reactive system they may be sore for a couple of days, but if that means that in a week the patient is on the road to recovery then that's a good outcome from treatment. All of these effects are temporary and usually not perceived as an issue for patients.

 

How Many Visits Will I Need?

It totally depends on the patient and is adjusted case by case. This relies heavily on how much a patient is willing to do as homework e.g. stretching, diet and sleep and how much stress they have in their lives.  

 

Do You Use Herbs?

It is preferable to combine Chinese herbal therapy with Acupuncture when treating internal conditions such as digestive issues, sleep disturbance, menstrual irregularities etc. Herbal treatment aids in healing of injuries but usually external herbal formulas such as liniments or soaks are used in the West.

 

Do You Use the Heat Moxibustion?

Moxibustion is a fantastic therapy but due to smell/smoke I only use it when really necessary such as conditions of strong fatigue or when the patient has strong sensitivity to cold or strong pain that is worse in cold or damp weather.

 

Is It Similar to Getting an Injection?

Acupuncture needles are extremely thin so are usually much more comfortable than the larger needles used for injections.

 

Do You Use the Electrical Devices?

Electrical stimulation can be used to enhance treatment especially if the condition involves swelling e.g. chronic knee injuries or bursitis of the hip.

 

What Are the Known Conditions Treated by Acupuncture?

Musculoskeletal conditions treated include; lower back ache, knee pain, bursitis, tendonitis, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, muscle tension, arthritis, sciatic, joint pain, sporting injuries.

Digestive conditions treated include; heartburn, diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal bloating or pain and ulcers.

The respiratory system can have beneficial effects from Acupuncture; these include the common cold, asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis, chronic cough, low immune system.

Acupuncture can also help with women suffering from menstrual cramps/pain, irregularity, abnormal bleeding and menopausal symptoms.

Cardiovascular problems can also be treated by the use of Acupuncture; these include patients with high or low blood pressure, fluid retention, chest pain poor circulation, muscle cramps, stress, insomnia, withdrawal from medication or drugs, headaches, migraines, facial and inter-costal neuralgia, some paralysis conditions, post stroke recovery, fatigue, chronic pain, post-op recovery.

What Should I Expect on My First Acupuncture Visit?

When you first attend our clinic for treatment you will be asked to fill out a detailed form about your general health and the history of the complaint that you would like treated. It is important that you fill out the whole form even if you feel the questions don't relate specifically to the condition you would like worked on. This questionnaire assists in understanding the unique state of your body so that we can address any underlying imbalances that may be contributing to your condition.

 

Your therapist will then ask a series of questions to further understand your unique constitutional make up. Your pulse will be taken and your therapist may need to perform some abdominal palpation to obtain further details about the state of the body.

 

Sports medicine assessment techniques will now be utilized if you are attending the clinic for a musculoskeletal complaint.

 

Hyperlordosis - Are you Over Arching?

on Friday, 26 May 2017. Posted in Newsletters, General Health, Ergonomics, Chiropractic

Hyperlordosis - Are you Over Arching?

Hyperlordosis - Are you Over Arching?

Hyper Lordosis – Are you Over Arching? 

 

Tight Psoas 

Anterior pelvic tilt is the postural position where your butt sticks out more, accentuating the arch on your lower back. So say if you are overarching the lower back doing a back squat or a plank, the odds are high you are over tilting your pelvis forward.

 

Overtime, this issue can contribute to a disc bulge/slipped disc due to the overloading and pressure on the back part of the disc during overextension of the spine and let's not forget the probability of a hip impingement as well from the jamming of the pelvic and femur together in hip flexion and internal rotation.

Facet Joints in Motion

We tend to see this problem a lot more often now as we do spend long hours sitting at a desk or in the car which over activates the hip flexors and lengthens the hip extensors; causing a forward pull of the pelvis.

 

Some of the signs and symptoms of anterior pelvic tilt are:

1.back pain/stiffness especially standing for long periods and/or lying flat on back

2.tight hamstrings

3.gut (protruding belly)

4.gluteal muscles (butt muscles)

5.curve in the lower spine

 

In order to correct this dysfunction, we have to solve the muscle imbalances around the pelvic area. APT is more a stability issue than a mobility one. That being said though, the mobility side of things still need to be addressed.

 

 

Important tight muscles to be stretched to tackle the mobility issues are:

Hip Flexors - https://youtu.be/ut4mGaPvbZk

Hip Flexor 1 Hip Flexor 2

 

Erector Spinae - https://youtu.be/P_4yDo-hiHw  

Erector Spinae 

 

Rectus Femoris (The Quad muscles) - https://youtu.be/ei9Gh6RogDg

Rectus Femoris 

Do these stretches 10-15 times, hold 10-15 seconds post workout and throughout the day. 

 

As mentioned above, the root of APT is from the lack of muscle stability to hold your spine in a neutral position. Without these muscle controls, the body then tries to lock the joints together for stability instead (therefore the overextension of the lower back in squats when further loaded with a barbell/weights).  

 

When addressing stability, start off by reactivating these few muscles: 

Transverse Abdominis (Core stability) – https://youtu.be/T6CaTUBTtUA

Transverse Abdominis 1 Transverse Abdominis 2

Glutes - https://youtu.be/depTc0ME7wk

Glutes 1 Glutes 2

 

Pelvic mobility - https://youtu.be/CU7w8zjrzIc

Pelvic Mobility 1 Pelvic Mobility 2

 

Start with 10-15 reps throughout the day increasing to 30 reps as you progress and have better control.

 

I highly recommend these reactivation exercises to be done in the mornings to ease off any tension built during sleep the night before and before bedtime to de-load the body after a long stressful day at work.

 

You may not feel much progress on the first day, but persist for a week or more; a difference in pain intensity and stiffness will definitely be noticeable!

 

By Iris Tan

B.App.Sc (Chiropractic) M.Clin.Chiropractic. 

Memb: CA, Gonstead (Australia)

Iris picture new contrast 

 

 

 

What’s the difference between a Chiropractor, a Physiotherapist, and an Osteopath?

Written by Don Williams BSc, MChiro, ICSSD. on Friday, 26 May 2017. Posted in Newsletters, General Health, Ergonomics, Chiropractic

What’s the difference between a Chiropractor, a Physiotherapist, and an Osteopath?

By Don Williams
B.Sc., M.Chiro., ICSSD., PG Dip. NMS Rehabilitation Cert DNS. Memb: FICS, CEA

One of the more common questions we get from patients is what is the difference between a Chiropractor, a Physiotherapist, or an Osteopath?

On the surface this would appear to be a simple question however the number of questions and confusion support that it evidentially is not. On the basis of the evolution of these practices it is quite common for Chiropractors to deal just with manipulation and joints, where by a Physiotherapist tends to deal more with stretching and muscles, and an Osteopath tends to do soft tissue work manipulation similar to a Chiropractor. However the evolution of these professions has blurred the boundaries considerably, it is not uncommon to see a Physiotherapist that does a lot of manipulation and it is not uncommon to see a Chiropractor that does lots of soft tissue work and stretches.

So where do we draw the lines?
I generally believe that anytime someone has an injury it is always a joint and a muscle involved. When you think about it, every joint in the body is crossed by at least one muscle, and every muscle in the body crosses at least one joint. So as a result, anytime you injure a muscle it will affect the joint and every time you injure a joint it will affect the muscle so we must deal with both areas simultaneously.

The team at Institute of Sports and Spines do a range of different treatment interventions that would commonly be more regarded as Physiotherapy techniques. The confusion is that these techniques while being used often by Physiotherapist are not specifically Physiotherapy techniques. So when we look at rehabilitation from a knee injury, sporting injury, a muscle tear, or a strain people predominately think this is a Physiotherapy only activity, however this makes up a large proportion of the injuries that the team see at Institute of Sports and Spines.

Generally the management of different injuries is time based surrounding milestones that are inherit in recovery of the tissue in question. What this essentially means is that a strain of a muscle will improve or repair faster than a tear of a muscle, ligament injuries take longer to repair than muscle injuries, and tendon issues can be extremely stubborn if you don’t address the underlying concern.

Although our treatment strategies with the Chiropractic team at Institute of Sports and Spines may confuse our patients as to the background of why we’re using a particular technique and whether it is Chiropractic or Physiotherapy we certainly deal with a wider range of complaints then most people would realise.

When we look at athlete injury management particularly, we would always use a combination of soft tissue work in conjunction with manipulation or adjustments when and if indicated followed by corrective exercises to address the underlying movement patterns. This tends to be the model we use with the general population as well; adjustments to relieve the irritation, soft tissue to take out tension, and exercises to re-educate the muscles and postural system.

I think that the only reason that Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, and Osteopathy don’t amalgamate into one profession is due more to egos and understanding in the public rather than the actual differences between the professions. I would think that if we sub-specialised into the different areas that we treat this would probably be a clearer distinction than whether it was a Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, or Osteopath problem.

For many conditions any of the three professions or modalities could get a great result and interestingly some people seem to respond more to a particular person or style of intervention rather than a particular profession. This doesn’t stop people from having the impression that all Physiotherapists ‘are stupid’, or all Chiropractors ‘hurt you’, or all Osteopath’s ‘don’t do anything’ these opinions are often based on hearsay and not always in reality. However there are certain cases of people who may have had an interaction with someone previously that has not gotten a good result and unfortunately this often leads them to label all of that profession as ineffective.

I hope this has cleared up some of your thoughts or questions in regards to Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, and Osteopaths. If you have any further questions, please contact us at Institute of Sports and Spines and we would be glad to help.