Welcome to our first newsletter. This will be the first of our newsletters which will be sent out every two months. We hope you will enjoy reading about what is up-and-coming at the clinic and also the articles that will contain helpful tips to keep you happy and healthy.
As many of you know the clinic has grown from strength to strength in the past four years. We thank you for all of your support. Due to the success of the clinic we now have another Chiropractor at clinic. We are very pleased to welcome Kathryn Davis MChiro DC on board with us. Kathryn graduated from the Welsh Institute Of Chiropractic at the University of South Wales. She has studied dry needling/medical acupuncture and rock taping, enabling her to tailor treatments to suit her patients’ needs. Since being a patient herself, Kathryn found a true passion for chiropractic and is enthusiastic about the benefits it can give to all ages.
As Spring is here and the evenings are becoming lighter there is no excuse not to get outside and get exercising, whether it is walking, jogging or running. With this in mind Lucy has entered the Swansea half marathon in June for Cancer Research UK (she is still not sure if this was a good idea or not!!). Lucy has 12 weeks to train and if you are interested in seeing how she gets on (how much she dislikes running!) please follow us on twitter (@monmouthclinic) or on our Facebook page.
In our next edition we will be able to give you details about our new addition to the clinic – a sports masseur.
Springtime is here and with it, for many, comes the desire to dust off their trainers from the winter and hit the road. The motivation being longer days, drier weather and numerous organised runs as a goal to hit in the summer. Here’s how not to make it a troublesome one for your joints and muscles…
The finer weather might be an incentive to keep on running longer than usual and push your body that little bit more. While good for reaching your ultimate running goal, pushing your body too hard might result in unwanted injuries. You need to listen to your body’s natural resistance and follow these tips for a safe and effective wind down after your run:
Keep gently mobile right after your run. Try regular walking for 5-10 minutes; it might be the last thing you feel like after running a few miles but remaining static should be avoided at all costs to avoid injuries and the build up of lactic acid in your muscles.
Applying ice to specific injuries such as problems with joints is highly recommended. This is most effective when the ice is applied immediately after a run but still works when applied a few days following. Ice is effective at reducing muscle spasm and any swelling that may have been caused by running. You can use a cold pack (always wrap in a towel to prevent ice burn), cold sprays or gels. If applying a cold pack it only needs to be done for around 20 minutes to get the desired affect.
Taking a hot bath after a long run is ideal for strained muscles. It also helps with overall rejuvenation and relaxation which is often needed after a strenuous or draining stretch. Heat has the same effect as ice (feels nicer though!), again if using a heat pack only needs to be for 20 minutes.
Food For Thought
What we put in our bodies pre- and post-run is particularly important. Snack regularly, ideally on something that is high in carbohydrates, low in fat, which contains some protein. A tuna sandwich is ideal. Ensuring you drink lots of fluids is also another very important factor for runners to remember. Water is of course an excellent choice when it comes to keeping well hydrated but there are plenty of other options out there, too, such as sports drinks and gels. Remember: after finishing your run, always refrain from drinking alcohol until fully rehydrated.
Making sure you have the right footwear for you is very important. Your feet are the foundation for your entire body. When this foundation is misaligned or functioning poorly the effects can be felt throughout the body, whether in muscle and joint pain or through more serious injuries. Over 75% of the population suffers from overpronation or excessive supination, yet most of us are unaware of our own foot type and how it affects the rest of our body. You may need a customised insole to help stabilise your ankles in order to keep you aligned and to help prevent injuries when you are exercising.
Stretch for Spinal Health
If you are planning on becoming more active over the spring and summer months stretching is very important. It can help with pain relief, restoring normal joint mobility, improve flexibility and restore strength and endurance ratios. As more and more people suffer from back pain every year the importance of simple back exercises, particularly stretching is vital for strengthening and keeping mobility in your lower back. 400,000 people across the country, equivalent to a city the size of Edinburgh, are absent from work each day as a result of back injury and 4 out of 5 people will have back pain at some stage in their life.
Exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles of your spine can help reduce the risk of long and short-term back problems. If your back and abdominal muscles are strong it can help improve posture. The spine is kept in its correct position and thus remains pain free.
Stretching is vital for strengthening and keeping mobility in your lower back. As more and more people suffer from back pain every year, the importance of simple back exercises is paramount. With increasing numbers of people leading active and healthy lifestyles, lower back exercises and stretching should be carried out prior to any form of activity to avoid any risk of injury.
Types of Exercise
These are the most important exercises and should be performed frequently. The pelvic tilt strengthens the gluteal (buttocks) and the abdominal muscles. Lie on your back with knees bent. Squeeze the buttocks tightly together, and pull in your stomach muscles. With your lower back against the floor, hold for a count of 5. Relax and repeat 3 times, increasing gradually to 10 times.
To stretch lower back and buttocks. Start on your back, your legs bent. Keep both shoulders against the floor. Bring up your feet, keeping knees together. Lower your bent knees toward your left hip, then your right hip. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times, increasing gradually to 10 times.
Double Knee Raise
This will stretch the lower back and hamstrings. Begin with both knees bent. Hold a pelvic tilt while you perform the exercise. Pull your knees to your chest. Use your hands to pull your knees slowly towards you. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds. Return to your starting position. Begin with 3 repetitions, slowly increasing to 10.
If you feel any pain or discomfort while doing these stretches, then stop immediately and seek medical advice before continuing.