Thursday, 18 October 2018

Gardening needn’t be a pain in the neck … or the back!

  As well as being a keen gardener myself since childhood, I have been treating gardening injuries for over twenty years… and I have never yet told anyone to stop gardening. But you can make life a lot easier for yourself, particularly at this time of the year when the emphasis lies on tidying up and getting things ready for the winter. So here are our team’s top tips for pain free Autumn gardening:



·   Buy light aluminium tools
·   A fist and arm support can be added to handles to help lifting
·   Ensure the handles of rakes and brooms are long enough for you not to have to bend at the     waist and to keep your back straight when working
·   Use a long handled dustpan and brush to avoid bending
·   Keep the cutting edge of tools SHARP – and that includes spades, hoes and bulb planters


Secondly, THINK before you start side-on activities such as RAKING or SWEEPING

·    Use a light aluminium rake or broom
·    Do some gentle warm up stretches
·    Work in short bursts
·    Keep hips and shoulders moving towards the work
·    Do not twist your back
·    Avoid bending at the waist by stepping forward with one foot and bending slightly at the knee, allowing your upper body to stay upright in a partial lunge 


·    Ask yourself whether you have to rake at all? 

Whereas leaf mould is a fantastic resource for any gardener, leaves also make great compost, particularly when mixed with grass clipping so why not collect leaves in the grass box of your lawn mower?

 If you haven’t got a compost heap, simply leave the grass box off your mower and allow the mower to chop up the leaves. Worms will soon pull them underground and the leaves will add nutrients to your lawn … but remember mowers can be bad for your back too – so stand directly behind your mower handle with a straight back and hands resting evenly on the handles. 

WHEELBARROWS can be a gardeners best friend IF THEY’RE USED CORRECTLY

·    To avoid hand, back and arm strain do not overload wheelbarrows
·    Stack evenly with the heaviest load over the wheel
·    Keep your back straight wh
ile lifting and pushing
Rather than lift heavy objects in and out of a wheelbarrow, use a sack barrow instead.


FINALLY, if things do go wrong, remember help is only a phone call away at our friendly expert treatment centres. 


Tuesday, 10 April 2018

The South-West is a Great Place to Live … Particularly if you’re a Chiropractor

I remember the first time a came to Somerset I was impressed by the rolling landscape (at the time I lived in Norfolk!) and just how green everything was (three times more rainfall that Norfolk!!).

I moved here twenty years ago and it has been a truly wonderful place to raise a family … but until the British Chiropractic Association published new research into the state of the Nation’s backs, I
had no idea as to the extent to which the South-West topped league tables for suffering in this regard – and what a good place it was to work in restoring backs to normal function.

More people suffer from back pain in the South-West than in any other part of Great Britain – amost half (47%) of the people surveyed reported that they were currently suffering from back pain, compared with just 40% in the South-East.
And the life style in the region appears to be largely responsible for the epidemic: whereas the top trigger – lifting or carrying heavy objects – afflicts fewer than half of London sufferers, it causes pain for 60% of those in the South-West, more than any other part of the UK.
And it’s a similar picture for the second most common cause, prolonged sitting with just over a third of Londoners adversely affected compared with over half of South-Westerners (52%) – once again topping the Nation’s league tables.

So our local population is more likely to need a chiropractor than anywhere else in the country … good news for us at least and would explain why, in the last 20 years, we have expanded from a single clinic with one chiropractor to a chain of clinics with up to half a dozen chiropractors treating over 500 patients every week.

But don’t despair – there’s plenty you can do to help yourself – first of all let’s deal with those top two triggers for back pain:

• Lifting and carrying: Remember to bend from the knees and not the waist when lifting heavy items – you should look like a downhill skier and not a ski jumper. Face in the direction of movement, and take your time. Hold the object as close to your body as possible, and where you can avoid carrying objects which are too heavy to manage alone, ask for help or use the necessary
• Take a break: When sitting for long periods of time, ensure you stand up and move around every 30 minutes. When at work, also make sure your desk is set up to support a comfortable position. This is different for everyone so if you don’t feel comfortable in your current set up, try altering the height of your chair or screen.

And, if you want to get proactive, the British Chiropractic Association has created a programme of 3-minute exercises, Straighten Up UK, which can be easily slotted in to your daily schedule to help prevent back pain by promoting movement, balance, strength and flexibility in the spine.

If, however, you have pain for more than a few days you should seek professional help. 

All our chiropractors are university educated to Masters level and belong to the Royal College of Chiropractors, who set standards of excellence for management of low back pain. 

So, if you want professional help you to get moving again without pain, help is just a phone call away on 01935 423138 or you can find all our clinics’ contact details at