Written by admin on 4th June, 2015   |   Comments

I am often asked, "What can I do to get better quicker?" by patients as they begin care at our centre.  Well today, I am going to share with you the Top 5 things that you can do today to help you either get out of pain, improve your recovery from injury, or pass on to a friend or family member: remember though, if in any doubt about your suitability (diabetics and those with severe osteoporosis or arthritis, if you are on high-dose steroids or are undergoing chemotherapy) then please contact your Chiropractor or GP for advice.

1. Ice or heat: A recent study has shown that there is a 2% difference between these two contrasting therapies in terms of their effectiveness at relieving pain. Using ice or hot packs (not gels, creams or sprays) for 15 minutes seems to work, whichever floats your boat.
2. Decrease your stress: There are 3 different types of stress: chemical, emotional and physical. We call them "The 3 Ts", toxins, thoughts and trauma. Most of these are not sudden, and sometimes not considered "big" things in your life, but it's worth working on decreasing them, through eating and drinking better (more water to start with), having some time to chill and movement...
3. Move: Walking, cycling and swimming (not breaststroke) are nearly always the best thing to do. A notable exception is if you have bad sciatica, in which case, rest and ice first before thinking about anything more than a gentle stroll round the house.
4. Use one pillow: all too often when patients fill in our health questionnaire, on the subject of sleep, they say that they use more than one orthopaedic, contoured pillow or sleep on their front. This won't help a bad back, let alone a bad neck!
5. Stay positive: More often than not you will be reading this blog having had months or even years of pain, so exercise patience and congratulate yourself that you will start the road to recovery as soon as you're done here by implementing the advice listed above: for the next step, call your local UCA chiropractor


Written by admin on 20th May, 2015   |   Comments

An hour of what, you ask?

Researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden have found that one hour of moderate physical activity, or half an hour of more vigorous exercise a day, can reduce your chances of heart failure by up to 46%.  By simply jogging or swimming for an hour a day, you can almost halve your chances of dying from heart failure.

The researchers made the discovery after they looked at the lifestyles of 39,805 men and women, aged from 20 – 90, who didn’t have heart problems when the study began in 1997.  Their levels of activity were divided into light (such as casual walking), moderate (which included jogging and swimming), and heavy (which involved competitive sports).
By doing some kind of exercise every day – even just walking or taking the stairs – you could make a big difference.

Reference:  HeartFail,2014;7:701-8 and  What Doctors Don’t Tell You – November 2014 Edition

Written by admin on 19th May, 2015   |   Comments

Vitamin D plays a vital, key role in your immune system.  A deficiency can lead to fatigue, depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and a weakened immune system.  It’s the weakened immune system that exposes you to the common cold, but also to flu and other infections.  On that note, vitamin D has been shown to decrease the severity of influenza, as well as your chances of catching it.  Vitamin D is also know to be responsible for regulating calcium absorption and, therefore, your bone density. It’s also thought to positively affect many other diseases, including: colon and breast cancer, respiratory disease and type-1 diabetes.

So, where do we get vitamin D from?

Vitamin D is vital for human health and we get it through sunlight exposure and diet.  Our main source is from the sun. In the winter, we spend more time indoors and there is less sunshine when we are outside, so our exposure level drops below what our bodies need.  This decrease is linked to a weakened immune system and therefore one of the theories behind why most people get colds in the winter.  Vitamin D levels also drop in pregnant and breast feeding women, young children and older people, darker-skinned people and those who wear full-body coverings.

We can supplement our decreased production of vitamin D from sunlight with our diet.  Mackerel sardines and fish liver oil are good sources of natural vitamin D. You can get supplements, too.  The only downside of vitamin D in our diet is that it is not as effective.  When you ingest vitamin D, only 60% of it sticks to vitamin D-binding protein; but when you make vitamin D through sunlight hitting your skin, 100% of it binds to the protein.  A study  at Leiden University in Holland has been done on the difference of these two different methods.  Three groups each received either daily supplements of vitamin D, a sunbed session three times a week or nothing.  At the end of the trial, in the group that received nothing, their vitamin D levels had fallen.  In the group that took supplements, their levels had significantly increased. However, the highest increase was in the group that used the sunbeds – responsibly, of course.

What is the best way to increase vitamin D levels in the winter?

In the northern hemisphere, between the months of September and March, there is insufficient sunlight to ensure optimum vitamin D synthesis.  The best way to top up is to enjoy a winter holiday to the southern hemisphere. However, this isn’t a realistic solution.  Therefore, it is essential to maintain a diet high in oily fish, like mackerel and sardines.  This diet can be aided by supplementation as well.

On top of nutritional support, sunbeds can be used sensibly to boost your skins synthesis of vitamin D, as they’re the next best thing to natural sun exposure.  For a lot of people, the idea of a sunbed conjures up the thought of increased skin cancer risk.  In this regard, there is some truth. However, a sunbed used properly has health benefits that far outweigh any risks.  Sunbeds produce the same UV rays as the sun, and it is these rays that produce vitamin D synthesis.  Over exposure to these rays is what causes sunburn.  It is when your skin is over exposed that there is an increase in the chance of a melanoma (skin cancer).  The important thing to realise is the amount of time sufficient to produce vitamin D (varies depending on several factors, including skin colour) is less than the amount of time for the skin to redden and burn.  Careful use of a sunbed, following recommended exposure for your skin type, and taking particular care not to burn and avoiding deliberately tanning, can actually help to maximise your natural vitamin D levels, and therefore the subsequent benefits, with minimal risk. 

Professor Tim Oliver, a medical oncologist at Barts and the London Hospital, suggests a single five- to ten-minute sunbed session, once every six weeks, should be sufficient.

Written by admin on 13th May, 2015   |   Comments

Walking - it’s for people of any age, can be done anytime and anywhere, and with minimal risk to injury if done correctly.  All you need are comfy walking shoes and sense of adventure!
Walking is an activity that can easily be built into daily routines, whatever your age or level of fitness.  Just 30 minutes a day of a brisk walk can help you to maintain and improve your health - and it’s free! Walking strengthens your body and helps position the spine in the natural shape it was designed for – being upright. Research has also shown that walking can reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and even relieve tension and stress.

It can be challenging to break the habits that might currently be blocking you from making regular walking part of your lifestyle.  Begin at the beginning - start slowly and try to build a walking regime gradually.  To get the best health benefits from walking, it needs to be of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (faster than a stroll) – one way to tell is that you’ll be able to talk, but not sing the words to your favourite song!

The easiest way to walk more is to make walking a habit. Coax yourself into parking a bit further away from work or the train station, or get off the bus a block or two sooner than your stop. 

Chat with your local UCA Chiropractor who will help you design a walking program suited to your particular needs and can advise you on appropriate stretches and footwear.

Written by admin on 13th May, 2015   |   Comments

We have heard it all before. It’s just wear and tear, you are getting older, you need to live with it…. Most of my clients, before finding chiropractic care, would then have reached for their favourite painkiller and “gotten on with things”.

A study in 2012, however, showed there is a much more effective option. By far, more effective than those favoured painkillers, Chiropractic care (and less so exercises) out-ran painkillers, by a massive margin, for their effectiveness in helping people feel better - both during the treatment cycle and for an extended period of time after treatment ended.

What does this mean for you? Well, wear and tear is not something you just have to put up with. Chiropractic care is safe and effective in helping you feel better and, more importantly, move better - Now and in the future.

Chiropractic cannot repair those worn joints, but it is really effective at helping you restore and maintain movement. As we age, who doesn’t want to keep moving? Combined with exercise, you are going to be working much better than your peers who reach for the painkillers, and you can avoid all those known side-effects of medication as an added bonus!

Written by admin on 12th May, 2015   |   Comments

There is no doubt that drinking water is important to our overall health and well-being. Drinking water helps to flush toxins and waste products from our body, prevents dehydration, and helps us look better, too. About 60 per cent of our body weight is water - a statistic that highlights just how important this substance is in keeping us healthy. But our body can't produce all the water it needs, so topping up our supplies, particularly during warm weather or while exercising, is vital.
Although government guidelines say that we should all drink 8 glasses of water a day, your height, weight and the size of the glass can all make a difference.

The average adult loses about 1.5 litres of fluid a day via urine and another litre through breathing and sweating - that’s 2.5 litres a day! We receive about 25 per cent of the fluid we need each day from food, while the remaining 75 per cent has to come from drinking.  Below are five simple rules to help you drink more water.

Five Simple Rules

1. Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. This will wake you up and help your body replace any fluid lost when you were sleeping. Best if it’s warm or room temperature, never cold, as it’s a bit of a shock to your digestive system!

2. Keep a bottle or glass close. Not only will this good habit remind you to drink more frequently and regularly throughout your day, but it's also an easy way of keeping track of how much you're drinking. If you fill it up from the tap you can reuse it as well - brilliant for the environment!

3. Add some flavour. Let’s admit it, water can be pretty boring. But instead of using artificial flavoring, opt for something more natural—watermelon chunks, cucumber, mint or orange slices can be quite tasty and refreshing. Freeze peeled pieces of lemons, limes, and oranges and use them instead of ice cubes. The extra Vitamin C & B are a bonus!

4. Eat your water. You can hydrate with water-rich foods like cucumbers, melons, and celery.

5. Drink while you Eat. Did you know that most cravings for sweets are actually a sign of dehydration? Drink two full glasses at each meal, one before and one after. Also, drink one glass before each snack.


Written by admin on 11th May, 2015   |   Comments

We all know how important it is to keep mobile and see your chiropractor regularly to maintain movement and nervous system control (naturally!!!)

But, once the power to the muscles is turned on, how many of us think about how we are using our muscles or indeed what we are using to build them up?

To quote some old sayings, which, let’s face it, are always the best ones: ‘You are what you eat’, and ‘If you don’t use it, you lose it’.  As we get older, the excuses not to get out and exercise seem to roll off the tongue much easier. It is also a bigger challenge to eat properly as we age. Life gets busy... or not busy, or lonely, or too hard.  However, these sayings are no less true.

The older we get, the more important it is to fuel ourselves well and build up some strength. A recent study found that eating more good quality protein is important in maintaining muscle mass as we age. Another recent article highlighted the importance of strength training. 

The consequences of falling can be deadly. It makes perfect sense to eat real food and quality protein to build that body strong. Get adjusted by your chiropractor to help your balance and general health and wellbeing. Challenge yourself from time to time by deliberately and sensibly lifting heavier things, so you are able to help yourself and stay mobile.



Written by admin on 6th May, 2015   |   Comments

Don is an ex professional footballer, having turned out for Notts County, QPR and Scotland (at two world cups) amongst other teams, during the 70s and early 80s. He first came across chiropractic when playing in the North American Soccer League at the twilight of his career, and noted that Americans seemed to see chiropractors as a matter of routine, unlike in the UK. He first visited a chiropractor in the UK years later, in 2006, following a hip replacement. It wasn't the hip per se that was causing him problems, but his right shoulder, thanks to his recommencing playing tennis. His aim was clear: he wanted to increase his activity levels and maintain an active lifestyle for as long as he possibly could.

He continued, and still does continue to be active: Don plays tennis at over 65s county level, does DIY, gardening, and looks after the local churchyard all by himself.

On starting chiropractic care, Don noticed immediate help with his shoulder problem, and also noticed an improvement more generally to his quality of life. Don was used to having a fairly routine fitness and health regime from his days playing football at the very highest level. He decided very quickly that, just as he had witnessed all those years ago in America, that he would continue his chiropractic care in a more maintenance format. Don goes every month to his chiropractor and to quote Don "I will do so for the rest of my life."

To find your local UCA chiropractor: www.live-well.uk.com


Written by admin on 6th May, 2015   |   Comments

Incontinence, or the difficulty in controlling one’s bladder, affects 4 in 10 women and 1 in 10 men during their lifetime.  About 17% of children younger than 15 years are also affected. In a survey of 2,500 women aged 55–95, 64% reported that urinary incontinence was of great concern to them, but only 25% perceived that it was being adequately addressed by their healthcare provider.  Urinary incontinence is associated with poor quality of life, poor self-rated health, social isolation, depressive symptoms, decline in the instrumental activities of daily living, and an increase in out-of-pocket expenses.

Changes to your posture not only can affect your back, neck, knees and even breathing, it can also affect the alignment of your pelvis, which houses your digestive and elimination organs. If the angle of your pelvis is slightly off alignment, then these organs, particularly your bladder, may not be properly supported.  When you are young, your pelvic floor muscles are generally strong enough to compensate for bad posture. But, as you age, the tissues throughout your body can become less resilient - unfortunately, that will include the muscles of your pelvic floor as well.

By maintaining good posture as you age, you may be able to maintain your continence much longer than you ever expected. Remember, though, incontinence is NOT an inevitability! Of course you will want to keep your core muscles as strong as possible, but incontinence typically responds well to the pressure-relieving and function-restoring benefits of a good chiropractic adjustment.  When the Chiropractor makes an adjustment to your spine, the resulting improvement in communication can affect your entire body. The spinal cord carries the messages of the brain; together they make up your central nervous system, which controls and coordinates everything in your body. Through the nerves to the bladder, urination is activated and coordinated effectively.

When a Chiropractor makes an adjustment to the spine, she may be re-balancing inappropriate pressure which has been interfering with the proper communication between your brain and your bladder. With the miscommunication corrected, normal body function can return.

A study of 21 patients who were followed for 6 years showed that:  in 48% of the cases, their urinary incontinence symptoms resolved totally; another 33% considerably improved; and a further 19% slightly improved. That equates to 81% of the case studies showing at least some level of improvement with urinary incontinence.

Based upon the numbers of people who suffer from urinary incontinence and the treatment choices available, Chiropractic should be considered a reasonable and effective option,  especially as there are no side effects to consider, unlike medication protocols and treatments.


Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (2012) 11,49-57 Scott, C., Rosner A., Conservative chiropractic management of urinary incontinence using applied kinesiology: a retrospective case-series report


Written by admin on 28th April, 2015   |   Comments

A person’s gradual loss of balance and co-ordination, and decrease in mobility and muscle strength, all contribute to one’s fall risk, regardless of age.

One of the most important reasons for a loss of co-ordination in the elderly is a decline in the nervous system function that occurs when people age.  As the body begins to degenerate, the pressure generated by structural misalignments of the spine system commonly alter the efficiency and accuracy of the nerve signals sent to and from the brain.  Over time, if left unchecked, this situation can cause significant loss of balance, poor control of the limbs, and decrease in mobility. 

In the past ten years, researchers have objectively demonstrated that chiropractic adjustments can change and improve aspects of nervous system function; including: muscle reflexes, reaction time and the speed at which our brain processes information.  A recent study by the New Zealand College  of Chiropractic showed significant changes in sensorimeter function (balance and coordination) for elderly patients receiving in chiropractic care compared with a control group. 

Chiropractors are trained to detect and correct spinal misalignments and altered motions, as well as many other common spinal abnormalities which cause nerve irritation and interference. A spine free of nerve irritation and interference allows the brain to guide the body to function the way it was meant to, accurately and efficiently.