How to Treat and Prevent Shoulder Pain Without Drugs

Shoulder pain is uncomfortable and inconvenient, preventing you from doing everything you want to. Your pain could be caused by poor posture, a rotator cuff disorder, arthritis or a joint condition. You might notice discomfort while stretching, lying on your side at night, or moving your shoulders to put on a coat or jacket. There are a number of treatments for shoulder pain, and some involve medication. Although painkillers and hormone injections might be necessary for severe conditions, it’s worth trying some other options first. The chiropractic treatments listed below are often really effective, and you won’t risk the dangerous side effects that come along with many drugs. Massage therapy Shoulder pain is often caused by problems in the neck and upper back, which can trigger pain in the shoulders. For this reason, massage therapy, which concentrates on the entire area of the neck and upper back, can be really effective at relieving shoulder pain as well as solving the underlying issue. Chiropractors will examine your movements to ascertain where the problem area lies, allowing them to treat it effectively. If things aren’t clear after a simple examination, then an MRI or CT scan will be carried out. It’s possible that one or both of your shoulders has shifted out of alignment. This sounds dramatic, but can usually be fixed by some gentle alignment exercises carried out by your chiropractor. Posture improvement Poor posture is very often the culprit when it comes to shoulder, neck and back pain, particularly if you spend a lot of time sitting down during the day. Your chiropractor may recommend using an ergonomic mouse and keyboard, adjusting the height of your desk or chair so that both of your feet touch the ground, or purchasing a more supportive chair. Using a standing desk for a few hours a day can help, too. You should avoid slouching – try imagining a string pulling you up by the top of your head. Daily stretching Daily stretching reduces the risk of shoulder pain returning after it’s been treated. Some simple exercises you can try at home include holding onto a table with one hand, then swinging your other arm gently back and forth like a pendulum, squeezing your shoulder blades upwards and back, then relaxing, and placing your hands either side of a door frame, then gently leaning forward and holding the position for ten to fifteen seconds. […]

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3 Ways A Chiropractor Can Ease Back Pain In Pregnancy

It’s best to avoid the use of any non-essential medication when you’re pregnant, and some painkillers have been proven unsafe in pregnancy. However, back pain and discomfort are common in pregnancy, so what can be done to ease those aches and pains and let you get on with enjoying being pregnant? Chiropractic care is safe at all stages of pregnancy and targets the source of your pain. Here’s an overview of three ways a chiropractor can ease back pain: Manual Manipulation Back pain typically occurs due to strain from your growing bump and the release of relaxin, a pregnancy hormone. Relaxin loosens your ligaments and your bump changes your centre of gravity, so your spine can easily shift out of alignment and cause muscle tension and trapped nerves. Manual manipulation moves your spine back into alignment and releases trapped nerves. Your chiropractor will use a combination of high-velocity and low-velocity manipulations, such as thrusts and stretches, and will target the identified areas of stress. When your spine is correctly aligned, muscles have the opportunity to loosen, and the inflammation caused by tight muscles will settle down. Stretching And Strengthening Exercises Your chiropractor can show you how to do tailored stretching exercises, such as triangle pose, to loosen the specific muscles in your back that are causing you pain. Exercises, such as core twists and raise and rows, can also be used throughout pregnancy to strengthen your back, which will help your body cope with your growing bump and the many hours of holding and carrying your baby that are ahead.  Once the chiropractor has assessed your spine, they will develop a customised sequence of exercises for you and ensure you’re able to carry them out safely. Supportive Aids There are a number of supportive aids on the market, such as back support wedges and body pillows, which promise to ease back pain and help you maintain a healthy posture. However, supportive aids can be used incorrectly, and not all aids will be right for your specific issue. Your chiropractor will recommend pregnancy aids that can support your specific problem area, and they’ll show you how to use them without putting strain on other areas of your body. Chiropractic care can be used as a preventative treatment as well as a restorative one, so you don’t have to wait until you have back pain to book a chiropractic consultation. Regardless of […]

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Pain In The Neck? Natural And Drug-Free Ways To Get Relief

Chronic pain can at best be a distraction from your day to day tasks, and at worst cause irritability and depression. Neck pain is a common occurrence, with around 70% of people experiencing some form of neck pain during their lifetime. While pain killers can help to alleviate the severity of neck pain, they will only mask the symptoms and generally do nothing to eliminate the cause of the pain. Fortunately, there are drug-free and natural ways that you can get to the root of the problem and rid yourself of the proverbial pain in the neck. See a chiropractor Chiropractors specialise in correcting misalignments, or subluxations, of the vertebrae in your spinal column. Neck pain can be caused by misalignment of the vertebrae in the neck, known as the cervical vertebrae. It can also be referred pain caused by misalignment of vertebrae further down the spinal column in the thoracic or lumbar areas. A chiropractor will give you a thorough initial examination, which generally includes x-rays, to identify which areas of your spine are misaligned. They will then treat the problem with adjustments, both manual and with the use of a mechanical activator, to realign the bones of the spine. The pain relief after an adjustment is often almost instantaneous, and with a series of adjustments over a course of weeks, can be eradicated entirely. Take up Pilates Pilates is an increasingly popular form of exercise that focuses on spinal alignment and core strength. Pilates can be performed using only a simple exercise mat, but also can utilise equipment such as resistance bands, fit balls, and hand weights. Some Pilates classes also use specialised machines, called reformers, which allow you to use resistance to enhance the core strength building effects of Pilates exercises. Pilates can help relieve neck pain by teaching you how to use correct posture to keep your spine optimally aligned, and to help develop and strengthen the muscles which support your neck and spine. It also enhances your core strength, focusing on the role your abdominal muscles play in supporting and protecting the muscles, bones, and discs in your spinal system. Neck pain can be mild, moderate, or severe, but whichever type you suffer from, you’ll feel better once it’s gone. Before you begin a series of doctor’s appointments, medications, or even invasive surgeries, try out these two highly effective and completely drug-free ways to combat […]

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Safe Lifting for Maximum Gain

Incorrect posture or tight muscles in the hamstrings often cause lower back pain from intense gym training. If you want to maintain your workout routine without jeopardising your health, then following a strict routine of mobilisation, dynamic stretches, warmup sets and cooling down will certainly help. Ensuring that you train with warm muscles that are flexible enough to stretch if put under a little too much tension will help to minimise strains and tears. Using a mirror will enable you to correct your technique. This simple guide will help you to approach your workouts sensibly, making sure your body is ready for whatever training you are about to throw at it.  Warm Up Sets Whenever you train a muscle, you should always warm it up, even after you have finished mobilising the joints and raising the heart rate. The best way to do this is to start with a few sets using lighter weights and higher reps replicating the exercise you are about to perform, then gradually increase the weight whilst decreasing the reps. You won’t be working anywhere near to failure, and so you won’t be in any danger of fatiguing the muscles.  Using the bench press as an example, you can begin by doing some bodyweight push-ups both flat and incline to activate the different parts of the chest. Then lie down and press just the bar for around 10 reps. You’ll be warming the exact muscles you’re about to use but also giving yourself time to practice your technique and make that mind-muscle connection. Depending on how heavy you lift you’ll want to add on 50% of your maximum weight for about eight reps then work at around 70% for approximately six reps. Clearly if the bar is heavy and will fatigue you lifting it on it’s own then you can use dumbbells or continue with pushups. Don’t worry too much about percentages and reps overall, just warm up until you feel ready but not tired.  Lumbar Support Belt If you’re planning on lifting heavy weights that may try to throw you off balance then use a lumbar support belt. Exercises like the standing overhead press will engage your core, which can get injured very easily if you don’t have the strength to maintain the centre of balance of the weight. The back support will provide additional support and confidence, enabling you to build up your strength gradually […]

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No Pain, All Gain

Back pain is something that most gym goers will suffer from at some stage or another, either through developing muscle imbalances or performing an exercise with too much weight and improper form. To avoid spending long periods of time away from training it’s important to try and prevent back pain before it occurs, as it can cause discomfort for long periods of time depending on the severity of it. Using these simple tips will help you to prevent unnecessary injury as well as help to de-stress you and improve your flexibility.  Stretch  Developing your flexibility is an easy way to increase the range of movement a muscle has. By doing this you are giving it further to travel before it begins to strain and tear. Muscles aren’t just isolated around the body; the impact of tight muscles in one place can directly affect the movement and tightness of another body part. This is particularly true with overworked hamstrings that can cause lower back pain if not adequately flexible, and is a common issue for those who sit down all day at work. To increase your flexibility you should aim to perform static stretches after every workout. If aiming to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness and maintain current flexibility then 15 seconds is long enough. However, if you want to develop it you should hold static stretches for 30 seconds, whilst increasing the stretch itself further after the first 15 seconds. This helps with progressively developing the muscle without shocking it and causing it to momentarily contract and strain.  Pick up Weights Another way to prevent back pain is to pick up and place down weights correctly. When lifting try to use a deadlifting technique, pushing through the heels and keeping the abdominal muscles strong and tense whilst you lift. This will make your mid-section solid and will stop it from hyperextending and flexing, which is a major cause of muscle pulls. Also try to keep the weight close to your body, as the further away it gets the more your lower back will overwork to stabilise you.  Develop Core The core doesn’t just consist of the abdominals, there is much more to it than that. It encompasses the upper and lower abdominals, the lower back and the obliques. Each of these areas needs to be trained either with a dedicated core workout a couple of times a week, or by incorporating large […]

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A Solid Back for Bodybuilding

Protecting your back is essential when training for a bodybuilding competition. The back consists of multiple muscles that work together to provide stability for the upper portion of the body, which is clearly of utmost importance when dealing with heavy weights. Whilst a trip to a chiropractor will certainly help you to overcome any injuries, prevention is always better than cure. To avoid any prolonged periods away from training, follow these simple tips to gain a stronger core, more stable base and improved posture. Work the Spine The deep, local muscles located at various points along the spine, such as the erector spinae are essential for core stability and strength. The erector spinae are a collection of smaller muscles that support the lower back, and are often missed out of training regimes because people don’t always realise the importance of them. It’s imperative that you develop these muscles to avoid lower back pain, a common issue today particularly because many people work in offices with minimal back support.  Simple exercises such as the dorsal raise are perfect, allowing you to train safely on the floor using a mat. Alternatively you can use the back-machine station to increase your range of movement and add additional weight. Try to control your body and avoid extreme hyperextension, which can actually cause pain and discomfort.  If you find that you don’t have the time to work the lower back by itself due to time restraints, then use exercises such as deadlifts, bent-over barbell rows and kettlebell swings during your gym session. These will naturally use the lower back enough to give it a really solid workout and help it to work in conjunction with the muscles surrounding it in a functional way.  Feet for Thought Despite being located half a body’s length away, your feet and footwear play a major role in the overall health of your back. If you’re lifting heavy weights then you need to focus on maintaining your centre of gravity to avoid any sudden jerks that could cause you to tear or strain muscles. Dedicated weight lifting shoes are perfect for this as they contain slightly raised solid heels, often made of wood. This encourages you to push through the heel when doing exercises like squats, and naturally causes the back to adopt the correct posture.  The core itself consists of more than just six pack abs. Make sure you work everything […]

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