Archive for pain relief

Eight subtle signs your body needs help

We can all feel stiff, sore and tired from time to time but if the same pain keeps resurfacing, it may be your body trying to warn you that something is seriously wrong.

With our busy lives, it can be too easy to ignore the subtle signs that our bodies give us but by ignoring the warning signs you could be at risk of missing the early detection of a more serious issue.

There are eight common issues chiropractors see that, if left untreated, can lead to longer term issues that may require surgery or lifelong pain management.  Some of these issues may also signal potential life-threatening conditions:

Neck stiffness

While neck stiffness is quite common, particularly for people who spend long hours working on computers or using smartphones, it can also signal something more serious. Persistent neck stiffness may be the result of a degenerative cervical spine disorder which, if left untreated, can lead to permanent nerve damage, compression of the spinal cord, paralysis and in rare cases, death.

Joint pain

Joint pain is often considered a natural part of the aging process, and it can also emerge following strenuous exercise. However, persistent joint pain can severely limit your mobility and impact your overall health in the longer term. For example, limited mobility may lead to poor psychological health and obesity, which in turn can increase the risk of issues such as diabetes and heart disease.

Muscle weakness

We all get muscle weakness from time to time due to factors such as illness or an intense workout that causes muscle fatigue. However, ongoing weakness in the muscles can be a sign of issues such as nerve damage, muscular or skeletal degeneration, a herniated disc, neuromuscular disorder, or a tumour.

Numbness or tingling

While we can get numbness or tingling from sitting too long in a certain position, such as when your foot goes to sleep, having this symptom without cutting off blood circulation is an early warning sign of injury, nerve damage, a herniated disc, or even diabetes. If numbness or tingling related to nerve damage, injury or a herniated disc is left untreated, you may end up needing surgery.

Uneven posture

If you have uneven shoulders or hips, asymmetry of the back or your head rests off-centre you may have scoliosis, which is curvature of the spine. If left untreated, it can cause a reduced range of motion, pain, disc degeneration, and possibly cardiovascular and breathing problems caused by the rib cage constricting the heart and lungs.

Headaches

Headaches can be caused by factors such as stress, dehydration, low blood sugar, or misalignment of the neck or spine. Persistent headaches may be a sign of migraines, food allergies, nerve degeneration, or tumour.

Intermittent pain or stiffness

If you have pain or stiffness that comes and goes, it could be a sign of nerve damage, muscular or skeletal degeneration, or disc bulge.  Similar to other forms of pain, if it is left untreated intermittent pain or stiffness can become chronic pain, which then requires more intensive treatment and possibly surgery.

Sharp, Shooting Pain in Your Legs 

A sharp, shooting pain or tingling and weakness in your legs indicates a pinched nerve or slipped disc.  Without treatment, this can lead to longer term issues requiring long term pain medication or even surgery.

Chiropractors are trained to treat many of these conditions, or will refer you to another health specialist if they suspect a non-chiropractic issue. To find out more about the subtle warning signs your body gives you and how to treat them contact Lane Chiropractic on 02 6676 2270.

How stress impacts your body and what to do about it

For most people, 2020 has been a pretty stressful year so far. The combination of drought, bushfires and COVID-19 has either directly or indirectly affected all of us. As we emerge from these challenges, it’s time to take a look at your stress levels, and the impact stress has on your body and overall wellbeing.

What is stress?

Stress is our natural physical and mental reaction to events that occur around us. It’s our flight or fight response and is designed to protect us by giving our bodies the adrenalin hit we need to think and act quickly to escape perceived danger.

In modern life, stress can be caused by anything from daily work and family issues through to significant events such as the diagnosis of a serious illness, or death of a family member.

During your body’s stress response your heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, breathing quickens and muscles tighten.

Why stress is a concern

While in short bursts, stress can be beneficial to helping your body quickly respond to a situation and protect itself, ongoing, longer-term stress can lead to many issues including:

  • Mental health problems such as anxiety and depression
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Eating disorders, which may cause issues such as obesity
  • Fertility concerns
  • Skin and hair problems
  • Digestive issues
  • Chronic muscle and joint pain
  • Weakened immune system.

How to stop stress

While you can’t stop the life events that cause stress, you can control your reaction and reduce stress impacts on your body.  Some great ways to reduce stress are:

  • Just breathe deeply.  When we are stressed we often shallow breathe, which puts stress on our body and causes further stress for our minds.  By just taking some deep slow breaths, it will help your body to relax a bit so that you can better cope with the stressful situation.
  • Meditate. Even if you just take five minutes to take yourself out of the stressful situation and take your mind to a calm, peaceful place, it will help you to think more clearly and keep you calmer.
  • Try yoga or pilates.  Yoga and pilates stretches help your mind to focus while also easing muscle tension.

How your chiropractor can reduce the impact of stress

When you are stressed, your muscles are tense and your nerves are on edge. As your body endures ongoing stress, it becomes much more sensitive to physical imbalances and pain. When your body feels pain this also causes stress, so it becomes a vicious cycle.

Chiropractic adjustments help your body turn off the fight/flight response by unblocking the central nervous system, improving blood circulation and easing muscle tension.  This helps to relieve irritated spinal nerves so that the body can return to a more relaxed natural state.

As a result, you are able to think more clearly and rationally because messages between the brain and nervous system move seamlessly, reducing mental stress.

To help you maintain harmony between your mind and body, your chiropractor can also provide lifestyle advice so that you can take charge in reducing muscle tension, becoming more relaxed and ensuring your body is well nourished.

For more advice about stress management and stress reduction techniques contact Lane Chiropractic on 6676 2270.

Relieving Winter Aches and Pains

If you are struggling to get out of bed in the morning because of winter aches and pains then you’re not alone. Many of us suffer from body aches when the temperature drops and the older you get, the worse it seems to be. The good news is there are things you can do to help get your body through winter pain free.

Why does my body hurt more in winter?

In colder weather we tend to exercise less, eat more and our muscles naturally tense up to keep our bodies warm. It is the combination of these factors that exacerbates any injuries or stresses that the body may have. Therefore, it’s just as important during winter to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes moderate exercise, healthy eating and consciously relaxing muscles to avoid tension on the body.

Here are some key tips to help you out.

Tips to relieve winter aches and pains

• Wear warm clothing and dress in layers. A few thin layers of clothes can keep you warmer than a single thick layer.
• Keep your lower back warm. Tuck your shirt into your pants to make sure your back doesn’t get a cold draft.
• At night, a couple of blankets or an electric blanket on your bed can help keep your muscles from tightening.
• Keep your home as warm as you can.
• Run your car for a few minutes to preheat it before you drive.
• Your winter footwear should have treads to help prevent slips and falls.
• Make sure you are wearing shoes that keep your feet warm. If you keep your feet, hands and head warm it enables your body to retain heat much better.
• Do some light daily stretching in a warm room to relieve muscle tension. You can even stretch while watching television to keep your body warm and active.
• Make sure you sleep on your back or side and never on your stomach to avoid neck pain.
• Winter is the time when you want to stay on the couch, but keeping in shape is the best way to help your body. Try not to gain weight during the colder months and try to keep up with your exercise program.

If you are in any pain or need any personalised advice Lane Chiropractic can help.

And remember, the warmer weather is only a few short months away!