Archive for pain Pottsville chiropractor

Why your back can cause limb pain

If you have persistent or recurring headaches or pain in your limbs or joints that can’t be explained, it could be coming from your back.

You may experience referral pain in one part of your body but it comes from another part, most commonly from your spine.

This is because our spines are very complex with many nerves that are connected to other parts of our body.  Problems with the spine, such as an injury, disc bulge or disc herniation may not necessarily present as back pain.  They can sometimes appear as knee, hip, arm or leg pain.

So how do you know when the pain you experience in one part of your body is coming from your back? There are three ways to identify if your joint or limb pain is really back pain.

  1. Do you have any back pain along with your joint or limb pain?

If you have back soreness that accompanies your joint or limb pain, it may be your back causing pain in multiple areas of your body.

2. Are you experiencing back stiffness that is limiting your range of movement? 

Stiffness in your back may be a sign of disc bulge, with the pain from your spine travelling down a nerve to another part of your body.

3. Does the joint or limb pain keep returning and your health professional can’t find an obvious cause?

If there is no obvious cause for pain on one part of your body, it could be due to pain referring from your spine.

Chiropractors are trained to identify and treat the cause of pain that refers from the spine. Early diagnosis and treatment is important to avoid more complicated health problems.

To learn more, or if you need help with identifying and treating the cause of suspected referral pain contact Lane Chiropractic Pottsville on 6676 2270.

Feeling stiff and sore when you wake up? Four tips to ease joint stiffness

When you do a heavy workout you can expect to be a bit stiff and sore the next day but what happens when you wake up every day feeling stiff and sore even when you haven’t exercised the day before?

Apart from muscle soreness caused by exercise, there are a number of reasons why people wake up stiff and sore in the morning.

  • Ageing

As we age, the cartilage that provides cushioning between our joints starts to dry out. We also produce less synovial fluid that lubricates the joint. Weak muscles and stiff tendons tend to tighten even further as we sleep. This results in various forms of arthritis that cause morning stiffness.  The most common forms of arthritis are:

  • osteoarthritis (wear and tear)
  • rheumatoid arthritis (swelling and inflammation)
  • psoriatic arthritis (inflammation linked to the psoriasis condition that causes red, patchy and scaly skin).

Stiffness can also be caused by ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory disease that can cause the bones in your spine to grow together. 

Stiffness associated with arthritis usually lasts around 15 minutes and goes away as you move and warm up joints and muscles. Stiffness from rheumatoid arthritis may last for more than an hour. Unfortunately you can’t reverse the effects of ageing but you can manage symptoms through regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.[1] Herbal supplements such as fish oil and evening primrose oil may help to ease joint stiffness caused by arthritis but ensure to check with your doctor before trying supplements.

  • Sleep position

The wrong sleeping position can cause muscle stiffness.  Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach because this can cause stiffness in the neck and back when you wake up.

  • Weight

When our bodies carry too much weight it puts pressure on the joints, which causes muscle and joint pain. 

  • Smoking

Smoking significantly impacts the body’s oxygen intake.  Oxygen is required for good circulation, so smoking impacts circulation in the body that can also impact joint movement.

  • Stress

Stress is a major factor that causes muscle tension and sleep disturbance, which contributes to morning stiffness.

  • Illness

When you are ill, muscles and joints can become stiff and sore. Chronic illness such as thyroid disease can also cause muscle and joint stiffness.

Four tips to ease morning joint stiffness

There are four key tips to easing morning joint stiffness.

  • Keep limber

While you can’t stop the impact of ageing, you can reduce symptoms through regular gentle exercise such as walking, swimming, yoga and pilates. Keeping the joints and muscles limber helps to reduce morning stiffness. Also focus on building core strength to support your spine and reduce back stiffness.

  • Maintain a healthy weight

Maintaining the optimum weight for your height and body type reduces pressure on joints, which also reduces morning stiffness. Ensure to follow a healthy diet that consists of plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and limit sugar intake. 

  • Reduce stress

Consider the stress factors in your life and things you can do to relieve stress.  For example, deep breathing and meditation can help, as well as a warm bath with lavender oil.  

  • Invest in sleep

Invest in the right pillow and mattress that helps to support your spine and gives you a good night’s sleep.  Also try to sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees, or on your side with a pillow between your knees. It’s a good idea to develop a sleep routine to prepare your mind and relax your body for sleep.

If you are experiencing ongoing joint stiffness and soreness in the morning seek advice from your health professional.  To learn more, contact Lane Chiropractic Pottsville on 6676 2270.


Why skin numbness or tingling should not be ignored

If you have persistent numbness or tingling in your arms or legs, even if it’s slight, you should immediately seek advice from your health professional.

Numbness or tingling in the arms and legs indicates an interruption to proper nerve function. If you feel temporary numbness or tingling after sitting or standing in one position for too long, that is just due to a temporarily pinched nerve and will rectify itself. However, ongoing numbness or tingling signals continual pressure on the nerve that can cause lasting damage, or indicate the presence of disease. 

The most common causes of persistent numbness or tingling are:

  • a partial dislocation of a joint or organ, known as subluxation
  • a bulge or herniation of the rubbery discs that sit between vertebrae on your spine
  • diabetes
  • multiple sclerosis
  • stroke
  • systemic disorders such as kidney disorders or hormonal imbalances, including hypothyroidism
  • autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • vitamin B12 deficiency
  • chemotherapy.

How numbness and tingling can be treated

Most cases of ongoing numbness or tingling can be treated by a chiropractor, who can restore alignment, improve mobility, relieve nerve pressure, and reduce inflammation in the body.

In addition to chiropractic manipulation, your chiropractor may treat the numbness and tingling through methods such as ice packs, massage, traction, stretching and strengthening.  If the chiropractor identifies that the numbness and tingling is caused by a serious medical issue such as diabetes, stroke or multiple sclerosis, they will refer you for medical reviews. 

Some methods for reducing numbness and tingling include eating a healthy, balanced diet, avoiding toxins such as cigarettes and alcohol, and following an exercise program recommended by your doctor.

To find out more about how to treat numbness and tingling sensations in your body contact Bruce at Lane Chiropractic Pottsville on 6676 2270.

Five ways to ease muscle pain

It’s not uncommon to get muscle pain up to 48 hours after exercise. Even if you haven’t been to the gym or completed a triathlon, you can get muscle pain from working in the garden, or doing strenuous household chores.

The good news is that normal muscle soreness is a sign that your body is getting stronger. Muscle pain is often associated with something called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which occurs when your workout has created tiny tears in muscle fibres.  The pain occurs as the fibres repair and become even stronger. A burning sensation in the muscles is due to a build-up of lactic acid that often occurs immediately after intense exercise, but this tends to resolve itself fairly quickly.

Muscle soreness often goes away by itself within a few days. However, while the muscles are healing, it can be uncomfortable and restrict movement. Try these quick tips to ease your muscle pain.

  1. Rest

As your body recovers, it needs time to heal.  If you can, take some time out and rest the muscles to give them a chance to heal faster. 

2. Do gentle exercise

Even when resting muscles, it’s still important to keep joints and muscles moving for overall better mobility. Try doing some gentle exercise such as a walk, gentle stretch, or a swim.  Swimming in particular is great for easing those sore and stiff muscles.

3. Get a massage

Massages are a great way to ease muscle tension by improving blood flow and mobility. We have fantastic massage therapists right here in Pottsville.

If you can’t afford a massage, try a foam roll.  Place the foam roller on the floor underneath the sore area and roll your body over it. You can buy foam rollers from exercise equipment stores, and check out online videos about how to use them.

4. Have a salt bath

Epsom salts are great for alleviating muscle pain and inflammation.  Try some Epsom salts in a warm bath with a bit of lavender oil to aid relaxation.

If you don’t like the thought of a bath, you can carefully apply a heat pack to relieve muscle soreness. But be careful to apply the heat pack for no longer than 10 minutes at a time.  There is a risk with heat packs of burning yourself if too hot, or with causing inflammation to muscles and joints, which could make the problem worse.

If the heat isn’t working, try a cold pack to reduce inflammation and nerve activity. Also only leave this on for 10 minutes at a time, and never put ice packs directly onto the skin.

5. Eat antioxidants

While it may seem easy to take an anti-inflammatory such as Panadol, there is emerging evidence that antioxidants may be more effective in relieving muscle soreness. For example, watermelon has an amino acid called L-citrulline, which can reduce muscle soreness.  Other foods to try include cherries, ginger and pineapple. Antioxidant supplements such as fish oil and curcumin (found in turmeric) may also help. Using topical arnica on the skin can also relieve muscle soreness.[1]

The best way to prevent muscle soreness is to stretch before exercise, and to work your way up to vigorous activity rather than jumping straight into it.  Also, ensure to keep well hydrated throughout exercise so that the muscles have more fluid during intense activities. It’s a good idea to have regular chiropractic, massage or acupuncture treatments to help keep your joints and muscles in peak condition.

However, if you experience ongoing muscle pain even without exercise, or pain that continues for more than a few days, see your health professional.

Chiropractors can help alleviate muscle pain that is associated with joint dysfunction and restrictions in the body. This allows muscles to move much more freely, and helps to reduce the risk of future injury.

For more information contact Bruce at Lane Chiropractic Pottsville on 6676 2270.


New World Health Organisation guidelines recommend 150 minutes of exercise each week

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is now recommending that adults have at least 150 minutes of exercise each week, and children average one hour of exercise each day.

The WHO guidelines outline the health risks of lack of exercise, and the need for adults and children to limit recreational screen time and get their bodies moving for both physical and mental wellbeing. Any physical activity is better than none, and more is better. Aerobic activity no longer needs to last 10 minutes or more to be beneficial but instead our health depends on us moving more as part of everyday life.

Current physical activity levels in Australia show that 85% of adults do not reach the recommended levels of physical activity and muscle strengthening exercise, while only one in five children meet the guidelines for physical activity of at least 60 minutes per day.

The WHO guidelines recommend:

  • Children aged 5-17 years should do at least an average of 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity. Activity that strengthens muscle and bone should be incorporated at least three days a week.
  • Adults aged 18-64 years should do at least 150-300 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity, or at least 75-150 minutes of vigorous aerobic physical activity throughout the week. Adults should also do muscle strengthening activities on two or more days a week.
  • Adults 65 years and older should do at least 150–300 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity, or at least 75–150 minutes of vigorous aerobic physical activity throughout the week. Mature adults should also do muscle strengthening activities at moderate or greater intensity on two or more days a week. As part of their weekly physical activity, mature adults should do varied multicomponent physical activity that emphasises functional balance and strength training on three or more days a week, to enhance functional capacity and prevent falls.
  • Pregnant and postpartum mothers once cleared by their doctor should undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity throughout the week, and incorporate muscle strengthening and gentle stretching exercises.

For adults in particular, it’s important to keep moving to reduce the risk of joint and back pain from excessive time spent on the couch or at the computer.

To learn more about appropriate exercises for your body, and how to reduce your risk of joint and back pain, contact Lane Chiropractic Pottsville on 6676 2270.