Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bra's - they are not just about looks...

It isn’t just about looks……

A badly fitting bra can cause back pain, breast pain, indigestion, headaches and restricted breathing.

In Chinese medicine a badly fitting bra restricts the flow of Qi in 8 out of the 12 meridians in the body. As these meridians are the channels through which the Qi from various organs travels, a tight fitting bra with cups that are too small can have significant consequences on your health. 

Its not rocket science – proper support for larger breasts has a huge impact on back health, says Patrick Ryder, our Chiropractor at the Fitzwilliam Health Clinic. A well fitted bra will combine support for the breasts so that the shoulders are not doing all the work.  If you are a large breasted woman you are more likely to have back pain, however tight shoulder straps which leave  red marks  means that your shoulders are doing all the work . The hunched forward, stiff shouldered posture associated with larger breasted women in poorly fitted bras may lead to an increased risk of shoulder and neck problems.

In smaller breasted women, chaffing can be a problem as frequently the cup size is incorrect or they are inclined to wear the under band too tightly, restricting their breathing.  According to Ciara Donnellan of Cupcakes Lingerie, a 34 B size is rare; in fact she frequently has customers who believe that they are a 36 C when in fact they are a 30 D! She is passionate about correct bra sizes and says that bras are a feat of engineering with the under band of the bra providing 80% of the support, with the straps providing just 20%.

Why not get a free fitting from Ciara Donnellan at Cupcakes Lingerie, Ranelagh. She specialises in a large range of bra sizes and types - because as we all know no two women are alike!!

The wrong bra? How you can tell?
The under band is riding up
Lift up your arms to see whether the bra is tight enough. The under band should always fit firmly against the body.

The shoulder straps are digging in
If the bra straps are digging in, it could be because the under band is too loose and you are over-adjusting the straps to feel supported.

The centre fold is lifting away from the body
If it doesn't, the cups could be too small.

The back band is overstretched 
The straps at the back should be parallel, if they aren’t it may be that your bra band is too small.

Amanda Hughes
Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist
Lic.Ac (adv) Beijing, I.C.T.C.M., I.R,C.H.M.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Delayed onset muscle soreness - Treatment & Prevention

Delayed onset muscle soreness - Treatment & Prevention

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) describes a phenomenon of muscle pain, muscle soreness or muscle stiffness that occurs in the day or two after exercise. This muscle soreness is most frequently felt when you begin a new exercise program, change your exercise routine, or dramatically increase the     duration or intensity of your exercise routine.
Although it can be alarming for new exercisers, delayed onset muscle soreness is a normal response to unusual exertion and is part of an adaption process that leads to greater stamina and strength as the muscles recover and build (hypertrophy). This sort of muscle pain is not the same as the muscle pain or fatigue you experience during exercise. Delayed soreness is also unlike the acute, sudden and sharp pain of an injury such as a muscle strains or sprain that occurs during activity and often causes swelling or bruising. The delayed muscle soreness of DOMS is generally at its worst within the first 2 days following a new, intense activity and slowly subsides over the next few days.

What Causes Muscle Soreness After Exercise?

Delayed onset muscle soreness is thought to be a result of microscopic tearing of the muscle fibre's. The amount of tearing (and soreness) depends on how hard and how long you exercise and what type of  exercise you do. Any movement you aren't used to can lead to DOMS, but eccentric muscle contractions (movements that cause muscle to forcefully contract while it lengthens) seem to cause the most soreness.
Examples of eccentric muscle contractions include going down stairs, running downhill, lowering weights and the downward motion of squats and push-ups. In addition to small muscle tears there can be associated swelling in a muscle which may contribute to soreness

What Is the Best Treatment for Muscle Soreness After Exercise?

There is no one simple way to treat delayed onset muscle soreness. In fact, there has been an on-going debate about both the cause and treatment of DOMS. In the past, gentle stretching was one of the recommended ways to reduce exercise related muscle soreness, but a study by Australian researchers published in 2007 found that stretching is not effective in avoiding muscle soreness.
So does anything work to reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness? Nothing is proven 100% effective, and although some people have found the following advice helpful, it's best to try a few things to see what works for you. Ultimately, best advice for treating DOMS is to prevent it in the first place.

Tips for Dealing with Muscle Soreness After Exercise

If you do find yourself sore after a tough workout or competition, try these methods to deal with your discomfort. Although not all are backed up with research, many athletes report success with some of the following methods.

  • Use active recovery. This strategy does have support in the research. Performing easy low-impact aerobic exercise increasing blood flow and is linked with diminished muscle soreness. After an intense workout or competition, use this technique as a part of your cool down.
  • Rest and Recover. If you simply wait it out, soreness will go away in 3 to 7 days with no special treatment.
  • Try A Sports Massage. Some research has found that sports massage may help reduce reported muscle soreness and reduce swelling, although it had no effects on muscle function. 
  • Try an ICE bath. Although no clear evidence proves they are effective, many pro-athletes use them and claim they work to reduce soreness. 
  • Use RICE, the standard method of treating acute injuries, if your soreness is particularly painful. Try gentle stretching although research doesn't find stretching alone reduces muscle pain of soreness, many people find it simply feels good.   
  • Aspirin, Ibuprofen or naproxen sodium may help to temporarily reduce the muscle soreness, although they won't actually speed healing. Be careful, however, if you plan to take them before exercise. Studies reported that taking Ibuprofen before endurance exercise is not recommended.
  • Try yoga. There is growing support that performing Yoga may reduce DOMS.
  • Listen to your Body. Avoid any vigorous activity or exercise that increases pain.
  • Allow the soreness to subside thoroughly before performing any vigorous exercise.
  • Warm up completely before your next exercise session. There is some research that supports that a warm-up performed immediately prior to unaccustomed eccentric exercise produces small reductions in delayed-onset muscle soreness (but cool-down performed after exercise does not).
  • ** If your pain persists longer than about 7 days or increases despite these measures, consult your physician **
  • Learn something from the experience! Use prevention first :)   

Tips to Help Prevent Muscle Soreness After Exercise

  • While you may not be able to prevent muscle soreness entirely, you may reduce the intensity and duration of muscles soreness if you follow a few exercise recommendations.
  • Progress Slowly. The most important prevention method is to gradually increase your exercise time and intensity.  
  • Warm up thoroughly before activity and cool down completely afterwards.  
  • Cool down with gentle stretches after exercise. 
  • Follow the ten percent rule. When beginning a new activity start gradually and build up your time and intensity no more than 10% per week. 
  • Get advice if you aren't sure how to start a workout program that is safe and effective. 
  • Start a new weight lifting routine with light weights and high reps (10-12) and gradually increase the amount you lift over several weeks. 
  • Avoid making sudden major changes in the type of exercise you do. 
  • Avoid making sudden major changes in the amount of time that you exercise. 
  • Certain muscle pain or soreness can be a sign of a serious injury and remember if your muscle  soreness does not get better within a week consult your physician.

Kevin O’Toole
Physical Therapist & Sports & Remedial Massage

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chiropractic for Children

Chiropractic for Children

Common Questions from parents:

  • How early should Children be adjusted? 

  • Is it safe? 

  • Aren't their bones still soft?            

  • Why so they need adjustments? 

  • What is they cry? 

  • How can we afford it?

All of these questions and more go through the minds of parents who are considering Chiropractic care for their Children. Some parents are hesitant about getting their Children adjusted even though they are under care themselves.

Our Children are so special to us that sometimes, in effort to protect them we become overprotective and deprive them of necessary and valuable experiences.

If Chiropractic care is necessary to your good health, then it logically follows that it is even more necessary for a child! After all, they have nerve systems that control and co-ordinate all of their body functions just as you do. And, just like you, they can get spinal dysfunction.

The only difference is that they still have an entire lifetime ahead of them in which to manifest the results of what they do today.

It's never to soon... 

Spinal dysfunction can occur at any time. The first one may very well have occurred at your baby's birth. That is why parents who understand the importance of having a healthy spine have their new-borns examined by their Chiropractor as soon after birth as possible. Many people who come into a Chiropractor's office for the first time as adults would have had far greater potential for regaining their health if they had received regular Chiropractic care as Children.


Children make great patients!

Adjusting a child is not a difficult procedure. in fact, in most cases, a child's spine is much easier to adjust than an adults. They have not had the long-standing areas of dysfunction, their muscles are usually not as tense and they are usually more relaxed in general than adults.

Not only are kids easier to adjust, but also in most cases, they hold there adjustments for longer periods of time and their corrective adjustment plans are almost always significantly shorted than the average adult. However, with the falls, accidents and the generally active lives most Children experience, regular check-ups are vital.

It's worth the effort

Chiropractic adjustments are generally painless. Children may, on the first visit or two, be somewhat reluctant. However, they rarely hesitate to get on the table to be adjusted, especially when they see that visiting the Chiropractor is a family affair. When they see Mum, Dad and their brothers and sisters getting adjusted, they are usually more than willing to be checked too.
We will work with you so that your Children will become accustomed to their adjustments. In fact, in a very short period of time most Children really look forward to their regular Chiropractic visits. They will be climbing onto the adjusting table in no time!

We have a Family Plan that makes it affordable for most families to receive the care they need. The money saved on treatments for illness is often enough to convince most parents of the benefits of family care. The peace of mind that comes from knowing that you have provided your Children with the best possible chance to perform at their best is the greatest benefit of all.

If you have any questions or queries regarding Chiropractic treatment for your Children, please feel free to contact the clinic to speak with one of our Chiropractors.

All our Chiropractors at The Fitzwilliam Health Clinic are full members of the Chiropractic Association of Ireland and treatments are covered by Health Insurers, please contact you insurance company for further details.

Fitzwilliam Health Clinic,
19 Fitzwilliam Square South,
Dublin 2 
Tel: 01 6618949/52

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lightening the Load ; Five Things You Can Do to Help Maintain a Healthy Back

Understanding of low back pain has undergone a more recent change in management including treatments, preventative techniques and advice.
Low back pain has many different causes, repetitive strain, posture, trauma or the normal wear and tear that comes with aging. While you can't turn back the clock or prevent every type of painful back disorder, in most cases there are things you can do to help keep your back healthy.

1. Stay fit
Weak back and abdominal muscles - due to deconditioning or age - cause or exacerbate many cases of low back pain. That's why stretching and strengthening both your back and abdominal muscles is important not only for treating low back pain, but also for helping prevent a recurrence of the problem.
Exercise strengthens and stretches the muscles that support the spine. A stretching and strengthening regimen should target the back, abdominal and buttock muscles. Strong abdominal or flexor muscles, for example, help people maintain an upright posture, as do strong extensor muscles, which run the full length of the back and maintain alignment of the vertebrae.
Stretching is a valuable component of any treatment plan for a person plagued by back problems. Most experts believe that supple, well-stretched muscles are less prone to injury. Indeed, shorter, less flexible muscle and connective tissues restrict joint mobility, which increases the likelihood of sprains and strains.
Certain aerobic activities are safer for your back than others. For instance, bicycling (either stationary or regular), swimming and walking lead the list of low-risk, high-benefit activities for most people's backs. All are low- or minimal-impact exercises that strengthen muscles which support the back. None involve awkward or stressful actions that are detrimental to back muscles.
Sports and activities such as football, tennis, gymnastics, wrestling, weight lifting, rowing (crew), running, aerobic dance and ballet involve a relatively high risk for back injury because of the extension, lifting or impacts involved. Other unnatural motions that could induce pain include back arching (during gymnastics and diving), twisting (while hitting a golf ball, swinging at a baseball, or bowling), vertical jolting (while riding a horse), and stretching your legs strenuously (when hiking or when balancing a sailboat during a race).

2. Maintain a healthy weight
Although carrying too much weight per se has not been proven to be a primary cause of back pain disorders, being overweight or obese can slow your recovery. Those extra pounds also increase the risk that back pain will return.
The heavier you are, the greater the load your spine must carry. To make matters worse, if the bulk of your weight comes in the form of abdominal fat, rather than muscle, your center of gravity can shift forward -- a condition that puts added pressure on your back. By maintaining a healthy weight, you can ease the burden on your spine.
To see if you are at a healthy (normal) weight, calculate your body mass index (BMI), which takes both your height and weight into consideration. Not only will you help your back if you maintain a normal BMI (in the range of 19-25), but you'll also lower your risk for many diseases, including heart attack, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure.

3. Kick the habit
You've undoubtedly heard this message before: Smoking harms your health. Not only does this habit raise your risk for lung cancer, heart disease, hypertension and a plethora of other health problems, but it also jeopardizes your back.
Research shows that smokers have more frequent episodes of back pain than non-smokers, and the more people smoke, the higher the risk of such episodes, according to one study.
Scientists believe that the nicotine in cigarettes contributes to low back pain in two ways. First, nicotine hampers the flow of blood to the vertebrae and disks. This impairs their function and may trigger a bout of back pain. Second, smokers tend to lose bone faster than non-smokers, putting them at greater risk for osteoporosis, another common cause of back pain.

4. Lighten your load
Backpacks have become ubiquitous - at school, at work, at play. But an overstuffed backpack can be a harbinger of back pain.
Most orthopaedic doctors have long recognized that backpacks increase the risk of certain types of back pain, especially in students. A survey by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons found that nearly 60 percent of the doctors responding had treated school-age patients complaining of back and shoulder pain caused by heavy backpacks. Hauling an overloaded backpack can also cause muscle fatigue and strain and encourage the wearer to bend forward unnaturally.
If you use a backpack, you can take steps to protect yourself. For starters, use both of the pack's straps instead of slinging one strap over a shoulder. Try to carry only the essentials, and lighten your load whenever possible. Opt for backpacks that have different-sized compartments to help distribute weight evenly. And look for wide, padded straps and a padded back.
When carrying a heavy load, put the heaviest items as close as possible to the centre of your back, and use the hip strap for support. For very heavy loads, use a backpack with wheels. Above all, remember to bend from your knees when picking up your pack.

5. Develop back-healthy habits
Those with good postures and good backs are aware of reducing and minimising the daily stress being placed on their backs by maintaining good postures and minimising the stress placed upon them when doing daily activities or the working day.
Dr Patrick Ryder
Masters in Chiro
Full member of The Chiropractic Association of Ireland

Chiropractic treatment is covered by health insurers; please contact your insurance company for further details.

Fitzwilliam Health Clinic
19 Fitzwilliam Square South,
Dublin 2.
Tel: 01 6618949/52