Bra fitting Guide

Ladies – does your bra support you and your posture? 

A staggering 64% of women are wearing the wrong bra size! This figure is according to a study by Swiss lingerie company Triumph. They found that globally nearly a third of women had never had a proper bra fitting before, and us Brits were among one of the worst countries!

If you aren’t wearing the correct sized bra it could be putting unnecessary strain on your back, affecting your posture and causing joint and muscle pain.  In 2008 the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) first looked at this issue. A survey was carried out among women who had claimed to have suffered back pain at some point in their life,  47% of the women said that they believed that their breast size was a factor.

In addition to back pain, wearing the wrong bra size can lead to a number of problems, including, restricted breathing, abrasions, breast pain and poor posture. Bras that don’t fit well will affect the shoulders and chest, and will almost certainly cause back pain as you get older. When a bra isn’t fully supporting the breasts the strain is often felt through the mid back and around the ribcage, which can cause a curved back. If a woman is bending forward because of insufficient breast support, muscles into the upper back and neck overstretches and this, overtime, can lead to headaches. A well-engineered, well fitted bra is essential to ensure your shoulders don’t end up doing all the work.
Find your perfect fit!

Most bras don’t stay the same size with repeated wear and washing, and are expected to stretch up to as much as 4 inches over time. In addition, the right size for you from one manufacturer may not be the same for all brands so always try on before you purchase.

Firstly you need to look closely in the mirror for the telltale signs that you’re wearing the wrong bra size.

  • The Under Band

Lift up your arms to see whether the bra is tight enough. The under band should fit firmly against the body so that it does not slide about during normal activity.

  • The Shoulder Straps

The under band of a bra provides the majority (80 per cent) of support for the breasts, with the straps providing just 20 per cent. 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. When you do this, the straps pull the bra up at the back, another sign that the band is too loose.

  • The Centre Fold

The centre front of the bra should lie flat against the body. If it doesn’t, the cups could be too small.

  • The Back Band

If your straps are too far apart at the back (they should be parallel), it may be that your bra band is too small and so is overstretching.

The message is get properly fitted for a bra and replace old ones when they start to lose their supportive properties. Most lingerie shops offer free bra fitting so go get measured!  

For more help or advice please contact us on 01600 890 282 or 07726497813

Sleep Posture

Do you suffer neck pain when you wake up!?

‘I wake up with neck pain’ , ‘I find it difficult to know how to position my neck at night’ , ‘I’ve been getting pins and needles in my arms at night’, ‘ I cricked my neck during the night’ . These are some of the comments our patient make when describing the pattern and onset of their neck pain.

Firstly it is not uncommon for sleep to be a trigger for neck and arm symptoms. The position the rest of your body is in will often determine the position of your neck so getting this right can go along way in supporting the neck. Your body position will also affect how many and the type of pillow best suited to you. I have summarised my top tips below.

  • A pillow should fill the gap between your neck and the bed. So if you lay on your side 1-2, deepening on thickness and material, is ideal. If you lay on your back 1 should be enough.
  • If you lay on your front I would always urge you to attempt to change this position. When you lay on your front your neck will have to rotate and this will add strain to the neck. If you cannot fall to sleep in any other position then to take some strain off your neck avoid using any pillow or just a very thin one. Do persist in trying to break the habit of sleeping on your front as over time mid and lower back discomfort can develop.
  • When you sleep keep your arms down and shoulders relaxed. Often patients will report sleeping with their arm under the pillow. This can feel  comfortable initially but after a few hours in this position the nerves travelling from the neck into the arm can get pinched causing pins and needles along with adding tension to the neck.
  • The type of pillow you choose is very individual. There are many different styles, shapes and materials on the market and not one size fits all. I always advise not to jump to anything to far from what you are currently using. Having a couple of different types of pillows can be beneficial.
  • When travelling carry a travel pillow to support your neck if you need to sleep. Falling asleep sitting up right will challenge your neck as the muscles relax. Having a travel pillow around your neck will add some support when sudden movements occur. Always ensure the head support is raised on your seat to the appropriate height to support your head.

If you have neck pain when you wake up, try these tips. Good pillows and improving posture at night are helpful but they don’t always resolve the issue completely. For more information or to book in for an assessment please call us on 01600 890282.

christmas-opening-times

* CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURS 2016 *

This year our Chiropractor Melissa is taking some time off and will be away from the 17th December until the 1st January.

Should you need any treatment or advice our locum Chiropractor Anna Rogers will be working on the following days:

 * TUESDAY 20th DECEMBER  15.00 – 19.00 *

AND 

* THURSDAY 29th DECEMBER 15.00 – 19.00 *

The phone and email will be answered as normal so if you require any advice or need to rearrange any appointments please don’t hesitate to contact us and Lesley, our admin assistant, will be happy to answer your call. 01600 890 282 / 07726297813 or info@shireschiropracticclinic.co.uk

“I would like to wish all our Patients a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Best Wishes and see you in 2017,  Mel x”

carers

Back Care Awareness Week: Caring for Carers

The UK is home to 7 million unpaid carers. These are people who provide care and support to an ailing or disabled family member, friend or neighbour on an ongoing basis. They represent an unpaid and often invisible workforce that saves the Government a staggering £119 billion every year ! As a carer you are more likely to be affected by back and joint pain. This is all due to the increased demand that is placed on your body by lifting the person you care for and helping them dress, wash or move around. In addition to this, the role of carer, especially when caring for a spouse or close family member, can create unique emotional stresses. However, knowing how to protect your back can help to keep it in good shape and minimise your physically and emotional stress .

Below we have listed some important tips and advice that can help you keep your self moving and feeling well whilst caring for others.

 

Training

If you are regularly having to lift the person you care for, or help them in and out of bed, you may find that this can put extra strain on your back. Your local council, or local carers’ organisation, should be able to tell you about training opportunities in how to lift and move more safely to reduce the risk of harming your back. Alternatively, your district nurse may be able to show you ways to lift and move more safely. Ask your GP or practice manager for more information. You may be able to get more direct, practical help. If you have not had one, ask your local council for a carer’s assessment. This will look at your needs as a carer, and is a chance for you to talk about the kind of help you need.

Improve your posture

Poor posture can put you at increased risk of back problems by putting extra strain on your back. This can affect your muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints, and in the long term, can cause painful problems such as muscle, joint and disc damage, and constricted vessels and nerves. Just being aware of how you are sitting and standing can greatly improve your posture. You should stand upright with your head facing forward and your back straight. And when sitting, make sure you are upright, with your knees and hips level and your feet flat on the floor or on a footstool. Don’t hunch your shoulders or slump in your chair. Bending and lifting are also key areas to get right, you can find more tips and advice in our blog here.

Treatment

There are two types of back pain: acute back pain, which comes on suddenly and lasts less than three months; and chronic back pain, which develops slowly, lasts more than 12 weeks, and causes long-term problems. Both can be successfully treated with Chiropractic care.To find out more click here address orage (2)

 

 

Over 70% the UK’s unpaid carers now suffer from back pain, and are a greater risk of developing chronic pain, which is highly disabling in a third of cases and life-long for the majority. The national back pain charity, BackCare is working to help the UK carers with this year’s Back Care Awareness Week (3rd – 8th of October 2016). Please feel free to share our blog with a friend, colleague or family member. For more information contact us on 01600 890282

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Back Care Awareness Week 2016 - Carers

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straighten up UK

Perfect your Posture

Having and maintaining a good posture is a major step in preventing back pain. When leading a busy lifestyle, the basic warning signs of back problems can go unnoticed.

THE IDEAL POSTURE:

The ideal posture would allow for a line to hang straight through your ear, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle. Try and stand in a relaxed way but gently contracting your abdominal muscles. When sitting, the same is true. The gravity line should pass thorough ear, shoulder and hip.

Posture examples

You can find more advice and tips on general posture advice here

Gentle exercise is great for helping improve your posture and for you to ‘tune in’ to how your body is moving.  
This video goes through a series of exercises advised by the British Chiropractic Association : 
Straighten Up UK is a set of simple stretches and exercises from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA), designed to improve posture and help prevent back pain by promoting balance, strength and flexibility in the spine.  The exercises can be adapted to suit individual capabilities (discuss with GP, chiropractor or other healthcare practitioner).
Easy to learn and do, the sequence of exercises consists of precise, slow stretches, each with a specific purpose. The Straighten Up materials have been developed with both adults and children in mind. you can download a leaflet here.

Contact  us for more information 01600 890 282/ 07726 297813

 

Moving house

Moving House? Avoid Back Pain!

Moving House can cause a lot of stress so the last thing you want to happen is for your back to let you down and add to that!

Leading up to your move date there is lots to organise and packing is just one thing on the list.  If you don’t have the luxury of hiring a removals company a lot of stress will be placed on your body physically and emotionally.  A lot of bending, lifting, repetitive postures, leaning in awkward positions, reaching and twisting, all of which can put abnormal load on the structures of the back.

Having moved three times in the last three years I can speak from experience when I say that keeping your back healthy during your move can help to minimise the stress.

Here are my top tips to avoid back pain during your move!

  • TIME – always over estimate how long you will need to pack and move. This way you aren’t putting extra pressure on your self and risking rushing things and injuring yourself.
  • WARM UP – Like any exercise or activity.  Getting your blood pumping to your muscles helps to get them ready for activity and prepares them for movement.
  • PACK CLEAVER – Distribute weight between boxes evenly and mark heavier and lighter boxes.
  • VARY ACTIVITY – Limit the time that you are in one position i.e. knelt on the floor leaning over a box packing items. Take regular breaks.
  • TWISTING -Avoid twisting by keeping the load in front and close to you or, if in bags, evenly in both hands at your sides.
  • LIFTING –  Keep the load that you are carrying as close to you as possible, face the direction in which you want to carry the weight, to avoid twisting – for more information on lifting check out our blog here

Chiropractic can help to alleviate aches and pains in the back and neck  and keep your body moving well. If you would like more information or would like to book in please contact us  01600 890 282 / 07726297813

Happy Packing!

 

 
Working from Home

Working from Home and Back Health.

Increasing numbers of workers could be risking their back health by not working in posture-friendly environments at home, according to new research from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA).

New findings from the BCA revealed that many Brits are opting for home-comforts over health, with just under a fifth (19%) of those working remotely on a laptop /desktop computer admitting to working from the sofa and more than one in ten (11%) saying they work from their bed.
Sedentary lifestyles may also be impacting on work-lives, as it is estimated that a massive 4 in 5 people in the UK have a desk job*. The survey revealed that sitting in the same position for long periods of time was the most common cause of back or neck pain in the workplace, with over two fifths (41%) of workers who have suffered from back or neck pain citing this as a contributing factor.

The number of people working from home, either full or part time, rose to over 4.2 million in 2015, with home workers now making up 13.7% of the population .

BCA chiropractor Tim Hutchful says: “An increasing number of workers are opting to forgo the office, preferring to work from the comfort of their own home. However, these workers may not realise that their home environments, while perhaps seemingly more comfortable, could be putting serious strain on their back.
“Whilst it may be tempting to work slumped on the sofa or lying in bed when given the opportunity, workers need to realise that they could be doing damage to their spine. By making a few simple changes to their work stations, workers can embrace the benefits of flexible working without putting themselves at risk of developing back and neck problems.”
 

TOP TIPS
• If possible, designate a specific area in your home for working and always work at a table, sitting on a chair, rather than on the sofa or in bed.
• The top of your screen should be level with your eyebrows and if you are working from a laptop, make sure you are not hunching over the screen. If you don’t want to invest in a computer stand place books under your laptop so that you can adjust the level of the screen to fit your eye line.
• Use a detachable keyboard and mouse whenever possible, as this will ensure that your movement is not restricted and you are not placing unnecessary strain on your back.
• Taking regular breaks is extremely important and the BCA recommends workers move around every 20-30 minutes. Set an alarm to ensure you stick to this.
• When making phone calls, take the opportunity to get up from your desk and move around as you talk.
• Embrace the privacy of working from home by doing regular stretches. The BCA has developed a series of simple exercises to improve posture and help prevent back pain. More information here.

If you are experiencing pain for more than a few days, then you should seek professional help, as an undiagnosed problem could lead to longer-term problems if left untreated.

Feel free to give us a call for more information or to book in
      01600 890 282 / 07726297813GetAttachment[1]

The research was carried out on behalf of the British Chiropractic Association.
BCA logo
 
* Referenced here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/mens-health/11645412/Five-secrets-to-leading-a-healthy-office-life.html
 

1 Taken from the TUC’s analysis of unpublished data from the ONS Labour Force Survey

parents postures

Parents Protect your Posture

Becoming a parent is a milestone moment that can result in a number of significant lifestyle changes. This can, in turn, contribute to the onset of back and neck pain. We understand new parents may often not see their own health as a priority but, it’s important they are aware of the toll that that back pain can have, and take simple steps to ensure their back and neck health doesn’t suffer.
Research, from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA), has found that over four out of every ten (43%) of parents who have ever suffered from back or neck pain, found their pain increased after having children. New mothers were particularly affected, with over twice as many women (57%) suffering fresh aches and pains since becoming a parent, as men (27%).
Yet, despite this, BCA findings reveal that many people may be unaware that becoming a parent could trigger back or neck pain. Nearly two thirds of parents ask said that lifting and carrying their child was the reason for their increased pain, with the figure rising to almost three quarters (73%) for women. The strain of carrying extra bags (39%) and disturbed sleeping (36%) were also all cited as reasons parents’ experienced back or neck pain.

Here are some simple tips for current and future parents to incorporate into their daily routines to ease the strain:
• Carrying correctly – Carry your baby as close as possible to your centre of gravity – across your back or front is best. A carrier/sling or papoose is a good option
• Pushchair posture – A pushchair or pram with adjustable height settings is ideal, as it can be moved to suit your own height and that of anyone else who will be pushing it. You should be able to walk upright with a straight spine and hands resting at a comfortable height
• Adjust the height: Feeding a child in a high chair can place strain on your back. Sit as close as possible in front of your child and adjust the height of the chair so that you are not leaning too high or too low
• Spread the weight: Parents of babies and children inevitably carry heavy bags! Using a rucksack style bag is best as you can spread the weight evenly across your back. Check the straps are tightened so that the load is held against your back
• Car seats: Find a car seat that it is easy for you to carry – remember the total weight you will be lifting will be the car seat and baby combined. When taking the child or child and car seat out of the car open the door as wide as possible, try and get as close to the car as possible and bend both your knees
• Feeding – If breast feeding make sure your child and your back is adequately supported and don’t forget to keep on changing sides.
• Bed time – Make sure that when your cot is in place there is plenty of room for you to access it without needing to twist or strain. You may also want to consider buying a cot with a drop down side so you don’t have to bend too low when putting the child to sleep

For busy parents short on time, the BCA has developed a number of advice sheets on how to look after your back health indoors, outdoors and during pregnancy, as well as a three-minute video of simple exercises that can be done anywhere. This is available at: www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk/straightenup
We recommends that, if you are experiencing pain for more than a few days, then you should seek professional help, as an undiagnosed problem could lead to longer-term problems if left untreated. For more information or to book in please contact us on 01600 890282 | 07726297813 | info@shireschiropracticclinic.co.uk

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desk breaks

Take a Desk Break!

The research, carried out on behalf of BUPA , shows only 1 in 5 people leaves their desk to get a drink or go to the toilet during the day!!

Here are some tips for sitting well and taking desk breaks!

  • Don’t sit for more than 30-40 minutes, stand up to stretch, change position and walk around a little.
  • Set your self reminders on your phone or computer screen at regular intervals throughout the day.
  • Set up your desk and chair at work to make it as optimal for you and your back as possible. Your seat should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground, your knees bent, but with a slope from your hips to your knees. You should end up with your hips higher than your knees and your eyes level with the top of the computer screen. You may need to put the screen on a stand or even on a ream of paper to bring it to the right height.
  • Relax when sitting into your chair, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back with your shoulder blades are touching the back rest of the chair. Arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk or table you are using. Use a seat with arm rests.
  • When relaxing in a more comfy chair, the tendency is to ‘slouch’. An ideal sitting position is to let the seat take your weight and, if possible, keep as much of your body in contact with the chair so that your whole body is supported.
  • Drinking more water instead of tea or coffee, it will be healthier and keep your body hydrated. The more you drink the more loo breaks you will need too!
  • Look for small opportunities to exercise during the day. Use the stairs instead of the lift or escalator, get off your bus/train/tube a stop earlier and walk or take a walk during your lunch break.
  • The British Chiropractic Association has some simple stretches and exercises that are great to help with poor posture. Check these out HERE.

optimum-sitting-position