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Cycling Injuries and Chiropractic

cyclists

Cycling is great! You help save the planet, burn calories and save money!

Unfortunately there are some downfalls… Musculoskeletal injuries and imbalances are common among cyclists due to body posture / position and repetitive use of certain muscles.

Overstretching to reach the handlebars, backwards-sloping seats, wrong seat heights and soft tyres are just some of the factors that can contribute to neck and back pain in cyclists. According to the BCA, a staggering 73% of cyclists weren’t fitted for their bicycles last year* and one in five (22%) have experienced back or neck pain whilst or as a result of cycling**.

Tim Hutchful, a chiropractor from the BCA, says: “It’s great to see more and more people taking up cycling as it’s an excellent way to keep fit. However it’s really important to take the time to ensure you’re sitting comfortably and properly fitted to your bicycle, to avoid injuring your neck or back.
For beginners, a hybrid bike is regarded as a good all-rounder because whilst it is not as heavy as a mountain bike, it has thicker tyres than a road bike making it more stable. The frame of a hybrid bike also allows for a ‘relaxed’ cycling position, which you won’t get with a racing bike, for example. A chiropractor in your local area can advise you on how to approach cycling safely and tell you what signs to look for if you’re overdoing it.”

Some common cycling injuries include:

– Low back pain due to forward flexed posture during cycling
– Neck pain due to facet joint irritation, pinched nerves or strain to posterior neck muscles
– Shoulder pain
– Wrist and hand pain
– Knee pain

Make an appointment with our chiropractor to resolve any issues you may be experiencing, prevent injuries and enhance your cycling performance!

*Research conducted on behalf of the British Chiropractic Association in March 2013 of 485 UK adults.
**Research conducted on behalf of the British Chiropractic Association in March 2013 of
432 UK adults.

Back Pain and Gardening

gardening-pain-585

Now that spring is finally here, you’re no doubt going to spend time planting bulbs, mowing the lawn and pulling weeds. From when the gardening season begins in spring and until the end of the summer chiropractors have an influx of patients with back pain caused by over-zealous gardening.

Gardening is surprisingly hard on the body, particularly your lower back. It’s an enjoyable activity for many, but it’s important to treat it like a workout and stretch your muscles beforehand.

Consider some of these helpful tips to help you prevent back pain and other injuries when gardening.

– Warm up before you garden. A 10 minute brisk walk and stretches for the spine and limbs are good ways to warm up.
– Practice good posture. Always bend at the knees and keep your back straight when you pick something up. Never twist your body.
– Take breaks— 15 minutes for every hour — and stretch! Rest and hydrate!
– Switch up your activities. Do a little pruning, then digging, then maybe some weeding. The key is to vary your tasks frequently so that you’re not performing any repetitive motions for a long period of time.
– When you have to get down on the ground for work, consider a kneeling pad or better yet, a kneeler with arms to help you get back up.
– Keep a container full of your tools close by when you’re on your knees. You’ll have everything within arm’s reach so there’s less getting up and down.
– Choose tools with long handles so you don’t have to bend as much.
– Hire help. For heavier jobs, it can be worth getting some help!
– End your gardening session with some gentle backward bending of your low back, a short walk and light stretching, similar to stretches done before starting.

If despite your best efforts, you end up with pain after gardening, call a chiropractor to schedule an appointment.

Vitamin D and Safe Sun Exposure

VitaminDsun

The most natural way to get vitamin D is by exposing your bare skin to sunlight (ultraviolet B rays). This can happen very quickly (just 15 minutes for a very fair skinned person) particularly in the summer. You don’t need to tan or burn your skin to get vitamin D.

Exposing your skin for a short time will make all the vitamin D your body can produce in one day. In fact, your body can produce 10,000 to 25,000 IU of vitamin D in just a little under the time it takes for your skin to begin to burn. You make the most vitamin D when you expose a large area of your skin, such as your back, rather than a small area such as your face or arms.

There are a number of factors that affect how much vitamin D your body produces when your skin is exposed to sunlight.  These include the time of year and time of day, where you live in the world and the type of skin you have.

The amount of vitamin D you get from exposing your bare skin to the sun depends on:

  • The time of day – your skin produces more vitamin D if you expose it during the middle of the day.
  • Where you live –  the closer to the equator you live, the easier it is for you to produce vitamin D from sunlight all year round.
  • The colour of your skin –  pale skins make vitamin D more quickly than darker skins.
  • The amount of skin you expose – the more skin your expose the more vitamin D your body will produce.

Check out the app dminder to optimise Vitamin D levels while staying safe in the sun.

Protecting the Skin

While covering up to prevent too much sun exposure is an important step in protecting yourself from skin cancer, research has not always shown that sunscreen is the safest and most effective method.

Research has shown that sunscreen helps prevent squamous cell carcinoma, but has no effect in preventing basal cell carcinoma. For melanoma, research has been contradictory. Some research shows that sunscreen prevents melanoma, while other research shows that it increases your chance of getting melanoma.

For these reasons, the Vitamin D Council believes that covering up with clothing and/or going into the shade (after you get a little bit of sun exposure), is a safer way to protect yourself from too much sun exposure.

Another alternative is to use a non-nano barrier sunscreen after you have gotten enough sun exposure for Vitamin D production.

 
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