How To Improve Your Brain Health

brainhLife expectancy is getting longer but sadly, quality of life can be impaired by the degenerative disorders of the brain that are becoming more prevalent. Every year in March, Brain Awareness Week (BAW) aims to educate people on the latest brain research findings and on developments in research on brain disorders such as Parkinson’s and other problems that affect brain function, such as strokes.

We all want to live life to the full, into old age, so Johan C. Jeronimus DC DACNB, an Ealing Chiropractor and founder of Neuroworks Clinic offers three steps that could have significant benefits for brain health, throughout life, for all of us.

Here is his three-step strategy for better brain health:

  1. Sleep Well!

Sleep has many positive benefits for brain health and our quality of life, with its beneficial effects on levels of anxiety and stress and helping to improve and stabilise mood. During sleep, the toxins that accumulate in the brain can be flushed out, and Neurotransmitters are replenished, for example, Serotonin is very important in managing wellbeing, helping to alleviate depression, anxiety and stress in our daily lives.

Not getting sufficient sleep, for whatever reason, puts us at risk of clinical depression. (1)

  1. Keep Moving!

The benefits of taking regular exercise are two-fold. Indirectly, exercise brings improved sleep, an uplift in mood, and reduced anxiety and stress levels. All of which, are factors in avoiding cognitive impairment. Directly, exercise brings health benefits for the brain in less insulin resistance, reduced inflammation and  improved release of growth factors, chemicals that help improve the number of newly created brain cells as well as the proliferation of the new veins and capillaries that feed the brain.

One point to stress regarding exercise though, is that it is important when doing any physical activity to wear the correct head protection. Any head injury is potentially serious, so no matter how trivial it may appear, if you do get injured, seek medical advice right away.

It is also important to exercise regularly – and for many of us, motivation is a big issue, so participating in a class, exercising with a friend or engaging a personal trainer are all things that could help. (2)

  1. Eat Well!

Keeping our brains and bodies healthy depends on giving both the right fuel in the form of food, drink and supplementation. Your Ealing Chiropractor can advise on diet and lifestyle changes to help you as well as providing advice on supplements that might be particularly beneficial in your case.

Eating right need not be boring  – for example, it is not necessary to give up coffee or chocolate as two or three cups a day and half to one ounce of dark chocolate daily both have beneficial effects on concentration, memory and mood.

Eating beans or pulses that help to ‘iron out’ any spikes in levels of blood sugar will keep the glucose that the brain uses as ‘fuel’ flowing steadily.

The cardiovascular system transports nutrition around the body and into the brain. An adequate blood supply is vital. Eating monounsaturated fats (for example, Avocados) and essential fatty acids (wild salmon, rich in Omega-3 is a good source), help to keep brain and body functioning healthily. Whole grains also benefit the cardiovascular system, providing soluble and insoluble fibre that has been shown to decrease risks for heart disease.

Protect your brain from the harmful effects of oxidative stress with the powerful antioxidants in berries, particularly blueberries.

To help reduce the cognitive decline, (a ‘side-effect’ of the number of birthdays we have had), ensure an adequate intake of Vitamin E. Seeds and nuts are both good sources and one ounce daily is all that is needed.(3)

Help Is At Hand

Your Ealing Chiropractor can help you with these three steps to a healthier brain.

  • It might be that back pain or another physical problem is stopping you from taking the regular exercise you should.
  • Perhaps, you have a stressful and demanding job that is robbing you of your restorative sleep because you just cannot ‘switch off’ at night.
  • It might be that in your busy day, ensuring that the nutritional needs of your body and brain are met in full is an area where you need some help and advice.

If any of the points above apply to you, help is at hand. For your overall wellbeing and for the long-term health of your brain, call Neuroworks today to arrange an appointment on 020 8566 3757.

Note: The team at Neuroworks is 100% in agreement with the aims and work of the DANA Foundation, organizers of Brain Awareness Week but is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with it.

(1) https://www.perthbraincentre.com.au/lifestyle-changes-to-support-a-healthy-brain-and-overall-well-being/

(2) http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110

(3) http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/eat-smart-healthier-brain

 

Young Musicians Suffering Pain

guitarThe newly emerging specialist field, Performing Arts Medicine, has few top specialist practitioners who are qualified to meet the needs of performers – and, to date, there has only been a small amount of research in this area. Despite this, to those in the profession, it is clear that not addressing early problems with incorrect playing technique and unnecessary bodily stress can result in long-term problems with pain for our young musicians.

The many hours spent practicing, coupled with the high levels of physical exertion needed to play an instrument to performance standards have recently drawn comparisons between these young musicians and professional athletes although, it seems that healthcare specialists and performing arts communities have been quite slow to recognize the similarities.

Until recently, this has meant that young performers have developed postural and musculoskeletal problems because their developmental needs are not addressed. By comparison, Australia’s top athletes may have the support of a number of healthcare professionals in order to help them achieve optimum performance while minimizing the physical stresses of practice and competition. Our young musicians do not receive the same levels of care.

Things are improving, though. At the University of Western Australia, for example, a project has been running, developed with the aim of reducing any injury risk or pain for our young musicians. This study involves those in tertiary education – but for teenagers and younger children there is a care gap that needs to be filled while these young people are learning their art and laying foundations for the future.

A recent article in a leading healthcare journal highlights a direct link between children who report incidences of pain during their childhood years and those who go on to report a greater number of incidences as they move into their adult years.

It is evident that where early intervention for episodes of pain in childhood is not available, the consequences can have an impact in every aspect of young lives, physically, mentally and emotionally – and result in their being at increased risk of pain once they become adults.

A recent research study looked at the frequency pain affecting muscles and/or joints during the month prior, in a group of young players of stringed musical instruments. The results demonstrated that nearly 75% of them had experienced pain that they could directly relate to playing their instruments.

Both teenagers and younger children will often hide their pain from adults and their caregivers and not seek help. This makes it so much more important to implement plan for the care of our young musicians at an early stage of their development.

 

References:

  1. Ackermann, B. J. (2016). From Stats to Stage–Translational Research in Performing Arts Medicine. Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 31(4), 246.
  1. Brattberg, G. (2004). Do pain problems in young school children persist into early adulthood? A 13‐year follow‐up. European Journal of Pain, 8(3), 187-199.
  1. Mathews, L. (2011). Pain in children: neglected, unaddressed and mismanaged. Indian Journal of Palliative Care, 17(Suppl), S70.
  1. Vinci, S., Smith, A., & Ranelli, S. (2015). Selected Physical Characteristics and Playing-Related Musculoskeletal Problems in Adolescent String Instrumentalists. Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 30(3), 143.
  1. http://www.health.music.uwa.edu.au/

 

What Is Hip Osteoarthritis

hip pIt is surprising that more people are unaware of the key benefits of conservatively managing the problems of pain and swelling caused by Osteoarthritic changes in the hip joint that in severe cases can cause the joint to deform and erode.

Johan C Jeronimus DC DACNB and Jake Cooke MChiro DACNB from Ealing Chiropractor practice, Neuroworks, explain how, as Chiropractors, they can help patients with Osteoarthritis. They have extensive training in working on the joints and soft tissues of the body and can also help with adjustments to diet and lifestyle and safe and effective exercises that will be of benefit to managing pain and improving mobility.

Their holistic way of working is, for some patients their ‘go to’ treatment of choice. For others, Chiropractic is a helpful adjunct to the prescribed medicines for the management of pain and inflammation from an Osteoarthritis Specialist or their own GP.

Johan and Jake see many patients who need surgery for severe Osteoarthritic changes of the hip. The care that they can give to patients in preparation for the operation and in the post-operative rehabilitation phase is invaluable in helping with a full and speedy recovery.

If you have a diagnosis of Osteoarthritis of the hip, please call your Ealing Chiropractor today on 020 8566 3757 and arrange an initial consultation to discuss the options and alternatives that Chiropractic can offer you.

What Is Osteoarthritis Of The Hip?

For most patients, it begins gradually and worsens over time, affecting the cartilage that protects the articulating tips of bones from impact and friction. Cartilage erodes causing joint pain and stiffness that is very troublesome and can seriously affect mobility.

What Are The Causes?

There are several factors affecting the likelihood of a patient suffering from Osteoarthritis of the hip joint. Some of these are unavoidable, such as advancing age or previous injury. However, many people are surprised to learn that being overweight can seriously increase the risk.

The Obesity Awareness Week run between the 9th and 15th of January 2017, by the National Obesity Forum highlighted this fact, explaining the extra stress that being obese or overweight puts on all the body’s joints.

Symptoms

Patients report a range of symptoms that generally worsen very gradually. Initially, patients might report that one of both hips feel stiff when getting up in the morning or after sitting watching TV, for example. Pain can range from a constant ache to sudden stabbing pains in the joint affected. There may be swelling and soreness in the joint, but possibly the most alarming symptoms are the grinding and crunching noises coming from the hip joint during activity and which are caused by damage to the cartilage as the condition progresses.

How Is Hip Osteoarthritis Diagnosed?

There is no ‘gold standard’ test for Osteoarthritis of the hip, but X-rays are the usual way of identifying the signature signs of the condition. Usually, diagnosis is after a GP examination for the range of motion, pain levels and X-ray confirmation.

Hip Surgery

Total hip replacement involves removing the damaged head of the thigh bone, fitting a metal replacement, and resurfacing the socket into which it fits, lining it with a protective material.

Some patients go for an interim option that preserves the thigh-bone without replacing the ball part of the joint. In this hip resurfacing operation, the joint surfaces eroded by Osteoarthritis are replaced – leaving the way open for a total hip replacement operation in the future if needed.

Why Chiropractic Is Of Benefit

The holistic approach to patient care from a Chiropractor aims to reduce pain and increase mobility for every patient with osteoarthritic changes of the hip. Work on joints and soft tissues is combined with lifestyle and dietary advice and the implementation of a safe and effective program of stretching and strengthening exercises that patients can continue at home.

Patients like the fact that treatments are not invasive, but are conservative and totally drug-free. In patients for whom, being overweight or obese is a factor in their Osteoarthritis, this holistic approach can be especially beneficial and, helping patients to reach and maintain an ideal weight may negate any need for hip surgery or at least postpone it. To discuss your options, please call your Ealing Chiropractor today.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis

rheumaRheumatoid arthritis can be a debilitating condition that can leave joints painful, swollen and permanently deformed, affecting peoples’ daily lives.  Although chiropractic is definitely not a cure for such a condition, according to one Perth chiropractor, chiropractic care may help these patients be more comfortable and improve their symptoms.

Are you sick of red, hot, swollen joints? Have they stopped you from doing things you once loved to do? If so, call the practice now on (08) 61508785 Scarborough or (08) 61508783 Mount Pleasant to arrange an appointment with your Perth Chiropractor and find out if chiropractic can help you with your arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, meaning that the body’s white blood cells get confused and begin to attach other cells in the body .  It is most common in women between the ages of 25 and 50, although it may also start in children .  The causes of rheumatoid arthritis remain a mystery, although genetics are believed to play a role, alongside recent infection or illness .  It primarily targets the hands and feet, although it may also affect other synovial joints throughout the body.  In some cases, the skin, lungs, heart and blood vessels may also become inflamed and damaged .

Chiropractors specialize in the diagnosis, management and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal conditions.  Chiropractors help a range of conditions by improving joint mobility, muscle tone, length and power.  Treatments focus on improving joint range of motion that has become stiff due to pain and immobilization, as well as relaxing muscles and other structures that may have seized up .  The chiropractor will use individualized techniques,based on each individual, as not all techniques are appropriate for everyone.

Chiropractors may also help by providing education, ergonomic advice, rehabilitation exercises, icing and heating advice and nutritional and supplementation support.

Nutrition and supplementation is key to managing chronic inflammation in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.  Certain food triggers not only exacerbate present symptoms but are also predisposing to other chronic health issues such as diabetes type II, obesity and atherosclerosis.  One example is sugar.  This is because sugar is said to increase cytokine release, a pro-inflammatory messenger cell. Don’t forget that sugar has many names and may often be referred to as fructose or sucrose!Other foods to avoid include saturated fats (such as in our cheese, pastas and pizzas); trans fat (in our takeaway, cookies and fried foods); MSG; artificial sweeteners such as aspartame; and alcohol.

As part of their treatment, chiropractors often provide nutritional advice and support, which can help you make informed decisions about the foods that you eat .  Eating more greens and vegetables, increasing omega-3 intake and taking vitamins to maximize cell function are common recommendations made that help minimize arthritis effects on the body.

If you believe chiropractic may be able to help you to live more comfortably with your arthritis, then call the practice now on (08) 61508785 Scarborough or (08) 6150873 Mount Pleasant to arrange an appointment.