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exercises for back pain

Deadlifts: Great exercise, but is it for you?


Deadlifts: Great exercise, but is it for you?

When patients walk into the clinic and tell me that they have injured themselves at the gym, the first thought process that enters my mind is “I bet they did deadlifts” and 90% of the time, I’m right. Why is this a thing? How come it is such a great exercise that everyone promotes, but so many people get injured?

Don’t get me wrong, I think deadlifts are a great exercise to gain strength and build muscle. But why are you doing them? Do you want to get better at the movement? Do you want to compete in a powerlifting competition? Or are you someone just doing them because you saw on Youtube that they are a great way to get stronger? Deadlifts when done incorrectly, can put an immense amount of pressure on your low back. The forward bending movement, together with the heavy weight a lot of the time injures the discs of the lower back. Correct form is so critical with deadlifts and without proper coaching, engagement of the core, form, and back control it can be quite a dangerous movement pattern for a lot of people. 

For me, it’s about risk vs reward. If you’re doing deadlifts because you want to get better at them or have a competition coming up, then great keep doing them. You’re most likely a person that knows what you’re doing. However, if you’re someone just doing them cause you heard someone say they are great, I suggest doing other exercises that engage the same group of muscles. There are many great alternatives to deadlifts that decrease the load on your low back and yes, you will still get the results that you are looking for. 

If you have injured yourself performing deadlifts at the gym, our team at Complete City Health are experts in Lower back pain injuries. Make sure to book an appointment for a detailed analysis of what is causing your pain. 


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Working in front of a computer puts a lot of stress on different parts of your body. One common presentation is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). CTS is a specific term used to describe a peripheral nerve entrapment of the median nerve. When this nerve is entrapped, symptoms of pain and numbness/tingling in the palms and fingers are common. The median nerve originally starts at the neck, from C5-T1 of the spine. It then travels all the way down into your wrist and fingers as shown in the diagram below.


The most common cause of CTS seems to be correlated with a history of direct pressure on the wrist or a history of prolonged wrist use in full extension and flexion. It is also that women in their forties and fifties are 4X more likely than men to suffer from CTS. Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and successfully treat CTS, through different modalities of therapy. If you are experiencing chronic wrist pain, our team at Complete City Health are here to help you.


Is your breathing technique causing Low back and Neck pain?


Is your breathing technique causing Low back and Neck pain?

I’m assuming most of you think you know how to breathe.. I mean it’s simple enough, inhale exhale. But did you know that the way you breathe could be causing your low back or neck pain? Let me explain.

A “proper” diaphragmatic breath should look like the image below. As you breathe in, your stomach should be pushing out. As you exhale, the belly goes in. Now if you’re reading this, I want you to analyse yourself and see how you are breathing. Are you doing it correctly?


Now how does breathing abnormally affect low back or neck pain?

Our diaphragm is a primary muscle that enables us to inhale and exhale. It also has attachments to the lumbar spine (L1-L3). When muscles are dysfunctional, their corresponding insertion points can also be dysfunctional thus causing pain.

One of the most common faults to abnormal breathing is chest breathing. That is, using muscles of the neck and chest (Scalenes, SCM, Pec minor) to get a good breath in. Now, do this over the course of many many years, these muscles are overworked. Overworked muscles can become dysfunctional which can lead to pain. If you are someone who uses their chest to breathe, there are methods to reverse this. Our chiropractors at Complete City Health can help you regain the normal pattern, and train your body to be optimised!


Let's talk about Headaches


Let's talk about Headaches

Every clinician will tell you one of the hardest conditions to deal with is headaches. Why is that the case? The cause of a headache can range from just tight muscles around the neck to inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. This is why headaches have to be taken very seriously especially when diagnosing as this can determine the treatment and hence the outcome.

Headaches can be broadly split into the following categories:

  1. Migraines

  2. Tension type (most common at 38% of U.S adults)

  3. Cluster (<0.1% of U.S adults)

  4. Cervicogenic (18% of U.S adults)

One of the most surprising things about headaches is that A LOT of people think it’s normal. Remember, getting a headache once a fortnight or once a month is NOT a common/normal thing. This is quite frequent and if it is affecting the way you live, it must be taken care of. Whatever type of headache you have will slightly alter the way we treat your symptoms. At Complete City Health, our Chiropractors look to identify the CAUSE of the headache, not just treat the symptoms. Isn’t about time you lived headache-free?


Postural Exercises


Postural Exercises

If you want to improve your posture and decrease pain , theses exercises will help.


Sit up straight with elbows at sides and bent to 90 degrees (right angle).

Push shoulders together and down, with palms facing the floor.

Make a waxing motion in the air while maintaining the above position. **Keep elbows "glued" to sides while completing motion.**

Do this for 20 seconds. Repeat 4 times.

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Stand against wall with feet shoulder width apart.

Gently press low back against wall.

Place back of elbows, forearms, and wrists against wall.

Bring arms up and down slowly in a small arc of motion while keeping elbows in contact with wall.

Do this 10 times.

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Lie on stomach on a pillow, with forehead resting on a rolled towel to keep neck in neutral.

Bring arms out to sides with elbows bent to 90 degrees.

Lift arms up while squeezing shoulder blades together.

Hold each 3-5 seconds, and do 3 sets of 5-10 repetitions.

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Sit up straight on a chair.

Keep elbows very close to sides and pull back on a resistive band as shoulder blades come back and down.

Return to start position slowly.

Do 3 sets of 5 repetitions.

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Sit in chair with back supported.

Tighten stomach as if someone were going to punch it.

Press fingers into abdomen and tighten abdominals even more to resist pressure of fingers. ** keep breathing!!!**

Hold 15 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

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Stand with buttocks, and back against wall.

Bring feet to 12" from wall. **Keep back against wall.**

Lower down until knees are bent to about 60 degrees keeping abdominals tight.

Raise back up to where knees are slightly bent.

Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

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Sit at edge of chair with feet slightly behind knees.

Stand up while keeping neck erect and spine erect. Your back should not bend forward.

Immediately return to sitting, but do not put full weight on chair.

Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions slowly.

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