I always thought that back pain was a prospect within the far and distant future, I genuinely thought that the classes I’ve been doing for nearly 9 months which work to strengthen my back will mean I am INVINCIBLE to back pain and that I would never need to check in with the chiropractors. Turns out I’m wrong, because I write this article with a cushion propped up behind my lower back with this weird tendency to roll my neck to alleviate the tension harbouring between my neck and spine. It turns out that there is a whole industry dedicated to looking after your back and so I’m here to spread the word of the chiropractors to you. Runners, take note!
Runners, you will appreciate that we are the last people to hold up our hands and say ‘yeah..i’m injured’. Everything about the ‘I’ word is so petrifying that we just try to sidestep it altogether – so why not try to prevent it in the first place? Today, after my trip to the Chiropractic Centre in Clifton, Bristol I joined up the dots in my mind about the way in which weaknesses in your back, lead to weaknesses to your knee. With the weakness in your knees, you are so much more susceptible to injury, what with the constant pounding of concrete. We need to help our joints out and this really does start with the heart of your central nervous system – the spine.
As you read this article, I bet you’ve just sat upright – damn straight, listen up! Turns out there’s a lovely chiropractors on Alma Vale Road in Clifton which just happens to be the friendliest place you’ll ever go to for any kind of sports massage or a back-MOT-service! If I were to give you one reason why I liked it so much it would be that I instantly felt genuinely welcome. Where I’ve had physio appointments or sports massages booked, the moment I stepped into their receptions I felt instantly suppressed by the silence. At this chiropractors there was friendly chatter in reception and I was delighted to hear George Ezra playing in the room where I had my appointment.
Speaking to Charlie Herbert, co-founder of The Chiro Centre along with Matt Poulter it really felt like they had shaped the business to be personal and to thrive within the Clifton and Bristol community. Locals, friends and family check in every now and then to get any pains and niggles sorted with the guys. No stone is left unturned in the initial diagnostic, firstly, Charlie asked me a series of questions about my lifestyle, as stress or lifestyle choices e.g. smoking/drinking are a massive contributor to tension in the back. I found him to be really informative, so every question I answered was followed up with an explanation as to why that might be causing an underlying problem.
I was then asked to change into a fabulous patient dress before Charlie would examine my back. For the initial chiropractors consultation there’s a load of things that need looking at, for instance, the test of reflexes in the ankles, knees and elbows. (I love the old tap on the knee test, which involuntarily flies your knee up in the air!). Charlie also applied tension to parts of my back to see if I felt any pain which I didn’t (thank God!). But it was clear that I had weaknesses in two joints around the back of my head and the part where my shoulder meets my neck.
Then Charlie focussed on the nervous system on both sides of my body, doing tests where I had to respond based on how touch sensations felt on my left and right hand side of my body. Afterall, the whole duty of the chiropractor is to ensure the nervous system is working as it should, which meant checking that all parts of my body were receptive to the signals being sent from my back.
Charlie explained that because of the two weak points in my neck and shoulder there is some corrective work they can do for me but it may run a risk of leading to a curve so in order to get more clarity on the problem he would need to collect some x-rays. The Chiro Centre has it’s own x-ray machine which is all wired up to the computer which is pretty cool. It turns out I have a weird curve in my neck which is putting a bit of strain on the spine around my neck/shoulder area.
So this a short section as the actual process is also very short and snappy, but it’s something I would want to know about it if I was thinking of going to a chiropractors and have never been before. The whole process was made really clear and Charlie made sure I knew what he was doing so I could kind of prepare for the weird clicks and sounds from the cartilage suddenly. For this session I only received two slight readjustments, one to my lower back and one slightly higher up. I was asked to breathe in and out slowly, on the exhalation Charlie quickly moved my back in a certain way applying force, it’s short and sweet and the relief afterwards is amazing. For people who habitually click their joints (so not cool, but addictive) it feels like a really strange click that you’d never be able to do.
About the practice
I’ve talked a little bit about the company but would like to explain some more about why I think the Chiropractor Centre is different to other competitors in the area. Every Wednesday there’s a free half hour session which is offered to all clients which teaches and educates us in keeping a good posture – there’s so many rumours on how to keep up a good posture but it’ll be good to check this out and find out the actual facts from the experts. They also have a running club which heads out every week around Clifton which is nice as it reinforces the chiropractic centre as a lifestyle company which encourages healthy living as well as a healthy posture.
In addition to this, the guys pro-actively support the charity Cherish Uganda which is a charity setup by a previous client. The charity supports the aid of children with HIV/AIDS in Uganda who are living in poverty, with every appointment made with the Chiropractic centre £1 is donated to the cause which is incredible! Read more about the charity on the Chiropractic Centre website here
The Chiro Centre felt spacey and airy, despite it being so hot outside.
Charlie, Maxine and I – smiles all round on a Thursday evening!
This is a nice thing to do – thanking existing clients for their referrals to friends.
See the Chiropractic Centre, Bristol website here
Follow them on Twitter here