Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS)

Mal de Debarquement SyndromeMdDS is a neurological condition that may occur after a flight, a boat trip or when your body sustains prolonged periods of movement in multiple flights of motion simultaneously. There are also occasions when this condition occurs spontaneously.

You can imagine stepping out of a plane, a boat or train and you constantly start bobbing, swaying or rocking like a buoy on the water. Most individuals experience these disorientating sensations for a few minutes after disembarkation.

Although motion triggers are the most common causes of this condition. Some individuals develop MdDS signs and symptoms for other reasons, such as after surgery and playing computer games.

From the research, most individuals can experience this condition after long trips. However, there is no any relationship between the distance covered while on your trip and how long the symptoms last or how bad they are. While any motion may lead to this condition, most in the medical field do not know what is really behind it.

The Symptoms of MdDS

The main signs of Mal de Debarquement may include bobbing, rocking or swaying but there is no reason for it. Sometimes you may feel unsteady or stagger a bit. Other signs and symptoms include:

• Confusion

• Anxiety

• Depression

• Feeling very tired

• Having focused difficulties

Some of the symptoms may disappear when you ride in a train or a car, but they will come back after you stop moving and they can even get worse with fast movement, stress, tiredness, flickering lights, being in a closed-in space, trying to be still when going to sleep and intense visual activity such as playing computer video games.

Treatment Options for MdDS

This condition has been researched and recognized for decades, and the main cause has been elusive, and most researchers across the globe continue to hypothesize. Many studies have suggested a link to the variant of a migraine or related to trains, car, flight, or ship motion sickness.

In most parts of the world, these conditions are limited, and patients are commonly referred for chiropractic treatment.

Don’t Put up with Vertigo – See a Chiropractor

vertigoVertigo affects about 40 percent of people who are over 40 years old at least once in their life. It can be debilitating and even stop you from enjoying life.

What Is Vertigo?

It’s a sensation that you feel when you move, spin in circles or stand very quickly. Typically, you feel like the space or room is spinning or swaying when in fact you’re sitting or standing still. You can experience this feeling of imbalance plus lack of control for several minutes or even several hours.

Causes of Vertigo

BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo), which is also known as Positional Vertigo or Benign Vertigo, is among the most common conditions that cause dizziness and vertigo.

Generally, approximately, 20 percent of all dizziness cases are due to Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo and about 50 per cent of all dizziness cases in older patients is as a result of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.

Other common causes of vertigo include labyrinthitis or vestibular neuronitis, which is the inflammation of your inner ear. Also, there are other causes of vertigo that are more serious like tumours, stroke and neurological diseases like MS (multiple sclerosis). With these conditions, other symptoms may also be present, and they’re often picked up during a chiropractic or neurological examination.

Causes of BPPV

BPPV usually begins after the following:

• Use of ototoxic medications such as gentamicin
• Due to an ageing process
• A virus or severe cold
• A head injury

In under 50-year-olds, whiplash and head trauma are the most common causes. The most common cause in older people is often the degeneration of the inner ear vestibular system. With advancing age, BPPV gets more common. In 50 per cent of all cases, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is called “idiopathic”, meaning that it occurs without any reason.

BPPV Diagnosis

Chiropractors can diagnose this disorder after they have taken a full case history, then doing a physical as well as a neurological examination. At Neuroworks not only do we use tests like the Dix–Hallpike test or Nylen–Barany test/manoeuvre, are used in differentiating peripheral from central vertigo but we have a state of the art balance testing lab in which we have computerised video nystagmography including air calorics, head movement sensors and a computerised balance testing platform. We use this equipment not only to objectively make a more exact diagnosis than physical examination but also to monitor progress.

BPPV Treatment

BPPV is treated using certain repositioning manoeuvres. Chiropractors are trained to do the Semont or Epley manoeuvre, a simple technique that will cure your BPPV.

Your chiropractor is going to move you into certain positions, which depends on the previous assessment outcome, using gravity in moving the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) crystals away into a specific area of your inner ear where they’ll reduce your  symptoms.

That will be followed by home exercises (Vestibular rehabilitation exercises).

Otoconia (crystals) formation in your inner ear canals will reduce under these conditions, hence lessening the probability of future attacks. This treatment is effective and within 3 to 4 treatments, 80 percent of the patients are symptom-free. If you need a highly experienced Ealing chiropractor, feel free to contact Neuroworks Chiropractic Clinic.


Balance Retraining Assists In Improved Balance

Balance Retraining Loss of balance can result in the incapability of doing everyday activities. There are numerous reasons why you might end up losing your balance. Balance retraining exercises, however, can help you in improving balance as well as decrease the risk of injury as a result of falling.

Poor proprioception, which is a term in medicine for body awareness plus balance, is a leading cause of numerous common conditions affecting patients in our Neuroworks Chiropractic clinic every day.

What Is Proprioception?

It’s the concept of knowing exactly where your own body is in space, which is body awareness, and the capability of safely manoeuvring around your environment. It helps you to achieve, beautiful posture, quality movement as well as solid balance.

There are some parts of your body that are high in proprioceptive tissue; they include your pelvis, jaw, upper neck and feet. These areas relay messages to your brain to let your body know where precisely it is in space. Thus, if anything is wrong with one of these areas (for instance, an injury to one of your feet) that can end up changing the message that is being sent to your brain. Consequently, that can affect your balance, movement patterns as well as posture. This, in turn, can lead to pain plus injury.Here are some of the conditions that can be associated with poor proprioception:

• Headaches
• Functional Scoliosis
• Tennis Elbow
• Back pain
• Poor posture
• Neck pain
• Vertigo
• R.S.I (Repetitive strain injury)
• Ankle sprains
Falls (leading to injury as well as broken bones)

Treatment Options

Chiropractic offers treatments to help you improve proprioception, which helps many conditions that people face. Chiropractic adjustments are a powerful tool used in improving proprioception. Also, in our clinic, we are passionate regarding rehabilitation. We have numerous great methods for improving muscle strength as well as function and retraining your muscle patterns. Moreover, there are amazing exercises to stimulate your proprioceptive tissues in various areas of your body to help improve your balance.

Balance Retraining Exercises

When you’re suffering from a disorder of the inner ear, certain movements or positions can make you feel dizzy and lose balance. Vestibular rehabilitation exercises, like repeating positions and movements that cause dizziness, help your brain to get accustomed to the loss of balance reaction. That helps your brain adapt accordingly, hence the dizziness is eliminated or reduced.

Balance retraining exercises help in resolving the conflict that is between the brain and the system of the internal ear to restore the ability to balance. Since your eye muscles and ear nerve are connected, you will also have to engage in exercises for visual coordination to retrain balance. While these rehabilitation exercises are taking effect, physical exercises like yoga and tai chi are going to help you build coordination and balance further.

Building Strong Bones and Muscles

Generally, strength training exercises are vital to your health as well as your well-being. When performed consistently, these exercises will keep your bones and muscles strong and support balance. You should do strength training exercises 2-3 times on a weekly basis to maintain or build strength and also to develop a full ROM (range of motion).

You can also add a few exercises that strengthen balance to your workout, like knee marching, single-leg stances without and with your arms raised or you can step to the side while in a straight line then go back to the initial position.

If you need an experienced Ealing Chiropractor, contact the team at Neuroworks Chiropractic. You will receive individual assessments as well as tailor-made treatment plans from our experienced and well-qualified chiropractors who will integrate treatment that is unique to your needs.

Ways to Manage Migraines

migraineMigraine is more than just a headache. It is a neurobiological disorder involving vascular and neurological changes in the brain during an attack. This pulsating headache can have a considerable effect on the quality of life of those affected. When a migraine strikes, it can be completely disabling and disrupt every day life.

Making lifestyle changes can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. In this post, we’ll discuss the most effective ways to manage your migraines.

1. Try relaxation techniques

• Use temperature therapy – apply cold compresses to your head and neck. Cold compresses provide anti-inflammatory relief that can help lessen the pain of a migraine.

• Massage and yoga exercises that focus on mindfulness can ease a migraine attack.

2. Exercise regularly

Moderate exercise such as swimming, walking or cycling can help to make your migraines shorter and less intense.

Exercise helps to reduce stress – a common cause of migraines – and it also aids relaxation. Additionally, when we exercise, the brain releases endorphins which act as the body’s natural painkiller.

3. Sleep well

Oversleeping, sleep deprivation, and changes in sleep patterns can trigger a migraine attack. Additionally, if you already have a migraine, getting a peaceful sleep at night can be tricky. Here’s how you can manage migraines caused by sleep.

• Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, even on weekends and holidays. If you must nap during the day, keep it short. A nap of at least 20 minutes is best.

• Avoid taking stimulants such as caffeine a few hours before sleep time. Caffeine may interfere with sleep patterns.

• Minimize distractions before sleep. Avoid watching TV, working or eating before sleep.

4. Watch what you eat

Making some changes to your eating habits can help reduce the likelihood and severity of migraines. Consider the following:

• Don’t skip meals – fluctuations in blood sugar can cause a migraine attack. Be sure not to go longer than three hours without food. Additionally, include protein in your diet to help maintain a steady level of glucose.

• Make observations on the foods that cause your migraine attacks to help you identify potential food triggers.

• Add magnesium to your diet – magnesium deficiency may cause migraine in the brain and also affect serotonin (a key molecule related to migraine). Studies show that magnesium oxide supplementation can prevent menstrual-related migraines and migraines with aura.

• Avoid foods that trigger a migraine – frequently reported triggers include caffeine, processed foods, and meats, alcohol, fermented foods, cheese, smoked fish and dried foods among others.

These are some of the ways to help cope with your migraines. However, they may take some time to provide relief. A great alternative to managing your migraine attacks is to consult a chiropractor. Studies show that care offered by chiropractors can reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. An Ealing chiropractor can assess, diagnose and manage your migraines effectively.

Better Workplace Ergonomics for a Better Life

ergonomicsWalk into any office across the country and you will usually see at least a few people sitting in a very uncomfortable and poor ergonomic position. This is despite more awareness of workplace ergonomics. Most companies consider the prevention of numerous musculoskeletal problems as one of the most important ways of improving workplace productivity.

Are you aware that musculoskeletal problems are one of the most common reasons for workplace absences? Poor workplace ergonomics results in thousands of hours of lost workplace productivity. Back and neck pain leads to costly and time-consuming treatment for employees. However, many neck and back problems could be prevented by doing a very simple audit of the existing ergonomic position of most workers.

Here are some ways to prevent major health problems through better ergonomics.

Consider a Standing Workstation

It is unusual to walk into an office and see someone standing while typing on their computer but the health benefits of a standing workstation have been researched and proven by musculoskeletal experts. It is well known that sitting for a long time is related to many health conditions including obesity, blood pressure, diabetes and weight gain.

Here are some other ways to improve ergonomics;

  1. Consider the positioning and height of the chair in relation to the computer. Both feet should rest flat on the floor with the knees level slightly lower than the hips or perfectly in line. The chair should recline at 10°-20° degrees from an upright position. Lumbar support is required and the upper back should be considered.
  2. Sit close to a keyboard only with a central position. The keyboard position may change depending on the work being completed. Shoulders should be loose. Wrists and hands should be straight. A palm rest or adjustable keyboard can be used for a straight wrist as well. The mouse should be close to the keyboard. The mouse pad may be inclined for wrist arm and neck support.
  3. The monitor is to be in front at all times should be an arm’s length away. The top of the monitor is to be 5-8 cm above the eye level when seated. Adjustments to the monitor brightness or office lighting may also be required.
  4. The phone should be close to the body Do not put the phone between shoulder and the ear in order to type.

Remember that better ergonomics may not seem beneficial in the short term but over time the benefits of better a better sitting or standing position results in less musculoskeletal and health problems. Following a few simple steps such as considering the sitting or standing position, chair position, placement of the monitor and looking at the position of the body in relation to other office equipment will prevent many health issues in the future. A standing workstation may also be one of the best ways of preventing for neck, back, wrist and spinal problems. The result is better posture, health and an overall better life.

Stay Motivated to Work Out This Winter

winter workoutSunshine and warm weather make it easy to get out and exercise. It gets harder when the weather turns cold and dreary. If your motivation level has fallen with the temperatures, here are a few ways to bring it back up.

Be kind to yourself

Winter is a time to rest and recharge after a busy year, but you don’t want to let yourself go over the winter either. Adjust your the intensity and style of your workout and find something that rejuvenates you and brings balance. Yoga, pilates, and tai chi are all gentle exercises that will help you stay in shape without overdoing. Remember also that cold weather leaves the muscles and joints tighter than warm weather, so be sure to take some extra time for your warm up to help you avoid injury.

Work out with a friend

It’s easy to skip a workout when you’re doing it alone. It’s not so easy when you have a friend holding you accountable. Working out with a friend means supporting each other and urging each other on. And if you both have a competitive streak, consider turning working out into a friendly competition.

Be ready for any weather

If you usually head outdoors for your workout, nasty weather can make it difficult. Consider adding a few extra layers to keep you warm and dry when you’re out. Or take your workout indoors when it’s really cold by taking a class or joining a gym. You might even check out some workout videos, either online or on DVD.

Just get started

Thinking about your entire workout can be overwhelming when you just want to stay in bed a little longer or watch TV. It’s a little easier to consider working out for just five minutes. Get started and give yourself permission to stop after five minutes if you still want to. Some days you may do just that, but more often you may find that your workout seems less intimidating once you get started.

Keep it simple

The harder it is to get yourself to work out, the easier it is to find reasons not to do it. If working out means getting out of your nice, warm bed early or driving in the snow, getting to the workout may be more overwhelming than actually working out. Grab a couple of coworkers and go for a walk during lunch or climb some stairs on your break. Bonus, you’ll feel more energized for the rest of your afternoon. Make it even easier by keeping your gear close at hand. Whether that means keeping a pair of comfortable walking shoes in your office, or putting your workout clothes and shoes next to your bed so they’re in easy reach when you wake up, if you don’t have to think about it, you’ll be more likely to do it.

Warm up inside

If you really like getting outside for your workout, try warming up inside with some jumping jacks or pushups. Getting your heart rate up and your blood pumping will help you feel warmer when you get outside.

Create a challenge

This could be just a challenge for you, or you might create some competition by sharing it on social media or at your local gym. You might set a goal to run a certain number of miles or complete a certain number of workouts each week, or track your weight lifted and try to lift a little more each time.

To learn more about winter workouts, motivating yourself, and avoiding injury in cold weather, please call NeuroWorks to arrange an appointment on 020 8566 3757 now.