How to Stay Healthy in the Tennis Season

It’s that time of year again, Wimbledon is on, the weather is nice, the sun is shining and the tennis courts are full. From the committed year round players to the Wimbledon wannabes everyone is flocking out to give tennis a go. So at this time of year how do you stay injury free and emulate the 41 victories and one loss season recent Wimbledon men’s champion Novak Djokovic is having?

So why can tennis expose someone to injury;

  • Well first off playing a forehand and backhand shot often involves a lot of twisting of your back and this is most often very fast and explosive movement putting your back under a lot of strain.
  • When serving to get that explosive burst of power, often the back is over-arched to allow the spring into the serve to generate the power and speed this puts a lot of pressure through the lower back.
  • Tennis is a very start stop game and although it might feel like you have run a marathon after a set or two the distances you have run will be very short sharp distances which can place strain on the back muscles through a game.

So how do you limit your chances of injury to your back, here are a few simple tips;

  • Select the correct racquet for you, there is such a huge variety of weights sizes and the more high-end racquets will often describe which swing style they suit such as a longer slower swing or a shorter faster swing more in the wrist. Always ask a professional to recommend a suitable racquet to you and your game, selecting the correct string tension will also help.
  • A slice serve rather than a kick serve will limit the over-arching of your back due to the dynamics of generating ‘kick’ on the ball. However if you do chose to use this type of serve (most of the pro’s do) always be wary of how much you are arching your back and stop if it’s too painful.
  • Stay fit and healthy, this one goes without saying! Be in good physical shape not only will having strong and toned muscles limit injury it will help improve your game. This is something Andy Murray has worked on a lot over the last few years. Core exercises are especially crucial to keep the stomach and back muscles strong.
  • Ask a professional for advice or even have a lesson, even the best of us need some input on technique and form. Even a simple alteration of grip, swing technique or position you contact the ball can have a great impact on the shots you make and the consistency you have.
  • Most important of all have fun and enjoy yourself. With the British weather you need to make the most of it while you can have fun and stay safe.

If you are unfortunate to pick up any back, neck or joint injuries in the North London area please feel free to give me a call at Camden Chiropractic, Camden, London 07592 399 551.

Alex at Camden Chiropractic

All natural Pain Relief, No Prescription Needed!

How is this possible, since a child I am sure you have been told if you’re in pain you either suffer until it’s over or you go to the pharmacy and get some ibuprofen or paracetamol, if this doesn’t help the next stop is your GP and most likely something stronger.

What if the pain killers you are prescribed just dull the pain or start becoming less effective the longer you take them for. Maybe it’s time to reconsider your options.

What other options do you have, well there are some herbal and natural supplements that have been shown to sometimes help, you may however be told by a friend or colleague about Chiropractic.

Chiropractic is a completely natural, gentle and effective treatment for pain originating from the joints muscles and nerves. Many a patient has crawled in to see me with severe back pain or with their neck frozen in a position as it’s too painful to move. These people undergo a course of treatment and realise they came to the right place.

Chiropractic focuses on the effects of the adjustment of the joints in the body more specifically but not limited to the spine. The adjustment that may or may not produce a popping or cracking sound is aimed to release the locked up joint, inhibit and decrease pain, improve movement and also has a stimulatory effect on the nervous system.

If you want more information or to book an appointment please feel free to call Camden Chiropractic, located in Soho Gym, North London right opposite Camden Town Tube station.

I look forward to your call, Alex.

What is that ‘cracking’ sound when I am treated and adjusted by my Chiropractor?

I see a number of patients who have never been to a Chiropractor before and when I explain the Chiropractic treatment involving the manipulation/adjustment and they may hear a ‘cracking’ sound I see facial expressions ranging from interested to horrified! Others know have heard about Chiropractic adjustments and are apprehensive or merely intriqued.
So what happens to cause the cracking sound?

Opposing joint surfaces are in contact separated by a thin layer of synovial fluid, the fluid is found in every joint in the body and acts like lubricant. A small amount of tension applied to the joint separates the joint surfaces but the gap is filled with synovial fluid.

Dissolved gasses are released within the synovial fluid near the ligament/fluid interface; within a fraction of a second the gasses join to form a single bubble within the joint capsule.

The audible release, ‘crack’ is caused by a process whereby a sudden decrease in intracapsular pressure causes dissolved gasses in the synovial fluid to be released into the joint cavity. Once a joint undergoes cavitation (cracking), the force-displacement curve changes and the range of motion of the joint increases. The gasses released from the synovial fluid make up about 15% of the joint volume and consist of approximately 80% carbon dioxide. At this point, the joint has distended by a significant difference and the joint cavity now contains a gas bubble within the synovial fluid. The external force is equal to the

Cracking joints yourself doesn’t produce damage by may lead to problems later in life.

Researchers compared the incidence of osteoarthritis in nursing home residents with histories of continual joint cracking and those without. No statistically significant difference was identified showing that cracking of the joints did not increase the chance of arthritis. Further researchers continued this work looking at 300 patients aged 45 and over. Only 26% of this population was found to use knuckle cracking and this had no correlation on the incidence of osteoarthritis of the hand joints.

Other research did show that although continued habitual joint cracking does not correlate with arthritic changes, it did cause the loss of grip strength and increased soft-tissue swelling in the studied patients.

However, as the Chiropractic adjustment is done at a fast speed the surrounding ligamentous, muscular and soft tissue structures remain unaffected. For people who continually ‘crack’ their spines the adjustments they do are slow enough to stretch the muscles and ligaments eventually leading to increased movement in the joint called hyper-mobility which can cause pain and problems of its own.

What if there is no crack?

A simple study (Herzog) used a mixture of chiropractic patients and subjects with no symptoms to compare the responses of (high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA)) ‘manipulation’ treatments at with those that did not ‘crack’. The response appeared to be the same, whether or not a cracking sound was recorded. Furthermore, sham adjustments (adjustments that are done ‘wrong’ and not to treat the patient but simply fool them into thinking they had a proper treatment), never yielded measurable responses, although the cracking was actually sometimes present. Thus, it was apparent that in this instance the cracking sound is not actually essential for eliciting the observed reflex response following an adjustment, it simply needs to be done correctly.

The Chiropractic adjustment including the cracking sound are a very effective way of treating conditions related to the joins muscles and nerves of the body. The adjustment will not be painful and if you are not comfortable further techniques can be used for treatment.

What does the adjustment and cracking do?

  • Increasing movement in restricted joint
  • Inhibition of pain and increased pain tolerance
  • Relaxation of spinal muscles
  • Stimulation of the nervous system (viscerosomatic reflex)
  • Relief of nerve compression/irritation

Here at Camden Chiropractic, Camden Town, North London I will use all the most up to date techniques including manipulation to get you out of pain as quickly as possible and then keep you that way.

If you have any further questions please get in touch and I will be happy to talk them through with you.

Back Pain – The Facts

Some amazing statistics about lower back pain released by ‘Backcare’ the Charity Camden Chiropractic works with promoting the effects of back pain in the population and offering an option to reduce the impact it has;

  • Back pain is very common; according to a survey published in 2000 almost half the adult population of the UK (49%) report low back pain lasting for at least 24 hours at some time in the year.
  • It is estimated that four out of every five adults (80%) will experience back pain at some stage in their life.
  • Although in most cases back pain is nothing serious and disappears spontaneously, the sheer number of people affected makes it a very costly condition imposing a considerable burden on the individual and society.
  • Simple measures can be taken to reduce the chances of developing back pain and thereby reducing the impact of existing back pain.


  • In industrialised countries, up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some stage in their life. During any one year, up to half of the adult population (15%-49%) will have back pain.
  • The number of people with back pain increases with advancing age, starting in school children and peaking in adults of 35 to 55 years of age. Back pain is just as common in adolescents as in adults.


  • In most cases it is very difficult to identify a single cause for back pain. In about 85% of back pain sufferers no clear pathology can be identified.
  • The following factors could contribute to back pain:
    Having had back pain in the past, smoking and obesity.
    Physical factors such as heavy physical work, frequent bending, twisting, lifting, pulling and pushing, repetitive work, static postures and vibrations.
    Psychosocial factors such as stress, anxiety, depression, job satisfaction, mental stress.


  • Up to 7% of people with acute back pain will develop chronic back pain. These chronic patients have considerable discomfort and account for approximately 80% of the social and health care costs.


  • The National Health Service spends more than £1 billion per year on back pain related costs, this includes:
    £512 million on hospital costs for back pain patients.
    £141 million on GP consultations for back pain.
    £150.6 million on physiotherapy treatments for back pain.
  • In the private healthcare sector £565 million is spent on back pain every year.
  • This brings the healthcare costs for back pain to a total of £1.6 billion per year.
  • In addition there are other (indirect) costs. The Health and Safety Executive estimates that musculoskeletal disorders, which include back pain cost UK employers between £590 million and £624 million per year.
  • The total cost of back pain corresponds to between 1% and 2% of gross national product (GDP).
    Other European countries report similar high costs; back pain related costs in The Netherlands in 1991 were more than 4 billion euro. For Sweden in 1995 these were more than 2 billion euro.


  • Back pain, in particular persistent back pain (i.e. <3 months), can have a significant impact on people’s lives. It frequently reduces their quality of life and adversely affects their family and social relationships.


  • Nearly 5 million working days were lost as a result of back pain in 2003-04. This means that on any one day 1% of the working population are on sickness leave due to a back problem.
  • Back pain is the number 2 reason for long term sickness in much of the UK. In manual labour jobs, back pain is the number one reason.


  • Nearly 40% of back pain sufferers consulted a GP for help; 10% visited a practitioner of complementary medicine (osteopaths, chiropractors and acupuncturists).
  • When experiencing back pain it is very important to stay active. Bed rest will only make the pain worse.
  • Physical exercise can be a very effective method to reduce the pain and discomfort that long-term pain sufferers experience.

Don’t suffer like so many people call Camden Chiropractic today to help ease your pain in North London.

Physiological Basis For Spinal Manipulation Explained By Leading Neurologist and Chiropractor, Scott Haldeman DC, MD, PhD

A recent post by BCA (British Chiropractic Association) president Richard Brown summarising the findings of highly regarded Neurologist and Chiropractor Scott Haldeman on the effects of spinal manipulation or adjustment.

by Richard Brown, BCA President on Friday, April 8, 2011 at 5:54am

The first day of the WFC’s 2011 Congress saw the legendary chiropractor and neurologist, Scott Haldeman, speak on the physiological mechanisms and effects of spinal manipulation. Dr Haldeman, a professor of neurology at the University of California and head of the Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010, first qualified as a chiropractor in 1964 and has led the field in researching chiropractic and its effects since this time.

He said that there is now a large body of clinical research which demonstrates spinal manipulation to be effective in the management of back and neck pain and headaches.During his lecture, Dr Haldeman ran through a range of effects for which evidence now exists:

1. Relaxation of muscles and relief of muscular pain.

There have been a number of different research approaches to this question, but it’s been demonstrated that cortical evoked potentials are abnormal on the side of spinal pain when compared to the normal side and it’s been noted that these return to normal folowing spinal manipulation.

2. Changes in Pain Sensitivity

At least one study has shown that skin pain sensitivity to electricaql stimulation was diminished after spinal manipulation. A more recent RCT showed a change in thermal pain sensitivity.

3. Impact on Dorsal Horn neurons in the spinal cord.

Mechanical movement of the spine has been shown to stimulate Group I and Group II neurons and that the responses in these neurons can be sensitised by maintained changes in muscle length. Group III and IV Neurons can also be stimulated by vertebral movement. This has been hypothesized as a possible mechanism that may impact on the pain-spasm-pain cycle in paraspinal muscles.

4. Impact on Tissue Inflammatory Responses

Recent studies have raised the possibility that spinal manipualtion may have an impact on the inflammatory response of certain tissues.

5. Impact on Somato-Autonomic Responses

Research has repeatedly demonstrated that stimulation of somatic structures including peripheral somatic nerves, skin and muscles and can result in responses in autonomic nerves and can result in measureable changes in the function of a number of internal organs. It’s unknown whether or not these responses have any clinical significance.


WFC 11th Biennial Conference Proceedings pp46-49