Sep 04

6 Tips for choosing a Good Mattress


by Olivia O Leary D.C BSc Hons


For a back pain sufferer the correct mattress with proper support is vital to a good nights sleep

The type of mattress you sleep on plays a key role in the health of your spine and preventing unneccessary back pain. But one style does not fit all when it comes to mattresses.

Your body weight, shape and personal preferences determine whether an pocket sprung or a foam mattress will be most comfortable for you.

Clues that you may need a new mattress include:
•    Morning pain or stiffness
•    Restless sleep
•    Sleeping better when you’re away from home
•    Visible mattress sagging or lumpiness

Modern beds are made from a vast number of different materials and technologies, which can be confusing to a person considering a new mattress. The chiropractors at Gorey Family Chiropractic have put this guide together for this very commonly asked question.



A good mattress is designed to provide support for your body at all points and keep your spine in the same shape as a person with good standing posture.

The choice and quality of mattresses can vary greatly dependent on budget and personal preferences.

•Open Coil: One of the most common foundations in mattresses is the open coil spring providing you with a cheaper and durable but less supportive mattress foundation.

•Pocket Sprung: Adapts8-12-2013-1-53-46-PM-sleep-mattress-up to the contours of your body providing support and minimal partner disturbance with minimum roll together. As Chiropractors this is one of the most recommended types of mattress for the cost versus the benefit ratio.

Foam mattresses

Memory Foam mattresses like this one from Tempur come backed by state of the art technology which dramatically increases the purchase cost

•Dual Coil: Provides double the support, with a unique inner coil responding to variable pressure providing a second tier of back support. Another excellent choice for a back pain sufferer.

• Foam:  Memory foam mattresses popularised this type of mattress. It seems a love or hate relationship amongst buyers with some expecting the high price tag to improve symptoms beyond what a mattress is able to do, which is to offer support and good alignment to the spine and body thereby reducing strain.

2). Durability:

It’s the quality of the materials used and how they’re put together that determines how long a mattress and mattress base will provide comfort and support.

1.    Spend at least 10 minutes on a mattress you want to buy. Lie in all positions, to make sure the mattress is right for you. It will be a wise investment of time, and your back will thank you for it, compare how different types of mattresses feel to your back and body.
2.    Weigh the benefits of foam versus pocket sprung. A medium firmness Pocket sprung mattresses offers excellent support for the average person. Foam mattresses contour to the entire body, but can make it more difficult to turn and get out of bed.
 Clients with Hip bursitis or shoulder tendonitis may the find the softer moulding nature of the foam comfortable for their conditions.
3.    Consider your body type. If your hips are wider than your waist, a softer mattress can accommodate the width of your pelvis and allow your spine to remain neutral. If your hips and waist are in a relatively straight line, a more rigid surface offers better support.
4.    Make sure there are enough coils. If you go with an pocket sprung mattresses, more coils mean more support and firmness. The thicker the coil, the firmer the mattress, with heavy-gauge coils providing the most support. There are no magic numbers for coils, but steer clear of mattresses with few of them.

6.    There is no necessity to spend money on expensive upholstery. Fabric layers provide insulation and cushioning between your body and the mattress springs. But these layers are easily compressed and can make your mattress feel as though it is sagging long before the springs give out. Foam mattress toppers are inexpensive alternatives that can be changed easily when the foam wears out.


Our specialist Chiropractic team are trained and hold extensive experience both in Ireland and the U.K and are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of back pain, neck pain nerve and disc disorders as well as sports injury and osteoarthritis management. No GP referral is necessary.

On site x ray is offered and for your convenience all of our Gorey Family  Chiropractic team are registered with VHI, Glo, Aviva and Laya Healthcare allowing clients claim reimbursement from a wide range of private healthcare Insurance providers including the GAA Scheme.

For further information on our range of services to private individuals or companies contact or alternatively call 053 94 83338



Sep 04

Dealing With Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are one of thetimthumb most common sports injuries suffered in Ireland. A sudden jolt or twist can overstretch and tear the supporting ligaments of the ankle joint. Early treatment of a sprained ankle has been shown to help to speed recovery and minimise the symptoms including ankle pain.


The symptoms of an ankle sprain include:
•    Swelling – the ankle can swell in minutes or over several hours. Severe bruising may be noticed in the days after.
•    Pain in the ankle joint when trying to move it and when walking.

Acute Management 
Suggestions for Immediate Treatment of an Ankle Sprain Include:
•    Stop your activity.64369_589379681080833_478856801_n
•    Rest the injured joint.
•    Use ice packs every two hours, applied for 15 minutes.
•    Bandage the joint firmly with an elasticated bandage.
•    Raise the ankle above heart height whenever possible.
•    Avoid exercise, heat, alcohol and massage in the first 48 hours, as these can all exacerbate swelling.

Some people suffer from recurring ankle sprains. This can be caused by a number of factors working in combination, including:
•    Ligament scarring and excess looseness, as a result of previous ankle sprains
•    Insufficient treatment or rehabilitation from previous sprains. This can lead to weak muscles surrounding the ankle joint. It can also cause decreased balance ability; this is called a proprioceptive deficit.

If you are unable to take any weight on the foot at all, seek medical attention immediately. An x-ray may be needed to see whether a bone is broken. This x ray may be also be provided during a consultation with one of our chiropractic team at Gorey Family Chiropractic.
If the pain from a sprained ankle that you are managing yourself has not improved after a day or so, it is best to seek professional advice and consult with one our specialist chiropractic team or other specialist healthcare provider to get an accurate diagnosis of the injury and suggest the most appropriate treatment plan. Our Chiropractic team specialise in providing treatment, rehabilitation and support

ankle-impingementChiropractic Treatments May Include:
•    Hands on therapy for damaged tissues
•    Exercise programs to improve mobility of the joint
•    Exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the ankle
•    Exercises to encourage balance training and improve the proprioceptive deficit which often is overlooked
•    Advice on taping and ankle braces for use during activity


Suggestions to prevent ankle sprains include:

•    Warming the ankle and lower extremity up thoroughly prior to exerciseRocktape ankle.
•  Consider ankle braces or tape, as directed by your Chiropractor.
•   Take care when exercising on uneven or wet ground, especially in the first few weeks after a sprain.
•    Consult one of our chiropractic team for ankle strengthening exercises and exercises to improve your ankle proprioception.

  • Computerised Gait scanning may highlight abnormalities in your way of walking or running which can complicate or cause certain sports injuries. This can be addressed by introducing medical devices called orthotics/ insoles into your shoes if necessary.


If you or a family member are concerned by a recent ankle sprain or suffer recurrent ankle pain we would be pleased to consult with you and following a thorough physical evaluation which may include x rays offer a professional opinion as to the best treatment options available to you.

For your convenience the clinical team at Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic are covered by all major Irish health insurers and under the GAA Player Scheme.

Contact: or Tel: 053 94 83338 for an appointment.

Sep 03

Back to School Without Back Pain

Gorey-Family-Chiropractic-Clinic-300x199-1As we return to school this week, what school bag has you or your child chosen? The correct choice can encourage good spinal health and minimise strain on your child’s developing spine.

It may be easy to overlook the significance of some of the necessary choices such as school bags and footwear and how this can affect a child’s developing body and spine not only in terms of an aching back from a heavy school bag but sometimes more seriously affecting their concentration, learning and overall brain function.

How does that work? Well, a school bag that is too heavy, too big or too small and/or carried incorrectly can cause postural changes that place irritation throughout the spine and nervous system (which includes the brain and spinal cord) causing symptoms including back pain in children.


Leaning to the side to balance a shoulder bag creates unnatural curves in the spine which potentially causes childhood & adolescent back pain

Leaning forward to manage the excess weight and size places pressure on still developing spinal bones (vertebrae). Repeatedly carrying a bag on one shoulder only causes a sideways shift in the body leading to scoliosis (curvature of the spine) which as a condition can cause difficulty in breathing and can in some cases cause chronic back pain.

Forward head posture can also occur, placing strain on the nerves supplying the arms, chest and lungs and also on the brain stem, which controls a large number of bodily and cognitive functions.

Researchers have found that the weight carried in back packs is often 30 to 40% of a child’s body weight despite recommendations that schoolbags should not exceed 10-15%. In a recent study it was found that children carrying bags weighing more than 10% of their body weight have been found to have poorer lung function.


•    Make sure that the back pain has wide padded adjustable straps.
•    A bag with individualised compartments helps distribute the weight of the contents more effectively.
•    Urge your child to carry the bag on both shoulders.
•    Make sure the backpack weighs no more than 10% of the weight of your child when full.
•    The back pack should be carried on both shoulders fitted snugly against the back rather than hanging off it. This means it shouldn’t hang more than 4 inches below the waistline of your child whilst on.

•    Encourage your child to adopt and upright posture rather than a rounded shoulder one and urge caution removing and putting on backpacks. Keep the trunk of your body stable and avoid excessive twisting to avoid back strain and back pain.

 Warning signs for parents to look out for:

  • Changes in posture when wearing the backpack, leaning forward etc,
  • Struggling when putting on or taking off the backpack;
  • Complaining of back, neck or shoulder pain (please don’t ignore complaints of back pain in your children. It is NOT just growing pains and should be taken seriously and assessed properly)
  • Neurological signs such as tingling and numbness in the arms and hands, or headaches.
  • Red marks on the shoulders

Keeping an eye on your child’s school bag and watching out for early warning signs of developing back pain or back problems can help your child to have a successful and happy year this year and every year in school.

If you have any concerns about your child’s bag, back pain or any unexplained pains that your child is complaining about, please free to consult one of our specialist Chiropractic Association of Ireland team for a thorough professional evaluation and assessment.

Our Gorey Family Chiropractic Team are covered by VHI, Aviva, Laya and other Irish Insurers as well as under the GAA scheme. For an assessment please contact 053 94 83338 or alternatively email an enquiry to