Apr 26

Shoulder Problems: A Pain in the Neck?

Shoulder Problems: A Pain in the neck

by Olivia O’ Leary D.C BSc Hons

An aching shoulder may not signal a shoulder problem. And a sore neck may not indicate a neck problem.
When the chiropractors at Gorey Family Chiropractic were asked about neck and shoulder symptoms amongst clients on presentation to the clinic one thing quickly became clear. People may come in with shoulder pain when they really have a neck problem and similarly, neck pain can mask a shoulder problem.

“The way the body reports pain is somewhat unreliable,” explained Michael Veal D.C Clinic Director “Neck pain and shoulder pain so commonly overlap that it becomes difficult to distinguish for a patient where the pain is actually coming from.


Because the neck and shoulder are intimately connected by multiple nerve pathways. When injury occurs, the brain can’t always trace pain pathways back to their source, and what we feel may not be what is really going on. “This is known as ‘referred pain”.


Shoulder pain is most often caused by an injury to the rotator cuff, a group of tendons and muscles that stabilize the joint. The rotator cuff develops wear and tear with age, and can be easily injured which can cause shoulder tendonitis or even a partial tear of a shoulder tendon.

This may cause both shoulder pain and  contribute to development of neck pain.



•    Develops in the shoulder itself or on the outside of your upper arm
•    Is dull and aching
•    Occurs when you reach overhead or behind your back, or when lifting
•    Radiates into the upper arm, but not past the elbow
•    Persists at night
•    Improves when you rest your arm


images-1Inflammation of any of the 14 nerves or eight pairs of joints in the neck can cause neck pain. The joints — or vertebrae — serve as a “hinges” allowing movement (no wonder they wear out). In fact, 65 percent of 65-year-olds have arthritis in one or more neck joints.

This causes stiffness and irritation to these joints and can be another factor in the development of a pinched nerve. Fortunately chiropractic treatment and exercise has been extensively shown to  restore flexibility and reduce irritation in the neck which helps reduce neck pain and can help stabilise the condition.

Because pain in one area can so often be confused with another, a thorough examination must be done first by your chiropractor or other specialist healthcare provider which includes range of motion, strength testing and provocative orthopaedic tests to the neck and shoulder. Should these tests prove positive it may be necessary to x ray ( x ray facilities on site)  the neck to help rule out certain conditions or better evaluate others.


•    Develops in your shoulder blade, or close to or on the side of your neck
•    Is sharp, stabbing, burning or tingling
•    Radiates down past your elbow or even into your hand
•    Persists at rest
•    Occurs when you extend your arms or twist them inward
•    Is relieved when you support your neck

Luckily most neck and shoulder pain can recover with conservative care. Evidence based guidelines for the management of neck pain and shoulder pain commonly recommend conservative measures first like chiropractic care, exercises and rehabilitative exercises.


1.  Try to rest from activities that aggravate painshoulder strecth
2. Exercises to gently stretch and then ultimately strengthen have been shown to be of benefit.
3.  Ice  your shoulder, an ice pack should be applied for 10-15 mins wrapped in thin tea towel to prevent an ice burn.
4. If you are failing to recover from your shoulder pain or your shoulder pain is more severe our clinical team holds extensive experience in the treatment and management of shoulder pain and will guide your recovery or refer your case if treatment is deemed unsuitable for your problem.

5.  Anti inflammatory medications are sometimes beneficial in the first instance but their usage is not recommended to mask or avoid treating the cause of the underlying shoulder pain.

6.    If these measures fail to bring relief, you may need an MRI of your shoulder. If that shows a torn rotator cuff, then shoulder surgery can sometimes be necessary.


Should a physical examination by your chiropractor, which may include orthopaedic, neurological or x ray studies indicate a trapped or irritated nerve or arthritis in your neck, research and evidence based guidelines have shown chiropractic treatment to be  beneficial which may include spinal manipulation, soft tissue treatment techniques, muscular stretching as well as addressing causative factors such as poor ergonomics & posture.


  1. Remember good posture; a significant proportion of neck and shoulder pain develops from postural strain
  2. Stretching & strengthening exercises: neck stiffness and weakness leave the neck vulnerable to injury
  3. Ice &  heat ( ice in acute stages, heat when a problem is more chronic)
  4. Ergonomic modifications in your workplace may be necessary to address the causes of neck pain if occupational strain exists
  5. An orthopaedic pillow whilst sometimes a little difficult to get used, to maintains and supports the natural curve of the spine whilst sleeping which is especially important with a damaged neck.

Twitter-pic-1-150x150Whether you have chronic pain in your shoulder, your neck or both, don’t wait to see an expert.

“Having a chiropractor or other specialist evaluate your complaint will determine quickly where the main problem is and will get you started on the correct treatment,” says Dr. Veal.


If the source of your pain is difficult to pinpoint, our specialist Clinical team are trained and hold extensive experience in the diagnosis, treatment and management of neck pain and shoulder pain. With onsite x ray facilities in Gorey and quick referral available for MRI your problem can be thoroughly evaluated should it be deemed necessary.

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. We also provide care under the GAA injury scheme.

Opening hours Mon 8-7, Tues 9-5, Wed 8-7, Thurs 9-5, Frid 8-7

Tel: 053 94 83338   or alternatively email info@chiropractor.ie    


Apr 05

Hip pain or low back pain; which is the culprit?

As a sufferer of low back or hip pain it can be sometimes difficult to pinpoint what structure is responsible for the pain you experience. Back problems can masquerade as hip problems with a lot of overlap noticeable. Most pain from hip and back problems has occurred as a result of ordinary strain and wear and tear on the body. Sometimes accidents such as falls have potential to contribute to the development of injury and pain.

When the Hip is the Usual Suspect

Surprisingly to patients, hip problems usually produce groin pain on the painful side. That’s because the actual joint of the hip is close to the groin rather than where most people think.

Groin pain is usually treated as a hip issue until proven otherwise through a full orthopaedic and neurological evaluation as well as X rays if deemed necessary. This type of evaluation process can conclusively determine the cause of the pain. Pain above the belt line is not deemed a hip issue but is typically related to the spine and pelvic joints instead.

One common cause of hip pain is osteoarthritis of the hip joint. You may have hip arthritis if:

  • Pain is in your groin
  • Discomfort comes and goes, becoming more frequent over time
  • Pain worsens with standing, walking and activity, and is relieved by rest
  • You feel stiff
  • You walk with a limp

Other common causes of hip pain include Trochanteric Bursitis and Adductor Muscle (groin) strain.

When the Spine is the Likely Culprit

Many lower spine problems are caused by a herniated/ prolapsed disc that presses on delicate nerves in the lower back. This can produce a pain known as sciatica, which can be felt in the hip. You may have a herniated disc if your pain:

  • Is limited to your back, buttocks or hip
  • Shoots down your leg
  • Worsens with sitting or bending
  • Improves when standing or walking

Unfortunately some people develop problems in both the hip and lower back. It’s not surprising, since malfunction of one area has a knock on negative compensatory affect on others. A diagnosis process will identify the main sources of pain and restriction and will ascertain how that disorder has the potential to cause aggravation to structures elsewhere.


  1. If your Hip Pain is Failing to Improve; it is likely you will need to seek help from a specialist. At Gorey Family Chiropractic our clinical team has extensive experience in the diagnosis, treatment and management of hip pain and our team can recommend the most appropriate plan of management whether that involves treatment, exercises or a combination of both for your disorder. Referral to can be arranged should your condition not be suitable for treatment.
  2. Lose Weight. Shedding extra pounds is critical in relieving certain types of hip pain. Losing weight often helps reduces symptoms of osteoarthritis and can delay further deterioration. It also increases your chances of a successful outcome if replacement surgery is one day warranted.



  1. For Acute Back Pain: Initially rest is appropriate but research advocates avoiding prolonged bed rest of more than 24 to 48 hours. Instead try to remain mobile.

Ice applied to the injured area through a tea towel for 15-20 mins 3-4 times daily can assist with reducing inflammation. Meanwhile, try to stay active. Activity can and should be continued to avoid a loss of muscle tone essential for good spinal stability. Anti inflammatory medication can be used to help reduce inflammation and discomfort in the short term, but National Institute of Clinical Excellence in the U.K clinical guidelines recommend consultation with a practitioner such as chiropractor with trained expertise in the treatment of these disorders if the problem is persistent see below..

  1. Schedule Chiropractic if needed after two weeks. If you’re still in pain after two weeks, a chiropractor can diagnose the underlying cause of the pain and recommend and administer appropriate treatment to relieve pain and improve mobility as well as showing you exercises that can help strengthen the muscles supporting your spine. Consideration and advice is given to patients concerning causation factors as well as prevention of recurrence.
  2. Lose Weight, take Exercise and quit Tobacco. Maintaining your ideal weight will take the pressure off your spine. Exercises have been shown to be an excellent way of maintaining spinal mobility as well as strengthening your spine which guards against injury. It’s important to avoid tobacco products too. Nicotine impedes microcirculation, so your spine will degenerate at a faster rate.
Gorey Family Chiropractic; Supporting your Recovery and Helping Maintain It

If the source of your pain is difficult to pinpoint, our specialist Clinical team are trained and hold extensive experience in the diagnosis, treatment and management of hip and back pain.

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. We also provide care under the GAA injury scheme.

Opening hours Mon 8-7, Tues 9-5, Wed 8-7, Thurs 9-5, Frid 8-7

Tel: 053 94 83338   or alternatively email info@chiropractor.ie    

Mar 25

How to Choose the Best Football Boots

How to choose the best Football boots

How to choose the best football boots by Olivia O’ Leary D.C BSc Hons Chiropractic

Customise your Footwear to Stay out of the Treatment Room….

At some point in the season whether its pre season or mid way in, new football boots are a necessity. Finding the right boot is very important consideration for prevention of sports injury as well as comfort.

With a lot of young footballers that we see at Gorey Family Chiropractic experiencing conditions like Severs disease, shin splints, hamstring strains, as well as knee ligament problems we thought we would take a look at how to try to prevent these injuries and enhance performance through the right equipment, starting with how to choose and improve football boots.

How to choose football bootsFrom a support point of view the upper needs to be strong enough to support your foot during rapid changes in direction and when kicking. Although generally more expensive, a leather upper will mould to the shape of your feet and is very durable meaning it will age well. The soft nature of leather means it is very comfortable.

Synthetic uppers vary in quality at either end of the price scale. High quality synthetic upper is found on many modern football boots as it is strong, light and waterproof. However, some cheaper synthetic uppers may have a poor feel and will rip and tear easily under strain and tend to be found on boots at the lower end of the market. Combination leather and synthetic uppers are the strongest particularly when reinforced with ample stitching.

Heel Cup; Give Your Heels Height
Choose the proper football bootsThe heel counter or heel cup needs to be very rigid to support your rear foot during swerving & stepping. A sturdy deep heel cup can prevent injuries especially in young footballers.

The idea of inserting in-shoe ‘lifts’ into your boots may sound like a ruse to give some added height to the front line, but podiatrists believe that raising the heel with orthopaedic supports (orthotics) can lower the risk of Sever’s disease among young players. Sever’s is an inflammation of the area where the Achilles tendon joins the heel – common in the growing joints of young adolescent players. In an FA survey these conditions were found to account for over 13 per cent of injuries to footballers aged 11-13.

There are boots on the market that have midsoles or wedges under the heel providing some cushioning and support which is desirable for injury prevention. These are particularly good for young footballers that suffer from heel pain or any player that suffers from lower limb injuries such as shin splints, achilles tendonitis  or chronic knee injury or pain. The extra bulk in this type of boot is the only downside.

The outsole must be rigid and match the width of the foot. A narrow outsole will cause the foot to hang over the edge of the sole and place more pressure on the upper, which decreases the stability of the boot and is more likely to tear the boot.

Moulded Vs Screw-In Studs
The type of pitches that you will be playing on make a significant difference to the type of boot that you How to choose football boots for you childshould consider buying. Soft ground conditions require better grip so use of screw-in studs is suitable for use on soft, wet and muddy pitches. The studs are usually made from hard rubber although metal studs are available.

Anyone who has had a knee reconstruction or suffers from instability in the knee joint should be careful not to use an aggressive stud design as the increased grip may cause the foot to remain stuck in the turf potentially leading to excessive twisting and injury. Use of screw-in studs on hard grounds is not comfortable as a footballer or hurler can feel like they are running on pebbles.

Moulded stud boots are better suited to harder grounds. They are designed for surfaces where there is limited give. Moulded boots are also usually used on artificial and synthetic pitches as they tend to not get stuck in the turf like studs do reducing the likelihood of twisting knee injuries.

Tips to choosing football bootsThe ideal situation for the serious player is to own a pair of boots for every condition. However, in this recessionary environment that approach can be pricey so the general player should buy a single pair of boots that that will suit the surface he or she most often plays on. With Wexford gaelic, hurling, soccer & rugby generally played in soft conditions at this time of year, boots with screw in studs are most appropriate.

A correctly fitted boot is an important factor in prevention and treatment of foot injuries. There should always be a thumb nail width from the longest toe to the end of the boot. There should also be adequate depth to ensure your foot sits securely in the boot.
Badly fitting boots are a recipe for poor performance and injury. A boot that is too big will allow the foot to move within it, ruining any chance of fine ball control, quick acceleration or manoeuvrability. A boot that is too small will be uncomfortable to play in and may result in foot damage.


Orthotics with Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic

Computerised gait assessment allows for accurate prescription of sports orthotics for individuals

Football boots do accept specially moulded sports orthotics / insoles. Custom Made Sports Orthotics / insoles help  correct abnormalities in the way an individual moves, for example if you foot turns inward when you run or if you suffer from fallen arches. These types of orthotics are designed to prevent sports related injuries and help protect against pressure and impact shock. Depending on which sport you participate in, sports specific orthotics will be prescribed to meet the needs of different sports from soccer to golf to tennis and running.

We offer  state of the art TOG Gait Scan technology at Gorey Family Chiropractic which allows a computerised can of a foot to be taken and from this information a custom made insole is created which works both correctively and preventatively.   This technology therefore looks beyond just treating symptoms but determines the root cause of the problem and addresses the malfunction of the foot that has led to the foot pain or problems. These sports orthotics can Orthotics with Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinicbe placed into your football boots to offer an increased level of support and with the goal of injury prevention and enhanced performance. The Tog orthotics supplied by Gorey Family Chiropractic come with a lifetime guarantee against cracking of the supportive shell ensuring support for the long term for your feet.

Gorey Family Chiropractic Supporting your Recovery and Enhancing your Performance

For further information on Tog Orthotics/ insoles please see the Tog Orthotics video on the practice videos section on our website http://www.chiropractor.ie/5,gallery,orthotics_patient_education_dvd.html. Alternatively contact the practice to arrange a personal computerised assessment with one of our clinical team.

If you are troubled by any of the sports injuries mentioned above please feel free to contact our practice to arrange an assessment. For your convenience all of our clinical team are registered with VHI, Aviva, Glo and Laya Healthcare allowing clients claim reimbursement from a wide range of private healthcare Insurance providers.We also provide care under the GAA injury scheme.

Opening hours Mon 8-7, Tues 9-5, Wed 8-7, Thurs 9-5, Frid 8-7


T : 053 94 83338  or alternatively email info@chiropractor.ie.

Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic, Railway Road, Gorey, Co Wexford.

Mar 13

Plant & Rake Without the Ache

Here’s how to take care of your back whilst gardening.

Gardening can be very rewarding, but with all the digging, lifting, reaching and bending, taking care of your back now will help to keep you enjoying the fruits of your labour for many years to come! Back or muscle pain that lasts longer than 48 hours is your body‘s way of saying it needs help.
Chiropractors are trained to detect and treat spinal problems. The team at Gorey Family Chiropractic provide comprehensive care and education concerning your back, muscles and joints, helping you enjoy life to the fullest. Here’s our guide to gardening to minimise those aches & pains.

Tips for a Healthy Back in The Garden

  • Have the right tools for the task at hand
  • Ensure you drink plenty of fluids
  • Alternate between light and heavy jobs
  • Lift correctly
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Heavy loads should be shared
  • Your feet should be protected with thick soled supportive shoes
  • Before you start, warm-up your muscles
  • Avoid muscle strain, learn the right techniques
  • Change positions frequently
  • Kneel to plant and weed
  • Spinal check-ups can help keep your back healthy

Helping you Stay Healthy…


Limber up first. Your joints, muscles and back will thank you!

Stretch each of these body parts 5 times, holding each stretch for 15 seconds. Don‘t bounce, jerk or strain, it should be a gentle stretch, not a painful one.
Stretch your;  Thighs • Shoulders • Sides • Hamstrings • Arms & Wrists • Back



Choose tools that are ergonomically designed, are the correct tool for the job, have padded handles and spring action.

Here‘s a few more tips:

  1. A hose is easier to manage than a watering can.

  2. A good wheelbarrow makes moving heavier loads a breeze.

  3. Separate a larger load into several small ones.

  4. Wear comfortable, thick soled, supportive shoes.

  5. Use ergonomically designed, long handled,lightweight tools


Using the right moves can go along way to enabling you to plant and rake without the ache. Positioning your body correctly reduces strain on muscles and joints. So use these tips to enjoy the fruits of your labour for years to come.
Kneel To Plant. Use knee pads or a kneeling mat to reduce the strain while you plant and weed. Keep your back straight and stop frequently to take a break.
Rake Right. Ease the strain on your back by putting one leg in front, the other behind. Switch legs and hands from time to time.
Alternate Heavy. Light. Heavy. light. That‘s the right way to handle those chores.
Change Hands. Take the strain off by changing the position of your hands.
Check Your Position. And change it often. Kneel. Then stand or simply sit and relax for a while.


Shovel. Lift. Plant. Rake.
You can do it without the ache…If you learn how to lift correctly. The good news is – most lifting injuries are preventable. Here are the tried and tested rules for lifting with care, without hurting your back.

  • Get Close To The Load: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, head up, feet and body pointing in the same direction. Pivot with your feet… don‘t twist your body while carrying the load.
  • Knees Bent, Back Straight: Check the weight of what you are lifting. Use your leg and arm muscles to smoothly and slowly lift.
  • Easy Does It: Bend your knees and slowly lower the load to its intended place. Do not lift heavy objects above your waist. Avoid heavy lifting immediately after prolonged bending or kneeling.
  • Lifting Above Your Waist: Many hands make light work. Literally! So get some help with the heavy and awkward loads. Stand on something solid. Slowly lift the load, keeping it close to your body and pass the load to your helper.

Gorey Family Chiropractic; Supporting your Recovery and Helping Maintain It

If you are an existing client of Gorey Family Chiropractic and have any questions on the topic covered above or are a person suffering back or neck pain or indeed muscular or nerve pain please feel free to email or contact our clinic where we will be delighted to assist you..

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. We also provide care under the GAA injury scheme.

Opening hours Mon 8-7, Tues 9-5, Wed 8-7, Thurs 9-5, Frid 8-7

Tel: 053 94 83338   or alternatively email info@chiropractor.ie    

Mar 11

Guide to Warming Up to Prevent Injury

by Olivia O’ Leary D.C BSc Hons Chiropractic

Even though it’s only early March already the hamstring, achilles tendon & calf strains/ tears associated with sport have been coming into the Clinic for assessment and treatment. Some of these injuries can be prevented and certainly they can be treated but valuable training time is lost particularly with the GAA and running seasons in full swing, so it makes sense to try to prevent injury and ensure we are preparing the body correctly for the participation in our chosen sports to prevent this in the first place.

Warming up your body with a dynamic routine prepares your body mentally and physically. A warm-up will improve the effectiveness of your training, improve athletic performance, reduce the likelihood of injury and promote a faster recovery from the event.

Why warm-up?

The two key warm-up goals are to:
1.    Prepare athletes specifically for the training or competition both mentally and physically.
2.    Minimise the risk of injury.

Preparing the body for exercise with a warm-up has several benefits including:

•  Increased blood flow to muscles

•  Faster delivery of oxygen and other nutrients to muscles

•  Greater extensibility and elasticity of body tissues

•  Allows joints to move more freely

•  Psychological preparation for play

What is the ideal warm-up?

At Premiership teams like Man United the warm up is a vital part of an overall injury control strategy

A good warm-up should incorporate the muscle groups and activities that are required during training or competition. The intensity of a warm-up should begin at a low level gradually building to the level of intensity required during training or competition and should be performed prior to the activity.
For most athletes, 15 to 20 minutes is enough. However in cold weather or at higher levels of competition the duration of your warm-up should be increased.

What should a warm-up include?

The clinical team at Gorey Family Chiropractic commented that there is often noticeable confusion between the difference between stretching and warm-up among clients. Stretching alone is not a warm-up; the warm-up must be active and dynamic to prepare the muscles for the forces involved in the particular sporting activity. Stretching is only one component of the warm-up.

Warm-ups should include:

•  General aerobic exercise like jogging.
•  Sport-specific exercise and drills that are likely to be performed during the training session or game e.g. a footballer can perform passing drills.
•  Flexibility exercises or stretching. There is now less emphasis on static stretching during a warm-up. Instead, dynamic stretches should be performed to move the muscle groups through the full range of movement required in the activity being performed.

Lets look at two common pre sport warm up that are very common in Ireland one for football and one for running (any client’s taking part in the Beach Bog Run or the Hope and Dream 10, this is for you!)

An example of a football specific pre-match warm up:

1.    Light running (2 min)
2.    Run throughs: forwards, backwards and sideways gradually increasing speed (2 min)
3.    Dribbling and passing drills (2-3 min)
4.    Dynamic stretching: including high knees, cross overs, heel kicks, walking lunges, and leg swings (controlled and not ballistic) (2 min)
5.    Mini game situation drills (2-3 min)
6.    Individual time: for players to address any areas of the warm up that they feel  may need additional time.

The Perfect Warm up for Running

The ideal general warm-up for fast running is slow running. There is a degree of specificity in jogging that makes it the ideal way to begin your warm-up for a running race or workout.

It takes at least 10 minutes to do the job; 30 seconds of nervous jogging in place behind the start line won’t cut it!

Walking Lunge Warm Up Exercise

Elite runners typically jog for 20-25 minutes before races. That’s can seem too much for many leisure runners, who may begin to feel the first hints of fatigue after 25 minutes of jogging so it depends on the level that you are training and performing at.

After you complete your jog, it’s time for your specific warm-up. This entails repetitive movements that take your major joints through a full range of motion. Start with gentler movements and work toward ballistic actions.

Here’s a suggested sequence each to be done for 20 secs:

1. Forward/backward arms swings
2. Side-to-side trunk rotations with arms extended outward
3. Walking lunges
4. Forward/backward leg swings
5. Side-to-side leg swings
6. Hopping on the spot with locked knees
7. Jogging forward while rotating hips from left to right
8. Jogging on the spot with high knees
9. Jogging on the spot with buttock kicks

Finally, cap off your specific warm-up with a set of strides. Run for 20 seconds at race pace or at the pace you’re targeting in the workout. Stop, walk for 20 seconds, turn around, and run 20 seconds again at race/workout pace. Complete four of these 20-second strides. Naturally, this is as specific as a warm-up can get.

Strides serve the threefold purpose of setting your target race or workout pace, completing the neuro-muscular priming process, and making the start of the workout or race less psychologically shocking.

Run your strides as close to the start of the race or workout as possible. Ideally, you’ll finish your last stride 30 seconds before the gun goes off.

Have fun and good luck!

Troubled by a Recurrent Sports Injury?

If you are suffering recurrent or chronic injuries related to your sport whether it is hamstring, ITB or calf pain or a combination of several problems, we are here to help you. Our clinical team has extensive experience in the physical assessment, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries backed by a onsite facility that includes x ray and state of the art computerised gait scanning for the better analysis of problems related to the way an individual walks or runs. This technology also allows us to produce custom made orthotics for our clients.

For your convenience all of our Gorey Family  Chiropractic team are registered with VHI, Aviva and Laya Healthcare allowing clients claim reimbursement from a wide range of private healthcare Insurance providers.

Opening hours Mon 8-7, Tues 9-5, Wed 8-7, Thurs 9-5, Frid 8-7

Tel: 053 94 83338   or alternatively email info@chiropractor.ie    

Feb 11

4 Ways to Strengthen your Back

Building Core Muscles Helps Protect you from Back Injury…
The Chiropractic team at Gorey Family Chiropractic are not only concerned with treatment, we also incorporate the benefits of exercise and rehabilitation in combination with treatment to return the spine to a strong stable condition preventing future episodes of back pain. So how can we do this?

Our back muscles are involved in every move we make. The spinal system includes muscles along with the bones, discs, joints and ligaments in the trunk and abdominal area, together known as the core. This complex system helps our bodies twist, turn, bend, extend and bear stress from everyday activities.
Weakness, imbalance or tightness in the muscles that support the spine creates imbalance and can lead to abnormal posture, muscle fatigue and back pain.
The following exercises suitable for all levels help build core muscles to protect the spine and help prevent back pain. There are a number of different ways to strengthen your core. The exercises you choose will depend on whether you have had back problems before, and your age. Be sure to discuss any exercise program with one of our Gorey Family Chiropractic team if you are unsure or if you are in pain at the moment.

1. Pool exercises (easy)

Pool walking is a low-impact way to build core muscles. As you move, the core works against the force of the water. This is gentle on extremities such as knees, hips, ankles and feet.

2. Exercise ball (medium/difficult)

Exercise videos or specific instruction from one of the Gorey Family Chiropractic team will help you understand how to use an exercise ball appropriately. These exercises are deceptively simple and with practice, you can increase the intensity gradually to great effect.

3. Floor exercises (medium/difficult)

A popular core booster is the side plank. Lie on your right side with your right hand on the ground. (Beginners should use the elbow.) Lift yourself up to form a plank, with your right arm straight and left arm at your side. Hold the position, then repeat. Be sure to keep the body in a straight line while tightening the abdominals and gluts.

4. Mind-body workouts (easy to difficult)

Disciplines such as tai chi, Yoga and Pilates help target core muscles. Sign up for a class or rent a DVD exercise program to try at home.  Tai chi is low impact and ideal for people with a history of musculoskeletal problems. Choose “relaxation” yoga for lower impact. Pilates is centered around building core strength and improving posture.
No matter what you do, the key is to find an activity appropriate for your body — one that you enjoy and will stick with so you can continue to build a strong, healthy back. Good Luck and message us if you have any questions 😉

info@chiropractor.ie or alternatively call 053 94 83338

Jan 18

Do Chiropractors help Patients with Headaches?

By Dr. Michael Veal BSc (HONS) D.C. CCEP

Well for people who have successfully seen chiropractors for treatment this is an easy question to answer. The answer of course being YES!!! However, there are many people in the local areas of Gorey Arklow and Wexford who suffer from Headaches who have never heard of Chiropractors or never had Chiropractic explained to them properly, so have never realised the overwhelming benefit Chiropractic treatment can have for headache sufferers.

At Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic, we have seen many patients over the years suffering from headaches particularly  and the most common thing we hear after Chiropractic  treatment for headaches is that they wished they had treatment years ago or that they wished they knew a link existed between poor function of their neck and their headaches. So if you’re sitting reading this and are suffering from headaches, let’s go through the causes and treatment of the most common types of headaches and what the options are for treatment outside of your pain medication.

1.)    Tension Headaches (Also known as Stress Headaches or Cervicogenic headaches)
This is the most common type of headache, with an estimated 80% related to stress. This can be due to both physical (poor posture, joint dysfunction in your neck etc) or psychological (work deadlines, stress etc).

Several of the nerves that exit the highest proportion of the neck loop back to travel over the top of the head to the forehead. These nerves pass through a triangle of muscles below the skull called the sub-occipital triangle.  (see below)

If the muscles become irritated (i.e. due to physical or psychological stress) they tighten, squeezing the nerves passing through the triangle. This can create pain in the base of the skull, temples, forehead, bridge of the nose or behind the eyes. It can also be accompanied by tightness and pain in the upper part of the neck and is also often noticed in the muscles at the base of the neck towards the back of your shoulders.

Evidence based research has demonstrated clear benefits between chiropractic care and this form of headache. This is through addressing the underlying issues that cause the headache i.e the joint stiffness, muscular tightness, muscular imbalances, postural problems.

2.)    Sinus Headaches

When a sinus becomes infected, inflamed and congested it usually causes pain. There can also be fever related to the condition. The sinus headache is usually worse when waking in the morning because mucous has been collecting and draining while you were laying down. It’s also worse when you go from a warm house out into the cold, or when you bend over or lie down.

These type of headaches can be treated by your General Practitioner with antibiotics, as well as antihistamines or decongestants. But if that doesn’t work in the long term, it may be worthwhile being assessed by your local Chiropractor to evaluate whether other underlying spinal factors could be contributing and making your headaches worse.  Should this not be the case a referral can then be recommended to an appropriate specialist.

3.)  Migraine Headaches

Chiropractic care has long been shown to be a very safe and effective form of treatment for Migraine headaches. Migraines can be caused by a number of trigger factors e.g diet but links have always existed between migraines and poor function of the neck.

Exciting research by dental researchers recently came to a very interesting conclusion for the onset of Migraines.  The researchers found a small ligament that connected the upper most vertebra (the Atlas) of the spine to the outer layer of the spinal cord (the dura mater). It was theorized that abnormal position or motion of the Atlas bone would likely place tension on the spinal cord altering the cerebro-spinal fluid pressure in the brain.
Thankfully, Chiropractic treatment of the spinal joints has been shown to restore proper joint motion and position and this often provides relief and improved quality of life for migraine headache sufferers.

Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic: Supporting your Recovery

We realise it can be confusing knowing where to choose for your healthcare services. If you, a friend or family member requires care for  headaches, neck or back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services at Gorey Family Chiropractic and look forward to helping you in the future.

If you are suffering from any of the types of headaches mentioned and are based around Gorey, Wexford, Arklow or Carlow it may be time to be checked.  Why not call Gorey Family Chiropractic today to make an initial consultation appointment.

For your convenience all of our clinical team are registered with VHI, Aviva and Laya Healthcare allowing clients claim reimbursement from a wide range of private healthcare Insurance providers.

Opening hours Mon 8-7, Tues 9-5, Wed 8-7, Thurs 9-5, Frid 8-7

Tel: 053 94 83338   or alternatively email info@chiropractor.ie     

Dec 12

Do your feet need support from a custom made insole/ orthotic?

We spend so much of our time on our feet; walking, running, working or playing sports it’s no wonder that the number of people who suffer foot pain or knee pain from the stress and strain put on their feet is quite staggering. Throw some bunions or collapsed arches into the mix and its an eventual recipe for disaster. Foot pain can be quite crippling when it strikes…so where does it come from?


  • An average person walks approx 12,000 steps per day (or 4 miles)
  • A person will walk 4 times around the earth circumference in a lifetime
  • A person places 500,000 kilos of pressure on their feet in a lifetime
  • 83% of Irish Population will suffer from an acute episode of foot or foot related pain, the majority of which are treatable and even preventable with proper foot care and Orthotics.

How do feet affect other areas of your body?

The feet have a direct impact on the rest of a person’s body.  Like the foundation of a house, your feet support the weight of everything above them.

When a small problem develops in your feet, a subtle change in the way you walk will cause a chain reaction of adjustments in your posture and way of walking.  These changes can put stress on joints higher up in your body like those of the knees, hips and lower back which leads to the development of muscular and skeletal problems and pains elsewhere. It can be pointless to treat these other injuries without considering where the root of the problem lies. This brings us on to the topic of orthotics and their use as a treatment.

What do Orthotics do and how can they help?

Tog Custom made Orthotics work on your feet much like glasses work on your eyes- they reduce stress and strain on your body by bringing your feet back into proper alignment.

Custom made Orthotics are designed in such a way that they fit comfortably like an insole in your shoe and but have the advantage of having been custom made for exact imprints of your feet.

Custom made Tog orthotics are biomechanical medical appliances which are made to correct your own specific foot imbalances rather than the generic off the shelf model model which is not specific.


How are Orthotics Created?

We offer  TOG Gait Scan technology at Gorey Family Chiropractic which allows a scan of an individual’s foot to be taken and from this information a custom made insole is created which works both correctively and preventatively.   This state of the art technology therefore looks beyond just treating symptoms but determines the root cause of the problem and addresses the malfunction of the foot that has led to the foot pain or problems.

This also relieves abnormal strain off other tissues and structures further up the leg, which can lead to knee pain, hip pain and even contribute to lower back pain. By balancing and buffering the forces exerted during walking, orthotics help to restore normal balance and take pressure off other muscles and joints.

This is particularly helpful for runners or sports people where small foot malfunctions are more pronounced and influential in causing injuries whilst running.

Common conditions where orthotics can be necessary or beneficial in the overall management include

  • Plantar Fasciitis,
  • Shin Splints
  • Ilio-tibial band Syndrome,
  • Fallen arches
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Heel Spurs

Lifetime Guarantee:

Tog Orthotics carry a lifetime guarantee against cracking to the supportive Orthotic shell.

If you are suffering from any of the types of  problem mentioned and are based around Gorey, Wexford, Arklow or Carlow it may be time to be checked.  Why not call Gorey Family Chiropractic today speak to one of our friendly team who will be happy to arrange a Tog Gait Scan assessment  to evaluate the need or benefits to be gained from Tog orthotics specific to your own individual requirements.


For further information on this product, please see the Tog Orthotics video on the practice videos section on our website http://www.chiropractor.ie/5,gallery,orthotics_patient_education_dvd.html

For your convenience all of our clinical team are registered with VHI, Aviva and Laya Healthcare allowing clients claim reimbursement from a wide range of private healthcare Insurance providers.

Opening hours Mon 8-7, Tues 9-5, Wed 8-7, Thurs 9-5, Frid 8-7


T : 053 94 83338  or alternatively email info@chiropractor.ie.

Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic, Railway Road, Gorey, Co Wexford.

Dec 10

The Gorey Family Chiropractic Christmas Shopping Survival Guide

Take the back pain out of shopping this Christmas

Don’t shop till you drop this Christmas.  There’s a right way and a wrong way to shop and it’s important to recognise the physical strain that shopping can place on your body and your back in particular.

We find that there are more back, neck and shoulder injuries suffered during the run up to  Christmas  and eventually evaluated and treated at Gorey Family Chiropractic than at any other time of year and  there’s a few different reasons for this.

Many times people walk long distances on uneven and unforgiving surfaces. Some battle on in high heel shoes trying to carry heavy bags coupled with standing in queues.  The constant struggle with bulky bags over a long day can place huge stress and strain on your spine but particularly if you’ve had back pain before.

The team here at Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic have put together a list of potential aggravatory factors to help inform you on what to watch out for and ease the strain on your back this Christmas!

Survival Guide Tips:
1. Take your time shopping. 

”But I haven’t got enough time”, we hear you say. Organisation is the key to success for anyone who is recovering from a back injury. Have a clear plan of action, of where to go & what you need to get. It is important to give yourself time, so that you can factor in a couple of coffee breaks to take strain off your back even for just a few minutes.
The pressure of walking with bags all day can send an unstable low back over the edge so pace yourself according to your stage of recovery and strength. Bear in mind also that stress also leads to increased tension and a greater chance of muscle strain.

2. Park close to the shops.

This is really important for anyone with a current injury. There’s nothing worse than having to walk miles and miles back to the car, with your hands full of shopping bags, feeling a deep soreness in your shoulders or low back. It’s a definite recipe for disaster! Instead, park the car close by and do a few trips with lighter bags. Your body will definitely thank you for it.
3. Start off light and consider your shoes.
Ladies, empty any enormous handbags of any unnecessary weight or opt for a smaller bag and only carry essential items that you need for the day ahead.  A bag that you can carry across your body is far better for distributing weight more effectively than a one sided model. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, no high heels. You know you will suffer otherwise!
4. Carrying and Lifting Bags the Right Way.
Carry shopping bags evenly in each hand to distribute weight – where you can access trolleys, throw everything in and give your shoulders a break. Try not to carry parcels or shopping in front of you as this can cause greater strain on your lower back.
Remember also to bend those knees when lifting off the floor and think about tightening the tummy muscles when lifting heavy groceries into and out of cars. This helps support your spine when you do so.
This is an area where people can come unstuck. Get help bringing the groceries out at the supermarket if you know you need it it’s best not to take the chance if it can be avoided.
5. Dress for the weather.

It sounds obvious but there is a relationship for some between the cold weather and increased muscle strain. Holding yourself stiff if you re feeling the cold places strain on muscle tissues, which for some can lead to strain or in the worst case spasm.The neck and shoulders are particularly sensitive to this problem so think about wearing extra layers and wear a scarf if you’ve suffered neck problems in the past.
6. Can heavy items be bought online?
For bigger heavier items, check if they can be purchased online and minimize the hassle and the strain.
Hopefully this guide will help troubleshoot some of the most common causes of back pain seen at Gorey Family Chiropractic.
New Injury Requiring Evaluation and Treatment this Christmas?
For anyone who has unfortunately recently injured their back   or who is suffering back or neck pain that requires treatment we will have appointments as normal in the run up to Christmas and during Christmas week on Christmas Eve morning and as normal on the 27th and 28th of December.
Call the practice team on 053 94 83338 or email info@chiropractor.ie

 “We don’t just wish you Good Health this Christmas and New Year, Gorey Family Chiropractic will help you to achieve it”

Nov 12

Keep Golfing Through the Seasons with Gorey Family Chiropractic

Keep back pain and other aches and pains at bay while out on the green

Michael Veal D.C BSc Hons Chiropractic

Do you think you can play the whole year with your golf friends – especially if you have arthritis and and suffered back pain?

The answer is yes! You can feel good throughout the year, but it will take a little common sense and preparation. In fact, studies have found that at least 40 percent of golfers play with injuries. This is not necessarily a good thing!

Unfortunately research shows that unaddressed injuries often can become chronic. Most golf injuries occur in the lower back, elbows or shoulders. In addition, the most common kind of arthritis — osteoarthritis– occurs in the hands, hips, knees, neck or lower back.

At Gorey Family Chiropractic we diagnose, treat and rehabilitate lot’s of Golfers from predominantly the counties of Wexford, Wicklow and Carlow and we understand what a passionate bunch you are so here are some tips to help keep you playing throughout the year and minimize strain on your bodies and on any pre-existing injuries. So lets get started…

Before You Play

  • Think about your target weight. Overweight golfers put significant impact on various bodily joints causing pain and worsening arthritis.
  • Do warm ups. Techniques as simple as a brisk five- to 10-minute walk prior to going to the practice range can help. The team at Gorey Family Chiropractic are more than happy to discuss the most appropriate warm up exercises for your condition and to avoid causing back pain.
  • Drink plenty of water. Your body is typically in a dehydrated state in the morning. It is helpful to drink one and a half bottles of water – before your round and between one and three bottles during your round depending on the time of year. Please check with your chiropractor if you have medical conditions that restrict fluid intake.
  • Eat light. Try to eat a small meal one to two hours before play or practice. Large meals in your stomach move blood away from your brain and muscles affecting play and performance. Low fat, lean protein and complex carbohydrates are preferred.
  • Wear supports if needed. Aids, including oversized grips (if you have hand arthritis) or spikeless golf shoes will help to reduce the increased rotational stress on hips, knees and ankles in the typical golf swing. There are many braces / supports (for arthritic knees) to minimize pain during the golf swing.
  • Plan ahead. If possible, meet with a golf professional to examine your technique or ask one of your Gorey Family Chiropractic team about what exercises are appropriate for you to avoid back pain before the season starts so that a conditioning or strengthening program is created that is easy to work into your daily routine.

During Play

  • Walk, don’t ride. Try to minimize your time riding in a golf buggy. If you are able, switch to walking or riding with your partner every other hole. That will help protect your back muscles from spasm during the constant bounce of the cart.
  • Choose drinks wisely. Hydrate with water or sports drinks that do not have high sugar content which in some can contribute to the development of diabetes and gout.  Avoid alcoholic drinks which will dehydrate your body further.
  • Bring healthy snacks. Eat snacks that are high in carbohydrates and low in fat such as bananas, dried fruits (raisins, cherries or cranberries), energy bars with whole grains (wheat or oats) and nuts such as almonds or peanuts.

After Play

  • Stretch: Do static stretching exercises after your golf round (not before).
  • Ice: For painful or recently injured areas, ice for 15 to 20 minutes. Avoid heat to an affected area, as it will increase circulation and inflammation.
  • Eat and rehydrate: Within two hours of a round of golf, it’s important to replace stores of glycogen(our body’s primary source of energy) in the muscles and liver for a full recovery and for optimal performance the next day.

Above all have a great time out there from all the team at Gorey Family Chiropractic and remember to keep  the back pain or other injury niggles in check throughout the golf season!

New Injury Not Recovering?

Unfortunately if you have recently injured your back and your back pain has not subsided or if you have never had the cause of your back pain diagnosed or evaluated, you may be in need of professional assistance to diagnose your condition accurately and treat it effectively.

With all new patients we initially conduct a thorough physical assessment which includes orthopaedic and neurological testing as well as X rays (facilities on-site) where clinically necessary. That in conjunction with a careful examination of the history of the complaint and lifestyle factors allows us to determine the diagnosis of the condition so that the most effective form of treatment and management may be undertaken.

Call our clinic today where one of our friendly team would be delighted to help schedule an initial appointment.

Tel 053 94 83338

Opening hours Mon 8-7, Tues 9-5, Wed 8-7, Thurs 9-5, Fri 8-7