Apr 03

Shoulder Problems: A Pain in the neck


Shoulder Problems: A Pain in the neck

by Olivia O’ Leary D.C BSc Hons

Pain in the neckAn aching sholder 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    

Mar 27

Do Chiropractors help Patients with Headaches?

Do Chiropractors help Patients with Headaches?

Mar 27

What Core Exercises Can Do For Your Back Pain

The Rationale Behind Exercising your Back

By Olivia O Leary BSc (Hons) D.C

Back painYour low back pain can be the result of many different things. Back pain can be triggered by combinations of strain, overuse, and or injuries to the ligaments, joints and discs of the spine.

Over time injury that has not been managed correctly can lead to an imbalance in the spine which can lead to constant tension in the muscles, ligaments and joints making your low back more prone to injury or re-injury.

Treatment combined with rehab has been scientifically shown to have greater success at preventing recurrent low back pain than either treatment or exercises on their own. So where do you start if you are experiencing recurrent low back pain.

Since low back pain can be caused by injury to various structures in the spine and it’s supporting structures it is important to consult your chiropractor or other spinal specialist if you have back pain lasting longer than 1-2 weeks which is undiagnosed.  Your chiropractor can provide a specific diagnosis and explain what structure is injured so that you can be guided as to which treatment and exercises are appropriate for your specific injury.

If you are an existing client of Gorey Family Chiropractic you will have already beenChiropractor care thoroughly physically examined,  with x rays taken or scans arranged if clinically neccessary, so that your  your complaint could be diagnosed comprehensively and the benefits of rehab for your condition if it was necessary will have been explained to you.

Different spinal problems can be treated with differing protocols regarding exercise, but low back and flexibility exercises have been shown to helpful for almost all types of back problems.

How do Core Exercises Help the Low Back

Low back exercises concentrate on strengthening your abdominal muscles, helping give stability to your spine.

Rehabilitation prograCore exercisesms that focus on strengthening lumbar muscles combined with core stability and proprioception work also help reduce the risk of low back pain in the future if exercises are done correctly, and on a regular basis.

The Lumbar/Core Strength and Stability programs can be utilised if you are one of our clients recovering from a specific injury or if it has been identified that you may be at risk of developing further spinal problems in the future.

Programs always include flexibility and strengthening components.

Rehab programs are divided into easy, medium and more difficult levels, which clients work through themselves but under the guidance of one of our Chiropractic/ Physiotherapy team.

It is always recommended to start with the “Easy” exercises, and perfect those before moving to “Medium” or “Difficult”.

So what is the “core”?

Chiropractor careThe “core” is comprised of several groups of muscles including the transversus abdominus, multifidus, diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles.

These muscles work together to produce maximum stability in the abdominal and lumbar (lower) back region, as well as coordinating the movement of the arms, legs, and spine.

World Leading Exercise Instruction..

Professor Stuart McGill is one of the worlds leading experts on Spinal Rehabilitation based at the University of Waterloo Canada. His expertise in spinal rehab has been utilized by governments and public bodies as well as elite athletes. In this video he demonstrates how to effectively and safely strengthen the core without aggravating the lower back or discs.

This great video from Professor Mc Gill and his team is excellent for referencing the best exercises for the core, thereby strengthening the core effectively and most importantly safely for those of you with lower back or disc problems.

As always our Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinical team will guide you through a specific programme for your individual case to complement your programme of Chiropractic care and to ensure you recover faster and stay well in the long term.

For your convenience all our clinical team is registered with VHI, Aviva and Laya Healthcare allowing clients of Gorey Family Chiropractic to claim reimbursement from a range of Private Health Insurers.

Feel free to contact our Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinical Team at info@chiropractor.ie or 053 94 83338 with any questions or if you are a new patient with low back pain, sciatica or disc problems seeking guidance.

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

Mar 27

Prevent back pain in the garden this Spring

Prevent back pain in the garden this spring by Olivia O Leary D.C BSc Hons Chiropractic

If you are like many of our clients at Gorey Family Chiropractic you may have been trying to get out after the winter to start the spring planting, cut the grass or tidy up after a long winter.

Now that SpringPrevent back pain sunshine has finally arrived in Wexford here are a few tips from our chiropractors at Gorey Family Chiropractic to help make your spring gardening and DIY safe, healthy and enjoyable. However if like some people you are office or car bound by week and therefore a bit of a  weekend warrior type a few precautions to avoid back pain or other injury may be helpful!

I have noticed here in practice that a long winter restricts some client’s physical activity levels often leading to spinal stiffness and lack of physical condition. This lack of exercise can lead to our back’s, hips and muscles becoming stiff and weaker over the winter. So if you also sit at a desk all week and then attack some vigorous gardening all in the one go, it may unfortunately become a a recipe for disaster!

We can end up using muscles and joints and neural pathways that have barely moved all week and are not used to extended periods of physical activity. Another common problem of  trying to do everything all at once also may leave you exhausted, sore and fed up. There’s a better way!

Give these handy back friendly tips a try:

1.     MPrevent back pain in the Garden with Gorey Family Chiropractorake sure you have all the correct tools and equipment you need before you start. This makes sure you are adequately equipped and avoids unnecessary back or muscle strain due to lack of correct equipment for the task in hand just when you are in the middle of something.


2.     Do some stretching or warming up before you begin. This may seem silly but it gets your muscles and joints moving and prepares them for the activities to follow. It’s a well known fact that stretching helps flexibility and helps prevent injury so take a little time to give your body a chance to warm up.

3.    If yoPrevent back pain in the garden this springu are tackling a big job break it down. Make sure you allow yourself time for regular breaks every half hour to hour which is particularly important also with tasks that are repetitive like weeding hoeing. Back pain is often triggered by repetitive hoeing or weeding without a taking a break. A break may be 2 or 3 minutes to sit down or to do some stretching if you feel stiff.


4. 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. Remember to keep you back straight and bend your knees. When weeding try to use a mat to ease knee joint pressure.

5.    Drink plenty of water.  Keeping hydrated helps muscles, joints, nerves and our brains to keep functioning well.
6.    Get help. For bigger jobs or those involving heavy lifting make sure you have some help to avoid back pain.  Having help makes lifting safer for your back and quicker to complete the bigger tasks.
7.    Actions such as digging, raking and sweeping which involve bending and twisting at the same time can place a lot of pressure on the joints muscles and discs of the lower back. If there is already some instability in these structures it can increase your risk of damage, so be extra careful with these movements.
8.    Think about your Maintenance! Come in and get your spine , muscles and nerve function checked and treated if necessary by our Gorey Family Chiropractic team BEFORE beginning your next project to help your  stability, function and strength and decrease your chances of back pain or other aches and pains.


Our specialist Chiropractic team are trained and hold extensive experience both in Ireland and the U.K  in the diagnosis and treatment of back pain, neck pain, nerve and disc disorders as well as treating and managing sports injuries and conditions like osteoarthritis.

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 contact info@chiropractor.ie or call 053 94 83338.

Mar 07

Minimising back strain this calving season

Minimising back strain this calving season by Olivia O’ Leary D.C BSc Hons Chiropractic

As we progress through calving season, how is your back coping with the strain ?
It’s that time of year in farming when the pace and intensity of the workload has increased rapidly and farmers often faprevent back injury this calving seasonll into the habit of pushing themselves too hard and injuring themselves and only drawing breath when the body is at breaking point or in pain.

As Chiropractors in a rural community dealing and treating  significant numbers of farmers daily, we understand the day to day physical challenges posed by the demands of the farm and the injuries that it can cause particularly at calving time.

Our advice for farmers: Think of the long term and plan for the future. Don’t ignore your back, and when you’re tired don’t take  risks lifting or otherwise, it can be a costly, painful mistake  in the long term. So think of these tips…

Back pain at calving can generally be avoided through good forward planning, using a knowledge of safe lifting and body positioning principles, safe work practices as well as using mechanical aids wherever possible.

Calving related back pain often develops from
• Handling Accidents (getting crushed or knocked down by heifers/cows wary of human contact at calving or just after calving.
• Getting stuck in awkward positions; trying to get a calf out (not leaving enough space behind the cow to get the calf out)
• Long hours and regular night work increases the risk of back pain during this busy time of the year due to fatigue; meaning farmers are more of risk of forgetting to lift properly, take chances hauling things around, falsely believing they’re saving time:-(

• Well designed calving pens and gates minimise the direct physical contact between the cow/heifer and the farmer reducing handling accidents.
• Calving jacks if properly used can reduce the risk of back injury.
• Mechanical lifting aids such as a pulley system in the calving pen is a useful tool to reduce back strain.

The financial costs to the farmer of a back injury are high, do not ignore back pain believing it will go away, if affected, get early evaluation, treatment and appropriate exercises as necessary to help you recover faster, properly and to minimise the chances of getting injured again so as to avoid time lost unable to work through injury.

Offering comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for injuries relating to the back and neck as well as trapped nerves, shoulder, hip, knee and foot joint and muscle problems, Gorey Family Chiropractic also offers clients on site X-ray services, onsite computerised gait scanning, prescription medical insoles and can arrange direct refferal for MRI where medically necessary.

Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic is registered with VHI, Aviva/ Irish Life Health and Laya Healthcare allowing clients to claim reimbursement for treatment if covered by their health Insurance policy.

For advice or further information T 053 94 83338

or check out our website on www.chiropractor.ie

Mar 07

Frozen shoulder, the most restrictive shoulder problem of all?

It is on frozen shoulder gorey, e of the most common, frustrating and painful conditions to affect the shoulder especially in the 45+ years age group. It can develop following a trauma or an accident with your shoulder, such as dislocation or fracture, or can slowly develop for no clear apparent reason.

Usually, clients present to us when the arm becomes very painful and when it feels stiff and weak and when they are getting unable to work, sleep, or use it properly because of the pain. Female patients often complain that they cannot hook their bra, or dress easily and men say that they cannot reach their wallet in their back pocket!

If ignored with time the situation progressively deteriorates leading to more extreme restriction of the arm and to an immobile painful shoulder.

It can’t be stressed enough that early evaluation is always the best approach in order to avoid progression and deterioration of a frozen shoulder. Shoulder exercises alone do not effectively stop progression and often patients then may be given the impression nothing can be done. Left to progress, it is not uncommon that a frozen shoulder can last 2 years or more.

Our chiropractors are specialised and extremely experienced in the examination, treatment and rehabilitation of frozen shoulder and it is a special interest area of both chiropractors. We would be delighted to offer guidance and help to anyone potentially affected by the condition which is both a frustrating and painful condition to suffer.

After a thorough and careful initial assessment of your shoulder which may include x rays (x-ray facilities onsite) or further imaging our chiropractors can confirm the presence of frozen shoulder or another potential shoulder disorder and specific advice will be given to you as to how your condition should be best treated and managed.

The focus of chiropractic treatment and rehabilitation of the shoulder will be to help you regain movement and flexibility in your shoulder which will significantly ease the shoulder and arm pain. Specialised chiropractic manipulative and soft tissue treatment techniques are used to help your shoulder, together with specific prescribed exercises that clients are taught to perform at home.  Our focus will be to bring your shoulder back to proper mobility and strength through non invasive physical treatment in the fastest possible time allowing you to feel that life can go back to normal!

You may not only need treatment in your shoulder joint where you feel the pain, but also in your upper back and the back of your shoulder neck and shoulder pain Goreyblade, since these areas are often affected by the frozen shoulder. Advice may also be given concerning your posture for those clients with shoulder pain that may be linked to poor posture.

Gorey Family Chiropractic is covered by VHI, Irish Life Health, Laya as well as smaller health Insurance companies such as HSA, Garda Medical etc.

For further information please call 053 (94) 83338
or feel free to email us with your enquiry at info@chiropractor.ie

Mar 07

6 Tips for choosing a Good Mattress

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 info@chiropractor.ie or alternatively call 053 94 83338



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Feb 27

5 Tips to Keep your Spine Healthy

by Olivia O Leary D.C BSc Hons

Learn simple tips to keep your back happy and healthy.

Up to 90 percent of the Irish population will suffer back pain at some point in their lives. A little preventive effort could go a long way to reducing your chances of suffering from debilitating back pain.The team at Gorey Family Chiropractic provide comprehensive care and education concerning the back, muscles, nerves and joints allowing you to enjoy life to the fullest.

These nerves, muscles and ligaments from your spine provide support to your entire body, which is why a healthy back is so important to your overall health & wellbeing.

5 spine-healthy tips

1. Practice good posture by standing, walking, sitting, lifting and lying in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments.

2. Maintain a weight that is appropriate for your height and frame.

3. Take part in strength, stretch and aerobic programs to improve your fitness level, make you more resistant to injury, and speed recovery if you are injured.

4. Wear shoes that are well balanced, flexible and comfortable or supplement your shoes with custom made Orthotics to improve alignment from the feet up if your arches are fallen.

5. Stop smoking, as smokers experience more spine pain and heal more slowly.


Gorey Family Chiropractic; Here to Support your Recovery

Feel free to contact our Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinical Team at info@chiropractor.ie or 053 94 83338 if you are an existing patient with any questions or if you are a new patient with neck, low back pain, sciatica or disc problems seeking diagnosis and treatment.

For your convenience all our clinical team is registered with VHI, Glo, Aviva and Laya Healthcare allowing clients of Gorey Family Chiropractic to claim reimbursement from a wide range of Private Health Insurers. We are also covered under the GAA Injury Scheme.


Feb 27

Returning to sport after back pain and injury

By Olivia O Leary D.C BSc Hons

imagesYou may play sports only rarely, play a sport on a regular basis, or play a sport at a competitive level. No matter how involved you are in a sport, we need to consider a number of questions before returning to your sport after back pain and injury:

•    Do you want to still play the sport, even though in some cases it might stress your back and  If you continue with the sport, will you continue at the same level or play at a less intense level?
•    When did your back injury occur? How severe was your injury?
•    Have you talked about how to return to sport with one of our Gorey Family Chiropractic team, or another specialist health care provider?
•    Have you been doing exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles that support your back?
•    Are you pain-free when you do the movements your sport requires?
•    Have you regained all or most of the range of motion (flexibility) of your spine?


When you are deciding when and if to return to a sport after having low back pain, the amount of stress that any sport places on your spine is an important factor to consider. If you would like to return to a more intense sport or a contact sport, talk about whether you can safely do this with one of our Gorey Family Chiropractic team.



images-2•    You have had surgery on more than one level of your spine.
•   You have had repeated injury or surgery in the same area of your spine.

Bear in mind that performing heavy physical activity over too long a period of time can cause back pain and injury. Activities that involve contact, heavy or repetitive lifting, or twisting (especially when moving or at high-speed) can contribute to the development of back pain and injury.


These are some general tips about when to return to sports. It may be safe for you  to return to your sport when you have:
•    No back pain or only mild back painbce531277751f32e51a588bf7c91b85a-150x150-1
•    Normal or almost normal range of motion (flexibility) of your back without pain
•    Regained enough strength in the muscles related to your sport
•    Regained the endurance you need for your sport
The type of back pain or injury you are recovering from is a key factor in deciding when you can return to your sport.


•    After a mild back sprain or strain, you should be able to start to return to your sport within a few days to several weeks if your symptoms have resolved.
•    After a prolapsed disk in one area of your spine, with or without having a surgery called micro-diskectomy, most people recover  between  3- 6 months. You must do back exercises to strengthen the muscles that surround your spine and hip for a safe return to sports. Many people are then able to return safely to a competitive level of sports.
•    After having disk and other problems in more than one area of your back, returning to sports needs to be done carefully. You should be under the care of a chiropractor or other appropriately trained and experienced healthcare professional.


Large muscles o77e440f96827c2acee4870b1a96bdcf3-150x150f your abdomen, upper legs, and buttocks attach to your spine and pelvic bones. They help stabilize and protect your spine during activity and sports.

Weakness in these muscles may be part of the reason you first injured your back and developed back pain. After resting and treating your symptoms after your back injury, these muscles will most likely be even weaker and less flexible.

Getting these muscles back to the point where they support your spine well is called core strengthening. Our Gorey Family Chiropractic team will teach you the necessary exercises to strengthen these muscles. It is important to do these exercises correctly and consistently to prevent further back pain and injury.




•    Warm up your back with an easy movement such as walking. This will help increase blood flow to the muscles and ligaments in your back.

•    Stretch the muscles in your upper and lower back and your hamstrings (large muscles in the back of your thighs) and quadriceps (large muscles in the front of your thighs).

When you are ready to begin the movements and actions involved in your sport, start slowly. Before going full force, take part in your sport at a less intense level. See how you feel that night and the next day before you slowly increase the force and intensity of your movements.


Our specialist Chiropractic team are trained and hold extensive experience both in Ireland and the U.K in back pain diagnosis, back pain treatment and back pain rehabilitation. We have treated players from amateur level right up to to professional level from a  range of sporting backgrounds. We consider not only your back pain, but the root cause of your back problem and will work with you to get you out of back pain and back to participation in your chosen sport in an effective, safe, timely manner.

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    


Oct 14

Neck strengthening exercises, a patient guide

Doing regular of exercise is important for so many reasons, but in this situation let’s look at how it can help the neck. Our necks do an an often underrated, difficult job, holding up and back our heads, which in itself weighs a little bit more than a bowling ball. This job becomes increasingly harder if we spend our days at a computer or in the car or carry ourselves badly letting our head sit out in front of our neck.

Getting the right sets of exercises done to help keep the head over the neck and help get the shoulders back and get the cervical stabilising muscles stronger helps to support the spine and helps reduces stress to the static structures like the discs and the facet joints which can’t get our of the way of the postural strain otherwise.  Doing these exercises can go a lot of the way to preventing neck pain and if you suffer from neck pain, it’s all the more important to take the pressure off your neck  by helping to support and strengthen the neck muscles. If you have an existing neck problem it is prudent to mention that these exercises must be done at the appropriate time of recovery and seek advice if you are not certain.


This is one of the most effective postural exercises for combating neck pain.chin-tuck1 This exercise not only helps strengthen the muscles that pull the head back into alignment over the shoulders but it also stretches the scalene and suboccipital muscles (important muscles that can cause neck pain and even contribute to headaches) .The chin tuck exercise can be done numerous times throughout the day, such as while sitting in the car or at the desk at work. The repetition of this exercise throughout the day also helps develop good postural habits.

It is especially important to perform this exercise when the neck and shoulder blades first begin to hurt.To perform the exercise for the first time it is often recommended that patients stand with the spine up against a door jamb and the feet out about 3 inches from the bottom of the door jamb (Figure 1).

•    Keeping the spine against the door jamb, pull the upper back and head chin-tuck2back until the back of the head touches the door jamb. It is important to make sure that the chin is down so that the head is pulled straight back and is not looking up (Figure 2).
•    Hold the head against the door jamb for 5 seconds.
•    Repeat this ten times.
•    After performing this exercise in a door jamb about ten times, start doing the exercise in standing or sitting without a door jamb.
•    The exercise can be done 5 to 7 times per day.
•    When in the car, use the headrest as a point to aim for when pulling the head back.

•    Patients may feel some stretching of the muscles on the side of the neck that go down to the collarbone. These are the scalene muscles. These muscles along with the muscles at the top of the neck at the base of the skull are generally the tight muscles. The muscles in the front of the neck and muscles of the upper back are generally the weak muscles that need to be strengthened.

•    Another important postural exercise is the back burn exercise.

This exercise is done standing with the back up against a large flat wall and the feet about 4 inches out from the bottom of the wall.

•    Assume the same position as the chin tuck exercise with the back of the head against the wall.
•    Try to flatten the lower back against the wall.
•    Place the elbows, forearms and the backs of the hands and fingers on the wall with wriback-burn2sts about shoulder height (Figure 3).


•    Keeping the arms, hands, head and fingers all touching the wall as best possible, slowly slide the hands up above the head (Figure 4) and slowly back down (back to Figure 3).

•    Repeat this 10 times, 3 to 5 times per day.



•    A more advanced exercise that strengthens the muscles of the shoulder girdle as well as the neck and prone-cobra1upper back is the prone cobra exercise. This is done lying on the floor face down. The face down position uses gravity as resistance in the strengthening process.
•    Lying face down, place the forehead on a rolled up hand towel for comfort.
•    Place the arms at the side, palms down on the floor.
•    Place the tongue on the roof of the mouth (this helps stabilize the muscles in the front of the neck to assist in strengthening) (Figure 5).prone-cobra3
•    Pinch the shoulder blades together and lift the hands off the floor.
•    Roll the elbows in, palms out and thumbs up (Figure 6).
•    Gently lift the forehead about an inch off the towel keeping the eyes looking straight at the floor (do not tip the head back and look forward) (Figure 6).
•    Hold the position for 10 seconds.
•    Perform 10 repetitions.

We advise doing all exercises slowly and carefully with no jerky or sudden movements and avoid pushing too hard in beginning, if in doubt please contact a member of our chiropractic team or a specialist spinal healthcare practitioner to seek advice and guidance.

info@chiropractor.ie / telephone 053 93 83338