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

Jul 16

Top Tips for a Healthy Spine

Understanding-Different-Types-Of-Back-PainA healthy spine is an often overlooked and essential part of a healthy lifestyle. People who suffer from back pain, particularly if it is long-term back pain, are generally less healthy than those who do not. In fact, back pain costs are staggering not only financially, but also in terms of lost time from work and because of psychological and psychosocial problems that often arise and are associated with long-term back pain.

Unfortunately, approximately 80-90% of the Irish population suffers from back pain at some point. People who are overweight or obese, and who smoke, lift heavy objects, or had a previous episode of back pain, have been found to be more likely to experience back pain.

Because so many people suffer from back pain, and as chiropractors in Gorey dealing with back pain on a day to day basis  we understand the value of trying to keep your back as healthy as possible and we encourage our clients to adopt a preventative approach to back pain. Following simple posture, lifting, and healthy lifestyle guidelines can help you keep your back in good shape and prevent back pain.

The Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic Chiropractors recommend the following spinal health tips:
•    When standing, if your suffer back pain, avoid remaining in the same position for more than 5-10 mins and try to stand with the feet shoulder width apart to reduce strain.
•    Do not stand bent forward at the waist for prolonged periods of time. The muscles in your low back become strained in this position, which may lead to back pain.
•    At all times, avoid twisting while lifting. Twisting is one of the most dangerous movements for your spine, especially while lifting.
•    If the item is too heavy to lift, pushing it is easier on your back than pulling it. Whenever possible, use your legs, not your back or upper body, to push the item.
•    If you must lift a heavy item, get someone to help you and or use mechanical hoists, wheelbarrows etc to assist. Rushing is frequently associated with back pain injury so take a little time and work out the best way of moving heavy objects.
•    Keep your knees slightly higher than your hips, with your head up and back straight.
•    Avoid rolling your shoulders forward (slouching).
•    Try to maintain the natural curve in your low back. Use a small cushion or support if neccessary behind your lower back.
Reaching and Bending
•    When reaching for something above shoulder level, stand on a stool. Straining to reach such objects may not only hurt your mid-back and neck, but it can also bring on shoulder problems.
•    Do NOT bend over at the waist to pick up items from the floor or a table.
•    Instead, kneel down on one knee, as close as possible to the item you are lifting, with the other foot flat on the floor and pick the item up.
•    Or bend at the knees, keep the item close to your body, and lift with your legs, not your back.
•    When carrying objects, particularly if they are heavy, keep them as close to your body as possible.
•    Carrying two small objects—one in each hand—is often easier to handle than one large one.
Healthy Diet and Exercise
•    While the proverbial jury is still out, it is suspected that extra weight puts undue strain on your spine. e5868e57d50c83ebe0fd0f292fa608c7Keep within 10 lbs. of your ideal weight for a healthier back.
•    “Beer belly” is likely the worst culprit, as it puts unwanted pressure on the muscles, ligaments and tendons in your low back.
•    The most efficient and effective way to reduce weight is by eating a sensible diet and exercising regularly.
•    Consult with your chiropractor or other health professional before beginning any exercise program, particularly if you have a health condition.
•    Sleeping on your back puts approximately 50 pounds of pressure on your spine.
•    Placing a pillow under your knees while lying on your back cuts the pressure on your spine roughly in half.
•    Lying on your side with a pillow between your knees may also reduce the pressure on your back.
•    Never sleep in a position that causes a portion of your spine to hurt. Most often, your body will tell you what position is best.
Quit Smoking
Smokers have more back pain than nonsmokers, and they also heal more slowly when they have an episode of back pain because the chemicals in tobacco smoke restrict the flow of blood to the tissues in and around your spine.

While following these instructions is no guarantee that you’ll be free from back pain for your entire life, it can certainly reduce your risk of developing it. These simple steps will help you keep your spine in good shape, making you a healthier, happier person.


Our specialist Co. Wexford based 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. Equipped with on site x ray and state of the art gait scanning equipment, we consider not only your back pain, but the root cause of your problem and will work with you to help maximise your recovery through tailor made treatment, education  and rehabilitative exercise, where appropriate.

For your convenience all of our Gorey Family  Chiropractic team are registered with VHI, Glo, Aviva and Laya Healthcare allowing clients claim reimbursement for back pain treatment 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    

Jul 05

Preventing back pain on the farm

by Olivia O’ Leary D.C BSc Hons


0402caa0ad7b19804ecc59c4039d63ffBack pain and other joint injuries can keep farmers away from work for weeks at a time. Research conducted by Teagasc supported by the Health and Safety Authority and supervised by UCD revealed that every year almost 1 in 10  farmers suffer from problems such as back pain, hip and knee pain. Back pain was found to be the number one troublesome condition representing 31% of farmers surveyed.


What was noticeable was these injuries were often quite severe with almost 4 in 10 farmers with these problems missing over 4 days of work in the previous year with nearly a quarter having missed more than 15 days in the year. The impact financially and in terms of stress is significant particularly at busy times of farming year.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAGiven the large numbers of farmers that Gorey Family Chiropractic treat, a specific Guide to Safe Practice on the Farm to Prevent Injury was created.

Additionally Teagasc are urging farmers to review their farming operations for work involving heavy lifting and to seek alternative methods of handling heavy loads.


From our Guide to Safe Practice on the Farm for Back Pain we have pulled some useful tips and information to help farmers prevent back pain and work safely on the farm.


SAFE LIFTINGFarmers  are commonly affected by muscle and ligament strains and sprains. Lifting objects that are too heavy, twisting and bending while carrying a load, sudden jolts, trips, falls or even bad posture over a period of time can injure soft tissue and joints causing back pain, hip pain and knee pain.


Prolonged sitting on machinery as well the impact force on joints jumping down from tractors can all also contribute to the development of back and joint problems.

In the 2012 Teagasc study “larger scale full time farms, particularly dairy farms, were found to have the highest risk of work related musculoskeletal problems”
General Tips for Preventing Back Injury on the Farm

Ways to reduce back pain and prevent injury include:
•    Warming up cold muscles thoroughly before engaging in any manual work. Ask your chiropractor or physiotherapist  for advice on safe stretching techniques to avoid further injury especially If you are regularly stiff or sore.
•    Organise your work area to reduce the amount of lifting, bending, twisting and stretching required.
•    Use mechanical aids or get help to lift and carry heavy loads whenever possible.
•    Lift and carry heavy loads correctly. Bend your knees rather than your back to pick up a load and lift with your thigh muscles. Keep the load close to your body. Avoid lifting whilst twisting.

•    Maintain correct posture. Slouching driving or having to look behind at machinery for prolonged periods is strenuous on muscles and joints and eventually causes tension and pain.  Stretching exercises can combat this as well as Chiropractic treatment including massage for those where exercises and rest do not help.
•    Take frequent breaks or break up repetitive tasks if possible i.e picking stones, shearing sheep.
•    Try to take exercise regularly to strengthen muscles and promote flexibility, ease stiffness.
•    Maintain a healthy body weight to reduce stress on joints and large joints like the hip and knees.

  • If you are sitting for a long time (for example, as a contractor on tractors or machinery) you should try to get up to stretch and move periodically.

•    Be aware that mattresses that are too hard or too soft can contribute to back ache. Poorly designed or worn-out seating (in tractors or other large machinery) can also cause problems.
•    Climb down slowly from tractor cabins and other large machinery, rather than jumping, to avoid jolting impacts on your joints particularly your knees.
•    Wear appropriate footwear with support as well as protection to minimise stress on joints and the spine. This is especially important if standing for extended periods or on hard surfaces such as cement yards, milking parlours. Orthotics (shoe inserts) may be beneficial for support and improved alignment from the foot upwards.


General suggestions for lifting heavy loads include:
•    Whenever possible, use wheelbarrows, trolleys, quads and other equipment to move heavy loads.
•    Ask someone for help if you must move a heavy load by hand.
•    Wear a supportive back brace as a temporary measure if your back is painful and you must lift. Make sure however to get the cause of the pain investigated and treated and do not rely on your belt as a prop.
•    Make sure teenagers and children lift correctly and do not lift loads excessive for their size to prevent potential lifelong injury.


PIG HANDLINGLifting animals like pigs, calves or sheep commonly causes back injuries. Be cautious of grappling with stock particularly at activities like dosing cattle wherever possible. If you must lift or carry a heavy animal, use mechanical lifting aids or get help if you can. If possible, change the design of your workplace to minimise the need to lift, for example, install drafting and drop gates in yards, and hoists on the back of your vehicles.

If you have to lift the animal alone:
•    Face the animal away from you.
•    Sit it back on its haunches.
•    Squat down behind the animal.
•    Take hold of its back legs.
•    Tip the animal back against your body.
•    Make sure the animal can’t turn its head and face you.
•    Keeping your back straight, lift with your thigh muscles.
•    Work from the same side of the fence as the animal, rather than attempting to drag it over from the other side.

Suffering from Farm related Back Pain, Hip Pain or Knee Pain? Obtain Professional Help Today

Twitter-pic-1-150x150With two out of three of our Chiropractors from a farming background, we personally recognise and understand the hazardous and physically demanding nature of daily farming. Our team is highly experienced in the diagnosis, treatment and management and prevention of injuries sustained from farming whether it might be back pain and sciatica or hip pain and knee pain amongst others. We have on site X ray facilities and can rapidly refer directly for MRI if neccessary. Our goal is to get you back working to your full ability whether you are farming or contracting.

Our practice is registered with Aviva, VHI, Laya etc and you may claim tax relief on our services making necessary treatment more affordable than ever.

Should you wish to make an enquiry call 053 94 83338 or email


Jun 19

Managing knee pain from knee osteoarthritis

by Olivia O Leary D.C BSc Hons


getty_rm_photo_of_knee_in_painAlso called “wear and tear” arthritis or degenerative joint disease, knee osteoarthritis (OA) is the progressive breakdown of the knee joints’ natural shock absorbers causing knee pain and stiffness.

This causes discomfort or knee pain particularly when you use your knees; or perhaps an ache when you bend your knees, with morning stiffness or creaking joints often observed.

Most people over 60 have some degree of OA, but it also affects people in their 40’s and 50’s particularly if they have participated in activities causing significant knee impaction over time through sports or heavy physical work or if they are significantly overweight.

The symptoms of knee osteoarthritis tend to develop slowly. Common symptoms include:

  • knee pain that increases when you are active, but gets a little better with rest
  • knee swelling
  • feeling of warmth in the joint
  • knee stiffness, especially in the morning or when you have been sitting for a while, making it difficult to get in and out of chairs or cars, use the stairs, or walk
  • creaking, crackly sounds that are heard when the knee moves


Every joint comes with a natural shock absorber in the form of cartilage. This firm, rubbery material cushions the ends of the bones and reduces friction in healthy joints. As we age, our joints become stiffer and our cartilage is more vulnerable to wear and tear particularly as the knee joints represent major shock absorbers in our bodies.

Over time, repetitive use of the knee joints irritates and wears the cartilage. If it deteriorates enough, bone rubs against bone, causing knee pain and stiffness in the knee joints.

man kneelingBecause injured joints are more vulnerable to osteoarthritis, doing anything that damages your knee joints can raise your risk of OA causing knee pain including previous injury to the knees which could have been ligamentous or cartilage. Impactive exercise like running or games such as football  also have a high rate of knee injury and jobs that require repetitive motion, such as bending the knees to install flooring over a long period of time, or jumping down off a tractor all increase the likelihood of knee wear and tear.

Being overweight is another risk factor — it has been linked specifically to osteoarthritis of the knees and hips.


Osteoarthritis affects each person differently. Some people have few symptoms despite the deterioration of their knee joints. Others experience knee pain and knee stiffness that may interfere with daily activities. Osteoarthritis of the knees can lead to a limping gait.


Evidence of the joint wear associated with knee OA is seen with the bones of the femur and tibia too close together

Making an accurate diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis requires our Gorey Family Chiropractic team or your health professional to ask you questions concerning the knee pain or knee stiffness and you’ll need to describe your symptoms in detail, including the location and frequency of any knee pain.

Our chiropractors will physically examine the affected knee joints and perform standard orthopaedic tests and may also take X-rays to check for osteoarthritic damage as well as ruling out other joint conditions.

Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis does not affect the body’s organs or cause illness. But it can lead to deformities that take a toll on mobility. Severe loss of cartilage in the knee joints can cause the knees to curve out, creating a bow-legged appearance worsening knee pain, impeding flexibility and causing compensatory problems requiring treatment potentially in the hips and lower back.

Our Chiropractic team are specialised in the non surgical treatment and management of joint conditions such as knee osteoarthritis. We follow the accepted goal of all medical rehabilitation experts with the patient who has knee osteoarthritis which is to improve your knee function, minimise your knee pain or discomfort, and limit further knee joint injury to prevent premature surgery.

We also concentrate on reducing the pain to also ease patient reliance on anti-inflammatory and pain killers which can cause complications. This is achievable with non surgical treatment if the disease has not progressed to an advanced end stage where then surgery may be the only option. Our team can advise as to what the most appropriate course of action should be and will liase with your GP as necessary.

At Gorey Family Chiropractic the Treatment and Management process is comprised of several elements depending on the individual case and severity of symptoms

  1. Patient education,
  2. Improving flexibility and reducing pain through the, hip, knee, ankle and foot where necessary through physical hands on treatment.
  3. Strengthening of the affected knee joint as well as the hips which has an important bearing on knee function.For example, strengthening the quadriceps your large muscle at the front of your thigh has been shown to reduce pain in the knees.
  4. Aerobic exercise which could be water based or non impactive like cycling. People with osteoarthritis may avoid exercise out of concern that it will cause pain. But low-impact activities such as swimming, or bicycling can improve mobility and increase strength.


    A programme of non impactive exercises against the resistance of water can be very helpful for strengthening the osteoarthritic knee.

  5. The use of assistive devices such as knee braces and custom made shock absorbing and corrective shoe inserts called orthotics as is necessary dependent on the case.
  6. Acupuncture has been shown by research to help with pain relief in  some knee osteoarthritis sufferers.
  7. Weight management and dietary guidance if appropriate.
  8. Some studies have shown benefit from nutritional supplementation for osteoarthritis.


Due to the fact that Knee OA is often asymptomatic in its initial stages and later becomes symptomatic as the disease process progresses means that many patients are not seen until they have significant wear. Signs and symptoms of end-stage knee osteoarthritis include severe knee pain, and stiffness surrounding the involved joint, joint swelling, a limping gait pattern.

We encourage clients to take a proactive approach and to control the process using thimages-6e latest evidence based guidelines in non surgical management of knee osteoarthritis. We are disappointed to hear clients often say that they had been told that nothing can be done for knee osteoarthritis. It is true that some may leave it so late that surgery is the only option but there are helpful non surgical options before this level of severity.

If you or a family member are concerned by knee osteoarthritis 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 non surgical options available to you.

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

Contact: or Tel: 053 94 83338

Jun 12

Using your laptop safely to avoid neck pain

By Olivia O Leary D.C BSc ( Hons)

Unsafe: An ongoing trade off between poor neck/head posture and poor wrist/hand posture exists with Chiropractor Yvonne in this image

Unsafe: An ongoing trade off between poor neck/head posture and poor wrist/hand posture exists with Chiropractor Yvonne in this image

Laptop computers are lightweight, portable and convenient but unfortunately their design with the screen and keyboard attached forces laptop users into awkward postural positions. When the screen is positioned by the user at the right height, the keyboard position is too high and when the keyboard is at the correct height the screen is too low.

Laptops pose less risk when used for short periods but with many using the laptop as  their main computer our team at here at Gorey Family Chiropractic were asked for some guidelines applicable for this type of computer user.

A Comfortable Workstation Setup on a Desktop Computer or Laptop Promotes Neutral Postures Avoiding Strain Therefore:

  • the neck should be aligned with the spine (a neutral posture – not bent or thrust forward)
  • the back should be relaxed but supported,
  • the shoulders should be relaxed (not hunched or rounded),
  • the elbows should be close to the body and bent at an angle between 90 and 120 degrees and
  • the wrists and hands should straight (not bent or turned).

So If you use a laptop frequently, it is worth investing time into optimising your home or office workstation to promote better ergonomic postures for your laptop use, to avoid what research has shown is the long term inevitability of neck pain and back pain otherwise.


Safer: Using an external keyboard and mouse and raising the screen with paper reams improves this laptop workstation for Chiropractor Yvonne

Safer: Using an external keyboard and mouse and raising the screen with paper reams improves this laptop workstation for Chiropractor Yvonne


Maintain a neutral neck posture by placing the top of the screen at about eye level or slightly lower if using bifocal glasses.

Use a laptop stand or place your laptop on a stable support surface, such as monitor risers, reams of paper, or phone books so that the screen height can be adjusted.

Attach a regular size, external keyboard and mouse to the laptop, and place them on an adjustable keyboard tray or desk if possible. They should be positioned at or slightly below elbow height when it is possible to use an adjustable keyboard tray.

Angle the screen to reduce bending your head forward. Use your eyes instead of your neck to adjust your line of vision.


Reduce glare by positioning the screen at a right angle to windows and away from overhead lighting. Laptop lights that plug into a USB port can be used to provide extra light, if needed.


  1. Clean the screen frequently as dust can make it difficult to read and may increase eyestrain.
  2. Watch for glare from external light sources on your screen which also causes eyestrain.
  3. Use a document holder where possible to angle documents vertically to keep the neck well aligned with the spine.
  4. Take frequent stretch breaks every 30 to 45 minutes.


  • Use a chair that supports a comfortable upright or slightly reclined posture. In a reclined position,
    Safer: A binder helps keep wrists straight and optimises the screen height. Note a ream of paper props feet adding stability. A rolled towel adds lumbar support.

    Safer: A binder helps keep wrists straight and optimises the screen height. Note a ream of paper improves the trunk/thigh angle. A rolled towel adds lumbar support.

    prop your feet up on a box or something similar to maintain a neutral trunk/thigh angle.

  • Be sure to maintain a neutral neck posture (in other words not leaning the neck forward). Use a towel roll or inflatable lumbar pillow to provide low back support.
  • Place the laptop on your lap to help keep your wrists straight while using the keyboard. A 2-3 inch binder with the wider edge toward you knees will create an angle that will help keep your wrists straight and maximize the height of the screen.
  • Don’t place your laptop on top of a pillow or other soft material. The lack of circulation could shut down the fan, which can overheat the computer.
  • On a sofa, place a rolled towel as a lumbar support, raise the feet on a small box so that you are tilted slightly backwards to maintain  straighter spinal alignment.
  • Remember to stand up and stretch frequently.

Our specialist Chiropractic team are trained and hold extensive occupational health experience both in Ireland and the U.K and are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of back pain, neck pain and other workplace related muscle and joint problems. No referral is necessary.

We have x-ray facilities  located on site and offer spinal health screening programmes and ergonomics assessments to companies and organisations to prevent and manage workplace injury. 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.

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

Jun 10

Optimal office chair positioning to avoid back pain and neck pain

by Olivia O Leary D.C BSc Hons Chiropractic

987f3cc4ef7b3a03f7b4763e195acfcdIs your chair helping or hindering your back? If you sit behind a desk daily for 8 hours at a time, you don’t have to be doomed to episodes of neck and back pain or repetitive strain injury.

Here at Gorey Family Chiropractic we offer some tips on optimal chair  set up at work to avoid back and neck pain and indeed to help back pain and neck pain through good chair ergonomics.

Proper office ergonomics — including correct chair height, adequate equipment spacing and good desk posture — can help you stay comfortable at work.

With back pain the second largest reason for absenteeism in the workplace, preventative action to help clients combat work induced back pain and neck pain is essential according to research.

The basic features of a good chair are :

  1. Height adjustable
  2. Pelvic tilt on seat
  3. Lumbar support

Consider the following for optimum chair setup :

1.Adjust the height of your chair such that your knees are level or just below hip height and that your feet are flat on the floor; if you a little person you may need a footrest to achieve this.sitting_posture2

2.If your seat has a pelvic tilt, this should be set to a slight forward incline to promote a natural inward lower back curve. In other words, your hips optimally should be higher than your knees to distribute strain out of your lower back and disperse it into the legs.

3.Move the lumbar support so that it fits snugly into the curve of your lower back. This will help to prevent lumbar strain and helps to maintain a straight spine and neck whilst seated.

4. Never sit with your legs crossed! Crossing at the ankles is a preferable alternative.

5. Elbows and forearms should be always level with the desk height. Wrists should not be held in an extended position without support.



Our specialist Chiropractic team are trained and hold extensive occupational health experience both in Ireland and the U.K and are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of low back pain, neck pain and other workplace related muscle and joint problems. No referral is necessary. We have x-ray facilities  located on site and offer spinal health screening programmes and ergonomics assessments to companies and organisations to prevent and manage workplace injury.

We also conveniently take clients requiring treatment for back pain through the wholeTwitter-pic-11 process of recovery from initial diagnosis through treatment into rehabilitation exercise where necessary.

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

If you are affected by neck pain, headaches, low back pain, back stiffness, nerve pain or shoulder pain  call or email the clinic to arrange an initial consultation with one of our specialist Gorey Family Chiropractic team or to discuss our occupational health services for companies or organisations.

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


Tel: 053 94 83338   or alternatively email    


May 13

Dealing with foot pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis

imagesBy Olivia O’ Leary D.C BSc Hons Chiropractic

Pain in your feet may be a sign of a serious condition called Plantar Fasciitis which is a very painful condition seen frequently at the Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic resulting in pain specifically under the heel. This heel pain is often caused by overuse of the plantar fascia or arch tendons of the foot. It is a very common condition and can be difficult to treat if not looked after correctly.

Symptoms include:

  1. Heel pain, under the heel and usually on the inside, at the origin of the attachment of the fascia.
  2. Pain when pressing on the inside of the heel and sometimes along the arch
  3. Pain is usually worse first thing in the morning as the fascia tightens up overnight. After a few minutes it eases as the foot gets warmed up
  4. As the condition becomes more severe the pain can get worse throughout the day if activity continues.
  5. Sometimes there may also be pain along the outside border of the heel due to walking on the outside border of the foot.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?420679_599839926701475_583603585_n
The Plantar Fascia is a broad, thick band of tissue that runs from under the heel to the front of the foot. Inflammation of these tissues is termed Plantar Fasciitis.
It is sometimes associated with a heel spur, but the two conditions are not always connected.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis or heel spurs are common in sports which involve running, dancing or jumping. Runners who overpronate (feet rolling in or flattening) are prone to this injury as the biomechanics of their foot causes over stretching of the plantar fascia.

biom2-1One of the most common cause of plantar fasciitis is very tight calf muscles which produces repetitive over-stretching of the plantar fascia leading to probable thickening of the tendon. As the fascia thickens it looses flexibility and strength becoming inflamed and painful.
Sometimes over pronation can only be seen with computerised foot scans, especially if the patient has a high arched foot. We can carry these out here at Gorey Family Chiropractic and prescribe Custom Made Orthotics if needed to correct the problem.

Other causes include low arch or high arched feet (pes planus / cavus) and other biomechanical abnormalities including oversupination which should be assessed with a foot scan and a chiropractic biomechanical examination.

Excessive walking in footwear which does not provide adequate arch support has been attributed to plantar fasciitis. Footwear for plantar fasciitis – both prevention and treatment – should be flat, lace-up and with good arch support and cushioning.
Overweight individuals are more at risk of developing the condition due to the excess weight impacting on the foot.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatmentimages-9:
There is no single treatment for foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis; at Gorey Family Chiropractic we can help you to understand how to eliminate pain and we correct the underlying factors causing the condition. To treat it effectively long-term, the cause of the condition must be corrected and the symptoms dealt with.

What can the athlete do?
•Try to Rest the Foot from Active Exercise. It can be very difficult to rest the foot as most people will be on their feet during the day for work. By walking on the painful foot you are continually aggravating the injury and increasing inflammation.
•Apply Ice or Cold therapy to help reduce pain and inflammation. Cold therapy can be applied regularly until symptoms have resolved.
•Plantar Fasciitis Exercises – in particular stretching the plantar fascia and calf muscles is an important part of treatment and prevention. Simply reducing pain and inflammation alone is unlikely to result in long term recovery. Identifying the underlying cause will stop the inflammation coming back.

How Gorey Family Chiropractic Care Helps

gaitscan•We will perform gait analysis and scan your foot to determine if you overpronate or oversupinate and prescribe custom made orthotics or insoles if clinically necessary. An insole can restore normal foot biomechanics if overpronation is a problem.
•Tape the foot with plantar fasciitis taping. This is an excellent way of allowing the foot to rest. A good plantar fasciitis taping technique can help support the foot relieving pain and helping it rest.
•Deep tissue massage to address fibrotic muscle adhesions. Active Release Soft Tissue treatment on the plantar fascia can successfully treat and ease the pain. The application of these soft tissue treatment techniques reduces the tension in the plantar fascia and also stretches the calf muscles.

•We will prescribe plantar fasciitis exercises to help stretch the fascia and strengthen it once pain free.
•We will check and correct of any pelvic lower back dysfunction which might be influencing way an individual walks in a negative way.

images-13X ray may sometimes be prescribed to see if there any other bony foot problems. Gorey Family Chiropractic offers rapid onsite X ray services for convenience where clinically necessary. An X-ray can show bony spurs, which are often a by product of plantar fasciitis and a cause of pain.

Gorey Family Chiropractic Supporting your Recovery and Maintaining it 

Here at Gorey Family Chiropractic we have helped many patients with the excruciating pain of plantar fasciitis using the correct combination of therapy for each particular case.

Feel free to email your enquiry or call  us if you think you may be suffering from foot pain or heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis or other foot disorders.

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    

Apr 30

A water based exercise programme for hip and back pain

A water based exercise programme for hip and back pain by Olivia O Leary D.C BSc Hons

Water based exercise programme

Water based exercise programmes are  especially helpful in cases where a land-based exercise program is not possible due to a client’s intensity of pain, severity of condition or other factors. As such, water therapy is a versatile exercise and is particularly good for people with conditions such as:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Advanced osteoporosis (with susceptibility to and/or pain from fracture)
  • Muscle strain or tears

All of these conditions can make it uncomfortable or painful to exercise on a hard surfaces or while standing. Water is a kinder and more comfortable environment.

If you are any way unsure about the suitability of the following exercises, please feel free to message /ask one of our Gorey Family Chiropractic team where we would be happy to tailor make the water based exercise programme  to your own injury recovery requirements.


Choose a pool that has a different depths. You should be able to workout in waist-deep water and chest-deep water. Make sure also the pool has an area where you can exercise in your own lane, away from swimmers or an open-swim environment.

You may benefit from a water shoe or light water resistant sandal with grip this will allow you to grip the pool floor more easily.

This back/hip -friendly water workout avoids actions like jumping, twisting which may aggravate back pain or hip pain.

Try to complete a water exercise routine 3 times per week to improve back pain or hip pain symptoms in a few weeks to a month. Walk and do light stretching to reduce muscle soreness on the days you do not do water exercise.


Begin your workout by warming up the muscles with a cardiovascular workout. Start in the area of the pool that has waist-deep water. Begin walking back and forth through the area, while swinging your arms as you would if you were walking on land.

A water based exercise programme for hip and back painYou will get some resistance when you swing your arms. Although it may not feel as comfortable as walking on land, it is important to focus on creating a swinging motion for proper body mechanics and balance.

Walk in the water for 5 to 10 minutes. If you feel comfortable with the motion and want an extra challenge, move to chest-deep water after 5 minutes. You will feel an increase in resistance.

A cardiovascular workout treats back pain in a similar way as walking. It stretches and strengthens muscles throughout your back and legs. It can also lead to weight-loss, which can reduce the painful pressure on nerves, discs and muscles.

  • Move to deeper water and try to water jog. In this motion, you feet should minimally touch the ground, but you will swing your elbows a bit like runnning on the spot in water..

Focus on each footfall being heel to toe, rather than toe to heel. This will mimic a natural walking or jogging motion, helping you strengthen muscles that you use in daily walking. You will move forward  slowly in the water.

Water jog for 5 to 15 minutes depending on your problem and fitness levels and stop when you start to feel muscle fatigue.
If you have access to water weights you can strengthen your arms as you swing them while water jogging.

Stand near the edge of the pool to begin strength-training water exercises. To start place one hand on the edge of the pool. For added stability, place your back against the edge of the pool.

Do leg kicks:

Water based exercise programme for hip and back pain

The exercise can be done once confident, away from the pool side with a straight leg.

Keep one leg on the ground the opposite knee can be slightly bent. Contract your stomach muscles and slowly raise the opposite leg as high as it will go. Slowly lower it back down.
This exercise will stretch and strengthen your thighs. Repeat it 12 to 15 times, and then turn around and repeat it with the opposite leg. It is important to be slow and deliberate with your movements so that you do not add to your back pain or hip pain.

Do Water Marching:

You can do this with 1 hand holding onto the wall or away from the wall in waist-high water. Start a walking motion, but bring your knee as high as you can after you lift each leg.

Lower it and do the same marching motion with the opposite leg. Work towards making your thigh parallel with the water’s surface. March for 5 minutes, or until you feel muscle fatigue. This exercise stretches and strengthens your thigh, hip, buttock, abdominal and back muscles helping combat back pain and hip pain.

Do Water Weight Lifting:

  1. Bend your knees and place your back against the side of the pool. Push gently so that your back feels stable.Grab water weights in each hand. Bend your elbows and keep them straight. You will be moving your forearms during this exercise.

Tighten your tummy muscles. Bring the weights down until your arms are straight. Slowly bring the weights up through the water, until your arms are at a 90 degree angle again. Repeat 12 times and do 2 to 3 sets. Stop if there is pressure on your back or your muscles are fatigued.

This exercise strengthens your arms and your core.Make sure to keep your stomach tight throughout the entire exercise.As your abdominal muscles feel stronger with time, move away from the edge of the pool, bend your knees slightly and keep your back straight as you perform the exercise.


  1. Stand with your back to the edge of the pool. Bend your knee and lift it to your chest. Grasp your knee with your hands and hold for 20 seconds.Repeat with the opposite leg. Do the stretch 2 to 3 times on each side. Make sure your back stays straight through this entire exercises.
  2. Do the SupeWater based exercise for hip and back painrman Stretch. With your stomach down in the water, hold on to the edge of the pool. Stretch your legs out as far as they will go and move the legs gently to assist staying afloat. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times. This exercise will form a gentle arch in your back, stretching your stomach, back, shoulder and leg muscles.
  1. Stand with your back near the edge of the pool. Reach both hands backward  and grasp the rail at the edge of the pool tightly. Take 1 step forward and move your hands as close together as is possible.You should feel a deep stretch in your chest and upper arms. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat 2 to 3 times. Adequately stretching your chest muscles will make it easier to sit and stand up straight without hunching your back. Tight chest muscles cause rounding the shoulders and can contribute to a hunchback type posture.

Our specialist Chiropractic team are trained and hold extensive experience both in Ireland and the U.K in back pain and hip pain diagnosis, back pain and hip pain treatment and back pain rehabilitation. Equipped with on site x ray and state of the art gait scanning equipment, we consider not only your back pain or hip pain, but the root cause of your problem and will work with you to help maximise your recovery through tailor made treatment and rehabilitation.

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    


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    


Apr 25

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