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How To Prevent Back Pain While Driving – Part 2

Good posture for driving

In our previous article, we talked about how common it was for people to report that driving seems to make their back pain worse.

We dealt with the issue of why this happens and helped to uncover the causes of your back pain while driving. We talked about how adjusting your seat and lumbar support, as well as your rear view mirror can help improve your driving posture.

In this article, we’re going to cover other adjustments you can make to your driving conditions that will help to improve things even further.

Remember, if you have any questions at all, you can always get in touch with one of our chiropractors or physiotherapists at The House Clinics. We’re more than happy to provide you any support you need.

Seat belts are vital element of car travel, and one which is often blamed for back aches. Although the tension across one shoulder and neck can be uncomfortable, it may save your life so the best thing is to make it as comfortable as possible.

The best way to do this is to make sure the seatbelt is fitted to your body, thereby providing maximum support with minimal discomfort.

The seatbelt should lie across the top of your shoulder and not on the top of your arm and definitely not across your neck. Depending on your height you should take the time to move the fitting on the wall of the car which will adjust the height at which the seatbelt crosses you.

Car pedals

Footwear and positioning is such a simple but often overlooked aspect of car driving that can play a large part in your comfort while driving. Having adjusted the seat your feet should land at the pedals without having to overreach with your leg.

You should be able to fully press the pedal to the floor with only foot and ankle movement and a little bit of leg movement.

In terms of the footwear, definitely avoid high heels or very thick soled shoes as this will make you over-extend your ankle to put pressure on the pedals. High heeled shoes also make it harder to brake in an emergency and also cause you to lift the thigh off the seat slightly, thereby reducing leg support.

Similarly, be aware of the clothing you choose, tight clothing will restrict your movement and contribute to bad posture while driving.

The final piece of advice is to take regular breaks, particularly with a long journey. You should try to stop and stretch your legs at the very minimum every two hours, but more often is better.

In an ideal world you would leave early to allow plenty of time for the journey and stop to stretch and walk around every half hour. If this seems impossible there are other things you can do to help. We are now quite used to the in flight exercises on long haul flights; well you can do a similar thing during a long car journey.

For example when stuck in traffic, try these exercises in your seat. Try buttock clenches, rolling your shoulders, and upper body side bends.

Hopefully this article will give you some pointers to try to ward off that back pain while driving. If you continue to get symptoms try visiting your local chiropractor for further advice and treatment.

How To Prevent Back Pain While Driving – Part 1

How to avoid back pain while driving

When speaking to patients with back pain, one of the most common complaints is that driving seems to make it worse. Treatments such as physiotherapy (click here for more info) or chiropractic, both of which you can find at The House Clinics, can help correct bad posture, but there is clearly a pattern here and this article will explore why travelling by car can make the pain worse, and what you can do to prevent this.

The reason back pain comes on or gets worse while driving is largely due to inactivity and poor posture. Particularly with longer journeys the postural muscles that hold us upright begin to fatigue and we end up in a more slumped position.

At this stage the ergonomic design of the seat plays a large part as you will tend to rely on support from the car seat to support your back. Establishing the ideal driving position is difficult as people’s height and weight vary widely, but here are a few tips and tricks to give you the best chance of arriving pain free.

Firstly if you share the car, then each time you get in make sure you move the seat back to the right position for you. The back of the seat should be set back slightly and your elbows should be at a comfortable angle for driving otherwise you will end up leaning forwards which gives tension in your shoulders and upper back.

Back Pain

If necessary adjust the lumbar support or use a cushion in your low back. Your hands should fall naturally onto the steering wheel to prevent leaning forwards and there should be a slight bend in the arms. Having adjusted the seat and steering wheel, check that there is the recommended ten inches of distance between you and the airbag cover on the steering wheel.

The next checks to make are the mirrors. The mirrors should be turned to you, rather than the other way around. This means you want to be able to check all mirrors with minimal head movements, as the more you have to make an effort to see out of the mirrors the more strain you will put on your neck and back. You should be able to see all around the car simply by moving your eyes.

In our next article, we’ll talk about the effect of seat belts and the importance of footwear. Check back soon as we will be posting part 2 very soon.

Thanks for reading and we hope you found that helpful.


What examination and diagnosis should you expect from your Chiropractor?

Chiropractic Spinal Adjustment

Many people are becoming more aware of their own health and taking a more active approach to maintaining it. In the past it has been very common to pop a pill for every ailment but increasingly people are looking for alternatives. One area of heath care in which this is particularly evident is in physical medicine. People with musculoskeletal type problems including some types of back pain and neck pain are no longer content to take painkillers. Increasingly there is a tendency to seek out manual treatments for their physical problem. This is where chiropractic comes in, as chiropractors use manipulation to restore normal joint movement and function, thereby reducing pain.

The problem is that many people who could clearly benefit from chiropractic treatment ( are hesitant to try any physical therapy because they are worried how uncomfortable the treatment will be. This article will help to alleviate your concerns, providing straight forward explanations of what chiropractic treatment involves, and how it can benefit you.

At your first appointment your chiropractor will discuss your problem with you, this is called a case history and involves asking you specific questions about how long the symptoms have been there, how the problem came about and movements or activities that make the symptoms worse. After finding out all the details about your problem your chiropractor will then perform an examination wherever the problem may be. This involves testing flexibility, strength, testing for areas of tenderness and specific diagnostic tests. Although gowns will be available for your use, some people find it helpful to change into a pair of comfortable shorts and/or a vest top to make examination of knees, ankles, shoulders and other areas easier and more comfortable, so think about taking a pair of shorts or a vest top along to your appointment.

Following an in depth consultation and examination your chiropractor may offer treatment almost immediately. However, it may be delayed for a day or two is she/he needs to order x-rays or obtain any other information from your GP. Before starting treatment, your chiropractor will tell you, in clear, simple language, what the diagnosis is (ie. what is wrong with you), what can be done about it and what you should expect when you receive your first treatment. You will probably be told about any exercises or changes to your lifestyle that could help speed your recovery. You will also be advised of the estimated time of recovery; the amount of treatment needed, and advised of the cost of further treatment.  

Once you have had the diagnosis and treatment plan fully explained to you, treatment can begin. Chiropractic treatment involves safe, specific spinal manipulation to free joints in the spine or other areas that are not moving properly. This manipulation requires a short thrust to a joint that can result in an audible ‘popping’ sound and may bring relief of symptoms. The ‘pop’ is simply the sound of bubbles of gas popping in the fluid of the joint as the pressure is released. The goal of treatment is to get you better but with all types of physical treatment there may be some post-treatment tenderness. Getting movement back into stiff areas and working on the muscles can cause some achiness the following day or two but this is usually replaced by improvement in symptoms soon after.

As well as manipulation, your chiropractor may use a variety of techniques including ice, heat, ultrasound, exercise and acupuncture as well as advice about posture and lifestyle. If you have questions about any of these, just speak to your chiropractor.

If you’re not sure as to whether chiropractic is the best way forward, there is always the choice of seeing a physiotherapist. If you’d like to find out more about how physiotherapy can help you, then click here for further information.

How to get the most out of your first Chiropractic visit?

Many people experiencing back pain for the first time will have never visited a chiropractor, and the thought can be quite daunting at first. This article will help explain what happens during your first chiropractic appointment (see more here) and what you can do to gain the most from your visit.

To start with your chiropractor will discuss your problem with you, this is called a case history and involves asking you specific questions about how long the symptoms have been there, how the problem came about and movements or activities that make the symptoms worse.

To help your chiropractor, take time before your appointment to think about your symptoms in detail, the dates that the symptoms came on and think of a few examples of things that improve or aggravate your symptoms.

Chiropractic treatment fo back pain

For example many patients find that bending backwards or forwards increases pain in their back, or there may be specific activities such as walking or driving that aggravate your complaint. In terms of things that relieve the symptoms, if you have found that things like resting or taking a hot bath reduces your symptoms, then be sure to mention these.

As well as asking about the main problem you are presenting with your chiropractor will ask you more general questions including your past medical history, your family medical history and details of any surgeries, car accidents, and other important events that may play a part in your present condition.

Another important detail is the medication you may currently be taking. One top tip is that many patients find it useful to bring a list of their medications to the appointment, particularly if there are several.

As you can see you will be asked for a great deal of information, and not just about the pain or complaint that may have brought you to the clinic. Some of the questions may appear irrelevant, but they are extremely important to your chiropractor. Many factors that you may think irrelevant could actually play a part in your problem and it is best to be thorough.

It is important to ensure that chiropractic care is appropriate for your condition, so your chiropractor will need to get an idea of your overall health.

It is important to remember that your details are confidential. Your chiropractor will treat the information you disclose with the utmost care and no one else will be allowed to see your notes without your permission.

Back treatment

Once a thorough case history has been taken your chiropractor will have built up a picture of your general health as well as specific details about your problem. She/he will then use this information to perform a focused examination of your back/neck/shoulder/hip or wherever the problem may be.

This involves testing flexibility, strength, feeling for areas of tenderness and specific diagnostic tests. Although gowns will be available for your use, some people find it helpful to change into a pair of comfortable shorts and/or a vest top to make examination of knees, ankles, shoulders and other areas easier and more comfortable, so think about taking a pair of shorts or a vest top along to your appointment.

Having been through a case history and examination your chiropractor will explain your condition to you, giving you a diagnosis and answering any questions you may have. You will be informed if your condition is suitable for chiropractic treatment, how long this will take and what stretches and exercises you can do at home.

Hopefully this article has helped to explain the process of your first chiropractic appointment and given you some tips to gain the most from your visit. Some clinics are happy to offer a free consultation so ring around and see if your local clinic offers this as it provides you with the opportunity to discuss you problem initially and find out how chiropractic can help you.

We also offer physiotherapy treatment which you can read about here

If you’d like to keep up to date with our latest blog posts, you can always follow us on our Google + Page which you can find here – Redland House Clinic Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Clinic.

We Talk With Our Patients













Physiotherapy for Hip Pain

Anatomical picture of hipsHave you ever had a problem with hip pain? Some causes of hip pain include pinched nerves, arthritis and injuries. It can sometimes be caused by a more serious disease like cancer. Hip pain is also one of the most common complaints of people these days.

This particular type of pain can sometimes be caused by conditions from other areas of your body, such as the lower back or the knees which is called ‘referred pain’. There are times when this can be controlled without additional help from a physiotherapist but in many cases this complaint can be helped using physiotherapy.


Physical Therapy for Hip Pain

The hip is a ball and socket joint consisting of the thigh (femur) and the pelvis. There are many ligaments that support the bones, which provide considerable stability to the joint. Numerous muscles also attach around the hip to help move the joint.

Hip pain can be caused by many factors. Often, you may start feeling hip pain for no apparent reason. Sometimes recreation or sports puts repetitive strain on the hip causing pain.

Because the hip is a major weight bearing joint, arthritis of the hip is a common problem. The hip is responsible for such functional activities as walking, running, rising from sitting, and climbing stairs. Pain in the hip can limit these activities. Read more…


Physical therapy will require follow up visits, so you need to have patience while you are on a treatment plan. Your physiotherapist will very likely give you some exercises to strengthen affected areas. Here are some exercises to help you strengthen your hips and knees.


Exercise for stronger knees and hips

Exercise is more than just a good health habit; it’s also a specific and effective treatment for many knee and hip problems. Strength in the muscles around a damaged knee or hip can help support that joint by taking over some of its responsibilities.

For example, your hips have to do less work to support your body weight if your quadriceps, gluteals, hamstrings, and abdominal muscles are stronger. A strong quadriceps can take over the shock-absorbing role usually played by the meniscus or cartilage in the knee.

The proper balance of strength in the muscles can hold the joint in the most functional and least painful position. With any knee or hip problem, the first muscles to lose strength are the largest antigravity muscles, the quadriceps and gluteals, so an exercise plan for any injury is likely to focus on these. See more…


Below are some further examples of exercises you can carry out in the comfort of your own home to help stretch and relieve any hip or knee pain.


As mentioned earlier, hip pain can be controlled and treated at home but always remember to take note of the pain. If pain still persists then it is time to seek some advice from a health care professional.

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Focus On Flat Feet And Foot Pain

  • When you lift your heel, half of your body weight goes through your toes, which equates to a force 5 times your body weight.
  • Your foot has 26 individual bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 different muscles.
  • 3 out of 4 people suffer foot pain and 4 times as many women.

SYMPTOMS:  Of a Flat Feet (Pronation) can include not only foot and ankle pain, but often shin, knee and hip pain can also result.

CAUSE:  Simply, a flat foot is due to muscle changes and the misalignment of some of those 26 bones of the foot.  This can result in a loss of the foot arch and misalignment of the lower limb transferring the weight unevenly to the shin, knee and hip  resulting in pain.  Recurrent sports injuries of lower limb can also be a result of a poor foot alignment.
healthy feet

Your foot shape is vital to sharing the load and taking the strain

SOLUTION: An assessment with Sophie, our clinic Podiatrist, who will advise you on your foot alignment, foot insoles (orthotics) and footwear.

Quote Code F001 for a Free Consultation with Sophie our Podiatrist

For additional information about how our podiatrist can help, click here

Physiotherapy for Lower Back Pain

physiotherapy for back

We all know that lower back pain is one of the most common problems that people face nowadays. And it doesn’t matter what type of job you have.

Whether you’re a builder that involves a lot of heavy manual labour, or someone who has an office job that involves spending a large amount of time sat at their desk. It’s often bad posture that leads to back pain.

So how can we avoid lower back pain? We can always take care to be more conscious of our posture and correct it accordingly so that over time we develop a habit of maintaining good posture. As well as that, we can always ensure we stick to daily routines that involve particular exercises to strengthen our back.

Lower Back Strengthening Exercises

The following lower back strengthening exercises are designed to improve the strength of the muscles of the lower back. You should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should only be performed provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Begin with the basic lower back strengthening exercises. Once these are too easy, add the intermediate lower back exercises. As your strength improves, the advanced back exercises can then be added to the intermediate program.


Practicing proper posture is advised and carrying out back strengthening exercises can always help you prevent back pain. If the problem persists though, then it’s always advisable to seek the help of a professional physiotherapist.

If you’ve been suffering from debilitating pain in the back area for some time, then basic back exercises may not be enough to correct the problem and some physical intervention will be required.

That’s where we come in and you can find out more about our physiotherapy services here:

A physiotherapist aims to improve flexibility and mobility in the affected areas as well as other parts of the body that indirectly influence the problematic area.

Here’s some further info about how a physiotherapist can help:

Physical Therapist’s Guide to Low Back Pain

If you have low back pain, you are not alone. At any given time, about 25% of people in the United States report having low back pain within the past 3 months. In most cases, low back pain is mild and disappears on its own. For some people, back pain can return or hang on, leading to a decrease in quality of life or even to disability.

If your low back pain is accompanied by the following symptoms, you should visit your local emergency department immediately:

  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Numbness in the groin or inner thigh

These symptoms might indicate a condition called “cauda equina syndrome,” in which nerves at the end of the spinal cord that control bowel and bladder function are being squeezed.


A persistent pain in the back can be debilitating and affect our entire body as well as our mood. It’s an extremely common problem to have but the great news is that physiotherapy has been proven to be an extremely effective method to help alleviate the pain and get your body to a fit and healthy condition.

As well as helping correct the problem, we will also suggest effective exercises to help you maintain the changes that will also help to prevent the problem occurring again in the future.

Below is some helpful advice on effective exercises that can help prevent lower back pain.

So in summary, pay attention to your posture. We develop bad habits over time because we become comfortable and accustomed to sitting or slouching in a particular way and before we know it, we’ve developed bad habits that adversely affect our back.

Once a physiotherapist has provided a treatment plan and suggested particular exercises, it’s important to continue practicing them on a daily basis, otherwise any treatment that is carried out can default back to where you started.

Hope you found this useful and insightful. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Recommended Resources:

Getting Rid of Neck Pain

Neck pain is one of the most common complaints people have nowadays. Some causes of neck pain include muscle strain, nerve compression as well as other injuries. It is rare for neck pain to appear as a symptom of a more serious illness.

If taking over the counter pain medication doesn’t solve your problem, then it is time to try and use natural methods of pain relief. Our chiropractors have helped treat numerous cases where a pain in the neck is the presenting problem.

Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain

Chiropractic care is a nonsurgical treatment option that may help reduce your neck pain and related symptoms. Listed below are some of the different types of neck (cervical) conditions that Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) treat:

  • Cervical intervertebral disc injuries that don’t require surgery
  • Cervical sprain injuries
  • Degenerative joint syndrome of the neck (eg, facet joints)
  • Facet joint sprain
  • Whiplash

How Does a Chiropractor Diagnose Neck Pain?

Your chiropractor will evaluate your spine as a whole because other regions of the neck (cervical), mid back (thoracic) and low back (lumbar) may be affected as well. Along with treating the spine as a whole, chiropractors treat the “whole person,” not just your specific symptoms. He or she may educate you on nutrition, stress management, and lifestyle goals in addition to treating your neck pain.

As well as manipulating the spine, we will be able to recommend any necessary exercises as well as advice on proper posture. As is the case with any treatment, it is important to turn up for future appointments as it will take a number of sessions to firstly correct the problem, and secondly to help strengthen the affected area, in order to achieve long lasting results. You can also do some neck exercises at home but be sure to ask your chiropractor about it.

Chiropractic Neck Exercises


Part of a routine initial chiropractic office visit for neck pain, tension headaches or poor posture involves your chiropractor teaching you simple neck exercises to reduce your discomfort. As part of your treatment plan, your chiropractor will instruct you to perform exercises on a regular basis to achieve optimal results. You don’t need to wait until you’re in pain to perform these exercises, though. Perform neck exercises as a preventive measure to stretch, strengthen and stabilize your neck muscles.

Side Bending Stretch

Perform the side-bending stretch to relax tight neck muscles that may be causing neck and shoulder discomfort, tension headaches or poor posture. Gently tilt your head and neck to the right, so that your right ear slowly moves toward your right shoulder. Keep your chin centered with your neck’s midline so that your head does not rotate to your right or your left. When you have reached your lateral flexion end range of motion, you should feel a gentle stretch on the left side of your neck.

If you want to know more about how chiropractic treatment can help neck pain, watch this video.

It’s always good to seek the advice of a health care professional when you’re unsure. Chiropractic care doesn’t only end when your pain is gone but we also make sure that you practice a healthy way of living in order to avoid these problems recurring again in the future. Make regular visits to your chiropractor a habit so that you can always maintain a healthy body and lifestyle.

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New Testimonial

A great review from a happy client:

Pete Woollhead BSc (Hons) – Sports Therapist

“I went to see Pete for a sports massage while training for a marathon, but it quickly became clear that he was able to offer me far more than just massage. A qualified sports therapist, he was able to offer me full assessment of any niggles and a long-standing knee injury and to put them right. I have been seeing him most weeks for several months. He is extremely thorough and his use of a Graston device to wear down old scar tissue and knots was particularly effective. He taped my knee up well so that it did not cause me any problems on race day. I strongly recommend him for anyone with a sports injury or wanting general maintenance for sports. Dr J Pike, GP”

Bristol Half Marathon 2013

Thought we should share a picture of The House Clinics team at yesterdays Bristol Half Marathon! What a fantastic event and and great to raise money for charity, we hope you all enjoyed it too. Still awaiting official results but we may have beaten last years time of 2hr 21min!

















How to beat back pain at work

We know that one of the most common causes of neck and back pain is bad posture and here at the House Clinics, our team of chiropractors and physiotherapists treat many people who suffer from these symptoms.
Most of us know that poor posture contributes to back and neck pain, and usually the advice is to sit up straight at your desk. But this really is oversimplifying it, there is a lot more you can do to beat back and neck pain. The good news is that you dont need an expert to come in and assess your workstation, follow these tips and tricks to sort out your posture at work and you will be on the right track.
First of all before you sit down take a second to adjust your chair, especially if you share your workstation with others. Adjust the chair so your feet are flat on the floor (or on a footrest) and there should be a downward slope from your hips to your knees to reduce the strain on your back. Many people have their chairs too low, and the bucket seat type position is much harder on your back. Next thing to check is the height of your computer screen, ideally your eyes should be level with the top border of the screen, so if you dont have an adjustable stand just wedge some books underneath.
It almost goes without saying that your chair should fit underneath the desk, however many chairs dont have adjustable arm rests which sometimes prevents this. Wherever possible this needs to be avoided as you will end up leaning much further forwards to reach your equipment. If needed you can raise your desk on wooden blocks or ask for a chair with arm rests you can lower. The next thing to do is sit back, your buttock and shoulder blades should rest against the back of the chair and dont be afraid to bring the backrest forwards if you have it tilted quite far back.
Having raised your chair slightly to get that downward angle from hips to knees you might already be sitting high enough to pass the next test. Your forearms should be flat and elbows level with the desk, if not you will find that you hitch your shoulders up to type and use the keyboard. This is a very common cause of neck and shoulder tension.
Another often quoted rule of healthy posture is to take regular breaks, and although this may affect productivity it really is essential. The reality is that sitting at a desk often does not agree with our spines and the best thing we can do is give it a little break throughout the day. Try to get up and move around (or at least adjust your sitting position) every 30-40 minutes. Take a break, walk around and stretch and get a drink.
Having sorted out your posture while working there is one other aspect of this that can undo all of your hard work. So many people these days are working on the move, checking emails and doing work on your laptop, tablet or mobile phone. The problem with this is that it becomes very easy to forget about good posture as you may be out of your work environment and checking emails on the train for example. And because the devices are usually smaller in size and without accompanying mouse or keyboard it is very easy to hunch over the screen and undo all your hard work. So whether on a desktop computer or a tablet computer, be sure to use these tips to protect yourself from back pain.

Summer Has Arrived!

The weather is the hottest its been all year, so take a break from the heat and come in to our nicely air conditioned clinic in the city centre!

We offer chiropractic care, physiotherapy treatment, massage therapy and podiatry, all available at the city centre clinic located at Orega House,  10 Victoria Street, BS1 6BN.

Appointments available from 8am to 8pm. All bookings and appointments just give us a call on 0117 942 0200

New City Centre Clinic OPEN!

There is lots happening this month at The House Clinics, and top of the list is the big news that we are opening up a new clinic.

We have moved the City Centre Clinic from its current location on Queen Charlotte St to nearby Orega House, Suite 002 & 003, 10 Victoria Street, BS1 6BN.

This stunning new clinic is on the ground floor of this modern office building and we love the new location! All appointments will be at 10 Victoria Street from today, Monday 25th March 2013.  Appointments available from 8am to 8pm.

All bookings and appointments will be exactly as before, same appointments and phone numbers but just in a new location. If you have any questions or need help finding the new clinic phone us on 0117 942 0200 .




The House Clinics are OPEN

Snow Update

The snow may be getting in the way for some of you, but just to reassure you we are open as usual. All practitioners are available and the clinic is open normal hours. So be careful on the ice and drive safely. If you have a fall or accident don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can get you back on track.


Happy New Year!

The team at The House Clinics would like to wish you all a very happy New Year. 

In 2013 make health your priority and if you have any problems, new or old, pop in to see us for a consultation. Our dedicated team includes chiropractors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, a podiatrist/chiropodist and a hypnotherapist, and we are all here to help you feel better this year.


Bristol Half Marathon

 The House Clinics team has completed the Bristol Half Marathon. Well done to them!House Clinics Runners 

A big THANK YOU to all who sponsored the team. The current total amount raised stands at £1256.  This will be donated to the Bristol Down Syndrome Trust and CoppaFeel who are raising breast cancer awareness. 




Fund Raising Thank You

Thank you to all everyone who supported the ‘boys’ who did Mo-vember and raised over £700 for prostate cancer.

Corporate Events

The House Clinics run ‘healthy lunches’ for business in Bristol who want to make sure they are looking after their workforce.   These can be run at anytime to suit the company needs.  If you would like to discuss having a free healthy lunch, please contact Jonathan Cook on 0117 9420200 to discuss your requirements and to find out more.