I often give this advice: – bodies love to move, and walking is free, easy and requires no more than a pair or comfortable shoes (okay, a waterproof too, this is Britain, after all).  It’s a great feeling when science backs up your advice so beautifully.

I read an article last week in the Guardian by Andrew Gregory, Health Editor, he came up with some good data just how beneficial walking is for back pain.  Here is the essence of it…

Walking three times a week ‘nearly halves’ recurrence of low back pain…Australian research finds people who walked three to five times weekly stayed pain-free almost twice as long

Walking three times a week to ease back pain almost halves the risk of its recurrence, according to the first study of its kind.

About 800 million people worldwide have low back pain, and seven in 10 who recover experience flare-ups within a year.

Researchers said the findings, published in the Lancet, show walking could have a “profound impact” on the leading cause of disability worldwide.

“You don’t need to be walking 5 or 10km every day to get these benefits,” said Mark Hancock, the study’s senior author and a professor of physiotherapy at Macquarie University in Australia.

“The important thing to remember is to start with short walks then gradually increase the distance and intensity as your fitness increases. Walking is a low-cost, widely accessible and simple exercise that almost anyone can engage in, regardless of geographic location, age or socioeconomic status.”

Hancock said people who walked three to five times a week, for an average of 130 minutes a week, remained pain-free for nearly twice as long compared with those who did not receive any treatment.

Taking regular steps also improved their quality of life, and the time they had to take off work almost halved, he added.

He added: “We don’t know exactly why walking is so good for preventing back pain, but it is likely to include the combination of the gentle oscillatory movements, loading and strengthening the spinal structures and muscles, relaxation and stress relief, and release of ‘feel-good’ endorphins

“And of course we also know that walking comes with many other health benefits, including cardiovascular health, bone density, healthy weight, and improved mental health.”

“The thing with back pain is most people’s instinct is to not do anything, because even taking a step can send a jolt or spasm up your back,” he said. “Exercise is a path to reducing pain in the long term, so if you have a flare-up, you should keep doing what you can.”

So, in summary, walk when you can, add a little walk in wherever it’s possible.  Stroll down to the corner shop, step out in your lunch break, go on longer country walks when you are away, leave the car at home if you can now and then, walk with your friends and family while you catch up.

It doesn’t really matter how you do it, but the benefits are obvious.



We have finally had a glimpse of sunshine and hopefully, most of you will have had time to enjoy some time outdoors.  If nothing else, the lighter and longer days are feeling lovely – it’s hard to believe it is almost the end of May, last winter seemed never ending.

In ‘clinic land’ we are happy to say we are busy and seeing lots of new patients as well as many familiar faces.  During spring, we always see a lot of sore joints as people start to tackle the rapidly growing lawns and burgeoning plant life in the gardens.

It’s great that you are getting outside, staying active and getting the sunshine on your head and hopefully topping up Vitamin D levels.

However, some basic advice as the seasons progress may not go amiss; so for all you gardening enthusiasts, we offer you 5 TOP TIPS to keep you moving safely


Toiling in the garden can be relaxing, but it should be remembered that you are at the mercy of the elements and your gardening tools. A deep cut from a pair of pruners or a chemical burn on your hands from fertilizer exposure can quickly put you out of commission. To stay safe, you must use the right protective equipment:-

  • GLOVES –  For when using pesticides or fertilizers
  • SUN HAT  –  A wide-brimmed sun hat will protect you
  • SUNSCREEN –  Wear a minimum of 30 SPF to avoid burning
  • SAFETY GLASSES –  For pruning or working with chemicals
  • MASKS –   Avoid chemicals in the air getting into your lungs.

Gardening is hard work that requires a lot of repetitive movements like pruning, digging, and twisting. Small repetitive movements of the hands and arms can quickly cause strain or injury to your ligaments and tendons. If you notice your arms, wrists, and hands getting tired, take a quick break or switch to another activity to avoid unnecessary strain.  Basically pace yourselves.


Moving planters, transferring bags of soil, and lifting pails of soil is heavy gardening that can take a toll on your back if you aren’t using the right lifting methods. It’s essential to know your limitations and use appropriate tools like a plant trolley or wheelbarrow as you work. If you must lift something, make sure to always leave your load’s brunt to your leg muscles and rise with a straight back. For hefty lifting, it’s always best to get the help of a second set of hands.


It only takes a second to have a fall in the garden. If you have pathways or aisles in your garden, they need to remain clear and in good repair at all times. Garden stones or tiles can shift with age and time and become unstable. If your pathway has uneven surfaces, it can quickly result in a dangerous trip hazard.


Your plants aren’t the only things in the garden that need to be properly hydrated. When you are spending several hours outdoors in the heat, you must get enough water to drink. Keep a water bottle close at hand to sip at while you work. Watch for signs of dehydration, including dizziness, nausea, or headache while you work.

Stop and ‘Smell The Roses’ whilst you drink.

When you are done, have a good old stretch to avoid stiffness, there are a few basic stretches in our resources section on the website.  Often a bath with some Epsom salts helps with any aches and stiffness.

Happy and safe gardening.

If your best efforts fail and you have overdone things, call and book a massage or a chiropractic treatment and get back to feeling your best without delay.

MRI scans and X-rays

We are often asked by patients about medical imaging for ongoing problems.

Although we are unable to refer patients for scans, the following private local facilities offer self-referral options. You will probably have an initial consultation with a physiotherapist or consultant before being seen for the scan itself.

The Grosvenor Hospital Chester (Nuffield)

Spire Yale Hospital Wrexham

Scan.com is an online portal which provides access to nation-wide facilities. The two centres closest to us on their system are the Nuffield Hospitals in Chester and Shrewsbury, but if you are prepared to travel, you may get a lower price.

Another online service is Vista Health. Their centres tend to be close to the larger cities and may offer better pricing.

* Note that the list above is for information only and does not constitute a recommendation for any particular service