A Brand New Alex for Your Health Sport and Spine

Introducing Alex… no not that one, another one.

 

My name is Alex Alevras, or at Your Health Sport & Spine Alex A… Alex 2… young Alex. And I’ll be sharing with you a bit about who I am and what I do.

Since I was little I’ve always wanted to learn and study the human anatomy. What grabbed my young mind was the puzzle the human body represented and the little we knew of our meat vehicle. This intrigued me. From my curiosity and passion for sport I was began my journey into this learning.

From these beginnings I have since completed a Bachelors of Chiropractic science and a Masters’ in Chiropractic at Macquarie University. In my quest to continue learning I have enrolled in a Masters’ of Research at Macquarie University with the Australian Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI). In this project with the AIHI I will be focused on boxing injury and injury prevention. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some of the data found in the work by the International Olympic Committee, Macquarie’s leading sports epidemiologist Dr. Reidar P. Lystad and myself. The data retrieved details an interesting story of the: type, severity and location of injuries in competitive boxing at the Olympic games.

To have any time at the competitive levels in any sport is difficult. This is especially the case in boxing as a single round of boxing competition is an accumulation of hundreds of hours dedicated to the sweet science. This is where I hope to take my research, through helping establish best training practice to encourage performance and to reduce injury. I will aim to complete my PhD in this area at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) under my associate supervisor Dr. Michael Drew.

I have known of Your Health Sport & Spine since 2015, where I worked for Alex as a sports trainer and represented his clinic at the Westbrook AFL club. Since then the relationship grew and I saw potential for personal growth and fun with the blunt but well natured Alex F. Working at Your Health Sport & Spine will be fruitful, and I am truly excited to begin my treating journey here in Dural.

From here on out expect social media posts and future blogs on areas of interest. If there is something you’re curious on don’t hesitate to call or come in.

 

Because your health matters,

 

Alexander Alevras (Alex A)

Chiropractor

B.ChiroSc, M.Chiroprac, M.Res (student)

 

MRI Lumbar Spine

Imaging For Low Back Pain

X-Rays, CTs and MRIs and other forms of imaging for low back pain are the most unnecessarily ordered scans in Australia. In fact both the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) and Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) have both come out and said:

“Don’t perform imaging for patients with non specific acute low back pain and no indicators of a serious cause of back pain”

 

The most simple and honest answer for this is that overwhelmingly imaging for low back pain doesn’t help you get better but it does expose you to extra radiation that you really don’t need to be exposed to. Furthermore for scans like an MRI that doesn’t expose you to radiation, most likely all the things you see on the scan are totally irrelevant anyway. For example if you are say, 40 years old, have no back pain at all and we took an MRI of your lumbar spine; what do you think we would see? Well, there’s a 68% chance we will see some disc degeneration and a 50% chance you would have a disc bulge and this remember is without having any pain at all! We’ve talked these findings previously here. So with that in mind if it’s 50/50 that your disc injury is actually causing you any pain at all, there isn’t really much point in getting the scan in the first place!

Simply put if I give you a picture of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, you won’t be able to tell me where it rusts. The same goes with your spine. However with a thorough history, a good understanding of what makes your back better and worse followed up with a clinically relevant physical exam, I’ll be able to tell you a hell of a lot more than a scan ever will. I can say this with certainty because the science and research that is out there backs this up.

So when is imaging the way to go?

There are certainly times when imaging for low back pain is important but they are few and far between. It is commonly accepted that there are only three situations where it could be a good idea.

  1. Your history or examination suggests that something serious is going on. For example a previous history of cancer in combination with low back pain that doesn’t change with movement could be an indication that imaging would be appropriate
  2. You have a neurological deficit related to your low back that is getting worse. For example progressive numbness and weakness into your leg.
  3. It’s been 6 weeks, you’ve been diligent with treatment and you are not getting better.

Out side of these situations, you should really be asking your health professional whether the scan is necessary.

For more recommendations about what treatments and tests are not necessary Choosing Wisely is an excellent resource and a highly recommend you take a look.

Because your health matters.

Dural Chiro elbow pain

Tendon Pain? Should I Massage it?

Something that’s a pet hate of ours at the moment, and it’s got something to do with your tendons!

Or if you are getting pain here, still don’t massage it

If you are getting pain here. Don’t massage it!

If you are getting pain at either the outside of your elbow or just below your knee cap and the first thing who ever is treating you has done is give them a good massage. The first thing you should do is give them a good slap…. and then come see us at either our Dural clinic in the Hills District or Granville Clinic inside Adonis Athletics.

Tendon pain is by far one of the most common thing we here and it can be due to many things. However it generally comes down to poor load management, it’s rarely much else.

What do you mean load management?

When we talk about load management what we mean how much work or you getting your tendons doing. If we were to measure how much work your tendons do in a week as a ratio of your monthly average we really what that number to be between 80-130%. When you go above or below this, the tendon becomes sensitive to lower work loads and injury happens.

 

Make sure you keep the load on your tendons between 80-130%

So what should your chiro of physio NOT do to my tendons?

The absolute worst thing that can be done to these types of injury is to give them a good ol’ rub. This is closely followed by compressing them, ie heavy taping or anything that will squeeze the tendon. All that your doing is increasing the tendons load and making it worse. But don’t take my word for it, take Professor Jill Cook’s one of the world’s leading researchers into tendon pain. Here are the top 10 things not to do when you have tendon pain (tendinopathy) can be found by clicking here. 

So what should be done?

Tendon’s love progressive load in the middle part of a joint’s range. So this is a great place to start! Lets say we are talking about tennis elbow (Yes this is a tendon problem!) Simply with your elbow flexed to 90 degrees and your finger pointing down, hold a light weight so you feel a little bit of pressure but no pain. Hold this for 30-45 seconds and rinse and repeat 3 times. We call this an isometric exercise. It’s been shown to immediately reduce pain (find more by clicking here) and get you back to doing the things you love to do.

For more info, or to find a way forwards for your injury get in contact with us through our contact us page

Because your health matters.

Alex assessing injury

Injuries suck! What should I do?

Alex assessing injury

Take control of your health

Don’t let injuries hold you back.

Injuries suck! There is no doubt about it. One of the most common thing we hear around the clinics in Dural and Granville is, “I’ve got X but I wasn’t sure whether I needed to see somone about it. This thought is really common, your life is busy, the kids, need to be here, there and everywhere and you don’t really have a huge amount of time to spend on your self anyway.

So we have 4 simple questions for you:

  1. Have you had the same injury 2 or more times in the last 6 months?
  2. Is it effecting your sleep?
  3. Is it having a significant impact on what you can do at home and/or work?
  4. Has it been going on for more than 2 weeks?

If you answered yes to any of these questions it’s probably a very good time to get in contact with us at Your Health Sport and Spine.

Not every injury needs something done about it right away and alot of the time these things have a habit of sorting themselves out after a week or two. However if it really is taking a toll on what you do or keeps coming back…

It’s time to take control

Clinically we can break down patients into two groups when it come to muscle and joint pain injuries.

  • Passive Copers
  • Active Copers

Your passive copers, generally look for therapies and strategies that are done to them, ie massage, painkillers, hot showers etc etc. It places control of their health into other people or things. Whilst your active copers as the name would imply look for more active approaches to managing their pain, for example they might go for a walk, or find some exercise that helps their injury. If we look at the outcomes for these two groups The active copers fare much better, stay injured for less periods of time and are less likely to be injured again.

In other words, don’t let something or someone else control your health outcomes, pop into the drivers seat and take control!

How do I know if I should see a chiro or a physio?

This is a great question. The answer may surprise you however, as it really doesn’t matter. What is important though is that you are seeing some one you trust and that they are following an evidence based approach ie letting you an the science guide them on what to do. At Your Health Sport and Spine we firmly believe that the patient should be the drive behind their care so we developed a list of question you could ask about your chiro or physio to see if they are the right one for you. All you have to do is click here to find out more.

The long and the short of it.

So at the end of the day, the take home message is simple:

  • Don’t leave it too long
  • Take control of your health
  • Find a clinician you can trust

Because your health matters.

are you a back over compensator - power lifter

Are you a back over compensator?

Sometimes the best thing you can do is relax But first if you havn’t seen it already, check out our new and improved website by clicking here we think it’s awesome! Back pain is not a fun experience it is especially unpleasant when it hangs around and or keeps coming back.

Back Pain Management

Our Chiropractic and Physiotherapy patient service

Too many times my patients have said that they have seen previous chiropractors or physiotherapists time after time again, week after week without experiencing any real changes in the condition that they came in for.

Preseason Injury

Injury Avoidance in the Pre-Season

At Your Health Sport and Spine we do a lot of work with the local sporting teams of Dural, Round Corner, Castle Hill and the rest of the Hills District. With pre-season training for rugby and soccer starting we thought we would share our thoughts on how to approach the pre-season and minimise your risk […]

Lower back pain

Oh my gosh I have a disc bulge!

For many being told they have a slipped disc or disc bulge can be quite daunting. In society there seems to be this perception that if one receives this diagnosis the back is cactus so to speak. Not to mention if you are told that you have spinal degeneration or spondylolisthesis! It seems for many […]

Back Pain

A quick word on Pain…

At Your Health Sport and Spine we have a special interest in chronic back pain and the management of it. We work closely with GPs and other health/fitness professionals all around the Hills District, Dural, Castle Hill, Glenhaven and Galston to try and come up with individualised approaches to help it settle down. Pain. Everyone […]

Sticks and Stones Will Break My Bones but Words Will Never Hurt Me

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones

What if I were to tell you that this was not entirely true? What if I were to tell you that the words a clinician uses with their patient can have a profound impact (good and bad) on how a patient experiences their pain?