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Hot Weather Brings Slew of Patients to New Zealand Chiropractors

New Zealand Chiropractor's Association Tuesday 05 March 2013, 04:12PM

Media release from New Zealand Chiropractor's Association

The long hot summer has brought a bumper crop of exercise-related injuries according to the New Zealand Chiropractors' Association.

Dr Hayden Thomas, chiropractor and spokesperson for the New Zealand Chiropractors' Association explains: 'The lovely summer weather has tempted a lot of people outside and some of them are trying to do more than they should physically, without adequate preparation and we are seeing the results.'

Last year the Accident Compensation Corporation paid out almost $9 million for summer-related injuries, with 30,737 people making claims for injuries they sustained doing what Kiwis do best - enjoying the great outdoors.

Dr Thomas advises New Zealanders to `Work within your limits and gently extend them. If you do have some joint stiffness or tissue tension, then make sure you do some stretches to improve your flexibility and tone before undertaking strenuous activities and beware of high impact exercise. Deconditioned joints and muscles need extra care to slowly increase function and strength. Some people can be at the opposite end of the spectrum where hypermobile joints can be overloaded and cause problems in the surrounding supportive tissues.
People need to listen to their body and find a happy medium with a mixture of stretching and strengthening, along with finding the right activity and activity level for their individual condition.

'Delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, is a sign that your body has reached its limits for the time being. We do see people who have gone that bit too far at this time of year, they might have felt great at the time of activity but their body lets them know they have overdone it and need some time out to recuperate. The key to enjoying the great outdoors is to maintain your joint flexibility and enhance your adaptive capacity - the body's ability to get fitter and stronger.
Seeing a chiropractor will help keep that ability on track and reduce the risk of injury. An optimum functioning spine and nervous system is less likely to get injured'

But the NZCA is keen for New Zealanders to get out and exercise more as the biggest risk for spinal and overall health problems comes from sedentary lifestyle. Dr Thomas says that older people especially benefit from exercise in lots of ways. He refers to a study , which was published in the September 2012 issue of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, which showed that astronauts on the International Space Station benefited from good nutrition and exercise with an increase in their bone mineral density.

Dr Thomas says: `This study shows the vital importance of weight-bearing exercise in maintaining bone density. It's undeniable that bones grow weaker without it and this study has been hailed as the first significant progress in protecting bone through diet and exercise.'

Dr Thomas points out that: `People may not realise that chiropractic is a key wellness and prevention service. Chiropractors don't just wait for people to break down but are primarily interested in preventing and correcting the underlying factors which cause ill health. A chiropractor will be able to check that all your spinal joints are moving properly to provide enough input to the brain and also look at other physical, emotional, nutritional and biochemical stressors that may be impacting on your body's ability to self regulate and heal. Then working in conjunction with other members of the healthcare team your chiropractor will devise a programme that will help to address each of the factors.

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