Wellbeing & Fitness
Interview with Top Chiropractor Dr Luther Moss
Interviewed by Gurminder for Doctify
What is chiropractic?
A chiropractor use a range of techniques with focus on alignment, flexibility and strength of the body. They can also provide advice on exercise, diet, lifestyle and rehabilitation that includes exercises you can do in your own time.
What do you specialise in?
My personal area of interest is headaches and migraines. Through detailed neurological testing I firstly help to identify if there is any cause for concern and can make the appropriate referral if necessary. Following this a combination of detailed history taking and chiropractic and orthopaedic physical examination helps to identify the likely cause of the complaint. In many cases misalignment or dysfunction within the neck region is the main culprit. With proper correction of alignment and function of the spine in these cases, the responses can be incredibly powerful with some lifelong sufferers of headaches reporting a complete resolution of their problems. I find these patients very satisfying to work with.
What do you typically see patients for?
The most common issue patients see a chiropractor for is lower back pain, normally a result of long-term problems with posture, movement, stress and diet. Patients are often unaware of the damage caused by failing to look after your body properly.
Other patients include athletes that are looking to make their bodies more injury resistant and enhance their performance. We also see people coming in for regular check ups to help combat the emotional and physical strain from stressful jobs.
How often does someone need treatment?
Each individual case is different; therefore it is difficult to answer this question. Just like getting fit, restoring alignment takes time and dedication. There is no quick fix as we are trying to retain the body and how it functions. For example someone suffering from acute lower spinal/disc injury a treatment programme may require 6 treatments in the first 3-4 weeks followed by a further 6 over the next 2 months.
Is your system an intense short-term treatment method or more of an ongoing maintenance?
Patients with acute injuries or long term problems often require a period of high intensity treatment initially. The aim is always to get the person as independently healthy as possible.
Chiropractic is based on a system that is dedicated to optimising patients’ long-term health and function. People tend to regularly return to help maintain alignment and nerve function, as they begin to see it as part of their normal health routine alongside exercise and healthy diet. The frequency of these ‘maintenance’ visits varies from 4-12 weeks.
How do you use your treatment for back pain?
Chiropractic adjustments and treatments are recognised as one of the safest, best techniques for the treatment of lower spinal pain. Studies have shown that recovery from mechanical lower back pain using chiropractic has proven to be faster, more effective and less expensive than medical alternatives.
We also see many people recovering from injury or surgery. We can help improve healing times and maintain function during these difficult and often painful periods of time.
Do you believe the patients you see need corrective exercise?
Absolutely. Everyone should be exercising regularly as it is actually impossible to be optimally healthy without exercise and movement being a regular part of your life.
In patients that present with a specific problem, after resolution of their pain or alignment it is essential that they undertake some form of structure exercise in order to maintain the benefits of the treatment and to protect them against injury.
For example, someone who presents with headaches as a result of their posture in front of the computer at work can benefit hugely from chiropractic care, however if they fail to improve their postural muscle strength and movement patterns after stopping chiropractic treatment the reality is that their problem with re-occur at some stage.
It is vitally important that these people follow a properly structured routine of exercise, focusing on the appropriate muscles and guided by a well-trained professional. Pounding miles on a treadmill will not help with alignment problems; patients require a detailed, bespoke and structured exercise routine. Patients who follow a routine show faster recovery from injury, better resilience against future injury and of course a better overall level of health.
What general advice can you give?
The most important piece of advice is to keep mobile. Immobility – i.e. too long hours of sitting or staying still – is literally damaging our bodies and our brains. Research now shows that keeping mobile helps to maintain normal brain/neurological function and helps to prevent the onset of many chronic diseases such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Luther’s top 5 tips for optimising your health:
- Do a minimum of 3 minutes stretching in the morning and the evening (make sure you follow good advice on stretches).
- Set an alarm on your computer for every 40-60minutes and then move when it goes off. Even rolling your shoulders and turning your head from side to side makes a difference, ideally get up and walk for 2-3 minutes.
- Do at least 3 sessions of 20 minutes intensive exercise per week – ideally get a personal trainer!
- Challenge yourself regularly by learning new exercise routines or movement patterns to force it to maintain its strength and adaptability.
- Finally drink at least 1.5-2 litres of fresh (preferably filtered) water each day. Many people are dehydrated and this is very damaging for your health.