Belsize NW3 Chiropractic


Michael H. Smith

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“in London: A little bit of ouch”

January 9, 2013 · 12 comments

It has not helped that as I was drawing in my tights yesterday something went pop in my sacroiliac joint and I was stuck in a bending position swearing bloody blue murder. I arrived at my morning radio gig, (internet security & fashion trends), with damp hair, and an unzipped dress, crawling sideways and very, very slowly, like someone who had had way too much fun the night before. I WISH.

Post office tower (photo not included)
(The Post Office Tower, as seen from Berners Street at 0830hrs yesterday morning outside the recording studio. Given the contorted position I was standing in, I’m amazed I got it straight.)

Wonderful Twitter came up trumps tho, with recommendations for Osteopaths and Chiropractors all over North London. I went down the chiro route — it was easier to make a decision, there were only two, compared to over a dozen osteos, and a huge thank you to Michael Smith at ( 16 England’s Lane NW3 4TG ) in Belsize Park, who squeezed me in at 6pm, deep massaged my lumbar region with a whirring machine, and did some clever manipulation. This morning I can bend over, and walk without wincing.

It feels like a miracle. And a strong warning. I’m going back on Friday for another session, and am determined to make strengthening my back and abs a priority for 2013, before my entire body collapses from under use.

Blog  2 - Lumbar Rotation - ’Ageing’ – Defined & Prevented?

NW3Chiro twisting Lady

Most people’s idea of age-ing hinges on appearance. First thoughts are of the skin, however one can discern an ‘old’ person from a distance; too far to detect skin quality.

What we see from a distance is

i) movement


ii) posture.

Belsize NW3 Chiropractic defines ‘ageing’ as the loss of movement. This means you can be 20 years old and be more ‘aged’ than an 80 year old marathon runner or morning swimmer.

At NW3 & Belsize Chiropractic,  a classic symptom of the beginnings of neck problems is the patient who complains that reversing the car is causing neck pain. Alternatively the cliche picture of the old man, with lost range of motion, sciatica, hunched posture and reporting difficulty doing up his shoe laces. Or the woman who says she can do up her bra one way but not the other; ie one shoulder has started to lose range of motion.

You can test shoulders for such signs of restriction by trying ‘Apley’s Scratch’. This involves attempting to touch your hands behind your back, where one arm reaches down the back from above shoulder height and the other from below upwards. The fingers should touch, if not interlock without difficulty or pain.

What about the ‘finger to floor’ distance test? Standing with straight knees, can your fingers reach the floor? This test is an indicator of tight low back muscles as well as hamstrings.

The issue is primarily the fact that contractile organs such as muscle, do not elongate after contraction, by themselves. They must rely on being stretched back to their original length by either an antagonist muscle (one which moves the involved joint in the opposite direction) or by an external body such as a machine, obstacle or friendly Belsize NW3 Chiropractor.

Similarly elastic tissue such as tendons and ligaments only ever intrinsically contract and rely on similar external forces to be stretched out again. If one becomes less mobile due to employment, disease or laziness, these tissues contract and shorten in length thereby reducing the range of motion of the involved joint(s) and therefore, their owner. This in turn leads to joint stiffening and subsequent appearance of ageing. Other more permanent signs are calcification of these once soft tissues. This latter sign can result in joint fusion after which it is virtually impossible to regain original range of motion.

The ‘punchline’ therefore, is to prevent these prime symptoms or signs of ageing. Stretch regularly, exercise regularly and visit your chiropractor every three to six months. Treat these visits like an MOT as most people service their car more than their bodies. Also eat a healthy balanced diet including fish, vegetables and fruit. When eating red meat, only eat low fat, good quality meat to decrease the chance of longterm complications such as bowel cancer.

Follow the above advice and help prevent the signs and symptoms of true ‘ageing’ such as the posture and loss of motion of an ‘old person’.


Blog 3 - Visit to London Independent Hospital – Sports Care Clinic

Recently I was invited to The London Independent Hospital’s Sports Care Clinic ( The resident Consultant Radiologist, Dr Otto Chan invited me for a 10 hour observation day after which a group of doctors, nurses, physios and this chiropractor were privy to a lecture given by the respected Professor Malluffi into the most recent studies on tendonopathy.

A day of ultrasounding tendons and ligaments in various areas of the body was invaluable, as a lot of my work involves patients with palpable scar (Collagen Type III? Neovascularisation??) tissue. Where I use deep tissue Trigger Point Therapy and specific Vibration Therapy, Dr Chan injects high volume homepathic/cortisone cocktails into chronic tendons and ligaments, to break up the unwanted new blood vessels and type III collagen deposits which contribute to pain and the perpetuation of these conditions. The technique is thought to have originated in Germany and brought to England by Dr Chan and his group.

Dr Chan also employs the doppler function of Ultrasound to visualise and verify the existence of neo-vascularisation before treatment and its absence in comparative ‘still shots’, after treatment.

Dr Maffuli has published many research papers relating to tendonopathy and gave a most interesting lecture on the latest research and results for this area of interest. Blog


Blog 4 - ‘Jogger’s Knee’

Often New Years resolutions are left until the last minute leaving joggers with few months until the start gun pops. The first thing to sacrifice is the 10-minute warm-up; often turned into 2 minutes. Hamstrings, Gluteal muscles and ITB (Ilio-Tibial Band down the side of the leg) are treated as one as are Quadriceps and Psoas Major stretches.

Consequently, many runners develop hip and knee complaints often due to over-pronation and subsequent Genu Valgus. Proper stretching of the ITB can decrease the likelihood of Genu Valgus occurring as can arch supports. Similarly low back musculature is often ignored in the stretching pre- and post-run. Most of these complaints can be avoided or treated so if you’re planning to start training, perhaps consider NW3 Chiropractic at BodyMatters.

Scientific Information:
The UK BEAM Trial
Visit: The University of York