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What is the difference between a Physiotherapist, Osteopath and Chiropractor?

For detailed information on the differences between Physiotherapy, Osteopathy and Chiropractic Click Here

What is Medical Acupuncture?

Medical acupuncture is a therapeutic modality which involves the insertion of fine needles on specific parts of the body.  It evolved from Traditional Chinese Acupuncture but incorporates modern anatomy, physiology and pathology, and the principles of evidence based medicine whereas Traditional Chinese Acupuncture concepts are based on Yin/yang and the flow of qi.  This traditional concept is now viewed as outdated and many practitioners do not follow it anymore.

Medical acupuncture is regarded as part of conventional medicine rather than a complete “alternative medical system”. Acupuncture stimulates the nerves in skin and muscle, and can produce a variety of effects.  It increases the body’s release of natural painkillers – endorphin and serotonin – in the pain pathways of both the spinal cord and the brain. This modifies the way pain signals are received.   Medical acupuncture is mainly used by medically trained healthcare practitioners. It is used to treat musculoskeletal pain, and myofascial trigger point pain. It is also used to treat postoperative pain as well as nausea.

What is Low Back Pain?

This refers to any pain from below the ribcage down to the top of the buttocks – also known as the lumbar spine. Pain in your back is your body’s way of telling you there is something wrong.  It should not be ignored.  The back is a sophisticated but delicate system composing of muscles, nerves, blood supply bones and joints.  It is continuously working hard to support your whole upper body.

Pain in your lower back is therefore most common of all back pain and about 8 out of 10 people will be affected by it at some point in their lives. Sufferers of low back pain may feel tension, stiffness, sharp pain, aching and soreness.  Pain killers mask the pain and may cause further injury without you realising.

Most people’s low back pain is not caused by rare conditions such as cancer or fractures and is therefore described as non-specific. This is perhaps a little unfortunate, as it can feel a bit dismissive, but it simply means it is caused by the structures of the back rather than a specific medical condition.

Constant aching, grinding and twinges in the low back are reasons to come in and get checked out.  Pain in your lower back is most frequently triggered by everyday activities like bending awkwardly, lifting incorrectly, slouching when sitting, driving and standing for long periods.

We are specialized in treating spinal pain including low back pain.  We follow strict clinical guidelines for the management of mechanical back pain.

What is Upper Back Pain?

This refers to any pain between the base of the neck to the bottom of the ribcage. This area is known as the thoracic spine. The bones in this part of the spine do not move and flex as much as the neck or lower back therefore pain tends to be less common.

Constant aching, grinding and twinges in the upper back are reasons to come in and get checked out.  Symptoms range from aching and stiffness to a sharp pain or burning sensation. There are many causes of thoracic spine pain varying from the spinal joints themselves to the where the ribs attach to the spine.

We are specialized in treating spinal pain including upper back pain and we follow strict clinical guidelines for the management of upper back pain.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is most commonly caused by a motor vehicle accident in which the person is in a car that is stationary, and is struck by another vehicle from behind. The rear impact causes the head and neck to be forced into hyperextended (backward) position as the seat pushes the person’s torso forward – and the unrestrained head and neck fall backwards. The head and neck then recover and are thrown into a hyperflexed (forward) position.  In the United Kingdom, 430,000 people made an insurance claim for whiplash in 2007, accounting for 14% of every driver’s premium.

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident you should come in to get yourself checked out even if you don’t feel pain.  Symptoms include neck pain and stiffness, headache, shoulder pain and stiffness, dizziness, fatigue, jaw pain (temporomandibular joint symptoms), arm pain, arm weakness, visual disturbances, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and back pain.

We are specialized in treating spinal pain including whiplash.  We follow strict clinical guidelines for the management of Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD).

What is Neck Pain?

This is pain experienced from the base of the skull to the shoulders and which may extend into your upper back or arms. Felt as stiffness, tightness or a sharp pain. In bad cases neck pain can reduce the movement of your neck and head. Tension headaches can also be associated with neck pain. Shooting pain in the arm or pins and needles in the can also occur because of a problem in the neck.  This is known as radiculopathy. If you feel constant aching, grinding or twinges in your neck or you have pins and needles, heaviness or pain travelling down the arm, you should come in and get it checked out.

The muscles in the neck are under a lot of strain as they are constantly working in order to support and stabilize the head.  Other muscles in contrast relax when they not are not being used. Excessive strain on the neck such as long working hours can result in pain.

We are specialized in treating spinal pain including neck pain and we follow strict clinical guidelines for the management of neck pain.

What are Headaches / Migraine?

Headache is a continuous pain in the head – also known as ceplahlgia. The pain can be anywhere in the head or neck. As the brain has no pain receptors, headaches are not felt in the brain. The pain is caused by disturbances of the pain-sensitive structures around the brain.

During a tension headache, there may be muscle spasm in specific parts of the head, scalp and/or neck – these areas are uncomfortable and often painful.

People who suffer from these headaches say they feel like a tight band or vice on the head. The pain is usually dull, and covers most of the head. If you suffer headaches on a regular basis, you should come in to get checked out.

Migraine is a severe, painful headache that occurs at the front or on one side of the head. It can be preceded by an “aura” or accompanied by sensory warning signs such as flashes of light, blind spots, tingling in the arms and legs, nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light and sound. The excruciating pain that migraines bring can last for hours or even days.

Blood vessels in parts of the brain go into spasm (become narrower) which account for the aura. The blood vessels were then thought to dilate (open wide) soon afterwards, which accounted for the headache.  If migraines are a constant problem for you, you should come in to get checked out.

We are specialized in treating headaches and migraine and we follow strict clinical guidelines for the management of headaches and migraine.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is described as pain affecting the back, hip, the back of the leg, calf and into the foot.  It is caused by irritation or compression of the nerves that radiate out from the lower back. It can be mild to extremely painful. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms you should come into get checked out as your condition can quickly deteriorate.

A common cause of sciatica is a slipped disc. This occurs when one of the discs that sit between the vertebrae, is ruptured. It can also be caused by degenerative changes in your spine.  In some cases, surgery may be needed to control the symptoms.

The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in your body. It starts at the lower spine, running from the back of your pelvis, through your buttocks, and all the way down both legs, ending at your feet.

We are specialized in treating sciatica.  We follow strict clinical guidelines for the management of sciatica.

What is Shoulder Pain?

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body. Unfortunately it is an unstable joint because of the range of motion allowed. This instability increases the likelihood of joint injury, often leading to a degenerative process in which tissues break down and no longer function well.  The blood supply to the shoulder is poor and this can make a recovery from injury take longer to heal.

The shoulder complex consists of a number of different joints.  Unfortunately any of these joints as well as their associated structures e.g. muscles, ligaments, tendons, bursa can cause shoulder pain. Pain may be localized or may be referred to areas around the shoulder or down the arm.

Shoulder pain is quite common, affecting around three in 10 adults at some time during their lives.  A common cause of pain is poor shoulder positioning.  If you feel constant aching, grinding and twinges in your shoulder you should come in and get it checked over.

We are specialised in treating shoulder problems and follow strict clinical guidelines for the management of shoulder pain.

How long will each session last?

Your first session when you come to Better Health Clinics you will have 2 options:

OPTION-1: – A free assessment:  It lasts 15 minutes and is an opportunity for you to discuss your case with a clinician. Your clinician will ask you questions related to your problem and may do some tests to get a basic idea of the problem.  Your Better Health Clinician will then discuss with you a proposed course of action.  Please note the free assessment does not include any treatment.

OPTION-2: – A Full consultation. The full consultation will include an assessment, examination, orthopaedic tests, neurological tests, a diagnosis (what the problem is) and treatment for your problem.

Subsequent treatment time will depend on the nature and the severity of your condition but generally last 15-30 minutes.

How many sessions will I need?

This is dependent on:

  1. The nature and severity of your condition
  2. How you respond to treatment and
  3. The number of affected areas

During your full assessment your clinician will put together your BETTER HEALTH CARE PLAN.  It will be individual to you as it will be derived from the findings of your examination therefore you will get the best results.  This will be continually reassessed by your Better Health Clinician throughout your course of treatment.

There will be follow up treatments to ensure you remain pain free and stay healthy.

Does treatment hurt?

Treatment does not hurt and it is certainly NOT a case of “no pain, no gain.”  If you are in a lot of pain it may be uncomfortable, but your Better health Clinician help you to feel comfortable in order for your treatment to be its most effective.  There may be soreness following your treatment – this is your body responding to treatment healing itself.  It is normal and not cause for concern and soon subsides.

What will happen on my first consultation at Better Health Clinics?

At the first consultation, your clinician will take a:

1. Full case history – of your symptoms, as well as asking for information about your lifestyle and diet.

2. Assessment – This includes observing how you hold yourself and assessing your movements

3. Examination- examine areas of the body using a highly-developed sense of touch, known as palpation, to determine conditions and identify the body’s points of weakness or excessive strain. You may be asked to remove some clothing near the area of the body to be examined.

4. Orthopaedic tests – this may include a test for checking for slipped discs.

5. Neurological tests – this may include checking reflexes.

6. Diagnosis – this is where you are told what the problem is.  Your Better Health Care Plan is formulated on the findings from your full assessment and will be discussed with you.  Better Health Clinicians are skilled in diagnostic techniques and trained to identify when a patient needs to be referred to a GP.

7. Treatment – of the cause of your problem.  This will include muscle manipulation, joint manipulation amongst other things

8. Advice – after your treatment you will be given advice on how to prevent aggravating your problem as well as dietary and exercise advice if necessary.

How much does it cost?

This is dependent on:

  1. The nature and severity of your condition
  2. How you respond to treatment and
  3. The number of affected areas

We have a range of special offers and discounts that enable you to get the care you need at an affordable price.

How does it work?

The body has the inherent ability to heal itself but the level of recovery is dependent on the health of the affected and surrounding tissues.  The healthier the tissue, the quicker the recovery.  Our clinicians are trained to identify these tissues and treat them.  Unfortunately because of lifestyle the body’s ability to self heal can become stagnated.

How do I know if Better Health Clinics can help me?

The kind of problems we see at Better Health Clinics are those where people have been everywhere and not been helped.  Many wished they had come earlier!  (see body map)If you have been involved in a serious accident, need emergency surgery or suffering from a life threatening disease – you need medical care.  Keeping your joints moving correctly is an essential part of being healthy – unfortunately it is often neglected. A balanced diet, regular dental check-ups and being active, regular Better Health Clinics care allows you to reach your full health potential.  It is essential everybody, from the youngest to the oldest, needs to move well, think well and eat well. Whether you have a specific problem or not, with regular Better Health Clinics checks help deal with problems before they have a more severe impact. You have regular dental check-ups; you get your car serviced regularly so it does not break down, so why not look after your spine? Remember, your teeth can be replaced, your spine cannot!

What is joint manipulation?

Joint manipulations usually involve a quick thrust that helps to:

  1. restore the normal movement of a joint
  2. reduce pain
  3. restore or improve joint function
  4. reduce surrounding muscle spasm

There are a many of techniques varying from very gentle to strong, selected for each individual’s needs and comfort.

What is the popping noise of the joint manipulation?

During a manipulation there is sometimes a change of pressure within the joint space which may sometimes cause a “popping sound.”   This popping sound is the release of gas within the joint as the joint decompresses. Manipulations do not hurt and are safe. It’s exactly the same thing as when you “click” your knuckles.

Is Better Health Clinics care preventative?

At Better Health Clinics we see hundreds of patients with chronic conditions such as degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) or recurrent neck pain, back pain or headaches and many experience less frequent and less severe symptoms when under regular Better Health Clinic Care. This also applies to individuals in highly stressful situations and those who experience repetitive physical and postural strain from their daily activities.  In many cases we have prevented many patients from having to go under the knife because their problems have been managed by our skilled Better Health Clinicians.

Should I bring my family, friends and colleagues for Better Health Clinics checks?

Yes, the strength of Better Health Clinics Care is that it can help to prevent discomfort, pain and may even help reduce the physiological changes of stress that lead to health problems, by reducing the likelihood of stress hormone release and optimising the nervous system control of the body. Better Health Clinics care is suitable for everyone. It is appropriate to visit us if you have had a previous problem and even if you have no pain, as restrictions in movement and alterations in nervous system function can often be detected before symptoms appear.

Have you got car parking?

Epping: free parking on site.

Moorgate:  The are parking meters available on Chiswell Street in front of the clinic and also in Bunhill Row to the side of the clinic.  There is also a NCP car park in Finsbury Square – a short walk from the clinic.

How to find us.

Epping Clinic:

The Limes Medical Centre,

Thrifts Mead, Theydon Bois,

Essex, CM16 7NE.

Tel: 01992-815-166.


Better Health Clinics is found inside The Limes Medical Centre in Theydon Bois.

From Theydon Bois underground station Better Health Clinics is a 3 minute walk.

On exit turn left on too Station approach.

Follow the road going past “The Bull” pub on the left until you reach the junction with Coppice Row.

Cross over the pedestrian crossing onto Poplar Row and then turn left onto Thrifts Mead.

Follow the road down and where it bends you will see a care home – Robert Daniels Court.

Turn into Robert Daniels Court and bear left.

You will see The Limes Medical Centre next to the bridge.

A full map is available on our Contact Page – Click Here

Moorgate Clinic:

24 Chiswell Street,


London, EC1Y 4TY.

Tel: 0203-633-2486.


Better Health Clinics is found inside Smilepod the dentist at Chiswell Street.

From Moorgate underground Better Health Clinics is a 3 minute walk.

Use exit market Moorfields, London Wall & Barbican Centre.

On exit turn right and cross the road and take the 2nd left cut through.

You will see The Rack & Tenner pub on your left and The Red Cross on your right.

Walk towards Pret, which will be on your left and past a news stand on your right.

Pass between City Point buildings and you will see Wagamama on your left.

When you emerge turn left and then immediately right at The Heron building into Moor Lane.

Enter the building, Better Health Clinics is on the ground floor past the lifts on the right.

Better Health Clinics is situated within Smilepod.

A full map is available on our Contact Page - Click Here