'I have learnt how important mobility is in helping me recover quicker from strenuous tasks'

A bad back can cause many things.

Sleepless nights, lack of exercise, restriction of movement and general grumpiness (well, in my case anyway).

My pains started years ago when I was express pace fast bowler (well about 60mph probably!) and I started having issues in my lower back.

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Two car crashes later - both not my fault, I hasten to add - the back and neck has suffered. And in recent years it’s something I have learned to cope with.

The x-ray of Mark Dunford's lower spine

I have just accepted there will be stiffness after a stint of gardening, laying down or standing up for too long.

And what hasn’t really helped is the pandemic in regards to working from home and sitting for long periods. Yes, I know I can get up and walk around at any time but it’s not that simple.

So I thought it was time to take action.

I contacted Britchiro in West Street, Horsham, to see what they could do for me. BritChiro aim to take away your pain by restoring your spinal function.More than 25 team members are dedicated to help keep your spine well, ​thereby increasing the likelihood of the pain not coming back.

Dr Charlene Warnell

And my journey started with a consultation with Dr Charlene Warnell.

The information they needed from me was reassuringly thorough and I felt there was a real understanding of what my issues were very quickly.

The consultation included x-rays of my Upper Cervical (neck), Lower Cervical (neck), Lateral Cervical (neck), PA Lumbar (lower back) and Lateral Lumbar (lower back).

Dr Warnell said: ““The original and main physical examination findings revealed Lumbar facet and Sacro-iliac joint dysfunction; to explain this in simple terms, there was a distinct restriction or lack of mobility/movement in the joints of the lumbar spine and the pelvis.

“These are the areas which I have been focused on restoring joint function through adjusting/correcting the pelvis and spine, which in turn leads to improved mobility and movement, which then results in decreased pain and stiffness.

“Although the Lumbar spine and Pelvis were your Mark’s presenting issues, the examination also revealed restriction or decreased movement in the joints of the cervical and thoracic spine, which on further inquiry you had been aware of general stiffness and restriction when moving your neck, and had previously suffered with neck problems following a road traffic accident, so I have been working on optimizing function and movement to these areas as well.

"In addition to assessing the function of your spine, the physical examination involved an analysis of your posture and gait, which I discussed with you relating to your foot positioning in standing and walking, revealing over-pronation.

“Because of the unequal pressures distributed to the foot with over-pronation, I have been adjusting/correcting the joint restrictions found in the hind foot and mid foot, and Mark has returned to wearing his orthotics which will help to support the foot mechanics.

“Regarding Mark’s progress thus far, I can already see a marked improvement in the restoration of joint function and mechanics as well as improvements and reduction in muscle tensions that were found on the initial examination.

"Going forward, the aim is to further improve and restore optimal function and to provide Mark with some strengthening exercises to further support his biomechanics stability and health.“

The foot thing is really interesting.

I ran Half Marathon in 2018 and got proper running trainers as I know I could not do it without them. Those same trainers are now serving as my everyday footwear to help with my gait and pronation.

Talking of feet, during my sessions at Britchiro I had a bout of gout and that hampered my progress a little. If you haven’t had gout, firstly I envy you a lot! Secondly it really is painful.

But the good thing was Dr Warnell was able to work round it – yes there is some footwork when it comes to the sessions including giving the feet a good slap!

My sessions with Dr Warnell sometimes left my muscles sore but I find that hugely reassuring that good is being done.

Every session is very similar – massaging of key muscles, adjusting of the spine (no cracking sounds fortunately!) and more – but each time you can feel Dr Warnell pushing a little bit more as the body starts to cope with it more.

And the good doctor has also given me exercises that I can do at my desk which is a huge help. These exercises help open up the muscles more

And I am learning more and more how important mobility is in helping me recover quicker from strenuous tasks.

The marked difference I have noticed from waking up and knot being stiff, being able to do longer stints in the garden and the lack of aching after a day of umpiring in the Sussex Cricket League, means visiting Britchiro might have been my best decision this year - that’s what the cricket teams I umpire would tell you as well!

For more information on what Britchiro can offer, you can visit their website here or call 01403 275000

Britchiro is at 13 West Street, Horsham, RH12 1PB.

All of their Chiropractors are members of the British Chiropractic Association or the United Chiropractic Association and registered with the General Chiropractic Council.

Britchiro treats Back Pain - Leg Pain; Neck Pain - Arm Pain; Arthritic Pain - Osteoarthritis; Joint Pain; Tennis Elbow; Frozen Shoulder; Hip PainKnee Pain; Pregnancy Pains; Babies and Children, Headache and Migraine​.