Advice from Chiropractor Russell Dean
You run a successful clinic in Windsor, UK what made you decide to open a clinic in Sant Cugat?
My wife is Catalan, and the grand plan was always to move to the Barcelona area at some point. Sant Cugat is a town similar to Windsor in it’s size and proximity to a large city, so we are hoping that our success in Windsor can be repeated here.
Have you noticed a difference between medical attitudes to chiropractic in UK and Spain?
A fairly large one in that at least in the UK they know who we are and what we do! Here the medical doctors that I know are politely interested, but don’t have any idea of what we can offer or of the training necessary to qualify (minimum 4 years degree). In Windsor,as the public demands alternatives to drugs and surgery, more and more medical practitioners are referring their patients to chiropractic doctors. We receive regular referrals from GPs and consultants. Most of them are patients too!
What about attitudes of the general public towards chiropractic?
Pretty much the same as the doctors. Their first thought tends to be that we are some sort of massage therapists, which of course is not the case at all. When they learn what we can help them with they are pretty excited to find an alternative to pills and being told to “live with it”.
What are the main reasons people see a chiropractor?
The most common, of course, are back and neck pain, headaches and trapped nerves from disc or joint injuries. This is what Chiropractic is renowned for as being the treatment of choice in most cases. However, as we are treating the nervous system rather than just the back, we also help patients of all ages with a variety of health issues; colic, recurrent ear and chest infections, asthma, concentration issues in children. Sports injuries, digestive problems and sleep disturbance in adults.
What can people expect on each visit?
The first thing is to do is carry out a thorough case history and exam of the spine and neurological system to see if we can help you. If that is the case, and it normally is, then we develop a treatment plan for each individual case. Obviously we take care to fully explain everything and answer any questions that you may have about the treatment and expected outcome. After the time spent on the first few visits, regular visits take just 20 minutes, allowing you to get on with your life. You are checked each time before and after treatment, which is usually gentle specific manipulation (“chiropractic adjustments”) to correct restriction of normal movement within the spine or other joints. Advice and exercises are also given.
How can chiropractic help during pregnancy?
Pregnancy may be one of the best times to receive chiropractic care! While it’s always good to have an optimally functioning nervous system, it’s especially helpful now. Both mother and baby can benefit. Adjusting methods are adapted to a mother’s size, weight and condition. During this period of weight gain and hormonal changes, many mothers seek chiropractic care, mostly for back pain or the potentially excruciating Pubic Symphysis Disorder (PSD) as well as general health and well-being.
Does this make the birth easier?
Certainly some mums report shorter and easier births, which makes sense if there spine and pelvis is properly aligned and functioning and their nervous system as stress free as possible.
Will it have any effects on the fetus?
Absolutely not, other than ensuring that they are in the healthiest possible environment, and as comfortable as they should be.
What dangers are there to a baby’s neck and spine during the birth process itself?
There are great strains placed on a baby’s head and spine even in a straight forward healthy birth. Once medical intervention takes place then these forces are massively increased.
In what instances (births) is this more commonplace?
The usual suspects; forceps, vontoose and caesarean section.
After birth how can chiropractic help a newborn baby and its mum?
Clearly after a fair physical strain such as birth, both mum and baby should be checked to ensure that their spines are working freely and balanced. The baby should have as stress-free a nervous system as possible so that they can develop healthily and get on with fulfilling their potential.
Do you have any case studies on how you have helped a baby with colic for example?
Many! In 17 years of practice I have lost count of the number of children that I have treated. Just before I came over to Sant Cugat I saw a four week-old baby in Windsor who had not slept more than a few hours at a time at night, since birth. Both Mum and baby were pretty exhausted and distressed! We found a restriction in the upper neck of the baby. Treatment, which in newborns is just gentle finger pressure, allowed the spine to free itself and work correctly. After one visit there was a slight change, after three visits the baby was sleeping five to six hours at a time through the night and clearly not in distress. We saw her once more and then discharged her.
Will chiropractic help a newborn to sleep better :)
Oh yes – see above! There is actually a condition known as Infantile Distress Syndrome, where the parameters for diagnosed colic haven’t been met, but the babay is clearly not happy. And when baby sleeps so does Mum.....!
As a child grows up how can chiropractic help?
Think of the number of bumps and collisions that a child has in a normal healthy life. It’s no wonder that injuries to the spine occur and stress builds up. Typically parents will report a reduction in the number of ear or chest infections, better concentration at school, and of course the reassurance that their child’s spine is being checked for healthy growth and development just like we do for their teeth.
Do you have any cases studies on how you have helped a child who has problems with bedwetting or any other case studies?
Again, many. Bedwetting before five years old isn’t considered a problem medically, but can be tiring and distressing for all involved. A six year-old who was regularly bed-wetting was treated over a couple of months and happily the frequency of wet nights dropped to the point that he could begin to sleep-over at friend’s houses. With another patient, who was four, regular life-long and unexplained nose bleeds stopped all together when we corrected the restrictions in her upper spine. Very gratifying!
Is there anything a parent can practice at home to help their children?
Posture!! Without wanting to encourage nagging... a child with poor slumped posture will have more strain on their spine, setting themselves up for more serious problems later in life. Also, listen to the child if they say that they have pain – it is a sign of damage and the cause should be investigated.
Look for restriction of movement of the neck and check that their spine does not seem to curve to one side when they are standing. School bags; make sure that they are not too heavily and that they are carried backpack style over both shoulders.
Why do you think medical doctors don’t suggest chiropractic?
The only reason normally is ignorance of our training and misconceptions of how we treat. Once we have met them and explained to them how we can help their patients and take the burden off of them and reduce the medication that the patient has to take, they are often keen to begin referring to us straight away!
Certainly there is no medical reason why they should object. In the UK chiropractors are qualified to diagnose, treat and refer as they see fit, without the need of a medical doctor’s approval.
How would you suggest people go about choosing a good chiropractor?
Spain is now almost unique in Western Europe in that the title “chiropractor” is not legally protected. This means that in Spain you must ensure that a chiropractor is qualified to international standards. The easiest way to do this is to go to a chiropractor who is a member of the Asociacion Espanola de Quiropractica (AEQ). Then, ask friends for any referrals to someone they may know of. Meet the chiropractor and make sure that you feel comfortable with their approach and clinic. We are used to answering questions and encourage it!
How can people find you?
We are in central Sant Cugat, close to the old town and Ferrocarriles. Our clinic is in a modern block on the corner of Av. Lluis Companys and C. Christofor Colom.
Call us on 93 544 1916 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for directions or to make an appointment.
Our website www.remedycentres.com will be up and running soon, but in the meantime you can snoop at our UK site; www.remedycentres.co.uk.
We’re happy to offer a 10% discount to all MumAbroad members so don’t forget to mention this when booking. For a limited time there is a half-price opening offer on the first visit, saving you 45€.
Russell Dean Bio:
I wasn't altogether sure what to expect when I started my chiropractic education, but it turned out to be one of the more inspired decisions that I have made.....(clearly my wife and my son are testimony that lightning can strike twice!).
I discovered chiropractic care through Rugby - I was suffering continual neck spasms and blinding headaches as a result of injuries to my neck through the every day rough and tumble of the sport. After painkillers failed to solve the problems, my GP - a family friend - suggested that I try going to the AECC chiropractic college in my home town of Bournemouth. After a couple of treatments from an intern at the college I was free of pain and restriction (you tend to heal faster when you are young!), and also had an inkling of where my future career lay...
I enrolled at the AECC for the start of my four-year chiropractic degree course in 1987. At the time it was the only registered chiropractic college in the UK, and our graduating class became the first to be awarded degree status. What surprised me the most was the hours and detail that were involved - I have since discovered that they are virtually the same as medical and dental degrees. I loved the fact that from day one at college we were learning to palpate spines and developing our hands-on skills, ready for our future careers.
Windsor Remedy Centre has been developed to allow us to not only provide premium quality health care through chiropractic, but to integrate this as well with complimentary professions such as physiotherapy and massage. This allows our patients to experience the best of all worlds, and as practitioners we can tailor optimal treatment plans to each individual patient. Whilst we follow all relevant clinical guidelines, we have a very holistic approach to our patients' health and wellness.
I particularly enjoy treating families; paediatric care is a special interest of mine, and there is nothing more satisfying in clinic than seeing three different generations of the same family coming in for their check-ups. Patients and staff alike all seem to enjoy being at the clinic, and that to me shows that we are working along the right lines...
I married my beautiful wife, Raquel, after a whirlwind romance spread over ten years! Our first child arrived in June 2007. Beyond the occasional mild panic of early parenthood, we love to socialise with friends in London or Raquel's home town of Barcelona. Good food and fine wine come high on our list of priorities, along with exploring the many countries (at least the hot ones) of the world.
To counteract my social life and to allow me to keep working, I am a regular in the gym and swimming pool. I receive chiropractic check-ups at least once a month to maintain a healthy spine and keep my golf swing functioning! This approach works as I cannot remember the last day I missed through illness or pain. Painkillers and medicines are strangers in our house.