Are you a couch potato?

  • October 9, 2017
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  • Are you a couch potato?

There is a lot of research now showing that inactivity is as bad for us as smoking for our long term health

(http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/inactivity-as-bad-as-smoking-7953500.html

and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-18876880 ).

Did you know that even 10 minutes, yes JUST 10 MINTUES of brisk walking counts as exercise? And by brisk, I don’t mean a gentle stroll. In order to get you heart pumping and blood flowing you do need to put some effort in. As a rough guide, you should be able to speak, but not form a complete sentence without taking a breath.

Aside from the long term health benefits (reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, colon cancer), exercise also helps us to lose weight which can really help our joints. Imagine you are carrying a heavy bag around all day which is the extra weight bearing down on our joints.

Call us now to book your pre-exercise MoT or book online

01392 428141

Are you “bendy”? Super-flexible? You might be hypermobile.

  • October 9, 2017
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  • Are you “bendy”? Super-flexible? You might be hypermobile.

 

All of us have varying degrees of elasticity, or “stretch”, of our ligaments (ligaments attach bone to bone, like at a joint). Some people have extra stretchy ligaments which make them hypermobile and so their joints are very flexible. The pay off for this extra mobility is less stability. This can lead to muscles working overtime to stabilise joints which can lead to aches, pain, and feelings of stiffness (see previous blog article).

Here’s the tricky part…it often feels good to stretch the muscles to ease the achy pain…and short term it does. However stretching muscles lengthens them, this in turn leads to less support of a joint and the muscles have to work hard again, the pain returns and so on. It becomes a vicious cycle.

What can you do? Come and see an osteopath who can tell you if you are hypermobile. If you are hypermobile, then don’t worry, there are things you can do to help…

1) It may be difficult but STOP STRETCHING. It’s only continues the problem.

2) START STRENGTHENING. Strengthen your muscles so they can support your joints easily.

3) Try massage for pain relief. It relaxes the muscles without lengthening them.

 

Book Online now

Stiff back?

  • October 9, 2017
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  • Stiff back?

There is a lot of scientific research coming out right now about the sensation of stiffness in the back and what it means. What’s has been discovered is that FEELING stiff does not equate to BEING stiff. There is no link between feeling stiff in the back and a reduction in movement of the back, rather it is a sensation that we FEEL in order to protect an area…FEELING stiff is a protective response.

When you start to FEEL stiff, this is the best time to come and see your osteopath, rather than waiting until the pain really kicks in…LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. IT’S TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING! So many of my clients say the wished they’d come in earlier while their back pain was just a niggle, rather than leaving it until things got worse.

We can find out the source of your stiffness, figure out why your body is trying to protect itself, and sort things out for you so they don’t get worse.

Book Online or call us on 01392 428141

Can’t Sleep? Acupuncture could help

  • September 4, 2017
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  • Can’t Sleep? Acupuncture could help

Tired of Not Sleeping?

Over the last couple of months I have noticed how many patients comment that their sleep is ‘rubbish’ when questioned about it. This can vary between having difficulty falling asleep to not being able to sleep at all.

These chronic sleep problems can lead to chronic health problems. Studies suggest that inadequate sleep may adversely affect our immune system. Many of the major restorative functions in the body like muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis, and growth hormone release occur predominantly or only during sleep.

Types of Insomnia:

· Difficulty falling asleep (sleep-onset insomnia) – the most common type

· Waking up in the night and not being able to get back to sleep

· Waking up too early in the morning and not being able to get back to sleep

· Not feeling refreshed after sleep

Acupuncture for Insomnia

In clinical research trials, acupuncture for insomnia appears to be at least as effective as existing conventional drugs without the side effects and should be considered as one of the therapeutic options for insomnia.

Acupuncture may specifically benefit people with insomnia by:

· Increasing production of nocturnal melatonin, a hormone believed to regulate sleep

· Stimulating natural opioids which reduce anxiety and pain

· Promoting normal function of brain tissues

· Calming sympathetic nervous activity, promoting relaxation

· Altering the brain’s mood chemistry to calm and reduce tension See https://www.acupuncture.org.uk/a-to-z-of-conditions/a-to-z-of-conditions/insomnia.html for more evidence based research

I have seen fantastic results using acupuncture to help with sleep problems. It can sometimes take regular treatment over time to get the best results but in some cases one or two treatments is enough to reset the body and help achieve a good nights sleep.

Here’s what a patient had to say after receiving acupuncture for insomnia:

‘Having suffered insomnia for the last year since going through the menopause, I decided to try acupuncture. I was waking many times in the night, often waking at 2 or 3am and not being able to go back to sleep. I was left extremely fatigued all day and completely drained by the end of it.

After treatment, I immediately felt relaxed. From having five sessions so far, my sleep has definitely improved. I have noticed that I am waking less frequently in the night and when I do wake, I am going back to sleep faster. I am also not getting so hot at night either. As a result of having deeper sleep, I am waking feeling more refreshed and ready for the day for the first time in ages.’ I am definitely going to recommend acupuncture to a few of my friends who are also struggling with sleep’.

For more information on acupuncture see www.acupuncture.org.uk

 

 

Book with Esmee here online for your 1st step towards a restful nights sleep or call 01392 428141

Time to reach for the water?

  • August 21, 2017
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  • Time to reach for the water?

 

Whilst we can all acknowledge that it might not be the most exciting of drinks to have, the benefits of regular water consumption should never be ignored. With the body being made up of 70% water, it is important to keep our body hydrated even in this rather wet summer.  When asking patients how much water they drink a day, often the response is ‘Well I drink a lot of tea!’, unfortunately in most teas there is an element called Tannin which can add to dehydration and thus we feel more thirsty and drink more tea.  If its not tea then most of the time, we will have fruit flavoured squash or cold fizzy drinks, lovely tasting but how good are they?

Numerous studies highlight the detrimental effects that certain sugary beverages can have on our bodies and although the sugar free option seems enticing and healthier, the reality is that it is probably just as bad as the original drink.  A new study published online suggests that artificially sweetened drinks can lead to a higher risk of stroke and dementia developing (stroke.ahajournals.org). Drinking sugary drinks can also deplete us of minerals that water can provide and can lead to fatigue, mood changes, headaches and a reduction in concentration.

The World Health Organisation, suggests that we need to be drinking at least 2 litres of water a day. Around a litre of this amount we can derive from fruit and vegetables. Aside from keeping us hydrated, water helps to flush out toxins in the body which may have developed through injury, illness or a bad diet. So water really is a beneficial drink to have by your side.

If you need further convincing,  a patient who had been suffering from chronic migraines for 15 years admitted to taking up drinking two litres of water a day. It took 2 years to clear but he is now free of migraines…. all because of water!

Book online now for more helpful advice from Osteopath Kieron Kerr.

Do you need more Headspace?

  • August 7, 2017
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  • Do you need more Headspace?

 

When it comes to headaches the first thing to recognise is that not all headaches are the same. Therefore, one treatment method may not be right for treating all types of headaches. There are five main categories of headaches: Tension headaches, Cluster headaches, sinus headaches, Rebound headaches and Migraine headaches.

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), these classifications do not exist as much, instead each individual is diagnosed by what ‘channel’ or ‘organ’ pathology is being affected and therefore, causing the headache. In TCM, a headache has two parts: the root and the branch. The root is whatever is causing the headache, and the branch is the pain itself. Acupuncture works to treat both the root and the branch, so the result is more long-term, instead of just temporarily relieving the pain.

A new study concludes that acupuncture is effective for relieving headaches. Investigators note that acupuncture reduces the intensity and duration of headaches. In addition, they suggest that acupuncture can reduce the need for “drug therapies and is a valuable option for patient suffering from CDH [chronic daily headache].”

In this controlled study, verum acupuncture was compared with sham acupuncture. The verum acupuncture group improved significantly over the control group. Verum acupuncture significantly reduced the frequency, intensity and duration of chronic daily headaches. The research notes that acupuncture is effective for reducing the intensity of pain for chronic tension headaches and migraines. In addition, patients suffering from nausea due to headaches and migraines showed a significant decrease in nausea levels.

In related recent research, acupuncture was found more effective and safer than a migraine medication. Researchers discovered that acupuncture effectively reduced migraine pain intensity levels and no adverse effects occurred. In the same study, patients receiving the medication valproic acid did not have the same level of clinical benefits as acupuncture and with nearly 50% of patients experiencing adverse side effects from the drug. The outcomes were measured six months after the study had been completed. This demonstrates that acupuncture has long term benefits for patients with migraines and that it is both safe and effective. Read More -Health CMI

Book now with Esmee to quickly resolve your headaches

either ONLINE or call us on 01392 428141

Top Tips for Gardeners

  • August 7, 2017
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  • Top Tips for Gardeners

Although we are sadly over half way through the Summer, many of us are still donning our overalls and heading into the garden to keep it looking trim and tidy. Even with Autumn coming up, it could be said that there is still lots of work to be done bearing in mind how September and October are often sunnier and calmer than Summer. So, how do we prevent what at times can appear to be the inevitable gardening injury?

One of the main causes of gardening injury, is simply not warming up beforehand. Gardening requires us to crawl into small spaces and do lots of repetitive bending and twisting and often we head straight out into the garden to begin having just gotten out of bed!

So before attending the flower bed or cabbage patch. Make sure that you go for a long walk of about 20 minutes. Get all of the blood flowing around your body and change pace often as well so that you mimic some of the change in muscle recruitment when gardening.  After your walk, you should feel that you could take a layer off, this will generally signify that your body has warmed up sufficiently and you are ready to go.

Whilst gardening, think of all the different positions that your body will be subjected to. If you haven’t gardened for a while it will feel odd and unnatural so don’t stay in that one position for too long. Change the task that you are doing and come back to it so that you aren’t being too repetitive and not overloading it.

And of course, take some breaks. Overdoing it may mean that you get it done more quickly but your risk of injuring yourself increases. If you have any queries, please do get in touch and we will be glad to help you.

 

Book Online or Call us on 01392 428141

Acupuncture for Headache Relief

  • July 27, 2017
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  • Acupuncture for Headache Relief

 

When it comes to headaches the first thing to recognise is that not all headaches are the same. Therefore, one treatment method may not be right for treating all types of headaches. There are five main categories of headaches: Tension headaches, Cluster headaches, sinus headaches, Rebound headaches and Migraine headaches.

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), these classifications do not exist as much, instead each individual is diagnosed by what ‘channel’ or ‘organ’ pathology is being affected and therefore, causing the headache. In TCM, a headache has two parts: the root and the branch. The root is whatever is causing the headache, and the branch is the pain itself. Acupuncture works to treat both the root and the branch, so the result is more long-term, instead of just temporarily relieving the pain.

A new study concludes that acupuncture is effective for relieving headaches. Investigators note that acupuncture reduces the intensity and duration of headaches. In addition, they suggest that acupuncture can reduce the need for “drug therapies and is a valuable option for patient suffering from CDH [chronic daily headache].”

In this controlled study, verum acupuncture was compared with sham acupuncture. The verum acupuncture group improved significantly over the control group. Verum acupuncture significantly reduced the frequency, intensity and duration of chronic daily headaches. The research notes that acupuncture is effective for reducing the intensity of pain for chronic tension headaches and migraines. In addition, patients suffering from nausea due to headaches and migraines showed a significant decrease in nausea levels.

In related recent research, acupuncture was found more effective and safer than a migraine medication. Researchers discovered that acupuncture effectively reduced migraine pain intensity levels and no adverse effects occurred. In the same study, patients receiving the medication valproic acid did not have the same level of clinical benefits as acupuncture and with nearly 50% of patients experiencing adverse side effects from the drug. The outcomes were measured six months after the study had been completed. This demonstrates that acupuncture has long term benefits for patients with migraines and that it is both safe and effective. Read More -Health CMI

Help for Tennis Injuries

  • July 17, 2017
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  • Help for Tennis Injuries

 

Now that we are in the middle of the Tennis season, perhaps you have been thinking about dusting off the racquet and sharpening up your serve. After all with 31.6 million pounds having been shared out between the winners of this year’s Wimbledon, with some hard work, next year it could be you!

So what do you need to be aware of and what is needed to prevent injury and enjoy the game and extend your skills.

It is believed that 1 in 25 matches in Tennis ends in one of the players becoming injured and this year at Wimbledon there were a number of matches ending prematurely because of this.  Surprisingly the vast majority of injuries are not to the shoulder, elbow or wrist but are sustained in the lower leg and into the lower spine.

Most of the courts that are for public use are polymeric surfaces which are used on tennis courts and athletic tracks, offering a high degree of slip resistance, performance and maximum comfort for players. 

The court is made from a rubber shock pad and has a polyurethane coating applied over the top. This helps to lower impact on the joints and lower limbs. However, in spite of the softer nature of the courts compared to the concrete surfaces of the 1980’s and 90’s injuries to the lower limb and spine are still occurring.

The main cause of these injuries to the amateur player is lack of warm up and ill fitting shoes.

If you watch a game of Tennis and assess the movement of the players, you will see how much rotation occurs in the upper back and through the hips, when turning to chase after the ball and through the serve itself. Professional tennis players will warm up on the court for about 10 minutes but prior to that they can be on the practice courts for up to 1 hour, going through drills and warming up the body. Whilst we don’t need to warm up for that length of time, we should be warming up before a game for at least 15 minutes. These warm ups should include: a gentle jog around the court, some running with frequent changes in direction including running backwards, practicing your shots with your partner and keeping hydrated. Many injuries come from fatigue, especially the calf muscles which cramp up due to dehydration.

Although as mentioned above the courts, are much more user friendly, there is still a lot of stress going through the joints. The range of protective shoe and specialised training shoes available now is very impressive, and a trip to the local sports shop or specialised tennis shop is a must. Make sure the shoe is comfortable, gives your foot space to breathe and above all is protective.

If you have any queries, then please get in touch and book an appointment online or call 01392 428141

by Kieron Kerr

 

You are in good hands

  • July 14, 2017
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  • You are in good hands

It typically takes 4 years to become a qualified osteopath, and requires over 1,000 hours of clinical training. We are also required to maintain our skills through ongoing training and professional development.
Osteopathy is a regulated profession, with all osteopaths required by law to register with the General Osteopathic Council, who ensure that all osteopaths operate to high professional standards. It is a criminal offence to claim to be an osteopath otherwise.
We are also members of the Institute of Osteopathy, which exists to promote the latest knowledge and promote best practice in osteopathy. They also produce the iO Patient Charter, based on the national quality standards of the Care Quality Commission, which we use to demonstrate our commitment to the highest standards of patient care.
These assurances exist to make sure you can be confident that, as osteopaths, we have the skills, qualifications and knowledge to help you to live healthier lives.

 

Book  online now to see how osteopathy can help you or call us on

01392 428141