Frequently Asked Questions

  • June 7, 2018
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  • Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you give me some exercises to strengthen my back?

A: The back is already a strong structure. Although you are experiencing pain in the low back it does not mean that it is weak or liable to further injury. Most back pain stems from an overstrain where the supporting mechanisms such as the upper back and the hips are not functioning correctly and therefore placing more strain on the low back. If we focus on working on our areas of prime movement like the mid spine, hips and feet our stabilizing areas such as the low back can focus on providing the support for the upper and lower torso.

Q: I have terrible hayfever at the moment, any advice?

A: Having hayfever myself, I know how debilitating it can be. I offer the same advice that is online such as changing clothes after being outside, wearing sunglasses, Vaseline on the nostrils to prevent the pollen entering the nasal passages. Also I tend to have 2 cold showers a day and reduce the intake of sugar. With hayfever the body is heating up and like a bee sting inflammation builds up within the tissues, so we need to bring down the body’s temperature and reduce the possibility of inflammation which sugar can also do. The two cold showers are harsh to begin with! But within a few days you will begin to see the benefits.

Q: I have bought some new trainers as I have been told I over pronate, I am still having problems when running, what could it be?

A: Most people over pronate. What that means is, when the heel strikes the floor, the foot will flatten to provide a stable base to continue walking or running. What happens then is that the foot should supinate or roll out so that can prepare the body for the next stage of movement. The issue is not whether you over pronate but whether you can sufficiently supinate afterwards. If that is a problem and you are stuck in pronation, exercises and treatment can help to get you to a more balanced level.

Any more questions, just email us

info@exeterosteopaths.co.uk

Have a Stubborn Injury? Cupping May Help

  • June 7, 2018
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  • Have a Stubborn Injury? Cupping May Help

Cupping is a technique often used by Acupuncturists.
As the name suggests, Cupping uses a negative pressure, instead of pushing the suction creates a pull, which can help remove toxins from the body and stimulate the flow of fresh blood, lymph, and Qi to the affected area and throughout the body.

The suction created during a cupping session softens tight muscles, tones attachments, loosens adhesions and lifts connective tissue. This same suction also brings hydration and blood flow to body tissues and drains excess fluids and toxins by opening lymphatic pathways.

Cupping is very versatile and can be modified to achieve a variety of techniques ranging from subtle lymphatic drainage to deep tissue release.

Book in now with Esmee to discover the benefits for yourself. Esmee now offers a free consultation to discuss you particular problems.

Mid winter blues? Gentle exercise helps.

  • February 12, 2018
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  • Mid winter blues? Gentle exercise helps.

Mid winter blues?

At roughly this time of year, a fair percentage of us have joined a gym with the view of `new year, new me ! `but then have not followed through and see the bank account looking a little forlorn. That dreaded English grey winter has a lot to answer for!

But don’t be too hard on yourself, it is thought that up to 22% of people who signed up to a gym in January have thrown in the towel by the beginning of February. So you are not alone. However, you are still keen to get fit, so what can you do?

Set yourself small achievable targets to begin with, eg walking to work for 2 days a week (if possible) or getting up earlier on a weekend and going for a hike.
Do a ten minute every other day, home work out routine. This could involve, squats or press ups or skipping. I would advise to consult us first before doing this as some exercises that you might find online, might not be suitable for you.
Get together with a partner or friend and find a new activity or sport that you have always wanted to try. If you start now and stick with it, you will be in the groove by the time Summer arrives.
Do exercise that you enjoy rather than exercise that you think you should do. This will help greatly with fitness and can lead to other avenues opening up.
Mix and match. Keep one day aside for a new activity to keep you fresh.

And finally, don’t give in to the sofa! When the summer comes round and you are heading to the beach, you will be glad you stuck to it.

If you have a niggling pain or injury which is holding you back we might just be able to get you back on track.

Why not call us on 01392 424141 or BOOK ONLINE

Headaches – Look at the alternatives before you pop another pill.

  • February 5, 2018
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  • Headaches – Look at the alternatives before you pop another pill.

More than one million people in Britain may be suffering from constant, crippling headaches because they are taking too many painkillers, experts say. The pills people take to relieve headaches and migraines may be making things much worse, according to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in guidance to the health service for England and Wales.

As many as one in 50 people suffer continual headaches because of “medication overuse”, NICE reports. The problem begins with taking the odd painkiller for tension headaches or migraines, which usually works. But some people take the pills more and more often, until they are on tablets for more than half the days in a month. NICE says that if this goes on for more than three months the medication ends up causing the problem it is intended to cure.

So what alternatives are there to continually popping pills?

Tension-type and neck related headaches are the most common form of headache. If you suffer from tension-type headache, then regular gentle exercise will almost certainly help – such as yoga, Pilates, swimming, walking. Some people find it hard to relax and probably don’t realise how tense they are. If someone suffers from headaches it may also be neck related due to stiffness or restrictions of the neck (cervicogenic headaches). Osteopaths look to find the cause of tensions or stiffness and seek to relieve it by helping the body achieve more mobility and flexibility.

Other lifestyle factors such as poor posture at a desk or tiredness can lead to tension-type or neck related headaches. Osteopaths look to relieve this tension and give advice on posture and exercises to do to help prevent the tension or stiffness from building up. For example we would recommend taking regular breaks from sitting at a computer desk for long periods of time or prolonged driving. Any persistent or sudden severe headache should always be checked by a GP first.

Call us for an appointment on 01392 428141 or BOOK ONLINE

New Years running resolution? Five ways to protect your body when running.

  • February 5, 2018
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  • New Years running resolution? Five ways to protect your body when running.

With the promise of warmer weather and spring fast approaching, many of us have taken up pounding the pavements in a quest to shake the winter cobwebs or get fitter and shape up in time for the summer months.

Some people may be experienced runners, some fair weather runners and others first timers. Regardless of which category you fall into, the advice is still the same. Whilst running can provide many health benefits and can be hugely rewarding, there are a number of precautions to take to avoid injury.

1 Don’t run cold. As tempting as it may be to head straight out the door all pumped up and ready to go full speed ahead into your run, this can quite easily lead to muscle, tendon or joint strains & sprains. Start with a brisk walk for several minutes to bring your body temperature up to promote blood flow to the muscles.

2 Perform a dynamic warm up. Research suggests that static stretching may not be beneficial in preventing injury and may even be counterproductive, however a dynamic warm up is far more effective. These are controlled movements to improve range of motion, increase the heart rate, body temperature and blood flow. Examples of these can involve side stepping/weave stepping for 20 meters, skipping 20 meters, running with high knees, running with heels to bottom or running backwards until you feel sufficiently loosened off, ready to get going.

3 Start slowly. After a light jog, start to lengthen your stride but without over-extending, gradually accelerating for about 100 meters, then decelerate and repeat the process a few times.

4 Invest in a new pair of trainers or running shoes. Running with worn out footwear can put greater strain through your feet which can have a knock on effect to your knees, hips and back as well as causing muscular imbalances. It is generally recommended you replace your shoes every 300-500 miles and make sure they’re a good fit.

5 Listen to your body. If you feel like you’re over doing it and are in pain then slow down or walk. If the pain doesn’t subside within a few minutes then it may be best not to continue running. Running through pain is quite likely to lead to injury. Know your limits by testing your optimum threshold. The key is not to do too much, too soon or too fast so as not to cause self-inflicted injuries. Upping your run by 10% each time is a good way to test your limits and progress in a way your body can handle.

Don’t forget to also keep well hydrated but most importantly, enjoy yourself!

Call us for an appointment on 01392 428141 to help you reach your goals or BOOK ONLINE

Ouch! What to do when you sustain an injury.

  • February 5, 2018
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  • Ouch! What to do when you sustain an injury.

Sprains and strains to muscles and joints happen to all of us and for most they are a painful, but temporary reminder to be a little more careful. Prompt action can help your body to heal faster and may prevent further injury or prolonged pain.

Strained or ‘pulled’ muscles often happen when we over exert untrained muscles, train without properly warming up or try to go beyond a joint’s natural flexibility. Sometimes we feel the pain straight away, however some injuries might not cause pain until later on.

What can you do for your injury?

Remember RICE (Relative rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation), using these can help to relieve the pain and start the healing process.

Relative rest: The first thing to do if you feel pain is to reduce the offending activity – pain is usually your body’s way of telling you that there is something wrong that needs your attention. It can be normal to feel a little sore after exercises for a day or two, but if it is more than this, pushing through the pain is rarely beneficial.

However, movement stimulates the healing process so stay as mobile as you comfortably can. Try to keep the joint moving through a comfortable range of motion, without forcing it to the point of pain. This will help to encourage blood flow and keep your joint flexible whilst it heals. This is particularly relevant for back pain as gentle exercise, such as walking, can help. You should slowly build your activity levels up as soon as your symptoms begin to resolve and as soon as you are able.

Ice: Cooling the area using an ice pack can help to reduce pain and speed recovery. Wrap a thin tea towel around the area so as to avoid direct skin contact and then apply the pack to the injured area for 10 – 15 minutes. You should repeat this several times per day for the first 3 days. This will help to control inflammation, making it easier for your body to get blood and nutrients to the area and resolve the injured tissues.

Compression: Gently applying a compression bandage may help to temporarily support the injured joint and reduce swelling, though remove this immediately if there are signs that this is reducing the circulation to the area (numbness, pins and needles, the skin turning white or blue etc).

Elevation: If the injury is in the lower limb (knee or ankle), elevating the area a little can make it easier for your body to drain fluids that might accumulate around the area, causing swelling. For example, if you’ve hurt your knee, sitting down with the knee raised on a low foot stool may ease your pain.

Visit an Osteopath: We can assess your injury, give you a diagnosis, advise you on the correct treatment, and can provide manual therapy and exercise advice which can help you to recover faster.
Call us to book your appointment on 01392 428141

Seek medical attention. If you have pain that can’t be controlled with over the counter painkillers, can’t put weight on the injured limb, experience paralysis or loss of sensation or the swelling is very bad seek help from your local A&E department, urgent care centre or telephone 111 for advice.

Total Wellness

  • October 23, 2017
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  • Total Wellness

 

50 years ago the NHS was set up to combat certain diseases such as polio and typhoid. Now these diseases have be eradicated in the western world. So, why is the NHS bursting its seams? Well, forward 50 years, what is the biggest issue with the NHS now? The answer is obesity, diabetes and an ageing population. The age issue is due to the miracle of modern medicine which is letting people living longer. The former two are due to lack of exercise, poor diet and increased stress levels in our lives.

 

So, how should we live our lives? What is the perfect way we should live? What creates longevity?

I had grandparents that lived well into their ninety’s. What was their secrete for living a healthy life?

I have come up with five elements for a long healthy life-

 

  • Exercise
  • Eating a balanced diet & drinking in moderation
  • Stress
  • Sleep
  • Happiness/love

 

Exercise- Very important the cardiovascular system stays strong, helps keep weight down and strengthens bones and muscles which help recover from injuries and illnesses quicker. Being overweight causes huge stress to the body’s structure.

 

Diet- In the old days, there were not  any takeaways. Food was freshly bought every day and there wasn’t any overeating in general, therefore we had a basic diet. Eating fresh food of seasonal meat and vegetables, and staying away from takeaways and processed foods and more importantly don’t over eat. Drink in moderation, see government guidelines on drinking and stick to it.

 

Stress-  There are lots of forms of stress which are detrimental to your health, but there are good forms of stress which make the body stronger such as exercise. Poor stress increases blood pressure, affects sleep and causes irritations to the skin and gut.

 

Sleep- Very important for recovery of general wellbeing, lack of sleep causes poor decision making and poor recovery of the body’s tissues and therefore recovery from injury.

 

Happiness- Very important for feeling great, either through your other half, friends or work colleagues or you do things that make you happy. You hang around with positive people not negative people to feel great. If you don’t, over a period of time this will affect your wellbeing.

 

So, what does this have to do with osteopathy? Osteopathy is a holistic treatment. We look at the cause of your symptoms, we like to look at the bigger picture of what is causing your complaints. So when we do a case history and chat to you during treatments, we are hopefully finding out more about what could be the main cause or causes of your symptom or symptoms. The above gives us a huge amount of information of giving us clues of what could be going on in your life and can then help us help you.

 

Book Now for more lifestyle advice and pain relief.

 

 

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