Help for Tennis Injuries

  • July 17, 2017
  • admin
  • 0
  • 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
  • admin
  • 0
  • 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

World Osteopathy Day Offer

  • June 22, 2017
  • admin
  • 0
  • World Osteopathy Day Offer

It’s World Osteopathy Day today. To help raise awareness of the incredible benefits that treatment can have on your health and mobility we are running an offer.

If you book in with Jenny or Kieron today you can save £10 off the normal price if you are a new patient or £5 off if you are a returning patient.

You can book any future day but you must book today to get the offer.

Don’t delay book today to get yourself on better form.

If booking online please add the word OFFER in the notes section to get your discount.

Book Online

or call 01392 428141

Feeling Stressed? Acupuncture can help.

  • April 28, 2017
  • admin
  • 0
  • Feeling Stressed? Acupuncture can help.


Stress is a normal part of life. Each of us can manage certain levels of stress. But when stress exceeds these levels our bodies suffer a wide variety of consequences – muscle tension being the most common. When muscle tension lingers particularly in the neck and shoulders, we can further experience muscle spasms, knots, headaches, jaw pain, migraines and even nausea.

Other common symptoms associated with stress include:

* Inability to concentrate or complete tasks

* Irritability

* Difficulty falling asleep or waking frequently at night

* Changes in appetite

* Anxiety

* Flare ups of illness

Although stress is an inevitable part of life, we don’t have to live with it! Acupuncture is an effective treatment for dealing with stress.

A study from Georgetown University Medical Centre, published in the Journal of Endocrinology, studies how acupuncture works to treat stress. In this study it proves that Acupuncture targets the same key pathways that are affected by stress. Acupuncture can block the NPY sympathetic pathway and the chronic, stress induced elevations of the HPA (hypothalamus – pituitary – adrenal axis) which is involved in the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. The study also confirms that acupuncture is not only an effective treatment for stress, but also effective in treating anxiety and depression.


Book in Now and feel those shoulders drop!

Have you Injured your Back? You are not Alone.

  • April 21, 2017
  • admin
  • 0
  • Have you Injured your Back? You are not Alone.

Each year over 137 million working are lost due to employees taking sick days for back injuries. It is a common problem which I am sure a lot of us have experienced. Perhaps we have had treatment from a therapist or the injury has just healed over time. But how many of us pay attention to our attitudes towards our backs and what are our beliefs about them? 

When you injure your back the chances are that you have sustained a strain to a muscle or a joint. Our backs are very compact and strong structures and serious damage to the back does not happen as often as you might think. It may seem at odds that quite a small action such as picking up a pencil can cause such pain but while the back is strong, it is sensitive and it has to be. The spinal canal houses the spinal cord with branches of nerves which supply the muscles in order so that we can move efficiently. Should anything external damage the cord or come into contact with the cord it can potentially damage our muscle system. So the tissues around the spine have to be sensitive in order to advise us that damage has occurred and that it needs addressing. 

I have often heard how patients have been told that they need to strengthen their back through weights and or a course of Pilates or yoga. Sometimes this is true, but often the patient just needs to keep moving which in turn will strengthen the back and the whole body. Of course, yoga, Pilates and weights are excellent methods of retaining elasticity, suppleness and strength. But sometimes we might just need to rest our back and then get it moving.

There is much that we can do for own backs in terms of recovery and sometimes it can just be small steps all added together that make the difference.  Generally it’s worth reminding ourselves that our backs are strong solid structures that can withstand alot. Keeping our bodies moving helps to keep the back supple and strong and now that the summer is upon us, putting down those hand held computers and getting out into nature is most definitely going to help! 

Give our backs positive instructions, if a movement hurts then don’t do it

Check out our website which gives some ideas on how to gently stretch your back and other muscle groups. Remember that if it hurts then the stretch is either too strong or not for you.

Sometimes there is nothing like some expert advice to save you time and get you on the road to recovery. We are on hand six days a week to help you and have evening appointments too.

Book Online Now

Are you sitting uncomfortably ……… then we will begin!

  • March 28, 2017
  • admin
  • 0
  • Are you sitting uncomfortably ……… then we will begin!

With 50-70% of people sitting up to 8 hours a day, it’s no wonder as osteopaths we find that patients are getting all sorts of back and shoulder problems. Not only does it cause spinal problems but the latest research showed that prolonged sitting causes other disease and poor health.

Compared to people who sit the least, those who spend most time in a chair have a 112% higher risk of developing diabetes, a 147% higher risk of suffering “cardiovascular events” such as strokes and a 49% increased risk of death from any cause.


This sounds really bad but how can you limit the damage and get moving whilst being stationary. The new buzz word is ACTIVE SITTING. ie moving whilst sitting.


What are the best ways of achieving this?


The easiest and cheapest: £20-

A Togu or Sit Fit wobble cushion. Basically, an air filled cushion that you can place on your normal office chair. It keeps your spine moving and activates your spinal muscles.

Bounce yourself better: £20-30

Exercise balls have been around for years in gyms to help with core abdominal strength but are also fantastic to spend time on in the office as a chair substitute. Get one and spend 30 minutes on it and then give to a work colleague! A 65cm ball would suit most people.

Stand at work: £250-800

These are all the rage at the moment (in Sweden there is new legislation that all government employees must be allowed access to one!). Your normal desk elevates so you have to stand whilst working. Great for all joints and burns more than 30% more calories than sitting.

See local Bristol Company –

Rock yourself better: £800

The ‘Ten Two’ chair has been around since the 1970’s and is a classic design, loved by all who buy one. Gently rocks you and keeps all your joints in your leg and spine on the go. Expensive but brilliant.

Visit Bristol’s best spinal product shop in Park Street –


There are many other ways of doing the same thing, but these are no substitute for actually getting up and walking. Old fashion but we have been doing it for thousands of years! 10000 steps on your pedometer is the recommended daily amount. Few do this much each day.

Call us on 01392 428141 for more information on how Osteopathy can help you sit well or BOOK ONLINE.

Look after your feet!

  • February 24, 2017
  • admin
  • 0
  • Look after your feet!

Coming in all shapes and sizes, the foot is one of the most vital structures that we possess.  A study in 2015 discovered that the average British person takes 6322 steps a day. That’s an incredible amount of stress going through the foot and this is just in one day, so during an average week, we can expect to take somewhere in the region of 44,400 steps!

The foot is a hugely complex structure made up of 26 bones, 33 joints and over a hundred muscles, tendons and ligaments. Being the foundation for stability and movement it is essential to keep our feet as supple and as well supported as possible.  During Osteopathic practice, it is often the case that pain experienced in the lower back and in the hips is the result of foot condition or dysfunction.

But what can we do to keep our feet healthy and functioning optimally? With the feet being the furthest structure from the vital organs they can be the first to experience a lack of oxygenated blood especially during winter when we are less active. To keep them stimulated, practice massaging the sole (plantar fascia) of the foot to activate the muscles and keep the blood moving back up the body.

With the weather improving and getting warmer, take time to walk out on the lawn in your bare feet. Again this can stimulate blood flow to the area and allows the muscles to fire and keep the foot mobile. If you have any problems walking barefoot then please consult your doctor before doing so.

With all the different shoes out there all claiming to be the right one for you, it can be difficult to know which way to turn.  Getting your feet assessed by an Osteopath can be a great start to improving the health of your feet, alternatively a  qualified podiatrist can help with more severe foot types, which may need a particular type of specialised shoe. If you need any guidance with this then please get in touch with us here at the Exeter Osteopaths, we will be delighted to help you in any way we can.


Book Online to see Kieron or call us on 01392 428141

Improve your Golf

  • February 24, 2017
  • admin
  • 0
  • Improve your Golf

Mark Twain once said that golf was a good walk spoiled. Now I am not known to argue with literary geniuses, but on this occasion I feel that the bearded wonder may have got this one, well, wrong. I have had many a fine evening wondering the hallowed turfs of England’s green and pleasant land and apart from the odd time when I have scuffed the ball into the pond I have never considered it wasted.


Perhaps like many others, you were entranced by the recent British Open going into Monday and there being a three way tie at St Andrews Old Course. Perhaps you have become inspired by the professionals and either want to don the plus fours again or take up the sport.


If so, then there are a few things you need to consider. In Golf, it is one sport where in order to achieve the perfect shot, all the components of the swing need to be in harmony.  For this, we need strong, flexible feet, stable and moveable hips and a responsive and adaptable thoracic spine (the bit in the middle).


Most of the drive and power in golf come from the hips, so having good strong buttock muscles are essential. In order to do this, squats and lunges are a good start. The feet need to be strong too because a) you are going to be doing a lot of walking and b) a lot of movement and stability is required in them to keep the swing in check. If your feet are inflexible you will start to recruit muscles from higher up the chain and this will reduce your impact when striking the ball.


The rotation in golf starts in the thoracic spine and this is the really key area. If this part of the spine is inflexible, then the lumbar spine (the lower part) begins to do too much rotation and this is where problems start to happen. The low back should really just be the channel between the hips and the thorax, just passing the information between each other. The moment it stops being the messenger is when we begin to injure ourselves.


So how can we prevent this. First have a try of these exercises below:






and Spine



If you feel that you might need some assistance with these exercises, then please contact us and we can help you with any queries you may have.


Book Online to see Kieron for expert help or call us on 01392 428141


Golf is meant to be fun and is a great way of exercising and keeping fit. Allied to all of the exercises above, always make sure that you warm up for 10 minutes at least before you play.  Go for a walk, swing the club in the opposite direction to normal and get the blood pumping by running on the spot. You may get some strange looks, but then you won’t be the one nursing a sore back at the end of the round! Good luck!

Top tips for skiers

  • February 13, 2017
  • admin
  • 0
  • Top tips for skiers

For many of us a ski holiday is the perfect way to get away in the winter and do some physical exercise. The only problem is, due to the short days and cold nights, most of us have actually cut down on our level of exercise during the winter.

Start early – Get yourself to the gym, pilates, aerobics at least 1 month before your holiday and work on your core abdominal muscles and leg strength.

It’s a balancing act – Balance is the single most important factor in skiing. Use a wobble board to improve balance and build up ankle muscles. For a thorough ankle work-out, rocking heel to toe is good for snowboarders and left to right is best for skiers.

Get it checked – Most skiers find turning one way easier than the other. Poor technique might not be the problem – muscle weakness and joint alignment could be. Visit one of our osteopaths to sort out any misalignments and improve performance.


Work those legs  – You need to target the thigh muscles (quadriceps) so squat and stand up repetitively whilst making tea, brushing your teeth or in the adverts on TV. As you get more advanced do your squats on a bed or wobble board to improve your coordination and stability. One legged squats are next.

Challenge! – Think you’re an expert skier and well coordinated? I will believe you if you can do a one legged squats on your bed, with both eyes shut for more than one minute without falling over! – TRY IT!

Target the calves – Due to being on a heel or toe edge on your board, your key muscles are on the front and back of the calf. To train them walk up and down the corridor on your tip toes and then return only on your heels (ie lifting your toes off the floor). You’ll look strange but it really works.

Sit down, stand up – As you spend a lot of time sitting in the snow and getting up, your arms get a good work out and in particular your triceps muscles. Practise by placing your back to a table, resting your hand on the edge and dipping the body down and then pressing up.


Hot and Cold – Warm up before strenuous skiing. Start off gently rather than heading first for the black runs and round the day off with a stretch. Take plenty of breaks – Overexertion will ruin your holiday – moderate the length of skiing time and listen to your body. Pain is a warning sign, don’t ignore it.

Liquid lunch – Drink plenty of water and isotonic drinks to avoid dehydration and stay clear of alcohol, tea and coffee. Drink plenty with breakfast.

Put the boot in – No matter how many lessons, skiers won’t improve without the right boots and this is where most skiers put their first foot wrong. Skiers often choose on comfort alone – don’t make this mistake. Get a moulded footbed (called Orthotics) from the ski shop first as this improves fit, comfort and ski control. Opt for a shop with a wide range of boots so you are spoilt for choice.

(Freeride in Meribel, Precision Ski in Val d’Isere/Les Arcs, Footworks in chamonix)

Carry on – Always be careful when carrying skis/boards. Leave them standing upright so you don’t have to bend to pick them up. Carry them over your shoulder, swapping shoulders regularly.

Ice is nice – With an acute injury, use ice rather than heat.

Tread carefully – A great deal of people are injured by slipping on ice at the ski resort, not just on the slopes. Wear shoes with a deep treaded sole and use strap-on studs for ski boots to help keep you upright.  (see – yaktrax at )

Get Protected- Buy a helmet and wrist guards before you have a fall.


Should you be unfortunate enough to be injured during your holiday, all our osteopaths are experienced in treating sports injuries and post operative rehabilitation so don’t put off getting treatment on your return.

Have a great holiday!

Book Online