Some handy hints and tips to help you cope with aches and pains and make life a little more comfortable.
Apr
13

What's the difference between western and traditional Chinese acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a popular style of treatment that can be used to help a variety of health problems including back pain, headaches and migraines. However, did you know there are 2 very different styles of acupuncture? Acupuncture's roots lie deep in Chinese history, with the first written text reported to date back to between the first century BC and the first century AD. Thankfully, it's moved on a long way from those eras where they used sharpened bones as needles! Traditional acupuncture follows the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles, whereby it believes that blockages in specific flows of energy through the body, or meridians, can cause dis-ease. By needling certain points, the ...
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Mar
05

How do I know if I'm Double Jointed?

We see lots of people who are hypermobile in clinic and it's sometimes referred to as being "double jointed", but how do you know if you are or not?  Do you find you just can't feel the stretch, despite being able to stretch really far?Do your hips and back still ache despite doing stretch classes a few times a week?Do you often dislocate joints or keep getting sprains and strains? If you answered yes to the 3 questions above these symptoms suggest you could be hypermobile.  Hypermobility basically means that the joints are overly mobile because the ligaments and tendons that support the joints and act as retaining straps are too elastic, and stretch too much, therefore they d...
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Feb
01

Missing your comfy office chair?

It's no secret that we've all gone through a radical change with how we work thanks to the Coronavirus outbreak, and its effects are being felt in so many different ways, one of which is body aches and pains from poor posture. So, if you're missing your comfy office Herman Miller chair, let's see how we can make you more comfortable without splashing out lots of money! Space - One of the biggest changes we need to make to be able to work from home is to create some space. Take some time to create a space big enough for your needs, and don't forget you're going to be working here for the next few months at least, so don't compromise!Invest – We all appreciate that laptops are convenient ...
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Jan
04

Massage or Osteopath, who should I choose?

The world of manual therapy can seem to all do the same thing if you've never used a therapist before, but how do you decide which therapy you need to help take care of your body? Let's have a look at the differences between how massage can help you and how an osteopath can help you. As an overview, the main difference between all therapies is the therapist themselves. Different therapists receive different training. A massage therapist in a beauty clinic will have far less training than a sports massage therapist, who has less training than an osteopath! Massage The title Massage Therapist in the UK is not one which is protected meaning anyone can call themselves a massage therapist. It the...
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Aug
17

Heel Pain not going away?

Have you got heel pain that won't go away? This blog is for you! Let's take a look at the particularly painful condition known as plantar fasciitis (pronounced fa-she-eye-tis). It's often characterised with a strong, dull ache to your heel and mid foot under the arch that is worse on beginning to stand and walk when you've been inactive for a while, i.e. first thing in the morning on getting out of bed. Most people find they almost have to walk on tip toes until they 'loosen up' and the pain eases. Does this sound like you? Yes? Read on… Our feet are amazing structures. They have a tough, fibrous band of connective tissue under them called the plantar fascia that runs between the heel and th...
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Aug
09

Let's Focus on Cycling.

Now we're back in clinic after the lockdown, we're seeing an emerging trend where people have tried new activities and sadly picked up injuries along the way. One of the common ones we've seen are relating to cycling, so we thought we'd talk about some tips on how to set up your bike to help reduce strain on your body. Before we start, it's worth talking about bike fit here. If you're new to cycling and are enjoying it, hopefully wanting to do more, it's worth going to a specialist cycling store and asking them about a bite fit consultation. They may seem expensive initially, but by assessing your body's ergonomics and postures and setting your cycle up for your own quirks, you can save your...
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Jul
12

Why do Osteopaths click backs?

 "What IS that clicking noise my back just made?" So many times, we have customers who come into clinic who say "X, Y or Z just needs clicking back into place" or "It's out of alignment", but what exactly is that sound you hear? Its technical term is a High Velocity, Low Amplitude Thrust (HVLAT, or sometimes HVT) but is commonly referred to as a manipulation or "click". As a technique, it can be a useful tool that sets Chiropractors and Osteopaths apart from some other manual therapists, but it's really not the ONLY technique available to us. The technique is designed to take a joint past the range of movement it's stuck at in a short, sharp way to get the joint working to its full capa...
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Jun
23

Can breathing help stress?

How often do you think about how you breathe? The general answer is not much, and that's o.k.! However, breathing has an amazing effect on our deep, primitive brain systems which are responsible for our "fight or flight" mechanism, and we can help to convince these systems that they don't have to be on constant high alert by focussing on breathing. Fight, Flight or Freeze?If you've never come across the phrase "Fight or Flight", put simply it means the response that is ingrained deep in our brain that dictates how we react to a perceived threat to us, and there are 3 elements to it. It helps us to determine if the threat is something we should run away from, or flight from, or whether we can...
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Jun
01

Shockwave Therapy

What is Shockwave Therapy? Shockwave therapy, or Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), is an effective treatment option for chronic, poor healing issues in the body. The shockwaves are mechanical pressure pulses, not electrical pulses, which create an audible ticking sound thanks to a sound wave produced by the machine. These pulses are aimed over the affected tissue to create physical changes and encourage healing.What conditions is Shockwave used for?Shockwave therapy can be a great treatment if you are still struggling with that chronic joint and soft tissue pain condition and you have tried everything else. Or you just want to get better faster. It has evidence to support its use for:...
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May
23

We're excited to be re-opening!

I'm sure you'll all agree with me when I say it's been a VERY long 2 months of lockdown. For the protection of my own family members, I've had to remain closed during the peak of the virus, but I have been following guidelines set by the Government and the General Osteopathic Council very closely and continuously reassessing the situation. Thankfully, I'm very pleased to say that the clinic will be re-opening as of Monday 1st June 2020, however, there have to be some big changes for the foreseeable future, and I'd like to take a moment to outline those here: - Everyone, without exception, who comes into clinic will need to undergo screening for Covid19 symptoms and potential exposure, and th...
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May
18

Why Does Our Spine Curve?

It's a common occurrence that people come into clinic telling us that they have a 'lordotic' spine or a 'kyphotic' spine, and so I thought it would be good to write a blog about it. When it comes to medical terms, it's totally understandable that people can be worried about them, but as you'll see, the phrases lordosis (or lordotic) and kyphosis (or kyphotic) are actually totally normal findings! A kyphosis is where the spine curves in a 'C' shape that makes us flex forwards. The concave aspect of the C (so the right side of the letter as you look at it on here, the hollow bit) will point forwards and is best used to describe the thoracic spine shape, the upper back with ribs attached to it....
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Apr
27

Foods That Help Fight Inflammation

It's becoming widely accepted that we can change the state of our bodies by changing our diet. There is a plethora of information out there which suggests that we can help some diseases by assessing how prolific our gut flora is. The same is true for inflammation – the foods we eat can help our body fight inflammation or can keep triggering it. Your immune system is an amazing system. It becomes active when it recognises anything that is foreign e.g. an invading pathogen, cell damage or chemical irritant, and creates a biological response to try and remove it. The signs and symptoms of inflammation can be uncomfortable, but it is showing the process by which the body is trying to heal itself...
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Mar
23

What is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial Release (MFR) is a specific, specialised manual therapy which is often used for the effective treatment, and rehabilitation, of soft tissue and connective tissue aches and pains, tension and tightness. What is myofascia? Myofascia is a connective tissue in the body (commonly called fascia) that wraps around the body. Fascia is made of collagen and acts to stabilise, enclose and separate muscles and other internal structures. Fascia can be classified into 4 layers: Superficial, deep, visceral and parietal. The different layers have different functions and surround different parts of the body.Fascia is flexible and is able to resist large forces placed on it, however, fascia becomes...
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Mar
02

Is your laptop posture friendly?

When people come into clinic with body pain and mention they spend a long time in front of a computer screen, either for work, leisure or both, we always ask about how their desk is set up. A correctly set up desktop can be posture friendly, but with so many people tending to use laptops and tablets, we thought we'd take a look at some things you can do to make them user friendly. Why are laptops bad for our posture?When we use a laptop, we generally position our head so that our eyes are in the best position to see the screen clearly. If the screen is lower than our head height when we're sitting at the device, we will poke our chins forwards and drop our head down to lower our gaze and loo...
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Jan
13

Do you get enough sleep?

It's no secret that we all need sleep for our tissues to heal, we've known about that for a while. Australian scientists and pain specialists Lorimer and Moseley suggest that sleeplessness may contribute to ill health and also to increased sensitivity of tissues. They also say that if we don't get enough sleep the body doesn't get a good enough chance to repair itself. There is a fascinating book by Matthew Walker, entitled Why We Sleep, that if you're interested in the topic is well worth a read. Matthew is a professor of psychology and neuroscience who has been researching what the role of sleep in health and disease is at the University of California for many years. Evidence now suggests ...
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Dec
11

Using self care to reduce stress levels

When life is busy it's easy to forget that taking time out for yourself is vital for your health and well-being. In a society where we all rush around at full speed it can be easy to get caught up in the fast living rollercoaster but what happens when it all gets a little too much?  Our body reacts to stress whether you want it to or not. We have 2 components to the autonomic nervous system which controls our bodies; the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.Put in simple terms, the parasympathetic element controls the things we do without thinking, such as our heartbeat, breathing and digestion. On the flip side, the autonomic nervous system controls our 'fight or flight' resp...
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Nov
13

Should you use a foam roller?

Foam rolling is now a well know, popular method of self-massage and you will find them in most gyms and sports enthusiast's homes, but there are dangers to haphazardly rolling your muscles! So far, the few studies that have been done show that foam rolling does not improve performance but may improve muscle tone and reduce some post exercise fatigue. It is important to be clear what your objective is when setting out with your roller. Here's some advice on how to get the best from your foam roller and avoid injury: Choosing a roller; Get yourself a good roller: if you buy cheap you generally get cheap. Cheap rollers will often squash and give after just a few uses and become ineffective...
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Sep
11

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Our feet are amazing structures. They have a tough, fibrous band of connective tissue under them called the plantar fascia that runs between the heel and the balls of the toes. This tissue is designed to support the foot muscles, prevent the arch of the foot flattening too much and to provide sensory information to the brain about the position the ankle and foot is in. Plantar Fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia is inflamed. In Latin, the term 'itis' means inflammation, so any condition ending in itis is an inflammatory problem. Often, plantar fasciitis causes pain to the heel and the under-side of the foot that is worse in the morning or when you've been standing on your feet for long ...
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Jul
10

Can Osteopathy help my Arthritis Pain?

Arthritis is seen by some people as a scary prospect, but it shouldn't have to be. There are many self care things you can do to help tackle your pain levels and keep you moving. Whilst wear and tear (degeneration) to our joints is a normal part of the ageing process, the pain from arthritic changes can be debilitating, so let's look at some ways you can help yourself. This article will focus only on osteoarthritis, sometimes referred to as OA, rather than other forms of arthritis. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines suggest that manual therapy such as osteopathy can relieve pain, increase flexibility and improve quality of life for people w...
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Apr
15

Rider Biomechanics don't have to me mystifying...

Sometimes, being an Osteopath isn't all about standing in a clinic and treating people. Occasionally, we get to go out into the beautiful countryside and work too! Thanks to Cromwell GB for organising a great clinic on Saturday 13th April 2019,I managed to get out and demo how changing the biomechanics of horse riders can make a big difference to the horse's performance by addressing small asymmetries in their posture and joint mobility. The picture shows a great example of this: by assessing the contact surface between the rider's legs and the horse's side, you can see if there is a symmetrical pattern each side. I was joined by the very clever Stephanie Bloom, a saddle ...
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