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.Go for smooth foam, and avoid hard pipes, rollers with extreme spikes or knobbles. When should you roll? Try foam rolling after a warmup to promote flexibility of tissues. They can be used post-workout to help reduce aches and pains.Before bed may help to relieve tension in muscles and promote a go...

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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 periods of time. Commonly, that pain eases off after periods of inactivity when you get moving again. The pain starts gradually, getting worse over time, and can produce a strong dull ache but can also be a sharp pain. If the condition isn't resolved in its early stage it can become chronic, and res...

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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 fitter specialising in AH Saddles, and together we had attendees from the equestrian discipline of endurance along with several who weren't endurance riders. One rider even travelled from Surrey to Cambridgeshire to attend! It really did work very well to have a saddle ...

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How can Osteopathy help Horse Riders?

Horse riders are a special breed of people: We work hard to care for our horses, we bend, twist and lift heavy weights on a daily basis and that can play havoc with our body. We often habitually muck out one way, or sweep one way, heavily favoring one side of our body, yet we expect to be able to sit centrally on our horse to help his body and use each side of our being independently. That takes some serious skill! Riders don't think twice about trying to work out what's gone wrong with our tack or our horses if we encounter a problem, but riders ourselves generally are very last on the list to ever get any attention, and the impact on our horses from that can be huge. Did you ever think that your own body and your riding can be hindering how your horse uses his body? If we sit in an unbalanced way, our horses have to not only compensate for their problems, but ours too which will limit how well they perform. Certainly not what we want if we are competing! Osteopathy can be a really us...

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What is Osteopathy and how can it help you?

​Osteopathy is a system of medicine that focuses on treating, and preventing, painful muscle and joint problems. By using specific hands-on techniques, Osteopaths focus on creating balance within the body. Osteopaths use joint mobilisations and manipulations (the 'click') together with stretching and massage techniques to increase the flexibility of joints and body tissues. This helps to relieve muscle tension, relieve muscle spasms and improve tissue health, all of which help the body to heal itself. Osteopaths are commonly thought of for treating back pain, and while this is something osteopathy can work really well for, osteopathy can be used to treat a variety of other things too, such as:• Neck pain• Shoulder pains, e.g. frozen shoulder• Elbow problems, e.g. tennis elbow • Hip and knee problems• Arthritic changes• Sports injuries• Generalised aches and pains• Headaches, particularly those arising from tension and neck problems• Migraine prevention• Nerve pain such as neuralgia or ...

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Can an Osteopath Treat Sports Injuries?

It's no surprise that sports injuries go hand in hand with participating in our chosen sports, but did you know that osteopathy can play a key part in keeping you fit and functioning at full capacity? We often (mistakenly) hear that osteopaths can't treat sports injuries and that the athlete needs to see a sports massage therapist or a physiotherapist, but you may be surprised to find out that when it comes to sports injury treatment osteopaths can hold their own! Here at Nene Valley Osteopathy, we work with many sports players from all disciplines and levels with great results. Osteopathy not only looks at the injury and how that itself can be improved but also assesses your general health and how your body performs to treat you accordingly. Similar to a Sports Massage Therapist, we can use a variety of soft tissue techniques including massage and trigger point therapy plus some specialised extras like mobilisation, stretching and manipulation (the 'clicking') which, together with oth...

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