Choosing Yoga or Pilates?

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Choosing: Yoga or Pilates?Pilates & Yoga for back pain

You may think these are in the same exercise category, however they are rooted from very different histories. Read below to help determine which practice is right for you…

Yoga

This type of exercise originated in south Asia thousands of years ago, the purpose is the unite the mind, body and spirit. They use the whole body structure using the environment to heal the body and help mental harmony.

The different styles:

  • Anusara: Beginners class to yoga with physical practice to yoga
  • Bikram: ‘Hot Yoga’ series of 26 basic yoga postures, each performed twice
  • Hatha: Classical physical yoga practice using breathing and posture
  • Ashtanga: Six established and strenuous pose sequences
  • Lyengar: precise alignment and deliberate sequencing using props.
  • Kundalini: constantly moving, invigorating poses.
  • Vinyasa: Active and athletic style of yoga adapted from the traditional ashtanga system
  • Prenatal: yoga postures adapted for expecting mothers
  • Restorative: using less poses and increased breathing techniques.

Pilates:

This type of exercise was created by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s. The purpose of Pilates is to gain flexibility, strength and body awareness. Although the routine is performed on a mat, there are specific Pilate’s machines; this type is called the Cadillac and reformer.

Types:

  • Mat Pilates: classical specific routine of movements and involves little or no equipment – heavily focuses on strengthening the core
  • Contemporary studio Pilates: fully equipped studio under expert instruction
  • Group reformer Pilates: dynamic, full body workout all with one piece of equipment (the Reformer)
  • Classical Pilates: fully equipped studio, with original series of movements in a specific order.

 

Questions you can ask yourself before choosing?

  1. Are you seeking exercise for a mental benefit? All exercise is linked with improving your mental health, yoga may be most effective for this as it focuses on the mind, body and spirit.
  2. What physical benefit are you hoping for? Pilates is known for focusing on core strength however yoga has an overall benefit.
  3. Have you currently got back pain? Some routines/positions can increase pain therefore informing your instructor of your current situation is important.
  4. No to props? Yoga using your body weight with a sequence of positions where Pilates uses different props to enhance the technique.

Ultimately the choice is yours, trying out both and deciding what works best for you. Yoga provides a meditative environment for you to improve overall quality of life, focuses on stress relief while improving our body. Pilates works from the centre of your body outwards, it forces to increase your body awareness. In my opinion, yoga is excellent for everyone by improving their mental health, but allowing a combination of Pilates to optimize your body function.

Osteopath, Wimbledon
Jennifer Beck, M.OST
Member of the General Osteopathic Council
Member of the Institute of Osteopaths

I am available to help you today. Being gentle and working in tune with nature, it will be a relaxing way to heal“.
Jen.

Call anytime for an appointment of free telephone advice, 02089462331

 

What My Trip to South Africa taught me about Back Pain!

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What My Trip to South Africa taught me about Back Pain!

Osteopath, Wimbledon

Jennifer Beck, Osteopath

Lone bull elephant in Kruger ParkI’m just back from a holiday in the Kruger. It was a long flight and reminded me of how some of my patients have to face a long-haul flight with back pain. Following my own advice I resisted the temptation to sit for hours at one time, to reduce the pain of sitting I followed some basic chair exercises; which can be found below.
Click to download my video exercise pdf:
Exercises to do whilst sitting at your office or PC
So here are my Top Tips for long haul flights:
Make sure you have comfortable, light shoes. There is usually pressure socks provided which will help with the swelling!Take a supportive neck pillow to stop your head from dropping and causing neck pain Keep hydrated throughout the journey Do chair exercises regularly Get up and walk every few hours, if you can’t, make sure you move your feet around.We arrived at the park to a great sunshine, and I was not as tired as I had originally feared. I was ready for the first game drive, we were extremely lucky to have seen so much. We were greeted by the white ring and giraffe…

Giraffe's dont have neck problems
Eating and Sleeping
During my week of observing these animals, you realise the important of a healthy and consistent diet. Meals are often skipped, and when eaten do not contain the right nutrients to maintain a healthy regime. Then there is sleeping, if you’ve ever been treated by myself, this is something I highly recommend. Sleeping is a key element for body recovery, it helps with both mental and physical recovery.
Lion walking freely

Watching the lions, one of the top five animals that rule the outside world, they have regular naps through the day, where the rest themselves for the tasks of the day. This is similar for us; during our busy life stresses accumulate through the spine weather it’s sitting at a desk or a manual job.Resting your spine in a neutral position on the floor will allow the pressure of the day to reduce. It also enhances your performance through the day. So when you get back to work, get up and don’t stay in the same position for hours without moving.

Have yourself a healthy snack and a glass of water to hydrate yourself, make sure you have to get up and away from your current task, at least 3 – 4 times a day.

Movement
Watching the animals constantly on the move reminded me of how little as humans we move. It is well known that lack of movement can lead to premature wearing of joints and muscle weakness. We are all designed to move.  Movement is extremely important for the human body. It strengthens our bones and muscles. It allows blood flow to increase.  Increased blood flow means faster healing, often before it becomes a clinical issue (ie a damaged back).  Our muscles are designed to support and reinforce our body.

This does not mean that you have to hit the gym, walking is a great way of activating your movement; making sure you change the incline and pace to get your heart rate up.

If you want to improve your health, its worth learning a thing or two from mother nature!

Osteopath, Wimbledon
Jennifer Beck, M.OST
Member of the General Osteopathic Council
Member of the Institute of Osteopaths

I am available to help you today. Being gentle and working in tune with nature, it will be a relaxing way to heal“.
Jen.

Call anytime for an appointment of free telephone advice, 02089462331

Shoulder and Arm Pain

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National Back Awarness

Shoulder and Arm Pain

Shoulder & Arm Pain

Shoulder and arm pain treatment

 

Ever wondered where that pain in your arm or shoulder is coming from? With this being National Back Pain awareness week, it’s helpful to know that pain in your arm may actually be coming from your back and osteopathy is here to help!

Is it comming from the Back?

On certain occasions shoulder or arm can be painful even though nothing is wrong with the shoulder or the arm! In these cases it may be possible the neck is the cause of the pain and discomfort. Even more perplexing the patient may say they dont have a neck problem. This is a common phenomena seen by clinicians every day.

Causes of Shoulder/Arm pain from the back

There are ways in which pain can appear in the shoulder or arm, and in these cases the treatment needs to be in the neck.

1. Trapped Nerve

painful areas of the armNerves follow a predefined course from the vertebrae in your neck into and down your arm to your hand. This complex motorway of nerves allows us to move our limbs and feel sensation see image.

Sometimes, one or more of these nerves get trapped where they exit the spine and cause pain / tingling somewhere along its course. This can result in symptoms in the shoulder, upper arm, forearm or fingers. We use the site of pain to our advantage by tracing the nerve back to where it’s pinched in the neck. That’s the reason why people are often asked to identify exactly where the pain is or which fingers are affected. Each of the numbers in the image tell us where to look in the neck.

2. Referred Pain
There are cases of arm and shoulder pain where the nerve itself isn’t trapped but the root of the problem is still stemming from the back. This is a phenomenon called Referred Pain. And similarly, it’s only by fixing the issue in your back can we alleviate your arm symptoms.

3. Posture
We all know good posture is important, maintaining it, however, can be difficult especially with long commutes, desk work and stress. But did you know that bad posture can be another cause of shoulder/arm pain?
Sitting or standing with the back in a slouched position changes the mechanics of your shoulders and they tend to round forwards. Your arms are now in a position that’s likely to put strain on the muscles and joints in your shoulders which can, over time, become very sore!
Osteopaths can gently stretch your back, open up your chest and realign your body back to its neutral position, thus reducing the strain on your arms making day to day life pain free.
We can also provide you with useful advice on how you can improve your posture yourself. Here is a simple exercise you can do to loosen your shoulders to get you started.

Top Tips for Beating Shoulder and Arm Pain

1.  Avoid sleeping on the painful side

2.  Better way of using a cell phone or tablet:

3.  Free Exercise PDF (including videos): click  image

Home exercises for the shoulder

Robert Ballard MOst, DO

Osteopath
Cranial Osteopath
Children Osteopath

Call 0208 946 2331 to see how we we can help you today.

NOTE: all advice and exercises are for guidance only. Every pain is different. These exercises may not agree with every back-pain complaint, so please stop immediately if pain arises. You are adviced to seek professional help before following the advice or exercises.I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Upper Back Pain

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National Back Awarness

Upper Back Pain

It all happens here

Back pain stretch

This is the part of the spine that we use most when we are sitting at our desks, driving our cars, reading, eating. When I say ‘using’ it’s almost a misnomer.

Our upper backs are actually moving very little. It is this lack of movement that can cause us pain in the long term.

We sit at our desk, shoulders forward fingers ready to type on our key boards, heads forward, upper back arched. Sometimes for hours at a time.

Poor posture

Our bodies take this input as a desired position and start to adapt accordingly. The body is always looking for efficiencies. To reduce energy expenditure. So it reduces blood supply to muscles, joints stop moving so nerves receive less innervation.

Muscles at the front of our bodies becoming shorter such as our pectorals.

Our spinal muscles become stretched and longer. And our neck muscles become shorter as they constantly lift our heads up to view the screen.

We do this day in day out for up to 8 hrs a day for months and then years! Then we go home and watch tv or use our laptops at home, or alternatively try and get the stress of our work out the system and go cycling and assume the exact same position.

Muscles working with a reduced blood supply work anaerobically and we get lactic acid build up. Over time these muscles lose their flexibility and become fibrotic (ropey) and can become inflamed. That causes us pain.

Top Tips to stop Upper Back Pain

To stop upper back pain – simple – change the inputs.

Break the static 8 hrs day. Stop every 30-45 mins and make your back and shoulders move. Your body will respond by increasing blood supply. Muscles will change to become more flexible. Joints and nerve innervation inputs will increase.

Here are three simple exercises you can do at work to start changing the inputs.

Pectoral Stretch

T-Spine Samba

T-Spine Side Bending

 

TIP: Choose exercises which will increase the mobility of your upper back.  Swimming is excellent for this especially front crawl and back stroke. Certain pilates exercises are excellent at generating more mobility in the thoracic spine if done regularly too.

Hugo Firth BOst, BSc, MA

Osteopath
Exercise & Posture Osteopath
Call 0208 946 2331 to see how we we can help you today.

NOTE: all advice and exercises are for guidance only. Every pain is different. These exercises may not agree with every back-pain complaint, so please stop immediately if pain arises. You are adviced to seek professional help before following the advice or exercises.

Head & Neck Pain

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National Back Awarness

Head and Neck Pain

Common Cause of Pain

Neck stretch

The neck is the most mobile part of your spine and it must balance a head weighing around 5kg. It’s astonishing to note when the neck is bent forward by only 30º,  the force at the base of the neck is more than 3½ times it’s actual weight.

This is the equivalent of having a head weighing 18kg. Imagine the force now passing through the lower neck.

This rises to a whopping 27kg with the head fully flexed at 60º.

Forces passing through the neckThis happens because of leverage. The further away from the resting position the greater the force at the fulcrum (ie base of neck in this case). Reference article click here please.

It’s no wonder accumulated hours of texting creates neck and shoulder tension.  It’s also no wonder why hours on a PC cause a similar build-up of tension. Poor posture can also lead to this effect with drooping neck and shoulders.

Once tension builds it may travel up to the head or down to the shoulders, or the upper back; or for some people both places.

Headache

There is an important bone inside the skull known as the sphenoid bone. This bone connects to every other skull bone. If muscular tension causes this bone to be displaced, even slightly, it can cause cranial strains leading to headaches, eye pain, sinus pain, ear pain and even jaw pain etc, depending on which bone has been affected by the sphenoid.

Neck Pain

When the muscles of the neck are in spasm, they can affect the blood flow passing through the vertebral artery. These two arteries are important as they travel through the spinal bones (vertebrae) to help supply the brain. A reduction in blood flow can lead to a feeling of tiredness, mussiness, ‘cotton wool in my head’, ‘feels like I am spaced out’ amongst other symptoms.

Top Tips for Beating Headache and Neck Pain

1.  Prevention is better than cure. Please take regular breaks:

  • Set your phone or PC to beep every 30-45 minutes. A simple online timer is here https://www.timeanddate.com/timer/
  • Drink more water, so you will have to go to the rest room more often.
  • If you work in a high-rise building use the stairs to go the rest room on another floor.
  • Get out of your chair to speak to a colleague (rather than email them).
  • Consider using a standing desk, or at least rest raise your monitor and keyboard higher if possible.

2.  Better way of using a cell phone or tablet:

Free Exercise PDF (including videos): click  image

Exercises to help neck pain

senior osteopath

Vispi Jamooji DO, PG Cert Spop

Osteopath
Specialist Paediatric Osteopath
Cranial Osteopath

Call 0208 946 2331 to see how we we can help you today.

NOTE: all advice and exercises are for guidance only. Every pain is different. These exercises may not agree with every back-pain complaint, so please stop immediately if pain arises. You are adviced to seek professional help before following the advice or exercises.

Sciatica & Trapped Nerve

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National Back Awarness

Slipped Disc, Sciatica and Trapped Nerve Explained

Distirbution of the sciatic nerve

The sciatic nerve supplies the whole of the back of the leg and all the foot

Sciatica

The Sciatic nerve is as big as your own index finger. There are a number of ways this nerve can get trapped. A common cause is a slipped disc. This pinches the sciatic nerve as it tries to leave the spine, see below

Image showing how nerve is trapped

click to enlarge

Trapped Nerves

Depending on which nerve is trapped, they are named accordingly. When the sciatic nerve is trapped it is termed sciatica. Symptoms include the buttock, back of the thigh and calf, the outside of the lower leg and the foot.

Single nerve cell

A single nerve cell and it’s connections

.

Managing a Trapped Nerve

Step 1

  1. Reduce pressure on the nerve. This means avoid sitting and lie down as frequently as possible.
  2. Anti-inflammatory medicines may help. By reducing the inflammation inside the body, it helps to take pressure off the nerve internally. So, by reducing the pressure internally and externally, the damaged tissue gains a window in which to heal.

Step 2

  1. Lie/sleep on your back or the non-hurting side. Do not lie on your tummy or on the side which hurts
  2. Apply an ice pack to the painful area.
  3. Alternate lying with walking. In the early stages more lying than walking. ie after walking lie down before the pain comes. If the pain comes straight away seek professional help – it can be a warning sign.
  4. Avoid sitting and standing. No matter how tempting, these often hinder healing, even if you dont feel it does. Else seek professional help.

Step 3

  1. Reduce your activity for a few days and then begin to slowly work back up to your usual level.
  2. Avoid twisting your back or any heavy lifting for at least 6 weeks after the pain starts.
  3. Avoid ALL forward bending (or as much as possible), this includes sitting.
  4. In 12 weeks you can resume exercising paying special attention to  movements that will strengthen both your abdomen and the flexibility of the spine.
  5. Physical therapy, such as osteopathy is also an option that is recommended.

Try these two execises to help free your pain

Free Exercise PDF (including videos): click  image

Image for low back stretches

Hugo Firth BOst, BSc, MA

Osteopath
Exercise & Posture Osteopath

Call 0208 946 2331 to see how we we can help you today.

NOTE: all advice and exercises are for guidance only. Every pain is different. These exercises may not agree with every back-pain complaint, so please stop immediately if pain arises. You are adviced to seek professional help before following the advice or exercises.

Low Back Pain

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National Back Awarness

Low Back Pain

Back Pain Explained
 – best viewed on desktop PC

Slipped disc, sciatica, nerve pain

Back pain treatment in Wimbledon

 

Contrary to popular belief back pain is less connected with sitting posture 1 than previously thought. More significant is the correlation with psychological distress2 which doubles the chances of developing low backpain. However back pain straddles mechanical and emotional boundaries which can make its management difficult, if not dealt with promptly.

Latest NICE guidelines3 recognise a combination of advice, exercise, manual therapy and psychological therapy are the most effective in managing low back pain. Since 1986, the Living Centre Clinic has brought all these together in one single treatment programme to help thousands of patients with acute and chronic low back pain.

Overview of Back Pain

Watch this NHS video on understanding back pain. Hghly recommended
(Source: University College London, https://www.uclh.nhs.uk/OurServices/ServiceA-Z/Neuro/PMC/Pages/Selfhelppain.aspx)

Pain at a deeper levelImage showing how nerve is trapped

Pain from the spine arises in 2 ways. i) from the tissue damage itself, which surprisingly causes the milder symptoms; and the body’s response to the damage, which causes the majority of a patient’s symptoms. The picture shows the delicate disc and nerves (the ligaments are not shown). If these are threatened the body produces powerful muscle spasms, along with large amounts inflammatory fluid. This is the reason  why doctors prescribe muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs. It’s great at treating the symptoms, but it does not necessarily address the underlying tissue damage.

Top Tips for Beating Low Back Pain

1.  Acute Back Pain

apply heat or ice pack ?

Hot or Cold? Until proven otherwise, ice is best. Even if your muscles are in spasm, something must be underneath causing that to happen. Spasms are a sign something has strained or torn, so muscle do the only thing they can do – tighten up – to protect the injury. Heat does remove a spasm, but that could make it worse as the body loses it’s protection. Of course to reduce the spasm by a small amount is helpful. However please note that conversely heat increases inflammation (& ice and ibuprofen remove it). Be care careful not to work one against the other.

Keep moving or lie still?

Movement or Stillness? In the very early moments of the attack it makes sense to follow the body’s lead which usually works to ‘freeze’ an area. This means within the first day or two, being still is best. The most common error is to sit still in a chair or on a PC. So avoid all forms of sitting initially, we suggest only sit for your meals and to use the bathroom. Ideally, you could try lying down interspersed with movement, ie walking in your home.

Sleep is healing

Sleep & Sleeping. Healing is most active during your night’s sleep.  So each hour before midnight is worth two hours after midnight. So try a week of early nights, ie by 10pm latest. Avoid sleeping on your stomach or on the side which hurts. Generally its best to sleep on the side which does not hurt, possibly with a pillow between the knees. You may also sleep on your back, possibly with a pillow or two under the knees.

choosing pain relief

Paracetamol vs Ibuprofen. The best medication is ibuprofen (Neurofen). This is an anti-inflammatory medicine and will help dry the damage area fast. This is important because your body cant lay down healing fibres if the area is still wet – the fibres wont bond. Ice (cold packs) and ibuprofen work together in the same way. You can try natural alternatives such as Turmeric and Devil’s Claw remedies as well. Paracetamol however is a painkiller and will only mask the symptoms.

2.  On Going Back Pain

  • Neutral spine postition: lie on the floor with your knees bent or supported on a chair at 90° with a pillow under your head
  • Continue with your normal activities BUT take your time and DON’T push yourself
  • Before getting up bring your knees to your chest one at a time
  • Bend your knees when bending over or picking up objects off the floor
  • When carrying objects keep it close to your body
  • Avoid sitting for long periods – keep getting up

Tips to get you out of your chair

  • Set your phone or PC to beep every 30-45 minutes.
  • Drink more water, so you will have to go to get up more often to move about.
  • If you work in a high-rise building use the stairs to go the rest room on another floor.
  • Get out of your chair to speak to a colleague (rather than email them).
  • Consider using a standing desk, or at least rest raise your monitor and keyboard higher if possible.

Back-Pain-Treatment

Home Massage Tips

Knowing where to massage and how much to do it for is key. Generally resist the temptation to massage the injured tissue. Medical evidence4 shows that areas which are painful are not actually “stiff”, “jammed” or “locked”, despite the feeling that it is. It is typically more effective to massage the same area on ‘other’ side of the spine; and/or the area above or below the injury. This is because these tissues will be compensating and would benefit from a little rest. This in turn will help them support the injury, so aiding nature cure.

Note: please be aware in acute cases of pain, no matter how tempting to rub an injured tissue, rubbing may make it worse. It may create more tissue damage, increase inflammation, or result in more muscle spasm. We always recommend massaging away from the site of injury.

How to get out of bed / Pick up something from the floor (click video below)

Free Exercise PDF (including videos): click  image

Back pain exercise plan

Jennifer Beck bio photo

Jennifer Beck M.OST

Osteopath
Female Wellness

Call 0208 946 2331 to see how we we can help you today.

NOTE: all advice and exercises are for guidance only. Every pain is different. These exercises may not agree with every back-pain complaint, so please stop immediately if pain arises. You are adviced to seek professional help before following the advice or exercises.

References

  1. Korshoj, M., Hallman, D., Mathiassen, S. E. & Asdahl, M. Is objectively measured sitting at work associated with low back pain? A cross sectional study in the DPhacto cohort. Is objectively measured sitting at work associated with low back pain? A cross sectional study in the DPhacto cohort (2017). Available at: http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A1109002&dswid=9585. (Accessed: 25th September 2017)
  2. Power, C., Frank, J., Hertzman, C., Schierhout, G. & Li, L. Predictors of low back pain onset in a prospective British study. Am. J. Public Health 91, 1671–1678 (2001).
  3. Nice.org.uk. NICE Guidline, Low back pain and sciatica in over 16s: assessment and management. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng59/resources/low-back-pain-and-sciatica-in-over-16s-assessment-and-management-pdf-1837521693637.   ISBN: 978-1-4731-2186-7. (2016).
  4. Stanton, T. R., Moseley, G. L., Wong, A. Y. L. & Kawchuk, G. N. Feeling stiffness in the back: a protective perceptual inference in chronic back pain. Sci. Rep. 7, (2017).

Commuter Pain

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Commuter Pain?

Packed trains cause neck pain abnd back pain

Commuting in London can take anything from 10 mins to up to 2 hours making it a stressful affair, not least of all on top of train delays.

Twisted Postures

With growing numbers of commuters and train services not being able to keep up, many having to stand or sit on the floor of the carriages.  Therefore, if you are not one of the lucky ones and you end up standing awkwardly or sitting down in the carriage way, you may notice this is starting to take an effect on your body.

An awkward posture can result in a mixture of spinal and joint pain. Consequently, carrying heavy bags that aren’t supporting you correctly can result in ‘bad’ posture. This lifestyle of commuting daily is inevitable, so the real solution is how can you make the situation better and reduce the pain it might be causing you.

Reduce Your Pain

Having the ‘correct posture’ is a common topic among most. It is the subject that many people will relate the cause of pain to. However, having a ‘bad’ posture is subjective to every individual, one type of posture may not work for another. Therefore, I don’t believe in a single ‘correct posture’. It is about adapting your posture to fit YOU best, allowing changes where needed in order to improve the way your body moves.

Once the commute is over it is important to get moving again. Do some stretching once you’ve reached your destination. Here are some movements that could benefit you

  1. Side bending your neck both sides (Holding for 10-15 seconds) to increase the stretch you can place your hand underneath the opposite leg to which you are side-bending your neck away.
  2. Place your arm above your shoulders and lean your side into a wall, you can allow the leg closest to the wall to bend allowing a stretch
  3. Roll your shoulders clockwise and anti-clockwise.
  4. Pinch your shoulder blades together, holding for 5-10 seconds then releasing.
  5. Placing your chin to your chest, roll down to touch your toes. (TOP TIP: make sure you concentrate on moving each segment of the spine)
  6. Chin tucks – placing your finger on your chin, move your head backwards (this may create a double chin!)

Remember: Take your time with all of these exercises, don’t rush them!

DOWNLOAD MY FREE PDF ON COMMUTER EXERCISES HERE
– complete with video demonstration of exercises

Exercises to do after a commute

Each exercise is upported witha video demonstration.

For further information on these exercises, head over to this page where photo demonstrations are available.

Top tips for commuting

  • Switch around your bag – if you are resisting a backpack then change shoulder you carry your bag on
  • If possible use a style wheelie-trolley (like an airline case) rather than a bag you have to carry.
  • Take a moment to readjust your posture
  • Try and avoid long spells on your cell phone to break up the posture
  • Transfer your weight from side to side
  • Try looking over your shoulder from time to time.
  • Go on tip-toes or rock on your feet if possible to help the blood back to the heart

 

Jennifer Beck bio photoJennifer Beck M.OST
Osteopath

Back Pain Explained

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Back Pain Explained

What happens in back pain

Anatomy of the back

What Causes Low Back Pain?

The commonest cause of low back pain is simple tissue failure. The outside layers protecting the spinal nerve are firstly the muscle, beneath that is  ligament then the joint and finally the disc and nerve. When we put too much force through our spine these defences can fail one by one until eventually the force finally passes through to the discs and nerves, causing slipped disc, sciatica, trapped nerves etc.

Our backs are supplied by two sets of nerves “fast” and “slow”.  The human spine has relatively few slow nerves, compared to fast nerves. This means if we suddenly twist our spine it may hurt immediately; but if we sit slouched over a PC, we would barely notice it until we stand up when our fast nerves would be activated.  So, bad posture combined with lack of activity is the antecedence to low back pain. That means sitting long hours a day, with little exercise is bad news.

What Are The Symptoms of Low Back Pain?

The low back spine is in intimate contact with the nerves that travel to the legs, groin and bowel. For this reasons symptoms can be quite diverse. Classic low back pain may therefore include in addition to back pain: pins and needles, numbness, loss of strength in the leg, hot or cold sensations, leg pain (sciatica), calf pain, foot pain, groin pain, tummy pain, and bowel disturbances – constipation or diarrhoea.

Treatment of Low Back Pain  at the Living Centre Clinic 

Over 90% of mechanical back pain has the following format. The injured part of the spine will typically be over-worked and inflamed. Reciprocally the neighbouring area will show as an under-worked, ie stiff and “lazy”. Treatment is firstly to calm and release the injured area and then, to help prevent the problem happening again, the lazy areas are made mobile again so they can share in the future work load.

Our success at treating sciatica is due to the unique combination of treatments we use to decompress the spine. We are one of the few clinics that have an advanced treatment bed, which is a more effective treatment than manual medicine alone, the bed gently frees back pain by using a soothing rocking motion. We combine this with the application of clinical massage and traction at specific points along the spine to reduce pressure on the spine or trapped nerve.

Our treatments are endorsed by GPs and consultants including orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons and neurologist specialists. We offer insurance approved pain consultants who are registered with leading health insurance providers.The Living Centre Clinic enjoys a good reputation with the medical profession. We can make requests, privately or through your GP, for MRI scans, x-rays blood test etc as needed.

We believe in involving the patient in their recovery. We know if a patient understands what to do and when, they can help speed up recovery and avoid future problems. Advice, tips and exercises always feature in our management. Following recovery, rehabilitative therapy is available with our experienced Pilates instructor, offering continued therapeutic support.

Don’t Suffer Anymore

Don’t suffer anymore. Call us today we can help many types of back pain conditions, even if you have suffered for years, 02089462331 or fill in our online form (option2) here. We can give a perosnal answer to your question.

You may also find the following articles helpful : Back Pain  Sipped disc/Sciatica  Neck Pain  Headache/Migraine  Shoulder Pain  Trapped Nerve

Competitive Treatment Fees

How To Fix Your Own Back Pain

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10 Top Tips to Beat Back Pain

Slipped disc, sciatica, nerve pain

Back pain treatment in Wimbledon

1                     Sitting is the number one enemy of bad backs.  “Too much sitting; too much standing; not enough walking and not enough lying”. This is the magic formula we tell our patients. Follow this golden rule and your back will smile at you. This is our Top Tip!

2                     If your pain has struck suddenly “for no known reason” –  try and work out what was different in the last month or so. Our golden tip is to look for anything different you might have done, something out of your normal routine – even a holiday! Or to see if you have been working longer hours than normal – fatigue physical (& emotional) are know trouble makers. Understanding your pain will help you cope and fight it.

3                     Avoid sleeping on the side that hurts and generally avoid sleeping on the stomach or half twisted with the arms thrown over your head. These all weaken your spine in different ways.

4                     Using a cold pack invariably works out better than a hot water bottle. This is because ice is a natural anti-inflammatory and works much in the same way as ibuprofen or Neurofen (obviously with any of the side effects!). By contrast heat does the opposite.  That said, heat generally helps to relieve the pain of muscle spams. So sometimes we recommend both in alternation.

5                     Exercises can be helpful, but please check with your healthcare professional before trying any, as each back pain if different. One of the best all around exercises is simple walking, but it must not be “Saturday morning shopping speed”. Slow, stop/start walking will often aggravate pain. If it hurts to walk, or pain arises shortly after a walk. Stop and don’t do that again. Seek professional help. Walk on grass and use proper walking shoes.

6                     When you have to carry something keep it as close to the chest as possible and pick it up with bent knees. Certainly avoid lifting after a long period of sitting, ie taking suitcases out of a boot after a long car journey, after a flight, the weekly grocery shop, etc

7                   Take regular exercise. 30 minutes each day is ideal. Exercises that increase your heart are best (check with your doctor first). However exercises that stretch you (ie yoga) or those which improve your core strength (ie Pilates) are also great. We recommend you do both types if possible.

Smiles after the pain goes

Effective treatments for pain relief in the heart of SW19 & SW20

8                     Try to avoid “comfy” chairs and settees, specially if you think you are developing bad back. As anyone who has ever had a bad back will tell you, they always suffer more pain in these types of chairs, as it is known to weaken the spine.

9                     Keep an eye on your posture. Slumping or slouching will weaken the spine. Stand tall as if the top of your head has a string attached to it and you are being suspended from this string. Imagine the posture that would be created by this action. That’s what you have to aim for.

10                 My best tip ever … Go to bed early!  I mean that. Try a week of early nights (its miles better than waking up an hour later). With over 30 years of experience this is the cheapest and best remedy I have witnessed as a professional osteopath. Sleep. My patients know it as “Vitamin S” (for sleep). Once you see the amazing effects, you will always want to do this again and again.

 

As on Osteopath Vispi Jamooji is a specialist in back pain relief with over 30 years experience. He heads the osteopathy team at the Living Centre Clinic. Please send in your questions (option 2) and he will do his best to help. The advice will be free.   Better@LivingCentreClinic.com