Desk Posture: It’s Simple

National press, including the BBC, last week promoted a report advocating that office workers should sit in a ‘slouched back’ position. This is said to relieve pressure on the back.

Although this new recommended slouched position may unload the spine, most people have a tendency to slip down causing increased pressure on the posterior ligaments, resulting in back pain.

As Simone says, ‘The trouble is, this position will cause you to slouch eventually, stretching the posterior muscles of the lower back. It will almost certainly result in long term instability and support for your lumbar spine’

So what is the right way to sit? We advise tilting the base of your chair forward to put your pelvis in a good sitting position which makes the angle approximately 120 degrees. Do make sure that your screen and keyboard are aligned and directly in front of you. You should also get up and walk around every 30 minutes.

More information can be found about how we can help you at


Flat head syndrome

A flat head, also known as plagiocephaly can be caused by restrictions of movement in the neck, tightness of the neck muscles or compression at the base of the skull.

All of these mean that when your baby lies on its back to sleep, it will lie mostly on the same side or the same position. As the head is reasonably soft it may become flat.

Picture 2

What you may notice:

  • Your baby’s head looks asymmetrical
  • Either directly after delivery or a couple of weeks after birth you may notice a flat area developing.
  • Your baby feeds much better on one side
  • Your baby prefers to look one way and may not be able to turn its head fully to the opposite side.
  • Your baby sleeps to only one side.

Plagiocephaly is distortion of the head and cranial asymmetry and is often completely an avoidable problem if diagnosed and treated early. Look out for the above signs.

What can you do to help prevent plagiocephaly?

  • Stimulate or attract your baby’s attention to the side your baby avoids
  • When you are with your baby, lay it on its stomach to help lengthen and strengthen the neck.
  • When your baby is asleep, turn your baby’s head away from its preferable side.
  • Remember to always ensure your baby sleeps on its back.

Babies who are developing flat heads should be seen as quickly as possible – the sooner the problem is identified, the sooner the cause can be identified and treated.

What will an osteopath do?

The osteopath’s main aim will be to get full range of movement in the neck using muscle and fascia stretches, articulating the neck joints and using cranial techniques.

Treatment is gentle and babies are usually quite settled during treatment. With full range of neck movement, the head stops becoming flatter.

The osteopath will also give you exercise and postural advice to prevent the stiffness re-occurring.

More information can be found about how we can help you at

Our simple do’s & don’ts during pregnancy.


Continue with your exercise programme until advised to stop or modify your routine – the fitter you are the easier your pregnancy and delivery will be!

Exercise to strengthen the back and pelvis and to open the ribs.

Lift carefully by bending your knees and limit the amount of weight you carry.

Keep your pelvis above your knees when sitting.

Lie on your side when relaxing on the couch.

Put a pillow between your legs and under your bump when lying in bed.

Take walks after dinner and have small meals in the evening if you are suffering from heartburn.

Get someone to look at your ergonomics if you work in an office.


Stand in one position for too long, stick your bump out or wear high heels.

Cross your legs when seated.

Lift and twist putting additional strain on your back.

Sit for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Slouch when sitting on the couch.

Get a massage if you are in pain. Specialist help will be much more beneficial.

Drink coffee, tea or eat red meat, oranges or tomatoes if suffering from heartburn.


Children and Headaches


Headaches are common in children from toddler age through to adolescence. There are many causes for chronic headaches in children, most commonly they are due to postural problems or they are the result of minor accidents during sport or a fall.

Teenagers frequently suffer headaches and migraines may also start at this time. Postural issues are very common due to their speedy growth and their many hours of screen use! Orthodontic work may also cause headaches especially after braces are tightened.

In younger children causes of headaches that are common are problems with vision, blocked paranasal sinuses or Eustachian tube in the middle ear, often caused by a common cold.

Diet and fluid intake must also be taken into consideration especially if your child is particularly active.

What to look out for

In toddlerhood and early childhood it may be difficult for your child to communicate how they are feeling. Look for signs that are out of character such as excessive crying and holding their head or head banging. Children will often become withdrawn when they are suffering and they may display reluctance to interact or socialise. Fatigue, nausea and inclination to be in a darkened room are also signs of head pain and may indicate a migraine headache.

How can Osteopathy help? 

If your child is complaining of headaches or eliciting signs they may be suffering, examination and diagnosis is important to find out why your child is experiencing pain. Osteopathic treatment for headaches in children is similar to that of an adult but more gentle. A full case history is taken and examination is carried out to assess your child’s posture, muscle tone and joint movement. A combination of cranial, articulatory and soft tissue techniques are used to encourage the release of stresses and strains that may be causing your child’s pain. Osteopathic techniques can be used to reduce muscular tone in the neck and base of the skull. It can also help drain sinuses and unblock the eustachian tube (the small tube that connects the back of the nose to the middle ear). Treatment of the jaw and the surrounding muscles can also be effective in helping to alleviate pain and postural advice will be given. Postural and exercise advice should give some long term relief.

If your child needs to be assessed please contact the practice to make an appointment.

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction


SPD, also known as pelvic girdle pain (PGP), is defined as mild to severe pain over the pubic symphysis (a small midline joint connecting the two pubic bones), which sometimes radiates into the groin and inner thighs.

In pregnancy normal physiological changes occur to allow your baby to grow. The pubic symphysis that is normally 4-5mm increases in size by 2-3mm and the ligaments surrounding the joint become lax due to the surge of relaxin in the first trimester.

It is important to acknowledge that although pain in pregnancy is common, it is not normal! For a lot of women who experience SPD there is likely to be an undetected predisposing problem such as weak ‘core stability’ or pelvic floor muscles, previous injuries, muscle tensions or other structural imbalances. These underlying conditions combined with the increasing weight of the growing baby and softening of ligaments can affect the normal transference of weight and movement through the pelvis and hips.

How does osteopathic treatment help?

At Kane and Ross we believe from our many years of experience treating musculoskeletal pain in pregnancy that SPD can generally be treated effectively with osteopathic treatment and management.  If a patient is seen early enough within 16-22 weeks, we can normally get symptomatic relief after 4-5 treatments.

Using osteopathic techniques, we can…

  • Correct the imbalances that exist in the pelvis and lumbar spine (normally pre-existing dysfunctions and asymmetries)
  • Release any tension in the muscles and joints
  • Give advice about posture and exercise
  • Give advice on pelvic supports

PELVIC AND BACK PAIN IS NOT NORMAL DURING PREGNANCY. If you are experiencing pain, consult with an osteopath or manual therapist as soon as you can for treatment and further advice. Please do consider booking an appointment at Kane & Ross Clinics to discuss how we can help you:

For more information on SPD and advice on self-help strategies see the following article written by Simone Ross a specialist in musculoskeletal pain in pregnancy:

Protect Yourself at Work

Maintaining correct sitting posture is important to avoid low back pain, neck pain, headaches and shoulder pain.

  • Tilt the base of your seat – keep hips slightly above knee level.
  • Stay in an upright position right at the back of your chair.
  • Keep feet flat on the floor – get a footrest if needed.
  • Keep screen at eye level, an arm’s length away and directly in front of you.
  • Use a laptop slope with separate keyboard and mouse.
  • Keep elbows supported at 90 degrees.
  • Keep wrists in a neutral position.
  • Keep everything you use regularly within arms reach.
  • Alternate activities between sitting and standing.
  • Keep a bottle of water at your desk.

More information can be found about how we can help you at

  • Do the below stretches hourly.Image

“He’s always looking to one side.”

As osteopaths who specialise in paediatrics, we often hear the following phrases from new parents:

‘He feeds really well on one side but not as well on the other.’

‘He’s always looking to one side.’

adorable-19580_640Generally, these parents have consulted an osteopath because they are:

  • finding breast feeding difficult,
  • are concerned their baby is experiencing signs of reflux or colic,
  • or are worried about the shape of their babies head.


To an osteopath who specialises in paediatrics, these observations are really important. Firstly, it can suggest that the baby’s neck is restricted, limiting movement to one side and potentially affecting the baby’s feeding mechanics, which can make breastfeeding challenging. It also suggests that home management, such as simple exercises to stimulate the baby to the opposite side and increasing ‘tummy time’, may be beneficial. In the case of head shape, early intervention is the key, for more information see our blog on head shape:

If you have noticed these things with your own baby, or find yourself saying the above phrases, contact an osteopath who specialises in obstetrics and paediatrics to discuss your questions or concerns:



A Little Story about Ear Infections

Ear-Infection-610x406One of the most common complaints that plague early childhood are recurrent ear infections, particularly between the ages of 3 months to 3 years old.1 As well as being extremely painful, they are often accompanied by fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and hearing loss.2 Up to 20% of children will suffer from recurrent infections and the younger the child is when they have their first infection, the more likely it is to reoccur.3

Recurrent ear infections occur when the first infection in the middle ear, either viral or bacterial, isn’t completely resolved, or, put another way, hasn’t drained properly through the ear. This is more common in children for three main reasons:

  1. The angle of the tube that drains the middle ear, the Eustachian tube, is more horizontal due to the size of the child’s face, as opposed to an adult where the tube is more vertical4
  2. The child spends more time lying flat, especially in babies, so gravity can’t assist as much in draining the ear as it would in an adult
  3. Children aren’t generally as good as ‘popping’ their ears as an adult is.

The medical management of recurrent ear infections is, generally, to treat with a course of antibiotics.1 If the infections are recurrent enough to have an impact on the child’s speech and language due to sustained hearing loss, surgical interventions may be considered, commonly known as grommets.

Osteopathic management offers another avenue of treatment, which can be used independently or in conjunction with medication. As the frequent infection suggests poor ability to drain through the middle ear the osteopath with look at the child’s posture, neck movement, surrounding muscle tone and tissue restriction. By gently treating surrounding areas of restriction, the eustachian tube is free to drain the middle ear more efficiently. Treatment is comfortable for the child and, as osteopaths treat the whole body, treatment can also improve the function of the rib cage, neck and shoulders which supports the child’s growth and assists teething problems.

Studies have shown osteopathic management of recurrent ear infections result in a significant decrease in reoccurrence of infection, and subsequently less need for frequent antibiotic use and/or surgery.5,6


  1. Beers, M., Porter, R., Jones, T., et. al., eds., 2006. The merck manual of diagnosis and therapy. Whitehouse Station: Merck Research Laboratories.
  2. Kliegman, R., Stanton, B., Schor, N., St Geme III, J. and Behrman, R., 2011. Nelson textbook of pediatrics. 19th Edition. Philadelphia: Saunders.
  3. Lissauer, R. and Clayden, G., 2012. Illustrated textbook of paediatrics. Fourth Edition. Edinburgh: Mosby Elsevier.
  4. Moore, K.L., Dalley, A.F. and Agur, A.M.R., 2010. Clinically Oriented Anatomy, Sixth Edition.  Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  5. Degenhardt BF & Kuchera ML. Osteopathic Evaluation and Manipulative Treatment in Reducing Morbidity of Otitis Media: A Pilot Study. JAOA. 2006 June 106; 6: 327-334.
  6. Mills MV et al. The Use of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment as Adjuvant Therapy in Children With Recurrent Acute Otitis Media. ARCH PEDIATR ADOLESC MED. 2003 September; 157: 861-866.

More information can be found about how we can help you at

A Tingly Feeling

milada-vigerova-45368With the joy of pregnancy all mums-to-be will be no doubt ‘tingling’ with excitement! Not all tingling sensations are so pleasant however and many expectant mothers also experience painful tingling (paraesthesia) at some stage throughout their pregnancy.

In pregnancy blood volume and interstitial fluid volume in the body increases by around 50%! Fluid retention (oedema) is therefore common and a lot of women will report that their feet, ankles, legs, hands and face feel and appear to be swollen. This swelling along with postural changes in pregnancy can cause nerve compression (peripheral nerve entrapment) and a variety of associated symptoms such as tingling, burning, pain, numbness and muscle weakness.

The most common entrapment neuropathies are:

Sciatica: compression of the sciatic nerve that passes from the lower back to the feet (causing symptoms in the leg and foot).

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: compression of the median nerve as it passes through an area of the wrist known as the Carpal Tunnel (causing symptoms in the hand).

Brachial Plexus Neuropathy: compression of the nerves supplying the arm and hand.

Meralgia Paraesthetica: compression of the lateral cutaneous nerve as it passes beneath the inguinal ligament in the groin (causing symptoms in the thigh).

Gestational diabetes or vitamin deficiencies are among many other systemic causes of paraesthesia in pregnancy. It is therefore important to have a full assessment to find out the cause of your symptoms.

How Can Osteopathy Help?

The National Institute for Health Care and Excellence advises the use of physical therapy as a non-pharmacological treatment of neuropathic pain (NICE, 2017) and recent evidence suggests that techniques used by osteopaths and other manual therapists can help moblise fluid and reduce intraneural oedema (Boudier et al., 2017).

At Kane and Ross we use a combination of osteopathic mobilization techniques, acupuncture and exercise to improve fluid dynamics, muscle tension and posture. This can help to reduce compression and alleviate symptoms.

If you would like a full assessment with one of our osteopaths please call the clinic on 020 7436 9007.


Boudier-Reve ret, M., Gilbert, K.K, Alle gue, Dr., Moussadyk, M., Brisme, E jr., Feipel, V., Dugailly, P.M., Sobczak, S. (2017) Effect of neurodynamic mobilization on fluid dispersion in median nerve at the level of the carpal tunnel. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice 31 (45-51) 

National Institute for Healthcare and Excellence (NICE) Guidelines. Available at: