Desk Posture: It’s Simple

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

Although these recommended slouched positions 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 www.kaneandross.co.uk

ergonomics

Reducing neck and back pain symptoms for office based workers

Posture related neck, headache and back pain are common symptoms that we see as osteopaths at Kane & Ross Clinics, particularly those patients who are sitting for many hours either at a PC, laptop or tablet.

Pain results from the muscles in the neck, shoulders and back getting over-tired as they’re not held in their most natural position. Waste products build up as the muscles are over stretched or shortened and an alteration to the blood flow in the muscle occurs leading to aches and pains.

These symptoms can be helped through osteopathic treatment, exercise and good ergonomic advice.

Even if the workplace provides the option for a work station assessment, it is essential that you sit in your chair in the most supportive way – otherwise neck and back pain symptoms are likely to persist.

Advice on how you can help prevent these posture related pain

– Sit in a supportive office chair with your knees bent at 90 degrees with both feet flat on the ground. Elbows should be bent at 90 degrees with the forearms supported by the desk height. Alter the chair height to accommodate these angles. If your feet do not then touch the floor then use a foot rest to support your lower limbs with the feet flat (avoid angled foot rests). Tilt the base of the chair forward so that your knees are below your hips.

– ensure you sit upright up against the back of the chair with a good lumbar support avoiding slumping the shoulders forward and tucking your chin in

– sit evenly on both buttocks do not cross your legs.

– ensure your computer screen is at eyebrow height, if you are using more than one screen use a plastic mat under your chair and that your main computer screen is directly in front of you. If you can use less screens, do.

– If you use a laptop, use an external keyboard and mouse and place your laptop screen at eye level on a screen stand.

– If you use a tablet users, take regular breaks every 30 minutes and avoid using when sitting in bed / sofa and stand on a table / desk.

– For all desk workers, we recommend taking regular breaks every 30 minutes.

– If you have headaches, neck pain or back pain, get a diagnosis , so that you can find out what the specific problem is and how to deal with it.

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Anyone For Tennis? Osteopathy and Common Tennis Injuries

With Wimbledon now in fulshoes-614177_1280l swing, tennis courts are the busiest they have been all year. Whether you play avidly all year round or dust off your racket only for the summer months, all tennis players have similarities and susceptibility to injury.

It is not just the direct strain that the body goes through when serving, spinning, smashing and sledgehammering the ball that causes musculoskeletal pathology. There are many factors that are often overlooked that may predispose injury and contribute to the manifestation of pain. Osteopathic management offers a full assessment of your biomechanics to find the underlying cause for pain that you are experiencing. Using a range of manual techniques such as soft tissue and articulation we treat acute injuries and acute and chronic pain. We also offer advice on self management and how to prevent recurrent injury.

In tennis and other racket sports our joints and the soft tissues surrounding them are particularly prone to overuse injuries due to the repetitive motions required when playing. Tennis players are also prone to traumatic injury due to the fast pace of a game, changing direction quickly and stopping and starting.

As osteopaths we commonly see traumatic injuries to the lower limb and repetitive strain injuries to the upper limb associated with racket sports. In the lower limb ankle strains and sprains and knee injuries are among the most prevalent. In the upper limb overuse injuries are seen in the wrist, elbow and in the shoulder. The most notorious repetitive strain injury is ‘tennis elbow’ or Lateral epicondylitis as it is more formally known, with the overall incidence of this injury in tennis players reported to be between 35 – 51%. Other common injuries associated with tennis are carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff tendonitis, achilles tendonitis and back pain.

If anything is holding you back this season, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Find more information on how we can help you at www.kaneandross.co.uk.

What is “tennis elbow”?tennis-ball-984611_640

In the forearm there are many small muscles. Most of these attach to the bony prominences of the elbow (the epicondyles), these are at the end of the humerus also known as the funny bone!  These small muscles act to flex and extend the wrist as well as to stabilise it.  Lateral epicondylitis is the inflammation of the tendons of these small extensor muscles causing pain at their attachment point on the lateral epicondyle of the elbow.  Particularly the tendon of the extensor carpi radials brevis muscle. Pain is experienced due to both inflammation and periosteal irritation, where the surface of the bone is irritated.

Tennis Elbow can arise from the repetitive movement of the wrists causing weakening to the extensor muscles and subsequent damage and inflammation as described above. There is a high incidence of lateral epicondylitis in tennis players due to the repetitive movement and increased contraction of the extensor muscles when performing the backhand stroke.

“Life Ain’t Easy: Train Anyway”

stretching-814227_640

As an osteopath we can diagnose each patient’s problem, relieve acute pain and help with chronic problems.  We will teach you how to do specific exercises, focus your exercises to prevent pain and make you stronger. However… as I keep reminding my patients…you need to actually do your exercises.   Sometimes we all need a little encouragement…

I loved the following article written by an athlete Pete Hitzeman. It gave me motivation that I should be more focused and work a little harder….on my own exercise!  It is highly motivational and I hope it will give many of you the same sense of determination and uplift that I felt after reading it.

http://breakingmuscle.com/sports-psychology/life-aint-easy-train-anyway

Newborn Specialist training – Update from Simone Ross

I have really enjoyed the teaching sessions that I have started to run in Harley Street for newborn specialists.   Discussions involved the most common conditions that babies present with in the clinic.  The newborn specialists are familiar with these conditions and are in an ideal position to recognise symptoms early so preventing any long term complications.  Osteopathy can often help these conditions but an integrated approach with specialists or parents will give optimum treatment for the babies. It was great to discuss and share experiences together.  Thank you for all your positive feedback.  

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 http://www.kaneandross.co.uk

  • Do the below stretches hourly.Image

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

DO

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.

DON’T

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.

 

Avoiding Acute Parental Injuries: Bupa Guide

http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/health/article-4569320/Britons-injure-backs-incorrectly-carrying-children.html

New research has found that more than 80,000 Britons a year injure themselves incorrectly lifting or carrying youngsters. In response to this recent research BUPA has produced an illustrated guide showing parents how to lift young children safely to avoid pain. This can be downloaded via the following link: bupa.co.uk/parentalpains

As a family centred practice our osteopaths at Kane and Ross often see patients with back pain, knee pain and other joint pain caused by incorrectly lifting, carrying or changing babies, toddlers and young children. We also see many mothers experiencing back pain and neck pain from poor breast breastfeeding posture.

If you have any concerns or if you are experiencing musculoskeletal pain please don’t hesitate to contact the clinic on 020 7436 9007 or send an email to info@kaneandross.co.uk.

Osteopathic advice for mountain-goers: Injury prevention and damage limitation.

skiing

At this time of year as Osteopaths we see many people that have returned from their mountain adventures with ski or snow sport related injuries.

Regardless of whether you are skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing or simply enjoying the après-ski, a week in the mountains is physical both on and off-piste and your endurance is likely to be tested. Make the most out of your trip, ensure you have the right equipment and be physically prepared!

Most snow sports require strength, flexibility, balance, and muscle control. As most of us do not ski regularly, we are likely to experience muscle soreness after a couple of days on the slopes. Muscle soreness may cause some loss of muscle control, increasing the likelihood of injury. To support adaptability and enhance your technique, we advise that you start to strengthen your muscles prior to your trip.

If you are experiencing musculoskeletal pain before you go away, don’t ignore it! An existing problem is likely to predispose an injury. Osteopathic management offers a full assessment of your biomechanics to help prevent further pain, and advice will be given on how to best support the area of dysfunction.

Patients often come into the clinic with the following injuries after a skiing holiday:

  • Muscle strain due to overuse
  • Damage to the ligaments or cartilage of the knee due to twisting and changing direction
  • Rotator cuff muscle and shoulder injuries
  • Thumb, hand and wrist injuries
  • Whiplash

If you have returned from the mountains a little worse for wear, or if you have any concerns, please contact the clinic on 020 7436 9007 or email info@kaneandross.co.uk to discuss how we can help you.

Strengthening Exercises  

Squats and Lunges

When skiing, the quadriceps (the group of muscles at the front of your thighs) are constantly engaging as we bend our knees and lean our body weight forwards in our ski boots.

Squats

Stand against a wall, keep your back straight and bend your knees to a 90degree angle so that you are in a sitting position. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.

If you would rather perform standard squats to strengthen, ensure that your knees, hips and toes are in alignment, make sure that your back is not arched and keep your buttocks above knee level.

Lunges 

Lunges are also good to strengthen. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart and engage your abdominal muscles. To initiate your lunge, take a big step forwards. Both knees should be at a 90degree angle as you lunge down and keep your back knee off the ground.

Glut Bridges

When skiing downhill your upper body is normally held in flexion. In this position your glutei (buttock muscles) and hamstrings (at the back of your thigh) have to work hard to counterbalance.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and you feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Engage your glutei and abdominal muscles and hold the position for 10 seconds.

Heel Raises and Calf Stretching

Strengthening and increasing the flexibility of your gastrocnemius and soleus (the muscles in your calf) will be of benefit as these help to stabalize and keep you upright!

Heel Raises

Standing near a wall for balance, place your feet hip-width apart and make sure your ankles, knees and hips are in alignment. Press down into the balls of your feet to raise your body upwards.

Stretching

Stand facing a wall with your hands flat against it. Place the leg to be stretched back behind you, keeping your back knee straight, lunge forwards on your front leg until you feel a stretch in the back leg.

Alternatively, sit on the floor with the leg to be stretched extended forwards, bend the other leg and place your foot on the floor. Using a band, towel, or your hand if you can reach, pull the toes toward you. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds then repeat on the other side.