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 www.kaneandross.co.uk

ergonomics

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.

 

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

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

References:

  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 http://www.kaneandross.co.uk

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.

References

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: https://pathways.nice.org.uk/pathways/neuropathic-pain#content=view-node%3Anodes-principles-of-care

 

 

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.

For more on desk posture, you could read our recent blog on this. Also please do consider booking an appointment at Kane & Ross Clinics so we can discuss how we can help you.

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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.