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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Sticky eyed baby.

Babies are often born with sticky eyes, either due to a blocked tear duct or compression around this area during delivery.

Directly after the birth you may notice the eyes and the area around the bridge of the nose looking puffy.

What can you do?

sleeping-baby

  • Keep your baby’s eyes clean to avoid infection.
  • Gently cleanse your baby’s eyes with cooled boiled water or breast milk wiping from inner to outer eye using clean cotton wool for each eye.
  • Do not try to prise your baby’s eyelids open if they are stuck together.
  • Take your baby to see a GP if light seems to hurt their eyes, the eye is inflamed, angry or red or if the structure of the eye or eyelid doesn’t seem right.

What can an osteopath do?

  • Osteopathic treatment can be helpful for blocked tear ducts.
  • The osteopath can gently manipulate the upper and mid part of the face to enable the tear ducts to unblock.
  • Massage the tear duct and teach you how to do the same at home.

More information can be found about how we can help you at http://www.kaneandross.co.uk

“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: https://kaneandross.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/flat-head-syndrome/

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: http://www.kaneandross.co.uk

 

 

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.

News Coverage: Back to Sleep Campaign

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http://www.itv.com/news/2017-03-13/more-than-half-of-parents-unsure-of-the-safest-way-to-sleep-their-baby-survey-finds/

The ‘Back to Sleep’ campaign was launched in 1991 to reduce the number of infant deaths from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and according to the Lullaby Trust, babies who are slept on their back for every sleep are six times less likely to die from SIDS than those who are slept on their front or side.

Despite this, a recent survey revealed that parents are still unsure of the safest way to put their baby to sleep.

38% of mothers are not sure whether a baby can sleep on their front and 55% are unsure if their baby can sleep on their side.

“The survey results have shown us we need to go back to basics. Following the ABC’s as part of a baby’s routine for every sleep day and night is a simple way to help protect them from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome”

http://www.abc.net.au/parenting/articles/babies_sleep.htm

Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play

As osteopaths we are aware that many parents are concerned about back sleeping and positional plagiocephaly, also known as ‘Flat head syndrome’. Although an increase in the incidence of positional plagiocephaly has been reported over the last 20 years (Mawji et al., 2013) it is important that parents consistently place infants on their backs to sleep to decrease the risk of SIDS.

The following simple strategies can help to prevent cranial asymmetry:

  • Supervised tummy time several times a day while awake to help to lengthen and strengthen the neck.
  • Stimulate or attract your baby’s attention to the side your baby avoids.
  • Change your baby’s sleeping position on alternate days. Babies prefer to look out into the room, changing orientation allows your baby to have the same view without lying on the same side.
  • When your baby is asleep, turn your baby’s head away from its preferable side.
If you have any concerns don’t hesitate to contact the practice to make an appointment: http://www.kaneandross.co.uk

References 

Mawji, A., Robinson, V., Hatfield, J., McNeil, D.A., Save, R. (2013) The Incidence of Positional Plagiocephaly: A Cohort Study. Paediatrics 132(2)

The Canadian Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths., Canadian Institute of Child Health., Canadian Paediatric Society. (2010) Positional plagiocephaly and sleep positioning: An update to the joint statement on sudden infant death syndrome. Paediatric Child Health (6)

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.

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction

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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: http://www.kaneandross.co.uk

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: http://doctoranddaughter.co.uk/spd/

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.