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

 

 

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How Do Osteopaths Treat Colic? An article by Simone Ross published by MyBaba

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MyBaba is a website blog that parents often mention to us at Kane and Ross. It carries articles from experts in their field and when Simone was asked to contribute she decided to write about Infantile Colic and Osteopathy. Colic is by far one of the most common and distressing problems for a new mother to have to manage and Simone feels that it’s important for parents to know more about the causes and treatment options available.

You can read her article here:

http://www.mybaba.com/how-do-osteopaths-treat-colic

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.

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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 http://www.kaneandross.co.uk

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.