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

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Children and Headaches

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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 Children will often become withdrawn when they are suffering and they may display reluctance to interact or socialise.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

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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/

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

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

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.

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)