We know exercise is good for us and as time goes on we have a greater understanding of how our body responds and benefits from regular exercise. Many research studies have now shown that exercise has a very beneficial effect on inflammation. Exercise stimulates anti-inflammatory cytokines to be released from muscle tissue. These and other hormones help to reduce levels of inflammation within our bodies. As inflammation is a major cause of ill health, whether it be in the joints or in tissues such as our arteries, any reduction is fantastic news.
In short, if you do exercise keep going. If you don’t exercise start now! Find something you enjoy, take on a challenge, join a club. Anything to get your muscles working regularly.
For more info search “exercise and inflammation” on www.scholar.google.com
Headaches and Osteopathy
Recently on the BBC there has a been a programme (Doctor in the house) that showed how a lady with long standing and very painful headaches was greatly helped by a course of hands on manual therapy.
This certainly can be the case for the right type of headache. In this example the lady had upper neck dysfunction thought to relate back to a car accident many years before. The changes in how her neck had worked and supported it’s self had led to irritation of nerves that come out from the top of the neck and travel over the head. When these nerves (Greater Occipital nerves) are affected in this way it can lead to a neuralgia, i.e. nerve pain. Commonly this pain will be one sided and often end up above or around the eye. Osteopathic treatment can work very well in addressing the mechanical aspects of the neck dysfunction and stop the irritation of the nerve at its source.
As in the above example previous trauma can play its part (such as car accidents or bad falls etc) or they can result from a build up of tension in the upper neck relating to posture or stress.
There are many different causes to headache and some are certainly more serious and need medical assessment. If you had other symptoms such as changes to your vision (particularly double vision), dizziness, nausea / vomiting, problems with speech or if the pain is very severe for no apparent reason then you should seek medical advice first. Thankfully only a very small proportion of headaches relate to serious underlying causes.
It’s that time of year, the weather and day light hours are both improving and the grass starts growing. Our activity levels often start to increase now, especially for the gardeners among us. Watch out! Several months of relative hibernation can leave us out of shape and rather than getting stuck into the garden we get stuck IN the garden. The first sunny days encourage us to do more but don’t over do things to start with.
Warming up before you start. Don’t dive into heavy tasks straight away, start gently, spend some time stretching your legs, back, shoulders and neck. Its important we prepare the body before physical activity.
Repeat some of the stretches during the day to help limit a build up of muscle tightness and definitely spend some time at the end of the day stretching to ease the muscles that you have been using.
Divide the tasks up. Don’t spend hours doing one job, repeatedly using the same muscle groups in the same way. Chop and change so your body gets some variation.
It is normal to have some aches and pains after more strenuous physical work and this should ease over a day or two. If pain is more persistent then it is advisable to get advice. With the right treatment and management plan in place you can get back to your normal activities and get rid of the pain.
November 2016 was a busy month for CPD, we attended the Institute of Osteopathy (www.osteopathy.org) conference. The main themes were Headaches and the role of Osteopathy in their management. The new NICE guidelines on Low back pain management and broader discussions on ‘Reaching out’ with Osteopathy to help more people in the community.
The time spent at the iO conference counts toward our annual CPD (Continuing Professional Development) commitment. At present all Osteopaths have to complete 30 hrs of CPD a year. This is a great opportunity to explore interesting areas and deepen our knowledge base. All of which should reflect in the care that we can provide to our patients.
Western Counties Society of Osteopaths autumn conference. Both Amy and myself attended the conference last weekend near Exeter. There was great presentation given by Caroline Stone (Osteopath) on her specialist area of Visceral Osteopathy. Caroline emphasised the relationships between the visceral systems (ie our organs, particularly or digestive system organs in this lecture) and the musculoskeletal system. There was great advice given on how to help our patients manage conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and the hands-on work that we can do to assist.
Welcome to the Clevedon Osteopathic Practice blog. We wanted to be able to pass on information to our patients not only about what is happening within the practice but also information that can help them improve their health. As always, we are only a phone call or an email away should you want more details on anything that you read here.