“To stretch or not to stretch?” That is the question…or is it?

It is common practice to stretch before exercise but recent research has cast doubts on the effectiveness of stretching. Specifically, the usefulness of stretching in reducing the risk of injury, improving performance and preventing sore muscles.

However, there’s no evidence to suggest that stretching does you any harm either or makes it more likely that you will injure yourself.

What’s the point of stretching? Continue reading

Natural remedies to ease joint pain and reduce inflammation

Avoiding taking NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) because of their potential side effects? Try these natural alternatives to help your system to combat inflammation.

The founder of osteopathy, Andrew Taylor Still, described the body as having its “own medicine chest”. Each person has their own built-in healing mechanisms, which osteopaths believe can be stimulated and supported by removing restrictive barriers. Once the barriers are removed, the body is usually able to resolve all but the most serious conditions.

Some people also find it helpful to take herbal remedies to support their body’s innate healing qualities. Herbal remedies can be preferable to NSAIDs for some people Continue reading

“Why has my Doctor prescribed antidepressants for my pain? Do they think I’m depressed?”

Tricyclic Antidepressants in the treatment of Neuropathic Pain

Patient’s are often confused when Doctors prescribe antidepressants to relieve their pain. I have had conversations with patients who are concerned they have been “fobbed off”, or feel their GP is implying their pain is not “real”.

Pain coming from damaged nerves is referred to as Neuropathic pain. This type of pain is usually described as “shooting”, “burning” or “stabbing” pain. The most common types of neuropathic pain are diabetic neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia or post-stroke pain. The pain generated by these conditions is different from the pain signals received from damaged tissue (e.g. a fall, a cut or an arthritic joint) Continue reading

Pain relief for back pain

How painkillers work and why not all painkillers are the same!

I see a lot of patients who are reluctant to take pain medication, often because they don’t want to “mask the pain” in case they do something that makes their back pain worse.

There are different types of pain killers which work in different ways Continue reading

“Plantar fashiateetus…fasheetus…fa-shite-us…??” and the 5 Most Common Running Injuries

1. Iliotibial Band Syndrome

This is the most common source of pain for runners. The iliotibial band is thick connective tissue (fascia) which runs up the outside of your thigh from your knee to your outer hip. Iliotibial band syndrome will usually start as a niggle and then develop into an irritation that makes you want to give up running forever! It will cause pain on the outside of the hip and knee and will make you go upstairs backwards to try and avoid putting tension through it. It’s important to find out why the iliotibial band is being overloaded in the first place in order to banish it.

The iliotibial band itself is inelastic Continue reading

Top 10 Running Myths Busted

  1. Running will destroy your knees

“I don’t run because I want to bend over when I’m eighty”

We will all get wear and tear, whatever we do in life. This will vary based on lifestyle and individual biomechanics however running is not something this will ruin your knees. Arguably, it will alert you to more serious problems with your biomechanics that could be problematic even if you chose not to run at all. If you are noticing pain in your knees when running, it needs to be investigated by a professional. Continue reading

Top 10 desk posture tips

A.K.A. DESK-BASED JOB SurvivAL TACTICS

If you spend all day sitting at a desk, it’s really important to ensure that your desk is set up in a way that will prevent unnecessary postural strain leading to neck or back pain. It’s a lot easier to adapt your work environment to fit you than it is to try and constantly sit in the “correct” posture (we all naturally take the path of least resistance and energy use when it comes to posture!)

You don’t need to spend thousands of pounds buying expensive equipment to change your workstation, here are some handy (mostly FREE) tips to adapt your workstation to suit you:

How to adapt your workstation to you

How to adapt your workstation to you

Continue reading

Pregnancy & back pain relief

pregnantIt is estimated that between 47% and 82% of women experience back pain at some point during their pregnancy. The sacroiliac region (the joints at the back of the pelvis) is the site of pain in almost two thirds of cases.

During pregnancy your body has to adapt to some major changes in order to accommodate the growing baby. More often than not in patients that I see, it is difficulty in adapting to these biomechanical changes (how your body moves) that leads to back pain.

Continue reading