MAGDALEN HEALTH ADVICE

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12/Feb/2019

This Valentine’s day choose to love your body!
“The greatest risk [of an early death] was in those classed inactive, and that was consistent in normal weight, overweight and obese people,”

Everyone needs to exercise and MOVE regardless of whether they are trying to maintain healthy weight or not.

We have seen many clients who’s natural metabolism and diet keep their weight within a healthy range but on the exercise front they do very little. So many clients have computer bound desk jobs and we see the effects of inactivity walking through our practice doors every day. Possibly two of the most common things that we Osteopaths treat are:

1) Injury and or pain from the wrong type of movements

2) injury and or pain from lack of movement.

Lack of movement is a huge issue for most desk workers. There are roughly 360 joints in the human body. Where there is a joint there was intended to be movement. There are muscles and ligaments that surround the joint which enable and control the movement.

Do the wrong type of movements and you can damage and inflame the joint, ligaments and or muscles. Do limited or no movement at that joint and it will become stiff and surrounding ligaments and muscles can become stiff and weak making the area sore and stiff and primed for an injury. Sitting all day in an office chair or driving for hours on end both lead to stiff joints, sore, stiff and tight muscles that give neck pain, back pain and headaches. It becomes really easy for people who have been sedentary for long periods to do injury themselves doing seemingly simple movements when they get up away from the office chair/out of the car.

If you are in a sedentary job you need to look for ways to get more movement into your joints over the course of the day and ways to keep your muscles flexible and strong.

Here are some simple tips to get you moving more in your day:

1) 20 minute walk before, after or during a break at work.
2) Leave the building at least once during the day.
3) Use stairs where possible.
4) Frequents breaks from the desk/car where you can get up and move around.
5) Frequent stretches (even stretches at your desk/sat in traffic can help!)
6) Make sure your work station/car seat is set up as best as it can be
7) Warm up/cool down movements before or after sport, run, work-out session.
8) Less screen time at home (don’t let the box sets suck you in!)
9) Active weekends – These can be FUN!

Show your body some love by moving more!

by Jenny Doe, registered Osteopath
Let us help you to keep moving and loving life, book online with us today!

11/Feb/2019

by Kieron Kerr, Registered Osteopath

One of the first questions I ask patients when I begin to assess an injury or discuss their exercise programme is whether they warm up or cool down or both.

The stock answer is “ooh a little bit of stretching here and there!” Which at least is something! But if we began to understand the significance of both warming up and cooling down we can go along way to reducing the likelihood of injury.

The founder of osteopathy Andrew Taylor Still had several tenets of Osteopathy which he has become famous for and are oft quoted. Perhaps the most salient in this topic is ‘the rule of the artery is supreme’. Simply meaning if there are no obstructions to the artery reaching its designated part of the body then there is less chance of dysfunction. This is highly appropriate in muscle function as without the nutrients and fluid that blood brings to a muscle it can become laboured and prone to tearing.

The warm up before activity whether it is running, gardening or playing golf is crucial. Always try to mimic the motions and movement patterns that you will be performing but at a much lesser pace. Think about the muscles you will be using and the postures you will be adopting and ensure that blood flow is getting to this area by gently mobilising each area.

If you spend a good ten minutes warming up then you will be in good form to go about your activity. The benefits and importance of warming up can be illustrated by the Great Britain rowing four in the Olympic final who warmed up by rowing 10,000 metres the morning of the final. This is 5 times the length of the actual race!

Once your activity has finished, it is important to allow muscles that have been active to gently glide into rest by slowing down your movements and gently mobilise each joint or muscle by gently stretching it out. This will help to prevent stiffening of muscles and joints as it allows the body to adjust to the change in velocity of movement.

Do you need help with an old injury which is affecting your activities?

Hit the Book Now Button above and Kieron will fix you up!


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28/Jun/2018

Ankle sprains are one of the most common sporting injuries.

Sprains are tearing of ligaments, ranging from small tears to full ruptures. Ligaments help in stabilising a joint by connecting bones together. Ankle sprains can take between 2 – 6 weeks to resolve, however severe sprains can take as long as 12 weeks.
Ankle sprains change in their presentation depending on their severity.

You might find that it can be:

Tender to touch,

Hard to weight bear or walk on,

Feel unstable,

Have a loss of balance.

Have swelling or bruising to the area.

We advise use of the RICE protocol for the first 24-48hrs and if required, seek medical assistance to determine the extent of the damage.

This involves:

R est

I ce. 20 minutes on and at least 10 minutes off before reapplying. Don’t apply ice straight to the skin – this can cause further problems to your skin!

C ompression. A compression bandage can help minimise the swelling and bleeding to the joint and surrounding tissue.

E levation – keep the foot and leg elevated to help decrease swelling and minimise pain and discomfort.

Risk factors to ankle sprains range include poor balance and increased joint mobility. However…the greatest risk factor is previous ankle injuries. This is where proper rehabilitation is so important, to help prevent any further injuries.

A structured rehabilitation program should include flexibility, stretching, balance, strength and sport specific exercises. When discussing rehab for ankles, osteopaths concentrate on two different aspects; strength and proprioception.

Strength comprises of working on muscles in the foot, ankle, calf, knee, hip and pelvis. This will allow greater control of the ankle and allow a more powerful muscular stability and contraction. Exercises may be prescribed for you by your osteopath. These may include calf raises or working with a theraband for some resistance training for the muscles and joints.

Proprioception involves knowing where your body is in space, without having to look at it. eg, is your arm by your side or above your head? It allows your body to understand its position. This means if you stand on uneven ground, your body’s innate awareness – through its proprioception mechanism – will be able adjust your footing and positioning so you don’t fall over. This is imperative to your balance and coordination!

Exercises such as balancing on one leg, or writing the alphabet with your big toe, are excellent ways to improve your proprioception.

Osteopathy also assists with treatment. We can treat swelling of the foot, ankle and calf, which may be present, release of any tight muscles and encourage return of ‘normal’ joint range of motion. Our guidance on rehabilitation and treatment will allow you to return to sport, (or normal activities!) in the quickest and safest way, as well as reduce the risk of any reoccurring injuries.

BOOK NOW ONLINE with Jenny for expert ankle care


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26/Jun/2018

Plantar fasciitis involves pain and inflammation of the band of tissue running across the sole of the foot, the plantar fascia.
A patient came into clinic 8 weeks ago with severe plantar fasciitis, he was unable to put any pressure on his left foot, and as a result had not been to work for a week. The pain was worse the first thing in the morning and after sitting for prolonged periods of time. He described the pain as 9/10.
He was treated using acupuncture and electro-acupuncture and after 2 treatments he noticed that he was walking better, his pain was 4/10, which enabled him to go back to work.
After 4 treatments his pain had reduced to 2/10 and now 8 weeks on he has reported he is totally pain free.

If you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis or heel pain why not give acupuncture a go, it could work wonders!!

Book Online now with Esmee


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07/Jun/2018

Q: Can you give me some exercises to strengthen my back?

A: The back is already a strong structure. Although you are experiencing pain in the low back it does not mean that it is weak or liable to further injury. Most back pain stems from an overstrain where the supporting mechanisms such as the upper back and the hips are not functioning correctly and therefore placing more strain on the low back. If we focus on working on our areas of prime movement like the mid spine, hips and feet our stabilizing areas such as the low back can focus on providing the support for the upper and lower torso.

Q: I have terrible hayfever at the moment, any advice?

A: Having hayfever myself, I know how debilitating it can be. I offer the same advice that is online such as changing clothes after being outside, wearing sunglasses, Vaseline on the nostrils to prevent the pollen entering the nasal passages. Also I tend to have 2 cold showers a day and reduce the intake of sugar. With hayfever the body is heating up and like a bee sting inflammation builds up within the tissues, so we need to bring down the body’s temperature and reduce the possibility of inflammation which sugar can also do. The two cold showers are harsh to begin with! But within a few days you will begin to see the benefits.

Q: I have bought some new trainers as I have been told I over pronate, I am still having problems when running, what could it be?

A: Most people over pronate. What that means is, when the heel strikes the floor, the foot will flatten to provide a stable base to continue walking or running. What happens then is that the foot should supinate or roll out so that can prepare the body for the next stage of movement. The issue is not whether you over pronate but whether you can sufficiently supinate afterwards. If that is a problem and you are stuck in pronation, exercises and treatment can help to get you to a more balanced level.

Any more questions, just email us

info@exeterosteopaths.co.uk


07/Jun/2018

Cupping is a technique often used by Acupuncturists.
As the name suggests, Cupping uses a negative pressure, instead of pushing the suction creates a pull, which can help remove toxins from the body and stimulate the flow of fresh blood, lymph, and Qi to the affected area and throughout the body.

The suction created during a cupping session softens tight muscles, tones attachments, loosens adhesions and lifts connective tissue. This same suction also brings hydration and blood flow to body tissues and drains excess fluids and toxins by opening lymphatic pathways.

Cupping is very versatile and can be modified to achieve a variety of techniques ranging from subtle lymphatic drainage to deep tissue release.

Book in now with Esmee to discover the benefits for yourself. Esmee now offers a free consultation to discuss you particular problems.


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12/Feb/2018

Mid winter blues?

At roughly this time of year, a fair percentage of us have joined a gym with the view of `new year, new me ! `but then have not followed through and see the bank account looking a little forlorn. That dreaded English grey winter has a lot to answer for!

But don’t be too hard on yourself, it is thought that up to 22% of people who signed up to a gym in January have thrown in the towel by the beginning of February. So you are not alone. However, you are still keen to get fit, so what can you do?

Set yourself small achievable targets to begin with, eg walking to work for 2 days a week (if possible) or getting up earlier on a weekend and going for a hike.
Do a ten minute every other day, home work out routine. This could involve, squats or press ups or skipping. I would advise to consult us first before doing this as some exercises that you might find online, might not be suitable for you.
Get together with a partner or friend and find a new activity or sport that you have always wanted to try. If you start now and stick with it, you will be in the groove by the time Summer arrives.
Do exercise that you enjoy rather than exercise that you think you should do. This will help greatly with fitness and can lead to other avenues opening up.
Mix and match. Keep one day aside for a new activity to keep you fresh.

And finally, don’t give in to the sofa! When the summer comes round and you are heading to the beach, you will be glad you stuck to it.

If you have a niggling pain or injury which is holding you back we might just be able to get you back on track.

Why not call us on 01392 424141 or BOOK ONLINE


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05/Feb/2018

More than one million people in Britain may be suffering from constant, crippling headaches because they are taking too many painkillers, experts say. The pills people take to relieve headaches and migraines may be making things much worse, according to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in guidance to the health service for England and Wales.

As many as one in 50 people suffer continual headaches because of “medication overuse”, NICE reports. The problem begins with taking the odd painkiller for tension headaches or migraines, which usually works. But some people take the pills more and more often, until they are on tablets for more than half the days in a month. NICE says that if this goes on for more than three months the medication ends up causing the problem it is intended to cure.

So what alternatives are there to continually popping pills?

Tension-type and neck related headaches are the most common form of headache. If you suffer from tension-type headache, then regular gentle exercise will almost certainly help – such as yoga, Pilates, swimming, walking. Some people find it hard to relax and probably don’t realise how tense they are. If someone suffers from headaches it may also be neck related due to stiffness or restrictions of the neck (cervicogenic headaches). Osteopaths look to find the cause of tensions or stiffness and seek to relieve it by helping the body achieve more mobility and flexibility.

Other lifestyle factors such as poor posture at a desk or tiredness can lead to tension-type or neck related headaches. Osteopaths look to relieve this tension and give advice on posture and exercises to do to help prevent the tension or stiffness from building up. For example we would recommend taking regular breaks from sitting at a computer desk for long periods of time or prolonged driving. Any persistent or sudden severe headache should always be checked by a GP first.

Call us for an appointment on 01392 428141 or BOOK ONLINE


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05/Feb/2018

With the promise of warmer weather and spring fast approaching, many of us have taken up pounding the pavements in a quest to shake the winter cobwebs or get fitter and shape up in time for the summer months.

Some people may be experienced runners, some fair weather runners and others first timers. Regardless of which category you fall into, the advice is still the same. Whilst running can provide many health benefits and can be hugely rewarding, there are a number of precautions to take to avoid injury.

1 Don’t run cold. As tempting as it may be to head straight out the door all pumped up and ready to go full speed ahead into your run, this can quite easily lead to muscle, tendon or joint strains & sprains. Start with a brisk walk for several minutes to bring your body temperature up to promote blood flow to the muscles.

2 Perform a dynamic warm up. Research suggests that static stretching may not be beneficial in preventing injury and may even be counterproductive, however a dynamic warm up is far more effective. These are controlled movements to improve range of motion, increase the heart rate, body temperature and blood flow. Examples of these can involve side stepping/weave stepping for 20 meters, skipping 20 meters, running with high knees, running with heels to bottom or running backwards until you feel sufficiently loosened off, ready to get going.

3 Start slowly. After a light jog, start to lengthen your stride but without over-extending, gradually accelerating for about 100 meters, then decelerate and repeat the process a few times.

4 Invest in a new pair of trainers or running shoes. Running with worn out footwear can put greater strain through your feet which can have a knock on effect to your knees, hips and back as well as causing muscular imbalances. It is generally recommended you replace your shoes every 300-500 miles and make sure they’re a good fit.

5 Listen to your body. If you feel like you’re over doing it and are in pain then slow down or walk. If the pain doesn’t subside within a few minutes then it may be best not to continue running. Running through pain is quite likely to lead to injury. Know your limits by testing your optimum threshold. The key is not to do too much, too soon or too fast so as not to cause self-inflicted injuries. Upping your run by 10% each time is a good way to test your limits and progress in a way your body can handle.

Don’t forget to also keep well hydrated but most importantly, enjoy yourself!

Call us for an appointment on 01392 428141 to help you reach your goals or BOOK ONLINE


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05/Feb/2018

Sprains and strains to muscles and joints happen to all of us and for most they are a painful, but temporary reminder to be a little more careful. Prompt action can help your body to heal faster and may prevent further injury or prolonged pain.

Strained or ‘pulled’ muscles often happen when we over exert untrained muscles, train without properly warming up or try to go beyond a joint’s natural flexibility. Sometimes we feel the pain straight away, however some injuries might not cause pain until later on.

What can you do for your injury?

Remember RICE (Relative rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation), using these can help to relieve the pain and start the healing process.

Relative rest: The first thing to do if you feel pain is to reduce the offending activity – pain is usually your body’s way of telling you that there is something wrong that needs your attention. It can be normal to feel a little sore after exercises for a day or two, but if it is more than this, pushing through the pain is rarely beneficial.

However, movement stimulates the healing process so stay as mobile as you comfortably can. Try to keep the joint moving through a comfortable range of motion, without forcing it to the point of pain. This will help to encourage blood flow and keep your joint flexible whilst it heals. This is particularly relevant for back pain as gentle exercise, such as walking, can help. You should slowly build your activity levels up as soon as your symptoms begin to resolve and as soon as you are able.

Ice: Cooling the area using an ice pack can help to reduce pain and speed recovery. Wrap a thin tea towel around the area so as to avoid direct skin contact and then apply the pack to the injured area for 10 – 15 minutes. You should repeat this several times per day for the first 3 days. This will help to control inflammation, making it easier for your body to get blood and nutrients to the area and resolve the injured tissues.

Compression: Gently applying a compression bandage may help to temporarily support the injured joint and reduce swelling, though remove this immediately if there are signs that this is reducing the circulation to the area (numbness, pins and needles, the skin turning white or blue etc).

Elevation: If the injury is in the lower limb (knee or ankle), elevating the area a little can make it easier for your body to drain fluids that might accumulate around the area, causing swelling. For example, if you’ve hurt your knee, sitting down with the knee raised on a low foot stool may ease your pain.

Visit an Osteopath: We can assess your injury, give you a diagnosis, advise you on the correct treatment, and can provide manual therapy and exercise advice which can help you to recover faster.
Call us to book your appointment on 01392 428141

Seek medical attention. If you have pain that can’t be controlled with over the counter painkillers, can’t put weight on the injured limb, experience paralysis or loss of sensation or the swelling is very bad seek help from your local A&E department, urgent care centre or telephone 111 for advice.


We aim to provide immediate relief from unnecessary aches and pains through a variety of treatments; enabling you to live a more active, healthy and pain-free life.

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