Firstly, face the direction in which you want to carry the weight. Always lift using a relaxed, straight back and make sure your legs are at least your hips’ width apart with the knees bent. Keep your head and shoulders directly above your waist and keep the weight you are carrying as close to you as possible – avoid twisting. Avoid bending from the waist, which increases the stress on your lower back. Never keep the knees straight, as this will lead to over-stretching and damage to your back and never lift while twisting from the waist. Try and lift with a ‘broad base’ i.e. your feet about shoulder width apart or more, this will make you more stable.
Don’t lift with your arms straight out, keep the elbows bent and to your side to minimise the stress on your back. Make sure you balance or secure the weight before you start moving. Putting the weight down can often cause just as many injuries as lifting it up. If possible, put the weight on something waist height rather than the floor. If you do have to put it on the floor, try and keep you shoulders hips and knees pointing in the same direction, have a ‘wide base’ and bend your knees rather than your back.
If you need any help or advice then please call Linda and the team at Bearsden Osteopaths on 0141 942 0629. You can also book an appoinment online at www.bearsdenosteopaths.co.uk/contact-us
Four out of five people suffer from lower back pain. And while cars might not be the primary cause, they certainly aggravate the problem. But rather than blaming car makers for making uncomfortable seats, experts think many drivers should look in the mirror. Osteopaths and chiropractors agree that many of us are in too much of a hurry to get going rather than taking the time to set the driving position up properly. However, that doesn’t entirely absolve car companies of blame. Although significantly better than even a decade ago, cars it seems still aren’t as kind to our backs as they could be.
Rishi Loatey from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) said: “The trouble is cars are designed for the average person. But we are all different shapes and sizes.” Robin Lansman, president of the Institute of Osteopathy, agrees with Loatey that drivers could do more to make themselves comfortable. He says: “People just want to jump into their car and go. Then when they have a problem they come to see us. They don’t act pre-emptively so really they are not getting value from the thing they’ve spent their money on.” Of course, setting your car up to be comfortable is a very personal thing. Both experts believe people should consider the seating position more when they buy a new car. Lansman said: “They choose cars on what they look like, the fuel consumption, safety, just about anything apart from how suitable they are for their back.” However, car makers can only do so much. The major problem is that the human body isn’t designed to spend long periods of time sitting down. Doing just that is exactly what driving entails and it’s combined with using our feet which means we can’t support or stabilise our lower body, as we might when sitting in a chair.
There are two things we can do. The major cause of back trouble is when our hips are higher than our knees. This puts pressure on the discs in the lower back. Loatey says: “Cars with higher seating positions such as the Vauxhall Zafira or BMW X5 are very good for your back.” We also need to take a break more frequently. Lansman added: “The longer you sit, the more tired you become and the harder your back has to work to keep you upright. You might not feel any pain, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you.”
To make an appointment call Linda and the team at Bearsden Osteopaths on 0141 942 0629. You can also book an appoinment online at www.bearsdenosteopaths.co.uk/contact-us
There are many different types of massage. Different techniques are applied depending on what the body needs. I’m going to use the term ‘tissues’ a lot here because in massage we are working on the muscles, fascia, ligaments and tendons and each of these types of tissue will respond positively to different types or pressure or stretch and will respond differently depending on how new the injury is. Massage works by stimulating the nervous system, which causes a reflex relaxation reaction of the tissues.
Slow ‘squeezing’ massage along the length of the muscle can aid lymphatic drainage, stimulating the circulatory system to remove waste products for the body to excrete. This is especially useful following an acute injury where the area is still inflamed, aiding healing.
‘Inhibition’ or ‘Trigger Point Therapy’ finds the real tender points of the muscle where there has perhaps been local micro trauma, over-use ‘knots’ or ‘fibrotic changes’ in the tissues that respond and ‘unwind’ with a reasonable amount of pressure applied until the tenderness subsides and the knot softens, breaking down adhesions.
Deep massage can help to ease any chronic tightness that has built up over many years of training or sitting, or an old injury that’s not resolved. Massage can reduce the stiffness of the tissues and lead to an increased range of movement and therefore help prevent further injury, and generally make you feel better.
Imagine a muscle and its surrounding and intrinsic connecting tissue, it needs to be supple and mobile and pliable. It needs this for the free movement of fluid in and out for it to be healthy. Nutrition in, toxins out. If you have strained a muscle by pulling it while running, or allowed a muscle to become chronically tight in your back because of a hundred deadlines completed at your computer, the muscles and surrounding fascia become stiff/frayed/restricted = unhealthy/congested/achey. Massage will help. It can be uncomfortable and a little painful, but this is commonly reported as a ‘good pain’. Post massage soreness is normal; the area can feel bruised but for no more than a couple of days. With the improved range of movement you’ll perform better because you’ll feel restored.
We often find areas of restriction and tenderness you didn’t even know about. I regularly hear from patients ‘I didn’t even know I had a muscle there!’ If you are restricted in one area, the body will find this movement elsewhere to compensate. This then leads to a re-organisation of body position and too much movement in an area that is not really supposed to move that much, leading to injury. Locally the stiff area lacks flexibility to perform normal tasks, so it can strain really easily with the most trivial of movements. Sound familiar?
Massage also helps to prepare an area for manipulation, making it easier for the joint to cavitate or ‘pop’. The effects of manipulation last longer having had massage to the area beforehand.
• Decrease muscle soreness and stiffness
• Increase range of motion
• Promote relaxation
• Aids recovery following injury
• Prevents injury if performed regularly
Take some time to look after your tissues. To make an appointment call us on 0141 942 0629.
See you soon, Linda and The Team.
Many of you may not have come across an osteopath or know what an osteopath is or does. That’s not so surprising. We aren’t available on the NHS in Scotland yet and there are only 161 of us registered here.
Simply, we treat any muscle or joint pain through manual therapy. Manual therapy includes treatments such as deep massage, manipulations, mobilisations (getting tissues/joints/muscles moving) and sometimes acupuncture. Each patient is treated based on their individual needs and how well they respond to a particular treatment. For example, if two patients each had the same knee injury, one may respond to acupuncture whereas the other may benefit more from deep massage.
I often find through speaking to patients, that their aches and pains have been there for years. They have seen their GP who prescribes pain killers and refers them to physio, which can take months. Sometimes patients’ are told the NHS have exhausted all avenues some are told nothing more can be done.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not offering a miracle cure but generally our patients see improvement within 4-6 sessions. Sometimes less. At Bearsden Osteopaths we offer a 40-minute treatment for £40.00. This gives us enough time to discuss your complaint, assess you thoroughly and treat the area. We explain what we are doing and why and make sure you understand why you are in pain. We always prescribe exercises too. Not to have you running marathons (unless that’s your thing of course – we can help there too!), but gentle stretches to help the complaint area. We have a whole library of exercises to get you moving better, get you more balanced and get you stronger. We treat the whole body; often the strained area is the ‘victim’ and not the ’cause’ of the pain so we have to look further afield to find the culprit(s)!
Patients can find that after the issue is improved, niggles can return due to our hectic work life balance. Many patients come back for an ‘MOT’ when they feel the need, but this is entirely the patients’ decision.
We’re a friendly bunch, all doing our best to keep people moving, working and functioning. We will always be open and honest with you and help you understand our treatments and recommendations.
We are extremely lucky to have our NHS and perhaps because we’re so used to not having to pay upfront for our health services the thought of paying someone puts some off. At Bearsden Osteopaths you’ll pay per session rather than having to sign up to blocks of treatment. If you have been put on a waiting list to see someone in weeks or months’ time or if you’ve been told there’s nothing more that can be done, we are an alternative. Try us, you might just get your mobility back? End up pain free? Enjoy the things you did before the pain stopped you?
If you have any questions at all regarding your aches and pains then please do contact us, we’d love to hear from you!