Some of the ways I can help you 😀

Personalised nutrition is certainly an ideal scenario, but not accessible to all. However there are some aspects of nutrition I can now support you with at Rivermead Osteopaths. One is to address the fatty acid balance in your body.

The intake of appropriate fatty acids supports our whole health. If the ratio of omega 6 to 3 is too high, this creates an inflammatory state in the body. An Omega BalanceTest accurately measures an individual’s fatty acid profile. Taking away any guess-work.

If you are interested in the importance of omega fatty acid balance. Take a look through this link.

If you would like more information please get in touch.

A quick reminder of the other ways I can help you!

  • Individualised osteopathic care. With treatment sessions that encompass evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. A selection of appointment lengths are available to best suit your needs.
  • Laser therapy. An additional treatment method that may be used alongside osteopathic treatment, or alone, to speed up and assist effective healing.
  • Pilates sessions. These can be taken as one-to-one appointments, either in your home or in the clinic. Some class places are available too. Pilates can form part of rehabilitation from injury, or be used for general care of your mobility and posture.

Get in touch to see if osteopathy, laser therapy or Pilates could help your problem. Or if you are interested in supporting the omega balance of your body.

Is your head on the right way?

I am committed to keeping you aware about important aspects of your wellbeing. In this newsletter I will shed a little light on an often overlooked aspect of posture and its impact on our overall health – head and neck positioning. The head and neck contains important sensory equipment and many crucial structures relating to our well-being. So it’s orientation has an impact on our ability to move efficiently, to engage and relate to the world around us.

Many of us spend a significant amount of time looking down at screens, hunching over desks, or engaging in activities that strain our necks. Over time, this can lead to a range of health issues, including muscle imbalances, headaches, and sometimes chronic pain.

Here are a few key points to consider:

1. Neutral head and neck alignment: Maintaining a neutral position for your head and neck is essential. Imagine a string attached to the crown of your head, gently pulling upward, aligning your head with your spine. This helps to distribute the weight of your head evenly and reduces strain on your neck and upper back.

2. Ergonomics matters: Whether you’re working at a desk or using your mobile device, it’s important to pay attention to ergonomics. Ensure that your screen is at eye level, your chair supports your lower back, and your arms are comfortably positioned. Small adjustments like these can make a big difference in reducing strain on your head and neck.

3. Regular breaks and stretching: Taking short breaks throughout the day to stretch your neck and shoulders can help alleviate tension and improve circulation. Simple exercises like neck rotations, shoulder shrugs, and gentle stretches can go a long way in maintaining flexibility and reducing discomfort.

4. Osteopathic care: If you’re experiencing persistent neck pain or issues related to head and neck positioning. Seeking professional help from an osteopath can be beneficial. Osteopathic treatment focuses on restoring balance and function to the body, including the neck and spine.

Remember, a proactive approach to maintaining proper head and neck positioning is crucial for your long-term health and wellbeing. By making small adjustments and seeking appropriate care when needed, you can enjoy a healthier, pain-free life.

If you have any questions or concerns about head and neck positioning or would like to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I am here to support you on your journey to optimal health. The online booking system can be accessed via the red button at the top of the page.

Be aware and be proactive. Wishing you great posture and wellness.

Upper back pain and advice to reduce the strain of coughs and colds

The upper back is a common area for pain and discomfort. The upper back, or thoracic spine, is by its very nature the less mobile part of our spines. It is surrounded by a rib cage and has a role as part of a protective structure around our vital organs.

Pain in this area can occur in anybody, but it is common in children and adolescents, and more so in females. Often in younger people the problems relate to the use of backpacks, and the weight of the backpack. It might be related to sports activities. The seating at school can be problematic. Issues can also arise in relation to emotional stress and anxiety.

All of the above can be relevant in adults too. Often being seated at a desk all day is troublesome, or any prolonged slumped postures.

Common reasons for upper back pain are:

  • Trauma or injury. Trauma may be actions such as coughing and sneezing.
  • Strain/poor posture over time.
  • Shingles.
  • Respiratory and cardiovascular problems.
  • Rib injuries.
  • Muscular/soft tissue injuries.
  • Inflammation, degeneration, infections, metastases to the spine.
  • Sometimes pain in this area may be related to primary conditions, such as osteoporosis, ankylosing spondylitis, osteoarthritis, and Scheuermann’s disease.

A problem with the positioning and mobility of the upper back could also have consequences for adjacent areas of the body that are mechanically linked. Very often problems in the shoulders and neck will occur alongside upper back issues.

Osteopathy takes a holistic approach and considers your general health and overall mechanics when tackling any issue.

Osteopathy can help mechanical problems by working directly into the area, and offer advice about self-care. It could also serve a supportive role alongside some chronic respiratory problems and primary conditions (such as those detailed above) to support well-being as well as providing pain relief.

We are now in the season of coughs and colds. These can cause problems, or can be incredibly difficult to manage if you are in pain. The following are a few tips that could help you avoid or manage issues:

  • If you have a cough or feel a sneeze coming on. Try and stay in a neutral position in your spine. Don’t bend forward or twist if possible.
  • You could place your hands on a table/surface ahead of you to brace yourself.
  • Standing against a wall with a pillow behind your back can reduce the impact.
  • Hugging a cushion to your chest can also reduce the “trauma” of a cough or sneeze.

Is sunshine doing the job for you?

There are many nutrients we need to ensure we consume in our diets. Most can be found by having a varied and whole-food approach to the food we eat.

However it is more difficult to eat enough of the relevant foods to gain adequate vitamin D intake via the diet. Vitamin D is more appropriately called a steroid hormone because in the presence of sunlight, our body can synthesise vitamin D itself. Hence it is known as the “sunshine vitamin”.

In the UK, due to the lack of intensity of sunshine over the autumn and winter months. It is advised that a vitamin D supplement is taken. According to the NHS, 60% of the UK population are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is found in food (eggs, cheese, salmon, milk, mushrooms…) but you would need to eat a great deal of these foods to meet the advised requirements. Supplementing is also particularly important because as we age our bodies ability to manufacture vitamin D decreases.

The government directive advises a recommended dose of 10 micrograms (mcg) daily, which is seen as enough for most people however, additional advice is given to not take over 1000mcg a day. (In individual situations your GP may advise high doses and you should follow the advice you are offered.) Otherwise taking too much vitamin D over a long period could also be problematic. A condition called hypercalcaemia can develop. Which can have the effect of weakening the bones, and causing heart and kidney problems.

So this becomes yet another dilemma, what’s enough and what’s too much!? But there is a solution, if you choose to take away the guess work and test your vitamin D levels.

Rivermead Osteopaths can now offer a vitamin D test kit. This is an exciting opportunity to add a further way in which your musculoskeletal health can be supported via the clinic.

A simple pin-prick blood test can be performed at home, and posted to an independent and world-renowned laboratory. Results are returned alongside an informative report to support you moving forward.

Not only is this a great opportunity to assess your status right now, supplement or change dietary habits if needed. You could also re-test at a later date to ensure that sufficient action has been taken.

Right now is the perfect time to address any issues with vitamin D levels, ahead of the coming months with the loss of intensity in the sunshine, and the likely lessening of these levels in all of us.

Vitamin D has many important functions:

  • It is involved in gene expression.
  • It has a role in immunity.
  • It is essential in supporting muscle, bone and teeth health.

Possible symptoms and signs that can sometimes relate to a lack of vitamin D are:

  • Muscle pain.
  • Bone pain.
  • Increased sensitivity to pain.
  • A tingly, “pins-and-needles” sensation in the hands or feet.
  • Muscle weakness in body parts near the trunk of the body, such as the upper arms or thighs.
  • Waddling while walking, due to muscle weakness in the hips or legs.

It is important to look after this aspect of our health, as problems in later life can occur if deficiency is ongoing. Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets in children, osteomalacia in adults and excessive loss of bone density – osteoporosis.

If you need to supplement this important vitamin. Rivermead Osteopaths also recommends a vitamin D supplement called Zinoshine+. This is a naturally sourced vitamin D3 supplement, containing no “nasty” additives. It also contains magnesium which can support the actions of vitamin D in bone health and also performs multiple other important functions in the body. Including maintaining normal muscle and nerve function.

Would you like to test your vitamin D status? Or are you interested in supplementing this crucial nutrient? Please get in touch for further information.

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