Do you have joint pain?

Around 8.5 million people are estimated in the UK to be struggling with joint problems attributed to osteoarthritis. One in five adults over the age of 45 have knee problems, and 1 in 9 are experiencing hip problems relating to osteoarthritis. Not all joint problems are the result of these changes. Day to day activities and injuries will inevitably cause problems occasionally. Whatever the underlying reason, osteopathy may help by improving the function of the area and reducing pain. Also providing a plan and advice to manage the area into the future.

If your car broke down you’d take it to a mechanic. If your pipe leaked you’d call a plumber. If your laptop malfunctioned you’d seek help from an IT engineer… So if you have pain in your body, and it is stopping you from working, or doing the activities you love. See an expert – visit an osteopath.

Taking time off work because of a problem with your muscles or joints doesn’t just cost you money, it can also affect your home life. Treatment from an osteopath may accelerate your recovery, helping you return to your normal activities quickly.

It costs less than you might think for a short course of treatment and could be a worthwhile investment in your health and wellbeing. So please give the clinic a call for advice.

Forward this to a friend if you think it could help.

Ageing and Bone

The following are a couple of factors that are natural and normal changes in bone as we get older.

There is a reduction in calcium and other minerals. It can begin at about 30 years of age in females, and typically starts around 60 in males. In females, often around 45 to 50 years of age, there is a dramatic reduction in the amount of the hormone oestrogen produced. This has an effect on bone density and strength. The loss can continue until as much as 30% of calcium is lost from the bones by the age of 70.

Worse case scenario, osteoporosis can develop. This is a condition of low bone density and so greater susceptibility to bone fracture. It isn’t exclusively a female problem. Males get osteoporosis too, but the changes around and following the menopause might be more dramatic.

These are natural occurrences. Sometimes different diseases and medications can cause lowered bone density. In whichever case, it is important to look after your bones. Osteoporosis is a “silent” condition. It often isn’t identified until someone has a fracture. The condition, if it progresses, can have many implications on lifestyle.

Another factor is that of the reduction in the rate of protein synthesis with ageing. So namely the collagen that makes up the matrix of our bones. This will reduce bone’s tensile strength. Again, this has a similar overall effect, in that it creates a greater possibility of bone fracture.

So to look at it more positively! What can we do to help ourselves?

  1. Take regular exercise. It is the pressure through bone that allows it to re-model. So walking, jogging, lifting weights…anything that adds resistance to the bone will help.
  2. Take your exercise outside, or take part in outdoor activities. Vitamin D, important for bone health too, is created in our bodies via a reaction to sunlight. Paler skins can be served well by around 10 minutes exposure a day (so no sun lotion, and not all the skin covered by clothes), darker skin may need a little longer. In the UK, the sun is not strong enough to be effective all year around. Some people might need to consider taking a vitamin D supplement.
  3. Make sure you are eating a balanced and varied diet. If this is the case, and you aren’t avoiding food groups or have an issue that prevents you from taking up nutrients into the body. You are probably getting what you need. Calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium and boron are some of nutrients needed for good bone health.

If you feel there is a problem with your digestion. Seeing your doctor may be necessary to assess any potential issues and receive the appropriate care. Sometimes seeing a nutritionist or nutritional therapist can also be very useful.

If you need more general guidance on making sure you have a balanced diet. My new Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching service could be useful. Please get in touch if necessary.


One Day Plan With Musculoskeletal Wellbeing In Mind

The food portions in this plan amount to just under 2000 calories. So this may need to be altered up or down depending on your needs and/or health goals. It clearly doesn’t cater for all diet preferences, so is based on the assumption all foods can be consumed in the diet.

On waking

Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into boiled water and enjoy when cooled.

Have a glass of water.


Combine 100g whole plain Greek yogurt, 100g blueberries, 70g (no added sugar) museli, 1 tablespoon of raisins and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds.

Have a glass of water and your supplement from to prevent sugar issues like diabetes.

Read more

Forget about your back!

We often take our spine for granted. Despite it’s essential role in helping us to move around and protecting vital nerves and organs, unless it causes us trouble we don’t tend to think about it.

Keeping your spine healthy could save you from unnecessary discomfort and keep you doing the things you enjoy.

Regular checks from an osteopath, who can identify and treat problems before they cause serious pain, and advise on exercise and lifestyle, is one way you can care for your back. General considerations are:

  • Stay mobile, find an activity you enjoy.
  • Consider a specific exercise routine to aid mobility and strength.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water whilst limiting caffeine and alcohol.
  • Eat a balanced diet focusing on whole foods.
  • Get outdoors.
  • Try and maintain a sensible body weight for you.

Try and incorporate the above into your life, and hopefully you can forget about your back.

nutrition lifestyle coaching

To give you a head-start, follow this link for some lower back exercises.

Lower Back Pain


Interval Training – Beneficial To All

Interval training/High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has received a lot of attention over recent years. It has been made popular by celebrity trainers like Joe Wicks. I personally have enjoyed training in this way, and so I was heartened to read a recent article supporting it’s benefits. Please read the article yourself by following this link.

To summarise, the benefits noted are:

  • It can be adapted for all, what’s high intensity is different from one person to another.
  • Many people don’t fulfill the guidelines for time spent exercising each week. HIIT offers exercise in more manageable time-frames.
  • Weight loss.
  • Improved insulin sensitivity, so therefore better blood sugar control reducing the likelihood of suffering with Type II Diabetes.
  • Better blood pressure control.
  • Reduced body fat with your sport of preference.

Check the reunions and events from, sport entertainment host with great content and material.

If you have concerns around what exercise might be appropriate for you, please feel free to ask me at the clinic. Or make sure you check with a relevant professional before embarking on a new exercise activity.

Hip Stiffness

These exercises may help reduce hip joint stiffness in different scenarios. For people who are a little out-of-shape, to those with osteoarthritis and in many other scenarios. They offer controlled mobility through the hip joint, but all the same be careful.

If they cause pain then don’t persist with them, and if you had surgery or are a senior citizen you need to take it slower and ask your physician, ask for the Strategies for a Quick Recovery After Hip Replacement Surgery if this is what you had or for special movements regarding your physic state. Consult your osteopath or other medical practitioner for advice.


1. Lay on your side with your knees resting together to start. Keeping the feet in contact, open the knees as far as you’re able whilst keeping the spine straight and stable. Return to the start position. Repeat 10 times.


2. Keeping the knees together. Open the feet apart as wide as you’re able whilst keeping the spine straight and stable. Repeat 10 times.



3. Laying on your back. Place one hand on your knee. Think of this as drawing a circle on the ceiling with your knee. You can make the circles as small or large as you’re able to, but try and keep the spine straight as you do it. Repeat 5 times in an anti-clockwise, and 5 times in a clockwise direction on each side.


Happy New Year!! – Could a visit benefit your health?

Happy new year. Could a visit to the osteopath help you achieve what you want to in 2019?

Every day 30,000 people in the UK see an osteopath…We see and help a wide range of musculoskeletal complaints and support many people in achieving their physical goals. 

Patients seek help from an osteopath for a variety of conditions including neck or back pain, joint or muscular pain, sports injuries, recurring headaches and more. Many patients are pregnant mothers, unsettled children, those with work strain, or pain and stiffness related to advancing years.

Could a visit benefit your health?

Appointments are usually available without the need for referral from a GP. Give us a call today to see if you can be helped at the Rivermead Osteopaths.


Happy Christmas!

Here is an exercise to keep your spine moving over the festive season. Remember to try and stay gently mobile whilst having a good rest and a great time.

Happy Christmas!


These exercises shouldn’t cause pain, if you experience a problem, stop the exercise and consult your Osteopath or other medical practitioner. If you have an existing complaint, it would be wise to consult your practitioner to check these exercises are appropriate for you.


SPINE CURL EXERCISE – This is the sort of exercise where you want to aim for quality over quantity. So if you’re new to this, maybe only aim for 3-6 really good repetitions. Aiming for 10 if you’re a bit more practiced.

1. Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. You may feel better contact with the ground without shoes on – your choice.
2. Do a pelvic tilt by tucking your pelvis under so you can feel the contact of your lower back with the floor. Think about making this contact one vertebrae at a time to try and work every segment of your spine.
3. Beyond the pelvic tilt, gradually lift your spine off the floor, again thinking of doing this one vertebra at a time. Only go a high as the shoulder blade region so you’re not stressing your neck. Then return back to your start position by placing one vertebra at at time back to the floor.

Lower Back Pain – Common Observations

After suffering a recent episode of lower back pain myself. I am reminded of the common pitfalls that occur when your lower back is really flared up. So I thought I’d share. You may have experienced these yourself. If not, I hope you don’t, but try and be reassured by the normality of these occurrences.

  • You will drop everything onto the floor. May be you just notice it more, but I’m sure this happens more often at this time?! Try and bend from your knees to lower yourself down, and try and be face on to the object you’re picking up to avoid twisting at the same time.
  • You may get stuck on the toilet! Don’t be alarmed, take deep breaths, place your hands onto your thighs and support yourself as you steadily stand up.

  • You might struggle to wipe your bottom! Sorry if this is crude, but it is a fact and a common scenario when lower backs are quite painful. I have not tried this myself, but have found on the web a device that might help people if this is required.
  • Everything you want at the supermarket will be on the lowest shelf. See advice in the first point, or ask for help. Shopping trolleys are even harder to control when your back hurts too.

  • You will feel every bump and every turn in the road. For sure you’ll be onto the council about potholes after an episode of lower back pain.

So I hope this isn’t too flippant a list. Lower back pain can be very debilitating, and very alarming. So knowing what you might expect could offer some reassurance. For the majority of cases staying gently and regularly mobile is very important. Also be reassured, that most back pain is  benign in nature and relatively short-lived. Although different injures follow different time spans.

If you are, or know anyone else who is struggling. Please feel welcome to call for advice – 01245 280636.

Your osteopath referring to other health professionals

As a primary healthcare professional your osteopath, in addition to their osteopathic skills, have been trained to undertake detailed medical histories and a comprehensive range of clinical examinations in an effort to diagnose the cause of your symptoms.

It is due to this extensive training that they are able to determine if you may need to be referred on for further tests to determine an accurate diagnosis, or if your condition may require the intervention of another health professional.

rivermead osteopaths chelmsford

When this happens your osteopath can write to your GP outlining their findings and requesting further investigations or referral to an appropriate consultant.
In addition to referring to your GP, many osteopaths know their local medical community well, so are well placed to recommend treatment from other health professionals who are able to treat specific conditions, or even another osteopath with specialist knowledge of the condition.

Before your osteopath makes any referral, they will discuss with you their diagnosis and explain why they feel you need help from someone else.Logo: General Osteopathic Council If you are happy to be referred they will ask your permission to write to the person they are referring you to with details of your case notes and any other information from their examination that they feel might help the clinician to treat you most effectively. This may help you to get better or faster treatment because the next person to see you won’t be starting from scratch and will have the benefit of another expert’s insight into your condition. If you prefer, you can ask for a copy of your notes to take to your GP or another doctor, and always remember to think about your recovery, it is important to be a healthy as possible, if you are looking for healthier product choices, you can visit primitiveoutpost.

If you are referred, do keep your osteopath informed about your ongoing treatment, and feel free to continue to consult him or her about any other aches and pains you’re experiencing

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