Happy December/Christmas! Welcome to the new Rivermead Osteopathic Clinic monthly bulletin. My aim is to offer some useful and interesting information.

After a mild autumn, we are now experiencing the cold once more. This weather can often highlight people’s aches and pains. Try and stay as active as possible and wrap up warm. If you have any persistent joint and muscular issues, I may be able to help. Osteopathy treats musculoskeletal problems from head to toe. It could really make a huge difference to your daily comfort.

Read the rest of the December posts, it may be of particular interest to you if you suffer or know anyone else who has hip pain. There are some exercises to try and keep us all more mobile, whether we experience pain or not.

Enjoy the festivities!


  • URINE TESTS TO DIAGNOSE GENUINE CASES OF BACK PAIN. Developed to be used on those thought to be malingering on long-term sickness benefits and those making fraudulent claims, eg following road traffic accidents. The test costs £200 and is reported to be 95% effective. It tests immune system compounds excreted in the urine that are produced when people are experiencing back pain. MY THOUGHTS, what happens in the 5% of cases that the test doesn’t work for? Those immune system compounds could be released with pain anywhere in the body, they are not specific to spinal pain surely?
  • POT BELLY BLASTER! An injection to banish 60% of body fat in just one month. As yet this has only been tested on monkeys, and it works by attacking the blood supply of the fat cells. It is reported that tests may start on humans soon. MY THOUGHTS, we all know that as a nation our weight is increasing and we are becoming increasingly susceptible to the health problems that go alongside this. As an Osteopath, I think that reducing weight and taking undue strain off the body’s joints and tissues has got to be a good thing. However, I don’t think there is a substitute for a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise. This has to be the gold standard. There are also some suspected consequences on the kidneys, but researchers feel they could be overcome.
  • RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME, THOUGHT TO BE HEREDITARY. Restless leg syndrome is thought to trouble 1 in 10 adults at some point in their life. Symptoms are tingling, prickling and numbness in the lower extremities, which are mainly felt at night and can only be relieved by movement. Two faulty genes have been identified by scientists. 


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.

This is the basic start position for the following three exercises. Lay on a mat or towel on the floor, with a small pillow under your head for support.

Gently hug both knees to your chest, hold the stretch for a slow count of 10. Relax and repeat 3 times, or more if desired. This is a gentle muscle stretch and a lovely way to open the joints of the lower back. If you feel very inflexible, you may wish to try this using just one knee at a time.

From the start position and with knees and ankles together, bring both knees down to one side. To start just go as far as you can whilst keeping both shoulder blades in contact with the floor. Use this exercise as a mobilization, so once you have reached the lower part of the movement, return to the centre and perform the exercise to the other side. Repeat with control 5 to 10 times on each side. This exercise gives a gentle stretch to the hip and lower back, and helps to keep the waist area mobile.

From the start position, raise one knee so your thigh is at 90 degrees to the floor. Place one hand on the raised knee. Think about drawing a circle on the ceiling with that knee, and guide the movement with your hand. Make the circles as small or large as is comfortable for you. Repeat 10 times in each direction, and then repeat on the other side.

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