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.

Snack 1

One small palmful of whole unsalted almonds (about 20g) and one whole orange.

Have a glass of water.


Combine 40g of baby spinach leaves, 6 cherry tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds, a grilled skinless chicken breast (about 125g) and 30g Emmental cheese. Add 1 tablespoon of houmous as a dressing.

Have a glass of water.


Go for a 20 to 30 minute walk. Or perform some gentle stretches.

Have a glass of water.

Snack 2

One apple and one boiled egg.

Have a glass of water.


Find 5-10 minutes just to rest quietly and focus on relaxed breathing.


4 new potatoes, 1 average-sized salmon fillet, 80g courgette, 2 carrots and 70g green beans.

Have a glass of water.

Snack 3

90g Greek plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, 80g raspberries and 1 satsuma combined.

Have a glass of water.


Do something you enjoy and start to think about winding down for bed.

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.

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.

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.


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.
  • 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.

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. 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.

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

Advice for back pain sufferers

New research finds that many back-pain patients aren’t receiving the care they need

The Lancet have published a series of papers on low back pain, calling on medical professionals worldwide to stop offering ineffective and potentially harmful treatments to patients. The research states that people with low back pain are being harmed, not helped, with an over-reliance on scans, surgeries and opioid prescriptions to treat a problem that could be more effectively addressed with self-management and less-invasive physical and psychological therapies.

Low back pain is the leading cause of disability in the world, effecting more than 540 million people.  Disability caused by low back pain has risen by more than 50% since 1990. In the UK, guidelines recommend a combination of physical exercise and advice and support for low back pain patients.

Robin Lansman, spokesperson for the Institute of Osteopathy said, ‘The Lancet papers show rising levels of disability across the world, associated with lower back pain. The authors emphasise that, in many cases, people receive interventions that can actually worsen their condition.’

In certain cases some people have taken to using cdb oils as a way to deal with the pain. Resolving this particular ailment often entails a risky surgical procedure, with permanent crippling potential side effects associated with it. As sometimes occurs with medicine, depending on the condition should treating it be determined not ideal, then managing the symptoms is the next logical step.

‘In the UK, low back pain is a burden on both the individual and our health care system which is why the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have produced extensive guidance. The guidance recommends manual therapy as part of an overall package of care for those with low back pain. They also recommend, exercise and self-management and psychological support which osteopaths routinely provide.’

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is used by some people with chronic pain. CBD oil may reduce pain, inflammation, and overall discomfort related to a variety of health conditions. CBD oil is a product made from cannabis. It’s a type of cannabinoid, a chemical found naturally in marijuana and hemp plants. It doesn’t cause the “high” feeling often associated with cannabis, which is caused by a different type of cannabinoid called THC.

If you are suffering with low back pain, find out how osteopathy can help you by visiting

Stay Well

I am lucky enough to be writing this blog post from my sun-bed on the beach in Montenegro. It’s beautiful, relaxing and hot – I’m sweating like a waterfall!

Rivermead Osteopaths has been really busy this year, which has been fantastic. I enjoy my job as an osteopath, but this recharge of my batteries before my to return to the clinic is great for me, and should allow me to be as helpful as I can be to you.

Taking the time-out, I’m reminded that good musculoskeletal health isn’t all about manual therapy and exercises. Although obviously, I’m still a firm believer in this side of things!

I’m thinking of the day-to-day stuff that I know helps me, but I haven’t been doing recently. Busy lifestyles can make these things go out the window far too easily.

Now I don’t want to sound too preachy. Life is life and all the best laid plans….Shit happens from time to time and messes with your good intentions. But here are 3 positive suggestions to make a difference to your day-to-day, and I am committing to these now with you.

So here are a few things that have “gone missing” for me. I’m an early bird so this suits me, but maybe just getting up 10/15/20 minutes earlier each day could give you a little extra time to fit this in. They not only help our muscles and joints, but also our inner workings, physically and emotionally.

MEDITATION. For me, 10 minutes a day (but it could be longer) has helped me relax, remain calm, and most notably improved my focus. There is also evidence to support it’s use in people who suffer chronic pain. (You don’t need to be standing on rocks at the edge of a lake, although that would be lovely.)

BEING GRATEFUL. Its easy to dwell on whats wrong and forget about the positive stuff. Being grateful can help improve focus and allow acceptance. Which can sometimes again, be a good tool in people who experience chronic pain. Taking time each day to do this, may be even writing it down could be useful.

GETTING ORGANISED AND MAKING MY FOOD FROM SCRATCH. The difference I feel in my well-being for consuming non-processed food is exponential. Just upping my veggie intake made a huge difference to me. Maybe have a cook-up day and freeze meals ahead of time so you always have something healthy ready to go?

If you need any guidance with any of these suggestions, then please ask in the clinic.  

Just so you know. I will be starting some nutrition training at the end of this month. So soon, I can help you more with the food stuff. Stay well.

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