Monday, 25 March 2013

The benefits of thinking outside the box

A recent study in America has found that Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is extremely beneficial to people who suffer with chronic back pain. Overall, 60% of those surveyed who had at least one CAM therapy in the last 12 months found significant relief.

Chiropractic and osteopathic care were found to be the most effective approaches with massage coming in second. What this study shows is that alongside traditional medicine there is light at the end of the tunnel for sufferers of chronic back pain.

Interestingly this study also revealed that only 24% of respondents who received CAM had been referred to practitioners by their regular doctor. Many people turn to CAM treatments because they felt like conventional medicine would not work and they wanted to be proactive in their own care.

Here at The Wellness Hub we believe in the power of what we do and we take a whole body approach to healing. Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions.  It works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the wellbeing of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together. Our patients find that they feel relief to some degree after just 1-2 sessions and that their pain can be managed and reduced successfully. 

Thursday, 21 March 2013

What to expect: Week 19

This week we are focussing on posture during pregnancy. As your bump is getting bigger each week you may find that you are getting backache but good posture can help to minimise pregnancy discomfort.

Good pregnancy posture is not dissimilar to good basic posture for a non-pregnant person, however, pregnancy is a good time to correct poor posture if you haven’t done so before becoming pregnant.

When pregnant you have to become more deliberate in your movements than you have been used to pre-pregnancy. Bad posture is a common problem in pregnancy as carrying extra weight puts additional strain on your back and joints. The worst case scenario is that you can cause long-term damage to your back; however you can prevent this by correcting your posture before this happens.

Here are a few tips for improving your posture:

1. When standing tuck in your chin, lift your shoulders and tuck in your stomach and bottom. Try to distribute your weight evenly on both legs.

2, When getting out of bed try to rise slowly to avoid that dizzy feeling. Roll onto your side and use your arms to push yourself into a sitting position. Swing your legs over to the side of the bed and put your feet on the ground. Use your arms to push your body up to a standing position.

3.  If you have to lift anything heavy always bend at the knees and not at the hips, keep your back straight and lift by straightening your legs. When carrying heavy bags divide the weight equally between both hands. If you are unsure of any strains or pains get help.

A few changes now can make a huge difference and make your pregnancy more comfortable, especially in the later stages. 

Monday, 18 March 2013

Another reason to quit!

Research has shown for many years that there is a link between smoking and an increased risk for lower back pain. A study by the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS) in December 2012 found that smokers suffering from spinal disorders and related back pain reported greater discomfort than those patients who stopped smoking during an eight month treatment period. 

Almost all adults will at some time see a doctor about back pain or other painful spinal disorders. Smoking has been identified as a modifiable risk factor for chronic pain disorders and those who quit smoking before the study reported significantly less pain when compared with those who did not quit smoking.

Nicotine increases pain and this study conclusively shows that there is a relationship between smoking and pain. Regardless of the treatment you have, the likelihood to improve your care is dramatically decreased if you are a smoker.

This study supports the need for smoking cessation programs for patients with spinal conditions.

Friday, 15 March 2013

What to expect: Week 18

This week we thought we would focus on exercising in the second trimester to ensure that you are staying fit and healthy in the safest way possible.
Here we will be answering some common questions about exercise during pregnancy.
Q1 – Should I change my fitness routine now I am getting bigger?
A – In most cases if you’re healthy and your pregnancy is progressing normally, there is no reason you cannot continue to work out as you did in your first trimester with some sensible modifications to accommodate your growing bump. You should stick to a moderate level of exercise and avoid bouncing and sudden changes of position. You should also avoid lying flat on your back.

Q2 – I haven’t felt like exercising at all and now I do. Where should I start?

A – You should definitely check with your midwife before you embark on a brand new fitness regime while pregnant. You will need to start with gentle exercise for short periods of time (just 15 minutes a few times a week) and gradually build up to a longer and more intense programme. Walking is the best way to start a regular fitness programme and it doesn’t require any special equipment. Many mums-to-be also enjoy swimming as the water makes exercise more gentle on the joints. You may also consider a pre-natal yoga class which can help to relieve aches and pains.

Q3 – What are Kegels exercises? I have heard other pregnant women talking about them.

A – Kegels are exercises that strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor – the ones that support your bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum. Kegels help prevent urine leaks during and after pregnancy and may even help you in the second stage of labour. Many women find that if they do their Kegels religiously it helps them to heal quickly after giving birth.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Keep calm and relieve pain!

Many people who suffer with chronic back pain may find that avoiding stress could be the key to managing their condition. A recent study carried out by IUGM in Montreal has found that those who are more vulnerable to stress have more severe chronic pain conditions.

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands; it is sometimes called the 'stress hormone' as it is activated in reaction to stress. The study shows that higher Cortisol levels, which lead to increased vulnerability to pain, could increase the risk of developing chronic pain. 

These findings are useful to chronic pain sufferers as they open up avenues to find treatments that may decrease the impact of pain. In addition to medical treatment, pain suffers can also work on their stress management through relaxation or meditation techniques. 

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

What to expect: Week 17

Your baby

The baby is really beginning to grow now and is about the size of your palm with a nice covering of body fat. Your baby’s heart is beating at 140-150 beat per minute which is twice as fast as yours! Your baby is beginning to practice the survival skills they will need at birth, like sucking and swallowing.

Your body

Now that you are starting to show, you may find that people you know (and even people you don’t) are feeling the urge to reach out and touch your belly. Some mums-to-be are fine with this whereas others are really not keen; be sure to let people know if you would rather they keep their hands to themselves.
Your appetite will have returned to normal now that the queasiness has disappeared and now is the time that most expectant mothers begin to “eat for two”. Be careful not to overindulge in the wrong types of food as whatever you put on now you will have to lose once the baby is born.

Pregnancy symptoms

Increasing appetite – Your growing baby is demanding more nourishment but try to choose foods that will fill you up without being too unhealthy. So avoid burgers and chips and try lean meat, high-fibre grains and fruit instead.

Heartburn/Indigestion – If you find yourself suffering after a big meal try to avoid lying down straight after you eat to keep gastric juices in your stomach where they belong.

Occasional headaches – These can be triggered by hormones, tiredness, tension or some other causes but they can be uncomfortable. You should check with your doctor or midwife before taking medication to help deal with them.

Occasional dizziness – Dehydration can cause dizziness, so make sure you stay hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day. You should aim to drink more than that if you’ve been exercising.

Backache – This is a very common pregnancy symptom but you can ease it by making sure you have a supportive chair at work and a firm mattress at home. Otherwise, get a cushion for your chair and place it at the small of your back to keep your posture in line.

Stretch marks – Unfortunately stretch marks are part and parcel of pregnancy and fairly difficult to avoid. If you gain weight at a steady pace instead of in big spurts you may keep they stretching gradual and as a results the stretch marks less extreme.

Monday, 4 March 2013

What is podiatry?

Podiatry is a specialist area of healthcare, allied to medicine which involves care and maintenance of foot and lower limb conditions. Podiatrists are also known as chiropodists by some people.
The aim of the podiatrist is to improve the independence, mobility and general quality of life of our patients.
A podiatrist can treat on a whole host of foot and foot related conditions including:
·         Heel pain
·         Achilles tendon injuries
·         Arch pain
·         Shin pain
·         Metatarsal and big toe joint pain
If your feet hurt then this can be your body telling you that there is something wrong. Foot problems can also be prevented by visiting a podiatrist regularly for a foot health check-up. Remember prevention is always better than a cure!

We offer podiatry at our Shefford clinic with prices starting at £30.