Did you sleep like a baby last night? Or like me, did you wake up and lift your head and immediately wish you hadn’t slept for 90% of the night face down into a pillow. Even osteopaths aren’t immune to poor positioning when we sleep so to coin an old phrase, “do as I say and not as I do”, watch this week’s newsletter.
I talk you through what type of pillow you should be using when, where and how you should position your body around it, whether you are naturally a side, back or face-squashed-in-the-pillow sleeper. This can even be useful if you are already in pain to alleviate tension through the joints as you sleep.
Many people asked after the last email about specific situations our last exercises could be beneficial for aside from just back pain. Well, given it is the London Marathon coming up, gluteal bridges are something that we give out a LOT to our running patients who are threatening to develop Piriformis Syndrome – a pain in the bum, literally!
In the video below, James Dunn (a fab Norwich based running coach) discusses some of the common causes and some great self-help tipsfor coping with Piriformis Syndromein runners, as well as the importance of addressing the root of the problem, not just the symptoms!
The good news is our team in London Bridge, Kensington Olympia and Clapham Junctionare all experts in finding and treating the root cause of the problem that is leading to your pain so a few tweaks and shifts in what you are doing might be all it needs to get you running in a straight line again…
So if you are struggling, then we are always here to help, whether that is on email, phone or in person.
Last week we included videos of the very basics of lower back stretching with knee hugs and knee drops. This week we are moving on to some more proactive ways to keep your back pain in check with the Pelvic Tilt – a subtle movement to engage your pelvic floor muscles (the same that stop your wee mid flow) and your gluteal muscles to stabilise your hips and pelvis and protect your lower back from too much shock as you walk.
The videos below are from our very own YouTube library again and are on our website for everyone to see so please share to all those who you think might benefit.
If you are struggling, then we are always here to help, whether that is on email, phone or in person.
A gluteal bridge is an exercise for the bottom and not the hamstrings on the back of the legs. Squeeze your bottom to lift your pelvis and hips off the ground and release to lower back down. Once you have mastered this and there is no wobbling, move onto raising one foot off the ground like in the still of this video, making sure your hips don’t wobble and stay level. It’s an exercise in control rather than speed and strength so SLOOOOW please!
A subtle movement of your pelvis – imagine you have a piece of string attached to your pubic bone at the front of your pelvis and it is being pulled upwards towards your belly button. Be sure to keep the abdominal muscles by your rib cage relaxed – this is an exercise for the lower abdominals and pelvic floor first and foremost!
Neck pain strikes most of us when we least expect or want it, ok, no one ever wants it. But what do we need to do to get rid of it as quickly as possible? Symptoms range from stiffness and inability to move your head to one side to an accompanying headache, shoulder pain or even pain that radiates down your arm.
So what are the main three causes of neck pain and what can you do at home to help before you seek our advice?
Muscle Strain: Aside from a traumatic event that causes a whiplash, a muscle strain is usually caused by poor posture or awkward positioning can fatigue your muscles and send them into spasm.
Relieve this by avoiding these positions, trying to adopt a more neutral position when you sleep (no face sleeping!) and stretching regularly to improve blood flow to the muscles to heal any micro trauma before it becomes a bigger problem.
Cervical Spine Disorder: Joint strain, intervertebral disc (the cushion between the vertebra) and compression of the spinal cord canal can all cause symptoms arising from the bony tissue, the ligaments or the nerves that exit the spine at these levels.
These problems can be harder to self treat in order to remove the cause so please do consider a trip to see an osteopath. You can help relieve the symptoms by keeping the neck moving as much as possible, using an ice pack to reduce inflammation within the joints and gentle stretching of the shoulders, neck and upper back to improve blood flow around the spine and flush out any damaged tissue.
Infection: This is a rare cause of neck stiffness but understandably a more serious cause. If your neck symptoms are accompanied with fever, headache, nausea vomiting or other signs of infection seek medical help immediately.