Human Carpentry

Yesterday I went to watch a particularly interesting surgery – Sacroiliac Fusion using the Si-Bone implant system.  Essentially what happens is three triangular shaped titanium rods are chiselled through the joint to hold the back of the pelvis in place.

These patients are disabled with their pain before their surgery – manual therapy like osteopathy and physiotherapy had been done to exhaustion and wasn’t giving any lasting relief. However, after the surgery, these patients often “bound out of bed” (in the words of Mr Khai Lam, the surgeon performing the days surgery). A great result all round. Remarkable but the good news for the vast majority of patients is that surgery isn’t usually needed and a few visits to the good old osteopath or physiotherapist should get you the strength and movement back into your joints.

Have a look at the video for exactly how it is done (don’t worry, all animated not real life gore) and the picture for highly technical, yet remarkable carpenter-like equipment used during the procedure.

 

Inflame In The Membrane

Understanding how to manage inflammation can help boost your health and supercharge your performance. Inflammation is a crucial part of the bodies immune response. However there are two sides to the story!

There are two types of inflammation – acute and chronic.

Acute inflammation can be a response to exercise stress, an injury or infection. Physiological changes that occur include increased blood flow, accumulation of white blood cells, redness, heat, swelling and pain at the affected site. We need acute inflammation to promote the generation of new cells which leads to healing. With exercise stress this is how the body adapts to the stimulus and recovers.

Acute inflammation is crucial but it needs to be managed in the correct way.

Chronic inflammation is a long-term physiological response to one or more factors. It is a failure of the body’s immune system to maintain a healthy homeostatic state. It occurs when there is repeated exposure to acute inflammation or it is poorly managed. Factors such as poor nutrition, environmental toxins, over-training or infection can lead to chronic inflammation. If you do not address your nutrition and lifestyle then it could lead to the clinical symptoms of disease and poor performance.

Chronic inflammation is something we want to minimise as much as possible! Luckily we have put some tips together to help guide you in managing inflammation.

EAT THE RAINBOW

Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin A, C, E, zinc and selenium which will reduce inflammation.

●  Vitamin A is found in eggs, pumpkin, carrots and sweet potato.

●  Vitamin C is found in broccoli, cauliflower, citrus fruit, tomatoes and berries.

●  Vitamin E is found in nuts, seeds, avocado and eggs.

●  Zinc is found in meat, nuts and seeds

●  Selenium is found in Brazil nuts and seafood

●  Pineapple and papaya contain enzymes (bromelain and papain) that lower inflammation

ENSURE YOU GET GOOD QUALITY SLEEP

Growth hormone levels are highest with good quality sleep. When we are sleep deprived, T cells (important for immunity) are lowered and cytokines (inflammatory cells) are raised. Bottom line……ENSURE YOU GET ENOUGH SLEEP.

USE LOTS OF SPICES

Certain spices aid in reducing inflammation in the body, as well as making your food taste better. Be generous with the ginger, turmeric, cumin and cinnamon.

CUT DOWN ON PROCESSED FOODS

Steering clear of processed foods is a quick way to avoid many inflammatory agents. These include omega-6 fatty acids, trans fats and refined carbohydrates.

EAT FOODS RICH IN OMEGA 3

Omega 3 fatty acids are an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. The highest levels are
found in wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, eggs, walnuts and flax seed and oil and green leafy vegetables.

GET YOUR B – VITAMINS

B – Vitamins perform hundreds of different functions to help us produce energy, improve digestion and create anti-inflammatory substances from our food. Increase the amount of beans, vegetables, seafood and meat you eat alongside supplementing with a high strength B-Complex.

EXERCISE – FIND A BALANCE

Exercise reduces inflammation, but it also increases it. And depending on the context, this increased inflammation due to exercise is either a good thing or a bad thing. Confused?!? It is all about balance.

Whatever your exercise regime, whether it is regular walking, high intensity gym work or marathon training make sure you are implementing proper recovery time with sound nutrition support.

Want to work with Liam in London Bridge to get your bespoke nutrition plan? Head over to here to book in!

Splish Splash Splosh

This weekend just gone I was lucky enough to be invited to a super fun wedding after which I decided (thanks hubby!) to take a holiday in France. However, my own enthusiasm on the dance floor (ahem…) led me to waking up with an excruciating pain in my right knee. Diagnostic skills aside I knew I needed to do something about it before I flew home the following weekend so I set to work using the apparatus available to me – a swimming pool. The rain may be falling and the wind whipping across the water but that means I just have no excuse!

Knees can can be a pain, literally, but water can also provide a huge relief whilst also building strength in the muscles that support the joint, namely the quads and hamstrings, but also building stability in the supporting structures above and below – the feet and pelvis.

Main this video I show you how easy it is to relieve some pain and also hopefully reduce inflammation by simply walking in the water in a straigh(ish) line, stepping up onto the steps to climb out, stretching the hamstrings at the back of the thigh and simply kicking to loosen up the whole leg. Easy as splish, splash, splosh.

Walk [Run] This Way….

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 tips for coping with Piriformis Syndrome in 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 Junction are 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.

 

A Bridge Over Troubled Back Pain

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!

Can You Exercise Your Pain Away?

Can You Exercise Your Pain Away? Third Space Sports Medicine

Exercise is often used by osteopaths as an adjunct to our hands on treatment. It be used for many reasons – build strength, readdress muscle imbalances, build support for injured bones, joints and ligaments. But what if exercise could also work on the brain? 

There is lots of research about how exercise in general causes the production of serotonin – the happy hormone – in the body. What they didn’t know is that on a cellular level exercise also changes gene expression, by which we mean whether a gene in our DNA is switched on or not. 

Recent studies at the University of Manchester have shown that the number of opiate receptors may be increased when we do exercise, meaning that we are more sensitive to these brain painkilling hormones having done exercise and therefore feel less pain even with the same concentration in our body

This is great news for anyone who prefers not to take painkillers as a course of action as, theoretically, you will need to take fewer painkillers to have the same effect. Hopefully  this will also spur on lots of our other patients to at least try out the exercises we prescribe….we promise we are doing it for a reason! 

If you are struggling with any aspect of your health, get yourself booked for your treatment with us  here, now