North Shore Osteopaths, Balgowlah

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cranial osteopathy
pregnancy
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sports & over use injuries
whiplash, workplace injuries
arthritic symptoms
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Don’t Let Back Pain Rule Your Life

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


According to Safe Work Australia, around 58 works per 1000 are injured during a 12 month period. Work related injury and illness is estimated to cost Australia over $60 billion each financial year. This represents nearly 5% of GDP[1].



Further research shows that 25% of all injuries occur in just one area - the back[2]. Osteopathy Australia (formerly Australian Osteopathic Association) is celebrating International Osteopathy Awareness Week April 12-19 and encourages all Australians to use this week to get into healthy habits at work and home.

Major causes of back injury are poor lifting technique or the impact of bad posture and computer use. Not all back problems arise from a sudden event or trauma, in fact a significant number of injuries result from cumulative stress on the back. In these injuries small

One possibility for these injuries is repeated small or unnoticed lifting injuries giving rise to micro-trauma and local inflammation of the ligaments and muscles in the low back. This can interrupt the delicate feedback mechanisms that control small muscle contractions in the spine, leaving the area less coordinated and more vulnerable to further injury. These small aches and pains are often ignored until the problem progresses and becomes more severe.

This is where an osteopath can help. Osteopathy is a form of drug-free, manual healthcare that focuses on total body health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework. Osteopaths are primary health care practitioners with the training and skills to assess complaints and develop the most effective course of action.

Osteopaths advise on posture, exercise and stretching to help prevent the reoccurrence of back pain. Osteopaths can help improve general mobility, reduce muscular tension, nerve compression and inflammation and can assist improving the ergonomics of a home or workplace.



Don’t wait for back pain to become a severe problem before seeing a health professional.  Treatment of the injured area followed up with rehabilitation including muscle strengthening, increasing flexibility and work on the stabilising muscles along the spine may well help to reduce the risk of further injury.



So what you do to help prevent back injury? Here are some simple rules to help reduce back pain at work or home:



  • Lift from your knees, not your back - keep your back straight, bend your knees and keep the weight close to your body when lifting.
  • Avoid twisting or reaching when carrying weight, instead move your feet carefully and turn your whole body.
  • When sitting at a desk make sure your feet are flat on the floor and your arms are parallel to the ground with your wrists in a neutral position.
  • Keep your monitor 50 – 100 cm from your face and adjust it so the centre sits at eye level.
  • Change your posture regularly and stand up to move around and stretch every 30 minutes.


If you're experiencing back pain, call us or book an appointment online.


[1] Safe Work Australia. (2014). Key Work Health and Safety Statistics, Australia, 2014. Canberra.

[2] ABS. (2002). Health Risk Factors: Work-related injuries. Canberra: ABS.



Osteopathy & Pregnancy

Saturday, May 03, 2014


Being pregnant can be a truly amazing experience - but there are a lot of aches and pains that can go hand-in-hand with pregnancy.


Pregnancy puts a lot of strain on the body as it goes through major changes to accommodate a growing baby. As the pregnancy progresses the extra weight creates a shift in the body’s centre of gravity, pulling the body off balance. 


Supporting ligaments loosen which can mean less stability, increasing the chance of injury. Low back pain and pelvic pain are also common complaints in pregnancy with up to 60% of women experiencing back pain. *


Many pregnant women find that treatment form an osteopath is very helpful for reducing pain throughout their pregnancy and in preparation for labour.


A 2010 study shows that osteopathic manipulative treatment slows or stops back-specific problems that can occur during the third trimester of pregnancy.# To assist with these problems, osteopaths may employ gentle soft tissue, articulation or stretching techniques during treatment.


Not only will your osteopath treat the symptoms and pains of pregnancy, they can also offer advice about managing them.


We often demonstrate self-help techniques that you and your partner can use during pregnancy and labour.


Osteopathy is a form of drug-free, manual healthcare that focuses on total body health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework. It positively affects the body’s nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems.


Osteopathy is safe for all age groups and osteopaths treat not only the specific problem but also provide lifestyle advice on diet, exercise, stress reduction, posture and breathing. Osteopaths encourage individuals to proactively prevent injuries and ailments, which in the long term leads to better overall health and less time and money spent on treatment. 


 * Wang, S.-M., Dezinno, P., Maranets, I., Berman, M., Caldwell-Andrews, A., & Kain, Z. (2004). Low Back Pain During Pregnancy: Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Outcomes. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 65-70.
# Licciardone, J., Buchanan, S., Hensel, K., King, H., Fulda, K., & Stoll, S. (2010). Osteopathic manipulative treatment of back pain and related symptoms during pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 43.




Taking a Stiff Upper Lip with Arthritis

Saturday, May 03, 2014



3.85 million Australians suffer almost constant pain from arthritis, according to the Arthritis Australia[1]. Osteopathy Australia.

Osteopathy is a form of drug-free, manual healthcare that focuses on total body health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework.


“Osteopathy takes a unique approach to healthcare and looks at the entire body as a working unit. Osteopaths don’t only concentrate on the problem area, but use manual techniques to assist all system of the body,” explained Antony Nicholas, CEO of Osteopathy Australia.


Osteopathic treatments can help those living with arthritis to maintain mobility and flexibility while carrying out simple activities, such as lifting, reaching and bending over. Treatments may include gentle soft tissue techniques to increase blood flow to the joints as well as posture and structure alignment of joints to minimise wear and tear.


 “Osteopathic treatment for arthritis doesn’t aim to replace medication or treatments prescribed by a GP,” said Nicholas. “Osteopaths work in conjunction with GPs to ease the effects of arthritis on the body and maintain mobility.”


Osteopathy is safe for all age groups and osteopaths treat not only the specific problem but also provide lifestyle advice on diet, exercise, stress reduction, posture and breathing. Osteopaths encourage individuals to proactively prevent injuries and ailments, which in the long term leads to better overall health and less time and money spent on treatment.


Osteopaths can be seen directly without a referral or in addition to the care provided by a GP. It is acknowledged by all major health funds as well as DVA, WorkCover, Medicare and attracts a rebate with a GP referral for chronic pain and conditions.




[1]

Australia, A. (n.d.). Arthritis Australia. Retrieved from http://www.arthritisaustralia.com.au/index.php/arthritis-information.html



Do you suffer from poor posture?

Friday, February 21, 2014

 

 

Do you suffer from poor posture: rounded shoulders, a ‘hump’ at the base of the neck and a slightly ‘slumped’ back? Do you find this impossible to change no matter how many times you keep trying to ‘sit up straight and put your shoulders back’? The driving factor maintaining this poor posture, may be coming from your FEET.

 

The nerves in your feet that talk to the brain about your posture, exist in greater number in your big toe joints. Through stimulating your big toes, this communication can increase, improving your posture

 

Handy tip: one way of improving the communication between your feet and your brain, is by spending time each week walking barefoot in the sand and on rocks.

 

However, if you spend most of your time away from the sand, you may benefit from wearing our Posture Control Insoles (PCI’s, or prokinetics), which are designed specifically to improve this communication and your posture, by giving stimulation to the big toe joints.

 

The insoles may also benefit the feet themselves, as well as potentially reducing hip, knee and back pain

 

They are safe to wear for adults and children, from the ages of 6 and up. Children, with their growing bones may particularly benefit from these insoles.

Book in for an assessment today, to see if you or your children may benefit from these insoles!


Do you suffer lower back pain?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

 

 

Do you suffer from lower back pain? Does your lower back feel weak and unstable?

 

Do you have strong tummy muscles or core muscles? Strengthening these muscles can be one of the best ways to help prevent and alleviate lower back pain and weakness. While doing specific abdominal muscle training like sit-ups is very good, consistency is the key. Ideally, the tummy muscles should be helping to support the lower back all the time, not just during exercise time.

 

Handy Tip: when you are standing, sitting, about to stand or sit and particularly when bending forward, very slightly contract your tummy muscles by drawing your tummy back towards your spine. This should be a subtle movement that doesn’t feel hard to maintain and doesn’t feel like you are ‘sucking in your tummy’. Every now and then, remind yourself to do this slight contraction again.

 

When you do this exercise, if it increases your back pain – or if it doesn’t alleviate your pain at all, you may be out of alignment and therefore you may benefit from coming to see us to assess and treat you.


How Stable is Your Pelvis?

Friday, May 03, 2013

 

 

Although pelvic pain is commonly associated with pregnancy, it can affect both men and women of all ages. Low back, pelvic and hip pain can often be due to a sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction. The SI joint is formed by the triangular sacrum bone - which is at the base of your spine, sitting between the two 'pelvic' (iliac) bones.


Very little motion naturally occurs at this joint and it is held together by thick, strong ligaments. Typically pain can occur when there is more movement here than normal. During the later stages of pregnancy hormones are produced to relax these these ligaments allowing the joint to be more flexible and to prepare the body for labour. However anything that over-stresses the joints and ligaments can result in pain such as; direct trauma, car accidents, whiplash, a fall onto your bottom that can twist the pelvis, a shorter leg, poor posture, low back or hip pain/injury, heavy lifting or unaccustomed exercise. Often as a result of the local irritation or simply due to inappropriate muscle activation the deep muscles that help to stabilise the pelvis also stop doing their job properly; which can further exacerbate the problem and cause instability. In some cases the exact cause and initial trigger of SI pain may be unknown.

What you will be happy to hear is that most people who suffer from this pain can get relief, decrease the duration and help the problem with the correct management and osteopathic treatment.

Some helpful tips and how we can help:

-Initially rest if you are able (not always possible with young kids, we know!). This will help to reduce the inflammation (applying ice can also help with this when it first comes on ) .

-Gentle stretching through the bottom, back, hips, thighs and legs to relieve pain 

-Strengthening exercises to increase correct muscle activation and control to muscles deep around the pelvis

-Core stability rehabilitation programs for the abdominals, gluteals and low back

If you suffer from this type of pain during pregnancy, postpartum or for an unknown reason don't put up with it any longer!

We can help. Call 02 9907 8919 now for further information or to make an appointment.

Tips for Lower Back Pain

Sunday, December 16, 2012

 

Did you know that humans are designed to be upright and on the move? We are NOT designed to sit and yet that is what we do for a large part of our day. Traveling to work, at the office or at home relaxing in the evenings, we SIT!! So, how can we reduce the stress of this on our low backs?

 

1) Avoid lumbar rolls or lumbar supports, especially in cars with bucket seats.

 

2) The ideal position when sitting is to have GREATER than 90 degrees between your trunk and your thighs. In other words, wherever possible, sit with your KNEES slightly LOWER than your hips. (This is harder in a car than at a desk). One easy way to achieve this is to use a folded up towel or small , flat cushion at the back of the car seat or office chair, so it lifts your bottom and hips up slightly . This stops you slouching as much and takes the strain off the bottom discs in your spine.

 

3) If your back is achey at the end of the day, when you get to relax in the evening , DON'T sit, LIE down. Try on your back , with your knees up and your feet resting flat on whatever you are lying on, your head elevated slightly on a pillow or cushion .

 

4)If you need to sit up, stay away from those low, soft lounges or saggy armchairs and go for something with a bit of support in the seat .

 

If you have any questions about any of these tips, please call Sharon on 9907 8919


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