North Shore Osteopaths, Balgowlah

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Osteopathy for Teenagers

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The adolescent years are a great time of change on many levels including physical, hormonal, social and emotional. Osteopathy can assist with common injuries and muscle strains associated with your teenager’s favourite sport or dance activities and can also address postural problems related to increased study load or heavy back packs to set your teen up for fewer musculoskeletal problems later in life.

 

Our teenager may be introduced to braces which are great for assisting proper dental alignment but the increased pressure and strain can sometimes cause jaw pain, digestive upsets, backaches, neck strain and headaches. Osteopathy can help by addressing the ligaments, fascia, muscles and bones of the neck, jaw and shoulders to help alleviate the pain associated with the changes the body makes to accommodate new braces or if braces are tightened/adjusted.

 

Stress in another factor that is prevalent in our teenager’s lives – balancing part time work and sports with increased study load, learning to drive, depression due to hormonal changes and social pressures all take their toll. Osteopathy can help by reducing the effects of increased sympathetic tone (the flight and fight response of your nervous system) and address musculoskeletal restrictions to ensure an adolescent’s body is functioning optimally to promote relaxation and the body’s natural coping mechanisms.

 

You may have noticed that your teenager seems to have shot up almost instantly – overnight. You are not imagining things – rapid growth is common and can lead to “growing pains” as your teen’s ligaments and muscles undergo increased strain in an effort to keep up with growing bones. Osteopathy can help by stretching and releasing tight ligaments and muscles to reduce the pain associated with sudden growth spurts.

 

Moeckel, E & Mitha, N. (2008) Textbook of Paediatric Osteopathy Churchill Livingstone (98-9)

Pellisé, F., Balagué, F., Rajmil, L., Cedraschi, C., Aguirre, M., Fontecha, C. G., ... & Ferrer, M. (2009). Prevalence of low back pain and its effect on health-related quality of life in adolescents. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine, 163(1), 65-71.


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.



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 from chronic neck pain?

Friday, February 21, 2014

 

 

Do you suffer from chronic neck pain and stiffness? Do you get relief from massage or manual therapy only to feel your pain and stiffness come back within minutes?

 

You may be relying on the muscles in your neck and shoulders to help you breathe in, rather than relying on the diaphragm to do this.

 

If this is the case, every time you breathe in, your neck and shoulder muscles have to contract very strongly, to lift up your rib cage and all the organs in side it – a job that should be done mostly by the diaphragm muscle. This is enough to make anyone stiff and sore!

 

Handy tip: put your hands on your hips, then slide them up a bit to the bottom of your rib cage. Take a big breath in slowly and as you breathe in, you should feel your rib cage pushing out into your hands – as you breathe out slowly, you should feel you should feel your hands moving back in towards each other.

 

If you find it very difficult to feel your rib cage expand, you may need some help to loosen up this area and to make sure your diaphragm and its associated connective tissues, are ‘communicating’ well with the rest of your body.

 

To have your breathing mechanism assessed, treated and home exercise suggestions, make an appointment with one of the osteopaths at NSO


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.

Top Breastfeeding Tips

Sunday, December 16, 2012

 

Breastfeeding can be a stressful time for new mums, but there are steps you can take to make it easier for yourself and your baby:

 

  • Massage your breasts when you can. This reduces the sodium content of the milk, making it taste nicer for bub. It also reduces the chances of mastitis
  • Babies feed best when they have just woken up and are calm, so try if you can to feed them before they start crying to be fed. Look for little cues, like tongue thrusting and lip smacking.
  • Very young babies will push their head back if pressure is put on the back of their head . So, bring their body in close to yours when you try to feed, but instead of pushing against the back of their heads to guide them on to the boob, try putting your hand under their cheek and supporting their head that way. This will give them the freedom to move their head and neck in to the most comfortable and efficient position to feed .

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


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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