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This year’s Backcare Awareness Week (8th to 12th October) focuses on back pain in older people. Awful at any age, back pain can be really disabling and miserable in the over 60s.  BackCare, the National Back Pain Association, offers useful information and resources but I want to talk about how we can help sufferers of all ages at the Robin Kiashek clinics.

Impact on society

A staggering 80% of us will suffer with some form of back pain during our lives – at my osteopathic practice in London I see several sufferers each week. The human cost in terms of pain, misery, impairment plus the knock-on effects on family and friends is enormous. Factor in the economic impact – NHS statistics for 2016/17 show that a staggering 3.2 million days were lost to back pain – and we can see how society as a whole is affected. And we do abuse our backs, with long hours of driving, sitting hunched over a screen, heavy lifting and carrying, caring for children, the elderly or disabled and some very bad lifestyle habits!

Getting help for back pain

Here at The Robin Kiashek Clinics we aim to relieve pain and help strengthen the body, making it less susceptible to further discomfort or injury. Our range of gentle and effective treatments include Osteopathy, Western Acupuncture and Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT).

We also recommend yoga. It promotes physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing and helps develop and maintain a fit and supple body.  It is also an effective antidote to the stresses of modern lifestyle. A US study among 1000 long-term lower back pain sufferers found that those who practised yoga were most likely to see improved mobility and reduced pain levels. And classes are readily available and safe to try, whatever your age or level of fitness. All you need is a mat!

Based on the premise that prevention is better (or easier) than cure, here are some simple tips to maintain a healthy back:

Top tips for a healthy back

  • Keep mobile – walking, cycling and swimming, (especially back stoke) will help your back to stay supple. Remember to take a short break from sitting every half hour.
  • Reduce excess weight – extra pounds can place enormous pressure on the spine and muscles, exaggerating the curve of your lower back and causing your spine to become misaligned.
  • Lift heavy objects correctly – bend at the knee, not the back. Carry heavy loads in a well-fitted rucksack, using both straps, rather than slinging a bag over one shoulder.
  • Consider your posture – sit up straight, don’t slump in your chair.  Use a laptop riser and walk with your shoulders back and head up (not staring at the ground!).
  • Stop smoking – it can reduce blood supply to discs between the vertebrae and cause disintegration.
  • Check your bed – does it provide the correct support for your weight and build?
  • Manage stress – beat this leading cause of back pain by learning relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation or breathing.

 Get in touch

If you are experiencing back pain then why not call The Robin Kiashek Clinics on 020 8815 0979 or request an appointment? We will assess you thoroughly and provide a personalised treatment plan, including exercises and guidance on preventing future occurrences. This can bring relief and even be life-changing and transformative, allowing you to regain and retain independence.

Are you giving your back pain the attention it deserves?

london osteopath w1 n2 n10Treating people with a range of back problems is a mainstay of any Osteopath’s job. Therefore, we welcome a campaign such as Backcare Awareness Week (promoted by BackCare – the National Back Pain Association) that highlights this important public health issue. This year the campaign is aimed at younger people. The campaign reports that 1 in 4 secondary school children suffer from back pain. Naturally, the focus is on prevention this year, and who better to carry good practice and knowledge forward than children between the ages 11-16.

Back pain in adults in the UK

The statistics for adults too show why action needs to be taken. In the UK each year the people who suffer most commonly with back pain are people aged 35-55, but 8 in 10 of us will report some back pain at least once in our lives. The cost to the NHS in 2014 was £1m There is an enormous amount of help available in the form of pain clinics, health practitioners such as physiotherapists and osteopaths, and in extreme cases, surgery, but these are staggering statistics none the less.

Treating Back Pain at The Robin Kiashek Clinics

subhome-column-1Robin Kiashek has over two decades of experience in treating a range of painful conditions related to the spine. By providing a thorough assessment and a treatment plan, including exercises and guidance on how to prevent future occurrences, patients receive a personalised treatment plan well-rounded individual treatment that can bring relief and independence. If the problem is severe or prolonged, such as acute pain resulting from injury, a treatment plan can be adjusted over time to help a patient regain optimum movement and strength.

How Back Pain Can Affect Society

If we consider the toll that chronic pain takes on individuals and families, it is easy to see how the whole of society is affected. This is particularly true in people’s daily occupations: heavy lifting at work, long hours of driving, looking after children, the elderly or disabled. According to NHS statistics, in 2013/2014 2.8 million working days were lost due to back pain. If you are a sufferer or live with someone who is, then you’ll know how debilitating it can be.

Transformative Treatment for Back Pain

getty_rf_photo_of_hands_on_backYou will also recognise how life-changing good treatment is. At The Robin Kiashek Clinics the aim is to make treatment as transformative as possible, not merely temporarily effective. The treatment you will be given will not only relieve pain but help to strengthen the body in order to prevent further pain or injury. It is possible to relieve symptoms with an array of gentle treatments, all with your agreement, ranging from Osteopathy to Western Acupuncture and Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT). Everything that Robin can offer is at your disposal to get you free of pain, or to get you to a place where pain is manageable and you are able to anticipate and mitigate problems yourself.

Experience tells us that back pain is very individual, often is the result of multiple factors interacting in a complex way, and that the best outcome for any sufferer is a tailored treatment plan, employing a few different methods, from changes in lifestyle, to regular re-evaluation. In many instances, consultation can be a re-education for a patient who has had little explanation of his or her condition in the past.

Want Help With Back Pain?

So, if a trip to the GP has not addressed your pain, or you feel that you have neglected to seek further help for long-standing back pain, call Robin Kiashek for a consultation appointment and highly individualised therapy. You have a choice two clinics, one in North London and one in Central London. Why not request an appointment today.

With the countdown to Christmas in full swing, more and more drivers will face heavy traffic as they head to the shops or travel to visit relatives or friends. As a leading London osteopath, I regularly treat patients who are suffering from back and neck pain as a result of being in road traffic accidents. And quite often, whiplash is a major culprit.

Whiplash can occur following vigorous movement of the head that overstretches and damages the ligaments and tendons in the neck. Symptoms include neck pain and stiffness, reduced neck movements, muscle tenderness and headaches. In some cases, symptoms can become chronic; leading to anxiety and depression.

So what can you do to prevent the risk of whiplash injuries when you’re on the road this Christmas? My advice, as a reputable London osteopath, is as follows:

1: Adjust your seat appropriately

Make sure your car seat has less than a 20 degree incline angle. This will help to keep you in your seat should you be involved in a rear end collision.

2: Adjust the height of your head restraint

The top of your head restraint should be level with or above the top of your head. A good way to measure this is to place your hand on the top of your head and adjust the head restraint so that it touches your hand.

3: Position your head restraint close to your head

Adjust your head restraint so that it is about 5cm (2 inches) from the back of your head. The closer your head restraint is to your head, the less distance there will be for your head to build up speed and load the neck during a collision.

Small adjustments can make big differences when it comes to road safety this Christmas.