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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.

As a practising osteopath in London I see a number of clients each week that experience back pain, in varying forms and severities. For these clients I am able to provide a comprehensive treatment plan and we work together over a number of sessions to treat the problem. In addition to treatment provided by myself I also look to work with clients on what lifestyle changes can be made and other things that can be introduced to try to prevent problems such as back pain recurring again in the future. I was therefore interested to read about a recent study carried out in the US into yoga and the positive benefits it can have on long-term back pain.

Women practicing yoga in a class

A recent study into yoga and back pain

The study analysed more than 1000 men and women who were experiencing long-term lower back pain. It found that those patients who practised yoga were most likely to improve their mobility and reduce their pain levels. These patients were all taught yoga-like exercises by experienced and qualified professionals.

Lead author Susan Wieland, from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said: “Our findings suggest that yoga exercise may lead to reducing the symptoms of lower back pain by a small amount, but the results have come from studies with a short follow-up.”

Back pain affects nearly one in 10 people in the UK and becomes more common with age. Very often the cause of long-term back pain is unknown, which can be very frustrating for the sufferer. Perhaps putting down the pain-killers and picking up a yoga mat could help to relieve some of the pain.

Following on from this initial research, the scientists involved in the study are also now calling for longer-term studies to really understand the full benefits for patients.

So what is Yoga?

Yoga, stemming from the Sanskrit work ‘yuj’ to yoke or join, yoga aims to “coordinate the breath, mind and body to encourage balance, both internally and externally,” according to the British Wheel of Yoga. Yoga is a practical philosophy and a system of asanas (postures), promoting physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. It is an effective antidote to the stresses of modern lifestyle and encourages a fit and supple body. Yoga is a ‘science of the mind’ and philosophical system that originated in India thousands of years ago.

A typical yoga class here in the UK will last between 60-90 minutes and you can find them at leisure centres, gyms and in local halls and community centres. Yoga is very accessible for all body shapes and ages and you really don’t need much equipment (or even shoes!) to give it a go.

Experiencing back pain?

If you are experiencing back pain why not try a yoga class near you, or call The Robin Kiashek Clinics for a consultation on 020 8815 0979.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/01/12/yoga-key-relieving-long-term-back-pain-new-study-suggests/

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.

Back in June, we posted an article describing The Dripping Tap Syndrome, which aims to explain the reason why many people visit an Osteopath.

This month we follow this up with a video blog from Robin explaining further what this means.

If you would like to speak to Robin about anything covered within this video or to discuss any symptoms you may have please contact the clinic on 0208 8815 0979.

sciatica_diagram [Converted]

Sciatica (or in layman’s terminology lumbago) is a common nerve pain, which is a symptom of an underlying condition that affects the back, hips and legs. It is characterised by a pain accompanied sometimes by pins & needles and/or numbness and/or weakness in the legs. Sometimes the pain affects both legs, and though it most commonly runs down the back of the legs, it can manifest at the front or side too. The cause of the symptoms is irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve.

What is the sciatic nerve?

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body, beginning at lower spinal region, running through the buttocks and extends right down the length of the leg to the feet. The symptoms (pain/pins & needles/numbness/weakness) can be felt either locally in the lower back or anywhere along the course of the sciatic nerve (as far as the feet). Other areas, including the genital region, can also be affected.

How do you get sciatica?

In most cases sciatica is caused by an irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, commonly a bulging disc in the lower (Lumbar) spine. Discs are very special shock-absorbing, cushioning tissue structures, which sit between the vertebrae (the bones that make up the spinal column). Structurally, discs can the thought of as having an inner soft core (nucleous pulposus) surrounded by tough circular outer fibres (nucleous fibrosus), the outer fibres holding in place the softer inner core. Typically, over a period of time, the outer surrounding fibres develop micro tears due to, for example, poor posture or overloading over a long period of time (see the June blog article ‘The Dripping Tap Syndrome’). Bearing in mind the lower spinal discs absorb most of the upper body weight, these micro fissures in the outer fibres begin to allow the inner soft core to bulge outwards through the tougher outer fibres, resulting in a ‘disc bulge’, which in turn can begin to impinge on the surrounding tissues, including the sciatic nerve (this scenario is commonly eroneously called a ‘trapped nerve’).

How is sciatica treated?

sciaticaHere at the Robin Kiashek Clinics we promote prevention, and have plenty of advice on keeping your spine healthy and pain-free (see our recent article ’10 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Spine’). However, if you are either experiencing symptoms, no matter how mild, or would like an assessment, an initial consultation should be considered. Robin will take a full case history followed by a clinical examination, which will provide you with a ‘working diagnosis’ of your situation.

You will get a care plan for your treatment, which may include a couple of follow up appointments, and you will get plenty of guidance on understanding pain, and will be given a strategy to move your recovery forward, including advice on exercise.

For more information on sciatica or to book an appointment with Robin, please call 020 8815 0979.

Here at Robin Kiashek Clinics we have been looking after patients with back pain and structural spinal problems for over twenty years. In some cases, pain is related to the way we are built but in others pain is present because of a recent or historical injury. Any pain is a signal that the body is out of balance and needs assistance in getting back to normal.

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At the Robin Kiashek Clinics, as well as treating acute pain when it occurs, we also aim to prevent problems in our patients before they take hold, so here is a list of 10 tips on how to look after your spine to ward off potentially debilitating problems.

Tip 1 – Rest Your Spine

We mean it! If you have suffered an injury or you are in acute pain, after seeing a specialist, ensure you thoroughly rest your spine. If there is swelling & inflammation, it will need time to go down and the tissue needs rest to recover.

Tip 2 – Wear Supportive Footwear

This might not be immediately obvious, or what you want to hear if you are a lover of high heels, but the plain truth is your footwear determines your posture. Your musculoskeletal structure is one system. Where one part is impacted it is felt elsewhere.

Tip 3 – Quit Smoking

This is not a big headline but it really should be. Nicotine and the general dehydration that goes along with smoking can adversely affect your spine. Also, in the same way that smoking affects blood vessels and circulation, it affects the vascular structures in your disks and joints. Many smokers suffer from lower back pain. It is no coincidence but backed up by research.

Tip 4 – Get a Massage

getty_rf_photo_of_hands_on_backMassage is good for so many aspects of your health. Primarily it helps increase endorphins – your body’s natural painkillers – that provide relief to sufferers of chronic pain. It helps stimulate your circulation, bringing a good blood supply to the affected area, and it improves your lymphatic drainage system helping your body combat disease.

Tip 5 – Limit Sitting Time

This is rather hard if you have a desk job, but you can combat stiffness and aches by regularly getting up from your desk and having a walk around, ensuring you get outside for part of your lunch break. Some people swear by standing desks. If at home, using advert breaks to get up and potter about for 5 minutes, or setting a simple kitchen timer for 45mins to remind you to move, could help you. Any movement and activity is good.

Tip 6 – Have an Ergonomic Workspace

Taking a little time in planning where and how to position your seat, your keyboard and screen or other things on your desk or workspace, can really save your back from straining and twisting. If you spend a lot of time shackled to a phone, for instance, it makes sense to give some thought to positioning essential tools or supplies.

Tip 7 – Practice Good Posture

Whether standing or sitting, try and be aware of your spine’s position. Stand with feet a comfortable width apart and try to hold your tummy in, elongating your spine if you can. When sitting, try to sit up, and if necessary, use a lower back support to help the natural curve in your back to stay in position. Knees bent at right angles and feet flat on the floor should also help steady your posture and support your spine. It’s surprising how we forget such a simple thing!

Tip 8 – Get Comfortable in Bed

Sleep will elude you if you are not comfortable in bed at night. Ask yourself if you need any extra support (maybe a cushion under your knees or between our knees if you sleep on your side) to take the pressure off your hips or lower back? Are you getting enough support from your pillow or mattress? Even things as basic as temperature and atmosphere can affect your sleep and whether you feel pain or not.

Tip 9 – Hydration, Nutrition and Weight

Drinking plenty of water is essential, whether you have a health complaint or not. Eating right also makes the difference in the speed at which you can bounce back from pain and injury. Particularly for people with any joint or muscle pain, sufficient hydration helps lubricate the joints and eating regular, well balanced meals means good lubrication of joints and disks, and nutrition reaching the parts of the body that are struggling. Excess weight puts unnecessary pressure on already beleaguered bones and joints, and can delay recovery or prolong pain. Consider seeing a dietician if you struggle with nutrition or controlling your weight.

Tip 10 – Stay Active and Exercise Your Core

As long as you aren’t in severe pain and have the green light to walk or exercise, try to do as much as you can manage, especially if your specialist has given you particular exercises to practice. If you are able to go to classes at the gym or are fortunate enough to have a personal trainer, depending on your level of fitness, you can hone in on core strength exercises to strengthen the muscles of your abdomen and back, and also your legs. This will support your spine and take the pressure off your lower back. Ensure your instructor is qualified to help you and always make them aware of your condition.

Be it a herniated disk or muscle strain, only a thorough examination by an experienced specialist can reveal the kind of pain it is, and consequently, how to treat it. At The Robin Kiashek Clinics we can offer the very best care and all that Robin’s vast experience can offer. Requesting a consultation is easy – click here to enter your details.

london osteopath w1 n2 n10 suggests paracetemol may not help back pain Are you taking paracetamols to try and manage your back pain? If you are then you this may not be the best course of action according to the findings of a group of Australian researchers.

The group reviewed 13 clinical trials to investigate the efficacy and safety of paracetamol (acetaminophen) in the management of spinal pain and osteoarthritis of the hip or knee and their results were published in the British Medical Journal.

Their findings said that Paracetamol did not reduce disability or improve quality of life. Disturbingly they warned that Paracetamol increased the odds of liver problems.

Drug free treatment for back pain

Medications such as paracetamol are designed to target pain by using blood flow to deliver the drug to the problem site. However, often the true cause of the pain may not be at the site of pain and in these instances drugs such as paracetamol will not be effective.

Pain should be considered as a warning that should be investigated. Osteopathy offers a safe and drug free approach to treating back pain.

As an experienced osteopath in London I aim to work with patients to address their presenting symptoms and understand causative factors to promote on-going health. I will always seek to establish the cause of your pain, whether it is localised or due to some problem elsewhere. My overriding aim as an osteopath is to heal your body as a whole.

With over 20 years’ experience as a London osteopath offering allied therapies I offer safe, gentle effective treatment for a wide range of patients and conditions. I have worked with patients suffering many different types of symptoms including:

  • Joint, neck, muscle and back pain, both chronic and acute
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Spinal curvature

What some of my patients and referrers say

Robin Kiashek is my ‘go-to’ osteopath for my complex patients with neck and back problems.” Dr Paul Jarman Consultant Neurologist, London

Robin takes time to understand the cause of the condition and is totally focussed on sorting out the problem. “ 2015 Patient Survey

I have been a patient of Robin Kiashek and also referred many of my patients. The consensus of all of us is that he has been a committed, thoughtful and wise osteopath. Dr Michael Gormley, General Practitioner, London

“After lots of doctors diagnosis, Robin was the first person to properly help reduce the pain. “ 2015 Patient Survey

I feel so much better and I no longer have pain or discomfort. “ Sara

Visit an experienced London Osteopath in W1 and N2 N10

If you are suffering pain or discomfort and you would like further information on how I may help you or to book an Osteopathy appointment at either of my osteopathy clinics in London W1 and London N2 N10 please feel free to send me a message or call me on 020 8815 0979.

london osteopath w1 n2 n10Four out of five people suffer from back pain at some time in their lives and as many as one in two will experience back pain in any one year. It is one of the most common problems that people experience. The Backcare charity estimates that 5.6 million working days are lost each year due to back pain. It’s a big problem.

Back pain is a general term that encompasses a number of different conditions. As a London osteopath I frequently see patients with the following problems:

Acute back pain

Acute back pain is pain that affects the back and has lasted for less than six weeks. It can be caused by a strain or sprain of the structures that make up the back (muscles, ligaments, joints, etc) or it can be caused by damage to the discs.

Chronic back pain

Chronic back pain simply lasts for longer than acute back pain. Typically, for over 12 weeks. Wear and tear to the back (eg as osteoarthritis) can cause chronic back pain.

Disc problems

Common disc-related problems that cause back pain include degenerative disc disease, ruptured (or ‘slipped’) disc and sciatica (a nerve pain).

Mechanical back pain

Mechanical back pain is where the source of the problem is in the spine or its supporting structure (spinal joints, discs, vertebrae or related tissues).

Sciatica

Sciatica is pain caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in your body, it runs from the back of your pelvis to your feet.

Ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a long-term condition. It can develop slowly over time and presents as the spine (and other areas of the body) becoming inflamed.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects your joints. It is the most common form of arthritis and it can be disabling and painful and is a common cause of back pain.

Visit an experienced London Osteopath in W1 and N2 N10

If you are suffering pain or discomfort and you would like further information on how I may help you or to book an Osteopathy appointment at either of my osteopathy clinics in London W1 and London N2 N10 please feel free to send me a message or call me on 020 8815 0979.

Back pain can be painful and sometimes can be debilitating. With reports suggesting that 8 out of 10 people will experience back pain at some stage of their life* it makes sense that we do as much as we can to take care of our backs.

Maintaining a healthy spine and joints

Keeping your spine flexible is an important factor for maintaining a healthy spine. Regular movement is the key to ensuring that discs between the vertebrae and the joint cartilage can achieve their maximum range and so increase local circulation and nutrition to surrounding fluid and tissues.

Here are 10 tips that will help you to maintain a healthy spine and joints:

1. Keep on the move and stretch
2. Exercise regularly
3. Avoid staying in one position for any length of time e.g. hunched over your computer
4. Take regular breaks when performing repetitive tasks
5. Pace your activity and don’t overdo it e.g. when exercising or lifting heavy objects
6. Avoid straining when lifting anything
7. Adjust your car seat for optimal support
8. Ensure your bed mattress provides you with sufficient support
9. Start young by making sure your children have good posture
10. Get osteopathic advice sooner rather than later

Visit an experienced London Osteopath in W1 and N2 N10

If you are suffering back pain or discomfort and you would like further information on how I may help you or to book an Osteopathy appointment at either of my osteopathy clinics in London W1 and London N2 N10 please feel free to send me a message or call me on 020 8815 0979.

* Palmer KT, Walsh K, et al. Back pain in Britain: comparison of two prevalence surveys at an interval of 10 years BMJ 2000;320:1577-1578

Reports suggest that 8 out of 10 of people will suffer some form of back pain during their lives which would suggest that back pain is more common than most people might think (1).

It is estimated that approximate 5.6 million working days in the UK are lost each year due to back pain. This number is second only to stress. (2 & 3)

Back pain and Osteopathy

As an experienced London Osteopath I treat many patients who are suffering from back pain. These patients can vary in age considerably as back pain can affect anyone. There can be many causes of back pain from sprains or strains or damage to the discs or wear and tear or osteoarthritis.

Some of the back conditions patients visit my osteopathy clinics in London for include:
• Acute back pain
• Chronic back pain
• Some disc problems
• Mechanical back pain
• Sciatica
• Ankylosing spondylitis
• Osteoarthritis

Every patient is different and it goes without saying that I treat every patient based on understanding them as an individual thus ensuring I provide each patient with the highest standard of care.

Depending on the patient’s age, fitness and diagnosis I use a range of gentle manual treatments. Treatment may include gentle manipulation and may include gentle massage. Treatment for back pain may also involve treating other areas of the body such as the neck or hips.

In addition to manual treatment I will offer patients advice on their lifestyle, especially where their activities or habits may be contributing to their back pain. I may also offer advice on posture, diet and exercise.

Visit an experienced London Osteopath in W1 and N2 N10

If you are suffering back pain or discomfort and you would like further information on how I may help you or to book an Osteopathy appointment at either of my osteopathy clinics in London W1 and London N2 N10 please feel free to send me a message or call me on 020 8815 0979.