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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.

 

Mental health - Cartoon brain walkingIt’s well known that regular exercise brings huge benefits. In a society where sitting has become the norm, being active helps to regulate weight, build and maintain strong muscles and bones, boost energy and promote healthy sleep. It can also reduce the risk of injury and chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and osteoporosis. It can also protect memory and thinking skills. But did you know that physical activity can help stave off depression too?

Backed up by research

Recent research among 200,000 people by King’s College London showed that regular exercisers are 16% less likely to develop the blues. This rises to 31% if you follow the Government’s advice and opt for 150 minutes’ physical activity a week – that’s just 20 minutes per day. Interestingly, the results applied across all age groups, from children to pensioners.

The reason? Exercise of any type or intensity brings about changes in areas of the brain that regulate stress and anxiety, allowing you to relax and enjoy life more.

This is partly thanks to the increased production of endorphins, (‘feel-good’ chemicals). These are known to help produce positive feelings and reduce one’s perception of pain.

So the message is get moving, whatever your age, state of fitness, experience or ability. It’s never too late and there are many forms of exercise to choose from, either alone or as part of a group – from gardening, walking or dancing to joining a gym or aerobics class and so on. The better your preferred activity fits in with your lifestyle, the more likely it is that you will remain motivated and keep it up.

Staying safe

If you’re starting out or a bit rusty, here’s how to exercise safely to minimise the risk of injury:

  • Seek advice from your GP, osteopath, gym instructor or personal trainer. He or she will assess your current fitness levels and put together a personalised training programme if appropriate.
  • Always warm up and stretch muscles before exercising and cool down/stretch properly afterwards.
  • Rest for a day between exercise sessions to prevent overuse and enable the body to repair itself.
  • When starting a new exercise programme, expect a little post-exercise aching and soreness. This should ease within a couple of days but if not or is very painful, rest, use ice (wrapped in a wet towel for 5 minutes and remove for 10 minutes, repeating twice more) and anti-inflammatory gel to help relieve symptoms.
  • Never train if injured or experiencing discomfort.
  • If you experience acute pain or any post-exercise discomfort continues beyond a day or so, book an appointment with osteopath Robin Kiashek to check you over.

While the name tennis elbow may imply that this is a ‘tennis’ specific injury to the elbow, this is not the case. Tennis elbow is most often sustained as a result of repetitive overuse or wear and tear from any hobby, sport or activity. However, sometimes a single injury can cause the symptoms.

The pain and tenderness associated with tennis elbow are experienced in the outside of the elbow joint. Unfortunately, the pain can be prolonged as a result of a person’s normal activities and habits.

Whilst many cases of tennis elbow can ease naturally over time many people seek treatment and advice from an osteopath.
Three Ways a London Osteopath can help you …

1. Low Level Laser Therapy & Acupuncture

As an experienced London osteopath, with over 20 years experience, I aim to work with my patients to address their presenting symptoms and understand causative factors to promote on-going health. I use a combination of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), acupuncture and massage techniques, whilst also assessing the biomechanical relationship between the hand, shoulder and upper back region.

2. Advice & Guidance

I can offer advice that will help you, including activities and movements to avoid and specific exercises to help you. As a qualified Display Screen Equipment assessor, ergonomic advice may be included.

3. Referral

In rare cases it may be necessary to refer you for further investigations

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.

While most of us are aware of the significance of our genes which we inherit from our parents and how they make us who we are, scientists and researchers in recent decades have been focussing on another layer of genetic inheritance called epigenetics. Scientists have learned that epigenetics also plays a role in determining what our DNA blueprints look like.

An article in Time by Alice Park sets about explaining this health buzzword

Recent research shows how it’s possible to pass on epigenetic changes in a new study published in the journal Cell. These epigenetic changes are created by exposure to things like tobacco, environmental pollutants and diet as well as lifestyle behaviours.

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.

Naturopathy is a complementary health profession based on the old-age philosophy that the human body has the innate ability to heal itself through nature.

From modern pollutants and poor diet to emotional and psychological issues today’s world can pose a challenge to our health and block natural influences.

Who can naturopathy help?

Patients of all ages and most states of health can be helped by naturopathy. Naturopathy not only addresses current symptoms but also aims to prevent illness before it develops.

Naturopathy treats each patient as a unique individual and is based on understanding the person as a whole.

What you can expect when you first visit me

As a Naturopath, my role is to help rid your body of the toxins and underlying issues that may harm its capacity to heal itself. I will help you to achieve wellbeing through natural methods and treatments.

I will work with you to develop an individual plan based on your needs and to achieve this I will work with you to identify any factors that may be undermining your health.

To better understand you, on your first visit, I will ask you a series of questions about your lifestyle, medical history, physical and when appropriate, emotional circumstances and diet.

I may undertake further tests depending on the answers you have provided and your specific requirements and objectives.

Based on the information I gather, I will begin to work with you to develop a plan suited to your specific circumstance. It may be appropriate to harness other treatments that I offer and you can find out more about these in the How I Help You section of the website.

For more information on Naturopathy or to book a Naturopathy consultation in one of my London Clinics in W1 and N2 N10 please feel free to send me a message or call me on 020 8815 0979.

It’s All in Your Head, a book by Suzanne O’Sullivan, turns the focus on to psychosomatic disorders.

In an extract from her book published in the Daily Telegraph, Suzanne, a neurologist, shares a fascinating story of a man who loses the power of his legs but all the tests undertaken suggest he is fit and well.

Suzanne traces the journey of the patient, Matthew, from his first visit to her through to his struggle in accepting the diagnosis of a psychosomatic disorder. Suzanne highlights the importance of a patient first having to accept their diagnosis to start on the path of getting better. The good news is that with the correct diagnosis and following treatment Matthew has been able to get on the road to recovery.

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

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In this excellent 15 minute TED video, paediatrician Nadine Burke Harris outlines how childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime. She starts her talk with the discovery made by the CDC and Kaiser Permanente that exposure to childhood trauma dramatically increased the risk for seven out of ten of the leading causes of death in the US.

It was found that those exposed to very high doses of childhood trauma have triple the lifetime risk of heart disease and lung cancer and a 20 year difference in life expectancy.

Nadine Burke Harris speaks passionately about her experience and the science behind these findings.
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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.

 

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.