Posts

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Western Medical Acupuncture is just one technique used by London Osteopath Robin Kiashek.

In this short video, Robin explains what this type of acupuncture is.

For more information on acupuncture please click here.

Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a technique used by London Osteopath Robin Kiashek.

In this short video, Robin explains what low level laser therapy is and what it can be used to treat.

For more information on Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) please click here.

At The Robin Kiashek Clinics, we believe in a holistic approach to your general health. Therefore, as well as assisting patients with conditions that are currently causing them pain, we also look to encourage and promote other preventative techniques and practices such as meditation and mindfulness. After reading about some exciting new research in this field, we thought we would share some of the findings with you.

The benefits of regular meditation

We have long known of the benefits to body and mind from regular meditation and focused relaxation, but the evidence has often been dismissed as anecdotal. Now, across the world, we are seeing more and more studies into what happens to us physically when we engage in this kind of mindfulness activity regularly.

What is mindfulness and meditation?

meditation

Before we discuss this latest research, let’s briefly touch on what meditation and mindfulness is. Meditation has been traditionally associated with the Buddhist faith and is considered to be a state of contemplation or prayer. Nowadays it is considered to be the practice of sitting quietly with one’s thoughts or focusing on breathing. The idea is to keep your mind in the present moment, calmly clear your mind of any particular thoughts, whilst in a lying or seated position, and becoming aware of the energy coursing through the body in order to relax.

Mindfulness is similar, in that it is a the practice of remaining present and becoming conscious of your thoughts, how they spring up, what they are telling you about your situation and learning how to observe those thoughts with a view to overcoming any negativity. It can also be practiced whilst going about daily tasks, by way of stepping back and being more aware of how we are feeling or acting.

Recent studies of brain activity

A very recent study used MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanning to prove conclusively that meditation can affect grey matter positively, causing it to undergo large, observable changes.

The work has been carried out in the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The project’s director, Sara Lazar, has concluded that during an average daily 27-minute meditation, the very structure of the brain alters. These changes lead to prolonged positive and relaxed feelings, and if sustained over a period of 8 weeks, result in significant changes and improvements in emotional life, as well as in the body.

In previous studies by Lazar’s team, the area of the brain that relates to attention and emotional integration, the cerebral cortex, has been shown to thicken in regular practitioners of meditation, more so than in subjects who had no previous experience in such activities.

Changes in our ‘dinosaur brain’

What is more, in the amygdala, the part of the brain often referred to as the ‘dinosaur brain’, responsible for regulating anxiety and stress reactions, there is a decrease in density of grey matter, meaning that the body is less likely to respond in a stressed way when faced with displeasing or adverse situations.

None of this brain activity was observed in the group of subjects who did not engage in mindfulness practice during the period of the study. No growth boosts in the brain were found. This showed without doubt that changes in the brain were not part-and-parcel of time simply passing, but that consistently engaging in mindfulness drastically changes grey matter.

The brain can be changed

Now we know more about the brain’s incredible plasticity, and we also have more confidence in encouraging human beings to be pro-active in their own brains’ re-structuring. It is now a certainty that the brain can be assisted into a state that leads to enhanced health and improvement in emotions and relationships, as well as increasing our ability to cope with stress.

Meditation to cope with stress

So, in light of the research above, might you consider introducing a regular mindfulness or meditation practice into your daily routine? Just 30 minutes per day, either first thing in the morning or last thing at night can help to make fundamental changes that will help the brain to cope with negative emotions such as stress or anxiety. These types of negative emotions may end up leading to more serious mental or even physical complaints (many of which we can help to treat in clinic), so it is wise to have a strategy to combat them.

Wellness and The Robin Kiashek Clinics

Wellness is at the heart of scientific endeavour, and here at Robin Kiashek Clinics we use the latest studies in diverse fields to keep our services on the cutting edge. To find out more about what we offer and our holistic approach to your health, please call us on: 0208 815 0979.

 

There are a number of questions I am frequently asked when I tell people I am an Osteopath. These generally go along the lines of “what do you actually do”, “how are you different from a Chiropractor” or “what can you treat?” Conversationally these questions are easier to answer, however this printed article has a finite word count. So in this instance I will direct you to my website www.robinkiashek.co.uk where not only these questions, but a multitude of others, are answered.

So why do people most commonly need an Osteopath?

london osteopath w1 n2 n10For me, within a clinical setting, I like to use the analogy of ‘The Dripping Tap Syndrome’. People will often have a small twinge or niggle of pain (a dripping tap over a glass scenario) which progressively starts to irritate that little bit more frequently (the glass starts to fill up). This can be over a period of weeks, months or even years. The analogical drip ultimately starts happening more often until eventually the final drop causes the glass to overflow and the patient experiences a significant increase in pain (commonly known as ‘acute’ pain). This ‘final drop’ can be an everyday event – maybe a sneeze, bending forward, a certain slight move etc

People come to me when the glass has overflowed. And my job is not only to turn it off, but to then understand why the tap was dripping in the first place. And the underlying reasons can sometimes be multifactorial – both on a physical level and sometimes emotional

How Can an Osteopath Help?

Assuming that someone has an issue which I can help, be that chronic or acute pain, sciatica, workplace injuries, sporting injuries or migraine, there is a very common set of three questions people ask me:

  1. What’s happening? (which is often a subtext for is it something more serious which I may not survive)
  2. How long will it take to fix?
  3. Will it come back?

A Holistic Approach to Health

Physiotherapist massaging patientUltimately I take a holistic approach to any health issue and, to go back to the analogy, find out why that dripping tap first occurred. As somebody who has undertaken extensive training from Osteopathy and Naturopathy, Post graduate studies in NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP)/Life Coaching, Western Acupuncture, The Perrin Technique for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Low Level Laser Therapy.

Stopping the drip is normally the relatively straightforward part of what I do. When it comes to preventing it from recurring this is where I need to understand the individual patient’s causative factors and working alongside them, help reduce the probability of a re-occurrence.

We both want the same goal, the patient to be happy and pain free. And by working together that is a more likely outcome.

To find out more about working with me in North or Central London please call 020 8815 0979. Alternatively you can request an appointment directly through our website here: https://www.robinkiashek.co.uk//request-an-appointment/

While most of us planned to fit in some “downtime” over the Christmas period, how many of us actually had it? With the festive period being the busiest time of year, some of us will be entering the New Year in need of another break just to recover from the hustle bustle of the season. But as a reputable London osteopath, I am a keen advocate of “downtime” as a combat against chronic stress and overworking your mind and body.

Untreated, long term stress can lead to both mental and physical health issues including depression, cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. (By the way, these only “scratch the surface” of the health hazards of stress!)

No matter what your job or your family commitments, it is fundamental to your happiness and health to take some time out for yourself every day – even it is just a relaxing soak in the bath with no interruptions! Many people see “downtime” or “me time” as a modern craze, when in fact it’s simply a biological necessity.

So You Play Sports? London Osteopath Robin Kiashek May Be Able To Help YouMany of my patients enjoy participating in different sports, ranging from a hobby of gentle walking to top-class professional athletes whose livelihood depends on peak sports performance. Whatever your own personal level of sports participation, there are three keys to maximising performance and avoiding pain.

Warm up and cool down

Sports injuries are common and one of the most common causes is through not warming up beforehand or not cooling down afterwards. While you might prefer to simply kit up and launch yourself onto the soccer field, this can give your body quite a shock, causing cold muscles to suddenly stretch and increasing the chances of strains and other injuries.

A warm-up session should include muscle stretching and light cardiovascular exercise. Its goal is to warm and stretch your muscles so that they are better equipped to take the impact they are about to be given and to increase circulation and loosen joints. Ideally you should take at least 20 minutes to prepare your body for sport by warming up.

If you are taking part in a sport that is more static (eg cricket) then you should maintain body temperature and muscle elasticity by gentle exercise and stretching when you can during the game.

Cooling-down is also important and is often overlooked. The cool-down process adjusts your body back from high activity to low activity in a gradual way. By cooling-down instead of simply stopping, your heart rate and blood pressure reduces in a more gradual way, reducing the chances of fainting or dizziness. Cool-downs also help to remove the build-up of lactic acid in your muscles after their vigorous activity. Stretching during a cool-down can also help improve flexibility. You do not need to spend a long time cooling down, 5 to 10 minutes is normally enough depending on how vigorous the sport was.

Avoid over-enthusiasm

It’s very tempting to hurl yourself across the court to make that winning shot or kick with tremendous enthusiasm in the hope that the ball will be too fast for the goalie to stop but this can lead to problems. Stretching our bodies beyond what they can cope with can lead to a variety of different problems.

And, no, it is not an age-related problem. It is certainly true that a less-young golfer might twist over-enthusiastically to encourage the ball just a little closer to the hole but younger people are just as vulnerable to problems. Their growing bodies are often expected to perform to very high standards and they can be putting exceptional demands on their bodies that they are simply not able to cope with. Over-enthusiasm affects everyone when they step outside of their limitations.

Incorrect equipment

Incorrect or ill-fitting equipment also causes problems. Badly fitting footwear can cause foot, knee and hip problems. Don’t forget that footwear that is a little old may no longer be giving you the correct fit so avoid wearing your running shoes until they fall off!

Ill-fitting protective equipment or not wearing protective equipment such as shin pads, head protectors, etc may not be a direct cause of injury but it can expose you to a greater chance of injury.

The good news

Although sports injuries are common, the good news is that the fitter you are, the faster and better you will recover. Therefore, it is valuable to keep doing the sport to maintain your fitness, even putting aside the pleasure that most of us get from participating in a sport.

How London Osteopath, Robin Kiashek can help

As well as treating sports injuries, osteopathy can also help improve sports performance by restoring structural balance, improving joint mobility and reducing adhesions and soft tissue restrictions. For instance, a golfer’s swing may be able to be helped by improving the body’s ability to move. This may also have the added benefit of reducing the likelihood of injury.

If you want to keep fit then osteopathy can help to improve your muscle tone and keep you supple. This will reduce the risk of injury and help the body recover quicker from any injury.

Robin Kiashek offers more than osteopathy from both his central and north London clinics. His allied therapies can better support you to achieve even higher sports performance or faster and better recovery from a sports injury.

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.

As with other medical professionals, osteopaths are regulated. This gives you the peace of mind that the osteopath that you are seeing is well qualified and will conform to a rigorous set of clinical standards to ensure your safety and to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatment for your condition.

To become an osteopath, requires completing a specialised degree programme, usually taking 4 to 5 years. This includes over 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice. Only then can a practitioner apply to be registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and call themselves an osteopath.

The GOsC maintains strict standards including the requirement for osteopaths to undertake a minimum of 30 hours of professional development each year. The GOsC will remove osteopaths from the register if they fail to meet a strict code of professional practice.

You can check that an osteopath is registered on the GOsC website.

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.