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After a cold, dark and seemingly endless winter – especially irksome if you’re a runner in training – dreary February has finally given way to hopeful March. Which means that spring (hopefully!) and the all-important race/marathon season are both around the corner. And with the London Marathon less than two months away, you’re probably already stepping up your training regime.

As a runner, you’re susceptible to all sorts of injuries and complaints. Among the most common are the dreaded Plantar Fasciitis, painful inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot (and particularly nasty first thing in the morning), or Achilles tendonitis. This manifests itself as pain and tenderness in the heel and along the Achilles tendon (actually the thickest tendon in the human body) and is the bane of up to two thirds of runners.

Get to grips with leg pain

On a practical level, there are a couple of simple self-help measures that you can try:

  • First and foremost, take an immediate break from training;
  • Apply ice regularly to the painful area for the first 48-72 hours to reduce swelling.

Some sufferers find that wearing orthotics (supportive shoe inserts that lift the heel) and swapping flats for low-heeled shoes helps to ease pain and pressure. It’s never a bad idea to take a good, hard look at your training footwear too, in case it needs replacing. And gentle, stretching exercises, such as the heel drop (devised by Swedish sports doctor Dr Hakan Alfredson) that comprises three sets of 15 heel drops twice daily over three months, are often recommended to stretch and strengthen the affected tendons.

Give low-level laser therapy a go

Over time, most such treatments will provide some relief, but what if you had access to a quicker, more effective and long-lasting therapy? Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) could be the answer. It’s a pain-free, non-invasive treatment that involves a low-power light beam being placed on the injured area. The light stimulates repair by cellular organelles (specialized structures within a cell that carry out a particular function) called Mitochondria, thereby reducing pain and promoting a speedier, safer recovery.

Treatment times are relatively short and many patients report encouraging results within two or three sessions.

LLLT is used widely by osteopaths in the United States and is gaining ground here in the UK, alongside general osteopathic techniques, as a successful treatment for sports injuries, Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, back pain, various types of arthritis and many other conditions.

At Robin Kiashek Clinics we’ve been using LLLT for over 10 years with patients reporting great improvements to their symptoms. If you’d like to find out more about it then there is some useful information on our website, including a video explaining how it works.So if pain has stopped play when it comes to your exercise regime then why not contact me to see if LLLT could get you back up and, quite literally, running?

The clocks have gone back and as well as signalling the onset of shorter days, it can also trigger what has affectionately been dubbed the ‘Winter Blues’ – or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

But what is SAD, how do I know I have it and what can be done to tackle it?


What is SAD?

SAD is often known as ‘Winter depression’ or the ‘Winter blues’ and this mainly due to most sufferers experiencing symptoms during the winter months, although there are some cases where SAD sufferers experience it all year.

Typically, symptoms begin in Autumn as the days begin to get shorter and increase to their most severe point during the Winter months – December to February, often improving as spring begins and fading completely during the Summer months. This can continue in a repetitive fashion year after year.

And, the reason seasonal change has a link to SAD is because one of the main factors behind this condition is thought to be linked to our exposure to natural sunlight.


What are the Symptoms?
 

As with most conditions, symptoms vary and not everyone will experience the same symptoms, or indeed all of them. However, they can include:

  • A continuous low mood
  • Feeling lethargic, with a lack of energy and desire to perform normal daily tasks
  • Sleep problems – falling asleep during the day, but unable to sleep at night
  • Anxiety, irritability, not wanting to interact with people
  • Depression or feelings of despair, worthlessness or guilt
  • Craving carbohydrates, sweet foods which can then lead to weight gain
  • Loss of libido or interest in physical contact

For some these symptoms, can have a serious effect on their daily lives, leaving them unable to perform even the simplest of tasks.


What is the cause?

While the exact cause of SAD is still not fully understood, it is often linked to the reduction of exposure to sunlight which is why it is more prevalent in the Winter months.

The prominent theory is that the lack of sunlight during this period, may stop a part of the brain called hypothalamus working properly, and which in turn may affect the:

  • production of melatonin– melatonin is a hormone that makes you feel sleepy; In SAD sufferers, the body may produce it in higher than normal levels
  • production of serotonin – serotonin is the hormone that affects your appetite, mood, appetite and sleep patterns – therefore a lack of sunlight may lead to lower levels of serotonin, which has been linked to feelings of depression
  • body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) – your body uses sunlight as its internal clock, triggering time for various important functions, such as when you wake up. Therefore, lower light levels during the winter may disrupt this and lead to symptoms of SAD

In addition, there is some indication that genes also play a factor in making some people more vulnerable to the symptoms of SAD, as in some cases it has appeared to run in the family.


What can be done to combat SAD?

There are a range of treatments that those suffering with SAD can explore to reduce the symptoms, and help those with severe cases to regain some normality to their daily routines.

These include:

  • lifestyle changes – including increasing the amount of natural sunlight you receive as possible, exercising regularly, eating a better diet and managing your stress levels;
  • light therapy – where a special lamp called a light box is used to simulate exposure to sunlight. There are many different versions available on the market.
  • talking therapies – such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or counselling
  • medication – if your symptoms do not improve your GP or medical professional may suggest a course of medication, such as an anti-depressant.

If you feel like you are experiencing symptoms of SAD, and wish to discuss with us more detail the ways in which we could help, please get in contact today via email or by telephoning 020 8815 0979.

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.

The results of a survey* released by the Mental Health Foundation suggests that the number of people who often or always feel stressed is 29% and the figures for those feeling anxious were 24% and depressed 17%.

The charity is now calling for a therapy called mindfulness to be made available nationally on the NHS. However, the recommendation is for specific groups of patients. These groups include patients who repeatedly relapse into depression or who are experiencing distress because of a serious physical illness such as cancer.

Mindfulness is derived from Buddhist meditation and is a technique which helps people reduce stress by focussing on the present moment.

Mindfulness sessions can be prescribed by GPs in some parts of the country; however, it is not widely available. The mindfulness technique has been endorsed by NICE (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) and the Government’s chief medical officer. For some of the groups of patients it is being recommended for, trails have suggested that it can be as effective as anti-depressant drugs.

We will wait to see whether the charity’s recommendations are taken on board.

For many years I have taught Autogenic Training (AT). Both AT and Mindfulness have a common baseline – they tone down the Autonomic Nervous System, which, amongst other functions, controls the ‘Flight or Fight’ response.

AT can be very powerful as one of my patient’s found having suffered from insomnia for many years:

“After all these years and the many, many things I have tried, I really didn’t think anything would help me – thanks to Robin and Autogenic Training, I have been proved wrong – and that’s a first!” DL

Visit an experienced London Osteopath in W1 and N2 N10

If would like further information on how I may help you with AT 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.