Is It Your Age?

Is It Your Age?

Have you ever had an ache and been told by friends and family “It’s your age, you’ve just got to put up with it”?

Or “There’s nothing we can do, it’s age-related”?

Just this week a patient told me he was just old, and asked what should he expect at his age. Well, there are some things that can’t be stopped or reversed, but some aches and pains are unnecessary. So how do you know the difference? Usually, arthritic pain starts gradually, it’s bothersome at the start, but not agony. It starts when some of the cartilage covering the ends of the bones roughens and becomes thin, then the bone thickens. So, the pain is not sudden.

As time goes on (we’re talking months and years here, not days) the bone at the edges of the joint thicken and form bumpy bits called spurs or osteophytes. That’s why arthritic joints look a bit fatter than normal. Of course, as all of this wear and tear happens it can cause pain, but it also causes a change in the way the joint works, which means the muscles can get tight, and the joints above and below have different strains put on them.

So, not only does the arthritic joint hurt, you’ve now also got pain from the changes in the muscles and other joints. And these can be helped with treatment. Muscle strains and joint pains can be treated with osteopathy, and we can give you easy things to do at home to help keep the area mobile.

You’d be amazed at how many patients think their pain is caused by arthritis when it’s only a muscle strain. So, don’t sit there and blame your age – get the right exercises and treatment.

You don’t have to put up with it!

Trampolinng

Trampolines have their ups and downs

The sun is shining, the children are smeared with a mixture of sun-cream and ice lolly gloop, the smallest one is covered in grass cuttings from falling on the newly mown lawn. And the new trampoline is waiting to keep A&E busy, and to provide me with opportunity to use some terrible jokes.

Trampolines are excellent exercise and entertainment, but they must be used safely. I refuse to do health and safety paranoia, but for every person telling you that jumping on a trampoline is great fun, another will label it a death trap. So, is your trampoline waiting to spring into action and cause you an injury? Or can your afternoon be bouncy?

Here are three and a half simple steps that you can take, to ensure that you won’t leap off the trampoline and land in the waiting room at A&E.

1. Think carefully about letting more than one person bounce at a time. Around 60% of trampoline accidents occur when more than one person is bouncing. Collisions, becoming unbalanced, and even being catapulted off are all dangers.

2. Make sure that young children aren’t on full-sized trampolines. Children under 6 make up about 15% of all trampoline injuries. Supervise them and keep them on age-appropriate trampolines to avoid accidents.

3. Buy the extra safety stuff: a safety net is essential to keep anyone from falling off, and padding over the springs will prevent fingers from being trapped or anyone slipping through.

3.5. Get some lessons if you can. If the kids know how to move on the trampoline it will be safer.

Clearly, trampolines have their ups and downs. However, if you’re thoughtful you can bounce to your heart’s content.

Upper Back Pain

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

People don’t talk about upper back pain very often. Yet it can be just as crippling as lower back pain. In most cases the underlying causes are not serious.

However, when it occurs, upper back pain can cause a level of discomfort that’s too misery-­‐making to ignore. Upper back pain is usually aggravated by moving the head or the arms, and can radiate out along the edge of the ribs. It can also cause headaches or aching pain in the neck and shoulders.

The causes of upper back pain can vary from poor posture or trauma, to improper lifting or carrying heavy objects.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

One of the most unexpected causes of upper back pain is sneezing! Yes, the common sneeze can cause excruciating pain in the upper back. It’s very easy to blame back pain on lifting heavy things like children, concrete, shopping or piles of washing, but sometimes our own bodily functions can be the cause of the problem.

Self-­‐help things you can do if your upper back is painful:

Rest: Avoid activities that exacerbate the pain for a day or two.

Sleep: Try to make sure you get some good sleep.

Watch your posture: When you’re sitting keep your head in a neutral position with your ears directly over your shoulders. This significantly reduces the amount of stress on your neck and back.

Be careful: Don’t try to stretch through serious pain – the chances are you will aggravate it!

As always the effect of any remedy will vary from person to person. Try to figure out what works best for you. And don’t do the things that make it worse!

Other causes of upper back pain may include osteoporosis (where the bones are weakened) and scoliosis (where the spine isn’t straight, but in an “S” or “C” curve when viewed from the back). So if the pain doesn’t subside, get your back checked – it’s not clever to ignore the pain.

Man swinging children by their arms

Lifting Kids

 

Are you guilty of lifting kids in a way that could hurt you?

Whether the kids are your own, your grandkids, or the ones you’re minding for someone else, children can be back-breaking work. I have no statistics for how many child-lifting injuries we see in this country, but I’d put money on it being a significant number.

Always bear in mind that you will be less useful to your children if you are injured. Back pain in particular can make caring for kids really difficult. So even when you’re tired try to think about your own posture and movement, not just what the small person needs.

Also, swinging children in this way can cause elbow dislocation in young children (under 5 or 6). Information can be found here https://www.webmd.com/children/nursemaid-elbow#1

Look out for some top tips on avoiding injury when lifting children later this week!

What I’ve Learned from Loving a Person with Scoliosis

For anyone who knows suomeone with scoliosis

The Curvy Spine

I asked my closest family and friends to share what they’ve learned from loving a person with scoliosis, and this is what they had to say:

I’ve learned a lot about resilience, and about individual strength to cope with and push through challenges. But I’ve also learned about helplessness, and understanding that as people we have an incredible capacity in some ways, but we are so restricted in others. — said my doting husband

I suffered a lot with everything you went through,and through your resilience and resignation, little by little, I learned to accept that in life we have to accept everything that is presented to us. I also learned that even through all the pain, you can move forward in life. You are a very strong person and I know that you provide an example to many people. — said my concerned mama

For me it was that…

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Ghosts Of Diets Past, Present and Future

I have said this for years!

Unlearn-Rethink

It always makes me laugh whenever someone refers to eating a low-carb diet as a “fad”. Be it LCHF, Ketogenic, Paleo, Banting, Atkins or whatever trendy name you want to call it, human beings have been nourishing their bodies with animal fats/proteins and vegetables since the beginning of their existence. Over the vast scope of time, humans in general, have always been carnivores/omnivores, feasting on hunted meats, gathered vegetables and the occasional seasonal fruit.


In fact, if one were to measure human history by the scale of a 24-hour clock:

  • Refined carbohydrates were introduced to our diet a mere 5 seconds ago.
  • The dietary advice to eat low-fat for optimal health, only 2 seconds ago.

Perhaps these short sighted individuals should reexamine the definition of the word “fad”

What has happened since we have adopted this new “low-fat fad”? A global insurgence of metabolic disease, all in different stages…

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What I Mean When I Say I Have Scoliosis

The Curvy Spine

Scoliosis is an extremely complicated condition. According to WebMD, “scoliosis is a lateral (toward the side) curvature in the normally straight vertical line of the spine.” But that’s the super basic, elementary explanation for a very complex condition that affects the body, mind and soul. Scoliosis can cause a ginormous list of physical symptoms that lead to mental and emotional distress. Although those who live with scoliosis are similar in some ways, no two people are really 100% alike in their symptoms and in the consequences they face due to scoliosis. In my time writing my story on The Curvy Spine, I’ve had several people ask what scoliosis feels like. Here’s my brief explanation of what it’s like for me to live with scoliosis:

Those Nights When I Need Help
There are nights when I am in so much pain that I lack the stamina and the strength to adjust…

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The Core Workout I Do for My Scoliosis

These look very good for anyone with scoliosis (or even those without).

The Curvy Spine

So the truth is, I am not a big fan of taking pictures of myself working out and then publishing them, but I did it anyway. I did it because one of you, my dear followers, asked me to share the workout that I do on a daily basis to help with flexibility, strength and pain. I am not going to pretend I have a bikini-ready body, because I definitely do not. Merely, I want to share with all of you my workout routine and I hope it helps someone along the way.

As a side note, I am not a personal trainer, and I have no degree in fitness whatsoever, so please talk to your doctor or someone who knows your body well before you try my routine yourself.

Click here to download the image.

core-workouts-for-scoliosis-1


The Curvy Spine does not generate any income, but if you feel inspired, buy…

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Richard III’s back!

A blog I wrote for a Richard III blog

murreyandblue

Despite clear explanations by a spinal expert, the exact nature of Richard III’s spinal curvature is still being misconstrued and misunderstood. As an osteopath, I feel I am in a position to shed some definitive light on it.

Richard was portrayed by Shakespeare as a hunchback (“Bunch-backed toad”), with a withered arm and a limp.

The detailed examination of his spine by the experts has proved that he did not have a withered arm, and there was no evidence of a limp, either. If you think the bones are unlikely to show whether or not he had a withered arm you would be wrong, because the pull of muscles on the skeleton actually causes changes in the bone. That is why new born babies have no mastoid process (the bony part of the skull behind the ear) – it only develops after the baby is able to hold up its…

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