North Shore Osteopaths, Balgowlah

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Osteopathy: Helping Your Body Help You

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

 

 

The majority of injuries suffered by Australians occur in the workplace or during leisure activities, according to a National Health Survey (ABS)[1]. Osteopaths are uniquely positioned to assist people of all ages to prevent injuries that can easily occur in daily life.

 

Osteopathy, statistically the fastest growing health profession in Australia[2], is a form of drug-free, manual healthcare that focuses on a whole-of-body approach to health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework.

 

Osteopathy takes a unique approach to healthcare and looks at the entire body as a working unit. They use manual techniques to assist all systems of the body and ensure each part is working correctly.

 

Osteopaths regularly treat patients who have been injured in the workplace, at home or while playing sport. These patients may complain of lower back pain, headaches, muscle strain or joint stiffness.

 

Injury prevention means less time off work and more time enjoying good health, so it’s important for Australians to know how injuries can happen and how to prevent them.

 

In the office: select a suitable chair for your desk, take regular breaks from looking at the computer screen and move around the office periodically. Without these precautions, people may experience back and neck pain, eyestrain, headache pain or general stress and tension.

 

In the home: simple tasks such as lifting grocery shopping or carrying young children can easily cause injury. Bend your knees as you lift heavy items and avoiding sudden, jerky movements as these risk damaging the lower back or straining muscles.

 

Exercise: perform warm up and cool down stretches before and after exercise. This is especially important during the colder weather as the risk of injury becomes greater.

 

With our lives becoming increasingly busy, yet sedentary, osteopathy offers a prevention plan that is quick and easy and offers a great way for Australians to maintain their health.

 

Osteopathy is safe for all age groups and osteopaths treat not only the specific problem but also provide lifestyle advice on diet, exercise, stress reduction, posture and breathing. Osteopaths encourage individuals to proactively prevent injuries and ailments, which in the long term leads to better overall health and less time and money spent on treatment.

 

Osteopaths can be seen directly without a referral or in addition to the care provided by a GP. It is acknowledged by all major health funds as well as DVA, Workcover, Medicare and attracts a rebate with a GP referral for chronic pain and conditions.

 

Call us now to book your appointment!

 



[1]  ABS. (2002). Health Risk Factors: Work-related injuries. Canberra: ABS.

[2] ABS. (2008). Australian Social Trends. Canberra: ABS.

 


Don’t Let Back Pain Rule Your Life

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


According to Safe Work Australia, around 58 works per 1000 are injured during a 12 month period. Work related injury and illness is estimated to cost Australia over $60 billion each financial year. This represents nearly 5% of GDP[1].



Further research shows that 25% of all injuries occur in just one area - the back[2]. Osteopathy Australia (formerly Australian Osteopathic Association) is celebrating International Osteopathy Awareness Week April 12-19 and encourages all Australians to use this week to get into healthy habits at work and home.

Major causes of back injury are poor lifting technique or the impact of bad posture and computer use. Not all back problems arise from a sudden event or trauma, in fact a significant number of injuries result from cumulative stress on the back. In these injuries small

One possibility for these injuries is repeated small or unnoticed lifting injuries giving rise to micro-trauma and local inflammation of the ligaments and muscles in the low back. This can interrupt the delicate feedback mechanisms that control small muscle contractions in the spine, leaving the area less coordinated and more vulnerable to further injury. These small aches and pains are often ignored until the problem progresses and becomes more severe.

This is where an osteopath can help. Osteopathy is a form of drug-free, manual healthcare that focuses on total body health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework. Osteopaths are primary health care practitioners with the training and skills to assess complaints and develop the most effective course of action.

Osteopaths advise on posture, exercise and stretching to help prevent the reoccurrence of back pain. Osteopaths can help improve general mobility, reduce muscular tension, nerve compression and inflammation and can assist improving the ergonomics of a home or workplace.



Don’t wait for back pain to become a severe problem before seeing a health professional.  Treatment of the injured area followed up with rehabilitation including muscle strengthening, increasing flexibility and work on the stabilising muscles along the spine may well help to reduce the risk of further injury.



So what you do to help prevent back injury? Here are some simple rules to help reduce back pain at work or home:



  • Lift from your knees, not your back - keep your back straight, bend your knees and keep the weight close to your body when lifting.
  • Avoid twisting or reaching when carrying weight, instead move your feet carefully and turn your whole body.
  • When sitting at a desk make sure your feet are flat on the floor and your arms are parallel to the ground with your wrists in a neutral position.
  • Keep your monitor 50 – 100 cm from your face and adjust it so the centre sits at eye level.
  • Change your posture regularly and stand up to move around and stretch every 30 minutes.


If you're experiencing back pain, call us or book an appointment online.


[1] Safe Work Australia. (2014). Key Work Health and Safety Statistics, Australia, 2014. Canberra.

[2] ABS. (2002). Health Risk Factors: Work-related injuries. Canberra: ABS.



Do you suffer from poor posture?

Friday, February 21, 2014

 

 

Do you suffer from poor posture: rounded shoulders, a ‘hump’ at the base of the neck and a slightly ‘slumped’ back? Do you find this impossible to change no matter how many times you keep trying to ‘sit up straight and put your shoulders back’? The driving factor maintaining this poor posture, may be coming from your FEET.

 

The nerves in your feet that talk to the brain about your posture, exist in greater number in your big toe joints. Through stimulating your big toes, this communication can increase, improving your posture

 

Handy tip: one way of improving the communication between your feet and your brain, is by spending time each week walking barefoot in the sand and on rocks.

 

However, if you spend most of your time away from the sand, you may benefit from wearing our Posture Control Insoles (PCI’s, or prokinetics), which are designed specifically to improve this communication and your posture, by giving stimulation to the big toe joints.

 

The insoles may also benefit the feet themselves, as well as potentially reducing hip, knee and back pain

 

They are safe to wear for adults and children, from the ages of 6 and up. Children, with their growing bones may particularly benefit from these insoles.

Book in for an assessment today, to see if you or your children may benefit from these insoles!


Do you suffer lower back pain?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

 

 

Do you suffer from lower back pain? Does your lower back feel weak and unstable?

 

Do you have strong tummy muscles or core muscles? Strengthening these muscles can be one of the best ways to help prevent and alleviate lower back pain and weakness. While doing specific abdominal muscle training like sit-ups is very good, consistency is the key. Ideally, the tummy muscles should be helping to support the lower back all the time, not just during exercise time.

 

Handy Tip: when you are standing, sitting, about to stand or sit and particularly when bending forward, very slightly contract your tummy muscles by drawing your tummy back towards your spine. This should be a subtle movement that doesn’t feel hard to maintain and doesn’t feel like you are ‘sucking in your tummy’. Every now and then, remind yourself to do this slight contraction again.

 

When you do this exercise, if it increases your back pain – or if it doesn’t alleviate your pain at all, you may be out of alignment and therefore you may benefit from coming to see us to assess and treat you.


Do you suffer from a weak bladder?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

 

 

Do you suffer from a weak bladder? Do you have difficulty with going to the toilet one way or the other? Are you a woman who experiences period pain or pain or decreased sensation during intercourse? If so, you may benefit from doing pelvic floor exercises. These exercises are widely taught now, however it is believed that the relaxation phase is just as important to control as the contraction phase.

 

Your pelvic floor muscles are located around your reproductive and excretion areas.

 

There are several groups of muscles which make up the pelvic floor, overlapping each other to form a supportive sling-like structure.

 

Handy tip: To squeeze your pelvic floor muscles from front to back, then relax them from back to front: first gently squeeze the front area like you are trying not to do a ‘number 1’ then squeeze the middle area, then the back area like you are trying not to do a ‘number 2’, then relax the back area, the middle area and lastly the front area.

 

If the relaxation phase feels difficult to do or is painful, your pelvic floor muscles may be too tight. If the contraction phase feels too difficult to do, some of your muscles may not be ‘communicating’ with each other optimally.

 

To have your pelvic floor muscles assessed and treated, come in and see us for an appointment


How Stable is Your Pelvis?

Friday, May 03, 2013

 

 

Although pelvic pain is commonly associated with pregnancy, it can affect both men and women of all ages. Low back, pelvic and hip pain can often be due to a sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction. The SI joint is formed by the triangular sacrum bone - which is at the base of your spine, sitting between the two 'pelvic' (iliac) bones.


Very little motion naturally occurs at this joint and it is held together by thick, strong ligaments. Typically pain can occur when there is more movement here than normal. During the later stages of pregnancy hormones are produced to relax these these ligaments allowing the joint to be more flexible and to prepare the body for labour. However anything that over-stresses the joints and ligaments can result in pain such as; direct trauma, car accidents, whiplash, a fall onto your bottom that can twist the pelvis, a shorter leg, poor posture, low back or hip pain/injury, heavy lifting or unaccustomed exercise. Often as a result of the local irritation or simply due to inappropriate muscle activation the deep muscles that help to stabilise the pelvis also stop doing their job properly; which can further exacerbate the problem and cause instability. In some cases the exact cause and initial trigger of SI pain may be unknown.

What you will be happy to hear is that most people who suffer from this pain can get relief, decrease the duration and help the problem with the correct management and osteopathic treatment.

Some helpful tips and how we can help:

-Initially rest if you are able (not always possible with young kids, we know!). This will help to reduce the inflammation (applying ice can also help with this when it first comes on ) .

-Gentle stretching through the bottom, back, hips, thighs and legs to relieve pain 

-Strengthening exercises to increase correct muscle activation and control to muscles deep around the pelvis

-Core stability rehabilitation programs for the abdominals, gluteals and low back

If you suffer from this type of pain during pregnancy, postpartum or for an unknown reason don't put up with it any longer!

We can help. Call 02 9907 8919 now for further information or to make an appointment.

Tips for Lower Back Pain

Sunday, December 16, 2012

 

Did you know that humans are designed to be upright and on the move? We are NOT designed to sit and yet that is what we do for a large part of our day. Traveling to work, at the office or at home relaxing in the evenings, we SIT!! So, how can we reduce the stress of this on our low backs?

 

1) Avoid lumbar rolls or lumbar supports, especially in cars with bucket seats.

 

2) The ideal position when sitting is to have GREATER than 90 degrees between your trunk and your thighs. In other words, wherever possible, sit with your KNEES slightly LOWER than your hips. (This is harder in a car than at a desk). One easy way to achieve this is to use a folded up towel or small , flat cushion at the back of the car seat or office chair, so it lifts your bottom and hips up slightly . This stops you slouching as much and takes the strain off the bottom discs in your spine.

 

3) If your back is achey at the end of the day, when you get to relax in the evening , DON'T sit, LIE down. Try on your back , with your knees up and your feet resting flat on whatever you are lying on, your head elevated slightly on a pillow or cushion .

 

4)If you need to sit up, stay away from those low, soft lounges or saggy armchairs and go for something with a bit of support in the seat .

 

If you have any questions about any of these tips, please call Sharon on 9907 8919


Are You Pregnant?

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Would you like to maximise your chances of a straight forward birth?

 

Did you know osteopathic treatment can improve birth outcomes? (1)

 

As well as helping to relieve back , pelvic and pubic symphysis pain, heartburn and headaches during pregnancy, recent research has shown better birth outcomes in women who have osteopathic treatment during pregnancy (1). 

Treatment is gentle and can help to balance out your pelvis and spine. This is thought to help the baby to enter the pelvis as level as possible as well as ease it's passage through the birth canal.

Sharon has also found that linking osteo treatment with the Calmbirth courses (www.calmbirth.com.au) plus good nutrition can all add up to a more straight forward, happier delivery....

BUT please don't leave it too late ! If you want your pelvis checked out for the birth, come along as soon as you can. That way, if there are any major issues, we have a bit of time to sort them out.

Need more info? Call Sharon on 9907 8919

(1) Osteopathic manipulative treatment in pre-natal care. Evidence supporting improved outcomes and health policy implications '. Hollis H King AAO Journal 2000


Heartburn and pelvic pain?

Friday, July 27, 2012

 

Did you know that osteopathic treatment can help relieve heartburn during pregnancy?

 

Did you also know that quite often you get Heartburn and pelvic pain together?

 

The diameter of a woman's rib cage is meant to expand by up to 9cm over the course of her pregnancy, to make room for the baby.

For this to happen, she needs a nice flexible ribcage and a happy, stretchy diaphragm.

The diaphragm is not only the main breathing muscle, but it also has the food pipe pass through it to get to the stomach. Any tightness through the lower ribs and the diaphragm can not only worsen heartburn, but it can also reduce the room for baby.

As the baby grows and the uterus expands, if the diaphragm and lower ribs don't lift up and out of the way , the baby has to stay low and find room in the pelvis. This increases the load on mums' pelvis and means we often see pelvic and pubic symphysis or pelvic pain go hand in hand.

 

YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT !!

 

We can help the heartburn and the pelvic pain. Call 02 9907 8919 now for further information or to make an appointment.

Sharon Franklin - Director


Sleeping like a baby?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

 

Did you know that osteopathic treatment may be able to help sleeping and behavioral issues in babies and kids?

 

Have you recently been on a flight , even a short, 1 hour domestic flight and your little one has stopped sleeping properly?

 

'Has your little one recently had a growth spurt or a fever?'

 

Are they more cranky or tearful than usual or just 'not themselves' and you have no idea why?

 

Over the sixteen years I have been treating babies and children, I have had Mums bring their little ones to me over and over for the above reasons and have experienced it in my own little girl. Time and time again there have been areas of tightness or irritation in their bodies, which, once treated , have led to a happier, calmer bub or toddler, and improved sleep. As an adult, you can understand if you are in pain or discomfort, or simply 'don't feel right' and are able to explain this clearly to others. Babies and children cannot do that, so we need to follow their cues and, as parents trust our instincts that they may need a little extra help.

 

Don't struggle, trust your gut and get them checked. If you're unsure, CALL me for a chat on 9907 8919.

Sharon


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