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Health Tips

Back pain



One in three people develop back pain, so remember: you're not alone! Most people suffer from back pain as a result of poor posture or poor lifting and handling techniques.


The most powerful way to prevent further back pain problems is by sitting correctly. This is something we teach all our patients who suffer from back pain. If you spend a lot of time sitting at a computer, for example, it is very important to know how to sit properly. It is also amazing how few people know how to do such a basic thing.

You will certainly be improving things if you sit right back in your chair and place a firm cushion or lumbar support in the small of your back. If you would like any help with learning how to sit properly, then please contact the Oakwood Physiotherapy Clinic. We also have available a range of lumbar supports.

A very common cause of back pain is gardening. Try to remember to rotate tasks - to do five minutes of mowing and then five minutes of weeding. Keep changing the task to take pressure off your back from prolonged activities where your back is bent. Also, it may be advisable to do warm-up exercises before starting to work in your garden.

We strongly advise that if you are suffering from pain or discomfort that you consult your doctor or other appropriate professional medical personnel before commencing any self-administered courses of treatment or activity.


Neck pain & headaches



When your neck is inflamed it can make life really miserable. It can give you headaches, shoulder pain and even make you feel low and irritable. This is because your neck has a large number of nerves that run through the neck and into your head and body. Some connect to your stomach, so you sometimes also feel sick.


Neck pain, like back pain, may be caused by poor posture, and is often triggered by stress and fatigue. If in doubt, it may be best to get a professional opinion from your doctor or a Chartered Physiotherapist or Osteopath.

Key tips are to monitor your posture - think tall and don't slouch! Tilt your work up towards you if you are reading or writing. Then you can read or write by keeping your head up and lowering your eyes. This will help prevent an aching neck and shoulder muscles.

We strongly advise that if you are suffering from pain or discomfort that you consult your doctor or other appropriate professional medical personnel before commencing any self-administered courses of treatment or activity.


Sports injuries



The best way to avoid sports injuries is to remember to warm-up properly before starting an activity. A warm-up should include a regime of pre-exercise stretches to all the main muscle groups. You should also follow a cool-down regime after an activity to stretch your muscles out.


Sports massage is helpful in bringing your muscles to peak condition for a special event and to relieve stiffness in the muscles, if it occurs after a sports activity.

If you are unlucky and pull a muscle or notice a tendon becoming sore or painful, then using an ice pack for a few minutes two or three times a day may be beneficial. Consider consulting your doctor or a Chartered Physiotherapist who can treat your injury and advise you on how much to rest or use the affected area.

We strongly advise that if you are suffering from pain or discomfort that you consult your doctor or other appropriate professional medical personnel before commencing any self-administered courses of treatment or activity.


Whiplash



Whiplash is the name given to a neck or back injury caused by a car accident where the violent force of a collision causes the spine to be whipped forwards and backwards or side to side. This overstretches many structures such as ligaments, muscles and tendons. It also compresses inter-vertebral discs and joints.


Severe cases can cause bruising of your oesophagus (the 'swallowing pipe' in your throat) that can cause temporary discomfort when swallowing, as well as mild brain bruising causing temporary forgetfulness or a muddle-headed feeling.

Headaches are also a common reaction to a whiplash injury.

A doctor should normally initially assess this type of injury. If there is no serious injury such as a fracture, the best way forward is to try and keep moving - and gentle regular exercises will help your spine to recover. A Chartered Physiotherapist or osteopath is qualified to treat this type of injury and help you on the road to recovery.

We strongly advise that if you are suffering from pain or discomfort that you consult your doctor or other appropriate professional medical personnel before commencing any self-administered courses of treatment or activity.


Arthritis



All of us develop normal wear-and-tear of joints as we age - this is osteoarthritis. But it does not mean that we have to be in pain.

Exercise is the key to keeping your joints as mobile as possible, for example, gentle stretch and tone classes. A Chartered Physiotherapist at the Oakwood Physiotherapist Clinic can suggest specific exercises for individual joint problems. And don't forget about an appropriate diet.

Massage can help to relieve the muscle tension that can build around stiff or inflamed joints, and improve the circulation.

Heat can be comforting and soothing - try placing a hot water bottle containing warm water over the affected area to feel if it helps. If it does, you may benefit from seeing one of our Chartered Physiotherapists and trying a deep heat treatment or moist steam packs combined with exercises.

We strongly advise that if you are suffering from pain or discomfort that you consult your doctor or other appropriate professional medical personnel before commencing any self-administered courses of treatment or activity.


Shoulder pain



Shoulder pain can be caused by poor posture! If you have rounded shoulders and slouch too much your shoulder joints cannot work normally and will give you twinges and aches. It may become sore to lie on your shoulder or to reach out, particularly to your side. A cold compress made from a few ice cubes wrapped in a damp cloth and applied to your shoulder for a few minutes may give temporary relief.


Remember to think tall, check your seating position and get advice on the way in which your computer keyboard and monitor are set up and your driving position. Avoid activities that hurt, but don't stop using your arm completely. If in doubt, it may be best to get a professional opinion from your doctor or a Chartered Physiotherapist or Osteopath.

Sometimes the source of shoulder pain is actually in your spine or neck. If this is the case you may benefit from physiotherapy or osteopathy to ease the pain and teach you preventative exercises.

We strongly advise that if you are suffering from pain or discomfort that you consult your doctor or other appropriate professional medical personnel before commencing any self-administered courses of treatment or activity.


Knee pain




Knees are complex joints that bear your body weight and allow lots of movement. As we age knee joints are prone to osteoarthritis: wear-and-tear of the joint surfaces. This causes the joint to stiffen up.

Treatment is usually aimed at easing pain using various methods such as stretches, electrotherapy, acupuncture and manipulation. Perhaps more importantly, treatment will also be aimed at strengthening the muscles around the joint to slow down the process of degeneration where possible.

Avoid kneeling on hard surfaces - use a cushion, and be kind to those hard working knees!

We strongly advise that if you are suffering from pain or discomfort that you consult your doctor or other appropriate professional medical personnel before commencing any self-administered courses of treatment or activity.


Hip pain



Hip joints, like knee joints, carry our body weight and are therefore prone to osteoarthritis. This causes the wearing out of the cartilage lining the joint and can make your joints stiff and 'creaky'.

Stretching in the right way is very important. It is interesting to note that osteoarthritis is much less common in people who squat instead of sitting upright in chairs. The correct stretching of a joint helps to boost the natural oil levels within a joint that then nourishes the cartilage and slows down the wear and tear.

Hip joints can cause pain in the groin area but rarely in the buttock or flank. If the pain is not in the groin area you may have a different problem such as a low back injury.

We strongly advise that if you are suffering from pain or discomfort that you consult your doctor or other appropriate professional medical personnel before commencing any self-administered courses of treatment or activity.


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• Back Pain
• Neck Pain
• Sporting Injuries
• Whiplash
• Arthritis
• Shoulder Pain
• Knee Pain
• Hip Pain
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