Deep Tissue Laser Therapy

What is Deep Tissue Laser Therapy and how does it work?

Deep Tissue Laser Therapy is a non-invasive technique to help reduce pain and inflammation for musculoskeletal injuries. It is a non-pharmacological that directs high energy light at the source of pain. This light energy accelerates the body’s own healing process at a cellular level (called photo-bio stimulation). Unlike pharmacological interventions that merely mask pain or treat the symptoms of disease, Deep Tissue Laser Therapy targets the root cause of pain and discomfort. Because of this, Deep Tissue Laser Therapy is effective and the benefits are long lasting. Laser therapy has been adopted as an essential pain management tool by athletic trainers in the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, FIFA and Olympic teams.

What conditions can Deep Tissue Laser Therapy treat?

The number of conditions that Deep Tissue Laser Therapy can treat is extensive. Some of the more commonly seen conditions and injuries treated with laser therapy include:

Laser therapy is also useful in the treatment of:

Clinical benefits of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy

The advantages of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy

Graston Technique

Graston Technique® is an innovative, patented form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilisation that enables clinicians to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions. It is ideal for those with inflammatory injuries or smaller soft tissue areas.

The practitioner uses specially designed stainless steel instruments to detect and treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation. Graston Technique® can also help reduce the need for anti-inflammatory medication for soft tissue injury. The main benefit of this technique is that it can decrease overall treatment time while enhancing rehabilitation and recovery times.

Graston Technique® is currently used extensively throughout the sporting world such as PGA Tour, Champions Tour, Arsenal, Everton, Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club to name but a few.

Active release techniques®

What is Active Release Techniques® (ART)?

Active Release Techniques® (ART) is considered the Gold Standard in Soft Tissue Treatment.

ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves.

Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.

How do overuse conditions occur?

Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) change in three important ways:
• acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc)
• accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma)
• not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia).

Each of these factors can cause your body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue binds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendinosis, and nerves can become trapped. This can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. If a nerve is trapped you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.

What is an ART treatment like?

Every ART session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.

These treatment protocols – over 500 specific moves – are unique to ART. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. ART is not a cookie-cutter approach.

What is the history of Active Release Techniques?

Active Release Techniques has been developed, refined, and patented by Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP. Dr. Leahy noticed that his patients’ symptoms seemed to be related to changes in their soft tissue that could be felt by hand. By observing how muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves responded to different types of work, Dr. Leahy was able to consistently resolve over 90% of his patients’ problems.

Prevalence of low back pain

Low back pain (LBP) can affect all ages and is second after upper respiratory conditions as a cause for visiting a general practitioner, the fifth-ranking cause of admission to hospital, and has been reported as the third most common cause of surgical procedures in the U.S.A. (Andersson, 1999). LBP has been estimated as the largest single cause of absence from work in the U.K. and it is responsible for about 12.5% of all sick days (Frank, 1993).

An annual survey showed that consultation with GP’s for LBP was 417 per 10000 registered patients throughout the U.K. (Balagué et al., 2012) From these patients surveyed the lowest rate with LBP were between the ages of 0–14 years while the highest recorded incidences were between the ages of 45–64 years old. The highest risk factor associated to LBP was an incident of previous LBP. Other common factors related to the development of LBP include sex, occupation, job satisfaction, educational status, stress, anxiety, depression, social support in the workplace, body mass index, and family history of low back pain (Walker, 2000).

LBP is the most prevalent health issue forcing workers to retire prematurely, resulting in more people out of the workplace due to LBP than heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, neoplasm, respiratory disease, and asthma combined (Schofield et al., 2008).

Until recently it was suggested that minors and adolescents experienced little or no LBP unless associated with a serious life-threatening disorder. However, findings from a review of epidemiological studies carried out by Jeffries, Milanese, & Grimmer-Somers, (2007) challenge this. It is now accepted amongst healthcare practitioners that the prevalence of LBP in teenagers is similar to that in adults, further increasing the demand on health services (Jeffries et al., 2007). A review carried out by Hoy, Brooks, Blyth, & Buchbinder, (2010) reported 1-year incidences of first time, any time, and recurrent low back pain episodes ranging from 1.5% to 80%, and the 1-year prevalence of low back pain ranging from 0.8% to 82.5%.

If you are worried about low back pain, have an acute or chronic condition or need advise on managing your low back pain make an appointment today with our principal Osteopath Barry Harpur.

Barry Harpur is the principal Osteopath at Kinesis Clinic and doctorate researcher based at the University of Portsmouth specialising in low back pain assessment.

Assessing patients with low back pain: What are we really testing?

With an estimated 507,000 musculoskeletal disorders reported last year in the U.K. alone and 8.9 million working days lost throughout the same period, biomechanical prediction assessments are regularly utilised amongst physical therapists in an attempt to predict injuries in patients prior to their occurrence (‘Statistics – Work related musculoskeletal disorders’, n.d.). However, 6-9% of these reported visits are specifically related to low back pain at a cost in excess of £500 million to the NHS. Although most cases resolve within a short period of time, it is estimated 60%-80% of these patients still report symptoms a year later (Hill et al., 2008). With 85% of these episodes deemed as ‘nonspecific low back pain’ with no obvious causes, pathology or reason the dilemma of diagnosis results in challenging the central biomedical objective knowledge and measurable findings which can frustrate patients and practitioners alike (Hill et al., 2008, Lillrank, 2003).

Functional movement screens and biomechanical assessments have been developed and regularly utilised amongst physical therapists as an assessment tool in an attempt to record what Cook et al. (2014) refer to as a ‘movement competency baseline’ (Cook, Burton, Hoogenboom, & Voight, 2014). Screening methods incorporate movements such as pulling, pushing, lunging, squatting all of which are classed as signature tasks utilised in sport as well as daily living in an attempt to ‘identify deficient areas of mobility and stability in the asymptomatic active population’ (Cook et al.,2014). It is these key movements which are classed as ‘fundamental and the foundation of human movement in its entirety’ (Cook et al.,2014). However, many of these assessment and screens have been proven to be contradicting and ineffective in predicting injury and a general lack of sensitivity to numerical application observed. Dysfunctional movement patterns, muscular weakness and reduced flexibility have all been attributed as a precursor to general musculoskeletal injury (Bennett et al.,2017).

Plisky (2015) suggest that some of the misconceptions about movement screens relate to using these tools to perform something they were never intended or designed to do such as used as a holistic and comprehensive system for predicting injury, medical diagnosis or to specifically pinpoint where the problem is (Plisky, Rauh, Kaminski, & Underwood, 2006). Studies have
shown that prominent other premorbid factors such as sex, age and previous history of LBP have been seen as more comprehensive predictors of persistent disabling low back pain (Thomas et al., 1999). It is these premorbid factors that have now become popular amongst mainstream medical practitioners in the form of back pain related questionnaires such as the STarT back screening tool in an attempt to bridge the gap between subjective and objective outcomes.

One factor that musculoskeletal assessments and movement screen appear to have in common is that focus is weighted on whether an individual can or cannot achieve the required screen movement rather than how. This has resulted in an oversight by developers to arrive at a consensus on the minimum or acceptable level of muscle power, coordination, body weight, balance or flexibility required to achieve the individual screening task at hand of the screen (Sadler, Spink, Ho, De Jonge, & Chuter, 2017). Although the physical task of screening has been shown to have an economical improvement in the care of those who may suffer from acute low back pain (Mofidiet al., 2003) the individuality of each test gives us only a small insight into what is actually going on biomechanically. Many low back pain assessments have been designed in order to test specific muscular functions and postural restrictions from one another that pertain to low back pain. Further research would be needed in order to establish the overall validity and reliability of many of the commercial and popular tests being used today and whether there is and evidence to suggest there would be any benefit in combining certain elements of each such as the additional clinical tests in order to establish a comprehensive screening assessment or biomechanical test.

Cannabidiol (CBD), what is it and how does it work: A beginners guide

Well, you may have noticed a lot of hype in the news recently in relation to Cannabidiol, CBD or hemp oil. I’ve even seen one article referring to 2018 as the year of CBD! So, what’s it all about, is it good for me or is it dangerous? Will I get high or even addicted? Just to set the record straight I have had many patients including my own father taking this supplement for several years now and all the results I hear have been positive. With over 5000 references to CBD in Pubmed it is definitely a hot topic and something that is being researched at a pronominal rate. In an attempt to clear the mist and myth around this natural product I have compiled the following CBD beginners guide which should help clear up some of your questions.

What is cannabidiol CBD?

CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant. This particular compound is what’s referred to as a cannabinoid and is one of over 80 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant that we currently know of.

Cannabinoids are compounds that humans, animals and plants all produce. These compounds interact with specific cannabinoid cell receptors that both humans and animals have, called CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Up until now, researchers have isolated two different kinds of cannabinoids

  1. Phytocannabinoids–cannabinoids made by plants
  2. Endocannabinoids– cannabinoids made by all humans and vertebrate animals.

Inside all of us we have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This important physiological system is made up of cell receptors, called cannabinoid receptors (CBs), and their natural binding molecules, endocannabinoids, which we all naturally produce. By adding CBD into your diet in the form of hemp, which produces phytocannabinoids that are similar to our own, can help to keep those cannabinoid levels in check. Most people have heard of a cannabinoid called THC, which has been highlighted in the media and is the ingredient in cannabis that gets users high. However, unlike THC, CBD & CBDa (cannabidiol) is non-psychoactive cannabinoid and does not cause a high. CBD has antipsychotic effects which means CBD works completely the opposite way of THC. Numerous studies suggest that CBD also acts to reduce the intoxicating effects of THC.

How does CBD work?

When CBD was identified in the 1940s, scientists assumed it had little or no effect on the body. The main focus back then was researching THC and its pharmacology. Fast forward to the 1990s and a research team led by Professor Raphael Mechoulam, commonly acknowledged as the grandfather of cannabis research, discovered what has come to be known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS), and this changed everything.

The ECS is a vast communication network of cannabis-like chemicals, called endocannabinoids, and receptor sites found across all cells in our bodies. It is known as a homeostatic regulator, meaning that its main action is to bring balance to our bodies and minds.

Think of it as being like a dimmer switch, turning up or turning down activity to ensure equilibrium is reached, which after all is the perfect environment for optimum health. THC was seen to activate this system, because it is an almost perfect fit for the receptors in our brain and central nervous system, as well as partially activating those in our immune system and gut.

But when it comes to cannabinoids, one cannot assume they all act in the same way and this is certainly true of CBD. This is because CBD doesn’t activate either of the known types of endocannabinoid receptors. However, scientists believe that CBD does influence the endocannabinoid system, but in an indirect way. They have observed that CBD blocks an enzyme that breaks down anandamide, a key endocannabinoid otherwise known as the bliss molecule. This means that taking CBD may allow more anandamide to be present in our bodies for longer, which is thought to potentially support and strengthen the endocannabinoid system.

What is CBDa and THCa?

The most common naturally occurring forms of CBD and THC are their acid forms, CBDa and THCa. Raw THCa is not psychoactive. It must be heated to form THC in order to become psychoactive. Raw cannabis is an historical component of the human diet. It is now believed that oils containing CBDa are more effective than those that contain CBD alone.

How is CBD oil taken?

Most people agree that you should take your CBD oil on an empty stomach, starting with 1 drop, 3 times a day of our 3% CBD oil, and increasing by 1 drop every 3-7 days. This is the best way to introduce CBD oil into your system.

How soon you increase the amount of drops you are consuming depends completely on you and how you feel on CBD. Perhaps after 3 days you feel fantastic and ready to increase your dose; then by all means! If by day 3 or 4 you are feeling a bit tired or too relaxed, try slowing down. Or if you are just the kind of person that just prefers to take it slow, feel free to increase at day 5 or even day 7, or if you don’t want to increase your dose at all, then stay right where you are! The most important thing is that you are comfortable with your progress and are listening to your body.

When and if you decide to increase your dose, you may add an extra drop morning, noon and night.

Are there any side effects?

CBD is non-toxic and usually tolerated in fairly high doses for the average person. The good news is that the vast majority of research into the subject has found that CBD treatments show little to no risk of side-effects. But we are all different and we have learned that possible side effects from CBD oil in some cases increase the sensation of dry-mouth, drowsiness, diarrhoea and nervousness. There are no studies showing the that there are any drug interactions using CBD and other drugs. However, it is always wise to consult with a professional doctor prior to making any dietary or food supplement changes.

Where can I get more information?

https://www.theroc.us/research-library

https://www.upalliance.org/medical-information/

http://www.icrs.co/

For further information, or to source trusted and quality guaranteed CBD products go to www.bridgebrothers.co.uk

Marvellous Magnesium

Do you ever have difficulty sleeping, even though you feel exhausted? Feel anxious, but you’re not sure why? Have cravings for sugar and salt no matter how much you eat? These could be signs of a deficiency in a specific nutrient: magnesium.

It is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth and responsible for over 300 biochemical functions in the human body, such as regulating heartbeat rhythms and helping neurotransmitter functions.

Magnesium is found in numerous food sources but modern lifestyles and diets have reduced our intake meaning the majority of people do not get the recommended daily allowance. It’s estimated that around 80% of adults are deficient in this vital mineral.

So what happens if you’re deficient?

In simple terms magnesium is used to relax the body, where calcium is used to contract or excite the body. Therefore too little magnesium can result in negative symptoms, including:

Other nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin K, vitamin B1, calcium and potassium

So why is it that magnesium deficiency is so common?

There are a few factors at play:

How can we get more magnesium?

Magnesium is found in various foods and in supplement form. Because magnesium can be absorbed through the skin, you can also use magnesium oil or Epsom salts to get your daily magnesium boost.

It’s always advisable to add magnesium-rich foods to your diet, as foods naturally contain other important balancing nutrients, before considering taking a magnesium supplement.

Which foods contain magnesium?

It’s found in foods such as green leafy vegetables, avocados, bananas, melon, legumes, nuts, seeds and certain whole grains. A good rule of thumb is that if a food contains dietary fibre, it also probably provides magnesium.

The top 12 foods high in magnesium are:

While it’s always recommended you get as much as you can from magnesium-rich food sources, magnesium supplements can help some people and it’s often recommended that adults take supplements regularly to prevent a deficiency.

If you do chose to take a magnesium supplement, it’s worth doing some research as the absorption rate differs depending on the type of supplement. Usually types that dissolve in liquid are better absorbed in the gut that less soluble forms. It’s believed that magnesium in citrate, chelate and chloride forms are absorbed better than magnesium supplements in oxide and magnesium sulfate form.

What are the health benefits of magnesium?

Magnesium is used to create “energy” in your body by activating adenosine triphosphate, also known as ATP. This means that without enough magnesium, you don’t have the energy you need and can suffer from fatigue more easily.

Magnesium is vital for GABA function – a neurotransmitter that sends chemical messages through the brain and the nervous system, which produces “happy hormones” like serotonin. Certain hormones regulated by magnesium are crucial for calming the brain and promoting relaxation, which is one reason why a magnesium deficiency can lead to sleeplessness or insomnia.

Magnesium supplements can help quiet a racing mind and make it easier to get a good night’s sleep.

Magnesium helps relax muscles within the digestive tract, including the intestinal wall, which controls your ability to go to the bathroom. Because magnesium helps neutralise stomach acid and moves stool through the intestines, taking magnesium supplements is a natural way to help improve bowl movement.

Magnesium has an important role in neuromuscular signals and muscle contractions. When you don’t acquire enough magnesium, your muscles can actually go into spasms. Magnesium helps muscles relax and contract and also enables you to move around.

Together with other electrolytes, magnesium regulates diverse biochemical reactions in the body. Magnesium plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes. This makes magnesium vital to nerve impulse conductions, muscle contractions and normal heart rhythms.

Magnesium is very important for heart health. The highest amount of magnesium within the whole body is in the heart, specifically within the heart’s left ventricle. Magnesium works with calcium to support proper blood pressure levels and prevent hypertension. Without a proper balance of magnesium to other minerals like calcium, a heart attack can even occur due to severe muscle spasms.

Because magnesium is involved in neurotransmitter function and blood circulation, it can help control migraine headache pain by releasing pain-reducing hormones and constriction of the blood vessels that raises blood pressure.

Magnesium is needed for proper bone formation and influences the activities of osteoblasts and osteoclasts that build healthy bone density.

Magnesium also plays a role in balancing blood concentrations of vitamin D, which is a major regulator of bone homeostasis.

Our bodies lose stores of magnesium every day from normal functions, such as muscle movement, heartbeat and hormone production. Although we only need small amounts of magnesium relative to other nutrients, we must regularly replenish our stores either from foods or magnesium supplements in order to prevent deficiency symptoms.

If you do a lot of exercise, you are more likely to be magnesium deficient, as exercise causes increased magnesium excretion in the urine and sweat. Low levels of magnesium will then impair an athlete’s ability to build and repair muscle, get energy from food and efficiently transport oxygen around the body, all of which is essential to athletic performance.

So all in all, magnesium is really quite important for all of us, and research suggests many of us are not getting the amount we need for optimal health.

Whether you try to increase amount of magnesium rich food in your diet, opt to take a supplement or use Epsom salts to increase your magnesium levels, this marvellous mineral can have a positive effect on your long-term health.

For further advise, talk to one of our Osteopaths at Kinesis Clinic who can direct you to a recommended nutritionist for further information.

Are barefoot shoes good for kids?

There’s a growing belief among experts that when it comes to children’s footwear, the best shoe may be no shoe at all. Studies have shown that there are more likely to be disadvantages and problems from wearing shoes from an early age, than not wearing them. Such as; deformation caused by a poor fit, ingrown toenails and athlete’s foot.

So why is this?

Research published in podiatry journal The Foot in 2007 suggests that structural and functional changes can result from the foot having to conform to the shape and constriction of a shoe, rather than being allowed to develop naturally. And the younger the foot, the greater the potential for damage.

Too many parents nowadays treat their children as fashion accessories and choose shoes on their attractiveness or coolness, rather than their ergonomics. You will see many children walking around in a pair of cool Converse trainers or cute Havaiana flip flops, mirroring what their parents are wearing.

We must remember however, that when choosing shoes for our little ones, the human foot at birth is not a miniature version of an adult foot. In fact, it contains no bones at all and consists of a mass of cartilage, which, over a period of years, ossifies to become the 28 bones that exist in the adult human foot. This process is not complete until the late teens, so it is crucial that footwear – when worn – is well chosen.

There is a lot more research readily available around the trend and benefits of barefoot shoes, and the associated questioning of the need for highly cushioned, supportive shoes for children. Some parents may now be thinking a little more about their children’s footwear – or indeed, whether they should encourage them to go barefoot.

While this sounds like a great idea, you have to be realistic and consider the environment the child is in.

Do you want your child walking on the streets or in the park barefoot, where there might be dog mess, dirt and possible hazards like glass?

Of course not, which is why ‘barefoot shoes’ like Vivo Barefoot aims to offer an alternative. Children get the health benefits of going barefoot but with the protection of wearing a shoe.

The company, originally launched under the name Froggies, found that replacing seven- to 12-year-old children’s ‘normal’ school shoes for Froggies over a two-month period resulted in increased foot strength, balance, mobility and ankle function – the same benefits normally attributed to walking in bare feet.

Minimalist shoes reinforce the healthy running technique kids were born with: namely, striking the ground with the fore foot, not the heel. If you watch a toddler running and you’ll see they do this naturally. It’s only when we start wearing thick-soled, heavier shoes that we re-program ourselves to run differently; heel striking has been linked to knee, hip, and lower back pain.

Feedback from children who have worn barefoot shoes, has been extremely positive. Suggesting the lighter and more comfortable option is in favour, over the standard black structured lace-up school shoe we have all been bought up wearing.

For more advice on gait analysis, barefoot for kids and adults book your appointment at Kinesis Clinic today for a professional assessment.

Why Tight Hip Flexors Cause Lower Back Pain

You soon learn as an osteopath that every body is different and unique. No two postures, movements or conditions are the same from one person to another.

That being said however, there are certain things that you become very used to seeing; tight hip flexors being a prime example. We are a nation of sitters and our poor hip flexors are not thanking us for it.

The hip flexors are a group of muscles at the front of your hips that allow you to pull your knees up towards your chest.
When seated, the hips are maintained in this flexed position. Although they allow you to achieve this movement, the hip flexors are not designed to spend prolonged periods doing it and, actually, their true function is quite the opposite.

In order to explain the true function of the hip flexors, we firstly need to look at a key principle of the human body called “load to explode”!

Load to explode – what is it and why is it important?

You may often hear osteopaths or personal trainers using the world “load” when referring to muscles.

The true meaning of the word “load” is when a muscle is active or tense while in a position of stretch. For example, when you are in a squat, the muscles in your bottom (glutes) are under stretch and also active in order to support your body weight under the force of gravity. We could describe the glutes in this position as being “loaded”.

Muscles are like slings, they are designed to catch the body at the end of a movement such as a squat and fire you back in the other direction.

If you wanted to “explode” out of a squat into a jump, you would have to go through the “load” phase first.

Try jumping up without bending your knees first – you can’t do it. There is no “explode” without the initial muscle “load”.

Let’s apply this to the hip flexors.

This muscle group is under stretch when the leg is behind the trunk.

If our hips had no ability to extend behind our bodies, due to very tight hip flexors, then we may begin to walk very differently.

Let’s imagine that we have such tight hip flexors that we can’t extend our hips when walking – this is more common that you think!! How do we think the body may adapt…

Try it for yourself – take a long(ish) stride forward while keeping your back heel on the ground. Can you keep your body upright, or does it want to lurch forward? If it’s lurching forward, it may suggest that your hip flexors are very tight.

The body, however, is smarter than this. Despite the fact that a lot of us have very tight hip flexors, we don’t all walk around looking at the ground with our bodies bent forward. The body will do what it can to lift the chest and the eyes so that you can see where you are going! But if it can’t get that extension from the hips, it will steal it from somewhere else.

How about another part of the body nearby that has the ability to extend – the lower back!

The lower back is happy giving you a small degree of extension when you walk, but it will soon become rather annoyed if it has to regularly work hard to extend your body because your hip flexors are not doing their job properly.

Regular over extension of the lower back is a very common way to, not only, cause back pain but also to cause degenerative changes in the lower back over long periods.

Do you have niggly back pain when sitting, or trouble bending forward to put on socks and shoes, or changing a baby – this may well be due to your back overworking and becoming fatigued.

The lower back invariably takes the blame when it becomes sore, but often it is only taking on excess work for another area of the body that is limited, tight hip flexors being a notable culprit. If you don’t use your hip extension then you will lose it, and your body find other ways to keep you upright.

So, do your lower back a big favour and stretch those hip flexors – it’s about time the two of them got on a little better.

Osteopathic assessment and treatment can help to identify and alleviate these dysfunctional patterns in the body.

Dry needling, manual techniques and assisted stretching are particularly affective to encourage more openness in the anterior hips, and more freedom in the lower back.

Let’s Recap

SKI INJURIES & TREATMENT

With the European skiing and snowboarding in full swing, we’re seeing a lot more patients with injuries sustained on the slopes coming through the doors of the clinic.

Skiing and snowboarding does have a reputation of being a risky sport, but the overall injury rate for skiers is a little lower than it is for snowboarders, who have a higher injury risk rate.

In general skiers tend to sustain injuries to the knee due to the twisting motion and the ski boot fixing the position of the ankle in place, leading to greater force transference than usual at the knee.

Around 45% of skiing injuries occur to the knee joint. The anterior cruciate ligament (found in the middle of the knee) is prone to rupture, when skiers weight continues forward during a fall. Rotation injuries can, as with borders not only injure the medial collateral ligament (a band of tissue on the inside of the knee) but sometimes also affect the cartilage inside the knee, otherwise known as the meniscus.

Snowboarders are more vulnerable to injuries of the shoulders, wrists and ankles. With 40% of injuries occurring to the wrist due to falls and the repetitive action of pushing up from the floor, which can cause over-strain of the ligaments at the palmar side of the wrist. This can lead to localised swelling and discomfort.

Skiing or snowboarding over rough terrain can alter the forces experienced through the lower back. If a turn isn’t quite successful it is possible to cause a jarring force into the lower back that can cause localised swelling between the small joints in the spine. This can cause an initial sharp pinching sensation that can later result in stiff and sore back.

Most injuries for both skiers and snowboarders occur either by falling down or loss of control during a jump, with a very small amount occurring by collision with other skiers or riders. This demonstrates the fact that the skiers or riders themselves’ are at fault. Poor fitness, poor selection of terrain or conditions, poor judgement of one’s ability, or poor maintenance of equipment are factors in many injuries.

The key message here is that many skiing and snowboarding injuries are preventable.

Some of the most common skiing and snowboarding injuries we see are:

Fortunately, most snow sport injuries are minor and should be treated immediately with R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression and elevation).

The following treatments are recommended at Kinesis Clinic for the above injuries:

If you’re planning a skiing or snowboarding holiday in the next couple of weeks, now is the time to think about how best to avoid any of these injuries.

Here are some top tips to an injury free snow sports holiday:

The most important thing in all this though is to enjoy your holiday and put yourself in the best stead to come back home with nothing more than good memories.

If you do experience any injuries on the slopes, remember R.I.C.E and give us a call on your return further assistance.

For further information on any of the above or to make an appointment, please call: 01483 50431

OR

book online @ https://www.kinesisclinic.co.uk/book-now/

New Year, Fresh Start

It’s official – the festive session is over. The Christmas decorations are back in the loft and if like me, you’re probably feeling like you’ve well and truly over indulged on just about everything.

For some people, January can be a tricky time of year. It marks a feeling of anti-climax following all the festivities. The days are cold, wet and short and the end of the month, seems a long way off.

However, it doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom. Its the beginning of a new year, so how about a fresh start? We put together 8 handy tips to help you feel better, brighter and make a positive start to 2017…

1. Eat Well

When we’re feeling down, we’re often drawn to sugar and junk food and we eat too little or too much. You can improve how you feel by eating a good, varied diet with things like nuts, fruit and veg, dairy, fish, pulses and grains.

Vitamin D is a great mood-boaster. Our skin manufactures vitamin D through exposure to sunlight, so during the dark winter months, we probably aren’t getting our recommended daily dose. Luckily, we can top up our intake by including a few specific foods in our diet. Fortified breakfast cereals and dairy, eggs and fish such as sardines, herrings and salmon are all good sources. Plus, along with improving your mood, topping up on vitamin D can help strengthen the immune system and keep bones and teeth healthy.

Regular intake of Omega-3 is good for the heart and also good for the mind – low levels of omega-3 in the body are thought to contribute to low moods, with increased doses even found to potentially help treat some types of depression. Give your motivation a boost by ensuring you’re getting enough of this great fatty acid. Sources include oily fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, soya, rapeseed and flaxseed oil and dark, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale.

What we put in our bodies really does makes a difference to what we get out of it.

2. Long-standings aches and pains

If you suffer from a niggling ache or pain, it’s time to get it looked at. Don’t put it off, book an appointment to see the relevant person who can detect what the cause is, get it treated and most importantly, help you to prevent it from reoccurring. Don’t let a long-standing issue with your body define what you want to achieve this year.

3. Exercise

One of the best ways to fight depression and improve well-being and mood is regular exercise. This is because when we exercise we release the happy hormone serotonin, which is thought to affect our mood and social behaviour, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory and function.

The good news is that exercise doesn’t have to mean going to a gym and getting hot and sweaty. A brisk walk is perfect and gives you daylight, which also boosts your Vitamin D levels. If you’re anything like me, you may not fancy exercising in this cold weather, but believe me, you’ll feel much better afterwards.

4. Do Something New

Every year is different. How will you make this one different and one to truly remember, rather than waiting for it to happen to you? Why not throw some ideas around till you find one thing you’d love to achieve, do or learn. It might be learning a new language, learning to cook, or just getting round to reading that book you’ve always fancied reading. Work out what steps you need to take to make it happen. Make a plan and start with the first step.

5. Time for relaxation, reflection and a positive mind

The beginning of a New Year can be the perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf and look to the year ahead with fresh optimism. Take this month to focus on yourself. Take time out and enjoy doing things that make you happy and feel calm. Reflect on what you want most for yourself for the year ahead.

It can be difficult to feel positive in cold, grey January, but smiling can help lift moods and spread positivity to others. Starting the morning with a smile and a stretch, can set the day off on a positive note and help bring a little happiness to the New Year.

6. Sleep Well

Having a good night’ sleep is guaranteed to make you feel better about most things. Establishing a regular pattern of seven to eight hours per night and keeping bedtime and waking times consistent will help recharge the batteries.

7. Set Realistic Goals
Setting achievable goals for yourself is a great way to feel motivated and driven. Remind yourself of your goals and make sure they’re realistic, as this will only help you keep up the good work – to the end of January and beyond.

8. De-clutter!

We’ve all heard the saying “a clear space, a clear mind”, and as much as we dread starting, there’s no denying the satisfaction you get when the task is done. Dedicate some time this month, to giving your home a good clear out and get rid of anything you’ve been hoarding. Give your wardrobe a early spring clean too. Pop some bits on eBay or do a good deed and donate to the local charity shop.

Most importantly, enjoy the new year and look on it as a fresh start and a new beginning.

How dry needling may be beneficial in reducing anxiety

Anxiety disorders come with many emotional and physical symptoms such as worry, lack of sleep, poor concentration, sweating, nausea, palpitations, dizziness, muscle tension and aches, tension headaches and back pain, to name but a few. The majority of us will have suffered from one or more of these symptoms in the past.

Whilst there are many psychological therapies and medication recognised as useful for the treatment of anxiety disorders, I was pleasantly surprised to read that acupuncture dry needling could be considered as one of the possible therapeutic options alongside the existing repertoire.

Western medical acupuncture or dry needling, is a form of treatment involving the insertion of fine needles directly into a myofascial trigger point, basically contracted knots in the muscle tissue which cause pain and tightness. Theses trigger points are directly related to the production and maintenance of the pain cycle.

Dry needling is an adaptation of Chinese acupuncture using current knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology and the principles of evidence based medicine.

So how does dry needling work? It stimulates the neural pathways which blocks pain by disrupting pain messages being sent to the central nervous system.

This then causes the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms (body temperature, body fluid composition, blood sugar, gas concentrations and blood pressure), thereby promoting physical and emotional well-being.

Research has shown that acupuncture dry needling may specifically benefit anxiety disorders and symptoms of anxiety by:

As with all treatments and medicines, acupuncture dry needling, will be more effective for some people than others, in the reduction of anxiety.

Safely combined with conventional treatments such as medication or therapy, it can possibly enhance their beneficial effects and reduce unwanted side-effects.