Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Muscle energy techniques for Whiplash, neck pain and forward head posture

Neck pain is a common problem within our society. Upper trapezius and the levator scapulae are the most common postural muscles that tend to shorten leading to restricted neck mobility. Muscle energy techniques are believed to be particularly helpful in lengthening postural muscles, which are prone to shortening. Muscle energy techniques aim to
  • To strengthen muscles
  • To relax muscles, especially useful for treating cramping muscles
  • To help regain correct muscle function
  • To reduce localized oedema
Below is a video of John Gibbons treating a short neck muscle (the sternocleidomastoid) whom I have trained with and learnt this technique. Muscle energy techniques are a safe, effective and gentle way of reducing pain and restoring mobility to anyone suffering from neck pain.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Acupuncture for hot flushes/flashes

Have you ever thought about acupuncture for hot flushes/flashes. Acupuncture may help with the intensity and frequency of such events. Watch the video for a brief insight into how acupuncture might help you

Monday, 29 July 2013

Grade 2 calf strain

This time of year I often see many runner coming into clinic complaining of calf strains. With many people running on the downs failure to warm up or stretch after running often leads to overloading of the calf muscles leading to tearing of the muscle. A Calf muscle injury is common in sports. Calf injuries are sometimes known as a ‘pulled Calf'. The term 'pulled muscle' comes from the description of how the injury takes place. Usually the Calf muscle is forcibly stretched beyond its limits and the muscle tissue becomes torn. A tear in the Calf muscle is referred to as a Calf strain and depending on its severity it is classified as a first, second or third degree strain: A first degree strain is damage to a few muscle fibres. A second degree strain is damage to a more extensive number of muscle fibres. A third degree strain is a complete rupture of the muscle itself.

 Calf Muscle Strain Signs & Symptoms

With a grade one Calf strain the signs may not be present until after the activity is over. There may be a sensation of cramp or tightness and a slight feeling of pain when the muscles are stretched or contracted. With a grade two Calf strain there is immediate pain which is more severe than the pain of a grade one injury. It is confirmed by pain on stretch and contraction of the muscle. A grade two Calf strain is usually sore to touch. A grade three Calf strain is a very serious injury. There is an immediate burning or stabbing pain and the athlete is unable to walk without pain. The muscle is completely torn and there may be a large lump of muscle tissue above a depression where the tear is. After a few days with grade two and three injuries a large bruise will appear below the injury site caused by the bleeding within the tissues.

 Calf Muscle Strain Treatment

Resting may be the common sense approach, but it is one that is often ignored. This is unwise, since it does not take much to turn a grade one Calf muscle strain into a grade two, or a grade two Calf strain into a grade three. As a general rule, grade one Calf strains should be rested from sporting activity for about 3 weeks and grade two injuries for about 4 to 6 weeks. In the case of a complete rupture, the Calf muscle will have to be repaired surgically and the rehabilitation afterwards will take about 3 months. I treat calf strains with a combination of massage, acupuncture, kinseotaping and advice on when to return to running.

Diet as Medicine

This is a long video so make yourself a cup of tea but what follows is an interesting lecture on the benefits of proper diet. An often overlooked subject.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Acupuncture outperforms migraine drug

Acupuncture has been shown to outperform the drug valproic acid in reducing the pain intensity of migraine headaches, without any of the adverse effects associated with drug therapy. A prospective, controlled study involving 100 migraine patients was carried out by Italian clinicians. Patients were randomly divided into two groups; Group A (acupuncture) received 20 acupuncture sessions, while Group V (valproate) received 600 mg/day of valproic acid, over a period of six months. Rescue analgesia (10 mg rizatriptan) was allowed as needed to treat migraine attacks. Both groups showed improvement in scores on the Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) questionnaire after three and six months of treatment. Pain intensity was shown to be better in Group V at three months, but after six months of treatment, pain intensity, pain relief scores and rizatriptan intake were all significantly better in Group A. The rate of adverse events was 47.8% in Group V, compared with 0% in Group A. (Acupuncture Versus Valproic Acid In The Prophylaxis Of Migraine Without Aura: A Prospective Controlled Study. Minerva Anestesiol. 2013 Mar 19. [Epub ahead of print]).

Acupuncture top therapy for relief of arthritis

Acupuncture is the most effective complementary therapy for treating osteoarthritis, and also scores highly for other chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions, according to a report by the charity Arthritis Research UK. The report summarises current evidence for practitioner-based complementary therapies that are commonly used to treat rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and low back pain. The report found a lack of scientific evidence to support the use of most of the twenty-five therapies considered. Each therapy was scored according to its effectiveness on a scale of one to five, based on published data from clinical trials. Effectiveness was measured in terms of improvements in pain, disability or quality of life. In addition the safety of each therapy was graded as green, amber or red. The therapies that were shown to be the most effective were: acupuncture for osteoarthritis (scored 5), low back pain (4) and fibromyalgia (4); massage for fibromyalgia (5) and low back pain (5); tai chi for osteoarthritis (4); and yoga for back pain (4). (http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/news/press-releases/2013/january/new-report-on-complementary-therapies-for-arthritis-reveals-lack-of-scientific-evidence.aspx).

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Exercise for Hip and Knee Replacement

One of the most important areas to consider for hip and knee surgery pre and post operation is the importance of exercise. Prehab is just as important as rehab post operation as the stronger and fitter you are prior to operation the better outcome your operation will be. Watch the video above to find out why.