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Back pain

Top tips to prevent back pain whilst wrapping Christmas presents!

  1. Avoid sitting on the floor

Use a counter top or the Ironing board at waist level or the dining room table with a good supportive chair. This ensures you are using your arms rather than your back.

  1. Create a gift wrapping station

Clear off the table and keep, scissors, ribbon, tags, pens and wrapping paper at arm’s length.

Wear comfortable shoes, whilst standing. Do not wrap in bare feet.

Place the roll of paper to back of the counter, so you can pull it towards you as you wrap.

  1. Wrap as you buy

Consider wrapping a few at a time, then you’re not left wrapping all 25 presents at once.

  1. Use Gift bags

Skip the hassle and the back ache. Buy decorative tissue paper and ribbon for a classy wrapped present.

  1. Don’t forget to stretch.

Yes, Stretch. Even with gift wrapping it is important to stretch those muscles and joints. This may help with that pain after wrapping.


Try the one minute risk osteoporosis risk test

Are you among the one in three women, and the one in five men over the age of 50 who will be affected by osteoporosis in their lifetimes?

Osteoporosis weakens bones and leads to fractures. It causes severe disability. But osteoporosis can be detected early. It can be treated.

If you knew something that could harm you was coming, wouldn’t you avoid it?


Try the one minute risk osteoporosis risk test


World Osteoporosis Day


Why does my knee keep giving way?

I regularly treat people with knee injuries in my practice.

One of the common ailments people present with when complaining of their knee is that “my knee keeps giving way for no reason!” It often occurs unexpectedly and can result in a fall which can lead to injures such as fractured ribs or hips. One patient recently reported that his knee gave way whilst carrying two cups of tea upstairs. He fell backwards down the stairs. Thankfully, he didn’t break anything.


Causes for Knee buckling.

Ligament injury: Ligaments are bands of tough elastic tissue, which bind joints together and offer support to joints. An injury to a ligament of the knee, through a sport injury or fall and lead to instability within the joint and make your knee buckle

Cartilage tear: A cartilage tear can occur if you land heavily on your knee and twist as often seen in football players. Cartilage tears can also develop as we get older. This is probably due to the elasticity of the cartilage reducing with age.

Osteoarthritis: Oosteoarthritis is the natural aging process. In your knee the cartilage can become so thin that it no longer covers the ends of your bones. They start to rub against each other and eventually wear away. This can alter the shape of your joint, forcing your bones out of their normal position. In addition, the muscles that move your knee gradually weaken and become thin or wasted. This can make your knee unstable so that it gives way when you put weight on it.

Back problems: If you have a back problem, particularly with nerve pain down the leg, this can alter the nerve transmission to the muscles. If the muscles that move the knee don’t receive the signal clearly, there can be some misfiring resulting in your leg giving way or buckling.

organ donantion


Right now across the UK, there are around 6,500 people in need of an organ transplant, including around 150 children and teenagers. On average three people die every day in need of an organ transplant because there just aren’t enough organ donors.

For people in the black, Asian and ethnic minority communities the situation is even more critical. They wait longer than white patients for kidney transplants due to lack of suitable organs.

If you donate your organs after you die you could save and improve the lives of up to nine people, and help even more if you donate tissue.

Only around 5000 people across the UK each year die in circumstances where they could donate their organs.

We need as many people as possible to register their commitment to becoming organ donors so if they die in circumstances where their organs or tissue could be used to help others, authorised NHS Blood and Transplant staff can see what they wanted to happen.  You can do this by signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.

We know many people don’t want to think about their own death.  But patients waiting for a transplant depend on people of all ages thinking about whether they want to save lives when they die and registering their decision to become a donor.

If you want to save lives, spend just two minutes registering that you want to donate your organs on the NHS Organ Donor Register.  https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/register-to-donate/register-your-details/

statins tablets.

Statins, Good or Bad?

Poor Statins are getting a pasting again in the Daily Express. Their article states they only increase your life expectancy by 5 days!

My view on high cholesterol is that, you should be given a window of opportunity to address the high cholesterol by attempting to change your lifestyle and diet. There is evidence to suggest that cutting out sugars, such as alcohol, starchy foods such as bread and pasta, reducing 0% fat products and increasing saturated fat actually reduces your cholesterol. Plant sterol drinks have also shown to reduce high cholesterol.

We know that there is an association between high cholesterol and high blood pressure. This is an association however, and may not be a causative factor. We also know high blood pressure is a cause of heart disease. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, hereditary high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, over weight and consume a relatively high amount of alcohol, then the risk to benefit ratio would sway vastly towards taking a statin. In this situation the risk of not taking a statin –a heart attack or stroke – far outweighs the risks associated with the drug.

If a doctor is going to prescribe a statin to healthy individual to protect against future heart disease, then obviously the risk to benefit ratio would suggest not taking a statin.

The key, as always; is to have an informed discussion with your GP, rather than being guided by what you may read or hear elsewhere.

Osteopathy to aid restful sleep

If you don’t snooze, you lose – Encouraging healthy sleep

Everyone knows the feeling after a bad night’s sleep, from irritability to unproductivity, but longer lasting sleep disruption can have a much more significant effect on both our mental well being and our physical health. Regular poor sleep increases the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, and can lead to shortened life expectancy.

A number of factors can affect sleep, and not surprisingly patients experiencing musculoskeletal difficulties can find this a considerable hindrance to their ability to sleep. This sleep disruption can, in turn, make their ability to manage their pain more difficult.

Create a routine
Try to get up in the morning and go to bed at the same time each day, even at weekends. You may need to set an alarm. Creating a sleep routine will help your body make the chemicals that control sleep. Having a sleep routine such as listening to soothing music or doing stretching or relaxation exercises before bed can also remind the body that it is time to slow down and sleep.

Avoid blue light before bed
Electronic devices such as televisions, tablets and computers produce a certain type of light called “blue light”. Blue light interferes with a chemical called melatonin which helps us sleep, and it can also reduce a type of sleep called slow-wave sleep which is essential for us to feel rested.

Do some regular exercise but not too close to bedtime
Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise which gets your heart beating faster, has been proven to improve the quality of sleep and just being more active during the day can also help improve sleep and fight fatigue.

Try to keep your mind blank
Many people who lie awake at night find that their minds are too active, for example thinking about worries, things that they need to remember or things that they have to do the following day. Some people also find that worrying about not sleeping then makes the problem worse.

Avoid stimulants and alcohol
Coffee, tea, cola, cocoa, chocolate and some medicines contain caffeine and other stimulants which can disturb sleep. The effects of caffeine can last for many hours in the body so consider switching to decaffeinated drinks or avoid caffeine apart from in the morning

Avoid eating large meals late at night
A heavy meal before bed or too much spicy food at night can make it difficult to sleep, so consider how much you eat before bed. Herbal tea or a milky drink may help you relax but don’t drink too much before bed as this may mean you have to wake to go to the toilet at night.

Make your bedroom cool, dark and quiet
Sleep quality can be improved by sleeping in a slightly cooler room—around 17C is comfortable for most people, so make sure that you have enough, but not too much bedding.

Try not to have a nap during the day
If your sleep is disturbed at night, you may feel sleepy during the day, especially in the afternoon. If you fall asleep during the day, even a short nap can then disturb your sleep at night. If you have to have a short sleep, make sure that you go to bed and set an alarm clock so that you don’t sleep for too long – 15 to 20 minutes maximum, and not later than the early afternoon.

In general, taking medicines for long periods to improve sleep is not a good idea and lifestyle changes are much more helpful. Although medicines that help us sleep, they are not useful for long periods because they can be addictive, can stop working after a few days, or affect sleep quality.

There are resources to help with sleep on the One You website, www.nhs.uk/oneyou/sleep