8 tips to reduce low back, neck pain and DVT whilst flying.

1.     Drink lots of water before and during your flight and consider adding an electrolyte tablet. You will feel less jetlagged and less dehydrated post flight. Water keeps your joints and discs hydrated which in turn reduces stiffness and decompression of your spine and it makes you need to go to the toilet which is great as it keeps you moving!

2.     Every hour, get up and walk for five minutes around the cabin, it increases circulation and helps prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis, and reduces stiffness in the joints and tightness in your muscles.  Use compression socks also, it helps with venous return from your legs which helps your heart and cardiovascular system and reduces DVT risk and calf tightness.  Again good for the Low Back.

3       Carry a good travel pillow, preferably not a blow up one, so your neck is as supported as possible.  Also carry warm socks so that you don’t get cold feet and tense up.  An additional pillow to place under your feet or at the small of your back is also very useful which you will normally get on the plane.

4       Complete some easy stretches for your neck every other hour.  Hold the stretches for 30 seconds and repeat 1 to 3 times.  This can be as simple as reaching for the ceiling with both hands clasped together, rolling your shoulders, stretching your neck from side to side.  Same for low back but do at the back of the plane like stretching the calf, hamstring, and bending the back into all different planes of movement.

5       Research prior to your flight where the best seats are on the plane.  There are numerous websites that offer this like seatguru.com or traveller.com.au  This will enable you to get more legroom, better seat recline, and an aisle seat which we strongly recommend.  You can stretch better!

6       Heat and Ice Packs.  It is possible to purchase heat and ice packs that can be activated without the use of a microwave.  Consider purchasing a small quantity of these to provide symptomatic relief of any back or neck pain.

7       Medication.  Speak to your pharmacist or GP regarding appropriate medication that might assist you if your back becomes irritated during the flight.

8       Fly on a newer plane.  The A380, A350 and 787 Dreamliner all use lower cabin pressure which means you arrive with less jetlag, and will also have less dehydration, see point 1!

This looks just great!

Dr Shane Heslop  Melbourne osteopath at City Osteopathy

WOW! Stimulating vagus nerve reduces inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis…..

Dr Sonia Wainberg came across this incredible article.  At the forefront of current research, its now been shown that stimulating the vagus nerve inhibits the production of cytokines which are powerful inflammatory mediators.  A new study that you can see in our link below implanted a small electrical device to stimulate the vagus nerve.  What is so exciting is you can do the same thing by doing deep diaphragmatic breathing, like you would do with meditation or when doing relaxing breathing.  The device stimulated the vagus nerve, which reduced cytokines in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients.

Please read this article, its absolutely fantastic!


5 complementary approaches, including osteopathy for pain relief.

A recent article in the Journal of American medicine assessing complementary approaches to musculo skeletal pain over the past 50 years shows good improvements for pains such as headaches, knee pain and arthritis, neck pain, fibromyalgia.

pregnancy photo
The research looks at efficacy and safety evidence from 105 randomized controlled trials conducted over 50 years. Research included acupuncture and yoga for back pain; acupuncture and tai chi for osteoarthritis of the knee; massage therapy for neck pain  and relaxation techniques, and osteopathic manipulation for back pain.

This is all the more relevant with the current explosion in opiate prescription in the western world.  Come talk to your Melbourne osteopath at City Osteopathy to help relieve your pain, safely and naturally.

Find a link here….

Headaches. By Dr Bronwyn La Brooy, Osteopath at City Osteopathy.

Headaches… what a pain in the neck!

Are you one of the many that suffers from headaches?  Do you find they just don’t go away? Should you come visit us here at city osteopathy!?

Headaches; whilst having varying causing factors and triggers, may come from postural changes in the upper back and neck causing tension in those muscles.

Our culture tends to be very wired, stressed out and we predominantly sit – at the desk, on the train, driving or chilling out on the couch when we get home.  Stress can also present into the body as a shoulder shrug, leaving those shoulder muscles tight.

Chronic sitting and slouching can “turn off” our deep postural muscles.  Our head is pretty heavy.  Not only is it full of brains, but it weighs around 5-6kg.  Our upper neck and back muscles are working pretty hard to hold it up, especially when those postural muscles are taking a break.  This can result in the joints in the neck being compressed and giving off a pain pattern to the head.  It can also result in trigger points in those neck and shoulder muscles – hyperirritable points in skeletal muscle that can give referred pain into the head and neck, resulting in a headache.  These types of headaches are referred to as “cervicogenic” headaches – as they begin from the cervical spine (neck) and radiate to the base of the skull to around the eyes.

Migraines can be caused by many things, and range from moderate to severe, can be hormonal or run in the family.   Migraines are a result of blood flow changes and can present with or without aura – vision changes, nausea, dizziness.  They can be debilitating and affect your work and social life.

Osteopathy works to correct any dysfunctions in the upper back and neck, releasing off any trigger points in the shoulders and head, increasing range of motion to these segments and reducing muscle spasm.  We look at the whole picture – why the headaches are reoccurring, is there a pattern or lifestyle factor involved, and then tailoring the treatment as to how we can relieve this pressure.

Come see your Melbourne Osteopath at City Osteopathy for expert advice.

By Dr Bronwyn La Brooy.