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!

 

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.

20 mins of exercise and the health benefits.

Article by Dr Bronwyn La Brooy, Osteopath at City Osteopathy.

As the weather starts to change, the mornings a little chilly, the afternoons darker, the motivation to be out and active gets harder the closer we get to winter.  However, incidental activity is something we can all achieve without realising it.  Be it taking the stairs rather than the lift or getting off the tram a stop or two earlier and walking the rest of the distance.  There are proven health benefits of 20 mins of exercise on not only our physical wellbeing, but our mental and emotional wellbeing too.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends adults 18-64 years partake in 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week.  150 minutes seems crazy when we all barely have 2 minutes to ourselves in this hectic world!

To break it down, that equates to roughly 20 minutes of exercise every day.  It can also be accumulated into smaller 10 minute blocks, or you can do more on another day.  Moderate intensity is usually a brisk walking pace – where you can talk with a little puffing, and your heart rate is elevated.  So grab your buddy and go for a power walk, coffee in hand!

Taking a break out of the office, computer and florescent lights can also have a massive impact on our emotional and mental health.  20 mins of exercise releases chemicals in our brain that improve mood.  It can reduce our stress, help our sleep and has proven to increase productivity.

So next time you’re having your lunch at your desk or sitting down for your latte, consider taking a quick lap around the block, or the “long way” to get back to the office.  Standing up at work or opting to stand on the train can also increase our energy expenditure for the day too.  An easy way to remember would be for every 30 mins of sitting to do 30 seconds of exercise – whether that’s getting a glass of water, visiting your work neighbour or standing up for a stretch.  Increased physical activity, some fresh air and vitamin D will help us on all facets of our lives.

 

Rohan Armstrong’s NYC marathon

Good to have Rohan  back now from the states after completing the NYC marathon.

Well done Rohan, not only on his great experience, but also with his leadership and mentoring of the group of runners as part of his runwell running coaching.

Thought we would add these photos just for the fun of it, shows how hard the marathon is, and how important it is to enjoy the sights as well!!

rohan-post-run ice-hockey

 

Botox helps migraines? Read on….

New research suggests that botox injections can help migraines.

 

The Melbourne osteopaths at City Osteopathy can understand why this would occur.  A large proportion of headache and migraine come from irritation to the scalp and facial muscles, which are significantly supplied via nerves from the upper portion of your neck.  Botox would logically reduce pain firing and irritation to these tissues.  As would seeing your osteopath!  Getting gentle, expert care for your neck from an osteopath should also help migraine, without the need for more invasive treatments, like botox.  What do you think?