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Understanding Your Headache

The location of your headache can tell a clinician a great deal about what may be the cause. The most common form of headaches are sinus, tension, migraine and cluster headaches.

If your headache is caused by your sinuses then it is usually around the front of the head and face. It is characterised by dull, pressure like pain that worsens with sudden movements of the head and bending forward. Sinus headache may begin in the morning and gradually decrease in intensity as the day moves forward. It is caused by inflammation of the sinuses that may result from allergies like hay fever or infection such as flu. It can sometimes be associated with fatigue, fever, nasal congestion, nasal discharge, watery eyes etc.

headache-pregnancy

If you are suffering from a tension headache you will usually have symptoms on both sides of the head. It is characterised by mild to moderate pain, which may be constant. It usually causes a feeling of tightness, constriction or pressure especially around the temples or the back of the head. The headache may be episodic or chronic, meaning it may last for long periods of time or the headache may come and go. Causes include muscular tension, lack of sleep, stress, overworking, fatigue, emotional crisis, menstruation etc.

If your headache is caused by a migraine then it is usually one side of the head. It is characterised by intense, throbbing and pulsating pain that is intermittent in nature. Each attack of headache may last for several hours or even days. Migraines are slightly more common in females between their 20s and 30s. In some cases, migraine is preceded by an ‘aura-phase’ in which visual, sensory, speech or motor disturbance may occur lasting around 10 to 15 minutes. For example, flickering, blurred or partial loss of vision, tingling or numbness in on one side of the hand etc. You may also experience sensitivity to light, smells, noise. Nausea and vomiting is also common and this type of headache may be triggered by stress and sometimes due to certain kind of foods.

Headache1

A cluster headache is closely associated with migraine, in terms of similarity in pain features. It is characterised by severe, repeated episodes of pain, of about 30 minutes to 3 hours in duration. There can be 1 to 8 attacks per day, usually at night.

Cluster headaches sometimes disturb sleep. Its distribution is on one side of the head and usually around the eye. Pain maybe associated with drooping of the eyelid, weeping of the eye on the affected side and possible nasal congestion. Spontaneous remission can occur after several months of attacks.

 

A cervicogenic headache arises from the base of the skull and the upper part of the cervical spine or neck. It is typically a long lasting headache. This type of headache has a broader distribution as the headache may be felt in one or more regions of the head and/or face. These occur due to a neck disorder such as an irritation of the joints in the neck or muscular tightness leading to inflammation or irritation of structures around the neck.

Many types of headaches can be helped with manual therapy including osteopathy, physiotherapy, acupuncture or massage therapy. If you suffer with ongoing headaches we may be able to help. You can arrange an appointment with one of our practitioners  at Cedar Hall Clinics in Benfleet or Thurrock to help diagnose and treat your head pain.

http://www.cedarhallclinics.co.uk/contact_thurrock.html

http://www.cedarhallclinics.co.uk/contact_benfleet.html

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Osteopathy Works

A large number of new patients are recommended by word of mouth & we treat a variety of painful conditions. Our reputation is based on patient experience which is very important to us. Recommendations also come from local GPs, midwives, personal trainers & hospital consultants. Our free assessments give you a chance to decide if Osteopathy is right for you with no obligation and no signing up for a specific number of appointments. If a couple of sessions is all you need – we’re happy!

Osteopathy Works

 

 

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Happy & Pain Free 2018

Whatever your body health and fitness goals are for the New Year don’t go hell for leather from day one. A gradual build up of your chosen exercise or fitness regime is the key to success. Our practitioners are happy to help you achieve your goals with pain management & mobility advice – so call or email if you have any queries.

Wishing you all health & happiness for 2018.

happy new year! (2)

 

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Keeping You On Your Toes

With a strong connection to dance & performing arts, practitioners at Cedar Hall Clinics understand the demands on the body both in training & performance.

Common performance injuries treated by our osteopaths & physiotherapists are:

Neck strain; low back strain; muscle spasm; acute ligament strains; muscle tears; hip injuries; knee injuries and more.

www.cedarhallclinics.co.ukBalletShoes

 

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Feeling Under Par? Osteopathy Can Help Get You Back in the Swing

We treat many golfers at Cedar Hall Clinics for various conditions, but lower back pain (lumbar spine region) is one of the most common ailments and can be a problem for golfers of all ages. Various studies have estimated that roughly a third of all golfers will struggle with lower back pain at some point in their lives.

Golfers

 

What causes this pain?

Each individual case is different and the cause of the lower back pain can vary but in our experience a lack of mobility in the ankles, hips, middle back (thoracic spine) and shoulders forces the lower back to work excessively hard. This puts a lot of pressure on the sacroiliac joint (SIJ) – the spot where the spine connects with the pelvis – as many golfers will rely on their lower back to generate the turn and power in their swings. This is particularly true for golfers with weak glute and hip muscles and those that have a poor range of motion in their mid-back region.

Another issue is that golf is a one-sided sport and golfers tend to put more stress on one side of the pelvis than the other. Most golfers also aren’t very good at stretching and warming up prior to teeing off and this can be a significant contributor to back pain after their round.

So what can be done?

  • Warm up properly
    Going straight to the first tee from your car or the clubhouse without doing a warm up is one of the surest ways of ending up with lower back pain. Give yourself an extra 15 minutes and start your warm up with some simple stretches on the following areas;
  • Shoulder & Torso: Hold a golf club with both hands across the shoulders and gently rotate the torso on both sides
  • Hips: In a seating position, pull one knee to the chest and repeat on the other side
  • Hamstrings: Starting in a standing position, bend over and try to touch the toes. Having flexibility in your hamstrings is essential if you want to avoid back pain as it will allow more movement in the pelvis and help reduce the stress on the lower back.

Practice smooth swings with good rhythm

With a proper swing you should be using the shoulders, chest, pelvis (hip) and lower back muscles to share the load of the swing. Practicing smooth rhythmic swings helps to develop muscle memory and prepares the muscle groups for the torque (force) and torsion (twisting) that a golf swing produces. Begin with the smaller irons and progress up to the larger woods, as this process will allow the muscles to warm up incrementally.

4507107 - female friends enjoying a game of golf

Use a trolley to carry the golf bag

Golf bags can be heavy and very often you will see golfers carrying them with just one strap on the shoulder. This will create too much pressure on one side of the pelvis. We would always recommend using a golf trolley or buggy, but if you want to carry your bag make sure to use the dual straps to evenly split the weight across the back. This will reduce the chances of developing low back pain from an uneven load.

 

How osteopathy can help

If none of the above tips are making any difference to your pain it may be time to see an osteopath, who are specialists in relieving the pain associated with golfing injuries. Very often the treatment will involve not just treating the area of pain but also focusing on the associated muscles, nerves, tendons and ligaments to ensure that they are all functioning optimally. This will help reduce the chances of the same injury recurring while also enhancing the body’s resilience to future injuries.

If you have any concerns over an injury you have picked up playing golf or one that is affecting your game please feel free to give us a call. Or make an appointment for a free assessment to find out what’s going on. We’re always happy to give advice or address any concerns you may have.

Until next time – happy golfing.

www.cedarhallclinics.co.uk

 

 

 

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Beat Exam Stress & Strain

It’s exam time again, with thousands of young people revising and cramming in order to pass those all-important school exams. Whether you have a young family member working towards common entrance, or older children taking GCSE or ‘A’ levels, it can be a stressful time for the whole family.

We often see teenagers and children with ‘tension’ type problems across their shoulder girdle, upper back and necks at this time of year. Some of our patients will come in with headaches and migraines, that have often been exacerbated by studying for long periods of time at a computer or worse, slumped on their beds with a lap top on their knees.

Carrying school bags of heavy books can result in low back and shoulder problems and added to the levels of general anxiety patients often find themselves distressed and uncomfortable at the very time they need to be functioning well. All this in conjunction with growth spurts and hormones. It’s a lot for any young person to have to to deal with!

student exam stress and exhaustion

Here at Cedar Hall Clinics we are happy to treat students of all ages. We are aware that teenagers are not often forthcoming when they are not feeling on top form and they often find it difficult to explain that they are a bit ‘up tight’ both emotionally and physically. Gentle osteopathic treatment can often help to relieve some of the mechanical stresses and strains associated with long hours of study and we are also able to offer advice about the best ways to position computers and laptops to reduce postural strain.

We have male and female osteopaths so each patient has a choice of practitioners. The only requirement is that any patient under 16 years old is accompanied by an adult.

A free assessment is a popular choice if you really don’t know what’s causing your pain or discomfort – it gives students, parents & practitioners a chance to find out what’s going on & discuss treatment options. Why not give it a try?

In the meantime good luck with those exams from all of us at Cedar Hall Clinics.

With thanks to our osteopath Lorraine for this blog

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Enjoy Pain Free Gardening

Osteopath & keen gardener Lorraine Scates passes on some helpful tips on how to enjoy a pain free time working in your garden.

When the sun comes out and the weather improves many of us head outdoors and begin to get the garden in shape for the summer. This is the time we see gardening related lower back injuries and other joint complaints. However, with simple changes, the chance of injuring ourselves can be greatly reduced.

Firstly, try to limber up for the task in hand. Try some gentle stretching before attempting tasks that are strenuous.

Avoid lifting objects that are heavy ie paving slabs, so get a friend to help out to even the load.

Be aware of your posture at all times when performing these tasks. Avoid excessive slumping and try to maintain an upright position.

46061942 - happy grandmother with her granddaughter gardening on a sunny dayYou wouldn’t spend 5 hours in the gym at a time so avoid performing a single task for a lengthy period of time & keep things varied with frequent breaks

When weeding avoid stooping over whilst keeping the legs straight, instead try to bend the knees and squat down to the level you are weeding at or sit on a small stool or cushion to avoid knee discomfort. If you are feeling very energetic you may prefer a lunging position. Whichever position is easiest for you please be mindful of maintaining an upright posture and avoid slumping.

When digging, avoid stooping forward at the hips. We advise partly bending the knees using a shallow squat stance. Keep your chest proud to help keep an upright posture. Many back injuries occur when we are slumping forward combined with a twist or turn.

When potting try to set pots at a level you can work with at an upright posture – for example at a level where you can sit and work. This reduces the strain involved and makes it easier to maintain a good posture.

Finally repetitive strain should be considered when performing tasks that you may not have done since last summer. Strains can sometimes occur when a mild activity is performed over a long period of time. If you have been hibernating over the winter don’t expect to be fit enough to be able to perform gardening for numerous hours in one go and not suffer pain and injuries as a result. Take regular breaks. Be kind to your body and allow your body to adapt to the new physical demand you’re putting upon it.

Enjoy your garden! We’re here to help if you overdo it!! Call us at our Benfleet clinic on 01268 774249 or our Thurrock clinic on 01375 678877.

www.cedarhallclinics.co.uk

 

 

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