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Physiotherapy for a pain free pregnancy

Back pain during pregnancy is common and it’s no wonder. You’re gaining weight, you’re walking in a new way, and your hormones are relaxing the muscles and ligaments throughout your body. But you don’t have to grin and bear it.

While studies show that 50 to 70% of all pregnant woman suffer back pain, often, you can treat, or prevent back pain during pregnancy.

To help make your pregnancy as pleasant as possible and facilitate an easier delivery, back pain should always be addressed as quickly as possible and managed throughout your pregnancy.

As your baby grows, the centre of gravity of your body will shift, leading to more awkward movements, as well as potentially causing pressure on nerves and triggering lower back pain.

Other causes of pain may well be the increase in hormones relaxing the joints and loosening the ligaments, the additional weight of the baby that your back must support, together with poor posture and stress.

These will all find a weak point to exploit and that weak point will may be your lower back or pelvis, or shoulders and upper back.

Mobilisation of the joints, massage and stretches of tight muscles can be highly effective in helping reduce any aches and pains.

Undertaking an exercise and treatment programme, designed by a qualified physiotherapist, will help strengthen the back and abdomen, also highly effective in helping reduce any aches and pains. We focus on improving posture and alignment so that your body is in the optimum position to take any strain.

Of course no two women are the same. So, we’ll always be guided by what your body is telling you.

In that context, we’ll teach you how you can use your muscles to support your back and bump; how to exercise safely during pregnancy; and how you can change the way you do everyday things to avoid aggravating symptoms.

Here are a few tips for now…

• Avoid high heels and other shoes that do not provide adequate support

• Avoid sleeping on your back

• Squat to pick something up rather than bend

• Elevate your feet whenever possible

So you needn’t suffer during pregnancy. Through proven means we can reduce the frequency and intensity of any pain, safely and effectively. We can also help you in the postnatal period, with safe and gentle exercises to help the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles regain their tone, so they can return to supporting your spine effectively.

Call today to book an evaluation and hear how we can prepare the treatment schedule that will work best for you and for the safety of your baby.

Our Edgware clinic is easily accessible from Mill Hill or Stanmore.

The Green Clinic: Chartered Physiotherapists Stephen or Talia – 020 8728 0625 www.edgwarephysio.com

Our Shenley clinic is easily accessible from Radlett, Borehamwood and Elstree.

The Gingerbread House: Chartered Physiotherapists Stephen or Talia – 01923 852852 www.radlettphysio.co.uk

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Sports – perform better

As well as helping with sports injuries, we advise on injury prevention, and strength and conditioning.

Why is this important?

We helped a teenage channel swimmer recently with low back pain, not only to stretch where it mattered, but to improve her strength in the right way. She noted that not only did her pain go away, but also her swimming improved – she got faster and was less tired.

People often don’t realise the importance of strength, just emphasising ‘cardio’. I often treat people who are fit, but get injured because their muscles aren’t strong enough, from children to adults.

We helped some national level youth tennis players recently, who did strength training but overdid it! We helped them recover from their muscle strains, and build up strength more gradually.

People often think when their pain has gone away that they are fully recovered. We recently helped an adult hockey player and teenage rugby player with hamstring injuries. After resting and noting the pain had disappeared, they returned to sport, only to get injured again in the first game. We helped them recover from their muscle strains, and build up strength with a variety of exercises, from bodyweight to weights to plyometrics, so they could return to sport fully fit (and actually in better condition than before their injury).

Whether you are at primary or secondary school or adult, we can help.

Whether you play informally or play at club level or in a league, dance or play sport, we can help.

Don’t wait and let injuries drag on. Call us today for an appointment – we are open Sunday to Friday and usually have some availability most days.

Choose The Green Clinic

Edgware – 02087280625

Shenley / Radlett – 01923852852

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Can Physiotherapy help Headaches?

Yes it can!

At the assessment we would look at your posture, how well you move, and feel for any painful areas in the muscles or joints. Depending on what we find to be the likely cause of your headaches, we would then work to relieve any muscle tension, including trigger points or ‘knots’ in the muscles, work gently to loosen any stiff joints, and we may offer acupuncture for pain relief. In addition, we aim to prevent the problem returning, so would advise on posture at work and Pilates exercises to help strengthen the postural support muscles.

People who are hypermobile can be more prone to suffer headaches, as well as school or university students who are studying for exams, people who work at a computer for many hours, or those who drive for a living.

We believe prevention is better than cure, so as well as providing advice and preventative exercises, we would discuss how best to support you while our exercises take effect, to reduce your symptoms as much as possible. This may include some further treatment sessions of massage or acupuncture or Pilates, and with our extended opening hours, we always aim to fit into your busy schedule.

Our Edgware clinic is easily accessible from Mill Hill or Stanmore.

The Green Clinic: Chartered Physiotherapists Stephen or Talia
020 8728 0625 www.edgwarephysio.com

Our Shenley clinic is easily accessible from Radlett, Borehamwood and Elstree.

The Gingerbread House: Chartered Physiotherapists Stephen or Talia
01923 852852 www.radlettphysio.co.uk

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Are You Feeling Run Down?

Hypermobile people often have poor posture – it feels like a big effort to sit or stand straight.
Hypermobile people often have joint or muscle pain.
Hypermobile people find everything is more effort, and takes more energy, so are more likely to have reduced immunity.
Hypermobile people sometimes find that exercise makes them feel worse – they are more likely to overdo it.
Hypermobility is often mis-diagnosed!

As well as seeing a Physiotherapist for the right advice on the right kind of exercise, vitamin and mineral supplememnts can really help, such as Vitamin C and D, magnesium and zinc.

Our Edgware clinic is easily accessible from Mill Hill or Stanmore.

The Green Clinic: Chartered Physiotherapists Stephen or Talia
020 8728 0625 www.edgwarephysio.com

Our Shenley clinic is easily accessible from Radlett, Borehamwood and Elstree.

The Gingerbread House: Chartered Physiotherapists Stephen or Talia
01923 852852 www.radlettphysio.co.uk

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Is the pen mightier than the keyboard for children with hyper-mobility

There was a time when the pen was certainly mightier than the keyboard, but by whatever means you now communicate the written word, the impact on wrists and hands can take its toll.

At a time when we all seem chained to our keyboards, an article on holding pens and pencils might seem incongruous. But the written word is not dead and there are many people out there who find that their ability to perform such apparently simple tasks is limited.

And it is not always older patients who derive benefit from treatment.

At The Green Clinic, we provide physiotherapy for those with weak hands or wrists at both ends of the age spectrum. We have significant expertise in treating hypermobility in children. It is a very common, yet an often undiagnosed condition which can cause a child pain and so problems in holding pens and pencils for prolonged periods. This will limit the time they are able to write or draw for.

Teachers can be great, eager to please the parent, help the child and willing to go beyond their usual remit. At first! Their time is at a premium and so all the classroom assistants in the country may not be able to help them dedicate the additional time required by a hypermobile child to enable them to express themselves aesthetically and effectively in the written word.

It’s all very well giving the child some therapy putty to strengthen their hands (like playdough, just more elastic), but the effect will be limited if there is no organised muscle strengthening programme in place to increase endurance and effectiveness. This should and go hand in hand with a with reinforcement of good practice general strength and posture, or the result will be shortlived and the need to maintain a close watch on the child will be ongoing. This all, of course, also has an impact on a child’s mental wellbeing.

The treatment programmes we follow enable our young patients to overcome these weaknesses, and as their pain diminishes, their negative thoughts subside.

The time taken to properly assess your child, to help you to understand the diagnosis and treatment, is time well spent. Hypermobility and weakness in the hand makes holding and moving the pencil tiring and less efficient than usual.

The child needs activities to strengthen hands and improve endurance, as well as to master the finger actions for handwriting.

Depending on the degree of joint mobility and the weakness in the muscles there are a variety of adaptations a child can make to compensate for the muscle weakness in the hand when holding a pen. But they have to be good ones, that will stay with them for a lifetime.

Through play and tailored exercises for strengthening, establishing a steady grip and co-ordination, we’ll assist your child in their development to ensure that writing will be less of a chore and more of an art form.

Our Edgware clinic is easily accessible from Mill Hill or Stanmore.

Our Shenley clinic is easily accessible from Radlett, Borehamwood and Elstree.

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Do You Need Physiotherapy? Free Assessment!

Not all Physiotherapists are the same.

There is a wide variety of skill and experience.

Come in for a free 15 minute assessment or call us for an assessment over the phone to decide whether Physiotherapy can help you.

Our Edgware clinic is easily accessible from Mill Hill or Stanmore.

The Green Clinic: Chartered Physiotherapists Stephen or Talia
020 8728 0625 www.edgwarephysio.com

Our Shenley clinic is easily accessible from Radlett, Borehamwood and Elstree.

The Gingerbread House: Chartered Physiotherapists Stephen or Talia
01923 852852 www.radlettphysio.co.uk

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Joint Hypermobility – Common Clues

Delighted to see an article in The British Medical Journal

http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c7167.full

Common clues suggesting joint hypermobility syndrome:

In children and adolescents
Congenital dislocation of the hip

Late walking, with bottom shuffling instead of crawling

Recurrent ankle sprains

Poor ball catching and handwriting skills

Tiring easily compared with peers

So called growing pains or chronic widespread pain

Joint dislocations

In adults
Non-inflammatory joint or spinal pain

Joint dislocations

Multiple soft tissue (including sporting) injuries

Increase in pain or progressive intensification of pain that is largely unresponsive to analgesics

Progressive loss of mobility owing to pain, or pain avoidance through movement avoidance

Premature osteoarthritis

Autonomic dysfunction, such as orthostatic intolerance (dizziness or faintness) or postural tachycardia syndrome (in this form of dysautonomia, in 60° upright tilt the blood pressure remains constant while the pulse rate rises by a minimum of 30 beats/min)

Functional gastrointestinal disorders (sluggish bowel, bloating, rectal evacuatory dysfunction)

Laxity in other supporting tissues—for example, hernias, varicose veins, or uterine or rectal prolapse

We have years of experience in treating children and adults with hypermobility.

Our Edgware clinic is easily accessible from Mill Hill or Stanmore.

The Green Clinic: Chartered Physiotherapists Stephen or Talia
020 8728 0625 www.edgwarephysio.com

Our Shenley clinic is easily accessible from Radlett, Borehamwood and Elstree.

The Gingerbread House: Chartered Physiotherapists Stephen or Talia
01923 852852 www.radlettphysio.co.uk

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Is your handbag a pain in the neck?

If you look at someone from the side, their spine should be a gentle S-shaped curve. From behind, their spine should be a straight line.

Anything that causes the spine to be pushed or pulled away from this ideal shape can cause strain in the spine, and the more often it happens, the more this strain can build up. This can lead to headaches, pain in the neck, upper or lower back.

Carrying handbags that are too heavy is one such cause of strain.

The trend for oversized bags means there is more space to fill. The bigger the bag, the more tempting it is to pack it all in.

The Daily Mail in 2007 quoted a study which found that women today carry twice as much in their handbags as their mothers used to. Mum might have had a coin purse, a powder compact, a couple of tissues and a house key.

Increasingly, women are carrying more gadgets such as iPods and mobile phones, which has created a demand for larger handbags. A survey in the Independent in 2008 showed that the average weight of a woman’s handbag has increased by 38% over five years to 2.37 kilos (5lbs). In some cases the weight of a full handbag can be up to 7kg (15 lbs). As well as packing more inside, the handbags themselves are often heavy.

Overfilling an enormous bag is less of a problem if you can just throw it in the car, but if you need to walk any distance carrying it, the strain just builds up.

Carrying a bag on one shoulder leads to improper weight distribution across the neck, shoulder and back, causing strain in the joints, muscles and ligaments of the spine, which can lead to pain. Carrying the bag over one shoulder causes the shoulder to hike up which can shorten the muscles.

As a result, more and more women are requiring treatment for neck, shoulder and back pain.

The Health & Safety Executive report that back pain is more common when lifting heavy items;
carrying loads awkwardly, or one handed; repetitive tasks; bending or crouching; lifting when tired.
Although there is no such thing as a completely ‘safe’ lift, for an average woman, the maximum recommended weight to lift from the floor is 3kg or from knee height 7kg. This assumes that the bag is grasped with both hands, and lifted in reasonable conditions, with the lifter in a stable body position. If you usually put your handbag on the floor when not on th move, your limit is 3kg, if you are able to lift and lower it carefully with both hands!

If it is really necessary to carry a large handbag, try to reduce the weight of the handbag itself to no more than 1 to 2 lbs. Then try to minimise how much stuff you’re putting in your bag. Ditch anything you don’t need and then think about how you carry your bag. You should alternate the bag from one shoulder to another, every 10-15 minutes.

It is much better not to carry the entire weight of the bag on one shoulder.

Ideally the weight should be distributed evenly across your body, which means using something like a rucksack, or pulling a carrying case with wheels for heavier items. The next best option is to wear a bag that you carry across your body like a satchel.

Here are a few tips to keep your handbag from being a burden.

– Weigh your handbag. You might be amazed by how much it weighs!
– Think through the day ahead and pack your handbag accordingly. There’s no need to cart around sunglasses if the season has changed.
– Pack a smaller make-up bag with a few essentials. You’ll only have to touch up your make-up during the day so leave the foundation and brushes at home.
– De-clutter your purse of small change – clear it out or try to use it up.

Exercising regularly is also advisable. If you have a strong core from exercise like pilates, you’re much less likely to hurt yourself.

For the sake of your spine, when you choose a handbag, less is always better!

It’s important to find ways to stay healthy while staying in fashion.

For advice on your posture, or advice on exercises for a strong core, see an experienced physiotherapist.

If you have pain from repeated carrying, or from your posture, for the right kind of hands on treatment, see an experienced physiotherapist.

The Green Clinic is based in Edgware, Middlesex, and in Shenley, Herts.

Our Edgware clinic is easily accessible from Mill Hill or Stanmore.

The Green Clinic: Chartered Physiotherapists Stephen or Talia
020 8728 0625 www.edgwarephysio.com

Our Shenley clinic is easily accessible from Radlett, Borehamwood and Elstree.

The Gingerbread House: Chartered Physiotherapists Stephen or Talia
01923 852852 www.radlettphysio.co.uk