International Symposium of Animal Musculoskeletal Practice

Attended the International Symposium of Animal Musculoskeletal Practice on Friday 28th November as part of my annual trainiing requirement. Dr Hilary Clayton was the main speaker. She presented some of her research work on equine locomotion – basic principles and adaptations during lameness; biomechanics of the horse’s back and effects of rider and tack; and evidence based studies of good core strengthening exercises that can be done with horses. All very relevant information which I can make use of when treating horse’s backs. She is so interesting to listen to.

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http://isamp.org/ — at RadCliffe House, Warwick University

Back Care Awareness Week – 6-10 October 2014

It’s BACKCARE AWARENESS WEEK and this years focus is ‘Back in the Office’. Please come in and discuss any back pain concerns you may have. I’m available for FREE 15 min assessment and chat sessions at certain times up until the end of October. You can also pop in at any time to pick up some FREE information and exercise sheets about back pain in the office.

More information at www.backcare.org.uk

Let’s Celebrate Duston

I will be at ‘Celebrate Duston’ this Saturday between 2-4 pm in the marque as part of Studiio 53’s exhibit and will be available to ask any questions about osteopathy or back pain etc. Please come and say hello to us all.

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Equine Osteopathic Research

I attended the Society of Osteopaths in Animal Practice AGM yesterday, which included 4 hours of continual professional development. Was good to find out about some recent positive research regarding the osteopathic treatment of horses.

Tony Nevin did a presentation of a study published in March 2014 by the Equine Veterinary Education Journal entitled ‘The Osteopathic Treatment of Somatic Dysfunction causing gait abnormality in 51 horses’, by C, M Colles, A. Nevin, and J. Brooks. This study took place over a 19 year period! 51 horses showing chronic lameness or gait abnormality that was either not fully responsive to veterinary treatment, or where a diagnosis had not been established, were treated by osteopaths. At the end of the study 46 horses (90.2%) responded to treatment in the short term (6 months). Out of these, 17 were working at the same level or better for at least one year after treatment, 10 worked at a reduced level for between 1.5 to 10 years and unfortunately 19 cases were lost to long-term follow-up. The study confirmed that osteopathic manipulation of the spine in horses can be a valuable treatment for cases of lameness that do not respond to veterinary treatment.

Was also good to meet and catch up with fellow colleagues.

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Risk of Spinal Injury and use of Weights

As an Osteopath I see quite a few people who have had back pain caused by using weights.  Two recent cases were as a result of performing dumbbell side-bending exercises to reduce ‘love handles’. Whilst resistance exercise can increase strength, using weights can lead to muscle, ligament and disc injuries in and around the spine if not done properly.  Many people start by using too much weight, or moving too fast and not concentrating on correct posture whilst doing these sort of exercises.  Developing muscle underneath fat deposits may actually increase waist size if diet and aerobic exercise are not part of the weight loss regime.  Increasing the amount of weight used should be done very slowly so as not to risk injury.  Start by doing any new exercise without weights if you have never done it before and it is important to build up your core strength first – if you already have a weak back and core you are more susceptible to injury. Please see links below for tips on protecting your back whilst weight lifting.

http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/sports-and-spine-injuries/bodybuilding-weightlifting-and-back-pain

http://www.active.com/fitness/articles/6-weightlifting-tips-to-avoid-back-pain

Good Posture Infographic

A belated Happy New Year to you all. Found this useful infographic about posture plus useful tips to help test and improve it and thus help to avoid back pain and other problems. Sleeping position is also very important – I have had clients suffering from neck pain who previously slept on their stomachs and are now much better sleeping on their side or back.

Good Posture

Find More at the Greatist Fitness Blog

Backcare Charity and Backcare Awareness Week

National back care awareness week next week. For those of you with smartphones – Simplyhealth have developed a FREE app and will be donating £1 to ‘Backcare’, The Charity for Healthier Backs every time it is downloaded. It includes preventative advice, exercise library with videos, ability to search for back care professionals in your area etc. Please see link below for more information.

http://www.backcare.org.uk/backcareApp

Laptops and Back Pain

Bad posture gadget of the moment – The Laptop. Brilliant piece of kit but not using it properly can lead to neck and back pain. This has happened to several of my clients recently. The head is a very heavy object and the muscles of the neck and back, find it really hard to support it if you do not keep your head, neck, shoulders and back in-line whilst using any computer. With laptops its best to plug in another keyboard in order to get the screen high enough. Please see picture below which illustrates good and bad posture in front of a laptop – copy retrieved from Sunday Times article on 12.5.13 re authors spending too much time at laptops.