Do You Love Your Liver?
Love your Liver Month! The liver is the largest gland, and the largest solid organ in the body. If you place your right hand over the area under the ribs on the right side of your body, it will just about cover the area of your liver.
It holds approximately 13% of your total blood supply at any given time. It also has over 500 functions.
The liver is dark reddish brown in colour. It is divided into two main lobes (the larger right and the smaller left)
Liver functions include:
processing digested food from the intestine
controlling levels of fats, amino acids and glucose in the blood
clearing the blood of particles and infections, including bacteria
neutralising and destroying all drugs and toxins
storing iron, vitamins and other essential chemicals
breaking down food and turning it into energy
manufacturing, breaking down and regulating numerous hormones including sex hormones
making enzymes and proteins responsible for most chemical reactions in the body, e.g. in blood clotting and repair of damaged tissues.
Your liver also helps the body to get rid of waste. Waste products which are not excreted by your kidneys are removed from the blood by the liver.
People with liver damage may sometimes lose the ability to control glucose concentration in the blood and need a regular supply of sugar. Symptoms of liver damage can be difficult to spot as they are not always obvious – they can include tiredness, nausea and itching.
NHS choices website has information about the signs, symptoms and causes of liver disease.
Support love your liver month by:
Drinking less alcohol
Eating less processed food (which may have additives which will increase the workload of the liver)
Taking more exercise and reducing your weight
Do you feel you are not getting the most out of your sleep?
Perhaps you could consider the following 10 tips to see if you need a better bed for a bad back:
- Before spending money on a new bed see if a stiff board under a mattress can improve a sagging base.
- Don’t be taken in the description on the product such as “orthopaedic”. There’s no regulation of manufacturers’ descriptions of their product. Find one that best fits your needs regarding your height, weight, age, sleeping position and back problem.
- Your new bed needs to be high enough so that you can get up and sit down with ease. It also has to be wide enough, if you or your sleep partner is restless.
- The mattress should be supportive enough to take the weight of your body without sagging and firm enough for you to turn with ease. A soft surface is hard to turn on. The heavier the person the deeper the mattress needs to be. A soft base for a heavier person usually means more sag.
- Interior sprung mattresses are the most common form of mattress and can provide sufficient support and cushion the bony curves of the body. They come with a large variation in numbers of springs and prices. Always choose as many springs as you can within your budget.
- Memory foam works by responding to temperature and weight to relieve and disperse pressure. You must ensure that you can turn with ease, because lying in one position for too long can create stiffness. There are a number of manufactures that provide both mattresses and toppers. Foam mattresses often need less turning than other kinds, which can prevent back strain.
- It is advisable to buy your mattress and base together. A solid base is good and offers support when sitting or getting off the bed. A good quality full sprung edge base is the most flexible and will absorb wear and tear well.
- You may also need to consider other aids depending on your sleeping position and back problem, for example mattress toppers, lumbar support cushions and shoulder pillows.
- A simple test whether a bed has the right level of firmness for you is to lie down on your back and slide your hand between mattress and the small of your back. If there is a large gap, the bed is probably too hard. If it is difficult to push your hand, through it is probably too soft, However, if your hand slides through but remains in contact with your back and the bed it is probably just right.
- A bed needs to be tested for at least 10 minutes according to the Osteopathic Council and some manufacturers do a home trial that is worth looking out for.
For more information on this and other back care information, please Click here
Remember, its not just the fault of the bed!
We also need to learn how to ‘prepare’ our bodies for sleep. Take a look at this post Helping Back Pain Through Sleep
For more information in Wilmslow call: 01625 533813
What is Nordic Walking?
Founded in Finland and used as a cross-country skiing summer training method. Nordic walking uses specially designed poles to engage the upper body during fitness walking. Involving the upper body takes some of the effort from the lower limbs and propels the body forward. This makes walking distances seem easier, especially up hills and inclines.
I offer to help clients, who wish to become more active (and lose weight by getting back into regular exercise) to learn Nordic Walking. Nordic Walking Technique can help improve walking gait and posture. This can be done during hour long one-to-one sessions or small group sessions. We use local parkland areas such as The Carrs and Styal Country Park, as well as small urban parks such as Meriton Park, Handforth.
Benefits of Nordic Walking
- Uses 90% of the skeletal muscles
- Burns up to 46% more calories than ordinary walking
- Reduces the pressure on the knees and joints.
- Poles propel the walker along, making it easier to move faster than normal without feeling the effort.
- Increases upper body strength.
- Ideal for neck, shoulder and back problems
- Great for weight loss and general conditioning.
- It is a total body workout!
- It is a great social activity and you can enjoy with friends and family for a lifetime.
For those who have difficulty walking and need to have more stability from a walking pole, I can provide Activator Poles, which allows for greater weight bearing through the pole which can increase confidence with walking.
For more information Walk This Way…
Thank you for your attention …ready to have a go?!
National Poetry Day generates an explosion of activity nationwide, thousands of amazing events across the UK. As a result, schools, libraries, bookshops and hospitals are all celebrating poetry’s power to bring people together. It is a UK-wide celebration of poetry taking place on the first Thursday in October.
2019 is the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Day
Each year there’s a different theme and in 2019 the theme is Truth. Poetry has always been a real passion of mine. So, my entries for this year’s competition were to reflect real experiences in my years as an osteopath. Hope you like them!
Know your Numbers!
Blood Pressure Week
9-15th Sept 2019
Know Your Numbers! Blood Pressure Week is the UK’s awareness campaign. It encourages adults across the UK to know their blood pressure numbers and take the necessary action to reach and maintain a healthy blood pressure.
I’m taking part in Know your Numbers! Week, the Nation’s largest annual blood pressure testing and awareness event. This takes place from 9-15th September and I’m providing free checks in Wilmslow during this week. A poster will be displayed outside the clinic to let you know opening times for Walk-In appointments. I can offer you dietary and lifestyle information and advice.
I will also be offering free Body Composition Analysis to analyse Visceral Fat Measurement to screen those at risk for developing Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes.
Since its launch in 2001, Know your Numbers! Week has ensured more than 1.5million people have had their blood pressure checked so that they know their blood pressure numbers in the same way as their height and weight.
It’s success was recognised at The Charity Awards 2008 when Know your Numbers! Week won the healthcare category.
Know your Numbers! Week involves hundreds of nationwide organisations signing up to provide free blood pressure tests and information at venues known as Pressure Stations.
Pressure Stations are located throughout the community including pharmacies, workplaces, GP surgeries, hospitals, health clubs, clinics, leisure centres, shopping centres and supermarkets.
Blood Pressure UK is very proud of Know your Numbers! Week and welcomes participation from a wide range of organisations to support the campaign. Please note that Know your Numbers!® is a registered trademark and all activities are done in partnership with Blood Pressure UK.
For more information contact me on 01625 533813
I OFFER A WILMSLOW OSTEOPATHIC HOME CARE SERVICE TO THE OLDER ADULT COMMUNITY. INCLUDING THOSE WITHIN WARDEN CONTROL FLATS OR INDEPENDENT LIVING CARE HOMES.
These are for people who can’t get out to my clinic. Perhaps they find the physical effort to get out and come to me is just too much.
I have undergone specific training to help and advise those with DISABILITY AND STABLE MEDICAL CONDITIONS to exercise safely.
I offer a portable Wilmslow osteopathic home care service, bringing with me a treatment table and anything else I need to treat older adults in their own homes. Treating them in their own environment makes them feel safe and familiar.
PERHAPS YOU HAVE PARENTS IN A CARE HOME SETTING, EITHER INDEPENDENT LIVING OR COUNCIL RUN IN THE WILMSLOW AREA?
I have also been trained in CHAIR BASED EXERCISE to be able to provide a 1 hour weekly seated exercise class in the Wilmslow community. For a minimal charge per person based in a main care home lounge, I go through all the joints to get them moving in a seated position.
It’s an easy exercise routine to follow each time. As a result, they learn the movements and can do it for themselves at other times if they need to.
The idea is that they don’t need to wait for another week before I come back. Whenever they feel stiff or haven’t moved, they can do the exercises I have taught them.
CONTACT ME if you’re interested in getting something organised for your family member and I can speak to the care home involved.
Social activity is good for their memory. Learning something new to add to their daily routine, plus the exercises help with coordination and building muscle mass.
MY SEATED EXERCISE CLASS HELPS WITH FALL PREVENTION TOO.
Older adults can fall because they feel unsteady. This can happen if they’re spending a lot of time sitting. If they then need to get up to use the toilet, for example, they can have a drop in blood pressure.
I teach them to get their body moving a little bit before they need to get up. Get them into the habit of getting their system moving first. A few calf pump exercises particularly helps to prepare their body into getting up. This then stops them from feeling wobbly and falling, stumbling or losing their footing.
If you would like a free chat about how I could help your Wilmslow care home residents with their mobility, please call 01625 533813 / 07547 631679
Or please CLICK HERE to discuss this any further.
Back Pain – Friend or Foe?
Back Pain affects many of us at some time or another doesn’t it? It can be at times debilitating, always inconvenient as it restricts us from doing the things we love – walking, gardening or running.
There are many structures that can be involved in Back Pain – discs, joints, muscles, nerves and ligaments. Symptoms can range from local pain (pain in once place) to referred pain (pain going to another place) such as into the bottom or down to the leg, feelings of numbness and tingling or feelings of weakness.
Is my back letting me down?
So, we know that our Backs often become strained or injured but the question we have to ask is Why? Is it actually the fault of the Spine? The answer to that question surprisingly is….very rarely! The Spine is usually the victim and for far too long we have not been blaming the real foe….ourselves!! We use our bodies in very repetitive ways, take ‘chances’ with our backs by not taking care in the way we sit, lift and walk!
The main victim is the overworked Lumbar Spine. The Lumbar Spine has a unique ability to compensate for restricted motion that occurs in areas above it (Thoracic Spine) and below it (Hips). The motions of the Lumbar Spine are as follows:
- Flexion 40-60 degrees
- Extension 20-35 degrees
- Rotation 3-18 degrees
- Side-bending 15-20 degrees
Don’t bend and twist at the same time!
We are always told that bending and rotating at the same time as we lift something off the floor in a No No! It can cause injury to our low back! The Lumbar Spine actually has very little ability to rotate. The vast amount of our rotation actually comes from Thoracic Spine and the Hips (see here)
If there is restriction in rotation in either the Hips or Thoracic Spine where does the extra motion come from? That’s right. The Lumbar Spine! So this rotational restriction, in either the Thoracic Spine or the Hips, will cause the Lumbar Spine to attempt to compensate for this loss of motion outside of its normal limits. This is until something gives up…..as a result we are left in a tremendous amount of Low Back Pain!
So, don’t think your back has let you down? Our day to day poor use of the spine can be the real foe! For far too long the Lumbar Spine has been blamed when in fact the vast majority of times…..it’s actually the victim!
Look after your back. It’s your friend!
For advice about what you can do to help yourself, please contact me
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Fact or Fiction?
Busting diet myths
So, how do you tell the difference between a faddy diet or diet myths and one which will help you lose weight at a sensible rate and keep it off?
Look out for the warning signs and beware of these common diet myths:
Diet Myth 1 – Skipping breakfast is a good way to lose weight
Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can make you feel tired and hungry and more likely to reach for high-fat, high-calorie snacks. In fact, people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight than those who don’t.
Diet Myth 2 – Food restrictions
If you eat nothing but celery or oranges all day long for a week you will, of course, lose weight. But fad diets that drastically cut calories will quickly become boring and won’t be effective in the long run. It’s not necessary to starve to lose weight – making small changes that you can stick to is the key to long-term success.
Diet Myth 3 – No treats
Depriving yourself of all the foods you enjoy won’t work. You’ll eventually give into temptation and abandon your efforts. There’s no harm in allowing yourself a treat now and again.
Diet Myth 4 – No eating past 8pm
It doesn’t matter when you eat if you are eating too much – a calorie is a calorie at any time of the day! It’s healthier for your digestive system not to eat a heavy meal before you go to bed but a late dinner will not make you any fatter than an early one.
Diet Myth 5 – Lose your belly fat / bingo wings / thunder thighs
As unfair as it may seem, we can’t pick and choose where we gain or lose weight from. When the body loses fat, it is lost throughout the body. Focusing on one area of the body when exercising may develop better muscle tone in that area but it will not remove more fat.
Diet Myth 6 – Certain foods help you burn fat
No foods can actually help you to burn fat. The important thing is eating less calories (energy), rather than eating specific foods that are thought to have special properties.
Diet Myth 7 – Carbs are fattening
It’s calories that count, and gram for gram carbohydrate has less than half the calories of fat. However, carbohydrate rich foods can be high in calories because of the fillings and toppings commonly added to them – such as creamy sauces on pasta and butter or cheese on baked potatoes. Some carbohydrate foods, especially wholegrain versions, are packed full of fibre which can keep hunger at bay. For example, wholegrain pasta is more filling than white pasta and will keep you satisfied for longer.
Diet Myth 8 – No snacking
Eating healthy snacks between meals can actually help you to control your appetite. Fruit, vegetables, crudites and low fat yoghurt are great choices.
Diet Myth 9 – Low fat only
Replacing fat with other ingredients can still result in a product with a high calorie content. Don’t be fooled – check the label. Quantity is also important – you won’t cut back on calories if you eat twice as much of a low fat product as a full fat one.
Diet Myth 10 – Intense exercise regimes
Even low intensity exercise will help use up more calories. Walking, gardening or doing housework can make quite a difference.
For more information visit www.bhf.org.uk
In the UK, one in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will fracture a bone.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the usually strong support struts that make up the inside of most bones becomes thinner. This can lead to bones becoming fragile and breaking easily, resulting in pain and disability.
In the UK, one in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will fracture a bone. This is mainly due to poor bone health. However, osteoporosis is often a silent condition. It gives no pain or symptoms until the worst happens and a bone breaks. Many people living with osteoporosis are unaware that they have fragile bones until this happens.
What are the risks for osteoporosis?
Those that smoke or drink in excess of the recommended daily alcohol intake are at greater risk. However, gender, genetics, age, race and low body weight are all contributing factors.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. There is a lot you can do to prevent the condition, and to reduce your chance of breaking a bone if you do get it.
I can give you dietary and lifestyle advice, and advise you about weight bearing exercise. This can help manage your risk factors to reduce the impact of the condition on your lifestyle.
To find out more about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis, contact the National Osteoporosis Society by visiting their website at: www.nos.org.uk
“Experts warn Back Pain treatment is useless…”
The Times, 22 March 2018 had a front page article about the current medical treatments for back pain:
Back pain is the world’s leading cause of disability. A series in ‘The Lancet’ medical journal stated it is routinely badly treated. In Britain, one in seven GP appointments is for muscle and nerve problems, mostly back pain. It reported that millions of people are receiving treatments of drugs, injections and surgery. This can make the problem a lot worse.
Doctors prefer to offer useless and often harmful treatments rather than tell patients that staying active, exercise and psychological therapy work for most cases of chronic back pain. Most people wrongly believe the myth that rest is best for the condition.
Patients understandably look for solutions and a cure. The reality is we don’t understand what causes the vast majority of back pain. A positive attitude and job satisfaction are among the strongest indicators of whether it will turn into a serious disability or not. The evidence underpinning invasive treatments is very weak. They can also cause harm. Studies show that a third of British patients are given opioid medication such as Tramadol and Morphine. However, the evidence is that they can make your pain worse and patients are becoming hooked and suffering dangerous side effects. So is conventional back pain treatment useless?
The value of early physical therapy
Several studies have investigated the effect of early intervention. Gelhorn et al (2012) found that those that received physical therapy in the first four weeks of their first recorded episode of back pain coped better long term. These had a significantly reduced likelihood of subsequent lumbar surgery, injections. Also fewer visits to a doctor over the following year compared to those that received physical therapy over three months from onset.
The fear associated with the pain can prevent a person feeling they can carry on with a normal daily routine. They get into a vicious circle of ‘not doing things’ to avoid pain. As an osteopath, I try to help patients find ways to cope and manage their pain. This is through gentle osteopathic treatment to get some initial ease, followed by supportive remedial exercises. I give advice about improving activity levels and lifestyle advice, with some help from over the counter medications if necessary, to build up their confidence and regain some control.