Thursday, 16 November 2017

Need more energy? Want to give your morale a boost ?

Try introducing activities into the working day. Exercise helps us to be  motivated and gives our  concentration a boost. 
Some things that you might try. 

- Cycle or walk to work and home again. 
  • Get off the bus a stop earlier than usual. An old one but it would add a few minutes of walking to your routine every day. 
  • Take the stairs.  
  • Short bursts of activity during the day build up over the week.Running ,walking or other activities during lunch time are a great way to give you a boost during the day. Has your work Place installed a fitness room ? Or maybe there is a gym close to where you work ? 

- Go to Yoga or Pilates sessions at lunchtime, before or after work. Both are good ways to stretch and unwind if you are sitting a lot during the day. 

 - encourage colleagues to join a gym or go to a class together. Company means you are more likely to stay with a new routine.
- organise/join lunchtime walking and running groups. 

  • Hold a pedometer challenge 
  • Throw a soft ball around an open plan office 
  • More ideas

5 ways to protect your back 

1- Kneel Bring yourself down to where you are working 
2- bend your knees, this is good exercise for your legs and reduces back strain 
3-Alternate activities from bending to stretching. So weed for 20 minutes then prune for 20 minutes. It may mean that weeding takes 2 or 3 sessions but you will feel better when you have finished. 
4- Bring pots up onto a table. 

5 - Do get help-a job shared is a job halved. 
 Ladies if you love running and you love high heels this is for you. 

Today I saw a lady who loves to run and loves to wear high heels. This is a conundrum because when you wear heals you shorten your calf muscles and your Achilles' tendon and when you run you need these to be long and flexible.  calf strain 

So what to do ? Give up heels?Give up running ?It isn't my job to tell you what to do but to support you in what you choose to do so don't worry the answer isn't to give up either. 

So if you love running and you love to wear heels stretch. Join a class, go to the gym, anything but please ,please stretch. Pilates and yoga are excellent ways to work on tight muscles which can cause problems when running.  If you can make time to attend a regular class it will make a huge difference to your running. People who add a stretch based activity to their fitness routines are less likely to be injured and have a shorter recovery time. 

Basic warm up and cool down stretches should be part of your normal running routine. If not try to add them. Warm up and cool down with a calf ,quadriceps hamstring and ideally a gluteal stretch as a basic routine . This will help you by preparing you for exercise ,you are also more likely to stretch if you add it into an existing routine. 

Ask your Osteopath or personal trainer for ideas they will be happy to help. 

Osteopathic leadership 

 One of my goals this year has been to work with other osteopaths and broaden the scope of my practice beyond the clinical setting. I was very pleased to be given a place on this years Osteopathic leadership course which started in London in June this year. 

I was one of twenty Osteopaths who were selected to take part in the course. As a group we looked  at leadership styles and the way we can lead in our profession.We did this through e learning, personal study and working as part of a team on a group project. The people I met and had the pleasure of working with were very inspiring. Before the course began many of them had already begun projects which would benefit Osteopathic Practice in the U.K.

There are in Scotland many advantages in terms of lifestyle but as osteopaths we also have a disadvantage professionally as there is a lot less on offer in the way of CPD and networking. I'm very pleased to be part of this innovative new project.  The group I worked with were looking at career structure for osteopaths. We are currently writing a proposal for the institute of Osteopathy to bring together Osteopaths from across the country. I will keep you posted on details of its development. 

Wednesday, 8 November 2017


We were designed for movement, sitting all day without regularly moving can lead to stiffness and muscle fatigue. 

What to do ?

-   Above all create good habits 

  • if you have time, take regular breaks, stand up, stretch and move around. 
  • Keep hydrated 
  • Stand while you are on the phone, it gives your voice a better sound as well as helping your back and neck to keep moving. 
  • Try a sit fit .Not for everyone but these air filled cushions help to get you moving and engage your core muscles. 
  • If you don't have time.Stand up and sit back down again every twenty minutes. You can keep typing or reading. The regular movement ensures that you don't over strain muscles and may prevent poor posture from developing. Each time you move you use your spinal muscles and gluteal muscles which ensures that they get a fresh blood supply and a new nerve impulse. You will increase your daily movement by about twenty this will leave you feeling more flexible at the end of a busy day. 

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Could your bag be giving you backache ?

    Could your bag be giving you backache ?

  1. Weigh your handbag or rucksack.You may be surprised how heavy it is. 8 kg is the heaviest that I have seen carried on a daily basis. This was at the start of the day not including anything that was added in the way of shopping. 
  2. Check your bag regularly and take out anything that you don't need. This a good habit to decrease the weight of your bag. 
  3. Change the side you wear your bag. Alternating the side spreads the load on both sides of your back. 
  4. Wear your bag across your body when possible. 
  5. Try not to carry your bag on your elbow as this can increase the pressure on one side of your upper back and shoulders. Holding in in your hand is less stressful for your upper back. 

Walking with children

Walking with children 
Give yourself permission to play (and exercise more )

As we get older we stop playing ,it's a sad truth many of us forget the joy of running along just for the joy of it not because we want to get something done in a hurry.Remember how you loved playing ? Here are a few suggestions to get you and your children moving playing and having fun together.

When walking together  pretend you are walking like animals.
Take turns and each of you suggest an animal,then you all walk like you think this creature would walk. Unless of course the animal goes very quickly and which case be prepared to run.
My favourite is a chimpanzee lots of opportunity to be silly and act out chimp like grooming if children or other grown ups don't join in or you can catch them. All animals work well but tigers, squirels, frogs,cats and dogs are a few to get you started. With young children it is a great way to distract them from the length of the walk. Beware of choosing creatures which may have to lie down especially with younger children who are more apt to get onto the ground .

Silly walks
Another of my favourite walking games is to choose a silly walk.The sillier the better. I like side steps and limping but my daughter preferred skipping and hopping. Neither of us were really ever in John Cleeses class of the ministry of silly walks but we had lots of fun inventing different combinations and getting each other to try them out . 

At the time when my daughter was a toddler both of these ideas would give me more of an aerobic workout than I would have otherwise.  They also made the journey home more pleasurable and gave us an occasional distraction on longer walks. 
I love walking running and being outside,I hope these ideas give you something fun to try on a family walk. 
If you would like to book an appointment or have a chat give me a call.  Or 0131 5572211

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

 Why I love being an osteopath ?

There are so many possible answers to this.I love osteopathy because I like helping people, also I am nosey, it is a pleasure to hear about what people do at work and home. I enjoy hearing people's stories from the stiff neck from sitting in a draft on a first date to the calf strain that was kept at bay during a marathon. I love to have a good chat about anything from the day to day to world news. 

One of the best aspects of Osteopathic practice is that I get to uncover why something has happened with my patients and come up with constructive things they can do in the future to prevent their injury happening again.This is true for all patients but I have a special interest in treating patients who present with chronic conditions or are suffering with persistent pain. Sometimes we can't change a presenting condition but by problem solving with patients, working through what might be able to change in their environment or behaviour they can gain a greater sense of control over the situation. I do this every day with every person who comes in to see me and it gives me such a great sense of achievement. 

Monday, 29 May 2017

Jaw Pain- How Osteopathy can help

You may think of osteopaths treating backs, but we treat a lot of other things too, including jaw pain and headaches. You may have pain in your jaw after visiting the dentist, not because the dentist’s done anything wrong, but because the muscles in your jaw can go into spasm after your mouth’s been held open so long. An osteopath can assess your jaw, treat the muscles spasm and get you out of pain.

You might also get jaw pain from clenching or grinding your teeth, or even from chewing gum. If you also experience clicking or locking of your jaw, this may indicate a problem within the jaw joint itself. On each side of your jaw, the joint contains a disc of cartilage which moves with the joint as you open and close your mouth and provides cushioning as you chew. Muscular imbalances around the jaw can lead to this disc not moving as it should, creating a click as the jaw rides over it (which may or may not be painful), or even locking if it fails to do so. Eventually, this may lead to thinning of the disc, and potentially increased wear to the joint surfaces themselves (arthritis).

At this stage, an osteopath can help reduce your symptoms (pain and restriction of movement), but if this is not enough, your osteopath can advise you on other options, including referral for advice on surgical options. However, addressing the problem early can help prevent things getting to this stage. This might include you changing your habits (chewing gum), using a mouth guard to reduce wear from clenching and grinding, or addressing the causes of any stress in your life, which can be behind these habits. Your osteopath can help with advice and appropriate referral, as well as using gentle techniques to address any muscular imbalances in your jaw, and giving simple exercises to help you manage the problem yourself.

We might also look at postural issues, and relieving muscle tension and restriction around the neck, upper back and shoulders. We often find that people who come to us for neck pain or headaches also have some degree of jaw problem, even if only minor. Jaw problems can sometimes contribute to neck pain and headaches, partly because there’s a mechanical relationship between the muscles and position of the jaw and the muscles and joints of the upper neck, but also because signals in the nervous system from these different areas share some of the same route to the brain - which means that sensitivity in one area can lead to sensitivity in the other. So, we’ll often look to relieve tension and sensitivity in both areas depending on what we find.

Often muscular imbalances around the jaw are simply that, but if you have significant malocclusion (ie your teeth not coming together properly, such as an underbite or overbite), this is something your dentist needs to look at, or possibly an orthodontist. We’ll always advise you if this is the case. Some treatment in partnership with the care they provide may still be appropriate.

If you have any questions, or would like to book an appointment, please give us a call 
0131 5572211. 
We’ll be happy to help.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


Last week, whilst researching exercises for osteoarthritis of the knee, I stumbled across the Arthritis Research UK website. For those of you who are interested, it is a great tool, with lots of sensible information and advice on many arthritic conditions.

The key message that I took from the website with regard to osteoarthritis, was that when patients are diagnosed with osteoarthritis, they often panic, they stop exercising or doing the things they enjoy, through fear of making the condition worse. This is understandable, but it is really important to remember that although there isn’t currently a cure, it doesn’t necessarily get worse over time, and most importantly, there is a lot that you can do to help yourself, such as:

·         Maintaining a healthy weight, to decrease strain on the joints.

·         Cardiovascular and muscle strengthening exercises, to help with weight loss/maintenance, improve cardiovascular fitness and to keep the muscles that surround the joints strong. If you are someone that doesn’t enjoy exercise, perhaps you can build it in to your day, by walking to and from work, walking in and getting the bus home, or simply getting off the bus a few stops early.

      If exercise seems to worsen your symptoms, try something that is low impact, such as swimming or water-based aerobics. The following link will take you to a handy little set of muscle strengthening exercises for patients experiencing knee pain (exercises for other joints are also available on their website). I thought these were great, as they are easy to do and you could even incorporate them into your day, perhaps whilst sat at your desk, or whilst watching the TV at night:

·         Seeking help, be that through your GP or Consultant if you have one, or through supportive interventions, such as the manual therapy offered by osteopaths. Although we cannot reverse the damage to your joints, we can work with  you to maintain or increase joint and muscle flexibility, as well as support any other areas of your body that might be suffering as a result.

If you suffer with any kind of arthritis, you may find the website really useful, here is the link:

 If you have any questions or  would like to make an appointment call 01315572211



Is injury stopping your marathon training?

Training for a marathon is no easy task, especially if injury rears its ugly head.  

Knowing what to do to get to back on schedule is often difficult.  With the right advice, you can hopefully reduce injury time, any long term problems developing and possibly end up a little bit stronger.

Most commonly injuries occur through training errors such as running too fast too soon or too long too early. With the usual areas being the foot, ankle and knee. Inflammation of various tissues around these joints is most often the cause of the pain.  Hot spots are often a combination of minor faults in running technique, poor footwear, muscular imbalances or previous injuries.

Osteopaths are trained in diagnosis and enjoy finding what the problems are and the reasons why you are affected. Through assessment of your muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints and of course your story we can treat you. We will work out a plan with you to get you back running as soon as possible.

Osteopaths use a combination of therapies in conjunction with Osteo techniques, including therapeutic taping (Kinesio Tape), needling, cranio-sacral therapy and exercise prescription.

Don’t let injury stop you achieving your goal, there are many ways to maintain fitness and build strength even if you can’t physically get the miles in.  Body conditioning and muscular endurance training can keep you in great condition and will help you get healthy quickly and improve your recovery time post marathon.
Headaches :Did you know one cause can be tension or strain in the muscles and joints of the neck and upper back?

Did you know the most common cause of headaches is tension or strain in the muscles and joints of the neck and upper back?

 It is something that I see again and again. People sitting on chairs that are too low or at desks that are too low. They hunch over and work away bending more as the day progresses. They are so industrious that they don't notice the pain build in their backs and necks.
Does this sound a familiar pattern to you?

 The tension headache

Treatment from an osteopath may help. Tension headaches are often helped by treating tight muscles of the neck and upper back. Sometimes we use manipulation to loosen the joints of the neck and back to relieve the build-up of muscular tension that may lead to headaches.

This is something we can do for ourselves too! Looking back over my past day or week what has lead me to have this headache now? When I ask myself this question I invariably answer, I haven't been drinking enough water and I have been doing some computer work without taking a break. These patterns are different for everyone. If you get headaches back or neck pain an osteopath might be able to help.

If you would like to discuss your headaches or book an appointment for a treatment call now 01315572211 or email www.eyreplaceosteopaths