GEORGE MORRIS PHYSIOTHERAPY

Physiotherapy Wigan & Leigh

Physio Wigan

George Morris Physiotherapy Wigan

  • 23/02/2021 - ​George Morris Physio 0 Comments
    lower back pain advice

    George Morris Physio


    Lower back pain advice

    “The good news is back pain rarely is a sign of something serious and the bad news is that most of us will experience back pain at some point.”

    What’s behind the pain?

    Muscle or ligament strain

    Repeatedly lifting heavy objects or twisting your back quickly can strain muscles and spinal ligaments. Carrying extra weight can strain your back, leading to pain.

    Bulging or ruptured disks

    Disks — the cushioning between the bones in your spine — can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve.

    Arthritis

    Lower back pain often is caused by osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis. Arthritis also can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord or nerve roots, a condition called spinal stenosis.

    Finding relief

    Physiotherapy, osteopathy and massage can be beneficial and speed up recovery.

    Although you may want to head to the couch when you’re hurting, continued light activity and stretching can help in recovery.

    “You want to keep doing your regular activities and even light exercise,” Listen to your body and make an effort to keep moving.”

    Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen, naproxen or acetaminophen, might be enough to ease the pain. And, if your pain isn’t better after several weeks, you may need to see your health care provider for an evaluation.

    Prevention

    “The best way to avoid back pain is to prevent it by taking good care of your back,

    Exercise.

    Walking, swimming and other low-impact aerobic activities can strengthen your back.

    Build muscle strength and flexibility.

    Stretching your back, and strengthening your back and core muscles, can support and protect your back.

    Sit, stand and lift correctly.

    Avoid slouching and standing or sitting in one position for too long. When you have to lift something heavy, lift from your legs — not your back.

    Maintain a healthy weight.

    Carrying extra pounds strains back muscles.

    If you smoke, quit.

    Smoking reduces blood flow to the lower spine, which can keep your body from delivering enough nutrients to the disks in your back.

    When to worry

    Rarely, back pain may be a sign of something serious. However, you should schedule an appointment with your health care provider if you have pain that:

    Follows a fall, blow to your back or other injury

    Is constant or intense, especially at night or when you lie down

    Spreads down one or both legs, especially if the pain extends below your knee

    Causes weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs

    Occurs with swelling or redness on your back, which could indicate an infection

    Occurs with unintended weight loss

    Occurs with new bowel or bladder control problems

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  • 22/02/2021 - George Morris physio 0 Comments
    How much Vitamin D should take even after winter ends

    George Morris physio


    how much Vitamin D  should you take even after winter ends

    Not getting enough Vitamin D can weaken your bones and leave you feeling run-down and sluggish - and now experts think it may even help our immune systems fight coronavirus

    As the temperatures dip, people who live with joint and bone conditions such as arthritis can feel more discomfort than they do in summer. But in reality, could those problems actually be down to a lack of the ‘sunshine vitamin’ in the dark winter months?

    “Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphorus in our bodies and is crucial for bone and muscle function,” says Dr Marilyn Glenville, nutritionist and author of Osteoporosis: How To Prevent, Treat and Reverse It.

    “It may also have anti-inflammatory effects. As a result, it’s believed vitamin D plays a role in relieving joint pain, ­particularly where inflammation is the cause. It can also help prevent osteoporosis, which weakens the bones.”

    One study, published in 2017, showed that adults over 50 who had a moderate ­vitamin D deficiency were more likely to develop knee pain over five years and hip pain over two years.

    The research suggested that correcting this deficiency could reduce the pain or stop it worsening.

    How a lack of vitamin D affects the body

    A clinical paper in the British Medical Journal revealed that more than 50 per cent of adults in Britain have vitamin D levels that are too low, with 16 per cent being severely deficient in winter.

    Yet vitamin D plays a vital role in boosting our immune systems and it has even been suggested that it could help fight Covid-19.

    So if you feel you’re often ill with colds or the flu it could well be due to a deficiency. A lack of vitamin D can cause tiredness and fatigue as well as hair loss.

    Other symptoms include respiratory issues, numbness, depression and low mood, specifically seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Most significantly, a lack of vitamin D can lead to muscle pain, bone loss and pains in the bones, especially in the lower back.

    One study that looked at skeletal pain showed that those with a vitamin D deficiency, ­particularly in women, were more likely to suffer from pain in their legs, ribs and joints.

    Bone and joint issues

    Given the importance of vitamin D for bone health, it’s hardly surprising to hear it also has an impact on conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.

    Research on patients with the autoimmune condition rheumatoid arthritis showed that most of the participants had low levels of the vitamin. However, it is unclear why this is. Some medical professionals believe that low vitamin D levels are a complication of rheumatoid arthritis itself, while other studies suggest that depleted vitamin levels are actually caused by the corticosteroid medicines taken by sufferers of the disease.

    According to US non-profit group Arthritis Foundation, people who take oral steroids are twice as likely to have a vitamin D deficiency as those who don’t.

    “Not only is vitamin D deficiency highly prevalent in rheumatoid arthritis patients but it’s also related to chronic pain and a lower mental and physical health,” says Dr Glenville.

    “Another study revealed that a higher intake of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids may achieve better treatment results in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis.

    “A lack of vitamin D causes a person’s bones to soften and become weak,” she adds.

    “This is called osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children.”

    These disorders can cause the skeleton to bow and in older patients can lead to fractures.

    In children, rickets can cause stunted growth and in severe cases, skeletal deformities.

    Alarmingly, hospitalisation rates for rickets are at their highest level in half a century.

    Can we reverse the problem?

    In 2016, Public Health England recommended that everyone in the UK should take a vitamin D ­supplement during the autumn and winter. It also said those at most risk of deficiency, for example children, older people and those in black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, should take them all year round.

    “We can only get around 10 per cent of our vitamin D from our diet,” explains Dr Glenville.

    Everyone should take 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day but unlike other countries such as Finland and Sweden, the UK doesn’t fortify common foods such as bread and milk with the vitamin. However, you can increase your intake by eating plenty of oily fish, red meat, liver, egg yolks and fortified breakfast cereals.

    Additionally, it’s vital to get outdoors as often as possible in the warmer months.

    Recently, a research group from the University of Manchester recommended the “little and often” approach for sunlight exposure to ensure we get enough vitamin D without increasing the risk of skin cancer.

    For those with fair skin this would equate to 10 to 15 minutes of daily exposure to the sun during the spring and summer, whereas those with darker skin would need 25 to 40 minutes per day.

    “Most people with a vitamin D deficiency are unaware they have it so I’d recommend that anyone who has joint aches and pains get their levels checked,” says Dr Glenville.

    “When choosing a supplement make sure it’s in the D3 form and ideally a liquid as it aids ­absorption. However, too much vitamin D can cause toxicity, so it’s better to stick to the daily ­recommendation of

    10 micrograms per day and take it regularly rather than high dose supplements more sporadically.”

    What can I do about fatigue?

    “Studies have shown the positive effect of physical activity on energy levels, making it one of the best ways to deal with tiredness,” says registered nutritionist Elizabeth Stewart for supplements provider Vitl.

    “Whether it’s 10 minutes of yoga in your bedroom or a walk around the block, moving is also so important for mental health as well as physical, especially during lockdown.”

    Diet can also help energy levels.

    “It’s important to get enough fresh and wholefoods, rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as protein, carbs and healthy fats. Carb-rich foods such as potatoes, wholemeal bread and rice, and protein can sustain energy levels and help you feel fuller for longer. And eat foods that promote healthy gut health, such as chicory, to avoid bowel syndromes, such as IBS, which can impact energy levels.

    “Iron-rich foods are also helpful for fighting fatigue. Leafy greens, fortified cereals, beans and red meat are good sources of iron.”

    If you’re unusually tired and nothing is helping, talk to your GP.

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  • 22/02/2021 - George Morris Physio Wigan 0 Comments
    How can I get more omega-3 into my diet and how much difference will it make to my health?

    George Morris Physio Wigan


    How can I get more omega-3 into my diet and how much difference will it make to my health?


    Many people worry about eating fat, worrying it will clog up their arteries and lead to weight gain. But fat is an essential part of our diet, and there are some fats that our bodies need. Fats form an important part of every cell in our bodies, where they help ensure that our cells communicate with each other, which means our bodies can function as they should.

    Ideally, we need a balance of fats in our diet to ensure the balance of fats in our cells is maintained. But in the West, we tend to have an imbalance of what are called omega-3 and omega-6 fats. This is because we eat too much of the omega-6 fats – these fats primarily come from vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, corn oil and soy bean oil, and they crop up in all kinds of food we eat regularly, mainly processed foods like pastries and cakes, biscuits, crisps, snacks, take-aways, ready meals, some breads, margarine & even breakfast cereals.

    At the same time, most Westerners are deficient in omega-3 fats. These fats are anti-inflammatory, help prevent irregular heartbeats, help ensure healthy blood clotting, and reduce the build-up of fat in our arteries; for these reasons, they’re seen as a good way to lower the risks of having a heart attack or stroke. Not having enough omega-3 and having too many omega-6 fats can actually heighten the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. So it’s important that we eat the right amount of omega-3 to help maintain healthy levels of fat in our bodies. In addition fish oil have can help reduce symptoms of inflammatory joint diseases, including rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis

    It has also been associated with higher bone density, which could help prevent bone disease

    The main source of omega-3 is oily fish, which is why the government recommends we eat fish at least twice a week, with at least one meal being an oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies or herring.

    For those who don’t eat fish, there’s always the option of omega-3 supplements. But some scientists have questioned whether these can provide you with enough omega-3, or as much as you’d be getting from eating oily fish.

    So which is the best way to make sure you’re getting the omega-3 you need to keep you in tip-top health – oily fish or omega-3 supplements? And how much difference can taking either of these actually make to your health?

    Our experiment

    We recruited 60 volunteers from the Liverpool area to take part in an 8 week trial.

    The first thing we did was conduct an exhaustive range of tests on each volunteer. One of the key tests we conducted was measuring their omega-3 Index – this is a blood test that measures the amount of omega-3 fats in your red blood cells. It’s seen as a good guide for how much omega-3 fat you have in your body overall, and it’s calculated as a percentage of the total fats that you have in your blood cells.

    We also used an ultrasound scanner on our volunteers to measure the thickness and stiffness of their arteries and the efficiency of their blood flow, and we put them through cognitive assessments to see if their mood or attention span would change, as there is good evidence to suggest omega-3 can benefit both. And we took blood and urine samples to test for inflammatory markers amongst other things.

    Once we’d done these tests, we divided our volunteers at random into 3 groups and asked each group to follow a specific diet:

    Group 1 would eat oily fish

    Group 2 would consume an omega-3 supplement

    Group 3 was our control – or placebo group

    However, because we didn’t want our volunteers to know where their omega-3 was coming from, we had to get a bit sneaky. So we asked each group to do something else regularly:

    Group 1 would be asked to take a daily capsule; which was nothing more than a placebo pill

    Group 2 were asked to eat non-oily white fish twice a week, which has low levels of omega-3

    Group 3 would eat white fish and a placebo pill; so they were getting little to no omega-3

    This way, each volunteer was eating fish twice a week, and taking a daily capsule; but none of them knew which group they were in, or what the other groups were getting. We provided them with fish meals to eat twice weekly, and it was an entire meal – this way we would be sure that everyone was having an identical amount of macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein and the different kinds of fats). The only difference between the meals was whether they contained oily fish or white fish.

    Because our trial was only running for a set number of weeks, we decided to give our volunteers a high but safe amount of fish or supplements; they were eating about 240g of fish in their meals, and the supplements contained 1500mg of omega-3 (a combination of the key fats – EPA + DHA). Scientists regularly do this if a trial is very short in length, just to see if the intervention/treatment has ANY effect. If not, then it suggests the treatment doesn’t work – if so, then it can be inferred that a smaller dose over a longer period would have similar effect.

    At the end of the experiment, we ran all the tests again to see if anything had changed.

    Results

    One of our key measures was the participants’ omega-3 index. An omega-3 Index of 3% or below is thought to put you into a ‘High Risk’ category for heart attacks and strokes; an Index between 4-8% puts you at ‘Moderate Risk’, whereas an omega-3 Index of 8% or above means you’re at ‘Low Risk’.

    All our volunteers had a fairly low omega-3 Index when the trial started – each group was around 4-5%, but some individuals were as low as 3%. So at the start of our trial, many volunteers were at a moderate to high risk of serious illness.

    After the trial, it’s a different story. The oily fish group and the omega-3 supplement group all leap to 7 - 8%, meaning they’re heading towards the low risk category.

    There was a very slight but statistically insignificant improvement in our control group, which scientists put down to the fact they were probably eating a slightly healthier diet than they normally might. Whether it was the two fish meals a week we gave them (which had very little omega-3, but also had very little omega-6, plenty of vegetables and fibre), OR because their participation in our test had prompted them to eat generally more healthily, this slight improvement is likely down to improved overall diet. However, their improvement was in no way scientifically significant.

    Many of the other tests we did came back with mixed results, but this is probably because the trial length was too short. For example, it was unlikely that we would see a change in arterial thickness or stiffness in our timeframe.

    What this means

    Our trial suggests that oily fish and omega-3 supplements are both good at providing your body with omega-3 fats – in our limited timeframe the omega-3 fat levels in the blood cells of all the volunteers in those groups increased for the better.

    For some of them it moved them from the High Risk to the Low Risk category, which is very encouraging.

    Were they to sustain this diet over a longer period of time they might all move into the low risk category for serious illnesses like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

    Even though we were giving people higher doses than you might normally take, the reality is, if you took lower doses over a longer timeframe – or incorporated omega 3 into your lifelong diet – then you’d likely see similar improvements.

    What’s more if you choose to get your omega 3 from oily fish, there are other benefits – fish is a great source of lean protein, and you’re also getting a range of vitamins and minerals.

    If you really don’t like fish and would rather take supplements, take a look at our advice on what to look for when you buy them.

    Ultimately, the choice is yours, but one thing is clear – we could all do with more omega-3 in our diets if we want to cut our risk of serious illness.

    Should I buy omega 3 supplements?

    We took ten different omega 3 supplements and sent them to Dr Cristina Legido-Quigley at King’s College London for testing. We wanted to know whether the supplements contained what they said they did, whether any of the oil had gone rancid and whether they offered value for money.

    The two main omega-3 fats you need to get from your diet are EPA and DHA. Depending on which health organisation you believe, we should be having at least 200mg to 450mg of these fats combined every day. We found that all of the supplements we tested did contain the amounts of EPA and DHA they said they did, and that these levels were all above 200mg. However we found that these supplements came at wildly different prices – depending on which brand you bought you could be paying anything from £13 a year to over £300 a year to get your recommended levels.

    We also found that one of the oils had gone rancid despite the fact that it was well within its use by date. Many things can cause oil to turn rancid including exposure to air and light.

    So if you want to buy supplements our advice would be:

    Check the label to ensure that the supplement contains enough DHA and EPA.

    Check the use by date and pick a supplement that has plenty of shelf life left.

    Look for accreditation badges as brands that have sought accreditation are likely to have good quality control in place.

    Look out for supplements that contain antioxidants as these can help protect against the oil going rancid.

    Store your supplements in a cool dark place and keep the lid tightly closed. You may also want to choose smaller bottles so that the capsules are exposed to light and air for shorter periods of time once opened.

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  • 19/02/2021 - ​George Morris Physio Wigan 0 Comments
    Sufferers from osteoarthritis should avoid high impact exercises, as they aggravate the affected joint.

    George Morris Physio Wigan

    Sufferers from osteoarthritis should avoid high impact exercises, as they aggravate the affected joint.


    Recommended activities include:
    Walking
    Cycling
    Swimming – including walking and exercising in the water
    Low impact gym equipment – cross trainers etc
    T’ai chi has also been shown to be helpful at reducing the pain from osteoarthritis

    Hips
    Leg Swings
    Simply hold onto the edge of the pool, or the wall if you’re on land, and gently swing your leg out to the side, alternating sides.
    The pool is particularly good for this, because the buoyancy assists you and you get a better range of motion, and you also have resistance from the water that makes your muscles do more work.
    Leg Extensions
    In the same position, extend your leg gently backward, alternating legs.
    Care should be taken with this one, as over-extending the leg can lead to injury.
    Knees
    Knee rocks
    Get down on one knee as if you’re proposing marriage (with a soft mat underneath to cushion your knees).
    Rock gently forward, keeping your shoulders straight.
    This stretches the front of the knee while protecting the lumbar spine.
    Make sure your knee does not extend past your toes as this can strain the knee.
    Straight leg raises
    Sit in a chair, straighten one leg, and raise it straight out in front of you. Alternate legs.
    Leg curls
    Lie on the floor on your stomach, and gently bend your heel back toward your buttocks, making sure to keep your hips on the ground.

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  • 17/02/2021 - George Morris physiotherapy Wigan 0 Comments
    HOW TO STAY ACTIVE WITH BACK PAIN

    George Morris physiotherapy Wigan

    HOW TO STAY ACTIVE WITH BACK PAIN

    Walking is one of the most common outdoor pursuits in the UK with over 9 million adults doing it recreationally every month.

    Unfortunately, another thing that is very common in the UK is back pain, responsible for 37 per cent of all chronic pain in men and 44 per cent in women. These statistics mean there are plenty of people whose enjoyment of the great outdoors is potentially being hampered by back problems.

    But if you do suffer it doesn’t mean that you need to hang up your hikers - recent advice from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) advised people with back problems to stay as active as possible.

    “In 98 per cent of cases you’re safe to move with back pain and it’s not dangerous or damaging, and keeping active helps to encourage this thought process,” says CSP physiotherapist Ashley James.

    “People stop moving and reinforce the notion that movement is a bad thing, this in essence ‘turns up’ the intensity of pain. If you have an episode of acute back pain and start to move and exercise early, as best you can, it helps to ‘turn down’ the intensity of pain and encourage the healing of any soft tissue damage. This is why walking is such a ‘reassuring’ activity for back pain.”

    Read on for more advice, tips and techniques from the country’s leading physiotherapists to help you achieve the best walking technique possible when you have back pain.

    Grab some poles

    Back pain affects your gait, in other words, your walking pattern, as your body tightens up in an effort to protect itself against what it sees as a damaging or risky activity.

    We call this functional rigidity which usually manifests as a change in walking pace and shorter strides, which actually makes walking more tiring and painful,

    “This leads to a vicious cycle of further reduced mobility.”

    In order to stay relaxed pick up some Nordic Poles the next time you go out. “They can be used as a simple, effective rehabilitation and management tool for some one suffering lower back pain,, as the technique can enable an individual to work towards a more natural and fluid movement.

    Swing your arms

    If you’re walking without poles, it’s important to focus on your arms, swinging them as you go, which increases the body’s counter rotation and reduces tension in the spinal muscles that can be a contributing factor in back pain.

    The simplest way to ensure your arms are always engaged when you walk is to try and walk at a good pace. “You can even practice arm swings while standing still, to regain the feeling of rotation and progress into body rotation while walking,” advises Watson.

    Get off the beaten track

    “There is also good evidence that walking in nature is beneficial for mental health and mood and there are clear links between back pain and mental health in the research,” reveals Ashley James.

    Research from Anglia Ruskin University backs this up as it revealed that back pain sufferers were more than twice as likely to experience a range of mental health conditions, from anxiety to stress, as those without any pain.

    Keep it flat

    “Avoid steep or long hills in the early stages until a good basic technique has been established,” says Watson, “as these can aggravate pain if there is insufficient muscle power for effective propulsion.”

    Find your baseline

    Deciding how long your walk should be is going to be dictated by how much pain you’re currently carrying. “Find out what your base line is and then gradually build up the time you walk from there,” recommends specialist physiotherapist Jayne Ward from Designed 2 Move.

    “Start with something that you know is achievable. If you have a positive experience, then you are more likely to feel motivated to go again," she adds.

    Posture

    Try to keep your eyes on the horizon when you walk as this will open up your chest to make breathing easier and help relieve any tension that you’re carrying in your spine. “This also allows the hips to be in a better position to allow for a more powerful stride,” advises Professor Mark Fenton at Tufts University and co-author of Pedometer Walking,

    Stride out

    “Don't try and force a longer stride,” says Professor Fenton. “However, you can increase the speed you walk at by increasing your step rate and this will have the effect of lengthening your stride more naturally.”

    Australian research has found that increasing stride length caused pain to reduce for a number of walkers who suffered from acute low back pain.

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  • 16/02/2021 - George Morris physiotherapy Wigan. 0 Comments
    Collagen can ease joint pain and improve heart health

    George Morris physiotherapy Wigan.


    Collagen can ease joint pain and improve heart health

    COLLAGEN is the major component of connective tissues that make up several parts of the body, and benefits joint pain relief and better heart health. All hailed for its anti-ageing properties, collagen can come with an eye-watering price tag. So what can be done in the meantime at just a fraction of the cost?

    Collagen is what helps give our skin strength and elasticity, along with replacing dead skin cells. The ingredient is often found in body lotions and beauty creams, as well as a host of celebrity-hailed cosmetic treatments. Our body’s collagen production naturally begins to slow down as we age, which often results in the more aesthetic signs of ageing, such as heightened wrinkles and sagging skin.

    But collagen also plays a pivot role in the internal ageing process, affecting areas such as joint pain and heart health.

    While the anti-ageing ingredient can be found in a number of topical treatments, these can come with an eye-watering price tag and take months to see improvement.

    So what can be done in the meantime? According to renowned natural health physician Dr Fred Pescatore, a specific type of pine bark extract is key to plumper, firmer skin, as well as protecting internally.

    Talking about the ageing process he explained: “Many clients turn to me and say ‘I’m looking so much older’ and just want to take care of that, forgetting that they are actually ageing internally, which is the cause of external changes like wrinkles.”

    Pycnogenol® contains a whole host of anti-ageing properties” said Dr Fred.

    “It increases the microcirculation in the skin which creates a healthy glow, improves overall appearance and has been scientifically proven to decrease the number of wrinkles by boosting the production of collagen and elastin.”

    As people age, the body produces less collagen, leading to dry skin and the formation of wrinkles.

    In one study, women who took a supplement containing 2.5–5 grams of collagen for eight weeks experienced less skin dryness and a significant increase in skin elasticity compared with those who did not take the supplement.

    Another study found women who drank a beverage mixed with a collagen supplement daily for 12 weeks experienced increased skin hydration and a significant reduction in wrinkle depth compared with a control group.

    In relation to joints, collagen helps maintain the integrity of a person’s cartilage - the rubber-like tissue that protects the joints.

    But as the amount of collagen in your body decreases as you get older, the risk of developing degenerative joint disorders such as osteoarthritis increases.

    Studies have shown taking collagen supplements may help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce joint pain overall.

    In one study, 73 athletes who consumed 10g of collagen daily for 24 weeks saw a significant decrease in joint pain while walking and at rest, appeared with a group that didn’t take it.

    In terms of heart health, collagen provides structure to the arteries, and without enough collagen, arteries may become weak and fragile.

    If this happens, it may lead to atherosclerosis - a condition characterised by the narrowing of the arteries.

    Atherosclerosis can also lead to heart attacks and strokes.

    In one study, 31 healthy adults took 16g of collagen daily for six months.

    By the end of the study, the participants experienced a significant reduction in measures of artery stiffness, compared with before they started taking the supplement.

    But more studies on the role of collagen supplements in heart health are needed.

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  • 14/02/2021 - George Morris Physio Wigan​ 0 Comments
    Is turmeric good for arthritis?

    George Morris Physio Wigan

    Is turmeric good for arthritis?

    Arthritis is a condition which causes inflamed, stiff joints which can be painful.
    If you have arthritis, you’re not alone. Around 1 million people in the UK experience arthritis or some form of joint condition. 
    In the UK, there’s an increasing interest in preventative health care for common, chronic conditions such as arthritis.
    You may have heard about certain spices, such as turmeric, which might be able to help, but what’s the evidence behind these claims?
    Can turmeric help arthritis?
    Turmeric is a bright orange-yellow spice from the root of the turmeric plant, in increasing demand for its purported anti-inflammatory benefits.
    Native to South-East Asia, turmeric is from the Zingiberaceae family, the same as ginger – another spice believed to have anti-inflammatory effects. 
    It might seem odd that an exotic spice is the new buzzword in joint health. However, turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Eastern medicines such as Ayurvedic and Unami medicine, to treat various conditions, including inflammation. 
    How does turmeric help inflammation?
    Turmeric itself contains small amounts of an active compound called curcumin, which is believed by scientists to have potent anti-inflammatory properties. 
    This is believed to be down to its antioxidant properties and ability to scavenge potentially harmful free radicals in the body. Further, curcumin has a role in blocking enzymes and other proteins that create an inflammatory response in the body. 
    Curcumin has been shown to help relieve the symptoms of inflammation-based conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. 
    The effects of turmeric in relation to both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis have been proven in various scientific studies:
    Osteoarthritis
    Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It’s usually caused by wear and tear on the joints, which causes the protective cartilage on the ends of bones to break down over time. 
    In one study performed in 2014 by researchers in Thailand, turmeric appeared to help improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis in patients.
    The 107 participants with osteoarthritis of the knee were randomised to receive either 2g turmeric (around 2000mg) or 800mg ibuprofen per day for six weeks.
    The study found that those who took turmeric found that their pain when climbing stairs was improved to a greater extent than in those who received ibuprofen. 
    Rheumatoid arthritis
    According to a 2018 study conducted in China, curcumin has been shown to be effective at reducing tenderness and swelling of joints associated with rheumatoid arthritis. 
    A large meta-analysis of the efficacy of turmeric extracts and curcumin for alleviating the symptoms of arthritis was published in 2016 in the Journal of Medicinal Food. In it, the researchers concluded that there is a justification for the use of turmeric as an addition to conventional treatment. 
    How do you use turmeric for arthritis?
    A standout ingredient in curries, this warming spice can also be added to soups, stews, casseroles, dips, rice, vegetables, tofu, cheese sauce, hummus, pancakes and even smoothies.
    It’s important to know that consuming black pepper alongside your turmeric drastically increases your body’s ability to absorb turmeric’s benefits.  Make sure you keep the two spices together to remind yourself to add a pinch of black pepper – or you could make your own spice blend of the two.

    How much turmeric should I take for arthritis?
    Always speak to your GP first and mention that you are going to begin using turmeric as a natural remedy. You may also require prescription medication and/or exercises to help manage your arthritis symptoms.
    Any turmeric supplement which contains at least 800mg of turmeric is recommended. Most studies use around 1500mg – 2000mg per day as the tested dose.

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    23/01/2021 - ​George Morris physio Wigan and Leigh 0 Comments
    Covid-19: Five ways to avoid lockdown back pain

    George Morris physio Wigan and Leigh


    Covid-19: Five ways to avoid lockdown back pain

    Millions of people are less physically active than they were before Covid-19. For those working from home, the morning walk to the bus stop has gone. Days on end can be spent hunched over a laptop without ever leaving the house.

    For some, that's taking a painful toll.

    A survey of people working remotely, by Opinium for the charity Versus Arthritis, found 81% of respondents were experiencing some back, neck or shoulder pain. Almost half (48%) said they were less physically active than before the lockdown. Another study by the Institute for Employment Studies found 35% reporting new back pain while working from home.

    Physiotherapists and other back pain experts say those with serious or persistent problems should seek professional help, but there are things that many of us can do to help ourselves.

    Don't just sit there

    Pretty much all the experts agree that one of the best things you can do is get moving.

    Don't sit in the same position for long periods.

    "Make sure you take any opportunity you can to move your body," says Ashley James of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP). "It doesn't need to be about exercise as such," he says. "It's about building movement into your day." He calls it taking "regular movement snacks".

    That could be taking phone calls or joining online meetings standing up, just having a stretch or walking up and down the stairs when you don't really need to, he says. When you're moving, different muscle groups share the work of keeping your head, neck, back and the rest of your body supported, rather than continually overloading the same muscles.

    Where lockdowns have restricted outside exercise to once a day, Mr James's advice is to use that daily opportunity for at least a good walk whenever you can.

    Movement can help with breathing by opening up your chest, and reducing muscle atrophy. It increases blood flow and lubricates synovial joints - joints that allow free movement - like hips and shoulders.

    Set an alarm

    Creating a new routine to help keep you moving can be difficult, so experts suggest setting a timer on your phone or laptop to remind you to move. It's a good way to avoid getting stuck in the same position hour after hour, says neck specialist Chris Worfold.

    "We've evolved to move," he says. "We naturally want to move after about 20 or 30 minutes, so that's when you need to go and shake it about."

    If you're sitting when it goes off, stand up. If you're standing, have a stretch or walk up and down the stairs.

    "The key is to create a routine that works for you," says Leanne Antoine, who treats patients in Hertfordshire. "There's no point in creating a schedule that makes you feel like a failure when you don't keep to it."

    So ask yourself honestly what you would be prepared to do, and stick to it. Be careful, but as long as it gets you out of the chair, stretching, walking or Zumba dancing in your living room, it doesn't matter, she says.

    Sort out your workspace

    "You don't need the perfect set up with a thousand pound chair, but if you're scrunched up on the sofa, it's not going to be good for your back," says Chris Martey.

    Your workspace is worth some serious thought, but companies have a big interest in selling expensive equipment, so he says beware of unnecessary costs.

    Leanne Antoine agrees: "Just make small tweaks that don't cost the earth."

    That could be as simple as using a cushion to raise you up on your chair, or to support your lower back. An inexpensive adjustable office chair can help. A mount for your laptop will raise your screen to eye level so that you're not always looking down, particularly on long online video calls. An external keyboard is also useful.

    "Talk to your employer," says Ms Antoine. Many will supply equipment to staff.

    If you have to use a sofa, at least make sure your feet are firmly on the floor and you're sitting back with a cushion to support your lower back. Standing desks can be helpful, says Chris Martey. But you need to alternate between standing and sitting - and take regular screen breaks.

    If you don't have a standing desk, some experts recommend standing with your laptop on an ironing board for short periods.

    Get better sleep

    We're in a "perfect storm" for back trouble - according to Ashley James, with Covid-19 restricting physical activity while simultaneously ramping up anxieties about health, job insecurity, children's education and more.

    It's impossible to quantify but a lot of back pain is driven by anxiety, he says. In the jargon, back problems are "biopsychosocial". It doesn't help that we're now in winter - when many people experience a dip in mood.

    People de-stress in all sorts of ways of course. Pilates and yoga are helpful for some.

    One of the best ways is to work on getting better sleep, says Mr James. "Sleep hygiene" is the key.

    That means cutting down on caffeine in the afternoon and evening, keeping to a consistent night time routine and trying to wake up at the same time every day.

    The NHS advises against using electronic devices for an hour or so before you go to bed, as the light from the screen may make it more difficult for you to sleep. Light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone which helps to make you sleepy.

    Many studies have suggested that blue light does this most powerfully, but some research suggests the warmer colours used in "night mode" on many devices may actually have a bigger impact.

    Desk exercises

    The CSP has designed some simple stretches which, if done regularly, can help ward off aches and pains. They're for people who are working remotely and find themselves sitting for long periods.

    How to exercise at your desk (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy)

    NHS advice on back pain treatment

    The chest stretch, the leg stretch, the sit stretch and the wall press, are designed to help different muscle groups. The CSP says there is no "perfect posture" and that the priority is to keep moving.

    There's a positive message here, says Chris Martey. For millions of people suffering everyday aches and pains he says: "You can take control. You can self-manage. You don't have to be dependent."

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  • lower back pain
    20/09/2020 - George Morris physiotherapy 0 Comments
    Back pain treatment: The best way to sit if you want to reduce your symptoms

    George Morris physiotherapy


    Back pain treatment: The best way to sit if you want to reduce your symptoms

    BACK pain is very unpleasant. Sore and achy muscles can cause a disgruntled feeling, causing tension in the household. Here's the best way to overcome back pain.

    Don't let back pain become a sore talking point - help is at hand. An effective technique to reduce such a sore sensation takes no more effort than sitting down.

    The Cleveland Clinic asserted: "The key to recovering from acute low back pain is to maintain the normal curve of the spine."

    In order to do so, the hollow of the lower back needs to be supported while sitting down.

    Back support can include a rolled-up towel or, for a more indulgent treat, a lumbar roll.

    Do you find your lower back aching during a long drive? It could mean your lower back isn't being supported.

    Lumbar rolls are great additions to the driving seat – ideal for someone who gets behind the wheel a lot.

    The next step to sitting correctly is to keep your hips and knees at a right angle.

    At the office desk – wherever that may be at the moment (if relevant) – it's imperative that your feet are placed firmly on the floor.

    f this isn't the case, it's a wise investment to purchase a foot rest or stool.

    With the hips and knees at a right angle, and the feet firmly on the floor, the legs mustn't be crossed.

    A good chair - especially for any office work – is needed to prevent any further back pain.

    A high-back, firm chair with armrests is best, as sitting in a soft couch won't support the curvature of your back.

    The correct posture while sitting down consists of relaxed shoulders, and 90-degree angles.

    Arms and legs need to be L-shaped in order for you to be sitting safely, and this may involve adjusting the chair height.

    This is why working adjustable office chairs are imperative if you're serious about reducing any back pain.

    Regardless of good ergonomics (good sitting posture while working), it's still recommended to "sit as little as possible".

    If working from a laptop, it may be beneficial to buy a laptop stand, and the mouse and keyboard, and change where you work from.

    For example, after spending some time sitting down, it may be appropriate to work from the kitchen units while standing up.

    Regular movements will help to reduce back pain, and further minimise the risk of additional pain.

    The correct posture for standing up involves a head facing forward, straight shoulders, chest forward, and weight balanced evenly on both feet.

    The hips also need to be tucked in, yet it's advisable not to stand in the same position for long stretches of time.

    Remembering correct techniques on how to sit and stand in order to reduce back pain is no good if the bed you sleep in every night is contributing to the problem.

    Make sure you have a firm mattress that doesn't sag. If necessary, place a board under your mattress.

    Also try to avoid sleeping on your side with your knees drawn up by your side.

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  • sweet potato
    22/08/2020 - George Morris Physio Wigan 0 Comments
    ​Back pain - the common ‘superfood’ vegetable to protect against lower backache

    George Morris Physio Wigan

    Back pain - the common ‘superfood’ vegetable to protect against lower backache


    BACK pain could be caused by eating an unhealthy diet, or be sleeping in an awkward position. But you could lower your risk of backache symptoms by making a few changes to your food habits, including adding this "superfood" vegetable to your shopping list. Which foods could relieve your back pain?

    Back pain is a common condition that affects most people at some point in their lifetime, according to the NHS. But you could lower your risk of developing backache by simply eating more sweet potatoes, it's been claimed.

    Back pain could be caused by sleeping in the wrong position, having bad posture, or even by having a minor injury.

    In most cases, back pain isn’t anything to worry about and you can speed up your recovery, or even prevent back pain from developing in the first place, by making a few changes to your diet plan.

    One of the easiest ways to protect your back against niggly pains and aches is to start eating more sweet potatoes, it's been revealed.

    Sweet potatoes are one of the best foods to add to your diet, if you suffer from back pain, according to orthopaedic surgeon Dr Branko Prpa.

    It's an anti-inflammatory vegetable, which is key to combating lower backache.

    Inflammation is a key cause of back pain, and eating inflammatory foods may be contributing to your pain.

    Sweet potato makes an ideal side-dish, alongside carrots, for an anti-inflammatory dinner.

    "It might surprise you to learn that inflammatory foods exist," said Dr Prpa.

    "Eating these can make your back pain worse, but fortunately there are also some foods that can help you feel better.

    "Sweet potatoes can also help you reduce inflammation. Some consider the sweet potato a 'superfood', which means that it’s packed with nutrients. That includes nutrients that can help you prevent inflammation.

    "A sweet potato makes for an easy side dish for dinner. Pair it with fish like salmon for double the anti-inflammatory effectiveness."

    Meanwhile, you could also lower your risk of back pain by adding more thyme to your diet, it's been claimed.

    Thyme is a natural anti-inflammatory, which makes it the perfect herb for adding flavour to your dinner.

    It also contains a number of active ingredients that inhibit the feeling of pain.

    Thyme could therefore be used as a natural painkiller, according to ChiroCare of Florida's chiropractor Dr Michael Levine.

    Regular exercise and doing stretches could also help to prevent back pain from returning, said the NHS.

    Those most at risk of developing back pain are people that are overweight.

    You should see a GP or dial NHS 111 immediately if you have back pain, combined with a numbness or tingling around your genitals, a loss of bladder or bowel control, or severe chest pain.

    These symptoms could be a sign of something more serious, and need to be checked immediately.

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  • junk food
    20/08/2020 - ​George Morris Physio Wigan 0 Comments
    Avoid these foods if you have arthritis

    George Morris Physio Wigan


    Avoid these foods if you have arthritis

    Avoid these foods if you have arthritis

    While some foods are known to relieve arthritis symptoms, others can actually aggravate them. With your doctor's approval, here are some foods that you should remove from your diet if you suffer from this chronic disease.

    Sugar

    Arthritis sufferers already have large numbers of cytokines, pro-inflammatory proteins, in their bodies. Consuming sugar further increases the number of cytokines, exacerbating inflammation, pain, stiffness, and swelling. The Arthritis Foundation recommends using artificial sweeteners to decrease sugar intake.

    Vegetable oils

    Avoid cooking with certain vegetable oils (like canola and sunflower oil). Rich in omega-6, they are known to increase inflammation. Opt for olive oil instead.

    Crisps

    Crisps are a popular snack because they're tasty and affordable. They are also an ultra-processed food that can cause inflammation. One Brazilian study found a link between the degree to which a food is processed and its inflammatory potential.

    French fries

    High in salt and calories, French fries are often cooked in corn oil, a significant source of pro-inflammatory omega-6. They are also rich in trans fat, which increases pain in people with arthritis.

    White rice

    While it may be the perfect side dish, white rice is a refined grain. Refined grains are known to increase inflammation. Choose whole-grain varieties, like brown or wild rice, instead.

    Beer

    While consuming beer in moderation helps protect women from rheumatoid arthritis, those suffering from this disease should be careful. The interaction between the alcohol in beer and rheumatoid arthritis medication could damage the liver. People with gout, another form of arthritis, are also warned against drinking beer, which can aggravate symptoms and diminish the effect of medications.

    Wine

    If you take arthritis medication, such as non-steroid anti-inflammatories, consult your doctor before drinking wine. Indeed, alcohol increases your risk of suffering stomach bleeding and ulcers and developing liver damage.

    Red meat

    Rich in omega-6, red meat raises the concentration of pro-inflammatory proteins in the body. No matter what type of arthritis you have, increasing inflammation risks reviving, or even aggravating, your symptoms

    Cheeseburgers

    While very popular in fast-food restaurants, cheeseburgers should be banned from your diet if you suffer from arthritis. In one study, researchers fed mice fatty foods, like cheeseburgers, for 12 weeks. At the end of their experiment, they noted that the mice's intestines were full of pro-inflammatory bacteria, suggesting that this food could increase pain in those with arthritis

    Milkshakes

    Do you often experience joint pain after drinking a milkshake? You're not imagining it. Full of fat and calories, this beverage is known to increase pain in those suffering from arthritis. In fact, one study has shown that regular consumption of milkshakes tends to augment the concentration of pro-inflammatory bacteria in the intestines.

    Eggplant

    A survey of over 1,000 arthritis sufferers revealed that eating eggplant can worsen symptoms. In fact, the solanine in this vegetable increases inflammation in the body. That said, not everyone experiences the same reaction to consuming eggplant, and research in this area is scant. The Arthritis Foundation has, therefore, suggested keeping a food journal to verify that eggplant is indeed responsible for your joint pain.

    Coffee

    If you suffer from arthritis, be sure to monitor your coffee intake. This popular beverage can weaken bones and increase joint pain in some people. Water remains one of the best things arthritis patients can drink because it helps diminish joint pain by sufficiently hydrating the body.

    Carbonated drinks

    Remove sodas from your menu, especially if you have gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis. High in fructose, these beverages can trigger an attack of gout. Furthermore, one study has shown that regular soda consumption increases the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis in women.

    Margarine

    The Arthritis Foundation discourages those living with arthritis from consuming margarine. Rich in trans fat, margarine increases the body's bad cholesterol levels while lowering its good cholesterol levels. It also promotes inflammation.

    White bread

    Eating white bread increases your risk of developing inflammation. Why? This food is made from refined grains, which are low in vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Unlike whole grains, refined grains are rapidly transformed by the body into sugar, a particularly inflammatory substance

    Salt

    Consuming salt is harmful to those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and even more so for patients taking corticosteroids, a medication known to heighten salt's negative effects.

    Pizza

    If you eat lots of pizza, removing this food from your diet may, in certain cases, decrease your arthritis pain. High in saturated fat, pizza causes inflammation in the body.

    Hot dogs

    Rich in nitrites, fat, and salt, hot dogs are not especially good for your health. In addition to being carcinogenic, they cause joint pain in those with osteoarthritis. Be careful with vegetarian hot dogs as well, as several remain quite salty and fatty

    Pasta

    Are you gluten-intolerant or have celiac disease? According to the Arthritis Foundation, eliminating all pasta and any other foods containing gluten from your menu will help reduce your symptoms. Removing gluten from your body will also aid in decreasing inflammation.

    Cookies

    Some store-bought cookies are especially rich in omega-6, fatty acids known for increasing inflammation and joint pain. If you're in the mood for a sweet treat, eat fruit. Most have anti-inflammatory properties and are full of vitamins

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  • tennis
    23/01/2020 - George Morris Physiotherapist Wigan 0 Comments
    How to avoid arthritis in later life: This activity could prevent muscle and bone problems

    George Morris Physiotherapist Wigan


    How to avoid arthritis in later life: This activity could prevent muscle and bone problems

    HOW TO avoid arthritis in later life: Musculoskeletal problems are a major issue in the UK, with one in four of the adult population affected. But a new study has revealed a simple method

    Musculoskeletal problems include joint pain from osteoarthritis, ones weakened by osteoporosis, as well as the muscle-wasting condition sarcopenia. These issues can prove debilitating, but a new study by experts at Liverpool Hope University said there could be a simple method to prevent these conditions - and that’s plain tennis.

    Sports and Exercise scientist Dr Matthew Jackson compared two healthy groups - one who played tennis regularly and another who got their NHS-recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week through activities like running, cycling and going to the gym.

    And Dr Jackson, an exercise physiologist, says the tennis players enjoyed “significantly greater” musculoskeletal health compared with the regular “keep fit” group.

    He wrote: “The findings suggest tennis is an excellent activity mode to promote musculoskeletal health and should therefore be more frequently recommended as a viable alternative to existing physical activity guidelines.”

    According to the NHS, around 9.6 million adults and 12,000 children in the UK suffer from one of the many musculoskeletal issues.

    It’s also a huge drain on the NHS, accounting for almost a third - 30 percent - of all GP consultations.

    But Dr Jackson says a simple change of sport could alter the landscape of musculoskeletal health in Britain.

    The study, just published in the journal Sports Health, involved 90 participants - 43 tennis players and 47 regular exercisers - aged between 18 and 65.

    Their ‘musculoskeletal function’ was measured through a series of tests that analysed body composition, upper body strength, lower body strength and muscle fatigue.

    It also analysed aerobic endurance and cardiovascular fitness through ‘VO2 max’ oxygen uptake.

    And the tennis players not only enjoyed a more favourable BMI when compared with the gym-goers - they also displayed better upper body and lower extremity function than those not used to holding a racket.

    Dr Jackson, based at Liverpool Hope University’s state-of-the-art School of Health Sciences, says there’s something unique about tennis that makes it so beneficial.

    He explains: “As we age, we lose muscle mass and we lose bone mineral density over time. It happens to all of us.

    “But when you reach 50 years old, the process accelerates much quicker and we need to target and advise this demographic about the dangers.

    “Lots of people are active in their younger years but by the time they reach their 40s, they’re giving up and often go a decade or so without doing anything.

    “And we want to get people in those age groups as active as possible to avoid things like osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and sarcopenia - as being inactive is likely to make you obese, which can exacerbate the symptoms of all three.

    “Tennis is great as an all-round sport. It targets the cardiovascular system but also improves your muscle mass and you bone mineral density because it’s a weight-bearing sport that incorporates aspects of power and strength.

    “Equally important is the social aspect of playing tennis - and if you enjoy it, you’re more likely to keep doing it.”

    Dr Jackson says muscle-wasting sarcopenia can be particularly debilitating, as patients lose the strength to perform their normal daily routine, activities like doing the weekly shop - and even bathing can become difficult.

    But he says it is reversible - giving hope to many sufferers.

    He says: “There’s an assumption that you can’t do anything with those suffering severe muscle loss in their later years. But sarcopenia is reversible.

    “Older people are often wrapped in cotton wool but they’re actually capable of doing much more than you’d think in terms of exercise.”

    The participants in the study all underwent testing at the School of Health Sciences laboratories at Liverpool Hope University over the course of around two-and-a-half hours.

    Tests including things like handgrip strength - as a measure of overall upper body function - knee flex and extension ability, as well as running on a treadmill.

    And after what’s known as ‘cluster analysis’, tennis players out-scored the general keep-fit group when it comes to ‘upper extremity’ and ‘lower body’ function, as well as having a lower BMI.

    Dr Jackson adds: “There’s a common misconception that tennis is for rich people. But it’s really not expensive to be a member of your local tennis club.

    “And, as a University, we’re engaging with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to get more facilities opened to the public for free.

    “It’s also important to note that the actual time spent exercising between the two study groups didn’t differ significantly.

    “But tennis is something you’re likely to play for a little longer, with all the associated health gains.”

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  • joints
    16/01/2020 - George Morris Physio Wigan 0 Comments
    Can I avoid, or treat, arthritis?

    George Morris Physio Wigan


    Can I avoid, or treat, arthritis?

    Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in joints, but are there things we can do about it? And is there any truth to the old wives’ tale that it can be affected by the weather?

    The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, which affects 8 million people in the UK, and rheumatoid arthritis, which is a problem for more than 400,000 adults and could be impacting as many as 300,000 more of us without us realising.

    Osteoarthritis

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is caused by basic wear and tear which damages the cartilage in joints, causing stiffness and pain.

    We have a fluid in our joints called synovial fluid, and when our joints aren’t moving, this can leak out – it actually seems to be the action of moving a joint that helps pull it back in. Hence, not using a joint for long periods of time can make you more vulnerable to osteoarthritis. This is compounded by not exercising the muscles around the joint, which help strengthen it. Over time, without enough lubricating fluid, our cartilage can wear away causing bones in the joints to rub together.

    To help avoid it – or make the pain of arthritis less bad – there are some simple, daily exercises you can try that might help. They’re all geared towards strengthening the muscles around the joint by getting it moving and can be done easily at home, even while relaxing or watching the TV. See below.

    Rheumatoid arthritis

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), has nothing to do with physical wear and tear. It’s a long term auto immune condition in which the body’s immune system wrongly attacks its own healthy cells, causing pain and swelling in multiple joints.

    RA can’t be cured but it can be slowed down and minimised if medication is started within three months of the first symptoms. This is why it’s important to identify rheumatoid arthritis as early as possible and to do this you need to look out for the ‘S Factor’:

    Stiffness – Do you have early morning stiffness that persists for more than 30 minutes and in some cases lasts into the day?

    Swollen – Do you have swelling around the joints and are they hot to touch?

    Squeeze – Is the affected joint painful when you squeeze it?

    If the answer to all these questions is yes, visit your GP as soon as possible.

    What about the weather?

    An ongoing mystery surrounding arthritis is its alleged link with the weather. Many sufferers have reported that their joints become stiffer and more swollen when rain is on the way, whereas warm, dry conditions have been said to help. But is this just an old wives’ tale or could there be something in it?

    Studies are in progress at present to see if this is just a myth or a true phenomenon.

    OA Additional Exercises

    Sufferers from OA should avoid high impact exercises, as they aggravate the affected joint.

    Recommended activities include:

    Walking

    Cycling

    Swimming – including walking and exercising in the water

    Low impact gym equipment – cross trainers etc

    T’ai chi has also been shown to be helpful at reducing the pain from osteoarthritis

    Hips

    Leg Swings

    Simply hold onto the edge of the pool, or the wall if you’re on land, and gently swing your leg out to the side, alternating sides.

    The pool is particularly good for this, because the buoyancy assists you and you get a better range of motion, and you also have resistance from the water that makes your muscles do more work.

    Leg Extensions

    In the same position, extend your leg gently backward, alternating legs.

    Care should be taken with this one, as over-extending the leg can lead to injury.

    Knees

    Knee rocks

    Get down on one knee as if you’re proposing marriage (with a soft mat underneath to cushion your knees).

    Rock gently forward, keeping your shoulders straight.

    This stretches the front of the knee while protecting the lumbar spine.

    Make sure your knee does not extend past your toes as this can strain the knee.

    Straight leg raises

    Sit in a chair, straighten one leg, and raise it straight out in front of you. Alternate legs.

    Leg curls

    Lie on the floor on your stomach, and gently bend your heel back toward your buttocks, making sure to keep your hips on the ground.

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  • nuts
    01/11/2019 - George Morris Physio Wigan 0 Comments
    11 Foods to Help Fight Knee and Joint Pain

    George Morris Physio Wigan


    11 Foods to Help Fight Knee and Joint Pain

    If you’ve got chronic knee or joint pain, you almost certainly feel the results all day, every day. you’ll have an inflammatory disease, bursitis, tendonitis, or associate injury, however of these conditions involve painful inflammation, and everyone will hurt whether or not you’re exploitation the joint or not. Extended periods of stillness cause even as abundant discomfort, if no more.

    That’s as a result of your joints are designed to maneuver and don’t like being stationary. Moving them is really smart for healing, as long as you aren’t bearing an excessive amount of weight or creating identical repetitive motions that caused your injury within the 1st place. however are you able to bring yourself to induce up and move once you’re in most pain?

    Medication from your doctor will facilitate, however you may be stunned by what quantity diet really plays a vicinity.

    Try intake additional of those eleven foods to alleviate that joint pain naturally. they’re all well-tried to support joint health, minimize pain, and facilitate get you moving once more.

    Cherries

    In a ton of cases, a lot of colorful food, a lot of antioxidants it packs. that’s definitely true of cherries, that get their red hue from natural plant chemicals referred to as anthocyanins. intake cherries or drinking tart cherry juice has been shown to quell painful inflammation.

    It may conjointly cut back flare-ups of arthritis, a kind of inflammatory disease that involves exhausting crystals within the joints. alternative antioxidant-rich fruits to do embrace pomegranates, blueberries, and blackberries.

    Red peppers

    Not solely do sore joints like a discount in inflammation, however, they improve quite a bit after you will support the gristle, tendons, and ligaments that cushion them and keep them aligned.

    Red peppers have plenty of water-soluble vitamins, that aids within the production of albuminoid. albuminoid holds along bone and muscle and offers structure to joints. alternative foods high in water-soluble vitamin embody grapefruit, oranges, tomato, and pineapple.

    Fish

    Sustainably harvested fish could be a nice all-around alternative for joint health. It contains viosterol and atomic number 20 to strengthen bones, similarly as plenty of polyunsaturated fatty acid fatty acids.

    Omega-3s facilitate to cut back inflammation and lots of folks don’t get enough of it. If you don’t like fish, eat a lot of low-fat dairy farm merchandise for the atomic number 20 and viosterol, and contemplate adding an animal oil supplement to your nutrition routine.

    Whole Grains

    Whole grains area unit nice for reducing inflammation, however, refined grains (like white flour) just do the other. Whole grains retain all 3 components of the grain, the bran, the germ, and also the reproductive structure. White flour uses solely the reproductive structure, however, it’s the germ and also the bran that contains most of the nutrition.

    Try to avoid breadstuff in favor of the whole-grain product. Fantastic whole grains embrace oatmeal, quinoa, barley, and rice. Whole grains area unit useful for reducing inflammation each before and when exercise.

    Turmeric

    Turmeric is that the orange spice that offers curry its distinctive flavor. It contains high levels of a substance known as curcumin, that has been disclosed in some studies to rival NSAID once it involves pain relief. Turmeric has been used for hundreds of years in ancient Asian medication due to its medication advantages.

    A study out of Arizona in 2006 found that regular consumption of turmeric may very well facilitate stop the event of pathology and autoimmune disease. If you can’t notice straight turmeric, obtain seasoning instead.

    Ginger

    Ginger is another spice common in Asian culinary art. It’s sweet and spicy at a similar time with a robust kick of antioxidants. The substance that offers ginger its robust healthful properties is termed chemical irritant, and it’s not able to scale back each inflammation and muscle pain.

    But that’s not all. chemical irritant will facilitate lower steroid alcohol, improve brain operate, beat back Alzheimer’s, treat the symptom, and doubtless scale back your risk of cancer. Ginger will be intercalary to dishes in an exceedingly dried and ground type or grated recent.

    Walnuts

    Nuts are high in omega-3s and antioxidants, each of which might soothe joint pain. however, walnuts are higher in these essential nutrients than the other ordinarily eaten nut. Walnuts may additionally defend against cancer and kind two polygenic disorder.

    You ought to use caution together with your portion size as a result of walnuts ar high in calories. however, some studies show that uptake walnuts will really contribute to weight loss as a result of they keep you feeling full longer and pack food cravings which may otherwise derail your efforts. Weight loss is another great way to cut back stress on painful joints.

    Kale

    Dark, foliate greens are wonderful for joint health, kale particularly. Kale has vitamin C for scleroprotein support and a decent quantity of atomic number 20. It conjointly options forty five totally different inhibitor flavonoids! ingestion kale on a usual will cut joint inflammation considerably.

    However, regular raw kale consumption will have some negative effects on thyroid perform. If you’re aiming to eat loads of it, alternate between raw and parched kale.

    Avocado

    Avocados feature some polyunsaturated fatty acid fatty acids, however not the maximum amount as different foods on our list. What sets it apart is its healthy unsaturated fat, most of it within the sort of monounsaturated fatty acid, a sort of carboxylic acid that has been found to scale back bound biomarkers of inflammation.

    Avocado also can facilitate minimize the flexibility of different foods to cause inflammation, therefore it’s nice to feature to all or any forms of meals.

    Flaxseed

    Eating linseed in a superb thanks to getting your omega-3s in no time flat. simply 2 tablespoons of ground linseed contain associate astonishing a hundred and fortieth of your daily price for omega-3 fatty acid fatty acids.

    Studies show that regular consumption of flaxseeds will considerably decrease the production of pro-inflammatory compounds. this is often an excellent manner for vegetarians and vegans to induce their omega-3s during a plant-based type.

    Cruciferous Vegetables

    The dilleniid dicot family class of vegetables includes broccoli, Bruxelles sprouts, kale, and cauliflower. they need a name for inflicting embarrassing gas throughout digestion, however square measure jam-packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber to assist cut back inflammation.

    The specific type of inhibitor contained in abundance in dilleniid dicot family veggies is termed sulforaphane, that has been found to dam a specific catalyst chargeable for joint pain and inflammation. Aim for a minimum of ½ a cup of dilleniid dicot family vegetables day after day, simply perhaps not in polite company.

    These eleven foods area unit sensible for you at any time, however particularly once you’re full of the knee or joint pain. operating a lot of of them into your diet currently will relieve discomfort quite quickly, however, don’t stop once your aches disappear.

    Keep on prioritizing these healthy staples and you’ll feel higher for the future – not simply in your joints, however everywhere.

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  • 25/10/2019 - ​George Morris Physio Wigan 0 Comments
    Some exercises to help you deal with sciatica

    George Morris Physio Wigan


    Some exercises to help you deal with sciatica

    Sciatic pain is the pain caused in the sciatic nerve in your body. The term sciatica refers to the pain that originates from the lower back and then travels through the buttock in the large nerve situated in each of the leg. Sciatica is not a medical problem itself but rather a symptom of underlying medical condition. Sciatica has some particular symptoms which can be observed if one thinks he or she is suffering from this problem, like constant pain in one side of the buttock or leg, leg pain which is tingling and searing, there is an increase in the pain when you sit down and weakness, numbness and difficulty in walking and standing up. There are exercises recommended in sciatica which will help you if you are suffering from this problem. There are two major purposes of such exercises and are listed below:

    Reduction in pain in the main sciatic nerve

    Prevention from future pain in the affected area

    Your physical trainer or therapist will help you, guide you and formulate a proper plan in order to relieve you of the pain that you are feeling. You need to consult your therapist and doctor before undergoing any exercise or physical activity program. There are many different features of a typical exercise program to counter sciatic pain and such features include core muscle strength, hamstring stretching, aerobic exercises etc.

    This article provides some detail and information regarding the exercises which you can perform if you are suffering from sciatic pain. These exercises are designed by professionals and are meant to help you deal with your sciatic pain. However, it is not recommended to undergo any exercise before consulting your physiotherapist or doctor.

    Exercise Provides Sciatica Pain Relief

    While it may seem counterintuitive, exercise is usually better for relieving sciatic pain than bed rest. Patients may rest for a day or two after their sciatic pain flares up, but after that time period, inactivity will usually make the pain worse.

    Typical features of any sciatica exercise program include:

    Core muscle strength. Many sciatica exercises serve to strengthen the abdominal and back muscles in order to provide more support for the back. Stretching exercises for sciatica target muscles that cause pain when they are tight and inflexible. When patients engage in a regular program of gentle strengthening and stretching exercises, they can recover more quickly from a flare up of sciatica and are less likely to experience future episodes of pain.

    Hamstring & glut stretching. Regardless of the diagnosis, most types of sciatica will benefit from a regular routine of upper hamstring stretching. The hamstrings are muscles located in the back of the thigh. Overly tight hamstrings increase the stress on the low back and often aggravate or even cause some of the conditions that result in sciatica. I recommend upper hamstring stretching and glut stretching initially

    Gentle aerobic exercises. In addition to specific sciatica exercises, aerobic conditioning may also be encouraged for general body fitness. Walking is an excellent form of exercise for the low back because it is relatively low impact but can provide all the benefits of an aerobic workout. If possible, it is best to gradually progress to doing up to three miles of exercise walking at a brisk pace each day.

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  • 18/09/2019 - George Morris Physio Wigan 0 Comments
    The Best Stretches for Lower Back Pain

    George Morris Physio Wigan


    The Best Stretches for Lower Back Pain

    There’s nothing more debilitating than lower back pain. The grimaces, groans, and feeble feelings one gets from back pain happen because the area is full of nerve endings that react violently to any injury inflicted on them (like a twist while carrying a particularly squirmy kid). But often, back pain is caused not by tears but by tightness or spasms, and these issues can be addressed through stretching.

    These 7 moves are designed to target your lower back. In each case, the stretch should be no deeper than a position you can comfortably hold for at least 30 seconds, and should never be so intense as to cause pain. Slowly ease into each position, and when you reach a point of manageable intensity, focus on breathing in and out deeply for 30 seconds to one minute.

    Childs pose

    Funny, isn’t it, that a likely source of your back pain is also the name of the exercise to ease it? To perform this yoga-inspired move, start on all fours. Slowly sink your hips back toward your feet, until your butt touches your heels and your chest is pressed against your quads. Extend your arms in front of you and feel the gentle stretch along your back.

    Cradle Pose

    Turn over onto your back and bend your knees, feet flat on the floor. Raise your feet and bring your knees toward your chest. Wrap your arms over your shins as if you are giving them a big hug. Gently pull your knees in closer to your spine, raising your head so that your back is rounded.

    Piriformis stretch

    Start facing a chair back, table, or sturdy towel rack. Cross your right foot over your left knee, bending your right knee out to the side so that your legs form the shape of the number “4.” Holding the support in front of you, bend your left knee, stick your butt out, and sink into the stretch, rounding your spine and pulling away from the support to deepen the stretch in your lower back. Repeat on the opposite side.

    Cat Pose

    Another yoga classic, start this move on all fours. Drop your head toward the floor and round your back, imagining the center of your spine being lift by a string toward the ceiling.

    Floor Twist

    Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Spread arms out to either side for support. Gently let your knees drop to the right side while you rotate your head and torso to the left. Return to center, repeat the stretch on the opposite side.

    Chair Stretch

    Sitting in a chair, cross your right leg over your left. Place your left hand at the outside of your right knee. Gently press against your right knee as you twist your head and torso to the right, letting your legs turn slightly to the left. Return to neutral. Repeat on the opposite side.

    Runner’s Stretch

    Sometimes, a tight lower back is exacerbated by even tighter hamstrings. For this stretch, start sitting on the floor, both legs straight in front of you. Turn your right leg out and bend your right knee, sliding your right foot up so it touches the instep of your left knee. Lean forward and grab your left toes with both hands (grasp your left calf if you don’t have the flexibility to reach that far) feeling the stretch down your back. Repeat on the opposite side.

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  • exercises
    14/05/2019 - George Morris Physio Wigan 0 Comments
    Back pain: Three exercises you must AVOID if you have lower back pain

    George Morris Physio Wigan


    Back pain: Three exercises you must AVOID if you have lower back pain

    BACK PAIN can be relieved by exercising and stretching to strengthen the back muscles and increase flexibility. But how can you be sure exercising won’t cause further damage? Avoid these three exercises if you suffer from lower back pain.

    Back pain is a common condition, affecting one in three people each year in the UK, according to private healthcare provider Bupa. Lower back pain, or lumbago, is particularly common, although it can be felt anywhere along the spine. Back pain may last days, weeks or months, depending on the severity and cause of the problem, but recovery can be sped up by keeping the back strong and healthy. One way to achieve this is to keep active and exercise the back, in order to strengthen the muscles and keep them flexible.

    However, it’s important to take care when exercising and stretching, as doing the wrong kinds of exercises can make back pain worse.

    “Exercise is good for low back pain - but not all exercises are beneficial,” said medical website webmd.

    “Any mild discomfort felt at the start of exercises should disappear as muscles become stronger. But if pain is more than mild and lasts more than 15 minutes during exercise, patients should stop exercising and contact a physio.

    If you have back pain, make sure you avoid these three exercises and stretches so you don’t make the condition worse:

    Toe Touches

    Standing toe touches, where you lean over to touch your toes while standing up, put greater stress on the discs and ligaments in the spine.

    Toe touches can also overstretch lower back muscles and hamstrings.

    Sit-ups

    People usually do sit-ups to strengthen the core and abdominal muscles, but many people tend to use the muscles in the hips when doing sit-ups instead.

    This can aggravate lower back pain while also putting a lot of pressure on the discs in the the spine.

    Leg lifts

    Like sit-ups, people often do leg lifts as a way to strengthen the core and abdominal muscles.

    Leg lifts involve lying on your back and lifting both legs into the air at the same time, but doing this is very demanding on your core and, if weak, can make back pain worse.

    Instead, you could try lifting one leg at a time, while keeping the other leg bent at the knee with the foot flat on the ground.

    “Stay as active as possible and try to continue your daily activities – this is one of the most important things you can do, as resting for long periods is likely to make the pain worse,” said the NHS.

    “Not only is exercise great for your overall health, it may help to reduce back pain and prevent it coming back,” added Bupa. Walking, Rowing and swimming are highly recommended for lower back problems

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  • back pain
    20/03/2019 - George Morris physio Wigan 0 Comments
    Reduce pain in back and lower back pain with one vitamin supplement

    George Morris physio Wigan


    Back pain: Reduce pain in back and lower back pain with one vitamin supplement

    BACK PAIN can be caused by a number of things, such as an injury or poor posture, or it could appear to have no cause at all. If you have pain in the back or lower back pain, taking a particular vitamin supplement could help to improve symptoms.

    According to Bupa, back pain affects around one-third of the people in the UK each year. The most common type is lower back pain, otherwise known as lumbago. While pain in the back is not usually a sign of a serious health problem, some people experience it frequently throughout their lives. For others, back pain may disappear by itself after a few days, weeks or months. Some people develop back pain as a result of an injury or sprain, but for others there can be no apparent reason for it. Another cause of back pain is a deficiency in vitamin D.

    Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body - nutrients which are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

    A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities and pain, such as rickets in children and a condition called osteomalacia in adults. It can also cause lower back pain.

    According to health foods store Holland & Barrett, Indian researchers recently discovered those with low vitamin D levels also suffered from chronic low back pain.

    “It’s thought the vitamin may have a role to play in reducing the immune system’s inflammatory response,” said Holland & Barrett.

    “Large observational studies have found a relationship between a deficiency and chronic lower back pain,” said Healthline.

    One study examined the association between vitamin D levels and back pain in more than 9,000 older women.

    The researchers found those with vitamin D deficiency were more likely to have back pain, including severe back pain that limited their daily activities.

    “Low blood levels of vitamin D may be a cause or contributing factor to bone pain and lower back pain,” said Healthline.

    According to health experts, most people need 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day to maintain healthy levels.

    As sunlight is the main source of vitamin D, it’s usually possible to naturally get this amount from spending time outdoors during the spring and summer.

    However, in the autumn and winter there is not enough sunlight for the skin to absorb adequate levels of vitamin D.

    For this reason, the UK Department of Health advises people in the UK take a vitamin D supplement every day during the colder months.

    Supplements should contain no more than 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day, as taking too much can cause too much calcium to build up in the body, leading to bone, heart and kidney damage.

    “If you choose to take vitamin D supplements, 10 micrograms a day will be enough for most people. Don't take more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D a day as it could be harmful,” said the NHS.

    Vitamin D is also found in some foods, including oily fish, red meat, liver, egg yolks, and some fortified foods.

    Oily fish includes salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel. Fortified foods include most fat spreads and some breakfast cereals.

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  • peanuts
    11/03/2019 - George Morris physio Wigan 0 Comments
    Back pain warning - the snack you should avoid at all costs to avoid backache

    George Morris physio Wigan


    Back pain warning - the snack you should avoid at all costs to avoid backache

    BACK pain could be prevented by changing your diet, or by swapping your sleep position. You could lower your risk of backache symptoms by avoiding this snack at all costs. It could help to prevent back pain.

    Back pain is a common condition that affects most people at some point in their lifetime, according to the NHS. It could be caused by sleeping in the wrong position, having bad posture, or even by having a minor injury. But, you could be making your back pain worse by regularly eating peanuts, it’s been claimed.

    Some people may find that eating peanuts makes their backache worse, revealed medical website Medical News Today.

    That’s because peanuts could be triggering inflammation in certain individuals, it said.

    Inflammation may be a key cause of back pain, and avoiding inflammatory foods is an easy way to relieve your pain, it revealed.

    “Back pain after eating is often the result of referred pain,” said the medical website.

    “This is pain that originates in one area of the body and radiates to another.

    “People with allergies or intolerances to certain foods may experience inflammation after eating them.

    If they already have back pain, the inflammation can make symptoms worse.

    “Examples of foods that may trigger inflammation and back pain include alcohol, dairy, gluten, peanuts, and sugar.”

    Your back pain after eating could also be caused by heartburn, it added.

    Heartburn is a digestive condition that causes a burning pain in the chest, and symptoms can include a sour taste in the mouth, and a sore throat.

    Avoiding chocolate, caffeine, spicy foods and tomatoes could all limit your risk of heartburn, and subsequently back pain.

    Regular exercise and doing stretches could also help to prevent back pain from returning, said the NHS.

    Speak to a GP or physiotherapist for advice on which exercises to try, said the NHS.

    Those most at risk of developing back pain are people that are overweight. Losing just a few pounds could help to prevent the condition.

    You should see a GP or dial NHS 111 immediately if you have back pain, combined with a numbness or tingling around your genitals, a loss of bladder or bowel control, or severe chest pain.

    These symptoms could be a sign of something more serious, and need to be checked immediately.

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  • back pain
    09/03/2019 - George Morris physio Wigan 0 Comments
    Back pain - the 60p vegetable you should eat every day to avoid backache

    George Morris physio Wigan


    Back pain - the 60p vegetable you should eat every day to avoid backache

    BACK pain could be prevented by watching your diet, or by changing your sleep position. You could lower your risk of back pain symptoms by eating this vegetable every day. It could help to prevent painful backache.

    Back pain is a common condition that affects most people at some point in their lifetime, according to the NHS. It could be caused by sleeping in the wrong position, having bad posture, or even by having a minor injury. But, you can speed up the process by regularly eating spinach, it’s been revealed.

    Spinach could help to reduce back pain, as it’s rich in the mineral magnesium.

    Magnesium helps to reduce pain, as well as to relax muscles, revealed medical website Very Well Health.

    Adding more magnesium to your diet, or taking magnesium supplements, could help to prevent back pain from developing, it said.

    “Involved in over 300 biochemical reactions,  diet helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and preserves bones strength

    “Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.

    Many people in our society are magnesium deficient, so it may be a good idea to supplement. Magnesium glycinate is known to be a highly bioavailable form.

    “Magnesium citrate can be used by those who tend toward constipation, as it has an additional effect of loosening the bowels.”

    You could also relieve back pain symptoms by eating certain herbs, it added.

    White willow bark has pain-relieving properties that are similar to aspirin.

    The Devil’s claw herb contains harpagosides - chemical compounds that work as anti-inflammatories, it said.

    Regular exercise and doing stretches could also help to prevent back pain from returning, said the NHS.

    Speak to a GP or physiotherapist for advice on which exercises to try, said the NHS.

    Those most at risk of developing back pain are people that are overweight. Losing just a few pounds could help to prevent the condition.

    You should see a GP or dial NHS 111 immediately if you have back pain, combined with a numbness or tingling around your genitals, a loss of bladder or bowel control, or severe chest pain.

    These symptoms could be a sign of something more serious, and need to be checked immediately.

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  • upper back pain
    28/02/2019 - George Morris physio Wigan 0 Comments
    Everything you need to know about upper back pain

    George Morris physio Wigan


    Everything you need to know about upper back pain

    Upper back pain (also known as thoracic back pain) refers to pain felt anywhere in the area between your neck and waist. It is often felt between the shoulder blades and, while it’s less common than lower back pain, it’s still highly prevalent throughout the population.

    We speak to Lyndsay Hirst, chartered physiotherapist at Your Pilates Physio, about the common causes of upper back pain, as well as treatment options, self-management and preventative measures:

    Common causes of upper back pain

    There are a number of reasons why you might experience upper back pain. ‘The most common causes of upper back pain tend to be muscular and postural,’ says Hirst.

    ‘There can also be some joint involvement too, particularly in the area we refer to as the CT junction, which is the area where the lower cervical spine meets the upper thoracic spine (the lower part of neck). Stress and tension can also play a part in upper back pain.’

    You may begin to experience upper back pain for the following reasons:

    You have poor posture.

    You spend a long time in front of a computer each day.

    You regularly carry a heavy backpack or shoulder bag.

    You do a job or sport involving repetitive movements.

    You have had an injury, for example, whiplash.

    You have strained a muscle or ligament in your back, for example, while playing sports.

    Serious causes of upper back pain

    Upper back pain can also have more serious causes, including the following reasons:

    A slipped disc

    Osteoporosis

    Osteoarthritis

    Spinal stenosis



    Symptoms of upper back pain

    Upper back pain symptoms vary from person to person, depending on both the severity and cause of the pain.

    ‘Muscular pain tends to feel like a soreness, which might radiate across a larger area,’ explains Hirst. ‘It could be just on one side, but often in the upper back people will feel muscular pain across both sides. Joint pain would be more specific to the spine, and would be described more as an ache.’

    ‘If you experience sudden onset of upper back pain following trauma, or find it difficult to lay on your back, or if you have a history of cancer, then you need to seek medical attention,’ advises Hirst.

    Upper back pain treatment

    The good news is that most upper back pain is easily treatable. ‘Upper back pain responds really well to physiotherapy treatment, especially manual therapy, such as joint mobilisation, massage/trigger point release and acupuncture,’ says Hirst.

    ‘However, addressing the root cause of the pain is also essential to make sure it doesn't return,' she adds. 'Think about improving your posture, having an ergonomic assessment at work to check your workstation set-up, and doing some exercise.’

    Self-management treatments

    ✔️Applying a hot water bottle or wheat bag to the area.

    ✔️Applying an ice pack to the area - never apply an ice pack directly to the skin – wrap it in a tea towel.

    ✔️Taking over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen - always ask your pharmacist for advice.

    ✔️ Trying a few gentle stretches to ease the pain.

    Rehab stretches for upper back pain

    Hirst recommends the following stretches to target upper back pain:

    Arm openings

    Lie on your side, with your knees bent and both arms stretched out in front of you. Inhale to prepare.

    As you exhale, reach the arm up above your head and continue to move it all the way behind you, so your chest faces the ceiling, your spine is rotated and your arm reaches the floor behind you.

    Return back on your next inhale.

    Repeat four to five times on each side.

    Cat/cow stretch

    On all fours, inhale to prepare, then as you exhale, tuck your tailbone under as you lift your spine to the ceiling and drop your head between your shoulders.

    As you inhale, begin to lift the tailbone, drop your spine to the floor (allowing your back to arch) and lift your head (this should be the reverse of the first movement).

    Continue slowly exhaling and inhaling, moving to the rhythm of your breath.

    Upper back pain prevention tips

    Hirst recommends the following lifestyle changes, to help reduce your chance of developing upper back pain in the future:

    ✔️ Take measures to improve your posture.

    ✔️ Perform the above stretches, to keep your upper back flexible and help maintain the health of your joints.

    ✔️ Request an ergonomic desk assessment at work.

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  • cycling
    07/02/2019 - George Morris physio Wigan 0 Comments
    Can I avoid, or treat, arthritis?

    George Morris physio Wigan


    Can I avoid, or treat, arthritis?

    Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in joints, but are there things we can do about it? And is there any truth to the old wives’ tale that it can be affected by the weather?

    The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, which affects 8 million people in the UK, and rheumatoid arthritis, which is a problem for more than 400,000 adults and could be impacting as many as 300,000 more of us without us realising.

    Osteoarthritis

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is caused by basic wear and tear which damages the cartilage in joints, causing stiffness and pain.

    We have a fluid in our joints called synovial fluid, and when our joints aren’t moving, this can leak out – it actually seems to be the action of moving a joint that helps pull it back in. Hence, not using a joint for long periods of time can make you more vulnerable to osteoarthritis. This is compounded by not exercising the muscles around the joint, which help strengthen it. Over time, without enough lubricating fluid, our cartilage can wear away causing bones in the joints to rub together.

    To help avoid it – or make the pain of arthritis less bad – there are some simple, daily exercises you can try that might help. They’re all geared towards strengthening the muscles around the joint by getting it moving and can be done easily at home, even while relaxing or watching the TV.

    Exercise for knee pain

    Exercise for knee pain with very weak muscles

    Exercise for hand or thumb pain

    Rheumatoid arthritis

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), has nothing to do with physical wear and tear. It’s a long term auto immune condition in which the body’s immune system wrongly attacks its own healthy cells, causing pain and swelling in multiple joints.

    RA can’t be cured but it can be slowed down and minimised if medication is started within three months of the first symptoms. This is why it’s important to identify rheumatoid arthritis as early as possible and to do this you need to look out for the ‘S Factor’:

    Stiffness – Do you have early morning stiffness that persists for more than 30 minutes and in some cases lasts into the day?

    Swollen – Do you have swelling around the joints and are they hot to touch?

    Squeeze – Is the affected joint painful when you squeeze it?

    If the answer to all these questions is yes, visit your GP as soon as possible.

    OA Additional Exercises

    Sufferers from OA should avoid high impact exercises, as they aggravate the affected joint.

    Recommended activities include:

    Walking

    Cycling

    Swimming – including walking and exercising in the water

    Low impact gym equipment – cross trainers etc

    T’ai chi has also been shown to be helpful at reducing the pain from osteoarthritis

    Hips

    Leg Swings

    Simply hold onto the edge of the pool, or the wall if you’re on land, and gently swing your leg out to the side, alternating sides.

    The pool is particularly good for this, because the buoyancy assists you and you get a better range of motion, and you also have resistance from the water that makes your muscles do more work.

    Leg Extensions

    In the same position, extend your leg gently backward, alternating legs.

    Care should be taken with this one, as over-extending the leg can lead to injury.

    Knees

    Knee rocks

    Get down on one knee as if you’re proposing marriage (with a soft mat underneath to cushion your knees).

    Rock gently forward, keeping your shoulders straight.

    This stretches the front of the knee while protecting the lumbar spine.

    Make sure your knee does not extend past your toes as this can strain the knee.

    Straight leg raises

    Sit in a chair, straighten one leg, and raise it straight out in front of you. Alternate legs.

    Leg curls

    Lie on the floor on your stomach, and gently bend your heel back toward your buttocks, making sure to keep your hips on the ground.

    What about the weather?

    An ongoing mystery surrounding arthritis is its alleged link with the weather. Many sufferers have reported that their joints become stiffer and more swollen when rain is on the way, whereas warm, dry conditions have been said to help. But is this just an old wives’ tale or could there be something in it?

    Research is in the early stages on this debate.

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  • ginger
    28/01/2019 - George Morris Physio Wigan 0 Comments
    Arthritis: Add these five spices to your cooking to treat joint pain

    George Morris Physio Wigan

    Arthritis: Add these five spices to your cooking to treat joint pain

    ARTHRITIS has no cure, but pain and symptoms associated with the joint condition can be improved by making certain dietary changes. The following five spices contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to help relieve arthritis.

    Arthritis affects over 10 million people in the UK. The most common types are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Symptoms of all types of arthritis include pain, stiffness and inflammation of the joints. While the condition is lifelong and has no direct cure, symptoms can be relieved by including certain antioxidants and anti-inflammatories into your diet. The Arthritis Foundation recommends adding the following five spices to your cooking to help ease pain and inflammation associated with the condition.

    Garlic

    Garlic contains diallyl disulfide, an anti-inflammatory compound that limits the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

    Thanks to this, garlic can help fight the pain, inflammation and cartilage damage of arthritis.

    Opt for fresh garlic from the produce section because preservatives may be added to bottled garlic and processing may decrease some of its strength.

    Turmeric

    Several human trials have shown an anti-inflammatory benefit, which can translate to reduced joint pain and swelling.

    Turmeric is most effective in combination with black pepper, which helps the body absorb it better, according to the arthritis expert.

    Ginger

    Ginger contains two chemicals - gingerol and shogaol - that block inflammation pathways in the body. It’s best to use ginger in its fresh form.

    Cinnamon

    Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid, both of which have antioxidant properties that help inhibit cell damage caused by free radicals.

    Used in combination with other foods and spices, it may offer a cumulative anti-inflammatory effect over the course of the day.

    Cayenne

    Chilli peppers contain natural compounds called capsaicinoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties.

    “When you have arthritis, your joints and sometimes other parts of your body become inflamed, and many spices inhibit certain inflammatory pathways in the body,” said the Arthritis Foundation.

    “And although a dash of cinnamon on your oatmeal is somewhat infinitesimal, spices can pack a significant punch when you consume a number of them throughout the day.”

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  • cat stretch
    20/01/2019 - George Morris physio Wigan 0 Comments
    Lower back pain:

    George Morris physio Wigan


    Lower back pain:

    The exercise you can do at home daily to relieve painful symptoms

    LOWER back pain is very common problem. In the meantime, to help ease painful symptoms, try doing the following exercise daily at home.

    Lower back pain usually isn’t the sign of anything serious and can be the result of a sprain or strain. If the pain doesn’t diminish within a few weeks however, visit your GP or physio who can examine you and advise on the best treatment. If your back pain isn’t caused by anything serious then keeping active is key. It can be an effective way of relieving the pain and prevent it from coming back.

    But certain physical activities can prove more painful than others when you have back pain, so experts recommend doing particular exercises to offer relief.

    One that Bupa recommends is called the ‘cat stretch’, which can easily be done at home, and should be repeated five to 10 times daily.

    How to do a cat stretch

    1. Support yourself on all fours. Make sure your back is straight and your head is in one with your body.

    2. Arch your back upward.

    3. Let your spine arch downward.

    There are also exercises you can do out of the home - a relatively simple activity everyone can do to ease back pain flare-ups is swimming.

    But why does plunging into the water provide an instant sense of relief, and why is it recommended for back pain patients?

    Dr Bogedain said: “It simply comes down to the fact that movement is good for back pain and that water, thanks to its buoyancy and weightlessness, allows you to perform light resistance and cardiovascular training with very little impact on the spine.

    “While you’re pulling your body through the cool water a wide range of muscles, including your core, back and legs, are strengthened. Aside from building beautiful long lean muscles, the resistance training increases spine stability which helps to manage back pain.”

    Dr Bogedain also said that swimming is a great cardiovascular workout. So in addition to the usual benefits cardio training, a good workout will enable your body to send more oxygen to sore back muscles, providing temporary relief.

    He added: “Finally, thanks to the lightness your body experiences in water, you move more slowly and in different ways – and you’re more likely to twist into positions that will loosen up the joints muscles which contribute to back pain, when you’re swimming.”

    In rare circumstances back pain may be the sign of a more serious condition.

    According to the NHS, there are nine instances where you should contact your GP or call the NHS on 111 immediately. These are if you have back pain and:

    Numbness or tingling around your genitals or buttocks

    Difficulty peeing

    Loss of bladder or bowel control

    Chest pain

    A high temperature (fever) of 38C or above

    Unexplained weight loss

    A swelling or a deformity in your back

    It doesn’t improve after resting or is worse at night

    It started after a serious accident, such as after a car accident

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