Blog Archives

What NOT to do for your tennis elbow

Drop the anti inflammatories if you’ve had your ‘tennis elbow’ for more than a month Because most chronic (i.e. long term) tendon issues are not due primarily to damage and inflammation following a tear, but to repetitive or continuous over use of the affected muscles. T he problem here is the way the collagen fibres (the white stuff you see in tendons) change from being organised in line to being more of a jumbled tangle of fibres which are not good at being put under tension and recovering from use. The normal healing process also seems to break down with many people experiencing on going discomfort for months and even

Posted in Adults, Arm, Shoulder and Neck

Have you got a bit of the Cinderella in you?

How many of these boxes do you tick? – Are you female (you’d have to be if we’re talking about Cinderella) – Do your shoulders ache even when you’re not at work? – Did your shoulder pain just appear for no obvious reason? – Do you do desk work most of the day? – Does massage only give you temporary relief? – Does stretching not seem to help much either?   If you’re that person then science has been showing quite a lot of interest in your problem in recent years and has even given birth to a hypothesis –that Cinderella muscle fibres are the cause of your woes. A

Posted in Adults, Arm, Shoulder and Neck

“I must have slept funny” – Morning neck pain

If you wake to neck pain in the morning Just as the day is a dawning Your neck will lock tight You’ll look quite a sight From something that struck with no warning     “I must’ve slept funny…”  I hear this a lot as an explanation for a pain that appears for no obvious reason when waking.  It seems strange, doesn’t it, that something can go wrong with just your normal bed and pillow? But maybe this is just a convenient scapegoat.  After all, as humans we always want to be able to blame something.  And if you wake to a pain that wasn’t there before, it’s natural to

Posted in Adults, Arm, Shoulder and Neck

A slouched upper back can reduce your neck & shoulder movements.

If you’re one of those whose upper back slumps & sags forward and down, try this little experiment. Sit in your normal slumped position, & turn your head as far as it will go to one side.  Notice how it feels.  Stop right there – don’t move your neck. Now lift your chest a little & try to make your neck longer – without tipping your chin up.  Notice how your head will turn a bit more without that same level of discomfort. I’ve had patients complaining of low neck pain turning their heads to reverse the car, and this one simple adjustment to posture is sometimes almost all that’s

Posted in Adults, Arm, Shoulder and Neck

Think you might have a disc problem?

Hi everyone – however many that may be… Suddenly I seem to be seeing a lot of people with disc injuries, ranging from relatively mild to one particularly bad case that will probably end up needing surgery.  Luckily most don’t and they get better, though progress can be slow because of its properties and position jammed in between your spine.  You can’t exactly take it out and give it a rest! If you can identify with any of these symptoms, you might also have a disc problem, but before you get depressed, remember that many are mild and most get better! Tingling, pain or numbness running down the arm, the

Posted in Adults, Arm, Shoulder and Neck, Back and Hip, Sciatica

The Overuse Injury – a pain from nowhere that refuses to go away

Hi everyone, This week I want to talk about some of those niggly problems which seem to come out of nowhere – you can’t remember any accident or doing anything you haven’t done a thousand times before.  But in many cases that’s exactly the problem – too much repetition.   ‘Too much’  is affected by ageing Why? Because as we slowly drift into middle age and beyond, the  substance that makes up our tendons, cartilage  and discs – all the tough white stuff you see when you’re doing some kitchen butchery  – starts to weaken.  So we can’t necessarily handle what we could do before. Recovery periods after activity are

Posted in Adults, Arm, Shoulder and Neck, Legs and Knee, Older People, Teenagers and Adolescents

“Hey, what’s happened? I can’t touch my toes anymore!”

Sounds strange, doesn’t it?  That you can go from being able to touch your toes to not in the space of a day.  But it’s something I’ve seen several times in folk with low back pain. The sort of person who notices this is someone who regularly touches their toes during an exercise class such as yoga. So they know what their bodies can and can’t do. A lot of people who don’t get to do this movement regularly will never realize their hamstrings have suddenly gone tight on them.   How can your hams go inflexible overnight? In short, it’s all about neurological tightness.  The nerve that controls the

Posted in Adults, Arm, Shoulder and Neck, Legs and Knee

Arm Pain – how it’s easy to get it wrong

So I’d just like to use a real example of someone coming in with arm pain to talk about the process of diagnosis. A real case study – one problem with lots of competing explanations! A man in his early thirties came in complaining of sore hands and a sore back.  He was a floor layer, a job involving a lot of gripping of heavy tools, and the problem had been going on for 4 years & was affecting his sleep.  He’d had 15 treatments (on the spine) with little benefit from another therapist before I saw him. So what did I find?  Well, I could reproduce the numbness and

Posted in Adults, Arm, Shoulder and Neck, Older People