503, 2018

Dangers of Over Stretching

By |March 5th, 2018|media|Comments Off on Dangers of Over Stretching

Dangers of Over stretching
“Stretching may increase your flexibility, but you will most likely be weaker and the results are often short-lived. In 2004, a report published by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) questioned the efficacy of stretching; noting that more than 350 studies conducted over four decades had failed to establish that stretching prior to activity prevents injury.”
When you stretch, you take your muscle to the point where you can feel a slight pull and hold this position for a few seconds without pain or discomfort. However, if you stretch your muscles beyond their normal range of motion, you may experience a pulled muscle -or muscle strain. This is overstretching.  
A common problem is when exercise enthusiasts stretch while the muscle is still cold. By trying to lengthen muscles in a tightened state, there is a risk of causing “micro” tears. If you experience delayed pain in your muscle that occurs about one to two days after your stretching, the pain is most likely caused by tiny tears in the muscle. Symptoms of a pulled muscle depend upon on the site and severity of your injury. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, muscle spasms and the limited ability to move the affected muscle, including weight bearing/walking if the affected muscle is in your leg. Strains most commonly occur in the lower back, hamstrings and inner thigh. However, pulled muscles can occur virtually anywhere in your body that muscles and tendons are located.
Damaging a muscle through any means, including overstretching, will have an adverse effect on our ability to move. The loss of efficient movement puts stress on virtually all other structures — ligaments, tendons, joints and bones, in addition to many muscles. The body tries […]

1712, 2017

Crunches are bad for your back

By |December 17th, 2017|media|Comments Off on Crunches are bad for your back

Crunches are bad for your back

“Any repetitive exercise, with or without load, where the lumbar spine is allowed to flex, round, or flatten, will over-stress the discs and ligaments.”    

                      Stuart McGill, a professor of spine bio-mechanics at the University of Waterloo, Canada.

Crunches and sit-ups involve lying on your back and repeatedly bending and extending your spine. Any forward bending motion of the torso such as sit-ups, crunches, rope pull-down crunches, toes to bar, knee to elbows, roll downs or touch our toes causes a significant increase in lower back intradiscal pressure.  No matter how strong your core is, if repetitive bending (lumbar flexion) is done enough times then the posterior lower back disc fibers become overstretched, strained, weaken and gradually tear which can result in chronic low back pain, or even disc prolapses.

Don’t think because it doesn’t hurt yet it is O.K. to do crunches.  Each of your spinal discs is only able to support a limited number of bending motions over the course of your lifetime. Does it make sense to perform exercises that can create common back injuries? The fact is, our abdominal muscles are not designed for large length change, or to help us flex our torso hundreds if not thousands of times. When doing any movement athletic or otherwise, the muscles of the spine, are designed to create spinal stability and help maintain a natural lordosis concave arch in the lumbar spine in order to protect it. The abdominal muscles in no way can raise the legs. The abdominal muscles purely stabilize the torso while the iliopsoas and rectus femoris raise the legs.

The best way to train work your torso is to do movements that challenge the muscles […]

610, 2017

Osteopathic Scar Tissue Release

By |October 6th, 2017|media|Comments Off on Osteopathic Scar Tissue Release

Osteopathic Scar Tissue Release                                                              “A scar is more than skin deep”

A scar may give the appearance that the body has healed, and whilst the body is efficient at mending itself some scars can be problematic. Scar tissue is never as functional as the original tissue it has replaced. With the exception of very minor scars.

A scar can be as a result of surgery (Caesarean section, appendectomy, cosmetic surgery, joint surgery), an accident or injury (wounding, muscle tears or tendon ruptures), burns, sores, skin conditions or diseases.

During the healing process scar tissue and adhesions can be created, causing pulling and tethering to the surrounding tissue (fascia) which encases the muscles and organs creating restricted movement or altered function in the body. These restrictions not only affect the joint, limb or surrounding area, but they can affect the underlying organs, too.  This is because scar tissue has the potential to spread in any
direction, including internally, throughout the body resulting in compensation patterns. The same thing happens in the human body when scar tissue forms. Tissue that used to be able to stretch and flex easily now becomes tight and restricted, with limited range of motion. The resulting pull affects everything
throughout the body that is even remotely connected to that tissue.

These structural changes can cause pain, nerve impingement, numbness, limited range of motion and flexibility, postural imbalance, muscle weakening and wasting, reduced tissue oxygenation and an increase in potential for future injury. Scar tissue can even act like a dam disturbing drainage of
lymphatics and circulation and impacting on […]

409, 2017

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones: your bone health

By |September 4th, 2017|media|Comments Off on Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones: your bone health

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones: your bone health

When Sophy Kohler had her first, and as it turned out last, ju-jitsu lesson, the martial arts instructor fractured her sternum. Kohler, who is now 29 and works in publishing, felt “strangely thankful” towards him, because it led to her diagnosis of osteopenia – pre-osteoporosis – and then later osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become less dense and more likely to fracture. Kohler had also suffered a knee injury the previous year. There was no known cause to her illness, although both her mother and her grandmother suffer from osteoporosis.

Guy Ashburner, an osteopath who practises from Constantia (osteopathy is a drug- free non-invasive manual therapy that emphasises the role of the musculoskeletal system), explains that bones play a “major role in our wellbeing”. Bones provide structure, protect organs, provide an attachment for muscles, and store calcium within the body. It’s vital to consider bone health as we age, because low bone mass can result in weak bones and potentially bone illnesses such as osteoporosis and osteopenia.

After Kohler’s diagnosis, she was told that had until she was 25 to reverse the effects of the disease. “I was given a combination of things to take: calcium and vitamin D supplements, and a drug called Protos, the only drug at the time that was able to prevent the loss of bone and to build bone. I was also told not to smoke, to drink minimal alcohol and no fizzy drinks. But most of all, my doctor stressed the importance of weight-bearing exercise, like running, to stimulate bone formation.”

Ashburner confirms the importance of exercise. Physical activity and weight-bearing exercises are important in childhood as we’re developing, because […]

108, 2017

Unlocking the body’s ability to heal itself

By |August 1st, 2017|media|Comments Off on Unlocking the body’s ability to heal itself

Unlocking the body’s ability to heal itself

Every parent wants a healthy child, and a functioning immune system is one of the keys to a healthy child who will resist infections, allergies, and chronic illnesses. A healthy immune system is resilient to disease and infection.

Some children may be repetitively affected by infections, colds, flu, ear infections and respiratory infections. When the immune system is weakened or compromised, disease and infection are given a chance to manifest themselves. With a poor immune system, the body has difficulty clearing bacteria to which it is exposed through the oral and nasal passages. This congestion may lead to an increase in bacteria and viruses in the respiratory system, and the child is likely to be predisposed to a reoccurrence of colds, tonsillitis, sinusitis, ear infection, and bronchitis.

Spinal Mobility

The natural process of birth may leave a negative effect on babies. Considerable mechanical compressive forces and trauma at birth are exerted on an infant’s neck, spine and skull by uterine contractions and extraction. These pressurising forces may result in stress on the neck, spine, nerves, muscles and skull. When spinal joints lose mobility or are out of normal position, this may cause localised physiological changes such as poor lymphatic drainage and inflammation that can create pressure on adjacent nerves. This may affect the health and function of virtually every other tissue, organ and system of the body. However, trauma and structural change may not cause immediate noticeable symptoms. When spinal problems are left untreated, the body begins to change and adapt, trying to compensate for the problem. This may affect for your child’s future health.

Changes in spinal mobility, bad posture and scoliosis, can develop at any age – even in babies, young […]

108, 2017

Don’t Foam-Roll-Massage your Iliotibial Band (IT Band)

By |August 1st, 2017|media|Comments Off on Don’t Foam-Roll-Massage your Iliotibial Band (IT Band)

Don’t Foam-Roll-Massage your Iliotibial Band (IT Band)
Foam rolling has become increasingly popular as a method of self-massage in an effort to work out muscle knots and tension. However, rolling out your iliotibial band, up and down, is likely to make you grimace in pain.
Anatomically, the IT band (ITB) is a longitudinal fibrous band of deep fascia that originates from the gluteus maximus (buttock)and tensor fascia lata (front side of pelvis) then continues as a tendinous, fascial band  that runs from the pelvis down along the outside of the thigh to below the knee, attaching on the outside of the lower leg bone (the tibia). The lateral quadriceps, lateral hamstrings, the gluteus maximus, and the tensor fascia lata (TFL) all have a fascial connection to the IT Band.
The iliotibial band contributes to stabilizing the knee and hip during weight-bearing and is constantly in use during standing, walking and running.  It may also contribute to energy savings during locomotion by helping swing your leg back and releasing it as the leg swings forward during walking and running.
Faulty overuse movement (repetitive flexion and extension of the knee from running, cycling or other repetitive activities) can become problematic when too much stress is placed on the ITB causing increased friction over the outside of the knee, therefore causing inflammation and pain in the knee or thigh. This is called IT Band Syndrome.
Muscle imbalance due to poor exercise technique, poor exercise choice, muscle weakness, faulty movement patterns, poor biomechanics in the foot, hip or knee, fatigue and increased tension in the surrounding muscles will contribute to creating pain. The TFL and gluteus maximus have an important biomechanical role with IT band. This is because they control the amount of tension […]

1805, 2017

Osteopathy – hands-on therapy for your child

By |May 18th, 2017|media|Comments Off on Osteopathy – hands-on therapy for your child

Osteopathy – hands-on therapy for your child

‘As the twig is bent, so grows the tree’ ~ William Garner Sutherland (1873 – 1954) founder of cranial osteopathy

Osteopathic philosophy is based on the idea that the body works best when it moves as nature intended.


Birthing is physically demanding for the baby due to structural adaptive changes that take place. These structural changes are usually self-correcting soon after birth, but not always, leaving behind varying degrees of potentially problematic restrictions.

During birth the bones of the skull overlap and a significant amount of force goes though the baby’s neck, potentially irritating the nerves in the upper neck. These nerves interconnect with digestive function as well as muscles and joints of the head and neck, potentially contributing to issues such as colic or constipation, headaches and neck pain. Limited neck movement in a baby can lead to a many other issues, including feeding problems and flat spots on the head. Pressure on the forming skull can also lead to trouble sleeping, irritability and recurrent ear infections.

As children grow, other problems may become apparent due to earlier stresses and strains and the rough and tumble of childhood. The rapid growth spurt of puberty, the effects of sports activities, hunching over computers or carrying school bags, can also place extra demands on a child’s body; which if left untreated may lead to pain and functional difficulties later in life.


For these reasons, a visit to a paediatric osteopath is worth considering after birth or later. Health is the most important thing that we wish for children.

Osteopaths are trained to assess and treat musculoskeletal stress and strain in the body.  Osteopathic training involves a […]

2504, 2017

Static Pull-ups – Key to neck and shoulder health

By |April 25th, 2017|media|Comments Off on Static Pull-ups – Key to neck and shoulder health

Static pull-ups – Key to neck and shoulder health

“You can’t fire a cannon from a canoe.”

This expression, refers to the fact that the production of great force requires a solid platform — a concept that holds as true for the human body as it does for artillery.

The scapula is commonly known as the “shoulder blade”, and rests on the upper portion of the back. The role of the scapula muscles is critical in the stability and mobility of the neck and shoulder joint as the shoulder girdle is held in position by muscle tone (levator scapula and trapezius muscles attach to the neck bones).  The scapula serves as a foundation from which the shoulder or arm can generate force. Inadequate shoulder stability and strength is common with daily sitting, hunching the back and forward head posture, these muscles get weak and drastically underused. Abnormal scapular biomechanics predispose the neck and shoulder to injury, pain, stiffness and headaches.

Appropriate exercises that help the scapular muscles do their jobs better are so important for improving motion and decreasing pain. The isometric (static) pull up can help you improve your posture, reduce neck and shoulder dysfunction, increase shoulder girdle stability, increase your overall strength and overcome a plateau in many of your lifts. Pull ups use all the muscles in your forearms for grip, your biceps, upper back, shoulders and trunk muscles. It can take a considerable time to build the necessary strength to perform a pull up and the isometric pull up is a very important first step.  An isometric exercise, is a static exercise. So rather than lifting yourself up and down, you just hold yourself on the bar.

Any stable platform can be used a […]

2504, 2017

Osteopathic treatment for fertility

By |April 25th, 2017|media|Comments Off on Osteopathic treatment for fertility

Osteopathic treatment for fertility

While modern technology enables doctors to enhance parts of the conception process, the price tag is high and investigations do not always find the reason for infertility. However, in recent years, health care consciousness is shifting from medical procedures and pharmaceutical-driven methods to healthy natural approaches for the treatment of infertility.

Osteopathic treatment combines an extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics to restore structural freedom in the tissues, enhance fluid flow throughout the body, and create the optimal environment for nature to take its natural course.

How can your structure affect your physiology for reproductive health and fertility?

Your structure is your anatomy – bones, muscles, fascia, ligaments, tendons, organs and different systems down to your cells. The position and mobility of your musculoskeletal framework and internal organs may influence the normal functioning of other body’s systems – neurological, circulatory, lymphatic and hormonal.

Structures of the body

An osteopath will consider all the structures of the body and how their ability to move effectively and efficiently affects reproductive health.

The uterus is a mobile organ which is bent and tilted forward, its position depends on whether the bladder and intestines are empty or full as it sits between the two. The uterus can become compressed by buildup of waste matter (constipation) in the colon which has the potential to effect venous drainage leading to pelvic congestion. Ligaments attach the uterus to the pelvic bones and maintain its position. If your pelvis is out of alignment or if there is abnormal tension in the pelvic floor muscles this may impact on your uterus. If it is inhibited in its motion, this will affect fluid flow and tissue health,causing difficulties with implantation and possibly placental problems.

The fallopian tubes extend […]

2803, 2017

Scrum Posture for Children.

By |March 28th, 2017|media|Comments Off on Scrum Posture for Children.

Scrum Posture for Children.

“The scrum and the tackle are the two really contentious areas of the game. If you get those two aspects right, most rugby matches will work in your favour.” Alan Lewis – Rugby union referee

Safety in the scrum is of absolute importance in the game due to the potential for neck and lower back spinal stress. Spinal dysfunction, associated nerve irritation and poor posture impact on muscular function, key for strength, speed, flexibility, coordination and agility all of which are important for a player to perform at their best and to avoid injury. Scrums require technique and are about the individual getting themselves in the right position and not just size. In the scrum, good posture is vital.
Every individual must maintain a good body position that keeps their spine in the best possible position to tolerate compressive loads and better transmit force. The spine must remain in a neutral position whilst retaining natural spinal curves but avoid being flexed or rounded. A rounded spinal position not only reduces the transfer of force through the scrum, but also compromises the health of the spine and risks injury. Equally the spine should not be forced and loaded into extension as this is never a healthy position for the spine.

Aches and pains in the back should not dismissed as just part of the game in rugby or any other sport as this may lead to chronic issues, especially if untreated. Because of growth, young sports persons are susceptible to injury, particularly during the growth spurt of adolescence. Back pain is often misunderstood and no one should just ‘grin and bear it’ by just taking medication.

By getting children scrummaging correctly with good posture they are more […]