1510, 2014

Medical Doctor uses Osteopathy as first choice for musculo-skeletal problems

By |October 15th, 2014|testimonials|Comments Off on Medical Doctor uses Osteopathy as first choice for musculo-skeletal problems

I have long suffered with upper back and neck pain secondary to poor posture and tension, and with a busy schedule, it’s so much easier convenient to take anti-inflammatories and analgesics then it is to actually deal with the problem. I had tried massage, Acupuncture and Acupressure, with little or short lived success. I stumbled across Osteopathy rather serendipitously while trying to find a chiropractor. After the first treatment by Dr Ashburner I had immediate and lasting relief. I also tried some of the posture exercises he advised and that helped as well.
Osteopathy is my first choice when it comes to musculo-skeletal problems.

Dr Rabiah Kamedien MD

2008, 2014

Sort yourself out today…Shoulder pain

By |August 20th, 2014|media|Comments Off on Sort yourself out today…Shoulder pain

Back and shoulder pain is a common complaint due to our sedentary lifestyles and bad posture. Nearly 50% of us will suffer at some point in our lives -our experts are here to help you avoid it.

The Osteopath

Dr Guy Ashburner is a Cape Town-based osteopath

Painful shoulder conditions that limit movement are common, and are caused by injuries affecting the muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. As the shoulder has a high degree of flexibility, it’s less stable and more prone to injuries than other joints. As the nerves that supply the shoulder and arm originate from the neck and upper spine, conditions such as spinal dysfunction commonly contribute to pain in the shoulder. To determine the cause of your pain, the osteopath will conduct a full orthopedic and neurological examination of the shoulder, neck and upper back. When a diagnosis has been reached, the osteopath will discuss the treatment options with you. Although shoulder pain can be serious, the vast majority of injuries are not serious and can easily be helped.

The Physiotherapist

Kerryn Alcock runs a practice in Linden, Joburg

The shoulder is made up of three bones: the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade) and the humerus (upper arm bone). Shoulder pain is often related to occupation or sport, overuse or ‘wear and tear’ also results in a painful shoulder and this can come with age. To ensure a good prognosis, early treatment is essential in order to prevent stiffness, over-stretching of ligaments or tendons, weakness and further injury. Simple exercises can be done at home such as pendular exercises done while lying on your stomach with your arm off the bed or while standing, bending over slightly or leaning on a chair. Relax your arm and […]

308, 2014

No Muscle Left Behind – Muscle Imbalance

By |August 3rd, 2014|media|Comments Off on No Muscle Left Behind – Muscle Imbalance

Muscle Left Behind – Muscle Imbalance. To get a strong and sculpt a sleek silhouette, you have to identify which muscles are slacking and whip them into shape.

Nearly every muscle in your body has a corresponding muscle group that carries out the opposite function. Take your biceps and triceps: their even match-up lets you bend and straighten your elbow without any thought. That’s how it should work, at least. Unfortunately, everyday habits (like sitting at a desk), repetitive workouts (say, that marathon you’re training for, or your weekly abs class) and even your wardrobe (yes your skyscraper heels) threaten these partnerships.

The result:one of the muscles becomes stronger and overpowers the other, a common condition known as muscular imbalance, which can worsen poor posture and wreak havoc on your figure, says trainer Melissa Paris. (tight hip flexors, for example, can tilt your hips forward and give you a “boep”.) Correcting them , she adds, helps elongate your silhouette and can actually make you look slimmer.

Chain reaction

Muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones are all connected through an intricate system , known to trainers and doctors as the kinetic chain. When one link in the chain is dodgy, it starts a reaction through the rest of your body. So your back pain could actually stem from a problem with your shoulder, your knee or even your shin. As with any team, when one muscle’s not keeping up, others have to work harder to compensate. “The danger of muscular imbalances is that they alter your natural movement patterns,” cautions personal trainer Karen Joseph. “Over time, they can pull your bones and joints out of alignment, which often leads to pain and injury.” The result, says Cape Town -based osteopath Guy […]

2907, 2014

Lat pulldowns- Proper technique and how to avoid Injury.

By |July 29th, 2014|media|Comments Off on Lat pulldowns- Proper technique and how to avoid Injury.

Lat pulldowns are a popular gym exercise for strengthening the upper back, shoulders, biceps and forearms and is without a doubt the most frequently misused piece of equipment in the gym.
This week I saw a prime example of what not to do with Lat pulldowns.  An over enthusiastic man in his late thirties holding the bar with an extra wide grip yanking the bar down quickly behind his head which forced his neck forward and bent his whole spine into a unnatural bent forward position.
Here is some guidance on how to avoid making mistakes which may result in injury and help you achieve your fitness goals.
Exercisers should grasp the bar with palms facing away from you (pronated) and with a grip at or about shoulder width apart or where comfortable with the hands evenly spaced on the bar. If you are experiencing rotator cuff issues (a group of four muscles that provide shoulder stability) or shoulder pain, switch the handle attachment so your palms face each other giving you better leverage and an even closer grip which can sometimes alleviate the shoulder strain. Lat pulldown bars are long with curve at each end giving people incorrect notions about how far apart their hands should be.  Gripping the bar wider compromises the ability of the body to work as a unit and increases the potential for shoulder injuries.
Exercisers should lean back slightly and pull the bar to the upper chest or sternum. This will allow the head to be moved away from the cable and bar and reduce the need to turn the head to the side especially with heavy resistances and help reduce neck strain and injury. Leaning back slightly will also ensure that the […]

2907, 2014

It happened to me: Osteopathy worked wonders for my son

By |July 29th, 2014|media|Comments Off on It happened to me: Osteopathy worked wonders for my son

Osteopathy worked wonders for my son. Since complications during his birth, Caleb Sedeman (12) of Cape Town has always struggled with low muscle tone, a speech impediment, epilepsy and ADHD. He also has a very high pain threshold which means he doesn’t always realise when he hurts himself. But his mom, Celestia, says osteopathy has worked wonders for her son.

Caleb’s story

“Hours after Caleb and I were released from the hospital following his birth, we were readmitted to the ICU unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital,” recalls Celestia. “He was treated for apnoea [temporary inability to breathe] and acute tubular necrosis [damaged kidney tissue caused by lack of oxygen], and he was struggling to feed like a newborn or pass any urine. We stayed there for three weeks and the doctors were amazed that he was still alive.”

Today Celestia and Caleb’s lives consist of a range of regular therapies in order for Caleb to be able to function normally. These include occupational therapy, speech therapy and regular visits to a neurologist. Celestia’s mom helps her with this busy schedule. “My mom is always reading up and trying to find new ways of helping him – that’s when she came across a book on women who had difficult births, and they suggested cranial osteopathy for helping children recover from traumatic births.”

Caleb has received four therapy sessions by Cape Town osteopath Dr Guy Ashburner in the past six weeks. Celestia recalls their first visit: “We had no idea what to expect! He asked a lot of questions relating to Caleb’s birth, his milestones and development. Then he started by slowly massaging Caleb’s head, neck, back and arms. It looked like the usual massage therapy but […]

3010, 2013

Stretching Exercises

By |October 30th, 2013|media|Comments Off on Stretching Exercises

Many office workers visit osteopaths or other physical therapists to relieve neck and back problems. Sitting with poor posture for prolonged periods of time often results in headaches, neck and back pain, postural fatigue of the shoulders, and a multitude of other unpleasant aches and pains.

Fascia is the fibrous connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels and nerves, binding those structures together. Visualise how plastic wrap is used to hold the contents of sandwiches together, and you’ll get the general idea: When we adopt prolonged poor postures, our fascia becomes stuck in a certain position.

Try this exercise to see what I mean. Adopt a slumped-over posture. You’ll see that the shirt or top you are wearing crumples up over your abdomen. Imagine that material is fascia, and if you remained still long enough it would stay in that position, now hold the material where it is and try to sit up. You won’t be able to, because the material is holding you fast. If you sit badly for long enough you will stay sitting badly, because your fascia will shorten, closely followed by your muscles. Did your mother ever tell you that if you keep a funny face or a cross expression for long enough, it will stick like that? Well, theoretically it is true!

If you are desk bound, you probably regularly find yourself sinking into a bad postural position, with your chest collapsed and your shoulders slumped. Eventually many people find that this becomes their normal posture. This drooping position lengthens the fascia on the back of the body and shortens it on the front. Chronic shoulder, neck and back pain are the result.

Stretching should be done in a […]

3010, 2013


By |October 30th, 2013|media|Comments Off on Kettlebells

Kettlebells, cast-iron weights that look like cannonballs with handles, have grown in popularity, and many gyms, trainers and coaches have jumped on the kettlebell bandwagon. A popular kettlebell exercise is the single-arm swing. A combination of a squat and an arm swing, it is one of the trickiest kettlebell exercises to do correctly. Common sense suggests that swinging the kettlebell back and whipping it straight overhead in one clean movement is a recipe for injury. Kettlebell instruction methodology suggests that concern for safety may be understood, yet explosive movements with weights, which increase that risk greatly, are still endorsed.

The kettlebell swing shouldn’t be performed until the barbell deadlift is mastered. The barbell deadlift not to be confused with the stiff legged deadlift, is essential for the safety and integrity of the lower back, and indeed your whole spine, when lifting any weight. Ironically, I rarely see this fundamentally important movement performed correctly in the gym.

Explosive/ballistic lifting kettlebell exercises should be treated with extreme caution, and are not suitable for the beginner at exercise, or those returning to exercise after inactivity. Using kettlebells correctly and safely requires a high level of technical skill and proper instruction. Only those who are professional athletes, or who have a few years of weight-training experience with free weights and have trained their muscles to withstand repeated shock of a ballistic nature, should even consider using them.

Always question why you are doing a particular exercise (even if you are with a personal trainer or biokineticist) and determine its risk vs its benefit. Rather be safe than sorry. If you have a pre-existing neck, shoulder, back or postural issue, arthritis or a hernia, kettlebells are NOT for you. It’s also a potential […]

810, 2013

Breast Health – Poorly Fitted Bras – Posture

By |October 8th, 2013|common complaints, media|Comments Off on Breast Health – Poorly Fitted Bras – Posture

Bras, breast health and posture.

Bras are designed to hold the breasts in place however a poorly fitted tight bra can impact on your health according to a study at the British school of Osteopathy.

A tight bra strap can affect the natural movements of breathing by reducing the mobility of the ribcage, diaphragm and muscles and joints of the thoracic spine.

Muscular tension and joint immobility in this area can create an imbalance in diaphragmatic breathing, forcing the upper ribs and accessory breathing muscles which attach to the neck to contract leading to increased neck tension.

The thoracic spine provides a nerve supply for the intestines and a reduced mobility of the thoracic spine and diaphragm may influence gut function possibly resulting in constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.

External pressure of an ill-fitting, fashion or tight elastic bra may affect circulation and compress the lymphatic vessels of the breasts, underarm and shoulders and prevent proper drainage of the breast tissue, leading to fluid accumulation in the breast and the potential for toxins to build up in the breast tissue as well as lesions or lumps on the skin.

Slouched posture like what you probably do while working on your computer or driving your car causes your chest muscles to actually stiffen, which pulls your shoulders forward into a permanent slump. If the problem is severe enough, the neurovascular bundle of nerves to the arm can become compressed and the woman may feel pins and needles. This poor posture eventually fatigues the muscles and painfully stretch the ligaments of the neck, shoulders and mid-back.  Postural changes can cause are an increased kyphosis (curve in the upper back) and rounded shoulders. This posture type is known to predispose people to suffer from […]

1804, 2013

Advice for fathers with a new born baby – New Dad Tips – New Father Tips

By |April 18th, 2013|media|Comments Off on Advice for fathers with a new born baby – New Dad Tips – New Father Tips

Advice for fathers with a new born baby
Becoming a father can be an exciting and overwhelming experience..Take care of yourself. Keep an eye on your lifestyle, driving and your risk-taking. Your baby needs you for a long time. Being a healthy and happy dad is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your kids.

Sleep is essential: Newborns challenge their parents’ ability to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprivation can quickly take a toll on new moms and dads.

The good news is that by 3 to 6 months lots of babies develop regular sleep patterns and sleep until morning.

The human body has incredible recuperative powers but this can only be ensured when you enough sleep. Reduced sleep equals less ability to deal with physical and mental stress.

Work out a night-time schedule with your partner that allows both of you to rest and care for the baby.

If your baby does not settle into a normal newborn sleep pattern you may want to consider cranial osteopathy. Pressure in the baby’s head and neck not only makes them more uncomfortable and hence unsettled, but may irritate the nervous system, making it difficult for them to wind down. This makes settling and deep, restful sleep, difficult to achieve. Cranial osteopathy is incredibly gentle and helps to release any compression or tightness from the birth. This makes the baby more comfortable and helps them to settle more easily and sleep better.

If you have a medical question about your baby, call your paediatrician or midwife.

Exercise is essential for normal function and improves mood, boosts energy, promotes better sleep. So whenever the opportunity arises try and make a plan once a week to go to the gym or participate in […]

1804, 2013

Back Pain – Neck Pain – High performance South African Sailing

By |April 18th, 2013|common complaints, testimonials|Comments Off on Back Pain – Neck Pain – High performance South African Sailing

High performance South African Sailing

Thirteen years ago at age 33 I was diagnosed with early arthritis by my family doctor and prescribed drugs. I had been suffering from an acute stiff neck for months and thought it was simply from years of abuse as a competitive sailor doing the wrong kind of training without adequate coaching and physical training advice. I took the drugs for a few months but felt like a hypocrite to my anti-drugs philosophy and common sense. So I looked at alternatives and came across an osteopath in Johannesburg, Dr Pleass. After a few treatments and some sage advise, I was soon off the drugs, on some effective homeopathic alternatives for a while and participating in regular yoga classes. My neck pain subsided, my flexibility returned and I soon felt young and virile again.

I have subsequently sailed in two world championships finishing 2nd in both, become a Kundalini yoga teacher and a youth sailing coach. For a time I was the national High Performance Manager for South African Sailing responsible for setting up training programmes for our country’s top sailors to compete in world championships and the 2012 Olympic Games. I tried in vain to convince the authorities and the athletes to consider alternatives for physical fitness and recovery without much success. Two years ago, for personal reasons, I gave up on my yoga practice and in fact stopped exercising completely. It took it’s toll. By the end of 2012, my body felt like that of an old woman, aches and pains all over, especially in my hips, lower back, neck and shoulders. After an attempt to play squash with my teenage son, my neck went back into the age-old spasm of […]