1607, 2016

Thinking Straight

By |July 16th, 2016|media|Comments Off on Thinking Straight

Thinking Straight

In today’s fast paced world, poor posture is a common ailment. With these tips, you’ll be standing tall in no time.

The human body is not designed to sit for extended periods of time. Our ancestors spent most of their time on their feet, hunting for food and working to stay alive.

Research suggests that four in five adults will experience back-related pain during their lives. Given the modern human’s chair-bound lifestyle, coupled with increasing poor posture. It’s no wonder back pain is one of the most common causes of missed work, and the second most common for visiting a doctor.

First Aid.
‘The keystone to good health is optimal posture,’says Cape Town-based osteopath Dr Guy Ashburner. ‘Every mammal on the planet intuitively knows this, with the exception of modernised humans. ‘Postural awareness has become dormant in most people, resulting in dysfunctional health, spinal health and a host of other problems, including infertility. Are you sitting up straight yet?

‘Osteopaths, chiropractors and physiotherapists treat the same conditions with different approaches,’ explains Dr Ashburner. These three practices help to re-mediate impairments and promote mobility of the body through examination, diagnosis and intervention, although osteopathic treatment is a form of alternative medicine and specifically focuses on the musculoskeletal system.

“With osteopathy, treatment may include fascial release, massage, joint mobilisation, stretching and cranial osteopathy to facilitate normal mobility of the musculoskeletal system,’ says Dr Ashburner. Before you head to your doctor, though, try these quick exercises for some of the most common posture-related problems.

Problem. Spinal Pain

Sitting slumped in front of a computer for hours every day is not natural. ‘This ultimately creates stiffness in the paraspinal muscles, which run the length of the spine,’ Dr Ashburner says. The result? Reduced mobilityof the spinal […]

1905, 2015

High Heels and Chronic Pain

By |May 19th, 2015|media|Comments Off on High Heels and Chronic Pain

High Heels and Chronic Pain

“When your feet hurt, you hurt all over.” Socrates

Women complain of the pain from high heels regularly. However in many situations, high heels are considered a must-wear item. Wearing high heels is your choice, but you or your work (Some workplaces require women to wear high heels) should at least be aware of the problems related to high heels. If you frequently wear high heels, you are setting yourself up for long-term issues.

High heels alter alignment of the feet, legs, and back, and can have long-term effects on posture and health which may influence unnatural posture, changed position of the spine can put pressure on the nerves and cause back/ neck pain and sciatica, balance impairment, headaches, early fatigue and a feeling of heaviness in the legs, muscle overuse and repetitive strain injuries, osteoarthritis of knees and ankles, reduce calf pump efficiency and may influence deep vein thrombosis, shortening of the Achilles tendon and calf, Achilles tendonitis and calf strains, ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, foot deformities, hammertoes, bunions,  Morton’s neuroma (thickened nerve) and corns.

The mid-foot, heel, ankle, knee, hip, mid-back, upper back can all become painful as a result of wearing high heels and even headaches can arise. If the mobility of the feet and ankles are compromised then the joints of the lower limb, pelvis and spine will also be compromised.

If the joints of your feet don’t work properly because of the strain of wearing high heels, the connecting tissues are forced to compensate. This gives rise to increased muscle tension and muscle imbalance resulting in pain due to these compensatory changes.

The unnatural position of the foot in high heels means it’s less able to act as a shock absorber […]

1304, 2015


By |April 13th, 2015|media|Comments Off on Deadlift


‘The best exercises are those which mimic natural movement patterns, like the deadlift.’

Young children typically perform squats and deadlifts without anyone having to show them how. Yet when a deconditioned adult tries to perform these movements, they may feel very unnatural. Many adults have spent their entire life sitting in chairs and cars, avoiding natural movement. Many adults and even school children have done this to the point where they have unlearned instinctive habits like lifting from the hips and legs, and replaced them with lower back pain and hip ailments.

In my experience as an ex personal trainer deadlifts improve your performance in everything – from daily tasks, like picking-up groceries or playing with your kids on the floor—to more athletic tasks, like sprinting and jumping.

When beginning the movement, the most susceptible position to injury will be the bottom of the movement, where the spine is more likely to slump (enter lumbar flexion) and has the greatest shear force on it. Start the lift off a rack or bench if you have flexibility issues.

Begin standing up straight with your hips about shoulder-width apart. The bar should be hanging at arm’s length with the overhand grip. The ability to maintain lumbar lordosis is absolutely the most important factor. Once it’s lost, the movement is over. Re-set and try it again. No exceptions. Your knees begin slightly bent, and the movement begins at the hips as they are pushed backwards, while your shins remain close to vertical and weight remains on the heels. Your back should remain straight and never round. In the deadlift the spinal muscles are trained statically, meaning that there is very little movement in the spine throughout the movement. The bar is lowered as […]

2201, 2015

Severe Headaches

By |January 22nd, 2015|testimonials|Comments Off on Severe Headaches

Son struggling with severe headaches:

My 15 year old son, Brogan, came home from school in October complaining about a headache. Thinking of his history with sinusitis we just thought it was a bad sinus attack seeing it was that time of the year. We gave him some meds that we kept in the house. The next morning the headache was actually worse. He had a fever and was very listless and he couldn’t keep his head up straight. We took him to our GP who diagnosed him with severe sinusitis, gave him some tablets and a nasal spray. By the end of the following week he was still complaining about the headache.

We then took him to another GP who said it was tension headaches. He was given a shot, some ibuprofens and some paracetamols. We were very optimistic thinking that these meds would help because its two weeks later and he is still suffering and final exams is upon us….to our horror, this meds didn’t help either…it was now almost a month that my son was suffering with headaches and as a parent you feel helpless. Here we go again, off to another GP…again he was diagnosed with tension headaches but now the drugs that he has been using thus far might have caused drug induced headaches. This GP recommended a tablet that is used to stop the headache before it even occurs…. More meds and still no relieve, we were already in the middle of November and still nothing is relieving the pain. Brogan is very active in sports but as a result of the headaches he couldn’t even take part in the last games of the season, he was feeling too rotten.

By the […]

401, 2015

Forward Head Posture

By |January 4th, 2015|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Posture affects and moderates every physiologic function from breathing to hormonal production. Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture.”- American Journal of Pain Management 1994, 4:36-39.Forward Head Posture (FHP) can be recognised by the positioning of the ear being forward of the shoulder, rather than sitting directly over it. With today’s lifestyle, this condition occurs in between 66% and 90% of the population.

Forward Head Posture can be caused by performing activities that focus our attention directly in front of us with habitual poor posture. Adults and students sitting with shoulders rounded and back hunched whilst driving or working at their computers the whole day, looking into a microscope, texting on a cell phone, reading or sitting on the couch. Children develop forward head posture watching television, playing video games, and carrying heavy backpacks on their way to school. For every inch your head posture sits forward, the head gains 4.5kgs in weight. This forces the muscles in your upper back and neck to work much harder to keep the head (chin) from dropping forwards onto your chest, thus throwing the whole spine out of alignment .With your muscles in constant contraction to achieve this, pressure is added to the nerves at the base of the skull, which can cause headaches.

Forward head posture could result in as much as a 30% loss of lung capacity. Due to FHP the upper ribs are not be able to elevate properly during inhalation. Some studies show that FHP over time can contribute to disc degeneration, nerve impingement, bulging discs, or chronic back pain. In simple terms, the pressure of the spine radiating from the cervical spine (neck) […]

2411, 2014

The Effects of Backpacks on School-Aged Children

By |November 24th, 2014|media|Comments Off on The Effects of Backpacks on School-Aged Children

The Effects of Backpacks on School-Aged Children

“As the twig is bent, so grows the tree”

William Garner Sutherland (1873 – 1954) Founder of Cranial Osteopathy

Most children are required to carry heavy school bags to and from school each day, and the load increases as they reach higher grades. Sports clothing and equipment often adds another bag to their load. Your child’s spine could be in for a tough time coping with all the increased stress, and when you add poor posture, lack of exercise and hours of computer time each day into the mix. According to a study published in the journal ‘Spine’, daily backpack carrying is a frequent cause of discomfort for school children. School backpacks were felt to be heavy by 79.1% of children, to cause fatigue by 65.7%, and to cause back pain by 46.1. Studies show children should not carry any more than 10 per cent of their body weight and that anything over 15 per cent can be damaging.

If the child has to lean forward when walking with a loaded pack, it is too heavy. A heavy backpack has a number of undesirable effects to your child’s spine. It distorts the natural curves in the middle and lower back, causing muscle strain, headaches, irritation to the spine joints and the rib cage, reduced breathing capacity and may hamper his/her overall growth. Spinal dysfunction that results from these poor habits, may affect your child’s ability to study or participate in sport; setting a poor foundation for spinal health that may carry through into adulthood.

The posture that a child habitually assumes will affect the shape of the bones and the way in which the end plates harden and form. This is particularly evident […]

1311, 2014

Chronic sinusitis – Poor Posture

By |November 13th, 2014|testimonials|Comments Off on Chronic sinusitis – Poor Posture

Posture and Chronic sinusitis issues – not a good combination until…
You meet Dr Guy Ashburner. 
I was about to register to have a sinus operation when my wife suggested I try Dr Ashburner. I had received treatment from him a couple of years ago for poor posture. 
I have had 3 appointments with Dr Ashburner over the past few weeks and already after the first treatment I could feel that my sinuses were draining. Osteopathy is medicine free and it really feels like you and your body are fighting the problems you have, as opposed to medicine ‘doing it for you’. Dr Ashburner recommends preventative exercises along with his therapy and these have helped me make dramatic, CONSCIOUS improvements to my posture which in turn are helping my sinuses drain. 
Dr Ashburner takes the time to explain how one’s posture is linked to poor drainage of the sinuses so I feel like I understand what is happening. Having had 4 cases of sinusitis in the past year I now feel positive about the way forward…
Dr Ashburner also gives valuable advice on dietary issues and sticks to his philosophy of “if it’s bad for you and going in, it will lead to consequences!” He’s also well researched and not afraid to challenge ‘norms’. I would recommend him without hesitation.
Tony Romer-Lee
November 2014

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 […]

1408, 2014

Posture and your child

By |August 14th, 2014|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Posture and your child.

 “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree”  William Garner Sutherland (1873 – 1954) Founder of Cranial Osteopathy

A growing body of evidence shows that poor posture in childhood can lead to a lifetime of chronic pain, fatigue, and low self­ esteem. Children naturally imitate the behaviour of adults around them. If you care about your posture, so will your children. But that isn’t the only reason to take care of your own posture, you will be a more energetic and pain­-free parent as a result.

“School age children spend a growing amount of their free time watching TV or playing with hand­held devices. Many people have unsupportive furniture in their living rooms, leaving children mould their spines to the shape of the sofa and reinforcing their bad habits. In most cases, kids often hunch over when they are executing a task, walking, or even seated. This is compounded by sitting all day and carrying weighty backpacks at school. With time, the adverse effects add up to severe problems later in life.

Good posture is when your child’s back has the least amount of strain placed on it through keeping bones and joints aligned properly, allowing muscles to be used properly as well. Good posture naturally happens when the upper body’s muscles are balanced in strength and used uniformly. Bad posture can result in stress on the spine at certain levels. For instance the slouched position can put a lot of unnecessary loading on the middle back spinal region, which can lead to jutting forward of the head and jaw. This then leads to headaches and the inability to concentrate. This slumped posture can also effect the efficiency of breathing and gut motility. Poor posture also can […]