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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

2110, 2013

Fatigue or Low energy, osteopathy has a solution

By |October 21st, 2013|common complaints|Comments Off on Fatigue or Low energy, osteopathy has a solution

Fatigue or Low energy, osteopathy has a solution for feeling tired, drained, exhausted, and depressed. These are symptoms commonly known as fatigue. Fatigue is a sign that your body is feeling physical or emotional stress. Thinking that it will just go away is a common mistake that many people make.

Fatigue may result from: An unhealthy lifestyle, poor dietary choices, lack of exercise, emotional stress, poor spinal/musculoskeletal health, overwork, depression, trauma, sleep deprivation, use or abuse of alcohol, caffeine, or illegal drugs. Fatigue is a symptom that may be caused by illness or adverse effects of medication. A visit to a doctor usually is needed when fatigue occurs along with more serious symptoms or if fatigue lasts longer than 2 weeks. Fatigue can present itself in myriad ways, which is why it can be difficult for doctors to make an accurate diagnosis.

A common cause of fatigue is an unbalanced body framework. Structure is the main reason for energy expenditure and, conversely structure has a remarkable influence on energy levels. Static tension and immobility within the body uses more energy in movement. Muscles must work to cause movement but their opposing muscles must also release sufficiently to allow ease of movement. Where excessive tension exists, extra energy is used doing anything and everything from walking, to playing sport, to simply sitting and giving something your full attention, even to sleeping. Blocked, wasted and depleted energy can lead to fatigue. Your posture is a good indicator of fatigue levels. People with poor posture use more physical and neurological energy to maintain that state.

Osteopathy is a natural medicine – and science – based on the principle that the structure of the body affects how it will function, and that it functions as a unified whole. On a practical level, this means that problems in any one […]

2110, 2013

Osteopathic treatment for infertility

By |October 21st, 2013|common complaints|Comments Off on Osteopathic treatment for infertility

Osteopathic treatment for infertility which is when a woman is unable to conceive a child and can have numerous causes. Investigations do not always find the reason of this dysfunction. A basic principle of osteopathy is that structure and function are interrelated. In order to treat the conditions and diseases of the reproductive organs that may be causing infertility, it is important to completely understand the anatomy and physiology involved.

Osteopathic treatment for infertility helps improve function of the musculoskeletal, circulatory, nervous and hormonal systems, as well as the release of emotional stress. The main causes for infertility are problems connected to the pelvic region, hormonal imbalances, emotional stress and other associated ailments. Faulty body mechanics, incorrect body posture or misalignment of the organs will lead to abnormal blood flow and nerve function, which are vital for optimal reproductive system function.

Osteopathy helps to increase fertility by releasing tensions in and around the pelvic anatomy and the spine by use a variety of osteopathic techniques to increase joint mobility, improve spinal and soft tissue health, and improve circulation. Osteopathy techniques can be applied to an area that has influence over other areas of the body thus achieving the desired outcome. According to research in Osteopathy about infertility done by Mme Kermorgant D.O (Osteopath in France) many women manage to get pregnant after osteopathic treatments. An Osteopath’s aim is to help your body perform the most natural and normal processes of conception and pregnancy. In particular osteopathy has been shown to be successful in the treatment of stress which can be a key factor in reduced fertility.

We also offer advice on your health and life-style with the aim of achieving a positive outcome. Osteopaths work holistically to help your body find good structural balance and to allow it to function at its best.

2401, 2013

Jaw Pain Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

By |January 24th, 2013|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Jaw Pain Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction – the jaw joint in front of the ear dysfunction is characterised by pain in the jaw joint and surrounding tissues and limitation in jaw movements. The TMJ is a muscular joint and muscular dysfunction within the joint may cause the jaw to deviate from its normal alignment Factors that may cause and contribute to TMJ dysfunction include injuries or repeated jarring to the jaw area such as trauma to the head or face and whiplash, stress, infections, dental and surgical procedures, forward head posture, arthritis, jaw overuse such as chewing gum or thumb sucking and forceps birth where really strong forces are applied to the sides of the baby’s head.

Symptoms can include TMJ pain and stiffness upon opening or closing the mouth, or a cracking, grinding or popping sound when using the joint as well as headaches and pain in the neck and shoulders. The condition creates significant wear on the joint and can have serious consequences for normal daily use of the jaw.

The TMJ joint will stay in proper alignment and should work well if any muscle imbalance is corrected by ensuring both sides of the jaw are of equal length, to prevent uneven pulling of the jaw muscles.

Osteopathic treatment focuses relieving tension in the muscles of the jaw and possibly the neck and upper back and helps manage any factors that may hinder resumption of normal daily activities. This usually results in a greater range of motion in the jaw joint, which helps relieve jaw pain, locking and popping, headaches and neck pain.

The combination of effective treatment and the avoidance of medication and surgery make osteopathy an excellent choice for the treatment of TMJ as well as […]

1012, 2012

Combating the effects of Birth Trauma – Natural Birth – Caesarean Birth

By |December 10th, 2012|common complaints, media|Comments Off on Combating the effects of Birth Trauma – Natural Birth – Caesarean Birth


Being born is a pretty strenuous experience for both mother and baby, and the strain on baby in particular can produce a range of post-birth problems such as colic, poor sleeping patterns, excessive crying and so forth. Paediatric Osteopaths can help relieve these strains and tension, and make for a much happier, healthier baby. […]