July 8, 2020
Elbow pain in golfers
Tennis elbow is normally identified with pain on the outside of the elbow whereas Golfers elbow is often pain on the inside of the elbow.
This condition is an overuse injury caused by repeated stress on the elbow joint. When the muscles are overused or strained small tears and swelling (inflammation) can develop near the bend in the arm on the outside of your elbow.
Although the common name is tennis elbow and it could be caused by tennis, it is more often associated with other activities that place stress on the arm and specifically the elbow joint. Activities could include manual work, playing sport or music, so doing things such as painting and decorating, playing squash or playing a musical instrument such as a fiddle or violin.
In this video Michael looks at elbow pain in golfers and the most effective treatment.
Michael Palfrey, Osteopath/Director
- Reduction of pain felt by nerve fibers
- Increased blood circulation in surrounding soft tissues
- Beginning of healing process triggered by stem cells activation
July 2, 2020
Stress and Anxiety
There have been a lot of inquiries recently for treatments to help with stress and anxiety, which is not surprising because we have all been going through a very stressful time. There has been a lot of uncertainty, upheaval of our daily life, lack of stability – which is really hard.
So what is anxiety? It’s a very broad term and it means a lot of different things. It means something different for every person who experiences it. Generally speaking, anxiety is a reaction to stress, so it’s a symptom of your body feeling stress. A few common words that might be used to describe it are worry, fear, unease or panic to name a few. And there can be physical and/or mental signs of it. It’s important to say that it is very common, so if you are feeling anxious or worried you are not alone. At least a quarter of the population in the UK have experienced a mental health problem at some point. Something positive to say is that people are starting to open up about mental health these days. And the more we talk about it, the easier it is for someone to say “Yes I have anxiety.”
Acupuncture uses very fine needles in points around the body to help bring balance to the body, whether that’s on a physical, mental or emotional level. Acupuncture can be used safely alongside other therapies, such as medication or counselling. In fact, combining acupuncture treatment with other therapies can enhance their beneficial effects. And at the same time, acupuncture treatment can help to reduce any unwanted side effects from medications.
How do I work?
So when a client comes to see me in clinic for anxiety, first we will talk about what it means to them specifically. For 10 different people that are experiencing anxiety, they will all describe it differently, so it’s important for me to understand what it means to them. And as a result, for each of the 10 different people, I am able to tailor a treatment strategy that is individual to their needs. Some people might be able to describe exactly where they feel anxiety in their body, for example, in their stomach or bowels, head, chest or they might find it easier to notice what is being disrupted due to anxiety, such as sleep or the ability to concentrate. No matter how one is experiencing anxiety, we can unpick it and figure out what is going to be the best way to treat the individual.
Emily also created this video on how to use acupressure to help relieve anxiety & stress.
I am always happy to have a phone call to chat about how acupuncture could help you.
Emily Delahaye, Acupuncturist
June 30, 2020
Have you increased your exercise during lockdown?
Over the lockdown period it has been said we will all come out the other side either ‘Hunks, Chunks or Drunks’
As I have been walking around our area of Berkshire I have noticed that the number of runners has increased. Whether you have been on furlough or have more flexibility around your working hours the option of exercising during the day certainly has become welcome. The benefits of exercise to our health both physical and mental is well established. Even if you are used to exercising the challenges of taking up increasing levels of activity can lead to injury which ultimately can put our aspirations on hold or maybe stop them dead in their tracks. Here are a few good tips if you are thinking about those changes.
- Start out slow. If you are looking to start running the easiest thing to do is to try a few brisk walks for 30 minutes or so each day and gradually increasing into a jog. If this is the first time you have taken up running, I would certainly advise you to do a little work on your core stability which is very important when you are starting activity. Something like yoga, Pilates, or tai chi, can be a good start. The Couch to 5k plan is also a good starting point.
- Get checked out. If you are an established runner you may be looking to increase your distance towards an event. Most experienced runners will have their training plans mapped out. Injury is not something we plan for but it is something that does occur regularly. It is best to get these things checked out early rather than waiting for them to become a significant problem that could put your progress or place in your chosen event in jeopardy.
- Pick the right shoes for the right job. If you are looking to start running decide which surfaces you’re going to run on. The vast majority of training shoes are designed for road running, however, should you live in the countryside and be wanting to go across uneven surfaces something like a trail shoe may be more advantageous in giving you increased grip and support. You can also use trail shoes on road so if there is any doubt always go for the more supportive type.
- Ignore all the hype surrounding footwear. Shoes are important, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes we can get over focused upon brands, styles, and how much support the foot is likely to need. Don’t be taken in by all of the gimmicks that are surrounding trainer structures, motion control, anti-pronation style shoes. If it is right for someone else it may not necessarily be right for you and making the wrong choice can be detrimental to progressing or even continuing your running. The bottom line is go to someone who knows what they’re doing. A good quality neutral shoe does not have to cost the earth and if you are going to pick on one thing make it comfort, or the footwear that feels the best for you.
- Get help quickly. Should you start to get a niggle or an injury as you run, or most often as you start to increase your distance or change the surface you are running on then it would be a good idea to get this checked out. We suggest that you speak to the professionals relating to the area of body where you are having a problem. If it is in your lower limb particularly your foot, ankle or shin then it would be advantageous to come and see the professional that specialises in feet and ankles, a Also, if you find that you are just not progressing as you would like to perhaps it would be a good idea to get some professional advice and some high-quality analysis. It is the podiatrists’ job to keep you on your feet. So why wait till it hurts?
- Never underestimate the power of a good pair of socks. Socks that we choose to run in are almost as important as the shoes. Poor quality socks can cause rubs and blisters and prevent you getting out and about. I would certainly recommend that you buy 3 to 4 pairs of decent running socks, although this will be potentially quite expensive, as they can be nearly £10 a pair. They will be the best £10 you’ve ever spent if you progress further in your running.
When you are thinking about increasing your exercise talk to our experienced team who can advise you where you may potentially have weaknesses or asymmetries in your walking/running that could lead to potential injury. We will link up with our local sports shops, physiotherapists, and other health professionals to put together a package for you to get you to be where you want to be. Whether that be running your first sub- 20 minute 5K or just be able to get around the supermarket without pain we can help you.
June 25, 2020
Emergency Home Visits brings out Patients Ingenuity
As you can imagine it takes careful planning and preparation to make a home visitor for emergency footcare with all the PPE that is required as well as putting it on and taking it off. This week I made a home visit to Mr & Mrs Keith who were very well prepared. Mr Keith is a retired engineer that put his skills to good use and made this ingenious screen. They sat in the kitchen – safe and sound and I was in the utility room.
I love that even in these difficult times people can still be so clever at making things safe for everyone. I really appreciate anything that makes my job easier, but I don’t expect this at every home!
We are currently offering emergency appointments for foot care at the clinic – from July 1st we will be offering a wider range of services including osteopathy and physiotherapy. There will be a lot of changes at the clinic, we ask that you don’t use the toilets except in an emergency, the waiting room is not available so we will ask you to wait in your car until you are called into the clinic. If you have any concerns about your appointment contact us and we will talk you through the new processes and procedures.
What is Calcific tendinitis – Shoulder Pain?
In this video Michael explains more about this condition and Shockwave therapy
Calcific tendinitis is caused by the build up of calcium deposits in your muscles or tendons. In the case of your shoulder this is the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that connects your upper arm to your shoulder.
How will calcific tendinitis effect me?
This condition can restrict the range of motion in your arm, as well as cause pain and discomfort. It is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain.
Who is affected by this condition?
It is often seen in people who are involved in heavy lifting, basketball players of tennis players. It occurs most commonly between 30 and 60 years of age and can, eventually resolve of its own accord; although this can take some years.
How is Calcific tendinitis diagnosed?
Calcific tendinitis is usually diagnosed via x-ray or ultrasound; ultrasound is a more useful diagnostic tool as it is more likely to show smaller deposits and gives a clearer indication of the size of larger deposits. Your GP can refer you for x-ray whereas osteopaths and physiotherapists can refer you for ultrasound scans.
There are a number of possible treatment options for calcific tendinitis of the shoulder. These include painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication; physiotherapy or osteopathy to keep the shoulder strong and mobile; steroid injections to reduce the inflammation, Barbotage to break down and “wash out” the calcium deposit, surgical excision and Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT). Research has shown ESWT to be a “safe and effective non-invasive treatment for people with calcific tendinitis of the shoulder”.1
- Reduction of pain felt by nerve fibers
- Increased blood circulation in surrounding soft tissues
- Beginning of healing process triggered by stem cells activation
Michael Palfrey, PRINCIPAL OSTEOPATH / DIRECTOR
June 15, 2020
The New Normal
The PPE routine (donning and doffing) becomes second nature, I am now a domesticated goddess and have got the cleaning routine down to a T!!!
- A phone call the morning of their appointment to check for any COVID symptoms and their general health
- Temperature check when they enter the clinic.
The downside to us wearing PPE, is the ‘PPE Hangover’ as I describe it. I personally have had to reduce the hours that I work because of the headache and tiredness. Four hours is enough when it comes to breathing in your own hot air due to the mask. After one day of wearing it, I created a social media thanking the frontline workers and all key workers who have had to wear PPE day in and day out to help save us and our NHS. I take my hat off to you all.
Self-massage for your feet Video
Everyone can benefit from some self-massage on their feet. The technique I am going to show you is great for releasing the plantar fascia, this is the fascia that runs underneath your foot, which can cause a common condition called plantar fasciitis, but it is also great for releasing the myofascial line called your superficial back line. The superficial back line runs underneath your foot, up your calves, through your hamstrings, into the pelvis, up either side of your spine and over the top of your head. So by releasing your plantar fascia you will get some fascial release in your calves, hamstrings and up the rest of the superficial back line.
This exercise is great if you are suffering with tightness in your feet, calves, hamstrings or lower back, but especially if you do any impact sport. If you are a runner or maybe you’ve taken up running during this pandemic, perhaps you’ve increased your distance or lengthened the time you are running for or maybe you take part in HIIT classes, these activities will all cause tightness and tension in your feet. But also, perhaps you are pregnant and the weight of your baby, the change in your centre of gravity and the change in your posture is taking its toll on your feet.
For this exercise all you need is a golf ball/massage ball/tennis ball. The smaller the ball, the easier it will be to pin point specific areas.
THIS EXERCISE IS FOR MILD TO MODERATE TENSION, IF YOU ARE FEELING SEVERE PAIN ANYWHERE OR THIS EXERCISE IS TOO PAINFUL THEN PLEASE STOP AND CONTACT THE CLINIC FOR FURTHER ADVICE.
Video Link Self Massage for your feet
If you have any musculoskeletal issues or you want to discuss any issues that you are having with your feet then please do contact the clinic.
Clinical sports massage therapist, Pregnancy & postnatal soft tissue therapist, Scar massage therapist
June 9, 2020
What are we doing to keep you safe during your appointment?
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 Virus is still with us and may be around for a while to come. Despite this the Team at Theale Wellbeing are keen to start seeing their patients as soon as they can.
With this in mind and to reassure you that we are doing all we can to ensure that your visit to the Clinic is a safe one now that we are reopening, we felt we should let you know what steps we are taking to keep you safe.
Even before you arrive for your appointment all patients are being contacted to make sure that they, and anyone in their household, are not experiencing any of the symptoms of Covid-19.
On the basis that there are no obvious symptoms our patients are asked to arrive as close to their appointment times as possible and whenever possible without an escort. By limiting the number of people on the premises we reduce any risk of cross contamination.
When a patient arrives at the clinic they will be met at the door and asked to sanitise their hands with the sanitiser provided. Two tests are then carried out. The first takes the body temperature and the second the oxygen saturation levels. Both tests are pain free and can spot some of the symptoms of Covid-19 before other signs manifest e.g. coughing, loss of small and taste etc.
Provided the results of these tests are within normal limits you will be given a mask to wear and escorted into the clinic room for your appointment. While the appointment and practitioner will be the same friendly and professional therapist that you have come to expect, alhtough they may look slightly different. In particular it is likely that they will be wearing additional protective equipment.
Following your appointment you will be escorted through to reception for payment and rebooking and then back to the front door.
All of the above measures together with the spacing of appointments to allow for thorough cleaning mean that we minimise the risks to both ourselves and to you our patients.
If you have any queries or concerns regarding the procedures that we are taking please do not hesitate to contact us.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
Lloyd Clark-Morris, PODIATRIST / DIRECTOR
June 8, 2020
Beating hayfever naturally using – Diet, Lifestyle CHANGES & Supplements
Feeling bunged up? Itchy eyes? Scratchy throat? Sneezing? Watery eyes ?
These are all common symptoms associated with hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis-an allergic reaction to pollen. Hayfever symptoms can also cause sleeping problems, fatigue and poor concentration, significantly affecting a person’s daily life.
Hayfever is reported to affect 13 million people in the UK and whilst the usual treatment is antihistamine medication they can often cause drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, impaired thinking and headaches and for many often don’t work too well.
Hayfever is caused by the inhalation of pollens, followed by the immune system responding as if these pollens were a threat, such as a virus or pathogenic bacteria. A rapid response ensues resulting in hayfever symptoms. However, unlike viral or bacterial infections, these symptoms can last for months due to ongoing pollen exposure.
For best results in beating hayfever, you need to start preparing your body early, ideally 2-3 months before the pollen season begins however for this season it’s not too late, there are still actions you can take to reduce the severity of symptoms.
What is histamine?
Histamine is a molecule released by immune cells in circulation and in tissues (e.g. beneath the skin) as part of an immune response. Histamine release brings blood and immune cells to the affected area, resulting in redness, heat, swelling, and an increase in mucus production. Histamine plays a key role in inflammation, especially in allergic reactions.
Individuals with allergies tend to have a higher baseline histamine level, histamine-rich foods like aged cheese, cured meats, alcohol, shellfish, dried fruits, fermented foods, spinach etc can raise histamine levels further so avoid these foods/drinks for now.
Eat more of these dietary nutrients:
Quercetin is an antioxidant found in many fruit and vegetables. It possesses anti-inflammatory properties and is a natural anti-histamine. Eat 5 portions of vegetables (including onions) daily and 2 portions of fruit including apples naturally rich in quercetin
- Nettle has the ability to block histamine activity, and other pro-inflammatory molecules involved in hay fever, try drinking 3 – 4 cups of nettle tea daily
- Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme derived from pineapples, mostly the stem/core. Papaya and Kiwi are also good food sources.
- Vitamin C supports histamine detoxification, aiding with clearing it from the body. Good food sources include oranges, kiwi, papaya, strawberries, broccoli, kale, peppers and lemon juice.
- Essential fats omega-3 and -6, can also help to reduce inflammation and are involved in the production of anti-inflammatory immune molecules. These can be found in foods such as oily fish, freshly ground flaxseeds and walnuts.
Supplements can help support the immune system:
Probiotics: These friendly bacteria can change the immune system’s response to pollen. Certain strains such as Lactobacillus paracasei 33 and Bifidobacterium longum have been found to help with symptoms such as snezzing, runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy and watery eyes.
Suggested dose: High strength of 10 to 20 billion daily
Quercetin: A potent antihistamine
Suggested dose: 250-600mg daily
Bromelain: Often taken with quercetin as it enhances absorption.
Suggested dose: 400-500mg daily
Vitamin C: another of nature’s powerful antihistamines
Suggested dose: 2g daily
NOTE: For best results buy good quality supplements and use at suggested dose. Do contact me for recommendations. Please check with myself or your doctor for contraindications should you be taking prescription medication prior to using supplements.
Making Lifestyle changes can also help such as:
- Use an air purifier to help filter out some of those airborne allergens.
- Try a Neti pot such as SinuCleanse Neti Pot system to help flush out mucus and foreign irritants like pollen out of the nose
- Use a natural barrier balm like HayMax at the base of the nose area to help prevent pollens entering the body. www.haymax.biz
- Close your windows when the pollen count is high.
- Avoid drying washing outside on high pollen days.
- Monitor the pollen count by checking your local weather conditions. On wetter days, the pollen count tends to be lower.
- Consuming local honey every day has been shown to reduce hay fever symptoms. This can be purchased from local farm shops or health shops.
If you suffer from hay fever, making these dietary and lifestyle changes, and starting early before the pollen season, could help with the management of symptoms. Doing so will hopefully enable you to enjoy the warmth and daylight that the spring and summer months bring.
For further nutritional advice and support contact [email protected]
Cathy Foley- dipNT, mBANT, rCNHC
Emily, our acupuncturist has made two videos to help with hayfever using acupressure points –
June 4, 2020
Celebrating our tenth anniversary
This week we are celebrating the tenth Anniversary of our opening so we had a small celebration via ZOOM including a quiz from our resident quiz master Michael Palfrey ably assisted by Mandy, keeping the score.
The Clark-Morris family are very creative and put together this lovely banner as well as baking blue & white biscuits and cupcakes.
Our plan was to have a week of celebrations starting with a reopening by Alok Sharma (who opened the clinic in 2010) and culminating with a party but that will have to wait a while.
The theme for our quiz was blue and white and not to be out done Michael was fully regaled .
Part of celebrating our 10th anniversay is to announce we will be opening our doors for appointments with podiatrists and osteopaths from the 6th July – HOORAH!