Uncategorized

End those Winter Blues – Start Exercising now

It’s getting towards the end of winter, and time to start thinking about coming out of hibernation. Not in the literal sense of course, most of us have still been working long days, taking children to school and sporting events and socialising with whatever energy is left.

What most of us don’t do through winter however, is maintain good exercise routines, stretch often and take care of ourselves physically. Rainy and cold days often provide a good excuse not to go out for that walk, and the dog is often just as happy to stay inside as you are.

Now that the days are beginning to get a little longer and there is light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is a great time to muster up some motivation to start back into exercise. Just a few tips before starting back into exercise though.

  1. Stretch before starting your new exercise

If you are thinking about starting exercise to prepare yourself for the coming summer and beach days, start to stretch NOW. By starting your stretching routine a week or two before your exercise routine you can help with a little flexibility and mobility. As an Osteopathy often seeing patients in South Morang, Doreen, Diamond Creek and Greensborough – I frequently need to suggest stretching programs. These aren’t special exercises that you can only learn when coming for an appointment, they are often the basics you’ve learnt in school. Stretching your legs for activities that require walking/running. Stretching shoulders for people who are stuck behind a desk etc.

  1. Start gradually/slowly

Most people have been struck with sudden motivation to exercise. Running is a great example: First you go out and buy new runners (or dust off the runners you’ve gotten from the last time you started running). Next perhaps you download a running app on your phone so you can track distance and time. Mentally you plot out your course and typically overestimate your fitness levels so will aim for a 3-5km round trip. On goes the shoes, out the front door and away you run. You might get to the end of the 500m – 1km before breathing like a wounded animal and having to stop running for a breather, before starting off again just before you fully regain your breathe.

If this is anything like you in the past, perhaps this year try to start a bit slower, walk for the distance you plan to jog, and slowly increasing your pace with some rest days in-between walks/jogs/runs.

Very frequently jumping head first into a challenging running program will result in injury, time off exercise and perhaps a need to visit your local Osteopath.

  1. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.

Winter and dehydration can often go together. Feeling cold in your body doesn’t often kick up the thirst drive like it does in the middle of summer and getting in the 1.5-2.5 Litres a day can be very challenging. Often when you are sedentary while working it may not be a major issue, however when you start exercising and sweating this mild dehydration can lead to increased aches and pains, headaches and poor recovery.

Exercising without adequate hydration is like running your car without oil. Don’t be that person!

If you want to discuss anything written feel free to contact Good Health Osteopathy Diamond Creek

Dr. Luke Richter (osteopath)

Good Health Osteopathy

5B 329-347 Diamond Creek Road,

Diamond Creek

Good Health Osteopathy – Quality health care commonly servicing patients from Diamond Creek, Greensborough, Doreen, and Eltham

Uncategorized

Why is my low back not getting better?

With the relatively limited public awareness of Osteopathy in Australia i’ve often had patients (from various areas such as Diamond Creek, Greensborough, Hurstbridge etc) coming in to try Osteopathy after they have tried other modalities with limited success.  Commonly I’ve heard of too many stories of patients being dissatisfied with their current healing (not just low backs but a range of conditions) and have come to me to try Osteopathy to see how they can better manage an injury. Often, dissatisfaction comes from short treatment times, no real diagnosis and no real idea on what the injury is or how to fix it.

Over the years i’ve seen a lot of different conditions in a range of different age groups. Treating babies to the elderly the one thing that stands out is that everybody is different. Some respond best to direct trigger point therapy and manipulation, some stretching, some indirect and craniosacral therapies. My choice of techniques is dependent on my clinical experience, reasoning and patient preference. Another part of what makes everyone different is that everyone recovers from an injury /condition at differing rates.

Every injury is different. What takes one person two days to recover may take another person months. Some injuries like low back disc injuries and sciatic pains can take some months to recover whilst others may never fully recover fully.

Some factors in recovery are controllable, such as:

  • compliance to appropriate stretches or exercises
  • ability to minimise aggravation at work or home
  • getting sufficient treatment to enable recovery
  • a persons perception of their pain (psychological)

Some factors at not

  • the bodies ability to heal (physiological)
  • the degree of damage to the body

When thinking about why an injury isn’t healing it is important to look at those controllable factors. Getting the right diagnosis, the right treatment, the right education, and the right exercises to take control of an injury and enable full recovery is vital. These require a thorough history, assessment and for somebody to completely understand your pain. Here at Good Health Osteopathy we try to achieve that for each and every patient.

 

Dr. Luke Richter (Osteopath)

Good Health Osteopathy

5B 329-347 Diamond Creek Rd, Diamond Creek

Commonly servicing: Diamond Creek, Greensborough, Eltham, Hurstbridge

Opinion

Travelling and stretching

As an Osteopath, I am quite fond of giving my patients stretches and exercises to do in order to better manage their back/neck/knee/relevant region of the body.

I sometimes find I have patients returning after an absence of treatment (anywhere between weeks and years) saying that their problem has ‘returned’.  Sometimes I get told it just came back, or sometimes it can be because of a trip away or ‘sleeping funny’.

At this time I tend to ask, “have you been doing your stretches?” to which the typical response is I did them for a few weeks and then I forgot.  From my patients my own personal experience, I can understand it is difficult to continue doing any form of stretches or exercises on an ongoing basis.

Life gets busy, Routines change, people forget.

My personal belief is to do the best that you can.  Now for some people, people more motivated to me who get more relief from their stretching – the best they can is stretching daily.  I applaud them and encourage as many people as possible to stretch daily.  For me and many other people, its about stretching when you can and using whatever memory aid you can to remind yourself.  For some its every time they sit at a computer, or every time they watch TV, or wash the dishes.  For me its lying in bed at night, if I move and I feel stiff – I stretch as much as I can manage.  Its usually about twice a week.

The other thing I see frequently is that patients sometimes believe if they’ve stopped stretching for a few weeks there is ‘no point’ to starting again and things have gotten tight already.  My number one tip about stretching is that

If you know you are going to be stressed, travelling or loading up an injured area – stretch daily for 3 days before and 2-3 days afterwards.

 

My logic is that this will help relax the muscles so that when you inevitably ‘sleep funny’ or overload your body the nice stretches you’ve been doing to lead up to the trauma will minimise your chances of injury!

Recently I had a trip to Tasmania  – slept on a very uncomfortable pillow and bed, and woke up with a pinch in my neck.  I truly believe that my stretching before and after this is what caused this pinch to be a minor discomfort and not a big injury.  That and keeping fit and healthy which is a topic for another day.

If you don’t know any stretches for your injury, perhaps its time for a treatment to manage your pain better and get some stretches while your at it

Dr. Luke Richter (osteopath)

Good Health Osteopathy

5B 329-347 Diamond Creek Road,

Diamond Creek