OsteoBlog: More 6-Pack Randomness:
This week I have gathered together 6 more facts and figures from the world of health, fitness, rehabilitation and sport.
As usual, please feel free to comment below.
Research published in the British Medical Journal, has suggested that 33% of post menopausal women have osteoarthritis of the base of the thumb (the carpometacarpal joint - CMC).
This painful condition causes pain and disability during pinching type movements of the thumb and forefinger and during activities of daily living. A history of fracture in this area may precipitate the condition.
Most incidences can be treated with activity modification, splints and good pain relief medication but occasionally, surgery may be required.
According to the exercise science dept of Auburn University in Montgomery, the benefits of stretching can be lost in less than 3 days if you take time out from flexibility training.
This is more pronounced if you sit during your commute or have a desk job.
Stretching the muscles and tendons produces a transient change in their length and this has to be maintained to get the most benefit, to prevent complete retraction to their typical resting length.
Stretching should be done daily if you aren't able to move around much during the working day, or at least every 3 days.
Have you ever noticed that you sometimes get sick after a major bout of exercise such as big race or marathon?
This is because your adaptive immune system can be depressed for up to 72 hours after such vigorous effort. Couple this with the chronic stress levels that so many of us have, and we become more susceptible to infection.
As a rule of thumb, if the infection is above the neck such as a head cold, and there is no fever or cough, it is safe to do some light exercise. Symptoms below the neck such as cough, joint pain or sickness, mean you should rest and recuperate.
So, if your sick, dial back the effort a bit but maintain mobility and wait until you are fully recovered before resuming your usual exercise regime.
Office workers are at risk of back problems and muscle imbalances, this is well documented. Sitting for hours on end in one position is not what the body was designed for. Prevention is better than cure to avoid workplace injury from your workstation.
Adjust your seat height so that your feet are flat on the ground and knees equal to or below your hip level. Sit right back in the chair so that your back is supported. Adjust armrests so your shoulders are relaxed.
Keep close to the keyboard with wrists relaxed and mouse right next to you. A slight incline may be comfortable.
Your screen should be directly in front of you about an arms length away and 2-3" above seated eye level.
Use filters to adjust glare and make sure your eyes are tested regularly so you are not straining to see. Look away from your screen and focus on something across the room for 20 seconds every 20 mins.
Most importantly, change position regularly, getting up and walking around for a couple of minutes every half an hour.
Foam rollers (the popular go-to gym staples) have actually been around since the 80's. Regular use of the roller on the quads was shown to improve mobility during lunges.
In a study published in Current Sports Medicine Reports, foam rolling was also shown to decrease post workout muscle soreness and fatigue.
Used both pre and post workout, rolling should form part of your regular routine as effects can be fleeting, and take up to a week to begin to benefit the body.
However, please don't neglect your stretching regime over rolling, try to do both as they have different effects on muscle and tendon tissue.
We should always do effective targeted warm downs after exercise to help avoid muscle damage and injury.
Arthritis Today magazine has recently reported the benefits of running when you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee. It has recently been found in a Finnish study, that contrary to popular belief, running does not cause arthritis in the knees or hips over and above other activities and compared with non-runners. Running can facilitate weight loss, which helps manage the condition.
You should modify your running frequency and duration and stay within a pain free range. Make sure you have good trainers, and run on grass or gravel to decrease impact.
Stop when you get pain and walk. Ice the knee when you get home and exercises to improve muscle strength in the quads and hamstrings are useful. Your osteopath or physio can advise on the management of your condition and you could speak to your GP before starting to run for the first time since diagnosis.
As always for Osteopathy in High Wycombe and beyond call Lucy from OsteoFusion on 07833 321604 or visit www.osteofusion.co.uk.
Thanks for reading.