• Lucy Adie, Osteopath

OsteoFacts - Christmas Combo

Here is a collection of facts taken from the latest research journals within the health industry. Happy Christmas..........!

  • Good diet and exercise are important in the maintenance of health but how much effort do we put into the third factor of sleep?

Did you know that the physical and mental impairments caused by just one bad nights sleep can eclipse those caused by the same absence of food or exercise.

Poor sleep has been shown to be associated with - immune system compromise, blood sugar regulation issues, heart disease, weight gain, poor physical performance and the increased incidence of some cancers. Sleep is the most important thing we can do to repair, recover, retain skills and survive.

Here are a few things you can do to improve your sleep -

Don't exercise too late in the day, keep your bedroom dark during the summer months, reduce your exposure to blue light just before retiring at night, have an ambient room temperature of between 18 - 22 degrees , if your mind is racing try to write down your thoughts before you go to bed, try an epsom salt bath.

Contrary to popular belief there is evidence to support the practice of power napping earlier in the day for about 20 mins if you feel tired.

Reference - Walker, M. (2018). Why We Sleep, 1st Ed: Allen Lane

  • There is much research into the benefits and effects of using heat or ice after exercise to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

The theory all boils down to blood flow. If you've taken part in an endurance type event then the evidence suggests that a warm temperature bath will be best for exhausted muscles to regain their strength. If you have a particular area of pain or injury into a muscle, then a more concentrated source of heat can be useful such as heat pads. Joint pain post exercise can be best relieved with the application of an ice pack to reduce swelling and provide pain relief.

Whenever you decide to take an ice or cold bath, the blood is diverted to your core from your extremities. When you get out of the bath, the blood flows back harder to your limbs and may improve tissue health.

Ice is best applied about twice an hour for 10-15 mins each time with 15 mins between. Always protect your skin from direct ice contact. A wet cloth around the ice pack will transfer the cold more quickly.

Reference - Kerr KM, Daley L, Booth L for the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports and Exercise Medicine (ACPSM). (1998) Guidelines for the management of soft tissue (musculoskeletal) injury with protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation (PRICE) during the first 72 h. Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

And for office workers:

  • If you have a desk job, you should try to take regular breaks from sitting every 30 mins or so. A change of position is vitally important for aiding blood flow via heart rate increase and muscle pump from movement.

  • Drinking plenty of water throughout the day, ensures that you pee a lot so will enforce a break from driving a desk.

  • If you work on a laptop, try using a separate keyboard or raising the computer to avoid looking too far down or reaching in front of you.

Did you know that we actually do far less exercise then we should be doing? Government figures suggest that adults should do 150 mins of moderate aerobic type exercise a week, as well as strength training two days a week.

Elderly folk should add in activities that help with balance and coordination, such as yoga or tai chi in order to reduce the risk of falls.

Ok thats it for now!

We wish you a very happy Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

For Osteopathy in High Wycombe, Didcot and beyond, call Lucy on: 07548 912161

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