Osteoarthritis is a common condition that people develop and can cause issues preventing people from doing the activities they want especially at a good intensity. Often people jump to surgery or have a surgery planned for a few years down the line. But there are things you can do to help manage the condition and if you do have surgery for example your knee then you will be in a better position to recover from it. So below is a list of easy things to try to help manage your pain.
Exercise is an easy option to improve symptoms and function in people with osteoarthritis. A great place to start is 5-10 minutes on a bike as this will strengthen your quadricep muscles which has been shown to greatly help with pre operation or post knee operation knee health. Also in a 20 minute cycle you will do around 1000 knee mobilisations! This means the knee will be loose and mobile to help you do the activities you want.
You can also do repeated knee extensions and repeated knee flexions called knee CARs which you can see in the video below.
As with the bike, sometimes warming up the knee and getting it moving can help a lot.
A common problem people have is squatting so practising squatting with a reduced range of motion and then to slowly increase it is a great way of getting more confident with the movement.
A box squat to an elevated surface for example a chair with a cushion on it and then once you are comfortable with this you remove the cushion and then again lower the chair as you get more and more comfortable squatting.
A key tip is when you do the exercise do the muscle lengthening phase of the exercise slowly (count to at least 3 seconds for example doing a squat, the descent into the squat should be around 3-5 seconds and then when you are standing back up take about a second. This will help with muscle development and increase day to day function.
If you suffer from arthritis or achy joints and want to get some treatment for them feel free to contact the clinic today on 0578678904 or book now.
Have you been working on your mobility and flexibility but over time have not seen that much of a change? This may be because you are failing to address the route cause of the issue.
Currently, runners, cyclists, home gym-goers and more are chasing the idea of getting an increase in range of motion. This is done to either feel less stiff, perform better or just as simple as being able to touch your toes. But the techniques being implemented may not be causing any long term change or potentially your risk of injury. Doing mobility training such as stretches forcing your muscles past their normal range of motion and therefore gives us the ability to perform exercises in more unstable positions.
Following this, the tendency is to then train strength immediately after mobility training in these unstable positions. End ranges are unstable positions so the perceived threat to the integrity of the joint is very high and therefore increases the risk of injury. This is because the body is trying to protect us from that unstable position because it lacks the joint stability to be in that position in day-to-day life. So often people get trapped in the cycle of stretch-strengthen and then repeat, failing to address the root cause of the tightness in the muscles.
Put simply you need to ask yourself why muscle is tight to begin with. This will help you get rid of the mindset of simply stretching a type muscle and therefore allow you to address underpinning factor. And this is how you will make a long-term change to your flexibility.
Some examples of muscular tightness is being down to stability issues are:
Hamstring tightness could be down to core muscle weaknesses
Stiff shoulders could be because of weak rotator cuff muscles
Tight calves should be down to weak muscles at the front of the leg or hip stability issues
In the clinic, we do a full functional assessment on every new patient coming in. This allows us to find the true cause of your pain or tightness and therefore create a long term change. So, if you suffer from long term tightness or muscular pain and would like us to assess and treat you, then contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic: Spine & Sport, Portlaoise, Laois
Antioxidants, herbs and spices are important ingredients in a healthy diet and are very important in helping to treat joint pain and arthritis. Different combinations of these herbs and nutrients are likely to be particularly powerful anti-inflammatories and painkillers, which can improve the progression of arthritis.
Curcumin (found in turmeric)
Boswellic acid (found in Indian frankincense)
Quercetin (found in tea, red onions, apples, citrus fruits)
Bromelain (found in pineapple)
Hydroxytyrosol (found in olives)
Cream-based anti inflammatories:
The major bone mineral is calcium. 99% of the calcium in our bodies is found in bone. Calcium should be taken in via your diet, but one of the greatest factors in calcium balance is exercise. Studies at NASA discovered losses of calcium in astronauts living in zero gravity conditions. They also demonstrated that weight-bearing exercise (such as walking) can raise calcium levels in the body by 2%, which will help slow down the progression of arthritis.
Without magnesium, calcium is unlikely to be used properly. Vitamin D is also needed to enable calcium to be used properly with the body. Boron is involved in the transportation of calcium around the body. It helps the body to retain calcium and magnesium. These are the main players in arthritis. Other key minerals which help managing arthritis include zinc, copper, manganese, phosphorus, folic acid, vitamins C, K and B6.
Calcium and magnesium:
Supplement 300-600mg daily
Oily fish (herring, mackerel, pilchards, sardines, tuna)
30mins of sunlight daily
Supplement 15mg daily
Supplement 3mg daily
With arthritis, there can be obvious joint degeneration and cartilage depletion. If this is the case, it may be advisable to:
Supplement a cartilage rebuilder (glucosamine, chondroitin) for at least three months
Supplement vitamin C 3-5g daily
The most effective way of tackling arthritis is:
Improve bone strength
Weight bearing (walking) and non-weight bearing (hydrotherapy) exercises
‘Say No To Arthritis’, by Patrick Holford is an excellent read for those suffering with arthritis. If you are struggling with arthritis, please do not hesitate to get in contact with the Lawlor Clinic on 05786 78904.
Yours in Health,
The Lawlor Clinic, Portlaoise
Chiropractic | Active Release Techniques (ART®) | Functional Range Conditioning (FRC®)
Fibromyalgia is a chronic syndrome marked by widespread muscular tenderness and pain. Those with FM commonly experience disturbances in sleep, mood, and cognition, as well as having neural symptoms also.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by 18 tender points (9 pairs) throughout the body. These tender points are located in the hips, neck, chest, elbow and knee.Fibromyalgia sufferers will have at least 11 tender points and will have had symptoms for >3 months.
It is accepted that the treatment of Fibromyalgia is multimodal. Generally, this encompasses relaxation, meditation, exercise, physiotherapy, acupuncture, nutrition, medication and laser therapy.
Resistance training is a great way to build up muscle strength, power, and endurance. Studies have shown that after 16-21 weeks of beginning a resistance training programme, the tenderness and pain levels in female Fibromyalgia sufferers reduced. The training helped to improve overall well-being, physical function, and muscle strength.
After 12 weeks of beginning a flexibility programme, overall muscle and joint pliability and flexibility improved. And, doing 20-30min walks @ approx. 60-70% max heart rate has been shown to improve mood and sleep patterns.
Evidence suggests that acupuncture can provide short term benefits to Fibromyalgia patients, generally up to one month within treatment. The acupuncture needles are placed on the 9 pairs of Fibromyalgia tender points. Its effects have been further enhanced when combined with other modalities, like exercise or laser therapy.
Laser has many benefits for those with Fibromyalgia. It is a painless intervention for those with Fibromyalgia. Laser stimulates cell growth, increases cell metabolism, invokes an anti-inflammatory response, promotes oedema reduction, stimulates nerve function, reduces the production of substance P, and stimulates the production of endorphins. Laser is applied to the area of pain and/or the 9 pairs of tender points for 20-30seconds per point.
Laser helps to improve sleep, improve physical function, increase mobility, reduce pain, muscle spasm and fatigue.
Nutrition is vital in managing Fibromyalgia. Various studies have connected Fibromyalgia to bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine and a compromised gut function as a result. There are a variety of ways to help cleanse your gut and improve your digestive function. For example: ultrainflamx, omega 3 fish oils, probiotics, turmeric, and vitamin D3 are all very effective in creating a healthy gut. It is also beneficial to either cut out dairy or wheat, depending on which is more sensitive to your gut.
Meditation has been shown to improve mood and sleep patterns in individuals with altered sleep and mood swings. Try to find a quiet room, darkly lit, for 10-15mins twice daily to listen to some relaxing music. Focus on taking deep, slow breaths and try focussing on something that makes you happy. The HeadSpace App is very effective in instructing meditation too.
As you can see, Fibromyalgia must be approached using a variety of different interventions. In our clinic, we have expert medical professionals who have experience in dealing with Fibromyalgia. If you think you suffer with this condition, or know of anyone that does, book an appointment today and let us help you get on the road to managing this condition and getting back to your life!
Many of you who already attend the clinic may have had one of us use our LiteCure Laser on you. And as you sat there, feeling the warmth coming from that little machine, you were probably wondering, what’s this laser treatment all about?!
What is a Laser?
Firstly we have to start with the basics- what is a laser? According to google, a laser is “a device that generates an intense beam of coherent monochromatic light (or other electromagnetic radiation) by stimulated emission of photons from excited atoms or molecules.”
Lets try to simplify that. LASER is actually and acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. So in other words, through some amazing process of science and physics this light coming out of the machine is a very intense, amplified beam of light.
How can the laser help me feel better?
So we now know that the little machine is sending out a high powered very intense beam of light. That’s great and all, but how does this light actually help decrease pain and help to stimulate healing of the area?
To put it simply, the light from the laser gives energy to the underlying tissues, helping the tissues to increase blood flow to the area and accelerate healing process!
What’s the catch?
A treatment that is painless for the patient, easy for the practitioner, and gets good results; there must be a downside right? Well, no. It is FDA approved, and with thousands of studies performed, there have been no reported side effects of treatment with the laser! It is as good as it sounds!
From acute to chronic conditions, muscle, tendon, ligament, bone, or disc injuries, laser therapy is a quick and easy way to help reduce pain and speed the healing. Treatments with just the laser last from 15-30 minutes and results are typically seen in 4-6 treatments. Contact us today to see if laser treatment is right for you!