Sarah Oliver Osteopathy, 020 8520 5268, Ashlins Natural Health

Sideways Neck Stretch to Improve Flexibility

Improve the flexibility in your neck with this stretch

Sit or stand with good posture.

Tip your right ear towards your right shoulder,

Behind your back, grasp your left wrist with your right hand. Pull your left wrist towards the right.

Hold for 10 seconds.

Perform twice more – 3 repetitions in total, once a day.

 

 

Notes:

Keep breathing normally while you exercise. Do not hold your breath.

Move gently and slowly. Exercises should not hurt.

If an exercise becomes painful, stop immediately and seek advice from your therapist.

Only perform stretches which have been prescribed or approved by a qualified individual such as your GP, physiotherapist or osteopath.  This information is provided for reference only.

Download a pdf of this stretch ▶

 

*If you suffer with back pain and would like professional osteopathic treatment, call me on 020 8520 5268 (Walthamstow) or 07708 130 319 (Fulham).*

Weekend Reads: December – Sad Music is Good for You, Healthy Eating & How Babies Grow

The new year is nearly upon us, meaning it is time for our final weekend reads of 2014!  Here’s what I’ve been reading this month:

posture

1   I really enjoyed this list of 18 badass women of 2014 – some amazing achievements on there!

 

2.  Is sad music good for your health?

 

3. Someone with too much time on their hands has invented a pill to make your farts smell nice.

 

4. Some tips on healthy eating and avoiding restrictive diets.

 

5. This gif showing how babies are formed is fascinating! (via)

How Babies Form

6.  Some people really are better at navigating than others, and it’s because their brains are different.

 

And….here’s a llama looking pretty cool.

llama

 

What I’ve Been Up To

This month started with a busy few weeks in clinic and is ending with some more relaxing time over Christmas and New Year.  I tend to find dark winter days quite draining so I’m trying hard to take care of myself with decent food and plenty of fresh air and exercise.

Highlights of the month include:

Christmas celebrations with the Ashlins Team

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Decorating my Christmas tree:

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Some beautiful holly in Epping Forest:

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The view from Sushi Samba at Heron Tower.  I also went to one of the bars in the Shard but foolishly forgot to take any photos.  Maybe next month I’ll try the yoga classes at the top of the Shard?

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A fat squirrel from another walk

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And in my biggest news this month, my boyfriend and I got engaged :)

Engagement Ring

 

What have you done this month?

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Sarah!

 

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you!  I am taking some time off to eat, drink and be merry with my nearest and dearest.   I’ll be at Ashlins on Monday 29th December and back to normal hours from Monday 5th January.

10 Times of Day to Stretch

Exercising and stretching at home is an important part of the treatment process which really speeds up your recovery time.  They are also useful for staying mobile and pain free between check ups.  No one is too busy to spend a few minutes a day stretching.

 

10 times of day to stretch

Photo Credit: eflon via Compfight cc

Here are 10 times of day you can fit in a stretch or two:

1. Before you get out of bed

2. In the shower

3.  After your shower

4.  When you go to the loo

5.  While you wait for your bus or train

6. Waiting for the kettle to boil

7. At your desk

8. During your lunch break

9. In front of the TV, during ad breaks

10. When you get into bed

That’s just for starters; there are hundreds more  times to squeeze stretching into your routine.  So no more excuses please ;)

 

And here are some suggested stretches:

Seated Stretches

Seated Glutes Stretch

Knee Hugs

Neck Stretch

Shoulder Blade Pinches

Face Stretch

 

Standing Stretches

Shoulder Blade Pinches

Neck Stretch

Face Stretch

Shoulder Pendulum

Hamstring Stretch

Quads stretch

 

Laying Down Stretches

Knee Hugs

Mid back stretch

Spinal twist

Stretches for Crafters – Your Cheat-Sheet for Preventing Neck and Back Ache

Last week I talked about the 7 postural sins committed by crafters.  Today I’m sharing a stretching routine designed to help undo all those bad habits.

90 second stretching routine for crafters, sewists, knitters

1. Shrug your shoulders.  Gently roll your shoulders backwards a few times, then forwards a few times.

 

2. Sideways neck stretch.  Hold your hands behind your back.  Pull your left hand towards your right hip.  Allow your right ear to drop down to your right shoulder.  You should feel a stretch over the left side of your neck.  Hold for 10 seconds.  Repeat on the other side.

 

3. Back of your neck stretch. Place your hands on the back of your head with your elbows out to the side.  Gently pull your chin down towards your chest.  Hold for 10 seconds.

 

4.  Chest stretch.  Place your hands on your hips.  Keeping your spine upright, pull your elbows backwards.  You should feel a stretch at the front of you shoulders.  Hold for 10 seconds.

 

5. Spinal twist.  Cross your right leg over your left knee.  Hold it there with your left hand.  Turn your shoulders to the right and look over your right shoulder.  Hold for 5 seconds.  Keep your back upright while you do this!  Repeat on the other side.

 

6. Forearms.  Press the palm of your hand onto you chair.  Turn your arm so that your thumb is on the outside and your fingers are pointing towards you.  Lean back a little to stretch your forearm, keeping your palms flat.  Hold for 10 seconds. You can do both sides at the same time.

 

7.  Stretch your face.  Open your eyes and mouth as wide as you can.  Say ‘AH!’

 

8. Shake.  Shake your arms for a few seconds and shrug your shoulders again.

 

You’re done!  You should now feel refreshed and relaxed.

 

Notes:

Keep breathing normally while you exercise. Do not hold your breath.

Move gently and slowly. Exercises should not hurt.

If an exercise becomes painful, stop immediately and seek advice from your therapist.

Only perform stretches which have been prescribed or approved by a qualified individual such as your GP, physiotherapist or osteopath.  This information is provided for reference only.

*If you suffer with back pain and would like professional osteopathic treatment, call me on 020 8520 5268 (Walthamstow) or 07708 130 319 (Fulham).*

Seven Posture Sins of Crafters and Designer Makers

Do you enjoy knitting, sewing, crochet, paper cutting or other crafts? Do you suffer from headaches, a stiff neck and shoulders or aching in your arms and hands?  The two could well be connected!  Recently I’ve treated lots of crafters suffering with aches and pains and they all seem to be making the same mistakes.  Fortunately, these are mostly easy to fix so there’s no need to suffer for your art.

 

How many of these posture sins do you commit?

 

1. Working for hours without a break

I know, I know, you’re concentrating on what you’re doing and lose track of time.  I get it.  But all that concentration is damaging your body!

Your muscles need to move.  Keep them in the same place for hours on end and they become fatigued and achy.  Constant repetitive actions also tire your muscles.

So please, take a 2 minute break every 45-60 minutes.  Try listening to a playlist or podcast while you work and get up when it ends.

 

posture sins of knitters

Photo Credit: Eila Hadssen via Compfight cc

2. Working in the dark

This is even more of a problem in gloomy winter evenings.  Are you having to squint to see your work?  Or lean forwards to get closed to it? This kind of posture puts a lot of pressure on your neck and shoulders, not to mention the small muscles around your eyes.

Turn on the lights.  Get an extra lamp if you need to.  Make sure the bulbs are bright enough!

 

Posture sins of sewists

Photo Credit: *Leanda via Compfight cc

3. Sitting with poor posture

It is very easy to slip into poor posture when you’re working.  Watch out for:

– Leaning forwards, peering to look at your work.

– Slouching in your chair.

– Curling your legs up underneath you or leaning to one side.

If you’re sitting awkwardly it is probably time for a break, but you should also make sure that your chair is comfortable.  You should be able to easily lean into the back of the chair and rest your feet on the floor (or on a foot rest).  If you’re working at a table or desk your chair should fit underneath so you’re close to your work.

 

How knitting hurts your neck - and how to stop it

Photo Credit: elitatt via Compfight cc

4. Clenching your hands

You don’t need to grip your tools very hard.  That will overwork the delicate muscles in your hands and forearm.  This becomes even more of a problem if you avoid breaks!

Try to hold your work, knitting needles, crochet hook etc lightly, keeping your hands and wrists soft and relaxed.  Gently shake your hands and wrists every hour.

 

7 Posture Sins of Crochet

Photo Credit: moonrat42 via Compfight cc

5. Resting your head on your hand

This is a very common pose when we’re bored or thinking.  It puts a lot of pressure through your jaw and wrist.

Change position if you find yourself doing this, and remember to get up and take a break.

 

Poor posture when Paper Cutting causes Pain

Photo Credit: AyMujer via Compfight cc

6. Carrying heavy bags

Do you find yourself out and about with a hand bag, 2 tote bags and another bag of shopping, all absolutely stuffed and weighing you down?  I see this all the time.  There seems to be something about creative types; you just love carrying around bits and bobs!  I hate to break it to you but you just don’t need spare shoes, a litre of water, 2 cameras and a laptop just to go for coffee.

Leave some of it at home!  For things you really do need, choose a suitable bag.  Back packs are best, but if that’s not gonna happen at least have the weight distributed evenly across both shoulders.  Try and keep weight close to you too, keep the straps on your bag nice and short.

 

Maintain good posture when dressmaking

Photo Credit: zizzybaloobah via Compfight cc

7. Lifting with bad technique

Another very common issue here.  You bend to pick up your sewing machine, move a pile of unfinished projects or rummage through your wool stash and feel your back ‘go’.  Ouch!

Check out my post on lifting technique, and avoid bending and twisting your back.

 

How many were you guilty of?  Did I miss any?   Check back next week for a handy stretching routine, specially made for crafters.

 

*If you suffer with back pain and would like professional osteopathic treatment, call me on 020 8520 5268 (Walthamstow) or 07708 130 319 (Fulham).*