Friday, 7 December 2007

Seasonal Affective Disorder

At this time of year, we hear a lot about SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder but most people don't know what to look for and how to treat it. Insufficient exposure to light can lead to SAD or the 'Winter Blues', who's symptoms include:

Depression - feelings of gloom and despondency
Lethargy - lack of energy, unable to carry out a normal routine
Anxiety - inability to cope
Craving for carbohydrates and sweet foods - leading to weight gain during the winter
Social problems e.g. not wanting to see people
Sleep problems, finding it hard to stay awake during the day but having disturbed nights
Loss of libido - not interested in sex or physical contact
Irregular menstrual cycle

Mark Golding, a friend and MD of Brite Box has written this article about some of the different light therapies available:

In particular it talks about the use of blue and white LEDs and their effectiveness or otherwise in the treatment of SAD.

If you are a sufferer, check out his website as there is absolutely LOADS of interesting info on there, particularly in the "SAD Study" section.


Monday, 26 November 2007

This is freakin' amazing

Check out this new scanner than compiles 256 images into a rotatable 3D image of the body in a couple of seconds:

Imagine the impact this would have on diagnostics.... amazing!

Monday, 29 October 2007

More student discounts

Had a busy couple of days with the student discount search, buying a laptop from the Apple Store and some study aids from Amazon:

Macbook 2.16Ghz laptop = saving of £49.97 + free ipod nano

Netter Flash Cards = saving of £1.05 (NUS Extra)

Total brought forward = £58.72 + ipod nano

Its getting bigger! Slowly...

Thursday, 25 October 2007

The joys of being a student..

So, I'm 3 weekends into the Part Time BSc Osteopathy course at Oxford Brookes and it's all starting to make sense now. The formula of the weekends has settled down into a regular mixture of practical and theory lectures which are now beginning to tie together.

I will admit that the level is somewhat higher than I was expecting and some of the material is covered VERY quickly but I think that as the course progresses we'll all get better at the self-directed part of the course and be able to handle it all with no massive problems... hopefully anyway!

Right then, the real reason for this post. I have made it my personal mission to save as much money as possible using student discounts and offers in a (somewhat unlikely) bid to recouperate some of the £4000+ course fees that I have to endure every year! I may need to spend a few thousand to make any savings but hey, it all counts!

So far:

Kathmandu Kitchen, Reading: 15% off all meals = saving of £7 (meal for 2)
Broadway Cinema, Nottingham: Food + film = saving of £0.70

Total so far = £7.70

So, fairly modest savings so far but I've just ordered a Macbook! Let's see what impact that has...

Friday, 10 August 2007

Is milk better than water for rehydration?

An interesting article but surely the fat and cholesterol inmilk negates it's effectiveness as a post-exercise drink...?

Click HERE for full article

"Tests at Loughborough University's school of sport showed that milk keeps the body rehydrated four times longer than either water or Powerade, a sports drink made by Coca-Cola. Physiologist Susan Shirreffs said milk is rich in sodium, potassium and other vital salts lost in large quantities through sweat.

In addition, the combination of sugar, fat and protein found in milk means it is removed from the body less slowly than other drinks. Dr Shirreffs looked at how well different drinks rehydrated a group of young men and women in their early 20s after they had trained on exercise bikes in a hot room."

So then, should we swap our water bottles for milk bottles?

Friday, 13 July 2007

Supraspinatus Tendinitis Follow-up

I recently had the second session with my client suffering from a classic supraspinatus tendinitis to see how he has fared since my first treatment. To my amazement he has seen an almost 100% improvement, with almost no discomfort on abduction, when sleeping or at the insertion point on the humerus. The only residual problem appears to be a couple of knots in the mid fibres of the trapezius on the same side. An important factor in the recovery appears to be heeding my advice to rest the shoulder as much as possible and also increase daily water intake which was previously rather low.

This improvement is really encouraging as I felt that my first treatment was perhaps a little conservative and was expecting to do more deep tissue work this time with only modest initial improvement. So, I repeated the inital work (stretching, mobilisation, soft tissue work) and performed a little deep work to the body of supraspinatus, focussing on stretching it into the supraspinous fossa. Then of course deeper topical work into the knots themselves.

Next session will be in 2 to 3 weeks depending on how it holds up but hopefully the injury will continue it's successful progress so far. All-in-all a very encouraging.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Ice Baths provide no benefit after exercise?

No pain, no gain, no point?

This is VERY interesting, a recent study at the University of Melbourne has produced findings which contradict the theory that an ice bath directly after exercise eases muscle pain and aids muscle recovery:

... there was no difference in physical pain measurements such as swelling or tenderness, and in fact those who had been in the ice reported more pain when going from a sitting to a standing position after 24 hours than those who had the tepid treatment."

Hmm, interesting. I've never tried a full ice-water submersion bath after exercise but advocate a cold shower after particularly tough exercise. Maybe a tepid shower or bath is a better option?

Here's the full article:

Monday, 2 July 2007

Supraspinatus Tendinitis

I've been getting a few shoulder injuries recently in my clinic, the latest of which being a classic case a supraspinatus tendenitis. Luckily I'd recently studied Upper Limb Injuries as part of my CPD at the Midlands School of Massage (Thanks Claire!) so feel fairly confident that I know what I can do to help.

This particular patient displayed classic signs of this condition:
- pain on resisted abduction (first 15 degrees)
- painful arc between approx 60 - 120 degrees
- nagging, toothache pain which is disrupting sleep
- tenderness over attachement of tendon to humeral head

In terms of treating this condition, I have a deadline to work to as this gentleman is a Thai Boxing coach who needs to be fit in around 8 weeks as he has to prepare a fighter for an important upcoming contest.

So, how am I tackling this? Initially, I have worked on relieving the muscle tension around the upper & mid back, neck and shoulders as my client exhibited tension in these areas although the actual pain was very localised to the tendon insertion point. I'll continue to work these areas but will also begin working deeper into the tissues as time progresses. I've purposely avoided direct frictions to the insertion point so far so as not to cause inflammation.

Of course, I've been using stretches and MET as well to try to reduce the spasm in this muscle which I will also continue. I've also suggested the use of ice particularly post-training with the affected arm behind the back. Along with this, I've mentioned the use of NSAIDs such as Nurofen, taken with food to help reduce any swelling. I'm also supplying Cryogel in this case as I feel it would really help to ease the pain both pre- and post-exercise.

Longer term I intend to move more into exercising and stretching to help to rehab this injury. I'm currently drawing up a list of exercises for my client to carry out between sessions, which I will post up here as soon as they are written. I will propose a selection of both isometric and isotonic exercises to build flexibility, stretch but also strength.

Tomorrow is session #2 so I'll begin the deep tissue work depending on the results from last week. I'm hoping to see a good improvement from last week but with the toothache pain still present. Hopefully his sleep will be a little improved and the general muscle tension slightly lighter.

Has anyone had any experience of this particular condition and any advice?

"Sports Injuries: Their Prevention & Treatment" Peterson & Renstrom
"Upper Limb Injuries" Claire Batty c/o MSM&MT

Thursday, 28 June 2007


OK, it has nothing to do with massage, osteopathy or injuries but the iPhone looks AMAZING!!

Monday, 25 June 2007

Echinacea CAN prevent a cold

"Taking the herbal remedy echinacea can more than halve the risk of catching a common cold, US researchers say.

They found it decreased the odds of developing a cold by 58% and the duration of colds by a day-and-a-half."

Hmmm, interesting. I've never really been convinced by echinacea but know people who take it almost religiously, but maybe there is some evidence to proof it works...?

Click HERE to find out more:

Nottingham Massage Blog

Hi there
Here's my new blog which I decided to setup to talk about massage techniques, pathologies, anatomy and physiology and general health news.

Please feel free to make comments on my posts, I'd love to hear from you