Friday, 28 November 2008

Vitamin B and Nerve Health

I've been suffering a little bit recently with some low back pain and some transient parasthesia in my hands and feet, so thought I'd visit my local osteopath for a treatment and some advice.

Numerous tests and treatments later I'm feeling much more loose and relaxed but the pins and needles are still a bit of a mystery so he's recommended taking some B vitamins to improve the health of my nerves. I've started taking B Complex every day now but have done a little bit of research into exactly what I'm taking. The 2 B Vitamins of particular interest are B12 (Cyanocobalamin) and B6 (Pyridoxine).

B12 is necessary for processing carbohydrates, proteins and fats is found in all the blood cells. It is also essential for the maintenance of the nerve sheaths. It is stored in the liver and is absorbed through the small intestine in normal function but deficiency can occur when the body is unable to absorb the vitamin - a condition called pernicious anaemia. This is characterised by muscle weakness, peripheral neuropathy, fatigue, digestive abnormalities such as diarrhoea, constipation, jaundice and many other symptoms.

B12 is found in liver, meat, egg yolk, poultry and milk.

B6, also known as pyridoxal phosphate or pyridoxamine is found in liver, organ meats, brown rice, fish, butter, whole grain cereals, soy beans and many other foods. Again it is required to breakdown carbohydrate, fats and proteins but is also used for erythropoesis (red blood cell production). Deficiency is rare due to the abundance of the vitamin in various foods but can be found in alcoholics and presents itself with skin disorders, neuropathy, confusion, poor coordination and insomnia.

From the sounds of this, B12 deficiency sounds like a more likely diagnosis, so I'll keep taking the vitamins and see what happens... watch this space!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Where's my site gone?

So, I had a few hosting issues last week and as a result my site was down for a few days. It seems that the Googlebots tried to visit my site during this period as has dropped out of the rankings for my search terms in Google.

The site is very much live and kicking so just in case you were wondering why I'm not at the top for "nottingham massage" or 'sports massage in nottingham", don't worry, it'll hopefully be back up there soon!


Saturday, 22 November 2008

Christmas is coming very soon..!

I'll be posting very soon about my Christmas appointments and when the last sesion for 2008 will be but I thought I'd write a quick blog post about Christmas gift ideas that are out there with a health or fitness emphasis.

One thing that i've been seriously considering is the Wii Fit which is set to be one of the hottest presents this year. I've been thinking about getting a Nintendo Wii or a while but am not sure that I'd time for using it, with my studies and training etc but the Wii Fit could be the answer. This blurs the line between game and fitness and could be an effective alternative to the traditional gym. Plus, a few guys at work have the Mario Kart + Wii Wheel which they play online so I could join in that too!

I must admit that I'm not sure what other games are out there but I think I'd probably stick to these ones anyway... except perhaps a snowboarding game... or two!!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

How to choose a massage school

Although I'm studying to be an osteopath at the moment, I'm still very interested in remedial / sports massage as a therapy and really do believe that it works. As such, I'm always on the lookout for new developments in the massage field and came across this massage school website which gives all kind of advice about what to expect from a massage therapy career.

The trouble with massage is that there is little or no regulation from practitioners or each massage therapist school. My advice would be if you are serious about learning massage, do some local research and talk to successful therapists about which schools are worth training it. It's also important to make sure that your chosen school teaches a version of massage that you are happy with. For example, if you are looking for sports massage but attend the successful local massage school which in reality focusses on aromatherapy or beauty work, you will ultimately be disappointed. So be careful.

That said, massage is an extremely rewarding career and one that I would strongly recommend. But do your research, find a good school, research your local therapists and then start your study. A little preparation goes a long way!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Whiplash Injury Claims Rise

According to the BBC website, the number of whiplash claims been made to personal injury solicitor businesses has rapidly increased to around 1200 per day. This is generating business worth £2bn for these solicitors and is costing the NHS and estimated £8bn per year.

The major cause of whiplash is car accidents where the patient's car is hit from behind by another driver. This causes a rapid backwards bending of the neck immediately followed by a rapid forward bending which can damage the muscles and ligaments of the neck and cervical spine. In particular it is the anterior longitudinal ligament which is affected. This long ligament attaches to the anterior vertebral bodies and intervertebral discs along the entire length of the spine.

The most effective way to protect yourself form the potential of this kind of injury is to adjust the headrest of your car to the corrent height whenever you drive your car and amke sure that you drive a safe distance behind the vehicle in front. To quote Edmund King of the AA:
Drivers can avoid inflicting whiplash on themselves and others by keeping a safe distance - at least two seconds - from the vehicle ahead.
If you have had a car accident where your vehicle was hit by another driver, who is at fault and has caused you injury, my advice would be to call a whiplash claim specialist such as Recover! who are based in the East Midlands. Their website is

Whether this increase in whiplash claims is a result of more car accidents or simply more litigation and compensation, is open to debate. My feeling is that it is a result of more awareness of how to make a road accident claim rather than an increase in accidents themselves...!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

National Association of Massage and Manipulative Therapists

Just a quick note to say that I'm now a registered member of the NAMMT (National Association of Massage and Manipulative Therapists).

This is in place of the register owned and maintained by the Midlands School of Massage, who have adopted the NAMMT as their official partner.

To find out more about this group and how to become a member, visit their website: .

Thursday, 6 November 2008

What to Expect From Sports Massage

More and more, athletes of varying degrees of skill and intensity are turning to sports massage as part of their training regimen. Sports massage has rapidly become an integral part of many professional athletes’ training routines and has many benefits for those engaged in active lifestyles. What can be expected when you decide to make sports massage part of your training regimen? Read on for the answers to some of your sports massage-related queries.

Needs Assessment
If you decide to make regular sports massage part of your training regimen, you will first need to meet with a therapist to discuss your needs and history. Expect to give a full account of what your training regimen entails. It is important to be as thorough as possible during this initial phase, as sports massage differs from traditional or full-body massage in several ways.
Full body massage involves working on all of the muscle groups in your body, with additional time spent on problem areas and working out knots resulting from pent up stress or tension. Sports massage focuses on specific muscle groups related to the activities you participate in.
Therefore, if you are a cyclist, your therapist will most certainly spend time on your legs rather than neck and shoulders. Working on isolating the muscle groups directly affected by your training is going to be your massage therapist’s number one goal. Naturally, if you are experiencing pain in other areas, he or she will help correct that as well. Your movement and the way you work out may need to be examined and pointers may need to be given regarding your specific movements to minimize future pain, instability, or injury.

Treatment of Specific Muscle Groups
Once your treatment program has been established, expect your sports massages to be directly related to the muscle groups you use the most. Focusing on these muscle groups will help you during the recovery and rebuilding stages after you tear down muscles during your workout. It is going to be very helpful indeed for these muscles to be worked through thoroughly, as this will increase blood flow, reduce pain, and ultimately help you to heal faster after strenuous workouts.

Benefits of Sports Massage
After incorporating massage into your training regimen, you will begin to notice many different things happening within your body. You will be less likely to get injured during routine training. You will experience less down time during the recovery phase after workouts. You will feel more flexible and have more mobility as a result. All of these benefits are likely if you incorporate sports massage regularly during your training.

This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of massage therapists. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com

Monday, 3 November 2008

Muscle a day #1: Adductor Pollicis

As a way of revising muscles, I'm going to add a post here every day, or however often I can, to highlight a particular muscle relevant to my studies. The first on which came to the fore yesterday whilst working on the hand is...

Adductor Pollicis
This muscle is found on the palmar aspect of the hand and adducts the thumb. It has two heads: transverse and oblique.

Oblique head: slips from capitate, bases or 2nd and 3rd metacarpals, intercarpal ligaments and sheath of tenson of flexor carpi radialis.

Transverse head: lower 2/3 of plamar 3rd metacarpal

Insertion: ulnar side of the base of the proximal phalanx of the thumb

Deep branch of ulnar nerve

The radial artery passes between the two heads, travelling from the back of the hand into the palm, where it forms the deep palmar arch

Friday, 17 October 2008

Good luck Dan Hardy!

Just a quick note to wish Dan Hardy, one of the UK's best MMA fighters and a long term client of mine the best of fortune in his debut UFC fight tomorrow against Akihiro Gono in Birmingham.

I gave Dan a pre-fight tune up on Tuesday and I must say that he's in very good shape, physically and mentally right now. Gono is a tough opponent but there is no way I would bet against Dan when he's as focussed and determined as he is right now.

Not that you need it, but good luck mate, I'll be cheering you on from the crowd.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Whiplash Compensation Claim: Follow Up

I posted a little while ago about whiplash injuries and how to make a whiplash settlement claim through a personal injury solicitor such as Recover!, who are local to me in Nottingham.

I've since received this email:
In November 2007 I herniated a disc in my neck from a Whiplash neck injury. The MRI showed 2 additional bulging cervical discs and 3 bone spurs. 11 months on and my condition has only improved slightly. If you have existing conditions such as bone spurs is this likely to effect a compensation claim?
Now obviously, I'm coming at this more from a medical standpoint than a legal one but here's my opinion. I would suggest that it really depends on what caused the whiplash injury. If it involved another party or was a result of another party's negligence then yes, you can claim. Pre-existing conditions such as bone spurs which would not have increased the severity of the injury itself, should have no real impact on your claim.

My advice would be to give Recover! a call on 0800 093 0531 and talk to one of the advisors would would be able to identify whether this was a 'winnable' situation. Good luck!

Monday, 29 September 2008

The Scalene Muscles

We've had one weekend back at Oxford Brookes and have dived straight into the anatomy of the neck, which on first look is quite a tricky area as there is literally so much happening in this region. The support and movement of the head is obviously extremely complex so the structure of the muscles of the neck along with the related viscera can be quite involved...

The scalene muscles are key movement and positioning muscles and have significant clinical importance. I have already seen this first hand in clinic and worked to reduce hypertonicity in these muscles to relieve symptoms radiating into the upper extremity.

Anatomy of the Scalene Muscles.
There are 3 scalene muscles in either side of the anterior neck: the anterior scalene, the middle scalene and posterior scalene.

The anterior scalene arises from the anterior tubercles of the transverse processes of the C3 to C6 vertebrae and extends down the anterior neck to attach to scalene tubercle on the inner border of the first rib. It is innervated by the ventral rami of cervical nerves C5 to C7.

The middle scalene sits posterior to the anterior scalene and arises from the posterior tubercles of the TPs of C2 to C7, attaching to the upper surface of the first rib, behind the groove for the subclavian artery. It is innervated by the ventral rami of cervical nerves C3-C8.

The third of the scalene muscles, the posterior scalene arises from the posterior tubercles of the TPs of C5 to C7 and attaches to the outer surface of the second rib. The innervation of this muscle comes from the ventral rami of cervical nerves C7 and C8.

Primarily the scalenes are a muscle of breathing, elevating the upper ribs in deep inspiration but they also flex the neck when they act together. Individually they laterally flex and rotate the neck.

Of clinical interest, the brachial plexus and subclavian artery pass between the anterior and middle scalenes whilst the subclavian vein sits anterior to the anterior scalene. Tightness or spasm of the scalenes can cause compression on these structures contributing to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, resulting in symptoms such as:

- numbness of whole arm and hand which can be constant or intermittent
- deep ache or pain into arms and/or shoulders
- pain can be worse in bed causing a disruption to sleep patterns
- feeling of the circulation to the arm being cut off
- if the circulation becomes restricted, the hands and fingers can become white and even blue and feel cold
- tight muscles in the neck can also lead to compression of the vertebrae making the neck stiff and difficult to tilt or rotate
- extreme tightness of the scalenes may also cause the upper ribs to be elevated affecting breathing

Luckily, treating tight scalenes is possible using manual techniques... but that's another post for another day!

Monday, 22 September 2008

Cryogel back in stock!

Just a quick note to say that I'm fully stocked up with Cryogel again so if you're looking for 120g tubes of blue, green or lavendar formula just visit the Buy Cryogel page on my main site. Tubes are £7.95 each.

Or if you want to try Cryogel out for free, I alse have Free Cryogel Samples available. You just pay postage and get a couple of freebies to be getting on with. I'm sure you'll be as impressed as I was when I first used it.


Thursday, 18 September 2008

Reflections at the start of the second year

I start the second year of my osteopathy degree at Oxford Brookes University on Saturday and thought I'd spend 5 minutes reflecting on the first year and preparing for Year 2.

Overall, I think the experience has been a very positive one, stressful at times, exciting at others but always interesting and thought provoking. The subject itself is immense and working alongside some of the tutors, particularly in clinic has really opened my eyes to what can be achieved and what level of knowledge can be gained. Very inspirational indeed.

My overriding memory of the first year though is the amount of time and effort it has taken to get through the year and pass all the exams. I've been lucky in that probably 60-70% of the content has been revision from my studies at the Midlands School of Massage here in Nottingham but even that has been hard work sustaining and growing upon what was already 'in there'.

I'm expecting the second year to be an extension of Year 1 but also anticipating the level to elevate as we get deeper into certain subjects. The nervous system, anatomy of the head and in particular the dreaded cranial nerves all appear this year so I anticipate that this will be a generally harder year with more expectation in clinic and tougher coursework (not to mention exams...). That said, I've been exposed to some very complex ideas already and can't be afraid to go even deeper.

Fingers crossed that this time next year I'll be writing a very similar blog post, looking forward to Year 3. But let's not jump too far ahead...!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Building an online reputation

An interesting thing that I've recently noticed is that the more popular your blog or website, the more people are interested in either advertising with you or asking for links back. I've been getting a lot of interest from sites in the USA and Europe and even as far afield as Australia!

One such site is Cliffside Malibu, a drug rehab center in Malibu, USA. Its a good looking site in a very slick, American way but does actually offer a lot of interesting information both about Drug Rehabilitation and Drug Treatment. We've not covered much about addiction and its effect on the body and psyche but I'm hoping we're go into it in a bit more depth in years 2 and beyond as I personally think it's a very interestinf subject.

Talking of which, back to Oxford this weekend for Year 2! I'm looking forward to it in a way but will miss all my free time at evenings and weekends... never mind!!

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

More slimming pills info!

Seems like I've opened a bit of a can of worms by starting to talk about diet pills as i've been bombarded by opinion, information and propaganda from all kinds of sources!!

The latest product to hit my inbox is extreme acai berry pills! Now, I've come across acai berries before as another in a long line of superfoods such as blueberries, pomegranate etc but now it appears that it is being harnessed as the next best thing in dieting...

As always, I remain skeptical but after some research on the net for extreme acai berry review I came across the really helpful (and honest) Sybervision which is surprisingly frank diet pills review site covering the range of diet pills and potions out there. To quote:

"Extreme Acai Berry is the new diet pill that offers absolutely no inoformation about their product. Seriously. None. Their website consists of one page. No contact info, no guarantee, and the fact that the only way you can order this Acai Berry supplement is to order their "14 Day Trial" raises many suspicions."

I like the approach that they're taking here - very refreshing! As always, I recommend that you stay skeptical and consult your GP before starting to use any products like this.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Slimming pills and weight loss: Phentermine

There's been a lot in the press recently about slimming pills and crash dieting with professional advice difficult to come by on the internet. From what I've seen, there are just as many sites offering bogus advice as those which offer proven medical facts and realistic advice.

Phentermine is a popular drug, particularly in the USA which acts as an appetitie suppressant. The name is short for phenyl-tertiary-butylamine and has proven to be effective for weight loss in obese pateients when combined with exercise and behavioural modification. But would it work for you?

I'd always recommend someone considering taking drugs like this to talk to their GP before making any serious decisions but a good starting point could be one of the many websites focussed on the Phentermine Diet. There are lots out there so be careful but ones like Consumer Price Watch are popular and probably one of the most relaible sources of info.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Claiming Compensation for Whiplash, Neck and Back Injuries

Although the causes of back and neck pain are many and varied, soft tissue injury following a car accident commonly affects the back and surrounding tissues. Whiplash is a common injury that affects the anterior longitudinal ligament and can result in a chronic pain state.

Probably the easiest way to investigate whether you can make an accident compensation claim is to contact one of the many many no win no fee solicitors specialising in this field. How successful you will be is dependant on a variety of factors but it seems the golden rule is if you can blame someone for the accident/condition/pain you are likely to have some success.

Local to me in Nottingham, UK is a group called Recover! which I have dealt with in the past over a whiplash claim and neck injury compensation. Their website has lots of information about what you can claim and how much you may be likely to receive, using a snazzy little compensation estimator.

Before seeking financial remuneration I would always recommend visiting a professional to assess the extent of the injury and what the prognosis may be as this will influence how much can be claimed if anything.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Watch Your Own Heart Attack - the full TV commercial

Finally, here it is. After much promotion and teaser campaigning, the ad finally aired on Sunday... and very impressive it is too.

Overall, the thing that really hits you is the quality of the production and the thought that has gone into it. The content itself is a little bit light in medical terms but that just helps the measure come across as strongly as possible. I particularly liked the approach of tackling people who might be embarrassed about calling an ambulance - how very British!

A bit disappointed that it didn't mention the other symptoms of a heart attack particularly in women, but the accompanying website has much more info, check it out.

However, the most pressing (or should that be 'squeezing') question is really: what is more scary, a heart attack or Steven Berkoff?!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

How to spot the symptoms of a heart attack

ITV (in the UK) is showing a special advert this coming Sunday (August 10th) at 9:17pm designed to dispell some of the myths about the symptoms of a heart attack. I'll definitely be watching on Sunday but thought I'd do a bit of pre-reading ;)

According to the British Heart Foundation, almost 250,000 people suffer heart attacks in the UK each year with a third dying before they reach hospital because their symptoms weren't caught quickly enough.

So what are the symptoms of a heart attack?

Not many people realise that they can be quite different between men and women:

Classic Symptoms
- tightness or pressure in chest
- shortness of breath
- sweating
- dizziness or loss of consciousness
- pain spreading to shoulders and arm, particularly on left side

Symptoms more likely in women
- indigestion or gas-like pain
- unexplained weakness or fatigue
- discomfort/pain between shoulders
- sense of impending doom

I wonder if the BHF advert will cover this gender difference? I imagine that this will be a very high quality film and be extremely informative, so no doubt it will echo this information quite closely. I know I'll be watching...

10% off at Aspetto!

A little bit off topic but a friend of mine has just given me a discount code for his website which sells all kinds of male grooming, shaving and body care products:

Just enter it into the basket at checkout for 10% off:



Monday, 4 August 2008

Website Update

Actually had five minutes to sit down and make some tweaks to the main Nottingham Massage website today, nothing significant but a few overdue changes:

1. added a couple of new testimonials:

"My back is so much better. Thanks for all you have done for me. I will recommend you to anybody who could benefit from your expertise." Andrea M

"I believe I could not have done this (100 mile charity bike ride) without the sports massage, most of my pains had gone by Saturday. I recommended you to our club." Martyn C

2. added link to my Piriformis Syndrome Advice Blog

So, nothing too exciting there but it's been needed for a while now. Hopefully some photos coming soon...

Working with Piriformis Syndrome

Many people come to see me with sciatica symptoms, pain deep into the buttock and tightness in the lower back. Very often this can be traced back to a tight piriformis muscle.

Over time I've developed a routine to release this muscle and the surrounding tissues in a wuick, pain-free and effective way. I work on:

1. Piriformis muscle itself
2. Quadratus Lumborum
3. Gluteus Medius
4. Iliopsoas / Psoas Major

I've detailed my personal routine in my other blog, so click the link to read more: Piriformis Syndrome Advice and Treatments Blog.

Monday, 28 July 2008

End of Year One exam results are in!

So, the results are in...

From what some other students have told me, the first year is arguably the hardest as you are learning a lot of new principles and need to adjust to learning again, albeit on a part time basis. I must admit that even though I was given an excellent foundation by Michael, Andrew et al at the Midlands School of Massage, it is the balance of work/life/study that has been the hardest. I'm hoping that this gets a little easier as I settle into the course.

That said, it has been fun and I have worked very hard, which thankfully has reflected in my results: 4 x A grade for each of the subjects; Anatomy, Physiology, Professional Practice and finally Diagnosis and Practice.

A hard first year but I am very pleased with those results!! Looks like I'll be busy come September time then...!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Diabetes and Diet

After recently coming across Your Sweet Shop, a website that sells all kinds of chocolate and sweeties alongside a whole range of sugarfree sweets and diabetic chocolate, I thought I'd look into the importance of diet in diabetes.

There are 3 types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes mellitus, Type 2 diabetes mellitus and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus accounts for around 10% of cases of diabetes and is caused by a lack of insulin producing cells in the pancreas, leading to a deficiency of insulin. It is dubbed "juvenile diabetes" as it is commonest in children. Type 1 diabetes is typically treated with daily insulin injections.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is also characterised by a deficiency of insulin but is accompanied by a resistance to insulin or reduced insulin sensitivity within body tissues. A predisposing factor to Type 2 diabetes is obesity which is a factor in over half of all diabetes cases. It can be controlled, to a degree, by careful monitoring of diet, exercise and weight loss. If necessary, this can be followed up with oral medication.

The third type, gestational diabetes is a rarer form, very similar to Type 2 that occurs in 2-5% of pregnancies.

As mentioned above, Type 2 diabetes can be controlled by careful monitoring of diet, in particular the consumption of carbohydrates. To help make this more palatable, Your Sweet Shop sells a range of low carbohydrate, sugarfree sweets and sugar free chocolate so that you can treat yourself without risking your health. Of course, you should always talk to your doctor before changing your diet.

To find out more about tailoring your diet for diabetes, have a look at these websites:

Friday, 4 July 2008

New blog launched - Pirifromis Syndrome

In my clinic I treat many people with lower back pain and pain referring down the legs. Almost every time, the piriformis is tight on one or both sides and needs to be released to reduce the pain and increase mobility. As this has become such an important part of my treatments, I've decidd to start a new blog dedicated to it!

Piriformis Syndrome Advice is going to be stuffed full of heplful advice, treatments, useful techniques and discussion about this common yet painful condition. I've already found some facebook groups about piriformis syndrome and some websites dedicated to it too, so I think there will be plenty to talk about:

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Osteopathy Study Aids

So, rather than sit around idle over the summer, I'm going to develop a whole host of osteopathy study aids focussing on different anatomical or physiological concepts to help make studying this subject, hopefully, that little bit easier...

I've setup an Osteopathy Study Aids page on my site and have started off with the "learn the brachial plexus" diagram but am hoping to have some new stuff on there soon.

Keep 'em peeled!

Monday, 30 June 2008

New Affiliate Scheme - Powerballs!

I know some people who absolutely swear by Powerballs as a way of building strength for sports like climbing and weightlifting but after looking at the website it seems that Powerballs are useful for reahbilitating injuries including tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis. Read more rehab benefits here.

If you're interested and want to buy a Powerball in the UK, click the link above.

End of year one!

Wow, it's all over... for a few months, anyway!

I think the whole group has really developed over the first year and compared to where we were at the exams in Jan, I know that personally I know an awful lot more and am a lot more confident. If anything, I'm a little disappointed with the practical part of the examination as we didn't get the opportunity to demonstrate anything new - passive assessment of the shoulder... again - great!

Anyway, I'm not as nervous as I thought I would be about the results and hopefully (fingers crossed) I'll make it into year 2.

So, a summer of relaxation and recuperation although I've got a few ideas of how to earn some extra pennies for next year. The Learn The Brachial Plexus diagram is just the beginning...

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

How cheese helps you make successful decisions!

Now, I like cheese. In fact, English farmhouse cheese is one of my favourite foods of all time. Looks like now I've got a legitimate reason to eat it...

According to psychologists at the University of Cambridge, people with high levels of serotonin are more likely to succeed in delicate negotiating affecting their own interests. Serotonin is manufactured in the body from the amino acid trytophan which is present in all kinds of food including, you guessed it, cheese!

I for one am very pleased at this news. I'll stop feeling guilty about visiting my favourite delicatessen Nottingham and buying a big slab of mature cheddar... or Wensleydale with cranberries... mmm...

To read more about how to eat farmhouse cheese guilt-free, click this link.

Monday, 23 June 2008

One way to learn muscles...

Are you lost trying to remember the muscles of the upper limb? Here's one approach!
I think I'll stick to using the my Atlas of Musculoskeletal Anatomy!

Don't forget if you're struggling to learn the brachial plexus, I have a downloadable graphic on my site here.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Tennis Elbow & Orthopaedic Support Products

I've come across tennis elbow a few times in clinic and found that deep tissue work to the common extensor origin along with a localised stretch of the extensors in the posterior compartment of the forearm to be particularly effective.

Accurately named lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow presents as:
  • pain around lateral epicondyle
  • pain when lifting objects or gripping
  • pain radiating down the forearm
Specialised tennis elbow supports can be a very effective way to manage the condition. Worn beneath the elbow around the proximal forearm, it takes pressure off the extensors allowing inflammation to decrease and the healing process to begin. I would also suggest regular massage treatments to help promote healing and drain the area of the waste products of inflammation.

I recently came across a website that sells a range of orthopaedic supports to help conditions such as tennis elbow or chronic lower back pain. The website, also carries a range of disabled scooters and portable wheelchairs but it is these supports and living aids that I'm most interested in.

I wonder if I should start offering some of their products on my site... hmm...

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Dancing Otter

5 Steps to the Perfect Shave

Ok, a little bit off topic but personal appearance is very important when dealing with members of the public face-to-face. I've just found this very helpful blog post about how to achieve that perfect, flawless shave:

And there's a corresponding page here with links to mens shaving products that are recommended by the experts at Aspetto. Good stuff!

Saturday, 31 May 2008

Learning the Brachial Plexus

As exams get closer one has to decide what to focus on in terms of revision. Some things are more obvious than others and probably one of the most obvious is learning the brachial plexus. Knowing the muscles and innervation of the upper limb is going to be essential for us future osteopaths and the way that I've found it easiest to learn it all is by knowing the brachial plexus.

To help me to learn the brachial plexus I've drawn up this diagram in Illustrator so that I've got a high quality image to revise from. Please feel free to download it and use it for your own reference.

Coming soon: learning the lumbosacral plexus...

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Mobility Scooters - improving quality of life

For the elderly or disabled, getting around can be a real problem and a cause of frustration and depression. Disabled Scooters and portable wheelchairs such as those from Mobility Buddy, a Nottingham-based company which specialises in motor scooters and a range of walking aids and living aids.

It's not just zimmer frames and commodes although they do sell those too! It's more about improving quality of life and allowing people some freedom of movement and independence.

They've also just created a new blog which is well worth a look: Mobility Buddy Blog.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Congratulations to Dan Hardy!

I've been treating Dan for some time now and after his recent win over Daniel Weichel at Ultimate Force in Doncaster, he announced that he has signed for a 4 fight deal with the UFC. There is no one more deserving than Dan of fighting in the UFC, he's an awesome fighter and coach... and a great customer!

All the best Dan, can't wait to see you flying the flag in the UFC!

To see what Dan has to say about my treatments visit the massage testimonials page.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Client testimonials

Just updated my testimonials page with some feedback from a couple of my clients. All I can say is thanks guys, I'm really happy that you benefit from my sessions and feel the benefits. Here are some soundbites:

"Rich is the first person I go to when I need my body working to its full potential."

"My back pain diminished significantly!"

"I have been treated by various physios and chiropractors over the years - Richard has provided the best treatment that I have found"

Thanks again guys. Read more here: Nottingham Massage Testimonials

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Osteopathy progress in print

I've kept in touch with the massage school that first taught me, the Midlands School of Massage, ever since I finished my courses there and recently sent them my thoughts and reflections after the first semester at Oxford Brookes. They included it in their March newsletter so I thought I'd include it here too:

As a graduate of the Remedial Massage and Manipulative Therapy courses at MSM, I thought I’d give a little bit of feedback as I begin the second semester of my first year on the part-time BSc Osteopathy degree at Oxford Brookes University.

The course is a very even mix of classroom-based physiology, anatomy and professional studies lectures running alongside practical sessions. These mostly focus on observation and assessment at this stage but we’re also learning some basic treatment techniques as we go. No HVTs yet, but there’s plenty of time for all that!

The course is really flying along and a lot of material has been covered but we’re all keeping up so far. Well, just about anyway…! We’ve already had one set of exams but there’s a lot more to learn before the main exams in June. Next up is the first of the two five day residential weeks so I anticipate that we’re going to cover a lot of material in that time.

In all honesty, it’s very hard work, not least in terms of going down to Oxford every other weekend but also in terms of the amount of work that needs to be done in between taught sessions. It is really rewarding though and if the MSM courses have left you wanting more, the degree course is the next logical step.

Above anything else I must say that the courses at MSM have been an amazing foundation for the study here. Not just in terms of the content but also in the way that the material is taught and the, dare I say it, “osteopathic” approach taken throughout. My thanks go out to Michael, Andrew and everyone at MSM for preparing me for the course and giving me the knowledge that I have so far.

I’ll be writing more on my website as the course progresses, so if you’re interested in hearing the inside track of what it’s like at Oxford Brookes, please have a look.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Adding Youtube videos from Google Adsense

I've been experimenting with ads on my website and thought I'd try out the new video functionality which drags in videos onto your site based on keywords and channels. Here goes:

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

New Blog worth a visit

Fellow Oxford Brookes osteopathy student (albeit a few years above me) and top European female MMA fighter Rosi Sexton has just launched a new blog which is definitely worth a read. It's still very new but already she's writing articles far quicker than me... and they're more interesting too!!

Have a look here:

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Exam Results and Website Development

It's a busy time at the moment as the Osteopathy degree continues at a pace. Next up is a 5 day block week as we work toward the main exams in June. Talking of exams, we finally got our results back from the January exams last weekend. I felt that I'd done pretty well on the day and the results seem to agree:

Anatomy MCQ = 100%, Practical = 82%.

I must admit that I'm very pleased with those results and hope that I can do as well, if not better :) in the main exams in June.

Now, the other thing I'm looking at right now is making my website work a bit harder and possibly generate a bit of income from it. Obviously, that is easier said than done, but keep an eye on the main site to see what tricks I have up my sleeve. I'm going to experiment with a few different ideas, some of which will be more visible than others but hopefully at least some of the ideas will be successful.