HOW CAN OSTEOPATHY HELP MY HIP PAIN?

The hip joint is one of the most important joints in the body. Not only are the hips one of our strongest joints (bearing a great deal of our weight) but they are also one of the most flexible (second only to the shoulder).

Our hips help us to:

  • sit
  • stand
  • walk
  • run
  • swim
  • cycle
  • gym
  • drive
  • jump
  • play
  • dance

With all that movement and strength in one joint, it is not surprising that pain in this area can impact all aspects of our life and become frustrating or even debilitating.

THE HIP JOINT ANATOMY

The hip is a complex joint that experiences a great deal of loading throughout a wide variety of activities. It is also complex in structure and is made up of many different components.

BONES – the femur (thigh bone) and pelvic bones

ARTICULAR CARTILAGE – Decreases friction on bones

MUSCLES AND TENDONS – Support the joint and allow for motion, attaching to bones via fibrous tendons (Over 20 muscles including; gluteal muscles, adductors, hip flexors, hamstrings and quadriceps)

LIGAMENTS – Tough fibrous tissues which attach bones to bones 

JOINT CAPSULE – Membrane that surrounds the joint and filled with synovial fluid which lubricates it.

BURSA – Small fluid filled sacs that surround major joints and protect the bones, muscles and tendons against friction 

Pain in the hip may indicate that one of these structures in and around the hip joint is causing the problem, however this is not always the case. In some cases the hip joint can cause pain in other areas including; the low back, sacro-iliac joint, knee, buttocks and groin.

SOME COMMON CAUSES OF PAIN IN THE HIP

  • Arthritis (occurs more commonly in older age groups)
  • Fracture (Occurs more commonly in older age groups
  • Bursitis (inflammation of the fluid filled bursa)
  • Muscle strains
  • Tendon injuries (eg. Gluteal tendinopathy)
  • Labral injuries (damage to the cartilage)
  • Referred pain from the lower back or knee
  • Sciatica
  • Dislocation

Hip pain can be very complex and as a result can often be mismanaged. So it is very important to first identify the cause of your hip pain in order to best manage the pain. There are many potential reasons for hip pain and therefore distinguishing one injury from another can sometimes be confusing.

WHY SEE AN OSTEOPATH FOR YOUR HIP PAIN?

QUALIFICATIONS & TRAINING 

Osteopaths have 5 years of University training under their belt where they learn to master the difficult task of assessing, diagnosing, treating and managing musculoskeletal injury.

THOROUGH HISTORY & ASSESSMENT

Hip pain remedyAn initial consultation with our osteopaths at Pakenham Osteopathy are 60 minutes long to ensure your story is heard. Every person’s pain is different, so our Osteopaths take the time to understand your history, ask you questions to fully understand not only the causes of your pain; but also the impact it is having on your life.  A thorough assessment is then carried out to pinpoint the cause of your hip pain, allowing for a tailored and individualised treatment plan.  This helps to move you toward, and achieve your goals.

HANDS ON TREATMENT APPROACH

Pain is often the most common reason people seek osteopathic treatment. Therefore, there’s no surprise that Osteopaths continue to employ a hands on approach to help decrease pain and get you moving better. There are a vast range of hands on techniques that an Osteopath will use including:

  • how to stop Hip painSoft tissue massage
  • Joint mobilisation
  • Joint manipulation
  • Rigid and kinesio taping
  • Dry needling 
  • Shockwave Therapy

INDIVIDUALISED TREATMENT PLAN

We, as osteopaths, believe that patient understanding into their cause of pain and management is vital. That is why we take the time to explain your pain and provide you with a written management plan outlining your diagnosis, expected recovery time and anything else that is required to reach your goals. In this way, we avoid leaving patients confused, worried or isolated. 

HOLISTIC APPROACH

For many people, hip pain can become a recurring problem. We believe in long term success and therefore take on a holistic approach to your injury by not only treating your pain, but also addressing the root cause of your problem. This will reduce the likelihood of pain returning in the future so that you can live a healthy and active life moving forward.

IN SUMMARY, WHY SHOULD I SEE AN OSTEOPATH FOR MY HIP PAIN?

Everyone’s pain is different, and everyone has different goals. We, as osteopaths, strive to treat the person, not just the injury. Whether your goal is to run a marathon, muck around with the kids or enjoy your time in retirement, we take them very seriously (while always having a laugh in the treatment room at the same time!). These goals help form the basis of your individualised management plan to ensure that together, as a team, we are able to get you back doing the things that you love. 

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OSTEOPATHY AND HIP PAIN READ SOME OF OUR OTHER BLOGS:

https://www.pakenhamosteopathy.com.au/back-pain-pakenham-2/

https://www.pakenhamosteopathy.com.au/buttock-pain-hip-pain-pakenham-osteopathy/

https://www.pakenhamosteopathy.com.au/a-pain-in-the-bum-literally/

https://www.pakenhamosteopathy.com.au/part-2-what-exercise-can-help-gluteal-tendinopathy/

https://www.pakenhamosteopathy.com.au/what-is-osteopathy-pakenham-2/

 

IMAGES

1 Photo by Katee Lue on Unsplash

Working From Home

The self-Isolation workstation revelation that’s sweeping the nation!

Amidst the chaos and uncertainty that fills our days at the moment, we do have some certainties that we can hold onto and look towards for comfort. Grass will grow, night turns into day, Bruce McAvaney will mention Winx or Cyril Rioli in every AFL game he has commentated since 2012, kids will grasp new technology far easier than anyone over the age of 30 and we will all manage to find ways to keep ourselves occupied even when we thought we couldn’t.

The inevitable self isolation that we all face at the moment will present many challenges and for each individual those challenges will be vastly different. With that being said, something that many people will struggle with over the coming weeks and months is being able to work from home. Working from home will likely be a mainstay over the next month(s) and doing it right will help you be more productive but also help to prevent pain.

Working in an unfamiliar or different environment can be a figurative and literal pain in the neck/butt(whatever other body part) so it is important to do your best to make your home workstation as good as possible. Below are a list of tips and tricks which may assist you in self-isolating in style.

Change Position Regularly 

The best posture is the one that is always changing. Sitting in the same position for a long period can increase the likelihood of neck, back, shoulder pain as well as headaches. Throughout the day explore different sitting/standing positions, get up and have a stretch or a walk.

Elevate your screen

In an ideal world, the top of your screen would be just below eye-level. This allows a neutral neck position and limits straining. Given that most of us use laptops, this becomes difficult. So raising the screen for reading tasks and then lowering for typing can help to remedy that (and help with tip 1). Alternatively, propping your laptop up on books or a stand and utilizing a seperate mouse and keyboard can be very helpful.  For more information about workstation set up, please click here.

Create a permanent work station

Creating a place of consistency can help to prevent work and home life blending together. Utilising the study, kitchen table, bench, desk or garage even as a permanent work-zone will allow you to set it up in the best possible way to allow for comfortable work; whilst also providing an area of productivity. I have provided a simple example of an ‘ideal’ workstation setup above.

DO NOT work from bed or the couch

Working from these areas will not only be unproductive but they will likely lead towards persistent poor posture and cause pain throughout the day.

Aside from the physical challenges that can arise as a result of working from home, self-isolation can also negatively impact mental health as we feel ‘cut-off’ from the world and the people we care about. Working will assist in keeping some semblance of normalcy in your world; but it is important to look after yourself as well.

Get outside take breaks

Spending all day working from home and all day living at home will get old very quickly! Get outside on your ‘breaks’, go for a walk, a run, a home exercise program, play with the kids or the dog and then back to work. Use your breaks for more than social media and Netflix.

Check in with co-workers

Whether it’s a slack channel, a phone call, a teleconference or an email, keep in touch with your workmates. It will help you stay on task as well as feel connected to the people you spend your days with when you aren’t staying home. 

Keep up with daily routines 

When we are not leaving the house we can fall into the trap of sleeping in and being lazy. Commit to your regular work hours, wake up, shower, shave, eat breakfast GET CHANGED (nobody is at their most productive in their pjs), do your normal exercise and try to maintain that routine as your self-isolation persists.

Reward yourself

Whatever it is that makes you happy, find a way to reward yourself after a hard day’s work. Play with the kids, have a chocolate, head off for a run, have a bath but keep enjoying life. It will make a big difference. 

Self-isolation is less than ideal and clearly not how most of us enjoy spending our days. However, in reality it could be far far worse. I have full faith in the Pakenham Osteopathy community that we will get through this challenge with flying colours and be ready for a laugh and an outdoor adventure on the other side.

If you have any concerns throughout this process, if you have any questions or would like some advice with regards to workstation setup or home exercise; please do not hesitate to contact us at Pakenham Osteopathy. We are always happy to help!

 

Images

1 Photo by Satyam HCR on Unsplash

2 https://ergonomicshealth.com/ergonomic-workstation-setup/

3 Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

HOW CAN OSTEOPATHY HELP MY HEADACHE?

Headaches are one of the most common complaints in day to day life with every single person likely to experience headaches during their lifetime. 

Headaches and migraines affect more than 5 million Australians annually (71% being female and 86% being 20-60 years of age). 

Aching, throbbing, excruciating, annoying, splitting, hangover, typical, vicious huge, constant, standard or major… how many of these words have you used to describe the pain in your head.

Whether it comes on at the end of the day, worsens when you are stressed or you suffered a hit to the head, we have all experienced some kind of headache.

WHAT CAUSES HEADACHES?

Headaches can be the result of a number of countless factors including:

  • Posture
  • Stress
  • Dehydration 
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Missed meals or not enough food
  • Alcohol
  • Illness (sinusitis)
  • Concussion
  • Hangovers
  • High blood pressure 
  • Neck pain
  • Medication overuse
  • Medication withdrawal
  • Ear infection
  • Panic attacks
  • Tight headwear
  • Menstruation 
  • Hormones
  • Caffeine Withdrawal 
  • Changes to sleep
  • Too much sleep
  • Processed foods
  • Trauma
  • Many more….

ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HEADACHES?

According to Headache Australia, there are 37 different types of headache, each of which behave and are caused differently. Some of the most common of these headaches are listed below.

MIGRAINES

A remitting and recurrent throbbing type headache that often affects one side of the head and face and can often be accompanied by nausea and disturbed vision.

TENSION HEADACHES

The most common type of headache. A tension headache is generally a diffuse, mild to moderate pain in your head that’s often described as feeling like a tight band around your head. 

CLUSTER HEADACHES

Brought about by a neurological disorder which causes recurrent and very severe headaches on one side of the head, often around the eye. Can also involve eye watering, nasal congestion, or swelling around the eye on the affected side. 

SINUS HEADACHES

Sinus headaches can include pain or pressure feeling around your eyes, cheeks and forehead which feels similar to sinusitis (infection/inflamed sinuses).

CAFFEINE RELATED HEADACHES

Both caffeine overuse and caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches in some people. 

Overuse: Caffeine can make you urinate more, potentially dehydrating you, which can result in headaches.

Withdrawal: Caffeine affects the body decreasing pain modulation in the brain and affecting blood flow. With regular use of caffeine, the body becomes accustomed to it and headaches can result from a sudden change to caffeine intake.

Headaches come in a variety of types and presentations and can often be very complex. As a result, it is important to first identify the cause of your headache in order to best manage the pain. There are many potential causes and therefore distinguishing one headache from another can sometimes be confusing.

WHY SEE AN OSTEOPATH FOR YOUR HEADACHE / MIGRAINE?

QUALIFICATIONS & TRAINING 

Osteopaths have 5 years of University training under their belt where they learn to master the difficult task of assessing, diagnosing, treating and managing musculoskeletal injury.

THOROUGH HISTORY & ASSESSMENT

An initial consultation with our osteopaths are 60 minutes long to ensure your story is heard. Every person’s pain is different, so our Osteopaths take the time to understand you pain history, ask you questions to fully understand not only the causes of your pain; but also the impact it is having on your life.  A thorough assessment is then carried out to pinpoint the cause of your headache or migraine, allowing for individualised treatment plans and achieve your goals.

 

 

 

 

 

HANDS ON TREATMENT APPROACH

 

Pain is often the most common reason people seek osteopathic treatment. Therefore, there’s no surprise that Osteopaths continue to employ a hands on approach to help decrease pain and get you moving better. There are a vast range of hands on techniques that an Osteopath will use including:

  • Soft tissue massage
  • Joint mobilisation
  • Joint manipulation
  • Rigid and kinesio taping
  • Dry needling 
  • Shockwave Therapy 

INDIVIDUALISED TREATMENT PLAN

Convo at desk giving management plan - TGWe, as osteopaths, believe that patient understanding into their cause of pain and management is vital. That is why we take the time to explain your pain and provide you with a written management plan outlining your diagnosis, expected recovery time and anything else that is required to reach your goals. This way, we avoid leaving patients confused, worried or isolated. 

HOLISTIC APPROACH

For many people, headaches and migraine can become a recurring problem. We believe in long term success and therefore take on a holistic approach to your injury by not only treating your pain, but also addressing the root cause of your problem. This will reduce the likelihood of pain returning in the future so that you can live a healthy and active life moving forward.

IN SUMMARY…

 

 

 

 

Headaches are incredibly common but also incredibly variable. There are many different types of headaches and they affect each individual differently. Some people can be bed-ridden, others can manage to work and exercise while some lose productivity when their head is in pain.  

We, as osteopaths, strive to treat the person, not just the injury. Whether your goals are to run marathons, muck around with the kids or enjoy your time in retirement, we take them very seriously (while always having a laugh in the treatment room at the same time!).

These goals help us form the basis of our individualised management plan to ensure that together, as a team, we are able to get you back doing the things that you love. 

If you would like to learn more about Osteopathy and Headaches, please read our other blogs:

https://www.pakenhamosteopathy.com.au/headache-pakenham/

https://www.pakenhamosteopathy.com.au/what-is-osteopathy-pakenham/

https://www.pakenhamosteopathy.com.au/who-should-i-see-osteopath-physiotherapist-or-chiropractor/

https://www.pakenhamosteopathy.com.au/avoiding-neck-pain-back-pain-at-your-desk/

https://www.pakenhamosteopathy.com.au/health-pakenham-2/

Images:

Photo 1 by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash

Photo 2 by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Failure – Part 3

Let us use our imaginations for a moment.  Picture yourself taking your 3-year-old son to his very first swimming lesson.  The first one without you in the pool with him.  He’s been excited all day, he’s wearing his cool new bathers and his very first pair of goggles.  He loves the water, he loves the beach, bath time is his favourite activity and he loves coming to the pool.  He runs into the swim centre and eagerly looks for his new teacher. 

First off, the teacher asks the class to float on their back, something your child has done a million times before with you standing behind them.  It comes to their turn and your child doesn’t move a muscle, instead his says to the swimming instructor “I can’t do it”.  This becomes a running theme throughout the lesson and very little swimming takes place.  Although the teacher tries their absolute best to help your son swim by himself, he clings to them like his life depends on it. The lesson ends and your son is upset. He tells you that he hates swimming and that he never wants to come back.

Now ask yourself, what has changed? 30 minutes ago he couldn’t wait to hop in, last week after their lesson you were checking to see where the 2036 Olympics might be held.  You know the answer, you aren’t in the pool with him anymore and he is scared.  His safety net is gone and rather than try and fail, he doesn’t try at all.

I use this example for two reasons.  Firstly, in my former life I was a swimming instructor and this situation was something I saw in some form or another in every class I taught for the better part of 10 years.  Secondly, it is a simple example to understand and it perfectly illustrates the theme of this blog –  failure.  And the way that failure can cause us to not only give up when things get tough, but may in fact prevent us from beginning in the first place.

 

FEAR OF FAILURE

Change is scary. We as individuals rarely like it and are far happier staying in our comfort zone. I believe this is the case for a very simple reason. 

If we try to change, if we put ourselves out there we open ourselves up to the possibility of FAILURE.

If you were to ask anyone you know to define the word failure, you would get responses like: “Losing”, “Lack of Success”, “Below 50%” or “Coming last.” 

I would disagree with all of these.  

I believe that failure is not merely a lack of success. It is the inability to recognise, work towards and pursue your goals, in spite of whatever setbacks or challenges come your way.  

In life, our goals, our wants and our needs are forever changing. When we find out what it is that we want, we provide ourselves with a target, a goal to begin to work towards.  Life isn’t a continual series of races to achieve individual goals, rather a lifelong development of ourselves as individuals.  So in the context of a life’s worth of experience, how significant is a 5-minute failure? Not very.

FAILURE = LEARNING

Throughout our treatment journey as well as in the pursuit of our goals it is inevitable that we encounter setbacks.  It is very rare in life that things go perfectly, especially on the first attempt.  This is a truth that we are all aware of, something that we try to teach our children.  Yet when we stumble at the first hurdle or our plan fails to account for every possible scenario, we become upset with ourselves, we tried and we failed and now we are defeated. 

It is important to remember in these moments that FAILURE IS NOT THE OPPOSITE OF SUCCESS, rather failure is a necessary stepping stone on the way to success.  As we discussed in our last blog, whenever we fail we learn and when we learn we are able to adapt, change our plan and improve which gets us closer to achieving our goals.  We also discussed SMART GOALS and breaking down our goals into smaller “step by step” goals.  These steps allow us to celebrate our achievements (however small) as well as recognise that slip-ups are only very minor in the grand scheme of things.

This is something we as Osteopath’s see day in and day out, as it is far easier to dwell on the negatives than it is to recognise the positives.  For example; a patient who may have had constant pain for a month and then may have experienced improved pain for an entire week, followed by one day of worsened pain.  Often when this happens it can feel as though they are back to square one.  That is however not the case; as we know, the treatment journey isn’t always straightforward and perfect, it has its ups and downs and it is important to see the positives and wins as just that.  WINS.

Let’s look at the example of walking a kilometre.  It can take around 1500 steps to walk a kilometre.  If you stumble at step 876 have you failed?  If your shoelace comes undone at 1296 do you have to turn around and start again?  If you complete the kilometre in 1563 steps did you lose?  Whenever we hit a roadblock along the way to our goals, we have NOT failed the entire goal, we have merely stumbled at one step along the way.  It does not matter how we get to where we want to go, as long as we do not give up along the way.  Context is so important.  Yes, it feels bad when we fail, but often it is such a minor occurrence in a long journey, so always keep in mind the big picture.

A great week is better than a perfect day.

A great month is better than a perfect week.

A great year is better than a perfect month.

 

WHY IS FAILURE IMPORTANT TO US?

There is a concept known as progressive overload.  Progressive overload put very simply means that you are continually training/working at a higher level so that your body can adapt and rise to that level.  Your body responds by getting stronger, faster, more resilient in order to cope with the level of training.  I believe that the mind works in a very similar way.  The mind thrives on challenges and when we test our mind it gets stronger.  Making mistakes is often the best way to learn because your mind has to understand what went wrong in order to correct it the next time. 

While we are thinking about progressive overload, it is important to touch on expectations.  If I had never run for 10 minutes around the block, I cannot expect myself to go out and run a marathon.  In the same way, when we have big audacious goals, we cannot expect them to be achieved overnight.  It is important to be realistic.  Whilst taking everything one step at a time seems simple and tedious, the smallest changes can help to achieve the greatest goals, when done consistently.  Be patient, be consistent and keep working towards your goals.

For those who have followed this series of blogs, we are about to go full circle, so strap in.  Let’s imagine that the three-year-old in the story was a young Michael Phelps.  That first swimming lesson was never going to turn him into an Olympic champion, but it was the first step in a lifelong journey towards it.  If he had never tried to swim by himself and quit swimming after that first lesson where would he be now? Would it be the young swimming teacher’s fault that he never tried and gave up?

As Osteopaths, we want to help every single person recognise and achieve their goals.  We will help along the journey in any way that we can celebrate the wins when they come, as well as help when setbacks occur.  We love doing this because we care and we want everyone to live healthier and HAPPIER lives. 

BUT, we can only help you achieve your goals if you first set them. 

Take a risk, open yourself up to failure.

Take the first step in a long journey of little steps and remember that when you step in the wrong direction, it’s not the end of the world.

Goal Setting – Part 2

KICKING GOALS

In my previous blog I discussed the idea of finding purpose.  Not only a purpose in life but a purpose and a reason for doing all of the little things we need to do (that aren’t necessarily fun or exciting) to get to where we want to be.  Now that we have asked ourselves what it is that we want, the next step is to plan how we are going to get it.

Once we understand our purpose; “our reason WHY”, it is much easier to find and maintain the motivation to keep working towards our goals.  But how do we come up with our goals and more importantly, how do we stick to them?

DREAMS

As you would remember from my last blog, I am a huge fan of excellent quotes.  With that in mind… I will give you another one, one that I believe is very relevant to setting goals:

“If people are not laughing at your dreams, they are not big enough.”

I am an advocate for dreaming big.  The bigger and crazier the better.  Where would our society be if we didn’t have the dreamers making breakthroughs.  Breakthroughs that once we thought were impossible.

Aircrafts, the 4-minute mile, television, mobile phones, space travel, medicine, cookie dough ice-cream, Essendon winning a final after 17 long years of mediocrity … the list goes on, but the sentiment remains the same. 

Almost everything in our world at one time or another would have seemed impossible.  People would have laughed at the idea of all of those examples when they were first conceived.  But here we are.  So why not make your dreams massive?  Why not chase the impossible?  Whether it be overcoming an injury, getting more active, running a marathon, playing with your kids or getting out of pain.  Whatever it is your dream is, big or small.  Chase it.

Now let me pose a question to you.  What is the difference between a dream and a goal?  The answer is very simple – a plan.  Any dream that you may have, when accompanied by a plan to achieve it, becomes a goal.  In the same way; any goal that you have, without a plan to achieve it will forever remain a dream. 

GOALS

Motivation is often a difficult thing to come across and many of us are happy to sit and relax and put things off until the last minute.  So when we have big dreams, that seems so far away, that seem impossible, and we aren’t progressing quickly or noticeably we will invariably give up and put it in the ‘too hard’ basket.

Planning is the act of breaking a big task down into smaller and smaller tasks, all of which lead towards the end goal.  Whether we break our goal down into 5 steps or 5 thousand steps, we can only complete them one step at a time and every time we complete these tasks, we will always be one step closer to success. And more than that we have a great understanding of what comes next.  There is a very SMART way to do this.

SMART GOALS

SPECIFIC – Break down your goals into smaller, clear, concise goals and write them down.

MEASURABLE – Track your progress.

ACHIEVABLE – Breaking everything down into smaller steps makes them achievable while still being challenging.

RELEVANT – Set these goals that are relevant to your WHY/PURPOSE

TIME BOUND – Set yourself a target finish line

This framework for goal setting is something everyone has heard before and there is a reason for that, it is effective.  Any goal that is made SMART can be brought much closer to reality, compared to a goal with no framework or planning.  Smart Goals allow us to dream and plan at the MASSIVE level whilst executing on the smaller STEP by STEP level.

Yet another wonderful quote:

 “An idiot with a plan will always beat a genius without a plan.”

SMART goals provide a simple framework through which we can begin planning our goals.  That does not mean that it is easy.  It takes a great deal of practice and fine-tuning to find out what works for you.  For example; I thrive under structure.  I plan out my weeks in advance, time block important activities and tasks and give myself small goals to achieve every day.  All of this is written in my diary and my laptop, both of which sit open on my desk all day (when you are in the clinic feel free to sneak a peek).

 

As an Osteopath, we love helping patient’s realise and achieve their goals, whatever they may be.  We are here to help in any way that we can along your treatment journey and will always be around for support, ideas and encouragement; but also to help you plan and work towards your goals.  What works for me won’t necessarily work for everyone.  So I challenge you to go and find what works for you, ask your Osteopath for help and as a team start planning.

Once we have realised our goals and begin working towards them, there are sure to be roadblocks and failures along the way.  But the great thing about planning is that the plan can always change.

When we fail, when we struggle, when we mess up, we learn.

When we learn, we can improve our plan.

And when we improve our plan, we are always getting closer to achieving our goals.

Thanks for reading along! Look out for the Part 3 of the series in the coming week or so….

Finding Your Purpose – Part 1

“It is what you do in the dark, that puts you in the light”

This is one of my all-time favourite quotes.

I first came across it on an Under Armour ad campaign featuring Michael Phelps. As a former competitive swimmer and lover of sport, I have an enormous amount of respect for Phelps and everything he achieved at the highest level of sport. This ad gave a glimpse into his life as well as his training; a behind the scenes look that I was not surprised to see, but had never really imagined in great detail.

This brief glimpse into his work ethic and training load illustrated the sacrifices and the pain that he went through as well as the mental fortitude to be the best.

The ad campaign was titled “RULE YOURSELF”. Watch it here:

I bring up this ad campaign and the idea of “Ruling Yourself” to discuss something that I am passionate about, and something that I have seen help so many people along their treatment journey. Purpose. Finding your purpose and going out and doing the things that are important to you. Not everyone has dreams of winning gold medals at the Olympics, not everyone wants to compete in sport. Some want to play with their children, some want to lose a little weight, some want to travel the world but most of us have very little if any idea about what it is that we want.

In this blog, we are going to talk about finding purpose and how important that is. In the next blog we will discuss how necessary our purpose is when it comes to setting and working towards our goals.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PURPOSE

At one time or another we have all said to ourselves “I don’t know why I’m doing this!”

We have all woken up in the morning with a sense of dread, as we are in for yet another tedious day. Whether it be work, university, school, exercise, housework or anything at all. I have no doubt that every single one of us has at one stage or another had thoughts like this. But why? Why don’t we spring out of bed every morning ready to do our best and give our all into whatever we do?

It is simple. We don’t jump out of bed when we lack direction. We don’t jump out of bed when we are not passionate about what we are doing. We dread doing things that are not important to us, things that do not serve our purpose.

A greater sense of purpose in life not only helps us jump out of bed every morning, it also increases your life expectancy[1], has a positive effect on physical and mental health including; decreasing the likelihood of a number of illnesses such as heart disease[2], improves sleep quality[3], increases motivation and reduces risk of depression and anxiety disorders[4].

Okinawa in Japan has the highest life expectancy of any place in the world (90 for women and 84 for men) and over 400 centenarians (people over 100 years of age). It is also the home of a concept known as Ikigai (iki = life; gai = value). Ikigai is about finding a purpose for your life, a reason for getting up in the morning. Essentially, this concept is about finding your ‘WHY?’.

IKIGAI MODEL

 

WHY IS AN OSTEOPATH TALKING ABOUT GOALS AND PURPOSE?

During your consultation at Pakenham Osteopathy, you will have been asked a question like:

“If you could be doing anything with your life, what would it be?” or “Imagine yourself 6 months from now, what would have to happen for you to be happy?”.

Often we find people struggle to answer these questions, or they answer them with a vague uncertainty. This is because we very rarely ask ourselves what it is we want out of life. It is however even more rare to understand why we want what we want.

As Osteopaths, we ask these questions for a number of reasons:

  • We ARE INTERESTED in treating each person as a person rather than as the injury they come in to see us with.
  • We CARE about our patients and want to help them live HEALTHIER and HAPPIER lives
  • We want to find out what is important to you, what your goals are and to WORK WITH YOU to achieve them.
  • We LOVE helping others get better everyday

 

WHY WHY?

Another one of my favourite quotes comes from Austrian Neurologist/Psychologist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl.

“If someone has a strong enough WHY, can bear with any how”.

Understanding WHY you are doing something will help to provide the motivation to do the work, the patience to wait, the determination to overcome obstacles/roadblocks and a reason to keep going, even when you think about quitting.

Injuries along with health concerns are a necessary but frustrating part of life. Injuries affect our mood, our day to day activities and during the healing/rehabilitation process we will invariably encounter some setbacks and roadblocks. We may have pesky low back pain that we want to get better so that we can pick up our kids, headaches that we want to improve so that we can have a good night’s sleep, maybe we want to lose a little weight that we have picked up or even a hamstring that needs to rest and recover for football finals; there is always a reason WHY we want to get better.

IT IS AT THIS STAGE THAT OUR WHY COMES INTO PLAY.

So when things aren’t progressing as quickly as you like or you are doing the exercises your Osteopath has given you or you are forgoing a burger and chips and instead choosing a healthier dinner option; its these things, all of the things you “DO IN THE DARK” (by yourself without your Osteo there making you accountable); remember WHY you are doing these things… Not only will this help you at Pakenham Osteopathy throughout the treatment and management of your injuries but understanding why you want what you want will help you put in the work while nobody is watching and PUT YOURSELF INTO THE LIGHT (closer to achieving your goals).

There will be many people that have never asked themselves these questions before. So I challenge you to ask yourself:

  • What is important to you?
  • What do you love?
  • What do you want to do more of?
  • What do you want to with your life?
  • Why are these things important to me and why do I want them?

Go out and do you, for you. 

References

[1] McKnight, P., & Kashdan, T. (2009). Purpose in Life as a System That Creates and Sustains Health and Well-Being: An Integrative, Testable Theory. American Psychological Association, 13(3), 242-251. 

[2] Megumi, K., Hiroshi, I., Yoshihiro, K., & Yukataka, M. (2008). Effect of Having a Sense of Purpose in Life on the Risk of Death from Cardiovascular Diseases. Journal of Epidemiology, 18(5).

[3] Kim, E., Hershner, S., & Strecher, V. (2015). Purpose in life and incidence of sleep disturbances. Journal of Behavioural Medicine, 38(3).

[4] Błażek, M., Kaźmierczak, M., & Besta, T. (2015). Sense of Purpose in Life and Escape from Self as the Predictors of Quality of Life in Clinical Samples. Journal of Religion and Health, 54.

 

Want to Improve Your Performance in the Bedroom?

Sleep is something that we all need and cannot live without.  Some of us are very good at it whilst for others, it can be the cause of serious stress.  A consistently good amount of sleep has innumerable health benefits.  Conversely, a consistent lack of sleep can negatively affect wellbeing.  Sleep should be prioritised, just like we prioritise a healthy diet and exercise. 

As Osteopath’s we strive to treat each person as a whole, rather than merely tackle the injury they have presented with.  This means we often discuss our client’s lifestyle, exercise, interests, work, diet, mental health and of course, how much sleep they are getting.  All of the above can play a role in health and wellbeing and may have an influence on a client’s perception of pain and healing times.

Not Getting Enough in the Bedroom?

Image: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/health-effects-of-not-sleeping-enough-2015-12?r=US&IR=T

According to the Australian Sleep Health Foundation’s 2018 report, inadequate sleep cost Australia 66.1 Billion dollars due to health care, welfare and productivity losses.  Moreover, the report found that

4/10 Australian adults are getting insufficient sleep. 

As little as one week of poor sleep can decrease immune function and leave you more likely to get sick. Chronic inadequate sleep has been found to be a contributor to:

  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Decision making
  • Learning
  • Increased risk of mental and physical illness
  • Decreased ability to deal with pain
  • Musculoskeletal pain such as headaches

Sleep can be adversely affected by:

  • Work or travel schedule
  • Caffeine
  • Eating late
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Pain
  • Poor sleep environment

How Can I Get Better in Bed?

Sleep is a very individual thing and what helps one person improve their sleep may not necessarily help someone else.  What is important is to find the tips and tricks that help and use them to improve your performance between the sheets!

Below is a list of things to try in and out of the bedroom as well as things to try, and is just a starting point:

  • Prioritise sleep
  • Make yourself a sleep schedule
  • Get exercise every single day
  • Plan your day and get ready for the morning prior to bed
  • Sleep in complete darkness
  • If you are not falling asleep…. Get out of bed

For better sleep AVOID

  • Caffeine and nicotine in the late afternoon/evening
  • Alcohol before bed – it can help you fall asleep but will affect sleep quality
  • Large meals before bed
  • Medicines that can disrupt your sleep (consult your pharmacist)
  • Napping after 3 pm
  • Lying in bed for longer than 20 minutes whilst trying to fall asleep… get up and try some of the To do’s.

For better sleep TRY

  • Keeping a consistent sleep schedule – sleep and wake at the same time each day.
  • Relaxing before bed – read, music, stretching, foam roll
  • Taking a hot bath before bed
  • Putting your gadgets in another room (Yes. Even your phone… Instagram can wait)
  • Keeping your room dark and cool
  • Getting outside during the day and soaking up some sunlight
  • Meditation – there are heaps of apps available (Smiling mind, sleep by headspace, sleepio etc)
  • Timing your meals so that you are not hungry or too full at bed time
  • Exercising for at least 30 minutes daily (not within 2-3 hours of bed)
  • Having a break from screens before bed
  • Investing in good pillows and mattresses

How Much is Enough?

Check out the UK’s Sleep Council recommendations for hours of sleep per night for different ages….

Image: https://sleepcouncil.org.uk/how-much-sleep-do-we-need/

Hopefully some of the above tips and tricks will help your performance in the bedroom! If you have any further questions about sleep, or any other health questions please feel free to email me at tom@pakenhamosteopathy.com.au.  Rest up!

Heat Vs Ice? When Should I Use Heat or is Ice Better?

Heat and cold therapy can often be helpful with managing your pain, but which one is best?

Pain is never fun. Muscle pain, joint pain and injuries are a part of life and they can sometimes prevent us from doing what we want to be doing. When you are in pain, anything that can provide some quick relief is worth knowing and both ice and heat can help to decrease pain.

When utilised correctly and at the right time, either heat or ice can be fantastic for pain relief. In most cases, ice works best with a new injury and heat for general aches and pains or long term injury.

Unfortunately, both can make your pain worse if used incorrectly.  That’s why it is so important to know which to use when and how best to apply them.

ICE

How does it help?

  • Reduced blood flow to an area
  • Acts to reduce inflammation/swelling in the affected area.
  • Numbs the affected area, acting as a form of local anaesthetic

When do I use ice?

  • Immediately following injury to reduce pain and swelling
  • Acute joint sprains, strains or tendinitis
  • Aggravations of chronic inflammatory conditions such as; gout, Osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

How do I use ice?

  • Apply ice for about 5-10 minutes
  • Then remove for 10 – 20 minutes
  • Stop icing the area when the area is numb and reapply once the area has warmed up
  • Ice should not be applied directly to the skin
  • Example of use: use ice pack on low back 10 min on/10min off/ 10 min on again on repeat as many times as you can but minimum 4 times/day

When should I NOT use ice?

  • NEVER before or during exercise
  • If the area is already numb/cold
  • Applying ice to a tight tender muscle may aggravate your pain
  • If icing leads to an increase in pain, burning or aching

HEAT

How does it help?

  • Increased blood flow to an area
  • Improved movement
  • Relaxation of tight muscles

When do I use heat?

  • For general aches and pain
  • Muscle tightness, stiffness or tension
  • Before exercise
  • Long term injuries
  • To relieve pain and stiffness related to arthritis and degeneration

How do I use heat?

  • To heat one area eg: Heat rub before exercise
  • Hot water bottle/heat pack/heat rubs
  • Heat the area until warm (NOT HOT)
  • Around 10-20 minutes (or as long as comfortable)
  • To heat the whole body eg: Post exercise soreness
  • Warm showers/spas/saunas
  • Use for as long as comfortable. NEVER too hot

When should I NOT use heat?

  • NEVER on a new injury as it will lead to further inflammation and damage
  • When there are signs of active inflammation (sensitive skin, red/hot skin, swelling)
  • Immediately after exercise
  • In the presence of infection

 

Summary:

Whether you are using heat or ice, it should help to decrease your pain, not make you feel worse. If you are feeling worse when you are using heat or ice or if you are unsure of which therapy to use OR your pain is worsening, do not hesitate to contact your Osteopath. We are here to help. If you have any further questions please feel free to email me directly: tom@pakenhamosteopathy.com.au