Today is World Spine Day and the theme this year is “Love your Spine”. Too often, we hear from our patients “my joints are wearing out”, “I’ve got a bad back”, “I’ve got a weakness there”, “my back’s gone again.”
It’s world Nutrition and Hydration Week! To celebrate, we are holding a one-off event for a limited number of guests.
Dr Philippa Oakley (Doctor of Chiropractic) has a specialist interest in chronic pain management, and will be leading a workshop on Saturday 17th March from 10-11.30am at our clinic in Emsworth. The focus of the workshop will be to discuss foods that influence pain, and how you can use your diet to manage chronic pain and inflammation. You will also benefit from a group health coaching session with Rhiannon Oakley, qualified Personal Performance Health Coach who will help you plan your next steps to a healthier lifestyle. The workshop is ideal for people who are working towards their ideal weight, managing chronic pain conditions or IBS symptoms.
Throughout the week,we will be providing advice on nutrition and hydration across social media and we’re excited to partner with Emsworth Cookery School who are producing exclusive healthy homemade recipes for you to cook at home. Don’t forget to follow our Facebook Acorn Health to receive updates.
Kinesiology tape has become massively popular over the past few years, gracing the torsos of Olympic athletes and sportspeople around the world- and whilst there are conflicting messages coming from the research around it, the tape appears to show promise for a range of issues. A recent review showed that there was moderate evidence to support the use of tape to reduce pain, so let’s look at how tape can help.
Properties of kinesiology tape
100% cotton, latex free tape
Medical grade acrylic adhesive which is heat sensitive allowing the tape to stick to the skin
The thickness, weight and elasticity of the tape is approximately that of skin, so most people can tolerate the tape without issue
Allows for free movement and does not restrict movement like other tapes may
The elastic properties provide support and reduce muscle fatigue
Where some tapes are stretched out to maximum capacity before being applied, kinesiology tape is less effective when fully stretched out- in fact, mastering the art of how much stretch to apply is one of the main skills to learn when using tape.
The risks of using tape are minimal, and whilst the research surrounding tape is still in its infancy, we can use it safely in clinic knowing that we’re not causing any harm and are instead likely to see great results which will help contribute further to the use of kinesiology taping.
How taping works to reduce pain
When taping for pain, inflammation, swelling or oedema, we use a technique called “space correction”. This does what it says on the tin- creates more space directly above an area of pain, inflammation, swelling or fluid build up, which helps decrease pressure by lifting the skin away from the fascia.
This has a number of effects:
Decreased pressure alleviates the irritation on chemical receptors in the underlying structures, thus decreasing pain
Increased circulation may occur in the area, allowing for increased removal of cells or fluids that can build up during the inflammatory process
Stimulating mechanoreceptors (sensory receptors in our skin that pick up pressure or distortion) can help decrease pain
The initial benefits are reducing inflammation and pain, but there are thought to be neurological benefits
too- when the tape is placed over tight muscles, it appears to reduce their response to being stretched, helping to make them feel less sore and painful. When applied over weak or injured tissues, the feedback these tissues send to the brain is altered and improved, which can help the body to stabilise the area. This is how we can then move on to use the tape for fascial correction.
In some cases, as with ankle inversion injuries (rolling over on the ankle), there is an imminent risk of further injury as the ligaments in the muscle have been stretched out and therefore aren’t able to stabilise the joint as effectively as usual. In this case, the patient’s initial injury was over 7 days ago so we have used a fan application to encourage lymphatic flow but also applied a light-stretch support around the lateral part of the foot to help stablise the injured ligaments.
Lymphatic fan taping helps to reduce fluid build-up by directing lymph fluid towards a less-congested lymphatic pathway and lymph nodes. We use the anchor of the tape to indicate where we want the lymph to flow, much like directing traffic! Whilst this is an advanced taping technique and one that would be applied by your practitioner, it demonstrates the myriad uses of kinesiology taping perfectly and shows how effective it can be in helping reduce inflammation and aid recovery at a cellular level.
Take home notes:
There isn’t a barrage of research to support the use of kinesiology tape, the papers that are available show positive and encouraging results. Every new treatment modality has to start somewhere, after all!
(Think of Louis Pasteur testing out his Rabies vaccine on a 9 year old. Sounds nuts now, but that’s where most great ideas starts from- somebody going “I wonder if….?”)
Much like any treatment, there will be an element of placebo involved, but studies like this and this have shown that the effects of kinesiology tape can’t be reproduced by placebo taping.
Simply put, the mechanisms and understanding behind how and why kinesiology tape works are grounded in scientific thinking and understanding. It’s a safe, low risk, effective way to help your body towards recovery, and whilst it’s no replacement for treatment, rehabilitation and injury management, it helps to put some of the power of recovery back into your hands.
NB: Whilst tape can be applied by anyone, it is important to have the issue diagnosed by an appropriately qualified healthcare or medical professional prior to using kinesiotape or allowing someone else to apply it. As with any form of treatment, you want to ensure the treatment is appropriate for the issue and eliminate any other underlying issues which may mean taping is inappropriate.
Want to know a secret? There is no other activity that delivers so many benefits with little effort then sleep. Restful sleep is one of the five pillars of health and getting a good night’s sleep should be at the top of your to-do list this month. Everyone knows there’s nothing like a good night’s sleep for feeling refreshed and alert in the morning. Let’s take on 2017!
Emma’s sleep workshop is on Saturday 28th from 10-12pm at Acorn Health. Tickets must be booked in advance and are £25.00 cash on the day of the event. Please call 01243 379693 to book. We are a small group tackling the common problem so many of us have: how to get a really good night’s sleep.
We’re delighted to announce that our St George’s Day Charity Dog Walk has helped raise £398.35 for local charity Hounds for Heroes.
Our principle chiropractor Philippa comments, ‘Coming from a military family, it has always been important for me to give back to the military community. The event was a great success, and we are now planning for next year’s adventures. It was fun for all the family, and we all enjoyed the beautiful scenery of Chichester Harbour accompanied by a slice of cake baked by Emsworth Cookery School and a bottle of refreshing locally sourced water from South Downs Water who both kindly sponsored the event.’
Hounds for Heroes provide specially trained assistance dogs to injured and disabled men and women of both the UK Armed Forces and UK Emergency Services. Through this provision, Hounds for Heroes aim to provide help and practical support leading to an enhanced quality of life. Allen Parton, founder of Hounds for Heroes, comments, ‘This money will assist us in our aims of placing assistance dogs with injured veterans and emergency service personnel, Acorn Health’s event and support really does send such a positive message to those serving Queen and Country that folk at home really do care about them. Every single penny received makes such a huge impact on and difference to our work. We have a great organisation, staffed by serving members of the armed forces, which in itself is fairly humbling, but we couldn’t do it without others help as well.’
Allen continues, ‘It is a thrilling time for us at the Training Centre as we have just had two new recruits join Squadron 4 so the sound of puppy paws running round the centre re-enforces our aim to improve and enhance the quality of our partner’s lives.’
Emsworth’s St George’s Day weekend of events was supported by The Emsworth Business Association, Havant Borough Council, Acorn Creative Ltd, South Downs Water, and Emsworth Cookery School.
Hounds For Heroes are a charity based in Petersfield who provide specially trained assistance dogs to injured or disabled men and women from the UK Armed Forces and UK Civilian Emergency Services. Hounds For Heroes provide all specialist training, in addition to covering pet food and vet bills for life for each of these talented pups, at a cost of £30,000 per dog.
Supported by the The Emsworth Business Association and our sister company Acorn Creative Ltd, join us as part of the St George’s Day weekend of events to support Hounds For Heroes and our injured service people. Bring your four-legged friends, stretch your legs and have some fun enjoying the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty around Thorney Island.
Please respect our countryside, local residents and Thorney Island Millitary Base by ensuring you scoop your dogs’ poop and bin it. Help us make this a fantastic family day out for everyone!
Suggested donation is £5 per dog, dogs can bring their owners, family members and anyone else who would like to come along! Additonal sponsorship forms can be found online here.
Starting Point: Thornham Lane, just past the Thornham Marina.
Some parking spaces (20 spaces max) have been kindly offered to our event by Thornham Marina – All dogs must be kept on leads here due to heavy vehicles moving around on site.
The full wallk is approx 8 miles around the Island (approx 3.5 hours). Why not take a picnic and enjoy some refreshments at St Nicholas’ Church, near the halfway point.
For those with little legs looking for a shorter walk there is a gate-to-gate option that doesn’t take you around the full island (purple route on map). Please be aware that livestock graze close to the path so dogs should be under their owner’s control.