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Top Tips for Exercising in Winter

exercise in winter

While the mornings and evenings are cold and dark, it’s no wonder that many of us feel like hanging up our sportswear and hibernating for winter, but staying active at this time of year is a fantastic way to fight off the winter blues and feel energetic, making it much easier to get up and out of the house in the morning, or after work.

Here are some quick tips to help you stay safe and avoid injury when you are exercising this winter:

Tell someone where you are going

If you are going out for a long run or bike ride at winter, make sure you tell someone where you are going. Even if you are only going for a quick session, it’s always safest to let someone else know.

Wear layers

Dressing in the wrong clothing is a common mistake. Exercise quickly generates heat, making you feel as though it is warmer than it really is, however, as your sweat evaporates, heat is pulled from your body, leaving you feeling chilled. The solution is to dress in layers that you can remove when you start to sweat and put back on when you feel cold.

Firstly, avoid cotton as this stays wet next to your skin – instead, start with a base layer of synthetic material that draws sweat away from your body. Next, wear a fleecy layer, and then a layer of breathable, waterproof clothing.

Wear a hat, gloves and thick socks

We lose around 50% of body heat from our head, so a hat is essential when you are exercising in the winter. You should also look after your extremities, wearing gloves and thick, thermal socks to keep your fingers and toes warm. If you are worried about your hands getting too sweaty, wear a pair of glove liners underneath a pair of heavier gloves and remove the heavier gloves when your hands feel too warm.

Drink plenty of fluids

Keeping hydrated is just as important in cold weather as it is during the summer. Be sure to drink fluids before, during and after your workout, even if you don’t feel thirsty. You can actually become dehydrated in the cold when you sweat, breathe hard and produce more urine, however, it can be harder to notice in cold conditions.

Don’t forget reflective clothing

If you are exercising in the morning or evening, you will certainly need reflective clothing to ensure that you are visible in the dark. If you ride a bike, ensure that you fit it with headlights and tail lights. Remember, it gets dark early at this time of year, so if you are planning to be out for a while in the afternoon, make sure you are prepared for it to get dark.

Stretch!

It’s absolutely vital to spend time stretching your muscles before you exercise in order to avoid injury. Ensure you make enough time to be fully warmed up before you start your workout. You should also make sure to warm down properly when you finish your workout.

Get warm quickly when you finish your workout

When you back from exercising, your first priority should be to get warm by taking a hot shower or bath, or changing into clean, warm clothing.

 

If you are suffering from injuries or aches and pains that are preventing you from exercising, or are worried about getting injured when exercising, osteopaths can not only treat different symptoms and conditions, but they can also provide advice on exercises and how to prevent the recurrence of injury.

Call 0121 705 4499 to book an appointment with one of our team of osteopaths.

Can Osteopathy Help Treat Knee Pain?

knee pain

Knee pain is common amongst people of all ages. Most often, knee pain is a result of injury, but can also be linked to medical conditions, such as arthritis and infections. Minor knee pain can often take care of itself, however, major injuries will need to be treated with physical therapy or in severe cases, surgery.

Symptoms

Knee pain can be a difficult and painful experience. Teenagers may experience knee pain during excessive activity or during growth spurts when your tendons and muscles are straining your growth plates. Older generations are more likely to suffer with knee pain with arthritis or damage to the menisci.

Symptoms may include:

  • Knee locking
  • Weakness
  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Difficulties straightening your knee
  • Popping, clicking or crunching noises
  • Redness and warmth when touched
  • Pain when bending
  • Pain from long periods of sitting

Common Problems

Being one of the most common complaints, knee pain can arise from a variation of problems, such as:

Referred Pain – Stemming from compression of the nerves or trigger points in your muscles further up or down your leg.

Bursitis Inflammation – Bursa acts as padding in your knee, situated between your tendons, bones and muscles. They can begin to cause pain above or below your knee if inflamed or irritated.

Osteoarthritis – In short, osteoarthritis is the wear and tear of your knee. This can be treated effectively and treatment is always better the earlier you begin. If you do suffer with osteoarthritis, you may experience pain when moving too much and your knees may become stiff.

Sports Injuries –With excessive force during sports activities, certain ligaments are put at risk of tearing. This includes your cruciate ligaments, joint capsule, collateral ligaments and other surrounding structures. When your knee is over rotated, your meniscal (located in tibia and femur lining) are also at risk of injury.

Osteopathy

Osteopathy is based on the philosophy that when our body is aligned correctly, it functions more efficiently. With a holistic approach, we consider the social and psychological factors to your pain. We stretch, massage and manipulate the area affected to relieve the pain, reduce swelling and improve your mobility.

Your knees are dependent on your muscles and joints to function properly. Our trained professional osteopathic team will examine your injury, before gently manipulating the surrounding joints and muscles. The aim of this is to rebalance the mechanics of your body to facilitate healing through proper alignment.

Booking Your Appointment

At Solihull Osteopathic Practice, our dedicated team aim to provide quality, professional treatments for pain relief. With a holistic approach to wellbeing and specialist osteopathic techniques, we provide a calm and safe environment for our patients. As a member of the Institute of Osteopathy and registered members of the General Osteopathic Council you can trust that you are in safe hands.

To book your first appointment with us, call a member of our team today on 0121 705 4499.

5 Top Tips for Beating Winter Aches and Pains

With winter approaching so begins the cold and blustery weather that can leave our bodies feeling tight, tired and fragile – particularly for those who suffer with muscle or joint pain.

Here we offer five top tips for keeping aches and pains at bay this winter, helping to avoid soreness and discomfort during the winter months.

winter aches and pains

Try to exercise

Maintaining regular exercise through the winter can help to keep our muscles and joints more flexible and relaxed despite the chilly conditions. Whatever activity you choose, always remember to stretch and warm up before hand, so to avoid pulls and strains of the affected areas.

Change your diet

Alterations to our diet over the winter period can help to ease muscle and joint complaints. Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin C and Vitamin D are all essential to maintaining our bodies through cold weather so aim to eat plenty of oily fish, vegetables and citrus fruits such as oranges.

Stay hydrated

Although we tend to favour hot drinks such as tea and coffee during the winter it is also important to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated during the colder months can have a positive effect on muscle and joint injuries as it helps to keeps our body tissues healthy.

Remember to relax

It is important to take to time to relax and recline during the winter, allowing our bodies to rest and heal. If you suffer from muscle and joint pain it is also recommended to regularly enjoy a long, hot bath – as this encourages blood vessels to dilate and relaxes the muscles.

Consider Osteopathic treatment

Osteopathic treatment can help to ease seasonal aches and pains through the moving, stretching and massage of affected muscles in order to improve function, preventing issues from re-occurring and working to increase mobility and manage discomfort.

Get in touch

At Solihull Osteopathic Practice we believe that relief from pain can be achieved by careful diagnosis and a clear plan of holistic treatment. To find out more about how we may be able to help beat winter aches and pains, please call our friendly team on 0121 705 4499.

Osteopathy Treatment During Pregnancy

pregnancy

Though it is a natural and life-changing experience, pregnancy can have a pronounced effect on the body that can result in prolonged issues with pain and posture.

Here we look at the changes that occur during pregnancy, the effects this can have on the function of the female body and the relief that can be offered by osteopathic treatment.

How the body changes

The most common changes for pregnant women include weight gain, increased breast size and the stretching of the uterus and abdominal muscles in order to accommodate the growth of the baby and eventual labour.

Together, these rapid changes to the composition and frame of body can be difficult to adapt to, leading to a number of issues that can cause discomfort through the pregnancy that may continue after giving birth.

Possible side-effects

Women can experience a number of issues attributed to the hormonal and physical changes that occur naturally as part of pregnancy, normally causing varying levels of discomfort, aches and pains.

These include increased strain and tension on muscles and joints surrounding the neck, shoulders, hips and knees, added pressure on the spine and lower back, abdominal pain and Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction.

Other side effects include headaches, breathlessness, nausea, heartburn, sciatica, circulatory issuers and swelling of the legs and feet.

How can Osteopathic treatment help?

Osteopathic treatment can help women experiencing skeletal and muscle pain during pregnancy by taking a holistic approach to easing discomfort.

During an initial consultation, a trained Osteopath will discuss the issues that are being experienced and following a brief physical assessment, will make recommendations of the treatments that may provide relief.

Methods include soft tissue massage to help relieve tension and strain, exercises and stretches tailored to help modify posture and realign the spine and pelvis, and even advice on breathing techniques and exercises that can aid well-being.

Get in touch

Ultimately, the aim of osteopathic treatment is to relieve pressure and manage pain throughout your pregnancy.

At Solihull Osteopathic Practice we believe that some relief from pain can be achieved by careful diagnosis and a clear plan of holistic treatment. To find out more about how we may be able to help, please call our friendly team on 0121 705 4499.

Osteopathic Treatment for Back Pain

Of all the complaints that osteopaths treat, back pain is certainly one of the most common. It can affect people of all ages and as many as eight out of ten of us will suffer from back pain at some point in our life. In most cases, back pain isn’t serious and will usually be resolved without treatment within a few days or weeks. However, there’s no doubt that back pain can be extremely painful and troublesome, making it hard to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Causes and symptoms of back pain

Back pain can be brought on by many different actions, such as bending down, lifting something, moving awkwardly, an accident, or even getting up out of a chair. However, there are other occasions where back pain arises without any specific injury. Factors such as stress and depression, poor posture, being overweight, lack of exercise and other bad lifestyle habits can be causes of back pain.

Symptoms of back pain can be extremely varied, from a little tenderness or stiffness, to mild or even severe pain. In some cases, pain can be very sudden (after an accident or an awkward movement), or it can develop over time. Back pain can also be located anywhere along the spine, from the pelvis and lower back, to the neck. Often, back pain can make it difficult to stand up straight without pain, or your range of movement may be diminished to some extent.

When symptoms of back pain are a result of strain or misuse, they are normally only short-lived, but can last for a few days or weeks in some cases. When pain has been present for three months or longer, it is classed as chronic back pain.

back pain

Treating back pain

If back pain persists for more than a few days, although it can take much longer than that to clear up, it’s important to visit a doctor or osteopath. Osteopaths are highly trained in diagnosing back pain and commonly treat patients suffering from problems including:

  • Acute back pain
  • Chronic back pain
  • Mechanical back pain
  • Lumbago
  • Sciatica
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Some disc problems

Osteopathic treatment is different for every patient; however, it may include a wide range of manual techniques including gentle manipulations, soft tissue massage and joint articulations to help release tension, stretch muscles, mobilise the joints and help to relieve aches and pains.

Osteopaths can also provide advice on preventing future back pain, including stretches and exercises, posture and relaxation.

If you have questions about back pain or need to book an appointment at Solihull Osteopathic Practice, please call 0121 705 4499.