Relaxation for Osteopaths

david@theosteopath.net

As we enter yet another few weeks of lockdown I worry for the mental state of us all. So to comfort myself I head towards Wandsworth Common and look at our beautiful trees in fabulous autumnal colours. Here we see a Liquidamber styraciflua, other names are Sweetgum or American Red Gum tree in the middle of the kiddies playground with all the maple like pointed leaves rich colours, orange, crimson and purple.

Osteopaths remain Open in Lockdown

Osteopaths even had a mention in the Times Newspaper today!

“In general, sport, including tennis and golf, is not allowed outside, even if played by children, unless they are at school in which case it is permitted. Personal trainers can continue one-on-one sessions in the park and Osteopaths will remain on hand if the session goes awry.”

http://www.theosteopath.net email david@theosteopath.net

Weekend Time Changes

Memories of Travelling

A little reminder that on Sunday the clocks will go back one hour which signals the end of British Summer Time.  That means you can enjoy an extra hour in bed this weekend, which may be very welcome! No matter how you use your extra hour, aim to do something for yourself in that extra magic hour. 

Does anyone else have the twice yearly battle with the oven clock, the alarm clock and the boiler controls or is it just me?!

We are here for you if needed, I can treat patients but we cannot go for a glass of wine or a beer together, unless suitably spaced on the Common.

Have a great week-end and stay safe. Remember your Vitamin D, C and Zinc. Probiotics leafy greens and most importantly get quality sleep to boost those Killer T-Cells in the Immune system

Take care,

David

Working from Home

So many people are slowly developing headaches, neck and back pains after working from home for a long period.

Reduced general movements that were part of the “going to work process” have disappeared from daily routines. No walking for buses or trains, no flights of stairs, no heading out for lunch etc. All this reduction in function is beginning to take its toll on our bodies.

We need movement to transfer fluids around the body. It is necessary to survive. The immune system depends on it. Please take walking breaks, and stretch. Learn Tai Chi which can be done in small spaces, warm up routines of Qi Gong also great. Yoga and Pilates for those who prefer.

All these efforts keep you away from the Osteopath!

Headaches and Migraines whilst working from home! Avoid ‘laptop syndrome’

Government advice to continue working from home means that many of us have now spent half the year hunched over a laptop at the kitchen table.

This has given rise to the aches and pains of so-called ‘laptop syndrome’; a condition which occurs when we spend hour upon hour in unsuitable positions.

On Mornings, physiotherapist Sammy Margo warned that our increasingly sedentary lifestyle is having a serious impact on our health.

Woman reclining on sofa using laptop

Image: Mimi Thian/Unsplash

She said, “Laptops are not really designed to do an 8-10 hour working day,”.

“[Since lockdown] everyone’s scared of losing their job. They’re sitting for longer periods, they’re not taking regular breaks … they’re barely getting out of their pyjamas.”

For many, the daily commute has been reduced to a short journey from the bedroom to the kitchen.

“They’re literally going from their bed to a C-shaped posture for somewhere in the region of 8-10 hours a day,” said Sammy.

She explained that her profession is seeing an upsurge in headaches and migraine, as well as neck, shoulder, arm and lower back pain from the “day in day out grind of sitting in this position”.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Occupational therapist, Sally Payne, offered advice for everyone working from home.

“Think about posture,” she advised.  “What people should be looking for is a position where they can sit with their shoulders relaxed, their hips, their knees and their ankles all at 90 degrees. If you can get your feet flat on the floor that’s absolutely brilliant.” 

Sally also suggests pushing the laptop a little away from the edge of the table to allow space for wrists to rest. 

Some may find their kitchen set-up works well for them but Sally sounded a note of warning:

“The worst possible position would be to sit on a barstool at a kitchen work surface because you’ll be hovering with your legs dangling and your arms are not resting comfortably.”

It’s easy to dismiss the first grumblings of aches and pains but Sally advised that we pay heed to them.

She said, “If you’re getting pain in your body then that’s going to affect not only your work but the other daily activities that you do, and your mental health and well-being as well,”

The worst possible position would be to sit on a barstool at a kitchen work surface

Sally Payne, Occupational Therapist

Preventative measures

Even those lucky enough to have a perfect home work space can benefit from exercising to prevent aches and strains. Sammy suggested trying regular gentle stretches.

“Ensure you’ve got your B.B.C. – bum into the back of the chair,” she said. “And while you’re doing that turn your head from left to right, look up and down at the ceiling, then [lean your] ear to shoulder followed by [the other] ear to shoulder. Shoulder rolling is another great exercise you can do.”

And, Sammy advised that even though we’re working we don’t have to do it all sitting down.

“Sitting to standing is one of my favourite exercises because it helps to keep your legs strong. If you’re on the phone to one of your work colleagues or you need to have a break [changing from] sitting to standing is a great way to keep yourself mobile.”

Headaches and Migraines whilst working from home! Avoid ‘laptop syndrome’

Government advice to continue working from home means that many of us have now spent half the year hunched over a laptop at the kitchen table.

This has given rise to the aches and pains of so-called ‘laptop syndrome’; a condition which occurs when we spend hour upon hour in unsuitable positions.

On Mornings, physiotherapist Sammy Margo warned that our increasingly sedentary lifestyle is having a serious impact on our health.

Woman reclining on sofa using laptop

Image: Mimi Thian/Unsplash

She said, “Laptops are not really designed to do an 8-10 hour working day,”.

“[Since lockdown] everyone’s scared of losing their job. They’re sitting for longer periods, they’re not taking regular breaks … they’re barely getting out of their pyjamas.”

For many, the daily commute has been reduced to a short journey from the bedroom to the kitchen.

“They’re literally going from their bed to a C-shaped posture for somewhere in the region of 8-10 hours a day,” said Sammy.

She explained that her profession is seeing an upsurge in headaches and migraine, as well as neck, shoulder, arm and lower back pain from the “day in day out grind of sitting in this position”.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Occupational therapist, Sally Payne, offered advice for everyone working from home.

“Think about posture,” she advised.  “What people should be looking for is a position where they can sit with their shoulders relaxed, their hips, their knees and their ankles all at 90 degrees. If you can get your feet flat on the floor that’s absolutely brilliant.” 

Sally also suggests pushing the laptop a little away from the edge of the table to allow space for wrists to rest. 

Some may find their kitchen set-up works well for them but Sally sounded a note of warning:

“The worst possible position would be to sit on a barstool at a kitchen work surface because you’ll be hovering with your legs dangling and your arms are not resting comfortably.”

It’s easy to dismiss the first grumblings of aches and pains but Sally advised that we pay heed to them.

She said, “If you’re getting pain in your body then that’s going to affect not only your work but the other daily activities that you do, and your mental health and well-being as well,”

The worst possible position would be to sit on a barstool at a kitchen work surface

Sally Payne, Occupational Therapist

Preventative measures

Even those lucky enough to have a perfect home work space can benefit from exercising to prevent aches and strains. Sammy suggested trying regular gentle stretches.

“Ensure you’ve got your B.B.C. – bum into the back of the chair,” she said. “And while you’re doing that turn your head from left to right, look up and down at the ceiling, then [lean your] ear to shoulder followed by [the other] ear to shoulder. Shoulder rolling is another great exercise you can do.”

And, Sammy advised that even though we’re working we don’t have to do it all sitting down.

“Sitting to standing is one of my favourite exercises because it helps to keep your legs strong. If you’re on the phone to one of your work colleagues or you need to have a break [changing from] sitting to standing is a great way to keep yourself mobile.”

How dangerous is Covid? A Swedish doctor’s perspective | The Spectator

Source: How dangerous is Covid? A Swedish doctor’s perspective | The Spectato

Another viewpoint on the current World Crisis –

How dangerous is Covid? A Swedish doctor’s perspective

How dangerous is Covid? A Swedish doctor’s perspective
A doctor in a Swedish ICU (photo: Getty)
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I want to preface this article by stating that it is entirely anecdotal and based on my experience working as a doctor in the emergency room of one of the big hospitals in Stockholm, and on living as a citizen in Sweden. As many people know, Sweden is perhaps the country that has taken the most relaxed attitude towards the Covid pandemic. Unlike other countries, Sweden never went into complete lockdown. Non-essential businesses have remained open, people have continued to go to cafés and restaurants, children have remained in school, and very few people have bothered with face masks in public.

Covid hit Stockholm like a storm in mid-March. One day I was seeing people with appendicitis and kidney stones, the normal things you see in the emergency room. The next day all those patients were gone and the only thing coming into the hospital was Covid. Practically everyone who was tested had Covid, regardless of their presenting symptoms. People came in with a nosebleed and they had Covid. They came in with stomach pain and they had Covid.

Then, after a few months, all the Covid patients disappeared. It is now four months since the start of the pandemic, and I haven’t seen a single Covid patient in over a month. When I do test someone because they have a cough or a fever, the test invariably comes back negative. At the peak three months back, a hundred people were dying a day of Covid in Sweden, a country with a population of ten million. We are now down to around five people dying per day in the whole country, and that number continues to drop. Since people generally die around three weeks after infection, that suggests virtually no one is now being infected. If we assume around 0.5 per cent of those infected die (which I think is very generous, more on that later) that means three weeks back 1,000 people were getting infected per day in the whole country, which works out to a daily risk per person of getting infected of 1 in 10,000. And remember, the risk of dying is at the very most 1 in 200 if you actually do get infected. And that was three weeks ago. Basically, Covid is in all practical senses over and done with in Sweden. After four months.

In total Covid has killed under 6,000 people in a country of ten million. A country with an annual death rate of around 100,000 people. That makes Covid a mere blip in terms of its effect on mortality.

That is why it is nonsensical to compare Covid to other major pandemics, like the 1918 pandemic that killed tens of millions of people. Covid will never even come close to those numbers. And yet many countries have shut down their entire economies, stopped children going to school, and made large portions of their population unemployed in order to deal with this disease.

The media have been proclaiming that only a small percentage of the population have antibodies, and therefore it is impossible that herd immunity has developed. Well, if herd immunity hasn’t developed, where are all the sick people? Why has the rate of infection dropped so precipitously? Considering that most people in Sweden are leading their lives normally now, not socially distancing, not wearing masks, there should still be high rates of infection.

The reason we test for antibodies is because it is easy and cheap. Antibodies are in fact not the body’s main defence against virus infections. T-cells are. But T-cells are harder to measure than antibodies, so we don’t really do it clinically. It is quite possible to have T-cells that are specific for Covid and thereby make you immune to the disease, without having any antibodies. Personally, I think this is what has happened. Everybody who works in the emergency room where I work has had the antibody test. Very few actually have antibodies. This is in spite of being exposed to huge numbers of infected people, including at the beginning of the pandemic, before we realised how widespread Covid was, and when no one was wearing protective equipment.

I am not denying that Covid is awful for the people who do get really sick or for the families of the people who die, just as it is awful for the families of people who die of cancer, influenza, or an opioid overdose. But the size of the response in most of the world (not including Sweden) has been totally disproportionate to the size of the threat.

Sweden ripped the metaphorical band-aid off quickly and got the epidemic over and done with in a short amount of time, while the rest of the world has chosen to try to peel the band-aid off slowly. At present that means Sweden has one of the highest total death rates in the world. But Covid is over in Sweden. People have gone back to their normal lives and barely anyone is getting infected anymore. I am willing to bet that the countries that have shut down completely will see rates spike when they open up. If that is the case, then there won’t have been any point in shutting down in the first place, because all those countries are going to end up with the same number of dead at the end of the day anyway. Shutting down completely in order to decrease the total number of deaths only makes sense if you are willing to stay shut down until a vaccine is available. That could take years. No country is willing to wait that long.

Covid has at present killed less than 6,000 in Sweden. It is very unlikely that the number of dead will go above 7,000. In an average year 700 people die of influenza in Sweden. Does that mean Covid is ten times worse than influenza? No, because influenza has been around for centuries while Covid is completely new. In an average influenza year most people already have some level of immunity because they’ve been infected with a similar strain previously, or because they’re vaccinated. So it is quite possible, or in fact likely, that the case fatality rate for Covid is the same as for influenza, or only slightly higher, and that the entire difference we have seen is due to the complete lack of any immunity in the population at the start of this pandemic.

This conclusion makes sense of the Swedish fatality numbers – if we’ve reached a point where there is hardly any active infection going on anymore in Sweden, in spite of the fact that there is barely any social distancing happening, then that suggests at least 50 per cent of the population has been infected already and has developed immunity, which is five million people. This number is perfectly reasonable if we assume a reproductive number for the virus of two: If each person infects two new people within a five day period, and you start out with just one infected person in the country, then you will reach a point where several million are infected in just four months. If only 6,000 are dead out of five million infected, that works out to a case fatality rate of 0.12 per cent, roughly the same as regular old influenza, which no one is the least bit frightened of, and which we don’t shut down our societies for.

WRITTEN BYSebastian RushworthSebastian Rushworth is a junior doctor in Stockholm, who studied medicine at the Karolinska Institute. This article originally appeared on his personal website.

 

 

TMJ Dysfunctions Systemic Implications and Postural Assessments: A Review of Recent Literature

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by Sergio Sambataro 1Gabriele Cervino 1Salvatore Bocchieri 1Rosario La Bruna 2 and Marco Cicciù 1,*1Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences and Morphological and Functional Imaging, Messina University, 98100 Messina, Italy2Private Practice, 89100 Reggio Calabria, Italy*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol.20194(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk4030058Received: 19 June 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019(This article belongs to the Special Issue TMJ Dysfunctions and Systemic Correlations)View Full-TextDownload PDFBrowse FiguresCite This Paper

Abstract

Cases of correlations between posture and the temporomandibular joint have long been reported in the literature. In particular, occlusal anomalies, and therefore malocclusion, could have negative implications for the spine. The objective of this study was to review the literature and bring to light any correlations between temporomandibular joints (TMJ) and posturology. The literature search was conducted in the PubMed and Embase scientific search engines with the aim of obtaining the most possible results in the initial search, the number of results initially obtained was 263. Subsequently, the inclusion and exclusion criteria were reduced first to 83 and subsequently to manual analysis of the articles, those included remained only 11. The results show a correlation between anomalies of the TMJ and dysfunctions of the vertebral column. Not all the articles considered are in agreement with each other regarding epidemiological data, but surely this study can represent an important starting point for a much more careful evaluation of the dental patient and at the same time for the request for counseling by a dentist in case of postural abnormalities. View Full-TextKeywords: TMJspinal cordcervicalvertebradentistrymalocclusionorthodonticgnatologicphysiotherapyorthopedic▼ Show Figures

Figure 1This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited

Sleepless in Silicon Valley


Sleepless in Silicon Valley

Interesting article on th Economist Why the techie obsession with sleep technology makes perfect sense

BusinessMay 16th 2019 edition


May 16th 2019

  • Fit blackout blinds in your bedroom. Eat dinner at 4pm, and do not eat or drink anything after 6pm. Put on your blue-light blocking glasses at 8pm. Set your bedroom temperature to 67ºF (19.4ºC) and your electric blanket to 69.8ºF (21ºC). At 8.45pm, meditate for five to ten minutes. Switch on your deep-wave sound machine. Put on your Oura sleep-tracking ring. You are now, finally, ready for slumber. This may all sound a bit over the top. But this is the “sleep hygiene” routine described in a recent blog post by Bryan Johnson, who sold his previous company to eBay for $800m and is now chief executive of Kernel, a startup developing brain-computer interfaces. He admits that his sleep routine has “decimated my social life”, and that his partner sleeps in a different room, but says all this trouble is worth it, because it has boosted his level of “deep sleep” by as much as 157%. He has bought Oura rings for all his employees.

Mr Johnson does not expect other people to copy his routine, but made it public to encourage the sharing of sleep habits and tips. Like many other techies, he regards sleep hygiene as an effective way to maintain mental health, boost cognition and enhance productivity. In its most recent funding round, backers of Oura, the Finnish maker of the high-tech ring, included the co-founders of YouTube and Twitch, along with alumni of Facebook, Skype and Box.com. The ring’s most famous user is Jack Dorsey, the boss of Twitter, whose unusual wellness regime—which also incorporates near-infrared saunas, radiation-blocking Faraday tents, fasting and cryotherapy—prompted the New York Times this month to dub him “Gwyneth Paltrow for Silicon Valley”. For tech tycoons, it seems, sleep is the new fitness.null

Those who want to monitor and improve their sleep have no shortage of gadgets to choose from. As well as electric blankets and mattress-chillers, sound machines and smart rings, there are also smart pillows, sleep-tracking watches and bracelets, intelligent sleep masks, brain-stimulating headbands, bedside sleep sensors and countless sleep-monitoring apps. The market for sleep technology was worth $58bn in 2014 and is expected to grow to $81bn by 2020, according to Persistence, a market-research firm. Big companies in the field include household names such as Apple, Bose, Nokia and Philips. After Mr Dorsey’s enthusiastic endorsement, the Oura rings are back-ordered by four to six weeks.

The mania for sleep technology makes perfect sense for the tech industry, combining as it does several existing trends. For a start, it fits with the industry’s metrics-driven worldview. Techies obsess about okrs (objectives and key results), kpis (key performance indicators) and digital-analytics dashboards showing the performance of specific products and features. Applying similar techniques to sleep and other aspects of their personal lives—an approach known as the “quantified self”—seems a logical step. As those in the startup world like to say, channelling Peter Drucker, a management guru, “what’s measured improves.”

Sleep-tracking also aligns neatly with Silicon Valley’s cult of productivity, and the constant search for “life hacks” that will make entrepreneurs more effective, efficient and successful. This ranges from wearing the same clothes every day, Steve Jobs-style (thus avoiding wasting time deciding what to put on), to fastidious fitness routines and complicated diets. Elaborate sleep regimes slot right in, because they promise clarity of thought and improved cognitive performance. They also let people extend their quantified-self and life-hacking efforts into the one part of the day that was previously untouched: shut-eye. Relentlessly pursuing productivity only while you are awake is for wimps. Sleep-tracking means you can do it round the clock. Oura describes its sensor-packed ring as a “secret weapon for personal improvement”—another way to get ahead.

Never mind that a study published in 2015, by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, found that sleep-tracking devices could not accurately measure sleep, and that claims made about them were long on hype and short on solid evidence. Ignore the fact that another study, published in 2017 by researchers at two medical schools in Chicago, warned of the dangers of “orthosomnia”, defined as a “perfectionistic quest for the ideal sleep in order to optimise daytime function”, as obsessive users of sleep-tech devices self-diagnose sleep disturbances based on dodgy data, or stay awake all night worrying that they are falling behind by not sleeping as efficiently as rivals.

It is hardly surprising that techies are not getting enough sleep, given the industry’s culture of long hours, and the widespread notion that for a true entrepreneur, everything else in life is secondary to succeeding at work. The enthusiasm for sleep-tech also fits a larger pattern of using technology to fix problems that the industry itself has created. Is your smartphone too addictive? Here’s an app to help you monitor and track your usage. Are the streets of your city clogged with Ubers? Try an electric scooter instead. Seen this way, the embrace of sleep-tracking is an indictment of the whole culture: it tackles the symptoms of sleep deprivation, but not the disease.

Sleepwalking into the future

But resist the temptation to dismiss all this as batty. Sleep-tracking is at exactly the stage that fitness-tracking technology was at a decade ago. Now fitness trackers (including the Apple Watch) are mainstream and nobody bats an eyelid when people share details of their morning runs on Facebook. The same could easily happen with sleep-tech. A series of previous examples—including the use of email, the embrace of online shopping, hailing a car with an app, or renting a room in an unfamiliar city from a complete stranger—are a reminder that the seemingly crazy things that Silicon Valley types do today, everyone else may end up doing in a decade’s time. In this case, in their sleep.