Acupuncture to Alleviate Pain

Acupuncture is one of the oldest recorded forms of medicine, having been used for over 3000 years by the Chinese. Modern scientific research shows that acupuncture stimulates the brain to produce natural chemicals called endorphins,which aid pain relief and help the body heal itself. A recent study* in Australia has shown acupuncture to be an effective alternative to pain medications for some emergency department patients, producing better results than pain relief drugs alone. The research involved 528 patients, making it the world’s largest randomized, controlled trial of acupuncture in an emergency department. The study looked at patients with acute low back pain, migraines and ankle sprains. Patients who reported their level of pain to be at least 4 out of 10 were given either acupuncture alone, acupuncture combined with pain relief medication, or medication alone. Interestingly, more patients in the acupuncture-only group said they would probably or definitely repeat their treatment compared to those in the combined group or the pain relief medication-alone group. Lead investigator for the study Marc Cohen, MBBS, PhD, a professor in the School of Health & Biomedical Sciences at RMIT University in Melbourne, said of the results “Emergency nurses and doctors need a variety of pain-relieving options for patients, given the concerns around opioids such as morphine, which carry the risk of addiction when used long-term.” Acupuncture is available at The Iveson Clinic, and many of our patients report great results after having it. If you would like more information or to make an appointment, please give us a call on 01787 374964. * Cohen MM, Smit DV, Andrianopoulos N, et al. ‘Acupuncture for analgesia in...

Green Fingers… Sore Backs?

Summer is in full swing and many of us like nothing better than to get out in the fresh air and potter in the garden. Digging and weeding can be strenuous work though, and it’s all too easy to overdo it and end the day with aches, pains or pulled muscles. However with a bit of thought and planning, it’s simple to avoid those injuries and continue to enjoy putting your green fingers to work. Here are our Top Tips for pain-free pottering: Warm up first Gardening can involve muscles that you don’t use very often, so take a few minutes to warm up before getting down to the hard work. Try a brisk five-minute walk and some stretching exercises Lift carefully Take care when lifting heavy pots, bags of compost, full watering cans and so on. To lift correctly, begin by squatting, not bending at your waist. Use both hands to hold the object, keeping it close to your body. Slowly stand up, using your leg muscles to lift, not your back. Use a wheelbarrow or trolley to move heavy items from place to place. Fill large watering cans just halfway, and consider alternative watering options, such as hoses Take breaks It’s easy to lose track of time when gardening. Take frequent breaks and do some stretches during these breaks. Avoid doing the same kind of job for a long period. Don’t bend over for hours, determined to finish weeding a flower bed in one go! Switch to something else for a while, such as cutting the grass or dead heading, then finish the weeding later Get support...

Acupuncture & Knee Pain

Some interesting new research seems to show that acupuncture can relieve chronic pain and improves physical function in patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee. The research involved ten randomized controlled trials of acupuncture compared with sham acupuncture, standard care or no intervention for chronic knee pain in patients who had a confimred diagnosed of knee osteoarthritis. The studies demonstrated that acupuncture can improve short and long-term physical function, however in some patients the pain relief from acupuncture appeared to be only short term. The research was carried out by the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China. You can read more about these fascinating results here Julie Iveson, senior physiotherapist at The Iveson Clinic, is a qualified and experienced acupuncturist. To find out more or to book an appointment, please click here or call us on 01787 374964....

Physiotherapy & Sporting Injuries

The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio are fast approaching, with the opening ceremony taking place on Saturday 6th August. As we have come to expect, there are sure to be many wonderful sporting moments, outstanding achievements and records broken. You may already know that physiotherapy plays a vital role in keeping elite athletes fit to perform or help them recover from injury, but did you know that physiotherapy can help recreational sportspeople too? A 2013 survey for BBC Radio 5 Live revealed that, as a direct result of the London 2012 Olympics, 20% of people were inspired to take up or increase their participation in sport. This is good news, of course, but it could also mean an increase in sports-related injuries. Sports physiotherapists have specific knowledge and experience that can deal with acute, chronic or over-use injuries. Acupuncture can also aid recovery following a sporting injury. A variety of techniques can be effectively used to stimulate the body to aid recovery and ease pain. Julie Iveson, the senior physiotherapist and acupuncturist at The Iveson Clinic, has a particular interest in all forms of sports injuries as she was a successful gymnast and competed internationally in the late 1970s and early 80s. Here is Julie performing at The British Championships. So if you need help with an injury or would like some advice to prevent sporting injuries, please give us a call on 01787 374964....

Hands-on or Hands-off Treatment?

There is currently a lot of debate regarding hands on versus hands off physiotherapy. Research is being undertaken to ascertain, through evidence based trials, which form of treatment is most helpful in the long term to patients. Very often patients will come to the Iveson Clinic, having had hands-off treatment at the local hospital but feeling frustrated that, after waiting on the NHS waiting list for their treatment, they received only advice and exercises! I recall in my training being advised that it is mostly down to the patient, and only partly to us the therapist, to achieve the best outcome from their ailment/injury. This comes down to compliance with exercises and taking on board the advice given by the physiotherapist regarding posture, do’s and dont’s etc and healthy lifestyle. However, I think common sense must prevail in the end! Without hands on treatment, patients will be unable to do their exercises, in the way intended, due to joint dysfunction or pain. The NHS is under tremendous pressure financially and is having to find answers to cutting their budgets as well as finding ways to help patients in a more cost effective way. In my view, and from 30 years in practice, there are many things the physiotherapists and chiropractors at the Iveson Clinic can improve with our hands. Whether this involves massage, myofascial release, mobilisation or manipulation of stiff joints or modalities such as acupuncture or electrotherapy, in conjunction with the treatment, we can give symptomatic relief to patients. This then opens a window of opportunity to the patient to then do their own exercise programme, once the muscle spasm...