Gift Vouchers for Christmas

Fit n Well Gift Vouchers for Christmas

Why not give a Fit n Well Gift Voucher this Christmas.

It’s always difficult to know what to buy your family

and friends for a treat or present isn’t it?

We all love to be pampered so why not treat someone special this Christmas and give them a Fit n Well Gift Voucher. We have a fantastic range of Holistic Therapies and CACI Facials for him or her to choose from for that ideal gift.

Choose from:

Alternatively you can purchase general gift vouchers which allow the recipient to make their own choice of treatment.

To purchase a gift voucher or for further information please contact Maria on 07977 427644 or email us using the link below

contact Fit n Well, Stone, Staffordshire.

 

 

Soft Tissues Injuries

Soft Tissue Injuries

Don’t Ignore Your Injury

Many of us will put up with pain, try hard to ignore it and even ‘tough it out’ only to end up wishing and regretting that we hadn’t acted sooner.

Appropriate treatment now will enhance your chances of a fast and full recovery and reduce the likelihood of injury recurrence.

We are all at risk of sustaining an injury just through normal daily activities such as work and leisure, but for those who participate in sport and train hard, the risk of injury increases.  Musculoskeletal injuries such as overuse injuries, strains and sprains are very common, so when should we stop ignoring the signs and symptoms of injury?

Don’t ignore your injury if:

  • Pain alters your ability to function.
  • Inflammation of the affected area hasn’t reduced after 2-3 days.
  • If the pain is worsening.
  • You experience numbness/loss of sensation (does not have to be in the affected area).
  • The affected area becomes red and feels hot.
  • There are open wounds or grazes.
  • An old injury begins to hurt or ache.
  • You are unable to bear weight on the affected area.
  • Any physiological body function is affected.
  • Feel sick, dizzy and/or faint
Pain doesn’t always mean that you have an actual injury, sometimes it’s simply from over exertion or using muscles that you don’t usually use. Common sense and professional advice will help!
Ignoring your injury could result in you having to take more time off work, missing out on leisurely events or not participating in an event or competition that you had planned for months.  After all the effort, dedication and hard training the outcome could end in sheer frustration and disappointment.
Of course, sometimes you can get away with overstepping the line, but every time you do, you risk prolonging or worsening your injury.

 

Reasons for getting your injury assessed and treated:

  • Sometimes pain is not directly related to the effected area, it may be caused by something else (referred pain).
  • Inflammation can cause tissue damage resulting in long term injury or a chronic condition.
  • Untreated injuries can cause a build-up of scar tissue which can adhere to bone or neighbouring tissue.
  • To avoid further reduction of range of movement.
  • To avoid developing compensatory movement patterns that can create further problems.
  • Faster recovery.
  • Prevention of further injury.
  • Appropriate and effective rehabilitation.

Please note that if you have received a head injury, impact injury, fracture, dislocation or any severe injury then you should seek medical advice from your GP or nearest hospital immediately.

Fit n Well specialise in the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions that have been sustained through sport, work or leisure.

If you would like to make an appointment please contact Fit n Well on 07977 427644 or email us using the link Contact Fit n Well

Sports Therapy at Fit n Well, Stone Staffordshire

Are you suffering with sciatica?

Are you suffering with sciatica?

If you are suffering with sciatica – we can help!

What causes sciatica?

Sciatica is caused by the irritation and/or compression of the sciatic nerve.

Sciatica describes the symptoms of pain, numbness and weakness that radiate along the sciatic nerve.  The sciatic nerve runs from the back of your pelvis, through your buttocks, down the back of both legs, ending at your feet.

Signs and symptoms of Sciatica:

Sciatic pain can vary from mild and irritating to constant and incapacitating. It can be made worse by sitting or standing for long periods, sneezing and coughing. Symptoms can be different in location and severity as this depends upon the condition causing the sciatica. While people with sciatica can suffer back pain, the pain associated with sciatica usually affects the buttocks and legs much more. Depending on the cause, symptoms can travel as far down as the feet and toes.

Sciatica is often characterised by either one or from a combination of the following symptoms:

  • Muscle weakness in the affected leg
  • Tingling sensation from the back through the buttock traveling down the leg.
  • Constant or intermittent pain in only one side of the buttock or leg (rarely can occur in both legs)
  • Pain that is worse when sitting
  • Leg pain that is often described as burning, tingling or searing
  • Weakness, numbness and/or difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or to walk

Causes of Sciatica are:

  • Sciatica is often caused by lower back disorders between the forth lumbar and third sacral vertebrae, where there is pressure or irritation to a lumbar nerve root.
  • Sciatica is sometimes caused by a herniated or “slipped” disc. This is when one of the discs that sit between the bones of the spine is damaged and presses on the nerves.
  • Degenerative disc disease.
  • Less common causes include spinal stenosis (narrowing of the nerve passages in the spine), a spinal injury, infection, or a growth within the spine (such as a tumour).

In rare cases, surgery may be needed to correct the underlying problem in your spine. Sciatica itself can be treatable through a range of treatments and therapies offered by professional therapists.

Other causes of sciatica

There are many other causes of sciatica that are more easily treated; for example problems with over tight muscles in the hamstrings, Piriformis Syndrome (spasm in the piriformis) and weak glutes.

Sciatica that is caused by less complicated conditions are easily treatable by a professional physical therapist such as a sports therapist or physiotherapist.

Self help

There are a combination of things you can do at home to reduce the symptoms of sciatica until the condition improves:

  • Taking over the counter anti inflammatory painkillers
  • Exercising and stretching
  • Use of hot or cold packs
  • Avoiding dehydration
  • Managing stress levels
  • Avoiding sleep deprivation

You are advised to speak to your GP or pharmacist about taking any over the counter medications.

You can minimise your risk of developing a slipped disc or back injury that could lead to sciatica by adopting a better posture and lifting techniques, stretching before and after exercise, and exercising regularly. While bed rest may provide some temporary pain relief, prolonged bed rest is often considered unnecessary and unhelpful.

Gentle stretching to the following muscle groups can help to ease sciatic tension and alleviate pain

Piriformis stretch

To stretch the piriformis, lie on your back and gently pull your knee towards your opposite shoulder. You should feel a tightness (not a pain), hold for 6 seconds, drop your leg down and repeat 5 times.

Lower back – knee to chest stretch

To improve the flexibility of your lower back lie on your back on a mat or the carpet. Place a small flat cushion or book under your head. Bend your knees and keep your feet straight and hip-width apart. Keep your upper body relaxed and your chin gently tucked in. Bend one knee up towards your chest and grasp your knee with both hands. Slowly increase this stretch as comfort allows. Hold for 20-30 seconds with controlled deep breaths. Repeat three times, alternating legs.

Standing hamstring stretch

Stand upright and raise one leg on to a stable object, such as a step. Keep that leg straight and your toes pointing straight up. Lean forward while keeping your back straight. Hold for 20-30 seconds while taking deep breaths. Repeat two to three times with each leg.

Please note that it is important that you only stretch as far as comfortable. If you are in severe pain, have undergone an operation or have a medical condition then you are advised to check with your GP if the above exercise are safe for you to practice.

We can help!

If you are suffering with sciatica and would like to know how Fit n Well can help you or if would like to book an appointment please phone Maria on 07977 427644 or email us using the link below.

Contact Fit n Well, Aston, Stone, Staffordshire ( click link)

When to see your GP

You should see your GP if your symptoms are severe or persistent, or are getting worse over time. You should immediately call 999 for an ambulance if you experience loss of sensation between your legs and around your buttocks and/or loss of bladder or bowel control as this may be caused by a more serious condition.

 

Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries are one the most common types of injury sustained through strenuous activity or general overuse.

Below are some of the most common shoulder injuries and conditions that most of us will experience at some time.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The Rotator cuff is made of four thick fibrous tendons connecting muscles from the shoulder blade (scapula) to the upper arm bone (humerus). The rotator cuff muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis) provide stability for the shoulder by securing the head of the humorus (upper arm bone) firmly in the glenoid fossa (ball socket joint of shoulder).  On top of the shoulder joint is a bone called the acromian and in the space between the shoulder joint (subacromial space) lies a fluid-filled pad called the subacromial bursa which cushions the tendons. Together they function to assist movements of the arms.

Over 70% of the population in the UK will experience a shoulder problem at some point in their life with a high chance of rotator cuff injury being the source of pain.  Given the relatively small size of these muscles and the amount of work that is demanded of them, they can become inflamed, damaged or torn due to trauma or repetitive overuse during sporting or non-sporting activities. The most commonly injured rotator cuff is the Supraspinatus tendon but any or all of them can be injured at any one time.

Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy

Rotator cuff tendinopathy mainly occurs in the subacromial space where there is an inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons and the bursa that surrounds them. Tendons can become pinched and trapped against other structures of the shoulder known as’ rotator cuff impingement’. Inflammation of the subacromial bursa is referred to as ‘bursitis’

Torn Rotator Cuff

Rotator cuff tears are very common.  Any one of these tendons can be torn by lifting heavy weights, overuse or sudden jolting movements. The likelihood of injury to these tendons increase with age. You can have a partial tear which is often caused be overuse over a period of time or a full tear which may be a result of trauma. Some common symptoms include pain on top of the shoulder or referred pain along the outside of the arm to the elbow.

Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Injuries

  • Pain in your shoulder and arm when raising and lowering your arm.
  • Difficulty in reaching behind your back.
  • Pain when sleeping on the affected side.
  • Weakness in your shoulder when you lift or rotate your arm.
  • Redness and local swelling.

Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder)

This is commonly known as a ‘frozen shoulder’. The shoulder capsule and the connective tissue surrounding the glenohumeral joint of the shoulder becomes inflamed. This can be a very painful and debilitating disorder which restricts even simple movement. Severe inflammation can cause other problems in the shoulder such as tendinopathy and bursitis. The cause is not understood but the risk is believed to increase with age and is more common in women than men. Diabetes also increases your risk of developing a frozen shoulder.

Shoulder Separation

This occurs in the joint  where the scapula and clavicle bones meet (acromioclavicular joint). This type of injury is usually caused by a fall or sharp blow at the top of the shoulder. Often, the ligament, tissues and nerves are injured or even completely torn. Common symptoms include severe pain, swelling and sometimes bruising. A lump can be present in more serious injuries. Slings are often used to prevent movement and promote healing but more serious injuries may require surgery.

Shoulder Strains

Shoulder strains are the most common type of shoulder injury. Many shoulder strains occur in the front or anterior head of the deltoid, where the bicep runs underneath the deltoid. Shoulder strains mainly happen when lifting too much weight or from pushing or pulling heaving objects.  Strains can vary from mild to severe depending on how badly the muscle fibers have been stretched.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is often found to effect the acromioclavicular joint which is the joint at the top of the shoulder. Bones that have previously been fractured such as the collarbone (clavicle) and the top of the humerus are also prone to osteoarthritis.

 

If you are suffering from a shoulder injury or condition and would like help to speed up your recovery, improve your range of movement and mobility then contact Fit n Well.

 

To make an appointment call Maria on 07977 427644 or email us using this link https://fitnwell.co.uk/about/contact-fitnwell/

 

The Stone Local – Business Focus Featuring Fit n Well

The Stone Local - Business Focus
The Stone Local – Business Focus Featuring Fit n Wel

The Stone Local – Business Focus, January 2016 Issue

The Stone Local ask ‘Fit n Well’ some questions they think their readers might be interested in.

We pride ourselves on professionalism and excellent customer care at all times. We are always very happy to answer any questions about all the services and treatments offered at Fit n Well.

If you do have any questions about any of our treatments/therapies, please don’t hesitate to call us on 07977 427644 or email using the link Contact Fit n Well.

Fit n Well – Sports Therapy, Holistic Therapies and CACI Non-Surgical Face and Body Treatments.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from Fit n Well, Stone, Staffordshire
Happy New Year from Fit n Well

Happy New Year!

Fit n Well would like to wish everyone a very Healthy and Happy New Year.

We look forward to seeing you soon and remember to look out for our January offers.

The Importance of Cooling Down

The Importance of Cooling Down - Fit n Well, Stone, Staffordshire

Cool down, recover faster and avoid injury

Can’t be bothered?  Feel too tired?  What’s the point?

Most of us at times are guilty of not making the effort to cool down effectively and efficiently after a sporting event, strenuous exercise or training.

Cooling down is as important as warming up – if you want to stay injury free then do it!

Below is an interesting read written by Training Coach Brad Walker; reminding us and explaining why it is important to undertake a cool down program after training and competition.

Article by Brad Walker (Training Coach)

Many people dismiss the cool down as a waste of time, or simply unimportant. In reality the cool down is just as important as the warm up, and if you want to stay injury free, it is vital. Although the warm up and cool down are just as important as each other, they are important for different reasons. While the main purpose of warming up is to prepare the body and mind for strenuous activity, cooling down plays a different role.

Why Cool Down?

The main aim of the cool down is to promote recovery and return the body to a pre exercise, or pre work out level. During a strenuous work out your body goes through a number of stressful processes e.g. muscle fibres, tendons and ligaments get damaged, and waste products build up within your body.

The cool down, performed properly, will assist your body in its repair process. One area the cool down will help with is “post exercise muscle soreness.” This is the soreness that is usually experienced the day after a tough work out. Most people experience this after having a lay-off from exercise, or at the beginning of their sports season. I remember running a half marathon with very little preparation, and finding it difficult to walk down steps the next day because my quadriceps were so sore. That discomfort is “post exercise muscle soreness.”

This soreness is caused by a number of things. Firstly, during exercise, tiny tears called micro tears develop within the muscle fibres. These micro tears cause swelling of the muscle tissues which in turn puts pressure on the nerve endings and results in pain.

Secondly, when exercising, your heart is pumping large amount of blood to the working muscles. This blood is carrying both oxygen and nutrients that the working muscles need. When the blood reaches the muscles the oxygen and nutrients are used up. Then the force of the contracting (exercising) muscles pushes the blood back to the heart where it is re-oxygenated.

However, when the exercise stops, so does the force that pushes the blood back to the heart. This blood, as well as waste products like lactic acid, stays in the muscles, which in turn causes swelling and pain. This process is often referred to as “blood pooling.”

So, the cool down helps all this by keeping the blood circulating, which in turn helps to prevent blood pooling and also removes waste products from the muscles. This circulating blood also brings with it the oxygen and nutrients needed by the muscles, tendons and ligaments for repair.

The Key Parts of an Effective Cool Down

Now we know what the cool down does and why it is so important, let us have a look at the structure of an effective cool down. There are three key elements, or parts, which should be included to ensure an effective and complete cool down. They are;

  • Gentle exercise
  • Stretching
  • Re-fuel

All three parts are equally important and any one part should not be neglected or thought of as not necessary. All three elements work together to repair and replenish the body after exercise. To follow are two examples of effective cool downs. The first is an example of a cool down used by a professional athlete. The second is typical of someone who simply exercises for general health, fitness and fun.

Cool Down Routines

Example 1 – For the Professional

  • 10 to 15 minutes of easy exercise. Be sure that the easy exercise resembles the type of exercise that was done during your work out. For example, if your workout involved a lot  of running, cool down with easy jogging or walking.
  • Include some deep breathing as part of your easy exercise to help oxygenate your system.
  • Follow with about 20 to 30 minutes of stretching. Static stretching and PNF stretching is usually best.
  • Re-fuel. Both fluid and food are important. Drink plenty of water, plus a good quality sports drink. The best type of food to eat straight after a work out is that which is easily digestible. Fruit is a good example.

Example 2 – For the Amateur

  • 3 to 5 minutes of easy exercise. Be sure that the easy exercise resembles the type of exercise that was done during your work out. For example, if your workout involved a lot of running, cool down with easy jogging or walking.
  • Include some deep breathing as part of your easy exercise to help oxygenate your system.
  • Follow with about 5 to 10 minutes of stretching. Static stretching and PNF stretching is usually best.
  • Re-fuel. Both fluid and food are important. Drink plenty of water, plus a good quality sports drink. The best type of food to eat straight after a work out is that which is easily digestible. Fruit is a good example.

Getting serious about your cool down and following the above examples will make sure you recover quicker from your work outs, and stay injury free.

References:

  • WALKER, B. (2007) Cool down – recover faster and avoid injury. Brian Mackenzie’s Successful Coaching, (ISSN 1745-7513/ 46/ October), p. 4
 

Further enhance your recovery with post-event sports massage!

Fast recovery is the primary purpose of post-event massage.  After pushing yourself to the limits a sports massage will soothe and ease fatigued muscles and prevent DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).  It will assist a pain free recovery and return you to training with minimal soreness, inflammation and stiffness.

Click the link to find out how post-event sports massage can help further your recovery – Sports Massage (link)

Fit n Well provides Sports Massage, Stone, Staffordshire.

 

 

Pre-Event and Post-Event Sports Massage

Pre-event and post-event sports massage
Pre-event and post-event sports massage

Pre-Event and Post-Event Sports Massage

You spend days, weeks, months and even years training hard preparing for your sporting event and you have the attitude, dedication and determination it takes to achieve your goals.

You maybe trying to improve on last year’s time, be playing to win or just wanting to achieve your own personal goal.

Are you doing everything possible to achieve your optimal performance?

Pre-event and post-event sports massage will help you to perform at your optimal level!

The popularity and importance of pre and post-event massage is continuously increasing as more athletes are becoming aware of the physiological and psychological benefits. Sports massage is an effective addition to any training schedule regardless of whether you are a runner, triathlete, or any other sporting person.

Firstly what is Sports Massage?

Sports massage is the physical treatment of soft tissue combining a traditional manual therapy with a specialised scientific approach. Specialised techniques are practised to achieve optimal physical, physiological and psychological benefits.

Sports massage will enhance your physical performance irrespective of what sport you participate in. Sports massage can play a key role in the training for a sporting person and also benefit anyone who is physically active with a desire to enhance their health and wellbeing. It is a key component for the optimal maintenance of musculoskeletal health care and for the prevention and treatment of injury. It maintains good body health and is used for the treatment, recovery and prevention of sporting and non-sporting injuries.

Sporting activities can place unnatural stresses on our body but sports massage can quickly resolve problem areas that limit our range of movement and cause us pain. Sports massage is designed to be flexible and is tailored to the individual needs. It can be deep, stimulating and invigorating or soothing and relaxing.  Specialised techniques concentrate on both the superficial and deep layers of muscles, tendons and other soft tissue. It is designed to release muscle tension and restore balance to the musculoskeletal system.

During a sports massage the therapist will aim to gradually break down knots and adhered tissues releasing tension from muscles, tendons and ligaments to reduce pain and improve range of movement. Techniques such as stretching, myofascial tissue release, trigger point therapy and mobilisations are often incorporated into sports massage therapy as part of a treatment plan to obtain maximum results.

An experienced therapist who has a good understanding of anatomy and physiology can easily identify problems within soft tissues such as muscle and tendon tension, trigger points and scar tissue/adhesions. Sports massage can be a little uncomfortable at times, however this is far outweighed by the many benefits.

A sports massage can help the performer prepare for their specific competition or event by focusing on specific muscles and joints for optimal performance.

Pre-Event Sports Massage

Pre-event sports massage can be considered from two days to just two minutes before an event.

A professional sports massage therapist knows what muscle groups to concentrate on depending on the nature of the sporting event.

Ideally you should see how you respond to pre-event massage prior to an event that has no major importance to you. This will give the therapist a chance to develop the most suitable treatment and ensure you get the maximum recuperative benefit from the tapering-down process that should precede an event.

Deep massage in problem areas can take a day or two to recover so this is normally avoided from up to two days before an event; however situations do and can arise when this rule is broken.

Effects of Pre-Event Massage

  • Circulation and flexibility within the muscles is improved.
  • Warms and stretches the tissues reducing chance of injury.
  • Increases range of movement.
  • Aids psychological preparation by reducing pre-event anxiety and stress.

Massage just before an event is normally practised at a fast brisk pace to warm the muscle groups that will be used most.  Deep massage is usually avoided. Sports massage can be either administered over clothing or directly upon the skin.  The use of oil is often avoided as it could actually hamper performance.

Pre-event massage should ideally precede your normal warm-up stretching and exercises and never used as a substitute to replace them.

Post-Event Sports Massage

A post-event massage can be done immediately after activity and is most effective if done within 24 hours post event.

Fast recovery is the primary purpose of post-event massage.  After pushing yourself to the limits a sports massage will soothe and ease fatigued muscles and prevent DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).  It will assist a pain free recovery and return you to training with minimal soreness, inflammation and stiffness.

Post-event massage can identify injuries that may have occurred during the event, so therefore can be treated promptly.

Effects of Post-Event Massage

  • Blood circulation and lymphatic drainage is maximised to increase the removal of lactic acid and waste products.
  • Encourages the release of endorphins.
  • Lengthens muscle fibres.
  • Soothes tight muscles.
  • Mentally relaxes
  • Calms the nervous system

Body Maintenance

Regular sports massage helps to keep the body healthy and can prevent musculoskeletal injuries and problems by detecting muscle fatigue, postural imbalances, inflexibility and strains and sprains.

 

To book an appointment for pre-event or post-event sports massage please phone Maria on 07977 427644 or email Fit n Well using this link Contact Fit n Well, Stone, Staffordshire

For exclusive club/event bookings please do not hesitate to contact Fit n Well for further information.

Fit n Well provides Pre-Event and Post-Event Sports Massage in Stone, Staffordshire.

Don’t suffer with Sciatica

Sciatica Image

Treating sciatica to relieve pain and discomfort.

What causes sciatica?

Sciatica is caused by the irritation and/or compression of the sciatic nerve.

Sciatica describes the symptoms of pain, numbness and weakness that radiate along the sciatic nerve.  The sciatic nerve runs from the back of your pelvis, through your buttocks, down the back of both legs, ending at your feet.

Signs and symptoms of Sciatica:

Sciatic pain can vary from mild and irritating to constant and incapacitating. It can be made worse by sitting or standing for long periods, sneezing and coughing. Symptoms can be different in location and severity as this depends upon the condition causing the sciatica. While people with sciatica can suffer back pain, the pain associated with sciatica usually affects the buttocks and legs much more. Depending on the cause, symptoms can travel as far down as the feet and toes.

Sciatica is often characterised by either one or from a combination of the following symptoms:

  • Muscle weakness in the affected leg
  • Tingling sensation from back through the buttock traveling down the leg.
  • Constant or intermittent pain in only one side of the buttock or leg (rarely can occur in both legs)
  • Pain that is worse when sitting
  • Leg pain that is often described as burning, tingling or searing
  • Weakness, numbness and/or difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or to walk

Causes of Sciatica are:

  • Sciatica is often caused by lower back disorders between the forth lumbar and third sacral vertebrae, where there is pressure or irritation to a lumbar nerve root.
  • Sciatica is sometimes caused by a herniated or “slipped” disc. This is when one of the discs that sit between the bones of the spine is damaged and presses on the nerves.
  • Degenerative disc disease.
  • Less common causes include spinal stenosis (narrowing of the nerve passages in the spine), a spinal injury, infection, or a growth within the spine (such as a tumour).

In rare cases, surgery may be needed to correct the underlying problem in your spine. Sciatica itself can be treatable through a range of treatments and therapies offered by professional therapists.

Other causes of sciatica

There are many other causes of sciatica that are more easily treated; for example problems with over tight muscles in the hamstrings, Piriformis Syndrome (spasm in the piriformis) and weak glutes.

Sciatica that is caused by less complicated conditions are easily treatable by a professional physical therapist such as a sports therapist or physiotherapist.

Self help

There are a combination of things you can do at home to reduce the symptoms of sciatica until the condition improves:

  • Taking over the counter anti inflammatory painkillers
  • Exercising
  • Use of hot or cold packs
  • Avoiding dehydration
  • Managing stress levels
  • Avoiding sleep deprivation

You are advised to speak to your GP or pharmacist about taking any over the counter medications.

You can minimise your risk of developing a slipped disc or back injury that could lead to sciatica by adopting a better posture and lifting techniques, stretching before and after exercise, and exercising regularly. While bed rest may provide some temporary pain relief, prolonged bed rest is often considered unnecessary and unhelpful.

Gentle stretching to the following muscle groups can help to ease sciatic tension and alleviate pain

Piriformis stretch

To stretch the piriformis, lie on your back and gently pull your knee towards your opposite shoulder. You should feel a tightness (not a pain), hold for 6 seconds, drop your leg down and repeat 5 times.

Lower back – knee to chest stretch

To improve the flexibility of your lower back lie on your back on a mat or the carpet. Place a small flat cushion or book under your head. Bend your knees and keep your feet straight and hip-width apart. Keep your upper body relaxed and your chin gently tucked in. Bend one knee up towards your chest and grasp your knee with both hands. Slowly increase this stretch as comfort allows. Hold for 20-30 seconds with controlled deep breaths. Repeat three times, alternating legs.

Standing hamstring stretch

Stand upright and raise one leg on to a stable object, such as a step. Keep that leg straight and your toes pointing straight up. Lean forward while keeping your back straight. Hold for 20-30 seconds while taking deep breaths. Repeat two to three times with each leg.

Please note that it is important that you only stretch as far as comfortable. If you are in severe pain, have undergone an operation or have a medical condition then you are advised to check with your GP if the above exercise are safe for you to practice.

Seeking further help

If you are suffering with sciatica and would like to know how Fit n Well can help you or if would like to book an appointment please phone Maria on 07977 427644 or email us using the link below.

Contact Fit n Well, Aston, Stone, Staffordshire ( click link)

When to see your GP

You should see your GP if your symptoms are severe or persistent, or are getting worse over time. You should immediately call 999 for an ambulance if you experience loss of sensation between your legs and around your buttocks and/or loss of bladder or bowel control as this may be caused by a more serious condition.

 

Food To Fight Chronic Inflammation

Food to fightchronic inflammation.

Food to help reduce and prevent chronic inflammation.

Inflammation is one of the body’s natural immune responses to injury, irritation and infection and without it we can’t heal.  Acute inflammation occurs immediately after an injury to protect the body and control infection. Later stages of inflammation work to re-grow damaged tissue and start the healing process. Chronic inflammation is an over-response which can last from months to years and when it’s out of control it can lead to further damage to the body, cause you pain, stiffness and swelling from lingering injuries and conditions.

Chronic inflammation can have a knock on effect on your daily activities and seriously hamper your normal training and fitness regimes.  

It is worth bearing in mind that in certain cases chronic inflammation in the body can be linked to heart disease, cancer, asthma, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes.  Keeping the inflammatory levels low in your body can help lower your risk of developing these illnesses.

Coupled with other treatments and therapies there are powerful natural steps that you can take to help fight chronic inflammation. By making changes to your regular diet you can help to control the inflammatory levels in your body. There are plenty of foods that help fight inflammation but first we must look at the foods we need to cut back on.

Foods that can promote chronic inflammation

There are specific food groups that can increase inflammation levels in your body so be sure to check the packaging on all processed foods and aim to cut down on the following:

Saturated fats

These are mainly found in and from animal products, palm oil and coconut oil. Swap for small amounts of unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated). Saturated fats can promote inflammation and cause over activity of the immune system. This can lead to joint pain, fatigue and damage blood vessels.

Trans fats

Trans fats and partially hydrogenated fats or oils are found in various types of processed foods, fried foods, some baked foods and margarine. Many food manufacturers have removed trans fats from their products, but be sure to check.

Omega-6 fats – Although we need this for normal growth and development. The body needs a healthy balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Over consumption of omega-6  fatty acids promotes inflammation. These can be found in corn, soybean oil, safflower, sunflower oils, mayonnaise and many salad dressings.

Simple and refined carbohydrates

Foods that are high in sugar (simple carbohydrates) can trigger the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines. Look out for the sweeteners especially those ending in “ose” e.g. fructose or sucrose.  Avoid sugary drinks as these can spike up your blood sugar levels. Foods high in refined carbohydrates are found in sugary foods such as fruit juices, sodas, cakes, biscuits, most cereals, crackers, bread, white rice, jams and many more (read the ingredients).

Foods that are high in natural ant-inflammatory properties

The following foods are believed to help fight inflammation:

Green Tea

Apart from green tea being a great antioxidant, its high content of catechins help to ward off inflammation.  It also contains other properties that are believed to help lower cholesterol and lower your risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases.  Some people find green tea a little bitter and add lemon juice to zap it up.

Oily Fish

For protein try switching your red meat for fatty oily fish.  Salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel and anchovy contain high contents of omega -3 essential fatty acids and vitamin D which helps to reduce inflammation.  Omega-3 is also good for helping to lower blood cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Brightly Coloured Fruit and Vegetables

Fresh fruit and vegetables are best for their nutritional value. Brightly coloured fruit and vegetables are loaded with natural plant chemicals called phytochemicals that can prevent and even reverse the inflammatory process.  Generally fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants such as flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamins A, C and E. Foods high in these antioxidants and enzymes help to reduce inflammation. Frozen vegetables are ok but avoid the tinned products.

Hot picks for fruit are pineapple which is packed with an enzyme called Bromelain which breaks down bad proteins which cause inflammation. Apricots, papaya, pomegranates, red grapes, berries are all rich in enzymes and flavonoids which also help fight inflammation.

Tart Cherries

The tart Cherry (believed to be a wonder fruit) delivers a unique powerful dose of anti-inflammatory compounds. They contain high levels of anthocyanins which can help to reduce pain from arthritis and post-exercise soreness. Try tart dried cherries and tart cherry juice.

Hot picks for vegetables are leafy greens such as and kale and spinach which have high concentrations of vitamins, calcium and iron which can all help fight inflammation. Red onions and garlic contain the phytonutrient quercetin and the compound allicin. Other vegetables recommended are broccoli, green beans, asparagus, tomatoes, beetroot, red cabbage, peppers, sprouts and sweet potato.

Olive Oil

A healthy alternative to vegetable oil which is great for cooking with and dressing salads. Olive oil is rich in beneficial monounsaturated fat which is good for your heart.  It is filled with potent anti-inflammatory chemicals from the olive. The omega-9 fatty acid and olive polyphenols reduce inflammation in cells and joints by lowering blood levels of the C-reactive protein (marker for determining inflammation in the body).

Fresh or Dry Ginger and Turmeric

These are very powerful spices that are widely used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.

Ginger is often used for its potent power to upgrade and boost the quality of your food.  It is a good antioxidant and contains a powerful anti- inflammatory chemical.

Turmeric is an old Indian spice with a powerful medicinal compound called Curcumin. It has anti-tumour, anti-arthritis as well as anti-inflammatory properties. It protects the liver from toxins and kills numerous bacteria and yeasts.  Add to curries, rice, beans and sauces.

Other tips to reduce chronic inflammation

  • If you can’t resist a chocolate treat then go for dark chocolate as it contains flavonoids which can help reduce inflammation or bakers chocolate because it contains less sugar.
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and flush inflammation causing toxins out of your body.
  • Avoid excess alcohol and smoking.
  • Take regular exercise.
  • Manage and reduce stress levels.

Please note that this information is for general guidance only and It is advised that you speak to your doctor if you are concerned about chronic inflammation and have any food allergies or intolerances.