Archive for September 2020

Neck Pain

Workstation Neck Pain in Glasgow & Ayrshire

Neck pain is commonly associated with sitting in front of a screen for lengthy periods of time. So, is there a “correct” or “ideal” sort of desk to use while sitting on a desktop all day?

The sit-stand desk has gained considerable prominence in recent years, particularly with an 83% rise in sedentary employment since the 1950s.

In a report in 2018, researchers contrasted the impact of sitting and standing at a desk for 90 minutes in 20 healthy and active adults. Researchers tracked typing work efficiency and discomfort, vascular / blood flow, and structural improvements in the spine, hands, and arms, and found that standing desk use resulted in greater involvement of the shoulder girdle stabilising muscles (good thing), less pressure on the lower trapezius muscles, less upper body pain, and improved typing efficiency. The authors of the report suggest additional research to establish how standing impacts more complex computer programming functions, over prolonged work periods in symptomatic workers.

A treadmill desk is another form of desk available. In one study, researchers observed that using a treadmill desk resulted in less upper limb discomfort relative to sitting desk use, as well as improved muscle performance from lower back paraspinal muscles, wrist extender muscles, external abdominal obliques, lower trapezius and anterior deltoids.

What about the trend of making a little bicycle unit under the desk? In a 2019 study, researchers observed that participants performed better typing tasks while cycling, particularly at higher intensity.

Osteopaths are often asked about sitting / stand desk solutions, with or without lower limb exercise. The standard approach is to change it up, sit or stand as appropriate, and vary the amount of under-the-shelf exercise based on how you feel. Research supports that standing, walking and/or cycling may be a better alternative than a conventional sitting-only, sedentary desk.

If you need assistance with neck pain please book online at one of our clinics here:

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Cycling and Low Back Pain in Glasgow & Ayrshire

Cycling and Low Back Pain in Glasgow & Ayrshire

Cycling and Low Back Pain in Glasgow & Ayrshire

Cycling is known to be a very fun and effective way to exercise. There is some doubt, though, as to how posture when riding, can affect the lower back and whether cycling is effective in healing lower back pain.

Cyclists ride either round-back, flat-back, or curved-back, depending on the degree of pelvic rotation and spinal flexion. It seems that the choice of position when riding a bike is mainly related to saddle height, saddle angle or turn, and the form of handlebar. Some handlebars offer multiple options as to where you can place your hands, e.g. on the grips (most upright), on the bar closer to the stem (medium position), or on the drops — the lowest option offered on the under / racing handlebar type curl.

One would imagine flat-back posture might be better for the lower back, precisely because it prevents the two extremes. However, this position is synonymous with greater wind resistance and is likely to be avoided by more serious riders trying to cycle as efficiently as possible. One pilot study looked at the lumbar spine angle of young adult recreational cyclists as they utilised all three postures in ten-minute intervals with different bike configurations and found that the “curve-in back” position caused by gripping the drops resulted in the greatest increase in spinal flexion over time. In individuals with a low back problem, this increased spinal flexion can lead to increased pain and associated symptoms over time.

Another study looked at how a bike is fitted, the position of the cyclist, and the perception of comfort, fatigue, and pain. Twenty bikers raced for 45 minutes in three out of nine possible places at 50 percent of their total aerobic strength performance. The three positions were defined by two parameters: knee flexion angle (20°, 30°, 40°) and trunk flexion angle (35°, 45°, 55°), in a random order. The results showed that having the trunk upright (not bent forward) and the seat height adjusted so the knee flexion angle was 30° was the most comfortable position for participants. In addition, the researchers found that tilting the seat forward reduced the low back discomfort in people with the condition.

As part of the healing process for low back pain, Osteopaths also urge patients to exercise. Due to its low-impact nature, as well as being really fun, cycling is a perfect choice. However, it’s important to make sure your bike suits in such a way that you can ride easily with a good balance and not worsen your condition.

If you are suffering from low back pain or any condition you may feel the need for treatment, please book online at

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Shoulder pain

Scapular Stabilization for Shoulder Pain in Glasgow and Ayrshire

The shoulder is one of the biggest and most complex joints in the body. It’s actually three joints—the AC or acromioclavicular joint (the collar bone/acromion of the shoulder blade joint), the glenohumeral joint (the ball-and-socket joint), and the scapulothoracic joint (the shoulder blade/rib cage “joint”)—all of which involve the scapula to some degree.

The rotator cuff consists of four muscles, three of which sit on the back of the scapula and rotate the outer arm (external rotation) and one which rotates it inward (internal rotation.) The trapezius muscle is made up of three parts: the upper part pulls the shoulder blade up and in, the middle portion pulls the shoulder inward, and the lower section of the muscle pulls the scapula down and inward. The chest muscles rotate the arms inward. There is also a “bursa” or a fluid-filled sac that cushions, lubricates, and protects the rotator cuff tendon attachments. The “labrum” attaches to the rim of the “socket” or cup, to give it more depth and stability for the ball to sit in.

Since this structure allows the shoulder a wide range of motion, it also makes it less stable and more vulnerable to damage. There are many injuries that can affect the shoulder, with one of the most common being tearing of the rotator cuff tendons (called “tendinitis” or “tendinopathies”), which often lead to a bursitis, or swelling of the bursa sac, resulting in shoulder impingement (pain raising the arm). In fact, over half of people in their 80s have tearing of the rotator cuff.

There are several activities that aim to recover the function of the shoulder in both non-surgical and post-surgical situations. Exercises are intended to improve balance, reinforce weak muscles and support the shoulder. However, findings suggest that the best outcomes are obtained when stabilising scapula movements are used in the treatment phase.

One GREAT exercise for stabilising the scapulae is called the Push-Up Plus (PUP). This is performed by positioning yourself into a push-up position (either toes or knees—you choose based on strength) with your hands shoulder width apart, elbows locked straight, and the fingers pointed outward (thumbs at 12 o’clock). Instead of dropping the chest to the floor, PUSH the middle of the back upward toward the ceiling. Hold the position for three seconds and SLOWLY return to the start position. Repeat five to ten times and gradually increase reps as you’re able.

There are a range of variants to this. For example, turning the fingers inward increases the operation of the rotator cuff muscles (the most important muscle group for shoulder stabilisation) and decreases the action of the chest muscles (pectoralis major) and scapula elevators (levator scapula). You can also alter this by raising your feet to different heights, as the higher the feet, the greater the serratus anterior muscle activity!

We can inform you on which shoulder stabilisation exercises might be most helpful to your particular situation. If you would like to seek treatment for a range of services, book online here and we look forward to seeing you!


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Neck Pain

Osteopathic Care in Glasgow & Ayrshire of the Elderly with Neck Pain

One in five people over 70 are suffering from neck pain, which can have a drastic impact on their overall quality of life. How effective is Osteopathic neck pain management for a senior?

A 2019 study released in the journal Osteopathic & Manual Therapies surveyed 288 Australian Osteopathic patients and found that people over 65 years of age account for about a third (28.5 percent) of the overall number of patients.

Nearly half (46 per cent) of these elderly patients sought care for neck pain, often with dizziness and headaches that coexisted. Researchers found that this group of elderly patients often had a fear of falling, which impaired their individual capacity to function independently.

Osteopaths in the survey indicated that they often addressed care of seniors with neck pain using a variety of physical therapies (including spinal massage, instrument change, mobilisation and active / passive stretching), modalities (ice / heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation), effective exercises and self-management guidelines to alleviate discomfort and strengthen neck and upper back function.

Another benefit of a conservative approach to treatment such as Osteopathic care for an older patient is that it does not involve over-the-counter or prescription medicines that may have undesirable side effects or interactions with other medications, that the elderly patient may take.

In fact, a study published in the journal Pain Medicine in March 2020 reported that patients who received Osteopathic treatment for a musculoskeletal condition, such as neck pain, were significantly less likely to take pain medication to manage their pain in the following year, especially if they first consulted with an Osteopath.

Many of the patients in the study (nearly 99 percent) reported an improvement in neck pain and associated symptoms after an average of nine treatments, although patients with both neck pain and migraines required an average of two additional visits.

If you are an older adult suffering from new-onset or chronic neck pain, call 0141 339 0894 or Book Online at

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