Head, shoulders, knees and toes stretches

Hi everyone. Joanna here from Cram Osteopaths. It’s the new year and lots of us are feeling a bit stiff and sore either from inactivity or having started at a new gym. We thought we’d give you something simple that you can work through as a whole body stretch and the song that comes to mind is head, shoulders, knees, and toes. A really quick, simple routine that you can do, so that you’ve pretty much stretched all the key areas of the body.

For the head part, we’re going to stand or sit nice and tall. Imagine with the top of the head that you’re pushing the head up to the ceiling and you’re going to feel that through the back of the neck and also a little bit through the shoulders. Hold it for a few seconds and release, repeat a few times. My favourite shoulder stretch, many of you will see me do this. Squeezing the shoulders up to the earlobes, and back down and also rolling the shoulders backwards. Then we go down to our knees, which are often forgotten about. A really lovely stretch I do with knees involves grabbing a hand towel. You’re going to roll it up into a sausage shape and then while sat down, making sure that your feet are flat on the floor for the start position. Bring the hand towel under the knee and hold either side, turn your toes to the outside and gently pull your heel towards your bottom, repeat about three to five times on both sides. You won’t feel a huge stretch when you do this, but it is a lovely way of stretching through a complicated joint.

The final one is toes, with your toes you’re going to give them a good point straight and then down towards the ground, if you are prone to cramp, it can be a bit strong so don’t do it quite as much. Then resting your leg down and using the big toe as a guide you’re going to draw a figure of eight with your big toe, all your other toes will spread apart and move, you’ll also get a nice stretch through your foot and your ankle. Repeat eight figures of eight on each side. That should get you all sorted, a nice whole body stretch, just sing that song to yourself to remind you of what you’re doing.

I hope that helps everyone and Happy new year.

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How to sit at your desk correctly


Hi, Joanna from Cram Osteopaths. We are posting today about posture at work now that everybody is going back to work after the Christmas and new year break. We’re already starting to see people coming in with lots of tension through the neck and the upper back and just slipping back into bad habits with how they sit at their desk.


If you are working all day at the computer, ideally you should have a separate keyboard and screen. Your desktop toolbar should be at eye level and if we sit right back into our chair and stretch our arms out, our fingertips should touch the screen. For your chair height, you want to make sure that you are high enough that you have a nice angle slightly downwards from the elbow onto the keyboard. The main thing to be aware of is to use the backrest of your chair. Sit right back into your chair, that’s what it’s there for and then make sure your feet are completely flat on the ground. If your feet cannot touch the ground because your leg length is too short, then put a box underneath your feet, so that they can be flat on the box.  We should have a nice parallel angle or a slight downward angle to the floor with your legs. 

If you start to get tension in the neck and the shoulders after a few hours, we usually recommend trying to get up from the desk every half hour, or even just getting up and stretching the arms above your head just to get the blood flowing.  If after doing that, you’re still feeling lots of tension,  go through some basic moves, shoulder squeezes and rolling the shoulders backwards as well.

What not to do is to keep trying to self pop the neck, that is usually what will end up causing an injury and you’ll need to be in here sooner than what you might like.  Remember to keep loosening off the muscles and joints and making sure your desk set up is as neutral as possible.

If you’re still suffering with pain though, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Cram Osteopaths. You can give us a call or book online and one of our excellent Osteopaths will have you out of pain very quickly.

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Tips to avoid injury when lifting weights



Michael from Cram Osteopaths in Glasgow and today I want to talk to you about your new exercise regime. If you’re starting one or just getting into the gym again in the new year.

Over the last few years, people have been completely obsessed with squats and deadlifts, and this is something we often see, or the patient reports that back pain started when they were doing this.

Now definitely get some advice from someone that knows what they’re doing when you’re doing these exercises, but one of the tips I want to give you is always look where you’re lifting from or where you’re pushing too.

So when people are doing deadlifts, there’s a mirror in front of you, and they’re looking at that mirror as you’re going up and down in position. You would never lift a weight and not look at the thing that you’re lifting or pushing, so I would just let your eyes glance down at what you’re doing instead of looking at yourself. Look down at the weight that you’re lifting, and then you go into the deadlift rather than tilting your head to look at yourself, so avoiding putting a lot of stress on your neck. The other one that’s really important when lifting weights above your head, there is no way you would lift weights above your head handing someone something without looking in that direction. You’d look where the weight is going, so again just glance your eyes at what you’re doing and where you’re going.  That will take a lot of stress and strain off your back and try to prevent some of these injuries.


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Sore back at Christmas time?

Hello. It’s Michael Brown from Cram Osteopaths in Glasgow and I was sent a picture of brussel sprouts on a stalk recently and it reminded me of something that we see in the trade magazines. It looks like a back massager or one of those back massage sticks that you can get.

So I thought about it and we’ve got one of these and I want to see if this works. If you’re suffering with back pain on Christmas day and you really want to participate, but you’re struggling, I think I’ve got something that can help.

So you take your brussel sprout/back massager, you place it on the floor. You get down onto the ground to do your back stretches and your job is to try and get all of the brussel sprouts off. It feels brilliant. Actually roll side to side, to help with the muscles in your back, and then you can change it around. I think what we’re going to do is use the foam rolling technique that you can use on your back. I’m going to try up and down.

So now you can still help out on Christmas day with your brussel sprout/back massager. Perfect present as well, for someone suffering with back pain at Christmas and I’m off to make some coleslaw, or something with these brussels sprouts. Enjoy.

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How to avoid Neck pain at Christmas?


Cram Osteopaths in Glasgow and another Christmas injury that we see at this time of year, this one happens on the worst day possible. This usually happens on Christmas day and it’s called the Turkey neck. What usually happens is you’ve had a really lovely day, you’re filled up with Turkey or nut roast, or cheese and you sit down after you’ve had your meal with your family.
You put your feet up, you’ve been working hard, serving everyone all day and you think I’ll have a snooze and you do something like this and this is called Turkey neck. So you sit like that and you sleep for maybe 15, 20 minutes or an hour later, you wake up and you’re in this position, no support. You wake up and ouch, that’s your neck in agony. Okay. So I thought about how you avoid Turkey neck, a Christmas injury, and maybe go and have a lie down instead of sitting up in a chair and potentially hurting yourself.
So beware Christmas injuries, there’s injury everywhere. Good luck.

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How to prevent gift wrapping injuries

Cram Osteopaths in Glasgow here. Today I’m here to talk to you about the number one Christmas injury that we see this time of year. I want to get this in early, because I know some of you are going to be wrapping presents over the coming week and over the weekend.
What usually happens is that the patient calls up and their back is in agony and usually the reason for this type of injury is because they have been sitting on the floor for three hours. Three hours at a time leaning forward, grabbing the sellotape, grabbing the scissors, cutting the paper, to wrap the Christmas presents. Then they go to get up and their back has gone.
This is completely avoidable. So please, if you’re going to be wrapping Christmas presents then use an ironing board, so that you can get around and stand up high. If you have a lovely green couch like ours, then that is ideal for present wrapping. I wrap all my presents in here before I leave on Christmas Eve and get it up to working height. Or use either your breakfast bar or something higher in the house like an ironing board so that it can save yourself an awful lot of pain and agony this time of year, when it’s the worst time for you to be sore.
So yes, look out, be aware, get your presents wrapped when you’re standing up or sitting at the dining room table, but not on the floor.

And if you’re wondering why I’m wearing this, I’m playing the angel in the Cram Osteopaths nativity and you can look forward to seeing that as well. Until next time, bye.

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What is IDD Therapy?

Hi, it’s Joanna from Cram Osteopaths. Last week, we talked about IDD treatment for chronic neck pain and also for chronic lower back pain and we talked about how the machine itself can look a little bit unsettling when you first set eyes on it.

So what we’ve done is we’ve shown you a situation where Bradley and Anina have set themselves up on the machine and we’ve done it as a sped up version of real time.

Normally the process takes around 24 minutes, but this is just to give you an idea of how comfortable the treatment is and what’s involved in the process of coming on and off the machine. Again, any questions please get in touch. If this is something you think might help you, or you just want to talk to us further, please do contact us at the clinic and one of our experienced Osteopaths will give you a call back.

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What can Help Treat Migraines? (part 2)

Hi, it’s Joanna from Cram Osteopaths. Last week, we posted a video about how to treat migraines and how Osteopathic treatment can considerably help relieve some of the symptoms associated with migraines, such as tight neck, headaches, tight shoulders, and jaw pain and often we get really good results with that. However, there are some cases where somebody with really chronic migraines has some other issues such as wear and tear on their cervical spinal joints (the neck joints) and just isn’t reaching their goals that they’ve come to see us for. That is when we consider moving on to the next option, which is our fabulous IDD machine that you see behind me here, who we’ve affectionately nicknamed, Big Bertha.

I’m aware the machine itself can look a little bit intimidating, but actually it’s a very comfortable treatment. The patient lies on the table and the table goes flat. We then create a traction through the specific joints and the neck. By having an MRI scan ahead of starting treatment, we know which segments may be causing compression and exacerbating the symptoms of neck pain, headaches and migraines, so that we can treat the specific joint.

We are really excited to offer this treatment at Cram Osteopaths. In due course, we will show you a patient having a full treatment on the IDD machine. But if this is you and you’ve tried everything else and you want to explore the next thing that you can do, that’s non-invasive, not involving surgery or injections, then please get in touch with us pick up the phone and give us a call and one of our osteopaths will call you back and we can discuss whether IDD therapy might well be the right choice for you to finally tackle these chronic migraines.

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What can Help Treat Migraines

Hi, I’m Joanna from Cram Osteopaths. I wanted to post a video today to talk about headaches and migraines. This is something that we see absolutely tons of in clinic. If you’re a migraine sufferer, it may be that you’re getting auras, flashing lights or colours that warn you that a migraine is coming on. It may be really disrupting your life and causing you to have to leave work early or stop work altogether for a couple of days in really severe cases.

It can be a very difficult condition and often people feel that the only solution is to keep taking the medicine each time they feel that migraine coming, but the good news is that we have lots of success at Cram Osteopaths with helping migraine sufferers, reduce the severity of the migraines and the frequency by using nice, gentle osteopathic treatment to release the tension around the upper back, the neck joints, the shoulders, the jaw, and the cranium. This treatment can involve mobilisations and gentle osteopathic adjustments where you may hear some clicking and popping, as long as it’s appropriate for that patient. We would talk through all of that beforehand and usually a short course of treatment is enough to begin to make a change and then do reviews moving forward.

So if you are suffering with migraines and it’s something you’ve had for years, and you feel like you’re running out of options, please do get in touch with us at Cram Osteopaths and let us have a look at you. Let us assess it and have a good discussion about what we can do going forward. Put a treatment plan together and look at all the different treatment options.

In my next video we’ll talk about those that maybe haven’t responded to manual treatment, they’ve maybe tried everything else before and we will talk about what else we can offer at Cram Osteopaths in Glasgow.

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Shoulder Tension Exercise, Squeeze to Ease

Hi, it’s Joanna from Cram Osteopaths and this week it is International Stress Awareness week. We are focusing on things to help people suffering with stress that can also affect the postural muscles, which we see all the time in the clinic. It’s definitely a factor in almost everybody’s back pain journey.

One of the easiest ways to tackle the tension around the shoulders and neck is with some very simple exercises. This is one that my patients will know well and it’s definitely worth trying at home. Obviously, if you have ongoing issues and you need to come in and see us, these will not be the fix, but start with these and then pick up the phone and give us a call.

To do these exercises, we clasp our hands together and just place them on our laps, then we’re going to take the shoulders and squeeze them as tight as we can to try and touch the ear lobes.
Really going nice and tight till you feel you can’t squeeze anymore then lowering them back down and pushing down. I would usually do this three times in a row. It can help to close your eyes whilst you do it and that will help you focus on really stretching and relaxing the muscles. Three shrugs up and down, and then we can follow that by 10 backward rolls. Keeping the hands clasped, we’re just going to roll the shoulders backwards. I usually tell patients to imagine you have a pen sticking out of your shoulder and you’re drawing a backwards circle. 10 nice slow backwards rolls. Really easy three and 10, and try to do it throughout your working day,

Even if you’re not working maybe every time the kettles boiling or during the adverts of your favorite program just something to make it simple, but really any time you start to feel that tension building rather than pushing the neck around or trying to loosen off the joints, go with the stretches first and see if that eases it.

As I said before, if not, pick up the phone, give us a call or book online and we’ll get you feeling much better soon.

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