7 Easy Health “Hacks”
Try these 7 easy health “hacks” from osteopathy that can make your life a little bit better and healthier.
Ensure you have a supportive mattress. Think twice before buying a hard or firm mattress, as research has shown that the best mattress for low back pain is a medium firm mattress rather than a firm mattress. It will support your spine and will help to avoid a drop in the centre of the mattress, but not be too firm and uncomfortable upon points of pressure such as shoulders, hips and knees. There is a difference between firm support and firm feel. You want firm support with a comfortable feel. Comfort will be determined by your personal preference.
Experiencing persistent pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel or foot?
Freeze a lime, pop a face washer over the top, and place long ways across the bottom of the foot. Lean about 60% of your weight onto that foot, slowly roll the arch of your foot back and forth over the lime. If you find a particularly tight part, apply pressure for 30-45 seconds and then roll back and forth again. Repeat nightly for a week.
In our technology filled world, insomnia is becoming more and more prevalent. To get a better night’s sleep, try to avoid any devices with a backlight (tablets, smart phones, laptops) for 1 hour before bed, as the light mimics the sun and causes our brain to release melatonin (the “awake” hormone). Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible and the temperature inside is comfortable. Some people have also found that a couple of drops of lavender essential oil on the underside of their pillow helps them to drift off.
Stuck at a desk all day?
Stretch and strengthen your back with this simple Pilates move! Aim to twist in each direction 4-5 times, and repeat every 1 hour. If you have a small space, you can try this same move whilst standing, with your arms crossed across your chest.
Suffer from headaches? Try to keep a diary!
If you experience headaches regularly, keeping a headache diary can help identify these triggers and ultimately help them avoid them. A headache diary allows you to record important details about your headaches, such as symptoms, frequency and other. Your Osteopath will help you identify triggers such as certain foods, sleep habits, exercise and posture. Order a printed copy or download a copy of the NPS Medicinewise Headache Diary.
Period Pain and How to Survive it
Did you know that almost 75 percent of young women and 25 to 50 percent of adult women experience pain and discomfort during their period? This is due to prostaglandins – an inflammatory chemical released by your body during menstruation. To avoid or decrease period pain try gentle exercises such as walking, don’t forget to drink 1.5-3L of water per day. Osteopathic treatments can also be beneficial for period pain. An osteopath will address the tight and sore muscles of the back, lower abdomen and hips that occur secondarily to menstruation, as well as apply treatment to any spasm occurring in the muscular walls of the uterus, or restrictions to any tight ligaments attaching to the uterus. This may provide relief to those women who suffer from cramping.
Watch Your Posture!
Poor posture can cause a range problems including back pain, spinal problems, poor circulation, joint degeneration and rounded shoulders. Osteopaths and other health professionals are witnessing a huge surge in the cases of the “iPhone neck”. Our smart devices aren't so smart when it comes to health, and all that hunching is causing dire effects on our posture! Check your posture: If you were to place a broomstick on your back, it should make contact with your head, upper back and gluts (bottom)!