Tag: pain

Repetitive strain and musculoskeletal injuries: Carpal Tunnel, Tennis/golfing elbow, neck pain

Much of my work is helping to relieve pain: whether it’s migraine, arthritis or frozen shoulder. But there are a number of injuries predominantly due to overuse: carpal tunnel and lateral and medial epicondylitis (tennis/golfers elbow), are the most common but no less painful.

 

I used to see this mainly in office workers who spend most of their time in front of a computer and use a mouse. Poor posture, neck strain, stress and repetitive movements were often the cause. But now I’m increasingly seeing people who do a lot of yoga (including yoga teachers), or go to the gym. Positions such as downward facing dog put a lot of strain on shoulders and wrists, headstands compress the neck and repetitive lifting of weights can cause elbow pain. Technique and repetition is usually the underlying reason, but the root issue is actually neck position and tension.

 

Tamsin was recommended to come and see me by her Yoga teacher suffering from a long term carpal tunnel issue in both wrists, and more recently, tennis elbow. Although she really enjoyed yoga, it was exacerbating her symptoms.  She also suffered from neck pain. I recommended she paused doing yoga or computer work until we were able to get her symptoms under control.

 

I saw Tamsin twice using electro-acupuncture, tuina massage and fire cupping, and Kung, our Thai oil masseuse treated her too. We concentrated on releasing her neck and reinstituting good movement, and treating her upper back, arms and wrists.  But then we went into lockdown – so sadly had to close the clinic. She recently contacted me to let me know how much better she was.

 

Tamsin’s Story

 

I had been suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome for approximately seven years on and off and more recently tennis elbow. I really wanted to avoid a steroid injection or surgery, as my doctor had suggested.

 

My yoga teacher recommend Rita at Peachy. Rita was very knowledgeable about her subject and she instilled absolute confidence right from the off, and I knew I was in good hands

 

Symptoms for both have all but vanished after two intensive treatments and one massage, all from Peachy therapists. My carpal tunnel used to flare up on a nightly basis, but I have hardly had it at all since visiting Peachy. My symptoms are 95% reduced. 

 

Kung’s massage was incredible: relaxing but also she has this ability to tune into my pain and my tension which alleviated it in perfect tandem with the treatments from Rita. All of the treatments from Peachy have been effective as they all feel very holistic and joined-up in their approach to treating my condition(s). 

 

Thank you so much, you have not only improved conditions which have been giving me extreme discomfort for a number of years, you have shown me that there is a far better, natural approach to resolving  such matters which do not require surgery or injections of drugs. I look forward to continuing my relationship with Peachy on an ongoing, long term preventative approach to my physical health.

 

Tamsin Hobbs, N8 

Back pain, Sciatica and Disc Prolapse

Chronic back pain and Sciatica due to disc issues are frighteningly common. I see patients in a great deal of pain, unable to get comfortable or sleep, in some cases unable to work. Sufferers will sometimes opt for cortisone injections which can work for a limited time, spinal surgery and of course physiotherapy. Many people I see are on high doses of NSAIDS and opioids as other alternatives haven’t worked for them.

 

When Jacquie first came to see me with back pain, pins and needles in her legs and sciatica, she had decided against surgery. She was extremely motivated to keep her weight down, work with a PT to exercise safely and commit to regular treatments of Acupuncture and TuiNa medical massage. This has undoubtedly played a big part in her recovery.

 

She responded very well to electro-acupuncture and TuiNa, coming every week for treatment. Jacquie is now pretty much pain free and her general wellbeing much improved. She was also sleeping badly and this has now been resolved. 

 

Acupuncture is known for reducing pain. In the US there is evidence that it is helping in the fight against opiod addiction. TuiNa is a highly effective remedial massage that complements acupuncture and relieves muscle pain and tension.

 

In addition, Jacqui also sees Kung, Peachy’s Thai oil masseuse, to manage general muscle tightness, improve blood flow and aid relaxation.

 

Jacqui’s story

After suffering severe back pain I was diagnosed with a burst disc and slipped disc in L4/L5 region. I was medically treated with an epidural hydrocortisone treatment. The consultant said I also needed to have physio and non-impact exercise as part of my rehab. After a few months of weight loss and exercise I still had residual pins and needles in my legs, dull ache in my buttocks and lower back, and generally was not sleeping well.

 

The pins and needles have completely gone. I went back to see the consultant who was hugely impressed with my speed of recovery. Since the initial diagnosis I have also been suffering from a taut IT band which has now been resolved through acupuncture

 

The acupuncture has been a godsend in speeding up the recovery process for the back problems I had. Rita is fantastic and the set up is friendly, informal, clean and peaceful.

 

Jacquieline O’Donnell, Highgate

 

 

 

Looking After Number One – Men And Their Health

 

The first time I realised that I wasn’t invincible was when, doing seasonal work on a farm, I slipped a disc lifting heavy machinery. I was 21 and ended up flat on my back for 6 weeks.  After that, I started paying attention.

 

Most men of my age aren’t really focused on their health until it slaps them in the face and that being said there is still a reticence among men to see their doctor or a therapist. Why is that? Well it’s quite hard for men to talk about things like their bodily functions or their mental health and although the male stereotype is changing, we’re still not big on sharing. Thankfully there is more help available for younger men. They are more aware of their diet and keeping their bodies healthy. Education and social media has undoubtedly played a big part in that.

 

Men’s Health Forum report that men are less likely than women to acknowledge illness or to seek help when sick. Health is often socially constructed as a feminine concern. It seems that men tend to use the health service when a certain threshold of ill health has been passed. Additionally, there is a tendency to play things down and attribute signs to growing old.  ‘Being a man’ about things can have negative outcomes in that symptoms and feelings are often left or not even reported.  This means that during that time, and long before that threshold is reached, something positive could have been done.

 

According to Men’s Health Forum, the top five health issues facing men are:

 

1. Diabetes

1 in 10 men have diabetes with men 40% more likely to die prematurely of the disease than women.

 

90% of diabetics have Type 2 diabetes, due to lifestyle factors and diet. It’s estimated that an additional 1 million people in UK don’t know that they are living with Type 2 diabetes.

 

A change in diet, exercise and quitting smoking are the key to prevention. And lifestyle changes can actually reverse diabetes.

 

2. Loneliness

1 in 8 men across the UK have no close friends, according to a survey funded by the Movember foundation*. This amounts to 2.5 million British men with no friends to turn to for support during a crisis.

 

It’s a shocking statistic and one that relates back to the fact that men tend not to share their problems or develop supportive networks of friends. This can have a big impact on men’s mental health and overall wellbeing, especially if their romantic relationships break down.

 

3. Prostate Cancer

Earlier this year and for the first time in the UK, prostate cancer hit the headlines as the number of men dying from prostate cancer overtook the number of women dying from breast cancer

 

One in eight men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime and a total of 4 in 10 prostate cancer cases are diagnosed late making it more difficult to treat.

 

4. Heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of male death in the UK, with 119,000 men having a heart attack each year, compared to 69,000 women. Risk factors for heart disease include: smoking, being overweight, having high cholesterol or having diabetes.

 

5. Suicide

A massive 75% of suicide victims in the UK are male, with suicide the single biggest killer of men under 45 however it’s not just young men who are at risk.

 

Stress is one of those things that if left unchecked can be the cause of and a precursor to so many health issues. Our modern world naturally propels us into a fight-or-flight existence and we are constantly battling with the result of it – stress. You could argue ‘well everyone gets stressed’ but the long-term consequences of chronic stress are significant:

 

  • damages your immune system and heart

  • increases your chances of serious health problems

  • reduces life-expectancy

  • damages your sex life

 

Just as stopping smoking, drinking less, doing exercise and watching your weight are important factors in keeping you healthy, using alternative medicine also supports and helps to reduce stress. Taking a holistic view of your health means not waiting till you’re on your knees before getting help. Whether you’re in your 20’s or 60’s, being proactive in looking after your health now means you’re less likely to pay for it later.

 

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be blogging more about men and their health from a holistic perspective. Watch this space…

 

Andy Levy BSc Hons, MBAcC, LicTuiNa, MRTCM

Andy is Associate Acupuncturist at Peachy Acupuncture

 

  • Movember Foundation

 

 

 

 

Things are changing at Peachy….

New Year, New Practitioners, New Services

Peachy is expanding…

Now in its 6th year, the Practice has steadily grown, thanks to continuing support of my many Crouch End patients – and few that actually travel from South of the river.

One of the things that patients appreciate is the variety of treatments they receive; acupuncture including facial cosmetic, tuina, tok sen (Thai meridian tapping), fire cupping, guasha, moxa and energy healing. But I am just one person, so it feels like time to expand the Practice, the practitioners and the services that Peachy provides. The idea is that we become more of a multi-disciplinary holistic health clinic.

Did you know that there are many styles of acupuncture? Microsystems such as scalp, auricular, stomach, hand and facial all treat the body from one specific area. But there are also entirely different systems such as Japanese acupuncture and Master Tung. Master Tung works completely differently to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). The needles are always place away and distal to the problem and often the opposite side. Very few needles are used but the impact is incredibly powerful and it is known for its immediate reduction in pain.

 

 

New Associate Acupuncturist

I’m delighted that Andrew Levy, who is a TCM, Master Tung acupuncturist, and Tuina practitioner is joining Peachy. He primarily uses Tung acupuncture but also merges the two. Andy’s father was an acupuncturist so he has been immersed in Chinese Medicine and healing all his life. He gained his degree in acupuncture in the UK, went on to learn Tuina medical massage and visited China to complete his training.

Andrew is a great acupuncturist; professional, empathetic and effective (and an all round nice guy). He delivers real results for his patients particularly for musculo-skeletal problems and pain of any kind.

 

New Thai Oil Masseuse

After Tuina, my favourite massage is Thai. Kung was trained in Thailand and has worked there and in the UK as a masseuse for 10 years. She’s a highly professional and knowledgable practitioner and her massages are consistently excellent. Whether you are suffering from musculo-skeletal injuries such as back, shoulder, neck pain or sciatica or you just need a good deep tissue massage, this treatment is incredibly effective.

Kung is a lovely lady and surprisingly strong but her treatments while firm, are not painful. Incredibly relaxing and enjoyable.

 

Hay fever Clinic

Last year was pretty bad for hay fever symptoms among adults and children, so this year we’re hoping to start a dedicated hay fever clinic. Watch this space….

 

Get in touch…

With the new year ahead, perhaps you’re thinking of addressing your health issues? If so then please get in touch.. Bookings can be made by calling Rita on 07961346822 or emailing at rita@peachyacupuncture.com.

 

Thanks for all your support and looking forward to welcoming you.

 

 

 

 

 

Treating arthritis with electro-acupuncture – Marion and my mum’s story

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, affecting around 8 million people. It predominantly affects women over 40. My 79 year old mother is one of them, as is one of my oldest friends, Marion.

Osteoarthritis initially affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint, making movement more difficult than usual, leading to pain and stiffness and later the formation of bony spurs. When the cartilage has worn away, the resulting pain from bone on bone seriously affects their quality of life.

Anti inflammatories and corticosteroids are routinely used to help with pain and inflammation.

The most commonly affected joints are those in the:

  • hands
  • spine
  • knees
  • hips

 

Marion’s story

For more years than I can recall I’ve suffered with an arthritic hip which has slowly made me progressively hobble due to not being able to straighten it properly. This has in turn put pressure on my back giving me lower back pain as I try my best to walk straight! It’s frankly something I’ve tried my hardest to ignore as my doctors advice was simply pain killers and to get it x-rayed and the hospital in turn told me it wasn’t bad enough and I wasn’t in enough pain to be eligible for a hip replacement. Rita listened to all my problems and decided to treat me with tuina massage, cupping and electro-acupuncture which she gave me over two days.
 
What a difference it has made! The electro pulsing acupuncture has resulted in so much better movement of my hip joint, less pain and for the first time for nearly a year I’ve been able to move freely and to stand with both legs straight and with my weight evenly balanced. And this after just two treatments! It sounds excessive to say it, but I was almost in tears with the joy of it!
 

Mum’s story

I had an operation on one knee 15 years ago, but now i’m in permanent pain with it. The other knee is almost as bad. I’ve had steroid injections which only last a couple of months and a variety of anti-inflammatories which just upset my stomach. I love to walk but there have been times I couldn’t even get up from my chair and my legs would hurt even in lying in bed.
 
I don’t like needles but when my daughter said she could help me, I was in so much pain I agreed to try acupuncture. Although I still don’t enjoy the experience, it has made the difference between between existing and living. I can stretch out my legs in bed, walk for an hour and I’m no longer in continuous pain. I have a treatment once a week to keep me mobile and I feel so much better. My daughter says I’m her worst patient because I complain so much about the needles and the electro machine, but really I’m so happy!