Northern Ireland's Leading Specialist Back Pain Clinic
Tel. 028 9266 6959
gavin@gavnoble.com


Back Pain - Old Problem?

  • By G NOBLE
  • 19 Apr, 2016

What treatment should you choose?

It's one of the most common problems I see in my practice - especially after a bank holiday weekend or when the DIY and gardening bug strikes in the warm weather. Forty-one per cent of the UK population - that's 28 million of us - suffer from low back pain in any given year. Ninety-five per cent of people who get a new episode of back pain have'non-specific' or 'simple' back pain - that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt (believe me, I know it does!) but it means there's no obvious single cause and it tends to settle with no long-term complications within a few weeks. More serious causes of low back pain, ranging from sciatica to compression of the spinal cord, a fractured spine or cancerous deposits almost always have different symptoms to non-specific low back pain and are much less common.

Above the sacrum and coccyx, often known as the tailbone, the spine is made up of 24 bones (vertebrae) connected by dozens of tough connective bands called ligaments and small muscles. There are several joints connecting one vertebra to the next - as well as the joint between the main body of two vertebrae, buffered by a spongy disc, small 'facet joints' connect the spiny outcroppings of bone at the back of each vertebra. Non-specific back pain can be caused by a sprain to any of the ligaments or muscles, or minor misalignment of the facet joints.

Recommendations for treating low back pain have changed a lot over the years. Doctors used to give instructions for strict bed rest, lying flat on your back on a firm mattress or even a board. Now we know that being immobile actually slows down recovery, and always recommend keeping as active as possible. You're going to have to accept feeling some discomfort when you move (while avoiding activities that cause severe pain) and should build up your activities gradually.

Each person has their own personal story and personal problem. That's why we treat you as an individual..........

We use a multitude of techniques which include hands on treatment, postural advice, exercises, acupuncture and Pilates...

The best place for you to start is if you want to make a start on relieving you back pain is with my free back pain report, available from the website or the link below.



Gav Noble Physiotherapy

By G NOBLE 17 Nov, 2017

Let’s talk about being active and healthy, and one of the most important things that helps us stay active and mobile are healthy KNEES!

 

Knees are often overlooked when it comes to staying active and healthy.

 

If you think about it, our knees are incredibly important and play a huge role in supporting the body. They allow us to walk, run, bend down, drive, etc., and yet hardly anyone knows how to actually take care of them.

 

Now, you might think that ‘exercising’ would be a good thing for you, and most of the time it is – it helps to keep  you in great shape and is good for your joints. So, why wouldn’t it be good for you? Here’s an example: if you like to go jogging it can sometimes do more harm than good.

 

Think of it in this way:

 

Each time you take a stride your leg is bending, causing your knee joints to work and when your foot lands you are putting 2.5-3 times your body weight through those joints. Now think of how often and how long you would jog or run for? 10, 20 minutes? Maybe even more? This repetitiveness can have an effect on your knees over a long period of time.

 

Even walking or doing stairs can cause aches and pains in our knees, if we don’t look after them. We are recommended to do 10,000 steps a day, and with each step, we use our knees. If we manage to do the recommended steps, then it is likely that your knees have been bent at least 10,000 times within the day! (That’s a lot of bending!)

 

Now, I’m not saying to avoid running and walking altogether. What I want to share with you is why it’s important to prepare your body properly for these types of exercises (so aches and pains don’t stop us from being active and going about our daily lives). We thoroughly recommend being as active as possible, including running wisely and safely.

 

Let’s take a look:

 

·         Firstly, my recommendation for anyone who is experiencing or knows of anyone experiencing knee pain – seek advice from someone who knows understands how the body works i.e your local healthcare professional, who will be able to point you in the right direction of what to do.

 

·         Show your knees some love while exercising. Warm up, a lot of people don’t realize that warming the body up  beforehand can actually help you walk, jog, and run further and with more ease (and reduce the risk of injury!). Warmer muscle are less prone to injury, and generally less stiff.

 

·         Cooling down has exactly the same principle. Stretching after exercise is key to easing stiffness in the morning. When you stretch your muscles after exercise, your muscles relax and ease their tension. Stretching after exercise also improves circulation and flexibility, helping you to ease the chances of knee pain.

 

·         Strengthening the knees. This is a really important point!! Strength in our muscles helps to move, support and absorb all the daily movements that we put our knees through. With less strength, comes the likelihood of more pain and injury susceptibility.

 

Think about how often pick up your children or grandchildren after chasing them around the house, park or garden?

 

Sometimes chasing after children seems a bit like a work-out! So,  when you get home, make sure you stretch before you go to bed. Your knees have had extra strain on them as opposed to any other day, which could leave you in pain the next morning when you roll out of bed.

 

Now for those who love to do work in the garden when the sun is out – How often do you plant your flowers kneeling down? This one may go without saying but this is probably one of the worst things you can do to your knees! The amount of pressure and sheering force you are putting on them is quite something! Not only are your knees supporting your full body weight, they are forced onto the hard ground and are kept in that position for over an hour! Some of you reading this might not think it takes that long to plant new flowers. Or perhaps you don’t stay on your knees because it’s easier to get up and get your garden tools?

 

Either way, your knees will be suffering. The best way to approach gardening, is to bring all your tools with you, and get a kneeling cushion too, though I understand sometimes even these can become uncomfortable. My advice would be to try and use one, and if it becomes too much, sit on your bum and use the cushion.

 

However, the most crucial part is timing! Try not to kneel for longer than 10 minutes with a knee rest, get up often and move around before kneeling again to get movement to your joints. Yes, the gardening may take longer but you will be looking after your knees, and if you love gardening then you have nothing to lose!

 

So, next time you have a slight ache or pain in your knees, don’t brush it off! Our knees are what keep us independent and living life to the full, remember that!

 

If you, or someone you know is suffering with knee pain and you’d like some more tips on how to ease it, then have a look through this free report on knee pain: http://www.gavnoble.com/knee-pain

 

Have a read and gain back your independence! Visit my website where you can pick up a copy of my free report instantly, or click here: http://www.gavnoble.com/knee-pain

 

Suffering from Knee Issues?? We also hold FREE Knee Pain Workshops at our clinic. Why not call the clinic to find out when the next one is.

By G NOBLE 10 Nov, 2017

Knee pain is one of the most common things we see in the clinic. It’s a condition that whilst common can be treated very effectively.

Some of the more common complaints with knee pain are: pain when running, or even pain from playing sport, ligament & cartilage injuries, knee replacements, to the more common arthritis of the knee.

Arthritis in the knee is not to be feared!

Osteoarthritis(OA) in fact is a general wear and tear of the joints and can be helped significantly by doing the right things.

Similarly, runners complaining of knee pain when running need to understand what is actually causing the pain and it can then be corrected.

We had Mark visit us recently. Mark had been suffering with knee pain when running. It actually stopped him from running and he was becoming frustrated as he enjoyed running. After a full assessment and an understanding of where exactly his knee pain was coming from we initiated the correct physiotherapy treatment for him, and he is now back out running.

We love hearing about people who have overcome their knee pain and are back out doing the things that they love doing. Whether that is out running, walking the dog or even getting out to the shops to do the weekly shopping. There’s nothing that makes us happier than when our patients are happy.

Imagine the life where your knee pain has taken over. A life where you:-

·         unable to get to and walk around the shops as your knees hurt too much

·         unable to go for a run

·         unable to do housework as you can’t manage stairs well

·         unable to get up from or down to the floor to play with your children or grandchildren

·         unable to take the children to the park as the walk makes the knee pain unbearable

Life doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t have to be in a position to accept it. As I always say, ‘doing something is better than nothing’! You should never give up as there is always something that you can do to help.

Below I offer you my most valuable pieces of advice for anyone who suffers with knee pain.

 

Physio treatment

Getting to see a hands-on specialist Physio means you’re going to get very fast access to care that will soothe and relax tight aching muscles, loosen stiff, stuck and painful joints, and help you strengthen your body so that you can go back to doing the things that you love. You can often leave a good Physio with concerns eased and physical pain reduced, inside 30-40 minutes. and you will see a dramatic change in pain and stiffness that you may be experiencing.

A specialist physiotherapist will assess and diagnose the problem. They help you get to the route and main cause of the problem and then formulate a plan for you to help you get back to doing the things you love doing.

 

Exercise

It is so important that you do some form of exercise to help the knees. Cardio exercises strengthen the muscles that support your knee and increase flexibility. Weight training and stretching do, too. For cardio, some good choices include walking, swimming, water aerobics, stationary cycling, and elliptical machines. Pilates may also help ease stiffness and improve balance. Please always consult a healthcare professional for the correct advice with regards to exercise so you are doing something that shouldn’t irritate pain.

Keep doing what you enjoy doing

One of my favourite things for people. I don’t like stopping anyone from doing things they love doing. If it is not irritating the problem then generally I am happy for people to continue living their lives to the fullest. Obviously, if an activity irritates a problem, it is time to modify the activity, so let’s do that instead of ceasing the activity altogether.

 

So there you have it. My top 3 pieces of advice for knee pain.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to email me at gavin@gavnoble.com , or call the clinic to speak to one of our specialist physiotherapists. 028 92666959


Alternatively, you can download our FREE knee pain report here :-

http://www.gavnoble.com/knee-pain

By G NOBLE 07 Nov, 2017

We all have moments of weakness and try to find an excuse not to exercise. This is just our mind attempting to challenge our motivation to get out there and do something. 

Remember, if you are missing out on doing something that you love doing, because you are in pain, not strong enough, or not flexible enough, or you need to work on that core strength, then Pilates is definitely for you.

Some people don’t like high intensity exercise, but Pilates can be there for you as a more gentle form of exercise, plus has amazing benefits!

So now, why does Pilates work?

1.      Mind-Body connection

Pilates helps gets your mind in tune with your body. It improves body awareness and leads  muscles to posture control, and understanding of  movements. With an emphasis on the quality of movement with complete concentration and precision you will become acutely aware of how your body works, how it feels and what it needs.

2.      Improved Posture

The Pilates Method promotes better posture and balance by teaching alignment and stability. It helps build a strong core by activating the lower abdominals along with the muscles closest to the spine, giving the spine support to lengthen.

3.      Restful sleep

Something we hear very frequently about how good a night’s sleep people have after their Pilates class. This goes back to that mind-body connection, and focusing on you, when exercising. The focus on breathing helps the mind becomes settled, thus, better sleep!

4.      Improved body

The beauty of Pilates is that it is a whole body exercise which activates all muscles, improves coordination and increases strength, flexibility and stamina. It elongates and strengthens without building excess bulk. It increases muscle elasticity and creates a stronger core.

5.      Injury prevention and treatment

Pilates was originally used for rehabilitation of Ballet students in New York! It is used extensively by physiotherapists and trainers worldwide as a form of rehabilitation – especially for back pain! The controlled movements and strengthening aspect of Pilates are ideal for preventative as well as rehabilitative purposes.

6.      Pilates for all

The best thing about Pilates is that anyone and everyone can practice it - Guys and girls! Plus don’t forget it can be fun too, and you get to socialise and meet new people who are in exactly the same boat as you.

The movements are low impact and there are so many adaptations on the classical exercises which accommodate all levels of fitness and specific needs. No matter what your physical characteristics, your fitness experience, size, shape or age Pilates can challenge you in a sensible and safe way.

If you have any questions, queries, please feel free to contact us at 028 9266 6959, or gavin@gavnoble.comto 

Or feel free to download our Free Pilates report here .

http://www.gavnoble.com/pilates


By G NOBLE 02 Nov, 2017

If you are suffering with ANY kind of knee stiffness, pain, aching or swelling, you will already know that is “life limiting”. It may already be holding you back from things that you love doing!

And if you didn’t have knee pain, here are some of those things you would most likely be able to ENJOY doing again, immediately…

1.) Waking up in the morning and effortlessly get up out of bed and walk to the bathroom.

2.) Bending your leg up and puttingyour own socks and shoes on, without having to worry about stiffness or sharp pain.

3.)Sitting at work, COMFORTABLY, WITHOUT your knee aching.

4.) Walking up and down stairs to do our daily chores without having to worry about each step.

5.)Going to bed knowing that you’re finally going to get a good night’s sleep and are not going to wake up because of a dull ache or sharp pain in your knee waking you up each time you turn over.

6.)Getting down on the floor to play with your own kids or grandkids, knowing that getting back up from the floor will be easy.

7.)Being able to stand up for longer than 10 minutes without having to lean on your other leg just to ease your knee pain, or even having to look for a chair to sit down on for a rest.

8.)Going for a run again without having to face the thought and consequence of your knee tightening or swelling and FORCING you to stop and limp the rest of the way home.

9.)Take a long walk in Wallace park, Hillsborough Park or along the tow path or your favourite place without the fear of having to spend the rest of the day with ice on your knee, because it’s become so swollen.

10.)  Get out into the garden, kneeling down and doing some weeding, or even being able to bend and kneel to wash the car.

These are the common things that people tell me they really wish they could do, free of knee pain, when they first come and see me.

 

It’s a bit like a “wish list” clients give me when we first talk.

And one of the reasons I want to help you is, that I realize you are missing out on doing LOTS of things that you love to do. (Perhaps one or two are on that list?…)

And it’s only at times like this, when you are in pain and likely to be FORCED into having to miss out on doing any of them, do you really appreciate how much you value each AND the amount of quality and enjoyment they bring to your life.

My question now to you is:-

“Would less knee pain make a difference to your life, if you were able to ENJOY doing things and go places without suffering with knee pain?  – OR – Are you still living with the fear of waiting for knee pain to strike again?”

If the answer to either is “YES”, then you are “PERFECT” for physiotherapy here.

Makes it very convenient for you to find why we’re likely to be your best option, if you want to avoid painkillers and generic advice, when trying to end your knee pain.

I want to end your knee pain naturally and I’ll only be giving you specialist advice that will make a difference, quickly.

P.S. If this sounds good to you, give us a call today on 028 9266 6959

P.P.S. Feel free to find out more about how you may be able to make simple changes in your life to ease knee pain by downloading our FREE knee pain report HERE

By G NOBLE 31 Oct, 2017

Lies, Lies, Lies! FACT

Of course men do Pilates. The person who invented Pilates was a man!

Pilates has all the same benefits for women as it has for men – see here .

In fact, in my experience, I have taught Pilates to a youthful group of teenage guys who were used to going to the gym and lifting heavy weights. When teaching them, it was very clear to see that their whole understanding of body movement and control was somewhat lacking, and in my opinion had the possibility of leading them on the path of future injury, if they were not to address this. 

Thankfully we did!

So guys need to understand how to move and control body movement just as much as women do.

“But Gavin, Pilates will be too easy for guys”

Again, something I hear from time to time. And yes, guys are in general, genetically stronger. All I say to that is, come and try Pilates. 

Come and attend one of our intermediate/advanced classes and let’s see how you do. More often than not the guys leave saying that it was more difficult than they would have ever thought! Just ask anyone in any of our intermediate/advanced classes. They will tell you! It’s not always easy, and they have spent time learning the movements, getting stronger and having fun.

Men also get back pain, just like women get back pain. 

Back pain can hold them back from doing things they love doing too - gardening, walking, working, driving, playing sport, playing with children/grandchildren or even DIY(footering in the shed/garage). Well, if I was able to offer men a solution to less pain, no back pain and a path back to doing what they love doing, then Pilates is always part of that solution – trust me, I’ve been there and done it.

If you have any questions, queries, please feel free to contact us at 028 9266 6959, or gavin@gavnoble.com

By G NOBLE 27 Oct, 2017

Headaches are a pain. We can all get them now and again, but for some of us, they’re more of a regular occurrence than others…

I have to admit that sometimes I am shocked at just how many people we see at the clinic who suffer from headaches. Quite a lot of the time the headache is present in conjunction with another injury. Many people suffer from these headaches so often that it just becomes a part of daily life, and they just put up with it.

That’s why pain relieving medication are such big sellers.

I want to let you know that these medications only relieve symptoms, when the true cause of recurring headache is quite possibly the result of something else that could be simply addressed, thus putting an end to those headaches.

So we had a patient in last week suffering with back. They also complained of recurrent headaches, especially when their back was sore! They sit in an office all day working on their computer, working to deadlines – quite stressful.

Her doctor gave some pain relieving medication which did help short term, yet her headaches and back pain remain.

She was at a bit of a loss despite seeking advice elsewhere, and came to us as almost to give it one last shot of getting rid of her pain.

Now, I had several ideas of what exactly I wanted to look at, and where exactly her pain was coming from.

In my years of experience, it’s often the case that if someone is suffering from recurrent, disheartening, regular episodes of headaches, that they just haven’t got to the real underlying root cause of their pain – and most of the time it’s nothing to do with anything that’s going on in the head!

Most frequently, recurring headaches are most likely to be as a result of tension in the shoulders, jaw or neck – something that many people aren’t even aware of. Even if you are suffering from back pain, the body tenses to restrict movement and the resulting problem can be headaches as well as back pain.

You see, while simple painkillers prescribed by the doctor may help take the pain away for a few hours, they aren’t actually doing anything to prevent them from coming back and hitting you hard when you least expect it. We hear it all the time, that after taking pain relief, a person feels great. As soon as that wears off, then BAM!! The pain returns.

The one thing most people disregard as a trigger is ‘stress’. We all know stress does many things to our body, but where do we feel stress the most?

We feel it as tightness and tension in our neck and shoulder muscles – and all of this tension brings on headaches!

So imagine this(if your mornings are like mine), you are running late in the morning, you’re trying to get children breakfast and ready for school, plus getting yourself ready…it get’s pretty stressful sometimes.

So now add up those small stressors, to ones that you will also have through the day, and by the end of the week, you have a lot of tension around your shoulders.

 This is why it’s important to deal with these things daily, without responding to them in a stressful way, so we can start to prevent headaches and make them occur less and less.

So what are some things you can do right now to help?

There’s a number of relaxation techniques that can reduce symptoms of stress. Making time for pleasurable activities such as listening to music, reading a book, or doing your favourite exercise. For me, I love going to my crossfit gym to really take my mind off things.

In addition, you should set aside time, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day, to practice  a relaxation technique such as deep breathing.

Many of our clients attend our Pilates classes really love the class as it helps them reduce stress and tension, PLUS they feel they sleep much better. Another BIG PLUS too is that Pilates is helping to tone their bodies!

At the end of the day stress can make your head hurt – and a headache can really stress you out! So either way, to reduce the pain, we’ve got to rein in the stress.

If you need more tips to ease neck pain and headaches, you can download my free report here instantly: http://www.gavnoble.com/neck-shoulder-pain … which shows you how to ease pain naturally, without needing painkillers.

By G NOBLE 19 Oct, 2017

Let me tell you about one of the most common things that people aged 50+ who come to see me experience…In fact a patient came to see me last week with this problem.

The sudden onset of shoulder and neck tension.

It often sneaks up on people without any warning and without any mechanism of injury.

And usually offers no explanation as to why you might wake up with an annoying, nagging pain in the neck one day that can even begin to make it difficult to enjoy daily life.

Neck pain can often be caused by a number of things…

Spending all day long at a desk looking at a computer screen, sleeping with too many pillows, lifting and reaching, ironing, watching TV and even reading a book before you go to bed.

Now, you might think the things I’ve just mentioned are simple, and that they wouldn’t cause neck and shoulder pain at all…

But the thing is, just as with anything, if something is done repetitively no matter how small or trivial, eventually it will have an impact on your body, and will surface a few years later done the line in form of pain, stiffness and tension.

So, with that said, let’s take a look at watching TV…

Let’s face it watching TV is something that most people do, and of course there’s nothing wrong with it!

I enjoy winding down with a good programme before I call it a night – Australia Masterchef is a firm favourite, and I love to read a story to my daughter in the evening before she goes to bed.

Now, what most people don’t realise is that the head is designed to be kept in a position where your ears are in line with your shoulders, and most of the time when we’re doing certain activities, your ears are no longer in line.

I can be guilty too whilst watching TV or when reading, that my head tends to bend forwards and put extra pressure at the back of my neck. Understanding this and correcting it ASAP will only help to keep neck and shoulder pain at bay!

Continue to let the head flex and get out of alignment every day, will only gradually worsen unwanted problems, like tension as time goes on.

So what can you do to fix a stiff neck before the tension gets any worse?…

Well to start with, when watching TV be aware of your neck posture.

If you notice your neck is leaning forward at all, tuck your chin in down towards your neck and chest. This will help to straighten the neck.

Another thing you can do as soon as you wake up is to take a hot bath or shower and have a gentle stretch. Muscles love to be warm, and they don’t like being kept stationary.

With that said, you could also consider taking up activities like Pilates, which is great for your posture and can even reduce the risk of neck pain due to the amazing AND relaxing strengthening exercises.

For more ways and advice to ease neck and shoulder pain, go here next to collect your free tips report:

  http://www.gavnoble.com/neck-shoulder-pain


By G NOBLE 13 Oct, 2017

This is one of the most common questions I get asked when I see patients:

“Why did my shoulder pain start without me even doing anything to set it off?”

Normally, there tends to be some sort of injury occurrence that sets off shoulder pain, such as a fall onto your hands or shoulder or even braking hard in the car that the shoulder jolts forward, can set off shoulder pain

Let’s understand a little more about the shoulder first.

As far as joints go, the shoulder joint is probably the most mobile joint in the body. Think just for a minute about how often every minute of every day that we do something with our hands, arms and shoulders. It’s quite a lot, isn’t it?

This means then that is not very stable, which means that sometimes it’s easy for your shoulder joint to easily go into positions that can cause stress on the muscles around it.

The shoulder joint relies a lot on its muscles, tendons and ligaments to support it. Unfortunately these muscle tendons often pass through very small gaps between the bones and therefore can rub and wear down over time.

So, what is the cause of the pain?

It is generally an irritation of the muscle tendon, which when going back to the cause is down to your POSTURE!

One common way this injury occurs is simply by sitting at a desk, the arms reach forwards and round the shoulders forwards.

Although such a seemingly simple activity, over time this repetitive movement can lead to your shoulders experiencing pain. Even reaching to pick something up, like a book or even a small child becomes more difficult.

So how do you limit the chances of this happening?

Well the answer is quite simple really… You check your position.

 

If you notice you have to stretch quite far forward to reach the keyboard, simply move your keyboard closer so that your elbow is at a 90 degree level and you can type comfortably.

Another way is to simply hold your shoulders back slightly. I bet you have noticed that towards the end of the day you slump more and your shoulders become rounded?

One problem with this position is that your shoulder blades aren’t working properly. The muscles around the shoulder blades aren’t doing their job as well as they should so they don’t look after your shoulder joint like they should.

Now, if you’re currently suffering with pain, and you want to get back to golf or tennis, be able to pick up your child or grandchild, or whatever it is that you may love doing then don’t worry…

…Physiotherapy is the first port of call for you!

The physiotherapist will be able to assess, properly diagnose and treat your injury, giving you the advice you need to get you back doing exactly what you want to quicker!

If should pain is bothering you right now and you’d like to discover how to ease it quickly… Click here to instantly download your free shoulder pain report:

http://www.gavnoble.com/neck-shoulder-pain


By G NOBLE 06 Oct, 2017

Starting Pilates can be a daunting thing. One of the things that we get told frequently is ‘I’m not sure if I’m doing it right’. Another thing we hear is about Pilates being for men?

Addressing the ‘men’ issue, it’s really not. I can remember attending my first Pilates class and being the only guy there. I guess I got it pretty quickly as I could see the massive benefits it would have for my once lower back pain (I don’t suffer any more by the way). We run mixed classes and the guys in class keep coming back as they see the real benefits of Pilates. It’s not just a girl’s exercise regime! The founder of Pilates, Joseph Pilates, was clearly male and lived well into his 80’s!

We never want people to come to our classes thinking about this, as it then distracts them from the real reason why they are there. Whether that reason is to help get stronger, more flexible, improve their core strength, or help with back pain. We want you there to enjoy the class, get stronger and more flexible, but most importantly have fun.

Throughout the class time our instructors are constantly paying lots of attention to everyone, making mental notes on how people are moving, helping you adjust position, and correcting exercises and positions so that you perform them efficiently. This helps us to modify the classes to the ability of everyone who attends.

This is important to us and hopefully to everyone who attends

 

Our instructors are highly trained Specialist Physiotherapists and Pilates instructors, who have spent many years learning and understanding about movement. We love seeing the classes progress and love it even more when we overhear people saying “I was never able to do a certain movement but it’s ok now” – I love that!

So as I said, we hear this’ I’m not sure if I’m doing this right’ so often. This is one of the reasons why we highly recommend attending for our Pilates assessment. It really makes the transition to class so much easier, as people tend to ‘get’ it more as they have a better understanding. At the assessment, we go over all the underpinning principles of Pilates, we teach the basic fundamental exercises, and send you home with the ‘basics’ on paper and also via email with access to videos of everything you have just learnt.

If you have any questions, queries, please feel free to contact us at 028 9266 6959, or gavin@gavnoble.com

By G NOBLE 24 Sep, 2017

I wanted to answer one of the most common question I get asked about being stiff. We hear this all the time and not just at the clinic.

“Gavin, what advice have you got for someone who isn’t necessarily in a lot of pain, but who is just really stiff in the morning and feels stiff through the day? I feel it slows me down and can’t do things the way I’d like to.

I have plenty of tips and advice to help reduce stiffness.

But first I want to clear up  ‘why’ we feel stiff in the first place.

A lot of people we see think that stiffness is something we feel as we get older – and while there’s some truth in that, stiffness isn’t always directly related to how old you are.

Yes, as you get older your joints and muscles might get stiff if you don’t exercise regularly. And it’s true that your joints become less flexible as the lubricating fluid inside them decreases, and the cartilage becomes thinner as you age… But there’s some other points to factor in too.

Not drinking enough fluids and dehydration can also lead to stiff muscles. Muscles are active tissues, which means they’re the kind of tissue that requires the most water in the body.

Inactivity is another culprit – leaving your muscles in one place for a prolonged period (sleep, sitting in a chair, driving for hours etc.) can cause them to stiffen.

Another cause can be related to stress – when we’re in a state of stress, our bodies tighten up as preparation for a “fight or flight” situation. Prolonged stress can lead to you maintaining a tight posture, resulting in strain on the muscles.

So what can you do to reduce the side-effects of stiffness? Here’s five quick and easy tips to add to your daily routine that will help you find a life with less stiffness no matter what age you are.

1. Stretch – daily. Ten minutes on a morning when you first wake up, and ten minutes on a night before bed. Doing gentle stretches just before bed can help you get a much better night’s sleep as well. No equipment needed, just you and the comfort of your own home.

2. Walk – It’s time to start making a habit of a regular walk in your daily routine. Start off going for 10 minutes and gradually build up your time and even your pace. Your heart will thank you for it too.

3. Avoid long periods of sitting – Sitting just doesn’t allow muscle to move in the way they are supposed to, causing tightness. We are not designed to sit for long periods. You’re better off laying stretched out on the sofa than you are sitting in a chair for long periods of time. Standing up and stretching every 30 minutes can help. Check out this  video about the one stretch you need to do if you sit long periods.

4. Take a warm bath – with bath salts. The heat and combination of bath salt or will ease your aching muscles almost immediately and will calm your mind. The perfect way to end your day and unwind before getting a good night’s sleep.

5. Drink plenty of water -Seventy percent of your muscles are water. So it makes sense that you need to drink plenty of water to support your body and keep it hydrated. My tip – Drink plenty of water through the day. This also helps the body get rid of any build-up of toxins

It’s sad but a lot of people accept stiffness in their life as though it’s normal and nothing can be done about it. Stiffness in your joints such as your neck, shoulders, back and knees is a sign that something needs to be done by you.

So there you have it, five things you can very easily put into action in your day as soon as today, to reduce stiffness and prevent it from making daily activities difficult to do.

Don’t accept stiffness as part of life, if you do and you don’t do anything about it, it’s likely to worsen and affect your ability to move freely. Time to change your habits

P.S. If you’re experiencing stiffness in your back which restricts your ability to move without pain, click here to download my free back pain tips guide which includes actionable tips I give to my patients at http://www.gavnoble.com/back-pain
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