Young ginger roots are juicy and fleshy with a very mild taste and used in many dishes or steeped in boiling water to make ginger tea. Mature ginger roots are fibrous and nearly dry. The juice from old ginger roots is extremely potent and is often used as a spice in many Asian dishes.
Ginger is used in recipes all over the world including Western cuisine, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, the Caribbean, Corfu and the Middle East. It can be used in desserts, savoury dishes and even in some drinks.
From a medical point of view ginger has been used to decrease the pain of arthritis, it may also have blood thinning and cholesterol lowering properties and therefore could help in heart disease. Some preliminary research has found that it may be helpful in anxiety because certain compounds in ginger bind to human serotonin receptors. It is active against a certain type of diarrhoea and has been found to be affective in treating nausea caused by motion sickness, morning sickness and the effects of chemotherapy. Ginger has also been helpful in indigestion, slow motility, constipation and colic.
Ginger’s anti inflammatory effect has been shown in an exciting new study, published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. It has found that ginger may help to reduce colon inflammation, and therefore the associated risks of developing colorectal cancer.
In the study, the researchers found that people who took ginger supplements had a significant 28% decrease in inflammation of the colon, which is known to be an important precursor of colon cancer, compared to placebo.
The research team recruited 30 volunteers to take either a daily supplement of 2g ground ginger root extract, or a placebo for 28 days.
They measured markers known to increase intestinal inflammation levels both before and after the 28 day period. Results showed that the inflammation had significantly reduced.
2gs of root ginger is a lot more than is in a normal diet so a supplement is recommended to get the full benefits as a treatment. Ginger oil has also been shown to prevent skin cancer in mice, and a study at the University of Michigan demonstrated that it can kill ovarian cancer.
A product that has ginger, rosemary and turmeric in, is UltraInflamX, a metabolic food that has great results against inflammation.
For more information on this product call us on 01462 893586
So many people complain of joint pain and of course as physiotherapists we are treating joint and muscle problems all the time. However, have you ever thought what may be causing these problems? As physiotherapists we look at your posture, how you sit at your workstation, how you lifted that heavy object, your sport etc, but sometimes you have pains for no particular reason. Why?
Pain is caused by inflammation, and inflammation is the result of an over acid body, which is turn is the result of a poor diet.
What do I mean by a poor diet?
A diet rich in processed foods, sugar, alcohol and caffeine.
However, some foods that you may feel are reasonably good for you can also be inflammatory because you are intolerant to them, and some are just inflammatory foods, such as milk and diary products.
So what can you do yourself to ease the pain?
Start be eating a good healthy diet rich in oily fish, lean poultry (skinless), nuts, legumes and seeds, organic wholemeal oats, dark green leafy vegetables, other vegetables and fruit, organic where possible, and aromatic spices (turmeric, ginger, cloves, garlic, onion, coriander, ground mustard seed and cayenne pepper).
Eat oily fish because it gives you your Omega 3 oils which are anti-inflammatory. Eat fruit and vegetables because they leave an alkaline ash once digested and help to keep your body in an alkaline state.
What is so important about an alkaline state?
Viruses, bad bacteria and fungi cannot survive in an alkaline medium so it is a great way of preventing infections.
Check to see if you have any food sensitivities, as they can cause inflammation of your digestive system causing irritable bowel syndrome and even back pain. I use the Vega machine to test for any intolerances and it can also check your body energies to find out where your weaknesses are.
Cut out processed foods and especially sugar. High sugar encourages your pancreas to jump into action and secrete the hormone Insulin, whose job, among other things, is to get that sugar out of the bloodstream quickly and deliver it to the muscle cells where it can be used for energy. That happens because if sugar hangs around in the blood stream, it ultimately does a lot of damage. High sugar and high Insulin create inflammation and therefore pain.
To help reduce the inflammation you can take a strong fish oil capsule and I recommend Eskimo 3 High Strength which has been tested for dioxins and is high stgrength. Another great anti-inflammatory is Serrapeptase. It is a naturally occurring enzyme that comes from the silkworm where it is used for instantly dissolving the hard cacoon to allow the moth to escape and fly away. The silkworm also uses it to help digest the tough mulberry leaves that it feeds on. Serrapeptase has a specific anti-inflammatory effect and digests non-living tissues, blood clots, cysts, arterial plaque and inflammation of all forms. I recommend Serrapeptase as the safest and most effective solution to inflammation of all kinds. It can help in joint and back pain, muscle pain, sports injuries and arthritis.
For specific stretches please give us a call to make an appointment with one of our chartered physiotherapists – Fleet Street 020 7404 0023 or Baldock 01462 893586.
- The benefits of stretching include reduced muscle soreness after exercising and even better performance.
- Do not bounce – it risks pulling or tearing the muscle you’re trying to stretch and relax.
- Stretch gradually. If a stretch is applied too quickly, the muscle responds with a quick contraction, increasing the tension. Gradual stretching decreases the muscle tension, promoting a further stretch.
- Do not overextend. This feeling is like minimal tightness / discomfort, but no pain!
- Hold and control the stretch for at least 30 seconds, repeat 2-3 times.
- Always stretch all the major muscle groups (ie calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, groin and hip flexors)
- Stretch uniformly – After stretching one leg, stretch the other, and do the same with upper body.
- Don’t overstretch an injured area – this may cause additional damage.
- Stretching is part of your cool down period, immediately following exercising (not 30-40minutes later!), and can be used after your warm-up session.
Stand with one leg in front of the other, turning the toes of
back foot inwards slightly, keeping your back straight. Lean
forwards, keeping your heel on the floor (you can lean with
your hands against a wall). You should feel a stretch in the
top of your calf muscles and behind the knee.
Calf Stretch 2:
Stand with one leg slightly forward and bend the knee. Keep
your heel on the floor. You should feel a stretch lower down
your calf. Repeat with the other leg.
Reach over your shoulder with one arm, grabbing the elbow
and gently pushing it across your body, as if you’re scratching
your back. Gently push on your elbow to guide your hand as far
down your back as it will comfortably go. Feel the stretch in
your triceps and shoulder.
Stand with the ball of your foot on a step, starting off with
your knee bent. Tilt your hips forward (sticking your tailbone
out), and bend forward slightly. Gently straighten your knee
while maintaining the hip position. You will feel the stretch
behind your knee and into your buttock.
Stand holding on to a support, bend one knee and take hold of
the ankle. Draw your heel towards your buttock, tilting the
hips forward so that your knee points to the floor. Feel the
stretch in front of your thigh.
Hip & Lower Back Stretch:
Sit on the floor with legs crossed. Lift and cross your right leg
over the left, keeping the left bent. Hug the right leg close to
your chest, while twisting your upper body to look over the
right shoulder. Change legs and repeat.
Lying on your back, knees bent and feet on floor. Lift your
hips gradually off the floor, until your body forms a flat plane.
Repeating about 10 times for 30 seconds, to stretch your
quads and lower back.
Sit on the floor with soles of your feet together as close to
your groin as you can. Push your knees down towards the floor
using your elbows, leaning forward gently.
For specific stretches please give us a call to make an appointment with one of our chartered physiotherapists – Fleet Street 020 7404 0023 or Baldock 01462 893586.
Shoulder pain is common and can be brought on by the repetitive tasks or postures to which we regularly expose our bodies. Pain is frequently felt in the upper outer arm as well as around the shoulder joint. The shoulder structures may be the source of this pain but it can be referred from other regions, for example the neck.
Common causes of shoulder pain
The tendons around the shoulder joint blend to form a supportive cuff called the rotator cuff. Wear and tear of these tendons is called tendonitis, this is the most common cause of shoulder pain in the over 40’s.
The tendons can be damaged by prolonged repetitive tasks or postures for example using the computer, playing sports and performing DIY.
Pain is felt with specific movements, like reaching back, reaching out to lift something or half way through reaching up or lowering the arm down. The term impingement may be used to describe these painful movements. This happens when the damaged tendons or inflamed bursa are compressed under the bone at the tip of the shoulder (the acromion).
Occasionally, in the older population ongoing tendonitis may lead to a tear of the rotator cuff, resulting in marked weakness of certain shoulder movements.
Bursas are found around the body; these fluid filled sacks protect structures from rubbing on the surrounding bone. The large shoulder bursa, like the shoulder tendons can be irritated by repetitive tasks and causes impingement. When the bursa becomes inflamed, sleeping on that side becomes difficult, movements are limited and in severe cases the arm will ache even when resting at your side.
The capsule of the shoulder can become contracted and thickened often with no history of trauma or injury. The reason for this is still not fully understood but it is more common in diabetics, after shoulder or breast surgery and in women aged 40-60. The shoulder becomes increasingly painful and restricted, both when you lift it and when lifted for you. It follows 3 main stages:
- Painful phase – increasing pain
- Frozen stage – increasing stiffness, pain lessening eventually
- Thawing phase – stiffness reducing
These phases last in total from 18-24 months. Most people make a full recovery.
Arthritis can develop in the joint where the collar bone meets the shoulder blade, on the top of the shoulder – the acromioclavicular joint. It is common in middle age and results in a bony lump visible over the joint. It may result in a reduction of and ache at the end of your reaching movements. It can also provoke impingement in the tissues under the joint as described above. Other forms of arthritis can affect the ball and socket joint but this is relatively uncommon.
This describes pain coming from structures outside the painful area. The joints, nerves, muscles and ligaments in the neck can refer pain to the shoulder area. Nerve pain can make your arm and shoulder blade achy and heavy; pins and needles can develop in your arm and hand. Muscle pain as a result of tension, stress and repetitive tasks or postures can lead to pain and stiffness in the shoulder.
Shoulder pain has many causes; assessment by a Physiotherapist at The Wyndham Centre will provide you with the correct diagnosis.
What can you do to help yourself?
- If you need them, take the over-the-counter painkillers that work for you. Relieving some of the pain will allow you to relax muscles and keep the shoulder moving
- Try to keep your arm moving within the limits of pain but do not overstretch. Gentle movement is important
- Heat or cold can give you short term relief and relax muscle tension. Ask your Physiotherapist for advice on how and where to apply
- Stress and anxiety can lead to muscle tension and pain. Try to sit in a supported position and “let go” while breathing out
- In the early stages try to avoid any irritating movements or postures you have identified during your normal daily activities, sport or work. Seek advice from your Physiotherapist on how and when to return to these tasks
- Contact one of our Physiotherapists at The Wyndham Centre. The correct diagnosis can reduce your anxiety and direct you to the most effective treatment
How can Physiotherapy help?
The Physiotherapists at The Wyndham Centre will be able to identify the source of your shoulder pain and explain the reasons why you have developed the symptoms. Physiotherapists are experts in rehabilitation and will be able to answer your questions and apply a variety of treatments tailored to ensure your optimum recovery. They will specifically work with you and advise you on how to prevent a recurrence.
These treatments may include:
- Specific exercises to allow your arm and shoulder blade to work more efficiently
- Hands on therapy directed to your joints and muscles such as massage and gentle manipulation
- Advice on graded return to sport, activity
- Postural advice at home and correct workstation set up at work
- Relaxation techniques to reduce muscle tension
- In most cases shoulder pain will improve with time, guidance and support
- Recovery time varies depending on the origin of the pain
- Stay positive
- Keep the shoulder moving within painful limits
- Identify and avoid irritating postures, activities
- Seek the advice and help of a Physiotherapist at The Wyndham Centre for a correct diagnosis and effective treatment
Source: Physio First
So, if that is the case why do we get inflammation and how do we prevent it?
A bad diet can play a huge part in the production of inflammation because there are certain foods that will create it. The main foods to avoid are processed refined foods and sugar. These foods increase the sugar levels in your blood and this then cries out for insulin. Insulin’s job, among other things, is to get that sugar out of the bloodstream quickly and deliver it to the muscle cells where it can be used for energy. High levels of insulin in the blood are pro-inflammatory, they increase the inflammation in your body. Insulin, also tells the kidneys to hold onto sodium, increasing blood pressure, and high insulin levels encourage the body to store excess fat encouraging obesity.
Refined foods and sugars also make your body very acid and this encourages inflammation. It is important to keep your body as alkaline as possible because bacteria, viruses, fungi and therefore inflammation cannot survive in an acid medium.
The acid/alkaline balance of our internal fluids affects every cell in our body. The entire metabolic process depends on an alkaline environment. Chronic over acidity corrodes body tissue, and if left unchecked will interrupt all cellular activities and functions, from the beating of our heart to the neutral firing of our brain. In other words, overacidity interferes with life itself. It is at the root of all sickness and disease, but when the body is in healthy alkaline balance, it works well and germs are unable to get a foothold.
So it is important to eat lots of fruit and vegetables especially green vegetables because they, once digested, are alkaline. I suggest a small green salad as a first course before your main meal to create the alkalinity and to encourage the natural enzymes which are essential for digestion.
Enzymes in the body are one of the most important elements of our health and far outweigh the value of any other nutrient. Every action and reaction in our body is dependent on enzymes, and not only are we getting too few of them in our over-cooked, over-processed foods, but stress, ageing and environmental factors also render them less numerous and less efficient in our bodies.
Enzymes carry out almost every chemical reaction in our body. In fact, vitamins, minerals and hormones cannot do their jobs without the aid of enzymes. Enzymes are the workers within the body. They are working every second to build and regenerate our body, but they do also need their co-workers, certain critical vitamins and minerals, to keep ahead of daily damage and degeneration.
There are three types of enzymes, digestive enzymes that digest food, metabolic enzymes that help to repair and build the body, and clean-up enzymes for clearing up any non-vital tissue floating around and also providing anti-inflammatory reactions to fight infections and tissue damage.
A great clean up enzyme is Serrapeptase, a naturally occurring enzyme that comes from the silk worm where it is used for instantly dissolving the hard cacoon to allow the moth to escape and fly away. It also uses it to help digest the tough mulberry leaves that it feeds on. Serrapeptase has a specific anti inflammatory effect and digests non-living tissue, blood clots, cysts, arterial plaque and inflammation of all forms.
I recommend Serrapeptase as the safest and most effective solution to inflammation of all kinds. It can help in joint and back pain, muscle pain, sports injuries, arthritis, diabetes, blood pressure, arterial disease, cardiovascular disease and cholesterol to name just a few.
Having suffered back pain for 3 years, scans, x-rays, and other tests not showing any real reason for it, I understand the frustration so many people feel when they are in pain. It is exhausting and very debilitating.
I had every treatment available for my back pain including non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, which kept the pain down but was no cure and eventually gave me a stomach ulcer. I then had the challenge of finding a natural anti inflammatory remedy that would not cause nasty side effects and I came across Serrapeptase…..a supplement which immediately helped the pain.
What is Serrapeptase? It is an amazing proteolytic enzyme isolated from the micro-organism Serratia E15. This enzyme is naturally processed commercially today through fermentation and was discovered in the silkworm intestine. The silkworm uses the enzyme to get out of its cocoon and it also helps to digest the mulberry leaves that it eats. Histological studies reveal powerful anti-inflammatory effects of this naturally occurring enzyme.
Serrapeptase stops unhealthy inflammation in its tracks and digests non-living tissue, blood clots, cysts, and arterial plaque and inflammation in all forms. It is a natural Chelation-Anti-Inflammatory and has a wide clinical use, spanning over twenty-five years throughout Europe and Asia.
It is the safest and most effective all round solution to inflammation and treats a wide range of conditions including arterial disease, angina, arthritis, back, neck and joint problems, breast cysts, ear infections, coughs and even asthma.
I started to take Serrapeptase and found it helped almost immediately although I needed high doses of it to begin with. I now take a regular 2 twice a day and it keeps me going, although the main cause of my pain was found to be a very inflamed bowel due to certain foods sensitivities…..that is another story!
To purchase Serrapeptase click below.
If you suffer from arthritis, you’ve certainly heard all about the latest wonder drugs and surgical procedures that can be used to ‘cure’ you. However we all know that the medical industry will never find the ‘silver bullet’ for arthritis and other diseases of inflammation. The best that painkillers can do is temporarily mask your pain, while impeding your body from producing new cartilage in your aching joints. Surgeries are not always a quick fix either, they may be accompanied by a host of potential complications, and they’re extremely expensive!
- Sadly, what you don’t hear much about is the healing power of food. So here are four superfoods that will help to relieve your arthritis pain better than you ever thought possible:
- 1. Cherries and berries aren’t just sweet treats. They’re also full of natural pain-relievers and joint-healing substances. For one thing, they are nature’s richest sources of anthocyanins, a group of antioxidants called flavonoids which possess exceptional anti-inflammatory properties. That’s why blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cherries top the list of anti-arthritis fruits.
- 2. If you need pain relief, look no further than the fish counter in your local supermarket. Certain varieties of fish, including wild salmon, scallops, sardines, and anchovies, possess natural compounds that stop inflammation, relieve pain, and actually encourage your joints to produce new cartilage.
- 3. You can add flaxseeds to your new list of arthritis healing foods. They may be tiny, but their arthritis-fighting properties are impressive due to their rich supply of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), one of the omega-3 fatty acids that make cold-water fish such a powerful joint protector. Flaxseed, in fact, is the very best plant source of healing omega-3s. Just two tablespoons of ground flaxseed provides you with 140% of the daily recommendation for omega-3s.
- 4. Nibbling a brazil nut or two every day is also great for your arthritis. That’s because this chunky nut contains more of the trace mineral selenium than any other food. Selenium is especially important for people with arthritis because not enough of this potent antioxidant actually invites more damage to your joints. Eating selenium-rich foods also helps limit free radical damage, while helping to relieve arthritis symptoms.
So put these foods on your next shopping list to help prevent inflammation and joint damage.
Lifting, bending, slouching and even sneezing can cause pain. Whether it is a sudden pain that seems to cripple you like sciatica, immobilise you like migraine, nag and sap your energy like a frozen shoulder or facial pain, or is one that is constant like arthritis, the physiotherapists at The Wyndham Centres are trained to find the root of the problem and treat the condition.
If the pain is due to bad posture or tension, we will help you with certain exercises to improve your posture by working on your core stability. If it is due to mouse twitching, key tapping or other repetitive minor movements we can stretch your muscles, correct your posture and show you exercises to help. If it is due to spinal problems we can mobilise, manipulate and massage your way back to pain relief.
Physiotherapists will treat any sports injury, tennis and golfers’ elbows, runners’ and skiers’ knees, rugby necks and footballers legs, and we can show you with the right warm up and stretching exercises how to prevent further injury.
Have you often wondered why you feel better in the summer when the sun is out?
Well the simple answer is Vitamin D. Virtually every organ system in your body is dependent on sunshine for optimal performance because it triggers Vitamin D production in your cells. Vitamin D is an ‘essential’ vitamin which means that your body cannot function properly without it. Your tissues, cells, organs and bones, and the chemical processes that sustain them, rely upon sunshine. Vitamin D reduces the risk of the 3 biggest killers of our generation, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. However, as in so many things the key is ‘moderation’.
According to Dr. Al Sears MD, lecturer and published author from Florida, and Jon Herring, journalist in health, fitness and nutrition, it helps to prevent and treat:
- Cancer, especially melanoma
- Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Lowers the risk of Type 1 and 2 diabetes
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Lowers cholesterol, blood pressure and inflammation
- Boosts your immune system
- Increases the strength of your bones and prevents osteoporosis
- Prevents depression and regulates mood
- Important for healthy teeth
- Prevents bone and muscle pain
- Prevents inflammatory bowel disease and other digestive disorders
- Increases fertility and boosts sex hormones in men and women
And those are just some of the things that it can help!
For many years we have been told that skin cancer is caused by the sun. Why is it then that the rates of skin cancer have increased dramatically in the last 30 years? Has the sun changed? No. There have been studies to show that the people that get the least melanoma are those that spend the most time in the sun! Office workers have a much higher incidence of melanoma.
For more than 30 years the sun lotion industry has been supporting the view that the sun is deadly and that we must protect ourselves by smothering ourselves with chemical compounds. These sunscreens contain as many as 5 known carcinogens, 2 of which are activated by the sun! Anything above an SPF of 8 blocks your vitamin D production by more than 95%! If you know you are going to be in the sun for a long time and cannot avoid it then use the more natural sunscreens such as Dr Hauschka.
Your body needs sunlight like it needs nutrients. What it doesn’t need, is sunburn! Moderation is the key, but remember that sunlight is as natural to your body as breathing! Like oxygen, if you go without sunlight for long enough your body suffers. So go and enjoy the sun with care, and stop starving your body of one of the most important vitamin it needs.
A breakthrough in support for tendons ligaments and cartilage.
Recent research and development in the United States has led to a breakthrough in nutritional support for the health of connective tissue such as tendons, ligaments and cartilage. This breakthrough may help injury recovery, tissue healing and a reduction in pain.
Preliminary research suggests that a combination of specific vitamins and minerals and unique phytochemicals may be useful for patients who are not so responsive to standard physical treatment.
Connective tissues are composed of a complex extra-cellular matrix that gives strength support and protection to the body. The health of this matrix is governed by a family of enzymes that in healthy tissue are beneficial to tissue growth and repair but at other times can be implicated in inflammatory and degenerative processes.
A combination of certain nutrients including phytonutrients from hops, berberine, selenium, zinc, biotin, niacin, folic acid and vitamin B6 and B12 was recently tested in a small clinical trial and observed to improve treatment response to other body work. Patients reported pain relief and increased flexibility.
So don’t head straight for the anti-inflammatory bottle which infact suppresses the healing process try some natural phytochemicals and vitamins and minerals to enhance healing.