Osteopathy Journals and Research by Darren Chandler

 

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  1. A poorly adjusted workstation can give low back, neck and shoulder pain. By following some simple steps you can adjust your PC at home and work to limit the strain you place on your body. With the time children can spend on computers it's worthwhile checking their workstations in their bedroom as well. 

    Is your workstation properly adjusted? Follow these tips.

    Support the low back

    Adjust your chair to support your low back. Ensure your knees are level with your hips. A footrest may help with this.

    Alter your chair

    Your chair should be at a height where you can use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor. Keep your elbows loosely tucked by your side.

    Both feet flat on floor

    Feet should be flat on the floor. If they’re not, use a footrest. Don't cross your legs!

    Alter your screen level

    Your monitor should be directly in front of you at about an arm's length away. The top of the screen should be roughly at eye level - you may need a stand for this.

    Using your keyboard

    Your keyboard should be in front of you. Leave a gap of about 10cm-15cm at the front of the desk to rest your wrists between bouts of typing. Keep your wrists straight when using a keyboard. Your elbows should be vertical under your shoulders and by your side. A wrist rest keeps your wrists straight and at the same level as the keys. 

    Make sure your mouse is close

    Keep the mouse as close to you as possible. A mouse mat with wrist pad maintains your wrist in a neutral position.

    Check for screen glare

    Screen glare tenses your face and alters the position of your neck and head. If there’s glare on your screen, hold a mirror in front of it to find out where it’s coming from. Change the angle of the screen to avoid reflection from overhead lighting and sunlight. Reduce the glare from light by closing blinds and using table lights instead of overhead lighting. Adjusting the screen's brightness or contrast can make it easier to use.

    Keep things close to hand

    Make sure objects you use frequently e.g. your pens or telephone are in easy reach. You don’t want to repeatedly stretch or twist in order to get things. 

    Don’t cradle the phone

    Try using a headset but if you have to use a phone don’t cradle it between your shoulder and ear.

    Don’t get stuck

    Stuck in one position – even the ideal one – can cause you problems. It doesn’t matter so much what exercise you do at the computer to give yourself a quick stretch so long as it’s nothing too vigorous and avoid bending your neck back.

    Often patients will get up whenever they can even if it’s just for a few seconds to shuffle around or do a few shoulder rolls or drop one shoulder down then the other to stop themselves stiffening up.

    Any changes in posture, diet or exercise should not be carried out before consultation with an appropriate healthcare professional.

     

     

  2. This review for patients will help explain how acupuncture can aid conception.  For more information on infertility and other treatment options visit www.nhs.uk.

    Subfertility

    Simplistically conception involves the egg being released from the follicle and being fertilised by the sperm before it implants in the endometrium. With one in seven couples in the UK this fails to occur and for 25% the cause of their infertility is unexplained (1).

    How can acupuncture help? Acupuncture works by:

    • Increasing blood flow to the uterus and endometrium (2).
    • Increasing blood flow to the gonads (this has yet to be proven to help fertility) (3).
    • Establishes or promotes regular ovulation (4a,b).

    To achieve this acupuncture is performed on the abdomen and limbs. Sound strange? Animal studies show just pinching the hindpaw increases uterine blood flow! (5)

    In vitro fertilisation (IVF)

    How can acupuncture help IVF? Acupuncture can:

    • Possibly increase ovarian blood flow (6).
    • Increases endometrial receptivity giving higher rates of successful embryo implantation (7).
    • Reduces stress and anxiety.
    • Inhibits uterine contractions post embryo transfer.

    The NHS website advocates the use of acupuncture with IVF treatment (8). Trials have shown IVF success rates sore from 26.3% without to 42.5% with acupuncture (9).

    The most important influence as to whether an embryo will implant is if there is any damage to the sperm or the egg. In 95% of cases the damage, when genetic, is due to the egg rather than the sperm. One of the causes of this genetic damage to the egg is poor blood supply and therefore poor oxygen supply to the follicles (10). If the follicles have a good blood supply and higher oxygen levels the eggs get damaged far less and chance of conception improves (10, 11a,b).

    One explanation of the success of acupuncture with IVF is thought to be by how it’s been shown to improve blood flow and oxygen supply and how this could positively affect the follicles and egg (11a,b). This is especially pertinent in older women whereby diet and aerobic exercise can play an adjunctive role.

    If you feel acupuncture would help you physically or emotionally with trying to conceive then contact your local acupuncturist.

    References

    (1) http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Infertility/Pages/Introduction.aspx

    (2a) Ho M et al (2009). Electroacupuncture reduces uterine artery blood flow impedance in infertile women.

    (2b) Elisabet Stener-Victorin et al (1996). Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture

    (3) Cakmak Y et al (2007). Point- and frequency-specific response of the testicular artery to abdominal electroacupuncture in humans

    (4a)Johansson J1, Stener-Victorin E (2013). Polycystic ovary syndrome: effect and mechanisms of acupuncture for ovulation induction.

    (4b) Johansson J et al (2013). Acupuncture for ovulation induction in polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial.

    (5) Uchida S and Hotta H (2008). Acupuncture Affects Regional Blood Flow in Various Organs

    (6) Stener-Victorin E1, Humaidan P. (2006). Use of acupuncture in female infertility and a summary of recent acupuncture studies related to embryo transfer.

    (7) Shuai Z (2015) Effect of transcutaneous electrical acupuncture point stimulation on endometrial receptivity in women undergoing frozen-thawed embryo transfer: a single-blind prospective randomised controlled trial.

    (8) NHS choice website http://www.nhs.uk/news/2007/January08/Pages/AcupunctureandsuccessofIVF.aspx

    (9) Paulus WE et al (2002). Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy.

    (10) Van Blerkom J et al (1997). The developmental potential of the human oocyte is related to the dissolved oxygen content of follicular fluid: association with vascular endothelial growth factor levels and perifollicular blood flow characteristics.

    (11a) Rashidi BH  (2013). Effects of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilisation and intracytoplasmic sperm injection in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

    (11b) Manheimer E  et al (2008). Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis