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Peripheral Nerve Pain Explained

nervous systemPeripheral nerve pain may result from what is commonly referred to as “Trapped Nerves.” In this blog, I have outlined a few key points in relation to peripheral nerve pain and what to expect in relation to recovery and symptoms.

What are Peripheral Nerves?

The nervous system in the body is divided into two parts the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The central system consists of the brain and the spinal cord. The peripheral system is made up of the peripheral nerves. The peripheral nerves exit the spinal column at the various levels from the spinal cord and each nerve supplies a different part of the body i.e. a muscle, area of skin and/or organs. The peripheral nerves send sensory information to the brain and spinal column to tell the brain - for example the hands or feet are cold, that the object touched is sharp or that a joint or muscle is sore. The peripheral nerves also send signals to the muscles from the brain and spinal cord in order to generate an intended movement, for example, writing or walking. So basically the peripheral nerves communicate information back and forth from the muscles and organs to the central nervous system in order for tasks and functions to be carried out.

(Image courtesy of: Häggström, Mikael. "Medical gallery of Mikael Häggström 2014")

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What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and its potential role in Pain Management?

physiotherapy pain assessment dublinAcceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of therapy which can be used to treat many different conditions such as depression, anxiety and pain. It is best described as:

Getting to know unpleasant feelings, then learning not to act upon them (Noam, 2010)

ACT gets its name from its two core messages:

  1. Accept what is out of your personal control – in this context, pain.
  2. Commit to action that improves and enriches life

ACT utilises three key mechanisms:

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Feaster, Constant Craver or Emotional Eater?

obesity eat dietA friend recently wrote to me asking how I was while sharing her progress with a recently adopted eating plan. After congratulating her on her discipline and good intentions (I was being most sincere) I suggested that I only partake in one diet, once a year. That is the Christmas diet, incredible effective at putting on weight.

Now that I am back to eating normally (for me) I feel a whole lot better. Since diet, or lifestyle eating, has been on my mind more than usual I’m compelled to share further interesting observations from the web.

Diet type depends on your 'over-eater' type

Obesity researcher Zoë Harcombe challenges yet again the efforts of main stream media. This time it is BBC’s Horizon programme and their study on personalised approaches to dieting based on genetics, hormones and psychology.

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Pelvic Pain Mythology Exposed

pelvic pain“My pelvis goes in and out of place!” or “my sacrum has gone out!” can be common beliefs for people who suffer from pelvic or lower back pain. This topic was discussed by Dr. Peter O’Sullivan, one of the leading back pain researches, in a recent BJSM podcast.  

As it turns out, up to date research would suggest this is an illusion and there is no evidence to prove that the pelvis or sacrum can in fact go in or out of place, or anywhere else for that matter! 

The facts based on research are as follows:

1. The pelvis and the sacroiliac joint (SIJ) joint are very secure and stable joints and move very little.

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Tips For Shedding The Christmas Pounds

fermentsAlthough I didn’t completely lose all sense of self-control during the recent festive period, I have had to drop back a notch on my belt. I’m sure I am not the only person to have gained some additional weight over Christmas. As expected, the media is full of tips and ideas for getting back on a healthy track. I have recently come across a few tips that I feel are worth sharing.

A nutritionist specialising in women’s health and hormonal balance, Marilyn Glenville, shares these top tips:

  • Stop eating sugar!
  • Balance your omega-3 and omega-6 (choose krill oil)
  • Take vitamin D
  • Eat foods high in B vitamins and magnesium to support the adrenal glands

In my own experience, cutting out sugar will be the single most effective habit for aiding fat loss. Read the reasons behind these tips here - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/11320561/Health-and-fitness-advice-Simple-nutrition-advice.html

Health Hacks

Cancer researcher and professor or medicine, David B Angus, shares his top tips:

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Drive To Work But Then Walk At Work, What next?

walking station for healthWe’ve been told that sitting for prolonged periods is detrimental to our health, in fact I’ve seen infographics saying that our sedentary sitting habits will kill us. Well, you might have to drive to work but now you can spend your day walking without ever leaving your desk.

One ingenious solution to this common dilemma is the ‘walking work station’ - a treadmill type setup at your desk. There seems to be a logical progression happening here - from sitting to standing and now walking. The standing work station, simply an elevated desk that requires you to stand instead of sit, has been around for some time and I have even tried it myself for some months. Now I read that standing, although better than sitting, is still sedentary and not going to provide the counter benefits worthy of the change in setup. The next step (excuse the pun) is the walking work station.

An assessment and review of 180 participants, conducted at a University in the States, found walking work stations improve engagement during computer based activities; improving satisfaction, reducing stress and boredom and even varied levels of arousal (whatever that is supposed to mean).

Study findings here - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141029124618.htm

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4-Step Plan For Achieving New Year Resolutions

newyear-2015It is that time of year again when we are delighted to wish everyone a very happy New Year!

Are you committing to any New Year Resolutions? I sure am.

Each year I come across gloomy news headlines claiming the majority of people who commit to change in the coming year will fail miserably at their goals, even before the end of January.

I am not going to offer the supposed ‘ultimate method’ for goal planning and execution because if the process itself is too arduous then compliance becomes the goal, not the intended outcome. When you lose sight of the end result, the benefit to be gained, it is all too easy to become distracted and fall back into old habits.

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How To Enjoy The Christmas Binge, Sensibly

christmas-bingeChristmas is only a few days ahead and that means the festivities are well underway. They certainly are in my house with the mince pies coming out a week ago already. Instead of residing to the belief that I will simply put on unwanted weight during this period and then want to work it off in the New Year, I have chosen to take a smarter approach.

I will share with you

  • Simply holiday eating tips
  • 3 cunning strategies to avoid putting on weight
  • How emotional awareness can help you make better choices

My smarter approach does not mean going without. Yep, I do view food as one of life’s pleasures, especially when enjoyed in a joyous and friendly social setting.

So, I’m going to enjoy the naughty treats for sure. I have to be careful though because I do put on weight easily, specifically belly fat (it’s a man thing), and I have become quite sensitive to excess sugar as a result of mostly cutting out refined sugars completely from my diet.

I believe we all need to figure out our own approach and what works for me might not work for you. I therefore will offer insights and ideas, sourced from others more ‘educated’ than I on the topics, who have influenced my strategy.

I hope they offer some inspiration.

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How Pilates has benefited my Chartered Physiotherapy Practise?

Pilates has greatly benefited my Physiotherapy practise as well as benefiting me personally.

Pilates300xFirstly, being knowledgeable in Pilates and the different exercises involved in Pilates has equipped me with another valuable treatment tool. Pilates is very useful in therapeutic exercise prescription and choosing the most valuable and beneficial exercises to address the client’s particular physical problem.

Secondly, being a trained Pilates Instructor has increased my ability to identify abnormal patterns of movement in clients which may be contributing to their pain symptoms for example. When teaching Pilates, I am constantly observing the way people move to ensure that they are moving in the correct way. As a result I have become more observant in my clinical practice in recognising abnormal movements caused by muscles may be weak or overactive, joints which may be ‘stiff’ or overly mobile as well as issues relating to the nervous system’s control of the body.

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New Pilates Schedule Starting January 2015

pilates-300Our next Pilates course schedule starts on the 12th January and includes our usual Beginner, Improver, Advanced and Aerobilates level classes, plus this term we have introduced a Maintenance and a Relaxation class. 

To view our course schedule please visit our website here - http://mmphysiopilates.com/dublin/join-a-class.html

To learn more about the competency/ difficulty level for the different classes see here - Level Descriptions 

How to join a class

Signing up for one of our courses is very simple. We have a secure online booking system where you can choose your class, register and pay using a debit, laser or credit card to reserve your place immediately. You will receive instant confirmation of the success of your booking.

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