Tuesday, 29 January 2013

What to expect : Week 13

As the first trimester of your pregnancy draws to a close your baby is about the size of a peach. The bones are beginning to form in your baby’s arms and legs, the intestines are beginning to move from the umbilical cord to the abdomen and the vocal cords are under construction. Now that your baby can move their arms they may be able to suck their thumb and many mums-to-be see this when they have their ultrasound scans.

Now that your body has had a trimester to adjust to pregnancy, you may find that you are starting to feel less tired and that you have more energy. Now is the perfect time to start gently exercising as this will stand you in good stead for giving birth; be sure not to overdo it and if you are unsure what types of exercises you should be doing visit a personal trainer who will be able to advise you.

You may find that you are still experiencing some of the negative side effects of pregnancy including strange food cravings, heartburn, indigestion and constipation. Be reassured this is completely normal. However, if something is worrying you be sure to mention it to your midwife.

Many women notice that the veins on their bodies become much more prominent as they progress through their pregnancy. Although they may not be a particularly welcome sight they are actually a good thing as your increased blood supply is carrying much needed nutrients to your baby and they will fade after you have given birth.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Being over 55 can be a real pain in the neck!

Various x-ray studies have shown that almost everyone over the age of 55 has a certain degree of “wear and tear” in their neck.

What “wear and tear” actually refers to is spondylosis and/or arthritis of the neck joints and while this may be inevitable not everyone over the age of 55 suffers with neck pain. That’s because generally speaking the body is very good at adapting to physical damage or stresses. Factors such as poor posture, bad driving position, a car accident or another specific injury can exacerbate existing damage caused by age and this can become painful. This can result in muscle spasms, altered posture and structural problems.

What can you do when your neck becomes a problem? Gentle exercise is a good starting point as it improves blood circulation and helps with healing. An awareness of correct posture can be extremely helpful and can prevent further pain.

Osteopathic treatment can be very helpful in easing a painful neck and here at The Wellness Hub we are noticing that neck pains are becoming an increasingly common problem among our patients. We treat such complaints with a combination of gentle, individually prescribed treatments, advice and explanation of what exactly is causing your pain.

We usually expect our patients to notice a marked improvement after three of four visits. So if you have a pain in your neck why not give us a call, drop us an email or come in and see us and make an appointment today.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

What to expect: Week 12

In the final week of your first trimester your baby’s heart will be beating at a rate of about 160 beats per minute, which is twice as fast as your own. This week your baby has discovered their reflexes and is beginning to open and close their fingers and toes. Your baby is now approximately 2 inches long (about the size of a lime) and is looking distinctly human in their facial features.

At this point many mums-to-be are finding that their usual clothing is too tight and restrictive and they are beginning to think about maternity clothes. You may still be feeling permanently tired and finding it hard to sleep but most women start perking up as they enter the second trimester, so it’s not long to go now!

Heartburn is common at this stage in pregnancy and for many women this is the first time they have ever experienced it. Heartburn can be particularly uncomfortable when you are lying down and can cause an unpleasant burning sensation in the throat. The range of discomfort felt as a result of heartburn can vary but if it is very intense you should be sure to mention it to a healthcare professional. 

Most women will have their first ultrasound scan around now and this is often the point when the pregnancy starts to feel real, this is also the most common time for mums-to-be to share their exciting news with their friends and family. It is worth remembering that dating scans are as estimate and only around 5% give birth on their actual due date. At this ultrasound scan there will also be the opportunity to screen for abnormalities such as Down’s syndrome, your midwife will talk you through what is involved and offer plenty of advice.

To help you relax why not treat yourself to an indulgent aromatherapy massage? You should always be sure to let your massage therapist know that you are pregnant so they can avoid any sensitive areas and provide a relaxing and above all else safe massage experience.  

Monday, 21 January 2013

Top training tips for the London Marathon

Every year thousands of people challenge themselves by signing up for and taking part in the London Marathon and 2013 will be no exception. Some runners will be die-hard marathon goers and others will be complete beginners but the key to marathon training is to be motivated, to train safely and to take on board proper nutrition.

We have put together some tips on how to train so that you can get to the end of those 26.2 miles:
  • The most important thing to remember is that there isn’t a one size fits all approach to marathon training. Certain methods will suit certain runners; the key is to find what works for you as an individual.
  • Don’t over-train. Staying healthy is an essential piece of marathon advice, and one that is too often ignored. It does you no good to train so hard that you become ill or injured, it is better to be well and feeling eager and strong than it is to be injured and have to bow out early on.
  • Build your training slowly. Increase your weekly mileage by just one mile at a time and you will be able to cope with the increased distance more adequately.
  • Allow yourself time to recover. You don’t have to train hard seven days a week, if you train well and increase your distance three or four days a week you are making more effective use of your training time.
  • Eat well. To stay healthy during marathon training your body needs sufficient fuel and this includes plenty of carbohydrates to replenish to energy supply to your depleted leg muscles. Sports drinks can also be useful during long training sessions. Your body also needs plenty of iron which is lost through sweating; this doesn’t necessarily have to be meat but foods that are rich in iron such as egg yolks, dark leafy greens, beans and lentils.
  • Get help. If you are a complete beginner and have no idea where to start, it may be best to consult a professional who can devise a specially tailored exercise plan. At The Wellness Hub we offer personal training sessions where plans are specifically for our individual clients to help them to achieve the goals they have set, we do not adopt a one size fits all approach.

The most common injury sites for marathon runners are:

  • Knees
  • Feet
  • Hamstring
  • Ankles
  • Toes

An osteopath or physiotherapist can help relieve the pain of injuries to these sites and can offer advice on how to train safely and effectively without causing long-term damage. To find out more call The Wellness Hub today or drop in for a consultation.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Don't let skiing injuries take you off piste!

We’re mid way through January and the ski season is in full flow. The number of people from the UK who are trying skiing or snowboarding is rising with over 1.3 million of us heading off to the mountains to enjoy some high energy, high adrenalin fun. Of course when taking part in a sport such as skiing it is obvious that there is a chance of injury. However, we are not simply talking about snowballing down a mountain and breaking an arm or a leg, we are talking about long-term injuries as a result of the stresses and strains placed on your body while skiing.

It is worth noting that the risks associated with skiing are actually much lower than people believe; for example the improved design of skis and bindings has meant that the number of injuries to knees have fallen in frequency, but still account for 30-40% of all alpine injuries.

We have listed below some of the common injury sites for skiers and how they might be avoided:


Injuries to the lower legs have always been common for alpine skiers as the twisted motion forced upon the knee in the case of a fall puts pressure on the joint. New technology has meant that skis are designed to reduce falls and release the foot to avoid twisting, however, an awkward fall can still twist the knee into this position.

Signs to look out for with a knee injury include:
  • Obvious deformity of the knee
  • Unable to bear weight
  • Swelling within hours of the injury
  • Severe tenderness to the injury site


Perhaps unsurprisingly the two most common causes of shoulder injuries on the slopes are falls and collisions. Shoulder injuries account for 10% of skiing injuries; however, this rate is much higher for those who prefer snowboarding. The most common injury to shoulders is dislocation which is an extremely painful injury and has an 85% reoccurrence rate, which is bad news for avid skiers.

Lesser shoulder injuries include: fracture of the clavicle (collar bone), sprains of the clavicle, fracture of the humerus and rotator cuff injuries.

Successful rehabilitation after a shoulder injury ideally demands the input of a physiotherapist as under their expert guidance the shoulder joint can be mobilised and restored to full function with minimal risk of further damage.


Upper body injuries are much more common in snowboarders than they are in skiers due to the equipment involved and the way it is used. When snowboarders fall over they do so onto a stretched out hand which can cause severe wrist injuries and fractures, the force and speed at which the fall occurs adds to the severity. There are numerous different fractures that can affect the wrist and they can occur in combination which can make the injury all the worse.

Experts have suggested that wearing a wrist guard can help to limit the effect of a fall onto the wrist but also changing the way you fall, either by falling backwards or falling forwards and allowing the more resilient elbows to take the force of the fall.

If you think you have a recurring ski injury you should drop in to see us at The Wellness Hub.  

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Sports massage: not just for atheletes!

What is sports massage?

Sports massage is a remedial massage in which the body’s soft tissues are manipulated in order to improve flexibility, enhance performance and reduce the risk of injury. This type of massage focuses on an individual’s specific requirements and can help promote recovery after injury.

Sports massage was originally developed to help athletes prepare their bodies for optimal performance, to recover after a big event or to function well during training.

You don’t have to be an Olympian to benefit from sports massage; it is also good for people with injuries, chronic pain or restricted motion. This deep tissue massage generally concentrates on a specific problem area and is applicable to anybody wishing to guard against or recover from a soft tissue injury.
What Happens During Sports Massage?
Sports massage stimulates circulation of blood and lymph fluids. The type of sports massage we offer at The Wellness Hub focuses on deep tissue rejuvenation and is aimed at alleviating pain due to injury and returning the body to health.
When Should I Get A Sports Massage?
A sports massage is a good choice if you have a specific problem or problem area, for example a sore shoulder caused by lifting weights. With a sports massage the focus will be on the area causing discomfort and not on a full body massage which may include the problem area.
To book an appointment or to find out more about the types of massage we offer at The Wellness Hub give us a call on 01462 850228 for our Shefford clinic or 01234 862802 for our Bedford clinic or email sam@thewellnesshub.co.uk

Friday, 11 January 2013

What to expect: Week 11

Congratulations, you are almost through the first trimester of pregnancy and if you haven’t already seen your little one you will have the chance to see them on an ultrasound scan very soon.

By now your baby is beginning to look more like a little human being and has fingernails and other distinct human characteristics.

As a mum-to-be you should start to feel more human again as the morning sickness starts to subside and you rediscover your appetite. Although you are eating for two you should try to make sensible food choices and graze on healthy snacks throughout the day to avoid bloating.

Pregnancy fatigue is normal as your body is working harder than it ever has before; however, you can take comfort in knowing that in the next few weeks your energy levels will start to increase and you will feel like you can do more. Believe it or not, a little light exercise can do wonders for your energy levels and if you are unsure about what exercises are safe to do during pregnancy you can always consult a personal trainer. By using a professional you can be sure that any exercise will be safe for both you and your baby; it has also been suggested that the healthier you are during your pregnancy the easier the birth process will be.

At The Wellness Hub we offer a personal training service which can be tailored to your specific needs. It is important to remember that if you have been active before your pregnancy you can continue to be fit and healthy as your pregnancy progresses. 

Thursday, 10 January 2013

A hole in one for golfing injuries

Although many people think of golf as a safe, non-contact sport, statistics in the UK show that around 12,000 golfers a year require hospital treatment as a direct result of injury on the golf course. As well as injuries that require immediate attention there are also long-term injuries that arise for those who play golf regularly. 

Common injury sites for golfers include:


In terms of back pain, the golf swing and the often hunched over putting stance puts great strain on the back and so it comes as no surprise that this is the most common complaint among golfers. There are a number of potential causes for back pain in golfers; mechanical, disc-related, arthritis or stress fracture.

The diagram below illustrates the potential damage that can be caused to discs in the back through golfing injuries:

Everyone has heard the term “tennis elbow” however; golfers elbow, an inflammation, soreness, or pain on the outside of the upper arm near the elbow is a very common complaint among golf players.

As with any sport, the expert advice is to participate safely to avoid injury and if injury does occur do not leave it in the hope it will go away. At The Wellness Hub we offer osteopathy, physiotherapy and massage therapy services to ease away all your golfing injuries

Friday, 4 January 2013

What to expect: 10 weeks pregnant

Your baby is now the size of a prune and has small indentations on his legs which will soon become knees and ankles, and his arms now have elbows that bend. Inside the mouth the buds of teeth are forming under the gums. His stomach and kidneys are beginning to work producing digestive juices and urine and if it’s a boy his testes are already producing testosterone.

Many expectant mothers find that their pregnancy hormones can cause them to become constipated. Eating plenty of fresh vegetables and drinking lots of water can help to relieve these symptoms. It is advisable to avoid foods that will clog you up further including; refined breads, cereals, pasta and rice. Exercise can also be particularly helpful for relieving the symptoms of constipation and will make you feel much better too.

Other symptoms at this stage of pregnancy include:
Fatigue – You will feel very tired and run down and as though all your get-up-and-go has disappeared. However, this is only a temporary symptom and will soon subside. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and try and get some exercise when you can manage it, it really will make you feel better.

Nausea and vomiting – The worst thing you can do when you feel sick is to skip a meal , however, if you really cannot face eating try sucking on boiled sweets or nibbling on ginger biscuits until the nausea subsides.

At this point in pregnancy many mums-to-be suffer with headaches and newly visible veins as the body’s blood supply increases. The veins are doing the important work of taking nutrients and blood to your growing baby, the good news is they will disappear once the baby is born.

Running into the New Year

Every year on the 31st December thousands of people make New Year resolutions; giving up smoking, getting a promotion and most commonly losing weight and getting fit.

As January is now upon us and we have polished off the last of the mince pies many of us will dust off our old trainers and start a fitness regime which includes running.

All runners make mistakes at some point during their training but by avoiding some of the most common mistakes you could be protecting yourself from injury.

Wearing old running shoes or wearing the wrong type of running shoes for your foot or running style can lead to injuries.

You can help yourself by buying your running shoes from a specialist shop that has knowledgeable staff with an awareness of your running style and foot type. Once you have found the perfect pair of running shoes be sure to replace them every 300-350 miles as the loss of cushioning in the sole can lead to injuries to the foot. By having two pairs of running shoes and alternating them they will last longer by allowing them to decompress and dry out between workouts.

Of course even by wearing the best shoes possible for your foot and running style injuries can still happen. At The Wellness Hub we have specialist podiatrists who can treat any injuries to the feet or lower limbs that may be caused by running.  Our comprehensive assessment will diagnose the cause of the problem and put in place a treatment plan to rectify it.