Hollyoak Health Summer Newsletter

Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in your arteries and is measured in millimetres of mercury (mm Hg). It is recorded as two figures. The first one (top one) is called the systolic pressure and indicates the pressure in the arteries when your heart contracts. The second number (lower one) is known as the diastolic pressure and this represents the pressure in the arteries when your heart is resting between heartbeats.

A consistently high blood pressure is known as hypertension, for example if your blood pressure was 150/94, for example, and is sustained at this level for some weeks. However, a one off reading of 150/94 does not indicate hypertension as your blood pressure may change throughout the day, depending on circumstances and exercise.

It is also important to note that our blood pressure becomes a little higher anyway as we get older due to the lack of elasticity in the arteries as we age.

But if your blood pressure remains at a high level for some weeks, then it would be important to seek medical advice from your GP.

So what can you do to avoid high blood pressure? A healthy lifestyle can go a long way in reducing your risk from hypertension and its complications.

  • Losing some excess weight can make a big difference.
  • Exercise regularly . Aerobic exercise, walking, swimming, dancing, digging the garden, are all beneficial.
  • Eat a healthy diet and in particular, reduce your salt intake.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Try to cut down on anxiety and stress in your life. Mindfulness can be a useful way to do this.

As you get older

As we get older, the body loses elasticity—increasing the chance of injuring the soft tissues and bony structures. The body also loses some of its ability to recover from injuries or strains. It can be disheartening to reach a stage of life when you have more time for recreation, only to experience age-related pain and stiffness that prevent you from enjoying this newfound leisure time to the full.

Keeping mobile is the key to your health, happiness and independence. At Hollyoak Health we offer treatment and advice to help harness your body’s natural healing systems, improving mobility, circulation and balance, reducing joint stiffness and helping you to lead a more fulfilling life.

Workplace Injury Treatment

Working long hours at a computer terminal can give rise to disorders of the muscles, tendons and joints, particularly in the back, hands and arms. Repetitive strain injuries are less prevalent these days as employers recognise the importance of well set up work stations and regular breaks. However, despite this many people still suffer from headaches, neck, shoulder and wrist pain, from many hours in front of a computer. At Hollyoak Health we treat many conditions related to the workplace and can give remedial advice and preventative exercise to ensure that you can become more comfortable and more productive.

Is exercise beneficial for osteoarthritic joints?

Osteoarthritis is characterized by degeneration of the cartilage that lines the surfaces of our joints, or by the formation of bony outgrowths known as osteophytes. This causes pain, stiffness and occasionally loss of movement of the affected joint(s). The most common of these are weight-bearing joints, such as the hips, knees and spine.

Exercise is very important in managing osteoarthritis firstly because there is no cure as such and secondly because lack of mobility can cause the surrounding muscles to deteriorate. Keeping active and partaking in regular exercise strengthens these muscles, which in turn provides efficient support for the affected joints. Swimming is especially good since it is an opportunity to exercise without putting more strain on those arthritic joints.

Summer spotlight on….Heel Pain

The heel is designed to absorb the shock of walking and running. When you’re walking, stresses placed on your feet can be 1 ¼ times your body weight. This can increase to 2 ¾ times when running. It is therefore not surprising that heel pain is so common. The following are some of the more common types of heel pain:-

Plantar Fasciitis is pain in the heel resulting from damage to the tissue band (fascia) connecting the heel bone to the base of the toes. It tends to be most painful after resting or first thing in the morning.

Calcaneal Bursitis is an inflammation under the heel bone. Typically the pain is more in the centre of the heel than with plantar fasciitis, and tends to get worse as the day progresses.

Chronic inflammation of the heel pad can be caused by a heavy heel strike when walking or a reduction in the thickness of the heel pad. This gives rise to a dull ache which again increases as the day wears on. To ensure you receive the right treatment it is important to see someone who specialises in heel pain. As part of their training, Podiatrists specialise in heel pain, its cause and treatment.