Avenue Clinic

Avenue Clinic

Cold and Flu Season

We’ve all been there. Sore throat, headache, cough, runny nose, achy body. It all seems to happen right before a busy weekend.

Since the cold and flu season is upon us, did you know that whilst our body’s immune system is fighting the virus, it can put additional strain on our bodies. For example, the constant sniffing requires a sudden contraction of our diaphragm which after a while, can fatigue and lead us to overuse our accessory breathing muscles.

Also, when we cough or sneeze, an intense pressure is placed on all the muscles and joints surrounding the lungs, in order to force out air.

Common injuries that can occur include rib strains, spinal injuries, muscular strains and spasms, even relapse of an existing or previous injury. When a muscle is overstrained it can result in a spasm. This muscle spasm may pull on its attachment to the rib and affect the way it articulates with the spine, which is a very painful experience.

This is one of the many conditions that Osteopaths often treat in conjunction with your GP. Osteopaths use a number of techniques including; soft tissue massage, manipulation, stretching, articulation, muscle energy techniques and myofascial release. These techniques are aimed at;

  • Reducing muscle tension and pain
  • Improving joint articulation and breathing mechanics
  • Promoting relaxation and an improved sense of well-being

In addition, these techniques may also have an effect by promoting the body’s’ healing ability. It does this by;

  • Stimulating blood supply, therefore increasing the immune response
  • Increased venous and lymphatic drainage which may result in decreased congestion
  • Decrease joint facilitation and sympathetic nerve stimulation, therefore decreasing mucus production

Here are some basic tips on what can you do to be as comfortable as possible during a cold;

  • Drink plenty of fluids – Water, juice, warm herbal teas are all good choices. Try and avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can dehydrate you.
  • Rest!!! – If possible, stay home from work or school if you have a fever or cough. This will give your body a chance to rest and fight off the virus. This will also reduce the chances that you’ll infect others.
  • Room temperature – Keep your room warm, but not excessively. Try to avoid the air conditioning both in the car and at work, as it tends to dry the air which can aggravate congestion.
  • Food – Consuming warm soup or broth is suggested to ease nasal congestion. The dreaded blocked nose is a common complaint for sufferers, as this can impact breathing efficiency and sleep quality.
  • Use tissues – Sneeze and cough into tissues, then bin immediately. Straight afterward, wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Don’t share – Don’t share drinking glasses or utensils with other people. Use your own cup and cutlery when you or someone else is ill.

DON’T IGNORE YOUR PAIN after a cough or sneeze.

If you are currently suffering, make sure you seek advice from your GP. Acquired aches or joint pains can be treated here at Avenue Clinic. Please get in touch if you have any questions or wish to know more.

Dan Bihet
Registered Osteopath
MSc Ost., BSc (Hons) ST

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"I had heard about Avenue from a friend and after two appointments I noticed the difference. The frequent hiccuping has gone, he is much more contented and by early evening he is tucked up in his Moses basket."

Mrs D (for Osteopathy )

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