Our aim is to have an up-to-date and topical blog site for you to get an independant view on the current medical and healthcare issues of the day.

Cricket season is upon us - A&E beware!

May, 2013

So with the cricket season in full swing (excuse the pun) many households will be experiencing the yearly onslaught of dads and husbands hobbling around the kitchen table the day after cricket matches. The slow descent down the stairs nursing a hamstring strain from turning sharply at the creases; the sharp exclamation of pain as they go to lift the kettle after injuring their shoulders with their 'demon' fast bowl, and the sorry attempt to open the jam jar with knackered fingers after catching one too many high balls. Sound familiar?

The cricket season is almost as bad as the gardening season in terms of deconditioned individuals jumping off the couch and believing they can morph instantly into a highly trained athlete able to endure countless hours of squatting, rolling, diving and sprinting without sustaining injuries. And when they do so they put it down to either the shear speed of the ball or the 'epic' nature of the catch, while the more modest ones will blame their age. But the fact is it is just impossible not to train for half the year and then be instantly battle ready. It is akin to the 'weekend warrior' who spends the entire week morphing into the shape of their office chair and then suddenly spends 9 hours swinging a high-velocity golf club or cycling 100 miles a day.

In our clinic we see a disproportionate amount of hamstring strains, rotator cuff tears, back pain, ankle sprains and damaged fingers as a result of cricket. And while the nature of the sport is partly to do with it there are many things that can be done to avoid these injuries namely warming up and stretching down (most important), taking part in pre-session training (a bit late now, I know), and taking up another sport simultaneously to improve coordination and fitness.

Even if your injuries are broken fingers and ribs, don't think it's outside of your control. Astronauts going into space would lose a large proportion of their bone mass if they didn't do isometric exercises while in the cosmos so why are you any different. Exposing your bones to a controlled amount of pressure will increase your bone density and prevent minor fractures. Your grandmother knows this so why don't you?


(1) Deconditioning reduces mineral content of the third metacarpal bone in horses, Porr et al, 1998 -
(2) Effect of static stretching on prevention of injuries for military recruits, Amako et al, 2003 -
(3) To stretch or not to stretch: the role of stretching in injury prevention and performance, McHugh & Cosgrave, 2010 -


December, 2010

This is an article that was published in the Cambourne Crier this month...
(To see the original article click here)

Osteopathy and the NHS – A recent trial.

Cambourne Osteopaths (situated within Monkfield Medical Practice) has recently undertaken a small trial looking into the potential benefits of having an NHS-funded osteopathic service available in Cambourne. The pilot trial was funded by Monkfield Medical Practice and involved 24 patients with back and neck pain of greater than 6 weeks duration who would have been offered normal GP care and physiotherapy. Each patient received up to 6 sessions of osteopathic treatment involving an evaluation, manual treatment and exercise or lifestyle advice. Questionnaires were given before and after the treatment and included questions on their level of pain and disability using the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ). This asks patients to select from various scenarios in which their pain affects their daily lives, such as avoiding doing things because of the pain, walking more slowly due to the pain, or being tired or more irritable because of their pain. They were also asked to rate their health out of 100, and answer four service evaluation questions, including level of service, treatment success and whether the patient would use the service again.

Of the 24 participants, 5 discontinued the trial due to personal reasons and 3 failed to return their questionnaires (this is actually quite good for a trial). The remaining 16 were collected and the results statistically analysed:

  • The average health score went up by 20% (from 51% to 71% - 100% being complete health),
  • The disability scores (RMDQ) went down by two thirds (one third being necessary for a treatment to be deemed effective),
  • The overall service evaluation was given 9.1 out of 10

Although the outcomes varied from patient to patient with some getting complete relief of symptoms and others having a more moderate effect on symptoms, all patients felt they gained something from their treatment and were pleased with the outcome. The next stage would be to reproduce this trial on a larger scale within Cambourne and then replicate it across the county. In order for any service to be available on the NHS it must also be available across the county, hence the need to reproduce this trial in other towns. The ultimate aim would be to have Osteopathy available to everyone in Cambourne free on the NHS.

Recent government guidelines have suggest osteopathy be considered for low back pain and some forms of arthritis (NICE guidelines 2008 and 2009) and there is mounting evidence for the benefits of neck pain, headaches and joint problems (see references 1-4 below). Currently the use of osteopathy on the NHS is a postcode lottery with only 18% of Primary Care Trusts funding osteopathic treatment. This appears to be more of a political choice of local trusts than one made by GPs as in general, GPs are happy to refer patients for osteopathy under the right circumstances. The NHS is currently undergoing numerous changes with GPs likely to have more say over their spending in coming years. This may see Osteopathy becoming a regular part of the NHS and would fit in with the Health Secretary’s vision of more choice for patients. Until then it will continue to be a private therapy sought after by those willing to pay or those with private medical insurance.

Osteopathy is not currently available on the NHS in Cambourne but if you want to know more about whether Osteopathy would benefit you you can speak to one of the Osteopaths by calling 01954 282820 or visit the Cambourne Osteopaths website – Alternatively ask your GP if they think you are suitable.


(1) UK Evidence Report, Bronfort et al, 2010 -
(2) National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) -
(3) Randomized osteopathic manipulation trial for spinal pain in primary care -

Recent research on Osteopathy: