Think before you pop another pill

It has been revealed that more than one million people in Britain may be suffering from constant, crippling headaches because they are taking too many painkillers, experts say. The pills people take to relieve headaches and migraines may be making things much worse, according to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) in guidance to the health service for England and Wales.

 As many as one in 50 people suffer continual headaches because of “medication overuse”, Nice reports. The problem begins with taking the odd painkiller for tension headaches or migraines, which usually works. But some people take the pills more and more often, until they are on tablets for more than half the days in a month. Nice says that if this goes on for more than three months the medication ends up causing the problem it is intended to cure.

 So what alternatives are there to continually popping pills?

British Osteopathic Association Member Tom Austen comments,

“tension-type and neck related headaches are the most common form of headache. If you suffer from tension-type headache, then regular gentle exercise will almost certainly help – such as yoga, pilates, swimming, walking.”

Some people find it hard to relax and probably don’t realise how tense they are. If someone suffers from headaches it may also be neck related due to stiffness or restrictions of the neck. Osteopaths look to find the cause of tensions or stiffness and seek to relieve it by helping the body achieve more mobility and flexibility.

“Other lifestyle factors such as poor posture at a desk or tiredness can lead to tension-type or neck related headaches. Osteopaths look to relieve this tension and give advice on posture and exercises to do to help prevent the tension or stiffness from building up. For example we would recommend taking regular breaks from sitting at a computer desk for long periods of time or prolonged driving. Any persistent or sudden severe headache should always be checked by a GP first.”

For more information please contact, or 01244 316660.


FREE Biomechanical Assessment!

The  Osteopathic Biomechanical Assessment is based on a screening program used by Elite athletes and helps identify any areas that might predispose the body to injury such as weakness, inflexibility and asymmetry. A full rehabilitation plan is given involving therapeutic treatment, exercises and stretching to aid recovery and improve performance.

The assessment is great for those training for events at all levels of performance or simply those trying to get fitter and improve performance whilst remaining injury free.

Call Tom on 01244 31660 or 07718905143, or email us at for more information.

Treatment of Babies

Tom, Thank you for the treatment you gave Amelie, her tummy was much better after the last treatment and everything now seems ‘normal’! Good Luck with growing the business!

Kind Regards, Susannah.

Sports Injury Treatment

I came to see Tom with a really sore back after I had begun training for my first Olympic distance triathlon. It was getting to the point that I was really struggling in my training particularly in the run and I was anxious about being able to complete the race. Tom quickly found that I had overstrained my lower back as my hamstring and thigh muscles had become shortened and tight.

In just a few sessions I was training well again and I was able to complete the race without any hiccups with my back. Tom also gave me some good tips for the race, the fact he has experience in the sport was a great help and he was a great sounding board for my worries about competing on the day. I have signed up for a few more races now so no doubt you will be seeing me again!

Thanks again. (John, Ellesmere Port)

Welcome to 3 Hares Clinic!

We are very excited to launch our new website and clinic in Chester city centre. We are now at the culmination of many months of thought hard work and preparation and look forward with anticipation to the next few months ahead.

The aim of this blog will be to help educate patients and members of the public about our services and on matters concerning general health. Hopefully these will be far reaching and interesting to read!

Surviving Colic and Reflux

What is Colic? 

Colic is generally defined as crying that lasts longer than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week and for longer than 3 weeks. Babies with Colic often are worse in the evening or at night, they fuss and are hard to soothe. Apart from this a colicky baby will be generally thriving and feed and gain weight well. Further signs of colic may include crying without any identifiable cause, appearing uncomfortable or in pain, arching backwards, bringing knees up, grimacing and writhing with clenched fists, their tummy may appear distended and feel hard.

What is Reflux?

Reflux can be caused by a number of mechanisms in babies; but generally it is due to an insufficiency in the co-ordination of the muscles that close off the top of the stomach to the esophagus (the food pipe). As a result a small amount of milk can spill out again, only partially being digested, causing the infant to regurgitate milk curds after feeding. This can be painful and might feel similar to acid indigestion in adults. Lying babies down on their backs after feeding can predispose this condition. The baby develops the co-ordination of this movement as it grows with symptoms tending to resolve after the first year, however if reflux is present for more than 90 days before 2 years of age, children can be predisposed to reflux further into childhood .

What is Silent Reflux?

Silent Reflux is the same as reflux without the full (being sick) regurgitation of partially digested milk.

What is a normal amount of crying?

As an estimate infants tend to cry for 2.2 hours per day during the first 2 months of life, peaking around 6 weeks old. Crying will slowly tend to decrease after this.

 Winding and Burping Techniques

A few effective ways to wind a baby:

  • Hold your baby against your shoulder and gently rub or pat her back. Often I find bouncing gently when patting and keeping the heel of the hand just below the level of the ribs against the chest wall whilst patting with the upper palm and fingers works best.
  • Sit her on your lap supporting her head with your hand under her chin and gently rub or pat her back.
  • Lay her stomach-down on your lap- rubbing your baby’s back at the same time helps to provide comfort and reassurance.
  • Help your baby to relax in a warm bath or gently massage her tummy in a circular clockwise motion which can bring relief as well as helping to release trapped wind.

Feeding tips for colic and reflux

  • Smaller amounts and more often, feeding every 3 hours is a good rule of thumb. Not overloading with milk reduces reflux and wind.
  • Keeping your baby as still as possible and upright during and after feeds, helps aid the digestion process.
  • Regular winding during feeding try burping after every ounce or when you switch sides, there may be a bit of a fuss to start with but it really helps trapped wind.

Medication for Colic

  • Infant Gavison

Infant Gaviscon works by congealing the stomach content into a thicker gel like substance. This reduces the likelihood of the stomach contents flowing back into the food pipe (reflux) and being regurgitated.

Gaviscon helps to reduce the pain from reflux although some parents have told me that it can thicken stools and reduce the frequency of passing them.

  • Infacol

Infacol works by helping to relieve trapped wind it helps to join small bubbles of gas into larger bubbles that help babies to bring up the wind more easily w, this reduces pain and discomfort of , which your baby can easily bring up as wind.

Given before each feed it works progressively over several days, to help reduce the frequency and severity of crying attacks associated with colic. Continued usage may help to prevent a further build up of wind. Infacol is available from most supermarkets and pharmacies.

  • Colief

Colief Infant drops are designed to give babies relief from Transient Lactase Deficiency. Lactose is found in breast milk, most formula milk and dairy produce and can be difficult for babies to digest at first. Colief contains lactase, a naturally occurring enzyme that helps break down lactose.

At around 3-4 months old babies digestive systems mature to the point that they are better able to digest and cope with lactose. At this time symptoms should normally disappear.

Natural Remedies

  • Herbal Tea

Fennel, peppermint, chamomile, rooibos teas – are the ones that are good for the digestive system. Drinking 4 cups a day while breastfeeding can give the baby the benefits through breast milk.

  • Elimination diet

This can be quite boring if taken too extremes! Dairy products, caffeine, spicy food, highly acidic foods or food that cause wind are good ones to try and think about cutting out. A fully comprehensive list can be found by clicking on this link.

  • Homeopathic remedies

Homeopathic remedies should generally be discussed with a qualified Homeopath as combinations of different remedies are tailored to suit each individual patient for the best results. I have however heard about using Chamomile, Fennel, Caraway, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Ginger and Aloe.

Gripe water tends to contain a blend of different herbal remedies, they vary but it is important to get a homeopathic approved formula, I have heard good things about Woodward’s and Colic Calm.

For an interesting case study and more information on Homepathic remedies click here. If you would like to contact a Homeopath directly for advice then I can highly recommend Phillipa Newman.

This document is designed as a general aid to parents with children suffering with Colic and Reflux. The information here is a guide from my experience and any serious concerns should be discussed with your health visitor and/or Doctor.

For more information on treatments that may help you or you baby please get in touch with 3 Hares Clinic.

Call 01244316660, or Book Online