Winter can be the worst time of the year for our spine and joints, so we turned to the team at Freedom Clinic in Canary Wharf for advice on how to beat the weather before it beats you this year.

Clinic director and osteopath Jason Patel offers his advice on the injuries to watch out for and how to prevent them

Clinic director and osteopath Jason Patel and Dr Wayne Cottrell MBChB from Freedom Clinics

1. Facet joint pain (the two joints in between the vertebrae) in the neck or lower back, often a dull ache that becomes a sharp pain or crick in the neck)

What’s the cause? Long periods of sitting without taking a break – the facet joints become compressed then lock.

Preventative measures: Correct sitting, regular short breaks every hour and mobility exercises.

Try working out on the cross trainer in the gym going forwards and backwards or taking a pilates class. Treatment with an osteopath, chiropractor or physiotherapist is also recommended.

Jason says he sees a lot of winter sports injuries sustained at Canary Wharf Ice Rink, pictured

2. Winter sports injuries to the ankle, knee, hip, shoulders or arms.

What’s the cause? Skiing, snowboarding, ice skating (we get a lot of people coming in who have injured themselves on the Canary Wharf ice skating rink), and just general slippy conditions due to the winter weather.

Preventative measures: Gradual and correct training before a winter sports holiday and wearing the correct foot wear.

Our clinic offers orthotics for day shoes, trainers and ski boots. Also - use regular ice packs to reduce inflammation if injuries do occur.

Poor posture and cold weather conditions can lead to muscle pain and stiffness or trapped nerves

3. Myalgia (muscle pain and stiffness) and Neuralgia (nerve pain or trapped nerves).

What’s the cause? Poor posture, cold weather conditions which reduce blood flow to areas to muscle groups.

Preventative measures: Correct sitting, regular short breaks every hour, routine postural stretching, core muscle strengthening, and carry out work station assessments.

Spinal posture and causes of pain can easily be assessed by one of our practitioners.

Freedom Clinics also runs a GP service headed up by Dr Wayne Cottrell MBChB.

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