What is the best kind of mattress for back pain? What is the best kind of pillow/pillow setup for neck pain?

Some questions we are often asked at Kings Cross Osteopathy are related to getting comfortable at night when dealing with back or neck pain. There are no simple answers to this question and much depends on personal preference. Even with the same condition, people may not find the same relief. Here are some strategies that you may find useful.

Mattress choice: This is almost entirely up to personal preference. There are no conclusive studies on what kind of mattress is best for back pain. There is an urban myth that the Japanese don’t suffer from back pain as they sleep on the floor or a hard futon; therefore sleeping on a hard mattress is best for back pain. I can assure you that back pain is just as prevalent in Japan as any other country. In fact, there are more convincing arguments that as soft a mattress as tolerable will support the spine better than a hard one.

The theory behind the argument for soft mattresses is as follows. The heaviest points of contact with the mattress in any position (except lying completely flat, face down.) are the hips and the shoulders. Thinking of the spine as the line that connects the two structures, a harder mattress will create more side bending than the soft one that allows the shoulders and hips to sink in.

This is just a theory. Whatever positions you find comfortable is best for you.

Pillow Choice: Again, I would defer to whatever setup makes you comfortable enough to get to sleep. Some useful information here would be that supporting the neck is actually the most important function of a pillow. Whether hard or soft, the neck must be supported to allow it to be in a neutral position, as if you were upright and facing forward. Orthopaedic style pillows do this with a lump that supports the neck, and a lower platform for the head. You can recreate this effect (side lying) by using a rolled up towel to bolster the space between your shoulder and neck, and have the pillow/s behind to support the head.

Pillows between the knees can be useful for relieving back pain when on your side, and under the belly and hips when on your front. This won’t work for everyone, but worth a try.

If your back or neck pain is troubling you at night, consult Ashley or Luke at Kings Cross Osteopathy. Once your back or neck pain is diagnosed and treated, we’ll be able to advise on your specific circumstances and what will be the best way to get a good night’s rest.

What is the best kind of mattress for back pain? What is the best kind of pillow/pillow setup for neck pain?

Some questions we are often asked at Kings Cross Osteopathy are related to getting comfortable at night when dealing with back or neck pain. There are no simple answers to this question and much depends on personal preference. Even with the same condition, people may not find the same relief. Here are some strategies that you may find useful. Continue reading “What is the best kind of mattress for back pain? What is the best kind of pillow/pillow setup for neck pain?”

A Quick Fix Is Never The Answer

This week I have been measuring quite a few people’s body fat levels.

I use it as a way of tracking progress for those who are looking to lose weight,

and also to find out the amount of fat a person has internally (because even skinny people can be fat inside).

Anyway one guy in his 50’s, who had the typical male middle age spread (around his belly)

clearly needed to drop some weight. Continue reading “A Quick Fix Is Never The Answer”

1 Treatment A Week For 5 Years

The other day I was introduced to a guy who had a lower back issue.

He’d been suffering with this discomfort for many years and was seeing a physio for treatment.

Pretty normal so far.

But then he told me he had been going to see this physio EVERY WEEK…

For 5 years!!

I nearly fell off my seat in disbelief!


I couldn’t help myself, I had to say the obvious thing…
Continue reading “1 Treatment A Week For 5 Years”

Are You Injured Because You’re Weak, Or Weak Because You’re Injured?

Hey Guys

It’s getting to that depressing time of the year when the weather is turning a bit nasty and my motivation to train and eat well is starting to drift out of the window

I don’t know about you but I start turning to sweet and warming food and drink as an emotional pick-me-up from the cold and wet weather.

Around this time of the year my training starts to slack of and I start to become a weaker, chubbier version of myself.

In the past this has then led to the onset of a recurring lower back issue which has caused me a lot of pain, discomfort and time off from work.

But I’m not the only one… Continue reading “Are You Injured Because You’re Weak, Or Weak Because You’re Injured?”

I’m Sorry, I Just Don’t Have Time

As a therapist, one of the worst things we can hear from a patient is;

“It’s just not getting any better”

It makes us feel like we have failed; like we are not good enough almost.

It thankfully doesn’t happen often.

A uni tutor once said to me;

“If someone isn’t getting better it’s one of three things;
– The therapy is wrong for the patient
– The practitioner
– The patient”

And you know what this is so true.
Continue reading “I’m Sorry, I Just Don’t Have Time”

Start That Monday Diet

It’s Monday!

Time to start that diet you have been promising yourself you would.

Time to start making the right decisions.

But how?

There is so much confusion information out there on diet.

What one would suit you best? What are your goals?

For example, If you are sedentary for most of your day, a high fat, high protein diet might suit you.

After all, you don’t need to “carb up” for a marathon desk session!

A sensible and organized approach is required.

Having a plan and following it is key; whether it is counting macros, Ketogenic, Paleo, Atkins or Dukan.

You WILL cheat or have bad days, but as long as you accept that when it happens and get back on it ASAP, it’s ok.

That is sustainable, and realistic. If you are at least 80% on it, you’ll succeed.

Be flexible, not just on or off. Make it a lifestyle, not a life sentence!

If you follow a diet, any diet, with specific goals, it WILL work. It’s the process, the knowledge of exactly what you are eating, that gets results. The psychology, the method, your mental approach is more important than what you are eating.

Sure, you can’t think yourself thin. But you can lose weight eating some of your favourite things, if they are correctly incorporated.

For help deciding what diet might be best for you, organizing your diet, finding out what your macronutrient requirements actually are or for any other queries, email us at


The Effects Of Yo-Yo Dieting

How many diets have you been on in the past?

I’m guessing quite a few?

I see people like you who are struggling to lose weight all the time.

It seems like every time I see them they are on a new diet.

When you’ve been on diets in the past, how much did you manage to lose?

Did you manage to keep it off or has that weight come back on?

I get why people do it. It gives them structure and takes the thinking out of what they need to do.

The problem is, diets don’t work in the long term.

They don’t work for a number of reasons;

– They restrict you too much causing you to want the bad things more than before.
– They are way too low in calories (I don’t even believe in calorie counting)
– They are not the right foods or proportions of foods for your body.
– They are designed for a mass population and not you as an individual.
– They do not look at why you became overweight in the first place.

I could keep going but hopefully you get the idea!

Diets make your body think you are being starved, and your body is super smart!

Way smarter than you or I, which means we can’t outsmart it in the long run.

The more you diet, the better your body becomes at holding on to you FAT!

Your body is designed for survival and whenever you go on a diet, your body switches on it’s fat storing hormones because it thinks there is a famine in the world and it wants you to survive through it.

The more you diet the more stubborn your body becomes and the harder it clings on to your fat.

If you really want to lose weight you have to treat your body with kindness.

You must think about nurturing your body and feeding it as many nutrients as you can to make it as healthy as you can.

Only then, will you truly start losing weight.

Stop dieting and start feeding.

This is such a massive hurdle for many people to get their heads around.

But trust me it works!

Even if you have a sluggish metabolism, or an underacive thyroid, or even if you think you got all the bad genes!

The nutrition plan I get my clients to follow, not only makes them much healthier, but they all lose weight and keep it off!

Isn’t it about time you did something that worked?

Apply below to work with me and change your body for good


I look forward to hearing from you


Insulin- The Fat Storing Hormone

This one hormone can be your worst enemy when it comes to losing weight

and yet it is essential to your survival

because without it you would not have lived this long!

It’s called


It is THE fat storing hormone.

It’s role is to take sugar out of your blood (also called Glycogen)

and deposit that sugar into fat cells.

There are two other places that sugar can go in the body;

The liver and the muscles.

Think of these two sites as buckets.

Once they are both full with the amount of glycogen they can store, that glycogen has to go somewhere else.

And that other place is a bottomless bucket called your fat cells.

Fat cells can grow and grow and grow, making you fatter and fatter.

But the good news is that Insulin is only released when there is sugar in the blood.

The main way sugar gets there is from what you’ve eaten.

Meals high in carbohydrates will cause a high level of insulin release and therefore will either make you fatter or will stop you losing any fat that you are in the process of losing.

So if you’re trying to lose weight, the best first step is to make sure your blood sugar levels are kept level and are not fluctuating all over the place.

This is done through not eating foods that will raise your blood sugar levels too high or too fast.

Low GL foods are good for this.

I analyse all of my clients blood for Uric Acid, Ketones and Glucose levels as it gives me a deeper understanding of what sate their body is is and whether they are in fat burning or fat storing.

This allows me to tailor their diets and training accordingly and get them results rather than just “pissing in the dark”!

If you want results then do something that gets you results.

Like working with me.

I’m taking on a couple of new clients this month.

I’m picky with who I choose though as they have to be a good fit, not just a time waster.

If you’re interested then fill out my application form here;


Speak to you tomorrow


Should You Hire A Personal Trainer?

What I’m about to say might surprise you.


See I have been working in gyms for close to 10 years now and I have observed these animals in their natural habitats doing their thing.

And to be brutally honest I am very disappointed.

They all do the same thing;

Smash their clients to make them believe they are getting the results

The technique is poor.

The trainer doesn’t know why they are doing that exercise with their client to beging with, they just saw it in this month’s magazine.

Quite often they are not even paying attention to their client.

They are just looking for their next sale elsewhere.

This is bad and very unprofessional.

Personal trainers are not all the same.

If you’re thinking of getting a trainer you need to choose them wisely because some are good and some are pants!

This is why I don’t even call myself a personal trainer.

Because I get put in the same bucket as the rest of them.

Personal trainers believe they can do everything and train everyone.

That just makes them very “vanilla”, a “jack-of-all-trades”.

I would decribe myself as an Injury and Weight Loss Specialist. Not a personal trainer.

I train 2 types of people here in Central London;

People with injuries

Women who want to lose weight.

That’s it!

So next time you’re looking for a trainer, watch them training and interacting with other people.

They need to be a good fit with you!

That’s all for now