General musculo-skeletal aches and pains
Static postures, day to day life, inactivity and sports interests/hobbies can all create imbalances within the body. Leaving these, continuing through life ignoring them can lead to aches and pains. This is caused by muscles becoming fatigued from having to over work. Joints can become stiff. Osteopathic treatment can help you become aware of these imbalances. We can treat them and address the issues maintaining them.
Sports activities are great for the body, but at times, tissues such as muscles and ligaments, become sprained/strained or torn. This leads to inflammation, pain and swelling. Osteopathy can help diagnose the tissue that is causing the symptoms. Osteopathic treatment can reduce the swelling, pain and increase your range of movement. We can identify the maintaining factors, so an appropriate rehabilitation program can be prescribed, getting you back to sports as quickly and safely as possible.
Arthritis related joint pain
Arthritis can be caused by the natural wearing of joints. This is known as Osteo-arthritis. We are all going to get this condition at some point in our lives, when it occurs is dependent on how much we use certain joints and the injuries we have sustained. Osteopathic treatment cannot reverse this process, but it can help with pain reduction and increasing the range of movement within the affected joints. Joints and muscles stiffen up and the surrounding musculature becomes weaker and these are often the main problem. Osteopathy can release the muscular tightness and put your joints through increased ranges of movement and importantly prescribe exercises designed to improve muscle strength. This gives you back the freedom of movement and helps improve function and symptoms.
Acute and chronic back pain
Acute pain is normally quite sharp in nature and can be quite debilitating. It is often following an injury or certain movement and the result is severe pain and restriction in movements. Osteopathic treatment can safely identify the cause and treat it accordingly.
Chronic pain is pain that has persisted for greater than 3 months. Sometimes injuries can take this length of time heal or there may be other factors that contributing, such as, poor belief of recovery, high stress, lack of sleep, low mood, poor lifestyle habits, and other contextual factors. This type of pain can often be dull and vague in nature, often lingering in the background constantly. Osteopathic consultation and examination can help to identify the problem and address all the predisposing and maintaining factors that have lead to it. Sometimes muscles become chronically tight after being in a contracted state for long periods. Osteopathic treatment can help to reduce muscle tension and get you back to a normal pain free state.
Neck pain (mechanical, acute and chronic)
Neck pain is very common as the neck or cervical spine, is the most mobile part of the spine. We use it the most and it goes through a huge amount of stress and strain day and night. As a result of this, it is susceptible to injury. Whether you are working at a desk or are a gymnast, the neck is involved. The weight of our own head is more than we think, and that alone is making all the muscles and ligaments in the neck work hard. Combine this with movement and you can see how quickly pain can occur. People are often weary about the neck being treated and rightly so. If you do not choose the right type of treatment for it, the result is invariably more pain and discomfort. Nerves and blood vessels run through the muscles and joints of the neck to supply the head. This often leads to headache type symptoms, arising from mechanical issues within the neck. Osteopathic treatment can safely identify this and treat accordingly, giving you the relief of pain and increased range of movement you desire.
The true name for this condition is Adhesive Capsulitis. The joint capsule around the shoulder is very lax and allows for large ranges of movements. Sometimes adhesions (scars) can form within the capsule. This causes a ‘puckering’ or tightening of the capsule, thereby reducing its range of movement. The shoulder capsule is richly supplied with pain sensitive nerve fibers. When the adhesions are pulled on (during movements) the pain caused is very intense and debilitating. This leads to a protective guarding of the shoulder by the patient and this will further tighten up the capsule. This condition is very treatable, but can be a slow process at first. Osteopathic treatment can greatly increase the range of movement of your shoulder, by breaking down the adhesions and re-educating the muscles on what they are capable of doing. This is closely followed with an exercise prescription program for you to follow at home.
There are many muscles, tendons and ligaments around the shoulder joint, all of these are susceptible to injury. The large range of movement in the shoulder and the fact that we use the shoulder in so many ways makes it prone to injury. Osteopathy can help to identify the cause of the problem, reduce your pain and give you back a pain free shoulder.
The elbow joint is prone to injury as with all joint s in the body. Is a hinge joint and has many muscles helping to move it. Working at a desk on a keyboard and mouse, puts the elbow under prolonged stress. Equally other activities that cause impaction or strain through the elbow can lead to pain and reduced range or movement. Osteopathic treatment can help to reduce the pain and increase the range of movement. We can also help you to identify what is causing the problem and help you to address this.
Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
This is a common repetitive strain injury (RSI). The muscles on the forearm all help to move your fingers. The tendons run into the wrist and on to the hand, allowing you to move your wrist and fingers. All the tendons that are on the back of your hand attach onto the lateral epicondyle. The repetitive movement of the fingers and wrist (such as with typing, texting and using a mouse) will cause this attachment site to be pulled on for prolonged periods. This creates inflammation at that point. The cycle of inflammation, healing and then repetitive use causes this type of injury to continue for weeks, months or even years. Osteopathic treatment can help to release the tightness in those muscles and help you to identify the causes and prevent reoccurrences.
Circulation related problems
There are many causes for poor circulation. Some of these are pathologies or diseases and these need to be treated with medication and under the supervision of a Doctor. There are however issues in the lower extremity (below the waist) that can arise from muscular tightness or imbalances. The muscles in the calf help to pump the blood back to the heart. If the muscles are tight or we are inactive, circulation can be affected. Osteopathic treatment can help to treat this and provide a good blood flow, against gravity, back towards the heart.
Joint pain (general)
Joint pain can arise from many different causes. One of the commonest causes is sprains or strains to joints. These can occur from over use or taking the joint beyond its physiological limits. This can happen following a fall, sports injury, or simply over stretching the joint. The ligaments are taken beyond their elastic limit and become lengthened. This is irreversible and creates instability in the joint as well inflammation of the ligaments, joint capsules and joint surfaces. Not addressing this will lead to further damage to the joint and further instability. This presents in the form of pain on use of the joint or at the end of its range. Osteopathic treatment can help identify this and treat the structures affected. We would also guide you on strengthening exercises to gain support from the surrounding muscles.
Lower back pain (lumbago)
The symptoms of lower back pain vary from mild, severe, to intense pain and muscle spasms, which prevent both the correct posture and your ability to move. The pain can be both acute and chronic. Acute lower back pain left untreated can become chronic lower back pain.
The pain in the lower back can suddenly appears and makes bending forward and backwards extremely difficult. The pain is often most intense when you suddenly start moving. Standing up and walking normally diminishes these complaints. Lower back pain frequently comes with muscle contractions, resulting in a stiffness in your back. Due to severe muscle pain and spasm you may adapt the wrong type of posture. In some cases, the pain radiates to the rest of the back including your lower back, buttocks and legs. You may experience pins and needles and in some cases even total numbness. Osteopathic treatment can help identify and treat the cause of pain. This is one of the most common conditions we treat, with great success.
Sciatic pain is another very common condition Osteopaths treat. It is most commonly caused by an irritation of the nerve root, by inflammation or compression from the structures of the spine, as such the intervertebral disc, facet joint and osteophytic growth. In rarer cases the shortening and tightening of the Piriformis muscle and the Gluteus Medius muscle of the hip. These muscles help rotate our hips outwards (external rotation). Prolonged sitting/driving and general inactivity is often the cause. These muscles overlie the large sciatic nerve, which supplies sensation and muscular control to much of the leg from the hip down. When pressure is put on the nerve from the muscles, it leads to pain radiating along some or all of the distribution of the sciatic nerve. Osteopathic treatment successfully treats this and allows the pressure to be released. This condition can be very debilitating, but is very easy for Osteopaths to treat. There are situations where the pressure can arise from higher up at the spinal level, but we can safely test for this and treat you accordingly.
Muscle spasm (acute and chronic)
Muscles can go into spasm for many reasons. The most common is over use. When a muscle is in a contracted state for long periods, it begins to fatigue or tire. This then causes it to become tight and painful. In the early stages, this is acute and the pain is commonly sharp in nature. When this is not addressed for a period of time, it becomes chronically tight and the pain is more dull or vague in nature. Poor posture and simply not stretching enough can also lead to muscle spasm. Osteopathic treatment can identify the cause and effectively treat this, allowing your muscles to return to their natural state and reducing your pain.
Nerve pain (neuralgia)
There are a number of causes of nerve pain. There are many entrapment sites in the body, whereby individual nerves or nerve plexuses (groups of nerves) can become impinged. This will then lead to irritation of some or all of the structures being supplied by that nerve. The impingement can be caused by muscles over lying the nerves, or by boney structures pinching it. It can also occur from extra growth of bone or scar tissue forming around the nerves. Osteopathic treatment can identify the cause and treat it effectively. We can also work on any factors that are causing and maintaining the condition. This will allow you to significantly improve your symtoms.
The main fibromyalgia symptoms include deep muscle pain, painful trigger points or tender points, and morning stiffness. Other major symptoms of fibromyalgia include sleep disorders, fatigue and anxiety. In order to make an accurate diagnosis, your doctor will need to review the signs and symptoms you are experiencing. Fibromyalgia affects far more women than men. Osteopathic treatment can help you manage the muscular pain and trigger points associated with fibromyalgia.
Rheumatic symptoms (or rheumatism) are distinguished by the following seven characteristics:
- pain or discomfort, usually perceived in the vicinity of one or more joints (including the spine);
- pain on motion of the affected area(s);
- soreness (to the touch) of the affected region(s);
- stiffness of the affected part(s), especially after a period of immobility;
- symptomatic improvement after mild exercise, but worsening after vigorous exercise;
- symptomatic worsening in response to climatic factors, especially falling barometric pressure and rising humidity; and
- symptomatic improvement in response to warming the affected area(s).
Not all rheumatic pain syndromes have all seven characteristics, but most will at least have the first four. Osteopathic treatment cannot reverse the rheumatic condition, but can help you manage many of these symptoms.
Inability to relax
Many people find it incredibly hard to relax. We all lead busy lives and have various types of stress on us. This often goes on for prolonged periods of time. Although an inability to relax is considered an emotional reaction, we forget that this is coupled with a physical response from the body. For example, when we are stressed with work or home/life situations, we often hold a lot of this tension in the upper back, neck and shoulders. Many people walk around with their shoulders right up by their ears as they are so focused on the cause of their stress. Muscles are the ones doing this and if they are constantly tight and contracted, they become tight and painful. This is just one example of an inability to relax. Osteopathic treatment will identify the muscles and joints affected and work to release them. This then allows your tissues to return to their natural state and teaches you how to prevent it building up again.