Arthritis symptoms of the spine and how to treat them

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The Symptoms of Arthritis

Could it be arthritis? Millions of people suffer from back pain – some of it chronic and throbbing, and some of it so debilitating that it makes you want to curl up on the floor calling for your mum.

Of course, there are dozens of ways that you can suffer from back pain. Today, on World Spine Day, we look specifically at the symptoms of arthritis and how this can affect your back in particular.
In many ways, back pain is like a gun-shot wound. Depending on the intensity, it can stop you from performing even the most routine tasks from walking, tying your shoes, or even using the bathroom.

Symptoms of Arthritis

Arthritis of the spine

 

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Cycling Injuries

By | Functional exercises, Habits and Health, Massage, Osteopathy, Pain, Recurring Injuries, Stress Relief | No Comments

Common Cycling Injuries

Whether you are a commuter or seasoned cyclist, or recently inspired to get into cycling then this blog is for you!

This blog will detail the most common muscle and joint injuries associated with cycling (unrelated to crashes, collisions or falls), what to do when you have an injury, when to seek help, and injury prevention.

There are many different causes for injuries to happen including lack of experience, environmental hazards, rider errors, lack of self-care, overuse, or inadequate equipment/bike fit.

Cycling injuries

Common Cycling Injuries

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Osteopathy, helping cyclist.

By | Functional exercises, Habits and Health, Massage, Osteopathy, Pain, Recurring Injuries, Stress Relief | No Comments

Cyclist and osteopathy

Cycling, in its many forms, is becoming an increasingly popular method of exercise and transport.

  • Approximately 1.5 million people aged 18+ in Great Britain cycle every day or nearly every day.
  • In 2014, a record 183,423 employees participated in the Government’s ‘Cycle to Work Scheme’.
  • According to the National Travel Survey, about 7% of the population aged 5+ cycled three or more times a week in 2016.

(Facts and figures from We Are Cycling UK)
This blog is going to discuss and address how osteopathy could help with cyclist injuries and performance. But first, let’s discuss how and why cyclists get injured:

Gardening injuries

Osteopathy Helping Cyclists

How and why cyclists get injured?

Cycling injuries can be due to overuse which develops gradually over a period of time because of repeated patterns of movement, or possibly due to falls, collisions, and crashes.

Cycling involves a high number of repetitive movements from the legs through the action of the muscles and joints. Of course, there is more to cycling than just the legs. The trunk, back and arms play an important role in movement production, balance, grip, and stability.
There are a multitude reasons why cyclists may develop an over-use type injury, including:

  • Inadequate warm-up/cool-down
  • Lack of self-care e.g. stretching, foam rolling
  • Poor nutrition/hydration
  • Ineffective training
  • Inappropriate set-up of bike
  • Lack of experience

What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy by definition is: “a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together” (GOsC, 2017).

One of the main concepts is that the body’s structure governs its function. This means that if your body has had an injury, repetitive strain, or overuse it will have an adverse effect on how your body performs. Therefore, an osteopath assesses the body, sees how it currently performs, and aims, through various hands-on techniques, to restore and improve overall and specific functions.

How can osteopathy help cyclists?

There are never two clients the same, working as an osteopath there are never two days the same; each client that comes through the door is an individual. The interaction with the osteopath will be dependent upon many different factors for example, the pain or injury, occupation, and training habits.

The osteopath will use hands-on techniques to examine and diagnose the injury. They will also discuss with you to help to understand what is going on, what can be done by the osteopath or whether a referral may be required, what the likely recovery period may be, and they will discuss the techniques that will be used to treat you and any potential side-effects.

During your course of treatment the osteopath can prescribe exercises and stretches, lifestyle adaptations, and use other methods (e.g. sports taping, ultrasound, or acupuncture).

References

We Are Cycling UK : http://www.cyclinguk.org/resources/cycling-uk-cycling-statistics#How much cycling is there compared with other kinds of transport?

General Osteopathic Council, 2017 www.osteopathy.org.uk/visiting-an-osteopath/about-osteopathy/

  

Gardening Injuries

By | Functional exercises, Habits and Health, Massage, Osteopathy, Pain, Recurring Injuries, Stress Relief | No Comments

Here’s few tips on how to prevent Gardening injuries!

The summer is here, gardening season is upon us.

The royal society for the prevention of accidents (RoSPA) states 300,000 people including children are seriously hurt when gardening to require hospital treatment per year.

Injuries of the musculoskeletal system can include but not limited to; strains, sprains, bursitis as well as disc bulges.

Below are some tips to help prevent these injuries and keep you able to enjoy your garden this summer.

 

Gardening injuries

Gardening Injuries

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Osteopathy and the older generation

By | Functional exercises, Habits and Health, Osteopathy, Pain, Recurring Injuries, Runner's Injuries, Sports Injuries, Stress Relief | No Comments

How osteopathy can help the older generation

“It’s just your age!” – heard that one before?

We understand that as part of the natural aging process the body can undergo many changes and adaptations. However, this does not mean that you should suffer with muscle or joint pain.

Ineffective pain management can have a significant impact on the quality of life of the older generation, leading to depression, social isolation, and a loss of function (3). Therefore, we need to take action!

First of all, let’s look at a couple of age-related changes that can happen to the body:

Age-related changes
Arthritic changes can occur in the joints of the body. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis – eight million people affected in the UK (6). This type of arthritis affects the smooth cartilage of the joints and can lead to stiffness and pain, the muscles and tendons have to work harder to achieve the movement. In severe cases a lack of cartilage leading to bone rubbing on bone and subsequently to joint deformity.

How Osteopathy can help with the older generation?

Osteopathy and the older generation

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Pregnancy Pains

By | Functional exercises, Habits and Health, Massage, Pain, Recurring Injuries, Runner's Injuries, Sports Injuries, Stress Relief | No Comments

Osteopathy Treatment during pregnancy

Are you pregnant and experiencing back or pelvic pain? You are not alone!

Seventy-six percent of pregnant women report back pain at some time during pregnancy (4). It is estimated that seventy percent of pregnant women experience low back pain, whereas twenty percent suffer from pelvic girdle pain (2). One of the more common symptoms of pregnancy seen by osteopaths is low-back pain (7).

Throughout pregnancy a woman’s body will undergo many changes that can have an effect on daily functioning. The softening of ligaments due to the presence of relaxin, weight increase – an average of 10-12kg (5), and changes in posture can lead to additional pressure on joints in various parts of the body, including the spine and pelvis. There is also the position and size of the baby to consider, which can have an impact on a pregnant woman’s posture and movement.

Osteopaths are regulated, primary healthcare professionals, who are trained in therapeutic techniques to treat a wide range of individuals, including pregnant women. Osteopaths are trained to screen for medical conditions and will tell you if you need to see another health professional such as your doctor or midwife.

What are tension headaches?

Pregnancy and Osteopathy

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Common Shoulder Injuries

By | Functional exercises, Habits and Health, Massage, Pain, Recurring Injuries, Runner's Injuries, Sports Injuries, Stress Relief | No Comments

 Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries are common and mostly caused by athletic activities that involve excessive, repetitive, overhead motion, such as swimming, tennis, pitching, and weightlifting. However, they can also occur due to everyday activities such gardening and hanging curtains.

    How do you know you have a shoulder injury? The most obvious sign is pain. Just like any other injury, if you are experiencing pain in shoulder you should consider the fact that you may have a shoulder injury. While pain can be a hallmark of shoulder injury, there are instances where injury is present without pain, particularly in chronic cases. Other signs and symptoms of shoulder injury include, but not limited to:

    • Stiffness. Is your shoulder stiff? Can you rotate your arm in all the normal positions?
    • Laxity. Does it feel like your shoulder could pop out or slide out of the socket?
    • Weakness. Do you lack the strength in your shoulder to carry out your daily activities?
    • Persistent tingling or numbness in your upper limb
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      What is foam rolling?

      By | Functional exercises, Habits and Health, Lower Back Pain, Massage, Pain, Recurring Injuries, Runner's Injuries, Stress Relief | No Comments

      Foam rolling for beginners

      Foam rollers are everywhere! Due to their increasing popularity you may have seen one at your local gym, physiotherapy or osteopathy clinic, sports retailer, or you might own one already.

      Have you seen the expression upon someone’s face whilst they’ve been using a foam roller and wondered “what on earth are they doing?!” or “they look like they’re in pain, why are they doing it?”

      What is a foam roller?

      Foam rollers come in all lengths, colours and patterns, and have various uses for different parts of the body. A foam roller is a cylindrical shape of firm to hard foam – some are smooth whilst others have raised grooves.

      What are tension headaches?

      Foam rollers

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      What Does Hypermobility Mean?

      By | Habits and Health, hypermobility, Massage, Pain, Recurring Injuries | No Comments

       Hypermobility Vs Hypermobility Syndrome

      Hypermobility, (joint hypermobility, hypermobile joints) simply means one or more of a person’s joints easily stretch beyond their normal range. This is more commonly referred to as having ‘loose joints’ or being ‘double-jointed’. Many with hypermobile joints don’t have any problems and often require no treatment. Some, for example ballet dancers and gymnasts, may benefit from this increased flexibility.

      Hypermobility syndrome, or joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS), describes a syndrome where multiple joints easily stretch beyond their normal range and is accompanied by several symptoms. These include: Pain and stiffness in the joints and muscles; Clicking joints; Joints that dislocate easily; Fatigue; Recurrent, and recurrent, injuries such as sprains; Digestive problems, such as constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); Dizziness and fainting; Thin or stretchy skin.

      The joints most commonly affected are the knees, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers. While either can be due to several causes, they are both genetic and due to changes in collagen (a ubiquitous protein found in the body). These changes make the collagen weaker, which in turn makes the ligaments (connective tissue that links two bones together at joints) in the body looser and stretchier. There are some diseases that can cause joint hypermobility syndrome and the most important of these causes are Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Marfan’s Syndrome and Osteogenesis imperfecta. Thankfully, these diseases are quite rare.

      What are tension headaches?

      Hypermobility

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      What is osteopathy?

      By | Massage, Osteopathy, Pain, Recurring Injuries | No Comments
      Written by Heather Thomas (Osteopath)

      A definition:

      As an osteopath, I get asked a huge range of questions by clients and members of public. The most common one being: “What is osteopathy?”

      Osteopathy by definition is: “a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together” (General Osteopathic Council, 2017).

      There are many underpinning concepts of osteopathy that were suggested by A.T. Still – the founder of osteopathy. One of the main concepts is that the body’s structure governs its function. This means that if your body has had an injury, repetitive strain, or overuse it will have an adverse effect on how your body performs. Therefore, an osteopath looks at the body, sees how it currently performs, and aims, through various means, to restore and improve overall and specific functions.

      What are tension headaches?

      Osteopathy

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