What is osteopathy?

By | Massage, Osteopathy, Pain, Recurring Injuries | No Comments

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?


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Tension Headaches

By | Massage, Neck Pain, Stress Relief, Uncategorized | No Comments

Tension Headaches (How Massage Can Help?)

Tension headaches are headaches characterised by mild, diffuse generalized pain without the incapacity, nausea, vomiting, or photophobia associated with migraines. It is sometimes described as a band round the head, and can be accompanied by tenderness in your scalp, neck and shoulders. They can be either episodic, occurring less than 15 days a month, or chronic (more than 15 days a month). The ache, or pain, is usually spread over the entire head.

Both episodic or chronic tension headaches can disrupt your life. For example, you may have to miss days at work and even when you do go in to work you function can be impaired. You time with family and friends can also be badly disrupted. Also, you may find that you are having to repeatedly take medication for it.

The actual cause of tension headaches is unknown. However, most experts believe that stress is the biggest trigger and, while not the cause, the muscles in the scalp, face, neck and shoulders are in some way involved.

What are tension headaches?

Tension Headaches

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What causes pain in your buttock?

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Is it Sciatica or Piriformis Syndrome?

While both relate to the sciatic nerve there are key differences between them.

Sciatica is a catchall term that refers to symptoms of pain, tingling, numbness, and/or weakness that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. This path runs from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down the back of your leg. It typically affects only one side. Sciatica is a description of symptoms, and not a diagnosis, and can be due to one or more of several causes. Of these causes, a herniated disk in your spine or an overgrowth of bone in your vertebrae are the commonest causes. Other rarer causes include compression by a tumour or damage to the nerve from diseases such as diabetes.

Piriformis Syndrome on the other hand is much more specific. It refers to the piriformis muscle impinging on the sciatic nerve and causing symptoms of sciatica. It is found in the buttocks near the top of the hip joint, and is important in lower body movement because it stabilizes the hip joint and lifts and rotates the thigh away from the body. It helps us to walk and shift our weight from one foot to the other and maintain balance. It is also used in almost every motion of the hips and legs from getting up from a chair and walking to sports.


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Knee pain

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Type of Knee Injuries

The human knee, like other joints, is a complex structure that does such an amazing and complex job so well that we can often take for granted the job it does. Just imagine walking or running with your knees, or sitting, or getting out of bed in the morning, or many other things we love to do like cycling or dancing. The knee is made up of cartilages, bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles, fluid and other tissues all arranged in alignment to give the complex movement and activities that it produces.

Most knee injury is due to trauma, which can commonly due to sports but can be due to accidents, blunt force trauma, etc. However, there are other causes such as infections, inflammation and tumours. The commonest symptoms of knee injury are pain, swelling, and instability (feeling like your knee is giving way). You may also feel or hear a popping or snapping when the injury happens. Also, you may find it difficult to put your full weight on the injured leg.

What is runner's knee?

Knee injuries

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What is Fibromyalgia (FM)?

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How massage can help?

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic condition that is marked by widespread musculoskeletal pain and accompanied by other functional symptoms such as fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Though the cause is not known, there is some agreement on three main factors that come together to trigger it. These are Genetics, Trauma (Physical or Emotional), and Infections.

Researchers have come to believe that fibromyalgia results from repeated nerve stimulation that causes the brain to have abnormally high levels of certain signaling chemicals (neurotransmitters). This, coupled with the memory and increased sensitivity that the brain’s pain receptors can cause a higher and longer reaction to pain signals. The main predisposing risk factors are female gender, as more women than men are affected, having a family history or relative previously affected, and the third is already being affected by a rheumatic disease such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.


Chronic pain

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How The Body Processes Pain?

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What do we know about pain?

Firstly, why do we feel pain? The simple answer is: To Protect You! We could just end this article right there, put a big ‘full stop’ and all go home. That would give an answer to the question but it would still leave us scratching our heads and still asking, ‘but why do we feel pain and how does the body process it?’

Ultimately, your body tells you that you are in pain because it is telling you that something is wrong, and you need to do something about it. What is wrong? You have been exposed to a dangerous stimulus, for example fire, a damage has occurred for example a broken bone or an injured or stressed muscle.

You can think of how the body processes pain as a cycle of: Stimulation; Transmission; Recognition and Localisation; and Awareness.

How The Body Processes Pain

Lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, knee pain

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Sports Injuries: How Osteopathy Can Help

By | Osteopathy, Sports Injuries | No Comments

Osteopathy has been used for many years as a way of detecting, treating and preventing health problems. This is done by moving, stretching and massaging muscles and joints within the body. Most people who choose to see an osteopath are suffering with conditions that affect the muscles, bones and joints. For example back, neck and shoulder pain, arthritis and sports injuries.



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