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.

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    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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    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?

    By | Pain, Uncategorized | No Comments

    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.

    Sciatica

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    Knee pain

    By | Pain, Sports Injuries | No Comments

    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)?

    By | Massage, Pain | No Comments

    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.

    Fibromyalgia

    Chronic pain

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