Conditions and Treatments
Treatment can bring relief to musculosketal injuries such as:
Sprains from playing sports, strains from repetitive movements, with mechanical joint derangement. Slipped disc, sciatica and arthritis, are amongst others which respond well to osteopathy.
Commonly treated conditions:
- Arthritic Pain & Stiffness of Joints.
- Back Pain, Sciatica, & Disc Problems.
- Carpal Tunnel, Golfers & Tennis Elbow.
- Nerve Palsy & Neuritis.
- Effects of Poor Posture & Mobility.
- Hip, Knee, & Foot Pain.
- Neck pain including Wry Neck & Spondylosis.
- Shoulder Problems-Rotator Cuff & Frozen Shoulder.
- Trapped Nerves, Head Pain from Headaches.
- Muscular & Ligament Injuries.
- Pre-natal & Post Pregnancy Problems.
- Adults to Children Cranial Osteopathy.
- Elderly for improving joint mobility / Strengthening & Balancing.
- Sporting Injuries : Tendon and ligament trauma.
The precise area of the back; whether upper thoracic spine or lower lumber spine, is known as the back part of the spinal column. A vague descriptive term applied to as "Back Pain". The interchangeable nerve junctions connecting down to the neck and the thorax region innervates lungs, heart and the lower spine plus the visceral organs, stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas and gallbladder: not forgetting going into the pelvic organs such as kidney, uterus and male & female reproductive organs.
Lumbar spine corresponds to areas which relay pain into the spine. Additionally structural frame of ribs can give joint problems, irritation of cartilaginous bones creating pressure on vessels in between muscles and bones. Osteopathy helps to alleviate pain and pressure off vessels, enabling comfortable breathing.
Degenerative conditions of the spine are changes in the vertebral body, the vertebral disc, the site of entry and exits of nerves.
Here, nerve endings stretch over ends of joint surfaces. This sensitive covering signals changes in movement patterns, pain levels and range of motion. This causes an onset of muscle reactions which reflect in spasming and muscular contractures.
Now, bone pain symptoms can resemble the early onset of pathology, requiring further investigations: Signs to look for frequency of pain at night, associated fever, heat inflammation and pain and night sweat. Swellings unusual changes with low grade aching pain. Decline in constitutional health as generally feeling lethargy.
Osteopaths work directly at the site of pain and mobilise at vertebral level and relieve pressure from the spine where exiting nerves cross into the back muscles. Benefits: osteopaths will identify the origin of spinal pain and choose the appropriate course of treatment.
Neck pain can be acute and chronic in its presentation: most commonly trapped nerves coming down from neck into shoulders and upper back. Episodes of spasming neck muscles such as torticolis can be helped with osteopathy and naturopathy.
Cervical spine vertebral changes including disc degeneration spondylosis. Aging bones like arthritis to injuries by trauma in whiplash cases, and generally over strained due to bad posture at desk or slouching on sofa. Neck pain can be very different and individualistic. No one neck pain is the same as others. Application: osteopathic treatment, soft tissue, calms joint capsules and inhibits nervous signals from facilitated segments from cervical ganglions and bringing restrictive motion back.
Benefits: reduce spasm and tension with corrective alignment of vertebral joints, mobilise to ease pressure off nerves. Regains increased range of pain free mobility.
Patients are advised to use cold to warm packs (NB: not hot)
Pain relief gel: anti-inflammatory if required.
Homework: Good pillow positioning is essential to be followed & rest and neck exercises.
Shoulder pain is demanding and quite debilitating with persistent pain with every fraction of movement. It is restrictive in activities of daily living (ADL) as well managing it on a daily basis. This presents with difficulty wearing clothes lifting arm to doing simple tasks or even resting. You cannot lie down on the side of the shoulder pain in bed.
Sharp shooting or dull radiating pain can travel down the arm.
Joint issues will present with restrictive capsule adhesions reduced mobility of the shoulder.
Osteopathy identifies whether pain is arising from nerves or incorrect joint alignment from the bones which make up the shoulder joint. Pain can be caused by Injury or trauma to the bones, or whether it is referred from another area. Treatment focused on freeing off restrictive joint capsule, pressure off nerves and corrective joint alignment, addressing root of the pain. Length and stretching muscles in correct plane of motion. For example when the tendon slips out of a groove and displaced in the upper arm. Identifying the possible cause of overload or improper use of the shoulder prior to exercises given is essential for treatment and rehabilitation.
Elbow & hand problems
Golfers and Tennis Elbow are frequently treated in clinic. Epicondylitis overuse joint capsular surface changes cause strain injuries at the elbow can also reflect into wrist. Overload with weight can also have significant changes on the carpal bone of the wrist and radius and ulnar bones of the elbow. The likelihood displacement of the bones causing pain and giving functional problems on the hand. Here tendons can be trapped with nerves often seen in carpal tunnel thus build-up of pressure in a small area have an impact on the nerves and vessels.
Most often treatment is focused on improving mobility by stretching tendons ligaments and mobilising bones. Emphasis on the vascular structure present not being compromised and freeing impaired nerve supply. Once this is achieved corrective joint alignment is restored. Homework: followed up gentle exercises with band, for example with the hands it's the "washing up bowl" squeezing sponge exercises.
Temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) pain presented on either side of jaw. Sometimes problems with bite, or eating or the action of chewing. Occasionally associated ear pain. Often audible click heard or crunching sound indicative TMJ disc problems. There can be lots of pain or locking sensation felt of the jaw. Just opening the mouth wide can be problematic.
Treatment: assessing limitation of the jaw and looking at related structures of the face and neck. Deviation of the jaw bone are helped with osteopathy treatment. Specific cranial and osteopathic techniques focus to release the small ligaments of the jaw and larger muscles of the mouth and cheeks to help open the mouth correctly. Cranial nerves of the face and mouth are also considered. Here quality and quantity of finer movements of the jaw are observed.
Homework: Advice given re seating on dental chair, active exercises of the mouth given, other than eating and chewing. Sometimes referral to the orthodontist or maxillofacial specialist is suggested. With osteopathy Treatment warm / cool packs are used with mild tapping of TMJ when the patient is indoors. This is temporary just help initial stages in recovery.
The objective is to allow the body to function pain free, in a upright position and for the joint mechanics to distribute the body weight proportionally without displaying excessive strain in any one particular area. Emphasis is on proper structural joint functions like the spinal column and peripheral joints function like the knees and shoulders to determine how planes of muscle and tendons work. Curvature in spine or rotation of the pelvis are common with leg length discrepancy. Osteopathy can help.
Benefits include a spinal assessment. The bio-mechanics of the Pelvis and feet play a key role. Having a musculosketal frame which can accommodate weight and forces without disrupting the overall gait pattern but at the same time moving in synchronicity with peripheral joints allowing an optimal balancing head and pelvis making sure you look out on the world with level vision.
A good example osteoporosis can cause excessive curvature of the thoracic spine known as kyphosis. Osteoporosis is a classic decline in spinal curvature due to demineralisation of vertebral bodies. Osteopathy helps to reduce spinal curvature, by improving vertebral alignment and creating space between ribs for spinal nerves to function better. Osteopathy treatment can assist indirectly by improving digestive functions by restoring impaired nerve supply to organs from the thoracic spine additionally to improving lung function and breathing.
This is a discipline of practice used adjunct to osteopathy where by treatment is subtler reaching far beyond the boundaries of human skeleton and helps treat those ailments which originate within the body and manifest on the outer body.
Trauma to the Back of the Head
Balance, coordination and vision are present in the posterior aspect of the brain in the cerebellum; trauma here can lead to bad headaches and head pain long term effects of lack of concentration, feeling of unbalance with repeated falls etc. Inflammation of the head affects the covering of the brain just like any other bone. Where does this inflammation go?
Cranial osteopathy: having the natural flow of the fluid system within the cranium accommodating and balancing the tension membranes which attach the inner surface of the cranium and reduce their pressure on exiting nerves from bones on the inside of the cranium.
Children have falls on their bottom or just bang their heads whilst playing frequently. This constant input of falls eventually builds into the system and displays signs as irritability. The membranes around the cranium and spinal cord contains and absorbs the forces which eventually if not released adheres around joints and create sluggish movement of tissues. The finer layers of membranes and fascia now struggle to function correctly. Cranial osteopathy is useful in directing flow of fluids to site of adhesions and creating momentum with our breathe within the system to release restrictions in tissues.
Relieving Pressure in Ear Pain
Eustachian tube congestion causes pressure and pain in the ear bones alongside ear wax removal treatment prescribed by the doctors. In babies when forceps are used in deliveries the frontal and temporal bones of the head can be pressed upon as the baby exits through the birth canal. Here babies' cranial nerves near the ears and jaw can be compromised. This can result in hearing problems with growth. Cranial osteopathy works directly with the cranial bones gently addressing the release of torsional patterns and correcting temporal and parietal bones movement.
Immune System Boosting
Natural immunity: assisted by eating nutrient rich foods which reflect in boosting your ability to fighting of infections throughout the four seasons. Man adapting to his/her environmental the key to health and survival. Being out of pain and getting relief can be very restorative for overall health and well-being. Please see Naturopathy for further information.
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Most people consult osteopaths privately. Many private health insurance schemes give benefit for osteopathic treatment. Some companies will reimburse the total fee that you have paid for treatment, others only a percentage. Most companies require a GP or specialist referral. All insurance companies have helplines. Patients are advised to check the terms and conditions with their health insurance provider prior to having treatment and placing a claim.