Watch this video to understand a little more about migraine. While there are often a number of factors that produce migraines and headaches, often there is a mechanical aspect, often originating in the upper neck and upper back. Osteopathic manipulation can be very beneficial for helping to resolve headaches and migraines providing there is no underlying disease present.
Watch this video to understand more about the causes of neck pain, where you will see that there are lots of structures in the neck that can become damaged or tight and restricted, which then accumulate to cause symptoms ranging from local neck pain or upper back pain, pain down arm or pain into head often causing headaches or aggravating migraines.
Watch this video to begin to understand what causes cervical radiculopathy - a compression of the nerves in the neck which supply the arm and hand and when this compression happens, due to joint or disc disease or trauma due to for example a “whiplash” injury sustained in a car accident, it can produce pain, numbness, “pins & needles” and muscle weakness in certain parts of the arm/hand, depending on what level in the neck (cervical spine) the problem is at.
Please watch this video to understand more about the complex anatomy of the shoulder and why so often patients complain of shoulder pain. This needs to be differentiated from referred pain from the spine as often a poor diagnosis leads to ineffective treatment. Although, as we know the body is complex, there is close relationship between the neck and the shoulder joint proper. Osteopathic treatment is very effective for managing shoulder joint and muscle problems including “rotator cuff” injury (see separate video for this condition).
Watch this video to understand more about this problem that is so often miss Diagnosed. True adhesive capsulitis or “Frozen Shoulder” is an active inflammation of the capsule and soft tissues around the shoulder joint and lasts from the out-set for about 24 months with increasing levels of pain initially and then increasing levels of reduced movement. Active mobilisation can help as well as manipulation under anaesthetic (MUA) if the later stages of the condition cause major loss of movement. The condition is self-limiting and usually always resolves. Mainly women of middle age Suffer from this problem. Osteopathic treatment can very often help manage this problem.
Please watch this video to understand more about the “rotator-cuff” muscles and the injuries associated with them. These are a group of 5 muscles that move the arm proper. The other muscles around the shoulder joint, stabilise this joint so the arm can move. As the arm moves more than any other part of the body it is more vulnerable to stress and strain hence causing a number of problems generally called rotator cuff injuries. Here osteopathic assessment and treatment can be of great benefit.
Watch this video animation to help you understand more about the most common back condition that people suffer from and present to osteopaths for. The joints in the spine guide the movement of the back and have lots of nerves around the joint. When these joints become irritated the local muscles go into spasm to protect the spinal (facet) joints from moving which then creates a vicious cycle of pain and often increasing immobility. Yet, it is usually the easiest condition to treat with osteopathic manipulation.
Please watch this video animation to help you understand more about some of the causes of back pain which includes the spinal joints (facet joints) as well as the shock absorbing like discs, between the bony vertebrae in the front of the spinal cord, which is protected within the spinal canal. At the back are the facet joints that can get irritated on their own and cause a great deal of pain, yet can be easily manipulated with the patient feeling better fairly quickly. With disc problems proper (with a diagnosis made from an MR scan) they take a while longer to settle down. There are of course a lot of other causes of back pain that need to be ruled out, however we have the experience at the Spine and Joint Health Centre to help you get to the cause of your back pain.
Please watch this video animation to understand more about the discs in your spine which start to wear a bit as we get older (from late 20’s onwards). This wear is called degenerative disc disease – and is a natural process. Some people often have more symptoms than others. As the discs wear they start to decrease in height which then causes the joints in the back of the spine to come together more – which then causes more weight bearing on the spinal (facet) joints. This is why the main cause of back pain even in younger people can be the discs and not the spinal joints. Usually MR or CT scans are required to tell whether there is a disc problem or not. A large percentage of patients with disc problems respond to conservative management rather than surgery. Osteopathy is a very effective way of sorting out these disc conditions along with rehabilitation therapy.
Please watch this video animation to help you understand more about this very common complaint. When someone has low back pain with symptoms down the leg/s, then sometimes it can be due to the nerves (the sciatic nerve) in the lower back getting compressed and irritated by wear and tear in the spinal joints or a disc bulging from the front part of the spine. These can cause pain, numbness, “pins & needles” muscle weakness or twitching and generally the term used for this is Sciatica. Usually, even for severe symptoms, conservative management of sciatica resolves the problem over a period of time. Proper diagnosis is critical in effective management of sciatica with osteopathic treatment along with core stability work via pilates or yoga is a very good approach.
Please view this short video animation to understand a bit more about coccydynia, commonly called coccyx pain. Inflammation around the coccyx (which is immediately behind the anus) can cause a great deal of pain in discomfort. Usually true coccydynia is bought on by trauma – sitting down hard on a hard surface for example - here the coccyx is very painful on pressing it. Osteopathic manipulation of the coccyx per rectum (via a finger up the back passage) can be very beneficial for this condition. Often people say they have coccyx pain when it is referred pain from the spine and nothing to do with the coccyx proper. Here correct diagnosis is important for effective management of this problem.
Please watch this video animation to understand more about the causes of elbow pain. There are nerves running down from the neck which in part go around the inner side of the elbow and these can be stretched and irritated. Throwing injuries can be common in young children and young athletes where they are not taught to throw properly. Also symptoms can be caused by stretching of the ligaments and tendons of the elbow or bruising of the joint surfaces. Usually conservative management of these problems is sufficient and osteopathic treatment effective.
Please watch this video animation to help you understand this condition which affects not only sports people but people who for example, perform a repetitive movement at work. Fortunately this condition, where the membrane attaching the muscles to the inner (medial) side of the elbow gets repeatedly stressed and becomes inflamed (periostitis) does respond to conservative treatment including support devices to give the muscles and soft tissues a rest where they attach to medial epicondyle (the inner elbow)
Please watch this video animation to help you understand this condition which affects not only sports people but people who for example, perform a repetitive movement at work. Fortunately this condition, where the membrane attaching the muscles to the outer Side (lateral) of the elbow gets repeatedly stressed and becomes inflamed (periostitis) does respond to conservative treatment including support devices to give the muscles and soft tissues a rest where they attach to lateral epicondyle (the outer elbow).
Please watch this video to help you understand why the wrist can be sprained, which often involves trauma – for example, falling onto outstretched hand. When the ligaments supporting the small bones and joints of the hand get strained there is often pain on movement and swelling. Here taping / supports can be helpful as well and anti-inflammatory medication. Fractures of course should be ruled out, at whatever age, if there is a lot of pain and immobility.
Watch this video animation to help you understand the causes of hip osteoarthritis, where the cartilage covering the hip (head of femur + acetabulum (cup shape part of joint in pelvic bone) starts to become worn and inflamed. This process usually takes many years, but causes progressive pain and in time immobility of the joint due to bony “spurs” growing at sides of the joint. In the early stages osteopathic treatment can help to improve mobility and reduce inflammation. The first sign of this problem proper is the leg cannot rotate outwards when relaxed. Keeping as active as possible is important, including incorporating yoga into your life.
Watch this video animation to help you understand what causes sacro-iliac joint pain. There are 2 sacro-iliac joints, one either side of the sacrum; the bone in the base of the spine. They join to the pelvic bones by very strong ligaments. These can be strained and can produce a lot of pain, but usually local to the joint itself as usually the nerves from the spine are not involved. Often this problem affects women more than men due to cyclical hormonal changes which affect the elasticity of the ligament and therefore stability of the joint. The joint can also be affected in both boys and girls where the ligaments and naturally softer and can therefore be strained more easily. Osteopathic manipulation of the sacro-iliac joints can usually sort out this problem. Sometimes injections are required to strengthen up the ligaments.
Please see this video animation to understand more about this very common injury. The Lateral Collateral Ligament, which is on the outside of the knee, prevents the lower leg from moving sideways. There is also the Medial Collateral Ligament which is on the inside of the knee and does the same as the LCL. Injury often occurs when the person has some trauma directly at the side of the knee caused by another player in football for example in a tackle or someone just simply falling to the side with the knee becoming bent. Conservative treatment with taping or other support measures is usually effective. However as ligaments have little supply they take a lot longer to heal compared to muscle injuries.
Please watch this video animation to understand more about meniscal tears – commonly called Cartilage Tears. There are 2 of them in the knee joint – medial and lateral. They act as cushions to support the knee joint and help the knee move in the many directions it has to. They can become damaged by general wear and tear throughout working life, especially if there is a lot of physical activity or they can be injured through sport where the foot for example, is on the ground and the person suddenly moves in a different direction with the knee becoming twisted. Low grade meniscal injury is usually managed conservatively but where part of the meniscus is actually torn off this may require surgery to remove this floating piece of cartilage as it can cause locking of the knee.
Please watch this video animation to understand the causes of this injury – which usually occurs in athletes where they suddenly stop or move awkwardly. It can occur in anyone who has sustained some trauma as in a car accident or simply a repetitive low grade strain. Sometimes the patient hears a popping noise deep in the knee joint at the moment of injury. The knee then becomes unstable as this ligament prevents the lower leg (tibia) from moving back and forwards. If it is only a strain, then conservative management of this problem is usually straightforward. For very active people who have sustained a tear/rupture then surgical management is usually the answer. There is also a Posterior Cruciate Ligament – this is injured less commonly.
Please watch this video animation to understand more about sprains of the ankle joint. The ankle has to be strong to take the weight of the whole body. There are lots of ligaments which connect and stabilise the bones of the foot within itself and also of the foot on the lower leg. The most common injury to the foot is a strain or sprain (a strain is less of an injury than a sprain) of the inner or outer part of the ankle – where the lower leg attaches to the upper part of the foot. These happen where the foot is caught or twisted, with the foot facing inwards, and is called an inversion strain with pain on the outside of the ankle and if the foot is twisted outwards then it is called an eversion strain with pain on the inside of the ankle. These sprains respond well to conservative management including taping and or ankle supports. More serious trauma with rupture of the ligaments requires surgery.
Please watch this video animation to understand more about this type of injury. This important tendon attaches the calf muscles to the back of the foot proper, via a membrane called the periosteum, onto the heel bone (calcaneum). If this tendon gets tight or short due to injury or inactivity, it pulls more on the heel bone and sets up painful irritation around the tendon (para-tendonitis) and the back of the heel. This tendon responds well to conservative treatment and “heel lift” supports which take the tension off the tendon. The Achilles tendon can also rupture partially or fully which leads to loss of function and here surgery is required.
Please watch this video to understand more about this common problem. The plantar fascia is a triangle shaped piece of tendon that attached to the heel bone (calcaneum) at base of the ankle and to the heads of the long bones of the foot (meta-tarsals). This tendon is important as it maintains the arch of the foot and acts in part as a tension / shock – absorber for the foot, as the person walks from “heel down” to “toe off”. If this tendon gets tight or irritated then it can become very inflamed as it takes a lot of stress throughout the day. If the irritation continues, it can also cause a bony spur to form (calcaneal spur) at the base of the heel – where the fascia attaches to the bone. Both these problems usually respond well to conservative management with soft tissue massage and stretching.
Long term pain over 6 months is usually described as chronic pain. Please watch this video to help you gain an overview of how pain management is tailored to your individual situation and requirements. Often this includes lifestyle changes with the patient playing an active role in their own management as well as medication and other effective interventions.
Please see this video to help you understand more about the level of pain you are feeling, from the problem you have. For the same problem, say sciatica for example, one patients pain may be a lot less, or a lot more, than and another patient. This is because we all experience pain in slightly different ways. To help us understand your pain, you may be asked to rate your pain on a visual scale of 0 to 10 faces – 0 being a very happy face and 10 being a very sad face or rank your pain verbally as no pain, mild pain, moderate pain, severe pain and unbearable pain. Or even a simple number scale from 0 to 10. This is done each time the patient presents for assessment and treatment and helps both the patient to see their progress and the healthcare practitioner.