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Many people think Osteopaths only treat backs! Sometimes, patients don’t mention some of their aches and pains because they believe Osteopaths don’t treat that area. Jaw pain (commonly referred to as TMJ pain) is one such example.
The TMJ joint has an incredibly complex relationship with numerous other parts of your body, and the joints themselves are incredibly complex in both their structure and the way they function. The amazing thing is not that they occasionally cause people pain but that, in general, we make them work incredibly hard and don’t even think about them because they normally work so efficiently!
Anatomy of The Jaw
TMJ is an acronym referring to the temporomandibular joint. There are two temporomandibular joints in the body, one on each side of the face near the ears. These temporomandibular joints are what connect your lower jawbone to the base of your skull and assist with moving the jaw when chewing, talking, swallowing and for forming facial expressions.
TMJ disorders (sometimes referred to as TMD) are conditions affecting the jaw joints and their surrounding muscles and ligaments. These conditions may result in mild or severe pain and discomfort, tenderness at the joint, localised facial pain and/or difficulty moving the joint.
The muscles you use in your jaw are the strongest and most sensitive in the whole body, they work hard at their job to keep your jaw moving. However, sometimes for various reasons, things can cease to function in the way that they should, which puts undue pressure on all of the surrounding tissues and muscles, causing pain and inflammation. TMJ disorders can be caused by a number of contributing factors, including:
Jaw pain is relatively common and can be highly debilitating. TMJ disorder symptoms can affect one or both sides of the face, they can come and go or last for years, and jaw pain can affect people of all ages, children, teenagers, and the elderly. Some of the most common symptoms experienced are:
Pain in the ears is often overlooked and presumed to be from other causes, such as allergies or infection, rather than jaw dysfunction, which is why it’s important to note the connection.
Because the TMJ joints connect your neck and jaw very near the ear, muscle tension and inflammation from your jaw can interfere with the proper functioning of the ear. This leads to ear pain and inflammation around the ear canal and can also present as tinnitus or a ringing sound in the ear.
Ear pain associated with TMJ disorders is often a sharp, stabbing sensation and can sometimes feel like the ears are a bit clogged up. If you regularly experience ear pain, stuffiness or ringing in the ears, it’s best to rule out TMJ disorders.
While not all jaw pain can be relieved by osteopathic treatment alone, it is certainly worth discussing your jaw pain with your Osteopath. They can help to reduce the symptoms and work towards correcting any existing musculoskeletal issues with a focus on pain relief, rehabilitation and restoration of normal function.
After carrying out a full assessment of your jaw, neck and spine to determine the underlying cause of your pain, your Osteopath will put together a tailored and comprehensive treatment plan to address the issue. Treatment plans centre around the principles of Osteopathic treatment using highly skilled techniques to ease your jaw pain and restore the proper range of movement in the jaw. While also focusing on more long-term rehabilitation techniques to improve mobility and strength in your jaw and other areas if needed.
In some cases breathing and relaxation exercises to relax the jaw may be helpful to patients, particularly those going through stressful life events. The following two breathing exercises can help relax the muscles around the jaw.
Jaw Relaxation Exercise One
Jaw Relaxation Exercise Two
Jaw Relaxation Exercise Three
If you are struggling with jaw pain – Our Osteopaths are here to help please do not hesitate to contact the team at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch today. Call 027 755 5700 or book online.
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Our Osteopaths are highly trained in treating patients with shoulder injuries. During treatment, we focus on treating the root cause of pain.
Therefore, we will rarely only concentrate on your shoulder; we will examine your entire spine, including the neck, upper back, and pelvis, where we may often find additional structures contributing to your injury.
Shoulder injuries are frequently caused by sporting activities that involve excessive, repetitive, overhead motion, such as swimming, tennis, and weightlifting. Injuries can also occur during everyday activities such as reaching for shopping in the car, carrying your baby, hanging out clothes, and gardening.
An osteopath will consider all of the above causes of shoulder pain during the initial consultation. An osteopath will examine the shoulder and the entire spine and peripheral joints to figure out the root cause of your shoulder pain, which sometimes may not come directly from the shoulder itself; it can be due to dysfunction from the ribs thoracic spine, and neck. This approach is essential for patients where their shoulder pain has not healed or responded to other treatments.
In cases where acute trauma (tear to a muscle, ligament, or fracture) is suspected, we can refer a patient for a scan of the shoulder (MRI, Ultrasound, X-Ray). If surgery is required, our Osteopaths will refer you to an Orthopaedic specialist. You do not need to see your GP for this referral. We have an excellent network of Surgeons and Musculoskeletal specialists to whom we refer to.
As with any injury, early diagnosis and treatment are important, and treatment options will vary for each individual. Osteopathy involves taking a whole-body approach to healing, including examining the shoulder and the entire neck, back, and pelvis, which can significantly influence how the shoulder functions.
Osteopaths use a hands-on osteopathic treatment approach, combined with rehabilitation exercises and patient education about what caused the pain in the first instance and what you can do to prevent the pain from re-occurring.
Hands-on treatment focuses on gentle manipulation techniques focussing on the joints and soft tissues surrounding the shoulder and surrounding area. Mobilisation techniques are used to restore the range of movement into the shoulder gently.
It’s also important to remember that shoulder pain can affect people of all ages; children, teenagers, the elderly – it’s is not caused by old age!
When we treat patients with shoulder pain, our main aim is to return patients to health and the activities they normally enjoy doing as quickly as possible!
The process of healing begins almost immediately after a shoulder injury and proceeds in a relatively organised fashion. It follows 3 Phases of Healing that often overlap and can take anywhere from a few weeks to months to heal, depending on the severity of the injury. For more information about the healing process – Click Here.
So don’t suffer Shoulder Pain needlessly- we’re here to help!
If you are struggling with an Injured Shoulder – Our Osteopaths are here to help you!
Please do not hesitate to contact Lorraine Herity at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch today. Call 027 755 5700 or book online.
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After a long winter, a lockdown, and extended periods working from home, you may find you have been leading a pretty sedentary life. However, sitting a lot more than usual can mean the core muscles aren’t being challenged as much, so it might be time to pay them some attention!
The core muscles are those located throughout your midsection that surrounds the stomach, spine, and pelvis. This includes the abdominal muscles in the front, the muscles within the lower back, and those around your sides.
More technically speaking, the core muscle group includes the long rectus abdominal muscles in the front of the stomach, the external and internal oblique’s on the sides of the stomach, the transversus abdominis, a group of muscles, called the erector spinae, the multifidus muscles deep in the back, the gluteal muscles in the buttocks, the pelvic floor muscles, the iliacus and the psoas muscles and the quadratus lumborum in your lower back on either side of the lumbar spine.
Core muscles play a fundamental role in stabilising the spine and pelvis, providing strength and support when the body moves through its full range of motion. For this reason, core muscles are essential for injury prevention, particularly around the lower back, and for maintaining good posture.
We use our core muscles every day. Getting up out of a chair, standing, walking, running, bending, and performing pretty much any of our daily tasks requires the core muscles to support the lower back and maintain balance. Core muscles are also important for all sporting activities, exercising and lifting.
Strengthening your core muscles is often a significant part of rehabilitation from back injuries because those with weak core muscles are more prone to back injury. So regular maintenance of the core muscles is an important part of any exercise routine. Any exercise that activates the core muscles is useful to help improve core strength; however, exercises that directly target the specific muscles are the best.
If you haven’t worked on your core in a long time, always start slowly, focus quality over quantity, gradually increasing the number of repetitions as you feel able. And remember to do a quick warm-up before you begin. Afterward, it is beneficial to stretch your muscles, especially the hip flexors and hamstrings; this increases flexibility in the muscles around the core.
The best approach to strengthening your core is working several core muscle groups at the same time. The following exercises are perfect for beginners through to more advanced levels; adapt the length and level of stretch to suit.
Lying on your back with legs bent to 90 degrees, lift hips and back off the floor to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold this position for five to ten seconds, then lower to the floor and repeat ten to twelve times.
The Bridge is effective because it creates contraction of all of the muscles from the rib cage down to the pelvis and around into the back.
Lying face down on the floor, prop yourself up using your forearms (keep knees and feet together), lift your entire body off the floor and keep it in a straight line from head to toe (resting only on your forearms and toes). Hold for 10 seconds. For a more advanced level, raise each leg one at a time a few inches from the ground. For a more beginner level, modify your plank to use the knees instead of your feet to hold your weight. Lower and repeat.
Planks are one of the best core-strengthening exercises because they create full contraction of the core and the upper arm and shoulder muscles, almost like holding a push-up position. The idea is you hold strong like a ‘wooden plank.’
Lying face down with your arms and legs extended out straight, raise your right arm and left leg off the floor (approximately 10 cm). Hold for 5 seconds, and then lower to the floor. Repeat the same action with the left arm and right leg. For a more beginner level, begin on your hands and knees, extend your left leg and right arm so they are level with your torso, repeat for the other side. Ten reps on each side is a good starting point.
Leg and arm raises contract the core muscles on the opposite side to the extended limbs as they must engage to maintain the movement. Ensure movements are slow and purposeful; it’s not about speed.
Laying on your back, bend the knees and raise the feet slightly off the floor; extend the arms out to your sides but keep them on the floor. Rotate your knees to the left, bringing the knees as close to the floor as possible but not touching them. Return to the center, then move your knees to the right side, try ten to twelve reps per side.
Metronomes are great for the obliques and for building key rotational core strength.
Lying on your right-hand side, lift and support your body using your right forearm and right foot, keep the left arm resting lightly on your left side for a moment, then extend it at right angles to your body towards the ceiling. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds, bring the arm in, and lower the body to the floor. Switch sides and repeat.
The side plank challenges stability control and works the muscles along the side of your body.
Improving your core strength has numerous benefits for the body and overall health; here are the top 4!
If you are suffering from injury or back pain, always consult your osteopath or another medical practitioner before beginning any stretching/strengthening/ mobilisation programme. These exercises may not be suitable for some people. Enjoy!
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Osteopaths are highly skilled in treating patients with neck pain. During treatment, our focus is on treating the root cause of your pain. Therefore, we will rarely only focus on your neck; we will examine your entire spine, where we may often find additional structures that contribute to your neck pain.
Along with osteopathic treatment, we also address any other predisposing factors, such as poor ergonomic set-ups and stress, which could exacerbate your pain.
Some common symptoms associated with Neck Pain are:
An osteopath will undertake a detailed medical case history and consider all the above causes of neck pain during the initial consultation. A thorough examination of the neck and the entire spine and peripheral joints will be undertaken to determine the root cause of your neck pain.
In cases where acute trauma (tear to a ligament, cartilage or muscles) is suspected, we can refer a patient for imaging of the Neck (MRI, Ultrasound, X-Ray). If surgery is required, our Osteopaths will refer you to an Orthopaedic specialist. You do not need to see your GP for this referral. We have an excellent network of Surgeons and Musculoskeletal specialists that we refer to.
Once we have diagnosed that your pain is coming from various structures in your neck or spine, we will compile a comprehensive treatment plan tailored specifically to each patient. Treatment plans centre around osteopathic treatment using highly skilled techniques to ease your neck pain, restore movement, and ease aches and pains in your neck. We also focus on more long-term rehabilitation exercises to improve mobility and strength in your neck and spine.
It’s also important to remember that neck pain can affect people of all ages; children, teenagers, the elderly – it’s is not always caused by old age!
When we treat patients with neck pain, our main aim is to return patients back to health and the activities they normally enjoy doing as quickly as possible!
The process of healing begins almost immediately after a neck injury and proceeds in a relatively organised fashion. It follows 3 Phases of Healing that often overlap and can take anywhere from a few weeks to months to heal, depending on the severity of the injury. For more information about the healing process – Click Here.
So don’t suffer neck pain needlessly – we’re here to help!
If you are struggling with neck pain or headaches – Our Osteopaths are here to help you!
Please do not hesitate to contact Lorraine Herity at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch today. Call 027 755 5700 or book online.
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During an injury, physical trauma disrupts the balance of normal cellular function and triggers the beginning of complex physiological repair processes.
Lots of times, injuries can repair to normal or almost normal function. In others, the injury may result in impaired function of the damaged tissue, or on occasion, can cause chronic pain. Sometimes injuries heal very quickly, and others can seem slow at times.
So, knowing what’s happening on a cellular level and the part the immune system has to play should give you an insight into the healing processes that your body goes through. This will hopefully prepare you for faster, safer and more effective recovery from injury. It is also important to remain positive and remember that the body has an innate capacity to heal, and with proper treatment and advice, your injury should heal very well!
The process of healing begins almost immediately after an injury and proceeds in a relatively organised fashion. It follows three phases that often overlap:
Are are struggling with an injury?
Our Osteopaths are here to help you!
Please do not hesitate to contact our Osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch today. Call 027 755 5700 or book online.
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Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful hyper-flexion and hyper-extension movement of the neck and often can affect the entire spine. Car accidents commonly cause whiplash, sporting accidents, falls and many other injuries that affect people of all ages. These forces may result in painful injuries to the muscles, ligaments, joints and discs of the neck and other spinal areas.
Symptoms can include headaches, neck pain, dizziness, shoulder pain, numbness into the arms and sometimes thoracic and low back pain.
Most people with whiplash heal within a few weeks by following a treatment plan that includes physical therapy, rehabilitation exercises, and sometimes pain medications. Whiplash is something that our Osteopaths regularly treat at Better Health Osteopathy.
Whiplash does not just affect the neck, which is a common misconception. It can affect the entire spinal column and can present itself in several ways, including the following:
Most people who have whiplash feel better within a few weeks following injury. It is imperative always to get your injury checked with a medical professional such as your Osteopath, who will then advise on the best course of treatment if needed.
Unfortunately, some patients go on to have some serious chronic debilitating neck pain, headaches, and lack of mobility, which can seriously impact everyday activities such as work and caring for the family. Chronic whiplash can also cause psychological distress, including anxiety and depression in some patients.
At Better Health Osteopathy, we often treat these patients who are suffering long term complications of whiplash. One cohort of patients we often see are younger men who have suffered several whiplash injuries from the likes of sporting injuries and car accidents. They often can go on to suffer from this injury for a long time.
Osteopaths regularly treat patients suffering from whiplash. Osteopathic treatment of whiplash injuries aims to reduce pain and inflammation and restore mobility and function throughout the body, often reducing the need for medication.
During treatment, it is crucial to address the neck symptoms and all the presenting symptoms of the whiplash injury, which can affect parts of the body further from the neck and right down into the low back and pelvis.
Osteopathic treatment often includes gentle mobilisation and manipulation of joints and muscles, myofascial release to release the tension in your soft tissues (ligaments, tendons, muscles). Rehabilitation exercises often form an important part of the treatment plan. These can include muscle stretching, strengthening and proprioception retraining programs. Patient education is also an integral component of the overall treatment plan.
The Osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy aim to return patients suffering from whiplash back to health and everyday activities and promote a pain-free life for the future.
If you are struggling with whiplash – Our Osteopaths are here to help you! Please do not hesitate to contact Lorraine Herity at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch today. Call 027 755 5700 or book online.
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Low back pain is a prevalent medical condition reported to affect over 90% of the general population at some time in their lives. Low back pain affects patients in many different ways, with each patient having their own unique experience.
The majority of back pain is caused by dysfunction of the spine and body’s muscles, ligaments, and joints. However, there can be more serious underlying causes of back pain at times. Osteopaths are primary healthcare providers trained to differentiate between uncomplicated back pain and other conditions requiring further medical attention or investigation, such as X-ray or MRI.
Osteopaths treat patients with low back pain regularly. Generally, most patients recover from back pain over a number of weeks. However, back pain can, at times, have a severe impact on people’s everyday activities. Others can suffer from chronic back pain, where they can suffer from episodic periods of discomfort throughout the year. Only a tiny percentage of patients suffering from back pain will ever require surgery.
Back pain symptoms can vary from mild pain and stiffness to unrelenting acute back pain. Some patients report a burning sensation in their low back. Others can report sensations like tingling and pins and needles in their legs. Others find it challenging to get in and out of the car, to get up from a chair, or put their socks and shoes on.
Back pain can come on without any prior warning or specific injury in many cases. This can be very frustrating for patients. Sometimes, however, there are some warnings where the patient may experience stiffness or slight back pain for weeks or months leading up to the acute back pain event.
Low Back Pain typically can be challenging to diagnose and treat because there is often not one specific cause for back pain. In fact, there can be many different causes and contributing factors to back pain. Each patient will experience their back pain in their own unique way. It is important, though, to understand what structure in your back is causing the back pain
Your back comprises many structures, including facet joints, discs, ligaments, ribs, muscles, nerves, and sacroiliac joints. These structures can be easily strained, for example: from poor posture at your desk, by simply bending down to pick up a piece of paper, putting your baby into the back seat of the car, or by lifting something awkwardly on a work site.
5 Common causes of Back Pain Are:
Often there is not one leading cause of back pain. In addition to the above, many other factors can contribute to back pain and the level of pain experienced by patients.
When back pain occurs, it can impact on quality of life and everyday activities. Here are a few tips to help you manage when dealing with back pain.
As mentioned previously, most back pain will improve over several weeks. However, there are some serious symptoms that we refer to as ‘red flags’ which should never be ignored or left untreated – if you have any of these, always see your Osteopath.
Most back pain gets better within a few weeks of home treatment; however, everyone’s pain is different, and back pain can be a complicated condition as there can be multiple factors at play. The following remedies are given as a guide only; always check with your Osteopath for professional advice on caring for your back injury.
Although getting up and moving about may be the last thing you feel like doing – exercise helps. A short walk or low impact activity are a great place to start; the movement will help free up muscles and get things working again. Stretching is also a good idea once you feel up to it. There are plenty of stretches online that can help with back pain; some of the more common ones are:
Prolonged sitting at your desk, monitors at incorrect heights, and mismatched chair and desk heights can all contribute to back pain. In fact, any form of sustained posture such as breastfeeding, painting ceilings, lifting heavy material at work can contribute to back pain. Take a good look at your work / daily environment and ensure everything follows ergonomic principles.
Ice packs are most beneficial immediately after the injury strikes to help keep inflammation down. At the same time, heat packs are good for muscle relief and aiding in getting you up and about again.
You will find several pain relief creams available at your local chemist, or you could try using Arnica. Arnica is a homoeopathic remedy used for treating muscle pain, swelling, bruising, and other minor injuries.
In most cases of back pain – imaging is not required. However, in some cases, imaging or blood tests may be required to rule out more serious causes of back pain if an underlying medical issue is suspected. One or more of the following tests may be required.
Osteopaths are highly skilled in recognising and identifying the various structures in your back that may be the source of your pain. When visiting your Osteopath, you can expect a detailed medical history to be taken, along with a thorough Osteopathic examination to assist the diagnostic process and identify any red flags that may be present.
Osteopaths endeavor to treat the root cause of your pain using hands-on osteopathic treatment. The aim is to improve joint mobility by reducing muscle tension, inflammation and nerve irritation. We work with patients to reduce the duration of low back pain episodes, help prevent future episodes. We will also provide guidance on exercise, posture, and rehabilitation. Our main aim is to return patients back to everyday health and activities as quickly as possible.
Treatment techniques include soft tissue and joint mobilisation, manipulation, massage and various stretching exercises, and a detailed recovery and prevention plan.
Osteopaths can also refer a patient for further orthopaedic assessment, including MRI, steroidal injections, or surgery.
If you wish to discuss any issues with Back Pain, please do not hesitate to contact our Osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch. Call 027 755 5700 or book online.
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If you are struggling with Back Pain – please do not hesitate to contact our Osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch today. Call 027 755 5700 or book online.
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Anxiety in children is a common condition affecting about 25% of children aged between 13 and 18. When children are anxious, they are in fight-or-flight mode. In this state, the body feels threatened and reacts to help the person escape or avoid a threatening situation.
The body responds by releasing hormones that make the heart beat faster, causes breathing to quicken, and boosts blood sugar levels. Having this stress reaction activated too often, or for too long, can have adverse health consequences and cause numerous physical and emotional symptoms.
The unconscious body, otherwise known as the autonomic nervous system, determines whether we are in a fight-or-flight or rest-and-digest mode.
Children prone to anxiety tend to practice shallow upper rib breathing, which uses upper chest muscles rather than the diaphragm and can cause headaches, fatigue, cramps, and muscle tension.
A growing number of studies have shown that breathing may trigger body relaxation responses and benefit both physical and mental health. Focussing on diaphragmatic breathing can help turn off the fight or flight mode and bring your child back into a state of calm.
Diaphragmatic breathing is a technique whereby children are thought to engage their diaphragm better when breathing. It can help slow down breathing when a child is feeling stressed or anxious.
Children with anxiety tend to over-breath. An anxious child can take significantly more breaths per minute than a child in a calm state. This type of breathing is highly ineffective. It can lead to shallow upper rib breathing, which can deprive your child of carbon dioxide and result in hyperventilation (over-breathing), making the feeling of anxiety worse. Diaphragmatic breathing is a much more efficient way to breathe in comparison to shallow upper rib breathing.
This is an easy test. Put your hand on your child’s tummy and ask them to breathe in. Feel and observe the breath. Is your child breathing through their tummy, or are they more upper rib breathing, where they breath more predominantly through the upper thoracic and rib area. If you find little movement through the tummy area, chances are your child is an upper rib breather.
Diaphragmatic breathing involves contraction of the diaphragm, expansion of the belly, and utilisation of muscles in the neck and between the upper and lower ribs to allow for inhalation and exhalation. The diaphragm is one of the major primary respiratory muscles, and its function is vital for proper breathing.
An Osteopath will examine patterns of breathing in your child. We assess how well the diaphragm, ribs, thoracic and cervical spine function to facilitate optimal breathing patterns. In children with anxiety, we often find that the diaphragm is dysfunctional and held in a contracted state, making it difficult to breathe through, further increasing anxiety levels.
Children often suffer from headaches caused by upper ribs breathing. There is often an over-contraction of neck muscles which causes dysfunction in the cervical spine segments, leading to tension-type and cervicogenic headaches.
Once we have improved the mechanics of breathing by improving the function of the diaphragm, ribs, upper thoracic spine and cervical spine, we will then teach your child how to breathe properly by focusing on diaphragmatic breathing. We often see an immediate change in breathing patterns after the first couple of treatments, which should help lower your child’s anxiety levels.
By practising diaphragmatic breathing, your child will have a better sense of control. It is an excellent portable tool that your child can use anywhere when feeling anxious, especially in situations when you are not there to help them through it.
If you feel your child needs help with over-breathing, headaches or tension in their neck, feel free to contact the Osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch. Call 027 755 5700 or book online.
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The term ‘sciatica‘ refers to pain, inflammation and neurological sensations associated with the sciatic nerve, most commonly presenting itself as pain radiating down the back of the leg. It most commonly occurs when a herniated disk or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the sciatic nerve. The pain can be described as anything from a dull ache to a sharp shooting pain down the leg that can leave the person momentarily incapacitated.
Although the pain associated with Sciatica can be severe, most cases resolve within 6 weeks. However, some people who have severe Sciatica associated with significant leg weakness, foot drop, or bowel or bladder changes may require surgical intervention.
People experiencing Sciatica may have a number of symptoms that could include any one or more of the following:
Sometimes people are unaware that their symptoms relate to Sciatica, so it is helpful to understand what causes it. There can be a number of underlying conditions contributing to the pain associated with Sciatica, and these may include.
Risk factors for Sciatica include:
Your Osteopath can diagnose Sciatica after taking a detailed medical history and physical examination. MRI and other imaging are not normally required unless your symptoms are severe and we suspect that a corticosteroid injection or surgery may be required. If this is the case, your Osteopath will make a referral to an Orthopaedic specialist and request an MRI.
Although most people recover fully from Sciatica, Sciatica can potentially cause permanent nerve damage. Seek immediate medical attention if you have any bowel or bladder function loss.
An Osteopath is able to work towards relieving the symptoms of Sciatica by seeking out the underlying cause of the pain. In most cases, sciatic nerve pain can be improved by decreasing muscle spasms, improving joint mobility and overall spinal functional movement, thereby relieving stress on the affected areas. Treatments may include a combination of manual joint manipulation or articulation, muscle, or tendon manipulation to reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Once the initial pain has been reduced, an Osteopathic treatment approach will include focusing on rehabilitation exercises with a view to preventing further episodes. This will involve an exercise regime that aims to restore mobility, build postural strength and encourage muscle activation.
If you are struggling with sciatic pain – please do not hesitate to contact the Osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch today. Call 027 755 5700 or book online.
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Our bodies are a complex structure of muscles, bones, tendons and connective tissue which, when all is well, work together in harmony to help us move in all the ways we want to. Unfortunately when one or more of these elements is not functioning at its optimum, for any kind of sport or physical activity – the risk of injury is increased.
Most sports injuries are the result of a sudden trauma or gradual damage to the Musculoskeletal System. This system comprises of the muscles, bones, joints (such as the hips, knees and ankles), ligaments (link bones to bones), tendons (link muscles to bones) and cartilage (covers joints allowing the bones to slide over one another) that allows us to move our bodies about. The most common types of sports injuries are:
Most people who engage in regular exercise or sporting activity will experience minor sports-related injuries from time to time. There are some sensible precautions that can all help to reduce risks of injury including:
If you fracture a bone it will heal pretty well as long as it is fixed in place correctly. Bone tissue heals using calcium and other minerals drawn from the body in a process that creates a bond as strong as the original bone structure.
Treating soft tissue injuries however can be a little trickier. Your muscles, tendons and ligaments do not heal as efficiently as bone – essentially building what is known as ‘scar tissue’ to heal the wound. The problem with scar tissue is that it is weaker and generally less flexible than the original tissue leaving the area more susceptible to further injury.
Unless correctly diagnosed and managed, soft tissue injuries can lead to reoccurring problems, pain and reduced movement in the injured area. While painkillers and anti-inflammatories can help manage the pain and reduce symptoms they are not addressing the actual cause of the injury.
Seeking out the professional advice of an Osteopath who is specifically trained in how the body’s musculoskeletal system works together as a whole, is a good way to actually address the root cause of the issue and get some of the much-needed movement back into the area as it heals.
An Osteopath can help with injuries that have not fully healed post-surgery, ongoing injuries that never seem to go away, soft tissue damage after breaking a bone, in -act all kinds of injuries’ from any sports and fitness activities such as rugby, cricket, mountain biking, horse riding, football, netball, running, cycling, hockey, dancing and many more.
Suffering from old sports injuries that haven’t quite healed properly – your Osteopath can help! Contact Lorraine Herity at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch today. Call 027 7555700 or book online.
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Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterised by stiffness, pain and severe restriction of movement in the shoulder due to intense inflammation in the shoulder joint. Signs and symptoms typically begin gradually, worsens over time and then resolves, usually within two years.
Treatment for frozen shoulder involves rehabilitation exercises and sometimes corticosteroid injections injected into the joint capsule. In a tiny percentage of cases, arthroscopic surgery may be indicated to loosen the joint capsule so that it can move more freely. It usually only affects one shoulder but can affect the opposite shoulder in some cases.
In most cases, the cause of frozen shoulder is unknown. However, some common risk factors can play a part in the onset of this condition; these include diabetes, heart disease, trauma and connective tissue disorders, and those aged between 40-60 years.
Sometimes Frozen Shoulder can be a result of previous trauma to the shoulder or because of recent surgery that renders the arm or shoulder unusable for a lengthy period of time.
Some common symptoms associated with Adhesive Capsulitis or Frozen Shoulder are:
Frozen shoulder is generally a self-limiting condition and normally will heal within 2 years. It follows 3 phases of healing as outlined below.
As with any injury, early diagnosis and treatment are important, and treatment options will vary for each individual. Frozen Shoulder sufferers can seek treatment from several healthcare providers, including their Osteopath for physical therapy, a GP for some pain relief, or an Orthopaedic specialist for referral for a corticosteroid injection if needed.
Osteopathy involves taking on a whole-body approach to healing which will include not only examination of the shoulder but the entire neck, back and pelvis.
Osteopaths will use gentle manipulation techniques focusing on the joints and soft tissues surrounding the shoulder and spine. Mobilisation techniques are used to restore the range of movement back into the shoulder gently. Rehabilitation exercises will form an integral part of the overall treatment plan, especially in the Thawing Phase. Osteopaths will also provide lifestyle advice to lessen the pain where possible and for ongoing management and prevention.
If you are struggling with an injured shoulder or Frozen Shoulder – Our Osteopaths are here to help you! Please do not hesitate to contact Lorraine Herity at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch today. Call 027 755 5700 or book online.
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