416 Ilam Road, Fendalton, Christchurch 8052

Clinic Hours: Monday - Friday 7am - 8pm

416 Ilam Road, Fendalton, Christchurch 8052

Clinic Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-8pm

Posts Tagged ‘Osteopathy’

Skiing Injuries: How Osteopathy Offers A Pathway To Injury Prevention And Recover

Monday, July 17th, 2023

Whether you are an enthusiastic beginner, a seasoned pro, or someone recovering from a recent ski injury, osteopathy can play an important role in supporting your healing process. In this article, we will discuss common skiing injuries encountered in New Zealand. We will shed light on how Osteopathy can help with injury prevention and recovery. We will discuss the specific benefits of osteopathic treatment. And we will also provide valuable insights into injury prevention strategies. 

Osteopathic Treatment of Skiing injuries


What Are The Most Common Injuries In Skiing?

Skiing is a popular winter sport that can put significant strain on the body, leading to various types of injuries. Some of the most common skiing injuries that our osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy regularly see include the following.

  1. Knee Injuries: Knee injuries, such as medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprains and meniscal tears, are frequently reported among skiers. These injuries often occur due to sudden changes in direction, falls, or collisions.
  2. Wrist and Hand Injuries: Fractures, sprains, and ligament injuries in the wrist and hand and thumb are common among skiers. These occur as a skier tries to break a fall with an outstretched hand. These injuries can range from mild sprains to ligament tears to sometimes fractures.
  3. Shoulder Injuries: Shoulder injuries, including dislocations, acromioclavicular joint injuries, and rotator cuff tears or strains, are also common. These can result from falls or collisions during skiing, particularly when skiers land on an outstretched arm.
  4. Neck Injuries: While not as common as some other injuries, they can occur due to falls or collisions and can result in whiplash, concussions, headaches, and neck pain. These injuries emphasise the importance of wearing a helmet while skiing.
  5. Spinal Injuries: Although relatively rare, spinal injuries can occur from high-velocity falls or collisions. These injuries may involve herniated discs, vertebral fractures, or spinal cord compressions.

If we suspect that you need imaging, we can refer you directly for an X-ray and ultrasound. You don’t need to see your GP for this referral.  For an MRI referral, we would need to refer you to a Sports Doctor who would organise this.

Osteopathic Treatment of Skiing injuries

Why Skiers Choose To See An Osteopath?

Osteopaths are skilled healthcare professionals who focus on diagnosing, treating, and preventing musculoskeletal conditions. Through a holistic approach, they aim to restore balance and promote the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

Skiers seek the help of osteopaths for several reasons:

  • Injury Prevention: Osteopaths can assess a skier’s biomechanics, identify potential imbalances or weaknesses, and provide personalised advice on injury prevention strategies. This may involve recommendations on stretching and strengthening exercises. It will also involve correcting all the underlying dysfunction in the body that can lead to future injuries. This can include addressing any dysfunction in the shoulders, neck, back, knees, wrists and ankles, for example.  Addressing such dysfunction in the body prior to skiing can go a long way to injury prevention and performance optimisation.
  • Injury Treatment: Osteopaths employ a variety of manual therapy techniques. These include joint mobilisation, soft tissue manipulation, and muscle energy techniques. These can help alleviate pain, restore mobility, and accelerate the healing process after a ski injury.
  • Rehabilitation and Recovery: Osteopaths can provide guidance and exercises to aid in the rehabilitation process after an injury. This will help skiers regain strength, flexibility, and stability for a safe return to the slopes.
  • Performance Enhancement: Osteopaths can work with skiers to optimise their body mechanics, flexibility, and overall musculoskeletal health, leading to improved performance on the ski field. By addressing any restrictions or imbalances and improving mobility, skiers can enhance their technique, endurance, and agility.

Five Tips To Help Skiers Remain Injury-Free

As skiing can be pretty demanding on the body, it’s essential to take proactive measures to minimise the risk of accidents and injuries. By implementing these practical tips, you can enhance your safety on the slopes and keep your skiing journey as injury-free as possible.

  1. Warm-Up and Stretching: Before hitting the slopes, engage in a proper warm-up routine to increase blood flow and prepare the muscles for activity. Follow it with full-body dynamic stretching exercises.Osteopathic Treatment of Skiing injuries
  2. Strength and Conditioning: Include regular strength and conditioning exercises in your fitness regimen to build strength, stability, and endurance. Focus on exercises that target the core, legs, and upper body, as these areas are heavily involved in skiing.
  3. Proper Gear and Equipment: Ensure that your ski boots, bindings, and skis are properly fitted and adjusted to your body and skill level. Wearing appropriate protective gear, such as helmets and wrist guards, can also reduce the risk of injury.
  4. Skiing Techniques and Lessons: Take ski lessons or work with a qualified instructor to learn proper skiing techniques and improve your skills. Learning how to maintain balance, use your edges effectively, and fall safely can significantly reduce the risk of injury.
  5. Listen to Your Body and Rest: Pay attention to any signs of fatigue, pain, or discomfort during or after skiing. Rest and allow your body to recover adequately between sessions. Ignoring pain or pushing through fatigue can increase the risk of injury.

Remember, if you experience a significant injury or persistent pain while skiing, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional, such as our osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy, for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

What Techniques Will An Osteopath Use During Treatment?

During treatment, our osteopaths will utilise a variety of techniques to address ski injuries and promote healing. These techniques are chosen based on the individual’s specific condition, symptoms, and overall health. Here are some common techniques employed by our osteopaths during the treatment of ski injuries:

  • Soft Tissue Manipulation: Osteopaths use gentle manual techniques to manipulate and release tension in the soft tissues, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This can help reduce pain, improve circulation, and restore normal tissue function.
  • Joint Mobilisation: Osteopaths employ skilled techniques to mobilise stiff or restricted joints. By applying gentle pressure and controlled movements, they aim to restore joint mobility, reduce pain, and improve overall joint function.
  • Muscle Energy Techniques (MET): MET involves active muscle contractions and relaxation in specific patterns to restore normal muscle balance and joint alignment. This technique is effective in improving joint range of motion, reducing muscle imbalances, and enhancing overall musculoskeletal function.
  • Myofascial Release: Osteopaths use this technique to release tension and tightness in the fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds and supports muscles, organs, and other structures. By applying sustained pressure and gentle stretching, myofascial release can alleviate pain and restore tissue flexibility.
  • Manipulation and High-Velocity Thrusts: In some cases, our osteopaths may employ high-velocity, low-amplitude thrusts to specific joints or spinal segments. This technique aims to restore normal joint alignment, improve joint mobility, and reduce pain.
  • Rehabilitation: Osteopaths may prescribe specific rehabilitation exercises tailored to the individual’s needs and stage of recovery. These exercises focus on strengthening weak muscles, improving flexibility, and enhancing overall functional movement to support rehabilitation and prevent future injuries.

It’s important to note that treatment techniques employed by osteopaths can vary based on the specific injury, patient preferences, and individual circumstances. Our osteopaths will always take a personalised approach, considering the whole body and addressing any underlying factors that may contribute to the injury. This comprehensive approach aims not only to alleviate immediate symptoms but also to promote long-term recovery and overall well-being.

Osteopathic Treatment of Skiing injuries


As we conclude our exploration of how osteopathy can help with skiing injuries, it is clear that Osteopathy can offer immense benefits to skiers of all levels. Osteopathy will address not only the immediate injury but also the underlying factors contributing to it. By promoting the body’s natural healing mechanisms and optimising musculoskeletal function, osteopaths can play a vital role in the recovery process from skiing injuries.

Furthermore, the preventative aspect of osteopathy cannot be understated. Skiers who engage in regular osteopathic care can identify and address potential areas of weakness or imbalance, reducing the risk of future injuries and enhancing overall performance on the slopes. The ability of our osteopaths to develop personalised rehabilitation programs and provide guidance on injury prevention is invaluable for skiers. This will help to ensure a more sustained approach to long-term health and your continued enjoyment of skiing.

So, if you find yourself in need of injury treatment, rehabilitation, or simply seeking to optimise your performance, please feel free to reach out to our highly skilled Osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy. They possess the knowledge, skills, and holistic approach necessary to support your healing, enhance your physical well-being, and achieve optimal performance as you ski!

If you’re suffering from a skiing injury, it may be time to book with one of our experienced Osteopaths. Contact the team at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch today. Call 027 755 5700 or book online.

Our Osteopaths are here to help!

6 Tips To Help Treat Plantar Fasciitis

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Plantar fasciitis is the medical term used to describe inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot between the heel and toes.

This inflammation can be very painful, lasting months and even up to two years, depending on the treatment received. Most people suffer pain in the soles of their feet after getting out of bed first thing in the morning whilst walking and doing everyday activities.Osteopathy and Plantar Fascitis

What Are The Symptoms Of Plantar Fasciitis?

Symptoms will depend on the severity of the condition, but most people complain of pain under the heel. There is also likely to be a feeling of tightness or a dull ache along the sole of your foot, particularly first thing in the morning after getting out of bed and placing your full weight on the foot.

The foot pain is also likely to worsen after long periods of sitting, standing or after exercising. This is due to an excessive strain placed on the tissue of the foot after prolonged use.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

While there is no one-size-fits-all reason for plantar fasciitis, some people can be more prone to its symptoms; it can be more likely to occur in people who:

  • Walk in an unusual way, such as rolling the feet inwards or outwards, or with a limp
  • Are overweight or obese, or have recently gained a lot of weight, such as during pregnancy
  • Wear poorly designed or fitted footwear (for example, high heels or jandals)
  • People who are on their feet for long periods of time, such as retail employees, beauticians, and hairdressers.
  • Have flat feet known as pes planus.
  • Stand, run or jump on hard surfaces for long periods of time, particularly if this is unusual behaviour.
  • Have injured their feet in some way, such as a stress fracture to one of the metatarsal bones.

6 Tips To Help Treat Plantar Fasciitis At Home

Below are 6 classic tips to help ease the pain and resolve the symptoms of plantar fasciitis at home.

  1. Ice It. While any icepack will do, freezing a plastic bottle full of water is a great at-home remedy. Place the frozen bottle on the floor and roll the foot backwards and forwards over it to ease the inflammation. This is especially good in the evening.
  2. Stretch And Strengthen. Stretching out your calf muscles, foot muscles, and buttock muscles can be useful in correction and prevention, along with stretching the Achilles Tendon and other leg muscles daily.
  3. Massage It. Using a tennis ball, or roll the ball under the sole of your foot, releasing the tension in the foot’s plantar fascia.
  4. Warm It Up. Before commencing strenuous exercise, stretching the foot can assist in releasing the plantar fascia.
  5. Choose Sensible Footwear. Wearing comfortable, supportive footwear is a must when suffering from plantar fasciitis; this means no bare feet and no high heels!
  6. Modify. Ask yourself a few questions to isolate why this condition has arisen now and see if you can modify your behaviour. For example; Why does only the right foot hurt? What have I done differently lately? Am I standing/walking for excessive periods? Am I wearing flip flops in the summertime?


Treating The Underlying Cause Of Plantar Fasciitis

While all of the above at-home remedies are useful in temporarily managing your plantar fasciitis, correcting the root cause of the plantar fasciitis is the most important part of your recovery.

There are several options available to you when seeking professional treatment for plantar fasciitis; these can be used individually or in conjunction with each other.

  • Osteopathic Treatment. Osteopaths are trained in addressing the underlying cause of the inflammation. They will consider the big picture and look at physical factors, including restricted ankle movement, tight calf muscles and a mal-aligned spine, and lifestyle factors such as weight gain, repetitive overuse, or inappropriate footwear.
  • Podiatry. As health professionals who specialise in treating the feet, podiatrists can be a great addition to your treatment plan. A Podiatrist can prescribe orthotics or arch supports that may be required if you cannot modify the behaviour that is aggravating the plantar fasciitis.
  • General Medical. Your GP or doctor is a good port of call if the pain has reached levels where it may be impacting your regular daily activities. Doctors can prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which can help reduce inflammation and pain levels, temporarily aiding in healing.
  • Other / Surgery. Steroidal injections can be used at times. Shockwave therapy may be a useful adjunct to osteopathic treatment.  Surgery is rarely required.

Need help with heel or foot pain?

See your local Osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy and get back to your everyday life sooner!

Contact Lorraine Herity at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch today. Call 027 755 5700 or book online.

The Importance of Addressing Pain Promptly

Saturday, April 7th, 2018

Everyone experiences acute pain at some stage in their life. You can easily hurt your back gardening or sprain your ankle running. Most acute pain settles down very quickly, either by itself or with treatment, and should generally be fully healed within 12 weeks, as the body has an innate capacity to heal. However, some people continue to feel pain long after an injury and begin to suffer from chronic pain.

I regularly treat patients who are needlessly struggling with pain and injuries which significantly affects their quality of life. I just listened to a BBC radio interview with a GP and Osteopath in the UK, who were discussing pain management and the increasing use of painkillers to treat pain. Prescriptions for painkillers such as tramadol and codeine have gone up by 80% in the UK and quadrupled in New Zealand over the last 10 years! These are massive statistics, notwithstanding that the latest research shows that in 80% of cases; these drugs do very little for patients suffering from chronic pain. Hence, one has to ask the question why are so many people suffering from chronic pain??

“The body has an innate capacity to heal”

What Is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is very different to acute pain. Pain becomes chronic when the source or cause of the pain has healed, but the brain keeps firing out pain signals, and the patient continues to suffer pain. Technically, chronic pain is diagnosed once 12 weeks have passed since your injury, and you continue to suffer from pain.

Could I End Up Suffering From Chronic Pain?

Every patient suffers pain and injury in a very unique way.  Listening to the interview today on pain management, the Osteopath summed it up nicely….”all too often the patient ends up in chronic pain due to a misunderstanding of their injury and lack of knowledge on how to treat it in the first place”.

I personally also believe that your healthcare provider needs to identify and address any potential barriers to healing, during your initial consultation to prevent chronic pain from developing.

Barriers to healing can include:

  • Injures not treated in a timely manner
  • Emotional stress
  • Catastrophizing thoughts about pain – (negative thoughts about the injury and the level of pain)
  • Continued physical stressors on the body
  • Poor nutrition
  • Not treating the underlying cause of the injury
  • Poor communication on the part of the practitioner!
  • Other underlying illnesses and poor health
  • Not enough physical activity

What Can I Do To Prevent Chronic Pain?

If your injury is not healing it is very important to seek prompt medical advice from a healthcare professional, who will diagnose and advise you on the best course of action.  Do this in a timely manner, don’t let pain and injuries linger on, in order to prevent the onset of chronic pain.

Remember that pain is an alarm signal that something is not right’.

Make sure to agree on a very clear treatment plan with your healthcare provider.

If needed, take pain medication sparingly, and in accordance with your GP’s instructions.

Always remain positive, the majority of injuries heal very well, and you should always aim to get back to your everyday activities as soon as possible after injury.

‘Life is way too short to let pain interfere with your quality of life!’

And remember….your Osteopath is always here to help! 🙂


Looking for help with your pain or injury? Please do not hesitate to contact Lorraine Herity at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch today. Call 027 755 5700 or book online.