COVID-19 Facemasks, don’t judge me…

Osteopath, Kettering, COVID-19

Let us rehab safely, welcoming everyone

COVID-19 Facemasks, don't judge me... Taylor Osteopathy

Your osteopath treatment for neck and back pain hasn’t changed but it seems like since mid-March 2020 everything else has!

The advent of daily lifestyle restrictions, along with forced hygiene and cleanliness protocols in businesses, was necessary to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Thankfully, it worked.

Fast forward 18 months; the schools have reopened, and people are beginning to return to work. Thankfully, life is seemingly getting back to normal.

Looking out my clinic window, I can see people gathering in groups, hugging, and possibly forgetting, or ‘choosing’ to forget, the trials for the last two years. Nationwide restrictions and rules have been relaxed. Fewer people seem to be sanitizing their hands when entering and exiting shops, whilst many are also choosing to not wear masks. To be clear, I pass no judgement on people that decide they do not want to wear face coverings. The rules have relaxed, and those people have decided that they want to try to continue with life as they were pre-March 2020, and that is totally ok.

But…

As primary healthcare professionals, osteopaths, like other allied health professionals, are governed by a body that regulates us as clinicians. The guidelines that are set out to us are to make sure that we can make sure that everybody remains safe. That is what the guidelines are for. As a result of this, all healthcare clinics must advise that patients wear face coverings when arriving for treatment, to reduce the risk of transmission to those that are more vulnerable in our communities.

If a person is medically unable to wear a face-covering or chooses to not wear one due to their personal belief or opinion, we are still able to provide treatment, but the clinic must adjust for your visit. For this reason, many clinics, including our own, will ask that you make yourself available to be either the first or last client of the day. This is so that the clinic rooms can adequately aerate before the next person is due to attend.

It can be a bit of a pain for all involved, but the guidelines are there to help contain the spread of the virus and keep us all safe.

If you have any questions, regarding arranging a consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us. We shall be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Joint pain

Arthritis, joint pain, wear and tear

Joint pain Taylor Osteopathy

Pain in one or more joints could be arthritis. In fact, it is. The word ‘arthritis’ derives from the Greek word -artho, meaning ‘joint’, and ‘itis’ meaning inflammation.

Joint pain, stiffness, tenderness, joint inflammation, reduced movement, redness and warmth around the joint, muscular weakness and wasting, can all be symptoms of the disease.

To be honest, arthritis is pretty rubbish. It can restrict a person’s ability to lead an ordinary life. In the clinic, we hear stories of arthritic hips causing pain and an inability to walk for even short distances. Arthritis of the hands making it impossible to open a can of pickled onions and similarly, arthritis in the knees making climbing stairs painful or kneeling on the floor to play with the grandchildren very difficult indeed.

There are four types of arthritis:

  • Degenerative arthritis – Of this group, osteoarthritis is the most common. The cartilage that cushions the joint wears done and the joint begins to rub bone against bone, causing discomfort, stiffness and sometimes swelling. The pain persists and the muscles lose strength. Increased weight, previous trauma (ie meniscus tear), age and family history can all be risk factors.
  • Inflammatory arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout and ankylosing arthritis, are all examples of this disease. Our body is great at keeping us healthy with an immune system. It creates inflammation to rid us of infection and disease, but in some people, this immune system does not work properly. It can be destructive with too much inflammation, causing joint erosion. Scientists believe a person’s environment and genetics may trigger this autoimmune reaction.
  • Infectious arthritis – Organisms can sometimes infect our joints causing infectious arthritis. A virus, bacteria or fungus may cause inflammation when entering a joint. Blood infections such as Hepatitis C can cause arthritis. Some sexually transmitted diseases and food poisoning may also cause joint inflammation and pain.
  • Metabolic arthritis – Purine, a substance found in many foods and also in human cells is broken down by the body, forming uric acid. In some people, the body produces too much naturally or is unable to rid itself of it quickly enough. When this happens, the build-up of uric acid begins to form sharp, needle-like crystals in joints, which can cause incredible pain for those affected (Gout). If the levels of uric acid are not reduced then the ongoing issue can become chronic, causing temporary pain or ongoing disability.

What you can do
Getting an accurate diagnosis of your condition is the first step. Pain relief medications may help or other medicines may be prescribed depending on the arthritis type. Maintaining movement is essential to keep muscles strong and the joints flexible. Maintaining a healthy weight and improving diet can also help with some types of arthritis. Seeking help and assistance from a qualified osteopath for specific arthritis rehabilitation is also advised, to help reduce the pain felt from this debilitating group of conditions.

The Rotator Cuff

Rotator Cuff tears, impingements and bursitis

The Rotator Cuff Taylor Osteopathy

Do you have shoulder pain and not know why? It could be your cuff! Rotator cuff injuries a real pain to have to live with. Being unable to freely put on a jumper, carry a shopping bag, lie on your side, or even brush your teeth, can really take the shine out of the day. In fact, most people in the clinic tell us that it’s the simple activities that they usually take for granted that bother them the most. Playing with the children is no longer fun and throwing a ball for the dog is now just not possible.

We are often told, in the clinic, that the attitude of “it will get better by itself soon” leads to months down the line, somehow making things worse. Neck and upper back pain soon follows as the body tries to adapt to a new pattern of movements to help patients avoid the pain of moving the arm. Shoulder pain becomes a real nuisance and the people around you appear to start to suffer because of the patient’s pain too.

After reading the above, if this is you, then a little bit of knowledge of the shoulder and rotator cuff can go a long way here. Understanding some basic biomechanics and the actions of the rotator cuff muscles can help you to understand what may be going on and how to help yourself…So here it is.


The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles: Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor and Subscapularis. Now, these names may sound complicated but the jobs these muscles perform are far from it. Their roles may be simple but they are also very VERY important. The rotator cuffs primary role is to hold onto your arm (humerus) and suck it into your shoulder (glenoid fossa). The shoulder is a very mobile joint and due to this, lacks stability. These muscles, therefore, have to work really very hard, especially if you use your arms all day, every day and in repeated motions. These motions after a period of time can start to cause friction between two structures, where the muscle starts to rub against another tissue, for example, a bursa (causing bursitis) or causing micro-trauma to tendons causing micro-tears (tendinitis). These common shoulder issues, bursitis and tendinitis, increase the inflammation around the injured site, which therefore irritates the nerve endings causing you the pain and discomfort you feel.

Shoulder pain, exercises, stretches and rehab

Thankfully there are things that can be done to alleviate some of the discomforts of shoulder impingement, bursitis or tendinitis. Exercise and strengthening the muscles under the guidance of a qualified therapist Will most likely improve your symptoms over time but you can also improve your own symptoms by performing some simple exercises. Personally, I like to advise a simple traction exercise to start. I have attached a link here to a YouTube video that may be of benefit if you are suffering from shoulder pain. Click the link below to take a look:

Osteopath or Sports massage?

Osteopath or Sports massage?

 

With the weekend rapidly approaching and the sun shining brightly, there will be a few people seeking to make the best of the wonderful weather this weekend, whilst it lasts.
There will be many parents blowing the dust of off the boxes in the garage, labelled ‘Summer Games’, in preparation for the barbeque. Lawnmowers will be hacking through the overgrown lawn and the time consuming task of weeding the flowerbeds will seem endless. All will be perfect in the world for most until….

POP!

 

A sharp sensation strikes. It roots you to the spot, unable to move for fear of its return. When you do finally muster up the courage (and strength) to move, a stabbing pain grips your back. And then it occurs to you that you are stranded, unable to move…. But, you do have to move! Movement is the best thing you could possibly do. Small steps, baby steps, more and more, and then the pain may gradually subside, for now.

 

If you are struggling to get yourself to the freezer, have somebody else get you an ice pack/bag of peas from the freezer, wrap it in a small cloth and place it on your back for ten minutes and then remove it until your back warms up, then repeat the process over and over, for up to forty eight hours to help reduce the inflammation.

 

Next, you need to consider pain relief. Back pain can be completely debilitating, so you need to call an osteopath straight away to discuss your options and your symptoms. The osteopath will not diagnose you over the phone but they may be able to offer more advice, likely to be to arrange an appointment.

 

In most cases, one or two treatments with the osteopath with have you back on your feet, even a few good sports massage treatments will have you moving around more freely, that is, if your symptoms are limited and there are no other complications.
We have osteopath and sports massage clinics in both Kettering and Corby, so if you feel that you need some further advice, please call to speak to one of our therapists.

 

Tel: 01536 216223

www.taylorosteopathy.co.uk

[email protected]

www.facebook.com/taylorosteopathy

Back pain, not in the back?

Back pain, not in the back?

A new patient, requesting treatment for a sudden onset of back pain was booked into the Corby clinic yesterday evening. When questioned, requesting the description of the lower back pain it seemed simple enough to understand; sharp and burning pain to the left lower back. This is quite a common description of a trapped nerve and also quite easy to treat too.

When I asked what caused this sudden onset of pain the patient was less sure than her description of her pain. “Nothing happened. The pain just came on”.

Not so simple after all…. Pain does not just happen. There is always a cause. A trip and fall to sprain an ankle, or some arthritis causing pain in the hip or knee. Pain does not arise from just nowhere.

I grew more inquisitive when the patient could not tell me what increased or relieved her pain. So I delved further with my questions. Do you feel sick or bloated? Are you constipated? Do you pain anywhere else? Etc. When the answers to these questions returned no further information, I then turned to the physical examination.

As an osteopath, in an examination, we request that the patient performs set movements to see if we can replicate the pain. If we can then that is fantastic, we have more information to work with. If not, then that too, is still positive, as negative results can help to make some issues more or less likely.

When I was unable to replicate the discomfort in the patients lower back, I was about to request that we perform some orthopaedic tests, when, out of the blue a sharp and burning pain gripped the patient and then passed, just a quickly as it appeared. When I questioned the patient about the pain that just occurred, I found out that the pain was not in the lower back at all but in the thorax, at the bottom of the ribs. This started to ring alarm bells, as the thorax is the area where the major organs, apart from the brain, are positioned.

I performed a few orthopaedic tests and was still unable to replicate the pain that the patient had just experienced, so I decided to perform an abdominal examination, much like the doctor would, if presented with the same case.

I could feel nothing untoward within the abdomen and the patient reported that the examination had caused her no pain and I could not find anything that felt unusual. I had a general idea of what I thought it might be, a kidney infection or stones, neither of which a physical therapist is able to treat, so I had no choice but to refer her back to her GP for further consultation.

I called the patient the next day to find out how she was, and discovered that the GP felt much the same as I did. He had the patient perform a urine test which found traces of infection and blood in her sample too, which could indicate stones. The patient was given antibiotics and pain killers, whilst she is referred to a consultant for more tests.

 

 

Strain or sprain?

Strain or sprain?

Do you get confused between the difference or struggle to define the differences between a strain and a sprain? If the answer is ‘yes’, don’t worry, you are not alone.

The reason it can be hard to define the difference is because the symptoms that are described, for the most part, are very similar For example:

Symptoms of a strain: Symptoms of a sprain:

Bruising:
Pain with affected joint
Swelling
Limited flexibility
Difficulty with ROM

Muscle spasm:
Pain with affected joint
Swelling
Limited flexibility
Difficulty with ROM

(ROM – Range of motion)

As you can see from the table above, the only real difference with the symptoms is that a strain may have bruising and a sprain will not. This can be confusing at times as the two injuries can occur together.

A strain is caused by the tearing of a muscle or tendon. Whereas a sprain is caused by the stretching of the tough fibrous bands of tissue the hold joints together.

Treatment:

Rest: Stay off the affected joint, or try not to use it while it heals. This will give the joint time to heal.

Ice: Ice helps reduce swelling and inflammation. Never apply ice directly to your skin. Instead, wrap a thin towel or piece of clothing around a bag of ice. Leave it on the affected area for 10 minutes, then remove the ice for 20 minutes. Repeat as much as you can for the first 24 to 48 hours.

Compression: Compression will help reduce the swelling. Wrap the affected joint in a bandage. Do not wrap too tightly, however, or you can reduce the blood supply.

Elevation: Try to keep the affected joint elevated above the level of your heart. This will help reduce swelling. If your knee or ankle is affected, that may mean you need to stay in bed or on the couch for up to two days after your injury. If you can’t keep it as high as your heart, parallel to the ground is also OK.

If your symptoms persist then it may be time to seek advice from a physical therapist, such as an osteopath.

For more information or to arrange an appointment we can be contacted on:

Tel: 01536 216223
web: www.taylorosteopathy.co.uk
email: [email protected]
www.facebook.com/taylorosteopathy

Appointments available in Kettering and Corby 7 days a week, by prior arrangement.

Strain or sprain? Taylor Osteopathy

Shoulder pain…?

Your painful shoulder. Our first meeting, my initial thoughts….

As an osteopath, shoulder pain is something that we commonly see in clinic. Often the problem is very simple to diagnose and treat but there are rare occasions when it is more complicated than just a simple soft tissue injury!

Firstly, when a patient comes to see me with shoulder pain, the first thing that I think is “could it be more?”. The shoulder is a very interesting area due to its complexity. At first glance it may appear to be just a a few bones, ligaments, muscles and nerves. But, there is also a blood supply to consider and the lymph system too. Not only that but the pain being experienced could be referred from an issue within the thorax, such as the heart, lung, diaphragm, liver, gall bladder or spleen (depending on which shoulder the pain is felt). The discomfort could even be caused by an issue within the neck or the upper back, so there is a lot to consider, which is why it is important for the patient to be open and honest about the discomfort they are experiencing.

Most of the time it is quite easy to differentiate between how serious or simple the problem may be by simply asking questions such as “what does the pain feel like?” and “what makes it worse and better?” amongst others.

When all things have been considered osteopaths can, in the majority of cases, continue with an examination of areas that could be causing the pain. This may include an abdominal exam, chest exam (listening to the heart etc), checking the neck and the upper back too. We don’t necessarily just jump straight into looking at the shoulder because the pain being experienced there may just be a symptom of another complaint elsewhere.

Thankfully, after all that has been described, nine out of ten times the issue will be a simple rotator cuff issue, or a joint in the neck causing the discomfort. Both of which are nice and easy to treat.

If you have a shoulder complaint and would like to have it checked out, you can contact us at:

Tel: 01536 216223
email: [email protected]
Web: www.taylorosteopathy.co.uk
www.facebook.com/taylorosteopathy

What is a sports massage?

What is a sports massage?

Today I had a patient ask me what a sports massage was and how it differed to what I, as an osteopath do, for my patients.

It sounds like an easy question to answer because osteopaths only help people with neck or back pain and ‘crack’ spines in weird and wonderful positions, right? Well, not exactly…

Osteopathy is much more than what was just described. Frustratingly, the problem is that the general public doesn’t fully understand the full scope of what it is that we do as primary healthcare professionals. Everybody knows what a chiropractor or physiotherapist is, but ask a group of people what an osteopath does and you will observe several shoulder shrugs and possibly some chin scratching too. If you are lucky, you may hear a story from a village elder that has been treated by an osteopath and still talks (two years later) about the loud ‘popping’ noises they heard emitting from their body as they were being wrapped up like a pretzel. But, that is not all that we do. Osteopaths don’t just consider the painful site and focus on that and its immediate surroundings, we are taught to think, why. Why did the pain occur? What happened to cause a negative change to the body? Where is it coming from? That is what we are taught and trained to do, look for the problem and not just treat the symptoms.

In my opinion, based upon my own experiences and what I have heard from other people, patients, friends and family, sports massage is a great therapy to alleviate aching muscles.

Muscles can ache after taking part in strenuous activity and may need some TLC to help them recover faster. By using massage techniques to flush out any metabolites from the afflicted areas and increase the blood flow back into the tissues that are lacking.

Sports massage is also a handy therapy to incorporate into any routine before embarking upon any strenuous activity, be it a marathon or a cup final. Having a sports massage up to 48 hours before an event will improve the circulation to the muscles, relax them and help you to perform at your highest level, whilst reducing the chance of injury and the need to then call an osteopath!

Do you have Tennis or Golfer’s elbow?

Do you have Tennis or Golfer’s elbow?

Tennis elbow or (Lateral epicondylitis), is a painful condition that causes pain on the outside of the elbow.

The forearm is made up of many muscles. The tendons from these muscles cross the elbow joint and allow the elbow, wrist and fingers to extend.

If these muscles and tendons become strained, then inflammation may develop on the outside of the elbow joint. Strains like this, often occur through repetitive motions such as racquet sports, decorating or computer mouse work.

Golfer’s elbow differs from tennis elbow in that the pain is focused on the inside of the elbow. But the causes are similar: tendon strains and tears caused by repetitive movement, whether it’s a golf swing, lifting weights etc.

Symptoms:

Tennis elbow – An ache over the outside of the elbow

Golfer’s elbow – An ache over the inside of the elbow

Both conditions, if left untreated, may become chronic. The ache may develop so that it is too painful to touch the affected area or even to grip objects.

Self help:

In an acute episode of pain, place some ice, covered in a tea towel, on the painful area for ten minutes. Remove the ice and allow the tissue to warm back up to its normal temperature again. Repeat this step.

Self massage the muscles in the forearm to try to take some tension off of the tendon.

Stretch the muscles of the forearm.

Further help:

If like a growing number of people, you do not want to take medication or have steroid injections, there are other treatments available that may help. Medical acupuncture and deep tissue laser therapy are both great ways to reduce the pain experienced with both tennis and golfer’s elbow.

If you are interested in learning more or booking an appointment please contact us at:

Tel: 01536 216223

email: [email protected]

Web: www.taylorosteopathy.co.uk

www.facebook.com/taylorosteopathy

So, my dad cheated death…

So, my dad cheated death… Taylor Osteopathy

I am quite often asked by patients, “Why did you become an osteopath?” And my answer is simple. I say: “To be honest, I have been intrigued by the profession ever since my father told me about how an old osteopath helped him with his recovery after he cheated death.”

In 1976 my dad was in what should have been a fatal accident. He was the passenger in a car that swerved to miss a head on collision. The car he was a passenger in travelled through a safety barrier above a railway bridge and landed on its roof, crushing and trapping all of its passengers inside. The result of this incident, amongst other nasty injuries, was a fracture vertebra in his neck. For over a year he had his neck and head held completely immobile in a metal cage to immobilise the area, allowing it to heal. But the damage had already been done. My dad had suffered irreversible nerve damage to the spinal cord in his neck and also to some nerves that exit the neck and communicate with his left arm. The result of this trauma caused his left arm to be completely paralysed for over a year, from which he suffered muscle atrophy due to lack of use. He also suffered from debilitating pain in his head, neck and back due to the spinal cord damage.

After many months of being bed ridden and having to learn to use only one arm, his body tried to adapt to his new way of life, using only his right arm and being unable to move his head. The way his body moved was changed forever. His body began to compensate for a loss of movement elsewhere and that in itself caused him more problems and pain. After several years he regained most of the movement in his arm but to this day still has limited sensation and complete numbness to his left thumb!

He was prescribed physiotherapy as part of his rehabilitation, which he said offered him minimal pain relief. He also went to see several chiropractors and again, was only afforded temporary relief. In the 1990’s, after suffering many years of pain he then heard of a different therapy called osteopathy. He had no idea what it was or what to expect but as a last resort for his pain he arranged an appointment. After a couple of sessions being treated by an old osteopath he told me that he felt great relief. His pain had by no means gone but he felt ‘freer’ in his movement, more mobile and had definitely noticed a difference in the levels of pain intensity, which continue to this day.

My dad told me this story when I was in my early teens. As a young enquiring mind I had many questions. I wanted to know everything about osteopathy, what it was and how it was able to help my dad when everything else seemed to fail.   I was hooked…

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