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

enquiries@taylorosteopathy.co.uk

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: enquiries@taylorosteopathy.co.uk
www.facebook.com/taylorosteopathy

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

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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: enquiries@taylorosteopathy.co.uk

Web: www.taylorosteopathy.co.uk

www.facebook.com/taylorosteopathy