What treatment?
This is what we do...

Most people initially visit us because they are in pain. However being fit and well is not just the absence of pain. We look at you as a whole person and aim to help you be as healthy as possible. Some examples of conditions that bring people to us are listed below. Select one of the following conditions for further information and how osteopathy can help.

Katherine Terry treats many other conditions and if you would like information on a subject that is not listed above please contact the practice for further information.

 

Back ache/pain...

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Back pain is very common and eight out of ten people will suffer from it at some point during their lives.

 

What is lower back pain?

Most back pain is 'low back pain'. 'Low back pain' is a generic term for any pain in the lumbar region. Back pain can be caused by many structures in the back such as the muscles, ligaments, joints or discs, or a combination of.

Back pain can be classified as:

  • Acute - rapid onset and lasts for less than three months
  • Chronic - persistent low back pain that lasts for more than three months

 

What are the causes of lower back pain?

Back pain can occur for a variety of reasons such as :-

  • Bending incorrectly
  • Lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling incorrectly.
  • Poor posture
  • Fall or trauma
  • Unaccustomed activity
  • Repetitive movements

 

How can osteopathy help?

'Low back pain' is one of the most common reasons that people seek the help of an osteopath. Osteopathy is recognised by the NHS and The National institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of 'low back pain'.

 

After taking a case history and carrying out an examination, the osteopath will be able to explain to you the likely cause of your “low back pain”. Treatments will vary, depending on the cause of the pain, and will be individual to you. A treatment plan will take into account your symptoms, posture, general health, occupation and lifestyle among other things. Treatment could comprise of mobilisation of the joints, deep tissue massage, Dry Needling (acupuncture);also stretching and posture advice may be given.

 

Arthritic pain...

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Many people who have arthritis are unaware of the benefits and pain relief that can be obtained through osteopathic treatment. Many sufferers believe their condition is just wear and tear and cannot be improved. Very often osteopaths are able to provide pain relief and advice on lifestyle to reduce the effects of arthritis.

 

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis means inflammation of the joints. There are many types of arthritis such as: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, ankylosing spondylitis.

 

The most common types are:

 

Osteoarthritis: this is often known as 'wear and tear' arthritis and, as such, tends to affect people as they get older. A previous injury to a joint can predispose it to future osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis often affects the knees, hips, low back, neck and hands.

 

Rheumatoid arthritis: this is an autoimmune condition where the body's own immune system attacks the joints.

 

Symptoms of Arthritis

Arthritis causes joint pain, stiffness (especially first thing in the morning) and reduced mobility. This can lead to more wide spread pain in the back, neck, hips and knees.

 

How can Osteopathy help?

People often mistakenly assume they have to learn to live with their pain and little can be done to help them, apart from painkillers. There is no cure for arthritis but osteopathic treatment can do a great deal towards reducing pain, easing swelling and improving mobility and range of joint movement. Treatment will help to reduce tension in the muscles surrounding affected joints by using massage techniques. Mobility can be increased by gentle stretching and joint mobilisation. Advice will be given about home exercises and lifestyle changes,that will help ease symptoms.

 

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If muscle spasms and cramps are affecting your day to day tasks osteopathic treatment can offer relief. Your osteopath will assess your symptoms and formulate a plan to manage and alleviate your muscular pain.

 

Causes of Muscular Spasms

Muscular spasm occurs when a muscle is damaged e.g. pulled hamstring or due to a protective contracture which is the body's way of creating a splint to protect an underlying problem.

 

What are Muscle Spasms and Pain?

The body protects itself from injury or protects damaged structures by spontaneous constractions or tightening within muscle tissue. Muscle spasms can occur in different areas of the body producing very different symptoms. One of the most common spasm is skeletal muscle spasm which are spontaneous and very painful and normally due to electrolyte abnormalities and dehydration. Gentle stretching will normally relieve the pain.

 

It is very important to diagnose the underlying problem in order to treat the cause rather than just symptoms to avoid the reoccurence of muscle spasms.

 

Neck pain, like low back pain, is a very common complaint which brings people to see an osteopath.

Neck pain can affect people of all ages. Younger people and children are more likely to experience Torticollis, which is a sudden onset neck pain, often with the head held at an angle. Pain is experienced on moving the neck. As people get older, neck pain is often associated with poor posture caused by prolonged sitting and hunching forward; for example, when sitting at a desk or driving often/long distances. Over time the muscles around the neck tighten up and this restricts the mobility of the joints, leading to pain. With age, it is not uncommon to get arthritic changes in the neck, which will also cause the neck to stiffen and become painful.

 

Pains across the shoulders and down the arms can be associated with restriction and tightness in the neck. Sharp shooting pains down the arms and/or pins and needles can be a sign of a nerve being 'trapped' as it exits between the vertebra in the neck.

 

For some people tightness in their necks can lead to headaches or the aggravation of migraines.

 

How can osteopathy help?

After assessing your neck to make a diagnosis, a treatment plan will be formulated. This will take into account your age, fitness and the “feel” of the tissues and joints. Treatment may consist of soft tissue massage and gentle movements. In some cases, it may be appropriate to do an adjustment which may give a bit of a 'click'. However, there are many treatment techniques and you do not have to have any 'clicking' techniques done if you do not like them. Advice is often given about gentle exercises, which you can do at home, to improve your posture and relieve your symptoms.

 

Neck pain can effect people of any age and is caused by a number of factors. Muscles in the neck and back can over tighten resulting in neck ache but also a trapped or irritated nerve in your neck can result in pain travelling into the shoulder or hand.

 

Fibromyalgia...

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Fibromyalgia sufferers are normally middle aged women and experience pain throughout the body, particularly manifesting in joint pain.

The condition can be quite long term and requires considerable treatment and careful management. Fibromyalgia effects the bodys soft tissue such as muscles, tendons and ligaments and usually presents in neck, elbows, pelvis, kneeds, feet, hips and lower back areas. Swelling is not comon with this condition and conventional tests cannot determine the disease.

 

Sleep problems associated with fyromyalgia can lead to tiredness and exhaustion.

 

Osteopathy for Fibromyalgia

Due to the hands on treatment by osteopaths this condition can be easily identified.

 

Osteopathic treatment can relieve fatique, headaches and muscle pain caused by fybromyalgia. Added benefits are improved moibility, joint pain relief and improved flexibility. Osteopathic treatment for this condition normally includes gentle palpation of legs, arms and back plus limb rotation and muscle stretching.

 

Rheumatic Pain...

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Rheumatic arthritis is a progressive chronic condition causing symmetric joint inflammation in hands, wrists and other body joints. Joints become swollen and red due to inflamed joint tissue and excessive production of joint fluid. Early treatment can slow down or reduce damage to joints and resulting pain.

 

Osteopathic treatment for rheumatic arthritis

Your osteopath will normally treat this condition with gentle manual therapy and advice on exercises to be carried out at home. Appropriate regular exercises can increase strength in joint supporting muscles and also maintain mobility.

 

Exercise in water is particularly beneficial as it reduces load bearing on degenerated joints.

 

Neuralgia is a severe pain caused by damaged nerves, most commonly in the face and neck but can be anywhere in the body. Neuralgia generally occurs in elderly patients but can also affect young and middle aged people. Trigeminal neuralgia can be very debilitating causing severe facial pain.

 

Nerves can be damaged through a number of reasons including:

  • multiple sclerosis
  • shingles
  • pressure on nerves
  • diabetes
  • old age

Types of Neuralgia:

-Postherpetic Neuralgia

This type of neuralgia occurs as a result of shingles and can erupt wherever the outbreak of shingles occurred. The condition can last for a number of months or go on for years, either continual or intermittent.

-Trigeminal Neuralgia

The trigeminal nerve, which goes from the brain to the face is being pressed down by a blood vessel where it meets with the brainstem. Trigeminal neuralgia, most common in elderly patients, causes pain in the face, usually on one side.

-Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia

Pain from the glossopharyngeal nerve, which is in the throat, is not very common. This type of neuralgia produces pain in the neck and throat.

 

Treatments For Neuralgia & Trapped Nerves

An osteopath can help relieve the pain of neuralgia using techniques including manipulations to reduce the tension in muscles and joints, redusing pressure on trapped nerves. Successful treatment is dependent upon accurate diagnosis, so your osteopath will always start with a thorough examination.

Let's face it your life isn't much fun when simple things like getting out of bed, going to the bathroom, or even coughing and sneezing become a painful experience.

 

Sciatica is irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. It is often described as a 'lightening bolt' of pain or 'excruciating tooth ache'. Sometimes, it can be accompanied by 'pins and needles' in the feet and legs and sometimes with weakness of the foot and leg muscles. Not all leg pain is sciatica. Sciatica is often a misused term for any leg pain.

 

To understand sciatica you need to know a little about the anatomy of the body. Nerves allow communication throughout the body. The spinal cord carries messages from the brain, down the length of the spine, to where the nerves exit between the vertebrae to carry the messages to the various parts of the body. The bundles of nerve fibres that exit from between the vertebrae in the lower back join together to form the sciatic nerve, which then runs the length of the leg supplying signals to move the joints in our legs and to allow us to feel sensation.

 

Sciatic pain can be caused by pressure on the nerve caused by a herniated lumbar disc. The discs sit between the vertebrae. Or, bony changes may occur around where the nerve exits from the spinal cord. If there is damage to any of the structures in the area i.e. a tear in the disc or a sprain of the joints at the back of the spine, this can result in inflammation. This is like a chemical irritant which can cause pain to travel the length of the nerve, down the leg Even when sciatica originates from the lower part of the spine, low back pain itself, isn’t necessarily present.

 

In some cases, the sciatic nerve may be pinched by the piriformis muscle as it travels through the buttock.

 

How can an osteopath help 

An osteopath will examine you and carry out neurological tests, such as reflexes. This will help to ascertain the degree of nerve involvement and will also be used to monitor your progress. The testing will help to determine what is causing the sciatic nerve to be painful. Different osteopathic approach will be used, depending on where it is felt the cause lies. Treatment will be aimed at reducing compression on the sciatic nerve, either in the back or in the buttocks. Although sciatica can be extremely painful, it rarely needs significant intervention such as surgery.

 

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There are many causes for headaches but the vast majority are not serious. Tension in the muscles at the back of your neck or shoulder, and restrictions to the joints in your neck, could be causing your headaches. Stress is often a big factor in headaches. When stressed, people tend to shrug up and tighten their shoulders.

 

Migraines are severe headaches. Migraines often have many triggers such as certain foods, bright lights etc. Problems in the neck may well contribute to the frequency and intensity of the migraines. Treatment of the neck can help to reduce symptoms.

 

How can osteopathy help?

The osteopath will take a detailed case history and examine your neck to make sure it is appropriate to treat. If it appears that your headaches need further investigation, you will be referred back to your GP. When treating, a variety of techniques will be used to relax the muscles around the neck and shoulders and to gently mobilise the joints of the neck. In some cases it may be appropriate to do an adjustment, which may give a bit of a “click”. However, there are many treatment techniques and you do not have to have any “clicking” techniques if you prefer not to. Osteopaths are able to provide advice on reducing tension in the muscles and improving posture, in order to reduce the reoccurrence of headaches.

What is joint pain / arthralgia?

Joint pain, also known as arthralgia, can occur in any part of the body, but it is most common in the hips and knees. Your joints endure an incredible amount of stress.

 

A joint is where two bone ends meet and they provide support and allow you to move. A joint has a number of components: the ends of the bones are covered with articular cartilage which allows them to glide over one another in movement.

 

The bones are held together by ligaments around the joint and there is a bag like structure surrounding the joint called the synovial capsule which contains the synovial fluid which nourishes and lubricates the joint. Tendons attach muscle to bone around the joint and there may be fluid filled sacs called bursae which help the smooth movement of the tendon.

 

I think it is fair to say that most of us have suffered with discomfort, aches, soreness or pain in at least one of our joints – and you probably took some over the counter medication and possibly used a hot or cold pack as well.

 

Joint pain is common and anyone of any age can suffer with joint pain, but it shouldn't be accepted as a side effect of age. How many of you thought to get your joint symptoms checked out by anyone?

 

How can an osteopath help?

An osteopath will examine you and carry out neurological tests, such as reflexes. This will help to ascertain the degree of nerve involvement and will also be used to monitor your progress. The testing will help to determine what is causing the sciatic nerve to be painful. Different osteopathic approach will be used, depending on where it is felt the cause lies. Treatment will be aimed at reducing compression on the sciatic nerve, either in the back or in the buttocks. Although sciatica can be extremely painful, it rarely needs significant intervention such as surgery.

 

Minor sports injuries...

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How sports people can benefit from Osteopathy

A sport’s injury is one that arises during exercise, or a sporting activity, and usually involves damage to muscles, tendons and ligaments.

 

Whether an enthusiastic amateur, or elite professional, sporting injuries are likely to arise at some point. Injuries can come about through repetitive over use, poor warm up or cool down routines, increasing exercise levels too quickly or incorrect equipment; for example, incorrect footwear. Injuries often occur when increased demand is applied to a part of the body that is already dysfunctional. This restricts the body’s ability to function correctly. This might be due to muscle imbalance or poor posture. Accidents also happen, such as falls from a horse, bad tackles in rugby, twisting ankles in football and so on.

 

Common sports injuries that osteopathy can help with

  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfers elbow
  • Back pain
  • Knee pain
  • Hip pain
  • Muscle strains
  • Ligament sprains
  • Repetitive strain injury (RSI)

After identifying the structures that have been damaged, an Osteopath can give advice for all stages of healing; for example, the use of hot/cold pack, to rest/not rest. Osteopathic treatment can speed up recovery time, getting you back to your sport quickly, making sure the tissues heal in a healthy way, reducing scar tissue and maintaining flexibility. Treatment might consist of deep tissue massage techniques, joint mobilisation, dry needling and stretching as appropriate. Importantly, we will also look to prevent reoccurrence of the injury by giving advice and/ or relevant home exercises. Also, by looking at the body and addressing joint dysfunction and muscle imbalances, athletic performance can also be enhanced.

 

The osteopath will take a detailed case history and examine your neck to make sure it is appropriate to treat. If it appears that your headaches need further investigation, you will be referred back to your GP. When treating, a variety of techniques will be used to relax the muscles around the neck and shoulders and to gently mobilise the joints of the neck. In some cases it may be appropriate to do an adjustment, which may give a bit of a 'click'. However, there are many treatment techniques and you do not have to have any 'clicking' techniques if you prefer not to. Osteopaths are able to provide advice on reducing tension in the muscles and improving posture, in order to reduce the reoccurrence of headaches.

Circulatory and digestive problems...

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Osteopathic treatment may be of assistance to some sufferers of irritable bowel symptoms such as indigestion, heart burn, bloating, constipation and flatulence. This is because an improvement in spinal mobility may aid nerve and blood supply to the gastro-intestinal tract and so help gut motility.

 

Digestive Treatments

Some problems of the digestive tract can manifest as pain elsewhere in the body. For example a hiatus hernia or gall-bladder problem may present as back or shoulder pain. Careful case history taking can help to identify such cases so that they can be referred to a General Practitioner where appropriate. Digestive conditions can improve dramatically with osteopathic treatment in conjunction with good dietary advice.

 

Circulatory Problems

Circulation Problems can be caused by cardiovascular and respiratory problems, traumas from breakages, scarring, postural and structure mal-alignments, etc. Osteopathy it can encourage circulation to the areas that are not receiving sufficient blood flow, help with oxygenation to the body’s structures to encourage nutrition, decrease tension of muscles, and alter postural and structural mal-alignment.

 

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