Archive for September 2019

slipped disc

Don’t Let A Slipped Disc Ruin Your Life: Osteopathy Can Help You

Did you know that back pain and slipped discs cause a loss of workforce of £ 624 million each year? Slipped (or herniated) discs are a very common problem that affects four out of every five people (*). Moreover, it is a health problem that anyone can experience at any time: If you do not lift even a light load with the right angle, you may get a slipped disc too. Not sitting in the right position, being overweight, smoking, and not exercising enough are the primary triggers of this problem. Both men and women are equally affected.

Simply put, there are 24 bones in your spine. They stand on top of each other and the area between them is called a “disc”. Think of them as a suspension system: They keep the bones healthy by absorbing the shocks that occur when moving (or lifting). However, if they “slip” for any reason, patients can experience (in some instances) severe pain in every part of their bodies, but most often in the legs. If the herniated disc is serious, the pain may be severe enough to prevent the person from engaging in any physical activity. Slipped disc problems most commonly occurs in the area called “lumbar spine”, which is the waist region.

The most commonly used treatment for slipped disc is oral drug therapy, which means strong painkillers are often prescribed. Unfortunately, this is not a permanent and effective solution: Painkillers only reduce the pain felt and do not eliminate the root cause of the problem. Moreover, it’s dangerous to use them constantly: Various liver problems can occur because the dosage needs to be increased continuously. In other words, it is not effective enough and has many side effects.

Osteopathy, on the other hand, can help resolve the slipped disc problem itself in a much simpler, painless, and non-invasive way.

Osteopathic Treatment Of Slipped Discs

Osteopaths aim to facilitate your body’s own healing mechanisms to help you return to normal function and health quickly. Osteopaths receive special training in the musculoskeletal system along with neurology and whilst it is not possible are to return the ‘slipped’ discs to their original positions, it is possible to create and environment in your spine to allow your body to do this itself. This can be achieved with various manipulation methods. This is called Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) and it requires the use of different techniques for each patient. An osteopath can use one or all of the following treatment options, depending on the severity of the problem:

  • Traction with Manipulation In this technique, the legs and the head are pulled in different directions to manipulate the spine. An osteopath can also apply different traction techniques or use thrusting actions depending on the region where the problem occurs. In any case, this is a painless method and “popping” sounds that can be heard during the procedure are due to the displacement of nitrogen gas in the joints.
  • Massage or deep compression This is not a simple massage: Osteopaths can use different methods such as myofascial release therapy, lymphatic pump techniques, and tender points counter-strain depending on the cause of the problem. The goal is to reduce muscle spasms to provide relaxation, and stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system to encourage healing. Contrary to popular belief, the most important cause of pain is muscle spasms in the region where the slipped disc is located. Reducing these spasms both helps the patient to relax and enables the patient to return to some normal function

Whichever method is used, osteopathy provides effective and lasting results for slipped discs. Don’t let this problem affect your life and make an appointment right away from your nearest osteopathic clinic: Taking painkillers is not the only option. Visit

Thank you.

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shoulder pain

You Can Relieve Shoulder Pain with Osteopathy, A Non-Invasive Treatment Option

There are many causes of shoulder pain: repetitive movements, manual labour, aging, and even excessive exercise may cause this problem. We have three major bones on our shoulder; humerus (long arm bone), scapula (shoulder blade), and clavicle (collarbone). All these bones are attached to the four main joints, and if one of these joints is damaged, shoulder pain can occur. For example, if the muscles and tendons that stabilise the shoulder are damaged, a problem called “rotator cuff injury” occurs. Damage to the tendon in the biceps muscle causes another problem called “biceps tendinopathy”. “Adhesive capsulitis”, also known as frozen shoulder, is a disease that can cause long term limited shoulder movement. Your shoulder has a complex bone, muscle, and tendon structure – any of them may not working properly resulting in pain and stiffness.

Shoulder pain is often treated with exercise and heat/cold packs. If the pain is too severe, surgical intervention can be performed. However, invariably none of these treatment options are fully effective longer term. Physiotherapy offers limited benefit and surgical intervention involves many risks. However, Osteopathy can help you get rid of shoulder pain without feeling any pain or taking medication. Moreover, there are many clinical trials that prove this.

Osteopathic Treatment of Shoulder Pain

An osteopath first determines where the shoulder pain comes from. Osteopaths are professionals who specialise in the musculoskeletal system and know that pain and problem areas are not always the same. In other words, the cause of your shoulder pain may not be directly related to your shoulder: Osteopaths therefore first identify the problem area and form a treatment plan according to the outcome.

This treatment consists essentially of using physical manipulation, stretching, and massage techniques separately or in combination. Osteopaths apply rhythmical articulation techniques and primarily focuses on increasing the mobility of the joints. Thus, muscle tension is reduced, more blood goes to the tissue, and the body begins to heal itself. In this context, if there is a possibility of causing shoulder pain, the above-listed treatments can be applied for the low back and hips areas too. In other words, treatment proceeds differently for each individual because shoulder pain can have many causes as mentioned above.

So, is osteopathic treatment effective? Clinical trials have shown that osteopathy is indeed a useful treatment. For example, a study conducted by BMC Public Health in Australia shows that 90% of patients who treat shoulder pain with osteopathy are satisfied with the results (*). This research continued for 12 months and was conducted on 1,067 people. Although 90% of the participants visited an osteopath only 6 times in a 12-month period, they were very satisfied with the results. A clinical trial conducted by the JAOA in the United States shows a reduction in chronic pain in patients receiving osteopathic treatment for 14 weeks (**). In other words, osteopathy really works – you don’t have to live with shoulder pain.

Osteopathy provides painless, effective, and permanent solutions. Make an appointment today at Cram Osteopaths and put an end to shoulder pain. Thank you.





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back pain

A Non-Invasive And Effective Treatment For Back Pain: Osteopathy

Back pain is a much more common problem than you might think: Statistics show that 8 out of 10 people suffer from back pain (*) at some point in their lives. This problem is so widespread, 5.6 million working days per year in the United Kingdom are lost due to back pain (**). The most common cause of this problem is lifting a heavy load or not sitting in the correct position. Sudden and awkward movements can also cause permanent back pain too. If you are overweight, you can contribute to this problem however, back pain can occur at any age.

Although it is a common issue, there is no standard method of treating back pain: Most doctors recommend rest. However, if the pain is very severe, oral medication is sometimes a feasible solution. Unfortunately, both methods do not work in the long run because they focus on the symptoms, not on what is causing the problem.

But you don’t have to live with back pain anymore: Osteopaths offers a non-invasive and painless treatment option for this problem. Moreover, clinical studies have proven the effectiveness of these osteopathic treatment methods.

How Can Osteopathy Help With Back Pain?

An osteopath undergoes special training on how the musculoskeletal system. In other words, osteopaths are professionals who can detect the problematic area on your body and treat it with different techniques. The most important aspect of this treatment is that it focuses on what causes the pain, not the pain itself: In other words, it treats the problem in your musculoskeletal system that causes the back pain. An osteopath can eliminate this problem by applying one or all of the following techniques:

  • High-velocity low-amplitude (HVLA) thrust. This procedure is applied to correct asymmetry in a facet joint. The osteopath moves this joint suddenly and quickly, making it symmetrical again. During this process, cracking sounds can be heard. There is nothing to worry about: The procedure is completely painless and these sounds are caused by the sudden displacement of nitrogen gas in the joints.
  • In this method, pressure is applied to the soft tissue causing pain. This is not a standard massage practice because the osteopath knows exactly where to apply pressure. Traction is often applied as part of this method and means that the feet and head are pulled in opposite directions.

Osteopathic Manipulation Techniques (OMT) really work to treat back pain. A study published in 2005 shows that OMT techniques reduce patients’ low back pain by 95% (***). Moreover, it is a permanent treatment method. Clinical studies show that the effects of OMT treatment continue for at least three months. Clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of OMT techniques have been going on since 1981 and all show that this treatment simply works. If you are experiencing back pain, give a chance to osteopathic treatment: Book a session with us here  (*) Palmer KT, Walsh K. “Back pain in Britain”, BMJ 2000; 320: 1577 – 1578



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sciatica treatment

An Osteopathic Approach To Sciatica Treatment

Sciatica is a medical problem that affects many people around the world. I can give many symptoms before it starts, and before any treatment of sciatica can be sought. The most common of these is the radiating leg pain: In severe cases, one of the legs can almost completely lose its function. There is actually a simple cause of this problem, 90% of sciatica cases are caused by herniated discs compressing root nerves. If you feel pain while sitting or walking, or even if simple movements cause pain in both your waist and legs, you may also be suffering from sciatica.

The days when bed rest is given for the treatment of sciatica are over but nowadays more active treatment methods are preferred. Surgical operations, which are among the traditional treatments, have now proven to be not as effective as we thought – nearly 30% of patients who have undergone surgery report that the problems start again in a year or two. In other words, there is no data to suggest that surgery is superior to other treatments. It is actually surprising that there is still no clear data on this disease, which affects 2.2% of the general population (*): Sciatica affects the 45-64 age group at most (**) and there is still no consensus on how to treat it effectively.

Osteopathic treatment can be the solution that sciatica patients are looking for: This non-invasive treatment enables patients to regain their quality of life without suffering.

How Osteopathy Can Help With Sciatica

Osteopaths have medical training and are first contact practitioners. This is very important as Osteopaths are always screening patients for appropriate referral. Sometimes sciatica can be caused by some other medical conditions. Osteopaths know the correct questions to ask.

However, they differ from other medical doctors: They receive substantial training on the musculoskeletal system. Knowledge of the musculoskeletal system is of paramount importance in the treatment of diseases that causes back pain, slipped discs, shoulder pain, and sciatic pain. Sciatica is caused by the pressure on your sciatic nerve. This is a very large nerve and it extends from the waist to the heel. Pressure on the nerve anywhere on this “route” causes sciatica pain.

Osteopaths are able to relieve pressure on the nerve through soft tissue massage and joint manipulations. Due to their training, they have the ability to identify the points that cause pain. Osteopaths know where to apply pressure using this information. Osteopathy should not be confused with massage specialists: This treatment, applied by osteopaths, is much different than a general massage. An osteopath achieves success using the following techniques:

  • Relieving muscle spasms by applying pressure to the right points on the body
  • Manual traction of the lumbar spine
  • Gently applied spinal mobilisation
  • Relieving the affected joints with the right techniques
  • Rehabilitation exercises

Of course, sciatica patients also need to pay attention to their lifestyle and behaviour. Osteopaths help patients in this regard too. For example, they show how to move and how to bear the loads correctly. If you suffer from sciatica pain, osteopaths can help you: Visit your nearest osteopathy centre today.



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