Archive for February 2020

Spondylosis causes and treatment options

Spondylosis causes and treatment options

Spondylosis is a degenerative condition that affects the spine, also known as spinal osteoarthritis. Experts say it’s mostly caused by ageing; the older a person gets, the more he or she exerts wear and tear on their cartilage and bones. As a result, the spinal discs lose their cushioning and spurs develop in the bones, which cause pain. The two most common forms of spondylosis are lumbar (in the lower back) or cervical (in the neck).

Treatment for spondylosis requires medicine and/or surgery, depending on how severe the symptoms are.

Nevertheless, age isn’t the only factor that determines this condition. Certain causes that will put a person at risk for spondylosis include ethnicity (there is a family history of developing this condition), drinking, type of work, previous neck injury or spine surgery, mental health issues, or severe arthritis.

Common symptoms in both cervical and lumbar spondylosis include pain that comes and goes in the affected area, tenderness or numbness, feeling pain after getting out of bed, and sensation of fatigue or tingling. Pain can also spread from the main affected area to other parts of the body. Although signs progress with time, it can also be experienced all of a sudden and if spondylosis continues untreated, conditions such as chronic pain, faecal or urinary incontinence, loss of muscle capacity or even permanent disability may arise.

Conventional medicine has several spondylosis treatment options including drugs and surgery if the signs are already serious. Alternatively, less invasive approaches can be used. Here are a few of them:

  • Anti-inflammatory dietary supplements i.e. turmeric, fish oils and ginger.
  • Massage can help to relax tight muscles, which can lead to reduced pain.
  • Stretching can also help the mind relax and reinforce the core muscles, helping with lumbar pain.
  • Osteopathic treatment reduces pain the patient has felt and restores mobility of the spinal joints. It encompasses a variety of methods, such as cold or heat therapy, ultrasound, lifestyle modification, and spinal adjustment as its primary method.

Many patients with spondylosis choose alternative therapies since they do not need any medications or surgery. In fact, Osteopathic care is therapeutic and discusses the various aspects of a patient’s life, not just the stress brought on by the condition. It is a balanced approach which not only emphasises intervention but also prevention.

If spondylosis has been diagnosed you know how painful it can be. Seek Osteopathic care first before you opt for surgery to reduce the pain you experience and improve your overall health.

Read More
Plantar Fasciitis

Osteopathy Can Help with Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition and the principal cause of adult heel pain. If you have plantar fasciitis, this means the ligament running the length of your foot’s bottom, the plantar fascia, has several tiny tears inside it. If not treated, these tiny tears will inevitably lead to a bigger tear. It can be causing you a lot of pain and discomfort until then. Don’t worry, because Osteopathic care will help treat you if you’re one of the millions of us who suffer from plantar fasciitis.

Much can cause plantar fasciitis, including damage from falling or extreme exercise. Wearing the wrong kind of shoes that don’t provide enough support, standing up for long periods of time or arthritis can cause this condition too. When pain in your foot from this condition rears its ugly head, you can start compensating in the way you walk to reduce pain, but that can lead to other issues such as misalignments in other joints in your body.

Osteopathic Care Helps

There are many treatment options available for plantar fasciitis but when it comes to treating this disorder you may want to consider the several benefits of Osteopathic care, including shock wave treatment.

Treatment by Osteopaths may:

Reduce stress in the ligament – The stress placed on the ligament causing the tiny tears is the reason you are suffering from plantar fasciitis. If you do not take steps to reduce this stress, then pain and inflammation will continue to occur. Osteopaths can help remove some of the stress from the ligament and give it an opportunity to heal through adjustments.

Minimise secondary injuries – Remember one of the things that can happen when you are suffering from this condition is a change in your gait to try to reduce the pain you experience. Using Osteopathic care as part of your treatment plan will help minimise the misalignments caused by a change in your gait – misalignments that can cause problems in other parts of your body, like your feet, elbows, hips and lower back, if left untreated.

Osteopathy is a natural and non-invasive treatment, it often works well for this condition in conjunction with other treatments, such as massage or physical treatment.

If you have plantar fasciitis, book online here

Read More
Shoulder Pain

Treatment and recovery from Shoulder Pain

Osteopaths are known to treat back and spine problems including back pain and neck pain. Osteopathic care, however, can also be extremely beneficial in the treatment of pain related to the shoulders and extremities. Our Osteopath practices across Glasgow and Ayrshire offer a range of recovery options, when it comes to treating shoulder pain and relieving shoulder pain.

Some of the most prevalent types of shoulder pain are:

Frozen shoulder is an exceptionally painful condition that patients who come to our Osteopathic clinics face. It can also be debilitating and disabling, as well as being very painful. Ordinary things such as putting on a shirt or even brushing your hair can be a hardship. It can also lead to insomnia and sleep disturbance. Frozen shoulder pain can continue for years without proper therapy and intervention.

Many cases of frozen shoulder (as well as general shoulder pain) are due to an upper back (thoracic spine) and/or lower neck inflammation of the nerves. Osteopathic care can be highly effective for treating shoulder pain and relieving shoulder pain, because shoulder pain has its roots in the back and spinal region.

Our Osteopaths are well versed in a number of techniques for effective treatment of pain in the shoulder and relief of pain in the legs. There is often a first rib problems/irritation at the root of a frozen shoulder and many other forms of shoulder pain.

Treating pain in the shoulder

With your particular shoulder problem, the Osteopath should begin with a tailored evaluation and assessment of where the pain point begins. Shoulder pain is usually caused by inflammation of the nerves, tendons, muscles, ligaments or capsule area.

In some cases, the problem is located near the acromioclavicular joint or on the cervical spine. To make an accurate diagnosis, these areas will all be carefully reviewed. There may also be involvement of the triceps muscle located in the upper arm, as well as the subscapularis muscle under the shoulder blade. Once the exact physical cause is diagnosed, therapy for shoulder pain will continue. Although recovery should begin after the first adjustment, it may take a series of Osteopathic adjustments to help resolve the shoulder pain problem completely.

Count On Your Osteopath To Relieve Shoulder Pain

If you have shoulder pain problems contact Cram Osteopaths. Our Osteopathic service will provide you with a range of therapy for pain in the shoulder based on your particular condition. There really is pain relief for the shoulder! Don’t spend another day with it. Contact 0141 339 0894 Mon-Fri: 8:30am-6pm on book online at


Read More
back pain

A Less Obvious Back Pain Cause

Multiple studies have shown that hyper-pronation (HP), or too much ankle rolling-inwards, can have consequences far beyond the foot on the body. For example, abnormal ankle motion can lead to slight changes in how the knees and pelvis move while performing your normal daily activities, placing added strain on these structures and increasing the risk of injury in both the short and long term. These faulty patterns of movement can also lead to improper movement, and higher risk of injury above the hips, including in the lower back.

Researchers found in one study involving patients with low back pain (LBP) that improving both ankle pronation (with foot orthotics) and lower limb weakness (with exercise) contributed to improvements in knee, hip and low back function.

Foot orthotics often include a thicker inward pronation-correcting wedge, and tapers narrow to the outside to correct the ankle’s rolling-in impact. One research measured the impact on the lower limb up to the thorax by a 5 degree heel wedge, noticing major 3-dimensional kinematic changes occurring on the hip, pelvis, and thorax. Over correction (at 10 degree), however, had detrimental effects on proper movement elsewhere in the body, underlining the importance of obtaining an accurate prescription when fitting orthotics with the foot. Many studies have also shown that it may also be important to have a forefoot orthotic to ensure proper biomechanics when walking.

A survey that included 213 cross-country runners in high school and college (107 male, 106 female) found that 37 (17.4 per cent) wore foot orthotics. 17 (54.8 percent) of the 37 orthotic users used them for exercise-related leg pain, of which 15 of the 17 reported benefits. Another study compared the pressure on the Achilles tendon while running with and without foot orthotics and found that running with foot orthotics was associated with significant reductions in Achilles tendon loading as opposed to running without orthotics.

Such results clearly support the many advantages that foot orthotics have for the entire body or structure, which encourage both short- and long-term treatment of conditions such as low back pain! Osteopaths often fit foot orthotics for lower extremity complaints, as well as LBP complaints.

Read More
Low Back Pain

Low Back Pain – Injuries of the Seasons

Every season brings different activities that require us to do some of the physical activity that we may not want to do but have no choice. Shovelling snow comes to mind in the winter (at least in some parts of the country) while spring, summer, and autumn may include sweeping, mowing, and raking in the garden. All these seasonal events are the”… I’ve got to..” daily living activities (ADLs), rather than the ADLs we want to do. Let’s just think of snow shovelling. Of course, if snow isn’t a matter where you live, this knowledge can also be applied to gardening, digging a hole, or some other shovelling activity related to the garden.

Next, a few details that help us understand why back pain when we shovel is so common: 1. About 2/3rds of our body weight is supported as we lean over, in addition to what we are lifting. Thus a person of 180 pounds (~80 kg) must lift 120 lbs(~54 kg) of body weight whenever he or she bends. 2. A weight of 5 lbs (~2,25 kg) will put 50 lbs (22,5 kg) of load on your back when it is held at the end of a shovel in front of you! 3) Our legs are much smaller than our arms and back. If a person can press 300 lbs (~136 kg) on the bench, they can normally press 500 lbs (~236 kg) of the legs-almost 2x more. Yet most of us, when shovelling, use our arms and not our legs. 4) Most of us use poor technique to lean over, raise the shovel with the arms and back (not the legs), and easily stretch and twist the back as we throw the material from the shovel! 5) Then, this faulty action is repeated many, many times, and on top of that, it’s not something we’re used to doing and, therefore, we’re not physically adapted or “in shape” for shovelling. It’s no wonder with all these “truths,” why we can still barely move after an hour of shovelling!

I suppose it makes more sense to hire a gardener (or convince your own child) to do the shovelling, but let’s presume you have to do it yourself … We can’t change the fact that most of our body’s weight is above our waist so we’re stuck with it and we won’t lose excess weight in time before shovelling. Nevertheless, we can certainly put less material on the shovel so there’s less pressure on our back. It’s necessary to use your strong leg muscles to squat down while keeping your back as straight / vertical as possible – Do NOT bend over. Try to stick your bottom out (to maintain an inward curve in your back), raise the shovel / material load straight up with your hands, holding the arched back / bottom out pose. Keep your arms / elbows straight and walk the load of the shovel to the dumping location – do not try to throw the load away by twisting your body.

When you injure your back-using a cut comparison on your face-avoid picking on the wound to repair it. Using ice / rest accompanied by gentle stretching and adjusted exercises if your back hurts after shovelling – don’t go back out and shovel (i.e. don’t pick at your cut!). Some wise shovelling considerations include warming up before you start, keeping “in shape” by year-round workouts, maintaining a good balanced diet and getting enough sleep.

Read More
Treatment for neck pain

Treatment that works best for Neck Pain

Experts estimate that up to 70 per cent of people in their lifetime will suffer an episode of neck pain. Although many alternative forms of treatment are available, little has been released in connection with the different treatment options available to patients with neck pain.

A 2012 study involving 272 patients with neck pain compared three treatment options: osteopathy, medicine, and exercise. The patients who received either osteopathic care or exercise training reported the greatest reduction in pain after 12 weeks of treatment. The researchers followed up with the participants for up to a year and found that patients in the osteopathic and exercise groups tended to experience less discomfort than those in the medication group, and these benefits lasted until the study was completed. The researchers concluded that participants from both the group of Osteopathy care and exercise therapy had more than twice the chance of full pain relief relative to the group of patients.

Since the 1980s, quality studies have been published on the short- and medium-term benefits of exercise and manual therapies applied to the cervical spine in patients with neck pain. Nonetheless, the long-term benefits aren’t as well known. In this regard, 191 patients with chronic neck pain followed a 2002 study for two years comparing spinal manipulation (SM) with and without one of two forms of exercises: low-tech (and low-cost) rehabilitative exercises (LTEx) or high-tech MedX (machine-assisted) rehabilitative exercises (HTEx).

The research team randomly assigned one of three therapies for the 191 patients to eleven weeks: SM only; SM + LTEx; or SM + HTEx. At the start of the study, the authors examined the patients, again after five weeks of treatment, and eventually after the completion of the study’s treatment period before 11 weeks. Four, six, twelve, and 24 months later they followed up with the patients.

The results showed that at both one-and two-year time points SM + LTEx and SM + HTEx were both superior to the SM alone. Overall, patients in the SM + LTEx group reported the greatest reduction in pain, and care satisfaction. This result is even more significant, since the care given to the SM + LTEx community costs less than care requiring more costly, specialised equipment.

It is clear that osteopathic treatment requiring stimulation of the spinal cord and/or activation with exercise training provides the best long-term results. Add to that the use of soft tissue treatments such as myofascial release, active release therapy, and different modalities, and osteopathic patients with acute or chronic neck pain are clearly the best choice.

Read More
Hip Pain Exercises That Work!

Hip Pain Exercises That Work!

There are two types of muscles in our hips and lower extremities which help to facilitate movement: tonic and phasic.

Tonic (postural) muscles work or contract always to keep us upright. Those muscles tend to be tight and short. They contract or shorten when we sleep and are taught at waking, and need to be stretched regularly. Types of tonic muscles include muscles with hamstrings, and muscles with iliopsoas or hip flexors.

For those muscles, here are two perfect stretches:

Iliopsoas stretch: 1) Stand in front straddled position and take a step forward with the left leg. 2) Rotate the pelvic left side forward so that it becomes aligned with the pelvic right side. 3) The rear pelvic tilt is performed by flattening the curve in the lower back while rocking the pelvic forward to create a strong stretch in the left groin / front of the hip. 4) Lean back to the right, raising the left groin / hip stretch higher. Keep going for 5 to 10 seconds, and then repeat. Many times, a day, practise these intervals.

Hamstrings stretch: Lie on your back and put the left leg on a door jam with the right leg flat on the floor extending through the doorway gap. 2) Push the left leg into the door jam and hold the hamstring for three to five seconds, then scoot closer to the door jam to stretch. Hold on for one to two minutes, and repeat on the opposite side, several times a day.

On the other hand, phasic muscles function only when needed, and appear to be sluggish, these demand reinforcement, not stretching. Sources of phasic muscles include muscles in the abdomen and the buttock. Here are two perfect exercises for improving those muscles:

Strengthening the abdomen: 1) Lying on the floor, put your hands behind your low back. Bend one knee / leg and keep the other straight. 2) Raise the breast bone one to two inches (2.54 to 5.08 cm) towards the ceiling and stay for 10 seconds. Repeat multiple times until you lose the abdominal muscles.

Strengthening buttocks: 1) Squeeze the buttocks together while sitting or standing multiple times a day. 2) Lie with your knees bent on your back, and your feet flat on the floor. Raise your buttocks so your trunk lines up while pushing your heels into the floor. Hold for 10 seconds, and repeat 5 to 10 times.

Depending on the nature of your hip pain, your Osteopath may recommend further exercises as part of your treatment plan that you can perform at home.

Read More
knee pain

Are Knee Pain and Running Related?

Knee pain is a common complaint that at some stage in adulthood can affect around 30 per cent of the general population. Because running has a reputation for “wear and tear” causing knee pain, the issue also arises as to whether or not running speeds up knee problems. What does the current research body say, then?

Dr. Christopher Bramah and colleagues reported in a 2018 study published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine that the most frequent injuries in runners include the knee (50 percent), the foot (39 percent) and the lower leg (32 percent). Sounds like running is detrimental, doesn’t it?

Researchers analysed blood and knee joint synovial fluid samples before a 30-minute run, immediately after their run, and after a 30-minute rest, in a small pilot study which included six runners aged 18-35. To the research team’s surprise, the inflammatory factors associated with conditions such as osteoarthritis (OA) are higher before running, and lower after sprint in the two timescales. That would mean running can be OA-protective.

Because of the limited number of subjects studied, the authors are quick to point out that they intend to perform a larger-scale analysis and after running, test the inflammatory marker levels for a week or longer to see how long this “defence” lasts. Some also claimed that a 30-minute run is relatively short, citing a study of marathon runners (26.2 miles or 42.2 km) who found cartilage changes that could indicate injury risk that continued three months after the marathon.

The study compared data from several previous studies on recreational runners, competitive runners and non-runners (a “meta-analysis”) and found that recreational runners had a LOWER frequency of OA than participants in the other categories.

A study comparing 1,207 UK male football players to 4,085 general population men (all around 60 years of age) found that football players were twice as likely to have knee pain (52% vs. 27%, respectively). In addition, about 28 percent of football players vs. 12 percent of non-football players were diagnosed with radiographic knee OA, and the athletes were three times more likely to receive complete knee replacement.

To sum up, short distance running on healthy knees appears to be safe and maybe even preventive against OA. In comparison, engaging in more high-intensity exercise will increase the risk of knee problems. If an individual has OA, walking may be the safer option but it must be determined individually.

Evidence has shown that issues elsewhere in the body, such as the ankle and hips, can put additional pressure on the knees, which can raise the risk of problems in that area. That is why it is necessary to assess the entire patient when presenting for treatment for a condition such as knee pain, as if contributing factors are not discussed, a satisfactory outcome may not be obtained.

Read More