Archive for March 2020

Exercise Can Improve Osteoarthritis In Knees

Exercise Can Improve Osteoarthritis In Knees

It’s normal to limit movement in the face of musculoskeletal pain. Unfortunately, doing so will weaken the affected area’s muscles and joints which can prolong discomfort and increase the likelihood of potential injury. Knee-arthritis patients often fall into this pit. So, in the presence of knee osteoarthritis, what sort of exercises are best for enhancing knee strength?

First, let’s describe two muscle activity types that can occur during exercise: eccentric and concentrated. In a bench press the muscles in the chest shorten in a coordinated motion as you move the barbell upwards. When you lower the bar downwards, lengthen the pectoral muscles, which is an eccentric motion.

A 2019 study involving 54 seniors with knee osteoarthritis studied which of the two phases develops greater strength for the knee – the concentration / muscle shortening process or the process of muscle lengthening. Participants were divided into three groups: CNC RT (concentric resistance), ECC RT (eccentric resistance), or CON (exercise / wait-list group control group). The two exercise groups provided four months of supervised exercise training using conventional weight machines with correct configurations and guidance that stressed the focused or eccentric phase of the exercise.

Participants completed questionnaires each week to assess knee pain and disability. The researchers also reported the maximum weight that could be lifted by each subject with respect to knee flexion, knee extension and leg push.

The findings showed that the strength increases encountered by both exercise groups as opposed to the control group, with the eccentric resistance group making greater improvements in the exercises of leg pressing and knee flexion, but not for knee extension. Both classes of exercise have reported less pain and handicap than the control group. The authors concluded that both modes of resistance training effectively improved leg strength, pain, and function and suggested that the style preferred by an individual should be focused on personal preference, priorities, tolerance, and availability of equipment.

All exercise groups have indicated less pain and impairment than control. This research is a perfect example of the many advantages that exercise can offer to an elderly population with osteoarthritis in the knees. In addition to offering manual therapies, modalities, orthotics (knee braces and foot orthotics), as well as dietary and nutritional advice for stress reduction and pain control purposes, Osteopaths also recommend exercises for patients with knee pain. You owe it to yourself to look for less intrusive treatment methods first before throwing in the towel and rushing to a complete knee arthroplasty (replacement).

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Back Pain

Exercises You Can Do at Home – For Patients with Back Pain

It is not unusual for patients with low back pain to decrease their activity in an attempt to reduce pain. Unfortunately, their core muscles–the muscles that help stabilise their mid-section – are likely to become deconditioned due to inactivity over time, which can only raise the likelihood of further injury. Therefore, if one’s low back pain status is to be improved effectively, he or she must first develop and maintain good core muscles! Think for ease of implementation in one to three sets of ten reps, and always release the exercise slowly — don’t just drop back from the exercise’s end range.

The abdominal muscles contain four groups: the rectus abdominis (they attach our rib cage to our pelvic region and the fibres run straight up and down), the internal obliques (the fibres run down and out), the external obliques (the fibres run out and out) and the transverse abdominis (the fibres run horizontally and connect themselves to the fascia in the lower back).

If we think of three levels of difficulty with exercise, a simple (or level 1) sit-up can involve a “crunch” or simply raise the head and shoulders off the floor. A more difficult exercise (Level 2) might be to bend the knees and hips at 90 degree angles when performing a sit-up, whereas a more difficult exercise (Level 3) ab would be a double straight leg lift during sit-up. The rectus is stimulated by going straight up and down while the obliques that overlap involve a twist to the trunk. You should use an “abdominal brace,” or keep the muscles of the stomach tightly as though anyone might punch you in the stomach, in any place or activity during the day.

A variety of useful exercises, including (but not limited to) the “bird-dog” (kneeling on “all-fours”) straightening the opposite arm and leg separately (level 1) and then flipping back and forth (level 2) can be used to strengthen the low back extender muscles. Level 3 may be longer holding times, drawing with hand and foot a line, or rising repetitions.

Another low back reinforcer is called the “Superman,” which involves an initial raising of one arm on the stomach (pronounced) and then the opposite leg separately (Level I); then opposite limbs at the same time (Level 2); and eventually raising all arms and legs simultaneously (Level 3). It can be made more comfortable by placing a roll under the pelvis / abdomen.

You may use a side bridge or plank to support the sides of the core, or lateral trunk stabilisers (laying between the elbow and feet on the foot, with the hips up and off the floor). Level 1 might be a six-second hold from the knees, level 2 might be a six-second hold from the feet, and level 3 could be a twelve-second hold from the elbow / forearm and the foot. A change may involve gradual repetitions of lowering the pelvis to and back up to the floor. Only switch it up!

Many more exercises are available, but these will keep you going for a while! Note, remain within the “acceptable limits of pain” that you establish, release slowly any exercise and, most importantly, have fun!

Adapted article:

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Osteopath Glasgow

COVID-19 Updates from Cram Osteopaths

Appointments Available 🙂 We are OPEN

Our Glasgow, Muirhead and Ayr practices are accepting appointments. Appointments will continue in line with governing guidance and law. You may use your appointment confirmation message as eligibility to travel to your appointment with us.

We have adapted some of our working practices; a copy of our policy can be found here. Practice Procedures in Relation to Covid-19 update

All available appointments are now available to book online and by calling 0141 339 0894

If you would like to contact either of us directly we would be delighted to hear from you.

Michael –

Joanna –

We hope you have remained well in mind and body throughout this time and we look forward to seeing you soon. Please keep in touch with us on our Facebook Page (Cram Osteopaths), and keep check on our website.

At 1:00pm 26th March Statutory Instrument* came into force (in other words, it came into law) that states:

  • osteopaths(…)specifically are allowed to remain open
  • the public are allowed to leave their home to visit an osteopath

We are grateful for being able to help so many health-conscious people in our community. Thank you for that opportunity.

Very Best,

Michael & Joanna

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Osteopathic Treatment Advantages for Seniors

Osteopathic Treatment Advantages for Seniors

Every year, Osteopathic therapy helps millions of seniors regain control of their lives. There are many benefits associated with Osteopathic treatment, including improved flexibility, mobility and work, increased energy, better coordination, and chronic or acute pain relief / removal.

Osteopathic practitioners use a range of approaches including physical therapy, treatment of soft tissue, radical calming techniques, counselling for health and fitness, and counselling for nutrition and diet. Read on to learn how Osteopathic therapy helps seniors make the most of their lives and bodies.

Pain Relief

When you suffer from a disease associated with the spine that causes intense pain or discomfort, Osteopathic care is one of the best and most successful treatment options available. Many spinal injuries are caused by anomalies to the spine and the soft tissue around it.

Osteopathic practitioners are educated in the art of identifying and treating vertebral misalignments; they also know the effect of these subluxations on the central nervous system. In other words, relatively simple adjustments to the Osteopathic can significantly reduce or even eliminate the pain that you suffer.

This is a long-term approach, in the best of all. This contrasts favourably with traditional treatments like pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications, which merely mask the symptoms.

Better Balance and Coordination

Research conducted by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that about 33 percent of seniors are suffering a fall each year, and fewer than 50 percent are actively telling their doctor. An estimated 2.5 million people are treated annually in emergency rooms for fall injuries, and falls account for more than 95 percent of hip fractures in seniors.

As we get older, it’s normal to encounter issues with balance and coordination; this is mostly due to injury or cervical spine degeneration. Structures on the back joints of the cervical spine called mechanoreceptors provide feedback for the brain; they are essential for balance and coordination.

Such structures include details about your head’s location in relation to your body. As we age, deficiencies cause these mechanisms to become weakened, resulting in a lack of body knowledge (proprioception); the effect is that you rely on your eyes to discern where your limbs are located.

To counter the lack of body awareness, your feet are more apart than normal, which causes you to take irregular length steps. At some point, your condition can worsen to the point where you begin to fall. Worse still, without help you won’t be able to get up from the table.

Osteopathic care can stimulate your cervical spine mechanoreceptors, resulting in improved balance and coordination, and decreased risk of falling.

Increased Range of Motion in the Spine

There’s a reason why top sports professional athletes hire Osteopaths to improve their range of motion: the process works! Even minor adjustments to the Osteopathic can make a huge difference in improving the range of motion in your spine. Imagine your grandchildren being able to bend down and pick up, swing a golf club, or exercise, all without pain. Moreover, the healthier you are, the less likely you are to get chronic medical problems. Also being active helps your overall health and lowers your chances of getting to a nursing home.

A Reduction in Joint Degeneration

Close to 3 million Brits suffer from osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease, according to the CDC. It is not shocking that OA is even more prevalent among seniors; it affects 33 per cent of people over 65 years of age.

The disease triggers a deterioration of the cartilage that coats the joints. Age and repetitive movement weaken the protective tissue; this leads to increased friction as the joint bones rub together. It usually affects the elbows, knees, breasts, spine and.

If you have spinal degeneration, Osteopathic treatment will lower spinal tension and normalise alignment of your spine. Other Osteopathic therapies which may help alleviate symptoms of OA include the following.

Ultrasound therapy: Sound waves may produce a massaging effect which reduces swelling, stiffness and pain.

Trigger point therapy: Gentle pressure is applied to the precise area where pain is felt.

Therapeutic stretches and exercises: The Osteopathic will prescribe physical workouts aimed at enhancing the strength and endurance.

Pain Relief Without Medication

Medication is appropriate in some situations but we have a tendency to over-medicate in the United Kingdom. The typical 75-year-old, at any given time, takes more than 10 medications for a number of illnesses, according to some reports. Overmedication of elders is now suspected to be related to increased falls, heart attacks, and kidney failures.

Another possible problem with overmedication among seniors is its impact on cognition and mental capacity. Over-medicated seniors are not unusual to be misdiagnosed with disorders such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and depression.

You will significantly reduce the dependence on drugs with Osteopathic care, because the treatment is drug-free. It is very important if you are taking other prescription drugs because you may be more vulnerable to adverse side effects with additional medication.


If your loved one is a senior citizen, persuade him or her to see an Osteopathic as soon as possible; after all, they will enjoy the golden years. The senior will benefit from a substantial reduction or even a total removal of pain with the committed care of an Osteopathic specialist. The consequence is a substantial increase in quality of life. Osteopathic care is best of all found to be a healthy treatment for the elderly.


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Factors That Can Delay the Rehabilitation of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Factors That Can Delay the Rehabilitation of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

As for most musculoskeletal disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) treatment recommendations initially prescribe non-surgical or conservative management, for surgery being avoided only in emergency cases, or after non-surgical options. So, is there any way of knowing who would better respond to non-surgical approaches?

To reply to this, researchers performed a two-stage study that included an initial assessment followed by non-surgical treatment, and a one-year re-evaluation after completion of non-surgical treatment. The study’s primary objective was to determine factors that lead to the long-term effects of non-surgical CTS care and to identify risk factors for failure.

The study included 49 people diagnosed with CTS, of which 37 (76 percent) reported an occupational cause. Since some patients had CTS in both hands (bilateral CTS) this included a total of 78 hands / wrists in the study. Treatment included a total of 10 whirlpool massage sessions done at home to the wrist and neck, ultrasound, and median nerve glide exercises. The subjects were divided into three classes of age: < 50, 51-59, or around 60 years.

Although, in both stages of the study, most patients reported substantial change, some did not. Patients with more serious cases, as demonstrated by weak NCV test results, were less likely to respond to treatment, which highlights the importance of pursuing CTS treatment as soon as symptoms arise. In addition, participants who tended to overuse their hands at work, or who did not change their work procedures or workstation to minimise the forces applied to the hands and wrist, were less likely to show substantial changes at the point of one year. Interestingly, age was not found to be a major risk factor, which is surprising because previous studies have identified a risk factor being over 50 years old.

Not only are Osteopaths trained in the same non-surgical methods of treatment used in this research, but they may combine these techniques with dietary therapy (to minimise inflammation) and manual therapies to enhance function in the wrist and other locations along the path of the median nerve to obtain the best possible outcomes for their patients.

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Headaches and Spinal Manipulation

Headaches and Spinal Manipulation

Cervicogenic headache (CGH) refers to headaches caused by neck pain, and researchers report that 18 per cent of patients with chronic headache have cervicogenic headache. Spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) is the most popular type of treatment provided by Osteopaths, and many studies have shown that SMT is extremely successful in patients suffering from neck musculoskeletal disorders, including those with cervicogenic headaches. Nonetheless, no consensus exists on the sufficient number of SMT therapies to obtain optimum benefits for CGH.

A research team conducted a large-scale study involving 256 chronic CGH patients in a 2018 study to assess how many therapies are required to achieve optimal results using CGH SMT. For six weeks, the investigators randomly allocated participants to one of SMT’s four dosage ranges (0, 6, 12, or 18 visits). The SMT method consisted of manual manipulation of the high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) thrust in the cervical and upper thoracic regions. A short, normal spinal palpatory test from occiput to T3 to assess discomfort and controlled motion determined the position of the spinal change. In elderly patients and/or those suffering from acute pain, the manual therapy has been updated to operate at low velocity, low amplitude. To monitor continuity of visit and care of the doctor, patients began to receive a light massage treatment after the number of visits prescribed to a patient had been reached, before the six-week treatment period ended.

Following the end of the study’s recovery process, the participants used a headache log to keep track of their headaches for the coming year. The findings found that over the next twelve months, the patients who received the most SMT therapies had less headaches. More precisely, the researchers determined that over the next year, six additional SMT visits resulted in about twelve fewer days with headaches.

When you are suffering from headaches, consider visiting an Osteopath to decide when cervical dysfunction is a potential cause or contributing factor and whether you are a candidate for manipulative spinal treatment.

Visit one of our many practices in Glasgow & Ayrshire. We look forward to seeing you!

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Osteopath Glasgow & Ayr

Why an Osteopath Recommends Multiple Visits

Patients always ask why I prescribe multiple visits early on in their care plan as an Osteopath. Why? Long term results, that’s why. At Cram Osteopaths based in Glasgow and Ayr, we seek to provide a thorough solution for our patients. As a minimum 6-10 visits are required for low back (mechanical) pain, for example, to be resolved.

However, according to a retrospective, open label, randomised controlled trial conducted in The Spine Journal, twelve sessions of spinal manipulation were found to provide the best treatment outcomes in the osteopathic management of chronic low back pain with spinal manipulation.

“Our fastidious randomised control trial shows that 12 sessions of spinal manipulation over 6 weeks for uncomplicated chronic low back pain is a reasonable care option,” said lead author Mitchell Haas, DC, Center for Outcomes Studies, University of Western States, Portland, OR.

The research was designed to evaluate the optimal number of spinal manipulation sessions required to provide the most effective treatment with the best outcomes, variables that are of concern to patients, providers, payers and policy makers, Dr. Haas said.

So Why Should an Osteopath Suggest Continual Treatments?

Well, the fact is that the “medicine” for an Osteopath is primarily given by the musculoskeletal system adjustments (MSK)-that is, the muscles, joints, related tissues and their interaction with other body systems. For a new patient, especially one who has never seen an Osteopath, it may take a number of those changes to achieve the required degree of correction of their misalignment(s).  The Osteopath discusses the root cause of the patient’s distress, as opposed to treating just the pain symptoms that caused them to seek treatment. As others have learned before going to an Osteopath, medication can hide the problem for a while but it doesn’t cure it. This is where the Osteopath excels in the treatment of biomechanical instability.

Ongoing treatment may be necessary for degenerative conditions as we age. This is to prevent and slow down the spinal and other joints becoming permanently compromised.

To keep your body health in good condition, maintenance treatment can stop problem areas becoming painful, to allow your body to do the things it wants to do like sports, gardening or lifting up grandchildren!

The Effect of An Osteopathic Treatment Course Is Cumulative

Pain is not the real problem but a warning sign that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. People are used to taking a pill when they try to get immediate relief for this or that ache. However, if the pain begins to return it will become obvious that those drugs are not the answer. It is there that Osteopathy will help.

When you wonder why an Osteopath suggests multiple visits, remember how many total pills you took (and for how long) before you decided to try an alternative treatment for health? You can be pretty well confident that when everything is said and done, the amount of Osteopath visits and the length of treatment needed to correct the problem will be far less.

Additionally, I also recommend that patients come in for check-ups from time to time, the goal being to diagnose and treat complications emerging before they become painful again. The Osteopath only wants to give their patients spines for example, which cannot be replaced, as much care and attention as they give their teeth, which can be.

Could you benefit from a check-up consultation? Book online at Glasgow or Ayrshire practice

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About Osteopathy

Osteopaths offer effective treatment and care aimed at promoting patient health. People of all ages see Osteopaths from infants to the elderly, who receive physical treatment, health and sometimes exercise advice, adapted to individual needs.

Osteopaths are highly trained healthcare professionals with experience in the musculoskeletal system (MSK)-that is, the muscles joints and related tissues and their interaction with other body systems.

People who visit an osteopath regularly show strong satisfaction with the care they receive, voicing high confidence in their osteopath’s diagnosis and recommendations, with ratings over 90 per cent for satisfaction and trust.

They also work closely with other practitioners in health care, such as consultants, GPs, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists.

Please visit our website booking page to find the closest Osteopath practice we have in either Glasgow or Ayr.

So more about what Osteopaths do

Osteopaths will use a wide variety of gentle hands-on strategies that concentrate on releasing tension, maximising mobility and optimising functionality, as well as providing useful health advice and exercise where possible.

They will also consult with other healthcare professionals, or refer you to them as necessary to ensure you receive optimal treatment. They take the time to understand each patient – their unique combination of symptoms, history of medicine and lifestyle. It helps make a detailed evaluation of the cause of your problem (not just treating the site of discomfort), and formulate a treatment plan with you to achieve the best outcome.

How osteopaths can help

For MSK disorders, such as back, arm, joint, muscle and arthritic pain, people commonly visit osteopaths. Osteopaths have a well-deserved reputation for excellence in the treatment of these conditions which is based on evidence.

People also visit osteopaths for a number of other health reasons like neuromuscular disorders including sciatica, digestive problems, headaches and prevention of migraines.

Many osteopaths work in private healthcare clinics nationwide, and you can visit them without a GP referral.

Education and Enrolment

Osteopaths are strictly regulated, and are listed by the NHS as an associated health occupation.

By regulation, for work in the UK, an osteopath has to be certified with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). A Bachelor of Science (BSc.) or Integrated Masters (MOst.), plus more than 1000 hours of clinical placements (direct patient contact time) must be completed before an osteopath can receive registration.

To retain their annual GOsC registration, osteopaths must comply with compulsory continuous professional development (CPD): maintaining up-to-date skills and knowledge and maintaining high professional development standards.

What to expect from visiting an Osteopath

When you first visit an osteopath it’s natural to feel a bit unsure about what to expect. The information below explains what happens and answers any questions you might have.

Your Consultation

Osteopaths are healthcare professionals specially trained in the treatment of health problems. The Osteopath will ask you questions about your medical history and lifestyle, as well as any symptoms you might encounter at the start of your first consultation. This is very valuable because it will help them identify correctly and recommend appropriate treatment.

They’ll write down what you tell them. In compliance with the standards of practice set by the General Osteopathic Council and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), these will be regarded as confidential. If you wish, you may request a copy of your notes but an administration fee may be paid for this.

The osteopath will need to look at the area(s) that cause discomfort in your body. Sometimes the cause of the problem may be different from the discomfort (for example, pain in your lower arm may be connected to your neck’s nerves) so you may need to investigate your entire body. For any tightness in the muscles and rigidity in the joints, they will need to feel and may need to reach certain areas to identify issues. They’ll explain what they do as they go along with it.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of this, you have the right to ask them to stop your treatment at any time.

What to Wear

As with any healthcare consultation, the osteopath may need to ask you to remove a few garments. It is so that they can see and touch the body’s areas of concern for you. Your osteopath will want you to feel comfortable, so if you feel uncomfortable undressing your clothing, your osteopath may be able to suggest wearing clothes, such as shorts and a t-shirt, or close-fitting clothes, so please discuss this with them.

You might want to seek treatment from a same-sex osteopath as yourself. You are also welcome to ask a friend or relative to accompany you during your appointment and to be present.

Your Treatment

The osteopath will make a diagnosis and will discuss a recovery plan with you. This may include more manual therapy visits – a series of gentle hands-on exercises that concentrate on releasing tension, strengthening muscles and improving mobility. Along with activities you can do at home and helpful advice designed to help you alleviate or control your pain, stay active and preserve the best of health.

At your first consultation, most osteopaths will start the care, but sometimes they may need more testing, i.e. blood tests or scans, first. They may also diagnose a condition they are unable to handle, and may refer you to your GP or other qualified health care professional.

Is Treatment Painful?

Osteopathic treatment is typically a very gentle procedure, and osteopaths work very hard to make care as painless as possible, but during and after treatment, you may feel some discomfort. The osteopath will alert you if they think the procedure, they are about to use is going to be painful, and if you tell them you feel too much discomfort, they’ll stop.

After care you may notice a slight soreness in their body area that has been treated, this will typically go away within 48 hours. If after treatment you have severe or irregular symptoms you can immediately contact your osteopath for advice.

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