Archive for May 2020

Chronic Low Back Pain

Chronic Low Back Pain & Walking Backwards

A fear of movement, (Kinesiophobia) is a common occurrence in patients with chronic low back pain (cLBP). Sadly, self-restricting one’s physical activity can lead to fatigue and atrophy in muscles. It can lead to more inactivity and muscle fatigue, and consequently low tolerance to regular day-to-day tasks, absenteeism from work, and depression. If the muscles around the lower back or lumbar spine become atrophied and stiff, the likelihood of acute low back pain (LBP) flair-ups increases, which leads to more discomfort and distress.

Reports have indicated that, when comparing the muscles at the front of the lumbar spine (the “flexors”) to those behind the spine (the “extensors”) in individuals with cLBP, the extensors display greater levels of atrophy and weakness. The lumbar multifidus (MF) muscles are essential to the stability of the lumbar spine, while the superficial extender muscles of the erector spinae (ES) are known as “global stabilisers,” which are built to create gross movement and counterbalance while lifting external loads.

Osteopaths typically recommend rehabilitation / exercise programmes for enhancing motor function, muscle strengthening, stretching and aerobic capacity while treating patients with cLBP. One such exercise which might be recommended is to go walking backwards. Studies have shown that walking backwards can lead to better outcomes in terms of cardiovascular health and activation of the MF muscles (which are often weaker in cLBP patients, as mentioned earlier).

In addition, walking backwards works to a greater degree with the lower limb muscles, while reducing stress on the patellofemoral joint (kneecap). This is significant, as knee pain can often co-occur with low back pain, particularly in overweight / obese patients. Walking backwards often stretches the hamstrings which in cLBP patients are mostly short / tight.

Not only can walking backwards help patients who already have back pain, but, adding this kind of movement to the workout routine will also reduce the risk of low back pain!

We are open to see patients in Glasgow and Ayr, book online here

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Osteopathic Treatment of Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a disorder that affects approximately 3 percent of teenagers, but typically the cause is unclear. The degree of spinal curvature is, for the most part, mild (10-15 degree curve), but in some situations, the curve may begin to increase as the child develops.

Visual symptoms of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis include: skewed shoulders, one shoulder blade “sticking out” (more pronounced) than the other; an irregular waist or hip that is higher than the other; and/or a pronounced rib cage, typically on the convex side of the curve.

When the curve is small, symptoms are often few if any. If the curve deteriorates, however, the child will face difficulties which may require care. Complications associated with scoliosis arise mainly in people with larger curves and involve heart and/or lung complications due to shortening of the spine and weakening of the rib cage as the curve progresses, making it difficult for the heart to pump or for the lungs to expand. Individuals with scoliosis can also experience chronic back pain and other musculoskeletal problems due to changes in the spinal conditions.

In order to assess the degree of spinal curvature more precisely, scoliosis is diagnosed after a routine medical history and physical examination, as well as standing x-rays of the lower and middle back. Treatment may not be required in mild cases; but, if the condition deteriorates or in more serious cases, normal medical care may involve wearing a back brace, or perhaps even surgery.

Is Osteopathy offering an approach to scoliosis care? Researchers studied the case history of 60 patients diagnosed with scoliosis in an Osteopathic environment in a report published in January 2017. Patients were offered a mix of Osteopathic spinal manipulation and exercise methods including cantilever, postural weighting, fulcrum block, and ball exercises for rotating torso therapy. The findings revealed positive outcomes in 38 percent of patients in 90 percent of cases, with 52 percent of patients experiencing curve correction and curve stabilisation. This adds to existing research and case reports regarding the effectiveness of both behavioural activities and manual therapies for scoliosis treatment.

You can book an appointment online, just click here. You can give us a call on 0141 339 0894 or alternatively send us an email to and we’ll get back in touch.

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Cancellation Policy

Don’t Slow Your Progress By Missing Valuable Treatment Appointments 

At Cram Osteopaths, we take your treatment plan very seriously and need you to commit to your  planned appointments to ensure you achieve your recovery goals.  

A cancelled or missed appointment not only wastes our Osteopath’s valuable time, but it may also prevent a patient in pain and in need of help from accessing treatment.

We require at least 24 hours’ notice should you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment. If you fail to attend, forget your appointment, arrive more than 20 minutes late or cancel your appointment with less than 24 hours’ notice, you will be charged a cancellation fee equivalent to the full consultation. 

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Neck Pain

Headaches linked to the Neck

Experts report that headaches affect half of the population, with up to 25 per cent of headaches from the cervical spine or neck, known as cervicogenic headache (CGH). Several studies demonstrate the effectiveness of Osteopathic management for CGH, often involving a multi-modal treatment approach to address biomechanical dysfunction in the cervical spine that may contribute to or cause a patient’s headache.

Treatment options are:

SPINAL MANIPULATION THERAPY (SMT): There are several strategies or techniques of spinal manipulation to enhance joint mobility, which can be subdivided into two types: high velocity, low amplitude (thrust) where joint noise happens (called cavitation); and low velocity, low amplitude (non-thrust) where joint cavitation is not common. Some refer to the latter as “mobilisation.” Osteopaths frequently make use of both, but eventually, practitioner and patient choice determine the decision.

EXERCISE: Exercise on its own may not appear to be as successful as spinal stimulation, but when exercises — especially those affecting the deep flexors — are combined with SMT, the effects last longer and become more rewarding in the long run.

OCCIPITAL NERVE FLOSSING: CGH effects can be intensified by stress on the occipital nerve as it leaves the brain. The stress can be reduced by nerve flossing. The Osteopath raises the patient’s head whilst sitting on the ground with the face tucked under, then pushes the face into the chest to extend the muscle attachments at the base of the neck (which sometimes squeeze the nerves that trigger headaches) whilst the patient bends the knees to reach their collar bones. When the Osteopath lowers the patient’s shoulders, the patient stretches their elbows and wrists / hands toward the floor and drops their arms. That is sometimes replicated 5 to 10 times (depending on tolerance).

ACTIVITY (ERGONOMIC) ADVICE: This is where your Osteopath reviews your work place and interests, searching for opportunities to reduce the pressure on your neck and upper back. Forward head posture is very normal and he or she will show you how to correct the incorrect posture once identified — often by making small changes to your daily activities.

HOME CERVICAL TRACTION: Traction operates by pushing out joints and the vertebra. While you can do this in the office, you can do it at home much more frequently. An over-the-door unit works well. Typical treatment time is 15 minutes. A typical tolerance level is the steady rise in weight to a maximum acceptable point (10-15 lbs./4.5-6.8 kg). To get the best result, the “Int” is with RELAX.

Bottomline: When you experience headaches, then it might be helpful for you to visit an Osteopath to decide if the headaches could be induced or worsened by neck discomfort. If so, the Osteopath should also have a range of treatment options available to reduce the headaches‘ frequency and severity.

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Increase Your Lifespan with Walking

Many studies in recent decades have reported early-death risk factors such as decreased cardio-respiratory function (CRF), hypertension, smoking, diabetes, cardiac disease, pulmonary disease, etc. Bad CRF appears to be the leading risk factor for early death, of all the causes listed. If CRF is so essential can walking help? If so, how many steps does it actually take for us to live longer and better?

Experts have recommended taking 10,000 steps a day for years in order to lead a long and safe life, but there is not any evidence to support the argument. A 2019 report analysed how many measures a sample of 18,289 elderly women took during a seven-day stretch, and correlated the data four years later with their health outcomes. The researchers linked a decreased chance of death with more steps being taken per day, up to around 7,500 steps a day. Those doing 8,400 steps a day were 58 percent less likely to die over the duration of the study compared to people taking 2,700 steps per day.

Studies compared average step count data gathered between 2003-2006 with health results a decade later in a related study affecting 4,840 middle-aged people, and found a correlation between steps taken every day and a decreased risk of early death.

Neither study concluded that a level of fast or slow walking played a part in the total risk of mortality. Several research, however, have linked a faster walking pace to improved cognitive function and decreased disability risk. Thirteen-year research comparing running club participants with those who didn’t run showed that people who jogged frequently were less likely to suffer physical injury or premature death.

Such research indicates walking and moving the body will boost cardiovascular health and reduce early mortality risk. Staying healthy can also be correlated with a higher quality of life. Certain methods of prolonging longevity include limiting heavy intake of alcohol, not smoking, retaining body weight, preserving / building muscle mass and a balanced diet. If you experience musculoskeletal pain that interferes with your everyday life, contact Cram Osteopaths as soon as possible, so you can restore your normal pain-free activities.

Moreover, we are now accepting more appointments; all available appointments are now available to book online and by calling 0141 339 0894. Our Barrington Drive and Muirhead practices are accepting appointments and this will shortly be extended to Ayr. Patients can attend any practice they choose, regardless of their own location.

We have adapted some of our working practice procedures in relation to Covid-19 which can be found here. 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.

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