Archive for July 2020

Back Pain Causes

Back Pain Causes & Treatment in Glasgow & Ayr

Simplifying the process of deciding “What causes my LBP?”

Low back pain (LBP) can emerge from the bones, nerves, joints, and soft tissues around it. The Quebec Task Force proposes splitting LBP into three major categories: 1) mechanical LBP; 2) back pain involved with the nerve root; and 3) back pain or fracture. We’ll be covering the first two, because Osteopaths most commonly treat them.

Making the best decision leads your Osteopath in the right direction when it comes to care. It avoids time wasted by treating an unrelated condition, which runs the risk of increased chances of a poor and/or prolonged recovery. Low back pain is certainly no exception! The “right” diagnosis makes for concentrated and precise care, ensuring that the optimal outcomes are obtained.

The most frequently observed form of back pain is mechanical low back pain, which involves discomfort that results from sprains, strains, facet and sacroiliac (SI) syndromes and more. The key difference between this and LBP connected to nerve root is the ABSENCE of a pinched nerve. Therefore, usually pain does NOT radiate, even if it does, it never extends past the knee and does not normally cause weakness in the leg.

The injury process for both forms of LBP can occur when a person is doing too much, holding an uncomfortable posture for too long, or over curves, lifts, and/or twists. Yet LBP may also occur “insidiously” or for almost no reason whatsoever. For most situations, though, if one considers long enough, they may recognise an incident or a sequence of “micro-traumas” that stretch back in time, which may be the “source” of their present low back pain symptoms.

LBP connected to the nerve root is less frequent, but it is also more severe — since the pain associated with a pinched nerve is sometimes very sharp, can often radiate down a leg to the foot, and can cause numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. The location of the weakness depends on which nerve is pinched. Think of the nerve as a wire to a light and the switch of the nerve is located in the back where it exits the spine.

When the switch is turned on (the nerve is pinched), and the “light” switches on — possibly in the outer foot, middle foot, inner foot, or front, back or side of the thigh. In fact, there are several nerves that innervate or “run” into our leg, so usually, a very specific location “lights up” in the limb.

Determining the cause of your low back pain lets the Osteopath decide which care plans will better function to relieve the discomfort as well as when to concentrate on these therapies. Book Online.


Read More
Osteopathic Care for Migraines

Osteopathic Care for Migraines

Migraine headaches can adversely impair one’s quality of life and their capacity to carry out their everyday routines, at home and at work. While Osteopathic treatment for tension-type and cervicogenic headaches has been shown to be helpful, what does the literature suggest about its effect on migraines?

The first thing to remember is that while migraines cannot actually be caused by cervical disorder, problems in the neck play a role in the onset of migraine headaches.

For example, researchers examined the neck of 52 female migraineurs and 52 women without a history of neck pain or headaches, in a 2019 study published in the European Spine Journal. They found that participants in the migraine group were significantly more likely to show cervical dysfunction.

Another study in 2019, this time published in the Cephalagia review, found that migraine patients with chronic neck pain have a slightly greater migraine-related issues than those without neck pain. Many tests have found that patients with migraines are more likely to have pain points in the cervical muscles.

So, can Osteopathic therapy help migraine patients boost their cervical function? An analysis of evidence from six randomised study trials which involved a total of 667 migraine headache patients undergoing spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), concluded that SMT is “an efficient therapeutic strategy for minimising migraine days and pain / intensity.”

What can a migraine patient expect on seeing an Osteopath? The patient must undergo a detailed assessment to understand which areas to administer care in the cervical region, typically by assessing the degree of joint “play” or restraint, point tenderness and localised muscle protection using static and motion palpation procedures.

Usually the treatment strategy may include a mixture of spinal manipulation, stimulation, unique movements, modalities, and dietary guidelines, based on the needs and preferences of the patient. Book online here for any issues you feel may need treatment.

Read More

Classic Sports Injuries to The Shoulder

For many sports involving overhead motions that can position the shoulder at the far end of its motion range, it’s no wonder that shoulder injuries are so frequent among athletes. For instance, up to 50% of NCAA college football players have a history of shoulder injury, which accounts for between 10-20% of overall sport injuries. Looking at American college quarterbacks, one study showed that shoulder injuries accounted for more than half of player injuries at the position. If it comes to sport-related shoulder injuries, there are the three most prevalent (and sometimes co-occur to exacerbate matters):

1) SLAP (or labrum) tears: Superior (top) Labral tear from Anterior (front) to Posterior (back) tears is a term used to describe a torn piece of cartilage on the socket ‘s rim. The labrum adds depth to the cup which helps stabilise the socket ball. Individuals with a SLAP tear will frequently experience a lack of mobility and control, a sensation as if their shoulder may fall out of the socket, and a deep ache that is difficult to recognise while attempting overhead mobility.

2) Instability of the shoulder or dislocation: the risk of a collision with contact activities that will dislocate the shoulder joint ball (the end of the humerus bone) from the shoulder socket. Since the muscles at the front of the shoulder appear to be broader and heavier, dislocation in that direction may occur more often. Symptoms can include a severe, sudden initial pain followed by short bursts of pain as well as swelling and a noticeable deformity in the appearance of the shoulder.

3) Rotator cuff tears (RCTs): This is typical in sports involving constant overhead activity such as baseball (particularly pitchers), swimming and tennis. Symptoms include a deep ache, difficult to find, fatigue, and restricted range of motion (especially overhead or backwards).

Fast / timely diagnosis usually provides the best outcomes. Although there are cases where a timely surgical operation is required, recommendations for recovery typically prioritise non-surgical treatments with surgery first only when all possible choices are exhausted.

Osteopathic treatment of these disorders will include a multi-modal rehabilitation approach involving manual strengthening and activation of various muscles, neck and mid back of the shoulder; detailed guidelines for shoulder exercise; physical therapy modalities (ice, electrical shock, ultrasound, pulsed magnetic field, and more); plus nutritional guidance.

For any injuries or physical issues, you may feel the need for treatment, we are a family run business operating in Glasgow and Ayr. Please book online here

Read More

Low Back Pain & Spinal Stability

When it comes to managing a low back condition, the goal of Osteopathic treatment is for the patient to return as soon as possible, to their normal daily activities. It involves not only treating low back pain but also low back weakness, including diminished postural coordination and decreased spinal flexibility, which can result in reduced position sense, increased postural motion, and diminished balance.

Deep muscles, superficial muscles and the nervous system which sends information to and from the brain are regulated by movement control and spinal stabilisation. Dysfunction of each of these will lead to inflammation of the lumbar spine.

To complicate matters, the body can change its neuromotor habits as a defence measure when there is an injury present. It may also cause some muscles to become overworked while others can become deconditioned. If unaddressed, additional musculoskeletal conditions may result in nearby parts of the body which explains why patients often have multiple apparently unrelated complaints.

In addition to physical therapy such as massage and mobilisation to regain correct joint mobility, low back pain care can include core stabilisation / strengthening exercises and balance exercises as well.

One movement that works well for abdominal strengthening is a spine-sparing sit-up. Place the hands behind the lower back to avoid the lumbar curve from flattening and raise the head and chest a few inches off the floor, keep for ten seconds and repeat resistance (five to ten reps to start).

Try a side-bridge or side-plank (from feet or knees) to strengthen your sides, hold for 10 seconds and repeat as tolerable.

Use the front plank to reinforce the back. Rest in a push-up stance on your forearms for 10 seconds, and repeat as tolerable. Another pleasant practise is the bird-dog. Kneel on your hands and knees and, without bending the head, lift the opposite arm and leg and hold for ten seconds, repeat on the other arm / leg.

For improved balance, stand on one leg as long as you can with your eyes open or closed (if possible). This stimulates the neuromotor system. Be careful, and do this in one corner to avoid slipping!

Give a routine of such workouts. Consistency will help improve low back function and you will lower your risk of a future low back pain episode!

If you are suffering back pain or any conditions you need to seek help ASAP to prevent worsening conditions. Book Online at

Read More