All posts by Graeme IMC

Low Back Pain and Nerve Flossing

A patient can feel severe discomfort when the sciatic nerve is pinched or pressed. A tingling feeling, a lack of sensation, deadness, and even frailty in the hip, buttock and leg can be symptoms witnessed. For under 60-year olds, the customary cause of sciatica is a herniated disc.

For older adults, the most likely source of sciatica is spinal stenosis which is a narrowing of the openings of the spine the nerves travel through, and spondylolisthesis, which is when one vertebra slides forward on the neighbouring vertebra.

The sciatic nerve is made up of five nerve roots that exit the spine in the lower back. They then merge into one nerve that travels through the buttock and down to the leg. At the back of the knee, the nerve divides into two nerves. These two nerves are the tibial and common peroneal, that travel into the inner and outer lower leg and foot.

In most instances, a nerve root moves freely in and out of the spine through holes located between each vertebra. Tthese are known as intervertebral foramen (IVF). Exercises such as hamstring stretches or kicking a rugby ball create resistance within the sciatic nerve and pull the nerve roots out of the IVFs. Likewise, when we stand upright and stare at our toes, this pulls the spinal cord upward and the nerve roots move into the IVFs.

When undertaking management of sciatica, osteopaths will make use of an approach named nerve flossing. Similarly, with flossing teeth, the forward and backwards movement of the dental floss is theoretically the same move as the back and forth motion of the five nerve roots, that combine into the sciatic nerve. To draw the nerve roots out of the IVF, extend the head and neck skyward and then bend the foot/ankle skyward in addition (toes toward the nose). To flex the nerve back into the IVF, aim the foot/ankle down while the head/neck flexes progressively (chin to chest). Replicate several times as long as pain or other symptoms are not exacerbated. The concept underlying this is to relieve the nerve root by minimising sticking in the IVF.

Nerve flossing is generally conducted by an osteopath to ensure it is well tolerated and safeguarded, so that the patient can carry out the movement at home multiple times a day. Studies suggest that this method helps minimise stress on the sciatic nerve whilst pulling on the hamstrings, which are invariably tight in patients with low back pain.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.





Read More
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



Read More
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.



Read More

Clinical Efficacy of Shockwave Therapy For Peyronie’s Disease

Peyronie’s Disease is a problem that affects men all over the world and causes the formation of scar tissue called “plaque” in the penis. The cause of the disease is unclear, but many doctors think that after a trauma (e.g. hitting or bending), there is bleeding inside the penis, which leads to plaque formation. Mostly, men don’t even notice this type of trauma. Some researchers also believe that the disease has genetic origins. Whatever the reason, Peyronie’s Disease can affect men of all age groups. Men suffering from this disease have difficulty in getting an erection or get a painful and curved erection, instead of a straight one. In other words, this disease also causes erectile dysfunction disorder (ED). If you feel pain and suffering when you have an erection, you may have Peyronie’s Disease.

The Treatment Of Peyronie’s Disease

Two methods are used in the treatment of this disease: oral treatment and surgical intervention (penile implant surgery). Doctors decide which of these will be used according to the severity of the disease. Oral treatment requires the use of drugs such as “pentoxifylline” for a long time. The surgical intervention allows the removal of plaque formation in the penis. However, both treatment options have several problems.

  • Oral treatment continues for a very long time and has many side effects. If you are receiving treatment for another disease, this option is often not applicable because there is a possibility that the drugs will interact with each other. The efficacy of oral treatment is also very low and does not produce any results in many patients.
  • Surgery is more effective but unfortunately causes the penis to shorten. In this process, the diseased tissue is cut out and the area where the erection takes place naturally becomes smaller. Moreover, surgical intervention is not a definitive solution, as plaques can regenerate elsewhere in the penis. Some doctors even think that this treatment option worsens the problem.

In other words, none of the available treatments provide a definitive solution for Peyronie’s Disease and each has multiple problems.

ESWT Is The Alternative Treatment For Peyronie’s Disease

ESWT therapy, which has been used since the 1980s, means the application of low-intensity shock waves from outside the body and allows the tissue to heal itself without feeling any pain or requiring anaesthesia. This is a non-invasive treatment option and consists of multiple sessions. Each session lasts an average of 15 minutes and the clinician applies shock waves to the problem areas with a specially manufactured probe.

This method, used for the treatment of kidney stones and orthopedic problems, is also effective in the treatment of erectile dysfunction disorders. In addition, there are multiple clinical trials that prove its effectiveness and against Peyronie’s Disease.

The first trial was made in 2019 by the Urology departments of the Universities of Catania and Naples (*). This test shows that after the ESWT treatment, plaque size decreased by 15 cm2, erection length increased by 1 cm, and the penis has begun to erect at a straighter angle. The second research was conducted by The University of Western Australia in 2017-2018 (**). In this study, ESWT treatment was applied to the participants for 10 minutes and then some measurements were made with penile duplex doppler ultrasound scan (PDDU). After a 4-week therapy session, a decrease in plaque counts was observed in all participants. In other words, there are two clinical trials that prove that ESWT is an effective and alternative treatment for Peyronie’s Disease.



Book a session here 

Read More
shock wave therapy

A New And Non-Invasive Treatment Of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction or disorder (ED) is a much more common problem than you might think: Statistics show that almost 40% of 40-year-olds experience this problem. With age, this rate increases by up to 70%. ED is not only a problem affecting middle-aged men: One in four men under the age of 40 has faced this problem at some point in their lives. In other words, ED can be one of the most common medical problems affecting men all over the world.

Although ED patients are sexually stimulated, they cannot achieve an erection or maintain their erection for long enough to have sexual intercourse. There are many psychological or physiological causes of this condition, but the most common cause is reduced blood flow to the penis. The penis is actually a “spongy” tissue filled with blood, which consists of many cavernous bodies. During an erection, the blood fills these bodies and makes the penis erect. If there is a decrease in blood flow to the cavernous bodies, an erection cannot take place or cannot continue for a long time: This type of ED is called “vascular erectile dysfunction”. In other words, it is a problem with your vascular system – there is something wrong with your blood flow to the penis.

The “Usual” Treatment Of Erectile Dysfunction

Vascular erectile dysfunction has traditionally been treated orally. This is still the most common treatment today. In some cases, injection therapies may also be preferred. However, clinical tests show that these traditional treatment methods have two main problems:

• Their side effects and risks are quite high. The oral treatment has many side effects and especially affects your digestive system. Injection treatment has a lot of risks because it requires the injection to be made exactly at the right spot: Otherwise, it can become dangerous. Moreover, it’s a quite painful process.
• They’re almost ineffective. Both oral and injection therapies are not as effective as expected. Despite the risks and side effects they have, they cannot provide the desired level of results. As age gets older, their effect rates are decreasing. In fact, they are completely ineffective on some patients and do not provide any results.

Fortunately, there is now a new option for the treatment of vascular erectile dysfunction: extracorporeal shock wave therapy. This revolutionary treatment option has almost no side effects, no risks, and can be administered in a non-invasive, completely painless manner.

What Is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy?

It’s not a new way to treat medical problems with shock waves. Since the 1980s, ESWT has been used in the treatment of various problems, especially orthopedic ones. The sound waves used to break kidney stones can be applied to different parts of the body by changing their intensity and energy. This method of therapy is more effective than you think: Shock waves pass through the skin, affecting tissues and accelerating blood flow in the area where they are applied. In this context, they stimulate the body’s self-healing mechanisms and provide a natural recovery.

It is called “extracorporeal” because there is no surgery and shock waves are created outside the body. This is literally a non-invasive treatment: No anesthesia is required and no pain is felt during the procedure. The blood flow in the areas where shock waves are applied accelerates and new vessels are formed. As can be guessed, ESWT can also increase blood flow in the penis: In fact, this may be the easiest and simplest way to solve the problem of vascular erectile dysfunction.

How Does ESWT Work?

We can answer this question by explaining how EDfsw device works. Using a probe, the clinician applies low-intensity shock waves to various points of the penis. The energy of the shock waves may be low or high depending on the applied area. These are audible sound waves: No pain is felt. Shock waves affect tissues and create new vessels in the treated areas and increase blood flow. In other words, the main cause of the vascular erectile dysfunction problem can be treated in this way. This innovative method does not pose any risk, but if one of the following applies to you, you must inform the clinician before the application:

• If you are on an anticoagulant drug (i.e. warfarin)
• If there is an infection or implant in the area to be treated
• If you have a tumor in your body

How Long Does ESWT Take To Work?

ESWT treatment consists of a series of sessions and each session lasts an average of 15 minutes. Completion of the treatment usually requires 6 to 10 sessions. This number can be different for each patient. Even if there is no improvement after the first few sessions, all of them need to be completed.

ESWT is the most innovative treatment of the vascular erectile dysfunction problem and its effects are clinically proved. The majority of the patients who use this treatment report very positive results in terms of achieving an erection and staying erect. The United Kingdom is one of the countries where this treatment is most widely used, but ESWT is also applied in hospitals in lots of other countries too. Visit to find the nearest treatment center. Vascular erectile dysfunction can be treated and ESWT may be the solution you are looking for: Don’t wait any longer to improve your quality of life.

Read More