All posts by Michael Brown

Sore back at Christmas time?

Hello. It’s Michael Brown from Cram Osteopaths in Glasgow and I was sent a picture of brussel sprouts on a stalk recently and it reminded me of something that we see in the trade magazines. It looks like a back massager or one of those back massage sticks that you can get.

So I thought about it and we’ve got one of these and I want to see if this works. If you’re suffering with back pain on Christmas day and you really want to participate, but you’re struggling, I think I’ve got something that can help.

So you take your brussel sprout/back massager, you place it on the floor. You get down onto the ground to do your back stretches and your job is to try and get all of the brussel sprouts off. It feels brilliant. Actually roll side to side, to help with the muscles in your back, and then you can change it around. I think what we’re going to do is use the foam rolling technique that you can use on your back. I’m going to try up and down.

So now you can still help out on Christmas day with your brussel sprout/back massager. Perfect present as well, for someone suffering with back pain at Christmas and I’m off to make some coleslaw, or something with these brussels sprouts. Enjoy.

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How to avoid Neck pain at Christmas?


Cram Osteopaths in Glasgow and another Christmas injury that we see at this time of year, this one happens on the worst day possible. This usually happens on Christmas day and it’s called the Turkey neck. What usually happens is you’ve had a really lovely day, you’re filled up with Turkey or nut roast, or cheese and you sit down after you’ve had your meal with your family.
You put your feet up, you’ve been working hard, serving everyone all day and you think I’ll have a snooze and you do something like this and this is called Turkey neck. So you sit like that and you sleep for maybe 15, 20 minutes or an hour later, you wake up and you’re in this position, no support. You wake up and ouch, that’s your neck in agony. Okay. So I thought about how you avoid Turkey neck, a Christmas injury, and maybe go and have a lie down instead of sitting up in a chair and potentially hurting yourself.
So beware Christmas injuries, there’s injury everywhere. Good luck.

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How to prevent gift wrapping injuries

Cram Osteopaths in Glasgow here. Today I’m here to talk to you about the number one Christmas injury that we see this time of year. I want to get this in early, because I know some of you are going to be wrapping presents over the coming week and over the weekend.
What usually happens is that the patient calls up and their back is in agony and usually the reason for this type of injury is because they have been sitting on the floor for three hours. Three hours at a time leaning forward, grabbing the sellotape, grabbing the scissors, cutting the paper, to wrap the Christmas presents. Then they go to get up and their back has gone.
This is completely avoidable. So please, if you’re going to be wrapping Christmas presents then use an ironing board, so that you can get around and stand up high. If you have a lovely green couch like ours, then that is ideal for present wrapping. I wrap all my presents in here before I leave on Christmas Eve and get it up to working height. Or use either your breakfast bar or something higher in the house like an ironing board so that it can save yourself an awful lot of pain and agony this time of year, when it’s the worst time for you to be sore.
So yes, look out, be aware, get your presents wrapped when you’re standing up or sitting at the dining room table, but not on the floor.

And if you’re wondering why I’m wearing this, I’m playing the angel in the Cram Osteopaths nativity and you can look forward to seeing that as well. Until next time, bye.

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What is IDD Therapy?

Hi, it’s Joanna from Cram Osteopaths. Last week, we talked about IDD treatment for chronic neck pain and also for chronic lower back pain and we talked about how the machine itself can look a little bit unsettling when you first set eyes on it.

So what we’ve done is we’ve shown you a situation where Bradley and Anina have set themselves up on the machine and we’ve done it as a sped up version of real time.

Normally the process takes around 24 minutes, but this is just to give you an idea of how comfortable the treatment is and what’s involved in the process of coming on and off the machine. Again, any questions please get in touch. If this is something you think might help you, or you just want to talk to us further, please do contact us at the clinic and one of our experienced Osteopaths will give you a call back.

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What can Help Treat Migraines? (part 2)

Hi, it’s Joanna from Cram Osteopaths. Last week, we posted a video about how to treat migraines and how Osteopathic treatment can considerably help relieve some of the symptoms associated with migraines, such as tight neck, headaches, tight shoulders, and jaw pain and often we get really good results with that. However, there are some cases where somebody with really chronic migraines has some other issues such as wear and tear on their cervical spinal joints (the neck joints) and just isn’t reaching their goals that they’ve come to see us for. That is when we consider moving on to the next option, which is our fabulous IDD machine that you see behind me here, who we’ve affectionately nicknamed, Big Bertha.

I’m aware the machine itself can look a little bit intimidating, but actually it’s a very comfortable treatment. The patient lies on the table and the table goes flat. We then create a traction through the specific joints and the neck. By having an MRI scan ahead of starting treatment, we know which segments may be causing compression and exacerbating the symptoms of neck pain, headaches and migraines, so that we can treat the specific joint.

We are really excited to offer this treatment at Cram Osteopaths. In due course, we will show you a patient having a full treatment on the IDD machine. But if this is you and you’ve tried everything else and you want to explore the next thing that you can do, that’s non-invasive, not involving surgery or injections, then please get in touch with us pick up the phone and give us a call and one of our osteopaths will call you back and we can discuss whether IDD therapy might well be the right choice for you to finally tackle these chronic migraines.

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What can Help Treat Migraines

Hi, I’m Joanna from Cram Osteopaths. I wanted to post a video today to talk about headaches and migraines. This is something that we see absolutely tons of in clinic. If you’re a migraine sufferer, it may be that you’re getting auras, flashing lights or colours that warn you that a migraine is coming on. It may be really disrupting your life and causing you to have to leave work early or stop work altogether for a couple of days in really severe cases.

It can be a very difficult condition and often people feel that the only solution is to keep taking the medicine each time they feel that migraine coming, but the good news is that we have lots of success at Cram Osteopaths with helping migraine sufferers, reduce the severity of the migraines and the frequency by using nice, gentle osteopathic treatment to release the tension around the upper back, the neck joints, the shoulders, the jaw, and the cranium. This treatment can involve mobilisations and gentle osteopathic adjustments where you may hear some clicking and popping, as long as it’s appropriate for that patient. We would talk through all of that beforehand and usually a short course of treatment is enough to begin to make a change and then do reviews moving forward.

So if you are suffering with migraines and it’s something you’ve had for years, and you feel like you’re running out of options, please do get in touch with us at Cram Osteopaths and let us have a look at you. Let us assess it and have a good discussion about what we can do going forward. Put a treatment plan together and look at all the different treatment options.

In my next video we’ll talk about those that maybe haven’t responded to manual treatment, they’ve maybe tried everything else before and we will talk about what else we can offer at Cram Osteopaths in Glasgow.

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Shoulder Tension Exercise, Squeeze to Ease

Hi, it’s Joanna from Cram Osteopaths and this week it is International Stress Awareness week. We are focusing on things to help people suffering with stress that can also affect the postural muscles, which we see all the time in the clinic. It’s definitely a factor in almost everybody’s back pain journey.

One of the easiest ways to tackle the tension around the shoulders and neck is with some very simple exercises. This is one that my patients will know well and it’s definitely worth trying at home. Obviously, if you have ongoing issues and you need to come in and see us, these will not be the fix, but start with these and then pick up the phone and give us a call.

To do these exercises, we clasp our hands together and just place them on our laps, then we’re going to take the shoulders and squeeze them as tight as we can to try and touch the ear lobes.
Really going nice and tight till you feel you can’t squeeze anymore then lowering them back down and pushing down. I would usually do this three times in a row. It can help to close your eyes whilst you do it and that will help you focus on really stretching and relaxing the muscles. Three shrugs up and down, and then we can follow that by 10 backward rolls. Keeping the hands clasped, we’re just going to roll the shoulders backwards. I usually tell patients to imagine you have a pen sticking out of your shoulder and you’re drawing a backwards circle. 10 nice slow backwards rolls. Really easy three and 10, and try to do it throughout your working day,

Even if you’re not working maybe every time the kettles boiling or during the adverts of your favorite program just something to make it simple, but really any time you start to feel that tension building rather than pushing the neck around or trying to loosen off the joints, go with the stretches first and see if that eases it.

As I said before, if not, pick up the phone, give us a call or book online and we’ll get you feeling much better soon.

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Jaw Grinding Advice

Hi It’s Joanna and Anina from Cram Osteopaths, we are going to talk today about the jaw also known as the Temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
It’s something that we see lots of in the clinic. It usually presents alongside neck pain or headaches, and also grinding of the jaw or bruxism, as some people may call it. Which can affect sleep and cause you to wake up with real tension around the jaw, the neck and head.
If you’re suffering from any of these then please get in touch and it’s worth coming in and having an assessment and we can get you feeling much better.
One of the things you can do in the meantime, to help yourself is some simple exercises to try and release some of that jaw tension. I’m going to describe to Anina the exercise and she’s going to show you how you do them. It’s lots of fun as you get to make lots of silly faces.
So for the first exercise, I’m going to get Anina to pop her index finger on her chin groove and open her mouth really nice and wide and pop her tongue up to the roof of her mouth. The wider your mouth is open the more the stretch comes down the front of the face, it’s just a nice, gentle stretch.
If you have a lot of tension you probably will feel this quite strongly.
The other ones are doing exaggerated mouth openings and closings. So if you give a really big exaggerated yawn, and then close and clench the teeth together and we can see all the muscles working around the jaw and the neck. Finally, a little bit of self massage, where you take the pads of the fingers and massage in circular motions, just at the top of the jaw where you feel the bone in front of the ear. We can do five forward circles and five backward circles. If it’s particularly tender, you can use a gentle heat pad or a gentle ice pack, but that should certainly help ease some of the tension.
However it wont get rid of the problem, if you have an actual issue with the joints in the neck or the joints in the Temporomandibular joint, so please get in touch and we can help you get feeling back to your normal self as soon as possible.

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Mid/Upper Back Pain Treatment

Today I wanted to show you one of the techniques we use for your Thoracic spine. This is the middle part of your back, often people come in complaining of pain in between the shoulder blades, or they just feel very, very stiff. As well as loosening up some of the soft tissues and going over some exercise rehab with a patient, one of the effective techniques that we use in the practice is known as the Thoracic Spine Manipulation technique.

So for this technique, we have the patient lying on the back. First of all, we place one hand on the shoulder and the other hand underneath the side, we ask the patient to breathe in and out and get you to bend one knee up. I’m just going to have my hand underneath the back and put some pressure through your forearms. We’re going to roll you towards the practitioner and you take a deep breath in for me, and all the way out, we’re just going to roll you back and just let that breath go. Perfect.

So if you’re having any trouble with stiffness or pain in the middle part of your spine, then please get in contact with us. We’d be delighted to help take care now.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatments

This is Joanna from Cram Osteopaths and today we’re going to talk about carpal tunnel syndrome. If you’ve got carpal tunnel syndrome, it’s very likely you’ve got pain in the wrist and the hand and maybe some tingling. You may also get some pain coming into the forearm and in some cases up through the upper arm and your neck.

When you come and see us at Cram Osteopaths, we’ll help diagnose this. Sometimes it may be necessary to also refer you on for nerve conduction tests, just to see at what stage that carpal tunnel syndrome is.

In a non-complicated case we can do manual treatment using nice osteopathic mobilizations and movement of the joints,also treating the upper limb, neck and upper back, but what we also do at Cram Osteopaths is we use focus and radial shockwave and that is this unit here. So I’m just going to show you a tiny bit of what happens in a short quick treatment. In this case, we are treating the right wrist. All that happens is we put a little bit of gel onto the wrist, it can take some time to go through the process. It’s a little bit noisy and we check how the patient is the whole time.

Usually with Shockwave we look at a course of around five treatments to get really good clinical results. As well as doing shockwave and manual osteopathic treatment, it is very likely that one of our Osteopaths will give some nice, easy exercises to do, to release the tension in the wrist, upper limb, neck and upper back.

So if you’re suffering with carpal tunnel syndrome and nothing else has helped you so far, get in touch with us at Cram Osteopaths and we’ll have a look and see what we can do to get you on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.

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