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Each injury or instance is unique so osteopathic treatment will vary from person to person.
Osteopaths assess the mobility of problem areas, ask you questions and make a diagnosis to work out the best treatment plan for each patient.
Osteopaths treat more than you think. They focus on how your skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulatory system, connective tissue and internal organs function as a whole body unit.
Head and Neck
The most common type of a headache originates from tension, muscle stiffness or joint strain in the neck and upper thoracic region.
Other causes include:
- eye strain
- sinus congestion
- whiplash injury
- poor posture
- jaw imbalance and teeth grinding
- allergies and food intolerances.
Depending on your presentation an osteopath may do one or multiple of the following things:
- work on your general mobility
- improve the mobility of your ribs and thoracic and cervical spine
- investigate muscular tension, nerve compression and inflammation
- advice on posture, exercise and stretching to help prevent a recurrence of symptoms
- offer guidance on diet and preventing dehydration
- advise on improving the ergonomics of your home or workplace.
Pelvic pain can be caused by a wide variety of conditions. Osteopaths can help with pain caused by trauma or repetitive strain. Muscles from the abdomen and lower limbs attach to the pelvis and overuse or overexertion of these regions can result in pelvic injury and pain.
Osteopaths may help your pelvic pain by:
- improving muscular flexibility in the region
- improving joint range of motion in the low back, hips and pelvis
- maintaining correct alignment of the lower back and pelvis
- providing advice on maintaining flexibility and strength around the pelvis.
Sciatica is a painful syndrome caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs deep through the buttock and down the leg. Sciatica can range from a dull ache to an incapacitating pain. Symptoms may be constant or intermittent, depending on activities or time of day.
Osteopaths will conduct a full musculoskeletal and orthopaedic examination to find the true underlying cause of sciatica. Osteopaths treat the related joints, muscles, ligaments or tendons to reduce the pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Upper Limb and Lower Limb
Your osteopath will work with you to determine the cause of your pain and decide on a course of treatment.
Common injuries include; tennis elbow, golfers elbow, radial head ligament sprains, ulnar nerve entrapment.
Symptoms can include weak grip, pain when twisting the wrist, constant dull ache, sharp pain when moving.
Extremely common over recent years as a result of frequent computer and smartphone usage and increased sedentary lifestyle. Shoulder pain is often very complex. As a result, shoulder injuries can be more difficult to treat.
Common Shoulder Injuries include:
- rotator cuff tears
- shoulder impingement (Subacromial bursitis) – when shoulder tendons are trapped and compressed during shoulder movements
- frozen shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis) – when the shoulder capsule swells and stiffens, restricting mobility
- postural tension
- referred pain
Hip and Groin:
Hip pain can be caused by a number of injuries or conditions. The most common cause of hip pain is inflamed tendons. Hip and groin pain can be related to a range of muscle or joint problems or it could be referred pain from your lower back.
Your osteopath will analyse your lower back and lower limb movement to help determine the cause of your pain. Because the hip is the centre of movement between the upper and lower parts of the body, it can easily be affected by poor movement control, posture or exercise.
Hip joint pain is often caused by a sitting position, landing awkwardly, certain sports, a sedentary lifestyle or arthritis. Hip joints can become sore when being held in a fixed position for a long time, or repeatedly moved into an uncomfortable position.
Knee pain can be caused by a range of factors and can be painful and debilitating.
Some people worry that their knee pain will result in the need for surgery. Often this is not the case. Knee trauma is common from falls and collisions however most knee pain is due to altered muscle mechanics, often involving the kneecap.
Osteopaths will determine the cause of your knee pain and most importantly help you correct the mechanics of your knee and other joints so that you can move around with confidence and comfort. If need be, your osteopath will refer you for further medical assessment.
An ankle sprain involves damage to the ankle ligaments, typically sustained during simple sudden traumatic incidents, such as rolling or twisting the ankle. The ligaments on the outside (lateral aspect) of the ankle are much more susceptible to injury than the inside (medial aspect) and can produce pain, swelling, bruising and a sense of instability.
Painful feet are very debilitating. Pain in the heel area is especially common and may be associated with a heel (calcaneal) spur.
Our feet are made up of a series of small bones, known as the tarsal bones. These tarsal bones, starting from the heel (calcaneus) form an arch, which is supported by a strong band of sinew (plantar fascia) stretching across the sole of the foot below the surface of the skin.
Inadequate arch support from poor footwear is the most common cause of plantar fasciitis. As the arch is collapsing the plantar fascia is placed under great stress and often other muscles of the foot and lower leg is utilised to help stabilise. The result is marked joint restriction and muscular tension with pain in the foot and lower leg.
Osteopaths will not only advise you on appropriate footwear and exercises but will work to increase the joint range of motion and flexibility of muscles in the feet and lower leg.