We all suffer from aches and pains every now and then. Most of the time they disappear as easily as they came, but it can be hard to predict which will last. No ailment is too minor for your osteopath. If you find that you have a few issues that keep coming back, or one that is particularly irritating, we might be able to help.
Common Aches and Pains
Sometimes pain comes on for no apparent reason, and you may just wake up with it. A “cricked neck” is an ache that commonly resolves itself after a day or two, but can really impact you if it doesn’t. At this point is might be diagnosed as torticollis: where a muscle in the front of the neck goes into spasm and holds your neck rotated and bent. This can be painful, but also dangerous if it affects your ability to drive.
Pulled or fatigued muscles, following sports or unusual activities like DIY, can be persistent. The body’s primary method of protecting itself from aches and pains is to tense the muscles around it. It can be a hard cycle to break if tension causes more pain, thus instructing the body to lock down further. The issue is even more complex if a nerve gets irritated by the tight muscles. This can happen with the sciatic nerve in piriformis syndrome. Osteopathy can help with these kinds of cyclical problems. During your session, we can work to relax the muscles in question, reducing the brain’s reaction and allowing the muscle to heal itself.
Preventing Other Problems
Things like osteoarthritis can start insidiously, with your body adapting asymptomatically until the joint is significantly affected. Although the adaptation is useful in the short term, it can cause secondary problems elsewhere. Using the hip as an example:
Early arthritis: hip extension is reduced, so the pelvis tilts forward to reach the same range without using the hip.
The lower back flattens and the upper back becomes more hunched in response to this.
This encourages the head to point downwards. We instinctively want to keep our head up, so the neck works hard to do so.
The lower back and neck may become arthritic, as the joints are underused in the back and overworked in the neck.
Like you see your dentist routinely, it can be a good idea to do the same with your osteopath. Even if you have no symptoms, we can assess the way your whole body moves and identify those early changes. They may develop for no apparent reason, or they may be in response to a minor injury or change in demand. Your osteopath can advise how frequently you should have your check ups.